A Last Message for Us All

In the wee hours of the morning on 31st January 1969, Baba was resting in His bed, facing the wall, while Eruch gently massaged His body. Earlier in the night the mandali had been called to hold His limbs during spasms so violent that they virtually lifted His body from the bed. Now Baba was resting more easily.

Eruch recalled, “I was facing Baba’s back and pressing His body, when suddenly His fingers started to spell something out. In order to see His hands, I leaned over His shoulder and began to read out the letters Baba was forming with His fingers: ‘He did not come back.’

“I was bewildered by Baba’s comment. What did He mean? I knew that even the small movements necessary to gesture could give rise to another spasm.

“Twenty minutes later, Baba again repeated, ‘He did not come back.’ My mind was still pondering His words when it struck me.

“Just a few days earlier, Baba had asked me if I had a joke or something entertaining to read to Him. Living with the Godman, you can’t say, ‘I don’t know.’ The slave must always be ready to carry out the behests of his Beloved, so I had to be prepared. I had recently come across an article I found amusing in a Gujerati magazine and had kept it with me in case Baba should ask for a joke. So when He did, I read it out to Him.

“There was a Tibetan monk living in a monastery who was much revered by his followers. One evening he abruptly announced, ‘I must go now, but I shall come back.’ He then walked out of the monastery, never to be seen again. More than 2000 years had passed and the monk had not returned. Still, in anticipation of the fulfillment of this promise, his followers have kept everything ready for him.

“Baba gestured, ‘But where is the joke?’

“I replied, ‘Baba, just wait, I am coming to that.’

“The article speculated that if all the bed sheets that had been changed each morning were spread out end to end, they would cover the surface of the earth. If all the dust that had been swept from the monk’s room were accumulated into one mound, it would create a mountain, and if all the water from the pitchers beside his bed were collected, it would fill a lake. Because millennia had passed and his followers were still awaiting the monk’s return, I found the story very humorous. But Baba made no response. Not even a smile crossed his face.”

On that fateful morning when Eruch finally realized that Baba was referring to the story, he blurted out, “Baba, are you talking about the monk?”

“Yes,” Baba replied, “the monk did not return, but I shall return.”

The Avatar becomes the Perfect Man amongst men. Thus, a simple story, told to Baba by Eruch to amuse His Lord, reveals, through the Godman’s compassion, an everlasting message to His lovers.

—Davana Brown for Avatar Meher Baba Trust, 29 January 2015

Meher Baba’s bedroom, early days of February 1969
(Photo by Don Stevens, courtesy Martin Cook)