81-MABEL BESANT SCOTT
Daughter of Annie Basent
Mabel Besant-Scott, 63, came to visit Baba. She was the daughter of Annie Besant, who had passed away in India in September. (Mabel Scott had also lived in India for a few years, assisting her mother). She said, “I have come to see a friend of mine, but when I learnt that you were staying here, too, I came to see you.
“I am extremely pleased to meet you."
"I am also very happy to have met you," Baba indicated.
They talked about her mother and Baba remarked, "She will be born as a man in India."
"I also think so," said Mrs. Scott. "She loved India so much. She now greatly needs rest."
Reassuring her, Baba stated, "The world is now inclined toward materialism, and to turn toward the higher values of life, it needs help. I will give it this help."
"I believe you will truly do so," said Mrs. Scott. "God is the supporter of everything and the source of all and He is present in all. But He is to be realized and revealed."
"I will help you toward that end," Baba promised.
"I am indebted to you," she replied.
82-MAHARAJA OF BHOR
(Maharaja of Bhor)
Meher Baba paid a visit to the district of Bhor on 5th March 1933, having been invited by the Maharaja. He stopped first at Lonavla, where Ghani and Tyebali arranged tea and breakfast. After a brief stop in Poona, Baba went on to Bhor where He was received grandly and hundreds came for His darshan.
Later in 1934, at the Poona train station, a throng was awaiting Baba's arrival and included the Maharaja of Bhor who presented to Baba an exquisite garland, truly fit for a king.
83-MAHARANI OF GWALIOR
On 5th June 1960, afternoon, famous 62-year old singer was named Vinayak Narayan Patwardhan sang before Baba. Baba was highly pleased with the quality of his voice. He removed the garland around his neck and gave it to the master singer. Afterwards, Patwardhan said he had never in his life sung as well.
The Maharani of Gwalior was also present that day.
84-MAHARANI OF INDORE
(W/o Yeshwantrao Holkar)
Born: 1914 - India
Died: 13th July, 1937 - Tarasp, Switzerland
The ship docked in Port Said on the morning of 2 October1933, and the Maharani of Indore, Mrs. Yeshwantrao Holkar, came to Baba's cabin for his darshan with her secretary. At the time, Baba was out for His morning walk on deck and someone directed her there. As she approached, Chanji intercepted her, saying, "Meher Baba only gives darshan after making an appointment. I will have to ask His permission and let you know." The secretary explained that the maharani had not come to ask anything of Meher Baba, but that she only wanted His darshan. Chanji reiterated that he would ask Baba and inform them. But they followed him and came face-to-face with Baba before Chanji could seek Baba's permission.
In the same year, in morning, Maharani of Indore had come with her secretary to see Baba for about fifteen minutes.
Baba was dressed in a sadra at the time and His long hair was down. Baba informed the queen, "This is My customary dress. It is the clothing I wear in front of those who come to know Me. To those who take Me for a foreigner, I become a foreigner. I did not wish to meet you as a foreigner, so it is good that you have come today. Do I not look like a fellow countryman now?"
The maharani laughed, and Baba continued by dictating a discourse:
Everything depends on the mind. The mind feeds on happiness and misery. The world is really a dream. Happiness and sorrow are plays of the mind; there is no substance in either. In fact, the mind exists to endeavor to see God, but it leaves this aside and becomes caught up in the world. "I want this! I want that!" it shouts. The mind gets one entangled in maya and thereby increases desires. No sooner is one desire satisfied than another is there ready to be satisfied. Thus, one after another, desires increase without limit and they never bring freedom to anyone.
So the man who has control over the mind possesses the whole universe. He has no use for happiness, suffering, health, wealth or anything else. He is beyond all that.
The maharani was satisfied with Baba's discourse and left. Shortly thereafter, Uday Shankar arrived to talk about his dance programs. Baba remarked to him, "One day, perhaps in Chicago, I shall give you darshan."
85-MAHARANI OF SAVANTWADI
Maharani of Savantwadi
The Maharani of Savantwadi (whose husband had given the Panchgani Tiger Valley Cave to Baba) expressed her wish for Baba's darshan, and Baba acceded to her request. The maharani came with her three daughters on the 17th. Baba met with them for a few minutes. The maharani humbly placed a coconut at His feet. Baba picked it up and handed it to one of the daughters, remarking, "Keep this with you always. Preserve it. Everything will be all right. You should not worry." The maharani was deeply moved, as her daughter had been suffering mentally (perhaps from depression), although she had not mentioned this to Baba. His unexpected prasad deeply gladdened the maharani's heart. The maharani invited Baba, to visit her palatial bungalow with the women. Baba accepted, and they went there two days later.
Baba left Amboli at two in the afternoon on the 20th and traveled to Belgaum. They arrived three hours later, and stayed in a bungalow three miles from the city, which belonged to the Maharani of Savantwadi. On the 22nd, Baba took the women to see the spot chosen for establishing Baba's center in Belgaum, and the Maharani of Savantwadi again came to see him.
86-MAHARANI SHANTA DEVI
Maharani of Baroda
In 1951, Baba and the women then went to see the bungalows that had been arranged. Though they didn't like the Wanowri house much, Baba agreed to stay there for two days, before moving to the other bungalow. Their meals were to be sent from Bindra House. Gadekar had meanwhile managed to procure the Maharani Shantadevi of Baroda’s palatial bungalow, Guruprasad at 24 Bund Garden Road, with the help of Sardar M. A. Raste. Gadekar received this information in a telegram on 27 March, and immediately delivered the cable to Bindra House. Meherwan sent the telegram to Baba along that day, because he himself was also forbidden to meet Him. At this time, Baba was not seeing anyone, including the Jessawala family at Bindra House or His brother Beheram's family. All were eager to meet Him, but no one would disobey His wish.
Whenever Baba was in Poona, he would always visit the Gadekars at their new home on 885/5 Khandarka Institute Road, Deccan Gymkhana. Baba would sometimes even go to Gadekar's office and give him darshan there. Baba had expressed a desire that he would like to have a spacious bungalow for his stay during the summer. Six years before, with the help of Sardar Raste, Gadekar had found Maharani Shantadevi's palatial Guruprasad bungalow in Poona for Baba's use. Gadekar again contacted the Maharani and was able to obtain the palace for Baba. )
Baba probably would have stayed at Guruprasad Palace until He left Poona, but a long distance telephone was received from Shantadevi’s secretary in Bombay, informing them that a portion of Guruprasad was required for Maharani’s brother and his guests whom the Maharani had promised to accommodate.
The secretary was told that during his stay Baba did not want anyone else to stay in the house. But since the Maharani had already promised her brother, Baba agreed to vacate the bungalow early. The secretary most likely conveyed this to the Maharani, and phone calls went back and forth between Bombay and Guruprasad; but having decided to leave, Baba moved back to Dadi Kerawala's bungalow at Ganeshkhind Gardens on 1 June 1957. The result was that, thereafter, the Maharani reserved Guruprasad exclusively for Meher Baba's use, and never allowed anyone else to stay while Baba was there.
Despite this, on Sunday, 4 May 1958, Baba gave darshan on the verandah of Guruprasad as some of the Poona group sang bhajans. Many availed themselves of the occasion, including the owner of Guruprasad, Maharani Shantadevi of Baroda, 44, who on that day had Baba's darshan for the first time. For a long while, she sat near Baba's chair. Maharani Shantadevi was greatly impressed by Baba, and she remained faithful in her heart to His cause. After permitting her to sit by Him for some time and speaking with her a little, Baba asked Shantadevi to depart. From that time on she began coming to Baba often, and each year made Guruprasad available to Him.
On the morning of 10 July 1958, Baba arrived in Meherabad and spent an hour in His cabin discussing His work with various groups. Maharani Shantadevi and the Rani of Kurundwad garlanded Baba. Garlanding was prohibited in the meeting, but Baba allowed it this time. Taking off the garlands, He put them aside on the table next to Him. He then commented, "I have heard much praise for the Bombay bhajan group.
Baba observed: "Some things I will tell you today which have connection with the 10th of July. This time I have not invited the women. Last time, they were called to the sahavas. But some women are present whom I will introduce." He introduced Maharani Shantadevi, the Rani of Kurundwad and her son the Raja of Kurundwad, the Maharaja of Bhor, Mrs. Sardar Raste and Mrs. Prabha Kain.
About Maharani Shantadevi, Baba stated, "I am happy with Shantadevi that on My mere asking, she places her Guruprasad Palace in Poona at My disposal. She had not seen Me before, but she had love and reverence for Me. I am not happy because she is a maharani or because she has wealth. I am pleased with her because she possesses honest love."
Looking at Maharani Shantadevi, who was a frequent visitor, Baba would joke, "I am God and know everything. But I don't know which boy is Sohrab and which Rustom is!"
Maharani Shantadevi came to see Baba on 22nd May 1959, with her daughters. Shantadevi would often visit Guruprasad to see Baba, whenever she visited Poona, but she stayed in another bungalow while Baba was occupying Guruprasad. Baba once remarked to her, "I want you to come to Me regularly. But come only when you have the time and it is convenient." She was wondering why Baba did not order her to come to Him as He would do with others. But Baba never did give her any orders. She would never ask Baba anything on her own, but occasionally when Baba would ask her about things on her mind, she would answer and tell him about her personal and family affairs. (She had marital problems with her husband, who was considered an "international playboy.")
On one occasion, Baba commented to Shantadevi, "You are blessed. I love you more than you love Me. I have My nazar on you." Baba would also frequently remark to her in later years, "Guruprasad has become immortal.
From 13 April 1960, Maharani Shantadevi began coming every morning to see Baba from 8:30 to 10:30 A.M. The time set for darshan was from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M.
Baba mentioned Maharani Shantadevi, Maisaheb Patwardhan (the Rani of Kurundwad), Sardar Raste and others, both prominent and less so, and bespoke of their love for Him in very appreciative terms. )
The open darshan began on Monday, 15 May 1961 and lovers from all over India streamed in to take advantage of it. Lovers from Hamirpur and Uttar Pradesh led by Pukar were there. Also present were Deshmukh, Bal Natu and hundreds of other devotees. Some children danced for Baba, and there was a singing performance. Maharani Shantadevi attended the darshan program.
The Maharani of Baroda again came to Guruprasad on 30 May 1961. The "Seven Avatars" drama was re-enacted for her benefit. Madhusudan and Subhadra had gone to great pains to produce it and it was a grand success.
Over the one year and a half, the temple and statue were built, but the unveiling of the statue was not to take place until the annual mela (fair) held in Nauranga from 25–27 November 1961. For that purpose, Baba sent Adi and Maharani Shantadevi to Nauranga. Meherdas was also sent from Meherazad with several of Baba's old personal articles (a much-used coat, a pair of sandals, an old cricket bat, a letter in Baba's handwriting dated back in 1922, a curl of His golden-brown hair from His younger days, and other items) to be exhibited in the temple for the lovers to bow down to and thereby take darshan. The main function was held on the 26th of November. The building where the statue was to be housed had been named Meher Mandir (Meher Temple), but sending a telegram that day, Baba changed the name to Meher Dham (House of Meher).
On 27th October 1962, in the small hall of Guruprasad, Baba met about 100 of His lovers who had already arrived from Karachi, Calcutta and Bombay. Maharani Shantadevi was also present.
On 19th December 1962, Baba instructed Adi to add the following in a letter to Maharani Shantadevi: “Next year is most important and critical.
Baba wants to know if Guruprasad will be available to him throughout the next year so that He can come and go whenever He likes, and also will you be free to come and go whenever He calls you?"
In 1963, Baba expressed concern for inaugural ceremony of Meherastana at Kovvur. He stated, "I am sending Adi and Maharani Shantadevi for the opening as My representatives, and some from Poona and Bombay will also be going.
Shantadevi spoke of Hamirpur, "When I had been to Meher Dham for its opening ceremony, I was accorded a reception the likes of which I have never been accorded in my own kingdom. The love of your lovers there is intense, Baba."
"You have become immortal," Baba assured her, "As has Guruprasad."
Baba repeatedly told her, "Hold on to My daaman continuously until I speak the Word of Word and make My dear ones and the world receive My grace according to each one's capacity."
Baba promised her, "You will see My True Light."
In Andhra, on 28th February 1963, at 7:00 A.M., Maharani Shantadevi declared Mehersthan open to the public by cutting the seven-colored ribbon strung across its entrance. She unveiled the bronze statue of Baba and delivered an address. Adi then unfurled Baba's flag on the dome of Mehersthan and gave a speech. Many attended the function, including several dignitaries and Yogi Shuddhanand Bharati, Dr. Moorty from Calcutta, and Hoshang Bharucha from Navsari, all of whom gave a short speech.
At Meherazad on the 28th, Baba called both the men and women mandali to the hall to stand before him. At 7:32 A.M., exactly at the moment Shantadevi was unveiling the statue at Mehersthan, Baba clapped and, according to His wish, all the mandali shouted with one voice, "Parvardigar!"
Madhusudan had composed a new song in honor of Guruprasad. He had had the words printed and framed and presented it to Baba, who gave it to Maharani Shantadevi. Baba asked him to sing it.
On 21 st June 1963, Baba visited Meherjee's filter paper factory. The next day, after going to Ruby Hall Clinic for a glucose test, Baba visited Jamnagar House with eighteen of the men and the Maharani of Baroda. He arrived at 10:00 A.M. and stayed for an hour. The house was decorated and Baba embraced each person. In the course of conversation, he remarked, "The other day, I was made to take a head bath [hair shampooed] — which is a crucifixion for Me."
Another musical program was held in Meherazad three days later, on 18 October, from 1:00 until 4 P.M. Kishinchand Gajwani brought Jaipuri Qawaal and his musicians. This time, 100 men from Ahmednagar, Poona, Bombay and Navsari were invited. It was an "all-male" affair, except for Maharani Shantadevi, who was especially invited. Baba enjoyed the singing immensely.
In 1964, Maharani Shantadevi came to Poona for four days and was allowed to see Baba daily from 20 April.
In 1965, darshan program commenced in the morning. Maharani Shantadevi came on the dais five minutes later and garlanded Baba with a beautiful white-rose garland. The garland was handmade of fine material by a Parsi lover.
In 1967, Baba gave the following instructions for the four-month period:
There is one very important point: that none of the mandali should disturb Baba until November end with any sort of correspondence or news received through telegrams, however important the letters or telegrams may be, EXCEPT important letters which are received from Rani (Maharani Shantadevi), Nariman, Don Stevens, Allan (Cohen), Rick (Chapman), Bob Dreyfuss and Louis Van Gasteren, and these letters are to be read to Baba only on Saturdays at 9:00 A.M.
On 25 June 1968, Baba's blood samples were again checked for sugar, urea and cholesterol levels. Maharani Shantadevi was permitted to visit on 26 and 27 June 1968.
On 10 October 1968, permitted to see Baba, Maharani Shantadevi, was called to Meherazad. She arrived at 9:00 A.M. and spent an hour in Baba's company. Shantadevi's husband, Pratap Singh Gaekwad, had died the previous July. Although Gaekwad was a profligate playboy, who had abandoned his wife and children in 1943 and remarried, Shantadevi always remained faithful to him. Still, she could not help but feel depressed and remorseful over his indifference and behavior. Baba comforted her, informing her that He had blessed her husband and he is in peace despite his bad behavior, because of Shantadevi's close connection with Baba. "You have had innumerable husbands and wives in your previous births, which you cannot remember," Baba told her. She left greatly consoled and uplifted.
Before leaving Ahmednagar, Shantadevi went to Viloo Villa for refreshments. Baba had Eruch telephone Adi with a message for Shantadevi not to worry, to take sleeping tablets to help her sleep, and to telephone Adi when she reached Poona.
(A Political worker & Spiritual Aspirant)
Mahatma Gandhi was a political leader and spiritual aspirant. He made an experiment of Truth even his political career. He was greatly influenced By Meher Baba. He promised Baba to come to Him after getting independence for India. After meeting Baba and his divine silence he started observing silence once a week on every Monday. Baba said Gandhi will get liberated after three more births. Baba also advised him on political issues also and not to impose non-violence on general public which Gandhiji could not grasp its significance and result was his assassination. It is felt proper her to elaborate the detailed account of direct and indirect conversation between Meher Baba and Gandhi as under.
In 1925, Baba mentioned about Gandhi
Gandhi is the best man among the millions of non-Realized souls in the world. In spite of so many people calling him a "mahatma," he unreservedly admits himself to be far from the Goal, and according to his recent writings thinks of completely surrendering to someone who is One with the Truth. Realization of Truth is a very difficult achievement.
From January 3rd, 1931 onward, correspondence had been exchanged between Gandhi and Baba while the Master was in America. Gandhi expressed his desire to see Baba as soon as he returned to India, and Baba had indicated that He also wanted to see Gandhi. The political and social situation in India had become intense; Gandhi was expected to be arrested by the British for political agitation. A meeting was quickly arranged.
Accompanied by Chanji, Baba went to Mahatma Gandhi's residence, called Mani Bhawan, late at night at 11: 45 on January 3rd. Gandhi welcomed Baba with a loving embrace; both sat down and together discussed matters for about an hour:
"I am very happy to see you," Gandhi said.
"I am also glad we could meet," Baba replied. "I was quite busy the whole day, but I had to see you at least once."
"Yes, Rustom had delivered your message here and I sent word that I must see you."
"That is why I came."
"If you had not come, it would have been my lifelong grievance against you," Gandhi said.
"Perhaps if you are arrested, which I am afraid you will be in a day or two, this meeting would have been canceled. But since your arrest is definite, I came even though it is so late. I understand you could not come to Me."
"It is your kindness to have come here."
"Now, what news?" Baba inquired.
"You know it all. These people around me are ready with their sleeves rolled up. We shall have to fight the British to the end."
"It will be much better if you see the Viceroy once again. Then the excitement which is now so intense will calm down considerably and the situation will be easier to handle."
"I do wish to see the Viceroy, but he lays down such conditions, such as this topic is not to be discussed, that is not allowed, and so forth. It is impossible for me to reach an agreement. Also, no talk about ordinances will be allowed, and that is the first and main point at issue. When they don't wish to talk on that, it is no use meeting. It is like."
Baba interrupted, "But in spite of all that, if you go and see the Viceroy once, you will be able to work in a quieter atmosphere. The present excited turmoil all over India will have settled down and be quieter; otherwise, the atmosphere will go to the other extreme of violence.
"Let me explain," Baba continued. "Your dictum and doctrine of non-violence is widespread and is the best method. I, too, wish this non-violent attitude to be followed and acted on. But I know it is very, very difficult – rather impossible. And that is why I repeatedly ask you to see the Viceroy once in person in order to try to bring about a spirit of reconciliation between the rulers and the ruled. For, let me tell you once again, if this meeting does not come about, matters will turn from bad to worse. People will turn very violent and once violence is adopted, it will be destructive in every way."
"This is quite probable," Gandhi concurred. "We are also afraid of such violence. However, we have to fight for what is right, and we have been advocating and advising non-violence in our battle to persuade the British to leave. The result rests with the Almighty!"
Baba then explained to him, "Whatever may happen, one thing is certain: India still has much to suffer. I have already told you this before and I repeat it today. But even this suffering is a real blessing in disguise. The more India suffers materially, the better for it spiritually. And we Masters only look to the spiritual benefit. If India gains self-government without struggle, suffering and sacrifice, it invites the grave danger of becoming inclined toward materialism. And this material independence would be a hindrance on the path of spiritual advancement, which is undesirable."
"You are right," Gandhi said. "Spiritual strength must accompany spiritual power. That is real greatness."
"And for that, one must suffer and sacrifice, but with a non-violent attitude. That is why I repeatedly advise you to go once again and see the Viceroy in person."
The conversation then shifted to Baba's recent visit to Europe and America:
"What do you think about the West from your experiences and tours?" Gandhi asked.
"In America, the spiritual hunger is intense. That is why I went and stayed there for a month. There is everything there materially. There is wealth; there are brains; there is heart. In other words, there is sufficient preparedness for spiritual growth and development."
Chanji then narrated the details of Baba's tours, His meetings with people from all denominations and walks of life, their sincere aspirations for Truth, and the formation of a group to spread Baba's cause.
Gandhi asked, "Then there is an awakening and interest about spirituality in America?"
"Yes, there is much," Baba answered. "But the Americans have not had sufficient light and genuine guidance by a Master in a spiritual direction. If they get these, they will respond wonderfully."
"And what about England?"
"In England, there is also an interest and longing, but not as intense as in America. The response that Americans gave was so splendid that, even now, I am considering when to go there again. They would not let Me leave and have made Me promise that I return soon; only then did they let Me leave. I came back to India, because there is much work to do here. I have left behind instructions with My followers in the West about what to do in My absence. I have to check all My affairs on this side of the world."
"There is a greater need for you to be here in India, looking over all the situations," Gandhi stated. "If I am arrested, you will have to take care of affairs here."
"That will be done," Baba promised. "I undertake to settle this entire self-government struggle, but on one condition: after all this is settled, you are to come with Me to America."
His heart gladdened with these words, Gandhi immediately stretched his hand to Baba and said, "I promise."
After meeting with Ambedkar in Bombay, Baba returned to Nasik. Within a few days, he sent Rustom to try to see Mahatma Gandhi in Yeravda prison where he was incarcerated in Poona. Rustom was not successful, because individual interviews were not permitted at the time.
Soon after, the British government removed restrictions on interviews, and Baba sent Chanji and Ramjoo from Nasik to see Gandhi on the morning of September 21st. They found Gandhi sitting on his bed in a courtyard of the prison and working on a charkha – spinning cotton into yarn. Gandhi warmly welcomed them and had them sit near. They had the following conversation:
On Saturday, 22 August 1931, Mehta informed Baba that Mahatma Gandhi might also be traveling to England, but it was looking extremely doubtful at this stage. Baba replied, "If I go to England, I will take Gandhi with Me. You simply expedite the passport work." The next day, Baba repeated the same thing about Gandhi.
In September, a Round Table Conference was scheduled to take place in London about India's independence, but it was uncertain whether Mahatma Gandhi would attend. At the last moment, He agreed and, when it was announced that He would be sailing to England on the SS Rajputana, Chanji and Mehta grasped the significance of Baba's earlier comments, and Chanji realized why they had not been able to travel on the earlier ship.
About his trip, Mahatma Gandhi told newspaper reporters, "I must go to London with God as my only guide."
The visa work continued. The British authorities had endorsed Baba's passport with a visa on 25 July, but Mehta was informed that Baba would be required to sign a "guarantee" (perhaps in relation to Ali, who was a minor). Even Mehta with all his influence as mayor of Karachi found it impossible to convince the British authorities to issue all the documents to Meher Baba without His signature. At last, Baba consented to sign, but before doing so, He remarked ominously, "The British government is compelling Me to sign its own death warrant! This will be the end of the British Empire in India."
On 25 August 1931, Baba executed a bond in the commissioner's office in Karachi and, with a grim expression, signed Meherban Sheheriyar Irani to the typed guarantee. The British government had unknowingly dug its own grave and their rule in India slowly started to topple as a result.
On Saturday, 29 August 1931, Age watched as Meher Baba, 37, sailed from the port of Bombay on the SS Rajputana, accompanied by 16-year-old Agha Ali, Chanji, 38, and Rustom, 32. They were required to be at the docks at 7:30 A.M. to pass a medical examination. Despite waiting for more than three hours, their names were never called, and they boarded the ship at 11:00. They sailed two hours later, at 1:00 P.M.
Just a few days before, Mahatma Gandhi had agreed to participate in a Round Table Conference in London concerning India's independence from the British, and for that purpose was proceeding there on the same ship (unknown to him) with Meher Baba. Although no one had come to say goodbye to Baba, there were thousands on the pier waving bon voyage to Gandhi (including Jawaharlal Nehru) — and thus unknowingly to the Avatar also.
Staying aloof, Baba kept inside His cabin during the voyage and saw no one for some days. He would, however, take a stroll on the deck early every morning and late in the evening for almost an hour when no one was around. He ate in His cabin and maintained a strict vegetarian diet.
Mahatma Gandhi would be on deck during most of the voyage, and offer prayers in the evening, giving a short speech afterward. He was dressed in his usual white lungi, but Baba remarked, "It's only his vanity and fondness for show that makes him dress like that.
On 2 September 1931, Baba mentioned calling Gandhi for a private meeting for an hour. The ship docked at Aden early the following morning, but Baba did not get off. After they had set sail again later that afternoon, Baba was walking on the upper deck when Gandhi appeared and noticed Baba from a distance. They were joined by many other passengers, so Baba, Chanji, Rustom and Ali moved to a discreet corner of the deck for some time. Baba and His group went up again for half an hour after dinner, after which Baba retired to his cabin for the night and Chanji went to the library to write his diary.
That evening, Gandhi gave a lecture on the significance of prayer to a group of passengers, and Rustom was among the audience. Gandhi explained what an important part prayer played in his life and how it brought him peace of mind. Gandhi claimed that three of the greatest teachers of the world — Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad — had left "unimpeachable testimony that they found illumination through prayer, and could not possibly live without it."
Gandhi's statement later gave rise to a protracted argument between Chanji and Rustom. They brought up the subject with Baba, saying that Gandhi had referred to Masters such as Jesus and Muhammad as "praying" to God at times.
People like Gandhi are not to be blamed for misconstruing such things because they know nothing about the Avatar. They have no actual experience. It is a misconception to say that Avatarhood can be achieved through prayers. They take the nirvikalp-samadhi state (the "I-Am-God" state) of the Avatar before his manifestation of divinity to be a state of offering prayers. Such an idea is due to ignorance of the Avatar's inner state.
On 4 September 1931, Baba remarked, "If Gandhi comes to meet Me, it would be very good for him and good for all concerned."
About the Round Table Conference, Baba explained to Chanji and Rustom:
Even Gandhi will have no influence there, in spite of his presence. He should have gone at first with other representatives who, in a wavering mood, left for Multan; but at that time, Gandhi hesitated on account of certain grievances. Then he suddenly agreed to participate in the conference, though most of their grievances were not redressed.
The point is that once Gandhi refused to join in the conference on certain grounds, he ought to have refused to the end. He should not have suddenly consented to take part in it unless and until all his grievances were redressed and removed, and he should have stayed in India. But being inconsistent, he consented to attend the conference at the eleventh hour. He has lost his prestige and now he won't succeed there. At the Round Table Conference, differences of opinion will prevail among the parties and no one will agree, and Gandhi's influence will not make a difference. His influence will be ineffectual.
"Why?" asked Chanji.
In reply, Baba spelled out:
Gandhi's influence has already waned. He wants to keep every party pleased and there (in) lies his weakness. How could he keep everybody pleased when they all are opposed to one another and have conflicting views, extremely opposite to each other?
In India, the many political parties and creeds all have one common aim: to attain independence. But there is not a single party among them who can come to terms with another party about details. Even the (Indian National) Congress, the party considered strongest, is affected by the foul odor of religious differences.
Its influence on others is gradually failing. With the weakening of its influence, the influence of Gandhi is also waning. Not only are the two greatest and largest parties and communities, the Muslims and the Untouchables, out of the influence of the Congress, but they also oppose and fight tooth and nail against Gandhi and the Congress.
Even among his own followers, or those who at least agree with him on the question of independence, their objectives differ. Observe how Sarojini Naidu and Pandit Malaviya act. Gandhi preaches the use of khadi (handspun cotton cloth) to all and sundry, yet Mrs. Naidu wears silks, though she is a colleague in his fight for independence. Gandhi preaches and advocates the abolition of caste and religion, particularly in abolishing Untouchability, and his lieutenant in the Congress Party, Malaviya, does not adhere to it. Malaviya takes his cook to England with him, thinking that eating meals prepared by foreigners is irreligious. There are thousands in the Congress who do not accept this dictum of Gandhi's at all, and that is why the party is not strong; the result of which will bode ill for the future.
Gandhi also advocates celibacy, though he himself is married and has children, and recently he arranged his son's marriage. There are so many things like these which he recommends, but does not put into practice himself. Why preach such things which he himself can't or won't do?
It is this trait in his character, combined with two other great defects — vanity and inconsistency — which causes Gandhi to lose his influence gradually, and leads those who once admired him to oppose him today. Shaukat Ali was once Gandhi's closest companion and he is now his staunchest opponent. Why? Because of that great dividing factor, the religious animosity and enmity between the Hindus and Muslims. The religious fanatics on both sides have nurtured and fostered this hatred to the extent that even in Congress there are the orthodox who color every political activity and action with their religious bigotry, and it is all authorized, approved and practiced by and with Gandhi. This leads to great antagonism which is now weakening the Congress party.
What can I say about (Gandhi's) vanity? Too much of a thing always spoils a man. To raise one to the seventh heaven and to cry out "Mahatma Gandhi ki jai" has made him vain and brought him down.
Shaukat Ali has caustically remarked, "These things have gone to his head and made him (Gandhi) mad!"
Besides, his immediate attendants put up a great show and fuss in every activity, which shows that Gandhi has a taste for it. But it is the natural outcome of too much praise and adulation. This daily exhibition in all functions, public and private, has reached the limit. It is too prominent to conceal from a shrewd observer or a sincere soul, who never likes or desires such a show. Hence, there is the dislike of him by many who, in spite of their admiration for him at one point, have left and are leaving him in (droves).
The Perfect Master of Spirituality can do anything and everything. He can preach about things which He Himself does not practice, and for His spiritual purposes He can do things according to the prevailing conditions and circumstances, because He is eternally free of all things and can undo their effects. This is something an imperfect person can never do, much less one who has no "wind" (breeze) even of spirituality (such as a political leader, like Gandhi].
The reactionary effects of all these preaching’s, fuss, sham, show and vanity are disastrous; causing a gradual erosion of any influence Gandhi has among his admirers and followers, however great. If Gandhi's influence goes, the rise of youth will take place, which in its activity will resemble Russian communalism. The signs are already there, as we find them assassinating people in high places and assaulting them in broad daylight.
Although Jawaharlal (Nehru]) sides with Gandhi in his objective for independence, his views, creed and activities are quite different from Gandhi's.
On 5th September, 1931, regarding Britain, Baba said:
The British government will not grant anything more than what was settled on in the last Round Table Conference. There is a change of government and, except for (Prime Minister) Mac Donald; no one has any sympathy for our cause. Gandhi, too, will not gain anything more by his presence than what has already been decided to be given. His personality and influence will have no effect at all. And if Gandhi tries to give in again to avoid a conflict, the Congress will not accept it.
Baba predicted a civil war erupting in India between Hindus and Muslims. "There will be a terrible massacre and slaughter of one another," He stated. "It will also have its reflection on Europeans.
There will be an equally strong civil war between the Indians and foreigners, particularly the Europeans and more particularly the British."
On 7th September, 1931, Baba said:
The common cause of nationalism and the objective of achieving independence are sacrificed for want of unity between the Hindus and the Mohammedans, and they are harming their own cause by bringing religion into the matter. No one understands religion, and all this strife and squabble is born of irreligiousness.
Gandhi, who goes to England as the chosen leader of the Congress and the spokesman for India, this time, will have no influence, unfortunately, owing to various reasons of conflicting ideals and party politics. Not only will his influence fail with the British people, but his influence will fall considerably even with his own people, the Indians, to the extent of failure. And with Gandhiji's influence gone, and "communalism" coming in, civil war will follow.
This is all very sad for poor India and for Britain, too. But sadder times are still to come before the sun of the New Era of peace and prosperity dawns on the world, for such is ordained.
The ship docked at Port Said at 3:00 A.M. on 7 September 1931, and Baba, Ali, Chanji and Rustom disembarked and spent half an hour walking on the shore.
During the voyage, Baba seemed eager to meet Gandhi and would often repeat, "It is always like this: When I don't allow visitors, people complain and ask, 'Why don't you allow us to see you?' And now when I want to see certain persons for My own reasons, they don't show any inclination. Now we should forget about trying to contact Gandhi. It is too late now."
Later, expressing His concern, Baba remarked, "Gandhi is a good man, but it will be better if he sees Me. It would be to his great benefit. I love him dearly and I would like to meet him for his own good."
Meanwhile Jamshed Mehta, who was an acquaintance of Gandhi (and a Baba lover), cabled Gandhi on board the ship, strongly urging him to meet Meher Baba. At nine o'clock on Tuesday, 8 September, Mahatma Gandhi came to Baba's cabin with his secretary Mahadev Desai. After Gandhi was introduced, he looked at Baba and said, "I have read much about you and wanted to see you one day when God willed it; but I never expected it to be so soon."
Baba expressed how happy He was to meet him and dictated from His alphabet board: "Do you have the time to stay?"
"Yes, I have come to sit and listen," Gandhi replied.
Gandhi talked about meeting Upasni Maharaj at Sakori, and Baba explained to him in detail about Maharaj and Babajan. Baba ended by dictating, "Upasni Maharaj is My Master and a Perfect Sadguru."
As previously mentioned, according to Baba's instructions in 1924, Rustom had sent Gandhi a copy of Upasni Maharaj's biography in Gujarati, Sakorina Sadguru. After reading the book, Gandhi went to Sakori to see Maharaj. But Maharaj was not in a welcoming mood that day and abused Gandhi. Upset by Maharaj's abusive language, Gandhi left with a very disturbed impression of the heralded sage of Sakori. The ways of the Masters appear mysterious to the world. Gandhi's connection was with Meher Baba, not Maharaj, and that is why Maharaj scolded him and drove him away.
Baba narrated a summary of His own life and experiences to Gandhi — His attraction to Babajan, Sai Baba's pronouncement, His encounter with Maharaj at the Khandoba Temple, His many visits to Maharaj in Sakori, His terrible suffering during His coming down, the establishment of the ashrams at Meherabad, his many fasts and seclusions, His silence for the last six years, and of His writing a special book.
Their conversation then proceeded, in English and Gujarati:
Gandhi asked, "Where is that book?"
Pointing to a trunk, Baba replied, "In there."
"Can I read it?" Gandhi asked.
"Have you the time?" Baba dictated.
"Oh, I can find time to read it. Why not? I will definitely read it. Give it to me."
Changing the topic, Baba spelled out, "There is bliss everywhere and nothing else (exists), but people do not know it. It is no use listening to lectures and learning from books. Direct experience of God is needed. The Experience is spontaneous; it is not to be forcibly obtained."
Concerning his activities, Gandhi remarked, "Whatever I do, I take upon Myself the responsibility for it. Though in the end, internally I leave everything to God. I cannot shirk My responsibility. Except for God, it is My conviction that I cannot disvow My responsibility."
"But that thought should not be there," Baba explained to him. “'I do ... I think ... I renounce ... I suffer ... I do everything for others.” These thoughts should not be there. If, to the detriment of others, one tries to know and understand God, it creates terrible sanskaras."
Gandhi said, "Please, give me any advice you have."
"After you are free from the Round Table Conference discussions, retire to a secluded spot and take rest, and for 24 hours automatically think only of God. For the attainment of the Goal, for you, this is the best, the easiest and the shortest path. During that period, come and stay with Me for some days."
Gandhi replied, "God Himself will bring that about; He will grant me understanding and create the circumstances. In all earnestness, I look forward to that day." Then he said, "I wish to see you speaking."
Baba only nodded.
Concerning reading that book, Gandhi pointed to the trunk. Baba replied, "Unfortunately, the key has been left behind in India."
"I will have it opened."
Handing the tin box to Gandhi, Baba explained, "After opening it, bring the case back to me and I will select the things for you to read with My own hands."
"Certainly," Gandhi answered. "It will be my pleasure to read it."
Baba warned him, "Be careful. Up to now I have not allowed anyone to see it — not even My mandali. As the first person to read it, I am giving it to you alone. You may go through it, but allow no one else to read it."
"Assuredly. I will go through it with great joy."
Changing the subject, Baba then advised him:
You are striving and making sacrifices for the advancement of the poor. You love the farmers. It is very noble; it is real service. But do not think that you are responsible for their suffering, because such thoughts create sanskaras. The thought, however, is there and that brings trouble.
You try to please all and don't wish to hurt others' feelings. But considering the numerous parties, castes and creeds in India, it is not possible for you to keep all pleased.
If you keep the Hindus pleased, you will wound the feelings of the Muslims, and vice versa. If you try to please other parties, the Congresswallas would not like it. So you are always in a fix. But from now on, always leave the results of your actions to God, which will bring you satisfaction. Your aim is good and highly praiseworthy, and that is the noblest reward.
Gandhi admitted, "I am imperfect and full of defects, but the people must know that. I have not attained Perfection and have many drawbacks, which people should understand. Once they know my weaknesses, they will have to put up with them, and it is only proper that I make them aware of my shortcomings. I do have the conviction that whatever happens is God's will."
Referring to Jamshed Mehta, Gandhi remarked, "He is the most honorable person in Karachi. He is most worthy. I will telegram him tonight that I have seen you, Baba Saheb, and will ask him why he did not inform me earlier so that I could have spared more time to meet with you. When will such a time come again?
"I received your monthly magazine Meher Message in Yeravda Prison (when incarcerated there). At the time, due to all the confusion, I had no time to read it and only glanced at it cursorily; but from that time after reading it, I wished to meet you one day. Now that day has dawned and the meeting has taken place. I am most happy. Tomorrow I will surely bring back the case to you and accept whatever you select for me to read from what you have written."
Gandhi then commented on Baba's silence, "I am wonderstruck at your silence. Seven years! I keep silence once a week. How small it is before your silence. I understand the significance of silence. You have been silent for seven years and when you speak, what untoward events will take place! I am astonished!"
Before leaving at 10:30 that night, Gandhi extended a cordial invitation to Baba to visit his place of residence in London, and Baba agreed to pay a visit while he was in London.
On 9th September 1931, Baba called Agha Ali, Rustom and Chanji in His cabin and quoted these Urdu couplets:
When the crow tried to imitate the gait of the swan,
it only lost its own demeanor.
The moment Farhad tried to imitate King Khushrow,
his task was spoiled.
We know that eventually You will not deceive us.
But by the time You respond, we will have turned to ashes.
In the afternoon, while the ship was passing Messina, many passengers gathered on the upper deck including Gandhi and the men of his party, and Baba, with Agha Ali, Chanji and Rustom. The Indian politician Shaukat Ali, who had boarded the ship at Aden, saluted Baba reverently and later spoke with Him for half an hour.
Seeing Baba, Gandhi approached him with folded hands. While they were standing together, photographers started taking pictures. Within a few minutes, Gandhi remarked, "I now take your leave. The photographers won't allow us a moment's rest." The brief discussion they had concerned food, and Baba explained to Gandhi about Pleader's fast on only milk.
Then the topic turned to khadi, and Gandhi asked, "What crime have I committed? For the upliftment of the poor, I hit upon the idea of the charkha (spinning wheel). I will meet with you tonight. At present, there is some work which needs my attention. I shall manage somehow to come at night."
Gandhi came to Baba's cabin at nine that night with the box containing Baba's book, which he had had opened with the help of the ship's crew. Baba gave him certain chapters of the "Creation Series" for him to read.
Referring to their afternoon conversation, Baba stated:
I wish to clarify the point about food and khadi. For years I have been a vegetarian. When I was attending college, I felt restless and distressed if I missed a meal even once. But since My meeting with Babajan and her kiss, about which I informed you last night, I have become totally indifferent to food. Once for eleven months (in 1914), I remained on only weak tea. The marvelous thing at the time was that I did not even have a thought that I was not eating. I had no idea (of what I was doing), yet I kept quite healthy.
Besides not eating for eleven months, I did not sleep at all. With open eyes I would lie there, gazing about Me. My parents felt distressed for Me. My mother first took Me to be mad. Then a doctor named Bharucha was called to give Me morphine injections, but to no avail.
I had no sleep at all during that period.
Thereafter when I started eating, it was vegetarian, and there was no fixed time for My meals. Frequently I would fast for a few days and at times for months. Then I would take milk, weak tea or just water, but I continued to fast. Although remaining only on water, I would take foot journeys, walking 25 miles a day. And though I used to eat at times, it was not at any fixed time but only when I felt like it.
My mandali have also been eating only vegetarian food for years now. I would rarely make any of them fast on milk. However, once when you were in Yeravda Prison, I kept over 20 of My mandali fasting on just milk for two or three months, but none of them felt any discomfort.
A Parsi named Pleader has been living only on milk for the last two and a half years. He is quite healthy and happy. Not only does he live only on milk, but he is locked up in a room, not speaking with anyone and observing strict silence. He is also forbidden to read or write. Over and above that, he is deprived of My presence and company continuously as I am always on the move from place to place. Even in Nasik, I do not see him. During this period of two and a half years, I have hardly seen Pleader more than ten or twelve times. Still, when I inquire through someone about him, he indicates that he is happy.
Gandhi interjected, "It is nothing to remain on milk in seclusion; but it is very hard not to speak with anyone or not to read and write."
Baba nodded, then continued:
There is another devotee of mine named Dixit in Kolhapur at a school there. He has also been on milk for the last twelve years, though he takes bananas with it. He is quite fit and works all day. He is married and has a wife with whom he lives, yet he never touches her at all and practices a life of complete celibacy. It is quite astonishing to be a true brahmachari (celibate), yet married and living with one's wife. In all respects, the man is quite good. He has devoted his life to the service of the youth."
"I think I have received a letter from someone named Dixit," Gandhi said. "He must be the same.
It comes to this: Milk is the best food; it sustains the body and purifies the mind. And the more the mind becomes pure, the more it can be controlled. Desires become less, which is necessary for spiritual aspirants, as there is no progress on the Path without the mind being under control. So long as desires and longings persist, the mind cannot be controlled. From that standpoint, therefore, milk is the best food.
Gandhi replied, "My experience is similar. To keep good health, milk is necessary."
Changing the topic, Baba stated:
Now I wish to clarify the subject of khadi. As you say, everything has two sides — one material and the other spiritual. There are two main things about the material aspect: one is that it should be cheap, and the other is that it should conform to one's nationality. I always dress in clean, simple clothing. For several years, I wore a coat made from a rough woolen blanket (kamli). It was full of patches, and I only changed coats after seven years because My mandali insisted. Therefore, My dress is plain, cheap and clean, and it conforms to My nationality as I am a Persian subject.
The British authorities raised an objection before My last journey to Persia over My not writing My signature, and the Persian Consul was of the opinion that I, a Persian subject, should have a Persian passport. The current law in Persia under Reza Shah is that every citizen should wear a certain style coat and pants and a Pahlavi cap as a symbol of national dress, which means I should also dress like this. But I reside in India and people naturally wish that I appear like an Indian. Between this Persian and Indian headache, I have selected a style of dress to My liking which I wear. But in fact, both types of attire are the same to Me.
For those of My mandali who prefer khadi, I permit them to use it. My devotees K. J. Dastur, editor of Meher Message, Nusserwan Satha of Ahmednagar, Chinchorkar, R. B. Hiray, Akolkar and others asked Me about wearing khadi, and I gladly consented.
But I Myself don't advise anyone about it, because the things that I Myself do not do, I cannot ask others to do. For example, a man may be addicted to smoking, but he does not tell others not to smoke.
Your propagation of khadi is creditable. It is cheap and besides it provides a means of subsistence to the poor who weave the cloth. It is good in all respects. For those who want to use it, I willingly allow to do so. But I cannot ask others to wear it for the reasons I have explained.
After a brief pause, Baba continued:
While on this subject, let me tell you an anecdote. The Parsis defame Me and call Me shaitan (devil) simply because I do not eat meat and fish. I don't drink liquor and I don't behave badly. Their definition of a Parsi is that he should be a non-vegetarian, drink wine and lead an immoral life while at the same time wearing the religious symbols of the sadra and kusti, visiting the fire-temple, and paying heed to the priests. Thus, by their behavior, they themselves are in fact devils! In short, a Parsi may do what he likes, but he is considered a pucca (true, faithful) Zoroastrian if he simply wears the religious symbols.
A fellow Zoroastrian, Colonel M. S. Irani, once came to Meherabad. At that time, I was staying in a small cabin shaped like a table, which seemed to look like a chicken coop to him, and the austere, simple atmosphere of Meherabad disgusted him. To vent his spleen, on the pretext of disclosing unworthy wrong-doings of fake sadhus and saints, he involved Me also in the columns of the daily press!
(Colonel Irani's actions) are an example of a misunderstanding. He is really My friend, because he too is Mine. It is only one Soul inhabiting the persons of My friends and enemies. It is the same one Soul in everyone. If a person gently rubs his cheek or slaps himself with the same hand, he would not feel upset at his hand, because it is his hand whether it soothes or slaps. Likewise, all My well-wishers and those who criticize Me are Mine. All belong to Mme and all are equal.
Upon mention of Colonel Irani, Gandhi interjected, "Is he the Colonel Irani from Belgaum?" Chanji answered that Colonel Irani had worked at the Civil Hospital in Belgaum in 1927.
Gandhi: "Yes, I know him; imagine that."
Commenting on Parsis, Gandhi observed, "They upheld my civil disobedience movement and cooperated with me splendidly. The Parsis of Bombay really worked wonders!"
Mentioning his imprisonment, Gandhi remarked, "When I was sentenced to prison, it was a rest in a way, both physically and mentally. I was saved the innumerable bothers of everyday life and had time to think and study India's situation."
Baba continued explaining about the opposition he faced:
Why are the Colonel and the Parsis against Me? Simply because I don't eat meat and I don't drink alcohol. To them, the teaching of their religion consists of eating, drinking and being as merry as they like — wearing the sadra and kusti, and living a life of riches in public — which is quite sufficient for them.
The priests are responsible for all this. The priest class proves to be an impediment in everything." Pointing to Gandhi, "If you gain independence, do this first: arrest all the purohits, dasturs and mullahs (Hindu, Zoroastrian and Muslim priests)! Do not use violence, but deal with them firmly. Deal with them vigorously, because it is an important, big work. And unless you send them all to Yeravda Prison, they won't improve; on the contrary, they will become worse!
Baba concluded, "For the One to whom everything is a zero, what is it to him whether it is this or that? To him, all are equal."
Commenting on the current political crisis in India, Baba stated to Gandhi:
First solve the question of Hindu and Muslim unity. And as far as possible, allow them separate electorates; let them unite and fight a battle for power. Joint electorates are good, but the Muslims persist for separate electorates; so for the present, let them have them. They themselves will advocate joint electorates immediately and then there will be some stability. But if you try for joint electorates now, it won't last.
As far as possible, present your demands firmly at the conference in London. Whatever you have thought of and decided to do, demand it as your right. Let the British decide to grant it or not, but you must be persistent in your demands. The British won't grant everything (full dominion status to India). It is doubtful, because whatever decision was made in the first Round Table Conference, they will adhere to that.
If they don’t give anything and if you have to return empty-handed, do not be concerned, because whatever agreement you may arrive at is good.
And if you don't do that, no one else will. So let there be some workable outcome. If not, you will have to offer civil disobedience (as an alternative). Considering the present political climate and atmosphere, violence may erupt, which would be quite hard to control. If the youth adopt violence, it will be most disastrous and harm the essence of spirituality in India.
In case you return empty-handed and have to conduct non-violent civil disobedience, it would be the best. It would not harm India just now to undergo more suffering. These agonies will result in more preparedness. Really speaking, the root cause of every good result is suffering. India is considered to be the land of spiritual greatness -of Avatars and saints. To sustain this spiritual greatness, there must be the strength to bear these miseries. Europe has material greatness, but it must go.
Another major difficulty is the Untouchability problem (prejudice against the Harijans) in India. It is the greatest evil. With the Brahmins it is sheer wickedness; they have deep-rooted past sanskaras which cannot be easily wiped out. The main cause of the ruination of any community in India is the priest class who, to serve their own selfish ends; have become the props to perpetuate religious rites and rituals.
These comments by Baba concluded their meeting. Before leaving, Gandhi reminded Baba that He was invited to stay with him in London, and Baba agreed to see him one day while there. Gandhi said, "I will arrange for your stay in a serai (dharamshala), as wherever I go, I stay with my people; two or four more won't matter. At least I will have the benefit of passing one night in your company. Will that day ever dawn?"
Baba gestured, "Of course."
At ten that night, their second meeting came to an end.
The next day, Thursday, 10 September 1931, Baba sent Chanji back and forth to Gandhi's cabin. Baba sent him some additional writings and messages, inviting Gandhi's opinion about them. However, Gandhi had no opportunity to meet Baba during the day.
After dinner and a discussion with the mandali, Baba retired for the night. Soon after, there was a sudden knock on the door. Gandhi had come again to see Baba. "Forgive me; today I am somewhat late. If you are resting, I will leave," he said.
"Come in and sit down," Baba gestured. "But what about yourself; do you have the time?"
"To listen to you, I can snatch the time from somewhere. You may explain without hesitation. Look, I have taken my seat and will remain seated. I will stay as long as you wish. Where will I ever get such an opportunity again?"
Gandhi was in a very happy mood, and Baba welcomed him to express his views on his writings. Gandhi stated:
These (writings of yours) should be in their original form, else they will lack sweetness. Whatever is yours is yours, and whatever is from others is others'. I have gone through your sayings and have grasped their truth. All these I have drunk and digested. I have clearly understood what you wish to convey. But the writings by other new, raw and inexperienced hands are difficult to follow. K. J. Dastur has an eye only for grammar and language, and murders the sweetness of your original words. There is as great a difference in your description of a thing and Dastur's translation as between heaven and earth! Your saying go is not merely a word. Behind this go is your power to make one go, which Dastur does not have.
Suppose my son has climbed up a tree, but finds himself in such a predicament that he can neither climb further nor come down. He just keeps hanging on. I tell him I will bring a mattress, but it is doubtful that he can hold on until my return; and if he falls down, he may be lost to me forever. So, remembering God, I tell him, 'Jump! Jump down!' Although I have no strength to catch him, I raise my hands and he jumps. No one is injured.
When the boy was ready to leap from such a height, it was not due to my telling him to jump. No, behind these words were a father's love and faith. The child thinks: 'I will fall into my father's arms and he will save me.' ”With this belief and confidence, he jumps; I catch him and he is saved. Similarly, there is a vast difference in your saying go and in my or anyone else's utterance of the same word.
Regarding your book, whatever you have written by hand in English (in the book) and whatever you want to express cannot be expressed in English. I suggest that such works ought to be written in Sanskrit or Gujarati.
First and foremost, there are no appropriate words in English for some or most of the terms, which would bring out their real meaning. For instance, avidya in English is ignorance; that is, want of knowledge. But the term ignorance does not carry the true meaning and connotation of avidya, which it can never evoke. What is avidya is avidya and nothing else! It just cannot be translated.
The reason for my saying this is that, though I am able to follow your writings, it might be difficult for others. So if your writings are kept in Gujarati, it is better because they can be explained better in Gujarati. Gujarati is more useful here.
Baba remarked, "I can write all this much better in Persian than in English, because Persian contains the equivalent Sufi terms, and I also write much better in that language. In English, these things cannot be as well explained as they can be in Persian or Gujarati."
Gandhi concurred, "Those languages are the best. There is no harm if you write in Persian, because the knowledge you are gifting, the philosophy you are preaching and the new light you are showing will be a help to the desirous and the inquisitive who can read and understand Persian. When such a book of excellence is published, people will hasten to learn Persian, enabling them to translate it properly. So you'd better write in Persian, not in English. What harm is there if only a few can read it? When the time comes, the book's translations will be published and then its worth will be known.
"If you write in Gujarati, it is better still; no, it is best. But it should not be in English, as it is hard to understand its meaning in that language. These days, such things in Gujarati are very necessary. The more this knowledge is spread, the more the benefit. And I am quite ready to render whatever help I can in this regard."
Addressing Chanji, Gandhi said, "You may write to me at any time regarding this matter."
Gandhi's comments referred mostly to the Master's discourses as published by Dastur in the Meher Message magazine. When Gandhi referred to whatever Meher Baba had written by hand, he meant the secret book, a few pages of which had been given to Gandhi to read.
I have read all your sayings today, which I also understood fully.
They are fine, yet I find they are quite distorted. They are bereft of their sweetness and importance when put in Mr. Dastur's language. However simple your own original style may be, however faulty from a grammatical point of view, it has that sweetness and significance which this "polished" version does not.
I have read and studied the scriptures very deeply and hence I can make out what you mean to say behind these words. But the language in which they are presented to people is quite erroneous and conveys quite another sense from the original. It is due to the editor's desire to give it a garb of flowery language and make it more impressive. On the contrary, it quite alters the sense and murders the spirit behind it.
So, to beautify the language by doing away with your original terms and expressions and polishing them, has taken the taste out of it. The words have lost their beauty. The words of saints and Masters require no gilding or garb of academic expression and embellishment. Their beauty is in their simplicity. They have a deeper inner meaning.
The name of Omar Khayyam has become immortal due to the translations of his Persian Rubaiyat into Western languages. Pure gold is gold, and impure is adulterated! Where is the need for embellishment of words that have come out of the mouth of a Dnyani (Knower, Seer) like you!
Therefore, these messages should also be put in simple language, as the meaning contained in such short, pithy sayings can only be understood and appreciated if your originality is maintained. The originality turns into imitation and the worth is valueless if the language is polished. It really would be better if you write them either in Persian or Gujarati.
Looking at Chanji, who was interpreting Baba's alphabet board during the exchange, Gandhi said:
Write to Mr. Dastur — write him from me — and tell him to pay less attention to the construction of language while publishing Baba Saheb's discourses, sayings and messages. Also, tell him to pay more attention to maintaining the original terms and words than to the beauty and grammar of the language. What necessity is there in polishing these things? To do so is an injustice to such excellent writings. If Dastur accepts what I say, then he should publish a footnote in the magazine each time he alters Baba's writings.
The writings that the reader grasps and finds beneficial are by Baba, and those found difficult to understand are from Dastur. With proper footnotes the reader may know that the translation is by Dastur and not in its original form as expressed by Shri. This clarification should be there. Write him in my name to do this at once, starting with the next issue. You should write him right now, as the night mail will be going soon.
After more discussion regarding India's struggle for independence, Baba ended the meeting by remarking, "Try as much as possible to do as I have told you." Gandhi once again reiterated his endearing invitation to Baba to see him in London and Baba consented to visit him.
On 24th July 1937, Gandhi ji sent his colleague D.B.K. Kalekar to Meherabad to see the ashram and express his opinion.
In June, 1939, Meher Baba sent Chanji to meet Gandhiji and to handover to him first issue of Meher Baba journal.
On 5th December, 1941, at Meherabad, Baba sent the following message to Gandhiji through Chanji: “Stick to Truth at all cost, even it means giving up your political life. Do not try to force Non violence on unwilling adherents nor try to establish it, since it has already eternally established.”
On 30th January, 1948 Meher Baba told mandali in the morning, “A very significant event will occur today.” Late in the evening Adi Sr. Informed Baba that Mahatma Gandhi has been assassinated at about 5 p.m. Baba at once dictated on the Board. “Gandhi’s whole life of sacrifice and selfless service was his love of God, whom he longed to see until the very end.” Baba called Gandhi “A Great Soul”
Mahatma Gandhi had his own ideas of what constituted “non-violence” and “non-violent resistance,” and he did not truly understand the gist of Baba’s message on the subject. Baba sent Chanji again to Delhi to see Gandhi, which he did on April 3rd. Chanji returned to Dehra Dun and several letters ensued between himself and Gandhi about this subject. Gandhi had been shocked to read Baba’s views justifying the use of violence in certain situations, and called them “wholly inapplicable.”
Gandhi’s views were totally impractical for those on the Path; his idea of non-violence could only be achieved in the God-Realized state of a majzoob, whereby it is attained automatically.
On April 9th 1948 while discussing Gandhi and his resistance movement, Baba further clarified:
Real non-violence, like truth, love and selfless service, is the guide to God-Realization. My non-violence includes violence under certain circumstances when it is done one hundred percent for others and without the slightest feeling of malice, hatred, and revenge or self-gain. I call it “non-violent violence.”
Non-violence, pure and simple, is the Beyond state of God. It is the goal of humanity. It cannot exist where one is still in the stages of a seeker. The seeker can, however, reach this goal through the means of “non-violence of the brave,” or of “selfless violence,” which means non-violent violence.
In September, 1953, Meher Baba praised Mahatma Gandhi and said” This is only one man who led a life of 100% truthfulness and honesty and that was Mahatma Gandhi. I took promise from him when he met me on steamer Rajputana (in Sept, 1931) that he would come to me after India attains independence. He kept his promise and has come to me.
88-MAISAHEB SITABAI PATWARDHAN
Rani of Kurundwad
On Sunday, 4 May 1958, Baba gave darshan on the verandah of Guruprasad as some of the Poona group sang bhajans. Many availed themselves of the occasion, including Maisaheb Sitabai Patwardhan, the Rani of Kurundwad, 57, also happened to come for darshan. Deshmukh brought the Rani of Kurundwad's son (the current Maharaja) and had him sit near Baba. Baba did not like it and so asked four of the very poorest lovers present to sit beside him. (Lord meher-p-4347-1958)
In year 1959, Baba inquired of a few newcomers as to who they were and what they did, and was duly informed. Baba mentioned Maharani Shantadevi, Maisaheb Patwardhan (the Rani of Kurundwad), Sardar Raste and others, both prominent and less so, and bespoke of their love for him in very appreciative terms.
On the morning of Monday, 2 May 1960, Baba visited the homes of some of his Poona lovers including Raisaheb of Kurundwad,
Sunday, 5 June 1960, was the largest public darshan in summer. An estimated 10,000 persons poured into Guruprasad seeking the God-Man's touch. Along with others Raja of Kurundwad was also present
Although Baba was not seeing outsiders, on Sunday, 23 June 1963, at the invitation of the Raja of Kurundwad, Baba went into the city, accompanied by Shantadevi and 32 of his lovers, including the mandali. They visited the Rashtriya Sahayak Stree Samiti Art Exhibition, in support of India's defense efforts, held at the Bhamburda Police Headquarters recreation hall near Shivajinagar.
89-MAJOR GENERAL BHANDARI B. N.
Deputy Director of Medical Services of the Army's
An influential man, the Deputy Director of Medical Services of the Army's Southern Command stationed in Poona, Major General B. N. Bhandari, 55, heard of Baba in year 1961. Since he was living just a few miles away, he came one afternoon with his wife, Kamla, 42, who was a physician. Their first meeting made a tremendous impact on them. They said they felt "transported by the overflow of love emanating from his Divine Being."
When Kamla Bhandari approached Baba, he asked her, "How are you?"
"Thank you, I am all right," she said.
"Are you happy?"
"What do you want?"
"I am in search of God."
"Your objective will be realized."
Baba's reassurance drew the couple close to him, and they became His devoted followers.
General Bhandari and his wife, Kamla, from Poona were also visitors. The general had to go to Delhi and had received Baba's permission to see Him before he left. Baba was gracious enough to pose for photographs, though it meant getting up and coming outside, which was physically painful. Before they left, Baba presented the couple with two books signed by Him.
General Bhandari of Poona was being transferred to Delhi. Having the urge to pay respects to Baba on his way to Delhi, without prior intimation, just as Adi was leaving for Meherazad on the 2nd, Bhandari and his wife came to Khushru Quarters, with their seventeen-year-old daughter, Reva. Adi told them to follow his car to Meherazad, and Baba met them lovingly.
The brigadier general was a Sikh from the Punjab, and Baba remarked to him that Guru Nanak was a Perfect Master.
His wife asked, "Have you read about Guru Nanak?"
"I have not read," Baba gestured, "I know!"
The brigadier asked, "Baba, I have heard that it is beneficial to repeat the divine name, but which name is best to repeat?"
"Do you love your wife?"
"Yes, Baba. I love her very much."
"What would you do if she were staying far away from you?"
"I would remember her, of course."
"Would you remember her with a rosary in your hand? Would you sit in a corner and repeat her name?"
"No, I would think about her spontaneously with love."
Baba stated, "In the same way, automatic remembrance of God in a natural way is what is worthwhile. And without love, it is not possible. When there is intense thirst for the remembrance of the Beloved, love is born, and one's only thought is of the Beloved.
"This is called real japa (repetition of a divine name). Then, even the impossible becomes possible. It is the glory of the name." The brigadier was highly impressed by Baba's explanation.
General Bhandari and his wife bid a tearful goodbye to Baba. Out of his great kindness, Baba had met them, knowing this was the last time the couple would ever see him.
90-MANMATH NATH CHATTERJEE
(Former professor of sociology at Antioch College in Ohio)
Another Indian, a learned Brahmin in his early 60s named Manmath Nath Chatterjee, also met Baba. Chatterjee was a former professor of sociology at Antioch College in Ohio, and a dear friend of one of his former pupils, Agnes Baron. Agnes had been trying to convince "Chat" to meet Meher Baba for years, but he had scorned her attempts, saying, "You Westerners are so stupid! You run after all these big chaps, not knowing what the consequences will be. Until you are ready to have your life turned inside out — stay away from them!"
By sheer coincidence Chatterjee had phoned Agnes inviting her out to lunch. Agnes was furious and threatened, "If you don't come to meet Meher Baba, I will never speak to you again!" So, reluctantly he came to the hotel. It was time for lunch, but Agnes pleaded with Adi to let Chatterjee go in. They were seated outside Baba's room on a bench. Adi informed Baba, who came out, and taking Chatterjee’s hand between His palms; Baba escorted him into the room. Agnes was told to wait outside.
Half an hour later, Chatterjee, who was always very straight, almost military in his bearing, came out almost doubled up. Agnes took him to her room. Chatterjee was nearly unconscious, muttering, "I had to come, I had to come!" He left after some time and later sent a copy of one of his books to Baba. Shortly afterwards, Agnes learned that he had become paralyzed on the left side and he died soon after.
91-MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
(Political Leader from America)
Beryl Williams wrote this letter on May 12, 1956 inviting the Kings for Meher Baba's darshan. It is not clear whether Reverend King responded.
Dear Rev. & Mrs. King,
This brings to both of you, your able associates and each member of the congregations of souls in Montgomery, deep Love and Blessings from Meher Baba.
The accompanying biographical sketch and photos will tell you more about Him than I can include in the brevity of this letter; but, He is widely recognized in the East (India being His birth place), and by an increasingly large number of people all over the world as the Avatar (Saviour) of the Age. The one who emanates the rare quality of Divine Love and who by His Presence and Spiritual working in the world, enables the Humanity of the present day to imbibe it and progress more rapidly in the awareness of itself as soul and realize the Spiritual Emancipation and Freedom, which is and ever has been the birth-right of every soul born on Earth into a human body (regardless of the sex, shape, color or size of that body).
It is out of a profound respect for your inherent wisdom and sensitivity to the human plight and your determined efforts to serve the cause of Truth with spiritual weapons that I and many others take our hats off to you. Yet, I can never be content merely to cheer you (even though sincerely). Only one who loves God deeply, can have the courage to declare in the face of such tremendous odds and before God and the whole world that His Truth is worth living for and worth dying for — this Truth that we are all One — and for you there is no other way but to live it. For Me, your work derives spiritual significance from the fact that many other God-lovers like yourselves, are cooperating today in living and serving (each in his/her own way) their various roles in the larger task of which yours seems to be part and parcel, in order that human consciousness may be prepared to receive a fresh Dispensation of Light from above and reshape the conditions of human life into a more perfect harmony for the furtherance of the Divine Plan for the Earth. Perhaps we may not ever meet personally in this life; still, I bow in recognition of yourselves and your associates as kindred souls who are making their own contributions to this glorious venture. In the spirit of sharing the treasures of lasting value I send this priceless contribution to your cause, and by the Grace of God it then will abide in your own and many other deeply receptive hearts. It is in this faith, I greet you all.
Dear Rev. and you Mrs. King, Because I simply cannot regard you and the many dear ones of whom you are leaders as merely a group of Negro People engaged in a struggle only for social and economic equality in a society dedicated to the denial of it and determinedly opposed to it, I've felt you would welcome the information enclosed with this letter. It is intended to be a very brief introduction to a very vast subject as well as an invitation to a feast of Love — which will take place in America, in July of this year. In the course of a life-time comparatively few have the good fortune to attend it personally, not being aware of it for the most part and because it is only those who in the secret of their own souls can recognize its worth, who feel impelled to simply make the most of it.
I've also sent this same information to Rev. Abernathy and having had a card with your address, I want to send you this personal invitation.
Meher Baba will once again make one of His infrequent trips to the West, arriving in New York about July 20, where he will spend 4 days then go onto Myrtle Beach, S.C. for 5 days and lastly fly over to Calif. 17 days for the whole visit. In the course of this itinerary, He will see all those who have been in one way or another drawn to Him, including some who have been waiting very patiently for many years for this personal contact and all who want to meet Him. It is in full confidence of its truth that I say to you, "He understands completely the complex significance of all our human struggles and endeavours, our aspirations and our aims — including the immediate and ultimate meaning of the struggle in which you and all are presently engaged — and is fully capable of rendering undreamed of Spiritual help towards its successful completion. True, it follows naturally, the recipient if such help needs on his part a willingness to receive it, if it is to have the intended result. In Meher Baba one finds a true friend, a constant companion who by the stimulating power of His Presence, enables the individual so aware of Him to untangle all the knotty problems of his/her life, and in so doing, progressively uncover and discover for him or herself the real meaning of existence and the hidden purpose of human life in a physical body. In knowing Him, one also knows truly that the Divine guidance does surmount every limitation imposed by time and space.
Of course, it is possible to only indicate to another what a personal meeting and interview with this Being — whom we affectionately call "Baba" — could mean to any one — the actual occurrence is the only way of knowing each for him/her self; since it is a spiritual experience and much more than a mere belief. Many acknowledge it as the most precious Gift, of all Life's precious gifts and the heart can embrace it as its full compensation for the sorry state of affairs in our world of today, which on all sides would appear to make a mockery of and contradict Man's age-old awareness of himself as Soul (an eternal portion of Divinity) also that human birth entitles and enables this soul to realize its noble aspiration of finding and experiencing Itself through the various conditions of Life. But, God (truth) is not mocked! To meet One to whom and in whom that is not merely an inarticulate aspiration, but, an accomplished fact; a Self-evident Truth, is to add significance to one's own life and gives meaning to one's Religion. Baba, His life and work with the various types of Humanity makes us know our own latent possibilities and even though we become more keenly aware of the numerous obstacles to their fulfillment in the individual as well as in the collectively, He, out of Infinite Mercy and Compassion does provide the means of our transcending every barrier that hides the Truth (Reality) from our conscious experience.
As you are a Christian minister I'm happy that it is not necessary for Me to go into lengthy discussion of Christ's beautiful invitation to all who would know that Soul is Eternal Existence, to ".take up the cross and follow Me." as you and so many others are actually doing and because it was the living God (Christ in human form) who of necessity had to become the "Way, the Truth and the Light", it follows that the human being of the present day has the same need of a Divine Guide in human form, if he is to come into his inheritance of the Kingdom Within. It is also becoming increasingly clear that the Supreme Intelligence makes the provision in every Age throughout the long history of human life on Earth and the Supreme Soul (God) becomes man in every Age for the redemption of humanity; eternally groping and struggling to experience Light and Truth, yet, how few make it a point to discover the deeper secrets of Life by their own personal and conscious experience — while they can.
When we once have tasted of this Pure Love of God, we begin to see and understand more clearly what motivates all human endeavour and aspiration in the various spheres of our existence on Earth and ascertain that the heart of mankind can never be satisfied with anything less than its own perfect fulfillment which Divine Love alone can satisfy. To know that the thing really exists not only in the glowing descriptions of spiritual writings in which in we may or may not have faith, but, which our own hearts can verify and come into communication and Divine communion with, is to see the justification of all the great religions of the world. You ministers of the Gospel who have contributed so much towards keeping the lamp of faith and love burning in the human heart (amidst the attitude of cynicism and cold, stark indifference to the finer aspects of man's spiritual nature and the primary need of his being to experience and express the soul that he is) do have great cause for rejoicing today with utmost confidence in yourselves and your work; for, no one can serve God in vain. His Law is that by such service we can ever move closer to the realization of our Oneness with Him. I could not refrain then from yielding to this deep urge to share with you dear ones in Montgomery this guarded secret of many lives and hearts — "We are not alone!" Because you have every right to know that he is in incarnation in our lifetime, just as surely as He has been in the past, it would be betraying a sacred trust not to share the information with you lovers and worshippers of Truth.
Christ in His incarnation as Jesus declared, "Lo, I am with you always; even unto the end if the world:" Certainly, our faith in His Word has to become knowledge by experience of its eternal Truth. We are learning today that the concrete experience of the "Word made Flesh" was never intended by Him to be an event in the lives of a certain few of His children who happened to lived at a particular time in human history, while the rest of us could only have the dubious consolation of yearning for His Love to embrace us from the cradle to the grave. It is in the nature if love to respond to love, even in our every-day human experience; so, Rev. and Mrs. King, who would deny to the Supreme Being who is Perfect Love Itself, the power of a recurrent Advent and manifestation of Divine Love in His own Universe, in response to the ceaseless cry of the human soul in spiritual bondage and which after all is His own self? If Divine Love could clothe itself in human form once, in order to lead man out of the impasse of false consciousness, it is not a preposterous assumption on man's part to ascribe to All-Power and All-Mercy, the power to assume human form for the sake of all His human selves of every Age.
I don't know what your personal views on this aspect of Truth are, or how deeply you have delved into the recorded Spiritual Lore of Human history, but, somehow I feel you are well aware of all this and so I do not hesitate to speak frankly; your wisdom and the strength of character expressed in handling this task assigned to you, is not the way in which someone insensitive to spiritual Truth would handle it. So, since we are indeed members of one vast family, living for a supremely noble purpose, your work is no less than a part of the Great Drama that is (silently) being enacted on the wider stage of the world today; all who work for the betterment of mankind and the eradication of the human ignorance concerning each human soul as an eternal portion of the Supreme Soul (God), are working for the highest good — and in the nature of things — the love you're all employing is the very thing which will draw to your aid Divine Love. When we through love form an alliance with the Power that created and sustains the Universe, we can rest assured that we can never have loved in vain; for it is the means by which mankind is won back to the God of Love.
This then is not an invitation for you to join a new organization or accept a foreign creed, nor abandon your Religion of love in Christ, certainly it is not everyone's good fortune to meet a Being of Meher Baba's Spiritual Greatness in person: One who just by His Presence is able to impart to those who come to Him as much of the sublime awareness of the Soul as each is capable of absorbing, so that the soul knows once and for all its own worth in the sight of God. To Him it is unimportant what we take Him to be, it is quite sufficient if we have love. Through the interplay of love with Divine Love working through the fabric of our lives, our humanity is gradually transformed into Divinity. Then God is known to be our Self and the Real Self of all. All this becomes quite intelligible of we study the lives of the Avatars (Saviors) of the past i.e. Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Christ, Mohammed etc; not to mention all that has been written about and saints and Perfect Masters of our own day: No, our Age is no exception in God's Plan for His Creation!
Perhaps you would want to give all this adequate reflection and consideration, though I'm well aware that many people on hearing about Meher Baba are able to perceive as most natural, the fact that Christ walks the Earth a man among mankind today just as He did in Ages past: Their hearts have always known it intuitively, so, to them it is but a final confirmation. I wouldn't be surprised if you are among these enlightened men and women, or potentially so. If you should feel this to be of value to you and yours and wish to have further information as to time and places for the interviews, then, do write that I may send you all the particulars. Then you and all who are able to can make full use of a golden opportunity.
You will find in this sacred assembly, true brothers in God — of every race, nationality and religion — who out of a profound love for God, have offered their lives in their entirety on the altar of His selfless service. They have no time to waste in superficial considerations of sect, class and the racial distinctions between one member of the human race and another since the object of their lives is to love and serve the One God who resides in us all. They understand humanity to be the living flower garden of Divinity, each by his very being contributing in a unique way to the perfect blending of the whole, so, everyone has his place and his importance equally in the eyes of God. These noble souls, by the life they lead confirm man's dreams of brotherhood as a living breathing truth, which all can and will experience: In spite of all that those misguided by appearances may say or do in the desperate struggle to maintain the edifice of self-created horror in which they attempt to encage their own soul. Eternal Truth has again decreed a New Dawn and is making all the necessary preparations for what will be. Therefore, the gate is open to all who are ready to be not only witnesses, but intimate participants in the era of light, Love and Truth, that is rolling back the clouds of darkness of a dying Age. Those like yourselves who have found that darkness intolerable and are playing an active role in its dissipation should be able to take the Name of our Beloved Jesus with a new fervor. The certainty that God does answer prayer, in Person should bring to your steadfast hearts a new treasure to foster and cherish.
It won't be long, dear ones before each one finds himself/herself a conscious part of this Mighty, Infinite Ocean of Love, that is once again spreading Itself over the face of the Earth, easing the hearts of men in order to erase completely from his memory, eventually, the lie of separateness, difference, hatred and fear including all that is based upon it. Love will restore to each soul its own forgotten Unity of Being, ones only credentials for admittance into its ever widening embrace is his or her love for God. In that love lies our guarantee of participation in the New Dispensation of Divine Love.
Yours in His Love and service, Beryl Williams
(English Follower of Mahatma Gandhi)
When Baba was in seclusion at Meherabad during August 1941, some distorted reports appeared in the press regarding his meetings with Mahatma Gandhi in the early 1930s. Gandhi's English follower, Miraben, was reported to have told the author, Ram Landau:
I know all the details about the connection between the two men. It was always Shri Meher Baba who went to see Gandhi, never otherwise.
In Gandhi’s letter dated 20-4-1941 to Chanji he set right the Matter as follows. You may announce to the curious that It was not Meher Baba who sought me on Rajputana But I who sought Him out in His cabin and it was I who frequently used to go to His cabin.
They first met on the Rajputana, and Baba sent round word, asking whether Gandhi would receive Him. Gandhi, of course, consented. They had a talk, and after that, Sri Meher Baba visited Gandhi again in London. But, you may state quite emphatically that Gandhi never asked Meher Baba for help or for spiritual or other advice. He liked Meher Baba, and he talked to him, as he talks to everyone who wants to see him - that was all.
In 1950, Pendu and Murli had brought to Motichur Raja, the English bull, harnessed to pull the bullock cart. Baba wanted the bull to be given to a goshala (cow-yard) to be bred. Kumar, who happened to be in Motichur at the time, suggested that it should be given to Mirabehn, Mahatma Gandhi's English disciple, who was running such an institution nearby. It was named Pashu Lok (Animal World). Baba agreed, and asked Pendu to stop at Mirabehn's place on his way back to Manjri Mafi.
Pendu accordingly visited Mirabehn's vivarium near Motichur. She was willing to accept Raja, even though they had stopped using English bulls for breeding purposes. Pendu asked her to send someone to Manjri Mafi to take Raja away on the 10th, and she consented.
Dewan of Mysore
In August, 1939 Baba went with Mirza Ismail to inspect the property at Byramangala (20 miles from Bangalore). On first of September, 1939, Baba selected a point and hammered a spike. This was called central point. Baba laid the foundation Stone of Universal spiritual centre at Byramangala, near Bangalore. The Dewan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail, presided the occasion. The site was 574 acres in area and a nine member trust was formed to work out the project.
94-MISHRA L. N.
(Ex. Minister of Defence Production Govt. of India)
In December 1968, celebration to commemorate Baba first visit of Delhi in 1952, a gathering was held at Ram Lila Grounds, where the people so far had witnessed Dussehra festival, depicted at length “Meher Lila” from 1 st to 3rd December. In a beautifully festooned Pandal illuminated with multi-coloured electric lights, was visible the life-sized portrait of avatar Meher Baba on a beautifully furnished stage. Inaugural address was delivered by Sh. K. K. Shah, Minister of Information and broadcasting on the 1st December, after he had garlanded Baba’s portrait.
The Hon’ble Minister emphasized the importance of sound and the word eternal and said that devotional music like that voice eternal would “Reach whenever He is “where ever Baba is-where God is. Referring to Baba’s teaching, the learned speaker said, Baba has said, “Love will sustain because Love does not ask for anything.” He told the audience that real Religion meant the mixture of Faith and Knowledge. He had to learn that from Baba. Saying this he invoked Baba’s Grace.
95-MISS CARENA SHIELDS
2nd January 1935 was Minta's birthday and chicken and ice cream and cake were served. Baba gave her a scarf and Minta presented Baba with an electric razor, which Adi began using to shave Baba.
Miss Carena Shields met Baba the same day. She was an intelligent, bold young archaeologist who had spent time with native tribes in southern Mexico who practiced mystical, occult traditions. Like Hurlbut, she too felt conflicted. Baba reiterated: "In the West too are sincere souls who seek the Truth. There is an awakening even in the West toward a life behind all this [gross world]. But it is difficult to reconcile the two — material and spiritual living. I know how you feel, and tell you that you shouldn't feel disappointed with this situation or conflict, as you say.
"You must always remember that in spirituality, it is not the intellect and external life that matters, but it is the feelings and inner experiences that count. You can live in the world, do all your duties, and yet be spiritual. You should not run away from the world, nor shirk your duties towards your own and others. Live in the world doing all your legitimate duties, but keep your mind always toward the goal. Have a longing for inner life and experiences, and it will surely come to you gradually.
96-MOHAMMAD ALI JINNAH
Muslim political leader and Ex. Prime Minister of Pakistan
On Thursday, 12 March 1942, when Baba heard the news that Sir Stafford Cripps was coming to India, being sent by Winston Churchill to meet with Indian independence movement leaders, he commented on the current political situation in the country and abroad, and about different political figures in India and elsewhere. With perfect mimicry, Baba imitated the typical expressions of each one, and said:
Cripps is clever, sincere, shrewd and sympathetic toward India. Jinnah is cleverest of the whole lot, has politics on the tip of his finger, Jinnah is the best speaker, but he is not as sincere and sensible as Gandhi and Azad, who is a great scholar of Islamic literature.
(Islamic poet & activist)
Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938) was educated at Oxford. He later wrote a national song (“Sare Jahan Se Acha Hindustan Hamara”) which became popular at the time of India’s movement for independence from British rule. His Urdu and Persian poetry is considered among the greatest of modern times.
In 1930, while travelling by train, from Lahore to Amritsar, in a 53-year-old Muslim man (Muhammad Iqbal) in compartment was also visibly drawn to Baba. He kept gazing steadily at Baba, who was patting the new boy seated beside him. After some time, Baba looked straight at him and dictated through one of the mandali, “My friend, there is nothing but bliss everywhere.”
“May be for you, Sir,” the man replied, “but not for us.”
Baba answered, “You complain because you cannot see it, but I tell you there is nothing but bliss all around. I see it; I experience it every moment.”
The man then said, “I have experienced nothing but misery, conflict and suffering in the world. I have never known happiness and am quite disgusted with my life.”
“This is because of ignorance, “Baba explained. “You have no experience of real bliss. You run after the shadow, losing the substance. You mistook happiness for eating, making money, and in pleasures and enjoyments, which are fleeting, false and transitory. Not only that, they take you further away from the real bliss which is everlasting.”
“But, where can I find that bliss?” asked the man. “And how does one find it?”
“That is exactly the point!” Baba exclaimed. “Now you are asking and desiring something real. Let your desire be only to find this bliss, to find Truth and to find God. Continuously have this longing and you will achieve it. You will find the path to achieve it, and someone will surely show it to you.”
“Would you show it to me?” the man pleaded. “Would you help me?”
“Certainly with the greatest pleasure. That is what I want to do. That is My work; that is My mission. I will show you what real bliss is only if you do as I say, and I will not tell you to do something too difficult for you. It is so easy, if you only take it to heart. I will then see to the rest.
Every morning, very early, spare only five minutes for this. Seek a place, aloof and alone, and try to meditate, thinking, “God is One; He is everywhere and there is nothing but Him.” Do this for only five minutes daily. I will see that you experience something. You will see some light, and then you will be satisfied and proceed on the Path.”
The man was visibly relieved of his misery, and felt joy from meeting the Master and accepting His advice. Baba’s simple explanation made him experience that life was again worth living. The feeling of renewed enthusiasm for life had not been conveyed through words; it had been imparted internally.
The mandali found out that the person had tried many different spiritual austerities and was searching for a Master, but after years he had grown dejected and depressed. When he met Baba in the train, he was contemplating suicide. Baba not only saved his life, but inspired him to continue in his quest. This individual was none other than the celebrated Indian poet Muhammad Iqbal.
Muhammad Iqbal, the celebrated Indian poet and philosopher. was a towering figure among pre-Independence Muslim intellectuals, and it was therefore with much sadness that Ramjoo and Ghani heard the news of Iqbal's passing on April 21st, 1938 at the age of 61.
The next day, they were to visit Baba in Panchgani, but they were so preoccupied with other matters to be discussed that when they arrived they completely forgot about Iqbal's demise. But pointing to one of the hairs on His head, the first thing Baba dictated on the board to them were the Urdu words, "Mera ek baal gaya," meaning "I have lost one of My hairs." For some moments Ramjoo and Ghani looked blank, and it was only when Baba repeated what He had dictated and added, "Don't you fellows understand?" that they caught Baba's use of the words ek baal (one hair) rhyming with Iqbal. Baba had expressed His sense of loss but also the insignificance of it by comparing it to the loss of a hair.
98-MOHAMMAD SHAFI QURESHI
Ex. Deputy Minister of Commerce Govt. of India
In the evening of 24 June 1967, the programme of spiritual discourses was formally inaugurated by Shri Mohd. Shafi Qureshi, Dy. Minister of Commerce Govt. of India, at Urs Mahal, Dargah Sharif, Hazarat Nizamuddin Aulia. The Hon’ble Minister in his inaugural address, which was preceded by devotional music by Mrs. Kusum, Prabha, and Pushpa, remarked “In the world of today, fraught with various conflicts, man does not find peace. In the past people worshipped nature in search of Creator and thereby found peace. Then came the enlightened ones who showed us the path to God-realisation. We call them prophets. But when they declared their Authority, their Divine Power, they incurred the displeasure of mankind- the humanity whom they had come to save. To declare the truth an Avatar requires a Lion’s Heart. A time will come when the world will feel that there is a man who says that mutual conflicts and hatred has to be given up and we have to live as children of one Father-The God in Heaven. In conclusion, he appealed to the audience to listen to and spread the message of Meher Baba amongst others through good though thoughts, good words and good actions.
Ex. Prime Minister of India
In October 1964, Dr. Bool Chandra Desai General secretary of Third world religious conference invited Shri. W. D. Kain to be member of reception committee, he accepted being a noble cause. He wrote to Meher Baba about it and Eruch informed him that Baba has no objection to his lovers participating in it at the conference in Delhi next year.
At the executive Committee meeting of W.R.C. a list of persons to be invited was drawn and Shri. W. D. Kain gave a list 85 delegates and 25 speakers including Adi. K irani and others senior Baba lovers. The Third World Religious Conference, which had been sponsored by Muni Shushil Kumarji, was held in Ram Lila Grounds. New Delhi from 26th to 28th February 1965.
The Inaugural session started in the afternoon, with Prayers of All Religions by various representatives of societies /Associations etc. On behalf of Avatar Meher Baba centre, Sardar Amar Singh Saigal recited the Parvardigar or Master’s Prayer. Prime Minister of India spoke on the occasion after the session had been duly inaugurated by Shri. Morarji Desai, formerly Union finance Minister. He said on this occasion that religion, which could be best means to attend peace in the world, had always been the basis of wars and conflicts.
100-MRS. OTILIA AEOMENANA
Minister of Cultural Affairs, Panama and Rep of UNESCO
A woman named Otilia de Tejeira had flown to Myrtle Beach from Panama to meet Baba. She had heard of Him from Delia DeLeon in 1948. Baba met with her at 4:00 P.M. on the 16th and instructed her to shake hands with every one of her group in Panama.
Otilia de Tejeira of Panama had met Baba in Myrtle Beach in 1952. She came to London and related to Baba, "You have helped me a great deal."
"It is your love that has done it," Baba replied.