Symbols of the world's religions

               

FOR AMARTITHI

Arnavaz N. Dadachanji

 

"Your being with Me physically is immaterial.
It is My being with you that matters.
So keep Me with you always."

~~Meher Baba

We remained in Meherazad with Baba after the December programme, but we knew that we might have to return to Bombay on short notice. Because of Nariman's increasing health problems Baba had agreed two years earlier that he should sell his factory, and a potential buyer had indicated interest shortly before we left for Meherazad. In January Hoshang sent word for Nariman to call him in Bombay

Nariman returned from town after phoning and told Baba that the terms for selling the factory had been settled. His brothers were now waiting for him to come and finalize the sale. Baba told him, "I have arranged everything. You and Arnavaz go to Bombay and complete the work and come back soon to Meherazad. Leave your other business responsibilities to your brothers, and come stay with Me for six months." Baba told us to go on 19th January, and when we were all packed and ready to leave Meherazad, we went to Baba's bedroom for His darshan. I intended to embrace Baba lightly, so as not to hurt Him in His extremely delicate condition, but He surprised me by holding me tightly in His loving arms. Such strength from our darling Baba lifted Nariman's and my spirits; we could not have guessed that this was the last physical embrace we would ever receive from our Beloved God-Man, that it would be Baba's precious body, lying in the crypt, that we would return to.

When we got back to Bombay, plans concerning the sale of the factory moved right along, and a meeting was set to sign the final papers on the afternoon of 31st January. At 7:00 that morning I was still lying in bed with my eyes closed, when I saw a vision. Many people had gathered in a big hall, and I was outside, looking in through the window. Everyone was dressed in pure white, as if it were a Zoroastrian funeral. Then I looked down and saw that I was wearing a white sari. I opened my eyes and lay quietly with a dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Locking my mind against the thoughts that were churning inside, I went about my daily routine. At 3:00 that afternoon, while Nariman and his brothers were at the office with the buyers, Adi, Sr. phoned from Ahmednagar. He said, "Arnavaz, listen carefully and patiently. Beloved Baba dropped His body at 12:15 p.m., and He will be interred tomorrow morning. You must convey the news to all lovers in Bombay."

Not wanting to believe what Adi had told me, I cried out to Beloved Baba for help, then asked Adi, "Is it really true?"

He very gently said, "Arnavaz, I wouldn't be giving such news as a joke."

Coming to my senses, I said, "Adi, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that — it just slipped out."

Adi told me that Baba had finally allowed Goher to call one of His lovers, Dr. Ram Ginde, an eminent neurosurgeon in Bombay. Dr. Ginde had reached Adi's office at about 11:15 that morning, but he requested half an hour of rest before going to see Beloved Baba, as he had a serious heart condition and had felt pain in his chest during his journey. When Dr. Ginde and Adi reached Meherazad, they found Eruch trying to revive Baba by giving Him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. No one wanted to accept what had happened, but Dr. Ginde very gently and solemnly confirmed that Baba was no longer in the physical body. It was Dr. Goher's sad duty to fill out the death certificate of our most precious Lord Meher Baba.

I put down the phone and sat there dazed, not knowing what to do. Then, gathering courage, I phoned Behram at the office, as I could not bear to give such heart-wrenching news directly to my dear Nariman. On hearing about Baba, Nariman contained his emotions but immediately cancelled the meeting, leaving the office to come home and prepare to go to Ahmednagar. I next phoned Nargis, but my brother Huma picked up the phone; Sarosh had just arrived at their house from Ahmednagar, but had obviously not heard about Baba. Huma was so devastated that he put Sarosh on the phone to speak with me. When Sarosh started sobbing, I knew neither Nariman nor Sarosh would have been able to stand the initial shock if they had been present when Baba dropped His body. It seemed to me that Beloved Baba, in His compassion, had sent them both away, Nariman to take care of selling the factory and Sarosh to attend to some work for Him.

As I couldn't bear to continue repeating this heartbreaking news, I made only one more call, asking someone else to inform all Baba's lovers in Bombay. To add to my agony, however, everyone immediately started calling me to verify what they had been told. Nariman arrived home, Katie came from her office, and Sarosh came from Nargis and Huma's house. The four of us left immediately in Sarosh's car for the long, anguish-filled drive to Ahmednagar, with our families and other Baba lovers from Bombay following some time later.

When we reached Meherabad, we were told that Beloved Baba's body had been placed in the crypt. We went straight up the Hill to His Samadhi, where we found Padri and several others. Padri told us that Mehera had broken down and Eruch and others, unable to bear seeing her in such pain and fearing that she would collapse, had convinced Mani and the other women to take her back to Meherazad for the night. He felt that after the whole day's ordeal the women would not have been able to withstand spending all that night and the following day in Meherabad.

Padri opened the door of the Samadhi, and Katie, Sarosh, Nariman and I went inside. Beloved Baba's body was lying in the crypt, but when I looked down my shock at seeing Him the way I had imagined a few weeks earlier made it seem as though He were lying fifty feet below us. Padri, seeing our stunned expressions, immediately told Sarosh to take us to his house for the night.

GIFT OF GOD, pp. 191-193
1996 © Meherazad Trust for Avatar Meher Baba

               

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