A middle-aged woman saint named Tai Maharaj lived in Amraoti. She had a large following, and she invited Baba to her temple. Baba went on December 23rd, and in the presence of over five hundred of her followers, she received Baba with tears in her eyes. She declared to all present, "The Avatar has come to me!"
Throughout the half hour of darshan, Tai Maharaj remained seated near Baba's feet and would not leave Him. After the program, she requested Baba to enter the temple, which He did. A statue of Lord Krishna was profusely decorated inside, and Tai Maharaj gazed at it and then at Baba. Pointing to the statue, Baba motioned to her, "I am there!" On His return, Baba remarked, "I appreciate the spirit of Tai Maharaj. There are many saints but she is a real one who totally forgets herself. She is so simple and humble. As for Myself, I prefer vagabonds to hypocritical saints."
(Perfect Master & poet)
Baba elucidated that Nizamuddin Auliya, Bualishah Qalandar and Chishti of Ajmer were all Sufi Perfect Masters. He mentioned that Chishti was even considered to be on the same level as Muhammad; however, he was not equal to the Prophet, but the Qutub-e-Irshad of his time — the head of the spiritual hierarchy. Chishti established Sufism in India, and his tomb-shrine in Ajmer is a greatly revered place of pilgrimage.
These Perfect Masters and other Muslim Qutubs always liked listening to ghazals, which have been preserved in the various Divans of Hafiz.
Now, for a Perfect Master to write poetry — what is it (for Him) when the whole world is in His hands? But as Tukaram, the Sadguru, explained, one's original nature persists even after Realization.
(A Saint from Nagpur)
Tukdoji Maharaj was a high saint from Nagpur Baba first met him in December 1937, and later in November 1944. He was high saint, revered for singing bhajans (devotional songs), son that whenever he sang thousands come to hear him. He was well known in central Province and Bombay.
At the time of contact Tukdoji was about thirty years old. And was a man of vast size. He has a rolling giant like that of one who is intoxicated. When he approached Baba on the occasion of large public darshan program in Nagpur in December 1937, One of Baba disciples exclaimed! ” Look Baba, a drunkard has come to see you”. Baba replied, “He had drunk the wine of love.”
On this occasion, Tukdoji Maharaj brought hundreds of his followers with him, and in front of all of them he bowed down before Baba, and then in his great voice sang devotional songs in Baba’s presence. During the disturbance of 1942, Tukdoji Maharaj was imprisoned until many influential people having made it clear that his great influence was spiritual and not political, procured his release. Tukdoji Maharaj was interviewed by an official in prison, and he asked to be allowed to stay in gaol, since he found it restful there.
The next contact with Tukdoji Maharaj was during the great Nagpur meeting of November 1944. Following account is extracted from a circular describing this meeting.
“The most important public function of the day as staged at Gorakshan Compound where Sri Baba gave darshan to a mammoth gathering of 30000 people. Another feature of the occasion of Bhajan by famous saint Tukdoji Maharaj, who received Sri Baba on arrival, and escorted Him to dais amidst shouts of “Sri Meher Baba Ki Jai”. After the Bhajan which ended at about midnight. Tukdoji Maharaj requested Sri Baba to step forward and bless the audience. The scene that was presented to the eyes, with Baba in His standing posture, His face aglow with divine lustre, hands outstretched in blessing was too sublime and transcendental for words to picturised adequately.
Tukdoji Maharaj had been told of Baba in 1948 by Babadas and Pankhraj. He had come to Ahmednagar to attend gatherings of his followers. Baba remarked to him, "I am in seclusion now and not giving darshan to anyone. When I go to Poona, I permit people to see me." Tukdoji Maharaj replied, "Darshan is of two kinds. One is to see physically, another is to see everywhere!"
Baba answered with a smile, "Only an exceptional one sees Me everywhere. I am infinite!"
In 1955, Tukdoji Maharaj had been invited to attend a conference on world religions and world peace. He narrated details of his experiences there. Baba then sent him outside with Adi and Bhau for a tour of the Meherazad premises.
79-VASWANI T. L.
Saint from Poona
In 1957, Dada T. L. Vaswani, aged seventy-eight, was a former college professor of English and history who had renounced all to serve humanity. He was called “Sadhu” and had established and was running the Saint Mira School in Poona, and was regarded by many to be a saint. There was a longstanding invitation from him to Baba to visit the school. Not to disappoint His “Beloved child,” as Baba would call him, Baba agreed to go and a date was fixed.
On 23rd March 1957, Meher Baba visited St. Mira School in Poona and was received by Dada T. L. Vaswani and gave darshan to the students and others in School Hall. There was a public darshan program outside where nearly 10000 people had His darshan and received prasad.
Baba cautioned the Meherazad mandali to be always with Him during the Poona program, and he kept repeating this warning for days prior to going. At 6:30 A.M. on March 23rd, Baba, accompanied by Eruch, Bhau, Kumar and Aloba left Meherazad for Poona in Meherjee’s car.
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 Avatarhood and mission. The hall was full to capacity with Vaswani’s students and followers. Baba’s lovers had to stand outside by the gate.
The headmaster of the school, C. B. Advani, spoke a few words, and also the secretary, Sri Gangaram, after which 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 yourself 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.
After the welcoming ceremonies, Baba gave darshan and prasad to the women and students inside, and hundreds surged forward to take advantage of it. Goldney and Pukar locked hands to stem the tide of the crowd from overwhelming Baba with garlands and embraces.
Baba was then carried outside and sat on the veranda to give darshan and distribute prasad to His lovers and many others from Poona whose number now exceeded ten thousand. Elbows flew as some pressed forward. The situation became so serious that Baba’s safety was at stake. Physically, Baba was suffering terribly, but despite it, he had come to Poona to give darshan. The crowd continued to grow out of control and pandemonium eventually broke out.
A well-known singer who had been on Baba’s return flight from Australia had come with his party to sing before Baba. But his harmonium and other instruments got broken in the melee and total confusion reigned. The mandali surrounded Baba as the police appeared on the scene. Not knowing who they were, the police roughly manhandled the mandali and separated them from Baba. Kumar was forcibly removed and taken some distance away where he was made to sit down. He, whom Baba had made the Commander-in-Chief during the Andhra and Hamirpur programs, was now in the custody of the police. Bhau was shoved so violently that he was just saved from falling several feet away. Had Narayan Bundellu not caught him in time, he would have been severely injured.
On the one hand, the mandali were pleased that the police had come and now surrounded Baba, but on the other, they had Baba’s order to remain close to Him during the program. The police would not allow them to come near, and they had to stand helplessly at a distance. Only Eruch was allowed to stand by Baba’s side, conveying Baba’s words.
Although order was restored after some time, the crowd continued to be undisciplined despite the presence of the police, and nothing could be done to keep the people in line. The out-of-town lovers had been pushed back and had to stand in the hot sun near the gate. Amidst the throng, Bhau observed his wife, Rama, with their two children, Sheela and Mehernath, and her brother Dhiraj, moving near Baba. Bhau tried to approach Baba, but the police again did not permit it, and he was unable to meet his family. In spite of their being there for Baba’s darshan, Bhau had no chance of speaking with them, not even a minute. From a distance, Bhau could see that Baba asked his wife how the children were, and He made Sheela turn around and show him her burnt back. The skin had healed with hardly a trace of the accident’s scars. . .
Before leaving, Baba’s arti was sung and He remarked, “Today’s program gave Me much pleasure.”
(A Young Yogi from Ale)
Baba returned to Pimpalgaon on the 27th, and left for the village of Ale the next day with Baidul, Pendu, Kaka and Chanji at 7:00 A.M. Chhabu again drove, but this time they went in an old car due to the rough condition of the roads. In Ale, Baba contacted a short old yogi called Vasudev Swami, who resembled a crippled child. It was said that Vasudev never lay down to sleep, but would doze while seated, bending over a pillow. Baba brought this mast-like yogi back with him to Pimpalgaon, and worked with him for three days. He was sent back on 1 May with Baidul and Babadas in a public bus, in especially reserved seats. Vasudev had done certain spiritual or yogic practices which had led him to become God-mad. Despite that, Baba showed him the sweetest of affections and treated him like a lost, injured child. (Lord Meher-p-2407-1944)
Vasudev Swami of Ale, with whom Baba had worked before, was a tiny old yogi who had been crippled doing certain occult or yogic practices. (Lord Meher-p-2560-1947)
Baba was invited to Devargaon, fourteen miles from Amraoti, on the morning of Wednesday, 24 December 1952. There, he contacted a mast named Virbhan Maharaj. As Baba began massaging his legs, the mast said to him, "Why undergo so much trouble for me? You have to do great work for the world!"
Baba replied, "I am for those who love Me, and those who love Me are My gurus."
"You are the Master of the Universe," the mast said. "The village is blessed by your presence." Addressing the mandali, Virbhan Maharaj then quoted this shloka (verse) from the Bhagavad Gita: "When the flame of righteousness burns low, God descends as the Avatar."
Baba's presence overwhelmed Virbhan Maharaj, and he wept tears of love. "Meher Baba is the real Avatar," he stated. "I can see him in His Real Form. My birth has at last born fruit."
(Son of Inayat Khan)
Born : June 19, 1916
Died : June 17, 2004
On February 9th, Baba went to Meherabad to give darshan to the Arangaon villagers.
Phillipe Dupuis of Paris, France, had written to Baba for permission to come and see Him. Baba granted permission, and Dupuis arrived in Bombay on February 6th. On February 9th, he was brought by Adi directly to Meherabad, arriving at 9:00 A.M. Without obtaining Baba's permission, Dupuis had brought Vilayat Khan, the eldest son of the Sufi teacher Inayat Khan.
Baba saw both in His interview cabin. Adi, Eruch and Francis were present during the interview. Vilayat Khan kissed Baba's hand. Replying to Baba's inquiry, he said that he had come to India a month before Phillipe Dupuis. He planned to sit in meditation for a certain length of time near the shrine of Qutub Mu'inuddin Chishti in Ajmer. Vilayat said, "I have come to Baba prompted by my Murshid to meditate on you in your physical presence."
Meher Baba found Vilayat Khan of good heart, but his understanding was not deep, and he was not of the same spiritual status as his father (mental-conscious). Baba dictated the following six points for him to live by:
"Do not run away from your own lower self.
"Do not renounce the world; renounce your own lower self.
"Do not seek solitude anywhere but within your own self, because you are eternally all alone to your own Self.
"Silently cry out within your own self: 'Beloved One, reveal yourself to me as my own, real, infinite Self.'
"It is you who are obstructing yourself from finding your Self. So try to lose your lower self by continual remembrance of God, Who is your real Self.
"Do not become Master of disciples until you have mastered your own self."
In conclusion, Baba emphasized: "The only proper thing for a genuine seeker to do is to surrender completely to a Perfect Master. A life of obedience and surrenderance is the only solution when one is fortunate to have caught hold of the feet of a Perfect Master.
"Really speaking, love and devotion for Beloved God are all that are necessary on this path. Meditation is neither devotion nor love, but a mental pursuit in pinning down the object of one's thoughts before one's mind's eye."
Baba asked Vilayat, "Did you listen attentively to what I have told you?" Vilayat replied in the affirmative.
Baba then stated, "Because you have come all this distance to see me, I want you to do one very simple thing. Spare five minutes every night at twelve o'clock and meditate on Baba. Concentrate on my face."
Vilayat said, "This would annoy my Murshid."
Baba replied, "If your Murshid were a Perfect Master, he would never get annoyed. And if your Master were to be annoyed over this, he could never be a Murshid!
"When you say you were prompted by your Murshid to meditate on Me in my physical presence, it is absurd to say that the Murshid would be annoyed if his mureed were to spare five minutes every night to meditate on Me in My physical absence, particularly when I give such an instruction to one who has come all this distance to meditate on Me."
Baba ended by instructing Vilayat Khan, "Please yourself, but you should at least do one thing for me. You must read “God Speaks” from the first to the last page."
Vilayat Khan promised to do so. Baba then sent him out of the cabin. He kissed Baba's hand once again as he left the room. Adi gave him a copy of Eternal Song, an Urdu book of poems on Baba by Saib Asmi of Pakistan, and a copy of Life At Its Best. He was also given a copy of God Speaks.
Baba then met privately with Phillipe Dupuis in His cabin. He warned Dupuis: "Don't get involved, financially or otherwise, in Vilayat Khan's affairs. You ought not to have brought him to see Me, for he is not yet ripe to absorb My grace."
Dupuis said, "I brought him in all good faith, thinking that if Vilayat were to accept you, his whole group of Sufis in Europe and America (which was a large group) would then have the blessed fortune to be drawn to you, and thus come directly under your protecting arms."
Baba did not appear to be satisfied with this explanation and repeated his query, asking Dupuis again and again: "But why did you bring him?" With every repetition, Baba indicated much concern for Dupuis.
Baba asked him about his own plan to stay in India. Dupuis said, "I have no plans, but I do not want to return to Europe." Baba asked about his financial condition and was told Dupuis had no debts and could afford his passage to and fro. (Lord Meher Volume 16, Page 5531)
Baba reminded Dupuis about his reply to the latest circular and assured him that his affirmation of love and obedience had made him happy. Dupuis reiterated his affirmation, and Baba embraced him with love.
Baba instructed, "You should return to Europe soon after leaving here and do not get involved in Vilayat Khan's affairs."
Dupuis told Baba that he was bound by the promise to accompany Vilayat Khan to Ajmer and stay with him there as an escort or a sort of protection for him.
In response, Baba stressed, "It is futile to go to Ajmer. I warn you to beware of further entanglements. You should realize that it is far more important for you to accept and hold fast to any instructions given to you by Me than to give a second thought to what you had promised to any man."
Baba further explained, "It is childish, when mankind has My living presence, to go to shrines, to sit in meditation in shrines and to visit saints. It is of paramount importance for you to realize the value of my advice to you, rather than to assess the worth of your promise to someone."
Baba assured Dupuis, "Although I have come to Meherabad for three hours today exclusively for the villagers, I have spent a considerable time with you because I love you very much."
Baba called for Vilayat Khan and, as he entered, he heard Baba, through Eruch, instruct Phillipe Dupuis the following five points:
"Phillipe should return to Europe from Bombay as soon as possible.
"Phillipe should now go to Bombay and stay there for some days until Vilayat Khan decides to go to Ajmer.
"Phillipe should go with Vilayat Khan to Ajmer and stay there at the most five to ten days, until Vilayat Khan feels settled in Ajmer.
"Phillipe should then go to Bombay and from there return to Europe.
"Phillipe should note that Baba wants him to go back to Europe as soon as possible."
Baba asked Dupuis whether he had understood His directions clearly. Dupuis nodded his head. Baba embraced him Vilayat Khan once again and left His cabin to go to the hall to be with the Arangaon villagers who were patiently awaiting His presence.
After the usual greetings from the villagers, Baba called Phillipe Dupuis and motioned to him to sit in the hall. The villagers entertained Baba with bhajan songs, as did Rustom Kaka and Kokila. Soonumyan sang qawaalis. Baba sent word to Vilayat Khan that if it pleased him to join the assembly, he was free to do so; if not, he was to sit outside until Dupuis was permitted by Baba to depart.
At the same moment, Vilayat Khan, who was outside, was asking one of the mandali whether it would be permissible for him to join the others in the hall to sit in Baba's presence. When Baba's message was given to him, he felt very happy at the opportunity and quickly entered the hall. He seemed charmed to hear the qawaali songs, although he did not understand either Urdu or Persian. From time to time, Baba would gesture a word or sentence in English to explain the depth of meaning of the Urdu and Persian ghazals' words and lines.
The substance of almost every ghazal sung to Baba that day was that it is absolutely necessary for a lover to surrender all and follow the Beloved, and that to become the dust underneath the feet of the Perfect Master is the only solution to all those seeking union with the Beloved.
After the villagers had embraced Baba, he instructed Phillipe Dupuis and Vilayat Khan to leave Meherabad with Nariman Dadachanji, who was driving back to Bombay that day. Both Dupuis and Vilayat had a farewell embrace from Baba, and Baba reminded Vilayat to read God Speaks and Dupuis to return to Europe as soon as possible after a short stay in Ajmer. Both left Ahmednagar happily; Dupuis went straight to Bombay, and Vilayat Khan was dropped off at the Poona train station to travel to Hyderabad for a short visit.
After he embraced all the villagers who came to Meherabad, Baba returned to Meherazad at about noon. While returning in the car, He expressed His concern for Phillipe Dupuis, remarking to Francis Brabazon: "It is so easy to fall and, with the fall, to get entangled. On the other hand, it is so difficult to get free from entanglements and to rise unfettered."
The next day, Baba sent a telegram to Nariman in Bombay to meet Dupuis at his hotel and remind him, on behalf of Baba, to stick to the instructions given by Baba in Meherabad. The day after, Baba made Francis write a long letter to Dupuis with additional reminders, and even advising Dupuis to leave India if he felt like doing so without going to Ajmer with Vilayat Khan.
Nariman was again sent a message to contact Dupuis and tell him to return to Europe before it was too late. However, Nariman was unable to meet Dupuis as he had already taken a train for Ajmer with Vilayat Khan. Thereupon, Nariman was told to contact Dupuis upon his return to Bombay and remind him of Baba's instructions. But this, too, he was not able to do, since Dupuis stayed in Bombay for only a day and left with no forwarding address. Baba had spent much time and energy concerning Dupuis, because he was trying to protect him and keep him in his fold. But Dupuis followed his own impulses instead, and the unfortunate result was that he was never heard from again.
Religious and Social leader of India
There is the example of an ordinary man like Vinoba Bhave going about barefoot against all odds, out of his love for man. There are many such persons in India who are doing selfless service. Some of you too are doing the same things, though you may not know it. Selfless service is service without the least tinge of ego.
The slightest egoistic thought would undo everything. Only one out of many can succeed in doing this type of service for humanity –even for saints it is impossible!
In the West, too, there are men rendering such service. One is a doctor in charge of a leper asylum. He is always with the lepers and so engrossed in his work that he has no time to think about himself. He does not know who Meher Baba is.
Such persons can do selfless service, but even they cannot come near Me. Why? It is because the mind is there. The most subtle thought creates binding, and this prevents them from knowing Baba. Despite this, as soon as such persons drop their bodies they come to Me because their thought is not for themselves but for advancing and improving on their work. And so they come to Me.
Vinoba Bhave was a well-known social leader. Bhave's cousin, A. V. Bhave (a teacher), stood up and said, "I am not sure whether I was asleep or awake ..."
Baba with a wry smile interrupted him, "Then you are now nearing the Beyond, beyond state of being wide awake in sound sleep!" All laughed, and Baba embraced him, also.
The mast-saint from Indore
The mast saint from Indore, Vishandas Maharaj, failed to catch his share and the orange fell to the ground. Baba had it returned and again threw it to him. This time he caught it, much to Baba’s pleasure,