LOOK WITHIN is truly beautiful...I couldn't receive a better gift. I must say you have done a marvelous job of culling rare gems and putting them together as a fine offering. It is an invaluable piece of work of love and devotion.
--- Dr. Lalit Pandit, physicist, Bombay INDIA
|(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.|
edited by Ann Mills
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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.
This biographical sketch of Amiya Roy Chowdhury who became known as "Dadaji" (Da'da-jee, beloved Elder Brother) will leave you wanting more.
| 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"
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
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 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"
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
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 ...
Many Faces, Many Roles
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 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
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
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
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!
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
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
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.
Annual Gathering of God Lovers
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.
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
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
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.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
"Truth manifests Itself"
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.
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
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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