“You run after the shadow, losing the substance”

On the train traveling from Lahore to Amritsar, a 53-year-old Muslim man in the compartment was also visibly drawn to Baba. He kept gazing steadily at Baba, who was patting the new boy seated beside him. After some time, Baba looked straight at him and dictated through one of the mandali, “My friend, there is nothing but bliss everywhere.”

“Maybe for you, Sir,” the man replied, “but not for us.”

Baba answered, “You complain because you cannot see it, but I tell you there is nothing but bliss all around. I see it; I experience it every moment.”

The man then said, “I have experienced nothing but misery, conflict and suffering in the world. I have never known happiness and am quite disgusted with my life.”

“This is because of ignorance,” Baba explained. “You have no experience of real bliss. You run after the shadow, losing the substance. You mistook happiness for eating, making money, and in pleasures and enjoyments, which are fleeting, false and transitory. Not only that, they take you further away from the real bliss which is everlasting.”

“But, where can I find that bliss?” asked the man. “And how does one find it?”

“That is exactly the point!” Baba exclaimed. “Now you are asking and desiring something real. Let your desire be only to find this bliss, to find Truth and to find God. Continuously have this longing and you will achieve it. You will find the path to achieve it, and someone will surely show it to you.”

“Would you show it to me?” the man pleaded. “Would you help me?”

“Certainly, with the greatest pleasure. That is what I want to do. That is my work; that is my mission. I will show you what real bliss is only if you do as I say, and I will not tell you to do something too difficult for you. It is so easy, if you only take it to heart. I will then see to the rest.

“Every morning, very early, spare only five minutes for this. Seek a place, aloof and alone, and try to meditate, thinking, ‘God is One; He is everywhere and there is nothing but Him.’ ” Do this for only five minutes daily. I will see that you experience something. You will see some light, and then you will be satisfied and proceed on the Path.”

The man was visibly relieved of his misery, and felt joy from meeting the Master and accepting his advice. Baba’s simple explanation made him experience that life was again worth living. The feeling of renewed enthusiasm for life had not been conveyed through words; it had been imparted internally.

The mandali found out that the person had tried many different spiritual austerities and was searching for a Master, but after years he had grown dejected and depressed. When he met Baba in the train, he was contemplating suicide. Baba not only saved his life, but inspired him to continue in his quest. This individual was none other than the celebrated Indian poet Muhammad Iqbal*. 

-www.lordmeher.org, p1187
June, 1930; On a Train in North India


*[Footnote]: Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938) was educated at Oxford. He later wrote a national song (“Sare Jahan Se Acha Hindustan Hamara”) which became popular at the time of India’s movement for independence from British rule. His Urdu and Persian poetry is considered among the greatest of modern times.

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