This is the story of how I stopped drinking tea and coffee. What happened is this: in June 1999 I was returning home from Pondicherry, where I had been visiting my brother Mantu. When I opened the door of the V.I.P. lounge in the Bombay Airport, I clearly saw my sister Lily there, right in front of me. As you know, she left the body on May 16th, just two weeks before. She said to me, “Come inside and sit down.”
So I took my seat. My legs were stretched out in front of me and I was quite comfortable. I was passing the time reading and drinking coffee. Then I saw my sister on my right side. I was seeing her very clearly. She was chatting with me in the inner world. All of a sudden, we were joined by my sister Ahana, who passed away in July 1950, just a few months before Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo left his body in December of that year.
Ahana is the sister who taught me my childhood songs and about whom I always tell one famous story. Once I was quite upset with my family and I refused to eat supper. So I went to bed and pretended to be asleep. Ahana came and told me that only great singers can sing while they are asleep. I wanted to prove that I was a great singer, so I started singing. Then I was caught! She carried me off to eat my supper. She died at the age of twenty-four or twenty-five and she is still in the soul’s world.
Anyway, this sister came out of the blue and started massaging my head so affectionately while Lily was talking. One soul was chatting with me, another soul was massaging me. Can you imagine? Perhaps you will call it my mental hallucination.
Why was Ahana massaging my head? When my plane arrived in India a few days earlier, two videotapes fell from the overhead compartment onto my head. Ahana was telling me that she was observing inwardly when this occurred. She said, “I was so shocked!” She was so affectionately massaging my head where the videotapes had struck it. We were talking and she was narrating various childhood incidents.
Then she stood in front of me and began begging and pleading with me. She said, “Madal, please tell me that you will never again drink tea and coffee — never! I have not made any request to you in the past. My only request to you is this: never touch tea, never touch coffee! They are not good for you.”
I looked at her and said, “Now that you are not in the land of the living, I will listen to you. Since you are begging me, I will never, never touch tea or coffee again. But had you been on earth and if you had made this request, I would have taken double the quantity!”
I never listened to my sisters! Any desire they had for me was not fulfilled. In fact, I did diametrically the opposite thing!
Since that experience, which was so vivid, I have become a saint! I have given up drinking tea and coffee. I am still keeping my promise. How obedient I am to my sister Ahana! So many times people have begged me to take just a little tea, but I said I will never touch tea and coffee again and I have to take my promise seriously. My promise is my promise. When you make a solemn promise, specially to your dear ones, you have to keep it.