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,
Nolini Kanto Sarkar seated at the back with his youngest daughter Bokul, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Baroda Charan Majumdar, Upendranath Banerjee and Dilip Kumar Roy.
Baroda Charan with his son-in-law Nishesh Bhushan Sanyal and Kazi Nazrul Islam.
Baroda Charan with Gitika Sarkar, the eldest daughter of Nolini Kanto Sarkar.
3 Replies to “Yogi Baroda Charan Majumdar: A Pictorial Homage”
What follows is Dilip Kumar Roy’s letter to Sri Aurobindo (written on 24 October 1934) about Baroda Charan Majumdar:
“I enclose Barada Babu’s postcard – whom you may remember. He is a remarkable yogi – very sincere, intelligent with stunning powers (he stunned me anyway as I related), can meditate for ten or twelve hours at a stretch, a great bhakta of yours. But to him I was indebted as he prophesied I would be accepted by you etc. I had told you all that. He was dubious of Mother formerly, but now he speaks of “Mother Mira”, you will see, and that with reverence. Formerly he wrote to me that Mother he does not see in his meditations, but you he does – often.
“I wonder if he truly sees Mother or sees some form whom he so styles or identifies with her. Can one see someone whom one has never seen? I mean, do you know it from experience which you verified later on – for the stories to that effect are galore of course. However his letters are very interesting illustrating his difficulty re. surrender. But he is humble as he wants to keep in touch with you, etc. He is very sincere as all who know him say. I suppose that is why he has had experiences of Mother too at long last.
“He of course makes a mental mistake by attributing parts of my novel to Supramental inspiration, confusing it with psychic, as psychic it undoubtedly is which moved so many – I mean by psychic a deep emotion in the heart which is a delight to the heart even in sorrow. But doubtless of supramental he has a mental conception which is therefore wrong….”
Sri Aurobindo’s reply:
“Yes, of course, I remember about Barada Babu – I can’t say I remember him because I never saw him, at least in the flesh. What he probably means by the Supramental is the Above Mind – what I now call Illumined Mind – Intuition-Overmind. I used to make that confusion myself at the beginning.
“There is not enough to go upon to say whether he really sees the Mother or an image of her as reflected in his own mind. But there is nothing extraordinary, much less improbable in seeing one whom one has never seen – you are thinking as if the inner mind and sense, the inner vision, were limited by the outer mind and sense, the outer vision, or were a mere reflection of that. There would be not much use in an inner mind and sense and vision if they were only that and nothing more. This faculty is one of the elementary powers of the inner sense and inner seeing, and not only Yogins have it, but the ordinary clairvoyants, crystal-gazers, etc. The latter can see people they never [knew?], saw or heard of before, doing certain precise things in certain very precise surroundings, and every detail of the vision is confirmed by the people seen afterwards – there are many striking and indubitable cases of that kind. The Mother is always seeing people whom she does not know; some afterwards come here or their photographs come here. I myself have had these visions, only I don’t usually try to remember or verify them. But there were two curious instances which were among the first of this kind and which therefore [I?] remember. Once I was trying to see a recently elected deputy here and saw someone quite different from him, someone who afterwards came here as Governor. I ought never to have met him in the ordinary course, but a curious mistake happened and as a result I went and saw him in his bureau and at once recognised him. The other was a certain V. Ramaswamy whom I had to see, but I saw him not as he was when he actually came, but as he became after a year’s residence in my house. He became the very image of that vision, a face close-cropped, rough, rude, energetic, the very opposite of the dreamy smooth-faced enthusiastic Vaishanava who came to me. So that was the vision of a man I had never seen, but as he was to be in the future – a prophetic vision.”
[Source: Sri Aurobindo to Dilip, Volume II, pp. 145-146, Hari Krishna Mandir Trust, 2005]
Really great. We would be able to use this on different occasion.
Thanks. Humble thanks.