Kolavecha Sridhar, he was a fanatic. You can say, or , he was very dedicated to this principle. He took an oath, that he’ll give 50% above, 50% of his income he’ll spend on Ganges Pooja. So, all he was doing was selling bananas, banana leaves, banana flowers, in Bengal that time Navadip, that time of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, so he was hardly making any income. Because, selling Bananas in Navadip is like trying to sell palm oil in Malaysia. Palm oil is everywhere; we don’t need to. Or, trying to sell rubber, latex here. Everywhere it’s growing. So, there in Bengal, everywhere, every house has got bananas. It’s only rare person wants extra bananas. So, somehow or the other he was getting some income. Or whatever income he could get, immediately he’d take 50% and spend it on incense, flower.., whatever he’d get he would spend that on ingredients and go to worship the Ganges and he’d take the rest and he would spend. Of course he was self-employed. He had his own land. He grew his own bananas. He sold them. But actually, he was very poor. His clothes were ripped, his house had holes in it. People used to criticise him. They used to say that “why you are living like this?” In the sense, “proper business sense is that you should stop giving 50% to the Ganges, invest your capital for one year. Build up your capital, become a … , have a good basis for that , then you spend it. Then you .. ah.. after one year is over you give 50%, you have bigger capital, so you have more income, in this way you can give more to Krishna.” He responded that if I start that now, then what… , If I stop giving 50% now, what is the guarantee that after one year, I will start it again. Once I get in to the habit of not giving, then there will always be excuse to bring up little more capital, build up little more wealth, build this, build that in this way then, maya could catch me. Now I am very safe, I am giving 50%, somehow or the other, things are going on, I am not going to change.” “But your clothes are ripped my man! Don’t you see you have holes in your cloth?” He said it’s quite cool in the hot weather. All of my body is covered. What is the matter if there is a little ventilation?” “But you have a hole in your roof!” , “Well, we have to have the light in, come in somewhere, little light, fresh breeze, very healthy.” So these…“Oh! You are very crazy!” And they’d all go off thinking, that Kolavecha Sridhar is totally mad. Wasting his good time and energy worshiping the Ganges.
His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaj
1986, 27th April, SB class @ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia