The Master was a person of unrestrained, spontaneous generosity. Just as he gave himself to others, he gave a myriad things as well. Flowers, money, eatables, clothes, books—whatever offerings the devotees brought to him—found their way to others. The Master acted as a centre for collection and redistribution. He knew who needed what, and always offered the right gift to the right person.
The Master often bought fruit, peanuts and ice-cream from roadside vendors and distributed to people, just to help those poor vendors. The pilgrim who lost his purse, the convict just released from jail, the penniless Sadhu needing a blanket, the poor student wanting money for his school fees—all of them found a ready helper in the Master.
The Master gave without embarrassing the recipient. Maybe a distressed man came to him with a plea, "Swamiji, I am a poor Sadhu. I am in need of a blanket. The cold wind is freezing me."
The Master would say, "Achcha Maharaj, kindly sing a Kirtan. You have a very good voice."
The Sadhu would sing or chant "Ram, Ram, Ram" or "Radhe Shyam" for a few minutes. The Master would then quietly give a ten-rupee note to him, saying, "Kirtan bahut achcha hai—the Kirtan was very nice." The money took on the colour, not of a lofty gift, but of a present, a token of the Master’s earnest appreciation of the Kirtan. What mattered more than the money was the heart. The Master had a large heart.
Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
To be continued ...