Initial New Life Conditions, 26-30 Dec. 1949, Benares

“Though the sufferings of this stage are dry and uninteresting, the suffering of the new life in real earnest after lst of January, though hundred per cent more severe, will be wet and enjoyable. The new life will be wet through and through.

New Life Circular #2, p. 2 ff.

Hereafter from 26th to 30th ((1949)) began the programme of begging for the companions. Two companions were to go into the city of Benares each morning for begging. The attire for the companions while out for begging was as follows: White kafni, green turban, satchel and brass pot and barefooted. In begging, they were to avoid shops, Ashrams, Sadavarts; but they could beg at private houses. Whatever quantity of food, raw or cooked, they got from the first house, they had to bring it to Baba. Although Benares is too familiar with professional mendicants, religious hermits and wandering sadhus, the characteristic attire of Baba’s companions while begging, roused a good deal of curiosity in people who asked all sorts of questions as to whence and whither, religion, panths (sects), Guru, etc. etc. It was a unique experience fraught with humour as well as taunts. Dr. Nilu and Kaka, whilst begging at the house of a Muslim, were told that they looked like Pehelwans (wrestlers) from the Punjab. The experiences of the companions in this connection, if recounted, would alone make an interesting story in itself. As at Belgaum, the constant vigilance and suggestive help from Baba during the training period ending 31st December continues unabated. The warning has been repeated over and over again that in this new life based on the conditions and oath, small mistakes consciously or unconsciously committed upto 31st Dec. 1949 will be forgiven; big mistakes unconsciously committed will also be condoned till that date, but big mistakes consciously committed will never be forgiven. Small mistakes are those relating to personal and individual orders and big mistakes are those relating to the conditions and the oath taken.

Not a day passed when someone was not hauled up for some fault, generally committed unconsciously. After driving home the lesson, Baba would warn his companions that the strict discipline of the t r a i n i n g period would go a long way in helping them to live the New Life after 1st January 1950. Instantaneous and literal following of the orders plus good mood after 1st January will be the sheet anchor that will save them when everything is bleak, dark and desolate. Baba admitted that he himself was doing his best to get over his ‘old life’ habits, the most persistent one therefrom being anger. This habit of getting angry, if he does not succeed in giving up, he has drastic remedy for it, which others have not. Baba has ordered that his attention be drawn if he was getting angry, upset or irritated and on such occasions, he asks any of the companions to pinch his (Baba’s) ears or slap him.

In short, the life for the companions is daily becoming more and more restrained and dry due to the following inhibitions enforced from time to time for some reason or other:

(a) No discussion of spiritual topics in Baba’s presence.
(b) No discussion of politics, local or foreign.
(c) No reading of newspapers.
(d) No discussion of vulgar topics.
(e) No discussion of ‘old life’ in Baba’s presence.

Baba however heartens up the companions by saying,

“Though the sufferings of this stage are dry and uninteresting, the suffering of the new life in real earnest after lst of January, though hundred per cent more severe, will be wet and enjoyable. The new life will be wet through and through. The nearest Sufi term for this life is rindi. Also that the happenings and incidents of this period are no doubt natural and normal; after January 1st, besides the normal happenings, the abnormal and extraordinary happenings and incidents will be an every- day affair. If any of you succeeds in living up to the spirit of the conditions hundred per cent, then I shall be his slave and he my master.”

((Where are the four magic words which guarantee adherence to Meher Baba, i.e., “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”? I just don’t see them. how can there be a discussion of basic conditions without even mentioning THE most basic of all possible conditions? Could the scribe in 1949 have been an idiot, or is it that Motormouth in 2013 is hallucinatory? I really don’t understand where the fault lies. -vshr))

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