The seer who has made the rather audacious and bizarre prophecy of a whopping 1,000 tonnes of gold being found in a ruined fort in Daudiyakheda (Unnao) wants the world to have a little patience and wait for his word to come true.
“Have some patience. Just wait for 10-15 days. Let them (the ASI team) dig up to a depth of 15 feet. Then the world will see the miracle. There would be so much gold which no one would have ever imagined or seen before. Not only gold. An ancient heritage site would also be revealed. People from all over the world will throng to this place to see it,” says Swami Viraktanand better known as Sant Shobhan Sarkar in an exclusive interview to dna, his first after he made the prediction that has made headlines even in the media abroad.
Reaching his ‘ashram’, in Shivli village (Kanpur), about 120 km from Lucknow, is easy but getting an interview with the seer is much more difficult. Sarkar refuses to meet mediapersons. He would not come on camera or be photographed. After a news channel did a sting operation on him recently, access for journalists is virtually impossible.
It took a week-long exercise for dna to fix up an interview with him. On arrival at his ‘ashram’, a humble hut with the bare minimum of things, on Thursday, his well-built disciples thoroughly frisked me for any hidden AV recording device and also took my mobile phone away. Sitting on the ground with him, I ready myself with my pen and notebook, but both objects are promptly taken away as you are not even allowed to take notes of what he says!
“The earth (at the excavation site) is like a pregnant woman now, ready to deliver. Just wait for the delivery,” he says with a benign smile. The clean shaven, tonsured monk draped in unstiched saffron cloth is upset with the media for reporting that he had a “dream” about the treasure. “We don’t talk on the basis of dreams, possibilities or conjecture. We speak on the strength of thousands of years of knowledge that my gurus have passed on to me,” he says.
His continuity is broken by a TV reporter beseeching him for an interview. He sternly refuses. The reporter reasons that the seer’s voice would be heard by millions, inviting a sharp rebuke: “You think that matters to me? I have not renounced the world to be worshipped or give sermons or build a temple. What people say or think about me doesn’t matter to me at all. TV channels have created an unnecessary storm. I am just doing my job and I will not reveal myself until the gold is found.”
Sarkar continues to tell DNA about how the prediction came about. “I had been reading in the papers about the devaluation of the rupee everyday; one day it was 66 rupees to a dollar. I saw the photograph of the crestfallen Finance Minister. It was then that I thought of how drastically things could change if a dollar was worth a rupee. I consulted with my (late) gurus and they gave me the solution. I only announced it to the authorities. My role is limited to that,” he says. The seer credits his late guru Swami Bhaskaranand of Baksar (Unnao) for the prediction.
As he talks fluently about how the country’s economy would change once the gold is found, one marvels at the uncanny knowledge the simple seer has about the nuances of economics. “With a huge gold reserve, our rupee value will spiral. Imports will become cheaper and exports will be more profitable. Foreign companies will rush to invest in India. The employees they hire, even labourers, will get paid better remuneration,” he says. “Our youngsters who go abroad to earn in dollars will find much better opportunities here itself. At present, India goes to developed countries virtually with a begging bowl. But once the gold is found, the situation will reverse,” he reasons.
He refuses to be drawn into politics and spurns a question about Narendra Modi. In fact, he snubs you whenever you attempt to ask a question. “Why do you ask me questions? What do I tell you when I know that you are a cipher where spiritual knowledge is concerned. Just listen to me and figure out for yourself,” he says sternly. “We live in a different world. You won’t understand these things. Can you give me a logical explanation about how I arrived at the precise figure of 1,000 tonnes (of gold) without any ground exploration. Is there any technology in the world to do that? If you can’t, then don’t ask me these questions,” he continues.
But he can’t restrain himself when asked about JD (U) chief Sharad Yadav lodging a police report against Union Minister Charan Das Mahant for spreading blind faith over the gold treasure. “First look into the history of those sitting in Parliament then you talk about my past and my beliefs,” he retorts, a tad angry.