My father and the occultist

My father had a distant relative who was a great occultist. The occultist was very spiritual, and he was very fond of both my father and my mother.

This relative never paid any attention to studies; he didn't even go to primary school. But since he was a very great occultist, many people used to visit him when they were in trouble. If a cow was stolen, he would tell the owner to go to a particular place to find it.

This occultist helped my father many times. Once my father went to him when my brother Chitta was very sick. Both Chitta and a relative's son were seriously ill in the hospital. The occultist said to my father, "Doctors are useless! They won't be able to cure your son. Here, I am giving you blessing ash from the feet of Mother Kali. If you put this on your son's head, he will be all right."

My father went to the hospital and put the ashes on my brother's head. Because of his great love and respect for my father, the occultist helped my brother Chitta. But when the relative whose son was also in the hospital went to the occultist, the occultist said, "God is also in the doctors," and he did not help him.

Unfortunately, the doctor's medicine did not do the needful. The relative's son died, and my brother recovered. So the occultist's ash saved my brother, whereas the doctor's medicine could not cure our relative's son.

There is another very striking story about this occultist. My father felt sorry for a particular family that had opened up a shop and gone bankrupt. People were bothering them to pay their debts, so my father wrote them a postcard promising to give them some money. The family kept the postcard and planned to use it in court to prove that my father was responsible for their debts.

A friend of my father heard about this and told the occultist about it. The occultist said, "I will take care of it." The friend had faith in him and told my father not to worry. When the particular family brought the postcard to court, the judge saw that there was no signature on it. So he said that my father could not be held responsible. From a distant Indian village the occultist removed the signature in the court in the town, just before the judge looked at the postcard.

Once my father and a friend went to see the occultist very late at night, around midnight. Village people usually go to bed around eight o'clock, so by that time everyone in the village was fast asleep. The occultist happened to be meditating, and he saw inwardly that my father and a friend were coming. He had tremendous respect for my father, so he woke up his mother and said, "They have been travelling for a long time and they have not eaten. Please cook something." When my father and his friend arrived, the food was ready.

One day this occultist went to Calcutta, and people begged him to give a talk. His first sentence was, "Without God everything is a broomstick." The word he used for broomstick was in the Chittagong dialect, which the Calcutta people did not know. They thought it was a mantra, and they started repeating it.

In the audience were five or six women from Chittagong. They started laughing. The Calcutta people were furious that the Chittagong people were so rude, and the Chittagong people were so embarrassed that the Calcutta people were repeating the occultist's 'mantra!'

When the occultist was a young man, his parents forced him to get married even though he did not want to. When he saw his wife in the palanquin, he cried, "Bondage, bondage!" and jumped out. Then he ran away. What a calamity he created!

In later years he allowed his wife to come back to him, but she never cared for meditation — never! When he died, the occultist's disciples tried to persuade her to take his place, but she refused. She said, "No, I cannot accept your pranams and all your devotion."