Tuesday, November 20, 2007

#109, I would pay half of the rent!

Swamiji wrote to Swami Shivananda, from Almora, on July 9, 1897:

"... We stayed at the Binsar Dak Bungalow [rest-house] for two or three days, and then I left for Shyamdhura. At this, Miss [Henrietta] Müller got infuriated and left for Almora. Terribly upset, Miss Müller accused Shivananda of telling her first that I shall live with a friend as his guest and of renting later such a big house for the season at 80 rupees without consulting her. Very cross with everybody, she has been reproving one and all but has cooled down a little when I said I would pay half of the rent. ..."

*Monks pass on costs to devotees. This is a great practice all over India.
*Rs. 80/- in 1897 was a substantially large amount as rent.
*Henrietta Muller might have been a frugal person. She mighe have been infuriated to hear the lavish rent which she had to bear.
*Even the Gurudeva of Swami Vivekananda, Shri Ramakrishna stayed at a house in Cossipore, Calcutta hired at Rs. 65/- per month by a devotee.
*Teachers and disciples claim "kaanchana jayam" (conquering desire for gold or money). When devotees and disciples are made to bear everything, where is the need to have money in pocket?
*Swamiji was prepared to pay Rs. 80 (Rs. 40 himself, Rs. 40 Miss Muller).

He wrote to Shivananda in the same letter:

"... Advise him to spend as little as necessary on Thakur's worship, for the money is [primarily] "for propagation of Truth" ..."

In the same letter he wants public meetings to honor ruler of Khetri, and Pratap Singh of Jodhpur, returning from Victoria Jubilee Celebrations.

"... A public meeting will have to be organized at Madras to present an address of welcome to the Raja [Ajit Singh] of Khetri and to Pratap Singh of Jodhpur for their boldness in visiting England as well as for representing their principalities in India in the Jubilee celebration ..."

BLOGGER'S VIEW : This function will be naturally lavish. He wants another similar function at Colombo.

Next day he wrote to Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda) to curtail expenses on worship, to one Rupee per month.

"... Curtail the expenses of worship to a rupee or two per mensem. The children of the Lord are dying of starvation. . . . Worship with water and Tulasi leaves alone, and let the allowance for His Bhoga (food offerings) be spent in offering food to the Living God who dwells in the persons of the poor — then will His grace descend on everything. ..."

BLOGGER'S VIEWsHere, the reason for curtailing is ostensibly for feeding starving children. Well good reason! Then how about Rs. 80/- big house rent at Almora! Then about Chennai and Colombo felicitations to Khetri and Jodhpur? Are they not lavish! Why should then God alone have water and Tulasi leaves?

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