Experiences of Ramesh Jangale with Meher Baba
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
“My name is Ramesh Laxman Jangale. I was born in 1952. My father Laxman Jangle, joined as a bazar master, somebody who is involved in buying groceries, bank work and meeting the needs of the mandali. He used to initially go with Vishnu master and they had this horse tonga which he would ride to Ahmednagar and do the work allocated to him. He never really knew anything about Meher Baba. He needed a job and got this opportunity and took it up. We are originally farmers and my grandfather’s financial condition was not good, in fact he was poor. My father’s uncle was an Ayurvedic doctor in Ahmednagar. He brought my father to Ahmednagar after my father passed his seventh standard or grade and thereafter came to Ahmednagar, where he studied in an ashram school. The rules of the ashram school were that he had to go, on and off, to beg for food from five houses. Turn by turn the students would beg from five houses for a one-time meal. That was his life. His uncle enrolled him there. He studied there till the eleventh standard and then my father got married at the age of fourteen. My mother was ten years old.”
“Oh that’s young!”
He began to laugh.
“Yes, those days they used to marry very early. My father studied here in Ahmednagar but still did not know of Meher Baba.”
“How old was he when he joined Meher Baba?”
“He was born in 1915 and he joined Meher Baba in 1938. So around twenty-three years old. Now when he was in the ashram school my father used to do marketing or shopping for the school kids. In 1938 when Baba was here in Meherabad, Baba’s ashram was growing, more and more mandali members were joining. Vishnu master was doing the marketing during those days. One day Vishnu master requested Baba that he needed an assistant. He told Baba, ‘Work is growing and there are so many things required separately for the women mandali, men mandali, bank work, so if I have an assistant it will be a big relief for me’. Baba told Vishnu master to go ahead. So, Vishnu master asked Baba if he could place an advertisement in the newspaper. When he went to the newspaper office to place the advertisement, he met his friend who was the newspaper owner’s son. Vishnu master’s friend told him that, ‘I will publish this advertisement in the newspaper but if you don’t mind, one of my friends, was doing marketing for our ashram and I will send him a letter and request him to join your ashram,’ to which Vishnu master agreed. My father had gone to visit his own father and he got this letter and he showed his father the letter and all were very happy that he was offered a job that too so close to Ahmednagar. But the problem was to reach Meherabad from Chalisgaon, the fare was three rupees and he did not have the money. My father asked around and three days later he managed to borrow three rupees from his school friend. He assured his friend that the moment he got his first salary he would repay him.
“Vishnu master used to frequent a particular medical shop in Ahmednagar and sit there and do all his calculations and accounts. He called my father to that shop. The next day, the appointment was set at eight in the morning. Those days, every morning, Baba would leave upper Meherabad and would come to lower Meherabad and meet those people who wanted to meet Him and He would meet Vishnu master to go through the accounts. Baba through gestures would ask ‘what happened yesterday…what did you spend…on what….how much money is left…what is the plan for today…?’ ”
“Baba used to take interest in all these mundane things too?”
“Yes! He used to ask about everything. Every paisa was to be accounted for. He never touched money, but He used to take proper accounts for every paisa and rupee spent. Thus, Vishnu master took my father to meet Baba and introduced him to Baba. Baba asked my father about his family and education. My father said he had studied till the eleventh standard. Baba asked him, ‘do you want to study further?’ My father said yes, he wanted to study further. Baba told him, ‘if you want to study further go to a school. What is your priority, going to a school or doing a job?’ My father said he wanted to work. Baba spoke through the alphabet board those days. Then Baba asked him about where would he stay and with whom, my father replied saying that he was married. Baba through the alphabet board said, ‘okay but you cannot bring your wife here. You will have to stay with all the men mandali here. There is no space for you with a family’. Those days families were living only at the family quarters. My father agreed to everything. Then Baba looked at him and said, ‘whatever work is allotted to you, you have to do it properly and I will give you twenty rupees every month for your work’. My father readily agreed.
“He started work from the next day with Vishnu master. Slowly as Vishnu master got confident in my father’s ability the work was divided. Women mandali’s work was handled by Sidhuji master and the men mandali’s work my father began to do with Vishnu master. Vishnu master told my father that, ‘all these mandali members are from good families. They have left everything and come into Baba’s fold. You have to be very respectable. They may seem like ordinary people but they all are educated and from good families, now serving Baba. Also, their temperaments are very different. You have to be very polite and nice to them’. My father was a young man and he agreed to everything.
In 1939 when Baba went to Bangalore, my father also went along with Him and the mandali. There too my father would do all the marketing work as well as receive Baba’s lovers from the station and do whatever was required to be done.”
“He must have interacted with Baba daily?”
“Yes. Also, he learnt and understood who Meher Baba truly was from the mandali and the people who would come to meet Baba. He began to read some of Baba’s books, messages, leaflets too. One day, still when in Bangalore, he received a letter from my grandfather. The letter stated that ‘now you are in Meherabad and you seem to be liking your work and enjoying yourself but your wife is with me, and it is a burden for me to take care of such a young girl. Take your wife with you’. My father immediately showed that letter to Baba, saying, ‘this letter has come from my father, what should I do?’ Baba through the alphabet board said, ‘okay, when we go back to Meherabad, remind me’. When they reached Meherabad, my father once again went to Baba. Baba through gestures and the alphabet board said, ‘go ahead and bring your wife here but you cannot stay here in the ashram. You will have to stay in Arangaon village or some other place’. The day my mother came to stay with my father, Baba on His own increased my father’s salary to forty rupees, from twenty rupees.
“Valu bai who had given land to Baba to build family quarters and who was working with the women mandali, had a small house there. My parents stayed there for about a year and half and when one staying quarter got empty then Baba told my father that he could stay with my mother here in the family quarters. When they arrived to the family quarter, their neighbours were Sawak Kotwal and Nergis Kotwal I was born in that same family quarter in 1952. We are three brothers and two sisters. I am the youngest. I was born at home. After I was born Hilla Kotwal, Sawak Kotwal’s daughter, she took me out of the house, raised me up to the sky and said loudly, ‘Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai’.
“When I was born, for a long time, my mother, Nergis Kotwal and Valu bai used to go every day from three in the afternoon to six in the evening to help the women mandali. They would clean the place, make chapatis or stitch some clothes. At that time, I was a child and Baba allowed me to go along with my mother. I may have been a year or two old. Obviously, I don’t remember anything of that time but my mother and even many from the women mandali have informed me that whenever my mother used to take me there, Baba, Mehera and Mani aunty, would take me on Their laps. I studied in the Zilla Parishad Marathi Primary School till the seventh standard.
“When Baba came to the Mandali Hall and whenever He allowed family members with children to come over, at that time we used to all go along. We never went uninvited as Baba was very strict. He didn’t like the fact that when He was talking, kids would be playing around or making noise and disturbing Him and His talk, which was through the alphabet board or through gestures. Only sometimes, He used to allow us all to attend, especially when there was a big gathering or on special occasions. I loved to go and sit in front of Him and watch His eyes and His fingers all the time. I loved watching Him, His facial movements and His hands and fingers moving about. My other interest was eating the delicious prasad.
“There was this big tokri, a big open basket, kept next to Baba. In the tokri there were delicious ladoos and Chagan master used to make delicious chikkis (Indian sweet brittle), wrapped in coloured paper. When Baba would finish His talk, we would get prasad. Initially I think I attended all the gatherings to only eat the Prasad,” he laughed aloud. “I had no interest in what was being discussed or spoken. Nothing. I was there only to see Baba seated there, His beautiful face, His fingers flying around, His facial expressions, His eye movements and the prasad. Sometimes, Baba used to call us to Meherazad, so we used to go there for darshan. We also used to go to Guruprasad.”
“You have talked about how your father slowly became a Meher Baba follower but what about your mother?”
“Oh, she too loved Meher Baba. He was like a father to us all. She would volunteer whenever there was a sahvas or gathering. Like in 1955, 1958, for all those sahvas times my mother was an active volunteer. She used to get very involved and she mainly helped the women mandali and the women Baba lovers. Whenever Meher Baba used to visit Arangaon village, first He would come to the family quarters and visit our house. My mother would cook Jowar bhakri and methi (sorghum bread and fenugreek leaves), and sometimes while she was cooking Baba would say, ‘can you give Me too’ and He would eat whatever my mother had cooked. Whenever Baba would visit our house, for my mother and us all, it was God coming home and spending time with His devotees and lovers and eating the simple food made by my mother with all her love. I remember the women mandali used to love snacks like puran poli, bhajiya, karanji, ladoo, sev, chuda etc. Mummy loved making food for Baba and the women mandali. Mostly during Diwali she used to cook sweetmeats for Baba and the mandali. Very rarely we would get all this from the market as first of all there were no street shops here and secondly my mother loved preparing these delicacies for Baba and the women mandali. She would prepare all these delicacies with lots of love and send it to Meherazad for Baba and the mandali. She used to send puran poli frequently as she knew everybody liked it a lot. My two brothers along with me would spend whatever time we could, being near Meher Baba. Later on I rarely got time to spend with Meher Baba though we were living so close by. Obviously whenever I had a chance I would attend all the programmes which Baba held.
“Once my grand-mother came to visit us. Nergis and my mother used to go at that time to a place which we called tekdi, which is near the Samadhi side now. Baba through gestures had told my mother that, ‘apart from you, if any relative comes to visit you, don’t bring anybody here without My permission’.”
“Baba was very strict?”
“Very, very, strict. Anyway, the first day when my grand-mother arrived, she asked my mother as to where was she and Nergis going? My mother replied that they were going to help the women mandali. My grand-mother did not have faith in Meher Baba. She was of the opinion that this entire ashram scenario with some Baba was all hocus pocus. She didn’t know much about Meher Baba but she felt all Babas were frauds. On the second day, she again asked my mother as to where was she going. My mother replied that she was going to help the women mandali. My grand-mother did not believe her. She said, ‘you are going to enjoy yourself while keeping me alone at home’. Those days the relation between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law were very difficult and strained.
“My grand-mother was extremely strict. She would constantly taunt my mother and abuse her too. On the third day, my mother told Mani that, ‘every-day when I return back home from here, my mother-in-law gives me grief and keeps doubting where I am going and that I am only leaving the house to enjoy myself and that is why I am not taking my mother-in-law along with me’. She also told Mani that her mother-in-law kept saying that ‘who is that Meher Baba who refuses to give me permission to accompany my daughter-in-law. How is He allowing only you women and not me?’ My mother requested Mani if she could just once bring her mother-in-law to show her that there was work going on and settle the matter once and for all? Mani permitted my mother. So, the next day my mother took her mother-in-law to see what was going on. Baba was present on that day too. Baba saw my grand-mother and inquired about her. Mani explained the situation to Baba. Baba then inquired as to ‘who permitted her to come here?’ and Mani said ‘Baba her mother-in-law was torturing her every day and she would cry each night while sleeping. She requested and I permitted’. Baba said ‘without My permission how did you allow this to happen? From tomorrow don’t let her come here’. My mother also apologised to Baba. Baba blessed my mother and my mother said that after seeing Meher Baba whatever doubts were there in my grand-mother’s mind, were cleared. But when they were returning back home a big snake crossed my mother’s leg. She loudly screamed ‘Baba’. She understood that it was Baba’s sign of never to break His Orders ever again. Baba’s orders were very strict.
“Once what happened was that Baba had told all family members and men mandali too, to observe silence for a month. My mother and father observed silence for an entire month. We were kids and now I can only imagine how my parents handled so many kids through maintaining silence. Anyway, a month passed and Baba called everybody and He asked everybody one at a time through getures, ‘how did you manage through the month of silence?’. My mother’s turn came and He asked my mother and she said ‘initially I used to yell sometimes at the kids, so I would break my silence but after one week I got used to my silence and then never broke my silence’. Baba asked her through gestures ‘how did you handle all these kids?’ She said ‘when they would do any mischief, I would pinch them or I used to cry myself. This is how I handled them’. My father would go to work, carrying a slate along with a piece of chalk. He used to write on the slate. He would not speak. A few times the ladies who were selling vegetables would softly tell each other ‘oh what a handsome person but he can’t talk…he is dumb’,” He began to laugh. “Those were such simple times. I miss them dearly,” his eyes welled up. After a while he smiled.
“I remember I was around eight or nine years old. Summer holidays were going on. There was a drought in Meherabad and it was terribly hot. The temperature was around forty-four degrees. There was an announcement from Baba that ‘no one will go out from the house from eleven in the morning till five in the evening. Women mandali and children should not go out at all during this time period. Men mandali, if they have some work, they should wear a scarf and a hat and protect themselves properly and only then go for work’. One day my friends had come to play with me in the family quarters and we were playing the game of gilli danda. Due to Baba’s grace and with Baba’s permission my father had bought three cows and one buffalo and he had begun to supply milk. He had erected a shed which was ten feet high. While we were playing, we forgot the time and Baba’s orders. My mother was inside the house working in the kitchen and I was playing outside. The gilli went on the roof of the shed. I climbed up the ladder and Padri kaka was coming from the village side and he saw me and I saw him and I froze. Padri kaka was very strict.”
I couldn’t help but laugh.
“I saw that he had seen me and he turned his cycle towards the family quarters. I was petrified. I jumped from the top of the shed without using the ladder and went inside my house and sneaked under a bed. He entered the quarters and there was a garden outside with bamboo plants. He took one fresh bamboo from there and he came inside. He asked my mother ‘where is that gunda, that rascal, where is Ramesh’. She said ‘I don’t know, he is playing somewhere outside’. He asked her ‘don’t you know about Baba’s order?’ and she put her hand to her mouth indicating that she too had forgotten Baba’s orders. He began to search for me and saw me hiding under the bed. He held my legs and brought me out and gave me two to three hard shots but you know what, even then I knew that all this came forth from love. I think he whacked me more because I broke Baba’s orders than me playing outside. Their lives revolved around Baba and Baba’s word was the word of God. We were children and they used to love us a lot. I miss those days very much,” he halted while speaking as tears welled up in his eyes. “Padri kaka used to give us homeopathy medicine. He used to treat all the mandali members.”
“Tell me about how your father got those cows and buffalo and began to sell milk too?”
“That is a wonderful story and shows Baba’s grace and blessings on my family. Baba in His wisdom helped my father to become financially stable. He did this in such a silent way that I still get emotional whenever I think of how Baba has helped us in every possible way, sometimes indirectly but very often very clearly and directly. It so happened that my grand-father wrote a letter to my father stating that, ‘I am arranging your sister’s marriage so I need three hundred rupees, please ask your Seth, for a loan’. My grand-father did not know much about Baba so he referred to Him as Seth which means boss or employer. My grand-father never visited us as his health would not permit him to travel. My father did not know what to do. He did not have three hundred rupees. Those days that was a lot of money. He approached Baba and showed the letter to Baba. Baba looked at Pendu and asked him through gestures, ‘should we give him money, will he return the money back?’ Pendu told Baba that ‘yes Baba, he needs the money and he shall return it back’. My grand-father had written that within a year he would return the money back to my father who could then pay back Meher Baba. Baba agreed to give the money to my father.
“My father sent the money through money order to my grand-father and a year later, my grand-father sold his house, moved into another house and he returned the money to my father. In those days people always kept up to their word. When the three hundred rupees reached my father, he took the money to Baba and told Baba, ‘thank you for everything. Here is the three hundred rupees which You had given to me as a loan for my sister’s marriage’. Baba looked at my father and through gestures said, ‘I do not remember anything about loaning you money’. He turned towards Pendu, and signaled to say ‘did I give him money?’ Pendu said, ‘yes Baba You asked me to give him three hundred rupees’. Baba thought for a while and through gestures said, ‘what shall we do, shall we take the money?’
“Pendu told Baba, ‘You had asked if he will return this money, and I had said yes, and now he has brought it back. So take the money Baba’. Baba looked at my father and through gestures said, ‘no, you keep the money. Take it as My prasad’. Those days three hundred rupees was a lot of money. My father told Baba, ‘but you have given this to me as a loan. I do not need this money Baba’. Through gestures Baba said, ‘I have decided that you take this from Me as prasad’.
“My father returned home and he discussed with my mother about what to do with this money which wasn’t just money but blessed prasad from Baba. ‘We have to use this prasad properly, what should we do?’ Those days my mother had begun learning how to stitch and sew clothes with Nergis Kotwal. She used to learn how to stitch on a hand sewing machine. My parents bought a second hand sewing machine for three hundred rupees. Those days there was no tailor in Arangaon village. People had to go to Ahmednagar to get clothes stitched. Once my parents bought this machine, people began to come and give their clothes to my mother to stitch. My mother was not very confident initially. She did not know how to cut the cloth. So, my father went to Ahmednagar to a friend who was a tailor. He learnt how to cut cloth. Then my parents began their small stitching business. They started first with pyjamas and shirts. My father would work all day for Baba, doing all the marketing etc. Then he would help out in a theater where the money made from broadcasting the movie would go to Baba. The theater was started by Sarosh, a Baba lover. Sarosh had told Baba that ‘I will start a cinema here, for the refugees and military people. I think that all this money should go for Your purpose. If someone from Your mandali can handle this, whatever we earn can be used for the ashram’. So after marketing, my father would go to the theatre, handle the projector and was also the ticket keeper, door keeper, sort of multi-purpose. After the show, he would come home around one at night and then cut the cloth while my mother would stitch clothes. Morning by eight he would go for marketing. With the money which they earned through stitching, my father bought cows and a buffalo and built a shed and he used to sell milk too. All this is thanks to Baba and the sewing machine. It helped us a lot. Through that machine which was Baba’s prasad, they earned money and all the expenditure of our education and my brother’s and sister’s weddings were all done from the money earned through Baba’s machine. Baba’s prasad, whatever He gives, we don’t understand its purpose or significance, but His prasad is sufficient to help one go through life. I have preserved that sewing machine, it is still with me.”
“When you grew up did Baba tell you anything specific to do or not to do?”
“Yes. Baba told me very clearly through gestures, ‘never leave Meherabad’.”
“How old were you at that time?”
“I was in the ninth or tenth standard at that time. I must have been around fourteen or fifteen years old. He dropped His body soon after that and I was in the tenth standard when Baba left His body. Of course, on and off He would inquire about how I was faring in school and what were my interests and was I keeping well and studying hard or not? Those days I didn’t know much about life and the future. I remember telling Him that ‘Baba I don’t have any particular interest, but I am sure that I don’t like clerical work’. Baba would always hold His mouth and laugh silently. But one day when I told Him this, He looked at me with seriousness in His eyes and through gestures said ‘okay, but don’t leave Meherabad. Be here always’.
“Years later I began working in The New India Assurance Company. I got the job through Baba’s Grace, in Ahmednagar itself. It so happened that when I completed my education, Masters in Management Science, after I had done my B.Com, Mr. Gandhi, a manager from The New India Assurance Company came to meet Mani aunty. This man used to, I think handle the insurance work of the Trust. Eruch uncle, Mani aunty and my father were talking and Mr. Gandhi entered. This man then asked whether there is anybody who was interested in applying for a job in the insurance company. If anybody is interested then the person should apply for the job. So Eruch uncle and Mani aunty turned towards my father and they asked my father, ‘Jangale master, what is Ramesh doing at the moment?’. So my father said that I had just completed my Masters in Management Science and really wasn’t doing anything meaningful. They said ‘why don’t you ask him to apply if he is interested…ask him to go and meet this gentleman’. Next day I went and met Mr. Gandhi. Then I was called to Mumbai for an interview and a written test. Then I got called for training and then I joined as a Development Officer, here in Ahmednagar.” Baba had said ‘do not leave this place and for us Ahmednagar and Meherabad are virtually one and the same thing, so I kept my word to Baba. With Baba’s grace all my job promotions took place in Ahmednagar. Years later I was appointed as the Divisional Manager. Some years after that I got a call from the management that the company had taken a decision that all the high level, senior, experienced officers had to be transferred to different parts of the country. That would have meant going against Meher Baba’s wishes. So I said ‘nothing doing, I do not want to go anywhere else’ and thus I took voluntary retirement. Baba had told me to stay here and I did not want to disobey Baba and leave this place. Then some of my colleagues from Mumbai wanted to start their own business and we began our own enterprise called the Universal Insurance Broker Company. It was doing well but I left that as I was only interested in doing service for Baba wholeheartedly.”
“Were you present when Baba left His body?”
“Yes, I was present in Meherabad for all the days. I was in the tenth standard at that time. I was studying in Ahmednagar those days. As we had schooling and then tuitions, four boys were staying in a rented place. As soon as I heard about Baba leaving His body, I came here and I was here for all the seven days. I used to fan Baba’s body too when I used to get a chance. On the last day I got the opportunity to help along with the other Baba lovers to put the covering on Baba.”
“What was going on within you internally during this process?”
“Till Baba was in the body, I had kind of taken Baba for granted. I never realized the importance of Baba and I don’t even think I realised the great divinity within Him. He was like family and He had always been around and often when somebody is with you, we tend to take that person for granted. We forget the divinity that dwells in that person and that person becomes like a family member. Baba was like a grand-father to me or like any elderly person in the family. Of course whenever I met Him I would feel His divinity, some wonderful energy coming from Him and I would be wonderstruck looking at His loving and expressive eyes, which held so many emotions, love, laughter, joy, anger, disappointment, everything and I would love seeing His fingers move so gracefully. There was great attraction for Baba but we were young, we never really realised His greatness and divinity. I would love to go and see Him and pray and do Baba’s Aarti at home. Every Thursday, there was a programme held to sing Baba’s songs. It was held next to the family quarters and Baba had inaugurated that center. I remember I was eight years old. I remember everything about Baba but till He was in the body, I did take Him for granted. When He left His body the real impact of who He was to us, hit me very badly. For some reason a lot of people including me believed that Baba would wake up. Those seven days when His body was laid in the Samadhi mandir, His facial expressions would change. Sometimes you would feel that He was very happy, sometimes very charming, sometimes in deep thought. After He left His body, I truly began to feel a void within me. I truly began to miss Him and I do so even now. Slowly I began to realise who Baba truly was and what a great opportunity and blessing we all had, who were physically close to Baba.”
“How did your father react to Meher Baba passing away?”
“He was shattered. He slowly started to withdraw from everybody. One could make out that he was lonely and his heart ached for Baba. He was truly heart-broken. He used to sit alone…what can I say…even before he was a very low-profile person. After Baba left His body my father became more of an introvert. People would call him to different places and he would refuse. He would say, ‘I don’t want to go, I don’t want to tell the stories or anything. I just want to think of Baba and live Baba’. He was a very different kind of a person. He passed away at the age of ninety-two years. Strangely even my mother passed away at the age of ninety-two years. My father went to Baba in 2006 and my mother went to Baba in 2012. Till the end their love for Baba only grew more and more. They would talk only about Him and would cry often missing Him. They loved Him very silently.
“You know when Baba decided to set out for the New Life, at that time Baba told my father through gestures that, ‘those with family who cannot join me for the New Life can go back to your native place and start life again there. I may not come back here ever’. He told my father through gestures, that ‘now there is nothing to do here, you too go back to your native village and find a new job’. My father told Baba, ‘no Baba I will not leave this place, I will not go’. Baba through gestures asked him, then how would he survive and take care of his family? My father said that ‘wherever You are in the world, Your blessings are always with me and my family, so why should I worry. I will do anything here, but I am not going to leave this place. Whether You give me work or don’t give me work I will remain here and I will stay in this place only’. But fortunately for all of us Baba returned to Meherabad and life began to get back to normal once again.
“Baba declared my father as a mandali member. It was a very huge honour for my father. When Baba came back from the New Life, He had made a list. He asked the people from the list through gestures, who wanted to be cremated and who wanted to be buried after they would pass over. My father said that he wanted to be cremated. Baba allocated a place of burial for my father in the men mandali. It was during this time that Baba declared my father as a family member. In accordance to Baba’s orders, after my father passed over, his ashes were kept in a grave which lies amongst the men mandali. But till the last moment my father always would say, ‘I am Baba’s servant’.”
“Meeting all those who have met Baba personally, I have noticed that most of them have gone through very rough times….”
“Yes. Very difficult times. You must understand being with Baba itself was not easy. He was most loving but very strict. His word had to be obeyed, no matter what the cost. He expected all to be happy and filled with joy all the time no matter what hardships they were going through. Many people think it was easy to be with Baba but mandali members’ life was not easy. Very strict rules and Baba was truly very strict. Those who were with Baba were blessed to be close to Him but Baba was very clear that He is here to clean us of all our karma, so that we can be with Him for eternity. Thus, life with Him was very difficult.” He began to laugh. “Coming to Baba, following Baba is not easy. Whether you have personally met Baba or not, whoever are very close to Baba, they especially go through a lot of hardships. Baba wants to clean us of all past life karmas and sanskaras. Even though we are the Trustees of Baba’s Trust, life is not easy for anyone of us. The post looks very good, ‘oh you are a trustee, you are so fortunate’ but life is difficult for each one of us. We are handling so many people with different temperaments, egos, points of view. It sometimes gets very difficult to follow all the messages and sayings of Baba. It is not easy. Sometimes I feel that I should leave all this and be alone with Baba. See the history of all the mandali members. They have all gone through such difficult lives. Baba would keep telling one and all through the alphabet board and through gestures that, ‘I am doing My work through the mandali members’.” Then he halted and tears once again began to flow down his cheeks. “Sorry, talking to you, and remembering everything has made me miss Him so much more,” he again began to cry.
“You must miss Baba a lot?”
“Yes miss Him a lot,” he tried hard to stop his tears. “I know that Baba is with me, because He has always said that ‘I am not this human form but I am always there with you. Just remember Me wherever you are. Do whatever you are doing, but remember Me’. This gives me strength. He gives all of us strength. I have seen from the days of my childhood, the water may rise till the neck level but at the last moment He intervenes and solves the issue or gives you strength to face life and the situation calmly. He always does so. Whatever the problem, financial, emotional, health, whatever, He solves the issue. Earlier disciples were very different, they were totally focused on Baba. They did not have an ego. Today too many love Baba but things are….how should I say this….I guess the world has changed. Everything has changed. Those days even one word from a mandali member, would be respected, followed and obeyed but I guess the world has changed. This too is His game.
“I remember Baba had said that a time will come when three fourth of the world’s population will be destroyed and that is going to happen very soon. (Strangely four months after this interview the Corona Virus hit the world.) One day it will happen…we don’t know. This is His Creation. He knows what is best for His creation. Those days with Baba in the body were very graceful and very loving. Times were simple. It was a hard life but we enjoyed ourselves. That feeling was very different. That joy was different. Now all that has gone, but always remember, that Baba is with us eternally. We just need to keep Him in our thoughts and hearts each moment and make Him happy and proud of us.”
Be blessed always.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
I would like to believe that every word that has poured forth, has come through the unbound grace, love, mercy and compassion of Avatar Meher Baba. I would also like to thank my sister Jennifer Bharucha, Jimmy Khan, Mehernath B. Kalchuri, Roshani Shenazz and Jennifer Keating, who have been instruments chosen by Baba, with whose help these interviews have been made possible. I would also like to thank Jimmy Khan and Cyrus Khambata for their invaluable editorial inputs. Be blessed always. Jai Baba.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha