The Apprentice Angel and Jean – Myths & Legends

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aawhiteed

A long time ago story about a young girl near to death. The story is  poignant in as much as it tells of an apprentice angel whose duty it is to accompany Jean to Heaven. Jean doesn’t mind going with the angel as she has strong faith in God. Still, she first wants to see her mother one more time. I wrote this story twenty years ago. Only found it in my files tonight. I am posting due to bad weather that  will keep me awake tonight. Better to sit here and share my memories. Will sleep tomorrow. 🙂

aawhiteed

Jean lay desperately ill in a hospital bed. She had suffered a severe
head wound which had left her totally blind and very ill. She had
heard the doctors discussing her fate with her parents, that the
prognosis was not good.

Afterwards, her mother had sat beside her on the bed and squeezed both
of her hands. Jean could feel her trembling as she tried to restrain
her tears, but in the end her mother had completely broken down.

“Mum don’t cry, I am not afraid to die,” she whispered.

Her mother stroked Jean’s face and kissed her cheek. She couldn’t find
any words to comfort her daughter. She continued instead to caress her
lovely child. Jean could smell her perfume, a soft flowery smell of
Orchid essence. The smell comforted her greatly.
Jean was very tired and the medicine made her feel ill and listless.
After her parents had left, she fell asleep.

Everyday, her parents and other relatives visited her, sometimes
staying long hours. The saddest thing for Jean was that she couldn’t
see their faces. Her mother had a lovely face, and she longed to see
it once more before she died. She tried to visualise her features but
this got harder to do as the days went by.

It was late at night and Jean was listening to the nurses talking in
the corridor. But suddenly Jean felt very weary and noticed that the
nurses voices began drifting further and further away. Jean knew her
time had come and she fell into a final slumber.

Suddenly she became aware of a bright golden light filling the room.
She wondered how it was she could see again, when a small angelic
child stood before her.

“Hello Jean. Come, it’s time to go.”

Jean felt warm and peaceful and well. The terrible pains had
disappeared, and she felt lighter than air.

“Go where?” she said sleepily.

“To heaven,” said the little angel, holding out his hand.

Something jerked hard inside of Jean, “No” she said, with a start.

“What?” the angel said in surprise at this unexpected turn of events.
“Did you say no!”

This was the angel’s first important job and the last thing he wanted
was for something to go wrong, and here it was going wrong!

“No! ~ no you don’t understand. Your time is now and you must come with
me. Wonderful things are waiting for you.” He watched to see if his
coaxing had worked.

“No,” said Jean, “I want to see my mother just one more time. I want
to see her face. I can’t remember what she looks like.”

“But you can’t, Jean. You have to come now. I can’t go back without
you. I’m not allowed.”

“I’m not going with you until I’ve seen my mother’s face, and I mean
it!” Jean shouted, as she tried to pull herself back into her heavy
body, but for some reason, she couldn’t.

“I want to go back now!” Jean demanded. “Put me back!”

“I can’t, Jean, it is not up to me. I’m only here to guide you home to
heaven. I don’t know anything about this kind of stuff. They told me
it was a simple job because you were ready.”

Jean felt sorry for the poor angel, because angels do not lie, and
being a Messenger for God was no easy task, especially for a young and
inexperienced angel.

Nevertheless Jean didn’t want to go, before seeing her mother’s face
just one last time. She tried to explain to the angel how beautiful
her mother was and how much she loved her. She knew she had to die,
but, oh, just to see her one last time, just once more, then she would
be happy to go to heaven.

The compassionate angel listened with understanding to Jean’s plea,
but explained  he could not do anything to change the rules. Because
the rules were God’s rules, not his.

..
Jean stood next to her body on the bed. Everything around her was
shadowy and whispery except for the beautiful angel, and from the
deepest part of her being she cried, “Please!”

Never had the angel felt such a word, it came from Jean’s soul,
powerful and urgent. It was born from a love so strong that a thousand
angels voices grew weak by its urgency.


Suddenly, from the light came a tall and wondrous figure of a man, one
who knew all things, one who knew what is was to be a child. He spoke
and his voice was like liquid sunshine and he said,

“Your plea will not go unanswered, Jean, for when one looks upon the
love between a child and mother, one is truly in the presence of God.”

He placed his hands upon the child’s eyes and said,

“Sleep my child and lay your burdens upon me this night, for too much
is this for one so young to carry.”

The next morning Jean awoke to  look into the eyes of her mother
and she was even more beautiful than she had remembered. Everyone in
the hospital called it a miracle. She had never felt so happy in all
her life and that night when Jean went to sleep, the little angel came
and took her home…

-Retold by “moi”

Swami’s Body – Sathya Sai Memories

 


Sathya Sai Baba and an early devotee discussing the physical body.


Devotee:  Swami, you say that everything is God, but isn’t the body also God?  If everything is God, then the body must also be God?

Sai Baba:  You are asking about the body.  You are thinking about the body, not of God.  If you only think of God, then, for you, there will be only God.  But now you are thinking of the body.  The body is an instrument; it is made of matter; and matter is always changing.  The world also is always changing, but God is never changing.  God is the one unchanging spirit.

Devotee:  Is Swami’s body also just an instrument?Sai Baba:  Swami’s body is like all bodies.  All bodies are just instruments.  All bodies are only temporary.  They have birth.  They have death.  The indweller of the body is permanent.  That is the atma, the one Self.  That is you.  That is the real you.  You are the immortal Self, not the body.

Devotee: Swami, how do we rise up to that highest level?  How do we become perfect?

Sai Baba:  Through love, only through love.  Develop divine love or Prema.  Divine love is completely selfless.  Human love is mostly selfish.  All the time it thinks only of this little ‘I’.  This little ‘I’ is the ego.  Ego is a bad quality.  It sees everything as separate.  It sees everything as dual.  Remove this ego and you will see only unity.  Where there is duality, divinity will not be present.  Think only of the basis of everything.  Think only of God.  Now for you at present there is only desire, desire, desire: I want this!  I want that!  Desires are just passing clouds.  They come and they go.  One moment they give pleasure and the next moment they give pain.  They cannot give permanent joy.  Desires make up the mind.  The mind is nothing but a bundle of desires.  Every thought in the mind comes from desire.  Don’t follow the mind.  Don’t follow those passing clouds.  Desire comes, desire goes, but morality comes and grows.  Morality is very important.  Follow morality; practise it.

Devotee:  Swami, should we think of God as being both father and mother?

Sai Baba:  Your physical mother is only with you for some years.  She is your temporary mother.  Your physical father is also only temporary.  The real relationship is different.  Truth is the real father.  Truth is permanent.  Truth has no birth; it has no death.  Prema, divine love, is the real mother.  Devotion is the real brother.  Wisdom is the real son.  Peace is the real daughter.  For all of these relationships there is no change, there is no birth, there is no death.  They make up your permanent relationship, your relationship with God.

Devotee:  Swami, if Divinity is my permanent relationship and all these others are only temporary relationships, then do I still have to take care of my family at home?

Sai Baba (very firmly):  You must!  That is your duty.  Do your duty.  Take care of your family.

Devotee:  Even if it takes me away from God?

Sai Baba:  No!  No!  No!  No!  Do not abandon your family.  You must take care of your husband and your children.  Do your duty.  Duty is God.  Work is worship.  Do not forsake your duty.

Devotee:  But Swami, not even when God calls?

Sai Baba (laughingly):  God is in you.  He is with you.  He is above you.  He is below you.  He is around you.  He is not calling or sending for you.  He is always with you.  He is you.  You, yourself, are God.  Always think like that.  “I am God.  I am God.  I am atma.  I am everything.”  Think like that and do your duty at home.  God is not sending for you or asking you to come from somewhere.  You are God.  He is always with you.

Devotee:  Swami, is everything predetermined?  Is the time we take to merge already mapped out?  When we finally merge and get realisation, is that moment already written on our foreheads?

Sai Baba:  For atma there is no time and there is no space.  It is beyond time and beyond form.  In this Self all are one.  Remember that unity.  Live in that unity.  Make that your goal.  All are one.  Be alike to everyone.

Devotee:  Then Swami, what is the relationship between the Self and the individual?

Sai Baba:  Where is Self?  It is everywhere.  How do you know?  You do not know.  You have no experience of it, so do some sadhana, some spiritual practice.  Experience it.  Practise it.  Live it.  Realise it.

Devotee:  But Swami, what I wanted to ask is “Do I have an individual higher Self?  Is there an individual higher Self that is specifically related to me?”

Sai Baba:  The individual exists only in your imagination, in your mind.  It is just an illusion.  It is not real.  When the one Self is everywhere, when it is one without a second, then where is the individual?  Only in your imagination.  The Self alone is real.  Realise it.

Devotee:  Swami, is there really no higher being related uniquely to this body, judging me or guiding me?

Sai Baba:  You are still in one hundred percent body consciousness.  Do not stay with this body-consciousness.  Remove it.  Take it away.  What will remain will be God-consciousness.  Then there will be no anger, no hatred, no envy, no jealousy, no desire, no ego, only pure joy, only complete bliss, only bliss, bliss, bliss.

Devotee:  But then what is reborn?   When we reincarnate, what is born?

Sai Baba:  The body is born.  Birth and death only have to do with the body.  Ego relates only to the body.  Reincarnation relates only to the body.  Do not think of the body, think of the atma.  It is one.  It is unchanging.  For that one Self there is no incarnation; there is no reincarnation.

Devotee:  Swami, do I, as an individual, exist at all?

Sai Baba:  I!  I!  I!  Always this I.  First you must ask “Who is this I?  Who am I?”

Devotee (persisting):  But Swami is there no individual anything?

Sai Baba:  When you realise the Self, then there is no separate individual.  You can think of individuals as different light bulbs.  There will be differences in wattage.  There will be differences in age, in colour, in form, in name.  One is a tube light and another is a bulb light.  There will be differences in shape, but everywhere the current that powers them is the same.  That current is you.  You are not a bulb which appears different from any other bulb.  You are the current, the one current that is found in all the bulbs.  That is who you are.

Devotee:  Swami, is there any difference between me and God?

Sai Baba:  You are God.  You are not the ego.  You are God!  You are God!

Devotee (incredulously):  I am God???

source: Ramala Centre, UK.

Finally:

We tend to treat the guru with reverence and respect and yet turn away from each other. The truth is the light that shines brightly in the guru, shines in each one of us too. Let us not dim each other’s light but instead help each other to shine even more brightly.

I remember a story from years ago when Swami was out driving. The driver saw a snake in the road and instead of avoiding it, he run over the snake, killing it. Swami said nothing. When the driver stopped the car, Swami  stepped out and on the back of his orange gown were tire marks, deeply imprinted. The driver said, “Oh Swami what  are those marks on your back?” Sai Baba said, “These are the tire marks that killed the snake.”