Living with Baba

Living with Baba

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The Real Sadhana
Pleasing Baba is the Real Sadhana

It was during the eighties, Baba was in His Jodhpur Park, Calcutta office. One day, He said to me, "I need one thousand varieties of rose plants for My garden." He then gave me detailed directions to the nursery where I could buy the plants. Baba continued, "We already have more than 170 varieties of roses in our garden. You can get a list of what we already have from Didi Karuna. You should bring the additional one thousand varieties with you."

He instructed me to leave the same day by overnight train so as to reach my destination early next morning. In this way, I would be able to collect the plants in the daytime and again return at night by train. After giving me these instructions, Baba verified three times whether or not I had understood everything. Satisfied with my affirmative replies, Baba left for His Lake Gardens residence.

I sat for my noontime meditation. However, I could not concentrate at all. I wondered why Baba verified three times with me whether I had understood everything? Then, another thought flashed across my mind: how and where to get the money to buy the rose plants. As I struggled with my meditation, the thought of one particular Margii sister came to my mind. Both she and her husband were teachers and were very good devotees. When Baba gave His discourses on Namami Krsna Sundaram and Namah Shivaya Shantaya, both of them sat in the front row, just next to Baba's feet, and took notes as Baba spoke. I had never asked any money from them previously. Her school was close to her house, but her husband's school was an hour's drive away.

I finished my meditation and took a taxi and quickly reached her house. As I got down from the taxi, she too arrived at the same time. As I had never visited her house before, she asked me the reason for my visit. I immediately told her that I needed money to buy the rose plants that Baba requested. She glanced at her watch, and then told me, "Dada, you just play with my daughter for some time. I will come back soon. Maybe I can still go to the bank." The bank was very close by. I stayed with her young daughter, and within forty minutes she returned and gave me the money needed. With deep gratitude I bade namaskar and then returned quickly to my office.

I immediately arranged for the train ticket to the nursery Baba had told me about. The place was near Deoghar. We have a school there. I reached the school early in the morning, after traveling all night. I took a bath and then went to the nursery, where I met the owner and explained what was required. I handed him a list of the rose plants in our nursery. He looked at the list and told me to come back after three hours. He explained that he needed some time to locate and keep aside the plants. As I had some time in my hands, I returned to the school and completed my meditation. After about two hours I felt the need to go to the nursery to see how things were progressing.

When I arrived I found that the nursery was unable to provide me with all the required plants, as it had only a few varieties useful for my purpose. The proprietor of the nursery, however, informed me that there was another nursery some twenty kilometers from Calcutta, where I might find the requisite variety of rose plants. He provided me with the name and address of that nursery. I thanked him and promptly left the nursery.

I tried to get a train ticket back to Calcutta that night, but I was not successful, as I had too many baskets of plants as accompanying luggage. After some effort to get alternative transportation, I discovered that there was a bus going to Calcutta. I happily boarded the bus with my rose plants, as I had to reach Calcutta as soon as possible.

I reached Calcutta the next afternoon and proceeded straight to Baba's residence. It was raining quite heavily.

Upon reaching, I immediately went to Baba's room and explained the situation to Him. Baba was in no mood to hear any explanation. He looked at me and said sternly, "You could not complete your duty." I felt quite nervous at His cold measured response and replied, "Baba, I am going now." I quickly did sastaunga pranama and left. I took a taxi and proceeded to the other nursery, hoping to get all the plants this time. I reached my destination at about eight o'clock at night. To my dismay, I found the nursery closed. But luckily, the caretaker was there. I informed the caretaker that I wanted to meet the owner of the nursery. The owner lived nearby. The caretaker went to him and informed him of my arrival and request. The owner was kind enough to come and meet me even though the nursery was closed. I again explained what I wanted and told him that I would spend the night in the nursery itself. He kindly arranged my stay.

The next morning he came with his laborers and looked for the plants. By the afternoon he had located and packed all the plants I requested. I thanked him and left for Baba's residence with my plants. I felt happy at my success. I reached Lake Gardens and promptly went into Baba's room. I informed Him that all the plants had been found and happily handed Him the treasured list of one thousand rose plants. Baba immediately called the dada in charge of His garden and issued the necessary instructions to have the plants planted. I saw that Baba was very happy at the completion of this task. Seeing Him happy made me very happy. For me, pleasing Him is the real sadhana, even though one has to go through much discomfort or pain.