To become a perfect human being one needs to be
1) Embodiment of the past
2) Product of the present
3) Prophet of the future
Subhas Chandra Bose - Early Life
On 23rd January, 1897, a few days after Swami Vivekananda, the lion of Vedanta, set his foot on Indian soil, back from his triumphant world tour, another star was born in the Oriya Bazar in Cuttack who would be an embodiment of Swamiji's ideals. He was born at about 12 PM, to Janakinath Bose, who was to become a Rai Bahadur, and Prabhavati Devi, belonging to the erstwhile Datta family of Hatkhola, a well known family in Calcutta. He was the ninth of the fourteen children and was the sixth of the eight sons. Janakinath Bose was a well established lawyer practising in the bar of the court of Cuttack. His family hailed from the village Kodalia in South Bengal.
Let us hear from Subhas himself what he has to say about his family - excerpts taken from the book An Indian Pilgrim. "My father, Janakinath Bose, had migrated to Orissa in the eighties of the last (nineteenth) century and had settled down in Cuttack as a lawyer. There I was born on Saturday, the 23rd January, 1897. My father was descended from the Boses of Mahinagar, while my mother Prabhavati, belonged to the family of the Dutts of Hatkhola." "Ours was not a rich but what might be regarded as a well to do middle class family, " he continues. "I used to feel like a thoroughly insignificant being. My parents awed me to a degree. My father usually had a cloak of reserve round him and kept his children at a distance. What with his professional work and what with his public duties, he did not have much time for his family."
The founder of the Dakshin Rari clan of the Kayastha Bose's was one Dasarath Bose. One of the descendants of Dasarath was Mukti Bose, who resided in Mahinagar village. One of his descendants was Mahipati, who was conferred the title of Subuddhi Khan by the then sultan of Goud province. One of his grandsons, Gopinath Bose, was a minister of Sultan Hussain Shah (1494 to 1519 A.D). He was given the title of Purandar Khan, and was a very famous person during his time. Janakinath was the son of Haranath Bose. He was a completely self made man. He rose from abject poverty to become a successful attorney in the Bar of Cuttack. He married Prabhavati Devi who belonged to a more well to do family of Calcutta. After marriage Janaki's fortune soared. In 1901 Janaki Bose was elected as the Chairman of the Cuttack municipality. By 1905 he became the Government Pleader and Public Prosecutor. In 1912 he became a member of Bengal legislative council and received the title of Rai Bahadur. In 1930 he renounced that title in protest against the British Government's repressive measures. He would breath his last in another three years.
In the words of a great man who was possibly narrating Subhas's birth story in his own words in the book Oi Mahamanab Ase, "I have had been a Sannyasin from birth. I heard them say that I was born in AJAPA YOGA. From my childhood I began hearing and perusing scriptures. My most and only beloved mother was a direct initiated disciple of Paramhansa Deva. By every suck of her breast, through every kiss of her caresses, touches, tender looks and words, the Tattwa-Shakties of the Divine Mother flowed in and filled me. My father gave into me thoroughness and strength in service to others and fighting activeness."
A trait of Janakinath was that he was extremely compassionate and used to donate a large amount of money to the poor and needy. In his ancestral village he developed several facilities for the poor. In this respect of kindness we find a parallel with another great father, Biswanath Datta, who was the father of Narendranath Datta, in later days who came to be known as Swami Vivekananda. The two greatest sons of Bengal had an uncanny resemblance in terms of parentage. But there were differences too. Janakinath was spiritual minded in contrast with a more materialistic Biswanath Datta. He took initiation twice. He was simple and austere in his lifestyle. Prabhavati's grandfather Kashinath Datta was a scholar. One of his sons in law was Hariballav Bose, a cousin of Balaram Bose, a direct householder disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. Prabhavati was the eldest daughter of Ganganarayan Datta.
Subhas Chandra Bose's eldest brother was Satish Chandra Bose, who was a barrister. The second elder Sarat Chandra Bose, his "Mejda", was the nearest and dearest to him. He went to England in 1912 to become a barrister and practised law in Calcutta High Court. Later he plunged into politics and became a member of Swaraj party and thereafter joined Congress. He spent many years in prison while agitating alongside Subhas. His wife Bibhavati Devi was very close to Subhas. Subhas's "sejda" or the third elder brother Suresh, was a deputy magistrate in Orissa. In 1956 Suresh Bose was nominated as one of the members of the Shah Nawaz Committee formed to probe the death or disappearance of Subhas Chandra Bose and he submitted his dissentient report against the conclusions of the committee. Slightly elder brother Sunil Bose was a cardiologist. After Subhas there were two more sons of Janakinath - Sailesh Chandra Bose and Santosh Chandra Bose.