Brahmananda had joined Meher Baba in Bangalore and had been staying in Meherabad.
From Thursday, 1 February 1940, Baba began a partial fast of having only one meal a day. That day, he also began giving private interviews once again, this time in a constructed hut in the Links compound. Precisely on the 1st, the young swami Bhabananda returned to Bangalore, as instructed, after his pilgrimage to Rameshwaram in Ceylon. He narrated his experiences to Baba, who was happy he had carried out his instructions faithfully. The next day, Baba sent him to Pandharpur (a sacred shrine to Krishna), then to Upasni Maharaj at Sakori, to Narayan Maharaj at Kedgaon and to the shrines of Hazrat Babajan in Poona and Sai Baba in Shirdi.
Maya seemed still to be active in Panchgani. Without warning, on 10 September 1941, Swami Bhabananda committed suicide in Mahabaleshwar. For a few days, the police did not connect him with the rest of Baba's men staying there. Gustadji and Pleader were nevertheless reluctant to continue staying so close to the scene of the death, and so Baba called them to Panchgani on 19 September.
The men mandali later learned that, before meeting Baba, he had murdered a man and hence, presumably, his guilt led him to hang himself. After hearing of Bhabananda's suicide, Baba commented, "He will immediately take another birth and advance spiritually."