Symbols of the world's religions



Filis Frederick

On her first meeting with Him, Baba had told Nadja to give up yoga, as it had already injured her. "Yoga is not for the West," He said, an interesting comment. Perhaps these kriya yoga exercises, whose purpose is to raise the kundalini energy up through the chakras, lead to her final, incurable illness (Lou Gehrig's disease) in which her throat muscles atrophied. It is interesting that Nadja (rechristened Nadine, to distinguish her from Baba's cousin Naja) was put on a year's silence by Baba when in India.

On the day they met, the "Compassionate Father" spelt out her future on the board with the unforgettable words: "I will repay you for all your suffering! I will give you permanent bliss. You will see things as they are, as you can see things now, here, in this incarnation. You are a beautiful soul."

Her own sufferings and her days of nursing Ilya must have prepared her for the spiritual role she played in the Nasik days in India, for Baba put her in charge of the dispensary there in 1937. It was a free hospital for the poor women and children.

Baba told her: "There are thousands of hospitals in the world, I could have here thousands of nurses to work. If I have given this work in the hospital to you, it is because I want you to learn serving in real spirit, selfless service."

She describes the scene: "To the hospital came mostly the poorest elements of the country, wrapped in their rags and worn-out saris . . . the real destitute . . . when the medicines and injections given by the professional doctors could not bring its due relief, Baba's appearance and loving embrace acted as the 'holy wine,' reviving their hopes and giving them the lasting impetus of recovery. The joy of seeing Baba and the faith that He alone can really help, acted within their hearts as a sure remedy," she says in an article in The Meher Baba Journal.

Here is an interesting story Nadine told me. When she and Ruano Bogislav met, there was some immediate, unspoken antagonism that neither could understand, which made life together in the ashram — and Baba made them roommates! — very difficult. Nadja asked Baba, "Is it something from another life?"

"Yes", He said.

She prayed for His help. And then one cold night in North India, she awakened to find Ruano tenderly covering her with an extra blanket. The "karma" was broken, and they were afterwards good companions.


THE AWAKENER MAGAZINE, Vol 20, No. 2, pp. 33-35
1983 © Universal Spiritual League in America


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