Symbols of the world's religions



Bhau Kalchuri

In August, 1947, India was divided into two countries, Bharat and Pakistan. Because of religious strife between Hindus and Muslims, the border districts were flooded with refugees, many of whom were evacuated to refugee camps in the interior of the country. One such camp was established in Visapur, not far from Ahmednagar. The inmates were truly destitute, for they had been forced to flee precipitously from their homes in what was now Pakistan, and they had no material possessions in the world apart from what they had been able to carry with them.

Since the time of His most recent trip to the West in 1937, Baba had been travelling about India intensively, contacting masts and organizing many programmes for the poor and other afflicted persons. This continued through the period of disturbances immediately after the Partition. On one occasion while he was back in Ahmednagar for several days to arrange for a programme there, several prominent political leaders from Ahmednagar district approached Him. "Baba," they said, "you've done much charitable work on behalf of the poor. These refugees in Visapur have lost everything. Why don't you arrange a programme for them?" Baba agreed, but He laid down a condition: The refugees who attended the programme must not know who it was that was serving them.

The political leaders quickly agreed to this, though, the truth to be said, they did not take Baba's condition seriously. When they talked the matter over among themselves they concluded that, whatever Baba might have told them, He would be pleased if He was greeted by the cry, "Sadguru Meher Baba Ki Jai!" In accordance with Baba's directive, truckloads of grain, clothes, and other supplies arrived at Visapur, and Baba Himself followed, travelling with a few mandali. As soon as His car drove into the camp, the crowd of refugees, as they had been instructed by the political leaders, shouted out, "Sadguru Meher Baba Ki Jai!"

As soon as Baba heard this, His mood was spoiled; far from being pleased and flattered by the crowd's adulation, He looked disappointed. The smiling radiance and beauty that He usually rayed forth on these occasions was nowhere to be seen. He stood there among the crowds for several minutes, and then, asking the political leaders to see to the distribution of the grain, clothes, and money, left and drove back to Ahmednagar. He did not wash the feet of the refugees, nor did He bow down to them, nor did He give them dev dakshina with His own hands. To be sure, the refugees got the grain and money; but because of the political leaders' disregard for the condition that Baba had laid down, the real gift was ungiven.

Baba is the One who exists, and none exists apart from Him. As Conscious God, He serves, and as Unconscious God in everyone and everything, He accepts His own service. As the Highest of the High, He does not work for name and fame, thus He draws a veil over His true identity. If those whom Baba served had recognized Him as the Avatar, they would have hesitated before allowing Him to bow to them and wash their feet, and thus the flow of His love from Himself to Himself would have been obstructed.

It is true that Baba would bow down to His own mandali members who not only recognized Him as God incarnate but had offered their very lives to Him, and on occasion He would even ask them to spit on Him or beat Him with their shoes. But this He did to underscore the importance of obedience. Whatever He wanted from them they should do without a second thought. How is it possible to understand His ways? Beloved Baba is altogether beyond understanding, and he who tries to understand only misunderstands. It is sufficient simply to follow Him with all love without using the stupid intellect.


1995 © Meherana


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