Acarya Aksayananda Avadhuta – Memorial
Dada Aksayananda was living in Tiljala in the big compound of Ananda Marga in the periphery of Calcutta, India. He was attending every day around 100 patients curing them with homeopathic remedies prepared personally during the night. He was sleeping very little, maybe a couple of hours a day in order to keep up with a service that benefitted the people living around Tiljala which used to be a slum area. He conducted an ideal life, a model of Doctor, Sannyasin and Avadhuta. He didn’t have attachments and he kept his life needs and belongings to the minimum. Those who have met him will not forget him. He used to say: “There are two things that human beings cannot control, when they are born and when they will die”. And then he would recall the times that Baba saved his life in unimaginable miraculous ways. Finally, Baba accepted to take him back in His lap and have some rest.
Here is the story published in Crimson Dawn about the miraculous healing and below is how Sister Madhumita edited the story:
Aksayananda was initiated into his spiritual path in 1963 and became a yogic monk 2 years later. Monks in his tradition do not live a recluse life, but one of maximum social service. In 1967 His Guru asked him to sit for the exam to become a certified homeopath and start practicing out of a garage in Kolkata. Aksayananda was hesitant as he only knew a little about homeopathy, but by some sort of cosmic grace, he was one of only a few examinees to pass the exam. Since that time he practiced homeopathy on a service basis, sometimes part-time in addition to his duties running a school or children’s home. Many of his patients felt that the homeopathic medicine he gave had a miraculous effect on them.
In 1990 his Guru passed, and Aksayananda started practicing out of a clinic in the Tiljala district of Kolkata. Prior to this another doctor was working there, but the clinic had irregular hours and minimal patients. With Dada’s arrival, the subsequent regular hours and good results soon made a community success. In fact, in the early days his success was almost the clinic’s undoing. Local corrupt government officials, jealous of the clinic’s popularity, sponsored a competing free clinic down the street with the apparent intent of closing Aksayananda’s clinic.
Aksayananda’s attitude was, “if they want to serve humanity, let them do so. There are a great many people who need help.” However, as the months passed, the patients continued to line up at Aksayananda’s door and the other clinic quietly closed its doors.
But then at the beginning of 2004 Aksayananda became very unwell and was diagnosed to be suffering from cancer of the liver that had already spread to several nearby organs. He began to have severe pain in the liver. Seeing his deteriorating health, some other monks in his tradition insisted on taking him to a specialist. It was diagnosed that the cancer was at stage 4 and had even spread to the bone marrow. The doctor gave him only 3-4 months to live.
Immediately chemotherapy was started. But the disease did not respond to the treatment. The unbearable pain in the liver continued to aggravate even after three rounds of chemo.
In mid-May, one monk called Pranavatmakananda (really quite a mouthful, so I’ll refer to him as Pranav) returned to Kolkata and heard about the serious condition of Aksayananda. One fact extremely disturbed this monk. Since the passing of their Guru, Pranav had been given the special task of collecting the memoirs from those who had spent a lot of time close to their Guru, so that the stories could be shared in times to come. For some reason he had not done any recording of Aksayananda’s reminiscences. He felt terribly disturbed thinking that now all of Aksayananda’s stories were going to be lost.
Thinking of salvaging whatever was possible at that stage, he went to see Aksayananda.
Pranav generally is a very adamant person as far as recording is concerned. But he was also in two minds, if he should pursue this ‘dying’ man. Seeing Aksayananda’s condition, he was about to withdraw from this recording job, but something was calling him from inside… “Do not leave it. Push ahead” And he pursued.
Aksayananda reacted “How comes that you never bothered to ask before and now that I am almost gone and nobody believes that I can survive you come for it?” He refused.
Pranav also decided not to bother him further in his death bed and was about to leave when he again felt the inner call urging him to persevere. He kept pleading with Aksayananda to tell at least some of his most beautiful experiences with his Guru.
Aksayananda started abusing him, telling him to go out. Pranav many times thought not to bother the dying person further but every time he thought to quit, the inner voice kept urging him not to give up. Finally after relentless pursuit for about half an hour, Aksayananda who was utterly exhausted from battling, finally conceded and agreed to tell some of his most important experiences for five minutes. As he started speaking about his experiences, a miracle started to occur. Pranav noticed that Aksayananda’s feeble voice started to become louder and his face indicated that he was gaining strength. He kept speaking non-stop for five minutes, then ten, fifteen and so on. Without interrupting, Pranav continued noting down the points in his register. The narration crossed one hour, then two hours and as he continued to speak about his many experiences with his Guru, Aksayananda’s facial expression and voice appeared to become normal and all the external indications of his being seriously sick started to vanish. There was no symptom of any weakness in his voice or in his face. As the marathon narration crossed three hours Pranav let him know that he needed to leave for an important appointment. It was only then that Aksayananda who was completely absorbed in narrating his memories and not conscious of the passing of time became aware that he has been speaking for so long. He noticed that there was no more the pain in the liver that had been tormenting him for over four months.
“Something miraculous has already happened. The acute pain of the torturous cancer had vanished miraculously.” He exclaimed to Pranav, “See some miracle has happened … my pain is gone. I feel very relaxed and energetic… I am free from that torturous pain. As a doctor myself I know that this pain is the symptom of cancer and now it is gone.” He didn’t let Pranav leave, and the narration went on for some more time. In that concentrated state of mind he was only thinking of his Guru.
The next morning Aksayananda sent for Pranav to continue the narration. He reported that he was still free from pain and feeling very energetic. He said that the medicine for his diseases was narrating his experiences with his Guru. This narration continued regularly for a week.
At some stage, he requested the doctor to examine if the cancer was still there. They did the scan with ultrasound and they could not find anything. They thought that the machine was broken so they brought another one and still there was nothing. Then they did MRI and they continued to pass him up and down trying to find any sign of the cancer, until Aksayananda was so feeling so cold from it he asked them to stop. The doctors conducted a biopsy and sent it for analysis. The report came back– Aksayananda is free from cancer!
He was completely cured and lived a healthy life for 14 long years to serve humanity. Aksayananda utilised to the maximum his Guru’s grace treating around 100 patients a day with homeopathic remedies prepared personally during the night. Most exams consisted of looking at a rash, in a throat, listening to the lungs or heart, or maybe checking blood pressure. Both the history and exam took little time and then Aksayananda would prescribe a remedy. A few Americans, down with the flu or “Kolkata cough”, visited Aksayananda for a remedy. More than one said that Aksayananda merely looked at them and started packaging their remedy before they even stated their symptoms! They reported dramatic improvement from the prescription.
In 2015 an observer in the Tiljala clinic noted Aksayananda writing the name of the patient in his daily log in sequential order. This patient’s number was 539,916. The previous doctor had started this logbook in 1985 with patient 1 and since 1990, every subsequent patient had been seen by this one man who worked seven days a week as an unpaid volunteer. And this was but one of three clinics he operated.
The patients would often be queuing for hours, and Aksayananda would never leave at night until he had seen the very last patient. He very rarely returned from work before midnight, sometimes even later. He only slept a couple of hours at night. And this was what he did 7 days a week, year after year. To all those who advised him to take proper rest and not work so late at night his reply was, “Baba* has given me extension of life. So I will keep working until I die and will work even while dying.” And that was what he did.
He breathed his last on the morning of Wednesday 9th May, sometime around 9.30. Since the evening of the 8th he felt some uneasiness in his body while attending patients in his Lake Town clinic. Seeing his condition some of his patients advised him to stop treating them and to go back and take rest. But he insisted on examining all the patients and left his chamber only after 10pm. After returning back to Tiljala late, he took some medicine and felt some relief, but at night he could not sleep properly. Some of his fellow monks decided to take him to hospital. While he was being carried to the ambulance he said repeatedly that there was no need to take him there, as he was not going to survive. On the way to the nearby Ruby hospital he became silent and the doctors in the hospital declared that he was no more. A life totally devoted to the service of others has finally come to an end.
When asked for words of advice or encouragement to the modern student of homeopathy, Aksayananda replied “Tell them that homeopathy can be used to cure any disease.”
*Baba is the name Aksayananda and others in his tradition call their Guru. This is also the case in some other spiritual traditions from India.