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34. One Crore

Om is a North Indian businessman. He is a craftsman par excellence. He carves out of soft stone very attractive artwork in the shape of boxes, vases, etc. His goods sell like hotcakes all over Europe. Buyers come to him, pay the price in advance, sit in his factory for the order to be produced and take it with them. Otherwise, if they ordered from their own countries, they may not get the goods in time or may not get them at all. Such is the demand. Such is its beauty.

One of our Society's American members bought a small shipment of goods from him. Later he visited Om in his place. Om was nice, friendly, cordial and treated our friend as if he were an old friend or family member. Our American friend bought occasionally and in small quantities. Naturally, as a business contact, we were of little value. After a few months of our member's visit, Om wrote saying he was going to visit us in Pondicherry. Strange! We are absolutely of no business significance to him. He has no other friends here. Why on earth should Om call on us here, we all wondered.

He came. He was very pleasant. He had not heard of the Ashram or the Mother up there in the North. Now that he had come, our friends spoke to him about Mother, suggested that he could visit the Ashram. He paid his visit to Sri Aurobindo's room and made an offering of Rs.1,000.

Just before he was about to leave, he asked our American member if he could meet me. When I met him his face looked sad for some reason. I spoke briefly to him about his future life and business. I told him great things were in store for him, perhaps things he could never believe. He was happy and took leave. On reaching Madras before he took the plane, he called his office in North India on the phone. To his great disappointment, he learned that the tax officers had visited his office for some enquiry. From there he sent word to me asking why this disturbance should come to him just after a visit to the Ashram. I explained in a letter that I had expected great things for him, but this incident shows even greater things await him. I continued, "Mother lays great importance on keeping accurate accounts, because that helps more money to flow in. Perhaps you can improve your accounting system. Only when greater things are in store and Mother wants the devotee to be better organised, such things happen."

Two years passed. He again visited us here in Pondicherry. This time the sadness on his face was not there. For him it was an important visit because a shipment of Rs.50,000 worth of goods sent to us had arrived in America all damaged due to poor packaging. We had earlier written to him about this. We sent our purchase officer to his factory to inspect the packaging. In spite of this, a lot of breakage took place. Om was disturbed at this happening and came here to settle the matter. He said to our friends, "I send shipments all over the world without the buyer's inspection and they are all right. Because your officer was there, I left it to his care. But this has happened and I am sorry. I offer to reimburse the entire Rs.50,000."

Om was not at all responsible. It was entirely the fault of our officer. This attitude of Om's cannot be seen anywhere in business. He had come 1500 miles to explain this to us and make this offer!  I am sure he is a rare individual. We owned the fault entirely and it was a job for our friends to refuse his return of money. He was firm. Now that he was firm, my friends came to me and told me. I went to meet him. He explained to me, "I was a successful businessman earning ten lakhs a year, but I lived the life of a businessman. Your member visited me. After that my business expanded very much. Now I believe great good has come to me after his visit. Therefore, I do not want him to suffer any loss from my shipment. Two years ago you said great things awaited me. All that has come true since then."

I was amazed at this young man, his gratitude, his attitude of friendliness to us, whom he knew very little of. This time I spoke to him at length and finally summed up, "It is excellent of you to return Rs.50,000 for the breakage. Truly it is not your fault. It will be equally nice if we do not accept the money. I shall accept your good will but please withdraw the offer of money."  He was happy and reconciled.

After he left I explained to my friends that Mother reaches devotees in the measure of their receptivity. Om's feelings of gratitude were noble. Surely Her blessings would reach him in a large measure, even if he did not actively think of Her.

Three more years passed. Now our friends in USA suddenly received a special order for Om's goods. After placing the order, another American friend visited him in his office. I give below the story he brought in Om's own words:

Om said, "I am very sorry your company in America does not buy much from me. My goods are in great demand. People from Holland, Australia, and America constantly come here for goods. They pay cash on delivery. They pay any price I ask. It is enough they get the goods. In your case, you buy rarely and in small quantities. I wish you constantly buy at least a small quantity to keep in touch. None of you ever come here, whereas every other buyer constantly comes here. I would like to sell to you. When I take your invoice and change the prices to ten percent lower, everyone in the office is intrigued. My son, who is now in business with me, often asks why I do that. I believe good things started coming to me in life ever since your friend first set foot into my factory. Later in Pondicherry I was told that great, unbelievable things awaited me. At that time, I could not imagine at all what those things could be. It has happened to me just now this year. My goods are made out of a special stone, which is not easily available. I spotted a very good source and applied for quarry license. To my great dismay Tata and Birla companies entered the competition. The license became a hot issue and went from one office to another. Finally the issue entered the courts and went up to the Supreme Court. Am I a match for these industrial giants?  I won, of course, after a great struggle and expense. I firmly believe I could win against these industrial houses only because I carried Mother's Blessings with me. To tell you the truth, I will earn a net income of one crore a year from these new mines allotted to me."

book | by Dr. Radut