Pilamai had brought a small chair for Baba to sit on in the train. However, he did not use it and asked her why she did not sit on it. Humbly, Pilamai replied, “How could I sit on it when you are sitting on a bench? I have nothing but respect for you!”
“When you don’t respect my words, how can you respect me?” said Baba. “Only if you sit in the chair according to my wish will I believe you truly revere me!”
Pilamai countered, “But this chair is meant for you. It is not proper for me to occupy your seat.”
But Baba said, “You are my spiritual sister and therefore you, more than anyone else, should follow my orders and see that my wish is fulfilled.”
Pilamai said, “I would sacrifice my life for you, Baba, but I cannot occupy this chair. I would feel ashamed to do so in your presence when you are sitting on an uncomfortable bench.”
Baba sternly said, “You revere your feelings of shame more than me! And since you cannot carry out even my smallest wish, how could you ever hope to sacrifice your life for me?”
Baba continued, “Do not think it is so easy to give up your life for my cause. Give up your life while living by dying to your own desires!”
Pilamai pleaded, “Baba, I don’t understand anything about spirituality, but this is an expensive and comfortable chair. I only want you to sit on it. I bought it for you alone.”
Getting up, Baba angrily flung the chair out the window of the moving train! Only then did Pilamai realize that the Master valued nothing in this life except obedience to his wishes.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 2, pp. 521 – 522.