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Full text of "Sri Sai Baba`S:Charters And Sayings"

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NINETEENTH TALK           395

Always be gentle, always be kindly to these remnants
of childhood. You know how kind you are to the phys-
ical child in daily life. You see a child nursing a
bundle of rags ahd pretending it is a doll. Well, of
course that is a superstition, quite a superstition, but
at the same time it does not occur to you indignantly
to scold the child. You remember perhaps, if you are
fortunate, the time when you yourself used to make
believe in the same sort of way, and you can quite
recognise that that bundle of rags may have all the
attributes of a doll to the child. On the physical
plane it is a bundle of rags, but in the child's imagin-
ation it is a doll, perhaps almost a living doll with
all sorts of qualities ; and so why should one disturb
the idea in the child's mind ? The idea in itself is
a good one; there is a protective and maternal
feeling around, although the rags are not a doll.

In just the same way I have often seen, in India,
the common people, who are very like children,
making their little offerings to the Deity in quite a
childish way. They will tie a little bit of rag on to
a tree, as an offering to the Deity of that tree. The
average Christian missionary, who came along, would
be quite angry about it. Thereby he shows his own
ignorance, because the offering is made in all good
heart and in good faith. The small soul, the com-
paratively primitive and childlike soul, meant it well,
and the thing should be taken, like the child's rag doll,
for what it means.