Pagal Baba, in his last days was always a little bit worried. I could see it, although he had not said anything, nor had anybody else mentioned it. Perhaps nobody else was even aware that he was worried. It was certainly not about his illness, old age, or his oncoming death; those were absolutely immaterial to the man.
One night, when I was alone with him, I asked him. In fact, I had to wake him up in the middle of the night, because it was so difficult to find a moment when there was nobody else with him.
He said to me, “It must be something of great importance, otherwise you would not have awakened me. What’s the matter?”
I said, “That’s the question. I have been watching you – I feel a little shadow of worry around you. It has never been there before. Your aura has always been so clear, just like a bright sun, but now I see a little shadow. It cannot be death.”
He laughed and said, “Yes, the shadow is there, and it is not death, that too is true. My concern is, I am waiting for a man so that I can hand over my responsibility for you to him. I am worried because he has not come yet. If I die it will be impossible for you to be able to find him.”
I said, “If I really need somebody, I will find him. But I don’t need anybody. You relax before death comes. I don’t want to be the cause of this shadow. You should die as brilliantly radiant as you have lived.”
He said, “It is not possible. But I know the man will come – I am worrying unnecessarily. He is a man of his word; he has promised to reach me before I die.”
I asked him, “How does he know when you are going to die?”
He laughed and said, “That is why I want you to be introduced to him. You are very young and I would like someone like me just to be around you.” He said, “In fact, this is an old convention, that if a child is ever going to become awakened, then at least three awakened people should recognize him at an early age.”
I said, “Baba, this is all nonsense. Nobody can prevent me from awakening.”
He said, “I know, but I am an old, conventional man, so please, particularly at the time of my death, don’t say anything against convention.”
I said, “Okay, for your sake I will keep absolutely silent. I will not say anything, because whatsoever I say is somehow going to be against convention, tradition.”
He said, “I am not saying that you should be silent, but just feel what I am feeling. I am an old man. I have nobody in the world for whom I care, except you. I don’t know why, or how, you became so close to me. I want somebody in my place so you don’t miss me.”