"Of such is
the Kingdom of Heaven"
Christmas at Puttaparthi. A quiet stillness pervaded the air
as we sat at morning Darshan waiting for Baba to appear. The
palm leaves rustled gently in the breeze. The sky was clear
and blue without any trace of clouds. It had been six years
since my husband and I had visited the ashram. This was the
first visit for our children Aaron, 18 months old, and Heidi,
3 years old.
As if from nowhere Baba's orange robed figure suddenly appeared.
He walked towards the men's side as if His feet "floated"
in the air. Moving among the crowds, He accepted letters and
gave His blessings. A surge of happiness welled within me
as I experienced His profound love, grace, and compassion.
Gradually He moved towards the women's side. As He neared
our place, my heart sank as Aaron began to fuss. When I looked
up, Baba was several rows past us. I hadn't noticed even a
glance in our direction.
we left, Heidi said, "Mommy, He didn't even talk to me
or give me a present!" It then occurred to me that she
had expected Baba to be like a grandfather or Santa Claus,
lifting her up in the air playfully and giving her presents.
She had only seen His pictures at our Cambridge Center meetings
and in our home. How could I explain to her the true nature
of an Avatar? "Heidi," I said, after a few moments
of thought, "the only way Baba can hear you is if you
pray to Him in your heart."
During the afternoon and evening I began to notice her praying
with folded hands whenever she would sit down to rest. Her
concentration amazed me. Even the next morning she remembered
Morning Darshan found us in the third row with our friend
Indira beside us. Baba appeared and walked towards the men's
side accepting letters and blessing various items with a touch
of His hand. As He neared the women's side my heart began
to beat faster. He paused a second in front of us. With a
rapid movement of His hand He materialized a small object
which landed with a thud in Indira's lap as she still held
out letters that He never took. It all happened so fast that
by the time we looked up He was several rows down the crowd
of people. Indira picked up the small piece of candy in the
wrapper and looked at Baba with a puzzled expression on her
face. He looked back at us with a playful smile and said in
His sweet sing?song voice, "Not for you, for the little
girl." Heidi was thrilled. Her prayers had been answered.
At the age of 3 she had learned that God hears and answers
our prayers. We too can learn from her faith the importance
of becoming like children before God. "Of such is the
Kingdom of Heaven."
-Cathy Daub (New Jersey)