JANUARY 1957 – TO DIGEST MY BLESSING IS INFINITELY DIFFICULT.
Vishnu Chavan also came to meet Baba. Although he had been in Baba’s contact for years, Baba did not see him. In fact, none of the Poona lovers were permitted to see Baba, since he was still in seclusion. But Chavan persisted and sent word to Baba that he did not desire anything except his blessing. So, for the purpose of receiving his blessing, Baba instructed him to go to Meherabad. This episode with Chavan proved to be a profound story.
On the appointed date, Chavan went to Meherabad and then came to Meherazad, where Baba was staying. Baba warned him, “To digest my blessing is infinitely difficult. You do not understand the meaning of it. You do not know what it is. You will have to face tremendous hardships. Do you know what my grace means? You will be stripped of everything you own! You will be on the streets! Those who dare to seek and are privileged to receive my grace are stripped of everything. They have no roof over their heads. They wear only loincloths.”
Baba again warned him, “Great courage is required to assimilate my blessing. So don’t ask for it. Ask for something else.”
“I only want your blessing,” Chavan insisted.
Baba then solemnly motioned, “All right, take it. I give you my blessing.” And with it, Chavan left to return to Poona. In a short time, true to Baba’s words, he fell on very hard times and gradually life got worse and worse. Chavan was married with a few children. Some months after this meeting, he found himself homeless and penniless. For some time, he and his family lived in the local Gadge Maharaj dharamshala in Poona. After a while, they were forced to vacate, and Turekar (a policeman) took pity on them and allowed them to stay in a storeroom at his bungalow. Months passed. Chavan, unable to bear the conditions of his life brought on by Baba’s “blessing,” contemplated suicide. By chance he met Eruch on a street and disclosed what had happened to him. The news reached Baba, and Chavan was called to Guruprasad.
Chavan came and prostrated before Baba. Baba lovingly inquired about his family and then stated, “When you first came to me, I warned you that courage was needed to assimilate my blessing. You do not have that courage. Now, what do you want?”
“Baba, help me. The landlord evicted me and my family from our house and removed all our possessions. I don’t have a single paisa (penny) with me, and the children are starving.”
“All right. I will take back my blessing and give you some monetary help. But always be honest and do not forget me.” Baba asked Nariman to give Chavan a hundred rupees, and Chavan took the money and left, pleased.
The following year, when Baba was again in Poona, he asked K. K. Ramakrishnan, “Do you know Vishnu Chavan? Have you asked for or taken any money from him (for the Poona Centre work)? I know you are mad with your Centre project.”
Ramakrishnan told Baba, “Yes, I know him. He appears to be a big man now. He has gotten the job as the Bombay agent of an industrial or mercantile company and has become quite rich. He lives behind the railway station and goes everywhere by taxi. But I have not asked him for a donation. His wife sends two rupees to the Centre every month. That is all they give.”
Baba warned Ramakrishnan not to take any money from Chavan. “It is all right if you accept one or two rupees for the Centre work, but no large sum of money, even if he gives it on his own. Beware.”
Again, some time passed. One day in Guruprasad, when Maharani Shantadevi was sitting by Baba, Chavan arrived in a very sad mood. Baba instructed him in Gujarati to tell the truth and asked what was troubling him. Not really telling the truth, Chavan professed innocence and left. But soon afterwards, he was arrested and sentenced to prison for fraud. Despite having failed to follow Baba’s advice about remaining honest, Baba lovingly saw to the welfare of Chavan’s wife and children while he was in prison, and thereby Chavan learned an invaluable lesson in following the Master’s orders.
Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 15, pp. 5142 – 5143.