One night while bhajan was going on as usual in the prayer hall at Prasanthi Nilayam. I happened to sit near the throne of the Lord. But He was not present at the moment, in the form we know.
A great light dawned upon my mind. What sublime happiness and peace, of the nature of bliss, I enjoyed while it lasted! It lasted only for one hour, if I well remember. Because of the new, sudden and unexpected nature of the impact, I could not endure the elevated state of mind I was in, longer. Undoubtedly it was the experience of the highest spiritual order. But it was so overwhelming that I was afraid of losing all sense of the world in which I live and to which I was deeply attached. It was this fear of losing what, in fact, I do not possess but still imagine that I possess, of losing what I do not enjoy in this illusive and deceptive world of sense perception, that caused me to take a false and unhappy step at that critical juncture of my life. What a shame! I do confess now that instead of, availing myself of the great opportunity to grasp what is real, I prayed to the Lord, at that fateful hour, to relieve me of His grace! The reason for this fall is the existence in me of unfulfilled earthly desires and aspirations. This clearly shows how, in the absence of self-renunciation, I was not fit for the spiritual elevation I enjoyed.
After some time Swami came to one of the rooms of the Prasanthi Nilayam colony where I stayed and told me about the conversation that took place between Ravana and his wife regarding Sita when she was kept in Ashoka Vatika. Ravana’s wife, knowing that her husband can metamorphose himself at will into the form of any person, asked him why he was hesitating, in this respect, to adopt the easy method of assuming the form of Rama and make Sita fall into his trap. Ravana told her in reply, that to assume the form of Rama was to get rid of gunas or character traits that were the cause for his present immoderate behaviour! In the absence of these gunas the desire for Sita ceases to exist.
Since then, I was in distress. Fate is sterner than what I thought at first. When I complained of my distress, one day, Baba said that if the sugarcane is not to go dry and its sugar contents are to last for some time, its juice must be extracted in time, after proper crushing and then boiled until it is made into jaggery or sugar.
HE, like a goldsmith, tests our metal and throws it back into the red hot coals of spiritual fire, when not up to the mark, fans into flames, until He sifts the pure from the dross.