B. N. Datar, a famous philosopher, was based in Hubli, Karnataka. He has written books for the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.
During my 16 or 17 annual visits to the Ashram, I was generally a silent, though an observing member of the group of devotees that used to assemble to seek blessings from Bhagavan. I was, in particular, very keen on observing the attitude of various disciples towards Bhagavan and his response to them in his inimitable way.
Once a spiritual seeker from the West, highly perturbed over the then darkening clouds ofthe international situation (sometime before World War II) came to the hall in a challenging and quarrelsome mood. He almost took Bhagavan to task “for wasting his time and energies in a secluded corner of the earth, and not taking active steps to turn the world’s attention from the ways of the devil to those of the divine.“
His rebellious mood struck us dumb in the hall. He demanded an immediate answer from Bhagavan, who quietly told him that he would have it, and remained quiet without saying anything further. We were all sitting anxiously in the tense atmosphere when, after half an hour, quite suddenly, the questioner broke the silence by exclaiming that he had got the answer. Bhagavan asked him to write it. He did so, and when it was read out it breathed a sense of complete submission to Bhagavan. He confessed in the writing that Bhagavan was serving the best interests of mankind in his own unobtrusive and silent ways, and that what was required from a seeker was not a mood of challenge but one of submission to the higher forces, which were working in their own inscrutable ways through great sages like the Saint of Arunachala. The questioner, from that time onwards, became one of the gentlest of Bhagavan’s devotees.
A few days before Bhagavan left this world, All India Radio at Dharwar had requested me to broadcast a short talk on the great personages that had influenced my life. I chose to speak on Bhagavan; my speech to be broadcast on a date to be fixed later. As destiny would have it, it was fixed for April 14, 1950, between 7.30 and 7.45 p.m. I went to Dharwar and gave the talk, and thus had the good fortune of broadcasting to the world my tributes just one hour before Bhagavan departed from this world. I treat this as the highest blessing from Bhagavan, and the greatest treasure of my life.
Even though Bhagavan is not with us in human form, I have never felt his absence because he is living in my house and before my eyes wherever I go. I experience that he is guiding every action of mine at every moment of my life.