ADVANCE SOULS WHO BEAR THE WITNESS OF THE AVATAR
Advance souls or masts of higher planes are intoxicated by divine love for God. Their intoxication of divine love for God is continual in state of permanent enjoyment which may increase but never decrease and it has no physical or mental reaction. When compared to intoxication by alcohol or drug is in-escapably temporary for a limit set by conditions of quantity of intoxicant consumed and his health conditions.
Meher Baba categorized spiritually advance souls into five basic types
Testimony of Meher Baba’s Avatarhood had been given by spiritually advanced souls known as “Masts”. They were highly evolved and had reputations as Masts or Saints quite independent of their relationship with Meher Baba. Meher Baba explained that these advanced souls or Masts of higher planes are God-intoxicated. They are immersed in Divine Bliss and as such are in a different state of consciousness than the ordinary person. As well as experiencing the loveliness of God they also have, according to their degree of advancement, Divine Knowledge, and Power. They are true men of God and love God desperately. They have no concern with the mundane affairs of the world and are found in India and Ceylon, often in remote places. (For detailed account of above categories of advances souls, please read wayfarers by William Donkin-Chapter-one)
An important part of Meher Baba’s work over the years had been in gathering the Masts. He would either have them brought to Him or he would go to them. When a Mast would bear witness to Meher Baba’s spiritual greatness he would in most cases do so without having ever previously met or heard of the Master.
INTRODUCTION OF ADVANCED SOULS WHO BEAR WITNESS OF BABA'S AVATAR HOOD
A 6th plane mast from Simla
He told Kaka, pointing to Baba, “You will see what come to pass, and one day you will know who He really is.”
2- AJIM KHAN
Baidul went to set up an appointment with Azim Khan. The mast said, "Your prayers have been accepted."
Baidul said, “My elder brother wants to see you." "No," the mast cryptically replied. "He is my father; he should not come. How could I invite him here?" Baba did arrive, however, and as soon as the mast saw him he sang out to him: "You are Allah! You have brought forth the creation; once in a thousand years you come down to see the play of what you have created."
For some moments, Baba gazed at Azim Khan and smiled. That eye-contact was sufficient and the work was finished.
An Adept Pilgrim of Bhor
He said of Meher Baba, “Meher Baba has in Him the whole universe, He is the Master of everyone, and he is within every disciple. He is this world, that which is above it, and below it; He is in me and in every one. He is saint of saints; He is Tajuddin Baba; in one glance He sees the whole continent of India.”
(An adept pilgrim of Mathura)
Brahmanand ji was an adept pilgrim who lived in the stable of a dharamshala near the hallowed banks of Yamuna River. He had renounced all worldly things, and sits in this gloomy room on a heap of filthy rubbish. At the first contact in 1945 nothing memorable occurred, but in 1946, when contacted he somehow recognized Meher Baba. As soon as Baba entered the stable Brahmanandji touched His feet and said, “Behold, how devoted love draws the Lord Krishna to me, the Perfect Master is here.” Then, to everyone’s astonishment, he put his hand beneath his stale and filthy pillow, and pulling out a new and perfectly clean copy of “Purdom’s ”Perfect Master”, he opened it deftly at a picture page with a portrait of Baba there. How he had this one clean thing amidst such a dirty surrounding, and whether it was mere a chance that his possession of the book coincided with Baba’s visit no one could say, but it certainly astonished those with Baba
Baba contacted him on 14th October, 1946.
(A 6th plane Mast of Poona)
In early part of 1943, Bundle Shah used to Live in Poona, and Eruch who had been instructed By Baba to search for and bring masts to him at Mahabaleshwar, set about trying to persuade Bundle shah to accompany there.
Bundle shah earned his sobriquet because he carried a bundle under his arm, and he was known either by this name, or simply as “Father”-the actual English word. He was about 65 years old. It appeared that he was much cosseted by racing gentleman, who would play him with blandishments and tea in the hope of learning what horses to lay their bet, As a must, Bundle Shah was exceedingly fussy about his health, and used to say that his spleen was enlarged, though he would like to be given tea, he would be panicky as to how it was served, and would insist that the cup should be scrupulously washed, the milk well boiled and so on so forth. Eruch visited Father once or twice, inviting him to come to his house, but his invitations were first rebutted. Finally, one night, he accommodated Eruch to his house. Eruch made him comfortable, and set about making tea for Bundle Shah, being warned, as usual to be most punctilious in its preparation. After tea, the topic of taking Bundle shah to Mahabaleshwar was introduced, though the name of Meher Baba was carefully not mentioned by Eruch. After listening Eruch’s proposal, Bundle Shah asked for some paper, and Eruch brought the nearest thing to hand, which happened to be an exercise book belonging to his younger brother Merwan.
Now, although Eruch did not know it, there was a photo of Meher Baba between the leaves of this book-a photo which did not, in fact, have Baba’s name written on it, so that unless one knew about Baba, there was no means of knowing whose picture it was.
Bundle Shah, as soon as he took the book from Eruch, turned over it leaves, and when he discovered the photo of Baba, he pulled it out and gazed intently at it. He turned the photo over and over, gazing at its face and its back, and then asked a pencil and began filling the back of the photo with an imposing series of figures. These consisted of figures as follows:-
20+15-17+12-4 etc (the exact figures are not now remembered). Ending finally with =7=GOD. He then pointed to the word God, and turning the photo over, pointed to the figure of Baba and said, “God is equal to Meher Baba”. (He actually uttered the name of Meher Baba)
Eruch, knowing that Baba was generally averse to containing those who acknowledged his spiritual greatness, dropped the topic of taking Bundle Shah to Mahabaleshwar and accompanied the mast to home. Out of curiosity, Eruch later checked the figure at the back of the photo –there was a whole string of them-and found that they did finally amount exactly to the figure of 7.
Baba was later informed of the entire episode, and Eruch was instructed not to bring Bundle shah to Him.
The great mast stayed for few years in Poona after this meeting, and then went to Bombay. After staying in Bombay for a while, he shifted to Bangalore.
Baba had explained that Bundle Shah was a mast of sixth plane, sometimes salik-like and sometimes majzoob-like.
Baba contacted him in 1943.
6-CHATTI BABA (Refer –page-33)
(A good Mast of Sangamner)
He was a good mast of Jamali type. When Baidul went to Sangamner to bring him to Baba, the local people at first refused to let him go. But Baidul again came by night, when most of people were asleep, and finding the mast sleeping outside a barber’s shop, awoke him and coaxed him into the car. (Baidul had a car with him) and took him to Meherabad. Chotu Mian was very fond of tea and pan, and his clothes were stained with pan juice. When Baidul first came to him, the mast said spontaneously. “Your prophet is very great. He is greater than Christ and Mohammad, and all the world will believe in Hm.’ Baba contacted him on 1 st June, 1943.
(A good Mast of Amraoti)
Dada Mian was a mast from Amraoti. Chaggan failed to bring him to Jabalpur, for when he heard he was to be taken to Meher Baba, he declined to come saying, “He (Baba) is Emperor, how can I come?”Baba contacted him in April, 1939.
(A 5th plane mast of Ismailpur)
Gokhale Baba was very high mast of the 6th plane and of Jamali type. He both looked, and possibly was over a hundred years old. Many years previously, he had been married man with wife, children, a home and a shop by which he made his living; but one day he met a guru, and as result of this contact became a mast. In Ismailpur, he lived in a small temple on the outskirts of the village, and kept five or six dogs always about him. These dogs sprawl over him, rest their heads on his arms or legs, and sleep close to him.
Gokhale Baba was greatly revered and much loved by the country flock for miles around, and people would come from many a far village to pay him reverence and take his darshan. Those gifted with a good voice often sing to him. People believed that he answered their prayers. Whenever he was given food, Gokhale Baba would first feed his dogs, and, when they had finished, he would eat from the same plate.
(A Saint from Ellichapur)
Gulab Baba of Ellichapur was the most interesting of all types of mast not only because He was an important must of 6th plane but also because he was another example of the way in which a great soul struggles like a wild steed against bit and bridle, when pressed into the king’s service.
Gulab Baba lived at Karanj gaon, about eight miles from Ellichapur, and even Kaka and Jalbhai (one of Baba’ brother) went to see him, and he looked perhaps thirty five-forty years old. When Jal and Kaka entered Golan Baba’s house there were twenty-five or thirty people sitting about him, for he was greatly revered, and many people flocked to have the privilege of his darshan. Gulab Baba at once said. “Didn’t I tell you yesterday that two men would come to me tomorrow, and see, they are here now,” and he pointed to Baba’s two men, thus making it clear whom they meant. Kaka and Jal then edged their way through the group of the village people and sat close to Gulab Baba, who remarked, “He wants to paint me with the colour of Divinity, but I do not want that. Kaka interpreted these remarks a reference to Baba, by whose contact Gulab Baba would be given the final spiritual push. Kaka then pressed Gulab Baba’s feet, which is a gesture of great reverence, and uttered the words, “Meher Baba”, as he did so. Gulab Baba then exclaimed, “He has caught me, but I don’t want to go; he wants to send me to the great homeland (God), but I don’t want to go there.” Kaka again uttered the words, “Meher Baba”, and grasped Gulab Baba gently by both his hand. Gulab Baba at once got up, and without demur followed Kaka and Jal out of his house, and was taken t the village bus stand.
The party then took the first bus for Itarsi that lies about a hundred miles to the north; there they would be able to board train the same night for Jabalpur. At some village or other, the bus halted for about half an hour (Buses in India tarry in the oldest places if the driver has a friend there), and a Muslim, who knew and revered Gulab Baba, begged him to come and take food at his house. Gulab Baba however, gave him a peremptory refusal, and showered him with abuse. Kaka then brought laddoos and Gulab Baba ate half one of these and gave rest to Jal and Kaka.
At Itarsi, the party had some hours to wait for the train and on the station; Gulab Baba did his best to persuade Jal and Kaka to go to sleep for an hour or two. Kaka, however, who is quick to scent the ruses by which a mast tries to escape being brought to Baba, suggested to Gulab Baba that he, and not they, should go to sleep. Gulab Baba then turned to adjacent wall, and addressing the wall as if it were God, said, “Why do send this man to me. He never let me alone for a second?” and concluded this remark, still apparently addressing the wall as if there were God, with a spate of profanities. This episode attracted the attention of loiters on the station, but probably none of them there knew Gulab Baba, for Kaka and Jal were able to deflect their curiosity by saying he was a madman.
They reached Jabalpur at 3 O’clock in the morning, and when he opened the door of the mast ashram, Gulab Baba surveyed the room and exclaimed! “This is his hospital”.
In the morning, Baba, before coming to see Gulab Baba, sent some sweetmeats in three colours green, red and yellow, and also a mattress. Gulab Baba, however, refused to use mattress, saying, “I can’t sit on that, because he has given it with his own hands: He also pushed the sweet away, but aka managed to persuade him to eat little of them
A short while Baba entered the room, and Gulab Baba, addressing Kaka, and designating Baba, said, “ He is God himself, and you have tricked me.” Baba then sat on the mattress, and signed to Gulab Baba to sit beside him, but he refused, saying “I am not fit to sit beside him.”
After some gentle and loving persuasion Gulab Baba agreed to have his hair cut, and he bathed, clothed and fed by Baba. He was fed in a room behind closed doors, and after while the doors were flung open and Gulab Baba rushed out of the room in a frenzy of agitation and cried out, “I can’t see my way out. I am blind. Although he was so excited, Kaka, by dint of gentle persuasion, managed to bring him back, so that Baba was able to continue feeding him, and the meal was completed without further incident. Baba then gave orders to Kaka to send Gulab Baba straight to Ellichapur. On the way to the bus stand Gulab Baba asked Kaka to come with him and stay with him. Baba contacted him in March, 1939.
(An advance pilgrim of Kalyan)
This contact was on bus journey of Baba and a group of mandali in to Kashmir in 1929. Near Kulyan, they passed a Sikh who saluted the bus, and Baba thereupon ordered the bus to be drawn up and said, “There is a spiritual atmosphere here, even from physical point of view”. Baba and mandali got out of bus and Ramjoo approached the Sikh, who was still standing at the side of the road. Referring to Baba, Gurdat told Ramjoo, “He is a Master, and His grace has been bestowed upon me.”He finally added, May I be sacrificed in the dust under his feet.” At that time Baba explained that he was an advanced soul and a householder. Baba contacted him on 29th July, 1929.
He met Baba on the road and said, “You are the God Vishnu’s Avatar (incarnation), pray grant me the boon of Master’s word, for to remember and repeat.” A few minutes later, he said, “My work is done”, Then added, “Here no one knows you; I have seen you and recognized you as the true avatar of Vishnu. Pray you remember me also. Baba told him, through one of the mandali who was with him, “I know all that is why I came to you here, now.” The man then folded his hands, and browsing said, “My life’s desire is fulfilled! Hail. Baba contacted him on 26th October, 1941.
(An adept pilgrim of Rishikesh)
An adept pilgrim of Rishikesh was not directly contacted By Meher Baba but Pleader met him. Pleader has been wandering over India and Baba had told Pleader that he would meet one or two saints on his travel who will tell him of Baba’s greatness.
Keshwanand ji Maharaj used to be naked except for loin cloth, and his bronze colour form was a familiar sight in Rishikesh, for he would stand all day long, with a bamboo in his hand, gazing steadfastly at the sun. He had built a small platform on the river bank, on which he used to stand. Every winter, when snow blanketed the great mountain walls through Ganges cleaves its path, Keshwanadji would go up to a high valley and stand in snow, gazing all the day at the sun.
At Rishikesh, no one normally came close to Keshwanadji on his little platform, except his attendant (majuwar). Pleader, however, who was then on an order of silence given him by Baba, after having been first rebutted by mujawar, succeeded in getting him to show a Photo of Meher Baba to Keshwanadji Maharaj. Keshwanand ji then smiled, called Pleader, and told him that he normally never let anyone come near him, but seeing this photo, and knowing the Divinity of Meher Baba he had to call him near, because He (Baba) was the Master of the universe. Baba, he said, bore the Burdon of whole creation on his shoulders, so great a soul He was. This meeting of Pleader with Keshwanand ji took place in April 1934, Pleader stayed and helped in serving Keshwanadji for quite some time. Keshwanadji has now passed away. Baba contacted him through Pleader in April, 1934.
(A high mastani of Seoni)
Khala Masi of Seoni was a highly advanced mastani and she was brought to Jabalpur by Chhagan. Baba met her on 31 st March 1939. She seemed to have recognized Baba’s spiritual greatness, for as soon as she saw Him she arose and embraced Baba lovingly, and then pressed her temples with her hands, which is a gesture that a woman offers only to whom she loves. She was bathed, clothed and fed by Baba, and He (Baba) sat with her alone for some time. She said to Baba, “You are the ocean, give me a few drops from it to drink”. Baba contacted her in March, 1939.
(A high Mast of Aurangabad)
This was a high mast was first discovered by Kaka in Aurangabad in 1939, and he was brought to Baba who was then staying at the guest House of Khuldabad. He was dirty fellow, whose peculiarity was to collect a miscellany of twenty five to thirty bundles of old rag and stale food. If you asked his name, he would reply “Mai Bap” (Mother, Father); hence he was known by that name. If given any new clothes, he would wear for few days and then make a new bundle of them. He was then middle aged and lived in a louse of some relations of his in Aurangabad. Baba bathed, clothed and fed him, and while he was in the room alone with Baba, he shouted once or twice, “I am on fire; I am aflame.” When Kaka told him to Aurangabad later the same day in Elizabeth’s car, he (Kaka) asked where he had eaten and he received the reply, “Today I came to the God’s court and was given food.”
In January 1943, when Baba stayed for a few days in a cottage in Aurangabad, Mai Bap was brought by Adi for a renewed contact. He sat along with Baba in a room for about twenty minutes, and then rushed out of the room shouting. “In this jungle there are many thorns.” Again he was persuaded to sit with Baba for perhaps further fifteen minutes, and then came out again and said, “A nail has pierced me, and I can’t bear the pain.” Kaka believed these remarks to show that Baba had given Mai Bap some difficult and painful spiritual work.
Baba never respond to questions about what mast do for Him and what He does for them, apart from the statement that there is mutual help. After this Mai Bap was taken back to his home, and Baba told Kaka to bring him daily for seven days. Mai Bap. Although he had not been present when Baba gave these instructions to Kaka, Mai Bap told Kaka few minutes later, “I will come with you for seven days.” and then touched Kaka’s palm with the back of his hand, which means a dud promise! Next day, He refused to come with Kaka, and Baba therefore went to him every day evening at his house. He was contacted Baba in May, 1939.
(A very good Mastani of Sukkur)
This very good Mastani had not been contacted by Baba, but her remarks to Ramjoo about Baba are worth repeating here. Ramjoo was in Sukkur on some work for Baba and towards evening of 17th June 1924, he was strolling near river, when he met this old lady (whom he had seen earlier on same day) walking along the path and muttering to herself. When Ramjoo came close to her, she gazed steadfastly into his face and asked him in an imperious voice, "who is your Pir?” (Spiritual Master). Ramjoo replied “Meher Baba,” and at the moment she heard this she replied, “Badshah Shahenshah” (King of Kings), and then shuffled away. She was very old lady with a crown of snow-white curls, very much like Babajan. Baba contacted her on 17th June, 1924.
(A 3rd plane mast of Brindavan)
When Baba and a group of lady disciples arrived at famous Brindavan temple, which is closely associated with the legends of Krishna’s life, this fellow shouted, “Look, the Lord Krishna and His gopees have come”. Baba said of him, “He is one of My real lover.” He was contacted by Baba on 20th January 1939.
(A mast of 5th plane at a place of Baba’s seclusion)
He was brought to Baba’s house, and when he reached the gate, he said, “We have come to the garden of Paradise (Gulistan).” Baba came out of the house, and he gazed Baba’s face, laughed with tears of joy in his eyes, and embraced Baba. Pointing to Baba, he then said to those standing by, can’t you recognize who he is? Baba contacted him in May, 1946.
When Baba appeared in the street of Ajmer one day to contact masts, this man shouted out, “Oh Shankar has come; take God’s darshan all of you.” It happed in the month of February 1939.
20-A VERY HIGH MAST
Of Jamnagar (Navanagar)
Baba contacted him twice in January 1941, and the second time contact was at night in the countryside beyond the town. During this second contact the mast wept loudly, and then cried out, “I have met God in the wild”. Baba contacted him in January 1941.
21-MAULANA SHAMSUDDIN ULEMA
(An adept pilgrim of Moradabad)
He was an adept pilgrim; Baba contacted him in February 1942. He was believed to be 12 years old. He was scholar of Arabic, and Persian and was at time well cared for by family of a Government Official. Who loved and revered him. When Baba went to see him he was asleep, and when they awakened him he looked up at Baba, and exclaimed in Persian, “Dar zulmat-e-shab nur-e-khuda mi binam” (In the darkness of night I see the light God”. Baba contacted him in February, 1942.
(A very advance mast of Ajanta)
A very advance mast who was renowned throughout the adjacent countryside. He looked to be perhaps 70 to 80 years old, but locally, people said that he was over 100. He is so respected in Ajanta that he was given whatever he asked for. A local Marwari has given him a garden, Baba drove over to Ajanta from Aurangabad, and when Party arrived, one of the groups introduced the topic of a contact with Baba. Mian Saheb suggested the use of a room on the upper floor of Khoja’s house. This Khoja, who was then present, was overjoyed at the compliment, and rushed off to get the key of this house. When the key was brought and the door was opened, Baba and the mast climbed to a room on the upper floor, and were there for some time. When Mian Saheb took Baba into the room he invited him to sit upon a sofa, and then sat next to Baba, and embraced him very lovingly and wept and wept aloud. Those waiting below heard the mast weeping, and once he cried out the Persian couplet, “Khud be kud azad budi, khud gireftar admai”, which means, in free translation, “You become free, and then allow yourself to be bound.” This refers to Baba’s Infinite state, and how he becomes bound of his own will to help humanity. Baba contacted him in November, 1944.
(A very advance mast of Srinagar)
Mirak shah was an advance pilgrim, very well known through Kashmir, Who has ashram in Shalimar village close to famous Shalimar Garden. He wrote a letter to Baba, telling Him that He (Baba) was God, and that he wanted to come and live with Him. He had fair skin and a narrow face, a middle-aged, wore good clothes and gathered money from those who come to see him and gives feast to the poor at certain times. Baba contacted him in September 1943 and August, 1944.
24-MOHAMMAD (Refer –p-31)
25-MOHAMMAD ALI MAST
Mohammad Ali Mast was a good mast who sits in front of Mosque and boasts of being a very rich man with a fat balance in a Lahore bank. When Baidul first went to see Mohammad Ali, He (Baidul) was carrying a stick that had been given him by Baba when he was in Hamirpur. The mast addressed Baidul and said, “The man who gave you that stick is very great, so look after the stick, and hit no one with it.” Baba contacted him on 19th July, 1944.
An adept pilgrim of Dhamangaon
Mungsaji Maharaj of Dhamangaon was an adept pilgrim and famous in Central Province. Meher Baba met him on 12th august 1944. He used to sit in a kind of hollow that was excavated for his shrine after he died. Once a week there used to be festival when people came to take his darshan, and free meals were given to the poor from public kitchen.
The Journey to this contact was difficult since the monsoon was then in full swing and Baba and His group had to walk some three miles in through muddy fields. The return journey was even more tedious, and party had to travel some eighteen miles by bullock cart. A journey over rough, muddy tracks in a bullock cart cannot be described in writing; it is one of those painful physical experiences that have to be gone through to be understood. Mungsaji Maharaj was reported to be staying in Bombay (in 1947) as the guest of some disciples. Babadas one of Baba’s disciples, went to see Mungsaji Maharaj, and the latter told him that Baba was Emperor.
27-NADIR ALI SHAH
Spiritual Chargeman of Quetta
This mast was not contacted by Baba but his remark for Baba was interesting. He was spiritual charge-man of Quetta and lived in a tent that was provided by local people to shelter him from the severe winter weather of Quetta. In the tent there was fire (Dhuni) always burning and the tent was full of smoke. With his hands he would fan the smoke from this fire toward himself, and Baidul and Eruch, who went several times to him to try to get him to come to Baba used to emerge thankfully into the open air with smoky tears pouring from their eyes. Nadir Ali Shah always refused to come with them to Baba, and once he added the remark, “My boat would be drowned in that Ocean”. (I.e. Baba), although Baba did not Contact him, he circled round his tent in Elizabeth’s car; so perhaps some remote contact was made after all. This was in March, 1941. (Meher Baba and his group stayed in Quetta from 11th March to 7th April 1941)
(A very high mast between 6th & 7th plane of Jasgiran)
He pointed to Baba and said, “He is my elder brother; He adjusts and protects the whole world.” Baba met him in September, 1943.
(A good mast from Bombay)
This mast was not contacted by Baba but was seen By Kaka in Bombay with a view to take him to Baba who was then in Lonavla. Kaka tried his best to persuade him to come to Baba, but Pathan mast refused saying,” What should I come far, since your soul and mine are with him (Baba)?’ He then gave Kaka an orange and added, “The key of the whole world in His (Baba’s) hand and all countries Russia, Germany (and so forth) do as He directs.” This was in October 1942.
30-PIR FAZL SHAH
(An adept pilgrim of Kotah)
Pir Fazal Shah was an adept pilgrim. He belonged to be 117 years old. But at the time of contact when Baba met him on 12th October, 1946 was still sound. When Baba and his group arrived, Fazl Shah began talking in a disconnected and incompressible way, as if possessed by some overpower spiritual fervour. He then greeted Baba and His men with much respect and cordiality, and brought a chair for Baba, inviting Him alone to be seated as if he recognized Him at once as a Master. After a short while, Fazal Shah and Baba entered a room and sat alone together. Those outside heard Fazl shah crying out with great feeling, He told Baba, “No one until you came, has touched my heart with the arrow if Divine Love. You have power to destroy and flood the world; no one fully knows the limit of your greatness; “you are spiritual authority of the time, and if I were to die I would take another body to be close with you”.
He later asked Baba to write to him as soon as he returned home, and added that he would be very restless until he heard from Baba. He insisted that Baba should take down his address, and this was written down by one of close disciples and handed to Baba before the party left. Fazl shah used to scrub to his own room out where he stayed, and widely revered by thousands of people. He is said to have died. Baba contacted him on 11 October, 1946.
(A good mast from Bahraich)
He was most interesting man and a good mast; a perfect Mahbubi mast. He was a fat old man who carried an earthenware pot in which he puts everything given him to eat, and he carries a sack over his shoulder. He reminded the party of a fat edition of Chatti Baba. when Baba came, he took some bells out of his bundle, tied them round his ankles, and began dancing before Baba, singing in a very sweet voice, “Allah darshan dene ko aye”. (God has come to give his darshan). Those with Baba called a tonga and Sakhi Baba was taken to a shrine outside the town, where Baba contacted him in March, 1942.