A GENTLEMAN of modern education was once discussing with the Master the nature of householder uncontaminated by worldliness. To him, the Master said, “I know of what sort is your ‘uncontaminated family-man’ of the present day! If a poor brahmana comes to beg of this master of the house, he (being an uncontaminated family-man and having no concern with money matters, for it is his wife who manages all those things!) says to the begging brahmana, ‘Sir, I never touch money, why do you waste your time in begging of me?’ The brahmana, however, proves inexorable. Fired with his importunate entreaties your uncontaminated family-man thinks within himself that he must be paid a rupee, and tells him openly: ‘Well, sir, come tomorrow, I shall see what 1 can do for you.’ Then going in, this typical householder tells his wife, ‘Look here, my dear, a poor brahmana is in great distress; let us give him a rupee.’ Hearing the word ‘rupee’ his wife gets out of temper and says tauntingly, ‘Aha, what a generous fellow you are! Are rupees like leaves and straws to be thrown away without the least thought?” ‘Well, my dear,’ replies the master in an apologetic tone, ‘the brahmana is very poor and we should not give him less.’ ‘No’, says his wife, T cannot spare so much. Here is a two Anna bit; you can give that to him, if you like.’ As the Babu is a family-man quite uncontaminated by worldliness, he takes, of course, what his wife gives him, and next day the beggar gets only a two Anna piece.
So you see, your so-called uncontaminated family-men are really not masters of themselves. Because they do not look after their family-affairs, they think that they are good and holy men, while, as a matter of fact, they are hen-pecked husbands guided entirely by their wives, and so are but very poor specimens even of common humanity.” (27)