TIGER ON A PAR WITH BUFFALO
Baba's wish was for us to feel no self-conscious barrier, and He broke a great deal of this nonsense by telling us, "You cannot come to my level, so I have to come to yours."
This certainly made matters easier, and we were able to react to His Love in a less difficult manner. We were no longer afraid to say or do the wrong thing.
One day while we were happily sitting round Him, He told us that one day He would call us to India, and that we should stay with Him for the rest of our lives.
As were digesting this statement, someone chirped up, "Baba what shall we do if we meet a tiger?" About on a par with asking what to do if we should meet a buffalo in America.
But Baba took the question seriously, and spelt out the following on His alphabet board: "If you ever meet a tiger, stand perfectly still and inwardly repeat my name."
Years later, Baba had his whole group of by this time rather battered disciples staying with Him in Mahabaleshwar. The house was on a slight elevation from where one could look down onto a forest which stretched for miles across the country.
The British, mostly army officers, used the forest for tiger shooting expeditions.
With the group at this time were some boys whom Baba was training to serve Him, either out in the world or in a closer ashram life. They seemed quite wonderful boys, learning early to follow the path of Love and Obedience.
One of their main jobs was at night to patrol the house where the women might be sleeping.
In the early morning in some districts, as many as seven or eight dead snakes could be found stretched out near the entrance to the house where the women slept.
One night, two of the boys on duty felt that something was wrong. They turned on their flashlights, and there prowling at no great distance from them was a fierce-looking tiger.
They were so well trained that even the terror of seeing this frightening apparition did not make them forget Baba's order about dealing with this particular situation.
They turned off their lights, became frozen into immobility, and immediately started to repeat inwardly, "Baba, Baba, Baba."
After some time the fear began to abate and they felt safer. At this point one of them turned on his flashlight, just in time to see the animal leaping over the wall and going back into the forest.
THE DANCE OF LOVE, pp. 88-89
1980 © Sheriar Press, Inc.