Bhavabhushan Mitra - Later Years

Later Years

Nobody knows what the exact terms of “personal recognisance” were. But Bhavabhushan seems to have avoided all overtly active part in the subsequent episodes of freedom fight, though generations of revolutionaries in Bihar and Bengal admit having consulted him and followed his advice in critical situations. In Bihar, behind the scene, he was as much involved in the Non Cooperation Movement in 1922, as in the mass agitation organised by Sahajananda Sarasvati’s Kishan Sabha (“Peasants’ Guild’) in the districts like Champaran, Saran, Monghyr, Madhubani to protest against the rampant unemployment, where “social banditry” prevailed, followed by a refusal to pay taxes.

Accused by the Congress Party of forsaking the precepts of Non-violence, Sahajananda was expelled and, out of sympathy for him, Jayprakash Narayan resigned from the Congress Working Committee. During the Quit India Movement in 1942, Bhavabhushan’s men disrupted under the leadership of Jayprakash Narain and Ramanand Mishra all means of communication. Escaping from the prison of Hazaribagh, Jayprakash could launch a guerrilla, supported by the revolutionaries of the area, before shifting his headquarters to Nepal. Some of Bhavabhushan’s followers like Dr Lambodar Mukherjee of Motihari were useful also to Hari Vishnu Kamath during the latter’s trial in Bihar, in 1942. Kamath shared with Bhavabhushan his admiration for Sri Aurobindo.

In these regions, “Swamiji” has left a profound household memory of someone who shunned the limelight, faithful to his past commitment at the secret society. Thanks to a wide range of connections, he availed of them for those who deserved help. It was his passion to guide promising young men and introduce them to acquaintances like Subhas Chandra Bose, Bidhan Roy, Abanindranath Tagore or Nandalal Bose, to arrange suitable schooling. He found matches for girls of needy families. His Ashrams at Deoghar and elsewhere remained a reference for their charitable activities, especially concerned with women’s place in the society. He admired the Mother’s effort for women’s emancipation at Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry.

In the late 1940s, Sri Aurobindo was informed that a great yogi had come down from the Himalayas to visit his Ashram. When the visitors filed past him, Sri Aurobindo smiled at the sadhu in a significant way. Later he exclaimed: “That is our Bhavabhushan. He is even younger than Barin!” Acquainted with traditional modes of Nature cure and Ayurvedic remedies, he applied them with success. Fond of wandering, Bhababhushan had visited shrines all over North and North-West India, under very hard conditions. After 1947, when Bhupendra Kumar Datta was appointed by the Jugantar workers to write an authentic biography of Bagha Jatin or Jatindranath Mukherjee, Bhababhushan sent him a series of written notes and, in 1963, granted interviews to Prithwindra Mukherjee (Datta’s assistant. ), adding supplementary facts on the agniyuga ('Fiery Epoch') that preceded and prepared the Gandhian freedom movement.

Feats of paranoia were aggravated by the frustration caused by the ominous partition of India in 1947. Younger than Bagha Jatin, towards the end of life, Bhavabhushan lived the illusion of having brought up Jatin and guided him across critical choices. A batch of devotees, thrilled by fascinating revelations made by the Swami,encouraged him in his pathology. Having detected this tendency in several other former revolutionaries like Jadugopal Mukherjee and Satish Sarkar, Bhupendra Kumar Datta, Bagha Jatin's loyal follower, warned them individually, in the name of History. ), adding supplementary facts on the agniyuga ('Fiery Epoch') that preceded and prepared the Gandhian freedom movement.

On 27 January 1970, Bhababhushan died in Kolkata.

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