While trying to smash a fly which was disturbing my peace Letizia pointed out to me that these were also God’s creatures and we should not kill them. I had arrived only 10 days before in the ashram and this concept was new to me. Not killing humans and animals seemed logical and good but annoying insects was new and challenging but I was open to explore. Being in the shop with the door open all day gave them all free passage. As soon as the day breaks peace for mediation or Japa was gone. The shop was also attracting ants which marched thru the place in droves of thousands checking out all the food which was on offer there. Carefully with a broom and dustpan moving them outside seemed an endless and useless activity. Once after evening aarti I came in millions of them were attacking the supplies. Disturbed I took a bucket and a cloth and mopped them all up killing thousands. While doing it I felt very guilty now trying to live up to that new concept but my frustration with it was stronger and millions of tiny lives ended prematurely. I was hardly able to sleep after this what I perceived as a necessary but violent action. Also the next day these thoughts kept haunting me and so were the flies, mosquito’s and ants as monsoon had just started.
From satsang I had heard from those who had been there long stories how Babaji was responding to questions or situations on all sorts of issues whether asked inwardly or vocally. After a few more days of battling insects while trying to limit the harm I went to see Babaji posing this situation at His feet. He was lying on the wall infront of the door leading to his nation and kutir. I just stood there with 3/4 other people with this dilemma in my mind. Towering over us all is a big Banyan tree which was amongst many other creatures also home to a large colony of fire ants. Strong nasty buggers who can cut thru a lunghi. One of those ants was passing just 30 cm in front of Babaji who was in a very relaxing position upholding His head with His hands. SLAM ! The ant was no more and I had my answer. Although it seemed He was not interacting with me I felt strongly that He was answering my dilemma. I declared war and after my next shopping trip in Haldwani fly squatters and other weapons are on my shopping list.
It may have taken me a while to understand that Babaji was in no way would give a teaching that killing insects is OK. It did however solve my dilemma at that time and perhaps even more important confirming inner communication outwardly. The struggle with insects has continued thru time but but was somehow more mindful about it and dealt with it according to the situation without creating guilt feelings or headaches about it.
Recently I did a vipassana retreat, ten days in silence, while seated in meditation no moving of the body no matter what sensation comes up. During one session a tiny ant made it’s way up and entered my awareness on the moment it stepped from my shirt onto the skin of my neck. I smiled inwardly and welcomed the challenge. After a few minutes of this walking around on my face my inward smile was completely gone as this tiny ant had gradually turned into a dinosaur stumping around on my face. Desperately looking for tools inside to calm myself the above story with Babaji popped to my mind. Before I even realised my hand moved and swept the ant of the face of the earth. No remorse, peace reigned once again……for a while.