22-JAGANATH GANGARAM JAKKAL (Anna-104)

 22-JAGANATH GANGARAM JAKKAL (Anna-104)

In year 1925, Jagannath Gangaram Jackal, whom everyone called Anna (elder brother), joined the mandali. Anna was originally from Sholapur, where his family owned a printing press and published a newspaper, but they also had property in Ahmednagar. Anna's duty was to do the marketing for the Meherabad community, riding back and forth each day on his bicycle to Ahmednagar. On 28th June, he had not returned from the market by midnight. Concerned, Baba and the mandali set out to look for him, and on the way Maruti Patil found a notebook which belonged to Anna.

Anna 104, many times travelled in group with Meher Baba. He was asked by Baba to recite shlokas from Gait and performed watch man’s duty.

Few of his interactions with Meher Baba are described as under:

It turned out that thieves had surrounded Anna on his way back to Meherabad and robbed him of everything he had bought. He had been severely beaten and had returned to his house in Ahmednagar. When Baba and the men reached Anna's home, they found him lying in bed with bandages wrapped around his head. Baba asked, "What happened?"

In a daze, Anna stammered, "Baba, 104 ... 104!"

Baba repeated the question two or three times, but the only thing Anna would say was, "Baba! 104!" What Anna meant was that his temperature was 104°. Baba called for a doctor and arranged for his treatment. After he recovered, Baba would recount with humor Anna's feverish utterances and subsequently nicknamed him Anna 104.

During this period, Anna 104 often recounted for the local populace how the deep wounds he had sustained when robbed and beaten the previous year had been miraculously healed by repeating the name of Meher Baba and by applying chunna (lime chalk powder).

One day Anna brought two afflicted women to Baba. One woman was lame and had been in pain for many months from some deformity. She lost her balance and fell at Baba's feet. He comforted her, saying "Your suffering has fallen at my feet." The next day, she was able to walk quite naturally again and confessed to Anna that he had taken her to a "very good Bua."

The other woman was in deep financial and legal straits, but her problems were settled in a short time after having Baba's darshan.

That evening, Baba went to Anna 104's home in Ahmednagar, where he had dinner. While being served, Baba commented, "Any food taken by or coming in contact with a Realized One gets a tremendous push. For example, Maharaj once ate a mango and said that not only will the mango be benefited but those who eat the fruit from its seed will also be tremendously benefited."

Anna 104 had arrived from Nagar the same day, 14 March, and requested that Baba grace the wedding of Anna's nephew in Sholapur.

Baba said to mandali: "How will it be possible for you to accompany Me if you are not fully prepared to completely fulfill the conditions? Possibly one of the conditions may be to the effect that the first thing to be done every morning by the mandali would be to spit on My face or that every morning I will be touching your feet."

Baba asked Aloba if he would accept the conditions, and he replied, "It would be a question of going to pieces."

No," Baba stated, "it is not that. It is only a question of carrying out the conditions." Baba then asked Aloba to come and twist his ear. Aloba did it willingly.

Anna 104 then raised his hand, and on Baba's inquiring he said, "I am ready to twist your ear, too."

Smiling, Baba replied, "I want it only from Aloba and not from anyone else. But if any of you feel like giving vent to your pent up feelings to settle old scores with me, I would not mind my ear twisted this day by any of you without fear of my displeasure."

Amidst the roar of laughter, Baba remarked, "Twisting of My ears is easy, but following My orders is difficult."

Baba then began joking, "Since the 1920s, the phases of My work and the surrounding atmosphere have changed considerably, but Anna 104 is the same as he was. His habits and his dress seem unchangeable."

While Baba was in Bombay, Anna 104 died in Sholapur on 4 December, at the age of 64. He had been Baba's disciple since 1925 and had been with Baba for many years in Meherabad, as well as in the New Life, keeping watch at night.