India and her miracle-feast: come and enjoy yourself, part 6, vol. 2 — Traditional Indian stories about Ramdas Kathiya Baba

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Introduction by the Author

I have decided to narrate a few traditional stories which are well-known in India. These stories are not my own creations; they are about spiritual Masters who used to show their occult power as easily and as often as we drink water. I am one of those who do not appreciate miracles, for quite often miracles only feed curiosity, and there is a yawning gulf between curiosity and aspiration. Again, there are some Masters who think that it is advisable for an individual to start his spiritual journey, even if he has to start with curiosity. Eventually the same person will enter into the world of true aspiration.

Sometimes occultists want to prove that modern science does not have the last word with regard to God’s creation. They want to show that the infinite wealth of the inner world can easily silence all the achievements of mankind in the outer world. To be sure, what we call a miracle is nothing but a common occurrence in the world beyond our senses. Inwardly we can learn from these great Masters, from their fascinating miracles, from their soul-stirring lives. That is why I am interested in telling these stories.

— Sri Chinmoy

The Master's brick-representative

A certain disciple of Ramdas Kathiya Baba became a victim to lethargy. He had been an excellent aspirant, but somehow he had lost his intense aspiration. A few times his Master, Ramdas, had asked him to give up his lethargy and go back to his intense inner cry. Unfortunately, the seeker did not fulfil his Master’s wish.

Then one night, while he was sleeping, a solid brick fell on him and woke him up. He was hurt, but the strange thing was that the mosquito net over his bed remained intact. There was no hole in it, although the brick had fallen from above. The disciple could not account for this.

The following day Ramdas said to him, “I did not want to pass through your mosquito net; therefore, I sent the brick as my representative to wake you from your sleep. I am glad that you are hurt. From now on get up early in the morning and meditate for a few hours. During the day also try to meditate. And at night you must meditate for a few hours if you really want to please me.”

Commentary: A spiritual Teacher’s only concern is his disciples’ progress. If he has to administer punishment to a disciple, he does not mind, for he knows that the disciple is going to benefit from this eventually. At times it is absolutely necessary for the Master to be strict with the disciple, for there is no other way.

Lethargy is a most powerful force. Softness, kindness, sweetness, and politeness sadly fail to fight against lethargy. Strict discipline is the only weapon that can defeat the formidable strength of lethargy. Such being the case, Ramdas did not feel at all sorry when he hurt his dear disciple.

Protection guaranteed

A disciple of Ramdas Kathiya Baba had to go out of town on business for a few days. For various reasons he could not take his young wife with him, although she was terribly afraid of staying alone at night, so the Master said to the husband, “You tell your wife not to worry. I shall take care of her.”

That night the young woman had a dream that her whole room was flooded with light. When she woke up and opened her eyes, she saw the Master in a corner of the room. It was not the Master’s physical body she saw, but his luminous subtle body, but she felt that it was actually his physical body. The Master said to her, “My child, until your husband comes back, always feel that I will be here to protect you,” and the Master’s subtle body with its luminosity protected her until her husband returned.

Commentary: Human responsibility is such that we can either minimise it or maximise it, contract it or expand it, decrease it or increase it. In the case of a spiritual Master, his responsibility only increases at every moment. A spiritual Master enjoys the increase of responsibility, for his responsibility is nothing short of a golden opportunity for him to manifest more divine Peace, Light and Bliss on earth.

In this case Ramdas showed that a spiritual Master takes care not only of his dear disciples, but also of those who are closely connected with them. The teacher accepts the student not only with what he is, but also with what he has.

Compassion forgives, compassion liberates, compassion illumines

One day Ramdas Kathiya Baba was smoking heavily. Three young men wanted to join him, but he refused to smoke with them. They demanded, “What kind of Master are you? You should be generous.”

He said, “I don’t want to show my generosity to thieves. You three are thieves.”

The young men protested vehemently, and a serious argument took place. Finally Ramdas said to the three young men, “You will see! Before the day ends you will be arrested.”

His words were irrevocable. That day the three young men were arrested for a previous theft they had committed. Three weeks later two of the thieves were released on bail. They went to Kathiya Baba, sat at his feet and cried and cried. “Please help us! We want to be free! You have the power to set us free. We shall not steal anymore,” they said.

Ramdas replied, “Now you are on bail. You will be freed on the condition that you promise not to steal anymore.”

Then the two thieves said, “We shall never, never steal again.”

The Master’s words again proved true. The two young men were freed from prison. Their friend, however, remained.

A few months later Ramdas was going to a nearby town. As he was walking along a young man came up to him crying.

The Master asked, “What is the matter with you?”

The young man said, “Don’t you recognise me? You forgave my two friends. Now they are free, while I am working so hard fixing the road. Please, you have the power to free me, too.” And again he started crying pitifully.

Ramdas said, “All right, in three days you will also be free.”

The man laughed at Ramdas. “Yes, yes, I will be free in three days. You are just joking. How can I be free in three days?” He did not believe Ramdas, but Ramdas gave him a compassionate smile, so to some extent he was consoled.

In three days the village authorities were advised by the government that each prison had to release a certain number of prisoners, for the government was finding it difficult to meet with the expenses of so many prisoners. Those whose crimes were not serious should be given the first chance to go free. This particular young man was one of those whose crime was not extremely serious; therefore, he was set free along with others on the third day.

Commentary: An ordinary person finds it difficult to accept the prophecy of a spiritual Master unless and until it has been proved. What is prophecy? Our human belief feels that prophecy is the ability to see something that will occur in the future and then tell when this incident is due. But in the case of a spiritual Master, prophecy is only a spontaneous revelation of truth-embodiment. This truth-embodiment has to be revealed in God’s own Way at God’s choice Hour, for He alone knows when prophecy will create unnecessary worries and anxieties, and when it will create illumining aspiration and fulfilling satisfaction.

Revolver-power surrenders

One morning Ramdas Kathiya Baba was walking along the bank of a river where a British boat was anchored. The British sailors were in a very undivine mood on that day. When they saw a man practically naked walking along the bank of the river, one of the sailors took offence and wanted to shoot the man with his revolver. He fired a few times, but all in vain. He could not seem to aim properly at this man, who was walking very fast. His friends were amused and, at the same time, non-plussed, for this sailor happened to be a good shot.

When his friends started to laugh at him, the sailor became furious. He could not understand what was wrong with him. Suddenly he felt an unseen hand very powerfully force him to drop the revolver, which fell into the water. When he told his friends what had just happened, they immediately raised their hands and cheered the Indian sadhu, and begged him to forgive them, for they were afraid that he would create some calamity for them.

Commentary: Destruction is a human tendency. Preservation is a divine tendency. The sailor wanted to destroy the Indian sadhu; God wanted to preserve him. The power that creates and the power that preserves can easily smash the pride of the power that destroys. The sailor, who represented destruction, had to challenge God the Creator and God the Preserver at the same time; therefore, he and his friends quite naturally realised that he would lose to the sadhu if he continued his destructive efforts.

Questions and answers in the Silence-World

Once Bijoykrishna went to visit Ramdas Kathiya Baba while he was holding a meeting. His disciples were asking their Master questions, but Bijoykrishna remained silent. When he was about to go away, the disciples of Kathiya Baba said to him, “You came all the way from a distant village to meet with our Master. Do you not have anything to ask?”

Bijoykrishna said, “I have already asked him many, many questions. He has answered all my questions inwardly.”

Ramdas smiled and said, “It is absolutely true.”

Commentary: When silence asks a question and silence answers, both the question and the answer are most powerful, for the question and answer start their journey in the silence-heart and end in the silence-heart. When the question and answer are not from the silence world and are not in the silence world, the mind wants to add something to the question and to the answer. What the mind adds is nothing but a doubtful, hesitant and discouraging existence-reality. When the mind is involved, the reality-experience is not and cannot be spontaneous; therefore, it is infinitely inferior to the reality-experience which lives in the heart, with the heart and for the heart. In the heart spontaneity always reigns supreme.

I want justice-light

Early in the morning Ramdas was meditating in his garden when he saw a young man. “What do you want?” he asked the youth.

The boy replied, “I have come here to take some pomegranate leaves. My doctor has asked me to bring him some leaves of this plant so that he will be able to cure me.”

“No, you can’t take any leaves; they are my possession,” said Ramdas. “Go and ask your doctor to get them from someone else.”

The boy could not believe his ears. “You are a spiritual Master. You have so many disciples. You should be generous. You can’t part with a few leaves, a few insignificant leaves?”

Ramdas said, “I have not come here to learn your philosophy. Get out. If you don’t leave this place, I shall break your head with my stick.”

The young man became so angry that he wanted to strike the Master with his stick. Ramdas shouted until many people came. Then he explained, “This boy wanted to take away some leaves without my permission.”

“I am asking your permission,” said the boy.

“But I am not granting you permission,” replied the Master.

What could the disciples do? They compelled the boy to leave without the pomegranate leaves.

Then the disciples said to Master Ramdas, “We shall never understand you.”

“You don’t have to understand me,” Ramdas said. “Only do what I want you to do. I want justice-light.”

The disciples said, “We shall never understand you. At one moment you don’t need anything. Even if someone places the whole world’s wealth at your feet, you ignore it. But now you are fighting over a few leaves. When you receive nice gifts, like a child you come and tell us how beautiful they are. The other day the girls from the King’s family sent you a shawl. Everybody saw how happy you were to have it. You ran into the market place, telling everyone, ‘Look, look, how beautiful this shawl is! And who has given it to me? The girls from the King’s family’. This moment you act like an innocent child; the next moment you act like a cruel man.”

Kathiya Baba said to his disciples, “Don’t judge me. You will never be able to fathom me. Only have faith in me and do whatever I ask you to do. This is the only way you will realise me.”

Commentary: What is justice? Justice is the execution of God’s Will. God’s Will is infinitely higher than man’s mental grasp can reach. God is not bound by any law. He wants to enjoy the Infinite in the finite. He wants to bring down the message of Immortality into the very heart of death. A spiritual Master is God’s representative. Out of His infinite Bounty God has granted him boundless Peace, Light and Bliss. The Master wants to share these gifts with the rest of the world.

The human mind did not know, could not know, that the young boy carried very impure vibrations which were affecting Kathiya Baba’s meditation. It was not really a question of a few pomegranate leaves. If the young man had not carried an impure vibration and disturbed Ramdas’ peace with his impurity, perhaps the Master would have given him the leaves. But the teacher had every right to throw the boy out, for stealing is one kind of ignorance, and carrying impurity is another. Why should a spiritual Master condone two acts of ignorance?

I am going Home

Once, in the middle of the night, Ramdas Kathiya Baba asked a particular disciple of his to bring him a glass of water. Then he said to him, “Now you go back to sleep. I am going Home.” The disciple could not understand what the Master meant, but since it was late in the night and he was feeling drowsy, he went back to sleep.

The following morning the disciple heard the Master’s cows lowing and he went into the Master’s room. The Master’s room was flooded with light. The disciple could easily see that the Master had left the body, and he began shouting and crying.

When the rest of the disciples came into the Master’s room, they also saw that the Master had left the body. On the one hand the Master was often so hard with the disciples; on the other hand he had a very soft heart for animals. He was extremely fond of his dear cows. The cows felt that the Master had left the body, so they were lowing, they were shedding tears.

Commentary: When a spiritual Master leaves the body, his dear ones suffer terribly. This suffering is an experience not only of the human world, but also of the animal world. As a matter of fact, this is an experience of God’s entire universe. All the worlds in God’s universe are intertwined. When one becomes a spiritual Master, his oneness-heart with God’s Heart permeates all the worlds exactly the way his Beloved Supreme has permeated this reality-existence right from the dawn of His creation.

The disciples of Ramdas cried; the cows cried; humanity as such cried, for they all thought that it was a terrible loss. But divinity knows that there is no such thing as loss. It is only a transformation of the visible into the invisible, which will open up a new chapter in God’s ever-illumining and ever-fulfilling cosmic Game.

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