I WOULD HAVE GIVEN HIM TWO OR THREE SLAPS
Baba was inside the room contacting a mast, and as we were not permitted to see what he was doing in those early days, we were just standing outside waiting. I was wearing a coat and I had a wad of ten rupee notes in the breast pocket of my coat. I soon found that the villagers were gathering around us. They started behaving very friendly with us. We couldn't just stand there doing nothing, so we started chatting our duty was to ask for masts in different areas.
As we were chatting together I noticed one person with a paralyzed hand. He was very friendly. He stood close beside me while he was chatting, then very stealthily he reached his hand into my pocket and pulled out a note. I didn't see it at first, but I heard a little swishing sound, then looked around and saw a note flying past. I looked up and saw that he was the person holding it.
I caught hold of his wrist and dragged him behind the room where Baba was contacting the mast, because there was a crowd of villagers in front of it, and I was determined to give him a tight slap. I had just raised my hand to do so, when someone caught hold of my hand, I looked and saw that it was Baba holding my hand.
Baba said, "What are you doing?"
"Baba, he stole my ten rupee note," I said.
"Did you do that?" He asked the man.
After the man admitted it, Baba just pinched the lobe of his ears. "Never do that again," Baba told him. Then He told me to give back the ten rupee note to him. He said, "The money is for those in need. Had he not been in need, why would he have done that? Give it to him."
"Don't do it again," Baba exhorted him.
Had Baba not come at that moment I would have given him two or three slaps for doing such a thing.
PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY, p. 182, John A. Grant
1985 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust