Monday, June 24, 2013

Baba and guns

During certain periods such as the mast tours, Baba would often cross dangerous jungle terrain. During such times he would have his mandali keep one or two guns for protection, mainly from tigers.
AFTER THIS mast tour in the South, Baba returned to Mahabaleshwar on the evening of March 19th. As usual, in Mahabaleshwar Krishna and Venkoba Rao were the night watchmen outside of Valley View bungalow. One night a tiger came near the house. Krishna saw it but did not move from his position, though he was frightened. The tiger glowered menacingly. Krishna had a rifle with him.  Just as he was about to take aim, Baba clapped. Krishna came inside and told Baba there was a tiger nearby. "Should I shoot it, Baba?" he asked.
"Wait, I'll come," gestured Baba. But Baba did not come, however, for five minutes, by which time the tiger had stalked away. Baba motioned, "Now shoot." Krishna fired in the direction taken by the tiger, but the bullet lodged in the trunk of a tree. (LM 2863)
Here is another reference to this in Lord Meher:
Besides these hardships, the dense jungle hill was infested with poisonous snakes, jaguars, tigers, boars and other wild animals. Six or seven campfires were kept burning the whole night for protection, and the mandali had two guns with them. When Jal had been busy making all the preparations, one of the local officials had remarked to him, "Even I do not have the courage to spend the night on that mountain." (LM 3078)
And here is a discourse where Baba discusses killing, war, duty, and detachment.
Krishna and Arjuna
I, as Krishna, ordered Arjuna to kill. As Christ, I told Peter to give his other cheek to be slapped, but the truth underlying both is the same. Haven't people changed since then? No, people are not advanced, but they have changed.
The world now is going back to its barbarous attitude and so, over and over again, it is life's changes. But what Krishna teaches in the Gita is divine; it goes deep down. It says you can become God if you love me, follow me, surrender to me. There is no other way. Disciples must do as the Master orders – not imitate. Arjuna took up his bow willingly and obeyed, knowing with perfect knowledge that he was not killing. Detached, he had to do this for their spiritual good – no lust for killing, nor duty, but pure detachment to do Krishna's work.
If you are a perfect follower of non-violence, you give an oath that you would not hurt any creature. However, if you saw one dog killing three cats, what would you do – kill the dog? If you stood aside, you would allow the killing of the three cats. What, Elizabeth, would you do? If you keep silent, you are helping to kill three cats. If you kill the dog, you are violent.
There is a tiger among a herd of cattle and you have a gun in your house that you do not touch, however, because of your oath of non-violence. You know you can kill the tiger and save the herd. What would you do? Kill the tiger, but detached – this is what Krishna teaches. Do not follow violence or non-violence, just be detached. You must kill for the good of the herd. In the case of Arjuna, it was for the spiritual good of others, who were like tigers of lust and greed.
Is it right to go to war? Go to war if called and you cannot avoid it, but do not fight for the sake of killing. You just help and kill detached, or be killed without fear and anger toward the killer. Few, very few, can do so. Why do I want war? To make things right for spiritual progress and advancement. (LM 2434)


  1. Very interesting post, Chris. I have no previously heard or read any accounts of Baba's direct involvement with guns.