All the colorful melodrama that transpired wherever maharajji went; all the various ways the devotees thought of and reacted to Maharajji, and his many faces in response; the anger and abuse, the chiding, the tenderness-all of this filled the time and space when we were around him, and yet . . . we knew that this was a part, but not the essence, of the relationship.
It was not act or words or opinions, but something far more subtle that Maharajji was transmitting to us. It was deep within ourselves that Maharajji was gently transforming us.
There was no aspect of life that was not touched by him.
It was at this deeper level that we felt Maharajji to be the shepherd and ourselves to be a part of the flock. Through this unspoken process we developed faith where previously there had been fear.
Our faith was that in the midst of the changing uncertainties of the universe, if we kept Maharajji in our hearts, if we just stayed under his blanket in trust, then it would be all right.
Devotees who had been with Maharajji for many years often reflected a fearlessness in the manner in which they lived, as the result of their faith in his protection. Some he specifically taught to be fearless.
One time I was reported to the officials for packing underweigt fruit boxes. I was innocent, but the charge had me worried. Maharajji chastised me: "Coward! Never be a coward! Be brave! Coward! Why do you fear? Don't you know me? I am with you!"
Then he reminded me of how Ram protected his devotees. He said that he too would always protect his devotees. Even if they committed hundreds of murders, he would give them complete protection.