IN DECEMBER 1943, an Irani came to Meherabad and wanted to place five hundred rupees at Baba’s feet. Baba did not accept the money, but the man entreated him again; so Baba motioned to him to give it to Eruch, remarking, “You, Eruch, have to hand over this amount to a family who is very poor, but who cannot beg. You will come to know the whereabouts of such a family in a natural way.”
Baba had agreed to give darshan in Poona at the end of December, and Eruch was sent there in advance. Eruch had had no time to look for such a family in Ahmednagar, but when he went to Poona, taking the five hundred rupees with him, he began his search. One day, he was sitting in a shop sipping sugar cane juice. He overheard some of the other customers talking among themselves. One said, “What wonder of God that the very rich have become the very poorest, and the very poorest have become the very richest.”
The shopkeeper nodded in agreement and said, “I know of a man in Bhor who is most faithful. Before, he had a good job as a head-clerk, but he was fired from his job. He was not afraid to pursue justice, and had a reputation for being absolutely honest. His superior, who would always accept bribes, was jealous of him and somehow downgraded him, making him a pauper. The poor man has two daughters of marriageable age, but he is now penniless, without proper food and clothing.”
After the customers left, Eruch took down the man’s name and address and went to the town of Bhor. When he reached the house and saw the family in their miserable condition, his heart reached out to them. The daughters wore tattered clothing, and their abode was a dilapidated shack. Seeing Eruch, the daughters were afraid, as he was dressed in khaki, and they thought he was a military officer or policeman. One daughter burst out, “We have done nothing wrong; for God’s sake, leave us alone.”
Eruch calmed her, “Don’t be afraid; I have come to help you. My elder brother has sent me to give you aid.”
The other daughter pleaded, “My father is unemployed. He is out at the moment but will return at night. Please come tomorrow as we won’t be able to pay the debts.”
“I have not come to collect any debts,” Eruch tried to explain. “I have come to present him with a gift from my elder brother. Please tell your father to be here tomorrow.”
Eruch returned to Poona, and the next day went back to Bhor where he met the father. He informed him of his mission and the man asked, “Who has sent you?”
Eruch could not reveal Baba’s name. “By the guidance of God, my elder brother has sent me. Oblige us by accepting the money.” Eruch then touched the man’s feet according to Baba’s instructions, and handed him the money.
The man wept and disclosed, “Had you not come today, I would not have been alive tomorrow. I had decided to commit suicide. How long am I to continue carrying the load of these marriageable girls when I am up to my neck in debt? You can see for yourself our condition. We badly need clothes and other goods. But God is the Ocean of mercy! It is for our own good that He has kept us this way.” Folding his hands to the devout man, Eruch left.
Such was the All-Merciful One’s play!
He is the Protector and nothing is hidden from him!
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol.8, pp. 2930 – 2931.