An Ocean in a Tea Pot
An Account by Daryai Lal Kapur
Sardar Bahadur Ji and I were old friends, and in the early days, we used to live in the same room when at the Dera. He treated me very kindly and affectionately. He had been told by others how I had taken to heart the passing away of the Great Master, so he took me to his room and spent a full hour trying to console me. In the end he said, “You used to take notes of the Great Master’s talks and discourses. Why not put them into shape and bring them out in book form? This will divert your attention from sorrow and grief, and will also be a great service to satsangis and seekers alike.”
“You know, Sir, that those were only rough notes in pencil, taken sometimes on the margins of newspapers or on the fly leaf of any book that I happened to have in my hand at the time. Sometimes even on the back of some letters I would scribble some beautiful words or quotations of the Great Master. They were never noted down with the intention of getting them printed and were never kept in one place. So I do not know whether I shall be able to find them and even if I do, I am not sure that I shall be able to make anything out of those scribbles,” I replied.
“Anything from the Great Master is extremely valuable. So do search for them,” he persisted.
I succeeded in tracing a number of soiled papers containing these short notes, but most of them were difficult to decipher. It took me more than two months to copy them in ink and give them some shape. Then I put them in a corner of my bookshelf, where they remained till one day they fell into the hands of Professor Jagmohan Lal.
The object of Sardar Bahadur Maharaj Ji assigning this task to me was fulfilled. My grief was considerably assuaged. He also continued to remind me that my grieving at the passing away of the Great Master showed that I had not realized what the Great Master really was or what the word ‘Guru’ (Master) actually meant. “Was the Master just the body, over the loss of which you are crying?” he asked. “Remember, the Master never dies. He is always with you and within you. Just open the window and see him. He is waiting for you more earnestly and eagerly than you can ever desire to behold him.”
The exact dates of these talks I do not remember, but my belief is that the notes, with the exception of a few later ones, must have remained in ‘cold storage’ for about ten or twelve years. About a year after the passing of Great Master in April 1948, my friend, Professor Jagmohan Lal, while ransacking my bookshelves one day, came upon these roughly penned notes of the talks. He took them away. The papers seem to have slept most comfortably under his bed pillow (which was, by the way, the most favourite of all his sitting places in his combined office, library and drawing room) for a full five years, until one morning, which happened to be my birthday, he brought them to me wrapped in a silk handkerchief.
“I have brought the most valuable birthday present for you,” he said. “You will find in it ‘an ocean confined in a tea pot’.”
“I don’t take tea, so I don’t need a tea pot,” said I.
“Actually, I would be very happy if you didn’t take it,” he replied.
He seemed to like the talks very much and advised me – indeed pressed me – to bring them out in book form. I put them in their present form and again gave the manuscript to him to go through.
Once more the papers were sentenced to a long term of imprisonment in his solitary cell. But a fortnight before his death, in 1959, he handed them over to me saying, “I return to you this trust of yours. No, rather it is my trust now – don’t misappropriate it.” Then again he corrected himself and said, “This trust is neither yours nor mine. It is the Great Master’s trust. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Do not fail to do it.” After that, we never met again.
Call of the Great Master