The New Life: Manonash phase – The Imampur incident – Part 2 of 2

Inside the mosque – probably the room ventilator where the bird’s nest was located

Eruch quickly went back to the nest and was just about to reach for the birds when Baba again began clapping insistently. He stopped what he was doing and went back to Baba.

“Did you throw the bird out?” Baba gestured.

“No, Baba.”

“Leave the bird as it is. We committed a great mistake. To have instructed you to have the birds thrown out in the middle of the night was an act of great cruelty, for which I repent.”

Baba then said that it had been against the very conditions of the New Life to express anger and cruelty, and that it was Eruch’s duty to remind Him if He ever went against any of the conditions.

Eruch realized his serious oversight. “Baba, I completely forgot,” he said and then apologized.

“Well, anyway, it’s good that you didn’t throw the bird out or it would have poured water over (spoiled) the whole New Life. Go and sit outside and remind me about it tomorrow.”

When the men gathered, Baba asked Eruch to narrate the whole incident from the previous night.

To emphasize His mistake, Baba reiterated what happened and how Eruch should have immediately pointed out that His order to remove the birds was a serious violation of the New Life. To have thrown out the bird and its babies would have been a cruel act toward God’s creatures, the worst thing that could have happened in the New Life.

“Luckily,” Baba went on, “I reminded Eruch in time about it. Now the only way to rectify such a mistake is to punish myself. Now the only way for me to have the satisfaction of a clear conscience for what happened last night is for you to remove your sandals – of all four of you – and beat me with them [in India, this is a great insult], because of my having expressed cruelty to an innocent mother bird that was nesting!”

Baba then pinched His own ears and said, “We should be kind toward all creatures.”

He removed His sadra and stood in the middle of the bath stall, while each man struck Baba’s bare skin with his sandals two or three times. None held back in the least, because they knew Baba would have been greatly displeased.

Afterward, Baba looked at them, rubbed His hand over His heart, and said, “I am satisfied.” However, a moment later, He added, “I am pleased, but to crown the whole event, the last thing you all have to do is to spit on me.”

The companions, although pained, instantly complied.

Baba concluded the episode by saying, “This is a lesson to me for my cruelty. Henceforth, I will never be cruel.”

Eruch later said that as an ordinary man in the New Life, Baba, must atone for His arrogance, had to suffer humiliation at the hands of His intimate companions.

– Extracted from “Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p646

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