The Master always tried to greet a person in the latter’s mother tongue. He was always eager to please people and put them at ease. Thus, besides Tamil, English, Hindi and Malay, which he knew well, he learnt words of greeting, proverbs and poems, songs and couplets, in several other languages. A Gujarati visitor to him would invariably be greeted with a sweet "khem che"; a Bengali Babu with a "kemon achen". A guest from Maharashtra, Andhra or Mysore would meet with like treatment.
The Master felt at home everywhere and with everyone. During the 1950 tour, after a meeting at Madhav Bagh, Bombay, when he and his disciples attempted to come out, they encountered a big crowd, and in the confusion got into the nearest car, half supposing it was for them. Within seconds the Master suspected a mistake. He spoke to the driver.
"Whose car is this?"
"It is the Sethji’s car, Maharaj-ji."
"Oh! We have got into the wrong car!"
"No, Swamiji, it is the right vehicle; it is your own car."
"Do you know where we are to go to?"
"Wherever you wish to go, Swamiji, I shall gladly take you."
"Will not the Seth be annoyed with you for going away like this?"
"No, Swamiji, on the other hand I am sure that he will be greatly pleased with me, and with the car, too, that we were of some service to you."
There was no more questioning. All were happy with the arrangement, since it would have taken an hour to get out of the Bagh through the crowd and reach the Master’s car, which they now came to know was parked outside the building.
Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
To be continued ...