The man who had many a pen in his pocket was fortunate to enjoy the physical proximity of The Lord, who had many a face of Divinity. The closeness allowed him to learn great lessons from the Living God, often showcasing His unknown facets of His Divine Personality . In the process, He ensured that his chosen birographer was steady and ready to pose for the Divine! ...for the Eternal Divine Photographer!

Continuing from Issue # 14, read on for Prof. Kasturi’s yet another snippet of experiences with Divinity....

Awareness of this Truth came into me clearer and clearer as the years went by. It persists even today, when He is in the fifties and I am in the eighties. Playfulness is inherent in the relation of God to man. Baba has written, “I created the world for my pleasure.” On another occasion, He declared. "I am directing this puppet show and I am pleased with it." Pricking bubbles, exploding ego balloons, demolishing aerial castles, playing hide and seek these are favourite pastimes of His. "Love my uncertainty" is what this phenomenon advises us. And who can be more uncertain than a child? When distributing sweet laddus, inducing each devotee to catch the gift when He throws one in his direction, once in a while, He throws an empty gesture and laughs at the discomfiture He causes. The next moment, He may give us two, with a pat on the back to soften the impact of disappointment.

I remember one evening in 1959 when He sent some one to bring me to His room at the Mandir. Baba told me that the Editor of a daily newspaper published from Hyderabad had asked for my photograph, for he was announcing me in his paper, alongside a nice write-up as the Editor of the "Sanathana Sarathi.” Baba had promised to send him my photograph and He asked me to prepare myself for being shot within minutes by Baba himself, with a brand new camera He had specially selected for the purpose. My joy knew no bounds! I rose to the eighth heaven. I rushed down the eighteen steps to reach home for a quick face-lift.

I returned to the Presence, within minutes, shaved and starched, with a big broad smile on the frontispiece. Baba held me by the shoulders and positioned me at an appropriate distance. He peered through the lens and congratulated me on my 'photogenic face’. I was elated that my picture will catch the eye of at least 30,000 readers all over Andhra Pradesh. My smile swelled into a toothful gulp. He cautioned me with a 'steady', followed immediately by a 'ready'. He clicked...A black hairy blotch with a flashing tail bounced on my neck from inside the camera! With a shrill screech, I hopped into the corner of the room casting away the horrid, hirsute....was it a rat? Was it dead? No it was a cotton mouse....that was cunningly tucked inside the dummy camera, to be released when clicked. Baba had a hearty laugh at my panic. I too laughed to relieve the tension.

He reprimanded me mildly for swallowing the story He had invented to deflate my ego. He reminded me that my being the Editor was not the kind of 'news' which the world was interested in. Lasting fame is to be sought not through newspapers which turn into waste paper the very next morning, but through dedicated service to God and the godly.

I left His room, a leaner and wiser man. Baba mercifully helps us, slowly and subtly, to shed the burden of the ego. He condemns modesty as a mere pose intended to draw attention or admiration to oneself. He advises that we should be just ourselves and not wear masks behind which we hide. "What greater status can you attain than being the medium for packaging and posting My message to thousands of devotees every month?" He asked me.

Baba is too bright a sun for human eyes; we can bask and bathe in sunlight but we cannot gaze at Him. The Sun must itself diminish the splendour and become a beautiful red disc, as it does twice a day, so that man can imbibe the golden grandeur. Baba too gives us frequent glimpses of the Glory that He is.