Living with Baba

Living with Baba

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His Visit to Athens

Our Europe tour took us to Athens, Greece. We reached the airport very early in the morning. The local dada and several Margiis were waiting to receive Baba at the airport. We actually had no official program in Athens, and were in transit to Frankfurt. We had to wait in the airport for nearly twelve hours before catching our connecting flight. Accordingly, the airlines arranged for us to rest in a nearby airport hotel.

Upon reaching the hotel, Baba informed me of His intention to go for field walk after two hours. Accordingly, I informed the local Bhukti Pradhan (BP) and other Margiis, and together we arranged for His field walk. Meanwhile, we completed our morning duties, meditation and breakfast. Just before His field walk Baba informed me that He wished to give darshan. I consulted the BP and he offered his house for this purpose.

I was very busy organizing His whole program. Didi Ananda Karuna was preparing Baba's food with the help of the BP's wife. After Baba had completed His walk, He came to the BP's residence for the darshan. He gave personal contact to several Margiis followed by general darshan. We then performed kaoshikii and tandava. After the program, the BP's wife eagerly waited for Baba to take His meal, which she had lovingly prepared.

However, the moment general darshan was over, Baba informed us that He wanted to return immediately to the hotel. We were all taken aback by His unusual request. The BP, Margiis and whole-timers all tried to persuade Baba to take His meal first. But He insisted on returning forthwith to the hotel. We then decided to pack the food and left for the hotel. In the car, I noticed that He was in a rather serious mood.

When we reached the hotel, we were surprised to see many police officers there. We discovered that the police officers were looking for us. As we were transit passengers, we were confined to the premises of the hotel. Upon discovering that we were not at the hotel, the police officers questioned the hotel manager as to our whereabouts. Unfortunately, he was unable to respond satisfactorily and the police officers wanted to press charges on the innocent manager for allowing us to leave the hotel premises. In fact, we had earlier informed the manager that we were going to visit a friend for a short while, and that we would return as soon as possible. The manager did not see any problem with that request and allowed us to leave, even without noting down the address of our destination.

Meanwhile, the situation became increasingly serious for the manager, while the police continued to harass him. It was exactly at that point in time that Baba insisted on going back to the hotel immediately. We explained our absence to the police and settled the matter. We then realized why Baba insisted on going back to the hotel, even without taking His meal, lovingly prepared by a devotee, which was rather unusual. Baba is always the perfect gentleman. He always acknowledges the good things His devotees do.