Marriage And Jobs
Ram Surat Kunwar’s elder brother Manarakhan Kunwar got married to Thethree Devi. Subsequently, the elders of the family wanted Ram Surat Kunwar to get married soon. They saw in him a lot of changes that had frightened them. From the day the bird died at the hands of Ram Surat Kunwar, he was not able to remain the same playful, witty young boy. He became different and all the time he wanted to remain alone on the bank of the Ganga or in the company of Kapadia Baba. His visit to Kasi kindled a different search for an unknown state that was always haunting him. The family members got frightened on seeing the indifferent attitude of Ram Surat Kunwar. The elders of the family decided to conduct his marriage soon so that he could become his normal being. They started searching a good match for him.
At that time, an elderly man, related to Ram Surat Kunwar was seriously ill and was admitted in the Baliya Hospital. Ram Surat Kunwar was then studying at the Baliya High School, staying with a relative at Baliya. He attended the patient daily with all the kindness till the patient got well and got discharged from the hospital. In the hospital, the father of a girl called Dalgireeya Devi, got impressed with Ram Surat Kunwar. He went to the parents of Ram Surat Kunwar and fixed his daughter Dalgireeya Devi for Ram Surat Kunwar. It all happened without the knowledge and consent of Ram Surat Kunwar. He was not informed by his parents and brothers about the marriage proposal. In those days child marriages were so common and the elders of the family would never ask the consent of the children.
The marriage date was fixed and Ram Surat Kunwar was called to Nardara to get married. When Ram Surat Kunwar reached Nardara, he came to know that his marriage was fixed with an illiterate girl. He protested before the elders of his family by saying that he did not want to get married at all. But the marriage was fixed already on a particular date, just within ten days and all the preparations were going on. So the elders refused to listen to Ram Surat Kunwar’s pleadings and tried to counsel him to get married without making a fuss of it.
Ram Surat Kunwar thought that the only way to escape from the marriage was to run away from the house. Just two days prior to the marriage, he crossed the river Ganga by swimming in the night and disappeared from Nardara. Nobody was able to locate him. The whole village searched Ram Surat Kunwar, but they were not able to find him. The marriage should be conducted in the very next day. But the groom was missing. The elders were in great anxiety and finally they decided that Ram Surat Kunwar’s younger brother Ramdahin Kunwar should marry Dalgireeya Devi on the same date fixed for the wedding. Ramdahin Kunwar obeyed to the wish of the elders and married Dalgireeya Devi.
Ram Surat Kunwar appeared again at Nardara on the third day after the marriage. Everybody scolded him. He was calm and quiet. The elder brother Manarakhan Kunwar, who was very fond of his younger brother Ram Surat Kunwar, pacified everybody and asked Ram Surat Kunwar to go to Baliya to continue his Matriculation. This event happened in 1933. Ram Surat Kunwar went to Baliya and continued his education. He passed his high school examination in 1937 and the same year he joined intermediate course at Ewing Christian College, Allahabad. From 1934 to 1937 the elders of the family tried to convince Ram Surat Kunwar to get married. But he refused to get married till 1937.
Ram Surat Kunwar did his Intermediate course at Allahabad in 1937. When he came to Nardara for holidays, as usual they forced him to get married. To evade the proposal and to escape from their consistent efforts to get him married, he started saying casually that he should get the right to see the girl first and if at all he liked the girl, he should be allowed to talk to the girl. Then alone he would consider marrying the girl. If he didn’t like the girl, he should have the right to say no for the marriage. The elders of the family were frustrated at the idea. In those days, only the elderly women of the family could see and select the girl for their kids. Only after the marriage, the husband could talk to his wife. This was the custom then. And this boy wanted to break it. Again everybody scolded Ram Surat Kunwar. Ram Surat Kunwar was silent, but he was firm on his conditions because he didn’t want to get married.
In the state of Bihar, there was a small village, called Dahiya, on the bank of river Balan. Sri Mahesh Diwari of Surhanpur, a friend of Hukum Narayan Roy of Dahiya, had gone to Nardara to visit one of his relatives. There he happened to know about Ram Surat Kunwar and his conditions for the marriage. It was sensational news then and so Ram Surat Kunwar was the talk of the village. Sri Mahesh Diwari, on hearing Ram Surat Kunwar’s conditions, remembered his close friend Hukum Narayan Roy. Sri Hukum Narayan Roy was searching for an educated groom for his daughter. Sri Mahesh Diwari went back to Dahiya and told Hukum Narayan Roy about Ram Surat Kunwar. It was very rare to see an educated boy in that community in those days. Hence Hukum Narayan Roy got interested in the boy and went to Nardara along with his friend Mahesh Diwari to see Ram Surat Kunwar.
Sri Hukum Narayan Roy saw Ram Surat Kunwar and he liked him very much. The brilliance in the boy’s appearance and his sharp intelligence attracted Hukum Narayan Roy. He thought Ram Surat Kunwar was the best match for his daughter. So, he decided to oblige to Ram Surat Kunwar’s conditions. He talked to the father of Ram Surat Kunwar and told him that he would allow Ram Surat Kunwar to see his daughter Ram Ranjini Devi, but not in his house. He would take Ram Surat Kumar to Dahiya and would accommodate him at his friend Dr Laxmikant Roy’s house. His friend’s house was just the third one from his house. He would send his daughter Ram Ranjini Devi in the pretext of sending some eatables to deliver at Dr Laxmikant Roy’s house, where Ram Surat Kunwar could see Ram Ranjini Devi. He said that if Ram Surat Kunwar liked the girl, they could proceed with the marriage arrangements.
Ram Surat Kunwar’s father narrated the conversation between him and Sri Hukum Narayan Roy to Ram Surat Kunwar. He asked Ram Surat Kunwar to go to Dahiya to see the bride. Ram Surat Kunwar could not say no. All his conditions were accepted. The girl was educated and he could see the girl too. Finally he was taken along with his elder brother Manarakhan Kunwar to Dahiya by Hukum Narayan Roy and Mahesh Diwari. He was accommodated at the residence of Dr Laxmikant Roy. On seeing Ram Surat Kunwar, Dr Laxmikant Roy appreciated Hukum Narayan Roy for his selection to his daughter.
The next day, Hukum Narayan Roy convinced his wife Ram Dularee Devi to send their daughter Ram Ranjini Devi to the doctor’s house in the pretext of sending some sweets to him. The innocent Ram Ranjini Devi was sent to the doctor’s house to deliver the sweets by her mother. There she saw Ram Surat Kunwar sitting in the verandah of the house. She went directly to the kitchen and gave the sweets to the doctor’s wife. Doctor Laxmikant Roy took her to Ram Surat Kunwar. He introduced her to Ram Surat Kunwar. She saluted Ram Surat Kunwar. The latter asked her the name for which she replied. He also asked her about her education. She replied that she had completed seventh class. Then she ran away to her house. The doctor asked Ram Surat Kunwar about his opinion on Ram Ranjini Devi. There was no reason for Ram Surat Kunwar to say no to the proposal. The girl was educated and extremely beautiful. He expressed his consent to marry Ram Ranjini Devi. The matter was conveyed to Hukum Narayan Roy and the whole family rejoiced. When Ram Ranjini Devi knew about this, she started weeping, saying that Ram Surat Kunwar asked several questions and she answered them. Even before the marriage she talked to him, that’s why she was crying. (When this episode was narrated by Smt. Ram Ranjini Devi, her face became blushed with red even at this ripe old age of 81 years.) The marriage was conducted with great celebration at Dahiya in 22/7/1938.
The newly wedded couple stayed at Dahiya for a few days and then went to Nardara, the groom’s place. Some of the relatives of the bride also accompanied the couple to Nardara. After 10 days, the groom left for Allahabad to continue his Intermediate course, leaving his wife Ram Ranjini Devi at her parent’s house at Dahiya. He passed his Intermediate course in 1939 and joined the same Ewing Christian College, Allahabad in the same year to do his B.A. His subject for B.A. was English Literature and World History. He passed B.A. in 1941 in first class.
In spite of Ram Surat Kunwar’s spiritual growth within, he was great in his studies and was highly spirited in games. In those days he was fond of playing volleyball. He had great interest in football too. Like his father, it seems, he had the talent of wrestling. He was gifted with very strong physic as well as a very soft heart. He did not have fear for anything. He used to swim in the Ganga against strong currents and roam in the forest alone even in the night. Before the final year B.A. exams, in those days, one should have the conduct certificate, which was essential for sitting in the final exams. In the conduct certificate, issued on 21st August 1940, by the University of Allahabad, the following was mentioned about Ram Surat Kunwar: “Mr. Ram Surat Kunwar has shaped well, and is regarded as of the very good student, hard working and sincere. A healthy young man of very good character, he is a player of volleyball and a considerable wrestler. He is gifted with an acute sense of duty and discipline and can be relied on.”
The marriage did not bring much change in Ram Surat Kunwar’s spiritual life. His search for the Truth intensified even after the marriage. Whenever he went to Dahiya to meet his wife, he would roam on the bank of river Balan. He would sit near the Siva Temple, under a peepul tree grown on the bank of river Balan. He used to contemplate on the teachings of the masters like Swami Ram Thirth and Swami Vivekananda. Sometimes he would sit in deep meditation beneath the big peepul tree for a long time.
Whenever Ram Surat Kunwar visited his father-in-law’s house at Dahiya, he was given considerably a big room for his stay. The house was a big one. It had been built in 1896. During the long holidays, he would take his wife to Nardara to live with his parents and brothers.
In early 1940’s, due to heavy rains and the subsequent floods in Ganga, Ramdat Kunwar’s house in Nardara was heavily damaged. He built another house for the family, at a slightly elevated place, near the old house. This house was not big enough to live with three sons, their wives and children. Most of their fertile land had been swallowed by the mighty Ganga. Ramdat Kunwar struggled to maintain the family. He got dejected and depressed. The worries told upon his health. He passed away in the mid 1940’s. The elder brother Manarakhan Kunwar took charge of the family. His youngest brother Ramdahin Kunwar assisted his eldest brother in the farm works in the remaining farm. Ram Surat Kunwar, after completing his B.A. in 1941, started searching for a job. His brothers did not allow him to assist in the farm work, as he was a highly educated Babu.
Ram Surat Kunwar found it difficult to live with his wife at Nardara. He was not allowed to work in the farms but he had to share the meals earned by the hard work of his brothers. In addition his wife was also with him. Even though his wife Ram Ranjini Devi shared sincerely all the household works along with the other women of the house, his younger brother’s wife Dalgireeya Devi always teased and abused Ram Surat Kunwar and his wife, because they were not able to share the burden of the family. Ram Surat Kunwar was jobless and he was not working along with his brothers at the farmland was her complaint. She had the grudge against Ram Surat Kunwar because of his refusal to marry her years ago.
Dalgireeya Devi used to say that the family had spent a large amount for Ram Surat Kunwar’s education, but he was not reciprocating either by working in the farmland or doing some other jobs. She complained to the elders of the family that he was always whiling away his time, sitting on the bank of Ganga alone or talking to sadhus or Kapadia Baba for a long time. The elder brother Manarakhan Kunwar and his wife Thethree Devi, who had love and concern for Ram Surat Kunwar and his wife Ram Ranjini Devi, tried to pacify Dalgireeya Devi, but they couldn’t succeed. Day by day Dalgireeya Devi’s animosity increased against the poor couple. Her words were full of venom. Ram Surat Kunwar had no other way, except to leave Nardara with his wife Ram Ranjini Devi for his father-in-law’s place, Dahiya. In 1942 he went to Dahiya with his wife. There he explored the possibilities of getting a job in Bihar.
Dahiya was in Bihar State. It was a bigger village than Nardara. It was situated on the bank of river Balan. It was a prosperous village with fertile farmlands. Ram Surat Kunwar’s father-in-law, Hukum Narayan Roy was one of the richest in the village and had a great reputation among the villagers. He and his younger brother Dhanushdharee Roy were living together with their wives and children. Hukum Narayan Roy had one daughter, Ram Ranjini Devi and two sons, Ramchandra Roy and Ramakanth Roy. Dhanushdharee Roy had two sons, Ramsagar Roy and Ram Ballabh Roy. Ram Ranjini Devi was the eldest among the children and was the only girl child in the family. So, all the family members were fond of Ram Ranjini Devi and they were all happy to have Ram Ranjini Devi, with her husband Ram Surat Kunwar, who came to live with them.
Ram Surat Kunwar searched for a job in some school in Bihar. He had a great fascination to become a teacher in a school. In those days, if anybody wanted to have a Government job in Bihar, they had to be a Biharian. To establish their identification one needed either property in Bihar or a birth certificate confirming their origin. On knowing this Ram Surat Kunwar was dejected and disappointed. He was helpless. But his father-in-law Hukum Narayan Roy came to his help. He bought a piece of land, just opposite to his house, in the name of Ram Surat Kunwar and built a small house for him. (After Ram Surat Kunwar left the family once for all, the house was locked and not maintained. The roof of this house collapsed on the 10th day after the Mahasamadhi of Yogi Ramsuratkumar.)
Ram Surat Kunwar applied for the teaching job, after he had a property in his name at Dahiya. He got the posting at the Islampur Middle School, Islampur in 1943. (Now this town is in West Bengal State.) There he worked as a teacher for four months. Due to the extreme winter climate at Islampur, his health was affected and he could not work there. He took long leave and came to Dahiya to improve his health. Ram Surat Kunwar applied for transfer and he got the transfer to Radhakishen Chameria High School at Barauni in 1944. When he got his first salary at Islampur, he sent a portion of the money to his elder brother Manarakhan Kunwar. Thereafter he sent money every month regularly to his elder brother and it was a great help to his brother.
Ram Surat Kunwar worked in Radhakishen Chameria High School for about one year. He wanted to study teacher-training course at Patna. He had enough money then to complete the course. Again he took long leave and joined teacher-training course at Patna. In 1945, he passed the teacher-training course. He also had successfully done a course that had qualified him to render ‘First Aid to the Injured’ in 1945.
After he completed the teacher-training course, he got the placement at Basamba High School, Giridi, in Bihar. He took his wife Ram Ranjini Devi with him to Giridi and lived there for a few months in a small but decent house. Ram Ranjini Devi conceived her first daughter. She delivered a girl baby in 15/11/1945 at Giridi. Ram Surat Kunwar named his daughter ‘Yashodhara’ (Buddha’s wife’s name). He was so fond of his eldest daughter and used to call her ‘Yasho’. As Giridi was far off from Dahiya, Ram Surat Kunwar applied again for a transfer to Radhakishen Chameria High School, Barauni which was nearby Dahiya. He was transferred there soon. He sent his wife and child to Dahiya. He took a house for rent at Barauni and stayed there with his brother-in-law Ramachandra Roy who was studying then in the same school where he worked as a teacher. During the weekend he would visit his family at Dahiya.