Sri Sathya Sai narrates the Story of the Valorous Freedom Fighter – Chandra Shekhar Azad

My Dear Students! It is very essential for students to have purity, peace and perseverance. Even if you fall behind in terms of purity and peace, you should have perseverance, which helps in achieving what you desire. Many leaders fought against the British in order to achieve freedom for our country. The youth started a party called Indian Socialist Party. There was a 14 year old village boy named Chandrashekhar in the party. He was very poor and ate only once a day. He was studying in Varanasi but had no place to stay. He used to study under streetlights. When he was carrying on like this, the freedom movement started in full swing. The youth wanted to conduct a massive congregation. The Punjab Lion, Lala Lajapat Rai participated in many such youth organisations. At that time, a British minister was visiting the country. All the youth gathered in demonstration against the British Raj on his arrival. There was violence and the police assaulted the rioters. In this attack, one of the police shot at Lala Lajapat Rai. On learning that the leader had come to fight for the sake of freedom, the boy was moved and made a resolution to himself, “In less than one month, I must put an end to the policeman who injured our leader.” He was just a boy. He did not think twice before he made his resolution. But, he had strong determination. Swami keeps telling you often,

“Pattinadediyo Pattane Pattithivi
Pattu Neggedudaka Atteyundu!
Korinadediyo Korane Korithivi
Korika Chelledudaka Kolachiyundu!
Adiginadediyo Adagane Adigithivi
Adiginadidudaka Viduvakundu!
Talachinadediyo Talachane Talachitivi
Talapu Teeredudaka Taralakundu!
Porupadaleka Taanaina Brovavalayu,
Vodalu Teliyaka Neevaina Adugavalayu!
Intiye Kaani Tirigi Povuta Bhaktula Deeksha Kaadu!”

(You have aimed at something; do not leave it until you win it.
You have desired for something; keep praying until your wish is fulfilled.
You have asked for something; do not leave until you are granted your wish.
You have reflected upon something; do not retreat until it is realised.
Either He has to confer your yearning, unable to bear the nuisance,
Or you must keep on pestering Him for your wish.
But, leaving midway and withdrawing is not the character of a true devotee!)

Chandrashekhar Azaad’s Determination

Chandrashekhar Azad (1906-1931)
Chandrashekhar kept a watch on the policemen who were responsible for the death of the great man. Police found that he was moving with the rebels. He was arrested and taken to the court for trial. The Judge asked the boy, “What is your name?” In Hindi, ‘Azaad’ means freedom. The boy answered with courage, “My name is Azaad.” “What is your father’s name?” He replied boldly, “Swatantram (independence). “Which is your hometown?” He said, Jail.” The Judge was fuming, as he was a British man. He sentenced the boy to be whipped 30 times. Policemen lashed him with the whip. He did not cry out with agony or fear. All through the punishment, he kept shouting “Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram” (Salutations to the Motherland). Though his body was bleeding, he was smiling. He did not give up his determination. Hardly half of the lashes were given when he became unconscious and was ordered to be released by the Judge. His anger grew further from that day. “What for is my education? What is my struggle? Where shall I go leaving my motherland in others’ hands? It is better to die revolting against such a situation. I shall not give up my oath until freedom is attained.” 

He continued with his struggle for liberation of India from the hold of the British.  In spite all their efforts, the police could not catch him for the next 10 years. However, Chandrashekhar was successful in fulfilling his resolve to kill the policeman responsible for the death of his leader. He went back to Varanasi thus fulfilling his vow. Later the boy became much stronger with the support of a leader in Varanasi. But, none could know the whereabouts of Azaad. In the local newspapers, it was announced that the one who brings the head of Azaad would be rewarded with 10,000 rupees. Chandrashekhar exclaimed, “They want to purchase my head for 10,000 rupees because I fight for my motherland? What meanness! I will not be caught by anyone. My head will be offered only to my country”. 

Nothing is more Precious than Your Motherland

Similarly, Lord Rama had said, “Having been born here, I am indebted to My mother and My motherland. There is no heaven higher than these two”. He declared, “Janani Janmabhoomischa Swargadapi Gariyasi” (Mother and Motherland are greater than the heavens.) Why did He say so? After the war was over, Lakshmana suggested to Lord Rama, “Brother, even if you return to Ayodhya, it is of no use because Bharata is ruling over the country. Let us stay in this Lanka which is more prosperous and powerful”. Rama became upset hearing these words and said, “Lakshmana, what are you talking? Is Bharat poor? There may be lot of money and gold in Lanka. But I do not appreciate this gold more than My motherland. Bharat is a land of sacrifice and action. Is there a greater wealth than the strength of Yoga, which our country stands for? My country is My heaven and I love My motherland. Of course Lanka is a beautiful country. It is more beautiful than paradise itself! But it is not right to reject the motherland saying that it is not beautiful. If one’s mother is ugly, one cannot acknowledge another beautiful woman as a mother. I love My motherland, however it is.” 

In the same way, Azaad was determined that he would offer his head for his motherland. Azaad being his name, he lived up to it. He remained free. “I surrender myself to God, but not to anyone else. God has given me this body. I am grateful to God for this and I offer it back to God.” Azaad went around the country spreading the message of freedom. Once, he met one of his old friends. But, the friend’s mind was polluted. What kind of friends do you get in this age of Kali? This friend reported the whereabouts of Azaad to the police in return for the prize money announced earlier. He gave all the required details. The Police entered the scene and surrounded the house. Azaad observed this through the window but did not try to hide. He opened the doors and attacked the police with an iron rod. He knew how to wield the rod. He killed three or four police officers before disappearing. Police were afraid for their lives and nobody dared to catch him even if they wanted to do so. He was feared for his will power, which even the Chief of the Army did not possess. Azaad escaped the police and nobody knew where he was for sometime after this incident. One day, as he was resting under a tree, the police spotted him and opened fire on him indiscriminately. They shot at the body repeatedly until it tore into pieces. Even then, the police hesitated to go near his body! He was as a leader with soaring willpower. Many people achieved great heights inspired by Azaad. He had strong determination in everything he did. 

The Purpose of Life 

You too should question yourself, “Why am I given this birth? Why does God confer life to men?” Man has conquered everything. He has great determination. But, he has not conquered himself. He is trying to know everything without knowing himself first. When a person does not know himself, what is the use of knowing everything else? 

Even men of high cadre served in the army and sacrificed their lives for their motherland. Sometime back in India too, there was a rule that all the youth should join the army. But the parents were afraid because they did not want their children to be killed in the battlefield. You should not show your back in such situations. Our country is of utmost importance to us. It provides us with sustenance and gives us protection. How can you think of ignoring it? 

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