Naja Rustom Irani
Born : 10th October, 1908
Died : 20th May, 1982
Nationality : Indian
Meher Baba's cook
Her parents were : Rustom Irani " Masaji" & Piroja.
Piroja was the sister of Shireen - Meher Baba's mother.
Naja's brother was Pendu
MEHERA PLAYED THE ROLE OF MARY
Because of the school children, hospital patients and the
large number of mandali members staying in Meherabad, Naja
had to prepare enough food for two-hundred meals each day.
Help from the other women staying at Meherabad was not always
forthcoming, since they had their own duties.
Once, when very tired, Naja thought: "Mehera is not given much
work. Why does Baba make me work so hard?" Although Naja
did not voice her thoughts, Baba one day called for his cousin
and explained to her:
Have you ever heard the story of the two sisters Mary and
Martha [of Bethany]? Both loved the Lord Jesus intensely.
Once Martha was preparing food for Jesus, while Mary
stayed sitting by his side, listening to him speak. Martha
did not like cooking in the kitchen all day long, for she
had no opportunity to be in Jesus' company.
One day she complained to Jesus about it, asking him to
order Mary to help her. But Jesus said, "By sitting by my
side, Mary is serving me as much as you are by cooking my
The _sanskaras_ (impressions) of everyone are different;
hence, everyone's duty is different. Mary was serving
Jesus more by sitting beside him than Martha was by
cooking his food. Continue doing your duty with love and
don't think about what others are doing. You have no idea
how great your service is! It is truly great, and in the
future you will realize it.
Finally consoled, Naja thus received her answer and from then
on began doing her work with all her heart. Many years later,
it was said by Meher Baba that she played the role of Martha
in his circle as Mehera played the role of Mary.
LORD MEHER, 1st USA ed, vol. 2, p. 714
Copyright 1987 AMBPPCT
Courtesy of Mark Trichka