by Shanker Nath Fotedar

Chapter VIII
PHILANTHROPIC NATURE

Bhagawaan Ji was an ocean of power and helped those who called on him to advance on the path of spirituality, and also those who came to see him for the fulfillment of their worldly ambitions, the removal of their physical maladies or the solution of other problems. Besides, he would help the deserving monetarily as well.

He would pay multitudes of sadhus Re 1/- each, on as many occasions as they called. Why he did so became clear to me one day when I was a witness to the following incident.

Once, I happened to see Bhagawaan Ji's sister on the ground floor of the building where he lived those days. She was complaining bitterly that he gave away all the money to saadhus, leaving very little to meet the needs of the household. I seemed to agree that Bhagawaan Ji should not be indifferent to the financial needs of the household. I went upstairs to Bhagawaan Ji's room. As soon as I paid my obeisance and was seated before him, he said, 'These poor gosaains (saadhus) have only the earth to sit on, with the open sky as the roof over their heads, and they are naked and starving.' I was abashed. Some of these saadhus said that, after they had got a rupee from him, other avenues opened for them automatically.

A few other instances of his munificence may also be cited:

(a) Pandit Dina Nath was the priest of the family with whom Bhagawaan Ji lived during 1957-68. The priest was very poor and had three daughters, two of them married and the third of a marriageable age. One day, along with the unmarried daughter, he paid obeisance to Bhagawaan Ji. He placed his pass-book, with a balance of Rs. 500/- only, before him and told him that he would poison either himself or his daughter, as he had no where withal to marry her off. Bhagawaan Ji was visibly moved. He told the gentleman to come again after two days, on the Somavati Amawsyaa day, early in the morning. He was to knock thrice at the closed door of Bhagawaan Jl's room (which used to be unlocked). In case the door did not open at the third knock, he was to return home. But as soon as the priest knocked the third time, Bhagawaan Ji himself opened it and then resumed his seat on the aasana. He gave the priest charanamrita (holy water), that was lying there on a lotus petal, to drink thrice. The priest says that it appeared that there was only a single drop on the lotus petal, which appeared to get divided into three parts. Bhagawaan Ji then predicted that his daughter would be married in the next six months and that thenceforth his pockets would never be empty. After he had fixed the date of his daughter's marriage, this gentleman came again to see Bhagawaan Ji who gave him Rs. 200/ - and told him not to worry as he would get the funds necessary for performing the marriage. He received help also from some other people, in cash as well as in kind, and was thus able to celebrate the marriage of his daughter comfortably, in about six months. The gentleman met me recently and confided that, since his above-mentioned meeting with Bhagawaan Ji, his pockets had never been empty. The question that naturally arises is that, if his poverty was a result of his past karmas, how did Bhagawaan Ji manage to help him?

(b) Bhagawaan Ji stayed at Kshirbhavaani for some months during the year 1961. Once, when only two people, Pt Dina Nath Ticku and Swami Amritaananda (both his disciples), were present in his hut, a lady came and whispered in a low voice to Bhagawaan Ji that the date for her daughter's marriage was only ten days away. The money-lender, who had promised to lend her the required amount, had backed out. In a fix, she did not know what to do. Bhagawaan Ji immediately emptied the contents of his cloth purse, which contained Rs 60/-, in the lady's hand. He also beckoned to Mr Ticku to give her some money. The latter gave her Rs. 600/- from his Post Office Savings account. Bhagawaan Ji left the Shrine a few days later for Srinagar. After the girl's marriage, the lady went to Srinagar and offered to Bhagawaan Ji the prashaada of the marriage yajna He told her, why did you get the naivedya for me? I was present at the ceremony.' Bhagawaan Ji must have been there in his astral body as he was in Srinagar on that day.

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