Symbols of the world's religions



Eruch Jessawala

When Meher Baba first came to Meherabad in 1922, there was no such fire [dhuni]. But a few years later, the monsoons had failed and the farmers were getting desperate. This area has always suffered from a shortage of water, and drought or a bad monsoon meant severe hardship, possibly even starvation for the villagers, who were mostly farmers.

Now, as you know, we have two monsoon seasons here. The first monsoon season, which is supposed to come in June, had been very poor. Now it was September and the second monsoon season was ending, and still there had been no life-giving showers. So the farmers were desperate. They knew that Meher Baba was living at Meherabad, and they considered Him a saintly personality, so they came to Him to seek His blessings for rain. They came in a large crowd to beg Baba for rain.

Baba received them very lovingly but encouraged them to leave for their homes immediately because their love and faith in Him might bring about a downpour that would drench them if they didn't hurry home.

Now, it was a bright and sunny day and there was no sign of rain whatsoever. The villagers did not know whether to take Baba seriously or not. They thought perhaps Baba was only trying to get rid of them by urging them to leave so quickly. But eventually, with much coaxing from the mandali, they were persuaded to leave.

When all had gone, Baba turned to His men and told them to collect wood and to dig the pit that you still see to this day by the side of the road, under the neem tree. Baba ordered this dhuni lit, and very soon clouds gathered in the sky and it began to rain. It rained so hard, in fact, that the villagers got thoroughly drenched on their way home. This was not an act of Baba's greatness, but of His compassion, and the dhuni pit has remained as a sign or symbol of this.

For a while, the dhuni was lit regularly, but in those early years Baba traveled frequently, and during the long periods when all were away from Meherabad the dhuni obviously was not lit. Returning one time from one of the travels in the Blue Bus, Baba had the dhuni lit. This was on the twelfth of December, 1941. Baba then ordered that thereafter the dhuni should be lit on the twelfth of each month.

So that is why we do it, because Baba told us to continue to light it on the twelfth of each month. It was His order to us, so it is our pleasure to obey and light the dhuni each month on the twelfth.


THAT'S HOW IT WAS, pp. 337-339
1995 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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