As he now rose to be a national hero, he remained grounded. Externally he possessed the skills, but the inner secret of his success was spiritual purity and service.
He maintained his spiritual strength through a service attitude and submissive reception to scriptures.
One day during the peak of his popularity he decided to learn the meaning of a few problematic verses of the Bhagavad Gita from a prolific Vedic scholar and celibate monk – a sannyasi of the time – Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur.
Bhakti Siddhanta who lived in a simple ashram with his disciples was unimpressed by Panditji’s academic and political achievements, and he confessed he was busy and wouldn’t be able to answer his queries. He even suggested that he could meet his disciples in the monastery instead and learn from them about the knotty verses.
Madan Mohan Malviya passed this test easily; he humbly approached the ashram monks who were not only much younger and inexperienced in worldly ways but lacked the erudition of the Panditji. The monks said they were also busy and asked him if he would first help them clean the pots and the ashram premises and later, they could discuss. Again the great but humble scholar joined the monks in the chores, and a few hours passed in joint services.
Five hours later as they all relaxed and honored a feast of delicacies, the monks asked Panditji what his doubts were. Madan Mohan Malviya smiled, and gratefully confessed that during his service in the ashram he felt a cleansing of his own heart; his misgivings seemed to dissolve, and spiritual truths dawned within him as bright as the afternoon sun.
Unassuming and unpretentious, he captured the hearts of millions of Indians and on this evening he left the ashram premises thanking the members for their time and resumed his daily services.A life centered on a dynamic combination of service and prayer helps us discover our own purpose and contribute meaningfully to the well-being of others.