3-DR. GOHER IRANI
Goher was born to Freni and Minoo Kharas, one of Avatar Meher Baba's closest disciples. Goher has had the rare privilege of being named by Meher Baba Himself and she spent a childhood filled with stories, experiences and teachings of Meher Baba, through the life of her father, Minoo, narrated in His biography, 'The God-Seeker.' She met Meher Baba for the first time in 1962 at the East-West Gathering in Pune, and again in 1965, at Guru Prasad. Goher's home in Karachi was the central Meher Baba Center, where many seekers came to learn about the Avatar. Goher lived with her husband, Danny and mother, Freni, in Florida.
Many of his life time episodes and her conversation with Meher Baba are written below:
In 1923, at Quetta, Baba played with all of Rusi's children but He was most attentive to Goher and Katie. Goher was only seven years old and Katie was three. Baba became their perfect playmate and would teach them games. While playing carrom one day, Baba quietly lifted up one of the pieces. "Baba, you're cheating!" Goher complained. "Play fairly." The Master laughed.
In 1931, Goher likewise received much of Baba's attention. Quetta was intensely cold and Goher was sleeping in bed, covered by a heavy blanket. One night Baba entered her room at 4:00 A.M. and slowly pulled at the end of the blanket. Feeling the cold, Goher was roused from her sleep and was startled to find Baba standing before her. Baba indicated to her, "You feel cold now, but I have come on earth to give the warmth of God's love. Once you completely possess that love, you will never feel cold!"
One evening Baba took Rusi's whole family to the movies, but they returned after seeing only half the film. Goher had wanted to stay and wondered why Baba had walked out, as the film was good. To relax, Baba would play carrom with Katie, Goher, and Ali."
Goher Irani had moved to Ahmednagar from Quetta in 1932 with her brother, Jal. The rest of her family moved in 1933, following Baba's warnings to leave Quetta before a terrible earthquake struck in 1935. All in the family were devoted to Baba, especially Goher and her sister Katie. On 22nd August, "Rusi Pop" (as Goher's father came to be known) arrived in Nasik. He stayed overnight and left with his cousin Adi Sr. the next day for Ahmednagar.
Goher Irani came to India in 1932 from Quetta with her brother, Jal. As wished by Baba, she studied medicine in Bombay and staying with the Dadachanji family. The rest of her family had moved to Ahmednagar in 1933, following Baba's warnings to leave Quetta before a terrible earthquake struck in 1935. All in the family were devoted to Baba, especially Goher and her sister Katie. During school vacations, Goher would come to Meherabad to see Baba, and as Katie was living in Ahmednagar with her family, she too was allowed to come to Meherabad occasionally.
In 1944, Goher R. Irani, had finished medical school and had come to Ahmednagar to stay with her family. Although she very much wanted to be with Baba, her mother Khorshed was disconsolate and wept at the thought of yet another daughter leaving her to join Meher Baba's ashram. Goher's sister, Katie, had been one of the resident women mandali since 1938, so their mother wished Goher to work as a doctor and live at home. Goher's father Rusi Pop, however, had no objection and wanted her to remain with Baba, if that was her true desire. Goher wrote to Baba that after her mother's demise, she would come and stay with him.
Baba sent for her through Adi Sr. and asked her, "Don't you want to be with Me?"
Goher replied, "There is no other joy in my life than to be with you. I want to stay with you more than anything else! But Mother is crying and crying over the prospect."
"Tell her I will keep you here for some time and then send you back," Baba instructed.
So, during the period of his stay at Pimpalgaon in 1944, Baba would call Goher to discuss these matters. Goher was accustomed to such visits from her college days, when she would come to Baba during vacations.
Dr. Goher was very concerned and attentive towards Baba health.
Baba began fasting on liquids from 17th October 1966, and to please Goher and the women and men mandali, He would eat a little food once in 24 hours just to show he was ingesting something. The first day, Goher came to Baba in mandali hall with a cup of tea and a banana and then left for some work. Peeling off the skin, Baba put a little of the fruit in His mouth and gave the rest to Kumar and Pukar. Kumar joked, "Goher will have to be told not to leave the hall unless Baba has finished eating." When Baba was sipping His tea, Goher reappeared. So Baba gave the rest of the tea to her. Such was the way He would take "nourishment" during the 21 days of His fast. (All talks ©2016 Mandali Hall Talks)
In year 1948, Goher had to go to Bombay to appear for her medical board exam and she returned on 24 October.
In Pimpalgaon, a village woman died after giving birth to a baby boy named after the saint Gorakhnath. Baba had the child brought to Meherazad and instructed Goher to look after the baby. After ten or twelve days, Baba sent the baby to Meherabad with instructions for Khorshed to raise him. Dr. Nilu became the infant's private pediatrician, and Gorakhnath was brought up like a prince. Tinned milk for him was specially ordered from Meherjee in Bombay, and also costly clothes and other items. Baba would see Gorakhnath on His occasional visits to Meherabad, and Nilu and Khorshed faced His stern rebuke if the child developed the slightest cold or illness.
In year 1948, Baba asked Goher to keep and breed ducks in a small pond in Meherazad. Goher was an allopathic physician, and although she knew how to care for a baby, she was at a loss when it came to serving as a foster mother to ducks. Still, by consulting a reference book, she became astute on the subject and carried out her duty using the latest methods in animal husbandry.
Once, bazaar man was about to leave for his daily purchases, Goher discovered she needed more feed for her wards. Without asking Baba, nothing could be ordered or accepted from outside, or sent from Meherazad, and so Goher, like the others, had to ask His permission about each and every item. Baba was engaged in imparting some spiritual points to Don and Ghani for God Speaks, when Goher frantically went to him and blurted out, "Baba, the feed for the ducks is finished!"
"Do you have any sense?" Baba asked. "Here I am explaining sublime spiritual subjects — and you barge in and ask about feed!? How did you ever become a doctor? Your brain is filled with sawdust! From the seventh plane, you've brought us down to ducks!" Thereafter, Baba repeated the scene word for word for the amusement of the other women, who all had a good laugh.
On 22nd June 1959, Baba entered the Blue Bus to begin His 40-day seclusion. Baba was also to fast during the seclusion. For the first eight days He ate only one meal a day, drinking tea or coffee once. Baba dictated following assignment to Dr. Goher;
6.30 A.M. - Goher should supply three buckets to Kaka to bring water.
7:45 A.M. - Goher to give Kaka three slices of bread for Baba.
8:00 A.M. - Goher should supply tea and coffee sets to Kaka.
8:45 A.M. - Goher to give Kaka drinking water for Baba.
5:00 P.M. - Goher to give Kaka food for Baba consisting of rice and dal.
On 15th October 1949, Baba paid a final visit to Meherabad to inspect the traveling kits containing the necessary items to be taken by each of those accompanying Him. He decided that Goher along with other four ladies would accompany Him in His New Life tour.
|At Sarnath, the garden of the women's bungalow there was a small cottage for the gardener of the estate. Baba had special love for this gardener, often sending Goher to inquire if he needed anything. The man once told her, "No, the thakur (titled landowner) has given me everything; I am not in need of anything." By thakur, Goher thought the gardener meant the owner of the bungalow or his boss who must be seeing to his needs, and informed Baba accordingly. But hearing it, Baba just smiled, and explained to her and Mehera that the old man meant Krishna Himself. Once, the gardener asked Goher for a matchbox, which Baba sent. Daily, Baba mentioned this man to the companions, and he referred to him as Sant Mali — meaning the Saintly Gardener.
In 1950, at Dehradun, Baba also had trouble in His eyes. His eyes discharged a sticky substance and became painfully swollen, and at the same time, He had the continual sensation of something gritty in His eyes. Goher applied penicillin or silver nitrate ointment, but Baba got an allergic reaction to this which made it worse. Goher did her best to treat him, but Baba received little relief.
|In 1951, Baba's suffered from piles and problem continued. Another physician from Bombay named Dr. Kataria's treatment started the next day. For six days, medicine was applied externally to the swollen tissue and covered with a bandage. But the size of the pile increased, and Baba suffered terrible pain. A week later, on Sunday, 22 April, Kataria stopped the medicine and recommended a wheat-flour poultice be applied for 24 hours per day for another six days. Nilu and Goher nursed Baba day and night, taking special care to see that the area was kept absolutely clean so it would not become infected.
In 1952, Goher also accompanied Baba on His western trip along with other ladies. Goher kept a brief diary of their trip.
On morning of 8th February 1952, Baba went on a picnic to Happy Valley with Dr. Goher and other four ladies. They walked the distance of four miles to Happy Valley. They stayed until two that afternoon, and were then driven back to Meherazad.
On 7th November 1956, Baba, accompanied by Goher and other 4 ladies drove to Mahabaleshwar, where He was considering holding the sahavas. They stayed overnight at the Ripon Hotel, managed by Kohiyar Satarawala, who was residing in Satara during the slack rainy season.
In 1957, Baba was pleased with Dr. Talwalkar and Dr. Athle's efforts. Baba always insisted on paying whatever fees were charged; but both men, prominent, well-known doctors, refused to accept any money from him. Goher tried to make Dr. Athle take at least enough for the cost of the X-ray films, but that too he refused. As it was Diwali, Baba gave Goher two old silver rupee coins, instructing her to give each doctor one of the coins. She did so, and each was deeply touched, saying he would treasure and keep the coin, because it came from Baba.
In September 1958, Gadekar began having sleeping trouble at nights. Baba had Goher give him seven sleeping pills for seven days. He was also suffering from asthma, so Benadryl syrup was given to him. Despite Goher's clear instructions to take only one tablet before sleeping, the next morning Gadekar swallowed all seven sleeping pills. When it was discovered, Baba called him and asked why he had made such a stupid error. Goher then gave him some apples, and Baba kept him seated beside Him. This seemed to mitigate any adverse reaction, because the tablets apparently had no ill effect on him. Soon after, Gadekar's worries left him, his mood changed and he appeared happy.
Baba's health continued to worsen during His seclusion. Goher requested Him to call in outside physicians, Baba replied, "During the seclusion period, I wish neither to consult any outside doctors, nor will I go to them. My body may remain or go; I have to complete My work." He did, however, permit Goher.
"Day by day My health will deteriorate," He had remarked the day before. Even in that state, Baba began plans for a long fast. Goher pleaded with Him to drop the idea. She started weeping and so did Pukar. Baba observed, "No doubt, My health is ruined, but if you people remain happy, it will be a help in My work
On 21st February 1959, Roshan Kerawala had given birth to a daughter, Roshan had to have two or three stitches, but when the doctor took them out, one was left uncut by mistake. Roshan started having severe discomfort and consulted the doctor, who examined her and said everything was all right. Her trouble persisted and increased. One day when Baba was visiting, finding her looking dejected, he asked the reason and she told him. Baba immediately sent for Goher from Guruprasad. Goher was told the trouble, but she said, "I haven't brought my surgical instruments with me."
Baba asked her crossly, "Then have you come here to stare at Me?"
So Goher went back and returned with the required medical supplies. On examination, she found that one stitch remained uncut and had become enveloped in a layer of ski
Baba ordered, "Take it out."
"Baba, it should be done in the hospital," Goher protested, "not here."
"Oh for God's sake, quit arguing and take it out!" Baba insisted.
Despite Goher's reluctance and repeated requests to take Roshan to a hospital, Baba insisted she do the operation then and there. He assured Goher, "Don't be afraid; just keep looking at My photograph and that will steady your nerves." Cutting open the layer of skin, Goher took out the stitch, and surprisingly Roshan did not feel the least pain.
In 1960 at Bombay, one of Baba's old disciples, Pleader, had a heart attack, and Baba was informed. Finally Baba asked them to bring Pleader to Meherazad, and they did so. On 19th February 1960, Pleader was brought on a stretcher. Baba kept Pleader in a separate room and Goher began treating him.
Baily was Baba's childhood friend and onetime Meherabad resident. Baily was married to Dr. Goher but had separated from his wife Goher and was living a hand-to-mouth existence in Poona. He arrived at Guruprasad by bicycle one afternoon and met Baba privately in the hall. As he departed, he said, "Forgive me, Baba." Baba handed him a single rose (which Baily later ate). Soon afterwards, Baily moved to Hyderabad. He never saw Baba again.
In July 1960, Baba was not feeling well. He looked pale and tired. Because He would not take proper nourishment and informed the mandali that He would be fasting during His seclusion, Goher convinced Him to allow her to give Him a vitamin B12 (500 mg) injection, and a liver supplement (2cc) injection. Although these injections were painful, Baba submitted to one on 4 July and to another on the 8th.
In 1963, Baba described His monetary help to upper and middle-class families who had fallen into poverty. Earlier, Baba ordered Goher to give a certain boy Rs.150. A proud dignified fellow, the lad humbly told Goher, "I would rather starve than beg!" Baba intervened and promised to help him through college also. In the meantime, Baba was giving Him this amount to help his mother and family. (The father was in jail.)
Toward the end of August 1965, Goher again began giving Baba cortisone injections into His hip, which resulted in less pain in His joint. The pain in Baba's neck, however, continued. He underwent seven pounds of traction in bed daily and then wore the collar for an hour more while He sat in His chair.
In 1966, Goher was in regular correspondence with Adele Wolkin (who was a nurse) about sending required medical and dietary items for Baba. Describing Baba's health in a letter to Adele on 12 August, Goher wrote:
“Beloved Baba looks very tired these days. The hip joint pain is better and he walks a little; he does not use the wheelchair. The pain in the cervical region still persists. There is very little we can do to help him get rid of this pain. We doctors, too, sometimes feel so silly and helpless when we just stand in front of him and watch him suffer but are incapable of removing the pain. Baba has been telling us that the pain in His neck will continue to persist as long as He wants it to. It is but a reflection on the physical plane of His infinite suffering that He has taken upon himself to redeem mankind.”
In 1967, Goher's mother Khorshed's condition became worse. Baba was informed on 16th May, and through Goher Baba conveyed a message to her parents to "Remember Him constantly, take His name and do not worry." On the 24th May 1967, her mother Khorshed passed away after a phone call from Baba came to Adi, informing him that Khorshed would drop her body when Baba willed it,
Many years before Baba had foretold: "There will be fourteen with Me at the end." Significantly, there were fourteen individuals with him at Meherazad at this particular time, namely the six women: Mehera, Mani, Naja, Goher, Meheru and Rano. The eight men were Eruch, Pendu, Baidul, Kaka, Kaikobad, Aloba, Bhau and Francis.