Letter 122

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5th June, 1947
After leaving your house in Madras the day before yesterday night, I reached the Ashram yesterday morning by 7 o’clock. Though it was only four days since I had left the Ashram, I felt as if it was four centuries. So I went straight to the Ashram from the Railway Station. Bhagavan was taking his breakfast. When I prostrated before him and stood up, he said, “You have come back? So soon?” I said, “Yes,” and told him that ten copies of ‘Lekhalu’ were ready, that I had brought them with me and the printers said that they would send the remaining copies to the Ashram direct. Bhagavan said “Yes,” and remained indifferent.

After finishing my bath, etc., I took the bundle of books and went to the Ashram office, but the Sarvadhikari was not there.

So I thought I could as well show them to Bhagavan and then bring them back and so went into the hall. I did go into the office first, in accordance with the rules, to give books there, but the desire to show them to Bhagavan first was dominant in my mind. Whatever it be, taking advantage of the absence of the Sarvadhikari from the office, I went to the hall first. Bhagavan was reading the newspaper and appeared not to notice me. Afraid of giving the books into his hands, I placed them on the stool nearby.

In dedicating a book, it is usual to honour the person to whom it is dedicated by offering him fruits, flowers and presents according to the author’s ability. But you know the proverb: “For a God as big as a mountain, can you offer flowers, etc., mountain- high?” For Bhagavan, what is it that we could offer for worship? Even so, if I wanted to offer any of the classical puja articles such as patram (sacred green leaves), pushpam (flowers), phalam (fruits), thoyam (water), I was afraid Bhagavan would again scold me as he had done recently. So I merely folded my hands to salute him. You know what a nice thing happened then? As I bent down to prostrate, a devotee came there with a group of Brahmins and with a plate full of flowers, fruits, agarbathies (incense sticks), arecanuts, betel- leaves, etc. and placed it by the side of the books. When I got up and saw them, I felt extremely happy at the coincidence. All of them stood in a group and chanted the vedic hymn beginning with ‘nakarmana naprajaya dhanena’.

After the chanting was over, we all got up after bowing before Bhagavan. Krishnaswamy sent them away after giving prasadam. Bhagavan put the paper away and said to me leisurely, “Today it is Shashtiabdhapurthi for him, it seems.” “Is it so?” said I. Whatever it is, I was satisfied that though I never brought anything, unexpectedly someone else had brought flowers and fruits to make up for the omission.

Krishnaswamy left the books there. So I myself handed them over to Bhagavan. Turning them over this side and that Bhagavan said, “Give them to the office, let them come to me with the office stamp.” I opened a copy and showed Bhagavan that under his photo the press people had forgotten to print the name. “Oh! A mistake has been made.

It doesn’t matter. The namam (name) has merged in the rupam (form). Give them to the office,” said Bhagavan. I took them to the office and came back after handing them over to Sri Niranjanananda Swamy, the Sarvadhikari. After 9 a.m. Mounaswamy brought two copies of the book and gave them to Bhagavan. Bhagavan saw them and enquiring if one was for him and one for Nagamma, he told a devotee nearby, “Please give the copy to her. She wrote it and her brother got it printed. She herself brought and gave us some copies and from out of them we are giving her a copy. It is just like making an idol of Pillaiar (Lord Ganesa) with jaggery and, after puja, pinching a little of that jaggery and using it for naivedyam. When fruits are brought and given to us, do we not give prasadam?”

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