Baba was sitting with some disciples on the Tiger’s Grave. He turned to Vishvanath and said, “The other day you said that many more people would join Ananda Marga if they didn’t have to follow Yama and Niyama and if there weren’t so many rules making it difficult to meet me.”

“Yes, Baba, these were the concerns I brought up.” Vishvanath nodded.

“The reason why I don’t disclose myself in public is that if too many people know me for who I am then it will make it difficult for me to do my regular work.” Baba started to explain. “As to the rules of following the moral principles of Yama and Niyama, there rules help a person to become a true human being. If I remove Yama and Niyama them millions of people in India might join, but what good would it do? What the world needs are real human beings, not a new religion. Do you know what happens to people when they don’t follow Yama and Niyama?”

Vishvanath remained silent and before he could say anything, Baba touched him between the eyebrows and asked, “Describe what are you seeing now!”

“Baba, I see a market area, a road with shops on both sides.”

“Look a little further.”

“Down the road, I can see a temple.”

“Look closer. Do you recognize the area?”

“Yes, now I recognize it. It’s the main temple in Varanasi.”

“What else can you see?”

“Outside the temple, there are a lot of people standing in a queue. They appear to be beggars.

“Do you see a leper sitting in the midst of them?”

“Yes, Baba”.

“He was an Englishman in his previous life. Do you know why he became a beggar in his life? He didn’t follow Yama and Niyama. Look again and describe what you see.”

Again Baba pressed his thumb to Vishvanath’s forehead, who continued. “I see a well-dressed man in black robes and a powdered wig sitting in a courtroom during a trial.”

“Yes, he was a judge in England in his past life,” Baba continued. “But he was a corrupt judge who accepted bribes and put innocent people in jail. Now he is a leprous beggar as a consequence of his actions. 

So do you still want me to relax the restrictions of Yama and Niyama? We need a just society, and that’s impossible without Yama and Niyama. The emphasis has to be on quality and not on quantity.”

By Avadhutika Anandarama Acarya, from the book Who can ride the tiger? Stories of Baba’s life (