What do you know of Me?
“You wish to write a book about Me; what do you know of Me?” Baba asked Arnold Schulman this question. Yes. It is very true; we know, and can know only precious little of this most inscrutable, unprecedented Divine Phenomenon.
Some of us pretend to have measured Him as a great spiritual force, as a great alchemist of character, as a great spiritual guide as the great popularises of the Advaitic doctrine of creation and liberation, and so on.
There are many who snatch at opportunities to speak about Him, and hold forth for hours describing the miracles they and others have experienced, miracles which He Himself has described as `insignificant mosquitoes on the vast expanse of thick dermature which covers the elephant.” Many argue load and long to convince those who deny, doubt or denigrate these `incidents’, and feel happy if they win, for, they congratulate themselves on adding a few to the million admirers and adorers of Baba, as if, He needs the feeble support we give or the paltry conquests we accomplish.
He has His plan, His ways, His means, His victories; ours are only exercises in egoism and futility.
But, all who have come into His Presence know how gentle, how compassionate, how sweet He is in movement, speech and ministration. The moments of the delectable `interview’ are indeed a memory forever. There is no gainsaying that Baba instils in us the dignity of doing one’s duty – whatever it may be, high or low, difficult or delightful – and the necessity for putting into our task all the skill and intelligence, all the sincerity and steadfastness that He has endowed us with.
From the discourses with which He inspires and instructs lakhs of ordinary men and women, from His lucid writings on Love, Wisdom, Righteousness, and other spiritual disciplines and from the directives He has outlined for the education of children, adolescents, and adults, one can realise that His main preoccupation is the re-establishment of Peace, through Love and Loving Service.
While contemplating the compassion which Baba shows to us, in spite of our failings and faults, we have to admit that we have yet a long distance to traverse, before we can justify to ourselves the claim to be His devotees. We are still attached to flippant moments of fun and frolic. While trying to impress others by our eloquence and fervour, we do not examine ourselves in penitent moods that we are unworthy, of the rare privilege of being contemporaries of the Avatar of the Age, but yet, we bloat our achievements in Sadhana, and condemn others of sloth or worse, in the same breath.
We form ourselves into Bhajan Mandalis and we adore Baba as the Embodiment of Love; but, we do not ask ourselves whether, in every transaction and dialogue, we saturate our deeds and words in that Divine Virtue, Love. We know that Baba wants us to practise Silence, as the most effective Sadhana; but, we persist in loud behaviour of all kinds. Our practice of Sadhana is, as most would agree, mere routine ritual, devoid of the ring of genuine thrill.
Therefore, let us pray, “Lord! Save us from the pests of hurry and indecision, of complacency and conceit, of fanaticism and fear; enable us to earn a valid perspective of Life; give us the will and the chance to have quiet half-hours of relaxation and meditation on Thy glory and grace.”
“Lord! Make us unafraid and happy. Give us the opportunity to do some one a good turn, and please do not allow the fact to be talked about. Give us the strength to bear the stings of malice and scorn, for, they too are Your gifts of grace; give us the courage to resist the pangs of passion and prejudice, for, they too are Your ways to toughen us. Give us, O Lord, the skill to enjoy the beautiful as Thy handiwork, to act courteously to all, as embodiments of Your Love, and to believe that whatever I give to the world is what I give to myself.”