Once I came across an industrialist-cum-businessman along with his only son in the ashram of my spiritual master Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha at New Delhi. At that time, I was posted as the Regional Development Commissioner for iron and steel. With me was also a friend of mine from Kanpur. He knew the industrialist because he had some industry in Kanpur. My friend was quite surprised to see the industrialist in the ashram, as he was supposed to be a very materialistic person. When enquired, it was revealed that his only son had become a recluse and took no interest in his business. It was only on his son’s insistence that he had come to the ashram. While the purpose of his son was to seek spiritual guidance, the father had come to seek Swamiji’s blessings for bringing his son back to business.
When my friend introduced me to the businessman and told my designation, he got keenly interested and sought an appointment with me in my office. I thought that his son’s detachment with the world must have had a deep impact on him and, perhaps, he wanted to discuss this matter with me. At that time, I was a beginner in the field of spirituality and didn’t understand human nature very deeply. I thought that if the businessman also turned spiritual, it would be a great benefit to the society. Considering all these points, I fixed up an appointment with him in my office a few days later.
The gentleman came to my office on the appointed day. When I started the discussion about his son, he appeared disinterested and even my repeated references made no impact on him. At this, I thought that he must be very sad about it and, therefore, avoided the discussion. But soon, he came to his point. At that time, steel was a controlled commodity and had a premium on it. This gentleman wanted some quota of steel so that he could earn some money by selling it in the black market. Firstly, I didn’t believe it but then I found that he was quite serious about it. Not only this, he openly offered some share to me also. I was dumbfounded by his offer. I had no words to respond. I had genuinely expected him to say something sensible, particularly in the backdrop of his only son’s renunciation. But everyone is not fortunate enough to rise above the world and this gentleman was one of them. For him, money was everything and its accumulation was the only purpose of his life. Perhaps, that was the reason why his son had developed a disliking for the material world. But there was no point in talking to him about all this. Therefore, I begged him to excuse me and our meeting ended abruptly. In a way, this appointment was a disappointment for both of us.