The following year Mahaprabhuji spent the time of monsoon in the village of Bola Guda and I was with him, as were other disciples and sannyasis. Satsang was held daily and it rained often, once continuously for fifteen days. One morning I was sitting in my room engrossed in thought as it had come to my mind to travel to Jamnagar in Gujarat.
In that same moment Mahaprabhuji appeared in my room.
"I have no objection if you want to go to Jamnagar."
"Mahaprabhuji, surely enough I would like to but the railway station of Somesar is twelve kilometres away and how should I get there as long as it continues to rain like this?"
"Tomorrow morning it will stop and it will begin to rain again only after you have boarded the train at Somesar," Mahaprabhuji said, smiling. "If you don't have any money for the ticket, take some from me."
"My Master, you are Omniscient and Omnipotent," I said and folded my hands. "Please give me the money only when I really need it."
Mahaprabhuji then instructed me with some other duties to perform while on my travels.
"Take Purnananda with you to the town of Rani and then send him back with one pound of curcuma and some green vegetables. Also, the fabric covering my umbrella has been eaten by moths. Have it re-covered and sent back so it can be used during the rainy season here. Now tell me, should I give you a little money?"
Bowing down, I repeated, "My Lord, I have already requested that you might give me money when and where I am in need of it."
I had only two rupees in my bag but had full trust in Mahaprabhuji that he would take care of me whenever it was necessary.
The next day I walked to Somesar with Puranand and it was still early in the morning when we boarded the train. After some time, two conductors stepped into our compartment and began checking passengers' tickets. When it came my turn they didn't ask for my ticket but bowed to me in greeting and invited me to share tea and a little snack. I thanked them for their kind offer, but declined.
Arriving at Rani we proceeded to the bazaar to buy fabric for the umbrella. In a store I made enquiries about the cost of some fabric and was told that it cost three rupees but because I only had two rupees I couldn't take it. Soon the sun was beginning to set and since we didn't know anyone in Rani we had no idea where we should spend the night.
"Why haven't you brought any money with you? Now we have to go hungry," Purnananda accused.
"Do not worry," I replied. "Trust in Mahaprabhuji, he will arrange everything. The Omnipresent God is always with us."
While speaking like this we passed a police station.
"Come on, let's go into the guard room," I suggested to Purnananda on a sudden impulse.
Inspector Ram Singhji was sitting in his office and as soon as he saw our orange robes he stepped out and greeted us with folded hands. He requested us to follow him into his room and during our conversation we came to know that the inspector was also a disciple of Mahaprabhuji. Delighted at having met us, he extended an invitation to be his guests for the night, which we thankfully accepted.
Inspector Ram Singhji arranged two beds to be prepared for us on the first floor, with water for drinking and bathing. Next, a delicious meal was cooked and we shared a splendid dinner. I then asked the inspector for his assistance.
"We require a new fabric covering for this umbrella. In the store it was priced at three rupees, but I have only two. Would it be possible for you to ask the store owner if he is prepared to give it to me at this price?"
Instantly the inspector sent a policeman to the store to bring back all the fabric available and very soon the policeman returned with the textiles and the store owner.
"Prepare a new fabric cover for the umbrella of Gurudeva and I will pay for it," the inspector instructed the trader.
This was arranged and so it was that the money I carried was saved. We spent some more time in satsang and then went to rest.
The next morning we got up rather early and went for a walk. On our way we saw the house of Sri R. Sharma, a railway officer.
"Come, we shall visit Sri Sharmaji," I suggested to Purnananda.
"You have such a habit of going into everybody's house," Purnananda remarked. "Sharmaji is an official. Who knows if he would welcome our visit?"
I told him not to worry and to follow me without hesitation. A guard was standing at the garden gate and I asked him to inform Sri Sharmaji of my arrival. Having heard us, Sri Sharmaji was already on his way out to greet us and we were guided inside his office.
"Swamiji, would you please be so kind as to take lunch in my home?" he asked.
"As you wish," I agreed. "However, before that we must buy some green vegetables and one pound of curcuma for Mahaprabhuji."
Sri Sharmaji offered to get these things from the market and he called a servant and handed over a ten-rupee note.
"Buy one pound of curcuma and use the rest of the money for green vegetables."
So I still had the two rupees with me.
We had a hearty lunch at Sri Sharmaji's house. After that I sent Purnananda with the umbrella, curcuma and vegetables back to Mahaprabhuji at Bola Guda while I continued on to Ahmedabad.
But Purnananda thought to himself: "Madhavananda still has the two rupees with him even though we got all these things Mahaprabhuji wanted and now he's going on to Ahmedabad. How is all this possible?"
Seeds of suspicion began to sprout in Purnananda's mind. When he got back to the ashram he called together all Mahaprabhuji's disciples and told them of his experiences in detail.
In conclusion he remarked, "Mahaprabhuji likes Madhavananda more than us. It seems that he has conferred on him and nobody else, a mantra with special power. That's why they didn't check his ticket on the train and instead offered some refreshment. But if any one of us were found without a ticket, we'd be told to get out immediately. Surely this must be due to the effect of a special mantra!"
He continued: "Madhavananda had only two rupees, which is hardly adequate for the train trip from Somesar to Rani, let alone to get all those other things for Mahaprabhuji. From the beginning I asked myself how he could buy these things, where we should stay and what we should eat. First in Rani he hypnotised the police inspector, who then provided us with accommodation and food and even paid for the fabric cover of the umbrella. Next he hypnotised a railway official, who not only served us an ample lunch, but also gave us the one pound of curcuma and the green vegetables!
"Madhavananda surely possesses certain magic powers to which none of us are privy, but why is this so? I think that on the next full-moon satsang we must speak to Mahaprabhuji! We will ask him that if we too have renounced the world to become his disciples, why has he chosen to give a mantra that can control the will of others only to Madhavananda? Why not to us also? We will ask why he has neglected us in this way."
The seed of doubt which had germinated in the mind of Purnananda also spread among the other disciples. On the full moon a large satsang was held. The program began at nine o'clock and after the prayer and greetings to Mahaprabhuji, Purnananda took Sri Bhur Singhji into his confidence.
"Mahaprabhuji makes distinctions between his disciples. He has passed on all his powers to only Madhavananda. Would you please request of Mahaprabhuji that he also give us the same siddha mantras that he has taught Madhavanada?"
In the presence of all, the fair and just Sri Bhur Singhji turned to Mahaprabhuji.
"Lord of Mercy, the seed of doubt and jealousy has begun to sprout in the minds of your disciples. Please remove it at once."
Mahaprabhuji called all disciples together, including Purnananda.
"What causes you pain and what suspicion distresses you?"
The disciples spoke unanimously.
"You don't treat us with equality and you make distinctions between us. The siddha mantra which Madhavananda received from you has not been given to any of us. This vashikarana mantra makes Madhavananda revered wherever he goes, but nobody takes any notice of us. Why is this so?"
"I distribute my grace equally upon all," Mahaprabhuji replied, "but you don't understand how to accept it and use it in the right way, whereas Madhavananda always remains under the protection of my blessing. My grace is like the light of the sun which shines for all beings, nonetheless only a few are capable of taking their energy from the sun. If you are unable to use my grace — which exists for all — to your advantage, then who is to be blamed? If you want to learn the art of winning the hearts of others, I advise you to spend some time with Madhavananda."
On hearing this the disciples became even more angry and distrustful.
"We're not so subordinated to Madhavananda that we should live with him!"
"As long as you suffer from such vanity you will not learn anything!" Mahaprabhuji affirmed. "Only those who have laid down their ego and obey me will discover all. Self-righteousness, pride and jealousy won't achieve anything."
vashikarana mantra = a mantra through which we can fulfil our desires and wishes.
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