“Never hurt the feelings of anyone”

Another lesson for me came that summer at Guruprasad when several of Baba’s close ones were sitting with Him, reminding me of a father talking to his children. Somehow the subject turned to a disagreement that Adi and I had just had with the relatives with whom we were staying in Pune. A misunderstanding had taken place between our uncle and the two of us, and our aunt had been very upset because she loved us very much and tried to do everything she could to make us comfortable. So she complained to Baba about her husband’s behavior.

Baba listened and then told us exactly how to handle the problem. “Try to settle this situation amicably. Do it in such a way that you do not hurt the feelings of your aunt, and at the same time do not hurt the feelings of your uncle. I am in every heart, and if you hurt the feelings of any person, you are hurting me.” Baba explained this all casually. But then He turned directly to me and said, “Rhoda, never hurt the feelings of anyone.” With these last words His direction became an order for me — and it was more difficult than the order not to eat chicken which Baba had already given us.

In fact, I have found throughout the rest of my life that this order has been one of the most difficult to keep. All of a sudden I get angry with someone, and words begin flying before I can think. This happened once between a very close friend and me in Meherabad after we moved there from Karachi. Some problem occurred, and the woman and I ended up shouting angrily at one another. When I reached home, I began to think about how much I must have hurt this woman’s feelings, as I really loved her dearly. The next morning we had to pick her up in our car, as we were going somewhere together. As soon as she came out of her house, I stepped out of the car and held my arms open wide to greet her. “Forgive me,” I said. “I was so rude, and I hurt your feelings so badly.”

“No, no,” she answered. “I’ve been thinking that you were right, but I kept insisting, even though I was wrong.”

We hugged one another and that was the end of it. For maybe fifteen years now we have been so close, so loving with one another. Baba took away that anger from my heart which otherwise would have stayed there and come up again and again.

“Never hurt the feelings of anyone.” Short and simple.

-Surrendering to Him, Rhoda and Adi Dubash, p108

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