21 June 2007

Dicky's Grandmother, Prakashwati

While staying at the Center this past weekend, we enjoyed meeting a charming Baba-lover from New Delhi. His name is Rajendra Kumar Sharma (no relation to Sharmaji, who recently toured the U.S.), but he is known as Dicky, his childhood nickname. Dicky told the story of how his family first came into Meher Baba’s contact, through Dicky’s father’s mother, Prakashwati Sharma.

The family lived in Rawalpindi (in the Punjab region of what is now Pakistan), and there was a young girl there who used to see and converse with Lord Krishna. Since Prakashwati was very devoted to Krishna, she asked the girl, “When will I see Krishna?” The girl told her she would see Krishna very soon, at Haridwar (a holy city in northern India), and she described the future scene in some detail. Prakashwati therefore made plans to go on pilgrimage to Haridwar. Upon learning this, Kishan Singh, one of Baba’s lovers from Rawalpindi, informed Prakashwati that Meher Baba was staying in Haridwar, and he urged her to try to see Him, even though Baba was not giving darshan at that time. It was early in the New Life, and Baba was in the Haridwar area contacting saints and sadhus at the Kumbha Mela.

Prakashwati replied that only if she saw Baba in the form of Lord Krishna would she go to Him, because she had eyes only for Krishna. However, when she got to Haridwar she took a tonga to a hut in Motichur village that Baba had had constructed for His use, and waited outside for Him. When Baba arrived at the hut, she beheld Him in the dazzling form of Krishna! The scene was exactly as the visionary young girl had described it.

As a result, Prakashwati renounced everything and devoted herself completely to Meher Baba, refusing to return to her husband and children. It was of course very unusual behavior for an Indian woman to abandon her family, especially in those days. It may seem surprising as well that Baba accepted it, since we often hear that when people wanted to renounce everything to follow Him, He often told them to go back to their family life and remain inwardly devoted to God while fulfilling their normal obligations.

One thing that Prakashwati’s story clearly demonstrates is that Baba responds to the longings of the heart and will often awaken love through the medium of a person’s existing belief system. There have been comparable stories of Westerners who fell in love with Meher Baba when they saw Him as Jesus Christ.

Dicky reports that owing to her fragile health condition, Baba did not send Prakashwati to reside with the women mandali but instead stationed her in Mussourie, a popular hill station (a summer retreat at high altitude) near Dehra Dun. Kishan Singh was appointed to look after her. Since there were relatives living nearby, Prakashwati’s children had the opportunity to see their mother whenever they visited the relatives, but she never went back to her home.

Another story Dicky told took place when Baba was at Dehra Dun in 1953. Dicky remarked with a twinkle that as a boy his father, Brij Bhushan, had gone into business with Baba, and here’s how it happened. Bhushan used to want to go to the movies, but his mother did not approve of this and complained to Baba. Baba assured her that He would take care of the matter. He instructed Bhushan to gather all the mangoes from the trees in the compound and sell them in the market, splitting the profit 50-50 with Baba. Bhushan did as Baba asked, and after the mangoes had been sold and the money divided, Baba told him to go to the movies. When Prakashwati protested that Baba was not only sending her son to the movies but even giving him the money for it, Baba told her that during the time that Bhushan was concentrating on the film, He was working on his mind, and she should not interfere with that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kendra- thanks for doing your blog - especially pieces like this that keep those of us far away informed of Center news. Nice to hear reminders of the New Life times, and His many disguises.

All quotes of Meher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust unless otherwise indicated. Writings by Kendra are © Kendra Crossen Burroughs unless otherwise noted.