An amusing anecdoteThe funniest thing happened at the synagogue when I went to give my first talk on Hinduism. My Bholanath took me there. Bholanath was extremely dear to me and he used to drive me everywhere.
Bholanath happens to be Jewish. His Western name is Clyde Weinmann. As soon as the Rabbi saw him, he asked Bholanath, “So, you are his disciple?”
Bholanath replied, “Oh no, I am not his disciple. I am only the driver. I just drove him here.”
Inwardly I laughed and laughed. In fact, Bholanath was the one who was my most devoted disciple! By that time, he had openly told me that he was my disciple. One evening we were at the 14th Street subway station together. I was seeing Bholanath off. All of a sudden, he came out of the train and embraced me in front of thousands of people. He said that while he was standing inside the car, he saw my soul. I was so deeply moved. After that experience, he used to tell me, “I am your first authentic disciple.” I first met Bholanath on the fourth or fifth day after my arrival in New York at my sponsor’s place. Then he became my real disciple, so devoted. But on this occasion at the synagogue, when he saw the Rabbi, he changed. He said, “I am only the driver.”
After the talk, when we were leaving, I said to him, “So, you have become my driver!”
Bholanath said, “I am always your disciple, but I am afraid of my father. He knows this Rabbi and the Rabbi may tell him about you. Then my father will scold me, saying that I have given up my religion.”
I said, “You do not have to give up your religion. Your heart is your religion.”
Bholanath was so good to me in millions of ways. He used to take me everywhere. And I used to spend hours and hours with him on the telephone. I gave him the name Bholanath, which means “The Lord Shiva, who is all the time self-enraptured in his highest Divinity, Peace, Bliss and Power.”