Living with Baba

Living with Baba

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Story in Patna Jail

In 1971 Baba was arrested on false charges and unjustly imprisoned in Patna, Bihar. Learning of this, we protested against the government's action. As a result, we were also arrested and imprisoned in the Patna jail. One Margii from Saharsa, North Bihar, was with us in the same cell. He told us the following story.

When he was initiated, his acarya instructed him not to be involved in any casteism or groupism. India is a caste-ridden, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious society. Baba had always demanded that Margiis reject any divisive elements, so that a truly universal human society could be established on this earth.

Once, a village meeting was called to discuss some issues related to caste. The meeting was held at night. Remembering his acarya's instruction, he decided not to attend the meeting. However, after some time, he changed his mind and decided to attend the meeting.

The venue of the meeting was just a short distance from his house. To reach it, he had to cross a small paddy field. It was a moonlit summer night. He left his house for the meeting. As he was about to cross the paddy field, he saw a poisonous snake just a little distance in front of him, barring his way. He picked up a stone and threw it at the snake, hoping to frighten it off. The snake slithered away and disappeared. But a little while later, it reappeared in front of him in all its venomous glory. He picked up another stone and threw it at the snake. Again, it moved away. This incident repeated itself several times.

The Margii finally reached the venue and participated in the meeting.

Several months after this incident, he got the opportunity of personal contact with Baba. During personal contact, Baba rebuked him sternly, "I told you not to participate in that meeting and gave you a warning several times, but still you went to that meeting."
Baba explained that the snake was His personal warning to him not to attend that meeting, which discussed caste-related issues, something that Margiis should denounce. He immediately recalled that incident but could not understand how Baba knew about the meeting. Who told Baba? He was meeting Baba for the first time.

This story is instructive. Baba has always strongly discouraged His devotees against parochial attitudes and narrow cultural, ethnic, and religious sentiments. He wants them to have a universal outlook, taking all human beings as brothers and sisters. He also wants His devotees to extend the same love to animals and plants and even to inanimate objects, taking all as different expressions of the Supreme Consciousness. Without a universal outlook, spiritual progress is not possible.