The Five Pathans
In With the Three Masters, Vol. 1, the author reproduces a letter in which a young satsangi tells how the Great Master appeared to him and protected him during a frightening experience. The satsangi wrote:
“My Satguru, I am a foolish person. I am eighteen years old and was initiated about four or five years back. My simran is going on well with your grace and your Sarup (form) is always with me. I wish to relate an incident that took place one day at about four in the afternoon.
I was coming home on my bicycle from a town, through an open space on an unmetalled road. At one place near a turning I saw five Pathans standing by the side of the road and they asked me to stop. I did not comply with their wishes and they shouted at me fiercely a second time. I passed by them when they again asked me to stop. My cycle fell on its side bringing me down with it, but I at once got up and enquired what they wanted. They said: “We want your life.”
Suddenly I felt as if their features had undergone a change. I did not remember even my simran but I at once remembered you and you gave me darshan within and then disappeared.
Presently a form appeared in your likeness and the five Pathans drew back. That form asked me to bow down at his feet as he was my Guru. I was bewildered, for when I fixed my eyes on the form I could see that the forehead and the eyes were not my Master’s. I then told him that he was the deceiver of the whole world and not my Guru, and I would not bow before him. He looked at me menacingly and then with great effort I started my simran, at which that form disappeared.
Then I saw you, my gracious Master, about ten paces away coming towards me, holding your stick in hand. I then fully recognized you, continued my simran and gave you the Radha Soami salutation. You then praised my courage and said, “Well done, child. This is how you should have behaved.” Then you told me to go away, at which I submitted that after you have departed I would leave. At this, you moved away a little and disappeared.
The five Pathans who had shrunk away again came out and asked my permission to go away. I said I had nothing to do with them and it was for them to decide to go away or remain there. I then rode my bicycle and went my way. The Pathans followed me. I asked them as to what exactly they wanted. They replied that they wanted my orders to go. I said, “Go,” and almost instantly they evaporated into thin air.
My dear Satguru, this is not something that happened to me in a dream or in meditation, but in broad daylight. My Master, the form that came in your guise must have been Kal, but who were the five Pathans?”
After listening to the letter, Huzur said, “Thank the Lord. He escaped.”
This fragile body will go one day,
it’s a dream you can’t rely on.
It’s the shadow of a cloud
that shifts, changes, disappears.
A mirage lives for a moment –
so does every thought and dream.
So much work and worry, says Eknath,
for all that dies one day.
Eknath, in Many Voices, One Song