In the beginning of May, Didi and I used to go to Kainchi for our uninterrupted stay of three months. Babaji had left Allahabad after Holi, and we were looking forward to our visit to Kainci. During this time, Didi’s mother had arrived, and Didi could not leave the house for too long as there was no certainty about the duration of her mother’s stay here. The university was closed, and although I was free, I was persuaded not to leave for Kainchi without Didi. I had to wait, which of course, was not much to my liking. I spent three or four days trying to argue with them.
While this was going on, I felt very strongly one day that Babaji was remembering me and was waiting for my arrival. The feeling became so strong that I decided to leave by myself for Kainchi that evening. When I told them of my decision, they again asked me to postpone the journey for a couple of days more. Mashima said that if I went away, Didi would not be able to go alone. Then my mother produced her last card and said, “Babaji has asked you to stay at home. Since then, whenever you have gone out it was either with Babaji himself or when he sent his intimation. This time there is neither Babaji to take you along with him, nor any intimation from him. It would not be proper for you to go now.”
Their arguments were strong, but stronger was my decision to start for Kainchi that very evening. All I could tell them was that I had my intimation. It was a case of transmission and reception, and I had received it.
Leaving the house was not easy. There was a tussle in my mind whether to yield to the pressure and stay at home, or to follow the call that had come without any further delay. These thoughts haunted me all through the night in the train, taking the sleep away from my eyes. Was I mistaken? Was Babaji actually remembering me? How could I believe it was so when there was no tangible proof to support it? The sense of guilt was also uppermost in my mind. Had I not disobeyed Babaji in leaving the house without his full permission? Was it not a make-believe sort of thing to support my own desire to enjoy the life in the ashram? This was the state of my mind until I got into the taxi in Haldwani at noon. At that point, I could only look ahead to when I would meet him. Would he be annoyed that I had come, not obeying the mothers, forgetting what he had asked me to do only a half-dozen years back? I was trying to seek courage by thinking that nothing was unknown to him – he would know what had made me leave the house. There was no doubt that I had disobeyed the mothers, but I had not disobeyed him.
I was lost in this mental duel when the driver stopped in front of the temple at Bhumiadhar. He was booked for Kainchi, but he had seen Babaji sitting with a few others in front of the temple and he felt that we had reached the end of my journey. Seeing me approach, Babaji said that he had been remembering me for the last few days, as it was time for my visit. He asked, “Why was I late? Was the university closed? Why had Kamala not come with me? How were Ma and Mashima?” and other such questions which needed no reply. They were just his way of drawing me in. Then he asked rather excitedly, “Did you get my telegram? Did you get my telegram? When did you get it? I had been asking the people here to send you a telegram, but no one would obey me.”
Unconsciously, without any thinking on my part, the reply came out, “Yes, I had the telegram.” This was not a lie, nor a slip on my part, because in fact the telegram had been delivered to the house in Allahabad after I had left for the station. Babaji sent me inside to the house to take my tea and eat something, after which we would go to Kainchi in the taxi that was waiting there. While waiting for the tea, Siddhi Didi said that Babaji had been remembering me, saying that it was time for me to come. “Because of the delay, he sent the telegram. He was sitting inside talking to us when he suddenly went out, just five minutes before your arrival, saying, “Dada is coming.”
~ Dada Mukerjee
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