Naren did not understand the meaning of ‘losing caste’ .one day he saw many hookas(smoking pipes) placed in one corner of the room in the household. Different pipes were kept for Brahmins, non Brahmins and muslims. Naren took the pipes and smoked from each one of them, one at a time. He wanted to see if he would lose caste by smoking from a pipe meant for someone of a lower caste. He felt no change in himself. Everything remained the same. Just then, vishwanath entered the room and asked him what he was doing. Naren said to his father, ‘I was trying to see what would happen if I lost my caste, but nothing has happened!’ his father understood how deep naren’s thinking was, but he simply laughed and went into his study.
From a very young age, naren sought the truth and never accepted anything without testing and experiencing it for himself. One of the naren’s classmates had a beautiful garden at his house, which belong to his grandfather, ramratan basu. There was a champaka tree in the garden with lovely orange-yellow flowers. Naren loved to climb this tree. Sometimes he would link his legs onto a branch and hang upside down. One day when he was swinging merrily, his friend’s grandfather came into garden. When he saw naren he was worried. At any moment the branch could break and he could fall. Ramratan told naren to get down from the tree and never climb it again. But naren was not wiling to obey without knowing the reason. He asked the old man, “what will happen if I climb the tree?” ramratan could simply see that simple reasons were not enough to stop the boy, so he tried frightening him. He said: brahmadaitya (ghost of brahmin) lives in that tree, and at night he goes about dressed in all white. He is terrible to look at and breaks the necks of those who climb the tree. Naren’s friends were scared when they heard about ghost, but naren knew that this was just a silly story meant to keep him from climbing the tree. He continued his usual sport...
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