Bro. Anandamoy: I’ll tell you my avocado story (lots of chuckles)…
It was when Master was out in the desert, and I was there, too, for several months. Sometimes there were other monks, we had construction projects, and sometimes I was alone. And one time, as I was working I heard Master’s voice in the house, THUNDERING voice, thundering voice scolding one of the devotees inside. And what I heard, just for a trifle, and I had never heard him like that.
And I thought, “My God!” I congratulated myself that I was outside. (much laughter from audience) I thought, when the Master is angry, you’re better not around! Then I heard him walking, still thundering voice, walking to the door, coming out, SLAMMING the door, and I was shaking in my boots, and I thought, now I’ll get it!! (laughter)
Master looked over at me. I couldn’t believe it. Sweetest smile. Not a trace of anger. And he said to me, ‘You are doing wonderful work.’ And he praised me, and I thought, ‘What’s this?!’ I was still shaking in my boots. (more laughter) Then he walked off, and he went for a walk.
And then my mind got warped, completely distorted.
And I thought—I never doubted that he was a Master. I had too much proof of that. But I thought, he was so ANGRY in there, and then all of a sudden his anger is just completely vanished and he is as sweet as could be.
I thought maybe he is just PLAYING with us, maybe he doesn’t LOVE us. And I thought, if he doesn’t love me, I’m totally lost. I was VERY disturbed. And even though, usually I saw him every day several times he came and talked to me and so on, I didn’t see him anymore that day. And I was VERY disturbed.
The next day when he came out—sometimes when he came out he brought me a little fruit or a sweet or something, and in India, that is the custom. When a saint gives something that is a token of his blessing. And on this day he gave me a half of an avocado.
Now, the way I was brought up, I was brought up in a very strict home. My father was a businessman, and at the same time he was a high ranking officer in the Swiss army with discipline. When it came to eating, there was no such thing as likes or dislikes, we ate what was on the table, period. So I was not spoiled at all. But, I never tasted avocados until I came to this country and for some reason I couldn’t STAND avocados (laughter).
And I thought, now there! he is omniscient, and he knows exactly that I cannot eat these things (laughter), and he gives me an avocado. That PROVES he doesn’t love me! (lots of laughter) And I tell you I was so disturbed, that whole day and that whole night I couldn’t sleep. I walked around in the desert and I thought, ‘He doesn’t love me, I’m totally lost.’
And then I made up my mind, I’m gonna show him, I’m gonna tell him I’m ANGRY. It’s gonna be a showdown. (huge laughter) I want to know if he loves me or not, this is a matter of life and death to me.
So in the morning I went to Master’s house, ready for the showdown. I was working, we had to build a little apartment next to the house and I was putting up the roof…so I was hammering, waiting for him. About ten o’clock, I didn’t see him, but I heard the door go in. And I though, now, and I hammered real furiously. So, at the door, he called me. No answer, hammering. I am going to show him that I’m mad. (laughter) So he came a little closer. He called me again. No answer, hammering. I didn’t hit the nails anymore then (laughter) I was too excited (laughter). And then I heard him coming real close, below where I was working. And he called my name again, this time insistent.
And I looked down, and I said “Yes, sir?” And he said, “Come down.” And that moment my mind straightened out again. All of a sudden, I saw it clear. And I knew what Master did. Master was a perfectionist. And those devotees that were in the house, they were longtime, several years, or many years had been under his training. And the slightest little thing, he wouldn’t pass. He was a perfectionist, he was disciplining. Where with me he wouldn’t bother with those things, he was still working on basics with me. (laughter).
And I thought, of course, his discipline is nothing but an expression of LOVE. And I went down the stairs…and I walked around and I stood in front of Master. I had a big lump in my throat for having doubted him.
I looked at him and he had both hands behind his back. And he looked at me, and he brought one hand forward and gave me half of an avocado. (big laughter) And I took it, and I thought at that point, you know, ANYTHING, anything, anything he gives me I don’t care. If it KILLS me I would take it. And then he smiled, and he brought the other hand forward, and there in a napkin was a handful of dates and pistachio nuts, and he said, “Eat it together, and then you will like it.” And my lump got bigger and bigger. He said, “Sit down, eat.” And he walked away.
And so I sat down, and I ate. And when I was finished he came back. He said, “Come, let’s go for a walk.” And he took me by the hand, we walked. Silence. And after a few minutes he stood still and he gave me a talk, on the Guru, the Guru’s love for the disciple. And I tell you, it was such beautiful words, I wish I could repeat it, I can’t.
But he talked about the Guru, his unconditional love. He said, “The only reason why I came is to bring you all back to God.” And he said, “I would give my life, I AM giving my life for you all.” He said, “Never doubt the love of your Guru.” And as he said these things, he didn’t just say words. There was a constant wave after wave after wave of love pouring into me. So much I couldn’t take it. I broke down, I cried like a baby.
That’s the Divine Mother, expressing through the Infinite Love, the Infinite Compassion of the Guru.
Back to BRO. ANANDAMOY ARTICLES
BACK TO SRF MONASTIC TALKS