Roj Sarosh Mah Ava, 1381 Yz.
As we sat dumb founded in our seats in the maidan that morning, we realized that besides the Mahatma we had been fortunate to meet, there were others like him in different parts of the country who helped and guided all of God’s creations. The Mahatma arose from his chair and addressed the birds: ‘my dear children, you are now free to roam this garden and forage for your food. Fifteen days from today, I will send you off to your native village. Till then, enjoy your time here.’ Saying this the Mahatma began to walk back and we followed him. After about a fifteen minute walk we arrived at the same cottage where Rustomji and myself had rested on our previous visit. The Mahatma asked us to take rest and stay here. I requested permission for us to leave in the evening but the Mahatma insisted that we should stay the night and leave the next day. A delicious lunch had been spread out on the table for us. We were also hungry since the morning episode and hence gave full justice to the food. The Commissioner was most surprised at the different delicacies spread out and wondered who would have cooked all this in the middle of the jungle?
As we lunched, all three began discussing the most amazing incidents we had witnessed today. Our discussion continued after lunch and the Commissioner admitted that what he had seen today had confirmed his belief that India was a deeply spiritual country. The riches which India had were sorely lacking in Britain. The miracle he had seen today would rank as one of the most important incidents in his life and he would never be able to forget this day, or relive it ever. The commissioner admitted that European civilization was far behind the ancient Indian civilization when it came to many areas. The reform and progress much touted by the European civilization was but a shallow farce, a form of hypocrisy. The deep spiritualism of the Indian civilization was something worth wondering about, and indeed adopting in our lives, the Commissioner noted.
After lunch and discussion, we rested for an hour and then took the Commissioner around the entire estate, showing him all the things we had seen on our earlier trip. In the evening we paid our respects to the Mahatma at his cottage and then went back to our own cottage where a delicious dinner had been prepared and made ready for us. We had a very hearty meal, with more discussions around the table regarding the events of the day, and finally retired to bed. The next morning we awoke early and after our bath and breakfast, went to the Mahatma’s cottage to offer our thanks and bid farewell. The Commissioner was very humbled by the Mahatma’s presence and repeatedly thanked him for his great hospitality. The Mahatma invited us to witness the departure of the birds fifteen days hence. As we sat in the commissioner’s car, we were presented with baskets containing the wonderful produce from the Mahatma’s estate. We left there, eager to return in two weeks’ time.
On each of those fifteen days preceding our next visit, our mind would often wander to the amazing things we had witnessed that eventful day. We could hardly be patient for the two weeks to pass by so that we could once again meet the Mahatma and see the birds. Finally the day arrived and we arose early and set off for the Mahatma’s estate in the commissioner’s car. We reached at around 9 am and found the Mahatma waiting for us. He welcomed us and informed that the birds would depart at around 10 am. Till then we sat on the verandah and chatted. It was the turn of the commissioner to ask the questions troubling his mind to the Mahatma, who answered them in a most convincing manner using lucid English. The commissioner expressed surprised that such an advanced and holy man was living in the vicinity he controlled yet he was not aware of his presence.
The Mahatma explained that he was not staying here permanently. Rather he would be in Lyallpur for about two to three months of the year. The remaining months were spent at different places, which even his closest disciples were not aware of. Nor were they told when he would return. The Mahatma revealed that there were far more advanced sages that himself and he would roam the entire country to meet such greater Mahatmas and learn a thing or two from them. As we were chatting, an attendant came up to the Mahatma and informed him that everything was ready. We set off for the maidan along with the Mahatma. As before, chairs had been arranged in the center of the maidan, where we all sat. Soon the two mynas and the eagles appeared in the air and gracefully landed near the Mahatma’s feet. They walked up to him and lowered their heads on the ground in front of his feet.
The attendant handed over the cup of leaves containing the mulberries to the Mahatma, who fed three mulberries to each of the mynas. He then addressed them: ‘my dear children, the time for your departure has come. I wish you a safe and pleasant journey. But before you depart, please let us know your last thoughts, in English so that all of us can understand.’
The male myna addressed us first: ‘Most respected holy one! As long as we live, we shall be forever indebted to you for your kindness and greatness in ensuring that the two of us who had been separated were re-united. Every day we live, we shall pray to the Creator to bestow on you a long, healthy life so that you may help many more as you have helped us. Not only are we unable to ever repay what you have done, we do not even have enough words to express our deepest thanks and gratefulness towards you. May God bless you all and bestow peace and happiness to you.’
The female myna began to speak next: ‘O respected Mahatma, what needed to be said towards you has been said by my mate. I can only repeat that we are forever indebted to you, over many lives, for saving me, re-uniting me with my mate and safely sending us back to our native place. We shall forever pray to the almighty to give you a long and happy life and many more years of service to God’s creations. Finally, my dear Seth Rustomji and Seth Pirojshah! I have nothing but blessings and grace to offer both of you for the great care you have taken of us and the merciful way in which you acted to ensure our freedom and re-uniting with each other. May the Creator bestow on both of you great happiness and peace and prosperity. May you continue to look upon the creations of God with kindness and mercy! May God be with you all! We bid you all farewell!’
As she finished, the female myna and her mate bowed down towards all three of us. The Mahatma then offered the last few words of advice to the birds: ‘always fly with your protectors the eagles. Do not leave them for even an instant.’ To the eagles the Mahatma said: ‘it is your responsibility to deliver these two innocent mynas to the custody of the Mahatma of Bengal. Take care of them more than your own selves. Depart, my children! May the Creator be your guide and protector! May it be so!’
The eagles and the mynas gathered and walked towards the Mahatma’s feet and once again lowered their heads to the ground in front of him. Giving us a loving gaze, the four took off into the air, circled around once and then were away, gracefully flying towards their destination. We watched them with tears in our eyes, unable to take our gaze off their majestic wings, till they had disappeared into the deep blue sky. What else was there to say? All three of us, fell at the feet of the Mahatma to take our blessings from the most remarkable man we had met in our lives.
Till we meet again, you who read this account of mine, may God be with you!’
Here ends the narration of the story by Pirojshah Gotlaseth.
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram