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|A brief introduction of Shree Shree Kiranchand Darveshji|
Shree Shree Kiranchand Darveshji
Mata Sarojbala Devi
A brief introduction of Shree Shree Kiranchand Darveshji
A disciple of Shree Shree Bijoykrishna Goswami; Kiranchand Darveshji was one of the few of Goswamiji’s disciples who continued the Sadguru initiation introduced by him. The premonastic name of Darveshji was Kiranchandra Chattopadhyay. He was born on 27th Shravan 1285 Bengali year, which is 11th August 1878 A.D. in a village called Khalia of Faridpur district of East Bengal (now Bangladesh). His father’s name was Kulchandra Chattopadhyay and that of his mother was Rasomoyee Devi. Kiranchandra’s father was a rich landlord, an ardent educationist and a worshipper in the ‘tantra’ Sect.
An extraordinary incident took place when he was three years of age. He went to Kashi (Varanasi) along with his parents. They went to meet Mahatma Trailanga Swami. Swamiji was lying at that time. On their arrival he immediately got up and repeatedly fondled the baby who was in his mother’s lap. Following this the child extended his hand and leaned towards Swamiji. Swamiji lifted him from his mother’s lap, took him in his lap, applied some holy powder (‘vibhuti’) on his forehead and returned him to his mother. Such an instance being unprecedented, the people around saw this with amazement. They inferred that this child must become a renunciate one day.
His student life was spent in Dhaka, Kolkata and later in Barishal (now in Bangladesh). Kiranchandra was very intelligent, very good in his studies and also extremely mischivious as a boy. In those days Aswini Kumar Datta, a disciple of Goswamiji, was a renowned educationist of Barishal. He used to be called the ‘Jewel of Barishal’ for his calibre in imparting character building education to his students. In the Bengali year of 1300 (1894 A.D.) Kiranchandra was sent to him for his education in his care. He started studying in his Brajamohan School. During this period he was grately influenced by some disciples and followers of Goswamiji. He had collected a photograph of Goswamiji in the year 1894 A.D., which he had retained with him all along. He was not inclined to get initiated. However a few words from the sister of his close friend Makhanlal Gangopadhyay, a thirteen year old girl Sarojbala struck the right cord in his mind, “So you are not yet initiated?” This was her question to him. It stirred him up from inside and he mentally felt an undefined pain within. On talking to his friend Makhanlal, he was advised by him to seek refuge in Goswamiji without wasting time any more. He felt an intense urge for initiation. Following his correspondence he met Goswamiji in Kolkata in a house in Sitaram Ghosh Street. During Goswamiji’s stay he went there for five consecutive days in the month of January 1895 A.D. and simply kept looking at Goswamiji steadfastly excepting during meals. But his desire for initiation was not to be fulfilled until some more time had passed.
Subsequently, having been unable to get initiation, Kiranchandra returned to Barishal in frustrated soul. In a message from Goswamiji received through Kuladananda Brahmachari, he came to know that he would be initiated after Goswamiji returned from his visit to Vrindavan. He became very restless and came back to Kolkata again. In fact out of utter frustration he made up his mind to commit suicide. He went to Jagannath Ghat of the Ganga on 12th Ashadh 1302 Bengali year (1895 A.D.) with the ideas of drowning himself. He stepped into the Ganga. Suddenly in the darkness he saw Goswamiji before him signalling him from the river bank on the other side, to come forward. Immediately on getting the signal Kiranchandra crossed the river without any hesitation and started running along the rail line in his wet clothes towards Vrindavan. Next day he reached Bally exhausted and puzzled and sat beside the rail line.
However from here onwards he got unexpected help from various known and totally unknown persons and finally reached Mathura station after about five days. He reached ‘Teerthamani Kunja’ at Vrindavan at midday where Goswamiji was staying.
At the very sight of Goswamiji he started shedding tears profusely and was drenched in it. Kind hearted Goswamiji took him in his lap and pacified him and passed his hand over his head and back caressingly. He asked his men to give him rice to eat as he had not taken food for several days. After having food he felt better and on that night he was initiated. Kiranchandra was only seventeen when he was initiated.
Almost after a year of his initiation Kiranchandra got married to Sarojbala Devi, the sister of his close friend Makhanlal Gangopadhyay under instruction from Goswamiji. The date of the marriage was 25th Ashadh 1303 (Bengali Calender), 1896 A.D. It was held in the village called Aryal. His wife was initiated by Goswamiji on 10th Magh 1303 (Bengali Calender), 1896 A.D. in Kolkata.
Following an incident of taking Mahaprasad containing deadly poison given by an assasin, Goswamiji expired after suffering for nearly a month. The day he left his mortal frame was 22nd Jaishtha 1306 (Bengali Calender), 1899 A.D. During these days Kiranchandra was staying with him at Puri.
Subsequently Kiranchandra went back to Barishal. He started a photographic business. He had also into life insurance agency. Between the years 1903 and 1911 A.D. he had done very well and earned huge profits in his business. From his earnings he used to spend heavily on charity to needy individuals and institutions. However, on the 1st of May 1911 A.D. he had a direct vision of Goswamiji and was asked by him to wind up his business and move to Prayag (Tribeni Sangam) to take sannyas there on the saptami day of the month Magh. This was the date of birth of Shree Adwaita Mahaprabhu. Accordingly he took sannyas from Swami Prabuddhananda Saraswati on the day specified by Goswamiji. Although the name received by him after sannyas was Swami Kaishorananda Saraswati, he was not inclined to use it. He remembered that Goswamiji used to call him by the name ‘Kiron’. On an earlier occasion Kiranchandra was wearing a shirt with patches of various colours to cover holes in it. Goswamiji had appreciated it with the words, “Dressed like a Darvesh2, you look so well.” Therefore, he now felt that the name best suited to him would be Kiranchand Darvesh and adopted it.
On Goswamiji’s order he gave first ‘deeksha’ (initiation) to Jadunath Biswas in the year 1321 (Bengali year) 1914 A.D. at his birth place Khalia.
Following instructions of Goswamiji he travelled to various places of pilgrimage and started staying in Varanasi permanently from 1322 (Bengali year) 1915 A.D. onwards. Bijoykrishna Math was established by him in Varanasi. Marble stone statues of Shree Bijoykrishna and Mata Jogmaya Devi were also installed by him. He left his mortal frame on the 25th Jaishtha 1353 (1946 A.D.) at the age of sixty eight.
Darveshji was a saint of versatile calibre. Apart from being a saint he was an ardent congress worker working for the independence of the country. He dedicated himself for serving the nation along with his brother disciples Bipin pal, Ashwini Kumar Datta, Monoranjan Guha Thakurta, who were the famous patriots of his time.
He was a well known litterateur. He has written altogether 20 books of poetry. He received high level of appreciation for his book of poems ‘Mandir” from stalwarts no less than Rabindranath Tagore and Ramendra Sundar Trivedi. He was the first to have translated the ‘Japaji’ and ‘Sukhamani” from the Granth Saheb of Guru Nanak in poetry in Bengali language.
The monthly magazine, named ‘Mandir’ started and edited by him for five years, is still being published from Sree Sree Bijoykrishna Ashram, Ramchandrapur, Dist. Purulia, (West Bengal).
He was a very good homoeopath and successfully treated many patients.
He used to write about 10 letters a day on an average to his disciples in response to their queries. These letters were sources of limitless wisdom. Extracts from some of these letters are given below.
1. ........... “This initiation is a force. Even after getting this force one does not develop the strength to transmit it to another body without the direct permission of one’s Guru. You all are saved because your Guru has received this permission. Else, you would have been left in the same conventional state. The giver of the force is Gosainji. So your real Guru is Gosainji, and both real and working Guru is Darvesh. As you progress in spiritual practice, you will understand that the Naam1 and Naami2 (the one whose name it is) are one and the same. In the same way you will come to know that your Guru and Gosainji are one entity.”
2..........“Immediately on initiation the entire responsibility of the spiritual life of the one initiated falls on the Guru. Gurudev arranges for the erosion of the consequences of activities of the previous birth. This is done with a lot of care. The disciple meets with increased trouble. One should understand that this goes to one’s benefit. The disciple has to wait for the good moment of the future with particular patience. naam will kindle the fire and it is naam which will extinguish the fire and deliver external peace..........”
3. ........... “Wherever you may be, do try to repeat the ‘Naam’ and remember me (Guru). Then no adversity can trouble you. I can feel your repetetion of naam wherever you may be doing it. Know it for sure that I am never unaware of the mental state of each one of you.
4........... “Repetetion of naam itself is a powerful prayer. Any other additional talking is unnecessary........ But if you wish you may pray as you like. There is no objection to it. But know it for certain that Guru will not listen to your thousand prayers if it is not good for you.
5. ......... “None of these like, progress, fall, control of senses, calmness of the mind, should be your objects of prayer. You should just covet the good fortune of being immersed in continuous Naam. The harmony between appropriate work and appropriate spiritual practice can lead one to the land of Naam. I know of no other technic to achieve spiritual life but for daily regular spiritual practice of this priceless initiation. I am just telling you to practice what I have done and achieved absolute peace in the process. I cannot resort to the deception of asking you to do what I have not done myself”.
Ref. Bengali Books :
- Swami Amalananda Saraswati