Experiences of Jimmy Khan with Meher Baba
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
“Now, we come to the part when Baba dropped His physical body. Where were you during that time?”
“He dropped His body around twelve at noon on January 31, 1969. In those days, I was doing my C.A. articles where one has to constantly write papers. On that day, around 7.30 pm, I was busy writing my papers in our drawing room, when mum walked in and she was visibly agitated. That day, mum came home earlier than usual at seven-thirty in the evening and as she entered the room, I had barely glanced at her. All of us, the three siblings were home and as she walked in, she announced that Baba was gone, He was no more. I was not looking at her but my hand froze, as I was writing. You must imagine that I was in my mid-twenties and Baba was like my father. He was the father figure in my life.”
Jimmy coughed again and sipped a little water.
“Coming to Meher Baba, not once had a thought crossed my mind, that He would be no more, that He was present in the physical form and that the physical body could die. The thought that He had to go one day, had never crossed my mind. Mum must have wondered why I didn’t even look up but in reality, I was frozen with shock. Mum repeated what she had said earlier, ‘Jimmy, did you hear me? I said that, Baba has gone, Baba is no more, get up and pack your bags, we are going to Ahmednagar.’ In those days, we carried bedrolls along with trunks or small bags when we travelled by train. Mum had mentioned that His body would be closed in the crypt the following morning at 10 am. Thus, effectively, we would be away for one night. I packed my bedroll and one small overnight bag. Thereafter, I was asked by mum to go and inform Eruch Karadia, as he lived close by, about our travel plans, for he was unaware that Baba was no more. Eruch just could not believe that the news which I carried was correct and insisted on making a phone call to someone else to confirm it. He just refused to believe me. I ran home post haste and mum and I took a cab to V.T. Station,”
Jimmy coughed again.
“There were some forty of our Parsi fraternity waiting at the station to take the night train. We were in the train and there were many eyes wet with streams of tears amongst all these Parsi ladies, each one trying to console the other. Around ten o’clock the next morning we were still way out of Ahmednagar, when Dolly Dastur asked everyone to join in for Baba’s arti, as at that time they might be interning Baba’s body. All of us stood up and did Baba’s arti in the train, with heavy hearts, thinking that now we would never get to see our Baba. Jal Dastur had requested the engine driver and the guards that, as Meher Baba was no more, it was very urgent that we see Him before the internment and urged the driver to halt the train at the Lower Meherabad rail phatak (crossing) and they did oblige. The train stopped at Lower Meherabad and the first to come down were we, the young boys and men, and mind you, it is dangerous, for it is quite a drop, from the train door to the ground; we don’t realise this when we are on the platform. Then, the bedrolls and the bags were dropped down and then the ladies were helped to get down and fortunately there were no casualties. Then, we went to Lower Meherabad and dumped our beddings, bed rolls, bags etc. and then trudged up the hill. Eruch was the first one whom we met as he was standing outside the Samadhi. Eruch told us to go inside the Samadhi to pay our respects to Baba, to first go inside before meeting anyone or doing anything else. That is when everyone realized that Baba’s body was still kept open for His lovers to see; till then we had no clue that Baba’s body was not yet interned. Eruch said these very words that I distinctly remember, ‘go and meet Baba first, go and meet Baba first’. Naturally, first the seniors went inside and then my turn came to go into the Samadhi for the very first time. If you enter the Samadhi, there is a dark brownish rectangular granite slab, three to four paces after stepping inside. This is where the heavy five to six stone steps went down. It could well be a six foot drop from where one stands. The floor had already been cemented over the stairs and the crypt as Baba would sit inside this crypt and do whatever work He had done in the earlier days. There were some floral paintings on the interior walls of the crypt. This was the first time when I saw the Samadhi. I went down the crypt to touch Baba’s feet. I will be very honest, the entire scene was upsetting to me because suddenly you see Baba who was lying there lifeless. Thus, in that sense, emotionally it was very upsetting to see Baba laid down on the floor. I could not fathom how this could have happened to Baba. Gods were not supposed to die. I was young then and felt that a God can never die, He was Omnipresent. How could He have just dropped His physical body?
“The body was kept open for darshan on the second day and on the third day too. Let me tell you logistically how it went. I stayed at Lower Meherabad in the Mandali Hall and my bedroll and overnight bag kept safe as the rest of the day was spent near the Samadhi. When in the afternoons I came down after lunch, which was catered for from Ahmednagar city, my bag was not in the place where I had left it earlier but tossed elsewhere; it was a task to hunt for it, as more and more people poured into the Mandali Hall. The first day passed and so did the second. I had to wash my clothes as I had only one spare set because we had expected to stay for only a day. Then, my mum sent a message to my sisters Diana and Bapsy to try to come over the weekend as Baba’s body was still not closed. Thus, they came over with fresh sets of clothing for both, mum and myself. Eventually, Baba’s body was kept open for darshan for seven days. Around the Samadhi there would be some singing, lots of wailing and people sitting in groups to bemoan their loss. The women from the mandali came twice a day to the Samadhi from the East Room where they were closeted and would stay for may be half an hour or a little longer. You could hear their wailing and crying inside the Samadhi and after a while of grieving, they would go back to their room. So, I was witness to all those scenes for seven days.”
“Did a lot of people come for Baba’s final darshan?”
“No. I will not say a very large number came for Baba’s darshan but that could have been for various reasons. People came from all over, from Ahmednagar, Poona as well as Mumbai and other places but not in large numbers. The numbers were limited as nobody really knew till when Baba’s body would be kept open for His followers to have their last darshan. It was so uncertain. People would ring up Adi (Senior) Irani at the Trust Office in Nagar, where he was glued to his seat before the telephone, he too was not sure of how long Baba’s body would be kept open for darshan. Followers from India and abroad would call but nothing was really certain, so, people didn’t know whether to come or not. Even when he was on a call with them, he was not certain if Baba’s body was kept open at that very moment or whether the mandali was in the process of closing the crypt or it was already closed at that time. Adi was indeed clueless. Meherabad had not a single phone connection in those days. News found its way to the Trust Office in town only if someone came by car and informed him how the matter stood. He had no other way of finding out. So, he would tell all those who called that, he himself did not know whether the crypt was closed at that moment, nor knew of when it will be closed, he had no idea, as it all depended on the doctors to take that call. He would tell them to come if they wanted but could not say anything definite. If people wanted to take a risk, then he would tell them to come by all means. In those days, to reach Meherabad it was an overnight journey from Bombay to Ahmednagar and then the long drive to Meherabad. For many people, it was two nights or more. Thus, to come and be disappointed to see the crypt closed made no sense to a lot of people. The boarding and lodging was another major issue. Similarly, with the Westerners, who kept on asking, if they should come, Adi would give the same standard answer, ‘take your call and come if you want’.”
“Did the Samadhi look like the way it is looking now?”
“Yes, the main structure was ready that way. You have to understand that none of the frills that you see today, like the canopy above, the benches etc. was present at that time. The Samadhi itself, yes, looked the same. May be its colours were painted differently, the dome which is painted white, maybe was different then but the basic structure has remained absolutely the same.”
“You spent a lot of time at the Samadhi?”
“Considerable time, I would say. I was daily there, as I told you, thousands did not turn up. Those who were near Baba’s body would constantly use fans to drive away the flies that kept hovering around. Hence, we had to swat flies constantly and that is what even I did many times. Another privilege which I had was, around Baba’s body were placed ice blocks because in the afternoons, even during the colder months, the stone structure would get quite hot. So, to preserve the body, ice blocks were placed with lots of black salt and sawdust which prevented the ice from melting. I would be on the last step of the crypt with a tokri (basket) full of salt in my hands that Jal Dastur would sprinkle over the blocks of ice. We did this quite a number of times in a day. I had sat inside with Baba a lot of times. I had this privilege of serving Baba’s body many times for those seven days.”
“How come you had never gone to Meherabad before Baba dropped His body? You were in your mid-twenties, so, how come you had never gone to Meherabad?”
“Meherabad was out of bounds at that time. You must understand, though a few people went to Ahmednagar many times, when Baba was there, I went to Ahmednagar only once. Most people hardly ever went to Ahmednagar, so going to Meherabad was just not done during that time. Let’s put it this way that, it was so on Baba’s order, He did not want anybody to go directly to Meherabad or come to Him at Meherazad. We had to obey Baba, that’s it.”
“So, logically speaking, people could only see Meher Baba during the summer at Guruprasad?”
“You can say that, unless, Baba specially called for someone to meet Him at Meherazad. During His last years He was mainly in virtual seclusion. People who went without permission were told clearly that, if they loved Baba, His order was to be obeyed. Of course, sometimes someone would start ranting and insist on meeting Him that they were not leaving and would stay there only till Baba eventually saw them. Baba would hear this and would gesture to say, ‘what is going on, what is the commotion about?’. Someone would then run to the green gate and ask the persistent one, who he was and where had he come from? This was then conveyed to Baba and He would gesture to say, ‘don’t they know that I am in seclusion, I am not supposed to meet them?’ Sometimes, Baba would even call them in and through gestures Himself ask the person, ‘don’t you know My order? You don’t want to obey My order?’ Then, that person would cry and tell Baba that they were very distressed and going through a lot of trouble and Baba through gestures would reply, ‘I know everything but why have you come here breaking My order?’ This would be the scenario whenever somebody insisted on meeting Baba. Sometimes, through gestures Baba would tell the person to go back, saying, ‘don’t disobey Me. If you love Me, you don’t disobey Me, you go back’. He wouldn’t meet many people, but very rarely, He would. It all depended on Baba. As He was in seclusion, the question of Him calling people regularly was out of question. Once in a while, Baba would call people. To give an example, on Mehera’s birthday there would be a celebration. Thus, for that occasion, a big group of Parsi ladies from Bombay were invited. The question was, who was to take all these ladies, who were in their fifth, sixth, seventh and some even in their eighth decade of life, to Ahmednagar and Meherazad and back. So, Jal and Dolly Dastur were the organisers for this job. Jal Dastur was the only man amongst these forty or more ladies, taking care of them and their luggage. Once, Jal asked me, if I would like to volunteer ferrying the ladies from Bombay to Meherazad and back? I was over willing to do so. That was when I went to Ahmednagar and to Meherazad for the very first time. I remember, I was waiting for Jal at the Parsi Dharamshalla (guest house) in Ahmednagar city, from where I had picked up a biography of Gautama Buddha. I was lounging around at the Dharamshalla where we were staying, reading the book. I was a little drowsy and the last line which I read before dozing off was something like this, ‘I am the Ancient One who comes again and again for My lovers’. Soon, Jal arrived, after dropping off the ladies at Meherazad who were invited for Mehera’s birthday party and we left for Meherazad together to bring them back. When we reached there the function was kind of over; but I recall the Mandali Hall door was open. Eruch uncle was at the door and he announced that, Baba was now calling the men. We were just a handful, this being an all women’s affair. I think Jal, Meherji, Sarosh, Adi Sr. and myself were present, along with a few others, may be roughly ten of us. We stood in the Mandali Hall and then after another five minutes or so through gestures Baba said that we could now leave. He was seated on His chair, thus on that day, my only memory of seeing Baba was in the Mandali Hall. Every time I go there, I bow down to His chair, as that is where I had last seen Him. It is always emotional entering that Hall. It was during this one visit that Baba made me realise that, as Gautama Buddha had said, ‘I am the One who has come again and again’ and within an hour or two, I was with the living Buddha, who had also spoken those very same words.
“What happened on the seventh day of Baba passing over?”
“The last day was eventually announced by the doctors and the mandali members. Thus, everyone soon came to know that Baba’s darshan could yet be taken. It was Baba’s Parsi Roj Birthday on that day, when at noon, the announcement was made that the crypt would now be shut. Instead of people leaving the Samadhi, more people began to rush towards It, for one last darshan of their Beloved. Everybody gathered around the Samadhi. I found the scene too chaotic as the police were involved to push away the crowds who thronged there. I said to myself that, I had the opportunity of being with Baba for seven days, so it is best that I stay at a distance now, away from the frenzied crowds. I rested in the niche of the green door, near the west room, which is the Museum today and closed my eyes and ears, to shut out the noise and be at peace with Baba. I was seated there, not too long before Mehru came with a tokri (basket) full of red roses; when she saw me, she ordered, ‘Jimmy, get up, get up, tell Jal that these are Mehera’s roses, to be put on Baba’s body last, before He is covered. Just go tell him, I hope He is not covered yet’. I quickly got up, took the basket and rushed towards the Samadhi. There was a large crowd gathered there, so I went from the back of Baba’s Cabin to the Samadhi and told Jal what Mehru had told me; Mehera’s roses to be put on Meher Baba before the crypt was closed. He took the tokri from me and said, ‘give me the Earth’. I was blank and asked him, what was it that he wanted? He was inside the Samadhi and was facing me. He spoke in Gujarati, telling me ‘can you not see the Earth, get it, get it’. There was quite a heap of Earth, along with a ghamela (iron pan) with a spade. The Earth was piled in a heap to the left of the Samadhi, where Mehera’s tomb is today. I filled the first pan with the Earth and handed it over to Jal. The moment I gave it to Jal, he told me to get more. The moment I tried to fill the second pan, people around me pounced on it as they were desperate to do the same. I handed over the spade to somebody and realised that my job was done. All I can say is that, the last flowers and the first Earth to cover Baba, went through my hands.”
“How did your mother take the whole thing?”
“Shockingly, she also thought what the mandali did that, Baba was in a deep coma and would rise and awaken again but sadly, that was not to happen. I think that the shock hit her later. Frankly, I hardly saw my mum for those seven days as she was with the ladies group. I am sure it must have been a tough and difficult time for her. Baba was her saviour and only hope”
“The mandali’s life revolved around Meher Baba completely. How did they handle Baba’s passing over?”
“Let us start with Mehera mai. Why I can tell you this is because I am one of the very, very, few who were on the Hill for all those seven days. That gives me an advantage over the others. Mehera, Mani and the women’s mandali stayed in the rooms behind the tin shed of the water tower. They were there for all these seven days and they would come out to visit the Samadhi twice a day. The women from Bombay, including my mother were put up in the rooms on the first floor. When the women mandali members were in the Samadhi, the doors would be shut and they would be closeted inside for half an hour to forty minutes. There would be much wailing and crying when they were inside and when the Samadhi door was opened, they would be back in the east room. This would take place twice a day. I would see them coming and going and could see that they were absolutely distraught. When Baba passed away, the women believed that He had still not gone and would wake up again. These were the sentiments of the women’s mandali. The men mandali were more practical and took Baba’s passing over more in their stride as they were kept occupied and had so many things to do and handle.”
“What I am asking is, how did the mandali handle life after He passed away because they were so accustomed to obeying Meher Baba for every little thing connected with life and their day to day schedule. Their whole life revolved around Baba and nothing else. I wonder how they managed life after Him dropping His body.”
“I am certain that it must have been a very hard and tough time for them. They were closeted for their entire adult life. The mandali had spent over forty years with Meher Baba and were at a loss you can say, after Baba left His body. Though Baba’s ashram life was tough, they continued to live in the ashram. Except for the Australian poet named Francis Brabazon, who went back to Australia after a year or so; the other mandali members continued to live at either Meherabad, Meherazad or at the Trust office. They were like a rudderless ship. It is true that they never ventured out. Some of the women stayed during the summer, for a month or two, somewhere in Poona but barring that, their life remained enclosed within the ashram.”
“How did the ashram run?”
“Trust donations kept coming in. Baba had made two trusts. One was a general trust and one was for the beneficiaries, whom Baba had named, to whom a little money went every month. That was the second trust. The present generation is looking after the Trust as it is today. They do recall how simple the Trust was in those days. To give an example, from 1969 till about 1978, up the Hill, the wall skirting the tower was crumbling and neglected. I hope there are pictures or films to see those old and crumbling walls. It was only after many years that gradually, the walls were repaired and rebuilt. This gives us an insight to what the finances of the Trust were like in those early days. Another example, though not related to the Trust was that, at that time, in the early 1970s there was not even a single chaiwala (tea vendor) at Lower Meherabad. I don’t recollect ever having a cup of tea at Meherabad, though there is one reference of a shack coming up in Dr. Hoshang Bharucha’s booklet of those last seven fateful days. Those people who stayed at Meherabad for the seven days after Baba passed on were given tea by Padri kaka who lived at Lower Meherabad. He was the one who supplied us with our morning tea, only tea and nothing else. The meals, lunch and dinner came all the way from Nagar city to feed the people who were there, as there was nothing available, neither up nor down the Hill. Thus, life was not at all easy at Meherabad. The Trust was feeding the people at their expense and after a few days, Sarosh Irani made an announcement, requesting those who had already taken darshan of Baba to please leave, as they did not have funds to feed them. That is when the Parsis from Bombay and Poona who were still at the Samadhi, got together to collect a purse of whatever money they had on them, to give the mandali and to feed the people from that.
“The reason why I am telling you this story is to give you a glimpse of how low on funds the Trust was in those days. Then, gradually, over the years, money started pouring in and the Trust is what it is today. In those days, they lived a very hard and frugal life. You know, Baba would instruct the bazaar master to buy whatever was the cheapest vegetable available in the market. After he came back from the bazaar, he had to give an account of every anna and every paisa for each item bought, then total it up and give back the balance to Baba. Suppose he carried ten rupees, he had to give the change to Baba after returning and tallying the expenses. Baba would give some money to Adi Senior at the beginning of the month and tell him that he had to manage the expenses from that for the entire month as money was dispensed only on the first of each month, not a rupee was given in between. He couldn’t go to Baba and ask for even fifty rupees or a hundred rupees in between. The man had to somehow juggle with the finances; how he did it was not Baba’s business. That is how it was. On one such occasion, Baba had called Adi and asked him to give two hundred rupees to some poor person. Now, in front of other people, how could Adi argue with Baba or even tell Baba that there were still a few more days to run the show before the month was over and Baba was telling him to give this person two hundred rupees! Where would he get it from?
“After that person left, he had told Baba that He, Baba, had very large heartedly ordered him to give away the household money. What was he to do then? Baba gestured telling Adi to calm down as from somewhere two hundred rupees would come and the show would go on. Whatever Baba gave away, Baba got back again. Baba never touched money. If somebody gave Him money, through gestures He would ask them ‘what is this? You know, I don’t take money.’ Only when it came from the heart and it was clean money without strings attached, even if it was five rupees, Baba would accept it. There was a lady called Kharman masi, who was very poor, her husband had left her with three sons and gone away. Throughout the year she would collect small change and when she came to Baba during the summer, she would convert that change into a note and give it discreetly to Baba, covered in the folds of her saree. Baba would take her envelope touch it to His eyes, kiss it and put it lovingly in His coat pocket. There were occasions when Baba was offered a couple of thousand rupees which Baba would refuse to touch. One particular man kept on pestering Baba to accept money and Baba told him to keep it with him and would call for it when He needed it. This is how Baba would pacify donors if He did not want to accept their money. On the other hand, Kharman masi would give Baba a mere ten or twenty rupees and Baba would very happily take it. See the difference. Baba appreciated the love and sacrifice with which one willingly gave Him, however paltry the sum but refused to accept anything from those who gave Him something that had an agenda. ”
“Life with Baba must have been pretty hard?”
“Baba was tough, very tough. One day, the bazaar master wasn’t getting his accounts right, there was some discrepancy of just two annas. Through gestures, Baba interrogated him and helped him to tally the account of the two annas, which he just couldn’t remember. Through gestures Baba asked him, if his cycle tire had punctured which he had to repair or did he stop to have a soda or lemonade on the way or did he eat something?’ Where did he spend the two annas? The poor man replied to all Baba’s interrogation in the negative. Then, Baba told him to first get the accounts right and eat only after that. The mandali members who were around him helped the poor man to get his accounts right. They totalled everything once again but the two annas were still unaccountable. Then, he realized that just as he was about to peddle to the market, someone had stopped him and asked him to get two lemons for Mehera. He had bought the lemons but the lemons were not listed, thus, the total was not tallying up. Then, he went to Baba and told Him about the two lemons and Baba was satisfied and told him to go and have his meal.”
“I don’t know how many of us would have lasted with Baba.”
“I have asked this question to myself a number of times. The mandali were born to be with Him, they were made to be with Him. They were conditioned, were prepared to obey Baba with every fibre of themselves. Otherwise, to live with Meher Baba was tough. For the mandali, it was a very closeted and monastic life. For example, Baba would tell someone to go and deliver an envelope to Adi and come back within half an hour. Meherazad was far away from the Trust office at Nagar and that person was supposed to go cycling or walking and Baba would tell them to come back within half an hour! There were two choices, one was, you argued with Him to say, ‘Baba, even if I go to the corner of the road, it will take me fifteen minutes, forget reaching Adi’s office and back within half an hour’. On the other hand, what Aloba would do without an argument was, just peddle as fast as he could but to only come back after two hours. The point being, Baba thoroughly knew that the to and fro mission would not happen within half an hour; He just wanted the obedience.”
“You must have observed the mandali in great detail?”
“Yes, they were all very humble and simple in their habits. See the way they dressed too, it was so simply, in a vest and a pyjama. Even if you see the women mandali in the films, they were in the plainest of clothes. In fact, those who would come to Baba would be decked up, but the mandali were in their working clothes. Sometimes, if some important person was visiting, Baba would tell them to especially dress well. Otherwise, they were always in their working clothes. They had no issues with their clothes or anything. They just obeyed Baba implicitly.”
“How was Mani with Baba?”
“May be, more open and frank than the others but as her Brother, she would not call Him as Merwan or Meher, she would address Him as Baba. That respect was given to Him. She would never come and sit on Baba’s chair because He was her elder brother. That distance and respect was maintained. Mani and her brothers did not take undue license or liberties with Him. However, Shireen mai took complete license of being Baba’s mother. She was the only one who took liberties with Him. She would fight with Him saying, ‘You may be God for others but You are my Son’, that was her attitude, never Mani’s.”
“How was your relationship with Mehera Maa and the women mandali?”
“Frankly, you must appreciate that during the Guruprasad days, I had never met Mehera mai. After Baba dropped His body, we would go to Meherazad and meet the mandali. It was also during the time of the Christmas parties that we met the mandali members and were a part of the fun and frolic when there would be a regular two hour programme. After the programme was over, I would be with my wife and children, just say a pranam or something to Mehera mai. I mean, no personal conversation or talk. The women would talk, the children would talk but the men only stood by or barely conversed.”
“When you go to Meherabad now, how do you feel?”
“Overall, certainly a lot of change has taken place. There is a larger crowd. Jimmy coughed again. “Over a period, it has been different. Earlier, I would go on every Dhuni day. I would go on the 11th night of every month by the Asiad bus. I would not sleep the whole night because I cannot sleep while travelling. The next day was the day of the Dhuni and then I would return a day later. In the year 2009, I started organizing bus trips. These trips were on weekends. So, my going on every Dhuni day stopped.”
“Your children are also Meher Baba lovers?”
“Absolutely! My son, Phiroz, who is in Mumbai now, is married to a born Baba lover who is British. She and her brothers have played with Mehera mai, Mani and the others. They would come to Ahmednagar since they were very young, so yes, he goes to Meherabad very often. He, his wife and little daughter, Arnavaz, drive down in their own car and stay for two or three nights. Our daughter who is now in the U.S.A. would go to Meherabad with us and also with her group of friends, including her husband Samridh and has also attended the Youth Sahavas twice with our son.”
“Do you feel people are following the essence of Baba?”
“Very few are following Baba’s true essence. When one says that they are following the essence of Baba, then for that one in their life, it should only be Meher Baba. If one believes that He is the God-Man, if one believes that He is Zarathushtra, then nothing else should matter. A single minded focus on Meher Baba should be present.
Let us understand that we are mere mortals and not yet ready to follow His teachings to the tee. Baba has given eight discourses on ‘How to love God’. If we were to love Him as He is to be loved, then, we are perfect and immediately would merge with Him; but we are laden with imperfections and consequently not anywhere close to where He wants us to be. In the same breath, I will also make a point that we, His lovers, are heading in the right direction. As we do His prayers each day, some of the words do filter from our minds to our hearts and to our conscience. This helps us to get one centimetre closer with each passing day to Him. We may not be there but we certainly are inching, crawling towards that goal. Every time we say the Repentance Prayer, some lines do prick our conscience like, slander and backbiting, for our words and deeds, for our deeds of omissions and commissions that gave others pain etc. Yes, we do slip up from pleasing Him but He in His eternal mercy and patience forgives us a thousand times and lifts us up knowing our limitations.
“Do you see or know people who have completely dedicated their lives to Meher Baba?”
“Yes, there are many who have dedicated their lives to Meher Baba. The more people learn about Baba, the more they hear about Baba, more films they watch about Baba, the more they read, they gradually graduate from being devotees to disciples. There are sincere Baba lovers; but to qualify that there are those who have completely dedicated their lives to Beloved Baba is difficult as it becomes difficult to comprehend the words completely dedicated.”
“Do you find a difference amongst the foreigners and us, Indians, in the devotion and love towards Baba?”
“I am privileged to have been very close to many of the Westerners. Firuza and I have stayed in their homes, have gone abroad a number of times on Baba talk tours. Had I not gone abroad, I would not have known of their complete love and devotion towards Baba. Being with them, spending twenty-four hours with them, I find their love is equally honest and their knowledge about Baba is in a greater depth. They have read a lot, they know a lot, they even correct me on and off, and they are very intense in their love for Baba, like many Indians and Zoroastrians. Do not underestimate their devotion to Baba, to say that the people of the West are less spiritually inclined than we, Indians.”
“Baba dropped His body in 1969 and you have grown up with Meher Baba. How do you take life without His physical presence?”
“I don’t lust for His physical presence for a reason and it is a good reason because when I pray, I concentrate, I am with Him, I talk to Him, I hug Him, I touch His feet, I feel His feet, I am grabbing His feet. I am putting my head on His feet. I see myself hugging Him at both, Meherabad and Meherazad Mandali Halls. Then, the last place where I meet Him in my mind is in His bedroom. I put my head on the cushion in His bedroom. I sit in front of His bed, backing the chest of drawers and I talk to Him about the day’s proceedings and what happened, the good, the bad and the ugly. I do this almost every single day. I tell Him everything as if He doesn’t know everything! He is God. He knows every breath I take, every thought I think, every word I say and every action of mine but I still talk to Him about every single thing. This makes me feel that He is always with me. If someone is dead or sick or distraught, I inform Him. I do not ask Him to cure anyone or help anyone, just inform Him. Then, it is for Him to take over from there.”
Be blessed always.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
I would like to believe that every word that has poured forth, has come through the unbound grace, love, mercy and compassion of Avatar Meher Baba. I would also like to thank my sister Jennifer Bharucha, Jimmy Khan, Mehernath B. Kalchuri, Roshani Shenazz and Jennifer Keating, who have been instruments chosen by Baba, with whose help these interviews have been made possible. I would also like to thank Jimmy Khan and Cyrus Khambata for their invaluable editorial inputs. Be blessed always. Jai Baba.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha