Individual vs Collective living

Posted By Author on January 28, 2011


I finished routine and took cold-water bath.  Felt chilly and hence wrapped a shawl.  Baba came out early and asked me whether I was feeling cold.  I told him I took bath in cold water.  He heartily laughed.  Together we worked in the garden and then I left for breakfast. He called others first then called me and told that I should consume milk daily or at least coffee made out of milk.  Then all of us including him worked in the garden. Pits were dug on the edge of the dry riverbed and seeds were sown.  He extended the precincts of garden beyond our capacity. Lots of seeds were sown and if they were not watered daily his anger was there in the waiting.  Some beds had stunted growth.  He plucked out such spinach and peanuts, pigeon pea etc. and gave it to cows as fodder.  We invested lot of energy, water and manure to grow them.  All turned waste.  Instead I thought it would have been better to go to jungle to cut forage so that energy would have been fruitful.  We worked from 9 to 12 noon.  Then rest went for cooking. Baba and I sat alone.

Ramanidada and Lala joined us. Baba said that at least ninety lakh rupees were essential to wash off debts and resettlement of the Ashram members.  If some people gave black money, its entry would come in our books of account and while returning this amount they will come in trouble, as it would be repaid in white money.  It was a problem.  I suggested that suppose this Lala was directly paid money as compensation, he would return the amount directly and Ashram would not be in trouble. Ramanidada insisted that nothing wrong, illegal and deceitful was to be ever done. As usual we were building golden castles in the air.

I was about to leave for kitchen to help others but then Baba took me alone to his yard.  He said to me that I committed one blunder of using the word compensation for Lala. He might have been hurt.  I expressed sorry and explained that I used him just as an example.  Baba then said, “Those who will live in Ashram they will not get anything.  Those who will leave Ashram shall be paid either in proportion to the estate they donated or an equal amount will be disbursed.  There will be three types of members in the Ashram.  The members of the first grade will live together with families and according to individual need they will receive money.  These people will not have their own house, agricultural land or personal bank account.  In second grade, members will live outside separately and in third category mostly salaried staff will be included. The first grade members will keep watch on the function of administrative staff.”

I frankly opined that every individual loves freedom and independence.  Joint living would not succeed.  The idea was superb but not feasible.  Every individual has his own likes and dislikes and worry for the future.  Apparently they would live together but from inside they would smoulder.  That would be bad and moreover what would be their fate after Baba?  He said next one would be trained and ready.  I said it was impossible and they would never be trained and ready.  I said it was impossible and scheme would never last perennially. He said that at least for some period they would live together and that nothing was perennial in this world.  I confessed that a man like me would go step by step.  Starting from third category I would move up otherwise under the sway of emotion if I enter the first grade and then retreated it would be bad.  I was going deeper in discussion and intermittently his pitch caught crescendo as usual. Yesterday I expressed my desire to develop a beautiful garden and aviary on my four acres land in Amravati. Baba gave the following dictation in relation to that and the present argument of mine.

“Do you think a time should or would come when you have to retire from work or do you feel up to the last breath of your life you have to go on to work for the betterment of the suffering humanity?  The former implies that you think in terms of old age, the latter shows you are confident about perennial youth irrespective of age.”

Baba told me to write my answers to the above at my leisure.  I told him that I would immediately answer orally.  He agreed.  I told my desire to build a small house surrounded by beautiful and spacious garden with zoo of small animals, an aviary, a small pool where on Saturday and Sunday people would come with children to enjoy the nature and where for children arrangement of skating, horse riding etc. would be available and there I would visit temporarily for rest.  I shall secure all types of vines and roses from Deogarh. There would be beds of all types of seasonal flowers and lilies. Baba laughed heartily.

Baba said that other things would take place but what was the aim of my life.  I reminded that in my first meeting with him I felt like serving the people and removing the contaminated parts of the society.  I admitted that even as an honest and good teacher if I lead life I would be satisfied.

Baba said that if I wanted to render service to a large section of humanity, to bring Divine Force was indispensable and for that grade one Ashram membership was essential, nay, indispensable.  I questioned Baba whether all those who served the people lived a collective life.  They served without Divine Force and the force automatically came to them.

Baba then said that suppose a person is incapable of understanding and ignorant but if he tells him that his virtue of previous birth demanded that he would be in grade one membership of the Ashram then what.  I said the person would accept the first grade but his mind would remain wavering and who knew how his wife would take it.  We had lot of argument on parts of both of us.  Then ultimately I directly asked Baba that Rajat was in the Ashram since nine years and Radhakant since fifteen years. Would he term them as first grade members?  Baba was bit baffled and stunned at my blunt question.  He remained silent and with great aplomb advised me not to ask personal question.  Then with second thought he said that he could not say about Radhakant but Rajat could be put in grade one.  Once Rajat was to give up his wife for Baba’s sake.  He said he knew both of them were egoistic and selfish.  I therefore pointed out vain feasibility of collective life. I said that the educated and the rich class would not be willing to sacrifice everything and join grade one.  I predicted that only have-nots and sanyasis would willingly court that grade one. I brought it to his notice that even U.S.S.R. and China miserably failed in collective enterprises.  After much debate and patient hearing he told me to go for lunch as it was raining heavily.  He told me to send Lala.  I left and told Lala that he was summoned.  Owing to cold he was resting in bed. Lala reached late and falsely told that I informed him to go after rest. He was waiting for twenty minutes for Lala and consequently got heavy rebuke. I was later called.  I joined.  Since morning I had no work, no food, no rest but only  talk and debate with him.

All of us assembled in his storeroom and when it started leaking we shifted to Chinu’s hut. Baba then dictated the following note to me:

2.30 P.M. “What is known as herd instinct does not lead to real collective life.  It cannot be, of course, denied that the germs of collective life are there in the collective instinct but in itself it is the expression of the mob

ego either in the form of self-protection or in the form of self-aggrandisement. A divinising collective life aims at judicious but complete identification with the welfare of the collection as a whole with which one identifies one-self.  Now for this sort of Supreme identification the ego is the first thing to be transformed. It has to be transformed into super ego and a transcendental ego, which even for the most of the realized persons is difficult to attain.

I have already told you about the categorizing.  Now write what you are told in your own expression.  In the second category the individual way of living in its widest possible sense will be allowed provided the goal and the means to achieving that are clear before them and with that clarity they follow it to the best of their abilities and do not allow any pernicious movement in a circle.  In this third category there will be more relaxation and the line of demarcation between the second and third will be the ability to grasp what is set before them.  An aspiration, genuine, of course, without the ability of understanding and following will set up the line of demarcation.  Note individual laxity does not mean individual freedom.  The whole purpose is to make one vibrant with a genuine sense of individual freedom is only individual laxity with all its moorings that will never allow you to become service minded in the depth in its wildest possible sense. This so-called individual freedom will always serve as an undesirable break in your onward march.  In the name of greatness you just dive into the sphere of smallness.  The most difficult thing with a section of the people dominantly Americans and Europeans is to grasp this vital difference.  Man does not know and perhaps does not like to know that in the name of freedom he remains a slave to bondages.  Of course, individually persons admitted into the second category may attain the same Supreme Goal as the first category can, but it is only after attaining that aim they will be able to render their unqualified service to the humanity while the first category will put on with it as they move.  This makes all the difference.  It does not mean before achieving that end the second category will not do real work, they will but these will not be relatively unqualified and unconditioned.  When you lose yourself in the widest you basically regain what really you are and for that regain the most.”

In short he meant that we should treat him as God and give up everything before him. The sense of sacrifice and shrdha (faith) was there but the appendix of divinity appeared ridiculous to me.  He himself was in a quandary I knew.  He desired that I should give up everything and serve him.  I had already committed enough foolishness of not marrying at proper age.  That was enough folly.  With these thoughts I became nervous and homesick.  My mind ran amok and running towards house.  I decided not to permanently dance at the tune of his whims. Instead, it would be better to continue the service I had. I decided be amongst miserable lot of Ashramites. I would be happier if I do not lose my job and individual freedom. With these thoughts my mind became light.  It was still raining and his brainwashing continued.

We then shifted to Baba’s hut.  Ramesh read out his letter and it was decided that he would leave tomorrow for home.  I also said that my mother must have been anxiously waiting for me.  Baba said that since last two days he was contemplating over that.  He told me to send a telegram.  Then he said that I should go and the moment I received a telephonic call, I should fly to Delhi and join us.  The plan was finalized.  We came out in a happy mood.  Lala and Shomu were despondent and expressed their dejection on my departure. I tried to alleviate their anguish by promising to prolong my exit up to 10th May, only for them.

I was summoned at 6 P.M.  When I told him my decision to go home and that it would save expenses on me he expressed his anxiety.  He did not want me to depart early, as he knew I had summer vacation.  He dictated the following note:

Raining. We were in Chinu’s hut at 6 P.M. “Feeling is of course generally speaking a better guide than intellect but if you suppose that feeling will always be a right guide then you will pay for it with bitter experiences.  Pure feeling is definitely an infallible guide but purification of feeling is a Himalayan task even in case of those who have attained some kinds of ‘Savilka Samadhi’ cannot claim real purity of feeling.  It is only when by the highest ‘Samadhi’ the shackles are thoroughly broken, then and then alone you get real purity of feeling that is the same as the feeling of the Divine. Then one of the first thing necessary is to get the feeling and its pulsation in a certain way progressively purified.  On no account there should be any hasty decision.  You must allow the feeling to settle down and to progressively purify itself in the process of settling down.  In the meantime, the intellect should be allowed to remain neither indifferent nor meddlesome.  In getting the feeling settle down, the intellect may play a big role but only when the intellect is not too widely meddlesome.  In intellect as there is a trend to judge everything in system and sequence so also there is a meddlesome function to ride roughshod over reasons.  Here at first the feeling should apply the break and it should go on applying the break until the jumping tendency of the intellect is overcome.  It is only the sober intellect that may be a help for the feeling in the task of settling down itself and until you with conviction inwardly perceive that through this process of continuous discernment the feeling has achieved stability, no decision one way or the other should be taken. Those who lack the patience to undergo all these trying procedure and have the hastiness to jump into decisions off and on are sure to come to grief.  Everybody should get this habit of getting the feeling settle down through the help of discerning intellect as opposed to running riot in all problems of life, small or big.  Of course, there is a danger involved in it.  You may develop the perverted disposition of eternally thinking and thinking without coming to any conclusion.  The only safeguard against this is that at every step you must through proper introspection find out whether any element in intellect with proneness to running riot is in active operation.  Of course, if you can get at the latent operation this will be all the more good but this is simply impossible until you succeed about conscious penetration into the unconscious.”

This passage was sequel to my opinion to remain in grade three as  member of the Ashram and recent decision to go home.  This was antivenom for that.  Saxena’s departure was postponed instead of next day to a day after eclipse.  He left for dinner and we came out.  It was a beautiful moonlit night.  Our food was in cooking process and immediately I was called alone by Baba.  When I reached he told Ramanidada to go away.  He then told me to tell others to be ready for call.  Then he pointedly asked me whether I had any mental pressure or trouble.  I smiled and assured him not to bother abut me and that I was a ‘harfan Maula’   — a worry free fakir.  However, my nature was very inquisitive and hence whatever questions I posed before him were never personal but of general nature. We talked on administrative reforms and recasting bureaucracy.  I made a clean breast and told him that I was interested in education and politics only.  He laughed and said, “You need not tell me this. I know it very well.”

With his clap others came and joined us.  There was a little talk on Gandhiji and others.  We were then relieved for dinner and I went to bed at 11 P.M.

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