Symbols of the world's religions

               

Part two:


STRENUOUS DRIVING ACTIVITIES

Mani S. Irani

 
Satara
December 6, 1956

Dear Elizabeth and Kitty,
The enclosed circular is for all concerned in the U.S.A. and heaven knows it speaks for itself. Please send it out immediately to all as usual. Baba and the men have been in a car accident, but I hasten to add that Baba's condition is all right even though the injuries were bad. Two of the men (Pendu and Eruch) are in the hospital, and dear Nilu died. Baba is at Grafton under every care, though in much pain, particularly from leg injury. Enclosed circular explains in more detail. Baba did not wish me to send a cable about it, so this letter and circular are going off to you for the U.S.A. and to others for England, Europe, and Australia as soon as it was possible to do so. We are so helpless when Baba makes Himself helpless and suffers like this. He will not help Himself and God knows we cannot help Him. By the time you get this He will (please God) have improved much and will be in much less pain. There is so much to say and nothing to say.

Don't know how the writing of this circular was managed, for the mind is numb and there's lead where the heart should be. But it cannot help Baba if we cannot be brave and He has helped us to be that, even dearest Mehera. I must stop being incoherent — please inform all concerned that I will not be able to write personal letters for some time. Any further news of improvement, etc., will send in weekly letter.

In my letter to you giving Baba's message to all concerned (about writing one letter direct to Baba) I believe I had mentioned the word "immediately." Therefore it was very surprising that though many letters have come to Him so far, a number of them were delayed in writing. Before the accident Baba asked me to make a list of names of those who had not yet written, and will later on send the list for you all.

Can't think of anything else — enough that one can think at all.

Love,
Mani

 
[Kitty] The following Circular, excerpted here, was enclosed in Mani's letter and is the first "Family Letter" by Mani, which marks the beginning of a whole new system of communication. The Family Letters begin with details of the tragic news of Baba's accident in 1956 and proceed to be the primary source of information concerning Baba throughout the next thirteen years.

 
Satara
December 5, 1956

Dear Family,
The first impact on the minds of Baba-lovers as they read the following news, or have already heard of it, must naturally be the recollection of Baba's recent words given in "The Circular Message from Baba in His Seclusion" circulated in July 1956 to all concerned in the U.S.A. referring to the personal tragedy that was to occur again. To those at Grafton, Baba said as recently as three days before the accident that the month or so before the termination of His Seclusion on the 15th February, 1957, would hold greater and concentrated suffering for Himself in which a number of His close ones would also share.

On Sunday, the 2nd of December, Baba went to Poona for a day, accompanied by Eruch, Pendu, Vishnu, and Dr. Nilkanth (better know as Nilu). At around 5:15 p.m., while returning to Satara, the accident occurred — about 14 miles from Satara at a place known as Udtara. The car was running normally and at moderate speed when it seemed to suddenly and inexplicably go completely out of control and dashed against a stone culvert, landing eventually in the ditch on the other side of it. Baba and the men were heavily injured, the most seriously being Nilu. The road was deserted of traffic and pedestrians, until three minutes later a man going to Poona sighted the wreckage and lifted Baba (and Vishnu who was the one least hurt of the occupants) into his car, retracing his journey to leave them at Grafton. A truck not long after picked up the remaining ones and brought them to Rosewood, the mandali's place. They were badly injured and immediately hospitalized, except Nilu who died without regaining consciousness. The condition of the others is not serious.

In the auto accident of 1952 in the U.S.A., Baba sustained injuries to His face and leg and arm. This time too, Baba received similar facial injuries, though not as severe as that previous time. As all concerned will be anxious to know the details of Baba's injuries, I cannot do better than to give the following extracts from a hurried report by Dr. Donkin, giving us a general idea of their extent and location: [Detailed medical description of Baba's facial injuries follows, and report continues.]

Surgical attention is now concentrated on the treatment of the hip injury. The top end of the thigh bone (the femoral head) fits into the cup-shaped depression in the pelvis, known as the acetabulum. The upper rim of the acetabulum has been fractured, the broken chip of bone being slightly displaced. Although this is very painful, there is most fortunately no fracture of the parts of the upper end of the thigh bone (e.g. the femoral neck) so often sustained in motor crashes.

A plaster cast or some type of immobilization is essential and the complete healing of the fracture will take the usual length of time. Every effort will continue to be made to give freedom from pain and to restore the hip to ultimate normality.

Baba is at Grafton under the loving care of the two ashram doctors, of Mehera and the other women and men mandali.

Baba wishes all concerned to be informed of the accident, and expressly wishes me to say that this does not in any way affect the Congregation of Easterners and Westerners to be held in India in November 1957; that it will not affect the coming Sahavas, but on the contrary will help towards it. Baba wishes all concerned in the West and East to renew their efforts with greater strength towards their coming next year, as this congregation has to take place and must take place. Baba's Love to all His lovers.

Please note: Those of you who have not yet written the direct letter to Baba and therefore no doubt soon will do so, must not in that letter refer to His accident or injuries.

When I informed Baba the news was typed and ready to be sent to the West, He gave this personal message for you all: "Do not worry; be happy. All will be well. Faithfully carry out the instructions given by Me."

Mani

 

LOVE ALONE PREVAILS, pp. 475-478, Kitty Davy
1981 © Meher Spiritual Center, Inc.

               

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