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34

 

this he believed me to be God and used to worship before my picture till his end."

 

Baba drifted to the subject of Hafiz, his favorite poet. He said, "There is no one equal to Hafiz in poetry. He was a Perfect Master. He was very ugly and was born of poor parents. His father was a coal merchant. From his childhood he had a fad for hearing stories of Perfect Masters. He knew the Koran by heart and hence was given the title of Hafiz. When he was 21 years of age, while passing by a big mansion, he saw a very beautiful woman on its terrace. He fell in love with her and longed to marry her. The girl did not even take notice of Hafiz in the street below. Hafiz was helpless and so he thought of gaining her by the 40 days penance. He succeeded in his attempt, and on the 40th day Archangel Gabriel appeared to him and told him to ask for anything he wished. Gabriel's beauty was so overpowering that Hafiz forgot his beloved whom he wanted to marry. He thought that if Gabriel could be so beautiful, how much more would be the beauty of God? So he at once replied, 'I want God!' Gabriel directed Hafiz to the Perfect Master Attar. Hafiz served Attar for 40 long years. He, so to say, broke his head at the feet of Attar. Attar still had no compassion for Hafiz! After 40 years of such hell on earth, one day Attar all of a sudden gave Hafiz God-Realization." Baba ended by saying, "Powers have no importance. Hafiz says that the one who does not lay his life at the feet of the Perfect Master cannot know God. It is very difficult to become one with God. The Master's Grace makes it very easy, but to get his Grace is as difficult as trying to realize God by one's own efforts. It becomes easy once one becomes a slave at the feet of the Perfect Master. Ages of restlessness gets eased as soon as one surrenders one's life at his feet. This does not mean cutting off one's head and putting it at the feet of the Master. It means literal obedience."

 

Baba asked Dr. Deshmukh whether he would obey Baba if he was ordered to go back to Nagpur (his home town) and walk its streets completely in the nude. The doctor replied that he would. Baba jokingly said, "Dr. Deshmukh is a very intelligent fellow. He knew that I would never ask him to do such a thing and so he replied in the affirmative."

 

Madhusudan then sang a few ghazals. Baba asked me if I knew Urdu or Persian. I said, "No." He asked Eruch the same question. Eruch said that he did not study any language. A Baba lover next to Eruch told Baba, "Eruch knows your language of gestures which none of us can understand."

 

All the residents of a small village near Bombay had come for Baba 's darshan that day. Baba told us that the village consisted of only 30 houses.

 

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