CRITICISM of Baba by the press was a regular occurrence those days. Behind it was Colonel Irani, who was quite clever and active in his propaganda campaign. He even went so far as to try to persuade Baily to his viewpoint by bribing him.
On December 27th, (1928) Baba found out about Baily’s involvement with the Colonel and warned, “If Baily succumbs to graft to support his habits of wine, women and song, he will be like Judas. But I won’t allow it to happen. I love him and will see that he does not slip off the path.” Soon after, Baba sent Vishnu to Poona, and he returned with Baily the next day. Baily sought Baba’s forgiveness with tears streaming down his cheeks. He promised Baba he would change his habits and said he would write a fitting reply to the Colonel’s allegations. Hearing this, Baba explained at length about the current antagonism against him.
You should not hate him (Colonel Irani); the man deserves to be pitied. We should not act in the same way as he does. We should harbor no bitterness for his criticism nor try to get the better of him. Instead we should patiently tolerate his obstructive tactics. How beautiful it was when Christ said, “If a person slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other.” This is the real thing; otherwise, there is no difference between the Colonel and Baily.
If a man curses your father and you curse his mother, what is the difference between you? Such opponents are friends not enemies. They teach you the lesson of being calm, patient and forbearing in every adverse circumstance – in the midst of all provocation. They thereby render you the greatest service. So forbear, forgive and forget.
Your attitude should serve as an example of forbearance and patience to the world. Therefore, don’t become like them. Tolerate everything, face every obstacle and learn to swallow anger. It is for this reason that Kabir has said, “If you want to gulp down anything, gulp down wrath.”
You have a great lesson to learn from this opposition. Learn that those who spread deceitful lies about our actions and propagandize against us are thereby giving importance to our work without our asking. They publicize our cause, advertising it widely in a way which we could not have done. This is their service to us. Not only this, but by carrying on with all their propaganda, they are always thinking of me and giving me so much importance. This preoccupation of theirs is thus advantageous to them. You serve me in a favorable manner; they in an unfavorable manner, but it is service nevertheless. There is no doubt that in this way they are thinking of me and that is what matters. Their angle of vision is different, but they have the right to think and express their views and opinions. But while expressing their minds, too often they lose control over their tongues which leads them to such extreme ridicule which makes them scandalize us.
You may resent it and say that this is their weakness. But if you believe this and still adopt the same vituperative attitude toward them, does this not expose your own weakness? There is then no difference between you and them! And it shows that my instructions, discourses and teachings have had no effect upon you. Compared to them, your weakness is greater because you have stayed with me, heard my discourses and know me, which they have not. So remain calm, put up with hardships and be tolerant; forgive them and forget all.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol 3, pp. 1130 – 1131.