Mantu gives away my harmoniums1

I used to buy harmoniums for my family. Three harmoniums my brother Mantu gave away!

The first harmonium Mantu gave away because somebody had an excellent singing voice, so Mantu felt that he deserved it. He came of a very poor family, and he could not afford a harmonium, so Mantu gave it to him. The second time, somebody had an excellent singing voice and he did not come from a poor family, but my brother felt that he needed a harmonium.

On the third occasion, Mantu gave a harmonium to somebody who had scored higher marks and transcended my record in the decathlon. He also had a good singing voice, and he did not have a harmonium. My brother gave the third harmonium to that fellow who had defeated me!

When I was doing sports, all the worries and anxieties fell upon my Mantu. On my sports day he had absolutely no peace of mind. On this occasion Mantu was so happy, not because that fellow had transcended my performance, but because he saw that the ashramites were progressing. When people progressed, whether it was his brother or somebody else, Mantu got such joy.

The third harmonium that Mantu gave away was really an excellent one. When Mantu told me, “He defeated you,” I said, “You suffered so much on my sports days!”

Mantu replied, “I want progress.” Our philosophy my brother was teaching me! “You want progress, you want progress. This fellow has done much better than you in the decathlon, so he deserves the third harmonium.”

I could not believe it! Mantu was giving me a lecture on progress, and he was the one who used to worry so much during my sports competitions.

During one of my visits, an ashramite said to me, “I taught you how to play the harmonium.” He taught me a quite a few songs — twenty or thirty, or even more. He said, “Now you have to give me absolutely the best harmonium available in Calcutta — the very best!”

I said that I would soon be leaving, so I gave him the money. The very best harmonium, according to him, he bought for himself.

We were like members of the same family, that gentleman and I. He had nobody. When he passed away, naturally the harmonium would come back to our family. But somebody took the harmonium away. My brother Mantu did not have the inclination to get it back. He said, “Since somebody has taken it, perhaps that person needed it.”

Somebody who was jealous of the person who had taken the harmonium away came to my brother and said, “Now take it back! You must get the harmonium.”

Mantu said, “It is too late. I cannot do this.”

So that man went and fought with the man who had taken the harmonium. He brought the harmonium back to my brother, because he was jealous of the person who had taken it away.

Again, the very best harmonium went to the person who had defeated me in the decathlon.

This is my brother Mantu!


  1. HCE 17. 26 March 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York