Divine Sense of Humour of Avatar Meher Baba-Volume-II

Sh.Birendra Kumar is offering the second volume of his book titled Beloved Baba’s Divine Sense of Humour. His first volume became well known and the stories contained in it must have touched many hearts. The second volume is bringing more stories related to the expression of the divine sense of humour of Beloved Baba, which Sh. Birendra Kumar has painstakingly collected from a wide range of Baba literature. Meher Baba says, “If you don't want to be old before you really ought to become old, be cheerful indeed, thought, word and in appearance — most of all in appearance.

May be you are not happy. I always find half of you garlic-faced. When you eat garlic it is a smell passed on to all; so when you appear garlic-faced, that too is catching — it is contagious. It is a divine art to look always cheerful. It is a divine quality. It helps others. When you are garlic-faced it makes others unhappy.

If you take me as God, God's word must be your everything. You must follow my word with all your heart. If not, it is just an ‘everyday topic.’ You take me as God, but you do not follow me as God.”

Baba Himself demonstrated a great sense of divine humour throughout His ministry. One of the reasons of this expression might be related to the garlic faces of His lovers who would be around Him whenever such an opportunity was afforded to them. It is because of His compassion Baba counterbalanced the atmosphere of seriousness around Him by periodically manifesting His divine sense of humour, which may be actually the manifestation of the attribute of His bliss. When we read stories related to Baba’s divine sense of humour, invariably we do not delve deeper into the meaning behind these stories, and the universal Avataric work which Baba does during such phases is hard to understand. With our limited understanding, we simply quote these stories as something funny or humorous by losing sight of the real significance of such expressions.

In order to give some understanding of the deeper meaning of the expression of Baba’s divine sense of humour, a story related to Dr. C.D. Deshmukh is summarized here. Once Beloved Baba kept a gift ready for Dr. Deshmukh, who was allowed to visit Meherazad anytime he liked. Baba asked the mandali to wrap this gift in old newspaper in such a way that to remove this wrapper would take some time. When Dr. Deshmukh arrived at Meherazad, Baba asked the mandali to give that gift to Dr. Deshmukh. Without bothering about the contents of the gift, Dr. Deshmukh happily received that and acknowledged his gratitude to Beloved Baba for offering a gift to him. There was some mutual understanding between Baba and the mandali that Baba would be just showing ignorance about the contents and the mandali would request that Dr. Deshmukh open the gift in Baba’s presence and then the mandali could enjoy the reaction of Dr. Deshmukh when he would discover that he was in fact fooled by receiving a gift of a stone, and when he expresses his unhappiness, then the mandali could enjoy. Accordingly, the mandali forced Dr. Deshmukh, and on opening it, he found the stone as the gift. The mandali were getting ready to enjoy this joke when Dr. Deshmukh showed his displeasure. Instead of showing such sentiments of displeasure, Dr. Deshmukh on the contrary was overwhelmed to receive such a gift and tears of joy were trickling down his cheeks. This completely baffled the mandali and they were dismayed to see this unexpected reaction from Dr. Deshmukh. Baba prompted them to ask Dr. Deshmukh why he was shedding tears instead of getting upset with the mandali for cracking a joke on him. Dr. Deshmukh said that this is the greatest gift of his life that he has received from Beloved Baba and this has made him so deeply touched that he could not control his emotions. Someone asked him why he considered the gift of the stone to be the most precious one. Dr. Deshmukh responded humbly by saying that had he received any other gift from Beloved Baba, that would have been disintegrated by its reaction with the environment, but the gift of this stone could never be defiled and disintegrated for generations to come, and that is why he considered that gift to be the most precious one as it will be treasured for a very long time. This story had a two way impact: one was on Dr. Deshmukh and the other was on the mandali, and through this incident Beloved Baba might have done a great universal work, which we will never understand.

This story is simply cited here to inculcate in ourselves a greater feeling of respect and honour for the stories related to Beloved Baba’s divine sense of humour. Every incident related to such expressions have far reaching significance, which is hard to for us to understand, but one thing we must understand clearly is that these invaluable stories should not be viewed from any mundane angle of humor or a day-to-day-joke, which we usually crack between our circle of friends and relatives. If these stories can impart us this valuable understanding, then the efforts of Shri Birendra Kumar will be well rewarded and appreciated.

In The Everything and the Nothing, Baba said, “To the fool a foolish act is most natural and effortless. But can you imagine the most wise exerting himself and stretching out to perform an act which is opposite to his attribute of Wisdom? That is why I say you can have no idea of what I mean when I say I am tired — it is beyond human understanding.” Therefore, to appreciate Beloved Baba’s divine sense of humour fully, we must develop an insight to see the relationship between Baba’s tiredness due to the pressure of universal work and His divine sense of humour. Probably, it is His divine sense of humour which sustains Him during this continued suffering and crucification that He underwent during His entire Avataric mission.

Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!

Gokaran Shrivastava,

Meherabad Hill Library