11-ERUCH BEHRAMSHAW JESSAWALA (Eruch)
Eruch B. Jessawala, primary interpreter of Baba’s signs and gestures, as the “Tongue of God” was well known for his deep understanding of Baba’s life and work and hundreds of seekers came to hear him speak of Baba.
Eruch Behramshaw Jessawala (October 13, 1916 – August 31, 2001), born in Bombay, India, was a close disciple of the silent Indian master Meher Baba, and one of His mandali. Eruch was also the primary interpreter of Meher Baba’s alphabet board, and later his unique sign language.
Eruch was born in Bombay to Zoroastrian parents, Beheram and Gaimai Jessawala. His father Beheram was an engineer with a high post in the Indian government in Nagpur, the capital of central provinces at that time. Due to constant relocations of his father, Eruch was placed in an orthodox Zoroastrian boarding school in Nasik, India at the age of 6. When his father eventually bought an estate, Eruch was transferred to a Catholic school at the age of 8 where he excelled as a student, eventually planning to study engineering like his father.
Due to family pressures, Eruch married his cousin Khorshed Damania on 25th may 1945, at Ahmednagar, which was attended by Meher Baba but according to Baba’s orders, soon after the wedding, he joined Baba permanently and never lived with his wife.
Eruch’s wife Khorshed became involved with Gangaram Mirchandani, who claimed to be a guru. Mirchandani was the same "bogus saint" who had sent three of his followers to confront Baba at Ashiana in Bombay in 1957. Baba forbade Khorshed from visiting Bindra House and also wished that the four Akbar Press families not get involved with this so-called guru.
According to Eruch the first time he remembered meeting Meher Baba was in 1925 at the age of nine on a trip with his family to Ahmednagar.
There had been many events and conversation with Meher Baba in his life time. He was the Baba’s interpreter. Many of humorous episodes carried spiritual messages are elaborated as under.
In August 1930, at Nagpur, Meher Baba stayed at Pappa Jessawala’s house. He told Gulmai that, “Eruch is My Son. I will give you another.”
Baba informed Gaimai that in the morning before Eruch went to school and after returning in the afternoon he should first meet Baba. Eruch was also to have his meals with Baba. Being a teenager, Eruch found this irksome and would deliberately hide and depart for school without seeing Baba. In the afternoons, 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 a distance and thought: "There He is again; He'll spoil my evening fun." To avoid Baba, Eruch quietly entered the house through the back door. After having a snack and changing clothes, he went out. Eruch did not want to spend his free time being with Baba, preferring instead to participate in football matches with his school teammates.
When he returned, Gaimai asked why he had not come home from school that day. Eruch explained that he had been home, but snuck off to play. Gaimai scolded him, "This is not good. You don't realize how blessed you are. Baba was waiting a long time for you. He is Zoroaster!" she exclaimed. "He is our Prophet returned! Do you not know that?"
Although religious by nature, Eruch was skeptical of what his mother said and remained unimpressed by his mother's words. Eruch had more of an interest in Jesus, having attended a Roman Catholic school in Nagpur. He did not yet realize that all Avatars are one and the same. Eruch thought to 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 Christ had heard his longing and was waiting to play with him each day.
On one occasion, Baba opened Eruch's clothes trunk. He took out a shirt and pair of pants, held them up to examine them and motioned to Gaimai, "I must have clothes like this prepared for Agha Ali." Gaimai immediately sent for her tailor, a Gujarati 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 Eruch.
Eruch was studying in college and would visit Meher Retreat with his family. On one occasion, Baba introduced him to his Western lovers. Baba asked him, "What do you want to become?" Eruch replied that he wanted to study engineering at a college in Benares.
"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 an engineer."
The mandali were expert at catching Baba's hints 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.
Baba then asked Eruch, "Did you hear what Kaka says about engineering? Why don't you become my engineer instead?" Eruch replied that he would see what happened.There is no worse profession on earth than engineering!"
Eruch was very strong physically. 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 the leather straps had come loose and Eruch took the sandal, thinking: "If I don't stitch it in time, Baba will claim I was only boasting." He approached Freiny and asked if there was a sewing machine in the house. She pointed it out, and Eruch proceeded to begin repairing the leather strap.
Freiny's children Meheru and Naggu watched noisily as Eruch fixed the sandal. Eruch told them to be quiet. He sewed the sandal and went back 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," said Eruch. "My parents have taught me many things." Baba appeared pleased and praised Eruch's abilities.
While staying at Nasik, Baba called the Jessawalas to Rahuri on 26th April 1937, and showed them the ashram and explained his work there. When Baba bathed the masts, he kept Eruch by His side.
In Bangalore, Baba had sent a telegram to Nagpur instructing Eruch Jessawala to meet Him in Panchgani. Eruch's father Pappa Jessawala was on tour when Baba's telegram arrived and Eruch's mother Gaimai told him to leave immediately. Eruch was working in the garden at the time and casually replied that he would start the next morning. It would take time to wash and get ready. But Gaimai urged, "Baba wants you immediately! Does immediately mean tomorrow?" While this exchange was occurring, a second, identical telegram from Baba arrived instructing 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 in Panchgani the next day, 29th April 1938, along with Jal Kerawalla. Baba was waiting for them. He was pleased to see Eruch and remarked, "You came at once!"
Eruch said, "You asked me to leave immediately, so I did."
Baba asked about his family and then motioned to the 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 said, "The world and its affairs are all illusory. Only God is real. Only God exists and everything else is transient!"
Baba continued, "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 to study engineering.
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 would your answer be?"
Eruch replied, "By your grace, anything is possible."
Baba smiled broadly and said, "Fine. Come on 1st August." Eruch nodded his consent and Baba told him to go. After bowing down, Eruch was just leaving the room when Baba clapped and called him back. "Would it be possible for your whole family to leave everything and come to Me?" Baba asked.
Eruch gave the same reply: "By your grace, anything is possible."
Baba said, "Ask your father whether it will be possible and write Me a letter. If he agrees, leave everything, and bring your father, mother, sisters and brother to Meherabad on August 1st of this year."
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 the family's possessions in such a short time. There was the question of their house, their property, his sisters' marriages, his younger brother Meherwan's schooling — and, most important of his entire father's permission.
Baba said, "I am the Ancient One. Your decision pleases Me more than you can know. You should stick to it at all costs!"
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!"
Fulfilling his promise, Eruch brought his family from Nagpur to Ahmednagar on Monday, 1st August 1938, to join Baba's ashram. Pappa Jessawala had come with them also and, after discussing all the arrangements with Baba, Baba sent him back to Nagpur on the 5th. He still had another year of service before he retired with a pension, and Baba advised him to complete his obligation and join Him after one year.
Before he left for Nagpur, Baba joked with him, "Pappa, I wanted Eruch to be with Me from his childhood, but you would not part with him. But had you turned him over to Me at the time, I would have had to look after his upbringing and studies. So, I thank you for giving him to Me now and saving Me all the trouble. It has lightened my burden considerably."
After settling in, Baba instructed Eruch to help Chanji with his correspondence work. He was also to hold the umbrella over Baba when Baba walked up and down the hill. Eruch's brother Meherwan and his cousin Dadi, who were both small boys, stayed at lower Meherabad with the men. Eruch's mother Gaimai stayed with the women mandali in the P.W.D. bungalow along with her daughters Meheru and Manu.
The only "thorn" in the whole affair was that Baba had told Eruch to bring his automobile along with them when they came. Since Pappa Jessawala also needed the car in Nagpur, Eruch explained to Baba that his father had insisted on keeping the car for at least another six months.
Baba was not happy about this and remarked, "This will always be a blemish on My heart."
At the time, Eruch did not understand Baba's comment. But eighteen years later, after the automobile accident in 1956 in Satara in which Eruch was driving, Eruch recalled Baba's words and thought that the accident related in some way to his not obeying Baba in 1938.
Shortly before coming to Baba, Eruch had two significant dreams. One night, he dreamed that Baba had come to his house and began moving about freely. He told Eruch, "Stop everything and come!" Baba made Pappa and Gaimai stand before Him. He gave two children into their custody and started to leave. Eruch said quickly, "There is a lot of milk in the house; it will spoil."
Baba spoke in the dream, "Throw it away in the gutter and after cleaning the pot, come to Me!"
Sometime later, Eruch had another dream. He was driving a car with Baba by his side. Baba was elbowing him, urging him to drive faster. He accelerated, but still Baba wanted him to drive faster. A sea loomed large in front of them and Baba told him to drive into it! In the water, Baba still insisted that Eruch drive faster, which he did. Eruch was sweating profusely and, after driving very, very far, he saw a white building before him. Baba signaled to park by the side of the building, and with much difficulty he did. But the car got trapped in the sand. Here his dream ended.
The strange dreams stayed with Eruch for many days and helped him maintain his resolve that since he had come, he would stay with Baba permanently.
While Eruch was preparing to study engineering, Meher Baba called him to Panchgani and asked him, “Will you leave everything and come to be with Me?” To this Eruch answered, “By your grace anything is possible.” Thus Eruch Jessawala joined Meher Baba as His disciple in 1938 at the age of 21.
Once there happened to be very touching episode in rail travel in year 1942. Baba stopped in Secunderabad briefly for mast work and then continued by train. A touching incident occurred on the train between Secunderabad and Sholapur. Baba was traveling incognito by third class, dressed in ordinary clothes, wearing a Kashmiri-type fur hat and dark sunglasses. The train was so packed that the only way to enter the compartment was through the windows. At one station, an old Muslim with a white flowing beard came running up to their compartment, holding up a five-year-old boy, pleading with the passengers to take him inside. Those inside began protesting, saying it was impossible since they were already so crowded. As the train whistle sounded, the old man became desperate and shouted, "For God's sake, take the child in!"
At this point, Baba ordered the mandali to help the man and lift the boy inside. Amidst loud arguments with their fellow passengers, the mandali did as they were told, brought the boy in through the window, and sat him down next to Baba. The old man ran to the next compartment, and held on to a railing as the train started. At each stop, he would come back to see that the boy was all right.
Observing the old man's anxiety, Baba ordered the mandali to make room for the man inside. After much trouble and more vociferous complaints from the other passengers, the mandali succeeded in pulling the man in through the window. He squeezed in next to Baba and put the boy on his lap.
In the course of conversation with the old Muslim, the mandali learned he was from Gulbarga, and asked, as was their habit, if he knew any masts or saints thereabouts. The man was surprised by their question and asked, "Why do you ask about saints? People go to a saint with two distinct objects: either for obtaining wealth and prosperity, or for God. Which do you seek?"
Eruch explained, "We are Parsis from Ahmednagar, but spiritually-minded and interested in saints."
Hearing that they hailed from Ahmednagar, the old man reproached them, "What? You say you are Parsis from Ahmednagar and you do not even know about your own great saint who lives near there, named Meher Baba? Why are you running after others?"
The mandali, in order to avoid disclosing Baba's identity, had to pretend they knew nothing about Meher Baba, and casually asked who he was.
The man laughed derisively at their ignorance, and chided, "Why he is a very, very great saint of a high order. He is worshiped by thousands of all communities. I can't believe you have never heard of him! I myself have been to see him at His ashram at Meherabad twice, but was not fortunate enough to have His darshan. Once, He was away in a foreign country, and once He was in seclusion. But I am determined to pay My respects to Him before I die," he added, "and take my whole family to him.
"At least once in my lifetime, I must have the good fortune of seeing Him. I strongly suggest you go to Him if you are interested in spiritual personalities."
At this point, the train stopped at Gulbarga, and the Muslim got down, thanking them for making room for himself and the boy. After he had left, Baba asked if they had any of His photographs with them. Eruch pulled a copy of Meher Baba Journal from his bedding roll. Baba bowed His head to His own photograph, and sent Eruch with the journal to give to the man, with these words, "Tell him who his companion on the train has been, and that I bless him and his family.
Now there is no need for him to visit Meherabad.
Eruch caught the old man outside the station as he was about to board a Tonga and handed him the journal. When the old man saw Meher Baba's picture in it, and Eruch revealed Baba's identity to him, he exploded in anger. He loudly abused Eruch for having kept it a secret all this time. Eruch tried to explain the Master's reasons for not seeing anyone and traveling incognito, saying, "You are so blessed to have journeyed with Him for an hour when hundreds of His followers thirst for His darshan, which He does not allow even for a moment."
But the man would not listen, and cursed Eruch and his entire "younger generation." The man explained how restless he had felt in the other compartment, and that was why he kept returning to theirs, somehow irresistibly drawn to be near Baba after having longed for His darshan for so many years.
Eruch ran back to catch the train, and the old man ran after him. Eruch jumped on board. The man saw Baba leaning out of the window, without his dark glasses and hat, as if waiting for him. The old man bowed his head to Him, and Baba placed His hand on his head in blessing as the train pulled away.
In December 1943, an Irani came to Meherabad and wanted to place Rs.500 at Baba's feet. Baba did not accept the money, but the man entreated him again; so Baba motioned to him to give it to Eruch, remarking, "You (Eruch) must hand over this amount to a family who is very poor, but who cannot beg. You will come to know the whereabouts of such a family in a natural way."
Baba had agreed to give darshan in Poona at the end of December, and Eruch was sent there in advance. Eruch had had no time to look for such a family in Ahmednagar, but when he went to Poona, taking the Rs.500 with him, he began his search. One day he was sitting in a shop sipping sugarcane juice. He overheard some of the other customers talking among themselves. One said, "What wonder of God that the very rich have become the very poorest, and the very poorest have become the very richest."
The shopkeeper nodded in agreement and said, "I know of a man in Bhor who is most faithful. Previously, he had a good job as a head-clerk. But he was fired from his job. He was not afraid to pursue justice, and had a reputation for being absolutely honest. His superior, who would always accept bribes, was jealous of him and somehow downgraded him, making him a pauper. The poor man has two daughters of marriageable age, but he is now penniless, without proper food and clothing."
After the customers left, Eruch took down the man's name and address and went to the town of Bhor. When he reached the house and saw the family in their miserable condition, his heart reached out to them. The daughters wore tattered clothing, and their small house was in a dilapidated condition. Seeing Eruch, the daughters were afraid, as he was dressed in khaki, and they thought he was a military officer or policeman. One daughter burst out, "We have done nothing wrong; for God's sake, leave us alone."
Eruch calmed her, "Don't be afraid, sister; I have come to help you. My elder brother has sent me to give you aid."
The other daughter pleaded, "My father is unemployed. He is out at the moment but will return at night. Please come tomorrow as we won't be able to pay the debts."
"I have not come to collect any debts," Eruch tried to explain. "I have come to present him with a gift from my elder brother. Please tell your father to be here tomorrow."
Eruch returned to Poona, and the next day went back to Bhor where he met the father. He informed him of his mission and the man asked, "Who has sent you?"
Eruch could not reveal Baba's name. "By the guidance of God, my elder brother has sent me. Oblige us by accepting the money." Eruch then touched the man's feet according to Baba's instructions, and handed him the money.
The man wept and disclosed, "Brother, Had you not come today, I would not have been alive tomorrow! I had decided to commit suicide. How long am I to continue carrying the load of these marriageable girls when I am up to my neck in debt? You can see for yourself our condition. We badly need clothes and other goods. But God is the Ocean of mercy! It is for our own good that He has kept us this way."
Folding his hands to the devout man, Eruch left. Such was Beloved Baba's play! He is the Protector of everyone at every moment, and nothing is hidden from him!
In 1944, one day, Baba sent a telegram to Eruch in Poona telling him to come to Pimpalgaon. When he arrived, Baba instructed him to sleep close to Him in His room. Eruch did not believe in ghosts, and although Baba had explained to him many times about disembodied spirits, he found the whole idea hard to swallow.
That night, as Eruch was sleeping, he woke up and felt some heavy pressure on his chest, as if someone were sitting on his chest trying to choke him, although he could see no one. He struggled to free himself from the invisible intruder, but was unable to and could not utter a sound. He tossed and turned on the floor, sweating profusely, and Baba watched the struggle from his bed. After a short time, the spirit departed, and Baba asked, "Now, do you believe in ghosts?"
Eruch had learned his lesson and said, "I certainly do now." The next day, he was sent back to Poona. Baba had called him only to give him this experience. (Lord Meher-p-2404/05-1944)
One particularly significant contact in Rishikesh was a highly advanced soul called Jala Tapasvi. This great yogi wore a green kafni and sat on the roof of a ruined temple which had once stood on an island in the Ganges River but was now submerged. When Kaka and Eruch first went to him, they introduced themselves as Parsis from Bombay, and the yogi at once asked, "How are things there?"
"There are constant riots and disturbances," Eruch replied.
Jala Tapasvi surprised them by stating: "It is natural and indeed inevitable.
It is all the work of the Avatar, who is now in form.
"How can we find the Avatar?" Eruch asked.
"No one knows Him," the yogi said, "but He is already born. I know it. He moves amongst humanity incognito, unknown. People like Gandhi, the great men of the world, the so-called leaders, may be famous and even worshiped by mankind, but they are mere playthings in the hands of the Avatar. They are like kites, the strings of which are held firmly in the Avatar's grasp, and he controls them as he wishes.
"Hitler shook the world — everyone says so. But it is the Avatar who worked through him."
"When will the Avatar manifest?"
"After 22 years (1968). These wars and disturbances will continue until then, and three-quarters of humanity will be wiped out! This narakwasi (hell-like) world will continue, and then a swargawasi (heaven-like) world will be born. For how can people of hell co-exist with the residents of heaven? Seventy-five percent of the present world will perish and the remaining one-fourth will be absorbed in the qualities of a New World, where peace and happiness will reign."
Jala Tapasvi concluded: "Like other Avatars before Him, He will be ridiculed by the majority of people, and His real fame will only spread after His death when He will be recognized and worshiped as the Savior."
As usual, Eruch and Kaka had not once referred to Meher Baba, but when Jala Tapasvi later saw Baba in a house in Rishikesh, he cried out: "The Avatar has come!" Baba was happy with the contact.
There were many strange characters in Rishikesh, but one whose name is not recorded is noteworthy, though contact with Him was not to Baba's satisfaction. He was a foreboding, strange recluse who was well known but whose whereabouts in Rishikesh no one dared to divulge for fear of being cursed. Eruch, after much inquiry, found this recluse who had closeted himself in a hut on the riverbank in Rishikesh. When the recluse asked who he was bringing, Eruch replied, "My father." Baba arrived, but the contact was not to his liking, because during it the recluse pestered Baba with inane questions such as, "How many sons besides this one (Eruch) do you have?" As a young man this seeker was said to have wandered through the jungles for years living only on leaves and roots before settling in Rishikesh. He was emaciated since he ate only one chapatti and a little dal daily; nevertheless he was a forbidding character if angered.
In one event during 1947,
Meherjee thought Baba would as usual travel in a third-class compartment, which was always overcrowded and would make the long journey particularly uncomfortable in the intense summer weather. He asked Baba if he could reserve a clean, first-class, air-conditioned compartment for Him and the mandali, and after much persuasion, Baba had relented. Baba sat in the cool compartment for a while, and then asked Eruch, "Don't you feel cold in here? I feel very chilly." The mandali were enjoying the journey for a change, but they asked Baba what He wanted. He instructed, "Go and tell the conductor to turn the air conditioning down a bit. Otherwise, you will all catch colds."
So Eruch approached the conductor, but the conductor replied, "Nothing can be done about it. It is on automatic; the temperature cannot be adjusted manually."
Eruch returned and informed Baba, who asked, "Can't they turn it off? Quick, go tell him to turn it off."
Eruch left, and the conductor turned the air conditioning off. Because the compartment was air-conditioned, it was airtight, without any external vents, fans or operable windows. It was the month of April, and the heat became intense. Without the air conditioning, the compartment soon turned into an oven!
Eruch felt so uncomfortable that he took off his clothes. The air was so stifling that everyone felt as though they were about to suffocate. Baba, on the other hand, was quite comfortable, and did not seem in the least affected.
Eruch thought: "Compared to this, third class is much better. At least it is airy."
Meherjee had purchased first-class tickets for Baba's comfort, but now he regretted doing so as the "comfort" turned into the severest discomfort imaginable. Thereafter, no one ever mentioned air conditioning to Baba again.
Baba and the mandali spent the night at the railway station, as they were to leave early the following morning. Here a memorable incident took place. Baba and the men would always carry their bedding rolls with them, and at the station they spread them out on the ground at the end of the stone platform. One of the mandali was to keep awake on night watch, but that night the sentry must have been feeling drowsy, because all of a sudden Baba started shaking Eruch awake.
Eruch awoke, startled. "What's the matter?" Baba pointed to a man sleeping beside them. The man had slipped under their blanket and was effectively using it to hide himself. Eruch shook him and asked, "Who are you?" But as soon as Eruch touched him, the man jumped up and ran away. When he did, the police were heard loudly blowing their whistles and chasing after him. The man was a thief and had slipped in between them seeking to disappear from the police.
Unknowingly, the thief had sought God's protection — and even if he was later caught, he had already had Baba's shelter!
Baba left for Baroda on the morning of Wednesday, 29 October 1947, 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 Him so that He could relax and express Himself uninhibitedly through gestures, without being concerned about drawing attention to Him. 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 traveling a long distance and are tired."
"Why, is this compartment reserved?" he asked.
"No, it is 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 traveling, 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 summoned 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 remarked, "Serves him right!"
Once Baba sent Eruch for certain work to Ahmednagar, asking him to return to Pimpalgaon by seven that evening. When Eruch had not returned by that time, Baba became restless. He would send Krishna every two minutes to see whether he had arrived. Baba was very uneasy and got angry with Krishna for no apparent reason.
Eruch had been late in leaving Ahmednagar and was driving swiftly toward Meherazad. On the way, he found the nallah (riverbed) flooded due to the monsoon rains, and cars and buses were stuck there. Paying no attention to the warnings not to cross the canal, Eruch plunged the car through the stream. He managed to drive across, though he got completely soaked. He arrived safely at Meherazad, and as soon as he drove in the compound, Baba calmed down. Eruch was called, and Baba asked him, "Why are you late?"
Eruch was weeping. He said, "Baba, I forgot."
"Why didn't you forget yourself?" Baba fumed. "Why did you forget My order? If you die, I will have to answer to Pappa!"
Once, Baba asked Krishna, "How do you find Eruch?"
Krishna replied, "He is a very good man."
Baba stated, "He is not only very good, he is a gem!"
India and Pakistan had been partitioned, and civil chaos, riots, mayhem and confusion were rocking the country. It was no time to be traveling. Hindus and Muslims were massacring one another indiscriminately. Many had been slaughtered in trains. At times, train compartments were full of corpses being taken to distant places for burial or cremation.
In 1948, Baba, Lord of Creation chose to travel at this time for His work. From Raigarh, Baba proceeded to Calcutta. They caught the first train to Dacca, at that time the capital of East 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 traveling 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; Avatars and Sadgurus are "dead" to the world at all times!
They returned to Calcutta at 7:30 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 at the Great Eastern Hotel 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 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 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.
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 tell the couple to make as little noise as possible.
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," Eruch pointed out, "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."
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, Baba said, "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!
Nearby a policeman was observing this odd exchange and became suspicious. He asked everyone to accompany him to the police station. Eruch asked what they had done wrong. "This man is not speaking but making signals and I am suspicious of him. You'll have to come with me to the station to be interrogated." The policeman thought there were some secret coded messages being passed between Baba and Gustadji by signs. Due to the bitter relations between India and Pakistan at the time, even the smallest, most trivial incidents were viewed with apprehension.On 1st April 1948, when Baba was out looking for masts on Mukamma Ghat in Batanagar, an amusing incident took place. Baba was conversing with Baidul, Chhagan, Eruch, Gustadji and Kaka. As Gustadji was keeping silence, he was "talking" with his fingers, and Eruch, who was the most adept at putting his gestures into words, was interpreting for Baba. Because Gustadji had enjoyed a bumper breakfast that morning, he was in a good mood and his fingers moved rapidly.
Eruch assured him, "We are Parsis, and this person is dumb and therefore was speaking through signs."
Gustadji's feelings were pricked by this repeated remark and he gestured to Eruch, "Why do you always call me 'dumb'? Am I dumb or observing silence?"
Eruch did not pay any attention to him and continued talking with the officer, but Baba snapped at Eruch, "What is he saying, what is he saying? Why don't you tell Me what Gustadji is saying?"
When the policeman saw that there were two "dumb" persons in their group, he became even more suspicious! Eruch, with difficulty, persuaded him of their innocence and the man left.
Now an argument ensued between Eruch and Gustadji. Gustadji asked again, "Why do you always call me dumb?"
"Had I not said you were dumb, you would have been locked up in jail!"
"So what?" Gustadji said. "That would have been better than being insulted!"
Baba continued goading Gustadji and at the same time demanding that Eruch interpret his gestures. Finally, Eruch got so exasperated he told Gustadji, "Pardon me; henceforth I will never call you dumb again."
But this was not the end of their confrontation. Baba continued to encourage Gustadji to keep on talking, and he went on making more and more signs which Eruch not only had to "listen" to, but also interpret and repeat. At last Eruch got so fed up with Baba siding with Gustadji, that he exploded in sheer anger and said something disrespectful to Baba.
After a little while, Baba asked, "Do you know how much you have pained Me?"
Eruch had cooled down and answered, "I did not mean it. Others have used much stronger language than I did. You did not feel so pained then."
"You have no idea how much you have shocked My heart! Listen to this story and you will realize why I feel so deeply hurt." Baba then recounted:
A woman in a village once cohabitated with a man who was not her husband and the people came to know of it. It was the custom then to punish such a crime by making the adulteress sit in a circle. Every villager would then pick up a stone and strike her.
The woman was made to sit in the town square and the villagers began stoning her one by one. When the woman's daughter's turn came, she could not bring herself to stone her own mother. Instead, she picked up a rose and threw it at her.
But the rose wounded the woman much more than all the stones combined, because it came from her daughter, one whom she dearly loved and had raised so tenderly.
Similarly, others' "stones" do not hurt me as deeply as your rose.
After His mast contacts, Baba went to a small railway station near Calcutta on the night of 1st April, 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 then and so was 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 first-class coupé 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 stationmaster 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.
In Haridwar, when Baba was to contact other masts, His gaze fell upon an old man dressed in rags. Baba sent Baidul to elicit information from him about the whereabouts of masts, and on Baidul's return they walked off. But the old man was magnetically drawn to Baba, and followed them down the street.
On Baba's instructions, Eruch asked him the reason why he was following them. The old man replied, "I am in search of a guru, because Kabir has said that without the help of a guru, God is not experienced! I am now old and afraid I may pass away without realizing Paramatma." Looking at Baba, he continued, "In you I see the man fit to guide me on the Path."
Baba smiled and, speaking through Eruch, advised the man, "Try to love God more and more — so much so that you feel like a fish out of the ocean whose only desire is to return to the ocean."
As usual, whenever Baba would arrive in a village or small town, a crowd gathered to have a look at the strangers. As Eruch was busy talking with a devotee, a man with a palsied arm stood next to him and put his other arm lightly around Eruch's shoulder in a gesture of friendship — or so Eruch thought. Eruch was carrying a wad of ten-rupee notes in his upper pocket, and though he did not see the act, he heard a crisp sound, turned quickly and saw the man holding two notes in his hand. Because of the crowd, Eruch did not say anything, but he caught a firm hold of the man's wrist and dragged him behind the house, determined to give him a few hard slaps for picking his pocket. He raised his arm to strike him when suddenly someone caught his arm from behind.
Turning around, he saw it was Baba.
"What are you doing?" Baba gestured.
"This rascal pinched Rs.20 from my pocket!" Eruch responded.
Baba looked at the man. "Did you do that?" He caught hold of his earlobe (the usual punishment for children) and, pinching it, warned him, "Never, never do that again!"
Baba turned back to Eruch and motioned, "Give him back the money. It is meant for those who need it. Had he not needed it, why would he have stolen it?" Eruch hesitated, but Baba repeated, "Go on, give it to him!"
Baba would not permit the mandali to open any of the windows or ventilators, because his sensitive sinuses could not bear the slightest draft. When their small compartment grew unbearably hot, Eruch took off all his clothes. He began gasping for air in the stifling coach and looked like a naked mast covered with sweat. The compartment became like the black hell hole of Calcutta!
Baba appeared to be sleeping, and Eruch took the opportunity to go to the toilet, where he turned on the tap. He was so desperate for a bit of fresh air, he stuck his head down the "toilet" - a hole open to the tracks beneath the train — to breathe. When he returned, Baba had covered himself with blankets and still seemed to be resting, oblivious to the heat.
On Monday, 22nd September 1947, Baba left Baroda for Ahmedabad. The train compartment was extremely crowded and Baidul had to sit on the floor by the door. When the train halted at Nadiad, Baidul moved in front of the exit. Suddenly, someone pushed the door open, but as the compartment was already overflowing, Baidul quickly closed it, pushing the man out.
The man slipped and nearly fell, but was not injured.
Two policemen appeared and told Eruch, "Come out at once; you are under arrest." Eruch looked incredulous and asked what he had done. "You pushed the mayor out of the train!"
"Who says I pushed him?" Eruch demanded, "And why was the mayor trying to enter from an exit door"? He should have come through the proper entrance. Let him prove I pushed him out."
The mayor appeared and addressed the other passengers: "Brothers and sisters, you are all witnesses of what happened. This man threw me out! Judge for yourselves. Let there be no injustice done. Let not barbarism triumph by giving your testimony."
Eruch spoke in his defense: "Fellow passengers, you know that there has been rain, and there is mud everywhere. Had the distinguished mayor really fallen, his clothing would have gotten dirty. Look for yourselves. His clothes are quite clean without a spot on them. You may come to your own conclusion."
The mayor indignantly sat in another compartment and the two policemen entered Baba's compartment — already holding 84 passengers but designed for only 50. The train started as the policemen began collecting statements from everyone. It went on the whole night and when the train arrived in Ahmedabad, Baba and the mandali got down — with the charge against Eruch still unsubstantiated.
After completing his mast work in Ahmedabad, on the evening of the 23rd, Baba went to the station to catch a train for Mount Abu. Since there was plenty of time before the train was due to arrive and Baba was completely exhausted, he wished to rest for a while. However, the platform was full of people, so he could not rest there.
Baba climbed the railway bridge to see if he could find a quiet spot on which to lie down. He noticed a garden nearby, and when Eruch went to check it out, he found that it was a public works storehouse. Eruch asked the watchman for permission for them to rest in the shade a while, but he said, "This is a restricted area; no one is allowed inside."
Entreatingly, Eruch told him, "We only want to lie underneath a tree before our train comes. I promise we will not be in your way. We are very tired and will leave after a few hour's rest."
The watchman reluctantly agreed and Eruch gave him a generous tip.
Baba and the men carried their luggage to the garden and spread themselves out in the cool shade under a tree. Baba washed his face and hands. The men, after taking off their clothes, went to sleep. Since it was very hot at the time, they all slept in their underpants. Soon after, the official storekeeper himself showed up and asked the watchman, "Who are those people and why did you allow them to camp inside? Who will be responsible if anything is stolen?" The watchman implored his pardon, but harshly reprimanding him, the official said, "Your service terminates as of tomorrow. You're fired!"
Baba was listening to all this and he woke Eruch and said, "Go and find out what the trouble is." Eruch ran half-naked to the guard, but the official had already left.
The watchman told him everything and Eruch consoled him, saying, "Don't worry, we'll do something." Eruch, still in his boxers, then went to see the official storekeeper in the dak bungalow and told him in English, "It was not the watchman's fault. We were wrong to seek shelter here. He at first refused us entrance, but we persuaded him to relent.
"I am the son of a boiler inspector [a high government position] and all my companions come from good families. We will leave the garden now, but please do not dismiss the watchman because of us. We were simply lying under a tree and never stepped foot in the store."
The official said, "You may rest there as long as you like. I was just threatening the man to keep him on his toes so he won't permit anyone else to enter the premises. I won't sack him, don't worry."
"Then kindly accompany me and assure him of that," Eruch requested. "He is so afraid, and my elder brother won't be able to rest so long as the man keeps worrying."
The storekeeper took Eruch back in his car to the garden. Pretending to reprimand the watchman, he said, "If this ever happens again, I will dismiss you from service, but today you're forgiven. Just remember not to let it happen again; otherwise, you'll really lose your job."
Thus everything returned to normal, but the Lord of the universe could not rest undisturbed, even under the shade of a tree. Perhaps his fatigue was a pretext to contact the kindly watchman and his stern boss.
During stay in Vengurla, he again wished to contact the fifth-plane Lala Mast. The mast was living far away in an isolated area, and Baba asked Eruch "Isn't there any shortcut?"
Eruch reported, "There is an inlet, but it is full of brackish water. It would be difficult to cross, and it smells awful. There are tiny canoes that ferry passengers, but it is rather dangerous."
"We'll take the shortcut," Baba decided. "Why spend an hour driving this long, zigzag way?" They left the car, and Baba walked with Eruch to the inlet.
Eruch told the young fisherman's son plying his canoe that he would be paid well, but that he should be extra careful taking them across. The boy agreed, and scrubbed his boat well for the distinguished gentleman. Baba took off his coat and, handing it to Eruch, stepped into the hollowed-out palm tree canoe wearing only his sadra. Eruch was carrying a satchel containing a water bottle, soap, a towel, washcloth, and so forth. While traveling with Baba to contact masts, these things were necessary to wash the mast, and clean the often squalid area where they stayed. In addition, the bag carried sweets, clothing, cigarettes, paan and other items a mast might ask for.
Eruch got in and the canoe pushed off. But after going some distance, the boy's friends, who were swimming alongside, began teasing the boy and roughhousing. Suddenly, the canoe overturned, and Baba, Eruch and the boy were thrown into the water. The channel was not deep, but Baba had gone under and Eruch had to dive down and pull Baba to the surface. They had to wade through the dirty water to reach the other side. Eruch held the bag in one hand and with the other helped Baba across and out of the smelly water. Their clothes and the bag were drenched.
After being helped up on the bank, Baba turned to Eruch and said something to him which he never forgot: "Just as you have helped me out of this dirty water today, so also one day I will help you out of the filth of maya!"
Baba sat down and instructed Eruch to go bring his other clothes from the bungalow.
Eruch protested, "How can I leave you here alone?"
But Baba insisted, "Don't think about it; go and bring a change of clothes for me."
Eruch returned to the dak bungalow and asked Goher for clothes for Baba. "Where's Baba?" she asked.
Thinking quickly, Eruch replied, "With the mast."
Eruch brought the clothes, and Baba changed into them behind a bush. He instructed Eruch to wash his dirty clothes and hang them in the sun to dry, so that when he would give them to Goher, she would not be suspicious. They then went to Lala Mast's isolated hut, and Baba was pleased with the contact.
In new life at Benaras on the first day, they halted in the compound of a school at a place called Shivpur. Here Baba sent Babadas and Eruch out begging. Eruch first approached the hut of a very poor old woman, but she had nothing to give — not even a little flour. Yet she told Eruch to wait, and borrowing some flour from a neighbor, lovingly gave it to Eruch as alms. How fortunate was this poor woman! The God-Man had sent his companions to beg at her door, and she did not fail to give him something, even if she had nothing herself.
Traveling farther south, Baba and his companions arrived in Madras, where a thorough search was made to locate more families. Three destitute families were found, and Baba washed their feet and gave Rs.500 to each family.
On one occasion, Baba was sitting at a place in Madras, when he suddenly gestured that he felt thirsty.
He sent Eruch to buy coconut water. While doing so, Eruch overheard some people discussing an unfortunate family. Eruch asked a paan wala if he knew of any needy families in the area. The paan-seller informed him, "In Gudur there is a family who was once quite well-to-do, but they are now in such a miserable condition they cannot even afford food and clothing. The man used to be a wealthy merchant and was having a palatial bungalow constructed. Suddenly his business plummeted and the building contractor, taking advantage of his situation, began looting him. The result was the contractor himself became the owner of the building, and the family now occupies a tiny hut, where they live in squalor."
Eruch repeated the story to Baba, and Baba became anxious to proceed immediately to Gudur. Two hours later, they caught the first train there. When they arrived, Eruch went ahead from the station to find the family in a suburb called Old Mambalam. He came to a large house and knocked on the door. A well-dressed man appeared, and Eruch asked for the man whose name he had taken from the shopkeeper. "I am that man!" the head of the household replied. This surprised Eruch, and he thought the search had been in vain. Still, he said, "I have heard that the former owner of this house was once very wealthy but is now a pauper. My elder brother has come to render him some help." The owner did not reply, but his young son who had been standing behind him said that the man he wanted resided in a hut in a nearby alley. The man Eruch had been talking with was the person who had taken over the house from its original owner. Surprisingly, their names were almost the same.
The boy showed Eruch to the other man's hut. It was Diwali, the colorful festival of lights, but outside the hut, not even one light burned. Eruch tapped on the door of the hovel, and a young girl in a tattered sari cautiously opened it. It was dark inside. Only a tiny light flickered in front of a glass case housing a tall idol of Lord Krishna which, even in his destitution, the man had saved. The poor man was sick and lay on a cot in the corner. His wife was seated on another cot in the one-room shack.
The girl had been praying to Krishna. Eruch inquired of the girl about the man, and she quietly answered, "He is my father, but he is ill. My mother too is indisposed. Why have you come here?"
"I came to know about your father's plight, and my elder brother has come to help him," Eruch explained.
"We have nothing with which to repay a loan."
"This is not a loan," Eruch quickly explained. "My elder brother wants to give a gift of love, and if your father accepts it he will oblige us."
The girl burst into tears. She turned to the statue of Krishna and uttered: "My Krishna, my beloved Krishna — how merciful you are! I have only just prayed to you and you have answered so soon. You are merciful, my Lord, most merciful!"
At this, Eruch's heart too was full, and tears came to his eyes. Eruch told the girl, "My elder brother always first washes the feet of the receiver and then lays his forehead on them. Warm some water; meanwhile, I will bring him from the train station."
Eruch went back to the station and, accompanied by Baba and Pendu, led them to the hut. Baba washed and put his head on the man's feet, handing him Rs.500. The girl was overcome and wept. "My Krishna, my Krishna," she continued to cry. "My merciful Krishna!"
Age too was touched. "Krishna was present in physical form — but the Lord did not linger!" Finishing his work, Baba immediately departed by tonga. After some distance, it was discovered that Baba's coat had been left behind in the hut. But Baba indicated to Eruch and Pendu, "Forget about it! Let my coat stay with them. I am extremely happy with the work that has been done."
From Madras, Baba and the men entrained for Hyderabad, where they stayed for nine days. In an Idgah (Muslim place of worship), Baba sat in seclusion for half an hour one day. There, while the men stood guard, Baba again took off his clothes and sat naked, wearing only a loincloth. In this manner, Baba's langoti life continued.
In Hyderabad, eleven destitute families were found in need of Baba's love-gift. Baba gave Rs.500 to three Muslim families, and the same amount to five Hindu families. Three other families received lesser sums from Baba.
One interesting incident of these contacts was when they heard of a former prosperous nawab (Muslim prince) who had fallen victim to a wretched plight.
Previously, he had been so rich that when he traveled, a special saloon for him was attached to the train, and at the entranceway of his splendid home elephants were kept chained. Yet his sudden misfortune had reduced him to a pitiful state — selling beedies and matches on the street, and he had no place where he could call home.
Eruch began a search to locate this former prince in the Mud Fort locality of Hyderabad. The man was well known, but since he was without a place of residence, he could not easily be found. Eruch at last approached the proprietor of a small shop who said, "He is here, lying sick on the verandah." Eruch went to him. He was lying on a broken-down cot, which someone had given him. Nearby were a few matchboxes and beedies piled on top of an empty wooden crate — the extent of his worldly possessions. His wife had gone to a free municipal dispensary to bring medicine.
Eruch left at once and brought Baba, Pendu and Baidul. Eruch gently told the man, "My elder brother has come to help you. He will give you a good sum as a gift of love, and we will be grateful if you accept it."
Suspicious, the man asked, "From where have you come, and why do you wish to help me? With what motive?"
"Please do not ask such things," said Eruch. "Accept the gift as God's mercy; that is all we ask."
After much persuasion, the man agreed. Baba was in a hurry to finish everything, but Eruch said, "Baba, let's wait until his wife comes. There are many people about and someone might steal the money."
Baba replied, "Yes, money is such a thing that people in his condition cannot afford to be careless with it."
Baba approached the man to wash his feet. The sick man wanted to get off the cot and stand up. Although he was told not to do so, he would not hear of it. Baba washed and placed his forehead on his feet and gave him Rs.500 as his love gift.
Seeing the stack of notes, the man was so overcome he fainted. Seeing the man fall, the people who were watching began verbally abusing Baba and the party. They charged that because of the presence of Baba and his men, the man had become more ill and died.
A ruckus was raised. As a crowd gathered around them, Baba, Pendu and Eruch lifted the man and laid him back on the cot, and Baba began fanning him.
"Inform the police immediately!" The crowd demanded. "These are dacoits! They have poisoned the poor nawab! Don't let them escape!" Eruch tried to pacify them, but to no avail.
At this point, the wife returned with the medicine. Seeing her husband unconscious, she started weeping and wailing. Loudly she shrieked, "I have been deprived of everything in this world! Only my husband was left with me, and now you have snatched him away!"
Eruch tried to calm her, "He will come around soon; he's not dead. Do not be distraught. He has been given a large sum of money. See that it is kept safe and spent on his treatment."
The man slowly opened his eyes, and tears flowed. "Why do you abuse these good people?" he asked his wife. "These men are the angels of God! Do you know what they've done?" The woman started offering her thanks for the timely help.
Eruch told her, "It is God's grace. Thank Him!" Baba had quickly slipped out the door so suddenly; some still thought he was in fact guilty of a crime.
Tremendous efforts were involved in seeking out such families; inquiries were made on all sides. To contact them and help them was difficult, but the God-Man's love is great for those who really suffer, and he himself underwent much hardship to find and help them.
Those who received monetary help were informed that what was given to them was not given as charity. It was a gift to them so they could rehabilitate themselves and regain their material stability. In accordance with the fulfillment of the objectives of the New Life, Meher Baba's name was not disclosed to anyone, so that the recipients could not make obeisance to him.
Arriving Bombay at Bindra Baba directed Eruch to take a bath. Eruch insisted, "You should bathe first, have your lunch — then I'll have mine."
So Baba had his bath and food and ordered Eruch again to go and bathe. Eruch replied, "After I've given you the Hewlitt's Mixture [for digestion], I'll go."
"Don't worry about that, just have your bath; I'll take the mixture myself," Baba insisted.
Gaimai intervened and disapprovingly corrected her son, "Why don't you do as Baba says? Go have your bath."
Eruch left reluctantly, and Baba went to take his medicine. Manu, Eruch's sister, said she had a bottle with her, and she would bring it. "Do not bring it — it's here," Baba replied. He opened his traveling bag, but when he took out the bottle, it slipped from his hand and broke into pieces. Sitting down, Baba began picking up the glass and Gaimai came running, and insisted that she would clean it up.
Returning from the bathroom, Eruch remarked sardonically, "I knew something would happen! That is why I did not want to go for my bath."
"Go away!" Gaimai scolded. "What does it matter if a thousand bottles are broken?" Baba kept quiet and looked guilty, as if he had been caught committing some transgression. The fact was, Baba did not wish Eruch to go for his bath, and Eruch knew it. The broken bottle was his ploy to teach Eruch to follow the dictates of his heart.
But the episode did not end here. A few drops of the medicine had splashed on Baba's coat. "There are spots on my coat," Baba complained. "What will Mehera say?"
"Don't worry, we have another coat," Manu said.
"I do not want another one," Baba insisted.
Turning to Eruch, Baba was plaintive. "What should we do now? What will Mehera say when she sees these stains? How pained she will feel when she finds I've been wearing a coat that has been soiled. You know how very particular she is about my clothing."
Eruch said, "It's all because I went for my bath. I do not know how I let you convince me." Baba laughed and Manu hurried in carrying a similar coat. Baba put it on, so the stained one could be cleaned. He then went to Baba House.
Eruch and Baba rode in the front seat, and Vishnu, Pendu and Nilu at the back. On the way, Baba instructed Eruch to drive slowly, since he wanted to reach Satara in the evening and there was plenty of time remaining. Pendu explained: "Every time Baba left for somewhere, he used to tell Mehera what time we would be back. In this way, the women were free to do their own work. Otherwise, they would be anxious, not knowing what time Baba would be returning. So that day Baba had told them, 'I am coming back this evening, but not before six.' We had no idea what time Baba had given to Mehera. Baba liked fast driving, to reach soon, so Eruch used to drive fast."
When there were only a few miles left to Satara, Baba asked Eruch the time. Baba said he must not reach before six. Eruch stopped the car under a tree and said, "Let's rest here. We'll play some cards or a game to kill time, because it's too near now and we'll reach before six."
Baba said to continue, so Eruch began driving very slowly. Baba didn't like it. "What's the matter with you?" he asked. "Why aren't you going fast?"
Eruch replied, "You asked me not to reach before six and you don't want to wait here."
"No, drive as usual."
Baba had moved from the front to the back seat, changing places with Vishnu and Pendu. At 5:05 P.M., fifteen miles outside of Satara, Baba had the car stopped and switched places again; he again sat in front with Eruch, while Vishnu, Pendu and Nilu were at the back. Baba's fingers were working continuously, indicating his serious mood.
Eruch now was apparently driving too fast, because Baba warned him to slow down. They drove on and neared Udtara, twelve miles from Satara, where Baba had played cricket with the mandali and other lovers a year and a half before. Baba pointed ahead to the spot and recalled the day.
In evening, almost directly opposite where they had played cricket, as Eruch was reading Baba's gestures, the steering wheel suddenly and inexplicably went completely out of control. The car swerved, dashed against a stone culvert and landed eventually in a shallow ditch on the other side of it. All the men in the car, including Baba, were seriously injured. Baba was bathed in blood, his tongue was torn, his hip bone fractured, and he had abrasions on his forehead, nose, cheeks and legs.
Early in the morning of Tuesday, 25 February 1958, the men and women at the sahavas began meditating and singing devotional songs and the arti — illuminating Meherabad with the light of Wine. To take Baba to the pandal, an open convertible car had been procured for the occasion and was also decorated in the shape of a boat. It was driven by Laxman Malvade of Arangaon. The entire sahavas group walked about half a mile up the Ahmednagar road to receive Baba. The Arangaon villagers formed into a long procession of singing and dancing. The Arangaon lovers had returned from Toka with the sacred river water, and the entire atmosphere reverberated with hearty shouts of Baba's Jai!
Meanwhile, at Meherazad that morning, Baba had not cleared his bowels. After driving some distance in the car, Baba indicated to Eruch that he had to use the toilet. "Should we stop at Adi's (Khushru Quarters) on the way?" Eruch asked.
"No," Baba gestured. "Just hurry and drive straight to Meherabad."
Again on the way, Baba indicated he had to go to the toilet urgently. "We can stop at Akbar Press," Eruch suggested.
But again Baba said no. "On reaching Meherabad, I will proceed straight to my room and use the potty there; don't allow anyone to come inside."
Eruch was driving as fast as he could, but at 7:30 A.M., about a third of a mile from Meherabad, they were met by the cheering and cries of Baba's lovers, who had come forward to receive him. Eruch blared the horn, telling people to move out of the way; but the only response he got was: "Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!" And again and again, louder: "AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI! AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI!"
Baba's car was surrounded. Eruch went on honking and shouting for people to please move and allow the car to proceed, but Baba gestured to him to keep quiet and not mar their enthusiasm. "Once in this life, they get such an opportunity," Baba remarked. And the car inched its way forward. The greatest joy for the lovers was thus a torture for their Beloved!
After an hour halt in Cairo, they traveled on. There was a scheduled four-and-a-half-hour layover in Rome, where they were to change planes. Baba asked, "What are we going to do for three or four hours?" Don requested that the pilot radio ahead for a room in the Rome airport in which his patient could rest during the layover. Speaking in Italian, Don impressed them that he was a British doctor in charge of a very important person. He was under the impression that a room would be given at the airport. When they arrived, they were met by two attendants with a wheelchair who insisted on escorting Baba, though Eruch said he would push the wheelchair. They did not speak English, and only Don spoke Italian. They wheeled Baba onto a platform outside, and while Don went to check about the room, the mandali heard an ambulance coming, its siren blaring. It pulled right up to Baba. Two men very gently but firmly put Baba on a stretcher and loaded him into the ambulance. Eruch verbally protested against what they were doing, but because of the language barrier they did not understand what he was saying. Eruch jumped into the ambulance next to Baba and they were driven to a hospital three miles away.
Baba was taken to a room in the hospital and a doctor came to examine him.
Eruch tried to explain, "He is not a patient! We only wanted a room in which to rest until our plane leaves. We have to catch a plane in a few hours, so we must be taken back in time." After taking Baba's temperature, the doctor and nurse left, and Baba motioned to Eruch to lock the door. They had a wash, and Baba laid down on the bed and covered himself with a sheet. Don, Nariman and Adi arrived, and after a couple hours they returned to the airport.
Baba was still in the wheelchair when he expressed an urge to urinate. There were no toilets nearby and, besides, the wheelchair would not fit into the toilet stalls. Eruch (who always carried an aluminum cup for such purposes) told the other mandali to occupy both side-booths of a telephone booth while he wheeled Baba into the middle one. They did so, pretending to talk on the telephone as Eruch lifted Baba, who urinated into the cup, which Eruch emptied into a toilet.
On 27 July 1961, Baba and a few of the mandali paid their respects at Babajan's tomb. Gajwani and Siganporia had a two-hour audience with Baba on 1 August. Adi arrived that same evening.
During those days in Poona, Eruch used to spend the day at Guruprasad and return to Bindra House in the evenings. Baidul would also stay with his family at night. Naja would always stay at Bindra House to cook, as food for Baba and the women came from there. The men's food came from Jal Dorabjee's guest house. Once Eruch brought mangoes from Bindra House. They were delicious, but the next day Baba complained to him, "The mangoes are sour."
Eruch replied, "They are sweet, Baba. I bought them myself after tasting them."
Sending for Mani, Baba asked her whether they were sweet or sour.
Mani answered they were somewhat sour, and Eruch could only remark, "Well, perhaps they are."
One day Baba remarked to Eruch about his mother and sister, "I was thinking of calling Gaimai and Manu to Guruprasad, but after consulting the women, they said that if I called them, I would have to call others also." Eruch kept quiet and Baba added, "I am so guileless! All are fooling me!"
Eruch replied sardonically, "You are not guileless, Baba, but ghag (cunning)! You are ustad (masterful)!" Eruch's remarks made Baba laugh.
Eruch and Don Stevens had gone out for a walk, as they would do every morning, but the Ahmednagar group had arrived fifteen minutes early. By the time Eruch and Don returned to Meherazad, Baba was already with them in front of mandali hall.
"Where have you been?" he asked Eruch, his eyes flashing with anger. Eruch explained. Baba asked, "But why weren't you here when the singers arrived?"
Eruch said "The program was to start at ten o'clock, and it is only a quarter to ten now."
"You should have been here," Baba insisted. "You should know what I want." On and on, Baba reprimanded Eruch. Don was mortified. "Good heavens, what have I gotten poor Eruch into," he thought, as it was Stevens who had wanted to go out that morning, despite Eruch's misgivings. "I really ought to bear some of the weight of this debacle," he thought to himself.
Just as he had this thought, Baba turned on him and gestured, "Don, you have ruined my day!"
Baba said “Eruch is with Me, he loves Me, he works for Me wholeheartedly, but even for him it is not easy to obey Me.
Eruch interjected, "I just tell Baba we are helpless in this and all other matters. I found that out during my long stay of many years with Baba. I thought obedience was easy; but I did not know Baba would say 'Get up' and 'Sit down' at one and the same time! So I tell Baba: 'I am absolutely helpless. I cannot obey you, I cannot love you!' "
Baba commented, "Eruch loves Me very much. He is My right hand; but obedience is a terrible affair. The apostles of Jesus also knew how difficult it was to obey Him."
Eruch added, "We cannot please Baba even with obedience; so it is not obedience. Yet to please him is the aim of everything we do."
A curious encounter occurred before leaving Hyderabad. Eruch visited the police commissioner's office and submitted a letter stating that Meher Baba intended to travel by foot from Hyderabad to Ahmednagar and requesting the police to inform other officials along their way, so that the group would not be stopped and unnecessarily inconvenienced for verification of their identity by the local police.
The commissioner, S. N. Reddy, invited Eruch to his house for tea, and Eruch, surprised by the invitation, accepted.
At his residence, Police Commissioner Reddy left the room and returned with an old framed photograph. It was the photograph of Baba as a young boy with his high school cricket team. Reddy said he was a member of the team and said, "Tell Baba that I always remember him from our school days." The necessary documents were promptly prepared and sent out. From then on, not only were Baba and his men allowed to travel freely in every town in the area, but also in every obscure outpost the local police had been informed not to stop them.
The 30th October 1951, Baba sat in seclusion for half an hour in a Muslim dargah in Gulbarga, and thereafter contacted a saint and a mast.
Baba wished to give money as "love-gifts" to 101 needy families in Warangal, and he sent Eruch in advance to contact the headman of the village. The headman owned a shop, and opposite his was another shop. Unbeknownst to Eruch, there was a bitter rivalry between the two shopkeepers. As Eruch approached the headman's shop, the other shopkeeper called him over and asked what he wanted.
Eruch explained his purpose and the second shopkeeper told him, "There is no necessity of meeting Him. I will arrange everything." He then drew up a list of 101 families who had once been farm owners but, as their land had been confiscated by the government, were now on meager government pensions of Rs.20 to 25 per month. The shopkeeper handed the list to his servant, who accompanied Eruch to distribute passes among the listed families.
Meanwhile, the headman came to know of the matter and, out of spite, informed the police. Two constables came to where Eruch was distributing tickets. One constable, noticing that Eruch was poorly dressed and unshaven, arrogantly demanded, "Come over here. What are you doing?"
"Be civil," Eruch replied. "I am not a thief. You are a public servant. Why behave in such an insolent manner?"
The policeman said, "Come with us to the police station; our inspector wants to speak with you."
I have no time," Eruch answered. "Send your chief here. I have not broken any law. If he will not come, I will see him after finishing my work."
So both constables returned to the police station.
While Eruch was on his way to the second shop with the head person of each needy family, a police inspector with the two constables confronted him. The headman, pointing to Eruch, told the inspector, "He's the ruffian!"
Eruch then began to understand, and going to the second shopkeeper asked him, "What's going on here? Is there some enmity between you and the headman?"
"That is true, but it is not my fault," the man replied. "Though I do not do anything to provoke him, he is jealous of me."
Eruch asked, "Then would you have any objection if our program is carried out at his house? My elder brother would first come to your shop, and then distribute his love-gifts to the families selected at the headman's house."
The shopkeeper said, "I would not mind at all. I only wish that your work be done." Eruch complimented him for his cooperation and approached the headman.
The police inspector intervened and asked Eruch, "What is going on?"
Eruch said, "You will come to know."
He then requested that the headman set aside a room for the work, and a room was put at his disposal. Baba came from Gulbarga that same day with Pendu, Gustadji and Baidul. Without his identity being disclosed to the local people, Baba began his work with the poor of this village. One by one they stood in line, and touching the feet of the person representing each family, Baba handed each Rs.50.
The program had a harmonious ending. The headman felt ashamed that he had tried to stop Eruch and repented for his behavior. After the program, Eruch asked the police officer, "Have you anything further to ask?"
The inspector said, "I apologize. All these complications arose because of the rivalry between the two shopkeepers."
Because of the political unrest in the Hyderabad area at that time, and to avoid any trouble along the way, the police had been informed in advance of Baba's foot journey. Eruch asked the inspector, "Have you had any special circular from your commissioner regarding the movements of Meher Baba in the area?"
"As a matter of fact, yes, we have received it."
It was Meher Baba who distributed the love-gifts; but please do not tell anyone," Eruch revealed.
The police inspector took it as his good fortune to have been able to see Baba from a distance.
Baba spelled out, "They are those intimate ones who all along and even now are prepared to sacrifice their all in all for Me. The one who gives his life to Me, who listens to Me and is ready to obey Me, who does not ask for any kind of reward, nor care for the result, whether he is ruined or he prospers, who takes My pleasure as his pleasure, but at the same time whose intimacy I also feel, such a one is a mandali member."
Eruch then asked, "Does one have the right to call himself one of the mandali if he himself feels intimate with you, regardless of the period of his connection with you, whether one year or 30 years?"
"Only if you find Me intimate with him," Baba replied, adding, "Take Elcha (Mistry) of Dehra dun. I feel absolutely free with him, but if he is not prepared to sacrifice all, then he is not in the mandali."
Eruch asked for a more clear-cut definition, asserting that only those whom Baba felt to be in the mandali were so, and no one had the right to assert that he was in the mandali. Baba replied, "The feeling should be present on both sides."
Baba asked Harish Chander Kochar, "Are you in the mandali?" Kochar replied that he felt at home with Baba, and Baba stated, "This is true. I also feel at home with you, but are you prepared to sacrifice all for me willingly? Are you prepared to do any day what I tell you without hesitation, even if I ask you to cut your daughter Raj's throat? Will you do that?" Kochar said yes, and Baba assured him, "Then you are in the mandali."
Baba concluded, "Intimacy on both sides is absolutely necessary. On one side, I must accept him as one of the mandali, and on the mandali's part honesty is needed."
While showing them the room he would sleep in during His seclusion at Meherazad (Pendu's room), Baba asked Eruch to narrate an incident that had taken place at the time. According to Eruch, he was on guard that night when Baba was inside the room. He had orders not to open the door unless Baba clapped, and if He did clap to come immediately. Eruch was sitting outside with a lantern and a flashlight. At 2:00 A.M., he saw a snake, trying to slide under Baba's door. Eruch pinned its tail with his flashlight. Just then, Baba clapped. Had Eruch obeyed Baba's orders and opened the door immediately, the snake would have entered the room. So Eruch waited until the snake slid away. He then entered the room, and Baba asked the reason for the delay. Eruch told him, and he simply smiled.
"But," added Baba, "I always say when there are conflicting orders, always obey the first order."
It happened when Baba first moved to Satara. Baba had sent for Meherjee's car from Bombay, which his driver was bringing.
Some distance from Satara the car met with an accident, and the driver was seriously injured and rushed to the hospital in nearby Wai. When the news reached Satara, Eruch hurriedly dressed, while Baba started distributing sweets to the mandali. Baba called Eruch to receive the prasad, but he retorted, "Am I to eat sweetmeats when that poor fellow is dying there?" Baba kept quiet and simply handed him his portion.
After Eruch's departure, Baba remarked to the other mandali: "Such sentiments should have no place before my orders. What value has they against My wish? My pleasure is something different, and it is a great thing to remember it. Can anyone be as mindful of others as I am? Everything is in My hands, and all is well if my wish is carried out."
When Eruch and Pendu arrived at the hospital they found that the driver had been well looked after.
In 1956, once, Eruch had been sent to Ganeshpuri in Gujarat to convey Baba's message to Saint Nityanand, and also to Bombay to deliver the same message to Mangharam Mirchandani, a bogus saint. Mirchandani had come to India from Pakistan after Partition and was thought to be a saint, but he was deceiving innocent people. He had been the chief speaker during a recent celebration of Baba's birthday in Bombay. But when Eruch conveyed Baba's message — to the effect that "All advanced souls are Baba's beloved children, the rivers flowing into the Ocean which He is" — Mirchandani reacted angrily and began vilifying Baba terribly. When Eruch reported this, however, Baba was not upset by the abuse of this so-called saint. He had his own reasons for contacting Mirchandani.
Once, in a darshan Program Eruch was interpreting Baba’s gestures, a beautiful lady came before Baba, seeing most beautiful lady Eruch had unwanted feeling, Baba asked Eruch is she not Beautiful? Eruch was caught behind. Baba stopped the lady and said; this is My Beauty all over you see. This physical beauty will fade away by time but My beauty is eternal.
On another occasion, darshan program was on and one Major tried to put forth his wife near Baba out of turn. Eruch pushed her and she fell on someone nearby. Major got angry and stared Eruch in anger. Baba immediately ordered Eruch to go to Major and bed an excuse for his mistake. Major cooled down but boasted others that Baba’s disciple has asked him for forgiveness. After the program referring the said incident Baba discoursed, “Ego is hydra headed, if one head another comes up.”
In 1956, Eruch, while in Poona received this telegram from Mani: "See Sant Vaswani. Tell him all about Baba and say he is one of Baba's beloved, precious children." Accordingly, Eruch met Sadhu Vaswani on the evening and told him about Meher Baba. Sadhu Vaswani was extremely happy to hear that Baba had remembered him and that he had sent His love. He asked Eruch to convey his heartfelt invitation to Baba to visit his school in Poona, and Eruch assured him that he would convey the message to Baba.
Once Gulabdas Panchal of Bombay had an encounter with Self styled saint Mirchandani in Bombay. Gulabdas wrote a letter to Baba. Baba was in seclusion. As directed by Baba Eruch went to Mangharam Mirchandani and asked him if declares himself God then pronounce that “I am the Lord of Universe”. If he (Mirchandani) could say so he (Eruch) will bow down at his feet. Mirchandani tried but instead of taking his name Mirchandani pronounced, “Meher Baba is the Lord of universe.”
On 12th September 1963, Eruch was admitted to Booth Hospital in Ahmednagar, where the following day he underwent surgery for fistula. After a two week stay in the hospital, he returned to Meherazad on 25th September.
In October-1963, Eruch tried his best to dissuade Baba from sending out the circular, because he felt it would be impossible for Baba to give darshan, considering His precarious health. But Baba was adamant and replied, "I will give darshan; I want them to come. Send it." Eruch obeyed.
The draft was sent to Adi's office for typing and printing. After it was dispatched, many telegrams and letters began arriving, and Baba would dictate replies. He would often bring up the subject of "the Great Darshan" to be held next summer. One day He punned, "In March, you all march to Poona."
On one occasion, Eruch pleaded, "Baba, why not just let there be darshan every day? There will not be that mad rush or circumstances which are so oppressive for us all, and naturally it will not be as tiresome for you. When thousands come, the mothers have to stand in the queue for hours in the hot sun holding small babies and fruits that get spoiled by the time they reach you. And all the time, you will be concerned about where will they stay at night, how will they pass the night, how will they return home, will they get seats on the train. Why all this?
"Why not give darshan every day? We will fix the time each day when darshan will be available, and we will not need to bother about their lodging. Let them come every day. It will be so much easier," Eruch concluded.
Baba replied, "That time will also come. Not now though, but after we come back from Poona. There will be darshan every day, but only after we return."
On 9th January, 1969, Baba told His brother Adi Jr. “Eruch is My Peter. Peter renounced Jesus but Eruch will not renounce Me.” Eruch loves Me very much. He is My right hand; but obedience is a terrible affair. The apostles of Jesus also knew how difficult it was to obey Him."
Baba said, “Eruch is with Me, he loves Me, he works for Me wholeheartedly, but even for him it is not easy to obey Me.”
Once Baba said about Eruch “If I ever personally like the company of anyone it is that of Eruch. He is most reliable”.
Baba’s great love for Eruch is reflected in following words:
“Do you know How very important Eruch is for My work. By remaining by My side He serves Me 24 hours a day, keep watch by My side, reads My signs and gestures, looks after My smallest chores & in addition tackles correspondence. Now days I ask Eruch from his free and frank opinion whenever I am in doubt about My dealings with others.”
Meher Baba was silent for 44 years, from 1925 until his passing in 1969. Eruch Jessawala was Meher Baba’s main interpreter, interpreting both his English language alphabet board and later his sign language. Eruch Jessawala also dictated from the alphabet board Meher Baba’s major book God Speaks, wrote the ninth chapter of that book working from a chart by Meher Baba under Baba’s direct supervision, and wrote the book’s conclusion. Eruch’s stories of his life with Meher Baba were also published during his lifetime.
Eruch survived Meher Baba’s death by 32 years, continued to live at Meherazad and worked for the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust in the trust office in Ahmednagar until his own death in 2001. He continued to be an inspiration for followers and disciples of Meher Baba from the east and west until the end. Eruch was well known for his acute talent for telling stories of Meher Baba’s life, and his books are taken from those accounts.
His literary works include “That is how it works” and “Stories of Life with Meher Baba”