Symbols of the world's religions



Bhau Kalchuri

On September 10th, 1922, a white pigeon flew into the Manzil. The bird looked ill and exhausted and, when an attempt was made to catch it, it was easily trapped. The bird was taken to Meher Baba, who lovingly held and caressed it. But it was so sick it was unable to walk.

It was exceptionally beautiful, and Baba looked after it the whole night. The next day, he told the men that despite his care the pigeon had died. He had been up three times during the night to nurse it. He told all the men to come and see the bird, for it had died in a peculiar position — on its legs with its head bent — as if offering namaskar (salutations).

Baba then posed this question to the mandali, "Tell me how this pigeon suddenly happened to be here and then, just as suddenly, died?" As no one could reply, he explained, "Do you remember sometime ago when I told you that I would be receiving an important message from Babajan? This pigeon has come from her with that message. The importance of the message can well be imagined and gauged in that soon after delivering the heavy burden, the pigeon died."

Thereafter, Baba himself dug a hole in the backyard of the Manzil and buried the bird. The grave was made in the form of a small tomb which was covered with a green sheet (according to Muslim burial rites) as flowers were strewn over it. He then wrote the following ghazal in Persian dedicated to this bird:

Oh Pigeon! I accepted you as my honored guest
     Because you had come from the Emperor!
But what a guest you were!
     By obeying the Emperor's orders,
     you became the dust of his feet.
No one knew from where you came, or why.
     But your coming portends our departure.
You came to annihilate your life of duality in illusion
     And now you won't be born again,
     as if you had never suffered.
What a message you brought from the Emperor!
     The importance of it cost you your life!
Oh God! What a wonderful game
     You are playing behind the veil!
Though You are ever-manifest, your game is a riddle
     to those who have eyes but are blind.
Royal Pigeon, you have become a saint!
     You now are buried at Manzil-e-Meem
     and Merwan kisses your feet in reverence.


LORD MEHER, 1st ed, Vol. 2, pp. 404-405
1987 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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