Symbols of the world's religions



Margaret Craske

One day during the Bangalore period, at the end of 1939 or beginning of 1940, through the garden gate came two pathetic small black puppies. Breed unknown, one male and one female. Evidently someone — being unable to keep them — had pushed them through the gates and then departed, hoping of course that someone would feed and love them. Their hope was realized.

Baba, upon hearing of their arrival, and knowing that after my arrival from England I had not yet acquired a regular job of my own, put them into my charge to feed, keep clean, and exercise. They were quite darling, and once they had been fed, bathed, and their fleas removed, Sunny and Bunny, Baba's names for them, became part of the ashram animal family, which after a time I had in my care. It consisted of Lily the deer, a beautiful and snobbish creature who never tried to butt anyone but the garden servants; six small monkeys who lovingly tried to rid me of non-existent fleas; a small white dog; and Moti, the proud and gorgeous peacock; a rabbit; and one or two lesser lights.

One extremely hot summer, which we spent on the Hill at Meherabad, was marked strongly by one of those periods of meditation that Baba gave us to do. At noon every day, we sat cross-legged on the floor of the room in which we slept. We sat facing the wall and fairly close to it, making a circle round the outside of the room, and were thus not disturbed by having to face someone else.

The following is the meditation given us by Baba. The breath was to be drawn in slowly through the nostrils on the syllable "Ba" and let out slowly on the same syllable through the mouth. This was done silently. If possible we were to keep our minds on Baba Himself during one hour of this meditation.

If the mind wandered, we were still to keep on with the breathing with the words. It is interesting to note that most of the Avatars had names in this two-syllable category: Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Rama are all suited for this form of meditation.

One morning, having had an unusually busy time exercising the dogs and the small monkeys and picking large clinging ticks out of the dogs' ears, I was a little late starting across the compound for the 12 o'clock meditation. I was breathless and mindless, so I flung myself into the required position just as the bell rang for silence. Without time to recover I started off with the breathing, and after a moment or two found that I was in-breathing and out-breathing on the names Sunny and Bunny. Sunny in, Bunny out. I stopped. Horror-stricken I could not go on or even try to put the matter straight. Then another horror. I badly wanted to laugh. The rest of the hour passed, I don't know how, but it seemed impossible to get on a steady course.

I had to go to Baba to confess. With great solemnity, He looked at this careless disciple, and then in silence allowed her to feel the enormity of her sin. Then to my relieved surprise, He laughed with apparent enjoyment at the idiocy of the Sunny-Bunny meditation, embraced me and sent me away.

I cannot imagine trying to go along the spiritual path with a master who had no divine sense of humor. A wave of love comes over me when I remember Baba's loving humor.


1990 © Sheriar Press Inc.


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