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Second Stage

PLANTING OF THE ACORN SAPLING

Planning and scheming were not in my nature. I depend on the grace of the Lord. I had decided to leave Swargashram. Where was I to go? That was a great problem. For some days, I stayed in a small room at the Rama Ashram Library. A few of my students lived in a small Dharmashala nearby and depended on the Kshetra for their meals. For some days I too went to the Kshetra for my Bhiksha. To save time, I received my Bhiksha through an elderly Sadhu from the Kshetra. Thus months passed.

Then I found a small Kutir in a dilapidated condition nearby. That was improved a bit by fixing doors and windows. I occupied the place and lived there for a period of over 8 years. I could have easily set up some thatched cottages in the jungle. That was not suitable for dynamic work. Books and papers might get damaged by white-ants. I saw a series of rooms in a Dharmashala used by a shopkeeper as a cow-shed. These rooms had no doors. Gradually, one by one, all the rooms were converted into residential quarters for the students.

When devotees gave me some money for my personal use, I utilised it in printing leaflets like "Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions," "Way to Peace and Bliss," "Forty Golden Precepts" and other pamphlets, and gave them to visitors. I utilised the money in purchasing some useful medicines for the treatment of sick Mahatmas and for postage to send articles to newspapers and letters to thirsty aspirants. The work grew in a steady pace. I did not go out in search of students.

True seekers of Truth came to me in large numbers seeking my help and guidance. They all received initiation from me and lived in the adjacent rooms of the Dharmashala and worked day and night. To meet the heavy rush of work, I got a duplicator and a typewriter. People evinced great interest in the divine service done for the spiritual uplift of the world. I admired their devotion to me. In work, they forgot their past and plunged themselves in attaining evolution through service and Sadhana. Devotees gave me voluntary contributions for the noble cause. For the maintenance of the students, I received dry rations for five persons from the Kali-kambliwala Kshetra at Rishikesh. For the rest of the students and the visitors I utilised the meagre donation received from a few admirers. That enabled me to publish some books also for sale.

TALENTS FIND THEIR BEST USES

With the arrival of new and able hands, I started various fields of activities suited to their taste and temperament. I found out the talents and hidden faculties in them and encouraged them to a great extent. Then a small kitchen was started to provide food for the hard workers, the visitors and the helpless who could not get Bhiksha from the Kshetra. I maintained various kinds of addresses-of devotees, High Schools, Libraries, donors and aspirants for the Sannyasa line. (Nivritti Marga) and sent my books periodically for dissemination of knowledge. The addresses were well-classified under several headings for easy reference. Here I give the titles of a few address books:

Ashrams, Associations, Advocates, Judges, Graduates, Book-sellers, Publishers, Firms, Doctors, Correspondence students, Divine Life Society Branches, Libraries, Ladies Section, Brahmacharis and Sannyasi students, Magazines and Periodicals, Maharajahs and Zamindars, Students who have received initiation, Monthly Donors, Household Disciples, Officers, Patrons, Professors, Wonderful Misers. Now there are several address books, a separate volume for each country. I myself used to fill in the correct addresses and note the changes very carefully. Even today, I myself enter the important addresses and permit the students to maintain all the address books in perfect order.


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