Jal Kerawala

Jal Kerawala holding umbrella for Meher Baba.

Jal Dhunjibhoy Kerawalla, was a, a high government official, was a friend of the Jessawala family, While in Nagpur he developed great faith in Meher Baba, and he was to came into the Beloved’s intimate contact and played an important role in His future work.

There were many events and dialogues between him and Meher Baba. Some are elaborated as under:

In 1930, Jal Kerawalla and Gaimai’s husband Pappa Jessawala were both scheduled to leave on a brief official tour the next day, but they wanted to cancel upon Baba’s arrival. Each held a high government post. Baba informed them, “If you postpone your tour, I will leave. Do your duty and I will do Mine. I have taken charge of this house and its sole responsibility now rests on My shoulders. So start your tour with a free mind.”

In 1939, Baba had assigned different duties to Jal Kerawalla, among them being to find a good boy and bring him to Baba. Jal would daily bring one boy after another, all of whom Baba would feed and give new clothes to, and then return to Jal. This saddened Jal, who thought himself a failure in meeting Baba’s requirements. He had no idea that Baba’s work was something quite different, which he was doing while feeding and clothing the boys. Once, when questioned about the work done with the various types of boys who had come to him, Baba remarked, “Through them I am working with the youth of the future.”

In the morning, 1st January 1939, Jal Kerawalla made a joke at Pappa’s expense and Pappa became very upset. He drove straight to Baba’s bungalow and complained bitterly. Jal and Chanji followed him, and Baba sent for them and asked the reason for the uproar. Jal replied, “Forgive me, Baba, I was only joking.”

Pappa shouted, “Who has made him a magistrate? He has no sense! He should not be forgiven!”

Smiling, Baba spelled out, “I would not forgive Jal, but to forgive is My nature. If I don’t forgive him, the world will collapse! Only by My forgiveness does the world continue, not otherwise!”

Pappa said, “You should continue forgiving the world — but not Jal Kerawalla! He has troubled me greatly!”

“All right,” motioned Baba. “I won’t forgive Jal, but you forgive him!”

Jal asked Pappa’s forgiveness, and finally, after hours of fuming, he forgave him. Pappa, however, said to Baba, “I have forgiven Jal because you request it, but I tell you he is the very devil!”

Baba explained to Pappa, “This is not forgiveness! The meaning of forgiveness is to forget the insult. When you remember it, how could you have forgiven it?

Until the 30th of July 1039, much discussion had continued about shifting the men and women’s ashram to Jabalpur, where Jal Kerawalla had arranged living accommodations for all. Baba had informed Kerawalla that He would be coming to stay at Jabalpur from the 1st of August, and long discussions were held about opening a center in Mandla. But then Kerawalla was suddenly informed that he was being transferred to a different area of India and, although Baba liked Jabalpur, He had to change His plan and decided instead to move His headquarters to Mysore, where He and the women had stayed three years before.

Jal Kerawalla received a telegram on 1st April 1939, informing him that his elder brother had died of a heart attack. He took the news with an equable attitude, which Baba appreciated. “It’s all illusion and not worth a serious thought,” Baba told him. Later, Baba praised Jal’s work for Him in Jabalpur to Chanji, “Jal is very sincere with an excellent heart quality, which makes him very dear to Me. He may realize and see Me in My true form in this life.”

After propaganda against Baba on 9th December 1939, discussing the opposition, Jal Kerawalla asked Baba why He did not come out and crush this slanderous antagonism. Baba gave this reply:

But they have not yet reached the point of crucifying Me! This is nothing compared to what I want. Be prepared for that. This is only the beginning — mere child’s play! I warned you some time ago to be prepared for opposition on a much more serious and larger scale than this.

Jal Kerawalla arrived on 10th March 1042, and discussed his next posting with Baba. Baba selected three possibilities, from which Jal was to choose. The country and global political situation was discussed.

In year 1944, Jal Kerawalla had arranged a darshan program in Raipur. Suddenly, in the night, Baba’s health collapsed. The public darshan was scheduled to take place the next day, and Jal Kerawalla grew worried. He had invited many prominent people who had heard of Baba but who had never met Him, including the Maharaja of Baghbahara and other important government officials. Jal was naturally anxious about the consequences of canceling the program.

Baba informed him, “How can I give darshan now? I feel terrible. Cancel the whole affair!”

In a panic, Jal brought several different medicines, and stacked them all on the table beside Baba’s bed. But they had no effect, and Baba began vomiting.

The following morning, throngs of people began coming to the bungalow for darshan. Calling Jal to him Baba remarked, “I feel very, very weak. I cannot stand! I feel giddy. What am I to do?”

Jal was in an awkward position. Weeks of hard work had gone into preparing for the function. What was he to do? Were he to cancel the program, people would start backbiting him, as those invited were quite new to Baba. He also did not wish to see Baba’s name slandered; because for days in the Gujarati newspapers there were articles of propaganda against Baba, misguiding the people of the city. Jal wished them to see Baba in person, and judge for themselves whether all the allegations were true or false.

Such thoughts were racing through his mind when Baba gestured, “I will try for your sake. If I can sit for darshan, I will; otherwise, I will return to My room.” Holding Jal’s hand, Baba sat up in bed with obvious difficulty. He then tentatively stood up and staggered a few paces. Jal’s heart was racing and his hands trembled.

But no sooner was Baba out of the room, then like a flash of light, He suddenly became energetic, and His face assumed its usual rosy glow. He strode rapidly to His seat on the dais, and His divine smile diffused rays of joy throughout the gathering.

For Jal Kerawalla, it was a unique experience, and a new understanding dawned upon him about the Master. The darshan went on from morning to evening, and Baba’s smile was like nectar to those who approached Him for darshan. The light of His divine splendor pervaded Raipur, as qawaali singers entertained the crowd.

Eruch met Jal, who had recently returned to Raipur from a place called Sihawa. He told Eruch the place was ideal for Baba’s seclusion. Eruch cabled this to Baba, who endorsed Jal’s suggestion and directed Eruch to return. Eruch then went to Pasarni without going to Darjeeling. Preparations for Baba’s seclusion began soon after.

On 31st October 1945, Baba, Jal Kerawalla, with few other mandali men and Ali Shah left Raipur and ascended the 2,000-foot mountain of Angiras Rishi. Baba was quite pleased with all the arrangements Jal had made, and praised him for seeing to the minutest details. Jal also remained with them on the mountain for the first week of Baba’s two-week seclusion, and Baba extolled his dedicated service and love.

In 1948, Baba and the mandali boarded a train at Worly (Bombay suburb) and same night departed for Katni, in the Central Provinces. Baba visited with the Bajan family in Katni and then proceeded to Annupur and from there to Ambikapur. Jal Kerawalla had been transferred to Ambikapur and Baba was going there to see him. Baba and the mandali spent two days at Jal’s house before continuing their journey to East Pakistan to contact masts.

Reaching Badnera, the group left at once for Nagpur, where they stayed with Jal Kerawalla, who had been transferred there. Baba and his men drove to Bor Nallah in Jal’s car on 15th April 1948, to contact Amir Hussein, a good subtle conscious mast.

Group, returned to Jal Kerawalla’s house and after dinner left again in Jal’s car for Seoni, 80 miles away. After traveling in crowded buses and third class trains to remote areas, the mandali thought that driving in their friend’s car would be a much more comfortable and trouble-free way to travel — but they were to learn otherwise! After driving 20 miles, they stopped at the base of Ramtek Hill. On the hill was a temple in which a blind saint was said to live. Baidul and Chhagan climbed the hill to find whether the saint would allow their “elder brother” to see him. But when they reached the temple and knocked on the door, calling loudly for someone to open up, no one appeared. It was past nine o’clock at night, so after some time they gave up and walked down

During 1949, Jal Kerawalla stayed at Meherazad throughout Baba’s seclusion and kept a diary. Meherjee and Nariman had also been called back, and they arrived that day to stay for a month. Arnavaz accompanied them, and stayed with the women mandali. Thus, besides the servants, Jal, Meherjee, Nariman and Kaka were the only men at Meherazad during the seclusion.

A final meeting to present the New Life conditions had been arranged at Meherabad for 31st August 1949. Thirty-two close disciples were called, sixteen of them from out of town. Jal Kerawalla was one among them.

Pappa, Eruch and Meherjee were sent to Nagpur to see to Jal Kerawalla’s affairs, in case Jal had left anything to Baba. After Jal’s demise, the following Life Circular was issued by Baba on 10th October 1952.

Baba said: Yet another of My most loved disciples has physically passed away. Jal D. Kerawalla dropped his body at Nagpur on the night of 6th November 1952. His connection with Me was, and is, unique. His love for Me was unbounded, his faith in Me complete, his obedience to My orders implicit and his surrender to My will absolute.

Jal was going to play an extremely important part in the planning of the Fiery Free Life. Before going to the West, I had asked Jal to be in Meherabad for fifteen days, from the 1st of November, in order to contribute his vital share in the planning. No one, except Jal, knew about this plan till I returned from the West. I thus wanted him to be with me at the threshold of the Fiery Free Life. However, God has willed that he will not be physically present in the midst of the selected persons invited to Meherabad for fifteen days in November.

Through the incident of Jal’s death, Maya has delivered a severe blow to My work. But in this very act of My work becoming more difficult, it has become more forceful. I am more determined than ever to plunge into the Fiery Free Life, which is calling Me.

In the Fiery Free Life, I will give mass darshan to people, bow down to the saints, the poor and the masses; and the result of the Fiery Free Life will make the world understand that Baba and everyone are one with God.

My beloved Jal has come to Me eternally in peace. On the 17th of October, I will feed the poor at Pimpalgaon in memory of Jal.

During 1958’s darshan program seeing Ramhirdaya Tiwari, a former co-worker of the deceased Jal Kerawalla, came. Baba remembered Jal, remarking, “There was none equal to him.”

Baba also said “Jal belongs to Me. He has been with Me through thick and thin and he has danced to every tune of Mine.

jal kerawala guest house entry at marble rocks guest house of jabalpur

Shri Sadguru Meher Baba visited the (Marble Rock) Guest House and was very much pleased with the management of Hussain Bux Khansama – S/d Jal Kerawala, Extra Assistant Commissioner of Jabalpur 25th Dec 1938 – Written and signed by Jal Kerawala who was then Extra Assistant Commissioner of Jabalpur in teh Marble Rocks Guest House visitor Book – Photo by Niket Kale

Jal Kerawala's residence at 65 Marble Rocks Road, where Baba and the women stayed from December 1938 - March 1939

Jal Kerawala’s residence at 65 Marble Rocks Road, where Baba and the women stayed from December 1938 – March 1939

Jal Kerawala in his car

Jal Kerawala in his car

Jal Kerawala joins Meher Baba

Meher Baba’s Telegram to Pankhraj on passing of Jal Kerawala


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.

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