Freedom Movement

Shree Vasant (extreme left) with his jail inmates.

In India, he continued his activities under the guidelines given by Gandhi to free India from British rule with the weapons of Truth and Ahimsa (non-violence). Thus, he became a target in the eyes of the then British administration.

On August 9, 1942 Gandhi started “Quit India Movement” a civil disobedience movement against British rule. This was too much for the British administration to tolerate and they put several hundred thousand Gandhi activists from all parts of India behind bars. Shree Vasant was also imprisoned. The British administration tried to implicate him in trumped up charges. However, there was not enough supporting evidence. So, he was kept under the category ‘Permanent Detention Without Trial’. He spent three years and seven months in prison.

During this time, they had kept him in solitary confinement. He utilized this period by studying spiritual literature of various saints. That same year 1942, his mother died and when he asked for parole to perform the funeral rites, the British administration imposed a condition that first he should apologize. He refused to do this and asked, ‘Apologize for what?’ He was not allowed to go to the funeral.

In 1946, the British allowed elections to elect the government and thus he was finally released from prison by the new government.

When India got its independence, he decided to leave politics and offered his services to work with a very small select group chosen by Gandhi to work in villages. This group was a special favorite group for Gandhi, as people had to practice spiritual disciplines which were based on Universal Brotherhood. Because of Gandhi’s teachings there was no hatred for the British and it was an example of “Love thy Neighbor as Thyself.”

By the time, he was released from prison, his health had severely deteriorated and his intestines had become very weak. The medical doctor said he would not live for more than six months.

One morning when he was sitting on the veranda of his house, a saintly person wearing orange robes appeared before him, took some ash from a bottle and asked him to eat it and drink water. He followed his instructions. Then he said to him, “Your health is absolutely okay now”, and he disappeared. Strangely enough, from that moment he had all the strength and vigor of a young man of his age of twenty-five years. It was Divine Will indicating that in the future, much work was to be done by this body called Shree Vasant and hence this protection was given.

All the training under Gandhi appeared to have been preparation for him to meet his Master, Parama Sadguru Shree Gajanan Maharaj – the meeting that would change his whole life.

Read Next > Meeting the Guru