82-SAVAK KOTWAL

82-SAVAK KOTWAL

Savak Kotwal had private meeting with Baba on 1st June 1928.  Kotwal just 24 years old was a genuine seeker and had previously contacted Upasni Maharaj (after reading Sakorina Sadguru), Narayan Maharaj, and Hazrat Babajan.

His lifetime contact and dialogues with Baba are produced as below:

Savak Kotwal came to see Meher Baba because someone in Poona had told him that the Irani guru at Arangaon was the chief disciple of Babajan. Kotwal opened his heart to Baba and revealed, "I desire God-realization in this birth."

Baba replied, "Either long for God or for the world — you cannot have both! It has never happened before and it will never happen in the future."

Kotwal wanted God, but at the same time he was married and had a child, and wished to be assured of his family's welfare. Baba encouraged him, "I know how much you want to tread the spiritual path and I will see that you enter it. You will make rapid progress toward that goal and you will eventually be completely swayed toward it." Baba instructed Kotwal to visit Him every weekend. This satisfied Kotwal and from that time on, the longing to be one of Baba's resident mandali was aroused in him. He left Meherabad that evening when he received a telegram from his wife Nergiz that their baby daughter Najoo was seriously ill.

Savak Kotwal had had the darshan of Upasni Maharaj on many occasions. The first time he met Maharaj was in Bombay, where Maharaj was giving darshan. Maharaj had given orders that day that no one touch his feet, but no one had informed Savak. When Savak's turn came, he bowed down, but Maharaj gave him a hard slap and scolded him, "You are ruining my whole work and your own, as well." Deeply distressed, Savak resolved never to go back to him. When he was departing, however, one of Maharaj's disciples came running with this message from him, "Don't worry.

Even after meeting Meher Baba, Kotwal continued to visit gurus, sadhus and other holy men — one in particular was named Tyagi Baba. When Kotwal next visited, Meher Baba informed him, "Tyagi Baba does not even have a whiff of spirituality in him. Leave him alone. Those who know the Emperor have no need to bow before the palace guards in order to gain entrance."I only slapped you because I have some specific spiritual work to fulfill. You should not feel disturbed about it."

Baba did, however, instruct Kotwal to contact the great saint Tipu Baba in Bombay and convey to him this seemingly simple message: "The Emperor has sent me."

When Kotwal did so, Tipu Baba, who seldom spoke to anyone, immediately replied, "Say Allah ho AkbarAllah ho Akbar (God is great) I give these blessings. Go now. The task is successfully completed."

Later Baba told Kotwal to visit Tipu Baba often, but he was not to meet any other holy man. On one such visit, Kotwal brought a framed photograph of Meher Baba and asked permission to hang it in Tipu Baba's room, and the saint agreed. When Kotwal had hung the photograph, Tipu Baba exclaimed, "The whole world exists on Meher Baba's name!"

Later, Nergiz approached Baba, seething within. "So you are that Meher Baba!" she said sarcastically. With a smile, Baba nodded yes. She then poured out her tale of woe about Savak's indifference, pleading, "What type of devotee is he? Is this how you wish your followers to behave?"

Dictating from His board, Baba spelled out, "I have come to unite, not to divide. Don't worry. Everything will be all right. Even if you leave Savak, he will never leave you."

These simple words pierced the young woman's heart and she repented for her angry outburst.

During 1929, Nergiz had been suffering intestinal tuberculosis. Baba gave her a rose petal to eat and then instructed her to dip a locket with His image in a glass of water and drink the water each day while repeating His name. By obeying Baba's instructions, she was cured after some time.

Many visitors came to see Baba at Kandivali. Savak Kotwal came and prayed to the Master to put him on the Path. Baba assured him that he was under His nazar. "The Path is most difficult," Baba remarked. "Only heroes can tread it. It is better if you look before you leap. Think well before you ask this of Me.

"Think of the untold sufferings and sacrifices to be undergone in this line by giving up everything, even your nearest and dearest ones and the whole world. In this Path you must carry your life on your sleeves! After giving all up, you should not have the slightest thought of your sacrifices. You should not even think of it. Your mentality should be fully ready for the renunciation of everything."

Once, Baba instructed Savak Kotwal to search for God-intoxicated masts and mad persons who could be brought to the Rahuri ashram where He intended to work with them.

In year 1936, at one point, Baba handed Savak a mango to eat, and his wife Nergiz looked on in hopes of having a bite. But Baba indicated to Savak to eat the whole fruit and not share it with anyone. This made Nergiz wonder, why — but a year later, when their son Adi was born, she remembered the Master's prasad to her husband and knew that it was meant for him to have a son.

Earlier, Savak Kotwal's wife Nergiz wrote to Baba that Savak had quit his job in Bombay and was preparing to go off to the Himalayas. In February, Baba called Savak to Bangalore. When he arrived, Baba informed him, "If you find a better guru than Me in the Himalayas, you may go; otherwise, come and stay with Me."

Savak was only waiting to hear these words. He had wanted to stay with Baba for a long time, and his threat of going off to the mountains was only to force Baba to allow him to come. He returned to Bombay and, with his wife Nergiz, three children Najoo, Hilla and Adi, and Nergiz's paternal aunt Banubai Lakdawala came to Bangalore on 15th March 1940 to join Baba's ashram permanently.

Before coming to Baba, the Kotwals sold all their possessions. Nergiz was from a very wealthy family, and her relatives were shocked when they discovered what she was doing. When the Kotwals arrived in Bangalore, Savak handed Baba an envelope containing the family's entire finances. He also gave Baba a box containing all of Nergiz's jewelry. Baba was very pleased and remarked to Savak, "From today until the very end, I shall see to every one of your family's smallest needs, and to you I shall give the Ocean!"

Soon after, Nergiz fell ill, and Nadine was assigned the duty of nursing her. When she recovered, Baba asked her, "What do you think now? Savak has left his job; he is unemployed. You have sold all your property and now have no money. Aren't you worried?"

"I now belong to you, Baba," she said. "Be gracious enough to accept myself and my children in your service."

Baba smiled and said, "From today your responsibility is Mine. I will look after you all till the end!"

Some days later, on 31st March 1940, Baba sent the Kotwal family to Panchgani. When Baba returned to Meherabad, they joined Him there. Najoo and Hilla would sometimes be called upon to sing for Baba, and little Adi often made Baba laugh with his jokes and funny songs.

In 1941, because of the unavailability of accommodation in Karachi, Savak Kotwal was asked to look for residences in Dehra Dun. Savak arrived there from Meherabad on 3rd April, and contacted Keki Nalavala. Keki had not yet met Baba, but he had come to know about Him from Keki Desai of Delhi. Keki Nalavala helped Savak look for vacant bungalows, and when they found one. They informed Baba in Quetta.

Savak Kotwal was living in the Family Quarters, and his wife Nergiz, who was living on the hill with the women, wished to stay with him. She asked Baba, who told her, "You may live with him, but live for Me! To him who suffers in My darbar (court) without complaint, I will give the greatest benefit."

In year 1943, Baba, informed Savak, "Nergiz is gold, but she wastes it weeping without cause." Nergiz then moved into the Family Quarters. Their three children were studying in Hyderabad and would come to Meherabad on their holidays.

In 1947, the Kotwal family was living at Meherabad in the Family Quarters at this time. Savak Kotwal's son Adi had contracted typhoid and appeared to be gravely ill. As Baba was about to leave Meherabad for Surat, He calmly heard the news and instructed Nilu and Don to stay behind and look after the child. Both concluded that there was little hope of his survival, and the boy's mother Nergiz began making preparations for his funeral.

But the Lord of Compassion was about to turn His key. On the way to Surat, at every station He directed Baidul to get down and inquire whether any telegram had been received about Adi's death. None was ever sent, and the child slowly recovered. Baba's insistent inquiries had saved his life.

In year 1952, the repetition of God's names was being carried out continuously in the Jhopdi. Baba inquired of those who were given the duty at night whether they kept wide awake. Savak Kotwal was one of them, and Baba directed him, "Keep awake or both of us will fall into trouble!"

Baba decided that eleven men from the group to repeat God's name on His behalf, continuously from the 2nd of November to the morning of the 14th, in His Jhopdi. The repetition was to be non-stop the full 24 hours throughout the next twelve days. Savak Kotwal was assigned to repeat “Ya Yezdan” from 1:00 to 3:00 A.M.

In year 1954, Baba remarked, "I have been using this board quite roughly, and still the zero is suspended to it. Due to a broken piece, three-fourths of the zero on the board is wiped out, one-fourth is saved. If this dangling piece separates from the board, many things will happen and it will be best for the world."

Baba flung the alphabet board to Savak Kotwal, and the piece came off. Baba said Eruch should send the board to Padri at Meherabad, with instructions to preserve and take the utmost care of it. Baba added, "Only God knows the value of this zero and that which it signifies." Giving the detached piece of the zero to Savak, Baba stated, "Keep this most carefully until your last breath.”)

In year 1955, once, Baba observed: "You know Savak Kotwal keeps night watch. One night I asked him, 'How do I look? April is quite near.' Savak replied, 'Baba, you look quite younger.' As I asked him about My physical end — dropping the body — Savak replied, 'In my opinion, still 20 years are to pass.' This is his interpretation and he is free to express it. But one thing: Don't try to thrust your opinions and interpretations on others!"

About mandali Baba said: Savak Kotwal, since 1940, he and his family have dedicated themselves to Me. They all love Me. Savak obeys Me literally. For some time, he serves as My night watchman.

In the year of 1957, Savak Kotwal, one of the night watchmen, was allowed to go to Bombay for a week as his health was poor. Therefore, Bhau and Gustadji kept watch.

On some days, Baba met His lovers in the living room adjacent to the hall. One day, as Savak Kotwal entered the room, Baba noticed that he had one of his teeth removed. "Savak, now you look old!" He teased.

Savak Kotwal, a night watchman for Baba for many years, had been living with his family in Bombay since Baba returned from America and Australia in 1958. Savak's health had failed and he had no job. It became increasingly difficult for him to maintain his wife Nergiz and son Adi. Nergiz became desperate and pleaded with Savak that he should commit suicide along with her.

In year 1961, the day when both had decided to take this drastic step, a letter arrived from Adi, saying Baba had been inquiring about their condition. Nergiz wrote everything in detail, and Adi sent them Rs.100, informing them that Baba was in seclusion and could not be disturbed at present. After a few days, Baba called Savak to Meherazad and had him disclose his troubles. Baba assured him not to worry and gave him Rs.20. Savak returned to Bombay, where his son soon after got a good job, paying him Rs.300 per month.

Savak Kotwal's son and daughter, Adi and Hilla had once lived at Meherabad with their family. Adi and Hilla were permitted to come to Meherazad in morning on 13th December 1965, with Hilla's son Deepak. They spent the entire day at Meherazad, and then left for Bombay. Mansari visited all at Meherazad on the 16th.