One day while we were walking between Motichur and Hardwar, we saw two crows mating. Now, this is a rare event. It is so rare that tradition has it that if anyone ever happens to see it, it means that the one nearest and dearest to the observer will die.
Now, when we saw the crows mating, Baba acted like an ordinary man and wondered whether something couldn't be done to ward off the death of one of our near ones. As with most superstitions, there is usually a traditional antidote, and in this case it was generally agreed that if we announced a "death", we would be able to avoid a real one occurring.
A lively discussion took place while we discussed this, with Baba provoking and stimulating it. He suggested that we send a telegram to Keki Desai, a Baba lover in Delhi, to inform those concerned that He, Baba, had died. But we companions felt that the shock of getting this news might prove too much for Keki. Knowing his love and devotion for Baba, we feared he might have a heart attack on receiving such a cable. We also didn't know how his family would take the cable, or other Baba lovers that he informed. Would people try to contact us when they heard the news, which was against the New Life orders?
It seemed the cable might produce serious repercussions. Meanwhile, throughout this discussion, it seemed that Baba took the whole thing as a game, and yet at the same time was serious throughout, playing to the hilt the role of an ordinary man.
It was finally decided that instead of announcing Baba's death, we would send a cable saying that Pendu, one of the close companions who was with us, had died, and that an hour later we would send another cable announcing that Pendu had not died. When we reached Hardwar, the two telegrams were sent.
As it turned out, although we didn't hear about this until sometime later, the cables arrived in reverse order. First Keki received the cable announcing that Pendu had not died and to disregard the first cable. Keki was still puzzling over this when the cable arrived that Pendu had died. So no serious confusion or alarm occurred.
Everything that Baba does, no matter how apparently trivial, has immense significance. What the deep inner meaning behind this episode of the cables was I cannot say, but on an ordinary worldly level, the conversation about what to do now that we had seen two crows mating helped pass the time on our long journey by foot to Hardwar.
It was a diversion for us all, the humor of it kept us amused and, who knows, perhaps getting those two cables in such quick succession (and out of order at that) helped Keki and his family realize the impermanence of life in Illusion and helped them ground themselves in the never-changing Truth of God as the only Reality.
THAT'S HOW IT WAS, pp. 366-367
1995 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust