The Dhobi Man: – Memories of Sai Baba
Who did Swami say he was? He said he was the Dhobi-man… He took it upon himself to clean our dirty laundry. ( Re: Our deeply in-bedded traits and desires.) On visits to the ashram, most of us would find we were having a goodly amount of our “dirty linen” washed by him. Of course, most people did not recognise their desires and certainly few saw their faults. They spent most of their time concentrating on each others’ faults. Often times, during visits to the ashram, I saw all kinds of odd behaviour and often times, I was aware of my own odd behaviour. I guess the amount of vitality that Swami pushed through us daily really did change the way we acted while there on visits. It was a bit like being put in front of a giant generator that set our hearts on fire and whereby we, for a short time, lost our usual worldly reserve and became what we truly are. Truly I tell you, no one knew our faults more than Swami. I can safely say that! For Swami was a mirror to us.
Swami did not pick out only those people in the general public for the laundromat. No, he especially chose those from the VIPs. The more important the VIP thought he was, the more he was put through the wash and grind. The odd thing, though, was those people hardly ever recognised they, too, were part of the process. Most just talked about others being “evil,” “bad,” or “crazy” or “lustful,” but little did they know the very “evil, bad crazy, or lustful” behaviour they were seeing in others, came through their own faulty visions and were, of course, a reflection of themselves. But as I have already said, they could never, ever see their own faults and desires, they only filed such lessons in the too-hard basket…
Here is a small excerpt from ‘Guru as Mirror’.
“The relationship between student and teacher is a spiritual one, a relationship focused on identity. The quest for identity is the ultimate quest. To know oneself, to find out, to discover who you are, is the truth that everyone is looking for. The student seeks out a teacher because they want to know who they are. They are looking for help to understand the confounding complexities and limitations of their own personality. You could say they are having an identity crisis. Usually, the search starts with an experience of discontent and a feeling that they may be more than they thought they were, or that life may hold more potential beyond just eating, sleeping, money, sex, marriage, home, job and acquiring more stuff. This is why the spiritual path is not for normal people; it is for people who are looking for something more than success in the realms of the three basic power-drives which fuel the three lower chakras: money, sex and fame. When these start to look less interesting, it is then that a person is at a critical point where they begin to realize they are more than their body and mind, more than a skin encapsulated ego/personality. At this time, they begin to seriously ask: Is there more to life? Is compassion, generosity and kindness really worthwhile? What is Love, and does God exist?
We all need help to be able to see ourselves as we truly are. The job of a guru is to provide this assistance. A guru is someone who sees you as you really are, sees beyond your personality foibles, sees you as a holy being. It is through the medium of love that the guru is able to perceive this truth.”