“For God’s work, no Salary…”

Monday, July 3, 2000


In the morning, Swami gave Padanamaskar to the alumni who are going to Delhi for training to subsequently work in the Hospital. After the evening interviews, as Swami was coming to the Ganesh portico, Swami saw some students holding a card and a model of the chariot of Lord Jagannath. 

Swami : Oh! Orissa boys, Rath Yatra! (Rath Yatra is an Indian festival that involves transporting the deities on a chariot. The festival is very famous in the temple city of Puri in Odisha.) Yes, yes I know. (To one student) Hold the chariot properly or you will break it. In Puri, they make big chariots. It is a big festival.
The Rath Yatra at Puri in Odisha
Students : Swami, Padanamaskar.

Swami : Take. (To the birthday boys) Did you get wet? (Boys replied in the positive.) Papam (Poor thing), tomorrow morning, it is going to sprout on your heads!  
(Saying so, Swami materialised Vibhuti, gave it to the students and entered the interview room. After interview, Swami came out to the first block. An alumnus got up with Vibhuti packet to get it blessed.)

Alumnus : Swami, I want to make You happy.

Swami : I am always happy. (The conversation went on in Tamil.) 

Alumnus : Swami, I want Your blessing.

Swami : Why? (At the same time, Swami materialised Vibhuti and gave it to him.) 

Alumnus : Swami, Padanamaskar.

Swami : Chesko (Do). (While he was taking Padanamaskar, some coins and a key chain fell out of his pocket.) What is this? Room key! (Swami flipped the key playfully.) 

Alumnus : Yes, Swami. (Then Swami called Prof. Anil Kumar.) 

Swami : Tomorrow, do you have any work?

Prof. A. K. : No, Swami.

Swami : Do you have work in the Institute?

Prof. A. K. : Yes, Swami. 

Swami : Tomorrow you have to translate the speech for U.K. devotees.

Prof. A. K. : Yes, Swami.

Swami : (Turning to the U.K. devotee) He is telling that he has some work in the College and he cannot come.

Guest : Swami, this is also God’s work.

Swami : (Smiling) For God’s work, no salary; but for College work, he gets salary. (Then to a student near the Ganesh portico) I saw you roaming in Berhampur roads. Go to Berhampur.

Student : (Thinking that Swami is referring to his place) Swami, I am from Tamil Nadu.

Swami : Even in Tamil Nadu, Parampuram is there. (Swami was leaning on the lion.) I know, I know. (To Prof. Anil Kumar) Have you gone to Orrisa?

Prof. A. K. : Yes, Swami, I went.

Swami : (To the students holding the chariot card) Where do you celebrate this?

Students : Puri.

Swami : (Pointing to His stomach) Not this puri. Jagannath Puri!
(To Prof. Anil Kumar) Do you know where is Pashupati?

Prof. A. K. : No, Swami.

Swami : Dunnapotha, Neeku Yemi Telliyadu (Buffalo, you know nothing).

Prof. A. K. : I don’t know anything, Swami.

Swami : Pashupati is in Nepal. (To a School student) Who made this?

Student : Swami, I made this for You.

Swami : (Swami took the card in His hand and was seeing it) For Me?

Student : To bless all of us and guide us.

Swami : From where have you come?

Student : Delhi, Swami.

Swami : How do you know Telugu?

Student : Swami, my mother tongue is Telugu.

Swami : (Jokingly) What is your father tongue?

Student : Swami, Telugu.

Swami : Where is your father working?

Student : He is working in Delhi, Swami.

Swami : Let him work there. (Swami was pointing a mistake in the card.) What is this – ‘Mas’? (‘Has’ was looking like ‘Mas’.) (Showing the card to 

Prof. Anil Kumar, Swami asked) What is this?

Prof. A. K. : ‘Mas’, Swami, ‘Mas’.

Swami : That’s a mistake.

Prof. A. K. : For ‘H’ there is no Kommu (horn).

Swami : Dunnapotha. (To the student) You do not know how to write alphabets clearly.

Student : Sorry, Swami. Swami, father wants to start practice.

Swami : What practice?

Student : Swami, he is a lawyer.

Swami : There is no law and order nowadays.

Student : Even though it is like that Swami, he wants to start a practice.

Swami : (Materialsed Vibhuti for the student) Send it to your father.

Student : Swami, give me Padanamaskar.

Swami : Vibhuti might fall down.

The student bent and took Padanamaskar. When he got up, Swami took a paper from one teacher and told the student to put the Vibhuti into it. Some Vibhuti was still left in the palm of the student. Swami held the student’s hand and tapped his palm, collecting all the Vibhuti in the paper, packed it nicely and gave it to the student.

Student : Swami, tell me (for my father) when to start? Where to start?

Swami : Tell him to start practice in the Supreme Court.

Student : Swami, whenever You tell, he will set up practice.

Swami : Is he ready to set up now?

Student : I don’t know Swami.

Swami : Before August, it is very good.

Student : Swami, I want Saraswati Kataksha (Goddess Saraswati’s grace).

Swami : Nowadays, no one looks for Saraswati. (To Prof. Anil Kumar) See this fellow wants Saraswati Kataksha from Me.

Prof. A. K. : Swami, it is a good wish.

Swami : Saraswati Kataksha… Nobody looks for Saraswati. (Swami turned towards the students holding the card.) The model is made up of what material?

Students : Thermocol, Swami.

Swami : Do you have lots of thermocol in Hostel?

Students : Yes, Swami.

Swami : (To Prof. Anil Kumar) Do you know Berhampuram in Orissa?

Prof. A. K. : Yes, Swami. Very good organisation.

Swami : Where is Pashupati(nath)? (Nobody answered.) It is in Nepal, not in Orissa.
Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal
Students : Swami at Puri…

Swami : Not at Puri, tell Jagannath Puri. If you tell Puri, then where is potato? (Everybody laughs. Then Swami went near the teachers and asked a teacher) Daily you sit inside (Bhajan Hall). Today you are sitting here. Why?

Teacher : Just like that I sat here, Swami.

Swami : (To a foreigner devotee sitting behind the teacher) What is your name?

Devotee : Swami, Mark. (The devotee repeated his name twice to make it clear to Swami.)

Swami : Remark, remark. (To the students holding a card) Who did it?

Students : Brindavan students, Swami.

Swami : Brindavan students made, why you brought it? Why should you take their credit? Shameless!

Student : (Took another card) We made this one, Swami. (Swami smiled.)

Swami : (To another student) Go to Parampuram. Krishna is there.

Student : You are Krishna, Swami.

Swami : (Referring to Puri Jagannatha) That Krishna has no hands, legs, eyes and ears. He will not beat you. (To Warden, Dr. Siva Sankara Sai) Take all students back to Hostel. It may rain heavily after 6.00 pm.
Balabhadra, Subhadra and Krishna (Jagannath) Idols

Warden : Swami, without Bhajans, how can we leave?

Swami : Tell students to start Bhajans by 5.00 pm, otherwise when it rains, you will take students in big groups. (Swami called one Research Scholar from the Bhajan Hall and told him to start Bhajans by 5.00 pm. To a student) Gaana Gaata Hai? (Do you sing Bhajans?)

Student : Yes, Swami.

Swami : (Shaking His head) Yes, Bhajan or Bhojan (food)? (To another student) Today it is going to rain, so Bhajans will be early. (Seeing a Samiti invitation card in a student’s hands) Vellore?

Student : Yes, Swami, please come to Vellore.

Swami : Manchidi, Manchidi (Good, good). (Coming back, Swami asked a student) What is the meaning of ‘Manchidi’?

Student : Swami, ‘Manchi’ means good. ‘Manchidi’ means very good.

Swami : ‘Manchi’ and ‘Manchidi’ mean the same – good and not very good.


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