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The Journey of Surrender - 7

Bihari Mohan Sharma

 

The poignant tale of Bihari's family was a saga of unyielding hardship and fleeting hope. Each passing day seemed to cast a darker shadow over their already bleak existence. Despite the growing numbers within the family, the promise of prosperity remained elusive, as income stagnated and dreams withered in the harsh reality of their circumstances. Amidst this relentless struggle, tragedy struck with when Bihari's eldest daughter, the beacon of their hopes, succumbed to a fever that gripped her frail body. Days of agony stretched into eternity, but she could not withstand the relentless assault of illness, leaving behind a chasm of grief that engulfed the family.


In the midst of this despair, a glimmer of divine intervention emerged in the form of Sri Sri Thakur. His arrival at Bihari's doorstep offered a semblance of solace amidst the storm. Recognizing the dire predicament of the family, Thakur extended his benevolent hand, whisking away Bihari's eldest son to the sanctuary of Kokilamukha Math. With the assurance of his son's future secured under Thakur's guardianship, Bihari found a fleeting sense of peace amidst the turmoil. However, adversity continued to coil around Bihari's life, as the arrival of ruthless ruffians tainted the tranquillity of his village. Their menacing presence cast a pall over Bihari's existence, rendering the simple act of maintaining dignity a herculean task. The student community he had painstakingly built crumbled in the face of such relentless oppression.

At the same time, an unspoken bond flourished between Bihari and Rohini, a friendship woven through shared contemplation of the revered Sri Sri Thakur and his profound teachings. Their spirited discussions often lingered long into the night, delving deep into the essence of spirituality that resonated within their souls.


Yet, fate's hand ushered Rohini onto a path of enlightenment as he sought refuge at the feet of Sri Sri Thakur, ultimately taking Sanyas and becoming Swami Nityananda Saraswati. His departure from the village left a void in Bihari's world, tinged with both admiration and apprehension. Haunted by the uncertainty that loomed over his own journey, Bihari penned a heartfelt letter to Sri Sri Thakur, a humble plea for guidance and sanctuary amidst life's tumultuous currents. In his missive, he expressed a fervent desire to seek solace in the divine presence of Thakur, offering his unwavering commitment to serve Him with utmost devotion.

 

Sri Sri Thakur's response to Bihari’s letter echoed with the wisdom of ages past, clearing all his shadows of doubt.

Herein lies an excerpt of his divine counsel:

 

OM

                                                                                        Ashram

My dear Bihari,                                                               23/1/28   

 

May the blessings of the divine be upon you. Your letter has reached me, and I have listened to the echoes of your heart's yearning. It is not uncommon for one to feel the urge to depart from the familiar confines of home, driven by a transient whim. However, the mere act of leaving behind one's family does not guarantee liberation. The seed of attachment, if left unaddressed, will sprout anew, regardless of one's physical location, even amidst the depths of a secluded jungle.


Indeed, this world is fraught with turmoil, yet it is within its crucible that the mettle of a soul is tested. To traverse the path to liberation, one must first navigate the trials of worldly existence. It is here, amidst life's tumult, that the resolve of a seeker is forged. Therefore, understand that success on the journey to liberation hinges upon your ability to withstand the trials of this world.

Devotion, particularly to the divine, is a sacred pursuit that cannot be attained without the grace of God. While serving one's Guru is paramount, the capacity to serve one's family – mother, father, wife, and child – is a proof of one's readiness to serve the Guru. Remain rooted in your world and cultivate the strength to serve your Guru. Embrace the challenges that life presents with a smile upon your lips, for it is through overcoming adversity that you shall earn the grace of the divine. Should you approach me with doubt or incapacity, your faith in devotion may waver.


I bestow upon you my blessings to fulfil your familial duties and navigate the complexities of life with joy in your heart. May the power of chanting the Lord's name be your guide, empowering you to overcome temptation and stride forth on your spiritual journey with unwavering faith.


Yours sincerely,

Sri Nigamananda


Upon perusing Sri Sri Thakur's correspondence, Bihari experienced a profound surge of energy coursing through his being. Guided by the wisdom of Sri Sri Thakur, Bihari navigated his life's journey, encountering remarkable incidents that solidified his unwavering devotion to Sri Sri Thakur.


In his village, a gentleman harbouring a longstanding rivalry with Bihari sought his assistance. Yearning to enrol his son in Sri Sri Thakur's ashram alongside Bihari's own son, with aspirations for their holistic development under Sri Sri Thakur's tutelage, the gentleman approached Bihari. Without hesitation, Bihari accompanied the gentleman's son to the ashram, beseeching Sri Sri Thakur to accept the newcomer and securing his place therein. Thus, from the seeds of rivalry sprouted a newfound camaraderie.


On another occasion, a troubled youth from a group known for making Bihari's life difficult sought his audience. Initially wary, Bihari continued his contemplative reading of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Patiently awaiting his turn, the youth eventually voiced a heartfelt plea: He wanted Bihari to inform him to be informed of Sri Sri Thakur's imminent visit. He had read all the books written by Thakur and desired to seek refuge at his revered lotus feet. Bihari, advocated alternative paths for spiritual initiation and asked the youth to seek the guidance of his family priest or any temple heads. Overcome with emotion, the youth prostrated before Bihari, tearfully expressing his singular desire to receive initiation solely from Sri Sri Thakur. Pleading for forgiveness and reconciliation, the youth implored Bihari to intercede on his behalf. Moved by the sincerity of his remorse, Bihari offered solace, assuring the youth that he would endeavour to facilitate his meeting with Sri Sri Thakur.

... to be continued

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


Sadguru Swami Nigamananda Paramahansa Dev

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