*INSPIRING EPISODES

WHO IS HERE?

Eruch Jessawala

One time we were on the station platform very exhausted. It was dark. Baba said that we would have to pass the night there and catch the next train early in the morning. He said we would be sleeping there, so we went to the end of the platform and spread out the bedding for Baba on the earth itself — the end of the platform is never floored; it is just filled with earth. So we just spread out our things there, and all the mandali slept around Baba. It was the custom; Baba was in the centre — on one side myself, on another side Pendu, Kaka or Gustadji, with the others around Him here and there. We would be keeping watch i turns.

This night the watch keeper must have been feeling drowsy. In the mean time we all had gone to sleep with Baba ... when all of a sudden I found Baba was shaking me to wake up. I got up from that sound sleep. "What's the matter? Where am I?" I said. Then I realized that I was on the station platform. Baba wanted to know, "Who is here?"

I found that between Baba and myself there was somebody else. I looked and found there was a man sleeping next to Baba. He had got into the middle of our group and hidden under our covering. I woke him and said, "Who are you?" As soon as I woke him, he got up and started running. Then the police began whistling. They were watching for a thief they had been following, but he had eluded them. The thief had taken protection near Baba not knowing that it was Baba Himself. He had hidden from the police with the help of our bedding covering him. But when he left his hiding place under our bedding, the police caught him.

PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY, John A. Grant, p. 184
1985 © John A. Grant

 

TO BE AT PEACE WITH ONESELF

Beryl Williams

The interminable hours of travel were whiled away in wondering what kind of reception I'd receive; would Baba be pleased that I chose to run to Him or would He send me packing because I didn't wait in New York, as He'd suggested? Or, most unbearable of all, would He say that I don't belong to Him at all, that He's not the beloved of my heart, as I'd come to think of Him, and send me in search of some other master, or will I be allowed to follow Him to the ends of the earth if need be? The one certainty in all this mental clamor was that at the end of this journey Baba is awaiting me! Baba expects me!

Sarosh Irani met me at the bus terminal and immediately whisked me off to the "Center" where, as I stepped onto the porch of the Barn, I spied Baba through the screen door seated with a group of disciples around Him. Delia DeLeon opened the door for me and said, "Baba, this is Beryl." As I hesitated at the entrance, Baba rose from His chair and stood with outstretched arms to me. The next thing I knew I was weeping my heart out on that beloved shoulder at the joy of having found my home at last. Baba left no room for doubt as to where I belonged in His welcome.

Later, as I sat beside Him while He inquired about the trip and had I eaten lunch, etc., I received the unmistakable impression that it was Baba who had drawn me to Him in His own way, particularly when in the course of the interview He suddenly turned to Adi and spelled out on His board, "It was worth it," while I happily nodded and babbled foolishly.

After giving me some personal instructions of what He wanted me to do, on His alphabet board, Baba looked deep into my heart before enjoining on me the simple command, "...leave everything to me — leave it to me." So simple, but oh how difficult for a willful nature! Yet, I felt a great burden lifted from my heart which until that moment I'd been unaware of even carrying. I knew then what it was to be at peace with oneself.

Finally, Baba introduced me to Elizabeth Patterson and told me I was to remain in Myrtle Beach as His guest. He explained that Mrs. Patterson would make all arrangements concerning my stay and then my return to New York.

 

THE BEST OF THE GLOW, ed. Naosherwan Anzar, pp. 92-93
1984 © Naosherwan Anzar

 

THIS COMPLETELY CURED HIM

Delia DeLeon

While we were at Meherabad we chatted with the women and learned much of the history of the women's ashram and what had been happening during the war. Khorshed, Gulmai's niece, told us that at one time they had to chant the names of God, as given by Baba, for an hour every morning followed after a five-minute interval by one hour's meditation. Sometimes they were with Baba at the cinema by 5:30 in the morning, usually watching a three-hour program.

At this period, she told us, Baba found fault with everything and called them "second-hand furniture" and said, "Women can't keep quiet about anything, even when they are God-Realized." At another time He told them, "If you don't want to be old before your time, be cheerful in deed, word and thought, and in appearance — most of all in appearance. It is a divine art to look always cheerful; it helps others."

Mohammed, the mast, was still at Meherabad and we were told a story that at one time he kept demanding that Baba produce his wife. No one knew if, in fact, he had a wife but eventually to humor him Baba told him that he would see her that afternoon. He had one of the women of the village dress up to look like an awful old hag and presented her to Mohammed as his wife. This completely cured him of his desire to see her and he never referred to her again. Thus does Baba comply with our insistent desire, in order to make us free from that desire.
THE OCEAN OF LOVE, p. 160
1991 © Meher Baba Association

 

THEIR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Eruch Jessawala
During a tour that Meher Baba took through Andhra Pradesh, thousands of people came for His darshan. Most of them had come just to be in His presence and to enjoy His company, but several had questions to ask.

When any of the latter presented a question, Baba would ask that it be written down together with the name and address of the questioner and promised that at the end of the tour He would send each person a reply. All slips were to be given to Pukar, a lover from Hamirpur, who was one of our travelling companions, and in a short time Pukar had collected hundreds of slips.

A few days after His return to Meherazad, Baba called Pukar and asked for the slips of paper. Pukar however replied, "Baba, many people wrote out questions for You, but some returned after a few hours and others after a few days and requested me to return their slips. They all said that their questions had been answered. I had hundreds of slips to start with, but now I do not have a single slip!"

On hearing this, Baba put on a mischievous expression of ignorance and said, "Is that so? I am happy!"

Such are the unfathomable ways of the Ancient One.

THE ANCIENT ONE, p. 105
1968 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

 

 

THE YEAR OF DROPPING HIS BODY

Dhakephalkar
We were going to Delhi from Madras by Grand Truck Express. It was a long journey and on the way Baba encouraged us to entertain Him with stories, talks or skits just to pass time.

Baba said that He had a year in His mind. In that year a very great event would take place and the whole universe would receive a shock thereby. The year might be anything between 1950 and 1999 and the one who gave the exact year in His mind would receive a five-rupee note as reward. Everyone made a try for it and Baba would say, "No, not that."

When my time came I said, "1969."

Baba at once said, "Exactly, you are right. I have fixed up that year in my mind. How did you come to it that I have that year in my mind?"

"Even now I don't know what is there in your mind. Perhaps you want to give me the prize and have therefore confirmed my conjecture," I submitted.

"No, it is not so; you must have come to this year by some thinking and what is it?" enquired Baba.

"Baba, you like numbers 1, 7 and 9 and consider them to be important. Figures 1 and 9 were already supplied to you by others. By figure I mean the sum total of all the numbers. I have arrived at the figure 7 by adding all the digits in 1969," I said. The prize was given to me.

On the 31st January, 1969, when Baba dropped His body, I recalled to my mind this incident and then realised the significance Baba had attached to the year 1969 and the great event that would give a shock to the whole world was the dropping of His body.

This was how He suggested the year of dropping His body.

IN THE COMPANY OF AVATAR MEHER BABA, p. 115
1992 © M. R. Dhakephalkar

 

 

THE TEST OF THE AVATAR

John A. Grant

Sydney Airport is about six miles south of Sydney Harbour and Beacon Hill is about twelve miles north of it. I had collected some of the party's baggage at the airport and was now driving to Beacon Hill alone. I had first heard of Meher Baba about two years before this time and now I had seen him, he had touched me, and very soon we would be together for a few days. I had been interested in finding a living Spiritual Master for about ten years. The thought had sometimes crossed my mind — how does one tell the difference between a genuine Spiritual Master and a fake? I had come to the conclusion that one would have to use one's own judgement when the time came. Now, for me, that time had come.

Now after having met a Spiritual Master I could not help wondering if he was genuine or not. To know this was very important to me, because sooner or later I would have to pledge obedience to him. And in doing so I would be risking my life, because the degree of obedience required is in the order of Abraham's obedience to God as described in the BIBLE. Meher Baba did not claim to be just a Seventh Plane Master, but claimed to be the Avatar or Christ of the Age. The only Avatar or Christ that I had even a moderate amount of knowledge about was Jesus the Christ. So I used Jesus as a yard stick to gauge the height of Meher Baba.

I thought that if Baba was Jesus, he would know what I was thinking. I had gathered this from the Bible, from some of the occurrences described in the New Testament. Meher Baba had said in one of his discourses that it is quite in order for an aspirant to test the Master. So I thought, "What are the attributes of God?" I decided that they were TRUTH and LOVE. I also decided to find out if Baba knew what I was thinking.

At that very moment I was at the end of Clarence Street nearing the southern approach of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Just then, I was surprised to see Meher Baba sitting in a car which was about thirty feet ahead of me, in the lane next to mine, with no other cars between us. This was the first time I had sighted him since leaving the airport. Now here was my opportunity to see if he knew what I was thinking.

I thought, "Meher Baba is TRUTH!"

Baba partly turned around, looked directly at me and gave me his sign of perfection, by forming a circle with the index finger and thumb of his right hand. I was surprised that he had apparently immediately responded to my thought. However it may have been a coincidence I told myself. Maybe someone else in the car had seen me, mentioned it to him, and he was just waving. A moment later he had his back to me again and was looking ahead.

I tried once more. I thought, "Meher Baba is LOVE!"

The same thing happened again. Baba partly turned around and gave me his sign of perfection. I received quite a shock this time, because he seemed to be acknowledging my thoughts immediately I had them. I still thought that it could be a coincidence, but this was becoming far less likely now, because each response was so precisely on cue. I was intrigued and my heart started to beat faster. Baba had resumed his normal sitting position and was looking ahead. I braced myself, took a tighter grip on the steering wheel and then with full concentration I thought:

"Meher Baba is GOD!"

Baba completely turned around, looked directly at me and emphatically gave me the sign of perfection, with his index finger and thumb forming a circle.

I was stunned. A most incredible thing had just happened. He had taken up my silent challenge and had silently passed all the test that I had given him. We weren't even in the same room or the same car; he was within my sight, but most of the time he was not looking at me. In one way it didn't seem possible, but then if he was the Avatar or Christ as he claimed to be, anything was possible.

PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY, pp. 21-22
1985 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

 

THE MOST FORTUNATE

Bhau Kalchuri
In late April [1928], Baba again entered a seclusion. He was in the underground crypt and gave orders that no one was to be sent up the hill. One day, three groups of visitors unexpectedly came to Meherabad for Baba's darshan. The first group was a large number of Parsis from Bombay who had come to Ahmednagar for a few days. Since they were close to Meherabad and had heard of the "Irani Saint," they decided to visit one morning and arrived at about ten o'clock. Only a few of them sincerely wished to take Baba's darshan; the rest merely wanted to sightsee.

Just before the group arrived, a Hindu couple also came to Meherabad with the intention of having Baba's darshan. The couple and the group of Parsis were told that Baba was in seclusion and was not seeing anyone or giving darshan. On hearing this, those who had come to sightsee merely laughed cynically and decided to go back. The sincere Parsis who had come for darshan were disappointed but decided to stay, hoping Baba would come down the hill or call them up. They sat with Chanji and inquired about the Master, listening attentively to his stories. They left at about four o'clock after six hours of waiting.

Also deciding to wait, the Hindu couple sat near Baba's seat by the dhuni and began meditating. They continued meditating, waiting patiently until nine o'clock that night in vain hopes of having Baba's darshan. Finally, believing it was God's will that they not see Baba, they left with heavy hearts.

The same day, a mendicant fakir showed up at about five o'clock, expressing his desire to see Meher Baba. On being told the Master's instructions, he spoke very forcefully, saying that he would have Baba's darshan or else he would not leave. He went to the well where he washed himself in preparation for meeting with the Guru. Afterward he sat under the neem tree near the dhuni, silently repeating God's name.

According to Baba's wish, travellers and mendicants who came from long distances were always given a meal, and so the mandali requested the fakir to join them for dinner. He answered, "Without the Guru's darshan, I shall not touch food or water!" The mandali tried to persuade him not to act so stubbornly and overrule the Master's orders, but the fakir would not listen. That night, after hours of useless persuasion, he was invited to come and sleep inside with the men, but he even refused this and continued to sit by the main road.

The next morning the mandali found the fakir sleeping on the verandah of their quarters and concluded that he must have given up his foolish behaviour. But when the fakir awoke, his face with beaming and he declared, "The Guru heard my voice. My desire has been fulfilled. I had the Guru's darshan last night."

Thinking he must have seen Baba in a dream, the mandali told him that Baba often appears to his followers in their dreams and he was fortunate to have had such an experience. At this, the man jumped up, rebuking them, "What are you talking about? This was not a dream! Meher Baba came to me in person and gave me his darshan and then returned up the hill."

The mandali did not believe him, as Baba was in seclusion and never came down the hill once he retired for the night. But then one of the mandali who had been on nightwatch appeared at lower Meherabad and related how for some unexplained reason, Baba had walked down the hill during the night and then returned. The fakir was given breakfast and left happily.

Baba later explained to the mandali the events of the previous day:

The three groups that came yesterday reaped the benefits according to their capacities. Those who came to sight see carried back, unbeknown to them, the benefits of this sacred atmosphere. The Hindu couple who came with devotion and stayed to listen to stories about me gained more spiritual benefit. They reaped the fruit of their faith and devotion, though they are unaware of it.

But the one who was the most fortunate was the fakir. Due to his firm determination and intense devotion, I had to disturb my seclusion and come down the hill. There has to be such true faith and longing to have the darshan of God — to move Him and bring Him down from the mountain!

LORD MEHER, Vol. 3, pp. 1040-1041
1988 © Lawrence Reiter

 

THE ICON IN BABA'S ROOM

Donna Bayet
One day in January 1980, we were visiting some friends when I noticed an icon on the wall. I asked my friend if he knew of any icon painters and his cousin who was visiting said, "Yes, my uncle in Limassol makes icons. I'll take you there some time if you want." As Limassol was only one and a half hour's journey from Nicosia where we were living, this seemed ideal, and I didn't bother to make any arrangement on the spot. I didn't realize that my friend's cousin had only just moved to Nicosia and that no one knew his address.

Time seemed to pass very swiftly and now there were only four weeks until our departure time for India and I had no idea how I was going to have the icon made. I was worrying about this as I was biking through town one day when there, standing on a street corner, was the answer to my problems — my friend's cousin himself. Not only that, but he told me, "I'm going to Limassol tomorrow. Come with me to my uncle's house."

This seemed so propitious that I was sure that from then on things would be easy. Imagine my dismay upon entering the uncle's studio to discover that the man had absolutely no painting skill or talent whatsoever! His portraits of famous people were unrecognizable; his still-lifes were more like "still-deaths"; his icons were flat and uninspiring. What could I do? I thought of abandoning the project altogether even if it meant embarrassing my friend's cousin and his uncle.

But I knew that if Baba wanted the icon, He would see to everything. So I said internally, "It's all in your hands now, Baba," and decided to go ahead and face the next problem — the subject matter. Icons cannot be made of just anybody. They must be of Jesus, Mary, or one of the saints recognized by the Greek Orthodox Church. To make an icon of anyone else is heresy and it was quite possible the painter would refuse to make such an icon.

Yet I boldly took out six photos of Baba and showed them to the painter. "Who is He?" he wanted to know. "A saint," I said nonchalantly, very aware of the thin ice I was walking on. "Oh yes," the painter agreed after looking carefully at the photos, "I can tell he's a very good man!" And he not only agreed to paint the icon in the three weeks time that was left before our departure, but he also agreed to use a pure gold background, to put a halo around Baba's head and to do the special scrollwork that I have never seen in any other icon anywhere.

Three weeks later our friend's cousin brought the finished icon to our house and we were overwhelmed by its power and beauty — the life and aliveness it expressed — the way the eyes seemed to look right at you. Remembering the painter's other icons, I knew that Baba must have been holding the paintbrush at all times Himself.

I never saw the painter again. I knew he would have liked to have known more about the "saint," but he had been too polite to ask at the time. He did mention, however, how impressed he was with Baba's gesture for "perfect" — the thumb and forefinger touching, forming a circle — for this is the way Jesus is portrayed in many icons as a gesture of blessing.

True to our original plan, a week later my husband and I were at Baba's Samadhi, pledging our love to each other and to Him. When we later visited Meherazad, we presented the icon to Mehera. She was very pleased with it and her spontaneous reaction was, "This is Baba as Jesus Christ!" This surprised me, but then I realized that the painter's love for Jesus must have been given true expression in his painting of Meher Baba. Mehera decided to display the icon on the wall in Baba's room at Meherazad.

I often think of the icon painter and how blessed he is to have been able to look so intently upon God's face for three weeks. I'm sure he knew that the icon he made for us was the best piece of work he had ever done. How fitting that his masterpiece should now be in the room of Beloved Baba — the Creator of all masterpieces.

 

THE GURU IS EVERYWHERE

Bhau Kalchuri
A wandering sanyasi, who was a recluse and an ascetic, once showed up at Meherabad during this period. He had heard of Meher Baba and wanted the Master's darshan. He was dressed in an ochre-colored robe, with long matted hair and a beard, and his whole body was smeared with ashes.

Meher Baba asked him, "Who are you? Where do you come from and where are you going?" The sanyasi, with evident pride, listed all the places of pilgrimage he had visited and said he had now come to Meherabad.

Baba asked, "Now what?"

"I have come to have your darshan," the sanyasi said.

"Then?"

"Go further and wander throughout Mount Abu."

"Then?"

"I will proceed further and continue visiting holy places."

"Then?"

"Then what! I will continue roaming as I have been doing."

"For how long?"

"Until I find my Master. Once the Master's grace descends, I will be free!"

"When will that happen?"

"Whenever it is destined."

Meher Baba said, "Everyone is destined to realize God in the end, but no one has any idea of it. Everyone goes his own way."

"What are we to do then?" pleaded the sanyasi.

"Become dedicated to a guru."

"Such a One is not found or seen!"

"Your eyes are to blame! The guru is everywhere. He is to be searched for and recognized."

"I am ready to find him."

"I will show you God, but would you do as I say?"

The sanyasi said he was ready and Meher Baba directed him to sit under a nearby tree. Baba told him to wait there and said he would give him instructions after some time. The sanyasi walked over to the tree and sat down.

Baba became occupied with supervising the labor work of the mandali, during which some of the men were harshly scolded. After half an hour, Baba sent Padri to bring the sanyasi to him, but he was gone!

Afterward, in a serious manner, Meher Baba explained to the mandali:

It is easy to renounce the world by wearing an ochre-colored robe, but to find a guru is very difficult. Surrenderance at his feet is even more difficult, but the most difficult of all is to carry out a Guru's orders.

Take that sanyasi for instance: for years he has lived aloof like a recluse, he has been visiting places of pilgrimage, undergoing hardships in the heat and cold. He has also made innumerable pilgrimages and will go on making them for years to come. But unless and until he surrenders to a guru, he will gain nothing. He will go on wandering with his face and body covered with ashes.

Even if he comes in contact with a real guru, he understands nothing and flings away the cup which is very near his lips! I told him to sit underneath a tree, which he could not do for even half an hour! It is beyond one's capacity to realize God except by the grace of a Master — and it is not easy to gain that grace. It requires the preparation of births and births to be worthy of it. Therefore, those who are living in the intimate contact of the Master are truly blessed.

Later, describing a real lover of God, Meher Baba said:

As a thirsty man under the scorching sun in the desert values water more than pearls or diamonds, so also a real lover of God only thirsts for Him and considers everything else as dust before Him! A real lover is not after name, fame or wealth. He only yearns for God, his Beloved. He who does not possess this attribute is full of selfishness!

LORD MEHER, 1st ed, Vol. 2, pp. 621-624
1986 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

 

THE GIFT OF MUSIC

Bhau Kalchuri

While the meetings were occurring in Meherabad, Jagannath Keshav Rangole, Laxman and Kisan Thade, Madhusudan Yellapa Pund, Ramchandra Gadekar, Krishna Bundellu and one other man came to Ahmednagar from Poona. Adi Sr. informed Baba, but Baba did not permit darshan.

Rangole, age twenty-six, and Madhusudan, age sixteen, had found out about Baba through Gadekar and were coming for the first time. Rangole had recently undergone surgery and was forbidden by the doctor to walk. But he did not take rest and, out of his longing for Baba, came to Ahmednagar to kiss the Master's feet. Baba, however did not allow the men to see him. Although they had no heart to go against his wish, they longed to meet him, if only for a moment.

During the appointed meeting days, early in the morning Baba would be driven to Meherabad by Adi Sr. in the blue Chevrolet, and in the evening he returned to Meherazad. The Poona group thought that after coming all this way, it would not be wrong if they stood on the side of the road and waited to have a glimpse of Baba as he passed in the car.

On the evening of August 21st, [1949] at 7:15 P.M., while Baba was returning to Meherazad, he saw the group standing by the road. He asked Adi about them, and Adi told him who they were. Baba had Adi stop the car. He called the lucky group and they came running. In his joy, Rangole totally forgot the doctor's orders and stood up and pushed past the others toward Baba.

Madhusudan had had a vivid dream the night before. In it he saw a woman and asked her, "Do you know where God is?"

"Do you want to see God?" she asked.

"Yes, I want to see Him," he replied.

"Do you want to see God in human form?"

"Is it possible?"

"Yes, but there is one condition. Once you visit Him you will not be able to go back. So, go and take permission from your mother and father, and then come."

The dream continued, and he saw a form surrounded by a tremendous light. As soon as Baba's car drove up, Madhusudan saw the same beautiful light enveloping the exact form he had seen in his dream. He fainted. His friends brought him to Baba, who put his hand on Madhusudan's head and gestured, "I know you. I love you."

After expressing his pleasure at meeting all of them, within two minutes Baba left for Meherazad. Although it was a brief meeting, each returned to Poona completely satisfied.

Madhusudan, in that short time, gained a remarkable gift from Baba — the gift of music. He became a composer and singer of devotional songs in Baba's praise, though prior to his meeting with Baba he had been a skeptic.

LORD MEHER, 1st ed, Vol. 9 & 10, pp. 3400-3401 1996 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust