Symbols of the world's religions



Mehera J. Irani

On Baba's 31st birthday in February 1925 we were to get up at around 2 a.m., but at that hour I could not open my eyes. "What's happening, please?" I asked when awakened. "Hurry, Mehera, get up. It's Baba's birthday!" the girls told me. "Oh, yes, Baba's birthday," I remembered, and I jumped out of my bedding and quickly got ready.

It is our tradition to make pretty designs with powdered coloured chalk on the ground at the entrance of the house, and to hang freshly-made garlands over the doorway on special occasions. So in the early, early morning I helped with the chalk designs and made the garland for the doorway.

In 1925 Baba's birthday was celebrated down the Hill. As I have said, in those days the Hill was out-of-bounds, and no one was allowed to cross the railway line.

Baba had His bath quite early, and then my sister's husband, Rustom, picked Him up in his arms and carried Him to a chair. Baba looked so sweet with His beautiful hair loose, but it was cold at that hour of the day and He must have been feeling chilly after taking a bath and then sitting in the open with just a thin sadra on. Someone, realising this, put a shawl around Baba.

Handfuls of people from Ahmednagar, Arangaon, and Poona had gathered at Meherabad for Baba's birthday, and each one wanted to wash Baba's feet. A big basin was placed under His feet, and the men's turn was first. One by one they poured a little water on Baba's feet, and then touched them. Baba was gesturing, "Hurry, hurry." He did not want people to make a fuss about taking His darshan and kissing His feet. He always wanted everything to be fast. And Baba sat in the cold and allowed this, because His devotees wanted to wash His feet and to celebrate His birthday.

Then the women were called. So we girls, one by one, poured water on Baba's feet and lightly touched them. Some splashed the water that had touched Baba's feet on their faces and their eyes. For the first time Baba allowed us to wash His feet on His birthday.

MEHERA, pp. 79-80
1989 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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