October 1998, I was driving Radhanath Swami to a distant suburb in Mumbai. On a traffic signal street urchins knocked on our windows begging us to give something. Radhanath Swami asked me “Do you have some rice puffs or pancakes to give to them?”
I replied in the negative as I did not have any food item to give.
In a gesture of cupping his arms he looked towards me and said “Give me some money” I was relieved thinking he would give the money to the beggars. I immediately put out some change into his hands.
Looking at me he said “Now you give this money to them”.
I complied and drove off from the signal.
But for the next 20 minutes Radhanath Swami was driving the point to me that I was not carrying any food item to give to the beggars. He said “ It is a very humiliating experience to be begging” and then lowering his voice further “ It is even more humiliating when you do not give”.
In a mood of instruction and pleading Radhanath Swami said “ You must carry some food item like pancakes, rice puffs, grain biscuits etc. And as a last resort you can give money but know well that money may get misused”
This instance remains etched in my mind and I confirm the presence of small food packets in my car even before I look for the keys.
Radhanath Swami has compassion towards one and all without any consideration of race, caste, age, sex, religion, country or even economic status.
– Ujwal Jajoo