Symbols of the world's religions


Meher Baba In The Great Seclusion, part 5 of 11


Ramjoo Abdulla and C. D. Deshmukh

Just as Meherabad is near the village of Arangaon, five miles to the south of Ahmednagar; Meherazad is in the vicinity of Pimpalgaon village, about 8 miles from Ahmednagar towards the north. The two local centres of Baba's activities in the old life are within sight of each other from the tops of the two respective small hills adjoining the places. Baba had at one time or the other in the past retired into seclusions on both these hills known as the Meherabad Hill and the Meherazad Hill.

For the momentous seclusion, which we are now describing, Baba selected a small open space surrounded on three sides by walls of the adjoining Ashram buildings at lower Meherazad. The fourth side was closed temporarily with "tattas" (bamboo-matting). Inside this enclosure, under the shade of a nearby "Neem" tree, a special cabin was constructed of what was once known as Baba's "blue bus," the motor vehicle in which he had toured extensively years ago. The bus-body was mounted on empty oil drums fixed in brick and lime; and it was in this bus-body and enclosure that he spent the greater period of this seclusion.

The daily routine for the 40 days for all concerned was arranged to the minutest details a few days in advance. Special timetables, duty-charts and various other instructions including for emergencies, were all typed out, translated where necessary and distributed to respective parties to ensure complete order and harmony during the seclusion. Barring a few exceptions, everyone was expected to observe silence and fast including Kaka (Baria) who was to wait upon Baba inside the cabin or the enclosure as and when required to do so by ring of a call-bell.

On June 21st, Baba had invited all his local disciples and devotees to be present at 7 o'clock sharp that morning to participate in what he said was the "purification ceremony" to keep the place free from maleficent spirits and evil influences. It chiefly consisted of recitations from the Avastha, Gita, Bible and the Quran that were read by Kaikobad, Kalemama, Donkin and Khaak respectively. Baba freely intercepted all the recitations in explaining to those present the import of the different divine communications. The gist of his say on this occasion is summarised thus: "These are all but different approaches to the same one Truth i.e. God; and therefore the real purport of each Book is just the same. These approaches can be broadly divided into two kinds — direct and indirect, that is, Impersonal and Personal. In spite of such distinctions, equally same results can be achieved and have been achieved through either of the ways.... What can be understood in a flash by spiritual experience takes ages to grasp intellectually.... As regards my seclusion, I have hundred per cent reasons of my own to retire from tomorrow for 40 days. This should not be looked upon as "chilla-kashi" or meditation and so forth.... I am free in every way but I am going to get myself bound voluntarily. I will also intensify my silence and will not bring out even the least sound by mouth." These comments from Baba were followed by a brief interval; and then there was, by Baba's order, a Kirtan by C. D. Deshmukh (who happens to be one of the writers of this account).

Thus on the eve of the great seclusion, the entire atmosphere was charged with great spiritual reactions, as is evinced by the writings of Princess Norina Matchabelli, one of the close disciples of Baba: "The Truth ... has been previously revealed by the Avatars and Prophets of the past. But in the centuries, that rolled on, it got wrapt up in the phraseology of its learned exponents. Used by many people and in many contexts, their high sounding words have acquired the crust of careless usage. These words then begin to conceal the Truth rather than reveal it. They are worshipped rather than understood.... We meet these words in the mouths of friends and foes. But they only astound without enlightening.... Hence arises the need for ... new language, which the world must understand ... with the simplicity of children.... Once again the world is receiving the Truth without garb. Drink deep at the fountain.... Entertain in yourself the Go-back-to-God drive...."


1949 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


 New Life | Anthology | Main Page Norway | AvatarMeherBaba USA | HeartMind | Search