This is an incident from the life of Dadashri. He was staying in Mamani Pol, Baroda. There was a wooden bench placed in the drawing room where Dadashri used to sit quite often.
Many a times Dadashri said that the bench was made out of stolen wood.
Dadashri was a Government Contractor. Once he was awarded a contract to build road from PWD of Baroda. He was advised by the concerned engineer to cut any obstruction, in the form of wood or trees that may hinder construction work, and the amount gained by selling these could be shared equally.
It was a proposal from the Chief Engineer and so Dadashri had to oblige him. Accordingly he gave half the wood to him and the balance half was brought to his house. Dadashri then engaged workers to carve out a bench from it.
“I am sitting daily on this stolen bench” – Dadashri always admitted.
Listening to him, many mahatmas were surprised. One of them asked Dadashri, “You are great. You always narrate the facts about your theft without hesitation! How come?
Dadashri replied, “I am opening up my deeds so that you people can derive strength to open up yours as well. You need not feel shy or ashamed or feel complex.
Then Dadashri added further, “This stolen bench proved to be very costly. I had to bear the freight for shifting the wood to my place and then pay for labor charges for making this bench worthy to sit. It would have been cheaper to buy a new one instead.”
Therefore, Dadashri always used to say, “Free things always prove to be costly”.
Dadashri's business was that of construction for government projects. So whenever a bill was submitted, it went through hands of accounts people in various government departments. Dadashri would always want to have it cleared fast so that he could make onward payments to his suppliers and laborers. If that got delayed, all of them would suffer. So for their sake, Dadashri adopted the policy of bribing these officials to avoid delay for their payments. He made it a rule that if need be, for the benefit of others, bribes may be offered. But in any situation, he will not take bribes or resort to unethical means. For that is crime. Dadashri was bold enough to reveal such facts from his life, where all others would remain shy of admitting.
Really, how transparent are enlightened beings! There is a lot to learn form 'relative' life as well!