Symbols of the world's religions

               

BABA DREW US ALL WITH LOVE AT FIRST

Rano Gayley

 
You see, Baba drew us all with love at first; all he asked of us Westerners was love. After he got our love, the obedience started. It used to be very difficult sometimes to obey Baba. We use to be willing to do anything, but when it came to small things — I know as far as I was concerned — I always managed to trip. I will give you one example. As Baba would say, "If I asked you to walk down the street without any clothes on, you just would take your clothes off. You would do it. You would not think anything about it. If I told you to lop an arm or a hand off, you would not think about it. But when I ask you to do just something like this, you trip."

It happened one day that I got into sort of an altercation with somebody. To this day I do not know quite how it started, but I felt very upset because this person was very angry with me about something which, it seemed to me, was really not my fault. They went on in such a rave that I started getting angry also and spluttered away. I was still spluttering when Baba came to hear about it. So I had to tell Baba, because if he asks you, you cannot beat around the bush. Whether you like it or not, you have got to tell him what it is. I explained the whole situation to him, and when I finished, Baba said, "Go and apologize to so-and-so."

I said, "If anybody should apologize, it is so-and-so who should apologize." Then I realized what I had said and told him, "Oh, I'll go and apologize, Baba."

Baba said, "No. It's too late. If you had gone when I first told you to, that would have been different. Now your apology would mean nothing."

I felt terribly small and said, "Well, the next time this won't happen."

But somehow or other, next time the situation was always different, so one always tripped. Baba would get us when we were down. If we were on a level, then we could reason properly and realize what Baba was saying. But it was when we were out of mood that we had to learn the control and do what Baba wanted. It was very difficult sometimes, especially in the Blue Bus days when we would be traveling all day long, sometimes with hardly anything to eat. We would arrive at our destination and find that the dal had gone sour, and the milk had turned, and there was practically nothing to eat. Then everybody would be scrambling around looking for a corner to rest. Oh, incidents used to happen.

As I say, it was like a miniature world. What seemed to happen there, I suppose, happened out in the world. Only ours was on a small scale, because we were so many different nationalities, so many different temperaments, so many different ages. Whereas out in the world you can get away from people, and you can sort of control your mood, when you are in the ashram you are up against people all day long. We had to learn to get on with each other. And little by little, I began to see that I had to do something about this temper of mine. When I would hear myself, I would try to remember and control it. But it was still a very difficult thing.
 

HOW A MASTER WORKS, pp. 594-596, Ivy O. Duce
1975 © Sufism Reoriented, Inc.

               

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