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35. Balaraman

Balaraman is a mirasdar living in his native village. He is devoted to the Mother. His entire family is devoted to Mother. His thoughts come to him as images; rather, he thinks in images. Whenever he meets me he used to describe the many visions he had. Some are of Mother and others are of life. I used to think the Rishi was in him. One day late in the evening he came out of his village house and he was struck by a vision whose immensity immobilized him. Standing on the edge of the road outside his house, he saw a huge light (Brahmanda jyothi). To his great surprise, it fragmented into a million bits of light that spread all over the world, and each bit lodged in one human being. He was overwhelmed by the vision, but by itself it explained nothing to him. The next morning the All India Radio announced that The Mother of the Ashram had attained Mahasamadhi and She had left her body at 7: 30 p.m. the previous day. This news and the time of Mother's departure immediately helped him understand his previous day's vision. It showed that Mother had not merely left the world but was enshrined in every human heart where a soul lodged.

A trader used to visit his house periodically to sell cloth, particularly sarees. This man was known for a long time to Balaraman. Once the trader brought his son, named Tirumoorthy, who was reading in PUC and introduced him, saying the son would continue his trade from then onwards. The son was attracted by the picture of Mother in Balaraman's house. After some time Tirumoorthy evinced greater interest in Balaraman as a devotee than as a customer. He became a devotee too and started visiting the Samadhi and attending Darshans. Tirumoorthy is one who sees visions very often. This common faculty brought Tirumoorthy and Balaraman nearer. Tirumoorthy was an ardent young man who desired to know everything about the Ashram, The Mother, Sri Aurobindo and yoga. He spent a few years listening to devotees, particularly to Balaraman, and avidly reading all available literature. He began to talk about Mother. Soon people found him talking only of Mother. A large contingent of young men gathered around him, feeling the same devotion to Mother.

Tirumoorthy brought people to the Ashram quite often. They were men and women, young and old, from far and near. People saw that he devoted his entire time with others speaking of Mother in great admiration and in utter devotion. God knows what happened to his business. Some felt Tirumoorthy had abandoned his business and devoted all his time to visiting the Ashram.

But the facts were different. His business multiplied several-fold. His standing in the profession rose considerably. He had by now earned a good bit of savings too. He shifted to Bangalore, collected a few lakhs of capital from friends and relatives, and started something like a wholesale business, supplying cloth to men like himself who sold in the villages. His income too rose considerably. Among his friends whom he brought to the Ashram were college students, traders and college lecturers.

Tirumoorthy was anxious to do service to Mother. When he came to know a devotee from Madras was sending rose flowers for the Samadhi on Darshan days, he too offered to send flowers from Bangalore. Mother had a special liking for good roses and white lotuses. Once Tirumoorthy came to know this, he started collecting the best available roses in Bangalore and carrying them himself to the Ashram one day prior to Darshan. These flowers were offered to Mother's room, Sri Aurobindo's room, Samadhi, mediation hall and other places of importance. Not content with this flower service, he bought lands in Pondicherry to cultivate flowers for the purpose of offering them to the Samadhi and Ashram. He once suggested he could bring a team of young people and offer service to Mother Estates during a cashew season. When his offer was accepted, he brought more people than the work required. Among the group was an M.A. who was unemployed.

This unemployed young man had applied to Canara Bank and UCO Bank for a clerk's post a year earlier. At that time he wrote a long letter to me explaining his position. He sent offerings to the Ashram and received the blessings. He was very well qualified, intelligent and stood every chance of being selected as a bank clerk. He used to write quite often, that is, at every stage of his application. He was very anxious and impatient. But he was selected by neither of the banks and was sorely disappointed. In cases like this there is always a hidden factor, a higher factor. Man has not learned to appreciate disappointments. How can a young man whose application for a clerkship was rejected console himself that it is all for good, and that, maybe, greater things awaited him because he is a devotee of Mother?  It goes against the grain. In this condition he too offered to come to Mother Estates for a brief period of service. There he met another young man who had just finished his B.Sc. and had come there for service like himself. On enquiry he learned that the man was preparing for the IAS examination. This put an idea into his own head, as he was an M.A. and was very intelligent.

On returning to his home, he waited for the IAS examination, preparing very thoroughly and with great care. He took the exam with confidence and passed it. This man, who had been sending me long letters the previous year during his hunt for a bank's clerk post, now started sending me telegrams announcing every stage of his progress. In the interview he was not selected. But this time he was not fully dejected or completely disappointed. He gathered courage and decided to seek a job better than that of a clerk in a bank.

The State Bank invited applications for the post of Agent. He applied for it and was easily selected. The last I heard of him was his telegram informing me of his selection and his joining duty.

book | by Dr. Radut