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The New Life: Baba accepts Todi Singh’s request to offer bhiksha (Part -3 of 3)

On January 16th, Todi Singh returned to Manjri Mafi with his entire family: his mother, wife, daughter and sister with her little son. With them was a huge amount of luggage filled with vessels and utensils for cooking, a wide assortment of spices and all manner of other paraphernalia to be used to prepare meals. They each brought just one small bag for themselves, which contained only a change of clothing. Overjoyed to see Baba, they immediately offered to begin cooking.

However, Baba told them, “No, tomorrow. You cook from tomorrow.”

Baba then inquired of the companions, “But where are we to house them?”

After some discussion, it was decided that the family would also move into the Mahant’s bungalow.

When they were brought for a quick tour, they said, “We want to see the kitchen first, not the bedroom.” They were then taken directly to the large room, which had a fireplace, a tap and a sink.

“This is wonderful. This is where we will live,” the family said and then brought in all their cooking equipment and personal gear. Very soon, they had made the kitchen into their living quarters, where they would roll out their bedding at night and bathe when they awoke.

The family began cooking the very first day. After the sparse diet the companions had experienced on their journey north, they were now treated to meals fit for royalty. The food cooked in clarified butter was so rich that they could scarcely finish the carefully and lovingly prepared fare.

(Mani said later that the food was very rich and tasted so much like incense that she and the other women began longing for more simple food.)

Every morning, while his family started the cooking, Todi Singh headed off in a tonga to the market and returned hours later with the carriage filled with vegetables, sparing no expense in providing the very best food available.

Dehra Dun was and still is noted for producing large and delicious vegetables, especially snow peas, lettuce and cauliflower. Since the companions had very little in the way of fresh green vegetables since their stay in Sarnath, these were particularly welcome.

As the days passed, Todi Singh became more and more intoxicated with love for Baba.  He just wanted to see Baba and inwardly repeat His name, which made him blissfully happy. He rarely conversed with the companions, and when asked about his business and his family life, he would invariably say “Baba jane.”

For the next week, the family stayed in the kitchen most of the time, but came out in the evenings to sit with the women.

On January 21st, one week after they had come, Baba sent the family back to Aligarh, and He instructed Todi Singh to resume his work as a cream distributor.

Before leaving, Todi Singh bowed reverently to everything Baba had touched and could not restrain his tears. -“Meher Baba’s New Life”, p317

The New Life: Baba accepts Todi Singh’s request to offer bhiksha (Part -2 of 3)

Todi Singh made one final appeal, “Keep these tins of butter and send them to Baba.”

“I cannot interfere with His conditions on anyone’s behalf. I don’t even know if Baba will see me!”

“All right,” Todi Singh relented, “I am staying in a nearby dharamshala. If Baba meets you, kindly tell Him about the tins, and also that I am eager to feed Him!” Todi Singh then left, and Keka dismissed the whole episode. (“Meher Baba’s New Life”, p307)

…The meal [Pulao brought by Kumar to the Waiting Hall at Dehra Dun Railway station] was finished and Baba inquired, “What is to be done about food during our stay in Manjri Mafi? We are only accepting food given in bhiksha.”

Keka Nalavala suddenly remembered Todi Singh, but since he was not allowed to mention anyone from the Old Life, he kept quiet.

Baba suddenly turned to him and asked, “What are you thinking? Why don’t you speak out?”

“Were I to tell you, it would be against Your orders.”

“When I ask you on my own, you must tell me.”

Keka then told Baba about Todi Singh, who had earlier expressed the wish to give Him food in bhiksha.

Baba immediately sent Keka to get Todi Singh.

When Todi Singh was brought before Baba, he fell prostrate at Baba’s feet, shedding tears of joy. Then, with folded hands, he implored Baba to accept the tins of butter he had brought. Baba gestured for him to sit beside Him and patted him on the back. He accepted the tins and teased him, asking. “You have brought the tins, but who will cook the edibles in clarified butter?”

“Baba, Jane” (pronounced ja-nee). Todi Singh replied, meaning “Baba knows”.

“Are you ready to give food in bhiksha for ten days?”

“Baba jane,” was Todi Singh’s only answer to every question asked of him, so he was nicknamed “Baba jane.”

Baba invited him to come and cook for the party, beginning on January 15th.

Todi Singh was ecstatic. Though he was the sole supplier of cream to Keventer’s, the butter and cheese manufacturing company famous in the time of the British, this wealthy man began jumping up and down and dancing, declaring what a great blessing he had received. (“Meher Baba’s New Life”, p309)

 

The New Life: Baba accepts Todi Singh’s request to offer bhiksha (Part -1 of 3)

Another person who played a special part in Baba’s stay at Manjri Mafi was a gentleman named Todi Singh. Earlier in August 1949 just before the start of the New Life, Todi Singh travelled from his home town in Aligarh, near Delhi to Ahmednagar hoping to have Meher Baba’s darshan.  This was at the time of the New Life meetings when Baba not seeing any outsiders, but to his good fortune, Todi Singh, from a distance, was able catch a brief glimpse of Baba who was sitting in a car parked in front of Adi’s office at Khushru Quarters in Ahmednagar. That glimpse so overpowered him that when he returned home to Aligarh, he became almost like a mast in his absorption in Baba.

Months later, Todi saw Baba in a dream. In this dream, Baba and, the companions were on their way north to Dehra Dun. Baba looked radiant in a white sadra with His hair flowing, and Todi Singh instantly fell prostrate before Him and touched His feet. Lifting him up, Baba said, “At present, I am in Dehra Dun. Come there. Serve me. Feed me.”

When he awoke from the dream, Todi Singh had to face the unhappy fact that Baba was in the New Life and out of contact with His followers, but he could not let the dream go that easily.

A while later, Todi had to take the night train to Dehra Dun on business where he ran into Kishan Singh, who was a long-time Baba follower.

Seeing how troubled Todi Singh appeared Kishan Singh asked, “Why do you look so worried?”

Instead of answering Todi Singh asked another question “Do you know Baba’s whereabouts?”

“I know, but Baba is inaccessible to everyone in the New Life.” Kishan reminded him.

Todi Singh then blurted out, “Baba has called me. everyone in the “I know, but Baba is inaccessible t ,o New Life.” Kishan reminded him.

Although he did not reveal where Baba was, Kishan Singh felt Todi Singh was sincere and told him that he could take two large fifteen seer tins of clarified butter (ghee) to Keka Nalavala’s address in Dehra Dun.

Upon arriving in Dehra Dun, Todi Singh went strainght to Keka’s home with tins of ghee and asked him about Baba.

Keka replied, “I am not aware of Baba’s whereabouts. He does not: see anyone in the New Life. Kindly, therefore, go back with the ghee tins,”

When Todi Singh urged him to take the tins, he refused, saying, “Baba is to arrive tomorrow, but He is not seeing anyone, and in the New Life, He is not accepting anything from anyone either! Kindly leave so as not to disturb Him.”

Todi Singh persisted and eventually told Keka about his dream, adding, “Baba has called me here to serve Him!”

Keka was still adamant and again told him to leave.

-“Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p306

The New Life: Kumar – from Non-believer to Believer (Part -2 of 2)

In the early morning, long before dawn, he heard the rattling of keys outside his cell, and a jail officer suddenly opened the door and handed him a note on which was written, “Mr. Kumar, get yourself ready with your bag and baggage.”

As if in a dream, he was escorted to the prison office where he saw the prison superintendent seated behind his desk, though it was unheard of for the head of that prison to be in his office at such an early hour!

The superintendent continued to go through some papers, then looked up and told Kumar that he was officially released from prison and was to wait outside the gates to receive his railway pass. The interview ended with no further explanation.

Thus, Kumar found himself, before 5:00 a.m., on the prison road with railway pass in hand and the overwhelming feeling that a whole new life was opening up before him. “What a humorist God must be!” he thought.

His release took place in 1945, four years before Baba began the New Life. Kumar met Meher Baba at Manjri Mafi on January 12th, 1950.

Years later, in 1954, Kumar was called to be with Baba for almost a year. Then many restrictions and bindings were imposed upon him by Baba and after several months it occurred to Kumar that his life with Baba was similar to being in prison. He became harassed by thoughts of leaving, until one day, while Kumar was with Baba searching for masts, Baba asked him, completely out of the blue, “How long were you in prison?”

Kumar said that he had been in for more than ten years.

“How did you get released then?” Baba gestured. “1 requested God to release me,” he said, suddenly remembering that period of his life and his bargain with God.

“Only requested,” Baba gestured, smiling, “Didn’t you say something more to God? In what manner did you request God, and what was your promise to Him?”

Kumar replied that he had not known how to address God properly, so he had said, “Mr. God, if there is any God, I request you, please get me released from this jail, and in return for this, I promise to abide by any binding and restrictions whatsoever imposed on me outside of jail.”

Suddenly, Baba became serious and asked Kumar to repeat that promise three times. Afterwards, Baba said, “Don’t break this promise. I am God. I am that God to whom you made the promise. I have kept my side of the bargain, now you keep yours.”

-“Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p304

The New Life: Kumar – from Non-believer to Believer (Part -1 of 2)

Kumar holding umbrella

Kumar as a young man in the 1930s was an ardent revolutionary involved in fighting for Inches independence from the British Because of his terrorist activities, he was thrown in prison twice and suffered ill-treatment for over ten years. His second prison term was served during World War 11 at Bareilly Detention camp in Uttar Pradesh.

There, he witnessed some other political prisoners offering prayers to Cod, but being a professed agnostic, he laughed at them. However, the years in prison began to lake a toll on him, and he became extremely depressant.

Since the prison authorities regarded him as a regular agitator among the prisoners, they forced him to sit in isolation up near the prison roof that was made of corrugated tin, where the heat from the sun was intolerable. At one point, as an even more unjust punishment, he was put in an underground cellar, from which he knew very few prisoners were ever released. His depression now turned to despair.

Thoughts began assailing his mind over the injustice he was experiencing, and the prospect of never again seeing his wife and widowed mother became unbearable.

One day, from his cell, he suddenly sat up with a Jerk and exclaimed, “God, only God, if He exists, can help me!”

Although raised in a religious family, it had been years since he had offered any prayers Now, unable to remember how to address God properly, he just said in English, “Mr. God, if there is any God, I request You, please get me released from this jail?

Just then, he recalled some Hindu scriptures, which reminded him that all suffering in this life is due to one’s actions in past lives, so he asked himself, why should God intervene and release me from jail?

Though filled with such doubts, it occurred to him that he had to make a promise to God, so he said, “Mr. God, please get me released from this jail, and in exchange I promise to abide by and obey any binding whatsoever You impose on me outside this jail.”

Kumar’s prayer did not end there. He thought to himself, “How will 1 know that God has accepted my bargain? If I am released, how will I know it is God’s doing?” So he added, “Please God, if you have accepted my promise and bargain, then get me released early tomorrow morning, when the gates are opened. If I am released at any other time instead of the following day. tomorrow evening or even a few hours after the gates open tomorrow morning, I will take it that my release was all by chance and not your doing.”

Kumar deliberately chose to be released before dawn, long before 10 AM when the prison superintendent, who would have to sign his release, arrived at his office. Only then would he be convinced that his release was an act of God and not a coincidence. Although he had been an agnostic for such a long time, after offering the prayer, Kumar felt that somehow God would respond. He even collected his belongings in readiness to leave prison.

That night, though he tried to get some rest, he was unable to sleep.

-“Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p304

 

NEWS: 31st Anniversary of Avatar Meher Baba Hyderabad Center, Jubilee Hills

Dear Brothers and sisters in Beloved Baba’s love,

You are all invited to participate in Sahavas on the occasion of 31st anniversary of the Centre on 19th November 2017 (Coming Sunday)

Route Link: 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Avatar+Meher+Baba+Mandir/@17.4445829,78.3998502,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x17acdc8f335c2bb4!8m2!3d17.4445829!4d78.4020389

The New Life: Food prepared for a few serves all!

Kumar with Baba

Around 10:00 a.m. on January 12th, 1950, Baba and the companions arrived in Dehra Dun. As soon as they stepped off the train, Baba immediately sent the women to the ladies’ waiting room, where they began shutting the windows and doors to conserve heat. Outside, there was an icy wintry rain.

Keka Nalavala, Keki Desai, and Kumar quickly found Baba and the men companions among the crowds at the station. As soon as Baba and the men gathered in the first class waiting room, He called them to join Him.

Keka said to Baba, who was reclining on a bench, “Here is Mr. Kumar. He is the person who arranged for the plot of land that we have purchased for the New Life stay.”

Baba greeted Kumar, who later said how impressed he was with Baba’s radiance. Baba then called for lunch to be served, and it was soon discovered that no arrangements had been made in advance for food, so Kumar offered to bring it, saying, “If it will be your pleasure, Baba, I can arrange it.”

“You will have to give the food in bhiksha,” Baba said. “Can you bring it within hour?”

Making some quick calculations in his mind, Kumar replied, “I can prepare vegetable pulao in an hour and bring it.”

Baba approved, and Kumar sped off on his motorcycle. Upon reaching Manjri Mafi, he told his wife, Subhadra, to prepare pulao for ten people within an hour (Pendu, Aloba, Donkin, Baidul and Sadashiv were still traveling overland from Najibabad). Subhadra immediately began cooking while Kumar, having heard how particular Baba was about time, made her nervous by staying in the kitchen and counting the minutes, adding, “Hurry up, for God’s sake,” in frequent intervals.

“Be patient, otherwise, the rice will be spoiled,” Subhadra said, as she cooked the rice at an even temperature in order not to burn it, while putting up with Kumar’s nagging, “Turn up the stove, there’s no time to wait!”

Filially, the  pulao was ready and Kumar raced to the railway station, arriving within the hour, which pleased Baba. However, when he looked around the waiting room, Kumar discovered that where previously there had been just ten people to teed, now there were more than twenty-five, lie had not known about the women companions who were in the ladies’ waiting mom.

Kumar anxiously watched as the pot of pulao was set on the table along with plates that had come from one of the companions’ trunks.

Baba then began serving each person, giving out very generous portions. “Take as much as you want,” He urged. “Eat your fill. You may not get anything later.”

After the men were served, Baba ordered that the remaining pulao be sent to the women companions. Before the pot was taken, Kumar  rushed to it, certain there was nothing left, but to his astonishment, he discovered that the pot was almost full. Breathless, he was convinced he had just witnessed a miracle.

-“Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p308

The New Life: The spontaneous generosity of this loving couple pleased Baba

[Stay in Najibabad] Two hours later, the sweet, elderly couple arrived with the meal still hot, and they were immediately taken by Adi to the Elder Brother.

Baba looked radiant, His long hair flowing, when  Makhan Lal and his wife first saw Him. Makhan Lal immediately bowed at His feet, and Adi could see that Baba was unhappy with this devotional gesture. Adi quietly explained to Him in Gujarathi that he had not revealed Baba’s identity to the man, but that Makhan Lal’s response was purely spontaneous.

Baba was satisfied with the explanation and lovingly accepted the food the merchant and his wife had brought. Moreover He allowed them to come the next day with their whole family. From then on, the merchant and his wife provided delicious hot meals mice a day, and the wife entertained the women with amusing stories.

Baba ordered the morning and afternoon teas from the rail-way station.

One day while Makhan Lal ‘s wife was visiting with Baba and the women, she began regaling them with colorful tales and Hindi songs, and at the end of one of the songs, she stopped and turned her wrinkled face to Baba and said, “If I were a few years younger, Baba, I would have gotten up and danced! But now, Baba, aching, aching.”

She had used the word  ‘Baba’ only as a respectful term, still not knowing anything about His true identity.

Baba asked her through Mani, who interpreted His gestures “How do you feel physically’.

“My whole body is in pain!.

“Is the pain in your legs specifically?.

“Oh, they pain the most!” was her reply, but it turned out that her entire body caused her pain. Even her fingers ached.

Baba called for homeopathic medicine from Baidul, who returned and handed the pills to Baba.

Looking at the tiny pills, she laughed. “I have so much pain, How could those small things help me?”

Baba gave her a few to swallow from His own hand. The old woman was so touched to receive this special attention from Baba that after consuming the pills, she resumed singing, and at one point without realizing it, she got so carried away that she stood up and began dancing.

Everyone was amazed. The pills given by Baha were so effective that almost instantaneously all of the pain that she had experienced for years was gone!

On another occasion, in a private meeting, Makhan Lal began weeping uncontrollably before Baba with so much love, without even knowing His name.

The spontaneous generosity of this loving couple pleased Baba very much.

-“Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p293

The New Life: Extraordinary requests served without questions

On January 9th, during the companions’ stay in the mango orchard at Akbarabad, Baba sent Adi, Dr. Ghani and Babadas ahead to the city of Najibabad to find accommodations with three conditions. First, they were to find a place to stay for three days and, if possible, to arrange for hot baths for the whole party. Second, they should try to find someone who would provide three meals a day and afternoon tea in bhiksha for their stay. And third, they were to find someone who would be willing to pay for railway tickets for the entire party from Najibabad to Dehra Dun.

This was an extraordinary challenge for the three men to accomplish in one day in an unfamiliar city. To guide them, they took the lead from something Baba had told them earlier, “You will be inspired. Just go. You’ll know whom to approach. Just ask them, but don’t disclose my name or anything about me.”

The men left for the train station in Akbarabad with the money Baba had supplied them for railway tickets to Najibabad and for transportation while there. They were also given some food and were told that when they ran out, they were to beg. On the train ride, the men were so hungry that before they reached Najibabad they had finished off their day’s ration.

When they arrived, they immediately went in search of a dharamshala. After locating the rest house, Adi began to arrange for a room in bhiksha. With some reluctance, the attendant gave them a very small room with three cots wedged inside.

Ghani, who was suffering from a heart condition, was very weak and had to rest for the day and Babadas’ sciatic pain suddenly flared up, forcing him to also remain bedridden. As a consequence, the responsibility for making all the arrangements fell on Adi’s shoulders. To make matters worse, Baba and the other companions were to arrive the next morning.

Adi quickly hired a tonga and asked the driver to take him omen of well-to-do families in the city, where he hoped, where he hoped to find individuals who might be willing to fulfill Baba’s condition. They traveled from place to place, but no one was willing to help Adi.

Finally, the tonga driver asked him what he was trying to do. When Adi explained, the driver said, “Why didn’t you tell me about this in the beginning?” The tongawala immediately proceeded to take Adi to a cloth merchant named Makhan Lal, who was known for his generosity. Immediately upon meeting him Adi explained the three conditions.

“Don’t depend on me for any residential arrangements,” the merchant replied. “As for the meals and tea…. I can manage it not only for three days but even for three weeks.”

Adi thanked him and said he would return later with directions to the place where the party would be staying.

The tonga driver then took Adi to a wholesale dealer who also possessed a generous nature. To this man, Adi quickly explained that he was traveling with a large party on its way to the Kumbha Mela near Hardwar and that they needed railway tickets from Najibabad to Dehra Dun. When asked how many, Adi said that they would need twenty third-class tickets.

Without even meeting the group or making further inquiries, the merchant called his clerk and asked him to calculate how much money would be needed, and when he had the figures, he ordered the clerk to hand Adi the money.

“But sir, we can’t accept money,” Adi said.

“How will you go? How will you buy your tickets?” the merchant asked.

“We will be camping at a certain spot on the outskirts of town. The head of the party has given us certain instructions. If you can follow them, He will be very pleased. The instructions are that we should not take any money that you might give us. On the contrary, you should instruct your own men to purchase the tickets to be delivered to us at the time we are to board the train,” Adi explained.

“What time is the train? What time have you fixed? “The train leaves three days from now at four o’clock in the morning,” Adi replied.

As extraordinary as this request was, the merchant agreed, and he immediately instructed his clerk to be at the railway station at 3:00 a.m. on the appointed day.

-“Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p288

The New Life: Eruch receives abundant food in bhiksha from an old man

No obligation on either side in begging:
“Baba’s name was not to be disclosed and begging was also to be done cheerfully and lovingly. The givers were not to be under the impression that they had conferred any obligation upon the companions, and the receiver was to accept the alms after carefully noting the spontaneity with which it was given.” (LM, p2862)

In another incident, when Baba sent him to beg in one of the villages, Eruch was heartened to see that it appeared quite prosperous. The companions were very hungry, and he hoped to obtain a large amount of rice and dal. As he moved hurriedly through one of the narrow lanes, he was stopped by an old man, who stepped forward, embraced Eruch and then kissed him on the cheek.

“Young man, where are you going in such haste?” he asked.

“I have to go and beg for food for my party.”

“Son, why do you want to leave the world and go out like this?”

“It’s the pleasure of my Elder Brother and my pleasure, too.”

“Do you know how fortunate you are to have such an inclination at this age? How blessed you are!”

“Well. I know this much, that I am really blessed to be with the company, I have right now.”

“Don’t be in a hurry,” the old man said as he led Eruch along the village lane to his house where he gave him enough oil, condiments, salt, sugar, rice and dal for a feast. Along with these items, he also provided Eruch with faggots of good firewood. Then the old man said, “But may I suggest one thing to you? After you have finished your pilgrimage or whatever work you have in mind, will you come back to me and live in my house as my son?” The old man again embraced Eruch.

Eruch, though very moved, politely explained that he could not make such a promise, but he thanked the old man profusely, and then carried the large quantity of food and wood to where Baba and the companions were waiting by the roadside. That food was enough for the whole day.

-“Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p288