1-A NEW REPORTER
(From Ceylon Observer)
In Bandarawela on 26 January, Baba met a reporter from the Ceylon Observer who questioned him about Mahatma Gandhi and India, religion, the purpose of his silence and why he had gone to America. The following is Baba's response:
Look at Gandhi's passive resistance movement. From the spiritual point of view it is wonderful because it embraces sincerity, truth and non-violence. Don't ask me its value as a political weapon. I have nothing to do with politics...
As for the Untouchability issue, I love the Untouchables.
They are close to my heart. Recently, I summoned their leader Dr. Ambedkar and advised him what to do. I consider the orthodox Hindu attitude foolish, but there I leave it as I condemn no one and hate no one.
My religion? I belong to no religion and yet to every religion. Love is my principal agent. The Infinite One can be attained only through love and sincerity. I do not believe in dogmas and ceremonies. God can be realized in every phase of life — art, science, nature and beauty. That is my religion.
I have been silent for eight years. It is not a vow but it has been undertaken for spiritual reasons. Shortly, my mission of preaching will begin. My reason for starting in America is that America, being the most deeply engrossed in material things and suffering the most in consequence, is the soil on which a new spiritual rebirth will first take place. America requires only the guiding hand of a Master to redirect its material powers to the heights of spirituality.
Your Ceylon is a most beautiful country. I shall visit it again. I will be leaving for India soon and then I shall return here on my way to America via China and Honolulu. (Lord Meher-1503-1933)
2-A SMILING WOMAN
On t13th, December-1840, staying in Ceylon Lodge, Baba came to the women smiling and remarked, "My work was most satisfactory today. I am very, very happy." To celebrate, Baba distributed toddy, bhujia and chiwada. Baba's face was glowing like a full moon and his eyes radiated light. The women were awestruck and, affected by the strong, fermented toddy, began chanting the prayer, "Hari, Paramatma, Allah, Ahuramazda, God, Yezdan, Hu!" (Lord Meher-p-2181-1941)
3-A VERY OLD MAN
Baba & group arrived in Colombo on 12th January 1933.
On 15th January 1933, Baba travelled into the interior of Ceylon and stayed in a bungalow called Vth illa Valencia on a hill between the towns of Bandarawela and Diyatalawa, an area said to have the most equable climate in Ceylon. It was picturesque and a river of raging torrents ran through the deep ravine behind Baba's bungalow, causing a ceaseless roar.
After settling in, Baba directed Kaka to find a spot where Baba could sit in seclusion for 24 hours, as he had done in Assisi. Searching through the small town of Bandarawela on 19 January, Quentin and Kaka found a Buddhist temple at the end of a narrow lane. It looked like a suitable place and they showed it to Baba. A priest would not permit them to enter the temple, so they descended a few steps and came upon an open courtyard.
A door of an adjoining house opened and a very old man, who looked at least 100 years old, came out. He seemed to immediately recognize Baba and he started talking to him through hand signs. Baba gestured back, "I want a room where I can be in seclusion without being disturbed for 24 hours." The old man instantly understood and asked the Buddhist priest to open the temple and make a room available to Baba. Baba, however, changed his mind. Later, Baba remarked, "That old man was on the fourth plane. I will push him to the fifth plane when I leave Ceylon. He is my agent in charge of Central Ceylon." (Lord Meher-p-1503-1933)
4-BILLIMORIA RUSTOMJI RATAN SHAH
At the end of September 1940, Meher Baba began making plans to leave Meherabad for some other place where he could continue to work in seclusion. At the beginning of October, Kaka and Chanji were sent to Ceylon to find a place to stay. A wealthy Parsi businessman named Rustomji Ratanshah Billimoria knew of Baba, and helped Kaka and Chanji look for a suitable residence for Baba and the women. Baba had specified that he wished to stay in a villa on the beach. But as none was available, Rustomji put his own bungalow in Veyangoda, 25 miles outside of Colombo, at Baba's disposal. Chanji and Kaka sent a telegram to Baba, and he agreed.
During his stay in Ceylon, Baba bathed Chatti Baba every day in a separate hut on the property.
Rustomji Billimoria and his family were remarkably devoted to Baba, though this was their first meeting. However, for his own reasons, Baba did not want to stay at their house. For his "special work," Baba indicated he needed a house on the seashore or on a hill with a lake or a stream nearby. Therefore, as soon as they arrived in Ceylon, the search for another bungalow began. (Lord Meher-p-2166-1940)
5-OWNER OF MARGO SOAP FACTORY
the proprietor of Calicut's Ceylon Lodge was the owner of a Margo soap factory. He came to know about Meher Baba and that he was occupying his premises and wished to refund the rent, which had been paid in advance for several months. But Baba sent him word to keep it as prasad from him. Baba and his group of 42 persons departed Calicut on the afternoon of 23 December, after having stayed for two weeks. (Lord Meher-p-2181-1940)
Coming out of the room, Baba went and sat under a tree. Meanwhile, a woman devotee of Swami Shivananda, named Satchitananda Mata of Ceylon, arrived at Sakori. In the name of Swami Shivananda, she was conducting the Divine Life Society in the area, and had come to Sakori seeking a personal interview with Baba. Accompanied by Eruch, Baba took Mata to a secluded spot and gave her a private interview for a few minutes. (Lord Meher-p-3916-1956)