One who only gives
DORIT VAARNING first traveled to India to meet Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur in 1978. She shares some of her experiences of being with this humble, insignificant being, who is known to many as Babuji.
It is a bit difficult to tell stories about Babuji, because I have the feeling that my stories tell more about myself than about him. For, after all, who is he? What I could see was only what I was capable of realizing, and what he permitted me to see.
The second time I visited him, his head became transparent to me and inside I saw planets moving, following their courses according to the cosmic law. It was like looking into a watch. And though this vision was limited to the inside of his head, I was gazing, like through a window, into the unlimited universe itself. The following time I came to Babuji, I saw his head like an open bowl in which there was nothing.
I remember one day he was sitting in his chair with a big flock of people around him, filling the terrace. I came late, and since the only place left was at his feet, I was ordered to sit there. Then we started to ask questions.
I asked, “What is love?”
Babuji created a beautiful image for us: “Love is what is alive when a flower blooms, and will never come again when the flower closes.”
The second part of this definition disturbed me deeply, so I asked, “But does love have to go away? Can it also stay?”
Babuji looked down at me tenderly and said softly, “Yes, it can come and stay forever.”
Love is craving for Reality.
and Divinity is love.
Then Babuji gave his final definition: “Love is craving for Reality. Opening yourself to Reality and Divinity is love.”
After some time I asked, “What is grace?”
Again those soft tender eyes met mine and he said with a smile, “Grace is sweetness of mind.”
My heart melted in the love of his eyes, and I could only sigh.
Babuji seemed to think over it again, and confirmed, “Yes, it is correct.”
Then another question came to me: “Babuji, what is passion?”
He answered as if making a rhyme, “Excitement in fashion is passion.”
Then he put on a doubtful face, “It’s not correct,” he said. But then he came back to the same idea.
“Babuji, what is sin?”
“Improper adjustment of things.”
Babuji was the most original, poetic and humorously meaningful person one can imagine. Once in Munich in 1980, I asked him, “Babuji, what about divine intoxication?”
And he answered, “Well, I may not say anything against it, since I myself am a smoker!” Then after a while he asked me suddenly, “Why don’t you just jump into the infinite ocean?”
One evening in Copenhagen, also in 1980, people had gathered in his bedroom to spend those cozy evening hours with him when generally he would be in the mood to talk. That evening he was sitting up in bed in front of everyone, totally ready for a conversation full of wisdom and laughter. But no word was being spoken. Babuji looked here and there, obviously up to something, but kept quiet.
After some time, he looked around with an apologetic look: “No thought coming,” he exclaimed.
Silence again all over. Suddenly, he rose up as if some event had happened.
“That was a thought!” he exclaimed, and stared at something invisible, like gazing at a shooting star. This went on for a while, Babuji being in quite a humorous mood. Finally he remarked, with the most humble, timid look you can imagine, “A thought is a vibration from the Divine, not from such a low being like me.”
And very small, with a shy smile, he lay down in his pillows.
I asked him what saintliness was.
He replied, “Gentlemanliness, humility.
One who only gives and never asks
for anything in return.”
During Babuji’s visit to South Africa in 1981, someone asked, “What is the correct behavior after one has hurt somebody?”
He answered, “To be in yourself. That is something within.”
“Should we avoid hurting others at all costs?”
“Medium, moderation. Avoid giving trouble to others. That is a divine dictate. Not to hurt others is the greatest religion. I am not like a wasp that if somebody steps on it will sting. If somebody steps on me, I’ll be crushed and die. … you should never hurt the feelings of other hearts. You should play the defensive part, not the offensive one. When self is involved, defense is right.”
During those last hours with him in South Africa, I asked him what saintliness was.
He replied, “Gentlemanliness, humility. One who only gives and never asks for anything in return.”
Excerpt from ‘All Was Drowned in Divinity’ from the book Tears & Laughter : Encounters With a Spiritual Master, 1st edition, 1990, edited by A.J. Born, Shri Ram Chandra Mission, India.
Article by DORIT VAARNING
June 01, 2018
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