Born to Dakshina Charan Majumdar and Matangini Devi, Baroda Charan Majumdar (16 Sravan 1293 B.S.—1 Agrayan 1347 B.S.) was a householder Yogi who never wanted to come to the limelight as a spiritual master. Having worked at Goursundar High School at Nimtita for five years, he joined Lalgola Maheshnarayan Academy School as the Headmaster in 1921. During his lifetime, few people could know him closely. Kazi Nazrul Islam, the “rebel poet of Bengal”, who was initiated into Yoga by him, tried to introduce him to the public. Sri Aurobindo called Baroda Charan, “the greatest Yogi of Modern Bengal”. Two booklets authored by him in Bengali titled Path Harar Path and Dwadosh Bani were published posthumously.
Dilip Kumar Roy writes about Baroda Charan in his book Pilgrims of the Stars: ‘When I told him [Baroda Charan] about my groping in darkness for a clue to light he asked me to sit down and meditate with him. “I will find out all about it,” he said somewhat cryptically.
‘I was not a little intrigued and tried in vain to meditate with him. What is he going to find out, I kept asking myself as he went off into a samadhi.
‘After about a half-hour he came to and said without ado that I must on no account accept anybody other than Sri Aurobindo as my guru. On my telling him that Sri Aurobindo had turned me away he shook his head categorically and said: “No, he hasn’t.”
‘“How do you mean?” I said, utterly at a loss.
‘“I mean what I say.”
‘“But Sri Aurobindo told me himself—”
‘“No, Dilip Kumar,” he cut in, “he has accepted you already—he told me this himself just now.”
‘I was nonplussed and started wondering whether it was all a hoax or I was daydreaming.
‘He looked kindly at me.
‘“As you disbelieve my assurance,” he smiled, “I will give you a proof. Have you got a chronic pain in your right abdomen?”
‘“I have,” I said, startled. “It’s hernia.”
‘“I know. Now tell me: didn’t Sri Aurobindo tell you to undergo an operation before you entered the path of yoga?”
‘I was dumbfounded, for Sri Aurobindo had written to me in 1924 those identical words.
‘Then Baroda Babu gave me a long discourse on yoga and yogic powers and enjoined me not to be skeptical. He even told me about a few miracles he himself had performed, mostly to heal people.
‘His personality was impressive and his exposition all that could be desired—sober, to the point and unmarred by braggadocio. So I came back a wiser, though a trifle sadder, man, turning over in my mind his categoric reassurance: “Sri Aurobindo told me that he would call you to Pondicherry, in due time. So don’t you look this way and that nor dream of accepting anybody else as your guru since Sri Aurobindo is your guru and no other.”…
‘I met Baroda Babu by accident twelve years later, in 1937, when I had returned from Pondicherry to Calcutta for a few months after a stay at Sri Aurobindo Ashram for nine years. I thanked him from my heart for his helpful advice and told him how happy and blessed I felt at the guru’s feet. He gave me a kind smile but said pointblank: “That’s all as it should be, my friend. Only I want to tell you one thing: that you won’t realize Krishna in Pondicherry. For that you will have to wait till the advent for a highly evolved lady. When she will come to cooperate with you as your disciple, then only will you get your heart’s desire.”’ (pp. 327—329, 1985 edition)
As our humble homage to Baroda Charan Majumdar, some of his photographs have been published in the online forum of Overman Foundation. We are extremely thankful and grateful to Smt. Basabi Majumdar (Baroda Charan’s grand-daughter) and Smt. Bokul Sarkar (youngest daughter of Nolini Kanto Sarkar)—both inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, for sharing with us these priceless photographs.
With warm regards,