One morning K. was cutting down the ripe coconuts from the trees while Bhagavan was returning from the cowshed (gosala). Bhagavan asked K: what rod he was using to pluck the coconuts, whether it had a bamboo bit attached to the end or an iron point. K. remarked that it was only an iron sickle.
Bhagavan asked: “Will not the trees be hurt by the sharp iron? Would not a rod with a bamboo bit at the end serve the purpose?” And Bhagavan did not wait for a reply.1 K. went on with his work, nor did he change his instrument, but continued to use the iron sickle every morning.
A week later, at the same time as on the previous occasion, while K. was cutting down the coconuts from the trees, one fell on his forehead and struck his nose very painfully. This news was reported to Bhagavan.
While expressing pity for the man, Bhagavan also remarked: “Now he will know what it is to be hurt, and also how much his iron sickle must have hurt the uncomplaining trees.”
How like this is of Bhagavan, who finds all nature pulsating with life and light!
Suri Nagamma has the account of a time when an Ashram gardener struck down many leaves while gathering mangoes; on that occasion it seems Bhagavan expressed very great displeasure.