Amir Ali Shah
The relationship of Amir Ali Shah with Shri Babaji Bhagwan in Jammu defined a phase in the life of Shri Babaji Bhagwan that was altogether frightening and illuminating at the same time.
Amir Ali Shah was a great spiritualist himself as well as an intellectual and philosopher. He had been to several saints and sages of his time but had found no satisfaction anywhere. The holy men of his time had no effect on him since he could better them in theological discussions alone. Many a spiritual Master sought to convert him but failed, so great was the learning of the man.
The moment he came before Shri Babaji Bhagwan at Jammu something happened to him. An invisible force of Divine Love gripped his heart and soul. The divine radiance of Shri Babaji Bhagwan touched him so deeply that he said all at once:
“Maharaj! You are the one I was searching for!”
And Shri Babaji Bhagwan said to him: “Then you must be the one I was waiting for!”
A spark of conversion shot through Amir Ali Shah’s soul and he was lost completely in Shri Babaji Bhagwan. A deep and intense spiritual relationship was established. The man became so devoted to Shri Babaji Bhagwan that he would instantly obey anything that Shri Babaji Bhagwan said to him. At the time he was involved in litigation regarding a sum of sixty thousand rupees. He narrated his troubles to Shri Babaji Bhagwan and asked for guidance.
Shri Babaji Bhagwan said to him in chaste Punjabi, “Chhadd pare mukadme noon! Leave the court case! You have an infinite wealth of happiness within you!”
Amir Ali Shah was so obedient that he immediately went and withdrew the court case he had filed. Shri Babaji Bhagwan had been right. A feeling of immense peace came into his heart and soul afterwards. Shri Babaji Bhagwan had often said: “In pursuit of the happiness we see in the world we often lose the treasure of happiness which is within us!” He would say in Urdu:
“Tamaan duniyaan ki raahaton se khushi dilon ki kaheen barri hai
Main uske gulshan men aaj baithha ussi ki boo se maihak rahaa hoon
Greater than all the pleasures of the world is the happiness of the heart,
I sit in His Garden today and sway with the joy of His Fragrance”
The devotion of Amir Ali Shah became so intense in Shri Babaji Bhagwan that very soon a radiant glow came upon his face, which reflected the Glory of Shri Babaji. People would come and bow before him and seek to be blessed by him. By that time he had left his home and come to live with Shri Babaji Bhagwan
Those were the days when Shri Babaji Bhagwan had imposed great austerities and fasting upon himself and his children. Each person in the household had but only one roti to eat for the entire day. Amir Ali Shah shared this meagre food with them, but the divine food that he was getting from Shri Babaji Bhagwan made his face radiant as if with glowing health. All who lived with Shri Babaji Bhagwan reflected in various measures the divine glow that emanated from him.
Amir Ali Shah later prayed to Shri Babaji Bhagwan to come and live with him at his house at Jammu. Shri Babaji Bhagwan consented and went to live with him along with his children. Amir Ali Shah served Shri Babaji Bhagwan with untiring devotion and saw to his comforts. He appeared to have only Shri Babaji Bhagwan in his heart all the time.
One day Shri Babaji Bhagwan said to him: “Amir Ali, the devotion that you possess has only been given to you. Never be proud of it as your own. You are serving me with all your heart and soul just now, but if it be my Will you can turn against me, and even ask me to leave your house!”
Amir Ali Shah was startled at these words and said: “Huzoor! Such a thing is impossible! How can I ever turn against you? How could I ever ask you to leave my house? The very idea is unthinkable. I could never, even in my wildest dreams, ever think of asking you to do such a thing!”
Shri Babaji Bhagwan said: “Amir Ali, tell me, is the devotion which you possess, your own? This faith which you possess – is it your own? How can you state with such affirmation that you will not turn against me one day?”
Amir Ali replied: “Huzoor, no matter what, but my respect and devotion for you are so great that I can never stoop to such a low level! I am positive of it!”
Shri Babaji Bhagwan said: “ If that indeed is the state of your devotion, then let me congratulate you, Amir Ali!”
His love for Shri Babaji appeared unbounded, his faith unswerving. He could think of nothing else except the comfort of Shri Babaji Bhagwan and his children.
However, one day, something happened to Amir Ali Shah with a suddenness that surprised even him. He revolted against his Master and became rude and insolent. His impertinence reached such an extent that he even asked Shri Babaji Bhagwan to leave his house!
Shri Babaji Bhagwan said to Amir Ali Shah: “Amir Ali! Do you know what you are doing! Do you realise who you are opposing?”
However Amir Ali Shah was not listening to Shri Babaji Bhagwan. He appeared to be possessed by some power that had him in his control, and he said to Shri Babaji Bhagwan:
“Please leave my house and go and live elsewhere!”
When Amir Ali Shah uttered these words it was not he who was speaking, since he was totally unaware of what he was saying.
Shri Babaji’s prediction had come true. The man who thought he was the most loyal of all of Shri Babaji’s devotees found himself turning against his Lord and Master without any rhyme or reason.
Shri Babaji Bhagwan made ready to leave the house of Amir Ali Shah along with his children. All who saw Shri Babaji Bhagwan that day, including Sarvar Khan, were conscious of an unusually bright glow on his face. As Shri Babaji Bhagwan stopped at the door of the house, he turned to Amir Ali Shah and said: “Amir Ali Shah! Have you forgotten who I am? I am your old well-wisher! Main to tumhaaraa vohi khairkhwaa hoon!”
The words of Shri Babaji Bhagwan were like a bolt of lightning from the heavens. Amir Ali Shah appeared to wake up from a dreadful dream. He was astounded at what he had been doing and fell at the feet of Shri Babaji Bhagwan, weeping, and saying: “Maharaj! I am your old servant–your khaadim!”
The veil of antagonism disappeared from the heart of Amir Ali Shah as suddenly as it had come. He begged Shri Babaji Bhagwan to continue to stay with him, and Shri Babaji Bhagwan agreed.
However, after a few days, the same veil came over the man again, and he turned violently against his Master. This time the insults and humiliation that he heaped upon Shri Babaji Bhagwan were more than any man could have endured. Shri Babaji Bhagwan continued to stay with him despite the open revolt of the man and the fears of his devotees for his safety. These fears were not without foundation.
One night, Amir Ali Shah hired an assassin – a Pathaan– and asked him to murder Shri Babaji Bhagwan in his sleep. The hired assassin proceeded stealthily towards the room in which Shri Babaji Bhagwan and his children were sleeping. But just as he reached the door of the room he was seized by a violent pain in the side of his abdomen, which made him cry out in agony, and to fall to the ground, writhing with the pain. Shri Babaji Bhagwan came out of the room and the Pathaan wept at his feet and told him how Amir Ali Shah had ordered him to assassinate his Master. Shri Babaji Bhagwan forgave the Pathaan as well as Amir Ali Shah, but it was clear to all that his life was in danger at the man’s house.
It was in such a situation that Shri Babaji Bhagwan stayed at the house of Amir Ali for a period of three months. It was only the divine forgiving personality of Shri Babaji Bhagwan that could have borne the insults and humiliations that Amir Ali Shah heaped on him. Another man in his place would not have stayed in such a horrible atmosphere for even one day.
Shri Babaji’s children began to cry at the persecution and asked him to leave the place. Shri Babaji Bhagwan said to them: “ Do not cry! These events are meant for your progress on the spiritual path! All that you see happening is part of my own play!”
Shri Babaji Bhagwan had to teach Amir Ali Shah the valuable spiritual lesson that the faith that he was boasting of did not in fact belong to him, but had been given by a higher power and that if that power willed it could take the faith back.
The day came when Shri Babaji Bhagwan decided to leave the house of Amir Ali Shah, and he said to him before going: “Amir Ali Shah! Listen! No man in the world can live in the house of his enemy. But I have stayed here with you for three months. If I had thought of you as my enemy would I have stayed here for so long?”
Amir Ali Shah was silent. And Shri Babaji Bhagwan knew that it was not his fault. It was a higher power that was proving its presence.
Finally Shri Babaji Bhagwan blessed Amir Ali Shah and left his home, never to return.
The separation from Shri Babaji Bhagwan tore apart the heart and soul of Amir Ali Shah. He became restless. He went to visit many saints and sages, but he found no satisfaction anywhere. He was possessed by a restlessness and repentance that could only be abated when he had returned to Shri Babaji Bhagwan. He loved Shri Babaji Bhagwan intensely. Some external veil had come over him, and now that it was gone, he rushed to where Shri Babaji Bhagwan was staying, and fell at his feet in tears, begging forgiveness. Shri Babaji Bhagwan embraced him and spoke lovingly to him.
Shri Babaji: “Amir Ali, I have kept with myself the fruits of all your actions. I have with myself the fruit of your service and devotion. I also have with myself the fruit of your revolt and antagonism. Shall I give these fruits to you? Would you desire them?”
Amir Ali: “No Babaji! I would be lost if I asked for these! I would have nowhere in the world to go–so great is the enormity of my sins!”
Shri Babaji: “Amir Ali Shah, tell me why had you become so fearless?”
Amir Ali: “It was you who had made me so fearless!”
Shri Babaji: “But you should have kept some fear of him who had made you fearless!”
Amir Ali: “I can only ask for forgiveness!”
Shri Babaji: “Amir Ali Shah, you served me very well. Tell me, from whom did that spirit of service originate?
Amir Ali: “From you!”
Shri Babaji: “And from whom did the spirit of antagonism originate?”
Amir Ali Shah was silent. He could not say it came from Shri Babaji Bhagwan.
Shri Babaji: “Amir Ali Shah! If you cannot accept the spirit of service as originating from you, then how can you say the antagonism came from you? Be at peace therefore and know that none of your actions originated from you. The entire drama was enacted by someone else. You must have understood by now that the faith you had was not your own but it had been given to you! I had to endure your insults and humiliation to establish this principle. You had progressed far on the spiritual path but were deluded into believing that your faith was a result of your own achievements. No matter how advanced a person may become on the spiritual path he must always remember that all glory must go to God alone, and that all his achievements on the spiritual path are a gift given by Him, and He may if He so wills take them back!”
Amir Ali Shah returned to the darbaar of Shri Babaji Bhagwan thereafter. He, along with others, always marvelled at the joy and equanimity with which Shri Babaji Bhagwan had borne the opposition to which he had been subjected.