(Feb. 1958) The Andhra bhajan group sang a few songs, and Baba called Raosaheb Afseri to the stage. At Baba’s request, Raosaheb recited a couplet of Hafiz in Persian, which was also translated into English, Telugu and Gujarati. The translation of it was:
“How can you tread the path of Truth unless you
step out of the boundary of your own nature?”
This path is full of untold and intolerable hardships and sufferings. Even the yogis and saints have not fathomed the state of my Reality. Hafiz speaks of “stepping out of the boundary of our nature.” But what is that nature of ours? I am not going to repeat the theme of evolution of forms and consciousness now. I have explained much about these in books. We start with the birth of a human child, for example. The birth is due to his or her past karmas. No sooner is the child born than he or she begins to experience the sanskaras acquired in his or her past lives. So what will be the nature of the child? The nature of the child will be, of course, according to his or her past sanskaras [mental impressions]. That child must act, feel and think according to his or her sanskaras accumulated in his or her past lives. There is no way out and he or she must experience the sanskaras. That is the law of must.
In addition to this inexorable principle of must, the environmental circumstances are such that they help the child to act, feel and think according to his or her past sanskaras. No sooner does the child see the light of earth than he or she begins to grow older day by day. He or she must weep as soon as he or she is born. He or she must be given a milk diet. He or she must grow bigger and bigger. He or she must have a name. His or her sex, character, personality, inclinations, et cetera, is determined by the principle of must. The child knows not from whence he or she has come. The child has no thought of all that. The child takes for granted that he or she is born, and the child begins to live. The child has a sex and a name; he or she cries, eats, drinks, and later studies in school and enjoys or suffers life – all this because of his or her nature – not “Nature.” (1)
Hafiz refers to the nature of a child. This is the law of must. It is your very nature, created and nurtured by you, that makes you think that you are a man or a woman, that you have a body, sickly or healthy, beautiful or ugly. It makes you think that you are hungry, robust, unwell, et cetera.
Now we come to the difficulties on the spiritual path. What are the difficulties? It is always impossible to fathom my Original State of Reality on the spiritual path. Why? I shall explain the reasons to you. What does Hafiz say? He says: “Step out of the boundary of your nature.” It means: “Go against your own nature.” Your nature makes you think that you are hungry and want food. When you feel hungry, you demand food and eat. Hafiz wants you not to eat; that is going against your nature, that is to say, stepping out of your nature. If your nature says you are not feeling hungry, according to Hafiz, you must go against it and you must eat, and eat much. When you feel like sleeping, according to Hafiz, you must not sleep. This is what we understand from the couplet of Hafiz.
But does it really mean all this? No. I shall tell you what Hafiz really means. According to Hafiz, literally, if you want to see anything, you must not see. If you do not want to see anything, you must see. This is what is meant by stepping out of your nature. We can go on giving innumerable such examples of “going against one’s nature.”
Take another instance: when you run up an incline, you will pant for breath. In such a case, you must not pant; you should breathe normally. Contrariwise, when you feel normal, you must not feel normal; you must breathe hard or pant for breath. Therefore, it is almost impossible to step out of the boundary of your very nature, and it is therefore really impossible for you to realize me as I really am. Then what should we do?
Hafiz comes to our rescue and gives a solution. But that solution too is very difficult, impossible, but somewhat less difficult or less impossible. Hafiz says:
At this point, Baba asked Raosaheb to recite the couplet in Persian (which was later translated into Telugu and Gujarati) which means, according to Baba’s translation in English:
“O you mad one! If you have that madness to realize God,
then become the dust at the feet of a Perfect Master!”
Baba continued to dictate:
We are coming back to becoming the dust at the feet of a Perfect Master. What does Hafiz mean? Dust has no thought of its own; it has no will of its own. It can be trampled upon, applied to the forehead or suspended in the air. There is no truer and better example of complete obedience than “of becoming like dust.”
If any of you do not understand, don’t worry about it. Just look at me and think of me. That will do. Words have no real value. It is good if you understand. But if you don’t, why worry about it?
Baba concluded with the question: “What do we mean by obedience?” He asked Eruch to read out the discourse on the four types of obedience which he had given the past week, as well as in Poona and Bombay. At the end of it, Raosaheb recited the lines of another Persian poet, which Baba translated:
“After spending years and years of intense longing for God,
one, out of thousands of mardan-e-Khuda (men of God),
realizes Him. Out of millions of those who live,
not so much for themselves,
but only for God, only one realizes God!”
Baba concluded: “This gives us some idea of the great difficulties on the path of Self-Realization. Mardan means the male population. It means “the real male” or “real man” and he is of God. Only one out of such millions can realize God after years and years of intense longing for Him.”
(1) This refers to the forces of Primordial Nature, or the poetic term Mother Nature.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 15, pp. 5334 – 5336.