of your journey without carrying regrets, as the ultimate destination of your journey is waiting, for you to find eternal peace!!
My father (Baba), Gurunath Mungale, used to say, “Accept new challenges , and cross the river of your life with utmost contentment & tranquility. He was a master in Marathi, English and Sanskrit literature. He was a voracious reader, a great scholar ,a good disciplinarian, and open minded like a child who takes interests in little things & appreciates them. He had varied intellectual interests. He used to learn and write a lot!! Even at the age of 80 , his memorising skills were brilliant. He could memorise a book just by going through it for a single time. In ‘Baba’, I found a perfect convergence of love for the “DIVINE”.
He is still with us as an eternal inspiration. He used to say that curiosity is essential in life, and the respect for our culture & beliefs is the thing of utmost importance. He asked us to always have a holistic perspective and follow our “Sadhana/ Upasana”. He urged us to follow our inner voice with the power of Sadhana which gave us hope to sail through any storm!!
He was interested in many subjects , like sports, music, scientific articles, modern technologies. He had a strong physique. He used to do heavy workouts like wrestling , bodybuilding. He used to go on a bicycle from Wai to Satara district in his college days, just to watch his favorite English /Hindi movies. He was a student friendly teacher. He used to believe in modern ideology, courage, progressive thinking , strength and wisdom . He didn’t care for the rules if he believed that a student had merit & needed backing. He knew all the administrative staff , peons , gardeners in the campus. He made it a point to attend their invitations to personal celebrations because he believed it made a difference. In college as a Professor ,his teachings emphasized on different aspects of education , practical tips for life , as well as humanity. He was professor of English.
He used to say , humor is a sign of intelligence. He used to say , we should be polite, so that people could feel comfortable in our presence. Purity, politeness of speech is prerequisite if , we want to build and sustain cordial relationships in this world. As Kind words have a great potential!!
He practiced art of detached attachment so , almost ten to fifteen hours in a day he was in meditative State. He used to say that meditation increases your potential and happiness quotient. Practice effortless meditation for at least twenty minutes a day. Since the age of sixteen he started reciting “Gurucharitra”, and also did numerous “Parayanas”! “Respected Swami Swaroopanand”, from Pawas district Ratnagiri was his “Guru”.
He had many hobbies. He used to recite “Powada”(Marathi ballad form). During the Independence and post independence era, powadas became an important tool to inspire people. He was a fan of Shahir Amar Shaikh and that time he was under the influence of Govind Swamiji Aphale at Wai. Govindswami was often referred to Aphale-buwa when he was active. He was a renowned kirtankaar. My Baba used to perform and recite very gracefully. After his birth one renowned astrologer from Wai told my grandparents that, Gurunath’s spiritual journey would be phenomenal!! Almost for sixty years on the occasion of full moon day , early morning he used to go to “Narasimhawadi”. As I mentioned above , he was a voracious reader. In Sanskrit , he read ,Shakuntal,Meghdoot,kumarsambhava, upanishads , vedas , vasavdatta and prepared his own notes. Dnyaneshwari, Dasbodh, Eknathi Bhagwat , Tukaram gatha, Namdevgatha, Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Vivekananda, Gurudev Ranade’s books ; all these books were always by his side. In Marathi and English languages, his list is never ending. He never used to sleep without reading. Before going to bed, he used to read at least one page. Even the day before his demise, when I called him at night around nine o’clock, he was reciting “Gangalahari”! He learned Vedas from renowned Ved masters from Ved Pathshala.
He was a foodie person.My mother used to cook delicious food. She was very supportive. Her work, persistence, devotion and conduct was an inspiration for us. She was very simple, straightforward, and outspoken , and a real essence of truthfulness, love and sincerity. In our tough times she was always by our side.
After my elder sister’s demise, we were struggling to accept that loss. In the memory of her, my parents started scholarships for poor students. They also helped many social organizations and orphanages.
Baba was quite stylish , used to wear trendy clothes, followed latest brands , and he never allowed anyone to wash his clothes. He used to polish his shoes daily. He had a variety of shirts, trousers and beautiful ties. Many analysts, litterateurs, officers from different avenues, educationists, social workers, reporters, celebrities , singers, poets, reviewers came to meet him. He used to guide them , and discuss many things with them. He always used to appreciate everyone’s thoughts . He received many awards, Manpatras from various organizations, Kolhapur Bhushan , Pune Bhushan and a Doctorate in spiritual literature . He wrote many books like Chaitnyadhara, Sadhakacha prawas, Sadhakas patre, Swamipath, Krishnavijaya , Prachiti and many more. His autobiography is on the way to be published. It will be published soon which is based on his spiritual journey.He was invited for the World Peace conference.
As a father , he taught us to live our life by our own rules and to live in the present. And asked to keep our social circle limited but the best. He insisted on being
open to everything & attached to nothing. He asked us to be self sufficient. My parents shaped me and my self esteem. He made me feel good about myself . Both of them helped , supported me in each & every stage of my life and respected my decisions, and opinions.
Baba had an incredible gift for connecting with strangers . He used to say that every stranger can teach you something . Sudden demise of Baba on 6th August 2020 left a huge hole in my heart. Everything reminded of him. The places we sat , visited … when I used to go to kolhapur, those warm hugs, his smile , his voice , his every morning call at 7am. hello my lovely child … how are you? Baba, I lost everything. He was very independent and told me that, death should be like,
अनायासेन मरणं, विनादैन्येन जीवनम ।
देहांते ति सानिध्यम , देही मे परमेश्वर: ।
He proved the same. Aai was totally collapsed after Baba’s demise. I saw how her moods besieged . While caring for her, I saw how difficult each day was for her. Baba, I tried my best to save her but I was helpless.
In your 55 years of togetherness, you have had your share of differences, but that was never enough to dampen the serenity of your bond. I love my parents whose commitment towards one another was unfaltering like a mountain. On this day of your birth anniversary, my heart has overcome with heartfelt sentiments of grief, as you are not with us anymore, but nevertheless, your legacy and thoughts will always prevail with us…
Love you Aai Baba…
Gauri Mungale Kahate..