MARCH 13, 1937 – YOU ARE IN ROME AND I AM AT HOME!
On March 13th, (1937) Baba was in Nasik. Malcolm Schloss had met a Catholic priest at a religious conference in Nasik and he urged the priest to meet Baba, but he declined. When he told Baba, he also seemed uninterested. However, due to Malcolm’s persuasion a meeting was arranged. The following conversation between the priest and Meher Baba then ensued:
When they met, Baba commented to him, “All the Mullajis (Muslim priests) are good; the Pope is good; the Pandits (Hindu scholars) are good. But only the Sankaracharya (head of orthodox Hinduism) can speak for hours on end!” (1)
The priest had recently returned from participating in the religious conference, and hearing Baba’s words, proudly refuted, “It was not the Sankaracharya, but I who spoke during the whole conference. The Sankaracharya could not argue convincingly at all. He could not say a word to me and I rebuked him severely.”
“Yes,” replied Baba, “these Mullajis, and the Sankaracharya, all need to be warned. They deserve lecturing and need to be taken to task.”
“You just said they are good and now you say they need to be lectured,” the priest said. “I don’t follow what you mean.”
Explaining, Baba spelled out, “The Sankaracharya and high priests have big heads they are intellectuals but they have small hearts. You, however, have a good heart.”
Baba added, “There are many to teach in the world, but very few to learn.”
“What do you mean?” asked the priest.
“They all teach but none of them wants to learn and those who teach do not know the Truth themselves!”
Baba then recounted a striking incident concerning Baily: “A chap named Baily was my school friend and he just could not believe how a boy like me who used to play marbles with him, could as a man attain such a high state while he was still in the same state where he was. The difference between him and me was so phenomenal that he wanted to see some miracles as proof in order to gain conviction about me. One day, when Baily was writing something in my thatched hut in Poona, all of a sudden the inkwell began dancing up and down! He was flabbergasted. After a little while, the pen jumped from his hand and also started to dance. He started shouting, ‘Baba! Baba!’ and wept continuously for some days. From that day on, he was convinced of my powers and had faith in me.
“I told him, ‘You are a fool. If this small phenomena could convince you of spirituality, why don’t you go and follow Muhammad Chhel, who was a well-known tantric magician?’
“All miracles are child’s play, whereas spirituality is far above them. Miracles in themselves have no spiritual value or significance. But they are necessary and, at times, performed by the Master as a means to convince people of Truth and spirituality. Jesus performed miracles not for his own gain, but to make people recognize the Truth and to create faith in them. Yet, when he was crucified, he who could raise the dead, did not stop it!”
Changing the subject, the priest asked, “Why do you keep silence? Why don’t you speak?”
“I always speak!” Baba smilingly replied, “I continually speak through you, through all the high priests and through everyone.”
Not following what Baba meant, the priest asked, “Then why do you use the alphabet board?”
“I talk through you and all, and I answer questions through this board.”
The priest looked more perplexed and asked, “How? I don’t understand.”
Baba taunted the man, replying, “Yes, you cannot follow because you are in Rome, and I know because I am at Home! This is the difference between you and me. You are in Rome and I am at Home!”
The priest then left, quite puzzled by his encounter with Baba. What Baba meant by “Home” was that he was one with God, and “Rome” was the church rites, rituals, orthodoxy. God abided in Baba, and Baba abided in God. But to the priest God was in Rome the church in Rome.
(1) In Hinduism the Sankaracharya is similar in status to the Pope in Roman Catholicism.
Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 6, pp. 2129 – 2130.
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