Hide-and-seek

The other day I was walking in my room. All of a sudden, I felt something touching my right foot. I looked down and what did I see? The chinchilla! I was so thrilled and, at the same time, a little bit worried for two reasons: how had it come upstairs and how would I catch it?

One girl was working downstairs in the kitchen. So I called for her to come upstairs immediately. She came up and I asked her, "How did it come upstairs?"

She answered, "Oh, Guru, the chinchillas have come upstairs many times."

I said, "They jump up and are so cute. But how do they manage to come?"

She said, "They come!"

In the meantime, the chinchilla was jumping here and there in my room. Then it started hiding under my bed.

I said, "Now it will be a great struggle to catch this one."

She said, "Let us try."

Then she tried to catch the chinchilla. I am not familiar with catching them, so I only tried to get it to go to her side. I did not know how to catch it; I only knew how to shout! Since I was trying not to catch it, naturally it came to my side.

I placed my hand near it with the hope that it would not let me touch it. Outwardly I put out my hand. Inwardly I prayed that it would not come and touch me. God listened to my prayer, and it ran to her side. In this way, it went on for five or ten minutes.

I was totally amused, but she was rather discouraged that the chinchilla would not allow itself to be caught. Then I gave her a special message. I said, "This is what God is doing with us: playing hide-and-seek. When we do not pay attention to Him, He comes to us. But when we seek Him and are about to catch Him, He hides from us.

"So this chinchilla is teaching us the same game. When we do not pay attention to it, it will come near us and touch our feet and be around us. And then, when we are dying to catch it, it just disappears. In this way God's Cosmic Game is being played with us by the chinchilla.

"When we are about to see God, at that time God goes away. And when we do not pay any attention to our spiritual life, when we do not think of God, at that time all good thoughts, beautiful thoughts, pure thoughts, will come to us. The day that someone does not want to meditate, when that person wants to enjoy ignorance, on that very day he gets tremendous inspiration to lead a spiritual life. But the day when he is dying to lead a spiritual life, on that day all wrong thoughts, wrong forces, may try to capture him."

That is what the chinchilla was teaching us.

15 June 1981