IT WAS THE YOGA OF THE DAY
Words were also important. If there was a quarrel, Baba would hear both parties out and then ask them to embrace each other and forget their differences. No one was to backbite or criticize others. In order to keep from doing this, one had to focus on Baba all the time.
One amusing incident that illustrates Baba's insistence that we accommodate the needs of others concerned Banufui, Mummy's aunt, who had a habit of inhaling snuff. When the women were gathered to hear Baba talk or to entertain Him, she would sometimes take a large, noisy whiff of snuff and then sneeze loudly. We children would laugh, but Norina was disgusted by this habit and showed great annoyance.
Baba always looked surprised at Norina's shudder. He never said anything to either Banufui or Norina, but one evening He gave Banufui a loving smile and handed her a large box of her favorite snuff in front of all the women — not to show His approval of snuff, but to teach everyone that in community living, people must tolerate the long-time habits of others, such as snoring, belching or sniffling, even though some might find such behavior objectionable. From that day Norina stopped showing her disgust.
HE GIVES THE OCEAN, pp. 89-90
2006 © Meherwan Kotwal