The Story of My Life  by Sri. Vethathiri Maharishi CHAPTER 23 Service and Renunciation PART 2

Updated : Sep 04, 2019 in Articles

The Story of My Life by Sri. Vethathiri Maharishi CHAPTER 23 Service and Renunciation PART 2


Story of My Life by Sri. Vethathiri Maharishi
Chapter 23 Service and Renunciation PART 2 Having thus understood clearly the nature
of service, I came to the conclusion that if the world is to thrive and prosper in future,
the best course would be for everyone to lead the life of a house holder in a spirit of
renunciation. From then onwards I organised all my material
and mental resources and regulated my life in the light of this understanding. The following verse that I wrote at the time
clearly portrays my feeling and intentions:- I have no recollections about my birth The
hour of my death I know not; Nevertheless having my birth and my death Constantly in
my mind, I go out into the wide world and play the game of life I gather the fruits
of my labour In gold and silver and in all things precious. Abundant are my riches My cup of wealth overfloweth. I shall spend this wealth in ways beneficient
to all; My giving shall always be in harmony with life’s music on Earth. And when the moment most propitious comes
my way, I shall pour out all my riches And empty this cup of mine With a joyous abandon. A face lit up with the smile of benevolence And a total simplicity, shall be my only wealth;
And my home, the One and Eternal Space. When I realised this wonder within me This
indwelling of the Self in the market place of life I knew the meaning of it all; It was
the home coming – The Renunciation. I made a good deal of money in my lungi business. It kept expanding futher. So it was not necessary for me to go on working
in the Government Office. I decided to give up this job. Something happened on 18th January 1946. I was then serving as Assistant to the Cashier. He went on leave and they appointed another
man in his place. This man asked me to do something that would
not be in conformity with the rules. I refused. He flew into a rage. “You must obey my orders”, he shouted. I laid my pen on the table. “What are you saying, please?”, I said, looking
him in the face. He repeated, “You Must obey my orders”. “If they are wrong?” “Even then you should obey, whatever it may
be. The responsibility is mine”. I picked up a sheet of paper, wrote as follows,
signed it, and handed it to the Supervisor of the Section. Sir, I have been serving in your Office for the
past thirteen years. This bond of service is of my own seeking;
I have made up my mind to server it and set myself free. With great pleasure therefore, I resign my
post here with effect from this very minute. Yours faithfully, Vethathiri. The Supervisor spoke to me with deep affection. “What exactly has happened? Why should you give up a Government job? If you have any complaint, I shall myself
set it right”, he said. I answered, “I am taking up lungi business. I cannot carry on, with what I am paid here. That is why I resign. Please have this resignation letter submitted
to the Head of the Office”. With great reluctance he did so. That Officer knew me personally. He was shocked to see that letter of resignation. He sent for me. I stepped into his room. “What is it, Vethathiri?”, he asked, “What
exactly has gone wrong?” ‘I have started lungi business, Sir. It is prospering well. If I attend to it full time, I can improve
it. My prospects for the future will be brighter”. He took out of his drawer a letter and gave
it to me to read. I was really surprised to learn what it contained. It was an order of exemption from the operation
of rules regarding educational qualification. In the normal course,I stood disqualified
from promotion because I had no schooling, let alone a University Degree. But my case and been strongly recommended
and the necessary exemption had been obtained from the authorities in New Delhi. The order also stated that I should be promoted
and that the promotion given should be a permanent one. The Officer was kindness itself as he said,
“Vethathiri! You have won the goodwill of all the Superintendents
here. This is why exemption from the prescribed
educational qualification has been granted in your case. You can better your prospects even in this
Office by your own efforts. Please withdraw your resignation”. My decision, however, was final. I told him so. Even then he was pleased to say: “Something
seems to be wrong with your mood today, Well, we shall see about it later. Take two weeks time”. His endorsement on my paper said: “Please
put up the file on 2nd February ’46. I got back to my seat. The file was sent to me for my information. I wrote. “Noted” on it, signed it and sent it back. The hour was three in the afternoon. I got permission from my Superintendent to
leave Office early. Meantime, news of my resignation had spread
throughout the Office. Everyone pressed round me, making enquiries. I felt very much embarrassed. “This is after all just a little altercation. And it has made you resign your job immeditely. Have you any idea how much we are suffering
at the hands of our Officers? Still we sit tight”, said some of my more
intimate friends to me. I took up a sheet of paper and wrote on it
: How sad, how sad, the lot of men who are driven by necessity To serve under petty people
who don’t care at all for honesty! The Rules devised by men of wisdom, these
little in gods do not heed. The underlings regret their lot. They’ve got to stick on some how indeed. Rules and regulations are drawn up by men
of ripe judgement. But when such rules are enforced by fools,
those who happen to serve under them have to pay. Can they afford to quit? By no means! They have to earn a livelihood. Things are topsy-turvy. Circumstances help men of poor calibre to
attain positions of authority. Their success goes to their head. They give hell to those who are under their
control. Not satisfied with teasing and persecuting
such Assistants, they do not hesitate even to tarnish their Confidential Reports. This stands in the way of these poor folk
obtaining promotions in their official carrer. Evil doers, however, cannot get away with
it. The law of Cause and Effect is inexorable. Their evil will recoil on their own heads;
and then alone they might reform. I explained my stand to my close friends,
went straight to the post office at Egmore, took up a post card and applied for leave
from that day, right up to 2nd February 1946. I did not attend Office the next day. The position is rather awkward for an Office
when a leave letter closely follows a letter of resignation. The Officer’s hands were forced. I received an intimation that my resignation
had been accepted with effect from 19th January 1946.

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