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The Archives of Navsari

 

by Dr. H P. Bharucha

 

The late Sorabji M. Desai of Navsari was an author of nearly a hundred books on a variety of subjects — social, religious and spiritual philosophy. He was a sincere seeker of Truth and knew that the goal could not be attained without a Master. Kabirji, a Perfect Master, has said, "When the time is ripe for a seeker, the Master comes on his own, knocking at the seeker's door."

 

Those words were very true in the case of Sorabji, who, on the 17th of February, 1917, received a ghazal by post. Enclosed in the envelope was a letter signed by Meherwan. The pen name in the ghazal was Huma. The letter read: "I am sending you my humble ghazal which I composed yesterday. Please accept it. Lover of God — Huma."

 

Sorabji had never seen or heard about Meher Baba at that time. It was his usual practice to destroy all letters, but every time he would pick up this ghazal to destroy it, something prevented him from doing so. Sorabji wondered who could have sent him the ghazal which was impregnated with Divine Love and rich in meaning.

 

In 1918, Meher Baba sent two of His disciples, Mr. Bailey Irani and Mr. Rustom Irani, to see Sorabji, with instructions that Sorabji should write the life story of Upasni Maharaj of Sakori. Bailey Irani had already written the life story and Sorabji was to rewrite it, with the help of Bailey's manuscript. When they asked Sorabji to do what Baba wanted, he replied, "Why should I trouble myself for him whom I have never known? Go back with all your papers and tell your Master that I do not want to do this work and I am not bound to do it." Reluctantly, the disciples returned to Bombay and related what had happened. Baba sent them back to Sorabji with strict orders, "Go and tell him that he must do my work and only he can do it."

 

When the disciples again knocked at Sorabji's door, they were prepared to face the music. Sorabji was most indignant and said that he took no orders from Meher Baba and that he would not write the life story of a saint whom he did not know. Again the disciples returned to Baba. Baba told them, "Go back and give Sorabji the manuscript. If he refuses, throw it on his chest and come away." By the next train they were back to Navsari. They did not know what would happen this time. But Sorabji agreed to do this work, though quite unwillingly. Sorabji had no idea at that time how his life would be molded in the future by Meher Baba. He had never dreamt that this service would bring Upasni Maharaj to his home several times in the near future. The disciples talked to Sorabji about Meher Baba and tried to explain the strange ways in which Masters work. The Master knows the reason for his orders and does what is best for the seeker even if the latter feels the Master is doing something wrong. Sorabji told them, "If Meher Baba is a Master, he is yours and not mine." After the disciples went away, Sorabji realized that the ghazal he had

 

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