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Updated: February 6, 2013 01:34 IST
Family at Kumbh

A sadhu and his son

Omar Rashid
Comment (11)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
STRANGE BOND: Three-year-old Bajrangi enjoys a ride on his tricycle
helped by his fosterparent in Allahabad on Tuesday Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal
The Hindu STRANGE BOND: Three-year-old Bajrangi enjoys a ride on his tricycle helped by his fosterparent in Allahabad on Tuesday Photo: Brijesh Jaiswal

Brings up child abandoned outside his ashram three years ago

Like many festivals in India, the Maha Kumbh Mela draws participants as well as sightseers from across the world. This tyagi sadhu — one who has renounced his worldly life — and his adopted boy are a sight for many visitors on the banks of the Sangam. The sadhu took the boy in when he found him as an abandoned newborn outside his ashram. The baby though ill and emaciated was breathing. Overcome by compassion, the sadhu decided to take him under his care.

Born Srikanth Narayan Das, the sadhu quit his job as a spinning master in a textile mill in Punjab’s Ropar district, leaving behind acres of land, to do penance.

The child, into his third year, can be found playing with his toys or pets — a litter of puppies — on the banks of the Sangam, with the lean, matted-haired sadhu keeping a close watch. Devotees often visit the ashram for a peek at their singular bond. Not only has the child brought new responsibilities for Das, he has also altered Das’s life view.

According to Das, the baby’s parents abandoned him as he may have suffered from an illness which his parents did not expect him to survive or were too poor to cure. The sadhu, known for his keen interest in environmental conservation, used the crop of herbs behind his tent to nurse the baby back to health. He, however, hoped that the baby’s parents would come. “I waited for days, then weeks. But nobody came. Maybe this was god’s wish.”

He eventually adopted the baby — now called Bajrangi. But barely three months into it, the sadhu had to contend with allegations of kidnapping and fraud. “It was as if I had committed a crime by giving shelter to this child. They wanted to take him to the orphanage. Everybody knows how they treat children there. Most of them end up begging on the streets!” he says.

Incidentally, he is also popular as Flood Baba, as last year he climbed onto a tree during a flood and stayed there in a yogic posture for more than two weeks. The administration had to step in and ask him to come down for safety reasons. But the ascetic refused to oblige.

“I wake up daily at 4 a.m. and give Bajrangi lessons on the English and Hindi alphabet. He can already count till 25,” says Das.

He has begun rearing cows so that Bajrangi is fed well.

From his daily massage sessions, hygiene and food requirements and toys, Bajrangi enjoys all the things a three-year-old would appreciate.

However, as one might assume, with no source of income Das is anxious. But he gets aggressive when anyone talks of their separation. “Dare anyone call him an orphan!”

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I think more and more such news should be promoted in the papers which can make the people feel good

from:  sheshu
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 17:15 IST

i bow my head to the real pure soul.

from:  hemendra
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 17:11 IST

Mahatma Gandhi said that acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer. The Sadhu's act of kindness extended his circle of compassion to another human being by effecting a shared destiny for both. By embracing a sick orphan he has embraced his humanity and proved that compassion is the basis of morality.

from:  vyjayanthi
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 16:23 IST

This is true unconditional love... god bless them both

from:  Kartik
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 10:02 IST

The over powering qualities of compassion tests even a sadhu. For those,who are not familiar with Srimad Bhagavatham', the story of
'Jada Bharatha', a sage in the woods, who was moved by the sight of a just born baby deer and decided to suspend his sagely discipline. Thyagaraja, the great composer mentions this in his song, "Anyaayamu seyakura' in the raga Kaapi The famous line is " Jada Bharathudu jinka sisuvunethi kaapaadagaleda". The meaning of the line is "Do not be unreasonable to me.Just think of Jada Bharatha, who saved the baby deer, O' Rama." It is a moving song/

from:  K. Sridharan
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 06:16 IST

Sadhu has demonstrated the best in Indian culture to have adopted an orphan boy,named
him Bajrangi and gave him a new lease of life.The Child abandoned in front of the ashram
was rescued ,cared and protected-this is what Indian epics and vedandas teach.Sadhu only
practiced them.There are childless couples who can adopt orphans and transform them into
their own inheritors.

from:  Dr K V Peter
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 06:03 IST

Such a nice story. I would like to help this great man with small financial amount. I
don't know how can I do that? Can "The Hindu" help?
Thanks
Ayush

from:  Ayush
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 05:27 IST

Wonderful article to read. It is humane touch at its best.

from:  gopal
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 04:16 IST

Nice..my best wishes with the boy and the sadhu

from:  Avijit
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 03:59 IST

The Sadhu is a real Sanyasi.

from:  Soundararajan Srinivasa
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 03:20 IST

Amazing.....

from:  Sheshu
Posted on: Feb 6, 2013 at 01:20 IST
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