But The Crowd, Seeing Him So Unusually Quiet
And Silent, All At Once Imagined That His Soul, Abandoning Him In
This Prostration, Entered The Reeds - That Had Just Begun To Sing
Their Fantastical Rhap-Sody - And Was Now Conversing With The Gods
Through The Bamboos.
Many a pious man in this gathering, anxious
to show the teacher in what fulness they grasped his teaching and
how deep was their respect for him personally, knelt down before
the singing reeds and performed a most ardent puja.
"What did the Swami say to that?"
"He did not say anything.... Your question shows that you don't
know our Swami yet," laughed the Babu. "He simply jumped to his
feet, and, uprooting the first sacred reed on his way, gave such
a lively European bakshish (thrashing) to the pious puja-makers,
that they instantly took to their heels. The Swami ran after them
for a whole mile, giving it hot to everyone in his way. He is
wonderfully strong is our Swami, and no friend to useless talk, I
can tell you."
"But it seems to me," said the colonel, "that that is not the right
way to convert crowds. Dispersing and frightening is not converting."
"Not a bit of it. The masses of our nation require peculiar treatment....
Let me tell you the end of this story. Disappointed with the effect
of his teachings on the inhabitants of Dehra-Dun, Dayanand Saraswati
went to Patna, some thirty-five or forty miles from there.
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