Goher’s Statement About the Magnificence of Creation

At night when the day was done, behind the main house in Meherazad, Dr. Goher and I would stand out back at the edge of the verandah by the field for a few minutes and hold hands. This was our nightly ritual; we would walk out into the night and gaze up at Seclusion Hill after we had brushed our teeth to ready for sleep. At times she would stand in front of me and lean into me and I would wrap my arms around her, placing them over her shoulders. I would clasp my hands together below her chest and gently hold her. Other times, she would put her arm around my waist as she stood at my side and with her other hand, rub my arm or gently place her hand over my heart. Oftentimes we stood in silence; other times she spoke of her feelings about the life she had with her Beloved. I could feel the solace she felt when she spoke of her memories; it evoked a depth of emotions in me I had never experienced. Other times my soul was seared by strikes of lightning as she shared parts of her life that were so painful for her to recall. My heart ached as she shared the agony she experienced as His doctor. But most of the time I understood I was experiencing a Rapture so Divine and knew had to be the envy of Angels.

It was stunning to hear her lament that she was helpless to relieve His Pain and how inadequate as His doctor she felt. She spoke of second-guessing herself and the torment she felt when she was unable to relieve His Suffering. She would share the hopelessness she experienced when He would not take her advice about His Diet, fasting when He was unwell. She told me she had let Baba down repeatedly because all that she knew about medical care offered no cure to His discomfort and physical distress. Sometimes she would chuckle at how Baba would feed His beloved dog special food she or Mehera had prepared for His meal, food they had sent for from outside. Most often it was for Bombay Pomfret, a delicate fish they would receive from Bindra House or Baba’s Family in Poona. At times they would send for bombil fish that Naja would make a special chutney from. When they would complain to Him about not eating properly and giving food prepared for Him to the dog, Baba would smile and tell them, “I am in my dog and his enjoyment is also mine! I feel quite satisfied.” Goher held out her index finger as she raised her right hand, gently moving it up and down, and said, “Baba could be quite naughty!”

There were times she would ask me questions, too. Some I knew to answer with a bit of humor and others I knew to let hang in the night air as no response was really needed, no answer was possible. When we reached the edge of the field I never spoke first. Never. I knew she was allowing me entry into a private and sacred space she held dear; I knew to keep quiet unless she said something first. It was probably the first wise decision I made in my 24 years. I came to realize later that if I had been intrusive or inappropriate, I am positive these precious moments I was fortunate to share with Goher would have been short-lived. I would have missed out on so much that has deep meaning for me to this day.

These deeply moving and intimate times with Goher became more precious as time passed. She is a woman whose tenderness is legendary. I cannot imagine anyone other than her who Meher Baba would call to be a part of His Household, to regularly tend to His medical care and that of His Close Ones. However, as tender as she was in heart, she was strong in character and smart as a whip! Meher Baba sent Goher to medical school in Bombay in the early 1940s where she lived with Arnavaz’ family while studying. She was one of four women who accompanied Him on the New Life, a feat with no comparison. It was during this period in the Avatar’s Advent her resilience and determination to serve her Beloved and to seek His Pleasure was tempered under unimaginable hardship and trying circumstances. During the New Life, Meher Baba became her Constant Companion until her last breath on June 30th, 2004 in Meherazad.

The love I felt from Goher as we stood gazing up at Seclusion Hill was a soothing balm to me, a young woman who had felt so broken. The sun had set on the day and the stars were lighting up the evening sky. I remember Goher telling me that the stars we were looking at just might be the eyes of angels looking down on His Home. I loved this image she created. I never look at the night sky without remembering that moment.

It was these tender moments that sustained me, an intimacy with the Divine beyond measure. At first, I felt so shy, almost intimidated by the experience. I was so raw emotionally, so naïve to much of the world, so spiritually immature. I could not help but see myself as a beggar who had not been invited to a feast but who was sneaking a peek into the Tavern of Love from the outside, looking in. I considered myself fortunate to be able to watch those who were seated inside even though I was separated by a pane of glass. Physically, it was only a thin windowpane that separated me from this jolly crowd, but it was the lack of self-worth that isolated me. I was still alone, out in the dark, trapped in yearning, wishing to have what they all were reveling in.

In this sacred room where the fireplace warmed those dining as minstrels sang and virgins danced, I intuitively knew those at the feast were the envy of Queens and Kings. Although Royalty had gathered great worldly wealth to their side and they had Kingdoms, I sensed they were impoverished in comparison to the motley crew I was watching. Monarchs, draped in silk, velvet, and lace would have been uncomfortably perched upon crudely made wooden chairs and benches. They would have felt out of place seated among those is roughly woven wool costumes with no jewels on manicured hands. Beautifully perfumed and coiffed hair, glistening with rare oil could not match the simplicity of the knife-cut hair of the men who used a bowl for measure and then plopped a greasy hat on top. No crown rested upon the women’s heads. Instead, their faces were framed by uneven curls made by winding hair around cloth which they tied up until dry, forming ringlets when unwound. Their heads were covered by bonnets they made, some with a bit of lace at the edge to make her feel a tad fancy. No one in this Tavern had handsome guards at their village homes! Instead, all had a door key hung around their necks on a braided string.

It became obvious: there would never be enough gold and silver, or precious gems and jewels in anyone’s treasury to buy entry into this Tavern of Love. No. Entry was only by His Invite! And one was to leave the world behind once you crossed the Threshold.

The banquet I watched underway had handmade candles set atop roughly hewn tabletops that flickered, dripping melted wax down the candlestick. The tables were laden with steaming bowls of stew with warm bread and cups of churned butter at the center. Chunks of cheese on earthen plates were next to overflowing goblets of wine, the Beloved's Nectar. I rested my chin on my hands on the windowsill, looking in from outside as a warm glow lit the room; candlelight swayed in the air that was being churned by the swirling skirts of the Virgins.

Slowly, by His Grace, as time passed, I came to know I could enter the Tavern; I knew the Inn Keeper! The invitation to join in was always open. It was me who kept myself aloof. Of course, I could share in what can only be described as a feast where unconditional love was served up in abundance. With my right foot, I crossed the threshold and wrapped myself in a cloak of fabric woven from the magical loom of the mystical. As the sole of my foot touched the sawdust spread out on the floor, I breathed deeply, taking in the Mystical Aroma of Divine Magic, a fragrance not even the Magis had touched. Once I had inner peace about my place at the table, and emotional balance had centered me, my time with Goher at night was relaxed and took on an unmatched enjoyment I can still touch today.

I treasure our nightly routine and vividly remember how we’d gaze up at Seclusion Hill before retiring, hand in hand like schoolgirls. Sometimes Goher stood quietly; other times she would recall how she worried about how He was feeling when He was in Seclusion in the Tin Shed. "Are You safe from the blowing wind, my darling?" she'd ask, her words captured by the night air. "Are You warm enough?" she would whisper as bats flew by in the darkness. "Do you have enough to eat and have hot tea to drink?" she queried as a lone village dog bayed in the distance. Many a night the beat of the distant village drums gently rose into the night air. I knew that in these tender moments of concern for the Compassionate One, He was most certainly in that Tin Shed up on the Hill! I knew He was basking in the love of His doctor once again, for she was a woman who served Him with such devotion. Her whispered voice, so tender with longing for her Master, begged the question: how could He remain aloof from her? The beauty of her love changed the ambiance to one of such purity I could feel His Presence myself.

There were nights when she stood silently, clasping my hands tighter than usual. I learned as time passed that these were moments of deep grief she was feeling. Her shoulders would slightly bend downward as she let tears gently roll down her cheeks. During these moments she spoke of how much she missed Him. She wept because she felt she failed to shield Him from sickness and was oftentimes unable to relieve His Suffering. Through cool tears, she would describe in detail her feelings when she could not help Him, a pain that was excruciating and cut her to the quick. She told of the look in His Eyes when she tended to Him. She described in detail His Compassion, His Love, of her seeing His Divinity while tending to His Human Form. She would query, to no one in particular, (certainly not seeking an answer from me, a 24-year-old kid) "Do you think Baba has forgiven me?". This question burned my heart, singing my soul. I was literally flabbergasted because Goher is the most compassionate and selfless person I know. The first time these words crossed her lips I nearly collapsed because I could sense the heaviness of her grief and the weight of this crushing thought. I remember feeling so stunned she could even think like this! I was too taken aback and shy to reply, so the question hung heavy in the night air, thick like a vicious fog that makes seeing clearly impossible.

However, one night as fate would have it, maybe a year or so later, she again asked this question, “Vesta, do you think He can forgive me?” Without hesitation, I replied with great tenderness, "There is nothing to forgive, Goher." She looked up and said, "Oh, thank you." Her voice took on the soft sound of an innocent child and had such a purity to it. There were times as we stood in that sacred spot when the Earth ceased spinning and time stopped for me. This was one of them. I wept with her, my tears cascading down and landing on the top of her head. When tender moments like this took place, I'd put my arms around her in my feeble attempt to offer comfort for a pain I could not fathom, and we’d sob to a melody only He heard. In these moments, I could feel my own shames and regrets being absorbed by His Grace and knew He was holding us both close. I could hear His Angels softly run their fingers across golden harps.

There were several times we both wept. My tears would land on her head. In comic relief, she’d look up at me and say, “My child, you have given me a head bath. Come now, we must go wash our face and dry my head!” She’d smile, that toothy smile, and sometimes even chuckle. Then, clasping my hand for balance, she would say as she headed back to the house, “Mehera must not know we were crying. We have to catch hold of ourselves before we enter the house.” I never questioned the meaning of this statement. I knew what she meant immediately.

Over the next four years, there were special times when there would be a star that would sit at the tip of Seclusion Hill. Sometimes it was the moon or what we thought might be was one of the planets that looked like it was cradled on that tip. I vividly remember a crescent moon and lone star that rose to that point of His Hill, a night truly glorious in its symbolism. The splendor of it all was overwhelming at times. The first time I saw this magnificent glow from atop His Hill I just stared in wonderment. "How beautiful!” I said with a hint of the fascination I felt. “The stars are so exquisite and bountiful tonight! The sky must truly be where Heaven is and angels dance,” I said to Goher. She replied in a matter-of-fact voice: "Mara bacha, (‘my child’ in Gujarati), Baba told us there are billions of galaxies with stars and planets whose light has not even reached us yet!"

With this one quiet, simply stated declaration of Goher's, I was given a tiny glimpse of how monumental and truly unfathomable the Creation of the Lord is! And with this astounding revelation newly ringing in my mind, we turned and headed back to the house. The only sound that broke the silence was her sandals making their distinct shuffling sound on the stone walkway. It still rings in my ears.