Symbols of the world's religions


Chacha, Part 1


William Donkin


"Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie Thy soul's immensity."
W. Wordsworth (a.d. 1770 to 1850)

Meher Baba has explained that, besides Qutubs, there are in all India three men of the seventh plane — two majzoobs and one jivanmukta — and Chacha is one of these great majzoobs. It is certainly an irony that one drowned in God should have to remain essentially a puzzle to us; but, as one tries to understand this old Pathan, one's thoughts are stirred by the vision of a quest to capture the Grail of limitless bliss, buried in the depths of Chacha's soiled and battered body.

One's intellect may revolt, but the whisper of an intuition echoes along the corridors of one's mind that Chacha is, in very truth, treading the splendid heights, while we continue to grope along the misty valleys of our rigid habits of thought. To one familiar with Sufi or Vedantic lore, and to a few Christian mystics, the existence of such souls is taken almost for granted; but to one not versed in these teachings the problem bristles with difficulties. To such, I can only suggest that he should read again Baba's exposition in Chapter One, which makes it clear why a soul such as Chacha, merged in God, is utterly indifferent to his worldly environment....

The contacts between Baba and Chacha began in February 1939. In December 1938, Baba set out on a motor tour with a group of eastern and western disciples. From Meherabad, they went first to Hyderabad, set in a crescent of granite hills in the heart of the Deccan, and thence they sped north, through Jubbulpore and the forests of the Central Provinces, to Benares, Agra, Muttra, and Delhi. After seeing these magnificent cities, whose walls have been battered by the arrows and guns of countless armies, they turned westwards across the sandy plains of Rajputana, to Ajmer.

Ajmer, the abode of Khwaja Moeinuddin Chishti, whose shrine is illustrious throughout India and the Muslim world, lies cradled in the dry Aravalli Hills….

At that time, Chacha was living in the squalid and verminous little hovel near Khwaja Saheb's shrine, and was never known to move from it....

Kaka was sent to bring Chacha to Baba, and perhaps, as in the case of Karim Baba, he was given the inner key that opened the door to Chacha's consciousness. At any rate, Kaka astounded the local people by bringing Chacha to Baba's house, thus doing something that no one had achieved before, for Chacha had never been known to move anywhere at anyone's behest since the day he had set foot in Ajmer so many years before.

As soon as Chacha arrived at the house, Baba and the mandali set about giving him a bath, but before this could be done, his hat and his clothes had to be cut away with scissors, for, as we had already learnt, they were so stiffened and adherent with tea, food, and filth, that neither his raiment nor his cap could be removed in any other way.

On that day Chacha underwent the unique experience of having his first bath for about thirty years; and it became, in fact, his last bath also, for even during his stay in Satara in 1947 he steadfastly refused a bath, and is not believed to have been bathed by anyone, before or since.

Now India and Pakistan. BACK

The other majzoob is Baba Shahabuddin of Bhat, and the jivanmukta is Ishwar Das Swami of Yadgiri. BACK


THE WAYFARERS, pp. 85-87
2002 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

Baba's Work With Chacha, Part 2


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