Money-power and concern-power

There was once a spiritual Master who had about sixty disciples. Even though most of the disciples were poor, every Monday they used to give a love-offering of money to their Master. Now it happened that on a certain Monday it was raining very heavily, and only three disciples came to the meeting in the Master's house.

The three disciples, who were all women, inwardly felt happy that they alone had been brave enough to come out in the heavy downpour. But outwardly they expressed sadness that there was not a good turnout. The Master, as usual, gave a most significant discourse. At the end, he told the three disciples, "I am glad that you have come. But even if nobody had come, still I would have given my discourse. The four walls, the door, the windows and the ceiling would have been my silent and grateful audience. Sometimes I feel that my disciples do not pay any attention to my talks anyway. They whisper and squirm during my speech and cough and clear their throats just to make noise. But my silent audience — the walls, door, windows and ceiling — has always shown me love and veneration."

"But Master, your silent audience cannot manifest your divinity," said one of the women. "It is we who can and will manifest your divinity."

"I am not so sure," said the Master. "No doubt you can manifest my divinity, but I am not so sure that you will."

Then the Master asked the three disciples to come up to him one by one for blessings. After he blessed the first disciple, Rekha, she said to him, "You do so much for me, for my inner life, for my soul. I have been giving you only one dollar a week as my love-offering. In spite of my best intentions, I cannot give you more. I am sorry that I am so poor." The Master gave her a soulful smile.

Then it was Shikha's turn. After being blessed by the Master, she gave him a twenty-dollar bill and said, "Master, I am so happy that today I am able to give you twenty dollars. Usually I am only able to give ten dollars."

The Master asked, "Are you only happy, or are you proud as well?"

Shikha said, "Master, I am a bit proud, too." The Master gave her a sad smile. Finally the Master blessed the third disciple, whose name was Lekha. After being blessed, Lekha gave the Master two hundred-dollar bills and said, "Master, I am so sorry, but even though I give you two hundred dollars every week, this money is not unconditionally given. Something within me wants to know, out of curiosity, what you do with my money, and I feel really miserable for that. Master, forgive me." The Master gave Lekha a compassionate smile.

Then Rekha said to the Master, "Master, will it ever be possible for me to give you more than one dollar a week? How I wish to give you ten dollars a week! I know you need money badly to run your spiritual mission. You have a few disciples who can afford to give you lots of money, but they think that you don't really need any more money. Each one thinks that since everyone else gives, he can be excused. After all, they think, the Master is not starving."

"My daughter, it is not how much you give me but how devotedly and how soulfully you give that is of paramount importance."

"I know that, Master, but if I could give you more money with the same kind of devotion, would it not be more useful for your divine manifestation?"

"That is true," said the Master, "but I wish to tell you that it is always advisable to be happy with what you have, and cheerful in giving the Master what you can afford to give devotedly and unconditionally."

Next Shikha said to the Master, "Master, you always tell us to be happy so that we can make faster progress, and I always try to be happy. I have given you twenty dollars with happiness. I am sorry I allowed a little pride to enter me, but since I gave you two divine things — money, which you can utilise for your Centre, and my happiness — can you not forgive my one undivine thing, my pride?"

The Master said, "If you give me even nine divine things and one undivine thing, I shall feel sorry and miserable. To get one undivine thing is to get a drop of poison, which can ruin the entire contents of a vessel of nectar. Because of your pride, I have given you a sad smile. I could have been totally indifferent to you, to your pride and your money-power, but my forgiveness wanted to illumine your ignorance."

The Master then said to the third disciple, Lekha, "Lekha, I am really proud of your sincerity. You want to know how you can be unconditional when you give me money. You have no pride. You are all sincerity. You have no cleverness, no tricks. Now I will tell you how you can give me money unconditionally. The moment you give me money, please feel that you have dropped your money while walking along the street. You have lost the money, and you have no idea who has found it."

"But Master, if I have that kind of feeling, then I will feel sorry for a while."

"You are right. You will be sorry for a while, but then you will forget about the loss, since you can do nothing about it. But, my dear Lekha, there is an even more effective way. Please feel that I am a multimillionaire, that I really do not need your money. Please feel that by giving this two hundred dollars every week, you are in no way helping me. Please feel that I do not need your money, but you give me the money because you get a sense of satisfaction. You get a sense of satisfaction that God has made you a chosen instrument to manifest the divinity that your Master embodies. If you feel this, you will be grateful to the Master for using your money to manifest the Divine on earth. When you consciously exercise your humility-power, you will easily be able to offer your money-power unconditionally to please me and to fulfil my divinity on earth."

Lekha said to the Master, "I have given you my money-power, and in return you have given me the power of liberation from the world of ignorance." Shikha said to the Master, "I have given you my pride-power, and in return you have given me forgiveness-power, which is the only power that can save and illumine my life."

Rekha said to the Master, "I have given you my incapacity-power, and in return you have given me your love-power and oneness-power. Master, your oneness-power has made my life a garland of gratitude, and this garland I place at your feet for your constant use."

The Master said to the three disciples, "My daughters, since you three have pleased me most satisfactorily according to your own standards, your own levels of consciousness, I am offering to each of you my most precious Concern-power. Take it from me according to your receptivity-capacity."

February 8, 1974