Sri Ma's Husband
Baba Bholanath – Sri Ramani Mohan Chakravarty joined in Ma's lila in the beginning of the year 1909 when Shree Maa's parents were anxiously on the lookout for a bridegroom for their eldest daughter who had just entered Her teens.
On the wedding day, the groom riding on an elephant started from the famous 'Kasba Kali Mandir' in a festive procession. They reached Kheora village where the entire village participated in the festivities.
During the marriage ceremony 'Shubha Drishti' ( an auspicious exchange of glances) forms a significant part of the ceremony, especially where the bride and groom have never seen each other before. When the so-called ceremony was to take place, Maa was found looking skywards watching many extra –terrestrial Beings who had assembled there! At the end of the ceremony, a famous Pandit of the village Shri Lakshimicharan Bhattacharya performed a Hawan (oblation to fire) who later, said to Bholanath, - "Son, you do not know what jewel you are taking home."
Immediately after their marriage, Bholanath had to return to his place of employment leaving Maa in the care of his elder brother Revati Mohan and his wife Pramoda Devi at Sripur, now in Bangladesh. Soon afterwards, Bholanath lost his job. Maa was already at the place of Bholanath's elder brother. However, Bholanath, without a job did not want to be a burden on his brother. So he stayed on in Dhaka looking for a suitable placement. Almost four years later he got a permanent one as a law clerk in the Settlement Department of the Estate of Nawab of Dhaka at Ashtagram in 1913.
To understand this period of Ramani Mohan's life fully, one must go deeper in to the causes of his struggle for the settlement and link them to the Divine Mother's Kheyal that was to unfold after some years. It is important for the understanding of Ramani Mohan's gradual detachment to things material to prepare himself for the journey to attain the state of Bholanath hood (Shiv -O-Aham or the ultimate realization of his oneness). It was the Kheyal of the Divine Mother that Ramani Mohan burned his own ego and shunned the search for impermanent material security of his own will and his own effort, to develop spiritual self esteemed and willfully surrenders himself to the Supreme the Divine Mother. Maa chose to play the role of a perfect housewife during this period although She remained in her own Bhava (a state of Divine enchantment) at times during and between her household chores.
Bholanath's association with Ma in this world lasted for almost thirty years.
This period of their lila can roughly be divided into three phases.
The first phase begins from the time of marriage in 1909 when Maa was only about twelve years ten months old and ends till Her Bhavas started manifesting at Ashtagram in 1914. Ma was then about 18. During this period Baba Bholanath looked upon Her as a little girl growing and became charmed by Her super qualities - simplicity, truthfulness, obedience, hard work and Her child-like innocence. He was indulgent and affectionate and at the same time protective towards Her.
In the second phase Maa's Sadhan -lila began and continued on an extensive scale, manifestation of Her various 'Bhavas' during Kirtan, and also the various Kriyas that took place in Her, amazed Bholanath. He was wonder-stuck, and even overawed at these various spiritual yogic Kriyas in Maa's body and a unique halo around Her. When Bholanath tried to hold back Maa's balance-less body during these bhavas, he too used to get transformed by Her touch. Some people believed that Maa underwent fits. When this news reached Maa's parents, they wrote a letter to enquire if she would require medical attention. Bholanath, true to his character, replied in the negative and said Maa was perfectly all right. There was no illness and that all the symptoms were spiritual.
Bholanath expressed his concern for Her by repeatedly pointing out that Maa's Diksha had not taken place. Once Bholanath and Ma's eldest cousin brother Nishikant Bhattacharya asked Maa 'Who are you? She replied in a low voice: Purna Brahma Narayan; Her form at that time was such that it held all spellbound. Bholanath ventured to enquire further, 'If you are 'Purna Brahma Narayan' then who am I? Maa's reply was: Mahadev' Again asked Maa if She had been initiated. She replied, "According to your views, whatever was must has happened in the night of Jhulan Purnima."
Thereafter, they pressed Maa to prove what She uttered about Herself. At that She made Bholanath sit next to Her and placed Her palm on his head. With the chanting of the pranav, he became absolutely still in padmaasan. He went into a state of deep trance. This state continued for several hours. Janaki Babu present there pleaded with Maa to bring Bholanath back to normalcy. Maa again placed the palm of Her hand on his head. Bholanath slowly returned to his normal condition. However , he was sorry to return to this plane. He said- - "The state in which he was inexplicable in words." Maa thereafter indicated that He at that time was in the state of 'Mahadev' Himself.
The third phase of his relationship with Maa Bholanath – the guardian turned into a devoted disciple. Bholanath had received his diksha from Maa. He was also aware of the divine nature of Maa as his Guru. In his inner most heart he was entirely devoted to Her, but on the other hand he being the head of the family, the question of obeying his wife who was his Guru, was an abnormal situation from the worldly point of view. There he found himself in a some what awkward position..
After Bholanath's diksha, Maa sent him to various places for tapasya, giving proper instructions and guidance. He too like a boy would laugh up his sleeve and carry out the commands of Maa with affection. This relationship of Guru Sisya is unique which does not happen in jiva-jagat(mortal world). A strict disciplinary regimen under the guidance and watchful eyes of the Divine Mother, helped Bholanath – the aspirant – gradually advance to the ultimate.
The tenure of Bholanath's job with the Settlement Department at Bajitpur ended. He came to Dhaka with Maa. He was planning to go away to look for another job when Maa told him to wait for three days more. Almost from no where, came an emissary on behalf of one of the biggest estates of Dhaka city, belonging to Nawabjadi Piari Banu, for a caretaker's job of its Shahbagh Garden, for Bholanath. Following this, Maa and Bholanath shifted to Shahbagh.
It was at Shahbagh that Bholanath showed a rare skill of striking a chord between his job and his spiritual pursuit with Maa almost totally engrossed in Kirtan, bhajan and puja. It is here that Maa actually started revealing Herself to the public. Bholanath was extremely kind -hearted and welcomed every one warmly. At that time he was the sole organizer of all activities and programmes. Initially Kirtan performed there was nearly a private affair. But, soon it started drawing crowds as word of the unique feeling of the participants in the event, fast spread among the people living far and near. Bholanath welcomed the crowds and never felt disturbed by them. He also acted as a medium through which the crowds could approach the unapproachable Super Being - Shree Shree Ma. The devotees regarded him as their head.
Shahbagh Kirtans soon noticed a highly devoted father-daughter duo among them. The daughter, Gurupriya, caught the eyes of Maa the very moment she first entered the dwelling of Maa and Baba Bholanath. Gradually, she became a universal Didi who started performing much of Bholanath's role as a constant attendant and companion to Maa, bringing some relief to Bholanath to spend more time in reaching nearer to his inner self. It was here that Bhaijee first came to Maa. Bholanath had taken a natural liking to Bhaijee whom he trusted immensely.
Bholanath performed all rituals of worship meticulously. Bholanath organized a large scale puja of Maa of a different kind with the help of Bhaijee, who had decided to celebrate Maa's birthday anniversary with Matri Puja with attended religious paraphernalia creating special mantras for Matri Puja, Dhyan, offering of flowers and Pranam. Looking back to this great event, few will disagree that it was a job so well done that it set a new tradition to all Maa's devotees to worship Her, following the same rituals and mantras till now and, maybe for all the time to come. The first Matri Puja by Bholanath reached to such a level of perfection that Maa went into a deep trance during the puja, and the Samadhi lasted for hours even after the puja, with streaks of light mildly glowing like a hallow around Her.