Whenever I meet a person what I particularly observe is, how far he is happy. Perhaps you, too, do the same, only the criteria differ. Your test is his wealth, learning public esteem, and suchlike. People prefer the rich, I prefer the poor; people honour the learned and the scholar, while my preference is for the simple unlettered. My preference is poles asunder from the worldly man’s. That is why I enjoy contentment which other people lack. I searched deep to find wherein contentment can reside, and found it only in God. So I like to live in the house which is replete with contentment. Being contentment in and out, I find it difficult to live with one who calls himself mine but is discontented. All that I expect of you is that you should live in contentment, as I do.
To this day, I have meticulously observed one vow: I never hurt anyone’s heart or feelings. This I could do because I have never lapsed into forgetting nama. After all, I am a destitute by worldly standards : I have neither scholarship, nor art, nor wealth. And yet people seem to want me, find support in me; and this is solely because I love everyone selflessly, guilelessly, whole-heartedly.
I know fully well the way of the world, and therefore, I have never worried about what people say or feel about me; I have only taken pains to see what I should say to each person in his own interest. That you people come repeatedly to hear me speak may be due to one of three reasons. First, I may not have been clear and precise enough; second, you may not have understood me correctly; and third, you may be forgetting what I say.
I expect you to talk with me with the same open-heartedness that you would have with a member of your family. In any case, I always say to a person what I feel will be wholesome for him. I feel sure that he will profit if he follows my advice; by ‘profit’, however, I do not mean an apparent improvement in his worldly life, but something conducive to contentedness in the circumstances as they exist.
It is my mission in life to create in the listener’s mind a relish for nama. Whoever comes to meet me, I ensure that he will take to nama sooner or later.
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