Balananda’s original name was Pitambar. Pitambar’s father died when he was
six years old. After his father’s death, his family became very poor. During
this period Pitambar was very restless and he paid no attention to his studies.
His mother begged him to study and to give up his restlessness and mischievous
pranks, but he did not listen to her.<br>
One day her anger reached the highest height and she said to her son, “Oh,
I see you are going to become a sadhu. Since in every way you are hopeless
and useless, you are destined to become a sadhu.”<br>
The word “sadhu” immediately transported the child’s mind and heart to a
higher world. He said, “Mother, I am going to become a sadhu.” Then he entered
into his room, collected all his clothes and set them on fire. He besmeared
his whole body with ashes, put a sadhu’s mark on his forehead and, putting
on a loincloth, started clapping. “Mother, Mother,” he said, “look at me.
I have really become a saddhu.” His mother smiled and cried.<br>
Later, at the age of nine, Pitambar left his mother and his earthly home.
His mother tried in so many ways to see him. Her heart was all sorrow and
grief, but the son would not see his mother under any circumstances. He was
adamant. He thought that she would create attachment for him and that he
would not be able to pursue his spiritual life if she came to him with all
her emotional demands. So he refused to see her until he reached the age
of fifty. At that time the son and the mother met for the first time since
he had left home.<br>
Indeed, his spiritual discipline and inner cry made Balananda a spiritual
giant. At the age of ninety Balananda returned to his heavenly home.<br>
Sri Chinmoy&nbsp;