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7

 

contact, I realized his love for me that became all engulfing in oneness of his thought and the aloofness of everything else (besides myself), including a few persons whom I held so dear to myself. I may have seen Merwan more than once at Sakori and I always felt inclined to emulate his indifferent attitude towards bodily comforts. This I could not keep up for long and later realized that it was of the greatest consequence for me to absorb his overflowing love that gave life to my life and made it worth living for the highest conceivable purpose.

 

Merwan came to my father's new house with Gustadji (the "shadow" side of him as he always said about Gustadji) when Upasni Maharaj was there. Merwan looked the same as I saw him at Sakori, except that this time he was paying much attention to me and my movements and showing a close interest in me, as that of a father for his son or a brother for his younger brother. Merwan was at Ahmednagar throughout the week's stay of Upasni Maharaj. Just then I had fever and was laid in bed in our joint family's other house. Maharaj gave me quinine pills which I took regularly and Merwan constantly enquired of my health. Veritably he came to my bed many times during the day, helping me to sit up and move about a little. It is at this juncture that I was struck with his love and affection which was so cordial and intimate, that I could hardly imagine. The tenderness with which he almost nursed me during my illness was so touching that I was drawn deeply inwards with the imprint of his beautiful face and yet carried so far away to the land of his unforgettable love that I hardly felt myself alone all the time. I felt his loving presence ever filling me with a joyous longing for something more high and pure of his Being.

 

Merwan had a beautiful voice. I called it a "juicy" voice. He was fond of singing and often sang Urdu and Persian ghazals and Kabir and Tukaram bhajans. When I got well in a few days, I accompanied him on the harmonium and he sang in a deep, loud voice with resonant notes and 'tarz’. Merwan had himself composed many Gujarati songs and Urdu ghazals.

 

The old Parsi Dharmashala at Ahmednagar, where my parents lived for a number of years, was not completely vacated. Once Merwan and I happened to be in this dharmashala sitting on the edge of a stone-tiled open pavement near the well, at the back portion of this house, when Merwan spoke to me of the future course of my life which would be of deep significance to me in my love and obedience to him. It would bring me a wide recognition of discipleship amongst his devotees and make my life a fit instrument for doing his work that would spread the world over. It gave me immense joy to have been proposed to be included so much in the confidence of his love and his future work, and at once I agreed to be prepared for his call when he would decide to have me. This was enough for me to be in readiness, when the time came to join him.

 

My mother was an immense source of encouragement to me. She had great love for Merwan and by her frequent references to me, she helped to keep alive within me the fire of love and enthusiasm to be ever prepared to obey Merwan. As time went on, she brought home to me the fact that her son (meaning me) would be for all time gifted away to Merwan, for anything Merwan may like to do with my life and that she would no longer have any claim on me, as her son.

 

College:

 

When I passed the matriculation examination, my father agreed to have me join Deccan College in Poona. The thought of Merwan came to me again and again. The purity of his loving remembrance was so deep and sweet that Upasni Maharaj (although his contact was of a longer duration) and his thought seemed to be getting dissolved into that of Merwan, who began standing uppermost before my mind's eye

(Continued on page 42)

 

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