WITH YOU TILL THE VERY END
Baba decided that He wanted to have a meeting with the Poonabhajan group and He asked one of its members to draw up a list ofthose who were involved in this group so they could be invited toattend the meeting. But all of this was supposed to be strictlyconfidential. Once informed of the meeting, you were not supposed tolet anyone else know about it. Still, somehow, we sensed thatsomething was up. And while no one would openly talk about it, weused to drop hints to each other, make suggestive comments in ourconversation and therefore I was waiting eagerly for someone to comeand officially invite me to the meeting....
As time passed I became quite anxious. I had discovered that themeeting was to be held that afternoon and I waited with much hopeand anticipation until the last moment for my invitation to arrive.To my surprise, no one ever showed up to inform me about themeeting. As I was quite active in the group, there had never beenany doubt in my mind as to my being invited. It was a painful shockfor me and I felt deeply hurt at this omission.
My emotions were in such turmoil that I decided to take off on mybicycle and cycle away to some lonely place where I could be bymyself. I told my mother that I was going out and left the house.
At first I just cycled aimlessly but eventually I came to theSangam Bridge at the juncture of the Mula and Mutha Rivers. Theafternoon was hot, but not nearly as torrid as the emotions ragingwithin me. I got down from my cycle and sat under a tree for an houror so and then cycled home, hot, dejected and tired.
To my surprise, before I could even enter the house, my motherstarted shouting at me, scolding me for not telling her exactlywhere I was going when I left. She said, "Baba sent a car here totake you to the Botanical Gardens. Now rush there immediately."
I was stunned at this news. I cursed myself now for ever havingleft the house, but it was too late now to worry about that. Ijumped on my cycle and began to pedal as fast as I could, wishingall the while that I could go even faster. When I reached thegardens and the house where Baba was staying, I just threw my cycledown and ran forward.
As I entered the room, Baba looked at me so lovingly that Icouldn't contain my emotions and I burst out into tears. "Why didn'tyou come for the meeting?" Baba gestured.
"I was not called," I replied. Baba looked very surprised to hearthis, and then He gestured for me to come and sit near Him. I wentforward and sat facing Baba, with my back to all the others who werethere. Baba looked at Eruch and gestured, "Why was his name left offthe list?"
Eruch said, "Baba, I did not prepare the list." And Eruch theninformed Baba of who had done it. When I heard the name I was takenaback. The person responsible was none other than my classmate andvery close friend. I couldn't believe he could have left me outintentionally and was sure it must have been some sort of mistake.
But Baba turned to me and gestured, "You say that you are closefriends. But what kind of friendship is this? You were together inschool, in college and both of you have come to me and love me, butstill he forgot to include your name. Your own friend!" Babacontinued to tease me in this vein for some time.
But then He turned serious and looking straight into my eyes Hedeclared, "Always remember one thing. All your relations in theworld your father, mother, brothers, sisters and friends areonly your companions for the time being. They remain with you for acertain period but I am the only companion who is with you from thevery beginning and will remain with you till the very end."