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45

 

This time, Maharaj received me exactly as predicted by Meher Baba, with great love and warmth; and he not only confirmed me in my faith in Meher Baba but asked me to carry on under his guidance.

 

The great esteem which Maharaj has for Meher Baba became strikingly manifest in the occasion of the forty-second birthday of Meher Baba, which came on the 16th of February, 1936. On this occasion Meher Baba had gone to Madras where his birthday was celebrated by his devotees: but before going to Madras, he had asked his devotees at Ahmednagar not to celebrate that birthday in any way. On this birthday, in the absence of Meher Baba, Maharaj unexpectedly paid a visit to the Khusru Quarters of Gulmai at Ahmednagar and himself performed the Arti of Meher Baba's photo and told Gulmai: “Meher is my Beloved Son. Tell him that I came and performed the Arti of his photo on the occasion of his birthday." In the light of this event, the injunction of Meher Baba which asked his disciples not to celebrate his birthday in any way, became intelligible, ‘for what the Master does, he does for everyone.' When Maharaj performed the Arti of the photo of Meher Baba, he was really performing the Arti of his own Self in another form; and this sort of tribute from one's own spiritual Master is unique even in the history of Masters and can be best understood when we consider that Meher Baba is not only a Perfect Master but the Avatar of our age and has ahead of him a special world-task of the spiritual redemption of humanity.

 

I had again a personal opportunity to observe the esteem which Maharaj has for Meher Baba, on the 4th of January, 1939, when I had gone for his darshana, at Upasniwadi in Nagpur. When I humbly presented to Maharaj a copy of the Marathi biography of Meher Baba, Maharaj with his own hands garlanded Meher Baba's photo on the cover of the book and returned it to me as his prasad. On this occasion, Maharaj also gave a beautiful discourse on the true meaning of Seva (Service). He said: "The Master is never keen about the service of his own person. What he appreciates most is the service which a person renders to humanity, which is a manifestation of God Himself. The significance of the religion of service is very deep and is unfathomable even to the yogis."

 

The discourses of Maharaj are sweet, simple and inspiring; and his stately personality, which is an embodiment of spiritual understanding and love as well as power, is a source of inspiration to those who meet him. This is testimony of the personal experience of hundreds of devotees, who have established contact with Maharaj. It, however, remains true that the ways of Maharaj are inscrutable to the worldly-minded; and he often is an enigma to those to whom he does not reveal himself. This reminds us of the verse in the Geeta (which Maharaj is said to repeat frequently) saying:

 

"As I veil myself through yoga-created Maya, I do not manifest to all."

 

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