Experiences of  Darayus Boman Irani with Meher Baba

Ruzbeh N. Bharucha

Avatar-Meher-Baba-Ji-In-Open-Hair

“My name is Darayus Irani, son of late Boman and Roshan Irani. I am Behram Irani’s brother. Our story with Meher Baba starts with my grandparents who were living in Bombay. There was a masala (spices) shop of my grandfather which Baba would frequent when He was very young. My paternal grandfather’s family was connected with Baba; far off relations. That is how my father came in contact with Meher Baba. All my brothers’ and sisters’ names were given by Meher Baba Himself. Earlier we used to communicate via the post and my parents would write to Baba requesting Him to name the child who was born. Thus, all our names were given by Baba to my parents. When I was very small I was really up to mischief all the time. Eruch uncle used to get fed up of me. Everybody connected with Meher Baba knew how mischievous I was. Even now if you were to mention my name to Jal uncle, he will put his hand on his head and say ‘oh my God! Darayus’,” he laughed aloud.

   “Rustom and Sorab used to study in J. N. Petit Technical High School, Pune along with us. They would attend school but then return home, whereas, we all would be in school 24 x 7, as our school was also a boarding school. Thus, my brother Behram Irani and I studied and lived in J. N. Petit School. My roll number was 272, and my brother’s roll number was 273 in J. N. Petit School.”

   “Which year was this?”

   “I am not very good with dates but this was in the 1960’s. Then in the year 1968 – 1969, I was studying in Nashik Boys Town along with my brother Behram. The Godavari river flows there and there was a bridge on the Godavari river and my grandmother’s relative was praying the Mushkil Aasan prayer to Behram Yazad, the Angel who wards off all difficulties, on the bridge. It was evening time the sun was almost setting. As I have told you I was very mischievous and feared nothing. People were going on top of the bridge and a few fishermen’s children were going below the bridge. I was filled with wonder and mischief, so I too wanted to go below the bridge. I went by the footsteps and got into the river. In a matter of time, my specs flew in the air and as I tried to catch it, I fell in the water. I was very young. I was a young teenager. In seconds of falling into the river I began to drown as I did not know how to swim and began to gulp water. It is true that just before death one’s life flashes in front of one’s eyes. I knew that in a few seconds I would be dead and in that moment I mentally challenged Baba that, ‘if You are real or You are a fraud prove Yourself’. Imagine even when I was dying, going deeper and deeper into the water, I still had the masti or mischief in me to challenge Baba. Every time I recollect this incident my eyes well up. I am sharing with you only what truly happened to me. So, I was drowning and I was automatically gulping water. After a few seconds I told myself, ‘forget everything, let’s just die’. As soon as I said this from nowhere some powerful force like a missile hit me below my feet pushing me out of the water, up to my waist level, as if I was standing on a rock. One moment I was drowning into the water, deeper and deeper and in the next moment I was virtually pushed out of the water up to my waist level. Whenever I narrate this story, either to my children or to Baba lovers all over the world, I get very emotional. Once when in Meherabad, at MPR (Meher Pilgrim Retreat), an American gentleman, a Baba lover, after hearing my story, called me ‘the missile man’. So one moment I was drowning and next moment something powerful pushed me up to my waist level, where I could eventually breathe and the best part was that I was no longer sinking back into the water, as I felt as though something was holding me with a rock like grip from below my feet, and I appeared to be standing in water, on a rock, but in the middle of the river. There was no physical rock below the water in the middle of the river. When I was safe, I took a deep breath and began to scream for help. I was about thirty feet away from the bridge and the fishermen heard me and quickly reached me and brought me to the shore. I remember I was shivering, either due to the cold or the shock. I remember clearly that it was evening time, the sun was just about to set. I could see the orange light of the sun through the water before I came out of the water. Then these old women, I guess family members of the fishermen, they began to put their heads to my feet, as though taking my blessings and darshan and I was already in a state of shock and this further freaked me out. Then they told me that what had transpired was a miracle. Nobody had survived after falling into the water. They had lost sons who had fallen in the water. All had drowned, but me. They then informed me that this was actually a dam. The bridge was the dam and I fell from the right side of the dam, and fell through the main rock of the dam. They wondered how was it that I came alive from the other side of the dam and how come I had not got trapped in between the locked gates. Ruzbeh all that I have told you truly happened. This is not a joke.”

   “I believe you.”

   “The best part of it all is that my Khorshed aunty was still praying Mushkil Aasan as she wasn’t aware of what had transpired. I went back to her, drenched like a duck, clothes wet, and she asked me, ‘what happened, su thayu, su thayu’, I told her, ‘maasi, nothing, just forget all this. Let’s go home’. I reached her place, took Baba’s Photo, kept it on my chest and went to sleep. I believe this life is my second innings. I should have died. Meher Baba saved me. He accepted my challenge I assume,” he began to laugh loudly. “But as a reminder to be careful, I got a mark of remembrance. The way a nail pricks you I got that kind of a kiss or a pinch mark near my ankle. As though I was held tight by my ankle and pushed up.”

   “What about your memories with Meher Baba?”

   “They were days of fun. Once I went unintentionally into  Baba’s room. I was very daring and mischievous. Jal uncle, Baba’s younger brother, when I was very small, would come and meet us, because he was a very good friend of my father. He used to come to our house and to our office in Bombay to meet us. My father did business with the shipping industry and Jal uncle made Baba lockets. As I have told you we were living in Poona in a boarding school. I was just like a family member to them. Jal uncle was a jolly good fellow and he used to crack a lot of jokes. He often told me that he was a really good cricketer and a ball which he had hit high into the sky and the ball is still there and not come down. Jal uncle used to put tapkir (snuff) in his nose and he ate the extra strong white coloured mint sweets. He had these sweets all the time in his pocket. Jal uncle came to meet us in school.

   “All throughout, we got so much of love from Baba. Even now nobody can touch me with His grace. I have lived in Iran for nearly four decades. Nobody can touch me because I have got my Lord Meher along with me. Because if you walk straight, people will respect you, nobody will put you in any trouble. I am a Parsi Zoroastrian and I am still an Indian passport holder, I have not changed my nationality, I will never change it. I am very proud to be an Indian. I can’t do all this nonsense. I don’t believe in all this. For me He is everything. Every-day I have to compulsory do my Meher Baba’s Aarti in the morning. I try my best to do the evening Aarti too.”

   “Did Meher Baba ever scold you?”

          “Never. We were the pampered lot. Also I was very smart, I used to escape all the time but to tell you the truth I could never look into Baba’s eyes if I had done some mischief as I had a guilty conscience. I was good at heart but mischievous. Baba never told me anything but when I would go to take His blessings at that time I would be shitting bricks… mori faat ti thi,” saying this he laughed aloud. “Did you know that Baba was very fond of pomegranates, daram; so my father used to send pomegranates from Crawford Market, Bombay, very special big darams, to Baba. The fruit vendor would give him the best and the biggest ones. They were huge. He would clean them and polish them and then pack them because he knew it was for Meher Baba. They would say ‘devacha daram ahay’ (these pomegranates are for God). Baba was like family to my great father. You know my maternal grandmother would tell me this story. I am not sure of what truly transpired but she would tell this story to a number of people. So, many years before when Baba was very young, He used to come to my grand-father’s shop. One day someone passed over, she used to tell me that though Baba doesn’t do miracles, in reality He does miracles in a silent manner, as Baba brought that person back to life again. I don’t know what really took place but for my grandmother this truly happened. My grandparents were thorough Meher Baba lovers, twenty-four hours of the day they used to pray with the mala, they used to keep chanting Baba’s Name. They were completely in love with Baba. They were lovely people. I am very proud to be a Meher Baba lover and shall always be. For me, even if I die tomorrow, always remember that all I have told you is one million percent the truth. This is my second life and I owe this to Baba.”

   “What about Mehera Maa?”

   “Oh Mehera Maa, Oh She was a Goddess. She was…., what do I say about Her! She was a Goddess.” Then he paused for a long time. “She was a Goddess with the most pure heart, mind and everything. How do I begin to explain to you who She and Mani aunty were? It is not easy to explain. I don’t words to explain who they were. I was Mani aunty’s pet. Her ladko. They were real darlings.  All I can say is that I am very proud to be a Meher Baba lover and always will be a Meher Baba lover. You understand,” his voice was filled with emotion, love and nostalgia. “Baba would always hug me tightly; give me a real tight hug, whenever I went to take His darshan. Though I was very mischievous but at the same time I used to be in my own world and still Baba loved me a lot. I am sure He used to love me. I had once gone into Baba’s room in Guruprasad. On the left wing the ladies used to sit, when one went a little ahead it was Baba’s room, in the corner and I once entered inside His room and saw that the bed was made so well, everything was very neat and nice, very nice. I feel as though this happened just yesterday. You just need to stick to Him, just don’t leave His daman, you understand.”

   “Yes, I do.”

   “Don’t leave Him half way. Don’t betray Him.”

   “Yes. Were you with Baba during His Samadhi time?”

   “No, at that time I was in Poona. We were two brothers, in J. N. Petit school, the school gave permission only for one brother to leave for Meherabad, so my father had taken my elder brother Behram for Baba’s Samadhi, I was at school.”

   “What did you feel when you heard that Baba had taken Samadhi?”

   “Khatam, khatam. At first, I felt finished but after a little while I realised that He is always there. He is alive. He is always with us. Let me tell you another story. Years ago, when I would come to India every year, though now I don’t come every year but that time at the new airport, carrying mangoes with you on flight was completely banned. I bought some good mangoes as I wanted to give them to my friends in Iran. I had bought around twenty kilos of mangoes. Like a mad man I took them in my hand luggage. I am famous for being overweight where my bags are concerned. I realised that the airport authorities were very strict about not carrying mangoes. The person who was ahead of me, his mangoes went straight in the bin. Now listen, Mr. Bharucha, my film starts again. I hardly had twenty seconds left for my turn to come. Tears fill up my eyes whenever I think of this incident. I told Baba ‘do anything and make these mangoes pass through the scanning machine’. My handbag went in and came out. I don’t know how the man did not notice twenty kilos of mangoes in the scanning machine. I told myself ‘pick up your bag and run Darayus ’. I called my brother Behram and I told him the story and said that ‘Baba saved my ijjat’. I didn’t know that mangoes were banned. I believe that you must love Him with a pure clean true heart and soul, without pretense, without acting, without hypocrisy, no film acting, just true love. Be true to yourself. Today whatever I am is because of Meher Baba. My children and everybody knows this. Be honest to yourself, don’t ever think of showing off or acting or all this nonsense. We can fool others but we can’t fool our own self and most of all we can’t fool Baba.  Just talk to Him. Just talk to Him. The more you talk to Him He will give you the answer. He will talk to you on the spot. He will tell you everything. He will guide you, remember Him with true love. Whatever you do, do so with a pure, clean heart and don’t expect anything. Leave all the results to Him. Let Him decide whether to give or not give.”

   “Yes.”

   “He will never let you down. The saying goes, He will choke your neck and close your nose but He will never let you drown. I have got nothing to do with anyone. I sit with my Baba, I do my Baba’s Aarti, I do my work, khatam,” he began to cry. After a while he cleared his throat. “My life is nearly over. But I am very happy. I wish that when my day comes to leave this body Baba’s Name comes forth in my last breath, that when I am dying I am thinking about Him. That is the most important thing. What do you say?”

   “I agree completely.”

   “I don’t know if His Name and thought will be on my tongue and in my mind when I am dying but I hope it is. I hope we will be in our senses to take His Name before we die. Do you understand?”

   “Yes I do.”

   “If we remember Him before dying, we shall not be born again as we shall remain with Him. Also keep your faith in Him no matter what and you will be very happy in life; automatically He will keep you happy.”

   “Yes.”

   “And He will keep your family very happy.”

   “Yes.”

   “I am a family man. I have two kids. I have two children, they are twins, one son and one daughter. My wife is there with me too. But I am all the time in Baba’s thoughts. You understand what I am saying right?”

   “Yes. I do.”

   “Do any work, do it with a pure heart, otherwise don’t do it. As far as possible spread Baba’s message.”

   “Yes.”

   “If you have any work, even if it is in the middle of the night you can call me on my cell phone, I will not answer but I will call you back from my mobile so that your money doesn’t go to waste. If you have any work at any time, just call me. I am there for you. Thank you for listening to me. Keep good health. Remember Baba is always with us.”

Be blessed always.

Jai Baba


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​​​

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