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  Home > Excerpts from Other Books > The Flute Calls Still

T h e   F l u t e   C a l l s   S t i l l

It has been said that an authentic God-seeker's life dates from the moment he is initiated in Yoga, that is, when his soul is born spiritually. As I believe this, I will refrain from writing Indira Devi's biography by way of preface even though she is the central figure in The Flute Calls Still. I have done my humble best to tell here how His Flute called her and, how again, after answering its call, she became a flute in His hands, as His Holiness Sri Mahanamavrata has put it so aptly. Still, many who have appealed to me to write about her life in the past are likely to be disappointed. I can only console them by stressing that I have portrayed through others' letters and mine, her spiritual evolution and stature in the second part of the volume entitled, Our Mandir. In its pages, however, I have tried to keep myself in the background, because I want all that I have penned or edited to be taken, by and large, as a history of and tribute to her rapid blossoming in the light of the spirit-a blossoming as incredible as it is indubitable-by which I wish to underline her astonishing Aspiration (referred to by Ruth St. Dennis, the famous dancer) which outpetalled with such breath-taking swiftness since her spiritual birth in 1949.

Here, however, I must pause to submit that although superficially, it may, indeed, look as if I, as her elected Guru, was the worker of this miracle, I myself, honest to God, have never claimed any credit for whatever she has achieved under my aegis. In point of fact, after her coming to me I have wondered, often enough, whether our roles had not been reversed by Dame Destiny: that is to say, whether she had not come to me more to teach than to learn. Of course she always resented such misgivings on my part, claiming with verve and vivacity that her nonpareil Guru had been duly appointed by his Nominator on high to take her in toe and not the other way about. Her contention may be valid from her point of view. I can but state mine as equally valid from my own: that is, I can only concede that something came down through me-call it light or strength or inspiration-which she needed in order to realise her Yogic potentialities. Those who know have told me that this is what is called Gurushakti-or, more explicitly-a mystic Force which is impersonal and divine and yet acts through the Guru's human medium to meet the disciple's psychic needs. Here I may add that I concede this because I have seen, any number of times, an anonymous but a throbbingly real Force using me as a counsellor to wean her once and for all from her cherished world of make-believe, or-shall I say-as a Kindly Light to lead her on as my fellow-pilgrim to the Goal. But there I must cry halt because do what I would, I could never quite grasp how the Force functioned through me of how the Light guided her home in uncharted waters. All that I was sure of was that it was, everytime, a beneficent power of the Lord's Grace which persistently made use of us both for a divine purpose, ordaining irrevocably that we work together in harmony as His human instruments. That is why, I take it, Indira had to come to me. But beyond that I have no bedrock certitude to go by, and so must insist on disclaiming any personal credit for having helped her on to her flowering fulfilment. I have taken this stand for another powerful reason: her lightning-swift spiritual evolution has recalled to my mind over and over again, Kathopanishad's revelatory dictum:

Yamevaisha vrinute tena labhyas-
   tasyaisha atma vivrinute tanum shyam ;

   That is:

Only to the blessed elect, who are nominated
By the Grace of the Supreme, shall be revealed
The secret of the Self's Reality.
But it is not because of any personal sentiment or reverent faith that I have come to accept this finality about the Lord's nomination of His office-bearers. The conviction has gained ground slowly but steadily in me from day to day after having borne witness, for fifteen eye-opening years, how His Grace transformed her beyond recognition. Her father, Captain Kriparam Jauhar, a military contractor, was a multi-millionaire. He had given her, his favourite child, the very best education (money was no object with him, he had given lakhs away in charity, he was one of the most unsnobbish and large-hearted aristocrats I have met in my life) with the result that she had, even in her teen-age, become cultured to her finger-tips. She moved in the most exclusive fashionable and refined set; undertook a deal of humanitarian work; was happy in her family life where everybody adored her for her generosity, affability and innate nobility: and last, though not least, her sincerity, grace, purity of character and loving nature had endeared her to all. In a word, she had everything a social climber could desire. For all that, the star of her destiny did not allow her to stay put in the soil she had sprouted and blossomed in, a complacent nursling of favour and fortune. Otherwise could she have even dreamed of yearning to submit to a Guru, she who had loved all along to thrive on the freedom of self-will in the delightful citadel of plentitude and culture? To quote from a letter she wrote to me fifteen years ago (2-8-49):

"My dearest father,

Lots of people speak beautifully, eloquently and intelligently, but, after a time, one loses all interest in their talk. Theirs is an acquired talent, an accomplishment like the glamour of a dame de salon who looks so fascinating from afar, but it doesn't do to come too near...How different one feels when one hears a true Guru speak! ...He makes even small things seem so important. When one hears him talk, one does feel the difference between the right and wrong use of speech...I know you will say I am the limit, but you will have to use a great deal of your Guruship's Force to make me go beyond the limit... Yes, I am proud to be so fortunate. But who dare blame me for my pride? Can you blame a little drop when it speaks proudly of the deep it belongs to, knowing full well that a drop of water in the ocean doesn't make the ocean greater, but still the little droplet has only to lose itself in the ocean to become the ocean itself. Ghalib has said so beautifully in one of his ghazals:

"Ishrate qatra hai darva men fana ho jana :
Ranj ka had sey guzarana hai dawa ho jana : "
"The greatest aspiration and joy of the little drop of rain is to lose itself in the river for it knows that only by losing it can gain."
When the heart aches in love deeply and truly, then the very intensity of the pain becomes its own healer......
Your loving child, Indira"

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