Symbols of the world's religions

               

MEHERA'S GRIEF

Arnavaz N. Dadachanji

 
When we reached Meherabad, we were told that Beloved Baba's body had been placed in the crypt. We went straight up the Hill to His Samadhi, where we found Padri and several others. Padri told us that Mehera had broken down and Eruch and others, unable to bear seeing her in such pain and fearing that she would collapse, had convinced Mani and the other women to take her back to Meherazad for the night. He felt that after the whole day's ordeal the women would not have been able to withstand spending all that night and the following day in Meherabad.

Padri opened the door of the Samadhi, and Katie, Sarosh, Nariman and I went inside. Beloved Baba's body was lying in the crypt, but when I looked down my shock at seeing Him the way I had imagined a few weeks earlier made it seem as though He were lying fifty feet below us. Padri, seeing our stunned expressions, immediately told Sarosh to take us to his house for the night.

The following morning at 4:00 we returned to Upper Meherabad to wait at the Samadhi for Mehera, Mani and the other women to come. When their car arrived, I opened the door and Mehera got out. I was about to embrace her when she cried out in anguish, "What will I do without Baba? How will I live without Him?" There was nothing I could say, so I silently held her in my arms. Mehera's grief was so deep that we all suppressed our own in an attempt to console her.

It is impossible to describe the experience of being present when the Avatar of the Age leaves His human body. Baba lovers from all over India started phoning and sending telegrammes to Adi, Sr., begging him to postpone the interment of Beloved Baba's body. Dr. Ginde said that His body could remain uncovered in the crypt for darshan as long as it showed no signs of deterioration, and he instructed Goher to examine Baba's body every day to determine when to cover it and close the crypt. Day after day thousands of lovers flocked to Meherabad by plane, train, bus, car and bullock cart, even on foot; as one group left, another arrived, singing bhajans to our Beloved Lord. Even though we were heartbroken, we were sustained by the love that flowed from the hearts of those who had come to bow down to Him and gaze upon His face one last time.

Years later I was looking at the picture of Christ I kept in the room with the photograph of Baba that He had given Nariman and me at our wedding. For the first time I noticed the words "Jesus in the Sepulcher" written beneath it. Suddenly it struck me that Jesus looked very much the way Baba had looked while His body was lying in the crypt in His Samadhi. I knew at that moment why I had been compelled to buy the picture and remembered the day when Baba had asked me about it and told me to keep a lamp under His photograph burning twenty-four hours a day. The light from the lamp reminded me that even though Beloved Baba had dropped His physical body, the light of His Divine Presence would continue to bum eternally.

During the days before Baba's interment we women stayed by Mehera's side wherever she was. She cried inconsolably to Baba in the Samadhi, and it was good that her tears flowed easily. Had she not expressed her anguish, it would have been very difficult for her to maintain her mental and emotional balance. Her grief showed others how deeply she loved her Beloved Darling Baba. When we could bear Mehera's tears no longer, we would take her to Baba's cabin and sit talking with her near the stretcher that had borne His body from Meherazad to the Samadhi. Sometimes she would become quiet and composed, greeting with great poise the women who came to her with folded hands, saying "Jai Baba." Men with folded hands would also try to catch a glimpse of dear Mehera.

Those closest to her had witnessed the total devotion Mehera had for Baba, and we honoured her as Baba's beloved. Now Mehera was to leave the secluded life she had led thus far, so that all of Baba's lovers, both men and women, would witness the perfect love of His closest disciple. I felt that Baba had left her behind to play the very important role that He had been gradually preparing her for, carrying on His mission of Pure Love. In order for Mehera to play this role, she had to accustom herself to many new situations, among them learning to converse with men, something she had not done before. Baba led me intuitively to use the circumstances to help Mehera take a first step in this direction.

When some of the Western men arrived in Meherabad, I took the opportunity to ask Don Stevens if he would like to say "Jai Baba" to Mehera. Surprised, Don asked if that were possible. Then I went to Mehera and told her that Don Stevens wanted to say "Jai Baba" to her. Mehera, in her grief, agreed automatically, so I brought Don into Baba's cabin. Facing Mehera, he said "Jai Baba." Mehera, without looking at him, softly said "Jai Baba" and told me something to say to Don for her. Don said a few words in response. The next day I told several men to stand outside the Samadhi in a row and, one at a time, say "Jai Baba, Mehera" when she came out. They did so, and she replied "Jai Baba" in return. Mehera was in a state of shock and responded to the words "Jai Baba" without giving any thought to the fact that she was speaking to men.

 

GIFT OF GOD, pp. 193-195
1996 © Meherazad Trust for Avatar Meher Baba

               

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