Symbols of the world's religions



Bhau Kalchuri

Saved from death by God's direct intervention, Sheriar roamed once more throughout India under the ever-present clouds of austerity and deprivation. Barefoot, bearded, and in a dervish robe, he walked through streets, down lanes and alleys to contact saints and advanced souls, forgoing food or comfort to have their contact. At night, he would rest wherever he could — along a sidewalk, under a tree, or in a cave — often in dirt-filled or rock-strewn spaces. He begged for whatever food he received and, as always, accepted it as God's mercy. Convinced that God would not forget his lover, he was a true orphan of God.

He walked and walked, mile after mile, year after year. His feet became raw, cut by rocks and stones, and pierced by thorns. But the wounds on his feet were nothing compared to the wounds in his heart. A burning love urged him on with the name of "Yezdan ... Yezdan ... Yezdan" ever on his lips. His search continued.

When Sheriar reached Gujarat, he saw a village some miles in the distance beyond a small river. In the middle of the river was an island thick with vegetation. The local people, however, were superstitious and warned him not to go there. "No one ventures across this river," they said, "because of the soft muddy bottom. The island is covered by thick brambles, and a hideous ghost lives there. Take our advice: Do not go to that island, but take the road to the town five miles ahead."

But Sheriar replied, "I am not afraid of ghosts. If there is a ghost on that island I shall meet him." Irrespective of their counsel, he began to wade through the shallow water. By the time he reached the island it was dark, and, instead of finding a ghost, he found himself ensnared in the overhanging vines of a dense jungle. Fumbling about and again wading across the river from what he thought was the other side of the island, he forged his way. Soon he found himself exactly where he had started.

It was too late then to take the longer road, so he decided to try to wade across the river once again. This time he wanted to avoid the island. He entered at another point, but, when he reached midstream, he stepped into quicksand. His staff sank in the soft mud, and the more he struggled to get out, the more he sank. While sinking in the mud he prayed, "O God! If it is Your divine will that I should die in this way, I am ready. But before I die, allow me to have one glimpse of Your effulgence. For years I have thirsted for Your sight. I have not cared about my life. Give me a glimpse of Your beauty before I die."

Concentrating on repeating God's name, Sheriar struggled, pulling himself out of the quagmire.

When he reached the other side, he collapsed and thanked God for rescuing him. After a while, hearing some villagers, Sheriar hailed them, "Show me the way to the town," he requested.

Seeing this strange, ominous, mud-covered figure rising out of the shadows, the men ran away shouting, "The ghost! The ghost of the island is after us."


LORD MEHER, Online rev ed, pp. 94-96
1995 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


 Family | Anthology | Eternal Beloved | Avatar Meher Baba | HeartMind | Search