Babaji’s second visit was important to me – not because of the abuses hurled at me or the temper shown, but for a new revelation. In this period, the big politicians were not coming to Babaji, yet rarely had he been so particular about the cleanliness of his room and temple premises and the controlling of the movements of people round his room. He had the door to the Mothers’ rooms locked to keep them inside.
Then Babaji told us that the Governor would be coming with a big party. “His son has married a Swiss girl. Her parents, with other members of their family, are coming to meet me and visit your ashram. They are very clever people with keen observations, not like you. So there must not be any wrong impressions given to them because of your foolishness and negligence. You people are so thick-headed that in your curiosity you will rush anywhere and ask all kinds of questions.” Cracking a joke, he mentioned the names of two persons, saying, “Dressed in their full glory, they will wait at the gate to present themselves to the visitors.”
Babaji went on like this and then he asked me what arrangements were going to be made for their prasad. When I told him that there would be no difficulty, he said, “They will not accept your puris and potatoes. They have doctors who examine the food and they avoid food that might be infected. So your puris will be of no use. “When I told him that there were dry fruits, raisins, and sugar candies, he said that would do but I might get more of them. These things I mention just to emphasize how very vigilant and careful he was about everything around him, big or small, known or unknown to us, going into the minutest of details about what was going to happen.
We two were alone together when these talks were going on. After the instructions were over, I asked him whether tea was also to be provided. He had been reclining on his bed while talking, but now he sat up, and shouting loudly, abused me, “What a fool you are! You do all kinds of foolish things and want me also to do wrong things. How can you understand when you have no brains? I cannot imagine how you could teach your students. If you talk like that anymore, I shall turn you away.”
Some persons had gathered outside the closed doors. I stood silently before him. When Babaji started talking again, gone were the abuses, yelling and shouting. We were blessed with pleasant words, coaxing and cajoling. He sat up and with a modulated voice said, “Dada, you do not understand. You have your brain, you must use it. They are coming to a saint, not to a politician or businessman. When the Governor visits the houses of politicians there are receptions, tea and drink, kalia and kabab and everything. But here they are coming to a saint. They are intelligent people and know what the saints have got and what they can get from them.”
This was very important for me. He seldom spoke about himself, certainly not about being a saint. On two other occasions he spoke like this, but they were more or less slips in some unguarded moments. This is the only time when he spoke, and spoke repeatedly in full consciousness, of his being a saint. I stood with my ears and eyes open, hearing and seeing him speak of what a saint is and what he does.
The next day the party of eight arrived, the Governor with his guests followed by a number of officials and dignitaries. They all sat, squatting in Babaji’s room on the carpet that was spread there. They talked for almost two hours, with Akbar Ali himself acting as the interpreter. I had to arrange for the prasad and other things. Dry fruits and sugar candy were brought to his room, and the regular prasad of puri and potatoes in baskets were also sent.
When Babaji said they must return, Akbar Ali asked if they might be allowed to stay for some time more, as they were in no hurry to leave. Babaji did not oppose him, only looked outside to the sky and kept silent. The clouds were gathering and were already very thick. The talk continued, but Babaji suddenly said they must leave now. When they left, it began raining, and after a few minutes there came a heavy downpour which continued for some days. In the evening, we heard that a heavy landslide on the road near Bhowali had totally blocked the route. Several days passed. The rains had stopped, the road was cleared of debris, and traffic resumed as usual. It was on one of these days that Akbar Ali arrived for an unscheduled visit. His guests were gone and he was free. He had come to tell Babaji how he had saved his life along with the lives of his guests.
Babaji had just gone in for his bath, but I said I would inform him. He tried to stop me so that Baba would not be disturbed in taking his bath and meal. He said, “I shall wait, and when Babaji comes out of his room we will talk.” However, I had to inform Baba. Hearing about his visit, Babaji asked where he was at that time. I told him that he was sitting in the room talking to Kabir and a few others. Baba told me to return to him and he would come after his bath.
We listened, spellbound, to what he was saying. Akbar Ali narrated, “We were all sitting in Babaji’s room, listening and enjoying the peace and serenity which charged the whole room. My guests were enjoying themselves so much that they forgot to ask their questions or hear the replies. Sitting before Babaji, we had no awareness of time or thought of leaving, so when he asked us to go, we prayed that we might be allowed to stay a little longer, which was granted. But after some time, he repeated with some force that we must go, and we knew there would be no more extensions. I could not understand why he was so insistent to send us away. This was not in his nature so far as I had known him. When we left, it was drizzling, but little did we know what was awaiting us. We were caught in a heavy rain on the way, and when we reached the control barrier there was a very heavy landslide. A big rock came rolling down, followed by an avalanche of mud and stones which blocked the whole road totally. When the rock came rolling down, our car had just passed not even one minute before. Had we been late by just a few seconds, we would have been crushed into pulp. He knew all this. Just to save our lives, he had to send us back at the cost of being harsh.” He was very excited as he continued, “People say pir and paigambar, but what is pir and paigambar (Master)? He is actually Khuda (Lord) for me. He is Khuda, he is…” His tone calmed down after that.
Babaji arrived, having given him some time to have his say and then cool down. Seeing Babaji before him, Akbar Ali expressed his gratitude again and again. He said, “Baba, we did not understand you, and while going, we were not courteous enough to express what we had received by sitting with you. You saved me and my relations. How can I convey what it all means to us?” He talked a little more and then Baba told me that he should go now and should be given prasad in a basket to be taken to his house. He left after all this was done. This was his last visit to Kainchi that I know of.
Some days later, Babaji was sitting after his bath with Kishan, Siddhi Didi, and a couple of others. They were talking of Akbar Ali’s visit. Someone said that the whole conservation had been caught by Kabir’s cassette recorder. Babaji sent for the tape from Kabir and it was played for everyone to hear and enjoy. It had reached the point where Akbar Ali was saying excitedly, “He is actually Khuda for me,” when Babaji suddenly said, “Stop. Destroy the tape.” Everyone resisted to their utmost, but it had no effect on him. His order to me was to take the tape out, twist it, and then burn it. So it was burned. That was the end of the tape, and also the end of the words that came from the depth of the devotee’s heart, “What is pir and paigambar. He is actually Khuda for me.”
We have heard one intoxicated devotee shouting, “He is actually Hanuman,” and now we hear from another intoxicated one shouting, “He is actually Khuda.” How can we doubt them? I go on questioning myself about it. I also hear other devotees say that they have the same difficulty. For most of us, though, it doesn’t make any difference that Babaji is not here any more. How could it? We are not among the precious few who can feel what a loss it truly is. And so it was, that Babaji’s most precious gift, coming to us through his accredited spokesmen, was thrown away by us because we could not take it into our hearts.
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