MURLI AND THE PRIEST
When we went into the New Life, Murli was one of our companions and he still continued to ask me, "When are you going to teach me English?” Well, one day an advertisement appeared in the newspaper which said that one could learn about the life of Jesus through a correspondence course and when I pointed it out to Murli, he was enthused.
This desire of Murli to learn English became greater after we returned to Meherazad and so I encouraged him to take up the course as a way of learning English in the process. This he did and he carried on with it for about two or three years.
Often during this period he would come to me for answers to biblical questions and I would dictate them to him. So his English improved and finally he took the examination test by mail. Thereafter, we forgot about the course and moved to Mahabaleshwar where Baba was in seclusion.
Then one day Murli came panting to me asking for my help in dealing with a Catholic priest who had come to see him. It just so happened that at that moment I was in my shorts, bare-chested and my hands black with charcoal as I was stoking the fire and preparing hot water for baths. Nevertheless dressed as I was, I went with Murli to the priest and inquired his business.
He said that he had come to meet with Murli personally to present him with a copy of the Bible as the first prize winner of the Bible correspondence course. We all smiled, accepted the prize and congratulated Murli. But before leaving, the priest turned to me and asked, "Who are you and what are you doing here?"
"I am a slave," I said.
"What! slave?" asked the priest, astonished.
"Yes, I am the slave of my Lord," I answered.
"Who is your Lord?"
"My Lord is Meher Baba."
"Does he accept slaves? Is there slavery here?" He asked, completely puzzled.
"Father, I don't know how to express this, but we have exercised our freedom in order to become slaves."
"Who is Meher Baba?" He asked
I came to the point and said, "Just as you take Jesus Christ as your Lord, we accept Meher Baba as our Lord."
"Blasphemy!" thundered the priest.
"Why should it be blasphemy? Has not Jesus said that He will come again? Has He not promised us His return? What is blasphemous about that?" I enquired.
"Are you trying to tell me that Jesus has come again as Meher Baba?"
"Yes, I am telling you just that!"
"I can't hear that; I should not hear it," he remonstrated.
"Well you asked for it and I am telling you."
"Jesus indicated that He would come through the clouds with trumpets heralding."
"Father, do you really believe that He would come through the clouds? That was a symbolic representation of His coming."
"We have a common ground," I continued, "we both love Jesus and I am saying that Jesus has come again as Meher Baba because I have been living with Him for many years and I have that conviction. How can you say that He is not what I say He is without experiencing or meeting Him?"
The priest had no answer but decided to hear more about Meher Baba and finally left with a Baba book and with more understanding and humility.
THE ANCIENT ONE, pp. 75-76, ed Naosherwan Anzar
1985 © Naosherwan Anzar