Why are we Baba Lovers?
I presume only Baba knows. Past life preparation? Grace? Kismet? Being at the right chai stall in the right lane, in the right village at the right time? But from the many stories we hear about coming to Baba, we can say it happens in one of two ways: easily or arduously.
Some of us come to Baba easily. We see a photo of Baba, or read a book, and boom. Done. We’re His. Quickly, wholly and irreversibly His. Heck, I know a guy in my home
state of Michigan who came to Baba by just hearing His name. Just hearing His name!
Others come to Him after a search. An arduous search.
That was me.
Like so many, my years before Baba were marked by a restlessness; a longing for something significant, something beyond, something lasting. And that restlessness was fired by a pretty painful and thorough disenchantment with the world and its major institutions: family, country, God. . . and like all boys in Michigan, the Detroit Lions.
A child of divorce in the 1950s when divorce was uncommon and un-spoken of. An endless war whose only apparent gain was endless loss. Atheistic, academic parents whose spiritual life was poured from a bottle. And the Detroit Lions? Well, they’re the Detroit Lions.
A perfect cocktail for disenchantment.
Disenchantment led to restlessness. Restlessness led to search. Search led to Baba. Baba led to a new life of happiness, meaning and, well, enchantment. Yay! Done! Jai Baba! Catch you all next lifetime!
But after living with Baba well over half my life, and trying to love Him more and more and still yet more, I find a new disenchantment stirring in my consciousness. And this new disenchantment is not with the world and its ways. No, it is with my self. My self. And by my self I mean, well, my self. Everything I am. Everything I think, everything I feel, want and believe. Everything . . . everything . . . everything.
Increasingly, this myself feels like an ill-fitting costume, tightly woven a billion years ago and now, finally, beginning to unravel. But curiously, this unravelling doesn’t hurt like the painful disillusionment with the world I experienced as a child. Nope, it feels pretty good. Darn good at times. Could this be Baba’s Universal Work? To systematically take us apart? Thought by thought? Feeling by feeling? Moment by moment? It’s sure beginning to seem that way.
And maybe it’s our work too. To gradually undress ourselves of ourselves. Every opinion. Every notion. Every attachment. Every value. Every every. Every every every every. Until there is nothing left but Him.
If so, great, I’m game.
But there is a part of my everything I am not yet willing to let go of, and that is Baba Himself. Baba the Man. The God Man. His beautiful form. His lovely charm. His matchless personality.
In spite of Baba’s many exhortations that ‘I am not this body’, my petulant response is, ‘oh, yes You are, Baba!’ ‘Oh, yes You are!’
And that, for now, is the limit of my mystical undressing.
I have fallen victim to the greatest bait-and-switch in creation. He comes as the most beguilingly beautiful human, takes our hearts, then says, ‘I am not He for whom you have fallen’. ‘I am Infinite and Eternal and you must see Me as I am’.
Until then, a winning season for the Lions would be nice.
Published May 2016.