Symbols of the world's religions


Meher Baba In The Great Seclusion, part 9 of 11


Ramjoo Abdulla and C. D. Deshmukh

We think it desirable on more than one count to let Jal Kerawalla, whom we really owe this account, to round it up as far as the space allows, in his own words:

"From 11th to 13th July, Baba made me, Meherjee and Nariman read passages from Upanishads, Dasateer and works on Christian Mysticism respectively concerning God as the only Reality and about the identity of the soul with God. On the last day, Baba's own 'Divine Theme' was read to him by me as desired by him....

"On the 14th, word was received from Eruch in Poona that with the help of Sarosh a bungalow was arranged for Baba on the Mahabaleshwar road.... At about 7:30 A.M. on the 16th, a few minutes before Baba's departure, Adi took the car near Baba's cabin-enclosure. All of us then went into our rooms and closed the doors as per previous instructions so that Baba might not be seen by us. We then heard the car moving away. When it had crossed the bridge near the gate, Adi sounded the parting horn; and we came out of our rooms. Last evening, Kaka had brought Baba's message for us that Maya was tricky and powerful, and we must be very watchful in his absence. This naturally kept us all on the alert anxiously awaiting his return....

"At last 24th July has dawned. It is now about 10 A.M. and we expect Baba within a few hours.... It was 6:30 P.M. but there was no sign of any car. As it was getting late, I was feeling uneasy when at 8 minutes to 7 we heard the first sound of Adi's car; and we all rushed into our rooms and closed the doors....

"The fourth period of the seclusion which was intended for relaxation proved really one of intensive activities at Poona; and the details are collected in an interesting account written by Dr. Ghani, whom Baba had specially allowed to be near him during the Poona phase of partial seclusion, partial work and partial relaxation. Most of the details are beautifully described by William Donkin in his new book The Work of Meher Baba with Advanced Souls, Sadhus, the Mad and the Poor.

"The last period of Baba's seclusion from 25th onwards was notable for the re-intensification of his fast and seclusion on the 30th when on that day Baba passed complete ten hours all by himself and even Kaka was not allowed to approach him. On the 31st, even the servants had to observe silence.

"I conclude the account after giving some of my own experiences during these most happy days of my life. Although I did not see Baba, he seemed to be always with me. Problems and questions arising in my mind used to get themselves solved in such a manner that I never seemed to have had such experience to such an extent before. Above all, Baba seemed to have kindled some spark of his love somewhere in me; and many times I felt an ecstasy difficult to describe. One day when I returned from evening walk and sat with Nariman and Meherjee, this feeling took such a hold of me that I could not repress a visible smile looking at the hills on the horizon. Nariman remarked, 'He is becoming Mast and has gone off his head.' I put him off by giving some plausible explanation and ended his curiosity. When I think of my being totally unworthy of Baba's pure love, the following lines come to my mind: 'On an unworthy person like this, thou hast bestowed thy grace out of thy infinite kindness. My eyes get full of tears of love at the idea.'(1)

"It was ten years ago that I had the privilege of spending some months in Baba's company at Bangalore. During these years of work in different places and under different and trying circumstances, I happened to spoil my health and it was in March last that one morning I thought of taking some leave and to spend some time with Baba if possible. To my surprise, a few hours later I got a telegram from Baba enquiring how I was feeling. Needless to say, I replied what I felt and he desired me to take the leave. In spite of the difficulties involved in getting leave at short notice, I could get it and enjoyed it, and now I am going back to join my work soon with a refreshed and rejuvenated mind and heart with a prayer to dear Baba: 'May thou grant out of thy pleasure the eternal devotion — Bhakti — of thy feet and the contact of thy true devotees.' (1) And further may that spark of love for thee which thou hast kindled out of thy grace and kindness unto this heart continue to shine and gather strength with each breath of this life and the hereafter.

"As I wrote the last word of the last line above and placed the pen on the table sitting alone in my room, I simultaneously heard Baba's bell as he pressed the button, apparently to call Kaka, at the moment when I completed my prayer."

(1)Translated from a Hindi couplet.


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