MAHIMACHARAN AND PRATAP HAZRA
Mahimacharan and Pratap Hazra were two devotees outstanding for
their pretentiousness and idiosyncrasies. But the Master showed them his
unfailing love and kindness, though he was aware of their shortcomings.
Mahimacharan Chakravarty had met the Master long before the arrival of
the other disciples. He had had the intention of leading a spiritual life, but
a strong desire to acquire name and fame was his weakness. He claimed to
have been initiated by Totapuri and used to say that he had been following
the path of knowledge according to his guru's instructions. He possessed a
large library of English and Sanskrit books. But though he pretended to
have read them, most of the leaves were uncut. The Master knew all his
limitations, yet enjoyed listening to him recite from the Vedas and other
scriptures. He would always exhort Mahima to meditate on the meaning of
the scriptural texts and to practise spiritual discipline.
Pratap Hazra, a middle-aged man, hailed from a village near Kamarpukur. He was not altogether unresponsive to religious feelings. On a moment's impulse he had left his home, aged mother, wife, and children, and had found shelter in the temple garden at Dakshineswar, where he intended to lead a spiritual life. He loved to argue, and the Master often pointed him out as an example of barren argumentation. He was hypercritical of others and cherished an exaggerated notion of his own spiritual advancement. He was mischievous and often tried to upset the minds of the Master's young disciples, criticizing them for their happy and joyous life and asking them to devote their time to meditation. The Master teasingly compared Hazra to Jatila and Kutila, the two women who always created obstructions in Krishna's sport with the gopis, and said that Hazra lived at Dakshineswar to "thicken the plot" by adding complications.