I never met Babaji in his body. Maybe that’s one requirement to define myself as ‘next generation’. Yet I never knew a world without Him.
Since my earliest memories Babaji has been there; in the pictures on the walls of my house and in the houses of most of my friends, in the temples I often visited in Europe and in India. Babaji was in the stories of my parents and their companions… He was everywhere. And soon I started relating directly to Him. When I was praying, when I was wishing, when I was scared or in pain I would call his name: “Babaji”!
I don’t recall any moment in my life that I didn’t believe in Him. Yes, sometimes I would scream at him: “Why are you doing this to me!?” Although I had a strong and unshakable faith, I started noticing it was not always so for some friends who were children of devotees. Later on I learned that their disappointment with their parents weakened their faith towards Him. Maybe that was just one step on their path towards Him, as most of them changed their views and came back with a stronger and more mature faith in Him. I never blamed Babaji for my parent’s failures and I always kept a strong contact with Him in my thoughts and in my heart. But on the other hand I became arrogant towards other Gurus. “Babaji is Shiva Himself!” “My Guru is not as others, it’s the Guru of Gurus”. I feel this is a mistaken way of thinking for Babaji devotees even now. I have a personal story about this superficial and narrow minded attitude.
Tari, the daughter of Farua and Faruli, just reminded me that seven years ago she asked me to go and see Amma who was visiting Milan. I said: “I don’t want to hug that fat lady, but I’ll come because my friend Ramji will be there”. A few weeks ago, when Tari reminded me of this remark, Amma was giving darshan in Milan and the previous night I had been standing in the middle of the crowd crying like a baby looking at the beauty of Amma and her infinite Love, feeling in me so much Love and inspiration, so much gratitude towards Her. I had to laugh at myself, but to be honest I feel very ashamed that those words came out of my mouth
years before. I realised how much things have changed since then. Even though this story didn’t teach me a great lesson back then, it did today… unconditional Love can’t be stopped by any barrier. And this is the same lesson Babaji taught me again and again. So many times I had the feeling he had forsaken me, he had punished me and I was disappointed, angry and confused, only to find out in the end that He was there with immense love patiently waiting for me. He was there and He’s always been there guarding each step of mine, holding me up throughout my life. And when I would realise this my heart would melt in his hands and I would feel a great thankfulness.
Babaji and His teachings have given me the openness to look at other Gurus and other ways of thinking with respect and humility. His teaching is non-sectarian and open to all religions and beliefs. He said for us to go and learn from other teachers, and so I did. I have followed my beloved Ammaji and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but I cannot forget who my Guru is: the One who enabled me to be born in this unusual family, the One who whispers to my heart.
He always pointed at us, at me, at you… Gora Devi told me a story that one time when she was doing the Aarti to Babaji waving the Deepak in front of Him, He took the Deepak (araati lamp) from her hands and started waving it at her, looking at her very intensely. Behind this uncanny behaviour is a great message: whatever you are seeking outside yourself, is already within you. Therefore when I talk about Babaji, I’m not talking about the physical form some of us have met and some have not. I’m talking about the absolute, the very source of each and every one of us, and the very end of all there is. I have no idea who I am, and I have no idea who Babaji is. If I said something different, I’d lie.
But one thing I know as long as I breathe,
I’m grateful to Him for letting me lie at His lotus Feet.