“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Keshav Bhat, a pious brahmin, wishes to travel to Dwarka, but fears carrying rupees through the robber-infested countryside. “When the Lord of the world,” it is said, “sees His bhaktas in distress, He rushes to their help.” Responding to Keshav Bhat’s prayer, Krishna guides him to Narsi Meheta, a man outwardly poor and living in humble circumstances, and yet inwardly rich in devotion to Krishna. Narsi is so perfected in non-attachment that he sees Krishna alone as the true possessor of all that he has, all that comes his way.
Gladly Narsi Meheta receives Keshav Bhat’s 700 rupees, gladly he writes in exchange a check made out to a denizen of Dwarka named Savalasa, whom Narsi describes as a merchant to such great devotees as Byasa, Valmiki, Namdev, and Kabir. Together with the check Narsi includes a letter to Krishna: “O Krishna,” he writes, “I have received 700 rupees from Keshav Bhat. Because I trust in Thee to reimburse him I have written this check on Thee, although Thou art the unmanifested and the unconquered.”
Keshav Bhat watches in mingled reverence and anxiety as Narsi invites saints and sadhus, devotees and brahmins, and among them joyfully distributes the 700 rupees, thus returning to God the money his pure soul perceives as having come from God.
Finally arrived in Dwarka, Keshav Bhat seeks in vain for Savalasa. No one knows of a local merchant of the name. The worldly among them mock Keshav Bhat: “You are a fool,” they say, “to entrust your business affairs to God and His devotees.” His faith under fire, Keshav Bhat turns to God in prayer and meditation. And God at once responds.
“Narsi Meheta,” Krishna tells Uddhava, His charioteer, “has sent a check drawn on Me. In order that I may accomplish his purpose I have become today Savalasa the merchant.” And so Savalasa appears before Keshav Bhat, still seated in prayer in the middle of the marketplace of Dwarka. Krishna, as Savalasa, reads Narsi Meheta’s letter; smiling with divine love, He gives Keshav Bhat 700 rupees.
Keshav Bhat marvels that the merchant Savalasa, who seems fabulously wealthy, who is clad in kingly raiment and rides in a royal chariot, who shines brighter than the sun—that such a one can yet act as servant to Narsi Meheta, a poor man, his garments of coarse cloth and his abode a humble structure. “Because Narsi Meheta,” Krishna explains, “in his love for Me has become indifferent to the world’s lures, caring only to serve and offer himself and whatever comes his way to Me, so do I his Mother care for all his needs and fulfill all his wishes.”
Keshav Bhat looks again at the 700 rupees and finds them transformed into immeasurable wealth. Fired with spiritual ardor, overwhelmed with gratitude, he joyfully distributes the riches, as did Narsi Meheta, to saints and sadhus, devotees and brahmins, as a way of worshipping and offering himself to Krishna.
In the early days of Ananda, Swamiji, like Narsi Meheta, once wrote “a check to Savalasa” when, responding to a community fundraising drive, he pledged $3,000—money he did not have. Divine Mother, working through someone who knew nothing of Swami’s pledge, arranged that a check for just that amount be slipped under Swami’s door. Smilingly, Divine Mother cared for the needs and fulfilled the wishes of Her devotee Kriyananda, who in every moment was giving all that he had and all that he was into Her service.
Everything in this world comes from God; everything must return to God. Those who, like Narsi Meheta, like Swamiji, live in tune with God’s law, find not only their least needs and wishes fulfilled, but, even more wonderfully, their lives entering an unending stream of joy and peace: God without and God within.
In divine friendship,