Recollections during Dharmaprasar

Dear friends, in this article I would like to present some interesting and heart-warming incidents experienced during the seva of dharmprasar (service of propagation of ‘Dharm’). I hope that these incidents will surely offer some lessons for all of you too.
The year was 1999. I was then doing service in a district in Jharkhand. One day, I had gone to a lady seeker’s house ,a person came to meet her. After talking to him for a while, I realized that he had the potential to do spiritual practice and also could help me in my work of rendering service in the propagation of ‘Dharm’. However, as he had to go for some important work, we could not talk much on the issue. He too liked conversing with me and wanted to know more things from me about spirituality. I used to live alone in a flat and used to call it ‘Seva Kendra’ (Service Centre). Our ‘Seva Kendra’ was nearby and he too wanted that we should discuss the issue of spirituality at night. The lady seeker said, “He is a close friend of my husband and every night we meet and talk. You come at that time and I will send you to the ‘Seva Kendra’ along with my servant after the meeting.”
It was a colony inhabited by millionaires, all these people lived in this colony. I reached at night and all of them heard me out nicely and also posed good questions. The seeker whom I had met in the morning had a Guru too and he also narrated some memoirs about his Guru. They also liked the issues, discussed by me and also extended an invitation to come again the following night. As I had to go to another city for propagation of dharma, I had to hand over the activities of that city to an able seeker and I could see the qualities in these four persons. So I decided to go again the next day. When I reached the next day, they casually said, “Tanuja ji, though we don’t like to do drink in the presence of saints and seekers but you are quite young, compared to us (all of them were in their fifties and me in twenties) and you have been doing spiritual practice for only two years, so if you do not mind, can we take some “drinks”? I was in a fix, I was neither able to say “Yes”, nor was I able to clearly say “No”. That day they had called me over to introduce few of their friends and all of them were asking questions related to spirituality in between sips of the drink. Since my childhood, I had an intense dislike for those who drank wine and smoked cigarettes and I also could not stand its foul odour. I could smell imported wine, but I somehow endured it all and returned only after clearing all their doubts and pledged to never return to their place and I was also a bit annoyed with all of them. The next day early in the morning there was a telephone call that all their friends really liked the conversation and they were planning to hold my discourses at several places in the city. I just maintained my silence and just heard the messege they conveyed. I had decided, “Let them organize discourses, or even do spiritual practice in future, I will not visit them any more.”
At eight in the morning I switched on a television channel to watch the news, when I came across a saint’s discourse. He was saying, “One has to wade into the quagmire to pluck a lotus.” I had tears in my eyes, within my heart, I told my Shree Guru, “I know, they will do spiritual practice in future, but I cannot tolerate the odour of liquor, what should I do?” The saint went on, “If one is afraid of quagmire, then how can one get the lotus?” I understood God’s signal. In the evening, messages came through servants and phone calls started coming . I went there with a heavy heart, several friends were there along with their wives and the environment was the same. I answered all their doubts and all of them promised to start spiritual practice gladly.
Today, after a decade, three of them have been regularly doing spirutal practice under my guru’s guidance, only difference being that the ‘Bar’ (a special corner to keep liquor) in their living room has been replaced by our Shree Guru’s picture !! After one year, two of the seekers apologized to me, saying ‘You had come to tell us about spiritual practice and we drank wine in front of you. Please forgive us.’ I excused them, but actually it was a test for me and by my Guru’s grace, I could qualify it. I am grateful to God that after that city, He did not recreate the same situation again.

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