|Photo courtesy of Winifred Kershaw|
Baba's gifts are countless. Every morning on waking, I greet with bowed head
and palms together each and every photo of Baba in my room: and Mehera's photos, too. That does not prevent me from adding another and another if they are ones I like, for they keep alive the ever present memory of these dear ones. In a way I am thanking them for my being with them. In Baba's and Mehera's rooms, too, I bow down to the photos, and at their beds.
There is a particular picture in Mehera's room, at the head of her bed, of Baba standing, smiling enigmatically. It is of our early days with Baba in Meherazad. My sister had wanted to take a photo of Baba, and we were standing in the garden waiting for Baba to arrive. Naturally, seeing us, He asked what we were doing there, and I mentioned the photo. Immediately Baba flung His umbrella away and Naggu took the photo. I thank Baba that He let her. I thank Baba that I was there, and this photo is a wonderful reminder of those happy days.
Mehera, on awakening, would always bow to Baba's image on the tree outside her window, and then to all Baba's photos in her room. She would come to this photo of Baba's and bow down at His feet with her forehead, then raise her head to kiss His feet. Often I have seen her do so. That motion expressed her yearning to reach upward, ever upward, to be with Him. All these thoughts come to me as gifts from Baba - gifts of His love - living memories of Mehera's love for Him.
In the dining room I bow at Baba's chair and see Baba there. And I also see Mehera. She would never sit down to a meal without first bowing to Baba's photo behind His chair and then drawing His chair away from the table, as she used to do, for Baba to be seated. After bringing the chair in place, she would say "Jai Baba" with joined hands. Never did I want to miss seeing her doing this before her meal. She was inviting Baba to join her at the table, and we would stand up and say "Jai Baba" with her, feeling, almost seeing, Baba standing there and then seating Himself at His table.
After breakfast I go around Baba-Mehera's garden to collect the flowers for His house. This we did not do when Baba was with us physically. Where was the need, when His presence and beauty shone everywhere? And where was the time? It was all directed towards Him. But later Mehera wanted it, so somehow I got involved.
As I pass by I bow to her bed, where Baba's photo is, and Mehera's photo. Then I bow to Seclusion Hill, and then, as I pass by, to Baba's gift to Mehera, His image on the tree outside her window. Then I bow to her window as if to her. I then bow "Jai Baba" to Baba's window -His "T.V. window"- and then to His "T.V. view," thanking Him for His beautiful gift of Meherazad and for allowing His Mehera to be with us all those years. I also bow to all the wells whose water supply has kept Meherazad going, in thankfulness for this wondrous
gift that helped us stay in His home in Meherazad and enabled us to
care for His and Mehera's garden, in spite of the drought conditions to
which 'Nagar is so prone.
Truly His gifts are limitless. Just in the first two hours of the gift of each day that He gives us, I cannot enumerate how much He has given and still gives. He gives to each and all, and we must keep our hearts open to these gifts. He will not clap His hands and point them out. We have to keep our hearts open to receive them as His Love shines on each and all.
In Meherazad we cannot mourn - or should not - the passing of our Beloved
Baba and Mehera. That would be selfishness on our parts. Their home is so filled with memories of their beautiful Presence. For this we are ever joyful and grateful.
There is a small cabinet in the hallway outside the dining room door. Everyone in the way of work passes by it many times a day. One cannot help but see - as it was intended to be - the photo on it of Beloved Baba's hand. Mehera would often, in passing, touch this photo and afterwards touch her hand to her lips or her heart. I have seen her stand before it, gazing in rapt contemplation, sometimes with silent tears rolling down her cheeks. Hesitating to disturb her, yet feeling she needed to be consoled, I, or one of us, would stop by. But we would realize those tears were of deep thankfulness. She was remembering how much Baba had silently given through the touch of His hands, all the countless gifts to us and all the world, especially to Mehera herself.
Thousands upon thousands during darshan received prasad from Baba's hands.
Often He would give with both hands throughout the day for hours on end. This
was not just the automatic action of giving, but the real prasad of His love reaching them through His unforgettable touch. And each one would feel they had had their own special moment of darshan.
Those slim, shapely hands had worked hard in manual labor, in washing the feet of the poor, in bathing masts and lepers. All this Mehera would recount. And these were just the outward signs of the real gift He gave. How can we gauge the inner benefit of such grace? Grace flows eternally for one and all from Him, who is All Merciful and Eternally Benevolent. Be receptive to Him.
When you look around you in the place where you live, you will realize how close Baba's contact is with you, also: not only in your individual lives, but through the invaluable legacy of His books, photos, and movies. And you have had contact with many of His followers: the mandali who lived with Him, and those who loved and followed Him when He was physically in our midst. Do not dwell on the fact that most of them are no longer with us, but rather on the countless gifts that Baba has given you through them. What would Australia have been without Francis, or Myrtle Beach without Elizabeth and Kitty, or England without dear Delia, or New Zealand
without Baba's special gift of Anthony? Do not dwell on what is no longer there, but on what you have already been given! Otherwise, we would be belittling His
gifts. Use each opportunity you get, when faced with difficulty or adversity, as the biggest gifts He offers you. In our complete acceptance and surrender to His will is our opportunity to give, in some measure, to the One who has everything. It is the chance for the individual drop to give to the Limitless Ocean.