Symbols of the world's religions



Bhau Kalchuri

During the war years, Sai Baba would often say: "I am formless and I am everywhere. I am not this body you call Sai... I am the Supreme Soul — the entire creation. I am everything and I am in everyone. I am in saints, criminals, animals, and everything else... Nothing happens without my wish. My light is of God; my religion is Kabiri — Perfect Mastery — and my wealth lies in the blessings I alone can give."

One day while the war was going on, Sai Baba was returning from the lendi  procession when amidst sweet music his eyes fell upon a particular young man as they had never fallen on anyone else. "PARVARDIGAR!"  This single word [Preserver of Creation], with the force of oceanic sound, he uttered as the youth fell at the old fakir's feet.

Who was Sai Baba addressing? The eyes that caught hold of Sai Baba's belonged to that Zoroastrian youth who had been kissed by Babajan, enthroned by Narayan Maharaj and garlanded by Tajuddin Baba. The eyes of the youth and the eyes of the old fakir steadily gazed at each other, and the great word again came out of the old fakir's mouth, "PARVARDIGAR!"  Then for the third time the holy word sounded from the depths of the old master's Godhood as he proclaimed, "PARVARDIGAR!"  and prostrated himself before the young man.

The crowd of devotees was astonished to witness this extraordinarily significant event. Deep is its meaning, though it took place on a dusty dirt road in a poor village of Maharashtra, India, in December, 1915. As the crowd surrounded Sai Baba, the youth was pushed aside. Sai Baba returned to his seat while the youth continued wandering along the road. Our Age cried out to the crowd, but no one heard: "Don't you recognize who it is that Sai bowed to? You too will bow to him and surrender! ... Don't leave him behind! He is the ancient One!"

As the war was ending, on September 28th, 1918, Sai Baba, then eighty, was stricken with fever which lasted for two days. Afterward the old fakir would not eat; he seemed aware of his impending death. Sai Baba had an old brick which he had used as his pillow for years. One day the boy who cleaned the mosque dropped the brick and it broke in two. When Sai Baba entered the mosque, upon seeing the broken brick he exclaimed, "It is not the brick but my fate that has been broken. The brick was my lifelong companion and assisted me in my work. It was as dear to me as my life. Now that it is broken, the earthen pot of my life will also soon break."

After seventeen days with no food, Sai Baba collapsed at 2:30 in the morning and cried, "Ah, Deva!" — "Oh, God!" Then his head leaned on the shoulder of a close disciple and he breathed his last. It was October 15th, 1918, during the important Hindu holy day of Dasserah....

Oh Nameless One! Oh you who are called Sai!
How can we repay you for what you have done for us?
You brought Formless god into form and gave Him power!


LORD MEHER, 1st American ed, Vol. 1, pp. 80-83
1980 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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