During July, (1957) the impending sahavas congregation was discussed, and Pendu became the target of Baba’s arrows – taunts and criticisms. Although he was still unable to walk unassisted, Baba was often criticizing Pendu for not paying full attention to all the necessary arrangements which had to be made for the sahavas.
One day, Baba called Pendu, Padri, Vishnu and Donkin to Meherazad to discuss the sahavas. He was in a serious mood that day. Pendu stumbled into the hall, and Baba scolded him, “Have you any idea of how much pain I have? How much I suffer? And still, I see to every small detail. You remain lying in bed and have nothing to do all day long. This time, I, myself, will look after all the arrangements and will not require your help. Go on, relax at Meherabad; this time, you won’t be given any work.”
Pendu burst out weeping, but it did not stop Baba’s onslaught, and he castigated him further. Distraught, Pendu returned to Meherabad with the others. When he began weeping, Jim also had tears in his eyes over Pendu’s pitiable condition. But after Pendu left, Baba corrected Jim with a smile, “To bestow the greatest mercy, I have to act in the cruelest way. I have to be cruel to be kind.”
In fact, this was Baba’s normal, everyday attitude toward the mandali, and they endured it out of their love for him. Baba’s stinging taunts and reproaches were like fodder for the mandali. The paradox was that, although his teasing and abuses were not welcome, had they been absent, it would not have pleased them either. Sometimes, Baba would outwardly be indifferent to some of the mandali – not scolding them about anything, not giving them instructions – and this was much worse. It was like a death for them. They could not bear his indifference and were restless, unable to eat, sleep or think straight. How can I describe this life with the Master? This life with the Master, it cannot be understood by the mind. It requires the complete surrenderance of the heart.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 15, pp. 5205 – 5207.