Dharmendar Singh of Hadiabad village was quick to pick up Amma’s Teachings.
He was dissuaded from selling tobacco in the tiny village. He stopped it the same day, in Amma’s Name.

Amma’s children from Amritapuri were in Hadiabad, the village by the Mushar tol (Mushars are a community who are in dire need of evolution) in Ratanpur village of Ara-Bhojpur district of Bihar State. And we went round the village speaking about Amrita SeRve- the team Amma sends to serve the villagers in order to make them self reliant. This was my second visit here. Till date I had visited a few tiny shops of the village that sell groceries, soap and such toiletries. They also have had beedis and cigarettes. We tell the villagers about the bad effects of tobacco on human lungs and on family’s economy and so on. Normally we get people who agree with the facts we tell. When requested to take steps to save the village from its evils, normally we only get sarcastic or helpless smiles.


But Dharmendar’s is a different case.

“Bhayya, do you sell tobacco and jarda and such things?” that morning we spoke to him who was at the counter.

“Tobacco, yes. Not the other things,” said he with his no-expression face.
“Good, but you know what bad effects the village will suffer…”
“Even if one shop doesn’t sell, the smokers will buy from elsewhere,” said he.
“True, Bhayya. But even if one shop doesn’t sell it will be one strong effort towards the good of the village. Everything begins from one only, you see.”
“Okay, okay,” said he that morning. I didn’t expect much because I assumed from his no-expression face that he has no feelings.

The same evening we were to be the guests for dinner in their house. Most of us –guests and hosts-were women. He didn’t not show up. As we were leaving, I looked into his shop at the front of the house, and asked casually, “Bhayya, what did you decide about selling tobacco?”
In his unique un-dramatic manner he said, “I gave them up.”
“What? Are you not selling them from tomorrow, then?”
“I gave them up today itself.”
Oh, Amma! Here is a child of Yours!

– Sandhya

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Some people seems to be bad and narrow-minded but, when treated with calmness and kindness, they change their behaviour very quickly. If they feel that you have respect for them and are speaking for their sake, usually they appreciate it and start listening to you.

  2. Actually this usually happens even when we speak for our sake rather for theirs. When someone causes us some problems, if we speak to them with calmness and kindness, showing our respect for them, usually they change their attitude. But to do that, we must be able to discriminate between our real needs and rights and our selfish needs.

  3. Both my parents died from smoking from lung cancer and a hart attack ,which effected the way I viewed my own health. In the 1950’s there was famous Indian master ‘Nasahgadatti’ who wrote many spiritual books & owned a tobacco shop .The master was known to smoke.He recieved disciples in a room above his shop . As a western Amma Devotee..I would think tiwce before I gave advice to a Indian person ,but I wouldn’t hesitate to tell another westerner smoking is bad .I know these little street kiosks in India are the only way some men can support their families ,its a sad situation.

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