The New Life: Extraordinary requests served without questions

On January 9th, during the companions’ stay in the mango orchard at Akbarabad, Baba sent Adi, Dr. Ghani and Babadas ahead to the city of Najibabad to find accommodations with three conditions. First, they were to find a place to stay for three days and, if possible, to arrange for hot baths for the whole party. Second, they should try to find someone who would provide three meals a day and afternoon tea in bhiksha for their stay. And third, they were to find someone who would be willing to pay for railway tickets for the entire party from Najibabad to Dehra Dun.

This was an extraordinary challenge for the three men to accomplish in one day in an unfamiliar city. To guide them, they took the lead from something Baba had told them earlier, “You will be inspired. Just go. You’ll know whom to approach. Just ask them, but don’t disclose my name or anything about me.”

The men left for the train station in Akbarabad with the money Baba had supplied them for railway tickets to Najibabad and for transportation while there. They were also given some food and were told that when they ran out, they were to beg. On the train ride, the men were so hungry that before they reached Najibabad they had finished off their day’s ration.

When they arrived, they immediately went in search of a dharamshala. After locating the rest house, Adi began to arrange for a room in bhiksha. With some reluctance, the attendant gave them a very small room with three cots wedged inside.

Ghani, who was suffering from a heart condition, was very weak and had to rest for the day and Babadas’ sciatic pain suddenly flared up, forcing him to also remain bedridden. As a consequence, the responsibility for making all the arrangements fell on Adi’s shoulders. To make matters worse, Baba and the other companions were to arrive the next morning.

Adi quickly hired a tonga and asked the driver to take him omen of well-to-do families in the city, where he hoped, where he hoped to find individuals who might be willing to fulfill Baba’s condition. They traveled from place to place, but no one was willing to help Adi.

Finally, the tonga driver asked him what he was trying to do. When Adi explained, the driver said, “Why didn’t you tell me about this in the beginning?” The tongawala immediately proceeded to take Adi to a cloth merchant named Makhan Lal, who was known for his generosity. Immediately upon meeting him Adi explained the three conditions.

“Don’t depend on me for any residential arrangements,” the merchant replied. “As for the meals and tea…. I can manage it not only for three days but even for three weeks.”

Adi thanked him and said he would return later with directions to the place where the party would be staying.

The tonga driver then took Adi to a wholesale dealer who also possessed a generous nature. To this man, Adi quickly explained that he was traveling with a large party on its way to the Kumbha Mela near Hardwar and that they needed railway tickets from Najibabad to Dehra Dun. When asked how many, Adi said that they would need twenty third-class tickets.

Without even meeting the group or making further inquiries, the merchant called his clerk and asked him to calculate how much money would be needed, and when he had the figures, he ordered the clerk to hand Adi the money.

“But sir, we can’t accept money,” Adi said.

“How will you go? How will you buy your tickets?” the merchant asked.

“We will be camping at a certain spot on the outskirts of town. The head of the party has given us certain instructions. If you can follow them, He will be very pleased. The instructions are that we should not take any money that you might give us. On the contrary, you should instruct your own men to purchase the tickets to be delivered to us at the time we are to board the train,” Adi explained.

“What time is the train? What time have you fixed? “The train leaves three days from now at four o’clock in the morning,” Adi replied.

As extraordinary as this request was, the merchant agreed, and he immediately instructed his clerk to be at the railway station at 3:00 a.m. on the appointed day.

-“Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p288

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