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Travels with the Mystic Master True Tales of a Tantra-Yogi Dada Dharmavedananda Comments about Travels with the Mystic Master: This book is full of delightful and educative stories. I enjoyed it so much that I read most of it in a single night. ó Robert Bly, winner of the National Book Award (USA) for poetry, author of bestseller Iron John: A Book About Men An authentic, inspiring and humorous chronicle of modern-day mysticism ... explores the usually unexpressed 'nitty-gritty' of spiritual development. -- New Renaissance magazine One cannot help being moved by the enchanting simplicity of the authorís straightforward yet lyrical prose, often set in rich humor ... Seekers of truth will be drawn by his description of what it takes to advance in the world of spiritual consciousness. Perhaps, however, the greatest achievement of the book is the introduction of the awesome Tantric culture through firsthand experience, with intricate detail about the methods of a real master. ó Global Times Dharmavedananda begins his journey from the episteme of Indian Tantra, but his profundity touches the deeper dimensions of other cultures, and ends in universalism. Mysterious and provocative, without acceding to New Ageism. ó Journal of Future Studies This adventure, told by a man who gave up everything in life, only to find he could not then contain all that was offered him, is a wonderful work. Read it and discover how the often difficult path of true spiritual enlightenment can be surprisingly fun, especially when attempting to follow the hallowed footsteps of Dadaís unpredictable master. ó Bob Trask, founder/president of the ARAS Foundation (Acceptance, Respect, Affection, Support), author of several books including Godís Phone Number and Romancing The Soul: A Journey To Enlightenment The book teaches on multi-levels through a natural and frank interlacing of the personal lives of the author and his master, through inner journeys, and through lessons gained from the master ó with philosophical reflections as footnotes. Itís a document of human courage and spiritual dedication no matter how little one has to eat or how sick one gets. It gave me numerous insights, also emotional release and practical guidance, especially about several issues which had been troubling me for years. ó Dr Paul Wildman, Co-chairman of the United Nations Universities Millennnium Project, Brisbane Describes in depth the authorís relationship with Shrii Anandamurtiji, who was surely one of the greatest spiritual masters of all time. I found the book contains an ocean of knowledge and wisdom.

ó Dr Ravi Batra, author of five international bestsellers about economics, professor of economics Southern Methodist University in Dallas A great read! Being a westerner and complete novice to all things Tantric, Dadaís writings opened my eyes to this fascinating culture. His experiences are almost unimaginable to most Americans and can restore our faith that miracles can and do happen! ó Sheila Casserly, President of Celebrity Focus: a celebrity talent consultancy agency, Chicago A rare book ó sparkling with a living spirituality. Readers will greatly benefit. ó Zhong Ti, Chinese Buddhist teacher & monk, Thailand Fascinating! ...especially because of the overwhelming practical knowledge contained in the experiences of a man seeking genuine spirituality. Its adventure-novel-like style made it difficult for me to put it down. ...embodies more meaning than most philosophy books. Yet, nothing is hidden of the hardships and doubts one is bound to encounter while walking such a path. ó Jairo R. Braganca, Director of Jaybee Institute of Languages, Petropolis, Brazil An extraordinary book by a remarkable man. The spiritual equivalent of rugged mountain climbing; fast moving and no holds barred. ó Steve Gunther, Director of Northern Rivers Gestalt Institute, New South Wales Dharmavedanandaís passionate writings are a spiritual juggernaut, compelling us to share the tears, laughter and inspiration of the journey to self-knowledge. The greatest gift the author offers is the knowledge that in victory and defeat the Mystic Master always remains in the recesses of our hearts and minds. ó Dr Sid Jordan, Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina 3

Travels with the Mystic Master True Tales of a Tantra-Yogi Dada Dharmavedananda

Copyright ©1998 by the author All rights reserved by the author. ISBN 981-04-0864-1 First edition published 1995 in Taiwan under the title, ìWhoís Afraid of the Tantric Guru?î Second edition November 1998 Editorial assistance: Devashish Donald Acosta Cover: Shakti Graphics, Manila, Philippines Illustrations: Dada Vishnudevananda Layout: Dada Nityashubhananda Published by:

Ananda Marga Publications Singapore 27 Wilkinson Road Singapore 436686 Tel: (65)344-6519 Fax: (65)345-2404 Ananda Marga Publications Maharlika 46 Maamo Street, Sikatuna Village Quezon City 1101, Metro Manila Philippines Tel/Fax: (63)2-924-6068, (63)2-434-4578 Email contact: [emailprotected] [emailprotected] 5

To those who go on singing and dancing to please God even when they don't feel like it. For when this feeling is absent there's nothing to do but recapture it. And when this feeling is present there's nothing to do but expand it.

Contents

ïIntroduction .................................................................................................... 8 ïBrief Biography of Shri Shri Anandamurti ........................................ 14 1 Hope ....................................................................................... 23 2 What a Fool Iíve Been .......................................................... 29 3 Just Love Me ......................................................................... 34 4 You Have to Work for Your Realization ............................ 46 5 Home ...................................................................................... 61 6 The Master of Testing, Caring and Hocus-Pocus ............... 89 7 Determination......................................................................116 8 Personal Contact .................................................................130 9 Kapalika Meditation ...........................................................161 10 Empowered ..........................................................................173 11 Eye of the Hurricane ...........................................................181 12 As Per System ......................................................................204 13 Visaless Travel .....................................................................227 14 Become an Ideal Person .....................................................242 15 Lord Shiva Never Did It ....................................................254 16 You also Have to Play .........................................................274 17 Forgetting and Remembering .............................................288 18 Even for the Poorest of the Poor .......................................306 19 Working 24 Hours a Day ...................................................324 20 He Sends Out a Clarion Call .............................................348 Epilogue ...............................................................................371 ïAppendices: ................................................................................................ 382 I. Technical Talks by Baba or with Baba ........................................................... 383 II. Introduction to the Progressive Utilization Theory (Prout) ................... 397 III. Tantra, Veda and Yoga ................................................................................ 401 ïGlossary ...................................................................................................... 410

8 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER For a more detailed definition of the words Tantra and yoga please see both the glossary and the appendix entitled Tantra, Veda and Yoga. 1

Introduction

F

or many years I considered writing a book to help people under

stand the path of Tantra (which, in a phrase, may be defined as ìthe all-round struggle for self-realizationî).1 But I shied away from the task, sure that a suitable book must already exist. However, though there are libraries of books about meditation or occult power or yoga, I was never able to find a book that explains the modern Tantric experience. Todayís Tantrics can no longer enjoy solitary life in the jungles or caves. In the past yogis were free to work solely on the psychic level but today social conditions are so grave that they have to assist on every level, physical as well as psychic. Confronted by the global ecological crisis, they understand its cause: a technological society which is destroying itself by its greed for money and power. They also recognize that an age of spiritual awareness is coming, and that this crisis is like the darkness that comes before the dawn, a darkness which is increasingly compelling mankind to wake up from its long sleep. Most people believe that yoga and Tantra are, at best, self-centered practices for procuring oneís own personal peace, and, at worst, sects concerned with achieving occult powers or indulging in animalistic orgies. Nothing could be further from the truth, but no one can blame the public for having these misconceptions because these are the most publicized images of yoga and Tantra. When I started writing this book my aim was to reveal the lesser known but truer Tantra, that Tantra whose real concern is welfare of the entire creation. It began as a work of fiction based on my personal experiences. I thought that this would protect the book from criticism by those who might think I was trying to publicize the organization to which I belong. But when I began getting feedback on my rough drafts, nearly everyone encouraged me to simply tell the facts as they actually took place rather than cloak them in a fictional guise. I turned to straight autobiography, basing it on many years of personal diaries. And I did not avoid mention of my organization which is called Ananda Marga, or its founder and master, Shri Shri Anandamurti, who is informally called Baba. I must admit to a hidden moti9

vation: I wanted as many people as possible to know about Baba, and the vast work for which he sacrificed every drop of his energy. I have staked my own life on His teachings because I am convinced they are vital for achieving global cooperation between good people, good ideas and good organizations so that we may overcome the present crisis and usher in a new socio-spiritual era. Throughout Babaís life (he physically died in 1990), only those who were practicing his meditation were able to get some sort of picture of him. Though his life was dedicated to serving the world, he kept himself completely away from the public. He never appeared on television nor did he allow any reporter to talk to him. During the last twenty years of his life he preferred not even to meet anyone who was not practicing meditation. Once, after repeated requests for Him to write

his autobiography, he handed a piece of paper to his disciples and said, ìHere is my autobiography.î The paper read: ìI was a mystery. I am a mystery. I will always remain a mystery.î Though I cannot hope to solve that mystery, I feel impelled to do my best to expose to you, the reader, something of the Baba that I knew and know. (Along with my personal perspective of Baba, Iíve included a short chronological explanation of His life. It immediately follows this Introduction.) Here, then, are my own experiences with Baba, with his work and with his disciples. Much of it I have never mentioned to anyone. Though my life has been extraordinary, it is not unusual. Rather, the extraordinary is the norm among dedicated spiritualists. I know hundreds of Tantrics who could write a book like this and, in fact, one of the motivations behind this book is to inspire those Tantrics to write their own stories. As you read, youíll see that I donít restrain myself from including the harsher or more confusing sides of the path. I think the reader deserves a complete picture rather than the popular misconceptions that the path is only ìbeautifulî, or that the spiritual master is only ìsweetî. I have gone so far as to portray the extremes of Babaís anger, the occasional severe stinging of his speech, even his use of a stick to fiercely beat his disciples. I also describe major controversies about the Ananda Marga organization. INTRODUCTION 10 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

Many of the stories about Baba are not exceptionalórather they are typical. It is for this very reason that they are includedóto give you a general idea of Babaís lifestyle and way of speaking, and to suggest, at least in some way, the immeasurable extent of His knowledge. For example, some stories allude to the fact that he understood and spoke every language and every dialect of the world. Others include examples of the occult demonstrations and cures he sometimes performed for his disciples. All in all, I selected only a fraction of the many incidents I witnessed. My diaries, which start at the age of eighteen, contain no reference to my origins or earlier life as a youth. A few lines here should suffice. I was brought up in a middle-class suburb north of Chicago. My father was a trial lawyer, and my mother was a housewife-cum-oil-painter. Both were active in the civil rights and anti-war movements. My only sibling was a sister who achieved a fair degree of international fame as a cellist in a top-notch classical trio. The most extraordinary member of our family was our dog, Judy, whom I once calculated knew one hundred and fifteen words, responding appropriately to each of them even when they were spoken in a monotone. For example, at the faintest mention of the word bath, she would raise her ears and then dive to safety behind the sofa. Judy once indicated to me that the best place for meditation was actually right there, behind the sofa, where no one could disturb her, though I believe she was joking. I was an above-average student, leading a normal extra-curricular and social life. This included experimenting with most of the usual vices and indulging in mild forms of revolutionary expression. While studying, I also tried many jobs, each for a few months, including working as a lawyerís investigator, a postman, a construction worker, a supermarket clerk, and many varied jobs on a golf course. Throughout all

my early experiences I was keenly aware that none of them were fully satisfying. An insatiable appetite for new tastes and new knowledge continually drove me from one thing to another. While attending high school, I once wrote in an essay: ìIf I had to summarize my personal philosophy in two sentences I would sayó1) Maximally utilize every moment, and then pass on to the next. 2) Savor every last baked bean.î The book also makes short work of explaining the socio-spiritual disciplines and groups that I joined before finally entering Ananda 11

Marga. Most of the people who read my drafts expressed interest in reading about those experiences but the fact is they were mostly not so important, and so I abbreviated that section. I also do not include many incidents concerned with my social work, though that work takes up about half of my time. I prefer to relate only those experiences which are colorful, profound, exciting, or give some insight into Babaís personality. To fill this gap, I occasionally mention the beginnings of certain new projects, or describe experiences that take place during this work. Another missing element is the absence of any explanation about our socioeconomic concept, Proutówhich is an acronym for the Progressive Utilization Theory. To get a minimal understanding of Ananda Marga, some exposure to the meaning of Prout is needed. For this purpose a brief introduction to Prout is contained in the appendices. A few entries have somewhat technical content, e.g., regarding agriculture, economy and languages. The reader may or may not be interested in these topics, so they have also been placed in the appendices. For many years I have worked in non-English speaking countries. As a result my writing is sometimes unorthodox in the sense of having assimilated some features of the many non-American, non-British strains of English spoken throughout the world. Some sections are detailed, while others sketchy. In some places I offer philosophical explanations, and elsewhere I leave you in the dark. I have made no effort to clean up these irregularities because, in the final analysis, I feel that such things really donít matter. All incidents were personally witnessed by me, unless I mention otherwise. As to Babaís quoted speech, in many instances I was quick enough to exactly record His words. At other times, I was forced to write them down afterward according to memory. Regarding Sanskrit terms, I use only those few which are most common and, thus, valuable to know. Throughout the text these words are italicized, except when they appear with great frequency. The first time any such term appears it is usually defined in parentheses or in a footnote. At the end of the text is a glossary of the Sanskrit words which appear in more than one diary entry. This glossary also includes other special English terminology and abbreviations. ...... INTRODUCTION 12 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

There is one additional point that I feel is important. In my original diaries I capitalized the pronoun ìHeî wherever it referred to Baba. I have maintained this practice throughout the book. This may appear to be either a blasphemy or the expression of a blind belief. But this is a principle and even a practice of Tantra, to give the highest regard

to the spiritual master or guru. Without the readiness to do anything and everything he tells us to do, one cannot progress rapidly on the path. If a small child doubts everything his teacher tells him, it will be not only absurd, but highly unproductive. Imagine you are a passenger, and the guru is driver of the car. As long as you hesitate to get in the car, the driver is handicapped, even if you momentarily sit down. If you stay in the car, but keep the door open, ready to leap out if the going gets dangerous, there, also, the driver cannot go ahead except at a very slow pace. Only if you close the door and lock it firmly, will the driver be ready to take you forward at the proper speed. You may be frightened by the speed but the driver knows what heís doing. By capitalizing the pronoun, the guru is equated to God. The ancient Vedas (which, though not infallible, do contain a wealth of knowledge) ask a question: If God and guru are standing before the disciple, whose feet should the disciple touch first? The answer is that the disciple should touch the guruís feet first. The explanation is that the guru is the way to God, without which it would be impossible to ever meet God. The disciple treats the guru not as an ordinary teacher, but as the spiritual path itself. Why? If we learn a mantra or other meditation technique from the guru, and practice it with full concentration, are we not, in effect, surrendering to the guru? The good or bad value of the mantra depends on the guru. The practice is subtle and powerful, and is designed, after all, to alter the mind itself. If, then, we do the practice but doubt its source, it is both hypocritical and useless. The best attitude for the spiritual aspirant is ìI know nothing.î I cannot know for certain whether anything is right or wrong, what to speak of judging my spiritual teacher. If there is a God, He knows this incompleteness in me even better than I know it. Yet, He created in my life conditions which demand judgment and decisive determination, without which I am not even able to rise from my bed in the morning. 13

We fool ourselves if we think we do not judge. In many ways, every day, we judge. And yet we do not know for sure if our judgments are correct. Those who say, ìI keep my mind completely open; I neither judge anyone nor believe in anythingîósay one thing and do another. Tantra understands that we may doubt our judgments, but, nevertheless, we should proceed ahead as if there is no doubt. We should implement our decisions with full commitment. To reap the real benefit from the guru, the disciple must treat him as the Way to Godóthe Word of God. If you say, ìBut thatís very risky!î the fact is not changed that we are compelled to judge every moment without understanding in the deepest sense that which we judge. The fact also remains that to achieve anything great, a great risk is required. There is no greater risk than that of the spiritual path. Yet the risk is only an apparent one, because God cannot expect more from us than our best. As far as He is concerned, our best is perfect. I speak of my guru as ìHe,î confident that God appreciates the thought behind it. Because God is the thought behind it. INTRODUCTION 14 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

A Brief Biography of Shri Shri Anandamurtiji

Shri Shri Anandamurtiji was born in Jamalpur, Bihar, India, at dawn on the full-moon day in the Bengali month of Vaeshakh (May) in 1921, the same day that Buddha was born about 2500 years earlier. Because the sun was rising at the moment of His birth, the baby was named Arun, which means ìcrimson dawnî. Later His name was changed to Prabhat Ranjan, meaning ìthat which colors the dawn.î His full name was Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar. Some days after the babyís birth, a ceremony was performed at which many of the family members were present. A cotton wick was dipped into a silver pot of milk and then held over the babyís mouth so that the milk could drip in. At that moment, however, Arun lurched forward, grabbed the wick and started to drink from it directly. Everyone was shocked, especially the grandmother who exclaimed, ìHe is not a baby, rather he is a grown-up boy! He is Burho!î From that moment, Burho, which means ìthe ancient one,î became His nickname. Later on it was shortened to Bubu. Many years later, when Baba was asked about this incident, He said it was at that time that He realized it would be better for Him to act like a normal child. 15 A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF SHRII SHRII ANANDAMURTI

When He was only an infant, He narrated strange experiences to His mother, telling her how all the animals of the universe would enter in one of His ears, and go out the other. Many of the descriptions fit animals which He had never seen or which were extinct. He also narrated how all the planets and galaxies were floating through Him. His family members all remember seeing Prabhat Ranjan, even from a very young age, frequently sitting on His bed in the middle of the night performing meditation. When He was five years old, Prabhat Ranjan accompanied His parents to a Shiva temple. In the presence of the temple priest, the child gracefully recited a lengthy Sanskrit hymn to Shiva with perfect accent and intonation. The priest was shocked. How could a small, uneducated boy without any prior exposure to Sanskrit perform such a feat? His parents were also awe-struck by their own child. When admitted to the Jamalpur primary school, Prabhat Ranjan caught everyoneís interest by His astonishing memory and grasp of countless scientific phenomena and geographic facts that were obviously beyond the capacity of a human mind, what to speak of a childís mind. He also surprised many people by His daily habit of visiting the old unkempt Kali Hill Temple, a thoroughly frightening place which everyone else avoided. When asked why He went there, the child replied, ìI go there to think.î One day while walking home from school, He came upon a group of other students standing on the road. A large bull was blocking the path of the children, and they were afraid to push it aside. Prabhat Ranjan stepped forward and held His palm in front of the bullís forehead; immediately the bull sat down. During every vacation period Prabhat Ranjan was sent to the familyís peaceful ancestral home at Bamunpara in Burdwan, West Bengal. Because He spent much of His time lying in bed, His sister one day complained that He was a lazy boy, neither studying nor playing like other children. She said she believed He did not even know how to write His name. He asked her to bring a pen and paper. Then He wrote His name

in five scripts: Bengali, Arabic, Roman, Devanagrii and Tamil. From that moment she stopped pestering Him. Many years later Baba mentioned that at the age of seven, while spending long hours lying in His bed in Bamunpara, He chalked out His blueprint for the future Ananda Marga. 16 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

This habit of remaining lengthy periods in His bed changed apparently when He finished His plan. From that point on, Prabhat Ranjan became a student leader. During classes He sat very still, listening carefully, and absorbing every detail. But once out of class he would change completely. He loved gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, football, track and field events and other sports. He also enjoyed playing the flute, and writing poetry and short-stories. Eventually He composed articles concerned with public welfare which he published in commercial magazines. His father died at the age of forty-five, and the family was beset by financial hardship. Nevertheless, His mother made the necessary sacrifices so that Prabhat Ranjan could attend college. In 1939 her son was admitted to the faculty of science in Vidyasagar College in Calcutta where He developed a reputation for assisting students troubled by poverty. He took private tutoring jobs in order to help others. Students also flocked to Him for help in their studiesóeven senior students. He also began attracting many people with His unusual talentsópalm reading, fortune-telling, and manifesting various supra-psychic phenomena. Every evening He used to walk along the bank of the Ganges River, where He would also sit for meditation. Throughout His life, He never had any spiritual teacher or guru. One night, however, He began His own work as a guru. It was a full-moon night, and He was meditating in a cremation ground on the bank of the Ganges. Suddenly He heard a rough voice demanding, ìGive me your money, or Iíll kill you immediately!î He turned and found Himself facing a tall robust criminal. Unafraid, He said, ìKalicharan, I promise to give you all the money I have. But first tell me whether you rob people out of necessity or out of habit.î The dreaded thief was electrified by the composure of the slight lad, and amazed that he had been addressed by name. In a flash he understood the youth was a saint. Kalicharan said, ìAll my life I wanted to be a good person, but was never given the chance.î Moments later he entered the river to purify himself of his sins, then sat before Prabhat Ranjan and said, ìKhoka, teach me as you want.î Khoka means little boy. Prabhat Ranjan corrected him. ìCall me Baba.î Then He initiated Kalicharan, who, while doing meditation, entered the super-consciousness state. Afterward, Baba compelled a weeping Kalicharan to accept the few coins He had in His pocket. From that day, the rectified thief became a great spiritualist and his name was changed to Kalikananda. 17

During His time in Calcutta, Baba stayed at the house of His maternal uncle, Sarat Chandra Basu. Sarat Chandraís cousin was the famous social activist Subhash Chandra Bose. Though the name of Subhash Chandra Bose is not so familiar throughout the non-Indian world, in India his memory is commonly given equal or greater respect than that of Mahatma Gandhi. These two figures were the greatest leaders of the movement to gain independence from England. Another renowned personality with whom Baba had a close relationship was the revolutionary sociologist M.N. Roy. Over a period of several

years, both Subhash Chandra Bose and M.N. Roy frequently visited Baba to imbibe sociological concepts and solutions from Him. Subhash Chandra also benefited from Babaís knowledge of Tantra. After completing His intermediate studies in science in 1941, the dire financial condition of the family forced Baba to give up His further studies. He returned home and joined the accounts department of the railway workshop in Jamalpur. At that time Jamalpur was home to the biggest such workshop in all of Asia, with thousands of employees. Two years later, during the second World War, He entered the Territorial Army. After completing His military service, Baba returned to the railway workshop, and continued working there for more than twenty years. He was esteemed by the staff for His perfect efficiency and loving nature. Moreover, He became renowned as a palmist and fortune-teller. Many people came to Him to find out the whereabouts of their lost children and articles, and also to be healed from chronic or incurable ailments. One day, while India was still a British colony, Prabhat Ranjan was approached by an English gentleman who told Him that his wife was suffering in a London hospital. She had sent a telegram saying that the doctors found it difficult to diagnose the disease, but had decided to remove one of her kidneys. The man was depressed because he could not go to England to comfort his wife due to the war. Baba closed His eyes, then told him to send a cable requesting the doctors to make another medical check-up. Baba said, ìDo not worry. A simple operation will suffice. Your wife will be cured and soon return to you.î After a few days, news came that his wife was healed and on her way to India. When she arrived, Baba was invited to their house. When He entered, the wife was astonished. She took her husband into the side room and asked, ìWho is this gentleman?î The husband said, ìIt is Shri Prabhat A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF SHRII SHRII ANANDAMURTI 18 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

Ranjan Sarkar, my sole friend when I was in distress about your illness.î She became panicky and replied, ìIt is impossible, because he is the same Indian doctor who prevailed on the other doctors not to remove my kidney but to prefer a minor operation! When the operation was performed, he remained all the time next to me, keeping his hand on my head. It made me feel completely calm.î The husband was stunned. Baba, however, evaded their questions, and quickly left the house. In those days, Baba kept a special mirror in His bedroom. Occasionally when people expressed anxiety to Him about their far-away relatives, He would allow them to look into the mirror and see their relative. From this experience they derived great relief. Each time that He did this, however, He became sick for some time. A woman was once desperately weeping about the fact that she had been unable to meet her mother just before the old ladyís death. Baba showed her the mirror in which she saw her mother calmly sitting in a rowboat on a lake. The woman was very satisfied. After this He became very sick and remained so for one month. During that time, Babaís mother came in the room and broke the mirror. Until 1954, Baba led a life of spiritual camouflage. He initiated a large number of people without letting one another know that they were the disciples of one and the same guru. Most of His co-workers and even His family did not know about His spiritual work. On November

7th, 1954, He called His disciples together for the first time and delivered His first spiritual address. On January 9th, 1955, Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha was formally founded. He explained that the organization aimed at a two-fold ideal: liberation of self, and service to the world. Then, for the first time in a collective meeting, Baba gave His now-famous special gesture of blessing. Everyone in the congregation entered into various states of spiritual awakening. In the late 1950ís Baba married, and a few years later, a baby boy was born. Thus Baba demonstrated that a family was no impediment to a life of supreme dedication. From 1955 Baba began training spiritual teaches or acharyas and empowering them to teach the meditation lessons. In the first years, all of these men and women were well-educated, respected family people. They eventually numbered several hundred. In these first years of Ananda Marga, Baba also wrote much of the basic spiritual and social philosophy. He saturated His disciples in blissful experiences, 19

and gave almost no guidance regarding any social work except for the propagation of spiritual and yoga practices. Baba frequently demonstrated extraordinary psycho-spiritual phenomena. He induced different states of superconsciousness in His disciples, caused individuals to die and then brought them back to life, and created special circ*mstances in which they would hear the divine sounds. This purely spiritual phase ended in 1962 when Baba began the order of monks and nuns. The speed of Ananda Margaís growth accelerated greatly, and began to spread throughout India. Though His demonstrations continued, Baba now began organizing massive social service programs. In 1963, the Education, Relief and Welfare Section was started. Workers and Margis (members of Ananda Marga) threw themselves into opening schools and welfare homes, and into catastrophe relief work. Yet it was only at the end of 1966, when the organization had grown to immense proportions, that Baba agreed to give up His job at the railway office. By maintaining His employment throughout the foundation years of the organization, he demonstrated that busy family people are capable of both spiritual achievement and service to society. He accepted His workersí request to give up His job only when they promised to keep up with His speed. He told them their activities would increase ten times. Baba moved to Ananda Nagar, our global master unit, located in an impoverished tribal area. The organizationís speed became something unimaginable. Throughout the same period, the public was exposed to Babaís socio-economic concept called Progressive Utilization Theory (or Prout), which He had first given in 1959. Because of Proutís intrinsic threat to vested interests, opposition to Ananda Marga developed among corrupt politicians and other shady public figures. That opposition began expressing itself in a sinister way in 1967 when an attack was organized against Ananda Nagar by members of the Communist Party (Marxist). Five monks were murdered. Several politicians and hoodlums were eventually arrested and convicted for the murders. Other serious incidents occurred over the following years, including one more murder by the Communists in 1969.2 A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF SHRII SHRII ANANDAMURTI 2

It should be understood that the Communists were, even then, a major political force

in India. Today they hold the power in West Bengal, the state in which Ananda Nagar and Calcutta are both located. Our central office is in Calcutta.

20 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

By that time, Ananda Margaís influence had grown considerably. Half the police commissioners of Bihar state were Margis as well as many other public officials. Margis gained a reputation as scrupulously honest people who refused to accept bribes or in any way compromise their morality. Baba had always spoken out against all forms of corruption, and Margis in public positions began exposing the corruption rampant in the administration at that time. In 1969, in light of these developments, the federal government passed a ban order, forbidding civil servants and other government employees from joining Ananda Marga. The order claimed that Ananda Marga was actually a political organization. Ananda Marga then filed a challenge in the Supreme Court and won the case, causing the ban to be withdrawn. Desperate to stop Ananda Marga, the government, in complicity with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), resorted to drastic measures. They concocted murder conspiracy charges against Baba, and He was arrested in December 1971. The victimsí bodies were mutilated and unidentifiable. Though there was no solid evidence, the case dragged on for nearly seven years, while Baba tolerated difficult jail conditions. In 1973, when it appeared we might soon win the case, Baba suffered an attempt to kill Him by poison. He lost His eyesight and underwent intense pain for many days. When the government refused to investigate the poisoning, Baba began a protest fast consuming liquids only ó which He continued for more than five years. He stopped the fast when He was proven innocent, honorably acquitted and released from jail in August 1978. During the time of His fasting, several Members of Parliament came to visit Baba. This was one of the few known times when He permitted non-Margis to meet and talk to Him. Normally it was always His policy to remain inaccessible to the general public. The visiting officials begged Baba to break His fast, arguing that His life was vital for the success of His mission. But Baba replied, ìMy ideas are more precious than my life.î On the other hand, when He was later asked how it was possible that He sustained His body despite prolonged fasting, He answered, ìThere is nothing unnatural about it. The only difference is that while other people take energy assimilated in their edibles, I have to derive energy directly from sunlight.î Before Baba was imprisoned, Ananda Marga was active in only five countries. By the time He came out, it had spread to eighty, and had 21 A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF SHRII SHRII ANANDAMURTI

become the worldís largest traditional yoga movement. As Tantric principles would suggest, the struggles undergone by the workers and Margis had only helped in strengthening them. Such difficulties, however, were far from finished. On May 1st, 1982, seventeen Dadas and Didis were killed in a barbarous manner by the Communists in Calcutta. Later, Dada Ajitananda was beaten to death in Siliguri jail because he refused to support a false case filed by the Communists. In 1981 Baba conducted an extraordinary three-month program in which He used His subtle perception to analyze the conduct and health of thousands of Margis, one by one. It was a unique activity never before

done by any spiritual master. This was the only time in Babaís life that He clearly exposed His occult power to such a large number of people over many days continuously. From 1985 a massive development program of Ananda Nagar was undertaken. More than one hundred small and large buildings were constructed, farms were started, various development training programs for the neighboring villagers were begun, ecological energy systems were established, womenís welfare activities were undertaken, agricultural research stations were created, and the network of roads and rivers was greatly expanded. A hospital was built, which now serves hundreds of people every week. The kindergarten, primary school, high school and university have a total enrollment of over one thousand students, many of whom live in hostels and childrenís homes. There is a bakery and several different kinds of small industries. The Communists, intimidated by such progressive activities in the center of a belt of poor, illiterate tribal people, began striking directly at Ananda Nagar. Almost every day thugs attempted to destroy buildings or crops, or to attack our workers. Ananda Margaís leading agricultural scientist, Dada Asiimananda, was murdered along with four other workers. Later, one worker was killed and four Margis severely injured when they were trying to protest police mistreatment of a number of overseas Margis. All of these disturbances continued until October 21st, 1990, the day that Baba left His physical body. After that the attacks greatly diminished. Baba left behind a vast legacy. He wrote over 200 books on diverse subjects. An incomplete list of those subjects follows: 22 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

ïspiritual philosophy and practice, yoga and Tantra ïpsychic development ïthe cycle of creation and reincarnation ïsocial philosophy, norms, ceremonies and systems ïBengali dictionary of over 6000 difficult words, with derivations ïBengali encyclopedia of over 6000 pages ïEnglish, Sanskrit and Bengali grammar books ïlanguage, script and philology ïmicrovita (most minuscule and mysterious life form) ïNeo-humanism (overcoming dogma, creating universalism by devotion) ïagriculture ïhealth habits and medical treatment ïeconomics ïeducation ïjustice and womenís rights ïthe judicial system and criminality ïculture, literature and fine arts ïindustrial policy, cooperatives and commerce ïecology, population growth and decentralization ïpolitics, government, democracy, communism and progressive socialism ïhistory and civilization: socially, economically, culturally and spiritually ïanalysis of spiritual scriptures and mythological writings ïanalysis of major religious schools and historically-related figures ïmorality ïbio-psychology, glands and anatomy

ïthe social roles of the major professions ïanimals ïshort stories ïchildrenís stories ïdramas In addition to these writings, Baba composed 5018 songs in eight languages, collectively called Prabhat Sangiit. The songs were written during the last eight years of His life. 23

CHAPTER 1

Hope

From darkness to light

Chicago, 1969. Perfect weather this morning. A vibrant green park complete with swings, merry-go-round, beach balls, a picnic-lunch, and Mark, Richard, Peggy, Laurie and Lynn for company. Ditching school made it so much more spicy. No one there but us. Everybody else stuck at their jobs or in school. Too bad. Laughing and laughing, jumping on and off the swings and the jungle-gym, tossing the balls, rolling on the groundówe were beyond the freedom of children. Sitting opposite Peggy on the teeter-totter, Richard was singing: Donít need no dirty wine Weíve got pure sunshine. Do what you like! do, do Do what you like! do, do Do what you like! do, do... He grabbed Peggy, gave her a quick kiss, then darted a few steps away. For some reason I asked Mark for the time. He turned a big grin toward me, ìTime? Youíre nuts. Thereís no time here, brother. Weíre in heaven, didnít you notice?î Then he took off his watch and threw it nonchalantly over his shoulder into the deep grass. A hot blast of confusion suddenly hit me. What was going on? What were we doing? What was the purpose of it all? Everybody I knew, absolutely everybody, was struggling to get the so-called freedom we HOPE 24 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER had that morning. But it was meaningless as far as I could see. Nowhere. If this was heaven then something was seriously wrong. Mark looked at me curiously and started laughing. ìHey, old pal, why so grim? Looks like you caught a bug in your pants. Tell me, whatíre you doingóphilosophizing or something?î I had to get out of there. Without thinking, I turned around and started walking toward the car. ìHey, hey, hey! Bill!î the girls yelled at me, laughing. ìStop! You canít leave our movie!î ìBummer! He is going to leave,î Mark said. ìAnd itís his car.î They all ran after me. I opened the driverís door, got in, and they tumbled in after. Everyone was talking at once as I started the car and drove away.

ìWhatís this caper?î ìYou got whammied or what?î ìWhereíre you going?î ìIíve got to get out of hereî ìBut we want to stay!î ìSuit yourselves.î ìWow, youíre spoiling everything! Whatís going on?î ìSorry, but this is all going nowhere. None of it makes sense to me any more... I just donít understand.î ìUnderstand what, pal?î asked Mark. ìAnything! What difference does it all make? What are we all aiming for? Where are we going? The whole world seems to be running toward nothing and weíre no different.î ìYeah, thatís cool, Bill,î Richard answered, ìbut whatever happened to ëKick out the jamsí and ëWonít somebody please throw me a cheeseburgerí? I mean youíre forgetting some of the superlative elements of unadulterated existentialism.î ìLook,î I said, more to myself than to them. ìHere comes a truck. What difference would it make if I just turned the wheel and drove into that truck?î I wasnít just joking either. I wanted to figure it out while the truck was still in front of us. ìAh, yeah, Bill,î Mark said quickly. ìNo difference at all. And it also wonít make any difference if you pull the car over to the side of the road and let me drive, pal.î Right. It didnít make any difference, and I didnít care. But since he seemed to care, I mindlessly slowed the car down and stopped on the 25

roadside. As I got out of the driverís seat, they all sighed. ìMan, that was close!î By the time I got home, I was even more confused. All I could see was a dark question mark. No purpose in sight. And no one I knew who could offer an answer. The only thing that occurred to me was to drop out of school and go search for someone, anyone, who could help me make a bit of sense out of the world. I explained to Mom as best I could what I was going through, and informed her that I was going upstairs to pack so I could go find ìsomeone who knows something.î ìWhat are you talking about, Bill? Have you gone crazy?î Maybe I had. But there was no reason to go on hanging around there, caught in meaningless circles, playing useless games twenty-four hours a day. ìLook... You canít just do this,î she said. ìNo... Your life will fall apart... And what about school? And...î ìIím not going to stand here talking about stupid things with you, Mom. Whatís the purpose of going to school if I donít know where Iím going, or for that matter why I should even continue to exist? No, thereís no reason to delay and please donít try to stop me.î ìGod, this is too much for me!î She was struggling to find the right words. ìOkay, I wonít try to stop you. But canít you at least wait for Dad to get home? Itís not fair just to run away like this without first talking to him.î She had a point. I agreed to wait until Dad got home which was still two or three hours away. As I waited, my confusion deepened. When he arrived I started to tell him about my condition and my

plan. He hardly paid attention. Instead he asked me if I wanted to take a walk. At the sound of the word walk, Judy bounded into the room, her tongue hanging a mile out. She ran to the door and repeatedly jumped on it. We took a walk in the nearby botanical gardens with Judy running in large circles around us, barking in her short staccato. The gardens were beautiful as always but I hardly noticed. Again I tried to explain to Dad what I was going through but he couldnít seem to understand. We walked to the top of a hill and sat down. Over and over again, Father threw a stick down the hill for Judy to run after and fetch. HOPE 26 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER I became absorbed in my own thoughts: Maybe the idea of ìmeaningî is just a human creation... Maybe lifeís just a dream... Maybe nothing matters... What to speak of ìGodî... I guess... I guess thereís no God... People say so many things, but it proves nothing... And how can one ever know anyway? We understand good according to bad, high in relation to low, bright in relation to dark, everything in relation to something else... Nothing has any meaning in itself... The differences are all just apparent, just relative... There is no answer, and never will be... Thatís why everybody remains blindly busy doing whatever they feel like... Of course theyíre all afraid of death... But if I were to die now, what difference would it make... No difference to the world... No difference if I live or die.... The dark thoughts rolled on and on, seemingly endless. Was it at the nadir point of my confusion that I noticed something new creeping into the picture? Itís hard to remember. It was so subtle, almost imperceptible. I couldnít identify it. As if a cloud covering my thoughts began to thin out and disappear. I was looking at Judy running down the hill and jumping into the pond to fetch the stick Dad threw. She was laughing, or so it seemed to me. Sheís thoroughly enjoying life, I thought. I looked around me: the grass, so green, so bright; the leaves of the trees, swaying in the wind; the water rippling. Everything sparkling, everything moving, togetheróTogether! Without my realizing it the dark thoughts had vanished. I found myself sliding into a state of mind that I had never experienced before. How can I describe it? The independent existence of each plant, the dirt, the air, the water, their separateness, disappeared as everything seemed to fuse together, the color of each object merging into that of the one next to it. All colors and forms within one single picture, one single Entity. Even my own body became simply another element within the Whole. I could see my thoughts passing like birds or the shining ripples of water. Each object was as valid, as vitally important to the Whole as any other. Which was ìalive?î which ìinanimate?î These distinctions no longer made sense. Instead, everything appeared alive. Everything joyous, conscious. Like the colors of a dream in which every dream-form was 27

a part of the consciousness of the dreamer. Every stone, every speck of dirt or dried branch on that hill was infused with the same vitality as the grass, or the dog, or even my thoughts. Distance and time seemed

to disintegrate while I looked out into an Entity which could only be described as ever-changing and infinite. Could this be God? Whatever it was it had banished the darkness I had been feeling as surely as if it had never been there. Hope! There was more to existence than I had ever imagined. Ecstatic, I turned to Father who was still busy tossing the stick for Judy to fetch: ìDad, Iíve ... got something, something real. I donít know how to say it. Itís ... fantastic.î ìYeah, sure. Very good.î He didnít understand. How could he? I had no words to describe what I was feeling. We walked back in silence. I breathed as deeply as I could. The air had never before tasted so beautiful. Writing this, I am filled with wonder. A decision Tonight was starless, moonless, dark. In a silence covered by wind, Dad, I and Judy took a walk along the empty side streets, our path shrouded by whispering trees, heavy with leaves. Even Judy seemed sunk in contemplationóquiet except for the velvet rhythm of her foot pads shuffling over the concrete. ìSo what are you thinking to do with your life, my boy?î Father asked me, his voice blending with the wind. I looked at him to make sure he wasnít joking. No, surely not. He was staring straight ahead, noticeably anxious about what I might say. Our pace slowed. ìWell ... Iíve read a lot about spirituality, yoga, religion and self-realization ... I want to put it into practice. Itís been just books until now. I want ... I want ... to find the truth, you know.î He turned and leaned towards me until his face was all that I could see. Then he lifted his eyebrows and said loudly, dramatically, ìYou mean GOD?î For a brief moment I lost my stride. ìWell ... yeah ... I guess you might as well say I want to find God.î HOPE 28 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Seconds passed. The dogís leash tinkled against her tags. I wondered if he thought me immature, arrogant, foolish or what. When he answered, his voice sounded muffled as if it were coming from behind a wall. ìGood.î I was surprised. ìWhat? You think itís good? Then why havenít you done it? Why didnít you try?î His voice suddenly sounded older than I had ever heard it. ìI donít have the guts.î I am sure Father didnít realize how strong a sense of determination his honest answer would create in me. 29

CHAPTER 2

What a Fool Iíve Been (In September 1969, I entered Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, a school with a reputation for attracting students who were somehow

ëdifferentí: progressive, alternative, individualistic, anarchistic.) Shifting gears Portland. This evening, a friend invited me to attend a lecture by Richard Albert, otherwise known as Baba Ram Das. He had been a professor at Harvard who was kicked out for experimenting with LSD and other psychedelics, then went to India and became a yogi. It didnít especially interest me so I declined the invitation. I began the evening with some other friends. As we were walking across the campus we saw a large crowd gathered in the dining hall. Curious, we wandered in the backdoor. About 200 students sat in chairs facing a makeshift stage at the front of the hall. On the stage was a man dressed completely in white and sitting cross-legged. Except for his voice, the room was absolutely silent. His voice captivated me. I walked forward and leaned against a pillar watching him. My mind became quiet; nothing remained except his voice. I was astonished at this sudden shift in my consciousness. His lecture was full of stories about centering oneself upon the present instead of worrying about the past or future. Only when he mentioned his guru in India did I realize that he was Baba Ram Das. I slowly moved forward, experiencing an irresistible attraction. The pull was so strong that I eventually found myself on the stage, sitting next to him. Rather than objecting to my impudence, he seemed to welcome me. Soon I forgot about the audience. It was only he and I WHAT A FOOL IíVE BEEN 30 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER sitting there. As he continued to talk, I gradually became completely calm, calmer than I have ever been. The time passed without my noticing it. He stood up. The program was finished. He began walking. Still entranced, and hardly noticing the other students, I walked with Ram Das out the door, and up to a car. He turned, smiled at me, and drove away. At that moment I had a queer feeling that my life was changed forever. I walked back into the hall in a daze. On the stage one of the students was making an announcement, ìThis talk was recorded and we will refer to it for making a book. Those who are interested should fill in one of these cards, and you will receive a free copy.î I filled in a card.3 A beginning Since the experience I had two weeks ago, Iíve felt a continuous desire to find a spiritual master, and learn meditation. I have not yet found a master, but at least today I had my chance to learn meditation. Instructors from a renowned spiritual school came for the first time to Reed College. They offered to teach meditation for a steep price. I thought it improper that they charge money for spiritual food, and I convinced them to teach me for free. The technique was essentially the repetition of a mantraóa Sanskrit word used as an object for concentration. I asked them the meaning of my mantra and was told there was none. ...... Two months later. 1970. Iíve had no special or even interesting experience with my meditation. So Iíve stopped it.4 ...... Three months later. Something is better than nothing. Even though

I didnít feel inspired with meditation, Iíve started again. I shall continue until I can find a superior teacher or system. Later this book, entitled Be Here Now, became famous among spiritual seekers. It continues to sell well even today, twenty-five years later. 4 Much later I understood this technique to be a relaxation technique. It was meditation in name only. Proper meditation not only calms the mind, but also contemplates the infinite. 3

31

No outside

A forest in northern California. Geographically, I hardly know where I am. It doesnít matter. Setting up my tent in a densely forested valley bordered on all sides by mountains, I have not come here to enjoy the nature (though it is enjoyable), to relax or to escape. My sole purpose is to spend a few days concentrating with undivided attention on attaining at least an ounce of spiritual revelation. I passed all my time today meditating, except for a few short breaks to read the biography of an Indian yogi, some light food, and a little walking. ...... Two days later. When I awoke this morning my mood was already exalted. I bathed in the cold water of the river that runs through this valley, then sat on mey blanket for meditation. The sun, still behind the mountains, reflected a soft red light off the leaves of the trees surrounding me. I closed my eyes. Ever so slowly my mind dipped into a dimension I never knew before. I felt like I was falling continuously from a great height. Every few moments I found myself uncontrollably sucking in a strong breathó as if I was shocked again and again by something suddenly appearing without warning. After thirty minutes or an hour it stopped. I became very calm. When I opened my eyes, the world was somehow different. It was the same forest, but it was much closer to me. I felt like I was touching every object within sight. Something was happening. Intent not to lose the chance, I stared at this scene, not moving a muscle. A few thoughts fluttered by. A bird chirped intermittently. The leaves glittered. The grass swayed. I was alone, and yet not alone. Someone was there. Who was it? My breath slowed, lengthened. I watched and listened. Was it God or what? Or was I going loony? I didnít care. Someone was definitely here or coming. I had to pierce this mystery. Suddenly I knew. My eyes widened in astonishment. My mouth fell open. Of course! Why had I never seen it before? It was me! On all sidesóme. The trees were me. The mountains were me. The ìbirdî chirped when I wanted because that sound was my own thought. The WHAT A FOOL IíVE BEEN 32 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER blades of grass waved slowly back and forth exactly according to my desire because the whole scene was inside my mind. It was my movie. I looked down. Even my body was just another part of the picture. Just like a dream. But this time I was intensely awake. Think of it! All my life Iíve been worried about the people in this world, never realizing they were nothing other than my own mind. Absolutely nothing here except my mindómy own colorful, vibrant thoughts in the form of bushes, insects, light, cloudsóeverything.

What a fool Iíve been, worrying and fretting. There was nothing to harm me and nowhere to run to. Every single minutest part is me. Iíve made up this tense drama. There are no separate people, no separate houses, no teachers, no enemies, no problems. Theyíre all my own creation. The whole universe is laughing. The whole universe? I had thought it so vast, unmeasurable. Yet itís only a thought: changing its colors and shapes and sounds and feelings precisely as I want. Thatís it! As I want. That which causes this scene to change is my desire. There are three things: my consciousness, my desire and the expression of my desire. Nothing else. No. It isnít even that complex. Whatever I see is my desire itself; there is no internal or external. Whatever I desire, I immediately experience because my desire is my thought which is my world. So only two things: my consciousness and its momentary ever-changing whim or form. How curious! How funny! A desire arises: I must never come down from this state. I write about my realization in a notebook. But wait. Again Iím playing the fool. How quickly I forget. There is nothing outside of me so how could I ìeverî ìcomeî ìdown?î There is no down or up except in my imagination. Happy or sadówhat the hell? Just me, everywhere I look, sometimes sparkling, sometimes laughing. Another thought comes: This is what the yogis called bliss. The oneness. The truth. What has always been and always will be. Always, because time is also my creation. Past, futureówhat a scam. What a clever trick Iíve played on myself. Just one entity and nothing else. No way 33

to go outside of it. I cannot die because ìIî was never born. Iíve always just been changing form. How can I explain this to anyone else? To my friends or my family or my teachers in Portland? You moron! They were all just my thoughts. Even the skyscrapers and the tense exams and the baseball I dropped and the car from which I fell when I was four years old and China and the President and the TV. What a joke! Perfect, absolute, without a loophole. And ìGod.î That thought, too, is my own creation. Not a bad thought, that one. Because God is all thisóthis game. Yes, I am God. But not only this little body or these passing thoughts. No no. Everything is me, is God. ìGodî, ìGuruîóI made them up just to suit my story. Ah, nothing to worry about and nowhere to go. Ah ... ahh ... ahhhhh... ..... Later. Very little light left to write by. The sun is setting now. Iím shocked: so much ìtimeî has passed! Insects are humming but they donít sound so friendly anymore. Itís getting cold, very cold. Well, yes, itís all me, but no need to antagonize myself. I start to shake nervously. Pulling myself together, I arrange my blanket in the tent as cold air pushes against my neck and up my shirt sleeves and pant-legs. Yes, itís all me but itís cold. And Iím not feeling so great. Well, it doesnít matter. Iíll tolerate it and go on untilóuntil what? Hmm. Itís

all me alright, but where am I going? I still havenít answered that. And what, by God! what will I do now? Itís getting so cold so fast that I wonder if I will be able to sleep at all. WHAT A FOOL IíVE BEEN 34 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER CHAPTER 3

Just Love Me Seven teachings

Portland. 1971. Today I wrote some doggerel, trying to catch the nitty gritty of my experience over the last two years during which I passed through seven teachers and groups.5 I met a religious group hitch-hiking through the state of Unease (Which group matters littleó pick any one, reader, as you please.) Their perfect scripture preached love of God and man, and unswerving devotion to its holy Plan. Although their Hero was long dead, they tried to live by what Heíd said: ìBe saved, follow my words. Sinner or thief, ye shall go to Heaven. Just hold My belief.î I liked their service programs for the sick and hungry, After the experience I had in 1969, I could not help but feel more and more the presence of an infinite Being. I didnít like the word ìGodî because of the hundreds of connotations and dogmas it inferred. But there was no way past the limitation of words. The development of my feeling for God was too gradual to describe, so please excuse the gap in my explanation. 5

35

their will to suffer, and their monastery. But The goal of heaven was finally just an escape. The poor first must pray, or donít get even a grape. Superiority to other groups made no real sense. Before words of criticism they built a fence. Moving on. I experienced group after group nonstop. Probing, searching, not just to window-shop. Though the teachings turned progressively better, each one contained some dogmatic fetter.

You must excuse me if I was wrong, I had no choice but to move along. The second group taught concentrated calm. They said no need of any other balm. The third aimed to kill desire, strengthening harmony and will-fire. Meditating on Nothingís power, they forgot the Devotional Flower. The fourth was joyous, full of life and mystical. But too much ritual and doctrine: theistical. JUST LOVE ME 36 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER The fifth was potent for oneís mind and physique. Though Divine love and selfless service were weak. The sixth seemed devotional in dance, work, prayer and food. But as the goal was paradise, the teaching itself was crude. The seventh was healthy and loving. They spoke without prejudice. Their meditation was subtle, yet I felt something amiss. Within my heart I spoke to Him, ìGod, I donít know where to swim. Though Iím not content (yes, somethingís absent), if You show no other road, the seventh will be my abode.î In humility I took this stand. At last perhaps Heíll give His hand. Spiritual communes Iíve just completed one month visiting several spiritual communes in Canada and the USA, and Iíve decided that the best place for me will be the one in California. Honestly, Iím not completely satisfied with my present technique but there seems to be no better alternative. Itís up to God. If He doesnít give me anything better itís not my fault. Anyhow, the place in California should be OK. Iíll be able to manage my finances through a little farming and house-keeping. And there will be plenty of time to meditate. So, tomorrow itís on to California. Last on the list Before leaving Portland, I attended the public lecture of an Indian monk of the spiritual movement Ananda Marga. He was called Dada6. Ananda is Sanskrit for bliss, and Marga means path. So Ananda Marga means ìthe path of bliss.î The meditation teachers who are men are called Dada, and the ladies are 6

37

Because it was his first time out of India, his accent was so thick that I hardly understood a full sentence of his speech. Furthermore, I was not impressed with the Margis, so I wasnít attracted to join the group. Nevertheless, I wanted to meet this saint, just to tell him my plan. Unfortunately, my name was put at the bottom of the waiting list because I had no interest to learn meditation, only to talk. Seventy people signed up to learn, so probably Iíll have to wait one or two days. Initiation: clash and cohesion This morning, at last, I walked into Dadaís little room in the yoga house. He prepared to teach me. ìExcuse me, Dadaji,î I said. ìI did not come for initiation.î ìThen what do you want?î he said. ìI only want your opinion regarding my plan.î I took a couple of minutes to explain about my spiritual search and decision to go to the California commune. ìSo what do you think?î I asked. ìItís okay,î he said. I sat quietly, waiting, but he added nothing more. Had I killed my time waiting to meet this man? ìAh ... I donít know how to say this, Dadaji, but you see I waited two days to meet you. Is it possible that you could add something more?î ìAre you sure you want me to speak more?î he said. ìYou may not like what I have to say.î ìPlease, please, go ahead.î He then gave me a ten minute lecture about the difficulty of performing meditation twenty-four hours a day, that I was living in this world and enjoying the benefits of othersí labor, but I was not thinking to contribute anything to the society, except for some vague hope that my meditation itself would add to the worldís positivity. Why didnít I consider doing social work during the hours when I would not be doing meditation? Couldnít I see that commune life escaped the urgent needs of the real world? called Didi. Dada means elder brother, and Didi means elder sister. Except for some elderly Dadas and Didis who are family-people, all are renunciate monks and nuns. Besides teaching meditation, they remain busy organizing social service programs. Later I came to know that this particular monkís full name was Dada Yatiishvarananda.î

JUST LOVE ME 38 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

When he finished, I said, ìNow let me see if I got you straight. In short are you saying that I should leave my present practice and, instead, join Ananda Marga?î ìYes.î ìWow, thatís not what I expected! I have to go and think about it for a while.î I left him, and went to the meditation room. I sat down, determined to get an answer to his proposal. I did deep and long meditation as best as I knew, but no answer came. I asked God, but no answer came. I asked my present guru, then I asked the guru of Ananda Marga for an answeróbut nothing. Several hours passed. Due to my regard for social work, I leaned toward entering Ananda Marga, but otherwise nothing was clear. At last, still uncertain, I stood up. My concentration had been so intense that I hadnít noticed that

lunch time had come and gone. I walked onto the lawn, where Dadaji was sitting with a large group of new people. ìIn the future, it will be you, the young people of today, who will be the leaders. You carry an awesome responsibility because our world needs dramatic changes if it is to survive. Who knows, maybe he will be the future American president.î As he said this last sentence, he pointed at me. In that moment my mind flew out of control; I no longer knew what I was thinking. My ears pounded, and my head swam. Dadaji continued to speak, but I understood nothing more. After some time, when my head cleared, I had taken a decisionóI must not be selfish. I should not only perform meditation, but also do social work. I should join Ananda Marga. Within an hour I was again sitting with Dadaji, taking the initiation. I then performed my new meditation and felt very pleased. A friend of mine, Chris, had also learned the meditation. Now it was time for him to leave Portland, and return to his university in Eugene. As I stood outside waiting for him, my brief euphoria abruptly ended, and turned into a confused depression. When he saw my dark face, he asked, ìWhatís the matter? Only moments ago you were the happiest guy in the world.î 39

ìWhat have I done?î I said. ìFor years now Iíve been switching from path to path, and guru to guru. Iím like a leaf floating wherever the wind blows. Will this never finish? Why did I do this? Am I really following Godís will, or just my own ego? Iím so mixed up I canít stand it.î I started weeping. He put his arm around my shoulders, and together we walked toward the bus station. I went on speaking in such a pitiful manner, that Chris also began crying. When we reached the bus I said to him, ìOh, what am I going to do? Iím lost, lost.î ìI donít know,î he said. ìI donít know anything.î As the bus drove away, he waved from the window. Our two faces were bathed in tears. Under the early evening darkness, I slowly walked toward the yoga house. I had left all my gear there, having no other place to stay and no idea where else to go. A drizzle was falling, adding to my sorrow. Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, my mind lit up with a thought: ìGod has no interest to trick anyone.î ìOf course! Why am I worried?î I thought. Though the sun was gone, it seemed like daytime. ìThe reason I entered Ananda Marga was to sacrifice myself in helping others. What more can He expect from me? Nothing. Surely if I do my best, it is earthly perfection in Godís eyes.î One moment I had been in hell and the next moment I was flying back up to some blissful heaven. I have no explanation for it but I knew, somewhere deep inside, that the changes I had just gone through were destined to affect my thinking and my outlook for the rest of my life. All I could do was my best. The rest was up to Him. My step was light, as I headed toward the yoga house full of a new hope. From the moment I again walked into the house, I began working full-time for Ananda Marga. Babaís status

Subconsciously, Iíve still been feeling slightly troubled about having left my previous guru for the Ananda Marga guru: Shri Shri Anandamurti, also known as Baba.7 Last night I had a dream: In India, many holy men are called Baba, meaning beloved one or loving father. Baba had also one more name: P.R. Sarkar, which was His legal name. It was in this 7

JUST LOVE ME 40 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

I was looking down a stairway but I could see only two or three steps. The rest were covered by mist. I hesitated, afraid to walk down into that cloud, but then went ahead. Nothing was visible on either side. After taking a few steps, I saw a book on the stairway. It was a book Iíd never seen before of the group which Iíd left to join Ananda Marga. Opening it, I saw a photo of their guru. On the next page was a photo of the guruís guru. Turning the pages, I saw photos of their ancient tradition of gurus. Further downstairs another book appeared. I walked down and picked it up. It was the book of Ananda Margaís guru. ìFor the first time Iíll see Babaís photo!î I thought. I opened the book full of curiosity. But instead of seeing a manís image, my eyes were dazzled by a brilliant golden light streaming out of the page. ìHeís greater than any other,î I thought. Then I woke up, feeling blissful. The last vestige of uneasy feeling about having left my previous guru was gone. Freedom through giving Tonight, during a meeting of the yoga houseís residents, the finance secretary said, ìThe rent is due tomorrow, and we are $180 short. Does anyone have an idea what to do?î Since I had exactly that amount in my Portland account, it seemed a cosmic sign, and a small test for me. Before I could think twice, I quickly said, ìTo the penny thereís precisely $180 in my account. Iíll give it to you tomorrow.î Everyone cheered, and the finance secretary said, ìBaba solves our problems every single time. I always worry, but He always does it.î Though I had more money back in Chicago, this donation made fully according to capacity left me totally free. Releasing selfishness Today I completed my first week in Ananda Marga. At first, Iíd had a little difficulty adjusting to the new meditation technique. My concentration was poor. A few days ago, however, a fresh seed germilegal name that He wrote books about social and economic philosophy. Only spiritual philosophy came under the name Shri Shri Anandamurti.

41

nated. I learned a spiritual chant and dance called kiirtan, which makes it easy to concentrate on God.8 I see that until now my purpose in being on the spiritual pathóto realize Truth or Godóhas really been for the sake of myself. Plainly speaking, it has been selfish. Kiirtan is a way out of that selfishness. Itís a dance of surrender to God, a dance of giving Him myself. Singing of Him, dancing for Himó nothing for me. During my first kiirtans I was sometimes self-conscious, thinking, ìAm I doing it right? What will others think of me doing this dance?î But soon I overcame that, and, after I sat for meditation, the flow continued:

for Him, not for me. A big burden is being released, a burden I didnít even know I carried. Whenever I do kiirtan nicely, selfish thinking stops or almost stops. But not by suppression. Where ìHeî is, automatically my ìIî is not. Who or what is He? I donít know. Occasionally during kiirtan or meditation I get scared Iím losing myself to something unknown and I draw back. How silly! Thereís nothing to lose except my selfishness. Midnight message Last night I went to sleep at 11:00 in a second-story room of the yoga house. The other bed next to mine was empty. About midnight I was awakened by a voice. By the moonlight coming through the window, I could see a man lying in the other bed wearing white pajamas. He told me to get up and tell everyone that no one was to go to sleep until theyíd done their second meditation. Though surprised, I stood up unquestioningly and walked out of the room to the stairway. Looking down, I saw only one brother, Brian, sitting on the sofa. Kiirtan is the practice of singing Godís name while dancing. In Ananda Marga, the chant is ìBaba Nam Kevalam.î Here Baba means ìdearest one, God, most Beloved, or divine Fatherî, Nam means ìnameî, Kevalam means ìonlyî. While dancing, one holds the arms high, and steps from side to side, touching the big toe of one foot next to the heel of the other foot. Kiirtan is a purely devotional practice for the purpose of bringing oneís mind into a concentrated spiritual state before beginning silent meditation. Because it enhances the practice of meditation, it is best to dance kiirtan before every meditation whenever practical, whether alone or in a group. It is the single practice which provides the greatest assurance against developing superiority complex, inferiority complex, or other harmful complexes of ego. 8

JUST LOVE ME 42 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

ìI donít know quite whatís happening,î I mumbled down to Brian, ìbut, ah, there was a man on the other bed in my room, and, oh, pardon me, itís all so strange, maybe it doesnít make sense, but well, anyway, Iíll repeat what he said: ëNo one is to go to sleep until theyíve done their second meditation.í Thatís what he said. So excuse me, and good night.î As I was talking, Brian was looking around, unable to find the speaker. In the end, as I turned toward my room, he glanced up and saw me. When I entered my room, I looked at the second bed. Nobody. But a powerful oscillating energy pervaded the air, walls, floor, furniture, everything, and made me feel dizzy. It was as if the room had been mystically transported onto an ocean-going ship, which bobbed up and down as it moved over powerful waves. I lay down, bewildered, and merged into that vibration. Within seconds I fell asleep. In the morning, Brian came up to me and said, ìThat was incredible last night.î ìLast night? What?î I said. My mind was blank. ìYou donít remember? Really strange! I was sitting alone late last night, feeling exhausted and a bit sick, thinking, ëI just canít do my meditation tonight. Baba, donít mind. Iíll go to sleep.íî As he said this, my memory clicked and it all flashed back. ìYeah, I remember now!î ìWell, anyway, as I started to get up I heard your voice, but couldnít understand where it was coming from. In fact, I thought it was Babaís voice! And what He said through you made my whole body shake until I mentally threw myself at His feet. After that, when I looked up and

finally saw you, well, I was shocked again. Of course I went to my room after that and did long meditation.î9 Clean-shaven Today for the first time I saw a photo of Baba. I was stunned. It was the same man who was in my room three nights ago. I had always imagined that Baba would have a great beard and powerful eyes. But In order to receive Ananda Marga initiation, two disciplines are required: meditation at least twice daily, and participation in the weekly group meditation. The student is free to experiment with many other practices and exercises, but the most crucial one is regular meditation. 9

43

the man who had been in my room, and who I now realized was Baba Himself, was clean-shaven, wore glasses, and appeared more like a gentleman than a yoga master. Yet He is a yoga master, I have no more doubt, and more powerful, I see, than I could have ever imagined.10 A challenge Oklahoma. About 600 Margis from all over America are attending the retreat here. I participated in a meeting with 70 persons who wanted to work as full-time volunteers. I volunteered to go to Mississippi, which is one of the few states yet unstaffed. Mississippi is infamous for being the state having great racial hatred between blacks and whites. It will be an interesting challenge to introduce universalism to such people. ...... Jackson, Mississippi. I arrived yesterday with one other new volunteer. Last night we slept peacefully under a bush. We havenít a single friend, reference or contact. Because there is a shortage of houses, the real estate companies all say that it takes from three months to one year on the waiting list before one can rent a place. Nevertheless, we found an agency today that made an exception for us. Itís a small house, but itíll keep the rain out better than a bush. What did I say? I gave my first lecture on yoga today at the university. Since nothing was planned, I completely depended on Baba to guide me. There were forty students plus a few teachersóall from the Department of Psychology. After they introduced me, I stood dumb before them. Ten seconds, twenty seconds passed. I began to swear and mentally screamed at Baba, ìWhy arenít you giving me any ideas?î Baffled at His unexpected non-cooperation, I started speaking something, anything. As a few awkward words emerged in a slow nervous Though Baba recommended that men should keep at least two-inch beards so that the normal temperature of the related glands is maintained, He nevertheless shaved. Under the demand of social conditions a man may have to shave. Babaís appearance demonstrated that there is no spiritual difference between renunciates and family people. The same potential enlightenment is everyoneís birthright, even for those who are compelled to moderately compromise their lifestyles. 10

JUST LOVE ME 44 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

stutter, I thought, ìBaba, help me!î Suddenly an intangible wave rolled over me. The fear evaporated, and words began to flow. I spoke for one hour. At the end everyone applauded enthusiastically. While we were walking back to our flat, David (the other volunteer) said, ìWow, that was perfect! They all seemed totally absorbed in your words. And so amazed, they couldnít ask a single question after

your speech! Afterward I heard several people saying they felt you spoke straight to their inner needs. Where did you get such ideas?î Still excited from the experience, I said, ìBefore I try to answer your question, can you answer one of mine? What did I talk about? I donít remember a single sentence.î Graced by disgrace One of the new Margis asked me if I knew that some of the neighbors were disturbed by our yoga house, and had complained to our real estate agent. ìNo,î I said. ìWhatís their grievance?î ìThey said itís disgraceful that both blacks and whites are coming into this house together.î I laughed, and said, ìWeíre already having a good effect on the neighborhood. î Just love me A friend invited me to a seance yesterday conducted by a lady who claims to be a spirit medium. At the seance she entered into a trance which enabled her to ìchannel the spiritî by automatic writing. She instructed me to mentally ask a question without speaking it aloud. Though I do not believe that the spirits of the dead are able to communicate from a bodiless condition, still I admit that a ìmediumî may be in touch with the unconscious mind, and thus may reflect otherwise unrevealed information. I thought, ìWhat should I do about the trouble Iím getting every time after meditation?î For some weeks Iíve felt terribly exhausted at the end of meditation, and usually have to rest a few minutes afterward. The ladyís hand wrote, ìDo not worry. It is not bad. It will end in ten days.î ...... 45

Ten days later. The problem of exhaustion continued unabated, though I didnít give a single thought to the mediumís message. Yesterday I went to the University of Mississippi in Oxford to begin a three-day lecture program for which I had been invited. Before going to deliver my speech, I did meditation. As usual, I became sleepy during meditation. But this time the fatigue was so great that I found myself sleeping on my back without even intending to lie down. Angry with myself, I sat up to resume meditation. After a short time, I again fell asleep and had a powerful dream: I was in India with a small group of American Margis. We were sitting in an auditorium together with hundreds of other Margis. Baba was on the stage, speaking. One by one, He called our names, asking each of the Americans to come on stage to be welcomed and embraced. When He had called every name but mine, I became frustrated. Then Baba walked off the stage and came over to me. He raised his foot and slowly pushed the sole of His shoe toward my face. As I watched, terrified, Babaís form changed: He became the most abominable insect that I could imagineócomplete with claws and fangs. I wanted to run away, but was frozen in fear. Though I tried to scream, nothing came out. Then I heard a voice coming from nowhere: ìJust love Me.î My fear broke a bit as I wondered about the voice. Again it came, ìJust love Me.î I followed its command, and tried to love Baba in the

form of that hideous insect. Gradually the insect disappeared and was replaced by a faint white light. My love grew deeper, and the light became bright and warm. For a moment my love subsided, and the black bug began to appear again. This time, however, I felt no loathing, and easily rekindled my love. The light returned, far brighter than the sun, though it didnít hurt my eyes. All my anxieties drowned in an endless bliss. I awoke and thought, ìI must never forget this lesson. Everyone and everything is His manifestation. Even the worst and vilest forms.î I feel that this dream has released some deep, old tension. Last night and this morning the problem of exhaustion after meditation didnít appear. Exactly ten days after the medium gave her message. JUST LOVE ME 46 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER CHAPTER 4

You Have To Work For Your Realization The plan to leave Ananda Marga

Jackson. 1972. I have decided to leave Ananda Marga. Why? To answer this, I put another question: is it correct to meditate on the idea ìI am Godî? Day by day I am convincing myself of this statement, though honestly I know nothing. My purpose in following a spiritual path should be to go beyond my limited beliefs and realize the truth. Whether or not the idea ìI am Godî is right or wrong, I donít know. Maybe this idea also is just a belief. I shall go to an uninhabited place, leave all my worldly possessions behind, and throw myself open to Being. Before joining Ananda Marga I did this sort of exercise several times. But this time it wonít be for a few days only. Why should I trap myself with any kind of dogma? Unfortunately, I am bound to stay in Jackson three more weeks because Dada Yatishvarananda is coming here, and Iím responsible for setting up his programs. As soon as his visit is finished, Iíll leave. ...... Three weeks later. Over the last ten days, I havenít done Ananda Marga meditation. I simply sit four times daily, trying to think of nothing. When he arrived today, Dada Yatishvarananda said, ìYour face is drained of light. Whatís troubling you?î ìDadaji, I want to leave my post just after your visit is finished. To continue would be hypocrisy.î I explained my dilemma, and why I had to go. He tried to help me, but nothing he suggested did any good. Finally he said, ìWe will do all of our meditations together for three days, and your questions will be answered.î I doubt it. 47

During these three weeks, though I had no personal interest in the work, I did it efficiently. One hundred and fifty people came to the lecture tonightóa grand success. Is it possible that I was efficient not despite my non-interest but because of it, because of the absence of anxious expectation? ...... Two days later. Today was Dadajiís final day here. Iíve been so busy these past three days that Iíve had no time to worry about whether Iím correct or incorrect. But just before Dadajiís departure, I had nothing

to do for a few minutes except sit and wait for him to get ready. It was then I noticed that I was feeling fine, very fine. What happened? I donít know. But I told Dadaji, ìIíll stay at least a few more days ... to find out the cause of my good feeling.î ...... Two days later. Today my intellect caught up with my feelings and I understood. I had been thinking it was a dogma and blind belief to meditate on ìI am Godî. But in fact I donít even know what is ìIî, what is ìamî, and, though Iím aware of an infinite Entity, I certainly donít know what It or ìGodî is. These words, this systemóitís not the point. Even if I try to think of nothing and be open, itís also a system. We cannot avoid walking in some sort of direction, both physically and mentally. My purpose is clear. Ananda Marga stands for self-realization and service to others. It is trying to do good in every conceivable manner. So Iíll continue with it, unless and untilóunless and until what? Plainly speaking, I think nothing could ever cause me to leave, unless I found that Baba Himself was false. The curtain opens on a great drama February. A mind-wrenching circular arrived from our office in Wichita. Baba is in jail in India. It states: Though Baba was arrested on 29th December, we delayed to inform you in the hope that He would soon be released. But itís taking time. Together with four workers, He is charged with conspiracy to murder. Of course itís a frame-up manufactured by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) to crush Ananda Marga. The ideas and acYOU HAVE TO WORK FOR YOUR REALIZATION 48 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER tivities of AM have always been a direct threat to public figures who hunger for personal power without concern to benefit the society.... The sole direct witness is Vishokananda, an ex-Dada who claims to have been one of the murderers. Instead of being in jail, however, he is free and enjoying luxurious living standards. His evidence is acceptable according to a fluke in Indian law which permits a criminal to testify against others, in which case he is called the Approver. According to the discretion of the court, the Approver may be released and richly rewarded for his cooperation. The four so-called murder victims found in a forest are unidentifiable. The post-mortem cannot even determine if they are male or female.... There is not one piece of authentic evidence in the case, and therefore our lawyers expect Baba and the co-accused to be acquitted very soon.... Baba is not only unperturbed by His incarceration, He was clearly prepared for it. When the police came to His house on the 29th to arrest Him, they proposed that they wait a few hours for Him to arrange His suitcases. He replied, ìI was expecting you, and am already packed. Let us proceed without delay.î Strange as it may sound, I am encouraged by this news. If the CBI is prepared to undergo such trouble to try to stop us, it proves Ananda Marga is doing excellent work. It goes without saying that the prosecution will eventually fail. This drama promises to be interesting. All night all right A few days ago, I read an inspirational book that mentioned the

mindís capacity to maintain the continuous repetition of mantra even while sleeping. Tonight while lying in my bed, I concentrated on my mantra as I fell asleep. In the morning I had a wondrous experience. I had not the slightest of my normal tiredness on waking, and instead felt as if I was simply passing from one state of mind into another. I could distinctly recall the presence of my mantra all night, as if it was playing a witnessing role throughout all of my dreams. Because my awareness was identified with the mantra, I had watched my dreams as a kind of spectator. I am beginning to tap into an entity of infinite perspectives. 49

The Lord resorts to extreme measures

Another volunteer, Paul, has been working with me these last few weeks. Today he left for India to undergo training to become a Dada. I thought it was a mistake, and tried to tell him so, but he refused to listen or talk about it. Paul has a wife and two small children who live in New York. He did not divorce his wife, but only left her for the sake of the spiritual work. I donít like this. I even asked him directly once, ìPaul, what about your wife and children? Are you thinking to communicate with them?î He gave me such a scowl that I dared not mention it again. Throughout his stay here, his behavior was strange. He was almost always silent, and barely helped except physically. When he sat in meditation, he moved constantly, often groaning in psychic discomfort. Surely he is suppressing much. On the other hand, it does seem he loves our mission, and wants to do something noble with his life. ...... Two months later. I received a long-distance telephone call today from a government officer in Washington D.C. He said, ìDo you know Mr. Paul Stockman?î ìYes.î ìHe wrote your name in his passport in case of accident, and, well, heís had a serious one.î ìWhere? What happened?î ìHe was found unconscious, suffering from head wounds and a concussion in an alley in New Delhi, India.î ìOh God.î ìHis wallet was gone, so we guess that he was attacked and robbed.î ìWhat do you mean ëwe guessí? What does Paul say happened?î ìHe doesnít remember what happened. In fact, ah, he doesnít remember anything. The doctors say he has almost total amnesia.î ìWow! How...î ìAnd thatís why Iím calling you now. Heís in a hospital in New Delhi, and we would like to know if he has any family to whom he should return. Itís preferable he receive treatment near his own home.î Luckily I happened to have his original address in New York City including his wifeís name. I read it to the officer, and asked him to inform me when Paul arrives in New York, and in which hospital heís staying. YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR YOUR REALIZATION 50 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ...... Five days later. Paul arrived in New York yesterday. I called him at the hospital. Heís still a bit weak, but said that small bits and pieces

of his memory have returned so that he can vaguely remember me and his family. His voice, however, sounded different. He always used to speak in an artificially subdued manner. Today, though his voice was weak, it was, nevertheless clear and unrestrained, except due to the uncertainty of his memory. The end of our talk was interesting. ìIím thinking to go to India soon,î I said. ìMaybe I can pass through New York on my way.î ìThatíll be great!î he said. ìDid your wife visit you yet?î ìYeah.î ìAre you thinking to return ... to your home soon?î ìThe doctors say I may be able to leave within a week or so.î ìYou mean youíll go home then?î ìOf course. Do you suggest any other place?î ìNo, no, thatíll be perfect.î I donít think he caught my delighted surprise. Here was a guy who was so sincerely and forcefully running the wrong way, that the only means by which Baba could correct him was a knock on the head. Heís the problem, Heís the solution Iíve run out of money. When itís happened before, Iíve always taken a short-term job: as a taxi driver, an accountant, a government census taker, a manufacturer of alfalfa sprouts, a Santa Claus handing candy to children in a department store. But this time itís different. We have two major social service programs which will collapse if I withdraw from them in order to earn money. First we are busy arranging a public concert to raise funds for the famine-stricken population of Bangladesh.11 Second is a twice-weekly cooking class for poor people, to teach them how to prepare nutritious tasty food on a minimal budget. This program turned out to be the largest outdoor-concert ever held in Mississippi until then. 11

51

Iíve told my problem to nobody, except Baba, and to Him I said and say, ìI am working for You only, offering everything for You. This yoga house is Yours, and these projects are Yours. I shall not jeopardize the projects by taking a job. If I donít have money to pay for the center, itís Your problem, Baba, not mine. If I end up in the street homeless, itís okay for me; it might even be interesting.î Thereís no trouble getting food because Iím receiving government food stamps. ...... Three weeks later. The rent is due tomorrow, and I still donít have the money. Baba, be careful. Itís Your loss not mine if I canít pay the rent. That will be a good lesson for You. ...... Two days later. I suppose any moment the real estate company will call me, and ask for the rent. Iím ready to leave. The jokeís on You, Baba.

...... One day later. Today a letter arrived from Chris. Since he went to Eugene to study nine months ago, Iíve had no contact with him. He writes: ìEveryone at the university here was fed up with the movies

arranged weekly by the University Cultural Affairs Office. So Larry and I began booking first-class films on our own. We charged our audiences a nominal fee, thinking only to recover our expenditure. Without expecting it, we pulled in some profit. When I was thinking what to do with this money, I suddenly thought of you. Iíve got a feeling you could put it to better use than anyone I know.î Inside was a check for $210, exactly enough money for the next three months rent. As I walked to the real estate office I laughed. Good joke, Baba. An ancient yogi makes trouble Dadaji is here for his second visit. Again, plenty of people are attending the lectures and learning meditation. One man, about 50 years old, came to our door, saying, ìI saw the sign on your house: Ananda Marga Yoga Society. What does it mean?î He had never heard of yoga. I took a few minutes to explain a little to him, and he immediately wanted to learn. YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR YOUR REALIZATION 52 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìI think itíll be better,î I said, ìif you first attend a lecture and read some of our books. You donít know what youíre getting into.î ìBut this is my only chance. Tomorrow I go out of Jackson for one month. Please leave the risk to me.î Hesitantly, I agreed to schedule a meeting with Dadaji. Immediately after his initiation he did long meditationónearly one hour. Then he came to me and said, ìI must see Dadaji again.î ìIím sorry, Dadajiís doing his own meditation now, so youíll have to wait.î ìBut I have an appointment; I canít wait. Iíve got a problem with the meditation. At least let me explain it to you.î ìIím not qualified to deal with these matters.î ìLook, youíve got to listen!î I shrugged my shoulders. ìFrom the first moment, my meditation was very pleasant. But after some time a tall bearded Indian dressed in white appeared in my mind.î He demonstrated the sitting position of the Indian which was a yoga posture for doing higher meditation. He continued, ìI was doing meditation on the mantra which I learned from Dadaji. But the Indian man in my mind was loudly repeating a different mantra.î He told me the ìdifferent mantraî. It was strange and unknown to me. ìA conflict rose in me,î he said. ìI didnít know which mantra to use. It created a heavy tension, which was painful. Finally I decided that since my meditation had led me to the vision of this Indian man, I should follow him. So I started repeating his mantra. Immediately I felt wonderful, as Iíve never felt before. Do you agree that I am doing the right thing?î I did not agree. ìIn my opinion you should continue only with the mantra you learned from Dadaji. I believe this vision is coming from your distant past. Perhaps from past lives. But Iím not sure, so please telephone me tonight, and in the meantime Iíll ask Dadaji.î Dadaji agreed with me, so when the man called, I suggested he continue to follow Dadajiís instructions only.

...... 53

Next day. The man I wrote about yesterday is a traveling salesman who sells equipment to farmers. Tonight he called again saying, ìIím finding the meditation experience too taxing. That Indian yogi still appears every time I sit and loudly chants his mantra. What should I do?î ìAs we already told you, please keep on struggling.î Of course that was easy to say, but. ...... Next day. The salesman called again late tonight. He said, ìAs usual the yogi entered my meditation this evening. This time, however, it was absolutely hellish. He applied such a power on me that it seemed unbearable. Somehow I continued with my mantra. Just when I thought I would explode if I continued even one second longer, he exploded! His clothing, flesh, blood, even bones burst apart in every directionó nothing remained except a bright blissful luminosity. It was beautiful beyond words. I felt that all my worries and fears were gone. Did I merge in God?î ...... Two weeks later. The salesman called me again. He said, ìI feel guided. Almost every farm I go to I find either the husband or the wife is particularly interested in meditation. And so I teach him or her the universal mantra12 . Is it okay?î ìItís more than okay,î I said. ìItís perfect.î Now I understand why this man had such difficulties in his meditationóto strengthen his mind for the work of reaching these farmers who would otherwise never come in contact with Ananda Marga. New education techniques All of my social service responsibilities were taken over today by a new volunteer who will soon replace me. On a whim I visited a local primary school to see if I could help in any way. By their shabby clothing it was obvious that the children were from poor families. Almost all of them were black. A secretary in the administrative office told me I was free to look around. As I walked through the hallways I heard children talking, laughing and yelling through every door. 12

The universal mantra is Baba Nam Kevalam

YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR YOUR REALIZATION 54 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

When I entered a classroom for nine year-olds, I found nothing short of chaos. Not only were all the children busy in loud games of their own, ignoring the teacher, some were chasing others around the room, knocking over chairs, desks, whatever got in their way. Meanwhile, the teacher was sitting at her desk, reading something. I approached her. ìExcuse me, maíam,î I said, ìI wonder if there is any way I could help you.î She looked up, surprised. ìWell, thatís right kind of yoíall,î she said to me. ìAlrightee, thank yoíall. Iíll just be on down to the lounge for a cup of coffee, and yoíall can take over the class.î Before I could express my astonishment, she stood up and left the room. The students didnít even notice. I looked at all of them, sat down at the teacherís desk, and closed my eyes. As I thought of Baba, an idea entered my head. ìChildren!î I said loudly above all their racket.

Most of them spun around and shouted, ìYes!î ìWould you like to play a game?î ìYes!î ìOkay. Come and sit down near to me.î Immediately they all ran forward, pushing and knocking against each other, laughing and arguing over who could sit nearest to me. A desk was knocked down, and a new fist-fight erupted for a few moments. ìThis is a very special game you never played before. Are you sure you want to do it?î ìYes!î ìBut you have to be very different than usual to play it. Can you really do that?î ìYes!î I dropped my voice low and said, ìYouíll have to be very very quiet to play. I donít think you can do that. Do you really think you can play this special game?î ìYes!î they yelled in a whisper. Two boys pushed each other. Pointing at them, I said, ìYou two can play a different game, itís okay. You go over to that corner, and play your own game.î 55

The two jumped up and ran to the far corner of the room. For about ten seconds they pushed each other. Then they sat down and looked at the rest of us. ìNow, I want you all to close your eyes for a moment.î They all shut their eyes. Taking advantage of the situation, one boy pulled the ears of another boy, who turned around and pulled the pig-tails of a girl. ìOpen your eyes,î I said. I directed the two pullers to go and play their game in the corner. Like the first two, they ran at full speed to the corner, were raucous for a few seconds, and then sat quietly looking at us. ìNow, this time when you close your eyes, I want you to imagine something that you like more than anything else in the world.î Again they closed their eyes. No sound, no movement. Even the boys in the corner closed their eyes. After about ten seconds I said, ìOkay very good. Open your eyes. What did you see?î ìChocolate cake!î ìMary Sue!î ìA miniature electric train!î Their answers went on until I heard ìPresents around the Christmas tree!î ìStop!î I said, holding up my hand. ìYou all did very nicely. Letís take one of these: presents around the Christmas tree. I like that too. Have any of you seen snow?î ìYes,î they all said. ìHas anyone never seen snow?î Silence. Even though Jackson is a hot place, I guess theyíd all seen snow, at least on television. ìOkay, great. Now letís all think about Christmas, boys and girls. Yes, close your eyes again. Good. Now imagine itís really Christmas, and youíre sitting at home in front of the fireplace because itís cold

outside and itís snowing. You feel nice and cozy by the fire, and you look out the window and see all that snow falling. And itís so beautiful. Lots and lots of white white snow. Now your body becomes very small, and very light, and you float out the window, and youíre floatYOU HAVE TO WORK FOR YOUR REALIZATION 56 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ing in the snowflakes, and you feel so happy and light and white. And you go higher and higher in the beautiful snowflakes, and youíre all alone. And then you see the sun shining. And you float toward the sun. Itís great, itís fun, itís beautiful. And youíre flying toward the sun, riding on the sunís rays. And everywhere is light and light and more light. And your body is full of light. And your mind is full of light. And youíre becoming a ray of light. And you mix with that light, and enjoy it. Ah, itís so beautiful, and you feel better than ever in your life, and so quiet and peaceful and happy. And you feel that you love everybody. And you feel youíre a ray of love. Itís so beautiful. Youíre so beautiful and loving and love, only love, only love...î Toward the end my voice became softer and softer until it faded away. I meditated with them for about fifteen seconds. Then I opened my eyes. They were all pin-drop quiet, sitting with eyes closed, including the boys in the corner. ìOkay,î I whispered. ìVery good. Open your eyes slowly.î Most of them opened their eyes, though a few kept them closed. Their eyes glistened, and their faces shone. ìYouíre very beautiful children,î I said. ìYouíre so full of love. I love you, and Iím sure God loves you too. And Iím sure you love everybody. So ... what do you like to say now?î ìI love everybody,î one boy said. ìMe too! Me too! I love everybody!î came a chorus of voices. Just in that moment the teacher appeared at the door. Her eyes opened wide, and she raised her arms. ìI canít believe it,î she said. As she walked in, the children looked at her, and started chitchatting lightly between themselves. She came up to me. ìHow did you manage to get them like this?î Before I could answer, the school bell rang. ìAsk them,î I said. ...... Yesterday and today I went again to that school. The same teacher asked me to come to her classroom, saying that her children had been much quieter and nicer after my visit. But I told her I wanted to try other classrooms. 57

I did more or less the same in two more classes with good results. But for todayís class I also taught them to sing Baba Nam Kevalam. It was even better, because thereís hardly anything kids like more than singing. All the teachers in the school heard about these programs, and many of them requested me to come to their classrooms. When I told them Iím leaving Mississippi this week, they were disappointed. Donít move! As I began morning meditation, a thought crossed my mind: ìI shall be inflexibly rigid. No matter what uneasiness I feel, I shall not move.î

Until today, each and every time I practiced meditation, I inevitably shifted my weight or my legs a few times. Though I knew I should not move, I never adhered strictly to the system. This time, however, when itching asked for scratching, nervous tension demanded release, and pain shouted for reliefóI did not give in. Though it was very difficult, I didnít move even a fraction of an inch. Slowly, all the mental and physical chatter lessened, and finally ceased. My mind sunk deep into meditation, and I achieved a consciousness previously unknown to me. A simple, effective technique: donít move a muscle! Isnít it odd that I didnít try it before? Instant bliss On the Greyhound bus north. Iím traveling to Chicago. From Chicago Iíll go to India to meet Baba and try to find out whether or not I should become an acharya13. The Jackson center is now in the hands of another volunteer. ...... Chicago. One week later. My sisterís getting married this week. The ceremony will be at our house, and scores of near and distant family members are either here or on their way. Acharya is the formal title of the teachers of Ananda Margaóthe Dadas and Didis. Acharan means conduct. Acharya means one who teaches others through his or her personal conduct. 13

YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR YOUR REALIZATION 58 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

Yesterday, two of my cousins and I went to a public meeting of an Indian spiritual movement just starting in America. The main attraction was the mother of the guru, together with the two leading teachers of the movementóall of whom are supposed to be living saints. The guru is still in India. The lecture had already started when we arrived. We slipped in at the back of the room, which was packed with about 200 people. The teacher who was lecturing turned toward me and stared. He kept his eyes fixed on me even while singing. But was he really looking at me? To find out, I moved to other sides of the hall. His eyes remained glued on me until the endóabout one hour. When the lecture finished, I was curious, to say the least. About ten disciples were there, and it seemed all had noticed the teacher staring at me. They also seemed to be wondering why. I requested an interview. The teacher said to me, ìWe are leaving Chicago just now. Come to the airport, and we will talk there.î Together with several disciples, my cousins and I drove to the airport. After checking in, the two teachers and the mother took me aside, alone. ìWho are you?î they asked. ìIím going to India in a few days. Iím an Ananda Margi.î They laughed uproariously. I was shocked. ìOh, Ananda Marga! Violent, dangerous people! You must have nothing to do with them.î I asked for the source of their malicious information. They spoke of various so-called scandals, but added nothing convincing. Then they said, ìWhether you believe in Ananda Marga doesnít matter. The important fact is we give you Cosmic Knowledge instantly. You will see Light and hear Music.î

ìOkay. Please give me the initiation here now,î I said. ìNo, no. You meet us in Denver. We will hold big seminar there. You must join and then you receive initiation.î ìIím going to India. Why should I change? How can I know if your Knowledge is correct or not?î For twenty minutes they tried to persuade me. At the end of that time, two sentences finally struck me: ìWe are opening doorway to God. You should at least try.î I couldnít deny that. 59

I immediately canceled my flight to India, and re-booked for Denver reasoning that I could always go to India later if their promises proved empty. In the evening, I arrived home with my cousins. They were excited and I was inspired. Everyone was pleased when they heard that I would be staying in America. Only my father was frustrated. ìHow could you change your mind so easily?î he asked. ìLooks like your commitment was not so deep as you made it out to be.î As the evening wore on, a strange feeling developed. Something was wrong, though I had no idea what. ìWhat is it, God? How am I failing You?î I thought. Confusion overtook me. Struggling to get free, the anxiety only increased. I asked Baba and God to save me. At last I fell asleep, fully prostrate, praying for guidance. When I woke up this morning at 6:00 a.m., I was still lying in the same position. I had been dreaming and the meaning of the dream seemed unmistakably clear. Thrilled to the bone, I jumped up to phone Dada Birendra Lal.14 I quickly told him about yesterdayís experience. Then I told him my dream: ìDadaji, I was in India in a room with about forty or fifty people. Baba sat in the front, facing us and speaking. We all knew that Bindeshwari was in the next room. You know, the Bindeshwari who died and was brought back to life by Babaís touch, and who now has miraculous psychic powers.î ìYes, yes. I know him very well.î ìWell, we could hear many persons in that room being affected by Bindeshwariís touch on their foreheadsóthey were shouting, sighing, and gasping as they entered into high states of consciousness. It seemed that each of us in the room with Baba was thinking, ëI wish I were thereí, At this time there were three Dadas, or acharyas, in the USA. One was a renunciate (Dada Yatishvarananda, the Dada who taught me meditation), and the other two were married. Dada Birendra Lal was a family man, employed in Chicago as an engineer. In the beginning years of Ananda Marga, all the acharyas were family people. The renunciate or monk system only came later. The two family acharyas were from the original group, and thus had long experience on the spiritual path. While maintaining his normal family responsibilities Dada Birendra also guided our Chicago meditation group. The third Dada, also married, lived and worked in Philadelphia. 14

YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR YOUR REALIZATION 60 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

as we all looked at the wall separating us from ecstasy. Only Baba was unimpressed. He turned toward the wall and yelled through it, ëWill you little children please be quiet!í In that same moment I woke up. ìDoesnít it show, Dadaji, that Baba doesnít give much importance to such psychic phenomena? Surely it would be worse than a waste of time for me to go to Denver, just running after occult experience. I

think I have to give myself to God, not try to get something for myself. Isnít is so, Dada?î ìIn 1955,î Dada replied, ìone devotee said to Baba, ëWeíve received everything by Your grace, Baba. Why donít you give bliss to everyone in the world right now? Why wait?í He said, ëI have not come to give instant bliss. That would defeat the purpose of life. Your purpose is to realize love-for-everyone-and-everything. You have to work for that.íî I canceled the ticket for Denver and re-booked for India.15 Donít thank me On the way to India I spent one day in New York City. I arranged to meet Paul at a bus stop near his house. When I stepped off the bus, he was standing about 150 meters away. When he saw me, his face lit up with a big smile. In Mississippi I had never seen him smile even once. He ran toward me and we embraced. The first thing he blurted out was, ìYouíll never believe it! In the last days Iíve been strongly desiring to do meditation, but couldnít remember my mantra. Just now as I saw you, I suddenly remembered it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!î Though Bindeshwari did clinically die, according to yoga it is possible that he never actually died. Yoga says that death is a process in which ultimately both the nerve cells and fibers die. There are, however, some cases in which only the nerve fibers die, but the nerve cells continue to live. Doctors declare that person to be clinically dead. This might have been Bindeshwariís situation. Baba did several times demonstrate that a person whose nerve fibers were dead but nerve cells alive could be restored to life, a phenomenon which medical science has not yet understood. Bindeshwari had some ability to raise the consciousness of others by his touch. It is a common occult power which is accessible to advanced spiritual aspirants. Though this same occult power was displayed by Baba innumerable times, He often explained the science behind it, together with the dangers inherent in misusing the power. 15

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CHAPTER 5

Home

Sickness and depression: catalytic agents

New Delhi, India. May. The latest news regarding Babaís court case is that there is no news. The strategy of the opposition is obviously to delay in the hope that over time Margis, Dadas and Didis will become frustrated, and gradually our mission will crumble. They cannot understand that such difficulties only make us stronger. Weather is super hot. Fantastic mango milk shakes. Drank four in one go. ...... (Next day, on the train to Patna) ... and became sick as a dog. I never experienced before such strong diarrhea and nausea. An Indian Dada with long black hair and a thick beard (like almost all Dadas) tried to help but there was little he could do. ...... Patna. Iíve been so sick that I could neither stand up nor sleep. Itís blistering hot. My head is totally spaced out. To top it off, nobody is allowed to meet Baba in the jail. The fact that I cannot see Baba only adds to my depression and confusion. Iíve come to India to determine my lifeís direction, perhaps to become a monk, but how will I manage to clear up anything without meeting my guru? Now many doubts arise. Today during one of my half-unconscious periods a Dada said,

ìPack your things and come with me. I will take you to the proper place.î HOME 62 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Without thinking, I obeyed him. Later he introduced himself as Dada Svarupananda. Now I am on a train heading for a place called Ananda Nagar. A mystic land Ananda Nagar, Purulia District. The journey lasted overnight during which I fell asleep for the first time in four days. This morning we arrived at a tiny station in the Indian countryside. No one got on or off except the two of us. One station attendant met us; otherwise there wasnít a soul in sight. The station signboard said Pundag. My body is still very weak and it took all the effort I could muster to begin walking over what seemed like an endless desert. When we got down, Dada turned to me and said, ìWelcome to Ananda Nagar. This is the most spiritual land in the world. Though our global camp office is in Patna, Ananda Nagar is the permanent central office of Ananda Marga.î As I looked around me, the air broke in sparkling waves. Was it the heat waves, my delirium, or something mystical? No grassójust barren land, big and small rocks of all shapes strangely juxtaposed, and a few scattered, hardy trees. After walking for some time, a long building appearedócrude, undecorated, painted dirty white. A couple of small boys were hitting a dilapidated rag ball back and forth, using tree branches as bats. ìThis is the primary school,î Dada said. ìMost of the children are inside studying.î We walked on until we came to a well. He pulled up a bucket. ìDrink this water,î he said. ìIt will help you to get your health back.î I doubted it, but drank. The water seemed to contain the same sparkling quality as the air, full of ... what? life? I looked inside the well. A few frogs jumped here and there at the bottom. Farther on, a similar building came into view. ìThis is the high school,î he said. Concrete steps led us to the second (and highest) floor. We entered a room furnished only with a primitive chair and a plain wooden table with some scattered papers on it. ìThis is my room. Youíll stay here for a few days.î Clearing the table, he covered it with a bed sheet. I lay down in the heat and fell asleep. 63

Vanishing clouds

For the last two days Iíve rested, randomly walked short distances, ate rice and boiled vegetables, and drank plenty of well-water. I guess the frogs didnít contribute anything harmful to the water because my health returned today. This afternoon Dada Svarupananda and another Dada took me to a slightly distant spot within Ananda Nagar. We sat down under an old tree with a thick, weathered trunk. We sang kiirtan for a short time and then started meditation. One minute, two minutes, three, four, five ... the time passed, but not a single stray thought appeared to bother me. At last one thought bubbled up:

ìAh ... so thatís what concentration is!î Perhaps two hours passed in nearly unbroken concentration. It was by far the deepest meditation Iíve ever experienced. The few moments of wandering thoughts contained some of my doubts about Ananda Marga and becoming a monk: the risk inherent in commitment, the condemnation by those who donít understand, uncertainty about whether or not Ananda Marga is really a selfless, purely spiritual mission. But in the light of a suddenly opened mind these concerns appeared trivial. Like tiny wisps of clouds that disappear in the brilliant sun and blue sky, my doubts vanished. When I finished meditation, I told the two Dadas about my experience. They smiled warmly and said, ìThe area around this tree is a Tantra Piitha. Several highly developed Tantrics achieved liberation while doing meditation here. A strong vibration remains, which affects any person who meditates on this spot. There are seventy-eight such Tantra Piithas in Ananda Nagar.î 16 As I write now in the late night by lamplight, I feel changed. A few small doubts still linger, but I have hope that even without seeing Baba I may be able to reach the clear understanding I seek. Tan means crudeness; tra means liberation. So Tantra means the practical science by which one gradually becomes free from crude consciousness. There is a short article introducing Tantra in the appendices. 16

HOME 64 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Transcendental core

Noontime. Walking together with two Dadas across a limitless sandy expanse of stray underbrush, without a building or a tree in sight. Grit crunching under our sandaled footsteps, echoing in our silence. The droning of a myriad unseen insects combining together to create the sound of endlessness. The sun particularly intense, penetrating my skull, frying my brain. Gradually my thoughts dissipated. Though my feet moved on, my mind slipped ... swam ... forgot ... mindlessly walking without time ... nothingness.... Suddenly I awoke from my numbness. Awake, yet without any bearings or reference points. Where am I? I thought. Who are these two people? What year, what age is this? And who am I? I looked at them and at the land around, but understood nothing. I struggled to find any association. Then I felt my memory jar and gradually seem to return. These two with long black beards and swaying robesóholy men. This landó Palestine. This ageóthe age of Jewish and Christian patriarchs. I became calmer. A minute or so passed like this. But who am I? I thought. I looked down at my clothing. Shocking! These strange clothes did not fit my memory. Again I was thrown into confusion. Ah, yes, of course, I thought, as the idea of the real present returned. Ananda Nagar, India, two Dadas, I, an American... How strange... I was amazed at the mistake into which I had momentarily slipped. Yes, these Ananda Marga acharyas might as well be ancient religious holy men.... A fresh understanding dawned. Another doubt was dislodged! I inhaled

deeply in relief: by merging my lifeís energies into Ananda Marga I was not leaving the religious heritage inherited at the moment of my birth. Rather I was returning to its spiritual essence, full of the original vitality which existed before the religious dogma seeped in and eventually took over. I am not turning away from my lineage. This Tantric path is the transcendental core from which every religion arises. 65

Message of an unknown Dada

I am in Benares today for the start of a three-day spiritual festival led by the venerable Dada Shivananda. In the absence of Baba, Shivanandaji is serving as His representative, and his discourses will channel Babaís vibration. About 10,000 Margis are attending, and the energy is high. It is also in this ancient spiritual city that we have our training centers for creating new acharyas. Our philosophy argues against the superstitious idol worship of Hinduism, but I agree with the Hindus that Benares has a singular atmosphere suitable for spiritual practices. Hindus believe that a bath in the Ganges River purifies them of sin, and causes them to rise to heaven at the time of death. We share no such belief but that does not stop us from enjoying meditation near the river bank, sometimes within smelling range of the cremation pyres. Surely that smell reminds us how precious every living moment is and how futile it is to fear death. Though my experience in Ananda Nagar has freed me from most of my doubts, I still hesitate to pass over the threshold into a new life. If only I could have met Baba. ...... Two days later. Today was Dada Shivanandaís culminating discourse. When he concluded his talk a wave rolled through us all, generating sighs, shouts, shivering and other occult symptoms. A thrill shook the heart region of my chest and left me awed. Afterward, the Margis dispersedóexcept one man who remained absorbed for several hours in deep meditation, indifferent to the brutally hot sun. Eventually another Margi held an umbrella over the manís head, but it was too late. After he came out of his trance the man suffered from sunstroke, though he didnít seem to care. A few minutes after the discourse, while I was still strongly feeling its effect, an unknown Dada approached me and asked, ìWhy have you come to India?î ìI had two reasons. One was to meet Baba. So far that hasnít been possible. Second, after meeting Him I hoped to decide whether or not I should go for wholetimer training.î ìYou could not do the first. Why not go ahead with the second and start the training?î He did not wait for my reply, and quietly walked HOME 66 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER away. It was in this moment that I decided to at least visit the training center. Whether I will stay or not I donít know. Home Benares training center. As I passed through the doorway one thought and one thought alone grabbed me and echoed through my mind: ìI am home! At last Iíve come home!î

So itís fixed. From today my lifeís direction is clear. The training center is a three-room building near the hub of the city. In one room the thirty-five trainees study, eat and sleep. The second room is for group meditation and class. Living conditions are extremely cramped. Many of us also sleep in the meditation room and outside. For bedding, each person has a single blanket spread directly on the cement floor. A third small room is for the two trainers. The ìkitchenî is outside: a mud oven and an area of beaten earth for cutting vegetables and rolling flat-breads. There is no running water. The well in the courtyard is used for drawing water for all purposesócooking, cleaning, bathing and toilet functions. The toilets are deep-dug, i.e. without flush system: one outhouse for all the trainees, while the other inside the house is generally used only by the trainers. The courtyard is a mere twelve by nine meters. The sistersí training center is in some other section of Benares. One of our trainers visits them daily to give classes. Guidelines Today I was handed a list of the conducts rules that we must follow as monks, such as: * Practice meditation at least four times daily. One should not eat without having first done meditation. * Practice asanas twice daily. * Do not sleep on a soft bed. * Leave all sorts of luxuries. * Observe fasting at least four times every month. Fast without food or water from sunrise to sunrise on the prescribed days. * Do not consume meat, fish, eggs, onion, garlic, mushroom, caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee, cocoa, alcohol, cigarettes or other intoxicants. 67

* Silence should be maintained at least thirty minutes daily. During this time one should not read, write or similarly divert the mind. * After completing the initial study of Ananda Marga philosophy, one should also try to study all other philosophies. * One should practice forgiveness and magnanimity of mind. * Keep aloof from criticizing, condemning or mudslinging. Avoid all sorts of groupism. Do not criticize any country. * Keep free from hatred, anger and vanityóincluding vanity of culture. * By becoming an ideal person, inspire others to become good. * Attract others by your sacrificing nature. * Try to remove the pain of others, and do not talk of your own trouble. * Accept all sufferings as rewards. ...... ...and literally hundreds more. Some of them are for all Margis, others only for renunciates. For me they are not rules but guidelines for gradually achieving a saintly life. A different training than expected Food is simple, but due to the cooking technique and lack of nutritional balance I am again thoroughly ill. The water is also surely unsuitable for me. Of course it doesnít help that this is the hottest time of the year. We are eating basically only disk-shaped flat breads, skinless beans, white rice, and green chilies which burn my mouth. The

cooking duty changes daily among the trainees. Most of them are impatient with the large amount of work involved in preparation, so they usually make the flat breads very thick and do not cook them completely, and frequently undercook the beans also. Sometimes we receive ìdrumsticksî in our food collection from generous though poor vegetable venders. They are called drumsticks because they are mostly fiber. They are usually cooked together with the beans. We chew them to get what we can out of them, then spit them out. Besides the occasional potatoes and eggplants, we do not see other vegetables, and never any fruits, except lemon water and one small banana per trainee the morning after fasting. Because we fast without food or water four days per month, we each receive four bananas per month. I am trying to overcome my continuous diarrhea by cleaning out my system. Iím staying away from rice and, on the suggestion of sevHOME 68 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER eral Indian trainees, eating large amounts of chilies. But it just seems to get worse.17 When it rains we have to sleep on our sides because there is not enough space inside for all of us to sleep on our backs. Iím afraid that my poor health and the difficult living conditions are affecting my state of mind. Iím so wrapped up in my own personal problems that Iím unable to relate nicely to the other trainees. Our daily routine consists of meditation and kiirtan four times, yoga asanas twice, morning and afternoon classes, cooking and cleaning duties, and self-study. At present I am trying to memorize about 150 conduct rules, learn Prout18, memorize seventeen Sanskrit sayings which define the essence of Prout, and learn some basic Sanskrit and Bengali. This is proving difficult because my body is so weak that Iím usually on the verge of sleep, and my knees are aching from sitting all day on the floor. There is only one chair in the classroom, and throughout the day a competition goes on to sit in it. I rarely win. Nose noise and tasty talks Last night I spoke to one of the trainers. ìDadaji, my nose has been heavily blocked with mucus for several days now. Itís almost impossible for me to practice pranayama (alternate-nostril breathing meditation). What should I do?î ìYou say almost impossible?î ìYes.î ìThat means itís possible. So you should continue the pranayama regularly. Rather, the pranayama that youíve been doing twice daily should from now be increased to four times daily.î Today I followed his directive. Not only does the pranayama take me much longer than anyone else, and cause my head to spin, but the sound of my nose is extremely loud, and disturbs the other trainees Much later I came to know from Dadas that hot spices should be strictly avoided by the patient of diarrhea. The chilies were the worst thing I could have consumed. Of course they did succeed in cleaning me outóperhaps one or two thousand times. If I had eaten rice I might have been able to regain some sort of equilibrium. 18 Prout is an acronym which stands for the ìProgressive Utilization Theoryî. Propounded by Baba in 1959, Prout is a system which provides for the rational development and distribution of all of societyís material and mental resources. It is radically different from either capitalism or communism. See the appendix for an introduction to Prout. 17

69

during meditation. I am thus compelled to practice meditation in the

adjacent room. My nose may remain blocked until I get out of here. The psychosocial gap separating me from the trainees has now been increased by a physical gap. ...... During lunch we were served the usual drumsticks, indigestible beans and thick, partially cooked flat breads. I sighed and murmured, ìYuck. Again.î ìYou think itís only tough for you,î said the brother sitting next to me. ìDo you imagine that this sort of food and life style is normal for the rest of us? In my family home we had thin delicate breads fried in purified butter every day, vegetable dishes of many tasty kinds, fruits, yoghurt, hot milk, and various milk sweets. You think youíre so special. î ìNo! I never said anything like that.î But he had already turned away to talk with another person. A trainee makes trouble One of the Indian trainees, Santosh, is always happy and affectionate. Though most of the other brothers donít speak to me, he often does. He plays at reading the lines in our hands, and likes to discuss our personal lives. Nevertheless I donít like him much. This afternoon we were all performing group meditation when yelling and scuffling suddenly erupted from the corridor. I jumped up to see two trainees forcefully slapping Santosh, while one of the trainers looked on. Santosh was screaming in Hindi, ìPlease let me go! Iím sorry! Iím sorry!î I was shocked. Running forward, I grabbed the two trainees and tried to push them away. The trainer touched me on the arm. ìPlease donít disturb now,î he said. ìBut, how dare they? Heís our brother!î I said. He pointed at an open suitcase on the floor, saying, ìDo you recognize any of the papers there?î As the beating and yelling continued, I looked at the suitcase which was full of notebooks, letters, envelopes and crumpled papers of all HOME 70 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER sorts. Suddenly I saw one crumpled envelope addressed to me. It was a letter from home which I had received, read and thrown away. I became even more confused and looked at the trainer. ìSantosh is a spy from the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation),î he said. ìOver the last few days heís made a nice collection of interesting documents, including several diaries stolen from my office desk. Fortunately we discovered the matter just as he was about to go out with the suitcase.î ìBut heís a trainee, and wants to become an acharya. How could...?î ìThings are not always as they seem to be.î ìAnyway what can the CBI gain from our documents?î ìNothing. We really have nothing to hide. But the CBI is aching to find something they can use to create trouble for us.î The trainer catches my vibes Accompanied by an Indian trainee, I went to the market area to change some of my travelersí checks into rupees so I could make a

donation to the training center. It was understood that I wouldnít spend any of the money except for the cost of the rickshaw. But when we passed a fruit stall we could not restrain ourselves from enjoying a few bananas. Though most people would consider this of no consequence, for me it was tantamount to stealing, and I immediately felt guilty. When we returned to the center the trainees were eating lunch, the usual tasteless gook. Looking at their pitiful condition, I felt sheepish, to say the least. I submitted the account to one of the trainers, Dada N, and covered up the expense for the bananas. After that I felt so glum that I could not join the meal, and walked around the building in a tortured state of mind for half an hour. Finally I couldnít take it any longer. I knocked at the door of the trainer who had not come out since I spoke to him. ìYes. Come in.î ìSir, Iím sorry. Very sorry.î ìWhat is it, my boy?î ìI have a mistake to admit, and I want to ask for punishment.î ìBananas, huh?î ìWhat! How could...?î He only looked at me calmly, with a tinge of a smile. 71

ìAnyway, Dadaji, I feel very bad.î I half-heartedly added, ìCan you please give me punishment?î I expected him to direct me to fast or something similar. ìI think youíve had enough punishment already during the last half hour. Better that you just return to your studies.î Going out, I wondered how the trainer could know. I asked the other trainee if he had mentioned our indulgence to anyone. ìOf course not,î he answered nonchalantly. ìYou think Iím an idiot?î What for? The same trainer called me into his office today. ìSit down, my boy.î I sat on a chair facing him. With his eyes half closed, he entered a semi-trance condition, pointed his two index fingers at me, and began rotating them in small circles. I felt a bit uncomfortable. ìThereís some problem with your knees, isnít it?î he said in a distant voice. I nodded. ìPerhaps you had an accident or major operation on them when you were young?î He must have been seeing the colored auras around my knees since I was wearing pants as always. ìYes. When I was sixteen years old a crazy doctor operated on my knees declaring that he would correct my bow-leggedness.î ìAh,î he said softly. ìYou see.î He became silent. I felt even more uncomfortable. ìAlright, you can go now.î Iíve never liked the blatant exhibition of occult power. Thereís nothing miraculous in it, and usually it is misused merely to impress others. 19

In 1974, I received a letter from a friend in India mentioning that this Dada left his acharyaship. My friend wrote: ìI was shocked, considering that Dada N wrote the first two comprehensive books on Prout, and appeared so highly developed. But several workers told me that Dada Nís loss of confidence was surely a direct result of the misutilization of his personally gained powers. He remains a Margi, and intends to 19

marry. Itís a pity. Though I respect the family path as spiritually equal to the way of the renunciate, for Dada N it is clearly unsuitable. I wonder if he may remain in confusion for many years to come.î

HOME 72 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Going down

No word short of emaciated can describe my physical condition. I have nothing to hang onto except my bone-dry determination to follow my spiritual path and become an acharya. Meditation is extremely difficult; my mind wanders incessantly. What occupies my mind more during meditationómy spiritual ideal or the thought of ice cream-chocolatecrunchy granola cereal-peanut butter-fresh fruits-milk shake-a swim in the sea-a clean quiet room-and a soft bed? Though I try not to think of such things, they bombard me whenever I close my eyes. ...... Iíve never been so thoroughly depressed in my entire life. The diarrhea has become amoebic dysentery, my eyes have turned yellow due to hepatitis, and my nose is continuously blocked. The severe pain in my belly does not allow me to stand up straight or walk properly. Everyone else gets up at 4:30 each morning, but I get up at 3:30 to use the outhouse. This sometimes takes the full hour, and the effort leaves me soaked in perspiration. Iíve totally lost my sense of humor and as a result all the Indian trainees dislike me. There are only three other Westerners hereótwo Americans and one German. They are also sick, but not as bad as I. They are able to relate to the Indians to some extent, but I talk only to them. By and large, the Indian trainees believe that I am faking much of my sickness, so they are unsympathetic. The trainers, however, are concerned and send me to different doctors from time to time. None of the medicine helps. Though I frequently fall asleep while studying, somehow Iíve learned enough of the course material to pass most of the tests of the first half of our syllabus. Among all the trainees, my knowledge of Sanskrit was the worst. Oddly enough, I was the only one to pass the Sanskrit exam this time. On the other hand, I thought that my understanding of Prout was better than anyone elseís, yet I was the only one to fail the Prout exam. The examiner, who visits once monthly, is a very senior Dada named Acharya Dasaratha. Obviously, he considers more than mere intellectual knowledge. ...... The second part of my training has begun. I have to learn the spiritual philosophy in depth, including the principles of many other ma73

jor spiritual and religious orders of the world, memorize and be able to explain the meaning of about 100 Sanskrit shlokas (aphorisms) related to Ananda Marga spiritual philosophy, memorize by sound only about 400 other Sanskrit shlokas, and be able to demonstrate and explain all the important yoga postures. The most difficult part is the 400 Sanskrit shlokas because I have no idea of their meaning, and will surely find it perfectly boring.20 ...... An Indian brother, Amitabha, is in charge of shopping and running errands in the city. Twice heís accompanied me to see doctors. This morning, I was leaning against the well, waiting for someone to

draw water for me, when Amitabha approached me with a worried look. ìYouíre very sick, brother,î he said. ìWhatís new in that?î I said. ìI thought you were faking it. But last night it was raining so I had to sleep near the latrine. Baba, I think you stepped on me or over me fifteen or twenty times rushing to pass stool. Come on, you better lie down and Iíll bring another doctor.î ìDoctors are useless. Besides, my nightly visits to the latrine have been going on for a long time. You simply didnít know about it. I told you and everyone else that my systemís broken, but no one believed me.î A crucial lesson Today will surely prove a red-letter day in my personal history. Just before the morning class started, I was still in bed, completely depressed. On his way to class, the trainer, Dada Japananda, stopped to talk to me. ìI think you are very ill this morning, no?î ìYeah,î I moaned. ìIs it impossible for you to attend class?î ìYeah.î ìThen donít worry. Rest now, and we will arrange the doctor later.î In fact, with a bit of pain I could have gotten up and joined the class. So it was a lie. I simply didnít want to do anything. Soon after I completed my training, the number of shlokas that had to be memorized by Westerners was sharply decreased, and translations were added. 20

HOME 74 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

At the same time I felt guilty for not getting up. So I pulled myself near the classroom door. Lying on my stomach, unable to see into the room, I listened. ìYou there,î the trainer said apparently to one of the brothers in the class. ìStand up. Tell what Sanskrit shloka you memorized since yesterday.î ìIím sorry, sir. I did not learn any new shloka.î ìWhat? Nonsense. Sit down. You,î he said to another trainee, ìstand up. What shloka did you learn since yesterday.î ìIím sorry, sir. I also.î ìStupid. Lazy fellow. Sit down. What about you?î he said to a third trainee. ìIím sorry, sir.î ìWhat is this! Are you all simply killing the time here? Anyone who learned any shloka since yesterday stand up now.î Silence. Tension-filled, fear-laden silence. Surely no one stood up. Ten seconds passed. I leaned nearer the door, straining to catch what was happening. Suddenly a huge banging sound startled and shocked me. Goose pimples rose in my skin. It was the fist of the trainer, which he had pounded a single time with great force on the classroom table. ìYou worthless bloodsuckers! Worse than animals! At least animals make no claim to serving others. But you, you hypocrites, you pretend to have dedicated your lives to serving mankind! Bah! You rest nicely in this house, passing the time comfortably day by day, while your spiritual father lies suffering in a prison cell without even a fan or any other sort of normal comfort! While He undergoes penance to

demonstrate the ideal sacrifice for society, you all couldnít care less, bound up in your personal likes and dislikes! Hypocrites, parasites! Iíll have nothing to do with any of you. I wonít see your faces unless and until you change your ways!î He stomped out of the classroom without noticing me still lying near the door. I stood up immediately. I have no right to be depressed, now or ever, I thought. How can I serve anyone, how can I expand myself, how can I do anything of any value if I am sad? From this moment I shall never again indulge in sorrow. 75

I picked up my towel and walked in an almost normal gait to the well. For the first time since my troubles began I did not care about the pain in my stomach. Ignoring my weakness, I pulled up a bucket of waterósomething which over the last few weeks I had believed I couldnít do.21 A beggarís life Because of my positive mental outlook, my health has improved greatly. Though I still suffer from dysentery and hepatitis, most of the pain in my stomach is gone, and I can stand up comfortably. My sense of humor hasnít fully returned, but at least Iím able to be pleasant with the other trainees. Until now I couldnít do one part of the training due to my ill health: SPT22. The trainers were afraid I would collapse if I did. My feeling, however, was that the training would strengthen rather than weaken me. I argued again and again that merely pacing up and down our little courtyard was not enough for me. Yesterday they reluctantly consented, and today my SPT began. I now use only two large pieces of white cotton for clothing. One I tie on like a loose skirt. The other piece, draped around my upper body, doubles as a bag for collecting vegetables whenever I go out begging. Deprived of soap, comb, toothbrush and paste, I use ash, dirt and water to clean my body, and twigs from the neem tree to clean my teeth. Perhaps the greatest difficulty is the lack of shoes or sandals, because the road is blistering hot. Each morning I go from door to door, begging for vegetables and flour. I utter only four words: Hari aum tat sat, meaning ìThe original cosmic Word of God is That unchanging Truthî. I may speak these Since that day, I have never known depression for more than a few minutes at a time. I attribute this to the simple determination not to accept sorrow, combined with various Tantric practices which strengthen the mind. Of these practices, the most important is kiirtan. On the other hand, the devotional sorrow that one may feel in relation to God or guru can be a good thing. 22 Sadhana piitha training. Sadhana means spiritual effort, and piitha means a point which is spiritually charged (like the special meditation spots in Ananda Nagar). SPT is an exercise in poverty, silence and begging which each trainee undergoes for at least one week. The temporary identification with the poorest of the poor is in itself said to be an illuminating power point for spiritual realization. 21

HOME 76 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

words three times to any person. If someone should repeatedly insist that I provide a justification, I may explain. But after that I may not accept any donation from him. Generally, two hours of begging is sufficient. From the money I receive, I buy a small clay cooking pot and

a bit of cow dung for fuel. Whatever remains is turned over to the trainers. I cook only those foodstuffs which are directly donated. Though the experience is difficult, I donít care; I am pleased that I am finally allowed to do it. ...... A week later. Today was my final day of SPT. While taking off and burning my beggarís dress, one thought pounded over and over in my brain: I must not forget the difficulties of our brothers and sisters who live like this. The work for societyís upliftment is meaningless unless those who are lowest rise up. Besides this, Iím more confident now of being able to accept any difficulties I may undergo in the future due to human-made or natural catastrophes. Ironically, the exercise was exactly what my body needed. My diseases go on, but the walking has given me energy which I lacked the last two months. Because of the silence and simple life style, meditation is also stronger. One strange element: though all SPT trainees complain that the streets burn their feet, I didnít feel the slightest trouble. I remember the incident of one brother who said to our guru, ìBaba, I am weak. Please give me more power so that I may better do Your work.î Baba replied, ìThereís no need to ask. First use up whatever power youíve got. Then you can be sure the Supreme Consciousness will grant you more. And when your tractor is so broken it can no longer be refueled, He will give you a new tractor.î The force of sweetness It was announced today that the four westerners plus a few other trainees will soon commence ìfield trainingî. We will leave the training center for about one week. Each of us will travel to a different city to hold lectures and meetings on meditation and yoga for the general public. When I heard the news, the first thought to pop in my mind was, Finally, a chance to get some sweets! Though I know I should not think 77

of such things, the idea of sweets keeps coming and coming. Truthfully, Iím not really trying to control my mind, because I enjoy thinking of the sweets. I wonder if such crude thinking is common for people undergoing intense yogic training. ...... My field training is in Mokamo, a city of about 100,000 people. It is a half-dayís train ride from Benares. Ananda Marga has a large group of active members here. When I arrived at the station, I was met by the local Ananda Marga leader. His name is Madhusudan, which is an ancient name of Lord Krishna. Everyone calls him ìMadhuî for short, which means ìsweetî or ìhoneyî. I found this an intriguing coincidence, considering my intense longing for sweets. Before starting a tight schedule of lectures, Madhu wanted to introduce me to some of the leading Margis in the city. First he took me to the house of a high school teacher. As soon as we entered, the man jumped up and said, ìI shanít be a minute. Take rest please, and Iíll be right back.î When he returned he was holding a small cardboard box, which he placed on the table in front of me. ìOpen it,î he said, ìand please enjoy

the contents.î The box was full of burfióexpensive milk-sweets! I was so excited. Pretending to be calm, I first offered the sweets to the teacher and to Madhu. Madhu said, ìOh, no no no. These are just for you.î He added in a soft voice so that the teacher would not hear him, ìAnd it is better that you eat them all, otherwise he may be offended.î I nodded, maintaining my composure, but I was internally thrilled and delighted. Within five minutes I finished the boxóabout a half kilogram. After some short discussion, Madhu and I left for the house of another Margi, a police officer. When he saw us, he also stood up and asked us to wait a moment for him. Like the teacher, he returned with a cardboard box and opened it for me. It contained gulab jamanó slightly different but equally rich milk sweets. ìAm I dreaming?î I thought. Again they refused to accept any for themselves, and I was compelled to eat everything. Now I felt totally satisfied. We went to another Margiís house and the same sequence of events! Another half kilogram of milk sweets. Too much! But again their cusHOME 78 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER tom forced me to finish it. ìBaba, what are you doing to me?î Now I felt a bit ill, with a heavy stomach and a hyped-up, sugar-stimulated nervous system. We went to another Margiís house where I was offered my fourth box of milk sweets. ìI canít possibly eat it,î I whispered to Madhu. ìBut you must,î he hissed. ìDonít cause any embarrassment.î Strange how biting his tone seemed to be, almost heartless, as if he knew that I had been improperly desiring these sweets, and now must pay the price. But I hadnít mentioned these thoughts to anyone. Slowly I forced myself to eat those sweets also. I felt like vomiting. After this visit, he insisted we go to another house, but I refused point-blank. In the future, I must try to avoid concentrating on any crude desires. It seems that meditation causes their manifestation. Logic beyond logic The field training keeps me hectically busy, and I love it. The internal energy built up in Benares is finding its expression. Usually I give three or four lectures daily for different schools, clubs, and civic organizations. It seems like everyone in the city knows that Iím here, and they all want to see the westerner who teaches yoga. Iím not yet authorized to teach personalized meditation techniques, but Iíve been teaching the Baba Nam Kevalam mantra to crowds of up to 2000 people at a time. I usually have very little advance notice of whom Iíll be speaking to, nor do I prepare my lectures. My talks are all spontaneous. Because some people attend more than one program, I also make sure each talk is unique. Today I was brought to the main university. Before giving the lecture, the organizers ushered me into a meeting room in which there were about forty professors. ìWhoís the audience this time, Madhu?î I asked. ìYou will be speaking to the combined faculty and students of three departments: logic, ethics and metaphysics.î

ìI see.î At that time I was in such a flow that my intellect was barely functioning. I was slightly baffled trying to understand the meaning of 79

each of these three words. ëLogicí was okay, ëethicsí was half clear, but ëmetaphysicsí left me in a cloud. I turned to converse with the professor sitting next to me. After a few minutes, I nonchalantly came to my real point. ìYou know in the west,î I said, ìmany words carry different meaning than in India. Here at this university, what do you mean by the word ëmetaphysicsí?î I grasped little of his complicated reply. But at least I memorized his words ìthose dimensions that transcend purely physical analysis.î ìDadaji,î another professor interjected, ìall of us would like to know the title of your discourse today.î His voice was loud enough that everyone suddenly stopped their personal conversations to listen to my reply. Without thinking, I said, ìI will talk on ëThe Absolute and Eternal Relationship between Logic, Ethics and Metaphysicsí.î There was a gasp of many voices throughout the room. ìNo one has ever spoken on such a topic here, Dadaji. It should be extremely interesting.î Now I was occupied trying to deduce the meaning of my title. But before I could figure out even the slightest connection, the door opened, and one man announced, ìGentlemen, let us proceed to the lecture hall.î The organizers brought me onto a stage. I faced about 500 students and teachers. One man spent five minutes lauding praises on me. During that time I tried to divine something of my subject, but could only draw a blank. Then it was my turn to speak. From the moment I started, I had no idea what I was saying. The words I used were complex, and the sentence structures and relations between those sentences were even more complex. I was totally lost, but went on speaking enthusiastically. Several times the audience interrupted me with applause, though I didnít know what they were appreciating. At the end, they gave me a long and loud standing ovation. The main organizer told the audience, ìWhen Dadaji first told the title of his lecture, many of us wondered what he would speak. I dare say that we are now fully satisfied with his explanation. Nevertheless, you are now welcome to ask questions.î HOME 80 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER One student stood up and asked something. God knows what he asked; it was far beyond my understanding. ìInstead of replying,î I said, ìwhat would you think if here and now I were to teach you all something which will answer all the questions you have related to this topic?î Everyone applauded. I taught them Baba Nam Kevalam meditation. Then I escaped. Accelerating zeal Benares training center. Each time we have group meditation, a different trainee leads it. Today was Vimalís turn. Heís a very simple fellow, which, in his case, carries two meanings. On one side heís devotional

and affectionate, but on the other hand he often falls into trouble. Once, when Baba was passing on a road, Vimal threw himself in full prostration at Babaís feet. Normally this might be an understandably humble or even spiritual act. But as rain had only just let up, Vimal rose to his feet covered with mud. While Baba pretended not to notice, Vimalís face was illumined with a broad smile. Today while leading the kiirtan, he gradually became more and more enthusiastic, jumping higher and wider, and thrusting his arms toward Babaís photo. As he sang Samígacchadvam before meditation, he accented each word with heartfelt emotion. During the silent meditation, he was not so silent, uncontrollably blurting out ìah!î and ìoh!î and ìBaba!î with such explosive force that no one could help but be amused. Afterward, he could barely get through the singing of the Guru Puja, breaking into tears repeatedly. At last came the point for him to lead us in the Supreme Command. 23 His emotions were so strong that he could not stop himself from leaping up, lifting his fist high in the air, and shouting with full fanaticism, ìTHE SUPREME COMMAND!î With these words, he a) The ancient Sanskrit verse, samígacchadvamí, is sung before group meditation. It comes from the Rk Veda, composed about 15,000 years ago, and meansóLet us move together, let us sing together, let us come to know our minds together, let us share like sages of the past, uniting ourselves in intention and mind. b) Guru Puja, performed after meditation, is more than a songóit is a spiritual practice by which one offers oneís strongest attachment or ego to the infinite Entity, and ultimately offers oneself. c) The Supreme Command was written by Baba. It contains the most essential guidelines for a spiritual life. 23

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collapsed on his back, falling upon some of us. Of course, we burst into laughter. But he did not hear our response. His eyes were closed, and he remained in super-consciousness (samadhi) for about two hours. Devotees each have their own unique way. Passing by chance Over the last weeks, my health has again crumbled, to the point that I can barely walk. But I never complain, and I accept the troubles as a help to solidify and increase my realization. Still itís hard for me to jokeómy mind needs much more expansion. Studying is a tiring task. The 400 meaningless shlokas are the worst part. Ten days ago I passed both the Prout and spiritual philosophy examinations, but have yet to fully memorize the shlokas. Every time I look at them, my head spins. Sometimes I think I forget more than I remember. Difficult as it is, the studying has its own meritóto discipline the mind even while feeling exhaustion and discomfort. ...... October. I really have no idea how I managed, but by cramming and by the Lordís grace I learned enough shlokas to pass the exam. There were many I didnít know, but by ìchanceî the examiner quizzed me mostly on the shlokas I had learned. Of course I will soon forget them, but it doesnít matterómy concentration has been improved radically by the exercise. The second phase of my training is completed. I will go to Patna for the third phase. Perhaps itís just in timeófor my health. Pandemonium with a purpose Though Ananda Margaís permanent global office is in Ananda Nagar, the global camp office is presently in Patnaóit is here that Baba lies in

a poorly ventilated, inferior jail cell. Patna is a half-dayís bus ride away from the Nepal border. It is an ordinary congested Indian city filled with poverty, filth, and hidden mysticism. How can I describe our global office? It is certainly not like the stereotyped image of a yoga school or spiritual centeróbeautiful, calm, immaculately clean, organized, disciplined class programs, healthy food HOME 82 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER shared collectively, everything moving according to fixed schedule, and a staff who reflect only profound inner peace. Rather, at first glance it appears to be the direct opposite. The three-story concrete building is overflowing with paper work, maintained in shabby, irregular files. Old office equipment in various stages of disrepair occupy much of what would otherwise be our living space. Scores of Dadas and Didis dressed in every shade of orange scurry about, struggling to fulfill unannounced, urgent social work targets. They say the number of workers increases to four or five hundred at the time of their monthly meetingsósomehow everyone adjusts. In every room, nay, in every corner, different schedules are followedómany work throughout the night and get little, if any, sleep. Irregularity of meals due to the pressure of work is the norm rather than the exceptionóa common example of a hurried meal is peanuts, puffed rice and a banana. Yet there is something wonderful here! One hears conversations and sees documents concerned with medical clinics, cheap kitchens, disaster relief, philosophical publications, cultural clubs, poor studentsí book cooperatives, anti-exploitation movements. At any moment, in the midst of the apparent chaos, there is someone singing devotional songs, and someone else sunk in deep meditation. In between the paper work they practice their yoga postures. Their enthusiasm, their laughter, their disagreements, their unperturbed concentration amid constant distractionsóit all clearly demonstrates the Tantric spirit, the zeal to fight against any difficulty for the upliftment of self and society. Who can enjoy this? Somehow I do. Here is where Iíll finish training. I arrived today with another trainee who passed the second phase with me, a German named Praveda. Our trainer is a highly elevated Dada. Some say he naturally exudes power to those who sit in meditation with him. Recently he completed a 40-day protest fast which was the first of its kind in Ananda Marga. A demonstration against the injustice of Babaís incarceration, it gained widespread newspaper coverage, if nothing else. Our coursework consists of copying and memorizing various notebooks concerned with our spiritual and organizational functions. The trainer will also give us regular classes. Living conditions are slightly better than Benares. We two westerners are staying in an Ananda Marga studentsí hostel 500 meters 83

away from the global office, and living space is sufficient. We receive a small weekly allowance with which we purchase and prepare our meals. I guess Iíll be able to save money while still eating in a way which for me now seems luxurious. Today, for example, we breakfasted on tomatoes, puffed rice and yoghurt. I canít help but feel it seems God-sent. Invisible devotees New Delhi. I am here to extend my Indian visa, and then Iíll go

back to Patna. Ravindra and Sadhana, a devoted Margi couple, have invited me to stay in their house during my stay in Delhi. Ravindra is the head care-taker of the Delhi Zoo, so their house is in a quiet area near the Zoo. Today I was alone in the house. While meditating in the small room which they keep solely for that purpose, I heard people singing kiirtan: Baba nam kevalam. ìWhat is this?î I thought. ìSome other Margis have come?î I broke my meditation, stood up, and walked out of the room in the direction of the kiirtan. But after taking a few steps outside the room I couldnít hear the kiirtan anymore. I went outside the house. Only birds were singing. ìStrange,î I thought, and went back to resume my meditation. When I sat down, immediately my mind became concentrated. A few minutes later I again heard people singing kiirtan. ìMaybe some Margis are playing a trick on me,î I thought. ìBut this time Iíll catch them!î I jumped up and ran toward the singing. But once more, the voices disappeared without a trace. Everything was perfectly peaceful. Scratching my head, I went back to meditate. After a short while, the kiirtan appeared again. ìIt must be inside my head,î I thought. Partially ignoring the kiirtan, and partially enjoying it, I went on with my meditation. The kiirtan also continued. Perhaps twenty or thirty minutes later I noticed it was no longer there. A couple hours later, Ravindra and Sadhana came home. ìWere you comfortable in our house when we werenít here?î asked Sadhana. HOME 84 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìYes,î I said. ìBut I had a peculiar experience in your meditation room. I heard people singing kiirtan again and again, but nobody was there.î The two of them immediately started laughing. ìItís a common experience in that room,î Ravindra said. ìWhen our meditation is deep, we often hear that kiirtan. A few other Margis have heard it too.î ìWell then, at least itís nothing to worry about,î I said. ìDo you know the explanation?î ìInvisible devotees, I suppose,î said Sadhana. Though we all laughed, I felt her idea was not far from the truth. Baba exposes my secret Patna. A Filipino Dada who was held in the same jail as Baba for the last nine months was released today. He was standing in the corner of a large courtyard surrounded by several other workers and Margis. When he saw me approaching, he said, ìYou must be Dharmapala.î I was surprised because we had never met. ìHow do you know me?î I asked. ìOh, Baba spoke of you many times.î I became even more surprised. ìWhat did He say?î ìHe said that it was good to see some nice American boys like you

becoming acharya.î ìAnd did He say anything negative about me?î ìWell...once when He was talking about you, He said, ëUnfortunately, that boy never does his asanas24 in the evening time.íî I was shocked. Though I accept that Baba is omniscient, I never expected He would notice and expose such mundane things about me even when I was not present. And I am sure absolutely no one could have noticed I was not doing my asanas because I always shift from room to room during the evening since coming to Patna. Iíll never miss my asanas again, except when it is impossible to do them. Asanas are physical yoga postures which purify the body, and to some extent also the mind, by harmonizing the glands, hormonal secretions, blood circulation and nerves. 24

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Apparent injustice

Over the last several days my trainer has been complaining to Praveda and me that his greatness is misunderstood by others, and that many Dadas are jealous of his spiritual accomplishments. Itís true that his behavior is apparently eccentric: suddenly inducing high states of meditation in some of the foreigners who sit near him, frequently secluding himself alone for many hours in a locked room, eating vast amounts of food, and being so moody that he changes his plans every day. He often denies us classes due to ìmistakesî which we never committed. Nevertheless I believe he is highly elevated, and that each of his strange actions have some underlying benevolent hidden purpose. The attack by the other Dadas has now gone to an extreme. They have long been requesting him to move away from the foreignersí quarters, and stay in the main central office, but he has always refused. Today two workers picked up all his belongings, and transferred them to a room in the central office. He was adamant that he would not shift, and remained in his room which was empty of everything except the blanket on which he sat. A few hours later they also physically carried him away. Iím astonished at this injustice! A decisive meeting We have been regularly visiting our trainer in his new room. He continuously talks about the wrongs being done to him, how immature the other workers are, and how much they have yet to grow in their spiritual insight. Of course, I agree with him. Tonight I heard that a small committee was discussing what punishment he should be given. I could not believe it and became angry when others told me it was suspected he has indulged in conduct which was wrong for an acharya. I felt it my duty to vouch for his innocence. The committee meeting was on the top floor of the four-story building. I ran up, anxious to arrive before it was too late. Panting, and after barely knocking, I opened the door. Another shock. Instead of three or four persons sitting there, about 50 or 60 orange-clothed Dadas turned their faces toward me. They were also surprised at my intrusion. ìExcuse me...ah, youíre having a meeting...î HOME 86 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìYes, of course itís a meeting,î the gray-haired Dada standing in front said, gently smiling. ìWhat do you like to say?î

ìAh...well...pardon me but I heard you were discussing the matter of my trainer.î Laughter came from all sides of the room. I was frustrated and felt even more angry. How dare they take my trainerís case as a joke? ìGo ahead,î the elderly Dada said, also chuckling, ìand speak your mind.î Determined to make my point, I blurted out, ìI have been with him hours every day, and I am sure that these charges are all wrong. His character is pure and blemishless, and he couldnít make such a mistake.î The Dadas exploded with laughter. Some even rolled on the ground, laughing so hard. I was utterly confused by their response. ìThank you very much,î said the grinning elderly Dada. ìWe will keep your opinion in mind.î The laughter increased, and I walked out of the room, more frustrated than ever. An hour later all the workers came downstairs. One of them with whom I am close, came to me and said, ìBrother, we were not talking about your trainer. That was a general finance meeting.î Danger of the third stage Two days later. In the early hours of the morning, while everyone was sleeping, my trainer left. No one knows where heís gone, or at least no one says. ...... Ten days later. What a naive fool Iíve been. Today it was confirmed: three days ago my trainer left India. While departing, he announced his intention to get married. It seems that heís been planning this move for a long time, having already arranged his passport and visa. The Dada who had tried the most to help him commented to me, ìMany times I told him not to engage in self-aggrandizement. He had such a bloated egoóhe thought he knew more than anyone. In Tantra, such people either see their mistake, or they make even bigger blunders. For a short time heíll be sky-high happy. But when he comes down on his feet again, heíll feel he cheated himself. He wonít be content unless he does full-steam meditation and social service. That sort of 87

lifestyle is a full-time commitment. It canít be adjusted with a family. His only path is to be a monk.î25 ...... [Authorís afternote: Many persons come and go on the spiritual path. Even after a few years of effort some Margis may give up their The fact that a senior Dada engaged in deception and violated his vows is no cause for doubting spiritual ideology. The way of Tantra is sometimes very difficult. The path cuts deeply through narrow-mindedness and selfishness. While self-realization and strength to serve the society grow ever greater, the consequences of making mistakes also grows. To continue moving past countless temptations and also past all oneís inevitable mistakes, the only saving grace is found in the humility cultured by devotion or love for Guru. That humility does not allow superiority or inferiority feelings to develop. By thinking ëI know myself. I shall never fall from my pathí, aspirants fool themselves. They are in great danger because they depend upon ego. Whereas those who thinkóI know nothing, I only want to do what Guru or God wants me to doóthey rise higher and higher after getting up from each fall. But these humble ones do not know they are higher. They know nothing. The Tantric organization provides the structure for everyone to try their best, and allows aspirants to err again and again if they are willing to admit their mistakes and try to rectify themselves. My trainer had entered the ìthird stageî of spiritual development at the time of his downfall. In the first stage one feels difficulty to concentrate, and also may be challenged 25

by his or her family or friends. In the second stage, some concentration is achieved, and a little bit of bliss is experienced. Obstacles are more internal than external. In the third stage, one-pointed concentration enables the aspirant to achieve some occult power, but the mind is not yet merged in the infinite entity. I quote one of Babaís writings: ìThere is quick progress, no doubt, in this third stage, but there are strong possibilities of degradation also. At every step one must move with vigilance. In this stage the spiritual aspirants acquire some occult powers, but these powers may be dangerous after a certain progress. There is every chance of misuse or abuse of those occult powers as a result of which one degenerates.... ëThe spiritual path is as sharp as the razorís edge, it is really inaccessibleíóso say the realized persons. Human beings will have to move on, but in this stage they cannot move a step forward unless and until they develop a high-grade conscience. For this they depend solely on the grace of the Supreme.... In this third stage, if there is devotion, one can easily move forward without any difficulty; but a person who has no devotion, whose heart is as dry as a desert, will find it impossible to progress.î In the fourth stage oneís mind becomes inextricably concentrated upon the Supreme Being. Then all psychic problems cease, and only external difficulties confront the aspirant. But there is no possibility of downfall because the thought of Guru is constantly present. Baba writes about this stage: ìWhen a person attains an exalted state of spirituality, he or she can bring welfare to millions of people, and they can do so due to the grace of the Supreme Consciousness.î

HOME 88 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

spiritual practices. They may continue to accept Ananda Marga as an excellent way, but they do not have the strength to continue. What is the cause? Some believe our most important practice is meditation. Others think it is service. Still others think that the key lies in the balance between these two. And there are others who say that the only guarantee lies in following all the disciplines, though I do not know anyone who does that. I noticed one vital point among the acharyas who gave up their acharyaship, and among the Margis who stopped practicing meditationóthey all had one thing in common: they did not regularly practice kiirtan when they were alone. By meditation or by social work one may develop the ego of accomplishment or of failure. Whereas kiirtan, the singing and dancing to Baba nam kevalam, is free of egoistic ambition. It is a purely devotional practice. It is a dance of surrender to Guru and God. My trainer hardly ever sang kiirtan. He used to say, ìOnly those who are weak-minded need kiirtan. My meditation is very powerful, so I donít require such singing.î But Baba says otherwise: ìThe nucleus of devotion is not to be found in the heart of the dry yogi. Rather it is located in the hearts of those who are practicing kiirtan. If you want to develop devotion, when you have 30 minutes time for spiritual practices, spend 20 minutes in kiirtan, and 10 minutes in meditation.î Some say, ìItís alright to do kiirtan. But it should be natural and unforced. I do it whenever I feel like it.î I think that is a mistake. Kiirtan is the means to receive inspiration. So it is most beneficial to perform especially when one is depressed or otherwise not inspired. Silent meditation is a hundred times more valuable if it is begun with a clear and happy mind. Thatís why kiirtan is a must before meditation, unless the environment does not permit it. If, after doing kiirtan for 10 minutes, you still do not feel uplifted, continue it. It may take 20 minutes, or even 30 minutes. But eventually it works because it reminds oneself again and again: thereís nothing to worry aboutóeverything is only the expression of cosmic love.]

89 26

The orange color represents fire: the fire of sacrifice.

CHAPTER 6

The Master of Testing, Caring and Hocus-Pocus Changing into something more comfortable

Patna. 1973. At last, my training is finished! That which was said to be impossible without meeting Baba finally happened: Iíve become an acharya. Of course simultaneous with being pleased at proving the impossible to be possible, I still carry in my breast the unfulfilled wish to be with Him physically. Well, never mindóthe omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent Guru is in my heart. I donít need to meet Him. Anyway, my feet have been itching to get on the road where I can get into some real service and spiritual adventures. And where will that be? The answer also came today: Australia. Officially Iím already the ìMelbourne Regional Secretaryî. It comes as a bit of a surprise; I imagined my posting would be in Africa or Asia. But thatís fine with me. Anywhere will be a relief from this training which overtaxed my patience. It will simply be a different sort of challenge than I expected. I should add that replacing my civilian clothes with an orange turban, and orange and white robes has given me inexpressible satisfaction. My robes automatically awaken within me a dynamic spiritual mood. They feel so natural. In comparison, my civilian clothes feel like a stage-costume, worn only to play a role in the ìnormalî social drama. This uniform also serves as a symbol, which will constantly remind me to try to serve others spiritually and socially. At the same time it announces to others: Here is someone who wants to serve you.26 THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 90 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Baba promises His support Today Dada Ramananda, Babaís personal assistant, told me a beautiful story. It happened about two years ago, before Baba was in jail. At that time, hundreds of thousands of people were suffering from floods. Baba sent Ramanandaji to serve the people. Dada had no resources, so he appealed to the Margis for support. They made a team which provided daily food for about 500 people. He felt those benefited were like a small drop in the ocean of suffering, and so he constantly worried about how to increase his service. After a few days, a big spiritual function was held by Baba. Ramanandaji did not want to leave the suffering people, so he was the only Dada who did not attend. Baba sent someone to fetch Dada. He also informed His assistant, ìWhenever Ramanandaji arrives, even if it is in the midnight, he must immediately come to me.î When Ramanandaji came to the function, he was told to go to Babaís room. He was nervous that Baba would be angry and punish him due to so little service. On entering the room, Dada found Baba pacing back and forth. Baba spoke to him using a strict tone, ìDonít disturb me right now. You sit in the corner.î So Ramanandaji was put on his guard for an unpleasant experience. When Baba sat down, He said to Dada, ìOkay, now you call all the

Margis and wholetimers who are near.î Ramanandaji thought, ìBaba will give me punishment in front of others.î Dada brought about ten people only. Then Baba, who was wearing His undershirt, told Dada to bring His shirt. Apparently so that He could further formalize the punishment. Baba said, ìIn my pocket is my wallet. Give it to me.î Baba took out ten 100-rupee notes, saying, ìRamananda, this is my physical help for your relief work. I know what you were thinking. But you should not worry. Whoever serves suffering humanity without thought of getting the slightest personal return has my blessing, and will get everything needed for doing that service. It is my promise.î Ramanandaji happily accepted the money, but did not use it, because he felt those notes were something very special, having come from Babaís hand. He had never before (or after) seen Baba handling money. Anyway, from that moment, donations came in a large flow, 91

and he increased the flood relief work such that many thousands were served every day. [Authorís note: Years later, I mentioned this incident to Ramanandaji, and asked him if he still had the notes. He told me that when the accident happened in Bhopal causing the greatest leak of gas ever experienced in India, he went there and used that 1000 rupees to purchase the food for those people in the critical ward of the temporary hospital. All of them finally survived. Many of them believed they survived because the food had come from a monk. They never guessed the real explanation.] Selfless determination Calcutta. I was instructed to come to this so-called worst of cities to await my plane ticket to Sydney. It is a complicated place: overwhelming congestion, filth in almost every direction, noise, business, poverty, a smattering of modern technology, the desire for money, the desire for escape, the desire for development, and the desire to transcend it all. Itís good medicine for whatever remains of my spoiled suburban syndrome. The house where Iím living is in South End Park, and itís special because Baba often stayed here. I suppose it is also a little cleaner than the average, but itís hard to say for sure, owing to the dim lighting, which I canít say makes it any more quaint. Of course anywhere other than the training quarters is an upward move for me ...... During the afternoon I heard a faint knock. When I opened the door, I saw a Dada who Iíd met once before. Thin and pale, he stood on the doorstep seemingly uncertain whether to enter or not. ìWell, come in,î I said, ìand get out of the sun.î Suddenly his knees crumbled, and he was lying at my feet. ìDadaji!î But he didnít reply. Shocked and confused, I ran inside the house to get help. I found a boy who had some sort of cleaning duty. Together we ran to the door. ìDadaji, Dadaji,î the boy cried as he rubbed the Dadaís forehead, which was covered with sweat. The Dada slightly opened his eyes, and then closed them again. Now I noticed he was still breathing, though irregularly. THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS

92 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

Together we carried him inside and I ran to get some water. By the time I came back, the Dada was sitting up, leaning against the wall. ìI must have fainted,î he said weakly. ìIíll go find a doctor,î I said. ìNo, donít do that. I think it was just something I ate, or didnít eat. Too much work to do today.î He struggled to stand up. ìDadaji, you need a doctor. Please rest,î I said. But he insisted, and in a few minutes he was gone. I felt bad for him, inspired by him, and selfish all at the same time. Whether his behavior was right or wrong, I want to have the same selfless, determined spirit. A little dirty money The itch still remains to be on the move and working. On top of that, my financial situation is precarious. The office in Patna gave me only a train ticket to Calcutta and 150 rupees (about US$10). I wouldnít feel so bad spending the money at a miserly pace, but for the feeling that Iím not being properly sociable. Everyday I buy only the exact amount of vegetables I need, then eat a modest, self-cooked meal alone, consciously ignoring most of the opportunities I have to share it with whoever else happens to be around. But if I share the little Iíve got, the money may not last until my ticket arrives. God knows when that will be. Of course, Iíve got to be practical, even if it looks a little greedy. ...... Today I was alone in the house. Everyone else was out participating in a demonstration to protest Babaís imprisonment and the persecution of Ananda Marga. About two or three thousand Margis were there. I was instructed not to attend because I might be picked up and questioned by the police, and blacklisted from entering India. A knock on the door (this time a solid knock). Two youths smiled at me. They were perhaps twenty years old. The tall one said, ìNamaskar. We are Margis. May we come in?î ìOf course,î I said, happy for the company. I took them into the main room, and we sat down on the floor (a foregone conclusion, there being no chairs in the house). We talked back and forth about our origins. They were from a nearby village. 93

I asked them if they knew any devotional songs. They looked at each other, spoke between themselves in Bengali, and burst into a rhythmic song. Then they asked me to sing something, which I did. ìNow, how about some meditation?î I said. ìYes, meditation is good,î the tall boy said. ìFine. Iíll go for half-bath first, and then you two can do half-bath.î ìThank you.î After about two minutes in the bathroom, I returned. ìAh, Iím very sorry,î the tall boy said, ìbut I think we have to leave now. We did not tell our mother that we would be away so long.î ìYes, and it looks like rain,î the other said. ìWell, thatís too bad. Canít you just stay for a short meditation?î ìNo, weíve really got to go...î As I stood up with them, I suddenly had a thought: ìMaybe they

arenít really Margis, and they stole my money.î We walked toward the door. I thought, ìNo, itís impossible. The money is deep inside my bag in a secret place, and theyíd never find it in such a short time.î They left. The thought that they might have ripped me off kept nagging me. But I thought again and again, ìI mustnít be so cynical and negative.î Finally, just to still my doubts, I checked my bag. My wallet was gone. I ran to the door. Of course they were long gone, and untraceable. ìWhat a damn fool I am! What an ignoramus!î I sat down thoroughly befuddled, bemoaning my situation. What was I to do now? The peculiar thing is that even in the midst of this crisis I kept thinking: ìHow intricately I calculated my food needs, hardly sharing a leaf of spinach with anyoneóand now my little dirty money is all gone. Everyone could have nicely enjoyed together with me.î ...... On the plane to Hong Kong. In the last two days Iíve come to the conclusion that the robbery happened as another lesson to teach me to depend on Him rather than on my little self. Having no money, I was forced to depend on hand-outs. Call it coincidence if you like, but yesterday my ticket to the Philippines arrived. There I will meet my higher authorityóthe Dada who THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 94 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER will supervise my work in Australia. Without a penny in my pocket I boarded the plane. A businessman sitting next to me asked the meaning of my uniform, and that led into a long discussion about yoga. At the end of the flight I mentioned to him that I had no money. Without any hesitation he gave me five dollars, which was much more than the stolen money. Having been poor so long, I was elated with the first donation I ever solicited. Big task for a small boy? Manila, Philippines. My posting is the South Pacific Sector27 but Iíll stay in the Philippines for a few weeks because my Sectorial Secretary is here in Manila with temporary visa complications. As I am his only subordinate, it means I shall be working alone for some time in the South Pacific sector. If anyone were to say, ìSounds like a pretty big task for a new boyîóI would say, ìIím Babaís boy. Big or small, itís all the same for me.î ...... The dysentery which I caught almost one year ago in Benares is still ravaging my intestinal system. In an effort to clean it out, Iíll be eating only raw fruits and vegetables for at least a month or two. Urgent and unurgent matters Iíve been working during these three days with the Southeast Asia Sectorial Secretary, Dada Adveshananda.28 Adveshanandaji is an interesting man. He doesnít care for anything except maximum working speed, and that too he does with a smile. A man without a system. I suppose he even races through his dreams at night. While walking through town today with him and two local full-timers29, I said, ìExcuse me, Dadaji. Part of your turban is hanging out.î I was running to keep up with him. 27

For organizational purposes, Ananda Marga divides the world into nine sectors. The

South Pacific includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and most of the South Pacific islands. 28 Southeast Asia Sector includes the Philippines, and the rest of Southeast Asia from Thailand down to the edge of the South Pacific Sector. 29 Local full-timers are volunteers who work full time for Ananda Marga, usually for a specified period of time, and who follow a yogic discipline during that period similar to that prescribed for acharyas

95

ìWhatís that you say, my little one?î He seemed always to be thinking a hundred things at once, and one needed to be very direct to get through to him. I repeated myself loudly in his ear. ìAcha, I got you,î he said. He turned to one of the full-timers, saying, ìRamdas, youíve got a scissors with you, donít you?î We were still walking in top gear. Ramdas handed over the scissors. Adveshanandaji instantly cut off the protruding orange strip, and threw it in a garbage can as he passed. In the next moment he turned to the other full-timer to talk about an urgent matter. Youíre the program I asked Ramdas today to tell me something about Adveshanandaji. He told me that Dada had worked most of his life in India. During a one-year stint in Europe, he traveled incessantly, often passing the nights sleeping in telephone booths. During that time he initiated into meditation more than 1000 people. He arrived in the Philippines two years before. He openly stated several times, ìMy main work here is the creation of Dadas and Didis.î One time he instructed a local full-timer to prepare to travel to a distant Philippine island to start Ananda Marga there. That full-timer spent more than a month earning sufficient money for the trip. With Dadaís permission, he went to his posting, taking two days to go there. After arriving at the island, he found a telegram addressed to him: ìReturn to headquarters immediately. Adveshananda.î The full-timer returned as quickly as possible. When he entered the Manila yoga house, he ran up to Adveshanandaji. ìDadaji, Iím here!î ìHmm. What?î ìYour telegram ... so I came like lightning. Whatís the program?î ìAh, yes. Youíre the program. Good work.î ìDadaji, is there some urgent work for me or...?î But it was too late for further questions. Adveshanandaji had already turned to some other matter. Ramdas added: ìRecently that full-timer went to training to become a Dada, so I guess it worked. Dadaji breaks our attachments left and right.î THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 96 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER I asked for another example of Adveshanandaism. Ramdas said, ìOne time about 600 Margis were collected together for an all-Philippines retreat. Two days into the program we were having a 24-hour kiirtan. About half-way through the kiirtan, Dada mounted the lecture stage, held up both of his hands and yelled, ëStop the kiirtan!í Everyone was shocked, but we stopped. ìAdveshanandaji stood there visibly vibrated. He said, ëDharma Maha Samelan (DMS) will now be held!í Everyone was even more

shocked. Baba personally allocates His representative for this specially planned event. Of course no one had planned that this present program would be a DMS, and so, well, simply speaking, it could not be a DMS. ìBut there stood Adveshanandaji, his eyes closed, his hands held up. The room became totally silent, everyone filled with excitement and expectation, as we awaited the ëDMSí speech. ìInstead of a speech, however, Adveshanandaji began speaking over and over, ëBaba, Baba, Baba...í He became louder and louder, and super intense. Then we were all yelling ëBaba! Baba!í Several Margis collapsed in samadhi30. I never felt anything so strong in my life. ìI think about ten Margis volunteered to go for wholetimer training after that.î Baba starts fasting April. Word came today that Baba has begun a protest fast over the lack of inquiry into the attempt on His life in the jail by Indira Gandhiís government. At present He is taking only two small glasses of orange juice per day. 31 Samadhi means a state of complete absorption. There are many kinds of samadhi depending on the psycho-spiritual level of the person. In the higher forms of samadhi, one feels oneness with the Cosmic Mind, or an all-consuming devotion for God or Guru. 31 In February of 1973 the prison doctor administered Baba a strong dose of poison which he had passed off as a special ìmedicineî. Baba temporarily lost consciousness and when He awoke, He was blind, His brain seared with pain. This condition lasted for several days, after which He partially regained His sight. Babaís vision remained somewhat impaired until the end of His life. The doctor, who was certainly hired for this nasty work by higher officials of the Indira Gandhi government, soon afterwards gave up his profession, but this did not save him from becoming permanently paralyzed in the same hand by which he gave the poison to Baba. 30

97

An orchestrated accident

Sydney, Australia. Fresh, young, curious, cleanóall are qualities of this relatively new country and its people. I arrived two days ago in this world which seems open-minded to the ideas of yoga and Tantra. Ananda Marga is a new and small group here. There are a handful of Margis in each of several cities. I know Iím going to enjoy this country. ...... Today a letter arrived from Ramdas. He writes: Something terrible has happened. A small accident happened in the car in which Dada Adveshananda was riding. The driver requested Dada to wait alone in the car for an hour while he assisted the passengers to go home by other means. Shortly afterward, a man approached Dada and asked him to leave the car. ìWhatís it to you if I sit here?î said Dada. The man walked away silently. After a few minutes he again came back and said, ìReally, sir, I think you should move.î ìYouíre a nonsense fellow,î Dada said. ìLeave me alone.î And again a few minutes later he came and said, ìIím sorry to disturb you, sir, but...î ìGet out of here!î Dada yelled. ìIf youíre sorry to disturb me, then donít disturb me.î The man left. A few minutes later a big construction truck smashed into the car.

Dadaji was thrown out of the car, and dragged underneath the truck. It was awful. The construction people together with the ambulance people pulled him out of the wreck. He was unconscious and his legs were smashed. At least he did not die, though even for him it was a shock. In March, Baba dictated a number of letters to the governor of Bihar state complaining about the attempted murder and demanding a judicial inquiry. When Baba received no reply He took the further step of writing the governor and many other officials, and informing them that He would not eat until His poisoning was properly investigated and there was an improvement in His living conditions and those of the other Margis in the prison who were being detained under conditions far below the minimally acceptable standard for political prisoners.

THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 98 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

He is still in the hospital but will probably be released in a wheelchair. The doctors say he may never be able to walk again, and he laughs at them. Yes, heís already recovered his aplomb. Most interesting, however, is Dadaís own self-analysis. He says, ìEveryone was always telling me to slow down, and be a little systematic. But I wouldnít listen. Baba Himself knew that even if He told me directly, I wouldnít listen. This was the only way that I could learn my lesson. Ah, the grace of Guru is unfathomable.î As to that man who tried to warn Dada, no one ever saw him again. Dadaji says, ìIt was surely Baba in another form, just trying one last time to constructively cure me of my egocentricity. In my case, however, there was no way except destruction.î ...... The dysentery is still with me. Iíve been following a fruits-only diet, and going to naturopaths, chiropractors, colon-therapists, and the like, but nothing works. How I tolerate it, Lord only knows. Psychic power attack Brisbane. Iíve been invited to make a house-call tonight under peculiar circ*mstances. The residents are nine young men and women, a normal sort of communal living arrangement. It seems they are troubled by an ìoutside force.î Theyíve already called upon a Christian priest and a Buddhist monk to help them but neither visit satisfied the group. The priest did an ineffective exorcism, and the Buddhist monk counseled them to ìignore the illusion.î Whatever the problem may be, it will at least be enjoyable to watch Baba solve it. ...... They were a normal group of kids in their late teens and early twenties, except that they all looked haggard and emotionally strained. Without exception, each had facial skin sag. ìLetís come to the point,î I said. ìTell me the problem.î They all started nervously speaking at once. ìPlease, thereís nothing to get excited about. Every problem exists for a good reason.î I pointed to the boy who looked the least out of control, and asked him to explain. 99

ìDadaji, all of us in this house are so tired. Every night for the last two months a Psychic Power attacks us between 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning.î ìItís terrible!î

ìI canít take it another night.î ìYouíve got to help us!î ìWhat does the Psychic Power do?î ìI donít know how to describe it exactly, but it seems to be more or less the same for all of us. We wake up with our minds racing, full of fear, imagining the worst things emerging from the shadows. Until now nothing much has happened externally, but our minds go nuts for about half an hour or an hour. Sometimes things fall off shelves, or the walls shake, or a door slams. Whether we sit down, lie down, talk or try to be silent, it doesnít matter. We feel like we are going crazy. Then it stops. But who can sleep after that?î After that they all chipped in little tidbits of experience, but the common nightly phenomena appeared to be approximately as the boy had described. I closed my eyes, thought about Baba, and quickly understood what to do. ìIím going to sleep in your house tonight,î I said. ìWhen the Psychic Power hits, wake me up.î ìNo need. It will wake you up before we get to you, Dadaji.î ìPerhaps. Anyway, we will do a meditation exercise together, and become one hundred percent positive. In that state of mind, no black force can have any effect. If your minds are weak, if you have fear, then bad people with a little bit of power can easily control you. But we will concentrate on the most beautiful and positive entity, the infinite entity: God.î Then I explained the Baba Nam Kevalam mantra. We sang it together for a couple of minutes, and did one minute meditation. ìTonight we will do it together as long as necessary.î Soon after, we went to sleepóat least those of us who could sleep. In the morning the rising sun woke me up. I went downstairs to the dining room, and found everyone there. ìWhat happened? Why didnít you wake me up? Or didnít the Psychic Power hit last night?î THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 100 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìOh, it hit all right,î one of them said. ìBut you were sleeping so nicely that we decided not to wake you up and to first try singing the mantra without you. And it worked, Dadaji!î ìImmediately!î ìLike a charm.î ìYeah, the very moment we started singing, the Power disappeared. We were so happy that we continued singing for a long time, and then did meditation.î ìVery peaceful, beautiful.î They were all smiling, the sun streaming in through an open window. Suddenly there was a loud knocking on the door. We all jumped up and ran to see who it could be at such an early hour. A lady was standing on the doorstep. She had long, uncombed black hair, deep shadows under her eyes, and a wrinkled black dress. She pointed her finger at me, and said with spit coming out of her mouth, ìI hate you!î Then she slammed the door shut as loud as she could.

Two of the boys opened the door and went after her. A minute later they came back. ìShe drove off in a car with no license plates.î ìAnyway, she wonít bother you anymore,î I said. ...... After the psychic power incident one month ago, I visited the house a couple times more. I explained our spiritual philosophy in a little detail so that they could understand the undefeatable power of Godís love. They all learned and regularly practiced meditation after that. Today the boy who seemed least out of control entered our local full-timer training course. I am convinced that the lady we saw was experimenting on this group of kids with some kind of psychic power, trying to take over their minds or something. At the moment that they all started singing Baba Nam Kevalam, her evil intentions probably reflected back on her with multiplied strength. She must have suffered badly that morning. Water cure Melbourne. Two weeks ago I was reading through Babaís health book Yogic Cures & Natural Remedies to find a treatment for one 101

Margi brother. How many scores of times had I looked at the chapters on digestive disorders? But this time one instruction made me pause: ìThe patient must drink small amounts of water as frequently as possibleótotaling at least four to five liters per day.î I had tried everything to cure myself. Why hadnít I tried following that simple directive? Since then Iíve been drinking a little water, up to half a cup at a time, about every fifteen or twenty minutes, except during and just after meals. AndóLord have mercy on this body!óit looks like my old friend Dysentery has finally left me. By now my intestines are probably completely shot. I have absolutely no appetite so I make sure my meals are separated by at least four to five hours. All in all, my health problems have challenged my practice of contentedness. If I can maintain contentedness while Iím this sick, I guess I can maintain it just about anytime, anywhere. Is this part of the meaning of Ananda Marga, the ìpath of blissî? That no matter what happens, good or bad, it helps spiritual development? An itchy test cum education Four months later. Sydney. 1974. One week ago in New Zealand, I visited my higher authority, Dada Sumitananda. At the time, a little eczema appeared on my nose. He suggested that I fast on herbal teas and pure fruit juices for a few days to clear out the excess toxins. The fast would give the toxins a chance to come out. Well, they sure did come outólike a parade on Madison Avenue. Now my whole body is covered with the eczema. It itches terribly. Though I look terrible, I continue my normal touring, and also continue the fast. ...... Two weeks later. Brisbane. The eczema has become worse. Itís now a thick brown cake, cracked and oozing pus. I have to change my clothes at least twice a day. Though I try my best not to scratch, the itch is so great that I unknowingly claw myself. I wear gloves to control my hands during sleep. Sometimes, however, I wake up to find that Iíve unconsciously

taken off the gloves and had a good scratch. THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 102 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Doctors are of no use. From today Iíve stopped even the teas and juices, and now drink only mineral water. Anyway, I donít have any hunger. Still my lecture tour continues. I donít know what the public thinks, because I donít talk about my condition, and neither do they. In any case, there are still plenty of new people asking to learn meditation and yoga. Itís all so bizarre. ...... Three days later. Yesterday, a group of Margis invited me for a dayís outing to a lake. While I was telling stories to the Margis, a drunk suddenly interrupted us, saying, ìMan, ah you a Yoogy?î One brother answered him. ìYes, he is.î ìThen howís comeís youís got all that gook all over yur body? Wha kind oí Yoogyís got sooo yecchy? Huh? Howís you goin explaain?î ìItís a test Iím undergoing to strengthen my mind.î Everybody was silent. The drunk stared at me like his eyes were going to pop out. ìWell I like dat,î he finally said. Coming over to me, he shook my hand, again exclaiming, ìI like dat!î Then he walked away with a cheery jaunt. The Margis also liked dat. ...... Ten days later. Adelaide. About a week ago the eczema started to get a little better. But the progress was so slow that I finally lost faith, even in the water fast. After one month of fasting I gave it up and started to eat fruits. Within two days I became 50% better. Iím astonished. How could eating help me more than fasting? One possible answer is that the elimination of toxins was halted when my system switched gears in order to digest food. But a more likely reason, I feel, is that my mind no longer required such an intense diseaseóenough was enough. ...... For nearly three months Iíve eaten only fruits and raw vegetables. Still, the eczema did not become more than 75% better. A few days ago I hit another ìenough-is-enoughî point. I started eating bread, 103

cooked foods, sweetsóeverything. Within two days my skin was completely clear (though I still have no appetite). Thanks, Baba, for the education in nutrition, fasting and mindgames. 32

...... [Authorís afternote: An Indian Margi, Chandra Prakash of Patna, told me a similar story, which he had rarely mentioned to anyone else. In 1983 and 1984, at the age of 34, he started feeling a constant pain in his intestines. Whenever he ate even the smallest amount of food, he vomited. Thus he was compelled to stop eating. Finally, for a period of four months, he drank only fruit juices and a little milk. In the third month he underwent medical analysis. The doctor told him that he had intestinal tuberculosis and prescribed medicine. After fifteen

days of treatment, Chandra Prakash could no longer stand the intense reaction produced by the medicine. He went to another doctor who told him that the diagnosis of the first doctor was wrong, and that in fact the sickness was cancer of the colon. He said that an operation would have to be performed within three days, and sent the patient to the appropriate section of the hospital. But the doctor in that section told Chandra Prakash that he would have to wait six days before they could perform the operation. In the meantime, further tests were conducted. On the fifth day, Dada Shraddhananda (who became president of Ananda Marga in 1990) arrived at Chandra Prakashís house unexpectedly and said, ìSomehow I felt you were in trouble, so I came.î When Dadaji heard that an operation was intended for the following day, he said, ìNo. You must not undergo that operation. If you do, it will kill you. In fact you have no real illness. You should only have faith in Baba, and you will be cured.î Accordingly, Chandra Prakash did not go to the hospital. Some days later he heard that the last tests had been inconclusive. A few days after that, he went to Ananda Nagar to attend the semi-annual spiritual festival with Baba. At the end of Besides teaching yoga and meditation throughout the entire period of these fluctuations in my health and appearance, I also helped to organize our first service projects in Australia ó a permanent soup kitchen for derelicts, two full-time non-profit food cooperatives, and a kindergarten according to Babaís neo-humanistic education system. The kindergarten was registered with the Sydney city government under the name ìSunrise Schoolî. 32

THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 104 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

the festival, as usual, Baba gave a blessing which begins, ìMay everyone be happy, may everyone be free of illness....î In the middle of the blessing Chandra Prakash stood up angrily and said, ìWhat You say, Baba! I have been suffering for two years, and You say everyone should be healthy!î Without waiting for the end of the session, he stamped out of the hall and marched over to a food-stall. He purchased six plates of pakora (deep fried potatoes and flour), a plate of milk-sweets, and finished it off with a glass of tea. He then walked back into the hall and announced to his father how he had broken his four months of fasting. The old man was shocked. A few minutes later, Chandra Prakash ran out of the hall again, this time to vomit. After vomiting, he entered the hall again and announced that he was cured. From that moment he was never again troubled by the slightest digestive ailment.] No need to trouble Him Hobart. Today I delivered a general introductory lecture to the staff and students of a local high schoolóover 2000 people. While waiting in a separate room beforehand, I was shivering due to the chilly weather (itís winter here) and also due to my nervousness before the talk. As usual I thought about Baba in order to calm myself. Then a thought occurred. ìWhy am I troubling Baba to calm my mind? I should simply think of Baba, give my mind to Baba, let Him speak through me, and not care what He does to me.î I continued to think of Him, but without asking for anything except to be His channel. I was alone. The vice-principal came to fetch me. Though I was perceptibly shaking, she said nothing. Then I stood before the audience, still shivering. I was determined not to ask Him for anything except the proper words. Throughout the speech I trembled like a song-bird. Afterward, while returning to the yoga house, a full-timer who was

sitting in the audience said to me, ìDada it was an excellent lecture. But thereís one thing I donít understand...î Now I was sure that he would criticize me for shivering. ìHow could you be so perfectly calm in front of thousands of people?î I was surprised. ìPerhaps we each perceive the infinite Entity only in the way which is suitable for our own evolution. So thereís nothing to worry about.î 105

He was satisfied with my answer, even though I meant something different than he understood. The aura of His love Perth. Today I gave a lecture to the Parapsychology Club of Perth. When I stood up in front of the audience, I had no idea what I was going to speak about. As usual I thought, ìBaba, Baba, Baba...î The flow came, and I began to speak. After the formal program was over, several people came up to meet me. One lady said, ìDada, before your lecture I was enjoying just looking at you. You had a beautiful blue aura all around your body, like Iíve never seen before. Of course you know that such blue means cosmic love.î I casually shrugged my shoulders. ìBut in the few seconds just before you started to speak, the blue light suddenly became so bright that I couldnít tolerate it. I closed my eyes but the aura was still there. Could I ask what you were thinking about at that moment?î ìI was thinking about my Guru,î Anandamurtiji...the essence of love. ...... Auckland, New Zealand. I have a new posting: Wellington Regional Secretary, responsible for New Zealand. The nature of the people here seems as gentle as the sheep for which this land is so famous. Baba admits a fraction of His knowledge Christchurch. A newsletter arrived from India today explaining the latest developments in Babaís court case. Here is an excerpt: ìThe judge asked Baba one of his usual questions: ëIn what language will you address the court?í (In India there are forty major languages, so it is often necessary to arrange translation.) Baba replied, ëAs I know over 200 languages, I can speak in whatever language the court prefers.í The judge was shocked by Babaís answer, and could not speak. After waiting a few moments, Baba politely offered, ëPerhaps it will be most convenient for the court if I speak in English: strict Oxford English.í The judge readily agreed.î THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 106 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Though Babaís statement was surprising, I believe it was modest. Many workers declare that He surely knows all languages. I speculate that His not admitting this vast knowledge is in accordance with His long-standing habit never to directly refer to His own omniscience. Nevertheless He spoke the truth because He said ìover 200 languages.î ...... Nelson. There are some signs that I may soon be transferred to another region. In that light I am happy that before my going, we have

succeeded to open the Nelson Sunrise Pre-school. Twelve children are already attending. An all-violins orchestra Nandi, Fiji Islands. 1975. Today Iím reminded of Milarepa, the great Tibetan yogi. His guru, Marpa, ordered him to wander continuously through the mountains, never staying in any place more than three days. We Dadas are not much different. Not only do we constantly travel from city to city, but our postings can change at any moment. One day we are in New Zealand, the nextówho knows? Fortunately, I enjoy this sort of life. My posting is now Suva Regional Secretary, responsible for the Fiji Islands. ...... Lataoka. At night the mosquitoes are thick as pea soup. Whenever we do evening meditation I have to keep my entire body covered, including a light cloth over my head. This evening, however, during group meditation, I became fed up with the cloth on my face. It was one problem or the other. For once, why not let the mosquitoes have their way? After taking the firm determination not to move, I took the cloth off my head. One mosquito landed on my nose and took his dinner. He called his friends, and they made it a party. ìHey everyone, no charge! Banquet on the nose,î they whined. They didnít seem interested in any other part of my face. My nose began to itch tremendously. But I refused to move. My mind flew back and forth between my meditation and the festival on my nose. The violins rose toward a crescendo, while the itch turned 107

into a downright pain. I felt like a hundred party-goers in tuxedoes and black evening gowns were dancing on my pink beak. My mantra was striking like a hammer in my head, while the pain turned into a constant throb. The human snout converted into a vibrating vermin paradise. For all I knew, it might have been flickering between red and blue like an electric clown-nose. The throbbing became so intense, tears came out of my eyes. Suddenly two things happened simultaneously. My nose turned numb, and my concentration dropped deep within. I became obliviousónot only to my nose but to everything except the meditation. When the meditation ended, I turned around to give a talk to everyone there. ìOh, Dada! What happened to you?,î they exclaimed, shocked. My nose had doubled in size. I laughed and proceeded with the talk.33 Tropical fever An epidemic is sweeping the island. Now Dinkar (our local fulltimer) has caught it. The symptoms are high fever and acute body pain. Many have died, and everyone requires hospitalization for at least a couple of weeks. I suggested to Dinkar that he try to cure it in a yogic way. From today he will follow a fruits-only diet, and practice certain yoga postures. Otherwise he is resting in our hut. ...... In only five days Dinkar was cured. I believe it could have been

quicker except that he broke his diet once by eating a few biscuits. In any case, the Margis and other friends are very surprised he could overcome the disease without medicine and in such a short time. ...... Nandi. Now Iíve got the sickness! Today I ate only papaya. Though bed-rest is recommended, I am practicing yoga postures in double quantity, and keeping up with all my normal work. Of course I keep my face far away from anyone elseís to avoid contaminating them. Being 19 years later: The most interesting thing is that for many years after that not a single mosquito bit me on my face. In the last few years perhaps four or five mosquitoes have nibbled my face a little, but none have yet dared to prick my nose. 33

THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 108 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

continually on the move makes me sometimes feel very weak, but at least it keep my mind high. ...... Two days later. Lataoka. Yesterday I stopped eating and only drank lemon-water. And today I observed full fast without water. I almost fainted several times while working but my mind was unaffected. Tonight the fever left me. Though I am still weak, I am sure the virus is out of my system. ...... One of the Margis is a newspaper editor, and he wanted to print an article about my overcoming the disease in only three days. I told him I didnít want any publicity until my residence visa was secured. Indira Gandhi plays her role in the cosmic drama 27 June. Recently there have been ominous developments in India. Two weeks ago the High Court in Allahabad found Prime Minister Indira Gandhi guilty of election fraud. Because it was just a matter of time before she would have been impeached and lost her Prime Ministership, yesterday she declared a federal state of emergency. Martial law was imposed. I fear the worst. ...... 4 July. Today I received a phone call from Sydney. Yesterday Ananda Marga was banned in India. Mrs Gandhi declared twenty-six organizations to be illegal. Of these, one was Ananda Marga and twelve others were organizations directly and indirectly related to Ananda Marga, such as Renaissance Universal (a club for intellectuals) and various Prout groups. It seems that all of our institutions in India were closed, and that all of our Dadas, Didis and well-known Margis have been arrested. Our Central Office is being shifted to Katmandu, Nepal, with an assistant Central Office in Denver, USA. My own reaction is mixed. On one hand Iím horrified. Many of my brothers and sisters may have to suffer severely. Perhaps some will even die before this episode is finished. But at the same time I feel the banning was inevitable, and will eventually turn to our advantage. Surely it is a part of Babaís planning. Ananda Marga is a revolutionary movement, albeit a peaceful one and the corrupt will not give up their power without a fight. 109

Furthermore, Tantrics must be able to undergo any sort of trial. And nothing teaches better than direct experience. Thatís why I remain not only optimistic, but am, indeed, positively

inspired by these events. Money: a mere game for Him Nandi. No matter what happens in India, our normal work everywhere else must continue. Whenever Dinkar and I run out of money here, we are unable to look to the Margis for assistance because most of them are very poor. So we resort to taking the rounds of the shops, requesting donations. The shopkeepers usually each give a dollar or so. Today when we entered the city center, imagining how our piggy bank would soon be bulging, a shopkeeper approached and said: ìPlease donít mind my words. Havenít you noticed that many of the merchants have started to avoid you?î ìDo you mean...?î ìYes,î he said, ìtheyíre tired of giving you donations.î I thanked him, and he left us. Both Dinkar and I were stunned. ìThe last thing we want to do is offend them,î he said. ìSure. From this moment we wonít ask a dime from them.î ìThen how will we exist?î ìThatís Babaís problem. We just have to do the work.î There was an uneasy silence between us. Then I exasperated Dinkar further by saying, ìAnd todayís the day we have to send our monthly five dollars to the sectorial office in Sydney. Itís our duty, and no matter what our own situation, we must send the money.î ìBut weíll then be really stranded!î he said. ìFrom my side Iím going to send $2.50,î I said. ìWell ... I think we better save my $2.50 for emergencies,î he said. ìSuit yourself.î Half an hour later when we got to the post office he had changed his mind and we sent the whole five dollars. We have $4.20 remaining which weíve decided to use only on bus fares and other organizational expenses. And there is no food in our little hut, isolated halfway between Nandi and Lataoka. ...... THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 110 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Two days later. Having not eaten since yesterday noon, we visited our only relatively wealthy supporter, Senator Sharma. He was kind enough to donate large sacks of rice and potatoes. ...... Four days later. In our hut in the countryside between Nandi and Lataoka. I was working on an article for our first newsletter when Dinkar interrupted me. ìDadaji, do you expect the money to simply fall from the sky?î He was feeling desperate, with only $2.60 in the cigar box. ìMaybe. Itís up to Baba how He wants to solve this problem. Iím not worried.î The truth was, I was also getting pretty tired of our starchy diet. When would this test end? Ten minutes passed as we worked in silence. My mind drifted to Baba. Suddenly a thought entered: Sell advertising in the newsletter. I told Dinkar. He was skeptical. I said, ìIt was not my idea. Iím sure Baba put this thought in my head, so Iím sure it will work.î Within five minutes we made the plan: first weíll quickly finish and print ten sample copies. These will be shown to prospective advertisers.

The ads will be in their own separate section at the end. Dinkar can also draw illustrations upon order. Weíll tell our clients that five hundred copies will be printed. ...... Five days later. Babaís advertising scheme was successful far beyond our expectations. We made enough money to fully support us for the next few months and even pay for our plane tickets back to New Zealand when our visas expire. We have the duty to work as sincerely as possible. And He has the duty to provide the means for getting it done. Sometimes with a dab of extra whipped cream on top! My will against His Wellington. Our visas expired in Fiji, so we are back in New Zealand. ...... We are receiving reports verifying that all of our workers and outstanding Margis in India are either in jail or in hiding. I continue my work, confident that everything will happen according to His wish. ...... 111

Christchurch. On the bus today I thought, ìWhat is the use of working like this unless I can see Baba? If I canít see Him in India, then Iíve got to make Him come here... Iíll fast until He comes to me. I know Heís got the mystic power, and if He wants to use it, He can easily do so.î So I stopped eating or drinking from that moment. If I die or get sick itís His fault. I have every right to see Him. But I will continue all my normal work, and not tell anyone. If my higher authority comes to know, he might order me to stop the fast, and I would be compelled to comply. ...... Nelson. The first day was a normal fast. But the second day was heavy. Today, my third day, the body seems to have adjusted a bit, and itís not so bad. Of course Iím damn thirsty. Anyway itís no problem for me. Let the suffering come, let sickness comeóit will just speed up His coming to me. ...... Auckland. Fifth day of the fast. Babaís very clever. The more I want to suffer, the more He protects me. Five days now without water or food. Some people would have died by now but I donít feel bad at all. Itís impossible. Though my bodyís okay, my mind is wild with thirst. Iíve been having uncontrollable visions of waterfalls during meditation. Whatís He doing? Why doesnít He come? Anyway Iíll fast to death if He refuses me. That will teach Him nicely not to play with me. Due to my traveling, nobody knows Iíve been fasting so long. Everywhere I go, the Margis think that Iím doing only a one or two-day fast. ...... Wellington. Eight days now. Youíll be in big trouble, Lord, if I die. It will cause all sorts of complications here, and I donít care. Youíre to blame. You have to come and see me.

But thereís one problem: Iím not suffering enough. Though my head constantly hurts and all the parts of my body have shrunk, I still donít feel anywhere near to death. Actually itís a bit of a drag. Just at the time that I donít want protection, that Trickster is somehow fortifying me. THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 112 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER But Iíll out-trick Him in the end. ...... Next day. I was wrong. Heís the master in hocus-pocus. Of course. The full-timer answered the doorbell this morning. The person at the door said, ìNamaskar. I donít know why, but I suddenly got a strong feeling from Baba to fly here for a surprise inspection.î He laughed and entered the room where I was sitting. It was my higher authority who had been in Australia for the last nine months. On seeing me, he was shocked. He immediately understood that my state of mind and body were far from normal. ìSo ... my Lord ... youíre the cause. You must be the reason why He told me to come here.î His voice was sharp. ìWhat are you doing to yourself?î I smiled without replying. ìYouíre doing long fasting, arenít you?î My shiny, shrunken head nodded. ìHow many days already?î ìEight,î I said. ìWith or without water?î ìWithout,î I smiled. ìBaba! Youíre crazy. You couldíve died. Whatís the purpose of this?î ìThatís my own matter.î ìBuddha fasted 40 days, and he still couldnít get realization. You idiot. You wonít get anything except very sick.î He asked me to please stop. I refused. Then, as I feared, he formally ordered me to break the fast. ...... I didnít get exactly what I wanted. But I did confirm for the umpteenth time that He does have omniscience, and He does have power, but He uses it as He sees fit. Not according to our wishes or demands. And I did find out that this body has the capacity to fast without water much longer and much more easily than I expected. Contrary to Dadaís forecast about my getting sick, I feel completely healthyóbetter than in a long time. This may be useful information for the future when different catastrophes hit our little planet, and we cannot get the food or water we think we need. Even then, those of us who have sufficient mental power can continue serving humanity. 113

The violins test a new (already strong) Margi

Tonga Island. My responsibility in the South Pacific Sector is coming to an end; I will be transferred to another sector. Itís not yet clear which one. In the meantime Iíve been directed to travel through the South Pacific islands, ending up in Hawaii, where I will be sent a ticket to Denver. Since the Emergency began in India, Denver has been functioning as our temporary Central Headquarters #2. Two days ago I arrived in Tonga, which is less touched by ìcivilizationî than any other place Iíve visited. Iím staying in a thatched hut

with a family of thirteen. Usually one member of each large family has a job. The rest enjoy their simple life at his expense. And enjoy they do. Many of the adults are child-like, playing games all day. They have no sense of personal property. If anyone leaves a bicycle outside a shop, he can expect a new caretaker will assume responsibility for it by the time he comes out of the shop. If a car is parked for a few minutes without a guard, all of its removable parts will be efficiently removed by the time the driver returns. Almost every evening they ceremoniously pass around a coconut shell filled with a slightly intoxicating liquor made from a root like cassava. The ceremony gradually breaks down as singing, dancing and other sorts of pleasures take over. Their songs are sung in four or five part harmonies, the dances are rhythmically perfect, and as to the other pleasuresówell, thatís when I always go for a stroll. ...... Though the people are simple, some are interested in meditation. Iíve initiated a few, and have been watching to see their sincerity. Late in the afternoon I went to the beach to meditate with one of the new initiates, a nineteen year old. During our meditation, the sun set. Mosquitoes came upon us in huge swarms. Though tolerating their attack, I briefly opened my eyes to see how my friend was doing. His nearly bare body was now clothed with a layer of mosquitoes, yet he sat stock-still. We remained another half hour. As we left the place, I asked him, ìHow was your meditation?î ìSíwas allrait. Síwas verry good.î ìWhat about the mosquitoes?î ìDem was sommmm probalam. Bí God was greater.î THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 114 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER The king pushes his weight around Today being Sunday, I went to church. I had heard the king regularly attends a particular church, so I chose that one, hoping to get an eyeful. Until then, the closest Iíd got to him was the sound of his daily motorcade, that is, the sound of scores of car horns blaring. Wherever he passes, the people make the same comment: ìDa kiinís gonna iíspect ëis pigfaarm!î Then they roll on the ground with laughter. I was able to get a front row seat, immediately below the royal balcony. Shortly before the service started I got my eyeful alright. Heís renowned as the fattest king in the world, well over 400 pounds. He was so big it seemed he could not support his own weight. While walking and huffing and puffing, he was assisted on either side by attendants. ...... Though the king is obviously a devout Christian, Iím sure he allowed his eyes and mind to wander sufficiently to notice me last Sunday. The proof lies in my receiving today an official notification that I must leave this island within twenty-four hours. The only explanation, according to all the informed people with whom Iíve spoken, is that the king does not want any religion except Christianity propagated in his land. Needless to say, though Iím not teaching religion, my turban and orange uniform do create a sectarian appearance. Heís a clever one. He waited all week to have the notice delivered to me at 6:00 p.m. today. It is Friday, and all government offices are closed tomorrow so Iíll have no opportunity to appeal within the allotted

time limit. All of my new friends are outraged. For the first time I see them in something other than a joking mood. But they also are helpless. The king is known to be a stubborn man, and no one knows what to do. Out of desperation, a radio interview was arranged for me tonight, to publicize the injustice of the leave-order. The disc jockey himself was upset with the king, and gave me a full hour on the air. But when the program finished, he shrugged his shoulders, then embraced me and wished me well in my travels. A nice Vice Western Samoa. While traveling to teach meditation and yoga, I never stay in hotels. If I have no place to stay, I remain in a congested public 115

spot, and wait for a sympathetic person to offer me a spot in his house to spend the night. Even if someone wants to donate money for a hotel room, I gratefully refuse. One way or another, I eventually meet a noble person, and it invariably leads not only to a corner on the floor for my blanket, but also to someone keenly interested in spiritual development. And he or she usually introduces me to others with similar interests. My real purpose, which is not to eat and sleep, is thus automatically fulfilled. Facing such a predicament here, I took my stand in the midst of a busy crowd in the central marketplace. After two hours a young lady approached me. She was about twenty years old. ìSir, is there any way I can help you?î she asked. The quality of her English showed she was well educated. ìI am a teacher of meditation and yoga,î I said. ìI want to meet people who are interested to learn, and, as Iíve just arrived, I also have no place to stay.î Usually I come right to the point. ìMy father has always been interested in such things. Let me introduce you to him. Iím sure heíll also offer you a room.î She led me to her car. So she was not only educated, but also at least a little wealthy. Her house was so big I could not see where it ended. Walking past the servants and through several rooms, we reached the library, where a large, bulky man sat reading. He looked up as she entered and smiled. When he saw me, his smile broadened. ìIíve brought you a yogi, Daddy,î she said. He rose and offered his hand, ìI am thrilled to meet you, sir. Iíve been waiting for your visit.î Introductions were made. Among other things, he mentioned that only two years ago he had completed his term as the Vice-president of Western Samoa. ...... These three days were packed with engagements. My host introduced me to scores of the countryís upper-echelon who were keen to learn yoga. Most of them had health problems, for which I prescribed yoga asanas and appropriate diets. Some of them, including my host, are already improving. The most exciting programs often come last and then end prematurely. Today I received a telegram ordering me to leave immediately for Denver, from where I shall travel to my next posting: Europe. THE MASTER OF TESTING, CARING AND HOCUS-POCUS 116 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

CHAPTER 7

Determination Dedication personified

Stockholm, Sweden. 1976. My new posting is Regional Secretary for both Stockholm and Oslo Regions, otherwise known as Scandinavia (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Greenland). It is already clear to me that the people here are more gentle than North Americans, Indians and Australians. In my experience, only New Zealanders compare. The Scandinavians are also extremely openminded and interested in anything new. I have four full-timers in my office here in Stockholm to assist me with my work. ...... I donít think Iíve ever met a person as sincere as Suresh, one of my full-timers. Whatever he does, he does wholeheartedly, with full concentration. Since I introduced the daily schedule for the full-timers in the office, he has followed it strictlyóto the minute. While doing yoga asanas, he carefully refers to the clock, and when the allotted time is finished, even if he has not completed his exercises or the final deep relaxation, he jumps up, puts on his clothes and begins the next scheduled work. Likewise, at the end of meal time, even if half of his food is still on the plate, he gets up from the table. With work, meditation, sleep or any activity, he maintains the same punctuality. Needless to say, it was beginning to get on everyoneís nerves. A couple of days ago I walked into the bathroom while Suresh was taking a bath. He had his clock there also. When the scheduled time was up for bathing he put on his clothes even though he hadnít dried himself yet. I think there remained a bit of unrinsed soap on him as well. 117

ìSuresh,î I said, ìthe schedule need not be followed exactly to the letter. It should rather serve as a guideline, which may be adjusted in minor ways throughout the day to suit the needs of our work or meditation.î ìReally, Dadaji?î As he stood there, soaking wet, staring at me for several seconds, I felt like he was inputting this new attitude into his brain, deleting the erroneous elements of the old one. ìI understand clearly,î he said. From that very moment his timing has became, well, perfect. Yes, I can say ëperfectí because his schedule adjusts with everyone, without wasting any time. Quite amazing! ...... Suresh continues to amaze me. Since I first arrived, heís done everything with complete concentration and seriousness. Never laughing, never showing any mood. If he makes any mistake, including mental mistakes unknown to the rest of us, he punishes himself by doing fifty or a hundred tic-tics (stand-and-squats while holding ones ears), or by pressing his forehead to the floor.34 Iíve been wondering what I could do to encourage him to be more human. Yesterday, unable to think of anything more subtle, I just told him bluntly , ìSuresh, you neednít be so serious all the time. Itís good to laugh sometime.î ìReally, Dada?î Again staring, re-programming. ìHumor and happinessî I continued, ìoften help us to communicate, help us to be in His flow.î

A pause. Then he started to laugh. ìHa, ha, ha! I got your point, Dadaji.î From that moment heís become a thoroughly pleasant, smiling person. A unique devotee. Whoís helping? Oslo, Norway. Iím surprised that there are hundreds of homeless or otherwise impoverished people in this wealthy country. The Margis ìTic-ticsî have a wonderful place in the history of Ananda Marga. If any Dada or Didi committed a mistake, they would often be instructed by Baba to perform some number of tic-tics in front of Him. At such a time, He sometimes commented, ìThis rectification exercise will not only exhaust your negative reactive momenta, it will also be good for your health.î Later, when Baba began correcting the mistakes of Margis, they too could enjoy this novel method of recovering oneís mental balance. 34

DETERMINATION 118 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

organized a weekly soup kitchen. The very first day, a few of the recipients actually danced with joy to receive the vegetarian food from us. ...... Copenhagen, Denmark. For the last three weeks, sister Kunti, a full-timer, has been searching single-mindedly for a suitable house to rent for our yoga center. This morning, though disheartened by her on-going failure, she set out to try again. She took a bus into the city. After a few minutes, an old lady boarded, walked directly to Kunti, and sat down next to her. The ladyís face was full of both wrinkles and tenderness. ìNowadays many young people are misusing their energy,î she said. ìI am happy to see that you are a different type.î She spoke in Norwegian, which is Kuntiís mother language. It was odd, even bizarre. How could she know that Kunti was from Norway when Kunti had not yet spoken a word? ìThe task is elephantine,î the old lady continued. ìThe speed must be accelerated. Donít you also think so, my dear?î As the woman stared in Kuntiís face, a transformation occurred inside the busóit seemed to billow like a river. Instead of waves of water, however, the air itself and the colors around were rippling, vibrating. An unidentifiable mixture of sound waves inundated the atmosphere. Kunti could no longer comprehend what was happening. She also joined the sea of vibrations. At last the lady said, ìAnd I think you are looking for something. Isnít it, my dear?î The bus stopped. ìPerhaps you will find it here. Letís get down.î Her ankles barely able to support her legs, Kunti stepped outside with the lady. Without speaking a word, the lady, smiling sweetly, pointed at the building. Still lost in the cosmic current, Kunti entered the building. ìIs there a flat to rent here?î asked Kunti. ìYes,î said the manager. ìBut how did you know? The ad has not yet appeared.î ìAh, one moment, please,î Kunti said. She walked back outside. The old lady was gone, never to be seen again. The flat was perfect, and we took it. 119

Rendering possible the impossible

Oslo. Vishvabandhu and Sulocana, a married couple, have worked

like mad people to start a public food cooperative. Obliged to quickly pay off the loan they took for the project, speed was compulsoryóin planning, renting, construction, ordering, and publicity. Within a mere month they did everything. Today the shop opened in the center of the business district. It looks beautiful. Vishvabandhu said these words at the ribbon-cutting ceremony: ìTantric spirit made the impossible possible again.î Considering that they hadnít a drop of experience in this line, I agreed fully with his statement. The United Nations gets a taste of Tantric resolve Stockholm. Yesterday, just as I arrived in Lulea, Karan phoned me from my Stockholm headquarters. ìDada, you wonít believe this!î he said. ìSuresh is publicly threatening to commit self-immolation within one week unless the government requests the United Nations to discuss Babaís case and Gandhiís banning of Ananda Marga! Heís going to burn himself to death!î ìWhat are you talking about? Let me speak to him.î ìGladly, except that heís in hiding. He made his announcement by telephone to the government and the media. He called me also, but refused to tell from where.î After asking many questions and receiving few clear replies from Karan, it was obvious that I had to return to Stockholm immediately. Just as I hung up the phone, it rang again: a reporter from the local newspaper. ìSir, do you think Stan Eklofís threat is real or simply drama?î ìIím believe itís real. It fits with his all-or-nothing attitude. Thatís why itís so urgent to take all possible steps to stop him.î ìDo you have any idea why heís taking such a desperate step? Is he alone in this escapade?î ìTwo or three weeks ago Mr Sarkar specifically suggested that Ananda Margaís case be presented to the United Nations. I suppose that when no one took the initiative, Stan decided to act. Though I understand and of course agree with his sentiment, his strategy is wrong and horrifying.î DETERMINATION 120 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER After completing the interview, I set out for the station. Lulea is in the far north of Sweden, an overnight train journey to Stockholm. When I reached my office this morning, Karan greeted me, ìDadaji, a big article together with a photo has already appeared on the front page of the Lulea paper. The phone is ringing off the hook with reportersó theyíre impatient to meet you.î ìThereís no time for that yet.î Throwing my overcoat on the chair, I sat down at the phone to begin the work of trying toótrying to what? save a life? Yes...but surely life or death was in Babaís hands, not mine. ìAlright, Lord, use me as You see fit,î I thought. An hour later I was at the office of the United Nations. ìThis is a totally unprecedented affair,î said the chief representative, Mr Johanson, a typically polite and self-composed Swede. ìHow can you expect the Swedish nation to agree to present the case of a convicted murderer to the United Nations because of a suicide threat? It will be better that you convince Mr Eklof of the futility of his undertaking.î ìI donít think heíll back down, sir. It is his nature. Heís totally sincere

and ready to sacrifice everything for what he believes in.î ìI understand. But you are asking for something impossible.î ìIím not asking for anything, sir. This is Stanís demand, not mine. Iím simply concerned that you understand his determination. I donít want him to die a needless death. You have the power to rescue him.î ìSweden cannot condone an act which boils down to terrorismó albeit in this case the victim and the terrorist are one and the same.î ìI donít agree with his tactics either, but his purpose is not destruction of the state or any other kind of violence. He only wants justice; that the case of a great and persecuted humanist be rationally presented to a global peace-making organization.î ìBut his method...î ìSir, canít you at least discuss the matter with your staff?î ìDiscussion itself is not impossible... But at the same time you must try to contact Mr Eklof and persuade him not to immolate himself.î ìIt goes without question that Iíll do everything I can to stop him. But I know him too well, so I have more hope in your efforts. By the way, you know I donít have his phone number...î ìIíll make a formal request to two or three leading radio stations to repeatedly air your request for Mr Eklof to call you,î he said. 121

We fixed an appointment to meet again the next day. ...... This evening all three stations frequently announced: ìThis is an urgent message for Stan Eklof, the man in hiding who has threatened to immolate himself if the case of his convicted Indian guru, PR Sarkar, is not presented by the Swedish nation to the United Nations: Mr Eklof please telephone your headquarters in Stockholm immediately.î ...... Next day. Suresh called this morning. ìWhere are you?î ìI canít say, Dadaji.î ìItís a wonder that nobodyís recognized you. Your photo was shown on TV.î ìHa, ha! I guessed no one would notice me.î I told him about the inflexibility of the United Nationsí representative. Then I requested him to compromise, to give the authorities more time and to return to press his demand in a respectful manner. ìSorry, Dadaji. Iím committed to this path.î ìBut...î ìLet His will be done! Iím more than ready to die if itís needed. Rather Iím expecting to die.î I continued trying to convince him to alter his stand, but it was no use. ìAlright, Suresh. I understand your position. Iíll try my best to persuade the UN people.î ìDonít worry, Dadaji. Everything is Baba. Itís all His drama.î I asked him to call me regularly, and hung up. ...... This afternoon I met again with Johanson. ìDid Mr Eklof agree to give up his desperate gamble?î I told him of Sureshís unyielding attitude, then added, ìAnd from

your side, Mr Johanson, is there any news?î ìWell...I...you see...î ìI understand. You did not even talk about it with your staff, right?î ìNot exactly...î DETERMINATION 122 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìMr Johanson, very little time remains. If Stan kills himself due to our negligence, we wonít be able to sleep peacefully for the rest of our lives.î ìBut he has no right to try to force the governmentís hand like this!î Was Johanson losing a bit of that typical Swede imperturbability? ìAt least you can try to discuss it with your staff. Iíve been trying. What about you? Besides, who can say whatís really proper and improper in this immoral world? You cannot imagine the extreme suffering of Mr Sarkar and our hundreds of workers who are inside of abominable Indian prisons. And all completely unjust.î ìThatís not the point! Mr Eklof is trying to blackmail us.î ìPerhaps the term is correct. If so, itís a minuscule crime compared with what the Indian government has been doing to us. Anyway, letís leave this aside. Our task is to overcome this impasse. Please, Iím begging you to at least discuss it with your staff. Can you do that, Mr Johanson?î He paused. ìAlright...Iíll do it...How many days do we have left?î ìFour.î In fact five days remained, but I thought it better to keep an extra day in my hand. We agreed to meet again the next day. ...... This evening Karan spoke with Sureshís parents. They are sick with worry. We invited Mr Eklof to accompany us to tomorrowís meeting. ...... Next day. ìI have an offer to make,î said Johanson. ìPlease tell Stan that if he calls off his threat to self-immolate, then we are prepared to discuss with him the possibility of presenting Mr Sarkarís case to the United Nations. Of course there are many complex details that need to be clarified before we can make a final decision as to whether or not it fits the protocol of the UN.î ìI understand you,î I said, ìand appreciate your proposition...î ìGoodóitís the most we can do...î ì...but unfortunately I doubt Stan will accept it.î There was an uneasy pause. Then Sureshís gray-haired father started speaking in Swedish to Johanson. Karan, who had until now been translating for Mr Eklof, now translated for me. ìHe says that itís a fine proposal, and surely Stan will have to reconcile himself to the fact that 123

the Swedish government is stretching its rules to the limit on his behalf. Heís very thankful to Mr Johanson.î ìI agree with you, Mr Eklof,î I said. ìWhat both of you say is rational and correct. But, please excuse me for saying this, Stan is prepared to immolate himself for this issue. He is certain to want something definite before relenting.î ìHe must understand this is the absolute maximum the government can offer,î Johanson said. ìNow his fate rests with you, Dada. You have to convince him.î

I shrugged my shoulders and sighed, saying, ìIíll do my best.î ...... After leaving the UN office, we took a taxi together with Sureshís father. On the way, he suddenly exploded. ìWhoís side are you on?î he yelled. ìI think you prefer my sonís death to the reasonable option given by Johanson! You are the cause of all this horror! You donít really care about Stan!î He went on screaming similar things, giving me no chance to reply, until at last he broke down weeping into his hands. Karan and I grimaced in pain. He gently rubbed Mr Eklofís back. We drove in silence, except for the sound of the old manís sobs. The taxi arrived at his house. Just before he got out, I said, ìPlease believe me, Mr Eklof. I love Stan deeply.î Mr Eklofís face showed exhaustion. He gave a weak smile, turned and walked toward his house. I felt awful. I felt so bad for Mr Eklof that I had physical pain in my heart. ...... Later Suresh called again. ìYou people are working so hard. And Iím here in hiding, carefree and enjoying my meditation. Dadaji, I hope these days are not too tiring for you all. Rest assured that Iím happy, happier than ever.î ìBut you know, Suresh, if you donít accept the governmentís offer, you may be doomed. They insist this is the limit.î ìI understand, Dadaji. I expected it might be like this from the moment I first announced my resolution. If I die, it will provide just the right sort of shock to humanity.î ìSuresh, you can do infinitely more for humanity if you go on living and serving.î DETERMINATION 124 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìI donít know, Dadaji, and I donít care. I feel deeply that Iím doing exactly what Baba wants. Iím receiving His immeasurable grace every moment. The entire cosmos seems to be His smile, especially when I do meditation. So I have no doubt.î ìIf you think like that, then what are we to do?î ìWhat you are already doing is perfect. Please continue your efforts, unattached to their results. In the end it will happen according to His whim.î ìSuresh...î ìI know itís harder for you all than for me, but I shall accept no compromise.î ...... Next day. ìDamn it,î said Johanson, ìheís asking for the impossible. î ìI know,î I said. ìHeís fully prepared to die.î ìCanít you provide any further lead as to where Eklof might be? Our investigators say theyíve already checked every imaginable link, and nothing remains except to search every house in the country.î ìNo. No further clue. And I already told you that finding him is immaterial. Wherever you might keep him, however you try to restrain him, youíll never dissuade him from his resolution. I tell you, thereís no other way. The only real solution is for Sweden to present Mr Sarkarís

case to the United Nations.î He didnít reply. We sat in silence for one or two minutes. ìSir, thatís enough for this morning. If possible, please be in your office this afternoon, as I may need to call you.î ...... Johanson did call this afternoon, and completely astonished me. After hanging up, I waited impatiently for Suresh to phone. Thirty minutes later the phone rang. It was him. ìThe Swedish governmentís decided to put Babaís case to the UN!î I blurted out. ìCan you believe it, Suresh? Congratulations!î ìTato Baba, tato dharma. Tato dharma, tato jaya,î he said quietly and calmly. ìWhere there is Baba, there is righteousness. And where there is righteousness, there is victory.î ìI want to see you as soon as possible, Suresh. We should meet Mr Johanson also. Which is closer for youóour office or the UN office?î 125

ìI can meet you in the lobby of the UN office,î he said. ìItís only a few minutes walk from where I am now.î ìYou crafty fellow! Exactly where have you been staying?î ìIn the apartment of an old friend. By ëoldí I mean heís more than 80 years old. And he never reads the newspaper or listens to the radio news. I told him my house is being painted. Ha, ha!î ...... Before I left, Karan called Sureshís father. When he heard the news, he burst out, ìOh, thank God! Thank God!î He cried a bit, and then said, ìPlease accept my apology for what I said in the taxi yesterday. Without your efforts I think my son would have died.î ...... After waiting for ten minutes or so in the UN office lobby, I began to feel a bit nervous. Suresh should have arrived before me. Another man had also been standing there for a long time. Might he have seen Suresh? I approached him. He smiled. ìFor Godís sake, itís you, Suresh!î He ripped off his false mustache, took off his bogus spectacles, and burst out laughing. We embraced each other, weeping like babies. His invisible hand Oslo. Talk about no experience. Itís one thing to start a food cooperative; but itís an entirely different ball game to open a public printing press without the slightest knowledge. There lies the faith of the devotees. Bhagirath and Arjuna are confident that their enterprise will be successful. Isnít it wonderful that all of our projects offer on-the-job training? And most of them do so without any trainer! Unless you count the Supreme Trainer. ...... Copenhagen. Soup kitchen opened for poor people. ...... Stockholm. Service projects are multiplying like rabbits. Today Akashi opened a health-food cooperative. It has an atmosphere that could be created only by such a refined lady. I havenít physically seen Baba yet. Neither have most of the Margis. Still, I know Him intimately and so do most of the Margis. Part of that DETERMINATION 126 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

A few years later, both hands of this judge became permanently paralyzed. Two years later a book was published entitled Tales of Torture, which documented scores of cases of Dadas, Didis and Margis who were severely tormented physically and mentally by the jail officers. The twenty-two months of emergency in India were notorious for innumerable human rights violations. 35 36

comes from kiirtan and meditation, but honestly I think that itís mostly through service that we really get to enjoy His company. I see Baba in my work, in the eyes of the people I meet, in the constant helpful ëcoincidencesí that occur every day, in the struggles that test me and help me grow. After all, what else do I have? Though He insists on depriving me of His physical presence, I still have the right to demand that He shows Himself to me in my daily life. Of course, I would forego all that in a moment in exchange for letting me just once have His personal contact. An embassy becomes a guerrilla theater Copenhagen. Due to the imposition of martial law in India, Babaís case, which was already a travesty of justice, has turned into an unambiguous farce. Not a single witness from Ananda Margaís side was permitted to testify. By kangaroo-court, Baba has now been declared guilty of all charges. At first the judge declared the sentence to be the death penalty. Later, fearing Baba might be seen in the same light as Socrates or Christ, he changed his mind, and converted the sentence to life imprisonment. In a way this alteration allows us to feel a certain sort of comfort.35 My spiritual father is unquestionably suffering while fasting for years in a cell devoid of all conveniences. At the same time, thousands of my Indian brothers and sisters must also be undergoing daily agony in scores of other prisons as they refuse to give up their commitment to Ananda Margaís cause.36 In the face of this horror, however, I remain calm, even inspired. Though it may seem heartless, Iím convinced Baba is causing the whole drama to take place according to His plan. Sometimes great suffering is necessary though it is difficult to accept and even more difficult to live through. Despite the horror, despite the difficulties, I have faith that everything will turn out for the best. Rather than give into despair or anger, it is far better to keep a cool mind, and actively protest the conditions in order to help the public 127

to become more conscious. For Margis, the norm these days are public demonstrations, letter-writing campaigns, and meetings with influential figures throughout the world. Even though respected and sometimes famous individuals and organizations have investigated our cases, and have objected in detail to the flagrant injustices taking place, the Indian authorities remain unaffected. The Canadian representative of the International Commission of Jurists made a lengthy report spelling out how appalled he is by the bias against Ananda Marga. And a high-ranking Queenís Counsel from England pointed out over 200 loopholes in the prosecutionís position in Babaís case. We have unquestionable evidence that the Foreign Office in Delhi sent several antiAnanda Marga information packets to Indian ambassadors and embassy staffs of the world. The embassies have been instructed to distribute these packets to government officials in their respective countries so that Ananda Margaís development may be impeded. Accordingly, we continue to protest every way that we can.

Today we had a special meeting. We informed a reporter of the biggest Danish daily newspaper of our intentions. Seven of us gathered this morning at the Indian embassy. The reporter also came, but he refused to come inside with us. He said he would get the news after we came out. It was chilly weather, so we were all dressed in full length coats. The first Margi entered alone, and began reading an Indian newspaper in the reception room. After a few minutes, a second Margi went inside and studied the visa application forms. Gradually, one by one, the rest of us entered and engaged ourselves in inconspicuous behavior. The usual staff were there, together with a handful of other people. Then one of us gave the signal. In a flash, we all jumped up, pulled signs from under our coats and launched into a long series of chants, like ìOut with martial law!î, ìArrest Indira Gandhi!î, ìFree Baba now!î, ìRelease political prisoners!î, ìAnanda Marga demands justice!î and so on. The staff was shocked. The lady employees began screaming at the top of their lungs. Some dove under tables. Clearly they thought they were under some sort of attack ó perhaps that our continuous chants were the prelude to a spray of machine gun bullets or something. They screamed non-stop. I was really sorry for them, but I knew they would DETERMINATION 128 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER recover within a few minutes. Well, to be honest, while one side of my brain was in pain, feeling compassion for these hapless souls, the other side, excuse me for saying, felt like laughing. I wonder if God often feels something similar when He views our melodramas. In the midst of this, the Indian ambassador himself appeared at the top of the stairs. I feared for his eyes which looked like they might dislodge themselves from their sockets. Before that could happen, however, he and two or three of his aids galloped down the stairs and with a roar, started raining their fists on our innocent bodies. One of the Margis deftly pulled out a camera, and snapped it again and again. When their attack failed to stop our parade, the ambassador flew into a rage at our camera-man, and tried his level best to expose the film by seizing the camera and throwing it to the floor. Though we were quite civil, I should even say polite (considering his discourtesy) in fulfilling our task, he pushed Kunti toward the door, utilizing every drop of the adrenaline which was pumping through his bloodstream. Perhaps worrying that some harm might be done to the door, a male staff member opened it, and the ambassador succeeded in tossing Kunti out. The reporter was standing there. Catching just the right moment, he snapped a photo. I am sure that the ambassador must have rejoiced to see the photo on the front page of the newspaper this evening. His face wore a frozen vicious scowl while he was thrusting Kunti onto the sidewalk. Of course, she had on her best expression of childlike astonishment at his uncouth behavior. The article was perfect, nicely detailing the injustice perpetrated by the Indian government on Baba and Ananda Marga. One day when the unscrupulous Gandhi regime has its downfall, the embassy staff may even feel thankful to us. Fate twisting Verona, Italy. All the Dadas and Didis of Berlin Sector are gathered

here for several days of meetings. A visitor is also here: my father. Itís the first time Iíve seen him since I left home over four years ago. These past few days weíve taken every chance we could to get away from the others and talk. Today I initiated him into meditation. We were sitting on a blanket, under a bright sky, getting ready to begin when he started laughing. 129

ìWhat makes you laugh in this serious moment?î He swallowed his mirth and said, ìIím sorry, sonny boy. But the irony is too much. In all truth, I admit I came here to convince you to give up this life, and return to America. But here I am, perched like a holy Hindu, about to acquire the esoteric knowledge from you. I thought I would convince you, but instead, youíve convinced me.î Scandinavian zeal 1977. During this period I have been initiating up to 200 persons monthly. An immense amount of new service projects also started, including three free kitchens, a touring art exhibit, a touring drama group, yoga classes in three prisons, two kindergartens, a herb farm, and regular publication of two magazines. DETERMINATION 130 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER CHAPTER 8

Personal Contact Indira and her emergency both finish

March 1977. Indira Gandhiís ìemergencyî in India ended today! She over-estimated her popularity. She permitted elections to be held and lost by the biggest landslide in Indian history, receiving only a few percent of the vote. Already reports are coming in that all our workers and Margis are being released from jail because Ananda Marga is legal again. They tried to crush us, but our movement has only been strengthened through facing and overcoming their persecution. Now it only remains for Baba and a few specially accused workers to be released. With the new Janata Party government in power I am hopeful that their cases will soon come up for appeal. ...... I remember something very interesting. Over two years ago, Baba issued a warning from prison: ìAfter six months a crisis will occur in India. All Margi families should store sufficient cereals and basic necessities to weather a period of two years.î At the time we all thought He meant an earthquake or war was coming. Six months later Indira Gandhi announced the emergency, and most of the fathers in Margi households throughout India were thrown in jail. The Margi mothers and children were left to fend for themselves. Thanks to Babaís warning, however, most of them had stored sufficient food for this period, which turned out to last for nearly two years.37 ...... Another story was later told by Brij Bihari through Dada Pranavatmakananda. It happened in 1971, when Brij was Babaís attendant during the short time that Baba was in the hospital. While entering the bathroom, with the door still half open, Baba 37

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Reykjavik, Iceland. Rainjan and Vimala have opened a health food cooperative. This country hardly knows the expression ìhealth foodî, and our shop is the first of its kind. Nevertheless, even on its first day,

the shop was already full of customers. The bones of the immoralists will shake Patna, India. This is now the third time that Iíve been to India since becoming an acharya. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of Margis have visited Baba in Bankipur Prison.38 Only five or six Dadas from around the world, including me, are on a special prison black-list which does not permit us to enter His cell. Though Iíve applied many times for visiting privileges, the prison authorities always refuse. Twice Iíve met with the prison superintendent, only to receive the same reply. For some reason we select few are considered dangerous. Itís surely due to the misinformation that commonly fills secret police files. One of our Norwegian Margis was able to gain access to Interpolís files through the help of a relative who works in Norwayís undercover agent section. When he checked my name he found numerous false statements, including one declaring that I am sending $5000 every month by bank transfer to a revolutionary fund in America. The fact is that Iíve never sent even one penny to America. Today I decided to appeal directly to the Governor of the State of Bihar. When I arrived at the State Office, I explained that I was a Margi seeking an interview with the Governor. ìThe Governor is now out,î the receptionist said, ìbut Iíll see if you can meet the Vice-Governor.î She left and came back after a few minutes. ìIím sorry, Sir. The Vice-Governor is too busy today.î ìHow about tomorrow?î ìIt wonít be possible,î she said. nonchalantly said, ìIn 1975 our organization will face a severe crisis. Even if you travel miles and miles, you will not meet anyone who will admit to being a Margi. It will be one of the most testing periods of the Marga.î Without further comment He closed the door. Brij mentioned the episode to several other workers and Margis then, but no one knew what to make of it. 38 Though Ananda Marga was by now legal and again functioning in India, Babaís case was still not resolved. The new Janata government ordered the courts to retry all cases decided during Gandhiís rule of martial law. This process was, of course, taking time.

PERSONAL CONTACT 132 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

ìAlright, I can wait a few days. Just set the time.î ìIím sorry, sir. Please donít mind, but he just doesnít want to meet you.î I thanked her and walked out. After waiting outside for fifteen minutes, I walked in again. While the receptionist was diverted by another person, I walked by her unannounced. Because I moved with seeming confidence through the halls of the building, no one questioned me. Having no idea where his office was, I entered one corridor after another until I finally found the proper door. Several people were sitting on a bench, waiting. I joined them without a word. A few minutes passed, and then the door opened. Someone came out. Before the door closed, I stood up and walked inside. It was a big room, decorated in rich aristocratic fashion. The Vice-Governor was sitting alone at his desk. He was clearly surprised to receive a visitor without prior notification. ìHow can I help you, sir?î Perhaps because I was a foreigner his tone was respectful.

ìI am sorry to disturb you,î I said softly. ìI am a Margi seeking permission to visit my Guru, Shri P.R. Sarkar, who is presently in Bankipur Jail.î He started shaking slightly. ìYou should follow the normal channels with the prison authorities, î he said. ìI have already exhausted those. Thatís why I came to you.î ìOnly the Governor himself can deal with your case. Heís in Delhi, so you can contact him there, please. Thank you, and good bye.î ìIn this situation, sir,î I said, ìit is you that should call him. Besides, I have information indicating that you have full power in his absence to take such minor decisions.î ìI cannot tolerate your indiscretions,î he said, trembling a bit more. ìI absolutely will not make any such decision on your behalf. So please leave.î He pushed twice or thrice a button on his desk. ìSir, I remind you of the law of karma,î I said. ìFor every action there is a resulting reaction. So you should be very careful in your dealings regarding Shri Sarkar.î 133

Now he was shaking with abandon. ìGet out! Get out!î Though he pushed repeatedly on the button, no one disturbed our pleasant conversation. ìAre you familiar, sir, with Ananda Margaís philosophy and dynamic social work? I think not, and I believe they demand your attention. î By now he was unable to think rationally. Rather, he was sweating, shivering and madly swatting the button. The door opened with a bang. Two men rushed in. ìGrab him! Grab him!î the Vice-Governor yelled. I was standing still, but they jumped on me like I was wild coyote, each one grasping an arm of my dangerous body. ìTake him out! Take him away!î In a few minutes the three of us arrived at the nearby police station. I sat down while my two captors talked with the police for a minute and then left. ìYouíre under arrest,î a policeman said. ìWhatís the charge?î They talked between themselves. Then the same man, clearly the officer in-charge said, ìWe donít know.î ìWell, if you canít tell me, then Iíll just be leaving.î I stood up. ìNo, please, sir. Wait. We shortly find out charge.î One man went out the door. After ten minutes he came back, saying, ìYou charged with attacking Vice-Governor.î ìThatís unmitigated poppyco*ck.î I know that Indians who are uneducated bow their heads to such language. ìI didnít even touch him. Iím going.î I moved toward the door. ìWait, please wait, sir!î Again the man ran out. On returning, he said, ìVice-Governor changed charge to threatening attack.î ìTommyrot and claptrap,î I said. ìI was merely discussing philosophy with him. I canít waste any more time here.î Again I started to leave. ìWait, sir! Just a minute, please!î

They talked among themselves. PERSONAL CONTACT 134 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER The officer in-charge gave me a feeble smile. ìCharges dropped, sir. Please no mention anyone.î ...... Just after returning to our Central Office, I ran into three Margi brothers on their way for a visit with Baba. Without mentioning what had just happened to me, I asked them to please pass my namaskar39 to Him. Later, coming out of the jail, they told me their story. They took the trouble to express my regards to Baba, and on doing so, Baba Himself namaskared with His hands, and then said, ìHmm, Dharmapala... Just see, just see. Though my boys and my girls are not yet perfectly following 16 Points, the immoralists are afraid of them, and literally shake in fear.40 ìBut when my boys and my girls really adhere to 16 Points,î He continued, ìthe bones of the immoralists will shake. You understand?î He jabbed at His own thigh, smiling broadly, saying, ìThe very bone will shake.î Samadhi or not? Having gone to all possible lengths to gain permission from the authorities to meet Baba, I set upon a new plan, a violent one. This time I was determined that nothing would stop me. Taking permission from the guards, I entered the office of the prison warden. I was well known to him due to my numerous attempts in the past to gain permission. He politely invited me to be seated. One other man was also sitting there. ìI want to tell you, sir,î I said, ìthat this week I met the Vice-Governor, and he also refused my request to meet Baba. So Iíve decided that if your response to my last-ditch request is negative, then I shall physically thrust you people aside and enter His cell by brute force.î I knew that Babaís cell was only a few meters away, and that no locked door stood in-between. Out of respect they never locked the door of His cell. ìSir, sir, you must not think such things. You know I am deeply sorry that I cannot allow you to enter. I would lose my job. I, too, am a devotee of Baba, so please believe me about my limitations.î Namaskar is a hand gesture which means ìI respect the divinity within you with my mind and heartî. 40 16 Points is a summary of the most important practices suggested for all Margis. 39

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ìHow can you say youíre devoted to Baba? If it were so, then you wouldnít be afraid to take such a minor risk. You know my heart is breaking to see Him.î ìWe here know all too well about Babaís power and omniscience. But I am helpless due to my duty.î ìThis is just a load of nonsense. I am going to break through now.î I started to get up. ìWait! You donít understand our realization of Baba.î He turned to the other man. ìDoctor, please tell this gentleman about the experience you had the other day.î The doctor cleared his throat. ìUsually, I attend Baba every morning at 11:00. But three days ago I was busy all morning and had to

delay my visit until 3:00 in the afternoon. When I approached the cell, I got a shock. Baba was sitting in meditation, but He was not sitting on the cot. He was floating about three feet above it! I couldnít believe my eyes. All my thoughts disappeared, and I stood there, simply staring at him. How much time passed I donít know. But I slowly became aware that His face was changing. He had become Lord Shiva! Trembling with fear, I ran back to this office.î ìI can attest that he was shaking like a leaf when he dashed in here that day,î said the warden. ìI thought he was having an epileptic fit.î ìWell, I donít care for your explanations or your experiences,î I said. ìIf you wonít give me permission to enter Babaís room, then I shall proceed there in my own way.î Just as I started to rise again, a third man entered the room. The warden turned to me, saying, ìPlease! Wait at least a moment while I speak to this officer.î While the warden was occupied, I closed my eyes. Without the slightest effort I dropped into deep meditation. Losing awareness of surroundings, I saw Baba smiling sweetly. He was holding me in His lap. Stroking my head repeatedly, He said, ìMy dear Dharmapala. There is a very good reason why I am not allowing you to meet Me ... a very good reason.î I became lost in His smile ... His voice ... the feeling of His soft hand. The next thing I knew, I heard a voice saying, ìHeís in samadhi.î I thought, ìWho is that? And who is he talking about?î Gradually I remembered where I was. Ah, itís the warden speaking ... speaking about me, I thought. PERSONAL CONTACT 136 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER I parted my lips, thinking I would say, ìNo, Iím not in samadhi.î But instead of these words, only incoherent mumbles issued from my mouth. I opened my eyes, and tears fell out. ìWait until you come into normal mood,î the warden said softly. He looked at me with a new gentleness. A few moments passed while the warden was speaking to the third man. I stood up, and all three of them clearly became apprehensiveó on their guard as to what I would do. ìPlease reconsider...î the warden started saying to me. I cut him off by doing namaskar with my hands, and said in a breaking, feathery voice, ìItís...alright...now.î Almost simultaneously, all three of them dropped their jaws in surprise. They were speechless as I walked out of the office into the outer courtyard. There in the sunlight stood Babaís personal assistant together with another Dada. They knew of my intention to somehow get into Babaís cell today. On seeing my shining, tearful face, they exclaimed, ìYouíve seen Baba!î I didnít know whether to say ìyesî or ìno.î Transcending drugs Huskvarna, Sweden. Our first three residents moved into our new rehabilitation project today. They are all drug addicts. The city government has given us a free lease on the building with an understanding that we would establish a halfway-house for drug addicts. We only accept young men who demonstrate an interest to improve

themselves. In that case, it is not overly difficult to cure them. Our staff joins them in practicing meditation to gain inspiration and will-power, vegetarianism and fasting to eliminate body toxins, yoga postures to balance the hormones, and social work to provide a sense of personal value. The system appears sound, but the most important ingredient is loving care. Enforcing external discipline has little worth in itself. A few years ago one of our workers first demonstrated this process by curing some heroin-addicts in Berlin. Playing with danger ó an unsolved riddle This is my first visit to Bergen, Norway. Last night I stayed in the flat of a brother named Trond, a friend of a friend. He turned out to be 137

a bit ëdifferentí. It was late when I arrived and he was keen to go to bed, so he showed me a couch where I could sleep. Since I never sleep on a soft bed, I instead arranged my blankets on the floor in the corner of his bedroom. I was sleeping deeply with a cover pulled over my head when something woke me up. What is this? I thought. I felt a pressure on my leg, but could not identify its source. Instantly I regained full alertness. Now I was both curious and anxious. The pressure was relieved, only to be felt again a moment later on my waist. The oddest thing! I thought. Is it that fellow up to no good? Then, the pressure still against my waist, a second unstable pressure came directly on top of my body. Thereís no mistaking itósurely itís a person. At first he was walking around me, and now heís walking on top of me! Whoever it was must not have been expecting anybody to be lying on the floor. Though it may be my host simply sleep-walking, I thought, itís more likely a thief moving in the dark. He took another step, this time on my shoulder. I lay there, unmoving, and thought out a quick plan. Now! I thought, my heartbeat quickening. Quick as a flash, I sat up, simultaneously thrusting the blanket off. ìUhh!î he exclaimed, clearly shocked that he had been walking on a person. He bucked off of me. I saw his eyes widen in fright as he ran toward the door. Without losing a second, I grabbed my pocket knife from my nearby shoulder bag and dashed after him into the adjacent room. Our scuffle created quite a noise. My host sat up in his bed. ìHey! Whatís this? Whatíre you doing?î Instead of replying, I shouted to the thief in the most threatening tone I could muster, ìCome out! I know youíre here!î I couldnít see anyone in the darkness. ìWhat?î Trond yelled. ìWho is it?î I turned on the light and looked all around. Nobody. But there were only the two rooms. And there was no way he could have gone out the door of the flat. PERSONAL CONTACT 138 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìItís a thief, or something!î I said to Trond who was still sitting in bed. Holding the knife tightly in my fist, I threw aside the curtains, the

chairs, tables, everything the thief might use for cover. Nothing. Nobody. I was dumbfounded. By now Trond had come into the room. I told him in detail what had happened. ìDo you have any explanation?î I said. ìNo. Itís pretty strange. Maybe you imagined it all.î ìImpossible. After feeling his first step, I was wide awake.î ìOdd...î ìWhat? Did you ever experience something like this before?î ìNo, no. Surely not.î With nothing further to speak about, we awkwardly went back to our respective sleeping places. A few minutes passed. ìAh, Dada,î he said softly. ìIn fact something out of the ordinary did happen to me a few nights ago.î ìTell me.î ìI was fast asleep when I was awakened by someone pressing my body in different places. I threw my blanket off, and saw someone jump away and run into the other room.î ìBut thatís exactly what happened to me!î ìWell...I...I donít know...î ìWhat do you think it was?î ìNo, no, no...î ìWhat?î ìNo. Nothing to speak about. Letís go to sleep.î He refused to talk any more. ...... This morning, while I was doing meditation, Trond left the house. After meditation I walked into the second room and looked around. Middle-class conservative furniture...a small orderly collection of books...a few slightly gaudy decorative items...andówait a momentóI looked at the titles of his books: History of the Occult, Science of Magic, Psychic Power Unleashed, Hitler and the Spear of Destiny, Dictionary of Necromancy, and many more titles referring to the black arts. What kind of a person...? 139

Surely the fellow was dabbling in occult power. That might explain last nightís phenomena. The being who walked on me last night was not human, not even physical. Thatís why he could disappear when I chased him. It seems my host may have developed some psychic power, though itís clear he was not in control of that power. He, too, was affected by it. On one hand he didnít want to talk about it, but on the other hand he wanted help. Because he did not confide in me, however, and because I have to leave today, it will have to remain an unsolved riddleóat least for now. I could help him, but only if he asks. Unfortunately there must be countless other people like him, playing with dangerous powers, hardly knowing what they are doing, learning a few spells and concentration techniques and materializing latent forces from their subconscious minds before they have the morality, purity and mental strength to control themselves. What to do? Nothing, except to continue to develop spiritual and social qualities. At the proper time society will need and demand the expression of such God-centered qualities.

Within or without?

Stockholm. After walking alone this afternoon up a small hill rising above the buildings and highways of the city, I sat in a natural boulder garden. Surrounded by urban chaos, this site offered itself as a Tantric oasis. Inspired, I resolved not to budge a muscle during meditation. About half an hour later, it began to drizzle. A test, I thought. I shall not move. The rain grew stronger, until it became a heavy downpour. I can change my clothes anytime, I thought, but not my mind. It lasted five or ten minutes, then stopped completely. Again I became aware of the distant sound of cars creating their usual but eerie cosmic wind tunnel effect in my brain. Otherwise the only other sound was the mournful crowing of nearby birds. My concentration increased until I was no longer conscious of my wetness. After some time a new, high pitched sound appeared far away, perhaps a kilometer or so. Was it a dog barking faintly? Then a little PERSONAL CONTACT 140 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER louderóyes, a dog. Somehow that dog seemed to have something to do with me from the moment I heard it. The barking became still louder. I supposed it was coming toward me. Even if it attacks me, I wonít stir. Closer and closer the unfriendly bark came. Why? I could not guess. Then it was on my hill, yelping. He is going to attack. I donít care. Itís a test. If Iím hurt or killed, itís Your problem, Baba. The dog was now almost on me. His barking was so loud and vicious that it hurt my eardrums. He was so near to my face that I could feel the heat of his breath, and its stink also. I sat bolt upright, unmoving. My mind flickered back and forth between the thought of my meditation and that of the dog. A few seconds later, the noise ceased. A pause. Then I heard his feet, as he turned and walked away from me. Not allowing myself to wonder how or why it happened, my concentration dived inward. I enjoyed the rest of meditation. When I opened my eyes I looked at my watch. One hour and twenty minutes. I started to rise to my feet, and, what? How could it be? There wasnít a drop of rainwater to be seen. Everything was bone dry, including my clothing. Could it be the rain was a figment of my imagination? And the dog also? I laughed and walked down the hill. ...... Orebro, Sweden. Every time I receive a circular, a letter, or, like today, a phone call with news from India, I experience the same feelings. First my heart flutters with hope for a positive verdict, then a sinking feeling comes when I find out that thereís been no real progress. Then the agony of longing for Him increases until it becomes a sharp pain in my heart, my face gets hot and a few sighs escape. Finally, I tell myself that thereís nothing to worry about, that He knows exactly what Heís doing, and that itís all just a drama with so many ups and downs that it only seems like it will never finish, yet it will in fact one

day surely come to a happy ending. Then I mentally prostrate to Him, leave everything to Him, and grimly turn back to His work. After a few minutes Iím back to normal, encouraging others, smiling and working with as much zeal as I can muster. 141

Unknown to everyone, my normality also includes a constant dull pressure at the back of my skull and in the core of my heart where I bury my yearning to see Him. Work while working, meditate while meditating Stockholm. 1978. A few days ago, Dada Krtashivananda arrived from India, full of news. Subconsciously I prepared myself to go through my usual sequence of hope, disappointment and frustration. This time I never made it past hope. Babaís case is on a steadily rising list of cases to be heard by the court. Something concrete should happen anytime soon. Even as I write this I still feel that nervous flutter of anticipation in my heart. He was also full of stories. Iíll mention two of them. The first happened many years ago during a meeting with the margiis: BABA: Do you all want to hear the Cosmic Sound? MARGIIS (about twenty): Yes, yes, Baba! BABA: Do deep meditation now. (After a few minutes silence Baba asked one Margii) What did you hear? MARGII: I heard the sound of the Aum, Baba. BABA (pointing to others): And you ... and you? OTHER MARGIIS: Yes, Baba ... and I ... and I ... (One by one, each Margii says he or she heard the cosmic sound Aum.) BABA (pointing to Krtashivanandaji): And what about you, little boy? KRTASHIVANANDA: Iím sorry, Baba, I didnít hear anything special. BABA: Yes. Now you alone, do dhyana (higher meditation). (After a minute) Well, then? KRTASHIVANANDA: Iím sorry, Baba. I still could not hear anything. BABA: I told you to do dhyana. Instead, you are thinking of your missionary work. When doing meditation you should not think of work. Now do meditation again. (After another minute) Hmmm? KRTASHIVANANDA: Yes, Baba. At last I heard the Aum. BABA: Just see. Just see. PERSONAL CONTACT 142 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER The other story began with a meeting in which Baba assured all the workers that He would never allow any of them to starve. He promised they would receive at least one meal daily. So, no need to worry. Krtashivanandaji wanted to secretly test Baba. During a walking journey which took seven days, he maintained silence. He neither carried any food, nor asked anyone. Once each day, however, a different stranger approached him and asked if he needed food. He accepted without saying anything. This happened every day except onceófasting day. ...... June. Some real news today: Babaís case has started. The prosecution is presenting its evidence now. Of course, the defenseís arguments will follow.

I can hardly stop thinking about Baba. My mind rolls uncontrollably between states of expectation, anxiety, awe (of His cosmic strategy), a desperate craving to see Him, and, occasionally, little flashes of fear. Itís Babaís problem I called my higher authority today and told him, ìDada, ten of the eleven full-timers in my region want to go for acharya training.î ìVery good.î ìSo I am planning to send all of them to acharya training this week.î ìAll of them?î ìYes. Why not?î ìAre you crazy? If you empty your region of full-timers, all of the work will collapse. Just send two for now. Then perhaps each month you can send another.î ìLook, if Baba wants to help, thereís an local full-timer training session coming up in July. Besides, I thought our most important work is wholetimer creation.î ìThatís right but...î ìAnd if I delay in sending some of them, they may lose their inspiration. î ìDonít be a fool.î ìIf any problem comes to the region, itís Babaís problem. He has to take care. I am sending all these brothers and sisters for Him.î 143

ìYou idiot! I wonít permit you to send them all at once.î ìDada, excuse me for asking, but is that your suggestion or is that your order?î I asked. ìWell, of course it is not my order. But youíre absolutely not to do it. Do you understand?î ìYes.î I knew that he couldnít give such an order because creating new wholetimers is our first priority. In this case, I am technically free to make my own decision. Certainly he is right from the standpoint of normal logic. Perhaps I am a fool, but it will be a fine Tantric test for Baba to take care of His own work. Iíll send them all to the Sweden acharya training center as quickly as possible. ...... July. News from Patna: The defense has started presenting their arguments. Only You know, Baba, what will happen, what Youíve planned. But Iím sure part of Your plan is to make me mad for You. ...... Timmern, Germany. The only full-timer left in my region is Dhruvadev, who doesnít want to become an acharya. As expected, my higher authority was furious. Baba, You have to help. Today, the new Berlin Sector full-timer training session started here. I am the trainer together with another Dada. Itís a one-month program, and the biggest weíve ever held. Ninety Margiis are attending. Thirty of them are from Scandinavia. Of course, most of the trainees are only here for the experience. Letís see how many He inspires to become real full-timers. Free at last! Todayís news!!!! What news!!!! Itís the happiest day of my life!!!!

Baba is released!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After seven years of imprisonment and over five years of fasting, He is vindicated, absolved of guilt. The true criminal is Indira Gandhiís administration. By using deceit, bribery, corruption, intimidation, torture, defamationówhat to speak of a total ban against Ananda Marga and imprisonment of all Margiis and workersóMrs Gandhi and her cohorts have tried their best PERSONAL CONTACT 144 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER to finish off Baba and Ananda Marga but they have failed miserably. History will document all the steps that the forces of Nature will take against the real sinners. We need do nothing against them, nor can we hate them. Though they are full of negativity, they too are unwitting tools of Godís play. My beautiful Baba. I still have not physically seen Him. They say Heís withered, emaciatedómaintained only by His psycho-spiritual power. Now His fast will finish, and He will surely regain His robust constitution. Clouds cannot long overcast the sun. And I will see Him at last!!! Like Him, I have also waited these seven years. (Yes, Iíll go to India. But first I have to finish the local full-timer training session which is going perfectly.) Guidance from afar Timmern. 8 August. Iíve been tortured by asthma for many nights. Deep within, I donít mind. Itís an interesting test. But itís my duty to try to cure it, so I have experimented with many remedies. Yesterday I even began a cure recommended by our local Margii doctor Sukumar in which I must twice daily cleanse my intestines by drinking my urine. I did it yesterday but found it so repulsive that I discontinued it today. Baba Himself would have to instruct me to undergo this treatment before I would take it up again. ...... Ten days later. A circular arrived from India, highlighting many new points given by Baba. For me, the most interesting one is that He criticizes Indian Prime Minister Moraji Desaiís daily health-habit of drinking his own urine. Desai often openly declares its curative value. Baba, however, says urine is the most crude substance one can ingest. The circular is dated 9 August. This means He directly caught my thought, ìBaba You have to personally instruct me if You want me to resume this cure.î But instead of telling me to resume it, He forbid it. Of course thereís no way that news of my experiment could have been conveyed to Calcutta. ...... [Authorís note: About two years later, I had an experience which paralleled the above one. It also happened in Germany: 145

ìAbout two weeks ago the Dadas and Didis came from all over the sector for RDS. To break the tension one evening, a few of us went to a movie. Once there, it was certainly our duty to maximally enjoy ourselves, and eliminate the greatest possible tension. Accordingly, we laughed our heads off. Little did we know that the local district secretary of Ananda Marga was also present in the same theater. The next day he complained

to our higher authority that ëThe Dadasí behavior was unsuitable for acharyas.í Today a circular came from India with a few new conduct rules from Baba, including: ëAcharyas must not go to public movie theaters.í Without going into details, Iím one hundred percent sure that no one reported our pleasurable evening at the movies to India. Considering that the circular was dated the day afterwards, I believe this is yet another instance of Babaís sticking His adorably ethereal nose into our personal lives. Having an all-knowing guru has both its advantages and disadvantages.î] ...... Full-timer training ended today. Congratulations, Baba! You inspired ten of the thirty trainees from Scandinavia to become full-timersóexactly filling the gap created when the previous ones left to becoming acharyas. Another perfect work by the Mystic Sculptor. Ten for ten! His blessing is clear: He likes, no, He loves this kind of noble risk. Before leaving for India, I will place all the new full-timers in the field. Yes: my flight is booked for India, and this time I will see You. Nothing can stop our meeting now....Unless You play some last minute nasty trick. Donít You dare do that, Baba! Not this time, please. Having fun with a bad man Copenhagen. After we finished kiirtan and began group meditation this evening, I felt something evil in the air. Though I had never stood up during group meditation before, today I made an exception. I quietly walked into the front room which serves as our cooperative restaurant and community center. Mainjula was sitting there. PERSONAL CONTACT 146 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìDid anything strange happen just now, Mainjula?î I whispered. ìNo, Dada...î ìHave you been completely alone?î ìWell, a man came in. He looked around for a couple of minutes, and left just before you came in.î ìWho was he?î ìI donít know his name. He was Indian and has been here a few times before. He has a mustache, and...î ìI know,î I interrupted. ìIíve seen him several times recently. Heís thin, has a sharp chin, and beady eyes which he shifts around as he speaks. He expresses an exaggerated interest in meditation and yoga though heís never tried to learn.î ìYeah, thatís him.î ìWhat was he doing just now?î ìNothing.î ìHe must be a very bad man. His very vibration strongly disturbed my meditation. If you ever see him again, please tell me.î ...... Two days later. This morning I was so late for my Aeroflot flight to Moscow that the plane had to be delayed a few minutes only for me. Who could believe that I would be late for a flight that was taking me directly to Baba. But there was so much to take care of before I

left. I had to be either responsible and late, or irresponsible and on-time. Does He always have to make such last minute dramas? Once they rushed me aboard, the stewardess escorted me directly to my seat. With all the hurry, I didnít notice the passenger sitting next to me until I had already put on my seat beltóit was the same Indian man who had disturbed my meditation two days ago. I was astonished, but immediately understood the connection. Surely he was a member of the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation in India) with instructions to follow me. How could he be foolish enough to reserve a seat next to mine? Damn, I thought. Is this yet another of Babaís tricks to keep me from seeing Him? ìNice to see you again,î he said with a derisive smirk on his face. ìWhere are you going?î I asked politely. ìTo Delhi, of course.î 147

ìWhat takes you to Delhi?î ìTo meet my family. And where are you going?î He was still wearing the same arrogant grin. Confident that I was also going to Delhi, he no longer had anything to hideóin contrast to these last days during which he had shadowed me in Copenhagen. ìTo Dacca,î I said bluntly, staring at him. The look on his face abruptly turned to bewilderment when he realized that he had miscalculated. ìAnd though I appreciate your recent concern for my security,î I continued, ìI canít figure out what you hope to find out from me. Nevertheless, youíll have to excuse me because my curiosity is less than my repulsion for this kind of game.î I stood up and moved to another seat. Something tells me this man may soon lose his job. But itís not my duty to look after his security. Personal contact Calcutta. Oh, Lord, my heart pounded as I waited for You upstairs in the Jodhpur Park office. Would You be like my dreams? Would You smile as Iíd imagined? How would You treat me? What would You say? They said You would come soonónow, what delays You? After waiting seven years, seven minutes was agony. Thirty workers lined up in the corridor. Some gossiped or hummed a tune. But not a sound could pass my lips; nothing could enter my mind except the thought of You; my heart wept, jumped, ached... ìParampita Baba ki jai! Victory to Baba!î Suddenlyóthere You were! Alive. Breathing. Walking towards me. Not a vision or a dream this time. You took over my eyes, my mind. Every muscle, every nerve leaned toward You as You moved down the silent row. Oh, God! That for which I was bornófulfilled. If, in that moment I had died, and fallen at Your feet I would have been satisfied. You gave me a passing glance. You saw me. I was stunned. I didnít need that, but You gave it. Everything which follows in my life will be like toys for an infant already suckling its motherís breast. You walked into Your room. The door closed. I remainedóa puppet with a head full of sawdust. Then excitement, voices echoing meaninglessly down the corridor, one sound pierced through the din: ìThose who have not yet had PerPERSONAL CONTACT 148 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

sonal Contact, come here.î I drifted toward Dada Ramananda, Babaís personal assistant. Only Indian workers and full-timers were around him. ìWhat, you?î he said to me. ìYou havenít had Personal Contact yet?î ìNo, Dadaji.î ìAll these years?î Without another word he turned sharply, opened Babaís door, and went in. Within seconds he reappeared, grabbed my shoulders, and shoved me through the door. ìGo in!î I stumbled, and caught myself while the door shut behind me. I looked up. You sat alone on Your bed, smiling. I threw myself at Your feet, extending my arms until I was an arrow piercing the target. ìSit up, my boy.î You spoke to me! Was I dreaming? Tears began to flow from my eyes. Oh, what would You say now? I had waited seven yearsóBaba! ìWhat is your name, my boy?î Whatówas this a joke? You knew not only my name, but everything, everything about me, more than I knew about myself. I smiled and said, ìDharmapala, Baba.î How silly. ìAnd what is your posting?î Oh, come to the point, Baba, I thought. Talk to me personally, not like someone You never met! Again I smiled. ìRegional Secretary of Stockholm and Oslo Regions, Baba.î ìAcha. You know you made some mistakes in your past.î I smiled, saying, ìYes, Baba.î Now, surely You would go into detail about my personal history. But no. It was not to be. A few minutes passed, some more words about correcting myself, about becoming a model for others. Threatened punishment with Your stick, the stick whistling through the air, and stopping just before touching me. An oath. Formalitiesóall formalities. Finished. Again I lay at Your feet, and then left. I had waited seven years for You to ask me my name and my posting? My heart sank. I am nothing special to Baba, I thought. The blood rushed to my head. Did I only imagine His greatness all these years? 149

Dumbfounded, I stood again outside Your door, but this time there was doubt. Doubtóugly and dark. But I had little time to brood. Ramanandaji went inside Your room, then came out quickly and said, ìPersonal Contact is finished today. Get ready for darshan.î Darshanóto see: a time when all were invited to see You, or be seen by You. We all rushed up to the roof. Already about 200 people were sitting there. Following no oneís example, I moved to the front, and sat immediately in front of Your sofa. Why had You talked like that to me? I felt cheated. Okay my work has been for humanity. But it was also to please You. And You didnít care. Iím just another piece from Your toolbox. You came and sat down. We danced kiirtan in front of You. Still Iíll try to please You, Baba. We danced, we sang, we sat down, and You began speaking.

And then, what? You looked deep within me, Your eyes twinkled, Your lips turned in a smile, You put Your hand to my face, You gently pinched my cheek, saying, ìYes, yes. And what do you say, my little boy?î I was speechless, smiling back. You lightly slapped my face lovingly. Ecstasy! I am special to Him! He loves me! If my smile had been any bigger, my face would have broken. You went on talking. Glancing at me again and again. And again You pinched me and lightly slapped me. Though hundreds of others were there, we might as well have been alone. This time You were personal to the extreme. Oh, Baba! You left. Again I was baffled, but this time it was sweet chaos. Why do You play such games? Clearly You love me. But in the Personal Contact itself, You said nothing interesting, and did nothing memorable. Afterward, only afterward, You were so loving, beyond my imagination. Why? Slowly I began to understand. Personal Contact is spiritual. Purely spiritual. It doesnít matter what happens experientially. Experience is not spiritual, it is mental. You did what You wanted during the Personal Contact. It will have exactly the proper unique effect on me, unrelated to either understanding or misunderstanding. PERSONAL CONTACT 150 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER And I knowóYou want me to tell others that Personal Contact is purely spiritual. Not to expect anything. You will do only what is necessary to deepen our consciousness, which is beyond any objective phenomena. My head spins. My samskaras rise up, dance, and accelerate to the speed of life. YouóTantra GuruóYou care only for that spirituality. And You pinched me, You slapped meówhy?ójust to please me. You already did what You wantedóand then You did what I wanted. You clever One. I ... love ... You.41 His magic stick It seems that all of historyís great Tantrics had to undergo either great suffering or great austerities. Buddha lived as an ascetic and later fasted for forty days. Krishna was born in jail and persecuted throughout much of his life. Jesus embraced poverty, was tormented throughout the years of his missionary work, and underwent the harshest torture on the cross. 7000 years ago, the first known Tantric guru, Shiva, had the habit of thrashing his leading disciples with a burning stick. Baba is no different. After seven years in prison, a poisoning that would have killed anyone else, and more than five years of fasting, He has picked up the work of building His mission and running the organization as if He had merely gone out for a walk, and like Shiva He is a fierce disciplinarian. [Author note: Before I explain about todayís reporting session with Baba, I want to write a little introductory material. Two or three years The diary refers to samskara. For every action there is a reaction. Until the reaction occurs, the unexpressed reaction awaits expression. This unexpressed reaction is termed samskara. Sooner or later it must be expressed. Every thought is also an action, and is like a seed sown in the mind, changing the mind from its original equilibrium. A reaction is needed to return to that equilibrium. When the mindís balance is disturbed, an opposite expression of an equivalent quantity of energy is thus required. If there is a delay in time, ìequivalent quantityî takes that into account, and often requires a greater 41

suffering or pleasure in order to balance the original disturbance. It is something like interest accrued in a bank account over time. Due to psychic suppression or repression, a person may have difficulty expressing samskaras. One may have mental blocks or fear. This causes a slowing down of spiritual development. Such blocks are to some extent inevitable in every person because of our human weaknesses. Because the very presence of Baba caused a strong stir in everyoneís mind, Margis and workers always experienced an increase in the speed of expression of their samskaras just after seeing Baba. This was especially true when one had personal contact.

151

before I joined Ananda Marga, I began reading spiritual books. One of the first was the biography of Milarepa, the most famous Tantric in the history of Tibet. Milarepaís guru, Marpa, severely tested him even before giving him initiation. The guru alternated between ignoring him, treating him brutally, and making fun of him. Milarepa was ordered to build a house of stones. This back-breaking work took him many months. When he completed it, the guru ridiculed him, and told him to build it again in a different way and in a different spot. This happened six times. Besides treating Milarepa severely, the guru even pretended to be drunk. Finally Milarepaís despair overcame him. He left his guru and went to another teacher. A few days later he realized his mistake, returned to his guru, begged forgiveness, and pleaded for the initiation. The guru replied, ìIf only you had built one more house, your ego would have shrunk to the proper size. You would have burned most of your karma. After initiation you would have achieved liberation within a short time. Now I am forced to give you initiation, but you will have to practice meditation and austerities for many years to get your self-realization.î For the next years, Milarepa lived in below-freezing conditions without clothing, ate no food except nettle soup, and practiced long meditation in lonely mountain caves. During this time, his guru died. Milarepa persisted until he achieved his goal. He then gradually created a large school of disciples. In his later life, though he underwent painful diseases which were said to be beyond the endurance of normal human beings, he was always in a blissful mood. From that young age I understood the spiritual path gradually demands greater and greater commitment. The goal is reached only if one is prepared to sacrifice everything for God. Tantric scriptures specify that a true guruís relationship with a disciple must swing according to need from strictness and strong punishment to intimacy and affection. There are similarities to this concept in many traditions having elements of Tantra. Both Chinese and Japanese Zen owe their origins directly to Tantra. One of the most renown Zen masters, Linji Yixuan (in Japanese: Rinzai), who lived in the 9th century, was famous for using anger to awaken his disciples. He said, ìSometimes a shout is like the precious sword of the Diamond King; sometimes a shout is PERSONAL CONTACT 152 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER like a golden-haired lion that creeps forward in a crouch; sometimes a shout is like a lure stick with a tuft of grass dangling on the end; sometimes a shout is not used as a shout at all.î Ekido was a particularly severe teacher. His pupils feared him. One of them on duty, striking the gong to tell the time of day, missed his beats when his eye was attracted by a beautiful girl passing the temple gate. At that moment Ekido, who was directly behind him, hit him

with a stick and the shock happened to kill him. Ekidoís attitude remained absolutely unchanged by this incident. After this took place, he was able to produce under his guidance more than ten enlightened successors, a very unusual number. Of course, I do not condone such a killing, and rather consider that it may have been due to Ekidoís carelessness. I simply mention it to demonstrate that harshness from the side of the teacher is a normal technique, and does not necessarily indicate a loss of control. As far as I know, Babaís punishments never produced any permanent harm. Yet another example concerns the master Inzan, who showed no distinction to his disciple Gisho on account of her sex. He scolded her like a thunderstorm. He cuffed her to awaken her inner nature. After her enlightenment, Inzan wrote a poem in her honor: This nun studied thirteen years under my guidance. In the evening she considered the deepest koans, In the morning she was wrapped in other koans. The Chinese nun Tetsuma surpassed all before her, And since Mujaku none has been so genuine as this Gisho! Yet there are many more gates for her to pass through. She should receive still more blows from my iron fist. Now I turn back to Baba. There are many stories about His reporting sessions, the countless displays of His spiritual power and love, and the punishment He metes out to His workers. A reporting session with Baba is always something extraordinary. For those who never experienced it, no words can adequately describe it. From the organizational standpoint, it serves as an occasion for Baba to examine our work output, and give guidance for improvements. More significantly, it is a time for us to be close to our guru, and for Him to stir into our hearts 153

whatever spiritual ingredients we need. Part of His method for doing this involves stimulating different emotions in us, like shame, fear, love, anger, anxiety and compassion. His techniques for doing this change constantly and continuously. All of our work targets are difficult and often impossible, thus giving Baba plenty of opportunity to isolate the real causes for our failures. And those causes are always psychic weaknesses. In one way or another, by subtle indirect methods, He brings out these weaknesses, and then helps us to overcome them. I want to add something more still about Babaís incomparable ability to alternatively love and scold us. For this purpose I take the liberty to quote from an article by Dada Sarveshvarananda, a previous General Secretary. He writes: Baba was as strong as thunder in dealing with evil or immoral actions on the one hand, and as tender as a flower bud in dealing with righteous or moral actions on the other. Actually, I never felt Babaís anger was in any sense like that of an ordinary person. Usually if someone loses his temper, his blood pressure rises, his face turns red and he loses all mental equilibrium. But Baba was always in control of Himself. He would show anger and displeasure to make us realize our faults and goad us on towards inner and outer perfection. I always felt that He was playing a role with His anger for us because, in the next moment, He could be light-hearted again ó laughing and making us laugh. ... Truly, we were not so unnerved by His anger as one might expect. Even though that anger blew through us like a devastating storm,

we knew that soothing rainfall was sure to follow. The severity of the prolonged reproofs and condemnation we had to face during our reporting sessions, pierced through our minds like arrows and made us completely heartbroken. We would then be hopelessly rejected. But when the reporting was over, He would change completely. He would call us and shower loving caresses and sweet, calming words on us. This love, this affection, was so sublime and touching that all the humiliation, dejection and agonies we were experiencing a moment before were instantly gone. ... Baba once said to me, ìNo matter how high a position a person attains, he or she will always need a strict guardian to answer to for his or her deeds ó good or bad ó who will give him or her proper guidance in lifeís journey. That guardian will PERSONAL CONTACT 154 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER also be a perennial source of inspiration. That is why I have a responsibility to be very strict in my discipline and duties. But it is not my real nature. My responsibilty compels me, against my wish, to be harsh with you.î Infinite affection was His real nature. What we saw in the way of anger and fury was nothing but a camouflage to an inner ocean of love and affection for all. ... Further, hereís a story of Dada Tapeshvarananda: In 1984 I was a Central worker. During a few days that the General Secretary was absent, I had the duty to give most of the reports to Baba. In the collective sessions, Baba gave me terrible punishment, as if the whole blame of the organizationís defects was mine. After one punishment I felt so wounded, both physically and mentally, that I wanted to distance myself from Him. I decided I would not sing Prabhat Samgiit, and that I would do only organizational work, since that was all He seemed to care about. So that night when Baba returned from fieldwalk, I intentionally avoided Him, and was not there for singing together with everyone else. I heard that Baba asked, ìWhere is Tapeshvarananda?î Someone answered, ìBaba, he was just here, but maybe he is busy somewhere.î After eating His dinner, He called me. I could not avoid, and had to go to His room. I did not look at Baba, and kept my eyes down while I answered His questions. He asked, ìHow did you like that song I gave yesterday, Tumi amar dhyaner dhyeyo? Did you learn it?î I was silent. ìYou cannot remember?î ìNo, Baba, I did not learn it.î ìWhatever you remember, even one or two lines, you sing.î Then I could not control my tears, and started crying. I said, ìBaba, I did not learn the song, I cannot remember any line.î ìWhy?î I could not reply. He said, ìYou see, I understand, you may feel that I only punish you, I only torture you. But you donít understand that when I am punishing you, my inner intention is not to torture you, but to purify you. You may feel externally that it is torture, that it is humiliation. But spiritual purification comes after suffering, torture and humiliation. 155

ìThe main enemy on the spiritual path is ego, and ego can be powedered only through these three processes of suffering, torture and

humiliation. You may feel bad, but you donít know how happy I am when I see that you are successfully passing all these sufferings and tortures, because bliss and the supreme Ananda comes only after that. Ultimately in the spiritual world, nothing is suffering. There is only you moving toward the spiritual bliss. ìDo you know why I asked you about that song? The last line says, ëI am weeping. Is that what You want? If that gives You pleasure, then I will go on weeping only for You.íî So after this big build-up about Babaís stricness, letís turn to what really happened today:] I had heard stories about reporting sessions before Baba, the punishment He metes out to his workers and the countless displays of His spiritual power and love; today I had my first real taste during a session with the education department. The drama went as follows: GENERAL SECRETARY [GS]: How many schools were started last month in your region? RANCHI REGIONAL SECRETARY: Three, Dada. BABA: Why only three? How many of your diocese secretaries are present here? REG. SECY.: Four, Baba. BABA (frowning and squinting): Then why not four schools? Nonsense, rascal. Who is the worker that didnít start a school? DIOCESE SECRETARY (stepping forward uneasily): Myself, Baba. BABA: Is there any justification for such gross inefficiency? DIO. SECY. (stammering): I try...tried my my best, Baba. BABA: Tried! Stupid. One does or does not do. To sincerely try is to do. So no need to keep the word try in your dictionary. Ranchi regional secretary, come forward! (The reg. secy. steps in front of Baba.) Due to your inadequate supervision, this jewel-of-a-boyís potentiality was not fully utilized. Hands up! (The reg. secy. lifts both arms straight up.) Animal! Only eating and sleeping! (Baba hits His stick against his side. The reg. secy. jumps up involuntarily.) Wasting your time and PERSONAL CONTACT 156 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER misguiding your workers.(Baba beats a him bit more, as the reg. secy. mutters ìBaba Babaî and leaps from side to side.) DIO. SECY. (moving closer to Baba): No, donít beat him, Baba! Itís my fault. BABA (pausing with the stick and speaking in a calm, dignified manner): No, itís not your fault. It is due to your supervisor. (He turns to the reg. secy. and strikes him again.) Idiot, lazy fellow! REG. SECY. (speaking to the dio. secy.): Say something concrete! DIO. SECY.: Baba, Iíll start a school within one month. BABA (hits the reg. secy. again): One month! One month! Do you think that the suffering humanity can wait for such listlessness and lethargy? DIO. SECY.: One week, Baba! Iíll start the school within one week! BABA (halting with the stick): Did you hear what the boy said, GS? GENERAL SECY: Yes, Baba. He said he will start a school in one week. BABA (taking out a handkerchief to wipe the sweat from His brow):

Yes, take a note. If a school is not started within one week, then further measures will be required. REG. SECY.: Baba, I will properly supervise him. BABA: Yesss... Surely most people would be horrified to see such a display of anger and force. But I was full of inspiration. Here was a man-making guru, capable of molding His disciples for the benefit of society. After leaving the room, the RS joked and laughed, his face suffused with joy, though the marks of the stick were still visible. It made me even more curious to know the inner effect of His stick. Later I got a chance to ask one senior worker how everyone tolerated Babaís abuse. He said, ìWe know from Tantraís long tradition that the guru has the responsibility to uplift his disciple from animallife to warrior-life to divine-life. To achieve this, the guruís behavior will have to fluctuate between extremely bitter and extremely sweet. And it varies for each disciple. ìMore importantly, Baba instructed us how to deal with subordinate workers. He said that for every ten parts of strictness we use, we must give at least eleven parts of love. In His case I feel like all the 157

strictness He employs cannot compare with His boundless love. Babaís existence is only for us. He does nothing for Himself. It doesnít matter if someone else believes Iím right or wrong about Baba, because thatís my daily experience. Thatís why no amount of severe punishment can shake my relationship with Him.î After the Dada left I remembered a story I had heard about Swami Shivananda. One of his disciples once asked him a question, ìGuruji, your teaching is beautiful for all of us who are practicing yoga and meditation. Your mission also benefits thousands of sick people who come to our medical clinics. But what about the rest of the human society, the millions and billions who suffer from poverty, ignorance and injustice? Can you not do something for them? Can you not please guide us to help the entire society?î Shivanandaji answered, ìWe must only help the rest of suffering humanity indirectly. To serve them directly would require a vast organization which would crumble under its own weight. My workers would quarrel with each other and destroy whatever was created. No, I am not the man to do that work.î I believe that Babaís greatest contribution to history is the creation of a Tantric organization to serve the entire human society, an organization based on renunciate workers. Because renunciates prefer to live outside of normal social disciplines, the subtlest psychology is required in training us. More importantly, we have to overcome our petty differences. We have to move together as one great family. For this purpose, Baba belittles our egos by chastising us, and encourages our souls to unfold by loving us. Awakening latent qualities I did not have to wait long for my own personal experience. Today I, too, felt the touch of His stick. BABA: What is your post? ME: Regional Secretary, Stockholm and Oslo Regions, Baba. BABA: How many new kindergartens or primary schools did you open in the last one month?

ME (feeling very proud): Two kindergartens, Baba. BABA: And in that same period how many permanent welfare centers did you start? PERSONAL CONTACT 158 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ME: Ah, none, Baba. BABA: Do you think the number is adequate? ME: No, Baba. BABA: Are you proud of your work? ME: No, Baba. BABA: Should we all praise you? ME: No, Baba. You should punish me. BABA: Yes, you deserve punishment. Hands up! (I raise my hands. Baba strikes me on my right side. I am surprised by the intensity of the pain and jump slightly.) Are you properly utilizing your time as a worker? ME: No, Baba. (As He goes on hitting, I involuntarily think, Baba loves me. He is doing this only because He cares for me. Both my mind and body settle down as I look into His eyes. Instead of reflecting anger, those eyes are compassionate.) I will do better, Baba, much better. BABA: What does he say, GS? GENERAL SECRETARY: He says he will do much better, Baba. BABA (switching over to hitting me on my left side): This reply is not sufficient. ME (Though the pain is real, I feel my mind diving deeper into Him.): I shall work every second of every minute, Baba. (More blows) I will not think for my own petty self. I will become an ideal man. BABA (turning the edges of His mouth upward, His cheeks dimpling): GS, he does want to be a good boy. Yes. (Waving His stick toward the side of the room) Go, stand there on the side. I went and joined the Dadas who had already received treatment. Amazingly, the intense pain was almost completely gone. Rather, I was feeling overwhelmed with the strong desire to serve humanity to my utmost capacity. And my affection for Baba was so strong that it seemed to be physically pressing out against my breast. Right, not wrong Mahindra used to serve as one of Babaís bodyguards. When he heard that I had just begun to experience the stick, he told me a story from the time that Baba was in jail: My old friend, Awadhanath Prasad begged me to arrange a meeting with Baba. He told me he had done something bad with a lady who 159

worked in fields under his supervision. He had committed other sins too. When we entered His cell, Baba immediately yelled at Awadhanath, ìWhy did you come? Animal, pig!î ìI came due to Mahindra.î ìMahindra, why did you bring this nasty boy?î ìBaba, please help him.î ìBring me my stick.î I looked around cell but I couldnít find Babaís stick, so I borrowed the constableís and gave it to Baba. Right there in front of prison guards, Baba beat Awadhanath. Then He told him to rub his nose on floor, which he did until it bled.

Afterward, when we went outside, the CID [Central Intelligence Department] wanted Awadhanath to file a case against Baba for beating him but he refused. ìHe is my guru! What He did was right, not wrong!î After that he became a completely pure and exemplary man. He now spends all his spare time doing social service. Power comes from difficulties Margiis and workers are present from all over the world. Just think! When Baba was arrested in December, 1971, there were Margiis in only five countries. Now, seven years later, Ananda Marga is active in over eighty countries. The Tantric guru and his disciples always gain power from their difficulties. Every effort made by the Gandhi regime to destroy Ananda Marga eventually resulted in strengthening our mission. This reminds me of two statements Baba made while still in prison. The first was during the emergency rule, when He was convicted by a kangaroo court and sentenced to life imprisonment. In that seemingly darkest of moments, He turned to His attorney, smiled, and wrote on His message board: ìNow the tables will turn.î42 Soon after, Indira Gandhi lost her power, and our workers and Baba were vindicated. The other occurred at the end of the emergency, when the ban against Ananda Marga was lifted and our workers were released from For many months during His imprisonment, due to the after-effects of his poisoning, Baba was unable to speak; He communicated by writing. 42

PERSONAL CONTACT 160 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

jail. Many of them had undergone great suffering. This was especially true of those who the authorities had physically and psychically punished in an effort to obtain written denunciations of Ananda Marga. Babaís comment at that time was ìThe workers have passed through the blazing crucible. Their iron has been forged into steel. Previously they (Gandhi and others) believed Ananda Marga to be a dangerous baby snake. Now, thanks to them, it has become a fully grown snake.î ...... Stockholm. After working as the Scandinavian regional secretary for nearly three years, I have now been transferred. My posting is to a section which previously did not exist outside of India: Volunteers Service Department or SD. Today I begin my duties as the European Chief Secretary of SD. The programs of SD include physical social services for the needy, survival training, security, relevant higher philosophy, and training in basic service-skills such as first aid. Among the means for providing this training are weekend SD camps, which also encourage collective discipline and unity through group exercises. In addition to all of this is a sub-section called Spiritualistsí Sports and Adventures Club. I think Iím going to enjoy this new job. 161

CHAPTER 9

Kapalika Meditation Avadhuta

Calcutta. Today I was informed that Baba is considering my application to become an avadhuta.43 What is the meaning of avadhuta?

Ancient scriptures give the following differing descriptions: * Avadhutas and avadhutikas have given up lust for worldly things; their speech is simple and straightforward, and they always live in the present. * Though their bodies may be smeared with dust, their minds are always pure. Even if they do not care much for meditation or concentration, they are always in the state of Cosmic Thought. Since becoming acharya, I had been working as a brahmacarii, i.e. a monk who teaches the six basic lessons of meditation. I had not yet learned a higher Tantric meditation, called kapalika, which is taught only by Baba directly. This meditation is performed in a graveyard or cremation ground between the hours of midnight and 3:00 AM, at least once monthly during the time of the new moon. The eerie, death-shrouded atmosphere helps to manifest oneís latent fears and baser instincts while the lonely silence encourages deep concentration. By this practice, the aspirant rapidly gains control over the lower self. At this time, Baba also gives the initiation which follows the brahmacarii stage, called avadhuta (or avadhutika for Didis). In Ananda Marga, the brahmacarii wears an orange shirt, orange turban, and a white lungi (sarong) or pants, while the avadhuta wears an orange turban, orange shirt and orange lungi. The uniform is a compromise with the pressing need of modern society for such workers; historically an avadhuta was a naked yogi covered only by ashes, unattached to pleasure and pain, and rarely, if ever, was seen in society. In India, the word Kapalika is much misunderstood. Many people believe it refers to black-magic left-hand Tantrics who appear totally wild: drinking wine, eating human flesh, engaging in sexual rituals, and so on. It is nothing other than an injustice to the Tantric tradition when people act in this way and claim to be kapalikas. 43

KAPALIKA MEDITATION 162 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

* They have given up thoughts concerned with solid, liquid, luminous, aerial or ethereal factors. They do not fear death, nor are they controlled by the darkness of ego. * They are free from all worldly fetters. Their lives are pure from beginning, middle, to end. They always remain in the state of bliss. * They have no attachment, even for such qualities as patience and courage. They worship neither Shiva (Consciousness) nor Shakta (Primal Energy), but remain absorbed in the ideation of Brahma (infinite God), like a second Maheshvara (a name of Shiva, father of Tantra). During the seven years of Babaís imprisonment no worker became avadhuta because the initiation required privacy. Furthermore, in the seven thousand years since Shiva founded the Tantric cult no non-Asian has learned the kapalika practice. Thus something special, something new, is in the works. The test Four of the candidates being considered by Him are non-Indian. He called us individually into His room. We were told that He would test our readiness for the kapalika training. It was different than any test Iíve undergone. Iíll explain only part of it. He called me first. As with Personal Contact, I was alone with Him. But whereas before He sat in a comfortable unassuming posture, this time He was erect, permeated by an intense transcendentality (how else to describe that mood?). As He spoke, the images He described became as real as the room itself. ìYou are in the cremation ground in the dead of the night...î He said, a fire burning in His eyes, ìeverything hides behind a blanket of darkness ... vultures flap their wings ... a muggy breeze shivers your spine ... from some unknown corner echoes ëhooot ... hooot ... hoootíówill you be afraid?î ìNo, Baba.î

ìVery good,î He brought His solemn face close to mine. ìAnd if you plunge deep, deep down into silence ... only leaves minutely rustling in the breath of shadows ... your heart beats slowly ... slowly ... slowly ... when suddenly! what hey? scores of faces, nay, skulls are all upon you! raining like arrows on your head! scowling, grating their teeth, hissing, wailing!ówill you be afraid?î 163

ìNo, Baba.î ìVery good. But, then, how will my boy react if I tell him to take off his clothes and move in the streets without inhibition? Will he do it?î ìYes, Baba.î ìThen, go and do it. Now.î Immediately without a flick of hesitation, I stood up and started for the door. As my hand reached the door handle, He said, ìStop!î I turned and faced Him. ìVery good. Very good. Now tell me ... how many blades are in that fan?î In that moment nothing could have been more strange than such a common question! I looked up at the ceiling-fanóthe blades turned lazily, barely merging into each other. I tried to count them. ìI think...there may be three, Baba.î ìYou think, or you know?î ìI...I...think, Baba.î ìThe answer is wrong. You should have said, ëBaba, may I turn the fan off so that I can properly count the blades?íî I laughed, while He smiled broadly. The ìtestî was finished. He placed His hand on my head, then I embraced Him, and reluctantly left, an extraordinary energy vibrating through every vertebrae of my spine. ...... Next day. We four were given the thick ìSenior Acharya Diaryî today and told to copy it. After doing so, we must pass the senior acharya exam, another prerequisite before receiving kapalika initiation. For various reasons the time is short, so thereís no time for sleep until the copying is finished. Then we will have to cram for the exam. ...... Two days later. It was 4:00 a.m., and we were immersed in the endless copying. Dada J dropped his pen, and still mindlessly went on writing with his finger. A little later when he fell off his chair, his shocked expression made us split our sides laughing. ...... Two days later. I am in the biggest hurry, because I, alone among the four, must attend a workersí meeting in Delhi on the 11th. Before that I must pass the exam, which covers not only the material in the KAPALIKA MEDITATION 164 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER diary (which I finally finished copying today), but also all the material in Babaís book Yogic Treatment, and advanced spiritual and social philosophy. I started taking the test today, but the examiner failed me right away because I had not memorized any of the Sanskrit shlokas in the diary. There are forty shlokas, each having at least four lines. I wonder how I can manage it. ......

Next day. So far I have only been able to memorize seven shlokas. So I failed again. My mind seems blocked. Perhaps itís due to exhaustion. ...... Next day. This morning my mind inexplicably shifted into cosmic gear. Within forty minutes I had memorized the remaining thirty-three shlokas. I was amazed, having never before experienced this sort of phenomenal mental power. The examiner, however, didnít seem surprised. After passing me on the shlokas, he went on to the other subjects, and one by one I passed them. In the evening, Dada Tadbhavananda (a senior worker) who was scheduled to fly with me to Delhi came to the room and spoke to the examiner. ìYouíve got to pass this boy quickly or weíll miss our flight.î ìDonít try to pressure me,î said the examiner nonchalantly. ìNow finally letís turn to Caryacarya.î44 ìWhat!î I exclaimed. ìI didnít know weíd be examined on Caryacarya. How about just forgetting it, Dadaji?î I hadnít studied the book at all. ìI wonít make exceptions for anyone.î Suddenly the electricity went out. ìSomeone find some candles,î the examiner said. We all searched around, but couldnít find any. ìHey, youíve got to pass him now!î said Tadbhavanandaji to the examiner. ìNothing doing.î A few minutes passed, and still no candle appeared. ìFor Godís sake,î yelled Tadbhavanandaji, ìweíve got to leave this minute for the airport!î 44

Caryacarya is a book on social and spiritual functions

165

ìAlright...î said the examiner, grudgingly. ìGive me your diary.î I gave him the book and heard him scratch his signature in the dark. A few seconds later the electricity came on again, just as suddenly as it had gone out. Our eyes blinked in the bright light. ìVictory to Baba!î roared Tadbhavanandaji. ìBabaís grace. The taxiís waiting!î Yes, it was a novel sort of grace that made the lights fail instead of me. A special kind of attention Delhi. Although it was only two months since I last saw Baba, it seemed like two eons. I had an extreme desire to see Him again. Because there were only about fifteen persons this morning when He walked into the room to give His talk, it seemed almost a private audience. He sat in the chair which was immediately in front of me. We all sat on the floor looking up at Him expectantly. He gazed at each of us before speaking, with one exception: me. Baba, look at me, I thought. But He did not. Instead He started speaking. Usually while speaking He rarely looks at anyone. But this morning He smilingly turned His face right and left, melting each heart with His affectionate and highly personal glances. But He didnít look at me. Why? I thought. Did I do something wrong? Although He spoke in English, I was so perturbed by His behavior that I couldnít understand a single word. His tender, doe-like eyes rested

momentarily on each and every face, but when He turned His gaze toward the center, He either lowered or raised His eyes just when He was about to look at me. Iíve done some horrible sin, I thought. The anxiety made my head warm. Perhaps ... perhaps it was those harsh words to my office secretary? No, noóthat wasnít very serious. Perhaps it was because I ate sweets unnecessarily? Ah, but He hardly cares for that... It went on and on: everyone thrilling to the play of His eyes, His refusing to look at me, and my speculations continuing to bubble, heating my spine, tensing my body. What great offense had I committed in these last two months? My thoughts tripped over each other, trying to find the answer. Though the air wasnít hot, and everyone was comfortable in the fanís breeze, I was sweating and shaking, feeling hotter and KAPALIKA MEDITATION 166 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER more confused with each passing moment. My thinking galloped at such a pace that it went out of control. My head burned and my heart ached as I stared at this indifferent Baba, tears coming out of my eyes, wondering, wondering. Suddenly a single thought burst out through the forest of confusion (and these were the exact words): That He ignores me is in itself a special kind of attention. Before the meaning of this sentence could even register in my brain, Baba interrupted His speech, sharply swiveled His head around, turned His face directly toward mine, and smiled. I distinctly heard Him say, ìYes,î though His lips didnít form the word. He kept His eyes glued on mine for a long momentóperhaps five or ten seconds. Gradually the significance of His message sunk into me, and I smiled back, mentally telling Him, Oh itís beautiful, Baba. Thank you. By the time He resumed His speech, my soul was swimming in relief and joy. After Baba left the room, several of the workers and Margis who noticed what had happened came to me, and asked, ìWhy did Baba treat you like that today?î I told them what I had experienced, then added, ìAs to why I was graced with this lesson today, I donít know. But I hope to remember forever that when Iím feeling alone and neglected, even then, especially then, He is giving me exactly what I need.î Dada Shraddhanandaís dry smile During an official workersí meeting at which Baba was not present, a serious discussion was held concerning the twenty-eight departments of ìAnanda Marga Generalî. Eventually we came to Tribal & Backward Peopleís Welfare Section (TBPW). One Dada from Berlin Sector said, ìIn my sector there are very few countries having tribal people. Yet we receive general targets from Center applicable for all regions. How are we to respond to TBPW targets in those countries without tribal people?î There was silence as the workers from Center were thinking what to reply. Then the eldest worker of our mission, Dada Shraddhananda (about 70 years old), said in a dry voice, ìIn those countries where there are no tribal and backward people, the first work of the TBPW section will be to create tribal and backward people.î 167

In that sober atmosphere, it took a few moments for us to catch his

point. Then we all roared with laughter.45 Wise, wiser, wisest Patna. After completing the Delhi workersí meeting, Baba traveled to Patna, and we four followed Him. We are still waiting for confirmation on the kapalika training. Meanwhile, we are attending the workersí meetings with Baba. During such meetings, Baba commonly singles out one worker for scoldings. Although the targeted worker gains the greatest benefit, we all gain some psychic profit by witnessing these scenes. After all, it is His duty to help us diminish our complexes of fear, shame, inferiority, superiority and so on. The past few days it was usually Dada T who received His tongue-lashings. (Though T is a senior worker, and recognized as one of our best, he nevertheless becomes as nervous as anyone when bearing the brunt of Babaís ìvenomî. This in itself I find amazing, because outside of such sessions, T is a superbly confident manóhow skillful Baba is in drawing out our deepest hidden instincts.) In front of about sixty workers, T was instructed to give his work-done report. Fully expecting to be rebuked somehow, he was uneasy even before starting to speak. He stood on Babaís left side, reading aloud, ìAh ... Baba ... today the tri-offices were increased by seven ... rather ... yesterday there were 186 block-level tri-offices ... and today there are 194, ah ... excuse me 192 ... and regarding bi-offices ...î This entry is included to give a glimpse into a lesser known aspect of Dada Shraddhananda, who later became Ananda Marga president in 1990. He once told me that Baba personally taught him many things on the science of humor, and that he was thinking to compose a booklet on the subject. Over the years, I occasionally asked him when he would write that booklet, but he never had time. Some months ago, I again asked him about writing that booklet, but he avoided responding. Instead he switched the subject by saying, ìI once met a man living in a very cold region north of India. I was curious about his daily lifestyle, so I asked him about his usual time of prayer, what sort of clothes people there commonly wore, what sort of food he ate, what times he rose in the morning and retired in the evening, and so on. When I asked him when he usually took his bath, he replied, ëI usually take my bath in May or June.íî Anyway, if he would ever grab a few hours to make a draft of the booklet, I would offer to edit it. 45

KAPALIKA MEDITATION 168 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

Baba squinted His eyes, contorted his upper lip, scratched His head, and, looking to His right at His personal assistant, said in a high nasal tone, ìWhatís this? What does he have for a head? What say you? Does he have a brick for a head? Doesnít he know how to speak?î Dada T was sweating profusely. Closing His eyes, Baba motioned at him using a limp left index finger, and said, ìGo on. Go on. Donít waste the time of all these fine gentlemen here.î I was sitting immediately in front of Baba, about two feet from Him. It may sound cruel, but I was thoroughly enjoying the drama. In any case, it was for our development. ìAh ... well ... regarding bi-offices,î said T, ìin 10,337 blocks there were 178 covered today ... ah ... rather yesterday ... bringing the percentage to 2% ... and today ...î Baba yawned politely but conspicuously, then gave a wink and a smile toward the workers on His right. ì... and today ... there is an increase of seven, bringing the percentage

to 2% ... what? ... yes, itís still 2% ...î Baba creased His cheeks into dimples as if He would smile, but frowned simultaneouslyóincongruous and thus humorous for usóturned toward T and said bitingly, ìArraay, read your report correctly. You are wiser enough.î Immediately I thought, ìWiser? Baba should have said, ëYou are wise enoughí.î Like a rubber band snapping back, He turned His face to the front and thrust it into mine, saying, ìWiserónot wise. Wiser than you!î He had caught my thought precisely! I exploded into laughter and could not stop laughing for several seconds. Two Dadas tried to restrain me, but Baba clenched His teeth together, turned the corners of His lips into a tight smile, jutted His chin out and nodded knowingly at me, making the whole scene all the more jocular. He affects us, He helps us, He loves us with even the slightest moves He makes, and with each word He speaks. Seeing God We are staying at the home of an Indian lawyer, Ranjan Dwivedi, and his American wife Parashakti, both of whom are great devotees of 169

Baba. Early this morning, Parashakti told us the Baba-dream she had last night. ìI was sitting in an auditorium in the middle of an audience, and just next to me sat Baba. On the stage, different spiritual groups were demonstrating their techniques of meditation. ìThe man representing the first group closed his eyes and began meditating. Within moments, his body was vibrating, rotating in circles, and making slight jumping movements. At the same time he made grunting sounds. ìI turned to Baba, and said, ëBaba, why canít we experience that with our meditation?í He didnít reply, but only smiled at me with a glint in His eyes. ìThe next man began meditating, and soon he was levitating high above the table on which he had been sitting. ìI looked at Baba and complained, ëBaba, that never happens to us in our meditation.í Again, no response except a glint in His eyes. ìThe third man breathed rapidly, shook violently, and fell backward, banging his head on the table. He lay there in a trance. Several persons carefully picked him up and carried him through the aisle of the audience, moving toward the exit. Before they could take more than two or three steps, the man awoke, sat up and exclaimed, ìIíve seen God! Iíve seen God!î ìI said to Baba, ëThis is too much, Baba. Why canít we have such visions?í ìAs the group carrying the man passed by us, he was still saying, ëIíve seen God! Iíve seen God!í Then his eyes suddenly lit up brightly as he said, ëAnd there He is!í He pointed at Baba, again saying, ëThere He is!í ìThatís when I woke up. Well, Dadas, what do you think of that?î she said. We smiled glintingly. ......

While Baba was in jail, Parashakti met Him many times. She had also spoken to most of the other visiting Margis and workers. We asked her to tell us about some of the extraordinary incidents that occurred during those visits. One of the stories went like this: A Margi from Africa was in a visiting group. He had an intense desire to hear Baba speak his native language, Swahili. Baba talked in KAPALIKA MEDITATION 170 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER turn with each of the Margis present in His cell. When he came to this brother and asked a question, the brother replied in standard Swahili. Baba said, ìEh? What did you say?î The brother had to change his reply into English. After more conversation with everyone, Baba asked him another question, and he again replied in Swahili. Again Baba feigned not to understand. Finally, when the guards announced that the time was finished and everyone was offering their respects to Baba, the Margi approached Baba with folded hands, begging, ìPlease, Baba say something in Swahili!î Baba smiled at him and said in that brotherís exact local dialect of Swahili, ìI am a stupid person. How can I speak in Swahili?î Mental yo-yo Yesterday morning the General Secretary told us, ìWait at the Dwivediís house. It is likely Baba will call you for kapalika initiation today.î Today was the last possible day remaining for us to learn the kapalika, because it requires at least three days practice after initiation, and we must leave for Europe in four days. We did nothing but wait all day. The clock struck 7:00 p.m. Soon Babaís evening darshan (spiritual talk) would start, and if we went on waiting we would miss that also. We put on our turbans and were preparing to leave just as a motorcycle roared up the driveway. ìWhere have you good-for-nothings been?î yelled Dada Ramananda, Babaís personal assistant. ìBaba has been requesting to see you since 5:00! Nonsense! Now itís too late.î And he was off before we could even comment. Of all the injustices! We had simply followed the order of the General Secretary, and now were being severely penalized. ìWhat shall we do now?î asked one Dada. ìGo to Babaís darshan?î ìBabaís darshan is every night,î said another. ìBut as long as thereís the slightest chance that Baba might teach us kapalika, I think we should still try.î We all agreed and set out for His house. Just as we arrived at Babaís house, He came out of His door, walking toward the car. We ran up to Him, and did prostration at His feet. ìOh itís those scoundrels. I waited for them since 5:00. They wasted my valuable time. The buggers.î The car-door slammed, and He drove away. ìAt this rate weíll never receive initiation,î said one Dada. 171

ìItís just His game,î I replied. ìHeíll play it however He likes. Thereís no value in being anxious.î I canít explain why, but I did not care when or whether we might learn the kapalika. If He wanted to teach me I wanted to learnóotherwise not. We were still talking in this vein when again we heard the sound of His car. ìStrange!î someone said. ìThe darshanís over so quickly.î

The car parked, and Baba stepped out. He spoke in Bengali to those with Him. As He came a little nearer to us, though He pretended not to be speaking to us four, He changed to English and said, ìA completely unacceptable arrangement. Due to this carelessness the darshan had to be canceled! A most pitiable condition. A shame and a sham.î The others walked with their heads down, playing the embarrassed role. When He was close enough, we again did prostration, and He said, ìWhat, these boys are still here?î Our hopes lifted... ìHave they not done enough harm?î ...and then shattered. ìI waited for them since 5:00, and they didnít even have the common courtesy to respond to my call. Wasting my time. Nonsense, nonsense.î We were still laying there when He entered the house. ìWeíve got no chance,î said one Dada. ìOn the contrary,î said another, ìHe may have canceled the darshan and disappointed 700 or 800 people just so He would have time to teach us.î A minute later we were called into Babaís room. He lay on His bed, being massaged by a local family-acharya. After we did our prostrations, Baba began to speak in a serious tone. ìI summoned you boys here for the purpose of telling you I wonít be able to teach you the kapalika since you were so undisciplined not to come at the scheduled time.î Now up, now downóHe was playing our minds like yo-yos. There was an awkward silence as we hesitated between leaving and ... and what? I struggled hard to think how to get us out of this quandary. One Dada spoke slowly, ìAh ... Baba, excuse me ...î Baba sat up slightly, as if He were waiting for this, saying, ìYes, yes, what do you want to say?î ìAh ... I donít mean to put anyone else in trouble, but we were instructed to wait in Ranjan Dwivediís house until a messenger conveyed your call. No one came until 7:00.î KAPALIKA MEDITATION 172 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Now even Baba looked hopeful, saying, ìYes, it may be, it may be. Perhaps Ramanandaji was so busy that the matter passed him by.î He turned to the acharya massaging His feet, and asked, ìWhat do you think? Shall I believe them and instruct them the kapalika?î Coming out of a deep concentration on the right foot, the acharya, eyes misted by his mood, said, ìMy thought, Baba? Oh, I think you should not teach them.î I was shocked. Though I highly respect this Dada, at that moment I felt like grabbing him by the shirt, shaking him hard and yelling, ìWhat kind of stupidity are you speaking?î But I did nothing. Meanwhile, he calmly scrutinized us. ìPerhaps you are correct,î Baba said. ìPerhaps. But we should be sure. Hold the big toe of my right foot.î The acharya complied. ìNow what do you think?î Baba asked. ìThey are telling the truth, Baba.î ìAlright,î He said. ìI accept your judgment.î He turned to us. ìBut you boys here, are you interested to learn?î We gave the obvious reply. He dismissed the acharya from the room

and we got down to business. As to the initiation itself, there is little to sayóit is secret. I can only comment that for the next two hours that room, for me, became transmuted into the infinite macrocosm saturated with mystic potency, outside of which nothing existed. Baba told us that during the initial three daysí practice we would burn 50% of our reactive momenta concerned with fear, shame and hatred; after which we would have to work on the remaining halfówhich explains why those who learn kapalika appear undeniably brighter from the very first week ...... We performed our first kapalika meditation at midnight. When we came back, Dada Ramananda was waiting for us. According to Babaís instruction, he gave us our new names. I am now called Acharya Dharmavedananda Avadhuta. Veda means ìdeep knowledgeî. So, as Baba later told me, Dharmavedananda means ìhe who attains the supreme beatitude through deep knowledge of the path of righteousness.î 173

At that time there were four such centers in the world: Benares, Nepal, the Philippines and Sweden. The Sweden program had been started several years before by Dada Dhrtibodhananda. The training center in Nepal has since been closed and new ones opened in Africa and India. 46

CHAPTER 10

Empowered

I become a different man

Ydrefors, Sweden, 1979. Today I took up my temporary duties here as acharya trainer.46 Dada Dhrtibodhananda has been reposted back to India. His replacement will come ìas soon as possibleîóbut exactly who that will be and when is unclear. In the meantime, I am to keep the ship afloat. We have two buildings, five minutes walk apart from each other, which separately house the sisters and brothersóabout forty trainees total, mostly from Europe, North America and South America. We are deep in a lonely but beautiful forest in southern Sweden, idyllic for meditation and self-development. Just after I arrived, I was sitting with Dada Dhrtibodhananda, and a senior avadhuta, Dada K. There was a knock on the door and a German trainee entered, looking sad and confused. ìExcuse me, Dadas ... I want to go home,î he said. ìI for my mother worry...î ìYes, alright...,î began Dhrtibodhanandaji. ìSorry for interrupting you,î I said softly, ìbut now I am the trainer, so Iíll have to handle the matter.î I turned to the trainee. ìPlease wait outside, and Iíll call you. I came only five minutes ago, so I need a bit of time.î He went out and shut the door. EMPOWERED 174 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìDonít imagine that thereís any way that brother can become an acharya,î said Dada K. ìBetter to release him immediately. This talk of his mother is just an excuse; he knows very well that the organization is ready to look after her needs. He simply feels insecure.î ìYes, heís been depressed for days now,î said Dhrtibodhanandaji,

ìIím sure heís finished.î ìI respect you both highly,î I said. ìBut whether I like it or not, Baba has now entrusted me with this duty. So I shall see for myself when I speak to him.î ìTry if it pleases you,î said Dada K, ìbut thereís no hope.î I was feeling different than I had ever felt in my life. The change was both odd and sudden. From the moment Iíd arrived, there had been a kind of buzzing in my brain, though my perception was sharp, abnormally sharp. (As I write these words, it is now late night, and the buzzing continues. For the first time in my life I feel in total command of myself, able to follow perfectly all our disciplines, both physical and mental. It is clear that He has directly empowered me with the capacity to properly guide these trainees. I am a different man now.) We continued speaking for half an hour, then I left the room to deal with the German brother. He was sitting on a bench with his head between his knees. I had met him several times before. I remembered that he was sometimes high-strung and at other times very calmóan independent type, with a character of his own. I put my hand on his back and said in a low voice, ìBrother...î He raised his head. His eyes were red, and tears were streaming down his face. ìDadaji, please ... let me leave....î His voice choked. ìI wonít stop you from going. But...î My head was empty. Abruptly a thought appeared. ìBut first consider one simple question: will Baba be happy if you leave?î He stared at me. After a moment, his crying stopped, and he said, ìNo, He wouldnít like it.î ìThen, what do you really want to do? Do you want to please Him, or do you want to do something else?î ìOf course I want to please Him.î ìThen, how about staying another few days? You can leave anytime, but once youíre gone itís difficult to come back.î 175

ìOkay,î he said, sitting straight. ìIíll stay. At least for a few days.î47 The Problem-Maker is also the Solution-Giver Circ*mstances compelled the two Dadas to leave rather hastily so I was unable to get a comprehensive picture of the trainees or the training center. I called in the office secretary and asked him how much money we had in the account. ìIím sorry, Dada. I donít have any money.î ìWhat do you mean? Is there no money here?î ìWell, if you donít have any, and I donít have any, then maybe there isnít any,î he said grinning. A typical response of a devoteeóto smile in the face of a giant problem. ìYeah, well, thanks,î I said. ìPlease leave me for a while so I can think.î I sat alone looking at the walls of my room. But I didnít feel alone. My head was still buzzing pleasantly, and I had the uncanny feeling that I was inside Babaís breast. I felt pure, unafraid, and sure that He would solve any and every problem. This roomís messy, I thought. Before thinking of anything, I should clean it up.

After working for an hour, I opened a cupboard. It was full of the traineesí legal documents and other personal effects. While putting these in order I came upon a wallet stuffed with 700 Swedish kroner. There was no identification. Could this be Babaís little help? I thought. I questioned the trainees but no one knew its owner. Thanks. But of course thatís only a start. ...... Two days later. This morning a Norwegian brother approached me. ìDadaji, I need your advice. A few weeks ago the postman delivered 4000 kroner to me. But when he wrote up the account, instead of subtracting the amount, he added it. So, I now hold a credit for 8000 kroner. What should I do?î The proof of this pudding lies not only in the fact that he later became acharya, but that presently, i.e., more than ten years later, as an avadhuta, he is a top-class worker named Dada Vijaksarananda. 47

EMPOWERED 176 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

I started laughing and he joined me, guffawing with gusto. ìUsually I would inform the post office of their mistake,î I said. ìBut in this case we better not make it too hard for Baba to help us tide over our little crisis. If they want to give the money, Iím willing to temporarily accept it ó and pay it back to the post office later. If such an act causes me to undergo some negative reaction for the benefit of the training center ó so be it.î And so our piggy-bank became full. ...... Three days later. ìDadaji,î said an American trainee, ìI never expected a tax rebate from last year, but today 9000 kroner arrived for me. Please take it for the training center.î A bit excessive grace, Baba, but ... whatís that You say? ... no, itís no problem, no problem. Weíll be glad to accept it... (After all, you never know if tomorrow Heíll enjoy Himself thoroughly by smashing our car or something like that.) Tantric cows Every time I walk between the brothersí and sistersí training centers, I get a supra-aesthetic thrill from the landscape. On one side of the street is a dense forest, packed with eerie vibes. On the other side, adjacent to the brothersí house, is a large cow pasture, which is dotted with giant boulders of interesting shapes that I can only label Tantric. I feel so happy here. The cows, too, are special. Whenever the brothers sing kiirtan, all twenty cows mosey over toward our house and crowd themselves in the tiny corner of the pasture which is closest to the meditation room. There they remain chewing their cuds for the duration of each kiirtan, even daily akhanda kiirtan.48 Akhanda means long. Akhanda kiirtan is always performed in multiples of three hours, for example 3, 6, 9, 12, or 24 hours. There is no limit to how long it continues. The dancers participate according to their interest, or in some cases certain groups are assigned certain times. Generally, everyone who participates becomes greatly inspired by the end of akhanda kiirtan. It is common that new meditators who have never been able to concentrate effectively will come to know for the first time what a tranquil mind feels like during long kiirtan. Even physical problems and difficult mental problems are often mysteriously overcome through the immense positive energy generated by akhanda kiirtan. 48

177

Thought becomes matter

Today while eating lunch in my room, I opened my closet to get some corn chips but unfortunately they were finished. I wish I had some more chips, I thought. Immediately there was a knock at the door. ìCome in.î ìDadaji, I just came back from collection (of donations from the food shops in nearby towns), and I thought you might like these.î He held out ten bags of corn chips. ...... Next day. While resting in my room today, I was thinking, The scene here is perfect. Not only am I content in being able to follow yogic discipline and morality in detailóalso my meditation is first-class, I get more than enough spiritual company, time for studying and discussing philosophy, excitement and drama (at least one or two of the trainees face some sort of personal crisis daily), maximum kiirtan, a beautiful environment, and excellent food. There must be something Iím missing here ... for example, there must be some food Iím not getting ... well, itís true thereís no dried fruits. Then I left for the sistersí house to give a class. As I walked in their door, a visitor, Didi Ananda Prajina greeted me. ìDada, I expected to go to India, but my plans have changed. I was going to bring this with me to give to some Didis, but now Iíd like to give it to you.î She handed me a three kilogram bag of raisins. ...... Next day. Tonight, before going out to do my kapalika meditation, I thought that it would be nice to eat something a little special to prepare for tomorrowís fasting. Of course there was nothing but the usual stuff. Then I went to the graveyard together with trainee Dhyanesh. When we came back, it was 1:30 a.m. Everyone was sleeping except Dhyanesh and I. Again I had the same thought, It would be nice to have something a little special, but.... Immediately Dhyanesh said, ìDadaji, would you like to have something a little special?î I laughed. But instead of telling him the cause of my reaction, I said, ìSure. But I suppose thereís nothing but the usual stuff.î EMPOWERED 178 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER He raised his eyebrows, saying, ìWell, I was on collection today. Perhaps youíd like to see what I saved in a cupboard in the kitchen.î He ran off, only to come back a minute later with a honey-dew melon and two packages of vanilla eclairs covered in whipped cream. ìOnly at this time of the year do the Swedes make these special cream cakes,î he said. ...... Two days later. Between breakfast and lunch on the day after fasting I usually drink a lot of water. Just before leaving my room to go to the sisterís house for class this morning, I thought, They never offer me more than one glass of lemon-water. Rather than ask for more, I thought it would be better to drink some extra water before I left. When I arrived at their house, I took my seat. In front of me, where they had always placed one cup of lemon-water, there were two cups. I was

shocked. I pointed at the cups, mumbling, ìTwo ... thereís two....î It wasnít just a matter of two cupsórather, it was my sudden realization that any slightest whim Iíd had over the last few days had been immediately fulfilled. ìWhatís the matter, Dadaji?î said one sister. ìI thought perhaps one glass of lemon-water was not enough for you, so thereís also a glass of fresh apple juice.î ìNo, no. Itís good,î I said. ìThank you very much.î Thatís what I said. But what I thought was: Occult power. The power to immediately get whatever I desire. I must not use it. From this moment on, as long as I am trainer, I shall not permit myself to wish for anything. Occult powers are a dangerous temptation on the spiritual path. While the Avidya Tantrics (black magicians) aim for such powers, we Vidya Tantrics steer clear of them. Our goal is only to serve God.49 Avidya is the extroversial or centrifugal force causing attraction for external objects; it leads to ignorance or illusion. Avidya Tantra consists of practices designed for the attainment of occult powers. Vidya is the introversial or centripetal force which causes attraction to the Supreme Nucleus; it leads to knowledge, understanding or correct perception. Vidya Tantra consists of practices which help the aspirant surrender to God, and ultimately become one with God. Vidya Tantra says: Morality is the base, intuition the means, and life divine the goal. 49

179

Grace in the form of pain

Over the last few days I have kept my mind free from the slightest unnecessary wish. But today another problem arose. Shortly before a 24-hour kiirtan was to finish, I was standing in my room. From nowhere, and without any apparent cause, a sharp pain stabbed within my stomach. I sat down, but the pain continued. I laid down, but it grew worse. Since I had to end the 24 hour kiirtan, I reluctantly left my room to join the trainees. When we sat for collective meditation I pulled myself into the corner where no one would see me sitting in agony with my knees doubled against my chest. My suffering only increased. Worst of all, at the end of the meditation I would have to give an inspirational talk. How could I manage? The moment came to speak, and as soon as I began, the pain instantly disappeared. I told spiritual and humorous stories for forty-five minutes. Everyone, including me, thoroughly enjoyed it. The very moment I finished speaking, however, the pain returned with increased intensity. It was so bad I couldnít eat. Now it is night as I write. The pain is still present, though slightly decreased. I hope it will be gone by tomorrow. ...... Two weeks later. The pain in my stomach did not finish the next day, nor the next nor the next. Today, it left as unexpectedly as it came. I did not tell anyone, except the trainee who assists me, and I instructed him not to mention it to others. It was not the sort of trouble which could be cured by medicine or treatment. Rather it was a test I had to undergo as a result of successfully controlling myself in this ideal spiritual environment. The clearest indication of this was the fact that every time I had a class to give, or an important meeting to attend, the pain ceased.

No height is too high

Dada Dhruvananda, the new trainer, arrived today. Together with a charge hand-over, I gave him an account with more than 10,000 kroner. Though the mental condition of most of the trainees had been uneasy when I first arrived, it now seemed that everyone was happy. EMPOWERED 180 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìHow could you manage so well?î he asked. ìBaba did everything. I did nothing.î As I said this, I felt something sneak back inside me from my previous normal flawed self. I checked for the buzzing in my head, but could not find it. Now, having resumed my previous duty, I am again an ordinary monk. No Tantric aspirant should think that high spiritual states are beyond his or her reach. Whatever is needed, He gives us. Though it comes only by His grace, and not by our own efforts, we must constantly strive for perfectionóotherwise we would be unsuitable to serve as His channels. ...... There is word that Baba may soon travel outside of India. They say He will come to Europe and nowhere else. I donít know whether or not to believe it. It seems too good to be true. 181

CHAPTER 11

Eye of the Hurricane Embarking on an unreal dream

Stockholm. April 1979. The Mainz office called today. Babaís trip is definitely on! He will be coming together with an entourage of 10 or so Dadas, Didis and Margis. They say Heíll stay for a month, touring Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Holland, Spain, France, and Italy. As chief secretary of the Volunteers Service Department Iíll be in charge of Babaís security and many other aspects of the program. Dada Karunananda and I will be the main organizers. From today my main duty is to get ready for the tour. Somehow the whole thing still feels unreal to me. Like a dream. ...... Lyon, France. May. Baba was scheduled to arrive one week from today but so far He and two other Dadas still do not have their passports. After all our planning we are still not sure if they will come or not. This is typical of course. Eleventh hour dramas are His invariable style. Though my mind leaves everything up to Him, my stomach sings a different tune. It often heaves like a volcano about to erupt. ...... Frankfurt, Germany. Today Dada Karunananda phoned with news that Babaís party has left Calcutta for Bombay and were out of touch; there was still no official word about their program. ìSo are they coming to Switzerland or not?î I asked. ìI guess so, but, but...î ìThereís nothing sure.î ìRight.î ìWhat about the Central Office?î EYE OF THE HURRICANE 182 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

ìThey also donít know whatís going on. But dare we tell that to the Margis? If maximum Margis are to meet Baba in Geneva they need to start traveling now.î ìYet another cosmic clash. Thanks, Baba.î For a few seconds neither of us spoke as we weighed the alternatives. ìWeíve got to announce that Babaís definitely coming,î I said. ìRight.î ìItís the only practical thing to do. If weíre wrong, thatís His problem.î ìYah,î said Karunanandaji, ìand maybe about 1000 Margisí problem too...î ìAnyway, if we guessed right, nobody will ever know.î ìAnd if we guessed wrong, Iíll say it was your fault,î he said, laughing. ìThanks.î Though I didnít know whether or not he was really joking, I also laughed. Why not? ìI always keep my wordî Geneva, Switzerland. 6 May. Hundreds of Margi brothers and sisters swarmed throughout the Geneva airport today, seething with anticipation, their paper-thin patience stretched taut, waiting for a man who was not only the center of their lives, but who most had never yet even seen. Some sang devotional songs, some danced, while others gossiped but there was no way to disguise the tension. Three brothers scaled a wall up to a large window sill, and stared through the window looking onto the runway. Even those sitting in meditation contributed to the electrifying anxiety. For the umpteenth time I rehearsed the security. ìVolunteers, attennnntion!î I yelled. Sixteen uniformed cadetsóeight brothers and eight sisters in two perfect linesósnapped their backbones straight and thumped their staffs on the floor. Though some could barely speak English, all clearly understood the martial commands. None of them, however, understood one thing: perhaps Baba was not coming. I caught Karunanandajiís eye, which flickered as he cast a thin grin in my direction. He could still afford to smile. If Baba was coming today, the plane now arriving was the only possible flight. I stood toward the back of my volunteers, confident that 183

at least these sixteen would play their role properly if He came. But would He? ìBaba Nam Kevalam!î screamed one of the Margis hanging on the window viewing the runway. ìHeís here!î Those sitting in meditation jumped up, as everyone (including the general public) pushed toward the door of the customs and immigration area. ìYou fool!î yelled another Margi on the window. ìThat isnít Baba.î A painful groan issued from scores of lips. Waiting ... now only silence from those up on the window ... the door from the customs area opened, and two passengers came out ... then a few more ... still no Baba ... An Indian dressed in white and wearing glasses came outóa brief hesitation as many thought, ìIs that Him?î, and thenóîBaba, Baba, Baba!î all were yelling, all were running, all were excited to the breaking pointóit was Him! At the top of my voice I shouted, ìVolunteers, attennnntionî! but it was no use. I was wrongóthe cadre did not obey, and instead added to

the melee, wildly rushing toward their guru. And there I was, standing near the back of the hall, while the hundreds of Margis zeroed in on the man I was supposed to protect. What an idiot I was! I tried to push my way forward, but others were equally desperate. Madness, pure madness. For a split second I could see Baba smiling through the crowd, standing next to several Dadas and Margis who had come with Him from India. Then the stampede hit. Oh God, what were they doing to Him? Adrenaline pumped through my veins. I elbowed my way between two Margis, then more, pushing myself forward. In the front, near Baba, I saw a strange windmill of hands and feet rapidly breaking the air, deterring the Margis. Baba Nam! It was Dada Ramananda, Babaís personal assistant, jumping left and right, forcefully rebuffing the Margis, thrusting them away from Baba. Then somehow I was there next to Him. I couldnít believe He was still smiling, as calm as the eye of a hurricane. I joined Ramanandaji, driving the Margis away, clearing a path for Baba to walk to a chair, next to Karunanandaji. He walked slowly, majestically. In any case, He couldnít have walked rapidly, because His legs were still not fully recovered from the years of suffering in the prison. Karunanandaji had a smile like a cherub. EYE OF THE HURRICANE 184 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Baba sat. At last the sixteen volunteers recovered their senses and took their pre-planned places. Baba then spoke His first words, ìYou see, I have kept my word. Two years ago I promised to visit Switzerland at the first opportunity I would get. Now I have come. I always keep my word.î Several brothers and sisters came forward wearing colorful uniforms specifically for performing yogic dances. Baba leaned toward Karunanandaji and said, ìThe color of the uniforms is not proper. You must take care. Even if an ant dies a premature death, the entire balance of the Cosmos is affected.î ìNext time it will be perfect, Baba,î Karunanandaji said. I smiled. It was Baba in true form. Paradise and the invisible wall Fiesch, Switzerland. About 700 Margis are present in this scenic mini-village of chateaus and meeting halls, surrounded by mountains, pine trees, and green grass, graced by a shining sun, and bathed in pure air. It seems idyllic, especially when I think that Baba is also here. The program will last one week, then we travel to other cities. In the light of this paradisical atmosphere, one aspect of the Margisí behavior certainly appears oddóat least by normal social standards. Their mad desire to touch Him has continued unabated since the time He arrived in the airport. This tense situation has at least one good resultóit compels the security team to be on their toes. While accompanying Baba in and out of the hall, the volunteers, both brothers and sisters, hold their sticks horizontally, creating a sort of mobile protective fence around Him. Baba Himself seems to enjoy this frantic game. He sometimes pauses in His walk to smile at certain Margis or offer a few encouraging words. In those times the enthusiasm of the Margis grows higher, and the volunteers hold onto each othersí sticks, further reinforcing the fence. In some cases the onslaught is so severe that I also have to join in the defense squad, straining against the shoving

and pulling. Though I am particularly vigilant to see that Babaís movement is undisturbed, I wonder whether our efforts at security are so necessary. I observe repeatedly whenever we are not swift enough to stop some movement of hands or feet or a rebounding stick in Babaís direction, there is an invisible wall that protects Him, allowing Him to be totally unconcerned with the chaos only inches away from Him. 185

Daily dramas

By now Iíve settled into a regular daily schedule: an early morning meeting with the security volunteers, checking meal arrangements for Baba and the Margis, organizing the Personal Contacts of different Margis with Baba, checking the program in the main hall, seeing to the security at the houses of Margis/workers/Baba, etc. The greatest meticulousness is demanded in the security for Babaís twice daily field walks and darshans. My own meditation time is abnormally short, but I donít care because I see Guru directly many hours a day. As for eating, thereís even less time, but the Didis in Babaís kitchen usually save two or three big spoonfuls of prasad50 for me which more than suffices. Having almost nothing else to eat, I have near-perfect conditions for gauging the phenomenal power of prasad. Today while driving to the field walk I listened to the following conversation between Baba and Bodhishvar, who is a leading Swiss Margi: BABA (pointing to a vineyard): Bodhishvar, what kind of grapes are those? BODHISHVAR: Iím sorry, Baba, I donít know. BABA: Well, are they red grapes or white grapes? BODHISHVAR: They are white grapes, Baba. BABA: Are they good for making wine? BODHISHVAR (smiling): I donít know, Baba. BABA (speaking gently): Why donít you know? You should know everything. Yes, they are excellent for making wine. Their name is (a GerFood touched by a spiritually elevated person is called prasad. In the physical contact of any two entities some energy is always exchanged. This is especially so between human beings because their consciousness is easily altered by environmental circ*mstances. The effect is more noticeable when one of the parties is the guru, whose only purpose it to uplift the minds of others. If the guru touches an object which is afterward touched by his disciples, they derive benefit. Food is the most powerful prasad because the disciple ingests it and metabolizes much of its energy. Prasad can also be created by keeping it for a certain length of time in the middle of a kiirtan/meditation program. Though prasad is well-known and accepted among yogis, it is only recently that scientific experiments began to verify its effects. These experiments, however, now come under the category of microvita medicine rather than prasad. Generally microvita research is performed with simple water. Later in this book the idea of microvita is elaborated. By the way, the opposite of prasad is easily recognized. The reader may also have felt itówhen a cook is angry or depressed, the diners may become uneasy or sick after eating that food. 50

EYE OF THE HURRICANE 186 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

man name I donít remember). They are grown primarily in (about four or five areas with German and French names that I donít remember). They have a specially sweet taste, as opposed to (about three or four types of other grapes that I also didnít know). Is it not a fact, Bodhishvar? BODHISHVAR: Well, Iím not an expert like you, Baba. BABA: No, no. Your Baba knows nothing. (Looking at me also) You boys are the ones who must know everything. What do you say? (In reply, we simply smiled as charmingly as we could.)

...... Every day I choose three or four brothers to enjoy the field walk with Baba. The sisters often protest but I am under instructions from Ramanandaji and other Dadas to only permit brothers according to the Indian system. The sisters have requested that their desire be expressed to Baba many times, but the Dadas refuse, considering such a change impossible. Itís my opinion Baba prefers that new initiatives come from our side, rather than by His direct suggestion, so He has had to manage this problem in His own unique way... Today, halfway through the field walk, He was resting in a chair with a few brothers by His feet (the security and myself remained standing). I thought everyone was entranced by the talk, but then Baba turned to Bodhishvar, saying, ìBodhishvar, you are feeling sad about something.î ìYes, Baba.î ìWhat is it? Say, say.î ìBaba...î ìYes, go ahead.î ìItís my wife, Anchala....î ìYes, donít hesitate,î Baba said. ìSay whatís on your mind.î ìWell, Baba ... every day I go with You for field walk, and she cries and cries, Baba, because she also wants to go ... Canít she also come?î Without the slightest hesitation, Baba said, ìWhy not?î, and beamed as if He were just waiting for this question. Ramanandaji and I immediately looked at each other with a mixed expression of surprise and delight. ìThank you, Baba!î said Bodhishvar. Later we met with the Didis and set up a new system where the number of sisters would equal the number of brothers on field walk. We also made plans to add sister volunteers to the security arrangements. 187

Hiding His knowledge

This morning, on the way to the field walk, I asked Abaniish of Norway, who until five days ago had never before seen Baba, ìBrother, what do you think of Baba now?î ìItís funny,î he said. ìI donít know why ... He hasnít done anything at all special ... He looks and acts just like a sweet old man ... I donít know why, but I love Him.î He gave a big smile like a child. ìI feel ... I feel love for Himójust like a father. No, even more than for my father.î ìItís a normal reaction,î I said. ìAbsolutely normal.î ...... We drove high into the snow covered Alps. While walking, Baba said, ìLife on our planet started in these Alps. At that time the surroundings were very hot. Life began only up in the mountains at zero degrees centrigrade ó the necessary temperature for the process to start.î After walking in silence for a few moments, Dada Abhidevananda asked, ìBaba, is it possible that life came to the earth from another planet?î ìWhy not? Why not? According to my opinion, life came from the planet Mars. Today Mars is a dying planet.î Later He commented that the first human civilization was also in the Alps. We returned to the cars and started back. Just after turning a corner, we saw several uniformed persons putting away a big parabolicshaped machine. One of the Margis in my car, an engineer, said, ìThatís

a sound-detection device used over long distances by the secret police to pick up conversations.î Another Margi added, ìDo you think itís possible that Baba specifically intended that interplanetary talk to be overheard by them?î ...... During evening darshan, after a devotional song, one brother suddenly stood up in the middle of the crowd. In the otherwise silent room, his words in Italian had a shocking effect. Before he could complete even one sentence, Dada Japananda rose, pointed his finger at the man, and told him forcefully to sit down. Obediently the man collapsed to the floor. I recognized him. It was Parimal from Parma. He was previously a brilliant physicist, tragically struck by a disease which had necesEYE OF THE HURRICANE 188 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER sitated an operation on his brain. Since then he had turned abnormal, to say the least. In the momentary excitement, Baba looked at Dada Ramananda and me. (Ramanandaji was sitting next to Baba, while I was standing. After the security fiasco at the airport, I had decided to remain close to Baba whenever He was out of His room, directly rather than indirectly supervising the volunteers ñ†though admittedly I took this decision not solely out of consideration for security.) He looked at us and asked, ìWhat is it? Whatís happening?î ìNothing, Baba,î Ramanandaji said. ìThe man is crazy.î ìWhat do you mean ëcrazyí?î Baba said. ìLet him come to the front. Come on, my boy,î He said, waving Parimal forward. As he hobbled forward, everyone could see his balding, deformed skull. He launched excitedly into an Italian soliloquy. Now this will be interesting, I thought. Since Baba knows all the worldís languages, we should be able to see first hand how He replies to a tongue that He hadnít been exposed to before. All the Margis leaned forward similarly watching for Babaís reaction. But it was not to be as we hoped. Instead, Baba spoke to the Dada posted in Italy: ìJapasiddhananda, give me the translation in English.î Though everyone was silent, many looked disappointed. They may have been thinking, Was it only fiction, this story that Baba knows all languages? Japasiddhanandaji started the translation, ìBaba, he says the title of his story is titled Baba with the Baby on the Farm.î Parimal appeared inspired as he spoke, enthusiastically dramatizing his discourse. I observed that some of the Germans and Dutch looked disillusioned, seeing Babaís apparent dependence on the translation. But the Italians and those who understood Italian (including me) could not help but notice that each time Parimal spoke a humorous line, Baba smiled before the translation was delivered. [Authorís note: Some months later when I visited Parma, Italy, I found a changed Parimal. Previous to this experience with Baba, he had been in a near-constant state of confusion. While I was in Parma, however, I saw that he was still excited about Babaóthat he was always talking about Baba. Instead of being in a state of confusion, I felt he was in a spiritual state. A few months after that he died.] 189

DMC night

This morning, during the daily meeting of our thirty-five security cadres, I had the uncomfortable task of asking for a volunteer to stay and guard Babaís house during the DMC speech and varabhaya mudra.51 ìWhoever sacrifices himself for the welfare of others is guaranteed Babaís special grace,î I said. ìI know youíve all come here looking forward to the DMC speech. Nevertheless, Iím sure at least one of you will selflessly relinquish his rights for the sake of the others.î My words met only silence. No one moved. A few seconds passed, and then one brother stepped forward. It was a young Margi from Ireland. ìThank you, Sundara,î I said. Honestly, I felt sorry for the lad. ...... Usually on DMC day Baba holds a special meeting of avadhutas to discuss some interesting matters and to bless us. This evening the answer to one question was, for me, especially imbued with mystical significance. By then twenty minutes of the meeting had passed and the air was electric. ìEach avadhuta has a singularly extraordinary role to play,î He said. He paused and then asked, ìWhat is the purpose of the avadhuta?î We could not answer. We could not even speak. He gave His own reply, slowly: ìThe purpose of an avadhuta ... is ... to exist.î As all the nuances of this statement gradually sunk into my heart, my spine shivered, then shook strongly. ...... DMC is an abbreviation for Dharma Mahachakra. Maha means ìgreat,î and ìdharmachakraî means group meditation, so DMC literally means ìthe great group meditation.î It consisted of a series of formal darshans by Baba over a few days. On the last evening of the gathering, Baba would end His discourse with a special mudra, His varabhaya mudra. ìVaraî means boon, and ìabhayaî means fearlessness due to feeling completely protected. So ìVarabhayaî can be said to mean ìblessing of fearlessness, or blessing with protection and without fear,î and mudra means ìmeaningful hand gesture.î This was the greatest attraction to Dharma Mahachakras. Almost everyone felt their consciousness expand dramatically as an immediate result of this mudra, and Margis often became absorbed in the supreme state, losing awareness of the external world or experiencing ecstatic bliss. 51

EYE OF THE HURRICANE 190 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Kaoshikii is a yogic dance which helps cure over thirty diseases, while generally exercising and energizing the body. It is especially beneficial to women, but also valuable for men. Tandava, a powerful jumping dance, stimulates the male hormonesóit should not be done by women. It was invented by Shiva 7000 years ago. Statues and paintings of Shiva often depict him in this dancing pose. Tandava is the only yogic exercise which stimulates all the bodyís glands. It even invigorates the brain. Shiva encouraged his warriors to perform tandava because it also helped in rousing their courage. A skull or a snake is held in the left hand while dancing to symbolize death. In the right hand a dagger or burning torch is held to symbolize life. The dance is a struggle between life and death, between dynamicity and staticity. Of course, life is the victor. Baba once said, ìYou should learn it in a disciplined way. Tandava represents life and vitality. Tantra is a cult of life, it is not a cult of death. You should be strongóphysically, mentally and spiritually. Lord Shiva says that all your expressions, all your manifestations must be based on present tense. So Tandava is the starting phase of Tantra.î 52

Immediately before Baba gives the daily darshan speech, kaoshiki is demonstrated by a few sisters, and then both kaoshiki and tandava by a few brothers.52 Because it was DMC night I felt something special in the air. Nevertheless, the announcement in the dark surpassed my expectation: ìTonightís tandava will be performed by one hundred brothers!î Within a single shocking moment one hundred torches burst in flamesóthe

dancers leapt high in the eerie light, chanting BABA NAM KEVALAM at ear-splitting volume. Guruís lips curled slightly in pleasure, His eyes burned, and His body shifted into a powerful pose. Soon after, in that mood, He gave the DMC speech. ...... Late at night, standing outside Babaís house, I heard fragments of several Margisí discussions about the DMC. ìNever before was my mind so concentratedî ... ìI thought my head would break, it throbbed so stronglyî ... ìWell, I felt nothing, but somehow was still inspiredî ... ìHe was beautifulî ... ìThese things are too subtle to be analyzedî ... and so on. Just before I went inside, Amita, a middle-aged lady from Norway, said, ìAnd none of you saw it?î ìWhat?î they said in chorus. ìI was sure everyone saw it...î she said. ìSaw what?î ìThe smoke coming out of His hands during the mudra. It completely filled the hall.î 191

Sacrifice paid back 100 times

Today is our last day in Switzerland. Baba consented to hold a special meeting with the brothers and sisters who had worked as security volunteers throughout the week. All stood at attention, forming a perfect line, facing Baba. I stood in the front together with the Didi in charge of the sister volunteers. One brother came forward and garlanded Baba with a wreath made of green pine needles. ìI regret to have troubled you all,î Baba said. ìYou sacrificed your comforts. You nobly sacrificed your time for the sake of assisting me and serving your Margi brothers and sisters. For this I humbly thank you.î He spoke a bit more, then slowly walked over to the line. As he passed each cadet, He looked into their faces. At the end of the line He came to Sundara. Baba removed the wreath from His own neck, placed it on Sundara, and then patted the top of his head. At that moment the blood rushed to Sundaraís face, and he looked so high that I would not have been surprised if he had collapsed in spiritual ecstasy. I think he remained standing only out of a sense of duty. Afterward Sundara said, ìWhen Baba touched me, it was the highlight of my life. He paid me back a hundred times over for missing DMC.î Revealing His knowledge Geneva airport. Once we entered the doorway of the immigration hall, we were at last free from the emotional mass of Margis. There were fourteen of us, eleven from India, plus economist and best-selling author Ravi Batra, Karunanandaji and myself. While waiting, Baba sat in a chair. I stood next to Him. From nowhere, several Italian Margis appeared. Without formality, they abruptly sat on the floor at Babaís feet, smiling with full gusto. One of them named Vikranta stood up, saying, ìBaba, can we sing You a song?î ìYou are most welcome,î He said. Though the melody was sweet, I could hardly follow the meaningó which I thought strange in light of my grasp of Italian. I understood

only that it was a love song. Vikranta stood up again, ìBaba, I want to explain the meaning in English. The dialect is from Venice; itís different from normal Italian.î EYE OF THE HURRICANE 192 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Ah, so thatís why I couldnít understand it, I thought. As Vikranta gave the translation, he visibly savored every moment with Baba. Babaís eyes turned misty. He said, ìYour song was ambrosial. The translation was likewise excellent. Excellent. But would you mind if I were to add a little something to your interpretation?î ìOh, please, Baba, yes, yes!î They were excited. Then Baba translated the song again, completely, line by line, giving detailed and charming explanations for the difference between His version and that of Vikranta. The plane was called. As we walked away, leaving behind the tearful-eyed Venetian devotees, I thought of the difference between this experience and the one a few days ago with Parimal. Berlin wall and the swastika West Berlin. Our field walk today took us to the infamous Berlin wall which divides Western democracy from Eastern communism. Baba stopped, looked at it, and said, ìThis wall symbolizes the brutal suppression by Communism of human liberties. It is a kind of artificial madness. In the near future you will all see this wall crumble piece by piece, stone by stone. East and West Germany will be united as one.î Then He added, ìIn 1941, Germany came under the influence of a star called Magha, a bad star. Magha causes disruption and breaks into pieces the object on which its projection falls. Now its effect is finishing, and soon a good time is coming.î After that He explained the swastika. He said the literal meaning of swastika is ìa condition of goodness which will continue to exist.î Thus it means victory. He drew our swastika, which He said is positive. Then He drew the reverse swastika, and said it is negative. He warned us never to use the negative swastika because it brings complete annihilation. The Nazis mixed these two swastikas, often using the negative one. Conscious sleep Timmern, West Germany. About 200 Margis are collected for Babaís three-day program in Timmern.53 The vibration has always been high here but Babaís presence has raised it another level altogether. Timmern is a small village near Braunschweig where we have our local full-timer training center. 53

193

Several Dadas and Margis were enjoying the talk with Baba in His roomóuntil a high pitched sound from the hallway disturbed us. What in Godís name is that? I wondered. It grew louder and clearer. ìBaba! Baba! Baba!î Bodhishvar from Switzerland stood up. ìBaba, thatís my wife!î Shaking His head in the Indian style of agreeing, Baba said, ìYes, she has a small problem. But thereís no need to worry. Go out,î he told him, ìand softly uttering your guru mantra, hold the thumb of your right hand against her ajina chakra (on the forehead), rotating it slightly back and forth for a few seconds.î After Bodhishvar left the room, Baba said to us, ìThe explanation

for her behavior is simple. In her past life she committed an action which terribly disturbed her mind. Now she is desperate for any kind of contact she can have with me. Though Bodhishvar will succeed in assuaging her this time, her intense yearning will express itself again when given the opportunity.î In that moment the screaming ceased. Afterward, I heard that Anchala not only became immediately quiet when Bodhishvar placed his thumb on her forehead, she also closed her eyes and entered a meditative state. ...... In the night, after all were sleeping, Ramanandaji called me and another Dada to Babaís room. Just as He was falling asleep we started to massage Him. We were silent, deeply enjoying an experience which transcends description. After about two hours the other Dada left me alone with Baba. At one point, when Baba had been snoring continuously (it was more of a soft purr than a snore), He suddenly broke His snore, turned toward me and said, ìWhat time is it?î ì3:30, Baba.î ìAccha,î He said54, and immediately started snoring again. It seems, I thought, that only Babaís body is sleeping, while His mind is fully conscious. I continued the massage, thinking about this. About twenty minutes later, just as I was thinking, Is His mind really awake? I wish He 54

Accha means ìokayî and is common to many of the Indian languages.

EYE OF THE HURRICANE 194 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

would give me some confirmation..., He again suddenly broke His snore, turned toward me, and said, ìWhoís there?î I smiled, saying, ìDharmavedananda, Baba.î ìAccha,î He said. His eyes twinkled at me as He chuckled softly. Within a moment He returned to His snoring. Accha, I thought. ...... [Authorís note: Years later, Babaís adopted son, Kinshukji, commented to me: ìThough Baba lies down and closes His eyes, He, of course, never really sleeps. Rather, whenever He appears to sleep for an extended period of time, we all become cautious. We know that Heís actually making plans. Usually, immediately after that supposed sleep, He introduces new, complex working schemes for us.î] Devotees get their way Everyone was talking about it: ìWeíve got to convince Baba to hold DMC.î ìIf our devotion is strong enough, Heíll have to give DMC.î ìTimmern is the best place for DMC, so why not?î Perhaps Baba had started it all when He commented this morning, ìOur Timmern program is like a mini-Fiesch.î Whatever the cause, the excitement was so contagious that no one could avoid it. As we came out for His evening field walk, the Margis crowded both sides of the sidewalk, leaning as close to Him as the security volunteers permitted. Like a faithful shield, I was close on His heels. Baba was shining, immaculate in His white dress. In a clear voice

that everyone could hear, He said, ìIt seems a fine night for DMC...î As the Margis yelled ìVictory to Baba!î and other exclamations of pleasure in reaction to Babaís words, He continued speaking in an undertone that only I could hear: ì...they say.î I turned toward the Margis, thinking to clear up the misunderstanding, but they were so excited they would not have heard me. In the same moment, I saw it was Babaís play. During the field walk, Babaís mood was different than Iíd ever seen. He was normally very loquacious during his walks. Tonight, for the first time, He walked in silence. 195

Our footsteps echoed in the air, the wind providing the only audible background to our thoughts. Without the distraction of speech, we sank deep into a spiritual mood. Halfway through the walk, Baba pointed at some distant tall trees, colorless in the faint night light, waving like feather-fans in the wind. ìSee the Cosmic Wave,î He said slowly. It was His one and only sentence. It was a unique field walk, which in a way I enjoyed more than any other. When we returned, we entered the darshan hall. I was shocked. It was fully decorated in DMC style, with flowers, leaves, colored papers, a new colorful cover for Babaís couch, and a special ornamental arrangement behind the couch. The Margis were singing devotional songs in full-throated fervor. Even before the speech began, it was clear that Baba was in a special state of mind. His demeanor was unusually dignified and transcendental. When He spoke His first words, ìThe subject of tonightís discourse will be...î, I saw some of the more senior workers cast glances at each other, recognizing His common opening for a DMC speech. The Margis shivered with excitement throughout the talk, as if an electric current was running among them. I waited for Him to give the varabhaya mudra (gesture of blessing). He never gave it. Personally I didnít care, but I wondered how the Margis would react. Had they not all day nurtured an expectation which He had not fulfilled? Someone asked Him for permission to perform Guru Puja.55 He agreedósurprisingly, as this was usually performed only after DMC. I alone accompanied Baba downstairs to His room. When He entered the room, He said to me, ìGo back up and tell everyone that tonightís speech was not DMC, but DMSóDharma Maha Sammelan. DMS has the same psycho-spiritual effect as DMC, but the varabhaya mudra is not shown.î Just see, Guru has to follow His own system; while at the same time the devotees have their way to compel Him to follow their own desires. Of course they can only force Him up to a certain point.56 Guru Puja is a mantra sung together with gestures in which the devotee offers his/her ego attachments to the guru. 56 Afterward I came to know that the last, and perhaps only time that Baba had personally held a DMS was in 1962 in Begusarai, Bihar, India. So it is clear that Baba consid55

EYE OF THE HURRICANE 196 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

When I went upstairs, I found all the Margis in an exuberant state, singing songs and dancing kiirtan. I climbed on the stage, took the microphone, and told everyone that I had a message from Baba. After a minute or two they calmed down and I repeated Babaís words.

They didnít careóno one seemed to be affected by my announcement. As soon as I finished speaking they immediately resumed their celebrationósinging and dancing in spiritual ecstasy. The sixth point Babaís darshan topic tonight was Shivaís Seven Secrets of Success. At its conclusion, I took Baba downstairs, saw Him into His room, and then entered Ramanandajiís room, just next to Babaís. In a few moments I was joined by three or four other Dadas. One sister brought in a huge bowl of round milk-sweets, a small fraction of what had been prepared in honor of Babaís last darshan in Timmern. I sat alone, thinking of Baba, and eating slowly. After eating two of these extremely tasty balls, I was lying on my side, looking at the bowl, contemplating whether or not to eat a third one. In that very moment, I saw the handle of the door turn and in walked Baba! He was dressed in the simple white undershirt and green lungi that He wears only in the privacy of His own room. He walked over to me. I sat up, smiling. With a sly grin on His face, He said to me, ìAnd remember ... the sixth point is a very difficult point to follow. î Without giving me a chance to reply, He turned and left the room as suddenly as He had entered. I lay on the floor, laughingóShivaís sixth secret of success was control over food. Freedomís limit This morning, just before our departure from Timmern, Baba called a meeting of Dadas and Didis. After beautifully reciting a few poems of Indiaís greatest poet, Rabindranath Tagore, He asked each of us to express something of how we were feeling at the moment. One Dada mentioned how sad everyone felt having to leave Timmern. Baba replied by telling a story: ered this Timmern program something special. While Baba was in jail, a few avadhutas had the duty to conduct DMS. Since Babaís passing, DMSs have been conducted only by the President.

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ìA great sage Kanva lived alone in a forest. He loved to help people. So he often took it upon himself to go to the town, find sick and helpless people, and bring them back to his hermitage to care for them until they recovered. He was well known for this generosity. One day a mother came to Kanva and left her baby girl, Shakuntala, under the saintís benevolent care. Kanva raised Shakuntala until she was old enough to be married. At this time King Dushyanta arrived, and claimed Shakuntala as his queen. As she was preparing to leave, Kanva found himself gripped with feelings of despair. He thought, ëI am a renunciate and a yogi. I should be free from the emotions of affection.íî Baba asked, ìWhy was he having these feelings? Although he was a sage, he was living in the world, and thus bound by the relative factor. Now all of you boys and girls are doing meditation to be free of bondages. Being here in the world, however, it is impossible to deny bondage.î Babaís way of speaking was so gentle that everyone wept. A deer devotee Hannover, West Germany. While driving today, an odd event occurred. I was in the car just behind Babaís. As the road passed through a field of chest-high grass, I saw a deer suddenly emerge next to Babaís

car. For about 200 meters it ran alongside of the car. To do this it had to run at a great speed, while at the same time jumping high in the air with each step in order to get through the tall grass. At the end of that 200 meters, the car turned and the deer followed, continuing to run with Baba for another 150 or 200 meters. Then the car accelerated greatly, and the deer fell back, unable to keep up. Babaís nephew, Paltu, was in that car. Afterward I said to him, ìDid you notice that deer?î ìOf course.î ìAnd did Baba comment anything about it?î ìNot directly. But He was surely thinking about it. For several minutes He had been discussing German architecture, when, without warning, He began to talk about animals. I could not understand why He had changed the topic. And then He was talking specifically of deers. The speech on deers must have been going on for half-a-minute when that deer appeared. All of us in the car stared at it, except Baba, who EYE OF THE HURRICANE 198 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER went on speaking without turning His face in the animalís direction. I wanted to ask Him about it, but He gave me no scope to speak.î Will we ever know the cause of this unquestionably mystical event? In the light of todayís experience and also Babaís story about Kanva and Shakuntala I am reminded of an old mythological tale. A saint was alone in the forest performing austere spiritual practices. He had detached himself from all worldly affairs, and was approaching his entry through the gates of liberation when he discovered an orphaned baby doe. Compassion compelled him to rescue and then care for the creature. As months turned into years, the doe grew into a deer, and without recognizing the change in his mind, the saint gradually developed a deep attachment for the animal. One day the deer accidentally jumped off a cliff, falling to its death. The saintís heart was torn. A few days later his final moment also came and his last thought was of his beloved deer. Accordingly, he could not gain liberation, and instead was reborn as a deer, which passed most of its life in the company of yogis. Perhaps the story is not so fictional after all. Revolutionary change Yesterday, after leaving the cars, we approached a road having no sidewalk. I said to Baba, ìIn Germany, Baba, since the cars drive on the right side of the road, it is better we walk on the left, into the traffic, so we can see any danger before it comes.î Like a child, Baba complied. This morning a similar situation arose. Again I started to explain where we should walk. Baba interrupted me, saying, ìI am an excellent student. If I hear anything, even once, I remember it forever. I clearly remember each and every perception since the moment of my birth. So, thank youóno need to repeat yesterdayís lesson.î ...... This afternoon Baba was speaking about society. ìAs long as there is animality in man, there will be war. War is the blackest spot on human character. Fight is the essence of life, but war is something brutal.... You may expect some change in collective psychology from after

the year 1980, and a revolutionary change by the year 2000.î 199

Heaven in hell

Rotterdam, Netherlands. A light rain was falling this evening as our entourage approached the apartment building which houses our three-story Rotterdam yoga center. While still standing on the street, momentarily waiting for the local Margi to come forward to unlock the door, Baba muttered something which undoubtedly was meant only for my ears. He said softly, almost unnoticeably, ìWhat hell is this?î It was not the sort of question to which one tries to reply, so I was left wondering about His meaning. ...... Next day. I believe I now know a little of the meaning of Babaís rhetorical question yesterday. To begin with, the stairways in this house are winding, narrow, and insufficiently lit. As the two snake-like streams of Margis continuously ascend and descend, they unavoidably press against each other. Though about one hundred of us squeeze and adjust in inappropriately small rooms and hallways, no one minds. There is too much excitement in Babaís presence for anyone to care about such matters. Nevertheless I am constantly reminded of the spiraling passageways entering and departing from the different levels of Danteís hell. Then there was the water. It stopped in Babaís bathroom. Since He did not complain, it was only discovered when a Margi cleaned His room. For a man who bathes three or four times daily, this was a great inconvenience. Yet He politely tolerated it. After the water was repaired, He commented, ìThis is the first time in my life that I had to use a bathroom without water.î His silent patience with the clumsiness of our arrangements deeply affected me. ...... Today Baba mentioned that tandava (Shivaís dance) should be done with proper paraphernalia. In the left hand there should be either be a skull or a snake to represent the force of destruction or death. The right hand holds a dagger or burning torch to represent the power of discrimination or life. He specifically added that the snake should be a living, poisonous snake. We took this as a cue. Two hours later Melvin was purchasedóa beautiful, healthy, poisonous snake. EYE OF THE HURRICANE 200 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER The next darshan proceeded smoothly until it was time for the brothers to perform tandava. Viirabhadra (whose name means ìthe bravest face of Godî) jumped fiercely up and down and side to side. In his left hand, Melvin violently twisted and spit. Some Margis were thrilled while others were horrified as they watched the snake bite Viirabhadraís hand again and again. Rather than holding the snake just below the head as he should have, he was holding Melvin in the middle. Blood began to drip from his hand. Still the dance continued, the room reverberated to the chant of Baba Nam Kevalam and the rhythmic thumping of the dancersí feet. Meanwhile Baba entered one of His powerful Tantric moods. He looked on with a calm intensity. The snake must have bit Viirabhadra thirty or forty times; blood flowed like water

dripping from a tap. At last the chanting stopped and the dancers halted. Though Babaís words, ìVery good. Very good,î were normal, His voice was deep and penetrating. Afterward He said nothing about the snake, but we were sure He was pleased. I was concerned for Viirabhadra, but he was inspired to the depths of his being. Fortunately the snakeís poison sacks had been removed. I shall carry the snake with us everywhere from now on. The blood was a wonderful touch, but as Tantra has nothing to do with masochism, I will instruct the dancers to hold our undulating friend by the neck during the dance in order to avoid its fangs. ...... On field walk one sister asked Baba, ìWe have so many complexes like fear, shame and so on. How can we get rid of them?î Baba said, ìShall I tell you the secret? Kiirtan.î ...... Next day. Since most of the volunteers here are totally inexperienced, I personally had to stand guard-duty just outside the door to Babaís room while He was giving Personal Contact. Anchala (the wife of Bodhishvara) was hovering around the door, clearly agonized over the impossibility of her entering Babaís room.57 At one point I had to use the upstairs bathroom so I requested another Dada to cover for me. A few minutes later I heard a loud yell, followed by continuous shrieking. The sound came from downstairs. Alarmed, I sprinted forward. The screech became louder. Someone ap201

peared at the top of the stairs, running toward me. It was Anchala! And the scream ìBaba! Baba!î was coming from her. She dashed past me. Confused, I went down to Babaís room. Immediately several workers jumped on me saying, ìYou fool! You idiot! How could you be so incompetent?î and so on. ìStop, stop!î I said. ìI donít know what this is all about. What happened? î ìPlaying innocent, huh? As if you donít know that Anchala forced her way into Babaís room!î ìWhat?î I was shocked. I turned toward the Dada to whom I had passed my duty. ìIím sorry. She was too fast...or, rather, I never expected...î ìJust tell me what happened.î ìThe brother who was receiving Personal Contact finished, and came out. I ... I wasnít paying proper attention.î ìObviously.î ìSuddenly I heard Baba yellingóso loud that I think my hair stood on end. He shouted, ëGET OUT OF HERE!í I turned to look through the open door and saw Anchala still lying there fully prostrate with her head and outstretched arms under Babaís bed. She jumped up like a rabbit hearing a shotgun, and ran out.î ìI saw the rest,î I said. Could this be the last episode in the ìEscapades Of Anchalaî? Lingua franca Amsterdam airport. The corridors in this airport seemed exceptionally long. Yet Baba avoided using the moving sidewalks and escalators. I asked Dada Ramananda if there was any special reason that Baba

walked up the stairs rather than using the escalator? . ìHe said that escalators make people lazy,î Ramanandaji replied. ...... While waiting for our plane, Baba told me to sit next to Him. We discussed several subjects. One of these concerned some hearsay about which I had wondered. ìBaba, is it true that You will make a world language in the future?î Until this date, Baba had never given Personal Contact to a woman. It was only some months later that He started Personal Contact for women in small groups. 57

EYE OF THE HURRICANE 202 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

ìA language suitable for all citizens of this globe will be constituted, yes,î He said. ìThen is it any use for us to learn Esperanto?î58 ìThere is no need to study Esperanto, because the global language we make will be superior. It will be convenient for all peoples. You see, the founders of Esperanto, though well-intentioned, committed two major errors. First, it is based primarily on European language roots. Asians and others thus feel it burdensome to learn. Second, it was propagated mostly among the intellectual community. ìOur lingua franca, on the other hand, will have its roots both in both Occidental and Oriental languages, including Sanskrit. No one will feel difficulty to assimilate it. It will first be popularized among famous leading personalities, so its spread around the world will prove relatively easy.î The key to our hearts Stockholm, Sweden. Since that first chaotic experience of Babaís arrival in Geneva when the security went haywire, our other airport arrivals have been relatively calm and orderlyóthat is, until Sweden. A few hours drive south of Stockholm lies the only wholetimer training center outside of India and Nepal. Considering that these young men and women trainees pass all their time in the depths of a serene forest ashram, who could imagine that they would go so berserk when they saw Baba? My security forces were completely unprepared for the wild and rapid advance they made toward Him, shouting, ìBaba! Baba! Baba!î Again Dada Ramananda went into action, his whirling arms creating a mean defense. But this time it was far from enough. It looked like Baba would be swamped in the mad rush of His devotees. Suddenly, as if on cue, though indeed it was totally spontaneous, all the workers in the entourage encircled Baba, joining hands. Only by a fierce muscular effort were we able to keep Him from being swamped. His smile was particularly maddening for these trainees, most of whom had never physically seen Baba even though they had already fully dedicated their lives for His mission. ...... Esperanto is a language made by philologists, who hoped it would serve as the language for international communication. 58

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Two days later. To a normal mind, Babaís actions often seem illogical. But there is a purpose behind every word He speaks, every flicker in His eyes, every tilt of His head. What is the explanation behind His odd conduct here in Sweden? Due to the presence of the trainees, the devotional wave has been highóyet Baba has refused to give darshan for three days. Every morning and every evening their hearts pound

with anticipation, only to fall into frustration and despair each time Baba fails to appear. Finally this evening, at the time of His last scheduled darshan, He directed His car to drive to the big hall where all the Margis sat. Their happiness when they saw Him enter was so strong that many of them wept uncontrollably. He keeps the key for releasing our devotional longing by constantly varying His behavior in unexpected manners, and by secretly and silently touching our hearts, even when we are totally away from His physical presence. EYE OF THE HURRICANE 204 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER CHAPTER 12

As Per System ìItís a miracleî

Valencia, Spain. Because Ananda Marga began here only two years back, our local organization is not yet strong. There is no large yoga house. Our living quarters and program facilities had to be arranged in a Catholic church on the outskirts of the city. We arrived in the late evening. Without any experienced local group to help, the arrangements were particularly taxing for me. Baba demands maximum speed. He instructed me that all workers were to meet in His room in one hour. Besides passing along this order, I also had to see to the general security, the kitchen, the program plans, the darshan room, and the workersí roomsónot to mention dealing with the stream of workers and volunteers who bombarded me with questions about their respective responsibilities. In the absence of properly experienced security volunteers, I was forced to post a guard at Babaís door who was, well shall we say, more occupied with spiritual than practical concerns. It was almost time for the workersí meeting when a ruckus occurred. Running to Babaís room, I saw one of the priests stalking out, swearing to God in Spanish, and saying that he would call the police; he wouldnít be restricted within his own quarters. He was at least a bit drunk. The guard looked on helplessly. I glanced into Babaís room. He was sitting calmly, unperturbed by the intrusion. When He saw me He instructed me to call the workers to His room immediately. Within a few minutes everyone arrived. He said to us, ìIt is the duty of the guest to ensure the hostís comfort in every possible way. Our presence causes some inconvenience to our host. As gentlemen 205

we are to fulfill our duty in the proper way. We should therefore leave this place immediately. We should not stay here another moment.î He turned to me and said, ìPlease thank the priests for allowing us to be here for this hour.î I was dumbfounded. It would be difficult enough to find facilities on short notice for such a large groupóbut add to that Babaís special needs: a room with an attached bath, a nearby room for His personal assistant, a call-bell, space for darshan, a kitchen for Him plus a kitchen for the workers, etc. The challenge was mind-boggling. And it was evening. Another priest appeared. The drunkard had been only a subordinate; this was the head-priest. I told him we were leaving, and conveyed

Babaís thanks as directed. He pressed his palms together and said in Spanish, ìPlease, please excuse this great disturbance! Father Carlos was out of his senses. I request you to stay on!î Hopefully, I passed his words back to Baba. He replied, ìAgain you must thank him, but we have to leave.î O, Baba... how could You? I thought. How in the world will we immediately find another place? Baba was already packed. He started walking with Ramanandaji toward His car. It was late night. My mind turned blank in bewilderment. Just at that moment the Dada appeared who had made the original arrangements to stay at the church. ìPerhaps I know a house which will be adequate. Your car and Babaís should follow mine.î I was astounded. ìBut how is it possible?î ìIíll tell you later.î After a half hourís drive we arrived at a suburban duplex. Dada led the way upstairs. We entered the room which would serve as His bedroom ... then the attached bathroom ... looked at the call-bell ... the adjacent room for Ramanandaji ... the darshan hall, which was adequate, albeit small... Baba turned to us, saying with a smile, ìItís a miracle that you could get it ready so quickly.î Afterward I asked that Dada, ìWhatís the secret?î ìOnly a mistake,î he replied. ìI first booked the duplex for our program, and even prepared the call-bell. Then the church became available, so I left this place. In my haste, I simply forgot about it and neglected to cancel it. AS PER SYSTEM 206 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìNo, no, thatís not the secret,î he added. ìThe secret is that both problems and solutions have the same source.î59 Typical intricacies Notes of all Babaís talks during field walks have been taken by Dr. Patak, but this morning the doctor could not come so I was requested to do the note-taking. Though Baba always speaks informally while walking, I tried my best to transcribe word for word. So these notes are special because of their relative completeness. They cover three days. These three daysí talks were more or less typical of His ìusualî style, that is if it can be said that He has a usual style.60 Notes from the first field walk follow: ìWhy do oranges grow here?î He asked. No one answered. ìIt is because of the Mediterranean climate. The flora and fauna are Mediterranean here. The sweet scents here are also due to Mediterranean climate. Roses and sweet peas are only scenting in the north. It may be that there are some medicinal herbs growing here because the climate is so hot. All of them belong to the Calendula family, having yellow flowers.... ìThe name of a small stone or pebble in old Latin is rockin. Similarly a small man is mankin in English.î He requested us to search for a particular herb. It was difficult for Him to look for it because His vision was impaired by the poisoning in prison. One Dada picked up a leafy plant. ìIs this it, Baba?î The next day Baba mentioned that something similar had happened to Him twice before in India. On one of those occasions, He was brought to the home of an extremely wealthy man. As He entered the house, the owner himself was cooking food for Baba. Baba refused to stay, however, saying the man had earned all of his money 59

by immoral means. 60 Just near the time of publication, I saw a manuscript for another soon-to-be printed book called ìShri PR Sarkar on Historyóa Guidebook for Future Historiansî. It is based on notes compiled by Acharya Ragunath during the field walks of Babaís two-month tour of northeast India in 1984. Those informal talks were even more complex and academic than the ones He gave in Europe. By the word ìinformalî I do not mean talks which were given without prior research or systematic preparationóbecause Baba gave all of His talks without the slightest preparation. The only characteristic of His so-called formal speeches was in His method of giving a series of speeches on related subjects over a period of days, weeks or months. On the other hand, His informal talks followed no rule.

207

ìNo, this is not the herb which I requested. Nevertheless, this also is a valuable herb. It cures liver problems, dysentery, and other digestive ailments.î He told the herbís name in old Latin, Sanskrit, Russian, modern Latin, old Hebrew, and several other languages. One Spanish sister then asked, ìAnd in Spanish, Baba?î He looked at her, laughed, and told its name inóArabic! I knew that the motivation of this sister was only to test Baba. ...... Babaís bedroom and the darshan room are on the second floor. The weather is hot, so the windows are left open. Throughout the entire darshan we could hear the singing of Baba Nam Kevalam coming from the street outside. After Baba finished darshan and was returning to His room, He asked us, ìWho was that singing?î Bodhishvar stepped forward. ìIt was my wife Anchala and four other sisters.î ìHuh, what do you say?î ìIt is their way of protesting, Baba. Only brothers can receive Personal Contact from You. They feel that sisters also should be able to receive Personal Contact.î Babaís face suddenly lost its softness. ìNo one has the right to make demands on me regarding Personal Contact. It is my personal matter. Neither can the organization dictate to me, nor can any individual or individuals force me to give Personal Contact except as I so please.î He raised His voice slightly. ìDo they have any idea of the inner meaning of Personal Contact? I assure you, they cannot understand it. There is good reason why I give Personal Contact to some and not to others. Do you know that Shri Aurobindo gave such Personal Contact only one time in his life? And that too was while he was standing on a balcony, and the individual was down below. No, they do not and cannot understand the significance of Personal Contact.î Without waiting for any reply from our side, He turned and walked into His room. Just as we were wondering what to say to each other, the door opened and Baba reappeared. ìTell those five ladies that they are henceforth permanently expelled from the organization. This is my strict order. No one should make any representation on their behalf. If any Dada or Didi appeals for AS PER SYSTEM 208 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER them, then that very Dada or that very Didi will likewise be expelled.î Again He disappeared. We were shocked. Bodhishvar said, ìOh, no!î Others said, ìIt is too extreme!î ìHow could He do this?î Yet there was nothing to do

but accept it. He left no room for any sort of initiative from our side. The girls were still singing kiirtan. Someone approached them, and they stopped singing, keen and hopeful to hear Babaís comment. When they heard His order, they swooned and wept pitifully. How could Baba be so cruel? For the rest of the day and much of the night the five of them sat silently on the steps outside. ...... More notes from this eveningís field walk. It was dusk and we were walking on a beach outside the city. ìThe old Atlantis is now underwater except for parts of Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Iceland.î Baba suddenly stopped walking, and asked, ìWhat was that?î I directed my torch light at our feet. Due to the dark I had not seen it, but a small animal had run in front of Baba and now sat in front of Him. I said, ìA small mouse, Baba. No. A shrew.î Baba laughed. I felt that Baba knew exactly who that shrew had been in a past life, and that the shrew had wanted Baba to touch it, or even kill it by stepping on it. Though He refused to do so, I felt He still blessed it. We side-stepped the shrew and walked on. ìDharmavedananda, what is the name of this sea?î ìMediterranean, Baba.î ìWhy is it called that?î ìIt means middle-earth, Baba.î ìAnd is it the middle of the earth?î ìIt depends how you look,î I said, ìsince the earth is pear-shaped.î ìCan there be a middle?î ìNo, I donít think so, Baba.î ìYes. There can be no middle. But the ancient people thought this was the middle of the earth because for them the earth was only Semitic and Alpine. There are big waves. Why is that? The Arabian Sea does not have big waves.î 209

ìBecause the Mediterranean is deep, Baba?î ìNo. Because it is shallow.î Next day. Notes from this morningís walk: ìThis hillock is not an ordinary place. What is the direction of the sea? Is it not east?î ìYes, Baba,î replied a Spanish Margi. ìI remember one old story,î Baba said. ìIn the Medieval stage when the Romansóthis means over 2000 years agoówhen the Roman empire was on its pinnacle of glory, they came here crossing the Mediterranean on the east to conquer Iberia. A fierce battle was fought.î He pointed to a concrete slab about 150 meters away. ìPerhaps this is the place, and that monument commemorates the battle.î One Margi ran over to the slab, looked at it and ran back. ìItís true!î he said. ìItís a monument about the Roman battle!î Though we were all impressed with Babaís omniscience, He didnít pay attention to our astonishment and went on speaking like a professor. [Authorís note: From this point Baba explained at some length about the history of the Arab and Moslem movement throughout the world. For readers who are interested, this piece may be found in the appendix

Technical Talks by Baba or with Baba; the article is titled ìOn the history of the Arab and Moslem movement throughout the worldî. At the end of that explanation He said:] ìStrengthen yourselves in north Africa. We will attack from Spain with love. But we shall say to them we are not your born enemies. They will say, ëWe hate you.í We will say, ëWe love you.í ìFrom Gibraltar move southward. Gibraltar is actually Spain, but it was given to England as part of a dowry. Historically, ethnologically, culturally and economically Gibraltar is a part of Spain. Now, know a little history. Here also the Romans attacked Iberia in the B.C. period. But at that time there was little difference between Italy and Iberia. The Iberian language is also a part of the Latin language, which died out 500 years ago. (I am not sure He said ë500í years ago.) Regarding Oriental-demi Latin and Occidental-demi Latin: 1300 to 1400 years ago Oriental-demi Latin became French and Italian; Occidental-demi Latin became Portuguese and Spanish. Portuguese is just like a diaAS PER SYSTEM 210 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER lect. Spanish and Portuguese people each may think, ëThe other is speaking a dialect of my language.í In the future, Spanish and Portuguese will come closer together and both will be benefited for proper development. Forget the last 700 years of historyóthey come from the same stock. The old land of Basque, i.e. Spain and Portugal, were a single people.... ìRoman pirates came from that part. What is the meaning of pirates? Sea robbers.î He started talking about agriculture. ìWhat are the main vegetables here?î I missed writing a few vegetables that He said. Then He continued ì...potatoes, beans, brinjals, and onion of white color or gray color? Garlic has no seed. But in the case of onion, the seed or root will work. This land is of what sort?î No one knew. ìYou are cultivators and you do not know? The land is green, and thus fit for cultivation of vegetables and fruits of Mediterranean culture. î One Margi said, ìBaba, do you know that here they use more organic and natural fertilizers than artificial?î ìI know the entire agricultural history of Spain. ìSweet lemons can grow on the rocky soil here, not oranges. What is the difference between the two? The skin and grain of the orange are loose. But you cannot easily remove the skin of the lemon. Amongst lemons are sweet lemons as big as oranges, which can be conveniently grown on rocky soil. The lower portion (He pointed downhill) is suitable for oranges. Up here is good for sweet lemon. ìIs the ground black or a bit red? It is latterite, a bit redólooking like brick. There is much calcium in it. It is suitable for sweet lemons and grapes. Vineyards are good in the hill area because of the latterite soil. Is this area more engaged in agriculture or horticulture? Horticulture. You may get proper saplings from Israel of sweet lemons. Are there any pineapples grown here?î ìNo, Baba,î someone said.

ìPineapples may also be successfully grown here in the summer season. The winter variety may not grow well here because pineapples can not stand chilly climate. There is a ready market for these fruits in 211

north Europe. Now they are imported from far away. In the winter also you can grow them in glass houses. This is particularly applicable in southern and eastern Spain, and southern Portugalótaking advantage of the fine weather during the summer.î ...... Later in the morning, Baba announced that the expulsion of three of the sisters was withdrawn, and that they should be accepted back unconditionally. Anchala and one other sister were, however, ìto remain indefinitely outside of Ananda Marga.î Hearing this, Anchala fell into deep despair. She and the other sister cried loudly, and tears fell profusely from their eyes. ...... Just before evening darshan, Baba asked Ramanandaji, ìHave those girls properly learned their lesson?î ìYes, Baba. They will never again repeat such a mistake. And everyone else clearly understands that Personal Contact is your personal affair.î ìYesss. Then the sentence against the last two is also to be lifted. They may again rejoin the organization, if they so wish.î This evening the five protesters were all on their best behavior: sweet and polite to their utmost. Their eyes shone like those of small girls. ...... [Authorís note: Many years later I heard of an incident witnessed by Dada Yatishvarananda. It occurred in India preceding the time when Baba started to give Personal Contact to women in small groups. All the members of one family were devoted Margis. The daughter was adamant that she must get Personal Contact from Baba. She sat outside Babaís room performing long meditation. Dada said he never saw any Indian sister with such determination and fighting spirit. Several brothers were called for Personal Contact. Of course she was not called. She continued doing meditation. The Personal Contacts finished, and it was announced that all should proceed for Babaís darshan in the adjacent hall. Though everyone else left, she refused to go for darshan, and instead continued meditation. In the darshan Baba said, ìFor Parama Purusha [Cosmic Consciousness] boys and girls are exactly the same. In the case of Personal Contact, however, I give it to the AS PER SYSTEM 212 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER boys directly. For the girls I use a different style.î At that moment, everyone heard the sister scream ìBaba!î Her parents jumped up and ran out of the hall, anxious for their daughter. They found her lying on the floor, with a blissful expression on her face. Not knowing what to do, they again entered the hall. Baba said, ìSocial conditions compel me to use this style when dealing with the girls. When she regains normal awareness, you should massage the joints of her body, and then give her hot milk to drink.î A few hours later, Dada Yatishvarananda asked her what she had experienced. She said, ìI was very angry with Baba. Due to anger I

became fully concentrated in thinking about Him. Suddenly my mind soared out of this world, and through the Cosmos. I saw all the stars and galaxies, and finally entered into ecstasy beyond description. I became one with Baba. So I donít want Personal Contact anymore.î] ...... Next day. Valencia airport. My note-taking continued even without request: While waiting for the flight, Baba said, ìThe Bay of Basque was originally a part of Atlantisóthatís why it is so shallow. Wherever the sea is shallow, there are big waves. The Pacific Ocean is very deepóin some places more than six miles deepóand the waves are small in size. The man who knows little talks tall. ìThere should be cultural, geological, zoological and other surveys around the coast of Iberia, because some new clues may be found about Atlantis. But that is only feasible if Iberia gets economic help for the survey from such an organization as the UNO, because it requires huge expenditure, and Spain is too poor. Physically I come here for the first time, but mentally I have been here before. ìJust after taking a hot drink, you must not take a cold drink. But the reverse can be done. The former disturbs the nervous systemóthe nerve fibers cannot tolerate the change. So, rules should be followed in each and every sphere of life. Since the time I left the military department in (1940-something), I am not wearing socks. It is my system. If I use socks then my head will be heated. If I take onion I will feel feverish. Garlic likewise makes me sick. Everything must be done as per system. I did not feel any difficulty while I was barefoot in the snow in Switzerlandórather my feet were hot. Create a system. I did 213

not take any food for 5 years, 4 months and 2 daysóand I did not feel any difficulty. When the special medical team came from Delhi, the doctor said, ëBabaís heart is stronger than ours.í There was no shortage of memory, nor problem with the brain. My memory is perfect since I was a one-day-old baby. I remember everything. All of this is by your grace, by your mercy. ìFor philological surveys, you will have to go to remote villages to study the vocabulary used by them. Tape-record their intonation. If you go northward from London, you will hear different intonations.î He spoke the words lake and gold in about ten different British intonations proceeding upward from London. ìYou will have to go to villages, undergoing the pain of such traveló books will not help much. You will have to study the rocks, the underground and above-ground water. Study the language of the bullsóthe bovine language. A farmer of south India uses a particular commanding tone to bulls. The tone used by farmers in England and Scotland is different. And the bulls understand only the language of their own corner.î Baba demonstrated the difference between the tones used in north and south India. ìThere are twenty-two pronunciations of the letter ëaí in English, five in Spanish, and two in French. You will have to go deep into the source of intonation. So philology is not an easy subject. ìThere are many special customs in Spain. For example, bull fighting. In Latin bull is torus. Only in Spanish exists the word torear, which means bull-fighting. One constellation of the zodiac is Taurus or bull.

The first is Aries, which means sheep. The second is Taurus. ìIf I get sufficient time, I may do something to help the cultural life of Iberia through Renaissance Artistsí and Writersí Association. Due to the Ananda Marga organization I hardly get any time. You may form Renaissance Universal clubsóit has immense possibilities. And we should try to do something regarding the capacity of the vocal chords, through which we express our feelings. The scope of talking is less than that of feeling. If you are stuck with one pin, you say ëOh!í If you are stuck with two pins, you also say ëOh!í Language fails to express the difference. And if one finger is cut, then too you say ëOh!í Feeling is far deeper than expression. Similarly, one tear drop may come in the case of both one or two pins. So tears do not exactly AS PER SYSTEM 214 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER express the feelings either. Tears are physical, ëOh!í is verbalósuch points also come within the range of philology.î Baba explained the names of some Margis present. ìLiilananda means the bliss that Parama Purusha [Cosmic Consciousness] feels when He creates this universe. When He does not create anything He enjoys bliss within Himself and is called Nityananda. Liilavatii means the energy which dances along the movement of creation. The vital energy used in pleasing the Lord is called Arjuna.... ìIn 1969, when I first went to Manila, they sang Spanish songs. There, all educated people know Spanish. Before World War I, Spanish was the official language. After that the Philippines came under America and the official language became English. Most of the Margis know some Spanish. Our Filipino acharyas have been posted in South America because they know Spanish. ìSomething has to be done now about Esperanto. Before Esperanto is established, our people should learn at least broken English as a universal link language. It is a necessity. Esperanto had immense possibilities, but there were no big supporters.... ìAre there any special arrangements to study Indology or Egyptology or Sinology in Spanish universities?î One Margi answered, ìMaybe in Madrid, Baba. But these things are better to study in Germany.î ìIn Munich there are several branches of humanities. The first link was studied by Max Mueller. He studied Vedic and modern Sanskrit. In his time he was an authority.î ...... On the plane. Even here my notes continued, trying to catch Baba word-for-word. ìThe same style of octave is followed in Spain as in the Far East and China. Here the music contains a blending of oriental and occidental tunes. Music is not of standard European style.... ìFor Iberia, the past was bright, the present is cloudy, and the future is full of sunshine. I love the people here very much.î In relation to the priest who lost his temper while we were in the monastery, He said, ìA man in missionary service should try to keep his brain cool.î 215

Doctor Pathak commented that the Spanish word salida is close to the Bengali word chalo.

Baba joked, ìIn an English class (in India), the teacher said, ëIf you wish to pronounce cholera with a hard ìchî sound, then Ch-olera chale!îí [meaning Go away cholera!] ìThe name of the old mixture of Spanish and Portuguese was called the Iberian language. Even today, some of the Spanish dialects vary more from standard Spanish than from Portuguese. If the European Common Market system were extended to all countries of Europe, then Spain and Portugal would both be benefited.î As Baba spoke this sentence I wrote benefitted in my notebook. Though He could not see what I had written, He said, ìDharmavedananda, what is the spelling of benefited?î ìB-E-N-E-F-I-T-T-E-D,î I said. ìNo. Though the rule is that a short sound gets a double consonant, this is an exception, and there is only one ëtí. There was a man named Rainjan Chaterjee who had an MA in English, and was very proud of himself. Shailapati was not proud. Rainjan spelled benefited with two ëtís, and Shailapati questioned him. But Rainjan was sure of himself. ìShailapati said, ëOkay. You can spell benefited with two ëtís because lately in Bankipur there has been a number of incidents of dacoity. So two ëtís is good for security.î (Afterwards I looked through my notebook and found this to be my only careless spelling mistake in twenty pages of notes. Just see how nicely Baba caught me.) He continued, ìEnglish replaced French to lead the world because: A) It has the flexibility to accept words of other languages like raja and jungle. B) Its grammar is more simple than that of French. The verbs do not change according to the number and gender of the nominative case. And the nominative does not change according to the gender. C) Book-French and peopleís-French vary with each other. So what should be taken as the standard? ìSee how English ate up Scottish, Welsh and Irish. By the same reasoning, Hindi is not popular throughout India due to its grammatical complication.î (This ends my detailed notes from three days of His informal talks.) AS PER SYSTEM 216 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Nothing beyond infinity Lyon, France. Though we have a yoga house here, the Margis deemed it unfit for Babaís stay. Instead, they arranged a hotel suite for Him. Baba hammered His words into Dada Ramananda. ìHave I come here to stay in a hotel? Am I a bag of luggage to be stored away between darshans? Nonsense!î He steamed. ìYou are the culprit here. You approved the schedule and all the facilities. See to our shifting to the jagriti (yoga house) immediately. I shall not unpack my bag here.î I felt bad because it was not really Ramanandajiís fault. ìBut, Baba, there is no attached bath for you there. It will be highly inconvenient.î ìIt will be highly inconvenient, highly inconvenient,î He mimicked in a high falsetto. ìI am not here for a vacation! I am here to work and be with the Margis. If we are not out of here in five minutes...î and His voice trailed off into a mumble. It was a fact that there was no attached bathroom for Him in the yoga house. Setting up a portable toilet next to His room solved part

of the problem. For bathing, however, He had to walk through almost all the other rooms to reach the bathroom near the front door. Margis and workers were of course sitting everywhere. Considering that He takes a full bath at least three times a day, this was indeed an inconvenience. Yet Babaís mood could not have been sweeter. ...... Two days later. The Didi in charge of His kitchen handed me a basket this morning containing three thermos jugsówater, juice and milk. Because I was extremely busy preparing for the field walk, I passed the basket to one of the security volunteers, and requested him to bring it to the car. During the field walk, Baba drank nothing. After returning, He requested milk. Moments later, a distraught Ramanandaji came to me. ìWhat did you do to the milk?î ìNothing. Whatís the matter?î ìWhen I offered a cup of it to Baba, He smelled it and said, ëItís gone sour.í Iíve seen this sort of thing before. It happens only when the food or drink for Baba is handled carelesslyódisrespectfully.î ìBut I think Didi, myself and the guard were all meticulous.î 217

ìIt was a great problem. When Baba refused the milk, I suggested that another cup would be prepared. But He said, ëIt will violate our time schedule. So leave it.í This is very, very bad. Thatís why I want to find the cause. You have to check it and report to me within thirty minutes.î Unable to imagine the cause, I spoke to Didi and the guard, but both claimed their behavior had been proper. I sat down to think. A minute later, the guard came back, saying, ìDada, do you think that anything might have happened because of where I put the basket?î ìWhat? Didnít you carry it directly out to the car after I gave it to you?î ìYes, but no, well in fact, as I was bringing it out the door, I remembered my hat. I put the basket down near the door, and ran back to fetch my hat. But it was only a minute, Dadaji.î ìShow me exactly where you put it.î He pointed to the dusty area packed with everyoneís shoes. I understood, and went to Ramanandaji. ìThis is surely the explanation,î He said. ìWill you tell Baba?î ìWhat for? He knows everything. Rather He caused this incident to happen just to teach you.î ...... During the darshan, Baba said, ìSuppose that a gentleman is undergoing fasting and secretly in a closed room he takes chocolate. The man says to himself, ëNo one will know! Nobody will know!íî At this moment one brother abruptly exclaimed, ìOh Baba!î Baba continued, ìNot soóhis unit cognition will know that Iíve taken chocolate, and similarly the Cosmic Father will also know that in a particular room that unit body takes chocolate secretly. That unit body is still thinking, ëThe fact that I took chocolate on fasting day is not known to anybody.í Itís known to everybody, nothing is secret. ìNow suppose Anchala is thinking like this: ëThis night I will not join general darshan and I will sing Baba Nam Kevalam just on the

footpath.í But Anchalaís thought waves will be known to the Supreme Father also. The Supreme Father says, ëOhh! Anchala is thinking like this. Issue a banning order saying Anchala wonít be allowed to attend general darshan.í Nothing is secret.î AS PER SYSTEM 218 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Afterward I asked the brother why he had reacted so suddenly to Babaís words about chocolate. ìBecause He described what happened to me and the exact words I was thinking on the last fasting day.î Following the darshan, Baba said, ìEverything in this universe is the mental creation of the Supreme progenitor. As long as His mind is there, you are within His mind. He cannot say, ëGet out, get out of here! I donít want to see your face!í He cannot say this. Because in that case you can ask Him, ëOh Lord, You say, ìGet out!î, then where am I to go? It would be within Your mind.íî Now Anchala said, ìOh!î Baba looked at her, continuing, ìëAnd, Lord, if You say, ìGet out! Go beyond the periphery of My mindî, then certainly, Oh Lord, You are not infinite. Because there is something beyond Your mind. So just to maintain the prestige and dignity of Your name, You are to tolerate what I do and what I think. And thatís why it is Your duty to guide me. I am Your son, I am Your daughter. I am to do according to Your dictates. íî ...... Just before evening darshan, several Indian avadhutas and I were together in Babaís room when He said, ìI am now going to tell a story. But I prefer to speak in Bengali. If I were to tell it in English, it would lose some of its charm and much of its humor. Do you mind, Dharmavedananda?î ìNo, no, Baba, of course I donít mind.î ìGood. Afterward, Vijayananda will translate the story for you.î I did get the translation, and will explain below. But during the talk I had my own experience. Baba was in a chair, while we sat on the floor at His feet. He was served a large glass of lemon-water. A cloth napkin was tucked under His chin, which made Him look a bit child-like. Since I did not understand much of what He said, I paid attention only to His physical actions. As He spoke, He gradually brought the glass closer and closer to His mouth. Just as He was about to drink, He said something which made the Dadas laugh. He also laughed and brought the glass back down without drinking. Continuing, He again moved the lemon-water 219

toward His mouth and just as He was about to drink, He came to another funny line and, laughing with everyone, He again brought the drink down. He did this repeatedly, which made me laugh every time. At the end of the story, the Dadas were laughing so hard that some of them were rolling on the floor holding their sides. At last He brought the glass to His lips and, giving me a wink, drank the entire contents. As to the story (keep in mind that this translated version is missing many of the subtle Bengali nuances and all of His body-language), it concerned His army days before Indiaís independence from Great Britain. Since Baba was a corporal, the privates in His platoon frequently

complained to Him about their selfish sergeant. The food the privates got was very poor, while the sergeant ate well and never shared a crumb with them. One day, Baba said to the sergeant, ìSir, I know this jungle area well. I passed part of my youth nearby. I want to advise you about a most important point.î ìYes, go ahead,î the sergeant said. ìIím all ears.î ìThere are dangerous jackals roaming here. They are capable of killing a man and taking him for supper.î Opening his eyes wide, the sergeant said, ìThen what shall we do? Are there any precautions we can take?î ìGenerally these jackals attack in the middle of the night. Before attacking, however, they make a slight coughing sound. If we hear that sound, we must not alert the animal to our presence by moving. Do you understand?î ìCorporal Sarkar, I depend on you to get us through this region alive.î ìDonít worry, Sir. For maximum security, it will be best that I sleep in your tent.î ìBy all means, please do so.î That night Baba slept next to the sergeant. About 3:00 in the morning, Baba woke him up, and whispered, ìListen.î ìWhat is it?î exclaimed the anxious sergeant. ìShhhh, quiet,î He said. A soft cough could be heard. ìIs it...?î AS PER SYSTEM 220 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìYes, itís surely a jackal,î He whispered. ìOh God! In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit...î ìQuiet,î hissed Baba. Another sound was heard. ìI say! Whatís that?î said the sergeant. ìIt seems heís entered my supply tent!î ìShhh, quiet, Sir, please.î Then a clicking sound. ìBy God, I think heís getting right into my tiffin box!î ìSir, youíll give us away,î whispered Baba. ìWhat ho! I can hear the rustle of my bag of channa chura (spicy snack)!î ìDo keep quiet, Sir.î ìI say! It sounds like heís taking my satchel of dried fruits and nuts!î ìSir, please.î ìOh Lord, Iím sure thatís the sandesh (milk sweets)!î ìYouíll get us killed, Sir.î ìOh heaven save me, the cakes!î Baba grabbed his shoulders, whispering, ìGet a hold of yourself, Sir! Youíve absolutely got to hush up. Donít even move.î The sergeant lay there, unmoving. But his eyes were filled with horror hearing the sounds from the supply tent. At last, there was silence. Ten seconds, twenty seconds... The sergeant jumped up, saying, ìHe must be gone! Iíll just see...î

He ran out. ìOh, Mother Mary!î he yelled from the supply tent. ìThat jackalís taken every last drop of my eatables! God damn him!î Baba walked in, saying, ìSir, really. How can you care for such a small matter, when here we stand alive?î ìOh damn, damn, damn. Youíre right, but...î and mumbling beneath his breath he went back to his tent. Baba looked in, saying, ìSir, better I survey around, to ensure the creatureís really gone.î ìVery well,î sighed the sergeant. Then Baba went to the privatesí tent to join them in their well-deserved feast. ...... 221

During the darshan Baba said, ìIn the prehistoric world, on this globe of ours, the first language that was spoken was about six million years ago. The language came, but the intellectual standard was very poor. At that time even the forefathers of present human society, those apes and proto-apes, were not here. Modern humans came about one million years ago. They had language but at that time their intellectual standard was also very poor. As the intellectual standard was low, the vocabulary was also very poor. Even amongst the developed species of apes, the vocabulary is about 600 words. And in the most undeveloped species of humans, the vocabulary is a little more than 900. Whereas in the modern French language, the vocabulary is more than 4 lakhs, i.e. 400,000.î ...... Next day. It was 9:00 a.m. I was in the workersí room, resting on my back with my eyes closed. Nearly a month had passed, and now only three days remained of His program in Berlin Sector. I was exhausted. Thoroughly and totally. Having had minimal sleep, minimal meditation, minimal food, and maximum stress during this period, I thought, How can I continue for another three days? I love Baba and even love this work, but itís too much. Would that this were the last day. Iím sooo tired. Iím too tired to even move my hand. I canít even move a muscle. Nothing can possibly make me move now. Just in that moment someone said, ìBaba!î The room rippled with excitement and surprise. Suddenly realizing that Baba had entered, I jumped straight to my feet within a fraction of a second. Baba walked up to me. He gave me that mischievous smile which shows His dimples but not His teeth. Though He said nothing, I distinctly caught His thought: Nothing can possibly make you move, huh? The great good of deportation Milano airport, Italy. June 4. There were thirteen of us in Babaís entourage. We passed through immigration procedures normally; all the passports were stamped for entry into Italy. Just as we were beginning the customs check, an official ran up to us. ìPlease! Iím sorry, please let me have your passports again!î Without the slightest idea of the cause of this abnormal treatment, we collected our passports and gave them to him. We walked back with AS PER SYSTEM 222 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

him to the immigration area, and watched, horrified, as he stamped all the passports again. Over the entry permits he stamped ëCANCELED. í He gave no explanation and requested us to sit down. All of us were running in different directions, talking to any and every officer that we could find, trying to get an explanation, and reverse this shocking mistreatment. I felt especially responsible because I was the only one of the group who could speak Italian. After a few minutes of this pandemonium, I suddenly became aware that Baba was acting in a way I had never seen before. He was sitting alone, looking at nobody, and turning both forefingers and one foot in small circlesósurely mudras to manipulate the circ*mstances. The action was similar to that Iíve seen done by other Tantrics who were tapping some occult power (Afterward I tried to imitate the movements, but could not). I understood that He was in full control of what was happening, and wanted it to proceed exactly as it was. Knowing that nothing I could do would affect His plan, I straightway sat down next to Him. Under the influence of His energy, I became calm and meditative. After another hour, we were led to a shuttle bus. Everyone was talking excitedly, except for me. I stood next to Baba who appeared completely serene. We got on a plane and flew back to France. At no point did any official offer an explanation for our deportation. ...... When we arrived back at the Lyon airport, I telephoned the yoga house. Only one Dada and three full-timers were there. All the other Margis had either gone home or were traveling to Italy for Babaís program. Of course that Dada was shocked, but he arranged three cars to fetch us. While waiting for the cars, I stood next to Baba, offering what little security I could provide. Ignoring my intention, He said, ìSit down, Dharmavedananda.î Like a small boy, I happily put my stick down and sat next to Him. As He turned to speak to me, He accidentally brushed His hand against my shoulder and said, ìOh, pardon me.î I laughed and said, ìYouíre welcome to do it again, Baba.î He smiled. I was happy, together with my Baba, oblivious of whatever complications we were undergoing. ìTell me, Dharmavedananda, what is the great good which will come out of this deportation.î 223

I was surprised at his question. I thought for a moment and then replied, ìI donít really know, Baba. But I suppose the hundreds of devotees who were waiting for You in the Milano airport are now frustrated and disappointed. Theyíll surely feel very bitter toward their own government, and they will better understand how corrupt their system is. As a result, theyíll be much more encouraged to work hard for the establishment of a society guided by spiritual morality.î He said, ìYes, you understand a little something.î ...... The cars arrived. Baba entered one car and I entered another. For the first time in several hours I was separated from Him. For the first time, I started to think in a normal way. As we drove down the highway toward the yoga house, I turned gloomy. My mind sank deep within itself, and in that moment I remembered the thought Iíd had in the morning while lying on the floor:

How can I continue another three days? Would that this were the last day. Oh, why did I think such a stupid thing? Now here it was happening according to my idiotic wish. His flight to Bombay was already fixed for the evening. I was so sad that I started to weep softly. I thought, Baba, I miss you already. Then I thought, Please, You have to give me one last chance to be alone with You again. Please, when You call someone to massage You, let it be me. This thought ran on uncontrollably until we arrived at the yoga house. As we entered, the place seemed deserted compared with how it had been when we left that morning. Already most of the decorations had been taken down, and in every corner lay the remains of a yet uncompleted cleaning effort. Baba entered His room. I sat on the floor alone, alone with my sorrow. After a few minutes He came out and went for His bath. When He returned to His room, I continued to sit alone, sure that He would soon summon me. Ramanandaji came out, saying, ìKarunanandaji, Baba is calling you for massage.î What was this? I was so much into my own world that I never considered He might call another worker. I became distraught and dismayed. AS PER SYSTEM 224 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER A moment later though, Karunanandaji opened the door and rushed out saying, ìDharmavedanandaji, Baba is calling for you to come also. The electric fan is not working for some strange reason, so you should fan Him with, with...î He didnít know what to use as a fan. I grabbed a newspaper, ran into His room, and started fanning Him with it. Meanwhile, Karunanandaji also came back to do the massage. Baba was in a blissful state. I was now as high as I had been down a few moments before. At first Baba was in a quiet mood. He began speaking about the suffering He and His mission had undergone from the very time of His childhood. But His voice carried no resentment. It had all been necessary and ultimately good. Then He returned to the present. ìWhat is the cause of this deportation? î ìI believe the Indian government fed bad information about Ananda Marga to the Italian government,î Karunanandaji said. ìWell, it may be, it may be,î Baba said with eyes half-closed. Then He opened His eyes and said, ìBut it may be a religious institution.î He told the exact name of that institution. We were both surprised. Though He said ìit may be a religious institution, î we understood Him to mean that it definitely was that institution. ìYou see those priests,î He said, ìthey teach the people to think, ëI am a sinner, I am a sinner. Lord, save me, I am a sinner.í Thus they infuse inferiority complex. Even if one is not a sinner, praying like this, identifying with sin, he or she will become a sinner. Todayís young people donít like this approach. ìWhereas Ananda Marga gives a revolutionary call to the youth. We say that everyone should think, ëI am the son or I am the daughter of the Supreme Father. Lord, no matter what Iíve done, You have to

take me on Your lap.íî He was silent for a few moments. Then He sat up, looking serious and said, ìWhy do they fear us?î By His word they, we understood He was no longer talking of any single religious institution, but rather of all the people and groups that fear Ananda Marga. The question was rhetorical, so we didnít try to answer. 225

ìThey fear us because we are better than the Hindus in philosophy ... better than the Christians in social service ... better than the Jews in orthodoxy ... better than the Buddhists in morality ... better than the Moslems in social equality ... better than the Jains in asceticism ... and better than the Communists in mobility. Thatís why they fear us.î ...... In the evening some of the local Margis came. As usual, a large procession formed, accompanying Baba to the airport. But this time He was not traveling on another leg of the journey. He was leaving us. I was so involved in the arrangements that it again slipped my mind that the final moment was approaching. I remained busy until Baba began the passport check. Though I was not flying, I somehow managed to enter the passengers-only area. I walked next to Baba in silence. As each moment passed, I became more heavy-hearted. Finally, He and the others entered the gate to board the plane. I forced myself to smile at Him. He smiled back and gave a slight wave of His hand. Then He turned the corner and was out of sight. I walked some distance to where I could be alone and cried. ...... Next day. In the mid-morning, completely exhausted from the tour, I sprawled out on the floor and fell asleep. Dada Vedaprajinananda told me afterward, ìWhen I walked by what I thought was a near-mindless Dharmavedananda, I was surprised to hear you talking in your sleep. You called out, ëWhere can we take Baba tonight for fieldwalk?í ìJust for fun I decided to answer you and said, ëWe can take Him along the Rhone River,í thinking that would be the end of it. ìBut, still sleeping, you replied, ëNo, we canít take Him there. He was there yesterday!íî ...... Today Dada Karunananda told me, ìWhen we were still in the Milano airport, but it was clear that all our efforts would go nowhere and that we would surely be deported, I asked Baba: ëBaba, they donít AS PER SYSTEM 226 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER allow us. What we should do?í Baba said, ëWhat can we do? We will go back.í Then He put His hand on His nephew Paltuís shoulder. He was a bit tired and said, ëThereís nothing wrong with the people of Italy. There is something wrong with the government.í I said, ëBaba, Iím so sorry. We could have organized better for You.í But Baba said to me, ëWhat did you say? Sorry? Why sorry? You should never be sorry. When I was leaving Bombay I decided that I would give thirty-five discourses

during this tour. The thirty-fifth discourse was completed last night in Lyon. So I knew that I would not be able to speak further in Verona. Still I came here up to Milano airport. And I am going back from here. There is some reason why I came and why I am going back.íî Confirmation of Babaís ëguessí Two weeks later. Mainz, West Germany. The news from Italy: Today brother Markendeya and a few other Italian Margis completed their efforts to find out the cause of the deportation of Babaís tour group. At an early stage of their investigation they were able to confirm that the original request for the deportation had indeed come from somewhere inside the religious institution named by Baba. The official in that institution who conveyed the request to the Italian government told them he had only performed his duty, and did not know the reason. He was ordered to do so by a higher religious official. The Margis then met that higher official. He directed them to an even higher officer from whom he had received his order. This upward relay continued until they were led to an inner circle around the supreme authority. At this point they were told by the very highest official they met, ìI am sorry. I am not permitted to give you any more information regarding the source or the reasoning behind this process.î 227

CHAPTER 13

Visaless Travel Increasing bliss, increasing struggle

Verona, Italy. August. New news! What a wonderful surprise. Baba will be coming to Europe again! And after such a short gap. Maybe He will come often. Wouldnít that be a delightful dream! Of course, knowing Baba, the struggle I experienced during His first visit will only be greater this time. So goes the path of bliss. He is scheduled to come first to Greece with a complete entourage on September 19th. This time it will be a ten day program. Tonight I already started calling all over the continent to begin preparations. I even had to call Iceland. ...... Hannover. 16 September. Another of His sudden games: at 3:00 in the morning I received a call that the timetable for Babaís European tour had been pushed forward, and that He is to arrive in Athens the day after tomorrow. Three hours later I was on a southbound train together with two other Dadas. I almost feel like saying, ìThis is too much.î But I wonít because He knows what Heís doing. ...... Next day. Athens, Greece. When we arrived at the station this morning, we were met by a new Greek Margi. ìNamaskar, Dadas!î ìNamaskar. Whatís your name, brother?î ìI Giriish! Trip good?î ìIt was okay. Traveling is a big part of our life, you know.î ìYah hah!î VISALESS TRAVEL 228 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìGiriish, you must be excited that Baba is coming.î

ìBaba! Oh Baba! Was beautiful!î ìYes, itíll be beautiful. I guess youíve never seen Baba before, Giriish?î ìOh Baba! Was so beautiful!î ìYes. Is His coming still fixed as planned?î ìYes! Coming! Yesterday! Beautiful!î ìNot yesterday, Giriish. The word is tomorrow.î ìComing yesterday! Coming yesterday!î We ran to the station telephone, and called the yoga house. It was true: Baba came and left yesterday! How could this be? We walked to the yoga house, still hoping there was a misunderstanding. There we met Dada Shaktinath. ìYesterday the phone rang,î said Shaktinath. ìThe party said, ëI am Dada Ramananda, and we are here with Baba in the airport.í I said, ëYeah, sure. Who is this really?í He said, ëBelieve me, Iím Ramananda. We came a little early.í I was shocked, but I ran to the airport with two Greek Margis. I was the only Dada here. I was excited, but also worried: nothing was prepared yet. Not even their visas. ìBy the time we got there, Baba and all the Dadas and the Didi and Margis in His group were outside the airport waiting for us. ìAfter we paid our respects to Baba, I asked, ëNo trouble with the visas?í ìëNo, no trouble,í Dada Ramananda said. ëWe didnít get any visas.í ìëWhat? How did you get out of the airport?í ìëI still wonder that myself,í Dada Ramananda said. ëI had hoped you brothers could arrange something for us. But Baba took the initiative. We were waiting inside the immigration building when He walked out one door and waved for us to join Him. I guess we never would have been able to get the visas. Without Babaís lead we couldnít have entered Greece.í ìThen we took Baba to the yoga house. Though nothing had been properly arranged yet, He didnít seem to mind. He was very affectionate. After a few minutes, Dada Ramananda told me that Baba would like to bathe and rest. The yoga house was not suitable so then we went to Jayantaís house. Though everything was hodge-podge, Babaís mood was perfect, and so was the darshan in the evening. Early this morning they all left for Egypt.î 229

We three Dadas were completely frustrated. We went to the beach for a swim. It was my first leisure-break in months. ...... When I arrived back at the yoga house, I received a phone call from Dada Karunananda. ìBaba will be arriving in Iceland tomorrow evening from Cairo. You should immediately fly there.î ìWhat? Itís not possible! Are you sure?î ìWhat can I say? Ramanandaji called me just now with that information. Iíve booked my flight to arrive in Reykjavik this evening. Donít be late.î ìBut Iíve only got about $200, and the flight will surely cost more than $1000.î ìThatís your problem.î When I told the other Dadas, they had a good laugh.

ìThereís no money among the Margis here,î said Shaktinath. ìThis is one of the poorest units in Europe.î ìThereís no time and thereís no way youíll make it,î another Dada said. ìWeíll see,î I said. After about twenty phone calls, and the usual incredible coincidences, I jumped in a taxi. It was thirty minutes before the departure of the only appropriate flight. Brother Sandiip met me at the airport. As he handed me the money, he said, smiling, ìFor me is too much, Dada. But I love Baba.î ìYeah. So do I,î I said, thanking him with a hug. ...... Reykjavik, Iceland. We were rushing like mad to get everything ready in time for Babaís arrival when the phone rang. It was Dada Ramananda. There would be a change, he said. They would arrive the day after tomorrow. The phone almost slipped from my hand as I thought about the part of my fare that was ìwastedîóI could have gone by train at least as far as Copenhagen, and saved about $500. Well, I suppose this was a good exercise for developing surrender in Sandiip. And in me. ...... VISALESS TRAVEL 230 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Two days later. Even though we had two days to prepare, we were still anxiously making last minute arrangements when the phone rang. It was Ramanandaji. ìThereís been another change,î he said. ìWe will come tomorrow.î ...... [Authorís note: I later heard the story behind Babaís delay. That morning, Baba and His entourage were in transit at the Copenhagen airport. Without visas, they could not come out to meet the Margis. By the goodwill of the immigration authorities, however, a special exception was granted, and the Margis were able to enter the transit area to enjoy His darshan for two hours. The plane took off for Reykjavik. But after thirty minutes in the air, the captain announced that difficult weather conditions had suddenly developed. The flight was diverted to Oslo. In my opinion the highest kiirtans of Europe are found in Oslo. I had wondered why Baba chose not to visit there. Of course, the group had no visas to enter Norway. All the Dadas expected to either stay in the transit hall, or otherwise follow the instructions of the airlines. Baba, however, was of a different mind. Without consulting any of them, He headed for immigration. One of the workers said, ìBaba, excuse me, we have no visas for Norway, so it will be of no use to go through immigration. We might try to speak to the highest authority here.î But Baba paid no attention. He simply stood in the passport line. Their protests unheard, the others also fell into line. When they saw the officer stamping an entry permit in Babaís passport everyone was astonished. They could hardly suppress their laughter as one by one they were all similarly admitted into Norway. Just after the last Dadaís passport was stamped, however, the officer

seemed to wake up. ìWait a moment,î he said. ìLet me see your passport again. ... Whatís this? Thereís no Norwegian visa! No no, this is very bad. All of you Indians, give me your passports back.î ìAh, but we have friends here in Oslo,î said Dada Ramananda. ìBefore you cancel the visas, allow us first to call our friends. Perhaps this can be straightened out.î ìThis is highly irregular,î said the officer. ìWait here.î 231

A higher official was approached, telephone calls were made, and several unbelieving, shocked Margis came to the airport. As the negotiations proceeded, Baba sat with the Margis and gave a mini-darshan. Eventually it was decided that Baba, Ramanandaji, and Didi Ananda Prajina would be permitted to enter Norway. The others would have to stay in a hotel arranged by the airlines. The exuberant Margis and their three guests drove to the house of two Margi couples: Manohar and Jyotsna, and Abaniish and Hansa. When Baba entered the bedroom where He was to stay, the bed was still unmade from the previous night. It seemed He could not have cared less and was in good humor. That evening scores of Margis packed into the little house. Though the facilities were unsuitable for Baba to give darshan, the air was full of excitement and devotion. The next morning Baba returned to the airport. In the airport itself He gave darshan for one hour, thus fully satisfying everyone. (Even the Dadas who had stayed in the hotel were satisfied, having convinced the airline officials to grant them free of charge ìa few shortî international phone calls.] Spiritual motivation only Baba fixed Iceland as the site for the only DMC program in Europe during His tour. Iceland is perhaps the most difficult point for European Margis to reach. And it is certainly not considered a resort island. Moreover, there are fewer Margis in Iceland than in most other European countries. Though He hasnít explained the reason, we guess that there must be a spiritual cause. Certainly there is something distinctive about this island of the midnight sun. Some mystics have written that Iceland is one of the earthís highest energy centers. Though I feel they may be right, I donít really know. But at least Baba did say this island is one of the few portions of the ancient land of Atlantis which is still above water. This reminded me of a story about Baba from some years back. A rich Margi had a personal problem and desired Babaís help. When he was admitted for personal contact, he secretly carried with him a substantial quantity of gold, thinking to offer it to Baba. When he entered Guruís room, he was shocked. Rather than sitting on His bed as usual, VISALESS TRAVEL 232 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Baba was sitting on a huge pile of gold coins. Baba said, ìDo you think your riches mean anything to me?î The values of the common person and a Tantric guru are quite different. ...... Upon returning from field walk Ramanandaji noticed some blood on Babaís foot when he was taking off Babaís shoes.

ìBaba, what is this? When did You get injured?î ìIt has been troubling me for several days.î ìBut Baba, You didnít mention it before.î Baba did not reply. Ramanandaji picked up the shoe and looked inside. He found a nail protruding from the sole. ìBaba, look at this nail! Why didnít You tell me? We could have fixed it or gotten new shoes.î He smiled. ìI did not want to disturb you.î ìSo You destroyed Your foot! Oh, look at it! There must have been so much pain. Now You disturb me anyway! You should have told me the moment the problem came!î Still smiling, He said, ìRecently I absorbed a large quantity of samskaras while giving personal contacts.61 It was necessary that Prakriti62 express at least a little something in the balance. If I had informed you of the nail in my shoe, you surely would have eliminated my discomfiture. But then Prakriti would have had to devise another form of compensation.î Secret connection A dozen workers were in Babaís bedroom today, laughing our heads off at His jokes. At one point, He looked at Dada Rudreshvarananda, who is French by birth, and started speaking in his mother tongue. Though the rest of us understood next to nothing, Rudreshvaranandaji was so tickled by Babaís French mirth, that he literally rolled on the floor in laughter. Later I came to know that Baba was making absurd comparisons beHere Baba refers to the fact that during personal contact He relieves disciples of certain samskaras, (reactive momenta or unexpressed reactions) which most impede the individualís spiritual development. 62 Prakriti is commonly defined as ìNature.î More precisely it is the operational principle causing Cosmic Consciousness to express itself. 61

233

tween the objects and the people in the room. This French session went on for perhaps ten minutes. Afterward I asked Rudreshvaranandaji, ìHow was Babaís French pronunciation?î ìBetter than my own. Baba spoke with a perfect Paris accent, whereas I was raised far outside of Paris. I think even His vocabulary exceeds mine.î ìBut how could He know so much French?î ìHe surely has a secret direct connection with the Cosmic Funny Bone,î Rudreshvaranandaji replied. Lost in His shoes Today was DMC day, and brother Jyotishvar from America had an interesting experience to recount afterwards. ìI arrived in Iceland three weeks before DMC. Together with a few others, I worked everyday to prepare for the great event. We worked hard painting, cleaning, organizing, and furnishing Babaís quarters. Although it was fun to do, few people seemed interested in the project, and I wondered if there would be much of a turnout for the DMC. However, as the day of Babaís arrival drew near, Margis began to appear. When the Dadas arrived, they began asking for a volunteer to guard Babaís house during the DMC (which of course meant missing the DMC), but strangely enough no one was the least bit interested. Even after Babaís arrival, no one could be persuaded to take the duty. Dada

Dharmavedananda, the security in-charge for Europe, asked me to do it. I adamantly refused. I had been working on Babaís house for weeks with little support of the local Margis, and was frustrated that everyone was coming at the last minute to see Baba and was not willing to do any service. Ultimately the Central Dada said I would have to take the duty since I had already attended several DMCs. I was very upset, and even tried to hire some black-belts from the nearby karate school to guard instead of me. But all to no avail. By DMC time, I was crazy with anger. I was fighting with everyone. When the last person left for the program, the silence became unbearable. I was consumed with anger and loneliness, and paced back and forth outside Babaís room like a caged tiger. Finally the pain became intolerable, and I burst into Babaís room. VISALESS TRAVEL 234 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Even though I had helped put the room together, I was stunned by what I saw there. The room and all the furnishings were pure whiteó with the exception of the orange lines of a very large pratik (Ananda Marga symbol) that hung from the wall, several orange objects that Baba likes to have on his night table, and one orange rose in a clear vase. The room smelled strongly like perfume, though I doubt any actual perfume was used. The vibration was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I approached the bed and smelled Babaís pillow; it had a powerful perfume-like smell. Then I noticed one item in the room which was not white or orange: Babaís shoes! I sat on the floor in front of His shoes in meditation position and stared at them. They were black Indian slippers with pointed toes and were very well worn on the inside. I wondered, ìHow did Baba leave the house with no shoes on?î Then temptation struck, and I put my hands in those shoes and closed my eyes. Needless to say, I began to have a very strange experience. It was disturbed after a few moments, however, by a commotion outside. I hurried to see what was going on, which was the least I could do considering I was supposed to be guarding the house. I was shocked to find all the Margis returning after what could not have been more than ten minutes! What had happened? Then Babaís car pulled up as the Margis crowded into the house shouting slogans. Had Baba refused to give DMC; why was he back so soon? Baba got out of the car and walked toward His room where I was now standing dazed and confused, trying to look official without much success. Just as he got to His door, he stopped and turned around. The crowd became very quiet, and Baba said only this: ìI think everyone enjoyed the program?î ìSo he did give the DMC!î I thought. ìI must have been lost a long time in His shoes.î Then with the Margis still in a hush, all eyes glued on Baba, He turned His head to the left and, face to face, he looked into my eyes and smiled a melting smile that said: ìYou thought you could do something without Baba knowing?î 235

Even at this time some countries were still confused by the Indian governmentís negative propaganda about Ananda Marga. Such countries refused visa applications of any known member of Ananda Marga. Three years later I personally met a British immigration officer. He told me, ìItís quite true that our governmentís policy was previously 63

to refuse entry of any foreign national who was known to be a member of Ananda Marga. Due to recent revisions in our information, however, the policy has been revised. Restriction on entry by Ananda Marga members no longer applies.î The British government eventually became so positive that our London kindergarten received appreciation letters from government-affiliated bodies and received government grants.

The game called money

Late yesterday afternoon Baba asked us, ìBy what route are we traveling to Frankfurt tomorrow?î Dada Karunananda replied, ìWe will fly via London, Baba.î ìWhat? Nonsense! Change the flight! The United Kingdom refused my visa application, so I shall not visit there.î ìBut, Baba,î Karunanandaji pleaded, ìwe will only pass in transit. î ìIt doesnít matter! I wonít even touch my toe on that land. It is my fixed policy not to visit any country which rejects my visa application unless and until that countryís government formally invites me.î63 When we left the room, several of us held a quick meeting. ìThe tickets will have to be rebooked via Copenhagen,î Karunanandaji said. ìBy that route the additional cost for eleven tickets will be about $5000. Where are we going to get that kind of money by tomorrow morning? Our account is already finished.î There were plenty of intelligent ideas between us: ìAnybody know any millionaires?î ìWe could ask the government.î ìAre the banks still open for negotiating a loan?î ìWe could ask Baba what to do.î ìLook,î one of us said, ìBaba never tolerates any talk of moneyproblems. Besides, if He creates a problem, He also has a solution waiting to be found.î Though not a single good option had arisen, we remained optimistic. A few minutes later while I was talking with an older Margi sister, a brother named Alexander, whom I had initiated just three days before, interrupted us. VISALESS TRAVEL 236 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìIt sounds like you have a big financial problem, Dadaji.î ìWell, yes, but you shouldnít be worried about it. Iím sure weíll solve it somehow.î I didnít want this new Margi to be bothered by our problem. But he was persistent. ìHow much do you need?î he asked. ìItís okay. You neednít be concerned.î ìJust tell me, Dada.î ìAh, about $5000.î ìWell ... thatís a coincidence. I just sold my house for $15,000. I made the budget for spending $10,000, and was wondering what I would do with the other $5,000. Now I know.î I objected, but he insisted. As we were leaving this morning, Alexander flashed a big smile and said, ìI feel like Baba created this problem just so I wouldnít use my extra money in selfish pleasures.î I wasnít sleeping! According to what others later told me, on the flight to Frankfurt two Didis were sitting in front of Baba. Looking back, one of them laughed. She elbowed the other, who also turned around and burst out

laughing. Babaís curiosity aroused, He also glanced back over His shoulder. And there I sat. Due to exhaustion I had fallen asleep during meditation. My head was tilted back and my mouth was wide open. That mouth has an immense capacity to stretch itself. (When I was a child, some of my friends called me Snake-jaw). Baba also grinned. One Dada said, ìHow about pouring some water in?î A Margi next to me, Mr Rathi, said, ìI can deposit a cardamom seed.î Baba said, ìLetís put a rasogula in his mouth.î64 Rathiji dropped a cardamom seed in my mouth. Rudely awakened, I sat up sharply and said, ìI wasnít sleeping! I was meditating.î Everyone exploded with laughter, including Baba. Ever grateful Frankfurt airport. Because Germany was not in the original tour plan, no visas had been arranged. This time Baba did not try to slip through Immigration. Instead, He suggested we approach the authorities to grant 64

Rasogula is a popular Indian milk-sweet.

237

Though Baba never again came to Europe, this experience had two values. Besides indicating the places where Prout may want to concentrate in the future, Baba also showed me that codification is one of the easiest systems to use for memorization. I used this system innumerable times since then. 65

an exception. Though an application seemed unlikely to succeed, the guru suggested it, so we proceeded. The authorities in the airport immediately transferred our request to a higher government body. While waiting for the reply, they kindly arranged a VIP lounge for Babaís rest. We wanted to provide a snack for Baba. Unfortunately there were no cooking facilities so we were forced to order from the catering service. I was anxious about how He would react to a commercial food item. I offered Him some blueberry yogurt and Baba commenced to eat it directly from the plastic container. ìItís excellent,î He commented after the first spoonful. ìMighty tasty,î He added while eating more. ìIíve never dined on such a succulent yogurt,î He said, polishing it off completely. He smiled at me. This was one of the few times I ever saw Baba eat more than a few mouthfuls of a food item. I had never seen Him finish anything before. He always left most of His meal for the Margis to enjoy as prasad. I felt that He ate all the yogurt just to please me. At the end of the meal we received the news that the visa applications were granted. The customs officer who stamped our passports said, ìYou are very lucky people. Exceptional treatment.î Baba replied something to the effect that it was not luck. Rather it was an indication of the good nature and open-mindedness of the German people. At last He said, ìI shall be ever grateful to the German nation.î Double-blessing Frankfurt. During the morning field walk, Baba said to me, ìPerhaps my next trip in Europe will cover four places. Because I want you to remember these places, I am giving you a code, Dharmavedananda: DDNN. Finland ends in D, Greenland ends in D, Lisbon ends in N, Dublin ends in N. Will you remember?î ìYes, Baba,î I said. ìBut why did You select these places?î ìThese four will later prove to be hot-points of Prout.î65

VISALESS TRAVEL 238 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

...... At the end of Babaís informal morning darshan, He permitted collective guru puja to be sung (offering of the ego through singing mantra with gestures). He usually allows it only at the most important programs like DMC, so we were happily surprised. During His afternoon field walk in a huge park, Baba suddenly requested that we change direction. This was the first time in my experience He had ever altered our route. I became upset because about 150 Margis were waiting for Baba in a pre-planned spot. Dada Ramananda and some other senior Dadas were with them. Hoping to avert a major disappointment, I requested a guard to run ahead and inform them of the change. Alas, it was too late. By the time we arrived at our new destination, only about forty Margis had been quick enough or clever enough to find us. The senior Dadas also had not arrived. Surrounded by sweet-smelling flowers, and in the absence of the usual officialdom, Baba gave a beautiful darshan. At the end one brother requested that we be allowed to do guru puja. ìIt was already performed this morning,î Baba replied smiling. ìYes, Baba, but may we please do it again?î Baba became a little serious, and said, ìOnce is enough.î ìPlease, Baba.î Baba looked around. If Ramanandaji had been there, he would surely have stopped the Margis from pressing Baba. I understood that Baba did not want the puja to be done, but I would be endlessly condemned by these Margis if I interfered now. Perhaps Babaís position was similar to mine, in that He did not want to be remembered afterward as being stingy. Or perhaps He foresaw the inevitability of this scene, and for that reason had changed our course to avoid the larger cast of characters. Or had He all along planned a double-blessing? In any case, He finally gave a silent nod, and we began singing. During the puja, Babaís usual practice is to return our offerings with certain hand-gestures. This time, however, the gestures were different than any I had ever seen. Unfortunately most of the Margis had their eyes closed, and did not see this special display. But it is my habit never to close my eyes in Babaís presence. 239

Bakerís dough

September 27. This morning before the start of reporting, four of us slipped into Babaís room. ìMay we?î someone asked Baba. He gave a wave of His hand, and we all started to massage Him; one on His right arm, one on His left arm, the third on His right leg, and the last on His left leg. As the other workers filed in for the meeting, we four continued ploughing into His flesh. I remember in particular Dada Sarvabodhananda smiling broadly, showing his charming teeth the entire time, his fingers almost dancing on Babaís right arm. At one point, Baba said, ìI feel just like bakerís dough.î Everyone laughed. But we carried on with our kneading.

Is His apparent pleasure sometimes not real pleasure, but rather just a means to allow us to increase our relationship with Him? Failure becomes success Other than laughing at His joke, I hardly smiled during that massage. I was feeling melancholy; this was the last day of Babaís tour. Most of the time in Iceland, and here in Germany, I had been busy arranging security, darshans, field walks, transportation etc etc. Though I was often with Baba, it was usually together with other Margis and workers. I wanted to be alone with Him. Thatís why today I decided to stay near His room as much as possible, to catch whatever chance might comeóeven if it meant neglecting my duty. Most of the morning and afternoon I was present just outside His door, which was almost always open, permitting me to see Him. As the hours went by, however, I was slowly consumed with an awkward feeling. On one hand I wanted to be alone with Him, but couldnít manage it. On the other hand I was disregarding my duties and had no idea what problems might be arising. Finally it was time for the last field walk. I hoped it had been organized properly without my supervision. But when I accompanied Baba outside I found a complete mess. Not only were minor details out of orderóeven a car and several guards were missing. I moved into VISALESS TRAVEL 240 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER high gear to make emergency arrangements, hoping that Baba would not notice the chaos. Of course He had to noticeóit was obvious to everyone. Todayís lack of arrangement was a singular fiasco. Yet He criticized nothing. In this worst of circ*mstances, He pretended everything was normal. He was even kind to me. Was He generous because I was already despondent over His imminent departure? Perhaps. But one thing surely contributed to His magnanimity: He understood that I was deeply affected by the failure; and that I was determined never again to neglect my duty for the sake of a personal desireóno matter how sublime that desire might be. On the outside, failure. On the inside, success. Every mistake can be soóshould be so. But when itís your mistake, itís not too wise to tell anybody about your inner success. If you want to eat more Frankfurt airport. After we checked in we found out that our flight was delayed. I sat with Baba, undisturbed by anyone else. In the wake of both my incompetence and my realization, He fulfilled my wish to be alone with Him. At one point in the conversation, He began speaking in a light-hearted manner. ìRegarding Dr Pathak,î He said, referring to the Margi who sat out of earshot, ìthough he is retired, back in India he owned an important clinic. Now he believes he is my doctor.î Baba used such a tone that it sounded ludicrous. We laughed together, like two happy peas in a pod. ìIn fact, I am his doctor, though he does not know it. I told him a few days ago, ëYou see, doctor, we shall soon be leaving Europe, and going to South America. Here in Europe we may find the best cheeses in the world. There, however, cheese is in scarcity. So during our sojourn here, you should consume maximum cheese.í He followed my

prescription to the letter. Now he is suffering from belly-ache, due to an overdose of cheese. ìCan you see all the food protruding from his bulging shopping bag? He said he is collecting souvenirs to present his family in India. But we know better.î He paused and stopped smiling. As my chuckling died away, He said, ìRemember: if you want to eat more, eat less.î ...... 241

The flight was called. We stood up to walk toward the gate. ìWhere are Dadas J and N?î Baba asked. I ran here and there to look for them, but couldnít find them anywhere. Baba was getting worked up over their irresponsibility. He turned to Didi Ananda Karuna and said, ìWhen they appear, you should give them a piece of your mind.î Then He said to one Dada, ìYou must tell them that they are not monks but monkeys.î And to another Dada, ìYou are to make such a hubbub that they never forget this august moment. î Though Baba looked angry, we all enjoyed it. I went to the airlines desk, and arranged for an announcement of the two miscreantsí names. A few minutes later they appeared, running. I rushed to meet them and asked, ìWhat delayed you? Baba is furious.î They grinned sheepishly. ìWe were looking for white chocolate.î With a flourish and a show of victory, they whipped several bars out of their handbags for me to see. I accompanied them to the gate, where Baba and the others were already walking toward the shuttle-bus, leaving me behind. As those last two Dadas boarded, I could see everyone playing their roles, fiendishly attacking the hapless pair. The vehicle started moving. Baba wagged His finger at them, and shouted loud enough to make the bus momentarily swerve. A few seconds before the bus disappeared from sight, Baba broke His scolding just in time to turn toward me. He smiled, and His eyes twinkled as He gave me a small wave of His hand. VISALESS TRAVEL 242 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER CHAPTER 14

Become an Ideal Person Better not trouble Cosmic Mind

Wales, United Kingdom. 1980. Today at the breakfast table, I commented to some Margis, ìPerhaps I have a special blessing from Baba. In the nine years Iíve been working for Ananda Marga, Iíve never missed a train, bus or plane. Even when I arrive at the station late, the trains and buses in those cases are also late.î ìWhatís the explanation for this, Dada?î a sister asked. ìWell, itís surely not my own power. If I werenít working for dharma (righteousness), Iíd miss the bus just like anybody else. Simply speaking, the Cosmic Force protects those who serve It.î ìHow about some more apple pie, Dadaji?î she said. ìSure, thanks.î ìBut, Dada,î my host, Karun said, ìthereís no time for more pie now. Your train for Liverpool leaves in just twenty minutes.î

ìNo problem,î I said. I ate the pie at a leisurely pace. We left after about ten minutes. Since we were late, Karun drove me by motorcycle as fast as he could. Still, we arrived one minute past the scheduled departure time. We sat down on the platform to wait for the late train. Five minutes passed in pleasant conversation. Then as one lady walked by, I asked, ìExcuse me, do you know how late the train to Liverpool is?î ìItís not late,î she said. ìIt came on time and left on time.î ìWhat?î I was shocked. ìHow can that be?î ìI think itís not unreasonable, sir,î she said, and started to walk away. 243

ìDada, thereís always a first time, you know,î said Karun. ìI told you not to eat that pie.î ìNo!î I said, jumping up. ìThere must be a way. Excuse me again,î I said, running after the same lady, ìbut do you know any other way to Liverpool? Iíve got to be there by 6:00 this evening for a lecture.î ìWell, my husband sometimes takes a morning bus to Liverpool. But thatís surely left by now.î ìWe have to try!î I said. ìWhere does it go from?î ìIt leaves about seven kilometers from here. Straight down that road. But I tell you, itís already too late.î ìThanks! Letís go, Karun!î I pulled Karun onto the motorcycle. Even as we rode off, he protested at the futility of it. ìI tell you, that pie did you in, Dada,î he said. ìApple pie yanked you off the path of Dharma!î About three kilometers down the road, we spotted a bus on the side of the road. ìStop the bike!î I yelled. I ran to the bus, and leapt inside. ìIs this bus going to Liverpool?î I asked. The driver had his head underneath the steering wheel, and was trying to see something. ìDonít bother me, buddy.î ìPlease, just tell me, are you going to Liverpool?î ìWe will, damn it, if this bus ever gets going again.î I laughed and said, ìDonít worry. Iím sure it will start soon.î Just as I said that, he turned the key and the engine roared. As the bus drove off, I stuck my head out the window. ìThanks for the pie!î Karun yelled at me, ìYou lucky stiff!î ...... Ten days later. Oslo, Norway. I was busy until late last evening, reviewing the meditation lessons of a few Margis. Abaniish knocked on my door. ìYouíre going to miss your train to Stockholm, Dada,î he said. ìI never miss. Donít worry.î By and by, I got ready. Once in the car, Abaniish drove like mad. When we arrived at the station, Abaniish and the other Margis jumped out and ran. I walked. ìDada, hurry up!î BECOME AN IDEAL PERSON 244 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìBaba will take care,î I replied.

But just as the platform came in sight, the train pulled away. I stood there flabbergasted. ìDada, why didnít you run?î Abaniish said. ìThereís no time for talk now,î I said. ìWhereís the next stop?î ìWell, Lillestrom,î he said. ìBut itís too far away. Itíd be out of the question to try and catch up with the train.î ìI donít care!î I said. ìWeíve got to make it.î I ran toward the car. Abaniish laughed, and came after me slowly. When he finally got to the car, he said, ìThereís no way, Dada. Just admit you missed it.î But I insisted, so reluctantly he drove. All the way to Lillestrom he kept saying, ìThis is crazy. Itís impossible! Weíre just wasting our time.î But I pushed him to drive faster. Twenty-five minutes later, as we came near the Lillestrom station, we saw the train also approaching. ìI canít believe it!î Abaniish said. ìItís like a movie!î As the car screeched in, I threw the door open, sprinted to the train, and jumped in, out of breath. Then, anti-climactically, the train remained there for a few minutes. The Margis jogged up, clapping their hands. ìCongratulations, Dada,î Abaniish said. ìAny parting remarks for the fans?î ìYeah,î I said. ìThough we Dadas may not have to worry about catching our trains, itís still better to arrive early.î Due to their laughter, perhaps they didnít hear me add, ìI got your message, Baba. Twice in ten days is enough.î A great force behind your work Reykjavik. I am staying with a family whose daughter works on the American military base. Yesterday, when I asked her how I could enter the base, she shrugged her shoulders and said, ìItís impossible, Dada. Unless youíve got special permission.î ìThen how do you get in?î ìI take the staff bus.î This morning at 7:00 I donned civilian clothes and walked alone to an unmarked bus-stop. When the bus came, I boarded; no one asked for either identification or fare. I suppose the driver and employees were too sleepy to notice me. 245

The bus cleared the check-point at the main gate of the military complex. Inside the base, it made a number of stops, dropped off passengers, and negotiated two more security posts. At its final stop, deep within this strange land within a strange land (treeless Iceland itself reminds me of nothing short of the moon), I stepped down. I looked around, wondering where I might find my destination. Picking the area where the buildings were packed together most densely, I maneuvered between jeeps, top brass and sentries. Perhaps because I walked as if I knew where I was going, no one questioned me. When I had sufficiently penetrated the maze of match-box wooden structures and concrete cubes, the moment for my biggest gamble arrived. I approached a passing officer. ìExcuse me,î I said. ìYes, sir. How can I help you?î ìIím a bit lost. Can you tell me where the anti-insurgency training section is?î I asked, wondering if there was any such place.

ìWho did you want to meet there?î he asked. Beautiful! ìThe chief training officer,î I said. ìThe man dealing with that material has an office not far from here. Let me have a look at your pass to make sure you wonít have any problems accessing the area.î Without hesitation, simply depending on Baba, I said, ìI donít have any pass.î ìWhat? Then how did you get onto the base?î ìI just walked here, and no one stopped me.î ìAstonishing! Iíve never heard of such a thing before! Excuse me, sir, but can I know your purpose?î ìIím a social worker, and I have an interest in developing a course to discipline my staff. I think thereís much to learn from military discipline.î He looked at me intently. ìExcuse me for saying, sir, but you look a bit like Jesus Christ.î ìMany people say that...î ìYou entered without a pass! I canít get over it. Well, perhaps thereís a special force behind your work. Letís go to my office. Iíll issue you a pass myself.î After completing the formalities, he telephoned the training section and arranged a jeep to take me there. When I got down from the jeep, a soldier met me, saying, ìCome this way, sir.î BECOME AN IDEAL PERSON 246 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER He led me to the office of a man introduced as a two-star general. ìSir, in what way can I be of service to you?î the general asked. ìIím responsible for training social workers,î I said. ìIn my experience Iíve found two qualities missing in many of our cadre. One youíll surely appreciate, and the other, well I donít know. First, I want my men to be systematic and to move together as a disciplined work force. I want to help them kill whatever tendencies they have toward disorder. Each of them should develop the ability to both lead and follow. Secondly, though Iím not sure youíll like this, Iíd like them to acquire some of the qualities of the American armyís enemy: the guerrilla warriors.î He stared at me, giving me no inkling of his feelings. ìAs you know better than I, the revolutionary armyís make-up is different from that of regular troops suited for conventional warfare. Regular troops are usually drafted or primarily interested in the economic and social benefits of working in the army. Guerrilla soldiers, on the other hand, receive minimal pay. They mix with the general population, breathing in and out the problems of the common people. They face constant temptation to give up their fight and return to the security of normal life. So they must be fully aware, ideological, self-willed, creative and, above all, inspired.î ìIím impressed, Mr ... uh, sorry, what was your name again?î ìJackson.î ì... Mr Jackson. Really impressed, both with your straight-forwardness and with your sincere intentions. And I do understand. Yes, indeed I do. Youíve put your finger on one of the labyrinthine problems of the military forcesóhow to encourage fighting zeal and individual initiative, while at the same time maintaining strict lines of order and discipline. Yes, Iím sympathetic and will try my best to help you. Yours

is a truly novel approach to social work. Can you wait here a few minutes?î ìSure.î When he came back, he had a two-foot pile of books in his hands. We spoke a bit more, he praised me again, and ordered a jeep to return me to the main gate. From there I took a taxi. Once inside the cab I started looking through the titles of the books he had given me. Great! I thought. Books on discipline, morale, understanding guerrilla warfare, physical training, collective psychologyóperfect. But whatís 247

this? He must have become over-enthusiastic when I said I wanted to help our cadres kill their undisciplined habitsóhe included a book titled Rifle Training. What spoils ecstasy Fredrikstad, Norway. I am guiding an adventure-camp here. Last night I had a dream: I was sitting on the floor in the front of a large auditorium. A few thousand Margis were present for Babaís darshan. In the midst of His speech, He turned His face directly into mine and spoke to me. His sweet words acted like an exotic aphrodisiac, making me lose my head. I found myself throwing my arms around His neck. Baba was a magnet of love, and I an iron doll. I was so strongly attracted to Him that I unintentionally pulled Him off the stage, and we began to roll on the floor in a tighter and tighter embrace. My face was buried in His and I could see nothing. A burning-bright white spiritual fire coursed through me. I was consumed by a feeling beyond all the joy and sorrow I had ever known. In the midst of this ecstasy, a whispering thought entered my mind: What will all the people think? Embarrassed, I slightly withdrew my face from His. But I still saw nothing, because He had caused the lights to turn off. We were in complete darkness, and no one could see us anyway. Still feeling Him in my arms, I thought, What a fool I was to worry about the thoughts of others! In that intense bitter-sweetness I awoke. For a long while I lay thereóawed. Every problem is no problem Birmingham, England. It was the Sunday night of a weekend seminar. Dada Sudiipta approached me around midnight, just as I was about to go to sleep. ìSorry, Dharmavedananda. I forgot to give you this letter from Dada Japananda.î Dada Japananda, one of my higher authorities, was in dire financial need for his work in Africa, and was begging me to bring to India some assistance for him. It was a great clash for me, since I didnít have BECOME AN IDEAL PERSON 248 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER any extra funds and was scheduled to leave for India the following Wednesday. If I had received the letter in proper time, I might have requested donations from some of the Margis at the retreat. Now everybody must be asleep, I thought, and early tomorrow morning most of them will leave. I wonít have any chance. What am I to do? Baba, any ideas?

Suddenly I saw the face of an Irish brother who was attending the retreat: Sundara. Must be my own imagination, I thought. Heís just a poor student. But the image persisted so I walked down the hall. I found all the rooms dark; everyone was asleep. Except ... in the last room a light was on. I looked in. Someone was reading with his back to the door. As I walked up to him, he turned to face me. ìGood evening, Dadaji.î It was Sundara. I felt like I was dreaming. ìSorry to disturb you, brother.î ìNo, no problem, Dada. What is it?î ìWell, I doubt you can help, but, you see, a Dada needs financial help for his work.î ìHow much does he need, Dada?î ìAbout four hundred pounds.î ìWell, I just received the check from my summer job, but itís back in Corkó in Ireland.î Within a few minutes everything was fixed. He agreed to wire the money to me in London on Tuesday. No higher purpose Back in Calcutta. When I arrived at the workersí meeting today, the General Secretary approached me. ìWhatís this, Dharmavedananda? Youíre here again?î he asked. ìWho gave you permission to attend the workersí meeting? You know only Sectorial Secretaries are to come.î I had wondered when he would notice that I had come to every workersí meeting over the last few months. I pulled a paper from my shoulder bag. ìPlease, read this Dada.î ìWhat is it?î he asked. ìItís a photocopy of a circular you sent out eight months ago. See point #17, please.î 249

He read aloud: ìAll chief secretaries of every trade from all sectors are to attend senior workersí meeting every two months. Hmmm ... But not a single other chief secretary of any other sector paid attention to this item. It was a technical point dictated by Baba.î ìAnd?î ìWell ... but ... everyone understands such a directive is not to be taken seriously unless it is repeated. And ... well ... Dharmavedananda, isnít it expensive for you to come to India every two months?î ìSure itís expensive. But what do I care if it gives me the chance to see Baba? Somehow He always arranges the money for me. Are you saying I shouldnít come? Are you going to approach Baba to change the order?î ìNo no.î He smiled. Then patting me on the cheek, he said, ìVery clever,î and walked away. As long as Iím the Service Department chief secretary I shall attend every workersí meeting unless and until Iím specifically ordered to stop. As long as duty does not conflict, what purpose is higher than to be with the guru? Useless fellow, useless stick ìYour work is far below the mark!î Baba yelled at one of the senior workers of Delhi Sector. ìGive some justification, stupid!î Usually this Dada was sharp and active. But today he was silent in

front of Baba, grinning like a five year old boy just complimented by his father. His turban was lop-sided, he stood off balance, and in general lookedówhat can I say?óhe looked drunk. ìIdiot fellow!î Baba continued. ìOnly two schools opened under your supervision over the last two months! Donít you deserve punishment?î Baba readied His stick. ìSay, say! Have you become a mute animal? Nonsense, do-nothing donkey!î Normally, anyone undergoing such treatment from Baba becomes fearful, or at least sober. But this Dadaís eyes only glittered as he innocently stared at Baba. At first we were all a bit uneasy, waiting for Babaís stick to come down with a whirring slap. Now the scene took on a comic note. This Dada was clearly in another world, enjoying Baba immensely. ìFoolish fellow. Useless fellow. Leave him to his dream.î We all smiled. BECOME AN IDEAL PERSON 250 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER In the next moment, Baba was castigating another worker who trembled under His onslaught. Innovation approval Today I approached Dada P, an old worker, with a difficult question regarding my meditation. I had discovered a new innovation in my technique, and wondered if it was right. Dada gave no clear reply, but essentially discouraged me. Somehow I wasnít satisfied. A few hours later we were having darshan with Baba on the roofó about two hundred Margis were there. During part of the kiirtan, Baba was sitting with His face down. Without intending it, I suddenly and spontaneously thought, Baba, if I should use this new method in my meditation please look up now. In that exact instant, He broke His downward stare, looked up at me, and gazed into my eyes for about twenty seconds. Then, without looking in any other direction, He again cast His eyes down. Could anything be clearer? Without telling anyone, I continued using the technique with full inspiration. Greatest hindrance to universalism Five of us were sitting together with Baba in His room late last night when the electricity failed. Someone lit a candle. Baba spoke of mystical matters, and then of the future. At one point He asked us a question, ìWhen the spiritual-moralists gain power, when they are in a position to directly influence the society, what is the first major initiative they should implement ?î We speculated for a few minutes but our guesses were all unsatisfactory. Baba answered His own question. ìThe first and foremost change they should execute is the elimination of the passport and visa system. This system is the greatest hindrance to the establishment of universal kinship.î Making ideal humans In todayís reporting session all the district in-charges of the north area of the Indian Sector were present. 251

A district in-charge who was about thirty-five years old stood in the front. Baba asked him, ìDo you know you are suffering from tuberculosis? î

ìYes, Baba.î ìDid you seek diagnosis and treatment by a medical doctor?î ìYes, Baba.î ìAnd did it help?î ìNo, Baba.î ìWhy didnít you take the help of any Dada?î The Margi looked down and was silent. ìAnd why do you still secretly continue your nasty habit with that lady?î Babaís words sent a shock through the room. The Margi quickly shuffled his feet and simultaneously sighed. He was so embarrassed that he looked ready to die. ìDo you think Baba cannot see?î ìNo, Baba ... Baba knows everything.î ìDo you deserve punishment.î ìYes, Baba.î ìTake off your shirt. Yes. Now come closer.î Baba raised His stick in the air and brought it down with a snapping sound below the ribs on the right side of the man. Once, twice, three times. The Margi winced slightly. ìTurn in the other direction.î He beat him now thrice on the left side. ìIf you correct yourself, and reinvest that misutilized energy in social work, you will become a new man. An ideal man. What do you say?î He stood up a little straighter and said, ìBaba, I will be an ideal man.î ìEh, what did you say?î In a forceful voice he said, ìBaba, I will be an ideal man!î ìHave you all heard his words?î We all said, ìYes, Baba.î ìGS Dada, take my stick. Now, touch it to his chest. Yes, and twist it back and forth.î As the General Secretary turned the stick, the man suddenly took a deep and long breath. BECOME AN IDEAL PERSON 252 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìNow do the same at the opposite point of his back.î Again the Margi took a strong breath. ìHow do you feel now, my boy?î ìI feel very good, Baba!î ìHave you had any x-rays taken?î ìYes, Baba.î ìTomorrow go to the hospital and have another x-ray made. You will see that your disease is now 80% cured. It will soon become completely cured if you strictly follow the Sixteen Points (of physical, mental and spiritual health). What do you say?î ìI will be the ideal son of Baba!î ìYesss.î Baba gave a slight wave of His hand. After paying his respect, the Margi stepped back into his place. Without further ado, as if nothing had happened, Baba continued the reporting session.

Tonight as I sit here writing, I think back that after reporting we all left for lunch and hardly a further word was spoken about the incident. This sort of experience with Baba is so common that it no longer draws our wonder. For us it is no miracleóit is simply one of Babaís ways to increase our commitment to Sixteen Points and guru. And for that Margi, well, who can say why he attracted Babaís grace? The world is the mind Goteborg, Sweden. This morning, while taking the ferry from Alborg, Denmark, I read one of the Don Juan books by Carlos Castaneda. Though I have some doubt about how completely factual his books are, they at least partially reflect the mystic teachings of the native Mexicans. Those teachings have something in common with Tantra, and I suppose they are derived from the ancient Tantra. I became absorbed in his idea that each personís perception of the world is simply a projection of that personís own mindóso absorbed that I did not notice the clock as the ship approached land. Only when I looked up from the book and saw the passengers jammed near the exit did I recall the short time I had to reach the train station after the shipís docking. If I waited for all the passengers to leave before me, I would surely miss my connection. 253

With my mind still engrossed in the bookís idea, that everything I see is the projection of my own thought ó I stood up and walked toward the back of the crowd of waiting passengers. At least one thousand people were there. Though I neither spoke nor made the slightest gesture, the impatient packed crowd divided for me. They did so keeping their backs to me. It was unnaturalólike the Red Sea parting for Moses. I was able to move forward without hindrance. Just as I arrived at the gate of the ship, it opened, and, without breaking my stride, I was the first to walk off. It was like a movie or a dream. I made the train just in the nick of time. The experience was a minor one. But itís philosophical implications have been following me and rippling my thought-waves ever since that sunny day in California.66 66

This refers to the experience in 1969 in Chapter 2, in the entry entitled ìNo Outsideî.

BECOME AN IDEAL PERSON 254 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

CHAPTER 15

Lord Shiva Never Did It The one and only answer

Verona. 1981. According to Tantra, there are no accidents. Life is a series of incidents, each with its own cause and meaning. When I first attempted to analyze the causes behind my mistakes, my injuries and the injustices inflicted upon me, I accepted the usual explanation: ìWrong thoughts and wrong actions beget painful reactions. î And for those who practice meditation, the interval between cause and effect is usually short. As a spiritualist, Iíve learned to see every problem as an opportunity for growth. Iíve learned to stop what Iím doing when I make any mistake and focus on the source of the error within me. Over the last few months my analysis deepened. Behind every personal difficulty, I found not only some previous mistake, but more importantly

I found the absence of Cosmic ideation. Whenever I forgot Guru or God for more than a few moments, I hurt someone or hurt myself. During these last months, every time I made even the slightest mistake, I noticed I had forgotten my mantra.67 Each mistake helped alert me to my uncontrolled ego-centered thoughts. So, what happened today? While busy in the yoga center, running from one activity to another, I was joyously singing Baba Nam Kevalam. At one point, I dashed into the bathroom to wash a few clothes. After The constant internal repetition of oneís personal mantra is one of the essential Tantric practices. It helps to calm the mind of the aspirant and eventually helps to ensconce him or her in continuous Cosmic ideation. 67

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wetting and soaping my clothes, while still singing, I started pounding my soaped shirt in the sink. I didnít know that the sink had not yet been fully installed. Suddenly, it tipped over and fell on the floor. As the basin broke, a big piece dove into my bare foot. The noise alarmed two or three of the Margis, who thrust the door open. They found me lying on the floor, stunned. Blood gushed out of my foot. The cause of my shock was not, however, what it appeared. While they fussed over my injury, I hardly paid attention to it. Rather, I muttered, ìI canít understand...î I couldnít grasp how I could make such a blunder even though I was singing Baba Nam Kevalam. Suffering may happen while one is in Cosmic ideation, but careless mistakes cannot. It doesnít figure... I thought. Then a flash. I jumped up, almost slipping in the pool of blood. ìIíve got it!î I blurted out. The Margisí eyes bulged as they stared at me, thinking Iíd gone nuts. Crazy or not, I had the answer: Though Iíd chanted spiritual words, I hadnít been aware of their meaning. It had only been a jolly tune for me, without any feeling. My thoughts had simply raced, immersed in meóonly me. A psychic implosion! Feeling alone is the key to harmony. Actions and words may be sublime, but if the feeling behind them moves in another direction, thereís no value. Though many times I heard or read such philosophy, this simple careless accident was the clear proof. No need to engage in complex psychological interpersonal mind-games. No need to fret over conflicts between a thousand doís and doníts. Only remember: Him. The one and only Answer. ...... Even at the hospital, as the doctor completed sewing the stitches, I contemplated His grace. When the moment of truth arrived, i.e. the time for paying the bill, I said, ìConsidering that Iím a monk, any discount?î The doctor paused, then said, ìI hope you learned a lesson from this accident. Will you be more careful next time?î ìDefinitely, Baba,î I said. I felt like Baba was speaking through the doctor. ìOkay,î he said, smiling. ìItís free, sir.î I looked at what shall surely remain a nasty scar, and thought, ìMy little beauty, may you serve as a constant reminder, like a string permanently tied on my finger.î LORD SHIVA NEVER DID IT 256 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

The thing of church

Warsaw, Poland. I am the first worker to visit this country. Though Iíve been here only a few days, I received the following surprising comment from a newly interested person: ìI like Ananda Marga very much, Dada. And Iím sure many Poles will have the same feeling as me. I predict that within a few years, thousands of people will be practicing meditation in this country.î Indeed, their interest in parapsychology is far beyond what I imagined before coming here. Nevertheless, the common personís knowledge of spiritual terminology appears shockingly limited. A typical communication-hitch occurred last evening when I spoke with a few young people. The concept of God arose in my talk. ìWhat God is?î one of them asked. ìWell, how do you define it?î I replied. ìI have idea not. I know this word not.î I was surprised. His English was not perfect, but at least he should have known the word. ìDoes anyone here understand the word God?î They all shook their heads. ìGod is the endless energy, the beginning, the end, the purpose, the mind of our minds. All the religions talk about God....î ìOh!î One of them interrupted me. ìThe thing of church, you mean?î ìWell, thatís one way of defining it,î I said, laughing. It was both very funny and very unfunny. ...... Budapest, Hungary. Last night I wanted to go to a graveyard to do my kapalika meditation. The young artist who was my host guided me to the nearest cemetery, and left me there unceremoniously a little after midnight. When I entered, I was astonished to see tombstone upon tombstone. There were so many thousands of them that they leaned against each other. They careened in every conceivable direction, bordered by waist-high grass. Even in the daytime I would have found it difficult to make my way to the center of the tangle. Many stones were cracked or covered by moss. Even for an experienced graveyarder like me, it was spooky on this cloud-covered night. 257

Since I was keen to withdraw my mind from these surroundings, my concentration peaked more quickly than usual. In the morning, during a Spartan breakfast, I asked, ìAre all the graveyards in Hungary so small and crowded like the one I went to last night?î ìOh, that one is special,î the artist said. ìIt was for Jews.î I raised my eyebrows. ìWas?î ìWhen Jews couldnít move their homes.î He meant the ghetto. ìThey couldnít go outside their area, but they still had babies. They still died. More and more and more. And no place to go.î ìAnd now where are they?î ìA lot went to Israel. And a lot died. A lot.î Cosmic confidence Belgrade, Yugoslavia. After a successful three-week tour in Poland,

Hungary and Czechoslovakia, I arrived last night in a communist country where I can wear my uniform. I breathe a relative freedom here in Yugoslavia which was absent in those other regimes which suffer under the heavy hand of their Overlord. There, I find the people believe in socialist theory, but despise the dictatorial presence of the Soviet army, and the strangle-hold maintained by the Soviets over their education, international trade, spirituality, culture and mass media. My decision to risk wearing my uniform in Yugoslavia was influenced by a comment Baba made some time ago, that Titoís government would not obstruct Ananda Marga. I stepped out of the train in Belgrade without an address or phone number. As usual in this situation, I went to a crowded section of the city, arriving around 11:00 p.m. No doubt I was an eye-catcher. Many people stopped to inquire if I needed anything, but no one had any extra space in which I could stay. Several people offered to pay for a hotel room, but I politely refused. One of the couples spoke to me in fluent English. ìWe wish we could help you. Itís so late, and soon no one will be here. But we have no room.î ìDonít worry,î I said. ìAt the right moment someone will come along. Iím dead sure. Really donít worry. Itís just a tiny test for me.î As they walked away, they looked back anxiously. LORD SHIVA NEVER DID IT 258 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Five minutes later, they returned. The young lady said, ìYour extraordinary confidence inspired us. So we came back.î ìWe decided to stand here until you find a lodging,î the man said. ìWeíll also help you in asking people passing by.î ìThanks,î I said. As we stood there waiting for the right person, they asked about meditation and yoga. Eventually one of their friends came. He had a spare room, and we all went there. By the end of the evening we already had the base for our new meditation unit. And so it goes. Everywhere. The great analysis Calcutta. August 2. Since June, for the first time in Ananda Margaís history, Baba has been calling all workers and Margis from all sectors to Calcutta. I arrived today. In total, several thousand people have come or will come. The program is called dharma samiksha. Samiksha means ìanalysisî, so dharma samiksha means ìanalysis of oneís adherence to the right path.î During dharma samiksha, Margis and workers stand one-by-one in front of Baba, and He comments on their good and bad behavior. The Sixteen Points for physical, mental and spiritual development is especially relevant to this analysis. I was allowed to stay in the room continuously, so I had the opportunity to witness many cases. Brother J from the Netherlands, who Iíve known for two years, stepped forward. Baba sat on His couch, looking over His shoulder at the wall.68 GENERAL SECRETARY (GS): What is his name and posting? DADA FROM EUROPE: He is J, district in-charge from Holland. GS: Who is your acharya? J: Dada Maetreya.

GS: What work did you do over the last six months? J (nervously): I arranged nine initiations, opened one Peopleís Night School, and started one Spiritualistsí Sports and Adventurersí Club. Baba rarely looks directly at anyone. When He does, we feel a special energy or shakti. Indeed a single glance from Him is often enough to satisfy any Margi who may have traveled thousands of miles to meet Him. 68

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Sentient food is food which is good for both body and mind. Static food is food which is harmful for either body or mind. 71 Hah means ìyesî. 69 70

GS: Acha. Are you following 16 Points strictly? J: Yes. GS: How about your meditation? J: Yes, Dada. GS: How about fasting? J: Yes, Dada. BABA: GS, ask him about food. GS: Are you taking only sentient food?69 J: Yes, Dada. BABA: Eh? What did he say? GS: He said ìyesî, Baba. You are not taking any static food?70 J: No, Dada. BABA (turning to look just over Jís head): Eh? What nonsense are you speaking? J: No, no, Baba. Only sentient food. BABA (slightly angry): Tell the truth! J: No, Baba, I ... ah ... oh, Baba... BABA: Do you deserve punishment? J: Yes... BABA: Stretch out your palm. (J holds his right hand palm-up in front of Baba.) How many shall I give you? J: Ah ... ah ... BABA: 10, 20, 30...? J: 20, Baba. (Using His stick, Baba strikes Jís open palm ten times.) BABA: Stretch out your left palm. (J does so, and Baba strikes it ten times also.) You must never again intentionally harm your body. Do you understand? J: Yes, Baba. [Baba then explained a number of points to J about improving his meditation and service activities.] BABA: Now stand straight. (He sweeps His eyes from Jís feet to head, and down again.) Vijayananda, make a note. DADA VIJAYANANDA: Hah, Baba.71 LORD SHIVA NEVER DID IT 260 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER BABA: Karmasana, Gomukhasana....[and some other yoga postures I forget.] (Speaking to J:) Afterward learn them from Vijayananda. Now come close, my boy. (J approaches Baba, who opens His arms, and then embraces J, taking him on His lap.) J: Oh, Baba! (He starts weeping.) ANOTHER DADA (after a lapse of a few moments, speaking softly): Come, come... (J leaves Babaís lap. He lies on the floor in front of Baba, hands stretched out toward Him in the traditional position of respect to the

guru. After a few seconds, he gets up, and moves toward the door.) GS: Next. ...... After a few more dharma samikshas, we all left Babaís room. Brother J approached me. ìDadaji, may I speak to you?î ìOf course.î ìI have to tell someone, or Iíll burst.î ìMy ears are open.î ìWhen Baba pressed me, I denied eating any bad food. I was just too embarrassed to tell the truth in front of all the Dadas and Margis there. As for Baba, I knew that He knew, and also that He understood why I was lying, and even Iím sure He did not mind, because He knows our inner motivation. But, well, Iíve got to tell someone.î ìGo ahead,î I said, ìIím your brother.î ìWell, three weeks ago, I was feeling so much clash. I was fed up with everything that was happening to me. Out of an impulse, I went to a take-out restaurant and purchased a box of fried shellfish. I ate them alone in the yoga house. Afterward I felt so bad I vomited.î I laughed loudly. His eyes opened wide, and he said, ìDada, how can you laugh? What I did is very bad.î ìPerhaps, but itís not the end of the world. Weíve seen mistakes a hundred times worse.î ìReally?î ìOf course. And anybody whoís spent much time around Baba gets used to it. This is Tantra. Up a lot and down a little, up a lot and down a little...î 261

Compelled to help

Yesterday Dada Parameshvarananda arrived from the Philippines for dharma samiksha. He had been suffering from leukemia for a number of months. The doctors had declared it incurable, though they did not say how much longer he would live. Three days ago, on the day of his planned departure for India, he fainted and did not recover for several hours. By that time, his office secretary had canceled the flight reservation. When he regained consciousness, Dada became angry at his secretary. ìWhy did you cancel my flight? You should have forced me to wake up, and put me on the plane. Iíd rather die in India than here.î He flew the next day to Calcutta, suffering all the way. Though he had never asked Baba for anything before, this time he could not help but think, ìPlease, Baba, help this body.î From the Calcutta airport, he took a taxi alone. When he arrived at the Central Office, he found Babaís Personal Assistant, Dada Ramananda, standing at the gate. ìBaba told me to wait for you here and bring you to His room.î ìBut how did He know I was coming just now?î ìIn the same way He knows everything,î replied Ramanandaji, helping him upstairs. Dada entered Babaís room and prostrated. ìHow are you?î Baba asked. ìIím fine.î ìAre you sure?î

ìYes, Baba. Iím fine.î Thinking that Baba knows all, he saw no reason to express his problems. ìYes. Yes. Very good,î said Baba. ìNow Iím busy, so I will see you again later.î Today it was Manila Sectorís turn for general reporting. Parameshvaranandaji came forward. ìYesterday,î Baba said, ìI asked this boy how he felt. He told me fine, even though this fool will die within 24 hours. He has a disease which is so advanced that it cannot be cured, and will kill him by tomorrow. (Turning His face toward Parameshvaranandaji, He continued) Stupid, idiot, why didnít you tell me long ago about your probLORD SHIVA NEVER DID IT 262 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER lem? If you had told me even six months ago, I could have simply prescribed certain yogic postures and diet to cure the problem. Now, scoundrel, you are going to die.î ìBaba, please save him,î ìGive him another chance,î said a few workers. For a moment, Baba sat in silence. ìIt is true that he has given his everything for my mission. He never cared for himself, only thinking for me. So ... I am compelled to help him. In this case, medical science is incapable, impotent. The only means of assistance is spiritual power. Alright. I will save him from the jaws of death.î Baba began lightly touching Dada with His stick. He gradually tapped it on every part of his body. At the same time, He narrated Dadaís long medical history, how he had suffered from typhoid fever, another time from mild tuberculosis, and so on. Afterward, Parameshvaranandaji told me that some of the diseases Baba mentioned he had forgotten, but all were 100% correct. ìI always took care of him, though he didnít know it,î Baba said. ìIn natural ways, I saved his life repeatedly. But this time, his irresponsibility is excessive and extreme.î Baba held His stick against Dadaís chest. For forty minutes, Baba pressed the stick, not moving it from that spot. Dada later said that at that time such power entered him that he felt he could easily cross mountains. ìNow I have purified his body. I withdrew all the cancer cells. He was scheduled to die within 24 hours. But his time has been extended. Within ten days he will recover all of his previous strength.î72 Even Lord Shiva Never Did It Today Baba mentioned that dharma samiksha is a one-time affair. Dharma samiksha on such a grand scale was never done before by any spiritual master, and Baba will not do it again. He is showing a little bit of His meticulous guardianship and a little bit of His intimate knowledge of each and every Margi, personally and specifically, one by one. He said, ì7000 years ago, Lord Shiva thought to conduct such a program, but never did it.î From that moment, Parameshvaranandaji started feeling much better. Ten days later, doctors declared him fully cured. 72

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I wonder: why never before? And, even more curiously, why never again? Is it because Baba did not come to prove Himself to the world, but rather only to get His work done?

Yes, even Lord Shiva never did it. This sentence expressing Babaís uniqueness could be applied to much more than dharma samiksha. I think of 5000 songs...an organization of both renunciates and family people in almost every country of the world...the Prout movement...the systematization of Tantrathe mixture of intense spiritual practice with social action...His detailed guidance in many diverse fields.... Unfathomable. Treat him very well One of the Margis receiving dharma samiksha today was Rajpal, an Indian. At one stage of the analysis, Baba said, ìYou have a question for me, isnít it?î ìYes, Baba,î he said. ìAbout my son...î Though in that moment, Baba did not give him time to continue, he afterward explained to us that he intended to ask about the cause and cure of his sonís attitude toward him. Almost since the boyís birth, the son had scorned and mistreated his father. It was Rajpalís greatest worry, because he dearly loved his son. Even though the boy began practicing meditation at the age of fourteen, he still expressed disgust toward his father. The problem was not a public one, and therefore Baba could not have heard of it. Nevertheless He said, ìI know. I know everything. The world is mysterious. That which happens today may be the result of events occurring long ago. In your present life itself you will find the cause of your present trouble. Many years ago you took a 500 rupee loan from an old man who was not wealthy. But you did not repay that loan, even when the old man was sick. Do you remember?î ìAh ... yes ... Baba.î ìThat old man was very angry at you, and he finally died still feeling angry at you. He was reborn as your son. So your son hates you. Otherwise his behavior is gentle toward everyone else. Now what shall you do?î ìI donít know, Baba.î LORD SHIVA NEVER DID IT 264 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìYou must treat him very well. Give him solace whenever possible, serve him in sickness. Whatever he needs, give it to him. Beyond that, the only remedy is meditation.î Long range words The treatment that Baba gave to Keshava from Germany was peculiar. After the General Secretary took Keshava through a typical set of questions & answers about 16 Points, Baba proceeded to speak to him in Sanskrit. Keshava didnít mind; he understands very little English anyhow. Some of the Indian workers who could understand Sanskrit said that Baba was speaking about the law of action and reaction. At the end of the session, Baba took Keshavaís head in His hands, and, rubbing it affectionately, said in English, ìMy poor boy ... my poor boy ...î. No one could understand the meaning of this, including Keshava. Nevertheless, Keshava was so inspired he decided to go for acharya training. [Authorís note: Keshava became an acharya, and then an avadhuta with the name Gunaragananda. In 1991, I spoke again to Gunaraganandaji about his dharma samiksha. His bewilderment about the meaning of Babaís words ìmy poor boyî was apparently resolved when he

had a serious car accident while in the Sweden acharya training center. He nearly died in the accident, and needed many months to recover. Severe scars remained. I say ìapparently resolvedî because a few years later, as an acharya, he had another accident in a car in Venezuela, in which the car flipped over several times, killing the driver. Gunaraganandaji was thrown a few meters away from the vehicle, even though he had been sitting in the back of the two-door car. Again it took months for him to get back on his feet. Hardly had he recovered when there was another incident. This time it was in Ananda Nagar, where he wandered into the jungle far away from our central quarters, fell asleep after doing meditation, and was attacked by tribal people. They stabbed him repeatedly and stole the little money he had. He told me, ìBabaís words in dharma samiksha helped me to keep going ahead even during these worst experiences. I accepted the suffering as a part of my spiritual path. I believe that during dharma samik265

sha Baba foresaw my death, and changed it into a series of accidents, which allowed me to go on working for the mission.î] Not your fault Brother G from the United States stood in front of Baba. After some personal talk, Baba said, ìYour mind is unnecessarily disturbed about the past. You made some mistakes of a sexual nature.î Gís face suddenly became very red. ìYeah ... yes, Baba,î he mumbled. ìWhen you were younger you had some misunderstanding about the relationship between men and women.î He stared at the floor, saying, ìYes, Baba.î ìBut it was not your fault. As a little boy you were simply influenced by your environment.î G looked up at Baba. He sighed deeply, smiled slightly and said, ìThank you, Baba.î ìNo need of thanks,î Baba said. ìI merely convey to you the unadulterated facts. You were unaware. Unaware.î ...... G approached me after the session, wanting to get something off his chest. ìI never told anyone, Dada,î he said, ìbut since you were present today, I want to tell you that ... that before joining Ananda Marga, I had ... improper sexual relations.î He watched for my reaction. Seeing none, he continued, ìEven though Iíve been doing meditation for a number of years, itís always bothered me; Iíve always felt guilty. But now Babaís freed my mind. When He said it wasnít my fault, something let go inside me. I feel so light now; I wouldnít be surprised if I started to fly!î ...... Another episode from dharma samiksha: BABA: Throughout your life you have had one obsession, one greatest fear. What is it? MARGI: Ah ... (apparently confused and unable to reply) BABA: In your previous life you were a priest of common status. His duty kept him fixed at one temple. He often thought, ìHow can the idol I worship be God? God cannot be limited to a statue. So how LORD SHIVA NEVER DID IT

266 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

can I find God?î He studied and searched for the answer. But one morning, before he could come to a clear understanding, a snake bit him as he was picking flowers to offer to the goddess. Lying in the grass, in great pain, he thought, ìIf there is a God He must save me. Or at least He must properly guide me in my next life.î Thinking that, he died. That is why you are here today. And that is why you feared snakes so much that you even imagined snakes where they were not. But from today, that fear will no longer trouble you. Now, my boy, are you satisfied? MARGI (smiling): Yes, Baba. Very very much. My dharma samiksha I stood before Baba for my own dharma samiksha. After passing through the normal preliminaries, Baba commented, ìHe has some sincerity, but it was better before.î I was mystified by this statement. While analyzing my physical condition, He said, ìThere is weakness in your Vishuddha Chakra.73î The asanas He prescribed were almost completely different from what I had expected. This was because I gave little importance a minor operation I had on my knees when I was sixteen years old, and to some weakness in my waistóbut it seems Baba considered these defects to be critical. The most beautiful element of my session, however, was something I am unable to adequately describe. It was how He looked at me and how He touched me. His eyes penetrated far into my soul. From that moment until even now as I record this memory, I have been feeling an extraordinary sort of ecstasy. Toward the end, He embraced me in such a way that every cell in my body burned with excitement. I lost consciousness of everything except Baba Himself. I was so happy that my mind stopped functioning except for the thought Baba, Baba, Baba. Iím not sure how long I had been sitting in His lap, when I suddenly became aware of someone pulling me off of Baba, saying, ìCome on, others are waiting, you know.î I fell into prostration in front of Him, and then had a hard time struggling to stand up because my mind was almost out of touch with my body. 73

The fifth chakra, located in the center of throat

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[Authorís note: Years later I add two comments in retrospect. First, I still cannot understand what He meant by my being ìbetter before.î Did He mean my meditation, my dynamism, my devotion, my work, all these things, or something else? I donít know. In any case the effect of His words is that I always feel like I do not express my full potentiality, no matter how much I try and no matter what I do. And yet I donít feel any inferiority complex because Baba did not compare me with anyone else, only with my previous self. Thus His comment has never stopped pushing me. Second, though I had no recognizable trouble with my throat before my dharma samiksha, I have often had problems with it ever since.] Important to us, unimportant to Him Dada A, born in the Philippines, received dharma samiksha. When Baba referred to Aís secret weakness, he became so agitated that he soiled himself. All of the Dadas in the room saw a little bit of his diarrhea drip onto the floor. I suppose he had stomach trouble, and could

not control himself. Babaís personal assistant, Dada Ramananda, said quietly in Bengali, ìBaba, the boy soiled himself.î But Baba seemed not to hear. He went on dealing with Dada A. After a minute, the General Secretary said something similar to Baba. Again Baba paid no attention. Some of us whispered between ourselves. But Baba continued, unruffled. When at last He took Dada A upon His lap and lovingly hugged him to His breast, Ramanandaji spoke again in Bengali to Baba about the feces. Baba lost His smile, and replied in Bengali, ìWhat? Why didnít you tell me before? Immediately clean up the floor! He must not stay here another moment! Nasty, nasty!î Two Dadas pulled Dada A out of the room, though he didnít careó not only because he hadnít understood the Bengali, but also because Baba had finished the dharma samiksha, and blessed Dada A with His embrace. Rather Dada A was so ecstatic, he must have been unaware of his own dirtiness. We all laughed into our hands. I loved Him even more for pretending not to hear until the session was finished. LORD SHIVA NEVER DID IT 268 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER You win Madhusudan, who was my guide in Mokamo during my field training in 1972, stood in front of Baba for dharma samiksha. BABA: If you are following 16 Points you should step to the right side. If you are not strictly following, step to the left. (Madhu begins moving right.) Wait. Do you have a shaoca manjusa? (A small bottle containing water, which is used for cleaning oneself after passing urine.) MADHU: Yes, Baba. BABA: But do you use it regularly? MADHU: Yes, Baba. BABA: No, it is not true. You have not been regular in usage. MADHU (in a strong firm voice): Yes I was! (He again starts stepping right.) BABA (to other workers): Do not allow him to move right! MADHU: But Iím following 16 Points! BABA: Two days ago you were in Patna at Dag Bangla Charaha Crossing at 9:30 in the morning. You passed urine but did not use your shaoca manjusa. Is it not? MADHU (laughing loudly): You win, Baba. (He steps left.) BABA (smiling): Just see, just see. A secret revealed leads to freedom Brother M stood before Baba. BABA: Before becoming a Margi, were you a worker for the Communist party? M: Yes, Baba. BABA (chuckles, then says): How was the character of your fellow workers? M: Very bad, Baba. BABA (a little indignant): And what about your character, my boy? M: My character was good, Baba. BABA (a little angry): Tell the truth. M: Iíve made no such mistake, Baba.

BABA: You are lying. M: No, Iím not lying, Baba! BABA: Come forward for atonement. (As M slowly begins stepping to the front, Baba leans forward with His stick.) 269

M (slightly stepping backward): No, Baba! I did nothing! BABA (in a strict tone): Turn around, and look to your rear. M (Turns his face around. He sees something which we do not see): Oh, Baba! BABA (in a threatening tone): Need I say anything more about what happened on 1st April? M: No, Baba! (He throws himself in prostration at Babaís feet.) BABA: That will not suffice. Come to your feet. (M stands up. Baba beats him several times.) ...... Afterward, when M was asked what he saw, he said, ìDidnít you all see her? When I turned around, I saw my lady friend dressed in a black sari. She was a secret, burning in my heart.î Then he smiled, saying, ìBut now Iím free.î Beyond criticism Sister Aruna from northern Sweden stood before Baba. After going through the formalities of her name, duty, and so on, the General Secretary began asking her about 16 Points. Baba interrupted, saying, ìThereís no need to question her about her conduct. She is trying her best.î We were all astonished. This was the first case of any Margi being declared uncriticizable. I looked at Arunaís face. Instead of noticing the expansion of ego that such a comment would have caused in almost anyone else, she looked unselfconsciousóher eyes glistened with tears. She was lost in the ecstasy of being with her Baba. ...... The flow of dharma samiksha has been different from Personal Contact. Over the past few years I saw many reactions to Personal Contact. My own Personal Contact was a case in point. But every dharma samiksha without exception resulted in unparalleled inspiration. Babaís remarks were so individualized, both in rebuke and in praise, that each Margi was fully satisfied. The majority of us could confirm that He knows our most closely kept secrets, and knows every wave of our mind and body. I am sure that each and every Margi thought something like, ìHe cares for me. He loves me.î LORD SHIVA NEVER DID IT 270 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER In the last weeks, Baba gradually became sick. Today, August 24, the strain of altering our mental and physical condition reached the limit. He announced that the dharma samiksha program is now finished. Conflict with a dancer of darkness Lucknow. After the flood of feelings generated by dharma samiksha, todayís experience served as an ideal epilogue. But first something about yesterday. Yesterday I left Calcutta by train for Delhi. Shortly before Delhi, a bridge collapsed; how, I never came to know. From that point on, the train moved backward to access a different route. But the speed

was so pathetic that a distance which ought to have taken one hour took over twenty. At one rural station, while having a brief walk on the platform, I heard a sudden mixture of shouts and screams. Rocks flew through the air. The women and children ran to get back into the train. Not having the vaguest idea of the cause, I joined the ladies in retreat. As I jumped inside, I looked back in time to see a rock strike a man in the forehead. The scene was dotted with tiny pools of red blood. As the ladies madly pulled down the iron shutters on the windows, I asked, ìWhatís happening?î One of them replied, ìThe passengers are protesting that the train is taking so long.î India: everything is hereófrom the crudest vulgarisms to the subtlest sublimities. This leads me into describing todayís episode, the cherry on my dharma samiksha cake. Tonight was the third night of the new moon. I was busy the first two nights and this was the last possible night for doing my kapalika meditation. I had no choice but to break my journey here. This was my first time in Lucknow and I had no idea where I could find the cremation grounds ó the place for burning the dead, which is always located on a river shore. My questions raised a few eyebrows, but ultimately led me to a quiet corner of the city where I met the servant of a rich businessman. His master was out of town, so he invited me to rest in his humble quarters. He said he would show me the cremation ground at midnight. In the meantime, this illiterate man became intrigued by my talk of meditation. I initiated him. We meditated together, and had a simple 271

supper. Later, in the dead of the night, he led me toward the river. As we came closer and closer, however, his legs seemed to drag. ìSir, thatís it ... there,î he said, pointing a shaking finger at the darkness at the end of the road. ìVery good,î I said. ìBut donít call me Sir.î After walking some steps, I noticed he was lagging behind. ìCome along,î I said. ìWhatís the matter?î ìSir ... ah, Dada, donít no go, Sir. Bad ... verry bad ...î ìNonsense. Thereís nothing to be afraid of.î I continued walking. I heard him start panting. I arrived at the gate. He hung back about ten feet, shaking. ìPle ple pleazzze, Sir ... no, no!î ìIf you donít want to come in with me, itís no problem. You can go back to your house, and Iíll go in alone.î ìReally, Sir?î ìYes, sure. Why not?î Saying, ìOkay! Okay!î, he spun around and took to his heels, sprinting back down the road so fast that he reminded me of a character in a Charlie Chaplin film. I turned back to face the gate. I noticed the total absence of sound. Even the leaves were silent. It was, somehow, artificialótoo sudden. This may be interesting, I thought. I passed through the gate and began walking down the grass-covered steps in the pitch darkness. I could only feel my way forward. Slowly, slowly... A yell came from below! I halted to listen. A manís voice, harsh,

threatening. I knew enough Hindi to understand his unmistakable warning: ìDonít dare to enter! Get out of here!î An Avidya Tantric, I thought. A lover of the dark force. A personalpower seeker. A black magician. Yes this will really be interesting, I thought, smiling. I stepped down: one step, two, three... Again he shouted, with a guttural force I had never encountered before. ìIíll kill you, you madman! Begone! Begone!î He swore at me, using very dirty language. My mind was calm. I was a bit surprised how I was taking it. This was to be a challenge arranged by Babaís grace. I went on thinking of Him, confident that no power could be greater than His. LORD SHIVA NEVER DID IT 272 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER I walked further, and at last was the bottom of the stairway. ìIíll murder you!î he screamed so loudly that I was momentarily stunned. Then I think he added, ìAnd drink your blood! And eat your flesh! And swallow your bones!î I had heard that some Avidya Tantrics can consume an entire human body in one sitting. It is one of their systems for extracting power from other Tantrics. To hell with you, I thought clearly. I felt he could hear my thoughts. And perhaps it was so. For, as I continued on, he made no further sound. His voice had come from the darkest corner of the place. In that direction, nothing was visible. In other directions though I could perceive vague shapes, I was unable to recognize anything. Then I saw a faint red light. It was the dying remains of a fire, a few embers. I walked toward it, feeling my way forward with my sandaled feet. What was that? A movement near the fire ... what? ... a pair of ... yes ... a pair of eyes. I walked nearer. What? Not two eyes, four. No, more.... Many many eyes. Fantastic! I went on walking, thinking of Baba with each step. Then I made out a form: a dog. No, there were many dogs. Scores of them. Maybe thirty or forty. As I drew closer, I could see their eyes gleaming with excitement. They were eating the last remains of a dead body. Their teeth glistened. They growled menacingly, facing me. I felt I could hear their thoughts: Donít come forward anymore! To hell with you too, I thought in reply. I continued moving toward them now that I could make out a path which passed near the fire. If I moved in any other direction God knows what I might have fallen into. They growled louder. Though my body moved on, my thoughts stood still, contemplating Guru. I passed in front of the dogs. They snarled and bared their teeth but let me pass. As I walked on further, I heard the bubbling of a river. I walked up to it, and put my materials on the sand. This was my spot. After preparing for the meditation, I started dancing Shivaís Tandava to increase my courage. Immediately the man yelled and the dogs barked. With each step, I leapt high in the air, laughing in transcendental pleasure. Then I sat. At last, undisturbed by any sound, I easily slipped into deep meditation. 273

When I finished, I walked back toward the fire. The dogs were still

there. But this time something was different. They looked mad. Their mouths hung open, saliva dripped from their teeth. They growled loudlyóvery loudly. Perhaps they were angry that I had succeeded in thwarting their efforts to stop me. Seeing no alternative way, I continued walking toward them. They began moving here and there, and ... what? They assumed an ominous shape. In the front was one dog, then two dogs, then three or four, then moreóit looked like a triangle or a wedge pointed at me. Suddenly, they charged, growling furiously. Though I was still thinking of Baba, He put another idea in my brain: Iíll kill the first dog, I thought. In the very next moment after that thought, even before my hand could reach toward the knife which was in my pocket, the lead dog jumped into the air and let out a human-like scream. He somersaulted backward, smashing into the other dogs. Some of them screamed, others barked in low voices, as they fell apart from each other, confused, hurt, scattered. I watched it all, from a point deep inside, not from my normal waking consciousness. The dogs looked away from me, whimpering, crying, and lost. I walked on, came to the stairs and climbed out of this bizarre world. The man and the dogs had fallen into silence. Coming up onto the road, I didnít bother to look back. ...... Delhi. I mentioned yesterdayís episode to an old Dada here. He said, ìYes, those dogs were real dogs. But they were controlled by the mental power of the Avidya Tantric. Itís a common phenomenon. He uses them for many purposes, including both protection and attack. When you thought to kill the first dog, the man surely caught your thought, and was terrorized. If you had killed that dog, who was moving on the thought currents of the man, it would have caused him great harm. It might even have killed him. Thatís why there was such a reaction. Anyway itís Babaís play. He arranges such experiences for those who need them. If we surrender to Him, we pass the test. Of course the tests never stop. But, then, neither does His grace.î LORD SHIVA NEVER DID IT 274 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER CHAPTER 16

You also Have to Play Peopleís movement

Manerbio, Italy. 1982. The Margis have uncovered a major case of graft and corruption, and have organized a movement to try to stop itóProut in action!74 In a few months the local government plans to close the Manerbio hospital and shift its facilities to another town. The only reason for the move is the financial benefit it will bring to the host of companies involved in the construction of the new hospital. The losers will be the people of Manerbio, who will lose their hospital. Sister Damayanti is the leader of this fledgling movement, along with her husband Jiivananda and two other Margis. Over the last few weeks many volunteers have helped them to distribute leaflets and collect petition signatures. Today they held their first demonstration. It was a grand success. Over 4000 people came and joined in the march. ......

Two months later. By now, the ìSave Our Hospitalî movement has had four demonstrations, with up to 8000 participants apiece. A few days ago an incident occurred which showed how much the local people have come to trust the Margis: During a village meeting held in a market place, speakers expressed their opinions about city conditions. At one point, a well-known priest said, ìWe have to encourage more At this point in time, Prout peopleís movements outside of India were still a novelty, i.e. such work had only just begun. Though Margis were the leaders of these actions, the participants were primarily non-Margis. The actions were of two main typesópositive constructive programs and anti-exploitation drives. For example, I had recently participated in initiating a mass-housing action in Holland, and an anti-p*rnography drive in Norway. In India, Prout peopleís movements had already begun many years before. Some had the support of hundreds of thousands of people. 74

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the involvement by the young people of our city. Just see what good work is being done by those leading the Save Our Hospital movement.î From the crowd one women yelled back, ìSi, noi crediamo piu in quei giovani che in te!óYes, we believe more in those young people than in you!î Another yelled, ìPerche voi preti non avete fatto niente per salvare il nostro hospetale tanto tempo fa?óWhy didnít you priests do anything to save our hospital long ago?î Someone else added, ìTe giusto stai saltando sul populare vagone della banda!óYouíre just jumping on a popular band-wagon!î An incident happened today which also demonstrates the movementís strength, but in a shocking manner. After a morning meeting in one section of the city, the Margis drove to another meeting in a different part of town. Damayanti was so inspired she sang Baba Nam Kevalam the entire way, about thirty minutes, over the loud-speaker system mounted on the carís rooftop. At the foot of a hill leading up to the meeting site, the carís engine died. After the Margis got out of the car, a man opened the hood to check on the cause of the failure. He discovered a bomb lodged there! Because Damayanti had been using the amplifier throughout the whole drive, the weak electrical system was sufficiently over-taxed to cause the engine to die, leaving an insufficient charge for the bomb to explode. Though the lives of the Margis were obviously saved by the grace of Baba, this experience shook them up. They had not understood the extent of the danger they faced from opponents of their movement. ...... Two weeks later. Today the local government announced its decision not to shift the hospital. A big party will be held by the public honoring Damayanti and the other leaders of the Save our Hospital movement. Over the last weeks Damayanti and Jiivanandaís meditation became irregular. They gave more importance to their social work than to their spiritual practices. As a result, their behavior became more aggressive and egoistic. Fortunately, through discussion with acharyas a few days ago, they recognized this loss of balance ó and they re-started their spiritual discipline. It is surprising but true that those who work more also need to meditate more. YOU ALSO HAVE TO PLAY 276 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER A desperate attack

Luxembourg. 1 May. There is news from Calcutta. It is so outrageous, so abominable, so heinous that I find it difficult to write. Yesterday morning at 6:30, our workers were attacked while coming by taxis to our Calcutta headquarters. Seventeen Dadas and Didis were killed in an atrocious manner. The same vicious tactic was used in each case. The attackers stopped the taxis at railroad crossings, pulled our workers out onto the street and first beat them with iron rods to make them helpless. They then blinded them by throwing acid in their eyes, gouged out their eyes with knives, stabbed them repeatedly, and finally doused their bodies with petrol and burned them. Over the last few weeks, the Communists prepared the public for this attack by holding small street demonstrations and claiming that our orphanages and schools are full of children we stole from their parents. In response, we approached both politicians and newspapers to show the documentation of all the orphans under our care. We challenged the demonstrators to produce even a single parent with a complaint against us. Instead of responding to our documentation, the Communists tried to drum up further hostility by repeatedly shouting over loud-speakers ìBeware of the Ananda Margi child-lifters!î Only when the attacks occurred did anyone recognize that the demonstrations were part of a strategy to protect the true villains. At yesterday morningís press conference, Communist politicians claimed that the violence was the spontaneous result of mob psychology, and that the attackers were parents and local people. From the first, however, the public and the media unanimously rejected this explanation. The claim that it was a spontaneous uprising was patently absurd. How could a spontaneous uprising happen simultaneously in three separate locations, using identical methods? The local police were also responsible. For one hour after the attacks they refused to initiate an investigation, even though their station was within 200 meters of the incidents. The attackersí true intentions become clear once you add the fact that our Central workers come to the office by taxi at just this hour every day. Only because Baba requested a special meeting the previous night was their schedule different yesterday. The mobsters planned 277

to kill the Central workers, but instead the victims were all school teachers coming for a teachersí meeting.75 ...... It may seem strange, but the Communists fear our moral integrity and low-budget social work. In comparison they know that their government looks corrupt and ideologically backward. Our legal section has filed cases but the attackers have already absconded through police complicity. Since we well know that the West Bengal government will never make any investigation, we are demanding an inquiry by the federal government. Considering that Ananda Margis have never engaged in violence, and that we have been victims of numerous personal and property attacks by the Communists, one would think at least the federal government will cooperate. But I do not expect cooperation, because the federal government is as corrupt as the state body. In the face of these assaults, and without hope of government or police assistance, should we give up our social work and our social movements, and join the under-the-table diplomacy which rules the

country? Or should we gain strength and inspiration from the understanding that the corrupt are bound to attempt to destroy those who are noncompromisingly striving toward goodness? The answer is obvious. Necessary insight and intuition Calcutta. Several court cases are going on, most of them initiated by Ananda Marga to protest oppression by local communists or other politicians. While informing Baba of the progress of these cases, one worker asked Baba for guidance. Baba replied: ìOurs is a missionary work. You are all working for long and have sufficient experience. Must I give suggestions on each and every petty matter? It gives me much pain. If you all are simply Since apparently Baba knew the attack would occur, the question may arise why He allowed the school teachers to fall into the trap. Why does Baba (or for that matter God) allow anyone in the world to suffer or die? I believe that suffering can often be a positive force in the path of spiritual awakening. We are born in order to realize lifeís lessons. Suffering and death are vital for that realization. Why Baba freed some people from certain suffering, and did not free others, is a far too complicated matter for me. The deep psycho-spiritual needs of both individuals and the society are involved. Surely He had His plan, and followed it. 75

YOU ALSO HAVE TO PLAY 278 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

sincere with your meditation and 16 Points, you will get the necessary insight and intuition. This applies to all workers.î He requested this statement to be made known to all workers. Just words Ananda Nagar. During afternoon reporting, one-by-one we stood in front of Baba, undergoing His scrutiny. When it was my turn, He exposed some of the defects of my work, and then began beating me with His stick. The General Secretary said to me, ìGive some explanation.î Usually workers reply by saying something like, ìI will do my work better, Baba,î or ìI tried my best, Baba, but couldnít get the publicís response,î or ìBaba, Baba, Baba!î or some other unimpressive statement. Generally He continues the beating for some time. But I said spontaneously, ìI am lazy and selfish!î His whopping became softer. ìI am stupid and insincere!î The beating stopped. ìWhat do you say, my boy?î Baba said. ìI will change my ways and not waste a single solitary moment!î I said decidedly. ìYesss. Very good.î Afterward, one Dada said to me, ìThose replies to Baba were very clever.î ìBut I meant it,î I said. ...... During the night reporting that same Dada came under Babaís stick. Immediately he said, ìIím worthless and slothful!î Beat beat beat. ìIím egoistic and not industrious!î Beat beat beat. ìYes, yes. We know that,î said Baba. Beat beat beat. ìBut Iíll become a perfect worker, Baba!î

Beat beat beat. ìJust words. Just words,î said Baba. Beat beat beat. The Dada looked at me. I shrugged my shoulders. 279

ìBaba, Baba, Baba!î he said. The beating went on about double the normal time for him. Penniless in the Arctic Nuuk, Greenland. 1983. I was the first worker to visit this Arctic colony, the biggest island in the world. Previously I worked in the southern part, but this is my first time in Nuuk, the capital city. I have no contacts here and no return ticket. Back in Denmark I purchased a round-trip ticket from Copenhagen to Sundre Stromford. For a bit of fun I only brought enough money for a one-way ticket from there to Nuuk. Iím scheduled to be here for ten days. In the meantime Baba, youíll have to create enough Margis to pay for my missing plane fare, and my daily expenses. To add some spice to this brew, one of the Danes I met today said, ìGood luck to you. Itís a rare Eskimo whoís mind is not lost in booze, dancing and motorcycles.î The winter is harsh here. Half the flights usually get canceled due to bad weather. As I walk through the streets, I sometimes have to grab onto a tree to stop myself from being blown over. It once took me forty-five minutes to walk a distance which should have taken fifteen minutes. Coming back, I needed only five minutes ó I was almost flying. Even the women wear pants here, so I am doubly unique in my orange lungi, which billows in the wind like a full skirt. I donít know why I remain warm even while trudging through deep snow. Nuuk is called ìthe big cityî, though its population is a mere 10,000. In total, Greenland has a population of about 50,000, of which 80% are Eskimos and 20% are Danes. By World War II the majority of Eskimos had converted from nomad-life to town-life, though not out of preference. The shift was primarily to assist doctors who were facing difficulties trying to protect the people from diseases caused by ìcivilizationî. Since it is my policy not to stay in hotels while teaching meditation, Baba kindly arranged for me to ìaccidentallyî meet a man who invited me to stay in his house. (One way or another, no matter where I am, He always provides a house for my stay.) I began setting up lectures immediately. ...... Next day. While walking in the snowy streets, I was surrounded by a group of about twenty teenage boys. They were a rowdy bunch, itchYOU ALSO HAVE TO PLAY 280 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ing for a fight. When they began pushing one another, it became clear that their real intention was to get around to pushing me. They were keen to test this strange man with a turban. Later I came to know that itís considered comical in Greenland whenever anyone falls down in the snow, especially if one gets hurt. When they were just about to fling themselves into me, I had an inspiration. ìI say! Do any of you know a good song to sing?î A few of them knew enough English to understand me, and they fell into a parley. Seconds later they burst into an Eskimo tune, complete

with gesticulations. That completed, I requested another song, and they complied with increasing enthusiasm. Then they demanded a song from me so I regaled them with my latest frozen version of Baba Nam Kevalam. I made them sing it together with me, and soon we became fast friends. By evening, word had gone around about that fine Dada fellow. Coldest cold Last night I had to perform my kapalika meditation. The only graveyard is dead-center in the middle of the town, flooded by electric light, so I opted instead for a tiny dark peninsula where long ago the people used to bring sick babies who would be left in the cold for some hours. If they survived, they were considered strong enough to deserve care. If they died, that proved they were better off dead. Before beginning meditation I already felt chilled to the bone due to the freezing breeze. The wind was so strong that it tore off my lungi, which I had to dive to catch. Before I could grab it, the sea almost claimed it, and in the process I slipped on the ice just on the edge of the water, a dark mass of heaving waves. In the last moment, my foot caught on a jutting piece of ice, stopping my fall. I slowly edged my way backward a few feet, and arranged for my meditation without benefit of cover or blanket. After a minute or two I no longer noticed the intense cold. Indifference to temperature is a common experience for those practicing kapalika meditation. Thirty minutes later, when I had finished, I again became aware of my body, which began shivering so strongly that I could not hold my equipment. Hardly able to stand, I dragged myself toward a nearby house especially arranged for my stay on this night. 281

After crossing the threshold, I laid thawing out on the floor about ten minutes, before moving toward my room. The next morning I was fine. No matter what difficulties I face during meditation, I never seem to fall sick. ...... We had group meditation this evening. Because no one moved even slightly, and because there was heavy snow around the house, we experienced complete soundlessness. Impressive, especially considering it was their first such meeting. Nothing unlikely During my previous visit to southern Greenland a good number of people learned meditation. I didnít think to contact any of them, however, because the only way to travel between cities in winter is by plane. Yesterday, my first initiate down there had a strong thought of me and Baba. On the strength of that feeling alone, she flew here hoping to find me. When she saw me today, she was just as surprised as anyone else that her intuition had been correct. They say for the devotee nothing is impossible, or even unlikely. Faith and fortune A unit committee was formed tonight, selected from among the forty Margis who have learned meditation in the nine days since Iíve been here. The prediction about Eskimos lacking interest in meditation was wrong. About 80% of these new Margis are Eskimos, exactly reflecting their proportion in society.

I spoke to the most inspired sister, ìI donít have money for my return fare to Sundre Stromford. And I have to leave tomorrow evening.î ìDada!î she said. ìWhat are you going to do?î ìNo, no,î I laughed. ìThatís my question to you.î ìBut Iím just a student...î ìCan I see your tongue?î She stuck it out. ìIt looks like a healthy tongue. Perhaps it will be of some use in asking the other Margis for help. But donít press them. They should only give according to their feelings.î She flashed a big smile and immediately left the room. YOU ALSO HAVE TO PLAY 282 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ...... Next day. That sister ran up to me late this morning, saying, ìDada, look! We collected half of your ticket money! Here, please take it.î ìThanks. Just see how Baba helps.î ìYes. ... Now what are you going to do to get the rest?î I laughed and said, ìAgain, thatís my question to you.î ìBut ... I already asked everyone for money.î ìWell, how about going back to them, and asking for ideas how to get the rest?î ìBut the airlines office closes in just four hours.î ìIf you do your best, Baba will arrange everything. And remember, no pressure!î I said. ...... When at last she proudly presented the necessary amount for my ticket, we only had time to run to the airline office and slip in the door as it was about to be locked. Whoís depending on whom? Oslo. Today was the second and closing day of a skiing weekend that I had organized here in the Norwegian Alps as part of my regular sports and adventures program.76 This was only the second time Iíd been skiing. The first time was earlier this winter when I conducted a one-week outing in the Swiss Alps. Norwegians are a people said to be born with skis on their feet. We held racing competitions. To allow me to participate, they gave me a liberal handicap of one minute on each run. Toward the end of the day, in an effort to see how fast I could go, I ordered my feet not to turn inward, i.e. I would not allow myself to slow my downhill speed. I was soon moving faster than anyone else on the mountain. It was exhilarating. The only problem was that I had not yet mastered sharp turning. Because I could not turn around each of the skiers I was passing, I had to yell at those in front of me, ìLook out! Look out!î Once they saw me they jumped out of the way. A neat, albeit, self-centered system. At this time I was working as sectorial secretary of the Spiritualistsí Sports and Adventures Club. Two or three times a month we conduct weekend outings in different regions of the sector. These programs ranged from mountain climbing, horseback riding, boating, forest hikes, and sports matches on up to full scale training camps teaching relief skills, first-aid, self-defense, survival skills and higher philosophy. 76

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At last I came to the final turn, sure that I had cut at least two minutes from my previous best time. As I rounded the corner I had a shock. Directly in front of me was a group of about thirty students, surrounding

their teacher, who was lecturing them on some subtle point which demanded their full attention. When I yelled ìLook out! Look out!î none of them heard. Within a moment I was on them. At the last moment they noticed me and scrambled out of the way. One of them, however, was not quite quick enough. My skis latched onto his; my head continued forward while he was thrown down; and then my feet, still wearing the skis, flipped over my head as I flew through the air over a fence. While most of the route is open, fences are erected only where the fall is precipatedly steep. Thus, as I merrily winged my way over that fence, thinking of Baba, I was blissfully unaware that I was courting sweet death. What trouble some of us children make for our Father. He was compelled to save me by arranging my head-down-feet-up fall in a tree in such a way that my skis caught in the branches; I finished my route hanging upside-down with the top of my skull a few centimeters from the ground. Throughout the weekend a fourteen year-old lad had taken a special interest in me; we usually skied together. This time, however, I had left him far behind in my flakes. Now, as he caught up, he saw me dangling from the tree, and shouted, ìWow, Dada! Howíd you do that?î ìIíd prefer to tell you a little later,î I said. ìNow howís about lending me a hand, brother?î It was nearly as dangerous getting me down as it had been getting there, but after a few minutes of nerve-racking efforts, my young friend had me back on my feet. Unbeknownst to me, the entire escapade, including my brief flight, had happened in plain view of the 200 or so skiers who were waiting for the ski-lift. I was met by loud applause while finally skiing down to the bottom. The only explanation I can think of why He bothers to save such zany people like me time and again, is because normal conservative people are unwilling to lead this sort of Tantric lifestyle in which one never knows what will happen next. Baba simply has no alternative. Entertainment at government expense Paris. Last night, while traveling in a train and sleeping alone in a six-seat compartment, I was woken in an unprecedented manner. A YOU ALSO HAVE TO PLAY 284 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER strong flash of light hit me directly in the face. Immediately I opened my eyes, sat up, and saw a man still holding a camera. Without even donating a few francs for the privilege of taking my portrait, and without offering a smile, he turned on his heels and high-tailed it out of the compartment. And I, without any idea as to what I was after, jumped up, and ran in pursuit. As I James-Bonded my way down the corridor, I passed a man walking in the opposite direction. Arriving at the link between two cars, I suddenly thought, What a dope I am! That was the camera-man, throwing me off his scent by acting opposite my expectations. I swung around, and raced back, just in time to see him disappear through the door leading to the next car. I rushed forward and turned the door handle, but he had locked the door behind him. Well, Iím not so easily deterred, I thought, and dashed back to my room, opened my bag, and took out the key used for the doors between cars. (Because I spend so much time on trains, it is convenient to have this key.) Hurrying back to the locked door, I opened it, and entered the next car.

Though I looked at everyone in that car, I could hardly guess which of the apparently sleeping suspects was the real spy. Full of wonder, but not downcast, I returned to my cabin. Iíd given it a good try, but once again those fellows had gotten the upper hand. I laughed at what expense and trouble they were going to in building up their files on such a carefree, harmless guy. They consider me a dangerous radical, not realizing the true nature of the spiritual revolution for which I am struggling. You also have to play Calcutta. Today, during reporting, Baba divided the Dadas into two groupsóERAWS (Education, relief and welfare section) and TRIO (a conglomerate of the three other major trades). I took my place with the rest of the Trio group. Baba instructed each group to condemn the members of the other group for insufficient speed in our work. Since criticism is a natural lower tendency, everyone passionately threw themselves into the allotted task. I stood directly in front of Baba, two feet away from Him. The other Dadas, all Indian, yelled accusations back and forth in Hindi and Bengali. Since these languages are not my forte, I remained silent, preferring to feast my eyes only on Baba. For about ten minutes I did 285

nothing but stare at Him, entering into a higher and higher state of mind. Meanwhile the room was filled with emotion-laden vocabulary. Babaís expressions varied throughout, shifting from frowns to smiles to head-nodding to ìHere here!î and so on. All of a sudden He looked straight at me, then pointed and said, ìAnd you! What are you looking at?î I laughed loudly, then said, ìIím looking at my favorite person.î ìEh, what do you say?î ìIím looking at You, Baba.î ìNo, no, no. You also have to play the game. You are not exempt.î Immediately, without waiting for any further prodding, I turned away from Him, and, looking at the ERAWS workers, I said loudly, ìYou are all just like a bunch of dirty ants, not using a drop of your potentiality; you only swim in the muds of staticity, becoming more and more grimy with each passing day, enjoying your useless existence, and speaking highly of how you moved a few twigs and leaves here and there; and then jumping on the nearest sugar cubes and licking and licking until you become sick and have to fast (ëwell itís fasting day, and we had to fast anyway,í you say), and proud that you move from place to place, diligently making a mess everywhere you go!î While I was speaking, everyone was laughing, and Baba said, ìJust see ... Just see ...î ìIn short,î I said, ìthe pigs who roll in filth are better than you, because in the end at least they provide a bit of protein to the meat-eaters.î I swung back around to Baba. He stuck out His chin and pursed His lips, saying, ìYesss. Rightly said.î He waved His hand at the others, and again they started up. I was left to return to my silence, and dived even more deeply into my contemplation of Anandamurtiji. ...... This reminds me of a story of a brother who visited Baba in the jail some years ago.

He was an Indian named Rajesh, who was by nature mild and quiet. After Rajesh was with Baba in His cell for five minutes, the guard said, ìTimeís up. Youíll have to leave now.î ìRajesh,î Baba whispered, ìthe rule permits you ten minutes. Tell them strongly not to disturb us.î Looking at the guards, Rajesh said softly, ìPlease donít disturb us.î YOU ALSO HAVE TO PLAY 286 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER The guards laughed. Then one of them said roughly, ìNow get up and get out, young man.î ìRajesh, you have to shout at them,î Baba said. ìPlease donít disturb us!î Rajesh said in a louder voice. The guards didnít look pleased. The leader said stiffly, ìYou have to follow what I say. Now leave!î ìI told you to shout,î Baba said. ìYouíve got to do it much louder.î ìYou have no right to stop me now!î Rajesh yelled. ìYou are violating the rules, and you are infringing on morality!î Later he said that in all his life, he had never raised his voice so loud. ìYou cannot criticize us!î said the guard. ìGet out now, or we will take physical action against you.î ìRajesh, youíll have to use all your force and all your anger,î said Baba. Rajesh stood tall, pointed his finger at the guards, and with burning eyes, and a blasting voice shouted, ìGet away, you animals!! Or else youíll have to suffer forever!!î Without another word, the guards all lowered their heads, turned and slipped away, tripping over each other, leaving Rajesh and Baba alone. ìWell done, my boy, well done,î Baba said. Intervention Toronto, Canada. Iíve been assisting another worker here who is struggling to receive political asylum. I had some doubt if our approach was correct or not, so I called Calcutta two weeks ago. I asked Dada Ramananda to explain our strategy to Baba and to let me know His response. When I called back a week ago, Ramanandaji said, ìIím sorry, Baba has been too busy, and there was no scope to ask. Call me again in a few days.î Three days ago I again called Ramanandaji and he said, ìThereís still been no chance. Please call later.î His tone told me that he didnít want to speak to Baba about it. I was desperate, and thought, ìBaba, please help...î Today I called Dada Ramananda, and he said, excitedly, ìA funny thing. Honestly, I was hesitating to ask Baba. But just after your last call, Baba came out of His room and asked, ëWho was that on the phone just now?í In all these years, He has never once inquired about phone calls. I told Him your name, and before I could begin to explain your question, Baba said, ëYes, I know what they are trying to do there. It is good. Tell them to continue their efforts.íî 287

Itís certainly impressive that Baba knew what we were doing without having any objective information, but I give more importance to the fact that if He had not personally intervened we would never have received a reply. Bathroom power Oulu, Finland. I am staying in the home of a man to whom I taught meditation only yesterday. This morning, after he took his shower, he

approached me and said, ìDada, I felt an extraordinary vibration in the bathroom just now. Did you cause it? Did you practice any special bathroom-meditation?î ìDid you hear anything while I was in the bathroom?î I asked. ìNo. Should I have heard something?î ìI mean did you hear any sound coming from the bathroom then?î ìNo. I was in my bedroom while you were bathing. Itís too far away from the bathroom for me to hear anything.î ìThen Iím surprised. Yes, I always chant a special mantra when I finish my shower. But I never expected someone else might notice the after-effects on the bathroom itself.î ìIt must be a powerful mantra! What is it? Please teach me!î Though I usually only teach this mantra to people whoíve been meditating for a good while, here was a man who was thirsty for experience, even in the bathroom. So I explained, ìWhenever we take a shower, itís like a fresh start. Incantation of the bath mantra inaugurates our coming day, immerses it in God. I love the feeling. While still wet, we face the sun or any other source of light and chant this mantra together with some special hand gestures .î Then I taught him the bath mantra.77 The bath mantra itself goes like this: Pitri purushe byo namaha, rishi devebyo namaha I pay my respect to the ancestors, I pay my respect to the pioneers and wise people Brahmarpanam, Brahma havi The offering is Brahma (Infinite Consciousness), the object offered is Brahma Brahmagnao Brahmanahutam The One to whom the offering is made is Brahma, the person who is offering is Brahma Brahmaeva tena gantavyam The goal of the offering is Brahma Brahma karma samadhina. When the work of Brahma is done, samadhi (self-realization) will result. 77

YOU ALSO HAVE TO PLAY 288 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

CHAPTER 17

Forgetting and Remembering Not an ordinary body

Calcutta. 1984. Whenever Baba walks downstairs for field walk, He always passes by a door behind which I often stand. I keep that door open a crack so that I can see Him. He usually stands there for some time, talking with two or three workers. I feel He does it just to please those of us looking through the crack. Today, however, He passed the crack without stopping. I saw Him for only a few seconds. Immediately after He left my field of vision, I closed my eyes and sat for meditation. A surge of energy rose in my body, halting only at the crown of my head, where it continued pulsating throughout a half hour of meditation. When I opened my eyes, the powerful vibration ceased. ...... One week later. Over these last days I have been grabbing any opportunity to see Baba, even for a brief moment. Immediately after seeing Him, I do meditation. The throbbing experience invariably returns. This is my own personal proof that Babaís body is not like those of other people. Merely seeing His body induces a spiritual change in me. Now I understand the true value of both physically seeing Guru, and mentally imagining Guru.

Yes, I understand. But how useful is it to explain this to others? ...... When I mentioned my realization to Dada Amalvikashananda, he remembered an experience which he had in front of the same door. A very different sort of experience. 289

The Far East Asia sector consists of Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macao, Mainland China, Tibet, Mongolia, North Korea, Asiatic Russia, and the five Asian countries of the previous Soviet Union. Because the last ten countries occupy 90% of the geographical area of the sector, yet were, at this time, under oppressive communist regimes, we were only able to work openly in ten percent of the sector. 78

ìA few weeks ago,î he said, ìBaba smashed my ego just beyond this door. I was standing there and talking with Him. He shouted at me about my poor work. I was so embarrassed, thinking that everyone was hearing. So very softly, I said to Him, ëBaba, excuse me, but maybe itís better you rebuke me inside the house; the neighbors are listening, and they may get the wrong idea.í ìBaba raised His eyebrows and said sharply in English, ëPrestige, huh? Prestige...í ìHe let His words sink into my brain. Then without going inside, He went on shouting at me, with only one differenceóHis voice tripled in volume.î New cultures: adapt or clash out Tokyo, Japan. After eight years working in Europe, Iíve been posted to the Far East Asia sector as the Public Relations Secretary, with additional duties as Medical Secretary and Publications Secretary.78 Though our head office is in Tokyo, our greatest number of Margis are in Taiwan. This posting is interesting for me from a cultural perspective. It may also have a radical psychological effect on me because Oriental human relations are completely different from what Iím used to. Until now I could get away with being individualistic, forcefully determined, even blunt and ambitious. Not so here. These qualities are generally unacceptable among Japanese, Chinese and Koreans. [Authorís note: Such changes in myself did not come as easily as I hoped. Though it did not take long for me to properly alter my external behavior, the more important development was a mental one. Orientals rarely directly say what they intend to communicate; most of them are more sensitive on the feeling level. So the mental change I had to undergo to live and work with them related to becoming more silent and attuning my intuition. It was such a deep process that, even now years later, I donít feel I have completed it.] FORGETTING AND REMEMBERING 290 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ...... Three months later. Public Home Concert program held for the public in the yoga center this evening. The program included mime, Indian sitar music, and modern dance.79 Bad stimulates good Train from Delhi to Calcutta. A song inspired by yesterdayís train journey in an over-crowded second-class wagon: Riding on an Indian train, people sleeping brain to brain. Heads and feet in touch all the night,

their minds adjusting more or less right. Itís terrible to see men packed like sardines, sharing their chapatiis and beans. Itís terrible to see men resting in filth, only to enrich those with the wealth. Refrain: Lovers of life reject the status-quo. Those who accept donít want to grow. Just now thereís no room to doubt: weíve to open to the flow of Prout. Those stinky lousy capitalistsó in their faces they deserve flying fists to save them from the path of ruin, or else mankind will be destroyed soon. But donít you worry, Jimmy or Joe, thereís purpose in this painful show. This was the first of our Home Concert series, which continued on a monthly basis for seven years. Renaissance Artists and Writers Association (RAWA) became well known to much of Tokyoís progressive community because of these special programs. I say special because in all of Japan, RAWAís concerts were the only informal affairs at which there was no smoking or drinking, at which the performers knew they would be watched with full attention, and after which fine vegetarian meals were served during which people had an opportunity to socialize. 79

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Realization comes out of clash. So pity the man with excessive cash. Refrain Bad is made to stimulate good, without which weíd not know what we should. Without black thereís no thing as white. Without love who could notice manís fright. To answer to the eternal call weíve to polarize almost alló so mediocrity becomes far less, and purpose comes from our unending stress. Prout, Prout: to get rid of all the doubt. Shout for Prout, and spout for Prout, bout for Prout. Come out for Prout. Do you like it, my boy? Ananda Nagar. 1985. Dada Yatishvarananda told me a story from his days as a regional secretary in India. Baba was making a tour of south India, and Dada was accompanying Him. Many local Margis came to meet Baba at an airport where His flight was in transit. In an informal mood, Baba asked one mother to pass her young son to Him. Baba took the boy in His lap. Dada was standing behind Baba, and was very curious because he had never seen Baba treat a child in this way. Baba smiled, then gently grasped the boyís lips, and sweetly said, ìYes, yes, my boy.î The child became excited and shouted, ìBaba! Baba!î Immediately the mother and most of the other Margis began softly crying. Dada said that he thoroughly enjoyed the scene, though he had no idea what caused their tears.

Shortly after, Baba and Dada were called for their flight. Babaís security guard delayed slightly and then met them inside the plane. When he sat down, he said to Dada, ìDo you know what really happened back there?î FORGETTING AND REMEMBERING 292 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Dada said, ìNo. Tell me.î The guard said, ìAfterward, I asked the mother and other Margis, who were all completely thrilled. They told me that even though that boy was four years old, he had never uttered a single sound. They believed he was completely mute. Though it seemed Baba made no special effort, He made the child speak.î At this moment Baba turned His face toward Dada, and said, ìDo you like it, my boy?î Fighting samskara Tokyo. Virendra from America is here. He is one of only ten non-Koreans in the world who have the top black belt of a Korean martial art called Kok Sul Won, the traditional self-defense method used by guards of the Korean royal family. Before becoming a Margi, Virendra had a job as a bouncer in a California bar. He had to deal daily with tough rowdy drunks. When I worked for Spiritualistsí Sports and Adventures Club in Europe I often arranged self-defense training at our weekend camps. Over the years I experimented with different martial art systems. I searched for an instructor who could teach enough in a few days to be of practical use for our students, but I was unsuccessful in that search. I put the problem to Virendra, and he worked out a series of movements covering the most common situations which arise during confrontations on the streets of our violent world. Of course I asked him to teach me the course. This is the first time Iíve been able to really learn self-defense. ...... One month later. I have been practicing Virendraís defense techniques. As a consequence, Iíve been itching for a situation to test my new skill. But I thought it unlikely; Iíve had no need to physically fight anyone for many years. Today, while passing through Shibuya, I ran into a Margi who sells paintings on the street. He had to go somewhere so he asked me to watch the paintings. Soon after he left, another street-seller appeared. He was a French fellow, and a head taller than me. ìGet your stuff out of heere,î he said. ìThis is my place.î ìTheyíre not mine,î I said. ìIím just guarding them for a friend. Heíll be back soon.î 293

The physical world directly reflects the needs of oneís mind. A seasoned spiritual aspirant usually remains busy in dealing with responses to very old needs. When such a person creates a fresh strong desire for anything, that desire is bound to get fulfilled. Usually it happens sooner rather than later. Conscious desire is dangerous, however, because it is contrary to the path of selflessness. 80

ìI don giive a damn! Move iit, or Iíll destroy all these paintings.î My heart start beating faster. Would I get a chance to use my new skill? ìIím not moving, brother,î I said, staring him in the face. ìAnd youíre also not going to touch the paintings.î

ìYou wanna fight, huh?î ìNo, I donít want to fight,î I fibbed. ìBut if youíd like to fight, Iím ready.î He rolled up his sleeves, flexing his muscles. I stood motionless, and centered myself as Virendra had taught me. Suddenly he rushed at me. He lifted his hands to grab my shirt-front and throw me on the ground. But as he did so, I raised my arms in between his, caught his wrists, stepped to the side, and pulled him forward in the same direction as his momentum. He fell in a heap on the ground, skinning his hands and knees. Fantastic! It was so easy! He jumped up, clearly shocked that such a small guy could trip him like that. ìSo! You reeally wanna fight, donít you?î he shouted. A crowd began to gather around. ìI told you,î I said evenly. ìIím not interested in fighting. Itís up to you.î His eyes shifted nervously as he said, ìAre these paintings really not yours?î ìOf course not. My friend will come back soon.î ìOkay,î he said softly. ìLet us wait for him.î The crowd dispersed. I offered him a seat. The Margi took a long time to come back, so the Frenchman and I got to know each other. He had many personal problems, and ended up by asking me to teach him meditation. I admit I shouldnít have desired this sort of confrontation. But sometimes the wild child inside me gets the upper hand. I was lucky this time that Baba didnít punish me for my foolishness.80 FORGETTING AND REMEMBERING 294 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Non-stoppable devotees Calcutta. Among the different gifts I brought for Baba this time was a bottle of chocolate Horlicks powdered-malt mix.81 Today I was happy to see Dada Keshavananda prepare a big glass of the Horlicks for Him. A few minutes later, Dada came out of Babaís room. He put the half-empty glass on a table. ìDid Baba enjoy it?î I asked. ìOf course.î ìDid you mention my name?î ìOf course.î ìThank you. Now, how about a little prasad (spiritually vibrated food)?î ìWhat?î he said. ìDonít be silly. You know wholetimers canít take chocolate.î ìCímon, Dada. Itís prasad. No problem.î ìNo way.î Starting to advance toward the glass, I said, ìPlease, Dadaji.î ìNo. Youíre not permitted.î ìWell, Iím just going to take it,î I said, moving closer to the glass. ìNo. Donít touch it.î ìIím taking it.î ìNo! It will ... what are you doing?î ìDrinking it of course!î

ìYou drank it!î ìOf course.î Even in the case of Dadas, boys will be boys. ..... [Authorís note: This reminds me of an incident that occurred when Baba was in Germany. At 10:00 a.m. on a fasting day. Dada KarunaDadas and Didis are not permitted to eat mildly stimulating food like chocolate, nonherbal tea, coffee and Coca Cola. Baba, however, did not follow such a restriction because He wished to provide a living example not only for renunciates but also for family people (who are permitted to eat such things in moderation). For the same reason, He also shaved. However, He fasted four times a month like a renunciate, and of course completely refrained from consuming such foods as meat, fish, eggs, onion, garlic, mushroom, alcohol and narcotics. 81

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nanda and I were waiting for Baba in His house. We were alone when we noticed four glasses, each with a small amount of orange juice. Obviously this was the remains of a pre-dawn drink Baba had taken in preparation for fasting. We grinned at each other, and, without exchanging a word, each picked up a glass and bottomed-up. Then, laughing with glee, we proceeded to the third and fourth glasses ó merrily breaking our fasts. Actually, I didnít really feel as if I had broken my fast, since the orange juice was pure prasadónot food. I didnít feel the slightest twinge of conscience. To the contrary, even now looking back so many years, I still derive a certain pleasure from the simple devotion that guided us.] Real life drama During our global reporting sessions, Baba has a fixed order in which He calls the representatives from the different sectors of the world. At present I am representing Hong Kong sector, which is always the first sector to be called. (In Ananda Marga, the Far East Asia sector is called ëHong Kong sectorí.) The session began: BABA: How many district in-charges came from the ladiesí section of Hong Kong Sector? GLOBAL HEAD OF WOMENíS WELFARE DEPARTMENT: Ah... ah... BABA: Speak up. GLOBAL HEAD WOMENíS DEPARTMENT: Ah... none, Baba... BABA: Haat! What nonsense? Let the lady representative of Hong Kong Sector step forward. (Silence. No one moves.) What is this? Is there no representative even? GLOBAL HEAD WOMENíS DEPARTMENT: I ... Iím sorry, Baba. She did not arrive yet. (In fact, all the Didis of all sectors except Hong Kong are present. There is no question of ìyetî.) BABA: What a sorry scene. Stupid, nonsense. Then let the male representative of Hong Kong Sector step forward. (I move to the front.) What is the excuse? (I remain mum.) How can you justify such nefarious behavior? (Though I am silent, and nothing could be more awkward, nevertheless Iím enjoying His attention. Any attention is better than none.) And how many district in-charges are present from the male side of Hong Kong Sector? FORGETTING AND REMEMBERING 296 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ME (unhesitating, with a clear voice, head unbent): Zero, Baba. (An abrupt silence rolls over the room. Everyone holds their breath,

expecting an onslaught from Baba. Sure enough...) BABA (shouting at such a volume it can be heard well beyond the closed door): What?! You foolish idiot! Scoundrel rascal! Then what was your purpose in coming here?! Have you come just to enjoy yourself?! Just to kill our time?! You have no right to be here! (Pointing His finger toward the door, He shouts at ear-splitting volume:) Get out!! Get out!! Get out just now!!! ME (speaking quickly): But, Baba, district in-charges are on their way from Taiwanóthey will surely be here any moment. (Though this is a possibility, it sounds like a common, lame excuse. Everyone in the room remains super tense.) BABA (turning His head from side to side, squinting His eyes, pushing His lower lip out, and speaking in a radically opposite voice, that is, softly and slowly): But ... donít they know? ... Donít they know that they are to arrive here by the 30th? ... GS Dada? (Confusion reigns in the room due to Babaís sudden mood change.) GENERAL SECRETARY: Yes, Baba, they must know. (Silence as Baba turns His head again and again.) BABA (in a low, almost inaudible voice): Alright ... and ... Manila Sector ... what is your status? After receiving Babaís spiritual force, my mind was so blown that I could not think what to do next. Several Central workers motioned me to fall back into line. The session continued on a low key. A few minutes later, Baba signaled the end of reporting. After the Didis and sisters left the room, we performed Madhur Sadhana in front of Baba.82 Then He left the room. Immediately, four or five Central workers came to me and asked, ìWhat happened? Just when we were sure you would be out on your ear, and all of us would have to step forward to give explanation for your indiscipline; just when we thought there would be a thick drama complete with punishment; just then, Baba changed His mood and let you go. He saved you, Dharmavedananda. î Madhur Sadhana is a special spiritual practice which includes kiirtan. It is done only by acharyas. Didis and Dadas perform it separately. 82

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ìI donít have any idea,î I said. ìMy district in-charges really are coming, you know.î ìSure, sure!î they all laughed, not believing me. Two overseas workers then walked up to me. Expressing surprise, they said, ìHey, what? Youíre still here? But Baba told you to get out, didnít He?î Now I laughed. The tension and impact created by Babaís shouting had been so much that these two workers had not even perceived the exchange afterward between Baba and me about the Taiwan district in-charges. These two must have been in shock. I was about to leave the room when Babaís personal assistant, Keshavanandaji, re-entered. ìDharmavedananda, Baba just asked me to collect any further information on the Taiwan district in-charges.î ìI donít know,î I said uneasily. ìThey were ... supposed to come by now.î ìBaba mentioned that they may now be somewhere between Nepal and India.î ìIt could be,î I said. ìI donít know.î

ìAnd He wants an investigation made.î I laughed nervously. What was this all coming to? Was He planning to catch me on another day about my so-called missing Margis? I sighed, thinking, He will do whatever He likes. And what He likes is perfect. ...... Three days later. Twice daily Baba has been asking for any report on the Taiwan Margis. At last today information arrived from northern Bihar near the Nepali border. The four Taiwan Margis really are thereóbut they are in jail! Getting Indian visas in Taiwan is an extremely long process, and to avoid being late, they came without visas, trying to cross the border without being seen. Surely Baba saw their situation in that same moment when He suddenly changed His mood in reporting. ...... Three months later. Tokyo. 1986. Today I spoke by phone with Taipei. The four brothers and sisters who were arrested in India arrived back home a few days ago. After their ordeal, they received a FORGETTING AND REMEMBERING 298 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER heroís welcome. They spent three months being shifted from prison to prison in northern Bihar. For part of that time they were held in the Bankipur Jail in Patna where Baba had stayed. For one month they fasted on only water and juice to protest their imprisonment. During that time, they had special experiences of Babaís graceóbrother Keshava even had a few visions of Baba in his cell. Toward the end they all had the clear intuitive foreknowledge of the exact date that they would be released. Though they were unable to enter India, their risks and sacrifices led to some colorful moments. Dare I say the spiritual benefit was even greater than if they had passed undisturbed into India and physically met Baba? Dream trance Benefit concert held on behalf of our work in Burkina Faso, Africa. 550 people attended. By the collection from this program a medical center will be built.83 ...... I had a dream early this morning: After walking through a pasture alone with Baba, we stood outside His house. He told me, ìIt will be highly useful for you to engage in three activities. The first is writing. Your writing will enable you to contact many leading personalities. And that is your second work: to meet such leaders. For example, university presidents,....î His voice trailed off, so I could not catch the other examples. At that moment a few workers and Margis joined us. ìI know some leading musicians who might perform for our benefit concerts,î I said. ìThatís nice,î Baba said. Brother Naviin, a Margi musician said, ìI would love to hear those performers. Baba, a few years ago we arranged a large concert in the United States, but....î At this time the work in Burkina Faso was only just beginning. It took several years to gain the trust of the poorest tribal people of this poorest African country. At the time of publication the project was established in twelve villages, providing training for the local people to construct wells, build irrigation systems, establish grain storehouses, 83

and provide basic medical services.

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Prabhat Sangiit were His ìSongs of the New Dawnî. He usually composed a few daily. Eventually Baba composed 5018 songs, all within a space of only eight years. 84

ìYes, I know,î Baba said, smiling. ìI was there with you, and it rained. Better to make such programs indoors.î Before He could mention the third activity, we all went inside His house, and then into His office. He sat behind His desk and said to me, ìWell, come here now. My son should get something.î I walked up to Him, and He gave me a tap on the top of my head with His knuckles. I thought, Now letís see what I feel. But there seemed to be no special sensation. He directed me to sit down, and then said, ìNo need of any more words.î He placed an egg-shaped bag over my head. I understood He was deepening my spiritual awareness. Gradually the breathable air decreased, but I didnít mind because I knew Baba was in full control. Thinking this, I entered a trance in which all thought was suspended. I awoke in that condition. Serenading God Calcutta. I and about twenty other Margis were singing Prabhat Sangiit to Baba.84 He interrupted everyone to speak to me. Pointing to His throat, he said, ìWhile singing, you should keep your mind concentrated here.î I was surprised because when I was a child our singing teacher instructed us to project from the chest. Perhaps it is because Baba is more interested in the beauty of the sound than the volume of the voice. Or perhaps He meant that psychic concentration is on the throat chakra, but physical projection should be from the chest and lungs. A few days earlier He said, ìThose who regularly sing kiirtan gradually develop a sweet and melodious voice.î Is the reason simply practice, or is it (as I believe) because the kiirtan singer is not trying to impress anyoneóonly to serenade God? Luminous beings Tokyo. Six of us were sleeping (on the floor as always) last night in the large room of the yoga center. About 3:00 in the morning I sat up, saying, ìWhereíd they go? Whereíd they go?î My voice woke Dada Ravindranath. ìWhere did who go?î he asked. FORGETTING AND REMEMBERING 300 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Suddenly becoming aware of him and the other Margis, I said, ìYou donít know but there are other beings in this house who are even more absorbed in music than you.î (Ravindranathji usually plays Prabhat Sangiit several hours a day on his electric keyboard.) ìWhat do you mean?î he said, his curiosity peaked. In that moment a thought strongly entered my mind: I must not speak more or I will forget everything I saw. So, I said, ìOh, itís nothing. î Dada Nityashubhanandaís voice floated over from the other side of the dark room, ìItís not nothing.î Unwilling to be deterred from my silence, I laid down and slept. In the morning, after rising, Ravindranathji said, ìDharmavedananda, what did you experience last night?î ìWhat do you mean?î I said. ìI slept all night.î

ìNo, no, donít you remember?î In that moment the memory returnedóand with it, a bolt of inspiration. Funny, I would have indeed forgotten it all if he hadnít questioned me. ìAs I lay sleeping,î I said, ìI felt an indescribable vibration which woke me up. I looked around, and saw scores, maybe even more than a hundred little people. They were pressed against each other, and against these two walls (which join in the corner where I slept). Those persons were far from ordinary. They were of many colors, sizes and facial expressions. But all had large heads with small bodies. Especially minuscule were their arms and legs. I am sure they were luminous beings. ìI looked at them, and they looked at me for several long minutes. I was super-awake. The ones here were all siddhas or gandharvas (see following footnote). For that reason I said there were some who were more absorbed in music than Ravindranathji.î Nityashubhanandaji then added, ìJust before you spoke last night, a wave of energy rolled into me also, waking me up. Thatís why I sat up to do meditation. And thatís why I knew what you saw was not nothing. î85 Occasionally Baba would give demonstrations exposing the presence of such beings. At those times He enabled one or more Dadas to perceive these subtler beings. This was the first time I had seen them so clearly and in such number, though I had experi85

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Forgetting and remembering

1987. I had a dream last night: It was set in the future; Baba was an old man. I was together with hundreds of devotees who I didnít recognize. We were high in the mountains, seated around a small bowl-shaped valley. In front sat the two foremost leaders of Ananda Margaóa man and a woman. I knew neither. Baba sat behind us all, simply looking on without participating. Everyoneís attention was absorbed in listening to the two leaders, whose words I cannot remember. I too stared at those leaders, until a thought entered my mind: Iíve forgotten Baba. Turning around, I saw that Baba had already left His seat. What is this? Oh, where is He? I thought. Then I saw Him, off in the distance, together with two or three Margis. He was climbing the highest mountain peak. What a fool I am! Now Iíve lost this chance to be with Him. I saw Him pause by an outhouse. It appeared to be occupied, and He waited. As I jumped up to run after Him, I thought, I wonder what is the protocol here. Will anyone try to stop me? No one noticed me, and I was free. But after running a few steps, I remembered that I hadnít put on my sandals. So I ran back to look for them among the hundreds of other sandals. enced them countless times before in other ways. The yogis explain that a luminous being is an entity which has an elevated consciousness like a human but is different because its body is made up only of light, gas and ether. It contains no solid or liquid constituents. Just as every being is born to fulfill its own needs along its own evolutionary path, so it is with the luminous being. In its previous life, a luminous being was a human who concentrated on a single desire such as the propensity to accumulate wealth (yaksa), or to develop artistically (gandharva), or to gain psychic experiences through meditation (siddha). To satisfy that desire, its primary activity as a luminous being is to intensify the environmental vibration in the field of spirituality or culture or beauty or economics or whateveróaccording to its special need. Its range of activities is limited

compared with humans. It is said that spiritually conducive place and many other places of intense activity attract luminous beings who enjoy or maintain or increase the energy. People who frequently practice kiirtan may distinctly hear other voices singing kiirtan. It is so clear that we often feel compelled to open our eyes, turn around and see if someone else has joined the kiirtanóonly to discover that no one else is there. But they are thereóour physical eyes are simply unable to see them. The reader will remember an earlier entry about this.

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If I donít find them soon, Iíll go without shoes, or take someone elseís. In that moment, I looked down, and saw my sandals on my feet. How strange. What was this except Babaís play? I ran to the top of the peak but Baba was gone. Thinking that He must have walked down the other side of the mountain, I dashed down the slope with my heart in my throat. On the way I encountered one of the mountain-folk devotees, a big fellow. He grabbed my arm, and ran at double my speed. As I struggled down the path with him, I wondered how I could keep up. Then a second giant devotee appeared and took me by my other arm. I laughed at this further play of Babaís, as I half-skipped, half-flew downward. They joined my laughter. Then I saw Baba far below, just as He turned a corner and moved out of view. The three of us went even faster, the branches whipping in my face so that I had to cover my eyes with my shoulder. I knew it was not only His play, but also a test that I must pass before I meet Him. Again and again He appeared momentarily, then disappeared around another corner. At last I saw Him standing in a fresh green field, surrounded by a score of devotees. The two giants released me, and I ran forward, thinking to embrace Baba. Something made me stop, however, as I came to the circle of devotees. I joined the circle around Him with the others. He wore a heavenly smile, and looked at us in a way that drove me mad. We are each His Radha, playing Krishna Liila, I thought.86 As we danced, a young boy stepped out of Babaís body, holding a glass of juice. He tossed drops of that juice toward us, which we caught in our mouths. Then the boy materialized some small milk sweets, which he also threw to us. It was prasad, and I tried my best to catch it in my mouth. Oh, again Iíve forgotten Baba, I thought, and turned to look at Him. But before my face could turn enough to see Him, I woke up. Forgetting ... remembering ... forgetting ... remembering... Is it His one and only Game? ...... A mythical scene of Krishnaís childhood had Him in just this predicament, surrounded by many dancing girls, including Radha, His favorite. The myth represents the idea that the entire Cosmos is the play of God, and that every entity is knowingly or unknowingly revolving around the Cosmic Nucleus. Those who are aware of this gravitate quickly towards Him through the force of mutual love. 86

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Yesterday evening I criticized a worker, even though other workers were also present. Afterward I regretted my behavior. While falling asleep, I pleaded to Baba to free me from this sort of nasty psychological tendency. Toward morning, I had a dream: A Margi sister committed an error. In front of others, I chided her repeatedly for her mistake. Eventually I lifted a stick, and, while still reproaching her, softly beat her on the head. She was thoroughly embarrassed.

From behind a curtain I heard Babaís voice calling to her to come immediately. She left me and walked over to Baba. I felt very bad about what I had done. After a few minutes she returned. I asked her, ìWhat did Baba say to you?î ìHe was angry with me,î she said, ìbecause I silently tolerated your public criticism of me.î Before I could ask her anything more, Baba again called her out of the room. And I woke up. Now is what matters I had a long dream about Baba, but the beginning of it remains clearest: I was in a room with other workers. Baba appeared at the door and entered. I wanted to prostrate before Him, but as no one else did so, I refrained. A few moments passed as He walked through the room. I am late in offering sastaung pranam (prostration), I thought. Maybe itís no longer proper to do.... But devotion knows no time. Then and there I performed prostration. Baba gave me a beautiful smile, which made me thinkóThe delay had no importance for Him. Rather it was spiritually perfect. After undue hesitation, why should we hesitate even more? Spirituality for all Regular classes started for thirty mentally handicapped women.87 They suffer from Downs syndrome and autism. We are teaching them As it turned out, almost all of them became positively enthusiastic. In general, mentally disadvantaged people love guided gentle movement which does not require too 87

FORGETTING AND REMEMBERING 304 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

yoga postures, kiirtan, and a little meditation. Though some people have expressed doubt that such people could respond to yoga, many of the women were clearly interested during the class. ...... Four months later. As it turned out, almost all of them became positively enthusiastic. In general, mentally disadvantaged people love guided gentle movement which does not require too much coordination. At the same time, the hormonal balance of their glands improves, making them physically and mentally calmer. Some of them even enjoy the deep silence of meditation. Permanent results of course take time to achieve. Good inspires, bad strengthens Calcutta. I was standing in the middle of the main downstairs room of Babaís house in Lake Gardens, surrounded by scores of workers and Margis, when one of my higher authorities, Dada M, walked in. Baba had been angry with him for not arranging a series of lectures for the Margis. Since Dada considered this my duty, now he was angry with me. This was a surprise for me. He shouted at me in such a voice that all the others in the room stopped their conversations, and turned to look at me. I saw no value in arguing, so without reacting or becoming nervous, I simply replied again and again, ìYes, Dada ... Yes, Dada ...î. After a minute or two, he ran out of steam, and left in a huff. Immediately two Central workers approached me, and one said, ìDharmavedananda, I didnít know that you were such a seasoned worker.î

ìWhat do you mean, Dada?î I said. ìM yelled at you in such a way that it would have embarrassed even an elephant. But you took it as cool as a cucumber.î I smiled. ìWell. The credit doesnít go to me. It belongs to another higher authority I had for one and a half years. He constantly berated me and hounded me to the point that my nervous system can now stand just about anything.î much coordination. At the same time, the hormonal balance of their glands improves, making them physically and mentally calmer. Some of them even enjoy the deep silence of meditation. Permanent results of course take time to achieve.

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We laughed together, and I added, ìItís the beauty of Tantra, you know, that we can benefit from every situation. The good moments inspire us, and the so-called bad moments strengthen us.î ...... Soup kitchen started for homeless people in the Shinjuku area. Today we served 50 people, almost all of them men. During the program we were approached by two Christians who told us they had the responsibility to check if any of these people require medical attention. They requested us to inform them whenever we encounter such cases, because they are only able to check every two or three months, and it often happens that people suffer immensely or die in between these visits. Though the government allocates a reasonable amount of money to help disadvantaged people like the physically and mentally handicapped, the homeless people are neglected. They are considered an embarrassment, and both the public and the authorities tend to ignore them. Most people are surprised to hear that there are a few thousand homeless people in Japan. Almost everyone believes that the homeless are irresponsible, lazy alcoholics. Even some of the Margis think so. But the truth is far different. Most, or perhaps all of them had great suffering when they lived within the normal society. They were rejected or abused, and then in most cases became sick. We found them on the whole to be gentle and polite. Though drinking is common, few of them are alcoholics. It is presently beyond our capacity to establish a permanent center for the homeless, but at least we must find out their direst needs, and not allow them to suffer unduly.88 Over the years that followed, our volunteers probably did save the lives of at least a few very ill people who we took to the hospital. 88

FORGETTING AND REMEMBERING 306 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

CHAPTER 18

Even for the Poorest of the Poor Like a mountain spring

Calcutta, 1988. This morning, I left my notebook in the reporting hall just outside Babaís room. Side-stepping the security guard, I ran back up the stairs. When I was about to burst into the room, I had a shockóBaba Himself was sitting there with three workers. I slammed to a halt on the stairway, and pulled back just enough to see, but not be easily seen. Within a moment, I guessed their purpose: Baba had composed a new song and He wanted them to record it. This was a sight extraordinaire, a private matter seen by few. I held

my breath, hoping I wouldnít be noticed. Though they spoke in Bengali, I caught the gist. ìIíve composed a new song,î Baba said. ìDo you want to hear it?î He sat in His big chair, they at His feet. They turned to each other saying, ìI donít want to hear it. Do you?î ìNo, not me.î ìAnother time, Baba.î They giggled like children playing with their father. He also laughed. ìWell, Iíll sing it anyway,î He said. ìNo, no, Baba!î He put His finger to His lips to silence them, and began singing only one sound: ìNa na na na na na na na na....î After He finished, He asked, ìHow do you like the melody?î They looked at each other, smiling. ìNot very good.î ìI wouldnít say one of Your best.î ìDonít You have anything better?î Then He sang the words. At the time, I felt He was like a mountain springóeffortlessly and naturally singing without hesitation or thought. His voice was different than I had imagined, different from His speak307

ing voice (which is slightly nasal). He played with His voice like an instrument, perfect controlómellow, unstrained and pleasing. He had no written notes. They feverishly scribbled as He sang, trying to write every word.89 When He finished, there were no wisecracks. They were moved by the song, moved almost to tears. He waved His hand, and they began singing. At first their voices didnít perfectly reflect the melodyó each sang in his own way. But as they continued, the differences diminished, and they fell into the true tune. At this moment, the cook was walking by the stairs. Seeing me, he came close, whispered ìgo away,î and shooed me away with his hand. I had no choice but to leave. I walked down the stairs. A few seconds later, the coast clear, I silently came back up. Now Baba explained their mistakes, while they buried their faces in their notes, correcting them. Again the three of them sang, as Baba nodded in approval. Even though I didnít clearly understand the songís meaning, by the time they came to the final notes, I, too, felt their ecstasy. They did prostration, and I knew Iíd better get moving to avoid more detection. As I dashed out the main door, the security guard raised his eyebrows but didnít try to stop me. I looked back and saw the three workers walk into General Secretaryís room, where I knew they would make a rough tape-recording of the song to ensure the melody would not be forgotten. Later it would be recorded it again by a skilled singer with instrumental backing.90 The Krishna connection Tokyo. ìOne of the gurus of the Hare Krishna movement is in Japan now,î said Dada Ravindranath. It was ten oíclock in the morning. ìDo you want to go together with me to see him?î ìIíve already had plenty of contact with that religion,î I said. ìYou go without me.î All of Babaís dictation and darshans similarly appeared spontaneous yet perfect. He dictated as much as possible for His books ó several hours a day. He even dictated while shaving. Afterward, when reviewing manuscripts, He only corrected the mistakes of the transcribers, and never needed to alter any of His own words. 90 Several times a day Baba called these or other workers to record His new songs, even in the dead of the night. He summoned them whenever inspiration struck Him. Each song was profound and beautiful. Here I will give just one example. It is the rough translation of song #1494: (continued on next page) 89

EVEN FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR 308 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

One of my closest friends joined Hare Krishna nearly twenty years ago when we were in college. At that time he and I shared an apartment, and were practicing another yoga technique. We planned to become teachers of that technique and open a school in Portland. When he shifted over to worshipping Krishna, he tried his best to convince me to do likewise. A few months later I found Ananda Marga, and we lost track of each other. After that, I encountered the Krishna group in a few other places, but never asked about my friend. In the afternoon, while Ravindranathji was at the Krishna temple, I took a shower. As usual, I was singing Baba Nam Kevalam. I suddenly had a vision of my old friendís face, and a thought clearly passed through my mind: He is their guru now. When Ravindranathji returned, I told him about my vision and asked him to describe the guru. ìItíll be easier if I show you their magazine,î he said, ìbecause the guruís picture is there.î He opened it to a full page color photoónot only was it my old friend, but the facial expression was precisely as I had visualized while taking my shower. ...... Without informing my name in advance, I went to the temple today. After their ceremonies, during which the devotees garlanded my friend, he turned toward me, walked over and we embraced each other. ìAfter hardly thinking about you in years,î he said, ìsomehow this morning I remembered you, and thought you might come.î We had a lot to talk about. ...... In the fragrant breeze and sweet garden of my mind Come silently, Oh Lord of my heart. No one will know, I will meditate on You in my mind. Your silent movements will be imperceivable. In the depths of my thoughts I made a garland, And have coated each and every petal with sandalwood paste. Sitting in contemplation, I have forgotten to sleep. Celebrating Your arrival, my mind shivers. Incense, lamps and decorations are not needed. My mind strives to merge with the Cosmic Mind. In meditation, in mantra, in joy, in enchanting rage, in tunes of love I paint myself with Your colors.

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Before his departure from Tokyo, I once more visited my friend, the Hare Krishna guru. After doing Hare Krishna kiirtan together, we sat down to eat. The conversation turned to the books we had given each other three days ago. ìI read your guruís book, Namami Krishna Sundaram,î he said. ìFor him to write such things, he would have had to have most intimate knowledge of Krishnaís pastimes and Krishnaís thoughts. In fact, he would have had to be Krishna in a past life!î ìPerhaps,î I said, shrugging my shoulders. ìIt would be interesting, wouldnít it? But then, who am I to know such a thing? Unfortunately, He doesnít talk much about His past, what to speak of His past lives.î A rain of grace Chiba, Japan. A good number of Margis, Dadas and Didis participated today in a program for about seventy-five handicapped people.

This time we had a special experience seemingly orchestrated by Baba Himself. All of the disabled people were wheelchair dependents. Along with volunteers from other service groups, we went by trains and buses to a bunch of greenhouses full of bright strawberry plants, where we enjoyed picking and eating. After that we moved to a park for our picnic. The Margis were in charge of the entertainment. Maheshvara of Denmark is a professional clown and dancer. He had the whole congregation laughing, until it began drizzling. It looked like the picnic and our fun would get spoiled. At that point, everyone started moving toward the shelters ó everyone, that is, except Maheshvara. He laughingly scolded the crowd for having little faith in the will of the Supreme Being. ìCome back! Come back, and be brave! It is our Cosmic Fatherís duty to inhale this rain and keep our feast alive. He doesnít dare fail us, or else weíll stop believing in Him!î Hearing his words, the crowd hesitated, and mumbled among themselves. A few started returning to the field ó and then all came back. Maheshvara shouted, ìCímon, Baba. Show your stuff!î As he continued with his show, the light drizzle also continued, but soon ceased. For two hours we remained there, laughing, eating, singing and playing music together. All that time the sky was dark. From time to time a few more drops fell. EVEN FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR 310 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER The program finished and we all filed into the buses. As we drove away, the drizzle again started. Windshield wipers wushed back and forth at their slowest speed. The buses arrived at the train station. It took a few minutes to push all the wheelchairs inside the station building. Exactly the moment when the last chair came under the overhanging, the sky burst open. The very noise of the downpour was overwhelming. All of us stood there safely under the roof, gaping at the scene. Surely not a single one among us doubted that we had witnessed a show of Cosmic grace. The unsuppressable living tiger Calcutta. Today is the 10-year anniversary of Babaís release from jail. Dada Vijayananda gave a talk explaining a little of Ananda Margaís history up to the time of His release. Here are my notes from this talk: From 1955 to 1961 there were few rules in the organization. All the acharyas were family men and women. The work had only a little speedónot great speed. Nevertheless, B.M. Malik of the Central Bureau of Investigation wrote in his book, ìI was instructed by Nehru to be vigilant on two organizations and on a particular man. The organizations were the Communist Party and the Jan Sangh. And the man was P.R. Sarkar.î That was in 1955, at Ananda Margaís inception. In 1961 the first training center was opened. The speed began to accelerate. The first avadhuta was initiated on 19th May, 1963óBabaís birthday. At that time the trishula (three-pronged pitch-fork of Shiva) was carried by avadhutas, and only later was the lathi (fighting stick) introduced. In the early years, I asked Baba if He would have Ananda Marga do service activities or not. He said, ìWait. All will come.î Then, at the 1963 DMC, Baba took some tattered pieces of paper from His

pocket. It was the Ananda Marga blueprint He had written at the age of sixteen (twenty-six years before). From that paper He declared the beginning of the Education Relief and Welfare Section (ERAWS). Then He said, ìDo something.î But for six months, no one had any clear idea what to do. At that time, Babaís mother did not want Him to write at night, so He had to write in secret by flashlight. In that way He wrote the ERAWS guidebook. Then we understood what to do. Accordingly, 311

on 1st January 1964, the first two grammar schools were opened in Jamalpur and Ananda Nagar. Over the years, Ananda Marga started more than 1500 schools. But that first opening ceremony in Jamalpur was simply performed in the presence of the Service Department volunteers, one mother, two students and one snake. Due to the snake, the next day they brought cots for sleeping. On 5th March 1967, came the attack on Ananda Nagar during which five of our workers were killed. After that, the Communists started a strong vilification campaign against Ananda Marga. They told the Hindus that Ananda Marga was from East Bengal, and was a Moslem organization. They told the Moslems that Ananda Margis were fanatic Hindus. They told the tribals that Ananda Marga had come to take their land. They killed goats and pigs to show that Ananda Margis ate meat. But young people understood our vitality. Two years later, eighteen of our opponents were put in jail for culpability in the Ananda Nagar incident. From that point many began to understand that Ananda Marga was very strong. Mr Roy and three other important barristers made an alliance against Ananda Marga. They sent many letters to Indira Gandhi to poison Ananda Margaís reputation. They stressed, ìThis man P.R. Sarkar is dangerous, knows many things and can do much mischief. He is building a powerful organization. So no time should be wasted in striking against him. Yet remember, if you want to make a case against Ananda Marga, you must be very careful, because the Margis always find the loopholes.î On 29th December 1971, eighteen charges and six murder cases were filed against Ananda Marga. The following points were highlighted: 1) Ananda Margis believe in violence. 2) The source of their funds is doubtful. 3) Ananda Marga has connection with the American CIA. 4) Ananda Margis are not morally honest. All eighteen charges were dismissed from the court, and the six murder cases remained. Ultimately we were exonerated on all those cases in 1978. Babaís fast lasted five years, three months and two days. During long stretches of that time He took only orange juice twice daily; and during much of the time, during the so-called Emergency rule of marEVEN FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR 312 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER tial law, He took only water. After martial law ended, He took two cups of curd water daily. The then prison superintendent told me, ìBaba is too extraordinary. Napoleon could be tackled in jail, but this living tiger cannot be dealt with.î Baba gave all the jail officials a hot time, demanding that they perform their duties properly. The top prison official came to see

Baba, thinking that it might be his only chance to see this great yogi. Baba covered Himself fully with a cloth, so the officer was not even able to see Babaís face. Baba charged him, ìYou are the Jail Magistrate who received my letter, but you took no step on my complaint.î The official was embarrassed. Then Baba started calling him names like ìfilth, swine, rubbish fellowî and so on. The man became so angry he had to rush outside, breathing heavily. When announcement of the life-sentence verdict against Baba was given, He was on a stretcher. He simply smiled and said, ìNow the tables will soon turn.î One month after that, Indira Gandhi decided to hold general elections. It was her greatest misjudgment. A convulsion moved throughout the country because so many poor, innocent people had suffered under martial law. Especially terrible was Sainjay Gandhiís program of forced sterilization of sixteen year old slum boys. Mrs Gandhiís opposition, the Janata Party, received the vast majority of the vote. Late that night, Mrs Gandhi called her three top military chiefs, and ordered them to continue the Emergency. But they recognized what consequences could follow, and refused to comply. On 3rd August 1978 at 6:00 a.m., all the offices and shops within six to seven kilometers of the Bankipur Jail in Patna were closed. About 7000 Margis arrived the previous night, and were joined by another 10,000. This sea of people clogged the streets for two kilometers. At 1:10 p.m. Baba was brought out on a stretcher. His weight had dropped from 72 kilograms to 46 kilograms. He had also performed a yogiís feat of suspended animation. The usual yogi who lives on air does not move at all. Excepting a stretch of eight days, Baba did not restrict His movementsóthough for one year He did not speak, and only wrote on a board. After His release, He remained four months in a wheelchair; His ankles and knees were too weak to provide support. ...... 313

Usually Babaís darshans are appropriate for compilation into book form. For example, His Sunday darshans serve as chapters in Shabda Cayanika, an alphabetic encyclopedia, packed with original stories and information concerning the derivation of thousands of words. Today was different. Since it was the 10-year anniversary of Babaís release from the jail, His speech was special. It being rare for Him to talk of His personal life, I quote the translation of the darshan here in its entirety: We did not mean to harm anyone. But when adharmic (unrighteous) people use force against you, you must act in self-defense. This is not himsa (violence), it is pratirodha (self-defense). Those who opposed us met a pathetic end and have now merged with the soil. People who follow unrighteousness believe they have the right to do anything they want. One lady thought she could do anything she wanted with her power. When no reaction comes immediately, sinners think they can get away with more. But gaining power, going up, does not mean that they are getting elevated. Like the Indian washerman who raises the clothes high over his head, they go up very high only to come smashing down.91 Some people say that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. But I do not say that. After time, the reaction is greater because it comes with interest.

Three thousand five hundred Margis and workers were arrested by the government. All were innocent, yet the political leaders felt no guilt at all in using their power against these innocent people. In jail, the Central Bureau of Investigation authorities harassed me in every way. For example, there was a rule that when I met with visitors the officers could be present, but not within hearing distance. One time, though, a new CBI man stood very close, silently listening. I asked him who he wasóhe replied that he was newly appointed. So then I asked him his name and address. He became nervous and could not Eventually Indira Gandhi was killed by her own security guards, and her thoroughly corrupt son, Sainjaya Gandhi, died when his private plane crashed. One day before Indira Gandhiís death, Baba asked the meaning of the word assassination. He said that it came from one ass on top of another ass, and on top of that is I, and on top of that is the nation. Indiraís other son, Rajiv Gandhi, then took her place as Prime Minister, and was later also assassinatedófinally ending that familyís influence on India. 91

EVEN FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR 314 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

reply. So I shouted and abused him until he ran away. Then the other officers, who clearly were aware of this plot, began to criticize that man in order to appear innocent. But I had bit down so hard while scolding him that two of my false teeth broke. The next day, two specialists came from the government hospital to replace the broken teeth. I asked them, ìHow is it that these teeth broke so easily?î They replied, ìBaba, they are only plastic, they are fragile.î But according to the prison regulations, the treatment of the eyes and teeth of prisoners is their own responsibility, not the governmentís. I knew these specialists had been sent because the officers were feeling guilty at what they had done. So I asked them, ìHow can I chew my food every day with teeth given by the sinful government? î Then my personal assistant, Ramananda suggested that if we pay them for the work it would be alright, so I agreed. When I was released, there was such a long processionódo you remember? The jail authorities, seeing the crowds waiting, told me that they would also be willing to undergo imprisonment if such a procession would be awaiting them on their release. I faced so much trouble in the jail. When I was released, I could not walk. To go to the toilet I had to hop on my hands like this (He demonstrated). I had to use a wheelchair. I remember that my elder sister brought me two luchis (small fried breads) and vegetables, but after my long fast I could only eat half of one of the luchis with great difficulty. I do not want anyone to undergo the same trouble that I did. But in the struggle for dharma (righteousness), if some trouble comes, you should accept it. If you pick a flower, you may be pricked by its thorns. Your consolation is that your struggle will surely end in victory. Our path is klista/aklistaóinitially there is trouble, but in the end there is no trouble. Dharma is the cause of victory. Intelligent people should take the help of Dharma. If you want to go to Jammu, you should take a seat on the Jammu express trainóautomatically you will reach there. Similarly you should follow the path of Dharma and surely you will be victorious. 315

Four problems to extinguish

This incident occurred during the district in-charges reporting session of the North Area of the Indian Sector. Baba called forward brother Ram Chandra. I was surprised because I knew this man tried for several days to arrange his personal contact with Baba, but without success. Because he had failed to establish a school, he was ineligible. He was also an arrogant fellow, with an argumentative nature. BABA: Fix your mind at manipura chakra (the navel center). Now raise it step by step. To the anahata chakra (heart center). To the vishuddha chakra (throat center). To the ajina chakra (third eye)... Now, are crude or subtle thoughts coming? RAM CHANDRA (standing with eyes closed): Only subtle thoughts, Baba. BABA: Now, take your mind downward. Vishuddha ... anahata ... manipura ... svadhistana (genital area) ... muladhara (bottom of the spine). How is your thought now? RAM CHANDRA: Baba ... material thoughts are coming non-stop. BABA: Again take your mind upward ... Wait. Whatís there at the kidney? RAM CHANDRA: Iíve throat trouble, Baba. BABA: No. The cause, the initial cause lies in the kidneys. Due to malfunctioning in the kidneys, toxic air rises up causing complication in the lungs. Whatís that at the anahata chakra? Did you ever have any violent experience in the area of your chest? RAM CHANDRA: I received a blow there when I was a student. BABA: Do the doctors tell you there is any medical problem? RAM CHANDRA: They say I have a peptic ulcer. BABA: Then why didnít you ever check it with Dada Vijayananda? RAM CHANDRA: Well, well ... I thought I had tuberculosis. BABA: Thatís no answer. In fact, TB is there, but itís only developed one or two percent. Now, should I give punishment to you alone or in front of others? RAM CHANDRA: Itís up to you, Baba. (He suddenly does prostration at Babaís feet.) BABA: Stand up, my boy. Kinshuk, take my stick. (Kinshuk is Babaís adopted son.) Touch his left side. (Kinshuk touches his hand EVEN FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR 316 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER I inquired about Ram Chandra a few months later. A Dada who knew him told me he had not only been completely cured, he had also become a model for all the other Margis. Each day after completing his normal job, he would dedicate several hours for social work. The units under his guidance were becoming more active, and a primary school was started. 92

to RCís left side.) No! You must not touch with your hand, only with the stick! RAM CHANDRA: It burns where he touched me. BABA: Now touch him with the stick. (Kinshuk does so.) How does it feel? RAM CHANDRA: Oh ... itís very very soothing. BABA: I have a pet buffalo I brought up with much care. He can enter in any oneís body, which is called Parakaya Pravesh. He can also enter anyoneís mind, which is called Paramana Pravesh. I keep this buffalo always with me. Without him, you boys and girls would suffer a lot ... This boy should have at least contacted the proper persons to

ask about his problems. You must all be careful of four things: 1) sickness 2)†enemies 3) debt 4) fire. Whenever any of these arise, you must extinguish them completely or they may come back. Let it be as a principle in your lives ... My buffalo has the eight occult powers and knows everything ... You must receive some punishment. What will it be? RAM CHANDRA: Any punishment, Baba. BABA: From now on you must be a good boy. Accordingly from today, you are completely cured. 92 Key to the key This incident happened during the reporting of North Area fulltimers. BABA: Is there any will power in the protoplasmic cell of a plant, animal or human being? (No one answers. Baba points at one brother.) You, my boy, come forward. (He walks in front, does prostration, then stands.) As you were walking forward, did you feel any twitching in your back? FULL-TIMER (his face showing anguish): Yes, Baba. BABA: As you were walking up the stairway, you felt pain in your back. Just upon entering the gate of this house, you felt pain. As you sat and stood for your last meal, you felt sharp pain. As you stood up 317

from your last meditation there was discomfort. You could not practice yoga postures properly for the last eight days due to the same problem. Can you clearly remember each and every one of these moments now? FULL-TIMER (smiling): Yes, Baba. BABA: Should we thank my flying buffalo? Yesss. Parama Purusha (Cosmic Consciousness) has the key of everyoneís mind. Only He has the key, and no one else. Whenever He likes, He can take away any capacity at any time. If a man holding a Ph.D. can speak three languages, He can take away the capacity for speaking one or two or all three languages, as He likes. So what should a human being do? He should surrender to Parama Purusha.... Kinshuk, touch the lower middle portion of this boyís back with my stick. (Kinshuk does so.) Is the twitching pain now finally gone? FULL-TIMER: Yes, Baba! BABA: In fact there is no will power in the protoplasmic cells of plants, animals and human beings. For the expression of will power, the periphery of the doer ìIî feeling must be greater than the periphery of the done ìIî feeling. Nevertheless, you should not forget that the will power of Parama Purusha is omnipresentóeven within your smallest protoplasmic cells. Capitalism wonít do During a reporting session: BABA: GS Dada, come forward. Now, just walk across the room in the manner of a procrastinator. (The General Secretary begins to walk slowly, then hesitates, then walks again, looks around, hesitates, walks a little more, and so it continues. We all laugh.) Yesss. GS Da is walking just like the procrastinating progress of capitalism. You know, poor people cannot contest elections in capitalist countries, for the simple reason that one needs to run up a high bill in any successful campaign. Will such capitalism, will such so-called democracy, solve the aching problems of the people in due time? ...... Part of Babaís speech to a group of Margi doctors:

ìAs physicians, you must start service cooperatives. These are neither in the arena of producers nor consumers co-ops. Rather they are EVEN FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR 318 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER For thousands of years yogis have declared consciousness to be the fundamental element of all entities. Only Baba, however, went into detail on this subject and clearly explained the concept of microvita. Microvita are subtle living emanations of the Cosmic Consciousness. They serve as the building blocks of matter and life. Though several books by Baba and Margis elaborate the subject of microvita, they remain a mystery which is gradually unfolding through various sorts of research. A footnote cannot adequately explain microvita. 93

a subtle form of cultural co-ops. These can be called Physiciansí Service Co-ops. Doctors should research microvita, both positive and negative, although they are more concerned with negative.93 Each and every day, several diseases come to this planet through inferential media from different celestial bodies. In the course of study, you should find out whether there can be a coincidence between the characteristics of metazoic cells and multi-cellular protozoic cells in the realm of physicality and in the psychic sphere. This will help you to find medicines for newer and newer diseases. You are not acquainted with many diseases which are yet to come to this planet. If you do this research, you will find medicines for those ailments yet to come. ìIn the future, neither Communist mania nor philosophical phobia, but humanity and intellectuality will rule the earth.î Will-power Parama Purusha style BABA: Kashishvarananda, hold out your right hand. Now, Keshavananda, you smell his hand. What do you smell? KESHAVANANDA: Sandalwood, Baba. BABA: Now smell it again.... What do you get? KESHAVANANDA: This time itís jasmine, Baba. BABA: Now smell his back.... What is it? KESHAVANANDA: Rose, Baba. (I am a few meters away, but even I smell it now. It is very sweet. I suppose everyone is catching it.) BABA: Shall we allow the smell to continue? If we do, then when Kashishvarananda goes for missionary work, the public and Margis will wrinkle their noses and say, ìWhere is that smell coming from?î (Looking at two Dadas on the side of the room who were unable to answer a previously asked philosophical question:) You boys, which scent do you want to come from your backs? TWO DADAS: Whatever Parama Purusha wants. 319

BABA: Their answer is an intelligent one. This is a demonstration of will-power Parama Purusha-style. After we left the room, the sweet rose scent on Kashishvarananda was still perceivable by anyone who cared to approach his back. ...... I donít remember the cause of Babaís comment during the reporting session. I think it was regarding a newspaper article which quoted a government minister bragging that the tax-payers had saved much by the cancellation of a construction plan. Baba said: ìIt reminds me of Sharmajiís wifeís reply. While coming home from work, Sharmaji ran after the bus and just missed it. He continued running, almost caught up, when again it drove away. In the same way, he missed it again and again. At last, Sharmaji walked in the door of his

house and announced to his wife, ëA big part of our financial problems are solved. I ran after the bus, missed it again and again, until I finally arrived homeóthus saving my bus money.í Mrs Sharma replied, ëIím disappointed. Why didnít you run after a taxi and save more money?íî ...... An interesting story is circulating here. A few days ago, one Dada went to a village in northern India where no other worker had previously gone. He found many people already practicing Baba Nam Kevalam meditation. When he inquired who had taught them, he was introduced to a poor, illiterate villager. This man had been a devotee of Krishna and Shiva, but he thirsted for a proper guru. Because he could not travel, he prayed for the guru to come to him. Baba appeared at his house, and initiated him with a mantra and technique, exactly according to our system. Baba also taught him all the 16 Points practices of Ananda Marga, including tandava and kaoshikii dances. Then Baba instructed him to teach Baba Nam Kevalam meditation throughout the surrounding villages. The point of interest is that Baba was in Calcutta all the time. Soon afterward, this Margi began teaching this simple meditation to a few other villagers. He also spoke out against idol worship and castism which created a large number of enemies for him in the strict Hindu community. One Hindu severely beat him with a stick. The Margi yelled at him, ìNow surely God will punish you.î As the beating conEVEN FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR 320 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER There are many other stories of Baba appearing in two places at once. I hope other workers and Margis will write their own books about Baba, and mention their personal experience on this subject. 94

tinued, a snake appeared and bit the Hindu. The Hindu dropped the stick and ran to the village center where there was a doctor and also a black-magic Tantric. The doctor had no antidote so the black Tantric tried to use a mantra, but the poison remained. As the manís body turned progressively bluer, the black Tantric told him, ìYour only chance for recovery lies in your returning to the Margi for his blessing. î He ran back to the Margi and was told to dance kiirtan, singing Baba Nam Kevalam, with his arms held upward. He did as instructed and gradually the blue color gradually left his body, but remained in his fingertips. Then the Margi said, ìIf you take a vow from the heart to propagate Ananda Marga, the rest of the poison will leave.î The Hindu did so and became cured. After this incident, hundreds of villagers learned meditation. After the Dada returned with this story, two other Dadas were sent to the area and confirmed its veracity. Today, Baba was asked for His comment, but He only smiled.94 Anandamurtiji came to serve the masses There was heavy flooding when we arrived at our Tiljala headquarters yesterday. It had been raining heavily since yesterday afternoon. Baba arrived only that morningóperfect timing. From the main road to our office it is a distance of about one kilometer; I had to walk with my luggage on my head. The water level was up to my waist. As I was entering, there was a stream of villagers leaving, temporarily abandoning their homes, taking with them whatever belongings and food they could manage.

When I reached our building, some villagers were seeking safety from the rain in our four-story office. The Dadas told them they would soon be arranging relief materials, but there was no more space in the building. It was true. The place was packed with about 500 Margis due to various meetings Baba had called. Soon after, our electricity and water systems stopped functioning. The water level rose up to my chest. We had not prepared any special food stocks, and that evening we consumed the last of our meager supplies. 321

No one can enter the area now except by swimming or rowboat. Boats, of course, are very few. With all this trouble, one might expect a tense atmosphere among the workers and Margis. But the level of inspiration seems higher than usual; everyone is taking it as an interesting test. From the moment I came, Baba has been holding meetings in His house as usual. To get there I have to swim, and the water is filthyóan oil slick covers the surface. I keep a dry uniform in a plastic bag under a chair in His house. During the meetings, He never refers to the flood or our present difficulties. For Him, difficulties is something normal. Outside of our meetings, He takes hourly reports on the progress of our relief programs for the village people. At first we didnít even have food for ourselves. Then a small boatload of beaten rice and unrefined sugar arrived. This has been our only food. Our relief workers are providing the same food to the flood victims, and also helping them set up temporary shelters on the road. By this evening, the number of recipients increased to 18,000. Government assistance has still not arrived. ...... Three days later. This afternoon the rain finally stopped. Most of us stood on the roof as we watched Baba board a boat, which then slowly negotiated its way between the flooded houses. A few Dadas swam beside the boat. At that very moment the sun came out; it was beautiful. A thought passed through my mind: Anandamurtiji came to serve the masses. Even the poorest of the poor will reap the benefit. A dog joined the Dadas swimming near the boat. When they shooed him away, he climbed onto a rooftop sticking out of the water. From this vantage he wagged his tail and watched Baba. A few thousand villagers stood on the road watching Babaís boat. For most of them, it was the first chance to get a close look at this man whose fame had spread throughout the world. As His boat pulled up and He stepped out, the villagers maintained complete silence, holding their hands together in namaskar pose. Everyoneís eyes were glued on the Peopleís Guru. The dog too was caught in this collective trance. Only at the moment that Baba slipped out of view behind a bus, did the dog stop wagging his tail and retire from his post. Baba had instructed some of the workers, including me, to follow Him after the relief work was regularized to His other house in central Calcutta. ...... EVEN FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR 322 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER 95

Later a book was printed of Babaís agricultural ideas called Ideal Farming.

Next day. We are now in central Calcutta. I heard that at last the governmentís relief team arrived in Tiljala. The villagers were so frustrated

with the slowness of government help that they shouted, ìWe would have died without the assistance of Ananda Marga!î To demonstrate their anger, they dumped the first delivery of government food into the flood waters. ...... Two days later. We sometimes hear suspicions voiced regarding the source of Ananda Margaís finances. So how did we get money for these relief operations? Food, medicine and miscellaneous assistance for 18,000 flood victims is no small matter. Though our relief department promised the public their minimum necessities, our relief teams had almost no money in the beginning. Practically speaking, the guarantees we made to serve the needy public fully depended on Babaís grace. That might seem foolish, but we had faith that He would provide what was required. The team leader, Dada Ramananda, personally approached Margis and workers for donations from the first to the last day. A few days ago, I gave him as much as I could, but when he left my room, he said, ìItís still far from enough. I really donít know how weíll manage tomorrow.î When I saw him the next day, he smiled at me. ìYesterday, shortly after I met you, I ran into one of the richer villagers, who owns a car which we saved from the flood waters. I expressed our financial problems, and he gave me enough money for an entire dayís supplies. In relief work, we are forced to count on at least one or two miracles a day.î Improving agricultural and industrial production Dada Vijayananda gave a class today explaining many of Babaís suggestions about how to increase agricultural and industrial production, especially in developing countries. Excerpts from my notes not only provide some practical ideas, but also show Babaís concern for overcoming poverty.95 [Authorís note: These notes are somewhat detailed. Interested readers are referred to the article ìOn increasing agricultural productionî in the appendix Technical talks by Baba or with Baba. At the end of 323

this class were a few points of general interest regarding improving the industrial output in poor regions:] Baba supports the idea of synthetic fibers. He warns that Bengal will soon be in danger because it is too dependent on jute fiber and animal hide. Due to synthetic fibers, the jute industry will soon be a thing of the past. Hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs. Baba explained that it is better to convert to the production of jutewool. Jutewool is a combination of jute and wool. He does not appreciate the slogan from the days of Mahatma Gandhi ó ìscience is the monster of civilization.î Rather, for all those in danger of losing their jobs Baba proposed a demand: ìLet every sub-division have a jutewool industry, and let the weavers be supplied with power looms. Thereby both the farms and the weavers will receive the proper wages.î In India paper is expensive because it is imported. To improve the paper industry, He gave a list of twenty good plants. These include bamboo, different kinds of grass, and mesta jute sticks. Bran is usually wasted simply as a fuel. Part of the bran is good for manufacturing oil, and the rest should be used as an element in making cement (along with lime). Until now politics has dominated the economy. But economics

should dominate politics. If any politician does little to improve the peopleís living standard, then he should be dismissed. [Authorís note: A few days later, Baba gave a number of points to which all Margi district in-charges must pay attention when making their planning. These points may be found in the article ìGrassroots planningî, located in the appendix Technical talks by Baba or with Baba.] EVEN FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR 324 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER CHAPTER 19

Working 24 Hours a Day Saving plants

Delhi, 1989. Today, as I arrived at the airport with three large boxes containing my sectorís quota of 600 plants , I was compelled to undergo a complex customs process.96 Two officials insisted that twelve of my plants were forbidden by law. Because these happened to be my most expensive plants, I was sure they were lying, with the intention of selling the plants afterwards. Officers commonly indulge in this sort of corruption. My argument to keep the plants thus fell on deaf ears. They had already removed the expensive plants, and I was awaiting their final okay to leave. When their backs were turned, I silently exchanged cheap plants for the expensive ones. A moment later, they handed me the authorization. As quickly as possible, I made my way through the rest of customs, and jumped into a taxi. Just as the taxi was pulling out, I noticed one of the officials run out and anxiously look around. Since 1981, each of the eight sectors outside of the Indian sector, and each of the ten regions inside of the Indian Sector was required to deposit about 600 plants monthly with the Calcutta office. In addition, each time any worker reported to Calcutta, she or he was required to personally deliver a number of extra plants. In total, about 13,000 plants were brought every month. The plants were not brought arbitrarily, but according to specific lists provided by Central Headquarters. These included seedlings and small cuttings of flowers, vegetables, medicinal herbs, fibers, spices, cosmetic plants, plants on the verge of extinction, fruit trees and other trees. For example, at the time of this entry, Hong Kong sector was requested to bring Acasia Triacantus, Taiwan Calmanis, Serissa Foetida, Yellow Palm, Calamis Formosana, Cryptomeria Japanica, and Japanese Cherry. Calcutta would then distribute the plants to different Master Units of India, and to some extent overseas. Now our botanical gardens rank among the largest of India. 96

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Languages of the world

[Authorís note: In todayís workersí meeting, Baba spoke at great length about languages around the world. He frequently spoke on this subject. Even when speaking about something else, He commonly went on linguistic detours, explaining the derivation of important words. I include these notes not because they are exceptional, but to give an example of a lecture on His pet subject.. However, the matter is highly technical and so the reader is referred to the article ìOn the evolution of languages throughout the worldî in the appendix Technical talks by Baba or with Baba.] Philosophy becomes reality Calcutta. A few days ago, while taking the train from Delhi, I sat next to Dada Devashraddhananda, who is working in the USA. Though he is a dynamite worker, he couldnít help but mention to me about his health problems. He said, ìIím suffering so much for so long, I donít

know how I can take it any longer. Why doesnít Baba free me from this hectic lifestyle of constant touring and post me to supervise a farm on a Master Unit, or something like that?î ìWhy do you worry?î I said. ìBaba knows everything, and is treating you and all of us perfectly. When He wants to cure you, He will. Otherwise we have to simply keep tasting the fruits of your past actions, whether they be sweet or sour.î I knew my words were blunt, but here was an elevated man who would understand my meaning. ìYouíre just speaking philosophy,î he said, ìand Iím suffering.î Hearing this, what could I say? After we came in Guruís presence, Devashraddhanandajiís attitude changed. Smiling, laughing, enjoying BabaóHe seemed unaware of his own suffering. Baba called me out of line to answer a few questions. Then He also called Devashraddhanandaji forward. After two or three questions, Babaís mood suddenly changed. ìDevashraddhananda, stand straight. Do you know that there is a defective functioning of your urinary tract?î ìYes, Baba.î (Later, Dada told me he hadnít really known, but was only saying so.) WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY 326 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìYou should take only liquid diet in the evening. Do you understand?î ìYes, Baba.î Baba told us to step back, and continued the session. I looked at Devashraddhanandajióhe was beaming a million rupee smile. Criteria for board member Baba was listening to the report of one of the workersí boards:97 BABA: During the last one month, this board did nothing significant. Should a chair or a table be a member of this board? What do you say? DADA WHO IS MEMBER OF THE BOARD: Perhaps we achieved nothing, Baba, but we were active, and we met regularly. BABA (getting a little angry): What do you mean to say? Should a ceiling fan be a member of the board? From the perspective of Prout Today Baba expressed some points on Prout. There may be some small mistakes in my notes: Regarding the case of Salaman Rushdieís book Satanic Verses, i.e., Iranís Ayatollah Khomeini demand for Rushdieís death because of the bookís criticism of Islam and Mohammed, Baba commented: Prout does not support the suppression of any popular sentiment. If it is suppressed then some people may think there is some value in it. Hence suppression only helps to keep the idea alive, and it will manifest in different ways later. If the Proutists believe that a particular popular sentiment is harmful to the path of human progress, they should encourage the idea to be brought into the public light so that it may be countered by logic and reason. A constructive alternative should be presented. Thus negative energy is channeled in a positive way. Of course, this does not deny the importance of legal defamation guidelines. Regarding the economic development of a nation, Baba gave six points: 1) Maximum industries should be developed in local areas according to the availability of raw materials for local consumption. (This is

This brief conversation is included as an example of a Baba-style criticism during review-meetings. 97

327

diametrically opposed to the present policy of every country in the world.) 2) Finished products which can be locally produced should not be imported. 3) No country should invest significantly in industries which depend on imported raw materials. 4) The first step to decentralized planning is to make an economic plan according to the needs of the lowest level, i.e. block-level planning for areas having about 100,000 people. 5) In pure economic terms, developmental projects are those projects which directly and indirectly increase national wealth. 6) The more government revenue is spent on developmental projects, not including the salaries of government employees, the better it is for the countryís economy. [Authorís note: At this point, Baba went on to give a detailed explanation regarding the way for Bangladesh, one of the worldís poorest nations, to solve its economic problems. Refer to the article ìOn solving Bangladeshís economic problemsî in the appendix Technical talks by Baba or with Baba.] Go on thinking deeply [Authorís note: During a workersí meeting, Baba asked me some questions about microvita, the mysterious emanation of the Cosmic Mind. I tried my best to answer, and He gave some hints for further contemplation of this complex subject. About two weeks later, I was in Taiwan. It was 3:00 in the morning, and I was struggling to stay awake while answering the questions of one of our Margi scientists. Suddenly I had a long stream of thoughts on the same subject. These diary entries are combined into the article ìOn microvitaî in the appendix Technical talks by Baba or with Baba.] Forever with Him For about one year, access to Baba has been much more limited. Previously, Babaís door was usually open during meetings and reporting sessions. Those who couldnít fit inside His room would stand outside, looking in. During this past year, however, He has allowed the door to stay open only once or twice a day. At all other times, we have WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY 328 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER had to communicate with Him by yelling under His door. In one way it is humorous; in another itís painful. Humorous? Well, take the moments when He becomes angry (which are not infrequent). Atonement is required for those workers who fall short of their targets or for any number of other logical or illogical reasons. In such cases, the General Secretary should beat the worker with a stick. In fact what happens is that, yes he beats alright, but he beats any notebook or book that the ìguiltyî Dada holds, while that Dada makes crying and sighing sounds. Pretending to be tormented by the whipping, the Dada yells ìOh, Baba!,î ìI shall improve,î ìWeíll open an orphanage within one week,î or whatever is the appropriate reply. Baba sometimes shouts back: ìDoes he repent, GS?,î ìScoundrel!, î ìHow does he intend to rectify the situation?,î and so on. Commonly, however, He remains silent while the drama proceeds at a Tantric

pace. If the excitement fades away, He may pipe up, ìEh, GS? What does that nonsense fellow have to say for himself?î To an outsider it would seem absurd. But for us, because we understand at least a little of the purpose behind the drama, we tolerate itóor, as in my case, even enjoy it. A few days ago, I saw Dada Asiimananda (Central Farm secretary, one of our most elevated and respected monks) sitting alone outside Babaís door. While Baba was shouting a long series of directives under the door, Dada would occasionally reply through that same crack, ìYes, Baba!,î while he was busy consuming a snack. He had obviously adapted to the pressure. He had also found a way to adjust with being so busy that he had no time for a meal. Personally I feel nostalgic for those days when the beating was genuine. It generated a perceivable tension, a smellable fear, which hung in the airóand that added to the seriousness of our work. I suppose Baba now wants our motivation to depend less and less on external pressure. We must derive our inspiration from our hearts, while feeling the pressure of our conscience. Nowadays the non-Central workers, like me, are usually invited to come near Babaís door only a few minutes a day, and occasionally to enter. So I am constantly seeking to find new justifications for being near His door. For example: ìI must speak to my Central departmen329

tal secretary,î or ìI was told by so-and-so to wait here óWhat?óNo, I donít know why.î At other times, like today, I run out of excuses and resort only to melancholic contemplation. My eyes becoming watery and doe-like and I mutely turn them on any Dada who challenges me for violating protocol. Though these Dadas have great responsibilities, they are still fundamentally devotees, so the doe-eyes often silence them. It was 1:30 p.m., and for some unknown cause most workers were away from the Cosmic nucleus. Even those who were present had slipped away for lunch. Only one other Dada, Ganadevanandaji, remained with me outside the closed door. When Baba rang His call-bell, His personal assistant, Dada Keshavananda, ran from his office, opened the door, popped his head in, and said, ìYes, Baba.î Baba said nothing. The other Dada and I, crouched at the feet of Keshavanandaji, had a clear view of Him resting on His side, facing us. He appeared to be sleeping. Heís so beautiful, I thought, like the tiniest baby. ìYes, Baba!î Keshavanandaji said again. When no reply came, he slowly and noiselessly shut the door. ìYou two should not be here,î he whispered. ìAh ... but, Dada ... couldnít you? ... just this time? ...î My eyes watered, Ganadevanandajiís mouth quivered, and we each held one of Dadaís hands. Though it was one of our best performances to date, he shook his head. ìNo, no, I canít allow it. You know the system.î Slowly, ever so slowly, with expressions of heart-wrenching anguish, we began edging backwards, away from the Cosmic Door. Keshavanandaji stood his ground, waiting to see that we would really leave. When we were just on the verge of leaving, the sound of the call-bell cut the air. Keshavanandaji reopened Babaís Door. ìYes, Baba?î By this time we were again huddled at the Doorway, staring into

the kingís chamber. His position was the same, His innocent face a bare two meters away from us. Again Keshavanandaji called, again no response, again without a sound he shut the mystic entrance. And again he turned on us, ìYou shameless fellows!î he yelled in a whisper. We smiled glumly, not showing our teeth, mentally pleading for mercy. ìNo. Out. Out!î WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY 330 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Our heads and shoulders bent, feet dragging like lead, we tortoised our way toward the stairway. Step by step, inch by inch, slowly, slowlyó dreading to face the other world.... And then again! Saved by the bell. ìWhat is this?î Keshavanandaji muttered. In a flash we were nestled behind his feet as he opened the gateway to paradise. ìBaba, kii?î he said loudly. There He lay, more peaceful than ever, unresponsive to Dadaís worn-out query. Dada turned his eyes toward heaven, then looked at us. ìAlright. Call me the moment that Baba wakes up. I donít know what His game is today.î He walked away, leaving the Door open! Baba, thank you... I thought. Hardly believing our luck, but understanding ìHis gameî, we sat down comfortably. Of course, His game was that we should have his uninterrupted darshanóto see Him without the slightest distraction of reports or talks or background chatter, without even the slightest movement or change inside the room. We gazed at His face, at His hands, at His bodyóand entered into an indescribable, transcendent dimension. My ego-centered mind drifted away, replaced by a long peaceful wave of tranquillity. Deeper, deeper, I became lost in the thought of Him; nothing remained of me. After what seemed like measureless time, something stirred within me, like a thin, almost invisible shadow. A feeling arose, increased and surged upward from my stomach, tearing at my heart. Tears flowed in a steady stream, my mouth grimaced uncontrollably, my body shook, and my mind screamed, Baba! Baba! Meanwhile, He lay there, yet unmovingóaffecting me more by His silence than by anything He might say or do. Every muscle, every nerve tensed, as waves of emotion wracked my being. I struggled not to shout, not to move, and not to faint. My feelings rushed like tidal waves; the blood throbbed against my temples; and my brainówhat words should I use?ómy brain swooned, demanded relief.... I could not think, but I knew, I am with Baba, have been so forever, and will be so forever. ìOkay, Dadas,î a soft voice said. ìYouíve been here almost two hours.î I looked up and saw Keshavanandaji. He smiled tenderly, knowingly. I didnít resist. As I got up, my legs trembled, unable to hold my weight. I held onto the wall. Ganadevanandaji also stood up. Baba, 331

who all this while had faced us unmoving, now rolled over to His other side, turning away from us. It was a perfect ending as Keshavanandaji gently closed the Cosmic Gate. Once downstairs and outside, we looked at each other. What did he experience? we each thought. But neither of us asked nor spoke. We only smiled, and arm-in-arm walked silently down the road toward

the coconut-water man. His responsibility beyond the earth Today while I was sitting outside Babaís door, I asked a senior Indian worker, Dada Shubbhabodhananda, to tell me the most special experience heíd had of Baba. This was his story: ìIt was one year ago during a DMC tour in India. As the secretary general of the Service Department, it was my duty to oversee the security arrangements. One morning, at 3:00, I woke up and decided to check everything. First I made sure that the two guards were both vigilant. Then I walked around to the rear of the house. Babaís room was there, and the window looking into His room had the curtains drawn back somewhat. I looked in, but He wasnít there. Hmmm. Perhaps He had gone to the bathroom? I walked over to the bathroom window and listened. Nothing. Very peculiar. Where could Baba have gone? I walked back to the big window of His bedroom, but He still was not there. For some minutes I stood there gazing in the window, wondering and wondering. Suddenly I became aware of the slight shadow of a figure in the center of the room. As I watched, the vague shape became more and more definite. It was a man sitting in meditation. Finally I realized it was Baba. Where there had previously been nothing, He materialized. The next morning I was full of curiosity, hoping for some opportunity to ask Baba about the night before. Baba called me in alone to perform massage. Shortly after I began, He asked, ìDo you have some question?î ìBaba, last night, You know I was there. What was that?î He smiled and said, ìDo you think I only have responsibility on this one planet?î WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY 332 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER The trouble is mutual Ananda Nagar. Today Dada Svarupanandaji (the principal of our college here and one of our most senior Dadas) told me a couple of stories from his early days in Ananda Marga: After my initiation, but before I became an acharya, I visited the yoga center of the famous elderly lady saint Ananda Mayi Ma. At that time, Baba was not well known so I did not inform anyone there that I was a Margi. I sat together with the other devotees in front of Ma. She called me forward, and said, ìYou are very lucky. Anandamurti is the greatest guru. As for me, I will not be able to go to Him for a long long time.î I was shocked by her psychic ability to know my guru, and thrilled by her praise of Baba. ìI can convey your namaskar to Him if you wish,î I said. ìThank you. It is my wish.î Later, when I met Baba, and passed Ananda Mayi Maís namaskar, He returned the namaskar, and commented, ìYes. She is a good girl.î Another occasion, also before I was an acharya, I was together with Baba at night. Though we were walking, His mind was obviously far away. Taking advantage of His transcendental state, I stole two rupees from His pocket. Afterward, I used that money to buy sweets and brought them to the tigerís grave where three of us sat with Baba. We all enjoyed the sweets. Then Baba said to me, ìYou are only a student,

and couldnít afford these sweets. Iíll give you the money.î I replied, ìNo, Baba, it wasnít my money ... I stole it from You.î Baba looked at me sternly and said, ìFrom Guru you stole? You must be punished.... But I cannot give you punishment because I also indulged in the stolen goods.î During those early years, (Svarupanandaji continued) one could often see Him enter into trances and different special states of being, just like other highly elevated spiritualists. But He is not like others, because He never studied under any guru, and He passed through all His personal realizations as a youth. After that, I mean for the last thirty years or so, He always appeared in total control of Himselfóeven though Heís busy raising the kundalini force (spiritual energy) of so many other 333

people. And busy making trouble for us. Well, of course, weíre also nicely skilled in making trouble for Him. Microvita demo Exactly seventeen years ago I first came to this spiritual paradise. I have to use the adjective spiritual because it is certainly not a physical paradise. Nevertheless, even physically it is far better off than when I first saw it. At that time it was a near-desert, without electricity or running water, and almost devoid of buildings. Now it is crawling with schools, welfare homes, dormitories, medical centers, small industrial plants, farm buildings, and offices. Most of these buildings have electricity and running wateróall provided by our own power plants, damns, bio-gas systems and solar cells. About 3000 of the local tribal people participate or are employed in construction, cottage industry or agricultural development projects in Ananda Nagar. And yet, so far, the government has not helped us in the slightest. The most impressive change, however, is in the natural environment. As I said, it used to be a near-desert. Its small streams would run dry in the summer. Now, even in the driest time of the sweltering summer, the river is not only running, its water is deep enough for swimming. Although in this very moment a severe drought affects all of northern India, Ananda Nagar is an oasis, full of green-leafed trees and bushes. Rain falls at least on a semi-regular basis. How did this happen? I cannot be sure. Is it the special trees and plants here, which Baba specified for attracting rain clouds? Or the system of rivers and drainage which catches rainwater to avoid its running into the ground? Or is it some sort of special spiritual grace? ...... (During a reporting session:) BABA: Any effect may be achieved by causing a concentration of the relevant microvita. And those microvita may be transported by any of a number of different means. For example ... my boy, step forward. (A Dada walks close to Baba.) The microvita causing thermal generation may be conveyed by the tactual factor. (Baba uses one finger to touch the Dadaís anahata chakra or chest.) Now how do you feel, my boy? DADA: Very hot, Baba. There are waves of heat. BABA: Acha. (Baba touches him again.) And now? WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY 334 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER DADA: My bodyís coming back to normal, Baba. BABA: These microvita may also be conveyed by the ocular faculty.

(As usual, throughout the last few minutes, Baba was hardly looking at anyone, even while speaking with particular persons. Now he looks very specifically at the Dada.) How do you feel now? DADA: I feel super hot, Baba. BABA: Do you want to go on enjoying this state? DADA: Ah (he smiles, though clearly very uncomfortable) ... whatever Baba likes. BABA (again looking in an obvious way at the Dada): It would be dangerous for your cells to remain in this agitated condition for long. That is why I am now withdrawing the microvita. Well? DADA: Thank you, Baba. BABA: No, no. It was done by your grace alone. Jumping cure The Central Secretary of the Education, Relief and Welfare Section, Dada Paripurnananda, is a good friend of mine. Recently, Baba has been very hard on him. I feel proud of Paripurnanandaji, because no matter what sort of clash Baba gives him, he seems to take it nicely. Now in the middle of a scolding, Babaís mood suddenly shifted. BABA: I believe you have some problem with your knee. Is it so? PARIPURNANANDA (smiles sweetly, enjoying this change in Babaís attitude): Yes, Baba. BABA: GS Da, apply your hands to his left knee, massaging gently. (The General Secretary does so.) Is it somewhat cured now? PARIPURNANANDA: Yes, Baba. It is maybe thirty percent better. BABA: Now you should leap in the air as high as possible. (Paripurnanandaji hesitates a moment, wondering if he understood correctly, as it seems a strange way to cure a knee problem. Then, shrugging his shoulders in surrender, he jumps almost one meter up.) Jump again. And again. Now, describe the condition. PARIPURNANANDA (with an enormous smile): I believe it is one hundred percent cured, Baba. BABA: Just see, just see. But do I remember hearing one little boy thinking, ìBaba loves those two other Dadas. He doesnít love me.?î Hmmm, did anyone think that? PARIPURNANANDA (softly): Yes, Baba, I was thinking so... but... 335 WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY Pranavatmakanandaji reached his sector a few months later. During that time, Communism collapsed in the whole of Eastern Europe. 98

BABA: But what? Is it so that Baba does not love the little boy who was thinking so? PARIPURNANANDA (looking affectionately at Baba): No. Baba loves him very much. BABA: Perhaps your assumption is correct. Yes, I think it may be correct. Global Weatherman Calcutta. Dada Pranavatmakananda told me that on 2nd June, during a workersí meeting, Baba mentioned, ìThe panorama of the world is going to undergo a very fast change. You all should be ready....î Yesterday in Vishnupur, Pranavatmakanandaji said to Baba, ìThree days ago You said the worldís panorama is going to undergo a big change. Baba, in that time so much happened. On 3rd June, Ayatollah Khomeini, the revolutionary mullah of Iran died. On 4th June, Communism was voted out of power in Polandóthe first country to reject

it. Also on 4th June, when the military attacked the peaceful protesters in Tiananmien Square, Communism stood exposed in China as a system that can only be maintained by brute force. It seems that Your prediction of communismís downfall is beginning to be fulfilled.î ìYou wait and see,î Baba said. ìThe world will be dumbstruck to witness the pace of change. Before you reach your sector, there will be much more change in the world.î 98 Real dreams Dada Pranavatmakananda toled me a story he heard from two other Dadas: Nityasatyanandaji and Haratmanandaji. They were both sleeping in the same room in Sao Paolo, Brazil, when Nityasatyanandaji had a dream: He was on a field walk with Baba. At one point, their way became obstructed by mud. Dada thought, ìIf Baba walks through this mud, His legs will become dirty.î So he lifted Baba, carried Him across, and then put Him down. Then he woke up. He noticed that their room was full of a sweet lotus scent. He was so excited that he shook Dada Haratmananda to wake him up and asked 336 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER him, ìDo you smell anything in this room?î Dada replied, ìYes ... itís like a lotus flower ... very sweet.î After this, both Dadas forgot about the incident. Nine months later, Nityasatyanandaji was in Calcutta. It was his daily routine to wait for Baba in the garden. When Baba would come out of the house, Dada would sing the latest Prabhat Sangiit song. One day Baba turned toward him and said, ìIf you had not lifted me that day, my legs would have become dirty.î He smiled and walked away. Nityasatyanandaji was surprised. He went on singing but could not understand what Baba meant. He remembered nothing. Two days later when Dada was returning to South America, he suddenly recalled that night and understood Babaís words. He wept with love for Baba. At another time, Haratmanandaji was alone with Baba, massaging Him. Somebody had told him that Babaís navel area produced a special scent. When Baba was sleeping, Haratmanandaji lifted Babaís undershirt out of curiosity. Baba woke up and said, ìNonsense fellow! What are you doing?î Again He slept. More careful this time, Haratmanandaji lifted the undershirt. Baba woke up while Dada was sniffing. But this time He smiled and asked, ìWhat do you smell?î ìItís sweet, Baba.î ìIs it like a lotus?î ìYes.î ìHave you seen pictures of the mythological Vishnu which show a lotus sprouting from his navel, and on top of the lotus flower Brahma is sitting, creating the whole universe?î ìYes, Baba.î ìIt is symbolic. Parama Purusha (the Supreme Consciousness) creates all, and His nucleus, His creative faculty is the navel. As His navel produces a lotus smell, mythology shows it so. Do you remember this scent?î ìWhat do you mean, Baba?î

ìDo you remember when you were sleeping in the same room as Nityasatyanandaji, and he woke you up? It was exactly that smell.î It is clear that for Baba, our dreams of Him are also part of reality. 337

Lost in their own lies

[Authorís note as a background to todayís entry: In 1982 the Tripura state government, at that time communist, tried to crush Ananda Marga. Some of their leading politicians openly stated they would ìoust the socio-political organization Ananda Marga.î Soon after, one of our primary schools was bombed. A court case was filed and the judgeís decision went against us so we appealed in the High Court. At that time, the communists held 54 seats in the State Assembly out of 60. Most of the public used to treat Chief Minister Chakravorty like a god. How could we expect to win? But Baba said at that moment, ìWhen the sinner reaches the climax point, downfall is certain.î We sent 500,000 leaflets and 200,000 posters to this small state of less than two million inhabitants. Finally in the High Court, the District Magistrate apologized for obstructing our school. The High Court instructed the police and the government agents to leave our school undisturbed. Not long after, the communist government was defeated by the Congress Party. The West Bengal governmentís (also communist) reaction to our work in Ananda Nagar was similar. In 1987, Baba told us, ìThe wind is blowing in your favor.î He also said, ìComplete every work immediately, as time is short.î Highest priority went to developing Ananda Nagar. In short time, the near-desert scene dramatically changed. It must have terrified the federal and state governments to see Ananda Marga creating a beautiful community in one of the poorest areas of India. If we succeeded, it would prove the governmentís inefficiency and insincerity. The local communist party leader announced to the press, ìJust as we drove out the Lutheran Universalist Mission, we will also drive out Ananda Marga.î] In Ananda Nagar this year there have been almost daily attacks on our staff, destruction of our agricultural work or harm to our buildings. Ananda Nagar is about 1200 acres, and these attacks have mostly occurred on the outskirts. Four months ago, at midnight, the police destroyed one of our buildings, declaring it the property of the Forestry Department. The police claimed they seized weapons from Ananda Marga. We denied it. They often make such claims. We are compelled to repeatedly file court charges, and eventually always win. It seems a WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY 338 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER never-ending process. By now, the general people doubt any negative news published about us. In this case, our statement in the court was, ìWhy didnít the police destroy the building in the daytime, if it were really the governmentís building?î We won the case. The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Jyoti Basu, became furiousó he openly hates Ananda Marga. The step he decided on was excessive. Yesterday he approved an attack hoping to drive out Ananda Marga. The District Magistrate sent a message to Jyoti Basu, ìIf we raid Ananda Nagar, we can expect a fight just like the Sikhs waged at the Golden Temple.î They sent 1500 police and 153 vehicles to Ananda Nagar. They even brought ambulances to take care of the wounded. Apparently

there was so much propaganda against us for so long, that the opposition believed their own lies about us. They thought we had a huge number of machine guns and explosives. But what did this overwhelming military force find? Nothing. Nevertheless, in a press conference just after the raid, the police claimed they discovered numerous weapons. Today our Public Relations secretary filed a court case against the West Bengal government and police. In the history of West Bengal, no case was ever filed against top police officers. The PR secretary also held a press conference, and showed the police seizure lists which proved that they found nothing. The media representatives were astonished; they had published the false news only yesterday. Today they printed the true story. Working 24 hours a day During the last few days of reporting, Baba did not sit with the representatives. Each time He comes back from field walk, everyone greets Him as He steps out of the car, then those who have reporting duty run into the main room to be ready in case He wants to take their report. Though weíve regularly followed this procedure, our sense of despondency deepens as the days pass and He seems to ignore us. This morning there was a feeling of resignation among many workers. ìSurely again He will not sit with us.î Our crisp readiness was so absent that this time the main room was full of Margis and workers who were not supposed to be there, and no one had made any effort to shoo them out. 339

Together with everyone else, I greeted Baba at His car. As He slowly walked away, moving toward the side entrance, one brother approached me. ìDada, Iíve completed the paper-work that you wanted me to do. Here it is.î I was torn between going through the documents and going to the room, just in case this time Baba wanted our report. But if I didnít take the papers it might make trouble for this brother. I took the material and quickly checked it. In this way, perhaps a minute passed. Then I rushed toward the room. A mad scene was taking place at the door! Margis and other workers were scrambling to squeeze out, everyone trying to get out at the same time. Though I could hear Baba shouting inside, there was no way I could enter at that moment. A gap appeared, and I jumped forward, pushing violently against the others, and forgetting all politeness. Just as I reached the door those inside began closing it. I thrust in my arm, and then a leg, and with a burst of strength, pressed it open, and squeezed into the room. The very instant I entered Baba looked at me, burning me with His inner fire. As the last to enter, I was the most irresponsible element in this entire brew of f*ckless workers. But instead of hiding behind the others, I stepped toward the front. I love His attention, no matter what sort. ìNonsense! Stupid! Scoundrel!î He shouted at me. ìBreeding chaos! Like animals! Idiot! Rascal!î I bathed in His force. ìHow can you waste my time? Donít you know that I am working twenty four hours a day?î His words stabbed at me with a power and a volume I had never before experienced. Surely even the neighbors could clearly hear His voice through the now closed door. The other workers turned their faces toward

me, wondering how I would take this scorching chastisem*nt. I suppose they thought me arrogant, because instead of bowing my head in abasem*nt, I looked straight at Baba. He was dead right, I was sometimes wasting my time and His time, but in that moment I did not care because Baba was directing a colossal force at me, and I did not want to miss a drop of it. He stood up from the sofa. A sinking sense of disappointment surged through the workers as they understood that this opportunity for a long-awaited meeting with Baba was spoiled. As He left the room everyone became gloomy and turned their eyes toward the floor. EveryWORKING 24 HOURS A DAY 340 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER one, that is, except me. I was elated with the shakti, the spiritual power He had injected into me. But, knowing the others would not understand, I neither smiled nor said anything. I was, after all, the one deserving maximum blame. His voice echoed again and again in my mind: ìDonít you know that I am working twenty four hours a day?î Societyís high expectations (During the meeting of the district incharges from Area West of the Indian Sector. A Margi stands in front of Baba.) BABA: GS, ask him how many full-timers he created. GENERAL SECRETARY: How many full-timers did you create in the last one year? MARGI: None. BABA (now directing his words at the Margi): How many schools have started due to your own efforts? MARGI: None, Baba. BABA: And could you even inspire any Margis to become Block Secretaries within your district? MARGI: No, Baba. Iím sorry. BABA: Youíre sorry. Are you married? MARGI: Yes, Baba. BABA: Then why are you also keeping a secret wife? (Some of us gasp in surprise. Most surprised is the Margi, who rolls his eyes and is no longer able to stand still.) Haram jada! (You donkey!) Because your lifestyle is immoral, of course you could not achieve anything. And due to your illicit behavior you have also contracted some serious disease. Is it not so? MARGI: Yes, Baba... BABA: Do you promise from this very moment to rectify yourself and become an ideal man, serving the society with all of your capacity? MARGI: Yes, Baba. BABA: Come closer. (The Margi moves near Baba, who reaches out and momentarily touches him below the navel area.) You are henceforth cured of that disease. Do you understand that we, the members of the collective society, maintain high expectations regarding the contribution that you will make for the universal welfare? 341

MARGI: Yes, Baba. BABA: Very good. When we spoke to him afterward, he refused to tell what disease he had, saying only that it was something abominable. Then he went

to the bathroom. After coming out, he said, ìBy Babaís grace it is cured!î Service beyond party politics Today Baba introduced a new program called ARS: All-Round Service. Henceforth it will be a daily-report item. ARS consists of basic relief works to be offered to the most needy people, and will be directed primarily at the communist and post-communist countries. Baba explained four pointsó 1) ARS had to be created due to the defective economic subsistence level in the communist countries. 2) ARS has nothing to do with party politics. 3) We have to help the people down to the district level at the time of calamity. 4) We should continue cooperation with other service organizations such as Red Cross and Oxfam. The Fareast Asia sector has the greatest population of any sector suffering under communism. It includes China, Asiatic Russia, Mongolia, North Korea and Tibet, so this new emphasis will be very important for us. ...... An article appeared in the newspaper today about a flood in South Korea. Baba, to whom at least four newspapers are read daily, requested a report within twelve hours about our relief work. I tried to telephone our office in Seoul, but could not get through. When the deadline for reporting approached, Babaís personal assistant pressed me for the report. I told him that I couldnít get through, but he wouldnít accept this reply. Not knowing what to do, I closed my eyes, meditated on Babaís face, and asked Him for guidance. I imagined what work we should have done in Korea, and accordingly, on opening my eyes wrote the following false report: WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY 342 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìIn the aftermath of Typhoon Judy, Seoul Regional Secretary (Dada Alok) and Universal Proutist Intellectual Federation Secretary (Dada Mahaprajinananda) organized a relief team of 12 Margis to help homeless and suffering people in the Seoul area. Already clothes have been given to 25 families, and food to 200 people. The team also helped to clean out and make habitable four houses so far. They will continue their work with accelerating speed.î Soon after the report was submitted, Baba called a meeting in His bedroom. During that meeting, He praised Hong Kong Sector for responding so quickly to the flood in Korea, and encouraged the representatives of other sectors to follow this example. On top of that, He directed the Central Public Relations Secretary to submit the news of our on-going Korean relief work to the Calcutta newspapers. I was thoroughly embarrassed, but could tell nobody. All this hoopla over a false report. At the end of the session, I immediately took permission to go to the city public telephone office. This time I got the line to Seoul. Dada Alok answered: ME: Alok, itís absolutely urgent that you do something for the people suffering from the flood in Korea. Baba read about it in the newspapers. ALOK: We already did a bit of relief work.

ME: Great! Iím writing it down. Tell me who did the work? ALOK: About a dozen Margis under the guidance of Mahaprajinanandaji and myself. ME: Wow! I was just guessing Mahaprajinanandaji was there. ALOK: What? ME: Nothing. How many people did you help? ALOK: We gave clothes to about twenty-five families, and food to about 200 people. ME: Thatís incredible! Absolutely totally Baba Nam Kevalam! Did you, by the way, did you clean out any houses? ALOK: Yeah. ME: Was it about four houses? ALOK: No, it was three houses. Wait a moment, come to think of it, it was four houses. How did you know? ME: I love you, Baba! Somehow Baba knew all this even without the telephone call. Heís reporting your work to the newspapers already. 343

ALOK: Whatíre you talking about? Really? But itís not such a big deal yet. Anyway you can let Him know that thereís a lot of people still suffering, so weíll do more and more work. ME: I already told Him youíll work with accelerating speed. ALOK: Exactly. ME: We should give some more news to the papers. So try to call me with your report tomorrow and the day after also. ALOK: Will do. The peculiar business of making saints All the other workers were doing meditation, and I alone guessed that Babaís door was wide open. I stood there for half an hour, looking at Him as He talked with Dada Keshavananda. Baba was in a fine mood, laughing and joking. Toward the end, Keshavanandaji gave Him a soft drink. Like a child, Baba wore a napkin tucked in at His neck, and sipped repeatedly at the plastic straw, enjoying Himself. I felt a change in the air, and knew something was coming, though they still talked lightly together. Suddenly, Baba began shouting loudly, and Keshavanandaji jumped up and ran out of the room, calling the Central workers. Baba, alone now, continued shouting. Within seconds, they all clambered into His room. Boiling with rage, He charged them with numerous crimes. They could hardly reply. Within no time, punishment was allocated, and all these senior workers rolled onto their backs and into the shoulder stand, their legs pointed up in the air. Some of them are old gray haired men. As soon as they were so positioned, Baba returned to His drink, as if nothing had happened. He spoke mildly with Keshavanandaji, and paid absolutely no attention to the score of workers so oddly assembled before Him. The workers smiled at each other, whispered together, and, knowing it would be a long session, secretly leaned their legs against the walls. Tears in our eyes Today was the last day of this monthís reporting so all the sectorial representatives were holding garlands, hoping to get a chance to place them on Baba. During these last months He had not directly received any garlands, but rather accepted them only through His personal assistant. Still, we had hope.

WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY 344 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

After He returned from field walk, we quickly lined up at the side door. There are two entrances to the main reporting room: the front door, and the side door which Baba uses as He walks upstairs to His room. He would not enter the reporting room at this late time. Since Fareast Asia ó Hong Kong Sector ó is always the first to be called, I stood at the front of the line. For some minutes He talked to us. Then He turned to go upstairs. We would not be able to put our garlands on Him... Then abruptly He pivoted, and walked into the reporting room. Within a moment He was seated, and I heard Keshavanandaji yell, ìHong Kong Sector!î The narrow path back around the house to the front was blocked by twenty-six workers: two Dadas and one Didi from each of the nine sectors. I could not push them aside, but neither could I delay when I was being called before Baba. So I jumped. I wonder how I did it, and still people ask me about it, but I jumped over this entire crowd of workers, and in no time ran through the front door and up to Baba. Keshavanandaji smiled broadly and tilted his head, also marveling at how I came so fast. Without waiting for permission, I placed my garland over Babaís head, and draped it on His neck. His eyes glittered. All my excitement disappeared as I became lost in His affection. ìDid you enjoy the program, Dharmavedananda?î ìToo much, Baba.î ìBut do you remember our days together in Berlin Sector?î His tone made me start crying. ìJust like ... it was yesterday ... Baba.î He smiled at me, and kept His eyes on me, though He said nothing. His eyes also teared. After some time the magic shifted, and He did namaskar to me, tears still shining in our eyes. From that moment my state of mind was so altered that I cannot remember anything else that happened. You will see Dada Mantreshvarananda told me that on a recent field walk he had the following conversation with Baba: DADA: Baba, today the materialists have all the power. They have all the manpower, all the wealth, all the technological strength. The 345

spiritual-moralists, on the other hand, are but few in number, having no wealth, and almost no machinery. Excuse me for asking, Baba, but in the face of this reality, how can we expect to see the realization of a Proutist government within any reasonable period of time? BABA (abruptly turning toward Mantreshvaranandaji): There is no one who can stop Proutís progress. It will be established within a very short time. (Pointing His finger at Dada) You will see. Improving bodies for improved service During reporting of Dadas, in the midst of the review of one worker, Baba suddenly interrupted him: BABA: There is a dull pain in the lower vertebrae of your spine. Is it not? DADA: Yes, Baba. BABA: Occasionally it flares into acute pain. Is it not?

DADA: Yes, Baba. BABA: Have you not experienced these symptoms for several years? DADA: Yes, Baba. BABA (looking at the General Secretary): GS Da, place your right thumb in my palm. (The General Secretary does so, and Baba rubs his thumb between His two hands.) What is the feeling in your thumb now? GENERAL SECRETARY: It is very hot, Baba. BABA: Using that hot thumb, touch the vertebrae in the area of his svadhistana chakra (i.e., area of lower back). (Speaking to first Dada:) Is that the area of your pain? DADA: Yes, Baba. BABA: GS, twist and turn your hot thumb ... move slightly higher ... yes ... now move down the spine ... continue ... yes ... that is enough. Now, how do you feel, my boy? DADA: I feel full of power. BABA: And the pain? DADA: It is gone, Baba. BABA: It will not return. Now, what plan have you chalked out for the use of your improved body? DADA: I will do maximum service to the suffering humanity, Baba. BABA: Very good. Very good. WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY 346 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Pretending to be normal Babaís voice is a nasal one. It is something peculiar. Many people like that voice, but I doubt that the public would consider His voice especially appealing or magnificent. Thatís why, after hearing Babaís voice for more than ten years, today I was surprised. His voice became beautiful and mellow, like a trained public speaker. The scene was appropriate for this attractive voice, because He spoke to the Prout candidates for state assemblies in India. It was as if He wanted to give them an example how to speak to the public though He did not say it in so many words. A portion of His speech in English: ìCommunism was a utopian idea never to be materialized on this earth. Now most of the countries have recognized this fact. So this is the opportune moment for Prout to come. We have to propagate it among the intellectuals. The time is come. In each and every corner of the earth. In each and every hearth of human soul. For this we need more Prout cadres. Forty-eight new wholetimers in India, and forty-eight new wholetimers overseas. Help this project. It is not enough, but for the time being it may do something. I said twice before, the time is come. There is no other philosophy to solve the worldís problems and quench human thirst. This election proved there is a need and a demand. The world wants you. No time is to be lost. There is dire necessity. î Perhaps each and every action of Baba is calculated for its effect. He is a full-time unpaid actor. To imagine that all these years He was speaking in an artificial voice. And why did He pick such a nasal sound? I can guess that He wanted us to be attracted only by His way of living, His ideas, and His sacrifice. Perhaps this is why He wears glasses, dresses simply, and appears normal. In the early days, before Ananda Marga was well known, it

often happened in train stations that non-Margis would approach Dadas to pay their respects, never even noticing Baba. I remember a story from many years ago: A certain Margi believed that Baba did not need spectacles, but only wore them because His unobstructed gaze was too over-powering. One day, this Margi served Baba His meal. When he entered the room, 347

he saw Baba reading a newspaper without wearing His glasses. But He was holding the paper very close to His eyes. The shocked Margi thought, My God! Baba does need glasses! He stood there, holding the tray of food, unable to move. Wild thoughts entered his mind: perhaps he had over-estimated Baba; perhaps Baba was not really powerful; perhaps He was not a true guru. After thinking this for some time, he noticed that Baba was holding the newspaper upside-down. In that moment, Baba lowered the paper, looked at the Margi, and smiled. Going to Ananda Nagar instead of staying with Baba Everyone is alarmed. Baba has experienced some sort of heart failure, and was admitted to the emergency ward of a private nursing home. The festive atmosphere of yesterday is now replaced by a gloomy one. ...... Next day. Workers and Margis have decided to hold continuous kiirtan until Baba is cured. The kiirtan has been super-high. Now again everyone is feeling inspired. ...... Next day. Just after the kiirtan reached the 24-hour mark, Baba sent a message from the nursing home: ìAll Margis and workers should proceed to Ananda Nagar for the winter program. May it be a grand success. Keep in mind three points: 1) All Margis should love Ananda Nagar. If any donít yet love Ananda Nagar, they should start to love it now. 2) Ananda Nagar is the best place for Margis. 3) Every Margiís body should touch the soil of Ananda Nagar.î Though Baba remained away, we had to follow His directives. We stopped the kiirtan, and left for Ananda Nagar. ...... Five days later. Ananda Nagar. As Baba foretold, our spiritual festival was ìa grand success.î About 30,000 Margis attended. Sixty-five full-timers and Margis decided to go for acharya training, and twenty pieces of land were donated for making model communities. WORKING 24 HOURS A DAY 348 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER CHAPTER 20

He Sends Out a Clarion Call Little work and all pleasure

Calcutta, January 1990. Today, as Baba was leaving the nursing home, He called all the nurses ìMaî and distributed sweets to them. They all cried. The last person at the door was Babaís doctor, Dr Sen, one of Indiaís leading heart specialists. He also treated Mother Teresa. He said, ìBaba, we all thank You for putting Your holy feet in our nursing home. But You are not a man, or even a superman. You are a god.î Then he prostrated himself at Babaís feet.

Dada Keshavananda told me that a few days ago the doctors protested that Baba was continuing to compose Prabhat Sangiit songs in the emergency ward even though they had requested Him not to do any work. In one day alone He wrote thirteen songs. He responded by saying, ìComposing Prabhat Sangiit does not require any special effort from my part. Similarly, whenever I write Shabda Cayanika (His encyclopedia), it is a spontaneous expression. Rather than considering these processes to be my work, you should title them my pleasures.î Keshavanandaji asked Baba what He considered to be work. He said, ìWhen I conceptualized the idea of Ananda Marga, or Prout, or microvita, or Neo-Humanismóthese original revolutionary creations required a little exertion. You may be interested to know that the work which occupied my effort for the longest time was the invention of our Pratik (the symbol of Ananda Marga). It took me thirty minutes.î ...... A few days ago two nurses approached Keshavanandaji with a question. They said, ìEach of us separately observed Baba talking in His 349

sleep. Both times He said the same words: Master units. Master units. Do the words master units have any special meaning that you know?î Keshavanandaji laughed. ìYes, I know. The establishment of Master Units all over the globe is now our most important program. It is so important that Baba goes on creating the conducive psychic wave for them even when His body is sleeping.î99 ...... The last story concerns Dr Ramesh, a specialist at the clinic. One day the doctor told Baba, ìYour health is not good. But I understand you frequently scold your workers. Anger is not helpful to your cure. So I request you to refrain from such rebuking.î Baba became furious, shouting loud enough to cause everyone to jump, ìWho is he to tell me such a thing!î The Dadas became upset, and the doctors became afraid. In a twinkle of an eye, Baba again changed His mood, and said sweetly, ìNow, do you mean like that?î ìYes, Baba,î said Dr Ramesh, shaking. ìNo need to worry,î said Baba. ìYou see, I say all such caustic words from my throat, not from my heart. It does not affect me.î HE SENDS OUT A CLARION CALL The Master Unit program is the culmination of all other social service activities of Ananda Marga. For simplicityís sake, until this point my diary entries referred to such projects as ìland communitiesî or ìmodel communities.î Ananda Nagar was our first Master Unit. To be considered a Master Unit, a piece of land must be at least five acres. On this land we must establish a yoga/meditation center, agricultural farm, cottage industry, family dwellings, a self-contained system of ponds and streams, an alternative energy center, and a permanent service center. According to location and various other factors, we should also, if possible, develop a childrenís home and school, a wild animal sanctuary, botanical gardens, medical hospital or clinic, a dairy farm, and a good number of welfare homes and appropriate industries. Thus, the Master Unit serves as a model community by which the public may practically experience Prout in action. Without this demonstration, Prout would be only an interesting theory, and most people would not believe that the implementation of Prout is truly possible. The Master Unit is also a training ground to develop the subtle feelings and knowledge required for gaining the cooperation and leadership skills upon which a Proutist society is based. Though Baba gave the concept of Master Unit many years before this diary entry, it was only in 1987 that He began emphasizing it. During the four years beginning with 1987, He gradually stepped up the level of concentration on making and developing Master Units. Eventually, almost every Dada and Didi became involved in obtaining 99

land. Throughout the world we now own hundreds of properties on which we are developing Master Unit projects. For example, in the Fareast Asia sector we have a total of ten Master Units in Taiwan, Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Hong Kong and Japan.

350 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

The creator of madness

The doctors first gave strict instructions, and then pleaded with Baba, that He should not work for the next one month. Though it is doubtful He can keep Himself away from work for so long, we expect that for a few days at least He will abide by these instructions. He will not, for example, hold darshan or workersí meetings. Many Margis are here from all over the world who are desperate for a glimpse of Baba. Their only chance is while Baba takes garden-walks twice daily. It is possible to look over the boundary wall and see Him. It is Babaís private time so no one is technically permitted to do this, but the rule is generally overlooked because the Margis have never been too many at a single time, and everyone maintains silence. This stretching of the rule has gone on for years. Today there were far more Margis looking over the wall than at any other time. There were hundreds, mostly from overseas. The Margis literally climbed over each other to secure a vantage points on the wall. To see over the wall it is necessary to stand on something, usually piled bricks or rocks. The types of structures thus built were varied, and often were piled too high, so that they sometimes collapsed, causing many people to simultaneously fall to the ground. Though knees and elbows were scraped, no one seemed to care. In this atmosphere, for the first time, the unwritten rule of maintaining silence was broken. The Margis could not control themselves. As Baba emerged in a wheelchair, a few weeping sounds and sighs cut the silence. Within a few more moments, such a thrill swept through the crowd that Margis were crying, laughing, yelling ìBaba!,î ìNamaskar Baba!î and so on. Baba smiled. He turned His face toward the Margis, and they went wild. A Yugoslavian brother jumped over the wall, and was immediately restrained by the security volunteers. I was standing or, rather, hanging down from the roof, and had a perfect view of the whole scene. It was cinematic, to say the least. As Baba concluded the walk, He was wheeled toward the final corner. It was a few meters from there that the Yugoslavian brother was being held. Suddenly he broke away from the guards, lunged in front of Baba, and prostrated at His feet. In the same moment, Babaís closest bodyguard, Pratap, leapt forward, and in a single flowing movement lifted the brother off the ground and thrust him into the distance. Though 351

everyone was excited by this performance, Baba was undisturbed. He pretended not even to see it, though it happened immediately before Him. A moment later, when yet another Margi yelled ìNamaskar Baba,î He spoke to the Margis for the one and only time, saying, ìYou are all doing namaskar to me. One namaskar from me is enough for all.î He then folded His hands and, turning His body slowly around, did a long namaskar toward all the Margis. The effect was like His varabhaya mudra, His gesture of blessing during DMC. By their crying and sighing it was clear that every Margi felt it. Donít make problems out of nothing Without reporting sessions to attend, Iíve time on my hands. Thinking

to inspire a few Margis from my sector, I escorted four of them to the Didisí quarters where I requested a meeting with Didi Ananda Bharati who everyone affectionately calls Aunty. Aunty is the first Didi and also the oldest. She is the sole teacher of kapalika meditation for Didis who are authorized by Baba to become avadhutikas. For many months she has been so sick that she could hardly leave her room. The five of us sat around her bed. ìHow are you, Aunty?î I asked. ìMy ëIí is fine. But, ach, this body should have died some years ago. Baba is just keeping it around for His pleasure. Ha, ha!î She spoke in such a way that we all laughed with her. Then I asked Aunty to tell us some of her experiences with Baba. She did not want to tell any, but due to our repeated requests, she narrated a few incidents. These stories were mostly sentimental. For example, she said, ìI used to frequent His kitchen to cook food for Him. Once I made ice cream for Him, and He said, ëMother, this is yum yum!í ìI remember this sort of moment best. You know, He never had me sit on the floor like other workersóHe always arranged a chair for me. Though I was the disciple, He was such a gentleman with me. ìCountless times I saw Him perform miracles with other workers and Margis. But I never desired that experience. I donít crave things which come and go. I only want whatís permanent. So He never gave me those kinds of miracles. Yet I know He hears the words I am speaking right now. No one can hide anything from Baba. ìYou must listen to Guru like a child listens to his teacher in school. Though Baba is against dogma, we must have blind faith in Him. This HE SENDS OUT A CLARION CALL 352 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER alone is surrender. The more the child surrenders, the more He must take care.î She turned to each of the Margis to ask them how they felt in Indiaóit was the first visit for each of them. When it came to Taiwan sister Madhaviís turn, she said, ìIím fine, Aunty.î Knowing that Madhavi was actually sick, I said, ìYou see, Aunty, Madhavi is Chinese. So even if she has problems, she will say she has no problems.î Aunty said, ìWhy should she have problems? She is a yogini, a Tantric.î ìBut the more we Tantrics evolve, Aunty,î I said, ìthe more problems we have.î ìNo, no,î she said. ìNo problems.î ìBut look at Baba,î I said. ìHe has so many problems.î ìOh, Baba. He is something different. Listen, donít make problems where there need be no problems.î She gazed at me, smiling. Her last sentence, simple and obvious as it was, rang in my mind. For the first time in my life I realized that I had a tendency to dig up problems and complications even when they were best left undisturbed. I will never forget her words.100 Global water crisis Ananda Nagar. June. During a workersí meeting, Baba said, ìA water crisis is soon to strike the earth. Due to overuse of underground water resources, the water-table is sinking. Furthermore, at some point that water will become so polluted it can no longer be processed for drinking. This problem will dominate over most other problems in

most countries of the world. It will be the direct cause of millions of deaths. In many areas people will become dependent on rainwater. International commerce in water will become more than commerce in petroleum. This crisis will come to a peak in the year 2000. Will you remember that? 2000? (So saying, Baba used His forefinger to draw the numerals 2-0-0-0 in the air.) It is for this reason that on our Master Units, next to every building, a pond should be constructed to catch the rainwater. Our Master Units should not depend on underground water sources.î 100

A few weeks later Aunty died.

353

The most powerful mudra I ever felt

Babaís DMC varabhaya mudra (gesture of blessing) was scheduled for today. In the moment that we all expected Him to give the mudra, however, He brought His hands down on the couchóso forcefully that it made a dull noise. There are all sorts of speculative explanations. But no one really understands Babaís strange behavior. The crowd of about 30,000 was disappointed. ...... Two days later. There was no darshan this morning; the program was clearly finished, and most people arranged to leave. We faced the usual problems of secretly removing the overseas Margis. The police want to catch foreign Margis and blacklist them from reentering India. In the past, we hid them inside large trucks. But this time the trucks were delayed, and hadnít come. Two or three workers made a plan to hustle the overseas Margis into a train during its stop in Pundag (the closest station). This plan was neither announced nor clarified, even when it came time to rush the first batch of Margis to the train. At that time, about two or three thousand Indian Margis were also boarding. The police spotted the non-Indians, and took up the chase. While most of the foreigners escaped, they succeeded in capturing three sisters and one brother. In the process, they ripped off some of the womenís clothing in a most disrespectful manner. In India such behavior toward women is considered outrageous. Within moments the Margis were taken off to the nearby policebox. The Indian Margis were so angry about the behavior of the police that they pulled out one of the track railings, rendering the train immobile. The Margis declared they would not permit the train to leave until the captured Margis were released. The few hundred innocent passengers already on the train became the victims of this drama. Two Margis gave them a mass lecture to explain the problem, and all became sympathetic. The Margis brought water and snacks for the stranded passengers. Meanwhile, back at Ananda Nagar (about two kilometers away), all the overseas workers had long before changed from their orange HE SENDS OUT A CLARION CALL 354 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER robes to civilian clothes. Hearing that the police and local communist thugs were preparing for a confrontation, we engaged ourselves in planning and constructing a defense. We began shifting the women and children into more central buildings where they would be safer. In this

way, several hours passed. The tension increased, and still the train remained. Because it was a fasting day, the strain was not only psychic but also physical. At 10:00 p.m., someone yelled, ìI see Babaís car! Itís headed toward the darshan tent!î Since the DMC program seemed finished, and as we were in the midst of a dangerous crisis, we could not believe that Baba would give darshan. But better run to the tent to see! By the time I entered, Baba was already seated, and a program was indeed underway. For the first time ever, I sat in the middle instead of the front for darshan. Being in civil clothes, I preferred not to attract the attention of anyone, including Baba. Because many people had already left, and the tent was half empty, the feeling was strange. But Baba was in a fine mood, joking and speaking casually. When He finally started the formal darshan itself, the air became energized. By the time He had half finished, I was so concentrated on Him that I unconsciously shifted from my normal cross-legged position to a strained kneeling pose. Even though He spoke in Bengali, I became excited. I didnít know why. And then I thought, ìPerhaps Heíll give the mudra. How odd if itís so, but...î A few moments later He began singing the chant Samgacchadvam, which always precedes the mudra. We all sat forward, astounded, waiting, tense. And He gave it. A varabhaya mudra as I had never before experienced. He used to hold the mudra for perhaps five seconds or less. But this one, how long did it last? At the time it seemed interminable. Everyone, absolutely everyone, including the small children, were blasted. Shouts of ìBaba! Baba!î came from all sides. I also shouted uncontrollably. My hair seemed to stand on end. My eyes felt as if they would pop out of their sockets, and my skin as if it would explode off my body. My heart burst with feeling for Him, and my mind stopped functioning, except to think Baba! Baba! At last He closed His hands, and did namaskar. Perhaps forty seconds had passed. The crowd sang Prabhat Sangiit or something, I donít rememberóI remained absorbed in looking at Him. Then everyone 355

stood up to dance kiirtan. I stood but could not dance. I could only stare at Him. As the kiirtan continued, Baba slowly walked off the stage. Without thinking, I ran toward Him. The tent was so big. I did not know where He had gone, but I lifted up one wall, dove under, and kept running. Sooner than I expected, I saw Baba entering His car. Volunteer guards were protecting the area with their sticks. Paying no attention to them, I rushed toward Baba. The guards didnít react quickly enough, and I was soon past them. I rushed up to the window of Babaís car without any concern for the impropriety of my clothing. I was crying. The car drove away before I could touch it. I ran alongside it. I could clearly see Baba, though He did not see me. Weeping and running. Oh, Baba! It went on a long way like that. Then the car sped up, leaving me behind. I walked slowly toward our quarters. Someone came from behind me and took my handóDada Nityashubhananda. He was also deeply affected. We walked together without speaking, tears welling in our eyes. When we arrived at the hostel, I excused myself and went up to the roof to be alone in the darkness. Everyone else was still at the darshan tent. As I sat for meditation, I heard powerful, booming voices

speaking to the crowd over the PA system. The mudra had invested everyone with such energy that an immediate return to normality was impossible. Remembering the stand-off at the train station, the Margis became even more excited. They could no longer tolerate the injustice. Hundreds poured out of the tent and raced toward the station. Silence returned. I slipped deep into meditation and paid no heed to my surroundings. I was unaware when the overseas Margis returned to the hostel. Unaware when, some time later, a great hubbub stirred. Someone ran onto the roof. ìDada, weíve been looking for you! Come quickly, thereís an emergency!î Uninterested, but compelled by duty (I have been the main organizer for overseas Margis during this DMC), I rose slowly to my feet and made my way downstairs. Three or four workers rushed up to me. ìDharmavedananda, whereíve you been? Thereís been an attack!î My senses returned. ìWhere? What happened exactly?î ìThe police went mad at the station area! They fired their rifles randomly in all directions! Many people were hit, and some may be dead!î HE SENDS OUT A CLARION CALL 356 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER I looked at my watch. After midnight. Margis and workers were running here and there. A Dada told me that he was going to the hospital by motorcycle to check on the extent of the injuries and asked me if I wanted to come. I nodded. Within minutes we were there. About twenty men were lying in beds, groaning from bullet shots. One in particular was screaming in pain. Not long after, he died. The condition of four others was critical. The police had fired indiscriminately. Though many women and children were in the crowd, none were hit. It seemed that only divine dispensation had spared them. The suffering was very real. For some reason I was inspired. Their stolid manner in the face of agony, the history in the making of which all were aware, and the fact that Baba chose this moment to give His mudraóI felt, I had to feel, that a noble purpose was behind us. I held someoneís hand here, touched a forehead thereówhat more could I do? The doctors and nurses were caring for them, and I had still to think for the overseas Margis. We went back to constructing more defenses, still discussing how to escape, taking care of some Margis who were inexperienced, helping others to adjust who were physically illóit was late, 3:30 a.m.; we had been fasting in the heat all day; Margis were collapsing, closing their eyes, sleeping. It was enough already. I informed the guards that I, too, would rest until the sun rose, and to wake me if there was news. Dramatic education At sunrise, I awoke. A few workers were talking. ìHas anyone spoken to Baba about all this?î I asked. ìJust now one Dada came with that news. Baba said, ëIím very pained by the suffering of these boys. But why did no one check with me before rushing in front of the police? It was inappropriate.íî Soon after, the trucks finally arrived. We prepared to leave in our normal secret manner. And what about the four imprisoned overseas Margis? After hearing Babaís comment, we decided to deal with their cases through the

courts. ...... 357

Ranchi. The evening papers ran headlines stories about the attack. Photos of the dead Dada and the four severely injured workers appeared with long articles condemning the behavior of the police. Though this conflict may have technically been inappropriate, I feel it was a part of the Cosmic plan. The Margis now understand better the injustice of this government and the general public has gained further evidence of the persecution of Ananda Marga. We have experienced and learned many things through this incident. Maybe I have no right to make the following comment. Nevertheless: Though Babaís words condemned the Margisí action, I feel He knew it would happen, and perhaps on the psychic level caused it to happen. It was obvious that Baba should have been consulted first; I think He speeded up their minds and made them forget to ask Him. In order to create various circ*mstances for our growth, the Tantra guru often causes us to commit mistakes, without which the necessary conditions would never develop. Some people may consider my opinion a heartless one. For me, however, this idea is full of love. I remember Babaís explanation as to why Krishna engineered the Mahabharata war: ìIt was meant for popular education. If Parama Purusha (Cosmic Consciousness) accomplishes everything by mere thought-projection, the lessons would go unnoticed and unlearnt by others....Hence, events like the battle of Kurukshetra had to be conceived and dramatized....Nobody was sparedó even Abhimanyu, the nephew of Krishna and son of Arjuna, was not spared. For in war between virtue and vice, the sparks of the fire spread out on all sides.î101 Conversation on a train New Delhi. While coming here by train, I overheard an interesting conversation. Several educated men were discussing world politics. They spoke in English. When their conversation turned to the predicament of communism, one of them said, ìThe strange fact is that many years ago the guru of Ananda Marga, P.R. Sarkar, predicted in detail the collapse of communism.î Another man made a few comments about Baba, and finished by saying, ìYes, in every age at least one such great intellectual is there.î 101

Namami Krsna Sundaram, Ananda Marga Publications,1981.

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ìBut he also prophesied the demise of capitalism,î said a third. ìI donít know about that.î ìWell, none of us knew about communismís downfall either. Letís wait and see. If I had to wager, Iíd bet whatever Sarkar said is correct.î They all nodded their heads. I was about to stick my neck out and say something, when they changed the topic. The university Tokyo. A Dada returned from India today. The latest news is that Baba has started a new program. A university is being created in Ananda Nagar. Several times daily, jeeps and motorcycles arrive at the Central Office piled high with books to be used for the university library. The

books are perused by a full-time staff of workers and Margis. One of the largest rooms in the office is being used for planning the universityís architecture, courses, staff needs, budgets and so on. They are hoping to open the university before the end of the year, and so, an enormous amount of preparation is required.102 Amnesty cooperates A few days ago, while teaching meditation at Waseda University, I met a few student members of Amnesty International. On their initiative, I was introduced to a local Amnesty leader who spoke fluent English. I explained that Ananda Nagar workers are facing almost daily attacks from thugs and police. I also explained that Amnesty never helped us when Baba was in jail, because His case was then classified as a criminal case. She was sympathetic and requested me to show her proof of my allegations. Since then, we have had several meetings, and I have presented all the newspaper clippings, court decisions and other documents related to the persecution of Ananda Marga in Bengal. Today the Tokyo Amnesty office formally took up our case and began correspondence with their London headquarters. The woman in-charge told me they would insist on a proper investigation, though it may take a few weeks to get the ball rolling. Together with the Master Unit program, the university is one of our most important Central projects. It is concerned not only with academic study but also with practical research on new scientific inventions and agricultural systems at Ananda Nagar. 102

359

Total shock

October 22. The most shocking experience of my life occurred today. At 3:00 in the morning, Dada Artapremananda woke me up and called me into his office where he had been sleeping alone. His eyes bulged, his body shivered continuously, and his skin was pale. He looked as if he had gone mad. ìI ... received ... a phone call two hours ago,î he stammered. ìI couldnít believe it, and just sat here dazed since then. But ... but ... now another call came. So I had to tell someone.î ìWhat is it?î I said. He started weeping and shaking furiously. I put my hand on his shoulder to try to comfort him. ìBaba ... is ... gone.î ìWhat! What are you talking about?î I said. His crying and shaking increased. ìDid you have a bad dream or something?î ìNo. No. Oh, Baba. First Didi Hemavati called me from Korea. Now someone called from Calcutta. Itís true. Babaís left His body.î ìItís impossible! I canít believe it, and I donít accept it.î ìOh, I donít know what to do or what to think,î he said. ìNo, this is ridiculous. Baba couldnít have died. He said He would stay until His work was done. It must be something else. I am going to call Calcutta.î ìAlright.î After a few minutes I was able to get through. Dada Bhaveshananda answered. ìWhat happened?î I said. His voice was sober, slow and somewhat shaking, ìIt seems ... Baba

left.î ìWhat do you mean seems?î ìThe life force is gone for some hours now. No pulse. Nothing.î ìPerhaps Heís in samadhi or some special state. Maybe He will come out of it after some time.î ìWell, we hope so. But ... I donít think so.î I tried to think of something else to say, but my mind went blank. I passed the phone to Artapremanandaji, and he spoke briefly in Hindi. Then he hung up. He turned to me, saying, ìWhat should we do?î HE SENDS OUT A CLARION CALL 360 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìWell, I simply donít believe Babaís died,î I said, almost calmly. ìBut in any case, something extraordinaryís happened, so I want to go to India immediately.î ìYes, Iíll also go.î ìNow we should tell the other Dadas.î ìOh, I canít talk anymore.î ìItís okay. Iíll tell them.î I woke up the others and brought them in the room. I felt very cold, but otherwise almost normal. After speaking a few words of introduction to prepare their minds, I said, ìTheyíre all telling that Baba has died.î No one said a word. But all four of them stared at me eerily. Their faces all wore strange expressions, and they edged closer toward me. ìThereís no explanation,î I said. ìAnd personally, I just donít believe it.î They could hardly speak. I donít know why, but I think they immediately accepted it as true. Without saying a word, Moksanandaji got up, took his jacket, and walked out of the house. The others wandered aimlessly or sat and stared at the walls. I was sure there was more to the story. Unworried, I took a shower, entered the meditation room, and sang kiirtan as if it were an ordinary day. No one joined me. At 9:00 I phoned our travel agent and booked tickets for Artapremanandaji and myself. By 10:00 we were out the door and on our way to the airport. Sitting in the plane, I was still feeling relatively normal when Artapremanandaji turned to me and said, ìI just remembered something Bhaveshananda told me which I didnít tell you. Theyíve already put Babaís body on the ice.î His words hit me like a sledgehammer. ìWhat? But then ... He must really be ... Oh, God, no! Oh, no! Then Heís really dead!î I turned my face away. At this point I canít clearly remember what happened, except that I went mad. A million ideas and visions passed through me. I thought of every possibility of what it meant for Baba and for me. I wept at my loss, wept at the worldís loss, worried for Baba, blamed Him, felt as lonely as a boat lost at sea, burned in my physical heart, felt guilty, felt rejected, felt insane. I even thought of leaving 361

Ananda Marga. Why should I stay without Baba? Our mission was not yet finished, and we would never be able to complete it without Him. After about an hour, I regained my composure. It was just a test. He knew what He was doing, as He had always known. There must be

a great purpose behind it. Though I never imagined He would do such a thing, I had to accept it. Though it was intolerable, I had to tolerate it. I would have to go ahead, and I steeled my mind for the task. I forced it to be positive, if not happy. Throughout this time I hadnít spoken to Artapremanandaji. At this point I turned toward him, saying, ìIím okay now.î He nodded his head. When we reached Bangkok, we called Japan. Only a few minutes before, Moksanandaji had returned. After receiving the news, he had strayed through the streets of Tokyo for fifteen hours. He remains active without His physical body Yesterday I received an emergency visa from the Indian embassy in Thailand. After discussing the matter with a few workers, it was decided that all Didis and Dadas could come. We phoned Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong. Today at 2:00 a.m., while standing in the line for the immigration check in Delhi, I befriended a Japanese tourist and translated all the procedures for him. Just after receiving my entry stamp, an elderly official in civil clothes directed me to the side of the room. ìYouíve come for the funeral, havenít you?î he said. ìWhat funeral?î ìYou know very well. The Anand Marg funeral.î ìIím sorry, I donít know what youíre talking about.î ìListen. Iím an old man. Iíve seen you in Calcutta. I know youíre a Margi.î ìSir, Iíve never been to Calcutta.î ìI donít want to disturb your program. If you admit the truth to me, I will allow you to go ahead for the funeral. Why should I trouble you at a moment like this? But if you persist in this drama, I will have you deported. Now, please confirm that you are an Anand Margi.î ìA what? Look, itís very late. Iím tired, and I donít know what youíre talking about.î HE SENDS OUT A CLARION CALL 362 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER He turned toward another official and directed the Japanese man to be pulled out of the line, suspecting him also to be a Margi. I would have laughed internally, but I wasnít in great humor. For Godís sake, I was enough troubled, and now on top of it, I was going to get deported. Surely they would find out the truth because my suitcase contained my orange uniform, and Ananda Marga books and documents. I had never before been stopped like this, except in Calcutta, so I hadnít taken any precautions. He asked questions for another half hour. I desperately clung to my story that I didnít know Ananda Marga, and was following nobody and nothing except my own nose. He didnít believe a single word. Meanwhile, the Japanese fellow was questioned by someone else. At last the old man turned to an assistant, saying, ìGo check his luggage for any Anand Marg related items.î As I hopelessly handed over the luggage key, I thought, Baba, if You get me out of this one, then Iíll accept Youíre still active, even without Your physical body. About ten minutes later, the assistant returned. He shook his head. ìI canít believe it,î said the officer in Hindi. ìAre you sure thereís

nothing?î ìNothing,î said the assistant, shrugging his shoulders. The officer scowled. He stared into my eyes. I looked back nonchalantly, hardly believing my luck. ìIím sure youíre a Margi,î he said. ìBut ... youíre free to go now.î ìThanks a lot,î I grunted. Then I thought, Baba, Youíre still with me! How did You manage it? I picked up my luggage, and walked to the green channel. ìDo you have anything to declare?î asked a customís official. ìOnly a small cheap camera,î I said. ìShow it to me,î he said. Opening my suitcase, I shuffled my orange clothes and other possessions around. The camera wasnít there, and neither was a box of empty cassette tapes. So that was it! The assistant knew Iíd never expose his theft. ìSorry,î I said. ìForgot I left it in Thailand.î As the official waved me through, I looked back and saw the poor Japanese man sweating under the old manís investigation. 363

Losing my center

Calcutta. Thousands of Margis are here, eyes glazed or filled with tears. Because I had already adjusted myself during the plane flight with Artapremanandaji, I felt calm. I stood in a long line waiting to enter Babaís house to see His body. Next to me stood Cintamani, a Margi from Norway. He was particularly lucky, even inspired. After not going to India for about ten years, something had pushed him to come here one month ago. He was blessed to experience Baba in the last weeks of His life. We were calmly talking together when suddenly, unexpectantly, a surge of feeling rose from my chest, and before I knew what I was doing, I was sobbing. As my knees gave way, Cintamani held me up. ìItís okay, Dadaji, itís okay,î he said. Now Iíd lost my center. Nothing could console me. I dragged myself toward the house, crying continuously. When I entered the door, I saw Him. His face was peaceful, beautiful. Immediately I felt alright. He knew what He was doing. I accepted it fully. After leaving the room, I went to the back of the line. I waited, and again entered; again stared at Him. Again and again I made the circuit. It was my last chance to see Him, so why should I do anything else? A few hours later, a Dada approached me and asked me if I wanted to run the video camera inside Babaís house. I accepted, knowing that while it wouldnít be enjoyable, it was a way to keep busy, and remain inside Babaís room at the same time. I filmed thousands of Margis as they shuffled around the body. Each face was unique, but each was filled with anguish. Occasionally, someone collapsed, screaming in agony. Some workers and Margis who I highly respected, lost all control, and acted with unconscious abandon. As for me, at first I believed I had regained my composure. But again and again, I lost it, and wept bitterly. I filmed many brothers and sisters that I hadnít seen in years. It was not the time, however, to say hello. Why and how He left The Central workers called a meeting of overseas Margis and workers.

Who was there who did not wonder why and how Baba had suddenly left us? HE SENDS OUT A CLARION CALL 364 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Babaís personal assistant, Dada Keshavananda, told us about the days leading up to October 21st: ìSince August, He was clearly in a hurry. He spent very little time alone, instead calling frequent group and individual meetings. Over the last weeks, many times in the wee hours of the morning, say 3:00 or 4:00, He woke me, and instructed me to call certain workers. The first time it happened I told Him that it was 3:00, and that they would surely be sleeping. He became angry, and said, If those workers are not here within ten minutes, I shall never give them the program thatís in my mind.í Of course I got them. We all became exhausted with His speed, but instead of slowing down, He accelerated. Sometimes we talked between ourselves, wondering at the cause of His haste. No one, however, came close to imagining that He was busy putting the final touches on His lifeís work. ìOnly one week before His departure, Baba gave kapalika initiation to the largest number of workers ever. He requested one hundred candidates. Because He had always been very selective in approving workers for this purpose, we were not prepared, and could only round up seventy-nine. He always rejected more applicants than He approved. But this time, without even asking any questions, He approved all. We were bewildered at His behavior. ìImmediately after the initiations, Baba became sick. Well, at least that was normal. After taking on many personsí samskaras, He usually became sick. And this was by far the biggest number. ìOn the last day, October 21st, His health actually improved. It was better than it had been in a long time. The morning was normal. He was working with the same tremendous speed that he had shown during these last months. Though late on the previous night He had composed the final two Prabhat Sangiits (numbers 5017 and 5018), He rose at 3:00 a.m. as usual to perform His spiritual practices. Later, He reviewed the work of various departments and gave instructions while shavingóeven this was usual for His hectic schedule. He always told us, ëYou should not only be prepared to die while working, you should even work while dying.í These words He clearly practiced. ìShortly before 2:00 p.m., He said to me, ëI want to think.í As I shut the door, I thought, Heís never said such a thing before. After a 365

few minutes He called me. I believe it was during those minutes that He carefully reviewed all His planning, and confirmed that nothing remained to be done. He called one of the new avadhutas, and spent one hour alone with that Dada. That was the last work of Babaís lifeó personal attention given to a young worker. After that, He said to me, ëI want to rest now.í These words also He had never before spoken. About five minutes later, He rang the callbell, and when I came, He pointed at His chest, and said, ëHeart.í ìI immediately ran for the doctors. They came quickly, and began massage. But as they felt for Babaís pulse, their faces became ashen. When they said, ëThe life-force is gone,í we could not believe it.î ......

Dada Mantreshvarananda, the Central Public Relations Secretary said: ìWhy did He leave so suddenly? I remember several years ago, Baba said, ëWhen my work is done, I will leave immediately. I wonít remain even a single extra moment.í He wrote hundreds of books, provided sufficient guidance in every realm of work and life, fully established the global structure, and, most importantly, trained the workers. What more was there to do? The rest depends on us. ìYes, it depends on us. About ten days before, I think it was 12th October, during the reporting session, Baba asked us three times, ëCan I depend on you to carry on my mission?í We repeatedly replied, ëYes, You can depend on us.í ìMany workers wondered what it meant, because the wording implied Baba was leaving us, though no one dared utter such a thought. Then He made us take the following oath: ëAll my energy, all my mind, all my thoughts, all my deeds are to be goaded unto the path of the collective elevation of human society without neglecting other animate and inanimate objects right from this moment until the last point of my living on this earth.í ìThe power was such that everyone became super-charged, and felt ready to do any work. ìA few days later, Baba asked me, ëMantreshvarananda, which Prabhat Sangiita do people generally like?í I mentioned a few songs, HE SENDS OUT A CLARION CALL 366 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER then I added more, and still I couldnít decide, and added even more. Baba said, ëIf I give you time, maybe youíll list all the songs. But do people like, Tumi esechile kaoke nabole nabolia cholegele?í (Meaning: You came without telling anyone, and You went back without telling anyone.) I said, ëYes, Baba, that is a very sweet song.í Iíll remember forever how He smiled at that time. ìAbout the same time, while dictating a book to three of usó Vijayanandaji, the General Secretary and meóHe said, ëDo you know that all the doctors are experimenting on me? But they cannot cure me. And no one can cure me. It depends on my samkalpaómy vow of determination. If I think disease, disease comes. If I think cure, cure comes. And it completely depends on me what I should think.í ìThe Calcutta Circle workers meeting finished on schedule on the 17th. But Baba did not give those workers permission to leave. This violated His long-standing system. The Delhi Sector meeting started, and also some global workers arrived. Only on the 21st, did we realize He had thus arranged for maximum workers to be here for His Great Departure. ìOn the 20th, the night before His departure, He held a meeting for Prout workersóboth Margis and Dadas. He questioned each Margi, one by one, taking their reports. Then He had us repeat the oath, the same one which we had pledged in the October 12th meeting. As far as my knowledge goes, this was the first and last time He had not only Dadas but also Margis collectively making a promise. He then explained the situation of the whole world, describing how demonic people are making efforts to destroy the social and ecological orders, while good people are rapidly uniting together, preparing to fight those demons.

ìThen He said, ëSerpents are exhaling venom everywhere. It is the right moment, it is the proper moment, it is the most opportune moment. Now at this critical juncture, should we go on preaching the gospel of peace? No, no, no! So before my departure from this world, I have made the necessary preparation for the fight against these demons.í ìHe added in verse-form: Serpents are exhaling venom everywhere. The sweet gospels of peace sound like empty mockery. That is why on the eve of my departure from this world, I send out a clarion call to all those in every house who are preparing to fight against the demons in human form. 367

ìWe were all shocked. What is this? Baba is departing from this world? Then He added, ëSo said the great poet Rabindranath Tagore.í We all breathed a sigh of relief, believing He had simply been quoting a poem. No one guessed that in truth this was His own message, and last message.103 ìAfter the reporting, Baba talked to me alone in His room. He asked if everyone was inspired, which I confirmed. Then He asked me what they all thought about the poem. I said, ëBaba, it is appropriate, and really it is happening in each Margiís life.í He nodded His head. One last thing I want to add. Two or three weeks ago, Baba said, ëMany people may say, ìBaba, I love you.î In truth, they may or may not love. But he who loves my ideology really loves me. Because I have merged myself with my ideology.íî ...... Himanshuji, Babaís youngest brother, came to Calcutta a few days ago, together with several other family members. He said: ìI was in His room on the last night, the 20th, with some of our family. While taking His meal, He spoke to us all, ëWhenever the senior person of the family or the guru dies, the others must be very careful for one year, because many misfortunes may come.í ìI didnít accept what He said at face-value, and said, ëWhy need it happen like that, Baba? It will all be due only to psychological reasons, which can be overcome.í ìëNo,í He said. ëThere is no scientific explanation. You have simply got to accept it. Have you heard the phrase Maha Guru Ni Pat? It means the departure of the Great Guru. It means the nearest and most dear one leaves this world. Do you know what you should do in that case?í ìAs we didnít know, He continued, ëFor one year, one should not make any luxurious function, construct any special lighting or decoraBabaís exact Bengali while quoting Tagoreís poem was: Naíginiiraí caíridike pheliteche visíaíkta vishvaís Shaíntir lalita vaíníii shonaíibe vyartha parihaísa. Vidaíy nebaír aíge taíi díaík diye jaíi Daínaver saíthe samígraímer tare Prastiita hateche yaíraí ghare ghare. 103

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tion, or arrange any party. Sorrow should be observed for one year. You must be very careful for one year.í ìI believed He was only speaking philosophy or theory. I never imagined we would have to apply His words from the very next day. ìAnother point is that I used to inform Baba of the day I would

return to my home and take permission from Him to leave. But this time, for the first time, He asked me when I was leaving. I was thinking of leaving after two days, that is Monday, but I thought He was asking because He wanted me to stay much longer. Since I didnít want to annoy Him, I couldnít find any words to reply. Then in a loud voice, He said, ëIím simply asking if youíll be here tomorrow, Sunday, or not.í I said, ëYes, Baba, Iím leaving on Monday.í He said, ëIím not asking about Monday, only Sunday.í ìAt last He sang a folk song of Bihar to us. I laughed at this, thinking He was joking. He noticed my laugh, and said, ëItís not ordinary music. Itís a classical song.í The songís meaning was ëIf I will not be here any longer, my cart will still continue to move by the power of God.íî ...... Dada Vimalananda told us about an incident that explains, perhaps better than any, why He had to leave us: ìA few years ago, during a meeting of Proutists, one Margi asked, ëBaba, when will Prout be established?í ìBaba replied, ëWhen you are perched in a fruit tree, you can only eat the fruits on the tree, not the ones on the ground. When you stand on the ground, you can only eat the fruits which lie on the ground, not the ones hanging on the tree. Those who will get This (He pointed to Himself), will not get That (meaning Prout society). Which one do you want, This or That?í ìThe Margis protested, saying, ëOh, Baba, We want both. We want both Prout and You.í ìBaba said, ëNo, no. You can have only one or the other.í ìHe didnít solve all the problems before He left. He left the guidelines, showed some demonstrations, and provided the force to achieve the solutions. We have to solve the problems. We have to establish Prout.î ...... 369

After this story, Vimalanandaji told us another one which explained something about the purpose of Babaís life: In the early 1960ís, when Margis could chat intimately with Baba, one Margi ó perhaps Dasarath Dada, a family achaya ó said, ìBaba, You meditate every day even though You have no need to meditate. What is the object of Your meditation? And, Baba, if You donít mind, can You tell us what is Your mantra?î Baba became quiet and then said, ìI meditate on all of my children throughout the world.î ìAnd Your mantra, Baba?î His mood shifted, and some profound emotion swept through His facial muscles as He said, ìMy mantra is Manusíoham (I am a human being). If I miss ideating on this mantra for even a single breath, My worldly existence becomes jeopardized.î With these words, Baba took a deep breath, and His body shivered. The Margis grabbed His feet, rubbed them and, fearing He might in that very moment depart, they cried. The orange fire Since Iíve been here, the sky has been overcast. It drizzles continuouslyóadding to the gloomy feeling. I am told that the weather was

fine until the moment Baba left on the 21st. This morning, the weather was still dismal. About ten thousand Margis were gathered on the front lawn in front of the Central Office. All of us either sat or stood around the great cement funeral pyre which has been constructed in the shape of a six-pointed star (as in our symbol). It will remain as a permanent reminder of this day. The crowd was abnormally restrained in their behavior. They sang non-stop Prabhat Sangiit and kiirtan. At noon, the pall bearers appeared, carrying an open coffin in which Baba lay. Almost in one voice, thousands of persons let out a gasp, then a sigh. Though many wept quietly, the overall atmosphere was calm. According to Ananda Marga system, a short ceremony to console the bereaved was performed in which all participated. A final Guru Puja was sung, sung with a feeling never before known. Purified butter was poured on His body, the fire lit, and thick, dark smoke rose. Exactly at that moment, two things happened. After six HE SENDS OUT A CLARION CALL 370 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER days of continuous clouds, the sky suddenly cleared sufficiently for the sun to shine down brightly, the rays illuminating only the cremation area. At the same time, a flock of birds dropped down from the clouds in a V-formation, executed a tight circle directly over His body, and flew off in steep ascent. For three hours the orange fire burned. The crowd continued to sit and sing. During all that time, the sun shined brightly. At last, the fire was gone, and only the slight remains went on smoking. The sun again disappeared, the sky grew cloudy and somber, and gradually the Margis dispersed. ...... Later in the evening, I was sitting alone on the roof, thinking of nothing in particular. I felt freer than ever and full of love for Baba. For a moment, my mind looked at itself and wondered why it was feeling so peaceful. Immediately I knew: a previously unrecognized impediment in my relation with Baba had been burned. I found that I had always harbored a fear, deep in my subconscious mind, that something in my guru was not perfect, that some sort of personal ambition or purpose may have affected Him. Though I had not been aware of this fear, it had nevertheless subtly affected me. Now it was abundantly clear that He was a man who had not been guided by even the minutest ego. His death was the final proof. Though He had obviously planned His final moment in detail, He made no drama of it. The manner of His departure was in perfect silent harmony with the message of His life. 371

Epilogue If my story were divided dramatically, my first years on the spiritual path and in Ananda Marga would be Act I, and the period I physically knew Baba would be Act II. His physical departure leads me into Act III. Act III is the most critical one, for it is in His absence that we will see the test of His teachings, His love and the Tantric power that He exudes without the burden of a physical body.

A few years ago, He mentioned in a workersí meeting: ìAfter my physical passing, Margis and workers will be blessed with greater psychic and spiritual attention than I am presently able to provide. They will be very fortunate.î At that time we gave little importance to His words, thinking He would remain with us for a long time. Though it is still too early to know how Act III will unfold, we can take a look at some of the earliest scenes. Continuation of His system Calcutta. 28 October. Several newspapers reported: ìIn the aftermath of P.R. Sarkarís passing, a great power struggle flares among Ananda Margaís Central workers, as they fight over establishing new systems and new leadership.î As usual, the newspapers write with an authority they donít deserve. Here everyone is aware of Babaís warning to His brother and other family members that ìAfter Maha Guru Ni Pat, the departure of the great guru, for one year you must be very careful.î No one contemplates making major changes during this period. As the Central Committee already exists, it is only necessary to chose a new president. Today, without fanfare, Dada Shraddhananda was unanimously elected for the post. From all corners of our organization, he is regarded as a saintly man, simple, straightforward, and uninvolved in EPILOGUE 372 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER political psychology or favoritism. Over seventy years old, he spent the last years working in a small room as Central Finance Secretary and editor of the Central newsletter. Though it has no relation to the above, now, while writing, I suddenly remember my dream of January 1987104. Baba gave me a glimpse of a symbolic future when I should be careful not to forget Him due to the presence of other personalities, no matter how outstanding they might be. ìWhatever happens I planned long agoî New Delhi. November. I donít know how many Margis and workers told me stories of their dreams or thoughts which clearly foreshadowed Babaís departure. I heard so many that it seems like nearly everyone had some form of premonition. I recall my own experience last June in Ananda Nagar: for the first and last time in my life I was wild to see Baba at the close of His concluding discourse. Then I became inconsolably depressed after my last look at Him when His car sped away from my sprinting feet. Though I was consciously unaware that it was my final moment with Baba, my heart obviously felt it. ...... Dada Vicitrananda told me about an old Filipina woman. In the evening of the 21st October, she telephoned him at our Manila office. ìIs there any news about Baba?î she asked. ìIím sure Heís fine, mother,î Dada replied. ìBut I know thereís some problem. Can you please call Calcutta? I cannot telephone from my little village.î ìAlright, donít worry, mother.î She called an hour later, saying, ìDid you get through, Dadaji?î ìI couldnít get the line yet, mother.î ìPlease. Please keep trying.î He had not tried. Now he knew she would go on troubling him until he confirmed Babaís health. So he called Calcutta. He was shocked

to hear that Baba was lying in trance. That was the dream when I was on a mountain together with unknown Margi mountain-people listening to the two leaders of Ananda Marga. I forgot about Baba, who had become an old man. 104

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Vacitranandaji then called the old lady, and said, ìMother, you were right. Baba is not well. He is in some sort of trance.î ìNo. No. Itís worse than that,î she said. One hour later, Dada called Calcutta again, and heard that Baba was no more. After going through his own agony, he called the old lady. ìMother ... you ... were right. Baba is ... gone.î There was a moment of silence, then she hung up the phone without a word. ...... Today I was on a train with Dada Bodhprajinananda who told me the following story: ìOn 11th August in Minali, India, I had a dream. I was in Tiljala (Calcutta). I saw Babaís body on the main stage. It was covered with a sheet, lying on a cot. A huge number of Margis and workers sat in front of Him, and everyone was weeping. ìI went near His body, though I also was crying. I lifted the cloth from His face, and said to Him, ëBaba, You left us without proper guidance and direction. How will we remain in this world? How will we establish our organizational system, Prout, and a moralist society?í ìThen Baba woke up, sat up smiling, and said, ëWhatever I had to give, I have given. You do more and more kiirtan and meditation. Do as much noble work for the cause of society as you can. I am always with you. Go ahead.í ìThen again He laid down, and the dream finished. ìI told the Margi in whose house I was staying (he is a bank manager). Also Dada Harimayananda was with me, and I told him too. They encouraged me to call Calcutta to see if Baba was alright. I called, and found out Baba had just entered hospital, and was very sick. ìAfter two months, when He really died, the thought of this dream helped me very much to overcome my sorrow.î There are many such stories. But letís leave it at that for today. ...... Dada Aksayananda tells another story. It is a long story, but this one will have to win the final prize for experiences showing how Baba pre-planned everything. Dada said: EPILOGUE 374 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER In 1979, Ananda Marga purchased a house in Lake Gardens, Calcutta for our Marga Guru Quarters. I was then Babaís second personal assistant. I frequently had the chance to talk with Him while performing massage. It was shortly after moving into the new house. I was alone with Him when I said, ìBaba, at last there is a house in Calcutta which belongs to us. How would it be if we were to plant the grounds around the building and make a garden on the roof?î ìYou can do it,î He replied, ìbut do you know what the result will be? If you plant around the house, the roots of the plants will damage the buildingís foundation. If you make a roof garden, the roof will be

spoiled by water draining out of the flower pots.î We didnít talk for a few minutes. When I looked at His face He seemed to be sleeping. Then a thought occurred to me. I started thinking we should get a much larger piece of land than this with a bigger house. Then I could make a big garden away from the building. There Baba could walk and enjoy the plants and the fresh air. ìAksayananda, are you saying anything?î Baba suddenly asked. ìNothing, Baba.î ìNo, no. You were telling me something.î I understood that Baba had been listening to my thoughts, so I replied, ìYes, Baba,î and expressed my thoughts to Him. Baba only smiled and kept silent. He became reserved and silent for a few minutes. Then Baba closed His eyes for more than ten minutes. I wondered whether Baba was angry at me because at first I had told Him that I liked the new house, and then had started talking about getting another. Quite suddenly, Baba asked me to come near. I went close to His head, but Baba still did not open His eyes. I said, ìYes, Baba.î He opened His eyes with a loving smile, and placed both His palms on my cheeks. ìYes, my son, what you thought may come true some day.î He asked me to sit in meditation pose, close my eyes, and keep my mind concentrated in my sixth chakra. He then asked me what I saw. I told Baba that I saw a grand house surrounded by beautiful trees and many plants. He told me to go further and see more. Then I heard the sounds of hundreds of birds and saw that they were flying from tree to tree. Again Baba asked me to see more. I told Him that I saw Him walking under the trees on a narrow path. Some Dadas were with Him. Baba asked me to go towards the house. 375

ìWhat are you seeing now?î ìBaba, I see that the building has two parts, one on the east and one on the west. Also there are a few underground rooms.î ìGo inside the western room. What do you see there?î ìBaba, there are rooms but no one is there.î ìGo downstairs to the underground room.î ìBaba, thereís not enough light to see clearly.î ìGo outside and look around.î ìBaba, I see the rooms in the eastern part of the building.î ìGo inside. Now tell me what you see.î ìBaba, there are many Dadas and Didis there.î ìGo further inside. Tell me what you see.î ìThere is a door, but itís closed.î ìOpen it. What do you see?î ìI see You there, Baba, lying on a bed.î ìAll right. Come out of the room and go upstairs. What do you see?î ìBaba, there is a big function going on with many people, and the room is beautifully decorated. Baba, You are sitting there with some other people.î ìCan you recognize them?î ìNo, Baba. I have never seen them before.î ìIs anybody else there?î ìYes. Two Dadas are doing something. They seem very busy.î ìAnd what else do you see?î

ìBaba, I see a marriage going on.î ìCan you recognize the bride and groom?î ìNo, Baba.î ìNow come downstairs. What do you see?î ìA fountain.î ìAnd now what do you see?î ìBaba, I see you going up in an elevator,î I answered with surprise. ìGo inside again. What do you see now?î ìBaba, all the Dadas and Didis are weeping.î ìAsk them why they are weeping.î ìBaba, I am asking them, but no one is replying. They just raise their heads and look at me. No one will answer.î ìAsk them again.î EPILOGUE 376 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìBaba, they are simply weeping, and not replying.î ìAll right. Come out now. Do you recognize the location of the house?î ìIt is somewhere in Calcutta, Baba, but not in Lake Gardens.î Then the demonstration was over. He said, ìDonít tell anyone about this just now. Keep it to yourself for now.î Not long after, I was transferred to Kerala State. In January 1983, I made my first visit to Babaís new residence in Tiljala, Calcutta. There was no way for me to express my inner joy at finding that what Baba had shown me a few years before was now coming true. Years later, on 11 September 1990, Baba came out of the hospital and at midnight He called for me. While I was massaging Him, He asked me to talk quietly about something so that He would feel sleepy. ìBaba, what you showed me in that demonstration in 1979 has come completely true now to the last detail. I had been wondering if the fountain would really be built, but it had come just as it was in the vision. Lastly the elevator was installed and reality was completely like my vision. I thought now I could tell everyone.î105 ìYou are forgetting one feature of the things I showed you. Try to recollect.î I tried and tried to remember, but I could not remember anything that was not already there in reality. I asked Baba to please tell me what it was that I had forgotten. ìWhen the time comes, you will remember everything. You see, whatever happens I planned it all long ago. Whenever I take determination for any purpose, that thing must happen and no one can stop it.î The next month, Baba left His physical body. Recently I went to Madras to conduct a spiritual seminar. As I gave a talk about Baba, I suddenly remembered the missing element in my vision that Baba had referred to. Yes, after Babaís passing, all the Dadas and Didis wept in Babaís quarters for two days. None of us could speak even if we tried. We just looked at each other and wept. With You in Your room Tokyo. I miss Baba so much, that there is a constant ache in my chest. Early this morning, however, He relieved it slightly by a dreamó my first dream of Him after His passing: 105

The marriage of Babaís adopted son Kinshuk had also been held.

377

After having fieldwalk with Baba, I was with Him and several other

workers in His room in Calcutta. A few minutes passed in normal discussions, during which He smiled and joked. Then He turned to speak confidentially to me. He said, ìWhat do you dearly want?î I looked up and saw my answer written in three-dimensional letters suspended in the air. I read this reply to Him, without understanding what I was saying. Understanding carries no weight, I thought. Only feeling matters. Only love matters. Baba spoke intimately with me, ìBut there is someone else, isnít there?î ìThereís no one else for me, Baba,î I said. ìWhat about that lady in your class?î He asked. It took me a moment, and then I knew whom He meant. I almost laughed, because my feeling for her was simply as a student. ìNo, itís nothing,î I said. ìOnly You.î He smiled. It was only playful loversí talk, and of course He knew the truth. He hugged me tightly, and I began to cry, feeling I would again soon be separated from Him. ìPlease post me in India or anywhere that I can be close to You, Baba. I want to be with You in Your room.î Now I remembered that this is what the three-dimensional letters said. So I added, ìThis is what I want more than anything else.î He didnít reply, so I embraced Him more closely, completely, and went on crying. In this state I woke up, and indeed I was crying. My pillow was soaked in tears. I rubbed my face in those tears, and felt Him inside of me. And I knew this was His strange way of comforting meófor, though my throat swelled and tears flowed, the top of my head throbbed rhythmically and all the cells of my body quivered with His blissfulness. Our case with Amnesty temporarily rests 1991. The woman from Amnesty International called me, saying, ìIím sorry, we have not yet received a reply from our London office concerning your case. Iím very concerned about the persecution in Ananda Nagar, so I intend to give London a big push. I thought to ask if you have any more information or documents youíd like to add.î EPILOGUE 378 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ìIím very thankful to you,î I said, ìbut thereís been a change. You see, in October, P.R. Sarkar, the propounder of Ananda Marga, passed away.î ìOh, Iím very sorry to hear that.î ìNo need to be sorry. Thereís benevolent purpose in everything. Since then, the daily attacks at Ananda Nagar have ceased. Itís now completely peaceful, and we are free to engage in purely constructive work.î ìOh, well, thatís a great relief to me.î ìI might add that the violence stopped, I guess, because the communists believe Ananda Marga will crumble in the absence of Sarkar. But we always gain strength out of adverse conditions. The annual gathering in Ananda Nagar, which was concluded a few days ago, was even bigger than usual. More than 20,000 people attended. Many were new people who had not even seen Sarkar. So, I wouldnít be surprised if, after watching our development for a few months or so, the communists

recommence their attacks against us.î ìWell, I sure hope not. In any case, Iíll keep your files safe. Let me know if the trouble starts up again.î ìYou will see it. But I will not.î Taipei. A few days ago, Dada Pranavatmakananda interviewed Mr N.C. Ganguli, an old colleague of Babaís from the Jamalpur Railway accounts office.106 He never learned meditation, though he held Baba in highest esteem. Ganguli said that daily after lunch many of the staff would gather around Babaís desk for discussion. Sometime in 1952, Baba was talking to them about communism. He said it was an inhumane philosophy, and therefore would not survive for long. It would eventually completely disappear from the world. Not only would communism face such a fate, even the Soviet Union itself would disintegrate. At that time Stalinís nation was a powerful force, so the statement was in every sense surprising. (Even now that communism is in trouble, Since shortly after Babaís passing, Pranavatmakanandaji has had a special duty which I envy. He is incharge of collecting the accounts of Baba-experiences from Margis, non-Margis and workers. The amount of material has so far been enormous ó already hundreds of video tapes. We can guess that his completed reports will contain sufficient new information for writing scores of books about Baba. 106

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it does not appear likely that the USSR will collapse.) So Ganguli asked, ìPrabhat Ranjan, will we see all this within our lifetime?î Baba replied, ìYou will see it. But I will not.î107 ...... Pranavatmakanandaji also told me of another incident from that Jamalpur office. One of Babaís colleagues clearly remembered that around 1959, Baba told him, ìIn my family the longevity is not more than seventy years. My grandfather and my father both died early. So there is very little chance that Iíll cross seventy. If I were to cross seventy, then I would personally show the world the power of my ideology. But there is very little chance of that.î Baba died at the age of sixty-nine. Why He didnít allow me to meet Him in jail Komsomolsk, Russia. Some part of the first Vedas were composed in central Russia 15,000 years ago.108 Those Aryan people migrated southeast, where they mixed their Vedic culture with the Tantric culture of the peoples of northeast India. Though the Aryans were an aggressive warlike people, they were knowledgable about spiritual philosophy. The effect of those days seems to remain here, because many Russians are extremely thirsty for psychic and spiritual experience. I found them intelligent, dynamic, and usually responsible; and they are enthusiastic about anything having an occult flavor. (That my picture of them should not appear overrosy, let me add that they also have a tendency toward over-argumentation and over-intellectualization.) 109 Though Ganguli did indeed witness the disintegration of the USSR the following December, at the time of this entry no one could confidently predict such a development. 108 Veda means deep knowledge. The Vedic scriptures are the most ancient and voluminous of all the Indian spiritual literature. The Vedic writings are more philosophical and theoretical, while the Tantric texts are more practical. 109 To make this picture even more complete I should mention that I later worked in Mongolia. Though most Mongolians are not so desperate for spiritual knowledge like the Russians, they have a greater tendency toward a spiritually-centered lifestyle. Before communism took over Mongolia, it was nick-named ìLittle Indiaî because of its affinity for spiritual culture. The people seem as simple as the renowned devotees from 107

Krishnaís time, who were cowherds.

EPILOGUE 380 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

Ananda Marga is growing at such speed that our workers must be careful not to pass most of their time only fulfilling requests to teach meditation or answering endless questions. The need for organizing social work is just as great. Fortunately, Margis of Japan and Taiwan are proving helpful in arranging medical equipment, clothing, and other donations. Local government bodies, clubs and organizations are also cooperative. In fact, for every offer of cooperation that we accept, there are many others that we are forced to reject due to our own limitations. Our new Margis hired a professional translator, who is regarded as the foremost English speaker of Khabarovsk. When we requested her to join our meditation, she hesitated and said, ìI donít really think I am capable of such a thing.î Eventually she did sit with us, for a full hour. Afterward she said, ìThere must be something wrong with me. I couldnít help crying throughout almost the entire meditation.î Imagine, this lady who had not the slightest Tantric knowledge, has already had an awakening of the spiritual force in her spine. I remember what Baba told me during a walk in Germany in 1979: ìIn the future, big spiritual festivals will be held in both Moscow and Beijing.î At the time I could not imagine how our programs could be openly held in the two countries which most represented the suppression of spirituality. ...... Khabarovsk, Russia. During a question-and-answer session with a group of Margis, a sister said, ìIt is clear to all of us that Dadas and Didis possess immense devotion for Baba. Some of us also feel a little love for Him. But how can we ever hope to achieve a deep communion with Guru, when we are unable to meet Him? You were lucky. We are unlucky. î Before replying, I momentarily thought of Baba, as I always try to do before any action, and, without expecting it, a flood of energy rose in my spine. All my cells tingled as the answer thrust itself before my eyesóan answer I had searched for so long. There was that question that remained unanswered within me for so many years: Why had He caused me such intense suffering by not allowing me to meet Him during my first seven years as a worker? Why did He stop me that day I was determined to break into His Patna prison cell? Why did He pull me into a trance while sitting in the prison office during which He 381

psychically stroked my head and said, ìThere is a very good reason why I am not allowing you to meet me ... a very good reasonî. I finally knew the reason! It was for the sake of people who would never be able to physically meet Him, to whom I could say with uncontrived conviction: ìRelation with Guru is a purely spiritual matter. Meeting Him was beautiful, but it carries no guarantee. Though my words may sound trite, I can only repeat, the true Guru, the eternal lover, the eternal guide, the eternal Oneóis within you. But He is a jealous lover, who will only embrace you if you truly care for Him.î And when such people say, ìBut, Dada, thatís only philosophyîó then I explain my experience. I offer my Baba story. Though it is a story which is far from finished.

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Prati-Saincara: Introversial Phase Saincara: Extroversial Phase Mahat Tattva: Cosmic I-feeling Aham Tattva: Doer I-feeling Citta Tattva: I-as-object feeling Etherial Factor Aerial Factor Luminous Factor Liquid Factor Solid Factor

Cycle of Creation Human Life Animal Life Plant Life Cosmic Mind 383

Appendices

I.Technical Talks by Baba or with Baba II.Introduction to the Progressive Utilization Theory (Prout) III.Tantra, Veda and Yoga

I. Technical Talks by Baba or with Baba During the authorís meetings with Baba, some of His talks were somewhat technical. Because readers may or may not be interested, these talks have been taken out of the main text and placed in this appendix. On microvita [Many readers may find this entry difficult to understand. Nevertheless, it has been included to provide a slight exposure to the intricacy of Babaís philosophy. It is important to recognize that the below notes are in no way authoritative on the subject of microvita. They merely reproduce exactly two entries in the authorís diary. There may easily be mistakes in the logic here, or in the recall of the exact phrases of Baba.] Calcutta, 1989. During the usual workersí meeting philosophy session, Baba asked me a new question: BABA: Birth, death and reproduction are the signs of animation.

What is the status of microvita in the case of animation and inanimation? (The General Secretary waves at me. I step forward.) GENERAL SECRETARY: Dharmavedananda from Hong Kong Sector, Baba. BABA: What is his posting? GENERAL SECRETARY: He is PRS (Public Relations Secretary). BABA: PRS ... PRS ... acha, you mean Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar? (After our laughter finishes, He continues.) So, tell me, what is the status of microvita in the case of animation and inanimation? ME: Positive microvita are most important in the evolution of animate entitiesóas they tend toward consciousness. Negative microvita play the leading role for inanimate entities. TECHNICAL TALKS BY BABA 384 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER BABA: Positive and negative microvita influence living beings, and life is dormant in inanimate entities. Positive microvita and negative microvita can only function on the periphery of inanimate entities. Otherwise, positive and negative microvita have no direct relation with inanimate entities. ME: Now I understand. Neutral microvita have the dominant position in inanimate entities. BABA: Can inanimate be transmuted into animate? ME: Yes. BABA: What is the covert role of microvita in the process? How does Cosmic Mind guide the process? ME: The Cosmic Mind does not act directly, but through the medium of microvita. BABA: Does Cosmic Mind take the help of microvita? ME: Yes. BABA: Microvita are created in the introversial phase only.... You made a very good effort. (He points at His forehead, saying,) You should go on thinking deeply to get the final answer.... Now come forward. (I do so. He places His hand on my head. An indescribable blissful feeling fills my head, and then runs down and up my spine.) Heís a good boy. Yesss. The reporting finished after a few minutes. I then immediately sat for meditation. Though the feeling He gave me continued during meditation, my wandering thoughts related only to our conversation. It occurred to me that inanimate entities consist of neutral or dormant microvita. The inanimate entities are gradually converted into animate entities by the effect of a smattering of positive microvita naturally emanating from Cosmic Mind. ...... Two weeks later. Hsinchu, Taiwan. It was 3:00 in the morning. The Margis had gone home only thirty minutes before, full of my stories and Tantric talk. Only brother Yatindra and I were left in the yoga house. I desperately needed to sleep, but since Yatindra (a scientist) was eager to discuss more about microvita, I thought it would be rude to disappoint him. Though my eyes were closed and I was reclining on the floor, I went on trying to answer his questions, my mind constantly slipping in and out of waking consciousness. 385

Suddenly my body uncontrollably bolted upright. I was blasted

awake. ìWhat happened, Dada?î he said. ìI donít know. As I drifted in and out of sleep, my mind shifted into super-drive without warning and I understood something I never understood before. Something perhaps no one except Baba understood before. î ìWhat is it!î Yatindra was even more excited than I was. ìAnimate and inanimate are not interchangeable with sainchara and prati-sainchara (the extroversial and introversial phases of creation). I can see this great misunderstanding existing among our Margii philosophers. We always thought that sainchara (extroversial phase) was the creation and evolution of inanimate objects like ether, air, light, liquids and solids; and that prati-sainchara (introversial phase) was the evolution of animate entities like plants, animals and humans. But Iíve just seen that sainchara is the evolution of physical matter, and that prati-sainchara is the evolution of psychic entitiesóI mean unit minds. ìNow, hereís the crux of this topic: The association of a unit mind with a group of physical cells is what we call an animate entity. But the matter of those so-called animate cells is actually still in the sainchara phase. It is the unit mind alone which is in the prati-sainchara phase.î ìBut thatís completely different than what weíve always imagined!î Yatindra said. ìWait,î I said, looking more carefully at the revelation still erupting in my mind. I talked at locomotive speed, while Yatindra took notes. ìThereís more. When a human being practices meditation, she or he may convert the most subtle physical cells of the body into mind stuffó this is one of the turning points from sainchara into prati-sainchara, from matter to mind. Of course, this is possible because everything is ultimately the expression of Cosmic Mind, even inanimate matter, though its unit mind is dormant. ìNow, microvita also have minds and bodies. Their minds are in the prati-sainchara phase; their bodies in sainchara. Of course, the bodies of bigger microvita are made of smaller microvita, but ultimately when we get down to the smallest constituent microvita, we find those having no solid or liquid body, only mind with a luminous body. Even TECHNICAL TALKS BY BABA 386 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER those luminous microvita bodies are in the sainchara phase, while their minds are in prati-sainchara. ìIn the case of inanimate entities, the minds of the microvita constituents are inactive/unexpressed/dormant/neutral. In the case of animate entities, the microvita minds are predominantly active, and those active microvita minds are either positive or negative. ìTo speak of a microvita as being positive or negative means that the mind of that microvita is positive or negativeónot the body. To speak of a human being or a goat does not mean their respective bodies, but rather the human mind or the goat mind. The associated bodies of microvita, human beings and goats are all physical entities moving in the sanitary phase. ìListen to this: Sainchara and prati-sainchara are functioning within each and every animate entity on varying levels. In a single human being

there may be billions of separate entities independently evolving within both sainchara and prati-sainchara. Positive and negative microvita affect unit minds, and unit minds affect their associated physical bodies. In that way, the body of an animate entity can become diseased or cured of disease by microvita. Microvita do not directly affect those bodies, but rather, the minds associated with those bodies. The individual atoms and molecules which serve as the building blocks of a living cell remain unaffected by positive and negative microvita. ìJust as a ball circling on the end of a string has both centripetal and centrifugal force (depending on oneís perspective), so sainchara and prati-sainchara come into existence simultaneously. They cannot be separated from each other. For that reason there is no conflict that microvita (whose minds are created in prati-sainchara) serve as the components or building blocks of saincharic matter. But those microvita serving to make up inanimate objects must be predominantly neutral.î Yatindra threw down his notes, yelled, ìBaba!,î jumped up and started dancing around the room. Perhaps this is the beginning of what Baba meant when He said to me, ìYou should go on thinking deeply to get the final answer.î One more small but interesting thought also occurred to me: Baba directed many of His books to be compiled into different series. For example, all His books and articles on Prout come together to make 387

about 1400 pages of Prout in a Nutshell having over twenty volumes. Similarly weíve got Nutshell series on Microvita, Neo-Humanism, Ananda Marga general philosophy, and so on. Margis often comment, ìOnly Baba could call this number of volumes nutshells.î Now I understand: He titles them nutshells because He wants us to think deeply, research and thoroughly expand His ideas. On the history of the Arab and Moslem movement throughout the world [The author took the following notes during Babaís fieldwalk:] Valencia, Spain, 1979. Culturally and historically Iberia was not a part of the Roman empire in the past. The creation of the Moorsí society was a reaction to the western part of the Arab movement. The northern portion of Saudi Arabia up to the northern part of Palestine was Arabia. They were nomads and heathens. It means that they had no faith in Godóthey were intellectually backward. But they were highly developed in astronomy, astrophysics, algebra and math because the land was desert, and under the pressure of circ*mstances they needed to learn to follow the stars. At least in these fields the Arabs were not backward. About 1400 years ago they became Moslem, and gave up the Semitic culture. Originally the Arabs and Jews were one culture. The Arabs were heathens, whereas the Jews knew a little of God. Some of the Arabs became Christian 2000 years ago. 1369 years ago they became Moslems. They expelled the Jews from Palestine and adjacent places. The Jews became homeless. They were transported to different countries like Great Britain and the Soviet Union. After occupying all of Palestine, the Arabs spread to the north, that is Yugoslavia. In the east they stretched out to the Philippines in southeast Asia. In the south past Ceylon to the Maldives Islands. To the west they came to the Atlantic, crossed northern Africa, the Sahara, Egypt, Sudan, Tripoli, Tunisia and Morocco. They destroyed the original

Egyptian culture. Those were the Egyptians who knew the science of the preservation of dead bodies. The present Egyptians are not the descendants of those ancient Egyptians. Rather they are a transplanted Arab population. After the western march they commenced an eastern march. Seventy five percent of that eastern march was stopped in India. That is TECHNICAL TALKS BY BABA 388 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER why it resorted to waterways through islands up to the Philippines. The march could not go to China and Japan. It was checked forever. When the Spanish occupied the Philippines they stopped the Arabs. In the southern march they could not go past the Maldives Islands. In the northern march they proceeded up to Yugoslavia; there the movement stopped due to extreme cold climate, where they could not show bravery and valor. Similarly the Germans were defeated when they attacked the Russians in the winter. In the west the Atlantic Ocean stopped the Arab march. From Morocco they went north through Gibraltar to invade Iberia. Their desire was to move to the Bay of Basque. But it was difficult to cross the Pyrenees Mountains. And they could not occupy Portugal because the Arab navy was very weak. The Portuguese were strong. The people of Iberia had to fight by tooth and nail. The Arabs who came from Morocco were known as Moors. The western march stopped after reaching Spain. Islam was restricted to these boundaries of the world. You will have to preach Ananda Marga southward of Gibraltaró just the opposite course of the Arabs. But you will not preach through the sword. Your message will be spread through love and social service. Love is a stronger weapon than the sword. Here there are left only a few certain marks of the Arabs in the cultural life. Otherwise the Arab presence is no longer here. Now they are as dead as the dodo. The dodos were a pigeon group which came to certain islands in the Arabian Sea where there were no humans present to kill them. Therefore they lost their capacity to fly. Their bodies became bulky, as they had no need for self-defense. When people from other countries finally went there, they caught ready meat just with their bare hands. The last dodo died about 100 years ago. Anything which is fully dead is now called in peopleís English dead as the dodo. Something should be written regarding the cultural side of Spainó the post-Moor culture. What was the influence of the Moors on Spain? The main population of Iberia is Caucasian of Mediterranean offshoot, with close proximity to the Italians and southern French. Their color is whiteónot reddish-white like the Germans. Their hair is black, not gray-black like the Germans. The brownish-black skin and hair is from the Moors. And you will hardly find such a man today in Spain. In the anthropological life of Spain, there is little influence of the Arabs. But in the language there remain a few distorted Arabian words. 389

[He gave some examples, which the author could not properly note down.] Finally the original land of the Moors was occupied by the French. It became a colony. Strengthen yourselves in north Africa. We will attack from Spain with love. But we shall say to them we are not your born enemies. They

may say, ëWe hate you.í We will say, ëWe love you.í On increasing agricultural production [Dada Vijayananda gave a class explaining many of Babaís suggestions about how to increase agricultural production, especially in developing countries. The authorís notes of this class follow:] Calcutta, 1988. To take care of the security and welfare of the people of any developing country, the production level should be increased. Bangladesh imports much of what it needs because in many areas only one or two crops are grown per year. Most crops should be harvested three or four times per year in poor countries. Poor countries are usually densely populated, thus every inch of land must be used judiciously. Mixed farming is required. Staple crops especially must be produced four times per year. The priorities are in order: 1) cereals 2) oil-producing seeds and pulses 3) vegetables. Where there is little rain, seeds should first be planted for six weeks in a small field for ease of watering. Then the seedlings should be transplanted for another 80 or 85 days in large fields. If any crop yield takes as long as four months then there must be a subsidiary crop such as oil seeds. In the same field both cereals and oil-seeds may be grown. This is an example of mixed farming. Between the deep-rooted plants, put the short-rooted oil-seed plantsóor other short-rooted plants like cloves, turmeric or ginger. In that case manure will not be needed because oil-seeds add needed natural elements to the land, so that it becomes fertile. Chemical fertilizers decrease the inter-molecular space in the soil. If you use chemicals sometimes, you must always use them. But vegetable and animal fertilizers cause no bad reaction. Pumping water from below the earthís surface is not good for irrigation because the water table will go down. A three inches drop in the water table per 100 years is normal. When pumping is done, it will increase to about six inches per 100 years. The Calcutta area is TECHNICAL TALKS BY BABA 390 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER one of the worstóit is now sinking eight inches every 100 years due to intense water pumping. The perennial rivers offer the best source for irrigation. Where the saline water-level is too high, it is better to pipe in sweet-water, even if it must be done from 100 miles away. When farming is done with sweet-water for five to ten years, the saline level will decrease and become normal. Normally potatoes take 90 days to mature. But in 60 days it is also possible to harvest the potatoes and make dehydrated potato powder. Otherwise it cannot easily be preserved. Only 90-day potatoes can be kept a long time in cold storage. Rivers coming from dead mountains do not carry soil. They carry sand. In sandy areas it is best to take away three feet of the sandy soil, put a layer of polythene plastic, and put the sandy soil back. Then water and manure will not sink away so easily. This is an example of an idea with which Baba personally experimented. In the desert there is only sand without even soil, so lime must be added. When land is very dry, then non-mulberry silk-worms can be produced. When the cocoons are put into water, they yield fiber for silk threads. In two or three months, 100 silk-worms increase to 20,000. Also wool-sheep can be maintained wherever there are high hills.

Nature has given all different types of soil, and in each place something important grows. We can also create new plants for the desert and other areas of low fertility. Grassroots planning The best planning is not done only by the high level bosses but also by the volunteers on the lowest local level. Then only can that planning be realistic. For that reason, Baba gave the slogan for all Margi district in-charges: ìKnow the area, prepare the plan, serve the people.î District in-charges coming from any part of the world were tested by Baba on the following items relating to their own districts: 1. topography or natural environment, plus temperature, flora and fauna 2. agricultural potentialities 3. industrial potentialities 4. nature of soil 391

5. availability of natural resources 6. rivers and valleys 7. block-level planning covering all aspects of social life 8. how to develop the language 9. participation of indigenous peoples in agricultural and industry 10. rainfall 11. soil erosion 12. landscape 13. farming in arid lands, coastal belt (saline problems) 14. sources of energy 15. type of irrigation prominent and possible 16. name and meaning of their own peopleís movement 17. international and state river links 18. classical language from which local language originated 19. scope for auxiliary agriculture (fisheries, beekeeping, poultry, dairy farms, horticulture, orchards) 20. scope for setting up machine tool stations 21. technique of farming according to nature of land, e.g. plain land, highland, lowland, arid land, saline zone, mountain zone 22. ecological balance 23. scope for encouraging reforestation and discouraging deforestation. On solving Bangladeshís economic problems [From the authorís notes of Babaís talk during a workersí meeting:] Calcutta, 1989. Baba explained how Bangladesh, one of the worldís poorest nations, can solve its problems: First analyze the countryís raw materials. It sells untanned hide and raw jute (fiber for rough cloth) in the international market. It has virtually no metallic materials and very little underground fuel such as raw gas. The best system for such a country is barter trade. If Bangladesh were to process the hide and jute itself would its economy improve? These processes are complicated and costly, so it would not be useful. Also, synthetics are rapidly replacing both raw materials. The jute industry is a sick industry because it cannot easily compete. Many producers have closed, and the government has been TECHNICAL TALKS BY BABA 392 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER forced to subsidize the industry. Thailand also produces jute, but its

jute is superior. And Thailand is not an underdeveloped nation. Previously England processed Indian jute in England itself. After Indian independence in 1947, England could no longer purchase jute from India, so they created synthetics. It is clear that Bangladesh must change its industry. Japan is importing raw materials from around the world. If those countries become politically conscious, they will stop exporting to Japan. This will happen in the near future. Orissa is exporting manganese and iron ore to Japan, but they will soon stop. Suppose Bangladesh stops jute, and increases rice production. Rice can be easily grown there. Will that solve their problem? In that case, Bangladesh will become self-sufficient in food, but will not have any basis for international commercial transaction, which will deprive it of many basic needs. What is the way out? Some advocate that jute should be mixed with artificial materials and wool. Also the jute stem can be used to make nylon. These approaches are still only the best of a bad lot. From the end of winter to the end of the rainy season is the time for growing jute. Can anything else be grown then? Only sesame, perhaps linseed also, which has a big international market and can also be used to make petroleum. But this is not the immediate solution. Jute must continue in the short term, but only that amount which is needed for local industries. Raw jute should not be exported. Only finished products should be exported. To solve the problem, developmental projects should be initiated which are based on the availability of local materials. Some propose the widespread establishment of coconut plantations. The salinity of the soil in Dacca is insufficient. But palmira or tal (palm) can be grown. Coconut grows nicely in Nokali district. Plastic can be manufactured from the husk. Jessore and its adjacent areas are also good for coconut. As to natural resources, there are hardly any raw minerals available. Non-ferrous industries can be developed. There is some gas and oil available, but not much. From where should the power come? Hydroelectricity is not possible because rivers are in the delta stage. They must be in the hilly stage, and must have sufficient force. To avoid 393

flooding, they should have many dikes like Holland, and fully utilize the water. The very wide rivers we see now are due to deforestation and the stripping away of vines. So large banks must be constructed, and massive reforestation done. For now, power can be derived from ocean tides and from solar energy. Ocean tide energy is tapped where rivers enter the ocean. It is cheap and efficient. Solar power facilities are not yet sufficiently developed, but will become more efficient soon. There is not much possibility to obtain thermal poweróthe coal is too young. It needs another 800,000 to one million years. But at that point human beings will no longer live on this planet. Bio-gas production will help solve the problem of manure, which is also a chronic problem. Horticulture is also good. (He gave many details concerning beans, jackfruit, mango, etc.) Crops of the tropical zones are good. Temperate zone crops are not suitable. The quantity of fish has decreased because there is insufficient rotting materials due to deforestation. Before there was about 2400 square kilometers of forest, but now it is less than 1000 square kilometers. (Perhaps I misunderstood Him on

these figures.) Bangladesh needs large-scale reforestation and preserves. Pineapples need 60 inches of rainfall per year. The average in Bangladesh is 80 inches except in one region. Pineapples give food and also material for making cloth. Litchis and silk are both good. Cotton is not suitable. Mulberry wood is good for producing sporting goods and also rayon. If mulberry wood is hardened, it becomes hard as iron, and can be used in construction. There can be production of banana chips, dried fruits and washing soap. By burning banana leaves enough sodium bicarbonate can be manufactured to serve the world. Just to distract the unsophisticated population from the governmentís lack of proper planning, the government excites the people through non-issues, like declaring Bangladesh a Muslim state. This was happened at the time of the epic flooding. Proper planning will not become a reality until the voters are educated. Even if they do not become politically educated, at least they should become politically conscious. On the evolution of languages throughout the world [Baba frequently spoke on the subject of language. Even when speaking about something else, He commonly went on linguistic deTECHNICAL TALKS BY BABA 394 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER tours, explaining the derivation of important words. These notes are included not because they are exceptional, but to give an example of a lecture on His pet subject.. The notes were taken during a workersí meeting. The first two paragraphs, contain His word-for-word speech. After that, the authorís notes become approximate, and may have mistakes.] Calcutta, 1989. ìBetween two points of no magnitude there is a flow of cognition. In that fluidal flow of cognition, bubbles are created. These bubbles are bubbles of ideas in the Cosmic emanation of the Supreme. When these bubbles touch the unit ëIí feeling, then unit ideas are created as a result of close proximity to the Cosmic Ocean. These are the reflections or refractions of the Cosmic Idea. When these ideas concern the unit, the unit ëIí tries to express them through its own psycho-physical structure. That endeavor to express its unit desires and longings according to the capacity of its vocal cords and its hormonal secretion of these reflected or refracted ideas is called ëlanguage. í That expression within is called ëinner voice,í and that expression without is called ëouter voice.í ìAccording to structural, environmental, climatic and racial differences, language is expressed in different forms. There we get different languages. In the expressed world, linguistic differences have a small value. But in the inner world they have no meaning or impact. As far as the reflected bubbles are concerned, the language of the universe is the same, was the same, and will remain the same forever. The language of the inner voice is always one and indivisible.î Approximately every 2000 years there comes a major change in the script of any particular language or set of languages. Though exceptions are numerous, approximately every 1000 years the language itself undergoes major change. For example, Sanskrit evolved into seven different peopleís languages, and those languages later evolved into some of our current languages. Similarly, Latin, Semitic and Vedic languages and scripts also evolved. There are eight factors which render a language complete. If any of

these are absent, then it is not a full-fledged language: 1) vocabulary 2) pronouns 3) verb endings 4) case endings 5) literature 6) intonation 7) psycho-acoustic notes (having psychological effect) 8) syntax. 395

There is a close relationship between the racial factor and language. Where sub-races arose, language changed. There are five dominant ancient languages: Sanskrit, Vedic, Latin, old Hebrew, and old Chinese. Max Mueller (the great philologist) believed that Sanskrit came from the Aryans, who entered India from southern Russia and Persia. In fact it was the Vedic language which hailed from those areas. Forty percent of the Russian and Persian languages derives directly from Vedic. Sanskrit, on the other hand, is originally from India. The first Veda, which was composed 15,000 years ago was the Rik Veda. It was in Vedic, and it was composed by those Aryans still north of India. 5,000 years later the Atharva Veda was composed in India in Sanskrit. Sanskrit language gave birth to seven directions or Prakrita languagesópeopleís languages. These were: 1) Maghadi Prakrita 2) Saorasenii Prakrita 3) Paishachii Prakrita 4) Pashcatya Prakrita 5) Pahlavi Prakrita 6) Malavii Prakrita 7) Maharastrii Prakrita. These Prakrita languages started 2500 to 3500 years ago. At that time Sanskrit was the linking language. From these seven Prakrita languages, the following languages evolved: 1. EasternóMaithali, Bengali, Angika, Ashami, Kaosholi WesternóBhojpuri, Chatisgari, Magahi, Nagpuri 2. Harivani, Bhagili, Bumdili, Aradhi, Brajabasa 3. Dogrii, Punjabi, Mahari Punjabi, Urdu 4. Tajakii, Ujvekii, Pastu, Kashmirii 5. Sindi, Multani 6. Marwari, Gujrati, Kacchi, Malavi, Mevarii, Haraoti 7. Marathii, Kaunkanii Bengali has the highest content of words directly derived from Sanskritó92%. Even some non-Indian languages contain a high proportion of Sanskrit. Thai is 80% Sanskrit, and Indonesian is 40%. The Burmese are a multi-national and multi-lingual people. Among the Indo-Burmese are Burmese, Kalciim, Mrtavan, Shan, and Arakan. Tamil comes from Dramil, which was further evolved into Northern demi and Southern demi. The Northern is Telugu and Southern is Kanada. Dravidian is of both Austric and Sanskrit origin. There are four derivatives from ancient Chinese: Mandarin, Shanghaiise, new Chinese, and Cantonese. Latin divided into three groups: Continental (including German), Oriento-demi (including French and Italian), and Occidento-demi (including Spanish and Portuguese). TECHNICAL TALKS BY BABA 396 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER Scandinavian languages were influenced by Latin and Vedic, but they were predominantly Nordic. They are the base of the Anglo-Saxon group. Polish and the Slavic languages are of Alpine origin. They were also influenced by Latin and Vedic. English is a mixture of Latin and Anglo-Saxon tongues. After the formation of Israel there arose a question of the linking language in the Middle East. Would it be modern Hebrew or the other Semitic languages? These languages resulted from both Caucasian and Negroid influences.

Most European languages have some parallelism with Vedic, but not with Sanskrit. Sanskrit was the peopleís language until about 3500 years ago. From Shivaís time (about 7000 years ago) until Krishnaís time (about 3500 years ago) the Dravidians, Austrics, Mongolians and Aryans were generally united, and throughout India, Sanskrit was spoken. At that time most of the Aryans were still in the north. Their language then broke into the seven prakrita language groups. The first script in the world was Chinese. Later came the Indian scripts Brahmi and Kahrosthii. After 2000 years, Brahmi died, and was replaced by Sarada in the northwest, Narada in the southwest, and Kutiila in the center and in the east. Now almost every state of India has its own script. Intonation pertains to the duration given to particular vowels. For example, the southern portion of the United States has an intonation characterized by a drawl. Such differences are primarily due to racial and ethnological factors. There are three major Mongolian language groups: 1) Indo-Tibetan, which is in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and northern India 2) Indo-Burman, which is in Burma and east Indiaóit contains more Sanskrit, and 3) Sino-Japanese, which is in Japan, China, Taiwan, Mongolia and Koreaóit has pictorial script. African languages differ according to climate and rivers. Language there began in the southern portion of the Sahara. As that language moved further south it created twenty-seven major languages and dialects. In the northern reaches of the Sahara the main language was Egyptian. ìSemiticî originally meant north of the Sahara. The Aryans and the Blacks met in the area of Palestine, and created the Semitic peoples. They are thus a mixture of black and white. The great original Egyptian civilization was black. At that time, the Arabs were imposing and 397

militant, so they destroyed much of the culture and language of Egypt and Persia. Sixty to seventy percent of Persian is Vedic, whereas Afghani is mostly Sanskrit. One system of classification is according to the changes a language undergoes when there is a change in the subject. Thus there are four groups: 1) Changes in the conjugation of the verb are affected by both the number and the gender of the subject. Example is French. 2) Changes in the verb are affected only by the number. Examples are English and Sanskrit. 3) Changes are affected only by the gender. Examples are Bhojpuri and Maetili. 4) There is no change either way. Examples are Bengali and Dravidian. In number 4 the ìto beî verb is also not necessaryóit is understood.

II. Introduction to the Progressive Utilization Theory (Prout)

Prout is such a vast concept that a reasonable introduction to it requires an entire book. Babaís series Prout in a Nutshell consists of over twenty books, and yet, as its title indicates, that the entire series provides only fundamental principles and policies with examples. To attempt to explain Prout in an appendix is an injustice to the theory. Nevertheless, so many references are made to Prout throughout the diary that the reader deserves some sort of explanation. 1) Prout is based on Shri P.R. Sarkarís concept of Neo-humanism, which advocates a society concerned not only for human beings,

but also for animals, plants, and inanimate resources. Neo-humanism does not accept narrow groupisms which function as social and psychological causes of exploitation. Such groups condemn and work against those who are outside of their own territory, clan, or belief system. Exploitative political power groups and selfish economic interest groups commonly dominate others through pseudo-culture and the mass media. As a result, the life of the entire planet is threatened by massive ecological destruction in the name of progress. Education and peopleís movements should help expose the dogmas and superstitions which feed such narrow-mindedness. For this purpose, it is also needed to awaken benevolent human conscience and the capacity for rational analysis. Ultimately Neo-humanism aims at love for one and all, a state which is founded on spiritual enlightenment. INTRODUCTION TO PROUT 398 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER 2) There should be maximum utilization, rational distribution and proper balance of all physical, mental and spiritual resources. Hence the name Progressive Utilization Theory. 3) At any given time society is dominated by a specific psychological outlook or psychological class. If any class becomes over-entrenched in power, it tends to suppress progressive changes. Prout has a system of checks and balances which discourages this tendency, and encourages a forward shift in power whenever it is needed. 4) Economic planning should be de-centralized as far as is practical. The most important planning is on the lowest levelóthe block level, i.e. an area having about 100,000 people, having similar cultural and ecological concerns. Lower levels should be coordinated by higher levels, for example, blocks by states, states by regions, and regions by nations. Coordination represents concerns of trade, transport, communications, etc. The basis of boundaries between governing areas should gradually change from historical or political bias, to economic, ecological and cultural factors. 5) All levels of planning should follow certain economic principles including the following: * Everyone must be guaranteed the purchasing capacity for their minimal necessities including food, shelter, clothing, medical care and education. * Opportunities for employment must be provided to all. * There should be a progressive incentive system to encourage initiative, creativity and labor. Incentives may be given not only in the form of money, but also in kind. They may include, for example, equipment by which a person can better his performance, improved working facilities, household items, or other immenities. Incentives may also be provided through special education, new job possibilities, increased free time, cultural opportunities, recreational facilities, and so on. * There may always be a gap between the minimum and maximum economic levels. The economic vitality of a society, however, is judged by the speed of improvement in the minimum standard of living. In a healthy society, the gap is gradually diminishing. 399

* Improvement in technology is beneficial to mankind when it results

in neither ecological imbalance nor loss of employment. Due to improved mechanization, workers should benefit whenever possible by diminishment of working hours without loss of salary. * Ignoring psychological factors at the working place is harmful to both the workers and their output. Therefore a portion of the budget and management time must be allocated to ensure cleanliness, safety, equability, ecological care, and an atmosphere which encourages initiative and creativity. 6) These planning principles should be implemented within the framework of self-sufficient economic zones. These zones may be created by blocks and regions joining together on the basis of economic potentiality, ethnic similarity, and environmental features. When the local people are directly working for their zoneís economic well-being and self-sufficiency, then they become highly motivated. The local government must plan for a cooperative economy between agriculture, manufacturing, trade, commerce and professional services. The government will naturally be concerned for maintaining long-term fertility of its soil and all-round ecological balance 7) Such economic zones prefer the development of local resources in lieu of exporting raw materials or importing finished products. This policy encourages the growth of a healthy indigenous manufacturing sector, full employment, and greater security in times of difficulty. 8) Within each zone there should be a three-tiered structure of economic enterprises. * Cooperatives constitute the largest sector, including all agriculture and most industries and commercial companies. They are owned and managed by their workers. They should be profitable and competitive. * Key industries provide essential resources such as minerals, energy, large scale transport, and communication. They are managed as public utilities. Boards of directors are elected democratically, and workers participate in management. INTRODUCTION TO PROUT 400 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER * Private ventures include small-scale industries, shops and services. 9) Through the inspiration provided by the multifarious incentive system, through cooperative ownership, and through economic zonal planning, safeguards are created against over-accumulation of wealth in which vested interests hoard resources. 10) Zonal planning should see that villages have sufficient cleanliness, natural beauty, wildlife, and cultural and educational facilities so that all people, animals and plants will enjoy the process of de-centralization. Over-populated cities must become a thing of the past. 11) Prout is not a utopian philosophy. Society is the field for everyoneís development, and therefore imperfections will always exist. Prout recognizes the need for checks and balances on individual power. High caliber leadership consists of persons having certain qualities such as * a reputation for honesty and wisdom * a history of community service * demonstrated skills in leadership, management and technical

knowledge. Such leaders should be elected democratically. Democracy, however, is only successful according to the mentality of the voters. Therefore a literate, well-educated and well-informed electorate is essential. Accordingly, the influence of the mass media and wealth in politics must be regulated. 12) One of the fundamental works in establishing Prout is to stimulate well-intentioned and capable people to participate in the leadership process. It is commonly believed that power corrupts, and more power corrupts more. If potential Prout leaders engage themselves in intensive social work, healthy living, sacrifice for others, relevant technical education, and spiritual practicesó then they may develop the incorruptible qualities needed in the leaders of a society based on coordinated cooperation. 13) Prout supports the eventual establishment of a representative world government. As long as extreme disparity in wealth exists between nations, however, world government is impossible. Only when small 401

countries are free of the threat of domination by big countries will global cooperation be possible. Solving global problems depends on establishing local economic security. Political freedom without economic independence has no value. Hence Proutís policy is economic decentralization and centralized political cooperation. 14) Useful theory is generally only evolved on the basis of practical experimentation. Therefore the first steps in expanding the Prout theory result from attempts to implement it in communities, such as Master Units. As Master Units merge their concerns with the surrounding neighborhoods and villages, Prout theory is developed and demonstrated. Practical experience is also gained through organizing public education programs and social movements. Such movements support indigenous culture, work for ecological improvement, and struggle against psycho-economic exploitation.

III. Tantra, Veda and Yoga110

The many features of Tantra which distinguish it from other spiritual traditions make definition difficult within a short space. But if we are to focus on the single most characteristic of Tantraís distinguishing features, surely that must be the spirit of fight. Baba writes: ìThe main characteristic of Tantra is that it represents human vigor. It represents a pactless fight. Where there is no fight there is no saídhanaí [spiritual effort or meditation]. Under such circ*mstances, Tantra cannot be present. It is impossible to conquer a crude idea and replace it by a subtle idea without a fight. It is not at all possible without saídhanaí. Hence, Tantra is not only a fight, it is an all-round fight.î Tantra finds or creates circ*mstances designed expressly to bring out, rather than to bury oneís problematic mental tendencies. Baba said: ìA practitioner of Tantra becomes elevated and attains mastery over a hostile environment. Tantra does not accept the teaching of the Vedas that human beings should move internally and carefully avoid any association with their environment.î So only if a spiritual path, at least at some stage, deliberately seeks out fearful, demoralizing or tempting ON TANTRA, VEDA AND YOGA Most of this article was compiled from a book of Babaís speeches on Tantra which carries a foreword by Dada Vijayananda and Dada Acyutananda. 110

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circ*mstances in order to fight and overcome them by Cosmic ideation and by trust in the guru, does it deserve to be called Tantric. Baba writes: ìIt is not only an external or internal fight, it is simultaneously both. The internal fight is a practice of the subtler portion of Tantra. The external fight is a fight of the cruder portion of Tantra. And the fight, both external and internal, is a fight in both ways at once. So practice in each and every stratum of life receives due recognition in Tantra.... The practice for raising the kulakunídíalinii [psycho-spiritual energy force] is the internal saídhanaí of Tantra, while shattering the bondages of hatred, suspicion, fear, shyness, etc., by direct action is the external saídhanaí.î Both the ìinternal fightî and the ìexternal fightî refer to the fight against internal enemiesóbut the latter uses external means to intensify the fight. He writes: ìThe very first night that a Tantric goes to the burial ground, he is stricken with fear.... But when he returns home after finishing saídhanaí, the mind is much lighter than before. When he goes out for saídhanaí the next night, he is much less fearful. And thus the Tantric steadily and slowly overcomes fear. This is the applied process of Tantra which will help the practitioner overcome all instincts.î Though practices such as that of saídhanaí in a burial ground may be the clearest instances of techniques designed to bring to the surface oneís mental propensities, such practices are not required of all Tantrics. But all Tantrics are brought face to face with their weaknesses in one way or other. A Tantric guru assigns to his disciples tremendous responsibilities for social change. The disciplesí participation in an activist movements aimed at a just and spiritually-based society forces them to confront sometimes physical fear, but more routinely the fear of social censure and the fear of the overwhelming task before them. The inferiority complex is the most debilitating fear which most of us must learn to overcome in our lives. Baba writes: ìTantra advises: Jump into your environment without the least hesitation. Donít be afraid. Fear will leave you step by step. Tomorrow you will not be as fearful as you are today, the day after you will be even less fearful, and ten days from now youíll notice that you are completely fearless.î 403

Tantra, though a singular science, eventually developed into five branches: 1) Shaeva Tantra guides the aspirant to direct all expressions of oneís life towards the inner world and finally merge into the Supreme Knowledge. 2) Vaeshnaviiya Tantra is a practice of divine love, wherein the aspirant feels that each and every entity of this universe is pervaded by God. 3) Shakta Tantra lays great stress on the attainment of power and its judicious application. 4) Ganapatya Tantra is derived from the custom in ancient times of deifying the leader of the tribe. When this practice was converted through spiritual outlook it resulted in the cult of viewing the group leader as the leader of this universe.

5) Saora Tantra is derived from worship of the sun as a symbol of the nucleus of existence. God is the Supreme Nucleus of the entire creation, and all unit beings revolve around Him. Salvation is possible only when the unit consciousness merges in the Cosmic Consciousness. Shri Shri Anandamurti synthesized these five Tantras (Paincha Tantra) into a singular system by including the central features of all of them. Ananda Marga is a spiritual path where the goal is the attainment of Supreme Knowledge (i.e., Shaeva Tantra). To attain this spiritual rank we need psychic and spiritual strength (i.e., Shakti) for which proper saídhanaí is required. Our individual meditation, however, is not enough to unite our being with the Cosmic Entity. For that we require love for everyone; we need to live in joy and peace with the entire creation (i.e., we must be Vaeshnavas). When involved with the external world it becomes necessary to learn the secrets for introverting the extroverted energies so that every experience becomes spiritual and, thus, leads towards the Supreme Nucleus (i.e., Saora Tantra). Finally, collective life must be systematized, regulated and directed toward God. To realize this objective the Ganapati system is used. Baba often spoke of having modified Tantra ìto suit the needs of the modern era.î He further elaborated the philosophy of Tantra along lines which had previously been little developed. In ancient times, Aryan (white-skinned) peoples lived to the north of India. The Aryan culture was Vedic. East and south of those AryON TANTRA, VEDA AND YOGA 404 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER ans, the people were non-Aryan, i.e. Mongolian, Dravidian and Austric. The non-Aryan culture was Tantric. In a long article titled Tantra and Indo-Aryan Civilization, Baba explains much about Tantra, as well as its relation to Veda. He also slightly refers to yoga. Extracts of that article follow: Usually the non-Aryans were content with little. What was developed in them was their introspective nature, which not only made them devotees of God, but infused in them a surging love for spiritual philosophy. The religious practices of the Aryans, however, entailed performing certain sacrifices in order to attain certain materialistic gains. That is, their religious observances were mainly ritualistic. On the whole, the non-Aryans were followers of Tantra, or subjective [i.e., introspective] saídhanaí. Of course the non-Aryans, depending on their different degrees of intellectual development, ranged all the way from animists to Brahma saídhakas [intuitional practitioners whose goal is the Absolute]; but in general, individual saídhanaí ranked very high. The religion of the Vedic Aryans was, as a rule, one of prayer. It did not include even the subtlest hint of any intuitional meditation. And here lies the difference between the Brahmavada [theory of the Infinite Entity] of the Vedas and the Upanishads on the one hand, and that of Tantra on the other. As previously mentioned, by ìnon-Aryansî no particular ethnic group was meant. When the Aryans first migrated to India, the non-Aryans were, on the whole, divided into three populations. Of these, the Negro-Austric Dravidians were the most developed intellectually and spiritually. Their Tantra saídhanaí bore a predominance of jinaína [knowledge] and bhakti [devotion]. The next groups deserving mention

are those of the Mongolian population. In their Tantra saídhanaí, karma [service] and bhakti [devotion] were predominant. The groups which constituted the Austric population were almost equal to the Aryans intellectually, but in the practical and spiritual spheres they gradually lagged behind due to the comparative lack of dynamism of their society. This Austric society was content to practice the extroversial aspects of Tantra (witchcraft, invultuation, magic, magical incantation for evil purposes, hypnotism, etc.). Tantra flourished in Bengal due to the pervasive intermixture of Dravidian and Mongolian blood. ... 405

In the life of Bengal, Tantra has surrendered to Veda only with respect to language. In fact there was no alternative but to acknowledge this defeat: The Bengalis of those days were followers of Tantra who spoke many different languages. When they decided to formulate a new language of their own, they were bound to accept the language of the foreign Aryans due to its highly expressive power. The Dravidian and Mongolian languages [although also a related to Sanskrit] were not so expressive as the Sanskrit language of the Vedas. ... Due to the Vedic influence, particularly due to the influence of the eastern Vedic dialect, Maígadhii Prakrta, there emerged a Sanskrit-based Aryan language in Bengal. Later on, the Tantrics of this area composed Tantric literature using Sanskrit and the new Sanskrit-based Bengali. ... Spiritual practice was common in the Tantric society. There is no spiritual vigor whatsoever in the lives of those who support pompous, so-called religious ceremonies, as there is in the lives of introspective spiritual practitioners. After the Aryans came into India, two types of practice used to take place side by side: on the one side the sacrificial fires of the rsíis [religious leaders], characterized by the smell of burning ghee [purified butter] and the sonorous refrains of those paying homage to the manes while offering oblations into the fire; and on the other side, the non-Aryansí Tantra saídhanaí, the practice of self-control and attainment of divine power. Spiritual depth and power of saídhanaí brought fearlessness into the spiritual lives of the non-Aryans, as befitting staunch Tantrics. ... Here it is necessary to remember that Tantra is not a religion, but a way of life, a system of saídhanaí. The fundamental goal of this saídhanaí is to awaken the dormant jiivashakti [unit force], known as kulakunídíalinii, and, after elevating it stage by stage, to merge it in Brahmabhaíva [Cosmic Consciousness]. Tantra is a science of spiritual meditation or saídhanaí which is equally applicable to anyone no matter what their religious affiliation might be. Tantra is certainly older than the Vedas.111 Just as the shlokas or mantras of the Vedas were handed down from guru to disciple in a genealogical tradition, the Tantra saídhanaí of the Mongolo-Dravidian society was handed down from guru to disciple hereditarily. The Vedas are theoreticalófull of ritualistic ceremoON TANTRA, VEDA AND YOGA 111

The first Veda, the Rgveda, is dated 15,000 years ago.

406 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

nies and formalisms. It would be incorrect to regard Tantra as a more recent version of those Vedic rituals: Tantraís esoteric practices had long been known in the society of saídhakas [spiritual aspirants]. Its theoretical portion was not as elaborate as that of the Vedas, which took

years and years to memorize. When the Aryans came to India, roughly during the period of the Artharvaveda, they learned Tantra saídhanaí to some extent after coming in contact with the Indian Tantrics. This resulted in the Artharvaveda being pervasively influenced by Tantra. Even if the orthodox Vedics try to reject the many Tantra-influenced portions of the Vedas as later interpolations, they will not be too convincing, for Tantra has now infiltrated into the marrow of the so-called Aryans. Although during the post-Vedic Buddhist era as well as the post-Buddhist Brahmanical era changes in the religious outlook of the people were apparent, the process of saídhanaí remained Tantric as it does even today, for without Tantra, spiritual saídhanaí is impossible. Yoga, which is the paramount factor in spiritual practices, is itself based on Tantra. The great Tantric Vashisítíha, when he returned from China after learning the Chinese techniques of saídhanaí, brought about a great improvement in Tantra saídhanaí. He was widely acclaimed as a great yogi. His book Yogavaíshisítíha is a philosophical exposition of the subtle spirituality of Tantra saídhanaí. Momentarily diverting from Babaís article, it may be observed that yoga is thus a part of Tantra, indeed the subtlest aspect of the Tantric practice. Shiva Himself elucidated yoga, as did a number of the Tantra scriptures. Three of the other foremost authorities on yoga were also Tantrics: Krishna, Vashistha, and Patanjali. Patanjali was the last of the line, having lived only about 2000 years ago. Though Baba generally agrees with Patanjali, He differs on a few points. Most fundamental of these concern the very definition of yoga. Patanjali wrote: Yogash citta vrtii nirodha. This means ìTo suspend the function of thinking is Yoga.î Baba explained that it is the nature of mind to think. So it is unnatural to try to stop that thinking process. Such an effort amounts to suppression, and therefore may be harmful. On the other hand, Baba quotes and supports a definition directly from the Tantras: Samíyogo yogo ityukto jiivaítmaí Paramaítmanah. 407

This means ìThe union of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul is yoga.î This process is founded on a natural attraction toward infinite bliss or infinite love. As one develops love for God, simultaneously love for all of the creation is generated. The result is creative and expansive. Upon the ultimate merging of the individual mind with the Cosmic Mind, the individual thought process automatically ceases, as there is no longer any separate individual. Such a person is aware only of God, and no ego remains. One of the major etymological interpretations of Tantra also parallels this definition of yoga. Tan means to expand, and tra means to liberate. Thus Tantra means to become liberated from all sorts of bondage through the expansion of oneís self. We should clearly understand that yoga is a process of expansion, not contraction or suppression. Turning back to Babaís article: There are many who try to make a distinction between Hindu Tantra and Buddhist Tantra. This is absolutely wrong, for as I have said earlier, Tantra is one and only one. It is based on one sentiment, on one idea. The Buddhist and Hindu Tantras express the same thing in different words.112 After the Aryan settlement in India a great man was born into the

non-Aryan society. Born into a Mongolo-Aryan family, this great man had a high nose and fair complexion. He was a great Tantricóa great yogi. The name of this Mahaípurusía [Great Person] of the non-Aryan society was Shiva. For one man to have so many qualities and endowments at the same time was beyond the comprehension of the people, so He was called Guníaítiita or Nirgunía Purusía [the Transcendental ON TANTRA, VEDA AND YOGA On this point of the identity between these Tantras (except in their terminology), Baba gives several pages of examples. All spiritual and religious systems are adaptable to Tantra, though some systems are better than others, as explained in the following saying from the Kulaírníava Tantra: Uttamo Brahmasadbhaívo Madhyamaí dhyaína dhaíríaníaí; Japastuíti syaídhadhamaí Muírtipuíjaí dhamaídhamaí This means: Ideation on Brahma or God is the best, meditation and concentration are second best, repetitious incantation and eulogistic prayer are the worst, and idol worship is the worst of the worst. 112

408 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

or Non-Attributional Person]. As the result of His Tantra saídhanaí He attained extraordinary powers, which He employed for the good of humanity. It was He who systematized the science of Tantra and thus He was the guru or the father of Tantrics and yogis. To this Self-realized Mahaípurusía there was no distinction of high and low. People of all classes, from the highest to the lowest, were dear to Him. Irrespective of classóAryan, non-Aryan, Dravidian, Austric or Mongolianóall flocked to Him. He showered His grace on them all equally. As the battles raged between the ìgodsî on the one hand and the ìdemonsî and ìmonstersî on the other (needless to say, ìgodsî meant the handsome Aryan leaders, and ìdemonsî and ìmonstersî meant the non-Aryans in general), the non-Aryan ìdemonsî and ìmonstersî became more and more powerful through the blessings of this Shiva. All the raíksíasas and asuras [demons and monsters] were Shivaís obedient devotees and followers. With the help and blessings of Shiva they destroyed the might and power of the ìgods.î According to Sanskrit stories, when the gods would seek the help of Brahmaí and Visíníu, even those two would not dare to oppose Shiva; rather they would save the gods through a compromise with Him. Shiva had such a forgiving nature, born out of His spirit of benevolence, that even the most wicked could easily draw on His kindness. That is why to everybody He became Aíshutosía (Easy to Please). Due to Shivaís pervasive influence over their society, the non-Aryans, that is, the Tantrics, used to worship Him as God, and according to their respective intellectual strata they regarded and accepted Him in His different bearings. Just as the Aryans began to identify Shiva with their own gods and goddesses, the kaola mahaítaíntrikas [great Tantrics in the tradition of kulakunídíalinii yoga] began to regard Shiva as identical with Nirgunía Brahma [unqualified Supreme Consciousness]. The foremost cause behind this conception of theirs was the absolute detachment and self-forgetful bearing of Shiva, the lord of supernatural and miraculous power. Shivaís self-sacrificing nature earned Him the name Bholaínaítha [one absolutely indifferent to his own status] among the non-Aryans. All were attracted to Shivaís supernatural power, His imposing personality, His limitless qualities and the calm, tranquil radiance of His features....

409

Shivaís influence over the Aryans increased more and more. The Aryans began to feel that, being so indebted to Shiva, they could no longer afford to disregard Him. It was Shiva who had taught them spiritual saídhanaí, aísanas and praíníaíyaíma [meditation, yoga postures and breath control]; the secret of good health; the science of medicine; and the developed art of dance and music. For His excellence in dancing, both the Aryans and non-Aryans used to call Him Natíaraíja, and for His proficiency in vocal music, Naídatanu. No one has counted the number of medicines He invented for every kind of disease. He was the first preceptor of the aíyurvedaícaíryas [teachers of aíyurveda, the science of medicine to increase longevity]. The asuras [Mongolians] were cured of many serious diseases due to His grace. Both the Aryans and the non-Aryans thought that since Shiva knew so many remedies, He was perhaps immortal, and so they named Him Mrtyuinjaya [conqueror of death]. ... The present social system of India (which is fundamentally Tantric) was developed by Shiva.113 After accepting Shiva as God without any reservation, the Aryans appropriated everything good of the Dravidians and the other non-Aryans. Of course this did not diminish the Aryansí prestigeórather it enhanced it. ... Not only in India, but in quite a large part of the world, in every sphere of life, the laws and injunctions of Shiva alone prevailed for a long time. Even today the civilization of modern India is intrinsically Tantric. On the outside only is there a Vedic stamp. Or if we take the Indian civilization as an enameled ornament, then its gold is Tantric, and the enamel Vedic. ... When the Indians were about to forget the teachings of Shiva due to their fascination with the mundane objectivities of the world, there came another sublime entity like Shiva, who reminded them of those teachings. That great personality was Shri Krsínía [Krishna]. The question as to which of the two was greater, Krsínía or Shiva, does not arise, because all knowers of Brahma are one: all are Brahma. Shiva was the first guru to loudly proclaim that men and women are spiritually equal. He initiated His daughter and His three wives, who all became famous yoginis. He also was the first to introduce the system of marriage in order to bind together father, mother and children. 113

ON TANTRA, VEDA AND YOGA 410 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER

Glossary

The spelling of some of the Sanskrit words has been adjusted in the text to make them easier to pronounce. In such cases, their proper Roman Sanskrit spelling is clarified here. (The word Sanskrit itself falls in such a category; its proper spelling is Samískrta.) Ananda Marga is abbreviated as ìAM.î ACHARYA (proper spelling Aícaírya, feminine form Aícaíryaí): Literally ìone who teaches others by his or her example.î The teachers of personal meditation lessons in AM are acharyas. ANANDA MARGA (proper spelling Aínanda Maírga): Literally ìthe path of bliss or infinite happiness.î ANANDA NAGAR (proper spelling Aínanda Nagar): Literally ìplace of blissî. An area well over 1000 hectares, which is the site of AMís permanent headquarters. In the past many great yogis performed

meditation here. ASANA (proper spelling Aísana): Literally ìeasy position.î Physical postures designed to purify the body, and to some extent the mind, by harmonizing the glandular secretions, blood circulation, and nerves. AVADHUTA (proper spelling Avadhuíta, feminine form is Avadhuítikaí): Literally, ìone who is thoroughly cleansed mentally and spiritually.î Traditionally one who renounces all worldly attachments, whose naked body is covered only by ashes, and passes much time in cremation grounds. In AM, after the renunciate acharya learns kapalika meditation, he or she becomes an avadhuta. AVIDYA: The extroversial or centrifugal force causing ignorance and attraction for external objects. AVIDYA TANTRA: Practices for the attainment of occult powers. BABA NAM KEVALAM (proper spelling Baíbaí Naím Kevalam): Baba means ìGod, most Beloved, or divine Father,î Nam means ìëname,î Kevalam means ìonly.î The universal mantra of AM used for kiirtan and introductory meditation. CHAKRA (proper spelling Cakra): Literally ìcircle.î Psycho-physical plexi located along the spinal column. The awakening of these cen411

ters relates to the attainment of spiritual awareness or occult powers. COSMIC MIND: Cosmic Consciousness has a guiding nucleus called Cosmic Mind. It has no physical location. DADA: Literally ìelder brother.î A male acharya is commonly called Dada. DARSHAN: Literally ìto seeî or ìto see with intuition.î Disciples refer to being with their guru as darshan. DHARMA: Spirituality; psycho-spiritual longing; oneís original nature or innate tendency; the path of righteousness in social affairs. The special characteristic of a thing by virtue of which that thing is what it is, and in the absence of which that thing loses its identity. The dharma of fire is to burn. Striving for self-realization and service to others is the dharma of humans. DHARMA MAHACHAKRA (proper spelling Dharma Mahacakra): Maha means ìgreatî, chakra means ìcircleî, i.e. total literal meaning is ìthe great circle of spiritualityî or ìthe great group meditation. î A series of formal darshans by Baba over a few days, climaxing with His Varabhaya mudra. DHARMA SAMIKSHA (proper spelling Dharma Samiksía): Literally ìanalysis of oneís adherence to the path of righteousness.î It was a program that Baba conducted for a few months in 1981, during which He called all Margis to individually analyze their personal conduct and health. DIDI: Literally ìelder sister.î A female acharya is commonly called Didi. DMC: Abbreviation for Dharma Mahachakra. DMS: Abbreviation for Dharma Mahasamelan. Samelan means ìgatheringî. DMS literally means ìthe great spiritual gathering.î A series of formal sittings by a special representative of Baba. FULL-TIMER: Short for Local Full-Time volunteer. GENERAL SECRETARY: After the President, the highest global AM authority.

GS, GS-DADA, or GS-DA: Abbreviations for General Secretary. GLOSSARY 412 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER GURU (proper spelling Guíruí): Literally one who dispels the darkness; one who leads others out of darkness. Spiritual master or preceptor. Ultimately the guru is a purely psycho-spiritual entity, guiding the spiritual aspirant toward oneís lifeís goal. GURU PUJA: A mantra sung together with mudras by which the devotee offers oneís ego attachments to the guru. INITIATION: In Sanskrit called ìdiksha,î literally ìgiving spiritual light.î Personal individualized instruction in meditation by the guru. In AM it is given through the medium of an acharya. JAGRITI (proper spelling Jagrti): Literally ìplace of spiritual development. î AM yoga centers, including group meditation hall and living space. -JI(or -JII): Suffix added on to names. Gives feeling of respect with love. KAOSHIKI (proper spelling Kaosíikii): Literally a dance to develop the layers (kosas) of the mind. Yogic dance invented by Baba. Especially suitable for females, though also good for males. KAPALIKA MEDITATION (proper spelling Kaípaílika): Higher meditation done late night in graveyard, usually taught only when an acharya becomes an avadhuta. KIIRTAN (proper spelling Kiirtana): Singing of Godís name, with dance, done before meditation. In AM, chant is Baba Nam Kevalam. KUNDALINI (proper spelling Kunídíalinii): Spiritual energy force which rises up the spine through the Chakras. One of Tantraís purposes is to raise the kundalini. LUNGI: Cloth worn like a sarong by a man. Part of the renunciate acharyaís uniform. MANTRA: Literally man means ìmind,î and tra means ìliberate,î i.e. ìa word or words which, when concentrated upon, leads to liberation of the mind from all bondages.î MARGI (proper spelling Maírgii): Literally ìone who is on the spiritual path.î Member of AM. MASTER UNIT: Model AM spiritual community. Including agriculture and service projects. 413

MICROVITA: Mysterious emanation of the Cosmos. The smallest entities of the Cosmos. Though alive, they are the building blocks of matter and energy. Singular is microvitum. MUDRA (proper spelling Mudraí): Meaningful gesture of hands and/ or feet. Both in yoga and Indian classical dance. See Varabhaya Mudra. NEO-HUMANISM: Universalism. Babaís philosophy has three legs ó AM, Prout, and Neo-Humanism. Neo-Humanism serves the needs of all ó humans, plants and animals. It is a philosophy, a spiritual goal, and a way to overcome dogma. NAMASKAR: A mudra of greeting and parting, touching the forehead and heart. It means ìWith my mind and my heart I respect the Divinity in you.î PARAMA PURUSHA (proper spelling Parama Purusía): Supreme Consciousness; Infinite Entity; God.

PERSONAL CONTACT: An individual psycho-spiritual experience given by Baba to Margis. PRABHAT SANGIIT (proper spelling Prabhaít Samígiita): Literally ìsongs of the new dawn.î The 5018 songs composed by Baba. PRASAD: Food infused with spiritual vibrations through kiirtan or the guruís touch. PROUT: Acronym for the Progressive Utilization Theory. The socio-economic theory given by Baba. See Appendix for complete explanation. SADHANA (proper spelling Saídhanaí): Literally ìsustained effortî; spiritual practice; meditation. SAMADHI: Literally ìstate of complete absorption.î Various psychospiritual states achieved while passing through the chakras. Oneness with Cosmic Mind. SAMSKARA (proper spelling Samískaíra): 1)Unexpressed reaction. Consequential action or thought necessitated by a previous thought. 2)That which determines oneís individuality. 3)Popularly (though wrongly) called ìkarma.î GLOSSARY 414 TRAVELS WITH THE MYSTIC MASTER SANSKRIT (proper spelling Samískrta): Ancient language developed by Tantric yogis. Each letter relates to a different human instinct, and a different psychic sound. The mother language having the most links with other languages. SECTOR: In AM the largest administrative division below global. There are nine sectors, each a continent or sub-continent. SHIVA: Literally ìsupreme consciousness.î The founder of methodical Tantra. Lived around 5000 BC. Introduced systems of yoga, marriage, medicine, dance, song and social cooperation. Proper name was ìSadashiva.î SHLOKA: A Sanskrit verse or saying. SIXTEEN POINTS: A summary of the most important AM practices. TANDAVA (proper spelling Taínídíava): A vigorous dance for males formulated by Shiva. Stimulates all the glands and develops courage. Symbolizes the fight between life and death. TANTRA: 1)A spiritual tradition originated in prehistoric India. First systematized by Shiva. Develops human vigor to overcome all weaknesses through meditation and by confronting difficult situations. 2)A scripture of 64 books expounding that tradition. UNIT: 1)An AM group regularly meeting for group meditation. 2)ìUnit mindî is the mind of an individual living entity. A reflection of Cosmic Mind. VIDYA: The introversive or centripetal force causing attraction for the Supreme Nucleus. Leads to knowledge and correct perception. VIDYA TANTRA: Practices for surrender to God, and for becoming one with God. It teaches morality is the base; intuition the means; and life divine the goal. WHOLETIMER: Renunciate monk or nun whose life is committed to service through AM. Most wholetimers are acharyas. WOMENíS WELFARE DEPARTMENT: Abbreviated WWD. AM department run by and for women. AM recognizes that men and women are spiritually equal.

WORKER: Generally refers to wholetime workers. May also include full-timers. 415

VARABHAYA MUDRA (proper spelling Varaíbhaya): Vara means ìboon,î and ìabhayaî means fearlessness due to feeling completely protected. So ìVarabhayaî means ìblessing of fearlessness, or blessing with protection and without fear.î Mudra means ìmeaningful hand gesture.î In Dharma Mahachakras Babaís Varabhaya mudra caused Margis to enter higher states of consciousness. YOGA: Literally ìunion.î The paramount teaching of Tantra. Consists of physical, mental, spiritual and social practices to increase oneís subtlety. Ultimately unites the unit mind with the Cosmic Mind. YOGI: One who practices yoga. GLOSSARY

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