Many people went to Bhagavan not to get advice about their sadhana but to get help for their personal problems. These might include a lack of money or health or some family problem that needed to be resolved.

Bhagavan would never say, 'I will help you,' or 'I will solve your problem'. He would just listen quietly and do nothing. But, somehow, many people found that problems would disappear or be resolved satisfactorily if Bhagavan had been informed about them. He said when he was asked about this, that there was a divine force that automatically took care of all the problems that were placed before him, and that he himself was not personally involved in the resolution of any of these situations. Since this 'Divine force' had a very high success rate, many people brought their personal problems to Bhagavan.

Most people would only approach Bhagavan for help if there was a dire emergency in their lives, but other people expected him to manage all aspects of their lives. Bhagavan himself told us about one such man who corresponded with him while he was still living on the hill.

A postcard arrived, addressed to Bhagavan, in which the sender wrote: 'I am a poor elementary school teacher. My mother is old and my salary is so small, I cannot look after her properly. Kindly see that I get a raise.'

Bhagavan laughed and said, 'Well, why not?'

Another card came after some time in which he wrote: 'By your grace, my salary was increased. Now there is a vacancy in a higher grade. If I am given this promotion, I shall earn more and make my mother very happy.'

Bhagavan had a good laugh and said, 'Good'.

The next card arrived a few days later: 'My mother is bedridden and there is nobody to nurse her. If I could get married, my wife would look after her. But I am a poor man. Who will give me his daughter in marriage? And where will I get the money for expenses? Bhagavan may kindly arrange.' Bhagavan laughed again and said, 'Well, let it be so'.

After some months another postcard came: 'By your kindness, I was married quite easily. My wife is already with me. My mother wants a grandchild before she dies. Please provide.'

'Why not?' said Bhagavan.

A few months passed before the next card arrived: 'My wife gave birth to a child, but she has no milk for it. I cannot afford milk for the baby. Please get me another promotion.'

The next message came more quickly: 'I got a promotion and a salary increment. The child is doing well. I owe everything to your kindness.'

Bhagavan remarked, 'What have I done? It is his good karma that all goes well with him.'

Eventually, the man's good fortune ran out.

The next card said: 'Mother died. She worshipped you before her death.'

Bhagavan said nothing.

A month later another card arrived: 'Swami, my child has died.'

Bhagavan expressed his regrets but made no further comments.
Some time passed before the next card came: 'My wife is pregnant again.'

This apparent good news was canceled out by the next card:

'My wife gave birth to a child. Both died.'

'Ram, Ram,' said Bhagavan. 'Everything seems to be over.'

But there was more to come. The final card in this bizarre series ran:.'Due to family trouble, my work was very irregular and I was dismissed. I am completely destitute now.'

Bhagavan sighed deeply and commented, 'All that came has gone. Only his Self remained with him. It is always like this. When all goes, only the Self remains.'

- The Power of the Presence, III