Letter 19

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2nd January, 1946
You have seen Jagadiswara Sastri, haven’t you? When he was here, a dog used to go into the hall with him. It was a particularly intelligent dog. When Sastri or his wife came into Bhagavan’s hall, it used to come in and sit like a well- behaved child and go out along with them. It was very keen on living in the house. People did whatever they could to prevent it entering the hall but it was no use.

Once the old couple entrusted it to somebody when they went to Madras and did not return for 15 days. At first, during the first four or five days, it used to search in the halls go round the hall, and then go about all the places which they used to frequent. Having got tired, perhaps disgusted, with those fruitless efforts, one morning at about 10 o’clock it came to Bhagavan’s sofa and stood there, staring fixedly at Bhagavan.

At that time I was sitting in the front row. Bhagavan was reading the paper. Krishnaswami and others tried to send the dog out by threats, but in vain. I too asked it to go out. No, it wouldn’t move. Bhagavan’s attention was diverted by this hubbub and he looked that way. Bhagavan observed for a while the look of the dog and our excitement. He then put the paper aside and, as if he had by his silence understood the language of the dog, waved his hand towards it and said, “Why, what is the matter? You are asking where your people have gone? Oh, I see, I understand. They have gone to Madras. They will be back in a week. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be worried. Be calm. Is it all right? Now, go.” Hardly had Bhagavan completed his instructions, when the dog turned and left the place.

Soon after that Bhagavan remarked to me, “Do you see that? The dog is asking me where its people have gone and when they are returning.

However much the people here tried to send it away it wouldn’t move until I answered its questions.” Once, it seems, the lady of the house punished the dog with a cane for something it had done and locked it up in a room for half a day. After it was let out, it came straight to Bhagavan as if to complain against her and stayed at the Ashram without going to their house for four or five days.

Bhagavan arranged to feed the dog and admonished the lady thus: “What have you done to the dog? Why is it angry with you? It came and complained to me. Why? What have you done?” Finally she admitted her fault in Bhagavan’s presence and, with a good deal of cajoling, got the dog to go home.