CHAPTER – 20
We had never had it so good before in our lungi business. Profits increased by leaps and bounds. I found it a bother to have our yarn taken elsewhere for dyeing. So I started a dye works of my own.
Freedom from want had been one of my ideals. My poverty had vanished and I had an income that far exceeded my needs. Lungi sales now touched a hundred and twenty-five thousand rupees a month.
I myself had obtained relief from poverty. True, but what about the millions of people who continued to be sunk in squalor? I pondered over this day and night.
The first thing to be done was to better the condition of the weavers whom I employed. This was something which
I myself should do and which was within my power. So I was generous in the matter of wages. Then, year after year, I gave them a bonus of 25% out of the annual profit. A gift of fifteen rupees for each childbirth, and of twenty-five rupees for the death of a parent, became the rule.
I formulated a policy regarding production and sales as set forth in the lines that follow:
Experience and skill acquired over the years by me in that most blameless service of clothing humanity should enable me to turn out fabrics of quality Some types to be worn in summer, some fit for winter. The price should be low. The warp and woof should match – agree: The weaving should be even, length and breadth be free From slips and mistakes. For manual laborers too the rate should be The same as fixed for those in prosperity. And those who do in sales give cooperation fair And those who concentrate their mind with care, And labor at this creative art should find that rare Happiness of matching wages. Brethren too in the trade I should not scare with the loss. I should rejoice to see what my discerning customers wear. I conducted my business according to such principles.
MY THIRD TEACHER
It was at about this time that an adept man of the name Paranjothi founded a Society in Madras for the benefit of Seekers of Truth. A friend explained to me his particular mode of initiation.
I went there immediately, made certain inquiries and enrolled myself. The initiation procedure explained to me was of Kundalini Yoga. The Master’s one unique specialty was Shanti Yoga.
I had my initiation in the prescribed form. I started practicing yoga, devoting my best thought to it at the time I got trained I found it quite agreeable. I watched the results, combining it with what I had already known because of philsophical analysis and meditation.
A good many kind souls used to come there.Several among them became my friends. This society founded by Swami Paranjothi, that went by the name of Temple of Universal Peace, was helpful, both for expounding my own views and doctrines and congregational practice of yoga and meditation.
Life is ever full of tangles. Is not the binding together of body and life itself a tangle? All other conflicts issue from this.
The man reaches the end of all such conflicts when life departs from the body. This concerns him. When he is a limb of society, these conflicts proliferate and entwine the lives of others.
When a man dies, his conflicts cease; but those who have been associated with him are then faced with new conflicts. Man is seldom immune. But it is not in his nature to rest even them. He will create conflicts where there were none and suffer in consequence. Only practical philosophers, who have attained a certain degree of self-realisation, remain exempt.
Of the problems that man faces, some are due to the very way he is made, physically. Hunger, variations in temperature and the pressure of excretory forces are examples of this. Normal health, the strength of limbs and discretion or forethought help solve these problems. When man forgets himself and yields to the pull of the senses, he is beset with problems for which his own imprudence is the significance of that state then, but only several years later I did. Mine was a blameless life. I was pure in thought and deed. Whatever I did was in keeping with the highest standards of virtue and rectitude. From childhood onwards, my ambition was to realize God and to attain salvation. So my link with life, as such, snapped. When I got the elucidation later, that continuity of the species depends upon the passing on of the seed, I ceased to regret the lack of children.