Read a tale of endurance, will & a daring fight against Covid. Click here for "The Stalwarts" by Soni Shalini.
Read a tale of endurance, will & a daring fight against Covid. Click here for "The Stalwarts" by Soni Shalini.



50 mins

"And the third phase of life was called Vaanprastha" - In this way Harilal was explaining to the children about the four stages of life. On the tree outside, the cuckoo is doing ‘kahu-kahu’. Harilal was the master of Hindi language and used to teach Hindi to class 8 to 10. Harilal has passed the 56th Sawan pavement (56 years old), but his face was bright visible, with a sense of satisfaction too. He generally wears kurta, white dhoti and gray shawls. The leather shoe used to peep around walking. The height of five and a half feet will be. The facial color of the face and eyes still remained intact. His village was 3-4 miles away from his school. He used to come by bicycle. His personality was of quiet nature, and perhaps that is why he used to worry and contemplate both. Showing the right path to their disciples was first religion for him. When he taught his subject, he used to clarify line by line. Even today, he was doing something like that. There must have been a chapter of Hindi, where the four stages of life were written, it was just being understood. Dayashankar (a student) raised his hand and asked a question - "Master, do we still go to Vaanprastha or Sanyas?" while explaining, Masterji told him that all these ancient times were arrangements which we have forgotten today or do not give importance, because we do not want to be away from our loved ones. Answering the question of Dahashankar further, he says that the ancient system was made in a very thoughtful way, in which stages such as ‘Brahmacharya’, the ‘Householder’, the ‘Vaanprastha’ and the ‘Sannyasa’ had their own importance. These four such ashrams were made after keeping them in mind, what is necessary for human beings in every phase, for their mental and physical development.

In this way, he clarified his point and gave a long broad preaching. "Do we have to walk according to the old system today?" - with great curiosity, Dayashankar asked this question. One of the questions that arose every year came in front of Masterji. Masterji while taking a long breath, explained that this should be done. After a period of time, we should also leave Temptation, Fascination and take ‘Sannyas’, because these relationships are all nonverbal, today or tomorrow. Harilal ends his class only when the school is discharged. Raise his bicycle and move towards the village. A dog sitting in a cage of a bicycle raises up, like he has missed a job. Masterji's bicycle is quite hard as he is. A 24-inch, strong iron bunny bicycle. Masterji's contribution in raising the burden of everyday life has also contributed to this bicycle as a ‘life companion’. It is the rust which is attached to the iron, showing the passage of time, and the pandil churning is it’s age. He had gone ahead but his mind was stuck in the words of the same compassionate person. "Should we walk today according to the old system?" Earlier, somebody had asked this question. Masterji has said this so that with the mercy of God we should do the same as it happens in ancient times but now he is thinking that what he said was right. At this time Masterji was contemplating. The questions itself in his mind was answering. Maybe we should follow it. Is it right to let go of leaving like this? Our children need us, then we will need our ships. After our departure, who will handle if there is any disaster on them? They do not have as much experience as we have. If this happens, then a very big and experienced part of society will turn away from its coming generation and in that case all those knowledge, all those experiences how to be transferred from generation to generation? A person is born in this world to perform ‘karma’ (work or duty). And karmas result to ‘fruit’ (good or bad does not matter). Suddenly a voice dissolve his attention. "Hey Master, let's take the fruit." Masterji were being born in the inertia of thought, then the same voice was heard, "Hey Masterji take pomegranate." The contemplation of masterji was dissolved, he saw Narender (a shopkeeper), who sells the fruit, was giving voice to Masterji. Actually, Masterji used to buy fruit from this shop while coming from school and whenever he forgot, Narender would call him screaming. Masterji came down from the bicycle and came to the trunk. "Looks like the Master is immersed in great anxiety?" -Nerender asked while smiling. "Oh no just was thinking like this." - Masterji also responded with smile. "I forgot today, good, you gave the voice, is pomegranate good?" What is the price, brother? "The same one that you took on Monday", weigh one-half kilo. The shopkeeper then weighed half a kilo of pomegranate. He placed the scales in front of Harilal. Masterji picked out a pomegranate from him and asked him to cut. Narender cut the pomegranate. Pomegranate was good, Masterji put it in his bag and gave 30 rupees and went ahead in ascending cycle. Actually, this was the habit of Masterji that whenever he used to buy fruit from anybody, He used to cut a fruit of his choice, only for his satisfaction. If that cut fruit came out right then he would buy required fruits, and if the harvested fruit went bad, then he would have returned back without paying for the harvested fruits, only he would have taken the harvested fruit( pays for single one). This did not result in loss of the fruit for shopkeeper. This thing was known to Narender, that is why he placed the scales in front of him. Masterji walked on the back and bicycle twisting ahead of the zodiac cycle. Against normal days, he was going slowly a little bit today. On his mind, he started talking about the same ‘Vaanprastha’and ‘Sannyas’. Masterji's brain, his legs and his bicycle all three were thinking about the same definition because the tricks of all were slow. "But if there is fruit, then deeds will have to be done to absorb that fruit." The word unfolds with his mouth suddenly, and the action is wrapped with delusional delusion. Then why these rules were made for Vaanprastha? It is written in the scripture that these four ashrams were made for the progress of human. The time to study Brahmacharya, the time of working for the householder as a planet, as the time of solitary settling of Vaanprastha, when the relationships are left loose and finally the time of sannyas, or renunciation has been told.

As far as I know the first ashram was, "Brahmacharya" a Student life. Those who were in this ashram were called ‘Brahmachari’, whose conduct was divine. This was usually the time of twelve years that was from 7 or 8 to 19 or 20 years old. Students used to study science, philosophy, scripture introduction and logical reasoning with their master. It was also expected from the Brahmacharya that they would follow a strict discipline which included brahmacharya, truth speaking, physical tenures such as cold water bathing and less eating in the night .... Eat ... Oh yes, eat word invoked him that pulses (grains) are got finished at home. Kishan's (Masterji’s son) mother had informed me to take pulses. If I do not remember what happened, then my wife can tell four things and so many lectures. Let's visit Ishwar Chand's shop, he purchased 2 kg of pulses. Ishwar Chand's grandson had come. He is a very cute baby. "Which class are you son?"- Masterji asks. He shuts down and says "in the third" and then the Masterji laughed. and put lentils in the bag. From the ‘third’ word he recalled that the third state was called "Vaanprastha". The life of the sages, those who was in this ashram was called as Vaanprasthi, living in the forest, their age was 50 to 55. It is written in the scriptures that the parents should entrust the responsibilities of the family to the children and should go towards the forest. Men should also take his wife along with him if she wants to cooperate with him in ascetic life. By the way, she can also stay with her sons. Vaanprasthi used to devote his time to God's contemplation. These are all so that people can prepare themselves for the last phase of life.

And the ‘Sanyasi’(monk) means the life of ‘Tyagi’. At this stage, people used to roam from one place to another, demanding the food by begging, devoting himself to chanting and worshiping God. Well…the house came very quickly, did not know how the path was travelled. Masterji had reached the garden of his house, descended from the bicycle and raised the cycle. On the back of the parked cow, he hands turn around. The door of the house was open all day. He sat. Homeowner (his wife) brought water from home. She is giving water and asking, "were you there at Ishwar?" Masterji was surprised how did he know that I am thinking of God? Only then he remembered that his family called Ishwar Chand as an Iswar (meaning of God). "Yes, I have brought pulses." Kishan's mother goes in with his bag. Today, Masterji was feeling very tired. This exhaustion was that of the disturbance of the age of 56, or due to upheaval in the mind. He took off the shoe and sat on cot. Masterji's son, Kishan used to work in the management of the library located 5-6 miles away from the house. He used to reach home till 5:30 pm. There was also a buffalo in the house of Masterji, whom he used to call ‘Budhani’, because he was born on Wednesday (in hindi it’s budhwaar). He looked at the sky while sleeping at the cot. The sky was completely clean. The sun was set on its way. A herd of birds was returning to their home. Kishan came after sometime. He came and sat on the same bed near his father's feet. Kishan also saw the ‘thirtyath summer’ (he was 30 years old). Even though, he was married, he was still the obedient son of his father. He never underestimated the father's command. Masterji also used to spread love on him. It had been 6 years since marriage but there was no child. Concerned about this, both parents would have been concerned. But when the wishes of God would be found then it would happen. The wife was taken to the maiden. Like the same daily, after eating food, at 7-8 pm, Masterji and Kishan, they lie down on their own cot in the verandah of the house. In the mind of Masterji, the same Vaanprastha and Sannyas were going on. He also talk about four Ashrams of life with Kishan. He also tells him that if there is any book in this context in school’s library, bring it. The next day they get out of their work. Fortunately, Kishan got 1-2 books based on ancient civilizations, so he brought it to his father. Masterji starts reading it deeply. Vaanprastha is the fourteenth rites of Hindu religion. Vaanprastha is a state in which a person takes a pledge to devote his life to society by becoming free from family obligations. In this, the person plays an important role in social welfare from his experiences. It has been stated in the books that after becoming the third generation i.e. the grandfather, one becomes free from the debt of the father. In such a situation, he can devote his family responsibilities to the hands of the eldest son or family, and devote himself to the work of social welfare. ‘Manusmriti’ also says that,

महार्षिपितृदेवानां गत्वाड्ड्नृण्यं यथाविधि:।

पुत्रे सर्वं समासज्य वसेन्माध्यस्थमाश्रित:।।

That is, "With the rise of age, the son should be entrusted with the responsibilities of the household, and get rid of the father and the sage debt."

Somewhere, the method of rite was also mentioned. Somewhere there was also written about Sannyas, such as Sannyas, means of disenchantment, detachment, non-attachment etc. The meaningful and cautious experiment of this emotion brings stagnation, becomes a means of suppressing the heat of mental anxiety and gives the power to bear the problems of daily life. The monk life is extremely difficult, in which it has to undergo tough tenacity. Service values, devotion to meditation, desire for salvation and continuous advance towards emptiness are included in the rite of asceticism. The path of Sanyas is difficult. There are many rules to follow here. Following Brahmacharya, service habits, renunciation of clothes, one time meal, sleeping on the earth, living outside the habitation, food by asking for hunger, begging at maximum of seven houses, and if you do not get food from these seven houses then sleep without taking food. Masterji read all the books in rotation in 1 to 2 days. The depth of his rumination has got more depth. Now Masterji was falling in the contemplation, the introduction of Vaanprastha in his life as his age used to indicate this stage of life (56th year). The effect of all these readings have been influenced to Master ji’s sleeping, wakefulness, rising and sitting at all times, because the old people went on writing about this sacrament and Masterji had full faith that they ( old people) just did not write it. These things have their deep and mysterious significance. Occasionally Masterji started murmuring in itself. But he was still in skeptical whether this Vaanprastha is right in today's time? Because it’s paths are tough. Tough, because we have become habitual of luxury. We have got used to repeating our everyday’s life, everyday on daily basis. The same morning, same eating the food, getting into our everyday activities, meeting with some known or unknown faces, returning to the same house, then eating food, sitting next to all and sleeping again. This one day life repeats itself every day. In fact, our field has been tied up. Our habits have also become a burden on us like hunger has become a habit of food, the habit of quenching our thirst, the habit of listening good about ourself, friends, the habit of sitting with, the habit of sleeping in the night, the habit of wearing clean clothes, and the habit of living with oneself. We can say that these habits have become our needs. These habits will continue to run as long as we will not give up this body. All ‘Maya’(charlatanism) is due to this body, because of this body we have existence, people see us, they talk to us, we can sympathize with them, due to this body there are all relationships, all our habits are due to this reason, and all the compulsions too. If there is no body, who thinks about it, who does not being seen, who cares about him. That is, the body is the cause of all sorrows, that is why perhaps the ‘Puranas’(scripture) should have been told not to be tempted by this body and this would be the important purpose of Vaanprastha or Sanyas. Because ‘Parmatma’ (God) will found only when your "I" will miss the temptation. Masterji was probably getting an answer to his questions. These clouds of contemplation which were steeped in the mind of Masterji were getting cleared now, and the rains of disquietness began on his mind. This means that Vaanprastha is still as important as it was earlier. It means, people should go to Varanpastha even today. Hence, should I also think of Vaanprastha? A fear also sat and ...a concern too. Masterji began to feel that his direction is getting better now. Now he is thinking in the right direction, is it?

He used to answer many questions by himself, and by this way one day he seemed right on being Vaanprastha, because his questions were not standing before the logic of the books (scriptures). At last he started thinking that nothing is correct except ‘Vaanprastha’. He used to visit his friends too, sometimes even attended the cremation of someone, he also used to see the quarrels of the families in the locality, he thought who is happy here, who is happy anywhere?, also for some time only, we are simply confused with our friends and others, and this is the temptation that becomes a barrier to our path. It is decided that everyone has to go one day (death), then why this is a futile relationship? is it worthless? Why is this attachment? ... From now on, it is only late, but I am seeing the truth of this world, I am also looking for my truth too. The relationships that we make as strong as the door of ‘Maya’, and at the end of life, this bondage also hurt us as well as our loved ones too. No…no…, i will have to be free from this bondage, I will have to avoid this temptation, and the only way to remove it is ‘Vaanprastha’ and slowly through it, and then at the end, ‘Sanyas’. "I have to take Vaanprastha, yes it will be right". Eventually Masterji decided to go to Vaanprastha (…the third stage of life). Masterji did not take this decision just like that, but this ‘khichadi’ (mixture of all these thoughts) was going on in his mind since, when Dayashankar asked that question. Today, 22 days have passed since that question, and perhaps today he has ‘the correct answer’. There was a fear in mind that this society, his relatives, his school people, his neighbors, his sons-daughter-in-law, and most of all, what will his wife say? Will they agree with my decision? Will my wife agree with me to go to Vaanprastha? How to do it? Should not it flare anywhere?

Once Masterji thought, why not take the reconciliation of the mind of the householders, see what their opinion about it? One day after eating a meal they sat on the bed and started talking. Masterji said-"Today a sanyasi was found on his way, he started saying that he has left home, there was great happiness in his house, all the children were earning themselves. But Maya, Maya gives big trouble, as much as we staying connected to one-another would be as difficult as become away from this world ". At first, all the people kept listening and then his wife said, "All these relations have been made by God only, the temptation comes automatically, now, since childhood, children have grown up here today, child used to say ‘Amma… Amma…, Babu ji’, it is possible to become an idol, then how can one go away like this, these ascetic people have gone their mind. Masterji said in between-" It is also written in scriptures that after some time we should be able to put the house keys in the hands of our children, and we should walk to the forest". His wife angrily while-" Sure, of course, being the foresty is craziness, all these old things were there in King Dasharath's time. Oh, that was time to do so, now it does not happen, how people can go leaving all relatives here, what will do there? Cutting wood in the forest?”, how can people leave so much happily house, why people will become a beggar, what is there to eat, grasses?". "Hey Amma, why you are so much worrying, father is just talking only about sanyasi"- (laughing) his son explained to his Amma. Masterji also took the superficial smile and distract their mood to other direction. After seeing the response of the family member, Masterji came to understand that no one would accept his opinion. In addition to that day, Masterji often spoke of Vaanprastha and Sanyas in joke, but every time the householder's opinion was opposite. He has some friends also, he talked about it to them, but everyone did not get the proper positive answer. Some friends also agreed with his point of view, but they were not prepared for Varanpartha themselves, some were disturbed with their daughter, sons, yet they were not ready to walk due to the temptation of their house. Masterji also spoken to the elderly teachers of his school but people used to say that it was all in ancient times. From their point of view it seemed that all those people have been entangled with Maya, at the time to come, they will lose all this opportunity to improve their paradise. Lastly, after a few days, Masterji himself decided that he would have to think alone for the Vaanprastha. No family, no friends will run with him. Well… other’s openion did not have the effect on him, because his belief was profound in the old texts and he also knew that this attraction and deceit have become the chains of people's feet, which may not be the only thing that everyone can break, he also knew how long we would have stayed with our loved ones. The date of our death is also fixed as soon as a person is born. The age of the people increases but in reality ‘it decreases’. Then all these temptations, factination for whom? This truth will have to be accepted. I have to get out of this bond. To facilitate your paradise, I will have to go to Vaanprastha. To take this ultimate decision, he took 20-25 days more. The school's examinations had also come to an end. Then the school was also going to be closed for one month. So he felt that his work ends here, all his responsibilities too. Son is earning his own way, he is very happy, God will also give a grandson if God wishes, the householder will also be supported by his son and daughter-in-law, if there are some fields, Kishan can see. Then now I have to leave. But if I tell the family, they will raise the mountain on their head and will not let me go, it will become an uphill task for me to leave without their permission. It means I should not tell to anyone in the family or neighborhood, not even friends, it seems to have to be sneaking out. I will put some excuse anything to members. If my wife does not want to come along with me, according to the scriptures she can stay with her son.

With such a mind, Masterji plans to get out in the month of May. He will have to go far away from home, where there is no shadow of temptation. There are some Ashrams where people like Sannyasi will meet, he has to walk. But he does not want to be stable even at one place, otherwise another temptation will arise with that place. Just like flowing water, he has to move everytime. In the first week of May, Master jumps out of home after making excuses. His excuse was that he and some of his friends are traveling to South India for 10-15 days. He told the names of some distant friends. Family members made some things to eat, such as ‘Kachoda’, ‘Lai Churra’ etc. The mind of Masterji was getting a little bit of immotional-fluid, but he had already made a promise with him that when he starts going away from his home, he would not look back, neither to his son nor to his wife and not to his orphan to, because he knew that if he was soft with the thought then he would have much trouble, so he made his mind very strict. The family did not even realize that he would not come back again, so they were also sending him away without any unhappiness. "back home soon...."- His wife's soft voice came from behind. He indicated his head shake that he will come soon. Masterji was also stopping the impulse of his gentle thoughts and tears. Ultimately, he is going away ... forever ...!

Some rituals were mentioned while taking Vaanprastha in the scriptures, But for the Masterji ‘If your mind is healthy then even your house accommodates the holy Ganges river’ was justified because if he went to perform rites, then the people would know. When crossing the door of the house, he remembers his childhood when he could not cross the boundary because his foot was very small but now he has grown…very big foot. He saw his bicycle (a life partner) which he was found in his marriage or it had come out of his in-laws, and now he is taking a leave and letting it alone. The bicycle was in such a position that it was looking at him. He crossed the home garden, passing by looking at the flowers which he were sewn with hands, some of plant’s leaves were lying on his way.

In the end, once again he turned back and seen his wife and daughter in law, son was coming with him to say goodbye with his baggage by another bicycle. Both were coming together talking to each other. Masterji was explaining some responsibilities to him. After reaching the bus stop, they did wait a bit and then boarded bus. He was seeing his son for the last time and blessed him. The impulse of the mind was enough to bounce because the rope of attachment was quite strong. Just sitting on the bus once again saw the bus stand behind which was left just now. It was a little difficult to stop himself. He started making himself strong by posing to Vaanprastha and made his mind hard again. He is going to understand a mystery that he had only read in the books till now. Slowly those lanes, those people, all those houses, those shops, all those paths, his school, those relationships, all those loans which people had taken from him, all those promises that he had done to the people, All the banquets in which he was invited, all those initiatives which he had given, all the temples where he celebrated the festivals, all those arenas where he saw wrestling, all the wells from where his Thrust was put out, he was leaving all of the things that were linked somehow to till his stage of 56 years elsewhere, atleast. Only his resolve was going on, the rest was only being imprisoned in memories. After half an hour the railway station arrived. There was also a lot of memory associated with that station. When he used to go to check the exam papers, he used to catch the train from the same station. It was 4-5 hours for the train to arrive, so he was covering new hopes on the old memories of the station. Expectations were that he would rise up for himself by the bondage of delusional attachment, and would be out of the mind of jealousy. Now he is completely separated from his house, his family, his village, and all relations from the relationship, then the mind will remain disturbed for a while then it gradually will be getting filled the vacant places with new emotions, which will be completely for the society. Because ‘Vaanprastha’ is a penance, it is austerity to leave selfish interests and perhaps to understand the entire society itself as a family. Now the family is not just a group of 4-5 people but a group of people all over the world. Now what I have to do will be for all living beings. Now I have to give all the results of my education and hard work to the entire society, and for which all the society belongs to itself, there is no enemy of it, there is no selfishness at all. Now this thing has to be understood by Masterji and probably he knows. One way of relieving our trouble and troubled mind is ‘to think about the positive aspects of the coming times’ and that is what Masterji did. There were so many people at the station, how many brains, how many moods, how many emotions, how many trains, how many shops, how many stomachs, some are filled ... some are hungry. Masterji had to go far away from his village, where no one knew him, so he was going south. Another train arrives at the station. People start running on their side. Harilal was also seeing these scenes, he thought that what is needed to run, hey train will be standing up, it can be an accident. But no, people are so quick to climb or board first. Some people were being run for luggage at the head. Some fruit sellers were going to run, some watery ones. Those who came through train had also came to the train’s door to get down. The masterji stood watching this scene that an old lady while holding the train’s door was rushing from a distance, those who were standing at the station were amazed at the sight, some people were shouting. One is that lady is old and second the speed of the train is also high. God forbid if Lady somewhere fall. She had a dirty bag on her shoulder and the lady seemed to be as old as his Amma's age. She was wearing a dhoti, but why was she running? She can wait train to stand, then she can climb up comfortably and anyone will give place to sit as she is so old. The train was slowly getting stuck and stopped at the station. At that time Masterji saw that the running old lady kept a old man's arms on her shoulder. There was a stick in the hand of that man. Without taking help from anyone she caught man’s hand, she lowered him and took him away from the train. That old man was nobody other than her husband, who was blind and that was why she was running from a long distance to catch his hand, to take train of him otherwise he might fall as he descends, and because even if she can not lower her husband in case if train starts moving again? Masterji went near to those poor people too. Man was having worn clothes, wrinkles on his face. They were lying there for a while and they sat there. The old woman dipped the old face with her dhoti, then for the old man she brought water which was filled in an old glass bottle from the station. After a while, the old lady kept his hand on her shoulder while handling him, they moved towards somewhere. Masterji also began to think about how complex it is and how strong it’s intentions are. It's not just about everything that's dealing with it. But this is the attachment or the promise that the husband and wife take on each other's shadow during their rounds (marriage), not only in this birth but also for the next seven births. The oath also says that to serve each other selflessly, husband to his wife and wife to her husband. The old woman was doing the same without worrying about her being run that even if her husband was not in trouble, she was selfless, we could also call it a temptation, promise or even spirit. Masterji had started to weaken but he had to be strong. Just like that, Masterji again strengthened himself and contemplated about the rules of Vaanprastha. The train got bell, he took the ticket. After some time his train came and he sat in it …without running. There was a lot of space, inside it, he found a place. After a while he got nap. He was seen running his house. He was sitting in the train and his family was running just like a train, watching him. When his wife was calling his name, his son Kishan also came with his bicycle inside the train. There was a bicycle bell ringing and he was shouting loudly, "Those seven promises ... seven ... seven..". Then suddenly Masterji was shocked and his eyes opened. It was a dream that was just a moment. When looking inside the train, checking the ticket collecter was talking to someone- “seven people were together, would not they? "Yes we are having seat of seven people"-somebody said. Masterji peeped out of the window, just making sure that his family members were not running really, and even inside the train, his son did not even come. It was only a dream, the train was moving at its peak speed. However, those seven promises were also applied to Masterji and he was able to understand this thing somewhere, but he also knew that if everyone believed so in the same way how will be possible for each to take Vaanprastha or sanyasa? He asked to his wife to do Vaanprastha, he also took the opinion of the family, but her wish was opposite. Yes, it is another matter that she was not told directly straightforward. If he would have asked her straightforward, perhaps she would be ready to go with his husband too? Masterji was having a dispute questions and answers in his mind, the train was on the way, the time was passing, now the evening had passed. He was hungry too, so he took out the food from his bag, first he saw it very trainfully, and then started eating, what tastes she made, what to say, what is the love she makes, what should he say now? Being a Vaanprasthi means eliminating the bonds of all the previous emotions and all the love? While eating ‘kachaudi’ he was thinking that love means everything that is in this world, every human being that is around us, those who got lost were mine, but now what I am getting, it will be also mine. Only i have to understand. If I can not forget that taste, then keep them in the corner of the brain. Taste should not have any significance for a Vaanprasthi. If I got food, this is my destiny, so look at every single grain as a whole. Then he ended up eating such food, ate something, saved some. He remembers God, murmerised one or two bhajans and he fell asleep on his seat. The train continued ... Chhuk ... Chhuk .. Chhuk ... Chhuk ...

The noise that was happening in the train slowly changed into silence ... the voices were still coming, but only the wheels of the train or the snoring of the people. Sleep is also a beautiful thing, does not make a difference between rich and poor, does not distinguish between happiness and sadness, even in night and day. When it comes, it comes from the moment and when not willing to come would not come, then no matter how many changes happen, as was happening with some people. "Wake up, Saber Hoi Gava(wake up, its morning)”. He felt like his family was giving voice, his eyes were opened. When he got up, nobody was there, it was just a dream. Then he tried to sleep again, but could not sleep. He looked at his watch, it was around 4 o'clock. Masterji's habit was to get up in the morning. The rule of Vaanprastha was to wakeup early in the morning. The rules of Vaanprastha are not easy but those things which are already in habit are not difficult. The old village is gone. Now there is a new place, new people, new language and a new morning too. The one who passed that was a dream, which is coming, it will be reality now. ‘Sevagram’ station was about to arrive, some were arriving to land there. Although Harilal was going to the south, but when he heard the name of Sevagram, it happened in his mind that to get down here. He also read about it somewhere in the books. Anyway, around twelve hundred kilometers had gone, which was far from his village. Sevagram is located in Maharashtra's ‘Wardha’ district. There are quite a lot of ashram and shrine here. It will be a perfect place to spend some days of Vaanprastha. The train slowly started to stop at the station, people started to land, he also took his bag and got down. While asking to people, he reached the ‘Gandhi Ashram’. The atmosphere were seemed to be quite peaceful, there were also gardens. There was also considerable cleanness. People used to do all the work themselves there. There clothes were also clean. Gandhiji came to Sevagram at age 67. He changed the name of this place from ‘Shegaon’ to Sevagram. Sevagram means 'village of service'. Masterji wanted to stay here only but he did not go to the main ashram of Gandhiji and went to another ashram. From there, sometimes he used to visit Gandhiji's ashram as well as other ashrams. There were a lot of cottage. He often spent his time in Gandhiji's books or religious books. Those people who came from outside, he used to taught them. He does all the work, he made a lot of effort to keep himself away from old memories. But these memories went somewhere in the form of an incident. In ashram, he used to give his shoulder to support. The small work of ‘charkha’ like walking, lentils, peeling of rice, reading, etc. he used to help in accounting and auditing in the ashram. This is what some 6-7 days have passed. There were many people in the ashram, like some wanted to get away from the disagreement of their own house, someone's child had stabbed them, somebody had no children. But there was no one who was satisfied with the house and no one came for the Vaanprastha except Harilal's. All seem to hear their pain. Someone told the story of his family, then someone from his relatives. Someone used to blame at the ashram's food, someone used to appreciate the food of his house. But Harilal never used to blame to food or anything, he used to say that it is great grace that God provided food to us. In the ashram, there were too many old ladies, one was ‘prabhawati’, who was fired by her sons, after the death of her husband. By nature she always used to be teasing. She always used to bash her husband. She used to often say that her husband went to heaven and left her here with the sons, no one would respect her, and now she is also got removed from the house. All have become slaves of their own wives. They must be eating dishes and I am suffering here... Hurilal used to hear many things about the old women but he could not do anything except consolation. Likewise, there were many people who had some kind of grief and everyone was suffering from their own relatives. Harilal thought of seeing this, finally, the end of the temptation is this? then why does a person make a relationship? From this, it is better not to have any relative, not to fall into this delusion. For which day do parents keep their children? Harilal had been out of the house for 10 days. He had come here before saying to his family that he is going for 15 days. The house-bearers will also be waiting, they will be upset too. Here he became very friendly in these ten days. He used to do this so that he can keep away himself from the memories of the house. It has often been seen that we go very far in search of new relationships, also we try to forget old memories, for some days it seems that everything has been cured, there are new relationships, new happiness, and we are re-indulging in daily work. We also try hard to forget the past. But to keep our past alive, somewhere, at some point, it repeats itself in some form. Whenever this happens, one by one, those suppressed memories start running parallel. This is the game of ‘maya’ (charlatanism) and ‘the chains of attachment’ too. Number of old people was more in the ashram and sometimes somebody would have died. This happened in Harilal's waiting period too. Death of that old woman. She was very happy that evening, but why? She talked to all, praised her husband and her children. People were surprised that they had never heard of these such things from that old women's mouth. After a long time, she laughed and ultimately started crying too. Her sentences were tinctures of tears, her tongue was also staggering. She used to keep saying that she loves her children a lot, in the end, after all they have taken birth from her womb, so how can she hate them? She loved her daughter-in-law too much. She was sure that her daughter-in-law would be taking care of her children after coming out of her. She also remembered her husband a lot. She started talking about him without asking anything from anybody. She also told her husband's likes and dislikes, she also said that now they will meet again. Was she really happy or unhappy? Nobody was able to understand, but nobody saw her like this before. She looked at Harilal and said that he has to meet her children, she is missing them very much. Harilal had said that he will write a letter in the morning tomorrow to her children, it is time to sleep now. The old lady also said with satisfaction "Yes to write." But who knew that ‘the night’ would become more extendable for her ... maybe more than her age .... Harilal began to feel a bit disheartened by this incident. The old woman was cremated. In Harilal's mind, she was shaking that she could not see her children at end time. It was her desire. Let's believe that attachment is the bond of love, but if at end time she had lived with her children, what would have happened? The temptation would still be the same as it was here, last night. The temptation is not tied to ‘place’ which will change if place changed. The temptation is like a root where it is related to one, which is connected to itelf, even if stems spread around here and there. Harilal's family was worried. Harilal’s wife to her daughter in law- " ६ तारीख के गए रहें तोहार बाबू , आज १८ होइ गवा, १२ दिना होइ गवा कुल मिलाई के । देखा कब आवा थें ।" उनकी बहु- " हाँ अम्मा कहें रहें की १५ दिना में आयी जहिनी, ३-४ दिना में आईहीं ।" अम्मा- "अरे घुमन्ता मनई हैं, दोस्ती यारी में घरवाऊ भुलाई जाथें , जब दोस्तान छोड़िहीं, तबै ता आईहीं ।"

Here, Harilal was very upset about the old women's death. It is not that Harilal has never seen anyone while dying before. Mother's death, father's last time, the neighbor's uncle died. It does not matter how much man is rich, affluent or happy, but at the moment of death, he only looks helpless, innocent and poor. This is such a condition that we can not do anything for person who is going to die except to console him. This is a condition when the enemy gets tired of compassion and he starts looking like a friend. We all know that this is an immovable truth. This is a truth that has been continuously coming towards us since birth. It is impossible to avoid this. Everything that is shaped or dimensionized, it’s end is also fixed. The thing which we can see directly, is the truth for us. When we born, life is seen ahead and parallel to time, but when we are standing at the verge of death, nothing seems to be seen except zero of it. Because the life has gone behind, a long journey of age has been past or sometimes missed too, the relationships that we have made and the ones that we have broken, are all behind, all the dreams seen for our future are gone. Something is there ahead but nobody knows what? which nobody has seen? which is zero, or a darkness. Where it came from, is to be merged there. This chakra (cycle) from where it started, stand on the last point of the same. From here on, what will be the new beginning of that cycle? Who knows? What is actually a phenomenon in life? Break down from an infinite universe, coming into the hope of life and returning back to that universe. What is this traffic for? this life is an illusion, which we have won every moment and when delusion breaks, then we find ourselves at the same point from which, the illusion started.

Four days had passed. Harilal's mind was distraught because he had said something to the old lady, which was not completed. Harilal decided that he would go to the old women's house and he would definitely give this news to her sons that their mother had missed you a lot, at the end times, in the end. There was a bundle (bag) of old lady that had a picture of her husband's frame and, from the back, the address of the shop was written from where it was built. The picture was not as old, she also wrote the date of birth and death of her husband, which was 3 years ago. Harilal were not doing just because he had been seduced by that old age, but because her family members should know that they had fired her from the house, now she is not here, she got fired from our world. ‘Vaanprastha’ meaning says that person should not stay in one place anyway, otherwise it will be fascinated by the same place. Perhaps the seeds of this temptation sprout from our soil, and then these relationships work on fertilizer, the more roots spread as the compost. Ages are growing and this seed of attraction spreads its branches by becoming a tree. These trees give relax- shades to knowable and unknowable faces. The tree can be cut or dried, but its portion and residual remains left in that soil, which then leads to new shoots. Both times and life will have been boasted that they will never end and they will continue to move forward only if one dies, another becomes born. Ever since life has begun, and it is continuously growing as time is moving. Well, this thinking of Harilal continues. In the next morning he bowed to the ashram and started moving towards the old women's house. Harilal's house was a distance of some twelve hundred kilometers from the Ashram and for the old women's house he had to come back two hundred kilometers, so he took a picture of her husband and walked. Money was not left, then bullock carriage, sometimes by truck, sometimes someone’s bicycles. Sitting on the bicycle, he remembered his life partner. When a person comes out of the house, he has different experiences, he gets from different people, breaks away. He learns a lot from different types of ups and downs. Even though there was ups and downs in his house too, but right now harilal came out to spread the experience. Just like that, he reached the shop, 4 o'clock in the evening. The shop was looking off. When he went to a nearby shop and ask the shopkeeper, it is known that he has gone to the town, the shop has been closed for 2 days. Harilal shows that photo to the shopkeeper, then he recognized and says that he is Vineet Prasad, in whose ‘terahi’ (1th day ceremony) he went three years back. The shopkeeper leaves Harilal to the old women's house. "Good Kaka I Am Going" - saying that the shopman returns to his shop. Vineet's house was also built in a big village. Seeing the village looked quite advanced. Well-maintained houses, place to place handpumps, vegetable market separate, ration markets separate, paved roads, inter-college etc.

Vineet's house was two-storey, he had two sons. Below one son above the other son lived with their own wives. But they don’t talk to each other.He knocked on the door. Four and a half hours clock were ringing at that evening. The eldest son had gone to his shop, the younger son was a teacher in the school and came back from work early. The younger son opened the door, greeted him, and asked the introduction. His name was Somnath. Harilal showed that photo. The younger son said, "This is the photo of Babu Ji, who had taken by mother, where is mother? What is there?" He looked behind Harilal but could not find her anywhere. Harilal has told that now she is not in this world. The expressions of Somnath were transformed into sadness from excitement. He started crying all of a sudden, looking inside the house said, "Hey Radha, mother passed." From inside his wife came and suddenly started crying. She also brought up her sister, the elder brother's wife. Everyone started crying. Nobody was remember that weather they are inside the house or outside, just crying and only crying. Some people around them are also started gathering. Those people handled them. People asked Harilal about old lady, where did she go, what she used to say, was she remember her son and the daughter-in-law ... Well now all those things were of no avail. Then elder brother came. He became impatient, but when he saw his younger brother crying completely, he began to console him. The younger also started to remember the old lady. It all happened in front of harilal. There was no show off or lie in their sorrow. Now they may have probably discovered how important it is for a old man or women to be together at home. The old lady always wanted to be together with her both sons. They could not live, but after the death, both sons got together. There was nothing wrong in this. Somnath did not drink even water provided by those people, he only gave news, he handed over the photo and started returning back. Those people tried to stop him very much, not to appearances but because he was with the old lady at the end time, they were seeing some glimpse of their mother in Harilal, just like their Mother had come for the last time. Harilal did not stay there but stayed in a temple a little away from that village. He went there and told the ‘pandit’ (preacher) there that night is about to happen, let him stay there, he will go away in the morning. There is no objection to Pandit. Rather, when Harilal told him that he had reached Vaanprastha, then the pundit was surprised that in this Kali-Yuga (era), which Mahatma was born. He respected him and wanted to bring food from his house, but Harilal refused, he took a few and satisfied with the offerings made in the temple. There were in tension in Harilal’s family, after all, 16-17 days had passed, but Harilal had not returned yet. Harilal's wife with his son -"२० दिना होइ गवा आज, आएं नाही तोहार बाबू? किशन अम्मा से- "अरे अम्मा आज अठारह दिना भवा बा","कैसे?" किशन " देखा बाबू ६ तारिख के गए रहें और आज २४ हाउ"। अम्मा-"हाँ ता, दुइ दिना में २० होइ जाए ", देखा कब आवा थें ।" Harilal's wife with his son -"बेटवा, तनी पता करा की तोहार बाबू कहाँ रही गएँ |” His family was counting each day. Kisan made promise to find his father, he will do it by going to Pitamber uncle's house. Here, Harilal was sitting on the stairs of the temple. The children of the village were playing together. Some people were coming for worship. Some fellows to spend their time, then to talk to Harilal. The crowd was gradually decreasing. The stars were starting to appear The village dogs were also slowly eating their half bread and they were sitting near the temple. Mice were also taking part of the offerings in the temple to their bills (rat-home). The line of the ants was also visible in the light of the lamp. ‘Jhingur’ (cricketers) also started interacting with each other. The winds were slowly getting cold. Harilal remembered God, took the prasad and he sat down beside the temple. He remember the mourning of the members of the old lady’s home. After the old man died, both of his sons were not liking each other, so both of them got separated. Younger and elder son have taken lower and upper house respectively. Often they used to be quarrels between the two as the villagers had told. The old lady used to try to get the two together again. She used to take day's meal at younger son’s house and dinner at elder son’s house, she tried a lot to get these two sons close, after all, both of them are just like two eyes. The old woman would have lived in both herds, but how long? She got angered one day, and had left her house. In her end time she was remembering how her sons will do. It is not necessary that relationships make attachment. Somethings are beyond the term ‘relationships’. These are internal affections which do not required any relationship, just like Harilal had with that old lady. Her children were mourning so much. As long as parents are concerned, we should serve them. Death is such a phenomenon that all envy and jealousy of hearing are immediately removed for a moment. In fact, we are sad to think about our future. The person who is dying or who is dead is not going to seen in the future and this is the reason for grief and our sorrow. Memories of the past always give happiness. If both ‘births’ and ‘deaths’ are phenomena, then why we feel happiness due to farmer one, and sadness due to later one respectively? Because the birth creates a new personality, a new experience and a new creature soul in the future prospectus that will ever grow with us, which will enable us to share our thoughts, while death is the opposite of the right and take away all these things from us. Even it takes all these, when we have got addicted to all of these and because we are forced by the hands of our addiction, we are helpless, that is why we are unhappy. But what was the selfishness of that old lady from his children? Yes, there was a temptation, but it was also selfless. It was only necessary for her children that what was wrong with both of them being together? Yes, she had wish to see her sons at the time of her death, then nothing was wrong, as the old lady gave birth to them, from birth to childhood, lady was with those people when she wanted to see their face at her end, what was wrong in it? At least, with this satisfaction, her children are happy that the seeds he sowed in this world in the form of her children, now God will take care of them. A farmer is satisfied by seeing his crop and lavish fields too. If there is satisfaction at the time of death, then what is wrong in it? Rather I understand that this is better than all. Being satisfied is a different thing and be different to be satisfied. Harilal came to meditate, finally he came to sleep. He saw that his family members are asking him how long will the school take to open? And he suddenly wake up. When the night passed, it did not even know. It's been dawn, Birds are engaged in waking one another. The sound of rooftops is coming from far away. The conversation of prawns was still going on. The dogs were also playing with each other with a new bliss. The crows are explaining to each other that who will go to the east today and who is to the north side. ‘Kalima’ (Darkness) of the night was gradually getting extinct in the ‘Lalima’ (redness) of the morning. Harilal is sitting near the steps of the temple and bathing near the well. Where to go now? The priest suggested him that he can teach in school located there for a couple of day. Harilal was already teaching the students earlier and could also earn two meals by work in the school office. Then the priest went from there. Masterji thought that if you have to fill the stomach then asking from home to home will not be okay and also who is going alms every day? But ‘Ramta Jogi and flowing water’. It's not okay to stay in one place. Let's do this in school for a day or two, then in a second or two in another school. Then Harilal did the same. Ever this school, then another school. The schools here were still open. Harilal used to interpret Hindi and then mathematics. Principal also used to greet him with great respect. While taking some homemade food, he used to fill the stomach and eat the fruit, and in the evening, he stayed in some other temple. 3-4 days passed. Some schools had chapters of Vedic mathematics which Harilal had learned in a few days. He found that through the use of Vedic Mathematics, complex solutions can be easily resolved in a very short time. Application of Vedic sources can be done equally in all areas such as arithmetic, algebra, flat geometry, astrology, calculus etc. Alternative and concise methods of Vedic Mathematical Arithmetic calculation applied in all the way easily. It is disseminated by ‘Jagadguru Swami Bharati Krishna Tirath’. In a village he saw that only Sanskrit is spoken. Everybody including childs also speak in Sanskrit. Harilal knew that Sanskrit was also called ‘god-language’. But its detailed study was found in the schools of that village. Here it is known that Sanskrit is not only a self-developed language but also a cultivated language, hence its name is Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the only language that has not been named after its speakers. In this way, Harilal was learning something as well as teaching something.

Although Harilal's mind was very strong, it started falling weak in the dark-vicinity of family members. He started worrying little bit. This world is indulging in temptation, somewhere in the form of selflessness, then in the shadow of selfishness. Although old memories dilute the mind but the mind wants to be surrounded by those memories. He was trying to suppress the voice of his mind every moment with the power of his determination, but the mind is ultimately ‘the mind’. How far ahead will be the feeling of emotion, and when there is no trick or selfishness in the spirit, even more difficult to be far away from temptation. This feeling is wrapped up with the seven promises (oath during marriage) under the fire, which was a matter of living together at every turn of life. The education and the knowledge that harilal is distributing here, he used to spend in his school too. he was Selflessly even before. Temptation was there, but it was selfish, or selfless, he did not know at that time. Sometimes in the dream, he used to look after the family. It is said that distances do not affect if the string of hearts are strongly connected. The mind started to be a little distraught. In old age husband and wife are the only support of each other, and by this same promise, fire is also tied to us. Sometimes Harilal used to think that in the night, in solitude, what is he doing, is that right? Or his temptation forces him to think again and again. Sometimes, at the same time, he himself gave the answer only to himself - "Yes he is a lover but selfless, I am concerned about her (his wife) because she had come to leave her house on my trust and now I left her."

Time passed, he realized that it was not necessary for Vaanprastha to go to the forest, if you have a sense of satisfaction inside you, if you are doing what is not hidden in selfishness, and where the care of public well-being is inherent, for which there is no difference in their home and abroad society, and who dedicate their deeds to God with selfless self, is also ‘Vaanparasthi’.

Harilal had gone for a month and a half to understand the true meaning of Vanasthastha. School to school. One village to another village, one city to another. He also realized that when he was in his village he was more satisfied. It is a mandatory condition for Vaanprastha to be satisfied with the soul and mind. He started feeling that by turning away from the house, making Vaanprastha remained only a compulsion. And the virtuous work performed forcefully never reach to God. His soul was pointing towards returning to the village. This time even the mind was not opposing. Only desiring to return to his village, he was feeling a type of satisfaction inside himself. The waves of a positive energy were rising in his heart. His word was also calling him back. ‘Bhagyvanprastha’ (way to his wife) was heavy on his ‘Vaanprastha’. So he thought it will be good to go back to the village. But yes, with his own self-determination that he will go back to the village and follow some rules of Vaanprastha, because these rules were made for the physical and mental development of the human beings along with social reform. He was now thinking in right and got a right direction. He was now experiencing himself more satisfying and happy than before, that is why when he took the pledge to leave the house, he used to prick it every time that he should not have left his wife alone in such way. He was worried that a promise given to her was broken. There was no selfishness in his mind, but an unselfish worry was definitely about his responsibility.

He probably had gone to become a ‘Vaanaprasthi’ physically, but with a lengthy separation (one and a half month's) experience, he had become ‘Vaanprasthi’ mentally. He had decided that after returning back to the village, he will follow the rules of Vaanprastha correctly but in new ways. Offering donation of education and experience, propagation and dissemination of Vedic mathematics for the intellectual development of the disciples, an acquaintance of the hidden secrets in Sanskrit language to the general public, along with all these responsibilities towards his family in selfless manner. There used to be ‘Gurukul’ in ancient times, those who were a Sannyasi used to give knowledge and preaching in their ashram. Students who followed ‘Brahmacharya’ used to be their pupils. Those too were also monk and Vaanprasthi as well. Even fulfilling your responsibilities with complete fidelity are also come under the rule of Vaanprastha. Harilal does not want salvation even at the cost of his promises. ‘To be satisfied’ for Vaanprastha should be a mandatory condition. If you are dissatisfied then it will be a burden. Then you will do all the work under the pressure of burden, probably a showoff may come also. Actually, ‘Vaanprastha’ is not a pretext, but it is a means of connecting yourself with your soul and your soul to God ultimately. A mechanism in which all the ‘karmas’ (work done) are selfless and pure, there is no deceit and no rhetoric, there is no sense of self-love.

Harilal's attitude was now going towards his village. A herd of birds was returning to their children with a mule. After passing the night in the temple, he started the return journey with the first ray of the morning. Bullock traint, bus and then train. During this one month and twenty days, he gathered many experiences. He became aware of many hidden secrets also. Combining the emotion, determination, curiosity and the cravings of the word and taking everyone together, he found a solution. Actually, ‘Vaanprastha’ is not an action, but a ‘Thought’ that was made for human, so that after fulfilling their original responsibilities towards their family, they should also contribute to the society from their experience, to make the balance of nature. These animals-birds, these plants, all creatures and the ‘five elements’ (earth, space,fire, water and air) created by nature are continuously contributing to this balance. All these things are operated by nature, so they are not contrary to nature. Only human is a creature that is not fully operated by nature. Although human beings are completely dependent on nature, there is also the ability to act contrary to nature. However, by doing so, he ultimately destroys himself. If we follow responsibilities towards our society and our environment, then we will all be called ‘Vaanprasthi’.

In Harilal's mind, there was no upheaval of ideas, but rather a straight line. From this line his resolutions and his words were being associated, just as the train was going on a straight track. The sun was going towards west. The paths were getting smaller ... the sound of prawns were being tangled in the train, and the people's words were now converted in their snoring ....


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------It’s not an End, it’s a beginning------------------------------------------------------------------------

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