Symbols of the world's religions



Elizabeth C. Patterson

Quite unexpectedly we arrived at a high gate of rattan with stone posts, just off the road which led through the small village of Rahuri. A sound from our horn and the gate swung open in welcome, disclosing a bungalow on either side, and soon we saw Baba on a porch, surrounded by the men of his mandali. He wore His usual white robe over which was a worn-looking reddish jacket. His beautiful glance drew all together in close harmony....

After smilingly introducing Norina and myself to the disciples assembled, Baba led us further into the property where the madmen were congregating under a spreading mango tree. From among a number of madmen brought to Him, Baba had selected a few whom He terms "God-mad." These are advanced souls whose spiritual yearning and practices had led them out of the normal state. Baba pointed out to us, as we looked around, that this one was on "the Path"; that one had a slight breeze of spirituality blowing through him; another was quite mad but harmless; and the young fellow who started to beat on a tin can, as on a tom-tom, was very good but "goofy."

Baba told us that He loved them all very much, and indeed when we saw Him embrace these ragged, world-ridiculed men, the beautiful scene of Saint Francis embracing the leper came to our minds with all its touching realism. We witnessed the dull-eyed, dark piece of humanity called "Goofy" turn his face up to the Master's and an unforgettable expression came to life and glowed in his eyes — like the primordial divine stirring in a piece of mud. His wits were completely absent, only the clay of humanity was there, yet we could indeed envy this creature who could so directly use his intuition that he perceived Baba in his "radiant state."

Goofy's blurred eyes caught the vision as a mirror reflects the sun. We in our normal consciousness saw only the gleam of his reflection, yet the transformation in him was so apparent and beautiful that it made a response in our hearts. To be thus unhampered from the shackles of the mind was the sort of freedom that a wave must know as it tosses towards the sun! As soon as Baba withdrew, the light in the youth's eyes receded and he turned towards us as nonexistent, but they would always leap with joy each time Baba returned.

LETTERS OF LOVE, p. 250, ed. Jane Barry Haynes
1997 © EliNor Publications


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