The Guru is the representative of God. He feels for his disciples…
I remember, I think it was the first time we went out to the desert retreat, there was a group of monks…we were working at the Master’s place, cleaning up the desert, so to speak, and the property around the Master’s house, taking away stones and clearing off dead branches and so on. And as I was working I saw just near the path where the Master used to walk a little ugly-looking desert bush. And I thought to myself, ‘That bush has to go.’
And I remembered, of course, that the Master would never permit the chopping down of a tree or of a bush, and so I looked very carefully whether the Master was around (laughter). I knew he was outside, and I knew he was behind the house with another group of monks. And so I thought, after all I am doing it for him so he doesn’t have to look at that ugly desert bush when he walks by.
I took my shovel and started to chop that bush off by the roots, and as I was chopping vigorously, I heard the Master’s voice, “Is that dead or alive?” I was just paralyzed. I realized then, being omniscient, he had picked up my thoughts as he always did, and knew what was going on in my mind, and he actually came running. And he asked again, is it dead or alive? And I said, “Sir, it’s…pretty dead.” (laughter) It was, you know that poor thing, one or two more strokes of my shovel and it would have completely severed it…and the Master protectively held out his arms, and he said, “You hurt it, you hurt it! And you knew you shouldn’t have done it!”
I felt just terrible, I felt as if I had beaten a little child. But then he said, “It will live, it will live now. Just don’t hurt it anymore.” And ever after that, whenever I went out to the desert I made a pilgrimage to that desert bush. It’s still alive. It’s miraculously kept alive through the compassion of the Master.
Now, you think if he has such concern about an ugly-looking desert bush, he doesn’t feel for us, his devotees? The guru FEELS for the disciples…
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