Krishna Nair nightwatchman of Meher Baba - photograph by Niket Kale

Krishna Nair came from a village Kallur from Palghat District, Kerala. His father died when he was studying in sixth standard. After that he started living with his maternal uncle. He had no interest in studies. One day, when he was ninth standard his teacher told his uncle that he had failed in his examination. His uncle whacked him severely with stick till he was bruised and bleeding. He was so upset that he decided to leave the home. He secretly took 100 rupees from the purse of his mother and went to Bangalore with his friend Damodar.

Within four month he spent away all the money. There after he approached the owner of the hotel and who after hearing his story permitted him to work in his hotel on monthly salary.

One day, a German Opal car stopped near the hotel and four gentlemen got down. They entered the hotel and ordered coffee. He later learned that they were disciples of Avatar Meher Baba. One of them was Baba’s brother Jal other were Adi K. Irani and Dr. Donkin. When Jal saw him, he inquired, “Will you come with us? We will give you a good job and also good salary.” He said “No”. Next day they came again. Jal wanted to him to accompany them because Baba, as they said had asked them to bring me. He declined again and did not go with them. Jal came again on the third day and coaxed him ultimately to go with them.

In those days, Baba was staying in “Link’s bungalow’ at Bangalore. Jal took him to Baba. Baba said to Jal “Tell him not to be scared. He has a connection with Me since so many previous births. He should, therefore, stay with Me.”

He replied, “No, Baba” he cannot say ‘yes’ without consulting my hotel owner, who has given me a shelter since last 2-3 months” Baba agreed to his proposal. He went back and talked about this development to his hotel owner. Owner of the hotel cautioned him saying that these persons appeared to be rich persons of Mumbai and one must be quite careful. But he then left the decision with Me

In this way, on 19th October 1939, he joined the God- Avatar Meher Baba.

Krishna Nair remained in service of Meher Baba since 1939 to 1955. He was assigned various kinds of services for Meher Baba. Most of the period he served as night watchman, he had many reminiscences of interesting incident with Baba. He was assigned to take care of mast Chatti Baba who had peculiar habit. He was Brahmin by caste; Baba assigned him the job of keeping happy to one sweeper’s son Amir Amin Sayyed and another Isa to bring out his bad sanskaras of hate and anger. He wowed in writing before Baba to remain single but Baba made him to go for secret marriage which was a great humour by Baba and for others.

There had been many life instances of serious, interesting and humorous nature, some of these are produced below

As it turned out, Krishna, fourteen, was the one who had the closest connection with Meher Baba. Jalbhai brought Krishna around the 19th of October 1939, having found this handsome Kerala boy working in a humble restaurant. Seeing him, Baba remarked, “You have a past connection with Me.” Krishna was appointed to serve Baba personally, the remaining three boys, Raju, Kalappa and Amdoo were later sent to stay at Meherabad.

In 1940, one day Baba called the five Bangalore boys and asked each, “What do you want? What do you want to do in life?”

Raju said, “I want to be a farmer.”

Kalappa replied, “I want to sell cooking oil.”

Amdoo said, “I would like to drive a Tonga.”

Venkoba Rao said, “I want to go into business.”

Krishna alone replied, “I want you, Baba!”

Baba looked at him, gesturing, “I will give you Baba!”

He then informed Venkoba, “Wait for some time before you become a businessman.”

Baba kept Krishna and Venkoba Rao in Meherabad and sent the other three boys back home, after making arrangements for them according to their wishes. As it turned out, all three of the boys prospered and became wealthy.

Baba joked with Krishna, “You have fallen into a ditch! Now you will be in trouble.”

Baba’s remark to Krishna proved to have a literal meaning a few days later. As mentioned, Baba frequently cleaned the masts’ pan-type toilets

All of the waste material from the iron pans was dumped into a deep soak pit, some distance from their compound. One day it rained heavily, and the pit filled with water. Pappa told Krishna to empty the water from the pit with a bucket tied to a rope. While cleaning it, Krishna slipped and fell into the pit. He shouted to Venkoba Rao, who pulled him out. Baba came by and saw Krishna covered with the filth. “Why were you cleaning the pit?” He asked. Krishna said that Pappa had told him to do it.

Baba became upset with Pappa. “Why did you tell him to clean the pit without My permission?” He asked. Subsequently, Baba ordered Krishna to bathe sixteen times! He handed Krishna sixteen small stones, with which to count, so he would not make a mistake. After doing as Baba instructed, Krishna told Baba that his skin felt very tight. Baba went to the women’s room and brought him some oil to apply to his body.

Baba asked Krishna, “Did you feel bad while cleaning the pit?”

He replied, “No.”

Baba spelled out, “You, yourself, are full of unclean matter. Do you realize that? Why do you live in such filth? Don’t you feel dirty? Start feeling unclean because of the filth of the desires that cover you from head to toe, and begin to clean them as you have cleaned the pit today.”

As instructed, daily Krishna would carry Baba’s meals to Him in the cage-room, leave the food on the floor, and go away without seeing Baba.

A bell was hung in front of Baba’s room. After eating, Baba would go inside the cage and pull on a rope to ring the bell for Krishna, who would come and take away the empty tiffins. Krishna too had a rope on the outside that was attached to the bell. When he rang the bell two times at eight in the morning, for instance, Baba would know that Vishnu was coming, so He would retire inside. This went on for six or seven days until the following incident occurred.

One afternoon as Krishna sat in his usual position outside the compound gate, he heard the bell ring. Krishna related what happened next:

I wondered why Baba was calling me in the middle of the afternoon, because it was not His tea time. I entered the gate. I had just opened the gate when I saw Baba standing in front of me. A blazing light stronger than a hundred suns shone from His body. I was overwhelmed by its brightness. I swooned. Catching one side of the gateposts with my right hand for support, I lost consciousness.

Baba hurried over to Krishna and grasped his left bicep. He pulled the muscle so hard it tore in two pieces. The searing pain brought Krishna back to consciousness. “Why did you come inside?” Baba demanded angrily. “Do you want to burn? Do you want to die? Do you want to be blind? Why did you come? Who called you?”

Krishna was weeping. After a few minutes, he replied, “Baba, the bell was ringing.”

“Who rang the bell?”

“I don’t know,” Krishna replied. “I’m innocent, Baba.”

Baba went inside. Krishna remained slumped by the compound gate, unable to move. Baba came out again within five minutes. He was smiling. Baba caressed Krishna’s face. “Don’t worry,” He said. “I forgive you. What has happened has happened.” Krishna got to his feet and Nilu was called to treat his injury. The muscle never healed properly and left a scar. But it served as a lifelong reminder to Krishna of what he had seen that day on Meherabad Hill.

In 1940, Chatti Baba’s peculiar behavior in Ceylon was not related only to events in Europe but also to events which would transpire nearly 50 years in the future, as the following incident reveals. Krishna continued to attend to Chatti Baba during the day, and to do night watch near Baba at night. In Baba’s room, Krishna was not permitted to move while Baba was lying down. If Krishna shifted his position even slightly, Baba would say He was disturbed by the sound of Krishna’s clothes rubbing together.

Whenever moving into a new bungalow, Baba always selected rooms for each of the mandali and for Himself. In Kandy, Chatti Baba’s room was a few doors down from Baba’s. At midnight one night, the mast began yelling and screaming. He picked up the metal bath buckets and chairs and threw them across the room.

Then he tore up his bed sheets. The noise awoke the mandali, but Baba was snoring. Krishna began thinking: “What type of God is Baba? Is He really all-knowing?”

After some time, Baba rose and asked for a glass of water. “What are you thinking?” he motioned to Krishna.

“I am wondering whether you are really God.”

“Why? Why do you think such a thing?”

“Baba, every night I sit in front of you like a stone. I cannot move an inch. The tiniest sound from my clothes disturbs you.

“But Chatti Baba has been shouting at the top of his voice and throwing things for nearly one hour, while you are enjoying a sound sleep.”

Baba glared at Krishna. He put his fingers to His lips and said “Keep quiet.”

Again, Baba lay down, but soon He got up and asked, “What are you thinking this time?”

“The same thing, Baba.”

“What do you want to know?” Baba demanded.

“What was the reason for Chatti Baba’s outburst?”

Baba spelled out, “After many years there will be a civil war in Ceylon. I have done this work through Chatti Baba. I have brought him to Ceylon for that purpose. Since Chatti Baba is the one who is working, in the meantime I am resting.”

In the mid-1980s, as Baba foretold, civil war did break out in Ceylon between the Tamil separatists in the north and the Sinhalese-dominated government in the south. Thousands upon thousands of people have been killed in the conflict.

In 1941 one day Baba told Krishna to go ask Chatti Baba whether he wanted a bath. Krishna did so and at first Chatti Baba laughed, but then agreed. Baba came and began bathing him. During the bath Baba gestured to Krishna to ask Chatti Baba whether he felt cold. Krishna asked him and he said, “Cold? I’m on fire! I’m burning up!”

Krishna looked puzzled and asked, “You’re having a cold bath, yet you feel that you are burning?”

Chatti Baba nodded toward Baba and said, “This fire is burning me!”

Baba wished to give Chatti Baba a bath every morning at 6:00 A.M. Krishna would prepare kangi (cream of wheat) and an omelette for the mast’s breakfast, and keep it ready, so that he could be fed immediately after his bath. On one occasion, Baba wanted the bathwater to be very hot. That morning, Krishna was late but by only ten minutes. Angrily, Baba knocked loudly on his door and demanded him to hurry up. Baba went to the other men and complained, “Krishna is eating and sleeping like a pig!”

Sending for Gustadji, He gestured to him, “I am so upset, I cannot forgive Krishna for his mistake. You’d better forgive him.”

Gustadji replied with hand signs, “If you cannot forgive him, Baba, how can I?”

Addressing Krishna, Baba scolded, “Why are you always so careless? I am paying you ten rupees per month, besides feeding you and sending money to your mother. And, still, you don’t do your duty properly. If you accept wages, then you must work faithfully and be honest.”

Krishna snapped back, “Do you think I am staying with you for money?”

“Then why do you take payment from Me? But be warned, to do your work without compensation, like the mandali, will be still more troublesome. It requires exactitude. Only he whose head is ever-bowed at My feet can work like that. You are hopeless! Useless! It is better you go away!”

“If you think that I am here for wages, then I will leave.”

“Where will you go?”

“Anywhere … I will find work.”

“Had you any love for Me, you wouldn’t talk like this,” Baba said and left the room.

Krishna felt terrible and decided to leave Baba. When he took one step toward the door, Chatti Baba began laughing loudly. Krishna asked the mast, “Why are you laughing?”

“Where are you going?”

Peeved, Krishna replied tersely, “I’m going somewhere! What difference does it make to you?”

The mast then declared, “Go anywhere in the world you like; wherever you go, He will be there. There is no place where He is not.”

Krishna opened the door. Baba was standing outside. Krishna told Baba that he was leaving Him. Baba replied, “Fine, but do one thing first. Give Chatti Baba his breakfast. When he finishes, then you may go.” Krishna agreed. But by the time the mast finished eating, Krishna’s temper had cooled. Baba said, “Now go.”

“I would like to stay,” said Krishna.

Echoing Chatti Baba’s words, Baba said, “Go anywhere, but I will always be with you. I am in you, and throughout the world. Even if you leave Me, you will come again and be with Me in your next birth. If you want to stay, stay; but stay for Me, and not for the self!” And thus Baba forgave him.

One of Krishna’s responsibilities was bringing the milk to Dehra Dun from a nearby village. One day he slipped alongside the road and fell into the river, and was swept away by the swift current. At the exact moment he was struggling for his life, Baba, who was in Dehra Dun, grabbed Nilu’s hand, gesturing, “Be careful. You might fall down!” Nilu could not understand why Baba had caught hold of His hand, and said so. Krishna was rescued by some passersby. When he returned to Dehra Dun and narrated this incident, the men understood the significance of Baba’s remark.

On 12th November 1941, Baba left Belgaum for Dharwar at eleven o’clock, reaching there three hours later. Although Mokashi’s bungalow at Saptapur, which had been rented, was quite spacious, there was the problem of scarcity of water. Krishna, Venkoba Rao and Kashinath (an employed servant boy from Dharwar) were given the work of bringing water, after drawing it up from a deep well. But Venkoba was weak, and Kashinath also had the duty of doing the marketing, so the task usually fell to Krishna. To bring sufficient water for nearly 40 women was an exhausting task.

Once in Dharwar, Krishna was fifteen minutes late in bringing water, as he was feeling drowsy and had overslept. Baba was waiting for him at the gate, and when Krishna came he was angry with him and scolded, “I don’t want to see your black face ever again! How many times have I told you to be honest and regular in your duty, but you don’t pay the slightest attention to My words. However much one may water seeds on a stone, there is no hope of their taking root. And you are like a stone!”

On another occasion, Baba went for an outing with the women and directed Krishna to be on watch at the gate until his return, and not to enter the women’s bungalow. There were four maid servants from Meherabad in the bungalow — Lakshmi, Bhami, Rakhma and Tani. At one point, a snake was seen in the house and Rakhma called Krishna to kill it, but he refused to leave his post.

When Baba heard about it on his return — the women servants had complained about Krishna — Baba asked him, “Why didn’t you kill the snake?”

Krishna replied, “Your order was not to leave the gate. How could I go to the house?”

Baba then asked, “Had there been a fire in the house, would you have gone?”

Krishna said, “No.”

Baba corrected him, remarking, “I would have been very pleased had you followed the order in this way. However, you did not obey for the sake of obeying Me. On the contrary, you were irritated at My order not to leave the gate. That is why, although outwardly you obeyed, you have not obeyed Me and have instead given vent to your anger.”

Baba added, “It was on account of your being in such a bad mood that the snake came in the first place. Now if you want to please Me, find the snake and kill it.”

At first, Krishna could not find it, but after three-quarters of an hour he saw the snake crawl out of the window of the women’s house. He called Baba and told him, but by that time the snake had disappeared, and Baba indicated to let it go. This was unusual because Baba’s standing order to the mandali was that whenever a snake was seen, it was to be killed.

In year 1941, one day Krishna saw a cobra near the women’s bungalow.

He threw a stone and struck it, but did not kill it. Someone had told him never to let a wounded snake escape, because it would return to bite the person who had injured it. When Krishna was keeping watch by Baba’s side that night, Baba asked why he looked so worried. Krishna told Baba about the wounded snake and Baba inquired, “Was it a cobra?” Krishna said it was and Baba said, “Yes, it must be killed. It will come back and bite you. Are you afraid?” Krishna said he was not.

At the end of night-watch, at 5:00 A.M. Baba told Krishna to go rest. Before he left, Baba warned him repeatedly, “Be sure to tuck your mosquito net inside your bedding; otherwise, ants might come inside.” Krishna’s cot was outside under a mango tree. Soon after lying down, Krishna heard the rustling of leaves and saw the same cobra coming toward him. He shouted to Nilu and Vishnu to bring his stick. Because of the tight mosquito netting around his bed, the cobra had been unable to enter. Krishna killed it with the stick. Baba’s warning had saved his life.

During the years he stayed with Baba, Krishna said he killed 47 snakes.

During stay in Rishikesh in 1942, there was no indoor plumbing. So the many sadhus who lived there would repair to the jungle to answer nature’s calls. But the women mandali, who were living in strict seclusion, could not go off to such isolated places for this purpose. The problem was solved by Baba, who instructed Krishna to have a pit dug in back of their compound. Rano, Margaret, Irene and Kitty would collect their own daily eliminations in a tin pan, which Krishna would empty in the pit and then cover with earth. That of the Eastern women, Mansari would gather and keep outside for Krishna to collect and empty.

Finding out about this, some of the local sadhus were disturbed and complained, “This holy place is being made vile!”

So Baba sent them this message with Krishna:

By eliminating in the open, flies gather and there is a possibility of some sort of disease breaking out. By throwing the elimination in the pit and covering it with earth, no flies are attracted. This is a sign of purity, not impurity.

In Lonavla, Krishna and Venkoba Rao were given the duty of being on night watch, Krishna outside and inside Baba’s room, and Venkoba Rao by the women’s compound. Venkoba would sometimes doze during his night watch duties, and Baba had repeatedly warned him about it. One night Baba called Krishna and motioned, “Go and see if Venkoba is awake or asleep.” Krishna left and was horrified by the sight that met his eyes. Venkoba was sound asleep and a poisonous snake was right next to him ready to strike.

Krishna grabbed a stick and struck the snake. This awoke Venkoba, who jumped to his feet. As Krishna was striking the snake, he heard Baba clap. Telling Venkoba to finish killing it, Krishna returned to Baba. Baba asked, “What was all the noise?” Krishna informed Baba about the snake and Baba sent him back to see if Venkoba had killed it.

Venkoba had and when Baba was told, he sent for Venkoba and scolded him, “If you fall asleep again, you will be bitten by a snake! I won’t save you next time!”

One night, when Krishna was sitting on watch inside Baba’s room, at 11:30 Baba ordered him to sit outside and to make a round every half an hour. On his second round, Krishna spotted a large cobra. While killing it, he made some noise and Baba clapped. Krishna brought the snake and Baba complimented him, “You have done well. The snake will jump three lives.”

After five minutes, Baba called Krishna inside His room. He motioned, “Talk about something.” Taken aback, Krishna did not know what to say. Baba then asked him, “Who am I?”

“Meher Baba.”

“No, I mean previously.”

“I don’t know,” Krishna said.

Baba spelled on the board, “M-E-R-W-A-N. I was Merwan. After that I became Sadguru Meher Baba. After that, Avatar Meher Baba.”

Then Baba said, “There are two Meher Babas.”

Krishna did not understand what He meant. “How is it possible?” he asked. “You are sitting here. Where are two Meher Babas?”

“No, there are two,” Baba insisted.

“I have not seen another one anywhere.”

Baba told him to go look at the wall, which was a typical whitewashed, plastered wall. “Look at the wall and tell Me what you see.”

Krishna looked but responded, “Nothing, Baba.”

“Open your mind and look!”

“It’s just a wall, Baba.”

Baba came and stood next to Krishna. He grabbed a lock of Krishna’s hair, twisted it and said, “Now see!” On the wall, Krishna saw an exact replica of Baba’s form. The image lasted only a few seconds. Baba asked, “Did you see it?”

“Yes, Baba.”

Baba then explained, “There are two Meher Baba’s. When I take physical form, it is My reflection that descends. That is the Avatar. I do not come. I am the Beyond, Beyond God.

“When I was Krishna, it was really My reflection. I am not that. I am the Beyond, Beyond God,” He repeated.

Krishna asked Baba something he had often wondered about: “Baba, previously you had taken birth for the Hindus as Ram and Krishna, then for the Christians as Jesus Christ, after that as Muhammad. Now you have come as a Zoroastrian. Have you come only for the Parsis?”

“No. Now I am for all,” Baba replied. “This time I am the One for all, with only one teaching. What is that teaching? Love Me. No prayer, no meditation, only love Me.”

“But we must have something to remember you by.”

“You have Me in the body.”

“And after that. After you drop your body.”

“That is why I say only love Me. My prayer is that. Each and everything, from top to bottom, is contained in that prayer. Only love Me. This prayer is enough for you.”

“Are you for any religion?”

“No religion. When the Avatar takes birth it is like the reflection on the wall. When He drops His body, the reflection disappears but the wall (God) remains. It is eternal like Myself.”

On Saturday, 19th September 1942, Baba explained about His work:

Reality is; unreality is not! Unreality, or “nothing,” is in the air. My work, too, is in the air and, because of that, it looks to you uncertain. I often make changes. Several times I have repeated that this is My last fast, this is My last seclusion, and this is My last mast trip!

Still, all these “lasts” continue without an apparent end. I myself suffer infinitely and am harassed and troubled, especially in the mast work. But I like it more than you can ever know!

Because My work is so undecided, seemingly vague and indefinite, it is real work. In such great uncertainty, real work is being done.

About God, he remarked:

It is totally wrong to say that God is. Only saying “IS” is true. By saying God is, He is limited in all this infinite show. To connect “is” with God makes it finite. And so only IS is real; but to describe this Reality, He is called God.

Baba told him to take the dog to the veterinarian every day for treatment. Krishna was instructed to care for it, and Baba named it Saifu. Krishna made a paste of sulfur, betel-nut and yogurt, which he applied to Saifu’s skin. Baba saw the dog daily, overseeing its care, and making sure Eruch took it to the doctor on time.

Saifu’s suffering had brought it to God’s feet. In two months, the reddish-brown dog was as sleek and fierce as a tiger. Saifu was subsequently brought to Meherabad with the group and given to Padri.

After this mast tour in South India, Baba returned to Mahabaleshwar on the evening of 19th March 1943. As usual, Krishna and Venkoba Rao were the night watchmen outside of Valley View bungalow. One night a tiger came near the house. Krishna saw it but did not move from his position, though he was frightened. The tiger glowered menacingly. Krishna had a rifle with him. Just as he was about to take aim, Baba clapped. Krishna came inside and told Baba there was a tiger nearby. “Should I shoot it, Baba?” he asked.

“Wait, I’ll come,” gestured Baba. But Baba did not come for five minutes, by which time the tiger had stalked away. Baba motioned, “Now shoot.” Krishna fired in the direction taken by the tiger, but the bullet lodged in the trunk of a tree.

Inside, Baba asked him, “Were you scared?” Krishna admitted that he was. “Don’t be,” gestured Baba. “The tiger won’t devour you. Why were you afraid?” Krishna could not explain.

Teasing him, Baba remarked, “My burden would have been lessened had he eaten you!” After this incident, Baba instructed Krishna to sit in the Blue Bus during His watch, instead of unprotected out in the open.

A black dog would visit Baba’s bungalow in Lahore and it would be fed daily. Then, a puppy that was injured also began coming to the door. The women nursed its wounds and looked after it lovingly. But one day the puppy went mad, and Margaret was ordered to catch it, and turn it over to Nilu to be destroyed.

A few months later (on the morning of 1st October 1943), the black dog too went mad and bit Margaret. Krishna was resting after his night duty, when the gardener came at 7:00 A.M. and told Krishna that Baba wanted him immediately. Baba was standing with Margaret. The dog was lying nearby. Baba pointed to the dog and ordered, “Take this animal away.” It was difficult for Krishna to capture it, as it had already bitten Margaret. Hesitant to get near it and be bitten, Krishna devised a yoke of bamboo. Quietly approaching the dog, he held its neck with the bamboo and tied a rope around it.

Baba ordered, “Take the dog 20 miles from here.”

Krishna replied, “That is not possible, Baba. The dog is mad (rabid)!”

Baba was adamant. “It is my order!”

Krishna expressed his inability to transport the dog so far. Baba looked disappointed, and dictated, “All right, take him eleven miles. And be certain to count the miles carefully.” Baba went inside without giving Krishna a chance to protest further.

Krishna got on his bike and, using the rope to pull it and the bamboo to keep it at bay, he led the dog away.

It was an arduous task. Using small pebbles, he counted off the miles. It took him five hours to bicycle eleven miles. There was a small pond of water, and Krishna took the dog near the water to give it a final drink before letting it go. As soon as the dog touched its mouth to the water, it died. Krishna was peeved. “If the dog was to die, why not kill it back in Lahore?” he wondered. “Why go to all this trouble of dragging it eleven miles away?”

Leaving the carcass, Krishna returned to the bungalow. It was almost two in the afternoon. Nilu was waiting to inform him that Baba wanted to see him immediately. Baba was walking on the verandah. “Did you leave the dog?” he asked.

“Yes. It died.”

Baba was very happy. “You went eleven miles?” Krishna nodded.

“Did you count the miles with the stones?” Krishna nodded.

Baba smiled, gesturing, “I am very happy. You have done a good job. Go and have lunch.”

Krishna stood still. “Baba, what is this?” he asked. “Why did you want me to take that dog eleven miles away?”

Baba gave him a kick and twisted his hair. “Get out!” he motioned. “Go! Get out of my sight!”

Krishna, however, stood outside the gate. Baba asked him what he wanted. “What was the reason, Baba? Tell me. First you told me to go 20 miles, then 11 miles. After I took the dog all that way, it died there. If you wanted him dead, I could have killed him here in five minutes.

“Why did you make me go to all that trouble? What difference did it make where that dog died? What work were you doing?”

Baba called him back and motioned to him to take a stick and draw a line on the ground. Erasing the line with his foot, Baba indicated to draw another line. “That’s correct,” he gestured.

Then Baba revealed, “In the future, India will be divided into two countries — India and Pakistan. This will be the boundary line between the two.”

Four years later at the time of Partition, Krishna recalled Baba’s words. A dispute arose over the exact boundary line, whether it was to be 11 miles or 20 miles from a certain point.

One night, when Krishna was sitting on watch inside Baba’s room, at 11:30 Baba ordered him to sit outside and to make a round every half an hour. On his second round, Krishna spotted a large cobra. While killing it, he made some noise and Baba clapped. Krishna brought the snake and Baba complimented him, “You have done well. The snake will jump three lives.”

Baba had brought with Him from Ahmednagar a lowly sweeper’s son named Amir Syed. His sister was working for the women and she had asked Baba to keep her brother.

Baba kept this poor boy in regal style, and Krishna was assigned the duty of serving him. Baba appeared to be very fond of Amir and pampered him. (According to Krishna, “At 5:00 P.M., if Amir would declare it was five in the morning, Baba would say he was correct!”)

Every Saturday and Sunday, Krishna had to escort the boy six miles away to the movies. Krishna purchased the ticket for Amir, but he himself (though also young at eighteen) was not allowed to go inside the theater. He had to sit outside like a servant, waiting for the boy to come out. One day, as they were returning after the movie, a truck passed by and raised a cloud of dust, which settled on Amir’s fine clothing and got into his eyes.

The boy became indignant. “The dust is flying in my face,” he shouted. “Why are you taking me on this filthy road?”

Krishna said, “This is the only way to the cinema. There is no other route.”

Amir was not consoled. He shouted abuses at Krishna until Krishna could bear no more. “You bloody little bastard,” he cursed. “If I weren’t with Baba, I would cut you up into tiny, little pieces and throw you away into the garbage pit! Is it my mistake that a truck passed by and raised a cloud of dust? Could I have prevented it?”

Amir went straight back to the mandali’s bungalow and ran to Baba and began to cry in front of him. Amir complained bitterly about Krishna. Baba immediately sent for Krishna and asked, “Why did you take the boy via such a bad road?”

Krishna retorted, “He was shouting at me, cursing me on the road. Am I to build his little highness a special highway?” For the first time, Baba slapped Krishna. Enfolding Amir in His arms, He directed him to go to his room.

When Amir left, Baba motioned to Krishna, “What are you thinking?”

“Baba, I am wondering what you are doing. I was not at fault. I did not commit any mistake, and still you struck me?”

“You hate him because you are a Brahmin and he is a sweeper. To banish this hate from your heart, I have purposely given you this work of serving him.

“You should be thankful to Amir for helping to eradicate this prejudice from inside you. You hate him, and you also envy him.

He does not hate or envy you. This shows that Amir is a true amir (nobleman) while you are the pauper.”

“Then why is he so demanding?” asked Krishna.

“Were he not so fastidious, how could your hate have manifested? To bring this hate to the surface, I have given you this work. Amir does his work well. If the poison were not taken out, you would die. He is benefiting you, but you have no idea of it.”

Baba caressed Krishna, reassuring him, “Don’t think about it any further. It was for my work. He is a Muslim and you are a Hindu. There is some work I must do between you two. By thrashing you, I did some important work. Now forget about it.”

During this period in Lahore, Baba once warned Krishna that during the night watch, while he took his rounds around the bungalow, he should be extra careful and always carry a stick and a flashlight with him. Baba repeated this warning three times, and Krishna was puzzled at His repeated emphasis on the point. When Krishna saw Baba at night, Baba again harped on the same thing. Therefore, Krishna was most careful that night, but nothing happened.

He then began having thoughts that Baba was unnecessarily repeating things without any rhyme or reason just to frighten him. The next night, also, when he was with Baba, Baba brought up the subject. Somewhat irritated, Krishna said, “You’ve told me this before, Baba! What is the use of repeating it?”

Baba scolded, “There is a reason; otherwise, why would I waste My breath! Now repeat it to Me three times.”

So Krishna repeated three times: “I will be cautious at night and, when doing the rounds, I will always carry a stick and torch (flashlight) with me.”

Despite all this, Krishna failed to take Baba’s warning seriously. One night, when he was walking on his rounds outside, he spotted a large black cobra in the garden near some banana trees. Krishna picked up sand and threw it toward it, making the snake turn and come for him. Whereupon, Krishna struck it, breaking its back, then finally killed it with his stick.

The noise made Baba step out of His room. He inquired, “What happened?”

Krishna replied, “A big black cobra …” Baba did not ask anything more, and Krishna now understood why Baba had warned him so tirelessly.

In Kashmir tour, on 24th August 1944, Mehera, Mani, Meheru and Rano were to be shifted to Bhagat Villa in Nishat. Before proceeding to Nishat, Baba instructed Krishna to follow in the truck with their luggage and not to come by bicycle. But after they had loaded everything in the truck, there was no room for the bicycle, so Krishna cycled to Nishat and Vishnu rode in the truck.

When they arrived, Baba scolded Krishna, “Why did you fail to carry out My order? I told you not to ride your bicycle.”

“There was no room in the truck for the bicycle. The driver refused to take it and I …” Krishna pleaded.

“You should have thrown the bicycle away!” Baba interrupted. “Do you value a bicycle more than My words? Is your bicycle greater than My orders? Why don’t you obey Me?”

Then Baba spelled out, “If Chanji comes, you will have to go.”

Krishna did not understand and Baba spelled out: “If Chanji improves and comes here, you will die.”

That night, Krishna also came down with fever, and Nilu began treating him. Meanwhile, despite the best possible treatment, Chanji did not improve. At 5:30 A.M. on 25th August 1944, with Baba’s name on his lips, Chanji shut his eyes forever to the world, and opened his eyes to see his Divine Beloved in His Pure Being! He was 52 years old.

In 1945, one day Krishna, while out on a walk, eyed a young woman. He began having undesirable thoughts, and he could not get them out of his mind. Distressed and feeling ashamed, he went to Baba’s room for night watch. When Baba asked what was wrong, Krishna told him what had happened. Telling him to wait, Baba went to the women and returned with a slip of paper on which were written the words:

“Satchitanand, Paramanand, Meher Baba Vidnyanand”
(All Truth, Knowledge and Bliss, God in the Beyond, Meher Baba the All-knowing One)

“From today, repeat these three names for fifteen minutes a day for seven days,” Baba instructed. To give Krishna the tune and beat, Baba stood in front of him and clapped as Krishna sang the line. Baba Himself put Krishna in a room and closed the door. Fifteen minutes later, Baba came and asked Krishna how he felt. Krishna replied that the thoughts had ceased, and Baba caressed his face and assured him not to worry.

In 1946, ever since returning to Pimpalgaon, something very mysterious and strange was happening to Krishna during his night watch. All the windows and doors of Baba’s room were tightly shut. At midnight, Krishna would see a shadow fall across the window. Soon a spirit would appear inside the room. The apparition was that of an old man with slightly reddish eyes, a white beard, and no legs. He was wearing a white kafni, with a white cloth tied around his head. “He was wonderful and attractive to look at,” Krishna related later, “so I wasn’t afraid. But whenever he appeared, I lost all my strength. I couldn’t move.”

The spirit would approach Baba’s bed. As soon as he was about to touch Baba’s feet, Baba would snap His fingers and the spirit would disappear. Baba did not say anything and Krishna also did not report what he had seen. Every night the same thing happened: When the spirit appeared, Krishna would feel immobilized with his energy drained away. After a few days, he complained to Baba that the spirit was taking away his strength. Baba decided to move to a different room.

Half a mile from the Pimpalgaon ashram was a small cottage, belonging to Ratanshah Gyara, a Parsi resident of Poona who was devoted to Baba. After retiring from his job as an engineer, Gyara farmed some land he owned near Pimpalgaon. No one stayed in the cottage, as it was used to store grain and farm implements. So, from 9th February 1946, because of the ghost, Baba began going with Krishna to Ratanshah’s small cottage every evening at nine o’clock to rest for the night. Because Krishna felt so weak, Baba instructed Kaka to come at 4:00 A.M. and relieve Krishna, but neither Kaka nor anyone else was told about the spirit.

The spirit never appeared at Gyara’s cottage. For a few days things seemed to be going well when one night at about two o’clock, someone knocked on Kaka’s door. “Kaka, wake up!” the voice cried. “It’s four o’clock!” Kaka sprang out of bed, frightened that he would be late, and ran from Pimpalgaon to Gyara’s cottage. From the window, he shone his flashlight on Krishna’s face inside. Krishna came out and asked, “Kaka, why have you come so early?”

Early?” Kaka said. “What’s the time? Why did you wake me up?”

“It is 2:00 A.M.,” Krishna informed him. “I did not wake you up. I’ve been here with Baba all the time. How could I have gone to your room and left Baba alone?”

Kaka returned, puzzled. Who had roused him in the middle of the night? The next night the same thing happened. After three or four days of being awakened early, Kaka also saw the apparition. He told Baba that he could no longer do his duty, because the spirit kept waking him up.

The next day, Baba shifted back to Pimpalgaon. At midnight the spirit appeared. Baba Himself got up, opened the door and went out. At 12:15 A.M., He came back into the room. He was covered with sweat. He closed the door and indicated to Krishna that he wanted to change his clothes. He then washed his face and went to sleep. From that day on, the spirit never returned.

Krishna wondered about it, and on the third day he asked Baba, “I have not seen that spirit lately. Why hasn’t he come?”

“The work is finished,” Baba motioned.

“What work, Baba?”

“I will explain,” Baba replied. “Remind Me tomorrow in front of the mandali.”

The next morning at eight o’clock, Krishna came, even though he would normally be sleeping at that hour. Baba asked why he had come and he reminded Baba about the spirit. Baba spelled out to the mandali, “Ask Krishna what was going on every day.” Krishna related what had transpired, and Baba explained, “The spirit was a great and powerful man. If he wanted to destroy the world, he could have done so within a second. He was that powerful.

“For some reason, he committed suicide. He wanted to be freed, but I was avoiding him. He was coming to Me for that purpose. Four days ago I relieved him and gave him a body. Now he won’t come around.”

Hearing this, Krishna lost his temper. “Baba, look at me! How weak I’ve become. Why didn’t you relieve him the very first day? Why did you let him cause so much trouble?”

Baba smiled and dictated, “The time had not come. When the time came, I gave him the body.”

Krishna Nair had been with Baba doing the night watch duty since 1941. The standing order to all the mandali was not to make the slightest noise while keeping watch. To fulfill this duty, one had to become like a statue — not for an hour or two, but at times for the whole night. Mosquitoes, which were widespread in Niranjanpur, used to pester Krishna incessantly. One night, as a mosquito was biting his cheek, Krishna carefully slapped and killed it, hardly making a sound. But it was enough to disturb Baba, who asked what the noise was. Krishna replied that a mosquito was biting him and he killed it.

This displeased Baba, and He found an excuse to severely take Krishna to task for half an hour. Afterward Krishna thought: “No one who calls Himself the embodiment of divine love could get so upset over such a minor mistake … Is he God or the Devil?”

After an hour, Baba asked, “What are you thinking?”

“Nothing, Baba,” Krishna replied.

“Tell me the truth!”

“I was wondering whether you are God or the Devil,” he admitted.

Baba just smiled, and after a while informed Krishna, “I am going to Hardwar tomorrow. You should come with Me!”

“I don’t want to come. Whenever you go out anywhere, you never take me. Why should I be invited this time?”

“Do as I tell you,” Baba gestured. “It is not good to talk back to Me!”

Krishna finally gave in, and Baba added, “Rano will give you tea and breakfast at five in the morning. After breakfast, bring a Tonga and we will both proceed to Hardwar.”

After his watch was over at 4:00 A.M., Krishna went to his room. He took a bath and went out to look for a Tonga. When Rano could not find him for breakfast, she told Baba. While a search was made, Krishna returned with the tonga.

Upset, Baba scolded him, “I had told you to go for the tonga after breakfast. Why did you go before?”

Krishna explained, “Tongas are not readily available at such an early hour, Baba. I left so we would be sure to get one and not be delayed in departing.”

“Who told you to use your brain!? Just listen to what I say. What you did was not good. Never disobey My order.”

Krishna had his breakfast, and again mulled over Baba’s seemingly demonic tendencies. Baba took his seat in the tonga with Krishna. On the way, a few empty tongas passed by and Baba teasingly remarked, “And you said that tongas were unavailable. Now look how many there are!”

Reaching Hardwar by train, Baba occupied a room in a dharamshala. Staying inside, he directed Krishna, “Lock the door from outside, and go find out where Maujwala Baba stays.” Krishna left accordingly. He found where Maujwala’s abode was and came back and told Baba.

Baba immediately set out with Krishna in a tonga to contact the mast. The place was six miles away. Baba gestured to Krishna to ask the tonga driver if there were any masts along the way. The driver responded, “Yes, half a mile away there is Nanga Baba. He has been standing on one foot under a tree for years. After six months, he switches to the other leg. But the tonga cannot go there as the road is too rough.” Nearing the place, Baba got down and instructed Krishna to tell the driver to wait. The driver wanted double the fare for waiting, which Baba agreed to pay.

Baba indicated to Krishna, “Walk slowly behind; I am going ahead.” As Krishna followed at a distance, he observed an unusually splendid sight.

The instant Nanga Baba saw Baba approaching, he folded his hands and shouted, “Lord! Welcome, welcome! Long have I waited to see you! For years I have thirsted for you alone! Today you have come. O Lord, emancipate me!”

Nanga Baba fell at Baba’s feet and began weeping. Seeing this, Krishna thought: “How stupid I am. Even while staying with Baba I was thinking He was Satan … And here is this mast pining just to have a glimpse of Him.”

The mast had not spoken for years, and he broke his silence for the first time upon seeing Baba. When Baba was about to leave, the mast again fell at Baba’s feet and begged him, “Please relieve me of this body; there is no purpose in my living since I have now seen God!”

After leaving Nanga Baba, Baba and Krishna rode on in the tonga to see Maujwala Baba. Baba worked with him alone, keeping Krishna at a distance. Maujwala was a tall mast, living only on water. He unexpectedly asked for sev — a salty snack made from chickpea flour. Baba sent Krishna to buy some. It was not available in the tiny village and the city was six miles away. Luckily, Krishna got a ride in a car and brought some for the mast. But Krishna did not know that “sev” also meant apple.

Seeing the sev Krishna had brought, Maujwala Baba snapped, “I don’t want this! I want an apple! But never mind, don’t worry. You eat it; I forgive you.”

Baba, however, gestured to Krishna not to eat it, and after a while they left. On the way back, Baba motioned to Krishna to throw the sev away.

When they returned to the dharamshala, Baba ordered Krishna to stand outside his door. Baba’s coat and shawl were hanging on a hook outside when a monkey came and grabbed both off the rack. Krishna informed Baba, who told him, “Hurry, run after it! You must get them back.” Krishna ran after the monkey as fast as he could, but the monkey jumped from building to building, eluding him. Fed up, Krishna began crying. The monkey dropped the shawl, but it still would not let go of Baba’s coat.

After chasing him for a long while, Krishna was about to give up when the monkey suddenly stopped. It smelled the coat and then threw it down in disgust.

Krishna returned the shawl and coat to Baba, who put them on. Krishna wondered what work was being done since Baba had another coat with Him. He refused to wear the clean coat, insisting upon putting this one back on, and they returned to Niranjanpur from Hardwar.

After a week, Baba sent Krishna back to Hardwar to see Nanga Baba and present him with flowers and a cup of water. When Krishna reached the place, he found a large crowd collected around Nanga Baba’s dead body. He had died that very morning. A devotee of the mast remarked to Krishna that the day before, Nanga Baba had said, “My work is done; I am going now.” And this suddenly reminded Krishna of what Nanga Baba had uttered before Baba: “Now release me.” Krishna bowed to Nanga Baba, placed the flowers on his body, sprinkled the water over it and returned to Niranjanpur.

In another event while Baba was staying in Dehra Dun in 1942, the following incident occurred involving Krishna Nair, Baba’s night watchman at the time. Krishna would take a walk every evening at five o’clock before going to Baba’s room for night watch. Opposite their bungalow was a girls’ school. Four girls used to watch Krishna, and one of them asked him if she could come with him for a walk.

Krishna felt extremely uncomfortable around women. “I didn’t want to see any woman’s face,” he recounted. “I disliked women.”

His disgust was so great that when the girl innocently asked to accompany him, he spit on her face. The girl’s feelings were hurt and she complained to Baba. Baba called Krishna and asked for his side of the story. “You have done a terrible thing,” Baba reprimanded.

He directed the girl to remove her sandal and slap Krishna with it. Krishna was ordered to bow down to her and seek her forgiveness. When the girl left, Baba asked Krishna why he did that. Krishna said, “Baba, I do not want to touch any woman; I do not want to have any contact with any woman.”

Baba spelled out to him, “You say you do not want to have anything to do with women, but you will marry! You will have one son, also! He will cry. When he cries who will look after him?”

“No, Baba, I will not marry.”

“Are you challenging Me?” Baba asked him.

“I am not challenging you, but I do not want to marry.”

“You will marry!” Baba insisted. Krishna was equally firm that he had resolved not to wed. “All right,” Baba directed him, “write it down.” Krishna took out a pencil, but Baba stopped him. He called Vishnu and told him to bring a quill pen. He then directed Nilu to draw blood from Krishna’s forefinger.

To Krishna, He ordered, “Write, in your own blood: I will not marry.” When Krishna finished, Baba examined the paper and handed it to Vishnu. “Keep this with you, and when I ask for it again, give it to Me,” Baba instructed.

Four years passed. Nothing was said again about Krishna’s marriage. Prior to traveling to Niranjanpur in July 1946, Baba had given Krishna a month’s leave to visit his mother. “Don’t disappoint your mother,” Baba ordered him. “Obey her words and make her happy.” Krishna went home and saw his family for the first time in nine years. After four or five days, his mother began pestering him to marry. Krishna remembered Baba’s words and sent him a letter. Baba sent a one-line telegram: “Obey your mother’s words.” Krishna’s mother arranged the marriage, and the marriage ceremony was held twelve days later. The very next morning, a telegram came from Baba ordering Krishna to return immediately.

His bride was not upset; on the contrary, she insisted that he go.

Krishna met Baba in Rishikesh. When Krishna entered the room, everyone was ordered out. Baba asked Krishna, “Are you married? Is your wife beautiful? Does she love you?”

“Baba, I was with her for only eight hours,” Krishna said. “How do I know whether or not she loves me?”

Baba commented, “She is better than you! She loves you more than you know.” Krishna was sent back to Niranjanpur, with instructions not to tell anyone about the marriage.

Once, Baba sent Eruch for certain work to Ahmednagar, asking him to return to Pimpalgaon by seven that evening. When Eruch had not returned by that time, Baba became restless. He would send Krishna every two minutes to see whether he had arrived. Baba was very uneasy and got angry with Krishna for no apparent reason.

In 1947, Eruch had been late in leaving Ahmednagar and was driving swiftly toward Meherazad. On the way, he found the nallah (riverbed) flooded due to the monsoon rains, and cars and buses were stuck there. Paying no attention to the warnings not to cross the canal, Eruch plunged the car through the stream. He managed to drive across, though he got completely soaked. He arrived safely at Meherazad, and as soon as he drove in the compound, Baba calmed down. Eruch was called, and Baba asked him, “Why are you late?”

Eruch was weeping. He said, “Baba, I forgot.”

“Why didn’t you forget yourself?” Baba fumed. “Why did you forget My order? If you die, I will have to answer to Pappa!”

Once, Baba asked Krishna, “How do you find Eruch?”

Krishna replied, “He is a very good man.”

Baba stated, “He is not only very good, he is a gem!”

While Baba was away on tour, Chandrabhan, the boy who did the shopping in the bazaar was under Kaka’s supervision and refused to listen to Krishna. Foregoing sleep to do night duty, Krishna sometimes would be in an irritable mood. When Baba returned from His journey, He was displeased to learn that, in His absence, Krishna had gotten angry at Chandrabhan and had struck the teenager.

Baba scolded Krishna disapprovingly and said, “Now it is better that you go.” Krishna sorrowfully agreed and left for his home in South India. Baba then appointed Chhagan to take over as night watchman.

A few individuals received specific instructions from Baba. One of them was Baba’s former night watchman Krishna Nair. Krishna had been living in South India since November 1947. He came to Meherabad desiring to stay with Baba again.

Krishna asked Baba why he was not included among those men going on the New Life with him. Baba explained to him, “You are not to be concerned about the New Life.”

Instead, Baba gave him a special order. Krishna was instructed to make a pilgrimage all over India, stopping at famous temples, shrines and sacred places of all religions — Hindu, Muslim, Zoroastrian and Christian — throughout the country. He was told to bow down at those places and utter the words Meher Baba. Baba called Vishnu and directed him to give Krishna Rs.2, 000 for his expenses. Krishna began his pilgrimage at Benares. It took nearly seven and a half months to complete the pilgrimage.

In 1949, before leaving Meherabad, Krishna received a letter informing him that his wife had given birth to a son. Krishna was reading the letter when Baba came by. Baba asked what news he had received. Krishna told him, and Baba ordered him not to tell anyone about the letter. (Previously in 1946, Baba had ordered Krishna not to tell any of the mandali about his marriage.) Later, when everyone had gathered in the hall, Krishna was called. In front of everyone, Baba asked him, “How are your wife and son?” Since Baba had instructed Krishna to keep his marriage and now the birth of his son a secret, the men were wondering when he had married and had a son.

Dr. Ghani asked, “What miracle are you performing here, Baba? Without a wife, Krishna gets a son?”

Baba then asked Vishnu to bring the note Krishna had written in his blood in 1942, pledging, “I will not marry.” It took Vishnu three-quarters of an hour to locate the paper. Baba held it up and stated, “This bloody bastard challenged Me that he would not marry! Now you are married and have a son also!”

Nilu interjected, “Baba, Krishna married behind our backs, without giving us a proper celebration. We demand a party!”

Baba replied, teasingly, “Don’t look at Me! I am not the one who got married. It is for Krishna to give you a party.” However, since Krishna had no money, Baba bought basundi (a condensed milk dessert) for everyone to honor the occasion.

Krishna Nair had also joined Baba when he was a boy in Bangalore in 1939, and stayed with him subsequently. But in 1947, he had been sent back to his home in South India. Before going on the New Life, Baba had instructed Krishna to go on a pilgrimage all over India. After this pilgrimage, and since Baba had not called him to join the New Life, Krishna had joined the police force.

Dr. Ghani once asked Baba what happened between him and Krishna: “Previously Krishna was a frequent visitor,” Ghani observed. “Now we do not see him for months.”

Baba replied, “Krishna was on the straight lane, but he turned. Now he has gone to the side. He is stuck there.”

“Who changed his lane, Baba?” Ghani inquired.

“Don’t ask,” Baba replied.

In 1952, Krishna got the opportunity to visit Hyderabad to deliver a parcel on behalf of his superior on the police force. He knew that Baba was in Hyderabad from one of Adi’s circulars mailed to him, so he attended the meeting.

When He met with Krishna, Baba inquired as to what he was doing. Then Baba asked, “Are you willing to come and stay with Me again?”

Krishna said he would. Baba then declared, “He has come again in the lane!” Quitting his job, Krishna rejoined Baba.

In 1953, Krishna Nair was on night watch near Baba every night from 9:00 P.M. to 1:00 A.M. One day Baba instructed him, “Find a boy for Me who can keep watch by My side at night, then I will give you leave for a month.”

So Krishna started searching and found a good boy from a wealthy family. He talked with him and asked, “Would you like a good job for a month?”

The boy replied indignantly, “I can hire you as a servant in my house!”

“This job is different,” Krishna attempted to explain. “Here we have to dedicate everything to our Master and give up all desires to gain anything from Him. This Master is the giver of good fortune, and only lucky ones can serve Him.”

The boy introduced Krishna to his father. When Krishna asked if the boy could serve His Master for a month, the man too was offended and said angrily, “I can employ you and your Master both! Aren’t you ashamed to speak to me like this?”

On his return, Krishna informed Baba about the incident, whereupon the next day Baba went with him to observe the boy. Baba watched him from a distance for five minutes and then commented, “My purpose is served. Now don’t go back to him.”

In 1954, Krishna Nair was the night watchman near Baba in Mahabaleshwar. He also had the duty of preparing Baba’s bathwater every morning. One day he accidentally heated the water a little too hot. Baba put His finger in the water and complained it was scalding. He lambasted Krishna. “Are you trying to kill Me?” he asked. “Do you want to burn Me?”

Baba severely reprimanded him, “Why are you staying with Me? It would be better if you went away! I now dislike your staying with Me. You are useless! You only eat and sleep. I would be happier if you died! Why don’t you die instead of trying to kill Me?” On and on it went. Baba was relentless and Krishna was devastated. After he was dismissed, Krishna went to his room and in despair swallowed 22 sleeping pills to attempt suicide.

At one time, Baba called the men inside. Nariman and Arnavaz Dadachanji had come from Bombay for a few days and had brought mangoes. Baba distributed one mango each to Baidul and others telling them to save it and eat it the following day. Baba sent for Krishna, who, when he walked in, looked like a corpse. His eyes were white. Handing him a mango Baba ordered him, “Eat this immediately!”

Krishna ate it and soon after vomited the pills. Feeling very ill, he could hardly stand and he was shaking. When he came to Baba’s room in the evening for His duty, Baba asked, “What is the matter with you today?” Krishna kept quiet, and only after Baba’s repeated questioning did he admit the truth.

Baba was furious. He called Goher and instructed her to give Krishna some medicine. Baba handed him a bottle of orange soda and told him to drink it. He then stated, “Press My foot and do not let up even for a moment!” Feeling very weak, Krishna could barely sit up, but managed to massage Baba’s foot as ordered. A number of hours passed. At 4 A.M., Savak led Krishna to his room where he slept the entire day. Baba came and woke him up at 6:30 P.M. and asked how he was feeling. He was his normal self again. With a mango, Baba had saved him from an ignoble death!

There happened to another interesting incident in 1955, at Satara. There was a girls’ school in Satara near the mandali’s bungalow, which Krishna Nair would pass while going for night duty.

One particular girl requested that Krishna give her Baba’s books in Marathi, and he gave her one. Some of the girl’s friends saw her talking to Krishna and decided to have some fun. A love letter written in Marathi was received at the school addressed to the girl. The superintendent suspected Krishna, and the matter was reported to Baba. Baba met with the superintendent and explained that Krishna did not know Marathi, as he was from South India. Nevertheless, Baba informed the school official, “Although I know Krishna did not do anything wrong, I have decided to send him home, as you suspect him.” The woman was satisfied and she left.

Afterward, Baba explained to Krishna, “What has happened is very bad. It reflects poorly on Me. Now it is better you leave.”

Krishna was stunned. For a moment, he doubted whether Meher Baba was God. Weeping, he protested, “I am innocent, Baba! You know the truth; still you are sending me away?”

Baba replied, “Ram also knew that Sita was pure but he sent her away into the jungle. So also, I know you have done nothing wrong but I am sending you away for My own reasons. I will always have My nazar on you and help you internally.” Baba sent Krishna Nair back to his home in Malabar, and thereafter never kept Krishna with Him as a permanent member of the mandali, though he was called back by Baba on various occasions.

With Krishna having departed, the night watch was now shared by Savak Kotwal and Bhau: Savak until midnight, and Bhau from midnight to 5:00 A.M.

It had been two years since Krishna had been sent home from Satara, and he missed Baba terribly. According to Baba’s orders, he had taken a job in Bombay, but, despondent and depressed; he felt he could not live without staying with Baba. He traveled to Swami Nityanand’s ashram north of Bombay, where he met the great saint. When Krishna stood before him, without asking anything, Nityanand began laughing. Krishna, too, did not say a word.

In year 1957, he quietly left and climbed up the mountain near the saint’s ashram, reaching the top at 4:00 P.M. He had resolved to leap off the mountain cliff into the huge canyon below. No one would find his body hidden in the crevices. But, to be sure, he decided to jump after dark. He lay down and fell asleep. When he awoke, it was dark. He took three steps toward the edge of the cliff and suddenly heard Baba’s clap. He turned and saw Baba standing before him. Baba was in his early thirties. He wore a sadra, and his long hair was open. Krishna told Bhau, “Baba’s eyes were burning like fire! Red in color and flashing!” Krishna fell down unconscious. When he woke up, he abandoned his thoughts of suicide.

Bhau did not tell Krishna what had happened between himself and Baba that day. Thus he discovered that Baba had acted as he did to save Krishna’s life. When Krishna had changed his mind and returned home, Baba’s temperament had suddenly undergone a change.

After hours of reproof, Bhau had the good fortune of tasting the sweetened drink touched by Baba’s lips.

Baba truly worshiped His lovers, and nothing ever remains hidden from Him. Later, when Krishna met Baba, Baba asked about what had happened that day. Baba commented, “You think I am here only, but I am everywhere — all over the world, and in your heart also.”

Krishna told Baba how miserable he was in Bombay. Baba reminded him that when he was a boy and Baba had asked him what he wanted, he had replied, “I want you, Baba.”

“Do you remember that?” Baba asked him. “Wanting Me means to follow My orders.”

Krishna said, “At that time I thought it would be simple to follow your wishes, but it is very, very difficult.”

Baba said, “Never mind. Return to your job. This is My order. You are free to come and see Me whenever you like.”

Krishna narrated his meeting with Nityanand.

Baba asked, “Did you take the saint’s darshan?”

Krishna replied, “No, he was laughing.”

Baba replied, “He was not laughing. I was laughing. I, myself, was laughing. You wanted to die? Never think of suicide again!”

In the year 1968, Baba’s former night watchman, Krishna Nair, arrived in Ahmednagar unexpectedly and met Adi. He wished to see Baba, but Adi informed him that at present Baba was not seeing anyone. Krishna decided to try and he took a bus to Meherazad, arriving at 2:00 P.M. Pukar was on watch by the gate, but at first he did not recognize him. He told Krishna to leave, but Krishna asked him to inform Baba that it was he who had arrived. When notified, Baba called him inside His room. Baba was alone. He asked Krishna, “Why have you come?”

“I wanted to see you. You have given me permission to see you whenever I like.”

“You have seen Me, now go. But when will you come again?”

“I can come anytime you call me,” Krishna answered.

Baba gestured, “No, you won’t see Me for a long, long time. Now it is finished. Go straight back to Bombay.” Krishna returned to Bombay. He realized only later what Baba meant by “a long, long time,” as this was Krishna Nair’s last physical meeting with his Master.


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