Experiences of with Naosherwan Anzar Nalavala Meher Baba
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
“Anyway, so I relented and I wrote to Him saying that, I would not come to Him but I would keep prolonged silence and I would meditate and so forth. Another set of instructions came, ‘do not observe prolonged silence, nor meditate, do not serve yourself by doing so. Those who lead a dedicated life in My cause, have no need for such discipline. You are close to Me and you are very dear to Me. I know how you strive to be merged in My love. I want you not to strive, (strive underlined thrice) for this, but to allow your dear love to flow freely to Me in its natural course. Know one most important thing in this spiritual line and that is that no amount of your striving to reach Me could transport you to Me. Simplest thing for you to do is to just love Me in the most natural way as a child would love his mother’.”
“What was your age during this renunciation phase?”
“I was nineteen years old. Though, I obeyed Baba, I was in a very disturbed state of mind. I was constantly writing poems to Baba and He would send me cables. His birthday came and I sent Him a poem. What I did was, I pulled out words from God Speaks and I wrote a ghazal. I used to write ghazals in Urdu. Though, Baba had said no correspondence, He had never said that one could not send a poem. I just wanted a cable from Him. I decided that if I were to send Him a poem on His birthday as a birthday gift, He would be forced to respond to me. I divided the poem in three parts, so that I could prolong my correspondence. This is the kind of stuff I did to be connected with Him.
“One day, in The Hindustan Times, I saw a small news item that said that the Third World Religions Conference was to be held in New Delhi. People from all over the world would be coming to participate in it. The application fee was a hundred rupees. I asked my father and mother if I could go for this conference. They said that I should write to Baba and if Baba permitted I could by all means go and they would pay the hundred rupees and my travel expenses. I wrote to Baba and He replied, ‘yes, you can attend the conference’. I had no concept of the enormity of this conference. I sent the hundred rupees and wrote the subject on which I would be speaking on to the organizers. I didn’t want them to know that I was a nineteen year old teenager. I wrote a topic which was based on Baba’s message. The subject was the Supervening Powers of Faith in the Evolution of World Peace. I just wanted to confuse them with a heavy subject so that they would think that an older person was participating in the conference.
“I promptly got a response from them, accepting my application and slotting me under the World Peace panel. I printed four thousand copies of Baba’s message on one side and on the other, I created my own message on world peace. There was a Baba lover whose name was Vasudeo Kain. He was the Social Secretary to the President of India. He had a bungalow on the President’s Estate. We were friends. I wrote to him asking him if I could stay at his house during the conference. He wrote back saying he was very happy to welcome me.
“I went to Delhi. What I did not know was that there were four or five other Baba lovers who were professional speakers, who were also a part of this conference. Among the Baba lovers who were delegates to the conference was a man call Sardar Amarsingh Saigal. He was a Member of Parliament and never feared anybody. He would stand up in the Parliament and tell parliamentarians, ‘you all are speaking nonsense, let me tell you what Meher Baba has to say about this’. He would read out what Meher Baba said on a particular topic. He was a fearless man. He was also one of the delegates. They were on different panels. I was speaking on World Peace. I had been given forty-five minutes to speak on my topic.
“The big day arrived and you have no idea how nervous I was. Then, a cable came from Baba addressed to me. ‘I am with you at the Third World Religions Conference. – Meher Baba.’ All my nervousness left me. I knew that now nothing could go wrong. How wrong I was! The Conference was held at the Ram Leela Grounds. It is a huge ground and thousands of people were in front of me. We were seated on an elevated stage. There were people from all over the world, not only as delegates; but even in the audience. Tents had been constructed. It was truly a big deal. The Head of the Zoroastrian community was present. The Shankaracharya was present. I mean, you name it and they were there. There were representatives from all the various sects, cults, every religion. Eventually, my name was announced and I stood in front of the mike and beseeched Baba to speak through me. I started with what Zoroaster had said on world peace. What Ram, Krishna, Buddha and Muhammad had said on world peace. Then, I said, ‘today we have the Emperor of Peace, Avatar Meher Baba…’ The moment I uttered these words, two men who were sitting there, physically attacked me.”
“Yeah. They kept pulling my hands and legs asking me to sit down and I kept holding onto the mike and Sant Kirpal Singh turned round and said, ‘let the young man speak’. These two people slithered away. These were Kirpal Singh’s disciples. The upshot of this was that I completely forgot my speech. My mind went blank but Baba had said that He would be with me in the Third World Religions Conference. I had a surge of strength and energy. I held the mike and said, ‘I have just uttered the name of Avatar Meher Baba. If you want me to continue speaking, I will; or I will sit down. It’s entirely up to you’. There was a surge of loud voices, chanting, ‘we want Meher Baba. We want Meher Baba’. I don’t know who these people were. I continued speaking of whatever I remembered of my speech but it was more to do with Meher Baba than to do with world peace.
“After I finished speaking, Kirpal Singh called me and said, ‘I have a lot of work for you young man in the future’. I replied, ‘as long as it’s in the purview of Meher Baba, I would be happy to work’. My uncle, Elcha Mistry, who was a part of Baba’s mandali, was also in the audience. He had come to hear me speak. My uncle told me that the Head Priest of the Zoroastrian religion was going to give a talk at the Parsee dharamshala and I should attend the talk. We went for the talk. I was told by my uncle that the dasturji was coming to give a talk on the impact of Zoroastrianism on the Indus Valley civilization. It was decided that if there was time, then, I would speak after the head priest. I sat in the audience and the head priest gave a talk on the impact of Zoroastrianism on the Indus Valley civilization but he ended his speech a little earlier than planned. The President of the Delhi Zoroastrian Association stood up and said, ‘we have a young Zoroastrian from Dehradun with us today. He was also a delegate to the Third World Religions Conference and now he’ll give his impressions of the Conference’.
“I went up and my opening sentence was, ‘I came to the Third World Religions Conference to give a talk on Meher Baba on world peace’. The moment I uttered Meher Baba’s Name, the Head Priest jumped up like a jack-in-the box and said loudly, ‘I have never been so insulted in my life’. He stormed out of the room and the entire meeting broke up. I had to stop my talk and mingled with the Parsis gathered there who wanted to know about Meher Baba. In my experience, over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a lot of closet Baba lovers. Baba lovers, who were anxious to meet Baba, follow Baba; but for whatever reason, could not show their love openly.
“I went back to Dehradun and wrote a long letter to Baba, explaining everything to Him that had taken place in Delhi. Baba wrote back saying that, what I had written was not enough and I should come to Poona as soon as possible. I took the train to Poona to be with Baba. This was probably one of the most important meetings of my life with Baba.
“I had last met Baba at the East-West Gathering in 1962. I had sat at His feet. Now, this meeting took place in 1965. I arrived at the Poona train station and Meherwan Jessawala was there to drive me to Guruprasad. I went straight from the train station to be with Baba. My father had come a few days earlier for the sahvas program and he was also sitting with the mandali that morning at nine o’clock. I took off my sandals and went in. All that I could see was, Meher Baba seated on a chair, bare bodied from the waist up and wearing a loose short pant or an ijar, as we, Parsis, call it. Baba would often wear these ijars. It is a pajama that falls below the knees. It was over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit in Poona. I had eyes only on Meher Baba. The entire mandali was seated with their backs to the wall.
“I rushed into Baba’s arms. I kissed Him. He kissed me. I crushed Him with my embrace. I fell at His feet, held onto His feet, kissed His feet, kissing Him on the cheeks was like kissing a woman. He was very soft but when He embraced you, it was like a strong Man embracing you. I sat at His feet. Then, Eruch turned to me and said, ‘you have just come back from the Third World Religions Conference’. I said, ‘yes, Eruch uncle’. He said, ‘Baba wants to know in great detail, everything that took place in Delhi, both, at the Conference and at the Parsi gathering’.
“I must have been very nervous. I started doing something strange with my fingers, as if I was going to talk through sign language. Eruch and Baba were staring at me. ‘what are you doing Naosherwan? Baba is silent. You are not. Why are you talking in sign language?’ I suddenly realized what a fool I was making of myself. Then, I started talking in Gujarati, a language that I barely spoke. I spoke to my parents in Gujarati once in a while but I am not fluent in Gujarati, having lived in North India. Eruch immediately interrupted and said, ‘Francis doesn’t understand Gujarati. Speak in English’. Then, suddenly, I felt a little more composed.
“I started narrating in English, in great detail, all that had taken place in Delhi. Baba had a habit of interrupting. He would turn to somebody and ask, ‘do you love Me?’ That man would say, ‘yes, Baba’.
I would stop talking, thinking that Baba was going to say something to me and then Baba would gesture with His hands asking me to….continue, continue, continue….and I would continue. Then again, He would ask somebody else, ‘do you love Me?’ I would stop once again. The man would say, ‘yes, Baba’ or something to that effect. I didn’t expect Baba to ask me any questions. While I was still narrating, He turned to me and asked me, ‘do you love Me?’ I said, ‘yes, Baba’. This is how the narration went along. At one point, Baba asked somebody, ‘do you accept Me as God?’ The man said, ‘yes, Baba’. I stopped and Baba gestured… continue, continue.
“I was getting close to the end of my narration and Baba turned to me and asked, ‘do you accept Me as God?’ I said, ‘absolutely Baba’. Then, Baba gestured to Eruch. I looked at both of them. Eruch said aloud, ‘Baba says that He wants you to tell the world that Meher Baba is God in human form’. Then, Baba extended His hand towards me. I was seated at His feet and I extended my hand and we both held hands, as if to seal this mandate. Baba clapped and Dr. Goher came into the room, holding something in her hands. She held a little box with a medallion in it. The medallion had Baba’s bas relief on one side and Mastery in Servitude emblem on the other. It was a very large coin. It was designed by Vivian and Louis Agostini. It was made by them, manufactured in the United States and sent to Baba. Baba handed me this medallion to seal the mandate which He had given me. Till this day, I have honoured this mandate and will continue to do so.
“Eruch then said, ‘you sent a poem for Baba on His birthday but because of the sahvas program, I did not have a chance to read the gazal, Insan-e-Kamil, the Perfect Man, to Baba. So, now, that you are here, why don’t you read it to Baba?’ I read the ghazal to Baba which was in Urdu. In the poem, there is a word visal; visal means union. Baba asked me, ‘do you know the meaning of visal?’ I said, ‘yes Baba, I know the meaning. It means union’. Baba threw His hands in the air and said, ‘what a union between the lover and the Beloved’. Then, Baba gestured, ‘you are here today because I have given you and humanity the gift of conviction. Have you read about conviction in God Speaks: yaqin-ul-yaqin, ain-ul-yaqin and haqq-ul-yaqin’.
“I said, ‘yes, Baba. He then told me, ‘I have explained it in great detail in God Speaks. I want you to read God Speaks three times’. I had read it once but Baba wanted me to read it three times. Then, He said, “it is the gift of conviction that I give to people’. Then, He turned to me and said, ‘you are God, Francis is God, Eruch is God, I am God, but I am conscious of My divinity. It is the conviction I give you that will help you become convinced of your own divinity’.
“This is the message that Baba gave me on that day. I have never ever heard Baba give this mandate to anyone, ‘to tell the world that He is God, in human form’. Then, He asked me if I knew any jokes. I have a lousy sense of humour, so I could not tell Him any. I said, ‘no Baba; but I am carrying my harmonica’. Eruch said, ‘Baba would like to be entertained with some music’. I used to play the harmonica in an orchestra. I played several Top 40 compositions of the day, till I ran out of breath.
“I returned to Dehradun and narrated to my family and the Baba lovers of Dehradun all that took place with Baba and we discussed how we can honour Meher Baba’s mandate of letting the world know that He is God in human form. They all pointed at me and said that, ‘you are the journalist and writer. You have to come up with something’. They said, ‘let’s start a magazine’. The main Baba person there was, Wing Commander Manohar Sakhre and his wife Mona Sakhre. He gave me two hundred rupees and my mother gave me another two hundred rupees and it was decided that we should publish a magazine to commemorate Baba’s visit to Dehradun in 1953.
“I put together stories of Baba in Dehradun and His meeting with several different people and so forth. There was a deaf and dumb boy who was very good at drawing portraits. He made a portrait of Baba, I put it on the cover and I called it The Spark. It was launched in November 1965.
“I sent a copy of it to Baba. Baba liked it very much. Eruch wrote that I should try and use photographs rather than drawings or paintings, unless the paintings were very very close to Baba’s form. In a short while, Baba’s sister, Mani Irani, sent a large number of photographs of Baba as a gift. Everybody felt that as Baba had praised the magazine and people had liked it very much, we should continue with the publication. I said, I would be happy to continue with it but would have to apply for registration. I wrote to the Registrar of Newspapers and a response came saying that we couldn’t use the title of The Spark because there was already a newspaper in existence with the same name. I wrote to Baba saying that the name has been taken and that I was sending him three names; Baba could choose one that He liked the most. The names were The Glow, The Ray, and Francis suggested to Baba, In The Flow. Baba selected The Glow and that’s how the magazine came into existence. The first issue came out in February, 1966 and one copy was sent to Baba, seven copies to the women mandali and seven copies to the men mandali. It was sent to the United States. Elizabeth Patterson and Kitty Davy liked it immensely. They sent me a list of names. We began to get subscriptions for the magazine and that is how the magazine continues to be published. For every issue, Baba would send a message and I would carry it on the first page. It is fifty-four years old today (2020).
“A few years later, Dara and Amrit were getting married. She was in Dehradun. I was Amrit’s tutor for a short time. She came every day to study with me. I was one of the invitees at her wedding but as it happened, I was selected to join The Times of India newspaper. I was interviewed in Delhi and Bombay but I had to join the paper in Bombay. I was interviewed and selected to join The Times of India as a trainee, as a cub reporter. Now, we were all invited for Amrit’s wedding to Dara in December, 1968. I could not attend their wedding because the day earlier was my final interview at The Times of India. I could only start in the morning and come towards three o’clock in the afternoon. I wrote to Baba saying that I could only come at three. The time of three o’clock was given to me to meet Baba. By that time the wedding was over. I arrived at Ahmednagar and this was my first visit to Meherazad.
“Meherwan Jesawalla picked me up from the train station and rushed over. I met Eruch. He said, ‘what took you so long? Baba is waiting for you’. I remember the thought that came to me, ‘God is waiting for me’. I walked past these gorgeously dressed women in wedding saris. The last time I had seen Mehera was in 1953 and now I was seeing Her in 1968. I saw Her beautifully dressed in a gorgeous sari but I didn’t stop to speak to anyone. I just followed Eruch as we rushed into Baba’s room.
“When I walked in, there was no place for me to sit. I was told to sit on Baba’s bed. Baba was lying down with His legs propped up. There was space only at the edge of His bed. Baba told Eruch to explain to me how He worked in seclusion. While narrating, Eruch asked me, ‘do you want to massage Baba’s legs?’ I massaged Baba’s legs and Eruch continued to talk to me. He told me that when Baba was in seclusion, He would cover His head and pound His right hand on His right thigh. Eruch told me to touch Baba’s right thigh. I felt Baba’s right thigh and it felt as if I was touching a stone wall, it was solid as a rock, except that the skin was loose, but the thigh was hard. I kept massaging it. Then, He completed the explanation of Baba in seclusion and His Universal work and how Baba had to suffer.
“I was paying attention but my mind was a little distracted. I had applied at three places for a job. I had been selected for all three. I was selected for the Army, to join the Indian Military Academy, as well as for the Air Force, and also the Times of India. I did not have my heart in taking up both of these jobs; though the salary was very high. In fact, as an aside, my father did not speak to me for two months because I had told him clearly if I got the job at The Times of India, I would refuse the jobs with the Armed Forces. He was so upset with me. I told Baba about my dilemma. Baba gestured, ‘how much is the Army paying you?’ I replied, ‘Baba, about eight hundred rupees’. Baba further gestured to ask, ‘how much is the Air Force paying you?’ I said, ‘about eight hundred rupees’ and then, Baba asked, ‘how much is The Times of India paying you?’ I said, ‘about four hundred rupees, Baba’.
“Baba gestured again, ‘which job would you like?’ I kept silent. I wanted Baba to tell me what job I should take. There was complete silence in the room. Baba turned to my uncle, Elcha Mistry, and asked him, ‘what do you think? Where should he join?’ My uncle said, ‘Baba, you know, he has been writing, he is the editor of The Glow and has written the book In Lap of Love, (which was a book of poems that I had published in which Baba had given a message for the book). You had signed the first few copies of the book. I think The Times of India might be good for him’. Baba turned to Pendu and gestured to him for his opinion. Pendu said, ‘Baba, You remember, when we were in Dehradun, Naosherwan used to go around with a wooden rifle in his hand as a little boy and walk around like a military man, perhaps he should join the Army’. Baba did not ask Eruch and Jim Mistry for their opinion. Baba said, ‘join The Times of India’.
“Then, Baba gestured very slowly to me and I thought that He said, ‘now don’t change your mind’. Baba said ‘no’. Those days, Baba’s fingers moved very slowly, otherwise, He would get a spasm. He moved His fingers again and I thought He said, ‘don’t get second thoughts’. Baba said, ‘no, that’s not what I said’. Then, He moved His fingers in alphabets, and Eruch said, ‘Baba says ‘don’t vacillate’. That moment, I realized that Baba was so accurate in what He wanted to convey. Any of the three things which He mentioned could have applied but He was clear in what He wanted to say, ‘don’t vacillate’. You see, vacillation could have driven me crazy. Should I do this? Should I do that?”
“Then, there was another issue that I had to deal with if I joined The Times of India. I would have to resign my editorship of my magazine due to conflict of interest. So, Baba said, ‘who is going to publish The Glow?’ Then, Baba turned to Jim Mistry who was a printer and He said, ‘will you print the magazine in Bombay?’ He said, ‘Baba, absolutely. I will print The Glow in Bombay’. Then, Baba said, ‘The Times of India will not permit you to be the Editor’. I said, ‘Baba, this issue did come up and I have asked my mother if I could put her name instead of my name’.
“Baba said, ‘good idea’. Thus, it was decided that my mother’s name would appear as the Editor. I would join The Times of India and Jim Mistry would print the magazine. Baba then asked Eruch, ‘has he seen Meherazad?’ I said, ‘no Baba’. He gestured to say, ‘show him around’. I embraced Baba and kissed him on both cheeks but He did not embrace me or kiss me.”
“That was the last time you met Him?”
“Yes, forty days later He dropped His body. Eruch took me out and Baba clapped His hands and we both returned to the room and Baba gestured, ‘My time has come’. I went out for the second time and again there was a clap. I returned to the room. Eruch tells me, ‘Baba says, ‘My time has come’. I went out the third time. Again, Baba clapped and I came back inside the room. Baba said it the third time, ‘My time has come’. Baba always said things three times, any orders or anything He wanted to convey with emphasis, He would say three times, ‘My time has come’. Now, when you are in Baba’s presence, you don’t have the foggiest idea of the intensity of His words. You have the feeling that Meher Baba is going to live forever. You never think for a moment that He will drop His body.
“I returned to Dehradun to prepare myself to come to Bombay to take up work at The Times of India. It was on the morning of the 1st of February, 1969. I had come two to three days earlier to Bombay. I was wearing my suit to go for my job. First day of my first job and a distant cousin of mine called me and said, ‘Naosherwan have you seen today’s Times of India?’ I said, ‘no, it’s under the door’. She said, ‘go, right now and pick up the Times’. I picked up the paper and on the right hand column, there was a picture of Baba and below it was mentioned, ‘Meher Baba Found Dead in a Cave’.
“Meher Baba would often sit in caves. That was not a surprise; but I was stunned to read of His dropping His body. I just didn’t know what to do. I put the phone down and was immobile. The thought that came to my mind was what would I do without Him? The only thing that came to my mind was what would I do without Him? I was so heavily dependent on Meher Baba for every single decision in my life. I mean, I’m exaggerating; but if I had a cough or a cold, I would ask Him what I should do. My father, my mother and I, all of us were so dependent on Meher Baba.
“I got dressed and I had little money on me. I told my aunt and uncle of what had happened and went to The Times of India office. I entered The Times of India and went to the office of my boss, Patanjali Sethi. I told him, ‘sir, I need leave’. He was shocked. He said, ‘what is wrong with you? Today is the first day of your first job’. I said, ‘yes, sir. It is my first job’. Fortunately, a copy of The Times of India was on his table. I said, ‘sir, do you see that news? That’s my Master. I need to be with my Master as He has passed away’. He said, ‘but we are starting classes and sessions today. When will you be back?’ I said, ‘sir, I will try and be back within forty-eight hours. I’m going to try my level best. He probably will be buried by then. I’ll come as soon as I can’.
“The train station is opposite The Times of India. I rushed to the Victoria Terminus Station, took a ticket and boarded the train heading for Ahmednagar. I reached at eleven at night. In those days, on the Daund-Manmad road there was no traffic, no trucks, nothing. It was pitch dark. I had never been to Ahmednagar. I get onto this tonga and told the man in Hindi, ‘do you know where Meher Baba’s place is?’ He said, ‘yes sir’. We travelled in pitch darkness with not a soul in sight. Suddenly, he stopped in the middle of nowhere. Nobody was there, not a soul and this thought ran through my head, ‘oh my God, this looks like a hoax. Baba has not dropped His body. Somebody has given the wrong story in The Times of India, this just can’t be’. I got off and I was freezing. It was one of the coldest nights and I was wearing a thin suit. As I walked up the Hill, I saw one small flicker of a lamp in the direction of Baba’s Tomb. In those days, Baba’s Tomb looked different.
“I walked quickly and when I reached where the light was flickering, I saw a group of people covered with blankets sitting there. These were villagers from Arangaon. I saw a man with a quilt over his head. He raised his quilt and it was Eruch Jesawalla. He turned to me and said, ‘Naosherwan, you’ve come? Now, go quickly, sit in the Tomb and spend time with Baba before the crowd starts coming’. He said, ‘do you have a flashlight?’ I did not have one. He said, ‘here, take my flashlight, go quickly’. There was just a door to the Tomb. You just opened the door and went in and then alongside were meditation cells, in which boys of Hazrat Babajaan School used to sit in meditation. Those have now been dismantled. The tombs of the women mandali came later. I went in and closed the door and Baba’s body was in the Tomb. There were steps from the door going down. I sat at the edge of the step and held onto Baba’s feet. I said the Master’s Prayer, The Repentance Prayer, said some prayers from the Avesta and thought of the times which I had spent with Baba. I sat for a long time holding onto His feet. The thought, ‘what will I do without Him?’ wouldn’t leave me. At one point, I said to myself, ‘Baba, You’ve done so much for me. You’ve brought me to this point in my life. What can I do for You, Baba?’ That very moment, I am certain that it was He who put this thought in my mind that, ‘Baba, I will write Your biography, howsoever long it takes’. In those days, except for the God-Man there was no other complete biography of Baba. Even the God-Man was incomplete because Baba was still in the body when God-Man had been published. So, I said, ‘I will write Your biography’. That biography which I wrote is ‘The Beloved’. We have a hundred and fifty photographs of Beloved Baba in the book.
“Sitting with Baba in the Tomb, I nearly fell asleep. I was exhausted. The stress and strain was bearing on me. I could not hold the flashlight. Once again, I shone the flashlight on Baba’s face. At that moment, His eyes opened and He looked straight at me and I said, ‘oh my God, Baba is alive’ and I turned the flashlight away. I again put the flashlight on His face and His eyes were closed. At that moment, the thought of, ‘what will I do without Him’ just completely vanished and three times I heard a voice in my head saying, ‘I’m with you, I’m with you, I’m with you’.”
“I came out, handed over the flashlight. When I went down the Hill to Lower Meherabad, I saw the entire Bombay group, waiting to come up. This was the last time I saw Meher Baba.”
“Your parents couldn’t make it?”
“My father and mother both arrived on separate days. There was total confusion as to when would Baba’s body be interred. The moment my mother heard that Baba had dropped His body, she took the train and came. She then sent several cables to my father saying Baba’s body will be interned the next day, two days, three days and so on. My father said, ‘if His body is going to be interred, what’s the point in my coming?’ Then, my mother sent him a cable saying, ‘you have got to come because Baba’s body might be interred on the seventh day’. Then, my father came and he was there when the body was still not interred.”
“How did your parents take His passing away?”
“My parents, my family, were very dependent on Meher Baba. We would ask Baba about the minutest things at every step of our lives. There are several instances as to how my life was shaped by Him. Our lives revolved around Baba and whatever He directed us to do and did that. My mother took it very, very badly. My father, I didn’t meet him during those seven days and he left soon thereafter to take care of the shop; but it was a huge loss for them.
“This in essence is my life with Baba, in brief. Now I’ll answer the question why I created Beloved Archives.”
“Mehera, had an uncle and his name was Colonel. M. S. Irani. His entire story has been written in various different books. He was so vehemently opposed to Meher Baba that he wrote a series of articles, speeches, write ups, against Baba. This man was a very thorough researcher. He would find out everything about Meher Baba, His past, His work, where He traveled, what He did, about the Perfect Masters, Upasni Maharaj, about Babajaan. Then, he associated himself with Baba detractors Paul Brunton and the editor of Meher Message, K. J. Dastur, who had drifted away from Baba and written derogatory stuff about Baba. This Colonel also joined hands with my mother’s uncle, Major Sorab Bamji, who was the head of the Zoroastrian community. He lived in Dadar.
“Every time we came to Bombay, we would go and visit Sorab Bamji and the family and have lunch. Meher Baba’s Name was always taboo. You could never mention His Name. On one such visit, He said, ‘Freiny, Colonel. M.S. Irani has passed away and he has left this big suitcase for me. See if it’s of any value, otherwise; I will just throw it away in the trash’. I opened the suitcase, had one look and I knew that I was the beneficiary of a treasure. I took that suitcase with me and I have documents, some of them I’m going to use in my upcoming book on Meher Baba as Merwan, documents from the year 1918 and 1919, that he had collected, original documents.
“That was the basis of how I launched Beloved Archives and of course with time, I had more and more material. Today, we have about 200,000 documents which are scanned. We have thousands of photographs. We have about four hundred films in the Beloved Archives. We have everything on Meher Baba. We have transcribed every single day of Meher Baba’s life, courtesy of Adi K. Irani who maintained a diary from 1932 to 1969. The entire diary has been transcribed. Like, if you were to ask me, what was Meher Baba doing on your birthday in so and so year, I would tell you in a jiffy.”
“That is where Colonel. M. S. Irani comes in. Guess what? His name is on the Memorial Tower in Meherabad because he did tremendous amount of work for Baba by denigrating Him, by carrying out the campaign against Baba. There was a booklet that was published by one of Baba’s disciples, Abdul Ghani Musiff, called Spiritual Hoax of Colonel M. S. Irani, to explain to people what exactly was the truth about Meher Baba. There was a campaign against Meher Baba because it was personal for Colonel. M. S. Irani. It was because his sister and her family had joined Meher Baba and become a part of the women mandali. They were the first in the women mandali. That was his grouse and he had visited his sister one day and he looked at her and said, ‘Daulat, is this where you are living? Where are the servants? Where are the beautiful houses? Where is everything? This is like a village, this is just so bare and wrong…. you are living like this? What is your problem? You don’t have money? I can give you money’. She said, ‘I have Meher Baba and I love Him’. So, he left in disgust. He was like a Zoroastrian fanatic and could not accept Meher Baba’s divinity.
“The problem with Zoroastrians, even today, even in the United States, is that Meher Baba said that He is the same Ancient One. Same as Zoroaster, same as Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad and that is their grouse. Even Meher Baba’s mother used to tell Baba, ‘say that You are a Saint, say that you are a Yogi, You are a Mahatma or a Mahapurush, don’t say that you are Zoroaster’. Baba told her, ‘you want Me to speak the untruth? I am the same Ancient One’.”
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