| hardwork through out his career and bought properties in lot of religious hubs in India like: Kashi, Kolkata, Puri etc.
Shri Darbesh ji’s father, Shri Kulchandra was also a very learned and religious man. At home he had temple of Godess Lakshmi and Narayan and Lord Shiva. Their was a daily ritual of meticulously performing all religious proceedings and procedures for the temple.
Shri Kulchandra left his mortal body at the age of fifty nine in Kolkata city. At the time Darbesh ji was only 11 years old kid. Darbesh ji’s mother’s name was Rasmayi devi. When Darbesh ji was only a few months old his mother saw a strange dream. She saw a strange looking woman who had four hands come to her room and was trying to snatch the baby from her. Suddenly a holy saint appeared in the room and hit the devil woman with his long kane and she disappeared. Then the holy saint picked up the baby in his lap for sometime and returned the baby back to the mother saying for now he will stay with you. His mother woke up and thanked Lord Shiva thinking he came to protect her child.
Another extraordinary incident happened in Darbesh ji’s life when he was 3 years old. His parents along with him went to visit the holy city of Kashi for the first time. During their trip they went to get the blessings of a very famous ancient sage Shri Tailang swami. When they visited the saint was asleep but just when they were about to leave he suddenly woke up and saw Darbesh ji. Seeing the kid he started to stroke the kid with lots of affection and finally took him in his lap. He blessed the kid lovingly and then gave him back to his mother. All the people who witnessed this incident were surprised as the great holy saint had never done such a thing. Many people at the time believed this kid is going to be great saint in future.
Darbesh ji’s father had appointed a home tutor for him when he was a kid and later he joined a minor school in his village. He was an extremely intelligent kid and used outshine all the other kids in his class. Because of his extraordinary intelligence he was able to finish the lessons quickly. As a kid he was vivacious and adorable. He used to take a lot of interest in participating in any religious get together and listen to great epics like Mahabharat. He heard stories of Sri Krishna’s childhood and life after. Also how he saved Draupadi from trouble. Listening to those stories he told his father that he wanted to love Sri Krishna. His father was a religious man and was very thrilled to hear this from his son.
In the year 1892, (Paila Baishak) Darbesh ji had his upnayan (holy thread ceremony). After this ceremony Darbesh ji pursued further studies in Jublee school in Dhaka. After the death of his father, his eldest brother Shreeish Chandra took the full responsibility of Darbesh ji and raised him like his own son. During his school days and while pursuing his studies staying in the hostel Darbesh ji got very attracted to the religious thoughts and beliefs of Brahma Samaj. He was very impressed by the concepts of this new religion and started attending weekly sessions every weekend.
However, his stay in Dhaka was not very long and he returned to his village. He joined this school called Arya Mission institution and continued his education. In their school there was this subject called Bhagwad Gita and it was compulsory for each kid to get good grades in the subject. Hence, Darbesh Ji was able to memorize the complete Bhangwad Gita at a very young age. He was very good in studies and used to get very good grades at school. However, he had another personality at home which was his naughty self. He was two different people at two different places. He also had keen interest in participating in dance, drama and music during his school days.
During his school days he heard Shri Shri Bijoy Krishna Goswami’s name and at one time he had accompanied Editor Lalitmohan to Sukiya street to invite Gosain ji to address the student community. Lalitmohan went to meet with Gosain ji on the second floor alone and returned saying Gosain ji has stopped addressing huge gatherings now. Darbesh ji didn’t have a chance to meet Gosain ji at the time.
Gosain ji at that time had started following Hinduism and used to adorn himself with kumkum and garlands. After witnessing this Lalitmohan was very upset with Gosain ji. Also on another occasion during one of the religious ceremonies Gosain ji ordered alcohol for a saint because the saint refused to have dinner without alcohol. This started a revolution in the Brahma Samaj and Pt. Shivnath Shastri criticized Gosain ji a lot for this action. This incident started a revolt in Brahma samaj community. Darbesh ji participated in this revolt in a big way started criticizing Gosain ji as much possible.
It was really surprising to witness such an incident in Darbesh ji’s life as in the future Darbesh ji became one of the ardent disciples of Gosain ji.
His Life in Village: Varishal
In year 1894, Darbesh ji was sent for further studies to a place called Varishal. He joined a school called Brijmohan High School there. A student called Makhanlal Gangophadhyay became a very close friend. Makhanlal was the one who first advised Darbesh ji to never do any action which is against the religion or advised in religious scriptures. This message hit home and Darbesh ji started to analyze his behavior vis a vis his best friend. He started to notice a lot extraordinary qualities in Makhanlal and now he wanted to be like him.
As a student Darbesh ji was a member of a student association called “Little brother of the poor”. Here he used to do a lot voluntary work for the poor and destitute along with other members of the association.
In the same year, Darbesh ji had the opportunity to spend some quality time with some very knowledgeable people like Ashwini kumar, Gorachand and Chandranath Das. Ashwini kumar was the disciple of Gosain ji. After that Makhanlal and Parvaticharn Ghosh also became the disciple of Gosain ji and got initiated through him. When Darbesh ji got to know about this he was very excited and inspired. He bought a photo of Gosian ji and started to worship him. Since he had influence of Brahma Samaj in his mind he didn’t want to get initiated and didn’t think it was necessary for him. So some more time passed by and when he went home to Makhan’s place for Durga puja holidays. There he met a little girl, 13 years old, Sarojbala devi who asked him whether he has been initiated yet? Darbesh ji was surprised and said he wasn’t and also doesn’t see the need for it.
The decision to become a disciple of Gosain ji:
However, since then he started to think about getting initiated and becoming a disciple of Gosain ji. This thought started hurting him. Understanding his state of mind, one day Makhanlal said, My friend life is very short and it is passing away. How much more time you will waste. Why don’t you go to Gosain ji and request him to take you as his disciple. Darbesh ji suddenly realized he wanted to do this and wrote a letter to Gosain ji seeking to be his disciple. He didn’t get an immediate answer so he wrote another letter to Gosain Ji’s son, Yogjeevan. He wrote back saying Gosain ji is due to go for the Vrindavan yatra soon and he will initiate Darbesh ji when he returns from there.
Darbesh ji grew very restless and wanted to meet Gosain ji. He requested his close friend Makahanlal to help him meet Gosain ji. Eventually he was able to meet Gosain ji for the first time in a house in Calcutta’s Seetaram Ghosh Street. The moment he set his eyes on Gosain ji he couldn’t look away. He got very attracted to his Guru. And he tried to stay near him for next five days as much as he could. During this period he also met Kuladanand Bramhachari ji, who was already a disciple of Gosain ji. Kuladanand ji also asked Gosain ji as to when will Darbesh ji be able to get Deeksha from him. Gosain ji said after he returns from his trip to Vrindavan.
After thus spending a few days with Gosain ji, Darbesh ji returned to his village, Khalia. But the restlessness inside him kept growing and he couldn’t get any sleep. In the year 1895, he went to Calcutta again to meet Gosain ji. But Gosain ji had left for Vrindavan already by then. Darbesh ji at the time started feeling that if he couldn’t meet Gosain ji and become his disciple then his life is not worth living. Thinking this one night he went near river Ganges (Ganga) to commit suicide. As soon as he jumped in the river he found Gosain ji’s form appear before him and started guiding him to come towards Him. From there Darbesh ji headed out for Vrindavan, without any money on foot. In the way he found Gosain ji and Yogmaya devi guiding him towards Vrindavan.
When he reached Vrindavan, he met Gosain ji and he couldn’t control his tears of joy. Gosain ji lovingly blessed him and asked one of his disciples to give some food to Darbesh ji as he hadn’t had a proper meal since the day he headed out for Vrindavan.
On a Sunday, date 17th of Ashar month per Bengali calendar at 1.00p in the night Gosain ji blessed Darbesh ji with a mantra and made him his disciple.
Regarding his experience of Deeksha: Darbesh ji wrote later: “I felt as if I am in a different world altogether. The whole room got filled by divine light and many divine souls appeared at the same time in the room.”
After that Gosain ji started narrating the rules of Deeksha which are mentioned as under:
- Always speak truth.
- Don’t speak ill of others.
- You should consider your mother and father as Gods.
- You must be compassionate towards all living creatures.
- You must respect everyone who is a visitor at your place
- Try to do some service for saints or saintly people
- Do not eat non vegetarian food
- Do not engage in consumption of hard liquor or any kind of drug that may cause addiction
- You should not eat leftover food from anyone
- You should not give leftover food to anyone
- You should treat your wife with a lot of respect and not like a slave
- Try to practice celibacy
- Try to practice God’s name with your breath
- Try to practice Yoga (Pranayam)
After the rules, Gosain ji gave God’s name (mantra) to Darbesh ji, which he needed to practice with his breath. He was in a delirious state for a long time after the mantra was given to him.
At the time of his initiation (Deeksha), Darbesh ji was 17 years old. Darbesh ji returned to Calcutta with Gosain ji. Since the day he was initiated in the path of true love for God and devotion, Darbesh ji used to practice meditation every day and most of the times he used to be in the state of trance.
One day Darbesh ji asked Gosain ji, “Why isn’t he able to see Vrindavan leela of Sri Krishna?” Gosain ji answered, “You will be able to see Vrindavan leela also. I see it all the times. Whoever has been initiatied in this path of true love and devotion and has received mantra (deeksha) will definitely see Vrindavan leela one day. There is nothing to worry or fear. Just pray and meditate every day and leave rest on me.”
On another occasion Darbesh ji asked Gosian ji, “You said that I have been your disciple for long time in previous births as well, so then why do I have no control on my anger and some other impulses?”
Gosain ji said, “ It is because of your environment. Since childhood the kind of environment you stayed in and the kind of food you have been eating resulted into some reaction but your Ego was with me. So, the moment time was ripe you came to me automatically.
Darbesh Ji’s Wedding and Life After:
Darbesh ji got married to his dearest friend Makhanlal’s sister Sarojbabala devi. Gosain ji chose the spouse for Darbesh ji. After their wedding, in the year 1897, Gosain ji also provided mantra to Sarojbala devi and thus she too became her disciple.
Darbesh ji used to have a lot of questions while he used to mediate. He was confused as to which path to go for. Whether he should renounce everything, break all the relationships, be a saint and proceed to the jungles for deep meditation or should he stay in the world and perform his daily chores and along with that meditate every day? To these questions one day Yogmaya devi, Gosain Ji’s wife appeared before him and said, “Whoever has been blessed with this meditation practice will slowly start evolving and reach to the high levels. He will slowly be able to rise above all ties of relationships and lead a life of a saint even living in the world.”
Gosain ji also responded to him in one of his letters and said, “Be firm! Everything will happen in its own time. There are some past karmas from your previous lives that need to settled in this birth. Let the previous karmas balance be completed. Don’t worry; everything is going to be alright!”
Gradually as years went by Darbesh ji started to make progress in his spiritual life. He got a lot inspiration from his wife who he found was always very happy and content in every situation. She had inner peace. Darbesh ji used to pray to his Gurdev so he could attain similar inner peace as well.
Darbesh ji’s realization:
He spent a lot of time with Gosain ji in Puri learning different kinds of meditation from him and trying to practice all the instructions of his Gurudev. During practicing meditation everyday one night at 1.00p in the night that the mantra his Gurudev had given him as automatically come in sync with his breathing and its going on automatically. He doesn’t have to remember it anymore or consciously make an effort to do it.
He narrated this to his Gurudev and then Gosain ji asked him to follow these rules:
- Stay away from Tobacco
- You must shower three times a day
- Everyday after you shower you shower you need to visit the Jagannath temple and Loknath temple
- Perform Tri Sandhya
After this in the year 1898, Darbesh ji started seeing a lot of things that are out of the world and very spiritual. He dreamed of God Jagannath going out of the Puri temple for Rathyatra.
Darbesh ji had a great talent. He used to write very good poetry. So Gosain ji asked him to rewrite the book called Sri Vrindavan Shatak written by Shri Prabodhanand in a poetry format. He asked him to rewrite the book in Bengali.
Darbesh Ji’s Pain when Gosain Ji left his mortal frame:
In the year 1899, Gosain ji told all his disciples that someone had poisoned his food. Listening to this all the disciples were stunned and shocked. But Gosain ji even after that used to carry on his daily duties and prayer and meditation as usual. Since he used to feel very warm all the time because of the effect of the poison, all the disciples by turns used to fan him. They used to love to serve their Gurudev. One day Gosain ji told Darbesh ji that he really liked the way he served him. Darbesh ji felt very pleased and content when he heard this. Later Gosain ji had written in a letter that the best service to the Guru is practicing naam in every breath.
After Gosain ji left his mortal frame, Darbesh ji was very restless. He couldn’t imagine a life without his Gurudev. He wrote a couple of poems to express his loss. However, with the blessings of his Gurudev he was able to come out of his grief and again practice what his Guru taught him.
Construction of Gosain Ji’s Samadhi Mandir in Puri:
In the year 1901, Darbesh ji started working on making a Samadhi mandir for Gosain ji in Puri. He was always very enthusiastic about this effort. He had also collected some funds for the purpose. Some more contributed for the cause and the Samadhi mandir for Gosain ji was built. To celebrate this occasion there was a special Utsav (festival) was organized. They went to bring the asan (the seat in which Gosain ji used to sit and medidate) and his books from one of the disciple’s (Neelmani Burman) house. They sang kirtan (prayers) while going to his house to bring Gosain ji’s things to the Samadhi mandir. On the asan they found signs of Gosain ji’s footprints and all them felt very happy.
Gosain ji had mentioned to Darbesh ji once that out of the money earned if some amount is not donated for noble causes, that money never grows and its lost. Darbesh ji didn’t want to depend on his parental property so he set up his own business in the year 1903. While setting things up he had to face a lot problems and difficulties but he still kept his efforts going. He started the business of Photography and Life Insurance Policy in his village Varishal. His business did very well and he earned well, however he the success never went to his head and he went on following some rules lifelong.
These are the rules he followed:
- He used to wake up at 4.00am every morning.
- Take a shower and then sit for meditation by 5.00am
- Pray until 8.00am in the morning
- Have light breakfast and then get started with day’s work
- Lunch at 12 noon and then rest for 1 hour
- Read scriptures from 1.00p to 3.00pm
- From 3.00pm to 5.00 pm he used to do ashram work
- From 5.00pm to 7.00pm evening walk
- 7.00pm to 9.00 pm Meditation
- 9.00pm Prayer, Dinner, Rest and meditation
Darbesh Ji renouncing everything to be a Saint:
Darbesh ji was a very kind person. He used to do a lot charity. His business used to run well and at the same time he used to help out people in need. In the year 1911, Darbesh ji saw Gosain ji appear before him and gave him some instructions. Gosain ji asked him to sell his house, property, business and leave the place (Varishal) where he was currently living. Also if he is unable to sell it then he should donate it to someone. He needed to finish doing this by the year 1912, karthik month. Also Darbesh ji should now renounce everything and become a saint. The date was 23 day of Kartik month in year 1912. The place would be Sangam. Darbesh ji upon hearing this touched his Guru’s feet and he disappeared.
He completed all this in next 10 days and went to Calcutta in 1911. He told his wife about everything and asked her if she was okay with everything. Sarojbala devi was okay with the decision too. Darbesh ji had completed 12 years of married life. He made arrangements for Sarojbala devi and took care of the rest of the property. Thus on the 23 day of the kartik month he proceeded for Sangam via Varanasi. He took sanyas from Prabuddha nanda swarswati and his new name was Keshranand swaraswati. Darbesh ji didn’t like his new name as his Gurudev used to address him as Kiran so later he was popularly known as Kiran Chandra Darbesh.
Life as a Saint:
After being a saint, Darbesh ji visited a lot religious places in India for next two and half years. Some places that we saw were looking very familiar and he realized to have visited these places in his previous births.
After having stayed in many religious places Darbesh ji decided to stay in Kashi dham. (A small town in India). Kashi (Varanasi) is very pious and holy city in India. Darbesh ji lived in Kashi in many rented accommodations for many years but later for the welfare of his disciples he established Sri Sri Bijoy Krishna Math. Two more ashramas were set up in places called Meidnipur and Sharifabad village. Darbesh ji used to visit Sharifabad ashram every year and also did a lot meditation in that ashram. In this ashram a special Naam Sankirtan became very popular. One day he saw in his dream that a lot of famous saints from different religions and beliefs including Gosain ji and Chaitanya mahaprabhu are walking together and singing a prayer which is like:
“Bhajo Guru Guorango, Radha Govinda, Brahmo Narayan, Hare Krishna Ram”
He started wondering what could be the meaning of the prayer and suddenly in his mind’s eye the meaning flashed out. It means, “ Bhajo Guru means worship your Guru, Who is Guru? Guru is Guorango. Guorango is Radha and Govind which means Radha ji’s aura is in Govind ji. Govind ji is Brahma and Narayan which means Govind ji is present in both forms which are (God Form) Saakar and Nirakaar (Formless, Timeless, and Infinite). And the way to pray and worship him is by singing Hare Krishna Ram.
Questions and Answers from various disciples of Darbesh ji:
Tips and some Important Lessons
Question: When I am not able to perform mediation regularly as I am supposed to I feel scared that something very bad may happen to me, and thinking that I start to meditate again. Is this okay?
Answer: Having this thought is okay. Some amount of fear is actually good. If one meditates regularly, many problems of his life are resolved automatically. So one should pray and meditate everyday.
Question: We get very upset when any kind of sorrow hits us. What should we do at the time?
Answer: Darbesh ji said anytime when the disciple is very upset or is faced with a very difficult situation he should always pray to his Guru and depend on his Guru. Sadguru always is there to support the disciple but the disciple has to be patient and keep praying. This is best solution during the time of difficulty.
Question: From you answer, it seems like when we are in the midst of sorrow we can only weep and wait.
Answer: There is actually no other way. When a mother beats his child to teach him something the child instead of running away actually hugs the mother even more as he knows that it would be safest haven for him.
Question: Why is it that the people who depend more on their Gurudev and look up to him are the ones who seem to suffering a lot of pain and sorrow compared to the others.
Answer: It is always good to have a little less than what is desired while living in a family life. The people who meditate everyday and pray, God makes sure all their wishes are fulfilled. The exception is only when God sees that a certain wish may not be good for this person in future, he doesn’t grant that.
Question: What happens if we hurt people around us?
Answer: If you hurt people around us it is very difficult to escape the consequences till we ask for their forgiveness and they forgive us. We should take great care in working with others in a group situation as we might hurt someone’s feelings unintentionally.
Question: What is the meaning of Duty?
Answer: A man has to make sure he is able to run the family within his income, take care of his wife. He should not steal or adopt wrong means to earn money for the family. If his income is not enough they should try to manage within the means and reduce the expenses. This is how one needs to go along in life.
Question: How will our previous karmas be balanced in this birth? What can we do about it?
Answer: You just need to do what comes in your way on a daily basis. Rest will be taken care.
Question: You mentioned that the results of the past karmas are very difficult to suffer. How can we finish those karmas and their consequences?
Answer: The only way to get out of previous karmas is meditation and practice of naam. This way you will feel very less pain and your previous karmas will automatically be annihilated. There is no other way the previous karmas can be annihilated.
Question: What is the way we can be saved from any Prarabdh (past ) karms?
Answer: Religious scriptures have mentioned two paths for it: First is Ajapa Sadhana and second is to accept everything that God sends your way with a very happy heart and just take it, which is very difficult. One cannot do the latter without God’s mercy.
Question: How can we receive God’s grace and mercy?
Answer: You need to pray and meditate everyday and try to do all the right things. Practice AJAPA JAPA. When he wishes he will bless you. It’s difficult to predict exactly when he will bless you.
Question: While sitting for meditation, the mind doesn’t come in our control. It keeps thinking of different other worldly things. So what should we do then?
Answer: You should let the mind think whatever it wants to but keep practicing the naam with every breath. Slowly the mind will start concentrating on the meditation. Don’t force it.
Question: Is there any other way to achieve enlightenment?
Answer: No. You need a Guru if you want to have God realization or achieve enlightenment. It is the same process like education. You need a teacher to learn how to read, write and understand.
Question: What should we think about our bodies?
Answer: We should treat our bodies as rented apartments. We should take care of it but should not get attached to it.
Question: What is the method for making sure that naam continues automatically?
Answer: One has to follow all the rules of the meditation and maintain purity of body and soul. Some people get very finicky in the name of purity, we should try to stay away from that.
Question: Why is it important for us to keep practicing naam as much as possible?
Answer: The objective is salvation of the soul. If we are always depending on naan then there is nothing to be scared. Naam takes care of everything.
Question: How can one escape from doubts or not believing?
Answers: One should read a lot religious scriptures, stay in the company of saints and practice naam. All the doubts would dissolve slowly.
Question: What is purpose of this Sadhana?
Answer: This sadhana’s objective is to realize God. It doesn’t help in achieving any worldly pleasures, happiness or momentary pleasures.
Darbesh ji wrote:
This Sadhana is a Power. There is a kundalini shakti in our body. This sadhana helps to awaken the kundalini shakti and helps it to travel upwards from the spine to the neck to the head. When this kundalini reaches the head then the disciple is able to learn the true knowledge.
To read in detail about Darbesh ji please refer to Shri Shri Bijou Krishna Parijan, Part II.