Babaji and the Train
Babaji was once wandering somewhere in Eastern U.P. At one place he passed by a railway station. The train happened to be at halt. He had a fancy to travel some distance by train. He got into a nearby coach and sat in an upper class compartment. After a while the train started and continued its journey.
Some time later, a Travelling Ticket Examiner saw this somewhat uncouth, rustic-like person occupying the upper class seat and approached him and asked for his ticket. Babaji just looked up at him once and paid no further attention to his query. He continued to remain silent in contemplation. The Ticket Examiner was annoyed. He demanded to see the ticket. It was those days when most of the railway staff was either British or at least Anglo-Indian. Babaji shook his head and spread out his empty hands.
The Ticket Examiner understood the situation and decided to take action. Soon after, the train stopped for a brief halt at a small way-side station in the country-side. Babaji was ordered to get down. He promptly obeyed, left his seat, got down out of the carriage and walking a few steps along the dusty platform went and stayed under the shade of a tree. He seemed absolutely unconcerned of whatever had happened. He paid no attention to what was going on around him.
In a couple of minutes the bell rang, the railway guard blew his whistle and waved the green flag. The engine driver sounded the whistle and started the engine. Nothing happened. The engine did not move and the train continued to stand where it was.
After a few minutes the guard got down and walked up to the engine driver to enquire what the trouble was. No trouble could be detected. Everything seemed to be all right. The engine driver checked everything and tried again. No result. More time passed. The Station Master became anxious. Another train which was due to come by was held up at some station up the line. Telegraphic messages started coming. 15 minutes, 20 minutes and then half an hour passed.
Anxiety built up.
Then a subordinate member of the staff very timidly approached the Station Master and pointing to Babaji sitting under the tree insisted that the whole situation was due to having shown disrespect to the holy man. He suggested that the only way out of the impasse was to approach him and beg his forgiveness and request him to continue his journey without any hindrance. This was conveyed to the guard and the engine driver.
At first they vehemently refused to do any such thing but as more time passed, better reason prevailed. They respectfully approached Babaji, saluted him, asked to be excused for their rudeness, requested him to bless the train and invited him to continue his journey. Babaji looked up and glanced at them for a moment and said “All right, Chalo. Hum chalenge, Hum chalenge” (“All right, Go. I shall come along, I shall come along”) and got up and re-entered the train.
Immediately the engine gave a jerk and the train started to move as though nothing had happened. A little crowd, which had gathered there, in the meanwhile, loudly acclaimed Babaji with awe in their voice. From then onwards no Railway Officer ever interfered with Babaji’s free movement in any train he fancied.
…Sri Swami Chidananda