Symbols of the world's religions



David Fenster

After a certain phase of his seclusion work was finished, Baba left the cabin, but only to walk near the tomb. He did not come and see the women, and they were not permitted to visit him. Baba, however, showed Mehera that he was thinking of her. While walking by his cabin, he picked a few wildflowers and tied them with a blade of grass. The small bouquet was given to Walu, with these instructions: "Give these flowers to Mehera. Tell her that these are my favorite wildflowers."

Walu brought it to Mehera in her room. Mehera was so pleased, she dried and kept them in a small box, which is still at Meherabad. The wildflower, known as kurmuri or tantani, has five white petals and a yellow center. Mehera speculated that the five petals represent the five Perfect Masters, and the yellow center the Avatar.

Now that Baba was not in strict seclusion, he also wrote Mehera a small poem in Gujarati of four to six lines, by dictating it on the board and having one of the mandali write it out. He gave it to Walu near the gate, telling her to give it to Mehera, who was to reply in like manner in the form of a poem.

"Baba's lines were so lovely. It was a very pretty, sweet poem. I never wrote a letter to Baba, but I did write a few poems to him." For one or two days, these love-messages went back and forth. Mehera, however, did not have these poems, because she wrote her reply on the same sheet of paper, and when it was sent to Baba, he kept it.

During August, Baba continued to suffer physically with more toothaches. On 19 August, a dentist was brought to Meherabad to extract two of Baba's teeth, which Gulmai and Pendu kept.

Baba called the women and told them about it. Mehera felt so sorry for Baba that her eyes filled with tears. To comfort her, someone standing next to her said, "Why weep when a tooth is pulled? What is there to feel bad about. You don't have to cry over it."

"She loves me," Baba commented. "She feels for me. That is why she is crying. There's nothing wrong in that."

Said Mehera: "Baba had very few teeth, and one by one they were coming out. Keeping silence was not good for the teeth. The mouth is shut all the time. Oxygen cannot reach the gums. Hitting his head on the stone when he was 'coming down' [to gross consciousness] also had damaged the blood supply to his teeth and loosened some of them.

"[In addition] Baba didn't take proper nutrition when he was young. Right after meeting Babajan, Baba became a vegetarian. He didn't have the right amount of food either; oftentimes, he skipped meals. When he was young and growing, when he should have had proper nutrition, he was eating only a small handful of rice and daal. That's why his health suffered.

"Yet, despite being a vegetarian for years and fasting so often, Baba was very quick in every way; he had a lot of vitality and energy."

Less than a month after his tooth extractions, Baba came to the kitchen on 12 September and sent for Mehera and Khorshed. They found him sitting on his table, and he asked Mehera, "Will you obey my orders always?" She replied that she would, with all her heart. "Until the last, for as long as you live?" Mehera confirmed her pledge.

Baba then asked, "Will you do anything I say?" and he explained that he wanted her to sign her name on his hand with her own blood. He told Khorshed to bring a needle, and she brought a small one. Baba instructed her to put denatured alcohol on it and to burn it to sterilize it. He asked Mehera for her right hand, and he pricked the middle finger with the needle. Blood spurted out. Baba extended his left forearm and told her to use her bloody finger to write the word Mehera on his arm.

"You are the only one who is true to my love," he stated. "Hold onto my daaman until the end."

Baba told Mehera never to sign her name again, and he instructed Khorshed to keep the needle and to preserve it as something sacred.

wildflower: The flower has no smell, but its stems can be mashed and used as an antiseptic.   BACK


2003 © David Fenster


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