A small instance: In the thirties, when the Master had just settled at Ananda Kutir and was living on rations—mostly rotis and a little rice—from the Rishikesh Kalikambliwala Kshettar, a forest ranger from the South came to stay with him. The ranger was not accustomed to wheat diet, and so the Master and his disciples gave all their rice to him. After eating all that the guest still felt hungry.
The Master went to the jungle and came back with some big bael fruit in hand. The forest ranger could not eat the fruit. He said it was tasteless. Undaunted, the Master brought sugar from the kitchen and, asking the guest to try the fruit with the sugar, quoted a Tamil proverb: "Chakkarai pottal kambaliyum thinnalam—when mixed with sugar even wool is edible!"
In 1950, on a visit to Dehra Dun, the Master went to the teachers’ quarters in the Mahadevi Kanya Pathasala. Seeing some bundles on the table he asked one of the teachers, "What are those? Answer papers? You value students’ examination papers also?"
"Yes, Swamiji," said the lady.
"Be gracious," suggested the Master. "Give more marks so that more students may pass in the examination. In every man and woman all potentialities are latent. Even wise men and women sometimes falter, and scholars often fumble for words. Platform fright, examination fright and stage fright sometimes cloud the minds of people and they are not able to answer some points even though they know." Again, the Master’s heart!
Sri N. Ananthanarayanan
To be continued ...