Symbols of the world's religions



Eruch Jessawala

In 1956 when Baba was in Myrtle Beach, there was a large gathering held one day at the Barn. I don't remember exactly what was being discussed, but it was probably something to do with the nature of illusion, for I know that to illustrate the illusory nature of heaven and hell, Baba told the following anecdote.

He said that one day, while a young boy, He saw several men coming down the footpath, obviously intoxicated. One of the men was commenting rather loudly and enthusiastically that he was in heaven at the moment. He felt so good that he was in heaven.

As they were walking, they came on a small puddle that blocked their way. But since they were intoxicated, the puddle took on the dimensions of a huge obstacle. They stopped and surveyed the seemingly endless expanse of water. After much deliberation, the man who had declared that he was in heaven decided to leap over the water. Thinking he had to jump a considerable distance, the man made a mighty leap. He sailed over the puddle with ease, but in the process of landing, managed to break his ankle.

So there he lay, clutching his foot and moaning in pain. "Oh, I'm in hell," he cried. "I'm in hell."

Of course, the man was never in heaven or hell. It was only his inebriated state which made him think so. But I remember Baba using that incident from His youth to explain the point years later while in America.


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