Living with Baba

Living with Baba

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Living with Baba

The yogi's path is the middle path - remaining in the world, yet transcending it. In the past, yogis had sought the seclusion of the mountains, caves and forests to seek liberation. They did not care about the suffering humanity, the millions of people who needed help at all levels - physical, mental and spiritual. Baba had rejected this narrow self-centered approach to self-realization, labeling such yogis as "spiritual capitalists". Rather, Baba had encouraged spiritual aspirants to serve humanity selflessly while remaining in the world, to take every created object, animate or inanimate, as a manifestation of the Supreme Consciousness. He had advised sadhakas to adopt the path of madhuvidya, which is to perform every action with the ideation of Brahma or the Supreme Consciousness. The following story illustrates the inner meaning of madhuvidya.

Two yogis went to meet their guru after completing their theoretical and practical yogic training. During the journey, they reached a river which had to be crossed. At the bank of the river, they saw a young disabled girl crying. One of them asked her why she was crying.

She explained that she was paralyzed and could not move easily. She was only able to move on land by crawling and using her two hands and shoulders to pull herself along, but in the water she was unable to do this. She added that she had waited for a long time for somebody to help her cross the river. The yogi offered to help her cross the river if she would sit on his shoulders.

She immediately agreed to this suggestion. He then gently lifted her up onto his shoulders and carried her across the river to the other side. Upon reaching the other side of the river, the girl thanked him, and then continued on her way. The yogi too continued on his journey to his guru's residence.

Meanwhile, the other yogi, who was ahead of him, had witnessed the entire incident. He thought to himself, how can a yogi carry a young girl on his shoulders and happily cross the river? This was indeed a gross transgression of a yogi's norms of behaviour and rules of conduct. He thought that his companion had violated the basic principles of yogic morality by touching the girl. In utter disgust, he did not talk to him and maintained a stony silence for the rest of the journey.

The journey took two full days. After two days of walking they reached the home of their guru. Both of them reverently greeted their guru upon seeing him. After the greetings, the first yogi took the opportunity to inform the guru of his friend's immoral violation of his conduct rules. He thought that it was his responsibility to inform the guru of such unacceptable violations of morality, in order that the guru would punish the wrong-doer. On hearing this, the guru became silent for a few moments. He then took a cane and severely beat the yogi who had complained. After that the guru said, "He certainly had physical contact with that small girl for just fifteen minutes, and after fifteen minutes he physically and mentally removed everything from his mind. But without even touching the girl, you kept her in your mind for more than two days. True, he touched the girl, but he did it with a pure mind without attachment. He helped her thinking that he had helped God in the form of the girl. But even without touching or without doing anything external, you polluted your mind, and still you are unable to clean the filthy thoughts from your mind."

The guru further explained that this world is maya, a cosmic illusion. Nothing is absolute truth in this world. As everything is only relative truth, he advised the yogi not to get involved with the world and accept it as absolute truth. If one wants to be attached to anything, he should be attached only to Him. Do everything as a duty but always keep the mind pure with the ideation of Brahma. One can take a full bath in the river, while keeping the hair dry. One can also cook food without touching the pan. This is the way of the Yogi: performing all useful actions in the world in the spirit of service and sacrifice, while constantly remaining detached from the world.
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