GROUP-2 (FIVE FAVORITE MASTS)

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5-CHACHA

The contacts between Meher Baba and Began in February 1939 at Ajmer, Baba visited him several times during period 1939-1946.

Chacha was a Pathan whose name was Nur Ali Shah and he came to Ajmer from his home in Peshawar many years ego. He was a hafiz who knew the Koran by heart and he came to Ajmer to teach Arabic. He visited the Shrine of Khwaja Moeinuddin Chisti and felt, irresistibly drawn to stay there for 12 years in the graveyard of the shrine. At the end of 12 years he left the Shrine and sat at one place for 6 years. Later he went to Taragarh and Indore and returned to Ajmer. After sitting for some years by the side of a water tap, he moved into a tiny hovel of a room near Khwaja Sahibs Shrine and never moved away from it. He was in a state of 5th and was wearing a hat and unwholesome clothes that were stained and impregnated with stale ea and remnants of decayed food. The name was Chacha was given to him because of his fondness for tea (Cha) and used to call Chacha whenever he wanted it.

In February 1939, Kaka was asked to bring Chacha and he accompanied him to Baba’s House in Ajmer. The local people who revered Chacha, were astounded since he had never moved anywhere at anyone’s behest since he had arrived at Ajmer many years ego.

When Chacha arrived at Baba’s place, his old hat and soiled clothes were removed with great difficulty and Chacha had the unique experience of having his first bath in about 30 years. He was then clad in new Kafni and he asked for a special vegetable and some millet bread. These were brought and Baba fed him with his own hands. After the meal Chacha demanded a tonga and climbed into it and told Baba to sit beside him and the two set off and Chacha was left in his hovel.

For about 2 weeks after this contact, Baba rose at 3.30 a.m. every night went to Chacha hovel and sat with him for an hour each night. The night visits were made by Baba to avoid the big crowd during day time. On 27th and 28th July 1942, Baba Contacted Chacha at Ajmer during His visit. As usual He sat with Chacha for His work late in the night and a large container with hundred cups of tea with a tap to draw the tea was kept in a corner. Baba has stated that he must fulfil the slightest whim of a mast and if this is not done, the rapport is vitiated by the irritability of the mast and like children they become upset if their wish is not fulfilled.

However during the 2 hours contact, Chacha asked for tea only thrice and the balance quantity was distributed to the pilgrims who visited the shrine of Khwaja Moeinuddin Chisti.  On the second day Chacha declined the tea which was kept ready in a kettle but asked for chapattis. This was provided 3 times and Baba sat with him for his work for about 90 minutes and all the time Chacha could be heard laughing.

Meher Baba met Chacha again in July 1946 at Ajmer.  When Baba moved to Satara in May 1947, Baidul was sent to Ajmer to bring Chacha to Satara. With great difficulty, he was brought to Satara on 3 rd June 1947. He was allotted a small room and throught his 5 weeks stay he never moved out of the room. Baba spent a lot of time with Chacha, offering him tea and food.

One day a demanding incident occurred. Baba offered tea as usual and he began calling for more tea and gave it to Baba and asked Him to drink it. This went on for about a dozen cups and Baba found it difficult to drink more. Therefore Baba decided to handover to Chacha an empty cup and saucer and Chacha would go through the motion of handing it to Baba. Baba would go through the motion of drinking and this farce was played about 60 times, with Chacha being none the wiser.

In Satara Chacha refused a bath and it took weeks before he would allow his filthy, tattered clothes to be removed. He was apparently unaware of the functions of his body and had the same sort of indifference as a child and he remained in perfect health.

At the end of the first week of July 1947, Baba explained that His work with Chacha was completed and he was sent back to Ajmer with Baidul on 10th July. The people at Ajmer who revered Chacha were happy to have him amongst them again.

On 19th and 20th July 1947, Baba contacted a number of masts in Ajmer; He also sat with Chacha in his hovel for 4 hours. Chacha asked for tea frequently which was given to him and he was also fed 3 times. On this occasion he repeatedly asked for water and 2 water carriers were engaged to keep up an ample supply.

Meher Baba’s 1 st contact with Chacha was in February 1939, at Ajmer and subsequent Contacts at Ajmer were made in 1941 during May, June and October, in 1942 in February and July and in July 1945 and July 1947. He also stayed with Baba in Satara ashram for 5 weeks in 1947.

Meher Baba told Baidul at Satara that His contacts with Chacha was as good as work done with hundred ordinary masts.

“This man of God is a treasure in a rain.”

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4-ALI SHAH

This delightful mast of 5th plane was interesting not only due to his many contacts with Meher Baba, but also because he is a perfect example of Jamali type mast. He was staying in Ahmednagar permanently and was first brought to Meherabad for Baba’s contact on 19th May 1943. As Ali Shah lived in Ahmednagar where many Baba disciples live, He was easy to get and never refused to come to Baba as long as he got a quiet room to stay, with supply of plenty of cigarettes. During the period 1943 and end of July 1947, Baba had called Ali Shah on 20 different occasions.

Ali Shah loved to be in a room, to sit on a chair if he can and enjoyed smoking all the day long. He made odd signs in the air, on the ground or on his thighs as if he were wttiting something. His voice was gentle, soft and kind and broke into a quiet smile when he spoke. Baba once remarked after emerging from the session with Ali Shah that he had to work extra hard because of Ali Shah’s sleepy and sluggish temperament. On the credit side, he was easily pleased and Baba explained that he had to first to get his mast in the best possible mood to achieve the purpose of his work.  Ali Shah gave the impression of being useful to Baba as a first line reserve mast when there was urgent spiritual work to be done, due to his living in Ahmednagar.

Meher Baba had called Ali Shah for various spiritual works on several occasions at Meherabad, Aurangabad, Pimpalgaon, Hyderabad, Wai, Angris Hills, Mahabaleshwar, Purandhare and Satara.

In September 1947, Baba instructed Ali Shah to be settled at Meherabad and he was given a special room.

Meher Baba left for Baroda on 28th October 1947 and Ali shah was brought on 30th October for special work and stayed with Baba in Dak bungalow till 2nd November. Baba sat with Ali Shah twice each day for some hours.

On 5th December 1947, Baba commenced his seclusion in Tembi hills, Pimpalgaon and Ali Shah Stayed in a hut on the hill. Each morning, from 6th December to 17th December, baba sat with Ali Shah in the lower hut from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. for His work. On 18th and 19th December Baba sat with Ali Shah in a room for 3 hours each day. This way a total of 14 days work was completed with Ali Shah and he was sent back to Meherabad.

Ali Shah was again brought to Pimpalgaon on 18th January 1948. Baba sat with him in a room from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. each day till 27th January. On the final day Ali Shah was given a bath and sent back. Baba bathed Ali Shah occasionally unlike other masts.

On 4th February 1948 Ali Shah was brought to Pimpalgaon for one day work between 7 a. m. to 10 a. m. and was sent back. Again on 18th February 1948, Baba worked with Ali Shah at Pimpalgaon.

This was the story of great mast Ali Shah who shared some of Baba’s manifold burdens.

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3-KARIM BABA

Karim Baba was a great Majzoob like Jalali mast of 6th plane. His face and eyes radiated such a plenitude of fire and glory and the mandali of Meher Baba named him “the tiger man” He really possessed a power of provoking a mood of admiration mixed with fear.

Meher Baba first contacted him in June 1940 in Calcutta. At that time he was sitting on pavement clad in filthiest of clothes and was surrounded by old tins, rags and a medley of debris. Entwined about his throat were tangled skeins of fine steel wire and about his ankles, toes and wrists were tag ends of old rags. It was said that he had been sitting on this section of the pavement for 6 years, exposed to sun, rain and wind.

Meher Baba fed him, gave cigarettes and contacted him 4 or 5 times and explained that Karim Khan was the spiritual charge-man of Calcutta.

Karim Baba was brought to the Ranchi Ashram by Kaka on July 7 or 8 of 1940. He was lodged in a special little room and Baba would go there several times in a day to feed him and sit alone with him. He was usually silent but would laugh and sing when Meher Baba was with him. Unlike other masts brought to baba, Karim Baba was never bathed although Meher Baba fed him and sat with him several times in a day.

At the end of July 1940, Karim Baba was brought to Meherabad with other inmates of the mast Ashram at Ranchi. A special cage was erected in old hospital building on Meherabad hill and Karim Baba was made comfortable in this cage. Meher baba occupied an adjacent room and would go and sit with him many times each day and would attend personally to his needs. Meher Baba went into seclusion on 1st August 1940 in mast Ashram on the hill for this purpose.

After 2 weeks Baba explained that his work on Karim Baba was over and on 16th August 1940 he was sent back to Calcutta with Kaka. Karim Baba was reluctant to go and as train drew closer to Calcutta he became restless and irritable and twice gave Kaka a prodigious slap. He was taken back to stretch of pavement and Kaka made arrangements with a doctor nearby to feed him regularly twice a day and money was given for purpose.

Although Meher Baba visited Calcutta 2 times in later period, he never again met Karim Baba.

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2-CHATTI BABA

Chatti Baba was a mast of 6th plane, a perfect Jamali with traits of a Jalali and was the highest mast to have stayed with Meher Baba for a long time.

He was contacted by Nana on 28th November 1939 in Nagapattnam. He was brought to dharamshala where Baba was staying. Baba gave him a bath with about 50 buckets of water and later fed him.  One of the striking features of Chatti Baba’s sojourn with Baba was the daily bathing with torrents of water. He was taken to the Bangalore Ashram by Train. During the journey the food from the refreshment room was brought for all in several vessels. Chatti Baba had a great liking for a spiced condiment called 'Rasam’ and kept the brass vessel containing this item for himself and poured the entire in his mouth.

On 1 st December 1939, Chatti Baba arrived at Bangalore Mast Ashram and routine was regular bathing and feeding by Baba was set in motion. Meher Baba who was minutely attentive to the whims of his masts saw discomforts that Chatti Baba endured to achieve seclusion and arranged a hut for him in which he could remain alone. There was also a ‘Mast Hotel ‘in the premises where tea, pan, tobacco, cigarettes and beedies were available free on demands of mast.

Baba had several times tried to persuade Chatti baba to sit alone with him in His room and after many refusals e agreed one day. The two were closeted in Baba’s room for about 2 hours. Baba had stated that in these contacts with mast, they help him and he helps them. They love Him and He loves them and beyond this. Baba did not extend this explanation about his spiritual work with masts.

At the beginning of April 1940, The Bangalore Ashram was shifted back to Meherabad. Chatti Baba and his fellow masts were sent by train to Ahmednagar. Chatti Baba was given a special room on the hill by Baba. Every day 120-200 buckets of water were used for the daily routine by Baba. Every day following the usual bath, Chatti baba would sit in any place where the loose earth was found and the soil in his hands would be released over his head. In view of this habit, Baba instructed 15 baskets of earth were put near the Chatti Baba’s room every day.

On the night of 9th June 1940, Chatti Baba became suddenly violent, noisy and abusive and emerged from his room in a state of disorder. He went to Baba’s room and declared that his house had now been utterly destroyed and he had come to Baba for shelter. Baba sat alone with him for a few hours and Chatti Baba became quiet and spent the rest of night alone with Baba. MEHER baba later explained the next day that Chatti Baba had a spiritual connection with France and that was the period when French Armies collapsed before Germans.

In July 1941, Chatti Baba accompanied Meher Baba to Ranchi. The history of Chatti Baba’s connection with Baba from this time until his final return to Nagapattnam is one living with Baba in various cities of India and Ceylon.

At Ranchi Chatti Baba behaved like a child unwilling to go to bed, weeping a little, wandering about and deaf to pleas of those sent to coax him into a simple room that Baba had selected for him. This went for 2 hours and he reluctantly agreed. In Ranchi, the usual routine was continued but in spite of the efforts of Baba to make Chatti feel at home, he seemed restless. During July end, Chatti Baba and his fellow masts were asked by Baba to be taken back to Meherabad by train. Chatti Baba refused to board the train and as the train moved out, 3 mandali men decided to remain with him. Chatti baba was weeping unaffectedly like child.

The following day he again refused to board another train to Nagar but with the help of policeman he was put in the compartment. At every station the train stopped, Chatti Baba moved to the door to get out and was prevented by the mandali. After a tedious journey of 3 days Chatti baba arrived at Meherabad on the 4th day. For the next 3 months Chatti Baba stayed at Meherabad and the daily baths with greater quantity of water were carried out by Baba. He began to pour earth over his head and during this period he was bathed with about 200 buckets of water every day. He had also developed a voracious and insatiable appetite and repeatedly complained that he was not getting enough to eat.

On 1st November 1940, Chatti Baba accompanied Baba to Ceylon and arrived at Veyangoda. Chatti Baba who used to be bathed by Baba everyday said that as Baba had brought much trouble upon him, he would now bathe Baba. So, for about a week, Chatti Baba actually bathed Baba everyday with 10 or 12 buckets of water at Veyangoda. On 16th November 1940, he went to Kandy with Baba and stayed in a special tiny hut.

On 4th December 1940, Chatti Baba left Kandy with the mandali and Luggage for Calicut. Baba and Party arrived by bus the next day.

On 26 rd December 1940, Chatti baba went with Baba by train to Jaipur where Baba stayed till the end of February 1941. In the house at Jaipur, Chatti Baba used to sit all night along, naked to the waist, in open courtyard in the bitter cold.

When Meher Baba left Jaipur for Quetta, Chatti baba went with Him and stayed there during March 1941. Meher Baba Left Quetta for Dehradun during beginning of April 1941 and stayed there till 1st half of May and Chatti Baba was at Dehradun throught. During 3 rd week of May, Baba for Ajmer and stayed there till the 3rd week of July and Chatti Baba was with him. Baba and party left Ajmer for Meherabad during the 3 rd week on July 1941. When, Meher Baba went to Panchgani on 3 rd September 1941, Chatti Baba accompanied Him.

From these days onward Chatti Baba seemed to feel more than ever the call to go back to his home environment at Nagapattnam.  In September 1941, at Panchgani, Chatti Baba walked away from the house one day and repeatedly expressed a desire to leave. After much persuasion he agreed to remain another week. But on 15th September 1941, he walked away and was brought to Baba with great difficulty. He refused to get out of car, wept aloud and told Baba he was very, very tired and it was time for him to go. Baba gave him food in the car, feeding him with his own hand and asked Baidul and Krishna to take Chatti Baba to Nagapattnam. After 2 years of intimate contact came the parting of ways.

Meher Baba told Mandali in Ranchi that there was no equal to Chatti Baba in the whole world and that he was inestimable for the help he gave Him in His work. There was no one who had so unanimously commanded the affection of others. Meher Baba himself would often recall with delight Chatti baba’s little ways and specially the lightness and captivating spell of his laugh.

Nilu, a medical doctor, had no faith whatsoever in masts and considered them only to be innocent madmen. But one day he found out that Chatti Baba had sat on a block of ice throughout the night, and had not left his seat despite the freezing snowstorm outside. Nilu had spent the night in his bed huddled under four woolen blankets, and wearing his overcoat – yet still he was cold. This was truly amazing sight of Chatti Baba sitting naked in the intense cold of Quetta, and in a completely happy mood, profoundly impressed Nilu. His questioning mind could not find a satisfactory answer to such a marvelous sight, and he was then fully convinced that the mast was not in any way an ordinary man.

During Baba's month-long stay in Quetta, Chatti Baba would never stay indoors in his room, but would roam about all night outside amidst the cold, inclement weather. He was amazingly healthy, and to top it off, continued his daily bath of one hundred buckets full of ice-cold water!

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 1-MOHAMMAD

Meher Baba had explained that a Mast progresses only on the planes and never gets between one plane and another until he has reached to the 6th plane. However the case of Mohammad was different from other masts. When he was brought to Rahuri in 1936, he was between the 3rd plane and the 4th. As a result of Baba’s contact, Mohammad never entered in 4th plane but jumped to a state between 4th and 5th plane. Baba stated that he was on the 5th plane and will not progress further in this life.

Mohammad was a Hindu by birth born in Ratnagiri and his name was Tukaram Chawan. He had a wife and two children and when he became a Mast, he went to Bombay and came to be called Mohammad.

He was brought from Bombay to Rahuri in August 1936. Baba started the routine of shaving, bathing, feeding and sitting with him and he was given conspicuous priority. Mohammad took full advantage of this and during that period his daily intake consisted 12 bananas, 4 pounds of boiled beat root, two large plates of rice and dal, 6 raw onions, 12 chapattis, 12 plates of cooked vegetables, and 12 cups of tea.

He used to sit most of the day near the door of Ashram and abuse and spit on anyone who came near him. At night he would repeatedly call for another blanket for him although there was no need for same. This odd behaviour went on even after the Ashram was moved to Meherabad in April 1937.

At Meherabad Ashram he began to dig holes in the grounds with his hands. Early in the morning at 4 AM, when the Ashram staff were busy, he would shout impatiently for someone to help him at the toilet. From 6 to 8 AM, he would remain standing, cleaning his teeth and would frequently call for buckets of water. Later, when Baba called him for bath, it would take 3 men to cajole him to the bathroom.

Another strange behaviour which continued even in the later years was his bending down or squatting and gazing at the ground and looking at something with his fingers. This was done for hours at a stretch and if asked what he was doing he would reply “Deesh Pahato”, meaning “I am looking at something I want.”

He always referred to Baba as “Dada” and following are some of his statement about Baba.

“Dada is God” “Dada is Master”; “Everything depends on Dada’s will” Because Dada is there, the world is there.” “Dada is the Master of Mercy.”

In the summer of 1937, Meher Baba stayed at Cannes (France) for several months for His universal work. Baba wanted Mohammad to be brought to Cannes in September 1937 and he was brought by Adi Sr and Baidul with great difficulty. When he arrived, baba lodged in a room over the garage and began his routine with him. Baba has stated that the mast is an effective agent for spiritual work and the mast mind is used directly by master as a medium for sending his spiritual help to different part of the world.  After this work of Mohammad was over he was sent back to Meherabad in November 1937, and his history was closed with Baba and no other mast had such prolonged contact with Baba.

In December 1939, Mohammad stayed for few days with Baba and his Party in Hyderabad during course of the bus tour, In March 1938; He stayed at Panchgani with Baba and returned to Meherabad in June 1938. In February 1939, Mohammad stayed at Ajmer and was bathed and fed by baba during time of the Mast Ashram there. In, March 1939, Mohammad stayed with Baba and his group in Bhopal during their few days stay there. From august 1939, to April 1940 he stayed in the Bangalore Mast Ashram.

I October 1940, Mohammad was sent to Bombay and his hometown of Ratnagiri. In January 1942 he was brought back to Meherabad and was a permanent resident till his demise on 17-6-2003.

In October 1942, he was taken to Lonavla for a few weeks work with Baba and returned to Meherabad.

Mohammad somehow commands one’s affection by his strange blend of a child man and saint, For some specific divine purpose, the spiritual status of those God intoxicated Souls is veiled from our eyes by the dense folds of a cloak of eccentricity.