When the building work was nearing completion an expert sculptor was commissioned to make a Yogambika statue out of five different metals for the temple. It was to be made by the 'lost wax' method. In this technique, a statue is first made out of wax and then completely covered with clay except for one small hole. Once the clay has dried it is baked to make it hard. The heat causes all the wax to drain out through the small hole, leaving a baked-clay mold for the molten metal to be poured into.
The pouring of the molten metals had to be done at an auspicious time. The astrologers who were consulted selected a particular day and said that the casting should be completed between 8 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. that day. The mold was made in advance since it was not necessary to fabricate it at an auspicious time. The sculptor started his fire at 8 p.m. on the appointed day on a site between the ashram dispensary and the banyan trees. He worked very hard for several hours but he was unable to get the advance since it was not necessary to fabricate it at an auspicious time.
The sculptor started his fire at 8 p.m. on the appointed day on a site between the ashram dispensary and the banyan trees. He worked very hard for several hours but he was unable to get the metals to melt in the crucible. I am not an expert in these matters but even I could see that the fire was very, very hot. The sculptor frequently had to douse his clothes with cold water to counteract the heat, and he always dealt with the fire from a distance via a pair of very long tongs.
Bhagavan had gone to sleep at his usual time but when 11.30 came and went with no sign of the metals melting I felt justified in waking him up. I went to the hall, explained the situation to him and asked what we should do.
Bhagavan made no reply. Instead, he got up and came to see for himself how the work was progressing. He sat on a stool about ten feet from the crucible and looked intently at the fire. Within one or two minutes, and without any further efforts from the sculptor, the metals all began to melt. Bhagavan watched as the liquid was poured into the mold the hole in its foot. When he was satisfied that the work had been properly executed he returned to the hall and went back to sleep The next day, when the sculptor broke the mold and examined the statue, he very proudly announced that the statue was flawless.