70- MINOCHAR NUSSERWAN KHARAS (Minoo)
Minochar Nusserwan Kharas, known as Minoo was, one of Avatar Meher Baba’s close disciples, declared at the end of his diaries that his life with the Master and his struggles against his own weaknesses are an “open book.”
The diaries tell the compelling story of Minoo’s colorful life and his lessons in discipleship with Meher Baba.
They illustrate Meher Baba’s consummate, unparalleled ways of shaping his disciples: his patient and loving guidance through the labyrinth of worldly snares and allures, his aid in the battle against the inclinations of the lower nature – anger, greed, lust, jealousy, envy, hatred, pride, arrogance, cruelty, and selfishness – and the transformation of consciousness he gradually brings about so that the sincere disciple may receive what the Master has come to give.
Minoo told that the most difficult order he had ever received from Meher Baba came at the beginning of the New Life. That order was that Minoo was not to lay eyes on Baba during this period (he had been accepted as one of those who was to remain behind but obey implicitly). If he were to lay eyes on his Master at any time, at any place, he was not to acknowledge Baba in any way. He could not speak his name or speak to Him or even look upon Him. If this ever happened, he was to immediately leave that place.
Minoo told Baba that he didn't believe that he could ever carry out this order, but Baba said to him, "You must!"
Many months elapsed, and Minoo, like many others, longed for just a glimpse of His beloved Baba. In the second year of the separation, one day in Delhi near the railroad station, Minoo looked up as he rounded a corner to see none other than Baba standing near the platform with the men disciples. He remembered his order from Baba, and with great difficulty he did not cast his eyes upon Baba but fled from the spot.
Because of the work he had to do in the city, he remained there to spend the night. He chose a hotel that he had known and retired early, trying not to give way to the sorrow in his heart in not being able to even touch or speak to Baba. During the evening, a knock came at his door and someone inquired if he knew where Meher Baba was staying — that he had been told he was in Delhi and wished to see Him. Minoo replied that he did not know Baba's whereabouts. He then went to bed and tried to sleep, but he could not. He wept all night long.
The next day he went back to the work Baba had assigned him, and it was not until many months later that Minoo learned an astonishing fact. On the same night that he lay in the hotel, crying for the love of Baba, his beloved Baba lay on a bed in the next room against the same wall that divided them, for Baba had decided for his own reasons to remain overnight in a hotel right next door to the hotel in which Minoo stayed. So all the time he wept, Baba was lying near to him. Again, what a demonstration of love and example of why our faith is so important.
In 1932, Minochar Nusserwan Kharas, of Karachi Minoo, as he was called, had come to Nasik to attend the Police Training School. Minoo had always been interested in finding God and had many questions about the meaning of life. And although he had been raised a Zoroastrian, he had put up pictures in his room of Christ, Ram, Buddha and various holy men.
In January of 1932, a barber came one morning to shave Minoo and, when he saw all the pictures hung around the room, he asked Minoo, "What in the world are you doing here in this Police Training School?" He pointed away from Minoo's quarters and suggested Minoo visit a certain holy man who resided nearby.
"To whom are you referring?" Minoo asked.
"Shri Meher Baba," the barber replied.
Minoo had heard this name a few years before in Karachi and seen Baba's photo in a Gujarati newspaper.
On 24th March 1932, Baba sailed from Bombay for England with his small group of six mandali; Approximately 150 of Baba's lovers gave him a hearty and loving send-off on the docks at Ballard Pier. Minoo Kharas with others came to see off.
In 1934, after a brief stay at Meherabad, Baba went to Bombay with a few of the mandali to give darshan to His lovers there. The darshan was held at Naoroji Dadachanji's house and many of Baba's close ones attended, including Minoo Kharas.
For His "spiritual reasons," Baba had a request sent to certain close lovers which included Minoo Kharas to donate Rs.10 per month towards the maintenance of the mandali.
In 1937, two-day celebration was the most grand of any of Baba's birthdays to date, and for the Western lovers it was an experience they would never forget. For several years, Baba had stopped celebrating His birthday, but He allowed it in 1937 because of His Universal work. While returning, the Rahuri bus (with Minoo Kharas) met with accident. )
Minoo Kharas arrived from Karachi to see Baba on 19th February 1939, and after a long discussion with him, left soon after.
On 5th February 1941, Baba again departed from Jaipur for Delhi to contact masts with Chanji and Gustadji. At the Delhi station, Baba and Gustadji sat near the telegraph office, Minoo Kharas of Karachi had suddenly been ordered to go to Delhi on official police work, and Chanji was shocked to see him standing on the platform. Since Baba was traveling incognito, as per His standing order, Minoo covered his eyes when he saw Baba and turned away. Chanji asked him to help find Kaka and then leave, without meeting Baba. "It's a torture!" Minoo pleaded to Chanji — but he obeyed.
Minoo Kharas arrived for a private meeting with Baba on 23th May 1942. He was instructed to meditate for five minutes a day between 2:00 and 5:00 A.M., and to feed, bathe and clothe the poor of Karachi. He left the same day.
Minoo Kharas of Karachi had brought a close relative, Naize Dubash, to whom Baba gave a ring, telling her never to remove it. It was a special gift as that day was Naize's birthday!
Baba and the mandali returned to Lahore on Saturday, 13th November 1943. Minoo Kharas arrived on the 18th. Baba instructed him to come to Meherabad the following May and to remain there for one month.
On 4th April 1947, the last day of His darshan in Madras, Baba called Minoo Kharas to Him. They had been attending the programs during the day, and sleeping at the Theosophical Society at night. Baba ordered Minoo to sleep at the men mandali's quarters that night. He was thrilled to obey. Baba occupied a small room on the first floor, and the mandali a larger room connected to it. Minoo slept on the floor with the men, and then traveled with Baba by train to Bombay the next day.
Besides Ali Shah and Chacha, Minoo Kharas brought three masts from Karachi to Satara on 13th June 1947. They were not particularly outstanding, and Baba kept them for only two days. He bathed and fed them, and then sent them back with Minoo on the evening of the 14th June 1947)
In 1954, once, Kutumba Sastri was reading out the Telugu version, Baba noticed Minoo Kharas dozing. Eruch was told to bring him, and as "punishment" Baba ordered him to stand on the platform until the proceedings were over. He was happy to do so because he found Baba's smiling eyes often on him.
Minoo Kharas and Naize Dubash met Baba on 30th December 1947, at Khushru Quarters. Baba arrived in a car driven by Sarosh and took Minoo and Naize to Meherazad. Baba was pleased to see that Naize was still wearing a ring he had given her during a previous meeting and told her never to remove it. While Naize was with the women mandali, Baba again confirmed to Minoo that he was a member of the Avatar's circle and repeated His promise to give Minoo God-realization.
In the morning of 23rd July 1948, a one-hour darshan was held at lower Meherabad in the new hall. Minoo Kharas and Minoo Pohowala (business partners) had come from Karachi. Baba met each group individually, though they were not allowed to take His darshan or ask questions.
In 1948, Minoo Kharas and few others came to Meherabad, and Baba went to see them at noon that day. (The meeting was in relation to Nariman opening a business office in Karachi, with Kharas and Pohowala help.) Baba returned the next day
On 31st December 1949, Baba gave darshan in the morning in a decorated room at Khushru Quarters, Ahmednagar. Minoo Kharas with his small group came from Karachi.
At the beginning of August 1949, Baba informed the mandali that He would be coming to Meherabad from Meherazad to "discuss and decide about the mandali's future." Five days of meetings were scheduled from 15 to 20 August. Arrangements were made in advance for the out-of-town lovers invited to the meetings, to stay at Meherabad. They arrived on 14th August 1949. The invitees included Minoo Kharas from Karachi
A final meeting to present the New Life conditions had been arranged at Meherabad for 31st August 1949. Of Thirty-two close disciples called, Minoo Kharas was one from Karachi.
Minoo Kharas arrived at Meherabad with Jalbhai. Although Minoo was one of the Yeswalas and wanted to accompany Baba, Baba directed him to wait for the time being and stated, "I free Minoo Kharas and yet include him in the Yeswalas." Minoo was given certain instructions to fulfill and told to return to Meherabad on the 13th. He left for Karachi the next morning.
In new life, three men among the Yeswalas were not to go with Baba. Concerning them, He stated, "The work I had given to Minoo Kharas, he has done satisfactorily. So, by his remaining at his home, he can still be considered a Yeswala. In spite of his staying at home (in Karachi) and carrying on his business and other duties as before, I have asked him to implicitly obey certain of the conditions.
On the 15th 1949, Baba sent Minoo Kharas with few others to Poona, from where they departed for Bombay. Before returning to Karachi, Minoo also saw to it that Baidul's family was safely settled in Bindra House.
Baba wished, all to gather in the meeting hall at seven o'clock, and the doors were shut. Vishnu did not close the gate as fast as he should have, because he saw Gustadji walking toward the hall. Meanwhile, two uninvited men slipped inside, approached Baba and touched His feet. Baba in turn bowed to them.
After they were escorted out, Baba became terribly upset. He scolded Vishnu, "Even if you had seen God approaching the gate, you should have closed the door and not waited for Him to enter."
Baba immediately caught himself and admitted, "I suddenly became angry, which is not good." Baba ordered one of the men to slap him, which the man did, but lightly. Baba was not pleased and asked the same of Minoo Kharas (a former policeman), who gave Baba a hard slap.
Baba wanted from the men to privately take the oath of the New Life. He came to hall clad in a white kafni, the ocher-colored satchel for begging hanging from his shoulder. Baba declared that He had now stepped back into the New Life, and He exhorted all Yeswalas to either enter the New Life and follow His behests 100 percent, or to lead the Old Life, or to take up an independent life altogether. One of these they had to decide. The decisions taken were:
Minoo Kharas — Old Life (as ordered by Baba)
Minoo Kharas happened to be visiting Bombay at this time and was permitted to see Baba briefly at Ashiana, on 30th January 1950. He was permitted to return on 3rd February and join Baba and the mandali to attend the "Great Royal Circus," near the Marine Lines Station. They left Ashiana in two cars at 6:00 P.M, and Baba watched the entire two-and-a-half-hour show. (A "thrilling new attraction" was a high-wire motorcycle act.
In 1950, one morning, Minoo Kharas and Ghani slept late and dressed hurriedly without bathing. Baba called both men to come forward and asked why they thought they were exempt from His orders. Minoo looked at Ghani, who replied, "Baba, after having your darshan yesterday, the dust on our bodies was so precious to us we did not bathe. We prefer to be covered with the dust of your presence." Baba was amused by Ghani's quick reply, but warned that in the upcoming days both of them should join the rest in early-morning ablutions.
Baba emphasized: "If I stay on Pimpalgaon Hill, it will only be during the final stage (lasting for 30 to 40 days) of the Manonash period. Baba stated that Daulat Singh and Minoo Kharas would be with Him for the first three months of Manonash period.
Minoo Kharas and Daulat Singh arrived in Hyderabad as instructed, but Minoo was so severely ill he had to be hospitalized for a few days. Because of his poor health, Baba sent him back to Karachi.
Baba’s flight landed in Karachi at night on 22nd August 1951. Only Minoo Kharas had been called to the airport in Karachi, but with him had come Adi Dubash, and also Minoo's fiancée Freni Patel. Minoo alone went forward to greet Baba. Reservations for Baba's group to India were difficult to obtain, but Minoo pointed out that Adi could possibly arrange it, as he worked in shipping.
Baba sent for him and asked, "Why were you hiding? Why didn't you come forward?"
Adi replied, "You had not permitted it."
Baba was pleased. Baba and the women were accommodated in rooms at the airport. Minoo kept watch outside Baba's door during the night.
As decided by Baba, eleven men from the group were to repeat God's name on Baba's 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. The schedule was set for Minoo Kharas along with other mandali men.
5:00 to 7:00 P.M. — Minoo Kharas, Ya Yezdan.
During 1952, in the afternoon, Arangaon bhajan group sang before Baba. A qawaali program followed by Habib Qawaal. His performance was so touching that Minoo Kharas and others started weeping. Baba commented: "Tears that stream down the cheeks without your being aware of them are very difficult to control. But if restrained, they give more happiness. You will find greater joy in the inner companionship with your Beloved.
Baba asked Minoo Kharas to read the list of persons who had dedicated their money or property or both to Baba. Before reading the list, Baba stated, "Yesterday, I had a talk with the mandali in My retiring room (Interview Cabin) about accepting money. As per the New Life conditions, I do not accept money; so when Harjiwan Lal showed his willingness to offer Rs.4, 000, I hesitated. Now, I do not like the idea of accepting money. But to make you all feel that you have shared in this giving, even if your name is not on the list, you may give at least one rupee as a token of love, so that all may feel that they, too, have shared."
On 10th November 1952, Baba came to Meherabad. For many invited, Baba gave interviews. Minoo Kharas and few others were allowed to leave for their homes.
In 1953 at Mahabaleshwar Meherjee brought Minoo Kharas Meanwhile, Baba's health was suffering, and the mandali insisted Him to take some treatment. Mandali prevailed upon Baba to return to Bombay for medical treatment, to which Baba agreed on one condition: "I am ready to go on condition that from the day I begin taking treatment, you all remain beside Me awake without a wink of sleep."
Minoo Kharas wrote to Eruch informing him of the birth of a baby daughter. Eruch replied on 11th December 1954:
Under the present atmosphere at Rosewood, where Baba has been keeping aloof even from the mandali, the news reaching us from you could not possibly be conveyed to Baba. Under strict orders from Baba, we have not to convey to Him anything, whether it be the contents of letters, telegrams or things pertaining to mandali's daily routine. The seriousness in the atmosphere near Baba is gradually gaining a tempo, which is now beginning to tell upon the mandali, too.
Ramjoo also wrote to Minoo Kharas (on 25th January 1955):
Baba and all those who live with or near Him remain more or less preoccupied with what Baba calls His "preparation" for breaking His silence. As far as appearances go, Baba is day-by-day withdrawing more and more to himself, reducing all communications to the minimum of gestures in respect to day-to-day routine, without recourse to the alphabet board or to making signs of "writing by fingers" as He used to do throughout the 30 years of his silence.
Living practically with next to no sleep during the nights and subsisting on meager nourishment as an excuse for eating once every 24 hours, Baba still remains very active from morning to evening and twice in a day walks more than a mile from one bungalow to another of those staying with Him permanently in different groups.
Preparations in Meherabad for the first of four sahavas programs were in the final stages. On 27th October 1955, Baba had been driven to Meherazad from Satara, and from the following day, He began visiting Meherabad daily. Tents for sleeping and for the meetings were erected. A separate dining pandal, with tables and chairs, was pitched for serving tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Minoo Kharas with others rendered services
When all had joined Him there, Baba stated:
From each group I want one man who will fast for 21 days from the 15th of February 1955, remain only on water and continuously repeat My name. It is nothing great to remain on water for 21 days; many have fasted like this for longer periods. But to remain at one place and continuously repeat My name loud enough so that only the one saying it can hear it is really very difficult.
Even for Baba it is difficult!
Baba asked those courageous enough to do this fast to stand up. A few stood and Baba selected five, of which Minoo Kharas was one. Baba instructed him.
For 21 days stay at one place, eat and drink nothing except water, take Baba's name half-audibly and never sleep. I will give further instructions later on. God is deaf. If you repeat My name mentally, I will not hear it as I am also deaf. Come what may, whether you fall ill or there are other difficulties, follow faithfully and stick to what I have told you.
On 6th November 1955, Baba arrived at Meherabad. After a discussion with the mandali, He entered the hall where the sahavas group had already gathered. "Baba looked quite beautiful, Baba asked, "How do I look?"
Several men said He looked radiant. Baba commented, "I did not sleep at all last night, yet you say I look splendid and blissful!"
Baba asked about those who had not slept well. A few stood up; among them was Minoo Kharas of Karachi. Baba joked, "I don't believe you. Last night, I was out on a survey of worldwide conditions when I found both of you snoring loudly!"
On Monday, 7th November 1955, Baba arrived in Meherabad from Dehradun after darshan program .Baba had a discussion in His cabin with Pendu, Padri and Vishnu for some time, and then came to the hall to see the sahavas group. He said, "Those who did not sleep last night should stand up." Minoo Kharas and Adi Dubash promptly stood up again. Baba wryly inquired, "Don't you two ever sleep at night?"
Dadi Mehta remarked, "Both sleep quite well, Baba!"
Everyone laughed, and Baba asked Adi Dubash, "Has Minoo's proximity affected you? Despite no sleep, your health seems to be quite good, so there is nothing to worry about.
In 1958, darshan program, Baba called Minoo Kharas, and Minoo had an embrace. Baba chatted with such longtime lovers as Minoo Kharas, and other Pakistani lovers
Minoo Kharas joked, "Baba, I remembered only your second advice — to love you wholeheartedly — and clean forgot about the first."
Calling him, Baba twisted his ear, commenting, "True love never expresses itself outwardly. Love makes one forget oneself from head to foot."
For the first time in the history of Meherabad, a train arrived and halted there. The luggage was piled into the coaches, and the men and women tearfully shouted Baba's Jai as the train whistled and started. It was a very moving sight for Age. "
The train departed amidst loud cheering. Minoo Kharas was so overcome that he ran after the train for about a quarter of a mile loudly shouting Baba's Jai!
Baba's chair was carried up Meherabad Hill followed by the sahavas women and behind them the men. There was a small ditch nearby, and Baba made Pukar stand up and warn people about it, joking with him, "You will be kept in this pit!" After a while, Baba suddenly flung Minoo Kharas' hat into the ditch.
In 1959, a special train from Andhra bringing 300 pilgrims arrived in Ahmednagar on Sunday, 1st March 1959. Minoo Kharas of Karachi was there. About 500 lovers from Ahmednagar also gathered.
In 1965, Minoo Kharas came from Karachi, and saw Baba on the 9th and 10th May with his family. Minoo returned on 25 May. It was to be his final meeting with the Divine Beloved.