(92) AADARANA (REGARD)
10th February, 1947
At noon today three French ladies arrived here by car from Pondicherry. One was the Governor’s wife, another the Secretary’s wife and the third was someone connected with them. They rested for a while after food and reached the hall by about 2-30 p.m. Two of them could not sit on the floor and so they sat on the window sill opposite to Bhagavan; the third somehow managed to sit on the floor. They took leave of Bhagavan at about 3 p.m. and left. When I saw them I remembered some other incidents connected with the visit of an American lady to the Ashram, how she sat with legs stretched out, and was advised by the inmates of the Ashram not to do so, how Bhagavan admonished them by narrating the stories of Avaiyar and Namdev. I wrote to you about all that long back. I shall now write to you two more incidents of a similar type.
About ten months ago, an old European lady came here along with another European called Frydman and stayed here for about twenty days. She was not accustomed to squatting on the ground because of her Western style of living. Besides, she was old. So she used to suffer considerably, being unable to sit down, and if she sat down, she was finding it difficult to get up. The gentleman used to help her to get up, by holding her hand. One day when I reached the hall by about 8 a.m. I found them both seated in the front row in the space allotted for ladies. The other ladies were hesitating to sit nearby, and so I signalled to him to move a bit farther away, which he did immediately. Bhagavan got annoyed and looked at me but I did not at the time know why. I was standing near the sofa talking to somebody. Frydman suddenly got up and also helped her to get up. Her eyes were filled with tears and most reluctantly she took leave of Bhagavan. Bhagavan as usual nodded his head in token of permission. As soon as they left, Bhagavan looked at me and said, “It is a pity they are going away.” I felt that I had committed a great crime and said, “I am sorry. I did not know they were leaving.” Bhagavan felt that I had realised my mistake and that I was repenting for it and so said, “No. It is not that. They suffer a lot if they sit on the ground. That is why so many who are anxious to come here stay away. They are not accustomed to squat. What can they do? It is a great pity.” Some time ago, a very poor old lady came here one morning with her relatives. All except she made their pranams to Bhagavan and sat down. She however remained standing.
Krishnaswamy, the attendant, requested her to sit down, but she did not do so. Her relatives called her to come away but she did not do that either. l too advised her to go to them and sit down, but she did not take any notice. Someone there said, admonishing her, “Why don’t you listen to the advice of all the people here?” I looked at her relatives to find out the reason of her obstinacy. They said that she was almost blind and so wanted to go near Swami to see him at close quarters. I got up, took her hand and led her to the sofa where Bhagavan was seated. Shading her eyes with the palm of her hand she looked at Bhagavan intently and said, “Swami! I can’t see properly. Please bless me that I may be enabled to see you in my mind.” With looks full of tenderness, Bhagavan nodded his head by way of assent saying, “All right.” As soon as they left, Bhagavan told us, “The poor lady can’t see properly and so was afraid of coming near to see me. What can she do? She merely stood there. To those who have no eyes, the mind is the eye. They have only one sight, that of the mind, and not many other sights to distract their attention. Only the mind should get concentration.
When once that is obtained they are much better than us.” What a mild and soothing admonition!