Symbols of the world's religions



Eruch Jessawala

One time Baba was giving darshan in Poona. This was in the back of Guruprasad, and there must have been several thousand people there. We had rows and rows of seats, stretching way off into the distance, set up before the raised dais where Baba sat. You've seen this in films. The men sat on one side and the women sat on the other, and there was an aisle down the center which separated the two.

There was a woman who had come who loves Baba very much. She was sitting way at the back, right next to the aisle. She always liked to sit on the aisle because that way she could lean out and get a good unobstructed view of Baba. Though she was way in the back, by leaning a little sideways, her head would be in the aisle and she could look at Baba and get a good view of Him sitting on the dais.

Now, when Baba gave darshan programs like this, He would often have a program in the morning and then there would be a break for lunch. Then people would return in the afternoon and there would be another program. Sometimes this would go on for a few days at a time. I don't recall exactly how long this particular program was, but I think it was for around three days. And each day this woman would sit in the same seat on the aisle at the very back of the crowd.

Similarly, there was a man who always used to sit on the other side of the aisle, right across from her. They sat in those seats every time, for several days. But as the days passed, the woman started to get a thought in her head, "I wonder if Baba even knows I'm here," she thought. "I can see Baba, but He is so far away. He seems so tiny up there on the platform, how can He see me when there are so many thousands here and I'm sitting at the very back; how can He see me over the heads of all those in front?"

It's only natural that she should have a thought like this. What she says is right, there were thousands there; so how could Baba be expected to notice someone sitting in the very back? But just then Baba had me call a man's name. This was a man sitting in the back row, one seat from the aisle. I forget who it was, but I remember Baba had me call out to this man on the public address system.

When I did, he stood up. Such a tiny figure way way back in the huge crowd. And I said, "Baba says, 'What has happened to ___?'" and I named someone. Again, I don't remember who it was, but I called out someone's name. "Baba says, 'What has happened to this person? Where is he? Hasn't he come today?'" At this, the man mentioned stood up in the crowd, and shouted, "Here I am, Baba."

Baba looked at him and gestured, "Why did you change your seat? All these days you have been sitting in the back, why did you change your seat today?"

"I wanted to be closer to You, Baba," the man replied. Baba gestured, "Go on back, take your old seat." So the man went back and sat in the empty seat on the aisle, across from the woman who had just been wondering whether Baba even knew she was there.

Baba didn't suddenly stop everything and announce to the woman, "I know what you are thinking, and I do know you are there." That would have seemed like a miracle, but it also would have been disturbing to everyone there. It would have created a different atmosphere. Baba wanted His lovers to feel relaxed in His presence. So in a very natural way, Baba inquired about someone who had changed his seat. And the woman felt reassured that Baba must know of her presence, as well.


THAT'S HOW IT WAS, pp. 163-165
1995 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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