On 21st December 2020, I got the message, which I knew was coming. Swami Jitatmananda passes away. One of the most revered monks of our times, yet highly controversial, I had the good fortune of having contact with him for last 18-20 years. During this period, he moved from being Secretary of Swami Vivekananda’s birthplace (where I first met him), to at least 4 more locations, and finally moved into Swami Vivekananda’s home at Alambazar Math, from where Vivekananda had set up Ramakrishna Mission, Belur. He was in charge of Alam Bazar Math, for a while, then, he was moved into a single room, from the Secretary’s position, with an office, where all disciples used to come. He used to sit in the verandah on a couch at times. But whenever, he used to talk to his disciples, Alambazar Math would be full to the brim. He used to narrate lovely stories, relate them in a lucid way and link life’s values to his stories.
I was never so keen on such things. I thought (wrongly though) that I didn’t have time for it, as I was immersed in running my business. A few years with Jitatmananda, made me realise that the path I have chosen was only to give direction to the youth, work will get done on its own. He used to tell me, ‘All you need to do in Globsyn, is to stand in that long corridor of yours, wear a white dress, with your captivating smile and walk through. That’s all, rest will happen on its own!’ Almost twice a week, I used to get up early morning and drive to Alambazar Math, just to seek his wisdom. He was so positive. There are many stories I have in my acquaintance with him, but I remember one vividly. He gave me diksha. He said, whether I am qualified to give you diksha or not, your time to get diksha has come. I can see it in your eyes. So, get ready to receive Diksha. So, on the eventful day in his Math, he himself made all the preparations for me. Then, as he was lighting the matchstick for the agarbatti, his silk dress caught fire. Since it was silk, the fire really caught on to him rapidly. He was not bothered at all. Just shrugged the fire, with his hands, and said: ‘Let me go and change my dress and come,’ and got up easily and slowly walked towards his bedroom.
I WAS REALLY WORRIED, BUT THERE WAS NO ANXIETY, WORRY OR FEAR IN HIS DEMEANOUR. HE WAS SO COOL. I have witnessed this myself. This was divinity displayed. He would come to my B-School Campus, with his music organ and sing with my students. Whenever, he used to meet me, he used to say, you are meant to do much bigger things in life, stay positive always and keep moving. He used to praise me hugely in public, which was very embarrassing. But that was how he was. Whenever he used to meet his disciples, he used to first make them eat and then listen to them. He told me, a poor man with an empty stomach can’t absorb anything. First give him food to eat, then tell him, how he should work.
In today’s world, he was a very rare phenomenon for me. Here, wishing him goodbye and thank him for all what he did for me. HE WAS SOMEONE I LOOKED UPTO. I WILL MISS YOU VERY VERY MUCH. STAY IN PEACE. THERE WILL BE NO ONE TO DISTURB YOU NOW.
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