Symbols of the world's religions



Tuck Andress

Once, not long after I first heard of Meher Baba, I had a prolonged attack of hiccups. I thought nothing of it at first, but when, after a while, my hiccups showed no signs of abating, I began to try all the various folk remedies I had heard of for curing this irritating affliction. Some of the "cures" were ridiculous and all of them proved completely futile. Not only did they not rid me of my hiccups, they made me even more aware of them.

Now all along, in the back of my mind was an awareness of Meher Baba. I had heard that when things weren't going as smoothly as one wished, it was helpful to take His name. After hiccing for around twenty minutes, I began to seriously consider doing this, even though I was by no means a "Baba lover" at the time.

My reason, however, told me that it would be pointless to resort to this measure as Baba probably wasn't God so it wouldn't help to repeat His name. On the other hand, if by some chance, He were God, then it didn't seem right to bother Him with something as trivial as my hiccups. And so the internal argument went on while externally I continued to hic. I don't know if it was common sense, pride, consideration for God, or His grace that kept me thinking about Him for another 25 minutes before I finally, in desperation, began to repeat His name. And the next hiccup never came! It was the most amazing coincidence.

Years later, I had another bout of hiccups. But this time my reasoning process was a little different. I told myself Baba definitely IS God, so these hiccups are something He has given me for some purpose. Still, I thought that if they continued for too long I might just quietly mention His name.

After only 25 minutes I had had enough and took His name and once again the hiccups stopped instantly. And perhaps whatever lesson was being taught was learned, for I haven't had a case of prolonged hiccups since.


OUR CONSTANT COMPANION; pp 40-41, ed Bal Natu
1988 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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