GROUP-11 (DIGNITARIES) SL. NO. 61-80
|SL NO||NAME||OFFCE OF HOLDING||PAGE NO|
|61||Justice Hidayatulla M.||Ex, Chief Justice of India||48|
|62||Justice M.B. Niyogi||Ex. Judge||49|
|63||Justice P. B. Mukherjee||Ex, Justice of Calcutta High Court||49|
|65||Justice V Ramaswamy||Ex. Judge of Supreme Court Of India||50|
|67||Kamath H. V.||Ex. Member of Parliament Govt. of India||51|
|68||Kannamwar M. S.||Ex. Chief Minister of Central Province||51|
|69||Kapindra Acharya||Authority on Ramayana||51|
|70||Karanjia N. K.||Ex. Director Central Bank of India||52|
|71||Kumari Surinder Saini||Ex. Vice President of NDMC Delhi||52|
|72||Kushak Bakula||Ex. Member of Parliament Govt of India||53|
|73||Lal Bahadur Shastri||Ex. Prime Minister of India||53|
|74||Lord Irwin||Viceroy of India||54|
|75||Mabel Besant Scott||Daughter of Annie Basent||54|
|76||Maharaja of Bhor||Maharaja of Bhor||55|
|77||Maharani of Savantwadi||Maharani of Savantwadi||55|
|78||Maharani Shanta Devi||Maharani of Baroda||55|
|79||Mahatma Gandhi||Indian Political Leader||56|
|80||Maisaheb Sitabai Patwardhan||Rani of Kurundwad||71|
61- JUSTICE HIDAYATULLA M.
(Ex. Chief Justice of India)
On 5th May, 1968, a special function was arranged in spacious lawns (Now holding underground municipal Market) of Connaught Place which was inaugurated by the Chief Justice of India M. Hidayatulla, who had been a devotee of Tajuddin Baba, one of the five Perfect Masers of Meher Baba. In his inaugural address the Chief Justice of India said:
“I am grateful for having been asked to inaugurate the 74th Birthday Celebrations of Avatar Meher Baba, who was born on 25th February 1954. These celebrations are held in most of the places for 74 days. For me this day has special significance as it was 25th February that I was sworn in as Chief Justice of India. Therefore, it is quite evident that Baba’s grace and kindness is upon me. I have not been able to see him so far; but I have read quite lot about Him. I have learnt from it and profited by His teachings. Meher Baba is Allah-Aulia, whose name is known all over world. All religions have Aulias, who try in their own way to bring the adherents of all religions on the right path. To them all religions are equal. It is my good fortune that I happened to know Tajuddin Baba also. The Quran says, “Revere Aulia-Allah and live near him”. He who Meher Baba is amongst us now and the whole world is taking advantage of His holy presence. I have not been able to touch his feet, to sit near Him. But I feel that He, on whom His nazar falls, get the benefit of His Grace, His Karam. It is hoped that Baba may break His silence and say words about the end of this year. The whole world is anxious to listen His words. We wish to live up to that time when He speaks] we my listen to Him. We should read his messages and try to follow His teachings. If you follow His oath, not only you, but the entire world will benefit. Baba is as much in your hearts as he is in mine. So what can tell you?" He alone will guide you.”
62-JUSTICE M.B. NIYOGI
|On 14th November 1944, in the afternoon from three to five, Baba gave interviews at Thakur's home. At 7:30, a program was held in the convocation hall of Nagpur University. The hall was full and some had to stand outside. On Baba's arrival, Justice Niyogi garlanded him. A few female students sang a song of welcome. Justice Niyogi spoke on Baba's spiritual status and work, and then read out Baba's message, "The Unity of All Life" to the crowd. Part of it was:
In the One undivided and indivisible Ocean of life, you have, through ignorance, created the pernicious divisions based upon sex, race, nationality, religion and community. And you allow these self-created divisions to poison your heart and prevent [obstruct] your relationships. Slowly but surely you must imbibe this truth at the feet of the Master of Wisdom.
63-JUSTICE P. B. MUKHERJEE
(Justice Calcutta High Court)
On 8 July, Judge Mukharji delivered a speech in Calcutta in celebration of Silence Day, which he titled, "The Eloquence of Silence." The speech was sent to Baba in advance, and on the occasion Baba sent this telegram to him and also to others:
I bind myself with silence that, when I break it, mankind will realize what real freedom is.
|In the afternoon from three to five, Baba gave interviews at Thakur's home. At 7:30, a program was held in the convocation hall of Nagpur University. The hall was full and some had to stand outside. On Baba's arrival, Justice Puranik and Justice Niyogi garlanded him. A few female students sang a song of welcome. Justice Puranik, a vice-chancellor of the university, had great reverence for Baba and declared, "It is the good fortune of Nagpur University that Meher Baba, whose work is to give God-realization to mankind, has come here today."
Justice Niyogi spoke on Baba's spiritual status and work, and then read out Baba's message, "The Unity of All Life" to the crowd. Part of it was:
In the One undivided and indivisible Ocean of life, you have, through ignorance, created the pernicious divisions based upon sex, race, nationality, religion and community. And you allow these self-created divisions to poison your heart and prevent [obstruct] your relationships. Slowly but surely you must imbibe this truth at the feet of the Master of Wisdom.
65-JUSTICE RAMASWAMY V.
(Judge Supreme Court of India)
Meher Baba’s birthday (25-2-1984) was celebrated at Sapru House, New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Justice Shri V. Ramaswamy, Judge of Supreme Court of India on 25 th Feb, 1967 at 5.45 p.m. Justice V Ramaswamy delved the presidential address where he eulogized the divine played by Baba in the present era. Begam Akhtar sang melodious songs and ghazals in the program.
Topic of literature arose when Dastur asked Baba who his favorite authors were, especially poets. Baba related that his favorite writers were:
Hafiz in Persian, and [William] Shakespeare, [John] Milton and [Percy Bysshe] Shelley in English. Shakespeare is presently reincarnated in India; he is now a Brahmin taking a leading part in politics, but one of the most sincere, selfless workers for the country. His thought force of the past has now been transformed into action. He was a genius and all the controversies over whether he was the original author of his works are meaningless. He wrote all the plays — no one else. It was entirely the result of his giant intellect. There is not a whiff of the spiritual in all his dramas and poetry, yet he was a genius. The writer Kalidas would rightly be called India's Shakespeare.
67-KAMATH H. V.
Ex. Member of Parliament Govt. of India
Avatar Meher Baba’s 71 st Birthday was celebrated at community Hall, Panchkuian road, New Delhi from 5 p. m. To 8.30 p.m. on 25th February 1965. The program commenced with devotional music by Baba lovers and ladies mandali. Shri H. V. Kamath, Member of Parliament, gave a speech showering great reverence to Baba.
68- KANNAMWAR M .S.
Adi K. Irani contacted the Collector, who informed him that M. S. Kannamwar would not be able to go to Meherazad, as he was scheduled to leave Ahmednagar at 8:00 A.M. on 15 January. Adi informed Baba, who agreed, as a special case, to meet the couple at eight o'clock. Everything was arranged and the route was lined with police officers. Two officers were posted at the gates of Meherazad. But when Adi went to Kannamwar's bungalow that morning, the Chief Minister was preoccupied and running late, and expressed his inability to come. Instead, the two police officers entreated Baba to permit them to have his darshan. Baba agreed and remarked to them, "How fortunate you are that, being on duty here, you have gotten the advantage of darshan and not your chief minister." Three years later, Kannamwar saw Baba in Guruprasad in 1966 and expressed his regrets for not keeping his appointment at Meherazad.
Authority on Ramayana
In year 1968, birthday celebration a special meeting at Tikona Park near Keshmiri Gate was arranged by Krishna Prasad Sinha which was inaugurated by Sh. P. Govind Menon, Minister of Law. Among speakers was Sh. Kapindra ji who was an authority on Ramayana
70-KARANJIA N. K.
(Ex. Director Central bank of India Bombay)
In year 1968, starting with birthday celebrations at the President’s Estate, in went around Delhi at Sarojini Nagar, Kailash, Baljit Nagar, Moti Nagar spreading out to Tikona Park near Keshmiri Gate where Krishna Prasad Sinha had arranged a special meeting which was inaugurated by Sh. P. Govind Menon, Minister of Law. Among speakers was Sh. N. K. Karanjia Director Central Bank of India Bombay
71-KUMARI SURENDAR SAINI
(Ex. Vice President of NDMC Delhi)
On 5th May, 1968, a special function was arranged in spacious lawns (Now holding underground municipal Market) of Connaught Place which was inaugurated by the Chief Justice of India M. Hidayatulla.
Function was also attended by Shri Surinder Saini Vice president N.D.N.C. and she paid tributes to avatar Meher Baba.
On Thursday 25 th February 1971, all roads led to town hall of New Delhi, the city of fountains, where 77 th birthday of Avatar Meher Baba was celebrated with great pomp and show befitting to the Divine Status if Highest of High. In the same Town Hall Baba’s two emissaries Bros. Pendu and Eruch –first gave public talk in Delhi. It was there again that Beloved Baba during His darshan program of 1952-53 gave the message on 2nd December 1952.
On this occasion Shri W.D. Kain. B. D. Dixit, C. D. Deshmukh and Dr. G.S.N. Moorty spoke on Baba messages & teachings.
Kumari Surinder Saini, Senior Vice President of the New Delhi Municipal Committee in her presidential address stated that. “It has not been my fortune to have Baba’s Darshan, but I had occasions of attending Baba’s Jayanti celebrations. I have kept Baba’s photo in my family temple at my house. She went on to say “If you wish to see God, try to look inwards. Love all beings of God in order that you may be able to love God” She questioned “Why are you not happy or have no peace of mind? Why is there no synthesis between prosperity and peace? She went to explain “If you go deep into problem you will realise the truth of Baba’s teaching and know that mental peace can only be attained by love of God. We lack contentment. Little do we realise that if “ill-got money comes it will be taken away one way or another. Some sort of introspection is needed. What are the causes of corruption in the world? How far are we responsible for it? Baba has stressed the need of self-abnegation, which ultimately leads to self-realisation. The drop feels the impulse of the Ocean when baba’s Grace comes. So let Baba bless us with His Grace in order that we can make our lives worth living. Let Baba place His parental hands on our heads. I pray. As she concluded with an offering of flowers at Baba’s feet, the auditorium echoed and re-echoed with joyous cries of Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai! Thereafter she released the Meher Year 1971 Calendar, issued by the Avatar Meher Baba Centre Delhi through courtesy of Dr. C. D. Deshmukh.
Ex. Member of Parliament Govt of India
In order to remember that eventful day of 2nd December 1952, when Meher Baba gave Public darshan at Delhi. 1n 1967, three days programme was announced. The first day meeting was held at Lajpat Bhawan Hall New Delhi which was inaugurated by Mr. Triguna Sen, Minister of Education. Shri Kushak Bakula, Member of Parliament from Ladakh who told the audience, “Let us put in practice the teachings of Avatar Meher Baba.”
73-LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI
(Ex. Prime Minister of India)
The war between India and Pakistan had finally ceased in October 1965, due to firm action taken by the Security Council of the United Nations. A cease-fire had been ordered to which both nations complied. The war had reached a stalemate, yet neither country was willing to withdraw from the military positions they had gained. In January 1966, the Soviet Union persuaded President Ayub Khan of Pakistan and Prime Minster Lal Bahadur Shastri to come to the Russian city of Tashkent and sign an agreement for complete withdrawal behind their own borders in accordance with the 1949 cease-fire line. Both leaders were scheduled to meet for summit talks on January 3rd, 1966. When Prime Minister Shastri was on his way to Tashkent, one night Baba asked Bhau, "Will Shastri returns to India from Russia?"
“Why not?” Bhau said.
"Winter is severe in Russia and Shastri is a heart patient. I feel he will not come back”
Bhau said to Baba, "Shastri is a very good man, gentle and self-effacing. Why don't you do away with Ayub Khan; he is the one responsible for all this carnage?"
Baba, however, replied, "Ayub Khan is very strong, hale and hearty. The cold will not affect him.”
Bhau asked, "In the case of Shastri's demise, who is fit to become Prime Minister?"
Baba replied, "A good and strong Prime Minister will come."
After a few moments he asked about Nehru's daughter, Indira. "What do you think of Indira?”
Bhau asked, "What experience does she have, Baba? She is quite new to politics."
Baba remarked, "You have no idea about her. Jawaharlal has taught her everything. She is very clever." Bhau later related the conversation to Nariman, and both of them were surprised when Shastri suddenly died in Tashkent on January 10th, and Indira Gandhi took over as Prime Minister of India.
Just before Shastri had left for Russia, C. D. Deshmukh met him, told him of Baba and presented him with a copy of The Everything and the Nothing, along with the Parvardigar Prayer. Shastri expressed his assurance that he would read them, and allowed himself to be photographed with Deshmukh, as he held the literature in his hands
When news of Shastri's passing was heard on the morning of Tuesday, January 11th, Baba commented:
Lal Bahadur was a fine man and a very good soul. He was blessed to have heard my name and talked about me with Deshmukh before leaving his Physical body
Long fellow said: "Come ye slow or come ye fast, it is but death who comes at last." And the poet Amir said: “Man is born for his last day.
Whereas I say: "None dies, and none knows to die. The rare one who knows to die is never born again.
In 1965, during Third World Religions Conference, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri said that there was no immediate prospect of the formation of one world religion. He , however, agreed that basic ideals and goals of all religions were the same.
(Viceroy of India)
In 1930, Baba disclosed “the Viceroy Lord Irwin and Mahatma Gandhi have spiritual connection with me for both lived at the same time of Shivaji.”
Viceroy, Lord Irwin, is very, very good, as is Mahatma Gandhi. Both are doing great service to India, though they are apparently on opposite sides. Both men have previous spiritual connections with me, for both lived in the time of Shivaji, though one is a European and the other is now an Indian. But that is insignificant.
From ancient times, India has been a land of spirituality. So being born in India is a matter of spiritual pride, inasmuch as a person is [seemingly] so near the spiritual goal. The best of people born in America, Europe, Africa and other countries, with their good karma from this life, are born in India in their next life; and the worst of those born in India with false pride, egotism, and undesirable karmas are born in Europe and America, or in places which are so spiritually backward.
Great upheavals are coming soon throughout the world, particularly in India. There will be great tension in India between the British and the Indians on one hand, and between the Hindus and the Muslims on the other, resulting in terrible bloodshed and massacres. Hindus will kill Muslims, the Muslims will kill Hindus, and the British will kill both! Rivers of blood will flow in India and there will be corpses everywhere! Civil war will break out in India and all the parties will clash against one another. Nothing but chaos and confusion will reign everywhere. Out of this cry and clamor for independence, quite a new situation will arise with others intervening and abruptly appearing.
75-MABEL BESANT SCOTT
Daughter of Annie Basent
Mabel Besant-Scott, 63, came to visit Baba the next day. She was the daughter of Annie Besant, who had passed away in India in September. (Mabel Scott had also lived in India for a few years, assisting her mother.) She said, "I had come to see a friend of mine, but when I learned that you were staying here, too, I came to see you.
am extremely pleased to meet you."
"I am also very happy to have met you," Baba indicated.
They talked about her mother and Baba remarked, "She will be born as a man in India."
"I also think so," said Mrs. Scott. "She loved India so much. She now greatly needs rest."
Reassuring her, Baba stated, "The world is now inclined toward materialism, and to turn toward the higher values of life, it needs help. I will give it this help."
"I believe you will truly do so," said Mrs. Scott. "God is the supporter of everything and the source of all and He is present in all. But He is to be realized and revealed."
"I will help you toward that end," Baba promised.
"I am indebted to you," she replied.
76-MAHARAJA OF BHOR
(Maharaja of Bhor)
Baba paid a visit to the district of Bhor on Sunday, 5 March 1933, having been invited by the maharaja there. He stopped first at Lonavla, where Ghani and Tyebali arranged tea and breakfast. After a brief stop at Nilu's in Poona, Baba went on to Bhor where he was received grandly and hundreds came for his darshan
77-MAHARANI OF SAVANTWADI
Maharani of Savantwadi
The Maharani of Savantwadi (whose husband had given the Panchgani Tiger Valley Cave to Baba) expressed her wish for Baba's darshan, and Baba acceded to her request. The maharani came with her three daughters on the 17th. Baba met with them for a few minutes. The maharani humbly placed a coconut at his feet. Baba picked it up and handed it to one of the daughters, remarking, "Keep this with you always. Preserve it. Everything will be all right. You should not worry." The maharani was deeply moved, as her daughter had been suffering mentally (perhaps from depression), although she had not mentioned this to Baba. His unexpected prasad deeply gladdened the maharani's heart. The maharani invited Baba, to visit her palatial bungalow with the women. Baba accepted, and they went there two days later.
78-MAHARANI SHANTA DEVI
Maharani of Baroda
On Sunday, 4 May 1958, Baba gave darshan on the verandah of Guruprasad as some of the Poona group sang bhajans. Many availed themselves of the occasion, including the owner of Guruprasad, Maharani Shantadevi of Baroda, 44, who on that day had Baba's darshan for the first time.
About Maharani Shantadevi, Baba stated, "I am happy with Shantadevi that on my mere asking, she placed her Guruprasad Palace in Poona at my disposal. She had not seen me before, but she had love and reverence for me. I am not happy because she is a maharani or because she has wealth. I am pleased with her because she possesses honest love."
(A Political worker & Spiritual Aspirant)
Mahatma Gandhi was a political leader and spiritual aspirant. He made an experiment of Truth even his political career. He was greatly influence By Meher Baba. He promised baba to come to Him after getting independence for India. After meeting Baba and his divine silence he started observing silence once a week on every Monday. Baba said Gandhi will get liberated after three more births. Baba also advised him on political issues also and not to impose non-violence on general public which Gandhiji could not grasp its significance and result was his assassination. It is felt proper her to elaborate the detailed account of direct and indirect conversation between Meher Baba and Gandhi as under.
In 1925, Baba mentioned about Gandhi
Gandhi is the best man among the millions of non-Realized souls in the world. In spite of so many people calling him a "mahatma," he unreservedly admits himself to be far from the Goal, and according to his recent writings thinks of completely surrendering to someone who is One with the Truth. Realization of Truth is a very difficult achievement.
January 3 rd, 1931
Correspondence had been exchanged between Gandhi and Baba while the Master was in America. Gandhi expressed his desire to see Baba as soon as he returned to India, and Baba had indicated that he also wanted to see Gandhi. The political and social situation in India had become intense; Gandhi was expected to be arrested by the British for political agitation. A meeting was quickly arranged.
Accompanied by Chanji, Baba went to Mahatma Gandhi's residence, called Mani Bhawan, late at night at 11: 45 on January 3rd. Gandhi welcomed Baba with a loving embrace; both sat down and together discussed matters for about an hour:
"I am very happy to see you," Gandhi said.
"I am also glad we could meet," Baba replied. "I was quite busy the whole day, but I had to see you at least once."
"Yes, Rustom had delivered your message here and I sent word that I must see you."
"That is why I came."
"If you had not come, it would have been my lifelong grievance against you," Gandhi said.
"Perhaps if you are arrested, which I am afraid you will be in a day or two, this meeting would have been canceled. But since your arrest is definite, I came even though it is so late. I understand you could not come to me."
"It is your kindness to have come here."
"Now, what news?" Baba inquired.
"You know it all. These people around me are ready with their sleeves rolled up. We shall have to fight the British to the end."
"It will be much better if you see the Viceroy once again. Then the excitement which is now so intense will calm down considerably and the situation will be easier to handle."
"I do wish to see the Viceroy, but he lays down such conditions, such as this topic is not to be discussed, that is not allowed, and so forth. It is impossible for me to reach an agreement. Also, no talk about ordinances will be allowed, and that is the first and main point at issue. When they don't wish to talk on that, it is no use meeting. It is like ..."
Baba interrupted, "But in spite of all that, if you go and see the Viceroy once, you will be able to work in a quieter atmosphere. The present excited turmoil all over India will have settled down and be quieter; otherwise, the atmosphere will go to the other extreme of violence.
"Let me explain," Baba continued. "Your dictum and doctrine of non-violence is widespread and is the best method. I, too, wish this non-violent attitude to be followed and acted on. But I know it is very, very difficult – rather impossible. And that is why I repeatedly ask you to see the Viceroy once in person in order to try to bring about a spirit of reconciliation between the rulers and the ruled. For, let me tell you once again, if this meeting does not come about, matters will turn from bad to worse. People will turn very violent and once violence is adopted, it will be destructive in every way."
"This is quite probable," Gandhi concurred. "We are also afraid of such violence. However, we have to fight for what is right, and we have been advocating and advising non-violence in our battle to persuade the British to leave. The result rests with the Almighty!"
Baba then explained to him, "Whatever may happen, one thing is certain: India still has much to suffer. I have already told you this before and I repeat it today. But even this suffering is a real blessing in disguise. The more India suffers materially, the better for it spiritually. And we Masters only look to the spiritual benefit. If India gains self-government without struggle, suffering and sacrifice, it invites the grave danger of becoming inclined toward materialism. And this material independence would be a hindrance on the path of spiritual advancement, which is undesirable."
"You are right," Gandhi said. "Spiritual strength must accompany spiritual power. That is real greatness."
"And for that, one must suffer and sacrifice, but with a non-violent attitude. That is why I repeatedly advise you to go once again and see the Viceroy in person."
The conversation then shifted to Baba's recent visit to Europe and America:
"What do you think about the West from your experiences and tours?" Gandhi asked.
"In America, the spiritual hunger is intense. That is why I went and stayed there for a month. There is everything there materially. There is wealth; there are brains; there is heart. In other words, there is sufficient preparedness for spiritual growth and development."
Chanji then narrated the details of Baba's tours, his meetings with people from all denominations and walks of life, their sincere aspirations for Truth, and the formation of a group to spread Baba's cause.
Gandhi asked, "Then there is an awakening and interest about spirituality in America?"
"Yes, there is much," Baba answered. "But the Americans have not had sufficient light and genuine guidance by a Master in a spiritual direction. If they get these, they will respond wonderfully."
"And what about England?"
"In England, there is also an interest and longing, but not as intense as in America. The response that Americans gave was so splendid that, even now, I am considering when to go there again. They would not let me leave and have made me promise that I return soon; only then did they let me leave. I came back to India, because there is much work to do here. I have left behind instructions with my followers in the West about what to do in my absence. I have to check all my affairs on this side of the world."
"There is a greater need for you to be here in India, looking over all the situations," Gandhi stated. "If I am arrested, you will have to take care of affairs here."
"That will be done," Baba promised. "I undertake to settle all this self-government struggle, but on one condition: after all this is settled, you are to come with me to America."
His heart gladdened with these words, Gandhi immediately stretched his hand to Baba and said, "I promise."
After meeting with Ambedkar in Bombay, Baba returned to Nasik. Within a few days, he sent Rustom to try to see Mahatma Gandhi in Yeravda Prison where he was incarcerated in Poona. Rustom was not successful, because individual interviews were not permitted at the time.
Soon after, the British government removed restrictions on interviews, and Baba sent Chanji and Ramjoo from Nasik to see Gandhi on the morning of September 21st. They found Gandhi sitting on his bed in a courtyard of the prison and working on a charkha – spinning cotton into yarn. Gandhi warmly welcomed them and had them sit near. They had the following conversation:
On Saturday, 22 August 1931, Mehta informed Baba that Mahatma Gandhi might also be traveling to England, but it was looking extremely doubtful at this stage. Baba replied, "If I go to England, I will take Gandhi with me. You simply expedite the passport work." The next day, Baba repeated the same thing about Gandhi.
In September, a Round Table Conference was scheduled to take place in London about India's independence, but it was uncertain whether Mahatma Gandhi would attend. At the last moment, he agreed and, when it was announced that he would be sailing to England on the SS Rajputana, Chanji and Mehta grasped the significance of Baba's earlier comments, and Chanji realized why they had not been able to travel on the earlier ship.
About his trip, Mahatma Gandhi told newspaper reporters, "I must go to London with God as my only guide."
The visa work continued. The British authorities had endorsed Baba's passport with a visa on 25 July, but Mehta was informed that Baba would be required to sign a "guarantee" (perhaps in relation to Ali, who was a minor). Even Mehta with all his influence as mayor of Karachi found it impossible to convince the British authorities to issue all the documents to Meher Baba without his signature. At last, Baba consented to sign, but before doing so, he remarked ominously, "The British government is compelling me to sign its own death warrant! This will be the end of the British Empire in India."
At 4:30 P.M. on 25 August, Baba executed a bond in the commissioner's office in Karachi and, with a grim expression, signed Meherban Sheheriyar Irani to the typed guarantee. The British government had unknowingly dug its own grave and their rule in India slowly started to topple as a result.
On Saturday, 29 August 1931, Age watched as Meher Baba, 37, sailed from the port of Bombay on the SS Rajputana, accompanied by 16-year-old Agha Ali, Chanji, 38, and Rustom, 32. They were required to be at the docks at 7:30 A.M. to pass a medical examination. Despite waiting for more than three hours, their names were never called, and they boarded the ship at 11:00. They sailed two hours later, at 1:00 P.M.
Just a few days before, Mahatma Gandhi had agreed to participate in a Round Table Conference in London concerning India's independence from the British, and for that purpose was proceeding there on the same ship (unknown to him) with Meher Baba. Although no one had come to say goodbye to Baba, there were thousands on the pier waving bon voyage to Gandhi (including Jawaharlal Nehru) — and thus unknowingly to the Avatar also.
Staying aloof, Baba kept inside his cabin during the voyage and saw no one for some days. He would, however, take a stroll on the deck early every morning and late in the evening for almost an hour when no one was around. He ate in his cabin and maintained a strict vegetarian diet.
Mahatma Gandhi would be on deck during most of the voyage, and offer prayers in the evening, giving a short speech afterward. He was dressed in his usual white lungi, but Baba remarked, "It's only his vanity and fondness for show that makes him dress like that.
On 2 September 1931, Baba mentioned calling Gandhi for a private meeting for an hour. The ship docked at Aden early the following morning, but Baba did not get off. After they had set sail again later that afternoon, Baba was walking on the upper deck when Gandhi appeared and noticed Baba from a distance. They were joined by many other passengers, so Baba, Chanji, Rustom and Ali moved to a discreet corner of the deck for some time. Baba and his group went up again for half an hour after dinner, after which Baba retired to his cabin for the night and Chanji went to the library to write his diary.
That evening, Gandhi gave a lecture on the significance of prayer to a group of passengers, and Rustom was among the audience. Gandhi explained what an important part prayer played in his life and how it brought him peace of mind. Gandhi claimed that three of the greatest teachers of the world — Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad — had left "unimpeachable testimony that they found illumination through prayer, and could not possibly live without it."
Gandhi's statement later gave rise to a protracted argument between Chanji and Rustom. They brought up the subject with Baba, saying that Gandhi had referred to Masters such as Jesus and Muhammad as "praying" to God at times.
People like Gandhi are not to be blamed for misconstruing such things because they know nothing about the Avatar. They have no actual experience. It is a misconception to say that Avatarhood can be achieved through prayers. They take the nirvikalp-samadhi state (the "I-Am-God" state) of the Avatar before his manifestation of divinity to be a state of offering prayers. Such an idea is due to ignorance of the Avatar's inner state.
On 4 September 1931, Baba remarked, "If Gandhi comes to meet me, it would be very good for him and good for all concerned."
About the Round Table Conference, Baba explained to Chanji and Rustom:
Even Gandhi will have no influence there, in spite of his presence. He should have gone at first with other representatives who, in a wavering mood, left for Multan; but at that time, Gandhi hesitated on account of certain grievances. Then he suddenly agreed to participate in the conference, though most of their grievances were not redressed.
The point is that once Gandhi refused to join in the conference on certain grounds, he ought to have refused to the end. He should not have suddenly consented to take part in it unless and until all his grievances were redressed and removed, and he should have stayed in India. But being inconsistent, he consented to attend the conference at the eleventh hour. He has lost his prestige and now he won't succeed there. At the Round Table Conference, differences of opinion will prevail among the parties and no one will agree, and Gandhi's influence will not make a difference. His influence will be ineffectual.
"Why?" asked Chanji.
In reply, Baba spelled out:
Gandhi's influence has already waned. He wants to keep every party pleased and there (in) lies his weakness. How could he keep everybody pleased when they all are opposed to one another and have conflicting views, extremely opposite to each other?
In India, the many political parties and creeds all have one common aim: to attain independence. But there is not a single party among them who can come to terms with another party about details. Even the [Indian National] Congress, the party considered strongest, is affected by the foul odor of religious differences.
Its influence on others is gradually failing. With the weakening of its influence, the influence of Gandhi is also waning. Not only are the two greatest and largest parties and communities, the Muslims and the Untouchables, out of the influence of the Congress, but they also oppose and fight tooth and nail against Gandhi and the Congress.
Even among his own followers, or those who at least agree with him on the question of independence, their objectives differ. Observe how Sarojini Naidu and Pandit Malaviya act. Gandhi preaches the use of khadi [handspun cotton cloth] to all and sundry, yet Mrs. Naidu wears silks, though she is a colleague in his fight for independence. Gandhi preaches and advocates the abolition of caste and religion, particularly in abolishing Untouchability, and his lieutenant in the Congress Party, Malaviya, does not adhere to it. Malaviya takes his cook to England with him, thinking that eating meals prepared by foreigners is irreligious. There are thousands in the Congress who do not accept this dictum of Gandhi's at all, and that is why the party is not strong; the result of which will bode ill for the future.
Gandhi also advocates celibacy, though he himself is married and has children, and recently he arranged his son's marriage. There are so many things like these which he recommends, but does not put into practice himself. Why preach such things which he himself can't or won't do?
It is this trait in his character, combined with two other great defects — vanity and inconsistency — which causes Gandhi to lose his influence gradually, and leads those who once admired him to oppose him today. Shaukat Ali was once Gandhi's closest companion and he is now his staunchest opponent. Why? Because of that great dividing factor: the religious animosity and enmity between the Hindus and Muslims. The religious fanatics on both sides have nurtured and fostered this hatred to the extent that even in Congress there are the orthodox who color every political activity and action with their religious bigotry, and it is all authorized, approved and practiced by and with Gandhi. This leads to great antagonism which is now weakening the Congress party.
What can I say about (Gandhi's) vanity? Too much of a thing always spoils a man. To raise one to the seventh heaven and to cry out "Mahatma Gandhi ki jai" has made him vain and brought him down.
Shaukat Ali has caustically remarked, "These things have gone to his head and made him (Gandhi) mad!"
Besides, his immediate attendants put up a great show and fuss in every activity, which shows that Gandhi has a taste for it. But it is the natural outcome of too much praise and adulation. This daily exhibition in all functions, public and private, has reached the limit. It is too prominent to conceal from a shrewd observer or a sincere soul, who never likes or desires such a show. Hence, there is the dislike of him by many who, in spite of their admiration for him at one point, have left and are leaving him in (droves).
The Perfect Master of Spirituality can do anything and everything. He can preach about things which he himself does not practice, and for his spiritual purposes he can do things according to the prevailing conditions and circumstances, because he is eternally free of all things and can undo their effects. This is something an imperfect person can never do, much less one who has no "wind" [breeze] even of spirituality (such as a political leader, like Gandhi].
The reactionary effects of all these preaching’s, fuss, sham, show and vanity are disastrous, causing a gradual erosion of any influence Gandhi has among his admirers and followers, however great. If Gandhi's influence goes, the rise of youth will take place, which in its activity will resemble Russian communalism. The signs are already there, as we find them assassinating people in high places and assaulting them in broad daylight.
Although Jawaharlal [Nehru] sides with Gandhi in his objective for independence, his views, creed and activities are quite different from Gandhi's.
On 5th September, 1931, regarding Britain, Baba said:
The British government will not grant anything more than what was settled on in the last Round Table Conference. There is a change of government and, except for (Prime Minister) MacDonald; no one has any sympathy for our cause. Gandhi, too, will not gain anything more by his presence than what has already been decided to be given. His personality and influence will have no effect at all. And if Gandhi tries to give in again to avoid a conflict, the Congress will not accept it.
Baba predicted a civil war erupting in India between Hindus and Muslims. "There will be a terrible massacre and slaughter of one another," he stated. "It will also have its reflection on Europeans.
There will be an equally strong civil war between the Indians and foreigners, particularly the Europeans and more particularly the British."
On 7th September, 1931, Baba said:
The common cause of nationalism and the objective of achieving independence are sacrificed for want of unity between the Hindus and the Mohammedans, and they are harming their own cause by bringing religion into the matter. No one understands religion, and all this strife and squabble is born of irreligiousness.
Gandhi, who goes to England as the chosen leader of the Congress and the spokesman for India, this time will have no influence, unfortunately, owing to various reasons of conflicting ideals and party politics. Not only will his influence fail with the British people, but his influence will fall considerably even with his own people, the Indians, to the extent of failure. And with Gandhiji's influence gone, and "communalism" coming in, civil war will follow.
This is all very sad for poor India and for Britain, too. But sadder times are still to come before the sun of the New Era of peace and prosperity dawns on the world, for such is ordained.
The ship docked at Port Said at 3:00 A.M. on 7 September 1931, and Baba, Ali, Chanji and Rustom disembarked and spent half an hour walking on the shore.
During the voyage, Baba seemed eager to meet Gandhi and would often repeat, "It is always like this: When I don't allow visitors, people complain and ask, 'Why don't you allow us to see you?' And now when I want to see certain persons for my own reasons, they don't show any inclination. Now we should forget about trying to contact Gandhi. It is too late now."
Later, expressing his concern, Baba remarked, "Gandhi is a good man, but it will be better if he sees me. It would be to his great benefit. I love him dearly and I would like to meet him for his own good."
Meanwhile Jamshed Mehta, who was an acquaintance of Gandhi (and a Baba lover), cabled Gandhi on board the ship, strongly urging him to meet Meher Baba. At nine o'clock on Tuesday, 8 September, Mahatma Gandhi came to Baba's cabin with his secretary Mahadev Desai. After Gandhi was introduced, he looked at Baba and said, "I have read much about you and wanted to see you one day when God willed it; but I never expected it to be so soon."
Baba expressed how happy he was to meet him and dictated from his alphabet board: "Do you have the time to stay?"
"Yes, I have come to sit and listen," Gandhi replied.
Gandhi talked about meeting Upasni Maharaj at Sakori, and Baba explained to him in detail about Maharaj and Babajan. Baba ended by dictating, "Upasni Maharaj is my Master and a Perfect Sadguru."
As previously mentioned, according to Baba's instructions in 1924, Rustom had sent Gandhi a copy of Upasni Maharaj's biography in Gujarati, Sakorina Sadguru. After reading the book, Gandhi went to Sakori to see Maharaj. But Maharaj was not in a welcoming mood that day and abused Gandhi. Upset by Maharaj's abusive language, Gandhi left with a very disturbed impression of the heralded sage of Sakori. The ways of the Masters appear mysterious to the world. Gandhi's connection was with Meher Baba, not Maharaj, and that is why Maharaj scolded him and drove him away.
Baba narrated a summary of his own life and experiences to Gandhi — his attraction to Babajan, Sai Baba's pronouncement, his encounter with Maharaj at the Khandoba Temple, his many visits to Maharaj in Sakori, his terrible suffering during his coming down, the establishment of the ashrams at Meherabad, his many fasts and seclusions, his silence for the last six years, and of his writing a special book.
Their conversation then proceeded, in English and Gujarati:
Gandhi asked, "Where is that book?"
Pointing to a trunk, Baba replied, "In there."
"Can I read it?" Gandhi asked.
"Have you the time?" Baba dictated.
"Oh, I can find time to read it. Why not? I will definitely read it. Give it to me."
Changing the topic, Baba spelled out, "There is bliss everywhere and nothing else [exists], but people do not know it. It is no use listening to lectures and learning from books. Direct experience of God is needed. The Experience is spontaneous; it is not to be forcibly obtained."
Concerning his activities, Gandhi remarked, "Whatever I do, I take upon myself the responsibility for it. Though in the end, internally I leave everything to God. I cannot shirk my responsibility. Except for God, it is my conviction that I cannot disavow my responsibility."
"But that thought should not be there," Baba explained to him. " 'I do ... I think ... I renounce ... I suffer ... I do everything for others.' These thoughts should not be there. If, to the detriment of others, one tries to know and understand God, it creates terrible sanskaras."
Gandhi said, "Please, give me any advice you have."
"After you are free from the Round Table Conference discussions, retire to a secluded spot and take rest, and for 24 hours automatically think only of God. For the attainment of the Goal, for you, this is the best, the easiest and the shortest path. During that period, come and stay with me for some days."
Gandhi replied, "God Himself will bring that about; He will grant me understanding and create the circumstances. In all earnestness, I look forward to that day." Then he said, "I wish to see you speaking."
Baba only nodded.
Concerning reading that book, Gandhi pointed to the trunk. Baba replied, "Unfortunately, the key has been left behind in India."
"I will have it opened."
Handing the tin box to Gandhi, Baba explained, "After opening it, bring the case back to me and I will select the things for you to read with my own hands."
"Certainly," Gandhi answered. "It will be my pleasure to read it."
Baba warned him, "Be careful. Up to now I have not allowed anyone to see it — not even my mandali. As the first person to read it, I am giving it to you alone. You may go through it, but allow no one else to read it."
"Assuredly. I will go through it with great joy."
Changing the subject, Baba then advised him:
You are striving and making sacrifices for the advancement of the poor. You love the farmers. It is very noble; it is real service. But do not think that you are responsible for their suffering, because such thoughts create sanskaras. The thought, however, is there and that brings trouble.
You try to please all and don't wish to hurt others' feelings. But considering the numerous parties, castes and creeds in India, it is not possible for you to keep all pleased.
If you keep the Hindus pleased, you will wound the feelings of the Muslims, and vice versa. If you try to please other parties, the Congresswallas would not like it. So you are always in a fix. But from now on, always leave the results of your actions to God, which will bring you satisfaction. Your aim is good and highly praiseworthy, and that is the noblest reward.
Gandhi admitted, "I am imperfect and full of defects, but the people must know that. I have not attained Perfection and have many drawbacks, which people should understand. Once they know my weaknesses, they will have to put up with them, and it is only proper that I make them aware of my shortcomings. I do have the conviction that whatever happens is God's will."
Referring to Jamshed Mehta, Gandhi remarked, "He is the most honorable person in Karachi. He is most worthy. I will telegram him tonight that I have seen you, Baba Saheb, and will ask him why he did not inform me earlier so that I could have spared more time to meet with you. When will such a time come again?
"I received your monthly magazine Meher Message in Yeravda Prison [when incarcerated there]. At the time, due to all the confusion, I had no time to read it and only glanced at it cursorily; but from that time after reading it, I wished to meet you one day. Now that day has dawned and the meeting has taken place. I am most happy. Tomorrow I will surely bring back the case to you and accept whatever you select for me to read from what you have written."
Gandhi then commented on Baba's silence, "I am wonderstruck at your silence. Seven years! I keep silence once a week. How small it is before your silence. I understand the significance of silence. You have been silent for seven years and when you speak, what untoward events will take place! I am astonished!"
Before leaving at 10:30 that night, Gandhi extended a cordial invitation to Baba to visit his place of residence in London, and Baba agreed to pay a visit while he was in London.
On 9th September 1931, Baba called Agha Ali, Rustom and Chanji in his cabin and quoted these Urdu couplets:
When the crow tried to imitate the gait of the swan,
it only lost its own demeanor.
The moment Farhad tried to imitate King Khushrow,
his task was spoiled.
We know that eventually You will not deceive us.
But by the time You respond, we will have turned to ashes.
In the afternoon, while the ship was passing Messina, many passengers gathered on the upper deck, including Gandhi and the men of his party, and Baba, with Agha Ali, Chanji and Rustom. The Indian politician Shaukat Ali, who had boarded the ship at Aden, saluted Baba reverently and later spoke with him for half an hour.
Seeing Baba, Gandhi approached him with folded hands. While they were standing together, photographers started taking pictures. Within a few minutes, Gandhi remarked, "I now take your leave. The photographers won't allow us a moment's rest." The brief discussion they had concerned food, and Baba explained to Gandhi about Pleader's fast on only milk.
Then the topic turned to khadi, and Gandhi asked, "What crime have I committed? For the upliftment of the poor, I hit upon the idea of the charkha (spinning wheel). I will meet with you tonight. At present, there is some work which needs my attention. I shall manage somehow to come at night."
Gandhi came to Baba's cabin at nine that night with the box containing Baba's book, which he had had opened with the help of the ship's crew. Baba gave him certain chapters of the "Creation Series" for him to read.
Referring to their afternoon conversation, Baba stated:
I wish to clarify the point about food and khadi. For years I have been a vegetarian. When I was attending college, I felt restless and distressed if I missed a meal even once. But since my meeting with Babajan and her kiss, about which I informed you last night, I have become totally indifferent to food. Once for eleven months [in 1914], I remained on only weak tea. The marvelous thing at the time was that I did not even have a thought that I was not eating. I had no idea [of what I was doing], yet I kept quite healthy.
Besides not eating for eleven months, I did not sleep at all. With open eyes I would lie there, gazing about me. My parents felt distressed for me. My mother first took me to be mad. Then a doctor named Bharucha was called to give me morphine injections, but to no avail.
|I had no sleep at all during that period.
Thereafter when I started eating, it was vegetarian, and there was no fixed time for my meals. Frequently I would fast for a few days and at times for months. Then I would take milk, weak tea or just water, but I continued to fast. Although remaining only on water, I would take foot journeys, walking 25 miles a day. And though I used to eat at times, it was not at any fixed time but only when I felt like it.
My mandali have also been eating only vegetarian food for years now. I would rarely make any of them fast on milk. However, once when you were in Yeravda Prison, I kept over 20 of my mandali fasting on just milk for two or three months, but none of them felt any discomfort.
A Parsi named Pleader has been living only on milk for the last two and a half years. He is quite healthy and happy. Not only does he live only on milk, but he is locked up in a room, not speaking with anyone and observing strict silence. He is also forbidden to read or write. Over and above that, he is deprived of my presence and company continuously as I am always on the move from place to place. Even in Nasik, I do not see him. During this period of two and a half years, I have hardly seen Pleader more than ten or twelve times. Still, when I inquire through someone about him, he indicates that he is happy.
Gandhi interjected, "It is nothing to remain on milk in seclusion; but it is very hard not to speak with anyone or not to read and write."
Baba nodded, then continued:
There is another devotee of mine named Dixit in Kolhapur at a school there. He has also been on milk for the last twelve years, though he takes bananas with it. He is quite fit and works all day. He is married and has a wife with whom he lives, yet he never touches her at all and practices a life of complete celibacy. It is quite astonishing to be a true brahmachari (celibate), yet married and living with one's wife. In all respects, the man is quite good. He has devoted his life to the service of the youth."
"I think I have received a letter from someone named Dixit," Gandhi said. "He must be the same.
It comes to this: Milk is the best food; it sustains the body and purifies the mind. And the more the mind becomes pure, the more it can be controlled. Desires become less, which is necessary for spiritual aspirants, as there is no progress on the Path without the mind being under control. So long as desires and longings persist, the mind cannot be controlled. From that standpoint, therefore, milk is the best food.
Gandhi replied, "My experience is similar. To keep good health, milk is necessary."
Changing the topic, Baba stated:
Now I wish to clarify the subject of khadi. As you say, everything has two sides — one material and the other spiritual. There are two main things about the material aspect: one is that it should be cheap, and the other is that it should conform to one's nationality. I always dress in clean, simple clothing. For several years, I wore a coat made from a rough woolen blanket (kamli). It was full of patches, and I only changed coats after seven years because my mandali insisted. Therefore, my dress is plain, cheap and clean, and it conforms to my nationality as I am a Persian subject.
The British authorities raised an objection before my last journey to Persia over my not writing my signature, and the Persian Consul was of the opinion that I, a Persian subject, should have a Persian passport. The current law in Persia under Reza Shah is that every citizen should wear a certain style coat and pants and a Pahlavi cap as a symbol of national dress, which means I should also dress like this. But I reside in India and people naturally wish that I appear like an Indian. Between this Persian and Indian headache, I have selected a style of dress to my liking which I wear. But in fact, both types of attire are the same to me.
For those of my mandali who prefer khadi, I permit them to use it. My devotees K. J. Dastur, editor of Meher Message, Nusserwan Satha of Ahmednagar, Chinchorkar, R. B. Hiray, Akolkar and others asked me about wearing khadi, and I gladly consented.
But I myself don't advise anyone about it, because the things that I myself do not do, I cannot ask others to do. For example, a man may be addicted to smoking, but he does not tell others not to smoke.
Your propagation of khadi is creditable. It is cheap and besides it provides a means of subsistence to the poor who weave the cloth. It is good in all respects. For those who want to use it, I willingly allow to do so. But I cannot ask others to wear it for the reasons I have explained.
After a brief pause, Baba continued:
While on this subject, let me tell you an anecdote. The Parsis defame me and call me shaitan (devil) simply because I do not eat meat and fish. I don't drink liquor and I don't behave badly. Their definition of a Parsi is that he should be a non-vegetarian, drink wine and lead an immoral life while at the same time wearing the religious symbols of the sadra and kusti, visiting the fire-temple, and paying heed to the priests. Thus, by their behavior, they themselves are in fact devils! In short, a Parsi may do what he likes, but he is considered a pucca [true, faithful] Zoroastrian if he simply wears the religious symbols.
A fellow Zoroastrian, Colonel M. S. Irani, once came to Meherabad. At that time, I was staying in a small cabin shaped like a table, which seemed to look like a chicken coop to him, and the austere, simple atmosphere of Meherabad disgusted him. To vent his spleen, on the pretext of disclosing unworthy wrongdoings of fake sadhus and saints, he involved me also in the columns of the daily press!
[Colonel Irani's actions] are an example of a misunderstanding. He is really my friend, because he too is mine. It is only one Soul inhabiting the persons of my friends and enemies. It is the same one Soul in everyone. If a person gently rubs his cheek or slaps himself with the same hand, he would not feel upset at his hand, because it is his hand whether it soothes or slaps. Likewise, all my well-wishers and those who criticize me are mine. All belong to me and all are equal.
Upon mention of Colonel Irani, Gandhi interjected, "Is he the Colonel Irani from Belgaum?" Chanji answered that Colonel Irani had worked at the Civil Hospital in Belgaum in 1927.
Gandhi: "Yes, I know him; imagine that."
Commenting on Parsis, Gandhi observed, "They upheld my civil disobedience movement and cooperated with me splendidly. The Parsis of Bombay really worked wonders!"
Mentioning his imprisonment, Gandhi remarked, "When I was sentenced to prison, it was a rest in a way, both physically and mentally. I was saved the innumerable bothers of everyday life and had time to think and study India's situation."
Baba continued explaining about the opposition he faced:
Why are the Colonel and the Parsis against me? Simply because I don't eat meat and I don't drink alcohol. To them, the teaching of their religion consists of eating, drinking and being as merry as they like — wearing the sadra and kusti, and living a life of riches in public — which is quite sufficient for them.
The priests are responsible for all this. The priest class proves to be an impediment in everything." Pointing to Gandhi, "If you gain independence, do this first: arrest all the purohits, dasturs and mullahs [Hindu, Zoroastrian and Muslim priests]! Do not use violence, but deal with them firmly. Deal with them vigorously, because it is an important, big work. And unless you send them all to Yeravda Prison, they won't improve; on the contrary, they will become worse!
Baba concluded, "For the One to whom everything is a zero, what is it to him whether it is this or that? To him, all are equal."
Commenting on the current political crisis in India, Baba stated to Gandhi:
First solve the question of Hindu and Muslim unity. And as far as possible, allow them separate electorates; let them unite and fight a battle for power. Joint electorates are good, but the Muslims persist for separate electorates; so for the present, let them have them. They themselves will advocate joint electorates immediately and then there will be some stability. But if you try for joint electorates now, it won't last.
As far as possible, present your demands firmly at the conference in London. Whatever you have thought of and decided to do, demand it as your right. Let the British decide to grant it or not, but you must be persistent in your demands. The British won't grant everything [full dominion status to India]. It is doubtful, because whatever decision was made in the first Round Table Conference, they will adhere to that.
f they don't give anything and if you have to return empty-handed, do not be concerned, because whatever agreement you may arrive at is good.
And if you don't do that, no one else will. So let there be some workable outcome. If not, you will have to offer civil disobedience [as an alternative]. Considering the present political climate and atmosphere, violence may erupt, which would be quite hard to control. If the youth adopt violence, it will be most disastrous and harm the essence of spirituality in India.
In case you return empty-handed and have to conduct non-violent civil disobedience, it would be the best. It would not harm India just now to undergo more suffering. These agonies will result in more preparedness. Really speaking, the root cause of every good result is suffering. India is considered to be the land of spiritual greatness -of Avatars and saints. To sustain this spiritual greatness, there must be the strength to bear these miseries. Europe has material greatness, but it must go.
Another major difficulty is the Untouchability problem [prejudice against the Harijans] in India. It is the greatest evil. With the Brahmins it is sheer wickedness; they have deep-rooted past sanskaras which cannot be easily wiped out. The main cause of the ruination of any community in India is the priest class who, to serve their own selfish ends, have become the props to perpetuate religious rites and rituals.
These comments by Baba concluded their meeting. Before leaving, Gandhi reminded Baba that he was invited to stay with him in London, and Baba agreed to see him one day while there. Gandhi said, "I will arrange for your stay in a serai (dharamshala), as wherever I go, I stay with my people; two or four more won't matter. At least I will have the benefit of passing one night in your company. Will that day ever dawn?"
Baba gestured, "Of course."
At ten that night, their second meeting came to an end.
The next day, Thursday, 10 September 1931, Baba sent Chanji back and forth to Gandhi's cabin. Baba sent him some additional writings and messages, inviting Gandhi's opinion about them. However, Gandhi had no opportunity to meet Baba during the day.
After dinner and a discussion with the mandali, Baba retired for the night. Soon after, there was a sudden knock on the door. Gandhi had come again to see Baba. "Forgive me; today I am somewhat late. If you are resting, I will leave," he said.
"Come in and sit down," Baba gestured. "But what about yourself; do you have the time?"
"To listen to you, I can snatch the time from somewhere. You may explain without hesitation. Look, I have taken my seat and will remain seated. I will stay as long as you wish. Where will I ever get such an opportunity again?"
Gandhi was in a very happy mood, and Baba welcomed him to express his views on his writings. Gandhi stated:
These (writings of yours) should be in their original form, else they will lack sweetness. Whatever is yours is yours, and whatever is from others is others'. I have gone through your sayings and have grasped their truth. All these I have drunk and digested. I have clearly understood what you wish to convey. But the writings by other new, raw and inexperienced hands are difficult to follow. (K. J.) Dastur has an eye only for grammar and language, and murders the sweetness of your original words. There is as great a difference in your description of a thing and Dastur's translation as between heaven and earth! Your saying go is not merely a word. Behind this go is your power to make one go, which Dastur does not have.
Suppose my son has climbed up a tree, but finds himself in such a predicament that he can neither climb further nor come down. He just keeps hanging on. I tell him I will bring a mattress, but it is doubtful that he can hold on until my return; and if he falls down, he may be lost to me forever. So, remembering God, I tell him, 'Jump! Jump down!' Although I have no strength to catch him, I raise my hands and he jumps. No one is injured.
When the boy was ready to leap from such a height, it was not due to my telling him to jump. No, behind these words were a father's love and faith. The child thinks: 'I will fall into my father's arms and he will save me.' ”With this belief and confidence, he jumps; I catch him and he is saved. Similarly, there is a vast difference in your saying go and in my or anyone else's utterance of the same word.
Regarding your book, whatever you have written by hand in English [in the book] and whatever you want to express cannot be expressed in English. I suggest that such works ought to be written in Sanskrit or Gujarati.
First and foremost, there are no appropriate words in English for some or most of the terms, which would bring out their real meaning. For instance, avidya in English is ignorance; that is, the want of knowledge. But the term ignorance does not carry the true meaning and connotation of avidya, which it can never evoke. What is avidya is avidya and nothing else! It just cannot be translated.
The reason for my saying this is that, though I am able to follow your writings, it might be difficult for others. So if your writings are kept in Gujarati, it is better because they can be explained better in Gujarati. Gujarati is more useful here.
Baba remarked, "I can write all this much better in Persian than in English, because Persian contains the equivalent Sufi terms, and I also write much better in that language. In English, these things cannot be as well explained as they can be in Persian or Gujarati."
Gandhi concurred, "Those languages are the best. There is no harm if you write in Persian, because the knowledge you are gifting, the philosophy you are preaching and the new light you are showing will be a help to the desirous and the inquisitive who can read and understand Persian. When such a book of excellence is published, people will hasten to learn Persian, enabling them to translate it properly. So you'd better write in Persian, not in English. What harm is there if only a few can read it? When the time comes, the book's translations will be published and then its worth will be known.
"If you write in Gujarati, it is better still; no, it is best. But it should not be in English, as it is hard to understand its meaning in that language. These days, such things in Gujarati are very necessary. The more this knowledge is spread, the more the benefit. And I am quite ready to render whatever help I can in this regard."
Addressing Chanji, Gandhi said, "You may write to me at any time regarding this matter."
Gandhi's comments referred mostly to the Master's discourses as published by Dastur in the Meher Message magazine. When Gandhi referred to whatever Meher Baba had written by hand, he meant the secret book, a few pages of which had been given to Gandhi to read.
I have read all your sayings today, which I also understood fully.
They are fine, yet I find they are quite distorted. They are bereft of their sweetness and importance when put in Mr. Dastur's language. However simple your own original style may be, however faulty from a grammatical point of view, it has that sweetness and significance which this "polished" version does not.
I have read and studied the scriptures very deeply and hence I can make out what you mean to say behind these words. But the language in which they are presented to people is quite erroneous and conveys quite another sense from the original. It is due to the editor's desire to give it a garb of flowery language and make it more impressive. On the contrary, it quite alters the sense and murders the spirit behind it.
So, to beautify the language by doing away with your original terms and expressions and polishing them, has taken the taste out of it. The words have lost their beauty. The words of saints and Masters require no gilding or garb of academic expression and embellishment. Their beauty is in their simplicity. They have a deeper inner meaning.
The name of Omar Khayyam has become immortal due to the translations of his Persian Rubaiyat into Western languages. Pure gold is gold, and impure is adulterated! Where is the need for embellishment of words that have come out of the mouth of a Dnyani (Knower, Seer) like you!
Therefore, these messages should also be put in simple language, as the meaning contained in such short, pithy sayings can only be understood and appreciated if your originality is maintained. The originality turns into imitation and the worth is valueless if the language is polished. It really would be better if you write them either in Persian or Gujarati.
Looking at Chanji, who was interpreting Baba's alphabet board during the exchange, Gandhi said:
Write to Mr. Dastur — write him from me — and tell him to pay less attention to the construction of language while publishing Baba Saheb's discourses, sayings and messages. Also, tell him to pay more attention to maintaining the original terms and words than to the beauty and grammar of the language. What necessity is there in polishing these things? To do so is an injustice to such excellent writings. If Dastur accepts what I say, then he should publish a footnote in the magazine each time he alters Baba's writings.
The writings that the reader grasps and finds beneficial are by Baba, and those found difficult to understand are from Dastur. With proper footnotes the reader may know that the translation is by Dastur and not in its original form as expressed by Shri. This clarification should be there. Write him in my name to do this at once, starting with the next issue. You should write him right now, as the night mail will be going soon.
After more discussion regarding India's struggle for independence, Baba ended the meeting by remarking, "Try as much as possible to do as I have told you." Gandhi once again reiterated his endearing invitation to Baba to see him in London and Baba consented to visit him.
On 24th July 1937, Gandhi ji sent his colleague D.B.K. Kalekar to Meherabad to see the ashram and express his opinion. He left
In June, 1939, Meher Baba sent Chanji to meet Gandhiji and to handover to him first issue of Meher baba journal.
On 5th December, 1941, at Meherabad, Baba sent the following message to Gandhiji through Chanji: “Stick to Truth at all cost, even it means giving up your political life. Do not try to force Non violence on unwilling adherents nor try to establish it, since it has already eternally established.”
On 30th January, 1948 Meher Baba told mandali in the morning, “A very significant event will occur today.” Late in the evening Adi Sr. Informed Baba that Mahatma Gandhi has been assassinated at about 5 p.m. Baba at once dictated on the Board. “Gandhi’s whole life of sacrifice and selfless service was his love of God, whom he longed to see until the very end.” Baba called Gandhi “A Great Soul”
Mahatma Gandhi had his own ideas of what constituted “non-violence” and “non-violent resistance,” and he did not truly understand the gist of Baba’s message on the subject. Baba sent Chanji again to Delhi to see Gandhi, which he did on April 3rd. Chanji returned to Dehra Dun and several letters ensued between himself and Gandhi about this subject. Gandhi had been shocked to read Baba’s views justifying the use of violence in certain situations, and called them “wholly inapplicable.”
Gandhi’s views were totally impractical for those on the Path; his idea of non-violence could only be achieved in the God-Realized state of a majzoob, whereby it is attained automatically.
On April 9th 1948 while discussing Gandhi and his resistance movement, Baba further clarified:
Real non-violence, like truth, love and selfless service, is the guide to God-Realization. My non-violence includes violence under certain circumstances when it is done one hundred percent for others and without the slightest feeling of malice, hatred, revenge or self-gain. I call it “non-violent violence.”
Non-violence, pure and simple, is the Beyond state of God. It is the goal of humanity. It cannot exist where one is still in the stages of a seeker. The seeker can, however, reach this goal through the means of “non-violence of the brave,” or of “selfless violence,” which means non-violent violence.
In September, 1953, Meher Baba praised Mahatma Gandhi and said” This is only one man who led a life of 100% truthfulness and honesty and that was Mahatma Gandhi. I took promise from him when he met me on steamer Rajputana (in Sept, 1931) that he would come to me after India attains independence. He kept his promise and has come to me.
80-MAISAHEB SITABAI PATWARDHAN
Rani of Kurundwad
On Sunday, 4 May 1958, Baba gave darshan on the verandah of Guruprasad as some of the Poona group sang bhajans. Many availed themselves of the occasion, including the owner of Guruprasad, Maharani Shantadevi of Baroda, 44, who on that day had Baba's darshan for the first time. For a long while, she sat near Baba's chair. Maisaheb Sitabai Patwardhan, the Rani of Kurundwad, 57, also happened to come for darshan. All were supposed to leave after taking darshan and not linger there but, as the darshan was in progress, Deshmukh brought the Rani of Kurundwad's son (the current Maharaja) and had him sit near Baba. Baba did not like it and so asked four of the very poorest lovers present to sit beside him