15-ABDULKARIM RAMJOO ABDULLA (Ramjoo)

15-ABDULKARIM RAMJOO ABDULLA (Ramjoo)

Abdul Karim Ramjoo Abdulla was a cloth merchant, an amateur lawyer. Formerly from Lonavla, Ramjoo Abdulla resided in Satara with his family and came to see Baba daily. He widely travelled with Meher Baba on His mast tour and new life. Very often he Baba asked him to read His messages and prayers in darshan programs.

Abdul Karim Abdulla, known as Ramjoo was born in year 1920 in the month of Ramzan (according to Islamic calendar). He met Baba briefly at a gathering at Munshiji's house. He was immediately attracted to Baba's living flame and, as he remarked, "curious to know more about this Irani saint.”

There had been many lifetime experiences of Ramjoo under discipleship of Meher Baba. Some of incidents are elaborated as below.

In 1922, Baba boarded a third-class train compartment to Poona with Gustadji, Ghani, Baily, and Ramjoo. During the journey, the topic of the circle again arose, and Baba further explained about the mandali:

Baba explained: although the circle of a Perfect Master has twelve important members, the total is fourteen (with two women), and each person has one shadow. So the complete total of the circle is 28; 14 members, with 14 other members as their shadows.

The original fourteen will be inevitably like the Sadguru — one in God. The fourteen shadows will see God. To see God, however, is not a trifling matter? From thousands of yogis, mahatmas and walis who intensely long to see the light of Truth, very, very few by their own efforts, and without the help of a Sadguru, reach the state [of sainthood] where they can actually see God. But to become one with God is impossible without the help of a Perfect Soul.

After this explanation, Baba looked at Ramjoo and asked, "Do you wish to follow Me?" Ramjoo nodded yes. "If so, then you will have to do as I say." Ramjoo nodded that he understood. "If you become My follower, then you have to stop thinking of material matters and worldly problems. Think it over well and let Me know your decision." By then, Ramjoo was deeply impressed with Meher Baba and was, therefore, quite ready to leave his material affairs and follow Him. Baba further inquired about his occupation as a cloth merchant and about his social activities.

Finding out that Ramjoo took part in political agitation for India's national independence against British rule and was an active member in different independence movements, Baba said, "This is My first order to you. I forbid you to participate in such political activities any more. I will see to your other worldly affairs later."  Second order is to start your conversation with anyone only after the statement “My shop is not yet sold.” Ramjoo promised to obey and then detrained at Lonavla, while Baba and the other three men continued to Poona.

During April 1922, Baba broached the subject of moving to Bombay and forewarned that those men who wished to accompany Him should break all connections with their families. Ramjoo was intent on joining, so Baba ordered him to dispose of his cloth shop. He told Ramjoo, "You need not worry about anything. Along with your spiritual progress, I will make certain that you and your family do not suffer materially. Remember, the whole world is imagination! Its value is insignificant. It is even less than a dream!"

Ramjoo tried to sell his business, but failed. So the Master told him, "Whomsoever you happen to meet, first say to them that your shop is not yet sold."

Ramjoo had recently discontinued all his political and social activities without explanation. So when he met his acquaintances and relatives by greeting them with the strange statement: "My shop is not yet they thought him quite mad. Humiliating to a respectable businessman like Ramjoo; and as a consequence he stopped going out of his house. However, he had to repeat this statement to whomever came to see him at his home; therefore, he was unable to avoid complying with Baba's order.

During this period, a relative of Ramjoo's died. Due to his public embarrassment, he decided not to attend the funeral. Since he had to go out that same day on an urgent errand, he took the precaution of leaving late, and chose a circuitous route, confident that the funeral procession would have passed by then. On his way, however, he was shocked to see the group of mourners marching straight toward him, and he could not escape encountering them. He stood on one side as the casket passed, humbly saluting every person with the statement: "My shop is not yet sold." He felt utterly foolish at the ridiculousness of his words. Those in the procession glanced at one another, signifying that they were more convinced than ever that Ramjoo had gone completely mad.

Out of desperation, Ramjoo asked Baba's permission to arrange a lottery for the sale of his cloth shop, to which Baba agreed. This canceled the first order, but Ramjoo had to face another difficulty: half of the tickets he was allowed to sell to the Master's disciples, but the other half he was ordered to sell to his relatives and acquaintances. Ramjoo felt quite reluctant to approach the people in his hometown of Lonavla. For many days he had been avoiding everyone he knew since the embarrassing incident at the funeral procession. However, he swallowed his pride and solicited the tickets. By this method, and by the Master's nazar, he was able to sell his shop and accompany Baba to Bombay.

Ramjoo once tried selling Upasni Maharaj's biography at the wedding of another relative and even delivered a speech to the gathering about the book's deep significance. The Muslims jeered and booed, shouting, "You are speaking to Muslims about a Hindu guru! Are you crazy? Do you think we would buy such trash?"

Another time, Ramjoo saw his cousin and tried to explain to him about the spiritual importance of the book, but had little success. Ramjoo told him that the introduction was written by the revered Sufi scholar Khwaja Hassan Nizami. Hearing this, the relative sneered, "Who? Khwaja Nizami? He is a first-rate crook! I definitely would not buy anything Nizami endorses!" Ramjoo was taken aback and left.

In 1922, one morning, at the Lonavla train station, Ramjoo encountered his old friend Usman Saheb — the man who had first brought him into Baba's contact during the picnic trip to Mandwa. Although Ramjoo greeted Usman cordially, Usman taunted him with a couplet from Saadi's Gulistan, in pointed reference to Meher Baba: "Verily, it is worse than the tortures of hell / to walk into heaven with the feet of another."

In Between 1918 and 1921, Usman often visited Merwanji at the Kasba Peth toddy shop. However, during 1922, before Baba left Poona for Bombay, Usman had changed his mind about him and had once again become enmeshed in the entrapments of the world. Usman was erroneously Whatever Usman Saheb told Ramjoo is 100 percent true. Heaven should be earned by our own exertions. It should never be gained by favor, or by the help of someone else. It should be deserved. Yet even heaven is in the realm of maya and, even by entering it, the bondage to illusion does not snap.

But to enter heaven without deserving it, merely through favor or someone else's help, is no doubt not only equal to but worse than burning in the fires of hell. In heaven there are beautiful experiences and in hell terrible ones. However, in both situations there is sanskaric binding. In heaven there are shackles made of gold, and in hell there are rusty iron chains. Both types bind. It is quite useless to count on anyone's help to replace one type of fetters with another.

So, if Usman's interpretation is as I have explained, his statement is quite correct. If, however, his intention was to ridicule me or taunt you for following me, then his effort has failed miserably. As my disciples, you have nothing to do with either heaven or hell. You have to tread the spiritual path, going beyond both heaven and hell, to experience infinite bliss.

I have held out to you expectations of something much higher than this dream of heavenly paradise and hellish damnation. I have given you the hope that you will gain the experience of Truth by staying with me; that is to experience Paramatma [God the Infinite Consciousness] and to fathom the secret of creation. To gain this Knowledge without the help of a God-realized Master is impossible. Without the guidance of a Perfect Master, individual efforts are of no avail. Hafiz has said:

"Without a guide, do not try to enter the path of love.

I have failed hundreds of times by doing so."

Maulana Rumi, whose Masnavi Usman is so fond of citing, corroborates Hafiz:

"Had not Maulana Rumi been the slave of Shams-e-Tabriz,

He would never have become a Perfect Master."

One whose object is the attainment of God — whose sole aim in life is to find God — what does he care for heaven and hell? In this connection, Hafiz has said:

convinced it did not behoove a Muslim to accept an Irani as his guru.

When Ramjoo returned to Manzil-e-Meem, he informed Baba of his meeting with Usman Saheb. After lunch, Ghani read out the couplet Usman had cited and Baba remarked:

"Since I see my Friend throughout both worlds,

Heaven, hell and the houris don't worry me."

Poor Usman Saheb does not understand what he talks about. To say that only Rasool-e-Khuda [Muhammad] can point out the Path or take all Muslims to heaven is a beggary that beggars description! His case is so helpless that instead of being in search of the Truth, he leaves even the question of heaven for himself entirely in the hands of God and also asserts that by our own efforts we should earn entry into heaven, else it is hell! It is sheer hypocrisy to preach to others that which you yourself do not practice.

Once Ramjoo approached a secret service official, who was a friend of his family, to sell him a book. At first the man appeared to be genuinely interested in spiritual matters, but in the course of the conversation, the government agent admitted that he was simply doing his job and trying to secure information about what went on inside the Manzil.  He candidly told the startled Ramjoo that the premises had been watched for weeks by government agents, that some of the men had been followed, and that all telegrams and letters had been scrutinized. The agent further explained that the Manzil was suspected of harboring a secret society with either political or criminal motives. The agent described what the police had come to suspect, and Ramjoo clarified certain matters, explaining about Meher Baba and the different men living with the Spiritual Master. In the end, to Ramjoo's surprise, the agent then purchased five copies of the biography.

Baba sent Ramjoo to another mosque, named Jakaria Masjid, in the Kacchi Mohalla neighborhood for the same purpose — advertising Upasni Maharaj's forthcoming biography. Ramjoo, who was also a Muslim, was well-known in the area and begged Baba to send someone else. Baba allowed him to be excused and ordered another Muslim, Abdur Rehman, to go to that mosque. He sent Ramjoo to Phool Gali (Flower Lane) to advertise the soon-to-be-published book. Ramjoo plastered the posters on the doors and walls of a mosque there and, after the Muslims finished their prayers, he stood at the entranceway handing out leaflets about the book. Ramjoo did not escape rebukes, however, for he too was scoffed at and insulted by the Muslims there.

By these activities, Baba made the men at Manzil-e-Meem undergo various experiences, showing them how to remain humble and to persevere in the face of indifference, ridicule, insults and humiliation. Despite the trying circumstances surrounding the sale of the biography, many people in Bombay came to know of Meher Baba and Upasni Maharaj through this book.

Nonetheless, Age found the situation most peculiar. Here were men of different communities hawking the Urdu life story of a Brahmin Perfect Master, who had a Mohammedan Guru (Sai Baba), and whose chief disciple was a Zoroastrian Irani. Moreover, the "salesmen," while professing to be leading a spiritual life of renunciation, were apparently eager to sell as many copies of the book as possible and collect as much money as they could!

In 1924, Ramjoo found a suitable bungalow in Sukkur and rented it for Baba and the mandali for six months. He then went to Bachal Shah's tomb, which was situated near the purchased land, and paid his obeisance. However, he was unable to find the mast there, but encountered a mastani (a female mast) whose appearance resembled Babajan's. The woman confronted Ramjoo and asked, "Who is your Pir [Master]?" Ramjoo replied, "Shri Meher Baba,"

The mastani uttered, "Badshah, Shahenshah!" (King! Emperor!) and a few more strange sounds and then suddenly disappeared. The woman's language was incomprehensible, but these two words Ramjoo clearly heard. Seemingly out of nowhere, the mast then appeared and Ramjoo handed him five rupees, saying the money was from Meher Baba. The mast looked very happy to receive the dakshina

In 1924, according to Baba's instructions, Ramjoo had recently started a business — the Meher Rice & Flour Mill — in Talegaon (near Lonavla), and he invited Baba to come and officially inaugurate the enterprise. Baba informed him and Ghani that He would come on 23rd May; however, Baba left from Ahmednagar after visiting Visapur and arrived in Talegaon on the night of 22 May. It was late, so instead of going to Ramjoo's home, Baba and the mandali slept on the train station platform. At six o'clock in the morning, they went to Ramjoo's home. Ramjoo was surprised to see Baba so early, since no train was scheduled to arrive at that hour. Baba explained to him that they had spent the night sleeping on the platform because He did not wish to disturb him. Ramjoo was taken aback by this statement. He became anxious because Baba had arrived so much sooner than expected and there was no breakfast ready.

Baba said, "I have not come here to feast. I have come here to taste the bread made from the flour of Meher Flour Mill." Ramjoo was relieved to hear this, and wheat from the mills was used to prepare fresh chapattis for the group's breakfast. The whole day was spent leisurely, like a holiday, and Abdur Rehman entertained the Master with ghazals. Baba returned to Meherabad the next day after meeting with Ramjoo, Ghani and their families

Although Ramjoo had stopped keeping a diary (as he had done during the period of Manzil-e-Meem), he now began thinking of collecting all the stories relating to the miraculous events surrounding the Master and ashram boys. During this time, as if reading his inner thoughts, Baba sent Raosaheb to tell Ramjoo, "Baba wants you to write the adventures of Agha Ali." This was later developed into his book Sobs and Throbs, which was based on diary notes then being kept by Chanji.

On Thursday, 21 February 1929, Baba selected five men to be writers — Dastur, Chanji, Manekar, Ramjoo, and Raosaheb (who had recently returned to Meherabad from Persia). A committee was established and came to be known as the Divine Knowledge Publishers, with an office in the tatta lecture hall on the hill. Each of the men was given a separate room in which to write. Baba ordered Dastur to write in English, Ramjoo in Hindi and Urdu, Raosaheb in Persian, Chanji in Gujarati, and Manekar in Marathi. Two o'clock in the afternoon was fixed for the committee to meet with Baba and receive his advice about their respective writing projects. But, as it turned out, during this entire period, they had the chance of seeing Baba only twice.

An unbound proof copy of Ramjoo Abdulla’s book Sobs and Throbs was released on 26th June 1029, But Baba showed in difference to the whole affair. His lack of interest was part of his recent attitude of disinterest in the boys.

Necessary writing materials, such as paper, pen and ink were supplied to them. Only Manekar was given specific instructions about his project; he was first to translate Ramjoo's manuscript Sobs and Throbs into Marathi and then to write Baba's biography in Marathi.

On the night of 25 August, when the sadhu began his repetition of Om, Ramjoo sat up in bed and began his own unusual chant. The sadhu would say "Om," and as if in reply, Ramjoo would reciprocate with "Marbome” which means, "Shout louder!" Again the sadhu would chant, "Om," and again Ramjoo's answer would come, "Marbome." When this happened several times, the sadhu became distraught.

In the morning he had an encounter with the kitchen staff over a cup of tea. It became the final straw, and he announced that he was leaving. Baba looked surprised and inquired, "Didn't you come here for God-realization? You are going away without it."

During April 1922, Baba broached the subject of moving to Bombay and forewarned that those men who wished to accompany Him should break all connections with their families. Ramjoo was intent on joining, so Baba ordered him to dispose of his cloth shop. He told Ramjoo, "You need not worry about anything. Along with your spiritual progress, I will make certain that you and your family do not suffer materially. Remember, the whole world is imagination! Its value is insignificant. It is even less than a dream!"

Ramjoo tried to sell his business, but failed. So the Master told him, "Whomsoever you happen to meet, first say to them that your shop is not yet sold."

Ramjoo had recently discontinued all his political and social activities without explanation. So when he met his acquaintances and relatives by greeting them with the strange statement: "My shop is not yet they thought him quite mad. Humiliating to a respectable businessman like Ramjoo; and as a consequence he stopped going out of his house. However, he had to repeat this statement to whomever came to see him at his home; therefore, he was unable to avoid complying with Baba's order.

During this period, a relative of Ramjoo's died. Due to his public embarrassment, he decided not to attend the funeral. Since he had to go out that same day on an urgent errand, he took the precaution of leaving late, and chose a circuitous route, confident that the funeral procession would have passed by then. On his way, however, he was shocked to see the group of mourners marching straight toward him, and he could not escape encountering them. He stood on one side as the casket passed, humbly saluting every person with the statement: "My shop is not yet sold." He felt utterly foolish at the ridiculousness of his words. Those in the procession glanced at one another, signifying that they were more convinced than ever that Ramjoo had gone completely mad.

Out of desperation, Ramjoo asked Baba's permission to arrange a lottery for the sale of his cloth shop, to which Baba agreed. This canceled the first order, but Ramjoo had to face another difficulty: half of the tickets he was allowed to sell to the Master's disciples, but the other half he was ordered to sell to his relatives and acquaintances. Ramjoo felt quite reluctant to approach the people in his hometown of Lonavla. For many days he had been avoiding everyone he knew since the embarrassing incident at the funeral procession. However, he swallowed his pride and solicited the tickets. By this method, and by the Master's nazar, he was able to sell his shop and accompany Baba to Bombay.

Ramjoo once tried selling Upasni Maharaj's biography at the wedding of another relative and even delivered a speech to the gathering about the book's deep significance. The Muslims jeered and booed, shouting, "You are speaking to Muslims about a Hindu guru! Are you crazy? Do you think we would buy such trash?"

Another time, Ramjoo saw his cousin and tried to explain to him about the spiritual importance of the book, but had little success. Ramjoo told him that the introduction was written by the revered Sufi scholar Khwaja Hassan Nizami. Hearing this, the relative sneered, "Who? Khwaja Nizami? He is a first-rate crook! I definitely would not buy anything Nizami endorses!" Ramjoo was taken aback and left.

In 1922, one morning, at the Lonavla train station, Ramjoo encountered his old friend Usman Saheb — the man who had first brought him into Baba's contact during the picnic trip to Mandwa. Although Ramjoo greeted Usman cordially, Usman taunted him with a couplet from Saadi's Gulistan, in pointed reference to Meher Baba: "Verily, it is worse than the tortures of hell / to walk into heaven with the feet of another."

In Between 1918 and 1921, Usman often visited Merwanji at the Kasba Peth toddy shop. However, during 1922, before Baba left Poona for Bombay, Usman had changed his mind about him and had once again become enmeshed in the entrapments of the world. Usman was erroneously Whatever Usman Saheb told Ramjoo is 100 percent true. Heaven should be earned by our own exertions. It should never be gained by favor, or by the help of someone else. It should be deserved. Yet even heaven is in the realm of maya and, even by entering it, the bondage to illusion does not snap.

But to enter heaven without deserving it, merely through favor or someone else's help, is no doubt not only equal to but worse than burning in the fires of hell. In heaven there are beautiful experiences and in hell terrible ones. However, in both situations there is sanskaric binding. In heaven there are shackles made of gold, and in hell there are rusty iron chains. Both types bind. It is quite useless to count on anyone's help to replace one type of fetters with another.

So, if Usman's interpretation is as I have explained, his statement is quite correct. If, however, his intention was to ridicule me or taunt you for following me, then his effort has failed miserably. As my disciples, you have nothing to do with either heaven or hell. You have to tread the spiritual path, going beyond both heaven and hell, to experience infinite bliss.

I have held out to you expectations of something much higher than this dream of heavenly paradise and hellish damnation. I have given you the hope that you will gain the experience of Truth by staying with me; that is to experience Paramatma [God the Infinite Consciousness] and to fathom the secret of creation. To gain this Knowledge without the help of a God-realized Master is impossible. Without the guidance of a Perfect Master, individual efforts are of no avail. Hafiz has said:

"Without a guide, do not try to enter the path of love.

I have failed hundreds of times by doing so."

Maulana Rumi, whose Masnavi Usman is so fond of citing, corroborates Hafiz:

"Had not Maulana Rumi been the slave of Shams-e-Tabriz,

He would never have become a Perfect Master."

One whose object is the attainment of God — whose sole aim in life is to find God — what does he care for heaven and hell? In this connection, Hafiz has said:

convinced it did not behoove a Muslim to accept an Irani as his guru.

When Ramjoo returned to Manzil-e-Meem, he informed Baba of his meeting with Usman Saheb. After lunch, Ghani read out the couplet Usman had cited and Baba remarked:

"Since I see my Friend throughout both worlds,

Heaven, hell and the houris don't worry me."

Poor Usman Saheb does not understand what he talks about. To say that only Rasool-e-Khuda [Muhammad] can point out the Path or take all Muslims to heaven is a beggary that beggars description! His case is so helpless that instead of being in search of the Truth, he leaves even the question of heaven for himself entirely in the hands of God and also asserts that by our own efforts we should earn entry into heaven, else it is hell! It is sheer hypocrisy to preach to others that which you yourself do not practice.

Once Ramjoo approached a secret service official, who was a friend of his family, to sell him a book. At first the man appeared to be genuinely interested in spiritual matters, but in the course of the conversation, the government agent admitted that he was simply doing his job and trying to secure information about what went on inside the Manzil.  He candidly told the startled Ramjoo that the premises had been watched for weeks by government agents, that some of the men had been followed, and that all telegrams and letters had been scrutinized. The agent further explained that the Manzil was suspected of harboring a secret society with either political or criminal motives. The agent described what the police had come to suspect, and Ramjoo clarified certain matters, explaining about Meher Baba and the different men living with the Spiritual Master. In the end, to Ramjoo's surprise, the agent then purchased five copies of the biography.

Baba sent Ramjoo to another mosque, named Jakaria Masjid, in the Kacchi Mohalla neighborhood for the same purpose — advertising Upasni Maharaj's forthcoming biography. Ramjoo, who was also a Muslim, was well-known in the area and begged Baba to send someone else. Baba allowed him to be excused and ordered another Muslim, Abdur Rehman, to go to that mosque. He sent Ramjoo to Phool Gali (Flower Lane) to advertise the soon-to-be-published book. Ramjoo plastered the posters on the doors and walls of a mosque there and, after the Muslims finished their prayers, he stood at the entranceway handing out leaflets about the book. Ramjoo did not escape rebukes, however, for he too was scoffed at and insulted by the Muslims there.

By these activities, Baba made the men at Manzil-e-Meem undergo various experiences, showing them how to remain humble and to persevere in the face of indifference, ridicule, insults and humiliation. Despite the trying circumstances surrounding the sale of the biography, many people in Bombay came to know of Meher Baba and Upasni Maharaj through this book.

Nonetheless, Age found the situation most peculiar. Here were men of different communities hawking the Urdu life story of a Brahmin Perfect Master, who had a Mohammedan Guru (Sai Baba), and whose chief disciple was a Zoroastrian Irani. Moreover, the "salesmen," while professing to be leading a spiritual life of renunciation, were apparently eager to sell as many copies of the book as possible and collect as much money as they could!

In 1924, Ramjoo found a suitable bungalow in Sukkur and rented it for Baba and the mandali for six months. He then went to Bachal Shah's tomb, which was situated near the purchased land, and paid his obeisance. However, he was unable to find the mast there, but encountered a mastani (a female mast) whose appearance resembled Babajan's. The woman confronted Ramjoo and asked, "Who is your Pir [Master]?" Ramjoo replied, "Shri Meher Baba,"

The mastani uttered, "Badshah, Shahenshah!" (King! Emperor!) and a few more strange sounds and then suddenly disappeared. The woman's language was incomprehensible, but these two words Ramjoo clearly heard. Seemingly out of nowhere, the mast then appeared and Ramjoo handed him five rupees, saying the money was from Meher Baba. The mast looked very happy to receive the dakshina

In 1924, according to Baba's instructions, Ramjoo had recently started a business — the Meher Rice & Flour Mill — in Talegaon (near Lonavla), and he invited Baba to come and officially inaugurate the enterprise. Baba informed him and Ghani that He would come on 23rd May; however, Baba left from Ahmednagar after visiting Visapur and arrived in Talegaon on the night of 22 May. It was late, so instead of going to Ramjoo's home, Baba and the mandali slept on the train station platform. At six o'clock in the morning, they went to Ramjoo's home. Ramjoo was surprised to see Baba so early, since no train was scheduled to arrive at that hour. Baba explained to him that they had spent the night sleeping on the platform because He did not wish to disturb him. Ramjoo was taken aback by this statement. He became anxious because Baba had arrived so much sooner than expected and there was no breakfast ready.

Baba said, "I have not come here to feast. I have come here to taste the bread made from the flour of Meher Flour Mill." Ramjoo was relieved to hear this, and wheat from the mills was used to prepare fresh chapattis for the group's breakfast. The whole day was spent leisurely, like a holiday, and Abdur Rehman entertained the Master with ghazals. Baba returned to Meherabad the next day after meeting with Ramjoo, Ghani and their families

Although Ramjoo had stopped keeping a diary (as he had done during the period of Manzil-e-Meem), he now began thinking of collecting all the stories relating to the miraculous events surrounding the Master and ashram boys. During this time, as if reading his inner thoughts, Baba sent Raosaheb to tell Ramjoo, "Baba wants you to write the adventures of Agha Ali." This was later developed into his book Sobs and Throbs, which was based on diary notes then being kept by Chanji.

On Thursday, 21 February 1929, Baba selected five men to be writers — Dastur, Chanji, Manekar, Ramjoo, and Raosaheb (who had recently returned to Meherabad from Persia). A committee was established and came to be known as the Divine Knowledge Publishers, with an office in the tatta lecture hall on the hill. Each of the men was given a separate room in which to write. Baba ordered Dastur to write in English, Ramjoo in Hindi and Urdu, Raosaheb in Persian, Chanji in Gujarati, and Manekar in Marathi. Two o'clock in the afternoon was fixed for the committee to meet with Baba and receive his advice about their respective writing projects. But, as it turned out, during this entire period, they had the chance of seeing Baba only twice.

An unbound proof copy of Ramjoo Abdulla’s book Sobs and Throbs was released on 26th June 1029, But Baba showed in difference to the whole affair. His lack of interest was part of his recent attitude of disinterest in the boys.

Necessary writing materials, such as paper, pen and ink were supplied to them. Only Manekar was given specific instructions about his project; he was first to translate Ramjoo's manuscript Sobs and Throbs into Marathi and then to write Baba's biography in Marathi.

On the night of 25 August, when the sadhu began his repetition of Om, Ramjoo sat up in bed and began his own unusual chant. The sadhu would say "Om," and as if in reply, Ramjoo would reciprocate with "Marbome” which means, "Shout louder!" Again the sadhu would chant, "Om," and again Ramjoo's answer would come, "Marbome." When this happened several times, the sadhu became distraught.

In the morning he had an encounter with the kitchen staff over a cup of tea. It became the final straw, and he announced that he was leaving. Baba looked surprised and inquired, "Didn't you come here for God-realization? You are going away without it."

The sadhu said regretfully, "This is not an ashram but a house of rogues! I am fed up with your so-called disciples! If you cannot improve them, how can you give me God-realization?" Baba urged him to stay, but he would not change his mind. Baba instructed him to return to Dhuniwala Baba, and he went on his way, though he was weeping when he departed from Baba, as he was sincere and realized his failure in obeying Baba's instructions.

Baba then berated the mandali and directed Ramjoo to pack his belongings and leave Meherabad, never to return. For an hour the atmosphere remained tense and it seemed certain that Baba would send Ramjoo home. But after some time, Baba called Ramjoo and remarked, "Don't think any more about it. If the sadhu went away at being disturbed by hearing Marbome, how could he have attained Realization? Realization is for heroes who, while the knife is slashing their throats, take pleasure in the pain of dying."

Baba concluded, "But you men should learn to behave in a civil manner with outsiders who are more or less spiritually inclined. These people are shocked when they come across such uncouth fellows as yourselves. They are to be handled gently and brought into line. In their eyes, you people really seem like rogues."

One day in the mandali's cottage, Baba asked Ramjoo if he was a human being or an animal.

To back, Ramjoo answered, "A human being!" Baba then gave this discourse about the human form and its attributes:

Baba then again addressed Ramjoo and motioned, "Now tell Me whether you are a man or an animal."   Ramjoo replied, "It seems that I am part man and part beast. But I do not understand fully what the natural love of angels is. What do you mean by that?"

Baba spelled out, "It is like this: A mother loves her child; she does not have to cultivate her love. This feeling of hers just happens and is natural, but it is not love for God. So also, the love of the angels encompasses many virtues, but it is not love for God. It is inborn in them — innate — and that is why it is called natural love."

Soon after, the British government removed restrictions on interviews, and Baba sent Chanji and Ramjoo from Nasik to see Gandhi on the morning of 21 September 1932. They found Gandhi sitting on a bed in an open courtyard of the prison, spinning on a charkha (spinning wheel to spin cotton into yarn). Gandhi warmly welcomed them and had them sit near. They had the following conversation:

Gandhi began, "So, Meher Baba has come back! I came to know about it only this morning through the (Bombay) Chronicle. I do not read the newspapers very carefully, but Sardar [Patel] reads them from corner to corner and he told me about it. When did Baba return?"

Ramjoo replied, "Baba returned to India on the 5th of September."

Gandhi asked, "Why was there no news for so long in the papers about him that even his return was not published? When Baba left for Europe, I read about it in the Indian press."

Chanji responded, "The reason is that Baba's return was kept private."

Ramjoo interjected, "Even the news that has been in the Chronicle has not been approved by Baba. It was Rustom who had it published when he failed to get an interview with you the other day."

Gandhi said, "I often inquire of those near me as to why there is no news from Meher Baba. There is some talk here almost every day about him and his name creeps into our conversations. Has he begun speaking yet?"

Ramjoo replied, "He was to break His silence in America, but He did not."

Chanji explained, "There were extensive arrangements made for broadcasting his first utterance on radio, but Baba postponed them and did not break His silence."

Ramjoo said, "This is the eighth year of His silence. He completed His seventh year in July."

Gandhi said, "Yes, I read about the arrangements for his breaking of his silence. But really, now, he is carrying it too far!"

Ramjoo then said, "Baba has also been to China and Japan."

Gandhi replied in surprise, "Oh, has he been all over America, China and Japan, too? How many days did he stay in America?"

Chanji explained that he accompanied Baba, saying, "He stayed there about fifteen days. He was in Japan for only one day and he stopped in China for a week.

In Andhra Once during their journey, when Baba was in the mandali's third-class compartment, Ramjoo had an asthma attack and went to rest in Baba's second-class compartment, which was relatively empty. Baba asked someone to call Ramjoo, and when Baba was informed that Ramjoo had gone to Baba's compartment, Baba was livid. "I have come here to spend time with the mandali, to give them my company," he fumed, "and that fellow goes away?!"

Angrily, he dictated on the board to Vishnu, "Say: 'Ramjoo Abdulla, you should jump off the train and die!' “Baba’s mood was so upset that the mandali were trembling. The atmosphere was fraught with tension. "Go and tell Ramjoo this message!" Vishnu and Pukar began to cry, thinking if this message were delivered, Ramjoo would surely jump.

"Why are you weeping?" Baba asked Pukar. Pukar pleaded for Ramjoo to be forgiven. After some time, Baba said to forget all about it and His mood improved.

One night, after dinner when all were sitting around Baba, Ramjoo asked him, "What are the stars?" The Master explained:

Stars, like planets, are spheres; but many of the planets are inhabited by human beings. They resemble the earth in culture, science and in every way materially, but from the spiritual point of view, our earth is the most advanced, for the Perfect Masters are born on this planet. These other planets seem far off from one another but, in reality, they are close. After Realization a man finds them issuing from himself in the millions — like tiny bubbles. He finds himself to be the source of everything — the Maker of all! Although the gross spheres of the universes are different, the spiritual planes from beginning to end are one.

To make the mandali gain more control of themselves, Baba issued the following two rules:

Each morning every member of the mandali should touch the feet of every other member and say, "You are my brother!" During the 24 hours of the day, if anyone expresses anger and speaks bitterly to anyone else, I should be informed immediately. I will then fall at the offender's feet and salute him.

Ramjoo was also a Muslim, and Baba then asked him, "Do you find any religious difficulty in following this?" Ramjoo replied, "I do not consider the rules to be against the shariat, and I accept the first rule. But I will not report to you and allow you to touch my feet." Padri and Nervous also refused initially to abide by the second rule, but they agreed after Baba explained to them that it was his order.

Baba spoke privately with Ramjoo and told him, "You have done what Barsoap did. Accept My wish on principle and carry it out without the least hesitation. What shariat can exceed My wish? My wish is religion and My wish is shariat; and he who obeys it obeys the shariat and fulfills the tenets of his religion. Always be mindful of my wish regardless of anything else." Ramjoo explained, "But I would not like it if you touched My feet ... I revere you."

"Why do you talk about likes and dislikes?" Baba retorted, "You should like whatever I like. If you don't follow my wish, how could you revere Me? You cannot be a slave to your own wish and revere Me at the same time." Ramjoo replied, "It will break my heart to see you touching My feet!"

Baba's longtime and close disciple, Ramjoo Abdulla, expired of heart failure in Satara on the afternoon of Wednesday, 11 January 1967, at the age of 67. His friend Dr. Jog sent this telegram to Baba: "Ramjoo has permanently left us and come to you this afternoon."

Adi forwarded the telegram to Meherazad the following morning, and Baba cabled in reply: "My very dear Ramjoo has come to Me to rest eternally in Me. Inform his family to have courage and give them all my love."

Adi and Don were immediately sent to Satara to personally convey Baba's love and message to Ramjoo's family. When they returned, they related how, during his final days, Ramjoo had continually repeated Baba's name, holding a string of prayer beads to help himself do it without a break. In his last moments when he was too feeble to hold the beads, his fingers were still moving by themselves in rhythm with the movement of his lips as he uttered, "Baba, Baba, Baba."

Ramjoo had been in Meher Baba's contact for 46 years, since 1921 in Poona. He joined the mandali in the Manzil-e-Meem ashram and stayed until Baba moved from Toka in 1928. He then became a manager at Sarosh Motor Works in Nasik. Up to the last, he maintained close contact with Baba and would visit frequently. He was one of the trustees of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust and after his demise, his son, Ali, was appointed in his place.

One of the first mandali, Ramjoo was very dear to Baba and served Him faithfully until the end. In 1925–1926, before Baba stopped writing, He would on occasion write to Ramjoo. A few extracts from these handwritten letters are quoted as testament of Baba's feelings for His dear disciple:

I am always with you internally ... I love you as My own self ...

Have no anxiety about any matter. Be brave; it will all pass away. I have taken it unto Myself to make you see Truth in the future ...

All is well, you have Me! Hang maya and all its illusionary playings!

Ramjoo Abdulla’s entire family loved Baba, and Ramjoo always sought Baba’s advice about any family problem. Ramjoo and his family had left Nasik and moved to Ahmednagar two years earlier, in 1946. He had seven children: five sons – Dadu, Baggu, Ali, Meheru (Meher Ahmed) and Isa – and two daughters.

He wrote diaries of events with Baba and compiled under title “Ramjoo’s diaries” and Meherabad, the Hill of Celestial Light”. He was famous for his book “sobs and Throbs “as well as his little books on Baba’s various life-phases