Mother, Your 50th Independence-Anniversary! I am come. Ever in Your Eternity's Cries and Your Infinity's Smiles, Subhas

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A prayerful offering on the occasion of the Birth Centenary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose 23 January 1897 — 23 January 1997



I prayerfully, soulfully,
lovingly and devotedly
dedicate this book
to the ever-climbing Flame,
of the ever-illumining Sun,

— Sri Chinmoy

Jan. 23rd, 1997


My soulful homage

Netaji, I bow to your indomitable soul.
Netaji, I bow to your indefatigable life.
Netaji, I bow to your sleepless and breathless

Netaji, I am now here in Tokyo, Japan.
I am here at your blessingful Renko-ji Temple.
It is here that I am hearing your oneness-heart-bell
Constantly ringing.

Netaji, I am here at your peaceful shrine.
It is here that India's independence-dreamers,
India's independence-lovers,
And India's independence-fighters
Proudly, voraciously and regularly dine.

Netaji, it is here at your fruitful Long Home
That India's division-foolishness,
And division-madness
Unmistakably fail to roam.

Netaji, beauty of the Bengali heart you were.
Netaji, responsibility of the Indian life you were.
Netaji, capacity of the sub-continent-unity you were.

Japan, O beauty's land,
Lovingly, affectionately, devotedly and self-givingly
You treasure our beloved Netaji.

My Bengali aspiration-heart,
My Indian dedication-life
And my world-peace-manifestation-dream
Love you.

Renko-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan

26 December 1996

Japan: A soulful flower-garden

Japan, Japan, Japan!
A soulful flower-garden.
Clearly you see,
Quickly you do.
Your property true.
Japan, Japan, Japan!
High Heaven's hallowed Plan.


MIA 2. Sri Chinmoy's first song dedicated to Japan, composed in 1969.

Message from the head priest of Renko-Ji Temple

"We are preserving Netaji's sacred ash here at this temple in Japan. As a Buddhist, I feel that the soul knows no country. Every day I pray at his shrine."

Koshi Mochisuki Head Priest Renko-ji Temple Suginami-ku, Tokyo 13 January 1997

Notes to photographs

On 26 December 1996 Sri Chinmoy made a special pilgrimage from Kyoto to Tokyo to pay homage to Netaji’s ashes. They are preserved at the most peaceful and spiritual Renko-ji Temple.

Renko-ji means “lotus-light” and the lotus is the national flower of India. This was Sri Chinmoy’s thirteenth visit to Japan. His first visit was in 1969.

In the courtyard of the temple there is a most striking bust of Netaji. Sri Chinmoy said afterwards that it is “a living statue.”

He meditated before the statue and spontaneously offered his obeisance to Netaji in the form of an invocation: “Netaji, I bow to you.”

When asked why he chose to wear read on that day, Sri Chinmoy replied, “Red is power. Red is blood. Before embarking on my journey, I remembered Netaji’s most powerful motto: ‘Give me blood! I shall give you freedom.’ This colour stands for the thousands of freedom-fighters who sacrificed their lives for India’s independence.”

A special plaque at the temple commemorates the visits of three leaders of independent India and the message they gave:

"I consider it my happiness to be able to visit this temple to offer my prayer to the sacred ashes of Netaji.
  - President Rajendra Prasad, 4 October 1958"

"May the Buddha’s message bring peace to mankind.
  - Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, 13 October 1957"

"May the light of Netaji guide us towards the heart of truth and peace for eternity.
  - Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, 26 June 1969"

Inside the temple a special shrine to Netaji has been created on which stands the golden urn containing his ashes as well as some rare photographs and mementoes.

An assistant to the temple requested Sri Chinmoy to sign the visitor’s book. He wrote:

To Netaji’s Soul — Netaji’s Heart — Netaji’s Life — I bow and bow and bow.

Chinmoy Kumar Ghose, Dec. 26th 1996.

Sri Chinmoy offers a moment of silent meditation before beginning his Peace Concert at the Kyoto Conference Centre on 19 December 1996. This concert was part of a series of fifty Peace Concerts which Sri Chinmoy has dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of India’s independence. He inaugurated the series on 23 November 1996 with a concert at the headquarters of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (USA) in New York. Sri Chinmoy’s second concert, on 25 November 1996, was held at the United Nations in New York. His goal is to offer his 50th and final concert of the series on 15 August 1997, the date that India’s independence was finally won fifty years ago.

The supreme significance of this year for India is further enhanced by the face that it is the Birth Centenary of one of her most beloved sons Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Sri Chinmoy became inspired to write this book as his humble offering for these two celebrations which have been linked from Above for all Eternity.

Chapter one — Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: "Give me blood! I shall give you freedom."

A dreamer

They call me a dreamer. I confess I am a dreamer. I have always been a dreamer — even when I was a child. The progress of the world has depended on dreamers and their dreams — not dreams of exploitation and aggrandisement and perpetuating injustice, but dreams of progress, happiness for the widest masses, liberty and independence for all nations.

I have been a dreamer of dreams. But the dream of all my dreams, the dearest dream of my life, has been the dream of freedom for India.

They think it is a discredit to be a dreamer. I take pride in being one. They do not like my dreams. But that is nothing new.

If I did not dream dreams of India's freedom, I would have accepted the chains of slavery as something eternal.

The real crux of the question is, can my dreams become realities? I submit they have increasingly become realities. The army is one such dream come true.

No, I do not mind being a dreamer.

Subhas Chandra Bose

27 September 1944

Netaji Subhas, Netaji!

Netaji Subhas, Netaji!
You are the Pilot Supreme
Of the Indian Boat.
You are Bengal's
Maratha Shibaji.
You are at once India's bird
And the world's vision-eye.
You breathed.
In you, the revelation of Infinity.
You are the beloved son
Of Heaven and earth.
O Immortality's Subhas!

Netaji Subhas, Netaji!

Netaji Subhas, Netaji!
Bharat tarir sumajhi
Netaji Subhas, Netaji!
Banga Maratha Shibaji
Bharater pakhi duniyar ankhi
Agyan bandhan khandan
Amar Subhas asim prakash
Dhara adharar nandan

Netaji's was the life-boat
That plied between
Earth's sacrifice-shore
And Heaven's Victory-Shore.


On 4 July 1943 in Singapore, Netaji became the President of the Indian Independence League. His powerful oratory and life-illumining vision captivated the entire audience:
"Comrades! You have voluntarily accepted a mission that is the noblest that the human mind can conceive of. For the fulfilment of such a mission no sacrifice is too great, not even the sacrifice of one's life. You are today the custodians of India's national honour and the embodiment of India's hopes and aspirations."

Three and a half months later, on 21 October 1943, Netaji first announced the formation of the Provisional Government of Free India:
"In the name of God, in the name of by-gone generations who have welded the Indian people into one nation and in the name of the dead heroes who have bequeathed to us a tradition of heroism and self-sacrifice, we call upon the Indian people to rally around our banner and to strike for India's freedom."

Photo Captions

Netaji’s plan was to enter India with his army and march to Delhi, where he would forcibly overthrow the British. Here he is shown at the Indo-Burmese front in 1944, just prior to the invasion. Although ultimately his regiments were repelled by the British, they fought many brave and honourable battles.

Prime Minister Tojo of Japan pledged the support of the Japanese army in helping Netaji to liberate India from the British. Netaji then went to Singapore and Burma and formed many strong and loyal divisions of the Indian National Army (INA). These divisions were composed of Indians belonging to all religions. Netaji was especially proud of his all-women’s division, which he named the Rani of Jhansi Regiment. Here he is shown inspecting the regiment. In October 1943, from Singapore, Netaji proclaimed the Provisional Government of Azad Hind (Free India).


Since he was the pathmaker,
It was quite obvious that he,
And nobody else,
Had to break the stones
To pave the path.
His I.N.A.
is a supreme example.
As soon as the I.N.A.
was formed,
Netaji's heart became the dance
Of tomorrow's deathless stars.


On 5 July 1943 in Singapore, Netaji announced to the world the existence of the Indian National Army. He voiced forth:
"I have said that today is the proudest day of my life. For an enslaved people, there can be no greater pride, no higher honour, than to be the first soldier in the army of liberation. I assure you that I shall be with you in darkness and in sunshine, in sorrow and in joy, in suffering and in victory....
  My soldiers! Let your battle-cry be 'To Delhi! To Delhi!' How many of us will survive this war of freedom I do not know. But I do know this: that we shall ultimately win and our task will not end until our surviving heroes hold the victory parade on another graveyard of the British Empire."

Dilli Chalo

Onward, let us march towards Delhi,
Singing /Jai Hind!/
No matter who we are,
Whether we are from the Punjab
Or the Sindh,
We are all Mother India's sons
And Mother India's daughters.
We have received
Mother India's affection infinite.
Therefore, we are completely satisfied.
Netaji is beckoning us,
Netaji is beckoning us!
Let us blow our Mother India's

Dilli Chalo

Dilli chalo Dilli chalo gahiye Joy Hind
Bharat basi halei halo panjabi ki sindh
Bharat matar chhele mora Bharat matar meye
Pushta mora tushta mora mayer sneha peye
Dak eseche dak eseche Netajir aj dak
Bajai chalo bajai chalo mayer bijoy shankh


There are many who claimed To have unblemished Mother India-service-records. In that respect, Netaji's claim Is next to none. Indeed, his is the claim par excellence.


Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
Was a freedom-fighter
Who embraced Mother India's independence
In its totality —
And nothing less!


Powerfully and courageously Netaji thundered:
"Will not the enslaved people of India cast off their lethargy, sink their petty differences and stand up as one man to demand liberty for this great and ancient land?"


The soldiers of his Indian National Army
Had such love for him and faith in him
That they all bathed in the sunshine
Of his absolute confidence.


Netaji's love of his country
Came from the inmost recesses
Of his heart.


On 21 October 1943, in Singapore, Netaji took a most sacred oath as the Supreme Commander of the I.N.A. His oath is indeed the supreme height of love's self-sacrifice-breath and self-surrender-life:
"In the name of God, I take this sacred oath that to liberate India and the thirty-eight crores of my countrymen, I, Subhas Chandra Bose, will continue the sacred war of freedom till the last breath of my life...."


A soldier who was present on the unforgettable occasion when Netaji swore this oath carries us into the emotion-flooded atmosphere of the moment:
"When the time came for Netaji to take his oath, a great hush descended upon the hall. It was a solemn moment. Netaji started with a firm voice. Then it began to quiver with emotion.... Suddenly he was sobbing; tears rolled down his cheeks. There was dead silence. No one could help him. All were helpless.
  The tension was terrific. Someone cried out, ‘Netaji ki jai’" — ‘Victory to Netaji!’ The cry was taken up, to echo and re-echo in the lofty hall.


Netaji's heart and life
Invited anybody and everybody
To assist him in his tireless struggle
For India's freedom.
At the same time, he cautioned
His Indian National Army soldiers
That they must realise that patriotism
Is not a frivolous matter.
It is a life-after-life matter.


He implanted in his I.N.A. soldiers the realisation that they were the pioneers of tomorrow's dawn:
"Throughout my public career, I have always felt that though India is otherwise ripe for independence in every way, she has lacked one thing, namely an army of liberation. George Washington could fight and win freedom because he had his army....It is your privilege and honour to be the first to come forward and organise India's National Army. By doing so, you have removed our last obstacle in our path to freedom. Be happy and proud that you are the pioneers, the vanguard, in such a noble cause."


Unlike those of some patriots,
Netaji's speeches were not superfluous.
His speeches were all
Divinely intoxicating,
Supremely fiery
And absolutely rapturous.


Netaji's visionary speeches lit a fire never to be forgotten in the hearts of his listeners:
"Let us break with the past, destroy all the shackles which have bound us for ages, and like true pilgrims, let us march shoulder to shoulder towards the destined goal of freedom. Freedom means life, and death in the pursuit of freedom means glory imperishable....
  It is only freedom-intoxicated men and women who will be able to free humanity."


Netaji's was the heart-quality
Of infinite adaptabilities
With regard to
The caste, creed and race
Of his Indian brothers and sisters.


Wherever he went,
He carried the hearts
Of his friends and admirers
In a thaumaturgic way.


Netaji's Indian National Army
Astounded all patriots
Of the deepest dye —
Including Mahatma Gandhi!


Gandhi-ji's glowing sincerity spoke when he admired the I.N.A.'s achievements:
"The I.N.A. have a lot to their credit, of which they might well be proud. Greatest among these was to gather together, under one banner, men from all religions and races of India, and to infuse into them the spirit of solidarity and oneness to the exclusion of all communal or parochial sentiment. It is an example which we should all emulate."


The path of ahimsa (non-violence) was not for Netaji. When he was only 17 years old, he came to the realisation that military strength was indispensable. He wrote:
"If India was to be a modern, civilised nation, she would have to pay the price and she would not by any means shirk the physical, the military, problem....
  The war had shown that a nation that did not possess military strength could not hope to preserve its independence."


The limitless service-capacities
Of his eagerness-heart and willingness-life
Netaji ceaselessly offered
To the freedom-cause of India.


Netaji's oneness with the hardships his soldiers endured, in addition to his countless other responsibilities, served to permanently emblazon the cause of Mother India's freedom upon their lives. One of his soldiers later recounted:
"The I.N.A. soldiers travelled and marched mainly on foot. They traversed the whole distance of 1100 miles separating Singapore from the Imphal front on foot only. Subhas Babu himself walked for miles on end. Such was the Supreme Commander of the I.N.A."


Netaji's was the dynamism-vital
That always added
To his eagerness-heart.


Netaji never gave up and he never lost hope. When there was no possibility for him to fruitfully serve his beloved country from inside India, he went to Germany and then to Japan — at great personal risk. Immediately after the Japanese surrender in 1945, Netaji decided that he would go to Russia to carry on his fight from there. No land was too far for him to reach, no danger too great for him to brook. Even after the I.N.A.'s defeat in 1944 at Imphal, near the Burmese border in India, Netaji declared:
"Since we are fighting for justice and truth and for the birthright of liberty, and since we are prepared to pay the full price of that liberty, freedom is bound to come if only we fight on."


Netaji's sleepless and breathless readiness
To serve his Motherland
Gave his mind an extraordinary glow.


Countless Indians thrilled to his words and discovered in him a beacon to dispel the clouds of darkness and guide them to freedom's sunlit horizon:
"This is the technique of the soul. The individual must die, so that the nation may live. Today I must die, so that India may live and win freedom and glory."


Netaji's heart worked out
At God's dynamism-track
Every day.
Indeed, he was a heart-trainer
Who trained with determination-weights
Every day.


Netaji's historic address to his army upon entering India in 1944 runs:
"There, there in the distance" — beyond that river, beyond those jungles, beyond those hills, lies the promised land, the soil from which we sprang, the land to which we shall now return. We shall carve our way through the enemy's ranks or, if God wills, we shall die a martyr's death and in our last sleep we shall kiss the road that will bring our army to Delhi. The road to Delhi is the road to freedom. Chalo Delhi!


The subject and object
Sleeplessly spoke the same language:
Sacrifice all that you have and are
For our Motherland.


Netaji's sleepless and breathless self-giving for his country inspired countless stories of unparalleled sacrifice on the part of his brothers and sisters:
"Once, during a mammoth meeting in Rangoon, a garland which Netaji had been wearing during the earlier part of the meeting was auctioned. The first bid which was given in the name of Indian independence was for one lac of rupees. A youth cried out: ‘Two lacs.’ Then the bidding increased: three, four, five, six, seven lacs. The youth could put up with it no longer. He ran towards the pulpit and said: ‘Netaji, I give everything that belongs to me. I lay all my property at your feet.’ Netaji hugged him to his bosom and said: ‘Yes, this garland is yours. This garland will adorn the neck of our Bharat Mata when she becomes free.’"


Netaji's constant willingness-service
To his country
Never took backward steps.


Never did Netaji allow
His heart's intensity-flames
To waver —
Even for a fleeting second.


Even as the British military was assaulting Netaji's I.N.A. in Rangoon and elsewhere with ferocious ground and air attacks, Netaji's one-pointed intensity only increased. Sisir Bose vividly describes his uncle at the time of his 48th and final birthday on earth:
"Netaji himself continued to work twenty hours a day inspecting troops and facilities, while his adjutants had to be replaced three times on account of exhaustion...."


Netaji's eagerness
To serve his country
Never took a break.


Even when he knew there was little chance of success, Netaji's eagerness-heart pined to help his suffering countrymen. A compatriot in exile records:
"Every day Netaji used to listen eagerly to the news from India; and when he knew of the terrible famine in Bengal which was taking a heavy toll of human lives, Netaji was greatly perturbed. He was always thinking how he could come to the aid of his starving countrymen, especially the people of Bengal for whom his heart bled."

In Germany, Subhas gathered around him Indian expatriates. They addressed him as Netaji (great leader) and agreed to greet each other with the salute Jai Hind! (Victory to India). They also chose as their national anthem Rabindranath Tagore’s song Jana Gana Mana. These major resolutions were taken at the first meeting of the Free India Centre in Berlin on 2 November 1941.

[In this picture Netaji is shown addressing an Indian Independence Day meeting in Berlin on 26 January 1943.]


"What Bengal thinks today,
Tomorrow the entire nation thinks."
This statement was not even
An inch far from the truth.
Indeed, to become acquainted with Subhas
Is to recognise
The authenticity of this statement
In no time.
There was a time when Netaji's Bengal,
Without the least possible hesitation,
Became the builder of tomorrow's India.


And so would it have continued had Netaji's sublime vision of Bengal's future come to pass. He once wrote:
"One of the dreams that have inspired me and given a purpose to my life is that of a great and undivided Bengal devoted to the service of India and of humanity" — a Bengal that is above all sects and groups and is the home alike of the Moslem, the Hindu, the Christian and the Buddhist. It is this Bengal — the Bengal of my dreams — the Bengal of the future still in embryo — that I worship and strive to serve in my daily life.

Needless to say, the partition of Bengal put an end to the Bengal of Netaji's dreams!


In Netaji's life,
Enthusiasm was indeed
His first choice,
And he did make good use of it.


Netaji's spirited rallying of the youth of India was surcharged with a super-abundance of enthusiasm:
"Arise, young men of Calcutta, with enthusiasm in your blood. The whole world has been made by the energy of man, by the power of enthusiasm, by the power of faith."


Wherever Netaji went,
Three inescapable friends of his
Accompanied him:
His dreaming heart,
His envisioning mind
And his self-giving life.


To me, Netaji's was the enthusiasm
That was born of God-conviction.
His God-conviction came from his inner life
Of God-hunger-cry.


In this respect, I gladly join the company of his dearest friend Dilip Kumar Roy, who wrote:
"The more closely I came to know him, the more convinced I became that he was an authentic mystic at heart, that he could worship with every fibre of his passionate being the divine aura and essence of Mother India."


Netaji was not
A restless dreamer,
But a dauntless performer.


A thunderbolt-determination
Netaji lived
At each hush-gap.


The road to independence was blocked by mountainous obstacles. But Netaji's determination would not allow him to be daunted. He wrote:
"A true revolutionary is one who never acknowledges defeat, who never feels depressed or disheartened."


Netaji braved all
To build a Heaven
Even in hell's despair.


Netaji told his countrymen,

‘Be not afraid of speed!
Our love of our Motherland
And our sacrifice for Her
Must fly faster than any bird can fly.’ 2

MIA 53,1. Single quotation marks have been used throughout the book to indicate sections which are not direct quotations but the author's own poetic interpretations.


When others uttered the motto "Come together,"
There was no conviction.
But when Netaji voiced forth,
"Come, come together,"
Specially when he was forming the I.N.A.,
Many Indians living in foreign countries
Gave him their lives, their blood and their all
Lovingly, self-givingly and unconditionally.


Netaji's beloved I.N.A.
Sleeplessly heard from him
Their own readiness, willingness, eagerness
And oneness-song.


Netaji often showed his oneness-heart to his beloved soldiers. He shared the same austere life and he often used to eat with them. At all times, he insisted on receiving exactly the same treatment as everybody else:

Since Netaji was the Commander-in-Chief, he used to be given four pieces of bread at meal time. One day he happened to notice that the regular soldiers were served only two pieces. He asked them, 'Why are you giving me four pieces when your portion is only two?'

They said, 'You are our leader, so you deserve more.'

'I deserve more?' said Netaji. 'Have I not established my oneness with you all? What kind of justice is it that you get two and I get four? Take them away!'

They removed the extra pieces from Netaji's plate and he happily declared, 'Now I am ready to eat. I cannot have more than you who are my dearest brothers. There should be equal treatment.'


A generous readiness Netaji needed
From each and every I.N.A.
And they had it;
Him they gave their all, very all.


Repeatedly he told his friends
To harbour positive thoughts.
Only in this way
Could they build an express highway
To the independence of India.


And he himself led the way by envisioning the vast impact for good that India's independence would have on humanity at large:
"Ours is a struggle not only against British imperialism but against world imperialism as well, of which the former is the keystone. We are, therefore, fighting not for the cause of India alone but of humanity as well. India freed means humanity saved."


India's independence-dream
Occupied Netaji's each and every
Wisp of thought.


According to him,
There is no specific way to freedom.
Freedom itself is the only way.


The seeker in Netaji came to realise
That, as we cannot estimate God's age,
Even so, we cannot overestimate God's Grace.


Netaji received tremendous joy
From studying the gospel
Of eternal optimism.


Although success-phantom at times eluded him
In his dreams for Mother India's liberation,
Netaji's heart became the heart-home
Of India's revolutionaries.


I refuse to accept the stone-blind opinion
Of those who declare that Netaji's I.N.A.
Was an absolute failure in every way.
True, he lost on the battlefield,
But in terms of bringing about Indian unity,
He was the only leader to unite
Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs
And other religious faiths.
He wanted all his brothers and sisters
To join together and give their very lives
To bring about India's freedom.
They did it — proudly and happily.
Is this not the greatest victory?


Never did Netaji think,
Even for a fleeting second,
That his India-liberation-desire-fulfilment
Was unattainable.
Failed to dog him.


From his childhood days to his last living moments, every fibre of Netaji's being was imbued with the unshakable mission to free his Motherland. Colonel Habib-ur-Rahman was the only colleague who was with Netaji on the plane that crashed during takeoff from Taipei on 18 August 1945. The Colonel said that Netaji spoke to him from his hospital bed just minutes before he passed behind the curtain of Eternity:
"Habib, I feel I shall die soon. I have fought for India's freedom till the last. Tell my countrymen India will be free before long. Long live free India!"


Up until now,
Netaji has been India's heart-lover.
He is now blossoming into
India's fate-maker.

Chapter two — Sarat, Sisir and Subhas: a self-giving heart and a daring life with their cynosure

Sarat Chandra Bose

Sarat Chandra, I offer you My soulful obeisance, My flower-heart-obeisance. At each hush-gap your heart pined For your brother's progress-light. You were your affection-ocean. You were your vastness-heart unbounded. You were your hope-fountain. You were your Motherland-lover, Dauntless and deathless. Sarat Chandra, O self-giver, You came into the world From the realm transcendental. Your aspiration-heart desired The victory-manifestation Of the breathless fragrance: Subhas — Dearer than your life itself. Triumphant you were!

Pranati Janai Sarat Chandra

Pranati janai Sarat Chandra prashun hiyar pranati
Prati pale pale tumi cheyechile taba anujer pragati
Tumi je tomar sneha-parabar tumi je tomar hriday udar
Tumi je tomar asha-nirjhar swadesh premik abhoy, amar
Taba pranadhik Subhas subas param bijoy lagi
Abhipsa taba hayeche purna, turiya dhamer tyagi


Subhas Chandra's older brother, Sarat Chandra,
Saw his younger brother
In all stages of birth and blossom.
Subhas became his brother's ocean-hope
And mountain-promise.
Sarat Chandra's compassion-eye and affection-heart
Towards his younger brother
Saw farther than the farthest,
Deeper than the deepest
And higher than the highest.


How sweet it was to see Subhas take shelter
Under his brother Sarat Chandra's
Affection, concern, joy and pride-canopy!


Subhas derived tremendous strength and succour from Sarat's correspondence and physical presence. In a letter to his brother written in 1921, Subhas proclaimed:
"The magnanimous spirit revealed in your letters has touched me profoundly. I know that that spirit is worthy of you and all that I shall say is that I am proud of you."


In season and out of season
Subhas breathed consolation-breath
From Sarat Chandra's heart.


And his grateful heart was ever ready to acknowledge it. Sarat Chandra's son, Sisir Kumar Bose, recounts that when Subhas was in Vienna in 1935 for major surgery, the surgeon requested him to offer a message prior to the operation.

Said Subhas:

"Love to my countrymen, debts to my brother Sarat."


In order to glorify his brother,
Sarat Chandra helped Subhas at times
To perfect his views of the world,
Whereas other so-called patriots
Were always apt to respond with a categorical "No,"
Even to Subhas Chandra's highest ideas and noblest ideals.


When the smile of Immortality
Flowered on Subhas,
His brother Sarat Chandra
Was still in the land of the living.


Perhaps Subhas had some premonition of his early death. On 8 February 1943, just before going on board a German submarine with his aide-de-camp to be taken to a rendezvous with a Japanese submarine off the coast of Madagascar, Subhas was able to send his brother the following note:
"My dear brother,
  Today I am once more embarking on the path of danger. But this time towards home. I may not see the end of the road. If I meet with any such danger, I will not be able to send you any further news in this life. That is why today I am leaving my news here" — it will reach you in due time. I have married here and I have a daughter. In my absence please show my wife and daughter the love that you have given me throughout your life. May my wife and daughter complete and successfully fulfil my unfinished tasks — that is my ultimate prayer.
  Please accept my pranam and convey the same to Mother....
  Your devoted brother,

Blessed Sisir

Blessed Sisir, blessed Sisir, blessed, blessed Sisir,
Your life is the compassion-flood
Of the sun-illumined Aryan sages
Of the hoary past.
Blessed Sisir, blessed Sisir, blessed Sisir Kumar,
Netaji's dream, Netaji's manifestation —
This is your sole identity.
Netaji's vision-eye, Netaji's soul-stirring messages
On the world-sacrifice-altar
You have placed.
His blessing-light, his world-fame-acclaim,
His pinnacle-glories, sleeplessly
You have received and achieved.

Dhanya Sisir

Dhanya Sisir dhanya Sisir dhanya dhanya Sisir
Karuna-plaban tomar jiban Mihir Arya rishir
Dhanya Sisir dhanya Sisir dhanya Sisir Kumar
Netaji swapan Netaji sthapan ei parichoy tomar
Netaji nayan Netaji bhashan vishwa manche rekhecho
Subhas ashish garima mahima animeshe tumi peyecho

Message from Dr. Sisir Kumar Bose

"Where are those high-souled seers today? Do we hear their prayers any more? There is no more of their yoga, their prayers, their worship, etc…. We have lost our religion, and everything else…even our national life.

"Will not any son of Mother India in distress, in total disregard of his selfish interests, dedicate his whole life to the cause of the Mother? …We must now shake off our stupor and lethargy and plunge into action…." Thus wrote Subhas Chandra Bose to his mother when he was a boy of fourteen.

Even before he reached adolescence, Subhas Chandra accepted the land of his birth as the Holy Land despite its present degradation, worshipped India as the Mother Divine from day to day, completely prepared to sacrifice his all, even life itself, for her deliverance. He found his '_Swadharma" in '_Karma" and plunged into a life of ceaseless activity and struggle.

But, the indefatigable warrior did pause from time to time for prayer and meditation without ever making any demonstration of them. He returned from his meditation with renewed mental strength and determination and resumed his struggle.

The India that we have today is not the India that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose worked, fought battles across the world and sacrificed his life for. For their own sake and for the emancipation of the land of their birth, Indians must re-discover Subhas Chandra Bose. Netaji's Book of Life must become their gospel. As he has said in his Political Testament: "…no suffering, no sacrifice is ever futile. It is through suffering and sacrifice alone that a cause can flourish and prosper and in every age and clime the eternal law prevails — 'the blood of the martyr is the seed of the church.' …One individual may die for an idea but that idea will, after his death, reincarnate itself in a thousand lives…."

Sisir Kumar Bose

Calcutta, India

18 December 1996


In a desperate hurry,
Subhas left Mother India.
He made his historical escape successfully.
He felt Mother India definitely needed
Limitless support from Above
For her liberation.
He believed that each patriot
Is right in his own way,
Provided he is extremely devoted
And extremely sincere
To the Cause Supreme.


When he escaped his home-internment,
He was able to see every atom
Of his Mother Bengal's being
Dancing with ecstasy's height and depth.


When Subhas escaped his Bengal home for Kabul,
What did he see?
He saw Mother India's proudest smile
Inside his heart-tears
Along with the three material possessions he carried:
A picture of Mother Kali,
A string of tulsi beads
And a copy of the Bhagavad Gita.
This is indeed Subhas, the seeker immortal,
In every sense of the term.


Poor Sisir did not get a chance
To offer his beloved uncle
His soulful pranam.
But Subhas Chandra's soul did in silence bless
His nephew, his confidant,
The dream-budding medical science student.
Sisir was destined to play
An unparalleled role
In his uncle's


After driving Subhas from Calcutta to Gomoh, with a rest stop at the house of his brother Asoke in Dhanbad, Sisir halted at the railway station in good time for Subhas to board the Delhi-Kalka Mail. Subhas, Asoke and Sisir alighted from the car. Sisir then relates:

"‘I am off, you go back,’ was all that he said at the end. I stood motionless and forgot to do my pranam….So also was my brother. We watched him mount the overbridge slowly after the porter and walk across it with his usual swaying majestic gait till he disappeared into the darkness….By that time the rumbling of the approaching mail train was audible."


What Sisir did by becoming
The choicest instrument
Of his uncle's grand escape
Can only be measured
By the gratitude-tears of Netaji's


How brave he was at the age of only 20 to participate in one of the most daring escapes of history! It is clear that Sisir was thoroughly prepared for his momentous role. In Sisir Kumar's most dramatic narrative of the extraordinary events of that night, The Great Escape, he relates a conversation that he had with his uncle as they were driving away from Calcutta:
"He opened serious conversation by referring to de Valera's escape and asked me if I knew about it. Fortunately I had looked up some of the famous escapes of history during the past month."


MIA 87,2. Subhas had met with President Eamon de Valera of Ireland in Dublin in early 1936.

MIA 87,2. Subhas had met with President Eamon de Valera of Ireland in Dublin in early 1936.


Subhas Chandra's scheming mind shook hands
With his nephew's daring life,
And his dreaming heart unreservedly blessed
His nephew's forward, upward and inward


As Sisir Kumar's life accompanied his uncle
To the outer distance of Eternity,
Even so, his heart accompanied his uncle
To the inner distance of Infinity.


Limitless were the sufferings
Of Subhas Chandra's near and dear ones
As they imagined his life-boat
Channeling through excruciating anxieties
For months after his sudden departure
From India.

Photo captions

Subhas Chandra’s brother, Sarat Chandra, met with Eamon de Valera in Calcutta in 1947. They also met in Dublin the following year.

Sri Chinmoy was supremely fortunate to meet with President de Valera in Dublin in 1973. Following a deeply personal conversation during which the truth-seeker and God-lover President asked Sri Chinmoy many profound spiritual questions, Presiden de Valera said to Sri Chinmoy, “Thank you for blessing me in the evening of my life.”


While under house arrest by the British, Subhas made plans for his escape from India. His decision was taken after months of prayer and meditation. Initially Subhas confided only in his beloved nephew, Sisir. Together they spent hours formulating the details. When all was settled, Subhas took his brother Sarat and Sarat's wife, Bivabati, into his confidence.

Subhas escaped at one-thirty in the morning on 17 January 1941, wearing Muslim dress. Fully sixty-two members of the British C.I.D. (Criminal Intelligence Department) were staked outside and near Subhas Chandra's home. His nephew drove him to the train station and Subhas made his way north towards Kabul, Afghanistan. He carried with him only a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a picture of Mother Kali and his tulsi japa beads. When the C.I.D. learned of his disappearance after 10 days, they searched for him throughout the length and breadth of India. Following two months and eleven days of danger and suspense, Subhas arrived safely in Berlin in the guise of an Italian nobleman, Signor Orlando Mazzotta (as shown in the above photo). His journey from Calcutta, in the middle of the war, ranks among the most sensational escapes of history.


What did Sisir actually enjoy most?
He enjoyed the fragrance
Of his uncle's
Mother India-independence-fulfilment-opportunity.


His uncle's readiness
For instant Mother India-service
Found in Sisir
A self-giving hero-champion.


Subhas Chandra's brother, Sarat, and his nephew, Sisir,
Never thought, not even for a fleeting second,
That Subhas Chandra's vision-horizon was unattainable.
Happily, proudly, self-givingly and ceaselessly
They sang their oneness-heart-song.

Photo captions

This extremely rare Bose family photograph, taken in 1936 in Kurseong, was most kindly offered to the author by Dr Sisir Kumar Bose. Left to right: Amiya Nath Bose (elder brother of Sisir), Netaji, Sisir Kumar Bose (16-17 years old).

Sri Sisir Kumar Bose, the nephew of Subhas Chandra Bose, seated at his desk at Netaji Bhawan (the Netaji Research Bureau) in Calcutta, December 1996. The entire India must bow to Sisir Bose with most profound admiration and deepest gratitude for so successfully helping Netaji to escape from under the very nose of the British Government in 1939. Although a young man at the time, he was the supremely chosen instrument to save a most beloved son of Mother India. In the small hours of the morning, Sisir drove his uncle many, many miles away to a train station. The car he used, a German car ironically called a ‘Wanderer’, has been preserved at the Netaji Research Bureau.

Krishna: daughter of dawn

Krishna, daughter of dawn,
Teeming splendour-achievements
And climbing aspiration-flame supernal.
At every respite, you sing
Netaji's victory-song
With your heart's ecstasy-flood.
The redolence of Netaji's inner life
And the glory of Netaji's outer life
You spread in the comity of nations
With freedom-light.
Netaji's satisfaction is your
Him to fulfil,
You are your signal devotion
And you are your self-offering-blossoms.

Ushasi Kanya Bidushi Krishna

Ushasi Kanya Bidushi Krishna
Oishi eshana lelihan
Nimeshe nimeshe hiyar harashe
Gaho Netajir joya gan
Bhitar jibane Netajir saurabh
Bahir jibane Netajir gaurab
Bishwa sabhai mukti abhai
Tumi karo jani bitaran
Subhas tushti tomar pushti
Bhakati ahuti nibedan

Message from Dr Krishna Bose

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had said: "I believe in God. I also believe in prayer." He also said that for him, spirituality consisted in two kinds of practices.

The first of these was the practice of self-assertion. He told himself that he had overcome the human frailties such as lust, anger, temptation and fear. "This practice gives me a lot of strength and through it I have overcome many weaknesses," he said.

The other practice was self-surrender. In his words: "I am but an instrument in the hands of the Divine…. I try to repeat in my mind 'Thy Will be done' in a spirit of self-surrender."

Is it not wonderful that India's only warrior-statesman was also a deeply spiritual person? On the occasion of his hundredth birth anniversary let us remember what he once said: "Let us dream of an India for which it would be worthwhile to give all that we have…." We must dedicate ourselves to this ideal once again.

Krishna Bose

Calcutta, India

31 December 1996

My gratitude-heart-offerings

I cannot close this chapter without mentioning the genuine, authoritative and illumining books about Netaji that have been written by Dr. Sisir Kumar Bose and Dr. Krishna Bose. No student of Indian history can hope to fathom the loftiest ideals and the most significant events of the years before India's independence without reading the first and foremost biography of Netaji, Dr. Sisir Bose's immortal book, The Flaming Sword Forever Unsheathed.

Again, he is the only one, aside from Netaji himself, who could have described the unimaginably daring and dangerous sequence of events leading to Netaji's escape from Calcutta, India. At every moment death threatened to embrace not only Netaji but Sisir Bose himself. This has been most lucidly and inimitably narrated in his book The Great Escape. Netaji's escape was the question of questions. His nephew Sisir Kumar's book, The Great Escape, is the only answer.

I also found a great deal to learn in Dr. Krishna Bose's book Netaji: A Biography for the Young. This most significant and instructive historical account has been written by her expressly for the younger generation.

At the eleventh hour, while I was writing this book in Japan, I was able to procure copies of her two immortal books Itihaser Sandhane and Charanrekha Taba from America. To my heart's greatest delight, I discovered that Dr. Krishna Bose had made pilgrimages to Germany and a few European countries (Itihaser Sandhane) and, a few years later, to Japan and some Asian countries (Charanrekha Taba) in order to trace the hallowed footsteps of Netaji. With a curious mind and a throbbing heart, she visited the places where Netaji's memories have been preserved sacredly, glowingly and proudly. These books provide a vast wealth of first-hand information-experiences about Netaji's most laudable activities in those countries. They are at once vividly informative and soulfully contemplative.

Indeed, these books, along with their other works, are indispensable if we desire to admire the beauty and adore the fragrance of Subhas Chandra's universal heart.

Chapter three — Emilie, Anita And Subhas: life partner and beloved daughter of the Leader Supreme

Emilie: Netaji's life-partner

You were the life-partner
Of Mother India's liberation-dreamer,
You were the illumination-fragrance-bliss
In the heart-depths
Of the Nation's Leader unparalleled.
Netaji's inspiration-freshness-moon you were.
Netaji's oneness-ocean-sorrow you were.
O possessor of lofty glories,
O owner of teeming virtues,
You were Netaji's secret sword
And you were Netaji's blood-tinged banner.
Fully blossomed in Netaji's heart-garden,
You spread all-where his redolence.

Emilie: Netaji's Life-Partner

Bharat Matar mukti swapani
Netaji jibansangini
Jatir netar hriday gahane
Dipta madhuri rangini
Netaji prerana indu
Netaji bedana sindhu
Subhas gopan kripan
Subhas shonit nishan
Hayechile tumi ogo gariyasi
Ogo mahiyasi Emilie
Phutechile tumi Subhas kanane
Chharaye surabhi chameli

Photo Caption Emilie Schenkl

Netaji working with Emilie Schenkl, his permanent secretary abroad, in Karlsbad in 1935. They were married in Badgastein, Austria, on 26 December 1937 on one of his subsequent visits to Europe.

On 29 November 1942, in Vienna, a daughter was born to Subhas and Emilie. They named her Anita. This photo shows Anita and Emilie when Anita was 6 years old.

In November 1948 Sarat Chandra visited Vienna with his wife, Bivabati, their son, Sisir, and daughters Roma and Chitra. They warmly welcomed Emilie and Anita into the Bose family. Sitting (left to right): Bivabati, Sisir Kumar, Anita, Sarat Chandra. Standing Roma, Emilie, Chitra.

Anita: Netaji's daughter beloved

Anita, you are the beloved daughter of Subhas Chandra,
India's Leader Supreme.
Purity-eyes of yours are thirsty for the Light supernal.
Your life is synonymous with humility.
Vienna's daughter, Mother Emilie,
Bengal's son, Father Subhas —
You are the satisfaction-delight
Of their sincerity-sweetness and oneness-bridge.

Anita: Netaji's daughter beloved

Bharat nayak Subhas Chandra duhita Anita
Nayan shuchita kiran trishita jiban binita
Janita Emilie janak Subhas Vienna Banga
Satatar madhu ekatar setu tripti ranga

Message from Professor Anita B. Pfaff

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is for many who have followed or studied his dedicated struggle towards India's independence a man of action. It was India to whom he gave his allegiance, it was India that was his first love, as also his wife would always point out. Yet Netaji was at heart a spiritual man, a man interested in philosophy and religion, a man of strong personal convictions and at the same time of great tolerance for other creeds, of respect for other ethnic groups and the dignity of man and woman in general.

Even though Netaji passed out of India's history more than half a century ago, many of his principles and ideas are modern even by today's standards. We can all but wish that more people in India — as well as other countries — today would embrace many of these principles: the tolerance for others, the importance of the role of women and of the down-trodden classes, the fierce belief and love in India, the dedication to his country and his country's people.

As his daughter I will always regret that I never had a chance to really know him and learn from him first-hand.

Professor Anita B. Pfaff

Augsburg, Germany

20 December 1996

Letter to Sister Anita

30th December 1996 Kyoto, Japan

Dear Sister Anita,

Your most soulful and prayerful message on the occasion of your father’s Centenary has touched the very depths of my heart. I am profoundly grateful to you for responding to our request.

True, his untimely death at the youthful age of 48 deprived you of the opportunity to grow up by his side and to learn from him first-hand the principles of self-sacrifice, devotion to a higher cause and burning love for his Indian brothers and sisters. But each and every word of your message radiates with the self-same Netaji-spirit that is loved and adored throughout the length and breadth of India.

I have almost completed writing my book on your father during my stay here in Kyoto. On December 26th, I travelled to the Renko-ji Temple in Tokyo to pay homage at the beautiful and peaceful shrine where his ashes are preserved. I am enclosing some photos of that day, which is so precious to me.

I do hope to be able to send you my completed book before your father’s Birth Centenary on January 23rd.

As a Bengali, as an Indian, as a truth-seeker and God-lover, I bow and bow to the peerless soul of Netaji Subhaas Chandra Bose. It is his blood that runs through your veins and I am fully convinced that he has been blessing you and sheltering you from Heaven since the very dawn of your earth-life.

With my heart’s deepest love, joy and gratitude.

Sri Chinmoy

ps. I am extremely grateful to you for being so kind and compassionate to one of my youngest students, Aruna Pohland. She joined our way of life with her parents when she was only a few months old. I am extremely proud of their entire family.

Once more, I wish to thank you from the very depths of my heart for blessing her with your kindness, joy and compassion.

Netaji — Man of Steel: by Ananda Guruge

To me, a child of twelve in the hills of Lanka,
The friendly captain of the nearby camp, Sengupta
Hailing from Sonar Bangla of poetic dreams,
Spoke of its heroes of science and letters,
And gallant fighters for India's liberty:
Bose the scientist, Bankim the novelist,
Tagore the poet of infinite wisdom.
But the hero of his heroes — and thus, indeed, mine too —
Was none other than that man of steel,
NETAJI who urged action while others chose words.

— From Ma Väni Bilińda, an autobiographical poem written in Sinhala, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 1988.

Note: H.E. Ananda Guruge is a devout Buddhist who hails from Sri Lanka. He is a supreme authority on the world's major religions. He has served his country in various capacities abroad and is also a Senior Special Advisor, Culture of Peace Programme, UNESCO. Ananda Guruge has a mind of integrity, a heart of profundity, a life of simplicity and abundantly more.

— Sri Chinmoy

Chapter four — Chitta Ranjan and Subhas Chandra: The light-bestower versus the strength-producer

Tagore’s Request

In 1921, while they were returning to India together, Tagore requested Subhas to go and see Gandhi-ji, which Subhas did on the very afternoon his ship arrived in Bombay. Gandhi-ji in turn requested Subhas to see Chitta Ranjan Das, the famous Bengali nationalist and lawyer, also known as Deshabandhu, Friend of the Nation. Subhas accepted Deshabandhu as his political guru.

Here, Deshabandhu is shown with his wife, Vasanti Devi.

As a young barrister, Chitta Ranjan Das had most successfully defended Sri Aurobindo against charges of sedition in the historic Alipor Bomb Trial.

Messages from Siddhartha Shankar Ray and Maya Devi Ray

In 1976 Siddhartha Shankar Ray, who was then chief minister of West Bengal, expressed the feelings of many Indians when he said, "Bose is undying and will live forever."

Siddhartha Shankar Ray is the grandson of Chitta Ranjan Das, the most revered political guru of Subhas Chandra. As India's Ambassador to the U.S.A., as a long-time Member of Parliament, and as a distinguished advocate, Ambassador Ray has made a notable and unique contribution to his country.

On 17 November 1995, during his term as Ambassador to the U.S.A., he very graciously introduced Sri Chinmoy's Peace Concert in Washington, D.C. before an audience of 10,000 peace-lovers.

In February 1996, on the eve of the departure of Ambassador Ray and his wife Maya Devi for India, Sri Chinmoy with his students gave them a farewell party during which he highly praised them as "two colossal souls to unite India the Prayerful with America the Beautiful."

"Respected Chinmoy,

It is in the fitness of things that a Patriot as ardent as yourself should celebrate the Hundredth Birth Anniversary of the Prince of Patriots Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The 20th Century is about to fade away and the 21st to begin but even with the passing of centuries, Indians will forever proclaim Netaji as the greatest son of 20th century India and keep embedded in their Hearts his perennial message of love, hope, freedom and sacrifice.

With Respects,"

Siddhartha Shankar Ray

15 January 1997

"I was a small child in the early 'Thirties' when Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose visited my parent's home in London. The late Dr. Kiran Chandra and Asha Lata Bhattacharyya.

Very diffidently I advanced towards him and held out an autograph book for him to sign. He bent down and took the book from my small hands and wrote thus:

‘Bideshey thekey neejer desh-key chintey shikho’ in translation — ‘while living outside your own country, learn to know of it.’

This has been my sole inspiration ever since I returned to this much loved country of mine, fifty years ago, from England. I still have not ceased learning."

Maya Devi Ray

13 January 1997


Deshabandhu was the only one
Whose soul was Subhas Chandra's
And whose heart was Subhas Chandra's


As soon as he reached Calcutta, Subhas met with Deshabandhu. Of this meeting Subhas said:
"By the time our conversation came to an end, my mind was made up. I felt I had found a leader and I meant to follow him."

He accepted Deshabandhu as his political Guru.


Once, when Deshabandhu heard of Subhas Chandra's imprisonment, he immediately exclaimed:
"Why have they not arrested me? I should like to know why. If love of one's country is a crime, I am a criminal. If Bose is a criminal, I am a criminal."

Here C. R. Das is proving that the connection between the Guru and the close disciple is like the connection between father and son; the heart of the father always comes forward when the son is in trouble. The father's affection always tries to save the son. Deshabandhu had such love for Subhas that he wanted to embrace jail to save Subhas.


An insight-door into Deshabandhu's affection-pride for his Subhas Chandra is opened by one writer:
"His Guru would fondly call him ‘young old man’, meaning young in age but old in wisdom."


For eight months Subhas was with Deshabandhu
In the same jail.
The closer he became,
The deeper grew his love and admiration
For his mentor.
The saying "Familiarity breeds contempt"
Was, for him and also for others
Who subscribed to his view,
Nothing short of absurdity.


Many years later, after Deshabandhu's passing, Subhas wrote a stirring article in praise of his revered mentor:
"We want more than ever before that rare combination of idealism and realism which constitutes the essence of leadership and which was the secret of his greatness."


Subhas wrote a most significant letter to Sarat Chandra, the novelist of the Himalayan heights. In this letter, he said to the novelist:
"People misunderstand my deepest affection and admiration for our Deshabandhu. They think that we are his totally blind devotees. I wonder if they care to know how many times I have argued with him loudly and widely? But one thing I can tell you is that if he ever needed me for anything, in no time I would be found at his feet! At this point I would like to add that his wife, Vasanti Devi, our dearest mother, the mother of all mothers, was the only one who could put an end to all our arguments and quarrels. Happily, proudly and instantly, all the parties used to bow to her affection-love-concern-compassion-wisdom-sea."

Chapter five — Mahatma and Netaji: Mother India's two pinnacle-patriot-sons

Photo Caption

Subhas humbly and respectfully listens to Mahatma Gandhi during a private conversation inside a railway compartment in November 1937. Subhas first met Gandhi-ji in 1921 at the request of Rabindranath Tagore. Gandhi-ji then asked Subhas to go and see CR Das. Both Gandhi-ji and Netaji were supreme patriot-lovers of Mother India.


Slow and steady wins the race.

Fast, faster, fastest.
Lo, the Goal is won!


Dr. Sisir Kumar Bose, Netaji's nephew, has most powerfully and eloquently summarised the unique roles of these two colossal souls:
"In historical terms, Gandhi was the Father of Indian Awakening and Bose the Father of Indian Revolution."


Mahatma saw in Netaji
The freedom-fighter par excellence.

Netaji saw in Mahatma
The real Father of the Indian sub-continent.


About Netaji, Mahatma said:
"Netaji's name is one to conjure with. His patriotism is second to none. His bravery shines through all his actions."

About Mahatma, Netaji said:
"We need him to keep our people united. We need him to keep our struggle free from bitterness and hatred. We need him for the cause of Indian independence."


Caution within, caution without.

Dynamism within, heroism without.


Mahatma felt and saw
That non-violence was the only way
To bring about India's freedom.

Netaji saw and felt:
'Fight we must to liberate India
From the shackles of ruthless Britons.'


Mahatma was Mahatma's

Netaji was Netaji's


According to a certain politician:
"Gandhi-ji was the dream, Jawaharlal the desire and Netaji Subhas the deed."

When Subhas begged Mahatma to embark on the Quit India Movement, Mahatma failed to see eye-to-eye with him.

Subhas Chandra's heart was tortured by tenebrous pangs. His friends and admirers begged him to voice forth the Quit India Movement himself.

Subhas Chandra's wisdom-flooded mind said to them, "If I declare 'Quit India,' only a few million may respond, whereas if Mahatma, the Father of the Nation, emphatically makes the same statement, the entire nation will jump, run and fly to please him in no time. Therefore, by no manner of means am I the right person. Our Mahatma, our Himalayan Father of the Nation, is the only one — "

Photo of Gandhi and Subhas

Subhas humbly and respectfully listens to Mahatma Gandhi during a private conversation inside a railway compartment in November 1937. Subhas first met Gandhi-ji in 1921 at the request of Rabindranath Tagore. Gandhi-ji then asked Subhas to go and see CR Dad. Both Gandhi-ji and Netaji were supreme partriot-lovers of Mother India.


After Subhas had left India, Mahatma stoically announced to the world that the heart-rending slogan "Quit India," which Subhas had wanted him to introduce, was to be used by all Indians. It spread throughout the length and breadth of the sub-continent like wildfire.

Here, again, Subhas was right. When Mahatma said, "Quit India," the entire nation accepted it devotedly, proudly and self-givingly. Alas, at this point, Mahatma's sincerity-heart was found somewhere beyond Infinity's farthest shore. Nowhere did he acknowledge the true source of this slogan.


Mahatma wanted his countrymen
To walk along the road to freedom
With infinite caution.


Unlike other politicians,
Including Mahatma,
Subhas had always good reasons for speed —
Fast, faster, fastest!


To err is human. Therefore, Mahatma, the politician-patriot-mind, committed a few painful plus irrevocable blunders.

When Subhas won his second term as President of the Indian National Congress against Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, Mahatma could not accept Subhas Chandra's victory happily, cheerfully and proudly.

To our greatest sorrow, Mahatma tried unimaginably hard to make Sitaramayya win. He said to the nation, quite surprisingly and, more so, shockingly, "Pattabhi Sitaramayya's defeat is my defeat."

Furthermore, he asked Nehru, Patel and others of the front-rank leaders to boycott Subhas. Needless to say, they obeyed him, as they always did in those days, so there was nothing surprising about their action.

In two weeks' time, Mahatma advised them to form a new party or working committee and designate posts. Gandhi-ji said he would guide them.

During those days, Subhas was bedridden. His fever rose up to 106 degrees. Hard was it for him to breathe. His eyes failed to listen to his command. Nevertheless, he wanted to visit the conference where they were deciding who would get what posts.

When Nehru, Patel, Azad and others — all leaders of the highest order — saw that Subhas was brought to the stage on a stretcher, in no time they came down from the platform and disappeared.

Was Subhas so undesirable? Or did self-doubt and fear torture them? God alone knows. When Subhas had recuperated and was forming his cabinet again, Gandhi-ji's staunch followers stood against him. Subhas became a true victim to sadness and frustration.

He said to himself, 'If Mahatma does not want me, and his dear ones do not want me, then it is useless, utterly useless, for me to continue serving as President for the second time.'

He resigned. To quote Netaji's own words, "Owing to the morally sickening atmosphere at Tripuri, I left that place with such a loathing and disgust for politics as I have never felt before during the last nineteen years…I prayed for light in my dark mind. Then, slowly, a new vision dawned on me, and I began to recover my mental balance, as well as my faith in man and in my countrymen. After all, Tripuri was not India….In spite of what I had experienced in Tripuri, how could I lose my fundamental faith in man? To distrust man was to distrust the divinity in him — to distrust one's very existence."

Look at the meanness of Subhas Chandra's long-standing so-called compatriot-friends versus the unimaginable nobility of Professor Oaten at the Presidency College in Calcutta! While Subhas was a student there, Professor Oaten, who was British, ruthlessly criticised India on more than one occasion. Subhas could not brook these untold insults to his Indian brothers. He took off his shoe and thrashed Professor Oaten black and blue.

The same Professor Oaten, after Subhas Chandra's passing, wrote a poem highly appreciating and admiring Subhas:

Did I once suffer, Subhas, at your hand?
Your patriot heart is stilled! I would forget!
Let me recall but this, that while as yet
The Raj that you once challenged in your land
Was mighty, Icarus-like your courage-planned
To meet the skies, and storm in battle set
The ramparts of High Heaven, to claim the debt
Of freedom owed, on plain and rude demand.
High Heaven yielded, but in dignity
Like Icarus, you sped towards the sea.
Your wings were melted from you by the sun,
The genial patriot fire that brightly glowed
In India's mighty heart and flamed and flowed
Forth from her Army's thousand victories won!

Note Tripuri

When Nehru, Patel and other Congress leaders were meeting in Tripuri in 1939 to designate posts, Subhas (the Congress President) was in Calcutta with an extremely high fever. Realising that his absence from the Congress would be misinterpreted by the Congress leaders, Subhas insisted on attending. He was carried by stretcher to the train to Tripuri. Here he is pictured inside the train with his most affectionate elder brother Sarat Chandra.


Subhas won.
Sitaramayya lost.
Mahatma declared Sitaramayya's defeat
Was his personal defeat.
Almost all the leaders
Stood vehemently against
Subhas Chandra's second term.
Fortunately, he did have
A divine protection-umbrella
Against their negativity-rain.
But he was blocked on all sides.
After a while, the dauntless hero
Painfully surrendered,
For he felt that it would be
Of no avail to stand against
Their open and express opposition.


Alas, nothing is permanent here on earth.
Therefore, even after Subhas had been elected
For the second time
As President of the Indian National Congress,
His dreams could not voyage among the stars.
Who stood in his way?
No, surely not the real Mahatma!
No, surely not the real Pandit Nehru!
No, surely not his real political compatriots!


Although Pattabhi Sitaramayya lost to Subhas Chandra, he was one of the very few whose sincere admiration spoke, even in the face of defeat:
"That Subhas' colleagues did not share his principles and policies could not detract from the glory of his adventure" — unprecedented in character, colossal in magnitude and stupendous in achievement.


Subhas could not believe his eyes and ears
When he realised that Mahatma wanted
Not only a separate role for himself,
But also, perhaps unawares, a separate destination
For Mother India.


Deeply hurt by Gandhi-ji's personal opposition to him, Subhas said:
"It will be a tragic thing for me if I succeed in winning the confidence of other people but fail to win the confidence of India's greatest man."

Even Nehru wrote to Gandhi-ji begging him to mend the rift with Subhas, but to no avail. Subhas was left with no other alternative than to resign the post of Congress President. This he did on 29 April 1939.


No matter how shamelessly, insanely, ridiculously
And despicably
Some of Subhas Chandra's patriot-rivals
Desired to eclipse his greatness-mind
And goodness-heart,
They failed, miserably failed.
Subhas Chandra's indispensable usefulness
Far outlasted their dog-barks and dog-bites.


When his rivals were at their resistance-obstruction-height, Subhas Chandra's heart was all concern for Gandhi-ji's health. One day, when the Mahatma had a fever, Subhas wrote to him with utmost devotion:
"I am feeling anxious about your fever. I am praying that it may soon disappear. With respectful pranams,
  Yours affectionately,

Alas, when Subhas was a victim to high fever and sickness, his fate was otherwise.


A great many times
Subhas came to Mahatma
With new and illumining inspiration.
What did he meet with?
He met with the closed shutter
Of Mahatma's unwillingness-mind.


Gandhi-ji's boat was not plying
Between his mind-readiness
And heart-willingness-shores;
Whereas Subhas was never wanting
In mind's readiness
And heart's willingness.


Whenever Subhas wrote anything to Nehru
Or to Mahatma Gandhi,
His words and meaning were plain
And far beyond all subterfuge.


After Gandhi-ji and Nehru unsuccessfully tried to remove Subhas as Congress President in 1939 and then tried to put many roadblocks in his path, Subhas saw that the only way for the country to make progress was through a spirit of cooperation and oneness. With utmost sincerity and humility he wrote to Gandhi-ji:
"If I am to continue as President, despite all the obstacles, handicaps and difficulties, how would you like me to function?"

After having bound Subhas from head to foot, Gandhi-ji replied:
"If you are to function as President, your hands must be unfettered."

The supreme proponent of satyagraha — zeal for truth — continued:
"So far as the Gandhiites (to use that wrong expression) are concerned, they will not obstruct you. They will help where they can, abstain where they cannot."

When did they help? When, for God's sake? The height of ridiculous absurdity!


Mahatma Gandhi's life
So often loomed
Inside uncertainty's mist.


There were many occasions
When Gandhi-ji's doubt doubted itself
In the presence of Subhas Chandra.


During his many visits to Europe,
Subhas tried to kindle sympathy
For India's independence.
Mahatma promised that he would write
A letter of recommendation
To his friends abroad for Subhas,
India's unofficial ambassador.
On his second thought,
Not only did he eat his promise,
But also he did not feel the necessity
To offer Subhas even the shadow of an excuse.
It seems his unusually natural divinity
Simply did not want to come to the fore.


India was divided. According to many, Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel were fully responsible for the amputation of Mother India's body.

But the seekers of the highest Truth, when they dive deep within, can clearly see and emphatically say that it was Gandhi-ji who, through his never-to-be-caught actions and manners, prompted Nehru and Patel to long for a divided India.

Why? For two reasons. Firstly, Gandhi-ji was convinced that it would be impossible for Nehru, Patel and others to rule the country in the face of the ceaseless demands of the Muslim insurgents. Secondly, Gandhi-ji wished to keep his Muslim brothers happy. He said, 'Over my dead body only can Muslims ever be mistreated by the Hindus.'

To the truth-seekers and truth-discoverers, it is crystal-clear that Mahatma was fully responsible for the separation-destruction of poor Mother India.


Netaji-admirers and Netaji-lovers,
Muster your courage-belief
When the Father of the Nation says to you:
"My relations with Subhas
Were always of the purest and best."


To his friend Charlie Andrews, Gandhi-ji once wrote:
"I feel Subhas is behaving like a spoilt child of the family. The only way to make up with him is to open his eyes."

The same Gandhi-ji, in answer to a question from the American journalist Louis Fisher, described Subhas as "the Prince among the Patriots." Gandhi's opinion of Subhas continually wavered between enfant terrible and prince. Was this the basis on which to build the best possible relations?


Alas, the passage of time can devour even the most faithful loyalty. There came a time, after India's independence, when Nehru, Patel and others were quite reluctant to obey Mahatma in various ways.

Mahatma was cut to the quick. Then this same Mahatma had to tell the world:

"If Subhas had been here today, I would not have needed you. He would have listened to me. I need Subhas badly. I do not need you at all."


When the leaders of the nation disobeyed Mahatma, he felt compelled to issue his supreme ultimatum, namely a fast unto death.

At one time, according to Pakistan, India owed Pakistan a very large sum of money. Nehru and Patel did not want to give the money. They said, 'True, we owe them this sum, but we do not want to give it right now. Already we are at daggers drawn. If they get the money, they will only buy weapons to humiliate us. In the course of time, we shall give it to them, but the time has not come.'

Then Gandhi-ji said, 'Look, I am going to fast unto death if you do not give Pakistan the money which we are supposed to give.'

Helpless as he was in the face of Mahatma's vow, Sardar Patel lost his temper. He said, "Gandhi-ji is not prepared to listen to me. He seems determined to blacken the names of the Hindus before the whole world."

Patel was compelled to give the full amount to Pakistan.


The British Government home-interned Subhas in December 1940. The real royal Bengal Tiger, to the nation's widest astonishment, disappeared the following month! This disappearance of his created a tremendous sensation and uproar nationwide.

Poet Rabindranath Tagore was anxiety-stricken. He immediately sent a message by telegram to the family of Subhas:


Sarat Chandra Bose wired back:


Mahatma also sent a telegram to the family. He said to them:


This time Sarat wisely threw out a red herring. His reply was:



The Divine in Mahatma was perfectly aware that it was Subhas Chandra's bottomless frustration, caused by Mahatma's followers — specially by Mahatma himself — that made Netaji resort to leaving India.

Netaji decided to fight against the British Government by forming an indomitable army outside the boundaries of India.

When Subhas made his sudden and startling disappearance, the B.B.C. — in order to demoralise his supporters — spread a rumour that he had died in a plane crash. No news was heard from him for over a year. Then Netaji began broadcasting to India from Germany.

It was Netaji who first called Gandhi-ji the Father of the Nation. In 1944 from his headquarters in Burma, Netaji broadcast a message to Gandhi-ji:

"Father of our Nation! In this holy war for India's liberation, we ask for your blessings and good wishes."

To the end he looked upon Gandhi-ji as the Father of the Nation. He maintained his nobility-flooded demeanour towards the elders in spite of repeated arguments and frustrations.


Mahatma and Netaji shared the same deplorable fate. Mahatma's dear ones, to a great extent, displeased him, if not deserted him. They used to meet with him quite infrequently. On one occasion he went to Delhi Station with one of his faithful assistants, Jayaprakash Narayan. No, not even one political leader came to receive him. This was what Mahatma's fate had become.

Mahatma, in the evening of his life, said, 'I have sadly failed. I wanted to have an undivided India, but it is nothing short of impossibility.'

In Netaji's case also, his Heaven-blessed dream was to come to Delhi with his Indian National Army and throw the British Government completely and irrevocably out of India. Alas, Netaji sadly suffered disappointment.

In the outer world we notice two colossal souls with unfulfilled dreams. But when we dive deep within, we faultlessly see that two absolutely supreme patriots were trying to illumine the firmament of India and make it bright, brighter, brightest.


Through the Free India Centre which Netaji established in Germany, Rabindranath Tagore's song Jana Gana Mana was played and sung for the first time in Hamburg on 29 May 1942.

Simultaneously, India's tri-colour banner was hoisted, along with the German flag. The German national anthem was then played.

The Mayor of Hamburg gave Netaji the warmest welcome.

Eventually, Tagore's Jana Gana was adopted as the official national anthem of independent India. Once again, Gandhi-ji and Nehru followed Netaji's lead.


The victory cry Jai Hind! (Victory to India) was introduced by the Indian National Army's Supreme Commander, Subhas Chandra Bose.

Subsequently, Pandit Nehru, at the end of his momentous lectures, used to throbbingly voice forth, Jai Hind!

Other political leaders also cried ditto.


The Muslim leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, spoke about Gandhi-ji in his own characteristic way. To quote him:
"To see the Hindu leader, Gandhi, is a difficult task. To understand him is an infinitely more difficult task. Whenever he is unable to answer our queries satisfactorily, he advises us to dive within and get the message from our inner existence. When there are very awkward questions to be answered, he often takes refuge in a pencilled message, saying, 'This is my day of silence.' I say, to hell with his inner light! Why can't he be honest and admit he has made a mistake or that he does not know the answer?"

Clearly, Mr. Jinnah's heart was made of steel and not of marshmallow!

On the other hand, Subhas Chandra was able to come to an agreement with Jinnah in 1939 which allowed Hindus and Muslims to live and work together. It was known as the Bose-League Pact.


Gandhi-ji's supreme philosophy is "Truth is God." Once he realised what the real truth actually was, he desperately tried to abide by the truth. Most of the time he was crowned with success. To give an example, in the beginning he thought Subhas did the wrong thing by leaving India. Then he came to realise that Subhas did the right thing. In the beginning he found it difficult to appreciate Subhas Bose wholeheartedly. In later years he appreciated Subhas with all his heart.

Gandhi-ji's adherence to truth we notice right from his school days. He always told the truth. According to him, the soul-force is infinitely more important than any other force. Not only did he realise this, but also he tried to inspire each and every Indian with the loftiest doctrine, India's immortal motto Satyameva jayate (Truth alone triumphs). This, indeed, is Mahatma Gandhi, the inner breath, and Mahatma Gandhi, the outer life.

Chapter six — Rabindranath and Subhas: Immortality's bard and eternity's hero — The flute player versus the sword-wielder


When Subhas met with Rabindranath Tagore
For the first time,
Rabindranath found it hard to break away
From his mind's hesitation-fog.


When Subhas was only in his teens, he wrote to his brother, Sarat, about the treatment of Rabindranath Tagore by his own Bengali countrymen. The young heart cried:
"What a strange people we are! We have so little of reverence in us. I am almost stung with self-reproach when I think how indifferent Bengal has been in showering laurels upon him."

Around 1914, while Subhas Chandra was studying at the Presidency College, he took his friends to Santiniketan for their first meeting with Tagore. Subhas sought advice from the Poet with regard to the life-activities of the students. Unfortunately, Tagore could not satisfy Subhas.


Hesitation plagued Tagore's mind
A number of times
Before he was wholeheartedly
Able to convince himself
That Subhas Chandra's dynamism
Was a perfect stranger to fanaticism.


Their most auspicious second meeting was without doubt a Heaven-blessed coincidence. It took place when Subhas was returning to India in 1921 after his years at university in England, and Rabindranath happened to be a fellow passenger on the boat. Tagore and Subhas engaged in many heart-to-heart conversations. The Poet, who was Subhas Chandra's senior by thirty-six years, did offer the young man his sincere congratulations for having resigned so bravely from the I.C.S. Subhas, on his side, found in Rabindranath a kindred spirit — for had not the Poet renounced his knighthood following the massacre of his countrymen by the British at Jallianwalla Bagh?

In his later years, the Poet openly traced the ripening of his esteem for Subhas and revealed his early apprehensions:

"Subhas Chandra, I have watched the dawn that witnessed the beginning of your political Sadhana. In that uncertain twilight there had been misgivings in my heart and I had hesitated to accept you for what you are now.... Today you are revealed in the pure light of midday sun which does not admit of apprehensions."


Many times when Subhas Chandra
Suffered in prison,
He turned to Tagore's
Inspiration-inundated songs
To give voice to his heart's


One of his personal favourites was Gharer mangal shankha nahe tor tare, which begins:

"Auspicious conches, friend, never shall announce
Thy home-coming, nor the tender candle-light
Welcome thee ever at night."

His dearest friend Dilip reflects:

"In the context of his subsequent lonely death in a foreign land with the name of the Motherland on his lips, his early love for these memorable lines becomes infinitely more significant."


Tagore's indecision-days
Were drawing to an end
When he began seeing
What Subhas the bloom was
And what Subhas the blossom
Would eventually become
In the dawning future.


Ultimately Tagore's highest seer-vision vividly brought before his inner eye Subhas Chandra's destined role:
"As I feel that you have come with an errand to usher in a new light of hope in your Motherland, I ask you to take up the task of the leader of Bengal and ask my countrymen to make it true."


True, from time to time,
Subhas did receive rebukes
From the highly esteemed Tagore.
But, in the course of time,
He definitely felt
In the very depths of his heart
That Tagore's affection, love,
Concern, appreciation and admiration
For him
Were unmistakably genuine.


The mutual affection between these two Bengali giants was most touchingly revealed whenever either of them succumbed to physical ailments. On 19 October 1930, in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A., Tagore fell seriously ill. Subhas came to learn the news from Reuters, and he immediately sent a wire to the Poet:

Tagore was extremely moved by Subhas Chandra's love and concern, and he wired back:

On his part also, Tagore used to write most affectionate letters enquiring about Subhas Chandra's health whenever word reached him that Subhas was suffering on the physical plane.


In the evening of his life
Tagore, in vain, tried extremely hard
For the reconciliation of all
Of Mother India's freedom-lovers.
Tagore wanted to bring together
The diverse, contrary and contradictory ideas
Of Netaji, Gandhi-ji and other front-rank political leaders.


At one point Tagore sent Gandhi-ji a telegram urging him to cooperate with Subhas:

Alas, Tagore's plea fell on deaf ears. Gandhi-ji replied:

How Tagore suffered by loving both Subhas and Gandhi-ji can only be felt and never described, perhaps not even by the Poet of poets, Tagore himself.


In 1940 Tagore requested an interview with Subhas. In spite of his deepest love, deepest admiration and deepest respect for Tagore, it took Subhas two long months to offer him an interview, for Subhas had been inundated with myriad activities since resigning the Presidency in April 1939.

Finally, on 2 July, Tagore came and met with him in Calcutta for about two hours. Afterwards, Tagore left for Santiniketan, only to hear on his return that Subhas had been arrested — just three fleeting hours after the interview had taken place. It was to be his eleventh and last imprisonment.

Since Subhas Chandra's arrest was ill-founded, he challenged the authorities. On 29 November he announced that he would fast until death embraced him. After one week, the authorities took him seriously, removed him from jail and placed him under home-internment. It was from there that Subhas escaped and made his sad and glad exit from his Mother India's shores. His body could not return, but his entire inner being returned and became the supremely beloved child of Mother India.


In the midst of Subhas Chandra's hectic round of activities,
He did meet with Tagore.
Alas, nobody knew that would be his last,
Very last, heart-to-heart conversation with Tagore.
Once Tagore discovered that Subhas Chandra's
Had become a perfect sacrifice for Mother India,
Tagore declared Subhas Chandra's service
To Mother India indispensable
And proudly claimed him
As the Supreme Pilot of the Bengal-Life-Boat
And the pinnacle-Mother-India-patriot.


The fight for India's independence was far from won, but Tagore knew that the final victory was close at hand and he showered his blessings on Subhas:
"My days have come to an end. I may not join him in the fight that is to come. I can only bless him and take my leave, knowing that he has made his country's burden of sorrow his own, that his final reward is fast coming in his country's freedom."


Tagore loved Subhas.
Tagore chided him.
And, in the evening of Tagore's life,
Tagore became fully aware of the undeniable fact
That Subhas was the man of the hour,
The man of the century
And the man of India's destiny.


In 1939, just two years before the Poet's earth-sojourn ended, he crowned Subhas with the title Deshanayak (leader of the country) and proclaimed:
"More than anything else, Bengal needs today to emulate the powerful force of your determination and self-reliant courage....Let Bengal affirm in one united voice that her deliverer's seat is ready, spread for you."

Chapter seven — Two scenes from an imaginative play about India's revolutionary heroes

NOTE: Sri Chinmoy wrote this play in Bengali at the age of 16 in 1948. He translated it into English in November 1996. The first and third scenes, which relate to Netaji, are given here.

First Act

First Scene

Place: The Garden Of Eden

Time:_ Full moon night

The children of the cosmic gods are singing in Heaven "Bishwabasir joy…" — "Victory to the citizens of the world…"

Enter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Netaji: Since I left India, I have never heard such a soul-stirring song! The sentiment, the thought, the language, the rhythm, the melody, the tone — each and every petal of this song-flower is unique, and the flower itself is intoxicating me with its beauty and fragrance. Since I left my Mother Bengal, I have never heard such a beautiful song. But alas, I thought that it was the children of Bengal who were singing the song. Now I see that it is the children of the cosmic gods who are singing.

Where am I? Where is my Motherland? O my Mother India, I do not mind in the least if I am not favoured with a place among those who sacrificed their all to liberate you from the cruel shackles of British domination. My only sorrow is that you are still in stark bondage, ruthlessly insulted and painfully humiliated at every moment.

From the opposite side, enter Deshapriya (another martyr from Chittagong; "Deshapriya" means one who is dear to Mother Bengal)

Deshapriya: Ah, Netaji! You are here! I am so fortunate today to meet with Mother India's greatest and most beloved son. Your name and your supreme glories are echoing and re-echoing throughout the length and breadth of India. I have just come from our Motherland, where I paid a short visit.

Netaji: You are coming from India? Tell me, tell me, how is our eternal sufferer, Mother Bengal? Mahatma, Jawaharlal and others — how are they? What are they doing?

Deshapriya: Our Mother India is free! The English have left our Motherland on their own.

Netaji: Tell me, tell me more! Why do you stop? Am I in a fantasy-world? Our Motherland is liberated? Our one and only dream has been fulfilled? Then how is it that you are not happy in the least? On the contrary, your eyes are flooded with tears.

Deshapriya: Alas, our Mother India is now divided. She can no longer pride herself on the oneness of her sweet children. The whole of India is drenched with the blood of Hindus and Muslims. Poverty, untold misery and catastrophe have become India's daily companions. My Mother Chittagong has fallen under the inexorable curse of division. The poisonous air of division-night is about to devour and destroy me completely. There is no food, no clothing; only birthless and deathless fear. Premature death, accidental death and unnatural death: this is what India's fate has become. Soon, Netaji, I shall visit Bengal again. My sole aim, like yours, is to unite India. We must uproot the separation-poison-tree!

Netaji: What are you saying, Deshapriya? I am unable to understand you. On my way to Japan from Singapore, I fell asleep in the plane, and then I do not know what happened to me. One thing I do remember, though, is that my dearest and fondest Azad Hind Fauj, our Indian National Army, failed to bring about India's independence.

Deshapriya: No mighty endeavour can forever remain unfulfilled, Netaji. At God's choice Hour, God Himself lovingly breathes life into our glorious dreams. True, your Azad Hind Fauj could not give India her freedom, but you and your indomitable army of liberation-fire will forever and forever remain immortal in the heart-history of India. Even Mahatma has bowed to you and your army with tremendous admiration.

Netaji: Enough, enough, my dear friend! No more embarrassment! What I have done for my Mother Bengal is next to nothing; what I have done for my Mother India is next to nothing. Now tell me, are they honouring our beloved Deshabandhu [Chitta Ranjan Das], our political Guru, whose lofty inspiration I imbibed at my journey's start? Today I want to prostrate myself at his mighty feet. He was my blue-vast inspiration-ocean. If my cherished countrymen have even an iota of appreciation for me, then I am offering it all to him, for it is he alone who rightly deserves it. His boundless affection-smiles and unparalleled wisdom-teachings have made me what I am now. My earth-bound-life and my Heaven-free-soul are profusely and eternally grateful to him.

Deshapriya: Indeed, dear Netaji, it is his unconditional blessings that have also made me what I am now. Let us go and pay our prayerful homage to our beloved Deshabandhu. I am sure he will be overwhelmed with joy to see you!

Third scene

Place: Deshabandhu's Palace In Heaven

Deshabandhu and Pandit Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru's father, are conversing.

Motilal (Deshabandhu's great admirer): At long last our beloved Mother India has gained her independence! All her stupendous efforts have finally been crowned with success!

Deshabandhu: Yes, I have heard that breathtaking news, my dear friend, and also I have heard that your son, Jawaharlal, has become our Prime Minister. I am so happy that he has emerged as a star of unparalleled brilliance in the firmament of India.

Motilal: This is due to your blessings, Deshabandhu, and the blessings of all those who truly love our Mother India.

Deshabandhu: But alas, dear Motilal, Bengal's fate is excruciating! Our green-gold Bengal has now become a black cremation-ground. Not a single leader has sprung forth from her sacred heart to bear the responsibility of our Motherland. But, my friend, you can be truly proud of your most illustrious Jawaharlal.

Motilal: Deshabandhu, what about your mind-begotten son, Subhas? Subhas has conquered the heartbeat and life-breath of each and every Indian soul. Without a shadow of doubt, Subhas' place in the chronicle of our Mother India's ageless life is infinitely higher than my son's!

Deshabandhu: Alas, I had so much hope in my Subhas and in the others. One by one, untimely, they left Mother Bengal; they deserted her. They, too, have now come to Heaven without liberating Bengal, and our Mother is helplessly drowning in a sea of tears and blood.

Enter a certain Vaishnava, like Deshabandhu a devotee of Vishnu

Deshabandhu: I am so happy that you have come to bless my abode.

Vaishnava: I have come to you for a ticket.

Deshabandhu: What kind of ticket?

Vaishnava: I need a ticket to roam freely in Heaven, on earth, in the infernal region and throughout all planes of consciousness. This is all I need for the time being; afterwards I will need a different ticket from you.

Motilal: May I know your name?

Vaishnava: Certainly! But first tell me, will you give me the ticket? If not, why should I take the trouble of telling you my name? Would you not like to show me that your life's generosity and your heart's magnanimity far surpass Deshabandhu's?

Motilal: What! How dare you compare my insignificant existence with his all-illumining life? Do you not know that I love him and adore him unreservedly? He kindly and compassionately showers his blessingful affection upon me and tells the world that I am his friend. Therefore, I had in mind to make a special request of Deshabandhu on your behalf to grant you the ticket that you need.

Vaishnava: You have to make a request of Deshabandhu? Am I at the right place? Am I standing before the right person? Is this not the abode of Deshabandhu? Perhaps it is not! In that case, I am leaving!

Motilal: Stop, Venerable Vaishnava — stop! This is Deshabandhu himself (pointing to Deshabandhu). Stop! Do not go away! Please, do not go away!

Vaishnava: All right, now I can tell you my name, but in abbreviated form. I am shortening it considerably: One Thousand Eight Sri Tribuban Das Ghana Shyama Sri Krishna Charan Bharasha Prasadananda Das.

Deshabandhu: This is your abridged name? Is it your hard-earned name, or have you inherited such a splendid name?

Deshabandhu and Motilal burst into wild laughter.

Vaishnava: This is my hard-earned name! I earned it! My parents gave me the name Shibu. Now tell me, what about my ticket?

Enter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Deshapriya

Vaishnava: What is this nonsense? What is this absurdity? Why are they coming here? Please, please fulfil my desire first, before you speak to them! (To Subhas and Deshapriya) Please, please wait a little! Let Deshabandhu fulfil my desire first by granting me my ticket. I am sure you, too, have come here to ask for something.

Deshapriya (to Deshabandhu): I have brought Subhas here to offer his devoted obeisance to you, Deshabandhu. Ah, I see Nehru here! Pranam, pranam! I bow to you, I salute you!

Motilal: Subhas is here? Our leader is here? (He stands up and embraces Subhas.)

Vaishnava: Alas, these friends of yours are ruining my request! I shall be here again tomorrow. (Exit Vaishnava)

Deshabandhu: Subhas, you too have come back? What will our Mother Bengal do now? Like us, you too have deserted Mother Bengal?

Netaji: It is you, Deshabandhu, who can save our Bengal from untold and unspeakable atrocities. Once more Bengal needs your immediate pinnacle-leadership! We implore your express arrival! Once more we shall be your unwavering soldiers. At every moment we shall obey your infallible command lovingly, faithfully and self-givingly.

Deshabandhu: Come, let us go! We shall go first to East Bengal, which they now call East Pakistan. We shall save our Mother Bengal from the ruthless torture of division-night. Come, my Subhas! Come, Jatin! You two remain always with me. If you two are with me, then there is nothing that I will not be able to accomplish for our Mother Bengal.

With adamantine will, all three hero-souls descend from Heaven to their beloved Bengal.

Chapter eight — Jawaharlal and Subhas: Allabhad's sailing moon versus Bengal's blazing sun


There was a serious collision Between Nehru's Subhas-supporting heart And Gandhi-supporting mind. Obedience, specially outer obedience, To Mahatma Gandhi Was Nehru's forte. His outer life definitely graduated From Gandhi-obedience-school.


After Subhas was elected President of the Indian Congress for his second term, Nehru wrote a letter extremely critical of him and his activities. Nehru's understanding heart began the letter with a few short lines, but his critical mind very nicely completed the letter — page after page.
"Personally I have always had, and still have, regard and affection for you, though sometimes I did not like at all what you did or how you did it.
  To some extent, I suppose, we are temperamentally different and our approach to life and its problems is not the same."


President, Subhas became —
In unmistakable terms.
But problem-troubles,
As numerous as mosquitoes,
He had to face.


In Subhas and Nehru we see an uneven exchange of gifts: Subhas offered Nehru his sincere respect and brotherly love; Nehru offered Subhas something a little less filial. The tortured President writes:
"I find that for some time past you have developed tremendous dislike for me. I say this because I find that you take up enthusiastically every possible point against me....
  On my side, ever since I came out of internment in 1937, I have been treating you with the utmost regard and consideration, in private life and in public. I have looked upon you as politically an elder brother and leader and have often sought your advice."


At times Subhas was compelled
To tell his compatriots
That he was not afraid
Of their dangerous deceptions.
He could easily swallow them.


It pained Subhas deeply
When some of his colleagues
Failed to have
Even a part-time relationship
With reality.


Subhas was saddened and angered by Nehru's criticism-volleys. He responded with unsheathed sincerity-parries and power-thrusts:
"What is the use of your sitting in Allahabad and uttering words of wisdom which have no relation to reality? ...
  Regarding Bengal, I am afraid you know practically nothing. During two years of your presidentship you never cared to tour the province, though that province needed your attention much more than any other, in view of the terrible repression it had been through."


In 1957 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru travelled to Japan as the first Prime Minister of independent India. While he was in Tokyo, he visited the Renko-ji temple, where Netaji Subhas Chandra's ashes have been so faithfully and lovingly preserved by his Japanese friends. Nehru was asked to offer a message about Netaji. He wrote in his own hand:
"May the Buddha's message bring peace to mankind.
  (13 October 1957)"

and signed his name. The framed copy of this message and Nehru's photo have been kept on display. The message is also engraved on a marble plaque which is mounted outside the temple near a statue of Netaji.

The messages of two other leaders of the Indian nation are shown on the same slab. The first is that of President Rajendra Prasad. He says:

"I consider it my happiness to be able to visit this temple to offer my prayer to the sacred ashes of Netaji.
  (4 October 1958)"

The second message is that of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Nehru's own daughter, who said:
"May the light of Netaji guide us towards the heart of truth and peace for eternity.
  (26 June 1969)"


Pandit-ji, it is so painful.
You took the trouble to visit your friend-rival
Subhas Chandra's shrine in Tokyo, Japan.
Alas, you could find nothing good
To say about him.
Instead you bring the Lord Buddha
Into the picture.
India's first President, Rajendra Prasad,
As well as your own daughter, Indira,
Had such nice things to say about Subhas.
It is simply impossible to understand
How a world figure like you,
How a beloved son of India like yourself,
Could justify your deplorable conduct!


Alas, on many occasions,
The so-called lofty utterances
Of India's national leaders
Were not rational,
Not to speak of consistent.
They were something else,
And God alone knows
What that something else was!


Even regarding Netaji's plane crash and death, Nehru's own public pronouncements contradicted each other. Either Nehru suffered from uncertainty-nights or perhaps he deliberately wished to mould reality-day in his own way!

More than ten years after Netaji's plane crash, Nehru announced at a huge gathering that Netaji was definitely not alive. Later Nehru went to Japan to see Netaji's ashes.

On another occasion, Nehru declared that he was "fully satisfied" that the actual date of Netaji's death was 13 May 1962! Not long after that, Netaji's nephew, Amiya Nath, requested Nehru to order an enquiry into Netaji's death by the Justice of the Supreme Court. Nehru agreed that it was "absolutely necessary to come to a conclusion with regard to the authenticity of Netaji's death."

From where to where! Alas, in 1964 Nehru passed on. God alone knows if Nehru deliberately misrepresented the truth or if he himself was a captive of uncertainty.

Photo caption

Subhas Chandra Bose (far right) with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter, Indira, in 1939. Both of them were to become Prime Ministers of independent India.

Indira Gandhi’s most beautiful eulogy to Subhas runs:

“Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is a symbol of flaming patriotism and dynamism. His life and his message will remain an inspiration for generations to come.”

Chapter nine — Subhas and his compatriots


Subhas suffered heavily
From his compatriots'
Doubt-stained minds.


And yet, Subhas could not be swayed from his God-ordained mission. In a letter to his brother Sarat, he confidently declared:
"I am realising more and more as time passes that I have a definite mission to fulfil in life and for which I have been born, and I am not to drift in the current of popular opinion. It is the law of this world and people will criticise, but my sublime self-consciousness will enable me not to be influenced by them."


In other politicians
We saw earth's slowest progress-train.
In Subhas
We saw Heaven's fastest progress-plane.


While Gandhi-ji and others seemed content to strive for incremental concessions from the British, from the beginning Subhas wanted full independence for his Motherland. He stated:
"I am an extremist and my principle is" — all or none.

Ultimately, Gandhi-ji himself moved a resolution for complete independence in 1929, which inspired and uplifted all freedom-loving Indians.


No matter how hard Subhas tried,
The country's indecision-obscurity
Ruthlessly dogged him.


Although Subhas was elected as President of the National Congress for a second term in 1939 — even against the explicit wishes of Gandhi-ji — a resolution was passed requiring Subhas to nominate the Working Committee in accordance with Gandhi-ji's wishes. Many of Subhas Chandra's own supporters voted for this resolution, which effectively tied the President's political arms and legs in a morass of weakness and indecision.


As Subhas Chandra's heart sailed
Through the oceans of hope,
Even so, his mind waded
Through the streams of anxiety.


Subhas became Congress President
Only to see all around him
Scoffing and criticising minds.
Perhaps God Himself has not seen
Something as pathetic as this!


In a letter to his wife Emilie written just ten days prior to his resignation as Congress President, Subhas states candidly:
"Perhaps you know that I was re-elected President in spite of the opposition of the Gandhi group. They were greatly annoyed that I defeated their candidate. Gandhi-ji himself called my victory a defeat for himself. Ever since the election I have had great trouble with the Gandhi group and the trouble is not over yet."


He had to deal with countless human beings
Whose minds had a chronic aversion to reality.


Subhas was compelled
To wallow in the ashes
Of hope.


His dynamism always longed
To move past indecision-barriers
Of other political leaders
And freedom-fighters.


Even impossible critics
Discovered in him
A perfect stranger
To fear-mountain
And doubt-forest.


Subhas said to his friends,
'Let us try to compromise.
Let us do away once and for all
With the complaint list
Of our divided and dividing minds.'


Even after Subhas Chandra's heart was torn by the shameless resignation of most of the Congress Working Committee members; even after his power as President was seriously curtailed by the requirement to seek Gandhi-ji's approval for new members of the Working Committee — even then, Subhas desperately tried to compromise with Gandhi-ji, but Gandhi-ji was unyielding. Thus, Subhas had no other course but to tender his resignation:
"After mature deliberation, therefore, and in an entirely helpful spirit, I am placing my resignation in your hands."


Before Subhas left India,
His was the fate to breathe in
A gratitude-impoverished land.
But once he left India,
His very name invoked
India's gratitude-pride-blossoms.


While waiting for his countrymen's immediate reactions,
He saw insecurity-wasteland all-where.
He became nothing short of an utter expectation-victim.


He told his compatriots,
'We have talked loudly
And we have protested greatly,
But that is not the right way.
The right way is to value
Each other's opinion
And then jointly
Come to an infallible decision.'


Alas, so often Subhas was forced
To hoard frustration-phantoms.
He was not alone.
The eternal optimist in him
Always went with him.


After the I.N.A. was forced to retreat from its foray into India, Netaji's optimism was a beacon-light for all his troops:
"Being born an optimist, my unshakable faith in India's early emancipation remains unimpaired and I appeal to you to cherish the same optimism. I have always said that the darkest hour precedes the dawn. We are now passing through the darkest hour; therefore, the dawn is not far off."

Chapter ten — Subhas the truth-seeker and God-lover

Photo Caption

Subhas Chandra Bose was born on Saturday, 23 January 1897 at Cuttack, India, in a Bengali family. He was the night of fourteen children. As a young boy, he said he felt like “a thoroughly insignificant being.”


The dawn of his life began
With the temple-purity
Of a God-devotion-life.


From his childhood, Subhas was looking for a Guru. He worshipped Mother Kali and did japa. Then he discovered Swami Vivekananda and accepted him as his spiritual guide.
"One day by sheer accident I stumbled upon...the works of Swami Vivekananda. I had hardly turned over a few pages when I realised that here was something which I had been longing for....I was thrilled to the marrow of my bones."

The life-transforming and soul-stirring words of Swami Vivekananda found a welcome home in Subhas Chandra's aspiring heart, specially such immortal utterances as:
"Arise and awake, and see her seated here, on her eternal throne, rejuvenated, more glorious than she ever was" — this Motherland of ours.

These all-inspiring words later found new expression in Subhas Chandra's own speeches and writings:
"India has lost almost everything" — she has lost even her soul, but still, we must not worry, we must not lose hope....We must once again sing the national song of India. And that is — 'Arise, Awake!'


Subhas Chandra's blossoming adolescence
Was inescapably captured
By Swami Vivekananda's nation-awakening
And nation-illumining enlightened messages.
From Swami-ji's heart, Subhas entered into
His Master Sri Ramakrishna's
Simplicity-ocean and God-realisation-mountain-life.


As Subhas would later recount:
"I was soon able to get together with a group of friends who became interested in Ramakrishna and Vivekananda....Whenever we had a chance, we would talk of nothing else but this topic....I had a new ideal before me now which inflamed my soul" — to effect my own salvation and to serve humanity by abandoning all worldly desires and breaking away from undue restraints.

Photo Caption

Subhas Chandra’s father, Sri Janakinath Bose and his mother, Prabhavati Devi. Subhas often turned to his dearest mother for spiritual strength and consolation.

Sri Janakinath Bose, the father of Subhas, passed away in January 1935. In accordance with Indian tradition, Subhas shaved his head. This photograph shows him performing his father’s Shraddha (memorial services.)

Subhas in mourning for his father, whom he called Gurudev.


There were many times in Subhas Chandra's life
When he entered deep within
The inmost recesses of his heart
And did not want his conversation with silence
Ever to end.


To his mother, Prabhavati Devi, Subhas confided his innermost thoughts, feelings and dreams in countless letters. It was she who encouraged and nurtured his Godward journey, even when he was thousands of miles away in England.
"Mother, it is most painful and disheartening to think that we hardly ever call out to Him" — who is doing so much for us, who is always our friend, in prosperity or adversity...who lives always in our heart and is so close to us and who belongs to us. We weep over unimportant worldly things but have not a tear to spare for Him....


Subhas came to realise
From an early age
That his mission was not the acceptance
Of life-renunciation.
His mission was to throw himself
Into the vortex of self-sacrificing activities
With the view to liberating his Motherland
From the shackles of the foreign yoke.


We shall not be surprised to discover that Subhas also developed boundless admiration for the great spiritual giant Sri Aurobindo [Arabinda in Bengali], who was also a Bengali. Sri Aurobindo was one of India's foremost revolutionary leaders before he retired to Pondicherry to devote himself to perfecting his spiritual realisation. He felt that he could be of greater service to his country and to the world at large through his prayer and meditation. Subhas tells us that Sri Aurobindo's profound inner message provided a spiritual foundation for his outer life of nation-service:
"The reconciliation between the One and the Many, between God and the creation, which Ramakrishna and Vivekananda had preached, had indeed impressed me but had not till then succeeded in liberating me from the cobwebs of Maya. In this task of emancipation, Arabinda came as an additional help. He worked out a reconciliation between Spirit and Matter, between God and the creation, on the metaphysical side and supplemented it with a synthesis of the methods of attaining the truth" — a synthesis of Yoga, as he called it.


After rejecting an offer to join the Indian Civil Service in 1921, Subhas wrote this letter:
"The very principle of serving under an alien bureaucracy is intensely repugnant to me. The path of Arabinda Ghose is to me more noble, more inspiring, more lofty, more unselfish, though more thorny than the path of Ramesh Dutt....I have written to Father and to Mother to permit me to take the vow of poverty and service."

Sri Aurobindo had deliberately failed the riding portion of this same I.C.S. examination some years earlier, in spite of being a most brilliant scholar.


When we meditate on Subhas Chandra's soul,
We invariably see and feel
That God's Feet may not have been visible
To his mind-eye,
But God's Heart was always
Not only visible, but available,
To his heart-cry.


What inner flame of truth possessed young Subhas to place service to the country before self? His own answer to this question of questions is at once revealing and illumining:
"For me, the essential nature of reality is love. Love is the essence of the Universe and is the essential principle in human life....I see all around me the play of love; I perceive within me the same instinct; I feel that I must love in order to fulfil myself...."

Chapter eleven — Subhas and Dilip: the mystic friend versus the psychic friend


Subhas is power's gong.
Dilip is beauty's song.


Dilip was a singer
Of the Source.
Subhas was a marcher
On the Course.
Two different approaches
To the ultimate Reality.
They plied their life-boats
Lovingly and self-givingly
Between their reciprocal
And heart-affection-shores.


Subhas said to Dilip,
'Dilip, come and join me immediately!'
Dilip said to Subhas,
'Subhas, come and join me wisely!'
God the Author of all Good said to them,
'My sons, both of you
Should remain wherever you are.
I want Subhas to fulfil Me
In his own inimitable way.
I want Dilip to fulfil Me as well
In his own inimitable way.
After your earth-departures,
In Heaven, one will march
With Me and for Me,
While the other will sing
With Me and for Me.'


From the inmost recesses
Of his heart,
Subhas confided in Dilip:
'I am frequently
In the vortex of politics.
I deal with many friends.
Most of them are quite often
Perfect strangers to truth.
At least in you —
In your soul,
In your heart,
In your life —
I have found
An unceasingly dependable friend.

'Dilip, how can I ever forget
Your heart's spontaneous generosity?
You gave me ninety pounds
When I was in dire financial need.
A friend in deed
A friend indeed!'


Two affection-flooded friends;
Two mind-confusion-removal-friends;
Two truth-seeker-friends;
Two true God-believer-friends;
Two consolation-fountain-friends;
Two heart-offering and life-illumining friends.


One day at his sister's house in Barrackpore, Dilip offered a reception for Subhas. Driving back to Calcutta in his own car, Subhas, clasping the hand of his dearest friend, opened his heart and said:
"Dilip, I have a request to make to you: don't leave soon for your ivory tower. I need you...I need you because I want to feel that here in Calcutta I have at least one friend on whom I can fully rely, in whom I can confide without reserve."


To witness the mutual and abiding friendship between these favourite two of Bengal, we need only read a portion of a poignant letter Subhas wrote to Dilip from the Penitentiary in Madras in September of 1932:
"Dilip, your letter has touched such a tender chord in my heart...that it is not easy for me to offer a reply by way of reciprocation....But I know that you will continue to feel for me. This is a great solace to me" — no matter where I happen to be confined.


Subhas the Truth-seeker
Or Subhas the God-lover
Remains either undiscovered
Or buried in oblivion.


Dilip is the dire challenger.
With his inner might,
He fought to bring to the fore
His dearest friend's God-hunger-breath.


Dilip was all love and all support for Subhas, whom he called his "dearest friend on earth." When it came to lauding the character of his friend, Dilip's eloquent pen flowed freely:
"None but an authentic mystic could pour out in letter after letter to his mother (and he was a mere teenager at the time) his touching aspiration for God and godliness, saints and holiness and the sacredness of the very soil of Mother India he adored."

Something more:
"To us Subhas was always a citadel of strength, a lighthouse of purity."


Dilip wanted Subhas to accept the spiritual life
In the purest sense of the term,
For Dilip had always found in Subhas
A God-seeker par excellence
And a mystic of pinnacle-heights.
Dilip was all eagerness to bring Subhas
To meet with Sri Aurobindo.


One of Dilip's most poignant entreaties is recalled by him in his classic book Netaji the Man — Reminiscences.

[Dilip to Subhas:] "I want you to fulfil your life following your swadharma, to wit, the deepest call of your nature. Why waste it? Come along with me to Pondicherry."

"I know, Dilip," he retorted. "But I can't turn to Yoga, branded 'defeated' by life." His lips quivered and sparks flew from his eyes.

"But you are not defeated — yet. On the contrary, you are the idol of young Bengal…."

"…If I go with you into even a temporary seclusion, I am afraid I may not be able to come out again into the open with the fire of the fighter in me."


It was Dilip's dream that his dearest friend Subhas would one day accept Yoga and go to the Source, the Goal Ultimate. Then from the Absolute Supreme he wanted Subhas to learn how to execute earth-bound ideas and Heaven-free ideals.

Subhas felt that Mother India's liberation should be his first and foremost goal. He did subscribe to Dilip's view that the highest Goal is God-realisation. But he was neither ready nor willing to have that loftiest Goal as his own, very own, for the time being. He believed that when the Hour of God strikes, the Hour itself will do the needful. Subhas wanted to climb up the life-tree progressively, step-by-step, giving due attention to each successive height.

Dilip was adamant. He did not want his dearest friend's burning God-hunger in the inmost recesses of his heart to remain totally, if not shockingly, dormant. Therefore, time and again, he made soulful attempts to bring to the fore his friend's genuine God-hunger-cries. No, never cleverly, but self-givingly.

In return, Subhas offered his gratitude-heart to Dilip. Something is at once interesting and illumining: whenever he received blessings, concern and goodwill — even indirectly — from Sri Aurobindo, Subhas the heart blossomed into sincerity-appreciation.

Dilip writes à propos:

"...I had only sent him [Subhas] a flower from Sri Aurobindo as a token of his blessing. Subhas wrote from prison: ‘I think that even those who rule out a supra-mental order have to admit the existence and efficacy of what is popularly styled will-power. And this power" — call it by what name you will — is bound to act, even if the receiver is not open or adequately and consciously receptive. I am grateful to Sri Aurobindo....I have appreciated (I cannot find the proper word!) Sri Aurobindo's action. I shall not say more lest my language become conventional.’


Subhas did not find it difficult to believe
That the necessity of a spiritual Master
Is of paramount importance
For a free access to the inner realms
Of Light, Power and Bliss.
And he also had the inner conviction
That the Master always knows infinitely more
Than the disciple himself
About his own life.


In 1936 he revealed the depth of his devotion for Swami Vivekananda when he wrote:
"If Swami-ji would have been alive today, he would have been my Guru or I would have accepted him as my Guru."


Subhas the politician,
Subhas the patriot,
Subhas the revolutionary,
Subhas the Mother India-independence-dreamer;
Subhas the giver of all, his very all,
To his beloved _Bharat Mata_;
Subhas the staunch believer that the Mother
And Motherland are superior to Heaven itself —
To him his Motherland
Was God's Divinity-Manifestation-Reality.

On A Personal Note

To my extreme sorrow, I was not blessed by Netaji's physical presence. But I was blessed by his dearest friend Dilip's physical presence many, many times. In my adolescent years, Dilip-da appreciated and encouraged me most lovingly and most affectionately. He read at least 200 of my Bengali poems. Hard to believe, one of my Bengali songs he sang, along with thirty young boys, in front of the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

When I was about 16 years old, in 1948, I wrote an article entitled Amader Dilip-da. There I devotedly expressed my deep feelings for those two intimate friends and two most illustrious Sons of Bengal: Subhas and Dilip.

My English teacher, Rani Devi, was all compassion to me. She took that article from me to give to Dilip-da, who was a relative of hers. Dilip-da made a few minor corrections. I treasured his blessingful corrections. Rani-di brought me the following message from Dilip-da:

"Subhas the man is my admiration.
  Subhas the life is my affection.
  Subhas the heart is my sleeplessly cherished dream."

Chapter twelve — Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the hooligan chief: A story written on 15 January 1979


There was once a great patriot who conquered the heart of everyone in India, specially the Bengalis. He was known as the leader of great leaders. When he was in college, he was a most brilliant student. He had tremendous fondness for spiritual and religious people. Whenever he could be of any help to the poor, the sick or the needy, he would be the first person to go there.

Once, when he was a young man, cholera broke out in Calcutta, and all the rich people left the city. When the epidemic broke out, there was no medical treatment for the poor, so this patriot used to go to the section of town where the very poor lived and treat them.

Now, in that part of town there were many hooligans. Their leader used to threaten him and say, "Do not come to our section and do not bother us. We do not want to see you. You are well-educated and come from a rich family, whereas we are very poor and uneducated. We do not want you here." But although the hooligans did not want him to come and help the poor, he did not care. He said, "Do whatever you want. If you want to kill me, kill me. I have come into the world to help the poor and sickly. I shall continue coming with my money and my food to try to help as much as I can."

One day the only son of the leader of the hooligans was attacked by cholera. So the young man went to his house and started caring for the son, feeding him and giving him medical treatment. The hooligan leader was so moved! He said to the young man, "I threatened you and warned you not to come to this area, and now when my own son is attacked by cholera, you come to help him. You are so brave."

The young man said, "It is not a matter of bravery; it is my necessity. I see God in everybody. When I see somebody is suffering, when I see another human being in need, I feel it is my duty to help him. One must help one's brother when he is in need."

The hooligan chief bowed down to the young man and said, "You are not a human being. You are Divinity incarnate."

This great leader and great patriot, this matchless leader and matchless patriot, was none other than Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The very mention of his name brings such a divine emotional feeling into the consciousness of India!

Chapter thirteen — Mother India's freedom-fighters and peace-lovers


Each and every fighter
For the independence-freedom
Of Mother India
Was a Truth-marcher
On the celestial Light-Highway.


The silence-heart of Mother India
Longs for world-illumination
And not for world-information.


Mother India is not the Golden Age
Of the remote past.
Mother India is the Wisdom-Light
Of Eternity's Here and Now.


The soul of Mother India
Always accompanies God
On His World-Peace-Campaign.


Mother India's heart
Is lovelier than readiness,
Richer than willingness
And swifter than eagerness
To be inside God's Silence-Heart
And God's Sound-Life.


God gave to Mother India's children
What they desperately needed:
A thunderbolt-determination
To liberate them from the foreign yoke.


Those who offered their lives
In Mother India's freedom-fight
Flew up into God's Bliss-flooded Sky
When they proudly embraced death.


Mother India's freedom-fighters
Became God's
Satisfaction-fulfilled Fragrance.


Mother India's freedom-fighters
Did not depend on guiding stars.
They depended on their Mother's
Loving affection and satisfaction.


While they were sacrificing
Their lives for freedom,
God Himself gave them
To embrace Him.


God called Mother India's
By a special name:
For God's Satisfaction-Delight.


Mother India's heart
Loves to study only one subject:


May a God-obedience-shrine
Be found in every
Indian heart-home.


My Lord Supreme,
May each and every Indian
Become a peace-life-dweller
In every inch of his being.


Mother India's heart knows
Only a full-time God-lover
Can be a perfect


India's greatest gift:
In God-acceptance.


To feel the nearness of God,
Mother India's soul smiles.
To breathe the closeness of God,
Mother India's heart cries.


Unlike the mind of Mother India,
The minds of many countries
Remain astronomical distances
Away from simplicity.


May clear-minded, pure-hearted
And God-fulfilling servers
In infinite number
Take birth on Indian soil
To satisfy and please God
Sleeplessly in God's own Way.


My Lord, I am an Indian.
Do teach my devotion-heart
How to write
Love-letters and gratitude-letters
To You every day.


Our beloved Netaji,
The year 1997
Most affectionately
Most proudly
Celebrates your Birth Centenary.

Every Indian heart is your home.

Chinmoy Kumar Ghose\ Kumamoto, Japan.


Author's note

I wish to offer my deepest gratitude to the wisdom-flooded authors of the following books on Netaji, which my aspiration-heart eagerly devoured during the writing of this book. I tender my most heartfelt thanks to the members of Netaji's own family, Sarat Chandra Bose and his wife, Bivabati, and Sisir Kumar Bose and his wife, Krishna, who have so faithfully and lovingly preserved Netaji's writings and added their own illumining and revealing insights. Without them and their Netaji Research Bureau, the immortal legacy of Netaji would surely have passed into oblivion.


Bose, Sarat Chandra. I Warned My Countrymen. Calcutta: Netaji Research Bureau, 1st edition, 1968.

Bose, Sarat Chandra. The Voice of Sarat Chandra Bose: Selected Speeches 1927-1941. Calcutta: Netaji Research Bureau, 1979.

Bose, Dr. Sisir Kumar. The Flaming Sword Forever Unsheathed: A Concise Biography of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Calcutta: Netaji Research Bureau, 1986.

Bose, Dr. Sisir Kumar. The Great Escape. Calcutta: Netaji Research Bureau, 1st edition, 1975.

Bose, Dr. Sisir Kumar, editor-in-chief. A Beacon Across Asia: A Biography of Subhas Chandra Bose. New Delhi: Orient Longman, 1973.

Bose, Dr. Sisir Kumar, and Sinha, Birendra Nath, editors. Netaji: A Pictorial Biography. Calcutta: Ananda, 1979.

Bose, Krishna. Netaji: A Biography for the Young. New Delhi: Rupa & Co., 1995. (Studied in both English and Bengali editions)

Bose, Krishna. Itihaser Sandhane. Calcutta: Ananda, 1982.

Bose, Krishna. Charanrekha Taba. Calcutta: Ananda, 1982.

Bose, Asoke Nath. My Uncle Netaji. Calcutta: Esem Publications, 1977.

Bose, Mihir. The Lost Hero: A Biography of Subhas Bose. London: Quartet Books, 1982.


Ahluwalia, B.K. and S. Netaji and Gandhi. New Delhi: Indian Academic Publishers, 1982.

Ahluwalia, B.K. and S. Netaji and Indian Independence. New Delhi: Harnam Publications, 1983.

Bhardwaj, R.C., editor. Netaji and the I.N.A. New Delhi: Lok Sabha Secretariat, 1994.

Dey, S. Gandhiji o Netaji. Kalikata: Rabindra Laibreri, 1977.

Gordon, Leonard A. Brothers Against the Raj. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

Guha, S. Rabindranathera Drishtite Subhashacandra. Kalikata: Jayasri Prakasana, 1991.

Guha, S. The Mahatma and Netaji: Two Men of Destiny of India. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1986.

Jog, N.G. In Freedom's Quest: A Biography of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Bombay: Orient Longman, 1969.

Khosla, G.D. Last Days of Netaji. Delhi: Thomson Press, 1974.

Kurti, K. Subhas Chandra Bose As I Knew Him. Calcutta: Firma K.L. Mukhopadhay, 1966.

Lahiri, Amar. Said Subhas Bose. Calcutta: The Book House, 1947.

Majumadara, N. Rabindranatha o Subhashacandra. Kalikata: Sarasvata Laibreri, 1968.

Mangat, G.S. The Tiger Strikes: An Unwritten Chapter of Netaji's Life History. Ludhiana: Gagan Publishers, 1986.

Menon, K.A.K. From the Diary of a Freedom Fighter. Madras: Kavungal Anat, 1989.

Mookerjee, N. Vivekananda's Influence on Subhas. Calcutta: Jayasree Prakashan, 1977.

Mukhopadhyaya, D. Dui Nayaka. Kalikata: Ananya Prakasana, 1987.

Muller, Edmund and Bhattacherjee, Arun, editors. Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian Freedom Struggle. New Delhi: Ashish Publishing House, 1985.

Nehru, J. A Bunch of Old Letters. New York: Asia Publishing House, 1958.

Patil, V.S. Subhas Chandra Bose: His Contribution to Indian Nationalism. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1988.

Roy, Dilip Kumar. Amar Bandhu Subhas. Kalikata: Bisvabani Prakasani, 1966.

Roy, Dilip Kumar. Netaji the Man-Reminiscences. Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, 1966.

Sopana. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: His Life and Work. Bombay: Azad Bhandar, 1946.

Tagore, Rabindranath. Japan-Yatri. Calcutta: Vishwabharati Ganthralaya, 1962.

Werth, A. Netaji in Germany: An Eye-Witness Account of the Indian Freedom Struggle in Europe During World War II. Calcutta: Netaji Research Bureau, 1970.

Heralds of Freedom: On the Occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Formation of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1968.

Books by Subhas Chandra Bose

Famous Speeches and Letters of Subhas Chandra Bose. Lahore: Lion Press, 1946.

An Indian Pilgrim: An Unfinished Autobiography and Collected Letters, 1897-1921. Translations from the Bengali by Sisir Kumar Bose. New York: Asia Publishing House, 1965.

Letters to Emilie Schenkl 1934-1942. Edited by Sisir Kumar Bose and Sugata Bose. Calcutta: Netaji Research Bureau, 1994.

Life and Times of Subhas Chandra Bose, As Told in His Own Words. Compiled and edited by Madan Gopal. New Delhi: Vikas, 1978.

Netaji: Collected Works, Volume 2. Sisir K. Bose, editor. Calcutta: Netaji Research Bureau, 1981.

Nutaner Sandhan. Dhaka: Mukta-buddhi Prakasani, 1972.

Taruner Swapna. Dhaka: Mukta-buddhi Prakasani, 1972.