Bellow is a description of when the famous freedom fighter, Sri Subhas Chandra Bose, who is often forgotten as the actual liberator of India from British rule (replaced by Gandhi), met His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, who is never forgotten as a liberator of the whole world from the rule of material nature. (Credit to Bhaktin Reena for digging this one up)
Sri Subhas Chandra Bose, the famous freedom fighter of India, came to Sri Gaudiya Matha along with many distinguished personalities to meet Srilla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.
During their meeting, Sri Subhas Chandra Bose told Srilla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, “Having taken a vow to free our motherland from foreign rule, I have declared a slogan throughout the country: ‘Give me your blood and I promise you freedom.’ I have recently come to know that many young men have taken your shelter. Please entrust some of these men to me, so that they may fight for the freedom of this country.” In reply, Srilla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura asked him, “Have you read Srimad Bhagavad-gita?”
Sri Subhas Chandra Bose replied, “Yes, I have.”
Srilla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura further inquired, “Do you remember this verse:
yam yam vapi smaran bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya
Srimad Bhagavad-gita (8.6)
O son of Kunti, without fail, a person attains the state of being he remembers at the time he gives up the body.
“Then you must definitely believe in reincarnation.”
“Of course I do,” Sri Subhas Chandra Bose answered. “Which Hindu in this world does not believe in reincarnation?”
Srilla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura then asked him, “If incidentally you happen to die today and are born in England in your next life, will you continue to fight for India’s freedom, or will you fight to maintain dominance over India?”
Sri Subhas Chandra Bose replied, “I understand your point, but we must certainly think about the freedom of our motherland.”
To this, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said, “You are concerned merely for the temporary, worldly freedom and liberation of a few persons who at the moment happen to possess the material designation of being Indian. I, however, am concerned about the liberation of not only the whole human race, but of every living entity in this world from the bondage of this material world.”
Sri Subhas Chandra Bose replied, “I have never heard anything like this before. Before meeting you, nobody had ever described to me such meaningful explanations of the teachings of the Gita. But I fear I have come a bit too far in my struggle for freedom to look back.” Saying this, Sri Subhas Chandra Bose left the matha without making any further requests for Srilla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura to provide him with men to fight for India’s independence.