There was once a very great sanyasi; he possessed the
ability to transform people by his mere words. The sound
of his voice carried listeners into the stillest, most peaceful
meditation. But, he wanted to do more for the world.
His vision was to help all of humanity, to be of service to
all those he met, to heal the world on a massive scale.
He prayed to God to give him the ability to save people’s
lives. “You cannot save everyone; you can not be of service
to everyone. Just keep speaking, keep chanting, keep writing,
keep praying. In this way you will really heal,” God said
But the saint was not persuaded. “Please, God, let me be of
service – of direct service – to all. Let me save people’s
The sanyasi had performed so much tapasya and was so
pure in his desire to help, that God granted him the boon
of being able to save the life of anyone who came to him.
He had simply to take a drop of his blood and place it on
the patient’s upper lip. Any ailment would be cured; any
suffering would immediately be alleviated. The saint was
exuberant; his dream had been fulfilled. Now he felt that
he would really be able to save the world and to cure those
who came to him.
The first day four people came. For each person, he simply
pricked the tip of his finger with a needle and the blood
came out. One small drop had such miraculous healing powers.
That night, the selfless saint had a beaming smile on
his face for those whom he had cured.
The next day, forty people came, having heard of his miraculous
powers. For each he squeezed a small drop of blood
from his finger and blessed them as he placed it on their
upper lip. Each was instantly cured. Paralysis, leprosy, depression,
anxiety – all disappeared with the simple drop of
the sanyasi’s blood. As word spread throughout the land,
more and more people flocked to his healing magic. And
the sanyasi was in bliss – here he was using his simple Godgiven
blood to cure so many. He dispensed these drops
freely – with no hesitation, no discrimination, no vacation.
“I am in your service…” he would say.
Soon, thousands were flooding the simple ashram in which
he lived; they were overflowing in the streets. The saint
was dispensing the equivalent of cups of blood each day.
But, he did not even notice. Such was his dedication and
devotion to those whom he was curing. He sat, in meditative
bliss, as he squeezed first his fingertip, then the veins
in his arm to dispense blood to those in need.
It was not long before the sanyasi had to squeeze harder
in order to coax the blood from his body. Soon, a mere
needle prick was not a large enough opening; he needed
small knives to pierce the prominent veins of his forearms
and legs. From there, the blood flowed freely again, and
all were relieved. However, soon, even those veins were no longer coursing with high volumes of healing nectar. They,
too, were becoming drier and drier.
As his blood volume dropped each day, the sanyasi became
weaker. The color drained from his once vibrant face.
Darkness drew circles around his eyes. His voice, which
previously had boomed, singing forth the divine glories of
God, was now not much more than a whisper. But, the
sanyasi was not worried. Those who loved him urged him
to take rest, to take at least a break from giving blood, to
let himself recuperate.
Although he listened with his ears and appreciated the
concern, he could not stop pumping blood from his body.
He would say, “I am in the service of the world…These
people have come from so far…They have been waiting for
so long…This man is an important minister, but he’s suffering
from pneumonia…I feel no pain. I feel no weakness. I
feel only the joy of giving myself to others.” Those who
loved him could do nothing, other than watch the scores of
people continue to pour in, continue to plead for “just one
Soon, even the once succulent veins of his forearms would
give no more blood. Even the largest, most abundant veins
of his body held on selfishly to their sparse quantity of
this life-giving fluid. But, the sanyasi was not deterred.
“This is only a challenge. Only more tapasya to do,” he would
say. He ordered his servants to build a device which would
squeeze harder than human hands were able to, a vice-like
apparatus into which he could place a limb and have it
milked completely of the blood inside.
Throughout this, the people kept coming. As word spread –
in frantic whispers – that the saint was ill, that the blood
was running dry, the people flocked even more frenetically.
They pushed and trampled one another in an effort
to get “just one drop.” People, who perhaps had been postponing
a visit until a later date, dropped everything and
came running. “Please Maharajji,” they would plead. “Please,
just one drop. We have come from Madras, we have come
from Nepal, we have come from London. My daughter has
this horrible affliction on her face. My husband lost his
arm in a car wreck. My son refuses to get married. Please
Maharajji, please just one drop. Just one drop and then
we’ll go away so you can take rest.” For each who came,
the saint smiled as he placed a drop of blood on their upper
The ocean of his blood soon became an arid desert. Where
once his veins had flowed like copious rivers, they were
now limp and desiccated
His devotees pleaded with him to stop; their tears of concern
poured onto his holy feet. But, all he could see were
needy, ailing people stretching out to the horizon, each one
crying pitifully, “Please, Maharajji, just one drop.”
When those who had flocked for blood realized that the
sanyasi could give no more, they were un-deterred. “We
will work the pumping machine,” they screamed. And they
stormed toward the saint, who sat peacefully, although
nearly lifeless, draped only in his simple dhoti. But, the pumping
machine was not powerful enough to pump water from
a desert. So, they tied him up, the ropes cutting deep into
his parched skin. And as some pulled the ropes tighter and tighter, others cut into his veins with knives (no longer small
ones, but now the type used for butchering animals).
“There must be another drop left. There must be,” they
As his beloved devotees watched, the last drop of life blood
was cut from their great sanyasi, who had once overflowed
with life, with vigor, with dynamism. Now he hung, lifeless,
still in the ropes which had tied him, completely desiccated.
However, they noticed, there was a smile on his limp and
“Just five minutes,” we plead. “Just step foot in my house
to bless it…just take one meal at my home.” It may not be
physical blood we demand, but both our desperation and
the effects on the saints is the same. “But, I’ve waited 5
years. But I’ve come from America. Please, Maharajji, just
five minutes….but Maharajji, my daughter said she won’t
get married unless you are there…but, I can not go into
surgery unless you come to the hospital…but it would mean
so much to us if you could just come to our home for 10
When we go to visit a saint, rarely do we ask when he last
took his meal or what his usual time for rest is. “It’s only 5
minutes,” we convince ourselves. “Just one drop, one drop
of blood…” When we are blessed enough to have a saint
at our home, rarely do we say to him, “Go to sleep. You
must be tired. You have sat with people [or worked] all
day long.” Rather, we think “But, it’s only once a year he
comes,” or “But this is the first time we’ve ever had him
“Just one drop…just one drop and then we’ll let you take
Sure, it is only five minutes, or one hour, or one night. For
us. But, we do not have the vision to see the streams of
people, flooding out to the horizon, who will beg for “just
five minutes,” after we have had ours. Rarely, even do we
lift our eyes to look.
“But,” you may ask, “if the saint healed so many with his
blood, why does it matter that he died? His purpose on
Earth and his desire were to heal people. So, why does it
matter that he lost his physical body in the meantime?”
The answer is that a doctor could have healed most of the
physical ailments that came to him. Those suffering from
emotional/psychological problems could probably have
been helped had they put into practice that which he taught
in his lectures. He did not need to give his actual blood to
so many. But, it is easier to get the “instant cure,” easier to
let him place the blood on us than to make the trip to the
doctor and take the medicine he prescribes, or to implement
the necessary diet of less fat, less sugar, no meat, etc.
It is easier to be cured by someone than to cure ourselves.
Somehow, when a saint speaks in public, giving instructions
and messages publicly, we think that it pertains to
everyone but us. “But I need to speak to him personally,”
we decide. “My problem is different.” Rarely do we take a
saint’s “no” as “no.” We know that if we plead harder, beg
more desperately that they will give in, because they truly
are in the service of humanity.
But, do we want to milk the blood from their bodies? Do we really want to be healed at their expense? Is that what
love really is? We must realize that each of our demands,
that each 5 minutes, each compulsory visit to a home, each
one drop of blood, is only one of thousands more that he
is selflessly giving to others. We must be careful to let him
nourish himself such that his blood continues to flow. We
must make a sincere effort to keep the life alive in these
saints who would give their lives to us, without hesitation
and without discrimination.