(54) PURE BHAKTI (DEVOTION) IS REAL SERVICE
6th August, 1946
Today a devotee asked Bhagavan: “Swami, what is that story about myrobalams while you were on the hill?” Bhagavan told us the following: “While I was in Virupaksha Cave, I used to eat one myrobalam every night to move the bowels freely. Once it so happened that there were none in stock. As Palaniswamy was thinking of going to the bazaar, I asked him to tell Sesha Iyer to send some myrobalams. He said he would do so as Sesha Iyer was on his way to the bazaar. The very next moment a devotee came from his village. He used to visit our place now and then. After staying with us for a while, he went out. A little later, Palaniswamy started to go to the bazaar. In the meantime, the devotee who had gone out, returned and said, ‘Swami, do you want some myrobalams?’ ‘Give me one or two if you have them’ I said. He brought a big bag and placed it opposite to me.
When I asked him, ‘Where are all these from?’, he replied, ‘Swami, after having your darshan, I went out in a cart to a village nearby as I had some work there. Another cart had gone ahead of me laden with bags of myrobalams. One of the bags had a hole from which these myrobalams fell out. I picked them up and brought them here thinking that they might be of some use. Let them be here, Swami.’ I took about two or three viss and returned the rest to him. Such things used to happen often. How many could we recollect! When mother came and started cooking, she used to say that it would be good if there was an iron ladle. I would say, let us see. The next day or the day after that someone would bring five or six ladles. It was the same thing with cooking utensils. Mother would say that it would be good if we had this or that article, and I would reply, ‘Is that so?’ and the same day or the next, such articles, ten instead of one, used to be received. Enough, enough of this I felt! Who is to look after them? There were many such incidents,” said Bhagavan.
“What about the grapes?” asked the devotee.
Bhagavan replied, “Yes, they also were being used for the same purpose as the myrobalams. One day the stock of grapes was exhausted. Palaniswamy wanted to know if he could tell some one going to the shop to get them. I said that there was no hurry, and that he should not worry about it but should wait and see. That was all. Within a short time, the brother of Gambhiram Seshayya came there. There was a big packet in his hand. When asked what it contained, he said, ‘grapes.’ ‘What! Just a little while ago, we were saying that our stock had run out.
How did you come to know about it?’ I asked. He said, ‘How could I know about it, Swami? Before coming here, I felt that I should not come to you with empty hands, and so went to the bazaar. As it was Sunday, all the shops but one were closed. ‘I am going to Bhagavan. What have you got?’ I asked the shopkeeper. He said he had only grapes and that too they had just arrived. So he packed them and gave them to me. I brought them. It is only just a while ago, Swami, that this thought occurred to me.’ On comparing notes, it was found that the time coincided.
That was a very common experience for Ayyaswami also.
We used to think that it would be better if we had a certain article, and at the very same hour, he used to feel that that article should be taken to Bhagavan. If we asked him, ‘how did you know about it?’ Ayyaswami used to say, ‘Swami, how could I know? It merely occurred to me that I should take a particular article to Bhagavan. I brought it and that is all. You say that you were thinking of the very same article at the time. Swami alone should know about such strange happenings.’ Really, he used to keep his mind pure, and so whatever we thought about here used to mirror itself in his mind.” Are we to be told specifically that we should keep our minds pure and without blemish? The life of Ayyaswami itself is an example of this, is it not?