Symbols of the world's religions



Bhau Kalchuri

As Merwan was riding his bicycle on his way to Deccan College, he noticed a large crowd gathered on Malcolm Tank Road near Char Bawdi. The crowd was surrounding the old woman, Hazrat Babajan, who was seated under her neem tree. Merwan had passed this old woman many times but had seemingly never paid much attention to her, although he was aware that Babajan was regarded as a saint by the local Mohammedan community.

The religious orthodox or people of high status would seldom approach Babajan because the Pathan soldiers who guarded her were forbidding personages, and the idle beggars who lived off the dakshina or money given her by devotees were despicable. Strangers who passed by considered Babajan to be a mad woman or a witch or sorceress.

As Merwan rode by that day in May, he happened to glance at Babajan who, at that very moment, looked at him — and with a nod of her head beckoned him to her. Merwan could not disregard her; at once he got off his bicycle and walked over to her. Their eyes met and Merwan could sense that the old woman was extremely happy to see him.

Babajan was eagerly awaiting him and as Merwan approached her, he felt as if he was magnetically drawn to her eyes. Babajan then stood up with her arms spread wide. The ancient woman embraced Merwan with the fervor of a mother finding her lost son. Tears started streaming down her wrinkled cheeks as she repeated, "Mera piarra beta ... Mera piara beta!" — "My beloved son ... My beloved son!"....

Merwan was speechless and stood motionless, like a statue in front of the ancient woman. From the moment of her embrace, Merwan felt as if an electric current was passing through his body, sending impulses from his head to his toes. What he then experienced is indescribable — his individual consciousness was merging with the Ocean of bliss! Although Merwan was dazzled by the effect of the lustre Babajan's embrace gave, he maintained some consciousness of the environment and walked home, leaving his bicycle behind. Though inwardly his total being was profoundly affected, outwardly he appeared, for the most part, normal.

Gradually, however, the young man lost interest in all his studies and was also indifferent to participating in sports or games. As the weeks and months passed he preferred more and more to be left alone. Merwan was no longer enthusiastic about anything in life; in every aspect in which he had excelled he became a failure. He was unable to concentrate on anything and was unable to communicate to his family, teachers or friends what he was experiencing.

Life was now totally empty except for one person — that ancient woman. The only thing Merwan did regularly for the next seven months was to visit Babajan, from that day in May onward, every evening. For hours he would sit by the old woman's side — sometimes very late into the night.

The atmosphere surrounding Babajan made it difficult to believe that she was a "holy" woman. The ancient woman was surrounded by ruffians — the Pathan soldiers (her bodyguards), parasitical beggars, and even thieves who would not hesitate to steal whatever a devotee placed as a gift before her.

Some say love is blind, but love sees beyond good and evil, and it was the inner link of divine love which had been established between Merwan and Babajan. Thus, every evening without fail Merwan would go to Babajan. He did not care about the slanderous remarks of people who shook their head and venomously backbited, "Such a good boy was Merwan, the son of religious and respectable parents — that he should visit the haunt of that witch is a sin!" His good name and admirable character were slandered. But he did not care, for with that one embrace from Babajan the merging of Merwan's life in divinity began! The world had nothing to offer him and the world was becoming nothing to him!

When Babajan and Merwan would sit together under her tree they seldom spoke. One night during January, 1914, as Merwan was about to leave, he kissed Babajan's hands and she in turn held his face in her hands. The time had come. The moment our Age had been waiting for had arrived. As she held his face, Babajan looked in Merwan's eyes with all her love and kissed him on the forehead. Turning to her followers nearby, she pointed her little finger at the dazed Merwan and declared, "This is my beloved son ... He will one day shake the world and all of humanity will be benefited by him."

Merwan just stood there, for as soon as Babajan had kissed him he became insensible. He had lost the grips of his mind! Yet somehow he mechanically retraced his steps back home. His mind had no conception of anything in his surrounding; his body was moving, although he was unaware of what he was doing and where he was. In this state of entering obliviousness, about eleven o'clock in the evening he reached home and went straight to his room to lay on his bed.

LORD MEHER, Vol. 1, pp. 196-198
1986 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


 Avatar | Anthology | Main Page Norway | AvatarMeherBaba USA | HeartMind | Search