Symbols of the world's religions



David Fenster

One day, Baba paid an unannounced visit to Irani Mansion with Gustadji, his closest male disciple. Daulatmai and Soonamasi were in the kitchen. Without making a sound, Baba came on the balcony, where Mehera and Khorshed were alone. Seeing him, they felt flustered, but Baba sat on an upright harmonium kept there and asked what they were doing. Mehera blushed, not knowing where to look. ("I was wearing a pink sari — and my cheeks turned pink also!")

Baba stood and asked Khorshed to play the harmonium and sing a song. Khorshed had heard that Baba liked a particular song about Krishna, which he had taught to the kanyas at Sakori and from whom Khorshed had learned it. Radha is mentioned in the song, and while Khorshed sang and played, Baba stood smiling, listening to it. He glanced at Mehera, who was looking particularly beautiful in the pink sari, and she glanced back for a moment, before looking away.

After Khorshed's song, Baba asked Mehera whether she could sing. "No," she said, "I don't have a good voice." Baba told her to sing anyway, and Mehera too sang a song that she had learned at Sakori.

When she finished, Baba asked them, "Do you know the meaning of it?" The girls said yes and mumbled something, but Baba said, "Look at Radha's love for Krishna. If she didn't see Krishna before her, the world appeared dark to her."

Khorshed wondered how this was possible. She did not understand that when Krishna was not present, Radha and the gopis felt as if their life was empty. "That is love," Baba concluded. "It has to be created. You must love me as Radha loved Krishna."

Later, Baba asked them, "How do I look?"

"Very beautiful," both replied.

"You see me only from the outside. If you were to see how beautiful I am inside, you would fall down unconscious!" Pointing to himself, Baba said, "This [the body] is nothing. THAT [his divinity] is much, much more."

Baba got up, and they followed him into the sitting room, where there were beds but no sofas. Baba sat on one of the beds, while Gustadji sat to one side on a chair. After a few minutes, Baba stood to leave. Mehera was bashful around Baba, but Khorshed was not and, since Mehera was her best friend, she pushed her forward and whispered, "Come on, we'll embrace Baba."

Mehera hesitated, and Khorshed gave her another shove, saying, "Go!"

"You go first!"

Khorshed stepped forward and embraced Baba. Again, she nudged Mehera forward, urging, "Now you go, Mehera."

"Baba didn't put out his arms to me," Mehera recalled. "I felt very awkward, not knowing what to do, not knowing how to greet him. I was so new to Baba and shy anyway, but I got up the courage and went up to him. Impulsively, spontaneously, I took his face in my hands and kissed him on both cheeks. Then I quickly turned around to where Khorshed was standing, feeling very self-conscious and shy.

"Baba was surprised by my greeting, but he made me feel comfortable by talking to Gustadji and not looking at us. Khorshed was also very surprised. I myself was surprised. That was the first time I ever kissed Baba. Baba was very young, with bright eyes and short hair below his ears."

Afterwards, Khorshed teased her, "I only bent my head to Baba's cheek and embraced him. You never told me you were going to kiss Baba — and on both cheeks!"


MEHERA-MEHER, A Divine Romance, Vol. 1, pp. 102-103
2003 © David Fenster


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