38-DR. VINAYAK NILKANTH GODSE (Nilu)
Vinayak Nilkanth Godse- Nilu, as he was called, was from an upstanding Brahmin family and one of closest friends of Vishnu. He had attended the New English High School in Poona, where he met Vishnu. While Vishnu had abruptly discontinued his education to join Meher Baba, Nilu had gone to college and then entered Grant Medical School in Bombay. Whenever they would meet, Vishnu would talk only of Baba and would often write to Nilu, inviting him to visit Meherabad.
Many of his lifetime episodes and dialogues with Meher Baba are given below:
In 1927, Nilu had come to Meherabad during the celebration in honor of Upasni Maharaj, ostensibly to see his old friend, for he had no interest in finding a guru or in spirituality. When he met the Master, Baba immediately directed him to find Vishnu and talk with him for as long as he liked. Nilu was surprised at hearing this and was convinced Baba had read his thoughts. "I came with that intent," Nilu informed Baba, "but I have changed my mind. I, too, wish to follow you."
Baba was happy and advised him, "If you can spare time from your studies, think of Me. Think of Me as either a friend or a brother."
Nilu was amazed by the energy and enthusiasm of the mandali. He commented to Baba, "The work of all your disciples is really remarkable. It is almost supernatural considering the plain food they eat and their simple living.
Once, in Bangalore, Baba assigned some duty to Don and Nilu which they carried out. But Baba found some fault with their work and bitterly took them to task. Both doctors wondered why Baba was so displeased with them for such a seemingly small thing.
Baba called them on Friday, 12th January 1940 and explained, again using the analogy of a drowning man:
Just as an expert lifeguard uses different methods to save a drowning man - often hitting the person so that he may not cling to his rescuer, making the task impossible — at times, I have to treat My lovers in an apparently cruel manner. Onlookers, having no idea of the real situation, are apt to think that I am unduly harsh at times to particular people. Actually, as in the case of the expert life-saver, I do everything to save the spiritual life of the particular person whom I know to be "drowning" in illusion. I do all for his own good.
You both have received My arrows and feel pain, but you have no idea of the favor I have done you.
No one understands that I do not do anything without cause. Whatever I do, I do for the benefit of others.
Don said, "Forgive me, Baba. I thought you were being cruel. I was wrong." Baba embraced him and also Nilu.
During this period, Vishnu's friend Nilu was studying in Bombay to be a doctor, but he would come to Meherabad during his holidays. He arrived for a two-day visit on the 1st, and at that time, Baba remarked to the mandali, "You are unable to look after My health properly. I need a doctor here, as I intend to open a large dispensary. The doctor will look after Me and also treat outside patients."
Turning to Nilu, Baba pointed to the men present and commented, "This whole lot is useless! When they are indisposed, I have to prescribe medicines for them. It is true that I am the Doctor of doctors and I possess medicine for every disease, but that medicine is quite different. I want a doctor who can give relief to My patients.
That sort of doctor must be here."
The desire arose in Nilu to stay at Meherabad, but Baba advised him, "Mind your studies and don't think of coming here yet. Vishnu will keep writing to you, pestering you to come, but ignore him." Baba's apparent unwillingness strengthened Nilu's longing all the more, but it would be six long years before Nilu came to live permanently in the Beloved's Garden.
During Blue Bus tour, on 28th August 1939, during the usual talks with the men mandali, Baba abruptly started asking each one in the room, "Where is God?"
All replied spontaneously. Jehangir Wankadia said, "Everywhere."
Nilu pointed to his chest and said, "In the heart!"
Vishnu said, "In the soul!"
One expressed his inability to give the proper answer, saying, "It is the eternal question."
Finally, Baba asked Don, who pointed to Baba sitting on the bed, "In Baba! Baba is God."
For a moment all were taken aback. Don's answer was so simple, so natural. Baba then spelled out, explaining:
Don suggested that if Nilu joined him as a doctor, and Pendu and Murli served as their assistants, in establishing a large clinic in Delhi, there would be a possibility of maintaining the companions in this way. Baba seemed to like the idea and stated Don's idea would be kept pending, until the companions had sufficient funds to establish such a medical clinic, which would be a source of livelihood for all concerned.
Meanwhile, on 6th September 1932, Baba had sent Nilu to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, leader and spokesman of the Untouchables, whom Mahatma Gandhi had urged Baba to meet.
Nilu was in medical school in Bombay and would occasionally visit Baba in Nasik. When Nilu informed Ambedkar about Meher Baba, Ambedkar agreed to see Baba immediately. So Baba returned to Bombay to meet with him. Conversation took place at seven o'clock on the evening of 13th September 1932.
In 1940, at Panjim, Elizabeth asked Baba one day, "Very good quality ice cream is available here. May I bring some for all?"
Baba replied, "That is an excellent idea; but it should not cause colds and affect your throats."
Baba sent for Nilu and asked, "What remedy is there to prevent getting sore throats from eating ice cream?"
Nilu replied, "Garlic chutney would be a good prophylactic against any side effects from ice cream." Baba permitted Elizabeth to bring ice cream, and she was very happy.
She was unaware of Nilu's suggestion, as Baba had conversed with him in Marathi.
When Elizabeth left, Baba told Katie and Manu to prepare a large amount of garlic chutney. Elizabeth returned with cartons of delicious ice cream, and Baba served it to all — along with a generous dollop of chutney! He told them to eat as much ice cream as they liked, but to follow each spoonful with a bit of garlic chutney! All the joy was taken out of the affair, and they thought to themselves: "It would have been better had we not had ice cream."
In 1941, Don and Nilu had been ordered to bring the Blue Bus from Calicut to Jaipur, and they endured countless hardships in carrying out Baba's instructions. The tires and tubes on the bus were completely worn out, and it was extremely taxing to drive it in that condition over hundreds of miles. Don had to stop often for repairs. One time, when they had a flat tire, he had to stuff a blanket inside the tire until they found somewhere to fix it. At one point, the back wheels fell off on one side. Whenever they would stop, a crowd would gather to stare at the strange vehicle — piled high with all sorts of odd baggage, but no passengers! At times Don had to wash and clean the bus himself. They subsisted on whatever meager food was available along the way. Thus, after much hardship, Don and Nilu brought the bus to Jaipur at the end of December, and Baba was very pleased with them. Both were given the duty of looking after the mandali's health.
In 1941, in the morning Baba and His group left for Lahore, 87 miles away. Again, punctures and delays were the order of the day. Nilu and Eruch pleaded for new tires and tubes, but, for His own reasons, Baba would not permit it; they were forced to make do. Besides the poor condition of the tires and tubes, the bus had two wheels on one side at the rear and only one on the other, causing it to be very awkward to maneuver.
They had to stop at Amritsar for two hours because of punctures. While Nilu oversaw the repairs, Baba and Eruch went out in search of masts. Afterwards, all left for Lahore. Baba's car arrived at 11:30 A.M. and the bus three and a half hours later. They stayed at the Braganza Hotel.
On hearing their repeated entreaties, Baba at last gave in and allowed Nilu and Eruch to buy one new tube and one new tire, which were fitted to the bus. While in Lahore, Baba took the women to see Shalimar Gardens, Anarkali Bazaar and other sites in the city.
One of Krishna's (close disciple) responsibilities was bringing the milk to Dehra Dun from a nearby village. One day he slipped alongside the road and fell into the river, and was swept away by the swift current. At the exact moment he was struggling for his life, Baba, who was in Dehra Dun, grabbed Nilu's hand, gesturing, "Be careful. You might fall down!" Nilu could not understand why Baba had caught hold of his hand, and said so. Krishna was rescued by some passersby. When he returned to Dehra Dun and narrated this incident, the men understood the significance of Baba's remark.
In 1945, a humorous incident took place. Feram (close disciple) was a simple, innocent, extremely gullible man. He was often the butt of the mandali's jokes, and Pendu and Nilu especially loved to tease him. Feram was also not in good health, suffering from asthma, and Baba instructed Pendu to give him milk every day. Once Feram complained to Nilu, "I don't like the milk Pendu is giving me; it has a peculiar taste."
"That's because he's not giving you buffalo's milk," Nilu joked, "he is giving you horse's milk — to make you as strong as a horse!"
"Really?" asked Feram incredulously. "Can a mare be milked?"
"Of course," said Nilu. There was a tonga kept at Meherabad for bringing provisions from Ahmednagar each day, and the tonga horse had recently given birth. So Feram was convinced that Pendu was indeed giving him mare's milk.
Soon after, Feram stopped drinking the milk, and although Pendu tried to convince him that Nilu was pulling his leg, Feram indignantly believed he was being made the object of yet another practical joke.
Pendu informed Baba that Feram had stopped drinking milk, and Baba sent for Feram and asked, "Why don't you have milk nowadays? It was My order." Feram told Him the reason, and it amused Baba so much that He laughed and laughed.
"You really are a numbskull!" Baba teased. "I've never met a man like you before! I'm surprised Nilu didn't tell you it was chicken's milk! You shouldn't take their jokes seriously. Now, start drinking milk from today, and don't stop until I tell you."
Baba joked, using an idiomatic expression, "These people (the mandali) are sitting on My chest (bothering Me), and if you continue giving them sweets, they will become fatter and really crush Me! I want to make them as thin as air by beating and beating them!"
Baba then asked, "Do you know the story about Nilu and the box of sweets?" Don did not, so Baba narrated:
Nilu is very, very fond of sweets. He pines for them day and night. One day in Meherabad, I told Pilamai to fill a tin with cowdung and wrap it up like a gift. She did it quite well and, taking it, I went to the mandali.
Nilu's mouth watered on seeing the parcel. I called him and told him how much I loved him, how dear and special he was to Me. I said that he was to open the tin, keep half the sweets for himself and distribute the rest among the mandali. With a happy heart, he started to untie the package. But finding it full of cowdung, he was taken aback and his face went pale!
I told him: If you turn white on seeing the contents of this, remember the whole world is like cowdung. When you realize it, your attachment to the world will pale! Just as you threw away the cowdung, you will one day say goodbye to this world and its affairs.
Baba narrated another incident about Nilu to Don:
When Nilu first came to Me, I inquired about him getting married.
He wanted to marry, and if I had prevented him, it would not have been taken so well. So I made a plan and sent him, accordingly, with Kakubai and Shireenmai to Poona to see a nice girl.
There, in fact, Shireenmai and Kakubai showed Nilu several girls, and it so happened that the girls he liked did not like him, and those he did not like, liked him. Thus, after his rambles, he returned to Meherabad and told Me, "Baba, I don't want to marry." I wanted him to say this, and it happened according to my plan, as I turned My key. But if I had objected at the beginning, although he would have obeyed Me, the desire to marry would still have been burning there.
Baba asked Nilu, "Is this true or false?"
Nilu said, "Quite true. No one else in the world could have played such a perfect game."
In the early hours, on 20th October 1949, Baba and the group left Sirur by public bus, which had previously been hired for their journey to Belgaum. Reaching Satara via Poona at eight that morning, they stopped for half an hour to wash their faces and hands and have a snack.
Nilu wistfully remarked to Adi Sr., "When will we ever be back in Meherabad?"
Baba overheard the remark and rebuked Nilu, correcting him, "Such thoughts are against the spirit and conditions of the New Life. Remember, I will forgive such mistakes only up to the end of December. On and from 1st January 1950, he who commits a blunder will have to pack his bag and baggage."
At this point, Baba ordered Nilu to come and kick him. Nilu complied. After a few moments, Baba continued, "In this New Life, I am expecting something from you which is superhuman in some aspects. I too am in the soup with you. To keep cheerful under all circumstances is superhuman! Let us therefore do our best to help each other. I help you — you help Me — in order to uphold each other's oath."
On 22nd April 1950, Dr. Kataria stopped the medicine and recommended a wheat-flour poultice be applied for 24 hours per day for another six days. By the 28th, this resulted in the hemorrhoids withering and being sloughed off, leaving a small open wound.
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. Dr. Kataria came to Poona and examined Baba again on Sunday, 29th April and then returned to Bombay.
While Nilu was returning to Manjri Mafi in the evening, his patient, Mrs. Ghasita and her son were waiting on the road to thank Baba for His kindness. The son had completely recovered, and she wholeheartedly thanked Baba with tears in her eyes.
Vishnu fell ill with a high fever, and Nilu was instructed to take over his duties of going to Dehra Dun for purchases in the bazaar. The well water stank worse than ever, so drinking water now had to be carried from a considerable distance. In Nilu's opinion, this stinking water was an additional cause in the deterioration of everyone's health.
As Nilu wrote: "Lack of proper food, clothing, sufficient quantity of good water, of hygiene, the privations, starvation diet, physical and mental tensions and exhaustion due to strenuous labor, coupled with continuous chilly, windy, wet, monsoonish weather during the six months of the New Life, had run down Baba's and His companions' health."
Age too noted, "With their health nearly ruined, it was indeed proving to be a life of helplessness and hopelessness!”.
In 1950, Baba handed Nilu a copy of the plans and circular, asking him to read through it quickly and see if anything had been omitted. Nilu reported, "Adi has not included any mention about Ghani's boja fund." Baba directed him to write to Adi to include this in the next circular.
In 1951, one day, when Baba was in seclusion in His hut and absorbed in His work, Nilu was keeping watch. Baba heard the caw-caw-cawing of a crow in the distance, but Nilu did not notice it. When Baba came out of the hut after completing His work, He was displeased and sharply criticized Nilu for not shooing the bird away. Nilu was astonished, as he had not even heard the crow.
Yogi Sudhanand Bharti was anxious to meet Baba again. Kishan brought him when Baba returned to Dehra Dun on the 6th. Baba did not object and conferred with him for a few minutes. The yogi admitted that the conference had been a "farce."
In response, Baba observed, "Conferences cannot unite mankind; the awakening of the heart alone can achieve it.
I belong to no religion; all religions belong to me. Words have failed; I am the Silent Awakener."
Yogi Bharati invited Baba to accompany him to Switzerland, and Baba told him to write him about it later and he would consider the request.
Baba was about to go back to his bungalow for lunch when Shuddhanand Bharati asked if he could sit in Baba's room and meditate for a while. Baba permitted him to sit in the room where he would converse with the mandali.
After his meditation, the yogi told Nilu, "Baba is a very great saint."
"Meher Baba is not a saint," Nilu corrected him. "He is above all saints!"
"What spiritual practices does Meher Baba do?" Bharati inquired.
"There is no need for him to do any sadhana."
"What do you mean?"
Nilu explained, "Meher Baba is the source of all knowledge. There is nothing for Him to achieve or know, as all knowledge flows from Him. Seekers do sadhana, not the One who is Realized."
Baba quoted, saying so, Hafiz never meant giving up life itself, for instance, by cutting one's throat. He was referring to giving up one's will, which is 100 percent impossible. He who gives it up Realizes — becomes one with — the Master, the Beloved. Another couplet of Hafiz asks:
Why are you after Union, love and spiritual progress?
Leave all these to the will of your Beloved!
Therein you will find everything!
To achieve the will of the Beloved, do not argue. No why and wherefore here because the chosen ones accept from the bottom of their hearts what the Master says. If I tell Nilu, "Tomorrow I will make you the King of Persia," don't doubt it. Accept it. If the next day I tell him, "Nilu, I will make you a sweeper in Africa," accept that too, willingly. The third day I may order him, "Nilu, leave everything and go out begging." Accept this too, with full devotion. Then Nilu will become Nilkanth!
Baba asked Nilu what his reactions would be under these three circumstances. Nilu replied, "I will accept being a king in Persia and a sweeper in Africa, but I would not like to beg."
"Have you any responsibility left?" Baba asked him, and emphasized, "It is not love if you have not relinquished all responsibility completely.”
Baba replied, "Who says that this state is not good? Nilu, too, says he does not want God-realization. He wants medical work, good food and my company."
Continuing, Baba said:
Maulana Rumi was a great savant of his time. He could give good speeches and discourses. When he traveled from place to place, the books of his learned lore were packed and carried on camelback. Everywhere, he was accorded the highest honors. Shams-e-Tabriz, on the other hand, was quite naked. One day they encountered each other and Shams threw all Rumi's books in a well. Rumi was furious with him, but Shams explained that all his books, including the Koran, were like dry bones for a dog! "Until now," he said, "you have been chewing only the bones; it is time you tasted the brain!"
Rumi was greatly upset, and so Shams had all the books drawn out of the well. They were completely dry! This amazed Rumi, and Shams said, "As long as Rumi does not become the slave of Shams, he will learn nothing!" Henceforth, Rumi became his Master's slave, and Shams eventually made him God-realized.
Baba ended by saying, "Become men of Experience, and for that be like the dust at the Master's feet."
At this point, Baidul wanted to ask Baba something, but Nilu stopped him, saying, "There will be no end to questions."
Hearing this, Baba asked, "When there is no beginning, how could there be an end?"
"Today's discussion was quite good," said Nilu.
"This was not a discussion, but chitchat — gossip," Baba replied.
"Then, is the Gita a discussion?" Kumar asked.
"It is a conversation between Krishna and Arjuna," replied Baba.
"Isn't such a conversation good?" Nilu questioned.
"How could it be bad," Baba asked, "since from it you come to learn about good and bad? Nothing is bad, and this you have to know by Experience."
Nilu complained to Baba on 30th June 1953, "Don is discontinuing his subscription to his foreign medical journal, which I need, as you have told me to keep up with the latest developments. Tell him not to do so."
Baba replied, "Let us consult Hafiz and see if Nilu's wish is to come true." Baba told Aloba to bring the Divan-e-Hafiz and open it at random. Aloba read in Persian and Baba translated the following lines:
I will pluck flowers from the Garden of Paradise
And become one with my Beloved!
I have been your lover for eons;
Now the time has come to give me a message of hope!
If you do not believe it, ask the great sage of China!
It is not for everyone to be faithful and devoted.
Baba remarked, "It seems Nilu's desire will be fulfilled."
But Don raised the point, "Hafiz says nothing about medicine or a journal."
Baba stated, “Anyway, until the end of 1953, doesn’t stop the journal."
Don observed, "You had in the beginning made grandiose plans (about opening medical facilities), which until now have not been put into effect."
Smiling, Baba motioned to Aloba, "Ask Hafiz again when these two doctors will leave me alone!"
Aloba opened to a page and read:
"It has been ordained and will come to pass.
If it is not done now, it will never be done at all!"
"But no reference is made about medicine or a clinic," Don pointed out.
"The time is coming soon," Baba replied.
"But when will it actually come?" asked Don.
Baba himself then opened the book and gave it to Aloba to read:
"A pale face and sickness from head to foot!
This is a warning that medicine is needed!"
Don laughed, and his subscription was continued.
Pointing to Meherjee, Baba warned him, "Be careful of your health. You are My arm, and once My arm was broken; so now you should see that it does not break again. If My people grow slack, all My limbs — hands, feet and the whole body — will tremble!"
Nilu was quick to crack, "They are your limbs but only I am your tummy!"
One evening Baba was discussing some serious matter with the mandali, when Nilu tried to liven things up by saying, "Baba, I have an urgent desire for basundi" — a sweetened milk preparation.
Baba replied, "The neck of the cock that crows at the wrong time is chopped off! What punishment do you desire?"
"No punishment, only basundi!"
Baba was exasperated at Nilu's flippant answer and scolded him. He then criticized Himself, "It is not good to get angry. It is very bad that I got angry. Now each of you kick Me once to make Me always remember that it is wrong to get angry."
And every one of the mandali had to do so accordingly — after which Baba permitted Nilu his basundi.
In 1955, Baba continued His seclusion in Grafton, and would not come to Rosewood. Occasionally, He would send for the mandali and play cards with them in Grafton. Baba asked Nilu to compose poems, and with great effort he would write one "song" a day and read it to Baba. Nilu's odd assortment of verses rhymed something like this:
In your mouth a gulab jamboo [a sweet]!
Eruch eats kurum, kurum [crunch, crunch],
Kumar murum, murum [silently]!
Before reading out his lines, he would first tell Baba how he had been inspired. One day he said, "I had no inspiration today and was greatly troubled. Then I went to the toilet, and there I felt inspired. Immediately, I came out without having moved my bowels, and wrote down these lines."
One day Nilu told Bhau, "I am unable to think of anything to compose. Please help me."
Bhau wrote four lines, but when Nilu read them out to Baba in the evening, Baba looked seriously at Bhau, who grew nervous. Baba told Nilu, "The verse is not good today."
"Yes, Baba, I did not like it either," Nilu said.
On their way from Grafton, Nilu told Bhau, "Rhymes are written from inspiration, and not everyone has it. But I am inspired even in the toilet!"
Baba took a lot of interest in Nilu's compositions and told him, "Compose the rhymes well and they will be printed."
He instructed Bhau, "When Nilu gives them to you after finishing, send them to Nariman in Bombay for printing."
This activity of Nilu's writing continued until Baba's seclusion was over, and it always kept Baba in good spirits.
In 1953, someone claimed that the mandali's quarters (at 101 Rajpur Road) housed an "evil spirit." It was thought to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who had committed suicide there years ago. Krishna Nair wanted a room to himself, because after doing his night watch duty he needed to rest for some time during the morning. But Baba did not allow him a separate room stating that the ghost might kill him if he slept alone.
To get rid of the spirit, Nilu suggested, "Chilies and hair should be burned over charcoal and the smoke should be spread throughout the bungalow." Baba accepted his suggestion and told him to put the burning coals in a small stove and carry it around the house seven times, chanting: "Chhoo, chhoo, chhoo!" Nilu did accordingly, but due to the burning chilies, his eyes teared and he was coughing as he uttered: "Chhoo, chhoo, chhoo!" Baba was greatly amused by the ridiculousness of his plight.
During 1955, Sahwas, Baba asked, those who were indisposed to stand up. Baba told them, "Those who are used to homeopathy should take medicine from Padri; those used to taking allopathic treatment should see Nilu. Look after your health well so that you can derive the fullest possible benefit from this sahavas."
The poor program was about to start, and Baba concluded, "The moment I start washing and bowing at the feet of the poor, take God's name and continue taking it until the poor work is finished."
Baba walked to the pandal, where 250 poor men and women had collected. At 8:30 A.M., the program started and he washed the feet of each, turn by turn, dried them and after placing his head on their feet, gave each his love-gift of four rupees. The atmosphere was charged with the silent chanting of "Parabrahma Paramatma, Ahuramazda, Allah-hu Akbar, Yezdan," while God in human form, becoming the poorest, laid his head on their feet.
Calling Nilu, Baba instructed him to repeat "Parabrahma Paramatma" in a melodious voice, and the entire gathering joined him. Similarly, Abdul Majid Khan was called to sing "Allah-hu Akbar," and Homi Hansotia to sing "Ahuramazda."
Baba retired for the night. To keep watch by His side, He had organized the mandali into four pairs in one and a half hour shifts: Nilu went to sleep just outside Baba's room. Soon Nilu began snoring
Bhau said Nilu, and Baba told him to wake him, which Bhau did.
Nilu indignantly stammered, "What's the matter?"
Bhau said, "You were snoring so loudly, Baba told me to wake you up."
"I am awake, I was not sleeping! Someone else must have been snoring. Why have you come to me?" Bhau went back to Baba and reported what Nilu had said, and Baba laughed.
Then Nariman started snoring and by Baba's instruction, Bhau awakened him also. Nariman protested, "What? I am keeping awake the whole night. How could I be snoring? Have you gone insane?"
Thus Nariman and Nilu went back to sleep and kept snoring, and each time Bhau kept waking them up. Each time, both would claim, "No, we are not asleep. Why are you bothering us?"
In 1956, on one occasion in Bombay, Baba went to see a cricket match with the mandali. Jim Mistry accompanied them. Nilu and Jim got into an argument, and Baba intervened and scolded both men. Baba then asked Nilu something, but Nilu was so upset he refused to reply. Baba asked him why he was silent. Nilu said, "There is a new man present," meaning Jim.
Baba replied, "How can you judge that someone is new and someone is old? There are many who have not seen Me but who are very close to Me."
After road accident in Satara on 2nd December 1956, Nilu and Pendu were unconscious lying on the ground. Impact with stones from the culvert wall had caused severe internal injuries to Nilu; Pendu's leg was broken. Eruch was conscious, but five of his ribs were fractured. Nevertheless, he managed with superhuman effort to stand up and lean against the car and talk to Baba
Nilu was brought to Rosewood, and placed on Bhau's bed, but he was bleeding badly. When the doctor came there, upon examination, he pronounced Nilu dead. Nilu had not regained consciousness.
On the morning after the accident, 3rd December 1956, Vishnu (who was very close to Nilu) and Sadashiv Patil took Nilu's body by car to Meherabad that day, where it was cremated. Nilu's ashes were later buried at lower Meherabad, near the dhuni. Baba observed, "Nilu was particularly fortunate to have breathed his last in my physical proximity, and it is as he would have wanted it."
Nilu used to joke that when it was his turn to die, he wanted it to be instantaneous and in Baba's physical presence, and Baba would tease him about it. His death, therefore, did turn out as he wanted it. Baba had particularly loved toward Nilu the previous week, sometimes even calling for sweets for him. And now the other mandali knew why.
At times, Baba would purposely create strife among the mandali. In this way, feelings remaining hidden would surface and be dealt with. Once, winking at Baidul, Baba asked him in front of Nilu, "What was that you were telling me the other day about Nilu? When he was in college, who had beaten him with a shoe?"
Baidul took the hint and replied, "At college, Nilu was in love with a beautiful girl, and when her father came to know of it, he beat the hell out of him with a shoe right in the middle of the market!"
Nilu grew livid with anger. "Why do you believe these lies from this jungli (ignorant) Irani?" he asked Baba. "When I was in college, where was he?"
"I was with you!" Baidul answered.
Nilu threatened, "If you tell another lie, I will beat you with a shoe!"
Baba gestured to them to calm down and inquired what the real story was about the girl. Nilu replied, "It may be something, but why does this illiterate Irani butt his nose into it?"
"If I am lying, then why don't you speak the truth?" Baidul said.
"Who are you to tell me?"
"Who are you to hide it?"
Nilu said, "Baba, tell this idiot to leave this instant —else I won't let him leave without a thrashing."
Baba pointed out, "Baidul is much stronger than you. He might beat you up."
"But why does he lie about me?"
"He must have heard something ... I too feel there must be something to it."
Baidul said, "I will prove it to you, Baba. Then you will believe me."
"What proof can you bring?" Nilu demanded. "I will bring the girl herself and let her tell you."
Baba raised an eyebrow, gesturing, "So, there was a girl you were after."
"I was not after her, Baba. I never touched her! But she did love me and is still unmarried to this day because of me."
"Then why haven't you ever told Me of this before? Why did you hide it from Me all these years? It is good that Baidul opened My eyes; otherwise, I would never have known."
What connection did I have with her that I should have told you about her?"
"She is still unmarried because she loves you, isn't she? Therefore, her sanskaras are with you; and, by you’re staying with Me, I will have to bear this burden. Had you informed me, this burden would not have been on me. All right, now don't worry about it."
Nilu had completely forgotten this old romance, and Baidul, himself, knew nothing of it. But, by sparking this quarrel between them, Baba brought the secret to light, and in so doing, freed Nilu from what was hidden deep inside his consciousness.
When Nilu died in a car accident in Satara in 1956, Baba said, “He is blessed to be with Me”
Baba said about Dr. Nilu. No doubt he is fond of milk and basundi (a milk sweet), but he is one disciple who has relieved Me of one of My greatest anxieties- the responsibility of looking after the health and wellbeing of the women on the hill in My absence from Meherabad, as well as when I am here. He has given a very significant help in My universal work.