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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2648

Suddhananda Bharati witnessed the great spiritual happening….

Rama Rao

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Meher BabaMeher BabaIn the week that has gone by there have been queries and queries about the meeting between Sai Baba and Merwan as Meher Baba was known then. Yogi Suddhananda Bharati was witness to this great spiritual happening in the December of 1915. The yogi was a young lad of 18 years. Merwan was 21. Sai was 77-year-old, with snow white hair and white beard white. The yogi was in Shirdi as a spiritual seeker. Accompanied by a childhood friend, Khodu (25), Merwan had a two-fold mission. First Khodu had heard 'miracles are everyday occurrence' at Shirdi and expected Sai to provide cure to the terrible stomach pain Merwan was suffering from for some time. Second Babajan had asked him to go to Sai see 'if he would give you the key to the treasure'. By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

Meher Baba Dpeaks - 4

New Delhi, 26 January (Asiantribune.com): In the week that has gone by there have been queries and queries about the meeting between Sai Baba and Merwan as Meher Baba was known then.Meher BabaMeher Baba

Yogi Suddhananda Bharati was witness to this great spiritual happening in the December of 1915.

The yogi was a young lad of 18 years. Merwan was 21. Sai was 77-year-old, with snow white hair and white beard white. The yogi was in Shirdi as a spiritual seeker. Accompanied by a childhood friend, Khodu (25), Merwan had a two-fold mission. First Khodu had heard 'miracles are everyday occurrence' at Shirdi and expected Sai to provide cure to the terrible stomach pain Merwan was suffering from for some time. Second Babajan had asked him to go to Sai see 'if he would give you the key to the treasure'.

Professor Jagadamba Rathore of Meher Spiritual University heard first hand about the 'eye witness' account many years later.

'Suddhananda Bharati himself told me about the great spiritual meeting,' the learned Professor said in an E-mail interview on January 19.

'I think you can get more information on Yogi Suddhananda Bharati from Google Search. He founded the Yoga Samaj. He was with Raman Maharshi and with Sri Aurobindo and Mother. At some stage he was involved with India's freedom movement. A great yogi, scholar and orator, Suddhananda's destiny brought him to Beloved Baba.'

He put me in touch with Niket Kale of Jabalpur, whose grandfather, Ramchandra Bapuji Kale (Kalemama or Kale Uncle to Baba lovers), had met Sai Baba and Meher Baba. About Kalemama a little while later.

First about that wonderful December meeting. Interestingly, neither Merwan nor Khodu (Khodadad was his full name) knew where Shirdi was when they had set out from Pune, their home town, according to Meher Baba's biographer, Bhau Kalchuri. In fact, the meeting almost did not take place, though Merwan was insistent they find Shirdi.

When the two youngsters landed in Shirdi, they encountered a group of villagers blocking the road with sticks and were told to go back. 'You cannot see Sai Baba; no one can see him,' the villagers said. 'He has given instructions that no one should come for his darshan today. Go back from where you came'.

Khodu's pleas fell on deaf ears and in exasperation he proposed that they should turn back. But Merwan preferred to wait. 'I have come to see the Sai and I will', he told his friend and both spent the winter night under the tree in spite of warnings of the villagers.

The next day word came from Sai. 'Baba is still in a bad mood…be careful', the villagers cautioned them while giving directions to the mosque.

From 'recorded' evidence, it is clear that Sai refused to allow Merwan to see him. And Khodu who could meet him immediately on arriving at the Mosque did not have a pleasant meeting either.

Sai, dressed in a white kafni gown, was seated as Khodu nervously walked up. When he bowed in reverence, the old fakir slapped him on the back so hard that it knocked the breath out of him. And asked him, 'who is your friend? What does he want?'

Khodu replied: 'His name is Merwan... Merwan Sheriar Irani; he is very devotional and eagerly desires your darshan, Sai. Babajan has told us about you.'

Sai rejected the 'request' outright. 'No, I won't allow him to see me. I won't let him come'. So the Sai-Merwan meeting did not take place as Merwan and Khodu desired. Merwan decided to wait. 'I must see him and I will', he told his friend.

The wish was fulfilled when Sai was on his way to attend to nature's call. According to Sai folk lore, Sai would go to defecate in a nearby field every day at a fixed time usually late morning. Over time, this act of attending to nature call became a ceremony of pomp and adoration, 'lendi' with devotees following Sai in large numbers, some playing musical instruments.

The lendi ceremony had its own spiritual mystery. Explained Sai once: 'While I pass my stool, I direct my abdals (spiritual agents on the inner planes) about their duties. I call them through the sound of the music during the parade.'

As Sai Baba was about to pass him in the 'lendi' procession, Merwan offered 'shashtang namanskar' - stretched himself full length on the ground in front of Sai feet. Seeing him bow in reverence, Sai Baba uttered one word in a deep voice – 'Parvardigar' (God –the Almighty Sustainer).

When the lendi procession had started, Sai was serious. Not any longer. Now he was luminous, beaming as if the sun had descended. Those who had surrounded Sai Baba were naturally astonished at the sudden change in his mood. When Khodu and Merwan had arrived at Shirdi, the air was still, there was no movement in the trees, the sky was gray and the atmosphere was solemn. As Sai Baba walked past Merwan, a warm breeze arose and sunlight broke through the clouds. The branches of trees began swaying, according to Lord Meher, as if dancing in the presence of Almighty God and His reflection.

Sai delivered his 'message' with his eyes. Merwan alone could read the message. Because some days prior to this meeting, Babajan had told Merwan, 'My son, the treasure which you seek and the key to that treasure are not with me! I cannot give to you. The treasure is yours- it is for you alone- there is no doubt about that! Go to Shirdi, my son. There is a Sai there. Go and see the Sai. See if he will give you the key'.

After Merwan got up on his feet, Sai Baba paid obeisance to him; no one could explain why he was bowing his head to the young Zoroastrian. He once again uttered, 'Parvardigar', and walked off, beckoning Merwan to walk on down the road which leads to the Khandoba temple – the 'home' of Upasini Maharaj. This holy man helped Merwan to see the gross world and emerge out of the dazed state he was pushed into by Babajan.

About the dazed state, Mumbai-based Cyrus Khambatta, a long time Meher Baba lover, has an interesting tale. So doing he also corrected me and my dates.

'Babajan lifted the veil of Meher Baba one night in January 1914. But in May 1913 itself she made his individual consciousness merge with the Ocean of Bliss. That day she embraced him with the fervour of a mother finding her son. From that moment of her embrace, the 19-year-old Merwan felt as if an electric current was passing through his body sending impulses from his head to his toes. What he then experienced is indescribable'

How was the 'veil' lifted? 'As he was about to leave her, she held Merwan's face, looked deeply into his eyes with all her love, and kissed him on the forehead. Turning to her followers nearby, she pointed her little finger at the dazed Merwan, and told them 'This is my beloved son. He will one day shake the world and all of humanity will be benefited by Him'.

Sai too was in a 'dazed' state. It lasted for four years after he became God –realized with the grace of his 'Master' Zarzari Zar Baksh.

Writes Bhau Kalchuri in Lord Meher, 'when Sai finally left the cave, he was emaciated- a living skeleton. Inwardly drawn by the power of another Perfect Master, he wandered east from Khuldabad (near Aurangabad, Maharashtra) to meet the Swami of Akalkot, near Solapur, and by this Hindu Sadguru's grace, Sai regained normal human consciousness. In this village of Akalkot, in the mountain range of Ajanta, the fakir had now become Sai – a Lord of the Universe- a living Perfect Master- and his divine work on earth began. He was just 20-year-old. He wandered back to Shirdi in 1858 and there he stayed, making the humble village his permanent headquarters'.

Kalemama saw Sai after he after he became a household name. That meeting took place some time in 1911. And he remained puzzled by a cryptic remark of Sai. Its significance stuck him 15 years later when he moved to Meherabad to live at the feet of Meher Baba.

His grand-son, Niket Kale found reference to the meeting in Kalemama's hand written notes. 'Sai Baba was very pleased to meet us (me and my elder brother Anna Kale). He said to me Tumhi tar Amchyat le Punha Kevha Yenar (in Marathi. You are one amongst us. When you intend to come again). I replied instantly: Whenever you may kindly bring us again'.

According to Niket, his grandfather was thrilled but could not attach any significance to the short conversation. He returned to his government job, worked for a few years at Akalkot. He left job in 1917. He moved around and even met Narayan Maharaj. Nine years later in 1926, long after Sai Baba dropped his body, he met Meher Baba and devoted his life to Meher Baba. His son (Niket's father), Murli studied at the Hazarat Babajan School started by Meher Baba in1927.

'Are there any reference to Sai and Meher in the family lore', I asked Niket. He replied in the negative. 'My grandfather did not come in contact with Meher Baba during Sai Baba's life time', he said

I persisted with my question and asked him about grand father's stories of his visits to Shirdi and anecdotes of the day. Did any of these stories have a word of someone's recollections that he had seen Meher Baba at Shirdi or that he had heard about references to the December 1915 meeting?

Niket appeared puzzled by my questions as I fired them at rapid succession on long distance telephone from New Delhi. Just for a while. He appreciated my seriousness and interest.

And then quietly said, "Sorry, I cannot help you much. I don't have any information you are seeking. You see, every moment of Meher Baba's life is recorded. It is available for every one to see and understand. Very transparent record of the times Meher Baba lived, His Life and His Life's work as if we reading pages of his diary. It is not always the case with historical figures, great masters. This is one more reason why I love Meher Baba'.

-Asian Tribune -

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