volume 2 : Return to Ramanathpur
In 1975 I had saved enough money to go see Baba again. This had been my wish all along. This time however I had told a number of people about the high quality of the man that I had found. Three of them wanted to go to. They were later named Yogananda, Nityananda and Gyanananda.
This was to make my second journey to Baba into a slightly different experience. For one thing I had brought these people so sometimes Baba insisted that I look after them as if they were my own guests. On the otherhand most of the time it was simply born as if the ashram had grown by four.
What was the difference? In America I had been with these close friends and trying to tell them that a chance to meet a man of a different order was precious beyond price. If anyone hears true tales of such a one, one should go there immediately.
I would have been happier altogether if I could have shared that 1975 trip all alone with Baba, as I did in 1974. But it is my uncontrollable nature to want to share everything of value that I find. That which brings me bliss and happiness, I want everyone to have that.
I naively thought that if I could bring any reasonable seeker to this place that they would have experiences similar to my own. I expected they would see Baba as I did and know that this was the pearl without price.
It was my own shortcoming that produced the fantastic idea that all my three friends would duplicate my own situation somehow. And Baba had warned be about anger and so I was to get many lessons about my anger in dealing with the three who accompanied me on the 1975 journey.
Saturday, March 22, 1975
Mike, Glenn and I had arrived at the ashram on Sivaratri, which was the anniversary of my initiation by Baba. I had felt it would be and auspicious day to arrive, and in fact we arrived at the ashram on the night of Sivaratri, the 11th of March. My wish to arrive just on Sivaratri may have been what caused our illness, for we had stayed a day or two in Varanasi, and clearly had picked up some tainted water or food there.
However. Mike had not been feeling well even on the train, and now he began to have diarrhea. Terrible sickness. Within a day we all three had it and were under strictest doctor's care. Vomiting blood. Endless diarrhea. It went on for 3 days.
I got my comeuppance when, passing Mike's illness off as a simple "change of climate" situation I came down with the same severe bug. I guess we all felt humble at such an ordeal. The endless trips to the latrine ensured that.
Great care was taken and several times a day were given medicine. Later I heard that Baba feared we might die from this and was praying deeply in the temple that we should get well.
April 8, 1975
My struggle with my anger and attempt to understand it is increasing. But the anger itself is increasing. I sometimes suspect that Baba throws me into it on purpose.
Just as on the 7th when when he seemed to precipitate my anger by throwing me into conflict with the Janai guys. The night before Baba had gone to Janai to sing harikirtan and other forms of worship. I knew of Baba's heart condition and after a point I wanted him to stop dancing and singing. I got angry at them and told them they did not care about Baba's health, they only cared about their own enjoyment.
The next day Baba very tenderly told me their feelings and asked if I could apologize for implying that the Janai disciples didn't care about their guru. I felt pretty small. It was another new lessons about how things happen in India.
Baba wanted me to see my anger and how it held me in its grasp. I know for certain that Baba sometimes purposefully gets me in anger state just so I can see it happening. He often just assumes anger at me for me to see and ponder the angry effect.
This night Baba seemed to be doing it again but I caught on. I don't remember what happened but he spent the evening chanting and I was inside writing up April 7 by lantern light thinking that if Baba didn't call us I might as well get some writing done.
After singing was done I was very tired and wanted to sleep. Anger was there though not intense, yet I was generally irritated. There was worry about all the work to do. Worried how I would get clear of this anger and pride and judgement. Fearful about Baba's health and the plans for his trip to America, etc., and also annoyed that Baba didn't reveal or say more about what was happening.
But Baba must have thought I was more angry than I was. Anyway, I just did a perfunctory pranam and went off to bed. I felt it was a bit curt but I was exhausted and felt that if he had wanted us to be at the singing he would have said. Nothing spoken. My mind was "karap" (bad). I kept thinking how will I do all this work. What if we don't get the extension, will Baba go. Is his time really short, as he says.
Temple building, learn Bengali, passport for Baba, do tapes, do film, etc. etc. and trying to get all this organized in my mind had worn me down. I was weary Just thinking of doing so much stuff. Mind cracked irritability was the result as well as mental pain, confusion, etc. Thus that night I just wanted to sleep. Glenn and Mike still making me mad, immature, not respectful, etc. As l was going to sleep I heard Baba talking ..bout me outside the library to someone. I couldn't understand everything but I knew it was about my anger.
April 9, 1975
When I wake up it seems everyone is laughing to me about my anger. Alpona says, "beshi rag?" (a lot of anger?). Then at tea time Joya is talking about it, Noyen is talking about it. I don't feel angry then, of course. It is obvious Baba was talking a lot about my anger (worried) after I went to bed. The crappy pranam must have touched off his worry plus the fact that I didn't sit with him or sing with him last evening.
Being confronted by everyone mentioning my anger this morning I go into mood of musing what am I to do? Am I really that angry? maybe I don't see it clearly, maybe it is a big problem. When I go to pranam Baba in the temple after tea, prior to puja, (in library, daily now one week) an event occurs. He starts talking about it, telling me not to get angry, telling me I won't be able to have love, prem, if I have anger, asking me why I didn't sit with him last night.
He is alternating between emphatically emphasizing the seriousness of the problem and nearly crying with love for me (anguish). At one point he says (as if I were letting him down) "What name did I give you? Premananda. I didn't give you any other name. That means love, God. But if you let this anger in there then there will be no way for love." Then he says in a heartrending plaintive voice, "I've been praying to Ma to take this away from you. Ma! my Premananda is getting angry, what to do Ma? Help him," etc.
This plaintive tone shifted my perception of things. Love had brought me to this amazing man's golden feet. But if anger was there the love would be lost.
I asked him what is the root of anger? He replied "kam," desires unfulfilled. When one wants something and does not get it there is the response of anger. This affects everyone.
(Before, when he had asked me why l hadn't done a good pranam or spent awhile with him t night I gave the excuse that I was tired and he repeated my words in a mocking tone to show what a petty thing it was to excuse oneself).
seeing him so deeply concerned for me, and also a mood of increased seriousness in confronting, trying to get rid of these irritated feelings, my heart was thrown into the mood of love for him. I wanted to fall weeping at his feet then. He went on for awhile more. Two things struck me. First, that I had let him down, and was letting him down, by allowing these feelings in my heart. Second, he was hurting for my sake. He was more concerned than I was, he was bearing the problems, i.e. weeping, praying.
A wave of love came over me for him, and something akin to shame, because I was causing him sorrow. Suddenly I saw that the anger and my intense complex worry had been keeping my heart at a distance from him. As I felt all this it was like returning to some of the old feelings of last year - the overwhelming love of guru. He told me to go and do my puja. It felt useless to tell him at that time of the many wearisome burdens that were bothering me at that point. I felt I just wanted to face my anger and pray and to be done with it.
I went to do my puja. Tears came and fell onto the sandalwood as they have before. And I understood that this was the real puja, this was the offering God wanted. The sandalwood mixed with the tears of an aching heart. Baba often said that the only thing God wants from us is our tears of love to drink.
I prayed that this poison would go from me. I prayed that God would take it for I didn't want Baba to, as I had told him. I don't remember everything. My heart ached to be rid of this. The humility came which is the seeing of one's shortcomings. I felt small and crappy, I saw how l had been irritated, I was ashamed that I could have gotten angry with Baba. I saw the connection irritation to my worry, and fear (increasing burden) etc.
Meditated. At ten o'clock Baba comes into the library to call me for fruit. He puts his hand on my head and gives blessing. When he did this the feeling of love rushed to the heart and the tears came again. I stood up and we gazed at each other. I sent him the thoughts of love through my eyes and my sorrow at having caused him worry and pain, and my resolve to end my anger. He went into bhav and embraced me tenderly and I started weeping and his whole body started shaking. Others, were watching yet we were in a world apart. I had a feeling of relief to stand weeping in his arms. This was eternal. This is how we really are, guru and shishya. Then we went for fruit.
Evening. I sit by him after food. I tell him my troubles. He tells me stories. I came and sat down on the porch. Darkness around, lantern light. Baba is smoking his hookah. He said something referring to writing these diaries, and he said, don't you write?
So I grabbed the opportunity to complain about the worries I was having. I said if I want to do writing then when can I do it? I say I would have to write five hours a day to be able to write everything. He says no. I continue. I say how much of other work there is, the temple, the writing, puja, meditation, film, his passport, plans, etc.
He starts telling me "You don't do anything! God is doing everything with God's own power! Let God do everything! Then what it would take you five hours to do you can do in one hour." He starts talking about how Vivekananda used to work, imitating perfectly, lecturing, writing, traveling all around, even cleaning work, food work, and he still had time (demonstrates) for meditation. "No ami kori - God kore," (There is no 'I am doing' - God is doing). This gave me some relief.
Then he told some stories. First he asked me if I had been in dramas, what dramas? I told him. Then he told about a drama he had seen at Chandran's (?) The thief who stole the pastor's candlesticks. "I saw an English drama," he says. It was sweet the way he seemed to remember this with pleasure. Then he said he saw another drama about a sadhu. Then he told the story about the hunter who goes in the forest to look for the sadhu's "son" Gopal, to show how faith and earnest desire leads to God.
April 10, 1975
A letter from Athena came. "The police guys come. Wrote to Freddie because of dream. (I had dreamed that Mike and I went to see Freddie and Camp had become a giant international school. We sang for Freddie. We had a phone call and then heart trouble ala Baba. Freddie was like Baba. After awhile it was okay. couldn't seem to find him again or talk to him so we left. The atmosphere of people along the way seemed hostile). It is Kali puja night.
April 11, 1975
We go to Chandernagore. In the morning Baba is in a high mood, joking about police, childlike anxiety. I tell him that Athena's letter says he won't go to London. I get the feeling these days he will go to America. Kali puja last night, very high, tears. I put on clean clothes, sit. Felt like Siva would wake. Holy night.
April 12, 1975
Ganges bath near Chanderagore. Mike goes to get glasses. Shopping. A letter from mother with a clipping pertaining to this problem of judging others, being irritated, etc. Feels like everything is working together.
April 13, 1975
Went to Raku's, a sitar player/teacher. Returned to ashram. Rain came. Walking through mud. Baba's heart is bad when we came back. He is very worried about us. says why didn't you fix your bedding properly when you left. I sit and watch him eat late. He is talking to Joya Ma, something about "naris" (women), how we should do our own work.
April 14, 1975
Wake up late (9) after telling Debu my "life story" the night before. Baba calls me as I sit for puja. Picks up the door chain and says, "What's this, a mala" I say yes, it's a new type of mala. He does a little japa on it. Glenn laughs. Baba tells me to do puja quickly and come sit with him. I do. He shows me a picture in a book I brought from Jiten's of the lotus chakras. Then he calls for the transcriptions and corrects the first half of the Purushottampur speech.
April 15, 1975
Bengali new year festival. Miraculous response to my prayers at my puja. I had been praying and weeping for the visa thing to work out so I can stay with Baba, the most I had ever called on mother for any "thing". Also praying f@r Baba's health, wishing to take on his pain as he takes on everyone else's. Suddenly after about a half hour of this bhav Baba walks into the library and tells me to come. (I had been asking Mother how I was supposed to have faith if I was snatched away again from the feet of guru, etc.)
Baba takes me to the Hanuman temple where two guys are writing letters to the Writer's Building people for me. I was amazed and overjoyed. It was like a perfect response from God. My hope and faith zoomed high. Even now I thrill to think of it. It was Mother hearing my anguished tearful cry, it was guru running to my aid. No words can express my awe at the quickness of this response.
Other things: Sing with the guys in the yard. (Baba said he was feeling bad and that if we sang he would be happy). Lots of people came, very joyous festival. Fed Debu prasad and also the dog, Tomi. Glenn kicked some kid and I called him an ass. A sitar player came who wanted me to help him go to America.
Later we go to clinic with flowers and New Year's blessings of Baba. Bhavananda gives Baba two years to live. Says he never eats anything. Says he's only alive now because he is a sadhu. Note: on the 14th evening some youth accosted Jiten on Govinda's behalf. There has been some conflict involving Govinda. Baba says not to talk about it. They killed Jesus Christ, he says.
April 16, 1975
Normal day. The men are finishing the floor of the kirtan house. In the afternoon Debu and I make a lotus on the floor. We talk with Baba at his nap after writing to Vimala on my new altar-desk. I tell him again he should go to America. But now he keeps saying he won't go. Asks me if I will shoot him with a pistol if he goes. (At dinner he asks Mike if he will shoot him). I can't tell if he's just playing when he says he won't go. Now my mind wants him to go but I don't care too much as long as I can stay with him. Morning discussion over Mike's lack of faith. Tells the story about the two guys wanting to see God, one so impatient not willing to wait a lifetime, the other very happy to learn it will only take as many lifetimes as there are leaves on the tree. Mike says if he could see God he would have faith but Baba says that's like trying to buy a plane ticket before you give the money. Baba says he's already dead. Does a "mantra" "Ami dead, Ami dead..." ("I am dead, I am dead...").
Evening. We sing awhile. The guys are working late into the night on the cement floor. Talk with Baba. Why is there sorrow? Baba says sorrow is maya. God created five elements. Because of maya we forget God and receive sorrow. Really there is no sorrow, nor joy, only God. Baba mimics eating food, getting happy, smiles... then, next morning, poop, nothing. Maya. Immaculate conception question.
Flashback - Baba was saying to us you are "rajachele"' meaning princes, i.e., from America, rich. I say, well, that means, if we are sons of a king, that you are a king. Joya Ma laughs and says, that's right! Tik kotha. Baba gets flustered and calls her the daughter of a pig.
April 17, 1975
Went to Calcutta with Debu via Dakshineswar. The Writer's Building was closed. We went to the cinema place and it turns out to be a movie theater. We come back. Super tired. Hot. Baba is in the temple when I return. I sit. I experience again the miraculous healing effect of coming back to the ashram. Peace replaces the roar of city suffering. Tiredness is just lifted off the body and mind. I meditate and eat.
Baba sits out in his "lawn" chair and we sit on the bench nearby. I talk to him of going to America. I explain to him who it is who gives us visa, who gives him visa and he seems to understand. I tell him it would be easier if we knew when he was going. He says he doesn't know anything. I say, "You will only do Bhagavan's command." "Right!' he says. Sweet mood. He seems to be thinking of going. He asks about the weather in America. I tell him that we can stay forever in India as far as our own government is concerned. People here don't seem to understand that it is their own government that lets us stay or not.
Flashback. On the bus I sit next to a man. He opens his cloth with his money. He didn't know the fare was 50p, he thought it was forty. This leaves him with only 35p. Somehow the way he was, the way he was looking at his 35p seemed so sad I had to fight back tears. Me sitting there with lots of rupees.
Baba asks if we can get five months extension if we want. I tell him that many people get extensions and stay a long time.
April 18, 1975
Morning. Baba just gave a speech about Ramakrishna, a story. At the end of it, after the tape stopped, he looked about with the wide eyes he gets when it seems he is beholding God. He is repeating "Ramakrishna, Ramakrishna, Ramakrishna..." and starts weeping uncontrollably. He tries to control it but it takes over. Weeps with love. Then he starts taking the dust of his own feet, rubbing his hands on his feet, sitting, and then to his head. He says it was Ramakrishna who spoke, Bhagavan has come, that's why he takes the dust of his own feet. Then he wants to hear what he said because he doesn't know what he said.
The look on his face, the gaze which looks about yet does not see this world, the weeping -- it gave the feeling that indeed Ramakrishna had been speaking. Awe and joy in my heart. In the afternoon the officers come again from Intelligence to check us. They seem nice. They ask to see our tape recorder and so on and I talk to them. On their way they stop to see Baba who is lying down in his room. Incredible scene follows in which Baba takes them for darshan in the temple. Babbling all the while about us, etc., the building, apologizing for not talking the first time they came since it had been his mouna day.
They go into Baba's room. He is like a child, humble, shows them the cracks in the wall, the roof coming down, etc. They stand and talk to him. They ask if it is Kali puja he does (they seemed suspicious of Kali priests) and he says it is all one Ma, Durga, Saraswati, they are all one. He goes into bhav and says something about the speech of this morning. The bhav gets heavy. I am amazed. The contrast is overwhelming. These two worldly power minded suspicious guys and Baba beginning to shake with emotion. "I don't know anything," Baba says. I am touched to the core.
They leave eventually. All is friendly. But they ask about the money for the buildings, who has it, etc. Later we talk about their visit. Baba not too worried. Night. The Govinda scene. There is a confrontation with Govinda and his friends over some money he feels Baba owes him for ashram work. Quite a few people on each side, town meeting effect. Also like showdown in a western movie. Govinda is in great distress. Gradually sees his error. acts sheepish and ashamed. Baba offers him the money, then he doesn't want to take it. Later on, I guess, he takes it after all.
Late. Debu comes to talk about his sorrow. He said he was eating sweets and thinking about the people who didn't have anything at all. I tell him what I have been thinking about "helping". I say he has helped the whole world by transcribing Baba's speeches, helped more than he knows.
April 19, 1975
Normal day. Baba tells me of his heart pain from the Govinda affair. At night meditation is deep, tears. I am thinking I want to end self, die. I wish I had more to offer Baba. Wish I would wake.
April 20, 1974
Ram festival day, concluding Navaratri. The doors are put on the new house. We go to the doctor's house. Baba has a toothache. Bhavananda gets mad at the treatment of Baba by the villagers and says they are "beasts" and that Baba shouldn't stay there. I am crying on the way home. The whole thing is too much. It wrings my heart like a towel. Why is there no justice? Why is the humanity so wretched? Baba did Hanuman puja for a long time. My mind worrying again about visa and about Baba.
April 21, 1975
I go to Calcutta again with Debu to see Nimai Seal. A guy comes in with the applications and says it looks good for a limited extension, but not for permanent stay, etc. We go. Return to ashram via Belur. I see Vivekananda's room, but feel no special vibration there. At the Ramakrishna temple I surprisingly fall into a deep meditation and want to stay there but there is no time.
We were to meet Baba at a temple in Chanditala. We arrive late but Baba has gotten there late too. He tells us to go on to the ashram while he will stay there and do puja - we go on. Debu tells me that India needs a revolution and the black market must be stopped, etc. I tell him you must have a clear vision of what is to be before you overturn what is, but I really don't care. Politics seems ridiculous now - lunacy.
At ashram. The first big lightning storm. Beautiful intense continuous lightning, and we watch in awe from the little ghat. There is huge wind, no rain. I am amazed and thrilled. Finally Baba comes back. The storm made it impossible for the rickshaw so he came by car somehow. The storm stops very abruptly at his arrival.
Flashback - One night we go out to lie on mats by Hanuman. Lately Baba has been having us on a bench while he sits in a lawn chair (after our food, before chanting.) I do his stomach for awhile, then Suren does it. At one point Baba stands up and takes off his cloth to show us how the loincloth is worn. He waves his arms around to show how this invigorate. Shows us it must be worn somewhat tight to keep the "duti ball" held up, and the linga down.
April 22, 1975
Night. The Hanuman puja is very deep for me. My mind of late is raging against itself. The picture of flinging clothes aside comes often, as do suicide by knife pictures. I see the need now, the one and only single need for flinging the ego aside, for killing it. This night I get the feeling. It is a desperate determined reckless plunging into stillness-awareness, nipping thought in the bud. I don't want to get up when Baba does.
As we start going around the temple I see that Baba is really bad. Today, Tuesday, one fattish girl came, among many. Baba didn't want her to touch his feet. Another whose words he ran away from to the Hanuman temple...) Baba staggering as he walks. Hardly can do the rest. I am getting a terrible feeling in my stomach. I am so tired and sad at his always being sick. Now something strange begins to happen. My prem is reawakened by love's coming to attention in the face of danger. We sit to eat but Baba is moaning and groaning and burping and having heart pain, showing how the pain goes all the way down his arm. This time it seems worse than if I had the pain myself. I just sit looking at him. Am I angry? At God? At him? A huge wave of sorrow and love starts welling up. Baba is moaning and asking Ma if he is going to die now. His tooth pain is hurting too. I cannot eat and tears start coming. I try to fight back the tears. This is my only beloved in deep pain. Choking on the lump in my throat.
Ma tells me to eat, then says she understands my mind is bad because Baba's body isn't right. Baba tells me to eat. I can't. He tells me if I eat then it will make him strong because we are one. But the wave is hitting me and I have to choke the food down.
After food Baba is smoking and preparing to lie down. Very bad condition, moaning like a child and obviously extremely exhausted. Sunil is washing the floor and several times asks me to move so I finally walk away and go to the clean pukur (pond). There I feel the strange reawakening of my love. I feel how unworthy I am to even be with Baba, sad that I can't give more. Telling Ma Kali to make him better. I realize Baba is everything. that if he is suffering I must suffer for he is my life now, that is love's law. I realize that without Baba there is nothing I want to live for. Just now he is everything. I am somehow still angry that all this should happen and then this "sickness" all the time. Why couldn't we have come earlier, twenty years ago or something. The fear of less or thought of loss of Baba made me reawakened to the depth of my love and surrender to him.
Mike comes to the pukur. He says, "would you rather be alone?" "I am alone, it doesn't make any difference." "What's going through your mind right now?" "A million things, my whole life." We go back when a guy comes for a bath. After massaging awhile I go back to the ghat again. Then, on the verge of tears for Baba Sunil comes and says Baba is calling. I go.
Baba wants a foot massage. He is still very bad. Mike does his hands and arms and I do his feet and legs. I meditate on drawing out the poison from him through his feet. He sleeps awhile. I meditate on the feet. stroking lightly. Then I go back to the ghat. When I return at his call he sees the sorrow and insists he is okay new. Sends us to bed. Tender good night caress.
April 23, 1975
Regular day. Joya Ma goes home, Noyen cooks. Baba still has pain. I give him another Darvon. (I had given him on 21 or 20 night . He falls asleep on the cot in the new room after a few hours. He sleeps past his regular eating time. He wakes up and feels pretty crappy but it gets really bad after he eats. (Did I doze off in the library?) Whining and moaning, sitting by his room. lie tells me it is from eating late, and the Darvon. We are getting worried.
I tell him he must go to the doctor's. He moans he is too sick to take the rickshaw ride. His pain is giving me huge anxiety. I start to get really worried. The thing of last night arises again. It is like a swelling in the heart, the edge of tears, and a sense that I would instantly give up my life for Baba, that life would be unbearable if he died now after I had so recently found him. Finally I got him to agree to go to the doctor. "Oh! Ah! two rickshaws...." He could hardly get the words out.
Then the guy from Rishra comes and starts laying a heavy Hindi rap on Baba. Baba doesn't want to hear it. A jolt of impulse comes and I push through and place myself between them, cutting off the guy's hassle. He is surprised. Baba smiles and is pleased. The guy puts money at Baba's feet but Baba throws it aside. It gets clear that his man's vibration is really making the pain worse for Baba. I want to get rid of him further but I can't wait around for the rickshaws anymore. I take a man's bike and go to fetch them. When I get back Baba is lying in his room facing the wall, and Glenn and Mike are fanning him. I learn he has been throwing up. I really am anxious now. I keep looking to see that he is breathing okay and wondering why the rickshaws are so slow. Finally they come. With great difficulty Baba gets his stuff together to go. Now I feel he is my sweet child, really unable to take care of himself. He pranams Ma and Hanuman and I feel how deep his devotion is.
The the strange thing. Once we are out of Ramanathpur he starts getting better. I am weeping in the rickshaw thinking how dear he is. The whole thing has increased my love and made me feel what a fool I was not to have been at his side the whole day everyday. Getting lost in work when the only work is really to be with him.
He asks me like a child, "What should I do? You said I shouldn't eat for two days?" I see my suggestion was foolish since I obviously don't understand his body at all. I am on the verge of weeping on his shoulder. I manage a "ami jani na," (I don't know) and wipe my eyes, trying not to have his see, but he sees. I want to tell him, "you are my only friend, no one else understands me, don't go, I need you..." but I can't, for it would bring on a torrent of tears. My heart is being changed by all this. My anxiety and work had absorbed too much of my head and this now lets me cast everything aside in the face of love.
As we drive along, Baba gets better and better. We get to doctor's. We sit in the waiting room. Baba starts talking to a drug salesman who lives facing Sunil's house. Baba talking all about us, and his body problems, and stories. The old sparkle is back in his eyes again and I stare in amazement at his recovery here before he even sees the doctor. He was pretty good in the rickshaw but now he is radiating. I am dumbfounded. What is really going on, anyway? The sickness was certainly no act. I could almost feel the pain myself -- him vomiting and barely able to talk. So what happened? I realize it was all the people's crap, particularly the Rishra guy's, and Baba tells me as much. He tells the salesman that when the "tamaguna" person came (Kama) and touched his feet he gets the heart pain. The vomiting he says was from eating late and the weakness I guess was from the Darvon. I don't know.
Finally the doctor examines Baba. Baba is like a baby. I tell Baba to tell the doctor everything. The doctor says he is all right, but that he needs some heart medicine for five days. His blood pressure is okay. I am amazed again. I am more and more convinced that it is really an "avatar malady", a taking on of sins, that is hurting him.
We take tea with Bhavananda. Bhavananda tells him not to take American medicine, as it is too strong. We come back to the ashram. Lots of people there to see how he is. Joya Ma is back. Baba's body gets somewhat worse again. Sleep.
We give Ganguli our applications. I stay with Baba today. Baba tells Ma, why did you buy rasagola, you are poor, God will bring what we need. Baba offers food to Ramakrishna as he eats with us. He has a rush of prem. Then in walks Bhavananda's son who has never come before and he has a huge bowl of rasagola. Baba flips out, gets super happy, flaps his arms like a chicken. Tells Ma, see? we got the rasagola.
Baba looks at Gurdjieff picture, others. We move stuff in afternoon, setting up room. I paint all afternoon, then fan and massage Baba.
A crippled guy comes at night and we talk to him. (In the morning a guy had come with another letter from him asking us to come and see him. I had told him we couldn't go. Baba thought he wanted money or something since he hadn't been asking for Baba to come. The cripple had come the night before when we were away. I wrote him we had a lot of work. So he turns up).
A wonderful storm ensues of wind and lightning. Like an incredible enchanted land. I eat it up. Baba talking at length to the cripple, seems to be telling everything at once. Kirtan starts up and the storm stops and the crippled guy leaves. He begs us to come to his house. It seems weird. I don't know if I like him but I am slowly learning from Baba to be nice to everybody. Baba tells me I will sleep in new room. Tomorrow when room is done we will sleep here, he on cot, me on floor. I hug and kiss him. I feel that things are getting cleared away for a very deep plunge into everything at once, guru, prem, meditation, work, and the egoless space of God awareness. Now as I write I am sensing the possibility of God doing all these things if I can be dead. If I only had a table or a desk!
April 23, 1975
An amazing day in that two major events occurred. Baba's room was banged down, and Rammurti came. In the morning Baba said his brain was "no right." He said the fact that his room was going to be banged down "bhalo lage na," (didn't like it). He seemed to be sad about it, almost sentimental (although later, while lying beside him in the new room he was laughing and saying "maya!" as the walls fell.
At about ten, Rammurti came. I was wringing out and getting ready to hang up some clothes. I was taking down the old rope and saw the car coming. I ran with the bucket and rope to tell Baba, who was sitting in front of Kali temple.
Flashback - Right after puja I had gone there and Baba was saying that Nityananda had asked a very good question -- what is nirguna and saguna God? Actually Mike had asked how can God be a man? What is the difference between God and his manifestations, but Baba saw it in its final form as a question of God with form and without form. He said the whole of manifestation which is received by the senses is maya, and like the shell of the coconut. very difficult to crack. Inside is the essence, the coco water, which we want to eat. But it is hidden by the shell (form). All is coconut, but the shell is hiding the water -- the maya aspect is hiding the formless essence.
I was overjoyed to see Rammurti. Earlier in the week I had been worried about the passport business and told Baba I would go alone to Bhubaneshwar to see about it. Baba had said there was no need, that Rammurti would come. This left me a little uncomfortable since I didn't know how long it would be. Today it was like a miracle to have him come so promptly.
Baba was overjoyed. He looks at me as if to say, didn't I tell you? Rammurti has forms for Baba's passport and information on what to do. He brought a guy with him who will help us apply. We filled out the forms. There was some trouble trying to decide what Baba's "Profession" was and what work he was presently employed in. First we said Brahmachari, then sanyasi. But Baba said no, not sanyasi. Then he explained that since he was staying in one place he could not consider himself a sanyasi since a real sanyasi never stays more than three days in one place. I was struck by the honesty and humility of this distinction in his mind. It occurred to me how many swamis live in very plush surroundings, at least better than Baba's, year-round, and call themselves sanyasis. We finally put down "temple worship" on the form. We had to leave "monthly income" blank altogether. Rammurti told us everything to do pictures, a letter from America, etc. The mood was high and I finally felt that he was really going to go. Baba seemed to be thinking about it too. He asked Rammurti how long he should stay. We had prasad and they left.
The rest of the day was disconcerting. Mad at Glenn for not holding to truth and clinging to illusions about himself. Then I get angry at myself for thinking of the errors of others. This ego feels like a claustrophobic straight jacket these days and there is a sense of urgency. Often the energy is not there to match the urgency and that brings sorrow.
A rainstorm came during evening puja. Night conversation. Sat between the new room and the temple. Baba was joking and crazy. He was trying to get me mad, I think. Over and over he keeps saying we should go to Chanditala to a big room where they have everything, i.e. conveniences. He says that he didn't want all this construction, he was happy enough in his room.
A guy brings bread for us and Baba says we are "baro lokh" from a rich land, princes, and we need yeast bread, etc. It makes me a little irritated, but is okay. I tell him at that point that it is only pride to keep talking about how poor he is and we are "rajachele". I know he is really joking but the words slip out. I also say that when he keeps saying this. to go to a big house, it sounds like he doesn't want our company. But he is the master puppeteer - it is all his game and there is no use trying to outsmart him in any way.
Glenn and Mike go to sleep. Baba tells me to go into the new room and make the bed. Very tender. All day. How sweetly he is helping me to make the bed and get ready. Then he says he will sleep there. Actually he can't make up his mind. Finally Ma tells me to sleep in the library.
Flashback - Debu tells me story about when Baba struck the clay statue of Kali and blood flowed out. The things he saw. He said there was a great power around the ashram which comes out at night between 11PM and 3AM The power goes around the village.
April 25, 1975
Full moon night. Debu and I went to the burning place to check cut his assertion that there is a fearsome power there etc. It is very peaceful. Deep meditation, an oceanic sense of space which is shining. We saw strange foxes on the fields running to and from Debu thinks they were visions.
April 26, 1975
I thought a lot today about the burning place. When we had talked to Bhavananda he had said it was a very good place for spiritual practice, but not to go if you have family attachments, etc., because they will be broken. He said one must offer meat or fish and wine to that place and eat some oneself. Says everyone can bow down to a big man, but who can bow down to the suffering of others.
Tom arrives today. I go to meet him on the road. At night, talking with Debu on the ghat we hear a loud crying, mourning, from the village. It is the mother of a boy who had died that day of tetanus. It is so strange since we had been to the burning place the night before and thinking about death. I must go to the sound, and Debu takes me to the house of sorrow. We go in and I pranam the mother who is beside herself with grief. It is an extremely powerful and moving event and makes me feel very close to these people. Later Debu tells me more stories.
26th Night (more). Debu and I are sitting on the ghat. We heard a crying. It is the family of the boy who dies of tetanus. The day before his brother had come to Baba begging him to help save the boy. I wanted to go closer to hear this wailing more clearly. I had been to the Shoshon the night before and now the sound of the sorrow of death was reaching my ears. I asked Debu if we could go closer. We went. When we got there I remembered Bhavananda's words about bowing down at the feet of those who are suffering. I pranamed in the dark there to the whole house and stayed in that position for some time. Then took the dust on my head. It was a gesture but I felt its power. Then Debu said we should go in. I felt shyness at first, but then I thought that I must face this sorrow. I must enter in where the wail of woe was. We went in.
The mother was at the far end of the room surrounded by the other women. The brother I recognized and bowed at his feet and embraced him. I could see the deep sorrow. He was at a loss, nearly out of his mind. He blurted out something about how he had spoken to Baba. I caressed him, fully aware that there was nothing I could do at all, but that love would be felt, if given.
As soon as I entered the room the sorrow had struck me. My heart began pounding. The atmosphere was electric with a timeless sort of gloom, a feeling that was very ancient. I felt that this scene was eternal, that these people were, for me, at this moment, highly symbolic of earth everywhere, through all time. The mother's "song" was affecting me in the heart. I went over to her after awhile and bowed to her feet and held her hand in mine. I stayed like that awhile, then sat up, face to face.
"Where is my son?" she sang, "oh, what error did I commit to bring this on him?" She was delirious. I felt God had brought me to behold this. They kept telling her "chupe" ("quiet"), and holding their hands to her mouth, but it was useless. There for a moment I felt I was hearing an eternal song, the very heart of earth weeping and wailing - the depth of sorrow only love knows. I was weeping and amazed that though I did not know these people I had entered into their grief and was feeling it in myself. I returned and sat for while at my place, tears in my eyes.
We left and talked back at the ghat about death and maya, love and attachments, the story of the buddha and the woman whose son had died. Debu and I wore both struck very deeply with the strange sequence of events. The compulsion to go to the burning place the night before, as if a leading hand were preparing us for this event tonight. Also struck by the fact that at the burning place all was peaceful and calm, while in the house of the living, grief prevailed.
April 27, 1975
We went today to Bhavananda's for this school festival. Learned that Jiten had suffered an accident on his cycle going home?. We ate, then talked, or rather listened, with Bhavananda for a few hours. He had much to say. He talked about his guru. Told about Baba. "These sages are all sufferers. They don't care about anything. They suffer for everyone. The son of God must suffer." He says the Americans must come and save India. The day is coming to overcome these black market people and these "stockists" and politicians. He tells about some villages he wants me to see nearby where the people are really starving. They have no clothes at all so they stay inside at day. They come out at night. They have no water because of drought. Tells of mothers who give poison to their children and then take it themselves to escape the specter of starvation.
We rested and then went to the function. Met Baba on the way. Immediately he asked about Jiten. He had heard about it on the road. (Bhavananda had told us not to tell him since he would just worry.) Indeed he was extremely worried.
The function consisted of speeches. Got into bhav because of the crowd and Baba. A feeling came which I have these days of throwing down the life like a rag, of consecration of the sacred heart of the humble masses of suffering innocent beings. Envisioned masses of people awaking in a wave of non-violent transformation. Masses of simple hearts demanding only food and freedom by roaring the pranava out everywhere. This image sent chills since I realized the power in the mass chanting of OM.
At the doctor's house, tea, Baba asking about Jiten. The doctor comes to look at Tom, gives penicillin. Baba is telling that at 2 A.M. he had gone to pee and had become senseless in samadhi and couldn't figure out why. No he guessed that it was because of Jiten. Perhaps he had gone to Jiten, or something. Choto Ma said she had seen me last night from afar, crying, and that she had no sleep. Baba said why did I go to that house, what could I do? I told him that I heard the crying and had to see the sorrow. Could not look at ananda without also looking at sorrow. He nodded and touched me.
Came back to ashram. I talked to Mike about the sorrow, the need to meditate on death, to be able to die to the go. (?) Baba very worried. He will have no peace until he knows Jiten is okay. He will send me tomorrow to bring news.
Very tired now. Only want to meditate and weep. No time, no energy. I want to dive into surrender, never to come back. To be one in the one. Om.
April 28, 1975
Went to Jiten's with Suren. Jiten is okay. Jiten writes a note to Baba. Tells he is okay, and that I am feeling grief at oversleeping my nap. I make crappy connections at Uttapara, waited for bus. I get down past Kalipur by mistake and have to walk back to pick up Baba's passport pictures. It is dark by now, and the shop is closed. I felt good anyway. Very tired but relishing the chance to serve Baba.
When I get back Baba intervenes in the disagreement with the rickshaw guy about price. Then, sitting on the porch, he offers his lap to my tired body. I fall into his lap and he was very moved with love, saying, "Thank you my child, my son." While I ate he read the letter. He was very happy to hear that Jiten was okay. He heard about Glenn kicking the guy in the library.
April 29, 1975
The weather is getting very hot. I had to go to Calcutta. On impulse took Mike along. We were escorted to tram #12 by the guy who brought the metal pictures. We saw the guy aud went to the passport office. On the walk back Mike and I talked about the blocks that had been between us. I got a powerful return of all my tender sweet feelings toward him and I saw that where there is that kind of strong love it will always triumph. Very happy to have this affection flowing in my heart toward him again.
My feeling of disappointment in Glenn and Mike were complex and involved a great pain which, rather than be pain, sought release in anger and irritation. Which brought more sorrow of the dimming of love. Mike beautifully brought it all in the open after a day of friendly fun and all the stuff about the desire was touched on. I saw it all in a new light myself. Something has changed in me since the burning place and the house of sorrow. When my love couldn't go to my own friends because of temporary blockage it sought other outlets and found itself weeping at the feet of a weeping mother. Now I see love will grow wide. It need not have specific targets. The whole world is waiting for our love.
At night after returning I spoke my mind to Glenn while finishing supper. He snapped back as usual but I managed to say it as I saw it and he received the shock which broke some of his resisting. It turned out the next day that he was very angry with me and said I was always "insulting" him.
At night we went to some songs nearby which was a function for a smallpox program. Went with Mini-baba's father and Mike. The people said afterward it was "good behavior." Very much change in last two days. The two days of traveling here and there broke a spell of ego-destruct and prem, but on the other hand the days since the burning place have been bringing a huge sense of people-love. All the people around seem more beautiful. Since seeing the weeping mother my compassion and fellow feeling has increased. No more of this irritation with everyone.
April 30, 1975
At first Baba's mind is "karap" about the room. Then we see that Glenn has sunk into a depression plus anger. Refuses to see his weaknesses and take up arms against them. Baba works on it.
We start transcribing Ramakrishna speech of the 18th. I fan Tom, who has a fever, and get a lesson in the sweetness of serving. Very hot. Can't do much. Go swimming.
Baba tells me I shouldn't have gotten angry at Glenn. It is the guru's work to straighten out his children. Yet he is not really upset about it, I guess because it has precipitated something. He asks why Glenn is sad. Asks Glenn, "Are you angry" Glenn says yes. Baba says that's not good. Says, "Are Yogananda and Premananda two, or one?" Glenn finally says "one." I tell Baba what can we do, when we see our faults we get sorrow. He says, no, the guru will take the faults away, there's no need to be anxious. How can we avoid it (I say) we must see our errors. He says yes, but there should be ananda since the guru will take it away. "Slowly, slowly," he says.
At night we talk out on the bench. After doing our bedding we go back to the bench. Mike and I and Baba talking about the stars, how beautiful they are. Baba is saying that science brings pride, but it is God who has made all this beauty.
Baba says anger is the great "thief." If there is anger then there can be no prem. Pride is the thief - "I know everything, I'm a great yogi, etc." Love people. I asked him if we needed to love people first to learn to love God and he said "right!" and clapped his hands. Put his hand on my head. First love people, then prem will come. If you can't love people you can't love God because God is in every person.
May 4, 1975
Been going through a difficult few days in which Baba is testing me, I guess. Provokes my anger, etc.
On Thursday, the 1st it was Glenn's birthday. That day I wrote out the sermon on the mount in Bengali and showed it to Baba. He picked out the part about "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." That night he gave a speech after his little birthday speech. He improvised on the theme of the "mount" saying, "Blessed am I, blessed are you, blessed is the universe," etc.
Friday or Thursday I said that Baba got angry, that the people around were afraid of his anger, etc. he flipped out and was after me all about it. Telling everyone what I said. When Jiten came on Friday Baba spills the whole story to him. Tells everyone.
Saturday at night Mike is sick, everyone concerned about it. Baba is mad at me for not taking better care of him. Says to Mike, "Why didn't you tell me?" I tell Baba that I won't tell him if I'm sick and that Mike is the same way.
Friday night I meditate under the bel tree. Sunday l go to get medicine from Siddhu Babu. I buy coconuts on the way back. When I return I am thinking heavily. All these few days I am down. Baba is suffering and therefore I am sad. Also I don't see any hope of progress as I am going. Want to die or something. What alternative is there for me if I can't stay here? The "fight" with Baba, as he calls it (about saying he got angry) did give me much sorrow, even though I didn't think of it as a fight. I thought I was just speaking my mind, and it does seem to me that he gets angry. Saturday he hardly talked to me. He kept telling about the "rajachele", where would we get food, etc., making me feel how much of a burden we are, mimicking how we lie around and don't do anything. He keeps telling everyone what I said about his anger. It made me aware that we have little sadhana here. The conditions are all wrong. It made me almost feel like going away.
Today when I came back Baba was serving me and a sikh some fruit and he said my saying he was angry was a mistake. Said I don't respect him. I told him then that I would not say anything at all since I would just make another mistake, and that I was just speaking my mind.
I sit next to Baba to fan him. He keeps saying that he wants to die. Says it is all his fault, everyone is suffering because of him, that the whole suffering of the world was on his head. Said, "Bhagavan, mritu dao," ("God, give me death"). I said, "Is that a right thing to say?" He said yes. I say that I say that everyday, I don't want to live. He said why should you say that, that he says it because all the suffering of everyone hits him. Later, lying down in the new room he said he won't go to America. I say okay, whatever his wish is, that's what we want. Like a child. Later Suren says that this whole resistance thing is another test.
The Marwaris come. Baba gets happy. He has been warm to me all day as if the "fight" is over and l feel it too since I have even thought of leaving for his sake. But it is useless. Now he is happy and showing us off to the Marwaris, etc. They give him some money. He shows them our scars. I say, "Like father like son," and all laugh and Baba kisses me with his hand. I am glad to see his mood life and to realize that the bad mood before was nothing but another test. When the marwaris are leaving the lady comes to give money and Baba, in the temple, is protesting the gift. I step in next to Baba and say "I'll take it." "You'll take it?" I hold out my hand to the Marwari Ma and say, "Yes, I'll take it for you." "Is there a need?" Yes I say, for food, etc. Baba is laughing and pleased that I relieved him of having to protest. Smiles, laughs, hugs me. After they leave Baba is standing by the Hanuman temple with some rupees they left there and puts it in his mouth as if to eat it. At first I am frightened, thinking he is really going to eat is as some kind of penance or eating their sin or something, but then he is playing as if to say, "How can I eat this stuff? What good is it anyway?" and he spits and spits. I don't want money he says, I want God.
At night he tells Glenn about celibacy. Gives the speech about the Guru, at night, on the ghat. He asks me why I sat under the bel tree without his order. I say I don't need his order to go to the bathroom. He laughs. This is stupid, but emphasizes the necessity for obedience.
May 5, 1975
Late at night. I don't know what to say. I am crying. Baba had another attack today and the pain of watching his pain has been too much. At times I can't take it. And even still I get pissed at him at times, though I love him so much he is my whole and only life at this point. Is he just testing me with all these pains and all the provocation. I guess if I knew it was a test it wouldn't really be one. My unending fear is that he will not live much longer. This thought drives me into despair and my thought is only that I want to kill myself when he dies. It seems terrible that Ma would give him to us only for a short time. I get angry at that thought, angry at God. How can we learn from him if his body is always bothering. It gives my heart such sorrow to see the Son of God bearing his burden. Why do these God-men suffer? They come for the sake of sufferers and suffer their suffering.
Baba lay down for his nap today in the back room. I was starting the translation work. It went slowly but I was amazed that I could do it at all. Baba had said, as he does a lot lately, oh, you don't do any work. You say you will do everything but you don't, you can't do anything at all. These words always wound my ego but it is easy to see he is absorbing my "sin" that way. These same thoughts I am often thinking about others. So I was working, realizing that I just had to do it whether I got praise or blame. Also remembering what he said - You will have to take a lot of abuse from people without saying anything. At tea time he was complaining of pain and blaming it on the new medicine. At puja I prayed the whole time that mother would make his body right. I prayed I could share his pain. And this brought a feeling of carrying on his light. I saw the Mother's feet in my mind and tried to send healing waves.
After puja he was really bad. I couldn't bear it. I went and fell down behind Hanuman, near the tree. I was in despair. What to do? The precious one is suffering all the time. This was after I had been fanning him while he ate moori in the back room. He was telling Joya Ma he wouldn't live long. Then he said about Suren going away, and that we four couldn't serve him right. This hurt me deeply as I realized it was true.
The other three are always goofing off and fooling themselves and thinking of themselves and not really aware of who it is in that body that they have come to see, and I am always in some sort of state where my love is dampened, usually anger. I flopped down and fell into anguish in the dark.
Suddenly a beautiful thing happened. One of the little boys I am fond of came up. "Premananda, you are sitting here?" At first I thought, what a nuisance, I can't even suffer in solitude. Then I realize he is speaking in love. He says he likes me and the others do too. He tells me his mother is dead and how his sister died by a snake bite. And his father was taken to sail for a long time during which he had to beg for a living. He said it made him very sad and he cried a lot. Then the boy says he will be very sad if I die. He will be very sad if he can't see me. It was strange that he said this. He said if I died then he would want to die too. l thought, why is he saying that?. The very thoughts I was thinking about Baba. As if God was speaking through him. If I want Baba to stay for the sake of my love, should I not stay for the sake of other's love?
I get called to eat, but his words stay with me like a tender soothing balm from the Mother's own hand. When I take some of my rice pudding out for him he is gone. Afterward I sit by Baba.
Some boys are saying that Tom's shorts are odd looking and that I should tell him. This is too much. My anger is no anger, just anguish. How, at a time like this, with Baba in pain right there, can they mention that? I start to explain -- of course he wants proper clothes, but shall we just materialize them? It takes time --- but I get only a couple of words out and the pain of it just makes me bang my head on the porch post. The anger almost goes outward, but then turns inward. Baba is startled. "Mon karap" he says.
I get up and go to the library to do something. I come back at Baba's call. He says he's now having trouble urinating. He tells me to fix the bedding and then come back. I do. He says he wants oil and soap treatment. I go with his to pee. He pees in much pain. Like a child he is telling me how it feels hot like the water we make tea from. Nearly crying, saying how Suren "ran away". I comfort him the best I can. He is laying his head on my shoulder as we both squat by the road. I am nearly weeping. He is saying, "You are my child." I am saying I don't want to live if he dies. He stands up and is shaking. Like a child that is worried about what he doesn't understand he asks me, "What will I do? Shall I take the medicine?" He keeps saying the urine trouble is from the medicine and that the medicine also gave him acid. We go slowly back to his room. He lies down on his cot in the new room. I start the oil and soap, etc.
He tells me where his pains are. I say that we don't know how to serve him. He says you have to learn. I tell him again I don't want to live if he dies. He says, "I will come to you. I will live in your heart."
Baba says Nityananda is "right", he is like you. (He had sent the others to bed and only Mike and I were there). When I told him that we wanted to know all the stories of his life and that the whole world wanted to know he said only you and Nityananda need to know. No one else needs to know. I said that when we read the life of Ramakrishna the mind goes up. So when they read Baba's life it will go up. "You will write." "But I can't write." "I will teach you everything. You will you will, you will." I feel despair. I want him to tell his whole story to the tape recorder. Won't he do it? He says you are Naren. Just like him you will write, etc.
Some ladies who were waiting since midday come in. They want marriage. Baba talks sweetly to them, explaining how bad his body is. Gives them flowers and tells that his blessing will be with them. He tells me to come and check up on him if I am awakened in the night by my mind. He says he will be okay.
My heart and mind have been through another wringer. No matter what he puts me through I just love him. I ache that I should be able to give up my life so that he would live on in health for many more years. Earnestness to this end fills me. How can I surrender. How can I sacrifice that the fullness, the totality of what he is may be given to the hungry souls of earth? I feel so helpless when I see him nearing his end, whether it be months or years from now. I feel helpless. I see that I cannot do a drop more than Bhagavan wills to happen and I want to do much. I want to convey the Baba's heart to everyone, a heart l have not even begun to grasp or see or realize, and I suffer this great fear that God may not allow it. Why must the Lord come in disguise and live in hiding? When will the avatar come so that all can see? This is my anguished prayer, that Baba may somehow live on, and that God may somehow provide the means to film and record him totally -- his full message, his full love, his full charm.
Oh, Lord, be merciful to this sorrowful planet, hear my plea. Let this work be done for once, that your beloved son may speak your glory directly to the whole world. Directly for once. For all who have eyes to see, and ears to hear. Why should thy own beloved die in obscurity, only to be told about indirectly by such imperfect souls as we? Oh let it be that earth can see and hear him in perfect clarity and detail, now, and so long as film and tape can last. This is my plea on behalf of all whose hearts hunger for his darshan but whose fate has not brought them here.
e found but later Baba had said we would arrive on an auspicious day. He had been praying for us to arrive safely and we had had blessings of help on the way. Two doctors came to give us medicine. We left in the evening of the 10th for Jiten's. Stayed three days and returned the evening of the 10th walking from Kholachora. At Chandernagore we had kirtan at Bijoli's house, and gave gifts to all at Jiten's, just like Christmas.
On the 16th Baba gave a speech about Ramakrishna. Also told he would go and leave body in America. Two nights before that I had been very angry over our terrible and useless trip. Why did we have to go overland if Baba intends to come soon to America? After his Ramakrishna speech Baba tells us we must control the "nine doors", and that if they are not controlled the guru cannot contact the disciple. He says he has a direct telephone line to America, but then imitates calling up Premananda on the phone and no answer. My anger had been intense demanding to know why we had had no sign that overland journey was unnecessary. On the 16th Baba answered that because my mind was not in tune he couldn't tell me to come by plane. I was assuaged. I knew it was my own fault for getting so lost.
On the 19th we returned and Baba was happy to see us. I tell him we want to stay here. On 20th-21st he tells us that we will have to design the buildings that are to be built. We start getting involved. On the 21st the doctor's brother comes and Baba is very happy. (The day before Baba had gone into Bhav samadhi. I sing a Kabir song, then "Jaya Guru" and he goes up high while sitting by Mike. Gone for about a half hour). Bhavananda (doctor's brother) translates for us. Baba says that so long as we stay with him he will be all right, but if we go he will get sick. Bhavananda tells me how when I left last year Baba got very ill.
I tell Baba we want to stay with him the rest of his life. On the 21st we all go to Bhavananda's for food. Baba gets very happy and we sing kirtan there.
On the 22nd Mike and I make a dome model. Everyone somewhat amazed. At evening worship at the Hanuman temple meditation goes deep as I remember from last year, and l realize I am beginning to tune back into his being. A main problem has been my disappointment with the state of Mike and Glenn and having to not identify in order to find myself again. Seeing them come has brought back memories of my time here before and I am amazed in recalling the overwhelming depth of that experience. They don't seem to be having the same kind of thing at all and I am learning about myself greatly by watching them. I wish they would go faster or something or that their hearts would catch fire or gird their loins or something but it is useless thinking. I had been weeping so much before coming last year, I had been in such a state of deep faith. How could I expect that of them? It is destructive comparison - and yet still I must see it. To enter my own Prem again I must not identify with their experience and sever both positive and negative attachments so that they are free from my viewpoint and I am free of theirs. Hands off is needed. Later perhaps l can help them, but now more than ever it is imperative that I find my aloneness again and help myself. I should never have allowed any expectation to creep in that their experience should be anything like my own.
Tonight Baba was very happy. He sat with us on the porch, singing and playing hand games with Mike, showing mudras and calling us "pagolas" (madmen) over and over. Intimate behavior, very tender and loving. Ended up with "Ami-tumi, ami-tumi, etc." ("I am you, I am you..."). We go for a walk to see a Kali worship going on down the road. A peace settles over me. The last week has been full of doubts and a gray haze maybe from the doubts of Mike and Glenn, maybe my own. The Ramakrishna bhav led to Baba and supported my love of Baba. Then Baba became all in all over even God. Now God bhav is beginning to return, supported by love sacrifice of love of Baba. I don't understand it but tonight, with a sweet cool breeze blowing the heat of day away, it all seemed to begin to make sense again. BACK - to the remembrance that the loss of "I" is the finding of God. BACK - to the abandonment of self in service of guru. BACK - to the bhav which brought me here in the first place, the love of God which asks for nothing but is happy in the pouring forth of adoration at the feet of the lord. That brought this glimmer of return to last year's joy? I think it was making that dome model, that is, the strength to go ahead and do a thing without being told initiative, the feeling of serving out of strength rather than weakness. We were proud of our day's work because we had done something no one could have envisioned. We created and that strength brought me out of confusion and out of helplessness. It also broke the inertia I feel around here, the difficulty of doing anything because of the heat, the paralysis of having so much to do at once, etc. After working all day the meditation was sweet rather than a struggle and at last the tangled pieces of the puzzle felt as if they might one day fit together.
We had gone to some factory with Baba who dedicated a temple on the factory grounds. After the small ceremony and a short speech by Baba the man in charge, a rather insensitive and proud man, leads us to his office where he sits Baba at his desk. He proceeds to ignore Baba and is conducting his worldly business there, talking on the phone, etc., and I begin to be impatient. Baba wants to get in touch with Jiten and is trying to find his number in his little book, then in the phone book, and this man will not help at all. I become angry, somehow find the number, and when I go to dial I find I am not sure about the dialing system. I ask him to dial and he rudely replies "What, you come from America and you don't know how to use the telephone?" I am enraged. Baba sitting there, unable to use the phone, this guy won't help. I say, so angry I am shaking, "I know how to serve a holy man." I say "Your Guru is sitting here and you won't even help him" and the guy flies off yelling that we are cracking jokes and laughing etc. and that if Baba wasn't sitting there he would "really teach me something" etc. I suddenly realized that the play of maya was for my benefit and that my anger had already burned me out. I shut it off and tried to become nice and said "yes, sir" etc. It took awhile to be able to smile at him. I said to Baba "anger is bad" or something like that Baba is very amused, watching the whole thing as if he didn't notice anything. Later in the car he asked me why I got angry and I told him and he said "right, thank you very much," and touched my chin and kissed his hand. still later he told me I must give up my anger. He said when I did l would be a great sadhu. He held out his hands and someone translated: "Baba is begging you to give him your anger." I suddenly wished very much to do so but I suspect it may be more involved than a symbolic gesture.
Now, lately, I notice anger in the form of irritation with both Mike and Glenn's behavior. Glenn seems selfish and unconscious a lot, and Mike seems, well, I can't define it, something lacking in the heart and an inability to see what's right there. How foolish of me. When will my strength cease to be bothered by others' weakness and learn to give itself out, to inspire, to make others strong and intelligent and fearless and loving? What kind of strength is it if it cannot give strength? It is no strength at all. It turns into weakness, pride, arrogance, and all that. Ah, who knows? If they only knew my sorrow, if they could only look through my brain for a day...
Baba will eat all this up. It's only a matter of time. This time his kingdom will swallow me entirely and I shall be no more separate. Only now, after eleven days here, is the real work beginning. The breeze of love has begun to stir the waves that are rising in my heart.
March 23, 1975
Very hot today, afternoon, evening lightning. No rain. breeze at night. It is Sunday, people come. A woman comes for Sanyas ceremony and I sit and watch. The feelings of last year are being re-aroused and I am feeling that I want to stick by Baba all the time. The lady was answering questions put by Baba, meekly and with seeming fear. Baba sparkling with love and kindness, alternating with seeming sternness and putting questions fiercely with great emphasis. l get a rush of feeling about what is happening - the ancient feeling. This ancient ceremony comes like an enticing breeze over me. I see a man casting off all fetters and walking on alone, free, a great song surging up in his breast. The Prem stirs.
Nap. I wake to hear that Rammurti has come. Baba is near to ecstasy -- apparently they have just been talking about his probable coming when he drove up. (Jiten was there). Baba talks to Rammurti in Oriya. It becomes very clear that this is one of Baba's very dearest disciples of all. Baba brings us all into the temple to offer the flowers Rammurti has brought. Weeping with love to see Rammurti, weeping to the Mother and calling for her blessing, Baba offers Rammurti's lotus flower, malas, sweets. He is just about jumping up and down with excitement and happiness like a child, eyes sparkling, a tear or two mingling with the sweat on his face.
We take tea. Rammurti is manager of some government agriculture thing for all Orissa and is here on a government trip. Baba is telling him about us. Rammurti is quiet, humble.
After Rammurti goes Baba does the Puja for building the new kirtan/guest room. He puts articles in a hole dug on the site and does worship with several kinds of holy water, milk, etc. and covers it all with five specially marked bricks. l sit somewhat entranced by the sight. It is somewhat moving to me how even this job of building a room is begun by calling on God. Everything is sacred to Baba and the initiation of the room-site is especially so.
We do our usual round of "Hari Narayana" and sit for Baba's puja in the Hanuman temple. Meditation is deep. I do Japa of Om mostly. My body is beginning to settle down now and not complaining so much. My mind is picking up the threads of the path where I left them, forgetting the "me", quitting the senses and entering the non-sensual space, etc. The confusion and doubt of the first few days here are getting destroyed.
After puja I talk with Baba over bowls of moori. I say that I still think we should not break down his room but leave it as it is for posterity. He asks why. I say that when I went to Ramakrishna's room I experienced bhav and blessing of Ramakrishna. Then I said l thought that if his room was destroyed that the feeling of his blessing, his years of sadhana there might be weakened. l ask if they ever broke down Ramakrishna's room at Dakshineswar would the blessing still be there. He gets my point at last and thinks a second or two and then says "yes! The blessing is always there, it has nothing to do with rooms or buildings." He tells that his blessing will always remain all around the ashram. He says the new room will by my sadhana place for 50 years. (.!) Imitates me doing japa. I thank him and indicate that my confusion is cleared let them break the room, I don't care. My confusion came from my experience at Dakshineswar being stimulated by the visual sight of Ramakrishna's room as it was, not realizing that the intense bhav I felt came from a force much beyond the sight -- from a region I yet know little about.
We go outside. Baba teaching us on the porch."Why is God so hard to find?" I ask. Baba comes closer. He's not. He's very easy to find, you only have to cry for him. God is very near, only cry, cry, cry. He imitates a baby crying for its mother. What does the mother do when she hears the baby? She comes, gives him food, gives him a doll, etc. Baba imitates a baby sucking on a chocolate. He tells that there are six dakus, thieves. They steal the mind away from God. Eyes, ears, mouth, nose, sex -- so the mind doesn't want God. Then it is difficult -- but if we cry with Prem it is very easy to get God because God is very near. Someone comes to ask why we don't change our clothes after going to the bathroom. Baba is telling them "slowly, slowly, he has learned already to wash his hands and feet," etc. and when, having followed the Bengali I say, "Baba, amar beshi kopor ache na," (Baba, I don't have very many clothes) Baba jumps with joy to realize I have followed the Bengali. He laughs and laughs and claps his hands like a child. Everyone laughs. He tells me my diary will be like a "Bible" someday. I talk with Baba about Mike's problem. Baba had asked if Mike's mind was in America, i.e. scattered. Baba confirms my sense that Mike needs to concentrate his mind from wandering all over and to have faith rather than doubt and suspicion all the time. Baba says he will give him faith later via a dream. He says he will develop prem.
After we were massaging his feet Baba tells us that like Ramakrishna's cancer (shows us meticulously his throat, brings my hand to the place) his heart absorbs the sins of the world. I ask if it is the sins of the people who come which makes his heart hurt and he says yes. Glenn says if it gets too much the body will be finished and Baba says, "no body finished." I say he is great, he says "ocean", then says "What can I say, I am nothing."
I crawl close to him and he hugs me over his supine body and keeps me there. His love is overwhelming. He is in a childlike ecstasy the whole time.
Glenn knocks over a glass; all laugh. I say Glenn is a "hati" (elephant) and Baba roars with laughter. Glenn hides under a cloth.
Later, mleccha conversation. We Jokingly say that we are "mlecchas" (i.e. non-hindu, the lowest of all castes, out-caste). Baba gets very upset, tells us not to say that. "Who says you are?" He says it disturbs him very much to hear us say that. "The man who doesn't call on God is a mleccha, the one who does is a Hindu." I feel remorse for having joked about it, since he took it seriously and it hurt his feelings. I explain further when he asks, "Who says?" by saying that we can't go in certain temples, etc. He says that there are people who are small minded and crazy but that's no reason for us to be crazy. I have difficulty reversing his flow of feeling and explaining that it is my disgust with the caste system that makes me joke like that and claim the bottom rung for myself.
Other things - he sings a song for me, a Ramprasad song. Shows us an asana for destroying lust. emphasized about our previous discussion of his room that he doesn't want any new room. He says it's happening only because we gave money. All these years, he says, he has been wanting nothing except Ma! Ma! Emphasizes the ease of getting God if there is Prem. In the morning he had told us that he hasn't read any Bible or Koran or Vedas, yet he knows it anyway - it was revealed to him. He has a headache at morning time and says the building gives him too much worry.
March 24th, 1975 Baba is sitting combing his hair in the morning. Says the "ami" ("I") must go. Says he feels lower than the grass. Mike is reading about the ripe "-I" and the unripe "I". Baba says that the ripe "I" is "aham" (I am God) and the unripe "I" is "I have a car," "I have a house," "I have money," etc. He picks up ten paisa and throws it down disgustedly: "Ami. Phooaw! Nothing!" "The tree is giving its fruit and shade all the time, yet if you come up and strike it it just stands there." He says if people will come up and hit him he doesn't care. Later he yells at me to wash my hands while I am wrapping his hair and I get mad and throw down the hair. He says not to get angry and that he fears for me. I tell him to eat my anger and he says he will. He says "You have to 'lockup' your heart against this daku (thief) which is anger. You see that there is a thief about and you lock the door and don't let him in.
Afternoon, evening. Madhu arrives. I was still lingering in the confusion of negative feeling toward Glenn and Mike and feeling torn between the pull toward Baba and being angry at them and wanting to bawl them out. I had had a nap with Baba, fanning him and then snoozing beside him. (The guy from Writer's Building had come. We had talked to him about visa and he had come in a rubbed Baba's legs while I fanned him. He also slept with us.) As it happened last year sometimes, my sleep consciousness seemed to mingle in Baba somehow, without there being a clear dream. As usual as Baba woke I felt pulled out of sleep. As I returned from the bathroom after my nap I heard a commotion and saw a bunch of people coming along the road toward the ashram.
I thought it was some kind of festival or something. I came up to the porch and Glenn called out, "Hey look," and it was Madhu and Charlene coming by rickshaw. I was amazed. I introduced him to Baba, etc. (little knowing that Baba knew he was coming.) I felt that Baba's reception of Madhu was cool and I was disappointed. We talked, etc., Baba not paying too much attention. My confusion and despair starts. First Jiten had had to bring them and I felt responsible for this inconvenience somehow, I felt sorry for him. Second, I felt guilty that my friends would be an inconvenience on the ashram and on Baba. Third, Baba tells me that since they are my guests I must look after their comforts and food and wash their dishes, etc. (How can I do that? I have no place in the kitchen, I don't know where anything is, etc.) We have tea and I wash their cups on the ground, despite Noyen's protests). It is slightly humiliating to me since Baba seems mad at me or something. (Was he really just pushing me into my anger?) I still didn't feel on speaking terms with Glenn or Mike and was not finished with that anger so the whole thing felt very uncomfortable. I felt guilty at the same time for having "created" (??) a difficulty for Baba. l try my best to serve them but the business about doing their food and washing dishes. etc. seems unreasonable. Now, later, I don't know what happened. I can understand that Baba somehow stirred up my reactions. Somehow he created in me the things he wanted to take away from me and at the same time created the strength (love, conscious suffering, willingness to humble oneself and feel "small", etc.) in me to give up and surrender (i.e. to call out to God from the depth of despair and longing). What I then actually got mad about I'm not sure.
We all did Hari Narayana and the weight fell on me -- that I was suddenly thrust into being a burden on Baba (after being told a few days before by Bhavananda that Baba was okay as long as we were with him, that Baba was unjustly saying that these were my guests (my responsibility down to washing the dishes and giving them food) when they had come to see him, - and at the same time disgusted with Glenn and Mike (angry, particularly at Glenn's behavior), and...beyond that I don't know: like last year, a desperate feeling of being played with, bounced back and forth by the guru -- mad at Baba for not helping me understand -- mad at the guru, mad at my friends, and mad at and ashamed of myself for being foolish and somehow deficient.
Hanuman puja. I get the asan for Madhu and Charlene, trying to be host to them but also feeling small and humiliated and helpless. I sit for meditation. Goes deep quickly. I forget the beads. The desire to call on God grows in my heart. My anger take the form of the stubborn rebellious child who plans to run away from home. If my guests are a burden, if I am a burden then I'll go away, I'll run away, etc. (Which I realize is hopeless -- the remorse is rising). Then I think why am I so dependent on the guru's every, whim! What have you taken from me, Baba, if I can't even call directly to God any more but must always look to you? Am I a fool? Did the guru steal my God? Then I start calling on God -- as when I am feeling righteous indignation I say, well, I shall suffer, martyr myself, etc. My legs hurt from sitting but I refuse to move. My anger gets turned to determination to be free, to suffer the total situation, to bear it by myself. Rebelliously I inwardly push Baba away and plunge into my "space" as if I were saying, "let me talk to your supervisor please, I wish to complain to your superior. What happened? several things at once. My strength arose. I knew I had to face this thing quickly. I had to face my anger and ask God to help me transcend it. I had to be humbled to the dust. Had to suffer the situation somehow outside the ego. And I was sad, very sad. "Guru, why do you play with my feelings like this? God why do you keep distant when I so tired of seeking, so sick of this earth, this life?" Also sad, why am I such a fool, why am I so angry, why do I judge others? (basis of anger)? What's wrong with me?
BOOM! - I felt the seriousness of the situation. I resolved to weep (the sorrow was rising in my heart) and go directly to God and if the guru was going to create these difficulties, this havoc in my mind I would Just bypass him. Can the guru stand between me and God? (etc. etc. I can't really recreate the whole irrational "guru" induced by all this). The image of Christ comes and I resolve to fast, do puja, etc. I see the five cuts of maya on him and see that he was suffering the maya of stupid people ("you too have your cross to bear") and feel a whole new feeling about Jesus. The thought gives me strength and I realize that I need to weep, I need to jump into my sorrow, I need to face my mistakes and weakness (rather than think of the errors of others) and suffer the remorse in order to free myself.
The Puja ends. I had been motionless, diving inward to deal with these feelings -- but still I am angry. I am pushing the guru away, and I refuse to sing as we walk around the Mother's temple. I feel a great sadness. What a strange mixture: strength independent rebellion), anger, humiliation, remorse, pride -- havoc. But the meditation had been deep and I suspected at the time that Baba was pouring something to me. BOOM - Suddenly Baba is struck with severe pain and distress. He talks to Jiten in going back to his room. Jiten is worried. Madhu is worried. Somehow my subconscious seems to grasp that I was the cause of this attack, it so coincided with the flow of my inner feelings. I had gone in meditation through something and a burden had begun to be lifted. (I knew this because the crying had come, the desire to call on God had come back strongly -- not to depend on guru but to go to God directly, since guru just seemed to be confusing rather than helping me. We go in for supper. The mood is gloomy. I want to run away from everyone and cry. l want to sit up all night and conquer my weakness. I refuse moori, eat biscuit and tea. They try to make me eat, keep giving me spoons. Finally I leave the room and go to have a cigarette. I see that no matter what, anger or shame or pride or anything, I am in love with Baba. I will still die for him. I come back and sit next to him on the porch. He tells me to feel his pulse. It is weak, but I keep holding his wrist. I try to pour my energy to him. l concentrate -the thought that all my life is his. My pran is his pran. I know it is foolish to dream of sending a healing energy to him but the child in me tries. He tells me not to worry. We sing the name. Then I sit fanning Baba as he lies down and then we sing for him again. He calls Madhu to sing a bhajan and this makes him feel much better. Japa. Sleep.
March 25, 1975
I wake before the clock and go out. I do Hari Narayan by myself at six A.M., then sit for meditation alone. The weeping comes at last. I talk to God directly as I wanted to last night. The whole sorrow erupts and my remorse acts. I don't want to judge others, I don't want to be angry, etc, etc. - I forget the exact prayers. I sat with my sorrow. I sat with my shame. But that which sat was somehow beyond. These tears were healing. I still didn't know exactly that Baba had eaten my anger, etc. although some part of me knew it well.
Afterward I attended to Madhu and Charlene's bath and felt warm and "with" them as opposed to being distracted as I was the night before. I carried the water myself despite Ma's (Noyen's and Alpona's) protest and washed my own clothes despite Ma's dismay. It felt good to do my own dirty work. Later Mike asked me about dikka and as I sat on the "ledge" by the road to talk to him I found my attitude was transformed. I warmed, I suddenly was no longer angry at all but sympathetic and wanting to help. I didn't mince words in any way, tried to tell the truth but there was love behind it. (How had I gotten so fucked up anyway?)
Then Glenn came and we talked. suddenly l told him I had been depressed by his attitude about a lot of things and certain weaknesses but that since Baba was working on my anger I had resolved to be done with it and therefore I was (had been) afraid to talk about it for fear of getting angry. He asked to hear more and said he didn't care if I got angry. So I told him -- but lo and Behold, there was no irritation any more, no anger, only sadness in my expression and only the urgency toward his own good behind my telling. When it was spoken I was relieved and felt light again. The barrier between my two friends was broken mysteriously by Baba's power and I was moving back into love again. (Yet now I also felt dis-identified, re-established in my own movement of sadhana, disentangled from them and their karma, on my own feet again and moving. The things that had been pent up had been expressed simply and easily and anger was gone.
My heart grows hush with awe to feel, even now as I write, the mystery of this miracle. No words can utter the deep love and gratitude with which I bow at the feet of God in the form of my Guru. There is no thank you for this, the giving of his life blood for me. There is no action that can repay his help for he has worked on a supernatural plane which we know not. I can only weep then the tears he gives me and sing some small song of his love. How has he taken this stain from my heart? What love is so strong it can eat up another's evil? By what process did he make my heavy heart light? God knows! Jay Guru, Jaya Guru, Jaya Guru!
Nap time, I work on Bengali with Debu (we try to translate "The Beggar King". Tea. Hari Narayana. Baba teaches us through Madhu, Baba sitting in his "lawn chair", us sitting on bench in front of the temple. Now that my judgement-mind is resolved, he goes ahead and talks about Mike and Glenn's state and problems and so on.
Baba talks about Mike's need for faith and love, and Glenn's need to renounce attachment to sense pleasures. Talks about the moon thing again with Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. Talks about Mataji.
26th - Other notes: Madhu has a dream, something about avatars, asks Baba a question about it and Baba says he will answer five years later. We get to Rishra (26th), samadhi, tea at rich guy's house, take photos dof the dancing.
Holi festival. Madhu's bhav samadhi, Baba's samadhi. Glenn and Mike take initiation. Nivedita book is brought, Baba calling Charlene Nivedita.
Holi day. Baba reveals self as Ramakrishna. At night I tell him I don't want to eat on Good Friday. Tells me I must, for his sake. Notes: Says Jesus didn't die, Ramakrishna didn't die, but we can't see with these eyes. No sorrow over their "death". If I eat his "tummy will be big", if I am happy he is happy. If I cry, he cries. If Jesus and Ramakrishna didn't die then he will not die either (I say to him). "Right!", he says. For Good Friday there is no need to fast, just tears of prem need to be given. I say, I have no tears, if you give me prem I have prem, I have no love of my own, nothing of my "own" -- "right!", he says, making gestures of giving, giving. Baba starts doing the wife thing, saying he is my wife, tells story about Ramakrishna and Naren. I say, "but my wife is crazy," Madhu tells me I shouldn't argue or disagree with Baba but Baba disagrees with that and tells me to do it. Good Friday, morning puja, Baba weeping in cross position in imitation of Christ.
March 25, 1975
We were doing Hari Narayana around the Hanuman temple. My irritation was gone and I had talked with both Glenn and Mike that morning. Mike asked me about dikka and I told him a few things about it. He was confused and feeling it might be an irreversible step. I told him it was most important to clear up his mind to find out what he really wanted. We get what we desire. We go according to our inmost wish so he should search his heart to make sure God was his one wish over all things since the path would entail hard work and there would be times of trials when the strength of that God-wish would be tested.
I told Glenn separately that I had been angry with him for a number of things but that because I saw Baba working to take away my anger I hadn't wanted to get into it. Then when Baba had "eaten" my karma and my anger the irritation was lifted and I had experienced the source of the anger as sorrow. Disappointment in both of them (immature, lazy, unripe) and loneliness for myself, shame at not being able to transcend my own pettiness smoothly and quickly. Then he asked if I would tell him what bothered me and I did. Lack of consideration for others, being snotty with the villagers, not keeping the mind centered on the reason for being there, flippant attitude, pride going to head, peacock strutting about trying on his gerua cloth, relaxation of effort now that guru was secured, wanting body things, etc. etc. and I tried to explain that the act of seeing them come to the ashram and simultaneously remembering my own first coming had brought the sorrow. I couldn't comprehend why they weren't eagerly working to learn Bengali, why they didn't seem to love the common people around, etc.
In the afternoon, Baba sitting in the lawn chair near mandir. We do our pradikshanam and then Baba calls Madhu. Talks to him, then calls us all. We sit. Baba starts explaining a few things. He says Mike's mind is confused, going this way and that and that it would take some time. He lacked faith. Said it would come. Needs love (Prem). First devotion. Then love, then faith comes, one from another. Baba said Glenn was a big Yogi in previous lifetime, but now was held back by pleasure attachment (kama). Needed to develop renunciation. Said to me, "tomar kam shesh" (work is done?) After talking he told the moon thing again. Finally from Madhu I find out what he is talking about. Once Ramakrishna and Vivekananda were meditating on the moon -- said in the moon one can see the whole universe reflected and that staring at the moon develops prem -- and both of them saw the moon come closer and closer and saw their images reflected in it.
Evening. Baba calls for the tape recorder. I search for it and realize it was left at Jiten's. Baba gets his own out and act s very pissed at me. Swats me on the head. I find the tape I had thought I had lost. Baba pissed at me saying how my camera was stolen, how I can't take care of things. He listens to a tape. While it is playing I notice he is writing with his finger on the floor. I look up at him and he is staring at me. I suddenly understand that I am to start transcribing the tapes immediately. I nod. beautiful silent communication. I am beginning to understand the mode. He doesn't like to tell anything directly if it can happen indirectly. Then he wants to record Madhu's songs which we do. (I start transcribing the next day with Debu). I accompany Madhu on guitar. After singing Madhu shows him Mataji's picture. Says devamata. Says he saw her before in meditation.
Baba calls Madhu his son and that he cannot withhold any secrets from him. Says Madhu will have spiritual work all over the world, and help with Baba's work.
(Haven't yet written Holi day and Good Friday. Good Friday we went to Jiten's with Madhu, he being on his way. Madhu is saying he doesn't want to leave, wants to go back and see Baba again and starts crying. Talk with him).
March 30th, Easter Sunday. (Today). Arose and took food at Jiten's and left for Dakshineswar. The room was different than last year. Pink paint. I understood that the sight of the room was not the significant thing since the sight this time had no "oldness" or "original" feeling, but the vibration was there. Sang songs on the steps outside the room.
I walked back in the heat of day from ..Kholachora to see how it would be and if it was really "dangerous" as the Bengalis had told me. It was very intense, especially on the feet and head, but it was okay.
Baba wonderful tonight. After puja and moori we sit with him. I sit by his side at his sign, hug him, and he is happy.
Talk. Tells us at moori time he wants to go here and there to get fruit for us. I say no, he shouldn't go. l will go. He starts telling about Jesus, how he washed his disciples feet. He wants to do stuff for us. (I had played him a tape of Debu reading a Bengali Bible, from John, the Last Supper, and Baba had gotten emotional at the part where Jesus washed the disciples' feet).
Later he asks me again about money we had gotten him to take by giving it through Madhu. He says he won't keep it. Makes sure that the money was for our food. Baba is telling about his headaches and I tell him its because he is thinking about money all the time, taka, taka, how much is this, how much is that. Baba overjoyed with laughter and all laugh.
Sex talk, no lust. Baba tells the story of when some people sent some prostitutes to test Ramakrishna. Everyone goes into stitches at his imitation of the prostitutes' attempting to seduce. So funny everyone rolling on the porch unable to catch our breath. Asks me if I want another, younger wife. Talks about the sushumna and sex, the chakras and the knots. After the throat knot is broken there is no "ami". Talks about the Jesus speech (tape) and how all religions are one. Jesus washing the feet.. tells everyone within range about ten times.
He asks me if I can do cinema work here. I explain idea for darshan movie (thousands can get darshan even hundreds of years later). He understands perfectly. ("How many people actually saw Ramakrishna?" I ask. "Kom" he says, "few"). This relieves me.
Overall, total joy today. He is very glad to see us back. I am only wanting to give to him. I see Ramakrishna more and more revealed. "Tumi ke?" I ask "who are you?" "Tumi ke?" he answers "who are YOU?"
April 1, 1975
A letter from Athena came. l tell Baba about it. Nighttime we go to Janai. Before that some rich people came who were, somebody gossiped, black money people. Debu had told me how such people were wrecking the country. Baba receives them well. It is the guy who built the Hanuman temple after offering Baba money and Baba refused it. The wife has some problem and nearly weeps but Baba consoles her. Very sweet to me while sitting on Hanuman porch talking to the guy..
Later in the rickshaw I put the question Mike had raised about this "daku". Why does Baba give the blessings to someone who is causing suffering to others? Baba tells me that he doesn't have that vision. When the guy comes he is God to Baba. Baba doesn't see a thief. (Later, next day, he tells me that the discrimination of good and bad, right and wrong is unnecessary - throw it away. Only God knows good and bad.)
Also on Rickshaw I tell Baba the rest of what was in Athena's letter. She had said that if Baba thought he would give up his body in America to tell him not to come, the world needed him. I told Baba and he understood and asked me again if he should go. I said okay, he will go and return to India and I with him and he said, "right." So I was relieved to get this spoken.
We stop first at an ashram which appears to be in honor of Ramakrishna (which Baba calls ghum ashram) and pranam the statues and sing a couple songs. Then we go on to the kirtan place in front of the Janai Kali temple, pranam the Mother, take tea, and sing some more. Baba had said he would only sing a few minutes, but goes on for over an hour. I get fed up after awhile, wanting him to stop for his health's sake, but being unable to do anything due to the big crowd, being a guest, etc. Finally I Just walked away and left the crowd (having picked up our stuff long before). I had a smoke and people came to question me. I was tired and hungry and worried about Baba. Finally Sunil Bhose calls me to offer a smoke. I tell him straight away that nobody is thinking about Baba's sake, only of themselves. Why? he asks. I tell him that Baba's heart is poor, etc. etc. and that he should have only sung five minutes. Sunil says what can we do etc. Finally he tells me to go call Baba and tell him to stop, but by the time we walked there Baba he's already collapsed or at least sat down with exhaustion. I am exasperated. I tell Baba he is foolish and naughty. He is disoriented, but we finally get moving and into the rickshaw.
On the rickshaw ride home he is laughing and singing and telling me why he couldn't stop. He said when he sings and dances like that he totally forgets his body. Doesn't know the body at all. I ask him what he does see he says "God." He says if he is singing of Govinda then he sees Govinda, if Kali then he sees Kali, and so on. I say, "See? Just as you see me?" He says yes.
This, coupled with the "thief" thing on the way over ("I don't see a thief, I see God") hits me with the sudden realization of the depth of his God-consciousness. He really does see God in everyone and God only. And he does lose sense of time and place when in ecstasy so that he didn't know that an hour had passed. I resolve not to let this physical exertion happen again, now that I know how "helpless" he is then. We come home late. He keeps asking for a bidi in the rickshaw like a child wanting candy.
We eat. Baba singing and joking, saying "Ramakrishna" and generally acting "high". When he can't find his mala and imagines it is lost he just laughs and sweeps his arm as if it were nothing and says "maya!". Sleep.
April 2, 1975
A man comes with his wife to see Baba. Baba tells us she does yoga and has a question about sushumna. Baba likes her and says she is a yogi. Also in the morning the sadhu comes and wants to talk to Baba PRIVATELY. Later Baba is telling us about it and says that the sadhu had "kam" (lust) and the very memory of his conversation with him makes him hit his head again and again.
Evening discussion. Talk with Mike and Baba about Mataji and what Baba had told Madhu about her. He keeps saying that he didn't and doesn't say she is Kali, but that he bows down to all and says that all are great. We try to straighten it out. I tell Baba that Mike thinks he is saying one thing one day and another thing another day. Baba is pleased with his inquiry and says that faith will come from asking such questions. He says his word is one, not two, and that Madhu had apparently misunderstood his words. (Madhu had said that Baba said that Mataji was Kali and that he had seen her in meditation and that his stone from Hawaii was turning into her form). Baba says every disciple wants to build his guru up. He shows how one person will say that he (Baba) is Jesus Christ, another will say "my guru is Ramakrishna", another will say his guru is Chaitanya, but that Baba will never say anything. He said it is natural to build up one's guru.
Glenn asked why aren't we crying? Baba said that when we had come across the world to the ashram our work was over. There was no need to cry for God like the child anymore since we were in Father's arms now. This made supreme sense to me. I also had wondered why the heart was not aching and aching as it used to and I suddenly saw how happy I was to just be beside Baba.
We go to bed. I am doing japa and Baba comes to check up on us. I tell him I want to get up at brahmamurti. I say you will give me shakti to do it. Yes, he says. "Alpo jap, ghum," (Just do a bit of japa, then sleep).
I dream that night of Baba in America. For some reason I am having trouble being with him. He is with Athena in some mansion or something. I barely glimpse him and for some reason I have to leave to go to Albany, Delmar, bus or train station. The thing weighs on me heavier as the dream goes on. Finally I am somewhere and I realize that whatever is keeping me from going to Baba is illusion. (School or work which I am trying to get to). I realize that I am not being able to speed all my time with him only because I had foolishly thought I had other obligations. Somehow I get back to him. (His visit is going to be short or something?) I am weeping in his lap with gladness to be back and sorrow at the separation that occurred, sorrow in the dream, and then.... I wake up from the emotion and it is only a few minutes before the alarm rings. As before when dreaming of Baba, through emotion the peak of the dream wakes me totally and completely, and I suddenly realize that Baba has awakened me, or God, or God-guru within. I am happy and cheerful and get up immediately.
It was five A.M. or shortly after. The morning was lovely and I realized a divine power had helped me overcome the habit of sleeping late. I had been determined to enter brahmamurti regularly.
Day. Baba tells me to go to Howrah to get five tickets for Orissa. Jiten had come the night before and plans were made to go Friday, the 4th. I am to tell Jiten to get the tickets if possible. Baba tenderly sees me off, gives me money. Puts my money in my pouch, gives me umbrella, kissing me. The trip is fun. I am glad to be by myself for awhile. I talk to people on the bus to Howrah. One boy questions me, another man telling the others about Baba. At Howrah Jiten says that he won't be able to go to Orissa with us. I am put to a test. At first I think that we should go anyway because of the passport business. Then it slowly dawns on me that Jiten is sad not to go and that Baba really didn't want to go without him. I finally decide not to go and a sense of relief comes over me. I determine to go to the Writer's Building Monday and to Rammurti by myself if necessary. I buy medicine for Baba and return by train and bus. Walking with boy to ashram, feel good. Coming back Baba kisses me again, very pleased that I didn't buy tickets. He says Mother's flower said not to go. Pass test. We do Hari Narayan, puja, meditation better and better. Japa makes more and more sense now.
At night Baba says he will test Mike regarding this other Ramakrishna sadhu who has come during the day. (Does Mike want to go to the sat sang with the sadhu at Mr. Pal's house?) Mike keeps saying no, he doesn't care about it, wants to stay with Baba. Finally we all go since Baba had said he would go. He says it will only be for ten minutes. I say I don't believe him. We go and we actually do stay only about ten minutes but Mike wants to stay longer now as there is a guy playing sitar or vina. We leave him there and come back and take food. After food I knock over Baba's water. He is pissed and says "Go, Go!" I go to prepare our beds. When I come back Baba is very tender and seems to want to "make up". He puts his fingers on my spine as I pranam, blows on my head. I sleep. Wake up at four from horrible dream which ended with an arena-show-spectacle car crash. The horror woke me up. Cold morning. Wind blowing. I meditate and write all this.
April 4, 1975
"The wind of love is blowing on the ocean of my heart, stirring
the waves and creating the great tide of surrender. Who knows
what shall be? It is into the very heart of the unknown that we
shall go. The ego is growing weary of being. The guru calls from
the unthinkable egoless space beyond. It is the heart alone which
responds in joy and gladness singing, I come, Oh my Lord, I
come!' Majestic unheard symphonies crescendo where the river
enters into the sea. Waters so long bounded by earthen banks
expand into the freedom of the sea. The river's sad and solitary
song arises, to join that mighty roar of angels breathing.
Freedom! Freedom! Freedom is in the total death of the 'me'!"
Wake at four A.M. in darkness to meditate and write. At hair combing time Baba was talking to some Janai disciples, telling them how l said that none of them loved him there since they let him dance so much without thinking that it was bad for his body. Big sleep in afternoon.
Night discussion. I ask Baba whether God loves us. He says certainly, with emphasis. If he loves us why can't we see him. He says it takes a long time. I am so tired of this maya, I say. Baba says "donno bad," (thank you). He tells me that each of us has a different path to God. One may go by plane somewhere and take three days, another by bus, train, etc., but God loves them all the same. Asked me if there will be any conflict from one wife having three husbands. I say no. Slowly, slowly you must go, he says. A big house takes a long time to build. (I had been worrying all day about so many things, trip, movie, his body, etc.). I tell him my mind is split: one part wants to work for him and work out a plan, and the other half knows "I am not." and doesn't want to get involved in the maya of work. I tell him that if I do work then I am caught in maya of "I am doing," but that if I say I am nothing then I can't get it on for any action. He says I must have the idea that God is doing, God is building the house, not "me". God is going to Calcutta, not me. etc. Tells me I must translate for Glenn and Mike, tells me he will give me understanding.
I tell him how Vivekananda said at the end of his life that all the work he had done was maya. Baba says no, it was God work and that he only had that idea after it was finished. Imitates energy and action and said Ramakrishna gave him his shakti. Says Glenn, yoga; Mike, bhajan-kirtan -- three different rivers running into the sea. Afterward he stands up and bugs me. I say I want to help him but who will help me. He says he will -- "Ami-tumi, ami-tumi."
Earlier there was confusion about dinner. I tell Baba that Glenn and Mike want their dinner time changed. Baba reacts upset that "Hotel no right." Glenn and Mike confused to see reaction and Baba's sorrow that things are not right. He says, "My home is your home and you must just tell me if something isn't right." Keeps on talking about it. Wants a sign board with schedule made. Wants question (that Mike had had) in writing form. He asked Mike if he thought guru (Baba) was a man or God. Mike said a man since he couldn't see how a person could be regarded as God. Baba telling him that the guru is not a man but God. Baba is upset. Mike is thrown into confusion and despair and wanting to ask if it is necessary to see this, whether the vision of God will be held back if he can't view guru as God. Baba tells him to write the question, as there is some difficulty translating clearly. Baba asks me if I think he is God (as I sit for food an hour later than the others.) I say, "You know what I think." He says to tell him. I say, "I believe you are not a man, you are God. If I didn't think you were God then I would go, I wouldn't stay. I don't want a man, I want the company of God, Ramakrishna, Jesus."
All day there has been the sorrow of worry, sorrow of the slowness of the path. Deep frustration at the separate slowness of Glenn and Mike. Baba listening very carefully to our questions, wanting very much to explain everything. But he told me as he was washing after night food that if your minds are not right then I can't explain by word.
April 5, 1975 In the morning I take my bath in the pukur (pond) for the first time. Baba tells me he was up all night worrying about how to make us, especially Mike, understand that without faith nothing will come. Tells me that if a person has faith in anything (points to the porch pole, says that is God) then he will see God through that. I tell him, "but God must give us the faith." Yes, he says, very animated. Points to his head saying, "Whaa, whaa!", to show how worried he has been. Keeps telling me. Where does faith come from? From the heart, he says.
Baba tells me to tell the others how worried he was. We make up a schedule on a piece of cardboard which pleases Baba. l read it in Bengali. Mike writes out his question.
At noontime I and Mike remake the dome model with straws, wire and glue. I almost give up but persist. Jiten's wife comes with Titu, who helps me.
At night Baba tells us to make a small temple. Tells us about America India. After many years the avatar will come to America. There will be many sadhus and America will be a new holy land. India is becoming maya-land, no one thinking of God.
April 7, 1975 One month is gone. In the timelessness of this place it is hard to believe. Yesterday , April 6th: I thought about the dome all day. Since Baba has said it was to be a small temple for four people to sit in it has become a real possibility. Baba was in a bad mood all day because Joya Ma was sad. Evening meditation was deep. My mind had been pondering both the dome all day and my errors, this interconnected syndrome of sorrow, judgement and anger. After evening food the sorrow hit me. Baba was talking to the Janai devotees who were all pissed at me for leaving abruptly with Baba that night and for saying that they "didn't love Baba." Baba pressed me to explain myself to them, thus precipitating argument and an anger situation. I realized what was going on. The old feeling of being a doll in Baba's hands with no choice or say. Anger rose, both at the stupidity of the Janai peoples' explanation and covering of their fault, and at Baba for playing with my feelings (i.e. in the rickshaw ride home that night he seemed to be glad about my concern, and now he seemed to be showing or telling me it was useless for anyone to try to control him and was giving me the feeling that I had been wrong in getting pissed and talking badly to the Janai people). I just sat there and let the sorrow come over me. Then the whole picture of my sorrow, anger, pride, judgement, hit me. Baba said I was "right" but it didn't help.
Asked us to sing. We sang "Dub, Dub," "Keshava", and the "Black Bee" song. He said that song used to make Kamalakanta go mad. I was basically hurt and pissed and contemplating my crappiness and wanting to be done with everything. I sat for awhile. I then got up to fix the bedding.
Baba had lain down and Glenn and Mike were with him. He said "Where are you going?" I told him I was going to fix the bedding. He told me to stay with him five more minutes. (It turned out to be 20-30). By now I almost just felt like crying, but not on guru's shoulder. I was still pissed at him (or at everything?). I fanned him. Then he asked me to massage his legs while Mike took over fanning. I did it. It was a battle all this time. Attached to ego but another part doing a seemingly impossible struggle to follow Baba's teaching and to drop the "I" and forget the "ami". What followed is indescribable. He poured such a wave of love and strength on me that the negative feeling just seemed to get eaten up in the wave of love for him that was evoked. First he pulled me onto his shoulder. Then he was telling me (I had told him that I had sorrow) that he wanted me to give my sorrow to him. He kissed me and showed such love in his glowing intimate eyes that it is impossible to describe. I told him when I see my "dosh" (faults) it gives me sorrow. He says emphatically that he wants me to give him all my "dosh". My "rag" (anger), my "ahamkar" (pride). I say that I don't want to give him my "dosh". Only my "bhalobasha" (love). He pulls me out completely, by his love.
He says that the guru has an electric wire to the disciple. If the disciple has no peace, then the guru has no peace. This time it really sunk in and I saw how selfish it was to be sad around Baba, since he would feel it. He told me that he would eat my poison. What does the guru do? he asks. Then he imitates drinking poison. Suddenly I was looking at the Govinda of the story he told before about Govinda and Rakhal, where Govinda would eat the fruits in the jungle first to see if they were poison.
Baba imitates Vivekananda's rage. He slams his hand on the floor, yelling, saying how that's how Vivekananda would pound on the table in America. This made me laugh, and he did it a couple more times. Says something else about Ramakrishna and Vivekananda and to do with rage and how they became one (puts two fingers together).
He says, "You are me and I am you. I am Premananda and you are Prahlad Chandra." He says that when I can't sleep, he can't sleep. When he has kam, I have kam. Sticks finger to his, then to mine. At one point he asks me if I will eat his poison. I say, "dao," (give it) and he says, "Right, donno bad!"
At one point he said, in response to something I had said, "You will do my work, and I will do your work." At another point after he kissed me he told me not to tell all this intimate stuff around ("I am you, you are me," etc.). Then he showed how the husband and wife keep their intimacies private. He puts a cloth over both of us and then embraces me. Pantomimes so clearly all along it was impossible to miss the point. A couple of times he told me to go on to bed, but then started in again and had me sitting down again.
By the time he was through I was transformed. I saw that my sorrow was utterly useless. I felt surrender because his love was so supremely perfect and unselfish (he wants me to give him my crap, my pride, my anger, etc.!). He saw that a weak point had come in me and injected love at just the right time, just as I was about to give up on him and go lose myself in my sadness. He told about Joya's sorrow and I fell into her lap. He told how the sorrow had gone from Joya to Baba to me. Told me my sorrow had come because of his and that that showed we were one. Said Ma's had come at 2 P.M. and mine at 7 P.M. and that Joya had been sad all day (due to some problem at her home. She hadn't eaten all day and Baba said his food was "no right" all day.
I went to sleep in peace, fully aware of the huge power of God that was making things like this happen. I could see suddenly the incredible deep and clear connection between my inmost psyche and the guru's super-sense. All leading to the total faith which allows total surrender.
April 7, 1975
Puja in the morning. Our new schedule working well. My morning "pujas" in the library taking form and doing much for me. I am always happy then. A momentum slowly building toward both will-toward-God and ego-loss.
A man from Hind cinema came who said he can loan me a camera to film Baba. Also, just as we were talking to the film guy, Pranab's sister comes. Baba pranams her. Incredible eyes. She stays until 3 or 4 and sings. I take her picture.
May 8, 1975
Returned from Chandernagore alone at evening time. We had all gone, I to take Tom to Chinsura, Mike and Glenn came too. They will all go to Dakshineswar tomorrow. At Chinsura the same singing for the the police, telling them my views about dharma. It seemed that Baba's power was there, moving. Everyone was delighted.
One man especially who said that he was looking for a guru. He listened and kept asking for another song. The guy who takes our letters promised to come tomorrow to get Baba's kripa. The whole thing left me high for it was good to be able to share religious things with the police. Talked all night with Mike.
Flashback. On the 6th Debu calls us over to ghat. There is an old guy there who tells us a couple of stories. One is about how Baba fed a hundred people with one banana. He said that now that Baba is old, these kind of manifestations of power don't occur so much, but that Baba knows the "formula" and can teach it. As they were talking I got a great sense of having been a fool. I realized I was foolish to ever get angry at Baba. (Tonight Baba said when the Indians fight with each other they forget it very quickly, but that when "sahibs" fight they never forget it).
I felt I wanted to run to his feet and get over my foolish anger. I felt I had not been showing my real love and respect and that I had gotten tricked by his disguise into not perceiving his greatness. An earnestness came over me and I got up, excused myself and went to pranam, which I had not done yet. But Baba was eating. So I stood in the yard for a minute and let this wave grow. I wanted to run to the burning place but I didn't. I went to Hanuman temple and lay down in the dark. First I sat. 1 was crazy. My pain/anger/frustration seemed to become a tangible psychic poison in my belly creeping up to my heart. I went into a kind of voluntary seizure in which my anger suddenly turned back on itself in a kind of short circuit. The body and mind convulsed. It was very painful, like a tantrum. I was angry at my anger for having reduced the contact with Baba and God and in a passion like murder I was out to kill that.
Baba sent Lokon over. I was out of sight of anyone and made no sound but Baba knew I was there somehow. (I had felt the poison go up to the throat and there was a kind of vomiting sensation). Lokon told me to come. Baba asked me what was wrong. He said , "How did I know you were there?" I said, "You know everything." Among other things he said, "What's the matter?" He felt my head - so warm! Very tenderly I said my mind was "karap" because I could see my poison and faults and didn't know what to do.
He said that Ramakrishna said before there is light there is darkness. The lotus flower comes up from the slime. I said (to explain what I had said earlier - that when he was disturbed we had no guru) that I meant that when he was suffering I had a very disturbed mind and couldn't do sadhana or anything. I said you are my whole life, every other thing is thrown away, so that when you're not right my whole life isn't right. He said that was a pure thing to say. He said something about there is only one Premananda, but I couldn't understand. Then he laughed, saying, "this he misses.." as if it was significant. I think he was praising me and for that reason laughed when that was the one thing I didn't get. Very tender. This was a breakthrough for my poison was faced a bit more in that convulsion so that I really wanted to get rid of it. And then Baba called me and I told him. I could feel that Baba knew exactly what I had been going through. I went to sleep. When I woke my every muscle ached from the convulsion.
May 8, 1975
Very hot, but coming from Chandernagore I felt no discomfort. I was amazed. I went to Kalipur but the eight pictures I was waiting for weren't ready. I went to Chanditala but the clothes for Tom weren't ready. I went to Bhavananda's but he was sleeping. By the time he woke and I had tea it was getting late and I had to be back for the guy who wanted to get Baba's picture for the engraving. All in all I was too late. Very disturbed. We go out and try to take a picture but the light is not right. Baba says, "Tak," ("leave it").
Meditation. It is good to be "alone" with Baba again, even for a short time. I soak it up. At food Baba talks. He talks about the burning place. I tell him that Bhavananda said you have to take wine and meat there, or "you will die." (First I asked him if he had ever eaten those things and he said no.)
I asked him if he had ever offered those things in puja and he said once a year only. He said that at the burning place God will test a person. He referred to the story when the villagers went to watch his puja. I asked if God had tested them, he said yes. But he kept saying that there was no need to go to a burning place, that Ramakrishna hadn't done it. He talked about tantra, left hand path, and said it wasn't for him. He said all the paths were good, but used the illustration of a plane route and a land route and obviously meant that the long way was the left hand path. He said there was danger. Those who drink wine and do puja aren't doing real puja at all, and yet Ramakrishna had told Girish to drink anyway. Said that like Ramakrishna he pranamed every path, but that there is no need to go to the burning place. Said just sit here in this room and do sadhana. He was happy to think that soon we would have our own room. Showed where Ramakrishna would "sit."
Later, outside, Baba in lawn chair, us on bench, he calls for Brahmamayi's letter which came today. I read it to him. He calls for Premamayi's letter and I read that to him. Then he goes into unraveling the whole thing. The fight. Winds up saying he won't go to America. Unless all his disciples are one and working together he won't do it. The parallels to our little quarrels amongst ourselves here is beautiful and comes after these convulsions so I am ready for it. Ready to forget differences and to love.
Baba showing how he's always torn in the middle of these fights. I feel more at Baba's feet since the other night, more reverent or something. And this whole fight thing touches me deeply. I see that it must be love. Although we have differences, and although I am frustrated with the others, yet we must be one.
Later I tell him what Mike said, that he wants to see more. Slowly, slowly says Baba. I say Mike feels it isn't getting any better. Baba says, "Getting God is not so easy as all that." Mike wants to fast in order to see more of God. That is a mistake says Baba. Says, "pagol Nitai," ("crazy Nitai"). Joking he asks me if all American shishus are like that. If so, he says, I won't go to America. He tells me to show God to Mike. I am startled. I don't know it, I say. Baba sucks on his pipe and says, "you know."
May 11, 1975
For the last two days caught up in the TB case. Friday, the 9th, Debu brought a boy named Shankar who was suffering from TB and malnutrition in hopes that I would help him get medicine. And food. I was deeply touched and after talking a bit I took him out with the idea of seeing where he lived. I didn't think to take him to Baba, but when he walked toward the temple and put his shoes off Ma asked what is the matter. I told her and took him to Baba who was in the new room.
A long discussion followed in which he told me I couldn't just up and take him to Siddhu Babu. He wouldn't see him without and appointment and would get mad. I told him I wanted to help him, give him food. They discussed it and there was talk of getting him into a good TB place. The uncle of the boy was there and Baba talked to him a lot. I was a bit surprised that Baba so quickly got involved. Yet I didn't have too much faith that quick action would come and my main thought was to get him food immediately.
After the boy left I was struck by an intense feeling of commiseration with this picture of sorrow. I don't remember clearly how this crept over me but I was soon crying. Actually it had come as they were talking, Baba to the uncle, and the boy standing nearby. It came over me and I kept looking at the boy and then at Baba to try to catch a glimpse of hope. I had to fight back the tears, particularly when I looked at Baba. It was the feeling of son and father, for I was helpless and yet felt the urge to quick action. ("Father, father, can't you do something?") This was like a deep stream of sorrow welling up from within. It was attended by an immediate sense of millions of others like this boy (like the weeping mother). It was the whole India standing there before me dying with no help in sight.
After he left I wandered into the new room and wept. It was a kind of swoon, a samadhi of grief I felt. Baba saw and came in. He talked about it. He said "Thank you, for your feeling, for your tears."
At night the others came back from Chandernagore, Belur. The lifting of my anger feeling since the convulsion confrontation continued and while I didn't feel overwhelmed with love I didn't feel any bad feelings either. There was harmony in my mind. I talked very late with Mike. (What do you want? Art vs. God. Fame or appreciation or anonymity. Faith. Love. What is greatness, great artist. Inspiration.)
May 10, Kali puja day. In the morning Shankar was sent for at my request. I guess I was saying I would give him something, some food. But Noyen went to get him. Mike and I prepared a feast of fruit, protein powder and milk, and vitamins. He came and we fed him on the library porch. It was a good feeling, though the sight of him does not inspire hope. I was relieved that Baba didn't put up any objection. Of course, due to starvation, he couldn't eat more than a quarter of what we had made.
His manner is one of being hardly there. He answers questions in a small voice which seems to tremble on the edge of fear and tears. When he finished as much as he could eat I gave him a vitamin and he went home. I followed him to see where he lived so I could bring food the next day. (Since Baba had said he was too weak to come everyday and we should have him come once and then send food).
Kids tagged along telling how poor he was. How they didn't have any food. The house was all banged down. I had not yet seen any poverty as bad as this. Four kids, only one small serviceable room, mud hut, no food, 4-5 rupees a day, etc. I was deeply moved. I told them I would come back tomorrow. Evening tearful puja thinking of boy.
The night of the drama. The village people have been rehearsing for a long time. The Kali puja started at about 10:@0 or shortly thereafter. I had fixed up the altar in the library. After a while of the puja we went to watch some of the play. Baba had Made it very clear that we should go. If you are going to move in society then you have to pay respects.
After the drama we came back to the puja. The whole day Shankar was on my mind. How to help? What IS help? etc. Puja ended at 3:30 A.M. Only Tom and I awake, of the four of us. Prasad and bed.
May 11, 1975
Precipitation of the tension of my grief occurred, and a lesson in obedience. After fruit in the morning I was mixing milk for Shankar. We had all four of us put some fruit from our plates together and I was determined to take them to Shankar myself. I had no faith that anyone else would do anything if I didn't. Baba came in and asked me what I was doing. I told him. He told me not to go. I said I would. I was annoyed at the interference and feeling desperate about the boy. He said no, I said yes. Three times, and at that he quit. I felt adamant. The whole thing had been tugging at my heart. I felt I had to do this symbolic gesture. I knew it was nothing, it was futile in a way, but I was in a position to feed the one who had come so I had to. Baba was pissed off and stopped talking and I eventually left with the food. Mike came to see.
When we got there we found that the boy's uncle had been beaten severely by some locals who said that he stole something. I was disgusted. Shankar ate and we inquired about the incident. The guy was in pain, etc. We left.
Later I talked with Baba in the back room while he ate food. He knew about the whole thing. Someone had wakened him early in the morning and told him about it. He said that is why he didn't want us to go in the morning, not because he didn't want me to feed the boy. He said don't go where there is poison. I tried to warn you, he said. You came for sadhana not to get involved in poison (violent) incidents. If 100 men say he stole something against his one word, who to believe? I tell him I was shocked by this kind of "justice". I tell him that in America those who beat him would have to answer for it. He says India is very different. He didn't want me to hear it or be touched by this "poison". He says the guy was involved like this before, that he drinks, that he didn't even come to him (Baba), doesn't call on God. I say that I have to see these things. I say that Buddha saw all this and then called on God as a result. He says okay.
After lunch I again take stuff to Shankar. (In the meantime Ramani had come). Noyen shows up, calling me, at the boy's hut. She looks at the guy. I go back. I hear that Baba was very angry that I had disobeyed him. He calls for the tape machine. I give it to him and go to lie down. He calls me again after awhile and I put away the tape. Then in the new room he grabs me and sits me down and starts out to explain his viewpoint. He doesn't want me to get involved in this "politics" (i.e. worldly affairs). I interrupt. Who's thinking about all that? I am only trying to feed this boy. Why are you thinking of politics? He is taken aback. We developed into quite an argument. Mike and Glenn come in. He reveals that he had told me that the boy would come that day. l didn't have to go in the morning. If I had obeyed him I would have been spared even knowing about the whole thing. I tell he was saying not to feed the boy? "Didn't I tell you I would take care of everything?" he says. "Why did you disobey me?" I say that I am seeing that in India everything is always "kalki, kalki," ("tomorrow, tomorrow") and that I felt if I didn't do something myself it wouldn't get done. He starts telling me and the others, ask anyone in town, that I have helped to relieve people's suffering for 50 years. I say I don't think there is one on the earth who has done as much as he. He says he doesn't want to hear that.
Somehow he gets into talking about the suffering of the people and is going toward tears. The sound in his voice, the power in his compassion touches off the feeling that is welling up in me and I start weeping. He wipes my tears. I am staring in his eyes looking for the thing that can bear my sorrow. I am feeling remorse that I disobeyed him, particularly since I learned that he told me that the boy had come in the morning and he told him to come back later. Yet I couldn't help doing what I did, given the misunderstanding. The sorrow breaks like a tide. I weepingly spurt out that how could I hear an order not to give food. Since I saw the pathetic boy my only thought was to give food. His arms are only this big, I say, showing with my fingers. Baba is touched by this passion. He says don't you have faith, I said I would take care of it.
Later he goes to eat. A guy sings the Khandana song in the new room and I am saturated by a grief that seems now unspecific and bottomless, although it is touched off by the thought of this poor boy, yet it is beyond, a formless suffering that perhaps is of the very maya-existence itself.
Sleep. (no sleep). Tea. Baba in a good mood. The clearing of the misunderstanding was good. Baba said before that this kind of feeling itself is greatness but it must be differentiated. Help the boy, give food, but don't go near poison (violence).
Lying on the floor in the new room he tells how sheva, helping is maya if you think "I am helping." You can't help. He is very tender to me. Giving me kisses with his hand. Calls me "Ragi Thakur." I have seen my error of disobedience and am feeling humbled and loving him so deeply since I had glimpsed how deep his own compassion goes.
He says we came for God, then we must forget this maya and dive in. We didn't come to see the cinema of India of to get in the "politics" of the village or to see good and bad. He whispers in my ear that he was afraid the police might investigate the beating and that if they did it were better if we had never even heard about it. He was trying to help me by telling me not to go.
I say in regard to shutting out the maya that isn't that running away? He says Why? Of course you must see the sorrow of this world but close your eyes to poison.
Before dinner he talks about the samadhis, the five births. After dinner he again whispers in my ear: Don't discriminate between good and bad. Don't look at the sins of others. All the time "Ami hote chai na, tumi hao Bhagavan," ("I don't want to be, you be, Bhagavan"). All day he is emphasizing this mantra. Very tender to me since all this sorrow over the kid. I can see he wasn't really angry with me for disobeying, Just frustrated, and that he is moved to see my feeling.
All this time I am thinking about "helping", since the heart is crying for the suffering of others, yet the mind can see that there is nothing to be done. It is vanity to think "I will help." Today Baba is saying this, it is maya. You can't help, only Bhagavan helps. People are suffering their karma. If you are one with God you can appeal to that force to remove their karma but still it is only God who really does anything.
Just before bed we pranam. Before that I go with him to pee. He is saying that tomorrow he will go and tell the kid to come. He says, "I am your guru, I have to make everything right. You must have faith in me, that I can do anything, then when I say Premananda, do this,' you will do it. This touches me more than anything. Earlier he had said this whole thing was guru "porikka", test of guru's power. That he should so willingly turn the table for and and allow himself to bear the burden overwhelms me with love for him. To give me faith he is willing to work out this whole TB thing.
Flashback- Earlier he had said he had had a dream in which Choto Babu (Bhavananda) said that the kid was vomiting blood and that there wasn't much time.
Baba said that if someone comes with faith in God and asked him for "God-medicine" he could pray to the Mother to relieve them and it would work, but for the kid, who has been sick almost two years and has no faith or parents to have faith on his behalf, that the God-medicine wouldn't work.
Flashback - Tea time, lying down, Baba called me Ragananda. I called him Ragananda. He said he never could have survived in this place if he had any anger. He showed again where the people had beaten him. He said he always thought it was God who was beating him. Showed the scar where his father hit him, etc. He is saying, see only God. Don't discriminate between good and bad people, don't see their sin. See that it is only God and God's play.
Flashback - dream last night. Baba came in a dream. He was leaning toward me and speaking very distinctly as if trying to bridge some great gap between us. There was some sense of others around, other disciples or something. I was trying to understand what he was saying. Other things he may have said. I only remember him saying by words and gesture, your Brahma granti is broken now, you don't have to worry about that any more. "Broken. finished," it was as if it was important to know this, there was a sense of "go on to the next thing now, don't waste time." And the whole day seemed to have a theme of going on. The maya had brought the lesson concerning sorrow and help, compassion and weeping and the need to forget it all and go on, forget the cinema, have the power to drop the world in order to conquer it.
Went to Calcutta to find out about visas. Stopped in Kalipur to pick up pictures and suffered the crowded bus. Baba is having trouble over the boy when I got back. He says the boy came three times for food. I talk to Baba at food time. I say I now see the thing in a new light. Maybe it is cruel to prolong the boy's life.
May 12, 1975
Went to Calcutta on 19th on passport business. The day before we had tried to go but Baba had not given good orders. First he said that because I had a cold I should take rest. I got angry when what seemed to me was an important task was thwarted. Then he said go ahead. But we got as far as Mussalmanpara and the bad feeling of going against his wish made me turn back.
I came back in a bad mood and told him that because he hadn't given a good order I couldn't go. He seemed to take this as another "fight." Laid around all day.
In the evening time Baba took us to the burning place. First he took us to a tree and did a few things there: poured some Ganges water, stood on one leg, pranamed. He said this was a special place where the wives would do sati - kill themselves. He pounded on the ground to show it was hollow. Now he says he used to come here many times. He is telling Debu things about it.
He went to the real burning place and Baba did a little puja, mantras, Ganges water, asanas, etc. I sat and we all meditated. I sort of expected something, but all I got was a tremendous pain in my stomach. This became quite intense.
Coming back from the shoshon Baba keeps telling me not to go there by myself. Why? I ask. "That's another line," he says. "You have no need to go there. A long time ago I had a need to come here so I used to come and do puja." "What need?" I ask. "I had kam." I question him about that several times to make sure about it but he gets irritated. I ask what the danger is there. He says ghosts. "Did you see any ghosts there?" "Ha! How many ghosts I have seen!"
Before, while we were still sitting there I had asked him what is here in this place. He laughed and said nothing. Why did you come here? Then he said it was because it was a holy place. Here the life is finished.
Walking back he told me very emphatically not to go there without him. When we came back my body was wrecked. The pain in my stomach was bad and the cold I had gotten the day or two before was bad. I started to drink some water but both Ma and Baba yelled at me. I was tired. Soon the stomach pain went away and I wondered if it was just something from the burning place. l couldn't even make it through the evening meditation and I lay down, body just seemed devoid of energy and I slept early.
Left ashram for Calcutta a bit after nine. This time Baba said, "I won't say anything." We, Mike and I, went to Sealdah first, via Dankuni. I explained some Gurdjieff stuff on the way. Went to the Orissa guy but he was on vacation (the friend of Rammurti's who had helped us with the forms). We went to the Writer's building but Mr. Seal was out. We had wanted to ask if all was okay with the visa stuff. We went to Howrah but Jiten was out. We bought fruit, sent it with Jiten and took the train to Mankundu. Jiten's wife was out at the cinema.Picked up our Ramakrishna pictures from the framer in the evening. Rested well.
I talked a lot with Mike. A lot of his questions are my own and my own faith is receiving shocks now. Faith, what is it? Mike was saying, why does Baba get angry, why does he yell so much, why doesn't he (Mike) feel as high around Baba as he did around Vimala? I had no answers to these questions. It does seem that Baba's mind has been hung up a lot on stupid stuff lately - the room, money, etc., material things. The weariness of my mind due to over anxiety and worry. These things made me ripe for faith to be shaken. Mike was saying, "Well, you better help me soon because I'm ready to give up." I told him I would, that I had to see through his eyes. But it turned out just like that. Over these few days it started to seem like I wasn't getting anywhere, and that Baba was at fault somehow for not helping us and worrying over money, etc.
On the bus ride home we talk some more. We had spent the afternoon lying around. My energy was nil. It was hard to get up. But the whole tenderness of love for Mike was there, stronger than ever. We spoke about Glenn in the bus. I told Mike suddenly that I couldn't help him have faith unless I was really willing to enter into his problem and his pain and despair and feel it for myself. This I had learned. And it was happening. I was feeling his own lack of faith, his predicament. I told him I was fed up with Glenn and could no more think of helping him at all since he refuses to listen or look at himself. Mike understood. I told Mike to try to do some of that since I felt despair - futility.
We had run into Suren at the bus. (May 21) We came home with him to ashram. Baba happy to see us, kisses us both. I find a letter from Vimala awaiting which Mike and I read in shock by lantern light in the kirtan rooms. I cannot believe what I read. She says not to bring Baba to America, in no uncertain terms. This is communicated to Glenn and Tom as we eat and my mind begins a tailspin. I don't know what to think except that I must go there. I briefly mention this to Baba, that this letter has come from Vimala and upset me. "Poison?" he asks. No, I say, I'll tell you tomorrow. I ponder the letter and go to sleep.
No memory except I wanted to tell Baba about the letter from Vimala. Finally at rest time I went to his room. He was lying down. Suren was there serving and Ma was around. I said, do you know how I came here? Do you know what Vimala had said to me? He said no. I told how she had come for three days and told me that someday Ramakrishna would be my constant companion and how I read the prophesy and had set out to find him. Baba kept nodding yes. Then I came here... "Like a pagola," he interjected. Then I told him what Vimala had said in the letter.
His fist reaction was, oh, don't listen to that. Then I said that since it was her words that had led me here I had to respect them. He said, she is just testing you. I told him Vimala never does that and she also never tells anyone what to do. Baba said, what to do? "I've told everyone in Calcutta, everyone in America that I will go. If I go America will be holy. I have given my word. Didn't you give your word you would take me?" I confusedly answer I don't know. I tell him I shall have to go fond out why she has said that. He says okay, if you get the visa, go around. He says if I don't take him to America he won't go. Also says that if we don't get the visa he won't go. Says we will go back to U.S. and return again. I say no. I won't go. We can go to Nepal or something. I say when I went to U.S. last time my mind was "karap" and it will happen again. "No, it won't," he says.
Regarding going to see Vimala I said, well, you can't give me a good answer about this, I have to go. Then he starts talking about his worry about our visas. He had gotten a flower that he would have trouble with passport. A flower for our visas may have, been bad. He kept saying that we can't believe the police, they will want a bribe, etc. I say do you know there will be trouble you you just are worrying (thinking)? He says, I think. I say when people come here for marriage, money, house, job, your Bhagavan gives all that but when a disciple just wants to stay with you then there is trouble. Ki rakam Bhagavan? (Ma and Suren crack up laughing. Baba Just rolls over.
May 23, 1975 Slept most of the day. The body felt like there was no energy. Felt disgusted with everything. It seemed like all was in vain. Felt angry at Baba a bit but mostly sad that more wasn't happening. I seemed to have absorbed all of Mike's feeling. I felt like leaving all day. Didn't see Baba at all or speak to him.
At night when I went to pranam, he started talking. He said "What's wrong? Today you don't talk to me or sit with me..." He says I got angry because he told me to wash my mouth after having a cigarette. I say that I can't believe he can really see my mind if he thinks I have been angry all day. He changes his tune. He says no, I am not talking about kam-krodh type of anger (rag) but dukho-rag, same as Radha had for Krishna, intense sorrow, meaning raga, passion, sorrow. He says this type of stuff was going on between Ramakrishna and Vivekananda.
I tell him that my faith has become small. He says, okay, that's all right. I still believe in you. You have a great heart. Just because you don't believe in me I still believe in you. He is obviously concerned about my state of mind. He tries to get me out of it. But I am dead. I feel like nothing. All this time, all this faith, all this suffering, and now for what. It seems like it has all been a waste, a mistake. I only want to die. The others are always bringing me down. I am always worried about Baba and the work and the others' crappy behavior etc. Now I just break down. I sleep. Mike comforts me with his love and my heart is healed a bit. It seems still, sweet love is all. I only want to love.
May 24, 1975
Nimai Seal comes. In the afternoon we drink coffee and talk among the four of us. Good spirited sharing of our common frustration. All are feeling the troubles of being here, the difficulty of getting God, occasional doubts about Baba. I felt our differences get thin in this discussion. Joking about things. Talk of going away. Mike is saying it is all useless, etc. Debu comes in and I communicate all to him. Why is Baba so troubled all the time? Why does he think about money? Why does he yell and get angry? Debu says that because I told Baba my faith was weakened he had gotten very much sorrow. Later he told me that Baba had said to Nimai Seal and the others that I had stolen his heart. Debu saying he will tell Baba all my objections and solve the whole problem. (It's hard to write how this inner difficulty comes on us. It's a test, I guess, and weakness takes over, wanting to give up).
Flashback - Nimai Seal came. I hadn't been talking much with Baba but I went in and listened to the whole conversation. Baba was saying that he wouldn't go. "What need do I have to go? It's only for the others I would go." Kept saying that he wouldn't go. Later Debu told me that he heard Baba say that three times Mother had recently given him permission to go. Debu also said Baba was pleading to Nimai for my sake to arrange my staying with him. Debu also said that Baba had said that he had gone to Vimala's heart and told her to write that letter that he must not go now. Then he said he would go later. Said he would die in America, so that if he went now he would die. All very confusing.
Regular meditation. After food I go to the library but Baba tells Mike to get me. Mike and I are sitting there. Baba says he has seen our troubles, especially me talking to Mike for days. He tells Mike he will get God. I tell him Mike wants to leave. Baba says let him go, let him find another guru. I say that he won't find another guru. Baba laughs.
Before this he asks me, didn't you call me your guru? I say Ramakrishna is my guru. Baba: Then what am I? I say, you're Ramakrishna. People nearby laugh. Baba grabs my ear and puts his foot on my breast saying, "Ja, ja Ja," ("go, go, go").
Mike is saying that he wants a taste. Baba says he will get it if he does the name. He says to do Japa. We say we think it will make us stupid like a machine. He says no, it will bring prem. He tells Mike that crying is necessary, i.e. prem. Says when Mike goes to America he will feel it. Why? Like the light under the lantern is dim, in shadow, but far away the rays reach out and are bright.
This whole conversation gives me great Joy. Baba comes through again in sweet form, blasting the trouble aside by his powerful affirmation. I tell him that my lack of faith was due to love of Mike. Just as you love us, I say, so when we have sickness you take it on, in the same way I love Mike and so I get his "abishash," (lack of faith). Baba says he understood that. He tells me I must make Mike understand and tells Mike to listen to me. That is medicine. Tells me not to listen to Mike's poison but to make him understand.
Other - Baba tells me he won't worry about the building any more. Tells me to do everything, he will just sit quiet. To bed.
Festival, samadhi. Joy. Baba's love showers us all. Baba told us to go sing with the kirtan group. We did, but it wasn't too great. Soon Baba came over and started to lead the kirtan and suddenly the energy was very high. Baba is dancing and going around Radha-Krishna temple, weeping at times. My main thought was that Radha was the soul and that Krishna was God and this worship of the two was worship of the love of man for God.
After awhile Baba sat down and was singing and weeping. I just sat and stared at him. Then he went into samadhi, getting into lotus posture and going out, nearly falling backward until I pressed his knees. When he came out it was a bit like a jolt and he looked frantically around like, "where am I?" On impulse I grabbed his hand and brought us face to face. At this he was immediately okay and melting with love. I kissed him and he went on into a deeper state of intoxication, sometimes singing, some times sort of bouncing with joy, other times looking at each of us with love. He embraced each of the four of us in turn.
After he came out of the silent state we sang "Hari Om" over and over even though the Radha-Krishna kirtan was going on at the same time loudly. This was Tom's first witnessing of samadhi of this kind (or any kind?) and he took some pictures. After the conflict and boredom and frustration of the last few weeks this experience was very exciting. It has seemed as if all mental effort has been on physical problems, etc. and today there was this God experience.
At night I asked Baba some question. Is he really now not going to America? Baba: No, I won't go. Me: Then the Mother told a lie? Baba: No. I will go, but not this time. Me: You mean another year you will go? Baba: Yes.
I ask him if he remembers his other lifetimes. He says no, he forgot. Can you see other people's other lives? Baba hesitates, sensing a trap. If he says yes it may be pride. but he can't lie. He says why to you want to know? Evades a direct answer in such a way as to make it obvious that he can see these things. I say, "Have you seen God?..' (This was actually the first question). He says, what will I say? If I say yes, will you believe? Just because I say I have? I won't say "I". I say that Ramakrishna had said it. He said yes, Ramakrishna said so and I will say so, after.
May 26, 1975
Big festival day, lots of people come. Bhavananda comes and talks about how it is bad to have an ashram. Baba tells him he won't go to the U.S. and Choto Babu says "I don't like to hear this. I won't come here. Ashrams are bad - attachment. Then he says, "You mustn't criticize your guru even if your faith wears thin. If you do Siva will be angry." Bhavananda obviously bummed out by the whole chaos.
Baba sings a lot. The rush of people disturbs me a lot. We sing in the library for awhile. In the afternoon I photograph Baba. In the evening I get disgusted with the crowd and decide to go out to the fields to be alone. Out there the silence and beauty and stillness overwhelm me and I do pranayam. It sends me into another state which I can't describe. Utterly lovely obliteration of the maya and a whole new sense of self (non-self).
I do it a number of times and learn bit by bit what is happening. I first did it because I saw that the quick succession of breaths is always stirring the thoughts (maya). The consciousness never gets a chance. Each change of breath stirs new thoughts into action. When I saw this the whole frustration of late made me just do it to try to blow out my brain. I did kapalapati and then held the breath while concentrating on the top two chakras. There was a strange feeling like going unconscious or fainting. The sense of the wide space beyond which is both inside and outside. After awhile of this I learned and stayed in the space, breathing slowly and praying. It was wonderful.
I came back and had the impulse to do asanas. This was also a wonderful feeling. All the while the steady thought of ego-loss. Ego dis-concern. When they finally called me to eat the eating knocked me out of the state. At the fields the state was so unusual that I got the feeling that progress was still happening. There was the sense of danger in this - the heart being stimulated, etc. but l didn't care. I felt in this state that I was maya, and that behind the I which was maya (which was blown out by the pranayam) there was life - immense and universal, God, without any desire or pride or attributes. I can't describe it, but I can keep trying to see what keeps me out of it and try to go back. Baba told me last night I must make the whole thing (sadhana, God-thought) concrete, strong, constant. Today I seem to have been shown a trick, shown the importance of breath control. Non-violent, yet sure breath control.
And when I came back I saw that I shall need asanas again now to increase meditation time. I see also that I'll just have to ignore all this disturbance and go on. There was the sense there, in the field, that whether or not the guru gave any "taste" one has to keep trying on one's own. That the guru points to God and we should go to God, not just wait for the guru to do everything. Not to stop forever at the form but to go on. Go on. Go on. Om!
Took Baba to train. Poignant moments. In Rickshaw I told him it was my fault he was going to Orissa alone since I didn't look ahead to these visa matters. He said at one point, you don't honor God. I asked him about what Debu had said about him dying in America. He discounted the whole thing saying he gives maya words to maya people sometimes. All this didn't really satisfy me. Yet I felt some pangs of sadness as he left on the train. Jiten in the office later is angry with me and saying it is all my fault now that Baba wasn't going to America. He said I shouldn't have told him of Vimala's letter and it was a kind of test as to who I respect. He said all the "real" disciples had given their consent but that I had told Baba I wouldn't take him because of Vimala's words. I argued for awhile, e.g. I hadn't said that, I only had to find out what she meant, she didn't say never take him, etc. etc. but I gave up. I sent Vimala a postcard requesting permission to come and see her. I came back through intense heat via wrong bus.
Did a long puja after taking rest. Coming back I felt utterly hopeless. Sometimes it seems that God is farther than ever. The other boys drive me into deep sorrowful despair. It seems like their force is always bringing me down. Last year it was so much easier to stay high as there were not all these conflicts and three people lying around grumbling all the time. Again I feel as if I am alone without a friend but for Baba and Vimala.
Puja all morning to noon. Practicing the breathing things and doing some hatha which the breathing practice seems to require. Mad over Baba's ashram and sad about the others. Resentment coming from them or something of that sort which bums me out. A lonely sad day.
May 30, 1975 Worked on the songs Thakur Ma sang. Transliterating and translating and learning. The ashram is empty and nearly lifeless, although I sort of like it in a way - at least its fairly peaceful and not so hectic.
I am in the same and deepening quandary How to give up the ego. At the same time the doubts infect me at times and I wonder why Baba is sometimes so contradictory and strange. Vimala's message came at the right time but I have yet to take it to heart. Or even understand the levels of it. Don't try to understand the rationale of Baba's behavior, okay, but what does she mean "If you 'love' him"? In quotes? The whole letter seems to be one whole double meaning.
Anyway, life here seems to be getting the others down, and me too at times. There is boredom, lack of incentive toward meditation, japa, or chanting and beyond that what is there to do here? I guess there is a test in just being here. It's forcing us all against the wall. Mike in a terrible mood all day, worse than mine yesterday. What to do? Baba's leaving is a whole new situation and perspective. I wish I had gone with him. Time, space.
June 2, 1975
Went to Calcutta to see Nimai Seal. He says we may get three months but Tom will have trouble. Kanch khola. Disgusted by Calcutta. Getting lonely for Baba. Through the last few days I've been in a more meditative mood. Sitting for puja and japa has become a joy now since discovering these few breathing tricks I can sit longer and lose the body feeling to a slight extent. Yesterday I taught Mike for a second time and got into a very light state while doing it. Just now I'm super-tired and sad for some reason. I guess Calcutta inspires sorrow and distaste for life. Baba's absence makes him seem nearer in a certain way. One realizes what joy is when it's gone. Ma is sick and longing for Baba.
June 3, 1975
Baba returns during my bath. All happy to see him. Two investigators show up from central intelligence or something. Somewhat timidly they ask questions. I talk to the one a bit about India losing religion, etc. Then Baba entertains them with stories of his life. They are captivated and Baba is in super form in narrating all this. They leave. Noon is very hot.
In the evening I do my postponed puja. My mind goes bad after the regular puja. The pain, the uncertainty calamity of life at this point. The body wants to die but the ego doesn't.
After night food Baba talks with us. Mike asks how are we to know when he is telling the truth and when he is just joking. He replies that regarding Maya things like "going, coming, eating or dying" he is apt to give maya words. But with regard to God and sadhana he will never lie. I get downcast during the whole conversation and don't know why exactly. I keep thinking maybe the whole thing has gone wrong. The other three are on my nerves again, as if they pull my mind down. The problem of relationship is always postponed in favor of lone-sadhana but it is useless I guess. I don't know what's wrong with me today. I now feel like Mike. Maybe I have listened to him too much. I don't know. Feel the death wish and feel like going to Vimala yet somehow that also seems useless. The body is so run down.
Left ashram Wednesday, June 11, 1975 Went about 11:00 to catch train for Howrah. Leaving scene was very moving as was the day before. Will try to fill in later. Now in Chanakya Hotel, about to see Chidananda early in the morning. Got tickets for the 24th. Try to briefly reconstruct events since the 3rd to fill in later. Went to Chinsura on the 5th as we were directed. We had to go back the 5th since Glenn's registration pictures were no good. Stayed at Jiten's. They gave us three weeks to get out of the country. Said Delhi had said no. We don't even know if this was true. Now in Delhi we hear that most Americans are having trouble extending. At one point, I guess when we came back the day after getting forms I got frustrated. I told Baba that how could this happen? I had had so much faith that we would get it. He was upset. I said that well I have learned that some kinds of faith are just foolish faith. Tuesday it seemed he was staying away from me a lot and I thought he was angry but later on leaving day he confessed it was because he was so grief stricken that I was leaving that he couldn't bear to see me since it made him want to cry.
Copyright © 1999 by Bill Morgan