Symbols of the world's religions



Bhau Kalchuri

Even as a Sadguru, Upasni seemingly performed penance. On the evening of December 25th, 1921, when Upasni Maharaj's devotees came to him for their usual darshan in his hut, they were shocked to find that he had locked himself inside a small cage of bamboo poles! Upasni had secretly had the cage constructed and installed when no one was around, and had entered it that day. The devotees began to weep and pressed him for an explanation, because the cage was so small — Upasni was cramped inside and could not stand.

To appease them Upasni replied: "It is the will of God that for your sake I have to confine myself. In ordinary legal transactions, a criminal can only be released if another stands surety for him. In a like manner, I stand surety for the release of all my devotees in the divine court here.

"This cage is the place for casting off all your sins! This is not an ordinary cage, it is the very ocean of bliss and whosoever dies thinking of it will, without doubt, attain the state of Mukti-Ananda (Liberation or Eternal Bliss)."

Upasni Maharaj confined himself in that bamboo cage for over thirteen months! Not once during that period did he leave. He ate (mainly bhakri and chutney), urinated and defecated, and took baths all within the narrow confines of that cage. The devotees kept the cage as clean as possible under the circumstances and attended to his needs from outside the cage. Arti was performed daily to him and was followed by devotional songs by the virgin girls that had become his kanyas — nuns. During this period, Upasni gave numerous discourses about spiritual matters from within the cage.

At last, on the evening of January 31st, 1924, he called a carpenter and ordered him to cut a hole through the bars. Upasni stepped out of the cage to the elation of his followers.


LORD MEHER, 1st ed, Vol. 1, p. 110
1980 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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