INTRODUCTION OF DIGINATRIES
(Ex. Municipal Chairman Madras and MLC)
Sh. Abdul Razzak had Baba’s darshan in March 1930 at Saidapet in Madras. He took part in Baba activities, opened Meher Library and reading room at Meher ashram in Madras.
2- AGGRAWAL M. M.
(Ex. Secretary National chamber of Commerce India)
As Baba went into more strict seclusion after 1965, Baba lovers spread out their wings to fly over to distant places to spread His name and teachings amongst the lovers of God during the month of April 1966 The first spiritual sojourn was towards Agra- The city of Taj, where love story of Shah Jahan and his consort Mumtaj Mahal is written in marble. In this historical city, M. M. Aggarwal, Secretary, National Chamber of Commerce and Shri Krishna Prasad, Managing Director of Alopi Prasad & Sons played the host.
(Mogul ruler in India)
Akbar (1542-1605) was a Mogul emperor of India. An outstanding army general, he added Afghanistan, Baluchistan and northern India to his domain. His reign was marked by administrative reform, religious tolerance, and with the flowering of art and literature.
As to Akbar, he was quite a different. It was his greatness of spirit, nobleness of heart that made him great. The great tolerance for the religious feelings of others which he had shown the magnanimity of his heart.
Baba said, “Emperor Akbar was brave, but not as brave as Shivaji. Even when the situation was hopeless, they did not run away. That is bravery. One must fight till the last, do or die!" (Lord Meher Volume 4, Page 1167)
4- AKBAR HYDERI & HIS WIFE
(Sir Mohammed Saleh Mohammed Akbar Hydari)
Prime Minister of Hyderabad, India during the British reign.
Born: 8th November, 1869 - Bombay, British India
Died: November 1941
Married: Amina Mulla Tyabji (born.1878 and died.1939)
On 25th September 1933, Baba sailed for Europe on 6th trip with Adi Jr. Chanji and Kaka.
After two days at sea, on the evening of September 27th while Baba was discussing matters with the mandali, there was a knock at the cabin door. Chanji opened it, and stepped out to find a very dignified looking old man standing in the hallway. Introducing himself, the old man said, "I am Sir Akbar Hyderi and I wish to see Meher Baba tomorrow morning if he will allow me to visit for a few minutes. May I know what time will be convenient for him?"
Chanji went inside to inform Baba, who instructed, "Tell him that, though I am not seeing anyone during the voyage, I will see him for five minutes tomorrow morning at ten."
Chanji accordingly informed the old man who seemed very pleased, saying that he had heard much about Meher Baba and had longed for an opportunity to meet Him. Akbar Hyderi, 64, was the Dewan of Hyderabad, an important government official (similar to a chief minister). He came the next morning to meet Baba, who was pleased to see him. After the usual introductions and pleasantries, the conversation turned to spirituality. (Lord Meher on line edition page 1546)
Baba explained about the three types of faith.
Hyderi said, "Turn me toward the second stage where I can feel and experience God!"
Baba assured him of help, replying, "I will send you instructions for this tomorrow." Hyderi requested that Baba give an appointment to his wife, as she also would be pleased to meet Him. Baba indicated that the following day at 5:00 P.M. would be suitable. Hyderi left with his spirit greatly uplifted. Baba liked the old man very much; he was genuinely interested in spirituality, a trait Baba always appreciated. Baba also liked it that he was humble, despite his high government position. (Lord Meher Online Edition Page 1547)
Akbar Hyderi and his wife had come to see Baba at noon on 29th September. "We are both miserable," Lady Hyderi admitted, "Our son, Ali, is a drunkard and a spendthrift.
We are terribly worried about him." Baba consoled them, assuring them there was no cause for worry, and their son would be all right after two months. Lady Hyderi asked if she could bring their son to Him, and Baba indicated at another time.
They happily left, and Baba thereafter began sending them messages each day with Chanji. On 2 October 1933, Sir Hyderi's son intended to get off in Port Said and his mother was anxious about it. She did not wish him to go ashore, fearing he would end up drunk and a source of troubling embarrassment to them. Baba sent a message, telling them not to be afraid and to ask their son not to disembark. Accordingly, they told their son, who obeyed them, strangely enough without an argument. The parents were quite relieved.
Sir Hyderi again saw Baba, who assured him, "I will keep an eye on your son. Do not worry in the least. During the coming two months, he will have a relapse and go on a binge twice. You should not worry on these occasions, for he will thereafter totally give up alcohol." Hyderi invited Baba to Hyderabad and expressed his desire to return to India on the Conte Rosso, on which he had been told Baba would be traveling.
After he left, Baba sent another message with Chanji, who went to their cabin, but Sir Hyderi had already retired for the night. Lady Hyderi answered the door and told Chanji, "Baba showered his mercy on us yesterday. It was his blessing. Our son would otherwise never have listened to us. Please convey our grateful thanks to Him. May He ever have His nazar on us!"
Chanji repeated Baba's message about the son's future two drunks and told her not to worry. She asked if it would be possible for him to give it up immediately. "Do not be anxious. This, too, will pass," Chanji said.
Lady Hyderi then said, "We are resigned to Baba's will. Now what about my son's operation in London on his leg? Is there any danger?"
Chanji assured her that everything would be all right. "Convey our salaams and thanks to Meher Baba," Lady Hyderi said before wishing him good-night.
Baba sent Chanji to Sir Hyderi a few more times that night and Chanji once had to wake him to give him Baba's message. The son had not wanted to see Baba at first and had refused his parents' request to do so. (Lord Meher Online Edition Page 1549-50)
But now the son told Chanji on his own, "Give my salaams to Meher Baba and tell Him that I will surely come to see Him. Due to the pain in my leg, I am unable to do so just now. But Inshallah (God willing), I will definitely come tomorrow. When will His Holiness see me?" Chanji replied at about ten o'clock and that he would come to get him.
The father had entreated Baba, "By your power, draw him to you!" When they found their son's welcome change of mind, their joy knew no bounds and they were deeply grateful to Baba. Thereupon, at 12:30 on Wednesday, 4 October 1933, Ali Hyderi visited Baba. After a cordial introduction, Baba explained to him:
Grateful, Ali Hyderi expressed his feelings of reverence for the Master and left.
On 21st October 1933, Sir Akbar Hyderi again came to Hygeia house in London to take Baba to the nursing home where his son was recuperating from surgery. After He comforted the Hyderis, Baba visited the homes of other lovers on his return, meeting with each one and giving attention to their needs.
(A renowned Film Producer from America)
On 20th & 21 st November, 1954, Alexander Markey visited Delhi and arrangement for his stay was made at Imperial Hotel, New Delhi by W. D. Kain. He was given a photograph of Meher Baba and attended Baba’s morning Satsang at his residence in President Estate. On His return to Bombay, Mr. Markey wrote following to Mr. W.D. Kain.
“I have just returned to my home base in Bombay; and this is my first chance to thank you for the pleasure and privilege of meeting you and participating in your inspiring Sunday morning ritual (Satsang) at the president’s Estate. I hope to have the joy of joining you again before I have to leave these shores.
I cherish the little photograph of Baba you were kind enough to give me and it was a special grace to meditate in Baba’s room.
With love to you and all and warm yuletide Blessings.
(Ex. Lok Sabha Speaker)
A public meeting under the chairmanship of the Lok Sabha (Parliament) Speaker sh. Ananthasayanan Ayyangar was arranged at the Constitution Club, New Delhi at 5 p.m., when the speaker made a very impressive speech on the advent of Masters and Incarnations of God and Baba’s message of love and peace to humanity.
(Rajah of Sarawak)
Last White Rajah of Sarawak (The Rajah Muda of Sarawak)
Born : 10th December, 1912 - England
Died : 2nd March, 2011 - Wanganui, New Zealand ( aged 98 )
Married : (1) Kathleen Mary Hudden - married 1939 & divorced 1965
(2) Brigette( Gita ) Keller - married 1982 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Children : 3 from Kathleen's marriage
James, Angela, Celia
Parents : Bertrum Brooke & Gladys Palmer
Nationality : English
On 19th March 1965, an unexpected visitor, Sir Anthony Brooke, 53, arrived. Brooke belonged to a prominent British aristocratic family, and had been appointed as the Rajah of Sarawak for one year. Brooke was interested in spirituality and had learned where Baba resided from Maud Kennedy in England.
He intended to travel in India, visiting the ashrams of different saints, such as Aurobindo and Ramana Maharshi.
Brooke arrived at Khushru Quarters in a tonga. Adi was surprised to see a distinguished Englishman get down from the tonga. Humbly, the man asked about Baba. "Did he receive my letter?" he inquired. No letter had been received. It turned out that Brooke had written to Baba c/o the Pimpalgaon Postmaster, who delivered his letter that same morning.
Adi explained that Baba was in seclusion and inquired of the visitor who he was. "I am from Sarawak," Brooke replied. "I am the Rajah of Sarawak. I have come all the way to see Meher Baba."
In the meantime, after Brooke's letter was read to Baba, a note was sent to Adi permitting him to bring Brooke, which he did at 11:00 A.M. Brooke was shown into mandali hall where he fell at Baba's feet. Baba embraced him and spoke with him briefly.
About his meeting, Brooke related: "I was drawn there at that time by the power of love and, on arriving; I flowed straight into Baba's arms. Few words passed, so far I can recall. Baba was very frail, and after sitting in front of Him for a few minutes, I left."
Brooke left the same night by train for Bombay. He later wrote to Maud Kennedy: "[The] meeting with beloved Baba was quite beyond words. It was the briefest possible, but everything was in it. He is Pure Love."
On July 17th, 1965, Anthony Brooke came to see Maud Kennedy in Lower Heyford with a friend, Mrs. Monica Parish. They talked about Meher Baba and his meeting with him:
Anthony told me what occurred in India. He found his way to the Bombay Baba Center and then to Ahmednagar and was interviewed by Adi K. Irani, who told him there was not much hope of seeing Baba as He was in seclusion. However, Adi went and asked Baba and Baba said yes – He would see Anthony for three minutes. So, of course, he went to Meherazad immediately.
Once in Baba's presence, Anthony walked toward Baba and knelt down before him with bowed head. Baba raised him up and motioned him to sit down on a chair. Anthony spoke a few words about himself and then asked Baba, "Who is the Master of St. Annes?"
Baba smiled lovingly and pointed to Himself. After three minutes and receiving Baba's blessing, Anthony left.
On October 11th, 1965, another letter was written from Anthony Brooke to Maud Kennedy:
I enjoyed your letter so much. Bless you, but I can only be brief in return. In answer to your question, I have no absolute inner feeling or conviction about the Avatarship of Baba, but He is a Perfect Master I have no doubt. It seems we each have a certain path and approach we need to tread, and after all my travel experiences, including ashrams and Buddhist meditation centers, I am in some inner way being curiously pressed back into the New Testament, seeing new meaning in it. Strange, but it is the way I have to go. )
8-APPA RAO M. R.
(Ex. State Minister of Social Welfare of Andhra Pradesh)
Andhra Pradesh Minister, M. R. Appa Rao, arrived with his wife for Baba's darshan. He longed to anoint Baba's feet with milk and honey, but hesitated to ask Baba's permission. Baba asked him what he wanted. Haltingly, he replied, "If it is no trouble for you, I would like to worship your feet." Baba consented and instructed him to come the next morning.
Appa Rao returned the following morning at 7:00 A.M., and he and his wife anointed Baba's feet with honey, milk, curds (yogurt), spices, et cetera. They then washed His feet with eau-de-cologne and lastly with rosewater. They offered Baba tea, of which Baba sipped a little and returned the rest to them as His prasad. Appa Rao said to Baba, "On behalf of myself and my wife, I wish to declare publicly what we believe in our hearts — namely that you are the Avatar — God in human form." Baba appreciated the couple's sincerity.
In 1965, Andhra minister, M. R. Apparao with his wife came, Baba told him, “I am happy with your work for Me. My grace will always be with you. I want you both to love Me more and more. I am God in human form.” After Baba had embraced them, the couple left.
Baba was happy with the work done by M. R. Apparao, the Minister of Excise, Prohibition and Social Welfare in Andhra Pradesh. He told him, “I know all that you do. I am pleased with your work.”
(Ex. Ruler of India)
Meher Baba made following comment.
Ashoka (273-232 B.C.) was an Indian emperor of the Maurya dynasty. One of the greatest of the ancient rulers, he brought nearly all of India together. However, sickened of war, he turned from Hinduism to Buddhism, and thereafter professed nonviolence. He sent Buddhist missionaries from India as far as Greece and Egypt, and was largely responsible for transforming Buddha’s teachings into a world religion — Buddhism
10-B. D. JATTI
Ex. Vice President of India
A darshan programme was held on 16-17th 1984, May in Town hall Bangalore where B. D. Jatti, former Vice-president of India presided over the occasion. This programme of Meher Baba was held at Town Hall after a long gap of forty five years. Earlier programme was held about Meher was held on 6th November 1939. After finishing the programme at Town hall, the Baba lovers arranged a small function at Byramangala also to enlighten the villagers nearby about the legacy of the Avatar.
11- BAL GANGADHAR TILAK
(Ex. First Home Minister of Govt. Of India)
On 29th November, 1940, while discussing politics with the women, Baba commented:
There are three types of souls — man, saint and God-Man. The saints are higher than men, and the God-Man higher than saints.
Among men, Gandhi is surely one of the greatest today. Some call him a mahatma, and some call him a fool. He has his weaknesses, but he is a great soul. [Gopal Krishna] Gokhale, [Lokmanya] Tilak and Pheroz Shah Mehta were the pillars of Indian politics. All three were great, but Tilak was the greatest of them all. In politics, Gandhi was his disciple.
12-BALWANT RAO KHER (MANCHER SHAH)
Raja of Sagar
Raja Balwant Rao Kher of Sagar and a few women from Hamirpur had come without Baba's consent. Baba first rebuked and then pardoned them. Raja Saheb Kher had met Baba in Nagpur and had come to Vijayawada with Nana. Baba nicknamed him Mancher Shah (the name of a king), because he was descended from a royal family and had a stately, regal bearing.
13-BARON F. VON BLOMBERG
(Co-President of the World fellowship of Religions)
A seven days programme to celebrate Baba’s 76th Birthday was drawn. The public meeting was held under the Preside ship of Shri M. Thirumala Rao, Member of Parliament, Chairman of the Estimates Committee, Lok Sabha Messages received good wishes from the Chairperson of Avatar Meher Baba Trust read out by W.D. Kain.
Baron F. Von Blomberg, Co-President of the World Fellowship of Religions Who had come to offer a garland of flowers at the feet of Avatar Meher Baba’s picture. He paid tribute to Meher Baba saying “Baba gives us love, understanding and appreciation of all religions, guiding us to work hand in hand for the welfare of the world. “ This was followed by a talk by Dr. G. S. N. Moorty on the subject “How can one realize the greatness of Baba.”
(Renowned ghazal Singer from Lucknow)
Born: 7th October, 1914 - Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: 30th October, 1974 - Ahmedabad, India
Married: Ishtiaq Ahmed Abbasi ( 1945-1974 )
Children: Zohra & Bibbi
Bai Faizabadi, popularly called Begum Akhtar (October 07, 1914 – October 30, 1974) was a famous Indian singer of Ghazal, Dadra and Thumri. She received the Sangeet Natak Academy Award for vocal music and was awarded Padam Shri and Padam Bhushan (Posthumously) by Government of India. She was given the title of Mallika-e-Ghazal (Queen of Ghazals).
Back in 1937-38, Adi had invited Begum Akhtar to sing before Baba, and expressed his willingness to pay her round trip travelling expenses from Lucknow Akhtar to Ahmednagar, and make all arrangements for her journey. But she demanded an exorbitant fee, and at the time, Baba informed Adi: "Don't call her now; one day she herself will come." Later she came to Baba and received His grace as destined by Meher Baba)
On 13 January 1963, very few workers and devotees from Ahmednagar had been called for Mehera's birthday. In the morning that day, Begum Akhtar, 49, the celebrated singer from Uttar Pradesh, was brought to Meherazad by Adi and Meherjee, along with Golwalkar, the music director of the Poona All India Radio station. Baba had several of Akhtar's records and she was one of his favorite artists.
In response to a message from Golwalkar, Akhtar was to have sung before Baba in Guruprasad the previous summer, but she had been unable to do so because of a serious illness. Meeting Baba now, Begum Akhtar wept copiously. It seemed as if she had been in Baba's inner contact for years. She told him, "From the day I heard of your call, I have been craving your darshan, and I sing a special ghazal before your photograph every day."
She beseeched Baba to allow her to sing it before him, to which Baba replied, "I am in seclusion now and not in the mood to listen to ghazals."
Begum Akhtar pleaded, and Baba replied, "I will give my permission only on the condition that you agree to come to Poona and give a performance of four to five hours at Guruprasad on any day in April or May. If you agree, I will hear one ghazal now."
She was delighted and lovingly accepted the condition. The "Queen of Ghazals", as she was known, (who used to charge Rs.1, 000 per day) herself came to Baba begging with a prayer to allow her to sing for him. (Lord Meher-p-4906-1963)
Such is Love's wonder!
Seated before Baba and the mandali, Begum Akhtar sang her daily "prayer" to Baba. Its first line was: "Ai Mohabat, tere anjam pe rona aaya." ("O Love, my tears are the result of surrendering to you!")
Tears of love and joy coursed down her cheeks as she sang. Baba gave her one of his own handkerchiefs with which to wipe her tears. He was so pleased with her singing that she sang three more songs.
Baba remarked to her, "I am the Fakir of fakirs and the Emperor of emperors!"
Begum Akhtar replied, "Beyshak (without a doubt), beyshak!"
When Baba mentioned what fee she would accept for the program at Guruprasad, she said, "I want nothing except your love."
Baba was pleased by her answer.
The tabla player, Kamat, also accompanied Begum Akhtar, as did her daughter. They had brought two large garlands, one each for the daughter and Akhtar to place around Baba's neck. But Begum Akhtar was so overcome she put both garlands around Baba! Baba assured her, "You have no idea how happy you have made Me with your singing."
She exclaimed, "I am so happy and fortunate to have done so."
While leaving she held on to Baba's feet, and with her head on his knee wept quietly for a long time. Patting her bowed head, Baba gestured, "You are most blessed." (Lord Meher-4907-1963)
The girl Lata Limaye began singing a ghazal, and though her voice was melodious, she seemed to be nervous and in a hurry to finish it. Baba advised her to be patient in her rendering and informed her that she had to sing before Him in Poona when Begum Akhtar would also be present. Baba commented about Begum Akhtar's visit to Meherazad and her willingness to sing before Him. He also praised Lata because she had excelled and won first place in a music competition in Poona, and assured her that she had an exceptionally sweet voice. In respect of Baba's wish, Lata sang the bhajan called "Rajaji" and Baba gave her an embrace. (Lord Meher-p-4931-1963)
On Friday, 3 May 1963, Begum Akhtar came to Guruprasad and saw Baba in morning along with others from Bombay and Poona. (Lord Meher-p-4977-1963)
In 1963, two large groups from Hamirpur came, one by train and one in a private bus. They were staying in a school and would walk to Guruprasad singing songs in praise of Baba. It was a remarkable sight to witness. These poor villagers from Hamirpur were proclaiming the advent of the Avatar to the urban public of Poona.
When they came to Guruprasad, Baba embraced each of them. Lata Limaye sang a few ghazals, and she sang so well that even Begum Akhtar, who was sitting next to her, applauded and patted her on the back. Baba asked Lata, "Would you be willing to stay with Begum Akhtar for six months and learn ghazals?" To such a privilege she eagerly agreed.
In the afternoon Begum Akhtar sang for nearly three hours. She was accompanied by Golwalkar on the sarangi, and Muhammad Ahmed on the tabla. All were formidable musicians, and it was a special event to hear them. Before they started, while they were tuning their instruments, Baba remarked, "The original naad (celestial music or sound) does not need such tuning of tal (rhythm) or soor (tune). It is continuous. Saints and Sadgurus hear that. All worldly music is only the seventh shadow of that original naad. Once you hear that you forget all."
The program was marvelous, and Baba was extremely happy. Guruprasad was overflowing for the recital. Baba allowed the women mandali to listen from behind the door, and often during the singing, He would turn to them and gesture with a radiant expression, "What a magnificent voice she has!" (Lord Meher-p-4978-1963)
In afternoon, Begum Akhtar began her second qawaali performance. Baba gave her a ring with his picture, and a pink scarf, which she wore throughout the afternoon. While singing the last two ghazals, tears flowed down her cheeks, but her voice did not break. As he had done in Meherazad, Baba once again handed her His handkerchief to wipe her tears during one song. The song that Baba loved best she saved for last. Its first line was: "I am the smoke from a snuffed-out candle, going toward my Goal!"
Baba also enjoyed the excellent performance given by the tabla player Muhammad Ahmed and by the musician Golwalkar. Many of those present were so moved, they wept silently while Akhtar sang her last two ghazals. (Lord Meher-p-4982-1963)
Begum Akhtar was scheduled to perform in Poona in October 1963. Since she was so nearby, she wrote Baba, pleading with Him to allow her to come to Meherazad to sing before him. Despite His seclusion, Baba agreed. Akhtar arrived with Meherjee in his car at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, 15 October, 1963, along with her tabla player, Muhammad Ahmed, and a sarangi player. She presented Baba with a huge garland before singing three ghazals, and Baba appeared most happy. He gave her and Ahmed shawls He had used, and the other musician was given one of his handkerchiefs. In her love, Akhtar beseeched Baba to allow her to stay at Meherazad for a month, so that she could sing before Him every day. (Baba was pleased with her request, but it never transpired.) Akhtar was establishing a new music school in Lucknow, for which she sought Baba's blessings, and she departed at 11:15 with a large photograph of Him to be hung in the institute.
Inaugural ceremony of Meher Dham at Naurenga took place on 25th November 1963, by Sarosh and Villo Irani,
Begum Akhtar had also canceled a previous engagement to attend the mela at Hamirpur and she sang there. While going to Hamirpur, they had had beautiful weather and things went smoothly. But while returning, everything that could possibly go wrong on a car journey did. They suffered bad weather, engine trouble, flat tires, and poor accommodations. Viloo told Baba about this and then joked, "You took us in great comfort because you wanted us to go for your work, but on the return journey, you did not bother about us, because your work had been accomplished." Although Viloo had known Baba for many years, up to this time, she did not really believe in Baba's divinity; but after her many heartrending experiences in Hamirpur; she was fully convinced of his Godhood.
At Meherazad on the 25th, February, 1965, Begum Akhtar arrived at 11:30 A.M. with Meherjee. She had come to Ahmednagar to give a public concert arranged by the Ahmednagar Center for Baba's birthday, and she wished to sing a few ghazals for Baba as her personal offering of love. Even though she was tired after the long journey and her hectic schedule of engagements, she sang superbly. A poet from Ahmednagar, Afsar Seemani, composed a ghazal in Baba's praise, which Begum Akhtar read. She then spontaneously began singing it.
Afterward, Baba remarked to her, "Your songs were My best birthday present. Your voice is matchless."
Begum Akhtar replied, "It is all your grace, Baba; there is nothing else."
Baba showed concern for how tired she looked and stated, "Take rest this afternoon."
With tear-filled eyes, she said, "My rest is only at your feet."
That night, Begum Akhtar sang before a crowd of 7,000 at Gandhi Maidan in Ahmednagar, and Pukar spoke about Baba's life and message.
Baba's lovers in West Bengal had organized a special program on 8 December 1968 to felicitate Begum Akhtar, who was visiting Calcutta. Baba sent them this message:
The God-Man is here among men to give them love of God and to awaken them to the reality that God alone is real and all else is a dream.
In words of Arnavaz N. Dadachanji
At the time of His birthday in 1967, Baba was extremely restless; He was also experiencing a great deal of pain. During lunch on 24th February He said, "My time has come. My time is very near." We were to hear Baba repeat these words frequently from then on. The following morning, His birthday, Baba was feeling quite low. Although He was dizzy, He tried hard to appear cheerful, as He wanted all of us to be happy. We placed the pink cake I had brought from Bombay before Him. After lighting the candles and singing "Happy Birthday" to Baba, we read aloud all of the many birthday telegrams He had received.
We celebrated quietly in Meherazad, but that evening a big birthday programme featuring Begam Akhtar, one of the most famous ghazal singers in India, took place at the Ahmednagar Baba Centre. She had sung for Baba twice at Guruprasad, and at her request Baba allowed her to come to Meherazad. We were happy to see the joy that her singing brought to Baba's face. Begum Akhtar was going to Mecca on a pilgrimage, and Baba asked her who would accompany her. When she told Him she was going alone, Baba said, "Am I not going with you?" He then gave her a handkerchief, asking her to place it on the Kaaba (the holy site of pilgrimage for all Muslims) and then bring it back to Him. After returning from Mecca she wrote Baba a letter sadly telling Him that she had lost the handkerchief on the way there.
Mehera Arjani wrote
Meherwan and I were discussing the lines from a ghazal this morning, and the talk came around to Akhtar Begum, who was the foremost proponent of the Thumri style of Hindustani Music, and who sang the ghazals that Baba loved. She was very famous and Adi Sr. thought her performance would please Baba so he invited her to sing for Him. She quoted a very high fee, and when Baba was told about it, He said, “Let it be.”
A few years later, Prof. Golwalkar (himself a very talented musician and composer) became the Director of All India Radio, Poona. He was very taken with Baba, and so whenever a well-known singer came to perform for the radio station, he’d bring them before Baba. At some point, he must have told Akhtar Begum about Baba, and following an inner prompting, she landed up at Meherazad where Beloved Baba was in seclusion, around His Birthday time. Meherwan recalls that she turned up at Mandali Hall, and asked to sing before Baba. Baba was asked, and He told one of the Mandali to bring her in. She came in, and sang before Him. Baba was very pleased and took a paper on which a poem for His Birthday had been sent by a close lover named Prof. Dastagir. Showing the paper to her, He asked her if she could put it to music and sing it for Him. She read it through and said, “Of course, I will do it right now.” Thus saying she put it to music and sang it to Baba. Then she asked to sing a final song, and Baba agreed on condition that she would come to sing before Him in Poona, for the three days of His Darshan there. She readily agreed, and sang her third song. Then she wept before Baba and from that day she was His.
Akhtar Begum kept her promise to sing at Guruprasad. I remember the three days she sang, though to my 6-year old mind her singing wasn’t all that wonderful. But she was very approachable, and when (on one of her beedi breaks – she smoked beedis and Baba would stop her every so often so she could go have a quick smoke - she was greeting Gai mummy and Manu, and I happened to be there, she gave me a hug and her blessings (it is traditional for elders to bless young ones, usually with long life and happiness). Meherwan recalls that one time she had a congested chest and still sang so well Baba said to the gathered lovers, “See, she has a chest full of phlegm, but how lovely her voice still is!”
Akhtar Begum loved Baba a lot. She always regretted that she wasted all those years when she could have been close to Him, She died a few years after Baba dropped His Body, and is still remembered in the Baba world as one who gave pleasure to the Highest of the High. To quote a few lines from the ghazal that Meherwan and I were discussing – “Each syllable on my tongue praises Him, my every footstep on this earth is my salutation to Him. I as Your lover am going towards my annihilation with as much rejoicing as if I was on my way to the Kaaba.” Maybe Akhtar Begum has reached her Kaaba too!
15-BHAVE M. G.
(Ex. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh)
Baba's darshan and blessing for the team of seventeen Indian cricketers who were about to leave for England for the upcoming Test Match. Baba made an exception to the darshan-only-on-Sundays rule and agreed to see the cricket team on Thursday, April 2nd, at 9:00 A.M. That day Baba was ready in the hall of Guruprasad at exactly 9:00 A.M., but as the cricket players were undergoing a medical examination the same day, they were delayed.
Representatives of the press had also been allowed to come, and they took advantage of the opportunity to put a few questions to Baba. Baba was in a welcoming mood and answered them. Telling them about his childhood, he related:
Of all games, I love cricket the most. I used to play as a boy. I was particularly good behind the wickets. I was a member of the junior cricket team of St. Vincent High School which I attended, and I was selected as a wicket keeper even on the senior team. Ever since My childhood days I was always chosen as the leader by My schoolmates, and whenever there was a quarrel or fight among the students, I was invariably chosen to arbitrate between the quarrelling parties.
When I was a child, children were attracted to Me. When I grew up, God was attracted to Me. And when I became One with God, people all over the world became attracted to Me.
After Saint Vincent's High School, I went to Deccan College; and there, too, I played many matches. Once a cricket match was being played on the grounds of the Poona Club. Yusuf Baig, the famous all-rounder of those days, was batting. Yusuf knew of My ability in wicket-keeping and he challenged Me to "out" him. I accepted his challenge. Yusuf played the first four balls very carefully, but he stepped out of his place a bit to strike the fifth ball. That was his undoing, as My throw shattered his wickets and he was out. I won the challenge. Yusuf Baig came over and congratulated Me.
Although nowadays I am not playing games, I am still interested in watching matches, especially cricket. If I happen to pass the grounds near the Maharashtra Club or the Deccan Gymkhana, I stop the car and watch the play. Very few important test matches have missed My presence. I have been to Delhi to see the match between the Indian and West Indies teams. Last year I was in Ahmednagar to watch the Ranji Trophy match. The D.S.P. (District Superintendent of Police) saw Me come into the spectators' lounge. By that time a crowd collected all around me. More than seeing the match, they wanted to gaze at Me. Just to save the spectators any disturbance, I left early. I have often explained that My visits to witness cricket matches and sitting among crowds intently watching the game has a great spiritual purpose behind it.
I love children. When I meet them, I become like a child. I love to play marbles with them, fly kites and play cricket. Often when I am driving in the car, and if time permits, I find small children playing cricket with a plank as a bat and a rubber ball, I ask the car to stop and watch the game with interest.
While describing His childhood days and love of games, Baba stated to the reporters: "I am One with God, and when you write reports of this meeting in your newspapers, you should include also that 'As One with everything and everybody on all levels of consciousness, I live all the respective roles at the same time.' “Thus, for almost an hour through signs and gestures, Baba replied to the questions of the reporters through Eruch.
Finally, the cricket players appeared in the hall. One of them asked Baba to bless the team so that they would play well in England. Baba stated: "Embrace Me with all your hearts and love, and be sure to take My love with you to England. I bless you. Don't be nervous because of your poor showing with the West Indies team. If you play with one heart, My love will help you to win at least one test, and on the whole you will put up a better show than you did with the West Indies. But all will depend on your love for Me. Take My love with you and you will shine well."
Baba lovingly embraced the cricket players and handed each a copy of Life At Its Best and Twenty-One Fragments, and also this statement entitled, I Am the Greatest All-Rounder, which Eruch read:
In going to England to represent India in the field of sport, you also have the unique opportunity of practicing and of conveying to the people there the great spiritual lessons of concentration and love. When you take the field, and if you play as eleven men with one heart, each enjoying the excellence of performance in another player as he would in himself, whether that player is on your side or on the side of the opposing team, and so eliminating feelings of jealousy, anger and pride, which so often mar the sport, you will not only be entertaining the spectators, but demonstrating the real spirit of sportsmanship. True sportsmanship is concentrated ability, enlivened with appreciation of the performance of others. And when this is manifested, everyone present, both players and spectators, receives spiritual upliftment as well as good entertainment.
Some of you are "all-rounders." I am the greatest spiritual all-rounder of all times, because I feel equally at home with saints, yogis, philosophers and cricketers, as well as with so-called sinners and scoundrels. I give you my blessing that in all your actions you show forth the spirit of love.
Baba again gave a parting embrace to each player. Several had come to Baba with feelings of wonder, inquisitiveness and curiosity. But after meeting him and receiving his love, they departed with new enthusiasm, love and reverence for him.
Pendu was also very fond of following cricket matches, listening to the radio to find out the score. When the Test Match was being played in England, Pendu came and stood outside Baba's bedroom. Bhau was on watch and Baba asked who was outside. On being told, he called Pendu. Joining his hands, Pendu entreated Baba, "Baba, make Nari Contractor (the captain of the Indian team) win the match!" At this simple-hearted request, Baba laughed and replied, "We shall see."
"It is not a matter of seeing," Pendu persisted, "you have to make him win the game."
Baba was much amused and asked Pendu to leave. Pendu went but shortly was back with the same request. Baba gestured to him, "We shall see. Why are you so worried?" Baba heard Pendu's prayer. Despite an injury to his ribs, Nari Contractor scored eighty-four runs for India's side and the team won.
Baba himself was so fond of cricket that on one exceptionally busy morning, he remarked, "The poor Avatar has all this to do when he would much rather be watching a good game of cricket."
(Ex. Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh)
The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, K. Brahmananda Reddi, had also learned of Baba and sent a request for Baba's blessing on his birthday. Baba sent it along with this message: "Face life boldly and honestly. I am with you."
17-CECIL B. DEMILLE
(Film producer from America)
Born: 12th August, 1881 - Massachusetts, USA.
Died: 21st January, 1959 - Los Angeles, CA.,USA
Baba had sent word beforehand that he would not be giving darshan, and that no one should come to see him at Ashiana except for those few he called. He did, however, go with the men to see the Cecil B. De Mille movie The Ten Commandments at the Regal Cinema, but he stayed only up to the part when Moses sees God (as the burning bush) on Mount Sinai.
Afterwards, Baba revealed:
Moses was on the sixth plane. His seeing the land of Israel but not being able to enter it is symbolic of his experience on the sixth plane of seeing God, but not yet merging in Him. Though when he dropped his body Moses realized God. I liked this picture very much; it was well acted and well made. It has much to give those who are able to receive it. Rameses [II] in his next incarnation entered the Path; the old Pharaoh [Seti] received mukti, because he took Moses' name when dying.
Baba then recalled his meeting with Cecil B. De Mille in Hollywood in 1932. Later, the women mandali were also sent to see the movie. While climbing the stairs to the theater's balcony, Baba was supported on one side by Homa Dadachanji and on the other by Homa's brother, Dara. Homa had a long history of leg problems and Dara had recently injured his knee. After the movie, Baba joked, "It was a sight for the gods! Here I was, injured myself, leaning on two cripples." (Lord Meher Volume 15, Page 5264)
Before coming to Myrtle Beach from New Jersey, Harold Rudd had written to Cecil B. de Mille that Meher Baba had seen his latest movie The Ten Commandments and liked it very much. While at Myrtle Beach, a reply from de Mille was forwarded to Harold in which he wrote of his great appreciation and privilege of meeting Meher Baba in Hollywood at Mary Pickford's home in 1932. Harold Rudd told Nariman about this, and he went to the Lagoon Cabin and told Baba. Baba summoned Harold and asked him to read de Mille's letter. Baba was quite pleased with its contents, and then ordered Harold Rudd to read it out to the whole group the next day in the Barn, which he did. Baba commented, "I saw the first half of the picture in Bombay."
(Ex. President of China)
On 22th February, 1942, the President of China, Chiang Kai-Shek visited India with the Viceroy, Jinnah, Nehru, Gandhi and other leaders. Baba complimented him: “He is a great soul, a philosopher and a practical leader, who above all is sincere.”
(Ex. President of New Delhi Municipal Committee)
On 5th May, 1968, a special function was arranged in spacious lawns (Now holding underground municipal Market) of Connaught Place which was inaugurated by the Chief Justice of India M. Hidayatulla.
Dr. W. D. Kain read out the following message from Baba’s mandali:
“We are all so happy to hear the programme in Delhi on 5th May 1968, in connection with 74th Baba Birthday celebrations. We are so pleased that our dear Hidayatulla, chief justice of India, will inaugurate the function. Avatar Meher Baba’s Mandali send from Guruprasad their salutations and Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai to all gathered in His love. Of course beloved baba is bound to be present among the assembly for He has always assured us that He is present whenever His lovers get together in His love to give His message of love.
Function was also attended by Shri chand Chhabra IAS President NDMC. In his concluding speech he said,” I have been encouraged by the message sent by mandali that Baba will be present in this function; and I am grateful for having been given this opportunity to participate in this function. I feel that since Avatar Meher Baba has been silent for so long, we should instead of making speeches invoke His Karam, His Gace or Guruprasad. If you get His grace, you have an experience, which it is hard to narrate. Just as in the hot weather we feel refreshed and happy after a cold bath; similarly we are bound to experience ‘Ananda’ –a blissful state –after a spiritual bath provided by the shower of His grace. I have all along been looking at Baba’s photograph since the time it has been given to me; and if I have not yet seen Avatar Meher Baba in it, there must be some deficiency to love on my part for the Avatar. I therefore humbly offer my tribute to Baba and ask for His grace.
Raja Saheb of Sahanpur
The Rani and Rajah of Sahanpur were living in a bungalow near Baba's bungalow. The queen's name was Mohini Rani and her husband was Charat Singh. One of their daughters, Pushplata, who was married to the Raja of Patiala, had died recently during childbirth. Overcome with grief, the Rani became like a mad woman, and had she not met Baba at this time; her condition would surely have worsened.
The Rani found out about Meher Baba and, one evening in September 1953, she came to the mandali's bungalow accompanied by her husband. Eruch was sitting outside on the verandah with Baba, who asked her what she wanted. Mohini Rani replied, "Baba, I have come to you in great misery. I have come with a request."
Baba asked, "What is it? What do you want from Me?"
"I cannot live without my daughter. I want my daughter back. I implore you to bring my daughter back alive!" And she burst out weeping as she narrated her story.
Baba comforted her with the words, "Why do you cry? You will have your daughter back."
Mohini Rani, in wonder, asked, "The same daughter, Baba? In the same form?"
"Yes, the same daughter," He promised.
"But her corpse has been cremated ..."
Baba smiled, and his smile dissolved Mohini's agony. "I am Paramatma, and nothing is impossible for Me," He assured her. "I have created the universe! Can I not make your daughter come alive?"
These words lifted the terrible burden from her heart and her despondency was transformed into hope. She asked, "Would you truly give me back my daughter?"
Baba assured her with a smile, "Yes, I am telling you exactly that. Now stop worrying and have patience. Your daughter will come back to you. All you have to do is to remember Me and love Me. Remember Me constantly and love Me as much as you can, more and more each day. Will you do that?"
The Maharani agreed, and for the first time in a long, long while, she felt light at heart. The couple left. Eruch had been interpreting Baba's words and was stunned, thinking: "My God! What is Baba promising? It is not like him to declare such things."
Eruch said to Baba, "You have assured her that her daughter will come back, but what will happen when she does not get her back?"
Baba replied, "I have the remedy for every disease and My treatment is infallible. At present she needs this medicine until her illness subsides. She was happy and you will see that her condition won't worsen; on the contrary, it will improve."
Some days later, Mohini Rani informed Baba that she wished to sweep and clean His room herself. On Baba's agreeing, she did it. She then asked for some personal article of Baba's, and His sadra was given to her.
As long as Baba was staying in Dehra Dun, Mohini Rani was happy and cheerful, and inwardly leaned more and more on him. After Baba's departure, whenever she remembered her daughter, she would write to Baba, who would reply that she must be patient; her daughter would definitely return to her, but meanwhile she should go on remembering Baba more and more. Baba indicated that she would see her daughter in a dream and this would be the sign of her imminent return.
Later in 1954, Mohini Rani came to Ahmednagar with her husband for a darshan program, determined to ask Baba finally to bring her daughter back from the dead.
But when in Baba's presence, she completely forgot about it.
Some years later, when the couple came to Guruprasad for Baba's darshan, Baba asked Mohini Rani, "How are you?"
"Baba, I am very happy," she answered.
Baba looked radiant that day and suddenly stated, "I am in the mood at this moment to give you whatever you ask. Tell Me at once: Do you want your daughter back, or do you want Me?"
The Rani gently placed her hand on Baba's knee and replied, "I want you, Baba."
Baba replied, "Now you have your daughter back. The whole world is in Me, including your daughter."
Baba gave Mohini Rani her daughter back by making Mohini totally forget her daughter. Because of her daughter's death, Mohini Rani came into Baba's close contact and became His forever. Her husband, Charat Singh, also held fast to Baba's feet, and their other daughter, Kusum, became ecstatic in Baba's love. Kusum's husband, Sardar Mohkam Singh, at first had no faith in Baba, but once when he was brought for darshan, he was so drawn to Baba that he arranged frequent bhajan-kirtan programs at their residence in New Delhi.
About 50 of Mohini Rani's relatives (including her elder sister, Ramadevi of Mukimpur and her family) came into Baba's contact and had the good fortune to be at His feet — all because of the tragic death of Pushp Lata. Thus the daughter was brought to life in Meher Baba's love. (Lord meher-p-3404/5/6-1953)
Rani Mohini of Dehra Dun had come with her husband, Raja Charat Singh. Like Godubai, she, too, had come with a firm purpose: to ask Baba to keep his promise about giving back her deceased daughter. But when she neared Baba for prasad, His twinkling eyes and enchanting expression made her forget also — and forget forever! By fulfilling desires, bindings are created; by eradicating them, their chain is broken. Baba made Rani Mohini forget for all time. This was His miracle, which never furthered attachments, but uprooted them.
In 1965, darshan the queue ended and Baba asked for the arti to be sung. Madhusudan and the Poona bhajan group sang and everyone joined in. Mohini Rani of Dehra Dun, her daughter, Kusum, and Mohini's sister, Ramadevi of Mukimpur came forward with the arti flame burning on a salver, and waved it in ritualistic fashion in front of Baba
Avatar Meher Baba gave darshan to public in December 1952. In 1968, at the Ram Lila Grounds where people had so far witnessed Ram Lila during Dussehra Festival, depicted at length Meher Lila from 1stt to 3rd December. In a beautifully festooned Pandal illuminated with multicolored electric lights, was visible the Life-sized portraits of Avatar Meher Baba on a beautifully furnished stage. Inaugural address was delivered by Shri K. K. Shah, Minister of Information and broadcasting on 1st December, after he garlanded Baba’s portrait.
A touching speech was given by Raja of Sahanpur (father of Kusum M. Singh of Delhi) wherein he described how he had come in contact with Baba and how he was convinced that “Baba is the Avatar”, was received with much applause by the audience. He stated that “It is not real blind faith but the real faith that unites you with God. If you really love Baba you can unite with Baba-with God, because Baba is love. I do not simply say that He is Avatar but I also know that He is Avatar