A short life-sketch of the great and noble saint is presented here. The initiates having trust in Him would naturally want to know a good deal about Him, particularly those whose contacts with Him have been few and far between. There are others, the general readers, who know next to nothing about Him and might be curious. The need for a life-sketch cannot therefore be brushed aside.
The going has been halting for a number of reasons: To quote from the preface to the contemplated “Life of Sri Sri Thakur” by my friend, the Late Prabhatchandra Chakravarty:- . “An indomitable impulse is compelling me to bring to the light of common day the godly life of . the great saint. I do however know that I am acting against His wishes – not the ghost of a doubt about it. As I had put trust in Him, it is transgression on my part; but I plead having been inspired by a devout wish to sing in praise of Sri Sri Thakur Ramchandra-the one sanctifying occupation in the eddy of endless pleasures, pains, frustrations and sins. A poor sinner, I have trespassed by writing His life against His wishes.May He in His infinite mercy and loving kindness forgive me.” Sri Sri Thakur never wanted His life to be written and noised about. There are other difficulties too. In spite of considerable investigation this have not been able to get at most of the facts of the first half of His life.
The sacred life of Sri Sri Thakur falls, as it appears to me, roughly into three divisions. The first period extends from birth to His meeting with His spiritual Guide at Kamakhya; the second, from Initiation to return home and habitual stay there till about 1907/8; the third, from 1907/8 to His passing away on the third day of the New Moon of Vaishakha, 1355 (B.S.). Sri Sri Thakur was born at Dingamanik, Faridpur (Dt.) in the month of Magha, 1266 (B.S.), Thursday the lOth of the New Moon with Rohini (Aldebaran) in the ascendant. His father late Radhamadhab Chakravarty was a real seeker, voted to penance and divine recollectedness. His mother (late) Kamala Devi had a frank, simple nature, reputed for her dishes and hospitality. The miracle about His birth with His twin brother Lakshman Thakur has a wide currency, but as He never referred to it I refrain from narrating it. Below are given a few incidents of the first part of His life as recounted by Him. All the associates of Sri Sri Thakur know how He took His meals as a mere apology for them. His comment on my query was: “The money-lender is satisfied with a Little of interest paid. Why give more?” He was like this from his early years-would not take any food unless pressed to, and had in consequence no end of bickering with His mother in spite of His devotion to her being incomparably deep. Such unpleasantness’s occurred during the middle period too on occasions when He came back home from His wanderings. As mother, she wanted to feed Him with various dishes and enjoy watching Him relish thereof with satiety. Sri Sri Thakur on the other hand insisted upon eating of a dish of boiled herbs and creepers collected by Him from the forest. With reference to this matter He once observed: “I do not remember to have caused pain to any except to my mother over taking meals”.
He was from His early years so different from others. In spite of His unwillingness to talk much of Himself. the occasional scraps of information
that fell from his lips convinced me that He was born with memory of His previous lives; indeed, His talks and conduct often caused not a little surprise. He was since boyhood disposed to being alone with Himself, and His pastimes were to worship the goddess Kali, the god Hari, and similar devotional practices. His schooling at the Primary Institution was brief; he could not proceed because He had little need for mundane knowledge. As a boy He felt strongly attached to, and was deeply loved by, His father’s spiritual guide (late) Mrittyunjoy Nyaya-panchanan-a devotee given to severe askesis and profound meditation. I had it from Sri Sri Thakur that when His father was in the death-bed His guide came to their place all the way from Kachhar and as soon as he touched his (father’s) body with his foot he (father) expired. A year after, Sri Sri Thakur heard of the Guide having fallen ill at Japsa, a village in the district of Faridpur, and proceeded there with His mother to pay their respects to him. The Guide passed away about this time. Sri Sri Thakur was then 8 years old. Soon after, on the third day of the New Moon of Vaishakha He was initiated by the Guide in a subtle and mysterious way. This day, a few years after, there is no record of how old He was at the time – He met the Guide in embodied form at Kamakhya. The second period of Sri Sri Thakur’s life is shrouded in mystery. From Kamakhya He disappeared with His Guide to return home after 8/10 years. Soon after He went probably to Noakhali and spent a few years there and at Feni. The poet (late) Nabinchandra Sen says that he met Him at Feni when He was 26/27 years old, and puts on record (in “My Life”, Part N -a Preacher or a Fraud) some incidents that happened at the time in Feni and Noakhali. Immediately after, He faded out again to reappear in the Calcutta area about 1902/3. Quite a few things as to where He had been and what He had been doing during these two periods of disappearance have been vouchsafed to me by Sri Sri Thakur in scattered bits, but as their chronology is not known t-o me no connected account is possible. I have not put these on record, being particularly dissuaded by
the prohibitory injunction: “of the improbable, the less said the better”. I shall however conclude the middle period with a bit of sampling by way of satisfying the curious reader.Accompanied by His Guide and three brother- initiates, Sri Sri Thakur had travelled for long in different parts of the Himalayas, the spot-lights thereof being, among others, the following:- visit to Kaushikashrama; meeting with some saints of mighty stature and service unto them for ab~ut three months; visit to Vashisthashrama; commg across the God Shiva and the Goddess Parvati inthe form of a boy and a girl and bivouac in their cave for the night; straying away from His Guide and religious brothers; being shown the way next morning by an old man, tall of stature, dyed in red sandal paste and decked with a garland of crimson ‘Java’ (China rose) and return to Vashisthashrama in the twinkle of an eye; performance of sacrificial rites there with an assembly of Holy Ministers … In a forest near Ghaziabad He was for a long time engaged in the practice of austerities. More than a year He also stayed with a house-holder devotee at Rajputana. As already pointed out, Sri Sri Thakur
came to the Calcutta area about 1902/3. His mother died in 1903. He was at the time in Kalighat and did not go home. He next spent a few years in the well-known village of Uttarpara in the uburbs of Calcutta. One day, of a sudden, He left almost in loin-cloth. For more than a year He was on walking tours in the South, and returned home towards the end of 1907 or beginning of 1 08. From this time on until His passing away (Vishakha 18, 1356, B.S.) He lived His life amongst fellow-men and of His own free-will went it out from door to door granting mercy upon ple and making their life full of blessedness. I r Used from His ministration the true significance of “unbidden mercy and loving kindness”. Nobody knows how many have been blessed by having their trust in Him, but there are reasons to suppose that their number runs to more than 100,000. It is not saying too rnuch to say that He was known to all people in Chittagong, Feni, Noakhali, Comilla, ete., etc. He was adored and revered by Hindus and Moshlems, irrespective of their faith. He spent about six of the last years of His life in the company of the two fortunate brothers-in-the-Lord, Sri Upendra Kumar Saha and the Late Narendranath Bhuinya, who were favoured with the privilege of looking after Him. As already mentioned, His manifest play divine came to a termination at 13 hrs. 30 mts. on the holy third day of the New Moon of the month of Vaishakha (18th Solar day). of 1356 B.S. His mortal remains were buried at Chaumuhini, where a hermitage has been established. Three hermitages had earlier been set up during His life-time-at Pahartali in Chittagong, at His holy birth-place Dingamanik, and at Jadabpur in the suburbs of Calcutta.