Letter 58

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12th August, 1946
Last summer a Pandal was erected adjacent to the Hall so that it might be convenient for Bhagavan to sit outside in the evenings. Khus-khus thatties were tied west of the Pandal.

Bhagavan’s sofa used to be placed very near to them. The devotees used to sit there facing west, and Bhagavan used to sit facing south like Dakshinamurthy. We all used to sit opposite to his feet. When we look straight we get a darshan of the lotus feet of Bhagavan, while on one side, we see the fine flower- garden, and on the other, we get a darshan of the summit of Arunachala. How can one speak of our good fortune? One evening at 4-45, after Bhagavan had gone to the hill for a stroll, the personal attendants raised the khus-khus thatties and tied them up as it was cloudy. Within 10 minutes of Bhagavan’s return, there was bright sunshine. Though it was the evening sun, all were affected by the summer heat, and that caused a little discomfort. Unable to bear the sight of the sun’s rays falling on the bare body of Bhagavan, one of the attendants, by name Vaikuntavas, slowly lowered the thatties that were behind Bhagavan. He thought Bhagavan had not noticed it. As Veda Parayana (Vedic recitation) was going on at the time, Bhagavan appeared not to notice it and kept quiet.

After the recitation was over, Bhagavan said with some annoyance, “See the doings of these people! They lowered only those thatties that were on my side. Perhaps they think that the others are not human beings! The sun’s heat should not touch Swami alone. It does not matter if it touches others! Something special for Swami only! Anyway, they are keeping up the prestige of Swami’s position! Poor chaps! Perhaps according to them, one is not a Swami unless he is looked after like this! Swami should not be exposed to sun or wind or light; he should not move or talk; he should sit with folded arms and with hands on a sofa. This is Swamyhood.

Swamitvam is being upheld by singling me out amongst people for special treatment.” You see, Bhagavan does not tolerate any distinction. He insists on equality. The poor attendant got scared and tied up the thatties. The evening glare fell on Bhagavan and got mixed up with the lustre of his eyes. The smoke from the agarbathis (incense sticks) spread all round. It seemed as if even the smoke from the agarbathis having made friends with the cool breeze and as if blown by a fan bowed before Bhagavan’s feet and spread around evenly among the devotees.