When I came to America, I did not have an overcoat. Sometimes I used a sweater. It was my first winter. I had never seen snow in my life. In those days the snow was so high! Nowadays there is not as much snow, but in 1964 and 1965, it was so high. I used to enjoy it so much, but it was so cold!
An Ashramite who was lame came to America. He came here for an operation, and luckily the operation was most successful. He stayed in New Jersey, and I went to see him there. I was so nice to him, and he was so nice to me. He liked me when I was in Pondicherry, but when he went home from America I heard that he found fault with me.
On the day that I visited him in New Jersey, I did not have a proper coat. I was standing at a bus stand at around eleven o’clock at night to go home. The cold was so severe. I could never imagine such cold in Pondicherry, which is such a warm place. My feet were suffering so much! Even when I came back home, I was shivering and shivering.
When I was waiting and waiting for the bus, the snow was so severe. I will never forget that experience. In front of a tree, all my problems started. I fell down so badly in the snow. Something went wrong. At that time I had no disciple-doctors — they had not yet been born in my life. I suffered so much, so much. I did not have the money to go to a doctor; I did not have anything. For about two years I suffered.
I had to go to Canada. On the plane I could not sit properly, because of my pain, so my body was slanting. In Canada, Gariyasi was talking to me and I was also talking. I stood against the wall. I did not have the heart to tell her that I was suffering so much. We were talking face-to-face, but I was leaning against the wall, standing there. My body was not functioning properly. I could not sit properly. Such pain! Sometimes while breathing in I got pain, and while breathing out I got pain. What was I going to do? I suffered so much when I fell down right at the foot of the tree.
Winter was unbearable, unbearable!
After five years I went to India. Can you imagine, that man invited me to come and see him! I remained above everything. I did not have the heart to mention that he had found fault with me. He sent his servant to bring me to his place, and I went to see him very nicely. Then he said to me, “When I came back to the Ashram after my visit to America, I said such nice things about you!”
On my birthday, the Mother used to send me a beautiful, beautiful card. I think it was the following year after I fell down, perhaps, that she sent me a card with her writing: “À Chinmoy, avec mes bénédictions,”2 in French. She wrote it beautifully. She also wrote, “Chinmoy, my love and I shall be with you wherever you are” — not “my heart,” but “my love and I shall be with you wherever you are.”