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(11:33 minutes) Bruce Kell from Strathfield, Australia, made this 1975 recording of Dadaji singing Sanskrit Sloka song during the Utsav Celebration in Calcutta India.
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THE TRUTH WITHIN
by Dadaji
edited by Ann Mills
FREE download of book

Part IV
On Dadaji

1 Dadaji's Biography

This biographical sketch of Amiya Roy Chowdhury who became known as "Dadaji" (Da'da-jee, beloved Elder Brother) will leave you wanting more.
Read about:

  • precocious childhood adventures when he often confronted "holy" men
  • his adult years as he successfully pursued a wide variety of artistic (singing and movie producing), business professions (insurance, banking, retailer), and academic endeavours (university professor)
  • when became a householder and family man
  • his uncanny knack for prophesy and miracles
  • his courageous confrontation of ancient religious traditions and powerful religious business organizations
  • Dadaji during the years he traveled on annual tours throughout the world bringing his message of the oneness of God, Truth, humanity, and religion.
  • Dadaji

    Dadaji cradles his baby daughter Ivy
    1 Dadaji's Biography

    Birth in East Bengal to Landed Aristocrats
    On January 13th, in the village of Fultali in Comilla, East Bengal (later East Pakistan, now Bangladesh), Amiya Roy Chowdhury was born. The year of his birth may have been 1906, 1909, 1910, or 1912. Born into a Zeminder (landed aristocrat) family, his grandfather was Raja Ramsharan Roy.

    The family was the sole agent of the Bird Company in British India. His father was a physician, Dr. Mohinimohan (known as Haranath) Roy Chowdhury. His mother, Saratkamini, was known to all for her kindness and generosity. Dr. Roy Chowdhury was a person of sharp intellect and enormous courage. He had a wonderful eloquence and gift of conversation. Without him, the local gatherings would become dull. As a physician he was dear to all and his reputation spread throughout Comilla.

    Mrs. Roy Chowdhury was a simple, unostentatious woman full of religious devotion, who always had a charming smile for everyone. Before the baby was born, she had a waking vision of Gopala (the child Krishna) jumping into her lap. One night, a few days later, the parents shared a dream in which Siva (One aspect of the threefold manifestation of God: Brahma, the emanator/evolver; Vishnu, the sustainer/preserver; Siva, the destroyer/renovator) appeared before them and told them of the impending advent of the Divine.

    At the time of the baby's birth, a divine Fragrance filled the house. His parents had great reverence for the child and named him Amiya Madhab, meaning the nectarine Lord.

    A Child confronts a "Saint"
    As Amiya grew up, there were often congregations of saints and renunciates in the family home. Amiya was curious why they had matted hair, smeared ashes on their bodies and, as is the custom in India, went naked or wore saffron colored robes. The young boy asked,

    Are these the means of finding God?
    Such questions posed by the brazen youngster left them speechless and often embarrassed. His zeal knew no bounds. When Alekbaba, nearly 200 years old, came for a visit to their home, the parents asked him to bless the child. Amiya ran to the naked saint, grabbed his scrotum and said,
    How does such nudity help you? Why don't you forsake this old body?
    Amiya's parents tried to make him bow to the saint, but the boy was unconcerned. The saint calmed the parents and, instead, bowed to the boy.

    Over the years amazing and often mysterious incidents occurred around Amiya. When he began attending the village primary school, the perspicacity of the child perplexed his teachers, and his handsome appearance, the glowing luster of his body and engaging personality charmed them all. Amiya did not care much for the classroom lessons, yet he was at the top of the class in all subjects. His profound knowledge stupefied everyone. Amiya recited Slokas in Sanskrit from the Ramayan and explained them elaborately, spellbinding everyone with his elucidations. At the age of six, Amiya explained the Gita and the Bhagawata to his father.

    A Child confronts Social Inequity
    One day at about that time, the young Amiya dined at the home of his Muslim neighbor Yasam Ali. This breach of tradition led to a great commotion in the orthodox Hindu society. Pandit Bhattacharya, a learned scholar, advised ceremonious atonement for this, but the boy refused to comply. An altercation ensued between the Pandit and the boy. Amiya tried to convince the highly respected intellectual that social inequity between people is abominable and meaningless.

    As a young child he spoke what was to become his message to the world,

    All scriptures and rituals are a matter of the mind and laden with superstitions. Forsake all these social customs and prejudices, and devote your mind to God. He is within you, do not forget it. He makes no distinctions between one person and another. Try to remember Him and become aware of Truth. Eternal Religion preaches: Truth is One. There is but one human race. God is all-pervading and Eternal.

    Leaves Home at 9 Years of Age
    The boy did not pursue conventional education for long. At nine years of age Amiya left home. He was completely unconcerned with the comforts available in his wealthy parents' home. After travelling various places the boy reached Uttarakasi where he met Sri Ram Thakur. After two years, just before the Durga Puja religious celebration was to be held, Amiya returned home. In the presence of his elders, once again an altercation ensued between Amiya and Pandit Bhattacharya, this time regarding the practice of Bali (sacrifice of animals for religious ceremonies).

    The young Amiya, citing the interpretations of several Slokas from the Shastras, explained that Bali did not mean the sacrifice of animals on the alter to please a deity, but rather the annihilation of the ego in a person with the extinction of the six Ripus (lust, anger, greed, infatuation, vanity and jealousy) within a person. Any desire for consuming meat, the boy Amiya explained, should not be satisfied in His Name, but should be fulfilled naturally as a part of a normal diet. The boy also explained the real meaning of the word Puja (worship), saying,

    It is the identification of the worshiper with the worshipped.

    Therefore, without this identification with the Supreme Being, no worship is possible by ritual sacrifices, offerings or observing rigid religious conventions. As a result of these discussions, the custom of offering animal sacrifices in God's Name was abolished in the Roy Chowdhury household. This touched Pandit Bhattacharya deeply and much later, in 1941, he was the first person to receive Mahanam (God's Name) on a Billa Patra (a leaf in Dadaji's presence). Saratkamini Devi, Dadaji's mother, was the second person to receive Mahanam. His father, who had always been devoted to the Supreme Name and who was fully aware of his son's Divine Nature, left this world when Dadaji was still a young boy of five or six years.

    Confronts Renunciates, Advises "Go Home"
    From the earliest years, Amiya very often disappeared from home. Amiya wandered in the dense forests and jungles, and the cold mountainous regions of the Himalayas for the purpose of extricating yogis, sadhus and renunciates from the false path of penance they had undertaken. He asked,

    Why are you here? For Truth? Show me Truth. Truth is within. Go home.Why are you people doing all these things? What's the use? That is nothing, all false. Go home and marry, because you have come with natural desires. Go and work.
    Returning from their religious retreats to live a natural life, only then were they free to realize Truth. This natural way to God becomes clear as one becomes acquainted with Dadaji's simple message.

    Achieves Fame in the Arts
    Amiya Roy Chowdhury As Amiya grew into adulthood, he began to develop his gift for music. He went to Samarendra Pal, the eminent musician of Comilla, to learn the art of singing. Ardently devoted to music, within a short time Amiya achieved great skill in singing and became his teacher's favorite student. When his music studies in theory and performance were completed, Amiya began taking part in various musical concerts throughout India. His handsome appearance coupled with a sweet and sonorous voice soon brought him into the limelight as an artist of great repute.

    From 1929 until 1944, Amiya Roy Chowdhury was associated with All India Radio in Calcutta as a distinguished artist and advisor on art and music. While there he organized a strike of the radio artists and workers with great success. He was also well known in the world of theater and the movie industry.

    While growing up, and throughout his life, Amiya's intractable yet magnetic personality made him the center of attention in any group. He loved company and casual talk on seemingly mundane domestic affairs and various work-related and social activities. He was eccentric, explosive and unpredictable, often speaking highly of one now, and then for no apparent reason, ignoring the person outright.

    Politically Active, or not ...
    Politically active or not, Amiya was jailed in 1931 for alleged participation in the freedom movement. In 1935, he went to Europe to persuade Hitler not to attack Russia, meeting also, Stalin, Mussolini, and Churchill. Simultaneously, he was active in Calcutta playing soccer as A. Roy of Mohunbagan Club, the best soccer club in India. In the 1940s, he was active as a producer in the world of theater and the movie industry.

    Many Faces, Many Roles
    Beginning in the early 1920s and continuing through the late 1950s, it was reported that Amiya was seen simultaneously in different places by various people. Accounts indicate great differences in his attitude and manner of contact with people as he played different roles, in the same physical form, and was known by different names in different localities. In Benares, he was known as Kishari Bhagavan, exhorting,

    God is the only Guru.
    For several years, he was seen off and on there living in a small cell of a Mosque where both Muslims and Hindus used to pay him their respects. During this period, he was also known as Paglababa (demented saint) living in the Pataleswar mosque in Benares. He was called Pagla-baba because he cut off the matted locks of Santadas Babaji, and openly urinated in the sacrificial fires being fed by the Babaji himself.

    For several years, he was seen in Varanasi at Pataleshwar, living in a small cell of a Mosque where both Muslims and Hindus came to him reverently. He was well known to great saints and scholars who came to hear him talk about the deep issues of life and about Truth.

    The simultaneous sightings (multi-location) of Amiya at far distant places have been well documented over decades. And once in 1968, after he became known as Dadaji, he was reportedly present in eleven houses simultaneously in Calcutta, while he was observed to be in deep sleep at home.

    Escape from West Bengal
    Amiya Roy Chowdhury In 1940 he went to his village home in Fultali to entreat his relatives to close their booming business with Bird Company, sell all property and move to West Bengal. His words of warning fell on deaf ears, as he was viewed by his extended family as a madcap. Five years later, he travelled to Fultali to receive his share of the family property, and returned to Calcutta with 20 lakhs (2 million) of Rupees and 90 kgs of gold. He purchased buildings and acreage for his family who would soon flee to India as paupers when East Pakistani Muslims rioted in 1947 and drove thousands of Hindus to India as refugees.

    Amiya was often seen driving around Calcutta in one of his three cars, wearing gabardine suits, shiny shoes, and with the color of his tie matching the color of his car. At other times he was seen elsewhere wearing a lungi and kurta (plain cotton skirt-like wrap and shirt), and carrying a tin suitcase.

    High Earnings from Banking, Insurance, & University Professions
    Amiya Roy Chowdhury To whatever role and work Amiya Roy Chowdhury put his hand, it appeared easy and was completed successfully. In any activity, field, or subject, all ability and knowledge just came to him and he could achieve whatever he wished easily and quickly. In business ventures he was extremely successful, earned high income and gave generous gifts to those in need.

    When he entered the fields of banking and insurance, he was incomparable. For all appearances it would seem he had no knowledge of banking, yet Amiya Roy Chowdhury became a highly successful manager of one of the largest banks in India. The same success occurred when he entered the field of life insurance and held a top position. Although he did not complete traditional schooling, he was for a time a respected professor teaching Sanskrit to Comilla Victoria College students.

    After working as a musician and movie producer, he changed fields and became successful in banking and insurance. This apparently proved his eligibility to his future father-in-law, and in 1946, Amiya Roy Chowdhury married Miss Amita Dasgupta. On the third night after his marriage, he disappeared from home. He appeared again briefly in 1949, left again and returned to Calcutta in 1952 to live as a family man.

    He and his wife, affectionately called Boudi (Bow'dee; elder brother's wife, counter-whole of Dadaji), had a daughter and a son and, in later years, grandchildren. During the years he was away from home, he appeared in many places confronting sannyasins and priests. He told them,

    Privation and ritualistic practices should not be undertaken as the path for realization of Truth.
    He convinced them to lead normal lives.

    1967: Amiya becomes Dadaji
    Dadaji @ Madras 1973 In 1967, after the passing of his mother Saratkamini Devi, Amiya Roy Chowdhury became known as Dadaji. Dadaji (Da'da-jee) means beloved elder brother. He began revealing himself and travelling worldwide to establish Truth with Mahanam and Divine Fragrance.

    As Dadaji, he first travelled to Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Madras, Maharashtra, Bombay, Punjab, and Delhi, India.

    LEFT: Dadaji visits Madras India 1973.

    In 1978, Dadaji began his annual journeys to the West, travelling to England, Europe and the United States. His sole purpose is to remind brothers and sisters everywhere that Truth is One, Humanity is One, Language is One and Religion is One; that no mortal being can be an intercessor to God; and no temples or rituals are needed to realize God, Who is within everyone as Mahanam.

    No Money, No Organization, No Donations, No Gifts
    Paying his own expenses, Dadaji did not allow an organization to be built around him, collected no money, refused donations and elaborate gifts. He said,

    There are so many people who told me they would give me ashram (buildings and properties for a religious community). All the universe is my ashram. No need for all these things. Why should I go for buildings? Ashram is also one kind of cheating. In the name of Him we have no right to take anything. Is there anybody who can challenge that in the world?

    "Gurus" & "Holy" People (priests, preachers, nuns, etc.) are Bluff!
    Ivy Toy Store Dadaji spoke strongly against the people who make a business out of God and take advantage of innocent people seeking Truth. He said,

    I want to tell you, do not accept me as your guru. God is in you. Do not seek a guide or instrument. No mortal being can ever be a guru. All these God-men, all, each and every one are bluff, full of bluff. Their only interest is to collect money and make institutions. God alone is the Guru. Don't bother running after gurus, yogis or priests. No person can initiate or guide you to God. Look within.

    During the 1960s, '70s and '80s, he owned a toy shop named Ivy Stores (left) in the New Market in Calcutta, until it was destroyed in a fire. Over the years he freely changed his field of activities, not for earning money, for he had enough family wealth and property, but to demonstrate that normal work is a must, and to live a natural family life is the only way to experience Truth and God.

    Love for All
    In 1972, on the occasion of the centennial celebration of the birth of Jagad Bandu (friend of the world), Dadaji was an invited guest. Throughout his life, Jagad Bandu told people to remember Name and advocated a classless society. He said, "The next one who comes, he will be in Calcutta to establish Truth and God's Name throughout the world."

    At the celebration, the group of saffron-gowned holy men included one called Bhagavan (Almighty Lord), who was grossly humiliated by Paglababa over a period of many years. As Dadaji took his seat on the stage along with some female associates, the Bhagavan accosted him. Dadaji replied,

    I cannot stay without women. All of you on this stage are but women. No man is here except He.
    The Bhagawan shouted, "The stage is for brahmins (highest class; male priests), not for shudras (lowest class)."

    Dadaji flew into a rage and retorted, "He is the only Brahmin here. All others are shudras. How come your matted hair is emitting the foul smell of stool?" It was a fact, and the Bhagawan's followers, aghast at what had happened, tried to take their guru from the hall. Dadaji said, "He will fall down even though a hundred men lift him." So it happened, for a time, until finally Dada allowed him to leave and the celebration began with Dadaji's song, "Ramaiva Sharanam".

    Legal Case brings Dadaji to Public Awareness
    Amiya Roy Chowdhury Early in 1973, Abhi Bhattacharya, a famous Indian film star who was very close to Dada and accompanied him on his world tours, tape recorded Dadaji saying,

    There will be a case against me. There is no other way to expose corruptions of the gurus and the government. There is no case, but there will be a case. It is destiny. No other way to establish Truth. His name will spread to every house due to the scandal. It's the only way. No one likes to read about the good. The case will expose the gurus. All gurus will be extinct in time.

    LEFT: Dadaji in Abhi's Bombay home, 1972

    At 9 pm, December 11, 1973, Dadaji called Abhi in Bombay and said, "Don't telephone me for two days." At 2 am, Dadaji was arrested on charges of forging a will pertaining to property. A man very close to Dadaji made false charges against him to the police. After two days, Dadaji was released. He said,

    Does one who considers the whole universe his home need a small property?
    For 4 years, due to the publicity surrounding the case against him, Dadaji's name, his photo, and his message spread throughout India. In March 1977, the judicial magistrate delivered a 71-page judgment fully exonerating Dadaji.

    Beginning in 1979, Dadaji travelled annually throughout Europe, Great Britain, and the United States. He stayed in private homes where in the morning and late afternoon he met privately with those who came to see him. In the evening, he met privately with many people and also sat before small gatherings in the home, where he occasionally spoke or, in the later years, sang lovely Indian devotional songs.

    Dadaji & Boudi Annual Gathering of God Lovers
    Annually in October in Calcutta, a large Utsav (occasion when Truth manifests) celebration was held in a rented hall. It lasted for three days. Open to everyone, no fees were charged, no money was collected. Hundreds of people gathered from around the world to see Dadaji and experience Utsav. People came to Somnath Hall for two or three hours in the late morning and again in early evening to sing, casually converse, and hear brothers and sisters share their experiences with Dadaji and Truth.

    Dadaji often talked informally with those gathered near him. He insisted Utsav is not limited by time or space. Utsav happens anytime, anywhere, because it is the personal, inner experience of rejoicing in intimate communion with the unity of life. The essence of Utsav is expressed in Dadaji's message:

    Almighty is One, humanity is One, religion is One, language is One and Truth is One.

    LEFT: Dadaji and Boudi, his wife, at Utsav late 1970s.

    Divine Fragrance
    Dadaji & Boudi Dadaji is known worldwide for a distinctive Fragrance, a beautifully unique aroma hinting of roses and sandalwood. It comes from no discernible source, becomes quite strong and as quickly as it manifests, it disappears. Dadaji said,

    It is the Fragrance that reminds one of Him. This all happens by His Will.

    Occasionally it appears as a honey-like fragrant Nectar, which lingers for years. It also appears as fragrant water called Charanjal, which is known to have healing properties. Many people who met Dadaji experienced Divine Aroma, or Fragrant Nectar, or Charanjal in his presence or at far distances from him.

    LEFT: Dadaji with bottles of Charanjal, Calcutta 1978

    This still happens long after Dadaji died. Those who meet Dadaji through books, friends or relatives may experience the same Divine Fragrances and immediately associate it with Dadaji.

    People have no doubt about their recognition of Dadaji's Fragrance, even though they have not met him personally and may have no rational frame of reference. They remain mystified, yet somehow comforted by the experience.

    "Miracles" and More
    Over the years, thousands of people came year round to meet Dadaji wherever he stayed. They came from all parts of the world and all walks of life. In the various countries he travelled, hundreds of articles were written by highly respected, well-known scientists, politicians, educators, and by professionals in law, medicine, and business. Published in books, journals and newspapers, they tell personal accounts of extraordinary experiences, unimaginable manifestations and inexplicable phenomena occurring with Dadaji.

    Accounts relate personal experiences of healing of life-threatening illness, returning the dead to life, and objects manifested out of nothingness while Dadaji was shirtless (i.e. lockets, fruit, cloth, medications, bottles of whiskey, cartons of cigarettes, etc.). Others tell of silver objects turned to gold, messages manifest on blank paper and engraving on gold watches at the touch of Dadaji's finger.

    Many people experienced Dadaji's ability to casually alter weather and calm storm-tossed seas. Countless people witnessed sealed bottles of pure water turn fragrant at the touch of his finger, and his fragrant water (called Charanjal) created simply by his wish in far-distant places.

    These are but a few of the many amazing things experienced then, and even now, by those who know him. But, Dadaji said,

    They (miracles) are extraneous. They happen at His Will. They are not important for those who seek after Truth. Your Dada does not know how they happen. Dada cannot do anything. It is He, who manifests Himself through Dada. Dada is nobody.
    Isn't the greatest miracle that we live and breathe, and can thereby experience God's Love?

    Message of Truth, Love and Oneness
    Dadaji said,

    God is everything. He is chanting in your heart 24 hours a day, inside of you, making love to you as Mahanam. Because you are breathing, talking, doing, you know He is within you. It is Mahanam that is the Supreme Power, nothing else. Complete surrender to Mahanam, which is the warp and woof of your existence, is the only way. The individual has nothing to do except call to mind that Mahanam. Name is Truth. Name is your own being. Remember Name.
    (Mahanam means God's Name: Gopal Govinda; manifests within as the bipolar vibration of life, the source of our heartbeat and respiration.)

    Again and again people asked Dadaji how they could best live their lives and find God. In essence, Dadaji said,

    Take refuge in none but God. Just try to remember Him and do your duty. Your work is your penance, your sacrifice, your worship. So go ahead, no need for worry. Live a natural life. Don't deny and don't indulge. Be of good cheer and enjoy! We have come here to relish His Love and to enjoy His Play. Just try to remember Him with love and remain in a natural state.
    Dadaji asserted time and time again,
    This body must go. It is a mere appearance. You really see nothing.
    Dadaji -1990 LEFT: Dadaji napping in his bedroom. Last photo by Ann Mills in Calcutta, October 1990. Dadaji did not appear in person at the annual Utsav Celebration, which nevertheless was held nearby and enjoyed by many who gathered as in previous years.

    Beginning in 1987, Dadaji gradually became exclusive, seeing fewer and fewer people. In the ensuing five years, his behavior became unpredictable and erratic, his health appeared to decline.

    In this way, Dadaji shed those who had been coming to him for selfish reasons and miracles. The people he continued to see were genuine God lovers, who cared not for superficial appearances and personal gratification. He said,

    They say people are deserting him (Dadaji). The prerogative of desertion is His alone. There has been much teaching. Now, he will slowly desert all. I am not bothered for anything because I am . . . I am. What you have received (Mahanam), stick to it. He always envelops you. Once He has held you, it is impossible to leave Him. He is your Nearest and Dearest of all.

    Dadaji dies...June 7, 1992
    On the morning of June 7, 1992, Dadaji told his family that he would be leaving them in a few hours. They did not take him seriously. At 4 pm Calcutta time, Dadaji asked for a drink of coconut water. He drank it, smiled, reclined on his bed and stopped breathing.

    "Truth manifests Itself"
    "Truth manifests Itself," said Dadaji. So it is happening that knowledge of Dadaji and his message of Truth, Love and Oneness are spreading person to person, by word of mouth and through books. Remarkably, the essence of Truth is appearing in countless ways throughout the world as the Age of Truth Dadaji described is gradually born of the destruction he forecasted many years ago.

    As Dadaji insisted, no ego-driven, money-making organization has been built around him or his elegantly simple message of Truth. There is no successor to Dadaji, nor will there be. A few books are being published and distributed, because it is the destined heartfelt work of a few individuals, certainly not for personal recognition or financial gain. As when Dadaji was here with us, individuals who publish books do so at their own cost and have full time jobs with which to earn a living.

    Predications
    In the 1970s, people who came to meet Dadaji were very concerned about the Cold War between East and West, and the possibility of nuclear war. Very outspoken in his views, in 1979, Dadaji said,

    Soviet Russia will perish! It will be finished, it is a rotten system. No chance for the Soviet Russian system. Destruction will come another way.
    Dadaji described a vivid picture of the Russian people and indicated there would be no war between the USA and USSR, but, nevertheless, America would win. So it is coming to pass.

    In 1982, while visiting Belgium, Dadaji said,

    In the 1980s there will be minor troubles, but a real crisis, nature's revolt, will start in 1991-92. There will be years of destruction, but at the same time years of breakthrough in realization of God. Those will fight each other who lived together in peace for a long time. Nationalistic and religious arguments will be used as instruments of manipulation. But, remember always: Humanity is One, religion is One.
    World events and the gradual evolution of human consciousness continue to prove that Dadaji spoke the truth.

    Dadaji's Legacy to You
    Although Dadaji is no longer available to see in person, meeting him via the written or spoken word is a profoundly moving experience. Somehow, Dadaji is here and now, a very real, intimate, and steady companion throughout the joys and turmoil of daily life.

    It is not by chance that you surfed into this web site. In Dadaji's message you will find who you are and why you are in this world. This is Dadaji's one and only purpose, to remind you to simply look within and find God, Truth and Love.

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    Part IV, continued

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