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35

 

You must do the correcting and controlling yourself, knowing that Baba will help you. Continually referring to your weakness and focusing your thoughts on yourself might increase your ego, and Baba's work is to eliminate the ego. His ways of eliminating it are both skillful and subtle, but they do rapidly cut down both prejudice and pride. To quote Baba, "The spiritual benefit accruing to an aspirant on the Path approaching a spiritual Master is in direct proportion to the weakening or elimination of the ego."

 

And so, Baba may frequently ask you to do just those things which your nature revolts against, but never give you the reason why he asked this or that of you. At first, we were rarely given occupations which we had been doing previously to joining the ashram, but rather, chores that we would have avoided doing in the outside world or which we disliked intensely. Said one who was set to work in the kitchen, "I did not come to India to do such work—I can do this at home. I came to be with Baba."

 

Did we think we had come to sit with Baba all day, to meditate, discuss spiritual subjects, read philosophical books, escape from the problems and monotony of daily life? If such was our vision, Baba, through his own example, showed us that this was not his way of life. "All work is my work," he says. Baba is so intensely practical, and I feel it is a help to Baba if those around him are practical too. I recall Baba saying, "I have two very practical people in my circle-Elizabeth and Rano."

 

After our first two or three months on Meherabad Hill, Baba took us all to the hill station, Panchgani, during the hot months. Baba was very busy with mast work and the men mandali, and I remember my friend and I were feeling a little low on this particular after-noon. Had we not come to India to be with Baba, and here we were seeing him so little! Baba, conscious of our feelings as we stood by the window, came alongside and drew from us the thought that was troubling us. He then spelled out on his board, "If I do not withdraw myself physically from you from time to time, you will not feel me here (pointing to our hearts) and it is there (within) that I want you to feel my presence."

 

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