Stories from Troilanga Swami’s life, part 1

Contemporary spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy relates and comments on some anecdotes in the life of Troilanga Swami

Troilanga Swami renounced everything. He always remained unclothed. He did not ask anybody for food. If others came and fed him, he ate, but he never cared for quality or quantity. Anything people gave, he ate, and he left the quantity up to his devotees and admirers. In one of his visits to Troilanga Swami, Sri Ramakrishna offered him a very large quantity of Indian sweets. Another time, some wicked people offered him a very, very large, quantity of the chemical lime. He ate it and it caused him to vomit immediately. They were so shocked. But for their misbehaviour they touched his feet and cried, and he forgave them immediately.


He who has renounced the world not only sees the universal Truth-Beauty but also sees the universe as the Truth-Beauty and as the illumining and fulfilling Reality.

Troilanga Swami once went into a Kali temple. He was followed into the temple by a young, highly advanced seeker named Bijoy Krishna Goswami. To Bijoy Krishna’s wide surprise, Troilanga Swami passed water and sprinkled the whole statue of Kali. Bijoy Krishna was frightened and horrified that a man could do this. “What are you doing?” he demanded.

Troilanga Swami replied, “This is all Ganges water. I am worshipping the Mother Kali.”

When the people who were in charge of the temple came in, Bijoy Krishna told them what the Master had done. The people in charge were not at all shocked. “Oh, Troilanga Swami has done it,” they said. “He is one with Lord Shiva. If it had been somebody else, we would have taken him to task. We would have been furious and we would have punished him. But Troilanga Swami is always in Lord Shiva-Consciousness. Shiva and Kali are one, so we don’t have to worry at all.”


The Source is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. It is Reality omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. The lover of the Source, the knower of the Source, the dweller in the Source and the possessor of the Source are all the same. Troilanga Swami as the lover of Kali and the beloved of Kali is the self-same reality.

One day Troilanga Swami said to the young seeker Bijoy Krishna Goswami, “Look here, I shall have to initiate you.”

Bijoy Krishna said, “I don’t want to be initiated by you. You are so undivine. What you did in the Kali temple was so shocking to me.”

Troilanga Swami said, “No, I have received an inner command from above. You have to be initiated by me. It is absolutely necessary for everyone to be initiated. If there is no initiation, then there can be no purification. You need purification in your life, and if you do not have this purification, there will be no God-realisation for you. I have got the command from within. Otherwise, I would be the last person to ask to initiate anybody.”

When Bijoy Krishna heard these words, he fell at the Swami’s feet and got initiation. It helped him considerably in his purification and expedited his spiritual journey. Eventually, Bijoy Krishna Goswami also became a very great spiritual Master.


Initiation is of paramount importance. The Master can initiate the seeker either outwardly or inwardly. But the traditional outer way, as part of a religious rite, is far less effective than the silence-initiation. In the silence-initiation, the Master offers a portion of his life-breath to the seeker for his ignorance-illumination and his delight-realisation. Initiation is purification. No purification, no perfection. No perfection, no satisfaction either on earth or in Heaven.

Once Troilanga Swami was walking along the street near an Indian King’s palace. This King was a great admirer of his. When the King heard that Troilanga Swami was nearby, he himself ran out and brought him into the palace. The Master was naked, so the King’s attendants put very nice, expensive clothes on him and he looked extremely beautiful. Then they fed him most delicious food. The King and his party were blessed by the Master and they had a long conversation with him, although ordinarily he was a man of few words. Sometimes he would not talk at all for months.

When Troilanga Swami left the palace to go back to his cottage, some of the palace guards watched him from a distance. When he was practically out of sight, three hooligans attacked him and took away all the expensive robes that had been given to him by the King. The guards came running and arrested the hooligans. Then they begged Troilanga Swami to come to the King’s palace once again, and he agreed.

When the King heard what had happened, he was about to punish the hooligans and put them in jail. But Troilanga Swami said, “No, don’t do that. To me there is no difference whether I have the clothes or not. My soul is not affected at all when I don’t have any clothes. Long before you gave me the clothes, I had my soul inside my body, and this is the only real thing. What shall I do with the things that do not fulfil any need of my soul?” So the hooligans were allowed to go free and the Master peacefully went on his way.


The body-reality needs decoration, ornamentation and embellishment for its satisfaction. The soul-reality needs only its oneness with Infinity’s Immortality for its eternal satisfaction.

Troilanga Swami weighed over three hundred pounds. He lived in Benares and used to spend most of his time bathing in the water of the Ganges. Once he was walking along the street naked, when he passed a new magistrate who had just come to the area. The magistrate became furious and ordered a policeman to arrest the Master and lock him in a small room. The following morning the magistrate saw Troilanga Swami walking outside the room. “How did you come out?” he demanded.

Troilanga Swami answered, “It was so easy. I came out because I felt like coming out. During the night I emptied myself and now it is smelling; therefore, I thought it would be better for me to come out of the room. So I came out.”

This time the magistrate himself put the Master under lock and key, using a double lock. The following morning, the magistrate was working in his office when all of a sudden he saw Troilanga Swami in one corner of the office, smiling at him. The magistrate said, “How is it possible for you to be here?”

Troilanga Swami told him, “You should not disturb the innocent Hindu Yogis. They can do anything they want to. I am walking along the street naked, but I am not interested in any women. In the case of ordinary men, they are full of lust. They have all kinds of emotional problems, lower vital problems, sex problems. But I am not like that. Also, people who look at me see that my body is so heavy and odd. So who will be interested in me? I have renounced the whole world, and at the same time nobody is interested in an impure way. So why do you bother me? I am not creating temptation and I am not tempted by anyone. If you want to torture the Hindu Yogis, you will be embarrassed and at every moment you will fail, because we are far above human torture.”


A truly God-realised person is he who has the capacity not to be affected by others and, at the same time, not to affect others. He protects himself from the rest of the world and he protects the world from himself. This miraculous achievement of his is due to the inseparable oneness of his body’s divinity with his soul’s supreme universality. The body enjoys the soul’s freedom. The soul enjoys the body’s acceptance of the soul’s reality.

(stories taken from India and her Miracle-Feast, by Sri Chinmoy)