THE ETERNAL BELOVED
THE ETERNAL BELOVED
In the latter half of January, Baba’s health started deteriorating fast. His physical suffering and pain had become more and more evident. On January 30 Baba's body shook with severe spasms. Dr. Grant was called from Poona and Dr. Ram Ginde from Bombay to Meherazad. Just before Dr. Grant left, Baba told him, "My time has come." Surprisingly, Mohammad, the mast living at Lower Meherabad, uttered in a rambling lisp, "Tomorrow (January 31) Dada (Baba) is coming here and is going to join Gustadji (one of the mandali members who had passed away some years earlier)."
In the early hours of Friday, January 31, 1969, Baba instructed Aloba (one of the mandali members) to bring a board at 10 in the morning from the mandali hall to be kept in Baba's room. On the board three couplets of the poet Hafiz were written:
1) Befitting a fortunate slave, carry out every command of the Master, without any question of why and what.
2) About what you hear from the Master, never say it is wrong, because my dear; the fault lies in your own incapacity to understand Him.
3) I am the slave of the Master who has released me from ignorance; whatever my Master does is of the highest benefit to all concerned.
The spasms continued and his body shook intensely with pain. The allopathic medicines given to him brought no relief. Biochemic pills were administered by Padri, one of the members of Baba's mandali. Just after twelve noon, when the fourth dose of pills was given, and the resident Dr. Goher gave him an injection, Baba said, “Do not forget that I am God." At 12:15 p.m. Baba's entire physical framework shook with severe spasms as he sat on a surgical bed with his back and head raised. His arms flexed and his mouth closed tight. His respiration suddenly stopped. Baba became motionless. Eruch Jessawala opened Baba's mouth, put his mouth against it and began breathing into his lungs forcibly. This mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was carried on for thirty minutes. Eruch collapsed on the floor out of sheer exhaustion while Dr. Brieseman from Ahmednagar, who had just arrived with Dr. Ginde and Dr. Donkin, gave him a cardiac massage. Three doctors, Dr. Brieseman, Dr. Donkin and Dr. Ginde examined Baba's heart. Dr. Ginde checked Baba's eye reflexes. It was pronounced that life was extinct. The Avatar had dropped his body.
For seven days Meher Baba's body was kept in the tomb at Meherabad hill for thousands of his lovers to take his darshan. Men, women and children, the rich and the poor, Easterners and Westerners, people from all castes, creeds and religions, irrespective of any inconvenience, converged atop Meherabad hill to see and feel their "crucified" Beloved.
The entire area around the hill was virtually a sea of solemn faces mourning their Beloved. Meher Baba was interred on the seventh day.
To honor their Beloved's invitation to take his darshan "sometime, somewhere, somehow" thousands of his lovers from the East and the West poured into Poona from April through June 1969. Unparalleled in spiritual history, this darshan too was unique when even those who had not seen or met Meher Baba in his physical form, bowed down in their love for him. And that was the beginning of a New Era - an era of continued love and service to the God-Man.