Let’s get this out on the table. There are people who received tremendous gifts from Baba, but once the “sex scandal” came out they left. These people say they cannot come to grips with what he did. What did he do? That is the question. Did he have sex? Apparently not: no one I know of has said he did that. What was it then? A tantric ritual? It looks that way, but I was not there. I cannot say what happened because, when I was given the opportunity, I said no. Did Baba have a problem with my saying no? No, not at all. I took that experience as a test of where I was, not where he was. Some will say, and have said, that Baba was powerful and you could not say no to him. Not once in all my years of being so close to Baba did he ever make me feel that I could not say no to him. I did say no to him, many times. Did I know Baba had great power and was a true Guru? Yes, and I still would say no to him—and if I were wrong, we would find out.
Baba was a great being from a tradition about which most westerners have no idea. People who came to Baba thought they knew what all this spirituality was, but when they got close to the fire things were not what they expected. We do not “know” until we unknow; then, what once made no sense becomes clear. I went to Baba to get to the Truth. I was not looking for a lifestyle or some psychedelic experience. I wanted the bottom line of existence. From the first, I knew that Baba wasn’t just about the shakti and wild experiences; Baba lived the Truth. I wanted what he had. So I pursued him with all I had.
What I wanted was invisible, internal and eternal. The ashram dharma, the chants, the seva, the politics, even the people were not what I was interested in. I wanted what Baba had. Nityananda had manifested in a certain way. Baba manifested in a different way from his Guru. I manifest differently from each of them. The inner sameness is what I am after. The inner state, not the outward play.
Baba gave each of us what we wanted. He used to say, “I give you what you want, so that some day you’ll want what I have to give you”. He gave each of us what we wanted at the level where we were, and challenged us to go deeper. In my case, Baba showed me real internal practice, and I have not been disappointed or disillusioned, or in any way ever had the need to find another teacher. Baba continues to come and teach; he has never left me.
It has both bothered and saddened me to see the level of promiscuity in people’s spiritual lives. They move from teacher to teacher, tradition to tradition, cobbling together personal spiritual “journeys” that lead them nowhere. For many, spirituality is really just dressed up hedonism: they are looking for the ultimate pleasurable or aesthetic experience. I learned from Baba that sadhana is never about “experiences”, nor is it ever about patching together something called a personal spirituality. There is a reason to stay steady and to discipline ourselves internally as well as externally. We must create a strong vessel to receive what the Guru gives us, and then be able to dissolve that very vessel so that we can merge back into God.
Baba never let me down. He was always consistent. I trusted him because in part he had proven himself completely trustworthy. Was being with Baba easy? No. The Guru is here to drive us Home. We say we want to go there, and yet when things get a little uncomfortable or strange we pull back the reins and find ourselves back at the beginning, nowhere. Surrender is everything around a Guru. What do we surrender? Everything that is not Real. So we are no longer attached to our pride, self-esteem, intellect, and emotions. Scary? Yes, if you do not know whom you are with. I knew and still know that Baba was Real. Baba was and is a true Guru.
During meditation last week I got that Baba sacrificed his reputation and everything worldly for each of us. He wanted us to focus on the Truth, on God, not the comings and goings of an institution. I am sorry that there are people who feel hurt by his actions. I am sure there were many who felt wronged or hurt by Baba. I understand how hard it has been for them. They have to stay true to what they believe, and I pray that at some point they will have resolution in whatever form it may take for them.
For me, there is no conflict, so there will be people who think I am blind, ignorant, and deluded. Maybe I am. But as I move through this life, I find every day, whether life is easy or a struggle, that the practice and truth that Baba instilled in me grow stronger and brighter, and everything is clearer, calmer and filled with love. There is less of Rohini every day, and more of Baba, filled with love and peace in God. So if I am deluded, so be it. Call Baba what you will; for me he will always be Satguru.
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