Symbols of the world's religions

               

GLASS UNDER BABA'S BED

Bhau Kalchuri

 
During his seclusion in October 1958, Baba began fasting for twenty one days. Once, at midnight, Baba asked me for some soda water. I opened a bottle, but accidentally the cap and a small piece of glass fell on the floor. Becoming upset Baba said, "I was about to call the women for five minutes, and what have you done? If I send for them now, the pieces of glass will hurt their feet!"

"I'll sweep it up in no time, Baba," I offered.

He asked me to do so immediately, and I began sweeping and collecting it (there was only one tiny little piece!). Baba wasn't satisfied, however, and made me sweep and scrub the room — not once but several times. I cleaned every corner over and over again, and the entire time Baba was sitting up in bed gesturing repeatedly, "I wanted to call Mehera for five minutes, but now you've ruined it all by your carelessness." (Actually, Baba would never have called Mehera and the other women so late at night. And even if he had, they always wore sandals while I was barefoot!)

In any event, the cleaning took almost three hours, and Baba sat on his bed the whole time supervising the operation while he continually lambasted me. At last he said, "You have cleaned the whole room, but what about under the bed? Perhaps a few pieces have fallen there."

I had had just about all I could take, but I swept and mopped under his bed as instructed.

"What are you thinking?" Baba asked.

"Nothing," I replied.

"Speak the truth; what are you thinking?" he repeated.

By this time I was so irritated I burst out, "You never call the women so late, but even if you did, would they go underneath the bed? This is all your excuse to give me trouble and harass me!"

Baba responded, "Don't I know that the women wouldn't go under my bed? Are you telling me anything new? What is your duty?"

"To carry out your wish," I answered.

"Are you carrying out my wish by wondering whether the women will go underneath the bed?" Baba replied, and continued, "Is this being resigned to my wish? If you have such thoughts you will never be able to follow my orders. Is it not madness on your part to have such thoughts when you take me as All-Knowing? Only he who has no other thought but to obey me can carry out my wish. He who longs to obey me never thinks that I have thoughtfulness for others and not for him. It is my whim that I keep some on a bed of roses and some perhaps on a pile of thorns! The one keeping my wish never thinks of such things. If he does, he can never carry out my wish."

This was a good lesson for me; and just to teach it to me and see that it penetrated deeply, Beloved Baba patiently sat on his bed for several hours having his room cleaned. Baba would suffer in this manner for his loved ones. Similar situations arose almost daily in connection with every one of the mandali.

 

WHILE THE WORLD SLEPT, pp. 42-43
1984 © Bhau Kalchuri

               

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