DR.DESHMUKH CHAKRADHAR DHARNIDHAR
Chakradhar Dharnidhar Deshmukh was intellectual and devoted close disciple of Meher Baba who met Him in 1932 when he was studying doctorate in philosophy in London.
Many of his lifetime events and interactions with Meher Baba are written below:
He was Hindu with a gifted intellect and philosophical mind. He came to know of Meher Baba’s presence in the city through the accounts in the Daily Herald. Baba had actually inwardly contacted him four months earlier, as Deshmukh dreamed he saw Baba standing before him. In the dream, Baba spoke to him: “You are closely connected with me. You are a good man.” Seeing him hesitating to accept this, Baba asked, “Are you not?”
Deshmukh replied, “Good or bad, please take me up into you.” Baba’s response was an immediate wave of love and light. “It was like bathing in cool clear moonlight,” Deshmukh recalled.
When he later saw a photograph of Baba in the newspaper, he recognized him as the One who had already won his heart. Baba’s picture further attracted him to the Lord, and he was longing to have Baba’s darshan. Deshmukh later recollected: “As I looked at the photograph, I found in his eyes just that assurance of divine guidance which I had been looking for. The expression in his eyes brought to me the tidings of Truth from that far-off land unseen, where there is the final Realization of the Eternal and Infinite Source and Goal of life.”
Deshmukh came to see Baba at the Knightsbridge Hotel on December 8th 1932. He brought with him Mrs. MacGregor-Morris, a professor, and a Mr. N. C. Kelkar, who had come to London for the Round Table Conference. During their meeting, Baba asked young Deshmukh, “What do you do?”
Deshmukh explained that he was studying philosophy. “And what is the meaning of philosophy?” Baba inquired teasingly.
Deshmukh answered, “It is a science which reveals the hidden Reality.”
Smiling, Baba replied, “To me, philosophy is that which makes a simple thing difficult!”
Meeting Meher Baba face-to-face had a profound effect on Dr. Deshmukh, as he was later called, for this darshan taught him the true meaning of philosophy. From then on, he became an ardent disciple and proved to be helpful in Baba’s writing and publication work.
In 1933, after completing his doctorate, Deshmukh came to see Baba and stayed for four days. He asked Baba, “What am I to do now?”
Smiling, Baba replied, “Just be sure not to forget Me!” Baba told him to seek employment with the remark, “Look for a job in a university, but with the conviction that you do so in order to fulfill my instructions. I am always with you, but you must always keep me with you.”
Deshmukh was well read and, having been influenced by Krishnamurti’s writings, asked Baba, “Is it not possible to progress on the spiritual path without the aid of a guru?”
Baba answered, “Bandage your eyes, and then go find Adi and bring him here!”
Adi Jr. was in the next room, so Deshmukh asked, “How can I find him while blindfolded?”
“First blindfold yourself,” Baba instructed.
Deshmukh hesitatingly tied a scarf over his eyes and Baba motioned to Chanji to lead him to Adi Jr.’s room.
Accordingly, Chanji did so and Deshmukh soon returned to Baba, who asked, “Why couldn’t you go to Adi’s room alone?”
“I was unable to find the way blindfolded,” he said.
“So you needed the help of one who knew the way?”
“Yes, I suppose,” Deshmukh acknowledged.
Baba then elaborated, “In the same way, you will not be able to find the Path. You are blindfolded by illusion. If you want to traverse the Path, you will have to seek the aid of One who knows where to find it, else you will wind up meandering here and there, probably breaking your head and both legs in the process. You will gain nothing.”
Baba’s clarification freed Deshmukh of his misconception, and Baba jokingly asked, “Can you not understand such a simple thing, you doctor of philosophy? Or is it your philosophy that is confusing you?”
Four days later, Deshmukh returned to India and immediately got a job as a professor at Morris College, Nagpur University.
On 16th September 1933, C. D. Deshmukh and a relative were on their way to see Baba. They were to arrive at 10:00 A.M., but had still not shown up by 1:00 P.M. Annoyed by the delay, Baba got upset with Chanji and Vishnu, declaring, “You men are quite useless! I doubt whether you gave Deshmukh proper directions.”
Chanji replied, “Correct directions were sent to him, but it is possible that he has been delayed by the heavy rains.”
This made Baba even more angry and he upbraided them both. He became extremely restless and asked, “What do you gain by making Me so uneasy?” Vishnu and Chanji could not understand why Baba was so upset. Baba added bitterly, “I do not want to see Deshmukh now. If he comes, tell him to go away. Let him die!”
After a while, Baba ordered, “Somehow or other, bring Deshmukh here at 3:30 P.M.” Chanji and Vishnu did not know where Deshmukh was staying in Nasik. Vishnu was wondering what to do, when Baba told him, “On second thought, bring him here at 2:30. If you do not, Deshmukh will die!”
Vishnu still had no idea where Deshmukh was. Baba took him to task, “Why are you sitting here? Go fetch him!” Vishnu left and tried to find Deshmukh by visiting the houses of a few Brahmin families in Nasik. Luckily, he found Deshmukh staying in one of these homes and brought him to Baba at exactly 2:30 P.M.
Soon afterward, all traffic on the Godavri Bridge was brought to a standstill. The heavy rains had caused floods and the bridge was in danger of being washed out. The police had placed roadblocks across the road leading to the bridge. Had Deshmukh failed to appear at 2:30, he would not have been able to meet Baba. It was Baba’s nazar that made him cross the bridge before it was closed. Only then did Chanji and Vishnu grasp the significance of Baba’s foul mood and anxiousness over Deshmukh’s arrival.
After meeting Indumati, Baba permitted Deshmukh to marry her, spelling out, “You are destined to marry and have found a very good companion.” The date for the wedding was set for the following April.
Knowing Deshmukh’s highly philosophical mind, Baba explained to him, “You will have various thoughts; you will have doubts and your mind will argue. But remember one thing: I am the Truth. If your mind goes on wondering and wandering, let it. Do not run after it from place to place – from one Master or saint to another. Hold fast to Me.”
Baba’s remarks to Deshmukh were very meaningful. Some time ago, Deshmukh had thought: “Meher Baba is a Parsi and I am a Brahmin. Baba’s Master Upasni Maharaj is also a Brahmin. Why should I not follow Upasni Maharaj? He is a Brahmin as well as Baba’s Master. By following Him, I will derive more knowledge than from Baba. Besides, to be a devotee of a Parsi is not really befitting for me.”
These thoughts eventually led Deshmukh to visit Upasni Maharaj’s ashram in Sakori. Deshmukh approached Upasni, carrying a flower garland. However, as soon as Upasni saw him, he began cursing obscenities at him, shouting for him to leave immediately. Taken aback, Deshmukh stood off at a distance; Upasni spotted him and started throwing rocks at him. This frightened Deshmukh and he left, recalling the woeful stories of others who also had experienced a similar rough treatment from Upasni Maharaj.
In a state of dismay, Deshmukh was grievously hurt and unfavorably impressed by Upasani’s harshness and thought: “Baba is so kind. He is so full of love. Upasni Maharaj is just the opposite! To follow Meher Baba is much better.”
In the end, Deshmukh narrated this incident to Baba who observed, “Upasni Maharaj is a real Sadguru. Remember that! You have no idea about the ways of the Perfect Masters. No one can understand them. You went to Upasni Maharaj on your own; now, according to My order, go back to him.”
Bewildered, Deshmukh pleaded, “I am ready to do anything you say, Baba, except go back to Upasni Maharaj! You do not know how furious he was and what he said to me. I cannot go back there. I am terrified of him!”
Baba replied, “This is My order. Go to him once more to fulfil My instructions. If not, leave Me and never see Me again!”
“But, Baba,” Deshmukh protested, “I have become yours and do not wish to approach anyone else.”
“To be Mine means to keep My will. Since you cannot do it, how can you say you are Mine?” asked Baba.
Deshmukh felt helpless and returned home to Nagpur. Fortunately, Upasni Maharaj came soon afterward to visit Nagpur.
Overcoming the trepidation filling his heart, Deshmukh got up the courage to go and see him. He took a book he had written about the Master with Meher Baba’s photograph on the cover.
Strangely enough, Upasni Maharaj was happy to see Deshmukh this time and was very gentle and kind. He made him sit close and talked lovingly with him. Deshmukh offered his book about Meher Baba to Upasni Maharaj. Seeing Baba’s photograph, Maharaj reverently touched the book to his forehead; he garlanded the photograph and handed the book back to Deshmukh as prasad.
Deshmukh was thus convinced that the harsh treatment meted out by Upasni Maharaj at Sakori was due to his own improper thoughts about Meher Baba and Master-hood. He had found Upasni loving and considerate this time. From then on, he had rock-like faith in Meher Baba.
Baba continued to work in seclusion at Panchgani for certain hours each morning. Dr. Deshmukh and his wife Indumati also arrived on 8th April to see Baba, and spent all morning with him. The next day Deshmukh met with Baba alone and voiced a complaint against Indumati, “My wife has no love for you, Baba. Shower your grace and make her love you!” This led to an explanation from Baba on the four ways in which he works:
There are four types or ways in which I work:
With my Universal mind for the universe;
With my individual mind for individuals;
Indirect working when I send and receive messages to and from My agents.
Indirect working for individuals means when I am always present near My disciples and devotees and help them indirectly. Direct working means when I give definite orders to a person. When the disciple is carrying them out, I am present to help them directly. When I give definite orders, I definitely help.
For example, suppose I told you to go and sit in a cave and repeat My name. Following My order, you go sit in the cave. Meanwhile a tiger comes by the cave; you see it, it sees you, but it does not kill you. This is direct help because I had told you to go and sit in the cave.
Indumati was called. Baba gave certain instructions to her and Deshmukh, and further stated:
Now I have given you definite instructions. These orders you must obey at all costs. That is why I asked you both, “Will you do it?” And you have both promised. I then gave you the orders and now you must follow them. Don’t think that you have come from such a long distance to stay with Me and I am telling you to go back. Why think that? I am definitely coming with you. Keep this very clear in your mind. I will now be present with you to help you directly. I have also told you it would be according to your wish. But the fact is that it will also be according to My wish!
Not only you (Deshmukh) but she too must experience My infinite, formless state. Although she might not have the same intense longing as you, still both of you have past connections with Me and you both must experience My real state. How do you know that in the past she did not have this longing? She did have it, I know it! It is I who has arranged all this. Now you must carry out My instructions literally.
Baba concluded, “Don’t meditate, but have this longing — ‘I want to be one with Baba’s Infinite Existence!’ ”
In 1939, Dr. Deshmukh arrived from Nagpur to see Baba. Deshmukh had written a Marathi book on Baba’s life, which had recently been published. He told Baba that people were asking him why Baba was calling himself God. They were saying, “Isn’t this the expression of Meher Baba’s ego? Isn’t He a supreme egotist?” Deshmukh did not know how to answer them. Baba gave this explanation:
In all that a God-realized soul or an ordinary man says or does, the I in him assert itself. The difference between the two is that the I in the ordinary man is limited, whereas in the God-realized being it is unlimited. If Deshmukh says, “I have written the book,” it is the limited I in Deshmukh asserting a certain job he has done. But when I say, “I am God,” it is the unlimited I asserting its universal aspect.
The limited I must go for the unlimited I to take its place. The limited I is like a seven-headed demon. The seven heads of lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, jealousy and hatred must be killed so thoroughly that not even the slightest trace remains. When the false I is completely destroyed, another I, which is Real and unlimited, takes its place.
Deshmukh went to see Upasni Maharaj in Nagpur, and presented him with a copy of his new Marathi book on Baba’s life. Maharaj placed a garland on Meher Baba’s photograph on the book’s cover, and handed it back to Deshmukh as his prasad. When Baba heard of this incident on the 7th in a letter from Deshmukh, Baba remarked, “The old man is again falling head over heels in love with Me.”
Meanwhile Deshmukh wrote to Baba that he had met Mahatma Gandhi at his ashram in Segaon on the 20th. Gandhi had declined to write an introduction to Deshmukh’s latest book about Baba. According to Deshmukh, Gandhi still seemed cordial toward Baba and enjoyed reading the Meher Baba Journal, which Deshmukh suggested be sent to him monthly.
A third meeting was held at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore on 9th November. The Nobel Prize winning Indian physicist Dr. C. V. Raman chaired the gathering. Deshmukh gave a stirring speech on the question of science versus spirituality. Norina and Nadine then spoke about their experiences of being with Meher Baba. Deshmukh had been so logical and convincing, and Norina and Nadine so sincere, that Raman was impressed with the depth of their feelings, in spite of himself.
On 11th April 1942, Baba wrote to Deshmukh, directing him to meet Gandhi again, and try to explain Baba’s viewpoint properly.
Deshmukh saw Gandhi at his ashram in Wardha on the 15th, but Gandhi still did not accept “non-violent violence” and clung to his own rigid outlook.
In 1943, Baba asked Anna 104 to recite some shlokas from the Gita, which he did. Baba explained their meaning in English and his remarks were translated into Hindi by Ghani. When Deshmukh was asked to render them into Marathi, he looked confused and kept staring at Baba. He was befuddled and seemed unaware of what was happening around him!
When told again to give out the Marathi version, Deshmukh looked as if he had just been awakened from sleep. He could not do the translation, since he had not listened properly nor could he remember what was said.
Baba remarked about Deshmukh: “Here is a man who has both head and heart which is a very rare combination in any disciple. He writes My articles (discourses) in the (Meher Baba) Journal from the points I dictate, and writes them well, as you all know. But now in My presence he is so lost in love that he looks like a mast!”
In Calcutta, Deshmukh told Baba, “Cholera is spreading throughout the city, and our drinking water should be boiled.” Baba agreed, and Deshmukh brought an earthen pot in which to store the boiled water. One day, as Deshmukh was out distributing chapattis with Babadas, he felt thirsty but was afraid to drink water away from their hotel. The next day, he solved the problem by taking the earthenware pot with them, and making Babadas carry it on his head. Deshmukh would go forward, and Babadas would follow, as best he could, with the pot balanced on his head.
On 17th May 1943, All gathered to` hear Baba’s explanation of the Divine Theme chart:
You have to follow this very carefully since it is most important. You have to ponder over it tomorrow during the internal silence. The explanations in Urdu, Gujarati and Marathi will be given again later by t Deshmukh saw Gandhi at his ashram in Wardha on the 15th, but Gandhi still did not accept “non-violent violence” and clung to his own rigid outlook.
Deshmukh would read aloud, and intermittently Baba would clarify certain points. At one point, Baba stopped him and spelled out, “When we say ‘ages’ it is wrong. In Infinity there is no age. There is absolutely nothing like ‘ages.’ But in duality, we have to say that time exists.”
When Deshmukh had finished, Baba began his explanation by stating: “Today, let us begin by saying that only God exists. If there is something beyond God, that too is God, and so every one of you is within God.”
Deshmukh read out the foreword to the chart, and Baba said: “I have already explained all this before, but today I will throw more light on it and make it clear.”
On the same evening, Deshmukh presented a kirtan recital in praise of the Master at the National College Hall in Dhantoli, which Baba attended with the mandali. The hall was packed.
In 1944, Baba explained: The spiritual path is like climbing up to the mountaintop through hills and dales and thorny woods and along steep and dangerous precipices. If there is one thing which is most necessary for a safe and sure arrival at the top, it is love. All other qualities which are essential for the aspirants of the Highest can and must come to them if they faithfully follow the whispers of the unerring guide of love.
If you lose hold of the mantle of this guide, there is only despair in store for you. The gateway to the highest state of being one with God is firmly closed to all who do not have the courage to lose their separate existence in the restless fire of divine love!
Dr. Deshmukh was so completely overwhelmed to hear this in Baba’s presence, he declared, “Look! The Avatar has come here! The complete Avatar! The very personification of divinity, whose descent the world has been waiting for!”
Deshmukh’s nine-year-old daughter Sanjeevani then gave a dance recital. The entire Deshmukh family was at Baba’s feet and Deshmukh himself had become the mouthpiece of Meher! C. D. Deshmukh left no stone unturned in attempting to spread Baba’s message throughout India, through public talks and extensive articles in magazines and newspapers.
In 1948, whenever Deshmukh was with Baba during vacations, his constant companion was the typewriter, on which he kept pounding throughout the day. Baba had given Deshmukh points to write about in the form of articles, and he was also compiling the Master’s Discourses to be published. Baba dictated titles for each of the articles and also dictated a few new ones. Baba also asked him to assist Norina. She was writing articles, which Deshmukh was to edit, for her book titled Fragments from a Spiritual Diary. And Ghani was still working on the manuscript for God Speaks, which Baba would review.
Dr. Deshmukh had compiled Baba’s Discourses which were published in a five-volume set. Delia informed Baba that Charles Purdom wanted to reedit them into a single volume. A meeting about copyrights and Charles Purdom’s editing of the discourses was held at the Ice Factory on 4 September. In attendance were Adi Sr., Don, Ghani, Ramjoo, Elizabeth, Norina, Jean and Delia. Baba decided that they should accept Purdom’s changes and the deletion of part of the material according to Deshmukh’s suggestion. Deshmukh was called from Amraoti to discuss the project, but he did not agree with Purdom. A heated discussion ensued. Baba decided to keep the five volumes of the Discourses unchanged and to allow Purdom to publish his own set of new discourses.
In 1949, referring to Deshmukh, Baba said: Deshmukh he commented, “Deshmukh will always be near and dear to Me.”
Baba asked Deshmukh to perform kirtan, which he did. Wrapping a turban round his head similar to a kirtankar (singer), he sang and spoke Baba’s praises in verse and prose. Baba distributed prasad and the mandali returned to Meherabad and Deshmukh to Amraoti. Jal Kerawalla stayed in Meherazad.
In 1952, Deshmukh had come to Meherazad where he was working on compiling Baba’s messages for His upcoming tour. On Wednesday, 8 October 1952, as Baba bowed down to five poor people, paying them five rupees each, Deshmukh, as instructed, would say aloud: “O God, I give this poor man five rupees in memory of Jal Kerawalla.”
After arriving at Deshmukh’s bungalow, Baba stated, “First I will have My food. Then I will rest for two hours. Don’t disturb Me until then.” But after some time, Deshmukh entered Baba’s room and requested that He finish the poor work, as the poor had already arrived. Although annoyed, Baba agreed. But He became further irritated when, against prior instructions, He found that some of Deshmukh’s students had been included among the poor. Deshmukh wanted his university students to have Baba’s contact and had brought them with that intention. So in addition, another poor, middle-aged man was brought, to whom Baba bowed down and gave Rs.100.
After the program, Baba called Vishnu and reprimanded him in front of Deshmukh, “Since My instructions are not well observed, it is better I leave this place immediately.”
Deshmukh became extremely nervous — elaborate arrangements and publicity had been going on for weeks for the darshan program — and he repented for his mistake. From then on he obeyed Baba faithfully, to the letter.
About his work with the poor, Baba remarked to Deshmukh, “Although I am the richest of the rich, I am also the poorest of the poor, and I like contacting the really poor and needy, the masts and the masses.
Once, Deshmukh invited influential, upper-class people to his house to meet Baba, and once Pendu asked him, “Baba is for everyone, so why do you only invite these people?”
Deshmukh replied, “The rich need more of Baba’s company because they lack that which makes them beggars!”
Smiling, Baba observed, “Our Deshmukh is very clever.”
In the evening, for the first time in His life, Baba Himself led the arti. It was performed at Deshmukh’s house before a life-size portrait of Baba. “I alone can perform My real arti,” Baba commented. He then bowed down to each of the mandali and told them to take darshan of the photograph displayed.
In 1953, Deshmukh had taken a movie of the Amraoti darshan programs, which he had brought to Andhra and wanted to show to Baba. At first, Baba hesitated because of lack of time in His schedule. “Honestly,” He stated, “I tell you that Deshmukh is one of My best men; but sometimes he exasperates Me!”
Deshmukh had been after Baba for days, asking him to procure a projector so that he could show the film. At one point Baba remarked, “My whim has ‘projected’ numberless universes, and what a long important film it is! Now, what film is there left for Me to see?”
And, He warned in a teasing fashion, “If you talk anymore about a projector, you will be stripped, and seven bucketfuls of ice-cold water will be poured over you!”
Baba then instructed Aloba that no sooner the word projector came from Deshmukh’s mouth than he should strip him and pour cold water over him. He turned to Deshmukh and asked, “Now, what order have I given Aloba?”
Deshmukh repeated Baba’s instruction without mentioning the word projector. Baba stated, “What sort of doctor are you? Repeat My order faithfully, word for word.”
“If I do that,” Deshmukh replied, “I will be in trouble, and Aloba will have to get the water ready.” In the end, however, Baba agreed to see the film, and it was shown that morning.
When Baba was engaged in contacting the mast, Deshmukh was talking with one of Totapuri’s followers. On being asked about their group, Deshmukh inadvertently said something in praise of Meher Baba. After the initial contact was over, Baba was upset about what Deshmukh had done and castigated him: “Before starting out, I had warned you that none of you should mention anything about Me to anyone. I have gone on this tour as an ordinary man in order to bow down to great beings. One has to be utterly reduced to ashes and then approach such masts in all humility. You men are spoiling My work. By praising Me to others, you do not help Me, but kill Me! I do this work in secret without anyone knowing Me. Unless you become like dust, you cannot help in My work. Whatever I tell you, for God’s sake pay attention to it carefully and act accordingly.”
Approaching Totapuri again, Baba laid His head on his feet many more times. Baba and the mandali remained for a long time in His presence.
In 1953, Deshmukh had brought his Kodak movie camera on the journey and would periodically shoot some footage. When he was taking some shots of this mast, the mast asked him, “What is that?” Deshmukh answered that it was a movie camera, and said he was filming him. Hearing this, the mast said nothing and just smiled. Baba was highly gratified with the contact. The mast occasionally wandered from one village to another, but he did not go far and usually stayed in that area on the outskirts of the village where Baba had contacted him.
In morning, Baba proceeded from Phillaur to Sikhoka Tala, a remote village where he contacted a mast known as Pandit Munilal. The mast had locked himself in a house and a devotee was sent inside to coax him to come out.
After much persuasion he appeared at the door. When Deshmukh began filming him, the mast suddenly became very upset by it and rushed toward Deshmukh — stretching his arms out to pounce on him like a lion! Scared, Deshmukh ran a safe distance away to save his camera and his skin. The mast did not pursue him.
While the mast was seated, Deshmukh again tried to film him, and this time Pandit Munilal did not pay attention to him and Deshmukh was able to shoot some footage. The devotees of the mast wanted Baba and the mandali to remain there for several hours; but Baba immediately left the place as He indicated He had to contact other masts that day.
Dr. Deshmukh had come from Nagpur for a visit and was sleeping in a room in the house. Since it was quite hot at the time, Deshmukh climbed up to the terrace with his bedding roll and slept there, where it was cooler under the stars. One night, because of the heat, there was a sudden shower of rain. Unprotected, Deshmukh quickly rolled up his bedding and, instead of carrying it downstairs, threw it from the terrace. It landed with a crash a few inches from where Gustadji was sitting. Gustadji’s entire concentration had been on the falling mangoes, as there was a fine breeze that night, which was loosening much fruit from the trees. When Deshmukh threw down his bedding, Gustadji narrowly escaped having it land on his head. Gustadji was shocked to have such a large object crashing down next to him.
Highly vexed, the next morning he complained to Baba. Coming to know of Baidul and Gustadji’s competitive activities, Baba had a good laugh. But from then on, He stopped both from eating the mangoes.
A the circular about keeping awake and repeating God’s name was sent to Baba’s lovers in Nagpur and other places, Deshmukh over-enthusiastically declared that this was the “Night of God-realization!” and that some` would attain that divine state. The mandali came to know of it and planned a practical joke to fool Deshmukh when he was to visit Dehra Dun on 30 October. Deshmukh arrived that morning and, according to the men’s plan, Bhau approached him at the gate and drew him aside.
“Doctor Saheb,” he said. “Something has happened! All of the mandali have become like masts from the night of the 28th. Only I, unfortunately, have escaped that state. It is my bad luck nothing has happened to me.”
Listening with keen eagerness, Deshmukh eyes widened and he inquired, “What has happened?”
Bhau replied very seriously, “All have turned into masts! But when Baba comes they become completely normal. No sooner Baba leaves, than they revert again to that state. I am really unfortunate that no experience has been given to me.”
“Don’t worry, Bhau,” Deshmukh reassured him. “You are a member of the mandali and Baba will surely bestow His blessings on you one day.”
Bhau took Deshmukh inside their bungalow. Eruch, Nilu, Pendu and Vishnu were in one of the rooms. Eruch was lying down and had covered himself from head to foot with a blanket. Pendu was smoking two cigarettes at once. Nilu was sitting before a heap of rubbish he had piled in front of himself. Vishnu was leaning his head on a bundle of cloth with a dazed expression. No one spoke to Deshmukh. He tried to remove Eruch’s blanket but Eruch snatched it away and pretended to sleep. Pendu was crawling on the ground. When Deshmukh tried to draw his attention, Pendu pounced on him, growling in anger. Deshmukh was frightened and left in a hurry. Coming out he encountered Don, who had tied tree branches around his waist and strapped two sickles to his hips for cutting grass
He was chewing an unlit cigar, and Deshmukh was convinced that he and the others had become masts.
When Deshmukh was being served refreshments, Pendu ran out to grab them away. Deshmukh escaped with his plate intact and told Bhau, “Everyone except Pendu seems to be like jamali masts. Pendu has become Jalali!”
“They have been like this for two days, now,” Bhau informed him, “and I have to look after them.”
Baba came to the mandali’s bungalow and all sat before Him as usual. No one had breathed a word of their joke to Baba. He asked Deshmukh, “Did the mandali talk with you?”
“No Baba,” Deshmukh started to say, “They …”
But Baba interrupted, gesturing, “Don’t think about it. They are not normal. I am speaking with you. What more do you want?”
The mandali were afraid that when Deshmukh told Baba, he would be displeased. But when Baba assured Deshmukh that they were “not normal,” they relaxed. Deshmukh took this to be Baba’s confirmation and now firmly believed that the men had turned into masts.
Baba began conversing with Deshmukh, who mentioned his wife, Indumati. Baba signaled to Bhau, “When he takes her name, stick him with a pin!”
Baba then asked Deshmukh, “What were you saying?”
“Nothing Baba,” he said. “Bhau has a pin in his hand; otherwise, I would have told you.”
“If you get pricked for Indu’s sake, what harm is there? Tell me what you were going to say.” Deshmukh began laughing. He was really Baba’s playmate and Baba would always tease and have a humorous time with him.
Later Baba told Bhau, “Shout loudly for Indupati (Indu’s husband]) to come.” Bhau shouted and Deshmukh came running.
“What did Bhau call you?” Baba asked him.
“I am afraid of his pin,” Deshmukh said. “I cannot tell you.” This again made Baba laugh.
In 1954, on one occasion, Dr. Deshmukh embraced Baba on both sides, and Baba reminded him about his instruction. Three or four others, who had accompanied Deshmukh from Nagpur — and who would follow Deshmukh as their leader — did likewise. Baba instructed them to embrace him on only his left side, which they had to do again. (Apparently their disobedience had nullified the effect of Baba’s embrace.) After this incident, no one else tried to embrace Baba on both sides.
Baba came to Meherabad from Meherazad on 28 November 1955 and walked straight to His cabin, where He discussed arrangements with the mandali. Meanwhile, the sahavas group collected on the verandah holding garlands. As soon as Baba came out of his cabin, the air resounded with thunderous cries of “Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!” Baba entered the hall. The congregation began garlanding him; but unlike the Hindi and Telugu groups, the Marathi sahavas group was not orderly, as more than one at a time would rush forward to garland him.
To touch Baba’s feet was strictly forbidden, but practically no one could resist. Baba would crack jokes with each as they approached. Dr. Deshmukh was a bit clumsy when garlanding Him, so Baba remarked, “He is a professor of philosophy, yet he does not know how to garland properly.” Baba gestured to Deshmukh to garland Him again, this time correctly, which he did.
Dr. Deshmukh was anxious to take Baba to Nagpur to give sahavas to women there. He was aware of what had been discussed with other groups, as he had been in Meherabad for a month.
Baba informed Deshmukh and the congregation:
I am in the habit of giving promises age after age, but I forget them. Still, until now, I have not broken a single promise! And so Deshmukh, do not bind Me with any date and time for sahavas to the women in Nagpur. From the time he came here, Deshmukh has been driving the mandali mad about it! He has been telling Me so often about his wish to take Me to Nagpur, not only to give sahavas to women, but he wants Me to meet the vice-chancellor of Nagpur University and all the professors! I have ordered him not to mention the Nagpur program again. After this sahavas, I have a lot of matters to attend to. If time permits, I will go to Nagpur only to give sahavas to the women there.
In 1956, while in Delhi, Deshmukh had also met the President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, whom he had met many years before. He presented a copy of The God-Man to him. Radhakrishnan had read God Speaks and Listen, Humanity. Baba wished him to read God Speaks again, so when, Manohar and Mona Sakhare were to meet him (on 6 March 1966) and they were told to pass along Baba’s instructions.
Baba said, let Deshmukh fix the program and I shall then see. The first point is that I have not promised anyone about this sahavas, and if I at all decide, I Myself will fix the dates. Deshmukh is persistent that I give him a date for Nagpur and stay there for three days.
Deshmukh interjected, “Women have the right to Baba’s darshan also, and it would be selfish of us to deny them His sahavas.”
Baba retorted, “Deshmukh is eager that his family have My sahavas! I will do it this way. I will embrace Deshmukh six times, and on his return he should transfer five of the embraces to his wife and four children. The sixth embrace will be for Deshmukh. But do not expect Me to embrace all of you six times! If I finally decide to go for the women’s sahavas, I will go to Nagpur for a day — but no darshan to others, no publicizing in the newspapers.
“Deshmukh do you hear what I say?”
Referring to Deshmukh’s insistence a few days before on Baba’s attending a philosophical conference to be held in Nagpur at the end of December, Baba reminded him: “I am not for philosophers and celebrities! I understand your point that through your conference there would be other contacts, but I am for My lovers.”
Deshmukh said, “I accept your conditions, Baba.”
In 1956, Deshmukh returned to Meherazad the following day with Indumati and their children. Baba spent two hours with the family, and Deshmukh photographed Baba with them.
Baba commented, “This is Pankhraj, and he too is a good worker from Nagpur. And the sardar (leader) of both is Dr. Deshmukh, who is very intelligent, loving and clever.
Deshmukh arrived and Baba embraced him. That day was the birthday of Deshmukh’s son, Prabodh, whom Baba embraced. Except for Deshmukh and his wife Indumati Baba directed the rest of the family to leave for Nagpur that night, again advising Deshmukh’s children to be attentive to their studies.
Deshmukh had brought his neighbor. D. S. Deshmukh from Nagpur. Meeting him, Baba joked, “Both bear the same surname and both are wearing specs.”
In 1958, Baba called a meeting of different groups of workers. After the Poona lovers left, the Nagpur group arrived. Several were late. When all had gathered, Baba stated that the five minutes allotted to them were over, and workers like Nana Kher, Pankhraj and Deshmukh were not present. When Deshmukh appeared, Baba remarked, “Instead of five, fifteen minutes have elapsed. Why did you take so long to come? You still have a fortnight left to attend to other things.” The Nagpur group was also told to select honest workers for the next day’s meeting, and Deshmukh, Nana Kher and Pankhraj were given the duty of making the list.
Deshmukh beseeched Baba to visit Nagpur. Annoyed, Baba replied, “If Nagpur still exists, I will visit it after 700 years,” and added, “Seven hundred years is not such a long time.”
Considering Baba’s health, Deshmukh spent hours in night drawing up a menu for Baba. It was as follows:
6:00 A.M. — Breakfast: two slices of bread buttered on sides, two bananas, two apples, a glass of milk and two cups of tea
8:00 A.M. — One glass of pomegranate juice
10:00 A.M. — One cup of soup
11:00 A.M. — Lunch: dal and rice, two chapattis, two vegetable dishes, a tomato, yogurt, papad (cracker-like snack) and fruit
2:00 P.M. — Two cups of tea, four biscuits, two bananas, two apples, cake and pastry
6:00 P.M. — Dinner: dal and rice, chapati, vegetables, fruit salad
8:00 P.M. — A glass of milk and fruit
The next day, Deshmukh showed the menu to Baba, who had a hearty laugh. Still, each day Deshmukh insisted that Baba have something more substantial, and Baba commented, “You have drafted such a menu that even an Olympic athlete would find it difficult to eat as much as you suggest
But Deshmukh argued, “But it is essential for your health for you to eat such foods.”
Then Baba replied, “I had two slices of bread buttered on both sides this morning. No one in the world eats bread like this, but since you have told me to do so, I am obeying you.” And though Baba was joking, Deshmukh felt pleased.
Once, during the summer of 1959, when Deshmukh’s entire family came for Baba’s darshan, his daughter Sanjeevani complained to Baba, “Father is in your contact for years, but why is it that his behavior is a constant source of embarrassment to us? Compared to him we are much more sensible.”
Baba said, “I will show you the fruit of My contact.” He ordered Sanjeevani, “Strip yourself in front of everyone here!”
Astounded, she asked, “Before all these people, Baba? How could I do that?”
Baba then asked Deshmukh to strip and he began taking off his clothes. Stopping him, Baba turned to Sanjeevani, “Now, see with your own eyes what is the result of My contact. Your father does everything for Me; you don’t! Don’t judge his love from his outward behavior.”
One day Baba advised Deshmukh to have a chapati with butter each day with his afternoon tea. Deshmukh would spread butter on the chapati and then soak it in his tea before eating it. This amused Baba, who asked, “Do you always eat chapati and butter like this? How in the world did you ever get your degree in London?” (Deshmukh had a doctorate in philosophy.)
Deshmukh innocently replied, “Buttered chapati is quite delicious when dipped in tea, Baba. Just try it.” And Baba laughed.
For a treat, Deshmukh wished to give ice cream to the mandali and Baba permitted it. Meherjee was there and Deshmukh asked him how the brand Kwality ice cream was rated. Meherjee reflected, “If you order Kwality ice cream, your skin will be peeled off (meaning, it will cost a lot, because it was one of the best brands). You’d better order a cheaper variety for so many.”
Deshmukh considered this and said, “You are right. I don’t want to spend so much.” He brought another brand of ice cream, which Baba distributed to all.
One day, after greeting Harjiwan Lal’s son, Sugandh, Baba ordered him to return to Delhi, yet Sugandh did not leave.
Seeing him again on 13 April, Baba asked him, “Why didn’t you return home?”
Sugandh said, “Dr. Deshmukh asked me to stay on.”
With grave displeasure, Baba scolded, “From now on, do whatever Deshmukh tells you and don’t do as I say!”
Baba reprimanded Deshmukh for interfering with His orders, but then embraced him and forgave him.
On 14th April 1959, Deshmukh broached the subject of a certain young man he had chosen as a husband for his eldest daughter, Sanjeevani, 23. Baba replied, “I don’t like it; he is not suitable.”
Earnestly, Deshmukh rejoined, “Baba, the fellow is very good. He is educated and comes from a good family.”
Seeing that Deshmukh had already settled things, Baba relented, “If that is the case, proceed with the matter and let the match be made.”
Coming out of the hall, Deshmukh told others that Baba had given His approval and wished that his daughter marry the young man. Overhearing this, Baba called him back and corrected him: “Is it I or you who wishes that Sanjeevani wed this boy? Don’t talk like that!
“Want what I want! Instead of wanting what I want, you want me to want what you want. And when you succeed in getting me to agree to what you want, you even tell others that it is what I want.
You have not only made me agree to what you have already made up your mind about, but you go tell others: ‘Baba wants so-and-so and my daughter to marry.’
“It is impossible for you to want what I want as it is impossible for you to love Me as I ought to be loved. But at least do not always be wanting to make Me want what you want. Hold on to Me and try to obey Me implicitly and fully in all I ask.”
On 13th May 1960, Baba asked Deshmukh’s daughter Sanjeevani (who held two master’s degrees), “Have you read Stay With God?” The young woman had a poor excuse of “no time.” Baba asked, “Is that really so? Are you being honest in your answer? Hypocrisy is the worst thing, and in every walk of life it consciously or unconsciously persists.”
Sanjeevani put forth another excuse of “pending work” at her job.
Baba continued, “It is good to be frank and honest in all matters, whether most ordinary or important. Let not hypocrisy persist and try with every breath to keep it at a distance.”
The girl had one more excuse: “Unlike my father, I have no interest in philosophy.”
Baba replied, “There is no philosophy in the book. A simple thing made difficult is philosophy. The book contains food for the brain and a feast for the heart.”
Someone interrupted, saying, “Expounding of a certain principle is philosophy.”
Baba remarked, “Statement of facts and philosophy are not the same. Can you call the Gita a philosophy?”
The person claimed, “It can be called so.”
“Then here is My philosophy: I am in everything; I am everything; and I am beyond everything. To know Me as I am, you must lose your all in Me.
“I am the Ancient One. Also, remember well that this is not mere philosophy but a statement of fact based on Experience. ).
Once, Deshmukh bought 25 oranges from a sidewalk vendor. They were small and dried up, but inexpensive. He took them to Guruprasad and told Baba, “I have brought oranges for you; no one else should eat them.”
Meherjee interposed, “Just let us have a look at them.”
“I have brought them for Baba!” Deshmukh protested. “I won’t show them to anyone else.”
At first Meherjee thought they must be of the finest variety, but when Deshmukh reached into the bag and took one out, everyone present, including Baba, burst out laughing. Again Deshmukh insisted, “Baba, you alone should eat them and not give them to anyone.”
Winking at those present, Baba replied, “I will eat them and not give them away. They have no juice so I will have to chew them like this,” and he began working his mouth up and down with a comical expression.
“But they are good for your health!” Deshmukh insisted.
Turning to Indumati (Deshmukh’s wife), Baba asked, “Couldn’t your father have found a better match for you than this madcap husband?”
Indumati laughed and Baba remarked, “Deshmukh is quite a good man, but he has gone mad in my love!”
Indumati was translating God Speaks into Marathi and daily read to Baba the portion she had translated. Her daughters, Jaishree and Pragnya, sang songs to Baba that Indumati had composed, and her son, Pranav, told Him funny stories.
Baba remarked to Deshmukh, “How lucky you are! Your wife is educated, your children are quite clever, and all love Me.”
In 1961, one man said, “Baba, you are now in seclusion, but the present darshan and sahavas programs, in a way, do not impede or disturb you in your seclusion. Likewise, though you wish to continue this seclusion period, can you not be compassionate enough to permit us to arrange a darshan tour? We will strictly abide by the rest of the conditions laid down by you.” Deshmukh stood up and entreated, “Baba, please accept his prayer.” Then He extended an invitation to Baba to visit Nagpur, too.
Baba stated, “I will agree to the tour on one condition. Deshmukh must be ready to bear the expenses of the entire journey. If Deshmukh gives Me one lakh (100,000) rupees, I am ready to proceed to Nauranga.”
Koduri Krishna Rao said, “Baba, why should Deshmukh alone bear the charges?”
Baba answered, “That’s My condition!”
Pukar addressed Deshmukh, “We will pay a lakh of rupees for your cap; accept it.”
Deshmukh said, “I don’t wish to deceive Baba.”
Everyone scowled at Deshmukh, and Dr. Moorty observed, “Baba, you will have to come to Bengal also. Your visit there is long overdue.”
Deshmukh would perform kirtans for Baba each day. Francis would sometimes get irritated because so much was recited in Indian languages, which he could not understand.
So one day Baba suggested Deshmukh to perform kirtans in English, and Deshmukh began composing some.
Dr. Deshmukh knew the President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, whom he had first told about Baba in the mid-1930s. Radhakrishnan had tried to meet Baba in Mysore in 1936, but Baba had been in seclusion at that time. Manohar and Mona Sakhare arrived in Poona from Delhi and informed Baba that they had recently met the President and given him a copy of Stay With God and other literature. Radhakrishnan had been very pleased to hear about the East-West Gathering and more about Baba, and expressed a desire to meet him soon. In response, Baba stated, “The President will come some day. Everyone will come one day. Even saints, real or false, will come. They have no alternative but to come to Me.”
At Francis and Bhau’s encouragement, Deshmukh had composed a kirtan in English, and Baba asked him to recite it. Afterwards, Baba declared in a humorous vein, “There has never before been anything of this sort in history!”
In 1963, once Baba asked Jim Mistry to sing with Deshmukh (neither of whom had singing voices). Jim had never sung in his life, and he began trembling nervously. But he made an attempt, and their “duet” sent the audience into peals of laughter. Baba derived much amusement from their song, but He stopped it abruptly, joking that it gave him “heart palpitations” when He heard it!
In 1964, as per Baba’s instruction C. D. Deshmukh met Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Delhi just before He left for Tashkent, Russia. He spoke to him about Meher Baba and presented him a copy of “Every thing and Nothing” along with “Parvardigar Prayer”. When “Shastri passed away suddenly at Tashkent on 11th January Baba remarked “Lal Bahadur Shastri was a fine man and a very good soul. He was blessed to have heard My name and talked about Me with Deshmukh, in Delhi (before leaving his physical body)
Deshmukh had had a bronze bust of Baba prepared by Naresh Dhondhphule, a Poona sculptor. He brought it to Baba for His touch and blessing, and Baba obliged, but first joked, “Look at Me and look at this bust! Do I look like that?” teasing Deshmukh that the artist had not done Him justice.
One year at Guruprasad, Baba remarked to Mehernath and Sheela that Deshmukh was expected that day, instructing, “When he comes, push him out! Don’t allow him to come inside. This is my order.”
Deshmukh arrived, and both children grabbed his hand and attempted to block his entry. Deshmukh waved them away, declaring, “Have I come to take your Baba away on my shoulders? Let me, too, sit here for a while.” Baba signaled them to drive him away, and Sheela tried to catch his hand, but he yanked it away. Baba was gesturing them not to let Deshmukh enter, so while Sheela pulled one of his hands, Mehernath bit him on the other hand! Deshmukh hollered, and Baba was highly amused, but to the children he gestured, looking upset, “Now that Deshmukh has entered, let him go. I did not want him to come inside; but now what can we do?”
After talking with him for a while, Baba asked Deshmukh to leave. Deshmukh stayed seated, so Baba pointed to Mehernath, gesturing, “Prick him with a pin and make him go away!” Mehernath rose and went toward him, and Deshmukh rushed out.
Each day, the same scene would be repeated for the week or so that Deshmukh stayed in Poona. One day he asked Baba, “Should I bring Indu [his wife] and Sanjeevani [his daughter] to see you?”
Exasperated, Baba said, “Look at this man! I do not even want to see him, and he asks Me about his wife and daughter!”
In 1966, one day, Deshmukh brought a box full of Baba lockets and asked Baba to touch them. Baba said He would touch the box and that was sufficient, but Deshmukh insisted He touch each locket individually — 200 or more! Baba remarked, “He is doing this on purpose just to be in My presence longer.” And although Baba disliked doing the tedious task, He fulfilled Deshmukh’s request.
He wrote the book titled “Sparks of the Truth – From dissertations of Meher Baba” and literary work for spreading Baba’s message all over the world.
He did lot of literary work assigned to him by Baba in so reading Baba through literature and lectures. He also wrote book titled “Sparks of the Truth – From dissertations of Meher Baba.
References/Images from: Various Lord Meher volumes, discontinued website's ambprasarkendra & love-remembrances, images and dates, stories etc from respective copyright owners websites or publications used with permission - i.e. In His Service, Glow International, MeherBabaTravels, MSI and MNP Collections, from AvatarMeherBabaTrust, BelovedArchives websites and from various other website sources, Books, journal etc. More information where ever available with us like letter scans, stories etc are added. Kindly feel free to Contact us with any updates, photos or corrections etc.
- A.R. Abdulla
- Abdul Ghani Munsiff
- Abdul Rahman (Barsoap)
- Abdulla Haroon Zaffar
- Abdur Rahman (Munshi ji)
- Adi Sheriar Irani (Adi Jr.)
- Ahmed Abbas (Khak Saheb)
- Amar Singh Saigal
- Amiya Kumar Hazra
- Ardeshir N. Hansotia (Slamson)
- Arjun Dagdu Supekar
- Arya SV
- Baba Khosrow
- Beheram Sheriar Irani
- Behram Ferdoon Irani, Buasaheb (Behramji)
- Behramshah Jessawala (Pistol)
- Bharucha Hoshang P.
- Boman K. Irani
- Darwin Shaw
- Dattu Mehendarge
- Deshmukh C.D.
- Dhakephalkar (Dhake)
- Don Stevens
- Edke G.P.
- Elcha Mistry
- Feramroj Bejanji Workingboxwala
- Gadekar Ramchandra K.
- Harry Kenmore
- Jagannath Gangaram Jackal (Anna-104)
- Jal Kerawalla
- Jal Sheriyar Irani
- Jane Barry Haynes
- Jangle Master
- Jehangu Sukhadwala
- Jim Misrty
- John Bass
- Keshav Narayan Nigam
- Khan Saheb
- Khodadad Farhan Irani
- Khodadad K Irani (Asthma)
- Khodadad Rustom Irani (Sailor)
- Kishan Singh
- Krishna Nair
- Kutumb Shastri
- Madhusudhan Pund
- Meherjee Ardeshir Karkaria
- Meherwan B. Jessawala
- Minoo Kharas
- Mudaliar Kuppuswami
- Murty GSN
- Nandi PG
- Nilu Godse
- Pankhraj RP
- Ramarao V
- Satya Prakash Udaseen
- Shaligram Sharma
- Sheriyar Mundegar Irani
- Shuddanand Bharti
- Sulloo Meshram