On the walk today the talk started with Baba and the Masts, which brought a mention from Meherwan about the Wayfarers, the splendid book about Baba's Mast tours written by William Donkin. He was saying how meticulous Donkin was, that Ward Parks said that the book is perfect, there is no error or typo, no grammatical mistake. Donkin had not been on any of the actual trips but was present when Baba would make Eruch or Kaka or Baidul relate the stories of the searches for His Masts and what happened. He was so entranced by these stories that he asked Baba to ensure that they were recorded for posterity. Baba turned the request back on him and said that Donkin was the one who should do the writing. Donkin took on this mammoth task, but it wasn't easy. He would pester the Mandali for their recollections, but they had work to do and were constantly getting irritated with him. Even so, he did get the stories and set them down. He then travelled around taking the routes Baba had taken with His Mandali and ensured that the facts were correct. When I mentioned that this was probably because he was a Brit from the old school, Meherwan agreed.
He quoted the saying "The sun never sets on the British Empire" and I countered by saying that the new version is "The sun rarely rises on the British Empire!". Sally Pearson was also walking with us, and Meherwan asked us if we knew why the British had been able to build an empire in the first place. Since we did not know he told us the following story:
Upasni Maharaj said one day that the origins of the British Empire are in the advent of Lord Ram. The British are descendants of a monkey who was a soldier in Ram's army when He defeated Ravan and got His wife Sita back.
The story goes that Hanuman who was Ram's most ardent and devoted disciple came with his army of monkeys to fight on the Lord's side against Ravan. Then, as is the case with Meherwan's stories, we had another tale within the tale.. how did Ram's army cross the strait between India and Lanka (now Srilanka) and win the war? There were no boats and the seas were too rough and deep to swim across. What to do? Hanuman suggested that they build a bridge. He got all his monkeys to collect huge rocks and stack them up by the seashore. Then he called his Lord and asked Ram to drop the rocks into the water. Ram did as Hanuman asked, but each rock sank! Hanuman got really agitated and said, "Lord, you are not doing this the right way, let me show you." Ram moved aside and Hanuman picked up the first rock, wrote Ram's name on it and dropped it into the sea. Wonder of wonders, the rock floated!!! So he painstakingly wrote the Lord's name on each rock and soon there was a floating bridge spanning the straits between India and Lanka, the army crossed and a huge battle ensued, which was eventually won by the forces of good. This shows that the Name of the Lord is more powerful than the Lord Himself, and Baba used to use this story to remind His lovers to take His name constantly so that the power of His name would take them across the sea of illusion to God-realization.
Now back to the original story.. After the battle the troops had only one request, that Sita cook a meal with her own hands and feed the army, Ram giving out the food as Prasad. Ram accepted, but had a condition of His own. He said that once each had eaten he should bathe in the ocean and depart for his home. All agreed, the feast was cooked and distributed by the Lord, all ate and bathed in the ocean. All, that is, except for one monkey. He ate but did not bathe. He slunk away and left secretly without the bath. Now maybe he was a hydrophobic or maybe he knew that the Lord had an ulterior motive for ordering the bath. Anyway, his descendants became the British and because he still had the unused store of good sanskaras from helping the Lord win the war against Ravan, his descendants were able to build up an empire. However, it wasn't an unlimited store of good sanskaras, so it only lasted 200 years. The rest of the army was, of course, given liberation (mukti) because when they took the Prasad then washed in the Ocean the burden of all their sanskaras was dissolved!
Maharaj used to say that the British would use up their store and in doing so were accumulating the opposite sanskaras - oppression, greed, pride.. Soon a fall would come. When the Empire fell, the British would suffer for a very, very long time because they had got the Empire and all that it entailed from disobeying the Lord. Maharaj was a Perfect Master, the Guru of Baba Himself. I believe it happened just as Maharaj said, and that Britain is now reaping the fruits of disobedience. As Meherwan said to us this morning, the repercussions of such an action stretch across incarnations and manifest aeons later, never underestimate the power of the order given by the Avatar and never ever disobey!!! Jai Baba!!