PUNCTUALLY IS SELF DISCIPLINE
Punctuality can be termed as self discipline. It has great importance in one’s life. It depends on individual, if willing can be punctual in all his activities at home and all outside appointments. It has its own benefits. It can regulate your routine works forming a good habit if followed at right hour of time. It may keep you in best of health and spirit. If one meets his appointments precisely in time, one himself feel satisfied and others. It is time only that matters. You cannot repay back anything when you are helped by someone because it is the time that counts and that time cannot be rolled back.
Avatar Meher Baba Himself was very punctual. Some times, He came to mandali hall before appointed time. He always laid emphasis on punctuality to His mandali and others to be punctual and severely reprimanded late comers. Whenever Meher Baba sent His close mandali on some work, He would instruct them to be back at particular time. Whenever any mandali member was late Meher Baba used to get annoyed and would advise him to be meticulously follow the timings without any deviation. The discipline was for spiritual reasons known only to Meher Baba.
An episode narrated by Dhakephalkar (disciple) on punctuality
Meher Baba was very punctual and expected others to be punctual. I was staying in ‘Nagar town” six miles away from the school and had to attend school on cycle at 7 A.M. sharp every day. One day I was a mile away from school, my cycle chain broke and I could not use cycle. It was already 10 minutes to seven. I was afraid I would be late. But in order to be punctual I left the cycle on the road by a tree and started running. When I reached school, I saw Baba standing at the entrance with a disciple on each side and smiling. He asked one of them about the time. It was three minutes less seven. Then Baba wrote on slate, “You are in time. Had you been late I would have asked you to go home.” I smiled and said, “I know that, If I were late, I myself would not have entered the school but gladly gone home without your order.” Baba smiled and said, “What about the cycle?” I said that it was lying at the side of the road under a tree. Then Baba asked one of His disciples to fetch the cycle, get it repaired and make it ready by 1.00 p.m. He offered me a nice cup of tea and allowed me to rest for the first period and to start work from the second. (M.R. Dhakephalkar was teacher in Baba’s school at Meherabad)
During one period, Pratap Ahir was continually late in performances with the Poona bhajan group, though the others had wanted him to come on time. But when he was late yet again, Baba expressed his disapproval, remarking, “You should be cut to pieces with a blunt knife! Why a blunt knife? If the knife were sharp it would cut easily and you would not suffer much. But if the knife were blunt, it would cause great pain. ((Lord Meher-new volume-p-5566)
Story of the milkman also reveal the importance of punctuality.
A Perfect Master had a wonderful disciple whose time for the realization of God seemed to be not far off.
He had, however, one very great difficulty. He would obey his Master implicitly, but sometimes not exactly enough, Just a little sloppy.
One day the Master gave him an order to knock on the door of the Master's room promptly at six o'clock the next morning.
He was, however, late.
But at six o'clock exactly the milkman knocked on the door, and as the door opened it was he who received the overwhelming flood of realization.
Appointment with the God-man has special significance
One day a woman approached Baba for darshan with her child. She requested Baba to bless her baby. Baba commented, "As you wish. But do you remember how last year on your request, I permitted you to visit Guruprasad to have my darshan a second time? You did not come."
From the hundreds who had visited Guruprasad the past year it seemed incredible to the woman that Baba would remember such a small detail. The woman felt ashamed and apologized, explaining, "Baba, treat me as your daughter ... I had to attend my brother's marriage, so I could not come. Please pardon me."
Baba as usual pardoned her, but also remarked, "I forgive you but remember, you yourself asked for an opportunity of which you did not avail. Any appointment with the God-Man has special significance which cannot be repeated. It is difficult to make up that loss. However, now be happy and forget about it." (Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 17, pp. 5854 – 5855)