The sacred oracle (tamra pothi) of Achyutananda Das is a series of blank copper pages. Once a questioner has asked his questions, the answers mystically appear engraved on the blank pages. The following is an interview recorded Wednesday July 29, 1992 between Manamohan Mahapatra (MM) and Pandit Amareswar Mishra (AM), the reader of the oracle, explaining how he came to possess it.

The pothi oracle at Kakatpur had become the center of a sizable establishment. The Kakatpur pandit had held the pothi for more than a decade at the time of our visit. At this time a building had been built outside of the pandit’s village for reading the pothi oracle for people who had come from various distances. When we arrived, the building was surrounded by people waiting for their turn to consult the pothi. They told us that some had been in the village waiting for several days to get in.

MM: This pothi which you have got, when did you get it.

AM: The first pothi I got on September 11, 1978.

MM: The first means which one? The one which the people open or which one you read?

AM: I got five pothis. [from] Konaraka [i.e. from Arta Baba at Konarak].

MM: From which place?

AM: In Konarak we have an abadhuta [a sadhu who eats fish, meat, dry fish, everything; abadhuta is a gruhi sanyasi] ashram, whose mahanta [head] maharaj now is Arta Baba, Artabandhu [Arta means all desperate people; bandhu means friend] Das.

MM: Arta Baba?

AM: First five pieces I got from his ashram.

MM: To get the pothis there, did you get any direction [nirdesh]?

AM: Direction? No, no such direction. At first I was a Devi worshipper [pujaka]. I am the purohito of the Goddess. After doing my puja there, once I got swapna desha from the Goddess — go to Konarak, where you will get a valuable [amulya = priceless, thing = jinisa]. I heard such things twice or thrice, but did not give importance to it. In ’78 September, I went there. After reaching there I stayed in the matha. Arta Baba, who is now staying there, gave me many pothis. All these pothis were bound together in a red cloth. I said, what is this? “There is direction from the guru to give you these pothis.” So I opened the pothis and read. Then my suspicion [sandeha] arose on those pothis. Because of what? In those, many definitions have been written; in some place it is written, you give blood [rakta] sacrifice and then open the pothi [that means the first time you open the pothi, you give blood sacrifice]. In some other place it is written, give rice [bhata, anna (rice) bali; bali is sacrifice] sacrifice, in some place it is written, recite this mantra for so many times and open it. Like this, it is written. I had suspicion on those. I said, these are all a tantra set [a set of tantra pothis]. I said, what shall I do with these tantra pothis? So out of fear, I did not bring those pothis. He forced me very much. When he forced me very much, by selecting five pothis from the lot, I brought them. One of those is Mahapurusha Achyutananda Das Ugala [find translation — bar or barrier.[Om Doal Purnami day the Gopalas do that, by singing songs and holding out their arms they restrict the movement of others — two groups will come — one group will come form one side and another from another, they will sing and restrain each others’ movements]

MM: Gopala’s Ugala? [Achyutananda Das wrote a book called Gopala Ugala].

AM: Aagya. Another piece was Silpi [artist] Ratna Samhitha (or Sanghita). [means this book is a jewel to the artists]. In which matters relating to art science, house measurement, etc., are done.

[MM note: In Orissa, in the past and now particularly in the villages, when some one wants to construct a house, first he goes to the person who possesses this pothi. He comes and examines the earth and gives the plan of the proposed house. Why? Basuki is a naga, on his hood, he holds his earth. One’s house should stand on the hood of Basuki, otherwise the house will collapse, or misfortune will come to the family, those who live there.] Another pothi is Jyotisha Ratnabali. I brought that jyotisha pothi eagerly (agraha -re) because [karana] I have read jyotish [astrology] before. I brought that because that will help me. Then another piece [khanda] was there in the lot and I brought that. It was sadharana prasna patala [a book in which everything are tied together] [general questions book]. Then there was another piece, Durga sodasa [sixteen] kabacha [talisman — the square ones] [the pujas for Durga]. We are Devi worshippers, I thought [bhabiba] in sodasa patala, there must be some more puja matter of the Goddess. Then I brought that.

MM: Are all these books written by Achyutananda Das?

AM: Aagyan. I brought all these pothis and the rest I returned him. I said, I am a family man [gruhi], I fear to take these pothis with me. He told me, if you do not want to take the other pothis, you keep those near the guru and go. In spite of that, I kept those there [left it there with Arta Baba]. I can not understand anything, why shall I take those? “He told me to give you. If you do not want to take it, keep it near him. Why shall I disobey [or violate] the [order of] the guru [guru drohi].” After bringing the pothis, I went through those minutely. I could not understand anything. I liked that Ugala pothi very much. By reading the Ugala several times, hundred page pothi, I got by heart everything [mukhasta = put those in my mouth — i.e., can sing those any time.] I feel it to be good (I like that). There were many knowledgeable (janiba katha) things in it. I brought that one. I also brought the jyotish one. All other pothis were also with me.

I am the purohito of the Goddess temple. While doing my puja there, many sadhus and sanyasis [connotation is that the sanyasi is a higher grade — and is a wandering mendicant] also come. Those Babajis and Vaisnavas come, I arrange their food and lodging. Sitaram Das, a sadhu, came here from Puna. He was speaking Hindi. He was a naked sadhu [means he has only one loincloth] [languli]. No clothing on him. Like this, a sadhu came. Everyone asks him several things in the temple. He once told me, Son [Pua], everyone are asking me many things, why don’t you ask me anything [pachariba = ask]? You have served me a lot. “What shall I ask you? All these things they are asking and asking, these are mingled with by own body. I have no more interest to ask anything.” He once told me, “Why you will ask? There is proudness [aham = ego] in you. Millions of people will ask me, why shall I ask him? Because of your egoism, you don’t ask me anything.” I couldn’t understand anything [i.e. what the sadhu meant]. I said, “Aagya, I do not have any such thought in me. {The sadhu says} “You fool [buddu = Hindi, fool], the valuable pothi of Mahapurusha which you have with you, millions of people will come to you to ask many things to that pothi. But you don’t know that. Therefore I told you that.” So I thought, how could he know about this. Because nobody has yet known about this. The pothis are there in the temple tied together. Even I have not brought those to my house, out of fear.

PothiThe building at the Kakatapur ashram where the pothi is read. The
people on the verandah are all waiting for their turns to consult the pothi.

MM: Holding that —

AM: After that I brought the pothi and showed him. Our temple executive officer, Prafulla, I and he [the sadhu], we all saw the pothi. After showing him, he explained me some of it after reading. Even drawing in chalk. I liked that very much [bhala lagila = felt it to be very good.] Then I kept him for two more days and learned the `theories’ [in English] from him. After I learned those, he left. He gave me his address. No, no, he didn’t give me his address, he told me, my address is not necessary, I shall come in the year 1991. He only told me that, my ashram is in Puna and in ’91, I shall come to see you. If you go there, you won’t find me. I do not stay at one place. Then he went away. After that, I started the pothi according to that theory. After knowing one and then another new things, my interest [agraha] also increased. There was one sadhana in that. I did that sadhana. Our priests they all cooperated with [saha joga] me. They encouraged [uchhahita] me very much. They said, “You go ahead with your sadhana.” I also did the sadhana there in the temple. The priests remained near me. The sadhana was that for 37 days I shall stand on one leg, not eating, not drinking.

MM: English — He was standing on one leg without any food or anything.

AM: Then after 37 days I got a direction [nirdesha = mandate] from the Goddess that, you go to Konarak. At that time it was 3:15 AM. Of course, I have not seen anything. Of course [abasya] I remember a bright light [ujala light]. And from that light came a sound [abaja]. “Why are you falling here, [padichu]?” Go to Konarak. If you go to Konarak your desire [manas kamama] will be fulfilled [purna heba]. How shall I go? Again she said, “Go, why are you sitting here.” Again she said, “You can not stay here for a minute even. Go quickly [sighra pala]. At that time my left leg, after standing for a long period, my thigh [penda] and knee [anthu] have become equal has become equal (in size) by swelling [phuli kari]. I have no condition for walking. I went there with great difficulty [bahu kaste maste]. Those people watching me were asleep. I wrote a letter to them and went.

MM: How far is that place from here?

AM: Eleven kilometers. Going there by walking, I went up to Kundhei with great difficulty. Even tears [luha] were flowing [bahuta bahiba] from my eyes in a stream (dhara dhara hoi). I sat down leaning against [auji kari] a Kendu tree. I slept. I do not know anything else. Some one came and grasped my arm and shook [halai dela] it. My entire body [sarira] everywhere — veins [sira] and capillaries prasira] [chahali gala] rippled [vibrated]. Then I thought [mu bhabiba], I should go to Konarak. When shall I go? Then I walked. After that, I have not felt any pain [kasta]. When I reached there, Mahanta Maharaj is washing [muha dhoiba] his face, upon getting up from the bed. He also prepared before [i.e he was prepared for me before I came]. When he saw me, he said, “Why it was so late? You should have reached here by twelve or one o’clock. Why it was so late?” He said, “There is a straw bed in that room. Go and sit there.” After I surrendered myself [trahi padiba = full prostration]. [As in trahi Achyuta], I got the direction. I could not understand anything. Then I wrote all those things on a piece of paper and gave that to Mahanta Maharaj, who was watching me there [when Amara Misra was sleeping on that straw bed, Arta Baba was there looking after him.]

I gave him everything in writing. “I have got the direction to go into the Ganga sagar [tank or ocean]. I do not know which is Ganga Sagar. How shall I go inside that? If Ganga sagar will be the sea, then I do not know how to swim. How shall I go there in this condition? I am not able to go, help me.” He then said, “Don’t worry [byasta hua nahi]. Ganga Sagar is not the sea [samudra]. We have one well [bamphi] here, it’s name is Ganga Sagar. If you are not able to go there, I will go by [khandhei kari] putting you on my shoulder.” I feared. He said, “Son, don’t fear.” He is a very strong [majabhuta] man [loka]. Then that was done [lit. that happened]. By that time form our Kakatapur, about 5000 reached Konaraka. Even in twenty to twenty-five vehicles young boys and girls, ladies, have gone there. He took me inside that [well] and stood me there. My leg became dysfunctional So I sat down. There was not much water there, only up to the chest. There I felt that someone is pulling me inside. Then, out of fear, I caught hold of and embraced him [kundhei kari dharili].

He said, “Why do you fear? If God has any wish [udesha], why shall you or I fear?” Like this, he explained me [bujhaile] many things. Then I stood up. Then Arta Baba said, “You leave me [chhadide], you go in. If you hold me nothing will be done.” Then I left him. After I was submerged [budiba] in the water, what happened, I do not know. I do not know where I have gone, what I have done. The people, those were above (on the ground), they say that after seventeen minutes, I came up. My experience [anubhuti] inside that is that I am walking in a very narrow path where if you will be a little careless [asabadhana], both your shoulders will touch [the walls]. The direction was, whatever things are there on the bull’s [sandha] head [munda], you will only bring those. I saw on top of the head of the bull, not one, but many, pothis have been kept. I had the direction to bring one. But out of greediness [lobha] I brought two. I held both in two hands and came. When I came up and saw one was a pothi and the other was a stone. Now the copper pothi in which answers come.

MM: All those pothis bound or open?

AM: No, no, fully bound. It was bound and kept there. But what I remember, both were pothis. Not a stone. Then I thought, God’s direction was to bring one but out of greediness I brought two. So this happened. Then they told me (those who were present above), Throw that stone in the water. Then the pothi came.

MM: When you brought that pothi, at that time, inside that house, was there any person [loka] or any animal [jiba jantu] there?

AM: No, I have not seen anything like that, only a narrow light and very narrow path. To my knowledge, I have remembered this much inside. The people, those who went there, they told me, when we have got the pothi of Mahapurusha, we all take it to our village in a procession [padajatra] and we all walk. We will not go in the vehicles. Then we came by reciting the name of God [nama sankirtana] [Hare Krishna, Hare Ram]. After examining [anudhyana] that pothi, it was written there that the equivalent [anusangika] pothis of this are at such and such place. There are nine pothis in Sarangajadi in the house of Prafulla Misra. Our Satyabadi Misra, who lives in Puri has five pothis in his house. Then it was written, Belamalia ashram in Jajpur where there are 27 pothis. There are three in Nemala Bata [Banyan tree]. In this pothi, only this much was written. First I went to Satyabadi Misra. Whatever he told me, my heart was full broken [mo mana pura bhangigala = broken].

MM: He is a different [abhagia — not straight, won’t help in straight forward way] type of person. [He is deaf also]

AM: Aagya, He didn’t show us good behavior [bhala byabahara]. He said, In this age you told me a blind belief [andha biswasa]. If somebody told you like this, he should also have told me such and such person will come, and you will give him. I said, there is no such direction to me. You read this pothi. “Why shall I read that? If I am to give you, some one must have told me such and such person will come, you will give him. Nobody has told me like that. Then after understanding everything, he told me, “Oh, what is pothi, that is not within my knowledge. I am staying here in Puri for the last 40 years. I have no touch with my house [means in the village]. There is no pothi in our house. These Babajis [Babaji phabaji], after smoking ganja write such things. This must be something like that.” From that my mana [heart] was broken.

Then from there I returned. I did not go to anybody. At that time people have already inquired of this pothi. Then when I inquired of the pothi, Mahapurusha replied, all right, time will come when that man will bring you the pothi. Don’t worry [byasta hua nahi]. After 20 to 25 days, once in the evening [sandhya] Satyabadi Misra, Pravakara Misra of Sakigopal, Asuthosha Misra, a professor of the Sanskrit college, etc. — four or five people, came and reached my house. At that time, I am preparing to come home from the ashram. After reaching there they said, “Pandite, your version [katha] was correct. Now I have come. I have not come here but some one has sent me here, saying, go and donate [dana] pothis to the pandit. Then we sat there. After sitting there and discussed many things, good and bad [basikari bahuta dukha sukha helu]. They told me to recite [boliba] Malika. I sang [boliba] the Malika. Then told me, let’s go. Now I have been directed [nirdesha] to give you the pothi. Then we went to his house and he gave me the pothi. While carrying those pothis with me, we came to Prafulla Misra’s house at Sarangajadi. We saw him to be absent in the house. He is a civil servant [chakiria]. An instructor in the ITI college in Puri.

Then we went to Puri. We told him all these things. He said, what is there in my house, I do not know. Many days ago, my father got a box from the river floor. What is there in it, we don’t know. Every day [sabudina] he worships that [puja karanti]. He said at the time of his death, when that many will come, whatever is there in that, he will appear at the examination [parikshya deba] and he will take it [neba] [i.e. will prove his identity, then he will take it]. After the death of our father, we do not even touch that box. Only for that box, we can not construct that house. As our father said, we only give a little water and flower on that box. I presume [dharana] there may be some pothi in it. If there is nothing in it, we have no pothi in our house. If there is the instruction of Mahapurusha, I think pothis are there in the box. Then we came. For many days, the pothis are there in that box. When we lifted the box up, we found there is nothing at the bottom of the box [i.e. The bottom of the box fell apart]. White ants have also eaten some of the pothis. The nine pothis that were there for me were not destroyed [nasta hoi nahi]. In that pothi my name, my father’s name, name of my village, etc. were mentioned. Aagya, there were four prasna [questions] there in the pothi.

In a big palm leaf [tala patra], it was written, anybody who can answer [uttara] these four questions, he will take these pothis. Prafulla Misra said, We do not know anything about this. If you know anything, please tell us. Then I said, Such and such will be the answer. Then I brought the pothi and came. Then immediately I went to Nemala. {Where Achyuta attained samadhi under a banyan tree]. In Nemala they gave me everything without and hesitation [nirdwanda]. After bringing those from Nemal, I again went to Belamalia in Jajapur. His was a broken [bhangaruja] math. Many pothis are there. Prataprudra Das is the Mahanta there. When he heard everything, read the pothi, saw all these writings, he said, “We are all the people of that Mahapurusha. If he has said, then we have nothing to deny [aswikara]. Whatever you want to take, take in your own hand. After bringing those pothis [idiom: “the pothi walked”], the pothi was active.

Pandit Amareswar Mishra reading the tamra pothi in his Ashram.
The tamra pothi of Mahapurusha Achyutananda is handled by
him on the instructions of Baba Shri Buddhanath Das.

MM: English — After he brought the pothi from Konarak, it revealed form the pothi that you visit these persons from whom you will get many pothis. He contacted all those persons and got pothis.

AM: Then in another pothi it came out to do sadhana.

MM: Where do you keep these pothis after you brought those?

AM: First when the pothis were brought, there was no permanent place. So I kept those in the Mangala temple. When my fear [bhaya] went away, I built a Thakura Ghara [a prayer room] in our village. At that time there was no ashram. When the pothi from Belamalia came, it was written there that the ashram of Mahapurusha was there in Charakapada [the name of the place where the present ashram stands].

MM: Which is Charakapada?

AM: Now where our ashram has been constructed, that was the ashram of Charaka Rishi. [Near the pole star there are five other stars, atri, angira, basistha, charaka, etc. Charaka rishi was a muni and he had his ashram there where the pothi ashram stands in Kakatpur.] That was the ashram of Charaka Rishis, so the ashram of Mahapurusha will be renovated [punarudhara] there. So I showed the pothi to the landowner [jami balaku]. How that will be done? That is a private land. So I took the pothi and showed it to that landowner. That landowner was very happy [khusi hela = glad] and said yes. “The portion of land which you intend [kahuchhanti = you are saying] to take, I have purchased that land 40 years back. When I am trying to plow the land, at that time some obstacles [pratibandhaka] are coming so that I am unable to plow the land. Once a Babaji came here and told me not to plow this land. One good thing will be done here. You leave [chhadide] this place [leave it alone]. So I have left that land. There were five bel trees on that land a and there is no other thing. If you say, one sadhu told me, so take it if you will construct. The land is only two gunthas [unit of measurement]. Can an ashram be built on two guntha of land?” He was reluctant [kunthita hele] to give a little more land. When he was reluctant, we told him we’d give money. By taking 11,000 rupees, he gave us five gunthas of land. Then the ashram was constructed there and pothi was kept there.

MM: When you took the pothi to that place, did you arrange any puja?

AM: Aagya.

MM: Whatever puja you did, that was the direction of the pothi?

AM: Yes, by the direction [nirdeshare] of the pothi, everything has been done.

MM: Then there must be some instruction to you by the pothi that you will open [pothi kholiba] this pothi in this way [ae pari bhabare]?

AM: Yes, pothi has the niyama [rules] how to open [kholiba], how to do puja. Each pothi has its own niyama. In the preface [mukha =face; bandha] all those niyama are.

MM: Have all the pothis a mukha bandha?

AM: Aagya. All the pothis have mukha bandha [preface].

MM: English — Pothi has a preface in which it has been mentioned clearly how you will open the pothi, for opening a pothi, what you will do. And he opened this pothi according to that instruction.

AM: In that for me there was a sadhana to do. I did that sadhana inside the ashram. That sadhana is of course related to [tantra sambandhia] tantra. After that I got the direction that, you will get a silver [rupa] pothi in Gupteswar.

MM: Where is Gupteswar?

AM: Gupteswar is located in Koraput. It is 60 kilometers away from Jaipur. How shall I get it [miliba], what will be done? Preparations [sambandhare prastuta paragala] were made and I went there. I did sadhana in the Gupteswar cave for eleven days. After eleven days sadhana, what happened, a Kondh boy, holding the pothi, reached there and gave. I could not understand his speech [katha = speech; barta = message]. Whatever we asked him he replied to. But we could not understand anything. He spoke in his language, we could not [bhuji parilu nahi] understand.

MM: He must have spoken in Kui language [ the Kondh language].

AM: That speaking, we could not understand even one paisa [i.e. one percent]. Then he went to the forest [jungle] laughing and laughing [hasi hasi kari; hasiba = laughing]. I can’t tell anything about him.

MM: Okay, then you brought the pothi and came here and afterwards have started that [arambha kari thibe]. You opened [kholi chhanti] in ’71 or some other date?

AM: From ’78.

MM: Many people must have come to you to this place? Those who are coming here, they are coming with definite [nirdishta] questions, getting the answers of the questions. Suppose [mane karantu] a person is ill [asustha], he came here; will the pothi arrange [byabastha] any medicine [ausadha] for him?

AM: If the question will be in connection with any disease [roga], its medicine will come. Medicine means all suckers [chera] roots [roots]. Aagya, only tubers and roots [chera muli], nothing else.

MM: English — Pothi also prescribes medicines. Medicines means only Ayurvedic medicine, roots, fruits, leaves, etc.

AM: Like this we have burning examples [jwalanta = burning pramana][blazing examples]. Still that man is alive, a cancer patient [rogi], even he has come back from Delhi Medical. They have also been cured here. Many paralysis patients [paralysis rogi] also [madhya] have been cured [bhala hoi acchanti]. There are many examples like this. But one thing is that, all these medicines which come, there is not much [bisesa karcha nahi] expenditure of money, but it requires concentration [ekagrata].

MM: First believe [biswasa], then do what I am telling you, and after that you enjoy [bhoga kariba].

AM: Aagya.

MM: If one does not do anything but will say that overnight my house becomes a palace, such person, should not come here.

AM: Same disease [ekaroga], samana ausadha [same medicine], one half [adha] say half was cured and half remained like that. Some are saying we were fully cured after using the medicine for some days. Some say that it did not work on us. If the reason is that lack of their concentration [ekagrata], and carelessness [heyagyana]. Thousands of rupees were spent, it did not work. This is a simple leaf, root, will it be cured with this? Let us see, eat that for two to four days. If they are thinking like this, nothing will happen. This is the story [katha].

MM: In this connection, Achyutananda Das says, “Why one is cured and the other is not? ‘The rat is inside the drum.’ What does it mean? [mane kana]. I tell him to eat mango but if he eats lemon, how will the disease be cured.”

AM: Hanh Sahib. There is rule [niyama] in what way you will use the pothi. You should not accept money from anybody’s hand. Do not say that, “You give me this much.” Whatever he will give on his own, that you spend in different [anya] works [karma]. The person who will use this pothi every day will get a remuneration [parisramika]. The rest will be used in my work. He has his own works; one is Udaya Bata, another is Kataka Jobra, One is Gadoi near Machhagaon [i.e. He should also contribute some of his money for the development of these places; Achyuta is connected with these places]. An ashram will be constructed in Khandagiri. Like this I have been assigned with many works. It has its own ‘routine’ which money will be spend in which thing. Aagya, all these things are written, how he will spend money in what way.

MM: If we will come any time, will you please show us that writing?

AM: Aagya.

MM: Now you have some difficulties [asubhida].

AM: If you come some other time, you can see everything.

MM: English — Nancy, in the pothi it is mentioned that anybody who will visit you to open the pothi, do not demand anything from them. Whatever they give you, keep it. Whatever you get, you take only your wage from that because you are spending the whole day to read the pothi. You take 20-30 rupees towards your wage and spend the rest in the different ashramas.

MM: Oriya — Aagya, we are Hindus, we believe in [biswasa] our previous birth [purba janma]. We are enjoying the fruit [bhoga kariba phala] of this life, taking into consideration the good or bad deeds in our previous birth. Anything in this connection [sambandhare] comes out [bahare] in the pothi. Whether the inquirers are told about this? Do you tell any such thing to the inquirer?

AM: Like this, many people question that, what was my previous birth? Each answer will come that in your previous birth you were the son of such and such persons and born in such and such places. You were born in such and such place and such and such were your karma [doings[. Like this it comes. For some good comes, bad comes for others [or it comes out good for some, bad for others.].

MM: Suppose a patient has come, he is suffering from paralysis, any such thing has come out for him that, in your previous birth, you kicked your superiors [guru jana]?

AM: Aagya. Many, many.

MM: For that does it come in the pothi that the man should undergo expiation [prayaschita]?

AM: It remedy comes [tara remedy bahara].

MM: Do you give those things in writing to them?

AM: Aagya, Hanh.

MM: If anybody comes again to open the pothi, not observing the previous directions [nirdesha], does the pothi get annoyed [birakta] with him?

AM: No, not at anybody. It comes for some others that, your past culture [sanskruti] and jatismara guna [caste qualities] were not correct. You can not go forward in this line [tume e batare = line age = front pariba nahi], you will stay in the [adhare] half (or middle). You will have to enjoy the fruits of your fate [bhagya]. To call bad names, speak badly, etc., does not come in the pothi.

MM: Pothi undergoes rest [vishram]. What is the meaning of vishram [vishram mane kana?]?

AM: Vishram means not script [akshyara] will come. Only three letters, ‘BI’ then ‘SRA’ and ‘MA’ will come. The meaning of that is this. The meaning of that is the person who gives the answer is unwilling [araji]. My experience [anubhuti] says that we again and again ‘charge’ a power [shakti] to speak something, we ask what will be its answer. We ask Him what will be its answer. As a man becomes disinterested [bitaspruha], like that after answering several times, that power has not interest [agraha nahi] to give the reply [uttara deba pai]. I told you my experience.

MM: Your pothi is made of copper [tamba]? Is there writing on it always?

AM: Not at all [jama nahi]. Only on each page there is — there are 84 pages in it — in each page there is a jantra.

MM: On each page both sides there is no letter, only different types of jantra.

AM: Jantra is there in each page and that its main thing [mukhya jinisa] which gives the reply.

MM: Is there any direction to you how script comes on the pothi and how it is erased [libhiba]?

AM: There is not such instruction. Only that is written there. That day perhaps I was showing that to you.

MM: No, you showed that to me, I told you to read.

AM: Its main object was [barnamala] a string [garland, mala] of syllables. There is a jantra in it in which all the 24 syllables from ‘A’ to ‘Kshya’ [khya] are written on it. For that it is ‘composed’. Sir, when there is no seed [manji (but same as bija),] how can we think of a tree [gaccha]? If there is no barna [letter, syllable] how can barna [color] come? Syllable [barna] is there, matra [diacritic mark] is there [the vertical line behind the syllable that changes the value of the vowel]. That matra is composed there afterwards.

MM: Is there any such direction to you that whatever comes on the pothi, that Achyuta speaks? I am sending this message [barta] from the Goloka Puri.

AM: Aagya. That will come in the answer of all questions. You must have marked that [lakshya kari thibe]. First it will come that Mahapurusha is speaking. At the end it will also come that [“illiterate” or without sense] [agyani Achyuta] speaks, “Cruel [[pamara] Achyuta speaks.”

MM: Millions [lakshya lakshya] of people must have come to the pothi. Please speak in short [sankshyepare] what type of questions they put to the pothi.

AM: Hanh, Aagya. Ten people in a hundred are [adhatmika badi] devotional; then to examine [parikshya] the pothi, 25 in one hundred are coming; Being in difficulty, [Asubhidare padi], forty out of one hundred come. Some others say, let us go and see what is happening there. With this in mind, ten people in a hundred come [satakada dasa]. Among them, there are gentlemen [badra loka], thieves [chora], bandits [dacoit], also there are ‘murderers’. So different types [bibhina kisamara] are coming here.

MM: Have any such people come whose reply has not come in the pothi?

AM: Aagya.

MM: Why does this happen?

AM: This happens for this [reason], that the people come to Mahapurusha to examine [test] him [parikshya]. Those people face this more.

MM: Achha. When I came here that day, no script came the first time. Then I remembered [smarana] Thakura [the God, the Lord], then script [lekha] came. You said, we will open it again. Did that happen to me for that (reason).

AM: I am telling you my experience [anubhuti]. If you have the intention [manobruti] to examine it, such things happen. People do not get their reply. Even by opening the pothi for 8 to 10 times, nothing will come.

MM: But mine came in one. All the questions and some more also came.

AM: Aagya.

MM: Whatever comes in the pothi, has that ever been false [michha hoichi]?

AM: Yes it has.

MM: Why it has been false?

AM: Those who come here with the intention to test and they do not follow [kari nahanti] the directions correctly. It has been only for them. I am telling you my experience. There are many questions on marriage. Some of them get exactly the right answer. But some others get half or their answer and the other half they do not get. Some do not get the answer. The main reason for this, is that this it is not ‘mesmerism,’ nor mantra, jantra and tantra. It is a thing of devotion [bhakti bhaba]. So one thing is, how the Sunya Shakti will give the reply, unless our concentration reaches Him. Whatever is our intention [bhaba], we will get the reply accordingly. But it is said in Bhagavata

“Ja mana jepari,
ta pain separi,
phala rakhitae biswa [world].
ucha mana,
ucha adarsha [ideal] lobahi [gets],
nicha mana lobhe [gets] bisa [poison].” —

“Whatever is your mana [mind, desire,
For him like that [separi]
the universe retains the result
higher mind gets a high ideal
low mind gets poison.”

So whatever is your [bhaba] thought, Mahapurusha gives you the reply accordingly. Those who will not be successful Mahapurusha gives them the reply with a cheating intention [thakiba = cheating, devious; manobrutire = intention], just to put you in confusion [baula = confusion; tumaku baulare pakaiba pain]. Because of that man will be put in confusion, he will again come. We have questioned the pothi several times that, you said such thing will happen, but why it happened in the other way? We have got the reply for that. This was his intention. Then many other times similar replies have come, that if I don’t tell him like this then he will kill himself [atma hatya = kill]. He has come here with the intention of doing that. To save his mind, I have given this reply. Achha, in order to save him [karibaku rakshya].

MM: Achha, Aagya. I did not have any such thing in my mind.

AM: But one thing is that, when that reply will come, while I am reading the pothi, I can know that which will take place, and that which will not. Mahapurusha speaks with a twist [pencha = screw]. Still then with a double meaning [di adaku paila bhali = as if it will be appreciated by two sides. If you analyze [anadhyana] those [words] minutely [bisesa bhabe], its ‘yes’ answer will be ‘no’. But the people will understand it yes, but the result will be different.

MM: We thought of two questions on that day. The Lord [Thakura] gave us two replies. He said another one relating to me [samparkare = relating to me], my son’s education, daughter’s marriage, everything he told me one by one. I do not know how far that will be true. What shall I do? When that time will come automatically [ape ape] that will happen, or will I have to do anything else?

AM: As for the daughter’s side, definitely we will have to search [for a groom]. Then we will do our duty. But that will be the result.

MM: Achha. People must have been coming here to know about theft [chori]?

AM: Daily four or five days such cases come. At first I was reading many theft questions. But it was seen that there was one Patnaik Babu subinspector here. Once there was a theft in this locality, one bag of paddy [dhana] and one bag of kolatha [legume used for cattle feed]. What happened in that case, both the villages came to hard blows [badia pita]. I was called to the police station and stayed there for three days. Till the end I did not know the reason. But I had become the first party in the case. After three days they told me you call your [Jaminidar] bailer. [I said] Why? By doing this you have brought these tow villages to blows. Because he knew me before, they seated me inside the room [otherwise those who are detained sit in the verandah]. They told me, make a vow [pratingya] from today that you will never do any theft question any more because when we have any difficulty, we go to you and ask where the dacoit is staying. You tell us but don’t tell it the people because the people will put you in trouble. This is one thing. I also analyzed [anudhyana- that and saw that the thief also showed me his knife [chhuri] on the road, in the case of Vaisnava Subudhi’s house [the house of the theft]. Aagya, did you understand? So, under compulsion [badhya hoi] I closed it [banda kari deli]. Even though I closed that, again in some cases I am doing it. Where the inquirer is my own man [mo nija loka][one of my own], and will keep this though safely [biswasa rakshya kai pariba], I am doing it in that case. Sometimes people open the pothi on theft case, without asking me. Still then, when I read the pothi, I shall patch the name of the thief and will read it. I shall read everything but not that.

MM: If you say this unnecessarily there will be quarrels [dwanda] among the people. Whatever a man has thought in himself, that comes in the pothi. What do you think about how this comes?

AM: I was telling you the story of this barnamala jantra. Another thing is that Mahapurusha is sunya dehi. He is staying in Sunya. His spirit we bring here through mantra. This is because, you might be seeing that the pothi is kept [thua] on a jantra [which on a brass plate]. And with a chalk, mantra is applied to the pothi. Now the mantra remained on it. Then jantra, mantra. That pothi — That copper pothi that you have seen is full of [pura] tantra. There are all [gudaka] jantras in the pothi. So jantra, mantra, tantra, when these three become one, at that time that Sunya Shakti is coming. It is He who speaks.

MM: How long the script remains in the pothi after it is read out?

AM: The pothi, when you pick it up, the writing will go away. After the question ends, when lift up the pothi, the writing will go. For that because there are some rules [niyama]. If one mantra has been applied to the pothi, another can not be applied at the same time.

MM: Many types of questions we make in the pothi, about job, marriage, quarrel.

AM: Even [epariki] untold things among the husband and wife are asked to the pothi. Today’s [aji kalika = nowadays] sons and daughters, which things can not be asked, are asking to the pothi. It’s answer is also coming.

MM: Achha, why do you close the door when you read the pothi?

AM: What the people are doing there. I can not read if the shadow of a person will fall on my lens. Another thing, before I was reading the pothi on the outside. There was a complaint from among the people that, why others will hear our question. For these two reasons we closed the door. By closing the door I could sit peacefully.

MM: How many people come here every day?

AM: Many. But all do not get their reply. At most 25 to 30 people will go. Some of the pothis are here, some at my home and I carry the main things with me always because there will be question- answer in the pothi after daily abhisheka [puja]. Daily I do Rudra abhisheka [puja to Siva]. Otherwise, no answer will come.

MM: Achyutananda Das is a Vaisnava.

AM: Aagyan.

MM: All the Vaisnava writings such as Vishnu Sahasra Nama, Asta Gurjari, Nava Gurjari, and all these [e sabu, etc.] is their any nirdesha to read all these?

AM: Aagyan. Those adhyatmika badi persons put questions, many put questions like that: Who is my guru; some put question that you give me some mantra. Some put the question that, I have no desire [akankshya] for anything, by going on which path shall I get the road to liberation [mukti] [006 ?]. In areas [kshetra] like this [bhali] they all come. Asta Gurjari, mane mantra, or any beneficial thing [upadesa, beneficial, useful]. That depends [nirbhara] on the [upare] wish [swechakruta; own desire] of the Mahapurusha.

MM: Until today, has any mantra come out for the inquirers in your pothi?

AM: Aagyan.

MM: You were given [diagala] the mantra. Do japa with the mantra for so many times.

AM: It has been given.

MM: Those who are given the mantra, they must be getting some direction before that, “You will be given a mantra. You come after doing this work.”

AM: Nothing like that has come, as per my experience [anubhuti]

MM: You come one such day, you will given a mantra. Or is it given immediately?

AM: No, the inquirer has asked for the mantra. If the mantra will come, it will never come in the copper plate pothi. It will refer to Mantra Mahadadhi, such and such page; you give the mantra in such and such chapter [adhyaya] to the inquirer.

MM: According to the pothi, do you observe any ekadasi, the birthday celebration of Achyutanandam or ucchaba or Mahostaba?

AM: Aagyan. There is one for Mahapurusha, Magha Sukla Ekadasi [11th day in the bright half of Magha; associated with he birthday of Achyutananda], Jyestah Sukla Ekadasi [the death ritual of Achyutananda], Netra Uchhaba [the day prior to the car festival of Puri; Netra means eye; the newly constructed car is purified; Neta is flag; the flag is also put to the top of the car; but people call it Netra also; the car is given life on that day], then Dola Purnami [swing festival, since Achyutananda is the incarnation of Vishnu].

MM: Do you observe Rasa? [Rasa Lila of Krishna]

AM: I go to Nemala during the nitya [daily] Rasa. Aagyan, Rasa is held once in the month of Kartik and in the month of Vaishak.

The village of Kakatpur in relation to Puri and Bhubaneswar.

[ Editor’s note. Continued in part two: http://www.indiadivi…tananda-das-r27 ]