(47) WHICH IS THE VEHICLE?
28th May, 1946
Our brother’s children, Swarna and Vidya, wanted to see Adi Annamalai Temple, Durgamba Temple and others and so we set out yesterday morning after obtaining Bhagavan’s permission. As the summer had already set in, I was afraid these young children of ten and twelve years might not be able to walk in the hot sun and so engaged a bullock cart. the cart, other children of the same age and even younger ones, also started out with us. We went round the hill by way of pradakshina, saw all the places of interest and returned by about 11-30. As we came into the hall at 3 p.m., Bhagavan enquired of me, “At what time did you come back?” When I said it was 11-30 a.m., Bhagavan asked, “Were these children able to walk the distance?” I told him we went round in a bullock cart. Bhagavan jocularly said, “Oh, I see. You went in a cart. Who gets the punya (religious merit), the cart or the bullock or these children?” I could not give a reply.
Bhagavan said: “This body itself is a cart. Another cart for this cart! A bullock to pull this cart! For a work done like this (going round the hill), people say, ‘We have done it.’ Everything is like that. People come by train from Madras and say, ‘We have come’. It is the same thing with the body.
For the self, the body is a cart. The legs do the work of walking and people say, ‘I walked, I came.’ Where does the Self go? The Self does not do anything but appropriates to itself all these acts.” So saying, he enquired, “Did they walk at least some distance?” I said that they walked up to Gautama Ashram, doing bhajan, but could not walk further because of the hot sun. “That is something. They walked at least some distance,” said Bhagavan.
You know, Vidya is a mischievous child. Ever since she came she has been asking a lot of questions about Bhagavan.
“Won’t Bhagavan Thatha (grandfather) come anywhere? Why not?” Not satisfied with my replies, on the 24th she herself asked Bhagavan why he did not go anywhere. As you are aware, Bhagavan is very pleased with the words of little children. Looking at her affectionately, he said, “You want to take me to your place? That is your idea, isn’t it? That is all very well but if I go anywhere, all these people will also come with me and on the way, ever so many people will invite me to their places. If I don’t go, will they agree to that? No. They will take me there bodily. From there, some more people will start. Can you take them all with you? Not only these people. If I move out, the whole of Arunachala itself may start. How can you take it away? See, I have been kept in this jail. Even if you take me away, someone will catch me on the way and again put me in some other jail.
What can I do? How can I come, tell me? Will all these people let me go? What do you say?” Vidya could not reply. From that time onwards, he used to tell people, “This child is inviting me to her place.” Yesterday, having heard that the two children were leaving for their native place that day, and seeing Vidya standing near the doorway, Bhagavan, while going out at 9-45 a.m., caught hold of her hand and said, “Child! Will you take me also with you? Tie me up firmly, put me in a cart and take me away.” Before leaving, Vidya took Bhagavan’s photos to him and showed them. As soon as he saw the photos, Bhagavan said, “So you are taking me away.
Tie me firmly and throw me in the cart.” Every one present felt happy, and Vidya in her great joy, frolicking, began saying, “Yes, I am taking away Bhagavan Thathayya.” Who? Where can one go? Which is the cart? Which is the jail? If the mountains themselves move, how can they be stopped? All these are problems!