While Swami Subodhananda was practising austerities in Hardwar, the following incident occurred:
‘I had been suffering from fever for two months. I was so weak that I could not lift a tumbler of water let alone drink it. One night when I went near the water pot to quench my thirst, I fell down on the floor unconscious. When I regained consciousness, my feelings were hurt and I cried: “Master, I am suffering terribly. There is no one to look after me. You didn’t give me sufficient strength even to drink a glass of water by myself.” Thinking thus I fell asleep. Then I saw [in a dream or vision] the Master stroking my body with his hand, and he said: “Why are you anxious? Don’t you see I am always near you? What do you want – attendants or money?” I replied: “I don’t want either of those things. I can’t avoid disease as long as I have a body. May I never forget you: That is all I want. Be with me wherever I go.”
‘Early in the morning, I heard a voice from outside, “Swami, please open the door.” I got up and opened the door. A young monk told me: “Please tell me what you need. I shall beg food for you.” I said to him, “I don’t want anything.” When I asked how he knew about me, he said that he had arrived there a couple of days ago to perform a religious rite at the Brahmakunda. The previous night Mother Durga had appeared to him in a vision and said, “You will get more virtue by serving that sick monk in the cottage than by performing this religious rite.” So early in the morning he came to my cottage and realised that his vision was true. Tears trickled from my eyes. I controlled myself and asked the young monk to let me live alone.
‘On the same day, another monk received fifty rupees by money order. He came to me and said: “You are suffering from fever. You need food and medicine. Please use this money.” I declined his offer. Early next morning the young monk came again and told me that at night Mother Durga had exhorted him to serve me as before. Then I told him politely that I really didn’t need any service and that Mother Durga had asked him to serve someone else. The young monk left. Then I prayed to the Master: “Please don’t tempt me anymore. I am glad that you have crushed my pique.” The young monk came on the third day too, but never again.’