Today for the first time I attended Kalpataru Diwas at Rama Krishna Mission, Vishakhapatnam.
A few Devotees sat and sang songs and prayers in Telugu and Hindi remembering the life of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
For me it was sheer nostalgia. On stage there were portraits of Shri Ramakrishna. Swami Vivekananda. Shri Ma. And Swami Saradananda Ji Maharaj.
And I had a Bengali Prayer Book in my hand. The first page that opened. Shri Ram Nam Sankirtanam.
“Shudhdha Brahma Paratpara Ram
Kalatmoko Parameswara Ram”
A 13-year-old boy. Left his home. And went to Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Narendrapur. His first hostel. Saradananda Bhavan. Named after Swami Saradananda. On stage today.
The boy was introduced to the Ramakrishna Mission Order of Life. Prayer halls. And the songs.
His favourite was this one. Shri Ram Nam Sankirtanam. He would play all kinda of pranks. With this song.
Shout in between suddenly in an ill tuned voice. And his friends
would giggle. His warden’s brows would be in a deep furrow.
This used to be a long song. And very melodious. With claps. And a musical chant.
As the song ended
“Karuna Rasa Baruna Laya Nata-Batsolo Ram
Sharanang-Taba Charanang-Bhaba Haranang-Mamo Ram”.
The boy used to feel sad. For a musical evening would come to an end.
Today he remembered those years of his childhood. In a prayer hall. Some 40 years older.
And felt happy that he was blessed with such a childhood.
And as prayers were done to Shri Thakur, Swami Ji, Shri Ma, he thanked Swami Saradananda Ji too. For he was his guardian in 1977. Giving him shelter in his home. Saradananda Bhavan. And if not for his love and blessings, the child may not have survived the rules and order of the Ramakrishna Mission with such joy and happiness.
I will end with a quote of Swami Vivekananda.
“My ideal indeed can be put into a few words and that is to preach unto mankind their divinity and how to make it manifest in every moment of life.”