Symbols of the world's religions



Mani S. Irani

When you are looking at a lotus flower, you are looking at a beauty and a purity which remind you of angels. Floating on the surface of a pond or lake, the lotus stands pure and untouched by its surroundings. It is for this supreme quality that in India the lotus is chosen to describe the feet of God in human form. Mehera always referred to Beloved Baba's feet as His lotus feet.

Down the centuries, great lovers of God have sung of their Beloved's lotus feet. In poetry and in prayer, all worship and surrender to the Lord are directed to His lotus feet. Whatever is placed on His lotus feet becomes purified. When people touch a Perfect Master's feet with their forehead, they lay upon Him the burden of their sanskaras — the impressions of thought, emotion, and action which bind the individual. Having the Avatar's darshan, laying your head on His lotus feet or on His eternal Samadhi, is the highest blessing.

Milk and honey also represent sanskaras, hence the old tradition of washing the Master's feet with milk and honey. Beloved Baba's feet were washed with a mixture of water and milk and honey during His birthday celebration at Nasik in 1937. The water, milk, and honey which has washed the Avatar's feet becomes supreme "holy water", and to drink even a drop of it is a rare blessing.

So just imagine how lucky this little girl was when she swallowed glassfuls of such holy water! Yes, the little girl was me, and the place was Meherabad. The occasion was "Sol-e-noo", the Persian New Year which falls always on 21st March and which is celebrated for a number of days in every Irani home. Families load their tables with all kinds of fruit and sweets for friends and relatives who drop in all day.

The most delicious part of the Sol-e-noo tradition is a milkshake known as "falooda". To swirl in your hand a glass of this Persian drink, all pink and sweet and rose-flavoured, is pure joy.

So, you can imagine how everyone around Baba looked forward to this New Year treat from Him. On 21st March, Baba had Masaji make a large quantity of falooda which He personally served to all. The men were assembled in the open, filing past Baba while He filled each glass held out to Him.

You know me by now, and you know I wouldn't miss this for anything! So there I was, a six-year-old girl standing amidst that long queue of men. With empty glass in hand, I too was awaiting my turn to receive the cold drink from Baba.

Baba was sitting astride a wooden box, in front of an enormous vat (vessel) full of falooda, holding in His hand an aluminum mug with a handle. As the men walked by, Baba bent down and dipped the mug into the vat, filled it, and poured the falooda into each glass. My turn came, and I got my glassful.

I stood at a distance sipping it, watching Baba's swift and graceful movements while He continued giving out without a moment's respite. As the level of the falooda in the vat kept going down, Baba had to bend lower and lower and stretch further forward in order to fill the mug.

I could see it was becoming a problem, and I felt sure only Baba could solve it. He did. Baba stepped right into the vat, if you please! I saw Him pull up His sadra above His knees and put His legs into that huge vessel. This made it easier for Him to scoop up the remaining falooda. I squeaked with delight.

But then I felt extremely dismayed because I had missed having the falooda in which His feet were immersed! I had to do something about it. So, although I had already received my share from Baba, I went back and joined the queue to get another glassful, a glassful of the falooda which had bathed His lotus feet.

When I approached Baba this second time, He stopped and looked at me for a moment before filling my glass. While walking away, I gulped down this nectar (alias falooda) and found that it definitely tasted much sweeter than the first glassful. Emboldened, I did it once more. I stood before Him a third time, with my empty glass. He filled it again, but this time He gestured firmly, "No more!" And the twinkle in His eyes clearly said, "You've had enough!"

Can one really? Can one really have enough of gifts from Baba? The grace to spend a lifetime in His company was His biggest gift to me. Is that enough? No, it is not. One can never have enough of Baba's love and company!


GOD-BROTHER, p. 62-66
1993 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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