Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The precious word of Brahmachari : "Forgive me for having expressed my treasured secret love for you.

Biographical episodes, part V

Next day, Guruji called his young disciple to his side and said, "You have acquired sufficient theoretical knowledge of the scriptures. The intellectual understanding so gained must now give way to actual experience which will come through the performance of certain yogic practices based on a special technique. This special technique, which I shall reveal to you, would, however, require that you stay all by yourself at another place away from the Ashram. Should you stay and practice here, my other disciples feeling jealous of you might hinder your progress.
Some of them have been here for twenty-five years but lacking zealousness, they are not yet worthy claimants to the
knowledge of this special technique. There is a place three miles away from here. You will go and stay there and
practice this technique. Once every week you will come
in the evening, spend the night in the Ashram and return early next day. Tomorrow, I will command you to leave
for that place, but in order to keep your mission a secret,
I will give you a big scolding in front of the others and tell
you to pack up and leave the Ashram and go to that particular place. Don't be afraid of my scolding. Quietly collect your things and leave.
Others will think that you have committed some blunder and incurred my displeasure.
They will think I have banished you from the Ashram."

The young disciple expressed his total willingness to carry out his Guru's instructions. The special technique was clarified to him. Next day, as per script, Guruji created a dramatic scene in the Ashram. He appeared to be in a
tempestuous mood, upbraiding all and sundry. When our
hero appeared on the stage, "others felt sheltered" as "he
faced the torrent of words that were reserved for him:
"Get out of here. This is no place for children. You have no business to be here. ... Keeper, throw this little fellow out, get the hut vacated. And do it fast. . .. Get out."
"Where shall I go, Maharaj?"
"Go wherever you like. . .. Keeper, tell him about
that place three miles away from here. If he wants he can
go and stay there or he can go wherever he likes."
"As you please, Maharaj." The child ascetic bowed to
Guruji, collected his belongings and seven days' food supply and made off to his new abode.

A week passed. Another week. Many weeks. Many, many weeks. Every Thursday, he visited the Ashram,
laid himself at the Guru's feet, related his experiences and returned next morning with fresh instructions for the ensuing week. A new light dawned that grew brighter day
by day, week by week, month by month, prodding him,
guiding him, speeding him along the inward journey.

Guruji once sent a messenger to him to ask,
"Is there any vacant place with you for me to come and stay?"
"No place at all," was the reply.

The devoted messenger taken aback pleaded,
"One should be very careful about what to say to one's Guru.
If I convey your reply to Guruji he will be even more displeased with you than he has been so far and he'd probably shift some of his displeasure on to us. I will tell him that there are a lot of rooms in the caves over there and that he's welcome to come and stay."
“Look here. I respect your age, your learning and your devotion to Guruji. Being elder to me, I honour you.
But right now, you have come as a messenger. You have conveyed Guruji's question to me. Go and convey my answer to him: 'Not a single room over here is vacant.'
After that whatever you like to say on your own, you may
please do so. But my reply should reach him in my words:
'Not a single room over here is vacant.'
If Guruji is displeased that will be my headache. You don't have to worry as you are just a messenger at present."
The messenger conveyed the reply. Guruji remained silent but the Ashramites were astounded at the insulting attitude of the young Brahmachari. He ought to be taught a lesson when he comes this Thursday, they thought.
Came Thursday evening. Came the Brahmachari to
pay obeisance to his Guru. All the Ashramites looked askance at him and waited eagerly to see what chastisement was in store for him at the hands of Guruji. When
Guruji remained calm and quiet, one of the disciples, who thought himself to be extra close to the Master, said, "Maharaj, what penance, what atonement is prescribed for a person who disrespects his Guru. Disrespect amounts to contempt, does it not? How should such a man be treated who disrespects his Guru, shows contempt for him?
Guruji, well aware of the Ashramites' mood, posed
innocence, and said: "Your question is not yet very clear.
Why don’t you illustrate it with an example?“
The questioner hesitated but, seeing no way out, went on: "That day, Maharaj, you had expressed a desire to
go and stay in one of the rooms in the caves where the
young Brahmachari is staying. You sent a messenger
to enquire whether there was room over there and the messenger returned with the curt reply that there was no room available there, whereas the fact is that many rooms were and still are lying vacant over there. This insulting attitude has hurt all of us very much and we would like
you to tell us how we should behave towards this impertinent young fellow."
Guruji turned his face towards the young Brahmachari and queried, "Well, what have you to say in this connection?" 'Shricharan, you alone are fit to guide my fellow disciples as regards how they should behave towards me.
As for what I said that day, it was absolutely true and it
is still true that there is no vacant place with me
Voices intervened, "What about two rooms in the corner ... ?" "What about the rooms facing your room?"
"Do I not know the correct position?" murmured the Brahmachari.
Guruji intervened, "Why don't you make everything clear to them?"
"Maharaj, it's a matter between you and me. They are
in no way concerned and. ... "
"All right. All right. You explain yourself to me. If they want to listen, let them do so."

The young Brahmachari clarified himself thus:
"As far as I've been able to understand, Guruji, you do not
live in houses made of stone and clay. You live subtly
in the hearts of your devotees. Shricharan, all the space
in my heart is already occupied by you. The day I surrendered
myself to you. I emptied every nook and corner of my
heart and filled it up with love of you. No room lies vacant
in here. As for the rooms in the caves where I live, Maharaj,
you already know that they are lying vacant and had you
desired to stay in one of them, you would have done so without, your asking me. Who am I to ask, anyway? I
took it, Maharaj, that you wanted to know about the rooms
in my heart and it is in that context that I gave the reply
that all the rooms were full and not a single one is vacant."
After saying this, the Brahmachari took a deep breath and lapsed into silence. His face reddened. He looked
awkward and embarrassed as if he had been made to strip. The great grand secret which he had treasured all this
time now lay bare before banal eyes. He wished he had not
been called upon to express the mystery of his unquestioning faith, his unalloyed devotion, his unadulterated love,
his impassionate self-surrender to his Guru.
It came as a revelation to his other disciples. They
looked at each other and buried their eyes in shame What they had mistaken for a small piece of coal was really a big sparkling diamond with just a thin veil of coal-dust on it. Whom they had thought to be an arrogant fool
turned out to be a humble sage. They regretted their shortsightedness and their eyes were fiilled with moist repentance.
Guruji's eyes were also liquid with love. The secret of
the great romance between the Master and the disciple was out at last. It was a profound moment of truth that stretched itself into an hour having the appearance of
Eternity. The deep silence was broken at last by Guruji, "All of you please leave." One by one the disciples retired
to their huts except the Brahmachari. "Forgive me for having expressed my treasured secret love for you," he said. "It's true that this is a very personal matter," said
Guruji. "But what has happened has happened well.
Think no more about it. What you have done was at my
behest. Love, faith, surrender form the basis of all inner
development. But can they be taken away from you and shared or even emulated? Hardly. That is the law of nature!"

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