Living with Baba

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Living with Baba
More Drama at Copenhagen

Baba's 1979 European tour was highly successful and full of fascination, and was even dramatic at times. Denmark was one of the countries in His itinerary.

When Baba and His entourage arrived at the airport in Copenhagen, they had to wait in line for immigration clearance, like all the other passengers. When our turn came, the immigration officer took our passports and left the counter. Within a few minutes, another officer came and requested us to stand in a separate line. After some time, the officer emerged from behind the counter and talked to a police officer. The police officer and the immigration officer both came over to us and asked us who P.R. Sarkar was. We pointed to Baba. They went over to Baba and told Him that He would have to leave the country immediately.

After the Emergency in India was over, Baba had instructed us to apply for His and several workers' passports. When we got our passports, we found that the passports of the workers were ordinary ones, while Baba's was conditional. A list of countries to which He was allowed to travel was inserted in His passport. Denmark was not on that list. For this reason, the government officials requested Baba to leave the country.

We were altogether eight persons, including Baba. The authorities informed us that, except for Baba, the others could enter the country and travel freely. Baba would, however, have to return to His country of origin.

Baba responded to this adverse situation with the finesse of a leader and a diplomat rolled into one. He instructed us that no official should talk to Him directly, except through His personal assistant; and informed us that in accordance with international law, any passenger is allowed to stay twenty-four hours in any international airport as a transit passenger. These officers were ignorant of or simply ignoring the law. They clearly intended to harass Baba. Baba further stated that as there were altogether eight persons in His entourage, the authorities should be held responsible for arranging the return tickets of all eight persons, as none of them were at fault. We did not have any intention to stay in Denmark anyway. We were only in transit.

The whole incident was infused with melodrama. On the one hand, Baba was His usual self, talking with us in Bengali and relating with us in an ordinary way. Then, out of the blue, He asked us, "Do you want to see a drama?" He then maintained a stony countenance with the government officials who tried to harass Him. What a drama!

Meanwhile, outside the airport, two dadas and many Margiis were waiting to receive us. The dadas, who did not have access to any information, could not understand why we were not coming out. With some effort, they managed to send two Margiis inside to find out what was happening. The two Margiis found us and we explained the situation to them. They immediately went back outside and organized the other Margiis. They prepared a protest note and handed it to the airport authorities. In the note, they said that they were followers of Shrii P.R Sarkar, the spiritual head of Ananda Marga. They demanded to know why this democratic country was giving so much trouble to their spiritual head. They added that the members and followers of Ananda Marga from several different countries had assembled there to receive their Master. They further demanded to know the reasons for His detention at the airport. Then, right outside the airport, they began to sing kiirtan! They appeared upset and agitated. They were, however, very disciplined, and well organized, guided by the dadas.

The moment the airport authorities received the protest note from the Margiis, they were in a quandary as to what should be done. They were concerned that a problem of law and order might erupt if action was not taken to please the agitated Margiis. They decided to hatch a new plan and embark on a completely different strategy. They approached Baba with a number of senior officials and asked Him, "You have so many followers who are waiting outside. Why don't you meet them?"

Baba simply refused to talk to the officials and continued to maintain His stony silence. He then indicated that the dadas should talk to them. We informed the officials that we did not have any intention to go outside the airport, as we were just waiting to catch the next connecting flight. By this time, the drama was in splendid form. It was amazing. Just a few minutes earlier, these people wanted Baba to return to India. But now, the same people requested us to meet with the Margiis assembled outside the airport, just to maintain law and order and solve their immediate problem. What a humiliating situation it was for them!

Meanwhile, the drama unfolded in the airport. After repeated requests, Baba finally indicated to us to agree to meet the Margiis outside on certain conditions: Firstly, the airport officials were to treat us as VIPs; secondly, He would meet His followers only in the VIP hall of the airport; thirdly, there must not be any non-Margiis in the VIP hall at that time; and fourthly, there should not be any policeman in uniform in the hall. The airport authorities agreed to all our demands, and arranged everything. A police officer in civil dress accompanied us.

Baba and His entourage reached the VIP hall first, where we arranged a chair for Him. We moved the other pieces of furniture to create enough space for the Margiis to sit. When everything was ready, we informed the airport officials accordingly, who then opened the gate to the VIP hall. The Margiis and dadas came quickly into the hall, in a very disciplined manner. They sat on the floor before Baba, at His feet. Everybody's face shone with happiness. The police officer just could not imagine how peaceful everybody was, contrary to his expectation of an anarchic situation. He later told us that this man (Baba) has a magnetic personality.

And he was right. Baba attracts everyone; He draws everyone and everything to Himself! The dada in charge of the training center in Sweden was also there in the crowd, together with more than twenty new dadas and didis. They sang a sweet, devotional song for Baba. After that, Baba spoke a few words to His devotees. The new dadas, didis and Margiis performed kaoshikii , tandava  and Guru puja before Him. It was really a very beautiful scene, all organized by Him!

It drove home the lesson that everything is in His control and that we are just actors in the Cosmic drama.
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