The Path of Truth is Not a Bed of Roses – Part-1

[ The Combined Diary” devotes almost eleven pages to this day and the great drama that played itself out with respect to Baba’s disciple Chhagan. In brief, the story is this. A brahmin raised in Bhingar on the outskirts of Ahmednagar, Chhagan had been married as a child; but in 1925 he became devoted to Meher Baba, thus selecting a Guru outside his religion. Since his young wife was reaching maturity, her family began to pressurize Chhagan to give up his residence with Baba and devote himself to his wife and family duties.

Baba had specifically instructed Chhagan, “Don’t leave me under any circumstances, even when I ask you to do so,” and around this order turned all the events of this critical day in his life. Chhagan had been requested by his brother-in-law to attend the wedding of his sister-in-law Sumati at the village of Akolner. At Chhagan’s instance Baba also went along, walking the distance with his mandali, and warning Chhagan, Remember, take care!” But at the wedding Baba was treated by Chhagan’s family with extreme rudeness, and Chhagan too was abused for his connection with Baba. At length Baba departed, telling Chhagan that he should stay behind—an “order” that was given in deference to Chhagan’s family and that Baba didn’t really want Chhagan to follow. Although he understood this. Chhagan yielded to his family’s insistence; and Baba left, much disappointed. But later in the day word came that Chhagan had appeared before the village patel (headman), stripped off his clothes, and set off dressed only in a langoti (loin cloth). Immediately Baba dispatched a search party.

As it turned out, Chhagan had resolved to kill himself but was deterred from this when he heard a “mysterious voice” telling him to refrain. Soon afterwards he was found by the mandali, brought back before Baba, and pardoned. Chhagan and his young wife were given a room at Meherabad where they resided thereafter.

This Tiffin Lecture appears to compile various remarks and discourses of Baba’s delivered during the course of this action-packed day. —Editors]

In the early morning, before starting from Meherabad for Akolner to bestow his august presence and blessings upon the bridal couple and their families on the occasion of the wedding of Chhagan’s sister-in-law, Shri remarked, “There is no Real Man, no mard, among our mandali, such as this spiritual line requires. What I mean is that this line (Ishvar marg) is so fraught with myriad and varied difficulties that it proves exceedingly hard even for a man of iron with a heart of stone to stand firm through its trials.”

This comment Shri threw out as a hint or suggestion to Chhagan, encouraging him to take a strong stand amidst his upcoming trials. But later that morning while returning with the mandali by foot from Akolner, Shri discussed further what had happened there regarding the wedding reception and Chhagan’s disappointing behavior.

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p362
11-February-1927, Akolner


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