FREE OF THE BODY
Rano became ill in May, as did Pappa Jessawala and Roshan's baby. On the night of 28 May , Rano was stricken with a severe attack of gastroenteritis.... Meherwan Jessawala brought a female doctor who prescribed medicine for her, and Meherwan did not get any sleep the whole night.
Baba ... visited Bindra House the next morning, but before getting out of the car he drew three crosses on the ground with his walking stick. He sat for a few moments looking at them and then rubbed one of the crosses out....
Baba then went to see Pappa who said to him, "Baba, save Rano. She is a foreigner and if she passes away here, there will be complications with the police." Baba laughed, telling him not to worry about Rano, that she would be all right. Baba gave a glass of sherbet to Pappa also.
Before leaving, he told Meherwan, "You did not sleep last night, so tonight go to bed at ten o'clock. This is my order."
Baba returned to Guruprasad. That same afternoon, accompanied by the women mandali, Baba was again driven to Bindra House. Dhun Satha joked, "Baba this is not a home but a hospital!"
Baba pinched her ears playfully and remarked, "Have you any idea how much work I have done in this house?" and added, "When I speak, you will be walking in Bindra House!"
Calling Mehera to Pappa's room Baba remarked to him, "Up to now I have not brought Mehera before any man, but because I love you so much, I have brought her to you." Pappa was overcome. Baba continued, "I did not come here today for Rano; I came for you, Pappa, and [Roshan's] baby, Mehera. I have great love for you, Pappa."
Meanwhile, Meherwan was at his office nearby, and when Baba returned to Guruprasad he had the car stopped outside the office. Meherwan was summoned and Baba again reminded him to be sure to sleep at 10:00 P.M....
That night, exactly at ten o'clock when Meherwan was about to go to bed, Pappa shouted for him. Meherwan was in a quandary; Baba had ordered him to go to bed at ten o'clock, and now this unexpected situation had arisen.
Meherwan lay down quickly to fulfill Baba's order and then ran to his father's bedside. He found Pappa breathing with difficulty and sweating profusely. Anxious about Pappa's condition, Meherwan went out to bring the doctor, but it was too late. Pappa's time had come. He died of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 74 with the word Baba on his lips.
Guruprasad was informed and Baba sent Nariman and Meherjee to Bindra House. According to Baba's instructions, Eruch stayed at Guruprasad. Pappa was merged forever in Baba's Ocean of Divinity. Meherwan was not upset over his demise — he was worried about his own disobedience to Baba's instruction.
Pappa Jessawala's body was removed that night to the Zoroastrian bangli (a place where corpses are bathed and kept temporarily for offering prayers). The next morning, Saturday, 30 May 1959, at 7:00 A.M., Baba went to Bindra House accompanied by Eruch and sat in Pappa's room. There, Baba put Pappa's hat on his head and gave Eruch Homi Damania's cap to wear. Baba asked for something to eat, and Roshan and Naja prepared food for him. He wanted bread with it, but there was no bread in the house.
On the pretext of bringing some bread from a nearby bakery, Baba again sat in the car with the mandali. On their way, they were driven past the bangli at the exact moment when Pappa's body was being taken in a procession to the Tower of Silence. Baba had the car stopped. After watching the procession for a few minutes, Baba remarked, "The work is completed."
He then asked Eruch, "What happens after you eat?"
Eruch said, "You digest your food and then defecate the waste."
Baba explained, "The body is to the soul as the waste is to the food. The body eventually becomes the excreta of the soul. Death is the process by which the soul excretes the human body. How do you feel after you go to the toilet?"
"Relieved and happy."
"The soul, too, feels happy and relieved to be free of the body. That is how one should feel about anyone's death."
LORD MEHER, Online revised ed, pp. 4549-4551
1995 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust