Someone asked me about people charging money for the natural state. It was refreshing to have the question put so directly. “Do you think that people who have attained the natural state do not sell their “spiritual” power in order to have an income? Actually I have strong indication that many of them do it. They sell books and they give seminars. So, what is the difference they have with U.G, considering that they also live in the natural state?”
I don’t know that anyone is in a state natural or otherwise. I certainly won’t be inclined to believe them if they tell me they are. The question was a refresher. I forget things about UG which I take for granted. Of course, firstly there was the way he kept the audience around him so small by simply refusing to engage in self-promotion of any kind. Who does that? Especially in the spiritual community where so many people have a genuine spiritual awakening and the first thing they do is to rush out to ‘share it with the world’. Of course this sharing usually starts with them charging money for the privilege. So what is the difference between a spiritual awakening and a job change? So what was wrong with UG?
There was a quiet Italian couple who offered the use of their apartment to him when he visited Italy. He started to visit them, staying in their place for the next few years. The couple sincerely wanted to spend time with him and that seemed to be the only prerequisite. On the other hand there was one wealthy person who wanted him to visit, but they were always changing their mind, so he would go, have a coffee, then make excuses and leave after about 10 minutes. This happened over and over. When once the Italian man asked UG why he moved around the globe so much, UG gave his standard answer about migrating birds, then at the end of the visit the man invited UG to his home. “I will come for her sake and not yours!” he said, smiling and indicating the man’s wife, who was too shy to talk to him. “I knew then the reason for his moving around the globe.”
There was Major, who UG would stay with in a remote hill station Farmhouse. UG rented it on the spot when Major showed it to him, paying the deposit on a four year rental himself. Then the Major was directed to stay there and keep his own satsang. Was UG driven to this place, with this person for personal gain? There was a young woman in Palm Springs with who UG stayed with for several years while she got her professional life together after years of living on the edge as a seeker. He saw to it that she started small but gradually she developed her own business and was soon enough on her own too feet. The only prerequisite for UG’s company was total devotion. In each instance there are details of the person’s story that indicate that UG simply could not refuse a person if they sincerely wanted to spend time with him.
Then there is the story of the original appearance of “The Mystique of Enlightenment”. Two years after ten thousand rupees had been given to a publisher to print the book, UG was asking what ever happened to it. The fellow responsible said, “I am going to publish it immediately!” Indeed, he soon held a press conference and there sat the brand new copies of “The Mysitque of Enlightenment” with a nicely decorated cover. The press was in full attendance and the book was released and discussed. I wish I could get my hands on that first edition of “Mysitque” where his real teachings were present in all their pristine purity! Nevermind the fact that there were no words printed on the pages!
UG loved these sorts of people, the ones who took him for granted, or dismissed him as a charlatan. Often they would be celebrated in his company while the rest of us squirmed. A good friend told me the story of a holy man who was supposed to come for lunch one day. UG prepared a nice lunch and the fellow never showed up. He and his friend waited and waited all afternoon for the man to come. Alas, the following day he called with some lame excuse and rescheduled his visit. UG gracefully complied and again a lunch was preparded. This time the fellow showed up, but a few hours late. His friend was incensed after the man left but UG comforted him. “You don’t understand sir, he is not an ordinary person like you and I. He is a holy man!” and there ended the story.
If any of this seems baffling and contradictary, it should. UG was not the usual sort of fellow in any field. He bashed all the rules but never broke the law. He assured people they would get nothing from him, while spending the bulk of his time talking freely to whomever would come to his doorstep. In his own words UG was a ‘complete and total failure’, since, “My words have failed to hit you” … but the result was not his concern. That was left up to those who were attracted to him, but mostly to life itself, (if there is a difference).