Anandamath (Dawn over India)/Part 2/Chapter 3

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Next day the three distraught leaders of the Children were seated in one of the secluded rooms of the ashram. They were engaged in conversation.

'Master Satya, why is God so unfavourable to us?' Jiban asked. 'For what sin of ours were we thus defeated by the British?'

'God is not unfavourable to us,' Mahatma Satya replied. 'Warfare is composed of both victory and defeat. The other day we were victorious. Yesterday we met with defeat. He who wins last really wins. I am fully confident that God will again smile on our efforts. He has ever been kind to us. In His name we must reach the goal of our mission. We shall indeed suffer the tortures of hell if we meet with defeat in the end; but I am sure of our success. However, we must remember that as we can never achieve victory without the grace of God. Even so we must use our own utmost efforts too. The chief cause of our defeat is that we are without proper arms and ammunition. How can lathis and spears withstand the onslaught of cannon and rifles? Now our duty is to see that we are fully and plentifully equipped with modern weapons.'

'That is a most difficult task, Master,' Jiban said.

'Most difficult, Jiban! You — a Child, utter such words? There is no such word as "difficult" for a Child.'

'How can we obtain modern arms and ammunition? Master, please command.'

'Tonight I am going on a pilgrimage to gather arms and ammunition for our victory. Undertake no serious work until I return, but by all means preserve the unity of the Children. Provide for their sustenance and fill our treasuries with money for Mother's victory. I entrust you two with this work.'

'Master,' Bhavan said, 'how can you gather arms by going on a pilgrimage? You cannot purchase cannon and rifles and munitions and ship them here. Where can you find all that we need to fight the British? Who is going to sell them? And who is going to carry them here?'

'We cannot, of course, purchase enough to meet our needs. I shall send experts to manufacture them here.'

'Do you mean here, at this ashram?' Jiban inquired.

'No, that is impossible! For a long time I have been thinking of these problems. God has opened a way for us today. You say God is against us, but I find God is very kind to us.'

'Where can we establish a factory?' Bhavan asked.

'At Padachina,' Mahatma Satya said gravely.

'What do you mean? How can we do that there?' Jiban asked.

'Why do you think I have been entreating Mahendra Singh to take the vow?' said the Mahatma.

'Has Mahendra taken the vow?'

'Not yet, but he will. I am going to initiate him tonight.'

'We do not know,' Jiban said, 'what efforts have been made for the initiation of Mahendra nor do we know what happened to his wife and child; neither do we know where they are. Today I found a little girl by the river and have left her with my sister. A beautiful woman lay dead by the child. I wonder if they were Mahendra's wife and child?'

'Yes, they were Mahendra's wife and child.'

Bhavan was startled to hear this and at once realised that the woman he had revived was Mahendra's wife. But he did not think it necessary to say anything just yet.

'How did Mahendra's wife die?' Jiban asked.

'She took poison,' Mahatma Satya said.

'Why did she take poison?'

'In a dream she was commanded to die.'

'Was that meant for the fulfilment of our mission?'

'Mahendra thinks so. It is about dusk. I must now attend to my evening prayer and meditation. Then I shall initiate the new Children,' the Mahatma said.

'Why do you say Children? Does anyone else beside Mahendra aspire to be your personal disciple?' Bhavan asked in a tone of surprise.

'Yes, there is a new Child. I never saw him before. He came to me today for the first time. He is very young but I am highly pleased with his looks, manners and intelligence. He appears to be real gold. I shall entrust Jiban with the task of training him as a Child. Jiban is clever in attracting human hearts! I must go now. But I have special advice for you. Please listen to me most carefully.'

Both Bhavan and Jiban joined palms in salutation, bowed their heads in reverence, and said: 'Please command us.'

'If either of you has already done anything wrong or does anything wrong in my absence, make no atonement until I return from my pilgrimage. You shall have to make atonement upon my return.'

With these words Mahatma Satya retired to his own quarters. Bhavan and Jiban continued to look at each other strangely. At last Bhavan said to Jiban: 'Is that meant for you?'

'Perhaps,' Jiban replied. 'I went home to leave Mahendra's child with my sister.'

'There is no harm in that. That is not forbidden. But — did you meet your wife?'

'Perhaps that is what the Master suspects.'