Symbols of the world's religions



Arnavaz N. Dadachanji

Just after I had passed my fifth standard, in April of 1934, Baba visited our new home and gave me my first real experience of obedience. When He asked me my rank in school, I happily told Him I stood first in the class. Baba seemed very pleased. Then He turned unexpectedly to my father and said, "I don't want Arnavaz to continue with her studies."...

Baba then turned to me and asked, "Will you do what I tell you?" I replied, "Yes, Baba," even though I was deeply upset and wanted to continue my studies. I was only sixteen and didn't know if I had the strength to do what Baba was asking of me. I wondered what I would do all day long in the house. When Baba saw the disappointment on my face, He said, "You stay home for a year, and then I will let you rejoin your school."

Although my response wasn't from my heart, I said yes just to obey Baba. When He told me to quit school, I was still too young and raw to obey wholeheartedly. This was Baba's first strict order, beginning the training which would lead me finally to resign myself fully to His will. We have to start saying, "Yes, Baba" even if it's not from the heart. If we start that way, slowly and gradually Meher Baba teaches us to obey Him wholeheartedly, without the reasoning of the mind. But that takes time.

The next day Baba again visited out home with Uncle Chanji and we all had His darshan. Then Baba said to me, "You and Nargis come with me and we'll go to a movie." How His love and compassion manifest in every little detail; I was so exhilarated at the prospect of going to a movie with Baba that I completely forgot my disappointment of the day before when He had given me the order to leave school.

That afternoon was delightful; not only did we get to watch a movie with Baba but even better, we got to sit close to Him for two hours. We were seated on a sofa, Baba in the middle and Nargis and I on either side. The movie was Marie Antoinette, the story of the last queen of France, who was guillotined. When the tragic moments came, I started weeping silently and Baba tickled me on the side. (I am very ticklish.) I looked up at Him and He asked, "Why are you crying? It's just a movie."

At that time movies seemed as real to me as life. When I laughed and enjoyed myself or cried in pain and sorrow, I was responding to what I felt. Only much later did I realize what Baba was implying in the theatre that day. Our close contact with Him gradually helped us to understand that life, like a movie, is all an illusion. But as a teenager I found Baba's order to leave school a difficult one, as next to Baba and my family, school was the most important part of my life.


GIFT OF GOD, pp. 16-18
1996 © Meherazad Trust for Avatar Meher Baba


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