Symbols of the world's religions



M. R. Dhakephalkar

My birthday falls on the 16th January. Baba and His disciples were putting up at "Adarsha" in Madras and stayed there for a week. So, on the 16th January when the disciples gathered, Baba informed them that it was my birthday and it would be celebrated over sweet meats, for which Rs. 10/- was sanctioned.

At His bidding, I finished my bath and sat before Him. Baba gave me a garland and asked me to put it round His neck. I adorned Him with it. I bowed down at His Lotus feet with eyes full of tears.

Baba embraced me and said that with that birthday, all the previous birthdays and the future ones were deemed to have been celebrated by Him and there was no need for me to celebrate any more birthdays thereafter. He asked all the disciples to wish me a happy birthday and many happy returns of the day.

I was in the habit of inhaling snuff. I just opened the snuff-box to enjoy a pinch of it hiding myself behind those disciples sitting in front of me. When I lifted my head and looked at Him, I found Him peering into my face.

"What is that?" Baba asked.

"Baba, it's snuff," I replied.

"Is it not possible to leave it, for good?"

"Yes, Baba, by all means."

I threw the snuff down on the carpet and from that day, i.e. 16-1-1953 onwards, I have not touched snuff. Prior to that, I was consuming one bottle a day. Snuff was the last thing at night and the first thing in the morning. It is a very dirty habit, giving the smell of snuff to all the clothes; and all the handkerchiefs get stained with it and one does not hesitate to ease and clean one's snotty nose anywhere and everywhere.

I contracted this dirty habit from my brother-lawyers and I was not able to leave it. All my relations tried their best in vain to dissuade me from using snuff. But a mere suggestion from Baba was enough to wean me from this bad habit.

One of the disciples was smoking at least twenty cigarettes a day. Baba said to him, "Now you smoke only nineteen." After a few days Baba brought it down to eighteen and so, in about six months, the disciple was made to give up the habit altogether. But He brought about this gradually so that the suggestion was accepted without any resistance. So also, another disciple was cured of the drink-habit.

Baba helped many get rid of their vices.


1992 © M. R. Dhakephalkar


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