Baba’s Order Not to Cry
by Arnavaz N. Dadachanji
After ten quiet days in Meherazad Nariman and I returned to Bombay to prepare for Baba’s coming. As scheduled, He and the men and women mandali arrived at Ashiana for a two-week stay. Baba had come to do mast work and we celebrated Mehera’s birthday with a small, intimate party. Before returning to Meherazad, Baba told us that He would come again in January, this time to see The Ten Commandments, a movie directed by Cecil B. de Mille. Baba told me to purchase the tickets in advance; He wanted to see the movie with the men on one day, and the women would go on another. He very strictly added that He wanted no one to see Him during this visit.
Baba and the others arrived the third week in January. One day He called me into the room where He was talking with the men mandali and made me sit on the stool where He had been resting His feet. Looking at me intently, He said, “Suppose I were to tell you that Nariman’s brother Hoshang had broken his arm. Would you feel sad and cry?”
I answered, “No, Baba,” yet I sensed that a bomb was about to fall. Baba kept me in suspense while He turned to speak with someone else. Nariman, Jim and Huma were present, and as I looked at their grim faces, I prepared myself for a shock.
Baba finally turned back to me and said, “My brother has died.” Taking His statement literally, I asked Him which one. Baba gazed directly into my eyes and told me that a telegramme had come from Adi, Sr. saying that Khurshed Talati, Dina’s son, had died of a heart attack in London.
My heart stopped. Khurshed was like a brother to our family, and I knew this news would be a devastating blow to Dina, a widow for twenty years, who was devoted to her only son. When Baba asked me what I thought should be done, I said, “Call Dina here to see You.”
Baba immediately reminded me, “Have you forgotten My order that no one should see Me?” I was so numb I had failed to remember it, and I immediately said, “I’m sorry, Baba. Do as You wish.”
Baba then turned to Eruch and my brother Huma, telling them to go to Dina’s, gently break the news of Khurshed’s death, and then bring Dina and her two daughters to Him. Huma was also in shock, as he had just returned from five years of working in London, where he had seen Khurshed regularly, and he had no idea that his friend had a heart problem.
Eruch and Huma did their best, but poor Dina was grief-stricken. They brought her to Ashiana and Baba lovingly comforted her — then gave her an order not to shed any tears. Khurshed’s death was agony enough, but with this extreme order Baba seemed to be pushing the limits of her endurance. After Dina and her daughters had been with Baba for about an hour, He sent them home. Under the circumstances I did not want them to be alone, so I phoned Nargis, telling her to bring them to her house, where she, Roda, Dr. Alu and Kharmanmasi were staying, cooking Baba’s food.
After Dina left, my heart was so heavy that I felt like crying. Despite Baba’s Presence, I was filled with pain, but with so many people in the house there was no quiet corner where I could cry in privacy. Although I tried to control myself, my eyes were always wet, and whenever I did have the chance, the tears flowed. Baba repeatedly called me to Him and embraced me, but surprisingly He did not forbid me to cry. Several times He asked Mehera and Mani if I were still crying.
As soon as everyone had finished lunch, Baba told me to go rest for an hour and not to get up for anything. I lay down, but I was so emotionally exhausted that I couldn’t sleep. After half an hour Baba called me to Him and asked if I had slept. When I replied that I had only been resting on my bed, Baba took my head in His hands and kissed me on the centre of my forehead, between the eyes.
The touch of Beloved Baba’s lips remained with me the rest of the day, and I was reminded of a dream I had had four months earlier. In the dream I was standing alone in one room, looking through two rooms that lay ahead of me, and Baba was sitting in the third room. I went from the first to the second room, and as I was about to cross the threshold of the third, Baba pointed His finger straight at my forehead and said with absolute authority, “See Me with your internal eyes!” When I awoke from the dream, I felt the touch of Baba’s finger on my forehead, even though He had only pointed at me. It was the same lingering sensation I was experiencing from Baba’s kiss. I remembered this dream vividly, having shared it with Nariman. That same night he had dreamed that Baba had pointed at him and lovingly said, “You are my message.”
After kissing me on the forehead, Baba gave me a copy of God Speaks, saying, “I am giving you this God Speaks with My own hands.” I held the book to my heart as if I were holding a baby. Baba sent me back to rest, but I continued to hold the book tightly as I lay on the bed,
and I felt very comforted. That night I placed God Speaks under my pillow and went right to sleep. The next morning Baba called me and said, “I need the copy of God Speaks that I gave you. I want to give it to someone and I don’t have another.” Something within me died as I silently handed the book to Baba. My heart was broken, but I had to accept His wish. The following day Baba called me to His room, as He frequently did for one thing or another. “Here is your God Speaks,” He said, handing me the book, but I did not experience the same feelings I had before. I took the book without saying a word and immediately wrote on the inside page, “This God Speaks is given by Beloved Baba.”
The day after Khurshed’s death Nargis phoned to say that Dina seemed to have reached a breaking point. Nargis and the others could hardly bear to see her in such agony, especially as she struggled to obey Baba’s order not to cry. That evening Baba called Dina to Him and before she arrived, He told Mehera, Mani and me to help her cry. When Dina came, we took her to the bedroom and told her to let her tears fall, but she replied that she had Baba’s order not to cry.
Even after Mehera told Dina that Baba wanted her to cry, she couldn’t immediately let go. But once she did, the sounds were heartbreaking, and Baba, hearing her wailing, called her to Him, tenderly holding her for quite some time and letting her cry her heart out. Dina, who had been unable to eat anything since hearing the news of her son’s death, took the tea and biscuits Baba gave her. Just before she left, Baba asked if I had purchased tickets to see The Ten Commandments for her
and her daughters. I had, as Baba always allowed my sisters and others to accompany us whenever I took the women to a movie. Baba turned to Dina and said, “I want you to go to this movie.” Dina said, “Yes, Baba, I will go.”
As planned, Baba and the men mandali, accompanied by a few others including my brothers Dara and Huma, went to see the movie first. Dara had trouble with his knees due to a football injury, so he was limping, and Huma had always limped because of hip trouble. To enter the theatre, one had to climb six or seven steps. Baba did not want to use the lift chair, so holding Dara’s hand on one side and Huma’s on the other, He climbed the stairs with them. After they reached the top, He smiled and gestured to the men. “What will people think, seeing three lame persons climbing the steps together?”
—Arnavaz Dadachanji, Gift of God, pp. 155-58