The story of My Life by Sri. Vethathiri Maharishi
Chapter 23 Service and Renunciation PART 2
Having thus understood clearly the nature of service, I came to the conclusion that if the world is to thrive and prosper in future, the best course would be for everyone to lead the life of a householder in a spirit of renunciation. From then onwards I organized all my material and mental resources and regulated my life in the light of this understanding. The following verse that I wrote at the time clearly portrays my feeling and intentions:- I have no recollections about my birth The hour of my death I know not; Nevertheless having my birth and my death Constantly in my mind, I go out into the wide world and play the game of life I gather the fruits of my labour In gold and silver and in all things precious. Abundant are my riches My cup of wealth overfloweth. I shall spend this wealth in ways beneficient to all; My giving shall always be in harmony with life’s music on Earth. And when the moment most propitious comes my way, I shall pour out all my riches And empty this cup of mine With a joyous abandon. A face lit up with the smile of benevolence.
And a total simplicity shall be my only wealth; And my home, the used to say: “Something seems to be wrong with your mood today, Well, we shall see about it later. Take two weeks time”. His endorsement on my paper said: “Please put up the file on 2nd February ’46. I got back to my seat. The file was sent to me for my information. I wrote. “Noted” on it, signed it and sent it back.
The hour was three in the afternoon. I got permission from my Superintendent to leave Office early.
Meantime, news of my resignation had spread throughout the Office. Everyone pressed round me, making inquiries. I felt very much embarrassed. “This is after all just a little altercation. And it has made you resign your job immediately. Have you any idea how much we are suffering at the hands of our Officers? Still, we sit tight”, said some of my more intimate friends to me. I took up a sheet of paper and wrote on it: How sad, how sad, the lot of men who are driven by necessity To serve under petty people who don’t care at all for honesty! The Rules devised by men of wisdom, these little in gods do not heed. The underlings regret their lot. They’ve got to stick on somehow indeed. Rules and regulations are drawn up by men of ripe judgment. But when such rules are enforced by fools, those who happen to serve under them have to pay. Can they afford to quit? By no means! They have to earn a livelihood. Things are topsy-turvy. Circumstances help men of poor caliber to attain positions of authority. Their success goes to their head. They give hell to those who are under their control. Not satisfied with teasing and persecuting such Assistants, they do not hesitate even to tarnish their Confidential Reports. This stands in the way of these poor folk obtaining promotions in their official career. Evildoers, however, cannot get away with it. The law of Cause and Effect is inexorable. Their evil will recoil on their own heads; then alone they might reform. I explained my stand to my close friends, went straight to the post office at Egmore, took up a postcard and applied for leave from that day, right up to 2nd February 1946. I did not attend Office the next day. The position is rather awkward for an Office when a leave letter closely follows a letter of resignation. The Officer’s hands were forced. I received an intimation that my resignation had been accepted with effect from 19th January 1946.