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11. Industrial Expansion

 He was an industrialist who had made his money in foreign countries and returned to India. He decided to start the same industry here in India as he had acquired an expertise in that field. Around the time he was supposed to found the factory, he was introduced to me when he needed help in digging his first borewell. The man was grateful for the initial help he received and expressed it appropriately whenever the occasion permitted. He personally came to me to extend an invitation to the foundation stone laying ceremony for his factory. At the function, when I found out that outside his family he had invited only six people, all placed very high in the society, I was touched by the man's attitude.

He was over sixty but was in perfect health. The money he had earned, several crores, seemed to weigh him down. Occasionally we used to meet in a friend's house, at a function or even on the road. He evinced interest in visiting my projects and knowing the details about them. During these meetings, he told me how he became Mother's devotee and some related incidents that reinforced his faith in The Mother.

As he had made his money outside India, all his wealth was in foreign exchange. When he started the factory here, he bought all his costly machinery outside India and imported it. On the day the machinery arrived in India, he and his son were at the port filled with enthusiasm and excitement. When the machinery was being shifted from the ship to the wharf, something went wrong with the crane. Suddenly his machines started moving down over the water, instead of up. The machines were worth several lakhs of rupees. The father and son were shocked. The dazed engineers in charge of the operation stood there helplessly. The machines were slowly slipping down towards the water and in another few moments would disappear beneath the surface. What a loss!  He said, "I was in tears. My son stood there with his kerchief over his mouth unable to control his grief and fear. My head was dizzy. I could not even shout out. My world seemed to have come to an end. What a beginning for the company!  With greatest difficulty I steadied myself, thought of Mother and sent Her the calls of a heart that would burst at any moment. Then a miracle happened. The ropes of the crane that were moving down suddenly stopped. Hope showed in the engineer's face. Their alert action was able to save the situation. After the safe retrieval of the machinery, the engineers disclosed that the cranes were not meant to lift such a weight and they had taken a risk. My son and I heaved a sigh of relief when the machinery was brought onto the wharf. I have since told this story of Mother's Grace to several people."  He had told me this already three times, so vivid was the impression on his mind.

One day he came to see me. He was friendly and nice. He did not seem to have anything particular in mind. He said he had read our Society's monthly letter and found it interesting. Obviously he had something on his mind to consult. After a little while, he said, "I am over sixty, but doctors find all aspects of my health are all right. From any point of view of life-health, food, nourishment, rest-I have everything I need. But there is an overpowering tiredness coming on me in waves. I feel exhausted all the time. Doctors are of no help. I have been in this condition for some years now. Can you suggest anything to overcome this lack of energy?"

I asked him to meet me the next day with a good quantity of Chrysanthemum flowers. The next day he arrived with the flowers. Mother calls this flower Life Energy. Devotees have a certain receptivity and openness to Mother. Devotees are not sadhaks who relate to Mother intensely through concentration, as yoga is not their primary aim. Devotees think of Mother when they do their puja, after which they lose themselves in daily work. This man is an industrialist who is buried in his work. He would naturally think of Mother during his pujas or when something goes wrong. I could not advise him to constantly think of Mother, except during times of crisis. Flowers are a receptive medium and help the devotee to better relate to Mother. We can ask Mother for energy, peace or anything, and can receive it in the measure of our receptivity. I explained to him briefly the meaning of flowers and this flower in particular. I advised him to offer this flower to Mother's photo at home in the morning, let it remain there for some time and be charged with Her energy. In the evening when he prays, he could hold the flowers and pray for energy from Mother. I told him he could pray like this for a week and then we would see. He came two days later and said, "Three fourths of my exhaustion has already left. I have already started my evening walk. I feel a lot better. Now I would like to consult you on another problem that has bothered me for 20 years. It is an unknown fear that powerfully churns my stomach."

He was anxious to explain all about it, but I discouraged him from explaining the details. As Mother has given the name courage to vUf;fk; g{ (Calotropis flower), I said he could use it in the prayer as he had done with the Chrysanthemum flower.

The following week, he sent word that he did not want to bother me this time but wanted to meet the American sadhak who had written in our monthly letter about Mother's principles in running a business. They met and had a discussion. It seemed that this man's factory had started only a few years before and had become a great success, but it had some serious trouble getting raw material a year before. As Mother was alive then, he sent word to Her about his raw material difficulty. The difficulty vanished, not only for him but for the entire industry. Later that raw material was produced in such abundance that a little of it was exported, too. Now his company had earned a good name all over India. His company's name was a household word in many parts of India already. This very positive development encouraged him to expand the factory two-fold. The board approved of the expansion plan and money was there. He ordered the machinery from abroad. All the other connected plans were well drawn up. Everyone in the management was jubilant over the turn of events. But news came that serious labour trouble was brewing. He managed to secure every detail connected with the plans of the labourers. He was alarmed, but he was happy that he had got wind of this trouble before it expanded. The character of the trouble was such that he almost seriously considered dropping the expansion plan for Rs.2.5 crores. As a last resort, he said he thought of consulting the American sadhak whose article on Business Management was recently published. He invited the American to come to his place and address his officers.

My American friend went there the next day. All the officers of the company were assembled in the hall. My friend spoke to them in great detail about the principles of Mother in running a business. At the end of the meeting everyone felt somewhat encouraged. Before my friend left the factory, the industrialist asked whether he could come again on another day to speak to the officers. My friend explained to me that, although everyone listened with interest, they had no idea of how to go about warding off a labour situation which had not yet precipitated. My friend suggested that both of us could visit the factory the next time. I agreed.

This time I spoke to the same officers again, but I could see that they wanted a practical clue. Seeing this, I explained, "You are planning for the welfare of the company but find the labour attitude a hindrance and a threat. In such circumstances Mother suggests that if you work for the welfare of the labourers, this trouble you anticipate must disappear."  Having said that, I asked them to fill in a questionnaire that would give all the details of the labourers families, viz. number of members, property holding, lands owned, other income, diseases suffered, recreation practiced, etc., so that on seeing the details, the company could draw up a serious welfare plan for the labourers in their own homesteads to make their lives richer and better. Before winding up I repeated, "You must truly wish for the welfare of the workers. If that wish is true, right results will issue. The key lies in the truth of your wish. The rest is a matter of procedure."

The industrialist disappeared and I didn't meet him for over a year. One day I happened to meet him in an Ashram function. He came to me eagerly and inquired about my work, family, project and friends. I asked him about the expansion. He said, "Oh, you don't know. I have finished the expansion and the new wing will be commissioned in a few weeks."  He neither explained to me about the labourers, nor did I ask him about it.

book | by Dr. Radut