COMPASSION THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING
I would have gone to the program anyway, merely because Baba asked me to, but naturally the prospect of a long car ride with Baba was very appealing. However, at the time I was very short of money, so even traveling to Bombay presented difficulties. But Baba, in a very casual way, arrange for me to do some typing work for Ramjoo and I was paid twenty-five rupees which enabled me to take the train to Bombay to attend the darshan program.
In Ashiana, Baba was pleased with my recitation and I was rewarded with an embrace and a kiss! How can I describe my happiness at this? And then, Baba dropped a bombshell on me! He told me that although He had planned to take me to Satara in His car, He now had to give an additional person a ride to Poona so there wouldn't be room for me. Baba also added that I should travel from Bombay to Poona with Aloba by train and we should meet Him at the station there, and then He would take us the rest of the way in His car.
As the train chugged along, I was feeling depressed that I missed the chance to travel with Baba and I found myself thinking, "Baba is God. I know He is God, but why did He change His plan? If Baba is really God, this train should stop immediately" My accepting Baba as God, and then challenging Him to prove it in the same breath was utter foolishness, but that's the way my mind worked.
Almost as soon as I issued this mental challenge, the train stopped unexpectedly, miles from any station. It turned out that the electrical connection on top of the engine car had broken and the train was therefore without power. We had to wait hours before a relief train came to take us.
All I could think about was the fact that we were supposed to meet Baba at 11. Meanwhile, Baba was anxious about our non-appearance. He kept asking the mandali what had happened to the train, and repeatedly sent Eruch to inquire from the station master when it would be arriving. Baba did not like reaching Satara after dark. So, after waiting for about five hours for us, at around 4 p.m. Baba left in the car for Satara. Tired and hungry, we arrived in Poona around six, to discover that we had missed our ride and only just managed to squeeze on the last bus leaving for Satara for that day. We arrived around 10 p.m. and Aloba went to the men mandali's quarters at Rosewood while I returned to my own home and went to bed, exhausted and upset.
By nature I am not an early riser, and this, combined with the journey of the day before, left me unprepared for Aloba's arriving early the next morning to tell me that I should come immediately; Baba wanted me. To put Aloba off, I told him I had to get dressed, shave, have a bath, but I would come after that. Aloba went back to Baba alone, only to return a little later with the message, "Come immediately. Baba is unhappy at this delay." Still I dawdled and it was some time before I accompanied Aloba to Rosewood where Baba was waiting for me.
Baba looked very displeased and there was anger in His eyes. He asked me through Eruch, "Do you know how very annoying your behavior has been! What do you take my orders to be? A joke?" I could see fire in Baba's eyes as He continued. "Ramjoo, haven't you told him how he should obey my orders? I sent Aloba this morning to fetch him, and this man comes leisurely strolling along even after I sent Aloba a second time to get him. When I send for someone they should rush to me at once, and not give excuses about having to bathe or dress. Even if you were in the middle of your bath, you should have rushed here, not even bothering to dry yourself!"
After a while Baba's mood changed and, with a twinkle in His eye, He asked me what had happened to our train yesterday.
I didn't want to confess the thoughts I had and so merely said something about the electrical connection having broken. Baba wasn't satisfied with this and kept asking me more questions, finally gesturing, "You cannot hide anything from me. I know everything, but I want all of them (meaning the mandali to hear about it."
So I reluctantly told the full story. Baba looked very stern and began scolding. "What put such a crazy idea in your head? Do you have any idea how much trouble you have caused? Hundreds of people were inconvenienced by you and I also was given much anxiety. I made Eruch go several times to ask about you. We were late returning to Satara and everyone here was upset and anxious. Poor Aloba had to suffer and then on top of that he had to go twice this morning to fetch you.
"By your mischievous and senseless thoughts, you gained nothing except thousands of bad sanskaras from all the people on the train who indirectly were cursing you because their train was late. Think of all the disruption you caused; there were businessmen rushing to Poona for important work, someone was trying to get there in time to visit a sick father, another was rushing his wife to a nursing home so she could deliver. All the train schedules were upset and there is a long long list of people who were affected. All because you had such a silly idea to test me! Do you realize you have gathered so many bad sanskaras that it would be practically impossible for you to wipe them out. From now on you must be very careful with your thoughts, especially those connected with me."
Baba then ordered me to immediately bow down to Him. After I did so, He conveyed, "Now you have laid all those sanskaras at my feet, so do not worry."
I was thunderstruck at Baba's compassion how infinite it is! That He should respond to a passing thought in my mind, by actually stopping the train, was a touching example of the lengths He will go to strengthen His lovers' conviction in Him. But that He should do this when it entailed so much extra suffering for Himself was even more convincing proof of His Divinity than His stopping the train in the first place! Truly His is the compassion that passes understanding!
SHOWERS OF GRACE, pp. 12-15, ed. Bal Natu
1984 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust