Baba’s warning on obedience

DADA T. L. VASWANI, age seventy-eight, was a former college professor of English and history who had renounced all to serve humanity. He was called “Sadhu” and had established and was running the Saint Mira School in Poona, and was regarded by many to be a saint. There was a longstanding invitation from him to Baba to visit the school. Not to disappoint his “beloved child,” as Baba would call him, Baba agreed to go and a date was fixed.

Baba cautioned the Meherazad mandali to be always with him during the Poona program, and he kept repeating this warning for days prior to going.

Baba was then carried outside and sat on the veranda to give darshan and distribute prasad to his lovers and many others from Poona whose number now exceeded ten thousand. Elbows flew as some pressed forward. The situation became so serious that Baba’s safety was at stake. Physically, Baba was suffering terribly, but despite it, he had come to Poona to give darshan. The crowd continued to grow out of control and pandemonium eventually broke out.

The mandali surrounded Baba as the police appeared on the scene. Not knowing who they were, the police roughly manhandled the mandali and separated them from Baba. Kumar was forcibly removed and taken some distance away where he was made to sit down. He, whom Baba had made the Commander-in-Chief during the Andhra and Hamirpur programs, was now in the custody of the police. Bhau was shoved so violently that he was just saved from falling several feet away. Had Narayan Bundellu not caught him in time, he would have been severely injured.

On the one hand, the mandali were pleased that the police had come and now surrounded Baba, but on the other, they had Baba’s order to remain close to him during the program. The police would not allow them to come near, and they had to stand helplessly at a distance. Only Eruch was allowed to stand by Baba’s side, conveying Baba’s words.

… Before leaving, Baba’s arti was sung and he remarked, “Today’s program gave me much pleasure.”

In response to that comment, Kumar and Bhau narrated their afternoon of trouble and misfortune at the hands of the police. Baba laughed much, remarking, “That is what gave me so much pleasure! It served you right, and I was happy. You deserve such treatment. Today I found out that you cannot give me your companionship. I had ordered you to stay close to me, but instead you left me in the hands of the police.”

“But Baba, we were quite helpless,” Kumar declared. “We could not do anything about the police.”

Baba replied, “That is why I keep telling you that obedience is impossible. Now do you understand it or not?”

Kumar had no answer to this because, in fact, Baba’s instruction could not be carried out, and circumstances had rendered them helpless.

–, p4160
March, 1957; Poona

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