Anandamath (Dawn over India)/Part 2/Chapter 4

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Prayer and meditation over, Mahatma Satya called Mahendra and told him: 'Mahendra, your daughter is alive.'

'Where is she, Master?' Mahendra asked anxiously.

'Before you know that tell me the truth. Are you willing to join the Order of the Children?'

'Most decidedly.'

'Then, please do not ask the whereabouts of your daughter.'

'Why, Master?'

'He who joins this order can keep no connection whatsoever with his wife, son, daughter or any other relative. There is properly prescribed atonement if even he looks at the faces of his wife and children. Until the Children win victory, you may not see the face of your daughter. If you have really decided to join the Children, then why do you want to know her whereabouts? You may not see her.'

'Why such cruel laws, Mahatma?'

'The duty of the Children is hard. He alone is worthy of this duty who has renounced everything for the sake of Mother India. The man whose heart is tied with the strings of human attachment is like a kite that is tied to the reel; it cannot fly high or far from the earth below.'

'Master, perhaps I do not fully understand you. Do you mean to say that the man who sees his wife and children is not fit for serious work?'

'We forget our higher duties the moment we look at our wives and children. A Child of the Mother shall be ever ready to face death. Do you think you would like to die when you think of the face of your daughter?'

'Do you think I can forget my daughter even if I do not see her?'

'If you cannot forget her, you should not join the Children.'

'Must I believe that every Child that has joined this order has forgotten his wife and children? If so, then there can be but few Children in India!'

'Children are of two classes — those that are initiated and those that are not. Those that are not initiated are either householders or beggars. They present themselves only at times of warfare. They receive a certain portion of the spoils or are otherwise rewarded and they retire. But those who are initiated have renounced all they hold dear and near to their hearts. They are the leaders of the Order. I am not asking you to become an uninitiated Child. We have countless soldiers with lathis and spears. Unless you are initiated you can never be eligible for any serious work for the Children.'

'What is initiation? Why should I have to be initiated? I have already taken the oath.'

'You have to renounce that oath. You have to take a new oath from me.'

'How can I renounce an oath?'

'I shall show you the way to a higher oath.'