Posted on

While Shri Nathji was carrying on with his manushya leela- his play – upon earth, in the North of India in diverse regions like Mussoorie, Lucknow, Calcutta and Lahore, hundreds of miles away in the regions then known as Berar in Central India, there was a lady by the name of Gangabai Bhutt. She was the wife of Sub-Judge Ganesh Prasad Bhutt who was then posted at Raipur.
Gangabai Bhutt had been a deeply religious lady all her life and had a great devotion for Lord Vishnu and his avatars, Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. She had spent a great part of her life in prayers and pooja.
Her knowledge of the Vedas and Shastras was so great that even the most learned of savants in the field would be humbled before her. She could recite the entire Geeta perfectly from memory. The Ramayana was at her fingertips. No pandit, or scholar of Hindu theology, or any sadhu or mahatma could match wits with her in the scriptures. She had also studied the Koran and the Sikh Scriptures as well as the Bible.
Indeed a lady like her would have been difficult to find in India at the time. Her life was a living example of faith. She had absolute and complete faith in God, and experienced many miracles in her life that confirmed her faith.
She would brook no irreverence to her beliefs and would be ready to engage in debate even the greatest scholars of the day, who would in the end bow before her in submission. It was for that reason that she had come to be known as Dandewali – which translated literally, means, the woman with a stick! It was a stick she used to break the pride of many a sadhu and mahatma!
With her knowledge and her spiritual realization, she could have chosen to become a renowned saint of the day, but she preferred a life of simple devotion to God and shunned the pedestals to which she was elevated by the public. From early childhood, she had this yearning to reach God, to see Him, to talk to Him. Many a time she would have visions of the various deities she worshipped but she found little satisfaction in them.
Her husband, Ganesh Prasad Bhutt, on the other hand, was the very antithesis of everything that she stood for. He was the scion of a respectable Brahmin family of India that derived its lineage from the Vallabhacharya Sect, which was the object of veneration at the sacred temple of Shri Nath Dwaaraa.
However, as the fates would have it, despite being a high caste Brahmin, Bhutt had become an agnostic. He looked down upon his wife’s life of faith and devotion and was constantly arguing with her on the subject without success. Bhutt was not only a rationalist and a materialist, but he was also a haughty and arrogant man. It was a study in contrast between him and his wife.
He had been appointed as a judge during the days of the British Raj for his pragmatic and logical thinking and his westernised education, which gave him the best possible standard in the English language, which was the language of the courts.
As a matter of fact even the British would be overawed at the man’s knowledge and use of the English language, as well as his precocity in Law. Those were the days when few Indians held judicial posts, and Bhutt was one of them, especially commended by the British.