Symbols of the world's religions



Charmian Knowles

Baba often assigned blame to people for incidents in which they were barely involved. If you answered back, you were needled a bit. But if you simply accepted the blame, he would glow and immediately shift the fault to someone else. You were left with the exhilarating knowledge that you had actually triumphed over your formidable ego.

After some time, the Backetts returned, and we all held our breath, expecting a renewed explosion from Baba. But in the sweetest, mildest way, he said, "Will, I donít quite understand how this happened."

Will said he'd waited two hours at the gate, but somehow the mandali had passed him by. He was dreadfully sorry. Baba sent the Backetts out of the room and then blamed us all anew. By now, however, we were aware of the divine chess game being played. A sense of fun began to bubble to the surface, and we found ourselves not wringing out hands or hanging our heads in shame, but laughing. That was when he called Will and Mary back in to give them their share of the scolding. At least that's what we thought he would do. Instead, he sat them on either side of him, took their hands, and told us, "These are my archangels."

Only a few minutes later, the exhausted and disheveled mandali came straggling down the hall. They'd reported to another hotel where Baba planned to hold his interviews and, finding no trace of him, had spent most of the night searching London. They finally tracked us down by going clear out to Delia's flat in Richmond, where her brother directed them to the proper hotel.

Baba sent us all out of the room, and the mandali went in to face him alone. Time passed without so much as a peep. Then suddenly the door opened, and out they shuffled, heads drooping.

"What happened?" We asked.

With one breath, they moaned, "Baba says it's all our fault!"...

We roared with laughter and couldn't stop even when we saw their pained expressions. Finally we explained, "You don't understand! All morning long Baba's been saying, 'it's all Rano's fault.', 'it's all Delia's fault'. Then it was Donkin's, Mehera's, Mani's, Meheru's, Goher's, Charmian's, and Baba's fault. Then it was God's Will."

"Really?" they asked.

Whereupon they cheered up a bit, and off they went.

God, as the Avatar, exhibits human emotions and behaviors. When these human traits are expressed through his human form, we experience them very differently than the way we usually experience these emotions and behaviors. The blame Baba directed at us was imbued with his love and a deeper purpose we could sense, even if we couldn't completely understand it. It held none of the binding anger and pride that normally compel humans to blame others.


SPREAD MY LOVE, pp. 71-72
2004 Sufism Reoriented


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