Ready To Give Everything

Reminiscences of Doctorji: Rammurti Shriram Mishra, M.D.

Volume 2


In the book Ready To Give Everything, we are given a personal account of the experiences and lessons George Bailin learned from his teacher and friend, Rammurti S. Mishra, M.D.

Sample Chapter

Written by George Bailin

Editedanddesigned by DarylBailin

Published by SeaportPoets&WritersPress

First Edition 2015 TBA

Available in print and pdf format from:

Seaport Poets & Writers Press, P.O. Box 298, Harriman NY 10926-0298

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Abundant Thanks

One of the ancient traditions that Doctorji often referred to was the Code of Manu. Similar to the Ten Commandments, the statutes governing Judeo-Christian thought, and parallel to most ethical thought, these rules are marked by common sense: we should respect and honor our parents, the spontaneous visitor should be warmly welcomed as God’s representative. However, coming from Doctorji, these ancient injunctions had a special flavor: his intensity of delivery, the deep conviction, struck all with force. “Think to yourself: this is divine instruction.”

Gourmet Instruction

    In Astoria, with a proper kitchen, Doctorji soon demonstrated that he was a consummate cook. The first time he took me shopping to Kalustyan’s market on Lexington Avenue at 28th Street was an eye-opener. Most of the items he bought were powders, legumes, and dried herbs I had never seen before. There were seeds whose names were wholly unfamiliar, and garnishes about which I had heard but never handled. Indeed, the spice rack that he installed in the kitchen was fully three feet long, with five or six tiers to it. The colors – ebony black seeds, persimmon-colored powders, dull green legumes, and screeching red and mustard yellow pastes – presented a spectrum of fascinating sights and smells. That armory, added to his cuisine, made it altogether unique.

    Helping to prepare meals involved a great deal of training, as Doctorji was quite a perfectionist. We had to be careful to follow his directions exactly. At first he did most of the cooking, showing us simple things: just the right amount of water for preparing basmati rice, the exact time to add spices to heated oil, what sort of spices to use, and why. Fenugreek seeds might be used in one dish, but never in another. There were ways to serve bitter melon so that it was exquisitely flavorful. We learned how to roll out whole wheat flour for chapatis until they were paper thin.

    During program, he instructed us in the Code of Manu. We quickly learned to memorize these words of instruction:

    atithi devo bhava… the guest is Divine,

    annam vai brahman… the food is God,

    pranam vai brahman… the life force is God.

He explained to us that our body-based consciousness has grown so mechanical, and our responses to the ordinary experiences of life – receiving guests, eating food, waking and sleeping – have become so unconscious, so routine, that we needed to be roused from what he called “robotic” existence.

    The following tale was a favorite anecdote of his, to show how these habits had encrusted out minds. Before starting, Doctorji would always ask us to listen closely, saying, “This is your story, too.” Sometimes he would call on me during programs to tell the story for him, to embellish it, as he said. I have done so here.

Rags to Riches to Rags

    One day, a man went to the porch to fetch his morning paper. He looked everywhere, but there was no paper. Instead, there was a package. Reaching down, he picked it up. No name, no address. He looked around. No one was around.

    Taking the package inside, he decided to open it. The man was astonished to discover $5,000 in cash. There was no note, and no explanation of who the giver was, or what it was for.

He was puzzled, for he lived much like a hermit, and had no neighbors. He waited all day, to see if someone would come to claim the money.

    The next morning, he awoke to find another $5,000 on his doorstep. Concerned that somebody might come and steal the money, he opened a new bank account and deposited it at the bank.

    This amazing event continued to happen every day. In a short time, the man became very wealthy. Fearful that acknowledging this daily miracle might stop it, he kept silent. But being a good man, he did not hoard the money. He became a famous philanthropist, highly respected throughout the land for his generous contributions to worthy causes.