Tribute to Hriday Ranjan Ghose

This is my eldest brother, Hriday Ranjan Ghose. On the seventh of April his soul left the physical body. On the 27th of March I saw him for the last time. I wish to offer to you his last words to me. When I was about to leave for Madras, he came near me at the main door of the Ashram and placed his hands on my shoulders. With utmost love, affection and concern he said to me in English: “You have conquered America, but I want you to conquer the whole world. You have the capacity.” These were his blessingful words, his message, his prediction.

Right up to his departure he was in perfect health. He left the body at 6:30 in the afternoon. Until 4:00 he and my brother Chitta were together. Then Chitta left for the dining hall to work. At 4:15 my sister Lily came in, only to discover Hriday sitting in front of his shrine shivering. When they called in a doctor, the doctor took him to the hospital. At 6:30 they pronounced death from a brain haemorrhage.

According to his horoscope, he was destined to live for at least 78 years. He himself was a good astrologer and palmist, as well as a philosopher, a poet and a great, very great seeker. Last year when I was in Pondicherry, both of us discussed our past and our future. He was the eldest member of our family, head of our family. It was he who brought the entire family to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. When he was a young man of 21 (I was then only a year and three months old), he left our parents and joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It was simply impossible for my mother to live without him; therefore, she went to the Ashram to see him. She brought me, the youngest in the family, with her. My mother wanted to take her eldest son away. She was determined to take him home. She went to the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram with an adamant desire to take her eldest son home. But what she said to the Mother of the Ashram in Bengali was: “Mother, you are so kind to my entire family. You have already taken full responsibility of my eldest son. Now I wish to offer you all the other members of my family. Please promise to me that you will take full responsibility of all my children, as you have taken my eldest son under your protection and guidance.”

The Mother of the Ashram immediately said, “Yes, they are all mine.” The Mother kept her promise. Over the next eleven years, all of us went to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and became permanent members.

This particular brother received from Sri Aurobindo hundreds and hundreds of letters. This brother also wrote considerably in Bengali and English. My brother Hriday wrote hundreds of poems. Poetry is in our family. Right from Hriday, all the members of my family have written poems. Philosophy is also in our family, and that philosophy comes from this brother of mine, who was an authority on the Vedas. He studied all the scriptures thoroughly and was a true authority on the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad-Gita. He was fully conversant with all forms of Hindu mysticism, Hindu literature and the Hindu way of life.

He had many, many high experiences. Sri Aurobindo encouraged him, inspired him and illumined his aspiring heart to an unusual degree.

Hriday’s last blessingful message I interpret in my own way. He said to me, “You have conquered America…” I wish to say that I have loved America. Then he said, “But I want you to conquer the whole world…” My own interpretation is that my love must spread throughout the length and breadth of the world. “You have the capacity.” My capacity is nothing other than the Supreme’s unconditional infinite Bounty. My capacity is the Supreme’s unconditional Compassion-Light.

My brother used to chant mantras from the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Gita every day, almost every hour, aloud or in silence. It is my wish that all those who know the Sanskrit verses that I have taught you will join me. Hriday’s soul is here with us now. I wish all of you to offer soulful love to him on the strength of your oneness with me.

[Sri Chinmoy led his disciples in singing four verses from the Upanishads and the Bhagavad-Gita. He then sang a song which he had composed for a favourite poem written by Hriday in Bengali, Tumi Je Hao Se Hao. Following this, Sri Chinmoy read out a few passages on birth and death from his Commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita, and ended by distributing prasad (blessed food) with the blessing of his brother’s soul, to all the disciples.]