To have attraction for the world is like taking poison

Baba at the St. Marks Square, Venice

They then returned to the hotel for lunch and went again to St. Mark’s Square at four in the afternoon. At the request of his lovers, their photographs were individually taken with Baba feeding the pigeons.

When they arrived back at the hotel, however, Baba was in an obviously unhappy mood. He gathered the group and asked, “Why did you break a promise?” They were taken aback and looked to each other to realize their mistake. Baba continued, “I instructed you to be with me continuously, yet while returning to the hotel, you lingered behind to see the beauty of Venice and the lovely things displayed in the shop windows. You did not care about my instructions. I had to send someone back to call you more than once.”

“How many times have I told you to be in the world yet not of it? But the world has so much attraction for you that you even neglect my wishes…”

Baba’s rebuke brought tears to his gopis’ eyes and the pain of disobedience to their hearts. He then lovingly explained, “Don’t worry now and keep happy. But do not repeat such mistakes. To have attraction for the world is like taking poison, and I save you from its pernicious effect by making you drink salt water [their tears]!”, p1463
August, 1932; Venice

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