Interview with Dada Chandranath about meditation

Dada Chandranath was one of the first disciples of Shrii Shrii Anandamurtii and learned meditation directly from the master. He was also one of the first “acaryas” of Ananda Marga. Acaryas are spiritual teachers authorized by the master for the traditional oral transmission of the spiritual practices in an authentic manner. Dada attained high level of realization in his practice and radiated serenity and wisdom.

I had the honor of meeting Dada at his home in Patna, India when I was on my way to my own acarya training. His simplicity and humbleness were touching. I arrived with a group of international seekers- from Holland, Puerto Rico, Canada, and he welcomed us warmly as his own family members. He answered our many questions about the finer points of meditation and philosophy and then surprised us by insisting that we eat together and stay overnight as we had come from far. Indeed, his home was hardly ever empty. Guests – ranging from important community leaders, to illiterate house servants – were constantly seeking out his wise counsel in all sorts of matters – from very ordinary mundane issues to deeply spiritual questions. The electricity cut out in the middle of a simple evening meal of chapati and dal, and we continued by candlelight. The vegetables and dal were spiced only with black pepper as Dada avoided chili as he found it too stimulating and disturbing for his meditation…this was a big relief for those of us that were not used to the large volumes of chili usually to be found in spicy Indian food. With grandfatherly care, he supervised the spreading of blankets on the floor for the brothers in our group, while I was to sleep with his granddaughter and wife on a large wooden cot draped with mosquito nets. One of the brothers in Holland said in an amazed tone “Can you imagine? He is going into nirvakalpa samadhi when he meditates and yet he takes so much time and care to set up our beds..”

The most lasting impression I have of Dada is this simplicity. He always expressed philosophical concepts in the simplest of terms to make them easily accessible. He never needed to impress anyone – rather when near to Dada, attaining realization did not seem so far off – but he made it feel achievable – even inevitable, if one just continued the practice with sincerity and determination. He never added his own decorations to the practices, but repeated the teachings in a simple, plain, matter-of-fact way. Yet every word he said vibrated with the authenticity of one who speaks not from theory, but from experience.

– Didi A.Devapriya

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