Experiences of  with Naosherwan Anzar Nalavala Meher Baba

Ruzbeh N. Bharucha

27

   “When did Avatar Meher Baba enter your life?”

   “I met Meher Baba when I was two months old.”

   “Who in your family was the first one to meet Meher Baba? How did the journey with Baba begin with your family?”

   “My father, Kaikobad Rustom Nalavala, known as Keki Nalavala, first heard of Meher Baba in 1930 when he was in a school in Navsari. His school teacher gave him a copy of a book called The Sayings of Meher Baba.”

   “Okay.”

   “My father was caught up in his studies and did not pay attention to the book. Later on, when he was around eighteen years old, he joined the Singer Sewing Machine Company and moved from Navsari to Dehradun, which is on the foothills of the Himalayas, about 150 miles from New Delhi. My father came to Dehradun and set up a shop selling sewing machines. In those days, there was a reasonable population of Zoroastrians in Dehradun. A Zoroastrian from New Delhi, Keki Desai frequented the shop often. He worked for CIBA Pharmaceuticals. He was a traveling salesman and would constantly visit Dehradun for work. Whenever he was in town, he would stop by the shop and meet my father.

“One day, my father had some problems in his business and was upset. Keki Desai happened to turn up and realized that my father was worried and he told dad, ‘look, when I have a problem, I just write a letter to Meher Baba and I receive a response. My problem is usually resolved with whatever advice I am given’. My father said, ‘I too, will write a letter to Meher Baba.’ He never got a response from either Meher Baba nor from His mandali. He was very disappointed but then his problem got resolved. This took place around 1939-1940.

   “Meanwhile, my father’s family wanted him to get married and they got talking to another family from Karachi. The family from Karachi had a daughter by the name of Freiny Modi. My father entered into correspondence with Freiny. All this took place around 1940. Whenever my father corresponded with Freiny, he constantly wrote about Meher Baba and his admiration for Meher Baba. He did not realize that Meher Baba was looked down upon by the Modi family.”

          “Why was Meher Baba looked down by the Modi family?”

   “One of the primary reasons that people in Karachi were antagonistic towards Meher Baba was because of a very successful family called the Dadachanji family, who lived in Karachi, sold their business and their home and moved to India to be with Meher Baba. Arnavaz Dadachanji’s parents were the ones who moved to India. Most of the Zoroastrians in Karachi believed that Meher Baba had taken away all the money that belonged to the Dadachanji family and reduced the family to poverty. The Zoroastrians in Karachi believed that Meher Baba had duped the Dadachanji family and made them paupers. The reality was just the opposite. The family became even more successful in business and did exceedingly well in India.

   “In fact, I’ll tell you a little funny incident which took place long after Meher Baba dropped His body. I was in Karachi in 1976. Some people had arranged for a public talk. A lot of Parsis had turned up and after my talk, I asked the audience if they had any questions. One man got up and said, ‘you were probably too young to realize this; but Meher Baba took away all the money from a family who lived in Karachi. The family had to then endure great poverty. The name of the family was Dadachanji. Your so-called Meher Baba duped them’.

   “I said, ‘I am not going to answer this question of yours but I am going to let these two people sitting next to you answer that question’. The two people whom I referred to were Hoshang and Havovi Dadachanji who lived in Bombay and who were seated in the audience. They were visiting Karachi at that time. They stood up and answered the question about the rumour that Meher Baba had ruined their family was all nonsense. There was no truth in this statement. In fact, they had thrived under Meher Baba’s guidance. Now, imagine, even after Meher Baba had taken Samadhi there was antagonism against Him.”

   “Anyway, there was this antagonism against Meher Baba and Freiny’s parents told her, ‘give a second thought before marrying this man because he will leave you and join Meher Baba’. My mother was already familiar with Meher Baba because in school, some of her friends would sing songs about Meher Baba and she had even seen His small photo in a ring that somebody used to wear. So, she was familiar with what He looked like but not to a very great extent. She was in love with my father and they got married in 1940. Then, in 1941, Eruch Jessawala’s father, Behramshaw Jessawala, commonly known as Papa, came to Dehradun to find a residence for Meher Baba and His mandali. If Meher Baba wanted to stay in a particular place, He would send somebody in advance, to first find out if there were any Parsis in that area. Then, they would make a connection with those Parsis and with that connection, they would find a place to stay for Baba and His mandali. Very often, the Parsis would refuse to help, as they did not believe in Meher Baba; but my father had already heard about Baba and secretly was devoted to Him. Papa came and contacted him and said, ‘look, Baba is coming here and He wants to find a place for Him and the mandali’.

   “My father agreed and he even tried to persuade my mother to be involved in this work. She told my father, ‘look, I can accept Him as a Saint but I cannot accept Him as God in human form’. My father emphasized that, ‘He was born as Zoroaster, the same Ancient One as Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Christ (Jesus) and Muhammed’. I don’t think my mother took my father very seriously. Anyway, my father found a house that he liked but the man in charge asked him for a fifteen-rupee bribe.

   “My father was reluctant to go for the purchase. He approached Papa and told him, ‘the man is asking for a bribe in order to give this house’. Papa said, ‘you know what, don’t worry, I shall resolve this issue’. Then, Papa met the man who wanted the bribe and told him as well as all those who had gathered there, ‘we are very grateful to this man for having given us this place and in exchange, I am giving this gentleman a prasad from Meher Baba of the tune of fifteen rupees’. That is how Papa closed the matter. He gave the man the money, not as a bribe but as prasad.

   “In 1941, my father could not meet Meher Baba. He had wanted to meet Him a year earlier too but Meher Baba was in seclusion. Though my father pleaded with Papa, he was not permitted to meet Baba. In 1942, Baba came again in search of God-intoxicated souls (Masts). My father helped out in finding another house for Meher Baba and His mandali. He once again requested Papa to fix a time for him to meet Baba but this time too, Baba did not want to meet anybody. My father pleaded and Papa finally relented. He approached Baba and told Him that, ‘this Parsi gentleman is very anxious to meet You. Can You please make an exception and see him?’ Baba agreed.

   “Keiki Desai too had not met Baba. My father and Keki Desai were very nervous about meeting Baba. On the day of their meeting, they went to a bar and had a few beers to settle their nerves. The moment my father saw Meher Baba, he saw Him as Zoroaster. He saw a bright light around Baba and he immediately knew in his heart that he was in the presence of Zoroaster. Strangely enough, Keki Desai too saw Baba in the same way, as Zoroaster.

   “My father that very instance surrendered to Baba. He decided that he would do everything that Meher Baba ever asked him to do. He fell in love with Meher Baba. It was in 1946, that Baba decided to visit Dehradun again. Baba again had some Mast work but this time, He promised that He would visit our home for a meal.

   “Baba instructed my father that He would come with four of His mandali and that my mother should prepare dal and rice. He had given the time when He would arrive. He even mentioned the time when He would have lunch. Now, it was common knowledge that, if Baba said that He would have lunch at twelve noon, in all probability, He would ask for lunch at eleven or even earlier. My father was aware of this habit of Baba. The lunch was prepared well in advance. Baba had also instructed that the entire lunch should be prepared with my mother’s hair covered with a cloth. When I say, instructions from Baba, it means from His mandali.

   “The moment Baba came to our house, He sat down in these very chairs that you see at Beloved Archives and asked my father several questions. Usually, Baba wanted to know if you were facing any problems, so that He could resolve them. A lot of discussions took place. My sister, Mahroakh, was five years old and I was two months old. He hugged my sister and then He picked me up and went from room to room holding me and He expressed deep love and affection towards me throughout His stay. He laid me on His lap all the time when He was at our home. My mother was very deeply touched by Baba’s love for me. She knew at that very moment that she would be devoted and serve Baba all her life but she was certain that this two-month-old boy, Naosherwan, would spend his entire life serving Baba. My mother was spot on.

   “Baba came again to Dehradun in 1949, during the New Life phase. Keki Desai and my father would constantly go and work with Baba. Baba had given my father two responsibilities. The first was, to find a house for His group. They selected a house in a village called Majri Mafi, about four miles from our house at 36 Lytton road, Dehradun. Our house was the headquarters of the New Life.

   “In Majri Mafi, there was a bit of land and a very old house. There was no water and electricity. My father took some pictures, sent them to Baba and Baba approved of it. Thus, they found a house for Baba and even constructed a jhopdi for Him to sit in seclusion.

   “The other job that my father was given was to find five people. They should neither be rich nor should they be poor. They should be middle class individuals who did not stretch their hands out for alms but who were not very well off. Baba wanted my father to bring these five people to Him. My father had a very hard time because when he would find the five people, often, they would not agree to go along with him to meet Baba. In the first week, he couldn’t bring those five people. Baba gave him another week and fortunately, my father, with Baba’s blessings, could find five people willing to come along and meet Baba. My father brought them in a tonga. They were brought into a room. My father did not know what happened in the room but Baba gave them a blanket and one hundred rupees to each one of them. This was Baba’s way of alleviating poverty.

      “In 1953, Baba sent a word that He planned to visit Dehradun. He sent a message to my father that, He would again like to have dal and rice prepared by my mother. He was arriving by train and He would be at the Station Restroom. Now, we had got Majri Mafi house in Dehradun with the help of Shatrugan Kumar, who is Amrit’s father and later became Dara Irani’s father-in-law. He was the one who had challenged God that if God existed, he should be released from prison at a particular time and eventually that is exactly what had happened. He had been an atheist but now had begun to follow Baba. A number of people had gathered at the Railway station and Shatrughan’s wife, Subhadra, was supposed to prepare a vegetable dish and my mother was supposed to prepare rice and dal for Baba. So, apparently, the story goes that, Shatrugan asked his wife if the food was prepared. A particular train used to pass by the house and she used to time everything, according to the train which passed by. She said, ‘no, the food is not ready’. Apparently, he slapped his wife. Baba arrived at the station and Shatrugan came with the food along with my parents who had brought their cooked food.

   “Baba asked about the prepared food, ‘who made that dish?’ Shatrugan told Baba, ‘my wife made the vegetables’. Baba pushed that tray aside. He then asked him, ‘did your wife make these vegetables on time?’ He said, ‘no, Baba.’ Baba then gestured, ‘so what did you do?’ He said, ‘Baba, I slapped her’. Baba said, ‘I don’t want to eat the food that has resulted in such violence’. Shatrugan asked for forgiveness. Baba then told him, ‘do you promise Me that you will never raise your hand on your wife again?’ He said, ‘yes, Baba. I promise You’. Baba gestured, ‘will you always keep your promise? Because I kept My promise to you’. Shatrugan was flummoxed. What did Baba mean by saying that, He had kept His promise to Shatrugan? He inquired, ‘Baba, what promise?’ Baba then told him, ‘did you not ask God to release you one morning from prison?’ Shatrugan was stunned. ‘yes, Baba; but I have not told this to anybody’. Baba then gestured, ‘now, do you know who I am?’ He said, ‘yes, Baba…’ and fell at Baba’s feet. This was the turning point in his life and his love for Baba. He became a staunch Baba follower. Eventually, Baba also ate the food prepared by his wife. This is a terrific story.

   “Baba moved to Majri Mafi, which today is known as Meher Mafi. My father would visit Baba every day on a cycle. In those days, they only had cycles and my father would take the morning newspaper and the mail. My mother would take food for Baba. One day, Baba asked my father, ‘is everything alright?’ He said, ‘no, Baba. I have a real problem. Baba, at midnight, two days back, a man knocked at my door. He told me that he had a vision about a great personality coming to my house. He saw my house in a vision and thus, he arrived one night, two days back and knocked at my door in the middle of the night and said that, he had come on the instructions of this man, this great personality. He wanted to meet this personality who had arrived with a group. Baba, it was obvious that he was talking about You. What should I do?’

   “Baba, had given strict instructions to one and all that nobody should be told that He was in Dehradun. Baba looked at my father and gestured, ‘what did you tell this man?’ My father replied, ‘Baba, I told him that I don’t know any great personality who has come with a group here’. This man was adamant about his vision. He said that this personality had instructed him to come with foodstuffs. ‘Baba, I looked out and there were bullock carts lined up outside the door with vegetables, food, ghee and other supplies. Baba, what do I do with this man? I have told this man to go to a dharamshala as I did not know what he was talking about’.

          “Baba didn’t show any surprise. He said, ‘yes, I know this man. Ask him to see Me tomorrow morning’. The man who had arrived with bullock carts loaded with food was Todi Singh. He was a Sardar from Aligarh and a very successful businessman. You may have heard of Keventer Butter, a famous English butter company. Todi was the sole distributor of Keventer Butter and had become a rich man. He had seen this vision of this man who looked like Meher Baba. The next day, he came with all the bullock carts. Baba told him, ‘you have brought to Me all these vegetables, who is going to cook them?’ He said, ‘Baba, I have also brought my wife and daughter with me and they are going to go cook for You’. He had already decided that he and his family were going to serve Baba.

          “He was lodged at a dharamshala and he had become like a Mast, madly in love with Baba. Two months later, Baba asked him to go back to Aligarh. He had virtually become like a Mast. Anything you asked him, he would say, ‘Baba jaanay’, means Baba knows. Everybody called him Baba jaanay. It didn’t matter what you asked him, his answer was the same, Baba jaanay. ‘Where are you going?’ ‘Baba jaanay’. ‘Where are you coming from?’ ‘Baba jaanay’. He went back to Aligarh and decided that he would serve free food to everybody, just in case, if Baba turned up in disguise, asking for food, he didn’t want to turn Him away inadvertently. For the rest of his life, he served free food. He put all the money which he had earned, his entire life savings into serving free food, for Meher Baba.”

   “Truly amazing.”

   “That’s the story of Baba jaanay, but it’s an important part of the New Life story. Of course, money was an issue during this period. Baba sent Eruch and a few others to Delhi, to start a ghee business.”

   “Wow.”

   “Yes. It was called the Navjivan Ghee Company, but it didn’t do well. It was supposed to be hundred percent pure ghee; but it didn’t do too well. Have you wondered why Baba would get people to launch something and then ask them to give it up? Well, that was Baba’s method. He would put them through some work or project and then abandon it. Even the women mandali would make things like dolls etc to contribute to the group funds.

   “The New Life continues. Baba then decided that He was going to Delhi but the house in Delhi was not ready. The period of Majri Mafi had come to an end. My father was asked to look for a place for Baba on a temporary basis in Dehradun. My father looked around and finally zeroed in on a place across the road from us. Our house was 36 Lytton Road and this house was 29 Lytton Road. During that period, I came closest to Meher Baba.”

   “How old were you then?”

   “I was born in 1946, so I was around five years old. I would spend a lot of time with Baba and the mandali. I was given permission to go back and forth and meet Baba. One day, I walked over to where Baba was living and asked Mani, ‘where is Baba?’ Mani said, ‘He is sleeping on the floor’. I asked, ‘why is He sleeping on the floor?’ She said, ‘why don’t you go and ask Him?” I went inside the room and spent quite some time with Baba. When I came out, Mani asked me, ‘did Baba tell you why He was sleeping on the floor?’ I said, ‘yes, He told me the reason, why He was sleeping on the floor’. Mani narrated this story to illustrate the fact whether one was a five-year-old child or an older person or a Yogi or a Mahatma or anybody, Baba could communicate through His silence with each one.

   “During that period, Baba would also go on the usual Mast tours. The women mandali would stay at 29 Lytton Road during His tours. Sometimes, He wouldn’t come to His residence because He had this little hut, a jhopdi in Motichur or He would go to Haridwar and then He would go to Rishikesh. Anyway, during this period, I developed a very severe skin ailment. Dr. Goher came up with all kinds of remedies and none helped me. One day, Goher told Baba that, Kaikobad and Freiny’s son, Naosherwan, had a terrible skin ailment and it can become life threatening.

   “Baba thought for a moment and called my parents who lived just across the road and said, ‘if I tell you something, will you obey Me?’ My parents said, ‘yes, Baba’. Baba always asked important things thrice. After asking three times, He said, ‘I want you to take your child and scrub the child with a brush all over the body and everything that the body touches, all the blood, everything should then be burned completely, including the bedding and everything should be burned’. My aunt who used to live with us, she and my mother scrubbed me and I screamed. How I screamed! There were tears not only from my face, but even from a number of the mandali members standing all around me. Later, I went off to sleep for many, many hours. My mother and father would keep coming inside the room to check my breathing and my nostrils to see if I was breathing because I had lost a lot of blood. Ruzbeh, you see, that was Baba’s cure for me.”

   “Obviously, you got cured after that for life?”

   “Yes, completely. In fact, I am writing a book at this time, called The God-Child: How Meher Baba Became God. It is a story of progression from Merwan to Meher Baba. It’s a story only about Merwan’s early years. It starts with Sheriar Irani in Iran. Then it goes through a period of Zoroastrian history and about Iran and focuses on Baba when He was still Merwan and then it ends in 1922 at Manzil-e-Meem when He launches His Avataric mission. When Baba went to Iran, several people who came to Him experienced miracles. There was a Persian lady, a mother who came with her daughter and told Baba, ‘my daughter has boils on her head. I’ve tried everything. There’s nothing that can help’. Baba picked up some dust, told her to mix it with water and asked the mother to apply it on her head. The boils went away. I met this woman and she narrated this story to me. The one thing that you notice about this woman was her very small face and her luscious thick hair. She has really thick hair growing on her head. These were the things that Baba did. Baba never emphasized on miracles. He never spoke about performing miracles. I believe that it was always your deep faith in Him that brought about this transformation.

   “Back to Dehradun. Soon Baba vacated 29 Lytton Road and Dr. Donkin moved his dispensary there. Baba had sent the good doctor there for a period of time. My mother would provide him with breakfast but the dispensary didn’t work; I guess it wasn’t meant to. It shut down in a short span of time. I was with Baba during the New Life. I think that my sister Maharoakh and I are the only two survivors as on date, to have participated in the New Life’s begging phase.

   “Baba came back in 1953 to Dehradun and He spent one year in Dehradun but He was in seclusion and He only gave one darshan program and that darshan was very significant. It was at the program that He gave an iconic message and called Himself the Highest of the High. Very often, people ask this question. Why did Meher Baba give this discourse? This was given on Zoroaster’s birthday, September 7th, in the year 1953. That morning, Meher Baba had the Nalavala family visit Him at a place called 101 Rajpur Road where He was staying. He invited us because it was the celebration of Zoroaster’s birthday. Rawa (sweet semolina) was prepared. My sister, who was learning Indian classical music, sang a song. I was learning the tabla, so I played the tabla and Mehera put tika on Baba’s forehead, it was a nice morning. Later, we all went for the darshan program.

   “When Baba was in seclusion every day, He used to crossover from 101 Rajpur Road to a jhopdi that was constructed for Him across the road. There was a road in between called Rajpur Road and He would go across and Aloba would walk with Baba and hold an umbrella over Baba’s head. Everybody would try to get a glimpse of Him. People would hide behind bushes to get a glimpse of Him and they would disturb Him. He had issued instructions, saying that ‘Meher Baba will not leave Dehradun without giving darshan, so please don’t make an attempt to see Him or intrude in the work that He is doing’. There was a big board put up in English and in Hindi. One day, Baba was crossing the road and suddenly, a car came and stopped in front of Him, barring His path. A man and a woman came out from the car and the woman looked absolutely mad. Her hair was all over the place and she was a disturbed woman. Baba recognized the man as somebody who had come for His darshan earlier. This man threw himself at Baba’s feet and said, ‘Baba, bless my wife, bless my wife. She’s suffering. She’s been like this for a long time. I’ve tried every treatment’. Baba gestured, ‘don’t ask Me to bless you because I am at a very crucial stage of My Universal Work. Don’t ask Me to bless her’. The man begged, ‘Baba, all that I am asking You is to please bless her. I only want Your blessings. I only want Your blessing for her’. Baba gestured, ‘again, I’m telling you, don’t insist because in this very important work that I am doing, I cannot do this. I cannot do this’. ‘Oh, but Baba, You know how devoted I am to You’. Baba again told the man, ‘I am telling you again and again don’t ask Me to bless her’. Meanwhile, this woman too began to plead and the man again said, ‘Oh Baba, I cannot leave this place without Your blessings. I beg of You’. Baba said, ‘okay, if I bless her, you will lose Me’. ‘How can I lose You, Baba? I’ve been following You for years, how can I lose you?’ Baba sighed and said, ‘I will bless her but you will lose Me’. Baba put His hand on her head. They left. They were elated. We learned later that the wife was cured. The man’s business did well but he never saw Meher Baba again. That was his destiny.

   “During the darshan program, there were about hundred and fifty deaf and dumb children present. They had made a huge garland for Baba. There’s a film, which you can watch about Baba in Dehradun in 1953. The man standing next to Baba is my father. My father had set up a tent with Baba books in it. I was there, very happily taking prasad from Baba over and over again. On that day, Baba gave this discourse on the Highest of the High. You should read the discourse where Baba says that, ‘I am the Highest of the High and the lowest of the low, I am neither a Sadguru nor a Mahapurush. I’m the same Ancient One’. It’s a very powerful discourse. Baba said in the discourse that, ‘I don’t perform miracles. I don’t cure people. I don’t do such kind of things’. Baba left Dehradun in November of 1953.

   “I had fallen deeply in love with Meher Baba. So deeply in love with Meher Baba that nothing mattered. My studies didn’t matter, nothing mattered. I was constantly thinking of Him, writing poems to Him. I took it very badly when Baba left Dehradun. One day, on the insistence of my father, I joined military training. I joined what was known as the Officers Training Unit. You could continue with your schooling and still be a part of the Officers Training Unit, which was basically a training unit for joining the Indian Military Academy. While I was in the Officer’s Training Unit, we had to go to camp and this was like a boot camp where they gave you the same training, as you would get in the army. I mean, really, really tough training given by Officers of the Indian Army, absolutely merciless. If you made a mistake, you had to put the rifle over your head and run for miles.

   “One morning, I was making my bed in the Training Camp. Usually, every group has some kind of a jokester, someone who makes fun or cracks jokes. This young man knew about my association with Meher Baba and he said something derogatory about Meher Baba. I lost my cool and tried to throttle him and everybody came and rescued the man but I had managed to choke the man rather badly. Soon after I did this, I went through a severe case of remorse because I had completely lost my cool. If people had not intervened, I would have probably killed him. I was in such rage. I went through severe depression and I wrote a letter to Meher Baba from the camp itself. Baba wrote back to me, saying, ‘in your life, a lot of such instances will happen; but you should always remember that it is always Baba’s Will and even if there are people who criticize Meher Baba, you should take it calmly and think that at least they have remembered Me in this way’. Imagine, Baba told me to stay calm and be happy that those who criticized Him had remembered Him.

   “Baba was involved in two bad accidents and I was getting very concerned about the suffering that He was going through. I wrote to Him asking Him if there was a way that I could share His suffering.”

   “Which year did you write this letter to Him?”

   “He had an accident in 1952 in the United States and then He had an accident in Satara, I think I wrote to Him in December of 1956. When I wrote that letter to Him, He sent me a rather long response. This is what He wrote to me: ‘My physical body, which alone is visible to your physical eyes, appears all affected and afflicted but it is all due to the tremendous pressure of the burden of universal suffering that I shoulder on My Universal body that tells upon My physical body, with which you are conversant and which is the only medium for you to see Me and feel Me in the gross world. Soon after I break My silence, all the universal suffering will end’. Then He said, ‘rest assured, one day, My grace will be on you to know Me as I am’.”

      “Beautiful.”

      “As days went by, I began to have a hard time concentrating on my studies. I was in college at that time, working on my graduation. I wasn’t paying attention to my studies. I had become sort of a Mast and I would hit my head against the wall. I would feel hot when it was cold and feel cold when it was hot. My parents felt that I was under some dark spell or had lost my bearings. During that period, I read the mystical poet, Khalil Gibran, a lot. I would just read Him once and repeat everything that He had written. Later on, Baba said that I had a link with Him.

   “Things became very, very bad. At one point, I was not paying attention to anything around me. I was writing poems all the time and I resolved that, one day, I would renounce everything, leave my parents, leave my studies and go and live with Meher Baba. I didn’t tell my mother or father about this plan but I told a friend who went and booked my train ticket for Ahmednagar. I was a teenager. I was barely eighteen years old. I always viewed myself to Meher Baba the way Vivekananda was to Ramakrishna. That’s how I saw myself. I even went and got myself photographed as Vivekananda. I also sent the snap to Baba and I left one with my parents.

   “My mother was always my weakness. I told my plans to her regarding settling down with Meher Baba. I asked her to cross her heart that she would not tell my father, who had a short temper. I was a very difficult child. I was always very rebellious and wanted to do things my way. We always had conflicts. As I grew older my mother would encourage me regarding my love for Meher Baba. My father would always tell her that she was spoiling me. There was a lot of conflict at home regarding my spiritual aspirations.

   “Anyway, back to our story, I told my mother everything. She was very apprehensive. She told me that she was happy for me but what if Meher Baba turned me away? She said that she was concerned about Baba not accepting me as a part of His mandali. If so, I told her that I would construct a little jhopdi outside Meherazad and live there. My mother was very worried that in my state of mind, I would be a prey to some fake Mahatma or Yogi or some kind of a bogus spiritual imposter. Thus, despite the ban on correspondence with Meher Baba, she sent Him a long telegram, explaining the state of my mind and my plans. She was a very worried mother and Baba would reply to every message of her, which was delivered to her by the postmaster whom she had taken into confidence. The day before I was to leave, at midnight, a cable arrived from Meher Baba. The cable simply read, ‘Renounce nothing but your present attitude. Await My letter’.”

   “My mother told me, ‘why don’t you wait for Baba’s letter?’ I agreed and canceled my ticket. I thought that I would wait for Baba’s letter but I was very clear that no matter what Baba wrote I would not cancel my plans to be with Him. I was very defiant. I had reached that kind of mental stubbornness.  Let me read out to you what Baba wrote to me. Baba wrote, ‘for spiritual aspirants, renunciation is of help but those who love the Avatar and are under His direct guidance, do not have to renounce anything. The lovers of the Avatar have simply to obey the Avatar’s instructions and to love Him whole-heartedly.’ Baba also wrote that each time He sent a letter to me, He wanted a response. I wrote back to Him saying that everything He said was fine but I was still coming to Him.

   “I got another cable again in the middle of the night. ‘Don’t be led astray by any Tom, Dick, Harry, of a spiritual master. Beware of such cheap experiences by spiritual clowns. The world will know who I am when I break My silence and then you too will realize My infinite love for you and My lovers.’ I was still defiant. Baba then sent another cable, ‘to obey the God-Man is the highest form of worship to God in human form. Obey Me implicitly, if one day you want to know Me as I am.”

   Eventually, I decided that I would not go ahead with my plans. I would not go to be with Baba. Then, He sent me a series of instructions; to appear for my exams and not to worry about the results and so forth; that I must obey my parents and look after them.”

   “Which year did all this take place?”

   “In 1965.”

To be continued…

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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