Meherabad the Hill of Celestial Light
- Hazrat Meher Baba -
In this book, I have faithfully and vividly recorded those incidents which directly relate to Hazrat Meher Baba, His devotees, near and dear ones.
I am convinced that certain incidents would not have occurred and experiences undergone had it not been for His `nazar or blessings'.
There are many other episodes which are outside the theme of this particular book of anecdotes which if included would become an autobiography. I am therefore reserving the unpublished material for the next book.
I am hopeful of completing it in the following years, with the coordination of my friends, well wishers, and ardent seekers who are anxious to read and know more about spirituality.
The book would be entitled "The Pilgrim's Quest".
I now earnestly request my publishers to widely distribute this book to enable the readers to write to me for the specific spiritual subjects which they are anxious to read, so that they would be included in the proposed book.
I was coming down the Meherabad Hill, along with my late father Ramjoo bhai.
He looked at the distant rail track, where pilgrims were getting down form the stationary train.
He immediately drew my attention that many years ago while he was coming down the hill along with Hazrat Meher Baba, he said to him that some day the train will halt here.
I got married on 11th November, 1942, Hazrat Meher Baba had come with the members of the Mandali. Everybody including the nearest relations paid close attention to him, thus the bride-groom was quietly forgotten. Baba was indeed in a good mood. He was occupying the adjoining hall in the main bungalow and was unconcerned regarding guests and invitees gathered in the pandal (shamiana) out side. He told the devotees sitting around him about the destruction of the ¾ th of the world. In the following years it was clarified through a detailed circular. However during my talk with some of the Mandali, a close Baba devotee from Australia felt that the great upheaval will occur due to geological changes but others felt that it would be a spiritual transformation; conquest of light over darkness; but some positively felt right from the beginning when they entered Hazrat Meher Baba fold that the great changes on our planet are bound to take place thus making room for New Humanity.
After the dinner Baba and Mandali left for their destination.
His visit was a memorable event for his dear and near ones.
Once a very young Swami came to Pimpalgaon Baswant, a small town near Nasik quite famous for its grapes. He was looked after by one Mr. Kamat, a govt. officer. He was introduced to me at Nasik. He looked into my face and said that by achieving mind control I could do wonders. I did not bother, but he kept on talking about his powers etc.
I particularly mentioned to him about Baba and he expressed keen desire to meet him. I asked him to give his latest photographs, which I duly posted to brother Adi K. Irani along with my introductory letter. Soon I received a reply to tell him to come after about couple of months.
Swami was happy. He afterwards left for Sakori. Stayed there in a dark room and did meditation. From there in due course of time he reached Meherabad to meet Baba.
Baba was pleased to meet him and he stayed with the Mandali at Meherabad. He was given strict instructions about his future activities and discipline to be observed during travels.
The Meherabad congregation was soon to take place and the young Swami was right there on the dais to recite "Parvardigar Prayer". However afterwards, while he was traveling from place to place he did not follow Baba's orders. Collected disciples. Boosted about his powers and ultimately got entangled with his female devotee.
The Swami who advised me about the necessity of controlling mind himself lost his and thus disappeared into oblivion.
I always in moments of solitude reflect within and remember Baba for His mercy and kindness, that although we live our ordinary lives governed by his instructions and without any paraphernalia to draw attention but indeed we are blessed than the self appointed Swamis, Bhagwans, God-men, Pirs and Peeranis. "All that glitters is not gold".
A close Baba devotee told me that Baba once said that he is taking the Mandali and devotees blind folded on the spiritual path so that they may not be lured by the powers and glittering of the planes of duality.
Their sole aim is to realize God and thus whenever hoodwink is removed by the master they will see the Light of God.
Hazrat Baba's devotees who stood by his side through thick and thin had firm conviction that whatever Baba told them about spiritual journey was real truth.
At Jabalpur, I was working as a manager of an Indian company having branches in key cities of India. My company selected a beautiful bungalow for their office. It was for the state of Madhya Pradesh. The room in the front portion was my office.
Once the owner, Mr. Abass told me that his late father Janab Tyebalo Sulemanji had invited Baba to his place of residence. Many invitees came to have Baba's darshan. He further said that Baba was seated in the same room and exactly at the same place, where presently my desk and chair was placed.
It was really astonishing to hear about this. It revived my memory. I remembered that in 1939, I came to Jabalpur. Baba instructed one of his elderly Mandali, Shri Masaji to show me a few places of the town. I had sweets with him in a small shop. I purchased a couple of beautiful earthenwares with hand carved designs, which are still retained in a glass case at Satara (Maharashtra).
I still remember that I passed along Ghantaghar, not knowing that Baba had shown me much in advance, (1939) that Jabalpur was going to be my Head Quarter from 1967 to 1977 and I was going to reside close to Ghantaghar that beautiful structure. Also the main town and the sweet meat shops reminded me of my frequent visits to Baba center at Raja Sagar Marg and many happy evenings spent with Baba lovers and sometimes partaking of sweets etc., in nearby shops. This sounds incredible but one has to experience it to believe.
The ten years spent in Jabalpur were full of activities. I was regularly speaking in public functions and often felt that Baba had sent me to Jabalpur for certain purpose. Once I addressed a gathering on the nearby hill and the programme was also broadcast. Some followers of Acharya Rajneesh of Pune participated since it was a public meeting. They were as usual wearing saffron colored robes and lockets.
After my talk, they came to me and extended invitation to visit Pune Ashram and further said that their Guru often told the same thing, which they had heard from me. I did not go to their Ashram.
Indeed Hazrat Baba's Nazar and love for me is unbounded.
It was in the same bungalow at Jabalpur, once an elderly Hindu gentleman, clad in simple dress visited me. He stood at the threshold, did Namaskar and said that in the morning he had been to the temple to pray to his Deity. Perhaps Lord Krishna and was directed to see me and convey the purpose of his visit. Saying this he quietly left. I reciprocated.
I till this day can't forget the incident and Baba's Grace and Love.
"AND I WAS GOING TO RESIDE CLOSE TO GHANTAGHAR THAT BEAUTIFUL STRUCTURE".
In 1938 I spent my holidays at Talegaon Dhabade, a well populated village near Poona, where my uncles were managing the business, namely Meher Rice & Flour Mills.
Originally the business was started by my late father Shri Ramjoobhai with Hazrat Meher Baba's blessings as far back as 1925.
At Talegaon, I suddenly became unwell, possibly due to bad water consumed by me earlier while starting from Nasik. In those days, there was no filtration plant at Nasik. Almost every year many souls were carried away by cholera and typhoid.
My fever started rising and would not reach normal. The local doctor a qualified physician treated me with best possible attention.
He finally confirmed it was typhoid and was quite correct. The fever was alarmingly rising. When it exceeded approximately 29 days, a well known physician Dr. Coyajee of Poona was requested to visit Talegaon. He came, examined me and praised the local doctor for his proper attention.
He gave him further instructions and about the line of treatment to follow and seek assistance if necessary.
However the fever was persistently high and my maternal uncle, Haji Abdulla, village Munsiff lost his patient and informed Baba that it was a 42 days typhoid fever, sure to kill the patient. He thus bypassed my father and directly informed Hazrat Meher Baba, because he felt that Ramjoobhai will not bother to disturb Baba as he had already accepted to abide by His Divine Will.
Baba, afterwards left for Talegaon with a group of Mandali. He stood by my bed-side and asked me "WHO AM I". I replied "BABA". Afterwards he left for Meherabad / Ahmednagar.
After his departure, the fever started receding slowly until it touched normal after 42 days. I started getting new skin. My handwriting changed.
Afterwards Hazrat Baba called me to Ahmednagar where he was living in a bungalow. He told those gathered around him namely my father Shri Ramjoobhai, Khan Saheb Sarosh and others that I was dying but he literally lifted me from that certain death.
During my subsequent stay Baba told me a few things about my life and future course of conduct, and also gave me certain instructions to discipline my life.
By his grace I continue to follow the instruction till today. I am now in my seventy second year. I am really fortunate to remember Him and write this article. If He wills, He can altogether change one's life.
It may be understood that God realization is not a matter of one life but it is a process well described in "GOD-SPEAKS" and "DISCOURSES".
There are many spiritual organizations in India as there are persons claiming ultimate knowledge. But except something of temporary relief from mental persuasion and tension they do not make a person absolutely confident of his `true being'. Some bring out of body experiences but in the end it is back to the same mental state. The same old world and it's problems. A life long struggle within the sphere of duality and the person lives a subjective and conditional life ever aspiring consciously or unconsciously for the light to reach him.
True salvation or God-realization is not possible without the help or Grace of a living Sadguru (Perfect Master) or unconditional surrender to the Saheb-e-Zaman because spiritually speaking you are then tied to the God-man beyond time and space and Hazrat Baba said that some day the jiv-atma must become the shiv-atma.
At lonavala (Maharastra), once Baba took His devotees to show them Tata-Hydro Electric Power House at Khopoli.
The group included Dr. Abdul Ghani Munsiff who explained to the foreign devotees about the importance of the place.
I was there at that time, but was not included in the group. Instead Baba instructed me to read the Discourses written in English.
At that time there I had just passed IV th English exam, and was not at all qualified to understand such a different spiritual literature. I tried my best and the word "CONSCIOUSNESS" became a hurdle for me to progress further. When Baba returned in the evening his first question was whether I read the "DISCOURSES". I replied : Yes Baba. "I tried my best". He further said whether I understand anything. My reply was : "very little".
In future, time again unfolded the secrets, that some day I would be addressing public meetings and explaining about Baba's teachings.
He sowed the seed in my dormant consciousness which after many years blossomed into intuitive knowledge which thrilled my listeners inasmuch that n a crowded public meeting at Jabalpur, a scholar and gold-medallist came to question me, but after the talk, he did not come forward, instead told his friends that he was profoundly satisfied.
Baba also extended deserving attention to the game of cricket.
Some of his lovers were good cricketers. Late father of Bro. Niket Kale of Jabalpur (Murli Kale) was a good player who excelled in batting.
Once he told me that he took great pleasure to hit the ball to the boundary line which sometimes rolled down the hill as the cricket field was on the top of a plateau in Panchgani, a hill station in Mahrashtra.
Once I was playing cricket at Meher Retreat, Nasik. Baba saw and came out to join us. I tried my best to capture his wicket but it was all in vain.
The next bowler was a gardener's son by name, Murlidhar Kharpas. He was a good leg break bowler. He too failed to get the wicket. Baba praised his good bowling. Within a short time, he was included in the Nasik High School team as a front-line bowler.
I too played matches in the district. Also I was fortunate enough to play cricket with Pendu Kaka at Meherabad, a well known devotee of Baba.
I was sitting before Baba and he unexpectedly asked me "WHO AM I". Thereupon I immediately searched my heart and the intuition prompted me to reply "You are the SUPREME BEING".
Truly; since childhood the very thought of Baba enabled me to confidently row the boat in the darkness of worldly life.
The distant Celestial Light coming from Meherabad Hill instilled in me courage and filled my heart with love thus strengthening my conviction that ultimately the shore will be reached.
I must say here that without the gift of love bestowed on me, the journey in the ocean of life would not have been worth while and as such I am inspired to share my joys with my readers for all time to come.
Time and space are immeasurable. They together make an unending melody like a beautiful hilly waterfall. Any effort to contain them within once life span is to strive for dreamlessness in dream. Such is the hangover which is difficult to shake off.
Past, present and future, they are three segments or aspects of an experience called time which in itself is a reflection of Reality. In order to get either intuitive knowledge or even realize this mystery one should make sincere efforts to reach the center without slightest mental reservation since circumference is equidistant from the center. The master is the center. Going to Baba, remaining in His presence and seeking Him from cradle to the grave should be our sole concern.
Even if today we can't have his physical darshan or deedar; he is not away from our hearts. Look within and you will find Him.
During infancy, Dr. Bivalker of Lonavala suggested some treatment since I had blue eyes which was unusual. The doctor was right and as I grew up, within a couple of years the colour of the eyes turned to normal. After some years my aunt took me to Meherabad. In those days Baba always enquired about the welfare of the family. He instructed my aunt to wash my eyes twice a day to prevent eye infection.
The above incident reminds me that how fortunate were those people who could get such opportunities to meet Baba and discuss about so many things in a family way.
Baba demanded strict obedience to his orders and yet he was kind and loving to pardon those who failed to do so.
We were living in a nice house at Nasik. The entire ground floor was occupied by us. It was known as Chakrapani Bhuvan. In recent years, it was demolished being the result of rapid urbanization.
My maternal uncle, Ahmed a young man and a restless person by nature was quite eager to offer unasked for advice as also suggestions regarding personal and business matters.
In those days Nasik was Baba's Head Quarters and His devotees often had the rare fortune of having their place visited by Baba. Sometimes His visit would be unannounced which took the inmates by surprise. For instance, suppose a person was found taking green chilies or hot pickles, He might say "Don't eat hereafter" and in obedience to his order, the person would give up eating his favorite thing from that moment.
On one such occasion, Baba visited our place and Ahmed no sooner realized the situation, left quietly the place from the rear door. Afterwards I asked him about his strange behavior. He quite frankly admitted that he was bound to receive some orders and as he was unfit to obey him, he had to bear a hasty retreat.
After many years, Ahmed saw Baba's car at a petrol pump in Satara. He came close to the car and did "Adaab", respectfully saluting Baba.
He told Baba that, "Nowadays, I am following the teachings of Lord Zoroaster". Baba smiled and afterwards told some of his dear ones, how cleverly Ahmed tried to impress him.
A group of devotees on Meherabad Hill with Hazrat Meher Baba. Ahmed is standing on the right.
The New Life of Baba brought about many changes and those who were used to the old ways, were awoken from deep sleep because the order of the day was "Each one for himself and God for all".
I started my small business at Nasik, to sustain my family. I was hiring out tractors for ploughing fields in the districts. The business did not yield any profits and it was gradually sinking. I started dealing in old automobiles, oils and auto-parts but it would not click.
Once I went to Poona by road. It was a desperate bid to fix a deal. While going towards Poona, suddenly a car from the opposite direction passed by. It was to my utter surprise, I saw Khansaheb Sarosh driving the car and Baba was seated next to him. It gave me great relief. I felt, "He has not forsaken his near ones even in New Life".
The downward trend continued and the situation became worse. One day I was in the shop along with my younger brother. The business presented the picture of helplessness and hopelessness. My senses had become so dull that I could not realize the importance of the event.
Bro. Aga Baidul suddenly came and showed me the rubber bag used for fomentation. He wanted to get it vulcanized since it leaked. I immediately sent my younger brother Meherahmed to the nearby vulcanizer but he found it irrepairable so I returned it to him.
The next day my elder brother Dadoo told me that he saw Baba in the car on Agra road and then I suddenly remembered that Baba was passing through Nasik on Mast tour in his New Life, and when Aga Baidul came, his car was quite close to the shop. I said to myself how unfortunate I was to loose such an opportunity of timely service.
I profoundly felt that no matter how lost one may feel but he is always there to awaken you form the deep sleep of ignorance.
Once I was sitting before Baba. I was holding an open History Book. Baba looked at the page and pointed to the picture of Baba Shri Nanak Dev. He said to me in his sign language about the greatness of the divine personality. At that time I could not realize the importance of his esoteric words, except that Baba always expressed great love for Divine Beings.
After about twenty five years I was posted as a manager of a British factory in Punjab and destiny enabled me to visit the Golden temple where I remained for sometime and felt the spiritually charged atmosphere of the holy place and also partook of the delicious `prasad'.
I also got the opportunity to visit some places of pilgrimage namely `Anandpursaheb' and also the `Takhat' the sacred place on Mandi Road, where one the Gurus stayed for some days.
The visitors interested in seeking light and guidance, often consulted the Holy Book. As it was customary, attendant himself suggested me to read the message after he opened the Book. I pointed out to a particular line and requested him to translate for me. Surprisingly it answered "follow your Guru implicitly".
After about few years, I came to Jabalpur. It is an important spiritual place. Baba Sri Nanak Dev visited this town and himself built the Gurudwara.
It is in Jabalpur, when a Sardar Saheb who was a gold medallist of the Punjab university and was a scholar of History delivered a talk to the Rotary Club on the Life & Teachings of Baba Sri Nanak Dev, and the senior members requested me to propose the vote of thanks.
The reaction was rewarding. The speaker, audience and the fellow Rotarians, all were extremely pleased to hear the spiritual substance of my brief speech which even the learned speaker forgot to emphasize.
Come what may, He is with you. Baba Sri Nanak Dev said, "when my five loved ones gather and remember me, I am always there".