Living with Baba

Living with Baba

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A Friend from Childhood

There was an old man who came to the Calcutta Ananda Marga ashram one day in the year 1989. He informed the guard at the ashram's gate that he was a childhood friend of Baba and wanted to meet Him. The man provided the guard with his name and address. Baba was immediately informed and He instructed, "Please bring this man to Me with proper respect. I will talk to him."

The man was quickly ushered into His residence. Baba talked to him privately for a while. As he was leaving, we noticed that his eyes were full of tears. We were all curious. Who was this special man to whom Baba gave a private audience?

Baba knew of our curiosity and recounted the story of the gentleman. He mentioned that both of them studied together when they were children and were very close friends. Baba's father was a strict man and a disciplinarian. But His friend's father was an extremely strict person, much more than Baba's father was. He imposed a rigid daily routine on his son, which had to be followed strictly. Any violation of the routine was a punishable offense.

The boys used to play out every afternoon. Baba's friend had to return home by a certain time. It happened that one day, he returned home half an hour later than usual. His father was waiting for him in the drawing room with a stern look on his face. The boy trembled with fear, realizing the mistake he had made. As he entered the room his father thundered, "Look at the clock. What is the time now?"

Without hesitation, the father then took a cane and gave the boy a sound thrashing. As a result, he became very upset and decided to run away from home. He confided in Baba his secret plan the following day. As he respected Baba very much, he wanted to know Baba's opinion of his plan.

Baba advised him not to go anywhere and not to leave the house, but apologize to his father for his mistake and ensure him that in future he would not give his father even a single chance to scold him. Baba's friend accepted His advice and apologized to his father, promising him never to repeat this mistake. The father was very pleased with his son and forgave him.

Besides the advice, Baba also revealed certain things regarding his future. Several years later, His friend got a good government job. Whatever Baba had told him about his future had all come true. Baba explained that he had come to pay his respects to Him and to remind Him about what He had told him when they were children.

This little incident gives us an uncommon glimpse of His early life - how He guided His childhood friends, how He advised them about the appropriate course of action, and how to discriminate between right and wrong. It is impossible to know how many people He had helped. But one thing that is for sure, He is Baba for everybody.