Oil Lamps, Dhuni and World Wars

4 Min
Oil Lamps, Dhuni and World Wars

Rayala Ramachandraiah*

The uninitiated in spiritual ways may not like to agree but the fact remains that every action and reaction thereof in the material world are willed by the Perfect Masters in the larger good of the humanity.

There are five Perfect Masters at all times to guide the world. Quite too often these Perfect Masters, Sadgurus, are not known beyond their immediate circle as they prefer to remain on low key.

For instance, Sai Baba for the better part of his life lived in an abandoned mosque at Shirdi in the backward Ahmednagar district of Western Maharashtra. Yet, he controlled the course of Word War -1 which broke out on July 28, 1914 and continued for four years.

Close disciples noticed strange light on Sai’s face as he walked between the mosque and a temple in Shirdi. He also used to make strange signs in the air with his fingers. None could understand deeper meaning of this behaviour which, according to contemporaries, continued daily during the War years.

Sai Baba also lit oil lamps in Shirdi every day during the War period.  One day locals refused oil. So, he decided to lit the lamps with water. People were awe stuck, repented their foolishness and resumed oil supply.  And Sai went on lighting the oil lamps every day till the end of World War-1.

Another nugget from the Sai lore is no less significant. He used an old brick as his pillow for years. One day a boy who was sweeping the mosque dropped the brick and it broke into two pieces.

 Upon seeing the broken brick, Sai exclaimed: “It is not the brick that is broken but my fate has been broken”.  And elaborated thus: “This brick is my lifelong companion and assisted me in my Universal Work. It is dear to me”.

The two brick pieces were broken further into small pieces and placed in the grave dug for Sai Baba, before His body was interred at Buti Wada. Symbolically, these brick pieces represented the millions of human bodies that lay scattered over the battle field at the end of WW-I.

Sai Baba died on 15 October 1918, the same day as that year’s Vijayadashami festival. His final resting place is now a place of worship as Shirdi Sai Baba Temple.

Sadgurus are known to drop their physical body once their universal work is completed. Perfect Masters do not reincarnate. They do not return to the gross world again.

Meher Baba hailed Sai Baba as the Qutub-e-Irshad or the highest of the five Qutubs in the spiritual hierarchy of his time.  

Just around the time Second World War appeared imminent, Meher Baba ordered the lighting of Dhuni – a camp fire on December 12, 1941.  He instructed his aides to start lighting the Dhuni on the 12th of every month, a practice that is continuing now as well.

His close disciples, known as Mandali, thought that the Dhuni was meant to bring rain since previously the Dhuni was lighted when locals complained of no rains. Meher Baba told them: “It is not for rains this time. It is for certain definite purpose of my work”. What this work was didn’t remain a sudoku for the Mandali for long.  They realised that like the oil lamps during Sai Baba time, the Dhuni is related to the unfolding war.

On his part, Meher Baba continued to monitor daily news of the spreading conflict. He not only put tabs on the global situation but also made caustic comments on the lead players amongst the Axis powers and the battered Allies. One such comment was “Germany and Japan could end up with three-quarters of the globe at their feet if they continue their run unchallenged.”

A player in the Second World War was an unlikely Indian, by the name Chatti Baba. His role had all the ingredients of Ripley’s Believe it or not, if you are not spiritually inclined, or uninitiated in matters spiritual hierarchy.

In his highly readable, ‘Wayfarers’ (which is an account of God-intoxicates souls Meher Baba had met), William Donkin, offers a pen picture of Chatti Baba.

“He used to tap out morse messages with the hook that held his window, and at irregular hours of night or day he would shout orders, as if he were digging some rusty relics out of the depths of his memory. At other times, he would call out Allah hu Akbar, Allah hu Akbar”.

Turn of events had left no one in doubt that Chatti Baba was controlling the events in the Europe which was on the boil around then. When France fell to the Germans, Chatti Baba said repeatedly that the people of Europe were undergoing great sorrow and suffering, “but that they would survive to enjoy happy days again”.

In March 1941, Chatti Baba made an interesting prophesy: “There will be so great a calamity in the world that no one can imagine it, even brother will kill brother and there will be great tribulation; then all the world will think of my big brother (Meher Baba) ……”

Says Donkin of Chatti Baba, “though literate, he never, as far as anyone knew, read a newspaper, and he was apparently quite out of touch with current events of any sort, but in spite of this he seemed aware of the terrible things that were then going on in Europe. He said, one day, while pouring earth over his head, that there would be much anguish and privation, and that many would die of starvation, but that Meher Baba would finally assuage the suffering of the world….”.  

According to Meher Baba, “there was no equal to Chatti Baba in the whole world. He was inestimable for the help he gave Me in My Universal work.” 

This digression into Chatti Baba lore is only to drive home the basic premise of this article that Perfect Masters guide the destiny of the world through a network of God -intoxicated souls.

Sai Baba’s Oil Lamps and Meher Baba’s Dhuni are mere external manifestations of their Universal work which always remains far removed from the public gaze.

-* The writer is a Khammam (Telangana) based
long time follower of Meher Baba