Symbols of the world's religions



Bhau Kalchuri

In Meherabad, as I mentioned before, there has always been the problem of water shortage. At the time of this particular story there were nearly five hundred people staying at the ashram. To alleviate the water problem Rustom asked Baba for permission to dig another well, and Baba agreed.

Rustom hired all the necessary equipment, but in spite of drilling to a great depth no water was found. He persisted with great effort in the work but without success, and he became quite disappointed. Now it so happened that at this same time a dejected man from a nearby village came to Baba and complained, "Baba, I have incurred a great debt digging a well, but still I have not found water — even at a depth of forty feet! How will I ever be able to pay back my loan? Only if some water is found will I be able to maintain my crops and provide for my family, as well as pay back the money." Considering his pitiable condition Baba consoled him and said, "Go five feet deeper and you will get water!"

The man gratefully bowed before Baba and left. Baba then turned to the mandali, and pretending ignorance, said, "Today I have made a mistake in telling that man to go five feet deeper! If he does not strike water, what will he think of Me? He will hold Me responsible. I don't know how I could have made such a mistake! I don't know why I said such a thing! When we can't find water, how can I expect him to?"

After a week, however, the same man, along with several others from his village, returned to Meherabad, bringing with them the various articles traditionally used for performing arti. With obvious joy the man exclaimed, "Baba, with Your blessing I have struck water!" He then sang Baba's Arti with great devotion, and after receiving prasad he and his friends departed.

Immediately after they had gone Rustom shouted, "Baba, if he got water, why can't we find it?" Baba replied, "I have done nothing for him. Only because of his faith in My word has he succeeded."

Rustom retorted, "But Baba, this is Your well!"

"That is the reason we don't get water," explained Baba. "Besides Myself there is none in whom I can have faith to produce water!"

"But we have faith in You," insisted Rustom.

"Yes, you do have faith in Me, but that man's faith brought him success."

Rustom felt hurt. "Does that mean that his faith in You is greater than ours?"

Just to tease him Baba jokingly replied, "I don't know about that, but I do know that he reaped the fruits of his faith."

At that Rustom became even more upset, so finally Baba explained to him. "I have trust in you, and I know that whether we strike water or not, your faith in Me will remain the same. But that man's faith doesn't count, because it is connected only with whether or not he gets water. Had he not found water, he would no longer have faith in Me. This the difference between you and him — that man I cannot trust, but I can trust you."

Hearing this, Rustom was very pleased and felt reassured. Only when a disciple remains faithful to his Master under all circumstances — favorable or otherwise — can he be said to possess real faith!

1985 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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