(112) THE WHITE PEACOCK
20th April, 1947
On the 12th instant someone brought a white peacock, saying it was sent by the Rani of Baroda and offered it as a gift to the Ashram. On seeing it, Bhagavan said, “Isn’t it enough that ten or twelve coloured peacocks are here? They may come to fight with this one because it is of a different variety. Besides that, it has to be protected against attacks of cats. Why this? It is better to send it back to its own place.” That person took no notice but went away leaving the peacock here. It was thereupon decided that Krishnaswami should look after its welfare and others should help him.
The other day when I went to the Ashram in the afternoon Bhagavan was telling the devotees near him about the peacock. “Look! A merchant manufacturing matchboxes brought a little deer called Valli and went away similarly leaving it here. It used to be roaming about in the Ashram. When Bengalgram dhal and mura muras were mixed together and placed in a plate, it used to eat all the dhal without spilling even a grain outside, leaving the mura muras. After some time when it began going to the forest with the goat-herds, people who knew that it belonged to the Ashram used to bring it back here. Subsequently, it used to come back of its own accord. So we let it go.
One day, when some panchamas broke its leg, hoping to kill and eat it, a person who knew that it belonged to the Ashram took pity on it and brought it back, carrying it all the way. It was bleeding. We nursed it but without success and after some days it breathed its last in my lap. Annamalaiswami and I built a samadhi near the steps on the side of the hill yonder.” Astonished at this, I said, “We see here ourselves what the ancients said that in Bharatakhanda (India) God comes down as an Avatar and gives moksha to animals and birds also.”
As the peacock had run away somewhere, Krishnaswami caught it and brought it back. Bhagavan, placing his hand on its neck and stroking it up to the heart with the other hand, said “You naughty chap, where did you go? How can we manage to look after you if you go away like this? Please don’t. There will be cruel animals elsewhere. Why not stay on here?” Thus he cajoled it.
For a long time after that it did not go out of the Ashram but learnt to go about the various cottages within the Ashram compound. Seeing that, Bhagavan used to say, “It is now like the Sarvadhikari.”
This afternoon at 2-30 when I went there, the radio was playing and the electric fan was revolving. The peacock sat by the side of the radio, with closed eyes as if it was immersed in dhyana. Seeing that, one person said, “See how carefully it is listening.” Bhagavan said, “Yes. The peacocks are very fond of music, especially if it is from the flute.” “Though this peacock is white, it is the other peacocks that are really beautiful,” someone said. Pointing to the peacock, Bhagavan said, “If it is like this, it has a beauty of its own. Those peacocks have many beautiful colours. This is pure white without the mixture of any other colours. That means it is suddha satva (pure self) without the mixture of other gunas (attributes). See, in Vedantic language, the peacock also can be taken as an example. Even the other peacocks do not have so many colours at birth. They have only one colour.
As they grow up, they get many colours. When their tails grow, they have any number of eyes. See how many colours and how many eyes! Our mind also is like that. At birth, there are no perversities. Subsequently, there will be many activities and ideas, like the colours of the peacock.”