Those who do not feel shy to admit that Babaji’s teachings have been valuable and are still with them, confess how sometimes Babaji forced the teachings on them, even when they were not interested. These people bear testimony that life with Baba was not merely of cheer and free from worries, but was also a life of moral and spiritual enrichment. Sometimes the teachings served some specific purpose for an individual. Food for the body was given through others, but food for the mind and the soul all came through him alone.
Jokes and humor are enjoyed more when some individual, well known and nearby, is used as a target for the abuses and sallies. Babaji had many such targets handy and I happened to be one of them. In the beginning there might have been some trace of embarrassment on being put on the dock, but it disappeared in no time. It was an innocent humor, and was known as such by everyone near to him. It was different with the others, the newcomers and outsiders, but with the devotees, it was a favorite treat from Baba and they would collect as much as they could. The attacks or abuses came in different ways under different conditions, but it mostly centered around the foolishness and lack of intelligence of Dada.
“You do not have any brain, what would you understand?”
“Your Dada is a fool, he cannot understand anything.”
“He has been teaching students all through his life. In the process he has spent however much intelligence he had. I do not know how he can teach without any intelligence.”
“If you want, you can put some brains in him, but it is beyond my power. When I try to tell him something he not only does not hear me, but gives his sermon to me.”
These were the major part of the abuses and were always kept handy for use.
Sometimes abuses or criticisms were used to express what was hidden from the minds of others. There were some people who, while collecting their Prasad, felt that they had not been given enough. No indication of this was given to anyone. When I came out with the packets, Babaji took one from my hand, opened it, and scrutinized the contents in the packet. How many puris? How many pieces of potatoes? Then he raised his face fully displeased and hurled the abuses, “Dada has become a confirmed miser. Can anyone give so little Prasad to people? I do not know wherefrom he learned it. I could never think of doing such things. He is bringing disgrace to all.”
The abuses served their purpose. The people with the complaint in their minds were satisfied. Babaji knew their problems, and this was consolation given to those who had some ax to grind with me. It was also a warning for those engaged in various work in the ashram that nothing could escape his notice.