Like Jesus. Like Buddha. Like Mohammed. When the Avatar comes on earth, to live amongst men, he too must suffer, he too must bleed. On December 2, 1956, Baba had gone to Poona for a day. He was accompanied by Eruch, Pendu, Vishnu and Nilu, his mandali members. At around 4:45 p.m. of the same day, while returning to Satara, Baba and his party were involved in a severe accident which occurred about twelve miles outside Satara. The car was running normally and at moderate speed, when it seemed suddenly and inexplicably to go completely out of control and dashed against a stone culvert, landing eventually in a ditch on the other side of it. Baba and his men were badly injured and were immediately hospitalized, except Nilu who died without regaining consciousness. Dr. William Donkin, who attended to Baba, wrote in a report: "Minor abrasions and subcutaneous contusions on the forehead, nose and cheeks; a tear of the upper and lower surface of the tongue, sutured a few hours after the accident; and the upper rim of the acetabulum has been fractured, the broken chip of bone being slightly displaced. Surgical attention is now concentrated on the treatment of the hip injury." Someone had asked Baba why, if he was the Avatar, was he the victim of so severe an accident and why he could not avert it. Baba replied, "What the Divine Will has decreed must and will happen, and if I am the Divine Personification you believe me to be then the last thing I would do is to avert or avoid it."
He had explained this earlier: "People suffer for their Karma. A few suffer for others. Perfect Masters suffer for the universe." On the persistent query of Baba-lovers the world over enquiring of Baba’s health, he said, "It is as if the mental sufferings of the universe want to crush me. But the Infinite Bliss I experience and the love I have for all sustains me; and the love of all my lovers supports me in the burden I carry...."
The Avatar will have his crucifixion. But his work must go on. That is the Divine Will. On February 12th and 15th, 1957, Baba touched the feet of 800 poor people at Meherazad and gave each of them prasad of sweets and clothes. Soon afterwards, he visited Sakori and Poona where he gave darshan to thousands of people who had assembled there. The strain was immense, often painful and at times he had to move on crutches and at times had to be carried in a chair.
In the meantime, in September 1956, Meher Baba's book God Speaks was released in America. It outlined the theme of creation and its purpose. As to what it meant to readers, the words of Dr. W.Y. Evans-Wentz stand out: "No other Teacher in our own time or in any known past time has so minutely analyzed consciousness as Meher Baba has in God Speaks.... (This) enlightening treatise adds much to the sum total of learning and contributes incalculably to the enrichment of mankind...."
On September 8,1957, Baba distributed sweets to 32 men who were present at Meherazad and remarked, "Let me sweeten your mouths before I make you swallow some bitter pills." Baba said, "I am no saint. Because I am Beyond, I am therefore beyond all saints. The world, once it knows who I am, will understand then what I want you to understand now - that from the beginningless beginning, I am the Ancient One, immutable and eternal. You may whole-heartedly believe me to be the Avatar; but belief, however deep, does not amount to absolute conviction...."
Here D. interjected, "There is no question of conviction for those of us who have accepted you once and for all — because our acceptance is absolute." Baba continued, "It is all for the best if that acceptance remains unshaken under all circumstances. The world in general accepts the existence of God, without caring overmuch about the reasons for doing so. It is a fact, also, that there are a few in the world who do see God as He is to be seen, and fewer still who know God as He really is to be known." Baba warned his disciples of a 'dark cloud' hovering over the world and asked them to hold fast to his daaman.
In February 1958, Baba held a sahavas for his Eastern lovers and in May went to Myrtle Beach again to be with his Western lovers. Before leaving for the West, he had given a message: "This sahavas will be unique in the sense that you will witness and share my present universal suffering by being near me as my fortunate companions — being with the Ancient One, who will be completely on the human level with you. It will be helpful to all participating in the sahavas to know of the hint I have given to those living with me - reminding them of my 'declaration' wherein I stated that my glorification will follow my humiliation, pointing out that this period of my sahavas will fall within the orbit of my universal suffering and helplessness.... I may give you more, much more, than you expect - or maybe nothing, and that nothing may prove to be everything. So I say, come with open hearts to receive much or nothing from your Divine Beloved. Come prepared to receive not so much of my words but of my Silence." All who came for the sahavas stayed with Baba all the time; their allegiance to him was total, their obedience explicit. It was a very special sahavas packed with discourses and messages, explanations and dialogues.