Pitambar

Balananda's original name was Pitambar. Pitambar's father died when he was six years old. After his father's death, his family became very poor. During this period Pitambar was very restless and he paid no attention to his studies. His mother begged him to study and to give up his restlessness and mischievous pranks, but he did not listen to her.

One day her anger reached the highest height and she said to her son, "Oh, I see you are going to become a sadhu. Since in every way you are hopeless and useless, you are destined to become a sadhu."

The word "sadhu" immediately transported the child's mind and heart to a higher world. He said, "Mother, I am going to become a sadhu." Then he entered into his room, collected all his clothes and set them on fire. He besmeared his whole body with ashes, put a sadhu's mark on his forehead and, putting on a loincloth, started clapping. "Mother, Mother," he said, "look at me. I have really become a sadhu." His mother smiled and cried.

Later, at the age of nine, Pitambar left his mother and his earthly home. His mother tried in so many ways to see him. Her heart was all sorrow and grief, but the son would not see his mother under any circumstances. He was adamant. He thought that she would create attachment for him and that he would not be able to pursue his spiritual life if she came to him with all her emotional demands. So he refused to see her until he reached the age of fifty. At that time the son and the mother met for the first time since he had left home.

Indeed, his spiritual discipline and inner cry made Balananda a spiritual giant. At the age of ninety Balananda returned to his Heavenly home.