Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, when he was young boy of fifteen years, read the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. That was the first inspiration, his inner light. Through Vivekananda he came in contact with Sri Ramakrishna and read the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (Ramakrishna Kathamrita in Bengali). He was also inspired by the life of Sri Chaitanya and accepted Achintya Bhedabheda, one of the philosophies of the Gaudiya Vaishnavites, as better than Shankara’s Mayavada. He also took initiation from Barada Charan Majumdar, an accomplished Kriya Yogi and disciple of Shyama Charan Lahiri, the Guru’s Guru of Paramhamsa Yogananda. Whenever he traveled, according to then testimony of his personal valet Kundan Singh, he had a pocket Gita and a Chandi (Durga Saptashati from Markendeya Purana) with him. Chandi was given to him by swami Bhaswarananda of Ramakrishna Mission Singapore. He also carried a rosary bead, used to do his daily japam in the bed and sat in meditation in the shrine room of Ramakrishna Mission Singapore for hours in the night according to the testimony of S.A Ayer. In his private conversations however he revealed that he was a staunch devotee of Sri Sri Durga Kali. To him mother Durga was synonymous with mother Bengal and India, his country and land were living manifestations of the the mother Goddess whom he worshiped.
As per the Indian pilgrim Netaji was more of an ascetic than a revolutionary. Just like Shivaji, who was also an ascetic in tendency and spirit, Subhas Bose lived frugally, followed sannyas in spirit and understood the impermanence of all things. He did not crave for power, name, fame, fortune as they would not last. He wanted the eternity. But like Shivaji he had to give in to his mission. Had he lived an ascetic's life the country would not become free from foreign tyranny and oppression. Also he had a greater purpose, to reestablish the position of India in the world and reclaim its superiority in terms of civilization, philosophy and spirituality. India has a mission, a message for the world and unless she is free that message will not be heard. So he had a task cut out, to get India out of the stupor that she had fallen into for thousands of years, the intense and vile propaganda of the colonialists against her history, her civilization, her spirituality and religions and culture. The only way India would be respected would be to reaffirm her identity as the spiritual leader of the world, at whose feet the world powers would sit and listen in rapt attention. For that emancipation from poverty, illiteracy, and all other curses and decadent practices were necessary and for that the foreign rule which was largely the cause, had to go first.