Once the men mandali were sitting with Baba in Hyderabad. Ghani said something which infuriated Baba, and Baba asked Kaikobad, “Would you do as I tell you?”
“It is the sole reason I’ve joined you,” Kaikobad said.
“Then give Ghani a good hard slap!”
Kaikobad looked momentarily puzzled and said, “But Ghani is one of your oldest mandali. How could I slap him?”
Baba’s anger turned on him: “Do you know who I am? By saying this you have not slapped Ghani, you have slapped me!”
“When did I slap you Baba?”
“By failing to carry out my order, you have given me a sharp slap! Had you really slapped me though, it would not have pained me as much as your disobedience. By disobeying me you have wounded my heart so deeply, the pain will always be there and will never go away.
“You repeat my name one hundred thousand times a day, but what value does your penance and prayers have when you don’t value my words? Before my order, nothing is superior! And if you don’t realize that, thousands of years of repetition of my name will not help you. What is the use of your staying with me?”
Baba then walked away, leaving Kaikobad red in the face and restless inside. Baba soon returned, and Kaikobad inquired, “If I had slapped Ghani, how much it would have pained him. Are we not to consider the feelings of others?”
Baba snapped, “That means you consider his feelings and your own superior to my order?” Turning to Ghani, Baba asked, “Would you have felt bad about it?”
Catching Baba’s drift, Ghani replied, “No, I would not have felt bad in the least, but I feel very bad about Kaikobad’s disobedience to you.”
Kaikobad said, “I will slap him now.”
But Baba gestured, “What’s the use? The time has gone. You thought of Ghani’s pain, but not of mine. You wanted to be in his good graces, but he himself has disapproved of your attitude.”
Addressing the men, Baba made these cryptic remarks:
“If you want to be
in the good graces of the world,
you cannot live for me.
But if you try to stay in my good books,
the world will fall at your feet.”
Turning to Adi Sr., Baba asked, “Would you give Ghani a slap with your sandal?”
Adi replied teasingly, “Baba, if you were to ask me to give him ten slaps, I may give him twelve.”
“That’s the spirit!” motioned Baba.
“Did you hear what he said, Kaikobad?” And Kaikobad nodded glumly. Later Baba took him aside and discussed the matter with him sweetly and caressed him, and Kaikobad wept.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol 8, pp. 3046 – 3047.