Symbols of the world's religions



Bal Natu

There were many people waiting for Baba outside Dr. Dhanapathi Rao's and, in their enthusiasm to receive Baba, they swept forward to garland Him before He entered the house. Although Baba had not slept at all the previous night and had spent most of it driving back and forth, He lovingly allowed Himself to be garlanded and even permitted those who so wished not only to bow down to Him but also to touch His feet as well. This unexpected permission was indeed Baba's birthday gift to those who were fortunate enough to be there.

Baba then quickly walked into Dhanapathi's house with the mandali, KDRM and a few of the local Baba lovers. As the house was not big enough to accommodate everyone assembled there, Baba instructed that the doors be closed after His party entered.

Even so the room where Baba took His seat was packed to capacity, while those outside clustered around the open windows so they too could have a glimpse of Baba, the most beautiful One. The auspicious moment of the Baba's birth drew near and Baba stood up and asked Eruch to read the Prayer of Repentance which He had dictated in November 1952:

Om Parabrahma Paramatma! Ya Yazdan! La ilaha illallah! O God, Father in Heaven!

We repent, O God Most Merciful, for all our sins; for every thought that was false or unjust or unclean; for every word spoken that ought not to have been spoken; for every deed done that ought not to have been done.

We repent for every deed and word and thought inspired by selfishness, and for every deed and word and thought inspired by hatred.

We repent most specially for every lustful thought and every lustful action; for every lie, for all hypocrisy; for every promise given but not fulfilled; and for all slander and backbiting.

Most specially also, we repent for every action that has brought ruin to others; for every word and deed that has given others pain; and for every wish that pain should befall others.

In Your Unbounded Mercy, we ask You to forgive us, O God! For all these sins committed by us and to forgive us for our constant failures to think and speak and act according to your Will. Amen!

Ramjoo and Dhake then read the Urdu and Marathi translations. Even those outside the house stood in rapt silence as the prayers were read out. When that was over, Baba sat down and, with a look expressing both majesty and divine authority, conveyed:

I have asked God, whoever He may be, to forgive you for all your weaknesses. From today, try to be honest in your thoughts, words and deeds. Henceforth, you are responsible for your own actions.

This birthday gift of forgiveness which Baba bestowed on all the participants was an act of His grace and, at the same time, it extended an invitation to His lovers to begin to please God, from that moment on, through their every thought, word and deed.

It also serves as a call to His lovers today. For every day in our life with Meher Baba, we can partake of this birthday gift by offering the same prayer. As we do so, it is helpful to have a picture of Meher Baba, the Avatar, before us. Any of His pictures acts as a gateway to the Infinitude of His Being. And when we pray with all sincerity, our prayer becomes a love-line through which flows the Avatar's unconditional love and compassion.

Meher Baba as the Avatar is infinitely more eager to help, guide and forgive us, than we are to confess our weaknesses to Him and to ask for His help. So, as we repeat the prayer after glorifying His divine names, His clemency and companionship descend upon us. And this simple act of self offering becomes a praise-filled way of rededicating our lives anew to Him. A life lived just for Him is a joyous celebration which culminates, eventually, in dying in Him — the One beyond births and deaths.

Now, Dr. Dhanapathi and members of his family came forward and were granted the unique privilege of washing Baba's feet with panchamruta (literally: five nectars; in this case represented by honey, ghee, milk, curds and coconut water). When this was complete, Baba remarked that it was the first time since February 1937 that He had allowed His feet to be so washed. Then with His characteristic humor, Baba added that His feet should now be washed clean with plain water lest ants be attracted to the sweetness of the panchamruta and bite Him. Eruch and Gustadji washed Baba's feet again, with water this time.


1987 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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