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 17

 

Then Baba had Eruch tell us of an incident that occurred during the Man-o-nash period, which had something to do with conflicting orders. Baba was in this stone room, in seclusion, and Eruch, who was on guard during the night, was told not to open the door unless Baba clapped. He was sitting outside on the ground with a lantern and a torch. At 2 a.m. a snake tried to slide under the door of the cabin. Eruch held him fast by the tail with his torch. Just then Baba clapped. If Eruch had obeyed His instructions to open the door immediately, the snake could have entered. So Eruch waited and, fortunately, in a few minutes the snake decided to go elsewhere. But when Eruch entered the cabin, Baba wanted to know why he hadn't obeyed His orders to come immediately when He clapped. Eruch explained, and Baba smiled.

 

“And I always say," Baba remarked in conclusion, "when there are conflicting orders, always obey the first order."

 

Then Baba had the boys tell a story of Gustadji's experience with conflicting orders. Baba had been with some of the Mandali to the Girnar mountains for Mast-work. Baidul, whom Baba calls the Mast expert, and who can, according to Baba, "smell" a Mast, finds them or takes them to Baba, or Baba to them, as Baba may wish. Baidul had located a Mast at Girnar, and Baba had come there late at night with a number of the Mandali. The only light they had were some small lamps. They had been moving about for days, from one place to another, sleeping in railway stations, and this night, Baba had decided that they would sleep near the shrine of a Mohammedan saint. They found a small room for Baba, outside of which there was a concrete bench, on which one or the other of the Mandali sat on watch in shifts. For the last 25 years, wherever Baba rests at night, a watchman is posted outside. Sometimes one man watches all night, sometimes the boys work in shifts. So, this night they sat in shifts on a concrete bench. Baba's instructions were for them to sit there, to awaken each other in turn, and to allow no noise, not even the least, to disturb Him. Sometimes even mosquitoes and flies, in flight, disturb Him.

 

At 3 a.m. it was Gustadji's turn to be on watch. All of them had traveled all day, without rest or relaxation; without even having an opportunity to attend to their elimination. From 3 a.m. to 4 a.m., the boys have discovered, Baba usually rests completely, and if they have to attend to anything like elimination, this is usually the safe time to do it. So Gustadji decided

 

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