I ran across the following accurate account of a story that I mis-reported in an earlier comment thread, because I heard it in error, at Lord Meher pp. 282-83:
During this period, Merwan Seth’s younger brother, Jal, did not believe in his elder brother’s spiritual attainment and dismissed Merog as being insane. Jal knew a guru outside of Poona named Siddharudh Swami of Hubli (reported to be a Sadguru), who he would occasionally visit. Jal would scoff at those who believed his brother should be respected spiritually.
One day Merwan Seth took Jal aside and looked at him in the eyes and said, “My brother, I am God!”
Jal burst out laughing and mockingly exclaimed, “You, God? Merog, you are no one but a madman! ((Merwan was Meher Baba’s given name, Merog was a pet name derived from it in his family and Seth is an honorific -ab)) What have you said? How can a man be God.?”
“Beleive me, brother, I am truly God,” replied Merwan.
Brazenly Jal retorted, “This is nonsense! I don’t believe a word you say, Merog!” Then, Jal challenged his elder brother, “If you are God, you must have powers. Prove it! Prove to me that you are God!”
Merwan Seth agreed to the challenge and said, “I will place a burning coal on the palm of your hand, but you won’t feel the pain. Do you agree to let me do this?”
Jal arrogantly replied, “I am quite prepared. Let me see what sort of God you are! Then he added, “If my hand burns and I feel pain, your delusions will be shattered once and for all. I don’t want to hear you ever repeat that you are God!”
Merwan Seth smiled and went inside the house and brought out a redhot coal from the kitchen fire. He placed it on Jal’s palm. The skin started to burn, but Jal did not feel any pain! He stared at his hand in amazement.
Their mother was in front of the house and started to smell something burning. When she came to the back of the house and saw what was happening, she screamed, “Have you both gone mad? What do you think you are doing?” Scolding Merwan, she tried to remove the coal but it was embedded in Jal’s hand. By the time she finally removed it, all of the flesh of Jal’s palm was deeply burned. The burn was extremely serious, and after Shireen arrived ((the mother -ab)), the pain came into Jal’s mind — it was excruciating and he fainted.
Merwan Seth rushed his brother to the hospital for treatment. Jal was hospitalized for several days and Merwan Seth personally took care of his grother. Jal’s heart was profoundly touced by the love his brother showered on him. Later he confessed, “Merog, my ego is smashed. You are truly God! I was a fool to doubtyou. Forgive me, brother.” Mysteriously, whenever Merwan Seth visited Jal in the hospital, the pain in Jal’s hand would completely go away. But as soon as Merwan Seth left, the excruciating pain would return in its full intensity.
Later when Jal’s wound healed, he would show his hand to new people coming into Merwan Seth’s contact, narrating every detail of the event that made him realize that his brother was indeed God in human form.
Jal was a sincere human being, and he was fundamentally good, but he just didn’t have a snowflake’s clue in hell what spiritual advancement would look like if it existed in a human being. I met him in 1969. God had taken birth in his family, and he had gone outside of not only his family but his community and religion to find a false guru! What was fundamentally going on here emotionally was just good old sibling rivalry. He was still competing with his elder brother for the attention of their mother. Throughout their childhoods, he had been Shireen’s spy on Merwan. Merwan was really Shireen’s favorite child, but she smelled the fact that he basically would not do what she wanted out of her sight, so she enlisted everybody available to spy on him, Jal usually being the most handy for the purpose, and then she would routinely scold Merwan for every stroke of unconventional and spiritual behavior he manifested. On his part, Merwan always forgave her for everything, no matter what she did or said.
Jagat Narayan Avatar Meher Baba Bhagavan ki Jai!