It was a hot day in 1955. "Let it drink," the Master’s voice suddenly rang out, as an Ashram monk tried to frighten away a monkey which wanted to drink water from a mud-pot kept near the office for drinking purposes. The man who ran with a stone halted; the monkey had its fill.
"You cannot judge a man’s heart from the big charity that he does, and the huge hospital that he builds," commented the Master. "Watch for such little incidents. When you have brought water from the Ganges and a monkey spoils it, how do you react during the first split-second? What is the first impulse? That determines whether you are a saint or not."
If the Master showed such consideration and compassion for animals and insects, his thoughtfulness and love for human beings was no less. His every word and gesture reflected his deep, unexpressed love and concern for those who suffered.
"To me the world appears as a ball of fire," he wrote. "To me the whole world appears as a huge furnace wherein all living creatures are being roasted."
At a meeting that he addressed during his Indo-Sri Lanka tour, the Master repeatedly drew the attention of listeners to the magnitude of human suffering. This thought about suffering, and the need to alleviate that suffering, engaged his attention all the time.
His special concern, of course, was his own disciples, within sight and out of sight, who looked to him for support and sustenance. They were a large number with varied problems of their own.
Someone was seeking employment. Another desired to get his daughter married. A third had failed in his examination and was feeling miserable. A fourth was to undergo a major operation, and wished that the Master would pray for him. A fifth wanted success in a prolonged legal battle over a large estate. One had lost his only child and was about to go mad with sorrow.
Death, disease, misery, psychological torture—a suffering, seething, strife—torn humanity turned to the Master, ever calm and serene, an ocean of compassion and love, of humility and transcendent wisdom, for solace and succour. Many came to him in person; many more wrote to him from where they were. The Master gave them help and guidance in various ways.
Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
To be continued ...