21st November, 1945
(1) THE SON IS BEHOLDEN TO THE FATHER
Brother, you have asked me to write to you from time
to time whatever striking happens in Sri Bhagavan’s
presence and what Sri Bhagavan says on such occasions.
But am I capable of doing so? Anyway, I will make an
attempt and am beginning this very day. The attempt will
succeed only if Bhagavan’s Grace is on it.
The day before yesterday being full moon, the usual
Deepotsava (festival of lights) was celebrated on a grand scale.
This morning Sri Arunachaleswarar started for giri pradakshina
(going round the hill) with the usual retinue and devotees
and accompaniment of music. By the time the procession
reached the Ashram gate, Sri Niranjanananda Swami (the
Sarvadhikari) came out with Ashram devotees, offered coconuts
and camphor to Sri Arunachaleswarar, and paid homage when
the procession was stopped and the priests performed arati
(waving of the lights) to the God. Just then Sri Bhagavan
happened to be going towards the Gosala (cowshed) and seeing
the grandeur he sat down on the pial near the tap by the side
of the book depot. The arati plate offered to Arunachaleswarar
was brought to Bhagavan by Ashram devotees and Sri
Bhagavan took a little Vibhuti (holy ashes) and applied it to his
forehead, saying in an undertone “Appakku Pillai Adakkam”
(The son is beholden to the father). His voice seemed choked
with emotion as he spoke. The expression on his face proved
the ancient saying “bhakti poornathaya Jnanam” (the culmination
of devotion is knowledge). Sri Bhagavan is Lord Siva’s son.
Sri Ganapati Muni’s saying that he is Skanda incarnate, was
confirmed. It struck us that Bhagavan was teaching us that
since all creatures are the children of Ishwara, even a Jnani
should be beholden to Ishwara.
We can never tell how pregnant with meaning are the
words of Mahatmas. You ask me to write somehow, but how
can I convey the exquisite beauty of his utterances? How
can I describe adequately? I wrote in a recent poem that
every word that falls from his lips is scripture. Why talk of
his words alone? If one has the ability to understand, his
very gaze and gait, his action and inaction, inhaling and
exhaling — everything about him is full of meaning. Have I
the capacity to understand and interpret all this? With full
faith in Sri Bhagavan’s grace, I shall write to you whatever
occurs to me, serving Sri Bhagavan with the devotion of the
squirrel to Sri Rama.