After the visiting hour was over, I was into a pondering mood, ' I have seen a man who himself had seen the Goddess', and kept murmuring his word, "ANUBHAV KARNA PADEGA"'. 'Mother has to be felt
I was lost in my thoughts but my wife, Ruma , was looking at Swami Ji who was moving after the schedule time of meeting. Ruma herself saw swamiji going towards his room in a little bending condition, slowly but steadily.
Here is a monk who may be the only living person at present who had seen Holy Mother Sarada Devi and received initiation from her. He also spent lot of time with the cyclonic monk of India , Swami Vivekananda. He was born in the vicinity of Swami Ji's house and the monk is now about 142 yrs old. He himself prepares his food. He guides the people on spirituality ceaselessly.
It all happened when Dr Sengupta and his Mrs from Sirhind and I had the priviledge to visit Ladana where Sreemat Totapuri Ji attained Samadhi.We were five Gurubhais and Bahins to undertake the pious journey from Chandigarh by an Innova vehicle .Saral Da and me with Ruma , my wife , Chandra and Malavika di.( We all got initiation together on the same dayfrom Sreemat Swami Atmasthananda Ji Maharaj on 11 Nov 2006 at Chandigarh Ashram.
It was not very difficult to search Ladana. Little deviation towards right from main road after crossing Pehwa before Kaithal . Conventional Sadhus were around ,a temple named Sri Sri 1008 Siddha Hinglaj. Dera Baba Ladana. This is a place of Rajpuri Ji Maharaj , the Spiritual guide of Totapuri Ji . A place for the Puris' sadhana and tapasya where a big pond of those time, a Dhuna , Samadhi Smarak and Panchavati was the attraction for the spiritual aspirants . In this compound the Samadhis of Rajpuri Ji Maharaj and Totapuri Ji are built. For us Ladana is of great significance as it is also a place of saint Totapuri who in some aspects was the Guru of Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa Dev and we felt emotionally thrilled
I was temporarily lost in myself at Panchavati , where a bird was hatching on a branch of a tree. The scene was quoted by Sri Thakur, comparing the eyes of the bird with the eyes of an yogi . All others joined me when I got myself back and captured photographs of the bird without disturbing her . She also co-operated . I felt the presence of Thakur as if Thakur himself was there in the form of that hatching bird.
We joined the langar to have our lunch. It was here that Saral Da told about a man of 142 years , disciple of Ma Sarada Devi. Just exciting! A man of that era is still on this earth! I enquired about the place. Assuring me about all details, Saral Da also informed that only at specific time of the day one can visit him. I whispered," obviously, the age is a great factor, his love for loneliness-living with the self alone might be the reason." Saral Da proposed for a trip to the place, which was greatly welcomed by all of us. We decided to plan it at the earliest as the age factor is there, We did not want to miss the opportunity.
Offering our Pranam at the place of great sants at the Dera Baba Ladana we visited Geeta-sthal, Brhammo-sarovar and Bhadra Kali-mandir at Kurukshetra . All along our focus was to see the 142years old saint at the earliest.
Materialised at next weekend when I, alongwith, Ruma and Malavika di boarded Jana Satabdi from Chandigarh for Nangal for Saral Da's house .Late evening, when we landed at their abode with excitement for morning journey Saral Da arranged a Vehicle and gathered necessary informations about the place, which is ‘Vir’, 20 KM from the famous Baijnath Temple and a seven hrs journey from Nangal. (via Una , Jwala Ji Palampur and Baijnath Temple.)
We had a feeling that the sailing saint , Totapuri was pleased at ladana and so is Thakur, as a hatching bird who directed us towards Dakshina Kali Ashram of His Holiness Swami Vishudhananda Maharaj .The Ashram of Vir is on the impressive Himalayan mountains with its magnificent ridges, snowy peaks, gurgling mountain streams, and lush green valleys. Emotions were thick and thicker as we proceeded towards the place.
We started from Nangal at 06:00 hrs and reached Vir at 13:00 hrs . We missed the morning session to meet the Saint at 11 AM.In the evening He appeared at 16:00 Hrs and we were unable to withhold our spiritual curiosity. we started pushing each other making a hush hush to ask questions about Swamiji, his early life and his eventful journey of life .
I requested Swamiji to enlighten us on Ma Sarada Devi .In his unique way he stressed the need to try to know oneself and the divinity within. 'Anubhav karna parega ',the fact that' Ma Sarada Devi has to be perceived within oneself.
On another request to speak in Bengali , the swami shot back ... "Rashtra bhasa Hindi hain ", 'Hindi is our National Language' ,.Perhaps it was a most decent punch towards admonishing the Bengalis and indirectly all others who lack in National spirit and feelings and prone to be very emotional and sentimental about their own region.
He Himself was serving the prasad to the aspirants who came to visit him .What is very noticeable about Visuddhananda ji Maharaj is his child like simplicity reflecting on His countenance. In one instance when he was requested by Chandra Di and me to enlighten us about Thakur , Sri Ram Krishna Paramhansa Dev , he retorted forcefully that, " Abhinna Hain ", ' Thakur and Ma sarada are one entity. The smiling face of his during these interactions cannot be drawn in words . He inspired us to keep on doing Japas and meditation and to have burning faith in the Guru , who is one who will lead to Thakur . The exact word pronounced was , "Bhatakna nehi parega".’
Swamiji does not speak much. His presence is such that words fail. He took his seat on a easy wooden chair and an ochre coloured towel was draped on his head and shoulders. After much persuasion, Swamiji enlightened us about his early life. How he grew up near Shimla street in Kolkata in the very same neighbourhood where Vivekananda's ancestral house was located. His chance encounter with Holy Mother Sarada Devi and culminating most propitiously into initiation or 'Dikshya" from Mother at Bagbajar , Mayer Bari .
We also ventured to the adjoining Para Gliding Club and the mesmerising sight of dare devil paragliders floating on the thin air made for a truly kaleidoscopic vignette.
We are blessed to have his darshan..Each movements He did , every word he pronounced seems to be from another world . More body language less words but plenty to ponder about. He was giggling repeatedly on our queries. Once bursted like thunder on receiving similar questions in repetition . " Bhago Ihase"' , get out of here . But the thunder burst vanishes shortly like a line drawn in water.We stayed at the Ashram complex for about 4 hrs and felt blessed by Swami Visuddhananda Ji Maharaj.
To conclude , I have seen the eyes which had seen Ma Sarada Devi and so many spiritual giants of Sri Ramkrishna order .I have seen the body which had auspicious presence in front of holy mother . I heard the voice which prayed for her grace being together with her .A fulfilment of dream which was never dreamt but came as reality.