Satish C. Bhatnagar : Yesterday came the newsletter of the Hindu Temple of Las Vegas. Amongst the announcements of the events was the one on the first Saturday classes on pranayam (life force system through breathing) to be held in the premises of the Temple by Baba Anal. The epithet Baba stopped me in the tracks.
Anal, being married to my sister, Madhu, has been known to me for over 25 years. During the late 1970s, they were very active in the yuv sanghrash vahini (Youth Struggle Brigade) organized by the late Jay Prakash Narayan. Because of his leading role, perhaps the name, Baba was pinned on him. He ‘earned’ it when they fought with the UP state government in the relocation of 1000 displaced people in Agra due to the 1982 floods. In Agra, he is only known as Baba!
Baba connotes all shades of perception in India. On one extreme, it is used for infants in affectionate manner, and at the other, for the old and the wise. Of course, there are charlatans amongst the Babas too. India leads the world in ‘spiritual’ business ‘run’ by the Babas like Satya Sai Baba, Narayan Baba and Mehar Baba etc. Baba is used for the father of the father. Webster dictionary gives many interesting meanings of Baba, as a noun!
Anal is spiritual. He and Madhu are doing research on the ‘lost science’ of the Power of the Mantras. In 1999, I presented a paper on its rudimentary ‘mechanics’ during the 12th World Vedanta Conference in Hyderabad. Though, Anal did not present any paper, he was engaged in dialogues with several delegates. Twelve years ago, an Agra youth, near 30-year old, took ‘Sanyas’ initiation from Anal! This youth is known these days as Swami Chakransh.
Anal does not belong to the category of ‘saints’ with a past. He resigned from the state judicial service and turned down political gains. Anal and Madu ran three schools in Agra. Anal with a master’s in law, practiced public interest issues in India’s Supreme Court. In Las Vegas, he is well known for his paralegal practice. The prayanam classes that he has been offering for the last two years in the Blue Sky Yoga Center are attended by the Whites mostly.
We often discuss the issues of Hindu identity in the post 9/11 USA. The basic concern is about projecting a ‘unified’ image of Hinduism despite its diversity. American Hindu Association (AHA) is a newly registered body, and I am its founding President. The main credit goes to Anal for the work done in getting its non-profit and tax-exempt status.
Under the aegis of the AHA, Madhu and Anal have performed unique Vedic havans for various occasions – including marriages, new havans, before and after birth, Gayatri-thon etc. All the ceremonies are subjects of their research. They are exploring how certain words and sounds gain tangible power; how some individuals generate and attain power; what are the steps from Number 1 to n for it? We all know the ancient tales of the curses and blessings in Hindu scriptures, but how this ‘science’ got lost. They want to provide a scientific foundation to it. The classes are likely to provide data for research reports in future.
Satish C. Bhatnagar, PhD
Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences,
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4020
Author of the following books (Available at Amazon):
2. Vectors in History: Main Foci; India and USA, Volume I
3. Epsilons and Deltas of Life: Everyday Stories, Volume I
4. My Hindu Faith & Periscope, Volume I
6. Swami Deekshanand Saraswati: My Swami Mama Ji
7. Darts on History of Mathematics,Volume I
8. Converging Matherticles: Mathematical Reflections, Volume II
9. Plums, Peaches and Pears of Education, Volume I
10. Via Bhatinda: A Braid of Reflected Memoirs, Volume II