Shri Babaji Maharaj used to narrate this parable of the holy man and his disciple.
A certain man went to a holy man and asked him: How can I find God!
Wait a while, said the holy man, everything takes time. A seed must wait for years to become a tree. I will give you your answer when the time is ripe.
The man accepted the holy man as his guru and came to live with him. Many days passed in close association. The man forgot the question he had asked.
One day the guru went to swim in the river. After he had finished swimming, he came out and asked his disciple to jump into the water and swim as well.
But I don’t know how to swim, said the disciple.
You can only learn it in the water, not on the ground, said the guru.
Since the man continued to hesitate, the guru gave him a sudden push into the water. The man sank like a rock, and was on the verge of drowning, when the guru lept into the waters and rescued him. The disciple was angry.
Why did you push me in? he asked, Did you wish to harm me?
I was not your enemy to have done it to harm you, said the guru.
If you were my friend, you would not have pushed me in.
If I were your enemy, I would not have pulled you out, said the guru.
But why? What does all this mean?
This is an answer to your question. You had wanted to know how God could be found.
Is God to be found by drowning? said the irate disciple.
You must merge completely into the thought of God; you must drown your ego in the intensity of your desire,” said the guru.
Baihrest baihre ishq ke hechash kinaaraa nest
Een jaa juz een ke jaan basupaarand chaaraa nest
The Ocean of Love is one without a shore,
He who swims in it, has no alternative but to drown in it.
How is this related to God-realisation? the man asked.
When you were drowning, said the guru, what was the greatest desire in your mind? To become a great Yogi? A great intellectual? An Emperor? To acquire name and fame in the world?
No, said the man, there was only one desire within me at that time–the desire for Air!
Was there any other desire mingled in that desire?
And if you had not been given Air, what would have happened to you?
I would have died.
Said the guru: You are alive at this moment because you obtained Air! In a like manner, you will only find God when there is an intense desire for him in your heart, when all other desires have submerged completely in the desire for God in your heart, when you desire him like a drowning man desires Air!
Tum mere pass hote ho goyaa
Jab koyi doosraa nahin hotaa
Thou art with me, when–
There is no one else!
Koozaa kai pur aab shud taa az havaa khaali na shud
Tan choon shud az jaan tahi labrez jaanaa mi shavad.
A cup cannot be filled with water unless the air go out,
The beloved can enter thee only when thy ‘I’ has gone.
Shri Babaji Maharaj had often said: The world will look upon one with perfect knowledge as imperfect, and one with imperfect knowledge as perfect. This is so because the world, being imperfect, cannot understand someone who is perfect, and will think of him as mad. However it will readily accept anyone who is also imperfect like itself and will call him perfect.
Shri Babaji Maharaj used to say in a light vein:
Gyaaniyon ke ham guru hain aur agyaaniyon ke daas!
I am the teacher of those who are knowledgeable,
But bow before those who are ignorant!