We sat down under a tree and heard the long story … from Eruch and the other members of the Mandali
On the 19th of November, 1968, Beloved Baba asked one of His lovers from the Ahmednagar Meher Baba Centre to cook and send for Him “Sambhar” (curry) and rice. She did so very lovingly but, after eating only two spoonfuls, Baba said, “I am full!” The Mandali was surprised as Baba would always enjoy food cooked by her. They felt that Baba’s health began to go downhill from that day. Eruch said that Baba had sent for the same curry and rice on the 19th of January, 1969, and enjoyed the meal very much. He ate it for lunch and again at dinner and practically finished all that had been sent!
On the 3rd of December, 1968, Baba got a muscular spasm while He sat on His toilet seat. This was a muscular contraction which was sudden, rapid and very painful. The Mandali noticed that Baba looked pale. He went off food, not to say that Baba ever ate much. The Mandali would often request Baba to eat well so that His body would sustain the strain of the 1969 darshan. Whenever the darshan was referred to, Baba seemed very unconcerned about it and would remark that giving darshan was not a big thing! He would always emphasize that He would give darshan. Day by day anaemia seemed to be taking a firm grip on Baba. At last, a blood report was called for and the result was shocking. Baba’s haemoglobin had dropped to 5 gms % (normal 14 gms) and His blood urea was 148 mgms % (normal 20 to 40 mgms). When the waste products of metabolism are not excreted from the body by the kidneys, the blood urea rises. Dr. Grant, a well known physician of Poona, was consulted and he could not believe his eyes on seeing the report. A second blood report was called for thinking that there had been a mistake with the first one. This wishful thinking had to be abandoned when the second report came.
Dr. Grant now decided that Baba would need a blood transfusion. The Mandali recalled that a month back when Baba had been told about Eruch’s uncle who needed a blood transfusion, Baba had jokingly said, “Why not give me a transfusion!” The Mandali had taken this remark very lightly and had hardly dreamt what Baba was referring to. One of them had even told Baba, “How can the Godman take another man’s blood?” Baba had replied, “Why not? The Godman will not change in any way if he takes human blood.” When Eruch’s uncle had to be given a second transfusion, Baba again jokingly asked why He was not being given one. Mysterious are His ways and even though broad as daylight hints were given, no one understood them. Baba was given the first blood transfusion on the 15th of December, 1968, at 7:30 a.m. Dr. Grant had come personally from Poona to attend on Baba.
After the blood transfusion, Baba’s blood was again checked. The haemoglobin had risen to 8 gms % while the urea had gone down to 90 mgms %. Baba was given a second blood transfusion on the 19th of December. (Baba’s blood group is AB1, meaning Universal recipient). Dr. Grant took Baba’s E.K.G. and said it was normal. Dr. Goher was kept on her toes day and night attending Baba and so one of the Mandali suggested to Baba to call Hoshang from Navsari. Baba replied, “Not now. He will come on his own at the right time.” Eruch suggested calling Dr. R. Ginde from Bombay. Dr. Ginde came to see Baba on the 19th of December. He says, “I saw Beloved Baba again on December 19, 1968, as by then His health had deteriorated further. Beloved Baba had become pale due to anaemia. There was swelling around his feet and ankles. He was unable to sit up. He was getting spasms of His limbs. His blood urea had gone up to 146 mgms %, Haemoglobin had gone down to 6.5 gms %. (By then He had already been given one packed cell transfusion.) Still while I was with Him, He sat up for half an hour and soon brightened up, looking almost His usual Self.”
When Dr. Hirji of Trichur came to see Baba, he did not see a single spasm. Dr. Hirji suggested that Baba be shifted to Poona and a thorough checkup be given. But Baba said that He would drop His body if He were taken to Poona!