Gondavali was after all a small village. Again the Mandir possessed no cupboard. Therefore, ladies both rich and poor left their ornaments boxes with Sri Maharaj. He kept them under his bed. One evening he went out for a walk He got a very powerful attack of asthma on his way back to the Mandir. It became so unbearable that he sat down in the street and soon became unconscious. The disciples bore him to the Mandir in an easy chair. His body became ice-cold. There was no pulse and no visible sign of life. All the disciples were confounded. As a last remedy they applied hot water bottles to the heart, hands and feet of Sri Maharaj. The ladies held their patience for about an hour. Then they began to cry. The Mandir became absolutely gloomy. A rich lady from Sangli had come to Gondavali about four days back. She arrived in the Mandir and saw the whole scene. She could not control herself. She cried and loudly exclaimed, “O Maharaj! You were old and it was but natural that you departed. But what have you done about my ornament box?” Immediately to the pleasant astonishment of all, Sri Maharaj opened his eyes. He sat straight in the chair and wittily remarked, “Well Lady! I have not departed as yet. I will return your ornament box intact and then depart. Then I hope you don’t mind my leaving this world!” The whole Mandir resounded with laughter. Sri Maharaj addressed his disciples thus: “This way the world goes. Every person is selfish; selfish to the core. The saint who takes it upon himself to train worldly people suffers a good deal. Spiritual life needs a complete transcendence of selfishness. Desire generates attachment which in turn creates selfishness. Detachment decreases desire. Love of God leads to detachment. Contemplation creates love of God. And the Name of God is the royal road to contemplation. We must learn unselfishness and faith in the Divine Name from saints.”
-from The saint of Gondavale by Prof K.V. Belsare.