EPISODE 43-(JHON OF LORD JESUS AND BHAU KALCHURI OF AVATAR MEHER BABA)
John was one of the 12 Disciples of Christ. John was known as an apostle, author, and the only apostle who was not killed by martyrdom, though not from lack of trying.
Baba, pointing to the picture of apostle John, Baba gestured to Eruch, "Bhau is my John." Baba repeated this to Bhau on several occasions during last days. "John was the youngest of Christ's disciples. Christ used to kiss and loved him dearly. Similarly, I love you. Biographies of Jhon and Bhau Kalchuri are written in brief as under:
Jhon the apostle of Christ
John the Apostle was one of the 12 Disciples of Christ. This disciple was one of the sons of Zebedee who followed our Lord. His story extends many years past the earthly ministry of Christ. John was known as an apostle, author, and the only apostle who was not killed by martyrdom, though not from lack of trying.
John was the younger brother of James and the son of Zebedee. He was said be called the beloved disciple, or “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. His occupation was as a fisherman before he and his brother became Disciples of Christ.
John and James were cousins to Jesus as their mother Salome was the sister of Jesus’ mother Mary. The two brothers were some of the first disciples of Jesus. It is believed that John was probably the unnamed disciple of John the Baptist. John never refers to himself directly in the book that bears his name.
The two brothers, James and John, were called the sons of thunder by Christ. They seem to have been even tempered men, but there is one story where they asked Jesus if He wanted them to call down fire from Heaven to consume the unbelieving Samaritans. They must not have been completely docile men for Christ to refer to them as the sons of thunder and to be willing to call down God’s wrath.
Peter, James and John must have had a special relationship with the Lord because of the many times the Bible talks about those three to the exclusion of the other disciples. They were with Christ on the mount of transfiguration. They (along with Andrew) were with Him for the healing of Jairus’ daughter. They were also the inner circle of prayer warriors in the Garden of Gethsemane.
John wrote 5 books in the New Testament. He wrote The Gospel according to John, First, Second and Third John, and he was the penman of the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
God inspires the Bible and written by Jhon seems so applicable to the readers of today. Jhon had some more time to think about what questions were raised in the 50 or more years after the resurrection of Christ. He knew what doubts had been raised and how to answer the questions before we knew to ask them.
Bible says little about John’s later life and death. Tradition holds that Jhon was sentenced to death in a boiling vat of oil. Yet he emerged unharmed from the experience. Yet tradition tells that John lived into old age dying sometime after AD 98. He is thought to have died in Ephesus.
Bhau Kalchuri (January 13, 1926), born Vir Singh Kalchuri, was an Indian author, poet, trust administrator, and one of Meher Baba’s mandali (close disciples). Bhau Kalchuri was also the principle biographer of Meher Baba’s life.
Bhau Kalchuri was born one of seven children to well-to-do parents in a northern Indian village. When Bhau was ten, his father sent him to a district school for a better education, and from then on Bhau excelled in all his studies, completing master’s degrees in public administration, law, and chemistry.
At that time, Bhau had no special interest in spirituality, and in truth, did not understand what it was. Still, he was a devotional soul, and considering this and his studious tendencies, his colleagues and professors had nicknamed him Punditji. Daily he recited prayers with all his heart, but beyond that he knew nothing.
However, two months before Baba's arrival in Nagpur, Bhau became restless and lost interest in his college studies. He went to Segaon, Mahatma Gandhi's ashram near Wardha, but was not happy there. Returning to Nagpur, he went to a Ramakrishna ashram, but there too he was disappointed. Thinking he would become a renunciant and live for the rest of his life in the Himalayas, Bhau wrote to a swami in Rishikesh, and the swami called him to Rishikesh on 9 January 1953. Bhau decided to inform his family, and relieve himself of all worldly burdens before joining the swami's ashram.
In the meantime, he had read in the newspapers that Meher Baba was to come to Nagpur. He had never heard the name so did not think it would be worthwhile to wait for him. So, on 25 December Bhau left Nagpur to meet his family, who resided 80 miles away. Clearing up matters for his wife and daughter, Bhau returned to Nagpur on the 30th. There he learned, again from the newspapers, that Baba was to give darshan in Saoner on the 31st. He was surprised, as he was under the impression that Meher Baba had come and gone. He did not know that Baba's programs had been postponed. So, because there was still some time left before he was to journey to Rishikesh, he considered taking Baba's darshan at Saoner. His sister Nora, whom He occasionally visited, lived in Saoner and was known to many people there.
Bhau decided to go for darshan the next day, taking with him his wife Rama and their seven-month-old baby daughter Sheela. As Bhau got off the train at the Saoner station and entered the town he surveyed this wonderful scene. Instead of going to his sister's house, he, Rama and their baby went straight to the darshan pavilion.
Baba had just entered the tent. People were made to sit on the ground in long rows, forming a seated queue for darshan. Bhau sat down among them. His influential relatives and friends saw him, and hastened to tell him he could approach the dais directly. But Bhau just sat there, content to wait his turn in the dust and heat. From a distance he had seen Meher Baba's smile and was lost in it! Baba, being infinitely mischievous, played havoc with Bhau's feelings. His heart was totally restless and it longed to speak with Baba, but Baba had not even looked at him. Baba gave one banana to Bhau to eat entire banana — including the skin which he did. It was not a banana but a spark of divine fire, and on consuming it his whole being began to burn!
On 1 January 1953, for another program thousands of villagers, came for 2 days mass darshan in Saoner, Bhau tried again to attract Baba's attention while taking darshan, but on that day also Baba did not look at him. Bhau continued to fret over his inability to meet Meher Baba privately. On the 2nd, he went to the Circuit House again, but Baba left for Nagpur. Car and was driven off. Bhau followed him. The car stopped at the crossroads near the civil lines, and Baba met Pophali, Abdul Majid Khan and others. Bhau also went there. Baba again proceeded to the Angewada Center, near Saoner. After giving darshan there, he left for Nagpur. Bhau, Rama and Sheela also went to Nagpur, but Bhau had no idea where Baba would be staying or where he would be giving darshan.
Fortunately for him, Baba was again to give darshan in the temple that morning. Baba came, met Mr. Kamath, a social worker. Swami Bhaskareshwar from the Ramakrishna Ashram and a mast named Kuttawala. When the darshan commenced, Bhau stood in line and proceeded to have darshan. But, as before, he had no opportunity to converse with Baba, and continued to make inquiries about a possible interview. At last he met Vibhuti who informed Baba about Bhau's sincere desire, and Baba sent word that Bhau should see him in the afternoon at Verma's bungalow.
Bhau went to Baba's residence that afternoon, conversation followed. Baba asked about his qualification, marriage family, and his intention to stay with leaving everything with one hundred percent obedience. Bhau wanted to join Baba that very day. But he accepted Baba's wish and asked, "Could I attend the Andhra darshan?" Bhau had Baba's order and firmly decided to join him permanently after his exams. According to Baba's order, Bhau Kalchuri came to Dehradun to stay with him permanently on Wednesday, 8 July 1953.
Meher Baba taught Bhau many lessons of ego obedience, forbearance, anger to Bhau though self created episodes till Baba dropped His body. Few episodes are briefly described.
Baba’s first order to him was to visit rooms of the mandali every night and say loudly, 'You fool! Keep silence after nine o'clock. Bhau did it hesitatingly. All the mandali men thought it was a joke and enjoyed it without knowing that it was Baba’s order. When he said the same to Kaikobad who was praying was looked with surprise and anger. Kaikobad revealed to Vishnu. Kaikobad complained to Baba, who withdrew the order. This was a lesson for Bhau to bear humiliation.
Bhau was assigned the duties of handling Hindi correspondence, night watch and looking after attending to Nanga Mast. Baba instructed Bhau to attend to his wants and look after him well." Bhau could see that mast was completely naked, with thick matted hair, covered from head to foot with years of dirt from never washing. After bathing Nanga Mast, Baba showed Bhau the room where the mast was to be kept. The mast was made to lie down on a bed, and provision for his toilet was made.
Going to his room, Bhau began his correspondence work. After a short while, Baba came back from his bungalow and went straight to the mast's room. Bhau followed and was taken aback by the scene. The mast had moved his bowels, excreting in the bed, and it was filthy.
Other incidents firmly convinced Bhau that Nanga Mast was not an ordinary man. For example, Bhau had appeared for his college exams, but the results had not yet been announced. One night the mast suddenly said to him, "You will pass." This was astonishing, as the mast seldom spoke, and if he ever did, whatever he muttered or mumbled was totally unintelligible. And Bhau had never mentioned to Nanga Baba that he had taken college exams. The very next day, true to the mast's words, a telegram arrived that Bhau had passed his exams. Another night, Bhau was sitting by the mast when he said, "You will have a son."
Bhau's wife, Rama, was still in Nagpur with their infant daughter and was pregnant. Four months later, Bhau received a telegram that a son was born to him. Bhau had thought the mast insane, but one day when the mast spoke about the greatness of Meher Baba, Bhau's eyes were opened. After these incidents, Bhau realized that the mast was not a madman.
In another episode, the precocious but outrageously demanding sweeper's son, was called from Dehra Dun. Baba ordered that he be treated like a prince, and Bhau was given the duty of serving as his attendants. Bhau had to bring his food and place it on the table, clean his plates, make his bed, and generally do whatever he demanded. It was Baba's order that Isa be kept pleased and that he be "treated as gently as a flower." Isa was very arrogant. One day Bhau asked him, "Isa, have you found employment here or not?" he snapped. "Don't mistake me for a sweeper. I can employ you and your ancestors! And remember this: your pulse is in my hands! One word from me to Baba and you will be nowhere!" The teenage boy had especially been brought to instill such lessons in forbearance for certain men mandali
Once again Baba gave a lesson of forbearance having ordered Bhau to tutor a boy Ismail. Baba observed, "Ismail is a very good boy, teach him with all your heart. He has studied up to the fourth standard; but see that he passes the matriculation exam within a year!" Dealing with Ismail was a long lesson in tolerance for Bhau. Had he not been so mischievous, how else would Bhau have the chance to control his temper and learn to keep quiet?
In 1955, Baba's night watchman had to sit outside his room at Grafton and go in when Baba clapped. One evening Bhau went to Baba's room for night watch, and as always Baba warned him: "Don't make any noise; don't make any movement; and keep awake!"Usually, every 20 or 30 minutes, Baba would invariably clap; but that night he did not clap for two hours. Bhau's legs grew stiff from sitting rigidly in one position and the mosquitoes were biting — but Bhau did not move at all. After two hours, Bhau heard Baba snoring loudly. Thinking that it was now his chance, he began lifting his leg very slowly, without making the slightest noise. But the instant he started to raise his leg, Baba clapped.
Bhau went in, and Baba asked, "Why did you move?"
Stunned, Bhau replied, "My legs had fallen asleep and I was trying to straighten them out."
Gesturing, Baba said, "You moved thinking I was asleep. But remember, even in sleep, my eyes roam over the entire universe. When I can see so far, can I not see you who are so near to me? Don't ever think that because you are outside, I cannot see you! Even in sleep, I see everything, and I hear even the breathing of a stone! My sleep is conscious sleep."
In 1957, through an incident Baba extremely humiliated Bhau for over eating. In 1957, Baba had reached Ashiyana He told Bhau, "Despite whatever I may tell you, eat your meals to the fullest." Bhau did not completely understand what Baba meant, but he said he would. The next afternoon, when everyone was seated for lunch, Baba sat next to Bhau and asked, "How much are you eating? Your plate is overflowing! Are you a giant? If you eat all this, what will be left for the others?" Addressing the mandali he continued, "Look how much Bhau eats! What kind of manners does he have?" Baba went on belittling Bhau in front of the others until lunch was over, and Bhau felt very upset about it. Bhau began taking only one slice of bread. Twenty days passed like this, but Baba did not let up for a single day, teasing and harassing Bhau whenever he sat down for lunch. At last Baba convinced Bhau that it was his disobedience in not taking full meal as ordered irrespective of humiliation.
During night watch at this time, two incidents occurred. Bhau's health too had deteriorated. He was having terrible anal-fistula trouble and could not sit for long periods. There was constant throbbing pain and discharges of pus.
In 1959, Once Bhau thought however cruel a man may be, he can't possibly be crueler than Him! Baba knows that I have this trouble, and yet, he is doing this deliberately to cause me more pain. Even an ordinary man would have taken pity on me, but he, being God, has no such consideration."At that moment, Baba clapped, and asked, "What are you thinking?" "Nothing," Bhau said.
Baba scolded him, "Are you obliging me by doing this? On the contrary, I am obliging you by giving you this opportunity to serve me. You frighten easily. This is nothing! Even if I were to cut you into pieces, you should bear it without a word of complaint. Not even a whimper should escape your lips. "This is love. This is service. My real mercy lies in making mincemeat out of you! "This is nothing, not even the beginning!" He continued, "And even then, you complain. You think: 'What service I am rendering!'
"What is there in your service? It has not even begun, I tell you. Were you really to serve me, there would not be any thought of self. How will you serve me when you are having thoughts about your small trouble? You are serving your affliction, not me! This is not my cruelty, but my kindness."
Baba's words convinced Bhau of the meaning of real service, and he could only regret his misplaced thoughts. Baba then sat up and gave Bhau a painkiller tablet. The next day he instructed Goher to give Bhau an anesthetic injection in mandali hall. The procedure was repeated four or five times, every week.
In 1960, Bhau's anal fistula had become severe. On the Baba dropped him off at Booth Hospital in Ahmednagar where he was to have surgery two days later. Don attended the operation and looked after him, assisted by Sidhu. Baba also visited the Satha family at Akbar Press and He also visited Bhau in his room at Booth Hospital.
In 1958, in pandal and, introducing him, Baba complimented him, "He is a hard-working and sincere worker. He is with me in Meherazad and does many various duties. He works year round and is now in Meherabad to help the management."
Bhau Kalchuri was a relative latecomer to Meher Baba’s circle, meeting Meher Baba in 1952 and joining him permanently in 1953 at the age of 27. He served Meher Baba in various capacities including as his night watchman. Meher Baba gave Bhau several writing assignments, many of which he completed only after Meher Baba died in 1969. In 1973 Bhau became a trustee of the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust. Today he is its chairman and oversees all operations at the trust office in Ahmednagar and the trust mandated developments at Meherabad, India.
Kalchuri is best known for his exhaustive biography of Meher Baba, Lord Meher (also known as Meher Prabhu), a twenty volume 6,472 page chronicle based on diaries kept by Baba’s followers from as early as 1922, as well as recorded interviews. He is also author of Avatar Meher Baba Manifesting and The Nothing and The Everything, a book on spiritual mechanics based on notes given to him by Meher Baba. He has also written several plays and books of verse. Bhau writes in Hindi and English.
Bhau Kalchuri was one of the most publicly accessible figures in his life time. Kalchuri had given talks all around the world on the life and teachings of Avatar Meher Baba, and published online periodical Awakenings. Starting in 1985, he had made extensive speaking tours both inside and outside of India, predominantly the United States, but also many trips to Europe and Australia. He had been interviewed in both press and radio.
English books published
Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba. Bhau Kalchuri, Manifestation, Inc. 1986. 20-volume biography taken from numerous diaries and personal interviews conducted by Mr. Kalchuri.
- Meher Baba’s New Life
2. Avatar of the Age Meher Baba Manifesting
3. While the World Slept (>The Nothing and the Everything
4. Let’s Go To Meherabad)
5. Mastery in Servitude
6. Meher Geetika
7. Meher Roshani
8. Meher Sarod
9. Ocean Waves, Volume (I and II)
10. Sun Rays
Hindi books published
11. Divya Leela (play)
12. Jai Meher (play)
13. Meher Darshan
14. Meher Jyoti (Flame) (songs)