A tale of Renunication and Wandering vs Devotion to a Master
A WANDERING SANYASI, who was a recluse and an ascetic, once showed up at Meherabad during this period. He had heard of Meher Baba and wanted the Master’s darshan. He was dressed in an ochre-colored robe, with long matted hair and a beard, and his whole body was smeared with ashes. Meher Baba asked him, “Who are you? Where do you come from and where are you going?” The sanyasi, with evident pride, listed all the places of pilgrimage he had visited and said he had now come to Meherabad.
Baba asked, “Now what?”
“I have come to have your darshan,” the sanyasi said.
“From here I will go to Girnar.”
“Go further and wander throughout Mount Abu.”
“I will proceed further and continue visiting holy places.”
“Then what? I will continue roaming as I have been doing.”
“For how long?” Baba asked.
The sadhu replied, “Until I find my Master. Once the Master’s grace descends, I will be free!”
“When will that happen?”
“Whenever it is destined.”
Baba said, “Everyone is destined to realize God in the end, but no one has any idea of it. Everyone goes his own way.
“What are we to do then?” pleaded the sanyasi.
“Become dedicated to a Guru.”
“Such a One is not found or seen!”
“Your eyes are to blame! The Guru is everywhere. He is to be searched for and recognized.”
“I am ready to find him.”
“I will show you God, but would you do as I say?”
The sanyasi said he was ready and Baba directed him to sit under a nearby tree. Baba told him to wait there and said he would give him instructions after some time. The sanyasi walked over to the tree and sat down.
Baba became occupied with supervising the labor work of the mandali, during which several of the men were harshly scolded. After half an hour, Baba sent Padri to bring the sanyasi to him, but he was gone!
Afterward, in a serious manner, Meher Baba explained to the mandali:
It is easy to renounce the world by wearing an ochre colored robe, but to find a Guru is very difficult. Surrenderance at his feet is even more difficult, but the most difficult of all is to carry out a Guru’s orders.
Take that sanyasi for instance: for years he has lived aloof like a recluse, he has been visiting places of pilgrim-age, undergoing hardships in the heat and cold. He has also made innumerable pilgrimages and will go on making them for years to come. But unless and until he surrenders to a Guru, he will gain nothing. He will go on wandering with his face and body covered with ashes.
Even if he comes in contact with a real Guru, he understands nothing and flings away the cup which is very near his lips! I told him to sit underneath a tree, which he could not do for even half an hour! It is beyond one’s capacity to realize God except by the grace of a Master and it is not easy to gain that grace. It requires the preparation of births and births to be worthy of it. Therefore, those who are living in the intimate contact of the Master are truly blessed.
Later, describing a true lover of God, Meher Baba said:
As a thirsty man under the scorching sun in the desert values water more than pearls or diamonds, so also a real lover of God only thirsts for Him and considers everything else as dust before Him! A real lover is not after name, fame or wealth. He only yearns for God, his Beloved. He who does not possess this attribute is full of selfishness!