Symbols of the world's religions

               

THE UGLY AND THE BEAUTIFUL

Jal S. Irani

 

Many years ago after joining Meher Baba, I believed in him as God, but my conviction was only 50%. One day he told me to bring three lepers to him. I told him I would do anything for him but I would not want to touch lepers simply because their disease is contagious. Baba insisted that I should bring the lepers, and again I said that I would do anything for him except bring the lepers. Then Baba said "Either obey me or leave me." So I obeyed him, but not very happily.

I went to the market and found three lepers. I told them "You will get money and clothes, and God will serve you if you come with me." I also told them, "Don't touch me, stay away from me." I brought the lepers to Baba, saying, "Here are the three lepers," and then kept away from them.

Baba was sitting on a chair in a small room with a table, a bucket of water and a tumbler near him. He also had a towel to clean their feet and clothes to gift them. Baba instructed me to send them one by one to stand on the raised platform so that he could wash their feet. I requested Baba, "Please don't touch them, they are contagious."

Baba gestured with his fingers, "But I am resident in and inner motivator of every heart. I am in the ugly and the beautiful. I am in the old and the young. I wash my own feet and bow down my head on my own feet because I am in them."

I insisted and warned him not to touch their feet because of their contagious disease.

Baba gestured with his fingers again, "Very soon you will see with your own eyes that I am in the lepers."

Even though Baba assured me, I would not touch the lepers while sending them one by one to stand up on the table. I gave water in the tumbler to Baba to pour on their feet. Baba cleaned their feet and then put his head at their feet. I was shocked to witness this scene. It was unbelievable that Baba was touching the lepers. Baba washed the feet of the first two lepers, one by one, while I gave Baba the water, but cautious not to touch them.

When Baba was washing the feet of the last leper, I saw the leper in the form of Baba himself — the leper looked like Baba.

Baba then gestured with his fingers and again told me, "Very soon you will see me in the lepers."

I was surprised beyond imagination. "This must be illusion. How could it be true," I thought. I closed my eyes thinking "It is illusion, it can't be true!"

I opened my eyes and saw Baba gesturing at me saying, "I told you I am in the lepers." The third time I opened my eyes, to my surprise Baba again appeared in the form of the leper.

Seeing this made me believe and accept Baba as God in human form. It was a true miracle that Baba had performed.

Some years back Irwin and Edward Luck, two Baba lovers from the West, told me that they wished to film lepers with me telling the story. They brought with them videotape and movie cameras. We went to the government leper hospital, 10 miles from Poona and met several men and women lepers. I embraced and hugged all the lepers for two days and Irwin and Edward videotaped this scene. When I embraced them, I saw only Meher Baba in the form of the lepers.

On the third day the lepers came to me saying "You must be crazy or a saint because our own relatives come and visit us once a week and stay away from us because we are lepers. Despite being strangers, you are embracing us. This is beyond our imagination."

I explained, "I was embracing Meher Baba, Avatar, God in the form of lepers." They accepted my story and took it as a miracle of God.

My love and faith in Meher Baba was so deep at that point that I no longer felt their disease contagious to me. For three days I did not change my clothes or take a bath, but on the fourth day I became scared of contracting the disease. What made me embrace and hug them for three days without changing my clothes or taking a bath?

On the fifth day, Baba came to me in a dream and said, "Don't worry, do not be upset or be scared. I made you do all these things just to make you believe in me. I am in everything. I am resident in and inner motivator of every heart."

I take this as a great miracle shown to me by Meher Baba himself in my lifetime.

 

GLOW INTERNATIONAL, May 1981, ed. Naosherwan Anzar
1981 © Naosherwan Anzar

               

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