Bal Natu's Reflections on the Importance of Baba's Samadhi
During the next few years, in the early '70s, I would be struck time and time again by Baba's active dispensation of love to those who would visit Him in the Samadhi. People would also pour into Meherazad from all over the world at all hours of the day and share their stories of Baba's loving presence in their lives, felt especially when they were in the Samadhi. I was drenched in the showers of their love for Baba as the Eternal Beloved, but my mind would ask, "But where is the fountain that is showering us with this living water of Love?"
In talking to Indian Baba-lovers and listening to their stories, I also felt Baba's love very strongly. I would often be reminded of places I had been with Baba and of darshan programs I had attended, especially those at Guruprasad. Various incidents of my life with Baba would be replayed in my mind with sudden vividness. Each time, my heart felt illumined as if a light had been turned on. But again my mind asked, "But where is the generator that is providing the power?" With Meher Baba's veiling of His physical body, the form which had been the focus of my thoughts and feelings for so many years, I felt as if my link to Baba had in some way been disrupted. I would inwardly ask Baba, "Where are You?"
I felt that if I knew the answer to this question, it would help me reestablish the same sense of rapport with Baba which I had felt before. I wondered, "Should I try to picture Baba now in the Samadhi?" But somehow there seemed to be a contradiction in associating Baba's divinely dynamic personality with the place which He used to sometimes refer to as His "Final Resting Place." My mind was in a state of extended suspense awaiting a resolution to this turmoil which would appeal to my heart. Some years later this distressing problem was finally resolved by an experience which, even to this day, I find difficult to categorize.
One morning in May 1987, I was resting on my bed at Meherazad with my eyes closed, waiting for the call announcing that the car was ready to leave for the Trust Office in Ahmednagar. Baba chose this moment to reveal the answer to my question in a way that not only totally eased my mind, but also consoled and convinced my heart.
While resting, I suddenly found myself in the midst of a kind of "waking dream." I saw myself standing on the platform in front of the Samadhi at Meherabad, just to the right of the door. There was no furniture as there is now, no cabinets or benches. No one else was present. It was all blissfully quiet when, most unexpectedly and to my great surprise and joy, I saw Meher Baba and Eruch, one of His dear disciples, coming up the slope from the south. As they approached the platform, Baba asked Eruch to wait at its edge. He then walked gracefully towards the door of the Samadhi, His arms swinging, hair flowing, His eyes flashing brilliantly. He gave me a glance of deep intimacy that words cannot convey, then entered the Samadhi. I waited with great anticipation for Him to come out, trying to decide how I would greet Him. "Should I bow down to Him, do this, or that ... or what?"
Just then, from inside the Samadhi, I heard a deep voice with a sweet ring to it, and the words resounded, "I AM HERE, I AM HERE, I AM HERE." These words reverberated throughout my whole being. Just then I heard someone calling my name, saying that the car was ready to go to the Trust Office. As I opened my eyes, I found myself uttering the word "EVER."
My heart was filled with an inexpressible joy. I felt deep within me that Baba had clearly shown me: HE IS THERE, HE IS THERE, HE IS THERE, in the Samadhi, as the Ancient One, ever divinely vibrant, responding to the calls of those who visit Him for darshan, or think of Him wherever they may be.
Thus, thinking of Meher Baba in the Samadhi has come to be, for me, the same as thinking of Him when He was visible in the physical body. This has become the natural way for me to feel closer to the presence of the Avatar—the Infinite, Active Consciousness that assumed human form as Meher Baba. Since that day, Meher Baba's living physical presence in the Samadhi has been for me a fact beyond all doubt.
This experience reminds me of an incident from Baba's life when He also spoke three significant words. Once, Baba was visiting the Ellora Caves with some of His Eastern and Western women disciples. One of the caves they visited is known as the Buddha's cave. Mani sometimes shared the story of this visit and commented that as they were inside, looking at the impressive statue of the Buddha which dominates the cave, they were moved by the spiritual atmosphere which they felt there in Baba's presence. Just then, Baba took His alphabet board from under His arm and dictated to Mani these three words, "I AM BUDDHA." As Mani read aloud from the board, she felt as if every particle of the cave resounded with the truth of His words.
One evening a few years after I heard the three words, "I AM HERE," I found upon returning to Meherazad from the Trust Office that, as usual, someone had placed on the table in my room some pictures of Baba and a few pamphlets to be distributed to pilgrims. I was tired and went to bed immediately after having supper. The next morning, when I rolled back my mosquito netting, I saw a painting of the Samadhi on the windowsill next to my bed which I had not noticed the night before. Later, I learned that it had been sent to my room from Baba's House, where the women mandali stay, to be given away or kept as I chose.
Naturally, I decided to keep it. In fact, I was overjoyed to receive it. I had been wanting a picture of the Samadhi ever since my "vision." Not only that, but this painting showed the Samadhi with the door open as I had seen it, and I took this as an objective confirmation from Meher Baba that the words I had heard were truly His. This painting adorns the wall of my room to this day, proclaiming from the Samadhi Avatar Meher Baba's message, "I AM HERE." And yes, He is.
Bal Natu in The Samadhi * Star of Infinity, Bal Natu, pp. 30-3.
Baba battered His form to revitalize His link with the world so that His intimacy with His lovers' hearts could be established. This link is actively retained to this day, though the body is under the "marvel" slab at Meherabad. In this way, the spot that Baba chose to house His body has become the living link between the Avatar's functioning Infinite Consciousness and the pilgrims who visit Him there. For the rest of the blessed Avataric period [100 years after His Manifestation, as stated by Baba through Mani in Bili Eaton's book A Love So Amazing, p. 82], the Samadhi will continue to radiate His Divinity to those who visit Meherabad, and to His lovers everywhere.
Bal Natu in The Samadhi * Star of Infinity, Bal Natu, pp. 75-6.