Symbols of the world's religions



Arnavaz N. Dadachanji

Nine months later, on 21st June, 1974, Nariman had a severe heart attack while we were again in Bombay. When I told him he had to go to the hospital, he looked at me with such a sad expression that it pierced my heart. He must have sensed that he would never return home. He was admitted to intensive care, and I was greatly relieved that Dr. Alu was in Bombay for some work, as she was permitted to see Nariman at any time. His condition improved, and after four days in the intensive care unit he was moved to an ordinary room in the hospital.

Nariman's condition was so serious that we were told he would not be able to leave the hospital for at least two months. As Silence Day approached, I began to wonder how Nariman, Alu and I would manage to keep silence, as Nariman had frequent pains in his chest and needed someone to be with him all the time. He was sleeping and I was sitting nearby, thinking about this problem, when a feeling of peace swept over me and a voice inside me said, "You won't be able to keep silence here." I immediately stopped worrying.

The following morning, however, I again started wondering how we could observe silence at the hospital. I spontaneously asked, "Where? In Meherabad?" The thought of Nariman's body being taken to Meherabad crossed my mind. The voice then said, "You and Nariman will lead a different type of life for ten years." After I heard the voice, the whole episode was completely erased from my mind. I stopped worrying about how we would manage on Silence Day; I knew Baba would help us to find a solution.

As Nariman's pain increased day by day, I sat quietly by his side, repeating Baba's name. Sometimes I held his hand, and once I felt his pain move through his hand and into mine. Then, on 2nd July, as I was preparing tea for him, he suddenly asked for a pill. He was dizzy and sweating profusely, and he had turned very pale. Alu ran out and called for help.

Sensing that Nariman was having a massive heart attack, I told him to take Baba's name silently, as speaking was too great a strain for him. The doctor arrived and gave orders that Nariman be moved immediately to the intensive care unit. After he was moved from intensive care the first time, Nariman had told me how uncomfortable and miserable he had been and asked me not to allow the doctors to put him there again. To soothe him, I had agreed.

Alu knew that Nariman needed to be in intensive care, but loved him and wanted to please him, so she argued with the medical staff about moving him. The other doctors were very angry with her. They could not understand why a doctor, who should know better, was trying to prevent them from taking a patient in critical condition to intensive care. My heart was torn, as I had assured Nariman that I would not permit him to be taken there, but because he had been through such agony, I would have promised him anything just to give him some relief.

Trying to ease his mind, I put a kerchief over his eyes while he was moved to a stretcher. When the attendants stopped at the door of the unit, he removed the kerchief to see where he had been taken. He didn't say a word, but his sad eyes broke my heart. Dr. Alu stayed with him, as I was not allowed inside. I wanted so much to be with Nariman; I could feel the intense pain he was experiencing, but I was helpless to do anything about it, so I sat outside the room, quietly taking Baba's name. Nariman sent word through Alu telling me not to worry, that he was coming home.

Another specialist who was called in to examine Nariman told me that his condition was very critical, but if he pulled through the next three days, the immediate danger would be over. Continuing to take Baba's name, I locked out all the thoughts trying to rush through my mind, as only then could I surrender my heart to His wish and will. An hour later the doctor, knowing that Nariman was dying and that I would want to be with him, took me inside.

Nariman looked at me and said, "Don't worry." I knew he was suffering more emotionally than physically at that moment as he struggled with his attachment to me. Baba gave me such strength that I said with unexpected courage, "Nariman, I am not worrying, so don't you worry either." Knowing he didn't believe me, I said with more conviction, "In Baba's name I am telling you that I am not worrying," and at that moment Baba took all worry from me. Despite my pain, I wanted Nariman to be released from his mayavic connection with me.

Not knowing what else to do, I started singing the Bujawe Nar arti very softly, close to his ear. Nariman loved this arti, composed by Baba Himself, and an expression of great peace came over his face. When I had finished singing the arti, I said, "Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai." With the words Ki Jai Alu called the doctor, as she could no longer feel Nariman's pulse. He asked me to stand outside the screen while he gave emergency treatment.

I had been taking Baba's name continuously for about fifteen minutes when the doctor looked out at me from behind the screen and shook his head, saying, "Nariman is no more."

GIFT OF GOD, pp. 205-207
1996 © Meherazad Trust for Avatar Meher Baba


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