Past incarnation resurrected; spiritual life deserted

There was a highly intellectual couple living in New York. The husband had been a judge in Great Britain for many years before he moved to America, but now he was a poet. He wrote most beautiful poems. His wife was an eminent psychiatrist. The husband didn’t work, but only wrote poems, for they were quite rich. He was about sixty years old at the time this story took place, and his wife was about forty-five.

The wife’s fee for an hour of treatment was sixty dollars. She was a dream specialist and very well-known. She used to explain the significance of the dreams her clients had. She had studied many books, and she used her fantastic brain power. She was also clever in another way. She always said good things; therefore people liked and admired her, and she made lots of money. But although she could fool others, she could not fool herself. She had had hundreds of dreams herself, but she could not explain them at all.

One day she heard from an acquaintance of hers that there was an Indian yogi living in New York who was an expert on dreams. She did not go to see him herself the first time, but she sent her husband. The husband went to the Indian Master’s house and asked to speak with him for a few minutes. Since he was a very respectable man, the Master agreed to give him a short interview. It began as a casual chat. Then the judge told the Master all about his poetry.

The Master suddenly said to him, “In this incarnation you are struggling so hard to become a poet, but in one of your previous incarnations you were a very eminent poet. If you continue writing poetry, one day you can again become a very well-known poet.”

The judge said, “Please tell me who I was.” The Master replied, “I am just seeing the person you were right behind you. I am seeing Wordsworth standing behind you.”

The judge was extremely moved. He said, “I have had so many experiences of Wordsworth. On the strength of my poetic connection with Wordsworth I have told my wife many times that I was him, but she does not believe it. But I can show you three notebooks of mine where I have signed my name ‘Wordsworth’ instead of writing my own name. You can ask my wife if it is true or not. I am so moved by your revelation. Can I see the figure you have seen?”

The Master said, “No, he disappeared while you were speaking. But he was right here, just behind you; that I can assure you.” Then the Master told the judge a few more of his previous incarnations. In those days, the Master used to discuss previous incarnations very freely.

The judge said, “I have never cried since I was a child. I am now on the wrong side of fifty, but you can see my tears. These are tears of gratitude because of the things you are telling me about my previous incarnations. I keep a diary and I will be able to prove to you that I have felt some of these things.”

Then he said, “I can’t wait here any longer. I have to go home and tell my wife. Please give us an appointment. My wife is very, very busy, but when she hears these stories she will die with eagerness to come and see you.”

The Master said, “You can bring her this weekend.”

That weekend the husband and wife went to the Master together. When they arrived the wife said to the husband, “Last time you came alone. Now I really wish to have a private interview, too. You please wait downstairs.”

The Master’s apartment was very small. He had a small room where he used to give interviews, and an even smaller room where he slept. But he did not want the judge to have to wait outside, so he said, “If you don’t mind, you can sit in the kitchen. That room is quite comfortable.” So the judge waited in the kitchen while the Master gave his wife an interview.

“I have heard much about you from your friend,” the Master told her. “Let us meditate for a few minutes before we start talking about your dreams.”

After a short meditation the psychiatrist said, “I have explained thousands and thousands of dreams. But when it is a matter of my own dreams, I can’t explain them at all.” Then she proceeded to tell him several of her dreams.

The Master gave immediate explanations for all of them. She was very grateful for all his answers, but suddenly she started crying as if somebody had died.

“You have told great things about my husband,” she sobbed out. “Now can you not tell me something about myself?”

“You didn’t ask me,” the Master said.

“But are you not seeing anybody behind me?” she asked.

“Yes, I am seeing somebody behind you,” said the Master, and he told her that she was a very famous Queen in France. “You were the wife of Louis the Fourteenth.”

“Can you tell me something else?” she asked.

“Yes. I can tell you that very recently you were in the Louvre, and there you started crying and sobbing as soon as you entered because all your reminiscences of your past incarnation came forward.”

“How did you know?” she asked in amazement.

The Master said, “I am reading your mind; I am telling you just what you are thinking.”

“You are right, Master. I was there only three months ago, and nobody knows except my husband. He was with me, and nobody else was there; but even he didn’t know why I was crying.” Then she cried and cried and cried out of pure joy.

Both the wife and the husband were most grateful to the Master for telling them these things. The psychiatrist wanted to give the Master sixty dollars, which was her own fee for a consultation. But the Master protested vehemently.

“At least take half,” she said.

“How can I take so much money?” the Master said. “You charge your clients, but I don’t charge a fee at all. And this offering of yours is too much, too much. I can’t accept it.” But she forced the Master to take the money.

The husband and wife both became disciples of the Master, and after a while they invited him to their home. In those days, when his mission was just beginning, the spiritual Master used to accept invitations, although later the Master became a great man and was very fussy about where he visited. But in those days impurity did not bother him so much, and he went there.

This couple had a friend who was a French actress. On the one hand, they liked her personally, but on the other hand, they considered it beneath their dignity to associate with an actress. In public they would not be seen with her, but privately they would invite her to come to their home, where she was not only their friend but also in many ways their servant.

This actress happened to be there when the Master came to visit this couple. As the poor Master’s fate would have it, this lady started crying and said to the Master, “I know I was not as great as these two friends of mine were. But please tell me who I was in my past incarnations. Be sincere to me. If you don’t tell me that I was somebody great, I won’t mind. I had a dream last night, and I have had it many times before, that I was Joan of Arc. Now tell me sincerely — is there any truth behind it, or is it just because I am mixing with these great people that I also got the idea that I was someone great?”

Now, this couple had five pet cats in their apartment and all the time the cats were bothering the Master. He said, “I can’t concentrate because the cats are bothering me. Please remove the cats.”

By this time, the two disciples had become jealous because the Master was about to concentrate on their friend. They were afraid that the Master might tell the actress something that would make her their equal. Although she begged her so-called friends to take the cats into another room so the Master could concentrate, they would not do it.

Finally the Master said, “All right, what can I do? I will try to concentrate in spite of this kind of annoyance.” The Master pressed his fingers on his third eye, very hard, as if he were trying to make a hole in his forehead and bring his third eye forward. Then he looked at the actress and said, “Yes, you are absolutely right. You were Joan of Arc. And I can tell you even at what hour you had the dream last night. It was around 3:30.”

She said, “Yes, it was early in the morning, but I don’t know exactly what time!”

The Master said, “Well, I am one hundred percent sure. And another thing I wish to tell you; your mother, at the time you were Joan of Arc, is also alive. She has also taken another incarnation and she is in Paris. You will see her in this incarnation.”

The actress was delighted. She said, “How will I see her?”

“When you go to Paris you will see her. She will recognise you and you will recognise her. Even now she broods on you. She always thinks of her Joan of Arc. In this incarnation also, she has tremendous soul’s connection with you.”

When the psychiatrist heard that this actress had been Joan of Arc, her jealousy reached its height. The judge also indulged in jealousy. They dropped their connection with that lady altogether, and also they dropped their connection with the Master. So that is the end of their part of the story, or so it seems.

But the actress began to come regularly to the Master’s Centre in their place. After a few months she did go back to France and visited the home of her present parents in Paris. One day a neighbour came to their house. As soon as the actress and this lady saw each other, in front of her present parents they embraced and cried and cried. The older woman called her ‘daughter’ and she called the woman ‘mother’. They knew each other immediately. For seven or eight months the actress remained in Paris and kept no connection with the Master.

Upon her return from Paris she came to see the Master only to tell him that he had been perfectly correct. But she did not come back to the Master again, because her eminent friends took her up again, and they said that the Master was not sincere. The reason they gave was that he had promised them that he would give them an interview on a certain day, and on that particular day he had gone to some other place and broken his promise. They said that on that day they had something most important to discuss with him, and they had been badly disappointed. Of course, nothing could be more important in the Master’s life than to grant them an interview on that day. So, since the Master did not keep his appointment, it was a day of tremendous frustration and loss for them, and many wrong things happened in their lives because of the Master’s insincerity.

They also said that the Master was a very insignificant Master. If he was really great, by this time he would have got thousands and thousands of disciples. Although he always said that he cared only for sincere people, the Master himself was not sincere, so how could he expect to get sincere disciples? “I am great,” the psychiatrist would say. “That’s why so many patients come to me daily. I can’t even keep up with them. If he were really great, by this time he would have had thousands and thousands of disciples, as other Masters have. So he is not great.”

But their jealousy and anger went still higher, deeper and farther. They told their actress friend, “We have left him. If you keep any connection with him, then we will not keep you as a friend of ours.”

The actress said, “You don’t need an Indian rascal. If you promise to me that you will keep me as your friend, then I don’t need him either.”

So all three resolved never to go to the Master again. They all gave up their spiritual life, preferring ordinary human friendship, which was all a play of superiority and inferiority, jealousy and selfishness.