A Sadhu In The Family

From 1945, on the instructions of Kapadia Baba, Ram Surat Kunwar was on water fasting and observed total silence for the whole nine days during the Navaratri Festival. During those days, he would confine himself in a small room in his house and would come out only to attend nature’s call. All the time he would be in that small room, contemplating on God and meditating upon the teachings of great souls of all times. His wife Ram Ranjini Devi was so helpful to her husband and remained alert to see that nobody would disturb Ram Surat Kunwar. All the nine days Ram Surat Kunwar was immersed totally in his penance. Vijayadasami day was celebrated on the tenth day, the day of victory for Goddess Durga against the demon. Ram Surat Kunwar, on that day, would break his fasting and the vow of silence. He continued this penance till he got the initiation from Papa Ramdas in 1952.

At Barauni, Ram Surat Kunwar took a small house for rent. Ramchandra Roy, his brother-in-law was staying with him and studied in the same school where Ram Surat Kunwar worked. Ramchandra Roy cooked food for both of them. Ramchandra Roy informed the author of this book that Ram Surat Kunwar had the habit of reading books. He also informed that Ram Surat Kunwar was a voracious reader of spiritual books of various masters. He read them with great passion and attention. ‘The Light Of Asia’, a book on Gautam Buddha’s life and teachings affected Ram Surat Kunwar to a great extent. He was much impressed with the life and teachings of Buddha. He also went through the famous novel ‘Siddhartha’ authored by the Nobel Laurite Hermann Hesse, a German writer. This novel impressed him and was useful to understand about the pains and problems one should face during the spiritual journey. During the later years, Yogi prescribed this book to many of his friends, including the author. Ram Surat Kunwar presented his wife three books; one was ‘Ghar Ki Rani’ (Queen Of The House). The other one was ‘Anandha Nikethan’ (Blissful House). Those books emphasized the importance and value of virtuous women in the family and society.

At Barauni, Ram Surat Kunwar spent his leisure time reading the books of spiritual masters of India. He equipped himself with the great knowledge of the masters and their teachings. During that time he got the opportunity to have the association of Sri Ramdutt Chowdry of Augan, a small village near Dahiya. This friend was also spiritually inclined. He was a freedom fighter too. He loved to spend time with Ram Surat Kunwar. There was a great friendship and trust between them. Ram Surat Kunwar used to keep the extra money he had with Ramdutt Chowdry and whenever he required money, he would get back from him again. Both would talk about several matters of common interest, about the saints and their works.

Ramdutt Chowdry informed the author of this book that even though Ram Surat Kunwar was a grihasta, (Family man) he actually lived like a sadhu. His passion for attaining God was so intense that he was always contemplating, meditating and talking only about Supreme God. He used to sit alone on the bank of river Balan, beneath a peepul tree, near the Siva temple at Dahiya, during his weekend holidays. He pondered over the teachings of Buddha and several other spiritual masters. He came across Swami Ram Thirtha through the book ‘In The Woods Of God Realization’. Swami Ram Thirtha’s life and teaching brought a great transformation in the life of Ram Surat Kunwar.

Sri Ramdutt Chowdry was a successful farmer and a rich man. He was very much interested in India’s freedom struggle. He adored Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and other national leaders. Ram Surat Kunwar, Ramdutt Chowdry of Augan, Ramjivan Rai of Dahiya and Chandrika Takur of Bagalpur were all friends of the same wave length and used to meet frequently in any one of their places. They used to discuss and debate about the freedom struggle of India and the teachings of various saints and scriptures.

All the friends would passionately debate and discuss about spirituality and the freedom movements of India. Sri Ramdutt Chowdry argued that instead of talking about freedom of the country, the youngsters should practically do something by participating in the freedom struggle. Ram Surat Kunwar debated by saying that instead of choosing the path of violence, they should adopt the way of Aurobindo, who then lived at Pondichery doing penance. Ramdutt Chowdry got agitated on hearing Ram Surat Kunwar. He asked if everybody started doing penance for their own spiritual growth, then who would work for the freedom of motherland. Ram Surat Kunwar answered that if one remembered God all the time then God would strengthen the freedom movements. He also said that one should know of one’s own mission and purpose of the life. Adhering to one’s own swadharma, (life-mission) was the greatest service to the nation and God, he said. He continued if one was always in remembrance of God, that was the service to the nation and it was the real patriotism. Then God would see this great country get the freedom. Ramdutt Chowdry asked whether one should not bother about one’s family and its welfare, for which Ram Surat Kunwar answered that if one was always in tune with God, God would look after the country and the country would look after the individual’s family. So, he emphasized all the time the necessity of the union with God, which should be the only duty for the people and by doing so, all other duties would be accomplished in a mysterious way by God’s grace. Ramdutt Chowdry did not accept the philosophy of Ram Surat Kunwar. Ramdutt Chowdry told the author that on those days, the friends used to discuss and debate only about life and God. When the author of this book met Ramdutt Chowdry in 2003, the latter appreciated the wisdom of Ram Surat Kunwar. He regarded Ram Surat Kunwar a great mahatma. He said Ram Surat Kunwar was full of wisdom even in the younger age and behaved like a mahatma.

From 1946 to 1948 Ram Surat Kunwar worked in Radhakishen Chameria High School, at Barauni. On 1/8/1947, his wife Ram Ranjini Devi delivered a son at Dahiya and Ram Surat Kunwar named the child ‘Amitabh’, which meant Sun and also Buddha. He loved his children like any other normal father. In spite of his love for his children and family, he never moved away from the path in search of God. Whenever Ram Surat Kunwar got the opportunity to go to Nardara, he would meet Sri Kapadia Baba. During his stay at Nardara, Ram Surat Kunwar spent the whole night conversing with Kapadia Baba, in the Baba’s hut on the bank of the Ganga. Sometimes both would sit in total silence throughout the night. Ram Surat Kunwar felt ecstasy and joy in the company of Sri Kapadia Baba. Ram Surat Kunwar felt at home only in the company of saints, sadhus and seekers. It seems he lived a life of a sadhu in the guise of a family man.