GUJRAT (CONTACTS)

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GUJRAT (CONTACTS)

 

1-A GROUP OF 10-PERSON 

A ten-person contingent of Baba lovers from Navsari, led by Hoshang Bharucha, met Baba at Meherazad on Sunday, 10 January 1965  (Lord Meher-p-5115-1965)

 

2-A GROUP OF EIGHTEEN ASPIRANTS

In Gujarat, on top of this hill, a small group of aspirants were living and leading simple, ascetic lives devoted to God. They were like monks. Baba praised them, commenting: "I have visited temples, shrines, ashrams and convents all over India and in many foreign countries as well, but I have never seen aspirants living a life of such exemplary simplicity consisting solely of spiritual aspiration, selfless work and the mortification of material desires." The austere diet of these hardy ascetics was only porridge of coarsely ground wheat boiled in water.

During his Gujarat tour on the 5th November 1948, Baba washed and laid his head on the feet of eighteen of these aspirants, giving each seven rupees as his prasad. (Lord Meher-p-2679-1948)

 

3-A GROUP OF 30 POORS

In Baroda, on 26th October 1947, Baba had fourteen very poor people brought to him in the morning, and each was given a one-rupee coin. In the evening of the same day, sixteen more poor persons were brought, and after contacting them Baba gave each of them one rupee as his prasad. (Lord Meher-p-2600-1947)

 

4-A GROUP OF PARSI BOYS

In 1956, at Navasari, crowd gathered in front of Meher Cottage. Baba had to go up to  give them darshan. Thus people kept coming and going, and the road opposite the house was always full.

On the one hand, thousands were eager for Baba's darshan, and on the other, a handful of opponents were bent on causing trouble. Thwarted in their attempts to disrupt the darshan, the six Parsi boys had climbed up on the wall of the opposite house and were shouting "Meher Baba murdabad (Death to Meher Baba])" and "Meher Baba chale-jao (Meher Baba, go away}!"

Baba enjoyed the contradictory scene; but Hoshang Bharucha, in his anger, wanted to thrash them. Stopping him, Baba explained, "Sit near me and don't mind their antics. Some people remember God and repeat his name with love, while others do so with hate. But, they are both repeating God's name, and so they are forgiven."

Baba added, "They know not what they do; they are absolutely innocent. They are to be pitied and loved."

Baba exhorted everyone inside the cottage to stay calm, not get excited, and neither should they scold the boys. He explained, "Be absolutely unmindful of the anti-slogans. It is I myself who is shouting these slogans through the boys. It is I who does everything -because there is nothing besides me!"

He further warned, "No one should express resentment toward the slogans, nor should anyone disturb (confront) the boys in any way. All of you should remain peaceful and cheerfully face the situation. As I am in all, I am in them, too! As I enjoy the cheers from my devotees, so also I enjoy simultaneously the amusing slogans from others. Those who cheer me and those who jeer at me are both equally ignorant. The ignorance of one is a pleasure, whereas the ignorance of another is amusing. No one is at fault; none knows me as I am."

He concluded, "Remember that they, too, are repeating my name when they shout the slogans. It suffices when one remembers me, whether it be through devotion or derision. They are innocent. Let them shout. I am enjoying it very much."

The Parsi boys continued shouting until finally they grew tired. Not a trace of resentment was noticed from Baba's devotees after his enlightening explanation. Everyone was calm, unopposing and cheerful.

While the boys dispersed, the crowd still eagerly awaited another chance of having Baba's darshan. The slogans, as it were, had stirred devotion in those hearts which were truly genuine, and evoked greater love for Baba. They yearned patiently for one final glimpse of Baba before going. Touched by their love, Baba agreed to give them darshan while sitting in his suite. The public was conducted to the room in a queue. They were asked not to stop near Baba but look at him for a few moments and move out in quick succession. Thus hundreds more had Baba's darshan "by sight." (Lord Meher-p-3926/7-1956)

 

5-A GROUP OF SINGERS

A singing program that was not as enjoyable as the one in Newasa was held at 4:00 P.M. on 4th November 1928. A group from Baroda had come and waited for hours before Baba agreed to hear them, based on Vishnu's recommendation. But when Baba heard their off-key voices, he stopped them after only fifteen minutes and sent them away with his blessings. Comparing their singing to a train, Baba joked to the mandali, "The elder singer sounded like the blast of the engine and the youngster like its whistle!" (Lord Meher-p-987-1928)

 

6-A MUSLIM POLICE OFFICER

On 27th August 1924, Baba with three disciples arrived Baroda in the evening and stayed once again in the Gujarat Hindu Lodge. The next afternoon they walked to Pavagarh and reached the foot of the mountain at nine that evening.

They had to carry their baggage along the narrow jungle road, and Padri asked Gustadji to light a lantern to guide them, implying that Baba might trip and fall. But Gustadji insisted that the other travellers along the road were carrying lanterns and there was sufficient light and no need to waste kerosene. As they began to follow one man, he walked briskly ahead, leaving them stumbling in the dark. Padri fell down and injured his leg, and later vented his anger at Gustadji. A Muslim police officer happened by and escorted them to a dharamshala where they rested for the night. As the place was situated in the middle of the jungle and was frequented by wild animals, the policeman strongly advised them to stay indoors and not venture out in the night. (Lord Meher-p-553-1924)

 

7-A POOR COUPLE 

In 1956, Baba visited the home of a poor couple, but the wife was standing inside all alone. Her husband had not yet returned from work, and she was wondering what to do. When Baba entered her hut, she was so taken aback she remained standing like a statue. Before she could do anything to properly receive him, Baba smiled at her and quickly left. (Lord Meher-p-3933-1956)

 

8-A POOR OLD MAN

In Bajwa, while walking around neighbor-hood, Baba suddenly went and sat on a raised platform outside the hut of a poor old man, who was sitting there alone. Baba sat beside him. The man immediately rushed into his house and brought a tattered gunny sack for Baba to sit on. Baba remained next to him for a few minutes, but did not say anything. The poor man was simply dumbfounded at Baba's surprise visit, and when Baba stood up to leave, the man bowed at his feet in reverence. (Lord Meher-p-3933-1956)

 

9-A SMALL BOY

During his attempt to contact Mast Baba instructed Chhagan to stay in Ahmedabad with the luggage. As Baba and the mandali were walking to a bus stop to catch the bus back to Ahmadabad, a frightening incident occurred. When the bus came, Eruch and Baidul boarded first to find a seat for Baba, then Baba followed them inside. Gustadji, who could not walk as fast as the others, was plodding along slowly, about 50 yards behind.

It was time for the bus to start and Baba clapped for Gustadji to hurry. Gustadji at once began running. A small boy was walking toward him just then and seeing this strange-looking man in a black cap running toward him, he thought Gustadji was going to seize him. The boy got frightened, turned around and started running, screaming that a man was after him. Hearing the boy's shrieks, a few people appeared and began shouting, "Chaous (Arabs), Chaous!" which at that time was tantamount to shouting "Murderers!"

Pointing at Gustadji, they mistook him for an Arab chasing the boy. Hearing these inflammatory cries, a dozen men with clubs ran to the scene ready to pounce upon Gustadji. Had Baba's help not been there, Gustadji would surely have been beaten to death. Baba signaled to him from a distance to stop still in his tracks. Gustadji stopped running and stood still, panting. While he was standing still the local people had a chance to observe his gentle features, and they hesitated before raising their clubs. They began asking roughly, "Who are you? Where have you come from? Are you an Arab?"

Since Gustadji could not speak by Baba's order, Eruch and Baidul stepped forward and intervened. Eruch said, "Brothers, we have come from Bombay, and this old man with us was trying to catch the bus. Why should an old man like him run after a child?" These words calmed the mob, and they believed Eruch was telling the truth and were satisfied, and thus Gustadji was saved. (Lord Meher-p-2652-1948)

 

10-A THIEF

On 28th October, 1947, Baba left Baroda for Ahmadabad. Baba and the mandali spent the night at the railway station, as they were to leave early the following morning. Here a memorable incident took place. Baba and the men would always carry their bedding rolls with them, and at the station they spread them out on the ground at the end of the stone platform. One of the mandali was to keep awake on night-watch, but that night the sentry must have been feeling drowsy, because all of a sudden Baba started shaking Eruch awake.

Eruch awoke, startled. "What's the matter?" Baba pointed to a man sleeping beside them. The man had slipped under their blanket and was effectively using it to hide himself. Eruch shook him and asked, "Who are you?" But as soon as Eruch touched him, the man jumped up and ran away. When he did, the police were heard loudly blowing their whistles and chasing after him. The man was a thief and had slipped in between them seeking to disappear from the police.

Unknowingly, the thief had sought God's protection — and even if he was later caught, he had already had Baba's shelter! (Lord Meher-p-2601/2-1947)

 

11-ADER DESAI

Ader was brother ok Keki Desai of Delhi and one of oldest lover of Navsari.

In the summer of 1956, few Navsari Baba lovers met Baba at Guruprasad. Poona. On the last day of His stay, while returning back to Ahmednagar, Baba would always visit the Botanical Gardens. At the Botanical Gardens, seated amidst His lovers, Baba suddenly asked, “Who am I? What do you think is My stats? Most Baba lovers replied GOD, Avatar or Sadguru. Baba then turned to Ader Desai with the same question and Ader Desai said, “I don’t believe you are you are Avatar” “then who am I? Baba asked and he once again firmly replied, “You are an Aunsh Avatar. (A fraction of the Avatar) “Is anybody higher than Me? Asked Baba. “Nobody Baba, for me you are the highest of high.” Baba the said, “Don’t worry, and continue to believe whatever you think I am, but believe it honestly.” (Reminiscences of Meher Baba lovers from Navsari p-87-88 by Dr. Ajit B. Soni.)

On the morning of 28th January 1956, Baba left Meherazad for Bombay with several of the mandali. The next day Baba from Bombay boarded a train for Navsari with ten of the men. Many Bombay lovers accompanied Him in a separate compartment. It had been eighteen long years since Baba had been to Navsari; he had not returned there after Sohrabji Desai's demise in December 1937.

On Sunday, 2 June 1957, Baba held meeting with 43 of His lovers from Navsari, Bajwa and Surat at Ganeshkhind, and repeated verbatim what He had stated at the previous "warning" meeting in May about visiting saints. Baba exhorted them to hold firmly to his daaman, as the black cloud was fast approaching, and he again emphasized the fact that He was the true Avatar of this age. "Age after age," Baba said, "Five Sadgurus control the affairs of the world. They don't suffer — they bring Me down to take on the suffering of the world."

Ader Desai (Keki Desai's brother) promptly said, "Baba, I love you so much, but the idea of God coming down as the Avatar does not penetrate into my heart, however much I try to make it do so. I tell others that you are the Avatar, but to be honest I have no such conviction, though I desire it very much."

Baba asked him, "Do you love someone more than me? Have you come across anyone greater than me?"

Ader replied, "No, there is no one more worthy of love than you."

Baba assured him, "Then that is enough. Why worry? Try to love me more and more. But remember one thing: Never tell others what you do not feel yourself. Tell others only what you honestly take me to be. I am everything, and one can honestly believe anything." (Lord Meher-p- 4178-1957)

 

12-AMBARAMBHAI KAHAR

((Fine Painter)

He was a painter with a divine vision. He was born in very poor fisherman family. His affinity and aptitude for fine art and music gave him an edge over the others. At young age of 14, he left his family and started living with his teacher and serving him.

Ambarambhai was the childhood friend of Bachubhai Soni. He came into contact with Baba lovers at very tender age. Since 1943, Ambarambhai started attending the programs at Navsari center

After He completed his secondary school education, He decided to pursue the field of fine art at Mumbai’s renowned college, Sir J. J. School of Arts. He secured admission but his boarding and lodging expenses was a problem. He met Kammu Baba for his blessings. Kammu Baba recognized him saying you had made the Portrait of Sai Baba. After meeting Kammu Baba hid problem of boarding and lodging was miraculously solved. A rich business man from Mumbai impressed with his paintings hired him to work on big portraits for four years until his course at art school was complete.

In 1953, one of his friends introduced him to Sai Baba of Shirdi. Unaware of Sai Baba divinity and spiritual status, He prayed Sai Baba to help him to completing his portrait. Sai Baba appeared with smiling face in his vision. Ambarambhai also painted a picture of Meher Baba and donated it AMB center Navsari.

A portrait of Meher Baba made by Ambarambhai was placed in Avatar Meher Baba Navsari center. In 1956, when Meher Baba after mass darshan program, he touched the picture very lovingly and sanctified His own picture with His divine touch.

In 1964, Ambarambhai migrated to Britain. He held many one man art exhibitions in India and Britain. When he returned to India, in his senior years, he established a beautiful art gallery.

Ambarambhai was a devout Meher Baba Lover who served Navsari Baba center along with his work in the field of fine art. He spent his entire life content in love of Sai Baba and Meher Baba.

He passed away on 3rd August 2009.

(“Reminiscence of Baba Lovers of Navasari” page-77 by Dr. Ajit B. Soni of Navsari)

 

13-AN ELDERLY MUSLIM

On 27th August 1924, Baba contacted a mast in Omkareshwar, and immediately proceeded for Baroda. A wayside station, an elderly Muslim wanted to board their compartment. It was sundown and Padri tried to stop him, since Baba had said he wished to be alone. But the man caught a glimpse of Baba and insisted on having a closer look. Pointing to Baba, he started shouting, "Why are you preventing me from meeting that gentleman? I only want to shake hands with him. Why do you stop me?"

He then got into the train and held out his hand to Baba, who extended his. After clutching hands, the Muslim was quite happy, and Baba spoke with him for a long time. During their conversation the man took out a chunk of opium, folded it in a chapatti and swallowed it. When Baba casually asked about the Pavagarh Hills, the man praised the place vociferously and was humorous in his language and manner. The drug took effect, and in an expansive mood, he continued to sing the praises of Pavagarh: "It's heaven, I tell you! A paradise on earth!" And to the surprise of the mandali, Baba appeared to take the man seriously and decided to go there instead of to Mount Abu. (Lord Meher-p-552-1924)

 

14-ANKLESARIA 

In 1948, a senior police officer, named Anklesaria came to see Baba at the Ice Factory Bungalow in Ahmednagar on 5th August.1948, Mehta, who was spiritually-minded, was a relative of someone who had gifted a plot of land in Ahmadabad to the Ramakrishna Ashram and had read extensively through spiritual literature. After discussing general topics, Baba asked Mehta lovingly, "What have you gleaned after reading so much? What would you say is the substance of all the spiritual literature you've read?"

"Love and service," Mehta replied.

"Yes, it is the most valuable thing," Baba agreed.

"I also meditate," he informed Baba.

"In spiritual matters, love and service to humanity supersede meditation," Baba explained. "It is a type of spirituality that comes down from its supreme height to the daily human routine and everyday life. This is where its manifestation is the highest; it is the most practical."  (Lord Meher-p-5434-1948)

 

15-ASAR SAHEB

For the Urdu edition of Upasni Maharaj's biography) Ahmed Abbas and Asar Saheb were assigned the work of translating Volume I of Baily's manuscript (Sakorina Sadguru which they did at the Manzil. They closeted themselves in their rooms during the day, allowing no one to enter. They would come out only for meals and games. (lord Meher-p-312-1922)

 

16-BAIMAI

Baimai was a widowed sister of Sohrabji Desai. He was kind and gentle person who cared for his family very much. He had taken in his widowed sister, Baimai, who had been bedridden for several years due to a severe leg fracture and was never expected to walk again. But when she saw the Meher Baba, a miracle occurred. Suddenly Baimai rose to meet Meher Baba and, with tears in her eyes, stood for the first time in years! (Lord Meher-p-443-1923)

 

18-BHARUCHA B. F.

On 21th November 1927, B. F. Bharucha, who had heard about Meher Baba some months before, showed up in the afternoon to meet the "Great Master." The conversation opened with Bharucha asking abrupt and direct questions and receiving similar replies:

"Is there going to be a great war in the near future?"

"Yes," Baba dictated, "a war much greater than the last, with terrible bloodshed."

"Why would you allow the war to commence and go on?" Bharucha asked.

"For pleasure."

"Why should you allow such an outright massacre of mankind?"

"It is my will, wish — craze!"

"Why are you so quiet? Why not speak?"

"My choice."

Baba's curt replies upset the man and he rose to leave, disappointed in the so-called Great Master. Baba pacified him and asked if he had time to listen to what he would explain. Bharucha agreed, saying he would leave by a later train, so Baba spent almost two hours with him privately and explained many things, which in the end appeased him. (Lord Meher-p-854-1927)

 

20-BHARUCHA MARZBAN

(Brother of Hoshang P. Bharucha)

Baba agreed for darshan program at Khushru Quarters before He left for Guruprasad. The darshan was scheduled to take place on 6 March 1960 and a shamiana was erected in the compound. The Navsari group came for this, and Baba called them to Meherazad the day before. Many newcomers were in the group. Hoshang Bharucha's brother Marzban was among them and Baba asked him, "What do you think I am?"

Marzban, who was not a Baba lover, replied bluntly, "A crook!"

Baba smiled and replied, "I am God, a crook and everything (in between). I am glad you have given me your frank opinion.

"Do you love Me?" Baba then asked.

"I do not know what love is," Marzban replied. But soon after this, he began to weep and did not want to leave Baba's side. Baba called him and embraced him several times. Marzban was a changed man from that day on and became an ardent lover.(Lord Meher-p-4639-1960)

 

21-BURJOR HEERJIBHOY ENGINEER

In October 1922, a Parsi named Burjor Heerjibhoy Engineer came into the Master's contact. Baba once asked him to tell the mandali about his state of affairs. He did so, often quoting from different religious sources, and sometimes weeping during his narration:

Some years ago, I was working as an engineer and earned a large salary. Somehow, I tumbled into the spiritual line and became gifted. With great efforts I managed to reach a stage where I could easily foretell events and, at times, get my prayers fulfilled simply by asking!  (Lord Meher-p-336-1922)

 

22-BURJOR MEHETA

(Husband of Meheru- mandali woman)

Burjor Mehta was a literary man and married to Meher Damania. Meheru Damania was one mandali of 6 women who remained with Baba at the time of dropping His body.

Burjor Mehta also had long association with Baba and most of the occasion he translated English translation of Baba’s in Gujrati. A detailed account of his contact and dialogues with Baba is written in chronological order.

On one occasion, Burjor Mehta mistakenly rendered the word love as bhakti (devotion) whereupon, intervening, Baba twisted his ear and elucidated:

Love cannot be called bhakti; rather, the consummation of bhakti is love. Love is the highest. We can speak of it as the highest type of devotion. There is a difference between bhakti and love. For example, here is a bhakta (devotee) and Baba. The bhakta worships Baba and does bhakti. When bhakti increases and reaches its zenith, the bhakta burns and finds no curtain between himself and God. Let the bhakti reach such a zenith and then there will be no veil between Baba and yourself.

Early in morning on 22nd December 1948, Adi Sr. brought Burjor Mehta to Meherazad. Manek was the leader of a group of Parsi Baba followers who called themselves the Jap Mandal. Baba asked him, "Is anyone in your Jap Mandal prepared to surrender to me?" Eruch was reading Baba's board in English, and his words were translated into Marathi and Burjor Mehta into Gujarati.

In year 1950, Baba said he will drop his body soon. Everyone was taken aback at Baba's mentioning dropping his body. Several men had tears in their eyes, some were openly sobbing, and some were simply dumbfounded. The atmosphere turned serious, and all sat absolutely still in their places.

Same year at Dehradun, in dawn Baba set out to beg with the companions. Walking two miles in absolute silence, they came to the dry, sandy riverbed of the Rispana River, where Burjor Mehta others was waiting for Baba and his group. Baba lover present there gave food to Baba in bhiksha, after which Baba immediately returned to Manjri Mafi. On the way, when people bowed down to him in salutation, Baba returned their greeting in like manner.

In the morning, Baba entered the meeting tent and the proceedings began. Eruch and Vishnu read the alphabet board in English, and Burjor Mehta into Gujarati. Baba dictated:

In 1955, Baba gave darshan to hundreds of Arangaon villagers. Most were family members of the workers hired for the sahavas month. Men, women and children came from the village to the meeting tent, singing and dancing in a long procession. They were told not to touch Baba's feet but just to file past touching only his seat on the raised platform. When all had joined him there, he stated:

From each group I want one man who will fast for 21 days from the 15th of February, remain only on water and continuously repeat my name.

It is nothing great to remain on water for 21 days; many have fasted like this for longer periods. But to remain at one place and continuously repeat my name loud enough so that only the one saying it can hear it is really very difficult. Even for Baba it is difficult!

Baba asked those courageous enough to do this fast to stand up. A few stood and Baba selected five: Burjor Mehta was one among them. Baba instructed them:

For 21 days stay at one place, eat and drink nothing except water, take Baba's name half-audibly and never sleep.  I will give further instructions later on. God is deaf. If you repeat my name mentally, I will not hear it as I am also deaf! Come what may, whether you fall ill or there are other difficulties, follow faithfully and stick to what I have told you.

Baba appreciated the work Burjor Mehta were doing in Bombay and asked them to continue it in all sincerity. Sorabji had opened a center, and when he told Baba of the difficulties he faced, Baba advised him, "My detractors may oppose and harass you, but you should carry on. Always remember this, that I am God. Be like the football. Wherever it is kicked it goes, and the kicks make it finally reach the goal.

On 25th November 1957, Meheru Damania and Burjor Mehta were married in Ahmednagar. On the 29th morning, the couple came to Meherazad in their wedding clothes, where Baba blessed them and urged them, "Both of you hold fast to my daaman."

Sorabji Siganporia, the secretary of the Bombay Center, arranged a darshan program in the spacious Sunderbai Hall at Church gate. Baba arrived at the hall in morning on 22nd December 1953 and was warmly received with the usual acclamations. The hall was packed. Supporting himself with his hands on two disciples ‘s shoulders, Baba climbed up the dais, where with folded hands he offered his salutation to the gathering. Burjor Mehta recited the Master's Prayer in Gujarati, after which Baba sat on an armchair.

During 1958 Sahwas, taking off the garland round his neck, Baba stood up from his chair on the dais and folded his hands in supplication for the recitation of the Master's Prayer and the Prayer of Repentance, and the whole sahavas group also stood. Burjor Mehta read in Gujarati, and during the Prayer of Repentance, Baba gently slapped his cheeks as a sign of contrition. Baba then said:

During 1958 sahwas, Burjor Mehta translated the Eruch interpretation of Baba's gestures in English into Gujarati. Baba commented: "This sahavas will be a good opportunity for the Gujaratis to learn Telugu, and the Andhraites to learn Gujarati. If some of you cannot follow what is going on, just look at me and I will look at you. This is sahavas. Sit silently, gazing at me. Sahavas means companionship — intimate companionship." While translating this into Gujarati, Burjor Mehta used the word dosti. Baba liked it and observed, "It is the correct word, and means friendship."

Baba sent the sahavas group for lunch, and in afternoon, He came back to the meeting pandal. Many of the men were not present at the fixed time, whereupon Baba remarked teasingly, "I hear a lot of noise. Are they snoring in the dormitory?"

Burjor Mehta replied, "It is not a dormitory, but a den of lions growling!"

Baba directed him, "Go and wake them up and ask them all to come here soon."

Several persons tried to suppress their coughs, causing Baba to remark, "No one should suppress coughs. All may cough freely. Be free, comfortable and at ease."

Baba returned to Meherabad on 24th February 1958 in morning. Eruch announced that Baba wished to complete the discourse he had given to the first group on the "Split 'I' and also a discourse about inner experiences, "Divine Hallucinations," but he expressed his regret that it would take three hours. Burjor Mehta mistakenly rendered the word love as bhakti (devotion) whereupon, intervening, Baba twisted his ear and elucidated:

Love cannot be called bhakti; rather, the consummation of bhakti is love. Love is the highest. We can speak of it as the highest type of devotion. There is a difference between bhakti and love. For example, here is a bhakta [devotee] and Baba. The bhakta worships Baba and does bhakti. When bhakti increases and reaches its zenith, the bhakta burns and finds no curtain between himself and God. Let the bhakti reach such a zenith and then there will be no veil between Baba and yourself.

Baba’s 64th birthday was celebrated in Meherabad. On this occasion, Dr. Dhanapathy Rao read an address from the Andhra lovers to Baba. Burjor Mehta read a translation of Dhanapathy's speech in Gujarati.

On 17th September 1961, eighteen lovers of Ahmednagar came to Meherazad; others from Ahmednagar were also present, including Burjor Mehta and his wife Meheru.

During East West Gathering, Burjor Mehta among other and translated Baba's gestures read by Eruch in Gujarati. (

On 23rd February 1965, Burjor Mehta delivered birthday greetings to Baba from all his dear ones at Akbar Press in Ahmednagar.

Eruch then announced: Baba says that there are five more days for darshan, so please do not become impatient. All will surely get a chance to meet Baba. Please await your turn. Those who have had darshan yesterday may again have darshan at Guruprasad. Those who have had one darshan at Guruprasad should not come again for darshan.

As soon as Eruch finished making announcements in English, Burjor Mehta translated in Gujarati.

On 29th September 1954, Baba arrived from Meherazad. Taking his seat on a makeshift platform, Baba addressed the gathering, dictating on the board while Eruch spoke:

The meeting for which all you dear ones have been called here is very important. What is meeting? Meeting means we meet. So, before we begin anything, we meet in an embrace for the last time, as I am going to drop my physical body soon. So, meet me with all your heart, but not so tightly as to break my ribs!

Eruch was reading Baba's board in English, and his words were translated by Burjor Mehta into Gujarati.

During darshan program in 1965, as soon as Eruch finished making announcements in English, Burjor Mehta translated it in Gujarati.

On 25th November 1957, Meheru Damania and Burjor Mehta were married in Ahmednagar. On the 29th morning, the couple came to Meherazad in their wedding clothes, where Baba blessed them and urged them, "Both of you hold fast to my daaman."

During sahwas of year 1958, Baba sent the sahavas group for lunch, came back to the meeting pandal in afternoon. Many of the men were not present at the fixed time, whereupon Baba remarked teasingly, "I hear a lot of noise. Are they snoring in the dormitory?"

Burjor Mehta replied, "It is not a dormitory, but a den of lions growling!"

Baba directed him, "Go and wake them up and ask them all to come here soon."

Several persons tried to suppress their coughs, causing Baba to remark, "No one should suppress coughs. All may cough freely. Be free, comfortable and at ease."

Baba explained at length: This morning I gave different categories of obedience. The obedience of some of my lovers does not come under any of those categories. It is of an altogether different type!

During sahwas in 1958, at Meherabad, Dr. Dhanapathy Rao read the address on behalf of Andhra lovers to Baba; then rolling it up, he put it in a cylindrical silver case which he laid at Baba's feet along with their collective love-offering of Rs.1,416. Burjor Mehta read a translation of Dhanapathy's speech in Gujarati.

On 17th September 1961, eighteen lovers of Ahmednagar came to Meherazad in the morning. Others from Ahmednagar were also present. Among them Burjor Mehta and his wife Meheru were also there.

During East-West gathering was held in November 1962. To translate Baba's statements in Guajarati Burjor Mehta was also present. Eruch read Baba's gestures as the unspoken words were translated into Hindi, Telugu, Marathi and Gujarati.

On the 23rd February 1965, Burjor Mehta delivered birthday greetings to Baba from all his dear ones at Akbar Press in Ahmednagar.

On, 2nd May 1965, in morning a large crowd had collected near the gates of Guruprasad. The Hamirpur lovers were singing "Hari Baba, Hari Baba! Meher Baba, Hari, Hari!" and "Satchitanand, Paramanand, Meher Baba Vidnyanand" with quiet ardor. Some of the nearly 1,000 devotees from Hamirpur had come in eight buses, and the rest by train. Some were so poor that they had only been able to pay the fare by selling some of their belongings. Though monetarily extremely poor, they were rich in Baba's love. As soon as Eruch finished making announcements in English, Burjor Mehta translated in Gujarati.

 

23-CHENGAT MAHARAJ

On 24 August 1964, a Marwari from Ahmednagar, who had met Baba the previous year at about the same date, brought five or six persons to Meherazad, including a person known as Chengat Maharaj of Nasik. This so-called "teacher" was extremely arrogant, and laughed sarcastically in Baba's presence, but Baba did not seem to mind and was, on the contrary, cordial with him and his followers. Before leaving, the Marwari and the guru's local host, Dr. Pandit, embarrassed by the person's actions, apologized profusely to Eruch. Eruch told them not to feel bad as Baba had contacted hundreds of such sadhus. He advised them to obtain a copy of The Wayfarers. (Lord Meher-5086-1964)

 

 

24-CONTRACTOR

In 1956, Baba visited the Sai Baba Center, in Baroda and also the home of one of his lovers, named Contractor, upon his personal request. From there, he left for the train station. But when they arrived, Baba suddenly expressed his wish to drive into the city, and went and sat in the car again. Hoshang Bharucha was with him, and Baba mentioned to the driver which way to go. After fifteen minutes of driving here and there, Baba said his work was done and they returned to the station. Hoshang could make neither head nor tail of Baba's strange request and was thinking about it. Baba smiled and explained, "I wanted to contact a mast, and I contacted him while driving past him in the car." (Lord Meher-p-3933-1956)

 

25-COWAS MANEK VESUNA & TEHMI

Cowas Manek Vesuna was brother in law of Hoshang P Bharucha and ardent lover of Baba.

Cowas Manek Vesuna met Baba for the first time in 1945. He heard about Baba from Dr. Alu Khambatta, who was then living in Navsari. Cowas was in charge of a post office in Sachin, and no sooner had he been given the Master's Discourses, than the railway line between Navsari and Sachin was breached, and all traffic remained suspended for nine days.

Cowas' first reading of the Discourses convinced him that Meher Baba was the person who was worthy to be a "true guru." He knew he was destined to have Baba as his Guide, and his first physical contact with Baba strengthened that feeling. About his first meeting in Surat, Cowas later related, "Baba looked directly into my eyes, as if to confirm that age-old connection of the past.

Baba instructed Cowas Vesuna to love God. "I do love God," he said.

"Because I am saying it, you will be able to love Him," Baba spelled out.

Years later, cowas realized the full meaning of Baba's statement. Love for God is a gift from Him. When once implanted by the Avatar, this love grows deeper and deeper until it consumes the lover. Fortunate are those who receive this grace from the Avatar.

Cowas Vesuna of Navsari also wanted to fast, and Baba asked him, "Would you feel bad if I do not permit you to?" Cowas answered, "I will not feel sorry because I want to carry out your wish — which is my life's fast and only penance. There is no question of my will."

Baba was highly pleased but did not agree to his request. Later, when Cowas returned home, he realized it would have been impossible for him to have fasted, since his wife was vehemently against it. Cowas had been in Baba's contact since the darshan in Surat in 1947, but his wife did not believe in Baba. However, when she came in his contact three years later (at the Meherabad Sahavas in 1958), she was completely transformed.

On 28 th January 1956, Baba left Meherazad for Navsari via Bombay with several of the mandali, Coming to know of his visit to Navsari, some of Baba's "adversaries" from Bombay, (organized by an army major named Sohrab Bamji) had already come to town, held a meeting and decided to organize a boycott of Meher Baba's visit. Hoshang Bharucha's mother was also sympathetic to them and forbade Hoshang from inviting Baba to their home. Such activities led the organizers of the darshan to surmise that Baba's visit would be totally boycotted by the local populace. Lovers such as Cowas Vesuna and others including rest of the Desai family were afraid that Baba's reception by the town would be less than cordial.

More than 2,000 people had his darshan and received prasad. Baba then sat among his lovers, who had come from distant points to see him. He chatted with them in a lighter vein, flinging oranges rapidly here and there for them to catch. Those present were filled with joy at Baba's display of fun and wit."

Hoshang Bharucha and Cowas Vesuna from Navsari were among those allowed to push Baba's wheelchair when he wished to be moved. At one point, Baba's cotton pajamas got wet when a few drops of water were spilled, and Baba had to remain for some time in his underwear. Baba jokingly remarked, "There is no harm if I have wet my pants, because I too am a child."

Baba pointed to Cowas Vesuna and asked whether he believed him to be the Avatar. Cowas said, "One hundred percent!"

Baba emphasized again, "Try to hold fast to my daaman." But he also added, "However much you may try to hold on to it, it all depends upon my will whether to let go of your hand or not. But still, you must try with all your heart and faith." (Lord Meher-p-4178-1957) Once Baba played the card game La Risque with all the men. Cowas did not know how to play, but sat with the others in a circle around Baba. The cards were dealt and suddenly someone shouted, "La Risque!" Before they knew what was happening, one of the mandali held Hoshang and cowas' necks, pushed their heads down and rubbed their noses on the floor. Flabbergasted at this game which seemed to have ended before it had begun, both looked aghast at Baba who, along with the other men, enjoyed their blank expressions. Baba's team invariably won.

After an hour of playing cards, Baba visited Hoshang and cowas' room (in the cottage opposite the hall) to make sure they had sufficient sheets, pillows, et cetera

On 16 October 1959, Hoshang and cowas woke early and busied themselves cleaning the hall. Baba came in morning and asked, "Did you sleep well? Have you had your tea? Are you keeping in good health?" After some time he remarked, "All my bones are aching today due to the strain of my Universal work." Kenmore used to recite the prayers in his booming voice, Hoshang asked Kenmore, "Are you praying or fighting with God?" Cowas felt the same way. The next day when he was asked to repeat the prayers, Kenmore spoke them almost in a whisper. Baba stopped him and asked why he was suddenly adopting a new style of praying. Kenmore replied, "I do not want to disturb the auditory apparatus of our new visitors!"

Baba looked sternly at Hoshang and Cowas, who at that moment felt it would be better if the earth gave way beneath their feet and swallowed them up. Baba instructed Kenmore to repeat the prayer as usual. When he finished, Baba remarked, "Prayers should be from the heart. It does not matter whether they are said loudly or softly. They should be natural. For Harry it is natural to say them loudly. If he had to say them softly, it would not be natural for him.

After the prayers, Baba would usually go for a short walk on the private approach road to Meherazad. Hoshang carried an umbrella over his head and Cowas a chair for him. Sometimes instead of walks, Baba would take Hoshang and Cowas to his house, where Mani would play qawaali records. Baba would relax as he listened to them, at times explaining the meaning of certain lines.

Baba gave Hoshang and cowas a custard apple each as prasad and took them to see his garden. Hoshang held the umbrella over Baba to protect him from the hot sun. Baba walked up to the well. In the garden, he remarked, "This is a walk in the garden of Allah, and I truly mean it." They returned and Baba gave them toffees.

Baba would rarely return to the men's side after going to his house, but one day, he came back early morning and going to Hoshang and cowas' room, inquiring whether they were comfortable. He sat on a chair in front of their room and gave each a copy of the recent Life Circular of Baba's statements dictated on 7th October 1959.

Baba gave them instructions regarding the work he wished them to do after leaving Meherazad. They were told to give Rs.500 each to two middle-class families with several children who, in spite of trying their best, were unable to make ends meet, and who out of self-respect would not beg. Hoshang and cowas were not to choose farmers, as the government already provided much help to these people. They were instructed to bow down to the persons concerned and then give them the money.

Baba said, "This work is very important. You do not know the importance of it. This is the last work entrusted to you. Search carefully before giving the money. Do not worry. I will help you. The families may be of any caste. After finishing the work, return home on 3th October 1959."

Some afternoons, Baba would come to Hoshang and cowas' room and sit quietly in front of it, immersed in his internal work.

Hoshang and Cowas had been instructed to keep silence and fast from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. On 17th October 1959, Baba arrived a little earlier than usual so that he could contact them before they started the silence. "Do not speak until 8:00 P.M.," he said. "I have come early today because of your silence."

He added, "If by mistake you speak, do not worry, but don't speak again. I have to see to such minute details for everyone, and yet I remain aloof from all activity."

Baba took Hoshang and cowas to the main house, where Mani played qawaali records. Baba explained one song:

At night, the mandali would regale Hoshang and Cowas with stories from their days with Baba. Baidul told them of how Baba had once asked him to bring a mast. He was then a novice at it and tried to entice the mast to accompany him with all the skill he possessed, but the mast would not budge. Getting angry, he tried to lift him by force.

Once cowas was not feeling well. Baba sent Goher to see him with this message: "Take care of your health. It is for my work that you must keep well."

In the afternoon Baba played card games as usual. Afterwards, he went for a walk with Hoshang and Cowas on the Meherazad road and pointed out Ratanshah Gyara's cabin in the fields, where he used to sleep at night in the 1940s

21st October 1959, was again a day of fast and silence for Hoshang and Cowas. Baba came and, as usual, inquired about their health and sleep.

Later, Baba took Hoshang and cowas to the main house to listen to music on the phonograph. He remarked he would not comment or give any explanations this time, but once during a qawaali record, he stated, "However much the suffering of the lover may be, he should never open his mouth to complain. His lips should be sealed and his tongue locked up."

At the end of the session, Baba explained one more line: "The lover says to his Beloved, 'I have become yours; it does not matter if you become mine or not.' "

In the afternoon during a game of La Risque, Baba stated emphatically to Hoshang, "I am the God of Gods! Have trust in me. I know everything; don't worry."

He also remarked, "Only three days more for you to go." Orders were given to Hoshang and Cowas not to sleep until 12:30 A.M. on the night of the 27th, and to repeat the japa given from 11:30 P.M. to 12:30 A.M. They were also to fast and keep silence from 8 P.M. on 27th October until 8 P.M. on the 28th. Only water and two cups of tea could be taken during these 24 hours.

On 2nd October 1959, in the afternoon, while playing cards, Baba asked cowas to go outside and see whether there was any likelihood of rain. Cowas came back and replied there is rain. Baba asked him to go look again. He did so. Baba was demonstrating to Hoshang and what obedience meant.

Baba gave Hoshang and cowas further instructions about the work he had ordered them to do in Surat after leaving Meherazad. When they went to Surat to give money to the poor families, they were not to do any personal work. After completing the task, they should send a telegram to Baba, saying whether the work had been done successfully or not, and send a detailed report later. Baba instructed, "Before giving the money, bow down and touch your heads to the feet of the recipient. Before your departure, I will bow down to you, so that your bowing to the recipient will mean that my bowing to you has reached the man." On 23rd morning, Baba, during the course of conversation, remarked: "What can you achieve through talks? Reading also does not help. Any amount of reading or hearing has no value. Real understanding comes in a flash!"

To Hoshang and Cowas, Baba said: "I have called you to Meherazad not for sahavas but to help me in my work. This seclusion time is depressing; I pass through very bad nights. Even the day is spent badly. But it is lessened in talking and playing cards with you people. Your being here during this critical period is a matter of great fortune for you both. I play cards, go for walks, [hear jokes], et cetera, but that is only external.

"People from all over the world want to come here — even for a minute — but I do not allow them. And you have had so much time with me! Obey me; that is all I want."

On 25th October 1959, Baba reminded Hoshang and Cowas that they were to leave that day. They nodded sadly. Their minds had become so blank by the prospect that they didn't know what they were doing or what day it was. Baba asked Cowas Vesuna, "What is the date today?"

He said. "The 25th of September."

"No," Hoshang corrected him, "It is the 15th of November."

To give them a bit more of his company, Baba decided to go for a walk in the morning.

Cowas held the umbrella over his head while Hoshang carried Baba's chair. After the walk, Baba went for lunch at the main house.

Eleven days had passed, and the moment of farewell had come. Baba embraced Hoshang and Cowas, who fought to hold back their tears. Baba had once told them: "Cry within so that no one knows you are crying, except me." They were crying within, and Baba knew it. His loving eyes poured forth such love that they stood motionless before him after the embrace.

Hoshang Bharucha and Cowas Vesuna came to Meherazad on the 28th December, 1959 and met Baba. (Lord Meher-p-4621-1960)

 

26-DADI MEHTA

In 1953, Baba addressed to gathering, "My discourses, Vedanta, Upanishads and all religious literature have no value. It is literally explanations of the Unexplainable. That which cannot be understood cannot be explained. So I call all these a mere guppy (idle talk, chitchat). The necessity is for the Experience. Then all the messages and doubts disappear forever. Then we know that we were always infinite, we are infinite and we will remain infinite."

"Baba, what should I do to realize God?" Dadi Mehta asked.

"God is Perfect Honesty, and in our efforts to realize Him, perfect honesty is required. To realize Him, we should be honest in everything — in what we speak, in what we do and in what we think."

On 7th November 1955, Baba arrived in Meherabad in morning. Accompanied with two disciples came Meherazad. Two disciples had come from Dehra Dun for the program and were staying at Meherazad. Baba after discussion with his cabin with men mandali for some time came to the hall to see the sahavas group. He said, "Those who did not sleep last night should stand up." Minoo Kharas and Adi Dubash promptly stood up again. Baba wryly inquired, "Don't you two ever sleep at night?"

Dadi Mehta remarked, "Both sleep quite well, Baba!"

Everyone laughed, and Baba asked Adi Dubash, "Has Minoo's proximity affected you? Despite no sleep, your health seems to be quite good, so there is nothing to worry about. (Lord Meher-p-3760-1955)

 

57) 27-DARABSHAH J. OMRIGAR

An Arangaon boy named Babu Kamble was cooking Baba's food. Baba would have his daily breakfast at Meherabad when he arrived from Meherazad. It consisted of tea and a few slices of bread and cream. Accordingly, every night, Babu would skim the cream off the milk and keep it aside for Baba; but, in the morning, it would be gone.

Someone would invariably take it from the pinjra (screened cupboard). Babu was castigated for this by Pendu and Baba, but was at a loss to explain how the cream would disappear.

One night he hid in the kitchen. After some time, Darabshah J. Omrigar of Bhavnagar stealthily entered and ate the cream. Babu informed Baba.

Calling Darabshah to His cabin, Baba asked, "Do you secretly take cream from the pantry and eat it?"

"Yes, Baba," he admitted.

"Why do you do it?"

Darab, who had the innocent heart of a child, said, "You have told us to feel absolutely at home here and stay as one family. Well, at home, I always take food when I am hungry. If I don't do the same here, it would be a breach of your orders!"

Baba highly enjoyed his logic and embraced him. "You are the only one who has had my real sahavas!" (Lord Meher-3748-1955)

 

28-DAYABHAI PATEL

Bajwa is an important tobacco market, and Dahyabhai Patel owned a tobacco factory there. Many laborers were employed in his factory. Because they were working, they had not been able to attend the darshan program, which they much desired to do. (Lord Meher-3932-1956)

At Bajwa (50 miles from Baroda) on the pretext of a walk, Baba set out in the darkness with the mandali and a few of the local residents. Passing through small, zigzagging lanes, he arrived in a poor locality inhabited by tobacco workers, who were astonished and overjoyed to find the Lord among them. Baba went and sat in a few huts for a while, and the laborers quickly gathered for his darshan and fell prostrate at his feet.

After walking through the marketplace, Baba reached Dahyabhai home, and there everyone enjoyed a sumptuous feast. However, Baba took only his usual rice and dal. After the meal, his lovers surrounded him in his room, and Haribhai sang more of his Gujarati compositions. Baba applauded Haribhai's love and expressed his satisfaction at the success of his visit. (Lord Meher-3933-1956)

 

32-DESAI HOMI T

(Cousin of Keki Desai of Delhi)

On 4 th July 1943, Baba boarded the Punjab Mail train for Lahore with the men and women mandali. They arrived in Delhi the following night, where they halted for a few hours. Keki Desai and his wife, Dhun, had been cabled in advance to meet them at the station and arrange for their dinner. Continuing on the same train, the party reached Lahore on the 6th. Chanji had already arranged two bungalows for the women, one for the men and one for guests. He made all the other arrangements for their stay with the help of a local Baba lover, Keki Desai's cousin named Homi T. Desai. (Lord Meher-p-.2362-1943)

 

33-DESAI RUSTOM E.

Baba landed in Hong Kong in morning on 1st July 1932 and was met by a Parsi named Rustom E. Desai. Baba and the mandali went to his house, where Desai and his wife had prepared Indian dishes.

They drove through Kowloon the next day. Met there by Rustom S. Pestonji, a friend of Mr. Desai's, Baba and the mandali were taken to Pestonji's house. After an hour's drive around the town, they returned to the Kaiser-i-Hind and continued their voyage. (Lord Meher-p-1447-1932)

Next time Baba arrived in Hong Kong early in the morning on 2nd February 1935. Two Parsis, Rustom Desai and Rustom Pestonji, were there to welcome him. They had met Baba in 1932 when Baba's ship had docked at Hong Kong. They took Baba and the mandali to Pestonji's home in Kowloon where Baba had breakfast and was photographed. After meeting the families of both men, Baba boarded the Fushimi Maru, which sailed same day.(Lord Meher-p-1669-1935)

 

34-DESAI SOHRAB MUNECHERJI

During stay at Manzil-e-Meem, Baily completed the first part of his Gujarati account of Upasni Maharaj's life, and was almost halfway through the second part, when Baba said the first part should be published soon.

Baba opined that the manuscript should be edited first, and he suggested Soma Desai of Navsari. Soma Desai was the nom de plume of Sohrab Muncherji Desai, a well-known Gujarati author and scholar. Years before, during 1917, Merwan had sent a ghazal to Desai. Sohrabji was so inspired by this particular ghazal that he would read it often, and he ardently wished to meet its author. But he did not have the slightest idea who had written it; he had never heard of any writer named Huma.

Baily doubted that Desai would consent to such an undertaking, but Baba ordered him to leave for Navsari that evening.

There are two versions of what transpired in Navsari. One version (often repeated by Sohrabji's relatives) is that Baily duly informed Sohrabji that he had been sent by Meher Baba with the order that he should do the final editing of the manuscript. Sohrabji was irritated at this and demanded, "Who is this Meher Baba to order me to edit his work? I am no one's servant. Besides, I have no time for such work. Tell Meher Baba I cannot help him."

Baily tried his utmost to induce him to assist, but Sohrabji was obstinate and returned the manuscript. Baily returned to Bombay and informed Baba.

After a few days, Baily was sent again with this message: "Sohrabji, only you can do this work; it is Meher Baba's wish." When Baily delivered these words to him at Navsari, Sohrabji was all the more annoyed. He said, "Who does Meher Baba think he is? Tell him not to be so arrogant!" Baily did his best to elucidate about Baba, but Sohrabji refused to listen.

On his return, Baily narrated what had happened, and again Baba sent Baily and perhaps Rustom with the manuscript and this third message: "These manuscripts of Upasni Maharaj's biography are presented to you by Huma, which is Meher Baba's pen name. This work must be done by you." Baba had told them to leave the manuscript there and not to say anything else.

When Sohrabji saw Baily and Rustom again at his doorstep, he shouted, "Why have you come back to pester me?" But without giving him any further chance to protest, they delivered Baba's message, left the manuscript there and departed for Bombay. (They had no idea that for the past five years, Sohrabji had longed to meet the poet Huma.) Hearing the name Huma had a profound effect upon Sohrabji and he immediately calmed. He read the ghazal by Huma again. Tears came to his eyes and he touched his forehead to the manuscript papers in reverence.

Shortly thereafter, he wrote to Baba:

Sir, please excuse me. I bow down to your order. You had stolen my heart long ago, but only today is the secret of your identity revealed! Your leela is unique. I am yours!

— Sohrabji —

Years later, however, Baily wrote a different version of his first meeting with Soma Desai, in which he related that he was given a cordial welcome by Sohrabji. "There was something so pure about Soma's personality," Baily wrote, "that anybody would be attracted at first sight itself. Full of simplicity and humility, ready to serve others as if serving God, treating everyone as equal irrespective of caste, color or creed — a real man of God."

According to Baily, Sohrabji expressed his inability to take on such work as he had two pending books of his own to finish. Apologizing sincerely, he returned the manuscript to Baily without even opening it. He said, "Other than this seva (service), if I can do anything, I am willing to do so. My respects to Babashree from myself and my entire family.

I am desirous of his darshan and in future if there is any chance, I beg him to give me his darshan."

Baily returned to Bombay and gave a detailed account of his meeting to Baba. Baba told him to rest — and then return to Navsari and make the request to Desai again.

According to Baily, before he departed, Baba gave Baily a photograph of himself and said, "Give this to Desaiji as my gift and ask him to remember me continuously. He should not be in the least anxious or worried about anything, leaving everything to me and be resigned to me."

Along with the photo, Baba gave Baily instructions of what to say to Sohrabji regarding the work, saying with emphasis that corrections, editing and so forth were essential, and that the task was to be accomplished by Sohrabji alone. Under any and all conditions and circumstances, Baba emphasized, he wanted the work completed. Not only that, but Baba wanted Desai to arrange the proofreading, binding, printing and publishing of both volumes of the book!

When Baily presented Baba's photograph to Sohrabji, a profound change came over him. "For a few moments, he kept staring at Baba's photo. Then, slowly lifting it in both hands, he pressed it to his spectacles and forehead and finally flooded it with kisses. In a voice charged with emotion, he said, 'I wonder why I so strongly and intuitively feel deep within me that I have known Babashree for a very long time, that I have already been introduced to him and that we have an old contact or connection.' "

He agreed to do as "Babashree" requested.

Sohrabji began editing the work, during the course of which he had various spiritual experiences. He would write to Baba about some clarification in the manuscript, and no sooner had his letter been posted than Baba's letter containing the answer to his questions would arrive that very day! Rustom was sent to Navsari many times over the course of the next year in this connection.

In fact, Baba even wrote Sohrabji Desai to find someone who could render some of the biographical material into English, as Baba had plans "to circulate the book in Europe and America, especially the latter country, which is so very eager to know something more about spiritualism."

Baba also wished Upasni Maharaj's biography to be published in Urdu as well as in Marathi.

On 20 April 1924, Gulmai and Rustom arrived at four in the afternoon with special food for Baba. They brought a copy of the Iranian Association's journal Ahkbar, in which a critical review of Upasni Maharaj's Gujarati biography appeared. Sohrabji Desai had written an article in the same newspaper stating that he had met Meher Baba and fully believed that he was "the coming of the Jagat Guru [Master of the universe; the Avatar]!"

Sohrabji Desai had spoken to the Master about his friend Kaikobad Feram Dastur, and Baba assured him that Kaikobad would eventually come to him. Kaikobad was then 38 years old and a practicing Parsi priest. At Sohrabji's urging, on 14 May, Kaikobad came from Navsari for Baba's darshan. Adi Sr. met him at the station and drove him to Meherabad. After the bitter opposition Baba faced from the Zoroastrian community and in the Gujarati press, the mandali were eager to welcome such a pious and genuine Parsi spiritual seeker into their fold.

During the personal interview, Baba explained to Kaikobad about the four states of God and four types of faith. "If you follow my instructions to the letter," Baba promised him, "you will not only understand what I am saying theoretically, but actually see certain things." Kaikobad was deeply impressed. Noticing that Kaikobad's leg was injured, Baba examined it. He advised him to apply ash from the dhuni to the wound, and gave him some for this purpose. After staying overnight in Masaji's quarters at the Post Office, Kaikobad returned to Navsari the next evening. From that time on, he visited Baba at Meherabad frequently.

A small group of the Desai family met them at the train station and Baba embraced each one. He was taken to the Desai residence, where the rest of the family stood in line to meet him. Baba asked about Sohrabji, the famous elderly writer Soma Desai, who was critically ill. Baba was taken to his room before doing anything else. Baba comforted the old man and embraced him. Standing before Sohrabji, it was as if Baba had dropped a veil over closing act of that life.

During his stay in Nagpur, Baba frequently sent Kaka to the railway station to bring any telegrams that might have been received for him, presumably expecting one from Navsari regarding Sohrabji. Baba was thus remembering the dear old man in his dying moments, and thereby enabling him to drink Wine. Minoo and Bapai's wedding was performed in Navsari on the 27th. The couple then went to Sohrabji for his blessings, which he gave. Twenty minutes later, he had a vision and saw Baba in a glorious form standing before him; then he merged with his vision! Baba had kept Sohrabji alive for this wedding, and as soon as it was over, he drowned him in his ocean of love and infinitude!

Baba received news of Sohrabji's passing the next day. As the telegram was being read out, Baba happily remarked, "Isn't that good? Well done!" as if congratulating himself. He had this message sent to the family: "Sohrabji has come to me and is happy."

As mentioned, Soma Desai was an eminent figure in Gujarati literature. He was the author of 100 books and a noteworthy contributor of articles and essays on spirituality to journals, newspapers and periodicals.

Although Merwanji was working hard each day in the toddy shop, actually he was still not completely gross conscious. His actions were governed solely by the impulses of the Divine Will manifesting through him. For example, one morning when Merwanji was riding his bicycle to the toddy shop, he sped past the shop, cycling as far away as the Mahabaleshwar road eight miles outside Poona. Only when he had ridden halfway up the Katraj Ghat (hill) road did he seemingly realize he was going in the wrong direction. As he was ascending the steep road, peddling became difficult; only then did it dawn on him that he was in the hilly regions headed toward Mahabaleshwar. He then rode back to Poona, arriving late at the toddy shop.

On Friday, 16 February 1917, Merwanji composed an exceptionally beautiful ghazal:

How wonderful is the murderous mercy of God!

His mercy has adorned the rose with thorns.

What justice exists in the glory of God,

There is cruelty in his kindness!

It matters not whether wine is accepted by any religion —

I long for the intoxication of love.

O God! What bliss lies in love's intoxication!

The wine of man can never bestow it.

One cannot experience love by reading books —

Love can never be described in words.

I have never read about real love — for it cannot be written.

Portray love with the blood of your heart and it will be yours!

O God! Grant me the gift of Your union —

I have died in Your separation.

But in Your ledger You need not count the torments

I am feeling away from You.

Blood is spilling from my heart

which has become like minced meat!

But missing is that salt which You sprinkle

in the wounds of the heart.

Why should one question the lovers of God about Him?

One should long to ask God directly!

O God! You are found in the question

as well as in the answer.

I have seen the same God everywhere!

His abode is in every heart.

God is the wine seller in the house rich in purity,

And He is ever-present in the house of ruination.

Why should one feel restless experiencing misery, cruelty

and the difficulties of the world?

O Huma, if God showers His mercy upon you,

then pleasure is felt in pain.

Merwanji considered this ghazal to be special and, after composing it, he mailed it to the well-known Gujarati author, Soma (Sohrabji) Desai of Navsari. Merwanji enclosed this note:

Soma, I am sending you my humble ghazal which I composed yesterday. Please accept it.

A lover of God, Huma

This ghazal was to have a profound effect on Soma Desai, as will be seen later on.(Lord Meher-180-1917)

 

36-DARABSHAH OOMRIGAR

Darabshah Oomrigar came from Bhavnagar district in Gujrati. He came in Baba sahwas in year 1955 in Poona. He was an old lime lover. He had opportunity to converse Baba.

Following is the interesting episode narrated by one of Baba’s disciple related with Darabshah Oomrigar in the Poona Jhopdi days in 1922 and at Manzil-e-Meem.

An Arangaon boy was cooking Baba's food. Baba would have his daily breakfast at Meherabad when he arrived from Meherazad. It consisted of tea and a few slices of bread and cream. Accordingly, every night, Boy would skim the cream off the milk and keep it aside for Baba; but, in the morning, it would be gone.

Someone would invariably take it from the pinjra (screened cupboard). Babu was castigated for this by Pendu and Baba, but was at a loss to explain how the cream would disappear.

One night he hid in the kitchen. After some time, Darabshah J. Oomrigar of Bhavnagar stealthily entered and ate the cream. Babu informed Baba.

Calling Darabshah to his cabin, Baba asked, "Do you secretly take cream from the pantry and eat it?"

"Yes, Baba," he admitted.

"Why do you do it?"

Darab, who had the innocent heart of a child, said, "You have told us to feel absolutely at home here and stay as one family. Well, at home, I always take food when I am hungry. If I don't do the same here, it would be a breach of your orders!"

Baba highly enjoyed his logic and embraced him. "You are the only one who has had my real sahavas!"

In year 1955, Baba with the group was taken to the bamboo cage-room where, in 1940–41, Baba was in the strictest seclusion possible, not even allowing his shadow to be seen by any of the mandali. Baba descended the hill in the afternoon and entered in the hall, Baba remarked to Darabshah Oomrigar, "Twist my ears (punishment usually meted out to a naughty child)!" Oomrigar was heavyset and stood up with difficulty.

"Did you have more cream last night?" Baba asked with a twinkle.

Oomrigar smiled and caught Baba's ears. Baba was pleased and stated, "Obedience is not easy. You all come to me with folded hands and then leave. This is your love. But obedience is quite different. (Lord Meher-p-3759-1955)

On 8th November 1955, in accordance with Baba's instructions, the sahavas group was brought to Meherazad in morning on their final day of their stay. Baba led the group up Seclusion Hill, picking up pebbles and tossing them on either side as he climbed. He would also keep looking back to make sure the elderly ones were keeping pace. Whenever Baba saw any older men lagging behind, he would stop where he was. The older men were advised to climb slowly, and Baba paid particular attention to Darabshah Oomrigar. (Lord Meher-p-3765-1955)

 

 

37-DR. AJIT B. SONI

Dr. Ajit Soni is practicing medical doctor (family physician) at Navsari. His father Bachubhai Soni was a devout Meher Baba follower in contact with Baba since 1930s. He was an Indian classical singer who enforced who performed on All India Radio for many years, but most importantly he was one of the Meher Baba’s favorite singers. Dr. Ajit Soni grew up in a family devoted to Meher Baba and was fortunate to have Meher Baba darshan also. Dr. Soni was also closely associated with Baba’s mandali and is in regular contact with Meher Baba disciples across India. Recently in Jan 2019, He has published a memoir of major events related to Meher Baba in his home town Navsari including personal accounts of Baba lovers who narrated their journey in Baba‘s love and dedication.

Dr. Ajit Soni consented to brief about himself and his own experiences with Baba in his words as under:

Baba decided to give the mass darshan program at Navsari on 29th January 1956. He visited Navsari on schedule day and gave the Darshan to His lovers. The program was arranged on big scale and thousands of people took His darshan. My father Mr. Bachubhai Soni was one of the workers of Avatar Meher Baba center Navsari, and was busy with the singing program. My mother also took Baba’s Darshan. At that time she was pregnant and was carrying me. When she took Baba’s Darshan, Baba picked up the rose and gave it to her. One of the Mandali man, accompanying Baba, told my father that “You will get a baby boy, and that’s symbolic gesture from Baba.”

I was born on 16th March, 1956. My father was a regular visitor of Guruprasad at Pune, during Baba’s summer stay and darshan program. Every time one of my family members was accompanying him. In the June of 1963, I accompanied him with my paternal aunt (Fufi, Foy) for Baba’s Darshan. I was seven years old. We stayed near railway station in an inn and were used to take our meal from a local lodge near railway station. One afternoon Baba told my father to come at 9-00 A.M. for singing on the next morning. Next day we were on the way to Guruprasad and were not late as per His wish. Suddenly Dr. Bharucha came from Guruprasad and told my father, “Take my bicycle and rush to Guruprasad, Baba is calling you.” He was repeatedly asking mandali people, that why Bachubhai didn’t turned up. When my father reached to Guruprasad He was little annoyed with Bachubhai. Baba told my father to sing Bhajans. My father realized that whenever He calls you, you must reach half an hour earlier than the schedule time. I enjoyed the concerts from different popular singers, every day during my stay. On the last day, 3rd June 1963, at 10-30 A.M. Baba told everybody to leave the hall, except Mr. Haridas Patel and his family. His son had accompanied him with his newly wedded wife. Baba gave them time for group photo. My aunt was about to leave the hall with me, Mr. Haridas Patel called her and told not to leave the hall. He was considering my aunt as his younger sister. He said, “You are my family members. Come and join us.” We were lucky to have the personal meeting with Him and a group photo with Him. Dr. Bharucha, in his recent book “Glimpses of Guruprasad” narrated this incidence as follow “At 10-30 A.M. Harry recited the Parvardigar prayer as usual, and this was followed by Arti. After this, Baba posed for a group photo with Haribhai of Bajwa and his family. Baba said that He had consented to this only because Haribhai newly wedded son had also come. He did not want this to be made into a precedent for all.”

My aunt bought a silk garland from the main gate of Guruprasad. I tried to offer it to
Baba, but as I couldn’t reach up to His neck, Eruch took me up and helped me to garland it to Baba. This was my first and last meeting with Baba.

 

Ajit Soni

Navsari

 

 

38-DR. HOSHANG P. BHARUCHA & MAMIMOONA

(Mandali)

Refer fortunate Souls Volume-3 Sl, No. 37

 

39-ERUCH KARADIA

In year 1955, after darshan program, Baba said, from each group I want one man who will fast for 21 days from the 15th of February, remain only on water and continuously repeat my name.aba asked those courageous enough to do this fast to stand up. A few stood and Baba selected five: Eruch Karadia was one among them.

Most of the lovers of the Gujarati group had been in Meher Baba's contact for several years, and Baba was quite jovial in their company. One day after lunch, Hoshang and a friend, Eruch Karadia (also a follower of Godavri Mai), were standing near Baba's cabin. Baba called them inside and asked "What is the aim of your life?" (Lord Meher-p-3751-1955)  
 Most of the lovers of the Gujarati group had been in Meher Baba's contact for several years, and Baba was quite jovial in their company.

One day after lunch, Hoshang and a friend, Eruch Karadia (also a follower of Godavri Mai), were standing near Baba's cabin. Baba called them inside and asked Hoshang, "What is the aim of your life?"

I want to realize God," he replied.

Baba observed, "Very, very few reach that Goal, but he who holds fast to my daaman reaches it." Then he concluded, "Godavri Mai has not attained Self-Realization. She is not God-realized."

Hoshang considered Godavri Mai to be his guru, and hearing this directly from Baba, he became confused. His mental agitation and inner turmoil took a long while to subside; but thereafter, Hoshang became completely Baba's.

After the sahavas, Eruch Karadia went to Sakori and told Godavri Mai what Baba had said. She replied, "This was said only to test your faith in me." But Karadia, likewise, became fully devoted to Baba. (Lord Meher-p-3752-1955

 

 

41-HARIBHAI PATEL & FAMILY

Haribhai Patel was an ardent lover of Baba lover belonged to Bajwa. (In Gujrat) Haribhai Patel composed many sons on Baba

In 1955 sahwas at Poona, Baba played a game of seven tiles with some of the men in the sahavas group. Afterward, Haribhai Patel sang a few songs. Baba thoroughly enjoyed “singing".

On 14th August 1955, the public darshan started in the morning. All Bombay lovers, many from Navsari, Bajwa, Surat, Bhavnagar and Baroda were also present. Almost 800 people attended. In the course of giving darshan, Baba was discussing matters with some, joking with others and listening to devotional songs. Haribhai Patel of Bajwa and one other lover of Navsari each entertained Baba with a song. The darshan lasted throughout the day, with only a short break in the afternoon.

Baba played a game of seven tiles with some of the men in the sahavas group. Afterward, Haribhai Patel sang a few songs. Baba then asked Hoshang to sing. He did not know how but managed as best he could. Baba selected others who did not have a voice; their "singing" was thoroughly enjoyed. Baba left for Meherazad in the evening.

In 1955, sahwas Gujarati group amused themselves in various ways. Haribhai Patel kept their music flowing.

Baba arrived by train in Bajwa (a small village five miles from Baroda), and Haribhai Patel and hundreds of others shouted, "Bolo (Say) Meher Prabhu ki jai!" Baba stepped out of the compartment, Haribhai immediately garlanded him, and the lovers continued to garland him until Baba reached the car, a Chevrolet convertible decorated with flowers. A long procession began with crowds preceding the car, shouting Baba's Jai, and Haribhai Patel and party singing bhajans. Haribhai Patel introduced one and all to Baba, and members of the reception committee garlanded him again. Baba had gone there at the invitation of Haribhai, a long-time lover of Baba who was instrumental in spreading Baba's love in Bajwa.

Everyone was served refreshments, and Baba went to the darshan site nearby. A beautiful pandal had been raised and the stage was splendidly decorated. A crowd of 5,000 had gathered. Baba stepped onto the dais and was garlanded by Haribhai, who, with his family, performed Baba's arti. Music was played, and Haribhai was so overjoyed that he was dancing as he sang. It was a monumentally significant day for him, and Age declared, "The One about whom Haribhai had been speaking is now among them!"

Baba continued the distribution until evening, after which his arti was again performed, and he was photographed with his close Bajwa lovers. Baba then visited Haribhai's residence and the homes of his other lovers.

After walking through the marketplace, Baba reached Dahyabhai's home, and there everyone enjoyed a sumptuous feast. However, Baba took only his usual rice and dal. After the meal, his lovers surrounded him in his room, and Haribhai sang more of his Gujarati compositions. Baba applauded Haribhai's love and expressed his satisfaction at the success of his visit.

Introducing Haribhai Patel of Bajwa, Baba remarked, "He is a great lover and worker in Gujarat. He has composed many Gujarati songs in praise of me."

On 5th June 1960, was the largest public darshan of the summer. An estimated 10,000 persons poured into Guruprasad seeking the God-Man's touch. Again, two sessions were held. Many had come from Bombay and Ahmednagar including Haribhai from Bajwa.

In sahwas of yea 1958, while someone was singing, Haribhai Patel in an outburst of emotion began loudly singing in unison. Patel's singing was so loud it made Baba laugh. (

During sahwas in year 1963, at Guruprasad, Haribhai Patel of Bajwa arrived and started dancing in ecstasy, and began singing. He fell at Baba's feet with tears streaming down his cheeks. Baba embraced each of his Bajwa lovers, and then retired for the day.

After recitation of Master's Prayer followed by the arti, Baba sat for a photograph with Haribhai and his entire family. Baba remarked that he had consented to this only because Haribhai's newly-married son had also come. He did not wish it to be made a precedent for everyone present. (Lord Meher-p-5018-1963)

 

42-HOMAI DESAI

Homai Desai one of niece of Sohrabji Desai was very mischievous in her teens. Meher   Baba, Upasani Maharaj and other saintly persons would regularly visit their homes due to Sohrabji Desai’s love and hospitality. She disliked their visits as the whole household would be totally involved in their care and she felt that her uncle Sohrabji unnecessarily went out of his way to lavishly look after these holy persons.

On one occasion, there was a massage that Upasani Maharaj was on his way to Surat and everyone knew that the train would halt at Navsari. It was an opportunity to meet Maharaj and Sohrabji excitedly in his usual fervent manner started preparations for Upasni Maharaj’s reception at the station. He brought sweets, fruits, garlands and other gifts and ordered his nieces to wrap them properly.

Homai thought that this was a good opportunity to teach a lesson to the sadhu clad only in a gunnysack. She picked all the goodies one by one in cane baskets and tied them up with a jute string as was the usual procedure. However, she tied the string very lightly and made multiple knots so that the parcel would not open easily. She knew for sure that it would be extremely difficult for anyone even for her uncle Sohrabji to open the baskets.

Homai was most eager to see if her trick worked and anticipating the embarrassing scenario at the railway station went along in one of tongas to the railway station. When the train arrived at Navsari station, Maharaj came out of the compartment and greeted everyone including Sohrabji Desai. Sohrabbji started to offer the gifts, when Maharaj stopped him and requested him to join along on the journey to Surat. Maharaj also beckoned Homai to accompany him to Surat. The rest of people were ordered to return home.

On reaching Surat, Upasani Maharaj ordered Homai to transfer all the gifts to a small dark store room and to unpack the baskets. She was ordered to untie the knots without using my implements for cutting like knife or scissors. She was amazed and horrified at Maharaj’s order and immediately realised that this gunnysack wearing a sadhu was no ordinary person. He had caught onto her tricks and it is unnecessary to state that Homai took hours to untie the baskets strings but her grievances against Maharaj unravelled with seconds and developed into strong faith and belief in his spiritual status.

(Copied from book titled “Reminiscences of Meher Baba Lovers from Navasari” page-84-by Dr. Ajit B. Soni)

 

43-IRANI KHODADAD K.

(Mandali)

Refer-Fortunate Souls Volume -2 Sl. No. 58,

 

45-JAL COWASJI & TEHMIE

On 9th July 1959, exactly one month after Baba had given Hoshang the order, Meheru phoned to tell him, "Tehmie is dead. She has committed suicide. Her funeral is tomorrow morning."

Despite his shock, Hoshang was determined not to disobey Baba's order and resigned himself not to attend the funeral. Hoshang's sister informed Baba about Tehmie's death, and that evening, Hoshang received a telegram from Baba, stating: "Leave immediately for Bombay, attend all ceremonies, then come to Poona to see me for two minutes."

Hoshang's brother-in-law, Jal Cowasji, was terribly upset over the death of his wife. He wondered what would happen to her soul. Hoshang, who had read about the types of suicides, told him that she would not get another body for a very long time and she would have to mentally suffer in the hell state.

"What should I do," Cowasji asked. "It is all my fault."

Hoshang said, "Only one person in the world can tell you — that is Meher Baba!"

Jal Cowasji, though he had never desired to talk or hear about Baba, desperately asked if he could meet him, even though when his wife had wanted to go for Baba's darshan, he had adamantly refused. On Sunday, 12 July 1959, both he and Hoshang left for Poona to see Baba.

Baba asked Cowasji, "Do you have faith in me? Will you believe what I tell you about Tehmie?" He said yes.

Baba stated, "Because Hoshang loves me very much and because I was informed within three days of her death, I have saved Tehmie. She will not suffer in the hell state, and I will give her another body soon. She will have to take another birth, because she loves you very much."

"Baba, I am responsible ... It is all my fault," Cowasji said, weeping.

"No," Baba informed him, "you are not responsible. Just like the film you see in the movie theater, so is this life like a film. It is predestined. Whatever is in the film will happen.

It is already there. It had to happen this way."

Jal Cowasji returned to Bombay much consoled.

The following year when Hoshang Bharucha stayed at Guruprasad, his mother and sister came to see Baba. In the course of a discourse, Baba stated, "Perfect Masters have the power to bring back to life a person who may have died 300 years ago."

When the mother and sister heard this, they said to Baba, "If Perfect Masters can bring back to life a person dead for 300 years, you being the Avatar can bring Tehmie back in the same form!"

Baba replied, "I shall tell you in a dream about Tehmie."

The following year, when Hoshang's mother and sister met Baba again in Guruprasad, they made the same request. Baba smilingly replied, "Tehmie has been reborn in the family of one of my lovers. She has been brought to me here in Guruprasad and has played on my lap." (Lord Meher-p-4560-1959)

 

46-JAMSHED DESAI

In 1929 at Bombay, various close ones wanted a more recent photograph of the Master, so Baba went to Russell Studio on Thursday, 5th September 1929 with Kaka Baria, Gustadji, Chanji, Ramjoo, Naval and B. D. Pudumji (the wealthy Parsi who had offered Baba the use of one of his bungalows at Sinhagad). After having his portraits and a group photograph taken, Baba visited Pudumji's house in Bombay. Sohrabji and Jamshed Desai and others from Navsari also met Baba that day.

Kaikhushru Masa’s died and his funeral was performed in the town of Deolali, four miles from Nasik, at the Zoroastrian Tower This was the first time the Master had stayed near a dying person from among the mandali during his last moments. Sohrabji and Jamshed Desai had arrived on the 18th January 1931 from Navsari, and left the next day after meeting Baba.

Baba left Navsari by train the next morning on 2nd March 1932, for Bombay. Jamshed Desai also came to pay his respects.

In 1935, Jamshed Desai met Baba again in morning on the 17th at Naoroji Dadachanji's home during a small darshan program. The Dadachanjis were now residing upstairs in Boman Lodge on Vincent Road, near Khodadad Circle in Dadar. This time, Baba allowed new people in Bombay to come to him.

Jamshed Desai also saw Baba during visit. Rustom brought a new Pontiac and drove Baba in it to see a film (Shanghai) at the Plaza Cinema in Dadar.

In 1936, when Baba was in Bombay, He visited the residences of the Kotwals, the Dadachanjis, Chanji's sister Mehera at Dadar, and Rustom Dinyar and Kharmen Masi. Jamshed Desai also saw Baba during this visit. Rustom brought a new Pontiac and drove Baba in it to see a film (Shanghai) at the Plaza Cinema in Dadar.

Baba was in seclusion and not permitting public darshan, but people were anxious to know more about him. Jamshed Mehta arranged another program on the 20th April 1941, which nearly 1200 people attended. (Lord Meher-p-2208-1941)

 

47-KANDAWALA

On 23rd November, 1923 Baba’s travelling ship passed Dwarka and, it docked at Porbandar. A Parsi named Kandawala, who was an acquaintance of Baily's, was also on board and casually began questioning the mandali about themselves, to which they replied as best they could. But a month later, they found out Kandawala had published distorted and misleading accounts in various Parsi newspapers, to the effect that when he was engaged in talking with his disciples, Meher Baba was taking down notes. Actually, the Master was engaged in writing instructions for the mandali to follow later on and was dictating a few points for correspondence.

Due to publication of Kandawala's false reports in different newspapers, a great misunderstanding and antagonism against Meher Baba was created among the Parsi and Irani communities. The Master himself wanted this opposition, so that only genuinely worthy souls would come to him and remain dedicated to his cause. And amidst such opposition it happened that way; of those select few who did come to the Master, their love, renunciation and obedience to his orders were inspiring. It was only years later, when people gradually came to know the facts about who Meher Baba was, that this misunderstanding cleared up. (Lord Meher-p-471-1923)

 

48-KANTIBHAI MODI

Kantibhai Modi is a Baba lover from Navsari for many years. When Meher Baba came to Navasari in year 1956, he had no knowledge of Baba. He resided very close to where Baba’s darshan program was being held. He came for Baba’s darshan out of sheer curiosity but was impressed with Baba’s glory and divinity.

He later met Dr. Hoshang Bharucha and they had many discussions regarding Baba’s life and work. Along with Dr. Bharucha, Kantibhai had Baba’s on various occasions. With every glimpse and meeting of Meher Baba, his faith and love for Baba deepened. He read many books on Baba and his inquisitive mind would come up with doubts and questions. As he received solutions to his queries, Kantibhai’s love and conviction for Baba solidified further.

Once in 1965, at Guruprasad, Kantibhai asked Baba, “How should I love you?” My mind is full of suspicions and doubts. My hold on your daman keeps dangling and slipping away. Please help me.” Baba told him,” “Don’t worry. Just remember Me and take My name all the time. Everything will be all right.” With Baba’s grace, Kantibhai’s mind clamed and his human love was purified in the flame of Baba’s holy, divine love. Today at the age of eighty five, Kantibhai reads Meher Baba books and repeats His name content in Meher Baba’s love.

( “Reminiscences of Meher Baba Lovers from Navasari” page-88-by Dr. Ajit B. Soni)

 

49-KHORSHED DASTUR

She was wife of Chief priest of Parsi community of Navsari. She had many opportunities to meet Baba. She took Meher Baba’s darshan in January 1956 grand darshan program. Practically the whole Parsi community   was against Meher Baba’s visit and His darshan program at Navasari. The chief priest Dastur Meherji Rana could not attend the program in public. However his wife Khorshedbanu came to Meher cottage where Baba was staying and bowed down to him after the public program. She sat at His feet for nearly half an hour. She performed Baba’s arti and begged    Baba’s forgiveness on behalf of her husband who though anxious for His darshan did not attend as it would create an unnecessary controversy. However there were others amongst the Zoroastrian priestly class that did take Baba’s darshan. They all had come with sincere devotion and seemed happy to be in presence of one sp profoundly revered by the world.

Once Baba asked Khorshedbanu, “What is your wish?” Her reply was. “your presence at the time of my death.” Baba surprised her by saying, “You do not know what you have asked from Me. I will look into it.” Years later after the demise of her husband, living lonely and helpless life, she wrote       a letter to Baba to remind Him of His promise.

In May 1964, When Baba stayed at Guruprasad, Pune, Dr. Bharucha would visit every week end and avail of Baba’s divine love and company. One Sunday, Meher Baba ordered Bharucha to leave Guruprasad immediately for Navsari after the morning session. Baba also ordered Miss Parvez Godrej to accompany Dr. Bharucha. Both were surprised at Baba’s order but obeyed it implicitly and returned to Navsari.

When they arrived home, they found Dr. Bharucha’s mother anxiously waiting on the varandah, as she had received many requests from Khorshedbanu for a home visit. Mrs. Khorshedbanu was not keeping well since few days and that day she was breathless and on the verge of death. Dr. Bharucha immediately went to her house with Miss Godrej. He bent close to her and spoke loudly, “Maiji, we have just returned from Baba’s house”, and embraced her lovingly. She looked in his eyes and then breathed her last. Dr. Bharucha gently closed her eyelids. Baba kept His promise by sending his representatives at the time of her death.

(“Reminiscences of Meher Baba Lovers from Navasari” page-86-by Dr. Ajit B. Soni)

 

50-LAPSIWALA V. NAGINDAS

Coming to know of Baba visit to Navsari, some of Baba's "adversaries" from Bombay, (organized by an army major named Sohrab Bamji) had already come to town, held a meeting and decided to organize a boycott of Meher Baba's visit.

Hoshang Bharucha's mother was also sympathetic to them and forbade Hoshang from inviting Baba to their home. Such activities led the organizers of the darshan to surmise that Baba's visit would be totally boycotted by the local populace. Lovers such as Hoshang, Cowas Vesuna, Nagindas V. Lapsiwala, Thakorlal G. Gandhi, Bachoobhai Soni, Ader Desai, and the rest of the Desai family were afraid that Baba's reception by the town would be less than cordial.

Navsari, like Bombay, is considered a Parsi stronghold and, as related, protests against Baba were planned. When told of this, Baba remarked casually, "I have come here for my dear ones of Meher Cottage. They wanted me here. I have also come with the purpose of seeing my Navsari lovers who were longing for my darshan. Half my purpose is served by my staying in Meher Nivas [Abode], and the rest will be served by my presence at the place of darshan from 2:30 to 5:00 P.M." Baba arrived at the site at 2:15 P.M. A huge pandal had been erected and richly decorated.

Almost 20,000 were present, and more kept coming as a continuous stream of people flowed toward the pandal from the main roads. Baba was handing out the prasad at his usual rapid speed when five or six mischievous Parsi boys approached him. Baba simply smiled at them and gave them prasad. They saluted him with two fingers to their forehead which Baba acknowledged happily. The boys had been secretly planning to set fire to the pandal. But when they were about to do so, Lapsiwala noticed them signaling one another and went to inquire what was going on, and they scurried away. Lapsiwala informed the mandali and others about it, and all were alert to see that the boys did not return. (Lord Meher-p-3925-1956)

 

52-DESAI MAHADEV

Secretary of Mahatma Gandhi

Jamshed Mehta who was an acquaintance of Gandhi (and a Baba lover), cabled Gandhi on board the ship, strongly urging him to meet Meher Baba. At nine o'clock on Tuesday, 8th September 1931, Mahatma Gandhi came to Baba's cabin with his secretary Mahadev Desai. After Gandhi was introduced, he looked at Baba and said, "I have read much about you and wanted to see you one day when God willed it; but I never expected it to be so soon."

Baba next recounted his meeting with Mahatma Gandhi on board the steamship SS Rajputana, when Baba was on his way to England in 1931:

When I was on my way to the West for the first time, Gandhi was on the same boat. For three days, he came to my cabin regularly and stayed upwards of two hours at a time. I was using the alphabet board then. Mahadev Desai used to accompany him but would remain outside the cabin. (Lord Meher-p-3779-1955)

 

53-MAHARANI SHANTADEVI OF BARODA

Maharani Shantadevi of Baroda was the owner of Guruprasad bungalow in Poona. She was an ardent lover of Meher Baba and offered it for Baba’s stay in Poona. Shantadevi's husband, Pratap Singh Gaikwad had abandoned her and children in 1943 and remarried.

Gadekar managed to procure the Maharani Shantadevi of Baroda's palatial bungalow, Guruprasad, at 24 Bund Garden Road, with the help of Sardar M. A. Raste.  Gadekar received this information in a telegram on 27 March 1951, and immediately delivered the cable to Bindra House.

In year 1957, one day in Guruprasad, when Maharani Shantadevi was sitting by Baba, Chavan arrived in a very sad mood. Baba instructed him in Gujarati to tell the truth and asked what was troubling him. Chavan equivocated, professing innocence about some accusations against him, and left. But soon afterwards, he was arrested and sentenced to prison for fraud. Despite having failed to follow Baba's advice about remaining honest, Baba lovingly saw to the welfare of Chavan's wife and children while he was in prison, and thereby Chavan learned an invaluable lesson in following the Master's orders.

Whenever Baba was in Poona, he would always visit the Gadekar’s at their new home on 885/5 Bhandarkar Institute Road, Deccan Gymkhana. Baba would sometimes even go to Gadekar's office and give him darshan there. Baba had expressed a desire that he would like to have a spacious bungalow for his stay during the summer. With the help of Sardar Raste, Gadekar had found Maharani Shantadevi's palatial Guruprasad bungalow in Poona for Baba's use. Gadekar again contacted the Maharani and was able to obtain the palace for Baba.

Baba probably would have stayed at Guruprasad Palace until he left Poona, but a long distance telephone call was received from Shantadevi's secretary in Bombay, informing them that a portion of Guruprasad was required for the Maharani's brother and his guests whom the Maharani had promised to accommodate.

On 4th May 1958, Baba gave darshan on the verandah of Guruprasad as some of the Poona group sang bhajans. Many availed themselves of the occasion, including the owner of Guruprasad, Maharani Shantadevi of Baroda, who on that day had Baba's darshan for the first time. For a long while, she sat near Baba's chair.  All were supposed to leave after taking darshan and not linger there.

Maharani Shantadevi was greatly impressed by Baba, and she remained faithful in her heart to his cause. After permitting her to sit by him for some time and speaking with her a little, Baba asked Shantadevi to depart. From that time on she began coming to Baba often, and each year made Guruprasad available to him.

According to Baba's instructions, 180 lovers and devotees, including the mandali, from different parts of India assembled in Meherabad on Wednesday, 9th July 1958, for a special meeting.  Maharani Shantadevi and the Rani of Kurundwad and her son, and the Maharaja of Bhor were also present.. Other than these, only close longtime lovers and workers had been invited to the meeting.

On 10th July 1958, Baba arrived in Meherabad around seven o'clock in the morning. Maharani Shantadevi garlanded Baba. Garlanding was prohibited in the meeting, but Baba allowed it this time.

Baba observed: "Some things I will tell you today which have connection with the 10th of July. This time I have not invited the women. Last time, they were called to the sahavas. But some women are present whom I will introduce." He introduced Maharani Shantadevi, the Rani of Kurundwad and her son the Raja of Kurundwad, the Maharaja of Bhor, Mrs. Sardar Raste and Mrs. Prabha Kain. The women were accommodated on Meherabad Hill, whereas the men stayed in lower Meherabad.

About Maharani Shantadevi, Baba stated, "I am happy with Shantadevi that on my mere asking, she places her Guruprasad Palace in Poona at my disposal. She had not seen me before, but she had love and reverence for me. I am not happy because she is a maharani or because she has wealth. I am pleased with her because she possesses honest love.

Maharani Shantadevi came to see Baba on 22nd May 1959, with her daughters, and again the next day for two hours. Shantadevi would often visit Guruprasad to see Baba, whenever she visited Poona, but she stayed in another bungalow while Baba was occupying Guruprasad. Baba once remarked to her, "I want you to come to me regularly. But come only when you have the time and it is convenient." She was wondering why Baba did not order her to come to him as he would do with others. But Baba never did give her any orders. She would never ask Baba anything on her own, but occasionally when Baba would ask her about things on her mind, she would answer and tell him about her personal and family affairs. (She had marital problems with her husband, who was considered an "international playboy.")

On one occasion, Baba commented to Shantadevi, "You are blessed. I love you more than you love me. I have my nazar on you." Baba would also frequently remark to her in later years, "Guruprasad has become immortal.

It will turn into a place of pilgrimage. With it, you too will become immortal."

Once, while discussing a center, Baba revealed to Shantadevi, "In your palace, I have done much work for the whole universe. It has earned Guruprasad a place of great importance."(Lord Meher-p-4546/7-1959)

As announced, 7th June 1959 was the last Sunday for open darshan in Poona, and almost 4,000 persons flocked to Guruprasad to take advantage of this "last chance" for Baba's darshan and embrace, including a contingent from Vijayawada, Shantadevi and the close associates of Dada Vaswani. One person remarked about the crowd at the darshan, "It is like a tidal wave!"

For east west gathering from 1st November 1962, hired buses began plying between Guruprasad and the places where the Easterners were staying, dropping them at the entrance of Guruprasad. More than 5,000 people had assembled. On the dais with Baba and Maharani Shantadevi was seated with Yogi Shuddhanand Bharati, Balak (Meher) Bhagwan, Eruch and Adi. To translate Baba's statements in different languages were Keshav Nigam, Kutumba Sastri, Dhake and Burjor Mehta were present.

In 1957, Baba washed the feet of 27 lepers, and after touching their feet with his forehead, gave each prasad of five rupees. On this occasion Maharani Shantadevi was also present.. Alain was given the umbrella to hold over Baba during one part of Baba's work with the lepers.

The open darshan began on 15th May 1961, in evening and lovers from all over India streamed in to take advantage of it. Lovers from Hamirpur and Uttar Pradesh were there. Also present were hundreds of other devotees. Some children danced for Baba, and there was a singing performance. Maharani Shantadevi attended the darshan.

From 13th April 1960, Maharani Shantadevi began coming every morning to see Baba from 8:30 to 10:30 A.M. The time set for darshan was from 9:00 to 11:00 in morning.

On 18th April 1960, Maharani Shantadevi provided a delicious lunch for Baba and those with him.

On 2nd October 1960, Maharani Shantadevi visited Baba and spent the day at Meherazad. Meherjee departed on the 4th.

The Maharani of Baroda came to Guruprasad on 30 May 1961, and at 4:00 P.M. the "Seven Avatars" drama was re-enacted for her benefit. Madhusudan and Subhadra had gone to great pains to produce it and it was a grand success.

As a daily morning outing, the mandali would take Baba in the car to Ganeshkhind Garden and to Sambhaji and Peshwa Parks for walks. On 22nd June 1962, Baba went with the mandali to the Poona Race Course, where he had a long walk. Maharani Shantadevi saw Baba on the 27th and 28th for two hours each day. She was leaving Poona for Baroda.

During Baba's stay in Guruprasad in 1960, several lovers from Hamirpur expressed their desire to have a life-size marble statue made of Baba, and to house it in a Mandir (temple) built for it in the village of Nauranga. Baba acceded to their wish, but at the same time warned against making his statue a focus of empty ceremonial worship, reminding them of what he had often said regarding temples and ceremonies, that the real house of God is the heart, and the real worship is that service done in love to one's fellow beings.

Over the next year and a half, the temple and statue were built, but the unveiling of the statue was not to take place until the annual mela (fair) held in Nauranga from 25–27 November 1961.

For that purpose, Baba sent Maharani Shantadevi to Nauranga. Meherdas was also sent from Meherazad with several of Baba's old personal articles (a much-used coat, a pair of sandals, an old cricket bat, a letter in Baba's handwriting dated back in 1922, a curl of his golden-brown hair from his younger days, and other items) to be exhibited in the temple for the lovers to bow down to and thereby take darshan. The main function was held on the 26th of November. The building where the statue was to be housed had been named Meher Mandir (Meher Temple), but sending a telegram that day, Baba changed the name to Meher Dham (House of Meher)

Adi was naturally concerned and went to Meherazad on 20th January 1962, to check on Baba's health. He was told to write to Maharani Shantadevi, requesting her to allow Baba to stay again in Guruprasad that year.

In Bombay, Adi spoke at the dedication of the new "Meher Hall," which Sorabji Siganporia had acquired at 167 Lamington Road to be used as the Bombay Center. The opening ceremony was performed by Maharani Shantadevi. Baba sent this message for the Bombay group:

“Make Meher Hall the house of all hearts that seek to hear my messages of Love and Truth. I give my love blessing to all gathered at Meher Hall on the 25th.”

Occasionally in summer there were music performances at Guruprasad. Madhusudan and the Poona group sang often before Baba. Baba asked Maharani Shantadevi to come to Guruprasad for three consecutive days, 13, 14, and 15 April 1965 and entertainment programs were arranged for Baba on these days.

On 27th October 1962 in the small hall of Guruprasad, Baba met about 100 of his lovers who had already arrived from Karachi, Calcutta and Bombay. Maharani Shantadevi was also present.

On 5th November 1962, the Westerners were called to Guruprasad for a final meeting. Maharani Shantadevi entered and sat on the floor close to Baba. Baba continued describing how Ramakrishnan had had to make arrangements to accommodate the thousands who had come.

On 19th December 1962, Baba instructed Adi to add the following in a letter to Maharani Shantadevi: "Next year is most important and critical.

Baba inquired who from among his Ahmednagar lovers was proceeding to Kovvur. Baba stated, "I am sending Adi and Maharani Shantadevi for the opening as my representatives, and some from Poona and Bombay will also be going.”

On 3rd February 1962, Maharani Shantadevi arrived. Baba was in a good mood and gave them explanations and instructions regarding the opening of Mehersthan, and advised Shantadevi, "Take care of your health." Shantadevi spoke of Hamirpur, "When I had been to Meher Dham for its opening ceremony, I was accorded a reception the likes of which I have never been accorded in my own kingdom. The love of your lovers there is intense, Baba."

"You have become immortal," Baba assured her, "as has Guruprasad."

Baba repeatedly told her, "Hold on to my daaman continuously until I speak the Word of Word and make my dear ones and the world receive my grace according to each one's capacity."

He promised her, "You will see my True Light."

Shantadevi stayed with the women mandali until 4:00 P.M. and then left for Poona.

In Andhra, on 28th February 1963 in the morning, Maharani Shantadevi declared Mehersthan open to the public by cutting the seven-colored ribbon strung across its entrance. She unveiled the bronze statue of Baba and delivered an address. Adi then unfurled Baba's flag on the dome of Mehersthan and gave a speech. Many attended the function, including several dignitaries and Yogi Shuddhanand Bharati, Dr. Moorty from Calcutta, and Hoshang Bharucha from Navsari, all of whom gave a short speech.

At Meherazad on the 28th, Baba called both the men and women mandali to the hall to stand before him. At 7:32 A.M., exactly at the moment Shantadevi was unveiling the statue at Mehersthan, Baba clapped and, according to his wish, all the mandali shouted with one voice, "Parvardigar!"

Begum Akhtar and Shantadevi came to Guruprasad and saw Baba at in morning on 3rd May 1963, along with others from Bombay and Poona. Hundreds from various parts of India assembled there the following morning.

Manek, Rustom Kaka, Chhagan, Rangole, Waman and Bhagirath appeared disguised as qawaali singers. When they entered the hall, Baba remarked to Maharani Shantadevi, "A famous qawaal has come to sing today. His program will be the best ever at Guruprasad." Playing along, Baba asked Manek his name, and he replied, "People call me Shahzada Lakhnavi Qawaal!"

"Who is your teacher?"

Pointing to Chhagan, Manek said, "Him. He is called Pirzada Lakhnavi Qawaal." (Pirzada means the son of a Pir; Lakhnavi means hailing from Lucknow.)

Baba humorously remarked, "He does not look like a 'pirzada!' He looks more like a chap who roasts peanuts on the sidewalk for a living [in other words, someone scruffy-looking]!" All burst out laughing, and only then did Shantadevi discover who these so-called "famous" qawaals were.

Madhusudan had composed a new song in honor of Guruprasad. He had had the words printed and framed and presented it to Baba, who gave it to Maharani Shantadevi. Baba asked him to sing it. Practically all those present in the hall were weeping.

Another musical program was held in Meherazad on 18th October1963, for four hours in afternoon. This time, 100 men from Ahmednagar, Poona, Bombay and Navsari were invited. It was an "all-male" affair, except for Maharani Shantadevi, who was especially invited.  Baba enjoyed the singing immensely. At one point, he remarked to those seated before him, "Make the most of this opportunity. The time will soon come when you will find it difficult to obtain a close glimpse of me. You will be jostled to the rear by the crowds of new ones who will be flocking to me."

To compensate for the "all-male" day held at Meherazad in October when Jaipuri Qawaal had come to sing, about 250 women from Ahmednagar, Poona, Bombay, Navsari and Meherabad were invited to Meherazad to celebrate Mehera's birthday. The women queued up in the garden and began taking Baba's darshan. Over the microphone, Mani announced: "Baba wants you all to forget your worries, and meet him in any way you like, but for not more than two minutes. He wants you all to be absolutely happy today." Baba embraced each woman and then passed her to Mehera, who was seated on a chair to his right. After embracing Mehera, each walked into the sitting room, Baba's bedroom and then out into the garden once again. Afterwards, Baba signalled that he would come and sit in the hall. Holding onto Goher and Mehera, Baba rose from his chair and slowly stepped down from the verandah. Walking seemed an ordeal for him, and he went one step at a time. Maharani Shantadevi walked beside him. Mehera held his arm, and the other women followed them to the hall.

Maharani Shantadevi came to Poona for four days and was allowed to see Baba daily from 20th April 1964,

Nearly 125 lovers including Shantadevi gathered at Meherazad on November 1964 to hear Habib Qawaal perform from for 3 hours afternoon Lata sang two songs, and Kokila a ghazal about Baba written by Afsar Seemani.

Devotees assembled at the Poona Center long before dawn on 1st May 1965. The hall of the center could seat only 700 persons, so a pandal had been raised high was also quickly full to overflowing. Baba's car driven by Shaikh, stopped at the entrance to the Poona Center, and Baba got out and sat in a lift-chair. From Guruprasad, Shantadevi rode in the back seat with Baba.

In 1964 darshan program, Baba had Eruch announce that henceforth there would be no messages or announcements given, and no reciting of the Master's Prayer There would be no time for the prayer with so many people still waiting to have darshan. The darshan commenced in morning.  Maharani Shantadevi came on the dais five minutes later and garlanded Baba with a beautiful white-rose garland.

After residing in Poona for almost two months, on 26th May 1967, Baba sent for his brother Jalbhai, Beheram's family and the Bindra House families. Two days later, the Maharani Shantadevi was permitted to visit. Baba remarked to them, "My time is fast approaching."

On 4th June 1967 in Guruprasad, Baba, the men and women mandali and Maharani Shantadevi listened to a two-hour audio tape recording made by Harry Kenmore of Baba's public birthday celebration in New York City.

On 25th June 1968, Baba's blood samples were again checked for sugar, urea and cholesterol levels. Maharani Shantadevi was permitted to visit on 26 and 27 June 1968. Since Baba was preparing to return to Meherazad, he suspended his seclusion work from 28 June until 4 July.

On 10th October 1968, Maharani Shantadevi was permitted to see Baba. She was called to Meherazad. She arrived in morning and spent an hour in Baba's company. Shantadevi's husband, Pratap Singh Gaikwad, had died the previous July 1967. Although Gaikwad was a profligate playboy, who had abandoned his wife and children in 1943 and remarried, Shantadevi always remained faithful to him. Still, she could not help but feel Shantadevi's husband, Pratap Singh Gaikwad depressed and remorseful over his indifference and behavior. Baba comforted her, informing her that he had blessed her husband and he is in peace despite his bad behavior, because of Shantadevi's close connection with Baba. "You have had innumerable husbands and wives in your previous births, which you cannot remember," Baba told her. She left greatly consoled and uplifted.

In year 1965, arrangements for the public darshan ad been completed by the end of April, and a very large shamiana (decorative canopy) had been erected at the Poona Center, where Baba was to begin the six-day sahavas. Almost 1,000 devotees came to Poona from Hamirpur, 2,000 from Andhra, and 3,000 from other parts of India, Pakistan and Iran. Thus, 6,000 lovers streamed into Poona to take advantage of this rare opportunity the Beloved were giving them. On the dais, Eruch stood on Baba's right, and Maharani Shantadevi was seated on his left.

On 1st April 1966, Baba left Meherazad for his usual summer stay at Poona with the men and women mandali Local lovers were not allowed to stand on the road and greet Baba's car as it passed through Ahmednagar. In stark contrast to the previous year when hundreds had come for Baba's darshan, 1966 was a quiet year at Guruprasad and practically no lovers gained admittance. Maharani Shantadevi was allowed to visit Guruprasad and came daily for about a week. Baba likewise called the Shinde family one day and consoled them over the loss of Bapusaheb.

Madhusudan had composed a new song in honor of Guruprasad. He had had the words printed and framed and presented it to Baba, who gave it to Maharani Shantadevi. Baba asked him to sing it. Practically all those present in the hall were weeping. After that, Madhusudan sang a parting song of love. Those hearts which had not melted into tears, did so now.

 

 

55-MANGAL

In Baroda, town there was a poor harijan (Untouchable) named Mangal. He was passing through the third stage of tuberculosis, a state in which death is certain and imminent. He heard of Baba’s arrival in the village but he was bed ridden. He kept taking Baba’s name and wanted to have his darshan. Baba did meet the ailing patient the next day. He went to his cot, kissed and patted and parted him. The   harijan seemed to get back to his health once more with the healing touch of love of Baba. After 72 hours of the darshan, the man was back to work and had cheated death. If Guru’s grace is there, then it works miracles

(“Unlocking Secrets” page-50 narrated by Smt. Nirmala Paschal)

 

56-MANI BEHRAM DESAI

(Mandali)

Refer Fortunate souls- Vol-3 SL.No. 115

 

57-MEHER DASAI

(Daughter of Bopai Desai)

Bapai Desai's daughter Meher had passed her inter-science exam but had not been able to gain admittance to medical school. Baba advised her, "Take the Bachelor of Science course and then apply to medical school. If you don't become a doctor, I will not see your face again."

All thought Baba was joking, but he said, "I am not kidding. I say this seriously."

Meher began weeping, then uttered, "If I do not get accepted to medical school, I will never have Baba's darshan. What an unbearable punishment!"

Baba asked, "Why are you crying and afraid? Try and see what happens." Accordingly, after attaining her Bachelor of Science degree, Meher applied and was accepted to medical school and became a doctor.

In 1968, at one point, Baba called Bapai and her daughter Meher Desai of Bombay to his room. Meher had become a doctor according to Baba's wish and she wanted to stay in Meherazad permanently in his service. Baba informed her, "Carry on for the time being in what you are doing; we shall see later on." Baba allowed her to go abroad for further studies, if she wished. (Lord Meher-p-5380-1968)

 

58-MEHERU

(Second sister of Hoshang P. Bharucha)

Hoshang's sister Tehmie had married a man named Jal Cowasji, and had moved to Bombay. The husband, however, would never allow his wife to indulge in spiritual practices for fear she would renounce him and the world. One day they had a heated quarrel, and Tehmie left the house and went to live in a hotel. Regretting the argument, the husband sent a telegram to Hoshang to tell him that Tehmie had left home.

Just before receiving the telegram, Hoshang and his other sister, Meheru, had been reading the chapter on the four kinds of suicides from the recent book Listen, Humanity. Hoshang Bharucha's mother asked him to go to Bombay to bring Tehmie, but he explained that he could not leave Navsari because he had Baba's order. His mother and sister decided to leave Navsari for Bombay on the next train.

The following year when Hoshang Bharucha stayed at Guruprasad, his mother and sister came to see Baba. In the course of a discourse, Baba stated, "Perfect Masters have the power to bring back to life a person who may have died 300 years ago."

When the mother and sister heard this, they said to Baba, "If Perfect Masters can bring back to life a person dead for 300 years, you being the Avatar can bring Tehmie back in the same form!"

Baba replied, "I shall tell you in a dream about Tehmie."

The following year, when Hoshang's mother and sister met Baba again in Guruprasad, they made the same request. Baba smilingly replied, "Tehmie has been reborn in the family of one of my lovers. She has been brought to me here in Guruprasad and has played on my lap." (Lord Meher-p-4561-1955)

 

 

59-MEHTA

(Senior Police Officer)

Mr. Mehta came to see Baba at the Ice Factory Bungalow on 5th August. Mehta, who was spiritually-minded, was a relative of someone who had gifted a plot of land in Ahmadabad to the Ramakrishna Ashram and had read extensively through spiritual literature. After discussing general topics, Baba asked Mehta lovingly, "What have you gleaned after reading so much? What would you say is the substance of all the spiritual literature you've read?"

"Love and service," Mehta replied.

"Yes, it is the most valuable thing," Baba agreed.

"I also meditate," he informed Baba.

"In spiritual matters, love and service to humanity supersede meditation," Baba explained. "It is a type of spirituality that comes down from its supreme height to the daily human routine and everyday life. This is where its manifestation is the highest; it is the most practical." (Lord Meher-p-2664)

 

60-MEHTA MANEK D.

On 2nd March 1947, Manek D. Mehta of Navsari met Baba in Mahabaleshwar in afternoon. Manek Mehta wished to construct a hall in Bombay dedicated to Baba, and Baba pledged to support it. (Lord Meher-p-2564-1947)

 

61-MINOO DESAI & BOPAI

(Mansari's brother & his wife)

On 6 July 1923, accompanied by Gustadji and Rustom, the Master went to Sohrabji's home. The previous day, Baba had passed the house on his way to the dharamshala and Sohrabji's young nieces, Bapai and Homai, had seen him but had been afraid — thinking him to be an Arab kidnapper. Baba had smiled at the girls, but this only made them more frightened. Bapai bravely told her little sister not to be afraid; if they said Meher Baba's name, nothing would happen and the evil man would go away!

In 1932, at Navsari, Baba asked for nine buckets of water for a bath. Dressed in clean clothes, Baba came into the sitting room and asked Sohrabji's niece Bapai, "How do I look?"

"Very handsome," she replied.

"Because I get love from all," Baba remarked.

In 1936, Mansari was in Bombay at this time and Baba permitted her to cable her brother Minoo and his fiancée Bapai in Navsari, who immediately came to Bombay to meet him. It had been four and a half years since they had seen Baba, and Baba lovingly spent two and a half hours with them on the night of 13 July from 9 until 11:30, and again for half an hour the following morning at 7:00 A.M., before Baba departed.

Baba had agreed to be present for the engagement ceremony between two young devotees from Navsari: Minoo Desai (Mansari's brother) and his cousin, Bapai. They came to Nasik for the ceremony, which was performed on the 16th. Baba himself put the ring on Bapai's finger, as she wept. Age was touched by Baba's gesture: "The Creator of the universe, besides his Universal work, is attentive to each of his lovers.

Minoo Desai of Bombay had sent Baba a very useful birthday present — a radio. It was turned on for the first time that day by Rustom Kaka. It was the first time Baba had listened to a radio at Pimpalgaon and he expressed his pleasure with Minoo.

Baba's 54th birthday was observed (according to the Parsi calendar) on 13 February 1948. Two weeks before, Mansari's brother Minoo Desai of Bombay had sent Baba a very useful birthday present — a radio. It was turned on for the first time that day. It was the first time Baba had listened to a radio at Pimpalgaon and he expressed his pleasure with Minoo.

In 1956, at Navasari, there were so many coming for his darshan, and since Baba would call them into the house and permit them to see him every half hour, the Desai family, Minoo, his wife Bapai, their daughter Meher, and Bapai's sister Homai requested that Baba leave Meher Cottage after his meal, saying they would arrange somewhere else for Baba to sleep so that he would be able to rest properly. At 8:00 P.M., when the family and the mandali had finished their dinner, Baba took a stick in his hand and approached the family members, gesturing to them, "Get out immediately, or else I will beat you and throw you out!"

Baba began swinging the stick menacingly, and made the whole Desai family leave. However, they were quite pleased because the person for whom Meher Cottage was built —namely Baba himself — had established his proprietary right. This is an example of what love the Desai family had for Baba, even though they had to spend a sleepless night in a broken-down shack with no blankets to ward off the cold.

On 30th January 1956, Baba rose early in the morning. He went in a carriage to the Meher Center. The members had left Meher Cottage the previous evening with the hope that Baba might still visit the Center. So they had gone there, decorated the hall, and spent the whole night awaiting his arrival. With a stick in his hand Baba gently prodded them awake, and their joy knew no bounds. They performed his arti, and afterwards Baba returned to Meher Cottage.

The Desai family, who had been ejected that night, returned to Meher Cottage at 5:00 A.M. Baba did not ask how they had slept, knowing that they had not. Soon several women of Navsari arrived and for some time sang bhajans. Baba was then ready to depart. He embraced the family members, and Bapai told Baba through her tears, "May you come back to Navsari soon."

Baba replied, "This is my last visit." His remark shocked them and added to their grief of separation, and the Desai family bid him farewell while sobbing.

Baba arrived at the train station, where his lovers had collected in vast numbers to see him off. He began briskly pacing the platform, picking up pebbles and tossing them along the railway tracks. Fascinated, people quietly watched him. When the train entered the station, Baba and the mandali boarded a third class compartment.

On 28 th January 1956, Baba left Meherazad for Bombay with several of the mandali, It had been eighteen long years since Baba had been to Navsari; he had not returned there after Sohrabji Desai's demise in December 1937. Minoo and Bapai Desai had built a new house, naming it Meher Cottage. They wished Baba to sanctify it by setting foot inside, and as the family was in his close contact, Baba accepted the invitation.

Baba once asked Bapai Desai (Mansari's sister-in-law), "Do you eat chicken?" Bapai said no. "That's good," Baba joked. "Otherwise you would have to be born as a hen!"

On another occasion, Bapai Desai's husband Minoo had come with them to Poona. The darshan was scheduled to start at 3:00 P.M., so all three were standing outside by the gate. Bapai had recently recovered from an operation for cancer and, being weak, was unable to stand for a long time in the sun. The men were allowed to come inside first and Minoo went in.

Baba asked him, "Where are Bapai and Meher?" Minoo replied that they were standing outside near the gate. Baba reacted angrily. "Do you have any sense? Bapai is still recovering from her operation and you make her stand in the sun? You go stand by the gate, and send them inside!"

Eruch spoke up in Minoo's defense, "Minoo is not to blame, Baba. Three o'clock was the time fixed for the women to come, so how could Minoo bring them in against your order?"

"Whether it is his fault or not," Baba insisted, "When I say so, it is his mistake!"

So Bapai and Meher came in and, after inquiring about her health, Baba asked her to repeat an incident that had happened many years ago in Bombay. Bapai told the following story: "Once (during the 1920s) Baba was staying at Kaka Baria's in Bombay. A woman came to tell Baba that a dear friend of hers had been in labor for hours and still had not delivered the baby. Baba heard her and without saying a word covered himself and seemed to be sleeping. The woman was astonished and thought: 'What sort of guru is this Meher Baba to have gone to sleep when my friend is dying in pain?' After she left, Baba got up and took a bath though he had never done so before at such an odd hour. When the woman went back to her friend, she discovered that while she had been narrating her plight to Baba, the woman had easily delivered the child and was resting." (Lord Meher-p-4526-1959)

 

64-MOTHER OF HOSHANG BHARUCHA

In year 1955, when Hoshang Bharucha stayed at Guruprasad, his mother and sister came to see Baba. In the course of a discourse, Baba stated, "Perfect Masters have the power to bring back to life a person who may have died 300 years ago."

When the mother and sister heard this, they said to Baba, "If Perfect Masters can bring back to life a person dead for 300 years, you being the Avatar can bring Tehmie back in the same form!"

Baba replied, "I shall tell you in a dream about Tehmie."

The following year, when Hoshang's mother and sister met Baba again in Guruprasad, they made the same request. Baba smilingly replied, "Tehmie has been reborn in the family of one of my lovers. She has been brought to me here in Guruprasad and has played on my lap." (Lord Meher-p-4561-1955)

 

67-PATEL DAYABHAI ISHWARDAS

(Owner of a tobacco factory in Bajwa)

Baba arrived in Bajwa (a small village five miles from Baroda) by train, hundreds of others shouted, "Bolo [Say] Meher Prabhu ki jai!" A long procession began with crowds preceding the car, shouting Baba's Jai, The procession arrived at the house of Dahyabhai Ishwardas Patel, a prosperous tobacco merchant where all were to stayed.

Baba went to the darshan site nearby. A beautiful pandal had been raised and the stage was splendidly decorated. A crowd of 5,000 had gathered. Baba stepped onto the dais and was garlanded by Haribhai, who, with his family, performed Baba's arti. Baba began distributing the prasad to men and women, waiting in two separate rows on either side. Music was played

Baba continued the distribution until evening, after which his arti was again performed, and he was photographed with his close Bajwa lovers. Baba then visited residence of Dahyabhai Patel and homes of his other lovers. Dahyabhai Patel owned a tobacco factory in Bajwa an important tobacco market. Many labourers were employed in his factory. Because they were working, they had not been able to attend the darshan program, which they much desired to do.

After walking through the marketplace, Baba reached Dahyabhai's home, and there everyone enjoyed a sumptuous feast. However, Baba took only his usual rice and dal. (Lord Meher-p-3932-1956)

 

71-PESTONJI RUSTOM S.

Baba landed in Hong Kong in morning on 1st July 1932 and was met by a Parsi named Rustom E. Desai. Baba and the mandali went to his house, where Desai and his wife had prepared Indian dishes.

They drove through Kowloon the next day. Met there by Rustom S. Pestonji, a friend of Mr. Desai's, Baba and the mandali were taken to Pestonji's house. After an hour's drive around the town, they returned to the Kaiser-i-Hind and continued their voyage.

Next time Baba arrived in Hong Kong early in the morning on 2nd February 1935. Two Parsis, Rustom Desai and Rustom Pestonji, were there to welcome him. They had met Baba in 1932 when Baba's ship had docked at Hong Kong. They took Baba and the mandali to Pestonji's home in Kowloon where Baba had breakfast and was photographed. After meeting the families of both men, Baba boarded the Fushimi Maru, which sailed same day.(Lord Meher-p-1669-1935)

 

 

73-RAVIKANT RAWAL

Ravikant Rawal was staunch lover of Meher Baba from Surat. His encounters with Meher baba are written as under:

On Sunday, 14th August 1955, the public darshan started in morning. Besides all Bombay lovers, many from Navsari, Bajwa, Surat, Bhavnagar and Baroda were also present. Almost 800 people attended. In the course of giving darshan, Baba was discussing matters with some, joking with others and listening to devotional songs. Ravikant Rawal of Surat told a story.

During Sahwas in 1955 in Meherabad,  Ravikant Rawal of Surat described how he had once witnessed a lover succeed in invoking rain by taking Meher Baba's name at a particular place during a drought. In response, Baba commented:

We need not doubt what he says, he has seen it with his own eyes; but the fact remains, I did not know about it and I did nothing in that connection.”

After lunch, Baba called to the hall in lower Meherabad, all those who were not resting. Baba was taking long, swift strides back and forth inside from north to east. Before more bhajan singing began, Ravikant Rawal narrated a story of four clever thieves.

In response, Baba remarked, "The five greatest thieves [Perfect Masters] who live in the world steal people's hearts and also periodically steal me from my Highest State."

On Monday, 7th November 1955, Baba arrived in Meherabad in morning. Baba had a discussion in his cabin with mandali men for some time, and then came to the hall to see the sahavas group. He said, "Those who did not sleep last night should stand up." Ravikant Rawal stood up, and Baba remarked, "You must have remained awake all night, looking forward to an opportunity to finish your almost-endless story (of the four clever thieves)!"

Rawal said, "No, Baba, I could not sleep because I felt you were present near me all the time."

On Baba's asking, those who were indisposed stood up. Baba told them, "Those who are used to homeopathy should take medicine from Padri; those used to taking allopathic treatment should see Nilu. Look after your health well so that you can derive the fullest possible benefit from this sahavas."

The atmosphere was full of merriment when the topic of Madon's "Wonder Balm" came up. Krishnaji declared, "My cold disappeared completely with his ointment."

Baba joked, "Remarkable! It increases the cold of those who only have a slight one, and reduces that of those who have it severely!"

Above the laughter, Madon declared, unaffected, "It is the only medicine for all diseases!"

Ravikant interjected, "There was a little pain in my knees, but when I used Madon's balm it began aching like hell!"

"That's why it is named wonderful," Baba teased.

Baba joked, "It is a wonderful medicine with a wonderful name. The result is wonderful for every disease! It would make a man depart this life in 25 hours when he would have lived for 25 years!"

On the morning of 30th January 1956, Baba visited Meher Center in Navsari (Gujrat) in the morning. Baba was ready to depart. He embraced the Desai family members, and Bapai told Baba through her tears, "May you come back to Navsari soon." Baba replied, "This is my last visit." His remark shocked them and added to their grief of separation, and the Desai family bid him farewell while sobbing.

Baba arrived at the train station, where His lovers had collected in vast numbers to see him off.

After the train departed, Ravikant Rawal made everyone laugh with a wild tale. While he was narrating another one, Baba interrupted him, remarking, "I will hear the rest of it when I come back after 700 years!"  Rawal wittily replied, "What the hell else was I going to come for again in another birth after having taken hold of your hand in this one?"

There is an interesting episode with his marriage

Ravikant Rawal was an old lover of Baba and had come in his contact in a curious manner. He was not a particularly handsome man, but fell in love with and wanted to marry a beautiful girl. Her parents were opposed to the match, and Rawal met with no success in his efforts to persuade them otherwise. Then he came to Baba, beseeching him that somehow he should bring about the marriage, and if Baba did, he would be his slave for life.

Baba had a hearty laugh and asked, "Is there bargaining even in my love?"

Rawal said, "I don't know anything about that. I am at your feet, and you will have to fulfill my wish."

"Then do one thing," Baba instructed. "For a year, stop all talk of marriage, and if the girl's father sends you a message, refuse to marry her! After one year, I will see to it."

Rawal obeyed, and the parents of the girl came to know that Rawal was no longer interested in their daughter. The father remarked with a laugh, "Who would give his daughter to such an ugly man anyway?" Meanwhile, he tried his utmost to arrange his daughter's marriage, but without success.

At last, he sent word to Rawal and the latter replied smugly, "I will never marry her! Don't talk to me about it." Her parents began flattering him, but Rawal was adamant in his refusal. Thus a year passed. He informed Baba of all the events, and Baba permitted him to marry her. Rawal told the girl's parents, "I have no desire to marry, but since you are insistent, I agree." So, in the end, Rawal married the beautiful girl whom he fell in love with, and from then on was always at Baba's feet and began coming to Baba on every possible occasion.

In year 1958 during darshan program Baba noticed Ravikant Rawal, (a hefty man) was searching for his garland, and joked, "All others except Rawal should embrace me with love. Rawal should use some restraint and be careful; otherwise, he will crush me! His garland was stolen, but not his love! It is easy for garlands to be taken away or robbed by others. But who can rob love?"

Seeing Baba perspiring, someone offered to fan him. Baba remarked, "I don't need it. Those who embrace me give out a breeze of love. I sweat and I get the breeze. If not for enjoying the love of my lovers, why should I take this body? I have taken it only to undergo suffering, hardships, discomforts and inconveniences."

Baba asked Rawal to sing, but his voice not being melodious, Baba put his hands on his ears. When he finished Baba joked, "Though what you sang was good, I was getting shocks at the sound of your voice."

Rawal retorted, "The powerhouse can never get shocks. It is those here at your sahavas who come to the powerhouse to get their batteries charged who get shocks."

Baba praised him, "Rawal is my good lover." At that Rawal put his head on Baba's lap as if he were sleeping. After some moments had passed, Baba warned him, "Rawal, if you behave like this, you will be beaten up, or others will get jealous of you and break their own heads at my feet."

Responding immediately, Rawal replied, "Baba, I am prepared for my body to be cut to pieces in your cause."

After lunch, Baba stood in the doorway of his Interview Cabin leaning on his canes, and observing the scene a few moments before going back to the pandal. Rawal happened to walk by and Baba joked, "Elcha told me that your screw was loose. Is this true? How old are you now?"

Rawal, however, in one of his usual over-emotional outbursts, declared, "Baba, I only want to die at your feet!"

Baba asked, "Then who would look after your family?"

"I leave it to you, Baba."

"Thanks," Baba replied drily.

On another occasion Baba asked to hear some amusing stories, and Rawal told one which made the audience burst into laughter. After more tales, the sahavas group left the hall.

Once Baba declared: "I am the Ancient One, and I have the divine authority to forgive anyone of anything!"

Moments after Baba declared this, Ravikant Rawal implored Baba to forgive him for his sins, and the interruption displeased Baba greatly. He directed everyone to leave the hall for five minutes, and the atmosphere turned quite serious. Baba's mood underwent a sudden and grave change, and when the group had reassembled, he corrected Rawal, "If I am Baba, do I not know your heart or listen to your heart's voice? What is the need to tell me to forgive you?" Baba forgave him for the mistake.

Recalling the game of atya-patya, Baba asked Dhake to explain its rules to those present, which he did. Baba added, "In this game, if some outsider obstructs a player, he is called manus-ghan (a dirty man) and the term can well be applied to Rawal!"

Baba asked him, "Did you follow what I just said?" Rawal shook his head no. Baba commented, "You are full of fat but no brains!"

He asked Adi Sr. and Burjor Mehta to take Rawal outside and explain it to him. When they returned, Baba addressed Rawal, "Your action displeased me, but you are not to blame for it. Only Baba is to be blamed." (Lord Meher-p-4445/6-1958)

 

75-SHAUKAT ALI

Shaukat Ali was an associate of Gandhi and a politician

Shaukat Ali once Gandhi's closest companion and he became staunchest opponent. Of Gandhi, because of the great dividing factor: The religious animosity and enmity between the Hindus and Muslims. The religious fanatics on both sides have nurtured and fostered this hatred to the extent that even in Congress there are the orthodox who colour every political activity and action with their religious bigotry, and it is all authorized, approved and practiced by and with Gandhi.

Shaukat Ali has caustically remarked, "These things have gone to his head and made him (Gandhi) mad!"

On 8th September 1931, before leaving at 10:30 at night, Gandhi extended a cordial invitation to Baba to visit his place of residence in London, and Baba agreed to pay a visit while he was in London.

While the ship was passing Messina, many passengers gathered on the upper deck, including Gandhi and the men of his party, and Baba, with Agha Ali, Chanji and Rustom. The Indian politician Shaukat Ali, who had boarded the ship at Aden, saluted Baba reverently and later spoke with him for half an hour.

During the same trip, Shaukat Ali passed my cabin, and after Gandhi left, he came in. He told Rustom he wanted to kiss Baba’s hand. He kissed it and tried to sit on a small chair which, due to his weight, broke and he fell on the floor. It was a strange sight, and afterwards, we had a good laugh about it. Myself, Rustom and Chanji were all trying to help him to his feet. (Lord Meher-p-3865-1955)

 

77-SOHRAB BAMJI

(Army Major)

In 1956 Baba travelled to Navsari

Coming to know of his visit to Navsari, some of Baba's "adversaries" from Bombay, (organized by an army major named Sohrab Bamji) had already come to town, held a meeting and decided to organize a boycott of Meher Baba's visit. Hoshang Bharucha's mother was also sympathetic to them and forbade Hoshang from inviting Baba to their home.

Such activities led the organizers of the darshan to surmise that Baba's visit would be totally boycotted by the local populace. Lovers such as Hoshang, Cowas Vesuna, Nagindas V. Lapsiwala, Thakorlal G. Gandhi, Bachoobhai Soni, Ader Desai, and the rest of the Desai family were afraid that Baba's reception by the town would be less than cordial. (Lord Meher-p- 3922-1956)

 

81-SONI BACHOOBHAI JAIRAM

In 1932, Baba had a meeting with everyone in the Desai family. Like so many others in Navsari, Ader Ardeshir Desai had found out about the Master through Sohrabji, a distant relative. During Baba's visit, Ader came to Sohrabji's house with a young singer named Bachoobhai Jairam Soni, who sang a few bhajans. Bachoobhai was destined to become a lifelong lover of Meher Baba.

In 1955, for darshan program, a large pandal had been erected in front of Vinoo Kher's house in Nagpur. Baba arrived there at eight o'clock on 21st December 1952. The morning darshan began with a kirtan performed by Jairam Bua Sant, in the course of which he obliquely questioned Baba's silence. No one had taken notice of Jairam's inquiry, but Baba did and he stated, "In spite of my silence, I speak through all the tongues in the world."

In 1954, Baba then played marbles with his lovers. Bachoobhai J. Soni, was among other singers and sang a song before Baba. The public darshan started on 14 August 1955. Almost 800 people attended. In the course of giving darshan, Baba was discussing matters with some, joking with others and listening to devotional songs. Bachoobhai Soni of Navsari each entertained Baba with a song.

In 1958 Sahwas at Meherabad, Baba concluded by stating:

If you can't remember me constantly, at least take my name before retiring for the night and getting up in the morning. If even this is not possible, then before giving up your body, don't forget to remember me. I say this on my divine authority.

Bachoobhai sang songs until Baba left for Meherazad at 4:45 P.M.

In the night the Gujarati group amused themselves in various ways. A large crowd encircled Jalbhai and Dr. Abdur Rehman to hear their humorous stories. This went on while Bachoobhai and Haribhai Patel kept their music flowing. (

It had been eighteen long years since Baba had been to Navsari; he had not returned there after Sohrabji Desai's demise in December 1937. Minoo and Bapai Desai had built a new house, naming it Meher Cottage. They wished Baba to sanctify it by setting foot inside, and as the family was in his close contact, Baba accepted the invitation.

Coming to know of his visit to Navsari, some of Baba's "adversaries" from Bombay, (organized by an army major named Sohrab Bamji) had already come to town, held a meeting and decided to organize a boycott of Meher Baba's visit. Hoshang Bharucha's mother was also sympathetic to them and forbade Hoshang from inviting Baba to their home. Such activities led the organizers of the darshan to surmise that Baba's visit would be totally boycotted by the local populace. Lovers such as Hoshang, Cowas Vesuna, Nagindas V. Lapsiwala, Thakorlal G. Gandhi, Bachoobhai Soni, Ader Desai, and the rest of the Desai family were afraid that Baba's reception by the town would be less than cordial.

In Navsari, like Bombay, is considered a Parsi stronghold and, as related, protests against Baba were planned. When told of this, Baba remarked casually, "I have come here for my dear ones of Meher Cottage. They wanted me here. I have also come with the purpose of seeing my Navsari lovers who were longing for my darshan. Half my purpose is served by my staying in Meher Nivas (Abode), and the rest will be served by my presence at the place of darshan from 2:30 to 5:00 P.M."

A huge pandal had been erected and richly decorated. Baba arrived at site.

Cries of Baba's Jai resounded throughout, and on Baba's ascending the dais he was welcomed with the sweet strains of "Yuga Avatar, Yuga Avatar (Avatar of the Age )!" sung by Bachoobhai's bhajan party. Thousands joined in, and the strong fragrance of Wine wafted throughout the gathering.

Each member of the reception committee garlanded Baba profusely, after which, leaving his chair, Baba sat on the edge of the dais to give prasad. Bachoobhai started singing melodiously.

Almost 20,000 were present, and more kept coming as a continuous stream of people flowed toward the pandal from the main roads.

Travelling from Bombay to Surat, some of Baba's lovers in the other compartment beseeched him to allow them the chance of enjoying his company, and so he called them into his coach. The small carriage became so full that Baba was squashed in his seat with no room to stretch his feet or sit comfortably, and the mandali had to travel standing up. But Baba seemed happy amidst his ardent devotees. Bachoobhai regaled everyone with sweet songs. (Many composed by a lover from Bajwa)

In 1958 Sahwas gathering Baba asked Bachoobhai, the leader of the Navsari singing group, how he was, Baba urged him to look after his health.

Baba liked one particular song Bachoobhai and his party from Navsari was singing in Gujarati: "O wearer of the white robe, we salute you 100,000 times!" (

Bachoobhai of Navsari began to sing a bhajan. While he was singing, Haribhai Patel of Bajwa, in an outburst of emotion, began loudly singing in unison. Patel's singing was so loud it made Baba laugh. Regarding Bachoobhai, Baba observed, "Besides being a good singer, he is also my good lover..

On the 3rd about 15 or 20 close ones came, including, Bachoobhai and Madhusudan sang.

Bachoobhai and other lovers from Navsari sang a few bhajans. On hearing them, Baba jokingly remarked, "Today I feel I should come again after 1400 years, as even the thought of coming after 700 years seems so tiresome."

In 1963, after discourse,, Baba asked Bachoobhai to sing. Just as he finished, Haribhai Patel of Bajwa arrived, dancing in ecstasy, and he too began singing. He fell at Baba's feet with tears streaming down his cheeks. Baba embraced each of his Bajwa lovers, and then retired for the day. (Lord Meher-p-5014-1963)

 

82-THAKORBHAI G. GANDHI

In year 1944 when Mr. Thakorbhai was a student of 14 years happened to read a book on Sai Baba and he was so drawn toward Sai Baba that he left for Shirdi to have darshan of Baba’s samadhi. He got assistance on his way to Shirdi via Pune, Ahmednagar and Shirdi from many persons whom he met.

After coming back from Shirdi, he went to his school where he was studying (Tata boys School) after gap of few days and missed classes. His school teacher was Ader Desai (A Baba lover) called him and rebuked for his irresponsibility and absence. Thakorbhai narrated in detail of his pilgrimage to Shirdi and Aderji Desai was amazed at the keenness of spirituality displayed by his student

Thereafter on different occasions, Adarji Desai spoke to Thakorbhai about Meher Baba and these talks gradually increased his interest in Meher Baba. A formal relationship transformed into a close friendship based on their mutual love for Meher Baba. Thakorbhai started visiting Meher Baba centre of Navasari (then known as Har Har Mandal)

On 7th December 1963, Thakorbhai along with few Baba lovers of Navsari went to Mumbai for Baba’s darshan. When he entered in Baba’s room, his first glance of Meher Baba the divine, compassionate, eternal master made him His devoted slave forever. Thakorbhai put his head on Meher Baba’s feet and he felt so encompassed in His love that he forgot his whole existence and being in that moment. Somebody pushed him aside and he sat leaning against the wall on the floor gazing at Meher Baba totally oblivious of his surroundings. Thakorbhai prayed to Baba internally, “When you have accepted me, please establish me at your lotus feet foe ever.”

After the first meeting with Meher Baba Thakorbhai attended many sahwas and darshan programs reaffirmed his faith in Meher Baba. However Baba’s visit    to Navsari in 1956 brought forth greater depth in his understanding for Beloved Baba. Thakorbhai was now one of the principal workers of Meher Baba Center during that period. Thakorbhai was in charge of various duties and responsibilities and carried    them out to the best        of his abilities with full devotion and dedication.

After darshan program of Navsari, Thakorbhai got the opportunity to travel with baba to Bajwa via Vadodara with other Lovers. Baba   All boarded the railway compartment and Baba was seated on lower birth. Baba ordered Thakorbhai to place his hand on the wooden plank of upper birth where he was sated, so that His devotees would not bang their heads against it while bowing down to Him.  Thakorbhai took this order of Baba lightly and told that he would see that no one would bang their head. At every station Baba repeatedly reminded Thakorbhai to place his hand on wooden plank Years later Thakorbhai repented and realised that he should have obeyed Baba’s order instantly rather than argue with Him or contradict Him. During train journey, at one point, Baba asked Thakorbhai to sit next to Him and place a cushion on his lap. Baba then relaxed and stretched His legs on the lap of Thakorbhai.

On 23rd January 1956, Thakorbhai complained in a sad mood that, “Baba has forgotten us. In His busy schedule He meets thousands of people for various reasons. How can He be expected to remember few people from a small remote village that are lovesick for Him?” Next morning Dr. Bharucha unexpectedly arrived at Thakorbhai home with a telegram sent by Baba from Meherazad. Baba had sent his love to all his lovers of Navsari. This telegram conveyed, “How are you, my love to you and all my lovers in Navsari, Bajwa Surat –Meher Baba.”  No one can imagine the inner solace, Thakorbhai felt on receiving telegram. It confirmed that Baba is in the real sense all knowing, eternally knowing and knowledge itself

Again in 1963, Thakorbhai had accompanied Dr. Bharucha to Pune for Baba’s darshan in Guruprasad. He met Baba and after taking darshan Thakorbhai requested Baba, “I am staying in Pune for two more days and would like to come for your darshan daily.” Baba flatly refused permission. Next day Baba asked Eruch, “Where is T?” (The alphabet used for Thakorbhai. Baba asked Eruch to go and find Thakorbhai and bring him for his darshan Thus Thakorbhai desire was fulfilled and he got an opportunity to be in the Beloved’s company once more.

In another visit to Baba in 1963, Baba suddenly inquired about Thakorebha’s health in connection with his prolonged illness. In August 1962, Thakorbhai had contracted a severe illness and Dr. Bharucha had sent a telegram to Baba about it. Baba replied in a telegram, “Consult Dr. Bharucha for your treatment. Take proper nourishment. Don’t worry. Love Baba” Thakorbhai took the Baba’s order seriously and it benefitted in its slow progression.

He is now 90 years old and remembers Meher Baba continuously and sure that Baba will emancipate him from all the worldly bindings and bless him with eternal bliss to rest at His lotus feet,

(“Reminiscences of Meher Baba Lovers from Navasari” page-66-by Dr. Ajit B. Soni)

 

 

83-VADEGAR E. N

On morning of 28th January 1956, Baba left Meherazad for Bombay with several of the mandali. They arrived in Bombay and stayed with Nariman and Arnavaz at Ashiana. The next day Baba proceeded to the Bombay Central train station, where he boarded a train for Navsari in specially reserved third class compartment amidst shouts of his praise. A Parsi stranger entered the compartment and insisted on sitting by Baba's side as far as Dadar station.

Baba permitted him and the man said, "I have been intensely thirsting for your darshan for the past three years, and today I have the opportunity! I am so happy to have the chance to pass a little time in your company. I am deeply interested in saints and one of them, Sadhu Vaswani, has great reverence for you. He speaks highly of you and has deep regard for your divinity."

"They are all my lovers," Baba replied.

"Mirchandani too is a good saint," the man continued, "and I pray to you to bring him in your contact!"

"Because I am in everyone, I am in Mirchandani, too. I am everything."

The man's name was E. N. Vadegar, and he expressed a desire to read some of Baba's books. He was given a copy of God Speaks. While paying for it, he said, "The money which I have now was to be donated to the agyari (fire-temple)."

Adi quipped, "It is now going to a greater agyari!"

Remarking about the book, Vadegar said, "Baba has spoken through God Speaks! Baba is God Himself, and I have therefore seen God! Now I shall read what God says!" He added, "Parsis are most irrational in their expressions about Baba, but I am fortunate. It is all due to my mother's blessings. I am always in search of Truth. I have been doing so until this day. I am so pleased that I have met Baba and had the opportunity of his darshan."

The train stopped at Dadar and, bowing at Baba's feet, Vadegar got down. Baba gave him an orange as prasad. (Lord Meher-p-3922/3-1952)