Living with Baba

Living with Baba

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Trouble at School

Nothing in the world is free from interference and vested-interest - not even noble work and service. One may try to do good work through educational, relief or other developmental projects. But there are other people, guided by self-interest, who would either try to gain from your efforts or obstruct your noble work. Such people are aplenty, like bugs, stains the underside of every noble endeavor. However, one must not be deterred in the face of such obstacles. Rather, one should carry on regardless of the deliberate hinderances. The Supreme Entity recognizes all selfless work and quietly helps people complete their noble tasks by removing or neutralizing the obstacles. This story illustrates this point.

We have an Ananda Marga school in Kandi, Murshidabad district in West Bengal. Sometime in 1983, a young missionary of Ananda Marga was posted there to hold the position of the school principal. The school was rented from a local businessman.

One day, the dada went to the Central Office in Calcutta to report on the progress of his work. He returned after five days. When he returned, he saw to his dismay a notice on the notice board regarding a meeting with parents and guardians to be held the following day. He went up to the teacher-in-charge to seek clarification as to why the meeting had been called without his approval. The teacher rudely replied that he did not require his permission to call for a meeting as the teachers were actually the ones running the school.

An argument ensued and a group of teachers forcibly evicted dada from the school compound, saying that the school was no longer an Ananda Marga school. They removed the sign board and replaced it with a new one, indicating that the school was no longer an Ananda Marga school. They then locked the gate of the school.

Actually, a group of teachers plotted this scheme for some time, as they wanted to take over the management of the school. They conspired with the landlord to take over the school premises.

There was nothing that dada could do. He went back to the Central Office the next day and reported this matter to his head of department, Dada Mantreshvarananda. Dada then scolded him severely for leaving his position and for allowing unauthorized persons to take over the management of the school.

Dada Mantreshvarananda immediately reported this unfortunate coup to the General Secretary (GS) Dada, who then informed Baba of this matter. He also suggested that I should be requested to resolve this problem.

Baba agreed to this proposition and called me into His room. He instructed me, "Tapeshvarananda, we have to regain control of our school. You must use legal and any other means for that purpose. Do not fail."

I took Baba's blessing and immediately left for Kandi. I reached my destination and stayed the night at a Margii's house. The next morning, I went to consult some senior lawyers. I met a civil lawyer, who agreed to take up our case. He also advised that I file a criminal case and suggested the names of a few expert criminal lawyers whom I could approach.

Dada Mantreshvarananda had also arrived in Kandi by that time. Both of us took a rickshaw and tried to locate the lawyers. It was raining heavily. We went from house to house, but each time, we could not meet any of the lawyers. It was very frustrating for us. We were tired and hungry, with no progress in sight. We had been out many hours but we could not find a single criminal lawyer who would assist us with our case. While we were in the rickshaw, Dada Mantreshvarananda complained, "I don't know why Baba is torturing us. It is raining heavily and we are all wet. We could not even take our food, meditate or do what we set out to do." Understanding his state of mind, I replied that we should be patient and just do our duty and allow Baba to do His duty.

At around 9.30 p.m., we went to the house of a Muslim criminal lawyer, who listened to our case with interest. He agreed to take up our case.

As our efforts finally bore fruit, Dada Mantreshvarananda decided to return to Calcutta, while I stayed back to discuss the case in greater detail with our lawyers.

After a few days, I returned to Calcutta. When I met Baba, the first thing He said to me was the exact words of Dada Mantreshvarananda's complaint about Him while he was taking the rickshaw in Kandi. He then said, "Mantreshvarananda is not seeking the Cosmic play properly and doesn't understand how Baba is actually helping him." He then asked me whether I knew why we had not been successful in finding a suitable criminal lawyer, although we searched for one whole day. He explained that all the lawyers we approached belonged to the same caste as the landlord from whom we rented our school premises. As the landlord was an influential man, he influenced the lawyers to reject our case. Baba further clarified that the Guru's help was provided in the form of the acceptance of the Muslim lawyer to fight our case, after a whole day of fruitless search for a suitable lawyer.

Our legal case was filed in court. When the case came up for hearing, we won, handing a crushing defeat to our opponents. The management of the school was returned to our possession.

This incident clearly shows us that noble work is always sanctioned by the Supreme Entity. Obstacles will always exist, but, they must be bravely faced and overcome. This process of overcoming obstacles strengthens our internal power and makes us better servants of society. Victory will always be ours if our intentions are noble.