BY YOUR GRACE EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE
Bill Le Page
Within an hour another telegram came saying the same thing, but sent from a different railway station. Again his mother urged Eruch to do immediately as Baba ordered: 'See, I told you, don't take Baba lightly! Now go immediately.' So Eruch did go, jumping just as he was into his father's car (he was away on tour), in order to catch the Poona train that would be leaving soon.
From Poona railway station Eruch travelled by bus to Panchgani. Everyone in the town knew Meher Baba, so it was easy for Eruch to find the house where He was staying. Eruch bowed down to Baba and then, at His direction, sat on the floor before Him. Baba motioned the men mandali to leave. Using the alphabet board (which Eruch had learned as a boy in Nagpur to read easily), Baba said to him, 'The world and its affairs are all illusory. Only God is real. War in the world is definite and millions will die, all due to self-interest.' Baba then asked about Eruch's plans and about his family. Suddenly Baba said: 'If I were to ask you to leave everything behind and come and stay with Me, is it possible for you to do that?'
Eruch replied: 'By Your Grace everything is possible.'
Eruch has said in recounting this event that he has no idea why he replied as he did. He did not at the time have an affinity with or attachment to Baba, yet the words just came out of his mouth. Baba then said to him to come on 1st August 1938. Eruch rose and was about to leave when Baba told him to sit again. 'Is it possible for all the family to leave everything and come and follow Me?'
Again Eruch replied: 'By Your Grace everything is possible.'
'That is good,' said Baba, 'tell them to come also. When you come, bring a trunk and sleeping bag for each, and bring the car. Only those things.'
To Eruch it all seemed so natural, so simple and right. Baba told Eruch to put his head on His feet. Then He embraced Eruch, expressing great happiness: 'I am the Ancient One. Your decision pleases Me more than you can know.' He went on: 'Where will you stay tonight?'
'In a hotel.'
Baba said: 'Do you know of My cave?'
'Yes, Baba, I have heard of it but I don't know where it is.'
'Find it and stay the night in the cave.'
Eruch agreed, and again was about to go when Baba said: 'By the way, there are many tigers in the valley where the cave is situated. Are you afraid of tigers?'
'No,' Eruch replied.
'That's good,' said Baba, 'I want a tiger. Can you get Me one by the ear if you see one?'
'Yes, Baba.' Eruch thought nothing of the request at the time. He has commented that it showed the foolish over-confidence of youth.
Baba then told Eruch to go, and Eruch has said that he had a good meal at a hotel, a good sleep in the cave, and no disturbing thoughts and feelings. In the morning he returned to Poona and boarded the train for Nagpur. But the moment he sat in the train there was a deluge, a cloudburst of thoughts and feelings of deep concern and panic. What had he done? Would his father agree to his commitment to Baba? What about the large estate with its extensive buildings and all the servants who had been with the family for a lifetime? How to dispose of it all? What about Meherwan's education? What about friends? What about society? What can be said to people generally?
This overwhelming awareness of his predicament went on for two or three hours. Then suddenly the memory of his own words returned to him: 'By Your Grace everything is possible.' Immediately calm descended, all the host of worries disappeared, and Eruch left the whole matter to Baba's Grace. The rest of the journey was pleasant.
When Eruch reached home, the first greeting from his father, hot-tempered as always, was to reprimand him for leaving the car, an imported, late-model one, at the station. 'But I asked the constable there to look after it.'
'Yes, I know it is safe,' replied his father, 'but you should never have left the car like that.' The main thought in Eruch's mind was: that problem is nothing, wait until he hears my news.
Then his mother came into the room. 'Eruch, you have come so soon. What message from Baba? What happened?'
'Please,' said Eruch, 'let me have a bath and change my clothes first.' So later they all sat in the living room, the whole family, and he related what had happened.
Gaimai immediately responded: 'How blessed we are! How blessed we are that it is He who has the grip over us now! Had we the grip over Him, we might have faltered, we might have had our grip loosened.' She jumped with joy. Again she said: 'How blessed we are that He on His own has hold of our hands!'
So then Eruch turned to his father, the one who had created that whole extensive property and assets. 'Father, what do you say?'
Beheram replied: 'What can I say? All this I have done for you all, that you may have happiness; but if you find greater happiness at His feet, then I am all the more happy.' Eruch knew then that the matter was resolved: his sisters too young to other than go along with their parents, and his brother still but a child.
Then his father said to Eruch: 'But don't involve me in the winding up of the estate, the disposal of the house, the servants and so on. I am too busy, and in any case you are of age now, you are capable of responsibility, so do whatever is necessary and I will sign the papers.'
By then the date was 23rd May and Baba had said to be with Him by 1st August. There was little time to find buyers capable of purchasing such a property. But in the night Eruch suddenly remembered a lady living in Nagpur, who whenever she visited them, would exclaim what a paradise the whole property was, and how she wished she could own such a place. Eruch also knew she was wealthy, so the very next morning he went to see her.
Eruch reminded her of her feelings about the place and of her expressed longing to own it. 'We are going to dispose of the property. You are the first person I have spoken to of this, and we have little time to complete the sale. Would you like to buy it?'
'Are you crazy?' she said, 'what is the matter?'
'Please don't ask me questions now. Do you or do you not wish to purchase?'
'Of course I would like to buy it.'
'All right, it is yours. Now what will you offer me?'
She answered: 'Everything that I have in the bank and can collect.' She did some calculations and then stated some ridiculously low figure. 'Listen,' she said, 'I would love to own it, but with all honesty that is all I can afford.'
'Are you sure about this?' asked Eruch. 'Do you only have that amount?'
'Yes, I say this with all honesty.'
So Eruch answered: 'Then you can have it, you can have the bungalow, but we will remove the garden ornaments, and the furniture from the house.'
But she said: 'The garden is a part of the paradise. Why do you deprive yourselves of all this?'
So Eruch told her: 'We are going to Meher Baba. Please do not ask more questions. If you want the place, then have it and live happily.'
It was a tremendous bargain for the woman, but Eruch's mood was such that any arrangement to fullfil Baba's order was acceptable. She was of course very happy and came immediately to Eruch's parents for signatures on the various papers. The only condition was vacant possession on 1st August 1938. Then she selected the servants she wished to retain.
So in the space of one day a major part of the task before Eruch was completed. The second day the furniture, other outlying bungalows, garden ornaments etc were disposed of, and each of the family then began to live out of a trunk and small sleeping bag. There was also the car which Baba had asked Eruch to bring with them, and this with the trunks and sleeping bags came to be the only things they took with them.
Baba, in the meantime, sent a message: 'Tell your father that his retirement is due soon, he should not retire prematurely.' He did have six months to go to retirement, so Eruch found him a cottage in which to stay and servants to see to his needs.
On 1st August the whole family came to Baba as wished by Him, but in one respect Eruch failed Baba's orders, showing Eruch for the first time the impossibility of obeying Him 100%. Eruch did not bring the car for Baba, but arranged to leave it for his father until retirement. Baba was most unhappy about it, saying that this failure of Eruch to obey His order to hand over the car 'had left a scar forever on His heart'. So Eruch was sent back with his father to settle him into his cottage and to obtain another smaller car for him.
OVER THE YEARS WITH MEHER BABA, pp. 18-22
1999 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust