Who is a seeker ?

Once offered a seeker should not think about the same.

Several devotees after offering something to a saint, or to a senior seeker expect that they should use it themselves. Why do we offer something?  By offering that object, our attachment towards that it is destroyed and this is the reason why we make an offering.  Once we offer a thing to someone and keep thinking how that person would have used that object, or whether the person to whom it was offered would have used it or not, it does not destroy our attachment. When we put Rs. 10 into the donation box in a temple, we do not think what thing would have been bought for the temple, thus it is known as an offering.

I will share an interesting incident in this context.

In the year 2001, I used to do Dharma Prasar Seva in five districts of Uttar Pradesh – Kanpur, Lucknow, Sultanpur, Prayag and Pratapgarh.  The same year, once during winters I had excessive cough and reached Kanpur in the same condition.   I used to stay at the house of a seeker there, who lived in a joint family.  Looking at my cough, the mother of the household gave me a woollen scarf and said, “I have got this from Chandigarh, do not give it to anyone, wrap it around yourself, you keep roaming here and there during winters, that is why the cough is not getting cured.  This will provide protection to your throat from cold.”   That scarf was really somewhat different, as it used to cover up both the ears, as well as the throat completely.  I declined to accept it initially, but when she insisted, I accepted it and wore it before her.  I used to call her Maa (mother), she had a lot of affection for me; though she was strict by nature, her behaviour towards me used to be full of  affection.  She usually would tell her daughters-in-law not to do Sadhana; but used to love me a lot, this behaviour of hers was a bit strange because she suffered from problems caused by negative energies, which is why she used to oppose her daughters-in-law doing Sadhana, but she would never find anything in me to oppose; thus, she used to have affection for me and would ask me to sleep by her side.   As soon as she came to know that I like fruits, the day I was to reach Kanpur, she would herself go to the market to get fruits of my choice and would cut the fruits and wait for me eagerly.  Her daughters-in-law used to smile within themselves at this behaviour of hers.  Whenever I would take a Satsang (session of pious company) somewhere else, she would find some excuse and create strife in the family and that is why the daughters-in-law would not be able to attend the Satsang.  Thus, I started the Satsang at their house itself, in which she too used to be present too, but would fall asleep within a short span of time.  Those who suffer from spiritual problems go off to sleep, as they are not able to endure the Chaitanya being emitted during the Satsang.

The same week that she had given me the scarf, I had to go to Prayag and there, upon seeing a seeker who had come from Maharashtra, who was also coughing badly, I gave the same scarf to her, as she was not in a sound financial condition to get woollen clothing for her and was not able to withstand the intense cold of North India. The next week when I returned to Kanpur, the condition of my cough was the same as before.   Negative energies have always caused extreme problems for my throat since my childhood.   The mother, seeing some other scarf around my neck asked me, “Where is the scarf that I had given you?” I was well aware of her angry disposition and I did not want to tell a lie too; so I kept quiet and did not reply.   She said, “I know you very well, you are of a giving nature, you surely must have given it to somebody, you did not even think that I had given it to you and that you needed it.  Had I known that you would give it to someone else, I would never have given it to you.  I did not even give it to my grand-daughters and seeing you coughing, gave it to you and you did not wear it even for a week and gave it to someone else.”  She was annoyed at this audacity of mine.  I kept listening quietly to the scolding, with my head bowed.  I knew this much that it was her love. I could not even tell her that someone else required it more than me.  She told me that she wanted to see the same scarf back around my neck next week.  I nodded in agreement, it was only then that her anger subsided to some extent.  The same day the topic that I took in my Satsang was that one who does not think about an object after one has offered it is called a seeker; but she appeared to be least interested in the topic.  The next week when I went to Prayag, that seeker expressed her gratitude, for her cough had died down a bit.  Out of sheer hesitation, I could not ask her to return the scarf.  On my return to Kanpur, the mother enquired about the scarf. Feeling scared, I told her that I have given it to a seeker and in anger, she turned her back towards me.  I somehow brought her around and sought an apology from her.  The following week when I was leaving their house, she again gave me a similar scarf and wrapping it around my neck said, “Don’t give it away to anyone this time.”  I tried to decline taking it, but she would not listen and I did not have the courage to say no to her love and out of sheer fear, I have kept it in safe custody even today.  She has passed away last year and when I heard about her demise, I recollected her affection and her scolding.-Tanuja Thakur

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