CONTACTS T, U, V, W,, X , Y & Z

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CONTACTS - MAHARASTRA

 

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Baba instructed the mandali to take darshan of Upasni Maharaj's samadhi, which they did. Noshir Siganporia stepped forward to garland Baba, and Baba directed him also to bow down at Maharaj's tomb. Bhajans were sung and, through hand gestures, Baba directed the tabalchi (tabla player) how to keep in rhythm. (Lord  Meher-p-3914-1956)

TARABAI DALVI

(Daughter of Maruti Patil of Arangaon)

Maruti Patil's daughter Tara did work for the women mandali on the hill, but she went back to the village to stay with her father. On the hill, as mentioned, were Kaikobad's family and Mansari. (Lord Meher-p-2781-1949)

In 1954, Baba visited the small tuberculosis sanitarium near the village Arangaon. Baba had been invited there by one of his devotees, Kamlabai Pusalkar, who was a nurse. Maruti Patil's daughter Tarabai Dalvi was also working there. Baba saw all the patients and then left. (Lord Meher-p-3615-1954)

Baba said following explanation quoting her.

We do not feel tired of the world and, unless we are away from it, we cannot attain Godhood. If God likes somebody and if He wishes to take him away from Sansara, he gives him a body that becomes unfit for the ways of the world. Look at this Tarabai. She must have been doing Sansara as a man or a woman for births on end and yet she did not feel tired of it; somehow God has taken to her, or it may be that her time of attaining Godhood is nearby, and that is why she has been given such a body that she cannot take to Sansara. Look at them, Lakshmibai, Parvatibai, Sarasvatibai, they are all in the same boat, and that is why their bodies are suffering from intractable diseases so that they should lose all interest in the Sansara; they are suffering themselves and make others also suffer for them.

What do these painful circumstances indicate? They indicate that because you do not feel tired of Sansara but God wants you to be out of it, therefore, these difficulties come in your way of Sansara. The body is like a motor car; when it gets out of order, one gets it repaired. When it begins to get out of order every day, then one begins to lose his interest in it. In the same way, when something goes wrong with the body, you get it set right by a doctor; similarly you get your mind set right by a Satpurusha.

Why does one get them set right? Because of one's desire to do Sansara with their help is there; one gets births on end for that purpose. When diseases and circumstances one after another attack them, one begins to get disgusted with them. Then that person begins to say, "Oh God; I am tired of all this; please relieve me of this disgusting Sansara. I am tired of this wife (or husband) and these children. They are all useless and hopeless". When such disgust reaches its limit, then that person, man or woman, begins to turn away from it, from the ways of the world, and begins to look to God; in due course they receive His Grace, and He takes them away to His place.

(Sansara – the endless round of birth and death)

 

THREE CHILDREN

 

THREE CHILDREN BETWEEN FOUR AND EIGHT YEARS OLD WERE BROUGHT ONTO THE DAIS BY LOKHANDE

In darshan program of 1958, Lokhande brought his three children onto the dais. They were between four and eight years old and they sang before Baba. Afterward, Baba embraced them.(Lord Meher-p-4278-1958)

 

 

TIPNIS SHANTARAM N.

In year 1954, Baba accepted his invitation to perform the housewarming ceremony. the invitation of Yeshwant Rao, who was one of Sadguru Upasni Maharaj's chief disciples had recently built a new home in Sakori. Mandali and certain Ahmednagar lovers left on the morning of 20 March 1954 in morning. Baba left an hour later from Meherazad. Among the residents of the ashram, was a woman named Usha Tipnis. Shantaram N. Tipnis, Usha's brother and the editor of a magazine titled Devotion, also bowed to Baba. (Lord meher-p-3530-1954)

 

 

TIPNIS USHA

(She was a good singer)

In year 1954, Baba accepted invitation to perform the housewarming ceremony. of Yeshwant Rao, who was one of Sadguru Upasni Maharaj's chief disciples had recently built a new home in Sakori. Mandali and certain Ahmednagar lovers left on the morning of 20 March 1954 in morning. Baba left an hour later from Meherazad. Among the residents of the ashram, was a woman named Usha Tipnis, who had had Baba's darshan in Amraoti in (lord   Meher- 3530-1954)

Usha Tipnis asked for his blessings, and Baba replied, "You must love me to such an extent that you lose yourself and then find me. Do you understand this?" Usha nodded that she did.

"To say so is easy," Baba replied, "but to do it is difficult.

How will you do it?"

"Everything is in your hands," Usha answered.

"That is also well said, but you should think of me to such an extent that there remains no room for any other thought except my continual remembrance. Then I am with you. This should be done with 100 percent honesty."3532-1954

To celebrate Mehera's birthday, in October 1963, about 250 women from Ahmednagar, Poona, Bombay, Navsari and Meherabad were invited to come to Meherazad. Jaipuri Qawaal had come to sing. Baba sat in his chair in mandali hall and looked cheerful.

Baba asked Lata Limaye to sing. She sang the two songs and Baba embraced her twice for her efforts.  Then Usha Tipnis sang. The words were so beautiful Mehera began weeping, and Baba lovingly pulled out his handkerchief and wiped her tears. (Lord Meher-p-5054-1963)

 

THAKUR K. K.

In year 1944, Leaving Women mandali at Aurangabad, Baba departed for Nagpur Manmad on 10th November, via Manmad, Group reached Nagpur the next morning at ten o'clock.

 

Laden with flowers, Baba was led to his car and taken to the house of K. K. Thakur, an attorney with whom Deshmukh had arranged accommodations for Baba and the mandali, in the Dhantoli locality. (Lord Meher-p-2438/3-1944)

 

44-THREE SMALL GIRLS

In year 1954, Baba visited nearly all the houses in Arangaon, where his arti was sung and he was profusely garlanded. He was literally buried under the garlands and kept them on despite the intense afternoon heat. "That day, Baba showered his love on the villagers,"

Men stretched themselves on their stomachs in the dust in obeisance, and women laid their tiny tots on his feet and raised them so Baba could kiss them. It was another extraordinary sight for the Westerners. That morning Baba had said he was giving them the "Last Drink," and now it seemed as if Jesus were once more walking through a Galilean village.

The group entered a policeman's compound, where three small girls gave a dance performance. Baba distributed prasad to about 200 of the villagers, most of whom had been students in the Hazrat Babajan High School. (Lord Meher-p-3614-1954)

 

TIPNIS SHANTARAM N.

In year 1954, Baba accepted his invitation to perform the housewarming ceremony. the invitation of Yeshwant Rao, who was one of Sadguru Upasni Maharaj's chief disciples had recently built a new home in Sakori. Mandali and certain Ahmednagar lovers left on the morning of 20 March 1954 in morning. Baba left an hour later from Meherazad. Among the residents of the ashram, was a woman named Usha Tipnis. Shantaram N. Tipnis, Usha's brother and the editor of a magazine titled Devotion, also bowed to Baba. (Lord meher-p-3530-1954)

 

TIPNIS USHA

(She was a good singer)

In year 1954, Baba accepted invitation to perform the housewarming ceremony. of Yeshwant Rao, who was one of Sadguru Upasni Maharaj's chief disciples had recently built a new home in Sakori. Mandali and certain Ahmednagar lovers left on the morning of 20 March 1954 in morning. Baba left an hour later from Meherazad. Among the residents of the ashram, was a woman named Usha Tipnis, who had had Baba's darshan in Amraoti in (Lord   Meher- 3530-1954)

Usha Tipnis asked for his blessings, and Baba replied, "You must love me to such an extent that you lose yourself and then find me. Do you understand this?" Usha nodded that she did.

"To say so is easy," Baba replied, "but to do it is difficult.

How will you do it?"

"Everything is in your hands," Usha answered.

"That is also well said, but you should think of me to such an extent that there remains no room for any other thought except my continual remembrance. Then I am with you. This should be done with 100 percent honesty."3532-1954

To celebrate Mehera's birthday, in October 1963, about 250 women from Ahmednagar, Poona, Bombay, Navsari and Meherabad were invited to come to Meherazad. Jaipuri Qawaal had come to sing. Baba sat in his chair in mandali hall and looked cheerful.

Baba asked Lata Limaye to sing. She sang the two songs and Baba embraced her twice for her efforts.  Then Usha Tipnis sang. The words were so beautiful Mehera began weeping, and Baba lovingly pulled out his handkerchief and wiped her tears. (Lord Meher-p-5054-1963)

 

53-TRIMBAK BADVE

(Father of Shanta wife of Chhagan)

In the on 11th February 1927, Baba set out on foot with the mandali for Akolner to attend the wedding of Chhagan's sister-in-law. When it was time to start, Baba directed Chhagan, "You walk ahead and lead. I will follow you," but Chhagan refused. Baba warned him, "Remember, take care. Do not be dragged away by Maya’s flood."

When Baba reached the house of Chhagan's wife's uncle, no special seat had been arranged for Baba, and he sat quietly in a corner on an ordinary chair. As per Hindu custom, Chhagan had been married as a child in an arranged marriage years before, but since he was staying with Baba, he had never lived with his wife, who was still quite young. At Akolner, Chhagan's relatives confronted him about this, asking contemptuously, "Don't you love your wife? Why did you marry her if you did not want to be with her? How will you benefit by following this Bua (saint)?"

Chhagan's wife Shanta had been staying with her parents, and her father Trimbak Badve was upset at this. As soon as Badve saw Baba, he began abusing him terribly. "How dare you separate a husband from his wife. You are not a saint; you are bogus!"

Such harsh accusations were voiced by others at the wedding reception, as well. Baba ignored them and responded with a silent smile. When the ceremony was over, Baba indicated that he wished to leave and none of the people even folded their hands to him when he left. Chhagan, surprisingly, remained behind with his in-laws rather than leave with Baba and the mandali. (Lord meher-p-775-1927)

 

 

53-TRILOK SINGH

(Nephew of Daulat Singh)

In year 1957, Siganporia had organized the darshan in the spacious Sunderbai Hall at Churhgate. The Poona bhajan mandali and other out-of-town lovers were also present. Baba arrived at the hall in morning at 8:00 a.m. on 22nd December, and was warmly received with the usual acclamations. The hall was packed.

The darshan started as hundreds of men and women filed past him from separate lines.. When the darshan ended at noon, almost 3,000 people had been fortunate enough to come in contact with the Avatar.

Among those in attendance was Dr. Daulat Singh's nephew, Trilok Singh, from Uganda, who arrived late because his flight to India was delayed. Baba often inquired whether he had come. Trilok Singh had attended the sahavas programs at Meherabad, and had invited Baba to give mass darshan in Africa. He brought his entire family to Bombay, including his nine-year-old son, Hardip, and all became devoted followers. (Lord Meher-p-4231-1957)

 

TUKDOJI MAHARAJ

On 27th December 1937, a large public darshan was held in the evening at the Jessawalas' bungalow. A renowned saint with a large following named Tukdoji Maharaj also attended. Tukdoji sang heartfelt bhajans before Baba, and was gratified at having his darshan. (Lord Meher-p-1895-1937)

 

TUREKAR SHANKAR  MAHADEV

 

he police superintendent Turekar came to Baba with tears in his eyes. His family problems had not abated. Baba consoled him, "Why worry? Be courageous. Think more and more of me. Don't wear yourself out. I know your love for me and the circumstances you are put in. Thank me for the suffering that has fallen to your lot."

Baba quoted the following Persian couplet:

 

I cause my enemies to flourish and kill my friends.

This I do, and no one has the right to demand why I do so!

 

"To a lover drowned in despair, Hafiz has said:

 

Even taking it for granted that you have no hope to reach the Goal, don't lose courage.

 

Be brave. Don't doubt the Master until you become lost to yourself.

"As you come in my contact, at times you become 100 percent miserable. But be sure that I know everything. I am the Ocean of love and compassion. Every individual is meant to be happy because God, Who is infinite bliss, is within everyone. One must love God, see God and become God."

 

Turekar left comforted. (Lord Meher-p-4703-1960)

 

 

 

62-TWO BEGGING SADHUS

Baba and His group departed around noon on 2nd August 1924, after a brief rest in Poona. It was proposed that they proceed to Raichur. Nine of Baba’s disciples were on the platform of the Poona railway station to bid them farewell. In the compartment were two sadhus begging for food. As soon as the train pulled out of Poona, Baba approached them. He fed the sadhus, gave them dakshina (a monetary offering) and bowed at their feet. (Lord Meher-p-539-1924)

 

64-TWO EX. MAYORS OF POONA

Although these daily sessions in the evening were only meant for lovers and not the general public, once Baba permitted the mayor of Poona to come with his two predecessors. Baba explained to them about Maya: (June 1961)

God alone exists as Existence Eternal and all else is illusion – a creation of Maya. And what is Maya? Maya is the principle of ignorance. Maya makes you feel what, in fact, does not exist. In Reality, neither man nor woman, neither the so-called animate beings nor the inanimate things exist. It is Maya which causes the unreal to appear as real and existing.

Mind, the issue of Maya, imagines infinite divisions and so creates innumerable worlds of worries. As long as mind exists, ignorance persists. And what a joke that mind tries to gain bliss through furious thinking and worrying, which is empty dreaming! For bliss to come into being, mind has to be quiet. You cannot invite bliss. It is ever present – everywhere. (Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 17, p. 5829)

 

 

66-TWO MEN

On 17th February 1952, Baba left Meherazad for Bombay in Nariman's car with women disciple’s men and other travelled in car. On the way, they halted for a while at Bindra House in Poona, where a small darshan program was held. After leaving a darshan, Baba suddenly had the driver stop the car for no apparent reason. Soon afterwards, two men ran up to the car and, panting, prostrated themselves on the ground. The men had been late in arriving at the darshan, only to find that Baba had left. They had run in the direction of his car, in hopes of catching up to it. It was for them Baba had the car stopped.  (Lord Meher-p-3033-1952)

 

68-TWO PARTIES FROM ARANGAON

The episode goes like this

The little village of Arangaon, with its four hundred inhabitants, is about a quarter mile from Meherabad. We can hear its temple bells from our hilltop. The village had its importance, together with Ahmednagar, in the time of the brave Mohammedan queen, Chandbibi, who lived several hundred years ago in the Mogul period, and who led her armies to victory (although she, riding on her white horse, was killed in the battle.

There is an ancient feud existing in Arangaon, the true details of which are lost, but which is kept alive in the village through the inhabitants taking sides; two "parties" have long been formed. The village has always been divided against itself, despite the fact that the inhabitants are particularly of one caste.

It happened ... that some minor crime was committed in Arangaon, and the ancient feud flared up; one village party was on the point of killing the other when they remembered Baba. They sent a delegation to Him, saying that only Meher Baba could settle their differences. He returned word that He would meet a contingent from either side, both at the same time at the ashram Meherabad that evening.

As we rode up, the two parties were seated, divided on either side of the building, and Baba arranged that they were kept waiting for a few moments and then suddenly called into the ashram. In this way they came inside all mixed as one party and Baba requested them at once to be seated on the floor.

One villager with murderous thoughts against the other found himself seated next to one of the opposite party -- they were so intent upon putting their side of the question before Meher Baba, believing Him to be the True Judge, that they did what on other occasions would have been impossible without bloodshed.

Baba had several of His able, staunch men disciples conduct the gathering, and if more than one villager spoke at a time they were quietly but strongly kept in order. Baba showed extreme patience and listened to about forty anguished souls with all they had come to say

Finally one old woman came forward and swayed back and forth, almost as if she were reciting an incantation of all the woes of the race. One of the village men stepped forward and pushed her aside, as even they could not stand so many woes!

At another point, when evidently the particular offender was speaking, about ten men arose and commenced yelling at one another. Baba smiled benignly and then clapped His hands for silence. The effect was instantaneous and amazing; the men so rough and loud and Baba so gentle in comparison, not speaking, but with only a hand clap of command that abashed their storm of passion.

On His board, interpreted by one of His disciples, He informed the gathering that, as evidently they had made up their minds not to be peaceable, there was nothing to do but to leave the matter to take its course, and when it reached the authorities they would deal with it in their own way. Baba arose to leave. Upon this the villagers, who were enjoying their ill feelings towards one another and wished to talk all night, were taken aback and their faces visibly fell, for suddenly the arguers were left without an argument as fire without fuel!

Meher Baba paused at the doorway and, seeing them crestfallen, stated that He would remain only if they would abide by His decision – to which they agreed. First He took the headman to task for not having kept better order in the village. Some began to feel rather sorry because they felt in their hearts that they were really to blame in this matter. Then He told the dissenters that they must "forgive and forget  and became one.”

As long as they had two parties they could never accomplish this. There was much discussion amongst themselves, and I thought, of course, that they were objecting to giving up the two parties; but instead there was objection to eating together, as it had been proposed that a village feast be held. The question at issue appeared to be that one side would not accept food from the other. In Indian custom if both parties agree to eat together, it becomes a bond; similarly, in our Christian Bible it refers to breaking bread together as something sacred; but we in the West have lost the significance that the East still has this rite.

It was agreed finally that if Meher Baba Himself would give the food, they would both accept from Him and thereby become one family. In this concrete manner, a few days later, Baba thus blessed this flock of black and white sheep, uniting them from ancient hatred into fellowship. (Treasures pp.78-79 Jane Barry Hyanes)

71-TWO VILLAGERS

There were two men in Arangaon who worked extracting peanut and safflower cooking oils. Once these two villagers came to Baba with the complaint that their relatives were refusing to take part in a wedding feast at their house, because, according to Baba's orders, no mutton was to be served. (Lord Meher-p-615-1925)

 

 

75-UDAY SHANKAR

On 28th September 1933, the celebrated Indian dancer Uday Shankar, 33, came to see Baba.  He had found out about Baba through the Swiss sculptor and art historian Alice Boner, who was defraying the expenses of the visit of Shankar's dance troupe to the West. It was during Alice Boner's trip to India with Shankar in 1930 that she heard of Meher Baba. While in Europe, Norina, Elizabeth and Quentin had met Uday Shankar and had spoken to him of their Master.

Uday Shankar bowed reverently to Baba, who praised him and expressed appreciation for his talent. He told Baba, "I want to introduce and spread Indian classical dance to the West, but some organizations in India criticize me. They want money from me for their institutions, organizations and societies, but I have no money to give them."

Baba spelled out on his board, "Every good work has to face opposition, and the reaction of the opposition offered always helps the work. You need not worry; continue conscientiously with your work, with double the zeal in the right direction."

Shankar then said, "Baba, I would like to give a dance performance for you one day."

Baba replied, "I would be delighted to see it."

Shankar was extremely happy to have Baba's darshan, but Baba cautioned him before they parted, "Do not inform anyone on the ship about me, as I do not wish to meet anybody. See me before disembarking in Brindisi." (Lord Meher-p-1547-1933)

 

 

85-VAJIFDAR HORMUSJI JEHANGIR

After Meher Baba had set up his own ashram, Baba had sent his disciples Ghani, Vajifdar, and Sadashiv to meet Tajuddin, and upon meeting the three men, Tajuddin gave each a photograph of Meher Baba, telling them, "Worship this photograph of Meher Baba." They then bowed down and said prayers before Baba's photograph in front of Tajuddin Baba.

In 1922, one day Naval brought a friend to meet Baba, a famous cricketer named Hormusji Jehangir Vajifdar, 28. Vajifdar became a devoted follower and, likewise, began coming to the Manzil every day. He would bring fresh bread for Baba's and the mandali's breakfast early every morning at 4:00 A.M. on his bicycle. Naval and Vajifdar were soon considered close members of the household. Although they did not stay at the Manzil during the nights, both men strictly adhered to all orders and instructions given by the Master.

With Baba's permission, Vajifdar rented a bungalow in the suburb of Juhu for a picnic on Sunday, 8th October 1922. But that morning Baba's health was shaky and he appeared unwell. Despite this, he insisted on accompanying the mandali. He remarked, "We should go to Juhu with the joy that schoolboys feel while going home for vacation." Reaching Juhu, the Master rested for a while and then played a field game called thasak with the mandali under the shade of coconut trees. Afterward, at lunch, he insisted on serving the rich meal of puris (small, round, deep-fried wheat bread), a potato dish and shrikhand (a sweet yogurt dish). After eating, all were told to stay inside the bungalow, as it was very hot outside.

After the evening meals, Baba gathered the mandali and discussed the topic of his going to Sakori: My sufferings are now becoming unbearable and, by going to Sakori, Maharaj will take a little of the load off my shoulders; but because of this, Maharaj will have to suffer much internally. He may even beat me, abuse me and disgrace me in the presence of all at the time of Diwali [the Hindu festival of lights]. I have been telling you for months that advanced saints and mahatmas will disgrace and beat me, because at this moment the spiritual world is against me. So it is possible Maharaj may take the matter into his own hands by insulting and beating me. If I don't go, however, and continue staying here, I shall have to suffer terribly.

Except for Munshiji and Vajifdar, all the men agreed that Baba should go to Sakori, and he decided to leave that night.

On Sunday, 29th October, Baba decided to give alms to the poor. He instructed the mandali not to eat until the poor program was completed. Baba told the other men to find and bring lepers, the blind and the destitute to the Manzil. Ordinarily, 1,000 beggars could easily have been found in Bombay with the hope of free food and clothing. But it was not an easy task to locate 100 of the genuinely needy, helpless and poor.

Vajifdar went as far as Bhendi Bazaar, where he found a few needy persons; but the problem was how to take them back to the Manzil as he had no money with him. But besides being an expert cricketer, Vajifdar was also an expert in persuasion.

He persuaded one of the destitute to loan him the fare to take them in a tramcar, promising the poor man he would repay the money and pay for the return journey. Vajifdar succeeded in bringing many deserving people to the Manzil in this manner.

A thousand copies of Gareebon ka Aasara arrived from the printer on 15th November 1922, and selling the books became a regular activity at Manzil-e-Meem. Rustom and Vajifdar were the two men wholly occupied in this work and were ordered by Baba to sell as many copies as possible. The other men in the Manzil were told to help during their leisure time, "in every available spare hour," as Baba put it.

On one occasion, Rustom and Vajifdar approached a lawyer, handing him a copy of Gareebon ka Aasara. After casually glancing through the book, the lawyer asked, "What do you want me to do?"

Rustom jokingly said, "Why don't you buy 100 copies — you can afford it!" The man immediately pulled out Rs.300 from his pocket and handed it to Rustom. Later they learned the man was genuinely interested in spirituality.

For many days, Rustom and Vajifdar walked all over Bombay trying to sell the books. During the course of their daily solicitation, it was recommended that they visit a wealthy merchant who owned a lot of property and managed a successful business. When they went to meet the man at his office, they found him sitting in a small room on the bare floor dressed like a common clerk. They were shocked by the man's humble attire, but he welcomed them lovingly and bought several copies of the book.

On 7th March 1923, after almost three months of strict containment in the premises of Manzil-e-Meem, Baba went for a short outing to Munshiji's house on Charni Road with Vajifdar and 3 mandali men. Sayyed Saheb was staying there and had been feeling depressed for some time. To cheer him up, Baba drove to Munshiji's and returned after a few hours.

On the 6th of May 1922, Vajifdar and 4 other disciples arrived in Arangaon. These five men soon became aware that the daily routine in this deserted place was quite the reverse of what it had been at the Manzil in Bombay. Each man had to draw his own water from the well and had to wash his own clothes; then for the whole day the hard physical labour of cleaning and restoring the Mess Quarters continued.

Baba informed the five new arrivals: "The life here is unpleasant and rough. All of you will have to labour like coolies and do farming or seek employment in Ahmednagar, which would mean cycling six miles both ways every day. It would be better for you five to find jobs in Bombay, Poona, Lonavla or elsewhere. Even though you live somewhere else away from me, if you carry out my orders, my connection with you will remain intact. (

The design was approved by Baba, and the tailor took individual measurements to prepare one for each man. Kafnis were also made for Sadashiv and Vajifdar, who were in Poona and who were instructed by Baba to meet them in Kashmir. One bag, a water bottle and a pair of sandals were also brought for Sadashiv and Vajifdar, who were informed by letter of the conditions and restrictions to be observed during the tour.

On 23rd June 1924, it was decided to proceed to Kashmir. Baba and the mandali donned their new outfits on this date and were photographed. The next day, after further discussion, Baba made a change in the itinerary. Kashmir, it was felt, would be too cold with not enough warm clothing or suitable food, and no one spoke Kashmiri (the local language). Baba had decided that they would start from Calcutta, instead of Kashmir, and from there proceed to Bombay on foot. Vajifdar were telegraphed to meet them in Calcutta. The agreement on stamp paper was signed by each man and preparations were made to leave for Calcutta the following day. All their other luggage was packed in trunks except for two shirts, two pants, one blanket, one kafni, one bottle of drinking water, a bar of soap and a wooden staff.

They arrived at Ahmadabad on 27th June in morning. Vajifdar and 2 other disciples were there to meet them at the station. Baba sent Sarosh with Gulmai, Khorshed, and Soonamasi to Ahmednagar along with the trunks. He advised Khorshed and Soonamasi to stay in Ahmednagar until he sent for them to come to Bombay. Baba then had a private meeting with Sadashiv, Asthma and Vajifdar on the station platform. He ordered Sadashiv to return to Poona the next day with the particular kafni which had been sewn for him in Quetta. In addition, Sadashiv was to take Vajifdar's suit, shoes and hat with him and deliver them to Vajifdar's house in Bombay. According to Baba's conditions, the men could not wear anything else except the pajamas, shirt and kafni.

Dawn was just breaking, but it was already quite hot. Ramjoo had come down with a sudden fever. The dirt road was rough; they walked on loose earth inches deep. Wearing the tough Pathani sandals, they had difficulty treading it. They rested for some time under the shade of a tree, but there was not the slightest breeze to relieve the oppressive heat. After further inquiry, they were told that the road they were on led far out of their way. The heavy load of utensils and grains weighed them down and, after covering only a short distance, they became so exhausted that they had to take rest again under a tree. Vajifdar had blisters on his feet, Baba then remarked, "True, it is Ramjoo's fault we have taken this road, and we are all irritated about it, but that does not mean Nervous should pick a fight! This is the very reason Khodadad's name was changed to Nervous!"

Baba finished his tea and ordered that they start walking again. After some distance, he allowed the men to rest under the shade of a tree by the collector's bungalow.  They put down their packs with a sigh of relief and stretched out under the branches. There was a well in the compound but the place proved ill chosen, for the ground was full of rocks and the shade insufficient to shield them from the blazing sun. Despite the uncomfortable setting, all laid down. They were completely worn out, especially the stronger members whose loads were the heaviest. Vajifdar, who was the strongest, was unable to walk due to blisters on his feet; Masaji and Baidul lay on their stomachs breathing heavily; Pendu and Ramjoo were seething from the heat, and Ramjoo actually began weeping out of longing to quench his thirst. God is all-merciful, but the path to God is merciless. Now the mandali were to realize the Master's compassion and find him intervening on behalf of God.

 

The mandali's had walked fifteen miles from Barejadi to Kaira. They were weak from lack of water amidst the intense heat and the load they were made to carry. In the afternoon, a police officer abruptly arrived and took down their names and addresses. He warned them, "These days kidnapping of little children by thieves and dacoits is rampant in this area and the public is in an ugly mood. You would be wise to leave the district as soon as possible. A rumor is already about that you are a gang of kidnappers!" During this period, panic was widespread throughout the villages of Gujarat, and it was natural that the public looked on this band of unshaven, disheveled and strangely attired men with suspicion.

To clear up the matter, Baba told Vajifdar to go to the police superintendent to request his help and cooperation. The superintendent was a Parsi, but due to Vajifdar's ragged appearance, the man could not believe that this was the once famous cricketer. When Vajifdar tried to explain about Meher Baba and the purpose of their walking tour, the superintendent refused to believe a word. Vajifdar returned disappointed.

On 3rd July 1923, Baba and His group arrived in Broach and stayed until daybreak in the compound of a dharamshala near the station. Meanwhile, Baba, Vajifdar and Slamson went to the city in a Tonga. Vajifdar's relatives arranged their stay in the Parsi dharamshala located in Jamshed Gardens. On their return, all walked the distance of a mile and a half to the dharamshala. Three disciples played their roles as servants and were able to gain entrance into the exclusively Parsi guest house. There was no kitchen to cook the food and water was scarce due to scanty monsoon rains, but Gustadji managed to cook rice and dal outside.

On 11th July, repairs to the Post Office building began. But after only two hours of work, Baba gathered the mandali around him and said, "It is better to proceed to Bombay rather than remain here and look for work to keep ourselves occupied. In Bombay, there is no problem about keeping busy. Also, I can guide Vajifdar in his work of handling the distribution of Upasni Maharaj's biography in Gujarati.

On 16th August, after staying in Bombay for over a month, Baba went to Lonavla by train accompanied with 6 mandali men whose families lived in Lonavla. They had arranged for their stay in Madni's bungalow, and Abdul Tayab loaned his car for Baba's use. The seven days in Lonavla were relaxing and joyful. The Master gave discourses, played cards and listened to phonograph records with the mandali. Vajifdar joined them, and the cool, pleasant monsoon weather and Baba's good humor had the mandali in high spirits. (

Baba had planned to stay in the small office in the backyard of Manzil-e-Meem for an indefinite period. But, soon after his return, he started complaining about the discomforts of the small office house — its leaky roof and the damp rooms. And the landlord, whose attitude was less than friendly, did nothing toward fixing the roof. Baba had noticed a building for rent in the Parel district and liked it. His bedding and luggage, and that of some of the mandali, were transferred there on Sunday, 2 September 1923; the remaining belongings were to be brought the following day. But the next day, after Baba had spent the night in the new house, he declared that it was quite unsuitable and inconvenient, so it was promptly vacated.

Baba selected another house newly built near Kohinoor Mills in Dadar. He looked the place over and, before settling the rent with the owner, ordered the remaining baggage from Circle & Company's office to be shifted there. However, within an hour, he found fault with the incomplete condition of the building, as some of the construction work was still being done, and asked Behramji and Vajifdar to find another accommodation in Dadar. They selected one and Baba went in person to inspect it.

The apartment was situated near the Dadar railway station, on the second floor of Irani Mansion No. 6.  It was spacious and could be comfortably divided into two main sections. In one part, there were two bedrooms, a kitchen, a toilet and a bathroom — which Vajifdar was to occupy with his family. In the other half, there was a large room, a balcony and a bedroom which would adequately serve Baba and the mandali as an office and living accommodations. After Behramji and Vajifdar settled the terms of rent with the landlord, Baba moved in on 3 September. Behind the Master's sudden change of plans was always a hidden objective. From this move, Vajifdar and his relatives came into Baba's close contact. New deep connections were also established with other people of the locality.

All furniture from the Manzil office was moved to Irani Mansion during the first week of their stay. A huge wooden cupboard could not be taken up the narrow staircase, so it had to be hoisted by ropes over the balcony to the second floor. The office tables and chairs were kept outside on the balcony, and the wooden almirah (cupboard) was kept in the large hall. Vajifdar moved into the house with his sister-in-law Jerbai and her sister Hilla, as soon as Baba and the mandali settled there.

On 1st November, mandali left for Sakori. Slamson stayed behind with Baba at Bableshwar. At Rahata (a mile from Sakori) they met Vajifdar and 2 disciples who had arrived by train according to Baba's instructions. Finally the men reached Sakori, after a two-week walk from Bombay.

In the dharamshala, the entire day was spent discussing the upcoming trip to Persia. It was decided that these eleven men would accompany him including Vajifdar. It was also decided to start for Persia at the beginning of February by route of Bandar Abbas, and that the period before then should be spent in or near Karachi.

Regarding the journey to Persia, each man had to sign an agreement on stamp paper to this effect:

At Halt Ho, a bungalow was rented for two months, and all were under the impression that they would be staying there for at least that long. The men informed their families of their safe arrival and accordingly told them to write them at the Halt Ho address. But the very next day, Baba said, "I have now decided we will immediately go to Basra (in Iraq)], where we will pass the interim period before going to Persia via Baghdad. By then the cold in Baghdad and snowfall in Persia will have stopped."

Baba's statement was a shock to the mandali, but since leaving Manzil-e-Meem they had become accustomed to wandering from place to place and kept quiet. A telegram was sent to Vajifdar requesting funds and their passports. Thus peaceful Halt Ho turned into a noisy den of activity as they prepared to leave for Iraq.

Naval Talati had been instructed to inquire about obtaining passports from Bombay for Baba and the men. When he went to the Persian Consulate to sign the passports on behalf of Baba and the mandali, the consul casually told him, "Except for Meher Baba, all the others must come in person and sign the papers in my presence before I will endorse their passports. Meher Baba's presence is not necessary because he recently came to see me and told me he would send his passport with someone for my signature, to which I agreed."

This strange incident occurred on 17th November 1923, while Baba was in Karachi. When the mandali were informed of this, through Vajifdar's letter, they were greatly surprised, since the Master had been out of Bombay for a month and a half and had never been to the Persian Consulate. (Lord Meher-p-469-1923)

On 29th November, Baba sent for Vajifdar from Bombay and, after talking with him in private, made him immediately return. Thereafter, Baba proceeded to the station by car, well before the train's arrival, and remained seated in the car until it was time for departure. But the driver had informed his family about Meher Baba's arrival, and soon a crowd gathered near the car. The presence of the curious crowd perturbed Baba, so he entered the train. Due to the throng around the compartment, they could not even see him. Amidst the confusion, Baba and Gustadji departed for an unknown destination.

On 27th January 1924, a qawaali program was held in the Manzil-e-Meem compound, featuring Yasin Qawaal, who had sung for Baba several times before. The program lasted throughout the day, and Baba thoroughly enjoyed the singing. Vajifdar brought food from Irani Mansion, which Baba served to all those present.

Baba had been planning the trip to Persia for some weeks and more of the mandali had rejoined him at Bharucha Building. Eight men had been selected to join him on the journey including Vajifdar. On 29 th January 1924, those who were to travel to Persia had gone to the Persian Consulate with their respective passports.

 

 

Baba was travelling to Persia, when the boat docked at Karachi for a brief period, Pilamai and other devotees were present with flowers and food, and Baba was received with great reverence. The sea was calm as the boat steamed into the Persian Gulf, but a freezing, shiver-inducing cold storm swept over them after leaving the port of Bahrain. By the time they reached the port of Bushire, Baba, who until then had been quite well, also suffered nausea. Vajifdar, too, started feeling nauseous and vomited.

After passing through the ports of Lingeh, Henjam Island and Muscat, the cargo ship reached Karachi during the second week of March 1924. Vajifdar accompanied Nervous and Padri to Pilamai's house. Masaji went to hire a bullock cart to take their baggage to the railway station, for Baba had decided to depart immediately by train to Nepal. A tonga was brought instead, and the luggage was taken to the station, where Baba and the men rested in a waiting room. Vajifdar returned at 10:00 P.M. and he soon went to sleep, yet each man had to take turns on watch by Baba for an hour, as well as to safeguard the luggage against theft. They were carrying sacks of grain and rice with them throughout the journey, and the responsibility of looking after the food fell on Masaji and Vajifdar. (

 

 

On way Baba bathed at the public water tap in the train station. To ensure privacy, they hung curtains of blankets on all four sides, forming a makeshift shower stall around the tap. According to Baba's order, no coolies were to be hired; therefore, Masaji and Vajifdar had to carry all the luggage onto the train. Their belongings were heavy and cumbersome, but they managed to load everything on board in time to catch the Quetta Mail train.

Later, during the change of trains at Hyderabad station, Masaji lost his bedding roll. This mishap resulted in a heated quarrel between Gustadji and him. Baba afterward pacified Masaji by lending his own sheets and a woolen blanket to him. Vajifdar was assigned the duty of general manager in Behramji's absence, and he had to purchase their tickets, arrange for the food, and make certain that the luggage was properly loaded. Along with the headache of being the manager, Vajifdar also had to endure Baba's constant "arrows" (his teasing and criticisms). Baba had singled him out for goading, which proved an additional mental burden for Vajifdar. During their stay at Maghar, a conflict arose between groups of wandering sadhus. Baba intervened and stopped the quarrel. He explained to them about the way of life they should be leading if they were real sadhus and had renounced the ephemeral world. Soon after, Baba and the four remaining mandali (Adi, Gustadji, Masaji and Vajifdar) left Maghar for Kanpur in tongas and stayed at a dharamshala there. They bathed in the Ganges River and later fed a few more poor persons along the banks.

When they boarded a train at Kanpur, Baba instructed Vajifdar to return to Bombay. Adi to select a place within a radius of five or six miles from Sakori where he could stay with the mandali. The four men proceeded to their destinations, and Baba left the train at the Itarsi station alone.

Baba departed for Bombay on 2nd June 1924, with Vajifdar (who had been staying at Meherabad) and 3 other disciples. They reached Manmad in the afternoon. The journey had been comfortable, since their compartment was not crowded. They had lunch and then transferred to the Bombay passenger train, unknowingly settling in a compartment meant for the military. At the Deolali railway station, Baba sent one of the men to bring tea and dispatched another to buy a newspaper. Within minutes, a railway official came and told them to vacate the compartment, which was to be detached there. It was not easy to move all their heavy luggage, especially when the other compartments were now overcrowded. Baba told Ramjoo to arrange accommodations in a second class compartment. He went to the booking clerk who explained that it was too late to purchase new tickets, since the train was about to depart.

Ramjoo ran back and found Baba seated alone in a second class compartment with his luggage. Vajifdar, Ardeshir and Ghani were trying to transfer the remainder of the baggage to the compartment next to the engine. The whistle was blowing, and Ramjoo told Baba that the rest of the mandali had not yet boarded. Hearing this, Baba grabbed his luggage, and he and Ramjoo jumped down from the moving train. But as the train pulled away, Vajifdar, Ardeshir and Ghani were not seen on the platform and, after an inquiry, it was learned that they had boarded before the train had departed.

At Lahit railway the stationmaster telephoned Igatpuri and found out that Ardeshir and Ghani were waiting there; meanwhile Vajifdar had left for Deolali on a mail train to meet them.

 

Baba promptly had Vajifdar telegraphed not to stop there but to continue on to Lahit instead. When Vajifdar arrived from Deolali on a passenger train, he accompanied Baba and Ramjoo to Igatpuri on the same train.

Plans for building a house in Sukkur were discussed, and it was decided that the mandali themselves should build the house and work in the orchard. Establishing a trust was proposed, with the provision that only those wholly and solely dedicated to Meher Baba would be allowed to take part in the project. During the discussion, someone mentioned the problem of Sukkur's extreme heat, and those who had experienced its high temperature felt that the mandali could not tolerate it. Discussions of the pros and cons of moving to Sukkur went on for a week; finally the whole Sukkur plan was cancelled.

Instead, a visit to Karachi was suggested, and Ardeshir and Ramjoo were soon sent there, while Vajifdar remained with Baba in Quetta.

Baba ordered Vajifdar to remain behind in Bombay. Behramji had recently returned from Persia, and Baba instructed him, Gustadji, Baily, and Padri to purchase the necessities for the journey, such as bedding rolls, clothes, shoes, et cetera — for once the journey started they would not be allowed to buy anything. Thus the load which they were to carry became heavy. Padri was appointed the unwelcome duty of manager, with instructions to look after all arrangements during their travel. He also kept a diary of the journey. On 1st August 1924, they began their tour and headed to Poona.

From Rishikesh they proceeded to Laxman Jhula (Laxman's Swing), fourteen miles away. However, after a perilous drive across the suspension bridge, they turned back and reached Hardwar at one in the afternoon. In Hardwar, Baba decided that they should begin their foot journey to Sakori, and preparations were made. After fasting the whole day, the mandali had rice and dal in the late afternoon, but Baba still ate nothing. He had stomach pains and was feverish. Adi and Vajifdar were telegraphed messages; Vajifdar was instructed to meet them at the Laskar railway station.

Many were at the station, as Laskar is a major junction for people on pilgrimage to Hardwar.

Vajifdar arrived in afternoon the following morning with the latest news about matters in Bombay. Baba explained to him about the proposed foot journey to Sakori. Baba asked the four men whether they should proceed to Sakori by foot, searching for sadhus and saints on the way, or journey by train to different places of pilgrimage, and eventually return to Meherabad? Gustadji, Behramji, and Padri were eager to put an immediate end to the foot journey and continue touring by train. Unexpectedly, Baba also agreed to stop walking. With Vajifdar, they took a train from Laskar at 1:30 P.M. and reached Moradabad at six that evening.

On 14th September 1924, Baba left Bombay for Poona with Vajifdar and 3 disciples. From Poona, they immediately departed for Panjim. During the train ride, Vajifdar fell ill with a fever, and by the time they reached Londa his condition had worsened.

In Londa, on some pretext, Baba became angry with Vajifdar and ordered him to lie down on a bench on the station platform; Masaji was ordered to look after him, while Behramji was sent to bring fresh milk. Baba and Gustadji ate in a Hindu restaurant and brought food back for Behramji and Masaji. Vajifdar was given the milk and the journey resumed. Amazingly, by Baba's venting his rage at him, Vajifdar's condition steadily improved, and after a few hours he was completely well. (

One of Vajifdar's close friends had passed away, but before the man died. Vajifdar had promised to look after his widow. Baba advised Vajifdar to join his mandali, but Vajifdar felt obligated to honor his promise to his friend. Baba then told him to go his own way. It would be seven long years before Vajifdar saw Baba again. One old connection with Homi Vajifdar, the cricketer was outwardly severed.

In year 1930, dressed in western attire, Baba, and four of his mandali men departed by train from Marseilles for London. Seated in the train, while looking at Herbert, Baba remarked that Herbert's features and build resembled Vajifdar's. Herbert had worked hard and sincerely in taking care of the group's travel arrangements and comforts. For Baba and the mandali, Herbert had arranged for vegetarian food and in this way was paying close attention to every special request of the Master.

Baba left Navsari by train in morning on 2nd March 1932, for Bombay, where he arrived in evening. Coincidentally, the group met Homi Vajifdar, an old acquaintance, at the Dadar station. It was a touching scene when Vajifdar (the former cricket star who had stayed in Manzil-e-Meem) met Baba after seven years of separation.

Vajifdar came to Manekji's the next evening with his family and invited Baba to his home. Baba went to Vajifdar's home for a dhansak lunch on the 4th, and left Bombay for Nasik on 6th March 1932.

On 24th March 1932, at nine at night, Baba sailed from Bombay for England with his small group of six mandali, along with 800 other passengers, on the Italian ship Conte Rosso. Approximately 150 of Baba's lovers gave him a hearty and loving send-off on the docks at Ballard Pier. Waving farewell were Vajifdar and many mandali and Baba lovers from Bombay, Poona and Nasik.

Baba had been to Bombay on 17th August 1933 for the day, and went again on Monday, 4th September to book his boat passage for the upcoming trip to the West. Baba saw Vajifdar, a former disciple from the Manzil-e-Meem days and an all-India cricketer.

Baba and His group arrived in Surat the in morning and stayed at a dak bungalow. Pendu was sent for from Meherabad and arrived on the 27th. The group left with Baba by bus for Hajira Pier, a remote place, seventeen miles away on the coastline. The road there was horribly rough and muddy. Their bus got stuck frequently and they had to get out at times to help push it. Also, the bus would skid to the side of the road, and an accident was averted by inches at one intersection. Finally, they reached Mora and hired two bullock carts to complete the journey. Baba suddenly remembered Vajifdar. Praising him, Baba commented, "Vajifdar served me lovingly and humbly, obeying all of my orders, no matter how strict or ridiculous they seemed."

In 1959, at Bombay, Perviz had had a chance encounter with Homi Vajifdar, the former cricketer who had been in Baba's close contact at Manzil-e-Meem, but who had not seen Baba since 1933. Baba remembered him fondly and sent him a message of love. When Perviz delivered it, Vajifdar wept. Despite his feelings, Vajifdar never came to see Baba, and died in 1961. (Lord Meher-p-4528-1959)

 

 

88-VADEKAR E. N.

While the storm of opposition was blowing in Navsari, Baba and the mandali left Bombay in an especially reserved third class compartment amidst shouts of his praise. A Parsi stranger named E. N. Vadegar, 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."

  1. N. Vadegar 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)."

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. Many lovers were present on the station and some were to go to Navsari. Baba handed prasad to those who had come for darshan. At every station where the train halted, crowds lined up to hail Baba and rushed toward his coach when they saw that he was handing out prasad.

At one o'clock in the afternoon, Baba and the mandali arrived in Navsari, (Lord Meher-p-3922/33-1956)

 

98-VASANT

(A student)

From 8th January 1928, each boy would weep alone in a secluded spot. Vasant sat near Baba and wept on his legs. Memo, Pilamai, and Big Khorshed had come for a visit and were deeply moved by the outpouring of love from the boys.

Raosaheb and a few of the boys were called to the crypt a few days before, on the 19th, and Raosaheb read aloud couplets in Persian from Shams-e-Tabriz. Abdulla, Rajaram, and Lobhaji each lost bodily consciousness that day.  Vasant too was crying continuously. About Vasant, Baba remarked, "I will make him a kamal (remarkable, extraordinary) boy in the future."

Twenty names were written down. It was decided that these boys would remain with Baba while the others should attend school regularly, keeping to their fixed schedule of study, play, and meditation without fail. Studies were to continue as strictly as before, with punishment given to those who neglected them. Baba designated that the 20 boys selected be kept separately in the third hall of the Water Tank. They were allowed to be near Baba for a certain time each day.

Of the mandali, as noted, only Raosaheb was permitted to sit near Baba in the cabin with this group of boys. At one point,  Vasant also continued to weep day after day for hours; only Baba was able to console him.

After dinner and arti on 9th October 1928, Baba sent for the Prem Ashram boys to come to the Manzil. (It had been a long time since he had called them after dinner.) Rustom had recently brought some new gramophone records from Poona (including one featuring a clarinet) and Baba and the boys enjoyed them. Baba allowed the boys to bow down to him and each sat quietly afterward close to Baba. One boy, Vasant, continuously stared at Baba

Because of Baba's announced walking tour, preparations began on 12 th  January 1929, for sending away most of the boys of both the Meher and Prem Ashram. Telegrams were sent to the boys' parents or guardians, informing them the school was closing.

Aga Ali's father was the first to arrive the next day to take his son home. Vasant, and two other boys departed for their homes.

Later in June, Baba mentioned going out on tour and, in his absence, finding employment for the Arangaon boys: "They should be taught to work in a printing press or how to drive a motor vehicle. But I have to see that these youngsters of today, who are the men of tomorrow, are taught morals and are fully roused to a sense of duty. Without morals, whatever they are taught — even if they are clever and pass in first class — has no value."

Commenting about the older boys, Baba stated, "If they remain celibate and don't marry, it would really be for the best. They are the future workers of this Path. If boys like Dattu and Vasant are forced to marry, everything will go kaput!"

On 26 th June 1929, Vasant's parents took him home against his will to Jamkhed village, 60 miles away. The Muslim section of the ashram was then closed.

On 5 July 1929, the boy Vasant showed up at Meherabad. He had escaped from his parents and

Baba said, I feel for Vasant who is made to stay at home with his parents when his heart only longs to be by my side. I don't feel for anyone else like this, and this pain is my gift to Vasant Ali."

During this period, there were still five other Prem Ashram boys with whom Baba maintained close connection; they were staying at Akbar Press. Against his wishes, fifteen-year-old Vasant was staying at his parents' home in the village of Jamkhed, where he would barely speak to anyone, and answer only in monosyllables. Baba had once observed about the boy, "He is almost a saint already!"

On 1 st September 1929, Baba remarked, "Vasant is the best of the Prem Ashram boys. I must not leave Meherabad on my next tour without giving him the benefit of my company for at least half an hour. If he learned that I was here and had left without seeing him, he would feel so bad he might even die!"

The next day, Baba was driven the 60 miles to Jamkhed especially to meet this lucky youth. Vasant was overjoyed at the good fortune of having Baba's darshan, and was profoundly humbled to know that the Master had come so far to see him. (Lord Meher-p-1077/78-1929)

 

 

99-VASANT DESHMUKH

(Chhagan's brother)

In year 1954, Baba visited ashram of Upasni Maharaj in Sakori. Upon his arrival in Sakori, Baba was welcomed by the residents of the Sakori ashram and villagers singing bhajans. A few rifles were fired in ceremonial salute. Baba's car stopped, he was garlanded with flowers, tikka (a vermilion mark) was applied to his forehead, and people started bowing down to him. Gulal (red-colored powder) was sprinkled over the hood of  car, and garlands were placed on it in decoration. Baba's car was then taken in a procession to the ashram. A beautifully caparisoned horse and a band were in the vanguard, and, on each side of Baba's car, men wearing red belts and carrying silver staffs formed an honor guard.

The procession halted in front of Upasni Maharaj's old temple. Chhagan's brother Vasant Deshmukh, the chief priest of Sakori, garlanded Baba and offered a coconut to him. Another coconut, which Baba touched, was broken and its water strewn on the road, sanctifying the area. Kirtans were lovingly and vigorously being chanted. Baba took a pair of finger-cymbals from one of the kirtan singers and played it for a short time, while sitting in the car.

As Baba was leaving the temple room, Jiji, pointing to a photograph of Maharaj on the wall, informed Baba that once a noise like a gunshot was heard emanating from the photograph. Baba touched the picture and told Jiji he was happy to hear that.

At 10:15 A.M., Baba entered Upasni Maharaj's hut, where a number of men and women had already gathered and were singing devotional songs. Baba sat down on a cushion on the stone flooring. One of Maharaj's devotees said a few words in Marathi welcoming Baba's visit, and Vasant then entertained Baba with his combined singing and humorous gesturing, which made Baba laugh very much.

Baba then introduced the five Sakori men." Asking Vasant Deshmukh stood up, and Baba stated, "Here is Sakori's high priest. But even his priesthood will not save me from violent death." 3(lord Meher-p-635-1954

Coming to know of Baba's visit to Sakori, lovers from Ahmednagar, Poona, Bombay and other places had gathered there. Baba left Meherazad at about 7:30 A.M. on Thursday, 26 January 1956, Baba reached Rahata village (one mile from Sakori) an hour later. In Rahata, Adi delivered Godavri's message, and Baba was happy to hear it.

Baba reached Sakori, the residents of the ashram and his lovers received him a few hundred yards away. the manager of the ashram, garlanded him even before he could get out of the car. Baba was taken in a procession with music and singing. In the vanguard was a beautifully decorated white horse (symbolic of Kalki, the Avataric incarnation in the Kali Yuga). When Baba came to the temple, the high priest, Vasant Deshmukh (Chhagan's brother), performed puja.

Accompanying Baba in his car and another car were eight close disciples left for Sakori on invitation of Godavari man cheif disciples of Upasani Maharaj. Many lovers from Ahmednagar also went, including Gulmai. Baba reached Sakori in morning and hundreds crowded around his car. He was taken by car in a special procession through the ashram gates, led by a caparisoned white horse and men carrying silver staffs. Continuous cries of "Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!" reverberated. Baba's wheelchair had been brought, and he was wheeled to the ashram temple where Vasant performed puja. Godavri Mai and the other kanyas sang his arti.

The kanyas then garlanded Baba and took darshan. A pandal had been erected opposite a large banyan tree under which Upasni Maharaj had sat for many years. Baba was helped into a armchair on the dais inside. The tent was full to overflowing. Godavri was sitting near Baba on the dais. This message from Baba was read over the microphone: (Lord Meher-p-4154-1957)

 

 

96-VASWANI T. L.

On 23 rd March 1957, Joyous singing and shouts of “Jai Avatar Meher Baba!” accompanied Baba’s car as it slowly made its way through the crowd toward Saint Mira High School. The car was decorated with garlands, and in the vanguard of the parade a band was playing. Vaswani received Baba at the door of the school and embraced him tightly. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he led Baba to a private room, where he sat with him for a while. Baba comforted him and was then carried in a chair to the school’s Sanctuary Hall, where he was seated on the dais. Vaswani sat on his right and Irene Conybeare was given a chair opposite them with some other people.

After recitations from the Bhagavad Gita and kirtan singing by the students, Vaswani, deeply moved, paid tribute to Baba in his welcome remarks over the microphone. The following is a part of his talk:

Sisters and brothers, children of the One Divine Mother! I speak in the presence of one whom his disciples in different parts regard as the Ancient One.

For thirty years and more, He who is in our midst today has borne witness to the truth that there is something better than speech. That is silence. It is, to my mind, the truth of Truths. He has spoken to the world through silence. His witness to the “Kingdom of Silence” went into my heart many years ago. In this age of noise, he has taught the truth: Be silent! . . .

I have been impressed, too, with another truth in the life of Beloved Baba. He is a lover of the simple life. He is simple, and therefore he rejoices in the company of the little ones. In his message … he said it did his heart good to come in contact with the little ones, the children of the Mira Schools.

There is a third thing too which I have noticed in regard to Meher Baba – the smile on his lips. A beautiful smile plays on his lips always. He has suffered as perhaps not many have. He has experienced pain as not many have. But there is always a beautiful smile playing on his lips.

His silence, his simplicity, and his smile – these are his three gifts to us. I bow down to him with love and humility in my heart.

On Baba’s behalf C. D. Deshmukh spoke eloquently for five minutes, emphasizing Baba’s Avatar hood and mission. The hall was full to capacity with Vaswani’s students and followers. Baba’s lovers had to stand outside by the gate.

Baba asked that this message from him be read out to the students:

The youth of today is the ruling force of tomorrow. All things have a small beginning; the seedling grows into a tree, the stream into a river and the child grows into a man to use or misuse the lessons he has absorbed in life as a youth. But even after he has grown into a man, he often remains a child in the spiritual sense of the word. The world is the kindergarten and school necessary for the spiritual lessons man must learn through countless lives of experiencing the opposites – such as pain and pleasure, joy and suffering, good and bad, wealth and poverty, et cetera.

All growth is gradual, and it is only through slow and gradual stages that man begins truly to grow up and discover his True Self and to relinquish the childish playthings of hate, greed and anger through selfless service and love. In the spiritual school also, there are many grades to be passed which few have the courage and determination to go through. Just as you need masters and instructors to guide you along the path of your studies, so there exist Perfect Masters who can guide you along the path of the spirit to the glorious destination of Godhood. Few have the good fortune to meet and follow such a spiritual Guide – when you do, you must earn his grace and be worthy of his love.

Do not balk at the discipline given by your parents and teachers. Discipline in small ways leads to the greater necessary discipline of self. Do not try to conquer others – conquer your self and you will have conquered the world. The simplest way to do this is to love God. Begin to love God by loving your fellow-beings. Begin to see God by seeing Him in all beings and things. Give without thought of return. Serve without thought of reward. God is everywhere, in everything. Most of all, He is right within yourself. You do not exist for the world – the world exists for you.

There is an amusing illustration of this in the story of the ant. An ant was trying to cross a stream on a leaf. Midstream the leaf, tossed by the wind, overturned and the ant cried: “Help, help, the world is drowning!”

A frog close by said: “What rubbish. The world is not drowning; you mean you are drowning.”

“Well,” said the ant, “once I drown the world might as well not exist for me. So for me it means not only that I am drowning but that the world is drowning too.”

In the same way, all existence is within you. God is to be found within yourself, and once you find Him you have found the only treasure worth finding. I give you my blessings that you love God and find Him. (Lord Meher, American ed. Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 15, pp. 5157-5160).

 

 

2274-VERMA Y. P

Accommodations for Baba in Nagpur had been made at the bungalow of Y. P. Verma, a barrister, in the Gokulpeth locality on West High Court Road..

2294-VISHWANATH

A high Hindu priest

At Meherabad, in March 1925, two humble Hindu temples were constructed out of bamboo matting. One was meant for the low-caste Harijans and the other for the higher caste Brahmins. A man named Vishwanath was appointed as the high-caste priest. The simple temples had photographs of gurus and pictures of favorite Hindu devas (Ganesh, Dattatrey and Hanuman) hung on the walls. The photographs of the gurus included Babajan, Sai Baba, Upasni Maharaj, and Meher Baba. The children of Arangaon would worship and sing bhajans in the Harijan temple. During Hindu festivals, both temples were decorated and the holy days were observed with great ceremony and devotion. (Lord Meher-p-569-1925)

 

 

2314-WALU PAWAR

(Mandali woman)

(Refer Fortunate souls Volume-3)

An old lady, completely bent at right angles at her waist came in.  She would put her hand on her forehead to avoid the glare on her eyes so that she could see Baba in the crypt.  When asked whether she could see Baba, she just shook her head in the negative.  She seemed to have got hypermature cataracts in both yes!  She was led to the landing of the crypt and only after she had sat down there and a

Torch light focused on Baba’s face see Him.

It was then that Eruch told us that she was Valu, an old and faithful devotee of Baba from the early twenties.  She was very dear to Baba and though she could not see Baba well, Baba saw her and acknowledged her long, sincere, unselfish and loving services for the Avatar of the Age.  Tears came into her eyes as she remembered the years she had spent with Baba.  They were tears of love.

"Who weeps for love, he weeps the best.

Who cries for else, he does but the jest.” (Meher Baba’s Last sahwas-p-42 (Dr. H. P. Bharucha)

 

2319-VISHNU CHAVAN & WIFE

Vishnu Chavan also came to Baba's bungalow. Although he had been in Baba's contact for years, Baba did not see him. In fact, none of the Poona lovers were permitted to see Baba, since he was still in seclusion. But Chavan persisted and sent word to Baba that he did not desire anything except his blessing. So, for the purpose of receiving his blessing, Baba instructed him to go to Meherabad in a few weeks, on a certain date.

On the appointed day, Chavan went to Meherabad and then came to Meherazad, where Baba was staying by then. Baba warned him, "To digest my blessing is infinitely difficult. You do not understand the meaning of it. You do not know what it is. You will have to face tremendous hardships. Do you know what my grace means? You will be stripped of everything you own! You will be on the streets! Those who dare to seek and are privileged to receive my grace are stripped of everything. They have no roof over their heads. They wear only loincloths."

Baba again warned him, "Great courage is required to assimilate my blessing. So don't ask for it. Ask for something else."

"I only want your blessing," Chavan insisted.

Solemnly Baba gestured, "All right, take it. I give you my blessing." And with it, Chavan left to return to Poona. In a short time, true to Baba's words, Chavan fell on very hard times and gradually life got worse and worse. Chavan was married with a few children. Some months after this meeting, he found himself homeless and penniless.

For some time, he and his family lived in the local Gadge Maharaj dharamshala in Poona. After a while, they were forced to vacate, and Turekar, a Baba lover in the police force, took pity on them and allowed them to stay in a storeroom at his bungalow. Months passed. Chavan, unable to bear the conditions of his life brought on by Baba's "blessing," contemplated suicide. By chance, he met Eruch on a street and disclosed what had happened to him. The news reached Baba, and Chavan was called to Guruprasad.

Chavan came and prostrated himself before Baba. Baba lovingly inquired about his family and then stated, "When you first came to me, I warned you that courage was needed to assimilate my blessing. You do not have that courage. Now, what do you want?"

"Baba, help me. The landlord evicted me and my family from our house and removed all our possessions. I don't have a single paisa with me, and the children are starving."

"All right. I will take back my blessing and give you some monetary help. But always be honest and don't forget me." Baba asked Nariman to give Chavan Rs.1, 000, and Chavan took the money and left, pleased.

The following year, when Baba was again in Poona, he asked K. K. Ramakrishnan, "Do you know Vishnu Chavan? Have you asked for or taken any money from him (for the Poona Center work)? I know you are mad with your Center project."

Ramakrishnan told Baba, "Yes, I know him. He appears to be a big man now. He has acquired the Bombay agency of an industrial or mercantile company and has become quite rich. He lives behind the railway station and goes everywhere by taxi. But I have not asked him for a donation. His wife sends two rupees to the Center every month. That is all they give."

Baba warned Ramakrishnan not to take any money from Chavan. "It is all right if you accept one or two rupees for the Center work, but no large sum, even if he gives it on his own. Beware."

Again, some time passed. One day in Guruprasad, when Maharani Shantadevi was sitting by Baba, Chavan arrived in a very sad mood. Baba asked what was troubling him. Chavan equivocated, professing innocence about charges of fraud and embezzlement that had been brought against him. Baba told him not to worry, if he had done nothing illegal, and he left. But soon afterwards, Chavan was arrested, found guilty and sentenced to several years in prison. The mandali and local lovers believed he had been wrongly convicted. When he was released, Chavan came for Baba's darshan, and Baba asked him again, "Tell me the truth. Did you commit the fraud?" Chavan finally admitted his guilt, and Baba admonished him, "Never do so again."

Despite having failed to follow Baba's advice about remaining honest, Baba had not "exposed" Chavan and, in fact, had lovingly seen to the financial well-being of his wife and children while he was in prison. Chavan learned an invaluable lesson in following the Master's orders. (Lord Meher-p-5143)

 

2331-WAGH B.T.

In 1954, during Sakori visit, procession halted in front of Upasani Maharaj of Temple. Vasant Deshmukh, the chief priest of Sakori, garlanded Baba and offered a coconut to him. Baba made Godavri sit on his left side and Jiji on his right. Jiji was so overcome that tears rolled down her cheeks. Baba patted her on the head. B. T. Wagh, the manager of the ashram, stood before Baba, urging those taking Baba's darshan to be quick.  (Lord Meher-p-3529-1954)

 

YADALIWAR DEVRAJ B.

5587

158-YADAV KAMBLE

On 2nd January 1960, the newly-built Avatar Meher Baba Arangaon Center was decorated with buntings and with flowers, which gave off a sweet fragrance. Every house in the village left nothing undone to beautify itself, awaiting the Avatar's arrival.

Seeing Baba, the villagers could not control their feelings, and loud cheering of "Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!" burst forth. The Arangaon Center had recently been constructed, and this was the first time Baba was gracing the small room. A ribbon had been tied across the door, which Baba cut. Entering the premises, Baba took darshan of his own photograph there. Coming out after a while, he sat under a pandal, erected outside the structure where a devotee, named Yadav Kamble, devoutly sang his compositions in praise of Baba's divinity.

On 19 th November 1967, Baba sent for his lovers and devotees from Arangaon. All those staying at the Family Quarters in Meherabad (Jangle's family and Walu), as well as Mansari and Kaikobad's family on the hill were invited, and they began to arrive in Meherazad at 9:00 A.M. About 300 persons in all, travelling in bullock carts, buses, bicycles, or on foot came, and the close ones came in a hired station wagon. Yadav Kamble and few others sang before Baba. (Lord Meher-p-5298-1967)

2360-YESHWANTRAO HOLKAR (MRS)

(Maharani of Indore)

The ship, in which Baba and mandali travelling, docked in Port Said on the morning of 2nd October 1933.

Mrs. Yeshwantrao Holkar came to Baba's cabin for his darshan with her secretary. At the time, Baba was out for his morning walk on deck and someone directed her there. As she approached, Chanji intercepted her, saying, "Meher Baba only gives darshan after making an appointment. I will have to ask his permission and let you know." The secretary explained that the maharani had not come to ask anything of Meher Baba, but that she only wanted his darshan. Chanji reiterated that he would ask Baba and inform them. But they followed him and came face-to-face with Baba before Chanji could seek Baba's permission. (Lord Meher-p-1459-1933)

 

 

2361-YASIN QUWAAL

In the evening of 9th May 1923, with great éclat and in regal style, Rustom and Freiny were married according to Zoroastrian custom. That morning Baba was dressed in a new suit of clothes, and puja was performed before him. A European band and various entertainments were enjoyed by all the other 200 guests. A private qawaali program was staged for Baba, the mandali and a few selected members of Rustom's family, led by Yasin Qawaal who had been brought from Bombay just for the occasion.

The following afternoon there was another qawaali program. Baba thoroughly enjoyed the music. The Wine of the Divine Song flowed freely during such programs, especially qawaali programs by such an accomplished singer as Yasin. Baba himself was an exceptional singer and always took great interest in such programs, and listened intently to the singer. (Lord Meher-p-418-1923)

 

2362-YEKTAI KAIKHUSHRU BOMAN

During 1930, in Nasik besides mandali, Kaikhushru Boman Yektai remained with Baba who had joined the mandali a year or so before). (Lord Meher-p-1132-1930)

On 12 May 1930, Manek Shroff came for the Master's darshan. He expressed his wish to be included among them and, in spite of Baba's admonitions, he persisted. So Baba sent him to Meherabad to remain there in seclusion, subsisting only on milk. Kaikhushru Yektai was to do the same. (Lord Meher-p-1174-1930)-

Baba's darshan was held on 1st June 1930. A great crowd of more than a hundred persons appeared for, and there was a large feast at which Baba himself served the food. (Lord Meher-p-1181-1930)

Baba left Kolhapur on Sunday, 7th September 1930 and arrived in Bijapur, where he met up with other members of the mandali. On the 4th October 1930, according to Baba's instructions Yektai broke his long fast. (Lord Meher-p-1199-1930)

 

 

2365-YOUNG PARSI MEN

4923

 

 

2367-YUSUF-1

 

 

2368-YUSUF-2

(A boy in Walki)

In year 1930, as directed by Baba, Chhagan was out looking for a boy, he spotted a handsome youth working in a restaurant in Wai. He asked the boy if he would come with him to Panchgani, and the boy replied he would first have to ask his employer. Finally after much persuasion, the manager agreed.

 

Chhagan brought the boy to Baba who at first liked him very much. But after a few minutes, Baba disapprovingly noticed a small cut on the boy's leg, and directed Chhagan, "Take the boy to Meherabad, where Padri can treat his wound. Tell Padri to bring him to Panchgani once the wound is healed."

 

Chhagan was puzzled by Baba's instructions, as the boy's injury seemed minor. He wondered why Baba was making such a fuss, forcing him to take the boy all the way to Meherabad, when a local doctor could easily have treated the wound. But he did not say anything and, before he left, Baba further instructed him to be sure to contact Sadashiv Patil in Poona on the way and deliver a message, which Baba dictated.

 

Chhagan then left Panchgani with the boy, whose name was Yusuf. In Poona, as he was nearing Sadashiv's house, a Muslim woman who was filling her water vessels at a public well saw the boy and suddenly began calling out, "Yusuf, Yusuf!" She came running to the boy, embraced him and cried, "Yusuf, my son, where have you been? I can't believe it is really you! I have been longing for sight of you day and night for years! My son, have you forgotten your own mother?"

 

A crowd gathered and Chhagan could not understand what was happening. He grew frightened by the presence of so many people and forced his way to Sadashiv's house, where he described the situation to him. Sadashiv approached the woman and questioned her. He found out the woman's only son had disappeared from home five years before, and she and her husband's search had proved fruitless. The parents were overwrought with distress at their failure to locate their lost child. Grief-stricken, they had all but given up hope of ever seeing him again.

 

Chhagan then asked Sadashiv, "What am I to do now" Baba's order was to take the boy to Meherabad." Sadashiv sent a telegram to Baba explaining the situation. Baba's reply promptly came, instructing Chhagan to leave the boy with his parents and return to Panchgani. Only then did Chhagan understand why Baba had sent him on this journey. The message Baba had given Chhagan to convey to Sadashiv was nothing important, but Baba wished to reunite the child with his heartbroken parents. (Lord Meher-p-1166/71930)

 

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Baba instructed the mandali to take darshan of Upasni Maharaj's samadhi, which they did. Noshir Siganporia stepped forward to garland Baba, and Baba directed him also to bow down at Maharaj's tomb. Bhajans were sung and, through hand gestures, Baba directed the tabalchi (tabla player) how to keep in rhythm. (Lord  Meher-p-3914-1956)

TARABAI DALVI

(Daughter of Maruti Patil of Arangaon)

Maruti Patil's daughter Tara did work for the women mandali on the hill, but she went back to the village to stay with her father. On the hill, as mentioned, were Kaikobad's family and Mansari. (Lord Meher-p-2781-1949)

In 1954, Baba visited the small tuberculosis sanitarium near the village Arangaon. Baba had been invited there by one of his devotees, Kamlabai Pusalkar, who was a nurse. Maruti Patil's daughter Tarabai Dalvi was also working there. Baba saw all the patients and then left. (Lord Meher-p-3615-1954)

Baba said following explanation quoting her.

We do not feel tired of the world and, unless we are away from it, we cannot attain Godhood. If God likes somebody and if He wishes to take him away from Sansara, he gives him a body that becomes unfit for the ways of the world. Look at this Tarabai. She must have been doing Sansara as a man or a woman for births on end and yet she did not feel tired of it; somehow God has taken to her, or it may be that her time of attaining Godhood is nearby, and that is why she has been given such a body that she cannot take to Sansara. Look at them, Lakshmibai, Parvatibai, Sarasvatibai, they are all in the same boat, and that is why their bodies are suffering from intractable diseases so that they should lose all interest in the Sansara; they are suffering themselves and make others also suffer for them.

What do these painful circumstances indicate? They indicate that because you do not feel tired of Sansara but God wants you to be out of it, therefore, these difficulties come in your way of Sansara. The body is like a motor car; when it gets out of order, one gets it repaired. When it begins to get out of order every day, then one begins to lose his interest in it. In the same way, when something goes wrong with the body, you get it set right by a doctor; similarly you get your mind set right by a Satpurusha.

Why does one get them set right? Because of one's desire to do Sansara with their help is there; one gets births on end for that purpose. When diseases and circumstances one after another attack them, one begins to get disgusted with them. Then that person begins to say, "Oh God; I am tired of all this; please relieve me of this disgusting Sansara. I am tired of this wife (or husband) and these children. They are all useless and hopeless". When such disgust reaches its limit, then that person, man or woman, begins to turn away from it, from the ways of the world, and begins to look to God; in due course they receive His Grace, and He takes them away to His place.

(Sansara – the endless round of birth and death)

 

THREE CHILDREN

 

THREE CHILDREN BETWEEN FOUR AND EIGHT YEARS OLD WERE BROUGHT ONTO THE DAIS BY LOKHANDE

In darshan program of 1958, Lokhande brought his three children onto the dais. They were between four and eight years old and they sang before Baba. Afterward, Baba embraced them.(Lord Meher-p-4278-1958)

 

 

TIPNIS SHANTARAM N.

In year 1954, Baba accepted his invitation to perform the housewarming ceremony. the invitation of Yeshwant Rao, who was one of Sadguru Upasni Maharaj's chief disciples had recently built a new home in Sakori. Mandali and certain Ahmednagar lovers left on the morning of 20 March 1954 in morning. Baba left an hour later from Meherazad. Among the residents of the ashram, was a woman named Usha Tipnis. Shantaram N. Tipnis, Usha's brother and the editor of a magazine titled Devotion, also bowed to Baba. (Lord meher-p-3530-1954)

 

 

TIPNIS USHA

(She was a good singer)

In year 1954, Baba accepted invitation to perform the housewarming ceremony. of Yeshwant Rao, who was one of Sadguru Upasni Maharaj's chief disciples had recently built a new home in Sakori. Mandali and certain Ahmednagar lovers left on the morning of 20 March 1954 in morning. Baba left an hour later from Meherazad. Among the residents of the ashram, was a woman named Usha Tipnis, who had had Baba's darshan in Amraoti in (lord   Meher- 3530-1954)

Usha Tipnis asked for his blessings, and Baba replied, "You must love me to such an extent that you lose yourself and then find me. Do you understand this?" Usha nodded that she did.

"To say so is easy," Baba replied, "but to do it is difficult.

How will you do it?"

"Everything is in your hands," Usha answered.

"That is also well said, but you should think of me to such an extent that there remains no room for any other thought except my continual remembrance. Then I am with you. This should be done with 100 percent honesty."3532-1954

To celebrate Mehera's birthday, in October 1963, about 250 women from Ahmednagar, Poona, Bombay, Navsari and Meherabad were invited to come to Meherazad. Jaipuri Qawaal had come to sing. Baba sat in his chair in mandali hall and looked cheerful.

Baba asked Lata Limaye to sing. She sang the two songs and Baba embraced her twice for her efforts.  Then Usha Tipnis sang. The words were so beautiful Mehera began weeping, and Baba lovingly pulled out his handkerchief and wiped her tears. (Lord Meher-p-5054-1963)

 

THAKUR K. K.

In year 1944, Leaving Women mandali at Aurangabad, Baba departed for Nagpur Manmad on 10th November, via Manmad, Group reached Nagpur the next morning at ten o'clock.

 

Laden with flowers, Baba was led to his car and taken to the house of K. K. Thakur, an attorney with whom Deshmukh had arranged accommodations for Baba and the mandali, in the Dhantoli locality. (Lord Meher-p-2438/3-1944)

 

44-THREE SMALL GIRLS

In year 1954, Baba visited nearly all the houses in Arangaon, where his arti was sung and he was profusely garlanded. He was literally buried under the garlands and kept them on despite the intense afternoon heat. "That day, Baba showered his love on the villagers,"

Men stretched themselves on their stomachs in the dust in obeisance, and women laid their tiny tots on his feet and raised them so Baba could kiss them. It was another extraordinary sight for the Westerners. That morning Baba had said he was giving them the "Last Drink," and now it seemed as if Jesus were once more walking through a Galilean village.

The group entered a policeman's compound, where three small girls gave a dance performance. Baba distributed prasad to about 200 of the villagers, most of whom had been students in the Hazrat Babajan High School. (Lord Meher-p-3614-1954)

 

TIPNIS SHANTARAM N.

In year 1954, Baba accepted his invitation to perform the housewarming ceremony. the invitation of Yeshwant Rao, who was one of Sadguru Upasni Maharaj's chief disciples had recently built a new home in Sakori. Mandali and certain Ahmednagar lovers left on the morning of 20 March 1954 in morning. Baba left an hour later from Meherazad. Among the residents of the ashram, was a woman named Usha Tipnis. Shantaram N. Tipnis, Usha's brother and the editor of a magazine titled Devotion, also bowed to Baba. (Lord meher-p-3530-1954)

 

TIPNIS USHA

(She was a good singer)

In year 1954, Baba accepted invitation to perform the housewarming ceremony. of Yeshwant Rao, who was one of Sadguru Upasni Maharaj's chief disciples had recently built a new home in Sakori. Mandali and certain Ahmednagar lovers left on the morning of 20 March 1954 in morning. Baba left an hour later from Meherazad. Among the residents of the ashram, was a woman named Usha Tipnis, who had had Baba's darshan in Amraoti in (Lord   Meher- 3530-1954)

Usha Tipnis asked for his blessings, and Baba replied, "You must love me to such an extent that you lose yourself and then find me. Do you understand this?" Usha nodded that she did.

"To say so is easy," Baba replied, "but to do it is difficult.

How will you do it?"

"Everything is in your hands," Usha answered.

"That is also well said, but you should think of me to such an extent that there remains no room for any other thought except my continual remembrance. Then I am with you. This should be done with 100 percent honesty."3532-1954

To celebrate Mehera's birthday, in October 1963, about 250 women from Ahmednagar, Poona, Bombay, Navsari and Meherabad were invited to come to Meherazad. Jaipuri Qawaal had come to sing. Baba sat in his chair in mandali hall and looked cheerful.

Baba asked Lata Limaye to sing. She sang the two songs and Baba embraced her twice for her efforts.  Then Usha Tipnis sang. The words were so beautiful Mehera began weeping, and Baba lovingly pulled out his handkerchief and wiped her tears. (Lord Meher-p-5054-1963)

 

53-TRIMBAK BADVE

(Father of Shanta wife of Chhagan)

In the on 11th February 1927, Baba set out on foot with the mandali for Akolner to attend the wedding of Chhagan's sister-in-law. When it was time to start, Baba directed Chhagan, "You walk ahead and lead. I will follow you," but Chhagan refused. Baba warned him, "Remember, take care. Do not be dragged away by Maya’s flood."

When Baba reached the house of Chhagan's wife's uncle, no special seat had been arranged for Baba, and he sat quietly in a corner on an ordinary chair. As per Hindu custom, Chhagan had been married as a child in an arranged marriage years before, but since he was staying with Baba, he had never lived with his wife, who was still quite young. At Akolner, Chhagan's relatives confronted him about this, asking contemptuously, "Don't you love your wife? Why did you marry her if you did not want to be with her? How will you benefit by following this Bua (saint)?"

Chhagan's wife Shanta had been staying with her parents, and her father Trimbak Badve was upset at this. As soon as Badve saw Baba, he began abusing him terribly. "How dare you separate a husband from his wife. You are not a saint; you are bogus!"

Such harsh accusations were voiced by others at the wedding reception, as well. Baba ignored them and responded with a silent smile. When the ceremony was over, Baba indicated that he wished to leave and none of the people even folded their hands to him when he left. Chhagan, surprisingly, remained behind with his in-laws rather than leave with Baba and the mandali. (Lord meher-p-775-1927)

 

 

53-TRILOK SINGH

(Nephew of Daulat Singh)

In year 1957, Siganporia had organized the darshan in the spacious Sunderbai Hall at Churhgate. The Poona bhajan mandali and other out-of-town lovers were also present. Baba arrived at the hall in morning at 8:00 a.m. on 22nd December, and was warmly received with the usual acclamations. The hall was packed.

The darshan started as hundreds of men and women filed past him from separate lines.. When the darshan ended at noon, almost 3,000 people had been fortunate enough to come in contact with the Avatar.

Among those in attendance was Dr. Daulat Singh's nephew, Trilok Singh, from Uganda, who arrived late because his flight to India was delayed. Baba often inquired whether he had come. Trilok Singh had attended the sahavas programs at Meherabad, and had invited Baba to give mass darshan in Africa. He brought his entire family to Bombay, including his nine-year-old son, Hardip, and all became devoted followers. (Lord Meher-p-4231-1957)

 

TUKDOJI MAHARAJ

On 27th December 1937, a large public darshan was held in the evening at the Jessawalas' bungalow. A renowned saint with a large following named Tukdoji Maharaj also attended. Tukdoji sang heartfelt bhajans before Baba, and was gratified at having his darshan. (Lord Meher-p-1895-1937)

 

TUREKAR SHANKAR  MAHADEV

 

he police superintendent Turekar came to Baba with tears in his eyes. His family problems had not abated. Baba consoled him, "Why worry? Be courageous. Think more and more of me. Don't wear yourself out. I know your love for me and the circumstances you are put in. Thank me for the suffering that has fallen to your lot."

Baba quoted the following Persian couplet:

 

I cause my enemies to flourish and kill my friends.

This I do, and no one has the right to demand why I do so!

 

"To a lover drowned in despair, Hafiz has said:

 

Even taking it for granted that you have no hope to reach the Goal, don't lose courage.

 

Be brave. Don't doubt the Master until you become lost to yourself.

"As you come in my contact, at times you become 100 percent miserable. But be sure that I know everything. I am the Ocean of love and compassion. Every individual is meant to be happy because God, Who is infinite bliss, is within everyone. One must love God, see God and become God."

 

Turekar left comforted. (Lord Meher-p-4703-1960)

 

 

 

62-TWO BEGGING SADHUS

Baba and His group departed around noon on 2nd August 1924, after a brief rest in Poona. It was proposed that they proceed to Raichur. Nine of Baba’s disciples were on the platform of the Poona railway station to bid them farewell. In the compartment were two sadhus begging for food. As soon as the train pulled out of Poona, Baba approached them. He fed the sadhus, gave them dakshina (a monetary offering) and bowed at their feet. (Lord Meher-p-539-1924)

 

64-TWO EX. MAYORS OF POONA

Although these daily sessions in the evening were only meant for lovers and not the general public, once Baba permitted the mayor of Poona to come with his two predecessors. Baba explained to them about Maya: (June 1961)

God alone exists as Existence Eternal and all else is illusion – a creation of Maya. And what is Maya? Maya is the principle of ignorance. Maya makes you feel what, in fact, does not exist. In Reality, neither man nor woman, neither the so-called animate beings nor the inanimate things exist. It is Maya which causes the unreal to appear as real and existing.

Mind, the issue of Maya, imagines infinite divisions and so creates innumerable worlds of worries. As long as mind exists, ignorance persists. And what a joke that mind tries to gain bliss through furious thinking and worrying, which is empty dreaming! For bliss to come into being, mind has to be quiet. You cannot invite bliss. It is ever present – everywhere. (Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 17, p. 5829)

 

 

66-TWO MEN

On 17th February 1952, Baba left Meherazad for Bombay in Nariman's car with women disciple’s men and other travelled in car. On the way, they halted for a while at Bindra House in Poona, where a small darshan program was held. After leaving a darshan, Baba suddenly had the driver stop the car for no apparent reason. Soon afterwards, two men ran up to the car and, panting, prostrated themselves on the ground. The men had been late in arriving at the darshan, only to find that Baba had left. They had run in the direction of his car, in hopes of catching up to it. It was for them Baba had the car stopped.  (Lord Meher-p-3033-1952)

 

68-TWO PARTIES FROM ARANGAON

The episode goes like this

The little village of Arangaon, with its four hundred inhabitants, is about a quarter mile from Meherabad. We can hear its temple bells from our hilltop. The village had its importance, together with Ahmednagar, in the time of the brave Mohammedan queen, Chandbibi, who lived several hundred years ago in the Mogul period, and who led her armies to victory (although she, riding on her white horse, was killed in the battle.

There is an ancient feud existing in Arangaon, the true details of which are lost, but which is kept alive in the village through the inhabitants taking sides; two "parties" have long been formed. The village has always been divided against itself, despite the fact that the inhabitants are particularly of one caste.

It happened ... that some minor crime was committed in Arangaon, and the ancient feud flared up; one village party was on the point of killing the other when they remembered Baba. They sent a delegation to Him, saying that only Meher Baba could settle their differences. He returned word that He would meet a contingent from either side, both at the same time at the ashram Meherabad that evening.

As we rode up, the two parties were seated, divided on either side of the building, and Baba arranged that they were kept waiting for a few moments and then suddenly called into the ashram. In this way they came inside all mixed as one party and Baba requested them at once to be seated on the floor.

One villager with murderous thoughts against the other found himself seated next to one of the opposite party -- they were so intent upon putting their side of the question before Meher Baba, believing Him to be the True Judge, that they did what on other occasions would have been impossible without bloodshed.

Baba had several of His able, staunch men disciples conduct the gathering, and if more than one villager spoke at a time they were quietly but strongly kept in order. Baba showed extreme patience and listened to about forty anguished souls with all they had come to say

Finally one old woman came forward and swayed back and forth, almost as if she were reciting an incantation of all the woes of the race. One of the village men stepped forward and pushed her aside, as even they could not stand so many woes!

At another point, when evidently the particular offender was speaking, about ten men arose and commenced yelling at one another. Baba smiled benignly and then clapped His hands for silence. The effect was instantaneous and amazing; the men so rough and loud and Baba so gentle in comparison, not speaking, but with only a hand clap of command that abashed their storm of passion.

On His board, interpreted by one of His disciples, He informed the gathering that, as evidently they had made up their minds not to be peaceable, there was nothing to do but to leave the matter to take its course, and when it reached the authorities they would deal with it in their own way. Baba arose to leave. Upon this the villagers, who were enjoying their ill feelings towards one another and wished to talk all night, were taken aback and their faces visibly fell, for suddenly the arguers were left without an argument as fire without fuel!

Meher Baba paused at the doorway and, seeing them crestfallen, stated that He would remain only if they would abide by His decision – to which they agreed. First He took the headman to task for not having kept better order in the village. Some began to feel rather sorry because they felt in their hearts that they were really to blame in this matter. Then He told the dissenters that they must "forgive and forget  and became one.”

As long as they had two parties they could never accomplish this. There was much discussion amongst themselves, and I thought, of course, that they were objecting to giving up the two parties; but instead there was objection to eating together, as it had been proposed that a village feast be held. The question at issue appeared to be that one side would not accept food from the other. In Indian custom if both parties agree to eat together, it becomes a bond; similarly, in our Christian Bible it refers to breaking bread together as something sacred; but we in the West have lost the significance that the East still has this rite.

It was agreed finally that if Meher Baba Himself would give the food, they would both accept from Him and thereby become one family. In this concrete manner, a few days later, Baba thus blessed this flock of black and white sheep, uniting them from ancient hatred into fellowship. (Treasures pp.78-79 Jane Barry Hyanes)

71-TWO VILLAGERS

There were two men in Arangaon who worked extracting peanut and safflower cooking oils. Once these two villagers came to Baba with the complaint that their relatives were refusing to take part in a wedding feast at their house, because, according to Baba's orders, no mutton was to be served. (Lord Meher-p-615-1925)

 

 

75-UDAY SHANKAR

On 28th September 1933, the celebrated Indian dancer Uday Shankar, 33, came to see Baba.  He had found out about Baba through the Swiss sculptor and art historian Alice Boner, who was defraying the expenses of the visit of Shankar's dance troupe to the West. It was during Alice Boner's trip to India with Shankar in 1930 that she heard of Meher Baba. While in Europe, Norina, Elizabeth and Quentin had met Uday Shankar and had spoken to him of their Master.

Uday Shankar bowed reverently to Baba, who praised him and expressed appreciation for his talent. He told Baba, "I want to introduce and spread Indian classical dance to the West, but some organizations in India criticize me. They want money from me for their institutions, organizations and societies, but I have no money to give them."

Baba spelled out on his board, "Every good work has to face opposition, and the reaction of the opposition offered always helps the work. You need not worry; continue conscientiously with your work, with double the zeal in the right direction."

Shankar then said, "Baba, I would like to give a dance performance for you one day."

Baba replied, "I would be delighted to see it."

Shankar was extremely happy to have Baba's darshan, but Baba cautioned him before they parted, "Do not inform anyone on the ship about me, as I do not wish to meet anybody. See me before disembarking in Brindisi." (Lord Meher-p-1547-1933)

 

 

85-VAJIFDAR HORMUSJI JEHANGIR

After Meher Baba had set up his own ashram, Baba had sent his disciples Ghani, Vajifdar, and Sadashiv to meet Tajuddin, and upon meeting the three men, Tajuddin gave each a photograph of Meher Baba, telling them, "Worship this photograph of Meher Baba." They then bowed down and said prayers before Baba's photograph in front of Tajuddin Baba.

In 1922, one day Naval brought a friend to meet Baba, a famous cricketer named Hormusji Jehangir Vajifdar, 28. Vajifdar became a devoted follower and, likewise, began coming to the Manzil every day. He would bring fresh bread for Baba's and the mandali's breakfast early every morning at 4:00 A.M. on his bicycle. Naval and Vajifdar were soon considered close members of the household. Although they did not stay at the Manzil during the nights, both men strictly adhered to all orders and instructions given by the Master.

With Baba's permission, Vajifdar rented a bungalow in the suburb of Juhu for a picnic on Sunday, 8th October 1922. But that morning Baba's health was shaky and he appeared unwell. Despite this, he insisted on accompanying the mandali. He remarked, "We should go to Juhu with the joy that schoolboys feel while going home for vacation." Reaching Juhu, the Master rested for a while and then played a field game called thasak with the mandali under the shade of coconut trees. Afterward, at lunch, he insisted on serving the rich meal of puris (small, round, deep-fried wheat bread), a potato dish and shrikhand (a sweet yogurt dish). After eating, all were told to stay inside the bungalow, as it was very hot outside.

After the evening meals, Baba gathered the mandali and discussed the topic of his going to Sakori: My sufferings are now becoming unbearable and, by going to Sakori, Maharaj will take a little of the load off my shoulders; but because of this, Maharaj will have to suffer much internally. He may even beat me, abuse me and disgrace me in the presence of all at the time of Diwali [the Hindu festival of lights]. I have been telling you for months that advanced saints and mahatmas will disgrace and beat me, because at this moment the spiritual world is against me. So it is possible Maharaj may take the matter into his own hands by insulting and beating me. If I don't go, however, and continue staying here, I shall have to suffer terribly.

Except for Munshiji and Vajifdar, all the men agreed that Baba should go to Sakori, and he decided to leave that night.

On Sunday, 29th October, Baba decided to give alms to the poor. He instructed the mandali not to eat until the poor program was completed. Baba told the other men to find and bring lepers, the blind and the destitute to the Manzil. Ordinarily, 1,000 beggars could easily have been found in Bombay with the hope of free food and clothing. But it was not an easy task to locate 100 of the genuinely needy, helpless and poor.

Vajifdar went as far as Bhendi Bazaar, where he found a few needy persons; but the problem was how to take them back to the Manzil as he had no money with him. But besides being an expert cricketer, Vajifdar was also an expert in persuasion.

He persuaded one of the destitute to loan him the fare to take them in a tramcar, promising the poor man he would repay the money and pay for the return journey. Vajifdar succeeded in bringing many deserving people to the Manzil in this manner.

A thousand copies of Gareebon ka Aasara arrived from the printer on 15th November 1922, and selling the books became a regular activity at Manzil-e-Meem. Rustom and Vajifdar were the two men wholly occupied in this work and were ordered by Baba to sell as many copies as possible. The other men in the Manzil were told to help during their leisure time, "in every available spare hour," as Baba put it.

On one occasion, Rustom and Vajifdar approached a lawyer, handing him a copy of Gareebon ka Aasara. After casually glancing through the book, the lawyer asked, "What do you want me to do?"

Rustom jokingly said, "Why don't you buy 100 copies — you can afford it!" The man immediately pulled out Rs.300 from his pocket and handed it to Rustom. Later they learned the man was genuinely interested in spirituality.

For many days, Rustom and Vajifdar walked all over Bombay trying to sell the books. During the course of their daily solicitation, it was recommended that they visit a wealthy merchant who owned a lot of property and managed a successful business. When they went to meet the man at his office, they found him sitting in a small room on the bare floor dressed like a common clerk. They were shocked by the man's humble attire, but he welcomed them lovingly and bought several copies of the book.

On 7th March 1923, after almost three months of strict containment in the premises of Manzil-e-Meem, Baba went for a short outing to Munshiji's house on Charni Road with Vajifdar and 3 mandali men. Sayyed Saheb was staying there and had been feeling depressed for some time. To cheer him up, Baba drove to Munshiji's and returned after a few hours.

On the 6th of May 1922, Vajifdar and 4 other disciples arrived in Arangaon. These five men soon became aware that the daily routine in this deserted place was quite the reverse of what it had been at the Manzil in Bombay. Each man had to draw his own water from the well and had to wash his own clothes; then for the whole day the hard physical labour of cleaning and restoring the Mess Quarters continued.

Baba informed the five new arrivals: "The life here is unpleasant and rough. All of you will have to labour like coolies and do farming or seek employment in Ahmednagar, which would mean cycling six miles both ways every day. It would be better for you five to find jobs in Bombay, Poona, Lonavla or elsewhere. Even though you live somewhere else away from me, if you carry out my orders, my connection with you will remain intact. (

The design was approved by Baba, and the tailor took individual measurements to prepare one for each man. Kafnis were also made for Sadashiv and Vajifdar, who were in Poona and who were instructed by Baba to meet them in Kashmir. One bag, a water bottle and a pair of sandals were also brought for Sadashiv and Vajifdar, who were informed by letter of the conditions and restrictions to be observed during the tour.

On 23rd June 1924, it was decided to proceed to Kashmir. Baba and the mandali donned their new outfits on this date and were photographed. The next day, after further discussion, Baba made a change in the itinerary. Kashmir, it was felt, would be too cold with not enough warm clothing or suitable food, and no one spoke Kashmiri (the local language). Baba had decided that they would start from Calcutta, instead of Kashmir, and from there proceed to Bombay on foot. Vajifdar were telegraphed to meet them in Calcutta. The agreement on stamp paper was signed by each man and preparations were made to leave for Calcutta the following day. All their other luggage was packed in trunks except for two shirts, two pants, one blanket, one kafni, one bottle of drinking water, a bar of soap and a wooden staff.

They arrived at Ahmadabad on 27th June in morning. Vajifdar and 2 other disciples were there to meet them at the station. Baba sent Sarosh with Gulmai, Khorshed, and Soonamasi to Ahmednagar along with the trunks. He advised Khorshed and Soonamasi to stay in Ahmednagar until he sent for them to come to Bombay. Baba then had a private meeting with Sadashiv, Asthma and Vajifdar on the station platform. He ordered Sadashiv to return to Poona the next day with the particular kafni which had been sewn for him in Quetta. In addition, Sadashiv was to take Vajifdar's suit, shoes and hat with him and deliver them to Vajifdar's house in Bombay. According to Baba's conditions, the men could not wear anything else except the pajamas, shirt and kafni.

Dawn was just breaking, but it was already quite hot. Ramjoo had come down with a sudden fever. The dirt road was rough; they walked on loose earth inches deep. Wearing the tough Pathani sandals, they had difficulty treading it. They rested for some time under the shade of a tree, but there was not the slightest breeze to relieve the oppressive heat. After further inquiry, they were told that the road they were on led far out of their way. The heavy load of utensils and grains weighed them down and, after covering only a short distance, they became so exhausted that they had to take rest again under a tree. Vajifdar had blisters on his feet, Baba then remarked, "True, it is Ramjoo's fault we have taken this road, and we are all irritated about it, but that does not mean Nervous should pick a fight! This is the very reason Khodadad's name was changed to Nervous!"

Baba finished his tea and ordered that they start walking again. After some distance, he allowed the men to rest under the shade of a tree by the collector's bungalow.  They put down their packs with a sigh of relief and stretched out under the branches. There was a well in the compound but the place proved ill chosen, for the ground was full of rocks and the shade insufficient to shield them from the blazing sun. Despite the uncomfortable setting, all laid down. They were completely worn out, especially the stronger members whose loads were the heaviest. Vajifdar, who was the strongest, was unable to walk due to blisters on his feet; Masaji and Baidul lay on their stomachs breathing heavily; Pendu and Ramjoo were seething from the heat, and Ramjoo actually began weeping out of longing to quench his thirst. God is all-merciful, but the path to God is merciless. Now the mandali were to realize the Master's compassion and find him intervening on behalf of God.

 

The mandali's had walked fifteen miles from Barejadi to Kaira. They were weak from lack of water amidst the intense heat and the load they were made to carry. In the afternoon, a police officer abruptly arrived and took down their names and addresses. He warned them, "These days kidnapping of little children by thieves and dacoits is rampant in this area and the public is in an ugly mood. You would be wise to leave the district as soon as possible. A rumor is already about that you are a gang of kidnappers!" During this period, panic was widespread throughout the villages of Gujarat, and it was natural that the public looked on this band of unshaven, disheveled and strangely attired men with suspicion.

To clear up the matter, Baba told Vajifdar to go to the police superintendent to request his help and cooperation. The superintendent was a Parsi, but due to Vajifdar's ragged appearance, the man could not believe that this was the once famous cricketer. When Vajifdar tried to explain about Meher Baba and the purpose of their walking tour, the superintendent refused to believe a word. Vajifdar returned disappointed.

On 3rd July 1923, Baba and His group arrived in Broach and stayed until daybreak in the compound of a dharamshala near the station. Meanwhile, Baba, Vajifdar and Slamson went to the city in a Tonga. Vajifdar's relatives arranged their stay in the Parsi dharamshala located in Jamshed Gardens. On their return, all walked the distance of a mile and a half to the dharamshala. Three disciples played their roles as servants and were able to gain entrance into the exclusively Parsi guest house. There was no kitchen to cook the food and water was scarce due to scanty monsoon rains, but Gustadji managed to cook rice and dal outside.

On 11th July, repairs to the Post Office building began. But after only two hours of work, Baba gathered the mandali around him and said, "It is better to proceed to Bombay rather than remain here and look for work to keep ourselves occupied. In Bombay, there is no problem about keeping busy. Also, I can guide Vajifdar in his work of handling the distribution of Upasni Maharaj's biography in Gujarati.

On 16th August, after staying in Bombay for over a month, Baba went to Lonavla by train accompanied with 6 mandali men whose families lived in Lonavla. They had arranged for their stay in Madni's bungalow, and Abdul Tayab loaned his car for Baba's use. The seven days in Lonavla were relaxing and joyful. The Master gave discourses, played cards and listened to phonograph records with the mandali. Vajifdar joined them, and the cool, pleasant monsoon weather and Baba's good humor had the mandali in high spirits. (

Baba had planned to stay in the small office in the backyard of Manzil-e-Meem for an indefinite period. But, soon after his return, he started complaining about the discomforts of the small office house — its leaky roof and the damp rooms. And the landlord, whose attitude was less than friendly, did nothing toward fixing the roof. Baba had noticed a building for rent in the Parel district and liked it. His bedding and luggage, and that of some of the mandali, were transferred there on Sunday, 2 September 1923; the remaining belongings were to be brought the following day. But the next day, after Baba had spent the night in the new house, he declared that it was quite unsuitable and inconvenient, so it was promptly vacated.

Baba selected another house newly built near Kohinoor Mills in Dadar. He looked the place over and, before settling the rent with the owner, ordered the remaining baggage from Circle & Company's office to be shifted there. However, within an hour, he found fault with the incomplete condition of the building, as some of the construction work was still being done, and asked Behramji and Vajifdar to find another accommodation in Dadar. They selected one and Baba went in person to inspect it.

The apartment was situated near the Dadar railway station, on the second floor of Irani Mansion No. 6.  It was spacious and could be comfortably divided into two main sections. In one part, there were two bedrooms, a kitchen, a toilet and a bathroom — which Vajifdar was to occupy with his family. In the other half, there was a large room, a balcony and a bedroom which would adequately serve Baba and the mandali as an office and living accommodations. After Behramji and Vajifdar settled the terms of rent with the landlord, Baba moved in on 3 September. Behind the Master's sudden change of plans was always a hidden objective. From this move, Vajifdar and his relatives came into Baba's close contact. New deep connections were also established with other people of the locality.

All furniture from the Manzil office was moved to Irani Mansion during the first week of their stay. A huge wooden cupboard could not be taken up the narrow staircase, so it had to be hoisted by ropes over the balcony to the second floor. The office tables and chairs were kept outside on the balcony, and the wooden almirah (cupboard) was kept in the large hall. Vajifdar moved into the house with his sister-in-law Jerbai and her sister Hilla, as soon as Baba and the mandali settled there.

On 1st November, mandali left for Sakori. Slamson stayed behind with Baba at Bableshwar. At Rahata (a mile from Sakori) they met Vajifdar and 2 disciples who had arrived by train according to Baba's instructions. Finally the men reached Sakori, after a two-week walk from Bombay.

In the dharamshala, the entire day was spent discussing the upcoming trip to Persia. It was decided that these eleven men would accompany him including Vajifdar. It was also decided to start for Persia at the beginning of February by route of Bandar Abbas, and that the period before then should be spent in or near Karachi.

Regarding the journey to Persia, each man had to sign an agreement on stamp paper to this effect:

At Halt Ho, a bungalow was rented for two months, and all were under the impression that they would be staying there for at least that long. The men informed their families of their safe arrival and accordingly told them to write them at the Halt Ho address. But the very next day, Baba said, "I have now decided we will immediately go to Basra (in Iraq)], where we will pass the interim period before going to Persia via Baghdad. By then the cold in Baghdad and snowfall in Persia will have stopped."

Baba's statement was a shock to the mandali, but since leaving Manzil-e-Meem they had become accustomed to wandering from place to place and kept quiet. A telegram was sent to Vajifdar requesting funds and their passports. Thus peaceful Halt Ho turned into a noisy den of activity as they prepared to leave for Iraq.

Naval Talati had been instructed to inquire about obtaining passports from Bombay for Baba and the men. When he went to the Persian Consulate to sign the passports on behalf of Baba and the mandali, the consul casually told him, "Except for Meher Baba, all the others must come in person and sign the papers in my presence before I will endorse their passports. Meher Baba's presence is not necessary because he recently came to see me and told me he would send his passport with someone for my signature, to which I agreed."

This strange incident occurred on 17th November 1923, while Baba was in Karachi. When the mandali were informed of this, through Vajifdar's letter, they were greatly surprised, since the Master had been out of Bombay for a month and a half and had never been to the Persian Consulate. (Lord Meher-p-469-1923)

On 29th November, Baba sent for Vajifdar from Bombay and, after talking with him in private, made him immediately return. Thereafter, Baba proceeded to the station by car, well before the train's arrival, and remained seated in the car until it was time for departure. But the driver had informed his family about Meher Baba's arrival, and soon a crowd gathered near the car. The presence of the curious crowd perturbed Baba, so he entered the train. Due to the throng around the compartment, they could not even see him. Amidst the confusion, Baba and Gustadji departed for an unknown destination.

On 27th January 1924, a qawaali program was held in the Manzil-e-Meem compound, featuring Yasin Qawaal, who had sung for Baba several times before. The program lasted throughout the day, and Baba thoroughly enjoyed the singing. Vajifdar brought food from Irani Mansion, which Baba served to all those present.

Baba had been planning the trip to Persia for some weeks and more of the mandali had rejoined him at Bharucha Building. Eight men had been selected to join him on the journey including Vajifdar. On 29 th January 1924, those who were to travel to Persia had gone to the Persian Consulate with their respective passports.

 

 

Baba was travelling to Persia, when the boat docked at Karachi for a brief period, Pilamai and other devotees were present with flowers and food, and Baba was received with great reverence. The sea was calm as the boat steamed into the Persian Gulf, but a freezing, shiver-inducing cold storm swept over them after leaving the port of Bahrain. By the time they reached the port of Bushire, Baba, who until then had been quite well, also suffered nausea. Vajifdar, too, started feeling nauseous and vomited.

After passing through the ports of Lingeh, Henjam Island and Muscat, the cargo ship reached Karachi during the second week of March 1924. Vajifdar accompanied Nervous and Padri to Pilamai's house. Masaji went to hire a bullock cart to take their baggage to the railway station, for Baba had decided to depart immediately by train to Nepal. A tonga was brought instead, and the luggage was taken to the station, where Baba and the men rested in a waiting room. Vajifdar returned at 10:00 P.M. and he soon went to sleep, yet each man had to take turns on watch by Baba for an hour, as well as to safeguard the luggage against theft. They were carrying sacks of grain and rice with them throughout the journey, and the responsibility of looking after the food fell on Masaji and Vajifdar. (

 

 

On way Baba bathed at the public water tap in the train station. To ensure privacy, they hung curtains of blankets on all four sides, forming a makeshift shower stall around the tap. According to Baba's order, no coolies were to be hired; therefore, Masaji and Vajifdar had to carry all the luggage onto the train. Their belongings were heavy and cumbersome, but they managed to load everything on board in time to catch the Quetta Mail train.

Later, during the change of trains at Hyderabad station, Masaji lost his bedding roll. This mishap resulted in a heated quarrel between Gustadji and him. Baba afterward pacified Masaji by lending his own sheets and a woolen blanket to him. Vajifdar was assigned the duty of general manager in Behramji's absence, and he had to purchase their tickets, arrange for the food, and make certain that the luggage was properly loaded. Along with the headache of being the manager, Vajifdar also had to endure Baba's constant "arrows" (his teasing and criticisms). Baba had singled him out for goading, which proved an additional mental burden for Vajifdar. During their stay at Maghar, a conflict arose between groups of wandering sadhus. Baba intervened and stopped the quarrel. He explained to them about the way of life they should be leading if they were real sadhus and had renounced the ephemeral world. Soon after, Baba and the four remaining mandali (Adi, Gustadji, Masaji and Vajifdar) left Maghar for Kanpur in tongas and stayed at a dharamshala there. They bathed in the Ganges River and later fed a few more poor persons along the banks.

When they boarded a train at Kanpur, Baba instructed Vajifdar to return to Bombay. Adi to select a place within a radius of five or six miles from Sakori where he could stay with the mandali. The four men proceeded to their destinations, and Baba left the train at the Itarsi station alone.

Baba departed for Bombay on 2nd June 1924, with Vajifdar (who had been staying at Meherabad) and 3 other disciples. They reached Manmad in the afternoon. The journey had been comfortable, since their compartment was not crowded. They had lunch and then transferred to the Bombay passenger train, unknowingly settling in a compartment meant for the military. At the Deolali railway station, Baba sent one of the men to bring tea and dispatched another to buy a newspaper. Within minutes, a railway official came and told them to vacate the compartment, which was to be detached there. It was not easy to move all their heavy luggage, especially when the other compartments were now overcrowded. Baba told Ramjoo to arrange accommodations in a second class compartment. He went to the booking clerk who explained that it was too late to purchase new tickets, since the train was about to depart.

Ramjoo ran back and found Baba seated alone in a second class compartment with his luggage. Vajifdar, Ardeshir and Ghani were trying to transfer the remainder of the baggage to the compartment next to the engine. The whistle was blowing, and Ramjoo told Baba that the rest of the mandali had not yet boarded. Hearing this, Baba grabbed his luggage, and he and Ramjoo jumped down from the moving train. But as the train pulled away, Vajifdar, Ardeshir and Ghani were not seen on the platform and, after an inquiry, it was learned that they had boarded before the train had departed.

At Lahit railway the stationmaster telephoned Igatpuri and found out that Ardeshir and Ghani were waiting there; meanwhile Vajifdar had left for Deolali on a mail train to meet them.

 

Baba promptly had Vajifdar telegraphed not to stop there but to continue on to Lahit instead. When Vajifdar arrived from Deolali on a passenger train, he accompanied Baba and Ramjoo to Igatpuri on the same train.

Plans for building a house in Sukkur were discussed, and it was decided that the mandali themselves should build the house and work in the orchard. Establishing a trust was proposed, with the provision that only those wholly and solely dedicated to Meher Baba would be allowed to take part in the project. During the discussion, someone mentioned the problem of Sukkur's extreme heat, and those who had experienced its high temperature felt that the mandali could not tolerate it. Discussions of the pros and cons of moving to Sukkur went on for a week; finally the whole Sukkur plan was cancelled.

Instead, a visit to Karachi was suggested, and Ardeshir and Ramjoo were soon sent there, while Vajifdar remained with Baba in Quetta.

Baba ordered Vajifdar to remain behind in Bombay. Behramji had recently returned from Persia, and Baba instructed him, Gustadji, Baily, and Padri to purchase the necessities for the journey, such as bedding rolls, clothes, shoes, et cetera — for once the journey started they would not be allowed to buy anything. Thus the load which they were to carry became heavy. Padri was appointed the unwelcome duty of manager, with instructions to look after all arrangements during their travel. He also kept a diary of the journey. On 1st August 1924, they began their tour and headed to Poona.

From Rishikesh they proceeded to Laxman Jhula (Laxman's Swing), fourteen miles away. However, after a perilous drive across the suspension bridge, they turned back and reached Hardwar at one in the afternoon. In Hardwar, Baba decided that they should begin their foot journey to Sakori, and preparations were made. After fasting the whole day, the mandali had rice and dal in the late afternoon, but Baba still ate nothing. He had stomach pains and was feverish. Adi and Vajifdar were telegraphed messages; Vajifdar was instructed to meet them at the Laskar railway station.

Many were at the station, as Laskar is a major junction for people on pilgrimage to Hardwar.

Vajifdar arrived in afternoon the following morning with the latest news about matters in Bombay. Baba explained to him about the proposed foot journey to Sakori. Baba asked the four men whether they should proceed to Sakori by foot, searching for sadhus and saints on the way, or journey by train to different places of pilgrimage, and eventually return to Meherabad? Gustadji, Behramji, and Padri were eager to put an immediate end to the foot journey and continue touring by train. Unexpectedly, Baba also agreed to stop walking. With Vajifdar, they took a train from Laskar at 1:30 P.M. and reached Moradabad at six that evening.

On 14th September 1924, Baba left Bombay for Poona with Vajifdar and 3 disciples. From Poona, they immediately departed for Panjim. During the train ride, Vajifdar fell ill with a fever, and by the time they reached Londa his condition had worsened.

In Londa, on some pretext, Baba became angry with Vajifdar and ordered him to lie down on a bench on the station platform; Masaji was ordered to look after him, while Behramji was sent to bring fresh milk. Baba and Gustadji ate in a Hindu restaurant and brought food back for Behramji and Masaji. Vajifdar was given the milk and the journey resumed. Amazingly, by Baba's venting his rage at him, Vajifdar's condition steadily improved, and after a few hours he was completely well. (

One of Vajifdar's close friends had passed away, but before the man died. Vajifdar had promised to look after his widow. Baba advised Vajifdar to join his mandali, but Vajifdar felt obligated to honor his promise to his friend. Baba then told him to go his own way. It would be seven long years before Vajifdar saw Baba again. One old connection with Homi Vajifdar, the cricketer was outwardly severed.

In year 1930, dressed in western attire, Baba, and four of his mandali men departed by train from Marseilles for London. Seated in the train, while looking at Herbert, Baba remarked that Herbert's features and build resembled Vajifdar's. Herbert had worked hard and sincerely in taking care of the group's travel arrangements and comforts. For Baba and the mandali, Herbert had arranged for vegetarian food and in this way was paying close attention to every special request of the Master.

Baba left Navsari by train in morning on 2nd March 1932, for Bombay, where he arrived in evening. Coincidentally, the group met Homi Vajifdar, an old acquaintance, at the Dadar station. It was a touching scene when Vajifdar (the former cricket star who had stayed in Manzil-e-Meem) met Baba after seven years of separation.

Vajifdar came to Manekji's the next evening with his family and invited Baba to his home. Baba went to Vajifdar's home for a dhansak lunch on the 4th, and left Bombay for Nasik on 6th March 1932.

On 24th March 1932, at nine at night, Baba sailed from Bombay for England with his small group of six mandali, along with 800 other passengers, on the Italian ship Conte Rosso. Approximately 150 of Baba's lovers gave him a hearty and loving send-off on the docks at Ballard Pier. Waving farewell were Vajifdar and many mandali and Baba lovers from Bombay, Poona and Nasik.

Baba had been to Bombay on 17th August 1933 for the day, and went again on Monday, 4th September to book his boat passage for the upcoming trip to the West. Baba saw Vajifdar, a former disciple from the Manzil-e-Meem days and an all-India cricketer.

Baba and His group arrived in Surat the in morning and stayed at a dak bungalow. Pendu was sent for from Meherabad and arrived on the 27th. The group left with Baba by bus for Hajira Pier, a remote place, seventeen miles away on the coastline. The road there was horribly rough and muddy. Their bus got stuck frequently and they had to get out at times to help push it. Also, the bus would skid to the side of the road, and an accident was averted by inches at one intersection. Finally, they reached Mora and hired two bullock carts to complete the journey. Baba suddenly remembered Vajifdar. Praising him, Baba commented, "Vajifdar served me lovingly and humbly, obeying all of my orders, no matter how strict or ridiculous they seemed."

In 1959, at Bombay, Perviz had had a chance encounter with Homi Vajifdar, the former cricketer who had been in Baba's close contact at Manzil-e-Meem, but who had not seen Baba since 1933. Baba remembered him fondly and sent him a message of love. When Perviz delivered it, Vajifdar wept. Despite his feelings, Vajifdar never came to see Baba, and died in 1961. (Lord Meher-p-4528-1959)

 

 

88-VADEKAR E. N.

While the storm of opposition was blowing in Navsari, Baba and the mandali left Bombay in an especially reserved third class compartment amidst shouts of his praise. A Parsi stranger named E. N. Vadegar, 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."

  1. N. Vadegar 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)."

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. Many lovers were present on the station and some were to go to Navsari. Baba handed prasad to those who had come for darshan. At every station where the train halted, crowds lined up to hail Baba and rushed toward his coach when they saw that he was handing out prasad.

At one o'clock in the afternoon, Baba and the mandali arrived in Navsari, (Lord Meher-p-3922/33-1956)

 

98-VASANT

(A student)

From 8th January 1928, each boy would weep alone in a secluded spot. Vasant sat near Baba and wept on his legs. Memo, Pilamai, and Big Khorshed had come for a visit and were deeply moved by the outpouring of love from the boys.

Raosaheb and a few of the boys were called to the crypt a few days before, on the 19th, and Raosaheb read aloud couplets in Persian from Shams-e-Tabriz. Abdulla, Rajaram, and Lobhaji each lost bodily consciousness that day.  Vasant too was crying continuously. About Vasant, Baba remarked, "I will make him a kamal (remarkable, extraordinary) boy in the future."

Twenty names were written down. It was decided that these boys would remain with Baba while the others should attend school regularly, keeping to their fixed schedule of study, play, and meditation without fail. Studies were to continue as strictly as before, with punishment given to those who neglected them. Baba designated that the 20 boys selected be kept separately in the third hall of the Water Tank. They were allowed to be near Baba for a certain time each day.

Of the mandali, as noted, only Raosaheb was permitted to sit near Baba in the cabin with this group of boys. At one point,  Vasant also continued to weep day after day for hours; only Baba was able to console him.

After dinner and arti on 9th October 1928, Baba sent for the Prem Ashram boys to come to the Manzil. (It had been a long time since he had called them after dinner.) Rustom had recently brought some new gramophone records from Poona (including one featuring a clarinet) and Baba and the boys enjoyed them. Baba allowed the boys to bow down to him and each sat quietly afterward close to Baba. One boy, Vasant, continuously stared at Baba

Because of Baba's announced walking tour, preparations began on 12 th  January 1929, for sending away most of the boys of both the Meher and Prem Ashram. Telegrams were sent to the boys' parents or guardians, informing them the school was closing.

Aga Ali's father was the first to arrive the next day to take his son home. Vasant, and two other boys departed for their homes.

Later in June, Baba mentioned going out on tour and, in his absence, finding employment for the Arangaon boys: "They should be taught to work in a printing press or how to drive a motor vehicle. But I have to see that these youngsters of today, who are the men of tomorrow, are taught morals and are fully roused to a sense of duty. Without morals, whatever they are taught — even if they are clever and pass in first class — has no value."

Commenting about the older boys, Baba stated, "If they remain celibate and don't marry, it would really be for the best. They are the future workers of this Path. If boys like Dattu and Vasant are forced to marry, everything will go kaput!"

On 26 th June 1929, Vasant's parents took him home against his will to Jamkhed village, 60 miles away. The Muslim section of the ashram was then closed.

On 5 July 1929, the boy Vasant showed up at Meherabad. He had escaped from his parents and

Baba said, I feel for Vasant who is made to stay at home with his parents when his heart only longs to be by my side. I don't feel for anyone else like this, and this pain is my gift to Vasant Ali."

During this period, there were still five other Prem Ashram boys with whom Baba maintained close connection; they were staying at Akbar Press. Against his wishes, fifteen-year-old Vasant was staying at his parents' home in the village of Jamkhed, where he would barely speak to anyone, and answer only in monosyllables. Baba had once observed about the boy, "He is almost a saint already!"

On 1 st September 1929, Baba remarked, "Vasant is the best of the Prem Ashram boys. I must not leave Meherabad on my next tour without giving him the benefit of my company for at least half an hour. If he learned that I was here and had left without seeing him, he would feel so bad he might even die!"

The next day, Baba was driven the 60 miles to Jamkhed especially to meet this lucky youth. Vasant was overjoyed at the good fortune of having Baba's darshan, and was profoundly humbled to know that the Master had come so far to see him. (Lord Meher-p-1077/78-1929)

 

 

99-VASANT DESHMUKH

(Chhagan's brother)

In year 1954, Baba visited ashram of Upasni Maharaj in Sakori. Upon his arrival in Sakori, Baba was welcomed by the residents of the Sakori ashram and villagers singing bhajans. A few rifles were fired in ceremonial salute. Baba's car stopped, he was garlanded with flowers, tikka (a vermilion mark) was applied to his forehead, and people started bowing down to him. Gulal (red-colored powder) was sprinkled over the hood of  car, and garlands were placed on it in decoration. Baba's car was then taken in a procession to the ashram. A beautifully caparisoned horse and a band were in the vanguard, and, on each side of Baba's car, men wearing red belts and carrying silver staffs formed an honor guard.

The procession halted in front of Upasni Maharaj's old temple. Chhagan's brother Vasant Deshmukh, the chief priest of Sakori, garlanded Baba and offered a coconut to him. Another coconut, which Baba touched, was broken and its water strewn on the road, sanctifying the area. Kirtans were lovingly and vigorously being chanted. Baba took a pair of finger-cymbals from one of the kirtan singers and played it for a short time, while sitting in the car.

As Baba was leaving the temple room, Jiji, pointing to a photograph of Maharaj on the wall, informed Baba that once a noise like a gunshot was heard emanating from the photograph. Baba touched the picture and told Jiji he was happy to hear that.

At 10:15 A.M., Baba entered Upasni Maharaj's hut, where a number of men and women had already gathered and were singing devotional songs. Baba sat down on a cushion on the stone flooring. One of Maharaj's devotees said a few words in Marathi welcoming Baba's visit, and Vasant then entertained Baba with his combined singing and humorous gesturing, which made Baba laugh very much.

Baba then introduced the five Sakori men." Asking Vasant Deshmukh stood up, and Baba stated, "Here is Sakori's high priest. But even his priesthood will not save me from violent death." 3(lord Meher-p-635-1954

Coming to know of Baba's visit to Sakori, lovers from Ahmednagar, Poona, Bombay and other places had gathered there. Baba left Meherazad at about 7:30 A.M. on Thursday, 26 January 1956, Baba reached Rahata village (one mile from Sakori) an hour later. In Rahata, Adi delivered Godavri's message, and Baba was happy to hear it.

Baba reached Sakori, the residents of the ashram and his lovers received him a few hundred yards away. the manager of the ashram, garlanded him even before he could get out of the car. Baba was taken in a procession with music and singing. In the vanguard was a beautifully decorated white horse (symbolic of Kalki, the Avataric incarnation in the Kali Yuga). When Baba came to the temple, the high priest, Vasant Deshmukh (Chhagan's brother), performed puja.

Accompanying Baba in his car and another car were eight close disciples left for Sakori on invitation of Godavari man cheif disciples of Upasani Maharaj. Many lovers from Ahmednagar also went, including Gulmai. Baba reached Sakori in morning and hundreds crowded around his car. He was taken by car in a special procession through the ashram gates, led by a caparisoned white horse and men carrying silver staffs. Continuous cries of "Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!" reverberated. Baba's wheelchair had been brought, and he was wheeled to the ashram temple where Vasant performed puja. Godavri Mai and the other kanyas sang his arti.

The kanyas then garlanded Baba and took darshan. A pandal had been erected opposite a large banyan tree under which Upasni Maharaj had sat for many years. Baba was helped into a armchair on the dais inside. The tent was full to overflowing. Godavri was sitting near Baba on the dais. This message from Baba was read over the microphone: (Lord Meher-p-4154-1957)

 

 

96-VASWANI T. L.

On 23 rd March 1957, Joyous singing and shouts of “Jai Avatar Meher Baba!” accompanied Baba’s car as it slowly made its way through the crowd toward Saint Mira High School. The car was decorated with garlands, and in the vanguard of the parade a band was playing. Vaswani received Baba at the door of the school and embraced him tightly. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he led Baba to a private room, where he sat with him for a while. Baba comforted him and was then carried in a chair to the school’s Sanctuary Hall, where he was seated on the dais. Vaswani sat on his right and Irene Conybeare was given a chair opposite them with some other people.

After recitations from the Bhagavad Gita and kirtan singing by the students, Vaswani, deeply moved, paid tribute to Baba in his welcome remarks over the microphone. The following is a part of his talk:

Sisters and brothers, children of the One Divine Mother! I speak in the presence of one whom his disciples in different parts regard as the Ancient One.

For thirty years and more, He who is in our midst today has borne witness to the truth that there is something better than speech. That is silence. It is, to my mind, the truth of Truths. He has spoken to the world through silence. His witness to the “Kingdom of Silence” went into my heart many years ago. In this age of noise, he has taught the truth: Be silent! . . .

I have been impressed, too, with another truth in the life of Beloved Baba. He is a lover of the simple life. He is simple, and therefore he rejoices in the company of the little ones. In his message … he said it did his heart good to come in contact with the little ones, the children of the Mira Schools.

There is a third thing too which I have noticed in regard to Meher Baba – the smile on his lips. A beautiful smile plays on his lips always. He has suffered as perhaps not many have. He has experienced pain as not many have. But there is always a beautiful smile playing on his lips.

His silence, his simplicity, and his smile – these are his three gifts to us. I bow down to him with love and humility in my heart.

On Baba’s behalf C. D. Deshmukh spoke eloquently for five minutes, emphasizing Baba’s Avatar hood and mission. The hall was full to capacity with Vaswani’s students and followers. Baba’s lovers had to stand outside by the gate.

Baba asked that this message from him be read out to the students:

The youth of today is the ruling force of tomorrow. All things have a small beginning; the seedling grows into a tree, the stream into a river and the child grows into a man to use or misuse the lessons he has absorbed in life as a youth. But even after he has grown into a man, he often remains a child in the spiritual sense of the word. The world is the kindergarten and school necessary for the spiritual lessons man must learn through countless lives of experiencing the opposites – such as pain and pleasure, joy and suffering, good and bad, wealth and poverty, et cetera.

All growth is gradual, and it is only through slow and gradual stages that man begins truly to grow up and discover his True Self and to relinquish the childish playthings of hate, greed and anger through selfless service and love. In the spiritual school also, there are many grades to be passed which few have the courage and determination to go through. Just as you need masters and instructors to guide you along the path of your studies, so there exist Perfect Masters who can guide you along the path of the spirit to the glorious destination of Godhood. Few have the good fortune to meet and follow such a spiritual Guide – when you do, you must earn his grace and be worthy of his love.

Do not balk at the discipline given by your parents and teachers. Discipline in small ways leads to the greater necessary discipline of self. Do not try to conquer others – conquer your self and you will have conquered the world. The simplest way to do this is to love God. Begin to love God by loving your fellow-beings. Begin to see God by seeing Him in all beings and things. Give without thought of return. Serve without thought of reward. God is everywhere, in everything. Most of all, He is right within yourself. You do not exist for the world – the world exists for you.

There is an amusing illustration of this in the story of the ant. An ant was trying to cross a stream on a leaf. Midstream the leaf, tossed by the wind, overturned and the ant cried: “Help, help, the world is drowning!”

A frog close by said: “What rubbish. The world is not drowning; you mean you are drowning.”

“Well,” said the ant, “once I drown the world might as well not exist for me. So for me it means not only that I am drowning but that the world is drowning too.”

In the same way, all existence is within you. God is to be found within yourself, and once you find Him you have found the only treasure worth finding. I give you my blessings that you love God and find Him. (Lord Meher, American ed. Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 15, pp. 5157-5160).

 

 

2274-VERMA Y. P

Accommodations for Baba in Nagpur had been made at the bungalow of Y. P. Verma, a barrister, in the Gokulpeth locality on West High Court Road..

2294-VISHWANATH

A high Hindu priest

At Meherabad, in March 1925, two humble Hindu temples were constructed out of bamboo matting. One was meant for the low-caste Harijans and the other for the higher caste Brahmins. A man named Vishwanath was appointed as the high-caste priest. The simple temples had photographs of gurus and pictures of favorite Hindu devas (Ganesh, Dattatrey and Hanuman) hung on the walls. The photographs of the gurus included Babajan, Sai Baba, Upasni Maharaj, and Meher Baba. The children of Arangaon would worship and sing bhajans in the Harijan temple. During Hindu festivals, both temples were decorated and the holy days were observed with great ceremony and devotion. (Lord Meher-p-569-1925)

 

 

2314-WALU PAWAR

(Mandali woman)

(Refer Fortunate souls Volume-3)

An old lady, completely bent at right angles at her waist came in.  She would put her hand on her forehead to avoid the glare on her eyes so that she could see Baba in the crypt.  When asked whether she could see Baba, she just shook her head in the negative.  She seemed to have got hypermature cataracts in both yes!  She was led to the landing of the crypt and only after she had sat down there and a

Torch light focused on Baba’s face see Him.

It was then that Eruch told us that she was Valu, an old and faithful devotee of Baba from the early twenties.  She was very dear to Baba and though she could not see Baba well, Baba saw her and acknowledged her long, sincere, unselfish and loving services for the Avatar of the Age.  Tears came into her eyes as she remembered the years she had spent with Baba.  They were tears of love.

"Who weeps for love, he weeps the best.

Who cries for else, he does but the jest.” (Meher Baba’s Last sahwas-p-42 (Dr. H. P. Bharucha)

 

2319-VISHNU CHAVAN & WIFE

Vishnu Chavan also came to Baba's bungalow. Although he had been in Baba's contact for years, Baba did not see him. In fact, none of the Poona lovers were permitted to see Baba, since he was still in seclusion. But Chavan persisted and sent word to Baba that he did not desire anything except his blessing. So, for the purpose of receiving his blessing, Baba instructed him to go to Meherabad in a few weeks, on a certain date.

On the appointed day, Chavan went to Meherabad and then came to Meherazad, where Baba was staying by then. Baba warned him, "To digest my blessing is infinitely difficult. You do not understand the meaning of it. You do not know what it is. You will have to face tremendous hardships. Do you know what my grace means? You will be stripped of everything you own! You will be on the streets! Those who dare to seek and are privileged to receive my grace are stripped of everything. They have no roof over their heads. They wear only loincloths."

Baba again warned him, "Great courage is required to assimilate my blessing. So don't ask for it. Ask for something else."

"I only want your blessing," Chavan insisted.

Solemnly Baba gestured, "All right, take it. I give you my blessing." And with it, Chavan left to return to Poona. In a short time, true to Baba's words, Chavan fell on very hard times and gradually life got worse and worse. Chavan was married with a few children. Some months after this meeting, he found himself homeless and penniless.

For some time, he and his family lived in the local Gadge Maharaj dharamshala in Poona. After a while, they were forced to vacate, and Turekar, a Baba lover in the police force, took pity on them and allowed them to stay in a storeroom at his bungalow. Months passed. Chavan, unable to bear the conditions of his life brought on by Baba's "blessing," contemplated suicide. By chance, he met Eruch on a street and disclosed what had happened to him. The news reached Baba, and Chavan was called to Guruprasad.

Chavan came and prostrated himself before Baba. Baba lovingly inquired about his family and then stated, "When you first came to me, I warned you that courage was needed to assimilate my blessing. You do not have that courage. Now, what do you want?"

"Baba, help me. The landlord evicted me and my family from our house and removed all our possessions. I don't have a single paisa with me, and the children are starving."

"All right. I will take back my blessing and give you some monetary help. But always be honest and don't forget me." Baba asked Nariman to give Chavan Rs.1, 000, and Chavan took the money and left, pleased.

The following year, when Baba was again in Poona, he asked K. K. Ramakrishnan, "Do you know Vishnu Chavan? Have you asked for or taken any money from him (for the Poona Center work)? I know you are mad with your Center project."

Ramakrishnan told Baba, "Yes, I know him. He appears to be a big man now. He has acquired the Bombay agency of an industrial or mercantile company and has become quite rich. He lives behind the railway station and goes everywhere by taxi. But I have not asked him for a donation. His wife sends two rupees to the Center every month. That is all they give."

Baba warned Ramakrishnan not to take any money from Chavan. "It is all right if you accept one or two rupees for the Center work, but no large sum, even if he gives it on his own. Beware."

Again, some time passed. One day in Guruprasad, when Maharani Shantadevi was sitting by Baba, Chavan arrived in a very sad mood. Baba asked what was troubling him. Chavan equivocated, professing innocence about charges of fraud and embezzlement that had been brought against him. Baba told him not to worry, if he had done nothing illegal, and he left. But soon afterwards, Chavan was arrested, found guilty and sentenced to several years in prison. The mandali and local lovers believed he had been wrongly convicted. When he was released, Chavan came for Baba's darshan, and Baba asked him again, "Tell me the truth. Did you commit the fraud?" Chavan finally admitted his guilt, and Baba admonished him, "Never do so again."

Despite having failed to follow Baba's advice about remaining honest, Baba had not "exposed" Chavan and, in fact, had lovingly seen to the financial well-being of his wife and children while he was in prison. Chavan learned an invaluable lesson in following the Master's orders. (Lord Meher-p-5143)

 

2331-WAGH B.T.

In 1954, during Sakori visit, procession halted in front of Upasani Maharaj of Temple. Vasant Deshmukh, the chief priest of Sakori, garlanded Baba and offered a coconut to him. Baba made Godavri sit on his left side and Jiji on his right. Jiji was so overcome that tears rolled down her cheeks. Baba patted her on the head. B. T. Wagh, the manager of the ashram, stood before Baba, urging those taking Baba's darshan to be quick.  (Lord Meher-p-3529-1954)

 

YADALIWAR DEVRAJ B.

5587

158-YADAV KAMBLE

On 2nd January 1960, the newly-built Avatar Meher Baba Arangaon Center was decorated with buntings and with flowers, which gave off a sweet fragrance. Every house in the village left nothing undone to beautify itself, awaiting the Avatar's arrival.

Seeing Baba, the villagers could not control their feelings, and loud cheering of "Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!" burst forth. The Arangaon Center had recently been constructed, and this was the first time Baba was gracing the small room. A ribbon had been tied across the door, which Baba cut. Entering the premises, Baba took darshan of his own photograph there. Coming out after a while, he sat under a pandal, erected outside the structure where a devotee, named Yadav Kamble, devoutly sang his compositions in praise of Baba's divinity.

On 19 th November 1967, Baba sent for his lovers and devotees from Arangaon. All those staying at the Family Quarters in Meherabad (Jangle's family and Walu), as well as Mansari and Kaikobad's family on the hill were invited, and they began to arrive in Meherazad at 9:00 A.M. About 300 persons in all, travelling in bullock carts, buses, bicycles, or on foot came, and the close ones came in a hired station wagon. Yadav Kamble and few others sang before Baba. (Lord Meher-p-5298-1967)

2360-YESHWANTRAO HOLKAR (MRS)

(Maharani of Indore)

The ship, in which Baba and mandali travelling, docked in Port Said on the morning of 2nd October 1933.

Mrs. Yeshwantrao Holkar came to Baba's cabin for his darshan with her secretary. At the time, Baba was out for his morning walk on deck and someone directed her there. As she approached, Chanji intercepted her, saying, "Meher Baba only gives darshan after making an appointment. I will have to ask his permission and let you know." The secretary explained that the maharani had not come to ask anything of Meher Baba, but that she only wanted his darshan. Chanji reiterated that he would ask Baba and inform them. But they followed him and came face-to-face with Baba before Chanji could seek Baba's permission. (Lord Meher-p-1459-1933)

 

 

2361-YASIN QUWAAL

In the evening of 9th May 1923, with great éclat and in regal style, Rustom and Freiny were married according to Zoroastrian custom. That morning Baba was dressed in a new suit of clothes, and puja was performed before him. A European band and various entertainments were enjoyed by all the other 200 guests. A private qawaali program was staged for Baba, the mandali and a few selected members of Rustom's family, led by Yasin Qawaal who had been brought from Bombay just for the occasion.

The following afternoon there was another qawaali program. Baba thoroughly enjoyed the music. The Wine of the Divine Song flowed freely during such programs, especially qawaali programs by such an accomplished singer as Yasin. Baba himself was an exceptional singer and always took great interest in such programs, and listened intently to the singer. (Lord Meher-p-418-1923)

 

2362-YEKTAI KAIKHUSHRU BOMAN

During 1930, in Nasik besides mandali, Kaikhushru Boman Yektai remained with Baba who had joined the mandali a year or so before). (Lord Meher-p-1132-1930)

On 12 May 1930, Manek Shroff came for the Master's darshan. He expressed his wish to be included among them and, in spite of Baba's admonitions, he persisted. So Baba sent him to Meherabad to remain there in seclusion, subsisting only on milk. Kaikhushru Yektai was to do the same. (Lord Meher-p-1174-1930)-

Baba's darshan was held on 1st June 1930. A great crowd of more than a hundred persons appeared for, and there was a large feast at which Baba himself served the food. (Lord Meher-p-1181-1930)

Baba left Kolhapur on Sunday, 7th September 1930 and arrived in Bijapur, where he met up with other members of the mandali. On the 4th October 1930, according to Baba's instructions Yektai broke his long fast. (Lord Meher-p-1199-1930)

 

 

2365-YOUNG PARSI MEN

4923

 

 

2367-YUSUF-1

 

 

2368-YUSUF-2

(A boy in Walki)

In year 1930, as directed by Baba, Chhagan was out looking for a boy, he spotted a handsome youth working in a restaurant in Wai. He asked the boy if he would come with him to Panchgani, and the boy replied he would first have to ask his employer. Finally after much persuasion, the manager agreed.

 

Chhagan brought the boy to Baba who at first liked him very much. But after a few minutes, Baba disapprovingly noticed a small cut on the boy's leg, and directed Chhagan, "Take the boy to Meherabad, where Padri can treat his wound. Tell Padri to bring him to Panchgani once the wound is healed."

 

Chhagan was puzzled by Baba's instructions, as the boy's injury seemed minor. He wondered why Baba was making such a fuss, forcing him to take the boy all the way to Meherabad, when a local doctor could easily have treated the wound. But he did not say anything and, before he left, Baba further instructed him to be sure to contact Sadashiv Patil in Poona on the way and deliver a message, which Baba dictated.

 

Chhagan then left Panchgani with the boy, whose name was Yusuf. In Poona, as he was nearing Sadashiv's house, a Muslim woman who was filling her water vessels at a public well saw the boy and suddenly began calling out, "Yusuf, Yusuf!" She came running to the boy, embraced him and cried, "Yusuf, my son, where have you been? I can't believe it is really you! I have been longing for sight of you day and night for years! My son, have you forgotten your own mother?"

 

A crowd gathered and Chhagan could not understand what was happening. He grew frightened by the presence of so many people and forced his way to Sadashiv's house, where he described the situation to him. Sadashiv approached the woman and questioned her. He found out the woman's only son had disappeared from home five years before, and she and her husband's search had proved fruitless. The parents were overwrought with distress at their failure to locate their lost child. Grief-stricken, they had all but given up hope of ever seeing him again.

 

Chhagan then asked Sadashiv, "What am I to do now" Baba's order was to take the boy to Meherabad." Sadashiv sent a telegram to Baba explaining the situation. Baba's reply promptly came, instructing Chhagan to leave the boy with his parents and return to Panchgani. Only then did Chhagan understand why Baba had sent him on this journey. The message Baba had given Chhagan to convey to Sadashiv was nothing important, but Baba wished to reunite the child with his heartbroken parents. (Lord Meher-p-1166/71930)