Francis (addresses group):
The Mighty Beloved
I am amazed and filled with joy to discover that the Beloved I have been serving for many years is truly a mighty Beloved.
Of course, I have known all along that He was God. But there are so many Gods. There is the God which people see in a shape of illusion such as a sunset or a mountain view or a symphony or whose hand is seen in one’s not getting caught in a rainstorm or obtaining a good job: no doubt a very comfortable and profitable God to have—well worth a Christian candle or some Hindu incense—but not a God to whom one would offer one’s life. There is the God who rules the shining planes of consciousness: but sight of Him would blind one. And the God who is beyond the planes is unknowable except by His own Grace. And He is extremely careful to whom He gives that Grace.
So when Beloved Baba used to tell us that He was God, I used to think, “Yes, Baba you are God alright—the one God and all the Gods—but what good is that to me?” In fact I used to get so fed up with Him being God that I wished He wasn’t, or I wished He was a sort of Old-Testament God for whom I could slaughter some fat lambs or a spotless young bull in return for some added acreage. I got so tired of His being so much God that I wrote a song about it and sang it to Him. It goes something like, “If only you were a bit less God, a bit more Man. I wouldn’t feel so much like someone upside down in a garbage can.”
But Baba wasn’t going to become more Man just for my sake, so I had to settle for Him as the Divine Beloved—one whom I could serve sometimes, instead of thinking about myself all the time. After all, although He is God, and sometimes Man, being one’s own and the world’s Beloved is His main job. Others can become as much God or as much Man as He, but only Baba is more beloved than any other beloved, and infinitely worth serving.
But now a great problem arises. How to serve the One who is All-beloved, for whatever one does with love is done by Him. And all that is done for the Beloved is done by the Beloved. And so one arrives at the painful conclusion that the Beloved alone exists—which means that oneself doesn’t. And that’s a terrible predicament to find oneself in—for one is still there!
The only solution I found was to accept the position: “You alone are and I am not, but we are both here.” And having arrived at this acceptance Baba now taught me a poetical form capable of expressing all the shades of the impossible relationships of lover and Beloved. Such a form has not existed in English up until now, because the lover- Beloved dilemma was not part of the British-American consciousness. And of course, beloved Baba being the author of this new form was (or seemed to be) delighted with my exercises in it.
And here is a delicious piece of humour in connection with this. There was a period when Baba had me read a new poem to Him three times every morning. Do you know why three times? Baba was memorizing them. Why memorizing them? So that He could quote them next time He comes back in 700 years! That is really God-Man humour isn’t it? Then there were His extraordinary orders or commissions. His last was for thirty ghazals—ghazal is the name of the new poetical form He taught me. It happened this way. One morning after the usual morning business was finished; Baba said He wanted me to write thirty ghazals. Could I do that? I replied promptly and brightly, “No Baba.” This reply seemed to rather astonish Him. He turned to the other mandali and said, “Well, what do you think of that? I ask this fellow to write thirty ghazals and he says, ‘No, Baba’.” Then Baba turned questioningly back to me. I said, or rather groaned, “I don’t know whether I can write one ghazal—and you ask for thirty. I don’t think there are any more in my head.” Then He says sympathetically and persuasively, “Try and I will help you.” So it was back to the stone-quarry again to cut and build thirty more little poem-houses, each one a bit different; for the Beloved likes variety.
But still I did not know what a mighty Beloved our Beloved is. This knowledge has come to me only recently—since Baba laid aside His body.
Now, the Beloved would not be the Beloved if He didn’t have a 1000 whims and moods, if He didn’t play His eternal game of divine pretence; if He was not all ears to the lover’s praise and stone-deaf to his complaints; if He was not All-knowledge and All-ignorance at the same time. He would not be the Beloved if He did not decorate the walls of His wine shop with pretty pictures such as “All the religions being drawn together as beads on one string” and “seven hundred years of peace;” and then invite the lover to cross deserts of heart-dryness and oceans of tears to receive the wine of His kiss; but when the lover at last staggers in at the door, the Beloved spends the whole time showing him the pictures and expecting his interest and admiration.
What a Beloved our Beloved is! What a Beloved we have chosen to serve! What is it to the thirst-crazed lover if a lot of glass beads are strung on one string? Will it make them turn into diamonds? What if there is 700 years of peace? Will not war again follow?
He would not be the Beloved if He did not tell the lover to stand up and sit down at the same moment; to become footless, and walk; to become headless, and think; to exert himself to the utmost, and leave everything to Him.
Though it is not the time yet to know the wine of His kiss on our lips, we have received the kiss of His Word in our hearts. If it were not so, how could all you dear ones who have never seen His Man-form be here now?
Why has beloved Baba given you people this extraordinary privilege? Because He required a few to do what the many, what everyone, must eventually do; journey across the world of illusion to take darshan of Him in their hearts. What a Beloved is our Beloved; what a mighty Beloved. This word that He has spoken in your hearts, which will be spoken in every heart in the world, will lead you by the hand, and drive you with whips to the door of your Beloved, to the wineshop of your master—where it will become your own pure song of praise and will cause the Beloved wine master to open the door and bring you in and pour for you a glass of wine of self-forgetfulness and Beloved-alone-remembrance. The very word with which He knocked on the doors of your hearts and aroused you to set your feet on the path to Him, the same Word will knock on His door and make Him open it to you—Himself. I bow down to this mighty one in each of you.
But you also have your parts to play on this grand journey you have begun—you must not leave it all to your Beloved. For every step the lover takes to the Beloved, the Beloved takes 10 steps to the lover. But the lover must continually take that one step. We must practice taking Beloved Baba’s darshan, bowing down to Him in our hearts, every day, then every moment until we have continuous sight of Him.
Happenings will happen—even Grand Happenings. But they will not be that Happening which has to happen in our hearts. So do not look to these other happenings to nourish your faith; depend only upon His word and its song in your hearts.
Be prepared for a long, long journey to have the Beloved’s real darshan. But it may only take a mere 700 years to reach His door and bow down to Him for the last time and merge in Him forever.