Anandamath (Dawn over India)/Part 1/Chapter 14

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It was night. The two prisoners were together in a cell. 'Mahendra,' the Mahatma said, 'this is a joyous occasion. Tonight we are in jail. Now say Bande Mataram.'

In an indifferent tone Mahendra repeated the words.

'What makes you so sad, my child?' Mahatma Satya asked. 'If you had taken the vow of renunciation you would have had to give up your wife and child anyway. You could have kept no connection with them whatsoever.'

'Renunciation is quite a different thing from separation by death,' Mahendra retorted gravely. 'The power that inspired me to think of the new life disappeared with the death of my wife and child.'

'You will regain that power within yourself. I shall give you the required strength of mind. Accept the initiation, and take the vow now.'

'My wife and child are being devoured by the beasts of the jungle! Do not talk of your initiation to me now,' Mahendra said in a voice that showed his unwillingness to talk of such things at the moment.

'Please do not worry about that. The Children have cremated your wife's dead body, and they have placed your child with a proper family.'

Surprised to hear this, Mahendra refused to believe it. 'How do you know that?' he asked. 'You have been with me all this time.'

'We are the initiates of a great cause. God is ever kind to us. You will receive news tonight. And tonight you will be free from this dungeon.'

When Mahendra said not a word, the Mahatma realised that his fellow-prisoner refused to believe him.

'I know you do not believe my words, Mahendra,' Mahatma Satya said. 'But why not test them out before you make up your mind about them?' He thereupon walked to the gate of the prison.

Mahendra could not see what his companion was doing in the dark, but he sensed that he was talking with someone there. When the Mahatma returned, Mahendra asked him, 'What test?'

'You are about to win your freedom from this jail.'

At that moment the door of the cell opened. A guard entered the cell and asked: 'Whose name is Mahendra Singh?'

'My name is Mahendra Singh' Mahendra said.

'We have orders for your release; you may go,' The guard informed him.

Mahendra was at first astonished, for he thought it was a trick. But as a test, he walked out of the cell. No one stopped him, and he walked straight to the public street.

Taking advantage of Mahendra's departure, the guard said to the Mahatma: 'Master, why don't you too walk out? I have come for you.'

'Who are you? Are you Dhiren?' the Mahatma asked.

'Yes, Master, I am Dhiren.'

'How is it you are a guard here?'

'Bhavan sent me. Upon my arrival in the city I learned that you were locked up in this jail. So I secured some hemp mixed with dhatura. The guard smoked the hemp, and is now sleeping. This uniform, this turban, this spear, in fact all that I have on, belong to him.'

'You may get out of the city in that uniform. I cannot free myself this way.'

'Why, what has happened, Master?'

'Today is the day of a supreme test for the Children!'

And just then Mahendra returned.

'What made you come back here, Mahendra?' the Mahatma asked.

'You are certainly a Master. And I simply cannot leave you here alone.'

'Then stay here with me. We both will win our freedom tonight in a different way'

Mahendra Singh was happy beyond words. Dhiren went away. Mahendra and the Mahatma remained within the prison.