Symbols of the world's religions

               

FIVE MINUTES OVER

Rhoda Adi Dubosh

 
Sometimes Baba works on us in very humorous ways, but even when He teases and treats a subject lightly, that doesn't mean we shouldn't take Him seriously. All my life I have been a very slow eater, and Baba used to poke fun at me frequently.

"Poor Adi," He would say, "I don't know where he found such a wife." Or He would tell everyone, "By the time Rhoda has finished just one slice of mango, the rest of us would not only have finished our lunch, but would already be fast asleep." Sometimes Baba would even mimic my peculiar way of eating.

One day Baba called me to the table where He was having lunch with the women mandali. Baba was seated at the head of the table with Mehera, Mani, Goher, Naja, Rano, Meheru and Arnavaz. One mango seed with a lot of pulp still clinging to it, and a large slice of mango had already been put aside on a plate for me. Then Baba said, "Add one more slice." That done, He said to me, "You must finish all this in five minutes. Sit at the table and eat so that we can watch you eat like a monkey."

I started on the mango, but Baba kept asking me questions, and I would eat, answer, and then eat again. Then Baba pointed at the clock on the wall opposite Him and gestured, "four minutes left." That was when the gravity of the situation hit me and I realized this was not something Baba was joking about, but His order, and I started attacking the mango as quickly as I could.

Baba still asked me questions, but now I answered by simply nodding or shaking my head, and I continued eating. "Three minutes left," said Baba — then "two minutes." I started sucking the pulp from the seed. "One minute more," reminded Baba, as my back was to the clock. At that I started stuffing everything left on the plate, including the skin — everything except the seed — into my mouth. "Five minutes over," said Baba and clapped His hands.

Baba then told me to wash my hands. I couldn't answer because my mouth was full, my cheeks puffing out like a big balloon. Looking at my mouth, Baba said, "You had better go into the next room and finish what you have in your mouth." It took me nearly half an hour to finish eating what I had thrust into my mouth, and by that time I was exhausted.

Baba never explained this incident. But later I realized that He had not only encouraged me to eat more quickly; He had given me a beautiful memory. Every time I eat a mango, I think of Him and the loving discipline He gave to us during those wonderful days we were privileged to spend with Him.

 

SURRENDERING TO HIM, pp. 94-96
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