HIS LIFE AND TEACHINGS
After the Master's Mahasamadhi, there were still a few days left before the expiration of the lease of the Cossipore garden. Of the young disciples of the Master, some remained there, the others went back home and resumed their studies. The task of rallying these fell naturally on 'Noren' whom the Master had appointed their guardian. He often visited these young disciples at their homes, dragged them from their studies and injected into their drooping hearts the fiery message of renunciation. To Tulasicharan, these visits of Noren were inexpressibly welcome, for to him 'Noren' was his master himself in another form and Noren loved Tulasi very much. They with other disciples used to spend hours in Tulasicharan's house, conversing, singing, dancing, eating and smoking. The house was a prominemt one in Baghbazaar, the inmates were very hospitable and Tulasi was practically the master of the house. Norendra led the party with music and Tulasicharan played on the Packwaj and other instruments. Tulasi would invariably ask the inmates to prepare meals or refreshments for the party, Tulasi's orders would be carried out to the very letter, not only because he was the practical master, but also because the inmates had great regard and affection for Noren and his Gurubhais. Swami Saradanandaji speaks as follows, "One day, after the passing away of Sri Ramakrishna, Swamiji (Swami Vivekananda) was singing the following invocation to Gayatri (in the very tone of the old Rishi he had heard in the vision) seated in the house of Tulasi Maharaj. "Ayahi varade devi triakshare brahmavadini, Gayatri Chandasam Matar Brahmayoni namostute." He was so much absorbed that he sang this invocation from 10 A. M. to 4 P. M. that day. After 4 P. M. he bathed and took his meals. In the Math (Belur) also he used to sing this invocation many a time losing all outward consciousness.- But it was in Tnlasi Maharaj's house the most intense absorption came upon him." (Sri Sri Saradananda Prasanga, Page 141.) On another day the party discoursed for long on various subjects. Then Noren began to sing and Tulasi followed with the Packwaj. After some time the fervour grew and the party began to dance on a wooden platform. They forgot themselves and their dance became the representation and play of joy divine. Some of the inmates were attracted by the music and dance and wanted to witness them at close quarters. In an adjoining room there was a parapet wall with a water cistern. One of the ladies – a sister-in-law ot Tulasi – got up the wall and was peeping through a window. All on a sudden one of the legs of the wooden platform on which they were dancing gave way and the platform tumbled down. The dance was abruptly stopped. Tulasi might at once ask for refreshments. The sister-in-law jumped down in haste from the parapet wall. In so doing her foot struck against a broken bottle which was lying on the floor. The foot got deeply cut; blood flowed in profusion. Without flinching, without making any noise, she ran to the kitchen. The ladies there seeing a profusion of blood, raised a loud cry. Noren and the party hastened to the kitchen and seeing the cut, brought in a doctor immediately. After the wound was dressed they took some refreshment and dispersed.
Some days previously the relics of the Master had been removed to the rented house in Baranagore, the first monastery of the sanyasin disciples of the Master. "Gopal senior, the young lay devotee removed the Master's bedding and other things there from Cossipore and Sarat joined him at night. Gopal senior was the regular inmate. Norendra, Sasi, Sarat, Baburam and Niranjan used to visit the monastery every now and then."
It may be mentioned here that Tulasi had to surmount an obstacle. He had a maternal uncle, Nityagopal a spiritually advanced soul who had established a religious sect of his own. It had many centres. Although Nityagopal was a devotee of Sri Ramakrishna and used to visit him frequently, he kept himself and his sect distinct and separate. He naturally wished his nephew, in whom he must have noticed great spiritual potentiality, to join him and his sect. An aged and spiritually developed man who also happened to be a maternal uncle could not be lightly brushed aside by a young student. But Noren and destiny prevailed. Noren's influence and Tulasi's determination overcame the resistance. The part joined the whole. One day Tulasi left home, kith and kin and college and ail worldly connections behind him and like his Master's homa-bird flew up, and he became an inmate of the Baranagore Math.