Posts Tagged ‘Prabhudatt Brahmachari’

Kotwal of the Capital – 6

April 15, 2016

Happy Ramanavami to all!

Shri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama!

Let us commence our journey with kotwal of the Capital.

April 1986…

The sculpted idol of Hanuman is ready in Karkala, Karnataka. Brahmachari ji and a group of devotees are now all set to travel with the idol and take it to New Delhi. Shreepaad Baba is also there with them now. Baba is conversant in many languages – and so is a great help for Brahmachari ji.

The truck-trailer for carrying the idol has arrived.

Brahmachariji and group go to Udupi Krishna temple and have darshan of the Lord. One of the desires of Maharajshree is that the Delhi Hanuman temple should have a chariot like the one at Udupi Krishna temple, so that a ceremonial idol of Hanuman can be taken in procession along some major roads of Delhi….

On First of May 1989, the trailer commenced its journey. After a short distance, the trailer broke down under the load of the massive Hanuman, and the journey came to a halt. To reach the main road, one had to traverse a few kms of kacchaa (unpaved) road… And the trailer had got stuck in that kacchaa road itself. A new axle had to be transported from Bombay and an additional trailer arranged. This would take time. Local well wishers would tell Brahmachariji that he should visit this or that local temple and pray for relief from obstacles. He faithfully visited every temple…. Axle and trailer arrived by 15th May. Once again the journey commenced on 16th of May – and once again, the tyres burst. This was the story that repeated for the next few days.. Fix the tyres, move a few kms, then tyres burst… And wherever the trailer stopped, local people would make a beeline and there would be a festive atmosphere as they collected for Darshan of this huge Hanuman on the trailer.

Somehow or the other, by and by, they made it to the highway – and by end of the month they had reached a village named suratkalaam where the axle broke once more.

Their primary destination was the railway yard at Mangalore. To reach that they had to cross a road bridge. And for crossing that they needed ‘permission’ from the state road authorities. And as Hanuman would have it, the authorities firmly denied permission, stating that the bridge would not be able to bear the load of the humungous Hanuman. So they were stuck in Suratkalaam, with no permission to go further. Meanwhile, the press started carrying reports that Hanuman himself, perhaps, did not want to proceed from there!

While the team knocked on all doors, none opened. The driver of the truck-trailer and the team of workers decided that it was fruitless to wait and so they simply left the trailer and returned to Bombay. Meanwhile, Shreepad Baba had left for Bangalore to meet with the State Highway authorities and get their permission for moving the trailer. Brahmachariji was distraught, and he did Satyagraha… As such he lived on a meager diet of vegetables and Ganga water – and now he declared that he was giving up even that – until Hanuman moved to Delhi.

And the monsoon broke out in June. During that period the road traffic in that route is severely affected. So, everything was going wrong…. The whole of June, the trailer was grounded in Suratkalaam.

Meanwhile, Brahmachariji was feeding Hanuman every day with a diet of Sankeertan – of Rama Nama – for that is the food of Hanuman…. As for himself, he stopped taking even Ganga water by the middle of June. He was on a total fast. After much pleading, he took some juice on 23rd.

On 23rd, a Sri Jagdeesh Chandra Batra, a barrister devotee of Brahmachariji arrived. And Shreepad Baba returned from Bangalore on 25th, successful in getting some sort of permit.

Mr Batra meanwhile talked to local authorities in Mangalore and came up with a brilliant alternative. The idol could be transported to Perambur station – which is attached to the Mangalore port, then they would not need to cross the road bridge at all. Moreover, the Port authorities were willing to extend all help (of cranes etc) to help transport the idol. So suddenly the Sun shone.

However the eclipse was never far away. The Government authorities sent a notice saying that the trailer should not be moved even a bit without written permission from the authorities. So more obstacles had to be crossed. Finally, permission was obtained, and the trailer reached the Mangalore port railway yard on 6th of July – full three months after being ready to move from Karkala. Around 11th of July – the train left for Delhi. It was a slow coach transportation, and there were several halts and breaks of journey. Finally, the special wagon carrying the idol reached Tughlakabad station of Delhi only on 2nd of August. As in all places of halt in between, huge number of devotees gathered for receiving and worshipping Hanuman…

Now was the next great task of moving the massive Hanuman from Tuglakabad to the Ashram at Basant Gaon. They could start only on 12th August, but the trailer broke down on the way – as before. After a halt of 24 hours, the trailer moved again, and they could finally reach Basant Gaon on 13th August around 11 pm. There, the trailer again broke down under Peepal tree that was in the vicinity of the Ashram. And there he remained unmovable for the next few weeks….

The folks working on moving the idol were at their wits end. They tried to use all engineering power, with multiple engines on the job – but the idol could not be moved. Finally, giving up, they came to Brahmachariji and put up their hands. Brahmachariji smiled and asked them to give some Laddoo as Bhog to Hanuman. Quickly thy went and got two packets of Laddoo. Brahmachariji laughed and said that this is too little for this huge Hanuman. And then 40 Kgs of Laddoo was organized, which Brahmachariji personally offered as Bhog to Hanuman, speaking to him all the while. And then, on his ‘go’ signal, they tried again, and this time, with no difficulty, with just a single engine, the idol was moved and placed in the courtyard of the Ashram… It was 1/Sep/1989.

The task remaining on hand was lift the huge idol and install it on the ‘Peetha’ that was designed for its base. For this, the contractors were demanding huge sums – excess of 30 or 50 Lakhs of rupees. At end, one of Brahmachariji’s ardent devotees, Shree Jaya Prakash Gaud, a leading industrialist, took this task upon himself – and set about working on this heart and soul.

Meanwhile, Brahmachariji was still on his discipline of eating next to nothing. He was resolved not to break this until Hanuman was made to stand on his designed position.

As work progressed, soon it was month of Magh – and the annual Magha festival in Sangam was on hand. Brahmachariji never missed a single day of bathing in Sangam during that period. And so he left for his Ashram at Jhusi, Prayag.

Meanwhile, work went on and Hanuman was finally standing – almost in the final position – in the designed base. The date  was 24th of January, 1990. Cries of Jay Hanuman filled the air of Basant Gaon…. On hearing this news, Bramachariji came from Prayag, and with tears streaming, he feasted his eyes on Hanuman. Work was still in progress… And Hanuman was made to finally stand in the proper position by midnight of 24th Jan. But Brahmachariji was not there to see that as he had to return to Prayag earlier in the night – he would not break his niyama of bathing every single day in Sangam during magha mela in Prayag.

After the Magh mela, Brahmachariji came away to Sunrakha village, near Brindavan, where he had renovated the Ashrama of Saubhari Rishi, in whose lineage he had been born. A Mela had been organized there, and Brahmachariji, in failing health, attended that.

After that, he came away to his Ashram in Brindavam, and his health was fast deteriorating. Second week of March, 1990. Devraha Baba would send someone to enquire about Brahmachariji’s health every hour or even several times an hour – so critical was Brahmachariji’s condition… Baba would send Aushadhi (medicines), but Brahmachariji was not taking any. He had but one strong desire left. To go to his Hanuman in Delhi. Bowing to his will, his devotees brought him to Delhi. He arrived at Basant Gaon Ashram in the evening.

Seated in front of Hanuman, he gazed at the Lord, his eyes streaming non-stop. Then he asked to be taken on a parikrama (circling) of the idol, even as he sat on his chair and entered Samadhi state. The next morning, at dawn, he merged into the Infinite Light. The date was 11th March 1990.

His last project done, he merged in His Hanuman – the Kotwal of the Capital.

Jai Siya Ram!

Signing off this series with a photo of great Guardian … Taken in Jan 2016 – twenty six years since the great installation…

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Basant Gaon Hanuman

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** Concluded. Sri Rama Jayam **

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Kotwal of the Capital – 5

March 29, 2016

Shree Ganeshaya Namah!

Let us come back to the story of the Guardian of the capital.

It was in October 1983 that Brahmachariji initiated the project of sculpting the big Hanuman idol. The task was entrusted to the renowned sculptor Shri Radhamadhav Shenoy and was being done at Karkala in Udupi district.

The 150 ton Hanuman idol took five years to sculpt.

Every year during this process, Brahmachariji would make a visit, inspect the progress, and soulfully pray to Hanuman to get done soon and come over to his planned abode in Basant Gaon, Delhi. As a part of the overall preparations, one of the big questions was as to how the massive idol was to be transported to Delhi. On the advice of the sculptor, it was decided that it could be transported only by rail. And so Railway officials were contacted, and after a lot of preparatory study, a special wagon was designed and made for carrying the 150 ton Hanuman.

And in 1989, the idol was complete, but for some finishing touches which could be done later, on site, at Delhi.

It was time to commence the great Hanumat yatra, the last and indeed the most significant yatra in the life of Brahmachariji – the epic journey to bring Hanuman JI and install him in the capital of India. He was in his nineties… Imagine that… An ascetic activist Sadhu, a great writer, ripe in age and tapasya, putting his whole being to accomplishing one of the most key aims of his life. To install Hanuman, as Kotwal of the Capital…

Before commencing from Jhusi (Allahabad) Brahmachariji visited the great ascetic, Devraha Baba Ji, presumably when Baba visited Sangam for Magh Snaan. The year 1989 was one of Purna Kumbh. Purna Kumbh is special, and occurs when the Mauni Amavasya on Mahakumbh happens to fall on a Monday. This happened on Feb 6th in 1989. One and a half crore people had a bath in Sangam that day…

Brahmachariji took Devraha Baba’s blessings for bringing Hanuman from Karkala to Delhi. A project of this magnitude is bound to suffer from great vighna (obstacles) and it is only divine force that helps overcome them. Devraha Baba was a Siddha, who lived on a machaan by the banks of Yamuna in Brindavan. His following included people from all walks of life, from the pauper to the President, commoners and Congressmen…. (Click here for Wikipedia entry on Devraha Baba)

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devraha baba

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 Finally, Brahmachariji , started from Delhi on 25th March 1989, by AP Express. On 27th, they left Vijayawada for Mangalore. Reaching Mangalore at 8 PM that day, they left by road for Karkala and reached Shukateendra Vatika by 11 PM.

Then started the preparatory worship festival. As the Indian new year as per lunar calendar was falling on 6th April, a new year festival was started. Bhagavata reading, singing  during the day, and Bhagavat Leela plays in the evenings. The festival was concluded on 22nd April, and Brahmachariji concluded this Yajna with avabhruta snaan in the ocean. A huge bhandara (feast) was organized for the people there. While Brahmachariji never ate any rice or roti throughout his life (he lived on a diet of cooked vegetables and Ganga water, on days when he did not fast) – for the relish of the local people, a great North Indian feast of Puri, halwa etc was prepared…

The huge road trailer to carry the idol arrived from Bombay.

Brahmachariji and his retinue were all Hindi speaking people, now in Karnataka, where they had all manners of difficulties in communicating with local authorities. Much to his relief, help came in the form of Pujya Shripad Baba Ji from Brindavan. Brahmachariji had been speaking of him on the night of 26th April, and he, to the surprise of all, arrived on 27th.

Shripad Baba was a mystic, philosopher, scholar, educationist, ascetic…. Indeed, he was an institution in himself.

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Sripad Baba in Jungle

Some details about him….

He was a god drowned yogi. Even as a child, his spirituality was recognized by Anandamayi Ma, who called him a ‘Chota Baba’ (the little Baba). He was an Avadhut, who was as modern in tools as he was ancient in consciousness. He headed the Vraja academy in Vrindavan, organized conferences and seminars, used computers to document research and manuscripts… A fascinating account about experiences with him has been documented by a Russian Professor, N M Sazanovoy – click here to read…

Incidentally, George Harrison (Beatles) has written about him too. He was introduced to Baba by Pandit Ravi Shankar.

Here’s a pic of George Harrison and Ravi Shankar with Shripad Baba…

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Shripad_Harrison_Ravishankar_2.

George Harrison has written about his meeting with Shripad Baba, in his book “I, Me, Mine”… Here are some excerpts below… (excerpts taken from this link)

Everybody was coming up to him all the time and touching his feet. He looked like an old beggar; real matted long hair and wearing an old sack robe, with bare feet. Yet all these swamis with shaved heads and saffron robes were coming and bowing to him and touching his feet.

He took us round to every temple in Brindaban and he was known in all of them. I was a stiff Westerner when we started off, but there was a moment when the atmosphere of the place got to me, melting all the bullshit away.

I thought about this man a great deal as it became a fantastic, blissful experience for me. Later, they gave us some rooms and we slept for just a few hours until he came and got us at 4 am to go for the morning puja in the temple. We’d probably only slept for 3 hours but it was the deepest sleep I ever had in my life and all through the sleep I could hear choirs singing. I still don’t know to this day – I don’t think it was temples I could hear – I think it was something else – all through the sleep I was hearing huge heavenly choirs – it was a fantastic experience….”

“…That morning when we came back from the temple at about 5am, it was still dark, and we sat in a room. Sripad started singing a bhajan (a devotional song) to which we all sang the answering part, repeating it over and over. I got blissed out with my eyes shut, and didn’t want it to stop, even when I felt I was going to stop, we would keep it going on. In the end when it eventually stopped, the sun was so high; it must have been 9 or 10 in the morning – the time had flown by – fantastic.

And so he said to me, “Why don’t you make that into a song?” So what I did was take that old chant

Jai Krishna, Jai Krishna Krishna, Jai Krishna, Jai Sri Krishna,
Jai Radhe, Jai Radhe Radhe, Jai Radhe, Jai Sri Radhe…

and then wrote the English words in between the verses. “It Is He” was for Sripad Maharaj, a wonderful, humble, holy man.”

*

Shripad Baba joined Prabhudatta Brahmachari Ji, to help him in this great journey of bringing Hanuman from Karkala to New Delhi…

                                         ** To be continued **

Kotwal of the Capital – 3

February 10, 2016

Let us come to the story of the Hanuman Mandir at Basant Gaon, New Delhi, which was established by Maharaj Shri Prabhudatta Brahamachari Ji.

The installation of this massive idol of Hanuman, as the Kotwal of the Capital, was the last labor that this Hercules of spirituality undertook.

After my first Darshan of the temple in November (Click here for the blog report ) I wanted to get some details about this great installation…. As I searched the Net, I did get some information, but they were somewhat anecdotal. Searching around, I found a link to a site which gave details of Brahmachari Ji’s books, and in that I found a two volume autobiography that he had written – called ‘Apni Niji Charcha’. I checked with the Basant Gaon temple, and they did not stock the books of Prabhudatta ji. They told me to check in his Ashram at Jhusi or Brindavan. I called some numbers listed on the Net, but things happen at their own pace in the timelessness landscape of Indian spirituality, and I did not manage to get the books. Sometime in December, a friend of mine was on a visit to Brindavan, to Ananda Vrindavan Ashram (of Maharajshree Swami Akhandananda Sarawati). There being an Ashram of Prabhudatta Brahmachari Ji in Brindavan too, I asked my friend to check about the availability of the books there. To cut to a long story short, some process was set into motion, and by the grace of Maharajshree, the Vol 2 of ‘Apni Niji Charcha’ came to me by courier, sent by his Sanyasi disciple. This is a continuance of the Ahaituki Kripa of Maharajshree on this undeserving one. It was a book of around 350 pages, and I approached it with some trepidation. But I need not have felt any, for it was such a wonderfully written book. The pages just flew. Considering that this book was written after he had completed 110 volumes of Bhagavati Katha – one can well understand that the writing hand was simply in the zone – dancing with the divine. I read that book end-to-end, but did not get details about how the Hanuman mandir got to be made. It was but natural, because the Hanuman temple was done in the last years of Prabhudatta Ji, and these books had been written earlier (around 1978). At the end of the book, there was a mention of the red-faced-one (Hanuman) now ‘camping on his head’, and asking him to install a Hanuman idol in Delhi…. He conveys his conversations with Hanuman, where he tells him to catch hold of someone else, for where could he go for the means to build such a monument… He ends that parley by asking Hanuman to assign some man of means to enable the project, and that he would then carry out Hanuman’s command….

So that was as much as I could find from the autobiography.

In January, I visited Delhi again.

I reached on 22nd Jan, Friday. On Saturday 23rd Jan, I visited this temple again, with my friend Shiva. It was night time, and the atmosphere was divine. I chanced to ask a pujari if there was any ‘lekhni’ (write up) about the temple. To my pleasant surprise, he said that there was. On my enquiry he said that there was a book which described how the temple got to be made. And that I could buy one. By the time I finished the Darshan at the temple, he brought a copy from somewhere, which I grabbed gratefully. It was a book titled ‘Hanumat Yatra’, written by Dr Vidyadhar Dvivedi, a close disciple of Prabhudatta Ji. I started reading the book the same night, and finished it at around midnight. And that was a blessing. Because, as I came to know, the idol of Hanuman was installed on 24th of January, 1990. I had the book in my hand on the very date!

Here are some details about the idol of Hanuman, as described in the book.

Project start: October 1983
Height of idol: 40 feet
Width: 12 feet
Weight: 150 tons
Installed on : 24 January 1990
Idol type: Carved in Granite
Where sculpted:  Karkala (Karnataka)
Sculpted by: Sri Radhamadhav Shenoy

How did this project actually kick off?

It was sometime in 1983.

Brahmachari ji had gone with a group of people on Yatra to Rameshwaram. His first stop was at Bangalore. There, he happened to visit a temple of Hanuman, which was atop a hillock. The temple had a huge idol of Hanuman, made of black stone.

(One guesses that the temple he visited would have been the Pressana Veeranjaneya temple, at Mahalakshmi layout, Bangalore… There is an interesting story behind this temple. In the 1970s, there was a huge rock, 22 feet tall, that stood on top of a hillock here. The local people decided to paint a picture of Hanuman on this rock. Then they started worshipping the painting. It was soon decided that the rock should be sculpted to form an idol of Hanuman. The project was undertaken by the local community. And the idol of Hanuman was made. Prana Pratishtta was done, and the energized idol was formally inaugurated in 1976… ( To know more click here )

Here is a picture of that Hanuman…

Hanuman-bangalore
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After darshan of Bangalore Hanumanji, when Prabhudatta Ji was back in his place of stay, he was lost in deep thought. He then conveyed to the author, Dvivedi Ji, that he wished to have a similar idol, even larger, of around 40 feet height, to be installed in the Basant Gaon Ashram in New Delhi. He desired to get the idol made in Karnataka itself. He said “Delhi has been the Capital of India not just from recent times, but from ancient times of Kaurava-Pandavas. Our Hanuman Ji there would protect the capital, acting as the Kotwal (Chief Official Guardian of the Fort or Country), and would be known as the ‘Kotwal of Delhi’”.

A Sadhu’s sankalpa….

Bol Siyavar Ramachandra Ki ….

Jai!

  • To be continued

 

Kotwal of the Capital – 2

January 3, 2016

Picking up the thread on Swami Prabhudatt Brahmachari ji…

The great sage (Maharajshri) Swami Akhandananda Saraswati has written in his book “Paavan Prasang”, that he considers Swami Prabhudatt Brahmachari to be the one who was instrumental in making him into a public narrator of spiritual Katha. And those in the ‘path’ know that it is to Maharajshri that we owe, in a very large part, the traditions of Bhagavata Katha in the form that we see now, all over India. Brahmachari ji used to hold year-long naama-samkeertan festival in his ashram in Prayag (Jhusi).  He invited Maharajshree to give discourses on Srimad Bhagavatam. It is here that Maharajshree met the great sage Udiya Baba too. (One gets an idea of the great confluence of sages in Brahmachariji’s Jhusi Ashram.)

Maharajshree narrates an incident about Prabhudatt Brahmachari that happened in Ayodhya. After the stay at Jhusi Ashram, Udiya Baba and many of his followers left for Ayodhya, walking. Maharajshree and Brahmachari ji too went with him. In Ayodhya, they found another great scholar-sage, Shri Anjaninandan Sharan, coming to offer traditional welcome to Udiya Baba. (A word about Anjaninandan Sharan ji. He was a high-court lawyer, who later renounced worldly life and retired to Ayodhya, where he compiled the magnum-opus book “Manasi Piyush”. It is a masterly “commentary of commentaries” on Ramacharita Maanas, and has since been brought out as a massive seven-volume set by Gita Press, Gorakhpur. ) Seeing Anjaninandan ji coming, Brahmachariji offered his respects to him by falling on the ground and prostrating to him. Seeing Brahmachariji in front of him, Shri Anjaninandan Sharan too fell on the ground, in prostration to Brahmachariji. Seeing these two sages prostrating, their followers on both sides, threw themselves forthwith on the ground, in prostration. It was an amazing sight. All were on the ground. Only Udiya Baba was standing, and was laughing in merriment.

Just imagine the depth of Bhaava of Brahmachariji, as indeed of Anjaninandanji!

In another context, Swami Venkatesananda, disciple of Swami Sivananda, writes   – “….Prabhudatta Brahmachari, who had quite a number of ashrams in North India. He wanted to do some writing, and felt that he needed complete isolation, undisturbed seclusion; so, he bought himself a houseboat, and anchored it in the middle of the river Ganges. He went on doing his work undisturbed. In the meantime, the ashrams were being run by somebody else.

One day, one of his lieutenants went to see him, and said, “You know, So-and-so who is running the ashram in such and such a place is stealing, cheating, doing this and that!” This holy man heard all that, smiled, and didn’t respond. The man asked him, “What are you going to do about it?” He said, “Nothing. God has not appointed me a magistrate. That is not my job, that is his job.”

Based on the above, one would well think that Brahmachariji would be the last person to include political activism in his ‘job profile’ – and one would think wrong! Even as a youth, he participated in freedom struggle, and was imprisoned several times by the British (once, along with Nehru). Indeed, he was one of those who felt the need to be engaged with political apparatus for causes that he felt right.

In the first elections of free India, he contested as an independent candidate against the great leader, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru! And his election symbol? A boat.

Nehru was aiming to bring sweeping legislative changes in Hindu code, and Brahmachariji took it upon himself to stand against it. And in this stand, he was offered support by Swami Karpatri Maharaj’s party (Akhil Bharatiya Ram Rajya Parishad) and other Hindu political groups. But all said and done, it was never a real contest, with Nehru having a superstar status in the political stage, and Brahmachariji being a Sadhu who knew little of realpolitik. You can’t observe Mouna and do a political campaign, can you! Brahmachari had as much chance as Nehru would have had, had Nehru challenged Brahmachari to a debate on Brahma Sutra or Upanishads!

But the contest was not without its moments!

Here are some excerpts from an article, ‘Cymbals and Symbols’ – a report that was published in ‘Time’ magazine (issue of Jan 28th, 1952).

“By plane, ship, train, automobile and bullock cart, India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had been campaigning all over the country, stirring up votes for India’s four-month-long first general election. He had traveled 23,000 miles, made as many as ten speeches a day, addressed 5 million people. In fact, he had been just about everywhere but in his own constituency in Allahabad. There was no need to canvass Allahabad, he said rather airily.

Last week he got distressing news. His only opponent in Allahabad, 52-year-old Prabhudatt Brahmachari, who wears a luxuriant grey beard, orange-and red-rimmed spectacles, a saffron robe and a long white loincloth, had been quietly building up the vote. Quietly was the word for it: he had done it without uttering a single sound, except an occasional loud laugh.

One Plank. Back in 1921, Brahmachari, like Nehru, came under the spell of Mahatma Gandhi, but Brahmachari became a Sadhu, or holy man. He took vows of silence and celibacy, was jailed several times by the British (once along with Nehru), set up a camp on the banks of River Ganges to study the Hindu epics, and wrote the first 60 volumes of a 180-volume biography of Hindu god Krishna! One day last October he cried out : “Hey nath Narayan!” (meaning, “Oh, Lord God,” the holy man’s only departure from silence). And an attendant brought him his Shaeffer fountain pen and paper. He wrote: “If today I participate in an election, it’s because my inner voice bids me to do so.”

“Nehru, he said, is a ‘black Englishman [who] studied in the West…’

“Holy Man Brahmachari toured Nehru’s constituency in a 1931 Dodge sedan accompanied by a troupe of Hindu singers. To the chanting of Hindu psalms, he danced on the platform, rhythmically tapping a pair of small brass cymbals. A disciple read from a pamphlet he had written…”

“Hearing that Brahmachari’s pamphlet had sold 76,000 copies, Nehru came rushing back to Allahabad last week…”

The article adds – “This week, as Allahabad voters went to the polls, Nehru seemed to have his constituency under control again. The whole country was pretty much his, too.”

In that election, Nehru got 233571 votes, while Prabhudatt Brahmachari got 56718 votes ( click here for election results site )

Here is a picture of Brahmachari, that was carried in the Time article referred above.

 

New Doc 12_1

He lost the election all right, but never lost his sense of political purpose.

One of the most important causes that seized his heart was the protection of cows.

(Indeed, the deep regard for cows in Indian consciousness can be understood from the fact that the election symbol of the mighty Congress party was a pair of bullocks carrying a yoke. In 1967, the Congress party had a split. While the original party continued with the old symbol, the new faction led by Indira Gandhi chose the symbol of a cow with suckling calf).

Brahmachari was one of the leaders of the movement against Cow-slaughter in India. This became a life-long battle for him with the powers that be. He toured the length and breadth of the country for his campaign. In 1966, he formed SGMS (Sarvadaliya Gorakshana Maha-abhyaan Samiti ) which included people from all sides, even some Congressmen. He announced that a huge Satyagraha would be held on 7th November 1966, followed by a hunger strike. It is estimated that lakhs of people came to Delhi for this Satyagraha. Sadly, the situation turned out of control, there were reports of vandalism, police resorted to firing, resulting in six or seven sadhu-s dying, and many were imprisoned. The Home Minister, Gulzari Lal Nanda, had to resign his post.

In 1967 he went on an indefinite fast on the issue of Cow-slaughter. He broke the fast after 80 days after Government intervened and gave some assurances.

It is said that Prabhudatt Brahmachari had four deep desires

  • To build a temple of Hanuman in Delhi, with a 40 foot tall Hanuman idol
  • To build a temple of Vishnu (60 foot tall idol) in Indraprastha (Delhi – perhaps the Purna kila region)
  • To put an end to cow slaughter
  • Release of Ramjanbhoomi

Of these, there is but one that he could see happen.

The Hanuman in Delhi… The Kotwal of the Capital….

All said and being done, one may agree or not with his political positions. But one cannot deny that he was a great ascetic who sought to bring his voice to bear on the political landscape. And he did that using Gandhian method of non-violent Satyagraha.

Signing off this post with a poster of Paul McCartney (of the Beatles) – lending his golden voice to the cause of the Moo!  (There is this video too of his too, titled “If slaughterhouses had glass” …Click here to see on youtube… )

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Paul mccartney

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** To be continued **