13 January

Nolini-da's birthday. Early in the morning, at four-thirty a.m., I came to Nolini-da to offer my pranam. He blessed me and said: "I am offering you my blessings." I was very surprised and delighted to hear this, for he never uses the term 'blessing' when he outwardly or inwardly blesses someone with his silent gaze. "You can start carrying flowers upstairs," he said.

"It is not yet five."

"So what? You can start now."

I immediately took quite a few beautiful flowers upstairs. Then I began meditating in the Meditation Hall. Around five o'clock Prahllad came in and said to Nolini-da: "Nolini-da, bonne fête."

Nolini-da said to him: "Merci, merci."

Prahllad said: "How much your age?"

Nolini-da said: "Ninety!"

Prahllad said: "Good."

Nolini-da said: "Very good."

Around six o'clock I went to give Nolini-da a book containing a poem I had written for his birthday, which had been translated into twelve languages. Norman-da came in to congratulate Nolini-da on his birthday. Nolini-da said to Norman-da: "You see what he has done for me?"

"Yes, I see it. It is very beautiful."

"In twelve languages!"

"In ancient times kings used to get things like this from their subjects and admirers. The people used to try their best to pay homage to the king in as many languages as possible."

"So today I am a king."

Both of them exchanged delightful smiles. While leaving the room, Norman-da said: "I should say it is wonderful."

Around eight o'clock Rajen-da came in. Nolini-da showed the book to Rajen-da, who said: "I don't want to see it all alone. I wish to bring some of my classmates (Nolini-da's French students)." Nolini-da's French students came in and expressed great joy when they saw the book.

Nolini-da said to them: "Now I wish to feed you. I have some special sweets for all of you."

Anima-di immediately said: "Let me get them for you to distribute."

"No, I want Ranju to do it. Ranju, where is your mother? Go and call her. It is she who should distribute the sweets." Ranju-da went out to get his mother. Nolini-da said to his students: "Stand in a line."

Prahlad and Bholonath, who were not his students, also stood in the line. Rajen-da said to them: "What are you doing here? Since when have you two become students?"

But Nolini-da said to Rajen-da: "Rajen, let them stay in the line. They are my eternal students."

The photographer Vidya Brata came in to take pictures. He took two pictures of Nolini-da and then Nolini-da said: "Now I wish to have a picture with Amrita. Chinmoy, go and call him."

I called Amrita-da, who immediately came. When Amrita-da and Nolini-da stood side-by-side, Indu-di (Nolini-da's wife), standing at the door of Bula-da, said: "Look, look! Ram and Laksman being photographed together!"

Amrita-da immediately said: "True, we are Rama and Laksmana, but Laksmana has to deserve Rama."

Indu-di said: "You do deserve Ram."

Nolini-da gave a broad smile. Amrita-da immediately left for his Tamil class.

Indu-di had a strong desire to have her picture taken with Nolini-da. I pleaded with Nolini-da to let himself be photographed with Indu-di and he agreed. I then went into Amrita-da's room to work. Indu-di came in and said: "Chinmoy, what are you doing here? Your Dada wants you to be in a picture with him."

Sushila came to greet Nolini-da. Nolini-da said: "Sushila, join us, join us."

Sushila said to me: "Chinmoy, don't be so serious. You will ruin the picture. Don't be so serious! Smile!"

The photographer immediately echoed her. Before the photograph was taken, Nirmala-di and Anima-di came in. Nolini-da asked them also to join.

Nolini-da said to us: "This morning I received a blessingful message from the Mother. It says: 'Victory of the Truth'. I wish to say, 'Victory of the Mother'."

That evening Manoj read out the English original of my poem on Nolini-da in the playground.