Symbols of the world's religions



Bal Natu

This young Hindu Maharashtrian met Baba in 1943. From his childhood he had had a passion for God. In his few minutes interview with Baba he told Him that the world and worldly achievements held no charm for him and that he craved illumination. He also expressed his preparedness to leave his home and join Baba for any work whatsoever. Baba looked pleased and blessed him. Baba told him to come to Ahmednagar if and when he should receive a letter to that effect.

After some months Baba did call him to stay near Him, and later he accompanied the mandali to Hyderabad. Short and well built, he was fond of having regular kinds of exercise every day. Some of the mandali nicknamed him "Hanuman" after the deity of strength and celibacy worshipped in the village gymnasiums. He was given the duty of keeping a watch at the gate of the villa in Jubilee Hills.

One day when Baba was sitting with the mandali in the villa, all of a sudden He inquired about this young cadet. He was not at the gate, so someone asked Baba about the message to be conveyed to the youth. With a smile that always seemed to fill the heavens, Baba joked, "Nothing special. I wish someone to perform his khatna (circumcision). Have we a sharp teekh (knife) here?" This made the mandali laugh and Baba changed the subject.

When the young man returned he was told that Baba had inquired regarding his whereabouts. When he heard Baba's joke about circumcision, which is one of the essential religious ceremonies of any Muslim, he turned uncommonly solemn and silent. It had a specific meaning for him.

Baba had asked this young lover to observe celibacy. That morning as he was having a walk, on the way to the villa he saw the young, fair daughter of a wealthy Muslim Nawab riding on horseback. That particular area formed the locale of the wealthy knights and nobles of Hyderabad State.

As he looked at the elegant damsel he had a thought, "Would that I had such a partner in life! What if she be a Muslim and I a Hindu. What harm! I can..." When in love, the young mind knows no impossibilities. Nevertheless, he controlled himself and made his way to the villa.

It seemed that about this time Baba had made the above joke. It made him feel deep down in his heart the omnipresence of Meher Baba. To live with Baba was to go through the constant marvel of being ever exposed to His divine presence.

GLIMPSES OF THE GOD-MAN, Vol. 1, pp. 107-108
1977 © Bal Natu


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