SANANDA LAL GHOSH (Masters grand nephew)
Sananda Lal Ghosh (1898 - 1979 Masters brother) in his book, “Mejda,”-(Master boyhood nickname) adds the fun story that back in India, Dhirananda was having troubles at home: he didn’t get the privacy he needed for his meditations. So Yogananda invited him to his home in Garpar Road, saying, “We both travel the same path with heart and soul.” Yogananda kept Dhirananda’s presence in his attic room a secret, first. He lovingly shared his food with him. But of course Dhirananda’s presence became known to all, and he was accepted in the house as one of the family members.
Experiences with My Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda.
Written by Hare Krishna Ghosh (Sanandas Lal Ghosh son). (Full version)
I was born in home at 4 Garpar Road, Calcutta, and I have been living here for 74 years. I grew up in the spiritual environment of our house as many yogis and saints like Sri Yukteswarji, Sri Kebalanandaji (Guruji’s Sanskrit teacher), Sri Bhupendra Nath Sanyal (Sanyal Mahasaya), and many others used to come to meet with my grandfather from time to time.
I lived with my grandfather (Paramhansa Yogananda's father) for 22 years.
We first heard about Sri Yukteswarji passing away in Puri when the telephone rang in our house and Guruji talked with someone from the ashram there. I was just standing by Guruji’s side at that moment. Guruji was very much anxious and in sorrow to hear the news that Sri Yukteswarji was ill, so he said at once, “Go book the railway tickets.” The same evening he left with my father and uncle to go to Puri to see Sri Yukteswar. I heard from my father afterward that when they were going to Puri, after 40 – 50 miles, in the dead of night, Sri Yukteswarji passed away. Guruji said, “My Guru is a great man.”
The two pictures of Sri Yukteswar — one in lotus posture sitting on the floor and the other in standing posture with a little side view — were taken by my father on the roof of 4 Garpar Road in 1930, when I was ten years old. I remember I held the screen behind on one side when my father took the photos. Guruji was in the USA at that time, and he was very much pleased with these photographs.
(On Gurujis return in 1935) It was a grand reception at home, and we saw the wonderful sight when Guruji and my grandfather embraced each other after such a long time. When Guruji arrived and was received in our house on the ground floor, my grandfather came downstairs to receive him. And Guruji took the dust of his feet and then they embraced. There were blissful tears in their eyes as well as in everyone else’s.
We had a permanent stage constructed by the side of our house, so there Guruji used to give lectures every day to the many devotees, especially in Bengali, but in English, too. Whenever I used to go to school, I would see him in the morning, surrounded by devotees and Guruji answering so many questions.
I was not afraid of anything in this world as long as I used to sit by his side.
One day as I was sitting by Guruji’s side, with many devotees all around, a man came and stood at the door with tears in his eyes. He was trying to come in and touch Guruji’s feet and say something to him. Guruji looked at him and said to him, “No, don’t come in.”
I was surprised to see Guruji refusing to let that man come in. But the man was still standing there. After some time Guruji said to that man, “When you repent for what you did, you are pardoned.”
The man came in and touched Guruji’s feet and said, “Guruji, I am very sorry for what I said before you left for USA. I am very sorry for those words.” Then Guruji blessed him. When all was over, I was very curious and asked some of the senior devotees as to the cause of all this.
I asked them, “Who was that man and what happened to him?” Because I saw that the man’s face was disfigured and he could not talk properly. The devotees told me, “Hare Krishna, this man, out of some jealousy or some other reason spoke some bad words against Lahiri Mahasaya in front of Guruji.” This happened just before Guruji was going to America in 1920. So naturally Guruji was very upset with that man and asked him to withdraw those words which he said against Lahiri Mahasaya, but the man didn’t withdraw his words. Then Guruji said to that man, “If you do not withdraw your remarks, you will be punished by God, and the mouth by which you speak those words will be disfigured.” And so it happened.
After Guruji left for America, that man gradually showed signs of what Guruji said. He could not speak properly and could not eat properly for 15 years. But in 1935 I have seen that man become quite normal within 15 days when Guruji blessed and pardoned him.
And I found that also in 1935, when he was 43 years old, Guruji asked a running competition to be arranged in front of our house on the road. Among others, my father and uncle participated in this run. I was astonished to see Guruji run so fast that he was in front of many runners who were much younger than Guruji. They couldn’t run as fast as Guruji and he was 43 years old!
Once I heard from my father that when they were teenagers Guruji was very keen to visit many high saints. Whenever they used to come to Calcutta, Guruji would visit them. And he always used to take my father along with him. In those days Guruji had no money, so they used to walk mile after mile to visit the saints. One day as Guruji and my father were going out of 4 Garpar Road, Guruji pretended that he left something behind. Guruji wanted to teach him a lesson. You see, Guruji knew my father was a little bit restless, and because he had so many friends, he would sometimes forget Guruji and go off with his friends, leaving Guruji alone.
So Guruji said, “Okay, Gora, I forgot something in the house and I’m just coming back within the minute. You stay here,” and he asked my father to place his palm on the cement wall of the 4 Garpar Road house. So my father touched the wall and Guruji came inside the house. Then my father found his hand was stuck on the wall! He could not pick up the hand, so that my father could not go away somewhere.
So, in the meantime, a friend arrived there and said, “Gora, why are you standing there? Come with me.” And my father said, “My hand is stuck. I cannot come.” He pulled the hand, but he couldn’t pull the hand from the wall. He tried his utmost, but couldn’t. Then Guruji came back and said, “Om, peace, peace. Om, peace, shanti,” and the hand came off.
Another time when he did like that, my grandfather was coming home, and he found my father’s hand stuck there on the wall. He was surprised. He thought immediately that this was a trick of Yogananda. “Mukunda!”He came inside and asked Guruji, “Mukunda, you are doing a very bad thing. Why have you applied the power of God to your brother and with many others?” He never did that trick again.
This 4 Garpar Road home was all along well maintained by my father till he died in 1979. Guruji wrote on many occasions to my father to maintain the house properly. He wrote, “4 Garpar — My Place of Salvation where I found God.” Now it is my duty to look after this house and maintain it properly, and I am doing it to the best of my ability with the grace of God and Guru. I am also happy that all the devotees of Guruji love me, and that gives me the strength to receive the devotees who visit this home.
My son, Somnath, also is very keen to keep the house clean and suitable for all the devotees who come here. He is the one who took the dictation of the book Mejda from my father, and he wrote the manuscript of the book.