October 13, 1916|
|Died||August 31, 2001
Photo by Win Coates
Eruch Byramshaw Jessawala (October 13, 1916 - August 31, 2001), born in Bombay, India, was a close disciple of the silent Indian master Meher Baba, and one of his mandali. Jessawala was also the primary interpreter of Meher Baba's alphabet board, and later his unique sign language.
Jessawala was born in Bombay to Zoroastrian parents, Beheram and Gaimai Jessawala. His father Beheram was an engineer with a high post in the Indian government in Nagpur, the capital of central provinces at that time. Due to constant relocations of his father, Jessawala was placed in an orthodox Zoroastrian boarding school in Nashik, India at the age of 6. When his father eventually bought an estate, Jessawala was transferred to a Catholic school at the age of 8 where he excelled as a student, eventually planning to study engineering like his father.
Meeting Meher Baba
According to Jessawala the first time he remembered meeting Meher Baba was in 1925 at the age of nine on a trip with his family to Ahmednagar. Twelve years later, while Jessawala was preparing to study engineering, Meher Baba called him to Panchgani and asked him, "Will you leave everything and come to be with me?" To this Jessawala answered, "By your grace anything is possible." Thus Eruch Jessawala joined Meher Baba as his disciple in 1938 at the age of 21.
Work as translator of Baba's silent gestures
Meher Baba was silent for 44 years, from 1925 until his death in 1969. Eruch Jessawala was Meher Baba's main interpreter, interpreting both his English language alphabet board and later his sign language. He also dictated from the alphabet board Meher Baba's major book God Speaks, wrote the ninth chapter of that book working from a chart by Meher Baba under Baba's direct supervision, and wrote the book's conclusion. Jessawala's stories of his life with Meher Baba were also published during his lifetime (see below).
Death and legacy
Jessawala survived Meher Baba's death by 32 years, continuing to live at Meherazad and working for the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust in the trust office in Ahmednagar until his own death in 2001. He continued to be an inspiration for followers and disciples of Meher Baba from the East and the West until the end. Jessawala was well known for telling stories of Meher Baba's life, and his books are taken from those accounts.
- Tales from the New Life with Meher Baba, Narrated by Eruch, Mehera, Mani and Meheru, Published by Meher Baba Information, 1976
- Is That So, Eruch Jessawala, Meher Nazar Books, Kings Road, Amhednagar, M.S. India. 1985
- Determined to Be His, Eruch Jessawala, Meher Nazar Books, Ahmednagar, M.S. India. 1987
- That's How it Was, Stories of Life with Meher Baba, Eruch Jessawala, Sheriar Press; 1995 (ISBN 1-880619-17-2)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eruch Jessawala.|
- Photos of Eruch demonstrating Baba's hand gestures
- Stories by Eruch Jessawala
- That's How It Was
- Jessawala describes Baba's sign language on YouTube