REMINISCENCES, part 3:
MERWAN, YOU ARE THE AVATAR
When I came near enough to him, Maharaj greeted me, so to speak, with a stone which he threw at me with great force. It struck me on my forehead exactly where Babajan had kissed me, hitting with such force that it drew blood. The mark of that injury is still on my forehead. But that blow from Maharaj was the stroke of dnyan (Marefat of Haqiqat, or divine knowledge).
Figuratively, Maharaj had started to rouse me from "sound sleep". But in sound sleep man is unconscious, while I, being superconscious, was wide awake in sound sleep. With that stroke, Maharaj had begun to help me return to ordinary consciousness of the realm of illusion.
That was the beginning of my present infinite suffering in illusion which I experience simultaneously with my infinite bliss in reality. But it took me seven years of acute struggle under Maharaj's active guidance to return completely to, and become established in, normal human consciousness of the illusion of duality, while yet experiencing continuously my superconsciousness.
The more normally conscious I became, the more acute my suffering grew. For years therefore I continued to knock my head frequently on stones. That was how I eventually lost all my teeth, for through the constant knocking they became prematurely loose. This also resulted in a wound which was constantly fresh, and therefore I always used to keep a colored handkerchief tied around my forehead.
The more I returned to worldly normality the more impatient my mother became to see me settled into the routine of life. To satisfy her I joined the Kan (Kavasji) Khatan theatrical company as its manager (1916) and traveled with the show to Lahore.
Several years later, after becoming almost three-fourths normally conscious while retaining full superconsciousness, I went to Sakori and stayed for six months (July-December, 1921) near Maharaj. At the end of this period Maharaj made me know fully what I am, just as Babajan had made me feel in a flash what I am.
During those six months Maharaj and I used to sit near each other in a hut behind closed doors almost every night. On one such occasion Maharaj folded his hands to me and said, "Merwan, you are the Avatar and I salute you".
For about four months after this (January-May, 1922) I stayed in a small jhopdi (thatched nut). It was built for me temporarily on the edge of some fields in the very thinly populated area of what is now the Shivajinagar area of Poona. In this manner I began to live independently, surrounded by men who formed the nucleus of the mandali. One of these was the first to start addressing me as "Baba" [literally "compassionate father"].
Some of the men were drawn intuitively to me long before they had any clear idea of my inner state. Others were attracted to me by hints from Babajan and Maharaj. And still others I drew directly to me.
At that time both Babajan and Maharaj began telling various people, referring to me, that "The child is now capable of moving the whole world at a sign from his finger." Once (May, 1922) Maharaj addressed a large gathering of the mandali and said, "Listen to me most carefully. I have handed over my key (spiritual charge) now to Merwan, and henceforth you are all to stick to him and do as he instructs you. With God's grace you will soon reach the goal." Still others, Maharaj asked individually to follow me.
LISTEN, HUMANITY, Appendix II, pp. 249-250, ed. D. E. Stevens
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