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26

 

to give discourses saying, 'If you obey me, Baba will bless you.' But all there were my lovers. When I returned the next day I heard what happened. He asked for my forgiveness saying, 'From now on I will just love you, Baba.' But he has formed the habit of having followers.

 

“One day I learned that a saint from Nagpur came for sahavas. He would sit in the crowd listening to my discourses and then in my absence form a group and give discourses. I called him and told him to obey. I asked him if he were prepared to obey me. Then I ordered him to leave immediately, to fast for 40 days, to take only plain water, and all the time to think of me. He promised to obey and he bowed down to me. He left. For 12 days he fasted; then I sent an order for him to stop fasting, and told him to observe silence to July 10th."

 

THE PLAY OF EGO

I.

 

For one to declare that he is a saint and allow people to bow down to and revere him without real authority is to feed one's ego with intense happiness. Simultaneously, with the feeding of the ego comes a feeling of well-being.

 

One who is addicted to opium (eating or smoking) derives a similar feeling of well-being, though temporarily. After a time the opium-addict begins to feel the after-effects of opium in severe constipation, loss of appetite, headache, dullness and drowsiness. He then begins to realize that it would have been better had he not become addicted. But unfortunately, he cannot give up the habit. He has become a slave. He realizes this too late, and sinks into deeper addiction, being tempted to take greater and greater quantities of opium to keep pace with the gradual loss of the feeling of well-being.

 

Similarly, one who indulges in happiness by allowing people to bow down to him without authority, feels the prick of conscience later on. And, with this feeling he realizes that he has no authority, but has got so used to the habit of feeding his ego in this manner that he is unable to stop the practice. He continues indulging, and after a time does not pay heed to the pricks of conscience. He becomes numb to the voice within.

 

After years of addiction it so happens one day that the opium addict

 

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