Symbols of the world's religions



Mehera J. Irani

Talking about monkeys reminds me of another monkey Baba had for a pet. Oh, what a sweet monkey he was — most extraordinarily loving. All he wanted to do was cuddle up to you and sit in your lap. But let me tell you the story.

We were in Calcutta at the time and all the Westerners were with us. This included Norina, Elizabeth, Kitty, Rano, Nadine, Margaret, and Irene. One day we were visiting a pet shop with Baba and so all of us were having a good time laughing and talking together as we looked around the shop.

The pet shop was rather large and had many cages, most of which were empty except for some parrots and a few other animals. It appeared as if people had already bought most of the animals in the shop. As we walked along with Baba, we stopped at one cage that had a cute little golden-blonde furred monkey — very fair-skinned with delicate facial features and no tail whatsoever, a very sweet-looking monkey.

I remember Baba stopped in front of the cage and just looked at the monkey for a minute or two at the most, and then went on. The monkey seemed very happy as Baba looked at him. He just gazed back at Baba with such feeling that we all felt he was really drawn to Baba. Of course, Baba had by then turned the corner and walked away. This had all taken place in the span of a minute or two — not longer.

As soon as Baba walked away, the monkey started to jump and cry, holding the bars of his cage and screeching wildly. You can really have no idea how pathetic he looked as he cried and cried, and what feeling it evoked in us as we watched. He just would not stop crying. I felt so sorry and sad for the little animal that I ran over to Baba, explaining how restless the little monkey had become as soon as Baba had left.

Baba walked over to the monkey's cage and, upon seeing Baba, the tiny monkey quieted down immediately. Baba said to find out how much he cost, which we did, and then Baba bought him. We put him in a rather large basket, tall enough in height so that the monkey could sit comfortably in it. Then we left the shop for our hotel. Outside, we saw a street vendor selling peanuts and guavas, so we bought some for the new pet.

We returned to our hotel with the monkey and he seemed quite content to be with us, not at all scared or shy. It was soon lunch time and we were all feeling hungry. We left the monkey in our room while we went to the dining room for our meal. As we sat down to eat, I suddenly heard loud sounds of banging and crying coming from our room. I realised it must be the little monkey crying again for our company.

"Baba," I said, "this monkey is really restless. He doesn't want to be left alone."

"Yes," gestured Baba, "he must be very hungry. Bring him here and tie him to a chair at the end of the dining room." As soon as he saw us, he again quieted down so we could finish our meal.

You know, Baba named this monkey Jumpu because he was always jumping and restless, but he was really an unusual monkey.

He was not mischievous like Lucky; he was extremely gentle and affectionate and loving. But so much so that it became almost impossible to do one's work with him around. He wanted constant attention just like a human infant. As soon as you would come near, he would jump into your arms.

You know, the reason I wanted to share this story with you is because it illustrates so vividly the ever-flowing love, care, and concern of the Avatar for His creatures, and how God never fails to respond to our longing. God is love and love must love, so even a monkey blessed to come into contact with the Avatar feels that love.


BABA LOVED US TOO, pp. 65-67
1989 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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