Symbols of the world's religions



Mani S. Irani

By the time I was eleven, I was old enough (and certainly proud enough) to receive "big orders" from Baba. These "big" orders were based on my leading a pure life at all times, in all circumstances.

Actually this wasn't so difficult for me for two reasons: One, my absolute determination to obey Baba at all cost. Two, the fact that my generation was not a permissive one, and parental discipline was mostly an expected and accepted thing. Above all, Baba always helped me in my resolve to please Him in every little thing.

This incident will show you what I mean:

I was nearly twelve years old. I had a study desk at home, all my own. It was a Victorian piece with a tear-drop border. That's where I'd sit happily reading the weekly School Girl magazine in English, or the Kabir Vani (verses of Kabir) in Gujerati. And yes, once in a while I was compelled to catch up with my schoolwork and read English history, a subject I detested.

No matter what I was doing, my thoughts turned to Baba. So is it any wonder that I carved out Baba's initials "MB" in the centre of that teardrop border of my desk? It took me hours to do this with my brother Beheram's penknife, but I was quite pleased with the result. And while I was reading, my eyes constantly travelled from Baba's picture on the top of my desk to His carved initials on the border.

As you know, my name begins with an "M". And it so happened that the name of this old friend of the family began with a "B". Once when this friend visited while my parents were out, he presented me with a School Girl magazine and asked me what the initials "MB" on my desk stood for.

I said in fun, "You tell me." I was quite sure that he would say "Meher Baba."

Instead, I was shocked to hear him say that the initials "MB" stood for my name and his name! I was very angry. How dare this man link his initial with mine! I told him so, and he turned and left the house.

I immediately got out my brother's penknife and started scraping off the initials from that border of my desk. I was in such a hurry to remove the initials that I made a mess of it!

No wonder that my exasperated mother asked when she returned home, "For heaven's sake, Mani, will you tell me why you are chopping up our good furniture?"

I can't remember the excuse I gave her, but I felt ever so good after I had wiped away all trace of what that man had dared to suggest to me!


GOD-BROTHER, pp. 119-121
1993 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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