Recollections From Master's Military Life
February 13, 1971, morning darshan at Dehra Dun

I am in the army, and sometimes I am given orders--they tell me to do something which is not...

    Who, who?

My superiors in the army. They give me orders to do something that is not quite honest. What should I do in that case?

    For instance?

Mostly I have been bookkeeping and the books, say, for the last two years have been done incorrectly, and they tell me to go and fix them. And the way they tell me to fix them is not legal.

    Military orders are very strict. You must obey or you will be court-martialed!

Right.

    There is no civil law there. Are you in charge of those books?

Yes, I am in charge of them now; what l do, I can do legally, but what was done in the past is all wrong, and they want that corrected.

    How can you do that?

You can't, legally.

    Then, how can they force you to do that? To what is not done right, put a note there: "This has been done under orders." Military rules are very strict, are they not? You are working in an office?

Yes.

    Under an adjutant? The adjutant is generally in charge of the office.

Yes. We have lots of officers and this office just comes under one particular person.

    Well, you are an enlisted man, what can you do? That's the pity. I was once attached as an accounts officer to the military service unit. The regiment was ordered to proceed to a field of action. Orders were issued: "Tomorrow morning at such and such time--start!" That place to where we had to move was about thirty miles distance. I said to the adjutant in charge of the conveyance sector, the quartermaster, "I am a civilian attached to the military; this is only an attached position; I am given a corresponding rank for convenience's sake. Will you please arrange for my conveyance to the lines?" They were very petrified of me I tell you. Why? Because I am very honest. I ordered all they wanted. "All right you may have rations from here, but, I am getting my rations and milk from outside stores." [Master arranged for his own supplies, paying for them himself. ]
    The day before we had to move, I asked the quartermaster whether he had arranged for my conveyance. He said, "Did you ask the commanding officer?" I went to him. "As you know, we are civilians attached to the military, at your orders. So whatever rank we are given is given only for convenience's sake. Because we are not accustomed to this hardship of military life, please arrange for conveyance." But he also said, "No, no. I will go on foot." He was the Colonel in charge. "I will go on foot! All others will go on foot! Why can't you go on foot?" Well I told him, "If you want to inquire from my office in Delhi about this you can phone and ask them. I am not asking any favor from you." "No. No. No. All will go on foot." This was the commanding officer, "I order!" "Well dear friend," I replied, "If you can't arrange for my conveyance, I will have to do so myself." All were shocked, "Oh my Lord! He is replying to the Colonel like that! What will happen to him now?" The military are very strict; they were probably thinking that I would be court-martialed! But later the Colonel came around to my quarters where I was taking food. He knocked and said, "I have arranged for your conveyance." "All right, thank you," I said.
    I had that assignment for about nine months. For three months of that time we were at the firing line. There was one military line; all were ordered not to transcend, because beyond it was the enemy. During the day, I would leave the border and cross it and go there for my meditation. That was about in 1921. I was reported, "A military man is crossing the border without permission and the enemy doesn't harm him." I meditated for three months like that at the firing line: bombs falling, cannons booming, machine guns going just like wheat being roasted in sand, popping everywhere: I was unharmed. There were sometimes old men who brought their families and saw me: "Very strange man. He is an accounts officer," they would whisper.
    Once it so happened, there was a man who was reading the Scriptures in the quarters, a very harmless thing. But the man in charge over there said, "Well, look here, you cannot read the Scriptures in here." That man came up to me quietly, "Should I report him? .... No, no--there may be something said in the military law about this." So military law is very strict, you see. When anybody orders, "Fire." Fire! You are not to question the order; what can you do? It is the job of the officer to give the orders. If he says, "Fire!", you have to fire. Why are you afraid of death? If death has to come, it has to come. Why are you afraid of it.
    In the regiment, there was a dacoit; very dreadful, I tell you. He liked me and sometimes followed me as my bodyguard. He said he was afraid of me. I told him, "Everybody is afraid of you and you say you are afraid of me?" He said, "When I look at you I start trembling; my past sins come to life." I asked him, "Why? What happened?" He said, "I have tormented so many people. Killed them, like that. How many I killed, the exact number, I don't remember. Is there any hope for me?" "Yes, there is hope for everybody. There is hope for even the worst sinner. Repent. Pray. Do no more."
    So you see, in my time, military life was generally a very hard life. There was so much hard training going on. Now it is not as hard a life. You have a more easy time. There was so much training going on there. What you have to do in a month now we had to do in a week of training then. Many became sick from overwork. Very hard life. But I have love for them.
    Who is going tomorrow? You? [the military man] What time?

Right after darshan. I have to go back to Delhi. I leave Monday morning.

    [Addressing his wife] You are also going? Go jolly. Where are you stationed?

Korea.

    And she? She is also in military? [Chuckles] Korea. No war there? The trouble's over now.

No war. The trouble's over now.

    One minister from Korea came here; he was initiated. Is she going back also?

Yes, she's coming back with me. She's been in Korea with me the whole time.

    You've got your accommodations arranged.

Yes, they are very good. I live off base.

    What is your rank.

Sergeant.

    And she? [all chuckle] In India there is a custom when there is a teacher or advocate or doctor, the wife is also called doctor, etc. A custom in India. How long a trip? Four hours?

A little more like seven, but we came by way of the Philippines and Bangkok. I have three more months there and then I'll probably go back to the States.

    Always attend Satsang--that's the main thing. You please.

Question about length of time to spend on Light vs. Sound Practices.

    There are two practices: one for Sight, the other for Audition. Both are to be developed. When hearing is strong, sound will drag you but if you don't see where you are going...? Sound will drag you, but if you don't have Light, you won't know where you are going. There is no hard and fast rule; wherever you are lacking, put in more time. Both are important. Are the debts paid for people who are dying but have faith in God. If by regular practice, you become adept in that, there is no pain in leaving the body. To those who know how to withdraw there is no pain. Master comes to help.

You should have faith in Master even if you have shortcomings when you die.

    If you have faith in the Master and you have no attachments to the world then many things are clarified, paid off in life. The Master sees that many Karmas of the initiate are paid off. If there is no attachment left for worldly affairs, and he has so much love for the Master, nothing is dragging him to worldly affairs, then he has not to return. If he has so much love and faith in Master--Love beautifies. Love, and all other things are perfumed. Master pays off all debts of the past of his disciples. Such like who have not paid off, whose Karmas cannot be washed out, come back but not below man body. If there is so much overwhelming love for the Master, all attachments are cut off... You have to work for that. Why not do your work here? What you can do here in months, there you have to do in years. Better you do here.
    Faith and love. Faith like a child's faith in his mother, like a child running from a lion into the arms of his mother. The child has full faith that the mother won't let him be harmed.
    So much love that all other attachments are forgotten. Do you follow what I say?

Is it true that your spiritual progress is not dependent on your inner experience. Some people go a long time without inner experience but some have inner experiences right along.

    If one who has more experience has worked more than the others... Perhaps a child has more love for the mother. When the child is creeping sometimes he is screaming and sometimes the mother takes him in her lap.
    Man does not become learned after leaving the body. Those who have more experience may have background.



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