When one of my students had left the Ashram for some reason, I at once felt that his valuable experience and faculty should not be lost for the service of humanity. So I wrote thus:-
"I was sending you money for your pocket expenses. The money was returned with the remark: 'Left the Place.' I am always at thy feet to serve you at all times. You only refuse it. Why should you depend on anybody, when I am here to serve you in all ways? Why should you live in cities with worldly persons? There are various sections here in which you can work, gently, mildly, slowly, a little, without mixing with anybody, independently, having connections with me only.
"All sections of work suffer for want of people and proper supervision. Even if you look after a little work in the correspondence section, it will be a great help to the world. You can assist me in a hundred ways. Do not work hard as before. You do a little work without any responsibility. This is God's Blessing and Grace. Take plenty of rest and do a little work. You can remain away from the Ashram. Your food will be placed in your room. I shall give you money for your expenses.
"There is no dearth for food for you here. I do not refuse food to any one. Why should you live in cities? Gradually you will lose all your faculties when you are not in touch with work. The worldly atmosphere is not congenial to spiritual progress. Therefore come at once to Rishikesh. May I send you train fare? If you like, you can live here for six months and six months in cities.
"If you change your outlook, vision, imagination and attitude a bit, you can be happy here and everywhere. Man suffers on account of his own imagination and his old habit of thinking. He never allows himself to be changed. This is Maya. Adjust and adapt. Be happy and cheerful at all times. Evolve quickly and become a dynamic Yogi and bring Light and Knowledge to the whole world."
WHO CAN START ASHRAMS
An Ashram is a Glorious centre to ensure World Peace. Many enthusiastic persons start Ashrams with a fine letterhead. That is not enough. The starting of new Ashrams by beginners will not bring good results to the world. It needs special faculties to run an Ashram successfully. For beginners, that will be a hindrance, and for advanced students that will be a downfall. Many years ago some Sannyasins wrote to me for financial help and advice for improving the activities of their Ashrams, and the reply I gave to one of them is reproduced below. That clearly explains my attitude and principles:
"Beloved Swamiji, Your achievements, ambitions, aims and objects are laudable, indeed. O Swamiji, aspire not for Gurudom, comforts, name and fame when you start an Ashram or a religious Society. Generally those who start Ashrams are humble in the beginning and do some service. When they become rich and well established, they care not for public service or individual evolution. They become arrogant and autocratic. Beware of temptations and work as a meek Sevak always. Even after Self-realisation, leave not the daily routine of Sadhana.
"I do not know any rich Rajah or Zamindar. I have no disciples. Some aspirants who want real spiritual training, consider me as their Guru. I take great care of them. That is all. I cannot help you with money. I am serving the world by a variety of ways and work through all Ashrams, Mutts and religious institutions.
"If you do public service with a selfless spirit, if people see the spirit of renunciation in you, then they themselves will volunteer to help you in every way. Do not move heaven or earth for money. Try not your luck through Derby Sweep. It is a pity for Sadhus to think of such schemes.
"Nowadays aspirants do not care to look to their spiritual progress. They shave their head, colour their clothes and remain at Rishikesh for some time and then pass for great Yogis. They begin to collect money for starting Ashrams for leading comfortable life.
"There are enough Ashrams and Mutts in India. Sincere, selfless workers are rare. Before one starts an Ashram, one must have been leading an exemplary life. His very presence must give peace, power and bliss to all. Only then can one successfully run the institution.
IDEALS MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN
"Before starting an Ashram, the mottoes, ambitions and aims are no doubt grand, charming and attractive. As soon as a little fund and fame come, the ideal is forgotten. The spirit of selfless service dwindles away. The objects are abandoned. The Founders want to lead a comfortable life with some chosen disciples and followers. Even granting that the founders are able to live an ideal life, their disciples will not be able to manage it with the same spirit later. It becomes a place of quarrel or a business-house. The head of the Ashram and the inmates there should lead a life of Vairagya, absolute renunciation. The Ashram run by such people stands as a centre, a nucleus of perennial peace, bliss and joy. It attracts everyone. Millions all over the world derive inspiration. The world is always in need of such Ashrams.
"Every Sannyasi, every Yogic student has got some defect or other. It is only a full-blown Yogi who will be absolutely free from evil qualities and defects. All are in the path of evolution. Everybody is likely to err sometimes, even very often. Become tolerant. See good in everything. Slight rupture or friction is bound to come between friends and workers, at times between Sannyasins, too. One must excuse the other, must reunite and forget the past. You must have a tendency to grasp only the good in others and try to emphasise it in your everyday life. No one is entirely bad. Remember this point welt. You must have adaptability when you mix with others. Have perfect control over impulses. Only then will more workers feel happy to live with you and serve your Ashram. May the noble Mission established by you gloriously prosper. I shall be always happy to help you."