The Chhagan Day (Part 1)
The Combined Diary
Without offering any refreshments or words of welcome, family members begin insulting Baba and attacking Chhagan, taunting and goading him to leave Baba and live a householder's life, folios #2v118-2v123, February 11, 1927.
Chhagan was known as a devotee who had completely surrendered to Baba, sincerely carrying out his orders and instructions. As a child Chhagan had been married to a child bride who had now reached maturity and his family were pressuring him to leave Baba and take up worldly life with his wife. His brother-in-law insisted on Chhagan's attendance at the marriage of his sister-in-law. Chhagan agreed and Baba gave him permission to attend.
However in accordance with Baba's instruction, "Don't leave me under any circumstance even when I ask you to do so," Chhagan refused to go alone. At 4 AM Baba took his seat in the Makan and chose those of the mandali who were to accompany him and sent the remainder back to bed. At 5:30 they departed on foot by way of the railroad tracks. Chhagan was dressed in shorts and Baba insisted he dress respectably. During this time Baba was making veiled remarks warning Chhagan to "take care."
Keeping a brisk pace and occasionally running, they rapidly covered the five miles to Akolner where they located the place of the ceremony with difficulty after wandering around the village and meeting the same stranger several times in different places. They arrived just as the ceremony was about to be performed. Their reception was very unfriendly; no seat had been prepared for Baba. He sat outside and sent the mandali in to attend the ceremony.
Afterward, without offering any refreshments or words of welcome, family members began insulting Baba and attacking Chhagan, taunting and goading him to leave Baba and live a householder's life. Calmly and with great patience Baba participated in the discussion. He had emphasized to Chhagan for several days to stick with him to the last and yet on the surface it seemed that Baba was agreeing with the family members, even at one point signing to Chhagan to stay home.
For a long time Chhagan refused to leave Baba but finally to the surprise of the mandali he gave in and agreed with his relatives to stay home. The mandali were disappointed and they seemed to see signs of disappointment in Baba's expressions also. Baba was about to walk away when Chhagan entreated him to stay and take some refreshment. Baba agreed but Chhagan's family declined and found reasons why they could not provide refreshments. A brahmin among the guests stepped forward and offered to provide tea for the whole party.
To be continued.
Part 113: The Combined Diary
2006, Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust
All Rights Reserved