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Sri Prahlad
Chandra Brahmachari

See also : 
Thakur by Pranab
and "Baba in his own words"

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Sri Prahlad Chandra Brahmachari was born in the remote village of Purushottampur in Orrisa province of India. The family was very poor and had to endure much hardship. In his boyhood he had to go out and beg, not just for himself but for the whole family. In his teens the young Prahlad ran away from home, traveling without ticket to the station at Waltair where the ticket taker found him and threw him off the train.

After a while in that town a person told him he whe would do better to go up to up in the mountains where he would find fruits growing and many sadhus who would share their food.

Baba said: "You have to climb up the stones one by one. It was very treacherous. If you fell down from there it was certain death. With great struggle I went up and I saw a flat land. There were many fruit trees and an image of Nrisingha. I had darshan."

nrsmha_thumb.jpg (4116 bytes)Baba wound up in a forest near the temple of Nri Singha where the boy saint, also named "Prahlad," had done austerities. There he had an encounter one night with a mysterious personage whom he ever after called simply "my guru." He had awakened in the night with a terrible nightmare that his parents had died and he was crying and sobbing. Then the man appeared out of the jungle.

He described the man as huge, a giant of a man, wearing nothing but loincloth and a bag around his shoulder. After he had comforted the boy and turned to leave. Baba relates what happened next:

"There was an ordinary bag on his shoulder. From that bag he gave me 25 rupees. To me it seemed that I gotten a great amount of wealth! I was very poor. I had never gotten any money. Twenty-five rupees! Hari Baba! Getting that money I felt like a rich man.

"He said in Oriya: "Hey, get a ticket at Waltair station with this money and go to Jajpur."

"I was so happy. He had gone two or three steps when I said, "Thakur, Oh Thakur! Won't my life ever amount to anything?"

"Then suddenly he stopped and turned around... his image... it is beyond description. I cannot describe him in words. He came running back and got some leaves from the forest. And pulling out my tongue, he pressed the leaves and cut my tongue down the middle. When he was pulling my tongue I felt like my life was going. 'Oh! I am dying! I am dying!'

"Then when he gave the juice, as soon as he gave the juice it felt as sweet as honey. If there is such honey in God's world I have never found it. Getting that sweet honey my hairs stood on end. What peace my body received!

"Then that great man put his hand on my head and said: "Through you a great work will be done. Go. Go back to your place. A lot of work will be done through you." No mantras. No mantras, only that juice on the tongue."

I have never heard of such an incredible initiation into the mytsteries. The sadhu  searching the woods for some particular plant leaves, making a juice, then taking the sharp thorny stem of some leaf, pulling out the cut tongue, and making a cut about two inches long. The scar would be there for the rest of his life.

Now into the cut on the tongue the sadhu poured the juice he had collected. Instantly, Baba later would day, everything was transformed. He saw guru and he saw God. He said it was sweeter than the sweetest honey. To this day we do not know the plant it was. Was it the fabled "soma" medicine the Rishis sang of? Was it psychdelic, as it would seem?

He was never to meet his guru again in the flesh after that night, but saw him often in dreams and visions. Whoever Baba's guru really was he would be able to make Baba know things that were to happen in the future.

After this he returned home where, after a most joyous homecoming, he started suffering to see that his parents were in such dire poverty, he went to Calcutta to try to earn some money. There was little work there and he spent years as a beggar, selling rice by the roadside, washing pots and pans at a bread shop, and sending what few rupees he could to his mother and father.

But he always remembered and was haunted by his encounter with the sadhu (holy man) in the forest. He began to spend more of his nights in meditation by the banks of the Ganges river, where many secrets of yoga were gradually revealed to him. He became a sadhu himself and a temple priest, first in a remote village called Kuldanga, and later in another village called Ramanathpur where his ashram still functions and his body is buried.

Baba made three visits to America, the first in 1976, where he lived as simply as he did in India, doing his daily worship and meeting with whomever showed up at the door. His holy company brought untold joy and inspiration to all who met him. The many wonderful stories of his life will gradually be published on this website, as well as the reminiscences of friends and disciples.