Baba arrived in Meherabad at 7:40 A.M., on November 12th. The sahavas group was standing on the roadside a furlong ahead, and no sooner was Baba’s car seen coming, than thunderous shouts of his praise rent the air. Almost everyone carried costly garlands, and on Baba’s entering the hall, the usual garlanding and embracing began, in the midst of which Baba would interject some humorous remarks.
“Embrace me gently,” he gestured to one man, “else you will fracture my ribs!”
To a stout, roly-poly gentleman, he teased, “Why do you look so weak?”
Dr. Dhanapathy was at the time about seventy years old, and Baba joked with him, “You look so much younger than when we last met. What’s your secret?”
Thus, much cheerfulness and good humor prevailed. Baba’s humor was like an elixir and it kept his lovers’ hearts always receptive to him.
Pandoba came with Adi Sr. He recited a poem in English praising Baba’s divinity and invoking his mercy, and then bowed down. Baba reminded him about his instructions not to bow to him or touch his feet. Baba introduced Pandoba to the audience as one of his old lovers of the Prem Ashram days.
Kuppuswami appeared in a saffron-colored kafni, and Baba inquired, “Since when have you begun wearing a kafni?”
He replied, “It is only for this occasion.”
Baba replied, emphasizing, “We should cleanse our hearts with this color not merely wear it outwardly.”
Dhanapathy introduced some newcomers, and Baba asked, “Has your voice changed?”
Someone shouted back, “He is wearing new dentures!”
Introducing two or three new people from Malabar who had not brought garlands, Krishnaji criticized them, “These people are not religiously-minded and do not realize the importance of garlanding one such as yourself.”
Baba sharply replied, “I am not religious myself, as in the whole universe I alone exist!”
Others who had not brought garlands were feeling rather remorseful. Smiling, Baba remarked, “There are piles of garlands here. Whoever has not brought a garland should choose one from among them, and garland me.” They were happy and garlanded Baba accordingly.
Baba inquired as to who had not slept the previous night, and advised those present to go immediately to either Nilu or Padri on the first signs of a cold appearing.
“Since you are to remain here for a few days,” he said, “you should take proper care of your health and think of me only. You have five days to stay with me. Let us all feel at home. Forget everything family, home, job, status and be with me as much as possible. Forget all difficulties and worries completely. And don’t think about your home when you are here.”
Baba inquired if all had read the Directions, and all replied affirmatively. “While the Gujarati group was here, they felt at home. There were no spiritual discourses. What Baba explained to them will be explained to you and also to the groups to come. Ramjoo is working on the notes.
“We have bodies, and they are subject to all sorts of ailments. Those who have realized the Self and do not come down to normal consciousness are immune from such bodily disturbances. Baba is suffering from a cold. Because I have come down to gross consciousness, I am subject to bodily suffering. Don’t feel shy about your sickness, but bring it to the notice of the doctors concerned. When I, myself, suffer from a cold, what about you?”
Baba asked Manikyalarao, “Why do you look so weak?”
Manik replied, “I didn’t sleep last night.”
“When I asked those who were indisposed to stand, why didn’t you stand up?”
“I did not want to complain about something so small, like an old fogey!”
“With the body comes suffering. It is natural. Even the Avatar suffers. At first the Westerners could not understand how the Avatar could be affected by suffering. (Baba had the incident in England repeated when he was made to stand in the severe cold in thin clothes, and how the Westerners thought he, being the incarnation of God, could not catch any illness.) Gradually, I explained to them about my Avatarhood [being truly human], and now their understanding has deepened.”
Baba recalled his accident in 1952: “After my automobile accident in America, my leg was put in plaster. No one for a moment ever wondered why, being the Avatar, I could not avoid the collision. Or whether I did not know about it in advance. On the contrary, they remained steadfast in their love.
“Don Stevens saw me in America at that time. He, too, had no thought as to why the Avatar should get injured. Krishna died from an arrow wound in his leg. Is it a fact? Yes, it is.”
Baba asked Don Stevens, “Did you ever think about why my leg was in plaster?”
Don said, “I didn’t think about your leg, but I often wondered if you were who you said you were!”
Baba proceeded to explain:
I say on my divine authority that I am the Only One pervading everything the Only One in creation. Do not treat these as mere words from a learned man or a philosopher. You are wasting your time in shouting “Jai!” so often. Five days ago, when Godavri Mai came from Sakori, I said the same thing. I am the Ancient One, the Only One, and she should always repeat my name, think of me, remember me. I tell the same thing not only to you all, but also to saints and advanced souls on the Path.
A saint of Bombay named Kammu Baba, who deeply loves and reveres me, has written a letter requesting me to free him of all burden and take him near me. I replied to his message, by saying he should repeat my name constantly and should not forget to take it when he drops his body. When I say I am the Only One, I mean it.
Christ also said the same thing when he said, “I and my Father are One!”
What is this “I?”
The difference between the “I” of the Ancient One and of you all is that the first “I” is free of all bindings, whereas your “I” is bound. What else can I say? I am THAT and I have to declare it. All else is illusion. After a hundred years or so, you all will drop your bodies, but still you will be there. Don’t think about your body, think only about me, and just before you drop the body take my name. What you see of me physically is not what I am. You have yet to see my Real Self. When you see it, you will be free from all bindings. One in a million can have a glimpse of me, and one out of the millions realizes me.
Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 13, pp. 4709 – 4712.
The Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India are the copyright holders of all of Meher Baba’s messages, discourses and photographs, unless otherwise stated.