MAUNA SWAMI

MAUNA SWAMI

Another of those who had come for darshan was Mauna Swami, the person who had made arrangements for darshan in Pamaru. On Baba's last visit to Eluru in 1953, this swami of his own accord volunteered to stay at Subba Rao's and work as a pujari (priest) in the temple, which Subba Rao wanted to build in the garden consecrated to Baba. Baba agreed to it but ordered the swami to stay permanently in Eluru. Breaking Baba's order, the swami had left after some time.

"Why did you leave?" Baba asked him.

"People here did not treat me properly," he said.

Baba replied, "Is that the thing you should think about? You ought to have died rather than left the place! For God, all inconveniences are nothing. They cannot be used as an excuse. Now from the day I leave Andhra, stay in one place, in a small place for 40 days.

Don’t eat; if hungry, take only milk, and day and night repeat, 'Baba, Baba, Baba.' ”If you observe this order, I will be pleased; if not you will have wasted this life. So remember for 40 days do not eat anything. Whenever you feel hungry, drink tea or milk, nothing else. Do not leave that place for 40 days, except for nature's call in the morning. I am God, so you must stick to my orders."

Mauna Swami began weeping and Baba stopped for a few minutes. Reiterating his orders, he continued: "From March 5 for 40 days, night and day, don't sleep even for one minute. One cup of milk, one cup of tea you can take, nothing else. You may drink as much water as you like. But don't leave the place where you reside, not even for going to the bazaar or outside the town. Repeat, 'Baba, Baba, Baba.'

"Even if you go mad or die, don't break the order and don't make a show. Don't let anyone bow down to you, or fold their hands before you or follow you. Have no followers. Simply repeat my name. If you obey 100 percent, you will get a glimpse of who Baba is!"

The swami looked forlorn and dejected, and Baba advised, "Don't be nervous. Do it with love, wholeheartedly. If you do it wholeheartedly, I will help you. Then you will have a glimpse of Baba."

The sequel to the story is that on 4 March 1954 at Kakinada, the last day Baba was in Andhra, the swami came and requested Baba's permission to go see his mother at Eluru. He had been told by Baba to spend the 40 days in Kovvur. Contrary to what Baba had told him about not making a show, one of the local Andhra residents also informed Baba that the swami had invited people to take his darshan after 40 days.

Baba instructed: "Tomorrow at noon eat a sumptuous meal to your heart's content. Tonight sleep well. From tomorrow noon for 40 days, don't eat, except one cup of tea and one cup of milk, and as much water as you like — no fruits, no sweets, nothing! In the cup of milk, add sugar, and for 40 days repeat my name continuously.

"No sleep, but if you doze unconsciously, don't be afraid. Even if you fall asleep unconsciously, don't worry, but consciously try to keep awake, night and day.

Try, but if unconsciously you doze or fall asleep, don't worry. Don't think that you have failed me and don't then give up.

"This is not for others and don't make a show of it. Why did you invite people? Do you want Baba or appreciation? The least show will drop you to the lowest level. You love me, I know. Because you love me, that is why I want you to have just a glimpse of who I am. But don't attach any importance to fasting and keeping awake. Do it for me!"

Baba then embraced Mauna Swami, who began following his instructions from the next day. But again, contrary to Baba's orders, he made a lot of fuss and show, and was found wanting in many other respects also.