HUMOUR EPISODES-1 TO 204

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DIVINE HUMOUR VOLUME-1-EPISODES-1 TO 204

Following humorous incidents are reproduced from the souvenir “Baba’s Bombay Connection-a chronicle” brought out by Bombay centre on the occasion of 118 th Birth anniversary of Avatar Meher Baba and Golden jubilee celebrations  of Bombay center.

  1. BESIDE PURIES YOU HAVE BROUGHT LOVE

Alamai M. Katrak had heard of Meher Baba from her sister Jerbai, who was married to Kaikobad Dastur of Navsari. She had also heard much about the Master from her neighbour Ardeshir (Kaka) Baria. She had met Baba in 1928 in Meherabad and came for His darshan at the Talati’s home, bringing a tasty dessert of sweetened milk and fried puries. She had only brought them for the Master, but Baba beckoned her to distribute them among all the present. Alamai was confused and Baba asked, “Why did you bring so few puries?” and motioned her to distribute the puries generously.

Alamai hesitatingly obeyed, with Baba walking by her side to see that she did so. After every one was served, Alamai was greatly surprised to find the same number of puris left over in the container, Baba informed her, “Why do you hesitate? Besides the puris, you brought that which never lessens –no matter how much it is distributed, you have brought love”.

  1. POETRY

Being an accomplished poet in His youth, Baba loved to quote and at times explained the poetry of Hafiz. He requested few of the men to start composing poetry when they could find time during the day and encouraged them in their effort telling them to try with all their hearts, without caring if the poems were “polished”.  It was a good past time for those concerned and the men enjoyed when, in the evening, each proudly read out their composition before the Master.

Having heard the poetic attempts of some of the mandali, Rustom Jafrabadi was fired with enthusiasm of competing with Saadi and Hafiz. Baba would assemble all the men and ask Jafrabadi to repeat the gems of his crude imagination to the great amusement of all. Baba kept humouring Jafrabadi’s sincere feeling of devotion of his queer poetry. The climax was reached when one day returning from his job to the Manzil in a tram engrossed in his poetic mood, he was over carried several stations beyond his destination.

When Baba came to know of this, an urgent meeting was called and Jafrabadi was instructed, “Continue wiring in your spare time, but for god’s sake don’t do it on your job or in the tram.

Addressing the mandali Baba said “Since Rustom Jafrabadi is on his way to becoming a famous poet, a suitable nom the plume should be found for him. Many poetic and musical nicknames were hinted, but Ghani won the day. He said there had been a Persian poet Bedil of great repute; but since Jafrabadi’s poetry is unique and far superior to Bedil’s, we should call him Baidul. The name met with unanimous approval. (Baidul means marble in Parsian) Baba asked Rustom Jafrabadi to adopt his new name Baidul and instructed all to call him Aga Baidul.

This encouraged, the newly created Aga Baidul said that at times when he gets into poetic mood, his pen could not keep the pace with his thoughts; hence somebody should be deputed to the writing for him. Since Ghani has suggested his new name, to the great amusement of all. Baba appointed Ghani as his secretary to Aga Baidul, and ordered him to write Aga Baidul’s thought whenever the poet felt inspired.

On one occasion, Ghani was in the toilet, and Aga Baidul rushed there and started knocking on the door. “Ghani, come out immediately. The muse is inspiring me. If you don’t come out soon, I will not be able to recover all these wonderful lines. He knocked so insistently that Ghani had to quickly button his trousers and write down Baidul’s spontaneous creation. Ghani related this incident to Baba who was much amused.

  1. NEVER DO AS I DO BUT DO AS I SAY

For relaxation Baba would go to Munshi Rahim’s house at Charni Road to play cards. In august 1922, once while Baba and the mandali were playing cards, Ghani stole a cad just the way Baba would pilfer. Baba stopped the game and told the men a true storey about the Perfect Master.

“One day a Sadguru with some of His disciples went to a city where he was known. He approached a candy shop and entering, put some sweets in his mouth. His disciples, too, mimicked Him in this respect. He then visited a bakery and there the same thing happened. He picked up some cookies and put them into His mouth, and the disciples did the same.

“Then He went to a blacksmith’s shop where there were red-hot pieces of iron in the furnace. The Master picked up one and ate it.

Disciples stared at Him. The Sadguru then said “Now eat it too.”

No one dared move and Master admonished “Why did you do as I did? Are you parrots? Never do as I do, but do as I say.

After hearing this tale, Ghani burst out laughing and Baba asked the reason. He replied. I bow down to your knowledge. You have answered my question superbly.

  1. PHYSICAL LABOUR

On 1st October 1922, a big roller was brought on hire to be rolled on ground after watering and hammering nook and corners. The work continued throughout   the day.

As per schedule, all men woke up at 4 A.M., or rather routed out of their bed to peer at the world through heavy eyelids. The cold water bath quickly brightened their faces and made them wide awake, after which they sat down for one hour in worship. At 6 A.M. when the breakfast gong was sounded all would go to have tea. After breakfast, watering and rolling of the play area was continued. This was their daily morning routine, although there were some humorous incidents.

Behramji would awaken the companions at 4 A.M. but he himself would be half asleep while holding a kerosene lantern, repeating the names of respective occupants in a tone of exhausted gramophone, taking a lightning nap with the support of a half opened door while he awaited their reply. Beside somebody running into a door or window or a collision between two persons was a occasional feature of the sleepy atmosphere. The funniest incident in this connection was Behramji’s missing some steps while descending the stairs, and consequently making a shortcut of the journey with a crash.

Almost all would be in semi-dressed, some with tooth brushes stuck in their mouth and soap boxes clutched in their hands or dental powder smeared on teeth.

The scene at the room was amusing. Strange noises and sounds in the strange languages would occasionally emanate from the bathroom as each one nerved himself for the first mug of cold, cold water announcing that the particular member inside had turned down upon himself the first dreaded tumbler of cold, cold water and is beginning to have an upper hand over the dames sleep.

Ghani’s peculiar mantric formula “shash, Shoo, Swoosh” followed by particular hissing sound was all the more prominent as he poured the water on the floor, never taking off the clothes. Whenever this curious hissing came out of bath room  it was safe to bet that it contained Ghani, who was not in the habit of a daily bath and never a cold bath in the morning.

Brother Jal could not bear the cold bath, so he too would pretend to be taking bath by making noises and splashing water on the floor all over the bathroom walls. The practice of bathing the walls and floor was discovered by others and promptly reported to Baba. One day when Ghani entered in the bathroom and began the pretention of taking bath, Baba suddenly entered in the bathroom and caught him in the act of breaking discipline of the ashram. Baba gave him a cold bath.

There being only two bathrooms and about 30 persons having to take bath within the fixed time of 4 to 4.45 A.M. a string of candidates was always found along the hall waiting for one’s turn in an orderly line. Even the short period of waiting for a few minutes was utilized by most in taking a standing nap, only to be pulled out with a jolt of a neighbor.

Gustadji was the only one exempt from these morning practices, as he was responsible for having breakfast ready by 6.00 A.M. sharp.

Khodadad K. Irani a relative of Gulmai was permitted to stay in Manjil-e-Meem. During the day he was employed in a textile mill. Khodadad suffered from chronic asthma since childhood and despite best of medical treatment and dietary precautions could not get rid himself of this ailment. In view of his ailment, Baba nicknamed him “Asthma” and Khodadad was addressed by this new nickname since coming to Manzil. It seemed almost miraculous that his attacks no longer return inspire of taking cold bath each morning. He was eventually freed from any asthma attacks and the disease eventually left him altogether.

By October 1922, the back compound was ready with a billiard –table-like surface which provided a good site for Baba to take some round on Asthma’s newly purchase bicycle. The mandali was also asked to play a game of 7 tiles on the newly-prepared playground.

Glass powder, threads, cooked rice and necessary ingredients were distributed amongst the mandali to prepare manja –cutting thread, for competitive kite flying on the day fixed for the sport.

  1. THE CAR WAS A STEEL

On 5 Th October1922, in the afternoon, Baba, Gustadji, Adi and Behramji went with Munshi in his newly purchased second-hand car, “De Dion.” It was purchased for only Rs. 100/- at Naval Talati’s recommendation of it being a steel. Since then Rs. 300/ more was spent on repairing to make it go. Munshi Rahim with Baba and party rode up to Malabar Hill for a test drive. It did go after all, and even climbed the Malabar Hill, but with 2 or 3 halts, by way of rest and for tinkering with overworked engine.

The ride was far from pleasant. The old engine would make such a screeching and spluttering noise accompanied by “phut” from the exhaust that it necessitated the occupants to carry on conversation at the pitch of their voices, amounting to shouting.

When Naval came to the Manzil, Baba factitiously told him. “You are right-the car was steel. You are a real miracle worker.  Would you believe that we drove the car all the way up Malabar Hill at a terrific speed without having to blow the horn once? The noise of engine was so loud that it was sufficient to make all pedestrians give way and then make them strain their neck to see who would be fool enough to ride in such a car.”

  1. HE IS SO FORTUNATE TO HAVE SUNG BEFORE ME

During the Bombay stay, Gohar’s sister, Kaity, Kept Baba amused with his mimicry and funny stories; likewise Jim Mistry kept Baba in good humour with his wits and jokes.

On the evening of 17 th October 1957, an elderly street singer with a ukulele- a four –stringed Guitar of Hawaiian origin –was called up to the apartment. Baba sat on the diwan, the men mandali around Him, while the women stood in another room. The musician –a tall, Goanese Chiristian- sang a few “Negro spirituals” in a deep, rich, hunting voice, Mani relented, and also “Begin the Beguine.” He was so drawn to Baba He wanted to keep playing.

Baba had Nariman to pay him generously and remarked, “He sings with feeling; he is so fortunate to sing an inspirational song titled “He”, written in 1954 by Richard Mullan and Jack Richards.

On Sunday, 20th October 1957, Khorshed brought a blind singer to entertain Baba with ghazals and qawaali. Each of his hand had two fingers missing. Nevertheless, He was able to play the harmonium quite well and sang several ghazals, which Baba enjoyed.

Another night, a concert was being held in the building opposite Ashiyana. Baba sat up all night to hear the singing. “Baba loved music so much,” Mehera commented, “He sat near the window, listening to it.”

  1. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE GOOD OR BAD

Once when some of the mandali and Arnawaz were sitting with Baba at Ashiyana, Baba suddenly asked, “What is “good” and what is “bad”? He continued, “There is thief who used to steal and therefore he was pointed out as being bad. One day the thief went to a house to rob it, but there he found a woman in great pain, just about to give birth to a child. She was all alone, so instead of robbing in her house, the thief helped her to deliver the baby and made her comfortable. Then he went out to steal food and clothing for the woman. He stayed with her until he knew she was all right. He went on his way and continued to steal from others. Baba paused to give His listeners an inquiring look, and then said, “well, now what do you think of this man? Is he bad or is he good? You call him bad because he is a thief, but then he did a good turn and you could call him good. So there is nothing like ‘good’ or ‘bad’. But there is one thing I don’t like lust, greed and anger, and anger is the worst.

  1. REAL HAIR OR A WIG

Meherbai Ardeshir Merchant was one of the women from Bombay who came for Baba’s darshan during His stay in Bombay in September 1929, it was her first meeting with the Master and she was quite astonished at seeing Baba’s long, golden-brown hair. She thought to herself: “How could a man have such a beautiful hair? It must be artificial-a wig to attract people.” With those thoughts in her mind she approached Baba’s chair, and touched His feet. Baba bent His head forward as if inviting her to stroke His hair. Meherbai felt ashamed, and Baba smiled a knowing smile and indicated, “You may touch my hair.” Intrigued, Meherbai gently pulled at it and felt quite embarrassed to discover that it was real. She became wholly devoted to the Meher Baba from that day on.

  1. WHAT WEALTH IS GREATER OR HIGHER THAN YOUR LOVE

During stay in Bombay in September 1929, one day Baba visited Kharman Masi’s house. Rustom Dinyar, Kharman Masi’s husband was a poor man and had met Baba at toddy shop in Kesba Peth, Poona. He had also taken his wife Kharman to meet Baba in Manjil-e-Meem and they were regular visitors to Meherabad. Their sons Homi, Merwan and Sarosh had stayed in Meher Ashram School.

On that occasion, Baba indicated to her that He was very hungry. She replied that food was being brought from outside. “I don’t restaurant food.” Baba replied “I only require leftovers –chapattis and dal.” Oddly enough, this was the only food leftover in the house. But when Kharman opened the cupboard to get the food, she found it empty. She looked puzzled, and Baba asked her what was wrong.  After Kharman explained, Baba remarked, “When you were taking a bath, a thief came and ate up all the dal and chapatis. Do you know who the thief was? He is standing before you”

Kharman’s eyes welled up with tears and she exclaimed, “O God, strange are Your ways, You ate stale bread and dal from the house of a poor woman like me.” Looking at Baba, she said,” how loving you are to someone as unworthy as I. you are the sole support of the poor, Baba,”

Taking her in an embrace, Baba gestured, “You are not poor, you are very rich. What wealth is greater or higher than love? It is because of your love that I have come to your house.”

  1. FOUND HIM FOUND HIM

When the westerners arrived, they climbed up the stairs eager to see Baba. The easterners were on the porch, waiting in dignified poses to greet him. Baba had an idea of practical joke and playfully asked Easterners to tell the westerners to find Him. When told by Easterners that Baba is hiding and they had to find Him, the westerners raced up and down the verandah, around the terrace and through the house.  Small Khorshed, who knew only a smattering of English kept repeating, “Found Him, found Him” instead of “find Him.” This made everyone laugh. Delia found Baba hiding in the corner of the bathroom behind a tall cupboard. With that He embraced Delia First and then embraced each one and introduced the two groups.

  1. YOU THREE MASTANI OCCUPY THE ROOM

During darshan period in Ashiyana in April 1952, Baba visited Dina Talati’s home. She had two daughters There He informed Dina “I want to keep a mast here. Is a room vacant?”

One daughter, Parvez, interjected, “He can sleep in my room, Baba.” and she showed it to Him.

Baba asked, “Is there a bed for him?”

Parvez answered affirmatively, and from among the four beds, Baba chose one for the mast. He asked Parvez, “But now where you will sleep?”

“We two sisters will sleep together,” she said excitedly.

Baba explained about preparation of the room and told her, “The mast will come tomorrow, so by that time have everything ready.”   He left, and the girls did as instructed, and also made sure that when Baba worked with the mast nothing would disturb Him. But the next day, in a good humour, they were informed by Baba, “The mast   has not come, so you three mastanis occupy the room.”

  1. I SAID ENOUGH BUT YOU WONT LISEN ME

Being Diwali time, the city was festooned with coloured lights. One night, Baba took a drive with the women to see the garishly decorated buildings and monuments. Another night, Khorshed brought Diwali firecrackers to Ashiyana. Everyone stepped outside onto terrace to watch fireworks. Baba and Soonamasi sat in chairand other women stood, as Khorshed went to the far end of the terrace to light the sparklers.

“What next?” Baba asked. Khorshed lit a firecracker that made a small bang. After one or two more of these, Baba held up his hand and said, “Enough”.

“There is one more left,” Khorshed pleaded, “and the man who sold them to me said it was the best. It is a beautiful fountain.”

Baba said all right, and Khorshed lit it. A thunderous Roar stunned and momentarily deafened them, as flying sparks and bits of debris rained upon them. They shouted and scurried to get back into apartment. Instead of a fountain it turned to be an “atom (cherry) bomb.”

Baba lambasted Khorshed. “I said ‘enough’, but you wouldn’t listen to Me.”

“But the man told me it was a fountain, “Khorshed said, feeling guilty. “it looked like a fountain.”

Baba joked. “Did you see soonamasi? You all think she is old and has a heart condition. All of you were running here and there, but she didn’t even bat an eye. There’s no need to worry about her health, “He reassured Khorshed.” She has a very strong heart …..She will live for a long time.”

(Soonamasi lived over 15 more years and died on 3rd April, 1973.)

13-DARSHAN FOR OLD-TIME LOVERS

On Sunday, 27th October 1957, Baba allowed His close Bombay lovers to have darshan, and almost 400 people came to Ashiyana. All were old time lovers. Compared to how He had been at other times, Baba was quite free with them, talking and joking expansively.

Jim and Roda Mistry attended the darshan with their 3 sons, Meherwan, Falu and Sarosh. Baba asked Jin, “Which son is more devilish?”

Jim said, “Sarosh has that honour.” Baba mentioned to Sarosh, “Sit beside Me and don’t do anything naughty.” He was a little less than 5 years old then, and sat near Baba on the floor with his leg crossed and eyes shut as if meditating. During the darshan, Sarosh would slightly open his eyes to peek at Baba, and Baba would catch him every time. Pointing to him and telling those at darshan, “Look at this young yogi . He is sitting in samadhi, but he is very clever, looking at me from corner of his eye.”

Kharman Masi came for darshan. She was a stout, rotund woman and Baba humored her, “Kharman Masi, You seem weak. You should be sent to battlefield to fight.”

Soonamasi and daughter, Khorshed, attended the darshan. They had been staying in Bombay since New Life began on 16th October, 1949, and could only occasionally come to Baba. Soonamasi was miserable at living away from and Baba   assured her, “Don’t think that I am keeping you away. By being far, I keep you close to Me.”

Baba asked Dolly and Dastur, “Do you ever quarrel?”

Jal replied, At times.”

“Then let Me  see how you fight.” Both burst out laughing, but Dolly’s mother,

Soonamasi Engineer said they don’t quarrel; Baba Jal is a very good man.”

Baba asked D.M. Shinde, “how is your business.”

“Full of ups and downs,” He replied

“All worldly affairs are like that” replied Baba. “Only my business doesn’t have them.”

Baba asked Keshav Nene to sing, which he did, Baba asked his age, and when Nene said “45” baba quipped, “You look like youngster of 15.”

Meherbai Merchant was a very short lady, Baba joked with her, “You look like a “pigmy.” When I will come after 700 years, I will make you 20 feet tall and use a ladder to embrace you.

Thus the darshan ended amidst great merriment, and Baba, too, appeared

very happy.

14-SAHAWAS AT HASMAN HALL

In the afternoon, a smaller function was held in the ‘Hasman Hall’, also known as Bhulabhai Desai Memorial Hall, on Bhulabhai Desai road opp.  Beach Candy, for selected and close Baba lovers. It was more like a sahavas than a darshan programme, a gathering lesser in number and closer in love. Baba’s favorite qawaal, Sheikh Hidayat Khan of Aurangabad had been specially called to sing mystical songs. Baba arrived at the Hall at about 4.00 p.m. and no sooner had He sat down than a woman rushed forward from the audience and placed her head on His feet. Baba remarked,” This is not time for bowing down and garlanding. The darshan programme is over. I am here now for sahavas.

Baba asked all to come nearer, and they sat close to Him. Replying to Baba’s enquiry Sorabji Siganporia said that all His longstanding lovers are present. He introduced them in turn, during which baba observed: “ God is most Intimate One, but courage is required to have His close contact. You have to become powder and dust from head to foot, so much so that one has to lose oneself. Have you so much love for Him that you become as dust in His love?”

Baba asked the qawaal, “How many times have you sung before Me?”

He said this was fourth time. Baba whimsically remarked,” This is the fourth time, and there will be fifth-but after that, not a sixth.”

On a sign from Baba, the qawaal resumed the singing of couplet:

“Without fana there is no baqa- Without annihilation of mind there is no realisation.

God is unattainable unless lover lower self is wiped out.

If the lover asks in the way it should be asked, what will he not get?”

When he finished the song, Baba asked the group, “Did you follow it?”

Very few members were familiar with Urdu, and Baba himself answered. “Even if you understand it, so what Intellect cannot reach the Thing to be understood!”

Praising his voice, Baba urged qawaal, “Sing a ghazal which, even though not understood, will make all hearts flutter.”

The qawaal sang the following couplet:

“Why do you question me about the world of intoxication?

I know only that you alone exist in every heart!

When he was through, baba asked those present, “Have you read ‘God Speaks’?” Some had, but Baba remarked, “Even if some have read it, what then? In addition to what those have read and understood, I have to say one thing, and that is when coming to Me, come bereft of worldly hopes. This disease, this annoyance, I don’t want! Those seeking My friendship have to lose all. This is absolutely true.

“God is infinite honesty and compassion. As God, I forgive everything except hypocrisy. I can never forgive that. So never pretend what you are not!”

Baba continued, “What does a lover want? He wants deep, sincere love. If he has pure love, what remains for him? The lover should have such a deep, unadulterated love that, oblivious of what other think, even he does not know that he loves.”

When Baba said this, someone clapped. Frowning, Baba reminded him that this was a sahavas.

The qawaal resumed singing:

“You don’t know when I find or lose You, or become lost in You.

I am physically asleep, but my mind remains awake in your remembrance!”

“It would have been better if the mind also slept!” Baba quipped, and all laughed.

Baba continued to explain: “The whole universe that you see is dream, and at present you are all dreaming. Suppose you are sleeping and I appear in your and tell you: “What you see and experience now is all a dream!’ But you don’t believe it.

But when you are awake, you know that what I am saying is quite true. Similarly, whatever pain and pleasure you experience is in reality a dream. This qawaali singing, your hurrying here in hot sun, and My telling you all this, is in truth only a dream. But as long as I do not open your inner eyes, you will not believe it.”

Baba turned to the qawaal, “Enough of praise, let’s hear something about love.”

When the qawaal   was about to begin, Baba interrupted him and began explaining about divine intoxication:

“As a seeker progress on spiritual path, he loses his worldly consciousness, resulting in the ‘mast’ state. Here he has no consciousness of the world. He eats, drinks, cloths himself, covers his body, but has no thought of it.

“When this state becomes limitless, the person attains the state of Majzoob. Very, very few regain the gross consciousness and begin to act in a worldly manner after reaching this state. To recognize a person in such a state is virtually impossible. It means losing all and gaining all.”

Humorously, Baba commented: “Long, long ago I has lost everything and became God, but thank God I did not lose my sense of humour!”

The qawaal resumed with another couplet:

“In my one form are   contained all these innumerable forms.

Whom to take as a sinner, whom to believe in as saint?”

After the ghazal, speaking on Hall an emotional state, Baba commented, “Once my old companion and disciple Munshi Rahim arranged a qawaali programme here in Bombay. A Muslim boy named Alimuddin in a paroxysm of devotion began jumping up and down. In course of the singing that day it happened a few times. Even when ghazal was over, Alimuddin was in the same emotional state. This is called hall or Bhav. When a devotee turns into a real lover, he is devoid of this state. In this love, he simply burns within, which cannot be observed outwardly.”

Addressing the qawaal, Baba urges, “Now let us hear some choice truths!”

The qawaal sang:

“I go on deceiving myself, living in hope of my dying!”

Stopping him Baba commented, “What a beautiful thought! In this state the lover is totally uprooted from the world. All his desires die, except one that is to die for the Beloved.”

It was getting hot in the hall so someone switched on the fan. Baba had it turned off and jokingly remarked, “All the doors are shut. It is warm. Baba thus has the fan switched off. All are sweating.”

Addressing one man who was overweight, baba teased him, “It is good for you. You are perspiring and will slim down a bit.” Loud laughter followed Baba’s remark.

He continued jokingly, “it is you people feel the heat. Had it been cool here you would have said, ‘Baba now please don’t stop!’ Now you will leave sooner!”

The qawaal resumed:

“Let my grief for You be kept safe;

What else does my heart yearn for?

This is my prayer, this is my life!”

The qawaal continued, and intermittently Baba observed, “I am everything. I experience Myself as singer, as the instruments and everything else. This is not mere talk! This My true experience.”

All along the programme was marked by an occasional serious explanation as Baba would end with subtle and unexpected note of reality in the way that only Baba could do, which was followed by the spontaneous sound of delighted laughter from the hundreds around Him.

Baba asked the singer one last song. He sang.

“The one hovering like moth around the Divine Flame (The Master) is regarded as a fool: but only by fools!”

After the music, Baba shed more light on the discourse He had given in Poona about the four type of obedience. Concluding, He stated: “I will now see how you carry out My wishes. Let    Me test your obedience! In 5 minutes I want this hall to be absolutely empty!” All burst out laughing at Baba’s clever ways, and they departed happily though with everybody simultaneously struggling to their feet, specially the portlier one, and scrambling for the door almost causing a jam.   Leaving Hasman Hall, shortly after 7.00 p.m., Baba returned to Ashiana with mandali. People had come to know of the programme and hundreds were lined up outside the hall waiting for darshan. Baba waved to them as He drove past, and thus they were able to have a glimpse of Baba from a distance.

15-BABA’S REVELATION AFTER WATCHING THE TEN COMMANDANTS

Baba, who had not been to movie in a very long time, went on another day with the men mandali to watch the film The Ten Commandments. Baba liked and praised the movie although He and the men left halfway at the intermission when Moses sees God as the burning bush on the top of Mount Sinai where he receives the Ten Commandments.

Afterwards Baba revealed:

“Moses was on 6 th plane. His seeing the land of Israel but not being able to enter it is symbolic of his experience on the sixth plane of seeing God, but not merging in Him. Though, when he dropped his body Moses realized God. I liked this picture very much; it was well acted and well made. It has much to give to those who are able to receive it. Rameses (II) in his next incarnation entered the path; the old Pharoah (Seti) received Mukti, because he took Mose’s name when dying.

Then Baba recalled His meeting with Cecil B. DeMille at Mary Pickford’s home in Hollywood in 1932.

While climbing the stairs to the Regal Theatre’s balcony, Baba was supported one side by Homi Dadachanji’s and on other by Homa’s brother, Dara. Homa had a long history of leg problem and Dara had injured his knee. After the movie, Baba joked, “It was a sight for the Gods Here I was injured Myself, leaning on two cripples.

  1. SODA WATER

Prior to Baba’s appointed arrival, Arnavaz and Nariman decided to renovate their apartment. It was painted, new curtains and drape were added and an air conditioner was installed in the room Baba used.

Everything was done in hurry and Baba arrived soon after the work was finished. Baba admired the new décor and asked Nariman how much he has spent. “Seven thousand Rupees.” He replied. “You spent so much for Me?”

Arnavaz replied, “It was our pleasure, Baba”

Baba looked pleased and after walking through all rooms, He came out and sat in the dining room and asked for a bottle of soda water. Arnavaz had forgotten to buy some, though she new at that time Baba drank only this. She sent Homa to bring some as quickly as he could, but unfortunately, he had difficulty locating the brand Baba   preferred and took quite a while to return.

When Baba asked Arnavaz again for soda-water, Arnavaz looked frustated and explained that she had forgotten to buy some. Baba   remarked, “You spent Rs. 7000/-for the whole apartment, and could not remember to send for 2 annas worth of soda-water for Me. “This was a lesson to Arnavaz not to neglect anything, big or small, for the Master.

The same day (7 Th March 1959) Baba remarked to Arnavaz. “Why did you spend so much on the apartment because I am never going to come back to Bombay again?”

Baba agreed to give darshan during His stay and about a thousand of His Bombay lovers came to the apartment to see Him on Sunday, 8 th March 1959.

Baba embraced all. Because most were His old time lovers, baba cracked jokes with them and humour and merriment prevailed throughout the function.

  1. I LIKE SINGING TO BE FROM THE HEART

On Sunday, 8th Match 1959, Kishanchand Gajwani and Sorabji Siganporia had arranged for 4 different programmes of well-known qawaals to sing before Baba in Bombay at the “Hasman Hall” on Bhula Bhai Desai Road, Breach candy.

The first group started as soon as Baba and the mandali reached the hall at 3.30 P. M. Baba did not like them and send them away for tea.

Then second group began to play, but they too were stopped after 5 minutes. The third and forth groups met with the same fate. Baba was not happy with each of them. He asked Gajwani and Siganporia, “What is this? I didn’t like even one of them.

They replied, “Baba these 4 qawaals are famous all over Bombay.”

They may be famous all over the Bombay, but I like singing to be from the heart.

At this point a fifth qawaal, who had sung before Baba Meherabad in 1955, appeared with his musicians. Baba enjoyed his singing immensely. And as the other 4 groups sat in the audience full of pride in their ‘art’, baba eyed them occasionally and they realized that to sing before the Avatar required something more than ability.

After the programme, Baba instructed Gajwani and Siganporia to pay the 4 qawaals in full and not to disappoint them.

  1. BABA’S EYES ARE EVERYWHERE

One day, Kaka Baria, his sister Banu and her husband Manek, were sitting beside Baba in the Talati’s living room. One person who had come for darshan brought a basket of figs, Baba instructed Manek to wash the fruit. When Manek returned, Baba motioned to the gathering, “I will throw the figs to you all, so be alert and try to catch them,” Baba would look in one direction and throw the figs in another direction. During this enjoyable occasion, Banu told Baba, “Throw one to Manek. Don’t forget to let him have Your prasad.”

Baba threw many figs, but none to Manek. One last fig was left. Baba raised it, looked at it and ate it Himself. Banu stared at Baba in disappointment; pained at not finding her husband favoured. Manek solved the mystery when he later confessed to his wife that whilst washing the figs, he had eaten one without asking Baba. He told Banu, Baba was sitting in the living room, but I am now fully convinced that His eyes are everywhere.

  1. PICNIC AT JUHU

On 8th October 1922, as per arrangements, Vajifdar had selected Juhu for a day’s picnic in the bungalow of Mr. Narottam Moraji, whose permission was already secured. The mandali did not like to go to the pleasure trip as Baba’s health was not good. In spite of it, Baba insisted upon all to go and Himself accompanied the party to Juhu with a willingness that would surpass that of a student leaving the college for vacations.

Reaching the destination, they took the rest in bungalow which was a lovely place situated on the seashore about 3.25 kms, west of Vile Parle. After refreshing themselves with aerated water taken along with them,, they looked around to see if any game could be played. As it was blazing hot, they played some games under the shade of coconut trees, one of them being a field game called “thasak.”  The game lasted for almost an hour and they were called in for meals. Baba distributed food with His own hands to each; which consisted of a potato dish, puri (puffed wheat bread) and shrikhand (sweet dessert). After finishing with the meals, all were asked to keep indoors because of afternoon heat.

At 2.00 p.m. Baba asked Ghani to see what mandali were doing. They were found scattered all over the bungalow lying, sitting, talking and singing, with the exception of Vithal who was snoring at that time. Baba called for Vithal, and asked him to leave for Poona immediately. Baba again asked Ghani to report as to who were occupying chairs and sofas. Rustom and Patel were the only two members found to be taking advantage of the tempting furniture liberally spread in the bungalow. Baba took all to task and lectured for about an hour in His own free and simple style with many suitable quotations and examples. He told them that people had discarded the world and underwent untold hardships for the sake of God. He also reminded them that their term of so-called imprisonment with Him was only for 10 months, wherein they were required to go a little against their minds. It was the least they could do to attain or reach the highest.

At 3.30 p.m. in the afternoon they were asked to play gilli-danda and Baba took part in the initial game, but retired very soon in the bungalow asking them to continue the game. After an hour they were called to witness Baba vomiting copiously. The ejected matter contained the food taken at about 11.30 in the morning almost in original state before it was eaten without undergoing any chemical change, in spite of remaining in Baba stomach for 5 hours! Dr. Ghani said it is very strange and surprising from medical point of view. Baba told them that He was feeling very weak and would not be able to walk back to the station. Thereupon, Vajifdar was sent to Andheri to get a taxi. Baba then took a soda, but even this was shortly brought up. Here He reminded the mandali that this was the fourth illness mentioned before, in connection with the circle. Baba left in the taxi with Gustadji, Rustom and Jal at about 5.30 p.m. while the rest followed Him by train reaching Dadar at 7.15 p.m. in the evening. They found Baba lying in the dining hall, having passed 4 more motions since His arrival, and consequently in a very exhausted and pulled down conditions.

On October 1922, save for signs of weakness there was no trace of terrible ordeal through which Baba had passed the last night. A large stock of puri and Chapatti (wheat bread) was still remaining from the lot they had taken to Juhu and this made their breakfast.

Under the excuse that wheat bread requires good exercise for thorough digestion; all were asked to sweep out the back compound and afterwards made to run a race of “running round” in the circle in small batches in which Rustom was declared winner.

At this time, Meher Baba stressed attention toward cleanliness in the Manzil. He also became more fastidious toward His own personal cleanliness. The men’s bed room, and specially the kitchen, bath rooms, toilets and dining room were ordered to be kept immaculate. This was the reverse situation in the beginning when He and Gustadji would twice a week clean the street gutter of sewerage flowing from the house to the toilet. Except for Gustadji, all were forbidden to undertake this work with Baba, but later some of other were allowed to help.

During this period, each of men were asked to kill 50 mosquitoes daily to avoid contacting malaria. This gave rise to amusing scenes in the house. At every odd hour, each mosquito hunter would be marked fumbling, jumping, hopping, and clapping, in fact making use of all available tactics in every corner and wall of the Manzil, trying to fill up his bag of the ‘daily quota’ with the required number of flying pest as quickly as possible. By end of the day their hands would become so stained with the blood of the mosquitoes, they would joke that they looked like butchers returning home after a hard day’s work in the slaughterhouse.

  1. GOD HAS INNUMERABLE CHILDREN

While at Manjile-e-Meem in October 1922, Baba asked Ramjoo, “Does God have a mother?”

Ramjoo thought for a moment and replied that he did not know.

Irritated Baba said. “Don’t even know the story of Koran?”

To settle the matter, Muslim disciple Khak and Asar were called to Baba’s room. Asar opined, “What Ramjoo said is correct. Who can say with certainty whether God has parents or not?”

Baba taunted Asar, “if you don’t know yourself and not certain about it, then why do you ridicule the Christians who believe in the Son of God? Whatever it may be, you should not so easily renounce your religion. Outwardly you must adhere to it.”

“in view of the Master’s argument, Asar had to eventually accept this explanation-as Khak observed the incident slyly peering through his spectacles.

Baba asked Ghani, “Does God have any children?”

Ghani replied in affirmative, while other emphatically denied it.

Baba asked Ghani to explain himself. “According to you, when God has a father, what error is there in supposing He has children, too?”

Baba retorted, “Having a father does not necessarily mean one must have children, But it is true that God has innumerable children! The multifarious powers that that emanate from Him can be said to be God’s children. The Hindus call God, Deva.” and His three hundred and thirty million (1330, 000,000) powers are called Devas,”-Devas (angles, fairies) are subtle –conscious being without a gross body.

  1. SPLINTERING HITS

 Ghani had a bad habit of sleeping late each day and consequently would not participate in morning cricket matches. Baba exempted him from the game of cricket and allowed him to sleep instead. Ghani was delighted, but his joy was short lived. His room faced the back courtyard of the Manzil, where the game was played. His bed was by the wall   that was under a large window, divided into smaller panes. While playing, Ghani became the target of for Baba to send His well-driven balls through the window panes, sometimes shattering the glass.

Occasionally, to the great merriment of all, Ghani having been rudely awakened would peep out of window in fright with half-blinking eyes whenever pane went out with a crash and a shower of splintering glass in his room. So much so that because of teasing Ghani, Baba had almost cleared half the windows of glass. But Ghani would grimly stick to his sweet sleep!

On the morning of 29 Th January 1923, being rather sound sleep, Ghani awakened with a real shock because of an unexpectedly fast ball from Baba catching a big pane in the center.  For about 10 minutes he had to sit with his hands pressed against his heart. He angrily shouted “How can you I possibly sleep when You deliberately throw the ball at my window? I know You are doing it on purpose!” Baba replied, “The only solution is for you to rise early with the rest of us and sleep in the afternoon.”

  1. CRAZY PEOPLE TRY TO HYPNOTIZE THE AVATAR

 One afternoon while Baba was resting, the doorbell rang. Aranvaz answered it, and outside three were 3 disciples of Mirchandani. The man who claimed to be, but was not a real saint. They demanded to see Baba and said it was an order from their Master, Mirchandani, to bring Baba to him. Aranvaz explained that Baba was resting and no one was allowed inside. She tried to send them away, but Baba clapped and asked who was there. She informed Him, and He instructed,” ask them to go. They should tell Mirchandani to come and see Me here.” But men refused to leave, and finally Baba permitted them to come inside.

One of the men was waving his fingers trying to hypnotize Arnavaz, and seated before Baba he started doing the same thing to Him. Aranavaz thought: “These crazy people are trying to hypnotize the Avatar,” One of the Mirchandani’s followers had previously been in Baba’s contact. Baba gave him a Handkerchief and fortunately, he later left Mirchandani.

After speaking with Baba for a few moments, the men left, but Mirchandani did not come to see Baba.

Bhau Kalchuri nicknamed ‘Bhau’, the Chairperson of AMBPCCT, remained in service of  Meher Baba till Baba dropped His body and had numerous experiences of which few humorous incidents narrated by Bhauji in his own words from his book titled ‘ While the whole world had slept’ are reproduced as below

  1. DON’T SPEAK WITH WOMEN

In Satara, Baba gave all the mandali a strict order, “Do not speak with any women under any circumstances.”

At that time Vishnu did the major marketing of food and supplies, and occasionally I would be sent for a few miscellaneous things or on some errand. One day I was instructed to bring some brooms from the bazaar, but when I got there I saw that only women were selling them.  I went around the marketplace, but found none were being sold by men. Finally I saw a boy sitting with some brooms, as his mother had left momentarily. I went up to him and bargained quickly for five brooms. But just as I was handing him the money, his mother returned and questioned me, “How many brooms have you bought and at what price?” Remembering Baba’s order, I threw the money at the boy and ran off with the brooms!

Another time during this period, I was sent to the telegraph office to send a cable to the West. While I was at the window checking the cable and handing money to the clerk, a woman came up behind me and asked, “Will you please lend me your fountain pen for a few minutes?”

I forgot Baba’s order and gave her my pen but as soon as she took it I remembered the Baba’s order. I was quite confused   as what to do. “Did I break the Baba’s order? Did I speak to her?” I fretted. The woman was occupied with writing her cable. “What should I do?” I wondered. “If I ask her for my pen back, It will be breaking Baba’s order a second time.”  I decided to just leave the pen behind with her, but as I was walking away the women called out, “Please take this,” and handed me the pen. I took it, nodded without speaking, and hurriedly left, thinking Baba that I did not disobey again.

  1. BABA KA PRASAD

One of my duties in Satara was to take the mail from men mandali’s bungalow to Grafton, collect outgoing mail from Grafton and then post it. The post office was three miles away and I would cycle there every day. After returning from the post office, when I went for the night watch, Baba would hand me a banana and tell me to eat it there in His room.

This went on many days, and one day I thought, “Baba gives me a banana every day, but he doesn’t give one to any of the other men. It doesn’t seem fair; I don’t feel right being only one to get it. “When I went to Baba that afternoon he gave me a banana as usual, but I told Him, “I don’t want it. You never give one to others, yet you give me one every day.”

Baba listened and then said, with expression of pity gestured, “How fortunate you are! Do you take this to be only a banana? You have consideration for the mandali but not for me. What an insult! You bloody fool, remember were I to make you eat to your heart’s content, and starve the others, you should have no thought about it! It’s not your concern. Have you come to me to keep my pleasure, or to see that others are pleased? I may decide to make one man ascend to the throne and another to roll in the dust. If both are my slaves they should accept my will and be happy in it!

“I am not giving you a banana, I am giving you my prasad,” he continued, “and you refuse it! When you care so much for others and have so little regard for my prasad, what is use in your staying with me?   You have no idea with what intention I was giving you prasad. Now you’ve lost it.”

And I felt extremely repentant for my attitude.

25-SODA WATER

Another incident that occurred in Satara at this time was also meant to teach the same lesson. Baba was drinking soda water instead of plain water, and I had to bring the aerated bottles from the market. I would go on foot, and one man was hired to carry the crate. Satara received a consignment of carbonated bottles once a month and as soon as it arrived it was purchased by the restaurants and hotels in the area. I had contacted the agent, and would purchase the required number for a month at a time.

During one particular month, however, no soda water was received in Satara, and Baba really took me to task. “Why didn’t you buy more bottles last month?” He complained. “You have no thought of me, and when your attitude is like this, what’s the use of your remaining with me?”

And so with the utmost difficulty, I would buy one bottle here and one bottle there from different retailers: but Baba was still not satisfied. As it took time to buy bottles from so many places, and he wanted me quickly back from the bazaar. Some days later when consignment finally arrived from Bombay, I bought six crates, enough to last one month and a half. The wholesaler released them unwillingly as he has daily quota of supply to the retailers as well, and knew that this would be only truckload of soda water from Bombay for a month. But somehow I managed to persuade him.

For a few days all went smoothly, and I was feeling very pleased with myself because as there was ample supply on hand But then calamity struck! Baba called me and complained, “The soda water from these crates are stale and smells bad. Return one of the crates and bring another one.”

“Return will be easy,” I said, “as there is always a shortage of soda water but it will be extremely difficult to get another crate.”

“There is nothing great in returning it, but it would be truly something if you can get it replaced.” Baba observed.

I tried to return the crate, but everywhere I went, I was asked suspiciously, “Why do you want replacement? “What is wrong with this one?”

“Nothing is wrong with it.” I said. “Just check and see for yourself.”

“The soda water seems to be all right. But why do you want to exchange this crate for another one? What’s reason?”

What reason I could give? I met the same reaction everywhere and at last hit upon a strategy. I approached a restaurant and said “If you give me twenty four bottles of cold soda water, and keep these twenty bottles instead, I will pay you one rupee for exchange.” The owner willingly complied and I returned to Grafton with the new bottles.

Baba enquired to what happened and when I informed Him, He made no comments. But the next day, Baba greeted me with these words “What quantity of soda water have you bought this time? This crate stinks worse than the first! Return and bring a fresh crate.  But don’t go back to same hotel where you went yesterday as he might give back the same bottles you gave him!”

“Baba, “I tried to explain, “The whole consignment was received in one lot last month. From where am I to bring a fresh supply?”

“You want me to drink this awful stuff.”

Again I lugged the crate from one hotel and restaurant to another. Since cold soda water was available only at that one hotel, my previous trick would no longer work, and I could not exchange the bottles. Finally, I bought two bottles from each supplier, and sold the crate to a hotel-keeper. Baba did not like this deal and said, “Did I tell you to exchange one crate to another, or to do as you liked!”

“Baba, what am I to do? My brain does not help me. To exchange soda water for soda water is impossible. All are ridiculing me and think me mad!”’

“You are mad,” said Baba,” and I am glad to know people recognize you as to be so!”

It went on like few weeks, but once I became resigned to His wish and pleasure, Baba stopped complaining about the soda water and instead complimented me as how delicious it was!

The fact is, there was nothing wrong with the soda water, it wasn’t stale and it didn’t smell. Baba would reason to such lengths like complaining about the soda water to smash my hardcore intellect. He had enacted the same charade to try my patience and teach me one thing to ignore the mind and seek only to obey His orders.

26-FALOODA ON BHAU’ S HEAD

A third incident also illustrates how Meher Baba made the men mandali pass through certain humiliations. Whenever Baba would instruct me to carry anything on my head or shoulder such as vessels or supplies, I always felt embarrassed because I was college graduate and such work in India is considered demeaning for an educated person. I was especially bothered when outsiders saw me doing this kind of work, but I would do it because it was Baba’s order.

The 21 st March, 1955 being the Parsi New year, Baba came to the men mandali’s quarters and then instructed me to go to Grafton and bring falooda ( a sweet beverage that Parsis  community drink on that day). I walked to Grafton expecting that one of the servants would be around to carry the large pot of liquid, but as soon as I arrived, two of the women servant lifted the big vessel onto my head! It was so heavy that they had trouble lifting it!

Grafton was about furlong from the Rosewood and in between was house of Grafton’s manger, Sorabji Damania also a Parsee. I went from Rosewood to Grafton everyday and often I met him and enjoyed talking with him. But on that day, because I was embarrassed by doing such menial labour, I fervently hoped that I would not come across Sorabji.

I started walking on the road with the load, looking carefully ahead to see whether Sorabji was coming. Although my neck was bent and my shoulders ached under weight, I was relieved that today Baba was kind in that Sorabji was not on the road. But just I was thinking this, suddenly I heard Sorabji voice calling, “Sahebji, good morning” and he appeared from the side lane. I felt ashamed. I continued straight to Rosewood without acknowledging his greeting. I Thought, “Baba has not only made me labour much but he also made me face this embarrassing situation!”

When I came to Rosewood, Eruch and Pendu lifted the burden from my head. Baba asked, “Was it very heavy?” Before I could reply, Eruch interposed, “It is very heavy.” Pendu added,” One would die if one is to carry such a load for long,”

Baba asked me, “Did someone see you all the way?”

“Only Sorabji,” I lamented, and seeing my crest fallen expression, all burst out laughing.

Baba asked, “Did you feel ashamed?”

“Very much so!” I replied

“How will you obey me if you feel ashamed to be seen by others?” Baba gestured, You will act according to the ways of the world and not according to me. H e who thought for me does not care for the world.

Baba then ladled out a portion of the falooda into a small container and told me to take it to Sohrabji. I DID SO AND Sohrabji asked me, “Don’t you have any servants to carry the heavy load you had?” I said, “We are all servants of Baba. It is our good fortune that he assigns us such work.”

When I returned, baba asked me what Sohrabji had said, and I told him everything. Baba advised, “Learn to live like a stone people trample on it, and in the form of an idol also worship it, but is the stone affected thereby? Not in the least. Whether it is kicked, spat upon or worshipped, it remains affected thereby.   Whether it is kicked, spat upon or worshipped, it    remains unaffected. All of you want should consciously be like stones. You will attain the Goal of life if you become like a stone.

 

  1. BOARD AROUND MY NECK

In    August 1955, Baba agreed to give darshan in Bombay and he had a sign board prepared which read:

“I am free from all promises, including undertakings and arrangements. No one should therefore ask for anything material or spiritual from me at any time or on any account. I will do whatever I think to the be best for one and all and when I deem it fit.”

In Bombay, Baba stayed at Nariman and Arnavaz Dadachanji’s apartment, Ashiyana. There Baba said to the mandali, “The sign should be fixed in such a way that each one coming to me read it before entering Ashiyana.” Different suggestions were given as to where to display it, but Baba rejected them all.

He then said to me, “attach the sign to a board and hang it around your neck, and stand near staircase. Show the board to each of those who come, make sure that each one reads it.”

The next morning the darshan programme began. I stood in the doorway at the top of narrow staircase leading to Ashiana, and asked   each visitor to read the board. Then a big crowd began to gather and people started shouting at me, saying that I was detaining them unnecessarily and blocking the entrance.

I told them, “It is Baba’s order that each one read the board.”  But because of rush no one listened. A very hefty man came up to me and said, “You are obstructing people from going to Baba! If you don’t move from here, I move you myself.” Some were shouting at me, some were laughing and some were abusive. But I didn’t move. I just stood there with the board around my neck.

The crowd grew and grew and people began pushing me. I kept saying “Please read the board before going inside. It is Baba’s order,” but because of the rush they ignored me and would say, “Go and stand at the crossroads. Don’t block the way here. We’ve come for the darshan, not for reading your board.”

The darshan went on for five hours. Afterward, Baba called me and asked me what happened. I narrated the entire episode, and Baba laughed and said,” good that it happened. I am happy. Have you any idea about my plight! You only had the board around your neck, but the whole world is around my neck!”

  1. BHAU LOSES A MAST

From Satara Baba would frequently go on mast tours. Sometime the mast would be brought to Him and He would work with them at Rosewood. Once  a mast-like person was brought to Satara from Poona. He was not full-fledged mast but was only somewhat spiritually intoxicated. Nevertheless, he seemed to have no desire for anything. Baba asked me to look after him, and also bow down to him seven times every day.

One day baba came to the men mandali’s bungalow with the instructions for me “I will cut the mast’s hair and give him bath today at one-thirty in the afternoon.” So keep hot water ready and also the scissors, comb, towel, etc, Be alert and see that the mast does not leave the bungalow then.” I did not pay much attention to Baba’s last remark because the mast would never go out and always remained in his room. He was very docile and would comply with any request I made.

After Baba Left, I gave food to the mast which he ate and then I cleaned his plate. I told him to rest, and when I left his room he was lying down. After I ate my lunch, I checked on the mast again and found him sleeping. I began heating the water and preparing for his bath and haircut and as I did so, twice or thrice I went to mast’s room. He was still asleep.

Baba came and asked me to bring the mast. I went to his room and found, to my disbelief, that he was not there. Just three minutes before, I had looked in on him and found sleeping. I frantically searched here and there, but could not find him. Frightened, I went back to Baba. He asked where the mast was and I said, “I don’t know where he went.  He was here three minutes ago.”

Baba seemed angry and scolded, “Didn’t I tell you to be alert” Why didn’t you take my order seriously?” Do you think I ever say anything without a reason?” I kept quiet. Baba ordered, “Find the mast and bring him within half an hour or else you will have to pack your things and leave!”

Although a search was made by myself and the other men, the mast wasn’t located. Pendu took the car and drove all around and others looking on bicycles and on foot. After two hours of search, there was still no trace of the mast. Baba became very restless and said to me,” Were you not attentive?”   You have spoiled my work. Keep looking for him! Why are you standing here?”

I went out again and, to my surprise, found the mast walking on the road back to our compound. I quickly ran up to him brought him to Baba. Baba said to me, “Has this mast gone out alone!”

 I replied, “No.” Baba continued, “Then why did it happen today? It happened because you were not alert toward my instructions and took it for granted that he would not leave. You must always be attentive and not take anything for granted. Let this be a lesson for you.”

29-BHAU EATS LIKE A GIANT

At the beginning of October 1957, Baba went to Bombay for treatment of His injured hip. The women mandali stayed with Him in Ashiyana and the men mandali, who accompanied Him, stayed in other accommodations a mile and half away.

Before leaving Meherabad Baba told me, “We are going to Bombay, and you know at Arnavaz’s house the best type of food will be available. So eat well and improve your health.” Although I was only eating once a day in the afternoon due to my duties, I nodded in agreement. Baba repeated: “Very good food will be served. Eat heartily.”

We arrived in Bombay in the evening, and that night Baba again brought up the same subject. “The food here will be excellent, “he gestured, “So don’t eat outside.” (We had no money with us so I wondered how we could be able to eat elsewhere.) Baba continued, “Take only a cup of tea in the morning, and then come to Ashiyana for lunch. Otherwise how you will able to eat what is served here? Despite whatever I tell you, you must eat to your fullest.

The next day when we were all seated for lunch, Baba sat very next to me and said, “You are eating so much?” I thought Baba was joking and smiled. He said, “Your plate is overflowing, Are you a giant? If you eat like this, what will be left for others? Addressing others Baba commented, “Look how much Bhau is eating! Does he have any shame? What kind of manners does he have?” And Baba went on belittling me until lunch was over.

Everyday Baba would sit with us at lunch and made comments about how much I was eating. I felt so badly about it that I began taking only one slice of bread and a glass of water. But Baba would say, “This man has no manners. Just see how he sits there chewing bread and sipping water! Who brought him up?”

Twenty days passed like this and Baba did not let up on me for a single day. Late at night when I returned to where I was staying, I would see labourers sleeping soundly on the pavement. I would think, “Their life is better than mine. They sleep well at night. In the morning they enjoy a hearty breakfast, while I have only one cup of tea. Just see my life!”

The next day, after Baba’s running dialogue at lunchtime about my large appetite, I got so upset that I left the table. Baba got up and brought a papaya to me.

“Eat it.” He gestured.

“I don’t want it.” I replied

“Why not?” he asked

“Baba,” I implored, “Just give eight annas a day and I will make my own arrangement outside for food.”

“Eight annas? What will you eat for eight annas?” he asked

“Never mind what I will eat.” I said. “But I will be very happy if you’ll just give me that much. I don’t want this food. I will eat outside. For the past three weeks I have been living on one piece of bread, and still you don’t let go of me and keep saying that I eat like a giant!”

Baba then gestured, “What instructions I had given to you at Meherabad-do you remember?”

“I don’t remember.” I said, still upset.

“Did I not ask you to eat well?” he replied. “Repeatedly I told you to eat well. And the very first day here I said, whatever I may say, you should have your fill.

Isn’t that so? But you have disobeyed me. You broke my order. And every day when you were breaking my order by not eating, you were breaking my heart. How heart I felt when you would not eat well.”

I realized that Baba was right so I started eating regularly. However story doesn’t end here.

Six month later when we were staying at Ganeshkhind Gardens in Poona, some devotees from Bombay and Poona were called. At lunch all sat down to eat and Baba took chair opposite to me. “You are eating so much? How is it that you eat like a giant?” I just looked at him and continued my lunch.

Baba commented to the others “see how shameless this fellow is! He is one of my mandali and I am telling him he takes too much, yet he goes on stuffing his mouth.” Al glanced at me, but I went on eating. Baba said, “Just see. Just see this man. “Does he have any shame?”  And on it went, “Will you all ever behave like this?” Baba asked the others, and they all shook their heads solemnly and said no.

Baba left after the meal was over, and the guests asked me, “Don’t you have any care for Baba’s wish?”

“I was very hungry.” I answered.

“But it was Baba’s wish that you shouldn’t eat.” They argued. “Would it have killed you to miss one meal? When you cannot do such a small thing, how can you serve Baba properly?”

Laughing, I replied, “I serve only to my stomach and despite how it appears, it is not against Baba’s wish.”

In the evening when I went to Baba, he embraced me so much with love and gestured, “Today   you made me very happy. I am very pleased with you. You obeyed me 100% in spite of being humiliated

30-ERUCH STEALS ASPIRIN

One afternoon at Ashiana Arnawaz was not feeling well, and Baba instructed her to take some aspirin before going to bed. She was busy all the day, and only after baba retired at nine O’clock did she remember his instructions. Now what she could do? All the tablets were in the room baba was using, and it was strict order not to disturb Baba once he has retired to his room. All the shops were closed, yet somehow she had to obey Baba’s order before she went to sleep. How could she get some aspirin?

She went to Eruch and explained that Baba had instructed her to take aspirin before retiring and since the shops are closed she was unable to get any. “Don’t worry,” Eruch assured her. “I will bring you some from medicine chest in Baba’s room.”

That evening I was on watch. Baba appeared to be sleeping and was snoring deeply while I pressed his feet. Very slowly, Eruch opened the door, entered and tiptoed to the medicine chest. Without making a sound, he got the aspirin and crept out. Thinking himself a good thief to be able to steal the things from under God’s nose, so to speak, Eruch proudly presented the aspirin to Aranvaz.

I had watched Eruch while I silently continued to press Baba’s feet as if nothing was happening. But as soon as Eruch left, Baba suddenly snapped his fingers and inquired, “Who came in?” I told him, and Baba asked, “why? Why did he come in?”

“He took some medicine.” I replied

“Call him.” Baba declared.

I wanted to avoid scene, so I tried to explain, “Baba, Eruch just took some tablets, that’s all. He did not mean to disturb your rest.

But Baba repeated, “Call him. I want to see him.” So I went to get Eruch, fearing the worst.

When Eruch entered, baba asked him, “Why did you do?” and Eruch explained, “I took some aspirin to give to Aranvaz because you asked her to take it.”

“Good.” Baba gestured, and that was all he said.

Baba wanted Eruch to know that nothing got by him, even when he was snoring!

1.CHOCOLATE COTTON

A humorous incident involving chocolate happened few years later. As I mentioned earlier, Baba did not like any breeze in his room when he slept, and besides having all windows, doors and ventilators shut tightly, he would even put cotton in his years.

When Baba had something to eat at night-chocolate, cake or whatever- he would often give me a little bit of it. One night Baba sat up and gestured “I am hungry, give me something to eat.” I got the chocolate tin, put it on his bed, and went to open curtains.

While my back was turned, Baba took the cotton out of his ears and when I came back to the Baba, he handed it to me. Thinking it was a piece of chocolate, I popped it into my mouth! Baba laughed and laughed.

The next morning, when we came to mandali hall, he asked everyone, “Have   you ever seen a man eat cotton? Even animal cannot eat cotton, But this man was eating cotton last night!” Baba imitated my trying chew the cotton, and everyone had a good laugh.

32-SIMULTANEOS ORDERS

While at Guruprasad, I would usually go to Baba’s room at 3 O’clock in the afternoon. Baba would eat at five thirty; I would leave the room while the women mandali served him his dinner. After eating, Baba would call me back in.

One evening in 1960, after dinner Baba asked me to give him a glass of water. As I was filling the glass, He gestured, “Turn on the light.” I put the glass of water on the table and went to the wall to turn on light switch. I then came back and handed the glass of water.

Baba was angry and exclaimed, “I asked you for water and you went to put on the lights!”

I could not understand why he was upset so I simply answered, “But Baba you yourself asked me to turn on the light. How could I do two things at once?”

Baba replied, “I wanted water first. Why did you turn on the light first without giving me the water? You should have given it to me first and then turned on the light. The first order should be obeyed first.”

I realized my error and apologized, I am sorry, Baba, it was my mistake. I did not understand properly.”

The next evening when I was with Baba, he gestured, “Turn on the light.” Just I was about to do this, He asked for water. Remembering the lesson I have been taught the previous day, I switched on the light and then took water to Baba.

Highly vexed, Baba asked, “Why didn’t   you give me water first?”

I said. “You asked me to turn on the light first, and so I did. Only yesterday you told me that I should carry out the order given first.”

Baba replied, “That was yesterday. Today I wanted you to give me the water first.”

“But how I am to know which you want first?” I asked in frustration.

“That  is why I have been saying that obedience is impossible,” Baba replied” sill in such a case, you should have admitted your mistake. You should have said, “Yes, Baba, I am sorry. I made mistake.” As you did yesterday, But instead you go on arguing with me.

“I am telling you the truth. Today I wanted you to give me water first. When you don’t know what I want, it shows that you are ignorant. And when you are ignorant, why do you argue with me? Why don’t you just accept it what I say? Today I wanted you to obey the second order first.”

Baba continued, “If you cannot understand my ways, then at least accept your mistake without an argument.  If you admit your mistake wholeheartedly, then one day you will know what I desire. Then I will not have to tell you what I want.”

33-I WANT TO DIE

One day at Meherabad in 1965 baba gave me some urgent correspondence to attend on during lunchtime. I went to my room to write letter of reply, but Baba finished his meal quickly and bell soon rang for men to rejoin him in the Mandali hall for the afternoon. Baba stayed in the hall till 3 O’clock, and afterwards I had to go with him over to his room. I did not have time to complete the letter.

When I was with Baba he asked, “Did you finish the letter?” I thought I would be able to take care of it in the morning, so I replied. “No, I didn’t have time to do it.”

Baba scolded me, “Didn’t I tell you that it was urgent? Didn’t I tell you it was important? You never listen to me or take what I say seriously.”

Baba said no more, but I felt very sad because he has gotten so angry with me again, although he knew I had been with him all the day and there was no time to write-urgent or otherwise.

Later, I was pressing Baba’s feet, I thought, “It would really be better for me to die. I can’t leave Baba because I know I could never be happy without him, but I cannot serve him either. I don’t do anything right, and then he gets annoyed with me. If only I would die! It is best if I die.”

Suddenly, Baba sat up on the bed and gestured, “Show me how you will walk when you are seventy years old.”

I blurred out “But I don’t want to live to be seventy. I want to die. I want to die now!”

Yes, yes, “he nodded, but just shows me how you will walk.”

So I walked across the room hunched over like an old man. Baba had me to go back and forth from several times one corner to other several times. Then during the fourth time across, I started to laugh. Baba also started to laugh at this spectacle. My depression left me and I forgot about dying.

Baba remarked, “Oh you still have lots of work to do. You have no idea about it now.”

34-I WON AND YOU LOST

For most of 1967, Baba remained in strict seclusion at Meherabad. During one period of his seclusion, he would say, “I don’t remember anything now days. Just keep reminding me of things.” Also in this seclusion, Baba would repeat the things over and over again. For instance, at one point, for a month, I was instructed to   come to him at quarter to six.

Baba would ask me, “At what time you will come tomorrow?”

I would say, “At 5:45 p.m.”

“At what time?” he would ask.

And I would repeat, “5:45 p.m.”

Then he would gesture again, “At what time?” And I would give the same reply. Baba would go on asking the same question for twenty minutes or so and I would keep on giving the same answer.

This happened every day when I went on watch. Baba would say, “I don’t know why I repeat the same thing continuously nowadays.” But he would go on doing this.

One day, I was not in a god mood because I had received lot of scolding from Baba earlier for not attending to some correspondence. Baba told me, “Come tomorrow at five thirty.” Then: “What time will you come?”

“At 5:30” I answered.

Baba again asked, “At what time?”

Irritably, I said, “I know Baba. I will come at half past five!”

Baba smiled and simply said, I won and you lost.”

He had been asking me this question continuously in order to make me lose my temper –and he had finally succeeded in doing so!

Gustadji  was one of  mandali  member observed silence for 22 years on  Baba’s instruction and  instrumental in many humorous incident with Baba, few incidents on humorous  note as narrated by Mr. Anna Khandale in his compilation  titled “ Tears of joy” are reproduced as below.

35-GULMAI TO SEW GUSTADJI’S SHIRT

It so happened that during the month of October 1922, Baba was at Gulmai‘s house at Ahmednagar. On the holy day of Mohammad, a disciple Munshi Rahim brought a white kafni for the Master. Master looked magnificent in it. Seeing Gustadji’s torn shirt, Baba told Gulmai to repair it, but Gustadji would not let her. Baba insisted, “Don’t listen to him. If you sew for Gustadji, it is tantamount to doing service for me. Then Baba told Gulmai that no one can understand His Work.

36-MANZILA E MEEM

During the month of October 1922, Baba was at Manzil-e Meem. One day he got annoyed with Gustadji, “Why aren’t eating the quantity of food I tell you. Don’t disobey me.”

Gustadji replied, “That is precisely what I am doing. The ne cupful of cow’s ghee you have told me to have at 10 ‘O clock kills my appetite.”

Baba scolded him, this is what upsets me. Don’t go on repeating the same thing. Do only what I tell you.”

Gustadji was irritated; I am doing my best to please you. And you know this. I can understand why you force me to eat more, when I have no desire.   If I get ill who will manage the affairs here?”

Baba became more annoyed, “your understanding is very limited. If I tell you to do a certain thing without knowing its implications and consequences then I am not a Perfect Master. In that case, no earthly good can come out of your staying with me.”

Gustadji replied, “I am staying with you as per instructions of Upasani Maharaj                                                                                                                                                                                     , who ordered me to follow your orders.”

Baba said, “That is exactly what you are not doing. On the contrary you want me to act according to your wish.”

Gustadji replied, “If the situation were really like this, I would never come to you but, I would have taken in my house. If you want to test me, I do not see necessity of it, as I have already suffered a lot in hands of Sai Baba and Upasni Maharaj. You are welcome to try this on the novices of the path. Every two or three days you bring up something that causes mutual annoyance. Because of this I am disheartened.” Then Baba consoled him: “Actually you are my dark side. Having such a close connection with me, does it behove you to suggest that my orders and actions are meaningless and without any purpose. Even after my ‘Experience’, Maharaj made me sit in the filth. Where was the necessasity?  I do not intend to test you. I only ask you to obey me implicitly. In so doing you will help me in my work. You will never fathom my actions. Even if I hand you a cup of poison, drink it without the least hesitation. By so doing, you will lessen the burden of my work.

Gustadji felt distressed but kept quiet.  Baba referred to him as His “Dark-side”. Baba once explained:  “Dark-side means Gustadji was fully prepared for God realisation, and the only thing was needed now to tear open the veil.”

37-GUSTADJI BECAME A PROXY FOR BABA

Meher Baba was at Navsari (Gujrat) during the month of July, 1923. A Parsi gentleman came to the place and wanted to take Meher Baba’s Darshan. Baba was not in a mood to give darshan but the man insisted. So, Baba sent Gustadji in His place and instructed him to pretend to be Him. The Parsi had never seen Baba, so he took Gustadji’s darshan very reverently with folded hands and then left happily. This unusual incident coincided with a dream Gustadji recently had.

38-GUSTADJI LOST HIS TEMPER

Baba and Mandali were on a walking journey in the month of October 1923 and they reached Kasara where they stayed in a Dharmashala. Gustadji’s physical condition was the worst; besides being tired from the strain of journey, his health has not been good. He has large blisters on his feet. As soon as he set his foot inside, Baba told Adi to ask Gustadji when he was going to cook Baba’s dal and rice, as it was getting late. Gustadji was on point of collapsing, and he lost his temper, which displeased Baba. Baba began abusing everyone for their various lapses, and Gustadji in particular that morning. The situation grew unpleasant and so unbearable that Gustadji, unable to control his anger, left for railway station declaring that he was leaving Meher Baba forever and would never see him again.

Soon after, Baba sent Behramji, a disciple, to bring Gustadji back. Gustadji returned and it did not take Baba long to pacify him and made the matter return to normal.

39.GUSTADJI BROUGHT GOLDEN RING FROM MEHERA

One day in 1925, Meher Baba accompanied by Gustadji, came to post office building near railway line at Meherabad where Mehera was living with other women mandali. Baba halted at verandah and asked Gustadji to bring the golden ring from Mehera which she was wearing. This gold ring was given to Mehera, by Upasni Maharaj and she was wearing it. Gustadji approached Mehera and expressed Baba’s intention but she was unable to remove the ring from her finger. Mehera’s mother also helped her to remove the ring from her finger but it didn’t come out. Upasni Maharaj had told her not to remove the ring, so the ring was not taken out of the finger for many years.

Gustadji came back to Baba and told what had happened.

Baba told Gustadji,” When I told you to bring, it means you have to bring it. Tell Mehera that I will give her another ring.”

Gustadji came back to Mehera. This time, Mehera, somehow could remove the ring from her finger and handed it to Gustadji. Gustadji came back and gave it to Baba.

Sometime later, Baba brought back the ring that Maharaj had given to Mehera and presented her a new heart-shaped gold ring with the word ‘Meher’ engraved on it. Baba Himself put both the rings on one of the fingers of her left hand and told her never to take them off.

(Mehera was destined to become the Avatar’s chief woman disciple.)

 

 

  1. GUSTADJI OBSEREVED SILENCE

It so happened in the month of May 1927, Gustadji’s room was vacated and living arrangements were made for him on the verandah of Baba’s Jhopdi. Baba instructed him to live alone and keep aloof from other mandali. He was not permitted to leave verandah except to answer the call of nature. Gustadji was very talkative and would tell the stories of his life with Sai Baba, Upasani Maharaj and Babajan. One day Buasaheb teased him a little. Gustadji became so upset that he went on abusing Buasaheb for over two hours. After hearing this harangue, Baba too seemed finally fed up with Gustadji and ordered him to remain silent. However Baba had deliberately created this row to provide an excuse for putting him on silence from 1 st May, 1927. Baba explained to him, “the observance of silence on your part will be most helpful to me in my work. Therefore be silent for my sake”.

Thus Gustadji commenced his silence and started communicating through gestures until his death till 1947.

41-DONKY RIDING –GUSTADJI

A white donkey named Champa was brought to Meherabad on 8 th July 1936 and Baba sat on it. Dr. Ghani was specially called from Lonavla just to hold the reigns. It was a matter of great amusement for all the mandali and provided them an occasion of merriment.

Gustadji was fond of horse riding and Baba once directed him to ride the donkey. No sooner Gustadji perched himself on to its back, then donkey, instead of moving forward, went backward!

Gustadji did his best to bring it round, but it stubbornly kept going backward and then threw Gustadji off.  Laughing everybody there ran to help him.

42-WHO IS DUMB

Gustadji was with beloved Baba when Baba was out looking for masts on Mukamma Ghat in Bhatnagar (India). On, 1 st 1948, an interesting incident took place.  As Gustadji was also observing silence Baba was ‘speaking’ with him through gestures and Eruch was interpreting for Baba. Nearby a police man was observing this odd exchange and became suspicious. The policeman thought, that some secret coded messages are being passed between Baba and Gustadji. In those days India and Pakistan had bitter relations. The policeman, therefore, asked everyone to accompany him to the police station to which Eruch protested. There was a wordly dual between Eruch and the policeman.

Eruch explained him, “We are all Parsis and this man is dumb and was speaking through signs.”

Gustadji could not tolerate this and retorted through gestures: “Eruch, you are always calling me dumb. Am I dumb? Am I not observing silence?” But Eruch did not pay any attention to him and continued talking to the police. Baba intervened and gestured to Eruch, “What Gustadji is saying? You first tell me what he is saying.”When police saw that there were two dumb persons not one, he became even more suspicious. Ultimately Eruch, with much difficulty could convince him about their innocence and the man left.

Gustadji demanded, Eruch to explain why he was always being called “dumb”.

“Had I not said that, you would have been behind the bars, in police custody,” Eruch explained.

“Yes, it would have been better than being insulted,” said Gustadji.

Baba continued goading Gustadji and funny thing was that Eruch had to interpret this provocation. Finally Eruch accepted his successful retreat and asked for pardon. And he assured Gustadji that he would not call him ‘dumb’ again. But Baba did not want to end their confrontation. He continued to encourage Gustadji to keep on talking, and Eruch, not liking the game Baba was playing, had to interpret His gestures.

At last Eruch got upset and lost his temper and said something disrespectful to Baba.

After a little while, Baba asked Eruch, “Do you know how much you have pained me?”

By the time, Eruch had cooled down. He answered, “But Baba, I did not mean that. You did not feel so hurt when others have used much stronger language.”

‘You have no idea how much you have shocked me. Listen this story and you will know the difference between you and others.” Baba then narrated following story:

A woman in a village once fornicated with man who was not her husband. As per the custom of the community, the woman was made to sit inside a square and villagers began stoning her one by one When turn of woman’s daughter came, she threw a rose at her. But the rose wounded the woman much more than all the stones combined.

Similarly, others ‘stones’ did not hurt me as deeply as your ‘rose’ had done.

                                                                                                                                                                       

43-THEY MISTOOK GUSTADJI AS ARAB

Baba was contacting a must Baitulla shah in a suburb of Ahmadabad. On the evening of June, 11 Th 1948, Baba went to contact him. After contacting the mast Baba and mandali reached a bus stop to catch the bus. When the bus came Eruch, Baidul and Baba boarded the bus, but Gustadji, who could not walk fast was seen plodding along. It was time for the bus to start and Baba clapped for Gustadji to hurry. Gustadji once began running. A small boy was walking toward him. The Boy thought that Gustadji was going to seize him and he got frightened. The boy turned round and started running, screaming that a man was after him. Hearing the Boy’s scramming, a few people gathered and began shouting “Murderer! Murderer!” They mistook Gustadji for an Arab chasing the boy. 10 to 12 men came running and were about to pounce upon Gustadji. Baba signaled Gustadji to stop. Gustadji stopped running and stood still. As Gustadji was silent he could not reply to the questions asked by the people. Eruch and Baidul, therefore, stepped forward and intervened. Eruch explained the matter to them, and they calmed down and Gustadji was saved.

44-CHILD LIKE GUSTADJI

During the year 1952, Gustadji went to western countries with Baba and other disciples. Meherji Karkaria (disciple) took Gustadji to a shop and purchased a handsome gold watch for Gustadji as per his choice. Gustadji wore the watch during the tour with Baba and moved like a dignitary. He was also wearing a fine western style suit.

No sooner Gustadji returned to India he kept the watch and the cloth carefully locked in a trunk and he resumed wearing his old patched clothes.

It so happened that when they were at Meherazad, Baba asked Gustadji – “Have you shown your fine gold watch to Meherwan (Younger brother of Eruch ji), now he is here for some days. Don’t fail to show him your expensive –beautiful watch.”

Gustadji immediately gestured to Baba. “Please Baba-don’t say loudly in front of all. I would definitely show him but others must not know about it”

Baba looked around and gestured “Oh yes, Meherwan, remember that Gustadji will call you alone quietly when no one is there. Baba also instructed Gustadji to show the alarm and the date and all other features of the watch to Meherwan.

After some time Gustadji clapped and called Meherwan to his room after assuring that nobody was there looking at him.

Gustadji ‘s small room was  in fact a mess, full of all sort of litter things like boxes and old tin trunks, old newspapers,  empty cigarette boxes and even scrap of paper. He was in the habit of collecting all such rubbish whenever he could get hold of it.

Peeping out he again looked around to make sure that no one was watching and then he closed the door and also the window. No sooner he opened the trunk, there was knock on the door. He hurriedly shut the trunk. When he opened the door he found that Baba was standing there. Baba entered the room and asked, “Have you shown your beautiful watch to Meherwan?”

“No, Baba not yet, I am just showing.” Then Gustadji showed the watch to Meherwan in presence of Baba. Meherwan admired the watch and its alarm.

Then Gustadji quietly asked Baba to leave so that he would be able to pack up the watch.

45-BABA PLAYED A TRICK

During the period a funny incident took place while Gustadji was in Satara. One day he was not feeling well and was having temperature. So, Baba played a trick. Kaka Baria, who was at Meherazad, wrote a letter to Eruch, who was with Baba in Satara. Kaka wrote in a letter that he had put open Gustadji’s trunk and provided suitable woolen clothes to one Krishna Swami who had come from Dehradun and he was badly in need of woolen clothes due to cold. On Kishanaji’s instance, Kaka opened the trunk.

When the letter was read to Eruch, Gustadji fumed danced here and there with anger. Baba was also there and he added fuel to his anger saying, “How Kaka could dare to open your trunk? Who is he? This is thievery!” This remark of Baba made Gustadji more angry. He started jumping and fuming and told Baba to allow him to go to Meherazad so that he could squeeze Kaka’s neck and come back.

Baba was enjoying the drama and then quietly showed the postmark of the letter. The letter was posted in Satara itself and not in Ahmednagar. Then Baba revealed to him that it was purposely done by Him. Gustadji felt   relieved and also felt better when he heard that the letter was not written by Kaka. The trick played by Baba had the desired effect on Gustadji who was sick and felt better.

46-GUSTADJI AT TAJMAHAL HOTEL

It was well known fact that Gustadji was an ice-cream addict. There is a funny incident about his fancy for ice-cream. Whenever he would accompany dear Baba to Mumbai, he would express his desire to eat ice-cream in Tajmahal hotel, and Baba would tell him that he would see to it next time as there is no time. This happened many times. In one trip to Mumbai he pestered Baba like anything and ultimately Baba agreed.  Baba told him, “Tajmahal Hotel is very big and a hotel for aristocrat people. You need to wear a costly dress. If you go in this dress they will drive you out. “So, Baba asked Dr. Nilu to take him to Taj Mahal hotel for enjoying ice-cream. Baba also advised Dr. Nilu to provide him a decent suit and also, a new pair of shoes. Gustadji was observing silence and also not knowing English. Dr. Nilu was therefore, very reluctant to accompany Gustadji to a place like Taj Mahal hotel, but he had to obey Baba.

When both entered the hotel they found the floor very slippery. Gustadji was trying his level best to walk carefully with new shoes but he still slipped (on the flooring) creating an embarrassing situation for Dr. Nilu. Dr Nilu lifted him up and they tried to tread on as lightly as they can but Gustadji slipped again.  This happened three –four times, and it was very embarrassing indeed to Dr. Nilu as the other aristocrat customers watched them with amusement and dislike.

Ultimately Dr. Nilu decided to come back without enjoying the ice-cream treat. They both came back and narrated the happening to dear Baba, who laughed and asked Gustadji, “Would you like to go to Tajmahal hotel again for the ice-cream treat?”

“No, Baba. No. I will never go there.”

After that Gustadji never asked Baba for ice-cream treat at Tajmahal hotel. That was Baba’s way of removing deep-rooted sanskar from one’s mind.

47-GUSTADJI OBEDIENCE PLEASES ME

Beloved Baba was at Meherazad during the month of June-July 1957 and Gustadji was also there.

Each morning after inquiring about mandali’s health and welfare, Baba would ask Gustadji if he had seen any dream. Gustadji was always prepared to relate some dream (or make up one) to amuse Baba. Baba would encourage him by intersecting “And then what happened?” –And again-“and Again then what happened?” “And, Gustadji would go on with his lively narration and hand signs.

On one occasion, while all the mandali were seated in the Hall, Baba had some sweets brought for Gustadji, who was sitting on a chair next to Him. Baba asked Bhau Kalchuri to bring a plate and then instructed Bhau to go and complete the urgent letter, which Baba wanted to send someone urgently. Just as Bhau was about to start writing, Baba clapped. Pointing to a few cramps on the floor that had fallen from Gustadji’s plate Baba gestured, clean it up, or ants will come.”

Bhau cleaned the floor. Baba then gestured, “Now, go! It is very urgent letter. Finish that early.”

Hardly Bhau had written one or two lines he heard Baba’s clap.

“Gustadji wants water, bring it fast,” Baba told him.

The other mandali were also seated therein the hall without any work. But Baba had called Bhau, away from his work, to do this menial work. Bhau thought that the old man Gustadji was doing all that with no purpose and just to harass him.

Baba again mentioned, “Hurry! Finish that letter and complete it before the boy leaves with the mail for Nagar.”

Again Bhau left and started writing the letter. But Baba again called him to clean some crumbs from under Gustadji plate. Then He motioned, “Have you completed the letter?”

Bhau by now quite irritated, replied, “Baba how could I finish it! You keep calling me every two minutes and Gustadji is just doing nothing and only harassing me unnecessarily.”

“Is he really doing nothing? He is doing much more important work than you. The work Gustadji does by sitting by my side here is such that you can never do it, even while working your utmost for me. The reason is that He sees my pleasure. You are also obeying me, but your obedience does not give any pleasure. However, he is doing this purposefully because he knows that it pleases me,. It is my pleasure that he should eat sweets, which he does. All the while pleasing me he never had a thought that you are disturbed in your work. If he had that, then he would be keeping your pleasure, not mine.  He knows what pleases me but you don’t ! You know he is doing all this to please me. yet without having any thought for my pleasure, you on the contrary become angry with him. And you think that you are working while Gustadji is doing nothing, but sitting here and eating sweets. He really works. Whatever work you do is quite useless. If I do not give any sweets to him and send them to you with him he will do it willingly without thinking. This is called work!  So he is doing much more important work than you. Both of you are obeying me one hundred percent, but the difference is that his obedience is giving me pleasure, your’s is not.”

48-BHAJIA TREAT

Baba was at Meherazad and a meeting was held on 29th September, 1957 about the sahwas programme of Baba-lovers. And at the end of meeting tea and Bhajiyas were served. All were given much more than they can eat, but Gustadji collected the leftover bhajiyas and kept them in his room to enjoy later. When Baba came to know about it, He asked Gustadji, “Do you want to die? If you eat those bhajiyas you will surely perish.”Although none knew it at that time, this was a hint to Gustadji about his imminent death.

49-BABA’S PRASAD

During this period Gustadji was doing watch-duty for two hours from 4a.m. to 6 a.m. As soon as Gustadji would come to Him, Baba would ask him a bottle of soda water, knowing that Gustadji liked it. Baba would take a sip and hand it back for him to drink. When he finished Baba would ask a second bottle, and again after a sip, He would return it to Gustadji. This would go on till 6 a.m. and Gustadji would return from Baba’s bedside with a glowing smile on his face. This exchange was to be Baba’s last amusement, with His old disciple-companion.

(Krishna K. Nair an urdent Baba-lover and mandali member remained in Baba‘s attendance since October 1939. His experiences on Baba’s humour in his words is reproduced from the book titled “ Tears of joy’ complied by Anna Khandale.)

50-YOU HAVE FALLEN INTO A DITCH

Along-with me four more boys were with Baba. One day Baba called us all and asked each one of us, “What do you want?  What do you want to do in your life?”

Raju said, “I want to go into business.” Kalappa replied, I want to deal in cooking oil.”

Amdoo said, “I would like to drive a ‘tonga’ (a horse cart) and earn from that.”

Venkoba Rao said, “I want to be a farmer.”

Baba said to all, “Granted!” I alone replied, “I want you Baba!” Baba looked at me and gestured, “I will give you God” But after that Baba smilingly remarked to me, “You have fallen into a ditch! Now you will be in trouble.”

Baba kept me and Venkoba Rao in Meherabad and sent other three boys back home, after making arrangements for them, according to their wishes.’

51-I FELL INTO A PIT

At Meherabad there was a large pit to dump the excreta collected from the ‘mast’ toilets. One day it rained heavily and the pit got fully filled with water. Papa Jessawala asked me to empty the pit with the help of a bucket. But while doing this work I slipped and accidently fell into pit.  I shouted for help from the mandali. Venkoba came to my rescue and pulled me out. Baba came by and saw me covered with the filth. Baba asked me as to why I was cleaning the pit. I pointed out to Papa. Baba was quite upset with Papa. Baba then asked me to bath sixteen times. He handed me sixteen small stones, to count, so that I would not make a mistake. After bathing I told Baba, that my skin has gone dry and tight. Baba gave me some oil from woman’s room to be applied on my body. Baba asked me, “Did you feel bad while cleaning the pit?” I replied, “Not at all, Baba.”

Then Baba spelled out, “You yourself are full of unclean matter. Do you realize that? Why do you live in such filth? Don’t you feel dirty? Start feeling unclean because of filth of desires that covers you from head to toe, and begin to clean as you cleaned the pit today.

52-STOREY OF AMIR

Amir Amin Sayyed was sweeper’s son and Baba brought him from Ahmednagar to Lahore. His sister was working for the woman mandali and she had requested Baba to take care of her brother. Baba kept this poor fifteen year boy in a royal style and I was assigned the duty of serving him. Baba appeared to be very fond of Amir and pampered him a lot. At 5 p.m. if the Amir would say it was five in the morning, Baba would say he is correct.

Every Saturday and Sunday I had to escort the boy six miles away for the movie. I had to purchase the ticket for him, but I was not allowed to go inside the movie theater. I had to sit outside like a servant, waiting outside for the boy to come out. One day as we were returning after the movie, a truck passed by and a cloud of dust that settled on Amir’s fine clothing and got into his eyes.

The boy shouted at me,” It is so dusty here, why are you taking me on this dirty road?”

I replied, but this is the only way to the theater.  There is no other route.”

Amir shouted abuses at me until I could bear no more. I retorted angrily,” you bloody little bastard If I were not with Baba I would have cut you into tiny pieces and thrown into the garbage pit. Is it my mistake that that a truck passed by and raised the dust?” How could I have prevented it?”

Amir went straight to Baba and began to cry. Baba immediately called for me and asked, “Why did you take the boy via such a bad road?” I retorted, “Baba he was shouting and abusing me. Am I to build his little highness a special highway?” For the first time, Baba slapped me. Enfolding Amir in His arms He directed him to go to his room.

When Amir left, Baba asked me, “What are you thinking?”

“Baba, I am wondering why you did that? I was not at fault. I did not commit any mistake and still you struck me?”

“You hate him because you are a Brahmin and he is sweeper. To banish this hate from your heart, I have purposely given you this work of serving him. You should be thankful to Amir for helping to eradicate this deep rooted prejudice from your heart. You hate him and you always envy him. He does not hate or envy you. This shows that Amir is a true Amir or wealthy man, while you are a pauper.”

“Then why is he so demanding?” I asked.

“Were he is not so fastidious, how could your hate have manifested? To bring this hate to surface, I have given you this work. Amir had done his work well. I made him believe like that. If the position is not taken out, one would die. Amir is benefitting you, but you have no idea of it.”  Baba caressed me and said, “Don’t think about it any further. It was for my work. He is a Muslim and you are a Hindu. There is some work I had to do through both of you. By thrashing you, I did some important work. Now forget about it.”

 

53-BABA’S WARNING

Recollecting Baba’s Lahore days, Baba once warned me that during the night watch, while I took the rounds of the bungalow, I should be extra careful and always carry a stick and a flash light. Baba repeated this warning three times and I was puzzled at this repeated emphasis. When Baba saw me at night He again reminded me about those instructions. I knew by experience that whenever Baba repeated   an instruction it had deep meaning. I was, therefore, most careful that night but nothing happened.

Feeling a bit relaxed, I thought that baba had repeated His instructions only to frighten me and to see how I react! The next night also, when I was with Baba, He once again repeated those instructions. Somewhat irritated, I said, “Baba, You   have already told me about that. No need to repeat that again, Baba.”

Baba scolded and said, “There is a reason, otherwise why would I waste my breath?” Now repeat it to me three times.”

So, I repeated three times: “I will be cautious and when doing the rounds I will always carry a stick and a torch with me. I will be cautious, I will be cautious and I will be cautious.”

Despite all this, I failed to take Baba’s warning seriously. One night when I was taking a round outside I spotted a large black cobra. I picked up sand and threw it toward the snake, making it turn and dash for me. Where upon, I struck the snake with the stick and killed it. The noise made Baba to step out of His room. He inquired, “

54-IF CHANJI COMES, YOU WILL HAVE TO GO

Baba wanted to go to Kashmir during the month of August 1944 for contacting the masts. Chanji, Baba’s secretary, was ordered to go in advance and hire a bungalow. He was instructed by Baba not to eat boiled potatoes. Baba repeated instruction three times and said, “And if you eat boiled potatoes, potatoes will eat you.” When Baba says anything repeatedly, it means something would go wrong. Chanji managed to hire a bungalow which was under construction and six miles away from Srinagar. Since it was not yet ready, Baba and mandali had to stay in Majestic Hotel for a week after their arrival in Srinagar.

Chanji was very fond of boiled potatoes. He, therefore, took order lightly. When Baba arrived in Srinagar He happened to enter Chanji’s room and on seeing potatoes peelings on the floor He got upset and scolded Chanji sharply. Soon after this Chanji fell sick and down with fever. Chanji’s condition grew noticeably worse and his ailment was finally diagnosed as Typhoid. He was admitted to Kashmir Nursing Home on August 20th, as per Baba’s orders, where Dr. Daulat Singh looked after him.

On August 24th Mahila Mandali was to be shifted to the new bungalow in Nishat area.  Before proceeding to Nishant Baba instructed to Krishna K. Nair to follow in truck with their luggage and specifically not by bicycle. But after they had loaded everything in the truck, there was no room for bicycle, so I cycled to Nishat and Vishnu went with the truck. At Nishat Baba scolded me, why did you fail to carry out my order I told you not to ride bicycle.

Baba there was no room in the truck. The driver also refused to take the bicycle and I was compelled to ride it I pleaded

“And you call that obedience? You should have thrown the bicycle away. Do you value the bicycle more than my words? Is your bicycle greater than my orders? Why don’t you obey me?” Then in cryptic fashion Baba spelled out, “If Chanji comes, you will have to go.” I did not understand and Baba spelled out, “If Chanji improves and comes here, you will die”.

And that very night I was down with fever. Dr. Nilu and Dr. Daulat Singh began treating me. Baba went on a mast tour. My condition worsened. Civil surgeon was called but he also expressed that my condition was serious. A telegram, was therefore sent to Baba and He returned from tour.

Baba directed to give me ‘Kanji” (cream of wheat). He himself put a spoon of ‘Kanji’ in my mouth and at that time the telephone bell rang and the news came that Chanji had died. The civil surgeon was not happy on ‘Kanji’ being fed to me and he told Baba that ‘Kanji; would harm me and I may even die. Baba gestured, “Keep quiet.”

Baba put me on the bed rest for ten days and my health gradually improved. After ten days Baba asked me humorously, “Are you still alive?” and all had a hearty laugh.

Despite the best possible treatment, Chanji did not improve but died on Friday Aug 25 th 1944, at 5.30 a.m. with Baba’s name   on his lips. He shut his eyes forever to the world, and opened them to see his Divine Beloved in His Real Splendor.

Chanji always used to say, “When I die, I wish I should be in Kashmir-it’s so lovely there.”  Baba had fulfilled his wish and Baba’s own words uttered in June of the year were also fulfilled.

Baba Himself attended Chanji’s funeral in the Parsi Cemetery and strewed flowers over his last remains. Thereafter a headstone was raised and Chanji was finally given a rest after twenty hectic years in the service of his Lord.

After burying Chanji, Baba left Srinagar immediately for Nishat, and instructed Vishnu to inform Adi sr. and Chanji’s family about his demise. Baba dictated this cable:

“Chanji has come to Me forever. He has joined Me eternally and no one should worry.”

Habibulla Beg readily agreed to take telegram from Nishat to Srinagar and Vishnu paid him one hundred rupees for expenses. Beg, having spent ten rupees only, gave back the balance of ninety rupees to Vishnu, the next day. Baba gestured him to keep it. Beg asked, “Why should I keep it so much money when I have spent only ten rupees?” Baba replied, “You have done a very important work of mine. Ninety rupees are no compensation for such an important work. Have some clothes made with this amount.”

55-MY BLOOD ON THE WALL

I do not remember the year but Baba was at Meherabad and I was doing night watch duty. Baba’s strict orders were that there should not be any slightest movement on part of the person on watch duty. Thus one has to sit on a chair like a statue until the time he is called by Baba.

It so happened, that one day I was on night watch duty. Baba did not clap to call me for a long time and I had to remain seated in one position, consequently mosquitoes were enjoying feast of my blood to their heart’s content. I was helplessly watching the mosquitoes sucking my blood. Those who sucked my blood became fat and because of drowsiness they sat on the wall. When Baba went to bath-room, I spanked the drowsy mosquitoes on the wall and killed more than forty. The wall became patchy with the spots of blood. I left the place in the morning when my duty was over.

After some time sister Manija, Meheramai and other Mahila Mandali came to visit Baba. They were surprised to see the patches of blood on the wall and told Baba about it. Baba sent for me. I explained to Baba that it was my blood and how I killed mosquitoes. The incident made Baba very happy and He praised my “valour’.

56- I HATE THE GIRL

Baba was in Rishikesh during the month of August 1946 and during this period my marriage took place at my native place. Several years before, the following incident occurred while Baba was staying in Dehradun in 1942. I would take a walk every morning before going to Baba’s room for night watch. Opposite their bungalow was a girls’ school. Four girls used to watch me, and one of the girl asked me if she would come with me for a walk. I disliked women and would feel quite uncomfortable if they are around.

My disgust was so great that when the girl innocently asked to accompany me, I spit on her face. The girl’s feelings were hurt and she complained to Baba. Baba called me and asked me for my side of story. “You have done a nasty thing.” Baba reprimanded.

He directed the girl to remove her sandal and beat me with it. He ordered me to bow down to her and seek her forgiveness. When the girl left Baba asked me why I did that.

“Baba I did not like to touch any women: I do not want to have any contact with any women,” I replied.

Baba spelled out “You say you do not want to have anything to do with women, but you will marry and you will have one son also.”

“No, baba, I tell you that I will not marry.”

“Are you challenging Me?” Baba said.

“Baba I am not challenging you, but I do not want to marry.”

“But you will marry.” Baba insisted. I now insisted finally that I have resolved not to marry.” “All right, and then write it down,” Baba said.

Baba called Vishnu and told him to bring a quill pen. He then directed Dr. Nilu to draw blood from my forefinger. He then ordered me, “Write in your blood: ‘I will not marry’”. Baba then examined the paper and gave it to Vishnu with the instruction to keep the same with him till the time He ask for it again.

During the next four years, Baba did not open the topic of my marriage.

57-MYSTERY OF MY MARRIGE

Before going back to Nniranjanpur in July 1946, Baba had given me a month’s leave to visit my mother on condition that I should obey my mother.

Baba used to send Rs. 30/- every month to my mother for her livelihood. I went home and stayed with my mother for the first time since I came to Baba. After four or five days she began pestering me to marry. Despite my protest, she did not stop her crusade. Baba had already asked me to obey my mother and make her happy. I remembered Baba’s words and sent Him a letter. A one- line telegram was received from Baba-“Obey your mother’s word.” My mother was extremely happy to know about Baba’s wishes. She arranged my marriage and marriage ceremony was held twelve days later. The very next morning, a telegram came from baba ordering me to return immediately to Dehradun. Everybody in the family was surprised and confused after knowing the contents of telegram, but my wife was not upset. She asked me to obey to Baba.

I met Baba in Rishikesh. As I entered the room, everyone was ordered out.

Baba asked me, “Are you married? Is your wife beautiful!? Does she love you?”

“Baba I was with her only for eight hours,” I said. “How do I know whether or not she loves me?”

Baba commented, “She is better than you. She loves you more than you know.”

I was sent back to Niranjanpur, with instruction not to tell anyone about marriage.

After one and half year, Baba permitted me to go to my native place and meet family members. He granted me one month’s leave but called me back after twenty five days.

Baba reached Meherazad in first week of November 1947, after His mast tour. During his mast tour an eighteen year old boy named Chandrabhan, who did the shopping in the bazaar, and who was under Kaka Baria’s supervision, refused to listen me. Foregoing sleep to do night duty, I sometimes would be in irritable mood.  When Baba returned from His Journey, he was displeased to learn that, in His silence, I gotten angry at Chandrabhan and had struck the teenager.

58- I WAS NOT IN NEW LIFE

From 16 Th October 1949, Baba was to enter in His New Life phase along with some selected mandali. I therefore came back from my home to Meherabad during the month of August 1949 with the intention to join New Life with Baba.

When I was at Meherabad, I received a letter informing me that my wife had given  birth to a son. When I was reading letter, Baba came by and asked me what news I have received. I told Him, and Baba ordered me not to tell to anyone. Later, when all had gathered in the hall, Baba asked me “How is your wife and son?”  Baba then asked Vishnu to bring the paper on which I had written in my blood in 1942, pledging, “I will not marry.” Poor Vishnu took 45 minutes to locate the paper. Baba held it up and said, “This bloody rascal challenged me that he would not marry! Now he is married and has a son also!”All had a hearty laugh.

Dr. Nilu interjected, “Baba, Kirshna married behind our backs, without giving us a proper celebration. We demand a ‘Basundi’ (sweetened condensed milk) party.

Baba replied teasingly, “Don’t look at me, I am not the one who got married, It is for Krishna to give you a ‘Basundi’ party.”

I said, “But Baba I don’t have any money.” Then Baba arranged Basundi sweets for everyone to celebrate the occasion.

59-BABA EMBRACED TH RASKAL

Before leaving Dehradun (November 1953) Baba called Isa and asked, “Are you coming with me to Mahabaleshwar?”

“My parents want me to get married.” He said.

“Just tell me whether you want to come with me or get married.” asked Baba.

“I would prefer to abide by my parent’s wishes and would get married and then retire into forest and sing your bhajans.” Isa declared.

Baba had good laugh at this and advised Isa, “After marriage, don’t go to forest but instead come to me. “Will you come?”

“Yes, I will come. That way my parents’ wish shall be fulfilled and yours too.” Laughing heartily Baba embraced the rascal.

During March 1954, Baba was at Mahabaleshwar. He called Isa from Dehradun. Baba instructed that Isa although was an outrageously demanding boy, be treated like a prince and Bhauji and myself were given the duty of looking after him. We had to bring his food and place it on the table, clean his plates, make his bed and mostly do whatever he demanded. It was Baba’s order that he be kept pleased and “treated as gently as a flower.”

Food was being brought for Isa from the women’s kitchen and it was placed before him on the table. Isa would seem disinterested and would not finish it quickly. Once Bhauji asked him, “Isa, please eat your food fast. I have to go with other men a long distance to the hotel for my meal.”

To this Isa replied sharply,-“Have you come to Baba for eating or obeying?”

What he said is not true. The boy had been specially brought to instill such lessons in forbearance for certain men mandali.

One day Bhau asked him, “Isa,   could you find some employment here or not?”

“What have you to do with my employment here or there or anywhere?” he snapped. “Don’t mistake me for a sweeper. I can employ you and your ancestors as well! And remember this: your pulse is in my hands! One adverse word from me to Baba and you would be thrown out.”

Isa would somehow succeed in provoking us to such an extent that we would lose our poise.

60-MY SUICIDE EPISODE

Baba was at Mahabaleshwar during April 1954 in Agakhan palace. I was doing duty of night -watch near Baba. I also had duty of preparing hot water every morning for Baba’s bath. One day on account of an unintentional lapse on my part the water got heated a little too hot. When Baba came for bath, He put His finger in the hot water and complained that it is scalding hot. He became upset and angry with me and said,” Do you want to kill me? Are you trying to burn me?”

He did not stop here and He continued severely abusing me, “you are useful for nothing. Why are you staying here? Why don’t you go away? You eat and sleep like a pig. Why don’t you die instead of trying to kill me? I would be happier if you died.”

On and on it went. His angry mood remained for the whole day and He kept outpouring angry words. At 4 p.m. he once again said, “Why don’t you die instead of trying to kill me? I would have been happier had you died.” Baba was relentless and I felt really devastated.

I thought that if my death would make Baba happy, then I must die. Baba’s happiness was supreme to me.

In those days I was not getting sound sleep. Dr. Goher used to give me sleeping pills daily. One day when I approached Dr. Goher for pills, Baba was there and He asked Dr. Goher to give me the full bottle of 25 pills so as to avoid the trouble of giving pills every day.

Since I had decided to die I went to a secluded cliff known as ‘Bombay- point’. After selecting the spot I came back to my room. I thought of jumping from the ‘Bombay-point’. At the same time I thought if I did not die, it would be a horribly messy and painful thing. So I decided to take first sleeping pills and then jump. To me it appeared to be safest way to die.

I took the bottle of pills and swallowed all the pills that were available in the bottle, with the help of water. I think they were not less than twenty, if not more. No sooner I started to walk toward ‘Bombay-point’, I saw Vishnu master (one of Baba’s mandali) coming towards me. He gave me a message that Baba was calling me. I was terrified as I was counting the last minutes of my life. I was not in a position to walk properly. Even with much difficulty I went to Baba.

Baidul, Donkin, Eruch, Kaka, Kaikobad, Gustadji, Nariman Dadachanji and other mandali members were sitting with Baba. Nariman had brought some sweet mangoes from Mumbai. Baba distributed two mangoes to each of them. He gave two mangoes to me and asked me to eat them without peeling. I told Baba that they were raw mangoes. Baba asked me to cut them into pieces. No sooner I ate some pieces, I started vomiting and remnants of the sleeping pills were thrown out of my stomach. I could hardly stand and was trembling. I was feeling awfully sick and drowsy. Baba then left, reminding me that I should attend my watch duty at 7 p.m. as usual.

When I came to Baba’s room in the evening for my watch duty, Baba asked, “What is matter? Why you are so pale?” I kept quiet, and only after Baba’s repeated questioning I said, “I have eaten sleeping pills.” “How many?’ Baba asked.

“May be twenty or more, Baba, I replied.

Baba was furious. He then clapped and Dr. Goher came in. Baba told her about my condition and asked her to give me an antidote. Baba handed a bottle of orange soda to me and ordered me to drink. He gave me two tablets to eat.

During this Mahabaleshwar stay Baba would drink only soda water. On that day He drank half bottle of orange soda and gave the remaining half to me to drink. He also asked me to sit on His bed and press His feet. I was feeling very weak. I could barely sit up, but somehow managed to massage Baba’s foot from 8.30p.m. to 4 a.m. Sevak Kotwal came on the watch duty at 4.30p.m. It was quite surprising that Baba also did not sleep during that night. Baba instructed Sevak Kotwal to escort me to my room and put a blanket over me enabling to sleep well. He was also instructed to bolt the door from outside so that nobody could disturb me.  On that day I slept comfortably from 4.30a.m. to 6.30 p.m. without any disturbance. In the evening Dr. Nilu came and awakes me.  However everybody was surprised as to how I could sleep for such a long time

After taking tea when I went to Baba for my watch duty, I saw Baba coming towards mandali. Baba told mandali to ask me, what had happened to me? I was standing speechless before Baba. He repeatedly asked me the question, “Why did you attempt to commit suicide?” After some hesitation, I revealed, “Baba you told me that if I died, You would be happy. So I thought what more do I want than your happiness. I can’t live without You Baba!  So I was left with no alternative except to commit suicide.”

Baba then vey lovingly kissed and embraced me. He took promise from me that in future I would not think of committing suicide.

Baba’s ways are – fathomless. Who knows that by this act, He might have uprooted my deep sanskaras?

61- I HAD TO LEAVE

In the month of August 1955, I was at Satara with Baba and as usual doing night watch duty. On my way, there was a girl’s school. One particular girl requested me to give a Marathi Baba book to her and I gave her one. Some of the girl’s friends saw her talking to me and decided to have some fun. A love letter written in Marathi and addressed to the girl was received at the school. The school authorities suspected me and reported the matter to Baba. Baba explained to the authorities that I did not know Marathi. Nevertheless, Baba informed them, “Although I know, Krishna did not do anything wrong, I have now decided to send him home, as you have suspected him.”

Afterwards, Baba told me, “What has happened is very bad. It reflects poorly on Me. It is better you leave now.” I was stunned to hear this decision. For a minute I doubted if Baba was God. I was weeping. I protested, “Baba, you know that I am innocent and still you are sending me away.”

Baba replied, “You know the storey of Ramayana. Sri Ram also knew that His wife Sita was pure still He sent her away into the forest. So I know that you have done nothing wrong but I am sending you away for my own reasons. I will always have my ‘nazar’ on you and help you internally.”

Following incidents with humorous notes is reproduced from the Book “Lord Meher” written by Bhau Kalchuri an ardent disciple of Baba lover who remained in service of Meher Baba till dropping His body

62-THE WORK IS FINISHED.

Someone claimed that the mandali's quarters (at 101 Rampur Road) housed an "evil spirit." It was thought to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who had committed suicide three years ago. Krishna Nair wanted a room to himself, because after doing   his night watch duty he needed to rest for some time during the morning. But Baba did not allow him a separate room for fear the ghost would kill him.

To get rid of the spirit, Nilu suggested, "Chilies and hair should be burned over charcoal and the smoke should be spread throughout the bungalow." Baba accepted his suggestion and told him to put the burning coals in a small stove and carry it around the house seven times, chanting: "Chhoo, chhoo, chhoo!" Nilu did accordingly, but due to the burning chilies, his eyes became red and he was coughing as he was uttering: "Chhoo, chhoo, chhoo!" Baba was greatly amused by the ridiculousness of his plight.

During Krishna's night watch, Baba told him to remain outside, and not to enter Baba's room. Krishna never saw the spirit, but he did hear a woman laughing. He asked Baba if he could come inside when he heard the laughter. Baba stated, "No, and do not sit outside either. Go in the next room and close the door. Don't come out until I clap; otherwise, something terrible will happen. If you come outside when the ghost is laughing, it will kill you." Krishna went into the nearby room and locked the door. He sat there for an hour and a quarter before he heard Baba clap. When he came to Baba's room, Baba was washing his face. Baba told him to sit down and he commented, "The work is finished." Nothing was heard of the ghost again.

63-BOMBAY EXCURSION

At this time, Meherwan’s friends had no idea that he was God conscious, absorbed in a divine state of “Aham Brahmasmi.” Baily was particularly curious, for all it was the first time he had ever seen his lifelong friend totally oblivious to everything around him. Jamshed made some comments because he was well aware of his brother’s peculiar behavior, since they had stayed together in Bombay in one room for over three months. After this, however, Baily often observed Merwan either staring intently at the light of a kerosene lamp or into the rays of sun itself without the slightest motion, like a posed statute or mannequin for hours.

In Bombay, Baily apologized for his earlier rudeness and requested that Merwan arrange another outing so that their trip could continue. The others supported Baily, and Merwan decided to visit the Gharapuri Caves on Elephanta Island, three miles across from Bombay port in the Arabian Sea. They hired a boat to take them there and had an enjoyable day picnicking among the Hindu temples.

For two more days they rambled together throughout the city of Bombay, going to plays and restaurants. One night after returning from the theater, Meherwan asked Khodu to sing a song. Khodu   obeyed and launched into first line in a loud melodious voice: “I will be your slave if you pack up your bedding from the world”-thus implying to renounce the world.

It was 3 A.M. and all the fellows were tired and anxious to go to sleep-except Merwan. Khodu had hardly finished the first line when Merwan jumped up from his bed, quipping, “My brother, leave aside packing your bedding from the world, because we’ll all have to pack up from here if you continue warbling like that!”Merwan humorous remark was true because other hotel lodgers were disturbed by Khodu’s outburst and had gone to the manager, rousing him from the sleep. The man came to the room to scold the group, but by that time he arrived they were all in bed pretending to be snoring, so that there was nothing he could do about the ruckus!

The next day Baily had an argument with Khodu, again over the liquor. Baily became very angry with the whole group and he was so mad that in fit of temper he took a train to Poona. The following morning Jamshed appeared at Baily house, much to Baily’s surprise. Jamshed explained that after Baily left, Merwan he decided to return to Poona also and he had sent me to bring you to him. Although Baily’s hot temper had been responsible for abrupt end to the trip, Merwan had such a loving nature that he had sent his brother to bring Baily to him to forgive him so there would not be any bitter feelings.                                                

  1. FRIEND KHODU

Once Merwan went to Khodu’s house, but he was absent. Khodu’s wife, Naza, asked Merwan to wait and he requested her for some food. Naza served Merwan a meal, which he ate reverently. After eating, He had decided to leave, when Khodu arrived and started teasing Merwan playfully, catching hold of him in a tight bear hug.

Merwan warned him “Khodu, stop wrestling with me, don’t hold me like this.” Then he mysteriously added, “I am no longer that Merwan!”

Thinking he was joking. Khodu smiling retorted, “If you are not that Merwan, then who you are? I will see who this Merwan is!” Khodu thought that he would overpower Merwan and hurl him to the floor. (At this time, Merwan was quite slender.) Khodu lunged for Merwan’s arm, but in a gentle manner Merwan    stretched out of his hand to prevent him, and with a slight push sent Khodu reeling back, knocking him to the floor.

65-SIMPLY EXCHANGE OF GROSS MEDIUM

Lateef presented a new bicycle to Meher Baba, and a lottery was proposed to decide to whom the Master should give it. All the tickets were sold to followers and it was decided that the drawing should be held during a picnic at the village of Chinchwad.

Meher Baba met there with his followers on Saturday, March 25th, (1922) and in the evening the lottery was held. Nervous won the new bicycle. But then the Master gave a strange order. Nervous' old bicycle was taken in exchange and Baba ordered it to be broken into pieces and thrown into a nearby well. Shortly after this, Baba asked Nervous if he felt uneasy about his bicycle being destroyed and thrown away. Nervous expressed no regret; however, the other men were at a loss to understand why this order had been given, since Nervous' bicycle was still in good condition.

After Meher Baba returned to Poona from Chinchwad, Baily informed him that while Baba was away he had inadvertently fallen into the well near the hut but was miraculously rescued from drowning by a stranger. When Baily was questioned what time the incident had occurred, the other men found out that it had happened at the exact hour when the pieces of Nervous' bicycle were being thrown into a well! The men then realized why the Master had given such a strange order, and later he explained, "Instead of allowing Baily to drown, I sank the bicycle in the well. It was simply an exchange of gross mediums."

66-MUNSHI RAM

 Occasionally, Merwan Seth would revisit the toddy shop in the evening. But no matter how large is the crowd there would be or how busy the shop was, he would not lend a helping hand to Behramji. Instead, he would politely excuse himself and go to the house of a Muslim named Munshi Shaikh Abdur Rahim. Munshi Rahim was the storekeeper at the Government Public Works department in Poona. His office assistant was Sayyed Saheb, and though him Munshi had heard about Merwan Seth.

One day Merwan Seth went to Munshi’s office in concerning some business with toddy shop. Without knowing who he was, Munshi Rahim was so taken by Merwan’s appearance that he could not even say, “May I help you, sir?” Munshi simply stared at the striking figure and wondered who this young man was. Merwan introduced himself and casually proceeded to do the business for which he had come. After he left, Munshi longed to see Merwan Seth again.

Soon after, Sayyed Saheb invited Merwan Seth to visit Munshi Rahim’s home. Munshi Rahim inwardly recognized Merwan Seth to be someone spiritual or highly advanced and offered his home near Sassoon Hospital as center for Meherwan Seth’s activities.

Munshi Rahim, Merwan Seth’s elder, was forty-two years old. He was a faithful Muslim but was also liberal, simple hearted, unassuming person. He believed in the Prophethood of Muhammad, but was not orthodox. He enjoyed socializing with his friends but most of all he enjoyed playing cards. This he hesitated to admit Merwan Seth thinking it was not spiritual.

One day Merwan Seth casually asked, “Munshi, why don’t you ever play cards?”

Munshi haltingly answered, ‘I do, but in your presence I would not---“

Merwan Seth interrupted, “what harm is there in playing cards? I will play a game with you.” Munshi was overjoyed.

Munshi Rahim gradually became convinced that Merwan Seth had the ability to read his thoughts. One evening he was thinking, “For some days now, I have been eating meat-tomorrow I must eat fish. But how can I buy fish? It is not the season.” The next morning, Munshi was surprised when he saw Merwan Seth bicycling toward him, carrying a large fish in hand. Merwan smiled, handing fish to Munshi, peddled away without a word. This incident convinced Munshi that Merwan Seth knew everything, for he had not told anyone of his desire to eat fish.

Gradually Munshi’s Rahim home became a small spiritual center. A group of Seth’s friend and associates would gather in the evening at Munshi’s house. Merwan Seth would have the Divan of Hafiz read for an hour or two, explaining the poetry’s mystical meaning to his comrades. Afterwards, the groups sometimes play a game of cards or have some light entertainment. Munshi, a bachelor, was a good cook and would serve some food. Thereafter, Merwan would depart to where Babajan was under her neem tree. (Sitting with Babajan every night and scratching her back, along with striking her forehead against stone during the day, were the only two daily activities that Merwan Seth never missed during this period.)

67-MERCY FOR A DRUG ADDICT

During the day, Merwan continued to work strenuously in the toddy shop (for he was still coming down to normal gross consciousness), and until midnight would sit beside Babajan next to her neem tree. He would then go home to rest, but rise again at 3o’clock to go to the temple and concentrate for two hours on the photograph of Upasani Maharaj that adorned the room. By five o’clock the morning arti of Upasani Maharaj, would be done usually by Gustadji, and thus the worship of God in human form – the Perfect Master – was begun in this one room temple. At this time, although Merwan Seth was only in mid-twenties, every person would trust him implicitly, treating him with honour and respect.

Merwan Seth would often treat some of worst ruffians or derelicts with affection. The attention he paid to such unsavory characters amazed his devotees. One old man was particularly fond of Merwan Seth was an opium addict. The man used ti give messages to earn money to support his narcotic habit. His addiction was terrible; he hardly ever spent his earning on food or clothes. He lived in the neighborhood streets of Kesba Peth and would visit the toddy shop often, sitting for hours talking with Merwan Seth. At night he would sleep on the street pavement. One day this man requested of Merwan, “Do me a favour. If anything happens to me, I have kept some money aside and I will put it in your trust, I want you to use that money for my funeral.” Merwan Seth promised.

After some time the man accidentally died of a drug overdose. Merwan arranged for the man’s burial, but it turned out to be more like celebration than a funeral. There was parade with three bands, bright lanterns and flowers of all varieties garlanding his body. People came out of their homes to see what the reason was for such an unusual procession. After the man was buried, hundreds of the poorest, destitute people of the city were fed in his name, with Merwan Seth personally supervising the meal.

Other man, who suffered with affiliations and alcohol and narcotic addictions, also came to the toddy shop seeking Merwan Seth’s advice, or merely for sympathy. He never told them, “Listen to me!” or “you must obey me!’ It was simply natural for those who came in his contact to listen seriously to his advice and obey his instructions.

 

 

68-POETRY AND GHAZALS.

It was well known among the men that in his youth the Master was an accomplished poet and loved to quote the poetry of Hafiz. On July 19th, Baba requested a few of the men to start composing poetry and encouraged them in their efforts. He told them to try with all their hearts, without caring if the poems were "polished." They would write something when they could find time during the day and in the evening proudly read it out before the Master. It was a good pastime for those concerned, and the men enjoyed it. Asar Saheb wrote one couplet:

One is hiding in the Manzil;

If my veil is removed, I will assert it is God!

Dr. Ghani composed this entire ghazal:

O Meher, Your love has made us forget everything,

Although we remember Your stories and discourses.

I have pledged myself to obey You,

But You alone know what doubts plague my heart.

You had promised us God-Realization,

But we cannot describe how we have carved

that promise in our hearts.

We had never heard or dreamt of the pain and suffering

that has overpowered us;

Or the secrets that have been revealed to us.

May you, too, now determine to start for Medina,

What dissimilar types of caravans

are making their way there!

O Meher, the suffering Ghani is passing through

In Your name, and because of Your friendship,

is indescribable!

Rustom Jafrabadi's poetic spirit was roused when he heard about the new pastime of writing ghazals. He wished to try his hand at it, convinced his compositions would transcend the Persian poets Saadi and Hafiz! When he began writing, Baba would assemble all the men to hear his verses. Although they were awful, Baba praised his efforts to the heavens and encouraged him to write more.

Jafrabadi was, therefore, under the impression that he was becoming an accomplished poet. On the evening of July 27th, while he was returning in a tram to the Manzil from his job, his mind was so engrossed in his newest composition that his intoxication carried him several stations beyond his destination.

When Baba found out about it, he gathered the men and advised Jafrabadi, "Continue writing poems in your spare time, but for God's sake don't do it on your job or in the tram!" Baba then told the other men, "Jafrabadi is about to become a famous poet – a suitable nom de plume should be found."

Many pen names were suggested, but Dr. Ghani's was approved. Ghani said, "Bidal was a well-known Persian poet, but since Jafrabadi's couplets are far superior to his, we should call him Baidul." Everyone liked the name (which means marble in Persian) and Baba instructed that, henceforth, Jafrabadi should be known as Agha Baidul – the Great Baidul.

Baidul then earnestly requested of Baba, "When I start writing poetry, the onrush of thoughts is so great that I cannot cope with it. I pray to you to instruct someone to write down what comes from my lips at that very instant – otherwise it will be lost forever ..." Since Dr. Ghani had thought up his new name, Baba appointed him as Baidul's secretary with instructions that whenever Baidul felt inspired, Ghani should immediately write down his poetic inspirations.

On one occasion, Ghani was in the toilet, and Baidul went there and started knocking on the door. "Ghani, come out immediately. The muse is inspiring me! If you don't come out soon, I will not be able to recover all these wonderful lines." He was so insistent that Ghani had to quickly button his trousers and write down Baidul's spontaneous creation. Ghani related this incident to Baba who was much amused.

 

69-DO AS I SAY

For relaxation, Baba would go to Munshi Ram’s house to play cards. Once, while playing cards at Munshi’s, he quietly stole a card from Ramjoo, and as a result his side won. In the middle of next game, Ghani did likewise; but this time Ramjoo saw it. He complained to Baba, who rebuked Ghani for cheating. Ghani for some time bitterly thought: “Meher himself pilfers cards and then rebukes me for doing the same!”

After a while longer, Baba stopped the game and told the men a true storey about a Perfect master:

One day a Sadguru went with some of his disciples to a city where he was known. He approached a candy shop and entering, put some sweets in his mouth. His disciples too, mimicked him in this respect. He then visited a bakery and there also the same thing happened. He picked up some cookies and put them in his mouth, and his disciples did the same. Then he went to a blacksmith’s shop where there were red hot pieces of iron in the furnace. The Master picked up one of the pieces and ate it.

Disciples stared at him. The Sadguru then said, “Now eat this too!”

Not one dared move and Master admonished, “Why did you do as I did? Are you parrots? Never do as I do. But do as I say.”

After hearing this tale, Ghani burst out laughing, and Baba asked the reason. He replied, “I bow down to your knowledge. You have answered my question superbly.

70-PUTTING THE POWER OF HIS MIND IN IT.

After tea the next day, (October 4, 1922) Baba played chess with Ramjoo, and though he played inattentively, he won. A discussion about the best chess player in the Manzil ensued, and Baba remarked, "If I concentrate and put my mind in any game, I can defeat the best of experts or champions!"

Ghani inquired what Baba meant by concentrating, and putting the power of his mind in it. The Master then gave the following explanation:

He who is a slave to his mind is an ordinary human being. He who has conquered the mind but at the same time is overpowered by it, drowned in intoxication, is called by Sufis a majzoob. A wali or saint, who has progressed toward the Goal, lives in the higher spiritual planes and controls the mind to some extent.

The first case (slave to the mind) is of the worldly mind; and the second is of God, meaning the majzoob has a state of mind that has realized the Truth. The wali or saint is in advanced stages of the mind and mental control, progressing toward Realization of the Truth. But the Perfect Master (Qutub) or Salik, has quite a distinct state, wherein he can enjoy and experience every condition of the mind whenever he wishes. For example: A Perfect Master is rarely required to put his mind into worldly affairs; but occasionally he has to do so for the sake of his circle members.

For instance, the residents of Kamatipura Lane No. 7 are King George's subjects. But does His Majesty know anything about Kamatipura (a Bombay slum) – whether such a place exists at all in his empire, far short of the individual residents of the locality? If, however, he wishes to know anything about Kamatipura or even one particular resident of the place, he can be furnished with the necessary information in no time either through the Telegraph Office, the Post Office or the C.I.D. (Secret Service).

Similarly, a Perfect Master can reach to the very source of anything and everything that he cares to know about – that is, concentrate his mind and put the power of his mind in it. But he seldom does it. The interest he seems to take in the things of this world – by word or deed – is simply offhanded, however serious his interest may outwardly appear. On such rare occasions, the mind that he, the Perfect Master, seems to use is the mind devoid of divinity. He simply does things as they occur to him at the time – almost mechanically – without thinking about it.

 

 71-INDIVIDUAL'S NATURE AFTER REALIZATION REMAINS UNCHANGED

One afternoon, Baba called Ghani to massage his legs, and as he was doing it, Baba uttered, "May God help you!"

Ghani burst out laughing and when Baba asked him the reason, he replied, "We generally find it very difficult to follow the drift of your utterances. Your words seem to have a deeper meaning than that denoted on the surface. Only yesterday, you remarked that I looked healthy and particularly said that my neck had grown quite fat and strong. Now look, today my neck is very stiff and is causing me a lot of pain!" Hearing this, Baba laughed.

Ghani enjoyed esoteric wisdom and later asked, "Didn't you tell me that the worldly knowledge, education and cleverness of a person before realizing God remains the same after Realization?"

Baba clarified the point:

What I had told you is quite correct. There are two kinds of knowledge. The worldly knowledge or the knowledge relating to the material world, and the divine knowledge which is acquired after becoming one with God. A person having become one with God – when dealing with matters relating to this material world – his actions and words thereafter reflect the divinity in him. Hence the utterances and actions of such a person are invested with a sort of secrecy and grandeur about them. But this is usually lost sight of by worldly people. For example, a ruby in the hands of a rustic will not be really appreciated by him; but the same piece of stone will be treasured in the hands of a jeweler who knows its worth.

The person who has become one with God is able to make the best use of his worldly knowledge on the strength of his divine knowledge which, however, is not drawn upon in the least. Hence, the difference between the utterances and actions of the ordinary human being and the perfected divine personalities is vast.

Baba asked Ghani to bring a little coconut oil and he began rubbing Ghani's neck, promising, "Hereafter you will never suffer from a stiff neck."

In the evening, some of the other mandali asked Meher Baba about how the nature of a person changes after the divine experience of Realization. A long discussion ensued, and in the end the Master clarified the matter in relation to the personality of Hafiz:

Even after Realization, a man's nature is the same but in a different way. In the normal human state, his anger, his curses, his strong language and his mannerisms express themselves because of his ego. Where there is ego, there is no God; and where there is God, there is no ego. For this reason, the words and deeds of a Perfect One are egoless. But his special nature and personality remain the same, even after Realization, and when expressed due to some mood they are of the greatest benefit to others.

This is the meaning of Hafiz's couplet:

"It was ingrained in my nature to want to see various things.

But since I saw Him,

I no longer desire to see anything but Him!"

This means that the nature to see is still there. Before, Hafiz craved to see a variety of different subjects; after the divine sight, he longed only to see God. It means: the desire of seeing remains the same but undergoes a change after becoming egoless.

Suppose a man is in the habit of getting angry and beating other people. His nature will remain the same even if he turns into a saint, but the change is beyond imagination. Behind his anger there is now no self-interest. It is simply a human or individual impulse with divinity behind it. It comes from the divine flow, and anyone who comes in contact with it is greatly benefited.

                                                        

72-POETIC INSPIRATION

At times, after the evening meal, the mandali would engage in writing poetry – but their poems usually had no meter or rhyme. On March 6th, while Baba was in the middle of composing a humorous poem he suddenly said, “I feel like using the toilet, but I don't wish to leave the subject incomplete." He then asked if anyone would stay by his side in the bathroom in order to write down his composition. Ghani and Adi agreed. Baba sat in the middle stall, Adi took the one to his right, and Ghani the one to his left. Ramjoo, Faredoon and Asthma stood outside. For half an hour, the muse of poetic inspiration was wooed in this seemingly unpoetic atmosphere!

A God-Conscious Master never does anything without some purpose, and all enjoyed the humor of this peculiar situation. The greatest penance one can do is to dance to every whim of the Master. Accepting his whims is the highest type of devotion.

That which is given and received in a moment's company of the Master can not be gained even by thousands of years of austerities and self-mortification!

Sai Baba of Shirdi once explained that he contacted his spiritual agents on the inner planes during his lendi ceremony. It is said that a Perfect Master or the Avatar is doing work specifically on the gross level during the relieving of his bowels.

73-CHEESE IS NOW CHANGED TO BARSOAP

The pandal that was erected for Meher Baba's birthday celebration had not been dismantled and, on March 9th, it was again decorated to celebrate the engagement of Rustom Kaikhushru Irani and Freiny Jahangir Irani. Family members and dignitaries began arriving in the early morning, attired in their finest clothes, and the decorated Manzil took on a festive appearance. Two hundred tables were elaborately spread for the serving of the prenuptial feast.

During the meal, a humorous incident occurred. By everyone's plate there was a small dish containing a piece of soap, cut artistically to resemble an after-dinner mint; this was meant for people to wash their hands after the meal. Dinner was almost over when Abdur Rehman popped the piece of soap into his mouth, thinking it to be a piece of cheese! He immediately spat it out and tried to pretend nothing had happened, but his misjudgment did not escape the notice of those at his table. Word of this amusing incident soon spread, causing laughter as soon as the story was repeated. When Baba came to know about it, he called Abdur Rehman and asked, "Don't you know how to behave? Why did you eat the barsoap?"

Embarrassed, Abdur nervously explained, "Sometimes, at the end of feasts, there is a small piece of cheese or sweets served ... I ate it, thinking it to be cheese."

Soon after, to add further to Abdur Rehman's discomfort, Baba had the bell rung to gather the mandali and told them to read what he had written on the notice board.

From today, Abdur should be called CHEESE.

– Merwan

March 9, 1923
All dispersed, but again the bell was sounded. When the mandali went up to Baba's room he pointed to the notice board on which he had scribbled:

Cheese is now changed to BARSOAP.

Someone else had suggested this variation, and Baba had approved of it. There were now five men with official nicknames: Asthma, Baidul, Nervous, Slamson and Barsoap.

 

74-GHANI'S GOOD HUMOUR

During this period, the Master would sometime go to a local theater with the mandali, but he would rarely sit until the completion of the play. He went for his inner work, as soon as that work was finished -whether it was during the middle of an act or not – he would stand up in the theater and promptly depart. The mandali had no choice but to follow, abandoning their enjoyment and curiosity of how the play would end. But on March 19 th, when baba took the mandali to see a comedy, he unexpectedly stayed until the last curtain fall, much to the surprised satisfaction of the mandali.

Five days later, on march 24 th, Ghani returned to the Manzil after a six day visit to his home in Lonawala. However, he arrived late. Refusing to admit him in the building, Baba sent him this message: “undress and then stand on one foot in your underwear at the edge of fountain!” Ghani did so; not knowing what was in store for him. Some of mandali sneaked behind him and threw full bucket of water on him! Ghani loudly yelled, “Baba, save me from this frigid dousing, I haven’t disobeyed any of your orders! Help me!”  Baba heartily laughed at his plight and pardoned Ghani for being late, finally allowing him to enter.

On 25th March for some unknown reason, Baba became furious with everyone and wanted to go away. The mandali pleaded, “If you leave, we will follow you!”  Baba seemed seriously disturbed. He remained lying down in the backyard for some time and then stood for an hour in the hot summer sun. Then he sent another for the same purpose and then yet another. Three victorias arrived at the gate of the Manzil, and the mandali were confused about what to do.   However, he did not go for a ride but had the victories paid off. Baba then climbed over the boundary wall and again laid down to rest. He remained outside for a long time, finally coming back inside and quietly going upstairs to his room. His actions were mysterious to those who witnessed them.

Later that evening, Ghani did something in an unthinking manner that displeased Baba, who sternly told him, “If you wish, you can stay at home for two months or else stay here. But if you stay here I will ignore you and have no connection with you!”  Ghani did not like either choice but did not reply. Baba then told him, “You may stay here with no other orders except the original seven and the general twenty eight orders. But you must not speak or write to me. Otherwise, you are free to do as you like. Sleep for twenty four hours at a stretch. I have no objection.” Later in the night, Baba forgave Ghani; Ghani still had no idea what he had done to warrant such treatment.

During this period, although Meher Baba had given the order that the mandali should follow him wherever he went, it was understood that if he gave two orders they should obey the first. Once, in an irritated mood, Baba said he was leaving the Manzil and going to Sakori alone. The mandali followed as he started to walk to Dadar station. Baba looked around again and demanded that they go back! But they proceeded to follow. Baba looked around again and said, “Don’t follow me. Go back to the manzil!” But again they continued to follow him. This time, he lovingly said, “All right. We all will go back!” –thus acknowledging the fact that they were obeying his first order to follow him wherever he went.

75-I HAVE PROMISED YOU I WILL NEVER LET YOU SINK.

One afternoon Baba walked on the veranda and saw Slamson, Padri and another one of the men casually talking with the keeper of the Shiva temple. He immediately sent someone to inquire as to what they were doing by that temple and what they were discussing. The three men went to Baba and explained that they were simply passing the time talking about God, religion and spirituality.

"Very good!" exclaimed Baba. "All right” Now, the three of you, take your baggage and get out! Go and make that man your Guru! From this moment on, I am not your Guru! Our connections are severed!"

Baba was extremely angry, and the three culprits stood before him frightened, pleading to be forgiven. They promised they would not do it again.

"You heard me, get out of my sight!" he shouted. With a disgusted look he said, "You act like fools! You have left your homes and dear ones to join me. You have now lived with me for more than a year. If you are following me, you are to do as I tell you.

"Why did you go to that temple? Never, never go to anybody else! He will mislead you!" Then he repeated, "You want to follow me, don't you? Then why did you go there? Suppose that man gave some explanation, or some kind of advice, or an order contrary to mine – which would you follow?" They kept quiet.

Baba then exhorted them, "You have made me your Master. In turn, I've promised you I will never let you sink."

76-OBEDIENCE TO HIS WISHES.

On May 25th, 1923, Meher Baba ordered everything from Meherabad to be transferred to Khushru Quarters. Only beddings and a few necessities were taken on the journey. That morning Baba walked alongside the path of the railway tracks from Meherabad, reaching the train station at 10:30 A.M. A few of his followers from Ahmednagar were at the station, and they reverently bade him farewell.

Meher Baba and the group occupied a third class compartment. He was accompanied by the Zoroastrian women: Pilamai, with her small son, Vithal, Gulmai, Khorshed and Soonamasi. Also with Baba were the fourteen men mandali: Adi, Babu Rae, Baidul, Barsoap, Behramji, Gustadji, Masaji, Nervous, Padri, Pendu, Ramjoo, Sarosh, Slamson and his brother Jal. The train left at 12:30 in the afternoon and reached Manmad in the early evening. Food for all had been prepared by Gulmai and Pilamai, and at Manmad they cooked fresh food for Baba. As their connecting train was to arrive at 8 P.M., they went for a stroll in the city.

Along the way, at some stations Baba would call for milk, rice and dal. Invariably, as someone would get down to purchase these, the train would start and Baba would become displeased. At some stations telegraphic intimation was sent in advance to have their meals waiting for them when they arrived, which Baba would serve to all. At times he would ask for potatoes, which Gulmai would cook in the running train. If it wasn't ready in time he would hurl the food out of the window.  Utensils had to be cleaned in the wash basin.

Conversing on various topics during the journey, Baba kept the minds of all focussed on what He said, not allowing their attention to wander. When the train reached Sanchi and passed the great sculptured stupas dedicated to Lord Buddha, Meher Baba remarked about Gautama the Buddha and told several revealing stories about his life and times in India over two thousand five hundred years ago. One interesting comment about Buddha was that "Gautama was physically perfect, or had a perfect physical body, in comparison with other Avatars."

Pilamai had brought a small chair for Baba to sit on in the train. However, he did not use it and asked her why she did not sit on it. Humbly, Pilamai replied, "How could I sit on it when you are sitting on a bench? I have nothing but respect for you!"

"When you don't respect my words, how can you respect me?" said Baba. "Only if you sit in the chair according to my wish will I believe you truly revere me!"

Pilamai countered, "But this chair is meant for you. It is not proper for me to occupy your seat."

But Baba said, "You are my spiritual sister and therefore you, more than anyone else, should follow my orders and see that my wish is fulfilled."

Pilamai said, "I would sacrifice my life for you, Baba, but I cannot occupy this chair. I would feel ashamed to do so in your presence when you are sitting on an uncomfortable bench."

Baba sternly said, "You revere your feelings of shame more than me! And since you cannot carry out even my smallest wish, how could you ever hope to sacrifice your life for me?"

Baba continued, "Do not think it is so easy to give up your life for my cause. Give up your life while living by dying to your own desires!"

Pilamai pleaded, "Baba, I don't understand anything about spirituality, but this is an expensive and comfortable chair. I only want you to sit on it. I bought it for you alone."

Getting up, Baba angrily flung the chair out the window of the moving train! Only then did Pilamai realize that the Master valued nothing in this life except obedience to his wishes.

77-WE MUST BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE INWARDLY TOO.

On June 25th, (1923) one of the men was sent to the railway station to buy tickets for Calcutta, but Baba again broached the topic of their destination. He asked, "Which would be better – to begin the foot journey from Gujarat or Calcutta?" Gustadji enthusiastically replied that Gujarat was better, since it was his home state. Baba then sought each man's opinion. Gustadji suggested a walking expedition from Ahmadabad, but only his brother, Slamson, supported this idea; the other men preferred Calcutta as the starting point. But Baba, in the end, approved of Ahmadabad and sent one of the mandali to cancel the order to buy tickets for Calcutta. It was settled to proceed to Ahmadabad by train and from there to start on the foot journey to Bombay. Since their starting point was now changed, Baba had the condition of begging for food along the way also canceled. It was decided instead to eat only grams (roasted chickpeas) and parched rice during the journey. These were bought and packed, and all the baggage was immediately dispatched to the station.

Soon after, the Master suddenly called for two matchbox containers and began threading a string through them. He kept one end with him and gave the other to Gulmai. He climbed the stairs to the next floor and told Gulmai to stay where she was. Through this telephone, Baba then told her, "As we communicate by means of this phone outwardly, we must be able to communicate inwardly too. We will start leading a fakir's life from Ahmadabad."

He then talked to Katie through it and said, "I am leaving, but you must go on remembering me. Will you do that?"

And she replied, "How could I ever forget you, Baba?" Telephones were not yet in use in India. Recalling this trick from his childhood, Meher Baba was perhaps heralding the age of telephonic communication. The telephone was introduced in India after 1925.

78- YOU HAVE A IMPORTANT ROLE IN MY CINEMA

One melancholy day, (January 1924) Meher Baba went for a walk with Naval Talati to Chowpatty Beach. Baba's gaze happened to fall on a man sitting in a pensive mood, and he asked Naval, "Who is that person?"
Surprised, Naval replied, "Baba, how should I know? Thousands come here every day. He might be anyone."

Baba said, "Go and ask him his name and find out what he is thinking."

Naval hesitated, saying, "What do we have to do with him? But if you insist, I will inquire."

Baba and Naval approached the stranger, and Naval caught his attention. The man raised his sad eyes and asked, "What do you want?"
Baba answered, laughing, "We don't want anything."
The man queried, "Then why are you disturbing me?"
Baba replied, "To tell you that only bliss and joy are destined for you!"
Astonished, the man replied, "Joy? I am not so lucky! Happiness is not part of my life. All my happiness has gone away!"
In a serious tone, Baba explained, "Your false idea of happiness will vanish to bring you real bliss. It will be removed to find true joy. So why be miserable and unhappy?"
Hearing this, the man was puzzled and wondered, "Who is this man who reads my mind?" He gazed at Baba, and then asked, "Who are you?"
Baba only smiled, but his smile was the turning point in the man's life. As he looked at Baba, he was roused from his painful reverie and freed from the sorrow gripping his heart. Naval told him about Meher Baba, who then said, "You have a very important part to play in my cinema!"

At this point, the man disclosed, "I too have a cinema . . . I am the owner..."

Baba burst out laughing and said, "I am talking about the Universal Cinema. By coming to me, you will find out what that is. But what I want to tell you is that good luck is in store for you and you should not feel dejected." Naval then gave him Baba's address and they left. Reading the address, the man's distress dissolved into rays of hope.

Who was this man sitting so lonely along the beach? He was a man so distraught that he was about to commit suicide by drowning himself in the sea. Why? He once had a very beautiful wife, whom he loved most dearly. He was completely devoted to her and sacrificed much for her happiness and comfort. Although he had complied with her every wish, she left him for another man – his best friend. It nearly drove him insane and he could no longer bear his misery. That day, he had come to the shores of Chowpatty Beach to end his life.

People commit suicide every day, but the Savior did not allow this suicide to happen. On the pretext of taking a stroll, he had come to the seashore and lifted the man's heart from the pit of despair. At that moment, the man was given a new life and eventually proved an invaluable medium for the Master's work. He was to become Meher Baba's first secretary, named "Chanji."

Another of the early mandali was Kaikhushru Espandiar Afseri, known as Raosaheb. Raosaheb was an Irani who had come to know of Meher Baba from two fellow Persians, Behramji and Ardeshir. In 1922, he had once come to Manzil-e-Meem for the Master's darshan, but, at that time, Baba was not seeing anyone and Raosaheb had to leave.

Raosaheb was bitterly disappointed, thinking: "What is the use of this darbar (divine court) in which no one's worth is recognized. I am a sincere seeker of Truth, but still Meher Baba refuses me his darshan." He resolved never to approach Baba again, and his mind harbored this grudge for a long time.

One night, the Master appeared in Raosaheb's dream and said, "In the court of a Sadguru, one should lead a dog's life! Even if you are thrown out, you should come back again and again – begging to find the entrance" This dream made Raosaheb extremely restless.

In 1924 Raosaheb met Baidul, who brought him to Baba at the Bharucha Building. Baba asked him, "What do you want?"

Raosaheb replied, "To remain in your darbar!"

Baba said, "The time will come when I will call you. Meanwhile, be prepared and keep ready to come to me as soon as I call. I may send for you tomorrow, after a fortnight, or after four months. Whenever I call, be prepared to come that very moment!" This made Raosaheb happy and now he eagerly waited to enter Meher Baba's court, forgetting his previous complaint.

(Raosaheb did join Baba later on and was appointed a teacher in Baba's Prem Ashram Schools. He dedicated his entire life to Baba.)

79-MASTERS DARBAR

Another of the early mandali was Kaikhushru Espandiar Afseri, known as Raosaheb. Raosaheb was an Irani who had come to know of Meher Baba from two fellow Persians, Behramji and Ardeshir. In 1922, he had once came to Manzil-e-Meem for the Master's darshan, but, at that time, Baba was not seeing anyone and Raosaheb had to leave.

Raosaheb was bitterly disappointed, thinking: "What is the use of this darbar (divine court) in which no one's worth is recognized. I am a sincere seeker of Truth, but still Meher Baba refuses me his darshan." He resolved never to approach Baba again, and his mind harbored this grudge for a long time.

One night, the Master appeared in Raosaheb's dream and said, "In the court of a Sadguru, one should lead a dog's life! Even if you are thrown out, you should come back again and again – begging to find the entrance. This dream made Raosaheb entirely resyless.

In 1924 Raosaheb met Baidul, who brought him to Baba at the Bharucha Building. Baba asked him, "What do you want?”

Raisaheb replied “To remain yn your darbar!”

Baba said, "The time will come when I will call you. Meanwhile, be prepared and keep ready to come to me as soon as I call. I may send for you tomorrow, after a fortnight, or after four months. Whenever I call, be prepared to come that very moment!" This made Raosaheb happy and now he eagerly waited to enter Meher Baba's court, forgetting his previous complaint.

(Raosaheb did join Baba later on and was appointed a teacher in Baba's Prem Ashram School. He dedicated his entire life to Baba.)

80-IT IS A SIN TO COMPLAIN IN THIS PATH

One morning, Baba found Padri and Ramjoo chatting idly for a few moments. Upset with them, Baba threw a stick at Padri, narrowly missing him. He then rebuked both men and told them to stop working; however, they resumed their work after a while.

Later, in front of some of the other men, Padri showed his blistered palms to Baba, who remarked: "You people swear you are ready to give up your life for me, but blisters make you complain. This is not even the beginning of giving up your life – yet you whimper and cry.

"It is a sin to complain in this path where, for years on end, the body is cut up bit by bit – remaining wounded until it gives up the ghost! Seal your lips and let me kill you slowly – inch by inch. Bravery lies in this, not in showing me the blisters on your palms!"

But Padri's hands were swollen and it was decided that he had to be taken to the Ahmednagar hospital to have his blisters treated. Rustom requested Baba to accompany them in the car. Adi said he would drive, and Baba immediately became displeased with his brusqueness. Adi then voiced his anger at Baba; however, when they reached Ahmednagar, he asked for Baba's forgiveness and was pardoned. Padri's hands were treated and he was kept in the hospital to recuperate. In his absence, Ramjoo became the manager of Meherabad, taking over Padri's duties and awakening the mandali at five o'clock each morning.

81-IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW MY WISH, HOW COULD YOU SREVE ME

As the days went on, things became harder, and because of the intense heat, arduous physical labor and each man’s own strong personality, tempers would flare. To make the mandali gain more control of themselves, Baba stated following two rules:

Each morning every member of mandali should touch the feet of every other member and say “You are my brother!” During 24 hour of the day, if anyone expresses anger and speaks bitterly to anyone else, I should be informed immediately. I will fall at the offender’s feet and salute him.

Barsoap, a Muslim, countered, “The first rule is against the shariat (customs) of my religion.”

But Baba explained, “This rule only requires the touching of the feet with both hands; there is no question of either bowing down or laying one’s head on another’s feet. However, Barsoap insisted that it was against the shariat to touch the feet of another. Barsoap should shake hands with the other men.

Ramjoo was also a Muslim, and Baba then asked him, “Do you find any religious difficulty in following this?”

Ramjoo replied, “I don’t consider this rules to be against shariat, and I accept the first rule. But I will not report to you and allow you to touch my feet.”

Padri and nervous also refused initially to abide by second rule, but they agreed after Baba explained to them that it was his order.

Baba then called Ramjoo aside and told him, “You have done what Barsoap did. Accept my wish on principle and carry out without least hesitation. What shariat can exceed my wish? My wish is religion and my wish is shariat; and he who obeys it obeys the shariat and fulfills the tenets of his religion. Always be merciful of my wish regardless of anything else.”

Ramjoo explained, “But I would not like it if you touched my feet…I revere you.”

“Why do you talk about likes and dislikes?” Baba retorted, “You should like whatever I like. If you don’t follow my wish, how can you revere me? You can not be a slave to your own wish and revere me at the same time.”

Ramjoo replied, “It will break my heart to see you touching my feet!”

Meher Baba answered, “and it will break my heart not to touch you feet!’

Ramjoo was quiet and could not say anything else. Baba then freed him from observing the second rule, telling him not to worry and to forget it.

82-I WILL FREE ALL OF YOU FROM YOUR WEAKNESSES

The two new rules came into effect and, according to the second rule, on April 24th, (1924) Meher Baba bowed down to Padri for not following his instructions. Nervous happened to be standing by and, to tease him, Baba bowed to him also. But Nervous took it seriously and, weeping, was on the brink of leaving Meherabad. Baba tried to console him, saying, "I bowed to you of my own accord and not for any default on your part. There is nothing for you to object to." But Nervous remained adamant and, though willing to adhere to the entire Master's other instructions; he was obstinate on leaving Meherabad, continuing to weep. So Baba exempted Nervous from the second rule, but this did not appease him and he remained firm in his resolve to leave.

At last Baba permitted Nervous to go and offered him train fare, which he refused. Baba then asked, "How will you travel without money?"

Nervous pointed to the gold buttons on his shirt, implying that he would sell them, and Baba ripped them off! Then Baba said, "You can go on two conditions. One is that you beg for your food and the other is that you do not borrow or steal."

Nervous accepted these conditions and was about to leave when Baba added, "Wherever you go, I will follow." Nervous started to leave Meherabad, and Baba followed him along the road. He began running and Baba, too, began running. After some distance, Nervous started laughing and returned along with Baba.

After Nervous calmed down, Baba asked him, "Why were you so dramatic?"

However, Nervous said, "When I had not become angry or spoken harshly with anyone, why did you touch my feet?"

Baba replied, "I did so because of some fault in you. Had I not touched your feet, how could you or others have known you had shortcomings? Had there been no offense, you could have remained quiet, considering it to be my wish. Although you have faults, you thought yourself faultless. I had to show you that you were not so."

Then looking at each man, he said, "Although you are faultless, still you are at fault – but I will free all of you from your weaknesses. So always listen to me and remember to carry out whatever I say."

83-POWDWING CHARCOAL

On November 22nd, a great crowd came to Meherabad for the Master’s Darshan. Every Thursday and Sunday there was a mass darshan, and flower and tea stalls would be set up by the side of the road to cater the crowds.

On this day, Ramjoo, Ghani, Sadashiv Patel and Sayyed Saheb arrived. Sayyed had brought an unknown qawaali singer with him, but when the man was before Baba he confessed his inability to sing. Nevertheless, he had the nerve to request in broken English that Baba give him a harmonium box. Sayyed was upset with rogue, for he had paid his full fee and brought him all the way to Meherabad from Nasik solely to entertain Baba. Sayyed expressed his disappointment, but Baba prevented him from scolding the fellow and promised the man he would be given a harmonium box. Later, in a poetic manner, Baba remarked to the mandali:

By powdering charcoal, its colour is not changed. In the same way, whether a man be good or bad, his nature never changes

The darshan program ended at eight thirty that evening. Since there was no means of public transportation available, people shouldered their belongings and started walking to the train station. A harmonium was presented to the so-called qawaali singer, and he again demonstrated his nerve by asking Baba for a coolie to carry it. Baba provided two of the mandali, first ordering them to secretly remove the harmonium from the box. The mandali lifted the empty box, pretending that it was heavy. They walked five miles to the railroad station carrying the box and placed it in the train compartment. When the man was settled in the train he opened the case and he was shocked to find it empty. He had asked for a harmonium box and he got that!

The next day, Baba presented a blind singer named Sawla Ram with the expensive harmonium as prasad.

84-THE PURPOSE OF RELIGION.

When Baba would go to the Shahane's house in the Arangaon family quarters every Thursday with the mandali, he would be served milk tea and bhajiya (chickpea fritters). On June 8th (1926) while there, Baba remarked, "These bhajiya are delicious and we feel happy to eat them, but the real pleasure lies in eating those bhajiya made from the flour of sanskaras and fried in the oil of devotion on the fire of love."

Touching on the purpose of religion, Baba explained, "The real meaning of religion is to know God, to see God and to be one with God. Everything else about religions is an exercise in rites and rituals."

85-LIFE IS LIKE A MOVIE

A stone remains unmoved under any circumstances; you may kick it, spit on it or worship it, but all these things have no effect upon it. As long as you do not disregard your likes and dislikes, and as long as you do not become indifferent to being kicked, spat upon, slandered and ridiculed, you cannot hope for God-Realization. You have to burn up your ego. You have to become dust! Only the contact of a Sadguru can bring this about.

Consider a man who is well perfumed. If he comes and sits among a crowd of people, his presence makes the surroundings fragrant. Similarly, if someone passes gas, the place smells foul and people turn their noses. For that reason, you should keep the company of saints, whose godly atmosphere is beneficial to you. If you merge yourselves in the filth of the world, it will adversely affect your spiritual health.

For example, take a movie in which a villain annoys an innocent, decent man. He catches him, harasses him and wants to kill him. The spectators are fascinated by such drama and want to know if the poor man will manage to free himself from the clutches of the villain. If the victim overcomes his dilemma, the spectators feel happy; but if the villain gets the upper hand, they feel miserable. When the show is over, they realize it was merely a film – a picture on the screen – and the feelings that surged within them while watching it were without any basis. It was a mirage in which they were absorbed.

Your life is like that. It is a mere movie which has no substance to it for it is false – made-up. All that you see about you is absolutely nothing. Everything is false – an illusion, a play, a film, a mirage! Therefore, I repeatedly emphasize to one and all, do not be attracted by Maya; always pray sincerely to God and remember Him. Hold fast to my feet and I will lead you on the path to Realization.

86-THE KEY TO THE WORLD.

In reference to Naval Talati's recent visit to Babajan, the Master continued:

Naval went to Babajan and told her that he had come from me, whereupon Babajan replied, "He is my shopkeeper." This means that Babajan is the source of all the spiritual force working at present, and I am her sole agent whose warehouse is full of untold treasures. She then composed and recited this rhyme:

My shop is not located in any building or world;

My world consists of only Yezdan or Merwan!

Dr. Karkal invited Baba and the mandali for tea on June 12th, but they arrived at his residence before it was ready. Baba distributed whatever treats had already been prepared and tea was hurriedly made, which Baba served to everyone. Baba remarked to Karkal, "See how speedily everything is over."

Dr. Karkal replied, "Baba, you hold the key."

In response, Baba revealed:

The key to the world is only one, but it is in the hands of the five Perfect Masters. For example, a safe has only one key and no other key can unlock it. The five Perfect Masters control the safe – the world. One Master is the keeper of the key, without which the safe cannot be opened. The second guards the safe which cannot be opened without his prior consent. The third is the one who alone has the authority to use the key to unlock the safe. The fourth is the one who has the right to distribute the riches in the safe. And the fifth Master is the one who has the power to authorize the distribution. Thus there is only one key to the world, equally shared among the five Masters.

The five Perfect Masters, plus the fifty-one other God-Realized souls (majzoobs and jivanmuktas) control the key. These fifty-one are members of the parliament of the five Perfect Masters. Fifty-one plus five equals fifty-six; this number 56 never changes. In this way does the game of the world go on and on.  All this I am telling you is a secret.

  1. TELL ME WHAT YOU MOST DESIRE

Early that same evening, Baba was sitting in the Makan in a very pleasant and expansive mood. From among those sitting around him, his eyes fell on Gopal Swamy. Baba asked him, '"Tell me what you most desire?"

Gopal said, "Nothing."

Baba pressed him, "Go on, and ask me. Ask for anything. Tell me your desires now and I will grant them!" Gopal kept quiet and only smiled at Baba.

"Speak out," gestured Baba. "Empty your head and heart before me! Now is the time. I, of my own accord and will, am asking you to have your desires fulfilled. Now is the time when I am in that mood."

The other mandali too began encouraging Gopal to speak up. Gopal finally let out one word: "Mukti!" – Liberation!

Baba smiled and gestured, "Granted. So be it!" Then Baba remarked to the mandali, "Gopal is a very good and sincere devotee. He is the only determined and staunch keeper of my orders. Out of the many (yogis, sadhus, fakirs and ascetics) who have come seeking spiritual advancement, he is the only one who has survived and not run away on one pretext or another. He obeys me without question and willingly accepts whatever food is offered to him."

Gopal Swamy came to stay at Meherabad in January 1926 and agreed to follow Baba's orders for one year. Under Baba's direction he was observing silence for certain hours each day, and was also instructed to repeat God's name while sitting under a tree by the road.

Baba continued, "I will fulfill your wish and in this birth." Testing him, Baba asked, "But suppose, I were to give you the form of a donkey, a leper or a cripple in the next?"

Gopal humbly replied, "As you wish, Baba, if it would be your pleasure."

Baba then asked Shivnath Vibhuti Gademali, a bearded swami who was also staying at Meherabad and following similar instructions, to tell how he happened to come to Meherabad. He related that while he was visiting the tomb of a saint in Gangapur, he had a dream in which he heard a voice urging him, "Go to Dhond village and your work will be done." The next morning as he started for Dhond and passed through Arangaon, he decided to have Meher Baba's darshan. From that day on Vibhuti remained at Meherabad.

Gopal Swamy then related how he had first come to Meherabad. He had previously visited Upasni Maharaj at Sakori and Narayan Maharaj at Kedgaon. Once while he was in Dhond, someone told him that another Sadguru lived at Arangaon. He began walking there and along the way felt very thirsty. He saw an old villager drawing water from a well and approached him. The old man talked with him at length. When he found out that he was in search of a Master, he offered Gopal a cactus fruit, saying, "This is the food which Sadgurus eat. Gopal unhesitatingly ate the peculiar fruit, whereupon the man said, "Go to Arangaon and nowhere else. He is there. Go to him and your desire will be fulfilled. The Master who will guide you and give you what you want is in Arangaon." Gopal followed the man's advice and met Meher Baba the next day.

Hearing this story, Baba remarked, "Do you know who that old man was? It was me in disguise!"

88-THE SADGURU'S WAYS ARE OF KINDNESS AND CONCILIATION.

THE MAHARS were among the Untouchables of the villages; they were commonly known as Harijans. Some Mahars in Arangaon formed a rough and ruthless gang who antagonized the mandali and tried to vandalize the property. At times, Baba would get fed up with their hostile acts. On September 24th, (1926) the Mahars in Arangaon again caused disturbances. This time they hung pieces of animal flesh opposite the Upasni Serai and bath house. On inquiry it was learned that some of the Mahar children who had previously stayed in Meherabad, notably a lame boy named Harinath, were secretly causing the trouble. Before taking any action, Baba outlined in a meeting that night the following four alternatives to the men mandali and asked them to choose one:

  1. The rest of the Mahars in Meherabad should be forced to leave.
  2. The three or four ring leaders of the Mahars should be arrested, and court proceedings should be brought against them.
  3. The two Patels (headmen of the village), who are living with the mandali, should be made to leave Meherabad.
  4. Leaving everything to God, we should sit passively.

After the discussion, the mandali approved the fourth course of action. Baba was pleased as he himself favored this choice. But Baba warned them to stick to their decision because it seemed that "the god of the Arangaon Mahars was testing them." Baba observed, "They may even go to the extent of throwing pieces of raw meat in our well, thereby polluting it for the Hindus, and do other mischief. So be prepared to face and submit to more disturbances, inconveniences and provocations."

Baba especially cautioned the Hindu mandali to remain steadfast in their resolve in view of the decision taken. Even if the Mahars were to pollute the well, the Hindus should show their unconcern by continuing to use the water for their drinking and cooking.

When all this was settled, Baba issued the following three orders:

  1. None of the mandali, especially the Untouchables in my circle, should have anything to do with the Arangaon Mahars, and if anyone is found committing a breach of this order, Baba should immediately be informed.
  2. The headmen of the village (Maruti Patel and others) should buy meat daily from Arangaon and throw it to the dogs in Meherabad. Money should be given to them for this purpose.
  3. For one minute each day, everyone in Meherabad should pray to God to grant good sense and wisdom to the Arangaon Mahars.

Baba then compared the actions of Sadgurus and yogis and discoursed on the theme "All are equal in the eyes of God:"

Had a yogi been in my place and the Arangaon villagers done what they have done, the yogi would certainly have killed half a dozen people with his occult powers. He would have struck terror in their hearts and made them desist from such vile actions. But a Sadguru never does so. His ways are of kindness and conciliation. He pities such people instead of being angry with them in any way. To us Masters, all are equal; the villagers are on the same level with you.

89-BABA ASKED A RIDDLE

Baba asked the mandali to solve the following riddle: "What does a God-Realized person have in common with each of these: a materialist, an animal, an atheist, a child and an idiot?"

No one could guess the answer, so Baba explained:

"There are two who do not care about religion – a materialist and a God-Realized person

"There are two who do not care about money – an animal and a God-Realized person.

"There are two who do not worship God – an atheist and a God-Realized person.

"There are two who are free from lust – a child and a God-Realized person.

"There are two who have no anger – an idiot and a God-Realized person."

90-GOD FEELS PITY FOR YOU ALSO - SO HE MAKES MINCEMEAT OUT OF YOU

During 1926, the scarcity of water was a great problem in Meherabad due to the increasing number of people staying there. In October, Rustom asked for and received Baba's permission to dig another well near the railway line. He brought in experts and water diviners to do the work. But though they dug deeper than usual, no water was found. One day, a farmer from a nearby village came to Meherabad, looking very dejected as he approached the Master. When Baba asked the reason, the villager said, "I am a very poor man. I own a small piece of land but cannot farm it due to lack of water. I borrowed money to drill a well but no water was found, and now I am in desperate straits.""What do you want?" Baba asked."You are someone great. I have come to beg water of you. If I find water my problem will be solved. I have full faith you will grant me this boon.""How deep did you go?""Forty feet."Don't stop digging. Go five feet more. God is great; He will help you."The villager left satisfied with Baba's advice. Baba then remarked to the mandali in a strange tone, "Today I committed a very serious mistake. I don't know how I did it! I asked that man to go five feet more and if he doesn't find water, what will happen? He will lose his faith in me and God. And I am God, but here you are digging, and no water is found in my well! How will he then get water? I made a very serious mistake today." The mandali were taken aback by Baba's self accusation. After a week, the same man along with other villagers showed up with all the paraphernalia for performing Baba's arti and puja. The man looked very elated. When Baba asked why he was so happy, he replied, "Water has been found in my well by your grace!" He performed arti and garlanded Baba. Afterward, Baba distributed prasad to all the villagers and they left singing his praises. After their departure Baba remarked to the mandali, "Believe me, I am telling you the truth; I did not do anything! It was that man's faith that brought water."

This remark was too much for Rustom to bear. "What about us?" he asked. "We are digging a well but don't find water."

Baba answered, "I am God, and I asked you to dig a well for me. To have faith there must be someone in whom I can put my faith, but I am all alone. There is no one besides me. I know faith works, but there has to be someone in whom to put faith – and I have no one. That is why you don't find water."

Rustom said, "But we have faith in you. So why don't we find water?"

"I don't know about that. But this much I know: that villager found water because of his faith. I did not do anything for him." Baba repeated the same thing over and over again, and Rustom became irritated.

"It is useless for us to be with you," he argued. "Obviously you think we have no faith in you. We are with you day and night but we don't have faith; only that villager who showed up one day has enough faith to strike water."

Baba silently laughed and then explained, "You don't understand. That man came for water, and his faith was connected with water. Had he not found water, he would have told people, 'Meher Baba asked me to dig five feet more and I did, but I did not find water. It was a sheer waste of money, energy and time to go to him. He deceived me.'

"But here you are. Your faith is not connected with anything. Whether you find water or not, whether your desires are fulfilled or not, your faith remains the same. So your faith is connected with me and not with anything else. Therefore, I can trust you. I cannot trust that man who came only for water. How truly fortunate you are that I can trust you; but if you want to be like him, you will find water. Decide whether you want water or you want me."

The mandali felt reconciled with his explanation. Baba concluded, "Even if I started dancing naked before you, your faith in me would remain unshaken as you have accepted me as God. The villager's faith was based on an idol of hope, and God fulfilled his hope as He felt pity for him. God feels pity for you also – so He makes mincemeat out of you! I have kept you here with me not to satisfy your idol of hopes but to break that idol into pieces!"

  1. HUNDRED DAY FAST

The following day (October 19, 1926) at three o clock, Baba rang the bell to summon the mandali and stated, "Today each of you should ask me for something and I will do what the majority desires." All were given pieces of paper on which to write their requests. They were then read out before Baba. What the different men requested varied:

Mohan wrote, "Baba should break his silence today."

Sailor requested, "Baba should eat today."

Behramji beseeched, "Baba should forgive the mandali for all acts of commission and omission."

Chanji said, "Baba should give a discourse."

Ramjoo wished, "Baba should give each a cup of tea, let us chew paan and smoke cigarettes."

Ghani wrote, "Baba should give us milk tea and a lavish meal immediately."

Besides these requests, some men asked for money and others for employment, but the majority were simply in favor of something good to eat for a change. Baba wrote on his slate, "This is the last day of my taking food, as from tomorrow, October 20th; I will go on a fast for one hundred days. And as the majority wishes for food and wants me to join them, I will consent on one condition: that you prepare the different dishes yourselves and have the food ready by eight o'clock tonight."

Besides the experienced cooks like Sayyed Saheb, Masaji and Bomanji, other members of the mandali formed groups to prepare the different dishes Baba wished. It took six hours to cook the food, but when everything was ready it was indeed a feast. The mandali were divided into the following groups: Sayyed Saheb and company cooked rice, curry and chutney. Bomanji and his helpers prepared pulao and Bhagwan stew – God's mess. Mohan and his group baked chapatis. Masaji's group cooked spinach with sweet and sour vegetables, while Shahane's group fried bhajiyas. Ramjoo and Ghani fried chilies but in the hurry they were burnt and had to be thrown out.

After the chanting of shlokas (Sanskrit poetry) and the singing of bhajans, Baba served the food in Sai Darbar and all happily partook of the meal. Baba also ate with them and later, between 9:30 and 10:30 P.M., the mandali played atya-patya. Coffee was prepared by Pesu and served to everyone. Baba retired at eleven-thirty to Meherabad Hill.

On one occasion the mandali were allowed to eat rich food at Meherabad. Sometimes to give them a change, Baba would come in the mornings and announce, "Today we will have a cooking contest between Masaji and Chowdhari." Each would work laboriously to outdo the other in preparing tasty vegetarian food. At lunch the mandali would serve as the panel of judges. Baba would dish out the food and ask whose food is more tasty. And the food was so delicious the mandali would reply, "Well, it's hard to say; we will have to have a second helping to decide."

92-WHAT IS WORST PRISON

On February 22nd (1927), Baba asked the mandali, "What is the worst prison you can think of?" Some replied Sabarmati in Gujarat; others said Visapur Prison in Ahmednagar, while others said Yeravda in Poona. Baba smiled and then remarked, "The human body is the worst prison on earth!"

Later, commenting on religion, Meher Baba stated:

The Hindu and Muslim priests both speak against each other's religion, but do you know what religion is? Religion is a cage and the people who follow it are all birds locked up inside. It is meaningless to leave one's religion to adopt another. It is like going from one cage to another. The wire binding the wings of the bird must be cut.

Each person must make individual efforts to sever his own leash; for example, by renunciation or being indifferent to food and drink. But above all, efforts should be made to cut the cord through love. Love God; for when the Sadguru comes he snaps the cord and frees the bird.

Meher Baba concluded:

I am the Christ and the world exists because of me! For me there is no time, space, cause, effect, duality, or anything that exists besides me. There is only unity.

  1. DADA CHANJI & MEHERJEE

On March 7th, (1927) Chanji brought all his relatives from Poona to Meherabad. Chanji's brother, Naoroji H. Dadachanji’s, had taken a contract to build a boys' hostel for Parsis in Poona and had been living there with his family for some time. Naoroji's family consisted of his wife, Bachamai; three daughters, Arnavaz, Nargis and Rhoda; and a four-month old son, Tehemtan.

With them they brought a rather reluctant young relative who lived in their same compound in Poona. His name was Meherjee Ardeshir Karkaria. Meherjee had been induced to come with them on a picnic to Ahmednagar. When the Dadachanji family reached Meherabad, they were deeply moved by the radiance and glowing features of the Master at their first sight of him. His face was unlike any other; it belonged to some divine heavenly being. His eyes were unlike any others, so penetrating, seeing the heart's very core.

The Dadachanji families were Parsis from Bombay, and though it was not customary for them as Zoroastrians, they offered Baba homage by touching his feet. But Meherjee, the son of a Parsi priest in Navsari, folded his hands in salutation from a distance. After Baba inquired about each one's health, he gestured to Meherjee and asked, "What do you do?" He replied that he was studying science and engineering. Baba inquired further, "What will you do when you finish?" Meherjee replied that he would obtain his Bachelors of Science degree. Baba smiled and asked, "Why don't you come to my school and work as a teacher?" Meherjee did not seem happy with this, so Baba added, "All right, appear in the exam; but if you fail, come back." Meherjee did not say anything.

Baba had been gazing at Tehemtan and took the boy in his arms and kissed him for a long time. From that day onward, the Dadachanji family began being absorbed in the Master's divine love. In the evening, Naoroji, with his family and Meherjee, left.

(Meherjee soon joined Baba and remained His lifelong disciple. He also travelled with Baba on several of His tours in India and abroad.)

94-PERFORMANCE OF MIRACLES IN WORK OF SAINTS NOT MINE

During this period, (March 1927) Anna 104 claimed that his leg had been miraculously healed by the Master. Anna began declaring to many of the local people that by repeating the name of Meher Baba, and by applying the juice of neem leaves on his leg, his deep wound was completely healed. One day, Anna brought two afflicted women to Baba. One woman was lame and had been suffering for many months. She fell at Baba's feet, and he comforted her: "Your disease has fallen at my feet." The next day, she was able to walk quite naturally again and confessed to Anna that he had taken her to a true Master.

The other woman was in deep financial straits, but her problems were settled in a short time after having Baba's darshan. However, after some time, Baba discouraged Anna from bringing people to him who were seeking miracles, explaining that performing miracles was the work of saints, but not his work.

95-THOSE WHO KNOW THE EMPEROR HAVE NO NEED TO BOW BEFORE THE PALACE GUARDS.

On June 2nd, (1928), the day before leaving Meherabad, Baba met privately with Minoo Pohowala. As Minoo was in the habit of going to one saint after another, Baba pointedly explained to him:

When you sink a well, you first select a spot before beginning the drilling. But if you stop drilling halfway and start anew at a different spot, you will never find water and all your labours will be wasted. But if you keep drilling at one spot, you will surely find water one day. A spirit of fortitude is required. If you are easily disappointed and keep trying at different places, you will never succeed.

Similarly, if you continue running from one saint or Sadguru to another, you will never gain anything. Stick firmly to only one Master and carry out his wishes. Dig, dig and keep on digging, and one day you will get the water of Realization.

That day, Baba also had a private meeting with Savak Kotwal. Although just twenty five years old, Kotwal was a genuine seeker and had previously contacted Upasni Maharaj, Narayan Maharaj and Hazrat Babajan, he came to see Meher Baba because someone in Poona had told him that the Irani Guru at Arangaon was the chief disciple of Babajan. Kotwal opened his heart to Baba and revealed, "I desire God-Realization in this birth."

Baba replied, "Either long for God or for the world – you cannot have both! It has never happened before and it will never happen in the future."

Kotwal wanted God, but at the same time he was married and wished to stay with his family. Baba encouraged him, "I know how much you want to tread the spiritual path and I will see that you enter it. You will make rapid progress toward that goal and you will eventually be completely swayed toward it." Baba instructed Kotwal to visit him every weekend. This satisfied Kotwal and from that time on, the longing to be one of Baba's resident mandali was aroused in him.

Savak Kotwal had the darshan of Upasni Maharaj on many occasions. Once in Bombay, when Kotwal's turn came to bow down, Maharaj gave him a hard slap and scolded him, "You are ruining my whole work and your own as well." Deeply distressed, Kotwal resolved never to go back to him. When he was departing, however, one of Maharaj's disciples came running with this message from him, "Don't worry. I only slapped you because I have work of a special character to fulfill."

Even after meeting Meher Baba, Kotwal continued to visit gurus, sadhus and other holy men – one in particular was named Jiyagi Baba. When Kotwal next visited, Meher Baba informed him, "Jiyagi Baba” has not even reached the atmosphere of the spiritual world. Leave him alone. Those who know the Emperor have no need to bow before the palace guards in order to gain entrance."

Baba did, however, instruct Kotwal to contact the great saint Tipu Baba in Bombay and convey to him this seemingly simple message: "The Emperor has sent me."

When Kotwal did so, Tipu Baba, who seldom spoke to anyone, immediately replied, "Say Allah ho Akbar; Allah ho Akbar – God is great; no one is great but God! I give these blessings. Go now. The task is successfully completed."

Later Baba told Kotwal to visit Tipu Baba often, but he was not to meet any other holy man. On one such visit, Kotwal brought a framed photograph of Meher Baba and asked permission to hang it in Tipu Baba's room, and the saint agreed. When Kotwal had hung the photograph, Tipu Baba exclaimed,

"The whole world exists on Meher Baba's name!"

96-TUG OF WAR

Whenever Baba visited the women mandali, the Prem Ashram boys would follow him and try to bring him back to their side. The boys would not leave him alone, even though the women mandali were given very few occasions to be with Baba privately. One day, when Baba was sitting with the women, the boys appeared on the scene. When the women complained that He was not giving them enough of his company, Baba replied, "What am I to do? Where am I to be – here or there? If I remain here, the boys are disappointed, and when I am with them, you become displeased. So now decide the issue by a tug of war. I will go wherever I am pulled!" Baba stood in the middle and the women held one arm and the boys his other. Baba indicated, "Pull with all your might. Let's see who is stronger – and who loves me more." The contest began and Baba was tugged back and forth. It lasted for several minutes and the women won. As a reward, from that day on Baba spent additional time with the women mandali.

 97-KAKA BARIA

While at Toka, Ardeshir Shapurji Baria came to meet the Master and wished to stay in the ashram. To test him, Baba directed him to do the work of preparing bamboo matting. He was unfamiliar with such work, but Pendu showed him how to weave them and he brought the finished mats to Baba. After inspecting the mats, Baba put on Baria's chappals and remarked, "Your chappals don't fit me. What can I do? When your chappals are my size, I will keep you with me." Baria was confused by Baba's words; what he meant was that Baria was not yet ready to stay with him. So Baria left Toka to pay the price for a suitable pair of chappals for Baba – to prepare himself and make his life worthy of staying with the Master.

Ardeshir Baria was later known as Kaka Baria, one of Baba's mandali, but he suffered two years of testing before becoming fit to stay with the Master in 1930. He was to remain with Baba to the end and was a remarkable man. Kaka, as he was called, was born in Navsari on February 23rd, 1891. He studied mechanical engineering in school. He once worked for two years for the same company for which Chanji had worked, the Greaves Cotton Mills of Bombay. After working for a similar firm in Nagpur for five years, he spent two years at the Tata Iron & Steel Company in Jamshedpur. He had also worked in Iraq as an automotive mechanic. In 1928, when he met Baba, he was thirty-eight years old; he lived in Bombay and was the owner of several taxicabs.

From childhood Kaka had been interested in visiting the tombs of well-known saints. While in Nagpur he met Tajuddin Baba, who assured him, "All will be well with you."

He also visited Hazrat Babajan when he was in Poona. Even though he would see her regularly, he would never say a word to her. One day she inquired why he never asked her for anything. He replied, "You are the Ocean and I am but a traveler who has come to drink from the Ocean."

Kaka also met Narayan Maharaj, who had him sit near him and treated him kindly. Finally he met Upasni Maharaj, and it was Maharaj who actually told Kaka to join Meher Baba.

Kaka Baria was during the late sixties, a great source of entertainment for Beloved Baba. He was, as it were, another 'pet' for Baba during those years. He had seven heart attacks (surely a record) and then a severe case of failure of the renal functions which affected the brain, and all this meant that he could not form a single word, let alone a sentence.

It was a terrible disability, yet Kaka was very happy with it, because it afforded great amusement for his Beloved Baba. Baba would have some sentence spoken, and then ask Kaka to repeat it. Kaka would endeavour to do so, but only some terrible, incoherent words would come forth. The effect was really very funny, and Baba would have a good laugh. And even more funny was that Kaka would then himself laugh, and he would wink at Meherwan, as though he knew he could not speak properly, and was thus sharing in his own expense.

Baba would spell out, 'Toy. Kaka is My toy,' and also He called him 'Bilbo' from Tolkien's The Hobbit. He was really like a little doll, quite short, stout, upright and strong, just as one would imagine Bilbo. Each morning he would accompany the boys with the lift chair for Baba as though he was a soldier bodyguard for Him, and would strut alongside as Baba was then carried to the Mandali Hall.

Baba also gave him night duty in the early part of the evening, and he would impatiently strut up and down outside Baba's bedroom if for some reason Baba was slow in clapping for him. He would be meticulous in all his duties for Baba, despite his inner physical handicaps. As Eruch once commented, “When the mind impressions are gone, the heart impressions remain.”

Kaka Baria was a great help to Baba in His mast-work. He dropped his body and joined Baba on February 27, 1969 soon after Beloved Baba dropped His body (January 31, 1969). He was laid to rest at Meherazad as per his wish.

98-JOKE ON PESU.

Once a week Pesu would go to Ahmednagar for marketing, and would always dress in torn clothing. In spite of Rustom's constant pleading with him to wear new clothes and even offering to pay for the material and tailor, Pesu refused to change his attire. One day, Pesu went for a swim in the river and left his tattered clothing on the bank. On Baba's instructions, Rustom sneaked up and tore his clothes even more. When Pesu came out of the water and found his clothes in shreds, he wrapped a towel around himself and ran to Baba. At the time Baba was serving lunch to the boys. Pesu could not contain himself and said, "Baba, Rustom ..."

Baba interrupted him and asked, "Why didn't you bring lemons from the bazaar?"

Pesu again tried to explain what Rustom had done, but before he could continue, Baba asked the same question. This exchange was repeated two or three more times until at last Pesu walked away. Afterward Baba burst out laughing with a big silent smile, and all the rest thoroughly enjoyed the joke.

99-HOLD FIRMLY TO THE FEET OF ONE MASTER

From September 13th, Baba discontinued taking milk tea and remained on only a cup of wood apple sherbet or weak black tea. This fast lasted continuously for the next forty-three days.

It was Baba's order for all to take a lantern while going out at night in the dark. Several days earlier, Meherjee had gone out to urinate at night, but forgot his lamp. His mistake had its immediate consequence, for a large scorpion stung him which he would have otherwise seen. The whole night, he reeled with pain and restlessness, and because of this incident, he never forgot the lesson of what happens when the Master's word is not honored. Edke was also stung by a scorpion that same night.

Gustadji's brother, Homi Hansotia, who was living in Toka at this time, knew certain mantras which were said to alleviate the pain of a scorpion's sting. Some would be benefited by his "mantra treatment" while others were not, though Homi claimed that every victim was definitely relieved.

One night, a scorpion bit Homi himself and the whole night he was in pain. The mantras did not help him, so at one point he began screaming, "O Meher Baba! O Meher Baba!" After a few minutes, he shouted, "O Sai Baba! Sai Baba!" Then he called out, "O Babajan! Babajan!" In this way, he kept calling to all the Perfect Masters to help him – first Meher Baba, then Sai Baba, then Hazrat Babajan, Narayan Maharaj, Upasni Maharaj, Tajuddin Baba and then reverting to Meher Baba again.

The next morning, Homi complained to Baba, "I was in so much pain last night that I became hoarse from calling you. But you did not listen and come to help."

"On the contrary, I heard every word, but you did not allow me to come." replied Baba. "Last night, I was in the middle of a very important meeting with the Perfect Masters. Sai Baba, Hazrat Babajan, Upasni Maharaj, Narayan Maharaj and Tajuddin Baba were all there, discussing important universal work with me, when I heard your cry. And though it was a very important and urgent issue concerning the world, I cannot ignore the call of my lover. Therefore, leaving aside this discussion, I rose to come to you, but then you shouted, 'Sai Baba! Sai Baba!' So, I thought you were calling to him and he would help you. I sat down and Sai Baba got up, but then you called out, 'Babajan! Babajan!' and he sat down.

"You kept doing this and your repeated cries to every Perfect Master convinced us that you had no faith in anyone of us. And you were simply calling on one after the other in hope that something would work. Had you called on only one with full faith, he would have helped you. What could I do? I was ready to help you, but your faith in me was lacking."

Homi replied, "I have full faith in you, Baba."

"Had your faith in me been only fully in me, you would have called on me alone. Remember that by holding firmly to the feet of only one Master, your aim is achieved. But by leaving one Master for another, you will be left in the lurch."

100-THE MASTER AND THE OLD MAN'S FOUR SONS

Here is a story, as told by Baba, of a perfect master, an old man and his four sons:

All his life, the old man would come to the master.  One day, he said to him, "Master, now I am old.  Very soon I will die.  I also want my four sons to follow you, so please advise them."

"All right, bring them tomorrow," the master replied.

The next day, of course, the old man brought all four sons to the master.

"One at a time, send your sons to me," the master instructed the old man.

The first son came before the master, who enquired, "What do you want to do?"

"Master, whatever you want me to do, I will do," the first son replied.

So the master told him, "I am very, very happy.  Last night, I was thinking about you and what would be good for you.  If you do a normal job, then, of course, you will become a slave.  You will be bound.  This is not good for you, you should be free!  Do you want to cultivate land?"

"Yes, master, if you want me to do it."

"Become a farmer. Cultivate the land, and you will be free.  But don't tell anyone, this is a secret for you.  Now go."

So the first son left, thinking that the master had given him something secret and that he must not tell anyone.

The second son then came to the master.

"If I ask you to cultivate the land," the master said, "what might happen?  Sometimes it will rain, and sometimes it will not.  If it rains, then you will have a good crop.  But if it does not rain, then you will have a bad one.  So do you want to cultivate land?"

And the second boy answered, "Master, you please decide."

"No, land cultivation is not good for you.  Go into business.  If you do, you will earn a lot.  So, do you want to go into business?"

"Of course, master, if that is what you want!"

"Good.  But this is a secret for you.  Go out and go into business.  Do not tell anyone."

Then the third son came to the master.

The master said to him, "I was thinking about you, and what you should do.  If you cultivate land, that will be no good.  If I ask you to go into business, then sometimes you will incur a loss and sometimes a gain.  So, this also would be no good for you.  But if you take a job, on the first of every month, you will get a salary.  Do you want this?"

"Yes, I would like a job if you want me to have one, master," said the third one.

And the master said, "Okay, good.  But this is our secret.  Do not tell anyone."

Then the fourth son came to the master.

"Of course, I have been thinking about you," said the master.  "If you do land cultivation, there will be rain at some times, and no rain at others.  This is no good for you.  If I ask you to do business, you will incur a loss also no good.  If I ask you to do a job, you will become a servant, and this, too, will be no good for you.  So why don't you remain here with me?"

And the fourth son replied, "Master, I had wanted to be with you!"

"This is a secret, so do not tell anyone," the master informed the fourth son.

Why did the Perfect Master give different orders to the different sons?  Because their treatment needed be according to the disease from which each one suffered.

Though we don't know our own disease, everybody has one. Only the masters know this.

So why Baba has said, "Remember Me and follow My Wish?"

Only the One who knows impressions can give a person proper treatment according to their disease (impressions).  You cannot say, "Just do this or do that" as a spiritual discipline, because spiritual discipline is different for everyone.  What is spiritual discipline?

"Eat like this; don't eat like that?"

But what importance is there in eating or sitting?  Eat everything!  Sit comfortably!  Why sit like this or like that?  That is not spirituality.  In spirituality, we should be free from all these impressions.  Only when impressions are wiped out are we really free.

He is doing everything for us, and He has taken on the burden of our impressions for us.  He is an expert cleaner; it is His business.  Impressions are an obstruction, and when they are cleaned, awakening will occur.

If you had spoken to the Mandali members who had been with Meher Baba, they would have told you that the instructions Baba gave them were specifically for them, not for people in general.  Baba would give orders according to the individual Mandali member's need.  For example, Gustadji only observed silence and did nothing else.  Eruch and I, however, always had a lot of work.  His orders were always according to the disease.  Only Beloved Baba knew what our disease was, and He gave us treatment correspondingly.

The subject then turned to different types of food and Baba made the following remarks:

There are three things that are good for increasing and purifying the blood: pomegranates, grapes and tomatoes; but grapes have one defect, they create bile. Okra is good for people with backaches. Potatoes give strength, but create gas. Lentils are good; beans, pumpkins, cabbages and cauliflower are not nourishing, but are tasty. Eggplant is the worst possible thing for you. To eat eggplant is to commit suicide because it spoils the blood and turns it to water. Radishes create gas but they are good for the intestines. Spinach is also very good.

Rustom jokingly interjected, "Chicken is good because it has no sanskaras."

"We are not talking of sanskaras, but of the quality of things." corrected Baba. Then he continued:

Among non-vegetarian food, fish is the best for the brain because it contains phosphorus. Eggs are good but are hard to digest. Among all food, milk is the best because nothing is killed in obtaining it. The next best are vegetables because life in them is not fully developed. The worst impressions lie in non vegetarian food. By eating meat a person at once contacts animal sanskaras which stimulate anger and lust.

In vegetation forms, the gross and subtle bodies are developing, but not the mental body. In animal forms, the mental body begins its development. In the limited minds of animals exist anger and lust as they kill for food and sometimes for a mate.

101-OBEDIENCE IS HIGHER THAN LOVE.

The following day, December 17, Baba began cleaning the boys' toilets, allowing only his brother Jal to help in this work. Regarding this lowly task, Baba explained to the mandali:

Sadgurus are in the highest state, yet they work like sweepers to abolish the bad sanskaras of sinners; but here I have to do this outwardly filthy work of cleaning the toilets and urinals. You will never know how sweet and wonderful this work is to me! When will you be able to understand my way of working?

That same day, Meherjee's father arrived unexpectedly at Meherabad at three in the afternoon with four Parsi priests. He had heard a rumor that his son had shaved his head and was moving about in a long robe like a sadhu. But when he saw Meherjee, he realized the stories were false. Nevertheless, he told Baba, "Meherjee is my eldest son and I have hopes of his shouldering the full responsibility of our entire family. I therefore wish to take him home."

Baba replied, "Your son is gold. You may take him with you, but I allow it with a pain in my heart." Meherjee did not want to leave, but Baba took him aside and consoled him, "Go now. It is my order. I am sending you with my blessing. And remember, even if you leave me, I will never leave you."

Baba then asked Meherjee if he loved him. Meherjee replied, "If I did not love you, how could I wish to remain here?"

Baba explained, "Obedience is higher than love. So carry out what I order you to do. Go now, and remember that I am with you." Meherjee accepted, and with tears in his eyes accompanied his father home.

 

102-YOUR DISGUST IS THE RESULT OF ALL THE CHAOS AND CONFUSION IN YOUR MINDS.

The mandali as a whole were feeling confused, as no one yet knew where
Baba planned to go on tour, or who he would take with him. On the morning of May 5th, Baily complained to Baba that all of the men were fed up and bored. Hearing this, Baba replied, "I didn't know that. This is the first I have heard about it.”

He called Baidul and asked, "Are you feeling disgusted?" Baidul denied it. Baba remarked, "At least there is one man here who is not disgusted. All right, in a day or two I will set things straight." Then he added in a cryptic tone, "I will go into hiding and you will never be able to find me. I will get myself imprisoned for seven years.”

Pointing to the young mast Mastan, Baba remarked, "My heart is full of joy when I see Mastan. I forget my own unhappiness on seeing him. He is a king! He has neither lust nor mind, nor is Maya an influence on him. How beautiful is his state.”

Turning to the men, he added, "Your disgust is the result of all the chaos and confusion in your minds, and when I try to uproot it, you say you feel fed up." After a long tirade, Baba came to know that only Baily was disgusted, and he reprimanded him for wrongly including the others.

103-MY WORD IS THE MOST SUPREME

One day soon after his return to Meherabad, Baba went to the Family Quarters near Arangaon. He sent for Vishnu. Vishnu came immediately, running to Baba barefooted. After a brief discussion, Baba directed him to go and bring Raosaheb. Vishnu was about to turn back when Baba directed him, "Don't walk bare-footed; take my sandals." Vishnu picked up Baba's sandals, touched them to his forehead and put them down again by Baba's feet. He replied, "Master, I could never wear your holy sandals."

Thereupon, Baba bitterly remarked to the others present, "How unlucky Vishnu is! When I give him my sandals to wear, he just touches his forehead to them and puts them back. This type of worship and reverence pains me. It is not worship; it is punishment. By disobeying me, Vishnu does not worship me; he punishes me. And the sad part is that he thinks he is revering me.

"Not to keep my word and to worship one's own sentiments is sheer disobedience. Vishnu does not revere me. He reveres his own emotions, and to him, they are apparently superior to my orders. Such things deeply pain me."

Disturbed, Chhagan asked, Are we not to consider your sandals as sacred?"

"Every belonging of mine is sacred," replied Baba, "and to have a feeling of reverence for them is good. But they are not more important than I am. My word is the most supreme! For that reason, revere my word rather than my things. While carrying out my wishes, let there be no room for the expression of your own emotions and feelings."

104-THERE IS A GREAT MYSTERY BEHIND MAKING THESE CHANGES

On August 23rd, (1929) Baba wished to proceed to Aurangabad, and they departed in the bus at three in the afternoon. Many devotees from Dhulia came to see Baba off; Kalemama and his family bid Baba farewell with an especially heavy heart.

After the bus had gone some distance, Baba changed his mind and gave Padri directions to drive first to Malegaon. When they arrived, Buasaheb asked, "Now, where in the hell do we go from here?"

This displeased Baba and he answered sharply, "From the start, I declared my intention of proceeding to Aurangabad. So why do you ask me this question? Since it's now obvious that you think me to be a fool, tell me where you want to go. Meherabad, Nasik or Panchgani?" Concluding, Baba spelled out, "Those of you who want to go to Meherabad should pack for your respective homes immediately."

On the verge of losing control of his tongue, Buasaheb began packing his belongings to leave. Baba called him back and explained, "You cannot understand these sudden and frequent changes of my plans. There is a great mystery behind making these changes. Stick to me and bear everything with patience. I know what I am doing."

Like Ram, he said he had a bow.

He shot arrows into the heart,

piercing the veil of the ego-mind

in order to create a feeling of love.

Since Chhagan's departure, Padri had become one of Baba's favorite targets for taunting. As Padri was driving, Baba shot his arrows at him, gesturing, "When I tell you to drive fast, why don't you do it? Why do you ignore me?"

"Baba, the condition of the road is very bad," said Padri. "If I were to accelerate, there might be an accident."

"That means you know more than I do!" snapped Baba. "Has your father ever driven a bus?"

"My father was a driver; now I'm one, too!" (1)

"You have the features of an animal," exclaimed Baba, "you look like a giraffe! Besides being tall, you talk quite tall!" Padri stopped the bus.

As Baba continued teasing him, Padri stood up to leave. Baba motioned to him, "I will beat you soundly and tie you up so you won't be able to leave. Now sit down, stupid!"

After the situation calmed down, Baba led the group to visit the Malegaon bazaar. At one point, they stopped for tea at a restaurant. Padri was still steaming inside from the bruising of his ego and refused the tea. Baba grabbed hold of him and handed him a cup, forcing him to drink.

After tea, Baba asked the men, "Now where should we proceed?" They discussed it and settled on Yeola. They drove there and after driving around the town, camped under a tree for the night. They left for Aurangabad the next morning, August 24th.

  • Padri's father was a train engineer.

105-WHAT COULD ONE DO FOR HIM WHO SERVES THE UNIVERSE

Baba left Meherabad for Bombay on September 3rd, two weeks prior to his scheduled departure. He decided to go early to secure passports and visas needed to visit Persia. In Bombay, he stayed at Naval and Dina Talati's house in the Shivlal building at Byculla. Many new devotees came into the Master's contact during this stay in Bombay.

At first Baba instructed Dina Talati not to allow anyone to enter the house for darshan. So she stood at the entrance of her home to prevent people from coming inside, but some entered the building from a back entrance and Baba met them. When they were leaving, they criticized Dina, "Don't think this is your house. The house where God stays belongs to all."

Dina replied helplessly, "It was not my idea; it was Baba's order. What could I do?" When she narrated this incident to Baba, he had a hearty laugh.

After supper, Baba would go each day for a walk. He would ask for his meal at any time and Dina always had to keep it ready. One evening, before dinner, Baba asked Dina to accompany him on the walk. Rushing to join him, she forgot to put his food aside. After Baba and she departed, the mandali ate the meal without knowing that Dina had not saved a plate for Baba. They ate all the food, and put the pots and pans away after washing up.

On the way back from their stroll, Baba told Dina, "I am feeling very hungry. In fact, I feel like I'm starving! What have you cooked tonight?"

Dina then gave him the menu and said, "The food is ready; I will serve you the moment we reach home." However, when they returned, she found to her dismay that there was nothing left. She began weeping. Meanwhile, Baba sent Vishnu to inquire why he had not yet been served.

Vishnu found Dina crying in the kitchen and told Baba. Baba came and asked Dina what was wrong. When she told Baba, he exclaimed, "You don't even have this much respect for me? Are you so inattentive that you forget to save anything for me? Do you only think of yourself?"

Baba's expression softened as he consoled her, "Don't worry about it. I have used you for some inner work of mine."

Dina said that she would prepare something for him to eat in five minutes. But Baba replied, "My work is done; forget it." Dina, however, insisted that Baba eat. Baba reluctantly agreed and ate a little of the food.

Later Dina understood the significance of this incident. It taught her a great lesson:

Never take pride in serving the Master.

What could one do for him who serves the universe?

During Baba's stay at her home, Dina proudly thought to herself: "How well I serve the Master. No one else is able to serve him as I do. According to his order, whenever Baba needs anything at any time of the day or night, I supply it immediately. Is there anyone else who can do this?"

Another incident made Dina keenly aware of the folly of such thoughts: One day, Baba instructed Dina to cook for him as well as for the mandali, but the men were to help her. When it was ready, Dina informed Baba and he came to the dining room with everyone who had come for darshan that day. Seeing the numerous guests, Dina was taken aback. She took Baba aside and whispered, "There is not enough food to feed everyone. I didn't realize you wished me to cook for so many persons."

Baba asked, "Why? Did you cook less?"

"I cooked for only you and the mandali as usual. I didn't know about these other fifty people with you."

Baba made no further remark and began serving the food himself. He served large portions to each person as Dina nervously watched. All were served and still there was an abundance left over. Baba called Dina and gestured, "You eat the rest." Dina was shocked when she saw how much food remained.

106-KEEP YOUR LANGOTI TIGHT

PERSIA is extremely cold in September. Remarking about it, brother Jal teased Maruti Patel, "In Isfahan and Yezd, it is so cold that without drinking wine people can't survive! We too will have to drink and drink, just to stay alive!" Maruti took Jal seriously, however, and as he was a strict Maratha, he was worried that he would be made to imbibe alcohol.

When Baba was informed about it, he remarked, "It is true that the weather will be severely cold, but why are you concerned about drinking wine? Aren't we eating meat when we don't get vegetarian food? Such talk is rubbish!"

Explaining further to the men, the Master stated:

Wine is good for both health and the spiritual life. It is an intoxicant and tonic for both. If after drinking wine, thoughts are diverted to spiritual advancement, it is a great push toward the Goal; otherwise, it can lead to hell. Wine is such that either it raises you to the highest pinnacle or makes you fall into the deepest ditch.

The main object of intoxicants in the ancient past was spiritual. Seekers then used not only wine but also hemp, heroin, hashish and opium; so much so that even Qutubs would indulge in them. You have heard stories that Sai Baba used to smoke a chilum pipe and Upasni Maharaj smoked beedies. But eventually during those times, ordinary people indulged in these intoxicants for the wrong reasons. They could not understand their proper use and the effects of the intoxication diverted their thoughts to carnal desires – worst of all to lust, the greatest obstacle in the way.

In the spiritual path, lust is the greatest obstacle. Even the thought of fornication should not enter the mind. That is why I tell you "Keep your langoti tight," which mean to have no lustful thoughts, do no lustful actions, and do not touch or even look at a woman. Lust is so forceful that even looking at a woman can start a man thinking about sex; and thinking leads to action.

Compare the love between a child and his mother; the child plays in her arms and touches her without creating the least thought of lust. But the slightest touch between the father and mother may arouse lustful thoughts in them.

107-THAT ONION IN THE FOOD TOLD ME.

After staying at Naval and Dina Talati's for a week, Baba and the mandali shifted to Marker's bungalow in Kandivli on the 9th of September. As ordered, Dina continued to cook meals for Baba, and Bachamai Dadachanji cooked for the mandali.

Baba had ordered Dina not to allow anyone to touch his food while she was preparing it, and she was usually vigilant not to let any of the servants or other ladies help her. One day, however, a devotee of Baba's came and, though Dina discouraged her, the woman sliced an onion. When Dina presented the meal, Baba scornfully remarked, "Today, I don't want your food."

Dina was taken aback, and then Baba inquired, "Tell the truth. Has anyone touched any of the ingredients today?" Dina then understood and admitted what had happened. Baba reprimanded her for disobeying him, but then forgave her and ate the meal. Afterward, Dina asked Baba, "How did you know that someone had touched something? Were you here when the food was being cooked in the kitchen?"

Baba spelled out, "Does it behoove you to ask such silly questions? Of course I knew; that onion in the food told me what had happened. That is how I came to know about it." This made Dina burst out laughing, but thereafter she was more cautious when preparing Baba's food and in carrying out his orders.

108 O GOD, STRANGE ARE YOUR WAYS

On September 24th, (1929) Baba began goading Buasaheb. Once while Baba was teasing him, Buasaheb, in his vexation, said something regrettable, and Baba advised him, "Learn to swallow your anger. Try to remain cheerful in all circumstances. Try to be humble and don't ever answer me back.

"These sharp arrows of mine are very good for your spirit; the wine is hidden in them. You have been my companion the longest. Have courage; it is because of your courage that I am going to Persia. Keep me pleased and remain content that you do so. I have to retire in seclusion for four months, after which we will have to travel around the world."

Baba then gave these special orders for the men to follow:

No one should talk about me, either on the ship or in Persia. None should distribute any books, photographs or lockets without my permission. No one should come to know of my presence, as that would disturb my seclusion. After my work is done, I myself will speak and inform others. Remain quiet and continue doing as I order until then.

Before having received these instructions, Buasaheb had given a book on the Meher Ashram written by K. J. Dastur to a passenger. The next day, Chanji found out about it and told Baba, who was very upset with Buasaheb. Chanji managed to get the book back from the man, but on account of it, two or three other persons came to the cabin for Baba's darshan.

Thereafter Baba remarked, "For seven years I have tried to stay in a quiet place, but cannot manage to find such a place. This is the last attempt. If it fails, then everyone will have to face hardships, if not directly then indirectly." Then he exclaimed,

"Christ held the key to the world in his hands, but his hands were nailed onto a cross!"

Although none of the passengers were informed of Meher Baba's identity, once they saw him they could not help but stare at him. A Muslim who worked in the ship's engine room would stand silently in a corner and gaze at Baba, feeling too moved to speak. He never uttered a word, nor did Baba seemingly pay attention to him. After five days passed, Baba sent for him and handed him his handkerchief. The man burst out weeping in appreciation of the precious gift and kissed it.

On another occasion, a Catholic steward from Goa questioned Chanji, "Who is this Christ-like person? Is he your living Master? Your Guru?"

"He is our friend," gently replied Chanji, "and yours too."

109-THESE SHARP ARROWS ARE GOOD FOR YOUR SPIRIT; THE WINE IS HIDDEN IN THEM.

A poor man named Rustom Dinyar had met Baba years ago in Poona at the toddy shop in Kasba Peth. He also had taken his future wife Kharmanmasi to meet Baba in Manzil-e-Meem. They had become regular visitors to Meherabad, and their sons, Homi, Merwan and Sarosh, had stayed in the Meher Ashram School.

During this stay in Bombay, Baba visited Kharmanmasi house. On that occasion, Baba indicated to her that he was very hungry She replied that food was being brought from outside. "I do not like restaurant food," Baba replied. "I only require leftovers – chapatis and dal."

Oddly enough, this was the only food left over in the house. But when Kharman opened the cupboard to get the food, she found it empty. She looked puzzled, and Baba asked her what was wrong. After Kharmanmasi explained, Baba remarked, "When you were taking a bath, a thief came and ate up all the dal and chapatis. Do you know who the thief was? He is standing before you."

Kharmanmasi eyes welled up with tears and she exclaimed, "O God, strange are Your ways! You ate stale bread and dal from the house of a poor woman like me." Looking at Baba, she said, "How loving you are to someone as unworthy as I. You are the sole support of the poor, Baba!"

Taking her in his embrace, Baba gestured, "You are not poor; you are very rich! What wealth is greater or higher than love? It is because of your love that I've come to your home."

Kharmenmasi’s love for the Master was exemplary. She lived in Baba’s ashram for two years starting in 1940.

110-BURNING OF MONEY

Later that day, Baba called all the mandali and had a serious discussion about the state of his financial affairs. "We are short of funds and meeting expenses will be difficult from now on.

What should we do?"

Raosaheb spontaneously offered to go to Bombay to raise the money. "Splendid! It is a very good idea," Baba gestured. "But will you be able to return by tomorrow? You must return within 24 hours." Raosaheb assured Baba that he would definitely return in time.

Raosaheb promptly left for Bombay, but was unable to return to Meherabad the following day. Baba was impatiently waiting for him and inquired frequently about him.

On the third day, Raosaheb returned, but Baba was not at all pleased to see him. Scowling, Baba asked, "Why did you fail to show up yesterday? Why did you disobey me?" Raosaheb could not say anything, but silently placed a huge bundle of currency notes at Baba's feet, thinking this would please Baba.

But, on the contrary, Baba instructed Chhagan, "Pick up that money and burn it!" Chhagan took it — almost Rs.5,000! — and did as he was instructed. Raosaheb was aghast — as were the other mandali.

Baba explained, "You thought that I would be pleased at seeing the money. What value does money have for me? Even if you place the treasure of the whole world before me, it is nothing but shit to me! You broke my order! I would have been pleased had you not brought the money and returned the day I wished. How can you know what pain you have caused me by breaking my order? I don't want lucre; I want love!"

Raosaheb sought Baba's forgiveness. Baba consoled him and then advised, "Always follow my orders. If you grant me this gift of obedience, no other gift, however valuable, will compare to it."

111-UNLESS I USE MY BROOM

On April 5th, (1930) Padri and Vishnu brought in a bundle of clothes belonging to the deceased Sadhu Christian Leik, and Baba distributed the garments among all the men. Baba offered a pair of trousers to Raosaheb, who reluctantly said that he had enough pants. His reply displeased Baba, as it was only an excuse because Raosaheb did not like the idea of wearing someone else's clothing. Baba angrily ordered him, "Put those trousers on right now!"

Raosaheb replied that they were too small. However, Baba gestured, "Even if they don't fit, when I offer you something, you should accept it humbly. You men have to learn humility! Don't answer back like that! Don't go on repeating, 'This is useless. That is not right.' Why are you so proud?"

Irritated, Raosaheb left Baba's presence in a huff. After a short while, Baba sent Chhagan with a garland of flowers for Raosaheb. This enraged Raosaheb even more and he exclaimed to Chhagan, "Pir, Wali, Sadguru, and Murshid! All have left and only Baba remains, but he is beating us with brooms today. Has it affected us in any way? We are still as we were." Raosaheb's comments meant that even though Baba was the sole spiritual authority, he would goad his disciples like this, which they had to endure.

Chhagan returned and informed Baba about what had happened. Baba immediately sent for Raosaheb and reprimanded him, "You animal, why is there so much pride in you? What do you mean by saying such things? No one has left! All Sadgurus are where they were. It is you who are leaving them. It is no use throwing dust at the sun! It will hurt your own eyes. If you strike glass on a stone, it is the glass which will break into pieces – not the stone.

"It is not easy using a broom. If I don't use it, how else will your anger be removed? When I use my broom, you have seen how all your dirt – lust, greed and anger – is swept away."

Raosaheb clarified his feelings, "I have no objection to putting on anyone else's clothing, but from childhood I've been taught that it is wrong." Baba again scolded him, "You fool. It is for this very reason that I have spent so much time with you. Jungli! Idiot, you should accept what the Master says! You are not required to think about it.

"This is the reason why priests have such a firm hold over the minds of common people; to eradicate this hold is most difficult. You have been with me for so many years, and see how firmly your upbringing is still rooted in you. If you don't listen now, you will be born as a frog in your next birth! Now will you listen to me?" This comment made Raosaheb smile and he apologized for his behavior.

112-WHY MEHERBABA MAKING SUCH A FUSS

Meanwhile, (in April 1930) when Chhagan was out looking for a boy, he spotted a very handsome youth working in a restaurant in Wai. He asked the boy if he would come with him to Panchgani, and the boy replied he would first have to ask his employer. Finally after much persuasion, the hotel manager yielded the boy to Chhagan.

Chhagan brought him to Baba who at first liked the boy very much. But after a few minutes, Baba disapprovingly noticed a small cut on his leg, and directed Chhagan, "You'd better take the boy to Meherabad, where Padri can treat his wound. Tell Padri to bring him to Panchgani once the wound is healed."

Chhagan was puzzled by Baba's instructions, as the boy's injury seemed very minor. He wondered why Baba was making such a fuss, forcing him to take the boy all the way to Meherabad, when a local doctor could easily have treated the wound. But he did not say anything and, before he left, Baba further instructed him to be sure to contact Sadashiv Patel in Poona on the way and deliver a message, which Baba dictated to him.

Chhagan then left Panchgani with the boy. In Poona, as he was nearing Sadashiv's house, a Muslim woman who was filling her water vessels at a public well saw the boy with Chhagan and suddenly began screaming out his name. She came running to the boy, embraced him and cried, "Yusuf, Yusuf! My son, where have you been? I can't believe it is really you! I have been longing for sight of you day and night! My son, it has been so long, have you forgotten your own mother?"

A crowd gathered and Chhagan could not understand what was happening. Chhagan grew frightened by the presence of so many people and forced his way to Sadashiv's house. He described the situation, and Sadashiv approached the woman and questioned her. He found out the woman's only son had disappeared from home five years ago, and her search had proved fruitless. After some months, the parents were overwrought with distress at their failure to locate the boy. Grief stricken, they had all but given up hope of ever seeing him again.

Chhagan then asked Sadashiv, "What am I to do now" Baba's order was to take the boy to Meherabad." Sadashiv sent a telegram to Baba explaining the situation. Baba's reply promptly came, instructing Chhagan to leave the boy with his parents and return to Panchgani. Only then did Chhagan understand why Baba had sent him on this journey.

The message Baba had given Chhagan to convey to Sadashiv was nothing important, but Baba wished to reunite the boy with his parents who were heart-broken and had suffered five years over their lost child.

113- SAINTS LOVE LOVERS OF GOD.

Later that day, (June 18, 1930) a newspaper editor named R. N. Kalia came to see Baba.

Kalia said, "I am now trying to make as much money as possible so that I may be able to Invite saints like you to my house. I wish to serve saints and keep them in comfort."

Meher Baba's reply was especially poignant:

Saints love lovers of God, even if they are poor. Those who are rich, but without love, saints will never like. Your objective is good, but the way in which you intend to fulfill it is doubtful. In your enthusiasm to get money, you are likely to resort to undesirable means, perhaps even becoming unscrupulous. It is better for you to remain poor with an honest and loving heart, instead of collecting riches by dishonest means. Keep the company of saints and have love for God; you will surely achieve the aim of your life.

Your ideal of service is only a means to an end, and not the end itself. So try to go further until you attain the highest and noblest end itself. To say that only a few selected ones gain entrance onto the path does not mean you should not try. Why be drowned in Maya when you can rise out of it and be drowned in the ocean of bliss and knowledge?

A real saint wants only love and devotion from his devotees – not money, not luxurious comforts. Try to create divine love within your heart by longing for God and you will have everything.

114-ZARUTHUSTRA RETURNED

Baba informed Gaimai that in the morning before Eruch went to school and after returning in the afternoon he should first meet with Baba. Eruch was also to have his meals. Being a teenager, Eruch found this irksome and would deliberately hide from Baa, departing for school without seeing him. In the afternoon, Baba would stand outside in the yard by the gate, waiting to catch, Eruch. For the first few days, Eruch was caught and had to spend the afternoon and evening playing games with Baba.

On the third day, Eruch was more cautious. Cycling home from school, he saw

Baba from distance and thought: “there he is again: he’ll spoil my evening.” To avoid Baba, Eruch quietly entered the house through back door. After having a snack and changing clothes he went out. Eruch did not want to spend his free time being with Baba: he wanted to go outside and play with his friends.

When he returned, Gaimai asked why he had not come home from the school that day. Eruch explained that he had been home, but sneaked off to play. Gaimai scolded him, “This is not good. You don’t realize how blessed you are. Baba was was waiting a long time or you.” She exclaimed, “He is Zarathustra! He is our Prophet returned! Do you know that?”

Although religious by nature, but rather skeptical in mind, Eruch was not duly impressed by his mother’s words. Even though he was of Zoroastrian faith, Eruch had more of an interest in Jesus, having attended the Christian school in Nagpur. He did not yet realize that all Avatars are one and the same. Eruch thought himself: “How much better it would have been if I had been born at the time of Jesus. I would love to have been by his side. Will that day ever come for me?”

Little did he know that the Christ had heard his longing? And was waiting for him each day, but to play

115-TAILOR PITIES ON BABA FOR HIS SILENCE         

On one occasion, Baba opened Eruch’s trunk containing cloths. He took out a shirt and a pair of pants, held them up to examine them and motioned to Gaimai, “I must have clothes like this prepared for Agha Ali.”  Gulmai immediately sent for a tailor, a Gujrati man who was very old and partially blind. Baba himself explained to the old man about sewing suits for Ali, and Gaimai gave him silk fabric that had been meant for her son Eruch.

Reaching that Baba was not speaking, the tailor asked, “Who is he, and why he doesn’t talk?”

Gaimai replied, “He is my elder brother; due to some throat problem he cannot speak. All remedies have been tried, but to no avail.

Th old man was drawn to Baba, and hearing this, he looked sad and said, “Merwan Haite, give up these English medicines and come with me to Kathiawar. Where there are very good ayurvedic doctors. Their treatment wills surly cure you.

Baba nodded in agreement and good naturally dictated, “I am going to Europe to have my throat examined. Perhaps I will be helped there.

“But why go to Europe?  The tailor said. “Listen to me and get yourself treated in Kathiawar.” Baba only smiled.

It was observed that Baba particularly enjoyed the old man’s company. Whenever the tailor had to tread his needle, he would call out “Merwan Haite, come and thread this needle for an old man.” When Baba would do it, the tailor would burst out with, “Aye Ram! –O God, Ram!” on one occasion, the tailor remarked, “Merwan Haite, how handsome you are, how youthful you look! But see God’s play; He has deprived you of a tongue! Trust me come with me to Kathiawar. If you begin speaking, you will be irresistible.”  Delighted, Baba would listen to the tailor’s conversation, and the old man would purposely pull the thread from the needle just so he could call Baba and keep him near.

116-ADI JR IN COLLEGE

When Meher baba went to Poona it was specifically to meet his brother Adi Jr. who was then studying in Deccan College. Baba took him aside and asked through Chanji, “How are you doing in college.”

“All right,” Adi replied.

“Do you like it?’ Baba asked, Ali assured him that his studies were going fine. By the manner in which Baba was questioning him, Adi knew Baba had something up in his sleeve but he did not know what, “Are you happy here?” pressed Baba. Adi answered that he was. After being assured that Adi was doing all right, Baba left for Nasik.

Baba arrived in Nasik on October 1 st. Soon after, however, he sent Adi a telegram informing him to come to Nasik at once. When Adi arrived, he was called alone to Baba’s room. Again Baba asked, “Are you really happy in college?” Adi assured him that he was happy. Baba then asked, “Do you really want to become a doctor?”

Adi said, “Yes. Then I will join you and become ashram doctor.”

Baba then shocked Adi with this question, “Which would you rather be, My ashram doctor or my Vivekananda?”

Adi was filled with great aspirations at that time and thought to himself: “My God, be a doctor and be damned, or to be Vivekananda?” Adi accepted Baba’s offer and was ordered to join the ashram in Nasik immediately.

Adi returned to Poona and told his mother he was giving up his medical studies, dropping out of the college and going to live in Nasik. Baba had given Adi the courage he needed to face his mother, who strongly objected the idea. There were two terrific arguments between mother and son, but Adi was adamant and moved to Nasik soon afterward.  Every day he kept expecting the miracle of perfection to happen - to become like Vivekananda. As months and years passed on, Adi accepted his own unique fate and difficult role as “Baba’s brother,” and eventually, realized the role of Vivekananda had just hat been bait.

117-YOUR MASTER IS THE REAL EMPEROR BEFORE WHOM WE ARE MERE DOGS.

After tea on Sunday, January 4th, (1931) Baba desired to play a game of atya-patya and went to his Jhopdi to change clothes. When he returned, he found that the men had not started preparations for the game – sides had not been chosen, nor had the lines on the playing field been drawn. The mandali's negligence caused Baba to become extremely annoyed, and he reprimanded them:

It is painful facts that neither do you care for me, nor for my instructions. I am being worshiped by the angels, walis and pirs, but, you my mandali, your behavior toward me is one of complete indifference. The other day when Adi Sr. had been to the wali in Nasik, the wali told him, "Your Master is the real Emperor before whom we are mere dogs!" The wali used such words for describing me; whereas you, my mandali, pay no attention to my directions. I had clearly expressed my wish to play atya-patya, and it was your duty to prepare for it. But you have not lifted a finger. How painful this is to me and what a pity it is! Remember this well: A day will come when you, one and all, will break your heads and shed tears of blood and repent to the heavens for your indifference.

When you recognize me and come to know fully who I really am, you will feel sorry for yourselves and realize how grossly negligent you were in following my dictates and caring for my words.

Although I now pardon you and your mistake is forgiven, it is not befitting to be so careless. It is not really your mistake but my luck. The same thing happens with every Avatar. He remains unknown in his lifetime, but after he gives up his body, the whole world weeps in repentance for the great loss they have to sustain. Your time of weeping will also come!

118-WORDS AND EXPLANATIONS ARE NOT NECESSARY FOR A PERSON WHO FEELS THINGS AS YOU DO.

A group of six people came to meet Baba on November 11th, (1931). Among them was Norina Matchabelli, who brought a young lady, named Anita de Caro. (1) Anita was a talented art student in whom Norina had taken an interest and was helping financially. On one occasion, Anita recalled her first encounter with Meher Baba:

I had been brought up Catholic. Knowing I was about to see him, all of a sudden I was frightened. I thought: "If this is such a great religious man, how am I to behave? I can't shake hands with him. The only thing to do is kneel. I'll make the sign of the cross and say, 'Bless me, Father,' and kiss his hand."

My heart was pounding with fear. The door opened. Baba was seated Persian fashion. I looked at him and went into peals of laughter. I laughed and threw myself on him. "My heavens! It's you," I cried. "You made me go through all this masquerading and fear when it's you! It's incredible!" And I laughed and laughed.

Baba opened up his arms and welcomed me. I was absolutely enraptured and felt a tremendous sense of joy. My whole being felt as if I was in a furnace. Words cannot describe the encounter. It was like meeting someone I always knew, as though I had come to my real home. I experienced a great beauty and great joy.

At their first meeting, Baba asked Anita, "Do you know who I am?"

She replied, "You are the source of all goodness." Norina had explained much to her about Baba, and Anita continued, "I wanted to ask you so many things I had thought of, but when I am near you, I just can't; and there seems no need of it."

Baba replied, "Yes, I could explain for hours, but words and explanations are not necessary for a person who feels things as you do."

Baba inquired about her interests and when she said she was an artist, he gestured, "Could you paint me?"

She answered, "You are too beautiful and would be too difficult to paint." Nonetheless, two days later, Anita returned to Harmon with Norina and, at Baba's request, attempted to paint his face. She later recollected that incident:

I hadn't really studied portrait painting, but Baba guided me to do it. Painting him was a great experience, because I learned one cannot put down that which is ever-changing. It would take pages to describe the event of being in Baba's presence while I painted. I cannot tell you how long it took, because there was no sense of time in his presence. Everything about him was changing – Baba's eyes, the color of his skin, his expressions. It remains a great mystery to me.

I told Baba, "One cannot paint you because your expression changes every moment. You are never the same."

He replied, "Yes, you are right. I am ever-changing, for it is life itself – the divine play!"

On another occasion, Baba remarked to the group at Harmon, "I am eternally happy ..."

Anita interjected, "Oh, you needn't tell us that! You must be with this face of yours. What bliss! Look at his eyes. They speak more than words – so radiant, so penetrating, how understanding and compassionate. Without a doubt, you look eternally happy." Anita was a great addition to the group because she kept Baba in good humor.

(1)  Anita de Caro later married and assumed her French husband Roger’s name Vieillard.

 

119-KRISHNA, BUDDHA & CHRIST

The weatherin England at that time of year was still quite cold. Ghani Munsif felt so cold and uncomfortable that he did not change his clothes for eight days and slept fully dressed with his shoes on. Not meaning to be humorous, he told Baba, “My head feels like a refrigerator!” Meredith had told the mandali to stay in their rooms meditating, but Ghani locked the door from inside and indulged in his favorite pastime sleeping. On the sly, Ghani was allowed to narrate incidents of Baba’s childhood and early days to Kitty and the other sincere lovers, since he was one of the Master’s earliest followers and as the boys they had attended school together.

Baba did not insist on the English group being vegetarian, and had informed the Kimco group that they were exempt from daily hours of meditation. During which time Meredith had given strict orders for silence in the hiouse and on the premises. One day Baba came to sit with them during this hour and casually pulled a door from the shelf showing them the title. It was All Quiet On the Western front and all burst out laughing.

 Another time Baba came upstairs to Kimco room to be with them during meditation hour. He looked out the open window and saw Quentin Todd dutifully mediating outside. Baba mischievously picked up a few sugar cubes and threw one after the other at the Tod’s back with accuracy. Tod was incensed by this prank until he saw Baba and the other laughing from the window. He, too, laughed and joined them for the real meditation on Divine Beloved in physical form.

The wheather was unreasonably cold at Coombe Martin and Meredith had taken no steps to prevent its rigors from being felt. On the contrary, Baba was again made to stand on the hill in the bitter cold, dressed only in sadara while being photographed; yet he was enjoying Meredith’s performance.

But on April 18th, Baba remarked to the mandali, “I do not like the weather here at all. I am bored and fed up. It is the continual bondage and there is no freedom. Meetings and interviews are going on all the day, and it is bitter cold. Somehow, we have to carry on. I must have nine days of complete holiday before I speak my first words will be

“I am Krishna,

 I am Buddha,

 I am Christ!”

 

120- POOR KAKA BARIA WAS BEWILDERED.

On June 2nd, (1932) Baba went to Paramount Studios again and met Maurice Chevalier, who was making Love Me Tonight with Jeanette MacDonald. Tallulah Bankhead was there and ran to Baba, hugging and kissing him.

Later that afternoon, Mary Pickford came to see Baba for a private interview at 3:30 and meditated in Baba's presence for five minutes. Baba and Quentin Tod were driven later to Santa Monica by director Ernst Lubitsch and had tea with him at his house. Rom Landau had written letters of introduction for Tod to Lubitsch and Von Sternberg.

In the evening, Baba went with Quentin to Tallulah Bankhead's residence for dinner, and also to meet Greta Garbo. However, Garbo telephoned at the last minute to say she was not well enough to come. Baba was openly disappointed at not meeting her, as he had implied that Garbo was the "most spiritual" of the Hollywood stars.

Although the mandali were often kept in the background, that night Baba took them to Grauman's Chinese Theater where he had been invited by the manager Sidney Grauman. Baba enjoyed the variety acts that followed the film and the performance of the comedian Will Mahoney. Greta Garbo's latest film Grand Hotel was playing and Baba praised her performance. (1)

Kaka Baria did not know English and had entreated Baba not to leave him alone with the Americans who badgered him with questions about Baba. One humorous account follows: Once when Baba was with a group of his lovers, Kaka was enjoying a walk in the garden. Baba allowed the group a short break and they went outside into the garden. Seeing one of Baba's mandali, they besieged Kaka with one question after another. Not following what was being said, Kaka was at a total loss and could only think to close his eyes, as if he went into a trance! Observing him, thinking that he was meditating, the new lovers were all the more impressed and stood surrounding Kaka.

One whispered, "There is some yogic power in him ... he must be advanced!" However, Kaka was sweating being put in such a very uncomfortable position. Meanwhile, the new lovers were waiting to see when he would come out of his "samadhi." They were praising Kaka, while he was internally swearing at them! How long could he stand there like a statue? After some minutes, Baba fortunately called for him and he went inside. The naive Westerners were thoroughly impressed, but poor Kaka was bewildered.

(1)  Greta (Gustafson) Garbo (1905-1990) was a Swedish-American film actress. She was acclaimed for her beauty and dramatic intensity. Her more famous films include Queen Christina (1933), Anna Karenina (1935), and Camille (1936). The film Grand Hotel that Meher Baba saw won an Academy Award that year. It is said that she was a great yogi in a previous lifetime.

121-MISTAKEN IMPRESSION ABOUT BABA.

Adi jr. had many stories of his travels with Baba. The following story by Adi describes the mistaken impression of the Hollywood movie stars who became acquainted with Meher Baba. At the reception at the Pickfair, Adi Jr. was staying aloof seated at a table, keeping his worn-out shoe concealed. Tallulah Bankhead came up and sat near him. Adi warned her not to touch him. She explained that she just wanted to talk. During their chat, the actor Gary Cooper came by and Tallulah introduced Adi to the famous actor. Adi, who was feeling self-conscious, simply said how much he admired Mr. Cooper's movies. Other stars came by, and Tallulah also introduced them to Adi who politely, but shyly, shook their hands.

When it was announced that Baba wanted to leave, Tallulah asked Adi if it was possible for him to come to her house the next day for lunch, for she had something to talk about with him. Adi said that he thought it would be possible, but that he'd have to ask Baba. When he approached Baba, Baba replied, "Fine." Then in a stern tone, he further warned, "But do not touch her and do not let her touch you." Adi assured him that nothing ill-intentioned would happen.

Adi went to Tallulah's home, the following afternoon. When he met her, he immediately blurted out, "I am happy to be here, but please do not touch me." She blushed, saying she would not embarrass him. During their lunch, Adi asked what was it that she wanted to talk to him about. Tallulah said that she was in love with a certain man, but that he did not love her, nor showed her any affection. She wanted Adi to persuade his brother (Baba) to cast a "love-spell" on the man, and thereby he would fall in love with her and be hers. Adi was taken aback and assured her that Baba did not do such things and that she was greatly mistaken about the kind of spiritual things Baba taught. Tallulah, nevertheless, insisted that Adi ask his brother if he would cast such a spell. Adi said he would, but explained again that he doubted if Baba would do such a thing.

After Adi returned to the Jones residence, he was feeling quite disturbed about his meeting with Tallulah Bankhead, but did not say anything until he met with Baba. When he did, Baba sternly inquired, "Did you touch her?" Adi pleaded innocent and then explained why she invited him over and what she wanted Baba to do – cast a love-spell on a certain man, so he would fall in love with her. Baba showed his obvious disgust, “ hollywood!”

The general impression among many of the movie stars was that Baba was a yogi or swami of a high class, who possessed occult powers and could influence people's minds. That is why Tallulah made such an inquiry. The Hollywood actors and actresses were famous people whose lives were well publicized, and since Baba had attained much notoriety in the newspapers they had welcomed him as an equally famous person. However, their understanding of true spirituality, or what Meher Baba's Avatarhood really meant, lacked any depth.

122-DANCING WAS, IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE A PART OF GOD.

On another occasion, Delia and Margaret were sitting in the walled garden at the back of Fiorenza. It was after lunch and all the others had gone to the town on passport business. Delia and Margaret were not expecting to see Baba, who suddenly appeared with Chanji. Baba smiled like a child and jumped on Margaret's back in a gay and playful mood. She carried him a little way and Baba then indicated that they would play a game. He would pretend to be a little boy coming to Margaret for his first dance lesson.

As directed, Chanji took Baba by the hand and led him into class, introducing him as Thomas, his son who was to have dance lessons. "Come along, Thomas," Margaret said, taking him by the hand. She recalled: "Stepping forward, I showed him a simple one-two-three hop, one-two-three hop step. No obstacles. He took to it at once, and then hand-in-hand, we flew around the garden. And I really mean flew! He could move as no one else has ever moved – with joy, freedom, rhythm. The steps were not difficult, but Baba had such rhythm. It was wonderful, quite extraordinary ... a truly lovely afternoon. And I knew without intellectualizing that dancing was, is, and always will be a part of God."

 

123-YOU MUST GIVE IN WHEN I INSIST.

During their stay, Baba wished to walk to a distant beach. As they took off, the party spread out. This annoyed Baba. Calling them together, Baba stopped and indicated that he wished to go to the seashore, pointing in a specific direction. Herbert looked over an embankment wall and reported, "This is a private beach and it looks as if the owner is about to return. If we climb the wall, we will be trespassing. And no English gentleman would act in such a manner!" Quite boldly, however, his sister Kitty said that Baba's slightest wish should be followed, and so what if the owner returned! Quite indignant, Herbert contrarily refused Baba's direct order to come along and join the others as they scaled the wall to make their way to the beach.

As the group walked along the private beach, an old man with long hair and a beard, leading a little boy by the hand, came from the opposite direction. Strangely enough, the old man greeted Kaka in the Hindu fashion of folding his hands to him – "Namaste." The old man walked back and forth in front of them, looking at Baba frequently.

Herbert eventually rejoined the group, and Baba severely reprimanded him in front of everyone, "Did you think I asked you to come solely for your own enjoyment? While you were sitting up by the road, one of my agents whom I wanted you to see came and left. He was identical in appearance to my agent that you must contact in Warsaw when you go to Russia. By not seeing him here, your work there will be considerably more difficult."

Herbert admitted his mistake and said, "Surely we should use our common sense and warn you when you are likely to put yourself in jeopardy in the West."

Baba agreed, "It was your duty to warn me, but you must give in when I insist."

124-WESTERN DISCIPLES, EASTERN NAMES.

On August 19th, (1932) Baba repeated the same instruction, "to stay close," as they went off to see the Lido, a fashionable beach resort. Baba had ordered them not to swim there, but since the weather was quite hot, Quentin Tod and Mabel Ryan requested Baba's permission to do so. He grudgingly gave it. They left Baba for nearly an hour and returned only to discover that he had left with some others.

Baba was in a disappointed mood. When everyone had returned to the hotel, he shook his head disapprovingly and spelled out, "The East is east and the West is west! The East is ready to sit at my feet, but the West wants me to be at their feet!

"I wanted the West to work for me, but now I have to change my plans and not make use of any of you. I cannot expect the West to behave like the East. It is not your fault. Although you all love and adore me, you just cannot do it. I shall have to work in another way. I will do whatever I have to do, but all at once and in a quite different manner."

Baba concluded, "You may rest today, but be with me the whole time tomorrow." Baba's words had a great effect on them. He then directed each one to retire to their rooms, where Delia and Margaret burst into tears. Baba came and quickly consoled them; he made them laugh and smile again, but only after teaching them the valuable lesson of constant obedience.

At night, they went to watch the crowds and listen to a concert in Saint Mark's Square. Baba remarked in a cryptic tone, "I was here six hundred and twenty years ago."

He sadly added, "I am eternally crucified. When the burden is especially heavy, I sometimes let my disciples share it, giving to each as much as they can bear." His mood changed and they went to see Charlie Chaplin's movie The Gold Rush.

In Venice, Baba gave each of his lovers an Eastern name: Audrey – Shirin; Mabel – Phiroze; Delia – Leyla; Margaret – Zuleka; Herbert – Sudama; Minta – Shalimar; Kim – Ayisha; Tod – Narad; Kitty – Saroja; and Zillah – Mumtaz. For years afterward, Baba would always address or refer to his close ones by these names; they, in turn, would sign their letters likewise. Norina was later given the name Nurjehan; Elizabeth – Dilruba; Anita – Ch-chulee.

125- DR. C.D.DESHMUKH'S FIRST MEETING WITH BABA.

 

During this time, a Hindu with a gifted intellect and philosophical mind named Chakradhar Dharmidhar Deshmukh, age twenty-four, was studying for his doctorate in philosophy in London. Deshmukh came to know of Meher Baba's presence in the city through the accounts in the Daily Herald. Baba had actually inwardly contacted him four months earlier, as Deshmukh dreamed he saw Baba standing before him. In the dream, Baba spoke to him: "You are closely connected with me. You are a good man." Seeing him hesitating to accept this, Baba asked, "Are you not?"

Deshmukh replied, "Good or bad, please take me up into you." Baba's response was an immediate wave of love and light. "It was like bathing in cool clear moonlight," Deshmukh recalled.

When he later saw a photograph of Baba in the newspaper, he recognized him as the One who had already won his heart. Baba's picture further attracted him to the Lord, and he was longing to have Baba's darshan. Deshmukh later recollected: "As I looked at the photograph, I found in his eyes just that assurance of divine guidance which I had been looking for. The expression in his eyes brought to me the tidings of Truth from that far-off land unseen, where there is the final Realization of the Eternal and Infinite Source and Goal of life."

Deshmukh came to see Baba at the Knightsbridge Hotel on December 8th. He brought with him Mrs. Macgregor-Morris, a professor, and a Mr. N. C. Kelkar, who had come to London for the Round Table Conference. During their meeting, Baba asked young Deshmukh, "What do you do?"

Deshmukh explained that he was studying philosophy. "And what is the meaning of philosophy?" Baba inquired teasingly.

Deshmukh answered, "It is a science which reveals the hidden Reality."

Smiling, Baba replied, "To me, philosophy is that which makes a simple thing difficult!"

Meeting Meher Baba face-to-face had a profound effect on Dr. Deshmukh, as he was later called, for this darshan taught him the true meaning of philosophy. From then on, he became an ardent disciple and proved to be help in Baba's writing and book work.

126-MEETING WITH DSHMUKH

One visitor was C.D, Deshmukh. After completing his philosophy doctorate in London, he came to see Baba and stayed for four days. He asked Baba, “What am I to do now?” Smiling, Baba replied, “Baba just be sure to not forget me! Look for a job in the university, but with conviction that you do it in order to fulfill my instructions. I am always with you, but you must always keep me with you.”

Deshmukh was well read and, having been influenced by Krishnamurti’s writings, asked Baba, “Is it not possible to progress on spiritual path without the aid of a Guru?” Baba answered,” bandage your eyes, and then go and find my brother Adi Jr. Bring him here!”

Adi was in the next room, so Deshmukh asked, “How can I find while blindfolded?” “First blindfold you,” responded Baba.

 Deshmukh hesitatingly tied a scarf over his eyes and Baba motioned to Chanji to lead him to Adi Jr.’s room.  Accordingly, Chanji did so and Deshmukh soon returned to Baba, who asked, “Why couldn’t you go to Adi’s room alone?”

“I was unable to find the way blindfolded,” he said.

“So you needed the help of one who knows the way?”

“Yes, I suppose,” Deshmukh acknowledged.

Baba then elaborated, “In the same way, you will not be able to find path. You are blindfolded by illusion. If you want to traverse the path, you will have to see the aid of One who knows where to find it, else you will wind up meandering here and there, probably breaking your head and both legs in the process. You will gain nothing.”

Baba’s clarification freed Deshmukh of his misconception and Baba jokingly asked, “Can you not understand such a simple thing, you doctor of philosophy? Or is it your philosophy that is confusing it?”

Four days later, Deshmukh returned to India and immediately got a job of as a professor at Nagpur University.

127-CHANJI RETURNED WITH A BITTER TASTE IN HIS MOUTH.

Due to the violent knocking of his forehead against stone during the years when he was coming down, Baba's teeth would occasionally bother him. On October 1st, he complained that he had a terrible toothache. Adi Jr. approached the ship's doctor, who refused to dispense any medicine without first seeing the patient. Chanji tried to circumvent this by going to him with a request that he be given some medicine for gargling. The doctor, however, thought that he was the patient Adi had spoken to him about and promptly examined Chanji's teeth. Chanji protested that his teeth were fine and that he did not need any medicine. Even though Chanji tried to explain that he was not the patient, the doctor ignored his pleas and applied the medicine to Chanji's teeth. He told him to sit still for half an hour. After fifteen minutes, the doctor poured a very bitter preparation into Chanji's mouth. Chanji had gone to fetch medicine for Baba only to return with a bitter taste in his mouth. Meanwhile, Baba found the incident humorous and tolerated his toothache until it subsided.

128-WHEN BABA WENT ANYWHERE OR DID ANYTHING; IT WAS ONLY FOR HIS SPIRITUAL WORK.

Quentin Tod was in charge of the nightly entertainment and they would go each night to a different movie. One night, Tod took Baba to the Theater Espanol to see Love of the Sorcerer, a ballet. Another evening, Tod took Baba to see Cohen and Kelly at Madrid's best movie theater, the Capitol, which had an orchestra and a revolving stage.

Baba would often say he wished to go to the movies to contact the spectators internally. Immediately after his work was over, he would get up and leave. Those who accompanied him had often become engrossed in the film's story but had no choice other than to leave with him. When Baba went anywhere or did anything, it was only for his spiritual work, and the various places and events were all his different mediums of work.

On the last three mornings of their stay, they walked to Caso de Campo, a beautiful park. During their stay in Spain, some in the group had mentioned their desire to attend a bullfight, while others were not in favor of going to such a brutish affair. A bullfight was to be held at the Hippodrome on the afternoon of October 29th, and Baba surprisingly asked them to buy tickets. Those who wanted to go had told Baba that it would be a good opportunity to contact a large, typically Spanish crowd.

Watching as the first bull was killed, one of the women was overcome with fright and had to leave. Then one of the mandali, feeling ill at the brutal sight, had to go outside. In contrast, Baba was very bored throughout and thought the whole ordeal was childish. After the second bull was killed, Baba indicated that his work was accomplished and it was time to leave. He remarked, "Those two bulls were fortunate. They will incarnate next as human beings and rapidly advance on the path, because they were killed in my presence."

 

 

129-ONE SHOULD SERVE OUT OF LOVE BEREFT OF ANY THOUGHT OF GAIN...

Adi K. Irani's mood had been gloomy since seeing Baba and, on August 23rd, (1934) Baba asked him, "Why don't you look happy these days?"

Adi was never one to mince his words, even with Baba. He replied, "During your last five foreign tours, you did not take me with you and kept me here under one pretext or another."

Baba commented, "You should be the happiest of the mandali! You are free from worldly cares or bodily disease and have a car at your disposal to drive. Still, you are always discontent. You are the champion grumbler and never satisfied with life.

"In the beginning, I thought you and Vishnu were obedient, but I now find selfishness in both of you. You were only laboring for spiritual gain and Vishnu for monetary help. Vishnu himself does not need money, but he wants to help others in their studies. He has spent whatever little he had for that and now he comes to me for more.

"I have not yet come across anyone who could serve me without thought of either spiritual or material benefit. Arjun came closest. He was the best."

Baba then turned to Kaka Baria and asked, "Why are you serving me?"

"It is my duty!" Kaka replied.

"Don't you have any selfish motive?" pursued Baba.

"Absolutely not!" answered Kaka.

Baba reproved him in front of Adi, "Kaka talks like this, but he longs in his heart for spiritual advancement. He does not want anything, but he knows that it is desirable to be here for spiritual progress. This, too, is selfishness! One should serve out of love, and true love is bereft of any thought of gain or worry over risks taken."

 

130-AMUSEMENT FOR BABA DURING HIS SECLUSION.

Chum was the dog given to Baba by the Satha family at Akbar Press. He was being kept at Meherabad and had grown into a sturdy, ferocious watchdog. During this seclusion, Baba had the dog brought to be near him and Chum would sit outside the cabin. However, he was so protective that he would not allow anyone near the cabin without barking and growling.

During this period, a cow used to visit Baba at his cabin. Baba would have to take a break from his work and step outside the cabin to feed it chapatis, since the cow would not leave until fed by him. Chum showed that he was jealous and would try to chase the cow off, barking at it. But the cow would not leave and Chum would chase the cow round and round the cabin. It was a funny sight which provided amusement for Baba during his seclusion, and probably lightened the burden of his work.

131-THERE IS ONLY ONE

Later in the day, Shireen talked with Baba as he was seated on his gaadi after everyone had taken his darshan and garlanded him with flowers. Shireen said, "Merwan, now you are worshiped as God on earth. Since I am your mother, I should also be respected; and I tell you now that there is only one thing left I want in this world – you must get married!"

Baba silently laughed and then dictated in reply, "What you say is perfectly true, mother. You are on the same level with Mary the mother of Jesus, with Yeshoda the mother of Krishna.

You must be respected and you too will one day be worshiped, as it was through your womb that God has taken birth.

"As your son, I would never disobey you. Of course, I respect your wishes. However, in order to get married there must be a man and a woman. What am I to do? God has put me into such a state that I do not find anyone else in the world but me! I experience myself to be in all.

"When a man goes to a cinema and watches a movie of a beautiful actress on the screen, can he marry her? No, because she is only a two-dimensional image on the screen. Likewise, I see you all on the screen of Maya. How then can I get married?"

Shireen was sincere in her wish, and Baba's reply made her weep. She had nothing else to say to counter his point.

132-YOUR ABUSE WAS SWEETER THAN NECTOR.

During this period, Ghani Munsiff was residing with his family in Lonavala. Ghani fell victim to a co-artist. Some property had been unscrupulously taken from him by fraud and the man who had done this had been murdered. Ghani was falsely accused of the murder and he became so depressed that he decided to commit suicide.

On the night of June 3rd, (1936) Ghani got rip-roaring drunk and went to drown himself in Valvan Lake. But when he reached it, he felt dizzy and sat down, and then began thinking of his life. Disgusted with his plight, he started cursing the three spiritual Masters he had known – Hazrat Babajan, Upasni Maharaj and Meher Baba! He bitterly swore, "Of what use is Meher Baba to me when I am surrounded by difficulties on all sides and he does not help me? What sort of power does he have and what experience? He is supposed to know all, but following him is useless – senseless!" Although Ghani had really intended to commit suicide, after venting his spleen, he was lulled to sleep by the cool breezes.

Meanwhile, that very night, Baba became restless and suddenly left Meherabad by car. Adi Sr. drove and Dr. Nilu accompanied them. They drove directly to Lonavla, reaching Ghani's house at 3:00 A.M. Ghani was not there, so they began searching for him. They came to the lake and found Ghani sound asleep on the bank. Baba awakened him. When Ghani saw Baba, he was amazed! He could not speak and tears flowed from his eyes. "What's the matter?" Baba asked him.

Stunned, Ghani haltingly murmured, "Baba, I have abused you so much ... yet you love me so much!"

"Your abuse brought me here," gestured Baba. "It was sweeter than nectar to me! Compared to words of appreciation and praise from hypocrites, curses from my lovers are much sweeter!" Ghani burst out weeping and Baba embraced him.

133-CLIPPED WINGS

For rest of Western Group, the rules and regulations which had governed their lives since they had been living at Meher Retreat relaxed somewhat. The men and women were now allowed to leave the ashram premises, but certain conditions had to be strictly obeyed:

 No one should go to dance, club or any other place of amusement, nor participate in any games or sports outside of your property.

No one should speak with a stranger unless it is quite necessary, nor go to visit any quittance.

No one should go out on foot or on bicycle between the hours of 10.00 A. M. and 4.00P.M. (This was because of the strong sun)

Everyone should be in the house punctually at meal-times.

No one should eat or drink anything which has not been prepared in the house, with the exception of Coffee.

“This is freedom with clipped wings,” Baba remarked.

134-PRIEST ENCOUNTER

On March 13th, (1937) Baba was in Nasik. Malcolm Schlock had met a Catholic priest at a religious conference in Nasik and he urged the priest to meet Baba, but he declined. When he told Baba, he also seemed uninterested. However, due to Malcolm's persuasion a meeting was arranged. The following conversation between the priest and Meher Baba then ensued:

When they met, Baba commented to him, "All the Mullajis (Muslim priests) are good; the Pope is good; the Pandits (Hindu scholars) are good. But only the Sankaracharya (head of orthodox Hinduism) can speak for hours on end!"

(Footnote: In Hinduism the Sankaracharya is similar in status to the Pope in Roman Catholicism.)

The priest had recently returned from participating in the religious conference, and hearing Baba's words, proudly refuted, "It was not the Sankaracharya, but I who spoke during the whole conference. The Sankaracharya could not argue convincingly at all. He could not say a word to me and I rebuked him severely."

"Yes," replied Baba, "these Mullajis, and the Sankaracharya, all need to be warned. They deserve lecturing and need to be taken to task."

"You just said they are good and now you say they need to be lectured," the priest said. "I don't follow what you mean."

Explaining, Baba spelled out, "The Sankaracharya and high priests have big heads – they are intellectuals – but they have small hearts. You, however, have a good heart."

Baba added, "There are many to teach in the world, but very few to learn."

"What do you mean?" asked the priest.

"They all teach but none of them wants to learn – and those who teach do not know the Truth themselves!"

Baba then recounted a striking incident concerning Baily: "A chap named Baily was my school friend and he just could not believe how a boy like me who used to play marbles with him, could as a man attain such a high state while he was still in the same state where he was. The difference between him and me was so phenomenal that he wanted to see some miracles as proof in order to gain conviction about me. One day, when Baily was writing something in my thatched hut in Poona, all of a sudden the inkwell began dancing up and down! He was flabbergasted. After a little while, the pen jumped from his hand and also started to dance. He started shouting, 'Baba! Baba!' and wept continuously for some days. From that day on, he was convinced of my powers and had faith in me.

"I told him, 'You are a fool. If these small phenomena could convince you of spirituality, why don't you go and follow Muhammad Chhel, who was a well-known tantric magician?'

"All miracles are child's play, whereas spirituality is far above them. Miracles in themselves have no spiritual value or significance. But they are necessary and, at times, performed by the Master as a means to convince people of Truth and spirituality. Jesus performed miracles not for his own gain, but to make people recognize the Truth and to create faith in them. Yet, when he was crucified, he who could raise the dead did not stop it!"

Changing the subject, the priest asked, "Why do you keep silence? Why don't you speak?"

"I always speak!" Baba smilingly replied, "I continually    speak through you, through all the high priests and through everyone."

Not following what Baba meant, the priest asked, "Then why do you use the alphabet board?"

"I talk through you and all, and I answer questions through this board."

The priest looked more perplexed and asked, "How? I don't understand."

Baba taunted the man, replying, "Yes, you cannot follow because you are in Rome, and I know because I am at Home! This is the difference between you and me. You are in Rome and I am at Home!"

The priest then left, quite puzzled by his encounter with Baba. What Baba meant by "Home" was that he was one with God, and "Rome" was the church – rites, rituals, orthodoxy? God abided in Baba, and Baba abided in God. But to the priest God was in Rome – the church in Rome.

 

 

135-PAPA JASSAWALA

Papa Jassawala’s heart bowed at Meher Baba’s feet upon witnessing the glorious spectacle of the Master’s birthday celebration. He returned to Nagpur and brought his whole family-his wife Gaimai, eldest son Eruch, daughters Meheru and Manu and young son Meherwan to Nasik for two months during the summer. They arrived in Nasik on April 15 th and resided in a rented bungalow near retreat.

Eruch was twenty years old, studying in college and would visit Meher retreat with his family. On one occasion, Baba introduced him to his Western lovers. One day Baba asked him, “What do you want to become?” Eruch replied that he wanted to study engineering at the college in Benaras.

“What will you do by becoming an engineer?” Baba asked. He sent for Kaka and spelled out to Eruch, “Kaka was quite a big engineer in the Tata Company. Ask him what he did after becoming engineer.”

Mandali were expert at catching Baba’s hint and would say anything to please him in a ruse. Taking the hint, Kaka said, engineering is totally useless! One may follow any vocation in the world, but to become an engineer is a sin! I was faced with so many difficulties in my job I wanted to die. There is no worse profession on the earth than engineering!”

Baba then asked Eruch, “Did you hear what Kaka says about engineering? Would you be my engineer instead?  Eruch replied that he would see  when it may happen.

Eruch was a very strong young man. One day in Nasik, Baba asked Eruch to massage his legs. While Eruch was rubbing the muscles, Baba asked “Do you know everything?”

Eruch answered proudly, “I have learned many things.”

“Do you know how to swim? Eruch said yes.

Will you swim in my ocean?” Eruch burst out laughing.

Baba then directed him, “If you know everything, repair my chappals and bring them back within three minutes.”

One of leather strap had come loose and Eruch took the sandal, thinking: “If I don’t stitch it in time, Baba will claim that I was only boasting.” He approached Freiny and asked if there was a sewing machine in the house.” She pointed it out; Eruch turned it on and began repairing the leather strap.

Freiny’s children Meheru and Naggu watched curiously as Eruch fixed sandal. Eruch had told them to be quiet. He sewed the sandal and went to Baba in seven minutes. Baba examined it and gestured, “Good, but you took so long.”

“The proper tools were not available.” Eruch replied.

Baba congratulated him on doing a good job and then asked, “Do you know carpentry? Tailoring? Cobblery as well.”

“Yes. I do.” “My parents have taught me many things.” Baba appeared pleased and praised Eruch’s abilities.

While staying in Nasik, Baba once called the Jassawalas to Rahuri and showed them the ashram and explained his work there. When Baba bathed the masts, he kept Eruch by his side.

On a later occasion, Baba sent a telegram to Eruch in Nagpur, instructing him to meet him at the Sathas Akbar Press in Ahmednagar. Eruch went, but did not knew why he was being called. He arrived in ordinary clothes and found that all Zoroastrian relatives present dressed, as if for a special occasion. To appease the family, Baba, to Eruch’s surprise, betrothed him to Khorshed Jahangir Damania, and at the same time, Baba also engaged Eruch’s sister Meheru to Khorshed’s brother, Sevak. The westerners were present at this ceremony which was performed in grand fashion. At that time, Eruch had no intention of marrying any women, but it was an arranged marriage between both families according to Indian custom from their childhood. To free Eruch from the Bondage, “Baba made him ever this bond, but as Baba guided him and events unfolded, the marriage never did bind him.

 

136-GHANI TAUNTS BAIDUL

Baidul, who had a very firm will and was of a strict discipline, was in charge of cooking in the Rahuri ashram and would daily prepare pumpkin, simply because it was inexpensive and easy to cook. He would get up at 3 A.M. and by 5 A.M. the day’s food was ready. Afterwards, he would occupy himself with bathing the masts and mad and feeding them their food. The other men mandali were fed up with this unappetizing, meager diet of only pumpkin; yet despite their complaints, Baidul would not listen to them and serve an assortment of other vegetables. Ghani Munsiff could not stand the food anymore. To taunt Baidul, Ghani composed a humorous ghazal entitled “Baidulseth Cooks Pumpkin,” and gave it to Bhau, who entertained the inmates, to sing. It had verse, such as:

“Baidulseth, an absolute bumpkin!

Every day he cooks nothing but pumpkin!”

Bhau had been instructed by Baba to sing it before the mast and mad to entertain them and keep them in a congenial mood. Most loved listening music, and some of the more eccentric inmates liked Bhau’s singing so much they would mimic his songs throughout the whole day. One evening, Bhau sang this new ghazal before Baba which made him laugh. Baba inquired who the illustrious composer was and how it had come to be penned, thus the whole story of Baiduls’s daily pumpkin menu and Ghani’s satirical attack came to light. But even this rubbing left Baidul unaffected and he went on cooking pumpkin. Baba, however, soon intervened and advised him to cook different vegetables each day. Ghani’s ghazal had meanwhile earned such fame as a funny tale that it began being sung in Rahuri village.

137-PROFESSOR UGHANSI

On March 12 th, Baba found out that Ghani was studying a book to learn how to read people’s minds. In a teasing mood, Baba asked him, “What will you do when you learn this?”

Ghani replied, “I will go to Japan and earn lot of money.”

Baba spelled out, “Your idea is splendid, but why are you selfish? Did you ever think of helping me? I am in dire need of financial straits at the moment.”

So Ghani said, if you give me the power to read minds I will give you fifty percent of whatever I earn!”

“All right.” Agreed Baba, “But for you to gain power you will have to remain on milk for one year!” thereupon Ghani was christened “Professor Ughansi”-Meaning the “Lazy One.” Consented to the fast and at the Meher Mandali Trust meeting in the evening of March 16 th at Rahuri an agreement was drawn up between Baba and Ghani. Its conditions were:

For one year Ghani should take nothing but two glasses of milk-with or without sugar-one glass of tea and any amount of water every day.

He should not smoke more than five cigarettes per day.

He should not go out of the compound at Rahuri under any circumstances.

He should not ask for money except for Baba’s work.

This agreement begins from the 1st April, 1937, and ends on the 31 st March, 1938. On March 31 st, Baba promises  to give Ghani the two things he want, clairvoyance and clairaudience, and will send him to Japan as Professor Ughansi, and also make him so advanced spiritually as to do Baba’s work over there until Ghani is God realized.

Teasing Ghani brother Jal then mentioned this point, “We are all well aware of the good doctor’s penchant for fine food. Suppose he dies within this period, who will pay his funeral expenses?”

So Baba directed Ghani to beg one rupee from every one, obtaining forty rupees. Baba handed the sum to Dhake with instructions, “if Ghani dies on April 27 th, use this forty rupees to pay for his last rites.” The odd agreement was signed the next day by both Baba and Ghani before mandali.

Ghani began fasting on milk from 1 st April, but within two days he started complaining, Baba, it is too hard to drink only milk. My sweat smells of milk, my breath smells of milk and I am even urinating milk!”

“It is for a year!” replied Baba. “Think of how much you will earn after that-and that will help you and me also! Have a little patience and complete the fast.”

Just two days after this, Ghani felt so weak he was unable to get out of bed. He entreated Baba, “this agreement will be the death of me! Forgive me and let me take food.”

But Baba replied, “Remember your part of the bargain. You signed the agreement before witnesses. I promise to stick to my end. Exactly after one year I will give you the powers you want. But if you break your promise, don’t blame me!”

138-CLEANSE YOUR INSIDE

Later in the evening a poor man from Malabar in southern India came to see Baba. The following conversations took place.

Baba asked “Do you have family?”

“No , I only have my father. I am alone>” the man replied.

“You mean to say that you are all alone?”

“Yes, I am alone here.”

“When you weren’t alone?” asked Baba.

Thinking a few minutes, the man replied, “I am always alone.”

“Then you are very unfortunate.”

“How?”

“Only God is alone. If you feel yourself alone, you are very lucky.”

The man looked confused and Baba explained, “You are not alone. You have many friends like the mind, desires, thoughts, sexual urges, which are always with you. They are really your enemies.

“When you are really alone, you would be like God! God is alone and I am alone. Now tell me, what do you want?’

The man answered, I want to fulfill my plans and have peace of mind.”

“Plans and peace! These two can never go hand in hand. Where there is peace, there is no plan: and where there are plans, there is turmoil. Either give up plans and have peace. Or have your plans and give up thoughts of peace. You cannot have both. That is impossible.

“People suffer because they love the impossible! You want to stand in the fire at the same time do not want it to burn you.

“You want to build a house in graveyard! What you need is castor oil for one mouth! That will clean out your stomach and intestines and your mind will be clearer. You will then be able to think clearly, calmly and coolly, and accordingly do the right thing. Cleanse your inside, be peaceful and think good thoughts.”

Those present smiled at Baba’s advice to the simple man, given with tongue in cheek.

139-ONLY LOVE

One day Baba called Roger Vieillard and Alfredo de Sides and instructed them to go to Nice and find a particular Englishman who was a vegetarian and bring him to back to Cannes. Baba, however, gave no name or description. They left but, being new to Baba, they did not take the instructions seriously and thought it rather strange. When they arrive in Nice, they walked into a grocery store and, though they felt like fools, casually asked the owner whether he knew of any vegetarian Englishman living in the vicinity. To their surprise, the man said there was one gentleman from England in the neighborhood who supposedly ate only figs! Roger and Alfredo wrote down address and went to his residence. When they told him about Baba, he agreed to drive back with them to Cannes to meet Baba. When they met, Baba seemed pleased with contact, having some work wished to complete with this unusual type person. Roger and Alfredo also learned a memorable lesson in carrying out the Master’s tasks, however odd.

One day, a Swiss man, whom Anita had told him about Baba, came to meet him. He had gone on a fast to prepare himself for the meeting, and he told Baba that he has not eaten for three days. Baba looked him innocently, gesturing, “You must be feeling hungry.” The man was taken aback. Then Baba commented, “Spirituality is as normal and natural as that chair you are sitting on. You need not fast. Only love is important. Love me.

140-TAUNTS AND TEASES

Anita De Caro was an artist of some talent: she did a drawing in Cannes and showed it to Baba, who commented that it was remarkably good and assured her that she was indeed an artist. Baba then asked Rano’s opinion and she said she honestly did not care for it. Baba reproached her, “How can you say you don’t like it? It is so beautiful! You will never be able to draw as well as her!” it was a feint. Baba praised Anita’s talent just to annoy Rano.

For some months, Rano had been working in secret under Baba’s direction on a large painting. It was later called The Ten Circles. Baba had instructed Rano to bring all her painting material to Cannes to continue with the work on the painting which has been taken off its stretcher, rolled and packed, and brought from India. One day when she was painting a section of it, Baba came and made criticism of her work. Rano in huff said, “If you like Anita’s drawing so much, why don’t you ask her to do this work?”

Baba did not like her remark, reprimanding her, “You are useless! You have no sense! Your duty is to fulfill my orders!” Baba was teaching Rano to accept what he wished with a buttoned lip. At times, Baba would tease her, saying, “Why aren’t you as good as your mother? Nonny is so good, why can’t be like her?” All this teasing was for the purpose of loosening the ego.

 

141-RANO TRAINNG

Rano was staying in Baba's villa on the third floor, as were Norina and Elizabeth. Baba's room was at the end of the corridor. Although Rano did not realize it at the time, Baba began training her at Cannes for her permanent stay with him in India. At night, Baba would often send Kaka to Rano's room to wake her up. Kaka would knock on her door and, when Rano would come out and ask what the matter was, Kaka would reply, "Baba wants you." So Rano would accompany him to Baba's room where Baba would simply spell out to her, "I want you to remind me about ordering soda water tomorrow.    That's all. Now go and rest."

Returning to her room, Rano wondered why on earth Baba would call her in the middle of the night for such a petty thing as ordering soda water. Again after a short time, there was a knock on the door and Rano would be called to Baba. Baba would spell out, "Don't forget to remind me about the soda water. Now go and sleep; you look tired." Rano could not understand why, for such a mundane matter, she was disturbed again from her slumbers. Yet, throughout the night, the
seemingly insignificant subject of soda water kept being raised, and Baba did not allow either Rano or himself to sleep. Years later, Rano realized that one must be ever alert and ready to comply with any of the Master's wishes at any moment in order to carry out his orders and fulfill his apparently whimsical pleasures. Also, she was being trained to share in the night watch duty.

Another night, Kaka again knocked on Rano's door and when she came out he told her, "Smoke is coming from somewhere and Baba wishes you to go and find out what is burning." Rano went downstairs to the kitchen and with Irene's help, found the stove had not been properly banked. Baba also went to the kitchen with Kaka and then returned to his room after the smoke was extinguished.

Rano retired for the night but was soon awakened again by Kaka's knock on the door. When she opened it, Kaka said, "Baba wants you to have another look through the house to make sure everything is all right and safe." Rano did accordingly and sent word through Kaka that everything was fine.

Soon after, Kaka again knocked on Rano's door with the same message. This went on the whole night and Rano learned to do as Baba ordered, without any question of why or wherefore, thus ignoring her mental reactions and letting her wish to obey and please Baba's wish remain foremost.

142-NOW IT WAS NORINA'S TURN.

There was some engine trouble which caused the ship to lose speed one day, and Baba sent Norina to the captain to inquire when they would reach Bombay. Norina first talked with him about general topics and then casually asked, "By the way, when will we be reaching Bombay?" The captain told her, and she returned to tell Baba. He then sent her back to ask the same question again. Upon her return, Baba sent her right back to the captain once more. Finally, the captain's frustration erupted, "Lady, what is wrong with you? You keep coming to me with the same question! Can't you remember what I have told you?"

When Norina informed Baba about it, he sent her once again with the same inquiry. This time it was just too much for the captain and Norina retreated in embarrassed silence. What could she do? Even if the captain had struck her, she knew it was nothing compared to the importance of obeying Baba's order. Again Baba insisted, directing Norina, "For my work, I must reach Bombay as soon as possible. You should go and ask the captain if there is any way the ship can reach Bombay earlier than scheduled."

To avoid this confrontation, Norina pleaded that the man was so exasperated with her. Baba replied in a stern tone, "You have no idea! I have very important work waiting for me in Meherabad, so do your part to help me in this. Request the captain to speed up the ship's engines so that we will arrive in Bombay ahead of time."

Reluctantly, Norina strode to the captain's quarters. Seeing her, the captain became quite irritated. Norina stood absolutely quiet, her heart beating in trepidation and, after a while she asked what she had been sent to ask. The captain was furious! To arrive earlier? Out of the question! Norina returned frustrated with all the turmoil.

Observing Norina's exchanges with Baba, Chanji was greatly enjoying all of it as, during previous voyages with Baba, he had to pass through similar ordeals. Now it was Norina's turn.

143-ERUCH IS CALLED

In Bangalore, Baba had sent a telegram to Eruch Jessawala in Nagpur to meet him in Panchgani. Eruch's father was on tour when Baba's telegram arrived and Gaimai told him to start immediately. Eruch casually replied that he would leave the next morning. But Gaimai urged, "Baba wants you immediately; does immediately mean tomorrow?" Eruch was preoccupied with caring for the estate's flower garden and said it would take more time. While this exchange was occurring, another telegram from Baba arrived stating the message to Eruch to start for Panchgani at once!

Gaimai said, "I was telling you to go but you would not listen. Now leave immediately!"

Eruch did not wish to upset his mother, so he promptly left for the train station and arrived the next day, April 29th, in Panchgani along with Jal Kerawala. Baba was waiting for them. Baba was pleased to see Eruch and remarked, "You came at once!"

Eruch said, "You asked me to leave immediately, so I did."

Baba then motioned to the men mandali to leave and spoke privately with Eruch using his alphabet board. Eruch could read the board without difficulty, which was surprising for someone without practice. Baba spelled out to him, "The world and its affairs are all illusory. Only God is real. Only God exists and everything else is transient!"

Seeing Eruch's receptiveness, Baba continued dictating, "Conditions in the world are going from bad to worse, and the outbreak of war is definite. Everything will be chaotic and millions will die. It will not be due to hate and hostility between mankind, but will be due to 'I-ness.' It is all a divine game!"

Baba then asked, "What are your plans?" Eruch said that he had sent his application to Benares University for he wanted to become an engineer. "Why don't you become my engineer?"

Eruch was quiet, and Baba then asked about his family. Suddenly, Baba posed this question, "If I were to ask you to leave everything behind – your studies, your friends, your property, your family – and come and stay with me, what your answer would be?"

Eruch replied, "By your grace, everything is possible."

"Then I order you to leave Nagpur and come to me. Bring your mother, father, sisters and brother. Come to Meherabad, after leaving everything, on August 1st of this year."

"Will it be possible?" Baba asked.

"Why not?" replied Eruch.

At the time, Eruch had no idea why he had committed himself, or how he would be able to fulfill his promise and dispose of everything in such a short time. There was the question of their house, their property, his sisters' marriages; Meherwan's schooling – and, most important of all, his father's permission.

For the first time, Baba told Eruch to put his head on his feet, and said, "I am the Ancient One. Your decision pleases me more than you can know. You should stick to it at all costs!"

Eruch laid his head on Baba's feet, and Baba then asked, "If I tell you to lead a tiger by its ears, would you be afraid?"

"If you tell me to, and if I meet a tiger, of course I will do as you say," Eruch replied.

Baba beamed, and said, "Instead of that, have your supper and spend the night in my cave in Tiger Valley. If a tiger comes to the cave, do not be frightened. In the morning, leave straight for Nagpur without seeing me, and come with all your family to Meherabad on August 1st."

After spending the night in the cave, Eruch departed for Nagpur. When he told the family what had transpired, they were overjoyed. Gaimai was especially pleased, as she had longed to stay with Baba for years. She said, "How lucky we are that Baba himself – the Avatar – is sending for us!"

Papa Jessawala had a fiery temperament (in fact, Baba's hand sign for him was shooting a gun, and he would refer to him as the "Pistol"), and Eruch was doubtful of his consent. But when Papa was told what Baba had ordered, he spread his arms and said, "I have worked hard and built up this property for your sakes. It is for your comfort and happiness. If you find happiness in staying with Baba, I have no objection. But do not throw the responsibility of selling all this upon me. You all attend to it, if you really want to go." Eruch and his mother and sisters then spent a busy few months selling all their possessions. Society ridiculed them and opposed their decision, but they were firm in their resolve.

 

144-BABA'S JUSTICE

On August 11th, (1938) an old villager was brought by force to Meherabad by Dada Patil. The man had a bullock cart, which Pendu had hired to bring materials to Meherabad, but he was caught with some wooden planks he had stolen from the stockpile on the Hill. Baba had come to lower Meherabad that day, and the villager was brought before him. Baba was to punish him.

But what was Baba's justice? Padri or Pendu would have whipped any thief. Baba sentenced him to go to every house in the village with the stolen planks on his head, and to tell all that he had stolen this property from Meher Baba!

Dada Patil was to follow him and make sure he did it at every house and then report back to Baba. The old man asked forgiveness and said he would do as Baba ordered, but begged not to have to carry the heavy planks on his head. Baba relented.

145- GOD WANTS TO GIVE THEM GOD, BUT THEY WANT TO PRAY

During this period, (August 1938) Padri once brought a qawaal singer to the P.W.D. bungalow to entertain Baba. Baba met with him for a while and the man said, "How good is my luck that I have met you today. I wish someday to compose ghazals and sing them before you, Hazrat."

Baba replied, "If you want to sing, sing now as I am in the mood to listen to music."

But the man said, "Hazrat, forgive me; now is the time for my namaz – prayers. I must leave or I'll be late."

Baba motioned, "Then go and offer your prayers."

The qawaal left to go to the mosque and Baba caustically remarked, "People don't want God, they want namaz! What can poor God do? God wants to give them God, but they want to pray!

146-IF YOU WANT TO BE WORTHY OF MY LOVE, BE LIKE

Once, when explaining to the women about love, Baba narrated this story about the ancient Persian king Gaznavi:

King Muhammad Gaznavi had a slave named Ayaz, who loved him very much. He obeyed the king in every detail and carried out all his behests. Ayaz had no care for his own life and, to keep Gaznavi happy, would do anything.

But, because the king loved Ayaz more, the other courtiers were jealous and could not tolerate the king's expression of love for his slave. The king knew all about this. He once gathered his courtiers around him and, placing before them a valuable pearl, ordered them to break it into pieces with a stone! They were bewildered and thought the king had gone mad to order the destruction of such a valuable gem! Not one of them was willing to obey the king.

Gaznavi then called Ayaz and ordered him to destroy the pearl. Ayaz immediately carried out the order, shattering the pearl to pieces! Gaznavi said, "Ayaz values my word more than the pearl! What value has a gem before my words? He does anything I tell him and respects my commands. He knows nothing other than to treasure and fulfill my orders and keep my pleasure. Because he loves me so much, I love him most of all! In your eyes, the pearl is valuable, but in the eyes of Ayaz, the worth of my words and my pleasure is more!"

After the story, Baba concluded with these remarks:

If you want to be worthy of my love, be like Ayaz! But, at the moment, you are not like Ayaz, but like piyaz – onions! Because every time I handle you, I weep!

147-REMEMBER TO FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ALWAYS ON ME, EVEN WHILE ENJOYING THINGS.

Christmas was celebrated on the 25th, and that night they took a boat ride on the Narmada River. Baba dipped his hands in the water and posed as Rano took a photograph of him. Gaimai wistfully observed, "How long the Narmada has awaited you, Baba." Baba just smiled.

After their return from the river, Baba said, "While we were on the boat I remembered a story about a Perfect Master." All the women eagerly requested him to tell it and so he began to spell out the tale:

There was once a Sadguru staying in a certain place with a few of his disciples. One night his mandali were conversing among themselves, saying that though they had stayed with the Master for the past so many years, still they had gained nothing. Sadguru was all-knowing, and he of course knew what his disciples were talking about, but he did not say anything and appeared innocently unmindful of them.

The next day, all took their seats before the Master. He noticed they seemed to be in a sad mood. The Master inquired the reason, and they told him what was on their minds. He laughingly told them to be patient and, in a short time, had completely changed their remorseful mood into one of gaiety. All forgot their dejection.

Some days later the Sadguru told his disciples, "Don't do any work today and enjoy yourselves for a change. You have the whole day to yourselves, so eat, drink and be merry." This made them jubilant, and they spent the day happily playing cards, listening to music, reminiscing and joking with one another.

In the evening the Sadguru said, "We will go out in the boat tonight." This made his disciples even more happy and they said, "Master, it would be grand if you allowed us to take a little wine this evening." The Master readily agreed, and all drank and ate to their heart's content. They took their seats in the boat and continued playing cards, listening to music and enjoying themselves thoroughly. The Master told them to take turns rowing the boat by twos. And so it went.

They were overjoyed to be allowed so much freedom, and after a few hours the Sadguru observed, "We have come a long distance and we won't be able to return before dawn."

The disciples said with bravado, as they were slightly tipsy by now, "However far we have proceeded, we will surely return home by morning; we will row even harder!" The Master did not say a word.

It was a moonlit night, and all got very drunk. Dawn began breaking over the horizon and the Master said, "Oh, it is morning now and we still have not returned home!" The intoxicating effects of the wine were wearing off by now, and they thought that they had come a long distance. But then, carefully observing their surroundings, they saw to their astonishment that they were where they had boarded the boat the night before! In their intoxication, instead of rowing the boat, they had stayed right where they had started from!

The Sadguru then commented, "The whole night you were rowing and rowing and I was also seated with you. But the boat did not move at all; you are where you were and have not gone a step further. What is the reason for this?"

One replied, "We were drunk and thought we were rowing the boat; in fact, it was tied to the dock all the time!"

The Master explained, "Because of your remaining absorbed in worldly enjoyment, you are exactly where you were. Although I was with you, what could I do when you were merged in material pleasures? In the same way, despite your being with me for years, instead of coming closer to me, you remain drowned in temporal pleasures. What do you expect to gain? How will you benefit by my contact? You will remain as you are!

"Therefore, don't be a slave to material happiness. Be my slaves and see what you gain without even asking!"

This made all remember their mood of dejection and they trusted and believed what their Master was saying was true.

Baba then explained to the women, "I am showing you beautiful sights, boat riding with you and taking you here and there. All this is to free you from material bondage. Doing all this, all the while I am attentive of whose mind is where, and when I interrupt you in your reveries with a view to free you, you take it ill and your mood is upset.

"If I do not behave like this, of what use would it be your remaining with me for years together? Remember to focus your attention always on me, even while enjoying things. Don't remain drowned in material pleasures. Don't give rein to your desires.

"Only love me! When you love me only, then in the intoxication of that love, you will find all physical pleasures lifeless."

Baba then teased them, "Those disciples believed faithfully in the word of their Master, but you are such types that in spite of my telling you this, you are eagerly waiting for me to finish so you can all go and eat!" Everyone laughed.

148-ONLY BY MY FORGIVENESS DOES THE WORLD CONTINUES, NOT OTHERWISE

Papa and became very upset. He went straight to Baba and complained bitterly. Papa Jessawala had come to Jabalpur from Nagpur. Jal Kerawala also was there. On Sunday, January 1st, 1939, Jal played a joke on Papa, who found it to be in bad taste Baba sent for Jal and Chanji, and asked the reason for the uproar. Jal replied, "Forgive me, Baba, I was only joking around."

Papa shouted, "Who has made him a magistrate? He has no sense! He should not be forgiven!"

Smiling, Baba spelled out, "I would not forgive Jal, but to forgive is my nature. If I don't forgive him, the world will collapse! Only by my forgiveness does the world continue, not otherwise!"

Papa said, "You should continue forgiving the world, but not Jal Kerawala! He has troubled me greatly!"

"All right," motioned Baba. "I won't forgive Jal, but you forgive him!" Jal asked Papa's forgiveness, and finally, after hours of fuming, he forgave him. Papa, however, said to Baba, "I have forgiven Jal because you request it, but I tell you he is a very devil!"

Baba explained to Papa, "This is not forgiveness! The meaning of forgiveness is to forget the insult. When you remember it, how could you have forgiven it? After forgiving, you should not remember the incident or hold anything against him.

"Today is New Year's, and you should make a resolution to forgive and forget. Only by forgetting can you truly forgive. Otherwise, what is the use of merely saying the words, 'I forgive you'? It must be from the heart."

149-I WANT ONLY LOVE, NOT DAKSHINA.

On January 10th, 1939 Baba gave darshan to women only. Since no man was allowed to be present, Sister Mani read his alphabet board in Chanji's place.

Baba gave darshan continually from seven-thirty in the morning until late that evening without taking food. Person after person passed before Baba. Finally, Chanji sent him a message: "What's the hurry? Can't you spare even a little time to eat?"

Baba replied with these cryptic words, "Only in this hurried atmosphere is my work done, especially the work of cleaning and sweeping."

At one point, the deputy superintendent of police, Ali Akbar, very anxiously came to see Baba and said, "Baba, my son is gravely ill in the hospital! Please have your nazar on him!"

Baba comforted and assured him, "Don't worry. He will be all right. I have my eye on him!"

Finally, acceding to Chanji's request, Baba was about to interrupt darshan and go for his meal when Mahendra Lal Chowdhary of Mandla arrived with Pathak and Pleader. Pathak had taken Baba to see a site in Mandla for setting up an ashram, but at that time Baba had not made any concrete commitment.

Chowdhary, a wealthy person, prayed to Baba to accept a small gift from him. Baba asked what it was, and Chowdhary replied that it was his land behind the Circuit House – one hundred acres with two thousand mango trees on it!

Baba resisted, replying, "I want only love, not dakshina – offering of material object. The dakshina of pure love is the highest type of donation one can make."

But Chowdhary and Pathak sincerely entreated Baba to accept the gift. After a discussion lasting over two hours, Baba finally accepted the property. Chowdhary said, "I am blessed today as you have accepted my dakshina. It is a sign of your love for me!" He invited Baba to Mandla and on the next day, January 11th, Baba went there. Baba liked the beautiful place very much and sat for half an hour under a tree.

He remarked, "I am infinitely old, but in you I am young. This is my old, old spot," and looking at Chowdhary and Pathak added, "And here are my old, old friends ..." Baba did not explain their past connection.

Baba returned to Jabalpur the same day and assigned to Jal Kerawala the work of legally transferring the property to his name.

 150-MOTHER AND SON

During his mother’s visit, Baba gave the duty of looking after her to Gaimai, advising her, “Try your best to keep Shireen pleased and always do as she requests.” Gulmai was determined to serve her well.

Meanwhile, Gaimai’s Sister Banumasi Kerawala was in Bombay and was told about to join Baba with her two sons, Dadi and Sam. Shireen asked Gaimai one day, “Write to Banumasi to bring me fish from Bombay when she comes.”

“But mother,” Gaimai replied. “Eating fish is forbidden in the ashram; it is against the order. Even the westerners have to live on vegetarian food.”

“That restraint is for you people.” said Shireen. “Not for me. Send her a letter. What are you afraid of? Am I not your God’s mother?

Gaimai thought: Baba wants me to do as Shireen says, so I’d better carry out her request.” She wrote to her sister, and after few days, Banumasi arrived in Jabalpur with a packet of fish, wrapped in ice. Baba was with the masts at the time.

It was Baba’s order that anyone coming should not enter the bungalow in his absence, and also no one should open any parcel when he was not there. Banumasi was therefore waiting for his return, sitting on the veranda. Shireen walked by and seeing her asked, “Have you brought the fish for me?”  Banumasi answered yes, and handed her the packet. Shireen took the parcel inside and asked Gaimai to cook it for her lunch. Within seconds, Baba walked in and asked, I smell fish. Where is it coming from?” Gaimai told him everything and Baba was very displeased.

Shireen intervened, “I have called for fish! Why are you getting so upset with her?”

Baba indicated in no uncertain terms, “Mother, you can have fish in Poona, not here! No one can eat meat or fish in my ashram!”

“Who are you to stop me?”

“I am God!”

“You may be God for all, but to me you are my Merog. The doctor has told me to eat fish for my diabetes and you can’t stop me from eating it.”

And as this heated argument was going on between mother and son, a stray cat slipped into the kitchen and made off with the entire fish! When Shireen saw this, she wailed, “Merog! Why do you harass me so? You did not want me to eat it and this had to happen!

“Now do you believe that I am God?” asked Baba.

“May be for others.” She conceded, “But to me you will always be my naughty Merog!”

Baba had a hearty laugh and those present enjoyed the whole incident.

 151- HOW FOTUNTE

May 3rd was the Manu Jessawala’s birthday, and to celebrate Baba asked the women to stage a play. Sister Mani was quite talented for such endeavours, wrote a humorous skit parodying the present world leaders. Mani took Hitler’s part, Kaite was Mussolini, Rano was the Prime Minister Chamberlain, and Meheru and Naggu portrayed other political leaders. The skit was performed before Baba and all were amused. Exactly four months later, the Second World War was declared. Perhaps Baba was bringing it about through this seemingly innocuous play by women.

Baba would frequently ask to be entertained with skits. Once, Rano played the Parsi priest and had to speak her lines in Gujarati. She memorized the part well, but while on stage got nervous and fumbled with her words. Baba commented that he enjoyed her mistakes more than any other part of the play.

During this period Baba took the women for an excursion back to Marble Rock. He explained to them:

Do you know, do you have any idea of how fortunate you are? I am sitting with you, playing with you, talking with you, giving you my company, while elsewhere there are many who do not know how to live or die, because they want to see me! They thirst for my darshan but still I do not meet them.

There is one recluse in the mountains whose eyelashes touch the ground. He is living for my darshan, but I do not go to see him. The is another who is seven hundred years old, whose hair has grown so long it touched the ground as if rooted there. He neither eats nor drinks, but long for me. And yet I do not see him either, though he craves to see me.

Why do I call you all here and allow you my company? It is because, for births on end, you underwent privations by performing austere penances of which you have no idea. That is why you are here with me now.

 152-TIGERS PREY

One day, Aranavaz was reading a letter from Nariman, who was studying in England. Baba passed by at that time and asked her what Nariman has written. Arnavaz replied that Nariman was going to Germany from England for a two year course of study. Baba directed her, “write him to return to India immediately!”Aranvaz wrote as instructed and her letter disturbed Nariman’s thinking. He received a scholarship to study chemistry in Germany for two years, and could not understand why Baba wanted  him to come back to India so soon. But when drums of war began sounding, he understood and returned.

The previous year in Panchgani, when Goher gotten ill, Arnavaz was very impressed by Baba’s mercy and concern for Goher. But the next day brought quite a different impression. Naja was also very sick at that time and Baba forewarned her, “You will die. Then, tying you with a long rope, I will lower you down into a ravine where a tiger will come and eat you up! That will solve my problem, because now you are nothing but a burden to me.

Arnavaz was shocked at this cruel side of Baba’s nature which she had never before encountered. She thought: “Ordinarily someone who is sick is comforted and consoled to speed their recovery. But, here it is just the opposite…”

Baba did not say anything to Arnavaz, as she too was not well. Leading her to bed, Baba urged her, “Take complete rest, and don’t think about anything.” Baba asked Rano to nurse Arnavaz, which deeply touched her. She chided herself: “How stupid to be so doubtful, and to be led astray by the smallest thing! Baba is God, and whatever he does, he does for the good of others.”

During her Panchgani holiday, Baba did not refer to the incident, bit on Arnavaz’s arrival in Jabalpur, he one day explained, I am the tiger and my preys are the patients.  You are now patient, so I will have to…”

“But, I am quite well now,” she interrupted.

“…eat you up!” He gestured. Arnavaz burst out laughing. Baba continued “I am that tiger which makes it prey come to life by striking it down, and when once alive like this, one never dies!”

153-GROWING BIGGER

 Nargis, when she first met Baba, was very lean and slim, and she had been to Panchgani in 1936. Baba had indicated to her, but with her own meaning, “You should grow very big! Eat rice, drink lots of water   and take plenty of rest!” At that time, Nargis could not follow what Baba meant and thought that he was serious. Ehen she returned to Bombay, she felt the pangs of separation deeply and began remembering him more and more.

In Jabalpur, Baba one day remarked to her, “I am happy to see you that you are now growing bigger!”  Nargis looked puzzled and said that she was just the same. “Why do you say that?” He asked, “Hasn’t your love for me increased?”

“I don’t know about that,” she said, “but after leaving Panchgani, I felt very sad to be away from you.”

“This is called growing up and growing bigger! You are becoming strong in my love. I will make you very big indeed!”

 154-HOW FORTUNATE THIS HEN IS

The entire Meherabad zoo of birds and animals had been brought to Bangalore and set up in the Links compound. The women were now mostly occupied in looking after the cleaning, feeding and watering of its inmates. There were many ducks, hens and a rooster, whose water ponds were to be daily cleaned and refilled with fresh water. One day the pits filled with rain water and a hen fell in and drowned. When Elizabeth found it, she brought the dead animal to Baba weeping and said, "Baba darling, the hen is unconscious with cold. What should we do now?"

Baba took the hen and went to the kitchen where Katie and Manu were cooking. He said, "This hen is frozen. Hold her over the fire!" Katie took the hen from Baba and replied in Gujarati, (which Elizabeth could not understand), that the hen was already dead. Baba winked at her and, after a while, remarked to Elizabeth, "Do you have any idea how fortunate this hen is? It is the hen's great luck that I have held her. If she dies, she will be even more fortunate and will take a more advanced form in her next birth; but she must die here and now in my presence."

Immediately, Katie played along and declared, "Baba, the hen is dead." Elizabeth thus accepted the accidental death. The hen's burial was performed before Baba with a proper ceremony.

 155- DUSSEHRA CELEBRATED IN MYSORE

When Baba had first arrived in Bangalore, no rain had fallen and the crops were drying up. The farmers of the villages surrounding Byramangala came to know about Baba and one day approached him, praying to him to send rain soon. Baba ironically advised them, "The best remedy is to let me go from here! Drive me away! It is my misery to be always stuck in dry places." But Baba then assured them that rain would fall. From the next day, rains did begin, gladdening the hearts of the poor farmers.

The Hindu festival of Dassera was elaborately celebrated every year in Mysore. On October 19th, Baba went there with the women mandali in Elizabeth's car. A few of the men also went, and Donkin drove the bus. They arrived in Mysore at 6 P.M., and stayed in the Yelwal bungalow. Baba and the men slept outside in the servants' quarters and the women stayed in the main house. Gustadji, Nilu, Papa Jessawala and his son Meherwan arrived the next day.

Baba took the women to the city zoo, Brindavan Gardens, Chamundi Hill temple and other places of interest. According to Baba's wish, the Governor Ismail of Mysore made arrangements, so that at the time of Baba's visits with the women mandali, no man was to be seen at those places. Governor Ismail gave his fullest cooperation in such matters, and carried out Baba's wishes in all respects. Baba, however, was in such a hurry while visiting any spot that the women were not allowed to enjoy the sights. At one point, having become irritated, Shireen asked, "If you don't wish us to see anything, why bother bringing us?"

"To show you that all this is a dream and only I am the Truth!" Baba replied.

"If all is a dream," she said, "Then why do you want to show it to us?"

"Without first seeing it, how will you know it is a dream? I want to show it to you as a dream. But inspite of my telling you that it is a dream, you want to stick to the dream and get more entangled in it. That is why I prevent you from doing so."

Separate arrangements were made for the Eastern women to view the gorgeous Dassera parade. They were living a secluded life without seeing or hearing the name of any man, to the extent that when any Western woman read the newspapers to Baba in front of them, they were ordered not to speak the name of any male, young or old.

As they were watching the parade on Sunday, October 22nd, Baba remarked, "The maharaja of Mysore is very lucky I am watching his parade, but he will not live to see the next Dassera." In fact, before the next festival the king died.


156-BY NOT OBEYING ME, YOU ARE A BURDEN TO ME!

During this period, Arnavaz and Nargis Dadachanji had been staying in Bangalore with the other women for some time. Baba had asked Nargis not to do anything but rest while she was there. She wanted to do his personal work and Baba's instruction pained her. At the time, Nargis did not understand that obedience to the Master is the highest type of service.

On Sunday, November 5th, Nargis moved her bed a little. This upset Baba. She wondered why Baba was preventing her from even slightly exerting herself. But two days later she had a heart attack, and then knew why Baba had not allowed her to do any physical labor. She was treated by one of the doctors, and Baba himself was attentive to her. Nargis began thinking that instead of her serving Baba, he was serving her. "It is my misfortune that my Beloved is serving me," she thought.

When she was better, Baba advised her, "Go to Bombay and take treatment from Dr. Kohiyar, the heart specialist."

"But his charges are so high," she said.

"Don't worry; I will see to it," promised Baba.

This was totally against Nargis' cherished hopes of serving Baba, and she protested, "I won't allow it. I want to serve you, not be a burden to you."

Baba explained, "Continue doing as I tell you. By not obeying me, you are a burden to me! When I have to explain things to you that is a headache to me! When you don't want anything from me, why worry?" Nargis returned to Bombay with Arnavaz and placed herself under Dr. Kohiyar's care. Although his treatment was expensive, he did not take a cent from her. This amazed Nargis and made her love for Baba even stronger.

157-MORE DIFFICULTIES

Once when Ghani was busy solving the weekly puzzle, Baba came to his room. Looking up, Ghani tried to hide the magazine and Baba asked him, “What are you doing?”

“Nothing”, he replied.

Baba walked over and took the magazine from under his mattress. Looking at it baba remarked, “What was there to hide? I will help you, and if we win, we will split the prize fifty –fifty. I too need money!”

Quite seriously, Baba sat down and they began working out the crossword together. After solving it, Ghani mailed it. A week before the result was to be announced, Baba began asking Ghani it daily. When the results were finally declared and correct solution published, Ghani found that they had missed the prize by not less than seven mistakes. Complaining to Baba he said, “When I was solving the crossword alone, there would be two or at the most three mistakes. Here there are eleven.

Baba replied, “So you are still interested in solving such things? When I, in spite of being God committed so many mistakes, you should realize that it is not easy to solve them and you only get into more difficulties.”

158-SOME OTHER PURPOSE IN SCOLDING.

Naoroji Dadachanji, along with Padri, was busy in supervising the construction work going on in Byramangala. Naoroji had a bad toothache. When Baba was informed, he sent Donkin and Nilu to Byramangala on March 7th (1940). Donkin, with much difficulty, extracted two of Naoroji's teeth. But afterwards, the pain got worse and Naoroji was forced to lie down on his bed.

Baba came to Byramangala later that same day. After seeing Naoroji's condition, Baba became furious and scolded Donkin and Nilu. "Who told you to pull out his teeth? Are you doctors or barbers? Have you come to shave all? You are worthless good-for-nothings! I'm convinced that you had to bribe someone for your degrees!" For fifteen minutes, Baba went on berating them.

Meanwhile, Naoroji got up from bed and said, "Baba, I have no pain now. Don't rebuke them on my account."

Baba calmed down and explained to Nilu and Donkin, who were feeling very bad, "Don't worry. I had some other purpose in scolding you."

159-THE KOTWALS JOIN BABA'S ASHRAM.

Savak Kotwal had quit his job in Bombay and was preparing to go off to the Himalayas. His wife, Nargis, wrote to Meher Baba in Bangalore. In February, Baba called Savak to him. When he arrived, Baba informed him, "If you find a better Guru than me in the Himalayas, you may go; otherwise, come and stay with me.”

Savak was only waiting to hear these very words. He had wanted to stay with Baba for a long time, and his threat of going off to the mountains was only to force Baba to allow him to come. He returned to Bombay and on March 16th, with his wife Nargis, aunt, Banubai Lakdawala, two daughters, Najoo and Hilla, and son Adi, came to Bangaloe to permanently join Baba’s ashram.

Before coming to Baba, the Kotwals sold all their possessions. Nargis was from a very wealthy family, and all her relatives were shocked when they discovered what she was doing. When the Kotwals arrived in Bangalore, Savak handed Baba an envelope containing the family's entire finances. He also gave Baba a box containing all of Nargis' jewelry. Baba was pleased and remarked to Savak, "From today until the very end, I shall see every one of your family’s littlest needs, and to you I shall give th Ocean!!”j

Soon after, Nargis Kotwal fell ill, and Nadine Tolstoy was assigned the duty of nursing her. When she recovered, Baba asked her, "What do you think now? Savak has left his job; he is unemployed. You have sold all your property and now hace no money. Aren’t you worried?”

"I belong to you, Baba," she said. "Be gracious enough to accept myself and my children in your service."

Baba smiled, spelling out, "From today your responsibility is mine. I will look after you all till the end!"

Some days later, Baba sent the Kotwal family to Panchgani. When Baba returned to Meherabad, they joined him there. Hilla and Najoo would sometimes be called upon to sing for Baba, and the little boy Adi often made Baba laugh with his jokes and funny songs.

(The accompanying photo is of Naju S. Kotwal, now in her eighties. She is the author of "He Gives the Ocean."

160-ICE CREAM AND CHUTNEY.

In Panjim, Elizabeth asked Baba one day, "Very good quality ice cream is available here. May I bring some for all?"

Baba replied, "That is an excellent idea; but it should not cause colds and affect your throats."

Baba sent for Nilu and asked, "What remedy is there to prevent getting sore throats from eating ice cream?"

Nilu replied, "Garlic chutney would be a good prophylactic against any side effects from ice cream." Baba permitted Elizabeth to bring ice cream, and she was very happy. She was unaware of Nilu's suggestion, as Baba had conversed with him in Marathi.

When Elizabeth left, Baba informed Katie and Manu to prepare a large amount of garlic chutney. Elizabeth returned with cartons of delicious ice cream, and Baba served it to all. However, they had to eat it along with the chutney! He told them to eat as much ice cream as they liked, but to follow each spoonful with a bit of hot chutney! All the joy was taken out of the affair, and they thought to themselves: "It would have been better had we not had ice cream."

161-SOME ENTERTAINMENT.

Once in Dehra Dun a singer from Tehri Garhwal came and sang before Baba and the women. (Mehera did not appear.) The singer had no teeth, but boasted that the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal had compared him to Tansen, the celebrated singer in King Akbar's court. He sang the song,

"Set aside your veil and you will see God!"

His blandishments while singing were so strange that Baba was quite amused. After he had left, Baba directed each of the women to sing and mimic him, and their airs and performances, being still stranger, much amused Baba. Only sister Mani was able to successfully imitate the singer, while Katie's Hindi sent Baba into fits of laughter.

On another occasion, Baba noticed a magician strolling by their house and  just for fun, called him inside to demonstrate his magic. The magician said he wanted a boy, so Baba presented Meherwan. The magician very softly whispered in his ears, "Now when I clap, stop speaking, and when I clap again, talks!" He then announced to all: "I will now use my magic on this child whereby his tongue will be rendered useless." He performed some tricks, waved his wand over Meherwan and clapped and said to the audience, "Now if you wish to ask him anything, ask, but he won't be able to answer." Everyone questioned Meherwan, but he kept quiet. Baba too asked him something; still he did not reply.

The magician clapped, and Meherwan began speaking. When the show was over and the man had left, Baba asked Meherwan, "Why couldn't you speak?"

Meherwan said, "The magician told me not to speak!"

All had a good laugh at his disclosure, but Baba insisted, "No, no, he influenced your mind and prevented you from talking!"

Meherwan persisted, "No, Baba, really, he told me not to speak!"                                                                

162-SAINT MIRA'S SONG

Because of Baba’s seclusion, he had not been seeing the women mandali. But on his return from mast contact with Chatti Baba in Nagapattinam, he began calling Mehera and Mani to him. They were the only two allowed to see him. The other women saw him very infrequently during this period.

Once, when he was with Mehera, Baba sent for Gaimai and rebuked her in front of Mehera, “What sort of chapattis are you preparing?  Are your chapatis made from wheat or leather?” Gaimai remained quiet, and Baba asked her to give a chapati to Mehera to taste. Testing it, Mehera remarked, “This chapati is quite good, Baba.”

But Baba kept up his trade against Gaimai, though he later explained to her, “Don’t worry about what I said. It is mere pretence on my part in order to call you. Since I am seeing no one, I need some pretext as an excuse to see you.”

Along with Gulmai, Soltoon, Nargis and Silla were preparing chapatis for the group, while Katie and Manu were doing the cooking. Mehera and Khorshed would prepare Baba’s food, Kitty was supervising the household work and Mani would do typing. Thus Baba kept everyone engaged in one duty or another.

Gaimai began making baked chapatis which all liked very much. But as this required more work, Nargis Kotwal was somewhat put out, and complained to Gaimai, “Is this a hotel? Everyone is eating with zest, but in the kitchen we are suffocated by the smoke.”

Baba happened on the scene during the altercation and intervened, correcting Nargis, “have you ever heard of the great saint Mira’s song, and ‘make me a servant’? And I add: Grind the flour, powder the chilies and bake nice, hot chapatis!”

Nargis Kotwal was upset and countered; I don’t want to be servant.  I want to be a Master. Make me a Master so that I can drive around in a big car and enjoy life!”

Baba laughed, and pointed to his head, “Your screw is loose!”

Once Baba wanted chapatis for the mast and went to Gaimai in the kitchen. Fresh chapattis had not yet been made   that day, but Nargis Kotwal brought some stale ones and presented them to Baba. Baba looked at them and criticized her: “You are not preparing chapattis with all your heart. If my mast eats these they will get a stomach ache.”                                                 

163-RANO AS SAHEB CLEANING POTS

Rano and one of the maids from Arangaon, Tara were given the work of cleaning the cooking pots in Lonavla. In Rishikesh, Rano had to carry the water to the house, and in Lonawala, her manual labour continued in washing the dishes.

When local children on the street happened to pass to their house, they were surprised to see a westerner working in menial fashion. They would whisper to each other, “Look at that Saheb cleaning pots. Why doesn’t he hire a servant?” Rano had short hairat that time and looked like a man; the children referred to her as “Saheb.”  With Baba, high or low are all one and the same; the boss one day becomes the servant next day.

164-THINK OF MY WISH

During this period, Sevak Damania of Akbar press, who was now age thirty, had been in Baba’s contact since childhood and was engaged to marry Eruch’s sister Meheru. Sevak had a friend Homi Pavri, who wanted to meet Meher Baba. Sevak wrote to Baba at Lonawala, and Baba permitted them to come.

They arrived in Lonawala, but Baba sent Visnnu to stop Homi near the gate and allow only Sevak to come inside. Homi had brought garland and sweets for Baba, and Baba told him through Vishnu that he should see him from a distance and then leave. Homi accepted this, saw Baba from that distance, handed the garlands and sweets, and started to leave. Sevak turned to Baba and asked, “May I see him off at the train station?”

“Is he a child?” Baba snapped. “Can’t he go alone?  You have come to see me and you are to stay here for four days-at a time when I am not seeing anyone-but if you want to go, go!”

“I want to stay.” Said Sevak, “But what will my friend think of me?”

“That means you first think of your friend and not of me! If you go to the station when I want you to be here.-what will I think of you?”

“Forgive me Baba; you are right.”

Baba then spelled out to him, “Just remember one thing: only think of my will and don’t think of pleasing others. If you keep my will and, if in doing so, the whole world turns against you, you should learn to ignore it.

“The whole world is within me. Everything will be alright if you only think of my wish. Whatever your friend has to earn, he has earned it by seeing me briefly. There is nothing for him to think now.”

 165-PALMISTRY.

Since 1929, Meherjee Karkaria had been quite successfully doing business in Iran, and had no opportunity of meeting Baba. He had come to India once in 1934 to see Baba, but at that time, Baba was in the West. In 1943, Meherjee again came to Bombay for a visit, and against his better judgment, a friend took him to a palmist. Consulting Meherjee's hand, the palmist said, "If you are not careful of your business, sixty per cent of your wealth will be lost." At that, Meherjee sent a cable to his manager in Persia, instructing him to dispose of his business. He then proceeded to Lahore to see Baba.

During their meeting, Baba asked Meherjee, "What have you been doing all these years in Persia? How's your business coming along?" Meherjee told Baba everything, and also about his recent encounter with the palmist. Baba twisted Meherjee's ear and said, "You fool! Do you believe in astrology? Palmistry? I myself am God, and God can transform, create and destroy entire planets. Send a telegram immediately that nothing should be disposed of."

Meherjee wrote the message, and Baba dispatched Vishnu to the telegraph office to have it sent at once. Baba advised him to continue his business as he had been doing, and Meherjee left for Persia. By heeding Baba's advice, his business prospered more than ever before.

166-IF I DO NOT STEAL YOUR HEARTS HOW WOULD YOU REMEMBER ME

Since Baba was staying in Ahmednagar, he would often visit the Sathas at Akbar Press, and sometimes Gulmai and Adi Sr. at Khushru Quarters. One day, he went to Akbar Press and walked into the kitchen. Since there was no one about, Baba helped himself to a piece of bread and some vegetable from the pinjra – a screened cupboard for keeping eatables. As he stood there eating the snack, Gulamasi came inside and was shocked to see

 167-DHAKE'S TRAP

 As mentioned, Dhake's wife had recently died. Dhake had much love for Baba, and once in Rahuri, Baba had visited his house. Finding Dhake's wife weak and run down, Baba had advised him to give her complete rest. With her health in mind, Baba had made arrangements for her during his stay in Toka during 1928, so that she and Dhake could live there in the family quarters.

 After her demise, Baba had a private talk with Dhake. During the meeting, He explained, "You are now free and I will look after your children. Now don't fall into that trap (meaning marriage) again, and stay with me permanently." On Dhake's agreement, Baba welcomed him to join the mandali, "From tomorrow, come to stay with me." To this also Dhake consented.

Baba then clarified, "Come to stay with me permanently after six months." In this manner everything was settled.

But in the meantime, Dhake got engaged for a second time. When his wedding invitation was received, Baba immediately sent Kalemama to him with orders that he should not marry. Kalemama was unable to contact Dhake in time and the marriage was performed. Baba was furious over the affair and forbade Dhake from coming to him. Dhake regretted defying Baba and repented greatly. Frequently, through Adi Sr., he would send messages to Baba. After almost a year Dhake came to Baba again, and Baba asked the mandali present, "How should I punish this scoundrel for his disobedience?"

Everyone suggested some light punishment and Baba observed, "Were I to punish Dhake, what would be the difference between me and you? I had picked him up from the dirt but he has again fallen into it! Still, I will pull him out." Baba forgave Dhake and embraced him. Then Baba asked every member of the mandali to embrace him.

The punishment for his disobedience was

forgiveness from the infinite Ocean of Mercy!

 168-I WANT TO CASTRATE KAVADE

When in Hyderabad, Kaikobad, Narayan Nair (Krishna’s brother) and C.S.Kavade were the day watchman at the mandali’s and Baba bungalows, as no one was allowed to go inside.

Kavade had come for Baba’s darshan in Meherabad in 1942 and had wished to stay with him. Baba had assured him that he would be called some time later, and he was now staying with Baba in Hyderabad.

One day, Baba suddenly sent for Baidul to bring Kavade from mandali’s residence. But he was not on duty; he had gone out. Baidul came back and informing Baba about it, added. “If there is any message for him. I will convey when he returns.”

Baba scowled, “There is no message-I want to castrate him! Bring a sharp knife” All burst out laughing and when Kavade appeared and was told about it, he alone understood the deeper meaning behind Baba’s word. The fact was that he was in love with a girl in Akalkot and was constantly thinking about her. Though staying with Baba day and night in Hyderabad, Kavade was thinking only of this girl. But Baba’s nazar saved him from becoming deeply entangled, and his thoughts of marriage gradually dissipated. Though Baba’s intervention, he remained a bachelor.

169-THE WHOLW WORD IS LIKE COWDUNG

During this period in Hyderabad, Rano Gayley, whose eye sight was poor, was suffering discomfort, so one day she asked Baba’s permission to buy new glasses. Baba advised, “Buy the spectacles, but don’t spend more than you absolutely have to.” Rano went to an optometrist, and after giving her an examination, he asked for a large fee. This was a dilemma, because Baba had told her specifically not to spend more than necessary. She told the doctor, “Look, don’t charge me more because I am a westerner and my old glasses are expensive. I have become poor and don’t have much money.”  It surprised the man, as Westerners had never grudged paying his fees before. But Rano continued bartering thus reducing the amount, until finally; she ended up paying only the cost of the new pair of glasses.

Dr. Donkin had escorted her in a tonga, and so on the way back he bought some toffees for the mandali. He offered some to Rano, but she politely refused. When he persevered, she took a few, as she knew Margaret Craske was fond of them.

When they got back home, Rano went to her room handed sweets to Margaret. Baba almost never entered in their room, but that day for some reason, He suddenly appeared right at that moment. Rano tried to hide the toffee, but Baba asked what was in her hand. “Toffees,” she said.

“Why did you bring it?”

“To give it to Margaret.”

“For Margaret and not for me?” Baba asked with a pained expression on his face.

“I didn’t buy it,” Rano explained. “Don gave it to me,”

“How much has he bought, and for whom?”

“One tin for the mandali.”

“Go and bring it from Don, and give it to me.”

Rano brought the tin and handed it to Baba. Baba then ordered her, “If anyone ever gives you anything, first give it to me.”

Baba then went to the mandali and asked Donkin, “Do you bring something for the mandali of and on?”

“No, not really. Only today, I bought some toffee. Vishnu however did not accept it without your permission. The tin was kept by your chair, until Rano took it away.”

“These people (meaning the mandali) are sitting on my chest, “Baba joked, “If you continue giving them sweets, they will become fatter and really crush me. I want to make them as thin as air by beating and beating them.”

Baba then asked, “Do you know the story about Nilu and the boxes of sweets?” Donkin did not, so Baba narrated:

Nilu is very, very fond of sweets. He pines for them night and day. One day in Meherabad, I told Pilamai to fill a tin with cow dung and wrap it like a gift. She did it quite well, taking it, I went to the mandali.

Nilu’s mouth watered on seeing the parcel.   I called him and told him how much I loved him, how dear and special he was for me. I said that he was to open the tin, keep half the sweets for him and distribute the rest among the mandali. With happy heart, he started to untie the package. But finding it was full of cow dung, he was taken aback and his face went pale.

I told him: If you turn white on seeing the content of this, remember the whole world is like cow dung. When you realize it, your attachment to the world will pale. Just as you threw away the cow dung, you will one day say god-bye to this world and its affairs

 

170-AMUSING INCIDENTS.

Baba left for Baroda on the morning of October 29th, and another amusing incident occurred on the train. Baba, Baidul, Eruch and Gustadji found themselves in a small third class compartment which was empty. Everyone was pleased at this lucky turn of events, as whenever possible Baba preferred to have the compartment to himself so that he could relax and express himself uninhibitedly through gestures, without being concerned about drawing attention to himself. But unfortunately, just as the train pulled out of the station, a Congress leader stepped in.

Baba was not at all pleased to have a stranger in their midst and motioned to Eruch to get rid of him. Eruch pleaded, "Sir, the next halt is only ten or fifteen minutes away. When it comes will you please oblige us by finding a seat in another compartment? The train is not crowded and we would prefer to be alone. We are travelling a long distance and are tired."

"Why, is this compartment reserved?" he asked.

"No, it's not," Eruch replied. "But we prefer to spread out, and you will be equally comfortable in another compartment."

The man became arrogant and rude, and began arguing loudly, refusing to move. Baba signaled, "Stop arguing with him. Just observe silence, talk with each other through signs and laugh uproariously. If he asks you anything, ignore him."

Gustadji, who was under orders not to converse in sign language while travelling, to avoid attracting attention, was now freed of this longstanding restriction, and he plunged into animated "conversation." Baidul and Eruch were familiar with his signs, and they also began using them and laughing loudly.

The politician looked puzzled and asked Eruch, "Where are you going?" Eruch looked at him and turned away without replying. He asked Baidul, and he too turned his face. "Where do you live?" the man questioned; but no one paid any attention to him and they kept up their sign language among themselves.

At the next stop, probably thinking he was in the midst of a bunch of lunatics, the man rose to leave the compartment, and called for a coolie to remove his luggage.

Baba gestured to Eruch to shake his hand, thank him and help him out. So Eruch got up and helped the man down with his trunks and bid him farewell with a "Thank you."

They settled back to resume their journey in privacy, and Baba cuttingly remarked, "Serves him right!"

171-BABA'S HUMOURS WITH HIS LOVERS

On March 9th, Gadekar brought Turekar to Meherabad to see Baba. Turekar had been in Baba's contact since the Nasik days when, along with Minoo Kharas, he used to often visit Baba. With them were three new persons from Poona. They had found out about Baba through Gadekar and were meeting him for the first time. Their names were Laxman Rambhau Kamble, age twenty-nine, Bapusaheb Bahiraji Shinde and Bhikaji Eknath Dhavle.

Baba asked each man, "How many children do you have?" Every man except Kamble replied. Baba turned to him and inquired, "Why are you silent? Don't you have any children?"

Kamble replied, "No, Baba, I do not."

"Do you want one?" Baba asked.

"If you so wish to grant us one," he replied.

Baba handed him a coconut and stated, "Give up all thoughts of children and only think of me. You will have my prasad."

Turekar was a police sub-inspector who was not averse to accepting graft. Baba asked him, "Do you take bribes?"

Yes, Baba," he admitted candidly.

"You have been in my contact for so many years and still you accept bribes? Such corruption is not at all good. Give it up completely."

Turekar accepted Baba's wish and promised to change.

In a lighter vein, Baba asked Gadekar, "Do you fight with Gunatai your wife?"

"Never, Baba. She fights with me!" he insisted.

"She is teaching you forbearance. You are in her debt."

Baba then asked Shinde about his business and stated, "Don't worry; I have my nazar (eye) on you."

After this meeting, all returned to their homes in Poona. Gradually Shinde's business flourished, and he became a leading merchant of Poona.

But, as the years passed, the Kambles still did not beget children. Kamble came to see Baba again in 1952 and Baba asked him, "Are you a parent yet?"

Kamble answered sadly, "No, not yet, Baba."

"Don't you have faith in me? You will have a child, but have patience." Baba then gave him a rose petal to eat. Two years elapsed and when Kamble again saw Baba in Pandharpur in 1954, the same topic came up. Baba chided him, "Be patient, for God's sake! Why are you in such a hurry?"

Soon after this meeting, Kamble's wife, Leelavati, gave birth to a son. Baba named him Meher Prasad; thus, after Baba's distribution of prasad to the poor in 1948, Kamble too received Baba's prasad – though it happened six years later.

Ramjoo Abdulla's entire family loved Baba, and Ramjoo always sought Baba's advice about any family problem. Ramjoo and his family had left Nasik and moved to Ahmednagar. Two years earlier, in 1946, he had seven children: five sons – Dadu, Baggu, Ali, Meheru (Meher Ahmed) and Isa – and two daughters.

When Ali graduated from high school, Ramjoo brought him to Baba one day at the Ice Factory bungalow. Baba asked Ali, "Do you want to study further? Do you want to go to college?"

172-NO SLEEP IN CALCUTTA

From Raigarh, Baba proceeded to Calcutta, arriving on March, 30 th, Baba caught the first train to Dacca, at that time the capital of Eastern Pakistan, now Bangladesh. But when they reached the Pakistani frontier station of Ranaghat, Baba got down and announced that he was returning to Calcutta. The mandali were astonished. He was going back after having just left! Baba's original intention had been to contact masts in Dacca, but who can grasp the Master's inner work?

His inner work was complete the moment he set foot on Pakistani soil and there was no need to go further.

So, according to his wish, they entered a small carriage adjacent to the engine. It was completely empty and Baba was in an exceptionally good mood, apparently because of some success in his inner work. But alongside the good mood was the inevitable strain of working, and so he suggested, "To lessen the burden, let's play cards; but see that no one enters our compartment."

They began playing, and at the next stop when Eruch got down, he saw that the other compartments were rapidly filling and there was now the danger that others would enter theirs and intrude upon their privacy. He drew Baba's attention to this, saying, "It's time we roll up our bedding and prepare for the rush." But Baba gestured to him not to worry.

Before they arrived at the next station, Baba remarked, "I will lie down like this," and he stretched out on the wooden bench covering himself from head to toe with a sheet. Keeping motionless, he looked like a corpse. After they arrived at the station, passengers rushed to enter their compartment. Eruch stood by Baba's "body" with folded hands and a mournful look on his face, and the people thought that someone had recently died. Regretfully, they backed out of the compartment, not wishing to have as a travelling companion a dead body rotting in the heat. They naturally assumed that a Pakistani had been murdered and that his relatives were taking his body somewhere for burial.

The train began moving out of the station and the "corpse" rose from the dead and gestured, "Good trick, wasn't it?"

In truth, Meher Baba was a living corpse: the Perfect Man is in reality dead to the world at all times.

173-GUSTADJI SIGN’S

They returned to Calcutta at seven-thirty that evening, and began to inquire about checking into a hotel. This was not as simple as it sounds. While returning on the train Baba had stipulated that he wished to have a room at the end of a corridor, and in addition there should be a vacant room between his room and the mandali's. After a long, tiring search they found a hotelkeeper who agreed to these conditions.

They settled in, but at midnight Baba complained of noise coming from a nearby workshop. Chhagan was keeping night watch and Baba directed him to tell Eruch to go down and ask the men to stop working, because his elder brother, who was "sick," needed quiet. The workers agreed to stop and Eruch returned. But in an hour, Baba complained to Eruch, "There's noise coming from the next room. Go and see if the manager has broken his promise and allowed someone to stay in it."

Again Eruch went down the five flights of stairs, and indeed the manager had allowed two unexpected late arrivals to occupy the empty room. "After all, you are not paying for it," he reasoned. Baba was displeased but directed Eruch to go and tell the couple to make as little noise as possible.

After a few minutes someone knocked on Baba's door. Eruch opened it and found a hotel waiter with ice water. He had mistaken their room for the couple's next door. This too irritated Baba. He scolded Eruch, "This is the last straw! I cannot bear all this commotion. Couldn't you find one decent hotel in all of Calcutta? We must move to another hotel that is quiet. I cannot work in this atmosphere with these constant disturbances."

Eruch woke up the other mandali and everyone started packing. Eruch had more to do than the others, since he had to pack Baba's personal belongings such as his clothes, towel, soap, razor, et cetera, as well as his own. When he was in the middle of packing, Gustadji came over and started asking him questions – by making hand signs, since he was on silence. Eruch felt annoyed but answered as best, and briefly, as he could.

They found another hotel and checked in, but again Baba began complaining of noise and stated they should go somewhere else. "There will be noise in or around any hotel in the city," Eruch said. "If you want a quiet place we will have to go to the suburbs."

Baba agreed. "We'll have to go by train, and to go to the station we will have to hire a tonga or taxi. They will charge us a high price, as it is the middle of the night," Eruch pointed out.

But Baba replied, "It does not matter; we'll go by train."

So once more, Eruch had to pack everything, and with the luggage they proceeded to the train station – some half asleep. They reached the suburb of Howrah and checked into a secluded hotel. Baba liked it and Eruch again started to unpack his things.

Dawn was just breaking when Gustadji approached Eruch and began making hand signs in front of his face. The day's – and night's – weary labor had shortened the fuse on Eruch's temper and he angrily exploded, "Am I supposed to unpack Baba's things or read your damn signs? My God, I am trapped between two dumb mutes!"

Baba had just entered the room and heard his remark. He demanded, "Am I dumb?"

Pointing to Gustadji he sharply snapped, "He may be dumb, but I am not!"

Eruch apologized but lamented, "The whole night has passed unpacking and packing our things. It is good I have the strength to do it. But how in the hell am I supposed to understand Gustadji's signs in the dark? He has time to make signs only when I am preoccupied with something else. One person who does not talk is enough for me."

Referring to Gustadji, Eruch remarked, "I do not like having to attend to this other dumb mute!"

"Why do you repeat 'dumb mute'?" Baba asked. "He who can speak but does not is not dumb!" With these words, Baba ended the confrontation.

174-CALCUTTA TO HARIDAWR.

After his mast contacts, Baba went to a small railroad station near Calcutta on the night of April 1st, to proceed via the mail train to Hardwar. The station was crowded, and to get seats in third class with all their baggage was impossible. So it was decided that Baba, with Eruch, should travel with the baggage by first class, and Gustadji, Chhagan, Kaka and Baidul by third class. Eruch was serving as Baba's personal attendant and so had to be by his side at all times. Gustadji conveyed, "I will help by loading the luggage in the compartment," and so he too was taken with Baba into first class.

When the train arrived at the platform, there was the usual scramble for accommodation, and Eruch efficiently made Baba sit in the coach and briskly loaded their luggage inside. Thereafter, by flashlight, he signaled the other mandali at the other end of the platform that all was well and that he was boarding the train. The train started and Eruch began arranging the luggage in the small compartment. After a few minutes, Baba asked Eruch what happened to Gustadji. Eruch looked throughout the train and, failing to find him, thought he had been left behind. He replied, "He must be back on the platform. What should we do now?"

"Don't worry," Baba gestured.

"But he is old and on silence," Eruch protested. "He'll have a hell of a time making himself understood."

"From the next station, send a wire to the station master and Chhagan will go back and bring him," Baba ordered.

A noise like the squeaking of a rat was heard and Eruch switched on his flashlight but could not discern anything in the darkness. In those days the trains had no electric lights and the compartments were dark at night. Again the sound was heard and Eruch searched their compartment but found nothing. Noticing that there was an empty seat, he thought that perhaps a fellow passenger had gone to the lavatory, but he could not locate the latrine. He then realized that the toilet door was completely covered by their baggage. He began shifting the luggage and Baba asked, "Why are you doing that?"

"The door to the lavatory is blocked," Eruch replied. "It is just possible the other passenger is inside."

Eruch moved the obstructing luggage away, and to his surprise found Gustadji sitting inside. Baba chided Gustadji, "Wherever you go, you always go to the toilet first. How much urine do you pass in a day? You came along to help load the luggage and you instead get locked in the loo."

Gustadji replied, "The urge to piddle was uncontrollable. Had I helped with the bags I would have stained my pants." And Baba and Eruch could only laugh at Gustadji's serious expression.

175-DON'T BEG LIKE A EUNUCH

During May and June 1948, although Baba had virtually stopped giving darshan, he did meet with certain people. Devotees from Bombay, Poona and Surat came to see him, and his Ahmednagar lovers also had an occasional chance of having darshan. Dr. Daulat Singh, with his son, Upkar, came from Srinagar, and Baba happily met both.

Baba was in a good mood one day, sitting in the Ahmednagar Ice Factory bungalow with the mandali. Ghani would never miss the chance of availing himself of such moods, and would lightly complain about something so that Baba would reveal some explanation about the inner path or God.

Jesting, Ghani told him, "Baba, no doubt, you are God; but what have we earned from being with you all these years? You have trapped us in such a way that we are neither here nor there!" He went on teasing Baba to elicit an interesting discourse; but this time Baba gave him such an explanation that Ghani felt giddy.

Glancing around, Baba asked Kaka Baria, "Why are you sitting behind? Come in front and answer this egg-headed idiot!"

"I do not wish to enter into any disputes," Kaka said.

"Are you afraid of Ghani?" Baba asked.

"I'm not afraid of even his father!" Kaka responded.

"Then come and reply to him," Baba ordered.

Kaka came forward, and there ensued such an argument between the two that it eventually turned into a verbal free-for-all.

Kaka began, "You are a eunuch to beg from Baba! Only eunuchs beg!" Kaka proceeded to quote Kabir. "Kabir has rightly said:

What is given voluntarily is like milk;

What is gotten by begging is like water;

What is forcibly taken is like blood."

"Who are you to teach me the couplets of Kabir?" Ghani retorted. "I am a hundred times more conversant with them than an unlettered man like yourself. I have liquefied and drunk them!"

"Then why do you talk like a eunuch?" Kaka demanded.

"It is you who speak as one, my friend. What is there in you – you are a fool and cannot understand me."

Kaka proceeded to state a few choice opinions about Ghani's genealogical tree, comparing his ancestry to certain four-legged creatures low down the evolutionary ladder, and Baba sat back enjoying it immensely. At last, Kaka's words and tenacity overpowered Ghani, who kept quiet.

176-A JOKE OR WERE YOU SERIOUS

 On the evening of November 22nd, Ghani joked to the companions in Sarcastic fashion: "The meaning of the New Life is only this:

'To do routine things at odd times; to create a difficulty where none exists;  to pull up with a jerk an otherwise smooth-going situation –all such things have gone to make what we call the New Life.' "

Baba overheard his remarks and asked Ghani to explain. Ghani responded with fervor, "Look at the unearthly time for our morning tea – 5 A.M. We have no religious devotions to perform so early in the morning, such as arti, sandhya, puja, kusti-sadra, namaz, and yet, in this God-awful, biting cold weather, we are required to crawl out of bed, groaning, hissing, and shivering and coughing, at four-thirty in the morning, just for the cold pleasure of a cup of tea at five o'clock and a chapati – if available. Really speaking, it should be called *mourning* tea!"

Ghani's remarks evoked hearty laughter from the men, and Baba, too, seemed to enjoy the fun. But while bidding good night, he slyly turned to Baidul and ordered, "Tomorrow morning, tea should be served at 4:45 A.M. Fifteen minutes earlier."

The following morning, Baba again surprised everyone by referring to

Ghani's remarks about the awkward time for tea, "I did not sleep the whole night. The spontaneous laughter of all concerned over Ghani's remarks set me thinking. I wondered if the remarks of Ghani regarding morning tea, and the support of it by your delightful laughter, were all to be taken as a joke, or were you serious about it? If Ghani was joking, then I was quite wrong in not appreciating the humor. If he was serious, and if you think the order for morning tea is unnecessary and meaningless, then it is not only criticism, but the most flagrant violation of the conditions of the New Life."

The companions were taken aback by this interpretation, which evidently had given Baba a sleepless night. They assured him that, although some of his orders were not always easily understandable, none of them considered them meaningless or unnecessary. Baba then dismissed the previous night's episode as a joke, and the tension soon relaxed.

But Baba had doubted the companions' intentions, and so, as atonement, He ordered each one to pinch his ears, after which he remarked, "One sleepless night is worth the satisfaction that I now feel for the sake of the clarification of your mind and feelings."

177-BABA’S HUMOUR

Rustom Hathidaru’s imitation amused Baba greatly and won Him a price. He also sang Bhajans, and one particular song so pleased Baba that he bestowed upon him the title of master of music and gave him another present.

Dhake was also quite funny. He played a violent, wild exexutioner, who was out to stay “the god of Mind.”

Baba also met individually with a few of his lovers. Nana Kher told him, “I want to stay wth you”

“Would you do as I tell you?”  Baba asked.

“Assuredly!” was his quick reply.

“From tomorrow, start drinking two bottles of wine and eat two seers of mutton.” Baba ordered. “Would you do it?”

Although Nana, Being a high Brahmin, had never touched wine or meat in his life, he agreed to obey. Baba then related to him. “I am very pleased with you, but continue to stay in your house, and never touch wine or mutton.”

Pankhraj also expressed a similar wish, whereupon Baba stated, “If you stay with me, your wife, Tarabai, will nab me.”

“She will agree.”Pankhraj pleaded “she won’t create trouble. She loves you, Baba.”

“All right, do this. Go back to Nagpur and visit a prostitute daily for two months; also, drink a full bottle of wine every day. Could you do this? If you do it, I will keep you with me!”

“I will think it over and then reply.” Pankhraj said.

“He who thinks never accomplishes anything!” Baba warned him. “Just go on staying with your wife, and never have anything to do with either prostitute or wine.”

178-BABA’S SENSE OF HUMOUR

Baba Continued. “Gustadji is the one who is always in perfect health. He was the one who had no complaints about his health when we were in the west. He likes ice cream and there he had that a plenty, so he is in a good mood as well. Sometimes he says: “if you want me to live for one hundred and twenty-five years in perfect health. Give me a dozen of bananas each day. Baidul likes non-vegetarian dishes, and when he gets theme forgets everything else.”

To Aloba, Baba remarked, “Now eat, drink and be merry! From the 15 th Our Karabala life begins!”

By this time Anna 104 had arrived. Baba stted, “I always feel happy to see Anna with his peculiar dress and mannerisms. Anna loves buttermilk, but even more than this, he likes chewing tobacco. When he talks to others with his mouth half-full of tobacco and spit, it is hard to understand what he is numbing.”

Baba then began to discuss some particular work. He instructed Adi to print in English and Hindi seven of his messages about the Firey Free Life which were to be delivered on the darshan tour. After giving some day to day instructions to various mandali, Baba discussed with Eruch about the important items on the November 8 th program. In the end he remarked, “Allah is the giver, and the receiver is Bismillah (God)!”

While discussing matters with the group that morning, a bedbug was discovered in Baba’s gaadi mattress. Baba was upset and reprimanded the mandali for not being more careful.”   He looked at them reprovingly and snapped in Gujrati, “I am trapped in the hands of these devils!” During the break for lunch, Baba’s seat and mattress were put in the sun and the entire hall swept and cleaned.

179-IMPOSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND

People say that I am Avatar, but when it is impossible for rishis and munis to understand me, how can they know me? Only perfect masters know me. I am that Ancient One-Zurasthustra, Krishna, Rama, and Muhammad. But how will you know that I am the Adi Purush (supreme power)? Rare are those who have the fortune to know me. So do one thing. Leave the thought of understanding me altogether. Love me. Obey me, that is all.

Changing the mood, Baba began to joke. He made a strange demand: “I need a cock that will crow at proper time to remind me about the various programmes and appointments.” All were puzzled at the request, so in the end Baba with a smile stated, “Dhake, from now on this will be your job. You must crow at appointed time to draw my attention. This is my standing order for you. You have to become my alarm clock.

Khaparde arranged a programme at his residence in Amraoti. When he invited Baba, he said, “Hirabai Barodekar of Poona is on her way here to sing for you. Do grace our house with your presence.”

Baba went to his home, but Hirabai, a well known singer, did not arrive. So Baba left after half an hour and told the mandali, “Khaparde has deceived me. People are ruined by such tricks!

 180-EVERY MOMENT IS MY WORK

In 1920s, Vishnu did the marketing and kept all accounts of every paisa and rupee. He wrote down the expenses in a note book and was careful in keeping a record of all the money spent. In Mussoorie, Baba began scrutinizing the accounts of each day. Vishnu would read out the items of every purchase made and its cost. At times baba would ask him to go over the same thing again and again, such as “Vegetables—five rupees ----Vegetables—five rupees” once while repeating something, Vishnu burst out laughing.

Baba asked him. “What is so funny?”

“This is so boring,” Vishnu said exasperated. What way to pass the time.”

“What?” Baba exclaimed. “Do you think that this is just a pastime? What do you know about the work I do by making you to repeat the same thing over and over again? Through this means I take account of the whole world. Your repetition is merely symbolic. I am not doing this as a pastime. All my time is spent in work and not a single moment passes when I am not occupied with my work. Day and night my work goes on. If there were a gap even for a moment the world would disappear!”

181-OBEDIENCE AND ACCEPTANCE

One evening, Baba was discussing some serious matter with the mandali, when Nilu intercepted and tried to liven things up by saying, “Baba, I have urgent desire for basenji.”-a sweet milk preparation.

Baba replied, “The neck of cock which crows at the wrong time is chopped off! What punishment you desire?”

No punishment, only basundi.”

Baba was exasperated atr Nilu’s flippant answer and scolded him. He then criticized himself, “It is not good to get angry. It is very bad that I got angry. Now each one of you kick me once to make me always remember that it is wrong to get angry.”                                        

Everyone in the mandali had to do so accordingly, after which Baba permitted Nilu his basundi.

 

182-MEHERBABA’S FEVORITE FRUIT MANGO

Meher Baba’s favourite fruit was mango, and he grew was several mango trees in the compound of Dehradun, and the ripe fruit was falling on the ground. Among the men mandali, only Gustadji and Aloba had permission to collect fallen fruit. They would wait for the mangoes to drop and immediately run to pick them up. No other man was given this privilege. The revelry between the two went so far that Gustadji would spend most of the night outside, just to prevent Baidul from collecting more than his share.

One night a slight dazzle fell, Dr. Deshmukh has come from Nagpur for a visit and was sleeping in a room on second floor. But drops from the leaking roof made roll up his bedding and walk downstairs. Instead of carrying his bedding roll sown, instead, he tossed it through window. Gustadji was eating mango under a tree, unmindful of the rain. His entire concentration was on the falling mangoes, as there was a fine breeze that night that was loosening much fruit from the trees.

When Deshmukh thrown his bedding, Gustadji narrowly escaped having it land on his head. He was highly vexed and next morning complained to Baba. Having come to know of Baidul and Gustadji’s competitive activities, Baba had a good laugh. But then on, he stopped both from eating the mangoes.

Thereafter, Baba called Prakaswati son, Bhushan, and asked, “Would you do as I say?”

Bhushan said, “Certainly.”

“Remove all the mangoes from the tree, after they ripen, sell them in the market. Keep an accurate account, and I will check it.”

So, Bhushan had all the fruit picked, and kept it in the mandali’s residence for ripening. No one was to touch the mangoes. Since permission to eat them was taken away from Baidul and Gustadji, both were seething with anger at Deshmukh, and their mind found no relief, until he left.

Bhushan began selling fruits in the bazzar, and Baba would check his account daily.

Before assigning him this work, Baba has ordered to speak the truth always, be honest and never do any contemptible action. Along with Bhushan’s duty, Baba would instruct him honesty, calling attention to smallest mistake.

 183-AM YOUR TUMMY

Pointing to Meherjee, Baba warned him, “Be careful of your health. You are my arm, and once my arm is broken; so you now see that it does not break again. If my people grow slack, all my limbs-hands, feet and the whole body –will tremble!”

Nilu was quick to crack, “They are your limbs but only I am your tummy!”

Baba smiled, and then gestured:

Be patient. Think that you have dropped your bodies! Ghani, Chanji and some other lovers of mine have dropped their bodies, so think of yourselves as included in their list. One day, you have to drop your body. Think you now dead and thus stop worrying.

The time had come for you to work for me. Such chances do not come easily. People always engaged in producing children; the chance to serve me is rarely given. If you think more of me and less of your worldly affairs, my work will be done. All of you must be happy and ready to sacrifice your lives for me. Then, when the time comes, none of you will fail.

Baba joked. “You are all rogues! Hoodlums steel money and rob banks. You should be spiritual hoodlums and steel God! Scoundrels are not afraid to risk their lives to achieve their objectives. You, too, should not care about your lives in your efforts to attain God.” This ended meeting

184-AD-LIBBED COMEDY

As instructed by Baba, everyone had to keep awake the whole night of Thursday, August 20th. So Baba told Bhau, "Since you all have to stay awake, perform a play." It was on short notice, but nevertheless Bhau wrote a play based on the Indian story of Durgadas (a devotee of the goddess Durga {1}), in which a queen, Begum Gulnar (played by Elcha), expresses her love to Durgadas (Vishnu) by catching hold of him and attempting to make love to him. Durgadas spurns her love and she, insulted, threatens to have him beheaded by an executioner (Aloba). The commander of the army, Dilerkhan (Nilu), wanted to save him and so informed Gulnar's husband, King Aurangzeb (Bhau) of the queen's injustice.

Aurangzeb goes to Gulnar and says: "I have become old and cannot make love to you; yet you should not act in this way. In spite of it, I forgive you."

All the men did justice to their roles, but Elcha and Aloba were the source of the greatest merriment. Aloba's entry on stage as the executioner was off cue, his sword swinging ferociously at the wrong time. Baba was in fits of laughter.

Elcha (Gulnar) forgot his lines and when Bhau (King Aurangzeb) told him about his having grown old, Elcha ad-libbed: "You old fogey, why don't you go off into the jungle? Why don't you die so I can have some fun?" This made Baba laugh so much his cheeks turned pink. Had Elcha remembered his proper lines, there would not have been this much scope for comedy. Baba praised Elcha, telling him he had enjoyed his part the most.

{1} Durga is the goddess of the universe worshiped in different forms one of which is Parvati, the wife of Shiva.

185-GOOD HUMORED PRANK

When the circular about keeping awake and repeating God's name was sent to all of Meher Baba's lovers in Nagpur and other places, Deshmukh over-enthusiastically declared that this was the "Night of God-Realization!" and that some would attain that divine state. The men mandali came to know of it and planned a practical joke to fool Deshmukh when he was to visit Dehra Dun on October 30th. Deshmukh arrived that morning, and according to the men's plan, Bhau approached him at the gate and drew him aside.

"Doctor Saheb," he said. "Something has happened! All of the mandali have become like masts from the night of October 28th. Only I, unfortunately, have escaped that state. It is my bad luck nothing has happened to me."

Listening with keen eagerness, his eyes widened, Deshmukh inquired, "What has happened?"

Pretending, Bhau replied very seriously, "All have turned into masts. But when Baba comes they become completely normal. No sooner he leaves; again they revert to that state. I am really unfortunate that no experience has been given to me."

"Don't worry, Bhau," Deshmukh reassured him. "You are a member of the mandali and Baba will surely bestow his blessings on you one day."

Bhau took Deshmukh inside their bungalow. Eruch, Nilu, Pendu, and Vishnu were in one of the rooms. Eruch was lying down and had covered himself from head to foot with a blanket. Pendu was smoking two cigarettes at once. Nilu was sitting before a heap of rubbish he had piled in front of himself. Vishnu was leaning his head on a bundle of cloth with a dazed expression. No one spoke to Deshmukh. He tried to remove Eruch's blanket but Eruch, snatching it away, pretended he was asleep. Pendu was crawling on the ground. When Deshmukh tried to draw his attention, Pendu pounced on him, growling in anger. Deshmukh was frightened and left in a hurry. Coming out he encountered Donkin who had tied tree branches around his waist; strapped to both hips were two sickles for cutting grass! He was chewing an unlit beedi and Deshmukh was convinced he had become a mast.

When Deshmukh was being served refreshments, Pendu ran out to grab them away. Deshmukh escaped with his plate intact and told Bhau, "All are like jamali masts, but Pendu seems to be a jalali!"

"They have been like this for two days now," said Bhau, "and I have to look after them."

Baba came to the mandali's bungalow and all sat before him as usual. No one had breathed a word of their joke to Baba. He asked Deshmukh, "Did the mandali talk with you?"

"No Baba," Deshmukh started to say, "They ..."

But Baba interrupted, gesturing, "Don't think about it. They are not normal. I am speaking with you. What more do you want?"

The mandali were afraid that when Deshmukh told Baba, he would be displeased. But when Baba assured him they were not normal, they relaxed. Deshmukh took this to be Baba's confirmation and now firmly believed that the men had turned into masts.

Baba began conversing with Deshmukh, who mentioned his wife, Indumati. Baba signaled to Bhau, "When he takes her name, stick him with a needle!"

Baba then asked Deshmukh, "What were you saying?"

"Nothing Baba," he said. "Bhau has a needle in his hand; otherwise, I would have told you."

"If you get pricked for Indu's sake, what harm is there? Tell me what you were going to say." Deshmukh began laughing. He was really Baba's playmate and Baba would always tease and have a humorous time with him.

Later Baba told Bhau, "Shout loudly for Indupati (meaning, Indu's husband) to come." Bhau shouted and Deshmukh came running.

"What did Bhau call you?" Baba asked him.

"I am afraid of his needle," Deshmukh said. "I cannot tell you." This again made Baba laugh.                                     

186-BELOVED LAUGHS GOD AND DAGGER WEEPS

On March 1st, at seven-thirty in the morning, Baba and the group left Amalapuram for Razole. Dhanapathy, Ranga Rao and Mallik Arjana stayed behind in the jeep to send off more than one hundred telegrams about the meeting change.

After an hour’s drive Baba had the car halted and gathered the mandali around him, remarking, “Last night was quite funny and strange for me and Chhagan, who was on night watch. It was quiet and peaceful, when a madman began howling, and kept on doing it practically the whole night, without even a few minute’s break. I wondered what type of madness he had that did not allow me to take any rest. I wished to retire early, because tonight we are to keep awake for the meeting.

Turning to Kumar, baba asked why it happened, and he replied, “Because you wanted to be so.”

“Absolutely,” Baba agreed. “It must be have been so, or the foundation of the Avatar is nowhere.

Pointing to Kumar, He added, “Kumar does not know God, Avatar or Sadguru. But he knows to say the right things and to obey.”

Glancing at Pukar, Baba asked, “Why do you look so depressed?  You have good wife, and soon a good child will be born to you. I have personally done the opening ceremony of your rice mill-and now I will grind you in the mill! You should be happy that in a few days you will be pulverized.

“When lover offers himself in sacrifice, the beloved laughs and the dagger weeps!” he added in poignant, “The Beloved is the executioner!”

Reverting to the previous day’s mishap in the car, Baba stated, “yesterday, honestly, Dharmarao would have overturned the car, God saved us. This is attached to me as my miracle, but I don’t do anything of this sort. Until I speak, don’t expect me to perform any miracle. Somehow or other I caught hold of the steering wheel. God made me do so.” Baba turned to Dharmarao, “Now, for me for my sake or for God’s sake, stay awake while driving.”

The car and bus restarted, and they arrived in Razole at 8:45 A.M. Baba went straight to the darshan site. As at every other place, the darshan program was held and messages given, and after touching the prasad for distribution, at 9:30 Baba left.

Between the towns of Razole and Kottapeta, Baba had the car stopped in front of a hut belonging to a poor man named Sitaramayya. Baba stood opposite the hut for a while, and then met the humble man.

 187-ORIGINAL SONG -WHO AM I

At noon, Baba visited the room of an old devotee of Maharaj’s Beheram Dastur, who was sick. Baba asked about his health, told him not to worry and touched his heads, Baba visited Wagh’s room also and then that of an old Parsi, Nausserwan G. Bharucha, (the uncle of Baba’s disciple from N, Dr. Hoshang Bharucha).  Uncle Bharucha love Maharaj so deeply and was resting in the ashram. As Baba was leaving the room, the old man uttered a Persian couplet and then whispered, “Baba, you are God!”

Baba came out of the room and began walking about in the open. Many gathered, and Baba permitted them to take his darshan. He sat down under a bamboo shed near Maharaj’s hut and asked Rustom Kaka, his wife, Kaku, and son, Manek, to sing. When they had finished the song:

“O Govardhan Girirai!”

“God, who will take care of me except you!”

Baba quipped, “I take care of everyone, but no one takes care for me!”

Someone told Baba that Dhake had eaten a lot of laddoos. Sending for him, Baba asked, “How many laddoos did he eat?”

Smiling Dhake replied, “None! Those who have told you this have no sense. They don’t know that Baba is the sole doer. I know that Baba is the doer, the deed and everything! So, how could I have eaten laddoos? It is Baba who ate them; and, they may ask you how many you have eaten if you wish to know.”

All burst into laughter, and Baba remarked to Godavari, “See his legal mentality!” (Dhake was lawyer)

Pleased with Rustom Kaka’s melodious voice, Baba at 1:20 P.M., stated to him. “When there was nothing but Beyond-Beyond state of God, some urge made me sing to know ‘Who Am I’? And that has made Me bear the burden of the whole creation. Now, once again, I will sing that Song and become free, this is a fact.”

Continuing to explain such matters, and about “The seventh shadow,” Baba asked Gulmai to try to speak through closed mouth, and when she did it, the sound that came out resembled “Om.”

188-MANDALI'S JOKE

Meanwhile, due to Baba’s order, Bhau was serving Krishnaji and despite a wide shortage of rice and sugar throughout India, Krishnaji would insist on being served a large portion of rice with every meal, and he would also use a lot of sugar in his tea. Padri was upset over this and confronted Bhau, but Bhau was helpless to do anything about it, because Baba had ordered him to fulfill Krishnaji’s every whim.

One day, while the mandali were working, Krishnaji overheard Kohiyar Srivastava being introduced to someone and mistook him for the celebrated Poona physician, Dr. Kohiyar. Observing Krishnaji, Bhau saw his chance and privately confided his dilemma to Kohiyar. Padri and others were also included in a plan to trick Krishnaji.

The next day, Krishnaji approached Kohiyar, “doctor, I am so happy to meet you. Lately, I have been not feeling well. I have severe headaches and pain in my knees. Could you examine me?”

Kohiyar replied,” I am sorry. I am here in Meherabad strictly as a volunteer and it would not be proper to examine you.  The ashram has its own doctors-Nilu, Donkin and Padri-who are in charge of all medical matters. I am afraid that without their consent my hands are tied.”

So, Krishnaji went to Padri, who pretended to grudgingly allow the examination, but only in this special case. When informed, Kohiyar told Krishnaji, “Tonight do not take anything, not even a glass of water. I will examine you in the morning.”

That evening, when Bhau brought Krishnaji his tray of food, Krishnaji said to take it away. “But I have brought such a good meal for you.” said Bhau. “Look there is plenty of rice and vegetables--- What happened to you?” Krishnaji replied that he was not feeling well and Dr. Kohiyar had told him not to eat anything that night. “At least take a glass of milk.” Bhau said. But Krishnaji declined.

The next morning, Kohiyar borrowed Donkin’s stethoscope and blood pressure unit. He did not even ask the first thing about medicine, but he played his part well. After giving Krishnaji a tall glass of water to drink, he instructed Krishnaji to take a brisk walk fifty times up and down in veranda. He then pretended him to examine him, making Krishnaji repeat the pacing three more times.

After further examinations, even tapping his knees with a hammer, Kohiyar asked him to fill a vial of urine. Holding up the vial, Kohiyar exclaimed, “Oh my God, it is full of sugar! This is very bad. It may be diabetes. I would advise you to stop eating potatoes, rice and sugar. After meeting, come to my office in Poona where I can perform further tests.”

For few days, Bhau trick worked. Depressed and fearful of his condition, Krishnaji stopped demanding items, and Padri too was satisfied that trick had worked. But Minoo Kharas, visiting from Pakistan, spoiled the ruse. Minoo Kharas mistakenly believed that Krishnaji advanced, and informed him that he had been duped. Perturbed, Krishnaji again reverted to his previous diet, much to the annoyance of Padri. (Baba was not informed of this incident)

189-UNFATOMABLE HUMOUR

 When Ramacharan Nai, a barber was introduced Baba asked him, “Can you shave me? Have you brought your materials?”

Rama Charan said he did not have any equipment. Baba stated, “I am Universal Barber….I shave and shape the heads of all!”

All laughed, whereupon Baba commented, “My humour is eternal. Due to it, people have no idea of my eternity, and I myself cannot gauge it! There is no one as true as I, and also as false as I !”

Gaya Prasad Khare, an old Baba lover, was introduced. Baba asked Keshav to finish the introductions soon. Commenting on his infinity, Baba observed, “I am Ustad (Expert, Master). No one tells lies like me, and no one speaks truth like me. I am both simultaneously. So, I cannot be caught. I am God and appear human. I have lost everything, but I have still retained my sense of humour.  I cannot be fathomed. I am so unfathomable that even I cannot fathom my own self. I am the only One, the Ancient One, who can be one’s own by love, honest love.”

Baba gave some prasad to Gaya prasad and told him to eat it on the spot.

Dr. Nath of Benares had come. Baba stated, “He, Dr. Khare and old Gaya prasad did their utmost in the New Life to satisfy me nacre (fancy, whim, humour). I said I wanted a white horse, and there it was. I wanted a camel, and there it came. I wanted donkeys, and they were brought to me. I feel so happy to see dear Nath here. You are seeing me for the last time in this body. So, I feel happy you to come at this opportune moment.”

Adarsh Khare said, “I want such love whereby I can really see you.”

Baba replied, “For such love, my grace is required. If showered spontaneously and of my own accord, it will be like nectar, if asked for, it is like plain water. If anyone insists on it, it is like poison. So just go on thinking of me, and leave everything to me. “Say, Baba, your will is my will.”

Baba continued, “I will tell you something about lust and love. It has such a feeble link of demarcation that lust can be thought of love, and love as lust, and yet, love takes you to God, and lust binds you in illusion. The sign of love is one: love never asks for anything. The lover gives all to the Beloved. Lust wants everything. Remember that one who wants nothing is never disappointed. He wants nothing and has everything.”

Baba reminded Ravindra Singh, “I am slave of my lovers.”

To Raisaheb Ramashankar, baba affectionately joked, “I like him because his heart is sound, his body is round and his love is all-round.”

Baba reminded Bhawani Prasad Nigam, “Remember how you used to serve me the best of pickles in Hamirpur?”

And to Paliwal he added, “What a tasty food you served in Inghota.”

Baba informed Pukar, “You are my Hanuman. Do you know it?’

“When you will give me that experience, I will know it,” said Pukar.

Another student named Narayan Singh had come to Meherabad without his parents’ permission. Baba informed him, “On your return, seek your parents pardon on my behalf, and say it is Meher Baba’s mistake that he gave you such love.”

Vishnu of Dhagwan sang the song of “Jai jai Jagat Ke Samarth!” –“Hail, hail the All Powerful One in the universe!” The song made Baba happy.

Gauri Shankar Vaidya of Rath came forward, and Baba asked him to take his pulse. “It is normal Baba,” he said.

“The pulse of whole world is controlled by my pulse.” Baba stated.

Baba cracked jokes with Shripat Sahai and others, and his ribbing proved the sustenance of their lives. Because of his endearing qualities, they would spontaneously remember Baba and the charming little things He said. Talk of pickles, etcetera, might seem common place, but for Bhawani Prasad, for example, it proved his life mantra and seeing or eating pickles would remind him of Baba. Such was Baba’s method. His aim was perfect: His remark, striking like arrows, created a lifelong wound in one’s heart.

After the Hamirpur group, Delhi and Dehradun groups were called. Prakashwati’s son, Brij Bhushan had barely turned sixteen, so he was allowed to attend the program. Baba asked if he was following his orders, and then asked in wonderment, “How is it that you always get angry so quickly?”

Baba gave Brij Bhushan a very simple method of overcoming anger. “Whenever you are about to get angry with someone, at once remember that he is Baba! Then you will not get angry with Baba.”

Dr. Sharma of Dehradun read a poem, which Baba appreciated.

Brahma Dev had been ordered by Baba to fast on only water for a week, and thereafter, his long-suffering Asthma left him. He told Baba, “By your blessing, I have been freed from asthma.”

Baba corrected him, “It is no miracle of mine, but your love and faith. My only miracle will be at time of breaking my silence.”

Brahma Dutt was another lover from Dehradun. He was standing at a distance, and Baba inquired, “In Hamirpur and Andhra you were always fighting to be near me. How is it that now you are keeping so quietly away?” Brahma Dutt laughed and came forward near Baba.

Addressing the group, Baba stated, “It is I who love. No one loves me. It is my love that is reflected through you all. Were anyone to love me as I want to be loved, he would become Me definitely.”

From Delhi had come Harjiwan Lal’s Son-in-law, named Bishambar Gupta.There was an interesting episode about his marriage to Anguri. On the day of wedding, Gupta’s mother died. So, through a long distance telephone call from Delhi, Anguri informed Baba, who instructed her to go ahead with the ceremony. After the dead body was cremated; the marriage was performed with much pomp and pungently.

Baba remarked to Gupta, “Anguri is very dear to me, very, very dear.”

With Balkishan Baba joked, “Had you not come, Kishan Singh would never forgiven you.” Baba then asked him about his wife, Meher Kanta.

“She is all right by your blessing.” He replied.

To Hellan, Baba inquired, “How is your family?”

Hellan meekly answered, “All right Baba.”

Baba cracked in reply, “From his reply, it seems everything is not well. My friendship is always like that.” Quoting from hafiz, Baba explained:

“I destroy my friends and nourish my enemies.

And no one dares come between me and my love

and ask why it is so!”

He added, “He whom I love most will always be a wreck financially, as thereby he automatically gets clean. He gets so clean that, with my nazar, his ego goes and Baba comes!”

Baba asked Todi singh about his pecuniary condition and was told about his monetary difficulties.

“Are you worrying?” HE said yes.

“What is there to worry about? In eternity, nothing has happened, and nothing will ever happen. All that happens now at this moment –and then it is nothing!”

Turning to Principal Niranjan Singh of Delhi, Baba stated, “You must try to grasp this. If God had no beginning /, what was before Him? The answer is God!

“And what was before that? Only God!

“The answer is always God, but the illusion has meaning due to time, cause and effect. When zero is added to one, it has value, and the value increases the more zeros you add. But, even if you put millions and billions of zeros before one, it has no value. Can you grasp it?”

Addressing Srivastava of Allahabad, who was a stout, rounded figure, Baba teased, “He has many worries, but the beauty is that despite them he is growing bigger.”

Lawyer Harish Chander Kocher used to recite poem to Baba in Dehradun about God-Realized Jivanmuktas, Baba asked him to repeat it, saying, “If you do, all your worries will disappear.”  Unfortunately, Kocher had lost the book while travelling in the train, and could not recite it by heart.

To N.P. Mishra of Delhi, Baba advised, “Remember me daily before going to sleep.”

Baba admonished Todi Singh’s son, Giriraj, “You should do some work,” Giriraj promised to obey, at which Baba embraced him.

To another Delhi baba lover, Baba remarked, “Baba will soon depart, but I am everywhere, so stay where you are and love me, and see me there as you now see me here. “ Baba handed him a rose petal to eat.

Shiv Charan Singh from Batala had come to the meeting with his son, Air Force commander Jasbir Singh. He asked, “Baba, please show me the way to control mind.”

“The best way for it is to remember me wholeheartedly four times a day-at 7.a.m., at noon, at 5 p.m. and before sleeping at night. If you stick to these timings, your mind will be so changed that you will even forget your mind.”

Then Bombay and Poona groups were sent for. They were mostly old time lovers, such as Shinde, Madhusudan, Turekar and Vishnu Chavan, but there were also few new ones. When Gadekar was introducing K.K. Ramakrishnan, age twenty-nine, Baba interrupted, “What is there to introduce? I know him, and he knows me! I am God in human form, and austerities, penance and privations of birth and births cannot attain me! I can only be found through love!”

Baba instructed Cowas Vesuna to love God, “I do love god.” He said.

“Because I am saying it, you will be able to love Him.” Baba spelled out.

Years later, Cowas realized the full meaning of Baba’s statement. Love for God is a gift from Him. When once implanted by the Avatar, this love grows deeper and deeper until it consumes the lover. Fortunate are those who receive this grace from the Avatar.

One devotee wished for a message for his children. Baba responded. “Love God honestly by speaking truth, thinking the right thing and acting for the happiness of others.”

To a new comer who introduced himself, saying this was the first time he was seeing him, Baba stated, “my dear, I have been seeing you for ages. So don’t worry if you are seeing me for the first time.”

Sohrabji Singanporia introduced some of Bombay lovers, including Jal Dastur. Jim Mistry said something funny to amuse Baba, and within five minutes the interviews were over, as most of these lovers were old associates.

Next, came the Madhya Pradesh group. To Abdul Majid Khan, another Tahsildar (Revenue Collector) in Saoner. Baba stated, “I am very pleased with you. How finely have you dressed?” Taking his hat, Baba put it on His own head. Returning it to Majid Khan, Baba stated, “Now, be worthy of it.”

Pophali Pleader had brought about ninety lovers with him, including his sons, Shriram and Gajanan. Baba remarked. “Pophali knows everything and there is no need to talk about a, He has full faith in me.”

To the father and brothers of Bhau Kalchuri’s wife, Rama, Baba stated, “Bhau is with me, so take care of Rama, Mehernath and Sheela. Rama is very good, and I am pleased with her. She came to Ahmednagar with the children for my darshan on the 12 th, and she is happy Bhau is with me.”

Finally, those lovers who were not in any regional group were called, and after talking with them, Baba left for Meherazad at 6.30 p.m.  Because of all the mud, his car got stuck, and several men from the group had to push it to the road.

Being incharge of the health for Easterners, Dr. Kanakdandi was not able to attend many programs. He would, nevertheless, do his duty selflessly, dispensing medicines to his patients with Baba’s name on his lips. One night, Dr Dhanapathy Rao brought one man in a serious condition. He asked Kanakdandi for his stethoscope. It was broken, and Dhanapathy pointed this out to him. “It is all Baba’s blessing.” He replied.

“Baba blessing is surely there.” retorted Dhanapathy, “but who has told you to examine patient with broken stethoscope?”

“Don’t worry;   your patient will be all right by morning.” The man did get well and attended the meeting the next day.

On September 30 th, Baba arrived in Meherabad at about 7.45 a.m. whereupon   he saw Sakori group first.

He then sent for Principal Niranjan Singh and told him, “I had promised you could stay with me for ten days, but now, instead, I will give you an interview of ten minutes. I will definitely make you to feel so conscious that you will know me as God definitely –definitely, in an instant, unawares!”

Baba asked him, “Have I given you any other promise that you remember?”

“Yes, to visit my house.”

“That can be fulfilled even if I drop my body.”

Baba explained to Niranjan Singh the various experiences Kaikobad had undergone, but observed, “Although these might seem important to you, they are the experiences of illusion. Even those experiences of the spiritual planes are of illusion: but they are higher experiences, which emancipate one from illusion.”

“Please take complete charge of my mind.” Niranjan Singh pleaded.

“Leave it to me.” stated Baba.

Baba embraced him, and Niranjan Singh asked, “Is this embrace for my wife?”

Baba embraced him a second time, saying, “This is for your wife.”

190-SONG, JOKES AND TEASING

Baba permitted a break at 9.30 a.m. and visited tents of his lovers to oversee arrangements. He inquired about their food and reassured Keshav Nigam that if he had any complaint in regard to their meals, he should bring it to Pendu’s attention. “But that does not mean you should request him to prepare food according to individual taste and likings, “teased Baba, “as that would drive him mad!”.

To Was Deo Kain’s father-in-law, Baba commented. “I am happy that you came here.”

The group reassembled in the hall at 10.10 A.M., and Ghani Munsiff’s brother, Abdur Rehman, sang two ghazals, which Baba liked very much.   Matra Dutta Shastri was overcome again with emotion, and standing up, began clapping and singing. At first no one capped with him, but when Baba joined in, all others followed the suit. The hall echoed with the sound, and those present were moved by the rhythm of his love dance. Shastri started dancing, and Kunj Behari joined him. After some time, Baba stopped the singing and commented, “If you know how to love me, your very existence will change. Your life will end in real freedom; but it is not so easy!”

On Baba’s asking, a few men told jokes, and at 11.00 A.M.everyone went for lunch. While entering the kitchen of the dining tent, Baba found one of the stone steps loose and took the workers to task, warning, “don’t you see this? If someone falls and break a leg, it will be a calamitous to my sahwas. It is better to lose some money than for someone to slip and lose a limb!” Immediately, the faulty stone was repaired.

After lunch, Baba met in the hall with Keshav Nigam and all the workers from Hamirpur. Baba explained how to do his work in his name, in a similar manner, as he had explained it to the Telugu group. (Keshav Nigam was translating into Hindi and Eruch’s in English interpretations of Baba’s hand signs and gestures.)

After tea, all gathered in the hall at 3p.m. where Vishnu of Dhagwan sang bhajans at Baba’s request. Addressing Pukar, Baba said, “Do you have a voice?”

Pukar rejoined, “I can speak, so I must have a voice!”

Everyone laughed, and Baba asked, “What sort of voice do you have?”

Pukar said, “That is for others to judge.”

Baba asked him to sing a song; he attempted it in a soft, of-key tone. Baba commented, “What a small voice for such a large body! Your voice only you can hear!”

Smilingly, Baba added, “I enjoy teasing you, Pukar!”

Vishnu of Dhagwan began another song, but before he could finish, Mohan lal Sharma of Delhi joined in and began to sing in emotional tone.  When he finished, Baba asked Kishan Singh to sing, and he very loudly began: Baba, jai “From Shiva’s phallus has emerged Merwan! Jai Meher Merwan!” His voice was so loud it carried over two hundred yards, and entire assembly shook with laughter. Baba, too was smiling. (Although Baba would laugh heartily at time, he was always silent. His laughter did not make the least sound. His face would just beam.)

Baba called upon Was Deo Kain to sing, but on the excuse that he had a soar throat, he escaped. Baba reminisced, “In Manzil-e-Meem, there was Parsee lad who was an exceptionally good singer. The only trouble was he would become nervous when told to sing and would begin coughing and stammering. But once started, he would go on singing without stopping.”

Baba asked Hira Lal, “How is your eczema? Have you taken Padri’s medicine?

Hira Lal answered, “I took it, but instead of felling better, I feel worse. I feel uneasy.”

“What sort of restlessness do you have?’

Hira Lal replied. “I am not sure, but I will not be able to return to Hamirpur.”

Baba teased, “The very thought of your remaining here makes me restless! I will have to see that your itch disappears and also this new malady. On your recovery you will have to leave for home.”

“Cured or not cured,” said Hira Lal, “I want only baba, and I will stay here so that I can see you daily.”

“In that case, Baba joked, “Your eczema won’t leave you but will spread inside. You will have physical and mental eczema!”

“Let it be outward or inward, I won’t return home!”

Baba gestured to Padri, “For God’s sake, give him some medicine so that he will get well soon and leave!”

Hira lal said, “I need no medicine to go home.”

Everyone laughed, including Baba, who assured him, “Don’t worry. I have proper medicine for your disease.”

 191-INSULT TO LOVE

 

In Satara, Baba maintained his strict seclusion admist the mandali’s activities in preparation for his forthcoming trip th the West. Baba sw no one except the mandali and allowed one from outside to come to see him.

For several day , after Bhau would return from post office with the mail, each evening Baba would send for a banana from Goher and gave it to him to eat it.Bhau felt it self-conscious about being only one given this prasas and one day protested, “Baba, you give me a babana every day, why not give it to others also? From tomorrow, don’t give it to me unless you give it to all.”

Baba replied, “How unfortunate you are! Do you take this to be only a banana? You have the consideration for mandali but none for me. “What an insult!  You bloody fool, remember were I to make you to eat to your heart’s content, and starve others- you should have no thought about it. It is not of your concern.”

192-HONEST IN LOVE

Baba's mood changed and he asked, "Now, can anyone knowing English make me laugh?" Bapiraju got up. On seeing him, Baba remarked, "He is the only man who makes me laugh and weep simultaneously." Bapiraju launched into something in his "Andhraite-English" which no one could follow, driving Baba and the audience into fits of laughter – and tears – for several minutes. Then he walked up to the dais and, visibly moved, took Baba's darshan and received an embrace.

One old man conveyed his son's love to Baba and also the greetings of someone else who could not be present. "What else is there to give?" replied Baba, "I am the Ocean of Love."

193-BABA WAS PLEASED BY THIS

Those close to Baba would usually spend their afternoons in Guruprasad. One day, Pankhraj came from Jabalpur for Baba's darshan. He had used fragrant hair oil, the scent of which pervaded the entire hall. When Baba embraced him, he made a sour face and asked, "What brand of hair oil do you use? You hair is giving out a foul odor."

Pankhraj said, "This oil is quite good, Baba."

"Good? Just go and ask everyone to smell it. Their opinion will settle the issue."

Pankhraj went around the room, bending his head to all. On a sign and a wink from Baba, all with one voice said, "It smells awful!" Ramjoo took one whiff and pretended he was about to vomit. Pankhraj remained quiet, and Baba asked, "Now do you believe me that the oil smells bad?"

Pankhraj said, "Since you say so, I have to believe it. I was mistaken not to believe it before." Baba was pleased by this.

194-UNUSUAL HUMOUR WITH HOMA

Once while playing card with Baba in Guruprasad, Homa was asked to narrate the incident of Mahabaleshwar when he had narrowly escaped being knocked off the cliff by an oil drum which has fallen of a passing bus. He did so and Baba observed, “Homa was playing tricks with me, but I am an expert in that! He wanted to go back to London but was pretending that he preferred to go back to London but preferred to stay in Bombay. I wanted him here near to me,”

Another time during card game, Baba stopped the game and asked Homa, “Have you ever touched women?”

Homa replied, “Yes. Baba, many times.”

“You haven’t indulged in any other bad actions?”

“No.”

Baba motioned him to put his hands on his lap, and Baba whacked him soundly on the back with a plastic stick.

One Madhusudan failed to appear in Guruprasad on time, and Baba was waiting for him. Baba told all that when he walked in they should shout, “Poochchayya!” (“Blockhead!”) and when he arrived he was greeted with this welcome. Madhusudan was completely taken aback, and those present laughed at his expression.

 195-GOD IS NOT PHILOSOPHY

On May 13 th, Baba asked one of his devotees, “Have you read Stay with God?” The man had a weak excuse of “no time.” Baba asked, “Is that really so? Are you being honest in your answer? Hypocrisy is the worst thing, and in every walk of life it consciously or unconsciously persists.

The man put forth another excuse of “pending work.”

Baba continued, “It is good to be frank and honest in all matters, whether most ordinary or important let not hypocrisy persist and try with every breath to keep it at a distance.”

The man had one more excuse: I have no interest in philosophy.”

Baba replied, “There is no philosophy in the book. A simple thing made difficult is philosophy. The book contains food for the brain and a feast for the heart.”

Someone interrupted, saying, “Expounding of a certain principle is philosophy.”

Baba remarked, “Statement of facts and philosophy is not the same. Can you call Gita a philosophy?”

The man claimed, “It can be called so.”

“Then here is my philosophy. I am in everything and I am beyond everything. To know me as I am, you must lose your all in me.

“I am the Ancient One. Also, remember well that this is not mere philosophy but a statement of fact based on experience.”

196-YOGRAJA - THE KING OF ALL YOGAS!

Homa Dadachanji was called to Meherabad to drive Baba's car. His leg had been operated upon, and consequently he could not sit on the ground or squat in the toilet. So he hit upon a novel strategy, whenever he felt the urge to evacuate his bowels. After letting Baba off at Meherabad, he would drive a distance away, answer the call of nature while standing and then return. Once, on his way back to Meherabad, he was caught in a shower of rain and the car got stuck in the mud. With the utmost difficulty he managed to extract it; yet, before he returned, Baba had already finished his work. Baba was waiting and was about to leave with Jim Mistry who was also staying in Meherabad for few days.

Baba asked Homa where he had been with the car. Homa replied, "To the toilet." Baba remarked, "This is the strangest story I have ever heard. What type of yoga are you doing? You go to the toilet with a car?" Homa had to make a clean breast of his predicament, and Baba laughed and observed, "What a wonderful yoga! Your yoga I name as Yograja (King of all yogas)!"

197-BABA'S JOKE & OUR SUFFERING

To another lover, Baba asked, "Do you love me more than your wife or your own self?"

He replied, "If I love anybody, I love you, Baba."

Baba then wanted to hear a joke. One man told this one

Once a man visited a boys' school. He asked the boys a riddle: If a train 300 yards long crosses a railway platform in three minutes, what is my age? All the boys were dumbfounded.

One boy suddenly raised his hand and when asked the answer to the question he replied, "Forty-six years, sir." The man was quite perplexed at the answer for that was his correct age. He asked the boy how he had calculated his age. The boy replied, "My uncle who is twenty-three years old is only half mad, sir!"

Those present enjoyed the joke, and Baba responded that he

would now tell a joke. He began: "During the East-West Sahavas in 1962, there was chitheChinese aggression against India. During this sahavas, there is the kistani disturbance.

"All are alike to me, whether they be Chinese or Pakistanis. But the fact remains that I have taken birth in India, so don't feel nervous. This is my joke. My joke means your suffering in ignorance. This suffering of yours I take upon myself."

 

 

Following humorous episodes ar reproduced from book titltd “jourmry to God” by Girija Khilanani in her own words

198-KHILNANIS RECHRISTENED DOUBLE BEANS

During the days we spent in Guruprasad, Baba played cards with Prem (husband of Girija Khilnani) and many others. On the days we were to spend the full day with Baba, we were invariably late in arriving at Guruprasad.  I had to get up early, cook the food, get the children ready and clean the house before leaving. This heavy-duty chore I did single-handed and it was time consuming. It was but natural that we got late. Baba always asked us why we got late always. And conveniently Prem used to look at me to give explanation. And Baba used to tell us to come early next time. If I said that it took time for me to cook, Baba used, Baba used to ask, “What is it that you have cooked that has made you late?” He always used to inquire! One day when we were late and Baba asked me what I cooked, I replied that I had made double beans. Actually double beans are easy to cook. One had to boil them and cook them. It was the best dish to cook for items when there were no vegetables at home. Moreover everyone in the family loved eating them. It was very surprising that only on the day I cooked double beans that Baba used to ask what I had cooked. On other days He hardly asked. I thought He always up to some mischief the day I was making double beans. Gradually Baba started calling us double beans! And anyone teased us by that name and along with everyone Baba laughed. I decided that I would not take the double beans to Guruprasad. Every day I made the new dishes and went to meet Baba. I felt happy within and wondered when Baba would ask me what I had cooked and soon He would stop calling us double beans. But to my surprise Baba never asked me once what I had brought for lunch. But others were still calling us double beans. I thought now that Baba does not ask anymore about what I cook, I decided to take double beans thinking He would not even know about it. And there are no surprises here to guess …Baba asked me very that day, “What have you for lunch? I was totally embarrassed and said, “Double beans.” Almost everyone laughed. I had to accept my defeat. By this time I joined in the laughter as my ego crumbled and all of us doubled up our laughter.

This may have been hilarious as we look back in time. But this incident left a deep impact on my mind for the rest of my life. We realized that even in smallest things, Baba proves us subtly that He is the Almighty and we cannot take Him lightly. What a beautiful way to teach us a lesson--- despite the fact He keeps telling us, “I have not come to teach but to awaken,” nothing is hidden from His sharp and loving gaze . He came amidst us in human form and behaved every inch a human. He took pains to free humanity from misery and bondage.

199-MISER MADE TO PAY

When Baba’s Poona centre was to be ready He asked everyone to donate money for its functioning. He asked one percent the contribution amount one would put in every month. When it was Prem’s turn he said Rs. 5. Baba immediately said, “Prem you area miser!” Baba often teased Prem and C.D. Deshmukh of Nagpur that they are misers. Baba said, I have two misers in my court—Prem and Deshmukh.” Baba made Prem to give Rs. 10/-every month and Prem had to agree. He kept giving the amount till death in 1977. Baba often said Prem was a miser because he knew how much I used to get from him for my monthly expenses for running the house.  Baba was aware that every month I short of money and had difficulty in making Prem give money. Earlier whenever I was in financial trouble my father used to pitch in.  Baba came to know of this. I had already complained that the limited amount   I got was not sufficient. Baba got wind of it during the days we spent in Khushru Quarters. He used to call Prem to Meherazad and ask him to give some more money! Once Baba said Prem had to obey. Of course this made my life a little easier. My faith in Him also increased. Prem wanted us to save as much money from his limited salary that he got. We were really lucky to be living in the same city as we did not have to spend much to see Baba. But there was constant bickering over the money.

200-WALK A TALK

I have some more memoirs of our visits to Meherazad. This incident happened when our beloved Baba recovering from the hip fixture. Once He was able to walk He called a few close people to see the walk is comfortable. As usual we missed Him walking because---- You’ve guessed it right we were late in reaching Meherazad. Baba told Prem, “You missed my walk. But I shall walk specially for you. You can see how fast I can walk now. Saying this, He walked down and looked at Prem. He asked, “Was it not like express train?” Prem was amused. After being in Baba’s company for so long he was also so free and humorous with Him. He said, “No Baba, you were like a goods train.” Baba smiled. Actually Baba walked slowly as He had just recovered from the fracture and there were traces of difficulty in walking. We were free with Baba as He made us feel relaxed. His humor bone was never showing any sign of fracture till the end. And I must add that this brought us closer to Him and my children were especially eager to love Him and obey Him.

201-DISOBEDIENCE MOVEMENT

Baba never tolerated any disobedience. He always said obedience is greatest way of love Him. But we are made mortals and we do mistakes. Seeing Baba’s humorous form we tend to get relaxed. But He makes us alert at the slightest hint of error. And we realize that Baba cannot be taken for granted. We have had our share of experience and this one regarding an old relative is worth mentioning. Baba had called us fir darshan in Guruprasad. An old lady relative was visiting us. When she learnt that we were going for Baba’s darshan she wanted to join us too. She had heard of ‘saints’ and she did not mind visiting one with us. Prem tried to talk her out of visit, He told her that Meher Baba was not an ordinary saint and He would not like anyone to come uninvited. Without His permission obviously we would not be able to take her. Only a public darshan all type of persons are allowed. Otherwise one need permission to meet Him. Although Prem was unwilling to take her, I reasoned that should Baba mind if someone is keen on meeting Him? I thought it was quite okay to take her along. So against Prem’s wishes and Baba’s orders of only a ‘strict family visit” I took her to Guruprasad. When we entered the room Baba became serious and asked who the lady was. I replied that she is a relative and was keen on meeting Him so she accompanied me. Obviously Baba got angry and asked why she had come without prior permission. He ordered me to leave with the lady and asked Prem to wait. I was absolutely shocked. I was not prepared to be treated like this and I was quite ashamed. I had never seen Baba in this foul mood. I left immediately. My relative was equally startled to go through this humiliation. As we were leaving she started to murmur to herself,” What kind of a saint is this?” No saint behaves like this and insults devotees who come for darshan. I made a mistake by coming over here.” We returned home. I was quite unhappy and sad in this misadventure. Sometime later I saw Prem coming home. He asked me to come quickly to Baba!  I was quite surprised. It was only a few moments ago Baba had turned me and now He has sent Prem to get me. He said, “After you left Baba was also feeling bad and unhappy. He asked me to return for he felt that I would commit suicide!” Baba is all knowing and understood the trauma I went through. He forgave me at that moment. He also embraced me and assured me that I was still under His Divine Grace.

When we look back at the incident I feel Baba wanted to teach a lesson. I could not take Him for granted. He had not come for everybody that lady was not ready in this life to accept Him as God. Her concept for God was crude and conventional. She would not be able to adapt to Baba’s ways. I was still in the process of understanding Baba’s and His divine ways.

Once Baba asked Prem to go to Hamirpur for opening of the Baba center, but he refused. When Baba asked Him why, he said, he wanted to be with Baba. Baba did not mind, and sent Sarosh for the opening. Although Baba never liked anyone to refuse, sometimes he used to acquiesce.

When we were with Baba in Guruprasad, He asked someone to close the door. Before the person could even get up Aloba rushed and closed the door. Baba made him open the door and a few minutes again asked another person to close the door. Quickly Aloba jumped and did the needful, again to be reprimanded by Baba. The third time Baba gave the order for door to be closed. He insisted on the particular person doing it, and forbade Aloba to disobey and jump any orders. Baba was very particular about obeying any of His orders big or small or unimportant in our eyes.  Every little thing He said or did had deep meaning.

Baba had asked me to have eggs and Vitamin B complex for my health. But I never obeyed and now I am having lot of health problems. My old age would have been much better had I listened to Baba. I am narrating all these examples to help others to understand that disobeying Meher Baba has its ill effect.

202-BOY TELLS A JOKE TO BABA

Prior to public darshan programme on 5th May, 1965 in Poona, Baba allowed Ramanaiah five minutes darshan on 24 Th May. In this meeting Baba asked Harish Chandra’s son, “Can’t you tell me some story of Sardarji?” (Sardarji are about bumbling Sikh’s fools –they are the Indian version of Polak’s jokes) The boy began to narrate old joke that Bal Dev Singh is going on an airplane with Nehru for some talks with British people, and on the plane, Nehru says, “Something is wrong. I smell bad odor.” Bal Dev Singh says, “Yes, sir, I have not changed my socks for the past week.”And Nehru says, “What is this, you must change your socks daily!” When they reached London, they again seated together, and Nehru says, “Still I am experiencing that bad smell. What is this?” and Bal Dev Singh says, “Sir, just I have changed my socks, but old socks are in my pocket.”

Baba had a great laugh over this.

203-KAKA & BAIDUL FIGHTS

In Mahabaleshwar, Baidul was the manager of the mast ashram during the first two weeks of its functioning, and thereafter Kaka Baria and Papa Jessawala jointly. Once, when Baidul was managing matters, an amusing confrontation took place between Kaka and him. Kaka brought a mast one day and without asking Baidul's permission, took a gunny sack to make the mast comfortable. This small incident immediately gave rise to a heated quarrel between Kaka and Baidul. Overhearing them argue, Baba called them, and in the presence of the other men mandali asked Baidul what the ruckus was about.

"I am the manager of the mast ashram and Kaka, without asking me, took a sack," Baidul replied.

Baba gestured to Kaka, "Why did you do this?"

"It was lying unused," Kaka said.

Baidul interrupted, "It was not lying about. Kaka stole it for his mast. He is very careful with his masts, but not with mine."

"That is because your masts are not masts but mad persons!" Kaka taunted.

"Your masts are mad!" shouted Baidul. "You think after all these years I cannot tell the difference between a mast and a madman? What do you take me for?"

"What do I take you for? You too are mad!"

There was an intense argument between them, and Baba encouraged both by slyly winking at Baidul, indicating that he was right and Kaka was wrong, and then winking at Kaka that he was right and Baidul was wrong. But the funniest part was that during this verbal battle, Baidul's dentures kept falling out. He would put them back into his mouth and continue vilifying Kaka. Baba was highly amused by the scene, and when both began debating about which plane each one's masts were on, Baba could hardly contain himself.

"My masts are all on the fifth and sixth planes," Baidul shouted. "You have brought only insane men!"

"Is that so?" Kaka hotly replied. "My masts are of the sixth and seventh plane! But how can an uneducated jungli Irani like yourself recognize their worth?"

Baba was laughing and laughing and asked, "But how do you two know which plane your masts are on?" Both kept quiet, and Baba observed seriously, "It is a matter of great honor and privilege for me that both you 'Sadgurus' are staying with me, as only a Sadguru can know which plane a mast is on."

This ended Kaka's and Baidul's argument – at least for that day. Baba really enjoyed their battles of wits, especially when Baidul's dentures would fall out and he would quickly plop them back in so as not to lose the edge.