was December 10, and Dr. Thind having just left Salt Lake City
had arrived in Des Moines, Iowa during one of the coldest winters
on record. Do to his loving nature and always providing for
others he found himself in a condition which he attributes to
past karmic conditions with out any money. Here is the story
in his own words:
had lost all my money, excepting for thirty-five dollars and
just enough to buy me a ticket for Des Moines, Iowa, from Salt
Lake City. That was around December 10. I landed in Des Moines,
and by that time some more money was gone because I had to eat
meals in the car. I landed there and went to a nice hotel and
said: "Have you got any room with a bath?" and they said: "No
they are all taken." They gave me a room without a bath and
even that worked to my advantage because there was a public
bath there. I would take my bath every day, and then afterwards
when the manager told me: Dr. Thind, we have a room with a bath
that you can have," I said: How much is that?" "Three dollars
and a half." I was paying a dollar and a quarter so I said:
"No, I have a nice room and the bath is all right. Nobody ever
takes a bath there anyhow."
next thing I did was to find a hall. I went from place to place
asking how much they were. A hundred dollars a day; fifty dollars;
two hundred dollars a day. I told them I did not want to buy
the hall, but only to rent it. None gave me spiritual prices.
I searched all day and was tired and sore. I had landed about
seven o'clock in the morning and until seven in the evening
I kept running from place to place. Always I felt within me
that God would point the way. I said to myself that my right
was only to action and not to results. Finally I got results.
I felt I must go into a certain building. I went and saw a nice
gentleman and said: "Sir, have you got some halls?" He said:
"Yes we have four or five halls here. What size do you want?"
"Anything that will seat from three to five hundred people."
So many people come regularly. If you take a big hall, you cannot
fill it up every day. He showed me the place. I said: "How much
for that?" He said: "Eight hundred dollars." I didn't say a
word and he looked at me and I looked at him and he said: "Does
it sound too much?" I smiled; that is the best thing to do.
I said: 'My work is spiritual. I give everything free. I do
not charge anything at all." "How do you conduct your work?"
he asked me. I said: "On a free -will love-offering basis. I
am giving sixty lectures to begin with and I cannot pay that
much money." He said: 'How about five hundred?" Still I did
not say anything. Finally he made the whole thing for one hundred
and seventy-five dollars. He said: "If your work is spiritual,
we are spiritual too." He looked at me and I was about to ask:
"When Shall I pay you?" He said: "You don't have to pay me know.
You can pay me any time you want to." I said: "Bless your dear
heart, God is arranging everything." I got the hall without
paying a single penny.
next thing was to go and have the handbills printed. There are
lots of hold-up men in the printing world. In the end I came
across a good, God-fearing printer. He said he wanted ten dollars
for a thousand. If I wanted more he could lower the rate. I
gave him ten dollars cash that left me altogether a little over
twenty-three dollars or so and I had to eat afterwards. I went
to the hotel and then to the newspapers. I went first to the
big fellow, who was the big stick there, the managing editor
or the owner of a certain paper, I do not have to mention his
name. I talked with him. He listened to me standing, and when
I was through, he turned and walked away without saying a word.
I smiled to myself. I went to the advertising department. You
know, this newspaper group is the most heartless group in the
whole world; they are heartless, dried-up mummies. You can't
get blood out of turnips. They will give a whole page of scandal
free but they would not give you on line of free publicity for
spiritual work. I have tried it times without number. Sometimes
I even tempted to go and punch the editor on the nose, and thus
get a front-page story,--"Hindu lecturer knocks down editor."
I would get lots of publicity. Most of these newspaper people
are tenth-rate men and women. They do not know what it is I
am giving. They are saturated with business ideas only, nothing
else. You know, they have been and have to be greased a lot.
There is a way of greasing them. I have come to know that lately.
I never contributed anything toward the greasing because the
only kind of greasing I believe in is spiritual greasing. I
went to the advertising department. I had prepared a nice advertisement
and said: "How much for this ad.?" "Fifty-five dollars and fifty
cents." I had not that much money. I finally reduced the advertisement
to the smallest possible size. "Now, how much for this one?"
He said, "Twenty-two seventy-five." That left me about seventy-five
cents. I said: "All right, take it." Even when you have paid
money for an advertisement you are not at all sure where that
advertisement is going to be put. It so happened that they put
my advertisement with Al Jolson, in the amusement column. Nobody
saw it. Maybe some few saw it and thought I was one of those
fellows in the theatre, a helper of Al Jolson or something.
I did not eat anything on Saturday. I said: "There is no use
spending the seventy-five cents. . ." I went on a water diet.
On Sunday at three o'clock I began my lecture; you will be surprised
of my audience that afternoon, ----just one man! I always start
my lectures on time, so that right at three I announced my series
of sixty lectures. That man said, before I began: Dr. Thind,
you do not have to talk to me. I can go." "You can do if you
want to." I told him. I will talk just the same to empty chairs."
I spoke for an hour and a half, just as if the hall was packed.
Then I announced: "This work is conducted on free-will offering
basis. There are no special charges. Give as the divine spirit
directs you." That man was sitting on the first chair and I
was next to him. A basket wasn't passed that day. He didn't
want to put anything into the basket and went away. He said:
"Dr. Thind, I am going to bring six more people tonight." I
knew he wasn't coming himself. Often people judge teachers by
the audience: it is not the number, but the quality that counts.
day again I waited until nine thirty that night and nobody came.
I went away. I was still on a water diet. Five days passed and
nobody came. One morning I took about five hundred of those
handbills; it was forty-one degrees below zero, and, with my
empty stomach and the forty-one degrees below, you can imagine
how I felt. I put my overcoat on and took a bunch of the handbills
and distributed them. If the people looked spiritual, I asked
them: "Are you interested in lectures on divine realization?"
If they looked business-like, I asked: "Are you interested in
lectures on applied psychology?" I distributed many of the handbills.
Finally one man came, shivering. I said: "Sir, are you interested
in lectures on divine realization?" He said: "No, not at this
time." It excited my laughter. I said to myself: "You can still
enjoy the humor, it makes no difference." That night again there
was nobody, and I felt so terribly hungry. I said to myself,
as Ingersoll had once said: "Spend your last nickel like a king."
I said: "Thind, you haven't any faith in God; you are keeping
faith in the seventy-five cents. Renounce it. Let it go. Maybe
something better will come tomorrow." I was so hungry I could
eat a shoe. My bowels were singing the Hallelujahs. There was
no lecture. Sometimes I sat on one chair, sometimes on another.
went to a restaurant in a cheap quarter where lots of beans
and other similar foods were served. I had a hearty meal. I
said, "How much do I owe you?" He said "Sixty-five cents." That
left me a dime. "How much for this pie over here?" He said:
"Ten cents." "Let it come." I finished that too and gave him
the seventy-five cents and walked many blocks in the cold, below
zero weather, and I said to myself: "Now Thind, the Lord is
my shepherd. I have utterly renounced everything. That seventy-five
cents was keeping me down. Tomorrow something will come." I
felt it. In the morning I received mail there was a five dollar
bill from an old student, and I said: "Does not God always come
forth to help?" That afternoon thirty people, as a result of
distributing the handbills, came, and that night the thirty
had risen to a hundred. Within a week to ten days I had my hall
jammed up and when the time to pay for the hall came, I had
enough and to spare. They did not have to ask for the rent.
is a great example of how Dr. Thind depended on the law. He
said: "I wanted to depend on the law. It is a fact that the
Lord is my shepherd that He will always take care of me, why
should I worry?"