Symbols of the world's religions



C. B. Purdom

On the way, he stopped the car, got out and walked ahead for a time. Then they went on, travelling on Route 64. It had rained the night before and the road was slippery. It was not a wide road, and as they came over the crest of a small hill they met an approaching car on the wrong side of the road. Elizabeth slowed up, expecting the driver of the other car to see them and move over, but he did not, instead he came on at great speed, seeing their car at the last moment, when it was too late to avoid a collision.

Baba was thrown out, his head bleeding, his arm and leg fractured. Mehera and Meheru were also thrown out and hurt, Elizabeth at the wheel of the car was badly hurt with fractured arms and wrists and broken ribs.

Mani, who had been sleeping, seemed unhurt. Baba was the only one who lost blood: he had previously said that he would shed blood on American soil, and there he was bleeding freely into the ground! Had the ditch on to which they were thrown not been unusually soft, there might have been fatal results.

The driver of the other car was a veteran of the Korean war, a double amputee, driving a car specially made for his disability for the first time that day. Neither he nor his two companions were injured.

The party's own second car was not in sight. The first car to come along was a man driving into Prague, Oklahoma, seven miles distant, taking his wife to the clinic to have a baby; he summoned two ambulances to come out, into which Baba and the injured ones were put and brought to the town's hospital. While that was happening Sarosh arrived with the second car. As the day was very hot they had stopped on the way for a drink; how troubled they were at disobeying Baba's order to keep close behind can be imagined.

Baba's fractured arm and leg were set, Elizabeth and the others were attended to; they had to be kept in the hospital thirteen days. Then they were taken by ambulance fifteen hundred miles to Elizabeth's home at Myrtle Beach. Baba and the others slowly recovered. He said that his suffering was all the greater because of the injury to Mehera. On 13 June he dictated the following message:

"The personal disaster for some years foretold by me has at last happened while crossing the American continent, causing me through facial injuries, a broken leg and arm, much mental and physical suffering. It was necessary that it should happen in America. God willed it so."


The reference to America is significant. Baba had always paid much attention to that continent, and his most substantial following outside India is there. It seems that to him the cauldron of American life into which everything is thrown, the characteristic life of today, provides in its dire churning-up a central point in human existence, out of which new life will come. He has not said this in so many words, but it seems to be so. A few days later he made the following statement:

"Meher Baba is equally connected with Islam and its Sufism, Christianity and its Mysticism, the Orient and its Vedantism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism and many other 'isms' which all speak the same divine truth and lead to the same divine goal. Meher Baba is also detached and above all these divine paths. He has to awaken the followers of these paths to the real meaning of these isms in their true spirit by reorienting these isms, and in this capacity he has reoriented Sufism in the charter to be universally adopted."


THE GOD-MAN, pp. 203-204
1971 © Meher Spiritual Center Inc.


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