Symbols of the world's religions

               

THE UNFRIENDLY WHITE HORSE

Bhau Kalchuri

 
After two horses were found, the first was brought to Sarnath for Baba's inspection. Due to Mehera's great love of horses since childhood, Baba took her to the stable at the back entrance of the property to look at the horse.

Mehera examined it closely, patting its neck and flanks, and then she picked up its foreleg and hindleg.

"Baba, he is a very nice, quiet horse," she said.

"All right, we'll see, but tomorrow there will be another horse to inspect and then you can choose between them," He replied.

The next day, the second horse was brought for inspection, but compared to the first horse, which was cream colored, this one was larger and snowy white.

Mehera examined it carefully, and after the horse was taken away by its owner, Mehera said, "Baba, I think the first horse is better. He's smaller in size, so one can control him if he's mischievous. But the second horse is rather big, and the mandali don't know how to handle horses, and it's quite a problem if a horse is spirited like this one ... But it's up to you — whichever you like."

Baba replied, "No, the men like the second horse which is snow white and handsome."

"Yes, Baba," she said, "I liked it also, but it's a bit spirited, that's all." Despite Mehera's misgivings, Baba acquiesced to the men's preference, saying, "The English barber [Donkin] can handle him. The horse seemed quiet enough. He allowed you to touch and handle him, so he will be all right." Baba would jokingly refer to doctors as barbers.

When the horse arrived, Donkin took charge of him and initially managed very well.

A few days later, the white horse was brought again and tied to a tree outside the stable, and Baba told Mehera that she must feed the horse for a day or so before they started for Hardwar. He even gave her the proportion of oats and bran for its fee-bag, which was to be put around the horse's head.

The horse, at first, was quite happy eating it, and when he was finished, he let Mehera remove the feedbag easily. After that, she gave him some water and told Mani that she would put him in the stable early. Mani helped her with that task and the horse seemed content, and they both felt quite at home with the gentle animal, enough to sit down and keep him company.

After a while, Mehera got up and told Mani that more hay and green grass were needed for the horse overnight. Mani went outside and handed the fodder to Mehera in front of the horse. As soon as Mehera put the load down, the horse began to eat again. The second time Mani handed Mehera a load, the horse started to act unfriendly by putting his ears back and baring his teeth. Mehera became very concerned, but since she did not have the strength of a man and the horse was becoming unruly, she decided that they should leave and just let the horse be.

When Baba came to the women's side later, He asked, "How is everything? Is it all right?"

"Yes, Baba," Mehera replied, "he behaved very well at first, but he is not friendly now."

Mani said, "Baba, we won't be safe. He's rather a mischievous horse."

"No, he's nice. He let you touch him this morning." At that, Baba started walking toward the stable, and when he got close to the horse, Mehera quickly stepped in between in case the horse became unruly again and endangered Him. Suddenly, the horse started to turn its back legs as if it intended to kick.

Mehera shouted, "Stop, stop. Baba! Don't go near him! See his ears? We'd better move quickly." She grabbed Baba's hand and immediately pulled Him away, and they ran out of the stable.

After that, Mehera suggested that one of the gardeners take care of the horse until Donkin returned, because she suspected the horse did not like women.

 

MEHER BABA'S NEW LIFE, pp. 223-225
2008 © Bhau Kalchuri

               

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