Keen inner longing

One day in Rishikesh, Baba was giving Chanji instructions at the mandali’s quarters when a sanyasi came to the gate desiring darshan. Chanji went to him and told him that Meher Baba, being in seclusion, was not seeing anyone until his tours in the Himalayas were finished.

The sanyasi exploded with anger, “Why does he refuse to give darshan? Am I not worthy? Do you know that I have visited hundreds of the holiest places of pilgrimage in India? Why should I care if I don’t get darshan here!”

Chanji tried to explain the situation and pacify him, but the sanyasi became even more argumentative. He began quoting passages from the shastras, as if to demonstrate his devotion. Eventually he stormed off, quoting this couplet:

Where doest thou seek me, O dear devotee!
I am always near and with thee!

Repeating these lines louder and louder, he raised his arms dramatically and walked off, looking toward the heavens, as if pleading with God to grant a little sense to poor Chanji to be able to recognize someone as sincere as himself.

But the ironic part of the whole affair was that, had the man not been so absorbed in his own performance, looking toward the sky, he would have seen Baba, who was off to one side, watching all the time! Twice, he passed Baba without recognizing him.

After the man had left, Baba explained to Chanji,

“His time has not yet come. People like him wander from place to place, haphazardly, in search of God, muttering verses and chapters from the shastras and chanting couplets from the poets, but all superficially with the tongue, and not from the heart. They gain very little — practically nothing, spiritually.

“It is not merely the desire, but a keen inner longing that, in time, brings one in contact with a true saint or Master.”, p2285
May, 1942; Rishikesh

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