Symbols of the world's religions



M. R. Dhakephalkar

According to the Parsee Calendar, Baba's Birthday fell on the 18th of February, 1927. At Meherabad, early in the morning we performed Baba's Arati and wished Him a happy birthday and many happy returns of the day. Every disciple was supposed to wake up early at 4 o'clock in the morning, have a cold water bath and be ready at 6 o'clock for tea to go to the appointed duty at 6:30 A.M.

Baba allowed every disciple to pour a potful of hot water over His shoulders and back. We were nearly a hundred. When my turn came, I took a potful of water. Baba was sitting on a broad wooden stool and except for a white underwear He had nothing on His body. His long semi golden hair was flowing. His skin was very smooth and white. His face was bright and beaming with smiles and His eyes were brilliant.

I poured a pot of water on His back. He asked me to pour another over His chest because He was feeling somewhat cold. At His bidding I took a third, poured water on His thighs and knees and washed His feet with the remaining water. Then I bowed down to His feet. He patted on my back and I left the room. I had a special grace of two pots; others had only one.

Baba was smartly dressed in white robes. A crown of flowers wreathed His head, a beautiful garland adorned His neck and a string of flowers bedecked His arms and wrists. With a flute in His hand He resembled Lord Krishna. He had a divine brightness on His face and one felt that He was exactly in the "I am God" state. He was in a very happy mood and radiating a divine smile.

There was a big gathering from the surrounding villages and there were some guests from Pune and other places. Amongst them was Baba's mother Shirinmai. Just when Baba's Arati was to be performed she shouted, "Meherwan, today on your birthday you are being worshipped as God. You have got everything in your life now. Everyone is accepting you as God and bowing down to you. I am your mother and I want one thing from you."

Baba looked at her and said, "What is that, mother?"

"Your father and I have been enjoying married life for so many years. We have children and ours is a happy family. How I wish that you get married and beget children! I very much desire to see your children play on my shoulders and lap."

"Mother, you are the very flower of the family-world. You are very fortunate. You are like Kousalya to Rama or Yashoda to Krishna or Mary to Jesus. You have given birth to the Divine and you deserve to be worshipped. You are an ideal woman and who will not obey such a mother?"

We construed that Baba, the Sadguru, would marry and beget children.

Baba continued, "Dear mother, a marriage requires two persons — a male and a female. You do not know to what state I am raised by God. God has made Me realise that I alone exist and all else has no existence. I stand alone. There is no second to Me. On a cinema screen you see beautiful women and girls and at the end of the film, you know that it was only a screen. I experience that all of you are shadows, then, how can I marry a shadow? Further, the whole of humanity, the whole universe for that matter, is in Me; when people enjoy, they enjoy in Me. So I get the joy of married life cumulatively in Me and that is My bliss. How can I, then, marry, mother?"

Shirinmai began to shed tears and said, "Meherwan, I do not understand what you say. So, do as you wish and now I believe that you are correct in what you do. Please have grace on your parents and our family."

Immediately Baba beckoned me to perform His arati for I was entrusted with that duty every evening in Meherabad. I lighted the camphor and wicks and all of us performed Baba's arati. We took His darshan and prasad of sweet meats in a leaf-cup.

In the afternoon about ten thousand people were treated to sumptuous meals. In the evening there were bhajans; all of us were very busy the whole day and we were completely tired by night but we were very happy in our minds. I always cherish this pleasant memory.


1992 © M. R. Dhakephalkar


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