BALAK BHAGWAN

BALAK BHAGWAN

(Saint)

Considered a child-god, a young Hindu of seventeen named Balak Bhagwan had many devotees in Raipur. Bhagwan had been urged by Abdul Majid Khan to take Meher Baba's darshan. Eventually, Abdul Majid Khan sent Bhagwan from Raipur to see Baba. The youth arrived at Meherazad just before the darshan on the morning of 12 June. Taking him and the mandali in Sarosh's car with him, Baba was driven to Meherabad. On the way, Balak Bhagwan kept pointing mystically to the sun so that, as he explained, "it may set, and we will not feel the heat." Baba enjoyed his antics — though there was no lessening in the warm weather!

Balak Bhagwan drove back with them, but would not allow Baba, Eruch and Bhau to attend to their work. The mischievous fellow would move about on either side of Baba's legs, as Baba sat in his chair, and spent his time playing. Baba and the mandali derived a lot of fun from his tricks. He boldly told Baba, "The day I am not garlanded, I do not feel good!"

Baba smiled at his guilelessness, but replied, "It is not good to receive worship or arti from others. It will throw you down into a stinking pit!"

The boy replied, "But I feel pleasure in being worshiped! I want people to revere me and perform my arti!" Baba laughed.

Balak Bhagwan spent the night in Meherazad, and the following morning, when Baba came to mandali hall, the youth said, "Last night while on watch, Bhau slept! I saw him sleeping from my room." Baba was amused and named him Balak Meher (Child of Meher). Baba embraced the youth, and then instructed him to return to Raipur.

Baba had written to Abdul Majid Khan in Raipur to bring the young man Balak Bhagwan to Meherabad for the sahavas program. Balak Bhagwan had met Baba six months previously at Meherazad, and had his own following in Raipur. On the 14th, Baba called Bhagwan to Meherazad, where he gave him certain instructions. Pukar was appointed to look after him.

Baba noticed D. S. Chowbey of Calcutta bowing down to Balak Bhagwan at the other end of the pandal.

He stopped the darshan and called Pukar, who was supposed to be looking after Balak Bhagwan. Baba warned the young man not to allow anyone to lay his head at his feet. Chowbey repented, and Baba asked him if he had ever met him before. He said he had met him in America.

He chided Balak Bhagwan for dozing during the workers' meeting and urged him to stay awake. Balak Bhagwan replied, "Baba's mercy is there."

To which Baba responded, "It is my mercy that keeps you alive!"

Baba enjoyed the singing for some time and beat time to the music by tapping the head of Balak Bhagwan, who was seated on Baba's left. After one song, Baba appeared deep in thought, and then began this discourse:

The affairs of the universe will continue without my paying any special attention to them, and without there being any burden on the Creator. The subject of discourses and explanations is a headache to me. One's breathing is natural and one has not to pay any attention to it, but after some exertion, the mind becomes conscious of it. In the same way, the affairs of the universe go on without my paying any special attention to them.

Referring to Balak Bhagwan and Swami Mungalananda:

In central India [Madhya Pradesh], people took the boy Balak Meher to be the Avatar, and I instructed him that he should not allow anyone to kiss his feet and worship him because without authority it is binding. When I ordered Mungalananda to observe 40 days' silence and fast, Balak Meher followed him as he was leaving the camp and said: "Heed Baba's orders and follow them! Whatever Baba has to give you, he will give, and whatever I have to give you, I will give." Saying this to him, he returned at once and took his seat on the dais. Somehow I came to know of it and he confessed his mistake. I cautioned him not to do this in the future and treated him lovingly. Mungalananda was in the habit of discoursing on Vedanta to the sahavas group, so I sent him away.

Eruch related the experience of Balak Bhagwan, the seventeen-year-old boy from Madhya Pradesh, who was filled with Baba's light and presence, and saw Baba everywhere and in everything. He imagined himself to be on the fifth plane and was giving darshan and prasad to people. Baba had Eruch write a very firm reply, putting an end to such false interpretations to the experiences.

Baba likened the experiences to a tamasha (roadside magic show) which dazzles for a while and distracts the pilgrim's progress, proving more of a hindrance than a help.

Baba explained:

These "experiences" are like the trickles of water oozing from tiny chinks in a great big dam, and which I have to watch out for and constantly keep blocking up, lest they cause destruction. There are many who have various experiences, such as seeing colors, circles and lights, levitating and so forth. They attract a group around them by giving them similar experiences through a common process, which is never indulged in or dreamt of by the pilgrim who experiences the various planes of consciousness on the Path. Thus not having progressed on the Path [planes], they can bring their followers up to only their own level of experiences, and no further. Then there often follows dissension, and the group splits, forming yet another branch with its own following under a different head.

The real danger of these experiences is that it misleads the seeker into thinking that he has reached the Goal and has mastered the Path. This even applies to the experiences of the Path, which remain insignificant when compared to the one and only real experience of God-realization.

Hafiz depicts this beautifully in his verses. Hafiz says that in the beginning he was like a man who goes down to the seashore and paddles in shallow water, and in his enjoyment, thinks he has gained the Pearl. Then after a long time, Hafiz realized that he had yet to learn to swim; and when he learned how to swim, there were the many waves he had to encounter and overcome. Then he realized he had yet to learn to dive. The next step he had to master was holding his breath under water before, at long last, he could reach the bottom of the ocean for the Pearl — the Goal.

For one who is an aspirant on the Path, it is not seeing, but becoming that is the objective.

Bhagwan has come to pay his respects to me; he loves me very much.