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Last Kiss

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2012 by javedbabar

Guru Baba had said he was going to “change into somebody else.” Sami wondered what he meant by it.

Sami had studied economics at university, and worked in financial marketing. He knew about product personalization and brand relaunches. Was it something along those lines? He had seen how banks had changed their mission from “someone who looks after your money and gives you some extra to say thank you,” to, “someone who helps to improve your lifestyle and charges you for it.” The first implied that it was your money and you were in charge, albeit with scary bank managers as guardians. The second had friendly customer services assistants who let you do whatever you wanted, ensuring you were drawn deeper into their embrace, till they had the power to strangle you – not that a parasite generally kills off its host.

Economics is essentially about demand and supply; which was it? Guru Baba didn’t have a demand side issue – hundreds of people came to every gathering; there were four thousand expected in Lucerne’s Transparent Temple today. Maybe it was a supply side issue; that Guru Baba was bored and tired, and wanted to end his mass spiritual activities. That must be it. During a break, Sami asked him whether this was the case.

Guru Baba said, “You will see.”

Having planned many gatherings, Sami was good at crisis management. There had been some hiccups with external queues, internal crowd management, demonic possession of a marshall, and an investigative journalist’s sexual harassment claims, but things were now running smoothly at this one.

Something wasn’t right though, he could sense it…

Sami looked around for fallen objects, sniffed for smoke, listened for shouting or screaming, but there was nothing alarming.

He had a sudden headache, focused between his eyes.

Guru Baba stopped those queuing for darshan – holy viewing – and called Sami over. Sami ran towards him. Something was wrong. What was it?”

“It’s your turn,” said Guru Baba, stood up and held out his arms.

Me? Now? Here? What for? thought Sami.

He shouldn’t refuse. He held out his arms too. Guru Baba grasped his wrists and pulled him forward and kissed him on the lips.

Every kiss he had ever had flew though his heart.

His first kiss with his teddy bear, Fuzzy.

His test kiss with his sister.

His first date with Lisa; their silly kissing in her porch.

Making out with Sandra, then others, in parks.

Kissing games – Truth or Dare, Spin the Bottle, Post Office, and Wink.

His hot desire for Martha.

Intoxicated feelings with Debs.

His infinite happiness with Charlotte.

The courage he felt when kissing Nina.

The maturity, happiness and health kisses brought.

A kiss holds everything and gives everything, when lips and hearts collide.

And now he was kissing an old man with black beard, brown skin and saffron robes. In his head he heard Guru Baba saying, “It is you,” before falling away.

Sami opened his eyes to find Guru Baba staring up at him, smiling in his arms.

Guru Baba wasn’t moving. He was dead.

Divide and Rule

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2012 by javedbabar

“Our method will be divide and rule!” said Guru Baba.

“Divide and rule – are you serious?” asked Sami.

“Yes, why not? It worked for the British in India. Why shouldn’t we learn from their methods?”

Divide and Rule was the opposite of everything that Guru Baba stood for. To Sami colonialism seemed a scar on human history, with a clutch of European countries ruling most of the world. It had destroyed cultural diversity, traditional power structures, local industries, and stable societies. The colonizers had stolen priceless treasures and in their place left artificial boundaries that ruined untold lives. And Guru Baba quoted this as a successful methodology?

Sure, the British had left a positive legacy too, of roads, railways, government buildings, a police force, civil service and judiciary, but that was a different matter. Sami shook his head and smiled. He returned to the problem in hand.

The thousand people present here, and thousands more coming, would need careful managing. Their queue had already become a sprawl, and bad feelings were building. People were letting in their family and friends ahead of people who had queued for hours, even overnight.

He recognized regulars near the front of the queue, people who came to every darshan – holy viewing – in Arcadia, whenever and wherever it was. He appreciated their enthusiasm – their donations paid Sami’s wages as Guru Baba’s assistant – but it seemed unfair. Other, older, weaker or busier people, simply couldn’t wait that long and went home.

Maybe Guru Baba was right in a way. How could he implement divide and rule?

Sami’s first job in the City, selling cell phones, had taught him negotiation skills. That’s what they needed now, a negotiation strategy, where rules were agreed, not imposed.

Sami called the marshalls over. “To earn their place at the darshan, I would like each person to negotiate.”

There were blank faces all round.

“We must gauge people’s spiritual needs, rather than granting access simply because of their habit of getting up early. People sleeping in are doing it for a reason. They indulge in night because they can’t handle day. Their need of darshan is greater.”

A marshall asked, “So how do we assess their spiritual need? By checking their karma?”

“Good idea, but I’m not sure we are qualified to do that. We will ask if they must see, want to see, or would like to see Baba.”

The blank faces looked blanker. They were tabulae rasa, empty slates.

“Those that must see Baba receive priority. Those who want to see him come next. Then those who would like to see him. It is a hierarchy of need with their words providing the clues. Don’t get into deep discussions, just ask them that question and direct them based upon their answer. Persons will have earned their places, and the lines inside will be prioritized accordingly.”

The marshalls’ strategy led to some unexpected responses.

A boy said, “He wants to see me, for I am the One!”

A woman said, “Oh, I thought this was the queue for pakoras.”

A man refused to speak anything other than Sanskrit.

A girl said, “None of them. He is an illusion, as are you, and us all.” She knew that in the cosmic context, that of an imperishable whole, it was impossible to divide and rule conscious beings.

Great Gathering

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2012 by javedbabar

Sami wondered what Guru Baba had meant by saying he was going to change “into somebody else.” He’d also said, “I have done so before.”

Maybe he’d changed his name when he became a holy man. It was common to break the bonds of your gross life when undertaking a more subtle one. Or was it his family name, in an attempt to elevate caste? Guru Baba had told Sami about his misguided youth, where despite coming from a wealthy family, he was always getting into trouble with the law. His family may have used their influence to wash his police records clean.

Guru Baba’s utterance had struck a chord with the public. Some people had come the night before and camped outside the Transparent Temple, and many more had come at dawn. There was a seated queue of four hundred people by 8 a.m., and doors wouldn’t open till twelve.

“Hello Sophie,” said Sami. “I didn’t know you were coming today. Why didn’t you tell me? I could have got you a pass.”

“Thanks, but I am happy waiting. It’s like a long meditation.”

He saw that Shama, Dimpy and Bobby were in the queue. Shama and Dimpy sat next to each other, chatting. Perhaps they had moved beyond their divorce. And Bobby was a strange fellow, otherworldly; well suited to the spiritual realm, and certainly not suited to this one.

Sophie asked, “How many people are you expecting today?”

“It’s always hard to say. My rule of thumb is ten times the number queuing at eight a.m., so maybe four thousand.”

“You can’t fit that many in the Temple, can you? It’s only got room for four hundred.”

“Up to six hundred,” said Sami. “We’ll keep the queue moving. We’ll ask people to perform their darshan, take refreshment, and leave. They are welcome to rejoin the queue if they want more time.”

Darshan was the act of seeing a holy person – in this case Guru Baba, rather than Siva or Krishna – and absorbing their power through your eyes. Participation in this sacred act brought good fortune, wellbeing and grace.

By midday the queue had grown to two thousand. People must have taken the day, or at least part of the day, off from work. He saw the Lucerne Valley Hotel’s part-android receptionist, TJ, the Seniors’ Centre manager, Mr Amin, veteran Dr Bungawalla, Bobby’s niece Naomi – had she skipped school? – and the founder of the Botanical Gardens, known only as The Gardener. They all waited patiently.

The first four hundred people were allowed in. While they waited for the ritual to commence, a large screen showed a film of Guru Baba’s life.

The small, black-bearded, saffron-robed sage, though retired, was still thought of as one of the world’s leading holy men. His origins had not been humble. He was the son of an Indian dynasty whose businesses made airplanes, cars, computers, smartphones, spirits and soft drinks, and lived in a one billion dollar home in Mumbai.

The young Guru Baba saw how obsessed his family had become with money; it affected their physical and mental health, relationships and manners. They had the burden of wealth. He left the family home and lived in the slums, yet found that the lot of poor people was no happier than that of rich people. Poor people had the reverse burden of poverty.

He realized that the essence of life was not what you had, but what you did; how you used your time on earth. He felt that gatherings of like-hearted people were energizing and humanizing. In this way, he had brought over thirty six million people together, which was good enough for a lifetime’s work.

He could leave now.