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The Journey of Surrender - 11

Updated: Apr 21

Bihari Mohan Sharma


Bihari's heart was heavy with regret as he couldn't join the Bhakta Sammilani in Baguda that year due to his grandmother's ailing health. Yet, the flame of devotion burned brightly within him, fueled by the words of Sri Sri Thakur and the support of his spiritual brothers like Narmada Bhai and Gagan Bhai, who made the pilgrimage despite his absence. During the Sammilani, Sri Sri Thakur had rallied his devotees, especially those from Srihatta village, to generously contribute to the development of the Saraswata Ashram in Mayanamati. Moved by the call to action, devotees like Narmada Bhai stepped forward to heed the Guru's plea.

In a poignant letter to Narmada Bhai, Sri Sri Thakur singled out Bihari for a special task, entrusting him with the responsibility of seeking alms from door to door. The weight of Sri Sri Thakur's trust lifted Bihari's spirits, infusing him with a sense of purpose. Finally, he felt recognized and valued for his devotion.

With eager anticipation, Bihari embarked on his mission, accompanied by his spiritual brother, Mahendra. Armed with books, pictures, and materials bearing Sri Sri Thakur's teachings, as well as a receipt book for donations, they set out to fulfill the Guru's wishes. Bihari's heart swelled with excitement as he envisioned the success of his endeavor. He was determined to gather enough resources to fulfill the noble task entrusted to him by Sri Sri Thakur. With every door he knocked on, he carried not just the physical weight of his supplies, but also the weight of his devotion and commitment to his Guru's cause.

As Bihari and Mahendra journeyed from house to house, their spirits remained unwavering, fueled by their unwavering faith in Sri Sri Thakur and the power of their shared mission. Though the road ahead may be long and challenging, they were resolved to carry on, guided by the light of their Guru's teachings and the strength of their devotion.

 Their journey began with promise as they found refuge in the lavish abode of a wealthy lawyer. Welcomed with open arms, they marveled at the generosity of their host, whose hospitality knew no bounds. Every comfort was provided for, and they felt blessed to be bathed in such warmth, attributing it all to the grace of their Thakur. Seeking to fulfill their mission, they had hoped for the lawyer's assistance in connecting with influential figures in the city to garner support for the ashram. However, their expectations were shattered when the lawyer, instead of aiding them, assured that he would handle everything, dissuading them from their intended course of action. Days passed in luxurious indulgence, their spirits lifted by the divine food and opulent surroundings. Yet, as time trickled by, their benefactor was conspicuously absent, leaving them to wonder about his true intentions. Their patience waned, and they confronted the maid, hoping for answers. What they discovered shattered their trust—their host had abandoned and had indulged in drinking with his group of friends for the last couple of days.

Disheartened but undeterred, the two brothers resolved to chart their own path. With the dawn of a new day, they silently slipped away, their faith unshaken despite the betrayal they endured. Returning home, they reflected on the inauspicious start to their journey. Though their trust had been misplaced, their devotion remained steadfast, reminding them that the true essence of their mission lay not in the actions of others, but in their unwavering commitment to their Thakur's teachings. Their journey, though marked by betrayal, served as a poignant lesson in resilience and unwavering faith—a testament to the enduring power of devotion in the face of adversity. Undeterred by setbacks, he embarked on a renewed journey, guided by Sri Sri Thakur’s words that effort and work mattered more than results.

Joined by fellow devotee Kamini Sen, they ventured to Jagatpur, their hearts brimming with determination to seek donations for their cause. Though the returns were modest, their spirits remained unwavering as they gleaned support from both devotees and locals. Driven by word of spiritual seekers in Mayamansingh, particularly in Keyarjur and Ajmerganz, the group expanded, welcoming three more devotees into their fold. Eschewing unnecessary expenses, they decided to walk on foot to their destination, armed with simple provisions of rice puffs, laddoos, and oranges. Their arduous journey led them to a small community, where they presenting their cause to a compassionate gentleman, and received their first donation—a humble rupee—fueling their determination to press on. As midnight approached, they reached Mayamansingh, where the solidarity of fellow devotees bolstered their efforts, resulting in further contributions towards their cause.

Undeterred by fatigue or the late hour, the next day saw them boarding a boat bound for Ajmiri, their spirits buoyed by the triumphs of their journey thus far.

Amidst the trials and tribulations of their pilgrimage, their unwavering devotion and steadfast commitment to Sri Sri Thakur's teachings illuminated their path, guiding them ever forward towards their noble mission. In the heart of Ajmiri, Bihari and his companions witnessed a profound display of devotion that left them in awe. Though the people had never laid eyes upon Sri Sri Thakur, his presence permeated every home through revered portraits and discussions of his life and teachings. As news spread of Bihari's arrival, the inhabitants eagerly awaited the opportunity to learn more about Sri Sri Thakur and to meet the devotees who walked in his footsteps. Questions flowed freely, reflecting a deep yearning to understand the rituals of worship and to seek guidance on spiritual matters. In response, Bihari and his friend offered counsel and reassurance, promising to facilitate meetings with Sri Sri Thakur himself.

Their journey continued as they approached the business and traders association of Ajmire, seeking support for their cause. Along the way, they encountered both hospitality and hostility, each experience serving as a lesson in humility and resilience. Through the trials and tribulations of their pilgrimage, Bihari and his companions learned a profound lesson in spiritual growth. Their Guru, Sri Sri Thakur, had entrusted them with the task of seeking donations not merely to fund the ashram's development, but as a means of cultivating humility, selflessness, and resilience. Sri Sri Thakur's teachings emphasized the importance of accepting praise and disgrace with equanimity—a fundamental principle essential for spiritual ascension. Rather than attracting wealth effortlessly, Sri Sri Thakur chose to challenge his disciples, urging them to embrace hard work, selflessness, and humility as they navigated life's obstacles.

Returning home from Ajmiri with the weight of their mission still heavy upon their shoulders, Bihari and his companions knew they could not afford to rest until their goal was met. With the Bhakta Sammilani fast approaching, they were determined to secure the necessary funds to ensure its success.

Pooling their efforts, the devoted group set out to share the workload, each member committed to the cause. Yet, despite their collective endeavors, the funds they amassed fell short of their target. Undeterred, they turned to distinguished individuals who had shown interest in their work, appealing to their generosity and dedication to the cause. Joined by Bhuban Brahmachari and Fani Bhai, they redoubled their efforts, leaving no stone unturned in their quest for donations. Not a day passed without them venturing out to solicit alms, their determination unwavering even in the face of exhaustion and adversity.

One fateful evening, upon returning home late, Bihari was greeted by a gathering of people outside his house, their presence illuminated by the glow of light within. Assuming it to be a neighbor's Kali Puja celebration, he chose not to disturb them, seeking refuge in the home of a fellow devotee for the night.

However, the dawn brought clarity—a stark realization that the commotion was not due to festivities, but rather, his own son's grave illness. With his priorities shifted, Bihari dedicated himself to caring for his child, setting aside his fundraising efforts for a few days. In the face of this unexpected challenge, Bihari exemplified the unwavering devotion and selflessness that defined his mission. Though momentarily sidelined, his commitment to both his family and the Bhakta Sammilani remained steadfast, a testament to the resilience and compassion that guided his journey.

to be continued...

Inspired by Krushnapriya Mohanty's essay, 'Bihari Mohan Sharma.'

Sadguru Swami Nigamananda Saraswati Dev 

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