1. DETACHED, YET CAREFUL
In my Kutir, there are many big trunks with hundreds of valuable books, articles and dresses. I do not know the exact contents of the trunks. I do not have any keys with me. I do not keep anything as 'secret'. I cannot eat anything in private. I do not pretend to be a Vairagi with empty hands, expecting others to keep enough for my personal use. When I travelled on propaganda tours, I kept enough money with me in two or three pockets. I gave separate purses with plenty of money to those who accompanied me.
I am very careful in keeping things like fountain pen, spectacles, study books, and various articles contributed by all great men and devotees. Previously when I locked my Kutir for a short brisk walk, I kept the key carefully tied at the end of my cloth. I may use a torn coat with patches but I must give others the superior quality of articles. I do not worry about debts. I find necessary support spontaneously coming from the Divine Source. I feel the grace of the Lord at every step. I feel the presence of the Lord at all times, behind all names and forms.
2. SADHANA TILL THE END OF LIFE
The Sadhus and Yogis do Sadhana and study for some time and then give up the habit when they get a little name and fame. It is a great pity. That is the reason for their downfall. Sadhus and perfected Mahatmas should continue Sadhana till the last moment of their lives. Then only will it be possible to keep up the Divine Consciousness. That will be a fine example and a source of inspiration to others also. The saint need not talk and preach. His life itself is a scripture to illumine the world. Even today I write OM OM OM and HARI OM TAT SAT Mantras in all my letters. I fill up half a page of my letter with the Mantra or with philosophical ideas. Before commencing to write anything in a notebook or letters to students, I write the Mantra.
I do about five or six items of Sadhana all the 24 hours: Japa, meditation, exercises including Asana and Pranayama, worship, study, writing work and service to the world, help to Mahatmas, the sick and the poor. Thus I charge my mind with divine consciousness at all times. I nicely combine rest and relaxation with deep breathing exercises. I have thus spent my 35 years of life at Rishikesh and derived wonderful fresh spiritual energy and strength in abundance. I maintain a high standard of health and enjoy peace and bliss at every moment. I just come out of my Kutir for one hour in the morning and manage all the affairs of the Ashram and give work to those who live in the Ashram and think of others who live at distant places. And yet I feel I can work for another ten hours every day. The secret is my systematic Sadhana and the grace of the Lord.
3. WHY SO MANY PHOTOGRAPHS
In holy temples the authorities do not permit the taking of photographs of the idols. In Badri and Kedar, people do not allow cameras to be taken inside the temples. It is strange. Some of the sages and great men of India have serious objection to taking their photographs. They think that the spiritual power will be diminished by taking photographs. I do not believe at all in such things. I allow anyone to take any number of pictures while sitting, running, walking, talking, eating, playing, swimming in the Ganga, in meditation, study or worship at the temple. When devotees look at a picture, they get inspiration. Books and magazines have a special charm with the addition of a series of pleasant and instructive pictures. I do not have any restriction. I find only good in every thing.
Great men from all countries come to the Ashram. Sincere devotees from all parts of the world come and stay with me for some months or years. They all desire to have a copy of my photo in their company. Why should I unnecessarily refuse and displease them? Groups of students who come to Rishikesh during vacation desire to have a group photo with myself in the centre. I have been photographed with the great men of the world, Maharajahs, sages and saints, devotees, Ashram workers, the sick persons in the Hospital and the school children. I have been photographed with my hat and suit, a loin cloth and an overcoat, with a turban like a school master, in a motor car, aeroplane and a bullock cart in Rameswaram during my All-India tour in 1950, and in a cycle-rickshaw during my stay at Roorkee in 1953. I make no distinction in having photographs with Maharajahs or devotees or coolies at the Railway Station platform, with great Mahatmas of the Himalayas or the scavengers of the Ashram. I have included the lively monkeys, cats, dogs of the Ashram, fish, cows, elephants and cheetahs also. I do not believe in the statement that my spiritual powers will be lost or influenced by the evil-eye. I look at the wonderful benefits the world would derive. I enjoy when I find people around me feel happy and cheerful.
I personally attended to my works such as, cleaning the room, bringing water from the Ganga for drinking purposes, washing clothes and vessels, going to the Kshetra for my alms. I myself used to type my articles and letters to aspirants. I carefully packed the packets and posted them. I never depended on my students. I did not like them to enter my Kutir frequently and disturb my daily routine. When I go out on tour, I myself carry my luggage. When porters carry some of my heavy packages of leaflets and books for free distribution, I pay them liberally. I pity those rich persons who fight with the porters and coolies at the platform for the sake of two annas.
When the work in the Ashram multiplied, I could not find time to attend to this kind of work. Sincere students came forward to attend to some of these works. As selfless service brings about purification of the heart, I permitted them to do this work and to serve other Mahatmas and sick persons. I carefully attended to the needs of the visitors and the inmates. I personally saw that they had their hurricane lanterns, (then there was no electricity), cots, beds, books for study, in their rooms and that they got their timely tea, milk and food. Now hundreds of students have come to the Ashram. Things go on in an organised method, automatically. I silently sit, watch and enjoy the grace of the Lord. I supervise every section of work and give instructions to all the members and fix up able hands in charge of all departments of work. Even people without any ability or qualification, quickly pick up their work in a short period when I give them full liberty and responsibility and show confidence in them.
5. A PURPOSE BEHIND EVERYTHING
I am by nature serious. Even today I am very serious in my Sadhana, study and service. Nothing can disturb me from my concentration and peace. I can remain blissful and attend to my work steadily under all circumstances. Sometimes to elevate the depressed, to cheer up the dull, I appear to be humorous. I may joke and play with my students and visitors and make them laugh like children. But, behind every joke, fun and humour, there is a purpose. I have a limit for everything. Every action or word has a definite purpose in the evolution of the people around me. Through fun and humour, through presentation of biscuits, fruits and clothes, I find out the taste, temperament and weakness of the students and teach them a way to get over their difficulties and defects.
I am dead against gossip, giggling and guffaw. I ask my students to avoid loose talk and to live alone with introspection or work. When they go out to bathe in the Ganga or for meals or for a walk in the evening, I ask them to go alone and to do Japa.
6. SIMPLE LIVING AND GENEROSITY
I am economical. I do not spend much on my personal needs. I have lived for years a hard life by depending on the Kshetra food. I am very happy when I lead a rough and hard life. Simple living helps in high thinking and getting mastery over mind and body. Even today, I love the alms I get from the Kshetra and use torn clothes. I always hammer the mind with the words: 'Kaupeenavantah khalu bhagyavantah'-Blessed are the dispassionate. I live in a rented building by the side of the holy Ganga, even though there are many palatial buildings in the Ashram with all comforts and conveniences. There is a special joy in simple living. But I do not suffer in the name of Tapas. When there is a need for certain items for the improvement of the Ashram or any individual's evolution, I insist on the needful being done immediately.
At every step I think of the welfare of the world and the evolution of the aspirants. When devotees give me valuable items and sweets with great devotion, I accept them with great love and affection. I use them to please the donors or give them away at once to deserving people. When I serve and help others, I want the best quality in everything. When I get a superior fountain pen, coat, a shawl or an easy chair, immediately I want to give similar items to all the workers and important persons in the Ashram. I await a chance to purchase the items, as in a growing institution where dynamic work is carried on with voluntary donation, it is difficult to find finance immediately. I wait for opportunities. I attend to the needs of all the inmates of the Ashram, one by one.
When I get sweets or fruits, I do not eat anything secretly in my Kutir. I carry the bundle to the Satsanga Hall and distribute them to the people assembled there and then take a small portion at the end as Prasad. Even with my diabetes trouble, sometimes I take a lot of sweets brought by devotees with so much of devotion, love and affection. I am not affected at all.
7. NOT A SLAVE OF FASHION AND STYLE
I do not know fashion or style. This is a curse. I do not live for sensual enjoyment. It is the product of Maya, delusion, the way of the egoistic and the ignorant. I always wear my dhoti above my knees. From the way of dress, walk, talk and behaviour, I can easily find out the ego in different persons and prescribe methods to destroy it. Sometimes I wear a Turban and keep a long walking stick. In Swargashram when I had my evening walk, I kept the long walking stick. I used that as Yoga Danda for changing the flow of breath from one nostril to another and thus maintained the Swara Sadhana. In my earlier days I never used shoes or umbrella. One's attitudes, ways and manners become entirely different by the constant use of shoes, walking stick and umbrella.
8. EVOLUTION FOR EVERYBODY
Sadhanas differ according to the stage of evolution, the strength of ego, weaknesses and the nature of the lower Self. A strong and sturdy constitution and a fine health are in themselves a good qualification for the student. All other qualifications can be developed when one is placed in favourable environments. In the spiritual path any type of student can progress and evolve if he is endowed with Sraddha, sincerity and faith. There is no need for special talents or qualification. There is no need also for a deep study for years and Japa on one leg for decades. A willing, loving heart is what is needed. Scavenging, typing, writing, carrying water, nursing the sick, helping the poor-all these forms of service can be converted as YOGA with the right mental attitude. The student must have a new angle of vision and try to crush the ego at each step by discipline, discrimination and dispassion. Charge the mind with Divine Consciousness through constant Japa, prayers and systematic meditation.
9. PERSONAL ATTENTION AND LIBERAL DISPOSITION
The kitchen is the fighting centre in an Ashram. All sorts of troubles and misunderstanding, hatred and jealousy among workers, emanate from the kitchen. I can easily find out the taste, temperament and spiritual progress, and control of the senses of the students from the stories I hear from the kitchen side. That is the main centre of disturbance in an Ashram. But it is the best field for a quick spiritual evolution of the workers, for developing cosmic love, sympathy, mercy, patience, generosity. People are well trained to adjust and adapt themselves here in a marvelous way.
Due to the large number of inmates and the heavy rush of visitors, arrangement has been made for the supply of a common type of food in abundance, two or three varieties to suit the various tastes of the people of different provinces in India and of other countries. In a humorous manner I say to the people: "If you do not get ghee, take milk. If milk is not available, ask for butter-milk. If this also is not obtainable, take plenty of Ganga water." They should not murmur. One has to be very cautious in adjusting and adapting to various circumstances if one wishes to enjoy peace. I ask them not to think much of their body or bread or beard. They all should constantly think of the all-pervading Brahman.
I pay special attention to supplying energising food and fruits to some of the workers in the Ashram who are busy with responsible work or intense silent Sadhana, to those who need more nutrition. I send special fruits, biscuits and butter to their own Kutirs. I serve them unasked. Their health must not suffer in the name of Tapasya. In the same manner, I carefully attend on the visitors also. They cannot change their habits in a day at the Ashram. That may affect their health and they cannot do any kind of Sadhana if they make a sudden, drastic change in their food and dress and relaxation. I do not, therefore, insist on strict rules and restrictions regarding diet for any one.
Even if there is some bad habit like that of tea, coffee and smoking, I allow them to continue their ways for some time. When they attain mental purity and will-power, all evil habits drop by themselves. The mysterious influence of the Ashram atmosphere has its own effect also. This sort of freedom given to the aspirants enables even a dull type of aspirant to feel quite at home in the Ashram and to plunge himself in dynamic work and develop his hidden faculties. Particularly in regard to the sick persons, I am very liberal. When fruits are not available in the local bazaar, I send a special messenger even to Delhi, thus spending a lot, for bringing oranges for the patients in the Hospital. A stitch in time saves nine.
10. NO COMPULSION BUT FULL LIBERTY
I permit people to have their own ways and to work in any field suitable to their taste and inclination for some time, and create in them a natural taste for the right line of work and Sadhana. I do not compel anyone. Some of the letters I wrote in 1938 to one of my students will explain the method of my work and my consideration for the welfare and temperamental preferences of my students:
"You are in need of plenty of rest. You will have it as soon as the present work is finished. You need not work hard. There is no hurry. Take your own time. Do not worry unnecessarily about anything. I will take all responsibilities, mistakes, on my head. You need not worry anything about the activities of the Divine Life Society. Whatever little help you can do, you may do in future, if you want. You have done enough now. Be cheerful and happy. May I send you some more money for your expenses?"
"After finishing one or two books, you can return to Rishikesh. But one suggestion. Take rest for two weeks in a village. Completely stop all printing work. Then join the work. If you stay for a month or two, you can do some solid work. For two years you can remain in Rishikesh without going out. If your health permits, you can consider this point or come to Rishikesh at once. It is left to you to decide. Everything is left to your convenience and discretion."
"I will not connect your name with the Divine Life Society. You can help me if you want without any label, whenever you find time, whenever you like. You are ever free."
"I am marking, you are enslaving me through your real affection. Don't have any Moha for this body of mine. Become independent. I have made you free. I can help you more when you are away. I do not wish anyone to work with me for a long period."
"Don't be afraid of work. You can go to Uttarakashi next year. You need not attend to any work. But prepare and train able hands to continue your work. There are good persons here who are saturated with and absorbed in the typewriter. Pray, do not stop my book work. Let there be some series of books ad infinitum. I am sure people will run after my books for the practical lessons and guidance given there."
11. THE WAY TO GET THINGS DONE
In the past, I maintained a Memorandum notebook to enter the items of work I entrusted to various workers. I called this "WHIP". Even if due to pressure of work, students forgot the items, I did not leave them until the work was completed. Politely I used to remind them often. But this was done in a way humorous and charged with affection; and no one was displeased with me when I sent several reminders for the same work. For the Tamasic type of persons, I wrote stiff letters also, but at the end I added a few lines of advice to make them cheerful and happy. Some of the original letters are reproduced below. First I enquire about their health and spiritual progress and then ask about the work entrusted:
"How do you do? Do you keep up burning the Divine Flame, even amidst various activities in remembering His Name, feeling His presence everywhere, and seeing Him in all faces? Work hard. Meditate. Do Swadhyaya. Don't talk much. Don't mix. Don't be curious for news. Go for a walk alone in the evening. Do not neglect to maintain the Spiritual Diary. That is your Guru by your side. Write 'Hari Om' Mantra ten times at the top of your letters. This is an easy Sadhana for Self-realisation, remembering God during intense activities. Kindly take great care of your health. Be regular in your Japa, meditation and study. Change your nature and habit gradually.
"Hope you are keeping good health with Brahma Chintana, along with Karma Yoga. What about 'Science of Pranayama'? Is it ready? Why you are silent on this subject? Kindly send me a set of final proofs."
"I hope you are O.K. Have Smaran of Rama, Krishna or Siva along with your work. You will become a Yogi and a Jnani. This is easy Yoga for you amidst various activities. Draw inner energy and peace through silent meditation at least for a few minutes in the early morning. I have to reiterate again and again: World is a dream, Jaalam, jugglery of mind. It is Bhrama (mere appearance). You are Atman (Satchidananda). Assert. Deny body. With great effort get yourself established in this Bhav. Feel: 'I am One-Ekam, Chidakasa, Akhanda Brahman, the Self of all beings, I am Sakshi, I am Akarta.' Stamp out the hissing Indriyas and Vasanas. This is the Upanishadic essence quite sufficient to destroy ignorance. Send me a report of how you spend all the "24 hours of the day, please."
I never forget the spiritual interests of my students, and continuously remind them of the purpose of life and the importance of Sadhana, even though they may have a lot of work to do for the divine mission. Here is another letter:
"This world is Deergha Swapna. You are Vyapaka Atma. Be established in this one idea. I have to hammer on this point very often. Acknowledge the article; 'Sat Guru Mani Mala.' If you don't do this, reminders after reminders will be sent to you until I get answer. To avoid this boring, say: 'Yes, received Sat Guru Mani Mala.' This will save a lot of time and energy."
"I have written to you several times for compiling all my letters to you in a book form. Just a little trimming repeated portions and selecting of the lessons useful to aspirants. I have not received an answer from you. If you are not inclined to do this work now, I shall wait. This will not tax you much. You can do it slowly."
12. MESSAGE OF CHEER
I don't believe in scandal-mongering. Pardon even the worst sinner. There is hope for everybody to improve and progress in the spiritual path. I want my disciples to be strong, bold and cheerful. I want them to carry on dynamically the mission of the Lord. My letters attest this attitude:
"Don't waste your energy in worrying unnecessarily. Our work is increasing by leaps and bounds. Shall we attend to the scandal and criticisms or proceed on with our Yogic activities? Forget. Forgive. Forgive.
"Even if people advertise you with a lady by your side in daily papers, I won't believe. It is the mischief of scandal-mongers. Even if I catch you red-handed with a lady, I will excuse you. These are all mistakes only in the path and not heinous crimes. I will tell you, 'Don't do this in future. March on in the path of light.' You are unnecessarily bothering yourself. I wanted to send you a telegram to cheer you up. You have to do many ennobling works. I am preparing the ground, paving the way for your future spiritual activities.
"I wish many students like you will crop up in India to help the world. Be bold. Be always cheerful. Proclaim the Truth everywhere. Stand up. Gird up the loins and preach Vedanta, Yoga, Bhakti everywhere. Don't worry yourself even a bit. No one in the world can hurt. You are invincible. Roar like a lion on any platform, resting on Truth. The slight defects in you will soon vanish. Don't bother. In the Atman there is purity. It is Niranjan, spotless. Thou art Niranjan. Stick to this idea. The impurities will vanish. This is the positive method of eliminating or eradicating defects. Strength, joy, peace, bliss, immortality is your very nature. Assert and realise."
13. ATTITUDE TOWARDS VILIFICATION
Here is a letter addressed in 1937 to one of my students who published a pamphlet attacking the Founder of a famous Ashram in Punjab:
"I came to know that you have published a small pamphlet wherein you have indirectly attacked an Ashram in Punjab. You ought not to have done this. It is vilification. Forget the past. It is not a noble act for a Sannyasi. Petty-minded householders only will behave like this. Sannyasa is magnanimity. In future don't do any thing of this kind. It indirectly affects me. How is your health?"
I want my disciples to mind their own business and not to waste their energy and time in cavilling at others. I want them to have a broad vision, to acquire balance of mind and cultivate the spirit of tolerance and forgiveness. The letter continues:
"Your work will suffer if there is even a little agitation. Keep silent and work with undivided attention. Have no connection with anyone. Let everything end peacefully. Forget everything. You are still very weak. You are swayed or tossed by 'words', jugglery. Become adamantine. 'Tit for tat' is the nature of householders and not Sannyasins. To bear insult and injury is the Svabhava of Sannyasins. That is spiritual strength. That is the balance. To be moved by trifles, to worry for months and to waste energy in a useless direction is not wisdom.
"Keep quiet. Never think of old affairs. You are wasting your energy by thinking in wrong directions. This will interfere with our smooth work. Stop selling the remaining copies of the pamphlet and destroy them. The Founder of the Ashram is my dear friend, brother. You must not do any thing that can affect him in the least even indirectly. You are conscious of certain harmful things that are written there. Forget everything. Rest in peace. Don't bring out any such books. Write purely on philosophy, Yoga, Bhakti and Vedanta. Don't bring out tracts of this nature. Even though you are in the right, when the other party is aggrieved, you must be sympathetic. Don't bring out such pamphlets even if you have good materials. Be careful. When the party feels a lot, how can you poke or rake up the matters again and again. It is not the Dharma of a Sannyasin. How long do you want to continue this sort of business? Keep the mind cool and direct your attention to our publications, meditation and other useful work."
14. RISE ABOVE CRITICISM
I am not interested in useless arguments but am concerned only with quick action and obedience. I do not want my disciples to be upset by criticism. Hence my strong exhortation:
"This affair is serious. I want you to keep absolute silence in future. This needs your immediate action. I don't want to hear your arguments, justification, etc. The matter must be absolutely stopped. I may be partial and unjust. You need not send me a reply. But kindly see that you act up to my request immediately without fail. Sannyasa is for peaceful and constructive work. What more shall I write to you? Are you the Atman or the mind and body? Even if you have read 1001 times all my writings, still you identify yourself with the mind and the body. People can criticise your body and mind. You yourself dislike your body and mind. Those who criticise your body are your real friends. Then, why do you get agitated? You are weak. Ignore criticisms. Why do you brood over the past? This is a bad habit. You can't have peace of mind. Rise above criticisms and remarks. Do good to that man who wants to poison you and kill you. Put it into practice.
"You have learnt many things from that unhappy, unpleasant occurrence that was worrying you. It was in the grand plan for you to gain some experiences.
Out of evil comes good. It has given you strength and wisdom. Now rest in peace and work like a lion. Joy, Bliss, Power, Strength, Splendour and Glory are your Divine heritage. Think you are the emperor of the world. Face difficulties boldly. Draw inner strength. God has given you special favour. He has made you a Brahmachari and cut off all ties and made you absolutely free. Where then is room for lamentation, despair, sorrow, worry or depression? Smile. Cheerfulness, peace, divine service, Yogic activities, dissemination of knowledge, form part and parcel of you now. I am always at thy feet to serve thee. Be assured. Be assured. Be assured. Jump in joy. Dance in ecstasy. Walk like a lion. Radiate Joy, Peace and Strength to all around."
15. CONSTANCY AND GRATITUDE
I can never forget the services done to the divine mission by my disciples. Even if, for some reason or other, they go away from me, I do not forget the work done by them. They continue to live in my heart. The letter continues:
"Never change your opinion. I am thy servant, well-wisher, friend, brother. Even if you leave me, I cannot leave you. I won't leave you. You always reside in my heart. You are dear to me always. I cannot utter any harsh word to anyone. If anyone utters a harsh word, I feel for that man. I want to correct him. You may experience this. You might have experienced this. I am grateful to the Lord who has endowed me with at least a ray of this virtue. I do not crave for higher attainments. The Lord has given me this quality. It is His mercy.
"Now the whole matter is clear. Feel His Mercy and Grace. I am myself going to the Post Office and posting this letter. It is very difficult to understand the mind of a man even though you move with him very closely for years together, and to understand even one's own mind. God alone knows the real culprit. You know me full well by close contact. It would have been a nice thing to drop the correspondence concerning the bogus letter altogether and you ought to have talked to me about it privately when you come down here, even though you have reason, to suspect from the signature and the envelope. This is all unnecessary botheration to you, to me and to all. There is no time for you or for me to look into these matters and to waste our time and energy in these worthless topics. We should utilise every second of our life in His service and meditation.
"You ought to have had a strong belief that I will never write such a letter to you. You have failed here. It does not matter. Man learns and grows by mistakes.
"Even if a thousand people poison my ears and mind by speaking ill of you, I won't hear. You are glory to me, to India and to the world."
16. YOU CANNOT GET AWAY FROM EVIL
"This world is a strange world. We have to learn many lessons. One of the disciples of the Lord Jesus betrayed the Lord. Many obstacles will come to the growing aspirant at every step. We will have to show our strength. Do not be agitated by little things. Be cheerful. Smile. Walk boldly. Think and feel that nothing has happened. Don't worry about little things. You have to do many great actions yet. Prakriti is preparing you in a variety of ways. Feel this. Be grateful to the Lord.
"These things have happened, yet I cannot leave you or Sri 'B' or Sri 'A' or Sri 'Y'. All grow by committing mistakes and blunders. You must forget the past entirely. As I have written above, I shall arrange for your residence in Brahmananda Ashram and supply separate food for you. You need not mix with anybody. Some work you can do for the Divine plan. You cannot eliminate evil persons from any part of the world. Wherever you go, you will have to live amidst them. But have Atma Bhav. This will change the situation.
"You should try to love all, even the worst man who wants to destroy you. That is Sannyasa. A Sannyasin is one who feels that he has no body. We should live amidst people who want to destroy us, amidst unfavourable surroundings and then work and meditate. Then only can we grow. Then only can you have the unruffled mind of a Sage. For this you must have tremendous inner spiritual strength and faith through Sadhana."
17. MY ATTITUDE TOWARDS DISSENSION AMONG DISCIPLES
One of my students wrote a bogus letter with my false signature to another important worker at Madras. That disturbed and upset the person. Here is the letter showing my method of work for establishing peace and proper understanding. The letter was dated the 8th September, 1937. It clearly explains my attitude, the nature and method of my work. Even if the whole Ashram is affected, I stick to my principle which is underlined as:
"I cannot hurt the feelings of anyone even in my dream. I love all, even the worst man who aims at my life. Even if students leave me, I cannot leave them. I unite the workers with my spiritual glue: 'Om Namo Narayanaya' Mantra and Prayers."
Here is the complete text of my above-mentioned letter outlining my attitude:
Beloved Sri Swamiji,
Pranams. I have not written any such letter to you. It is a forged letter. Kindly compare this signature very carefully with others. You will find out the thief. Kindly send me the letter per registered post for my perusal. I presume it must be a typed letter. Can you make out whether it is typed in our machine or any other machine, and by whom in our group?
Some days ago there was a trouble here. Swami 'B' created some mischief. So I have asked him to leave the Ashram. Sri Swami 'A' and 'R', his friends, also have left the place. They are all living now in Rishikesh. They have planned this mischief to create some ill-feelings between you and me and to drive out Sri Swami 'Y', their enemy. This is their plan, I presume now. Sri 'B' is deadly inimical towards this Ashram and somebody has set fire to the bed of Sri Swami 'N' also.
You ought to have understood immediately: 'Swamiji will never write such a stiff letter. Possibly it is some mischief by others.' Everything will be all right. Be not troubled. When you come here, you can live separately in Brahmananda Ashram. You need not take meals from our kitchen. I shall make special arrangements for your food. As soon as the work is over, come here immediately. You need not wait even for a single moment. Do not worry a bit about the forged letter. It is the mischief of scandal-mongers. He who does wrong action will reap the fruits thereof. The law of Karma is inexorable. I wanted to send you a wire: 'Don't worry. It is forgery. It is a mischief by someone. Letter follows.' Then I thought a detailed letter would explain matters clearly."
18. RAKING UP THE ISSUE DOES NOT SOLVE PROBLEMS
I do not usually entertain complaints. There will be no end for the arguments given by different groups of persons. I know well that an enquiry will worsen the situation. Just for the satisfaction of the persons concerned in the 'plot', I made some enquiries on the subject and gave my conclusions in the letter reproduced below. I allow 'time' to improve the situation. The letter continues:
"I called this morning all the inmates of the Ashram and enquired into the matter. No conclusion has been arrived at. God only knows the real truth. I have no clairvoyant powers to find out the culprits. You can judge yourself as to who the culprit is. Can you make out the real man from the style of typing? Even if you spot out conclusively, the man will not admit. Do not feel a bit anything now. Be cheerful. Everything is false; some mischief has been done out of jealousy. It is very difficult to find out the mischief-makers. You need not come here soon, if there is work there, on account of this perturbed condition of mind caused by this affair. Be cool. Do sufficient work. Collect all the rays of the mind and be calm. Forget the past. Do as much work as possible. Plunge yourself in work. Do not be agitated. These little difficulties and disturbances come in the way to strengthen you, to strengthen me. We should not be disturbed. All these matters happen only to make us strong. It is all for your growth and improvement only.
"One thing I have found out; you become agitated soon. As soon as I read your letter, I was extremely surprised. I could not make out to whom you were writing, because I never wrote to you anything of the kind. Even if you have found out that to be my signature even if the envelope was bearing my own handwriting, you should have thought that someone has done a mischief. Even supposing I have written such a letter, I would have done it for your own good or for the good of some one. You have hopelessly failed. I cannot hurt the feelings of anyone, even in dream, even that man who is injuring me to the extreme. I am developing this one virtue. Be sure of this always, even if such things happen in future."
19. WAY TO SUCCESS
Whenever I take up any work,
I finish it at any cost.
Whenever I start writing a book,
I complete it somehow or other.
Whenever I take up a book for study,
I complete it before taking up another work.
I never leave anything half done.
I concentrate on the subject and
Think intensely without distraction.
I am firm, steadfast and steady.
I have intense application to work.
I have tenacity and intensity of purpose.
20. HOW TO CONVERT THE NATURE OF A MAN
Honour those who are bad characters. Serve the rogue first. Treat him as a future saint, as a saint, as a saint himself. This is a way to purify your heart and to elevate him also. I take a special delight in serving such people carefully. I always keep around me any number of people who would abuse me, vilify me, insult me and even try to injure me. I want to serve them, educate them, elevate them and transform them. I address them in the most respectful terms. Acclaim the rogue or the thief as a saint and publicly honour him, he would be ashamed to continue his evil doings. Persistently tell an ill-tempered man: "You are a Santa Murti (a man of peace),"-he would be ashamed to lose his temper. Call a lazy man, "You are a dynamic worker," and he would throw off his laziness and plunge into service. This is my method. The praise should come from the very bottom of your heart. You must give your soul-force to every word. You must sincerely feel that behind the apparent negative quality, there is a resplendent positive virtue latent in the man. Then both of you will be benefited.
21. MY VIEW OF GOONDAS
Good people are already virtuous
I will have to correct and mould Goondas only.
This is my special work.
Goonda is a negatively virtuous man.
He exists to glorify the virtuous.
Goonda also is Lord Krishna.
Lord Krishna says in the Gita:
I am the gambling of the cheat.'
Rudri says: 'Taskaranam pataye namah-
Prostrations the Lord of thieves,'
I keep in the Ashram all sorts of students.
The world calls me a Guru for thieves and rogues.
Glory to the Divine Mission.
The spiritual vibrations of this Holy Centre
Convert them as Divine Beings, Yogis and Saints!
22. DESTROY ABHIMANA (EGOISM)
It is well to remember that Sattva, Rajas and Tamas have their own "hooks" that keep the Sadhaka back and prevent him from soaring into the realms transcendental. The Sattvic hook is the most subtle of all and therefore most difficult to discern and detect. With Sannyasa, floats the Sannyasa Abhimana. It might allow the student a greater freedom to roam a little higher than others, but he is also bound. With Tyaga, creeps in Tyaga Abhimana, most subtle and most dangerous, almost impossible to get over. Similar is the case with Seva-Abhimana. Egoism takes many shapes. Sannyasa, Tyaga and even Seva is transformed by it into its cloak. The Sadhaka who would like to strive for realisation of the Self would do well to guard himself well and not allow quarters to these subtler forms of Abhimana.
23. AN IDEAL TEACHER
I am ever a thirsting student
I am not a teacher
But God has made me a teacher
The students have made me a teacher.
I make my students soon as teachers
I am such a teacher.
I treat them in respectable terms as
'Maharaj', 'Swamiji', 'Bhagawan', 'Narayan',
I treat them as my equals
I give them equal seats
I am such a teacher.
I allow them to learn from my own life
I make them Mahants and servants of humanity
Presidents, lecturers, writers, Swamis and Yogis
Founders of spiritual institutions, poets, journalists,
Propagandists, divine scavengers, health and Yoga Culturists,
Typists, Yoga-kings, Atma-Samrats,
Karma Yogi Veeras, Bhakti Bhushans, Sadhana Ratnas
I am such a teacher to all Seekers after Truth.
24. COME, COME, MY FRIENDS
My Call is irresistible,
It has transformed countless lives.
Do not waste this precious life
In playing cards and idle gossiping
Give up hot debates and arguing
Destroy all pleasure centres
Abandon the desire for comfort
Set fire to the fuel of lust.
Destroy the fortress of egoism
Be quick, Be quick, friends!
Sing the Lord's Name day and night
Now take a plunge in the Ocean of Bliss
And enter the illimitable domain of the Atma within.
Come, come, my friends, take the plunge, be quick
Tarry not, delay not-enjoy the Wisdom Bliss.