GROUP-12 (MANDALI/CIRCLE MEMBERS)

45-GADEKAR RAMCHANDRA K.

Ramchandra, Gadekar was son of Kanhoba Rao Gadekar of Ahmednagar who made a pair of sandals made which was presented to Baba by Gulmai in 1922 when Baba was staying in the thatched hut on Fergusson Road in Poona. The 21-year-old cobbler's son, Ramchandra, came to Meherabad on 29th April 1925, for darshan. Baba received him warmly and urged him to stay at Meherabad. Baba also promised him the necessary funds to pursue his education in Poona.

Other events of his life time related with Meher Baba and conversations are recorded as under:

For a long time, Ramchandra had been suffering from acute stomach pains, which no medicine had alleviated. He had come to pay his respects to Meher Baba and also to consult with him about his ailment, which had troubled him for a long time. When he bowed down, the Master asked, "What do you want? Why have you really come to see Me?"

At that moment, Ramchandra was overcome by a divine desire that made him forget about his affliction. He spontaneously replied, "Baba, I want God-realization!"

Hearing this, Baba smiled and touched His head, blessing him. Later Baba inquired about his health and advised a certain treatment.

After some months, the stomach ailment disappeared and Ramchandra and his wife became teachers in the Hazrat Babajan School. Later the entire Gadekar family came to live at Meherabad, in one of the small earthen rooms built behind the Mess Quarters. His father Kanhoba also served the Master by keeping those particular sandals repaired.

Not only did the low cobbler caste of people come into Meher Baba's contact through Ramchandra Gadekar, but also many others were affected; for wherever Ramchandra would go in future years, he would disseminate the Master's message of Love and Truth to all he met.

Ramchandra Gadekar, who was staying in Meherabad at the time, had recently taken his college exams. On 31st May 1926, Baba informed him, "You have failed in your exam!" The young man was crestfallen and tears welled up in his eyes. To console him, Baba called for sweets and distributing them among all, declared, "This is to celebrate Gadekar's failure in his exams!" But moments later, news was brought from Ahmednagar that Gadekar had actually passed his tests. Gadekar's unhappiness turned into a smile of relief.

Although Gadekar had passed his exams, he was worried about his further studies. On the night of 5 th June 1926, Baba advised Gadekar, "Due to worry, this universe came into being. And now man is unable to realize his own Real Self due to engaging his mind in worry. I advise you to be at peace and remain quiet in the face of any agitation, any worry and any calamity. Do not allow such thoughts to enter your mind, but push them toward Me, saying, 'Go to Baba!' If you follow My advice, things will turn out fine."

In 1927, a tragic event at Meherabad afflicted one of the teachers. Ramchandra Gadekar and his wife Yashoda had come to live at Meherabad where both served as teachers in the schools. Baba had given Gadekar orders not to touch his wife. Yashoda would rise early in the morning and work all day. She was very devout, and in obedience to Baba's instruction, she would recite His name many times in the small room where they lived. But after nine months, Yashoda became extremely distraught. She fought badly with her husband and late one night, ran away and committed suicide by jumping in a well near the railway tracks.

On morning of 12 th June 1929, Gadekar arrived bearing flowers and sweets with the happy news that he had passed his B.A. exam. Gadekar was sure he had failed, even though Baba had assured him he would pass.

In 1930, Gadekar had also come to Nasik and invited Baba to Sangamner, where he was now working. He introduced his fiancée, Gunatai, (either on this visit or another) and Baba agreed to come to Ahmednagar to attend their wedding. Gunatai and Gadekar had met when they were students in Poona. They were later married in Ahmednagar, and Baba attended their wedding along with the mandali.

Baba left Madras on 19th February 1934, by the Bombay Express train and reached Meherabad the following day via Sholapur, where Gadekar and Gunatai had Baba's darshan at the station.

In 1937, traveling on the same ship was Ramchandra Gadekar, the son of the humble cobbler who was deeply connected with the Master. Gadekar had won a government scholarship to study education at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Actually, Baba had informed Gadekar in advance that he would be traveling to France on the Strathnaver, but He had instructed Gadekar not to tell anyone. So when Gadekar's wife Gunatai and their two children saw him off in Bombay, they were delighted to see Baba and the mandali on board. To Gunatai, Baba remarked, "Do not worry. I am with your husband."

In 1940, Gadekar visited Pandharpur. Taking Bhabananda and Babadas with him, he returned to Sholapur and arranged a large meeting where both spoke. Wherever Gadekar's job took him, he would disseminate information about Meher Baba, and his love for Baba drew many people to the Master.

In 1943, at the Kurduwadi railway station, a throng of followers had collected to see Baba, and He lovingly gave His blessings to all. Baba and the mandali continued their journey and reached Sholapur in afternoon, where they were taken to Gadekar's small house. After a meal was served, Gadekar's family had Baba's darshan.

Baba left Barsi and returned to Sholapur at midnight. A judge from Akkalkot (24 miles away), M. G. Bendre, had invited Baba to his house, and Baba went with the mandali in early the next morning. Before leaving, Baba praised Gadekar and Gunatai: "I am very pleased with the love of both of you and the splendid arrangements you made for Myself and the mandali. I wish you to continue, in My love, the work you are doing of spreading My name."

After some time, Gadekar was transferred to Ahmednagar, where he and his family lived in Mutha's Bungalow. The family kept one room reserved specially for Baba. As the house was situated on Station Road, Baba would stop there on His way to Meherabad, but He would not inform them in advance of His visits. Once Gunatai complained to Him saying, "Baba, why do you come so unexpectedly, without informing us? The house is in such a mess at times. If we knew you were coming, we could keep everything in order."

Baba smiled, gesturing, "Is this your house? This is my house. Do I have to inform you when I come to My own house?" They showed him to his room, and Baba was pleased, but remarked, "Do you want to keep Me locked up in only this one room? I want to go to each and every room." Even the kitchen was not left out of His inspection tour.

In 1944, once Baba came to the Gadekars' house and indicated, "I want to cook for Myself," and proceeded to peel potatoes and prepare them and bhujias.

Baba then kissed Gadekar's daughter Nalini and his son Digambar, and departed for Akkalkot.

Gadekar had rented a large bungalow, known as Dr. Kotni's house, in Sholapur for the function, since many lovers from Bombay and Poona had come and required accommodation. Baba advised Gadekar before leaving, "Don't give up this bungalow for a year. I will pay the rent."

At the time, Gadekar could not fathom why Baba had suggested this, as his family was small and Dr. Kotni's bungalow was certainly too large for them. But after Baba's visit, more and more people kept coming for information about Baba, and thus a center with weekly meetings came into being in Sholapur. Only afterward did Gadekar understand why Baba had wished him to retain the bungalow. Baba had also remarked, "Keep the bungalow and I will come to visit occasionally." Although Baba did come to Sholapur twice after this visit in 1943, He stayed at the dak bungalow at those times, not at Kotni's. However, his presence was felt in Dr. Kotni's house, as His lovers gathered in His name each week to sing His praises.

Once, in a lighter vein, Baba asked Gadekar, "Do you fight with Gunatai (his wife)?"

"Never, Baba. She fights with me!" he insisted.

"She is teaching you forbearance. You are in her debt."

In year 1950, Gadekar wanted to tell Baba about Khak Saheb's recent death, but because of the New Life restrictions against mentioning any such Old Life topic, he could not do so. But he hit upon a stratagem by telling Madhusudan to sing the particular ghazal to Baba that Khak had written before he passed away.

In 1954, Baba’s visit date was fixed for the 6th and 7th, and Gadekar in Poona was informed. For a year prior to this, Gadekar had been transferred to Nasik. While in Nasik, Gadge Maharaj would come to Gadekar's house, and he also continued to visit his family in Poona. Gadekar with his wife, Gunatai, and their children, Digambar and Nalini, proceeded to Pandharpur ahead of Baba. There Gadekar arranged for Baba and the mandali to stay in a military boarding school.

In 1955, once Baba in the morning, Baba entered the hall. Some of the sahavas groups were still there. Baba asked Gadekar, "Why didn't you leave yesterday?"

Gadekar replied, "I am going today." (Actually, he had gone to the train station early in the morning, but when he heard Baba had come to Meherabad he came back.)

"While doing My arti yesterday," Baba further asked, "Were you thinking of the arti or the thorns in your feet?"

"Of the arti."

Joining His hands, Baba offered His namaskar to Gadekar. Taking advantage of Baba's mood, Gadekar broached another subject: "I am now 51 years old, and there are four years left before I retire with my pension. I would like to resign at once and stay with you."

Baba replied, "Up to the 15th of February 1957, just obey Me; thereafter, I will call you to stay with Me for all time." Baba's words came true, as readers shall see — but not in the way that Gadekar could have imagined.

Another man said, "In my dream, I saw Baba in a violent mood. He caught hold of me and pushed me against Gadekar's stomach, and Gadekar likewise threw me back at Baba. I immediately woke up and could not go back to sleep because of this dream."

Baba joked, "One thing pleases Me. I am happy that even in the dream I threw you on Gadekar's tummy!"

In another incident, because of his duties, Bhau had not been able to have his tea in Satara before leaving, so Baba asked him to have it at Gadekar's. Gadekar's wife, Gunatai, served tea to all, after which Baba had a few words with Gadekar in a separate room. Gunatai had also prepared food which she offered to Bhau. Remembering Baba's orders, Bhau declined, but Aloba willingly accepted and ate it. When he was doing so, Baba appeared and reacted angrily. He rebuked Aloba severely. "Do you never get the food that you are eating here? In Satara you claimed that you never took food at anyone's place. You complained against Bhau for eating bhujias at Sushila's. Now I know the real reason why you said it.

Baba had agreed to see them but stipulated, "I shall give them darshan at Gadekar's residence, but no one should be present in the room except Gadekar, Conybeare and the Sakhares. Gadekar's family members were not allowed darshan, although they were in the house at the time. That morning, Gadekar's wife Gunatai had prepared a full meal for Baba and covered it and laid it on the table. As soon as she saw Baba's car approaching, according to His instructions, the family hid in the interior of the house. Baba met the Sakhares, and before leaving, he peeped through the curtain on the doors of the drawing room to see if there were some "miscreants" who had been secretly watching him. Of course, no one was there. Baba was told that a meal had been kept ready for Him, but he did not eat, and strode briskly to the car. Gadekar ran after Him with a fresh baked cake they had specially kept for Him. But that too Baba did not accept.

Gunatai was highly disappointed that the meal, which she had prepared with so much love, was left untouched by the Beloved. She wrote to Baba and gave vent to her sorrow. Baba had this message written to her: "When all of you, the Sakhares and Conybeare ate the food, it was as good as My having eaten it!"

While returning to the cricket grounds, a taxi with two of Baba's followers, Gadekar and K. K. Ramakrishnan, passed Baba's car. A circular had been issued, strictly advising Baba's lovers not to contact Him during His seclusion. If they happened to see Baba while he was traveling somewhere, they were to ignore Him and go on their way.

Gadekar had seen Baba, and Baba asked Pendu if their taxi was following them. Pendu saw that it was, so Baba told Eruch to drive fast and lose it. Baba was happy when Pendu reported that the taxi had disappeared, and they returned to the cricket grounds.

As the match proceeded, Pendu saw Gadekar's taxi stop under a tree some distance away. Baba seemed to be taking an interest in the game, so Pendu did not inform him, knowing that it would upset him. Jalbhai, however, had seen the taxi and said, "Baba, they are here; they followed us and are standing there."

Baba said, "Go and ask them, 'Have you received Baba's circular?' If they received it, why have they broken My order not to follow Me, to turn their face and go away. I came here to relax; I am tired and they are spoiling My mood!"

Pendu went, and Gadekar, who was a very emotional old man, was on the point of tears, regretting his mistake, but explaining that he had simply been unable to control himself.

Baba instructed Eruch to turn the car around and leave for Satara. While passing Gadekar's taxi, Baba had the car stopped. He told Gadekar, "You have received the circular; you are the oldest member of the Poona Center; he (Ramakrishnan) is new, but you should have followed My orders." Gadekar admitted his mistake. "Then why do you break My order?

Why did you follow Me?" Gadekar said he thought it would be all right from such a long distance.

Baba was annoyed at first, but then forgave him. "I forgive you this time," Baba said, "but next time; don't make such a foolish error."

In 1957, whenever Baba was in Poona, he would always visit the Gadekars at their new home on 885/5 Bhandarkar 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.

In 1958, during the entire program, Gunatai Gadekar kept a tray of camphor burning on the dais. It went out during the arti singing and Baba instructed her to relight it. Before leaving the pandal.

Despite Baba's instructions, Gadekar sought a private interview with Baba, and Raosaheb did likewise. Baba was displeased with both men, but joked, "It is not Gadekar's fault because his screw is loose!"

After returning to his home in Poona in November, Gadekar was diagnosed as having Hodgkin's disease, with two cancerous tumors under his armpits. His son Digambar went to America at the end of January 1959 for further college studies, and his daughter Nalini Tai was studying at the Poona University Medical School. Gadekar wrote to Baba about this on 28 January, and Eruch sent this reply:

Meherazad, Ahmednagar
1st February 1959
My dear Gadekar Saheb,

Baba took great interest in hearing the contents of your letter of 28th ultimo (last month).

Baba knows how you have taken, and are taking great pains to spread your beloved Baba's message of Love and Truth in Poona and elsewhere — wherever you are posted. All this labor of love will never and cannot go in vain.

Baba also knows how much pain and discomfort you are undergoing at present due to the swollen glands. All this pain should never be taken by you as "paying for your sins." No! It is to give you greater opportunity to remember Baba more frequently. Baba wants you to bear the pain patiently in loving him the more.

Baba says that he is well pleased with your efforts, your deep love for him, and your unfailing support and your cooperation with Baba lovers at all times and under every situation, and, this time, under severe physical pain and discomfort, Baba feels very proud for having such lovers.

Now Baba wants you to concentrate your attention on loving him more. So, do this: remember Baba more and much more. Repeat Baba's name silently as often as you can do and remain engrossed in your love and devotion for the Beloved of all hearts —Baba.

Stop worrying about Digambar, Tai or Gunatai (his wife). Let them now worry for your comforts and health. You have had enough worries for them in the past. Give them a chance to give their share and let them play their parts. Instead of worrying for "this, that and them" get seriously engrossed in "him, his and his work." This is the time for you to do this. Now is the time for you to feel completely relaxed from the routine worries and to get engrossed in the joy and peace that prevail when one shares Baba's "pleasure and happiness" with other fellow beings — relations, neighbors, friends and all the rest.

On 7th March 1959, Baba departed for Bombay. They halted in Poona for two hours to have lunch and tea at Guruprasad (sent from Bindra House by the Jessawalas), but before taking any food or rest, Baba went to Gadekar's residence with the mandali, to inquire about Gadekar's health.

"How is your pain?" Baba asked him. "How do you feel?"

Gadekar said, "Because you have come to see me, I don't feel the slightest pain."

"Today is Maha Shivratri (a Hindu holiday in honor of Lord Shiva) and Shankar in person has come to your house to see you. Repeat My name day and night. Go on doing it."

Gadekar wept tears of joy. After embracing him, Baba returned to Guruprasad. It was to be the last time Gadekar ever saw his Beloved.

Baba sends His very dear love to His very dear Tukaram (Baba's nickname for Gadekar) and to Gunatai, Tai and Digambar.

Yours lovingly,
Eruch

Gadekar and Gunatai came to Meherazad to see Baba on the morning of 12th February 1959. Gadekar had grown weak and was suffering terribly. Weeping, he cried out, "Baba, cure me. I want to go to different places to spread your love."

Baba consoled him, "Don't worry; you will be all right soon. You have devoted your whole life for My cause, and I am pleased with you." Sending him out of the hall with one of the mandali, Baba informed Gunatai, "Gadekar will come to Me soon, so serve him well. Keep him as cheerful as possible. Whatever is going to happen will happen. You should not worry. Keep your head cool and give him as much rest as possible."

On 12th March 1959, news was received that Gadekar had died in Poona at midnight at the age of 55. He had been sitting on his bed repeating Baba's name when his heart suddenly stopped. Don had been to see him that morning. Baba commented, "Only I know how fortunate Gadekar was, who with his last breath called out my name. He has come to me forever."

Baba sent this telegram to Gunatai:

Gadekar was dear
Now he has come near.
Inform all not to fear,
But to love Me with cheer.

Baba added: "Be happy that Gadekar enjoys My company forever."

After the 1955, Sahavas, Gadekar had requested Baba to permit him to stay with Him as one of the mandali, and Baba had promised that, within a few years, "I will call you to stay with Me for all time!" Baba had fulfilled his promise - but not in the way that Gadekar had thought.

During Gadekar's final days, the Poona bhajan group had helped him through the long nights of pain by singing bhajans to him. Digambar, the couple's only son, had gone to America one and a half months before according to Baba's instructions. Baba sent a telegram for him to remain there and continue his studies. "Be happy that your father has come to Me," Baba cabled.

When Pleader saw Baba at Ashiana on the 13th, Baba remarked, "Gadekar has gone. I have relieved Him."

On the same day 12th March 1959, Gadekar's ashes were buried at lower Meherabad. Baba Himself lowered the box of ashes into the grave and covered it with earth. He scattered flowers on top, as did the mandali present, and garlanded the grave. Turning to Gunatai, who had come with the ashes from Poona, Baba remarked, "Gadekar is free; he will not take birth again (for a long time). He is very fortunate that I, with My own hands, have placed the box containing the last remains of one of My dear ones in the grave. He will only come back with Me after 700 years, when I return as the next Avatar."

Age appreciated Gadekar's devotion: "Truly, Gadekar did much to spread Baba's cause. He was the link which brought many, many souls into the Avatar's contact. This was the reason that for many years Baba had worn the sandals sewn for him by Gadekar's father, Kanhoba Rao, which are preserved in the museum at Meherabad."

Baba said that Gadekar is a person who comes to tears by talking of the good qualities of others.I won’t talk much about him. He is a smiling Buddha (he was round in shape) and bhola bhaktas (guileless devotee). He has passed through ups and downs but he never left Me. Although he has all along been serving Me, he told Me yesterday that it is a great pity that he does not get opportunities to serve Me.

On his demise Baba said. “Gadekar has come to Me forever.”

Truly, Gadekar did much to spread Baba's cause. He was the link which brought many, many souls into the Avatar's contact. This was the reason that for many years Baba had worn the sandals sewn for him by Gadekar's father, Kanhoba Rao, which are preserved in the museum at Meherabad."

46-GUSTADJI NUSSESHERWANJI HANSOTIA (Gustadji)

Gustadji Nusserwanji Hansotia a Parsi from Gujarat, India, was one of Baba’s close Mandali. He was born on February, 20th 1880, in a village Hansot in Gujarat state. He was sent to live with aunt in Mumbai for his education, but he quit the school when he was in third grade. After his father’s death in 1905, he started doing a variety of jobs in Mumbai. He worked with One Mr. Mehta a photographer. He took also lessons in singing and playing harmonium. It was during this period that he heard the name of Sai Baba from his music teacher, and so also from his friend Homi.

On Homi’s insistence Gustadji went to Shirdi for Sai Baba’s darshan for first time. Sai Baba unexpectedly gave a very loving treatment and lovingly inquired about him. Gustad ji would also visit Hindu Master Upasani Maharaj in Sakori. Gustadji again went to Sai Baba to live permanently with him but this time he was totally neglected the Master. Still he stayed in Shirdi and had taken daily darshan sitting near Him but Sai Baba did not even look at him.

In April 1917, with Upasani Maharaj, Gustadji went to Mumbai invited by one of His devotees for foundation lying ceremony of a medical dispensary for poor, where Meher Baba (Merwanji) was also invited by Upasani Maharaj. Gustadji Met Meher Baba for the first time.

Upasani Maharaj ordered Gustadji to obey Meher Baba (Merwanji) and never leave Him. Gustadji started working with Meher Baba in Poona. He would perform the daily puja and arti in the nearby temple but he had no place to stay, therefore Meher Baba advised him to spend nights with Babajan on the street.

There had been many interesting incident during his stay as a mandali men with Baba conveyed messages making Gustadji as instrument. Few are briefed as under.

Gustadji was real fakir. He was as negligent to his clothes as he was of own body. He would wear the same faded coat, over a torn shirt and had one pair of patched trousers. Gustadji had the privilege to sing Arti of Upasani Maharaj at 5 O’ clock daily in a room where photograph of Upasani Maharaj was kept and Meher Baba (Merwanji) would sit at 3 O’ clock in the morning. During 1919, Gustadji along with Slamson (Gustadji Brother) and Nervous was managing Toddy shop.

During October 1917, Merwanji was staying with Upasni Maharaj at Sakori. One night Upasni sent Merwanji to Shirdi to see Gustadji, who was then living under Sai Baba's guidance and had been fasting for months. Merwanji arrived about eleven at night and found Gustadji, who was astonished to learn that Merwanji had come just to see him. After Merwanji inquired about his health (the prolonged fasting had reduced him almost to a skeleton), Gustadji started talking about Sai Baba.  Merwanji was about to leave when Gustadji suggested he come with him for Sai Baba's darshan before departing. Merwanji replied, "I have no time! I must leave for Poona." His leaving without meeting Sai Baba, further convinced Gustadji that Merwanji had come to Shirdi for the sole purpose of befriending him.

At this same time, Gustadji was set to journey to Poona and take his place by Merwan Seth's side. Sai Baba had dropped His body in October 1918, and Gustadji had been living with Upasni Maharaj, who was acknowledged as a Perfect Master also an heir to Sai Baba's spiritual charge. During the month of December, Upasni instructed Gustadji to leave Sakori and join Merwan Seth, who had previously written Gustadji that he had arranged a job for him in Poona, and included money to defray his traveling expenses. After arriving in Poona, Gustadji, under orders from Upasni Maharaj, was now to obey Merwan Seth's instructions and orders.

Gustadji was first instructed to work during the day in the toddy shop. He would then perform the daily puja and arti ceremonies in the temple room next door, and, as per Merwan Seth's instructions, spend all night with Babajan on the street under her neem tree. Gustadji got little or no rest, however, because Babajan did not sleep and he had to attend to her every need. It was winter and cold at night, and Gustadji would carry wood on his head from the toddy shop to Babajan's area to make a fire to keep the old woman and himself warm.

After a few months, Gustadji suggested to Merwan Seth, "It would be more proper if Babajan had a better place on which to rest than the dirt road."

Merwan Seth agreed, saying, "But first find out if it is all right with her. And ask if a wooden platform is good enough." Gustadji asked Babajan, and again she agreed. Merwan Seth paid for the platform and arranged to have it built.

Again after few months, Gustadji approached Merwan Seth saying, "It would be more proper if Babajan had a better place on which to rest. How about having a mattress made?"

Merwan Seth agreed, then said, "But first find out if it is all right with her."

Gustadji asked her. Babajan agreed, but told Gustadji, "You will have to carry the mattress wherever I go."

Gustadji agreed. Merwan Seth paid for the mattress and it was given to her. That very first night, Babajan roamed throughout the streets of Poona with Gustadji following behind her, carrying the mattress on his head. Then it started raining. The mattress became heavier and heavier as the rain soaked it. Babajan made Gustadji stand with it on his head to dry, saying it was very precious because her "son" Merwan had given it to her. After a few days, the mattress rotted and was discarded, much to Gustadji's relief.

Gustadji's story is unique, as he was a devoted seeker and had a close association with three of the Perfect Masters of the Age — Sai Baba, Upasni Maharaj and Babajan. He was to become Merwan Seth's closest companion. Gustadji was born in the village of Hansot in Gujarat on 20th February 1890. He was sent to live with his aunt in Bombay for his education, but he quit school when he was in the third standard (grade). His father died in 1905, and Gustadji started doing a variety of jobs, first working in the Indian government's excise department, and later for private companies. However, Gustadji could not keep a job for long.

During a visit with his brother at Deolali near Nasik, Gustadji first heard of Sai Baba. His brother managed a toddy shop, and Gustadji also helped in the business. From 1910 onward Gustadji visited Sai Baba occasionally. When he moved back to Bombay, he was employed by Mr. A. B. Mehta as an assistant in his photographic studio. But from Gustadji's first visit to Sai Baba, his heart was never in his work again. He felt more and more drawn to stay at Shirdi with the old fakir. He visited Sai Baba every month, sometimes staying four days, and, once, for as long as 20 days. At Shirdi, Gustadji also associated with Upasni Maharaj and would visit Maharaj at the Khandoba Temple. As related, it was during April 1917, while he was working for A. B. Mehta, that he first met Merwan at Sion in Bombay.

By 1918, Gustadji had been made the manager of a liquor store in Bombay, also owned by A. B. Mehta. After a few months at this new job, Gustadji fell seriously ill and had to quit. He was invited by Sai Baba to move to Shirdi, which he did. Upasni Maharaj had moved to Sakori and Gustadji would visit him there.

Other than a few occasional visits to Upasni, Gustadji stayed near Sai Baba in Shirdi for six months and fasted under his direction. Gustadji was close to Sai Baba and was present the day that Sai Baba died — 15th October 1918 — and witnessed Sai Baba's funeral.

After Sai Baba was buried, Gustadji moved from Shirdi to live with Upasni Maharaj near Sakori. He had become gaunt and haggard under Sai Baba's orders to fast, and had suffered severe hardships under Upasni also. Once Gustadji did something unknowingly wrong, and Upasni lost his temper with him and beat him with a bamboo cane so severely that the cane itself broke into pieces. Gustadji intuitively knew that he was serving penance for his past karma and remained under Upasni's guidance, staying with him until Upasni sent him to Poona to be with Merwan Seth, who in turn sent him to Babajan every evening.

Yet one day something curious took place. Merwan Seth ordered Gustadji to sit with him in the temple room by the toddy shop. He ordered Gustadji not to leave the room, even to ease himself. After four hours, Gustadji's bladder was so painful that when Merwan Seth was gone, he slipped out onto the street to relieve himself.

But as Gustadji sat in a corner to piddle, he looked round and saw Babajan running towards him. This was extraordinary, because Babajan rarely left her seat in the cantonment to venture into the city. Babajan grasped Gustadji's arm and said, "Come on, fellow, with me." She looked pleased, and Gustadji summoned a tonga to escort her back to her seat.

Just as the tonga was nearing Babajan's neem tree, Ahmed Abbas came alongside on a bicycle, panting furiously. He pulled Gustadji out of the tonga onto the road. Ahmed Abbas told Gustadji that Merwan Seth had ordered him to go as fast as his bike would carry him to Babajan's tree and prevent Gustadji from reaching there. Merwan Seth had explained that if Gustadji reached there with Babajan, Gustadji's connection with Merwan Seth would be severed.

Ahmed Abbas had arrived just in time; another minute and it would have been too late. Gustadji then understood the importance of carefully obeying Merwan Seth's instructions.

Gustadji thus became one of the first among Merwan Seth's circle of disciples. His younger brother Ardeshir N. Hansotia (nicknamed Slamson), had also had contact with Sai Baba and Upasni Maharaj and also now became one of Merwan Seth's close associates.

During this period, Gustadji was allowed to eat only a little boiled spinach with a small amount of dal and rice. Due to his severe fasts of many months under Sai Baba and Upasni Maharaj, he was already emaciated, and, under Merwan Seth he stayed extremely thin.

After some time, Merwan Seth allowed him to eat regular meals; however, at that time, Gustadji was more interested in performing the arti and puja ceremonies than in taking care of his body. Merwan Seth tried to persuade him to eat more regularly.

Gustadji would try to avoid going with Merwan Seth whenever he went to visit his aunt Dowla Masi, because she would force him to eat, scolding, "You must eat, Gustadji! Look at you. You're as thin as a rail! Merog, order him to eat!" Merwan Seth would then laugh and order Gustadji to eat something to appease his aunt.

Gustadji would avoid Shireenmai, also - but for a different reason. Whenever Shireenmai saw him, she would abuse Gustadji, blaming him for "encouraging" Merwan. "This is the man who is responsible for taking my Merwan away from me!" she often lamented.

Gustadji was a fakir at heart. He was as negligent of his clothes as he was of his body. He would wear the same faded coat over a torn sadra (thin muslin shirt) and had only one pair of patched trousers. He never wore a cap; whether in the afternoon sun or the cold of winter, he would simply tie a handkerchief around his head for protection.

Meher Baba occupied a new hut from 27th January 1922, constructed by Sadashiv Patil on Fergusson College Road, Pune. During this period, Baba had displayed Gustadji’s photograph on the wall of His hut, and one time while garlanding He remarked, “To garland Gustadji is, to garland Me.” This was Baba’s way to impress upon all His close disciples to pay respects fir Gustadji.

During the month of August, 1922, Meher Baba sent Gustadji as leader, with some of His mandali to Sakori. After discourse, Upasani Maharaj emphasized them, “Under any and all circumstances, through thick and thin, don’t let go of Meherwan’s (Meher Baba) feet!”

After this matter with the Hindu mandali was settled, Baba confronted Gustadji about his eating habits: "Why aren't you eating the quantity of food I tell you? Why do you continue to disobey Me? For God's sake, eat your food as soon as you feel hungry, irrespective of the time. Don't complain afterward that I did not tell you!"

Gustadji replied, "That is precisely what I am doing! I create hunger by aimlessly moving about here and there in the building. The one cupful of cow's ghee you've told me to have at ten o'clock kills my appetite. I do not like to eat custard or pudding at any odd time."

Baba scolded him, "Don't go on repeating the same thing again and again. This is what upsets Me. You should concern yourself with doing what I tell you. But whenever I tell you anything, you do not pay attention to it and, because of this, you make mistakes."

Gustadji was irritated. "You know full well that I am doing my best to please you," he replied. "At times I eat less, at times more, depending on the vagaries of my stomach. I can't understand why you force me to eat more when I have no desire to do so! If I get ill, who will manage the petty and trifling affairs here, as I do from morning to night?"

Baba became more annoyed by his reply. "These words clearly show that your understanding is very limited. If I tell you to do a certain thing and am ignorant of its implications and consequences then I am not a Sadguru! And no earthly good can come out of your staying with Me."

Gustadji replied, "I have come to you, according to Maharaj's instructions, to follow your orders and listen to you in each and every thing. That is why I am staying with you!"

Baba did not like this reply either and upbraided him, "That is exactly what you are not doing while remaining with Me! On the contrary, you want Me to act according to your wish.

From now on, I won't tell you anything. You draw up a program, give it to Me and I will follow it."

Gustadji replied, "If the situation were really like this, I would not have come to you but, on the contrary, I would have taken you to my house. If your desire is to test me, I do not see the necessity of it, since I have already suffered enough at the hands of Sai Baba and Upasni Maharaj. You are welcome to try the novices in this Path. In spite of my finding no necessity for being tested, I do things and work with others just to keep them company and help them. Now, when things appear to be going smoothly, every two or three days you bring up something that causes mutual annoyance and creates an argument between us. Such incidents dampen my spirit and dishearten me."

Baba consoled him. "Having such a close connection with Me — actually being My 'dark side' — does it behoove you to suggest that My orders and actions are at random and meaningless? I have not gathered the whole of the mandali and kept them with Me to try them or you. Even after My experience, Maharaj made Me sit in filth. Where was the necessity in that? Should I consider it as a trial in My case? I do not intend to test you or anyone. I only ask you to do exactly what I tell you. In so doing you will help Me in My work. "

"I am always ready to obey your orders." Gustadji replied earnestly. "And with a clear conscience I can say that I have been doing so all along."

Baba concluded, "Do not try to grasp My actions; you will never fathom them. Even if I hand you a cup of poison, drink it without the least hesitation. By so doing, you will greatly ease the burden of My work."

At this point Gustadji quieted but inwardly felt distressed. Baba had referred to him as His "dark side," which he had once explained to the mandali: "Gustadji, unlike the rest of you, is fully prepared for Realization. The only thing needed is to tear open the veil." But Gustadji felt that by being the "dark side," the Master was making him grope more and more in darkness before enlightening him!

Baba replied, "No doubt Gustadji conscientiously tries his best to help Me, but in his own way, and therein is his mistake. Everyone knows that he is the one who looks after My person, My individual needs, and sees to My comfort from morning to night; but all must obey Me implicitly in every situation."

The following day was Id, a holy day in honor of Prophet Muhammad, and a celebration was held. Munshiji brought a white kafni with lace for Baba to wear. The Master looked magnificent in it. Seeing Gustadji's torn shirt, Baba told Gulmai to repair it, but Gustadji would not let her. Baba later told her, "Never mind what he says. If you sew for Gustadji, it is tantamount to doing service for Me."

In 1923, at midnight, Baba, Behramji and Gustadji arrived in Sholapur. Being in peculiar attire and carrying a stove, cooking utensils and a lantern, they were interrogated by a suspicious police officer. Gustadji told him the facts, but the policeman called the railway ticket collector and asked for their tickets. Gustadji replied that he would hand over the tickets when they left the station's exit gate, according to the rules.

To avoid a quarrel, Baba told Gustadji to accompany him to the bathroom; but the police officer followed them and started a fight with Gustadji. The stationmaster appeared as Baba came out of the toilet. Baba glanced at him, and the stationmaster rudely told him, "This lavatory is only to be used by first and second class passengers."

Meher Baba pointed overhead to the sign which read, GENTLEMEN, and politely asked, "Where is there any indication about first and second class passengers? This toilet is for gentlemen, and I too am a gentleman, sir." At this, the stationmaster was abashed and began to think he was not dealing with an ordinary traveler. He then became amicable and treated the stranger with difference.

This silenced Gustadji and the other men. Gustadji reestablished himself as the household manager, and Baba promised once again not to interfere. But the Master is beyond promises, and words cannot bind him. There was a deeper significance to his creating uproar over the food. The Hindu mandali had their food cooked separately and, according to their orthodox views, would not eat food prepared by others or by Hindus of lower castes. This confrontation was the beginning of doing away with their prejudice. The Master, in a very natural way, abolished this distinction of different food for different mandali — but it would take two years more to do so.

The group had to carry their baggage along the narrow jungle road, and Padri asked Gustadji to light a lantern to guide them, implying that Baba might trip and fall. But Gustadji insisted that the other travelers along the road were carrying lanterns and there was sufficient light and no need to waste kerosene. As they began to follow one man, he walked briskly ahead, leaving them stumbling in the dark. Padri fell down and injured his leg, and later vented his anger at Gustadji. A Muslim police officer happened by and escorted them to a dharamshala where they rested for the night. As the place was situated in the middle of the jungle and was frequented by wild animals, the policeman strongly advised them to stay indoors and not venture out in the night.

Gustadji was a garrulous raconteur and had a wealth of stories from his days with Sai Baba, Upasni Maharaj, and Hazrat Babajan. Since he was so talkative, the other mandali would at times wish him to be quiet. One day Buasaheb teased him a little and Gustadji became so upset that he went on abusing Buasaheb for over two hours. After hearing about his harangue, Baba too seemed fed up with Gustadji. On 1st May 1927, He ordered him, "From now on, you are to remain silent."

As was his method, Baba had deliberately created the row (started by Buasaheb) to provide an excuse for putting Gustadji on silence. He explained to Gustadji, "The observance of silence on your part will be most helpful to Me in My work. Therefore, be silent for My sake." Although loquacious by nature, Gustadji nevertheless began observing silence and remained silent until his death in 1957. He communicated his thoughts through hand gestures.

A white donkey named Champa was brought to Meherabad. Baba sat on it for the first time. Ghani had been specially called from Lonavla just to hold the reins and lead the donkey. It was a matter of amusement for the mandali and provided them an occasion of merriment.

Gustadji was fond of riding, and Baba once directed him to ride the donkey.

No sooner did Gustadji climb onto its back, than the donkey, instead of moving forward, went backwards! Gustadji did his best to bring it round, but it stubbornly kept going backwards and then threw Gustadji off. Laughing, all the other men ran to help him to his feet.

When Baba was out looking for masts on Mukamma Ghat in Batanagar on 1st April 1948, an amusing incident took place. Baba was conversing with Baidul, Chhagan, Eruch, Gustadji and Kaka. As Gustadji was keeping silence, he was "talking" with his fingers, and Eruch, who was the most adept at putting his gestures into words, was interpreting for Baba. Because Gustadji had enjoyed a bumper breakfast that morning, he was in a good mood and his fingers moved rapidly.

Nearby a policeman was observing this odd exchange and became suspicious. He asked everyone to accompany him to the police station. Eruch asked what they had done wrong. "This man is not speaking but making signals and I am suspicious of him. You'll have to come with me to the station to be interrogated." The policeman thought there were some secret coded messages being passed between Baba and Gustadji by signs. Due to the bitter relations between India and Pakistan at the time, even the smallest, most trivial incidents were viewed with apprehension.

Eruch assured him, "We are Parsis, and this person is dumb and therefore was speaking through signs."

Gustadji's feelings were pricked by this repeated remark and he gestured to Eruch, "Why do you always call me 'dumb'? Am I dumb or observing silence?"

Eruch did not pay any attention to him and continued talking with the officer, but Baba snapped at Eruch, "What is he saying, what is he saying? Why don't you tell me what Gustadji is saying?"

When the policeman saw that there were two "dumb" persons in their group, he became even more suspicious! Eruch, with difficulty, persuaded him of their innocence and the man left.

Now an argument ensued between Eruch and Gustadji. Gustadji asked again, "Why do you always call me dumb?"

"Had I not said you were dumb, you would have been locked up in jail!"

Eruch explained.

"So what?" Gustadji said. "That would have been better than being insulted!"

Baba continued goading Gustadji and at the same time demanding that Eruch interpret his gestures. Finally, Eruch got so exasperated he told Gustadji, "Pardon me; henceforth I will never call you dumb again."

But this was not the end of their confrontation. Baba continued to encourage Gustadji to keep on talking, and he went on making more and more signs which Eruch not only had to "listen" to, but also interpret and repeat. At last Eruch got so fed up with Baba siding with Gustadji, that he exploded in sheer anger and said something disrespectful to Baba.

After a little while, Baba asked, "Do you know how much you have pained Me?"

Eruch had cooled down and answered, "I did not mean it. Others have used much stronger language than I did. You did not feel so pained then."

"You have no idea how much you have shocked My heart! Listen to this story and you will realize why I feel so deeply hurt." Baba then recounted:

A woman in a village once cohabitated with a man who was not her husband and the people came to know of it. It was the custom then to punish such a crime by making the adulteress sit in a circle. Every villager would then pick up a stone and strike her.

The woman was made to sit in the town square and the villagers began stoning her one by one. When the woman's daughter's turn came, she could not bring herself to stone her own mother. Instead, she picked up a rose and threw it at her.

But the rose wounded the woman much more than all the stones combined, because it came from her daughter, one whom she dearly loved and had raised so tenderly.

Similarly, others' "stones" do not hurt Me as deeply as your rose.

Gustadji was an ice-cream addict. He always expressed to eat ice-ream in Tajmahal hotel when ever Baba was in Mumbai. This happened may times and ultimately Baba agreed. Baba said to him that you go in a suit and new shoes along with Dr. Nilu. It so happened in the hotel that floor was too slippery and Gustadji not accustomed to new boots slipped on the floor three to four times causing much embarrassment to Dr. Nilu and the hotel guests. Ultimately they had to returned to Baba without having ice-cream in Hotel. Gustadji replied to Baba He will never go again.

Baba said, “Gustadji is My friend. Even a mahayogi would not have the patience as shown by Gustadji. To observe maun (silence), to refrain from reading, writing and to live without work is yoga which I could not have done.

He died on 30-10-1957. Baba said, “Gustadji has realized My Real Self at the time of dropping his body.”

 

62-KISHAN SINGH

Kishan Singh belonged to Rawalpindi and was an ardent lover of Baba. He has to wait long 4 years to have Baba’s Darshan finally in 1945 in Hyderabad.

The story of his coming to Meher Baba and events of his long association and dialogues are described as under:

Kishan Singh had first heard of Meher Baba in 1933. He had tried to meet Baba in Dehra Dun in May of 1941, but by the time he got there, Baba had left. He began corresponding with Baba through Adi Sr., and longed for His darshan. He had been called to the meeting in May, scheduled for the 24th, but as it coincided with some official work he had to attend to, he found it impossible to get leave.

Finally on 3rd May 1945, Kishan arrived in Hyderabad, determined to have Baba's darshan after all these years. He did not know Baba's address, but after much searching through the city, a Tonga driver brought him to the mandali's residence, where he encountered Vishnu. Vishnu greeted him with strong words: "Baba is not seeing anyone. He is fasting. Now you should leave."

Kishan was not so easily dissuaded, replying, "Baba Himself has created this restlessness in my heart for His darshan, and I won't leave without His darshan.”

"If Baba has called you, you have come," Vishnu countered. "Now, it is Baba's order that you go back."

Kishan was adamant. "I won't leave this place. If you want me to leave, let me have His darshan."

"If you don't go, I will be forced to remove you physically!" Vishnu threatened. "Without Baba's permission, even a king cannot see Him!"

Kishan Singh was, in fact, an influential government official; however, he had no idea that Baba's mandali, when instructed, would humbly serve as sweepers to the poor and beggars, and at the same time were capable of preventing emperors from entering Baba's presence.

Kishan Singh explained his difficulties about not being able to come in May. Vishnu sympathized, "Were I not helpless myself, I would take you to Him, but it is His order. At this time, Baba is on a fast and is not seeing anyone. This is the third day of His ten-day fast."

"I'll stay for ten days," Kishan replied.

"You cannot stay here, but you can stay elsewhere and write a short application to Baba requesting darshan. I'll forward it to Him and see what He says."

Kishan agreed and wrote out his heart's petition, then and there. As he finished, Baidul happened to pass, and took Kishan's letter to Baba and told Baba about the man from Rawalpindi. Baba sent word through Baidul that Kishan Singh could see Him from a distance of 200 yards for two minutes, but Kishan should not bow down to Him.

Kishan Singh, of course, agreed, and Baidul led him to the gate of Baba's residence, again reminding him not to bow down or even to bow his head, but simply to fold his hands to Baba when He appeared on the upstairs terrace. Kishan Singh was led to the gate of the Jubilee Hills bungalow and Baba came out of the house onto the balcony. Here is Kishan Singh's description of what he saw:

It is still beyond my power to explain or write what I saw in Baba when He appeared. Suffice it to say that I simply felt stunned at the very first glance. The luster on Baba's face at once attracted my mind to surrender to Him wholeheartedly, regardless of His spiritual attainment — whether He was or was not the Avatar or a Sadguru, or even an ordinary saint or not a saint at all! Baba's smiling countenance cemented the tie of the little love that I then had for Him in my heart.

His brilliant eyes formed the index for what was in store for me in the near future. In fact, I presently felt the dawning of a New Era in my heart.

And in that bewildered and dazed state filled with ecstasy, Kishan Singh totally forgot all the previous instructions and laid himself face down on the ground in worship. Baidul raised a loud hue and cry, trying to stop him!

After exactly two minutes, Baba clapped and went back inside the bungalow, and Baidul helped Kishan to his feet. He was given food at the mandali's quarters and, according to Baba's orders, left for home. Returning to Rawalpindi, he delved into spreading the word about Meher Baba. Later, Kishan Singh was to prove an important link in Baba's work.

In 1948, one time, Baba returned to lower Meherabad and began giving interviews to those who had come, including Kishan Singh, After inquiring about Kishan's journey and health, Baba asked, "Now, what do you want?"

Kishan replied, "Is it for me to say what I need or for my Master to decide what I should have?"

Baba was quick in spelling out this reply, "Forget the idea of Master and just answer the question!"

"Then I need your love, devotion for you and inseparable union with you," said Kishan. "Will you give it to me?"

Baba smiled, and though He did not answer, when Kishan left Meherabad he felt Baba had given him much. He was told to return again on 4th September 1948 and on that occasion, Baba commented to him, "You are one of the few people whom I have selected for My spiritual work, and I will call you even without your asking." Kishan was called once every three months to meet Baba.

On 16 August 1948, at Meherabad, two key men, Todi Singh Verma of Aligarh and Kishan Singh of Delhi, were also allowed a brief darshan and then sent away. These two individuals were to prove important links in Meher Baba's work as events unfolded during the New Life.

A final meeting to present the New Life conditions had been arranged at Meherabad for 31st August 1949. Thirty-two close disciples were called, in which Kishan Singh was one.

Kishan Singh had come to Meherabad on 15th August 1949, Baba met with him the next day, and to Kishan's surprise, after just five minutes with Him, Baba sent him back to Delhi. Kishan was called to attend the meeting of the 31st. He also wrote "Yes," but when he returned home, he found so many difficulties confronting him that he could not go. He had to appear in court as a witness, and he informed Baba. Baba sent him this telegram: "In view of your letter, I forgive you and free you from your 'Yes' promise, and want you definitely to stay at home. Rest assured your spiritual connection with Me will remain as before."

On 22nd January 1950, Kishan Singh of Delhi had sent many things for the companions with his friend Prakashwati Sharma's mother and Kishan's son Madan. Keeping only a few of the items — such as sheets, towels, et cetera — Baba returned the rest (such as shaving articles and a watch) with instructions that Kishan should not send any more things.

Kishan Singh wrote to Todi Singh from Delhi that he should send two large tins of butter to Baba as a gift. He gave him Keki Nalavala's address in Dehra Dun, and Todi was delighted at this fortunate turn of event.

At their residence, Prakashwati Sharma from Delhi was waiting with her two-month-old baby. Kishan Singh had told her about Baba. Even though there was a ban on darshan, Baba saw her, but asked, "Didn't anyone in Delhi tell you that darshan has been stopped?"

"They did, "Prakashwati replied.”But the gates of one's father's house are always open for His daughter!"

Baba smiled, touched his forehead three times and said, "You are very fortunate. In the New Life, I have stopped seeing visitors and giving interviews, darshan and blessings. Tell others not to come here." Before leaving, Prakashwati prayed for His blessings. Baba told her, "In the New Life I give only love — not blessings — to others. And I expect love from others in return."

Kishan Singh, Harjiwan Lal, Todi Singh and Was Deo Kain were called to attend a meeting between Baba and the men companions held at noon on Sunday, 30th April 1950, at Manjri Mafi.

After the meeting, Baba expressed His desire to go mast hunting. Along with Eruch, Harjiwan, Todi Singh, Kain and Kishan Singh, Baba left for the town of Okhla.

Kishan had a high fever and it was difficult for him to keep up, but he exerted himself.

Reaching Okhla, Baba sat by the side of a river and asked the group to tell Him jokes and funny stories. Seeing some fishermen, Baba remarked, "All of Jesus' early followers were fishermen; later on He netted them in His own net!"

Kishan cracked, "But here we have a Master who does not reel us into His net but is throwing us out!" (Meaning Baba's followers were being denied His contact during the New Life).

To this Baba answered simply, "But I am not Jesus."

Returning to Delhi, Baba spent the night of 24th May at Kishan Singh's, 45 Pandara Road.

In 1951, Was Deo Kain and Kishan Singh of Delhi were asked to have models of five religious symbols made: a Buddhist temple; a Hindu temple; a Christian church; a Mohammedan mosque; and a Zoroastrian fire-urn (representing the fire-temple). With the assistance of Madan Mohan Agrawal of Agra and Kishan's friend Auri Shankar Verma, the models were carved out of alabaster at Agra and sent to Hyderabad.

In 1952, to ensure that Kirpal Singh was accorded an equal position with Baba, they had placed two chairs side by side on the dais in the tent, one for Baba and the other for the saint. Kishan Singh and Prakashwati prevailed upon them to remove the second chair, but the women objected. Harjiwan Lal approached the saint directly, who agreed at once, and on entering the pandal, Harijiwan Lal had the chair placed at a lower level. Baba arrived immediately afterwards. Darshan was given and Baba spelled on the alphabet board, "The worst scoundrel is better than a hypocritical saint."

(Although Baba had promised to meet Kirpal Singh at his ashram, and later even extended the fixed time by fifteen minutes so he could meet his disciples also, Baba shortened His stay in Delhi and left without going to the saint's ashram. Kishan Singh was sent to Kirpal Singh to express regrets for Baba's inability to pay a visit, and the saint was disappointed. This, however, was not the end of the saint's contact with Meher Baba as events unfolded.

In 1953, after Kishan Singh's return to Dehra Dun from Andhra, Baba, through correspondence, instructed him to arrange for Baba and the mandali's stay. Kishan Singh made all the arrangements responsibly.

After completing His work in Rishikesh, the next day, Tuesday, 3rd March 1953, Baba and the mandali drove to Hardwar. Hellan was driving Baba in Kishan Singh's car, after contacting several sadhus in Hardwar; Baba stopped the car at a spot where Kishan Singh had once thought about committing suicide by jumping into the Ganges and drowning himself. Kishan remembered the place and narrated to Baba that in 1941 he was so distraught and miserable at not having Baba's darshan that he had gone to Hardwar to die. He was about to leap into the river when he suddenly saw Baba standing before him.

Baba asked Kishan to pay one rupee to a sadhu who was sitting there. Afterward, Baba approached the sadhu and touched his feet.

While group was moving the jeep went out of order. The damaged jeep was attached to the truck which reached Muzaffarnagar at about ten o'clock that night. With all these mishaps, Kishan Singh felt rather worn-out and depressed. Baba called him, remarking, "Whenever I go out on tour for mast work, My journey is always beset with difficulties, as you must have read in The Wayfarers. Wash your face, have dinner and don't think about it.

Back in Dehra Dun, while conversing with the mandali one day, Baba explained to Kishan Singh, using the metaphor of a train: "To a freight train are attached many wagons. Some contain good material, some bad — iron, copper, oil, waste products, et cetera — in different wagons. But, whether it is good material or bad, when attached to the engine the carriages go where the engine goes. The engine does not carry wagons of only good things, leaving the bad behind. Similarly, I am like an engine, and those who remain attached to Me reach their destination, whether they be virtuous or vicious."

Baba had told Kishan Singh that He would not allow any darshan or interview in Dehra Dun, since He wished to work undisturbed, nevertheless after His arrival people frequently came seeking darshan. A lawyer named Harish Chander Kochar would sit from morning to evening in front of Baba's bungalow, and Baba often sent Kishan Singh to tell him to leave. At one point, however, Baba did go once to his house to console him.

A youth from Kashmir named Jagdish insisted on touching Baba's feet. "I will touch His feet under all circumstances," he shouted. He was prevented but cried out, "No power on earth will stop me from doing it!"

Eruch tried to console the boy, "To touch his feet would be against his express wish."

Jagdish replied, "I am not going to obey this instruction."

Kumar and Kishan Singh were about to lead Jagdish away, but Baba stated, "Let him touch My feet." He did it and wept bitterly. Baba lovingly pacified him, spelling out, "I do not permit anyone to touch My feet or bow down to Me. You have done it with love and that is good. Now, make the most of it by keeping Me in your heart always, and go on loving Me more and more until you realize Me! Would you do it?"

"Assuredly, Baba."

"I am very happy with you. Now My conscience tells Me to touch your feet. Let e do it!" Jagdish kept crying as Baba touched his feet. To make amends for the homage paid to him, Baba also touched the feet of seven of the mandali. The boy was led to the verandah, much distressed, where he sat weeping.

A local resident named Mr. Sehgal brought his wife, who was mentally unbalanced. Baba instructed him to repeat His name continuously for 21 days in front of her. Baba later sent Kishan Singh to Sehgal to remind him to carry out Baba's instructions. Nilu was also sent several times for the same reason, but Sehgal ignored Baba's advice, wishing that Baba would cure her through some miracle.

Baba sent Kishan Singh to Rishikesh to see Swami Shivananda on 5th April 1953, instructing Hellan to drive him. A "Parliament of Religions" conference was taking place at Shivananda's ashram, chaired by Shuddhanand Bharati, the yogi who had met Baba in Andhra. Baba sent Kishan again the next day also with this message for Bharati:

Meher Baba sends His love and blessings to you.

He says that these conferences, societies and functions murder spirituality. Baba further says that he will always be with you, as he told you at Tadepalligudem.

The yogi was anxious to meet Baba again. Kishan brought Bharati with him when he returned to Dehra Dun. Baba did not object and conferred with him for a few minutes. The yogi admitted that the conference had been a "farce."

Prior to Baba's move to Dehra Dun, He had instructed Kishan Singh and others to look for an "ideal boy," because he wished to wash the boy's feet and offer him seven rupees as prasad every day for two weeks. A suitable boy was not found, but during the darshan on 23th March 1953, Dev Dutt Sharma came accompanied by his teenage son, Shashi. Baba liked the lad and had Kishan Singh bring him to Mussoorie on 2nd May. Baba kept him with Him for about two weeks and then sent him home.

Since the time Baba had first arrived in Dehra Dun, Kishan Singh's domestic affairs had been under constant discussion. Kishan was a widower and had become involved with a married woman from Delhi named Prakashwati Sharma, who was staying in part of his house.

Baba wished Prakashwati to stay with her husband, but she wanted to remain in Dehra Dun. On 2nd June, Baba met with her and Kishan and remarked, "All are dear to Me, because I Myself am in everything and there is nothing except Me. I cannot loathe anyone as I Myself am indivisibly in everyone. So if you both wish to remain together, so be it!"

Baba asked Kishan Singh, "What would you say if anyone asks you about Me?"

Kishan replied, "Generally, when I get a chance to talk about you with others, I refer to you as the Avatar or a spiritually advanced person."

"For heaven's sake, don't call Me spiritually advanced!" Baba interrupted. "How can you call Me an Avatar and also spiritually advanced? Either say, I am spiritually perfect or an ordinary human being, because I know I must be either ordinary or perfect."

Baba again repeated, "When the time comes, God will make the whole world come to Me."

On Saturday, 13th June 1953, looking at Kishan Singh, who was involved with a married woman, Baba quoted this verse from Tulsidas on his alphabet board:

"Consider others' wealth as stone, another's woman as mother.

If, following this, God is not found, Tulsidas' tongue has no value!"

Kishan said, "I don't agree with what Tulsidas says. He, too, had a wife, and due to her, realized God."

Baba responded sternly, "Give up your shame so that God may be pleased! There is a vast difference between realizing God and pleasing God! It is better not to meet God than to meet and displease Him! Now, stop all this gorakh business (meaningless, ridiculous chatter)!"

Baba said to His mandali, "Fasting is no great thing. Now the time has come when you should understand Me better. My fast relates to My work, and is not with a view to achieve any self-importance. So many persons fast daily. Hunger-strikes are a daily news feature in the papers. So, of what significance is a fast? Here, Kishan Singh has been making a big noise about the fact that I am on a fast!"

Annoyed, Baba turned to Kishan and declared, "Go and tell people that Baba is fasting as a penance! ... Penance for Himself, for His lovers, for those who cry out for My mercy and, in short, penance for the whole world!"

Kishan Singh and Prakashwati were staying in the same bungalow, and on occasions Baba would see Prakashwati. Later that day, Baba suddenly asked Kishan Singh about her and came to know that she had gone to the woman saint Anandamayi Ma.

Baba cuttingly remarked, "It is good Prakashwati visits other saints. Now I am no longer responsible for her!"

Kishan attempted to explain, "Prakashwati went just to pass the time, because she is alone at her house and feels bored. Her mother is also there with Anandamayi Ma."

"If Anandamayi Ma tells her to do a thing, and if she does not do it, she will be in big trouble; and if she does it, I will be free of her responsibility."

Baba then admonished Kishan, "You are mine, and I seriously warn you that Prakashwati will lead you to disaster!" Anandamayi Ma and Ishwar Singh are on the Path, but if you take Me as the Head of all, then it behooves you to act responsibly and not go to every door." (This meant no association with other gurus.)

Baba continued, "If Prakashwati benefits or finds any advantage at the hands of Anandamayi Ma, then up to July take her to all saints here. If at the end of July both of you still feel that only Baba is real, then you should fulfill your promise of dedication to Me." (This meant paying some amount of money to Baba for his poor work.)

"If I am what you take Me to be, then you should catch hold of only Me. On My part, I must see that you become so helpless that you cannot leave Me! And then, no third power should interfere or influence you.

"I do everything 100 percent spontaneously. To My mind, greatness lies in that. The Highest of the High is always most spontaneous.

"When Prakashwati is not confused, she says she cannot live without Baba. If she said this from the bottom of her heart, she would not dream of ever going to Anandamayi Ma. It is quite a reasonable and logical assumption. Were Prakashwati to love Me 100 percent, and were I to disregard her completely, still she would have no place for anyone in her heart and would not leave Me."

According to Baba's behest, Kishan Singh took Prakashwati to different saints and also to Anandamayi Ma. Baba had given Prakashwati freedom to visit other saintly persons, and she did so.

The result was not harmful but wonderful, because in the end she remained uninfluenced by any saint. When Prakashwati went to a saint, she would feel a sort of uneasiness, and that Baba was pulling her away inwardly.

Consequently, on her own, she stopped going to any saint, and began singing kirtans about Baba at the residence of Bal Kisan Bakhshi and his wife, Meher Kanta. Every week, Prakashwati would perform kirtans in their bungalow, with this favorite line echoing: "Born of Shiva's phallus! Jai Meher Baba, Jai Merwan!"

Kishan, too, would sing so loudly that he was heard in the mandali's quarters, and Baba also would hear him. Thus, an amazing transformation in Prakashwati occurred, and Baba played His game of keeping Kishan Singh bowed forever at His feet. At His holy feet lies the Tavern, which provides ample shelter for all, and even those unwilling to come to Him were drawn there by His infinite mercy.

During this period, Baba would daily call a sixteen-year-old sweeper's son, named Isa, to him in Dehra Dun. Isa's mother and father were working in the men and women mandali's quarters. Since Kishan Singh was an official, the parents would work according to his orders; but Kishan had to be careful to be deferential to Isa, because Isa loved Baba and would complain to Him if anything went wrong.

One day Isa went to pick a few mangoes. To bring down the fruit he would throw a stone with a "Jai Meher Baba!" on his lips. If no mango fell, in exasperation he would curse, "Meher Baba be damned!"

He went on doing this, and a friend of his overheard him and informed Baba that Isa was abusing His name. Baba replied, "What's wrong with his abuses? Isn't he taking My name and remembering Me?"

One day Baba asked Isa, "What do you want to study?"

"I don't want to go to school," he replied. "I want to work, but I should have an easy job — one which can be done sitting on a chair — with nothing much to do."

Baba asked Kishan Singh to procure him such employment. Since Isa was uneducated, it was difficult for Kishan to find him this type of job. Baba would ask him about it every day, and take him to task for not carrying out His order.

So, Kishan consulted one of his influential friends who, as a favor to him, readily agreed to employ Isa at his office. A chair was to be placed outside his office for Isa to sit on, and his duty was to carry files to other offices.

Kishan informed Isa, and instructed him to be at work promptly at 11:00 A.M. But the next day, Isa did not go to the man's office. Acting as if he was unaware of this, Baba in the evening asked Kishan about Isa, who proudly informed Him that he had found Isa an easy job. Baba sent for the boy and asked him if he liked the work. "I didn't go!" Isa declared.

"Why not?" Baba asked him.

"It was for Kishan Singh to take me to the officer and first introduce me. He did not do this, so I didn't go."

Baba turned to Kishan, "What he says is true. Why didn't you take Isa with you? Take him tomorrow."

The next day, Kishan Singh drove Isa to the office in his car, and while he was speaking with another officer, Isa boldly entered his boss' room and sat down in a comfortable chair in front of him. When Kishan Singh came in the man pointed to Isa, saying, "Who is he?"

"He is the boy I mentioned," Kishan replied.

"Are you recommending this manner-less urchin to me? You're my friend; otherwise, I would teach this scoundrel a lesson!"

Embarrassed, Kishan returned to Baba with the boy. Isa immediately complained to Baba that Kishan had insulted him. On Baba's reproving him, Kishan argued, "He is a most ill-mannered boy, Baba. What could I do?"

"He is ill-mannered, but aren't you also?" Baba chided. "Because he is a sweeper, you look down on him. I, being God, permit him to sit beside Me, while you treat him contemptuously! I don't say you should put him on your level, but don't despise him — have love for him.”

In another event in Hamirpur, the driver tried to restart vehicle. Kishan Singh, sitting on the right side, casually leaned out the window to have a look and at once cried out to the driver to stop. The driver got out and saw that his right wheel was inches away from going off the road into the deep canal. Everyone got out, including Baba, who simply smiled at their narrow escape. The truck would certainly have overturned had it gone forward just a little. In gratitude for Baba's inner help, the Hamirpur workers riding in the vehicle burst out in acclamations of "Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!" and their faith in him was strengthened.

At the shrine of Sabir, Baba was provided with a room to sit in, and a brick platform was raised for the poor to stand on, to enable Baba to wash their feet and bow down on them. Baba had covered His head with a scarf and appeared to be in a pleasant mood. The caretaker of the shrine brought a list of the 50 deserving poor, who formed a queue. Four rupees were to be given to each as prasad after the ritual bowing down. When Baba was to hand them the prasad, upon receiving it, each was to say: "May Allah help you! May Allah give you good health! May Allah bless you!" Kishan Singh wiped the feet of the first poor person after Baba had washed them. Looking gravely at Kishan, Baba again washed that man's feet, and He himself wiped them again and placed His forehead on them. Thus He showed Kishan that He wanted to do this work Himself without any assistance from anyone.

In Dehradun, Kishan Singh held an umbrella over Baba's head, and his eldest son, Madan Lal Arora, walked ahead with a camera, filming the event. The atmosphere was surcharged with expectancy. Loud cries of "Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!" rent the air as Baba walked toward the canopy.

After Baba returned to Mahabaleshwar, He called Kishan Singh and Kumar from Dehra Dun. They arrived on the evening of 25th January 1953. For the tour, Baba dictated the message "Existence Is Substance and Life Is Shadow"

Kishan Singh described that hectic day in Andhra tour as follows:

Baba worked on earth like lightning in the sky, moving from place to place so hurriedly and quickly expressing His love to all the family members and relatives of the respective lovers, as they were introduced by them when Baba visited their homes, embracing some of them, giving special prasad, posing for family photos, sipping a little coconut water or other cold drinks at some places, and giving the rest to His lovers and their families to drink, and so forth. Arti was performed practically at all places visited by Baba. All sorts of garlands — flower, golden lace and camphor beads — were put around His neck in quick succession. The tempo was much increased as Baba had said this was his last visit to Andhra.

Baba discussed with Krishnaji His situation, informing him: "I have decided that what you have been doing these past years, you should now do just the opposite for the next four months, from August until the end of November. Do not stay in any ashram; do not stay near any saint; do not touch any woman; do not do any propaganda work for Me; do not roam about but stay in one place; keep silence as much as possible for the four months and think of Me.

Later on 26th July 1953, Baba played cricket at the men's bungalow with the mandali plus Elcha, Hellan, Kumar, Keki Nalavala, Harish Chander and Kishan Singh. Elcha was made captain of one team and Kishan captain of the other. Baba played on both sides. The game started at nine o'clock, and except for a few, the rest were bumbling participants, some of whom did not even know the rules. Baba batted and bowled with a small kerchief tied around his head, sometimes arguing over a call. Elcha's team eventually lost and Baba gave him two "strokes" on his backside with the bat. Baba decided that they would play cricket every Sunday and their weekly games continued for some time. Both sides would want Baba on their side, since he was by far the best player. At times they would toss a coin to decide the issue. Baba's side inevitably won.

In 1955 Sahwas, at Meherabad, Baba asked Kishan Singh to sing, and he very loudly began: "From Shiva's phallus has emerged Merwan! Jai Meher Baba, Jai Merwan!" His voice was so loud it carried over 200 yards, and the entire assembly shook with laughter. Baba, too, was smiling.

During the four sahavas programs, as mentioned, Feram and Kishan Singh were writing down Baba's words, and Ramjoo later compiled these notes into a booklet titled The Company of God.

Philippe (foreigner lover) did not obey any of the instructions Baba had given him and seemed to do just what Baba had told him not to do. For example, Baba had told him not to visit saints and holy men, yet Kishan Singh reported to Baba that Philippe had traveled to Delhi and had an audience with Kirpal Singh. Baba was not pleased about this and was displeased with Kirpal Singh, also, when He heard that Kirpal Singh had referred to Baba as the "head of majzoobs."

Eruch wrote to Kishan Singh about this:

Next time, if you happen to meet Kirpal Singh, you should bring home to this sant, the gross mistake that he is always committing by calling Baba as the head of majzoobs. Baba has explained to us that majzoobs (of the seventh plane) have neither any Head nor Tail among them. This is the status of one who is merged in Infinite consciousness - completely drowned in Infinite Bliss. There is no such thing as the head of majzoobs.

Had Kirpal Singh taken Baba as an ordinary man and called Baba just a man (instead of head of majzoobs), he would have said it without untruth, for Baba is also a man and the Lord of the Universe. A majzoob cannot give discourses, and cannot indulge in travels and in giving messages, for a majzoob (of the seventh plane) is completely absorbed in God consciousness.

Further, Baba instructed Adi Sr. to write to Kishan Singh to meet Kirpal Singh again and inform him:

Baba says that a majzoob on the lower planes is a mast intoxicated with divine love to the extent of being oblivious of his surroundings. A majzoob of the seventh plane, merged in his own Ocean of Divinity, is completely dead to the world.

Meher Baba sees people, meets people, holds sahavas and darshan programs, goes on world tours so many times, gives discourses, dictates God Speaks (the only spiritual book of its kind according to many scholars). To call Baba, who in fact is the King of Saliks, the head of majzoobs (which He also is) shows complete bankruptcy of spiritual knowledge.

After relaying this to Kirpal Singh, Baba wants you to convey to him Baba's love and to tell him that Baba still holds him as one of His precious beloved children.

 

14-RUSTOM JAFRABADI IRANI (Baidul)

Rustom Beheram Jafrabadi, 32, was employed at a teashop opposite Char Bawdi where Babajan would visit daily and drink several cups of tea. During this period, a rustic Persian farmer, Rustom Jafrabadi who had migrated to India from Iran discovered his place in Meher Baba's circle.

During his lifelong association with Meher Baba He encountered many events and had conversed with him. Few accounts are under:

One day Behramji (Baba’s Brother) met Rustom Jafrabadi in the teashop and told him about Baba. Jafrabadi was greatly taken by Behramji's comments and soon after went to Sadashiv's house to meet the Irani Master. Without introducing himself, Jafrabadi paid obeisance to Adi Sr., mistakenly believing him to be the Master. Adi was taken aback, and the other men burst out laughing at Jafrabadi mistake. After a short while, Baba entered the room and enjoyed the humor of the incident. He welcomed Jafrabadi and later talked with him at length.

Baba told him, "I am leaving soon for Bombay. If you come with Me, I will get you a better job and also see to your spiritual advancement." To the surprise of all, Jafrabadi was immediately resigned to sell his property and join the Master. He was shown all the conditions to be followed while in Bombay and he agreed to sign the paper then and there. Thus this husky seeker of truth was trapped in the net by the bait of material improvement and spiritual advancement. Later, he acquired the nickname Baidul.

Baidul had been sent in advance to Persia with the boy Ali Akbar, whom Baba had directed to remain at His family's home. On 14 June, Baba had sent Baidul a telegram in Yezd, instructing him to meet them in four days in Mashad. After Baidul rejoined the mandali, Baba was driven from Mashad to Duzdab (Zahedan).

Rustom Jafrabadi's poetic spirit was roused when he heard about the new pastime of writing ghazals. This rustic fellow wished to try his hand at it, convinced his compositions would transcend the Persian poets Saadi and Hafiz!

When he began writing, Baba would assemble all the men to hear his verses. Although they were awful, Baba praised his efforts to the heavens and encouraged him to write more.

Jafrabadi was, therefore, under the impression that he was becoming an accomplished poet. On the evening of 27 July 1922, while he was returning in a tram to the Manzil from his job, his mind was so engrossed in his newest composition that his intoxication carried him several stations beyond his destination.

When Baba found out about it, he gathered the men and advised Jafrabadi, "Continue writing poems in your spare time, but for God's sake don't do it on your job or in the tram!" Baba then told the other men, "Jafrabadi is about to become a famous poet — a suitable nom de plume should be found."

Many pen names were suggested, but Ghani's was approved. Ghani said, "Bidal was a well-known Persian poet, but since Jafrabadi's couplets are far superior to his, we should call him Baidul." Everyone liked the name (which in Persian means marble) and Baba instructed that, henceforth, Jafrabadi should be known as Agha Baidul — the Great Baidul.

Baidul then earnestly requested of Baba, "When I start writing poetry, the onrush of thoughts is so great that I cannot cope with it. I pray to you to instruct someone to write down what comes from my lips at that very instant — otherwise it will be lost forever." Since Ghani had thought up his new name, Baba appointed him as Baidul's secretary with instructions that whenever Baidul felt inspired, Ghani should immediately write down his poetic inspirations.

On one occasion, Ghani was in the toilet, and Baidul went there and started knocking on the door. "Ghani, come out immediately!" he said urgently. "The muse is inspiring me! If you don't come out soon, I will not be able to recover all these wonderful lines." He was so insistent that Ghani had to quickly button his trousers and write down Baidul's spontaneous creation. Ghani related this incident to Baba who was much amused.

Baidul took up his new post with zeal and began preaching to the children about the opportunity of being in Meher Ashram and the school, encouraging them to meditate on Baba. His enthusiasm was so pronounced that those children who usually only paid attention to their studies would start meditating as soon as they knew Baidul was approaching. No sooner would he walk away than their feigned meditation ended. But some of the boys were truly love-stricken and were having extraordinary inner experiences.

Baidul was also directed by Baba to keep watch on the other mandali. He was to "report the minutest defect at Meherabad during school hours." Baidul would also sneak up to the mandali's quarters at night and, standing quietly on one side of the bamboo matting, listen to their conversations. He would then report any indiscretions or complaints he had overheard to Baba, who would later rebuke the men involved.

One night Rustom was talking with Pendu and a few others in their quarters. Baidul quietly came and stood on the other side of the bamboo partition. The mandali by now knew who was betraying them. Rustom silently rose, stood on a chair and took a bucket of water and dumped it over Baidul's head. Thus the men joined forces in opposing this "traitor"; nevertheless, Baidul faithfully carried out his C.I.D. duties.

In obeying Baba's orders one had to be steadfast in facing all resistance. Every man was working under some difficulty or pressure, and being together in such close proximity was like a living death to the ego. Still in such situations, love continued to thrive, and though one might be at odds with another for a while — or even consider another an enemy — internally we were always brothers before our Compassionate

In 1929, Baidul and Mehrabanpur, with six of the boys from the Meher Ashram, had been sent to Persia five months before. As Baba and the group were nearing the town of Jafrabad, Baidul's native place, Baba unexpectedly asked, "Where should we go, to Jafrabad or Yezd?" Baba then sent Raosaheb to Baidul's house in Jafrabad. Baidul, Mehrabanpur, and the boys came to meet them and had a joyous reunion with the Master.

Baidul had been ordered to proceed to Persia to bring his family to India to live in the ashram. Mehera's mother Daulatmai had been staying in Persia for a year by Baba's order and originally Baidul's family was to have returned with her at the beginning of March. But Baidul's eldest daughter had fallen very ill and died on 18th March 1939. His daughter was only eighteen years old, and Baidul had been feeling very depressed about her loss. He would occasionally sit alone silently weeping. Even though such tenacious men as Baidul had surrendered to the Master, they were not spared suffering such human sorrow.

Baba met Baidul on 12 April 1939, and consoled him:

Those who die thinking of Me come to Me. They are liberated from the chain of birth and death and see me perpetually. It is because you cannot see that you feel the separation. If you feel sorry, feel not for the dead, for they have come to Me, but for the living who are in precarious conditions.

Bring the family back within three months. You have lots of work to do for me in the future. So leave your wife and children in my care and pay attention only to the work I entrust to you.

In 1942, during seclusion, Baba expressed a wish to hear qawaali singing and, on 18th July, Baidul brought a local qawaal with a group of musicians. The singing began, but within two minutes Baba left the room and beckoned Adi to follow Him. With the door shut to His room, He revealed to Adi, "To lessen the great Universal burden, I wanted to take it easy and relax by hearing a qawaal. From where on earth did Baidul bring this man? Is he singing or what?"

Baba sent for Baidul and asked him sharply, "Who have you brought here? That man can't sing!"

But Baidul assured him, "He is a famous qawaal. Just come and listen. Give him a chance. He was only warming up."

So Baba went back to listen again, but after ten minutes he motioned to Baidul to send the group away after paying them. When the singer and musicians had left, Baba asked Baidul, "What did you pay him?"

"Five rupees only. He agreed to sing the whole night for that amount."

"And his tonga fare?"

"It was included in the five rupees."

"You brainless Irani idiot!" Baba fumed. "Can any real qawaal ever agree to sing for such a sum? You should have had some thought about me! That rogue knew he couldn't sing, so he accepted five rupees.

"You are stupid enough to be happy thinking you had struck such a good bargain. Has your father ever heard qawaali music?" Baba then shook his head and chuckled over Baidul's miserliness.

In 1946, at Mahabaleshwar, Baidul was the manager of the mast ashram during the first two weeks of its functioning, and thereafter Kaka and Pappa Jessawala managed it together. Once, when Baidul was managing matters, an amusing confrontation took place between Kaka and him. Kaka brought a mast one day and, without asking Baidul's permission, took a gunny sack to make the mast comfortable.

This small incident immediately gave rise to a heated quarrel between Kaka and Baidul. Overhearing them argue, Baba called them, and in the presence of the other men asked Baidul what the ruckus was about. "I am the manager of the mast ashram and Kaka, without asking ``me, took a sack," Baidul replied. Baba gestured to Kaka, "Why did you do this?" "It was lying unused," Kaka said. Baidul interrupted, "It was not lying about. Kaka stole it for his mast. He is very careful with his masts, but not with mine." "That is because your masts are not masts but mad persons!" Kaka taunted.

"Your masts are mad!" shouted Baidul. "You think after all these years I cannot tell the difference between a mast and a madman? What do you take me for?" "What do I take you for? You too are mad!"

There was an intense argument between them, and Baba encouraged both by slyly winking at Baidul, indicating that he was right and Kaka was wrong, and then winking at Kaka that he was right and Baidul was wrong. But the funniest part was that during this verbal battle, Baidul's dentures kept falling out. He would put them back into his mouth and continue vilifying Kaka. Baba was highly amused by the scene, and when both began debating about which plane each one's masts were on, Baba could hardly contain himself! "My masts are all on the fifth and sixth planes," Baidul shouted. "You have brought only insane-wallas!" "Is that so?" Kaka hotly replied. "My masts are of the sixth and seventh plane! But how can an uneducated Jungli Irani like yourself recognize their worth?"

Baba was laughing and laughing and asked, "But how do you two know which plane your masts are on?"Both kept quiet, and Baba observed drily, "It is a matter of great honor and privilege for me that both you 'Sadgurus' are staying with me, as only a Sadguru can know which plane a mast is on!"This ended Kaka and Baidul's argument — at least for that day. Baba really enjoyed their battles of wits, especially when Baidul's dentures would fall out and he would quickly plop them back in so as not to lose the edge.

On 3rd June 1947, Baidul succeeded in bringing the great seventh-plane majzoob, Chacha, to Satara. Upon his arrival, Baba was very happy and remarked, "Chacha alone is worth 100 masts!"

It is a marvelous tale how Baidul managed to bring Chacha from Ajmer, where the majzoob had hundreds of devotees of his own who would never allow him to leave. At the end of May, Baidul had gone to Ajmer to try to coax the majzoob to come with him, but had no luck. A pilgrimage festival was being held at the time near Mu'inuddin Chishti's tomb, and many devotees had gone to attend it, leaving Chacha relatively alone. On the night of 31 May, after hours of ineffectual pleading, Baidul grasped the majzoob's hand to lead him away, and to his surprise, Chacha rose and followed. They climbed into a tonga, but to avoid being recognized, Baidul later hired a taxi to drive them 30 miles away to an out-of-the-way station, where they boarded a train for Bombay. Had he taken the majzoob to the Ajmer station, the local people would have recognized Chacha and prevented Baidul from spiriting him away. From Poona, they journeyed by bus.

In 1950, at one point, Baidul remarked to Pendu that Baba had been teasing and pestering him since morning. Overhearing this, Baba asked Baidul whether this wasn't criticizing him. Baidul replied that he was simply "informing" Pendu of how Baba had lost his mood that morning. Baba asked Eruch if Baidul's statement did not amount to criticism. Eruch's opinion was that, according to his way of thinking, Baidul was merely telling Pendu a fact; it could not be called criticism but a piece of information which conveyed Baba's mood that morning.

After His contact with Gathriwala, Baba proceeded toward Shah Serai to contact an old Maulana (Muslim learned man). In his search for this Maulana, Baidul came across another mast also called Maulana. He was reputed to be very religious and a servant of God, for he always had a copy of the Koran in his hand. Baba contacted him, bowed down to him and gave him a ten-rupee currency note. Smilingly, Maulana stared at his coat pockets, as he seemed undecided in which pocket he should keep the note. He began putting it in one pocket and then, after some thought, transferred it to another. This he did several times without arriving at any definite conclusion as to where to keep the note. This amused Baba.

Baba remarked, "He is like a child," and he sent Baidul to ask him when he would be willing to come to Dehra Dun. Baidul asked, but Maulana refused to come. Baidul then tried to induce him by saying that in Dehra Dun he would be kept comfortable with very good food and new clothes. But the Maulana did not agree.

In 1953, while in Dehradun, Baba decided to make indirect contact with four saints. After bowing down the feet of Baidul, Baba embraced him and said to convey His blessing to Saint Ishwar Singh and Saint Mangat Ram. After seeing the two other saints and bowing down to them, Baidul returned and informed Baba, who inquired, "What did Ishwar Singh say?" He asked me, “Who Meher Baba was." Baba asked, "How did you answer?" I told him, “He was a great saint."

This upset Baba, and He stated at length: Do you take Me for a saint? Is this how your heart speaks? Had you said Baba is an ordinary man, I would not have felt bad! After 30 years of association with Me, you still call Me a saint? Truth and honesty demanded that you should have told him that you don't know who Meher Baba is, but still you have accepted Him as your guru. Were this question put to Dr. Deshmukh, he would have immediately replied that Baba is the Avatar! I don't mean that you should have declared that. You could have safely said that I was your Master. What was the idea in telling him I was a saint? I am not a saint! At the moment there are a number of saints in Dehra Dun, Hardwar and Rishikesh. Here on Rajpur Road [the locality of Baba's residence] are four saints — Anandamayi Ma, Mangat Ram, Ishwar Singh and Miran Bhai. Only yesterday, I explained to the mandali about saints, in the words of Kabir:

The advantage one derives by pilgrimage is one.

The benefits one derives by visiting a saint are four.

But the benefits one derives by meeting a Sadguru are numberless!

At times, Baba would purposely create strife among the mandali. In this way, feelings remaining hidden would surface and be dealt with.

In year 1955, Baidul another doctor of sorts was treating people in Satara. Years ago in Iran, Baidul acted as a doctor and used to cure those afflicted by invoking Baba's name and intervention, and then administering boiled garlic oil. In Satara, he would sit under a tree away from their bungalow on watch, and 70 to 80 persons would daily come for treatment. Baidul would quickly dispense with his patients, giving the same homeopathic medicine to every person (no matter what the ailment was!) and return to Rosewood within half an hour.

Residing near Rosewood was a Christian civil surgeon, Dr. A. E. Fernandes, whose young son was much troubled by a chronic throat ailment. The surgeon had done his utmost to cure the boy, but to no effect. One day Baidul visited the family, and the doctor's wife told him about her son's affliction. Baidul immediately gave his "medicine" to the boy, and amazingly the boy recovered in a few days.

September 5th was Pendu's birthday. That evening, the mandali were sitting in Rosewood wondering how to celebrate it. Their daily fare consisted of plain rice and dal in the afternoon, and a vegetable and chapati in the evening. Since nothing special could be cooked without Baba's permission, food was not considered. Instead, they decided to enact a humorous play for Pendu.

Unannounced, a servant from Dr. Fernandes appeared carrying a box full of freshly made sweets. He inquired, "Where is the Doctor Saheb?" Nilu and Don were pointed out, but the man said, "No, no, the other doctor who visits the civil surgeon." Since no one knew of Baidul's secret activity, they did not know whom he meant. At that moment Baidul entered the room, and the man said, "Here is the man. I wanted this doctor. His treatment has proven beneficial to my employer's son. He has sent this for him."

The quantity of sweets was sufficient for everyone, and Pendu's birthday was joyously observed. The civil surgeon's trust in Baidul was so great that at times he would take him to the hospital in his car to examine a patient not responding to his own treatment. Soon after this incident, Baba had Baidul stop acting as a doctor. Baidul's power was not in his medicine, but in his taking Baba's name whenever he treated someone who was afflicted.

In 1956, winking at Baidul, Baba asked him in front of Nilu, "What was that you were telling Me the other day about Nilu? When he was in college, who had beaten him with a shoe?" Baidul took the hint. He replied, "At college, Nilu was in love with a beautiful girl, and when her father came to know of it, he beat the hell out of him with a shoe right in the middle of the market!"

Nilu grew livid with anger. "Why do you believe these lies from this Jungli (ignorant) Irani?" he asked Baba. "When I was in college, where was he?" Baidul answered, "I was with you!" Nilu threatened, "If you tell another lie, I will beat you with a shoe!"

Baba gestured to them to calm down and inquired what the real story was about the girl. Nilu replied, "It may be something, but why does this illiterate Irani butt his nose into it?" Baidul said. "If I am lying, then why don't you speak the truth?" "Who are you to tell me?" Baidul replied, "Who are you to hide it?" Nilu said, "Baba, tell this idiot to leave this instant —else I won't let him leave without a thrashing."

Baba pointed out, "Baidul is much stronger than you. He might beat you up." "But why does he lie about me?" "He must have heard something ... I too feel there must be something to it." Baidul said, "I will prove it to you, Baba. Then you will believe me." Nilu demanded, "What proof can you bring?" "I will bring the girl herself and let her tell you." Baba raised an eyebrow, gesturing, "So, there was a girl you were after." Nilu replied, "I was not after her, Baba. I never touched her! But she did love me and is still unmarried to this day because of me."

"Then why haven't you ever told Me of this before? Why did you hide it from me all these years? It is good that Baidul what connection did I have with her that I should have told you about her?"

"She is still unmarried because she loves you, isn't she? Therefore, her sanskaras are with you; and, by your staying with Me, I will have to bear this burden. Had you informed Me, this burden would not have been on Me. All right, now don't worry about it."

Nilu had completely forgotten this old romance, and Baidul, himself, knew nothing of it. But, by sparking this quarrel between them, Baba brought the secret to light, and in so doing, freed Nilu from what was hidden deep inside his consciousness.

In 1959, Once, Baba lovers of Poona conducted a programme in Poona and Baidul’s boasting went too far, Baba sent for Baidul and stated, "Tomorrow, visit the Telugu locality of Poona and speak to them about me. Take Krishna Bundellu's father with you and do the work well." Baidul did as ordered. When the Poona Center workers appeared the following afternoon, Baba asked Baidul, "Tell Me in detail what you did yesterday." Baidul replied "Yesterday's work went off very well, “The Andhraites were impressed and all are coming here for your darshan." "Then you have done a good job, haven't you?" "Yes, very good work was done. I was roaming about the area all day long and got quite exhausted. I did a lot of work." Baba admonished, "What? You wild barbarian, Jungli Irani!" Baba said, appearing to be angry. "Have you the face to do such work? What work could you possibly do? Who knows you? Don't you realize that I alone do my work?" Baidul said "Yes, Baba, only You do the work." Baba said, "Then why do you take credit for it, saying that you did it? You were quite put upon to do it, weren't you?" Baidul answered, "Yes, Baba. I became very tired from the hot sun, moving about the whole day."

"But what is so great in that? If there was a will to obey Me, you would not have spoken about tiredness. You should be ashamed to say such things in My presence. Turn into dust; only then will you do My work! Why do you praise yourself? You are full of ego! What work of Mine can you ever do? Only he who sincerely believes that Baba alone does His work can help Me. Have you the faith to do any work?"

Thus Baba kept berating Baidul, and the Poona workers, sitting as silent statues, listened morosely.

Baidul was made the target that day to teach them a lesson, and from then on they never boasted about their “achievements.” To impart a moral to others, Baba would always use the mandali as targets, as they could bear the deep wounds He inflicted.

In 1963, Baidul was staying with his wife Soltoon and daughter Dowla's family in Poona. But on 10th April, he suffered a stroke. Baba went to their home that morning to comfort Baidul and had him admitted to Dr. Grant's Ruby Hall Clinic near Guruprasad. As a result of the stroke, Baidul became paralyzed on the left side of his body. A few weeks later, on 29th April, he was shifted to Meherabad to recover under Don's care.

On 26th August 1965, Baidul was diagnosed with typhoid. Sidhu was again called to Meherazad for a week or ten days to help look after him. Sheroo, Jehangu, Gulnar and their daughter Mehernaz were permitted to come to Meherazad on the 28th.

On 24th March 1968, Aloba took Baidul to Bombay, where he stayed with his daughter Sarwar while Baba was at Guruprasad.

Baba said, “Baidul is the Sardar (Chief) of masts. In mast work tops the list. The personal services rendered by him to Me are unique.”

 

14-RUSTOM JAFRABADI IRANI (Baidul)

Rustom Beheram Jafrabadi, 32, was employed at a teashop opposite Char Bawdi where Babajan would visit daily and drink several cups of tea. During this period, a rustic Persian farmer, Rustom Jafrabadi who had migrated to India from Iran discovered his place in Meher Baba's circle.

During his lifelong association with Meher Baba He encountered many events and had conversed with Him. Few accounts are under:

One day Behramji (Baba’s Brother) met Rustom Jafrabadi in the teashop and told him about Baba. Jafrabadi was greatly taken by Behramji's comments and soon after went to Sadashiv's house to meet the Irani Master. Without introducing himself, Jafrabadi paid obeisance to Adi Sr., mistakenly believing him to be the Master. Adi was taken aback, and the other men burst out laughing at Jafrabadi mistake. After a short while, Baba entered the room and enjoyed the humor of the incident. He welcomed Jafrabadi and later talked with him at length.

Baba told him, "I am leaving soon for Bombay. If you come with Me, I will get you a better job and also see to your spiritual advancement." To the surprise of all, Jafrabadi was immediately resigned to sell his property and join the Master. He was shown all the conditions to be followed while in Bombay and he agreed to sign the paper then and there. Thus this husky seeker of truth was trapped in the net by the bait of material improvement and spiritual advancement. Later, he acquired the nickname Baidul.

Baidul had been sent in advance to Persia with the boy Ali Akbar, whom Baba had directed to remain at His family's home. On 14 June, Baba had sent Baidul a telegram in Yezd, instructing him to meet them in four days in Mashad. After Baidul rejoined the mandali, Baba was driven from Mashad to Duzdab (Zahedan).

Rustom Jafrabadi's poetic spirit was roused when he heard about the new pastime of writing ghazals. This rustic fellow wished to try his hand at it, convinced his compositions would transcend the Persian poets Saadi and Hafiz!

When he began writing, Baba would assemble all the men to hear his verses. Although they were awful, Baba praised his efforts to the heavens and encouraged him to write more.

Jafrabadi was, therefore, under the impression that he was becoming an accomplished poet. On the evening of 27 July 1922, while he was returning in a tram to the Manzil from his job, his mind was so engrossed in his newest composition that his intoxication carried him several stations beyond his destination.

When Baba found out about it, he gathered the men and advised Jafrabadi, "Continue writing poems in your spare time, but for God's sake don't do it on your job or in the tram!" Baba then told the other men, "Jafrabadi is about to become a famous poet — a suitable nom de plume should be found."

Many pen names were suggested, but Ghani's was approved. Ghani said, "Bidal was a well-known Persian poet, but since Jafrabadi's couplets are far superior to his, we should call him Baidul." Everyone liked the name (which in Persian means marble) and Baba instructed that, henceforth, Jafrabadi should be known as Agha Baidul — the Great Baidul.

Baidul then earnestly requested of Baba, "When I start writing poetry, the onrush of thoughts is so great that I cannot cope with it. I pray to you to instruct someone to write down what comes from my lips at that very instant — otherwise it will be lost forever." Since Ghani had thought up his new name, Baba appointed him as Baidul's secretary with instructions that whenever Baidul felt inspired, Ghani should immediately write down his poetic inspirations.

On one occasion, Ghani was in the toilet, and Baidul went there and started knocking on the door. "Ghani, come out immediately!" he said urgently. "The muse is inspiring me! If you don't come out soon, I will not be able to recover all these wonderful lines." He was so insistent that Ghani had to quickly button his trousers and write down Baidul's spontaneous creation. Ghani related this incident to Baba who was much amused.

Baidul took up his new post with zeal and began preaching to the children about the opportunity of being in Meher Ashram and the school, encouraging them to meditate on Baba. His enthusiasm was so pronounced that those children who usually only paid attention to their studies would start meditating as soon as they knew Baidul was approaching. No sooner would he walk away than their feigned meditation ended. But some of the boys were truly love-stricken and were having extraordinary inner experiences.

Baidul was also directed by Baba to keep watch on the other mandali. He was to "report the minutest defect at Meherabad during school hours." Baidul would also sneak up to the mandali's quarters at night and, standing quietly on one side of the bamboo matting, listen to their conversations. He would then report any indiscretions or complaints he had overheard to Baba, who would later rebuke the men involved.

One night Rustom was talking with Pendu and a few others in their quarters. Baidul quietly came and stood on the other side of the bamboo partition. The mandali by now knew who was betraying them. Rustom silently rose, stood on a chair and took a bucket of water and dumped it over Baidul's head. Thus the men joined forces in opposing this "traitor"; nevertheless, Baidul faithfully carried out his C.I.D. duties.

In obeying Baba's orders one had to be steadfast in facing all resistance. Every man was working under some difficulty or pressure, and being together in such close proximity was like a living death to the ego. Still in such situations, love continued to thrive, and though one might be at odds with another for a while — or even consider another an enemy — internally we were always brothers before our Compassionate

In 1929, Baidul and Mehrabanpur, with six of the boys from the Meher Ashram, had been sent to Persia five months before. As Baba and the group were nearing the town of Jafrabad, Baidul's native place, Baba unexpectedly asked, "Where should we go, to Jafrabad or Yezd?" Baba then sent Raosaheb to Baidul's house in Jafrabad. Baidul, Mehrabanpur, and the boys came to meet them and had a joyous reunion with the Master.

Baidul had been ordered to proceed to Persia to bring his family to India to live in the ashram. Mehera's mother Daulatmai had been staying in Persia for a year by Baba's order and originally Baidul's family was to have returned with her at the beginning of March. But Baidul's eldest daughter had fallen very ill and died on 18th March 1939. His daughter was only eighteen years old, and Baidul had been feeling very depressed about her loss. He would occasionally sit alone silently weeping. Even though such tenacious men as Baidul had surrendered to the Master, they were not spared suffering such human sorrow.

Baba met Baidul on 12 April 1939, and consoled him:

Those who die thinking of Me come to Me. They are liberated from the chain of birth and death and see me perpetually. It is because you cannot see that you feel the separation. If you feel sorry, feel not for the dead, for they have come to Me, but for the living who are in precarious conditions.

Bring the family back within three months. You have lots of work to do for me in the future. So leave your wife and children in my care and pay attention only to the work I entrust to you.

In 1942, during seclusion, Baba expressed a wish to hear qawaali singing and, on 18th July, Baidul brought a local qawaal with a group of musicians. The singing began, but within two minutes Baba left the room and beckoned Adi to follow Him. With the door shut to His room, He revealed to Adi, "To lessen the great Universal burden, I wanted to take it easy and relax by hearing a qawaal. From where on earth did Baidul bring this man? Is he singing or what?"

Baba sent for Baidul and asked him sharply, "Who have you brought here? That man can't sing!"

But Baidul assured him, "He is a famous qawaal. Just come and listen. Give him a chance. He was only warming up."

So Baba went back to listen again, but after ten minutes he motioned to Baidul to send the group away after paying them. When the singer and musicians had left, Baba asked Baidul, "What did you pay him?"

"Five rupees only. He agreed to sing the whole night for that amount."

"And his tonga fare?"

"It was included in the five rupees."

"You brainless Irani idiot!" Baba fumed. "Can any real qawaal ever agree to sing for such a sum? You should have had some thought about me! That rogue knew he couldn't sing, so he accepted five rupees.

"You are stupid enough to be happy thinking you had struck such a good bargain. Has your father ever heard qawaali music?" Baba then shook his head and chuckled over Baidul's miserliness.

In 1946, at Mahabaleshwar, Baidul was the manager of the mast ashram during the first two weeks of its functioning, and thereafter Kaka and Pappa Jessawala managed it together. Once, when Baidul was managing matters, an amusing confrontation took place between Kaka and him. Kaka brought a mast one day and, without asking Baidul's permission, took a gunny sack to make the mast comfortable.

This small incident immediately gave rise to a heated quarrel between Kaka and Baidul. Overhearing them argue, Baba called them, and in the presence of the other men asked Baidul what the ruckus was about. "I am the manager of the mast ashram and Kaka, without asking ``me, took a sack," Baidul replied. Baba gestured to Kaka, "Why did you do this?" "It was lying unused," Kaka said. Baidul interrupted, "It was not lying about. Kaka stole it for his mast. He is very careful with his masts, but not with mine." "That is because your masts are not masts but mad persons!" Kaka taunted.

"Your masts are mad!" shouted Baidul. "You think after all these years I cannot tell the difference between a mast and a madman? What do you take me for?" "What do I take you for? You too are mad!"

There was an intense argument between them, and Baba encouraged both by slyly winking at Baidul, indicating that he was right and Kaka was wrong, and then winking at Kaka that he was right and Baidul was wrong. But the funniest part was that during this verbal battle, Baidul's dentures kept falling out. He would put them back into his mouth and continue vilifying Kaka. Baba was highly amused by the scene, and when both began debating about which plane each one's masts were on, Baba could hardly contain himself! "My masts are all on the fifth and sixth planes," Baidul shouted. "You have brought only insane-wallas!" "Is that so?" Kaka hotly replied. "My masts are of the sixth and seventh plane! But how can an uneducated Jungli Irani like yourself recognize their worth?"

Baba was laughing and laughing and asked, "But how do you two know which plane your masts are on?"Both kept quiet, and Baba observed drily, "It is a matter of great honor and privilege for me that both you 'Sadgurus' are staying with me, as only a Sadguru can know which plane a mast is on!"This ended Kaka and Baidul's argument — at least for that day. Baba really enjoyed their battles of wits, especially when Baidul's dentures would fall out and he would quickly plop them back in so as not to lose the edge.

On 3rd June 1947, Baidul succeeded in bringing the great seventh-plane majzoob, Chacha, to Satara. Upon his arrival, Baba was very happy and remarked, "Chacha alone is worth 100 masts!"

It is a marvelous tale how Baidul managed to bring Chacha from Ajmer, where the majzoob had hundreds of devotees of his own who would never allow him to leave. At the end of May, Baidul had gone to Ajmer to try to coax the majzoob to come with him, but had no luck. A pilgrimage festival was being held at the time near Mu'inuddin Chishti's tomb, and many devotees had gone to attend it, leaving Chacha relatively alone. On the night of 31 May, after hours of ineffectual pleading, Baidul grasped the majzoob's hand to lead him away, and to his surprise, Chacha rose and followed. They climbed into a tonga, but to avoid being recognized, Baidul later hired a taxi to drive them 30 miles away to an out-of-the-way station, where they boarded a train for Bombay. Had he taken the majzoob to the Ajmer station, the local people would have recognized Chacha and prevented Baidul from spiriting him away. From Poona, they journeyed by bus.

In 1950, at one point, Baidul remarked to Pendu that Baba had been teasing and pestering him since morning. Overhearing this, Baba asked Baidul whether this wasn't criticizing him. Baidul replied that he was simply "informing" Pendu of how Baba had lost his mood that morning. Baba asked Eruch if Baidul's statement did not amount to criticism. Eruch's opinion was that, according to his way of thinking, Baidul was merely telling Pendu a fact; it could not be called criticism but a piece of information which conveyed Baba's mood that morning.

After His contact with Gathriwala, Baba proceeded toward Shah Serai to contact an old Maulana (Muslim learned man). In his search for this Maulana, Baidul came across another mast also called Maulana. He was reputed to be very religious and a servant of God, for he always had a copy of the Koran in his hand. Baba contacted him, bowed down to him and gave him a ten-rupee currency note. Smilingly, Maulana stared at his coat pockets, as he seemed undecided in which pocket he should keep the note. He began putting it in one pocket and then, after some thought, transferred it to another. This he did several times without arriving at any definite conclusion as to where to keep the note. This amused Baba.

Baba remarked, "He is like a child," and he sent Baidul to ask him when he would be willing to come to Dehra Dun. Baidul asked, but Maulana refused to come. Baidul then tried to induce him by saying that in Dehra Dun he would be kept comfortable with very good food and new clothes. But the Maulana did not agree.

In 1953, while in Dehradun, Baba decided to make indirect contact with four saints. After bowing down the feet of Baidul, Baba embraced him and said to convey His blessing to Saint Ishwar Singh and Saint Mangat Ram. After seeing the two other saints and bowing down to them, Baidul returned and informed Baba, who inquired, "What did Ishwar Singh say?" He asked me, “Who Meher Baba was." Baba asked, "How did you answer?" I told him, “He was a great saint."

This upset Baba, and He stated at length: Do you take Me for a saint? Is this how your heart speaks? Had you said Baba is an ordinary man, I would not have felt bad! After 30 years of association with Me, you still call Me a saint? Truth and honesty demanded that you should have told him that you don't know who Meher Baba is, but still you have accepted Him as your guru. Were this question put to Dr. Deshmukh, he would have immediately replied that Baba is the Avatar! I don't mean that you should have declared that. You could have safely said that I was your Master. What was the idea in telling him I was a saint? I am not a saint! At the moment there are a number of saints in Dehra Dun, Hardwar and Rishikesh. Here on Rajpur Road [the locality of Baba's residence] are four saints — Anandamayi Ma, Mangat Ram, Ishwar Singh and Miran Bhai. Only yesterday, I explained to the mandali about saints, in the words of Kabir:

The advantage one derives by pilgrimage is one.

The benefits one derives by visiting a saint are four.

But the benefits one derives by meeting a Sadguru are numberless!

At times, Baba would purposely create strife among the mandali. In this way, feelings remaining hidden would surface and be dealt with.

In year 1955, Baidul another doctor of sorts was treating people in Satara. Years ago in Iran, Baidul acted as a doctor and used to cure those afflicted by invoking Baba's name and intervention, and then administering boiled garlic oil. In Satara, he would sit under a tree away from their bungalow on watch, and 70 to 80 persons would daily come for treatment. Baidul would quickly dispense with his patients, giving the same homeopathic medicine to every person (no matter what the ailment was!) and return to Rosewood within half an hour.

Residing near Rosewood was a Christian civil surgeon, Dr. A. E. Fernandes, whose young son was much troubled by a chronic throat ailment. The surgeon had done his utmost to cure the boy, but to no effect. One day Baidul visited the family, and the doctor's wife told him about her son's affliction. Baidul immediately gave his "medicine" to the boy, and amazingly the boy recovered in a few days.

September 5th was Pendu's birthday. That evening, the mandali were sitting in Rosewood wondering how to celebrate it. Their daily fare consisted of plain rice and dal in the afternoon, and a vegetable and chapati in the evening. Since nothing special could be cooked without Baba's permission, food was not considered. Instead, they decided to enact a humorous play for Pendu.

Unannounced, a servant from Dr. Fernandes appeared carrying a box full of freshly made sweets. He inquired, "Where is the Doctor Saheb?" Nilu and Don were pointed out, but the man said, "No, no, the other doctor who visits the civil surgeon." Since no one knew of Baidul's secret activity, they did not know whom he meant. At that moment Baidul entered the room, and the man said, "Here is the man. I wanted this doctor. His treatment has proven beneficial to my employer's son. He has sent this for him."

The quantity of sweets was sufficient for everyone, and Pendu's birthday was joyously observed. The civil surgeon's trust in Baidul was so great that at times he would take him to the hospital in his car to examine a patient not responding to his own treatment. Soon after this incident, Baba had Baidul stop acting as a doctor. Baidul's power was not in his medicine, but in his taking Baba's name whenever he treated someone who was afflicted.

In 1956, winking at Baidul, Baba asked him in front of Nilu, "What was that you were telling Me the other day about Nilu? When he was in college, who had beaten him with a shoe?" Baidul took the hint. He replied, "At college, Nilu was in love with a beautiful girl, and when her father came to know of it, he beat the hell out of him with a shoe right in the middle of the market!"

Nilu grew livid with anger. "Why do you believe these lies from this Jungli (ignorant) Irani?" he asked Baba. "When I was in college, where was he?" Baidul answered, "I was with you!" Nilu threatened, "If you tell another lie, I will beat you with a shoe!"

Baba gestured to them to calm down and inquired what the real story was about the girl. Nilu replied, "It may be something, but why does this illiterate Irani butt his nose into it?" Baidul said. "If I am lying, then why don't you speak the truth?" "Who are you to tell me?" Baidul replied, "Who are you to hide it?" Nilu said, "Baba, tell this idiot to leave this instant —else I won't let him leave without a thrashing."

Baba pointed out, "Baidul is much stronger than you. He might beat you up." "But why does he lie about me?" "He must have heard something ... I too feel there must be something to it." Baidul said, "I will prove it to you, Baba. Then you will believe me." Nilu demanded, "What proof can you bring?" "I will bring the girl herself and let her tell you." Baba raised an eyebrow, gesturing, "So, there was a girl you were after." Nilu replied, "I was not after her, Baba. I never touched her! But she did love me and is still unmarried to this day because of me."

"Then why haven't you ever told Me of this before? Why did you hide it from me all these years? It is good that Baidul what connection did I have with her that I should have told you about her?"

"She is still unmarried because she loves you, isn't she? Therefore, her sanskaras are with you; and, by your staying with Me, I will have to bear this burden. Had you informed Me, this burden would not have been on Me. All right, now don't worry about it."

Nilu had completely forgotten this old romance, and Baidul, himself, knew nothing of it. But, by sparking this quarrel between them, Baba brought the secret to light, and in so doing, freed Nilu from what was hidden deep inside his consciousness.

In 1959, Once, Baba lovers of Poona conducted a programme in Poona and Baidul’s boasting went too far, Baba sent for Baidul and stated, "Tomorrow, visit the Telugu locality of Poona and speak to them about me. Take Krishna Bundellu's father with you and do the work well." Baidul did as ordered. When the Poona Center workers appeared the following afternoon, Baba asked Baidul, "Tell Me in detail what you did yesterday." Baidul replied "Yesterday's work went off very well, “The Andhraites were impressed and all are coming here for your darshan." "Then you have done a good job, haven't you?" "Yes, very good work was done. I was roaming about the area all day long and got quite exhausted. I did a lot of work." Baba admonished, "What? You wild barbarian, Jungli Irani!" Baba said, appearing to be angry. "Have you the face to do such work? What work could you possibly do? Who knows you? Don't you realize that I alone do my work?" Baidul said "Yes, Baba, only You do the work." Baba said, "Then why do you take credit for it, saying that you did it? You were quite put upon to do it, weren't you?" Baidul answered, "Yes, Baba. I became very tired from the hot sun, moving about the whole day."

"But what is so great in that? If there was a will to obey Me, you would not have spoken about tiredness. You should be ashamed to say such things in My presence. Turn into dust; only then will you do My work! Why do you praise yourself? You are full of ego! What work of Mine can you ever do? Only he who sincerely believes that Baba alone does His work can help Me. Have you the faith to do any work?"

Thus Baba kept berating Baidul, and the Poona workers, sitting as silent statues, listened morosely.

Baidul was made the target that day to teach them a lesson, and from then on they never boasted about their “achievements.” To impart a moral to others, Baba would always use the mandali as targets, as they could bear the deep wounds He inflicted.

In 1063, Baidul was staying with his wife Soltoon and daughter Dowla's family in Poona. But on 10th April, he suffered a stroke. Baba went to their home that morning to comfort Baidul and had him admitted to Dr. Grant's Ruby Hall Clinic near Guruprasad. As a result of the stroke, Baidul became paralyzed on the left side of his body. A few weeks later, on 29th April, he was shifted to Meherabad to recover under Don's care.

On 26th August 1965, Baidul was diagnosed with typhoid. Sidhu was again called to Meherazad for a week or ten days to help look after him. Sheroo, Jehangu, Gulnar and their daughter Mehernaz were permitted to come to Meherazad on the 28th.

On 24th March 1968, Aloba took Baidul to Bombay, where he stayed with his daughter Sarwar while Baba was at Guruprasad.

Baba said, “Baidul is the Sardar (Chief) of masts. In mast work tops the list. The personal services rendered by him to Me are unique.”

 

13-KAIKOBAD FERAM DASTUR (Kaikobad)

Kaikobad Dastur was a member of the Zoroastrian priestly class. He lived in Baba’s mandali and it is said to have had an experience in 1946, he saw Baba everywhere, all the time, but not in physical form. Baba said, “This is not God-realization, it is only a glimpse.”

Many of his life time experiences of even of planes with Meher Baba are described as under:

In 1927, Sohrabji Desai had spoken to Meher Baba about his friend Kaikobad Feram Dastur, and Baba assured him that Kaikobad would eventually come to him. Kaikobad was then 38 years old and a practicing Parsi priest. At Sohrabji's urging, on 14 May, Kaikobad came from Navsari for Baba's darshan. Adi Sr. met him at the station and drove him to Meherabad.

During the personal interview, Baba explained to Kaikobad about the four states of God and four types of faith. "If you follow My instructions to the letter," Baba promised him, "you will not only understand what I am saying theoretically, but actually see certain things." Kaikobad was deeply impressed. Noticing that Kaikobad's leg was injured, Baba examined it. He advised him to apply ash from the dhuni to the wound, and gave him some for this purpose. After staying overnight in Masaji's quarters at the Post Office, Kaikobad returned to Navsari the next evening. From that time on, he visited Baba at Meherabad frequently.

Before Kaikobad knew about Baba, he and his family had once gone to Sakori for Upasni Maharaj's darshan. Out of the entire crowd, Maharaj pointed to them and said, "You all do not belong to me, but to Merwan. Go now." Kaikobad had now learned who "Merwan" was, and he and his family would place their lives at his feet.

Kaikobad had brought Sohrabji's young niece with him from Navsari, Mani Beheram Desai, eighteen, later nicknamed Mansari by Baba. This was her first meeting with the Master also. From the time Mansari first laid eyes on Baba at Meherabad, she surrendered totally to Him. Thus in May 1927, two more circle members began to enter the inner life with Meher Baba, and after some years both Kaikobad and Mansari became permanent residents at Meherabad.

Kaikobad Dastur had also been an occasional visitor since 1927. During the Pimpalgaon stay, he came to Baba again and said, "I and my family have surrendered to you. My every possession is at your feet." Baba accepted his offer of surrender. He instructed Kaikobad to return to Bombay, where he was employed as the head cashier of the Sun Life of Canada Insurance Company, sell everything except their clothing and wait for His call. Kaikobad left and faithfully carried out Baba's instructions.

In April 1944, after meeting Baba at Pimpalgaon, Kaikobad Dastur had returned to Bombay and sold all his possessions in the belief that Baba was about to call him and his family to join the ashram. He saw Baba again at the meeting in June 1944, and had been waiting for Baba's call ever since. But mentally, he was becoming exceedingly restless and running out of patience, and finally decided that he would not join Baba if he were not called by August.

Aware of Kaikobad's state, Baba sent him a telegram to come to Raipur on 26th July 1944. When he arrived, Baba instructed him to immediately return to Bombay, pack everything he owned and move to Meherabad.

Kaikobad and his family arrived in Meherabad on the night of the 31st July 1944, and remained for the rest of their lives. Kaikobad's wife, Jerbai, 46, and their three daughters, Meheru, 23, Gulu, 21, and Jalu, 18, were kept with the other women on Meherabad Hill, and Kaikobad stayed in lower Meherabad, in a small cottage that was built for him (on the spot of the old Bathroom Building). His son, Rattan, stayed in Ahmednagar and was given a job at the Sarosh Cinema operating the film projector.

In November 1949, Kaikobad had been staying on the Manjri Mafi property which had been purchased for Baba. But the well, and the huts for the companions, and an extension to the existing structure for the women, were still not completed. So on 16th January 1950, leaving Dehra Dun with the men and women companions, Baba shifted headquarters to the house of Jamnadas, the Mahant (head of a religious sect) in Manjri Mafi Village. Keki Desai was instructed to return to Delhi at this time.

There were many real life-time experiences of Kaikobad with Meher Baba. Some of interesting and illustrative incidents are elaborated as under.

Once when the mandali were sitting with Baba in Hyderabad, Ghani said something which infuriated Baba. Baba asked Kaikobad, "Would you do as I tell you?"

"It is the sole reason I've joined you," Kaikobad replied earnestly.

"Then give Ghani a good hard slap!"

Kaikobad looked momentarily puzzled and said, "But Ghani is one of your oldest mandali ... How can I slap him?"

Baba's anger turned on him: "Do you know who I am? By saying this you have not slapped Ghani, you have slapped Me!"

"When did I slap you, Baba?"

"By failing to carry out My order, you have given Me a sharp slap! Had you really slapped Me though, it would not have pained Me as much as your disobedience. By disobeying Me you have wounded My heart so deeply, the pain will always be there and will never go away.

"You repeat My name 100,000 times a day, but what value does your penance and prayers have when you don't value My words? Before My order, nothing is superior! And if you don't realize that, thousands of years of repetition of My name will not help you. What is the use of your staying with Me?"

Baba then walked away, leaving Kaikobad red in the face and restless inside. Baba soon returned, and Kaikobad inquired, "If I had slapped Ghani, how much it would have pained him. Are we not to consider the feelings of others?"

Baba snapped, "That means you consider his feelings and your own superior to My order?" Turning to Ghani, Baba asked, "Would you have felt bad about it?"

Catching Baba's drift, Ghani replied, "No, I would not have felt bad in the least, but I feel very bad about Kaikobad's disobedience to you."

Kaikobad said, "I will slap him now."

But Baba gestured, "What's the use? The time has gone. You thought of Ghani's pain, but not of mine. You wanted to be in his good graces, but he himself has disapproved of your attitude."

Addressing the men, Baba made these remarks: "If you want to be in the good graces of the world, you cannot live for Me. But if you try to stay in My good books, the world will fall at your feet."

Turning to Adi Sr., Baba asked, "Would you give Ghani a slap with your sandal?" Adi replied, "Baba, if you were to ask me to give him ten slaps, I may give him 12!"

"That's the spirit!" Baba motioned.

"Did you hear what he said, Kaikobad?" And Kaikobad nodded glumly. Later Baba took him aside, discussed the matter with him sweetly and caressed him, and Kaikobad wept.

Kaikobad said: about Baba:  "I only know from the bottom of my heart that my dear Baba was God, he is God and he will be God forever. I see him as God, I honor him as God, and I love him as God, because he is God."

As Kaikobad was doing his repetition of Baba's name during Baba's explanation, Baba asked him caustically, "Have I called you here to go on and on with your repetition or to listen to what I am saying? Servants should discard their inclinations and pleasure; then alone can they be true servants!"

Baba also appreciated the faith and love of Kaikobad, and remarked that Kaikobad had told Him that he had that zalak. "So, when Kaikobad gives anything to Baba, he thinks that he has given it to God." Baba explained that in most cases, such zalak is enough to make one unaware of bodily consciousness for years. To illustrate, Baba asked Minoo Kharas to tell the story of Bayazid and the ants, which he did. )

Asking Kaikobad to pray for him, Baba urged him, "Pray to God to forgive Me for whatever I have just said, and all you [mandali] join in the prayer. It is your good fortune that you are joining Me in this prayer; anyhow, luck or no luck put your hearts in it!"

In year 1953, Baba had given discourse because the mandali themselves were feeling fed up. Everyone was feeling tired, but had said nothing in complaint. Only Kaikobad, who once had a glimpse of the divine light in Dehra Dun, was happy. When it happened, Kaikobad was so dazed that he lost body consciousness and fell down. When he regained consciousness, he found he had hurt his leg. After this first glimpse, he occasionally had a few more, when he would again lose consciousness and fall down.

For seven days, from 25–31 August 1953, Baba would come every night to the mandali's quarters and bow down to each of the men after they had repeated God's name seven times as they had done before during the first week of August. Kaikobad continued his duty of repeating Baba's name 100,000 times a day, as he had been doing for years. On 31st August, he had another "glimpse" of Baba's divinity and almost fainted.

Kaikobad described seeing an inexpressibly bright light with Baba in the midst and "worlds" emerging from the light. "Now I know what you are," he told Baba, "and there is no greater happiness to wish for!"

Baba commented to the mandali, "If it wasn't for My physical presence near him, he could not have retained his body."

In Jal Villa, Baba worked daily with Kaikobad for hours at a time. No one could see inside, as the door was kept tightly shut; but outside, Kaikobad's voice could be heard repeating God's names (such as Ya Yezdan, Beloved God, Paramatma, Ahuramazda, Parabrahma, Allah, God Almighty, Khuda). Years later, the mandali found out that Kaikobad would keep his foot on a stool and continue repeating God's name one after another; and every time he did so, Baba would bow His head, touching Kaikobad's foot with His forehead. It would go on for hours on end. Thousands of times Baba would bow to the name of God.

In 1955, referring to Kaikobad, Baba said:

He has been with Me for the last several years; he has a family and has dedicated everything to Me. He is from the Parsi priest class. His family is staying on Meherabad Hill. He says nothing now belongs to him, everything is Baba's. I have accepted his dedication. He is always with Me wherever I go. For twelve years he has been with Me. Since that time, until today, he is daily taking My name 100,000 times in 24 hours. My name has become his very breath.

In 1946, on Meherabad Hill, he had a glimpse of My divinity. Throughout all the journeys and stays at different places, he continued the nam japa. Once on 31 August 1953, he was on the point of falling down and dropping his body. His experiences continue even now. "I can see Baba whenever I want to see him," he says. I am so infinite that even I cannot fathom My own divinity! Recently in Satara, Kaikobad wept. He told Me: "I understand your divinity. Why do you ask Me to put My hand on your head? I realize what you are. I see you as God Personified and have experiences of it. How (bad) I feel about this!" I told him to obey Me implicitly. This is the only thing required. If you are asked to kick Me, you should do it sincerely. This is My order.

Kaikobad has to go on and on, to continue on the Path. He sees glimpses of Me, and though it is no delusion, it is not Union either, which is much higher. I do not know anything about what Kaikobad experiences. Suppose Kaikobad is now sleeping in a dark room. Suddenly, whenever he wishes, he says, the whole room is full of light. It is not My miracle. I Myself cannot do it. I know one thing: I am everywhere and in everything. But I cannot do this. Kaikobad sees Me in that light. Even the brilliance of the sun is as nothing compared to the light in the room. Kaikobad says it is My grace that he sees all that. But I say it is his faith and love which produce it. We shall see about God-realization

You have come here for My Sahavas, so I must tell you all that I want to tell you. Every day I bow down to Kaikobad because he sees Baba as Baba ought to be seen. He takes My darshan as much as it can be taken. Therefore, I put My head on his feet. When I bow down to the mandali, to the poor, to the sadhus, the lepers, and so forth, this bowing down is no show; neither is it an expression of humility. I do it out of My love for humanity.

I must tell you everything of My ways. Try to grasp what I say. Whenever I go out on mast and other tours for My own work and for congregations like this, I ask Kaikobad to put his hand on My head and bless Me.

In Satara, Kaikobad wept. He told Me: "I understand your divinity. Why do you ask Me to put My hand on your head? I realize what you are. I see you as God Personified and have experiences of it. How (bad) I feel about this!" I told him to obey Me implicitly. This is the only thing required. If you are asked to kick Me, you should do it sincerely. This is My order.

During this seclusion, Baba was working with Kaikobad in Jal Villa for hours on end. Kaikobad would continually repeat the seven names of God, and every time he said them, Baba would bow to him seven times. Even Kaikobad had not the faintest notion of what work Baba was doing. No one can grasp the significance of his Universal work.

On Sunday, 19th February 1956, Baba left Jal Villa and again began staying at Grafton with the women mandali. There he continued to remain in seclusion and did not see anyone or go out of the house. He broke His fast the next day, and again, from the 22nd, moved back to Jal Villa for his seclusion work. He worked with Kaikobad for two days in seclusion and then again returned to Grafton, where His 62nd birthday was celebrated privately with the women mandali, 25th February.

When Saint Kirpal Singh asked spiritual experiences, Baba taking his hand, led him to Kaikobad’s room, telling him, "You are now going to hear something from an old man about inner experiences." Baba sat on Kaikobad's bed and asked Kirpal Singh to sit nearby.

Baba explained to Kirpal Singh, “Kaikobad is my old lover and has had many inner experiences. Sometimes he tells Me about them, but I do not understand. Perhaps you will understand what Kaikobad has to say."

Baba permitted Kaikobad to relate all that he had experienced, requesting Kirpal Singh to hear him patiently, since Kaikobad would speak in a mixture of Hindi and Gujarati, because he did not know Hindi well.

Kirpal Singh told Kaikobad, "I am very happy to see you. I have heard that you have had many experiences. Would you please tell me what experiences you have had?"

"Experiences?" Kaikobad said. "How can I explain to you about the experiences? I will tell you in a nutshell. Do you see the sun?"

"Yes, I see it," said Kirpal Singh.

"How bright is it?"

"It is so bright that it gives light to the whole world."

"The light of the sun is very bright to you," said Kaikobad. "But I see also the light in my heart. It is so bright that the light of hundreds of suns are nothing before this light which I see within. I lose my consciousness, and I fall down."

The saint was highly impressed. He said, "It is because of the grace of Baba that you are having these experiences. Such experiences could only be had with Baba's blessing! I have had no such experiences!"

Another incident during this time in Satara concerned Kaikobad. A former Parsi priest, Kaikobad was a fastidious person. He had to have his meals and tea at a certain time each day, and would not tolerate a delay. He used to have lunch at precisely 11:00 A.M. Once, when he went to the kitchen to eat, the rice needed to cook for another five minutes. But, unwilling to wait, Kaikobad began eating it as it was. Baba was at Rosewood, but He suddenly appeared at Judge's bungalow and walked to the kitchen where he found Kaikobad eating. He pressed the rice and found it half-cooked. He forbade Kaikobad to eat it. By this time, the rest of the rice was cooked and ready. Baba served it to Kaikobad and then directed Bhau and Aloba to eat the remainder of the uncooked rice. He forbade Kaikobad to eat it. By this time, the rest of the rice was cooked and ready. Baba served it to Kaikobad and then directed Bhau and Aloba to eat the remainder of the uncooked rice.

Once, after finishing His work with Kaikobad, Baba remarked that maya had greatly impeded  At Baba's request, Kaikobad told the mandali what had happened: "When Baba was about to commence His work, my legs became cramped and I had no strength left either to stand or sit down. I felt weak, as if I were going to pass out. But when Baba massaged my legs for five minutes, I felt normal again and Baba could begin His work."

Baba commented, "Despite maya's obstruction, My work was done very successfully."

On the 7th November 1956, in the presence of all the men mandali, Baba directed Kaikobad to stand before him and offer penance to God on behalf of the mandali. Kaikobad prayed to God for 100 percent successful completion of Baba's work. Then, taking Kaikobad's hand in his own, Baba kissed it and brought it to his forehead. Taking his seat, he distributed prasad of mixed rice and dal to the mandali. Only after he had finished giving each his portion did he himself take food and thus break his fast. But Baba's health was still not good. Baba continued to work with Kaikobad every morning. As soon as Baba entered Kaikobad's room, he would clap, which meant there was to be absolute silence for half an hour. Kaikobad later told the others that during this time Baba would hold his hand and both would sit silently facing each other. When Baba was finished at 9:00 A.M., the men gathered in mandali hall. One poor man was brought. While the man stood on a stool, Baba, sitting before him, would wash his feet, wipe them dry, put his head on them and give him prasad. As soon as this was done and the floor cleaned, the doors of the hall would be closed. All would stand with Baba, who held Kaikobad's hand.

On 18th October 1959, Hoshang asked about the difference between seeing God physically and seeing God on the sixth plane. Baba explained, but ended by stating: "To see God is not the final aim. The aim is to be One with Him."

Baba called Kaikobad and asked him to narrate his visions and experiences. Kaikobad said: "First, I saw God, and when I compared it to Baba, Baba did not look like Him. Then I saw the Father of all Fathers — Ahuramazda — and Baba simultaneously. I became convinced that Baba is God. Thereafter, I started seeing Baba in an aura of light. To see Baba in a beam of light comes from within me, and I can do it at anytime." Baba explained that Kaikobad was an example of one who sees God physically.

Baba stated: "Kaikobad, after leaving this body, will be released from the cycle of births. Therefore, he will not require another form. Now, suppose Kaikobad is not a member of My circle and Baidul is. Kaikobad has experiences, while Baidul does not. (Nevertheless), Baidul, being a member of My circle, enjoys the higher position."

Continuing, Baba explained: "The men and women of my mandali will have union with God. They will get the experience of eternal bliss, eternal knowledge and eternal power, while Kaikobad shall only be released from the cycle of births; that is, if he were not a member of my mandali."

Baba said, “You have come here for My sahavas, so I must tell you all that I want to tell you. Every day I bow down to Kaikobad because He sees Baba as Baba ought to be seen. He takes My darshan as much as it can be taken. Therefore, I put My head on his feet. When I bow down to the mandali, to the poor, to the sadhus, the lepers, and so forth, this bowing down is no show; neither is it an expression of humility. I do it out of My `love for humanity.

I must tell you everything of My ways. Try to grasp what I say. Whenever I go out on mast and other tours for My own work and for congregations like this, I ask Kaikobad to put his hand on My head and bless Me.

Kaikobad continued his duty of repeating Baba's name 100,000 times a day, as he had been doing for years. On 31st August, he had another "glimpse" of Baba's divinity and almost fainted. Kaikobad described seeing an inexpressibly bright light with Baba in the midst and "worlds" emerging from the light. "Now I know what you are," he told Baba, "and there is no greater happiness to wish for!"

Baba said, “Kaikobad is a new disciple, but his love and faith are unique. He repeats My name 100,000 times a day. The service which he is now rendering would not have been rendered even by Me.

On 3 September 1959, Baba mentioned to Kenmore how tired He felt: "Formerly I used to go to Kaikobad's room to work for five minutes. It used to exhaust Me. I thought that the pressure was too much for my body and it would not bear it. But now, instead of five minutes, I work for half an hour. Only Kaikobad can help Me in that work. Today, Kaikobad, too, could not tolerate the unbearable condition. Kaikobad told Me that he was awfully tired."

Kaikobad interjected, "Baba's work is unspeakable and intolerable (for Me). Today, I informed Baba that I was unable to help him for more than half an hour."

Baba continued:

Until the end of October 1959, is the time for My Universal work. Whatever work was done at Poona is nothing compared to what I am doing now? Although the mandali cannot understand this work, I tell you the work has its own importance. See how it tires Me.

Only when I return from Kaikobad's room after finishing My work do the mandali have an opportunity to see and feel My tiredness, and experience My weak state of health. I find it difficult even to open My eyes or move My body. Yet, in this terrible state of health, I play with the mandali and express My happiness. At first, I appear burdened by the tremendous pressure of work, but after some time people see My face look cheerful. Today, I was playing [cards] and immediately I stopped the play and went inside. All of it is related to My work.

In 1960, Kaikobad had come from Meherabad and Baba turned to him and said, "I want you to tell Irwin Luck what your experience is. Both of you sit on the bench outside." Irwin did not know who Kaikobad was but had been feeling sorry for him as he looked so emaciated.

Kaikobad revealed to him: "Even in a dark room, sometimes such brilliant light comes out of me that if I wanted to I could even read a newspaper from it. I see planets, solar systems and worlds revolving within my own being. Sometimes I see a light which is more brilliant than any sun could ever be. In that light I see Baba's face; it comes out of that light. I can see Baba physically even when he is not there. But it is easier to see God in his impersonal form than his physical form."

Ramarao was a poor relative of Maharani Shantadevi who was employed to oversee the servants at Guruprasad. A year earlier, his wife had had a baby girl who died. The wife entreated Baba to grant her the boon of another child and Baba promised he would. The mother had delivered another baby girl two weeks before, but the doctors were at their wits end trying to keep the child alive. The baby had been shifted from one hospital to another three times. Sometimes she would be much better, and sometimes it seemed as if she were about to pass away. The mother again entreated Baba to keep her baby alive. Baba replied that he did not use his powers, and so could do nothing in the matter. But on 25th May, he instructed Eruch to telephone Adi to deliver a message to Kaikobad on Meherabad Hill to pray hard for the recovery of the child. Kaikobad should beseech God through his prayers to save the child. (Baba also asked Kaikobad to pray that the program to be held at Guruprasad on the 26th — when Baba would distribute prizes to different cricket teams — would be a success.)

Baba later explained, "When Kaikobad prays earnestly, the baby feels better, but as soon as he dozes off, its condition deteriorates! Kaikobad's request to God to keep the baby alive is nothing but his request to Me to keep it alive."

In 1966, Kaikobad's eldest daughter, Meheru, died on Meherabad Hill after suffering very severe burns in a cooking fire accident. She was 44. While dying, Baba's name was continuously on her lips. Baba remarked, "Meheru has come to Me and is freed forever from the rounds of births and deaths."

Kaikobad was in Meherazad and did not go to Meherabad. So Baba sent Eruch to console his family. Kaikobad's wife, Jerbai, was elated that Kaikobad had not come. Jerbai said, "I was afraid he would leave Baba's work to come. I am glad that he didn't. Why should we worry when Meheru has gone to Baba?" This is an example of how Baba's Love and Truth lived in his close lovers. Neither parent was saddened by the passing of their daughter.

On 12th September 1967, Baba's Universal work suffered a grievous setback. At night while Kaikobad was walking on the verandah, an ant bit him on the foot. Kaikobad's eyesight was poor, and thinking it was a scorpion he shook his leg so hard that he fell down and broke his thigh bone. Don went to Meherazad that night to examine him, and the next morning he was taken to Booth Hospital by ambulance, where he was X-rayed and admitted. Sidhu came from Meherabad to help look after him.

Later that day, Baba did something extraordinary — He shed tears! He explained, "I am not crying about Kaikobad, but I feel sorry for My work. Kaikobad does not have the least notion what work I am doing! But by working with him in seclusion, My Universal work is carried out much easier."

On the 15th, Kaikobad was operated upon by Dr. Melvin Brieseman and a pin was inserted into his femur and hip.  Don was present for the operation. Adi went to Meherazad that day and Baba dictated points for a circular (issued on 1st October). After Kaikobad's departure, Baba stopped His morning seclusion work, but His afternoon work went on continuously for the next year and a half, until the 30th of January 1969.

On 5th October 1967, after a three-week stay in Booth Hospital, Kaikobad was brought back to Meherazad, accompanied by Dr. Alu Khambatta, who had been caring for him, along with Dr. Brieseman. As Baba wished, Alu remained in Meherazad for a year to nurse Kaikobad, who was still unable to walk. Kaikobad had had a rough time in the hospital (aggravated by his son, who had come to Ahmednagar and acted badly towards him and the mandali). Kaikobad had been feeling very sad and depressed, and his spirits were greatly lifted to be back home in Baba's company once again. On the 7th, Padri brought Kaikobad's wife and daughters to see Baba and him. That same day, Dr. Brieseman, along with his family and some friends, went on a picnic to Happy Valley, and while there, they were severely stung by a swarm of bees. They were taken to Meherazad, where Goher, Don and the mandali rendered them emergency treatment.

Because of Kaikobad's absence, there had been a break in Baba's seclusion work, but upon his return, the momentum of Baba's work again intensified. Kaikobad would be brought in a wheelchair to the hall, where Baba would work with him alone. Kaikobad would continuously repeat the seven names of God, while seated in the wheelchair.

Kaikobad could not stand on a stool anymore as before, so Baba would now touch his shoulders instead of his feet, as he repeated each name of God. Baba would do this daily for three hours in the morning and again for half an hour in the afternoon, besides working alone in his room for 20 minutes each day.

Because of Kaikobad's absence, there had been a break in Baba's seclusion work, but upon his return the momentum of Baba's work again intensified. Kaikobad would be brought in a wheelchair to the hall, where Baba would work with him alone. Kaikobad would continuously repeat the seven names of God, while seated in the wheelchair.

Kaikobad could not stand on a stool anymore as before, so Baba would now touch his shoulders instead of his feet, as he repeated each name of God. Baba would do this daily for three hours in the morning and again for half an hour in the afternoon, besides working alone in his room for 20 minutes each day.

Baba had originally stated that He would be working in seclusion with Kaikobad for four months, until the 21st of November 1967, but because there had been a break in His work (due to Kaikobad's accident); Baba extended the period of His seclusion work by three months.

Kaikobad returned from the hospital on 29th December 1967. The doctors had been unable to reinsert the steel pin, and Kaikobad had to remain bedridden or be lifted into a wheelchair. Although Kaikobad was back at Meherazad, Baba did not work with him again and continued working alone.

Many years before Baba had foretold: "There will be fourteen with Me at the end." Significantly, there were fourteen individuals with him at Meherazad at this particular time, namely the six women: Mehera, Mani, Naja, Goher, Meheru and Rano. The eight men were Eruch, Pendu, Baidul, Kaka, Kaikobad, Aloba, Bhau and Francis.

Once Baba asked everyone, ‘How do you know that I am God?” Kaikobad said, “I know from my bottom of the heart that my dear Baba was God, He is God and He will be God forever. I honor Him as God; I love Him as God, because He is God.”

In 1946, on Meherabad Hill, he had a glimpse of My divinity. Throughout all the journeys and stays at different places, he continued the nam japa. Once on 31st August 1953, he was on the point of falling down and dropping his body. His experiences continue even now. "I can see Baba whenever I want to see Him," he says. I am so infinite that even I cannot fathom my own divinity!

 

12- FRANCIS BRABAZON

Francis, was an artist, poet and writer succeeded Baron Wiliam-the head of the Sufi group in Australia who died in 1950. Baron had not accepted Meher Baba but gave Baba’s discourses to Francis Brabazon. Francis was greatly impressed and wanted to meet Baba.

Many of his lifetime interactions with Meher Baba are   written below

In 1948, Francis wrote to Baba of his vivid dreams. Through Dr. Ghani, Baba replied: "Baba would like very much for you to look upon Him as a friend, and may be, in the course of time, you will grow to look upon Him as the Beloved." Indeed, it did not take this fragrant flower long to surrender to the Beloved of his heart.

Francis Brabazon had been attempting to meet Baba for several years. An artist, poet and writer, Francis was spiritually inclined and had studied metaphysical literature. He had become attracted to the Persian Sufis and had found out about Sufism and Meher Baba through the Australian Sufi leader Baron von Frankenberg. He had been sent by the Baron to San Francisco in September 1946 to accompany Murshida Rabia Martin to India to meet Meher Baba. But Rabia Martin fell seriously ill with cancer and could not travel to India prior to her death in 1947. Brabazon could not go alone and he remained in America until the next appointed Sufi Murshida, Ivy Duce, returned from meeting Baba in India, during January 1948. Upon Ivy's return she telephoned Francis in San Francisco and assured him that Meher Baba was indeed "The Qutub of all Sufis." Brabazon was directed to return to Australia, work hard, save his money and await Baba's call. Francis wrote a heart-filled letter to Baba that same year. In 1950, when von Frankenberg died, Francis was appointed head of the Australian Sufis by Ivy.

Francis became quite respected in Australia, and at one time sported a yellow robe and was referred to as a "Sheik." He himself was building a house in Sydney for Baba on Beacon Hill. In 1952, Francis traveled from Australia to New York for Meher Baba's darshan, but had to remain there for weeks when Baba's visit was postponed.

Ivy, Charmian and Francis met Baba again on the morning of 11th May 1952, in morning and they also liked the name Sufism Reoriented. Baba informed them:

You are instruments for My work, until you get Light. Then you will know what to do automatically. The name Sufism Reoriented should be the same everywhere, but for the present, I personally think it should be separate, and once it is run as I want, then I will see to incorporating all the different branches in different countries in one. All these points must be noted down; make them precise and practical so that they may be published. All of it should be collected so I can go through it, correct it and have it published before I leave in July 1952.

Francis Brabazon had written a play titled The Quest, a story of a search to find the Beloved, and the group performed it for Baba, with Francis in the role of the seeker. Baba praised their performance and said the play should be published and distributed in other countries.

Baba was so pleased with the play that He told Francis He was going to give him a "reward." To the many listeners' astonishment, the reward was a fast of 28 days — the whole of February 1957 — on only milk, tea or coffee, during which Francis would not be permitted to read anything.

Baba explained: for example, here is Francis Brabazon. Suppose that he is illiterate; he has not read anything and he does not want to read anything, but he knows one thing — he has heard somewhere, somehow, that there is a certain thing like God, and with that he is convinced that there is God. He says: "I must see God, I long to see Him." He is longing to see God and he loves Him very much; he is like a fish out of water. He loses his appetite. He has no sleep and his only thought is to see God. And he does see Him without having intellectual conviction because he has heart. In his heart he wants to see God.

Now, here is another man — he has read much, he is a very intelligent person, he has heard much and he is continually reading. Through reading he gets intellectual conviction. He is convinced intellectually. Now, after hearing and reading this, entire he says: "I am convinced that there is nothing but God." But that is only intellectual conviction. This man who is intellectually convinced has no love for God; he is simply convinced through his intellect, and there is the stalemate for him. He says: "Here I am, I have studied much, I have read much, heard much, and I am continuing to read books — Meher Baba's book God Speaks I have read. I am intellectually convinced that there is God, and God is the only Reality." Baba says over and above that he has to have the heart to love God. If intellectual conviction is there and love is also there, as well as the longing to see God and for union with God, it is that love and longing which helps him to attain his goal.

So, we have Francis who, suppose, has not read anything and who has therefore no intellectual conviction, but who has love in his heart.

And here, this other gentleman, who is intelligent and who is intellectually convinced, but who has no love and no heart.

Then there is another man who is intellectually convinced and also has the heart. He attains the goal; he can see God, become God. The person without heart, only intellectual conviction, can never see God. The one who is intellectually convinced and also has the heart can see God and can make others also see God; whereas he who has only heart realizes God for himself and does not help others to see God. That is the difference. Now do you follow what Baba wants to say?

As soon as Francis Brabazon learnt of Baba's plans to have a sahavas in Australia, he set about locating a place that would be suitable to hold it. He drove far and wide — to the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and up into the New England Highlands near Armidale, as he felt a city was not the best place for a center. Then, on 11th January 1958, Mani sent the following letter to the Australians:

As in the USA, Baba will give His sahavas in Australia at one place only. Baba leaves the sahavas arranging to Francis, with loving and willing co-operation and help from all as possible. Baba has outlined the main points, and leaves the details to you. For the site of the sahavas: Baba gives first preference to Queensland, and second preference to Beacon Hill. Baba would like Queensland if the climate is good during June, and if the place is practical from all angles — finance, convenience, climate, accommodation for all, etc. But you should not feel bound by this. If Queensland is not found to be practical from the above mentioned points then you should drop the idea and make arrangements at Beacon Hill for all concerned. If Queensland is found practical, then it would be ideal — for Baba would be blessing with His presence yet another part of Australia. Baba wishes Francis to let Him know which is decided.

This was a total surprise. Neither Francis nor any of the Australian Baba group had any connections to Queensland, or had even visited there before. However, Francis knew that Baba would prefer a warmer climate for His sahavas during the Australian winter (which begins in June), and as Baba had indicated a "preference," Francis decided he would do everything possible to make it happen, despite the limited time.

Within a week of receiving the letter, Francis was driving around hillside locations in Queensland including Tamborine Mountain and Buderim. Finally he came across a run-down 82-acre pineapple farm on Kiel Mountain. It had been started 88 years earlier by Heinrich Kiel, the descendant of a German Lutheran missionary.

The site lay 75 miles north of Brisbane. Francis felt he had found the right place. Francis cabled Baba a detailed description. Baba cabled back that the spot was "excellently suitable."

Using money received from the late Baron von Frankenberg's estate, Francis purchased the property, which Baba later named Avatar's Abode. Being on the summit of a 450-foot hill, Avatar's Abode had 360-degree views — out as far as the Pacific Ocean (some six miles to the east). The region — the Sunshine Coast — was sub-tropical, renowned for its surf beaches, rainforest waterfalls and small fruit and dairy farms. It was an area dotted with tiny church halls — one of the most religious regions of Australia.

In 1958, Francis Brabazon had sent a copy of the manuscript of Stay With God to Baba for approval. Baba had a portion of the book read out to him each day.

Meanwhile, Francis and Meherdas had arrived from Meherazad on 20th March 1958.

Baba had arranged for Francis to stay at Ramakrishnan's home in Kirkee, because it was quieter and Francis found it easier to write there. Every morning, Francis would ride a bicycle three miles to Guruprasad. Baba had instructed him to come at 9:00 A.M., and Francis would arrive at 8:45 A.M.

One day he came at his usual time and Baba asked, "Why are you late today? I was waiting for you."

Francis said, "I have come fifteen minutes early."

Baba sternly corrected him, "I have been waiting for you for one hour, and you say you are fifteen minutes early. Is it proper for you to speak like this?"

Pained at displeasing Baba, Francis burst into tears. Baba informed him, " 'Baba-time' is something different. Remember that!" Embracing him, Baba assured him not to worry about it.

Francis began arriving at 8:30 A.M., but again Baba informed Francis that He had been waiting for him. The next day, Francis came at 8:00 A.M., but once more Baba was early, waiting on the verandah, and scolded him for being late! This went on until Francis finally moved to Guruprasad.

One day Francis told Baba that the Blue Bus and New Life Caravan were of historic interest. "People in the future will be interested in seeing them," he pointed out. "And since they are deteriorating in the harsh Indian climate, they should be properly restored and preserved." Francis sought Baba's permission to carry out this work himself.

On 21st August 1959, Baba gave him permission, stating, "Start the repairs and take any help you require. Whatever material is not available here will be brought from the market."  Baba sanctioned Rs.1, 000 for this work.

He commented, "Francis, your idea is a very good one. Mehera also appreciated it. I will give you my opinions after personally inspecting your work."

Baba chuckled and gave him a kiss. But sometimes Francis too came "under fire." One day, when Baba reprimanded him about something, Francis started weeping and felt much regret. Later Baba called him and gave him instructions about some writing work. Baba assured him, "Don't get discouraged; you are really doing well, and I am quite satisfied with you. I only said what I did earlier so that your heart will be more comfortable!" Baba gave him a kiss, and Francis, now all smiles, left bursting with gratitude and happiness.

They sat outside in front of the hall under a tree. Francis Brabazon had been composing songs for Baba and would sing a new one each day. Baba suggested Francis sing one of the songs he had written, so Baba could accompany him on the drum. ("Francis looked as if heaven had just dropped on his head!") After a few moments of inner debate, Francis sang forth while Baba beat on the drum. Don Stevens took shots from several angles and continued filming. Baba instructed Don to purchase 100 copies of Francis' collection of 25 songs, titled Let Us, The People, Sing, which was being printed on paper from Meherjee's factory, White Cloud.

In east west gathering on 1962, among the mandali, only Eruch and Francis fully participated at every program. Eruch read Baba's signs and gestures, and Francis was with the Australians and other Westerners. Therefore, when Bhau expressed his inability to write a full account, Baba asked Francis to do it, which he executed to Baba's full satisfaction.

After the other men retired, Francis would prepare tea for himself at 9:00 P.M., write until 1:00 or 2:00 A.M., prepare more tea, and then sleep. When Baba came to mandali hall in the morning, He would call Francis. Francis would come looking very sleepy, his legs quite stiff. Each morning, Baba would hand him "half-a-moon" (a stimulant) to prevent him from falling asleep.

Every year, Francis would write a poem in English for the occasion, which he would read out to Baba in mandali hall.

On 7th January 1949, Francis Brabazon purchased land at Beacon Hill, a suburb of Sydney to build a house for Meher Baba. When Francis heard of Baba visit to the States in 1952, he sailed for America where he met Ivy Duce and with her went to meet Baba at the Meher Spiritual centre at Myrtle Beach on 7th May 1952. Baba wanted Francis to return to Australia before 10th of July.

Once, Baba called in Francis Brabazon. "I've known you for ages," Baba remarked, "but you don't remember it, do you?" Francis admitted that he did not. Baba assured him, "You will come to know it is true."

Francis was instructed to go straight back to Australia and inform the Sufi group there that Baba had dissolved their initiations and they were to stop all practices of breathing and chanting mantras, et cetera. He left the same day.

Francis Brabazon had waited years for the chance to meet Baba, and the instant he saw Baba, his heart accepted him as the Ancient One. He declared his wish to stay permanently with Baba, but keeping him in Myrtle Beach for only three days, Baba sent him back to deliver the specified orders, and promised to call him.

Francis wrote of his initial contact with Baba:

This meeting was the culmination of ten years of spiritual study and search for that ideal Guide in whom I could unreservedly place my confidence; that man who, I felt, had mastered every difficulty and obstacle which still confronted me. During the previous ten years, I had studied the methods and practices of the great Sufi schools and had read fairly widely in Vedanta, Buddhism and other systems, including Taoism and Confucianism. In Meher Baba I found that person who not merely knew these things, but was the living embodiment of all these systems and knowledge.

Of course, I knew that Baba had been saying for years that He was God-realized; and I knew that the Sufis and thousands of people everywhere had recognized this claim. But as with Thomas, I had to see for myself.

Well, I did see; and the cry of the deepest parts of my consciousness had been answered.

I was satisfied that if ever it were possible to see God on this earth, I had seen Him. And as time went on, the proof that this had not been merely some emotional conversion was shown by the simple fact that a true creativity began in me a few days after this meeting and has continued ever since. I have met no one, or experienced no experience, which has melted my heart or sharpened my intellect as He has.

For seven days after he departed from Baba in Myrtle Beach, Francis continually wept; his heart was in turmoil. "His tears finally dried," Age observed, "but his heart remained aflame. He was snared in the net of the Divine Fisherman, and his surrenderance at Meher Baba's feet was absolute." But the Divine Fisherman toyed with this prized catch for seven long years, before Francis was allowed to stay with Baba at Meherazad.

In 1952, Ivy, Charmian and Francis met Baba again on the morning of 11th May and they, too, liked the name Sufism Reoriented. Baba informed them: You are instruments for My work, until you get Light. Then you will know what to do automatically. The name Sufism Reoriented should be the same everywhere, but for the present, I personally think it should be separate, and once it is run as I want, then I will see to incorporating all the different branches in different countries in one. All these points must be noted down; make them precise and practical so that they may be published. All of it should be collected so I can go through it, correct it and have it published before I leave in July.

Speaking about the practice of Murshids wearing robes, Baba commented: "No robes are required until you become real Murshids. Then you can put on robes. The very basis of Sufism is a woollen garment, because it absorbs the dark sanskaras of others. When you have Light and you wear the robe, the wool will absorb sanskaras. Muhammad wore one; Krishna too; and now Baba wears a woollen garment."

In 1955, Baba arranged for Francis to stay at Ramakrishna’s home in Kirkee, because it was quieter and Francis found it easier to write there. But on pretext that he was all the time late in coming to Guruprasad on bicycle, Baba shifted him mandali quarters in Meherabad.

On 10th August 1956, Baba called a "work meeting" with Eruch, Francis, Bill Le Page and Robert Rouse. He asked Francis for an account of the work he had been doing in His name, and discussed what he wanted regarding the spreading of his message of love and service. During a pause in the discussion, Baba suddenly asked, "Francis, where is my book?" — referring to the accounts Francis and Don Stevens were both supposed to write on the 1955 Indian Sahavas. Francis was about to defend his nonaction (he had of course been incredibly busy) but held back and answered, "I'm sorry, Baba. I will start immediately after you have left.' ”Baba gazed off as if into the future and replied, "Good." The nature of this exchange propelled Francis and the Rouses to reassess what was going to be a simple diary-like account of the 1955 Sahavas and produce instead the magnus opus Stay with God.

Francis Brabazon had been staying at Meherabad since the 1st of November 1956, and had imbibed much Wine. After the Andhra tour, he had written a description of his experience titled Journey With God. Now Baba sent him back to Australia with instructions to write an account of the sahavas, which became Stay With God. Brabazon left Meherabad on 7th December 1956, and stayed in Bombay for a week before returning home.

In 1958, the Australians sent $6,000 for the around-the-world trip for Myself and the mandali. Baba informed Francis [Brabazon] that the sahavas was to be in Brisbane. Francis found a good spot there [Avatar's Abode]. He started building a new house on the land and making a road leading to the top of a hill. Baba wrote him, "I will come and give you My presence for six days." Francis replied, "It will be enough if you are here for a single day." This reminds me of Hafiz, who said, "To be with a Perfect Master for one moment's time is equal to 100 years of sincere prayer with all one's heart and soul.

In 1958, when Baba reached Avatar’s abode in Sydney, Francis then handed the key to Baba, who unlocked the door. Francis opened the door for Baba, and the party entered. He was shown around the house and the room specially built for him. Baba was also shown the sweeping views that were at that time visible just behind and in front of the house. Standing there, Baba commented, "In 700 years, Avatar's Abode will become a place of world pilgrimage." Robert Rouse recalled Baba also said it would one day be truly "the Abode of God."

He asked Francis, "Who owns the property?" Francis said that it was now Baba's. Baba replied, "I hold no goods or property in My name." He then instructed Francis to register the property in his own name.

Baba said that the prayer (which became known as the Beloved God Prayer) would be recited again three days later on the 28th. To Francis, Baba commented, "The Mohammedan way of praying to God is that which was performed by Aloba. The Parsi way of worshiping is different; they hold a sacred thread in a special manner and complete their worship (at the fire temple). There are different ways of Hindu worship also. What procedure do the Christians adopt?"

Francis made the sign of the cross like a Catholic. "Every religion has ceremonies and rituals," Baba continued. "They are like dry bones. Love has no bondage. The prayer of the heart is the greatest thing. The Master's Prayer has substantial force and meaning. That is why I have given it to the world."

Francis Brabazon had sent a copy of the manuscript of Stay With God to Baba for approval. Baba had a portion of the book read out to him each day. Every year, Francis would write a poem in English for the occasion, which he would read out to Baba in mandali hall

Baba pointed the importance of scriptures. “The scriptures are like rotten bones rotted and are as food for worms. Theosophy and philosophy are like good bones rotted and are as food for vultures. The writings of inspired poets are like fresh bones and are as food for dogs. The writings of spiritually advanced saints are like flesh and are as food for tigers. The writings by living Perfect Masters are like brain and are as food for men! Good bones when rotted have some semblance of bone, but rotten bones when rotted are like filth.”

So, you may go through the scriptures superficially — only to drive away the barking dogs when necessary; for instance, when you are called upon to answer the queries of the priests and the orthodox.

In 1959, One day Francis told Baba that the Blue Bus and New Life Caravan were of historic interest. "People in the future will be interested in seeing them," he pointed out. "And since they are deteriorating in the harsh Indian climate, they should be properly restored and preserved." Francis sought Baba's permission to carry out this work himself. Baba gave him permission, stating, "Start the repairs and take any help you require. Whatever material is not available here will be brought from the market."  Baba sanctioned Rs.1, 000 for this work. He commented, "Francis, your idea is a very good one. Mehera also appreciated it. I will give you my opinions after personally inspecting your work."

According to Baba's wish, Francis Brabazon arrived from Australia on 27th January 1959 to live at Meherazad for an indefinite period.  He laid the handwritten manuscript of Stay with God at Baba's feet — and literally began staying with God! Baba commented about the book: "The unique fact of this epic of the living Avatar being written during His lifetime, and being heard by Him in physical form, will have a great bearing and significance for posterity."

Baba remarked to Francis: "My love will touch the heart of all who read it, as no book has ever done. It will appeal to the highest intellects and to those with simple hearts," which to Francis was the highest praise Baba could have given.

Francis was working on the notes that were to appear at the back of the book, and he was reading through various scriptures. One day Baba commented about them, putting the scriptures in their proper perspective:

In 1962, Francis Brabazon had been composing songs for Baba and would sing a new one each day. Baba suggested Francis sing one of the songs he had written, so Baba could accompany him on the drum. ("Francis looked as if heaven had just dropped on his head!") After a few moments of inner debate, Francis sang forth while Baba beat on the drum. Don Stevens took shots from several angles and continued filming. Baba instructed Don to purchase 100 copies of Francis' collection of 25 songs, titled Let Us, The People, Sing, which was being printed on paper from Meherjee's factory, White Cloud.

In 1963, Baba remarked that the other new book written by Francis Brabazon, titled The East-West Gathering, was excellent.

In 1966, once Francis was occupied with composing poems, ghazals and songs.   Every morning, he would read one of his compositions to Baba. One day, as he was reading a couplet of a song, Baba spontaneously dictated two more lines:

He who seeks My pleasure finds the divine treasure.

In 1967, Often during the sessions in the hall, Baba would motion to Francis and Bill to go out for a smoke, sensing that they needed a break, or if Baba wished to relieve himself on his portable potty. Francis would often go out to urinate, and Baba once commented as he walked out, "Francis is always going to the toilet. He always has to piddle." Baba turned to Bill and remarked, "Yes, you love Francis very much, and he loves you very much — but I love you both very much more than you do each other."

Every morning, Francis would read one of his ghazals to Baba, and Baba would ask him to repeat it three times. As Francis recollected: "Each reading, brought the blessing of His embrace and every embrace contained the seeds of the next lines of poetry."

Once, Baba complimented Francis, "Just as now, in My present advent, I use the ghazals of Hafiz to cite examples of love's ways, similarly when I come back after 700 years, I will quote from your ghazals. That is why I am having you repeat the same ghazals three times — so that I might memorize it

In 1967, Baba instructed: "Francis will transfer Avatar's Abode to Bill who will, when the time is ripe, form a trust of which he will be chairman and turn the place over to it.

Francis Brabazon lived with Baba Mandali for ten years. During this period he wrote his poetical magnum opus “Stay with God” and later, his biography of Baba,  “The silent word” is considered a fine work by Baba lovers the world over.

Other books by him have titles: “Three Talks on Meher Baba” and “Stay with God”

 

70- MINOCHAR NUSSERWAN KHARAS (Minoo)

Minochar Nusserwan Kharas, known as Minoo was, one of Avatar Meher Baba’s close disciples, declared at the end of his diaries that his life with the Master and his struggles against his own weaknesses are an “open book.”

The diaries tell the compelling story of Minoo’s colorful life and his lessons in discipleship with Meher Baba.

They illustrate Meher Baba’s consummate, unparalleled ways of shaping his disciples: his patient and loving guidance through the labyrinth of worldly snares and allures, his aid in the battle against the inclinations of the lower nature – anger, greed, lust, jealousy, envy, hatred, pride, arrogance, cruelty, and selfishness – and the transformation of consciousness he gradually brings about so that the sincere disciple may receive what the Master has come to give.

Minoo told that the most difficult order he had ever received from Meher Baba came at the beginning of the New Life. That order was that Minoo was not to lay eyes on Baba during this period (he had been accepted as one of those who was to remain behind but obey implicitly). If he were to lay eyes on his Master at any time, at any place, he was not to acknowledge Baba in any way. He could not speak his name or speak to Him or even look upon Him. If this ever happened, he was to immediately leave that place.

Minoo told Baba that he didn't believe that he could ever carry out this order, but Baba said to him, "You must!"

Many months elapsed, and Minoo, like many others, longed for just a glimpse of His beloved Baba. In the second year of the separation, one day in Delhi near the railroad station, Minoo looked up as he rounded a corner to see none other than Baba standing near the platform with the men disciples. He remembered his order from Baba, and with great difficulty he did not cast his eyes upon Baba but fled from the spot.

Because of the work he had to do in the city, he remained there to spend the night. He chose a hotel that he had known and retired early, trying not to give way to the sorrow in his heart in not being able to even touch or speak to Baba. During the evening, a knock came at his door and someone inquired if he knew where Meher Baba was staying — that he had been told he was in Delhi and wished to see Him. Minoo replied that he did not know Baba's whereabouts. He then went to bed and tried to sleep, but he could not. He wept all night long.

The next day he went back to the work Baba had assigned him, and it was not until many months later that Minoo learned an astonishing fact. On the same night that he lay in the hotel, crying for the love of Baba, his beloved Baba lay on a bed in the next room against the same wall that divided them, for Baba had decided for his own reasons to remain overnight in a hotel right next door to the hotel in which Minoo stayed. So all the time he wept, Baba was lying near to him. Again, what a demonstration of love and example of why our faith is so important.

In 1932, Minochar Nusserwan Kharas, of Karachi Minoo, as he was called, had come to Nasik to attend the Police Training School. Minoo had always been interested in finding God and had many questions about the meaning of life. And although he had been raised a Zoroastrian, he had put up pictures in his room of Christ, Ram, Buddha and various holy men.

In January of 1932, a barber came one morning to shave Minoo and, when he saw all the pictures hung around the room, he asked Minoo, "What in the world are you doing here in this Police Training School?" He pointed away from Minoo's quarters and suggested Minoo visit a certain holy man who resided nearby.

"To whom are you referring?" Minoo asked.

"Shri Meher Baba," the barber replied.

Minoo had heard this name a few years before in Karachi and seen Baba's photo in a Gujarati newspaper.

On 24th March 1932, Baba sailed from Bombay for England with his small group of six mandali; Approximately 150 of Baba's lovers gave him a hearty and loving send-off on the docks at Ballard Pier. Minoo Kharas with others came to see off.

In 1934, after a brief stay at Meherabad, Baba went to Bombay with a few of the mandali to give darshan to His lovers there. The darshan was held at Naoroji Dadachanji's house and many of Baba's close ones attended, including Minoo Kharas.

For His "spiritual reasons," Baba had a request sent to certain close lovers which included Minoo Kharas to donate Rs.10 per month towards the maintenance of the mandali.

In 1937, two-day celebration was the most grand of any of Baba's birthdays to date, and for the Western lovers it was an experience they would never forget. For several years, Baba had stopped celebrating His birthday, but He allowed it in 1937 because of His Universal work. While returning, the Rahuri bus (with Minoo Kharas) met with accident. )

Minoo Kharas arrived from Karachi to see Baba on 19th February 1939, and after a long discussion with him, left soon after.

On 5th February 1941, Baba again departed from Jaipur for Delhi to contact masts with Chanji and Gustadji. At the Delhi station, Baba and Gustadji sat near the telegraph office, Minoo Kharas of Karachi had suddenly been ordered to go to Delhi on official police work, and Chanji was shocked to see him standing on the platform. Since Baba was traveling incognito, as per His standing order, Minoo covered his eyes when he saw Baba and turned away. Chanji asked him to help find Kaka and then leave, without meeting Baba. "It's a torture!" Minoo pleaded to Chanji — but he obeyed.

Minoo Kharas arrived for a private meeting with Baba on 23th May 1942. He was instructed to meditate for five minutes a day between 2:00 and 5:00 A.M., and to feed, bathe and clothe the poor of Karachi. He left the same day.

Minoo Kharas of Karachi had brought a close relative, Naize Dubash, to whom Baba gave a ring, telling her never to remove it. It was a special gift as that day was Naize's birthday!

Baba and the mandali returned to Lahore on Saturday, 13th November 1943. Minoo Kharas arrived on the 18th. Baba instructed him to come to Meherabad the following May and to remain there for one month.

On 4th April 1947, the last day of His darshan in Madras, Baba called Minoo Kharas to Him. They had been attending the programs during the day, and sleeping at the Theosophical Society at night. Baba ordered Minoo to sleep at the men mandali's quarters that night. He was thrilled to obey. Baba occupied a small room on the first floor, and the mandali a larger room connected to it. Minoo slept on the floor with the men, and then traveled with Baba by train to Bombay the next day.

Besides Ali Shah and Chacha, Minoo Kharas brought three masts from Karachi to Satara on 13th June 1947. They were not particularly outstanding, and Baba kept them for only two days. He bathed and fed them, and then sent them back with Minoo on the evening of the 14th June 1947)

In 1954, once, Kutumba Sastri was reading out the Telugu version, Baba noticed Minoo Kharas dozing. Eruch was told to bring him, and as "punishment" Baba ordered him to stand on the platform until the proceedings were over. He was happy to do so because he found Baba's smiling eyes often on him.

Minoo Kharas and Naize Dubash met Baba on 30th December 1947, at Khushru Quarters. Baba arrived in a car driven by Sarosh and took Minoo and Naize to Meherazad. Baba was pleased to see that Naize was still wearing a ring he had given her during a previous meeting and told her never to remove it. While Naize was with the women mandali, Baba again confirmed to Minoo that he was a member of the Avatar's circle and repeated His promise to give Minoo God-realization.

In the morning of 23rd July 1948, a one-hour darshan was held at lower Meherabad in the new hall. Minoo Kharas and Minoo Pohowala (business partners) had come from Karachi. Baba met each group individually, though they were not allowed to take His darshan or ask questions.

In 1948, Minoo Kharas and few others came to Meherabad, and Baba went to see them at noon that day. (The meeting was in relation to Nariman opening a business office in Karachi, with Kharas and Pohowala help.) Baba returned the next day

On 31st December 1949, Baba gave darshan in the morning in a decorated room at Khushru Quarters, Ahmednagar. Minoo Kharas with his small group came from Karachi.

At the beginning of August 1949, Baba informed the mandali that He would be coming to Meherabad from Meherazad to "discuss and decide about the mandali's future." Five days of meetings were scheduled from 15 to 20 August. Arrangements were made in advance for the out-of-town lovers invited to the meetings, to stay at Meherabad. They arrived on 14th August 1949. The invitees included Minoo Kharas from Karachi

A final meeting to present the New Life conditions had been arranged at Meherabad for 31st August 1949. Of Thirty-two close disciples called, Minoo Kharas was one from Karachi.

Minoo Kharas arrived at Meherabad with Jalbhai. Although Minoo was one of the Yeswalas and wanted to accompany Baba, Baba directed him to wait for the time being and stated, "I free Minoo Kharas and yet include him in the Yeswalas." Minoo was given certain instructions to fulfill and told to return to Meherabad on the 13th. He left for Karachi the next morning.

In new life, three men among the Yeswalas were not to go with Baba. Concerning them, He stated, "The work I had given to Minoo Kharas, he has done satisfactorily. So, by his remaining at his home, he can still be considered a Yeswala. In spite of his staying at home (in Karachi) and carrying on his business and other duties as before, I have asked him to implicitly obey certain of the conditions.

On the 15th 1949, Baba sent Minoo Kharas with few others to Poona, from where they departed for Bombay. Before returning to Karachi, Minoo also saw to it that Baidul's family was safely settled in Bindra House.

Baba wished, all to gather in the meeting hall at seven o'clock, and the doors were shut. Vishnu did not close the gate as fast as he should have, because he saw Gustadji walking toward the hall. Meanwhile, two uninvited men slipped inside, approached Baba and touched His feet. Baba in turn bowed to them.

After they were escorted out, Baba became terribly upset. He scolded Vishnu, "Even if you had seen God approaching the gate, you should have closed the door and not waited for Him to enter."

Baba immediately caught himself and admitted, "I suddenly became angry, which is not good." Baba ordered one of the men to slap him, which the man did, but lightly. Baba was not pleased and asked the same of Minoo Kharas (a former policeman), who gave Baba a hard slap. . (Lord Meher-p-2939-1950)

Baba wanted from the men to privately take the oath of the New Life. He came to hall clad in a white kafni, the ocher-colored satchel for begging hanging from his shoulder. Baba declared that He had now stepped back into the New Life, and He exhorted all Yeswalas to either enter the New Life and follow His behests 100 percent, or to lead the Old Life, or to take up an independent life altogether. One of these they had to decide. The decisions taken were:

Minoo Kharas — Old Life (as ordered by Baba)

Minoo Kharas happened to be visiting Bombay at this time and was permitted to see Baba briefly at Ashiana, on 30th January 1950. He was permitted to return on 3rd February and join Baba and the mandali to attend the "Great Royal Circus," near the Marine Lines Station. They left Ashiana in two cars at 6:00 P.M, and Baba watched the entire two-and-a-half-hour show. (A "thrilling new attraction" was a high-wire motorcycle act.

In 1950, one morning, Minoo Kharas and Ghani slept late and dressed hurriedly without bathing. Baba called both men to come forward and asked why they thought they were exempt from His orders. Minoo looked at Ghani, who replied, "Baba, after having your darshan yesterday, the dust on our bodies was so precious to us we did not bathe. We prefer to be covered with the dust of your presence." Baba was amused by Ghani's quick reply, but warned that in the upcoming days both of them should join the rest in early-morning ablutions.

Baba emphasized: "If I stay on Pimpalgaon Hill, it will only be during the final stage (lasting for 30 to 40 days) of the Manonash period. Baba stated that Daulat Singh and Minoo Kharas would be with Him for the first three months of Manonash period.

Minoo Kharas and Daulat Singh arrived in Hyderabad as instructed, but Minoo was so severely ill he had to be hospitalized for a few days. Because of his poor health, Baba sent him back to Karachi.

Baba’s flight landed in Karachi at night on 22nd August 1951. Only Minoo Kharas had been called to the airport in Karachi, but with him had come Adi Dubash, and also Minoo's fiancée Freni Patel. Minoo alone went forward to greet Baba. Reservations for Baba's group to India were difficult to obtain, but Minoo pointed out that Adi could possibly arrange it, as he worked in shipping.

Baba sent for him and asked, "Why were you hiding? Why didn't you come forward?"

Adi replied, "You had not permitted it."

Baba was pleased. Baba and the women were accommodated in rooms at the airport. Minoo kept watch outside Baba's door during the night.

As decided by Baba, eleven men from the group were to repeat God's name on Baba's behalf, continuously from the 2nd of November to the morning of the 14th, in His Jhopdi. The repetition was to be non-stop the full 24 hours throughout the next twelve days. The schedule was set for Minoo Kharas along with other mandali men.

5:00 to 7:00 P.M. — Minoo Kharas, Ya Yezdan.

During 1952, in the afternoon, Arangaon bhajan group sang before Baba. A qawaali program followed by Habib Qawaal. His performance was so touching that Minoo Kharas and others started weeping. Baba commented: "Tears that stream down the cheeks without your being aware of them are very difficult to control. But if restrained, they give more happiness. You will find greater joy in the inner companionship with your Beloved.

Baba asked Minoo Kharas to read the list of persons who had dedicated their money or property or both to Baba. Before reading the list, Baba stated, "Yesterday, I had a talk with the mandali in My retiring room (Interview Cabin) about accepting money. As per the New Life conditions, I do not accept money; so when Harjiwan Lal showed his willingness to offer Rs.4, 000, I hesitated. Now, I do not like the idea of accepting money. But to make you all feel that you have shared in this giving, even if your name is not on the list, you may give at least one rupee as a token of love, so that all may feel that they, too, have shared."

On 10th November 1952, Baba came to Meherabad. For many invited, Baba gave interviews. Minoo Kharas and few others were allowed to leave for their homes.

In 1953 at Mahabaleshwar Meherjee brought Minoo Kharas Meanwhile, Baba's health was suffering, and the mandali insisted Him to take some treatment. Mandali prevailed upon Baba to return to Bombay for medical treatment, to which Baba agreed on one condition: "I am ready to go on condition that from the day I begin taking treatment, you all remain beside Me awake without a wink of sleep."

Minoo Kharas wrote to Eruch informing him of the birth of a baby daughter. Eruch replied on 11th December 1954:

Under the present atmosphere at Rosewood, where Baba has been keeping aloof even from the mandali, the news reaching us from you could not possibly be conveyed to Baba. Under strict orders from Baba, we have not to convey to Him anything, whether it be the contents of letters, telegrams or things pertaining to mandali's daily routine. The seriousness in the atmosphere near Baba is gradually gaining a tempo, which is now beginning to tell upon the mandali, too.

Ramjoo also wrote to Minoo Kharas (on 25th January 1955):

Baba and all those who live with or near Him remain more or less preoccupied with what Baba calls His "preparation" for breaking His silence. As far as appearances go, Baba is day-by-day withdrawing more and more to himself, reducing all communications to the minimum of gestures in respect to day-to-day routine, without recourse to the alphabet board or to making signs of "writing by fingers" as He used to do throughout the 30 years of his silence.

Living practically with next to no sleep during the nights and subsisting on meager nourishment as an excuse for eating once every 24 hours, Baba still remains very active from morning to evening and twice in a day walks more than a mile from one bungalow to another of those staying with Him permanently in different groups.

Preparations in Meherabad for the first of four sahavas programs were in the final stages. On 27th October 1955, Baba had been driven to Meherazad from Satara, and from the following day, He began visiting Meherabad daily. Tents for sleeping and for the meetings were erected. A separate dining pandal, with tables and chairs, was pitched for serving tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Minoo Kharas with others rendered services

When all had joined Him there, Baba stated:

From each group I want one man who will fast for 21 days from the 15th of February 1955, remain only on water and continuously repeat My name. It is nothing great to remain on water for 21 days; many have fasted like this for longer periods. But to remain at one place and continuously repeat My name loud enough so that only the one saying it can hear it is really very difficult.

Even for Baba it is difficult!

Baba asked those courageous enough to do this fast to stand up. A few stood and Baba selected five, of which Minoo Kharas was one. Baba instructed him.

For 21 days stay at one place, eat and drink nothing except water, take Baba's name half-audibly and never sleep.  I will give further instructions later on. God is deaf. If you repeat My name mentally, I will not hear it as I am also deaf. Come what may, whether you fall ill or there are other difficulties, follow faithfully and stick to what I have told you.

On 6th November 1955, Baba arrived at Meherabad. After a discussion with the mandali, He entered the hall where the sahavas group had already gathered. "Baba looked quite beautiful, Baba asked, "How do I look?"

Several men said He looked radiant. Baba commented, "I did not sleep at all last night, yet you say I look splendid and blissful!"

Baba asked about those who had not slept well. A few stood up; among them was Minoo Kharas of Karachi. Baba joked, "I don't believe you. Last night, I was out on a survey of worldwide conditions when I found both of you snoring loudly!"

On Monday, 7th November 1955, Baba arrived in Meherabad from Dehradun after darshan program .Baba had a discussion in His cabin with Pendu, Padri and Vishnu for some time, and then came to the hall to see the sahavas group. He said, "Those who did not sleep last night should stand up." Minoo Kharas and Adi Dubash promptly stood up again. Baba wryly inquired, "Don't you two ever sleep at night?"

Dadi Mehta remarked, "Both sleep quite well, Baba!"

Everyone laughed, and Baba asked Adi Dubash, "Has Minoo's proximity affected you? Despite no sleep, your health seems to be quite good, so there is nothing to worry about.

In 1958, darshan program, Baba called Minoo Kharas, and Minoo had an embrace. Baba chatted with such longtime lovers as Minoo Kharas, and other Pakistani lovers

Minoo Kharas joked, "Baba, I remembered only your second advice — to love you wholeheartedly — and clean forgot about the first."

Calling him, Baba twisted his ear, commenting, "True love never expresses itself outwardly. Love makes one forget oneself from head to foot."

For the first time in the history of Meherabad, a train arrived and halted there. The luggage was piled into the coaches, and the men and women tearfully shouted Baba's Jai as the train whistled and started. It was a very moving sight for Age. "

The train departed amidst loud cheering. Minoo Kharas was so overcome that he ran after the train for about a quarter of a mile loudly shouting Baba's Jai!

Baba's chair was carried up Meherabad Hill followed by the sahavas women and behind them the men. There was a small ditch nearby, and Baba made Pukar stand up and warn people about it, joking with him, "You will be kept in this pit!" After a while, Baba suddenly flung Minoo Kharas' hat into the ditch.

In 1959, a special train from Andhra bringing 300 pilgrims arrived in Ahmednagar on Sunday, 1st March 1959. Minoo Kharas of Karachi was there. About 500 lovers from Ahmednagar also gathered.

In 1965, Minoo Kharas came from Karachi, and saw Baba on the 9th and 10th May with his family. Minoo returned on 25 May. It was to be his final meeting with the Divine Beloved.

 

 

 

69-MEHERWAN B. JESSAWALA

Meherwan B. Jessawala was son of Papa Jessawala and younger brother of Eruch B. Jessawala.

Meherwan came to live with mandali as a child with his family. When he grew up Baba sent him to live in Poona. There after he shouldered family responsibilities with short stays with mandali.

Some of important life time episodes and his conversation with Meher Baba are produced below.

Once, Nariman Dadachanji brought beer at Meherazad and asked for Beloved Baba’s permission to serve it to Mandali and Baba gave him permission to do so. Meherwan Jessawala (Eruch’s younger brother) was visiting Meherazad at that time, so natural he was included in the treat. Nariman gave beer to all thee Mandali and Meherwan Jessawalas in his room as the villagers and workers were not supposed to know that alcohol was being served. After dirking everybody retired to their respective rooms at night.

Next day Beloved Baba asked Mandali if they enjoyed the cool bear. When enquired specifically from Aloba to which Aloba replied “yes, very much!” Then Baba asked Meherwan whether he liked the drink, and Meherwan replied that he did not like it but made him dizzy. Hearing this, Beloved Baba instructed Meherwan that in future no more alcohol for him, and this should be treated as His order. Ever practical Eruch, asked Baba as to what about some medicines where alcohol; is present. To this Baba responded that in medicines alcohol was allowed and that there is no problem. Meherwan was very young when Baba had given this order to him. Throughout his life Meherwan did not eat any chocolates, cakes and any other dish with even a dash of alcohol. Even the medicines containing alcohol were rarely consumed by him.

During one of Darshan program, someone asked Baba as how anyone can recognize a saint. Baba replied pointing toward corner of Guruprasad hall. In the corner a young Meherwan Jessawala was sitting quietly. And he indeed is a saint as pointed by beloved Baba.

Naja Irani was Baba’s Cousin. Baba once asked her read the letter which He asked her to write his family and friend, in presence of everyone. She was reluctant to do so. Baba kept her coaxing her and finally she had to read letter. She began the letter as “Dear Saint Meherwan” and suddenly there was a burst of laughs and giggles. Immediately Baba turned towards the ladies and said that Meherwan is indeed a Saint and everyone turned serious and quietly listened to the contents’ of the letter.

Referring to Meherwan Jessawala, Baba complimented him, “He is Eruch’s brother and My jewel, an original jewel. From head to foot he is Mine.

In 1934, before leaving Meherabad, Baba sent away the boys, Meherwan Jessawala to Akbar Press to stay with his relatives and Dadi Kerawala to his family, telling them, "I will call you later."

Jessawala’s young son Meherwan had proven to be a burden to his relatives at Akbar Press where Baba had placed him before leaving on the tour. Gaimai's sister Shirin's husband Jehangir Damania would continuously write to Gaimai to take Meherwan back, claiming he was too much of a nuisance to look after. Gaimai seemed anxious one day and Baba asked her the reason.

She said, "For us, you are put to so much trouble. Now there is Meherwan to worry about. We have come to you with only problems."

Baba asked, "Do you love Meherwan or Me?"

Gaimai replied, "To dedicate my one Meherwan at your feet is not enough; even were I to surrender a thousand sons, it would be nothing."

Her reply made Baba happy and He consoled her, "As you have come to Me leaving everything behind, what trouble it will be to Me?" Then He said, "You are not worthy of being Eruch's mother, but you are worthy of being My mother!"

Baba permitted the Zoroastrian thread ceremony of Meherwan and Sam to be performed on Sunday, 9th April 1939, Pappa Jessawala came for the occasion and had the ceremony performed at a local agyari by its resident priest. Masaji prepared a feast for the 200 attendees. The two boys were taken to meet Baba after the ceremony. The priest too wished to meet privately with Baba but Baba, for his own reasons, refused to see him. (Although Baba granted interviews to some of the sincere guests the next day.)

Around Christmas and New Year's Eve, each group put on a short skit. In the play, Meherwan Jessawala was made a butler, and Mani his Muslim boss. But, instead of bringing the tea tray and saluting Mani, little Meherwan took the tray to Baba and saluted Him, which made Baba laugh so hard, He was pink in the face. Meherwan then proceeded to upturn the tea tray he was supposed to serve and fumbled his lines, which he recited off cue, despite what Mani had taught him.

In 1942, during train journey on the way to Lonavla, there was a frightening incident, as Meherwan Jessawala relates: "We were all in a compartment when Baba suddenly became very pale, unable to lift His hands and feet. His eyes were open, but He appeared totally drained of blood, and as if He was passing away. He lay there helpless, unable to move and totally limp."

All rushed forward to revive Him. Rano administered a few drops of Coramine (a central nervous system stimulant) and within a few minutes Baba recovered. Meherwan concluded, "During times of great internal working, Baba would suffer such spells."

Meherwan was in college at the time, studying for his Bachelor of Science degree. The day of his final examination was approaching, and while searching for bungalows he had no time to study. As a reward for their success in finding a suitable residence, Baba made an exception to his ban on visitors and sent for Pappa, Meherwan and Gadekar.

During 1954, Meherwan had not seen Baba for more than a year. He was shocked by Baba's condition: "I had never seen Baba so physically depleted. He was in a terrible state, so thin and frail that His neck was like a chicken's, and He had to be supported to walk. Because of piles trouble He could not even sit, and for the duration of our visit, Baba stood. He was totally emaciated. Yet the smile He gave to greet us was His usual one and He embraced us.”

Baba expressed His pleasure at the procurement of Guruprasad, and then asked Meherwan, "When is your exam?"

In a few days," he replied.

"Will you pass?" asked Baba.

"Of course," Meherwan assured Him.

Eruch interrupted, "He has not studied at all, Baba! He has not had time. So how can he pass?"

Therefore, Baba ordered Meherwan, "All right, now start studying." Only four or five days were left, but Meherwan concentrated and passed his final exam.

On 18th June 1954, the following men arrived in Satara for the cricket match. Meherwan Jessawala participated.

A Match was played at Udtara a distance of twelve miles. Eruch drove Baba in Meherjee's car to Udtara, near the road, as they were leaving Udtara, Baba had remarked, "Remember this place." The men did not understand why Baba had said this. But they learned the significance of Baba's words a year and a half later, when Meher Baba's second automobile accident occurred near this spot.

Baba convened a small group meeting in Rosewood in April 1955 to announce and discuss certain plans, including his intention to go into seclusion for three months. Close ones in Baba's contact including Meherwan Jessawala. Some from different centers in India were also called.

After road accident in 1956, Baba did not like staying at Dr. Bansod's nursing home — it was too small and he was uncomfortable — and he said he would not stay there longer than necessary. So Meherwan Jessawala and Meherjee hurried to find a suitable house in Poona. They managed to rent a small, quiet house near Meherjee's own home, a bungalow named Silver Oaks, at 23 Salisbury Park Road. Baba was taken there on the 11th afternoon. A special bed was kept for him, and Dr. Bansod and a civil surgeon named Dr. Virkar put His leg in traction. But, that evening, Baba again had severe pains and spasms, and the doctor had to be called in the night.

Referring to Meherwan Jessawala, Baba complimented him, "He is Eruch's brother and My jewel, an original jewel. From head to foot he is Mine."

Rano became ill in May, as did Pappa Jessawala and Roshan's baby. On the night Rano was stricken with a severe attack of gastroenteritis, with constant loose motions and vomiting. Meherwan Jessawala brought a female doctor who prescribed medicine for her, and Meherwan did not get any sleep the whole night.

Before leaving, He told Meherwan, "You did not sleep last night, so tonight go to bed at ten o'clock. This is My order."

Meanwhile, Meherwan was at his office nearby, and when Baba returned to Guruprasad he had the car stopped outside the office. Meherwan was summoned and Baba again reminded him to be sure to sleep at 10:00 P.M.

That night, exactly at ten o'clock when Meherwan was about to go to bed, Pappa shouted for him. Meherwan was in a quandary; Baba had ordered him to go to bed at ten o'clock, and now this unexpected situation had arisen.

Meherwan lay down quickly to fulfill Baba's order and then ran to his father's bedside. He found Pappa breathing with difficulty and sweating profusely. Anxious about Pappa's condition, Meherwan went out to bring the doctor, but it was too late. Pappa's time had come. He died of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 74 with the word Baba on his lips.

Guruprasad was informed and Baba sent Nariman and Meherjee to Bindra House. According to Baba's instructions, Eruch stayed at Guruprasad. Pappa was merged forever in Baba's Ocean of Divinity. Meherwan was not upset over his demise — he was worried about his own disobedience to Baba's instruction.

On Sunday morning, 1st October 1961, Habib Qawaal came to Meherazad at 9:00 A.M. and sang before Baba. Baba enjoyed his performance. A few persons from Ahmednagar had been called, as well as Meherwan Jessawala, who arrived that day from Poona and stayed overnight at Meherazad.

Soon after their arrival, on the evening of 3rd April 1962, Pendu had much pain passing urine and was admitted to the Jehangir Nursing Home. He had to have a prostate operation, but when the surgery failed to relieve his condition, he was operated upon a second time. This operation failed as well, but fortunately the third attempt (on 9th May) was successful. As Meherwan Jessawala pointed out, "It was so obvious that such a capable surgeon would not fail three times. All these procedures were extremely painful for Pendu, and it looked as if Baba was making Pendu share in the suffering that was always the lot of the mandali who were with Baba.”

On 23rd October 1962, Meherwan Jessawala with others was coordinated the Westerners' stay in different hotels for East West gathering.

Mohan-Saigal gave a performance at Meherazad from 1:00 until 5:00 P.M. on 28th September 1963, a wonderful musical feast of ghazals. Meherwan Jessawala and many from Ahmednagar and few from Bombay were present, including all those from Upper and lower Meherabad — about 105 persons. Baba had enjoyed Mohan's singing in Guruprasad and was delighted to have him at Meherazad.

At Guruprasad, Meherwan Jessawala presented Baba with the special folding toilet seat he had designed and had made for Baba's convenience, according to Goher's instructions. Baba was quite pleased with the device.

On 7th February 1966, Meherwan Jessawala arrived Poona for his annual stay at Meherazad for Baba's birthday. While he was there, Meherwan would help his brother Eruch with the correspondence, which always increased at this time.

During 1967, sometimes the work would be so intense that Baba said He would feel faint. Bhau was instructed to tie a sash around Baba's waist and around the chair to prevent Him from falling off. As Meherwan Jessawala recalled, after one of his stays, "It was tremendous work that was being done. Soon after the work was over and we would be called, we could see the physical part of it. Baba's body was so fatigued and tired out, as if all energy had been drained from Him. He would be covered with sweat and very tired."

On Sunday, 13th October 1968, at 8:30 A.M., Baba held a meeting to inform His main workers of his decision to give darshan the following year from 10th April to 10th June 1969 at Guruprasad. Besides the resident men mandali, Meherwan Jessawala from Meherabad was called to Meherazad

Recently, Meherwan B. Jessawala joined Baba in year 2017.

 

68-MEHERJEE ARDESHIR KARKARIA (Meherjee)

Meherjee Ardeshir Karkaria was related to Dadachanji. He was an ardent lover and close disciple of Baba. Being mandali he widely travelled with Baba.

Many of his lifetime episodes and dialogues with Meher Baba are recorded below:

In March 1927, Chanji brought his young relative Meherjee from Poona to Meherabad who lived in their same compound in Poona. Meherjee had been induced to come with them on a picnic to Ahmednagar.

The Dadachanji families were Parsis from Bombay, and though it was not customary for them as Zoroastrians, they offered Baba homage by touching His feet. But Meherjee, the son of a Parsi priest in Navsari, folded his hands in salutation from a distance. After Baba inquired about each one’s health, He gestured to Meherjee and asked, “What do you do?” He replied that he was studying science and engineering. Baba inquired further, “What will you do when you finish?” Meherjee replied that he would obtain his Bachelors of Science degree. Baba smiled and asked, “Why don’t you come to My school and work as a teacher?” Meherjee did not seem happy with this, so Baba added, “All right, appear in the exam; but if you fail, come back.” Meherjee did not say anything.

Meherjee Karkaria met Baba in 1927, and for two years he was with Him as school teacher and as one of the mandali. He went Persia, and began Import business. When He departed, Baba said to Him, “Never get disappointed in doing anything, try your best, stick to the job, do it honestly with Me at the back of your mind, and leave result to Me. He took these words to his heart, and he have found that if he adhere to them, and leave all to Him, process may not be of our liking, but ultimately all turned out well. His experience with Baba has proved this.

The same day, Meherjee was depressed because he had been dismissed as Baba's personal attendant. Baba first teased him, but then He joked with him to appease him. The following night, Baba beckoned him, "Ask of Me whatever you want and I will give it to you. The sky, the depths, the earth, the waters — anything that you may desire. You have only to ask for it."

Meherjee humbly replied that he did not want anything. Baba insisted, "Oh for God's sake, ask for something! I am happy tonight and I will give you anything you want." Meherjee persisted, saying that he did not want anything other than to serve Him well. So Baba reinstated him as His orderly, and Meherjee was satisfied.

In 1928, Meherjee's father arrived unexpectedly at Meherabad in the afternoon with four Parsi priests. He had heard a rumour that his son had shaved his head and was moving about in a long robe like a sadhu. But when he saw Meherjee, he realized the stories were false. Nevertheless, he told Baba, "Meherjee is my eldest son and I have hopes of his shouldering the full responsibility of our entire family. I therefore wish to take him home."

Baba replied, "Your son is gold. You may take him with you, but I allow it with a pain in My heart." Meherjee did not want to leave, but Baba took him aside and consoled him, "Go now. It is My order. I am sending you with My blessing. And remember, even if you leave Me, I will never leave you."

Baba then asked Meherjee if he loved him. Meherjee replied, "If I did not love you, how could I wish to remain here?"

Baba explained, "Obedience is higher than love. So carry out what I order you to do. Go now, and remember that I am with you." Meherjee accepted, and with tears in his eyes accompanied his father home.

Two days later, Meherjee returned to Meherabad. He was planning to travel to Persia to work and wished to have Baba's darshan and permission before departing. The proprietor of a firm had offered him a salary of Rs.60 per month, but Baba advised him not to accept the job. After some days, the proprietor approached Meherjee with an enhanced offer of Rs.100. This time Baba allowed him to accept the job. Before Meherjee departed, Baba remarked, "You may go and I will follow you. My nazar is on you." Meherjee left for Persia as a lowly employee, but returned to India sixteen years later as a prosperous businessman.

Since 1929, Meherjee Karkaria had been quite successfully doing business in Iran, and had no opportunity of meeting Baba. He had come to India once in 1934 to see Baba, but at the time, Baba was in the West. In 1943, Meherjee again came to Bombay for a visit, and against his better judgment, a friend took him to a palmist. Consulting Meherjee’s hand, the palmist said, “If you are not careful of your business, sixty per cent of your wealth will be lost.” At that, Meherjee sent a cable to his manager in Persia, instructing him to dispose of his business. He then proceeded to Lahore to see Baba.

During their meeting, Baba asked Meherjee, “What have you been doing all these years in Persia? How’s your business coming along?” Meherjee told Baba everything, and also about his recent encounter with the palmist. Baba twisted Meherjee’s ear and said, “You fool! Do you believe in astrology? Palmistry? I myself am God, and God can transform, create and destroy entire planets. Send a telegram immediately that nothing should be disposed of.”

Meherjee wrote the message, and Baba dispatched Vishnu to the telegraph office to have it sent at once. Baba advised him to continue his business as he had been doing, and Meherjee left for Persia. By heeding Baba’s advice, his business prospered more than ever before.

A few years before, Meherjee Karkaria had been instructed by Baba not to sell his business in Iran, but to continue as he had been doing. Meherjee returned to Iran, according to Baba's advice, and his business was quite prosperous. In 1945, he again visited India and Baba called him to Hyderabad on 23rd June 1945. Baba discussed matters with him, and stated, "Now go back to Iran, close your business down, and move to Bombay. If you don't, Homai (his wife) will die."

That was a sufficient incentive, and Meherjee returned to Persia, sold his business as Baba instructed, and landed in Bombay on 2nd November 1945. However, it took a long time for Meherjee to finally wind up all his affairs in Iran, and even after he had settled in India, he still had to go back to Iran on business. Each time he would inform Baba by cable that he was leaving, and each time Baba would give him a fixed date for his return.

Once Meherjee could not find a boat from Bander Abbas to Bombay, and to reach India on the appointed date he sailed by a small fishing vessel. A storm arose during the voyage, and the boat began pitching and rolling from side to side.

The captain said it was too dangerous to go further, and decided they should stop where they were. But Meherjee insisted, "Don't stop! I have to reach Bombay as soon as possible!"

The captain pleaded, "Dead or alive? If we proceed, we will sink." The storm continued gathering force and the sea was turbulent, but Meherjee persisted in his demand. Once, he was so forcefully thrown to one side, the platinum ring on his finger broke into pieces. Remembering Baba, he did not lose courage. When the boat docked at the closest port, Meherjee caught another boat bound for Bombay and arrived in time. He experienced Baba's inner help because of his firm determination to obey Him.

On 1st April 1949, Adi Sr., Nariman, Meherjee and the boy Frenchy arrived in Mount Abu. Adi, Nariman and Meherjee left Mount Abu on 2 April, while Frenchy stayed for a few days more at Baba's request. Baba traveled to Bombay on 11th April, arriving the next night, and stayed at Meherjee's house with Baidul and Eruch.

At Bombay, Meherjee and Nariman did night watch for Baba on alternative days.

On 7th July 1949, Baba fasted on tea without milk, taken twice, and two glasses of buttermilk, also taken twice that day. At 11:00 A.M., Kaka came out of Baba's cabin and wrote on his slate for Meherjee "You will not get such an opportunity again in your live, so make the most of the time at your disposal.

The Meherabad estate had first belonged to Adi Sr. and his father, who had laid it at Baba's feet. Meherjee became the owner of lower Meherabad, Sarosh of Meherabad Hill and Nariman of Meherazad.  But these three men maintained the properties for Baba's future work and never considered them as their own.

In 1949, one day Baba came in the morning for breakfast and met Meherjee, his wife Homai, and their daughter Pervin. Meherjee's other daughter, Mehernaz, was an infant, and Baba took her in his arms and played with her for a while.

After the first part of His 40-day seclusion was over, on 24th March 1951, Baba called an hour-long meeting at the seclusion hut. Meherjee and other resident mandali were summoned.

Baba asked Meherjee to read out the clippings from different newspapers about Jal Kerawalla. Baba stated, "Jal obeyed Me 100 percent without any complaint and with absolute faith. Indeed, such obedience and faith is rare."

Meherjee Karkaria returned at the end of April 1953, and came to Mussoorie.

Meherjee was called to Mahabaleshwar for a few days from 17 April 1954.  On the 29th, Baba left Mahabaleshwar and group for mast work in Dharwar. They traveled in Meherjee's car, which had been sent from Bombay. On 14th May 1954, Baba and the women mandali, proceeded to Bhilar near Panchgani in Meherjee car, and after a three-day holiday there, they returned to Mahabaleshwar.

Adi Sr. brought Meherjee, Vishnu and Irene Conybeare to Satara on the 4th 1956. Baba also indicated that Meherjee would accompany Him to the West in the first part of July 1956.

Baba embraced Clarice and Ena and urged them to be happy. Meherjee drove them back to their hotel. Later, Baba questioned him about what they had said in the car, as if he wanted to know if they liked him and were impressed and satisfied with their visit. He told Meherjee, "I wanted them to be here and that is why they came. I love both very much."

For Meherjee, Baba's "work" involved many lessons in humiliation! For example, although it had been announced that the plane was to land in Dallas at 1:00 A.M., a few minutes later, Baba directed Meherjee to go ask the stewardess when they would be landing. After another ten minutes, Baba told him to go ask again. This happened several more times and Meherjee said, "Baba, she will wonder if we are mad or jungli (uncouth, ignorant)!" However, Baba had His own reasons and told him to ask, and the woman would always smile, give a courteous reply and not be annoyed at all.

Once, during another plane flight, everyone was sleeping after dinner. The stewardesses were also tired and were dozing at the rear of the plane. Baba instructed Meherjee, "Go and ask our stewardess when I will get breakfast."

"But she is resting," Meherjee said.

"Wake her up and ask her." Meherjee had to obey. Smiling, the young lady said that breakfast would be served in the morning. When he returned and told Baba, Baba gestured, "I am feeling hungry. Get me something to eat now." Meherjee had to go back and wake up the lady again, and she gave him some cereal and coffee. Baba hardly touched it, just crumbling a little of the food between His fingers. And Meherjee was further embarrassed to have to return the tray like that — practically untouched.

At other times, in the middle of the night, Baba would tell the mandali to go to the stewardess and ask when she was going to wake them up and when they were going to arrive at their destination. "But, Baba, she is sleeping," they would say. "Call her!" they were ordered.

"Miss, miss, our boss wants to know when we will get to Los Angeles," for example. Surprisingly, the mandali found that the stewardesses were never angry about it. Baba had His own reasons for doing this. By waking someone up, He was giving the blessing of his contact to that person.

Baba and the mandali boarded their flight on Qantas Airlines on 14th August 1956, departing from Australia to return to India. After the plane touched down in Darwin and Jakarta, they landed in Singapore at 2:00 P.M. on the 15th, where they were to spend the day and night in an air-conditioned room at the Raffles Hotel. Baba was not in a good mood. Nilu was on watch near him at night. Baba had the air-conditioner in his room turned off, and every ten minutes kept sending for Meherjee, Eruch or Adi. He remarked that their plane might be delayed due to the Suez Crisis, but the mandali thought that highly unlikely.

During the night he was very restless and instructed Meherjee, "Go and inquire what time breakfast is served in the morning." Meherjee reported that it was not available before six o'clock. They were to leave before this, and at 4:00 A.M., Baba sent him back to try and arrange something to eat before they left. Despite his efforts, he failed.

Without washing or having tea, Baba and the mandali came down to the lobby at 5:00 A.M. to go to the airport in a BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) bus. There were two buses parked and Meherjee escorted Baba into the first thinking it would leave sooner. No one else was in the bus as the driver had not come yet. Adi's mood was spoiled because of no breakfast, and Baba too was taking the other three men to task for various things that were annoying him. It was then learned that the first bus was not proceeding to the airport. Baba was highly displeased with Meherjee for making him sit in it. Boarding the second bus, they reached the airport and departed for Colombo

Due to the Suez Canal Crisis, they were informed that planes from Colombo to Bombay had been canceled. Baba asked the mandali, "Do you think Me mad because of My behavior last night?" They realized that by becoming angry, Baba had averted a much worse situation, as the Suez Crisis proved to be a minor affair.

Vishnu had departed for Poona on the 1st for some work, and Baba told him to join them on their return to Satara on the evening of the 2nd. Meherjee was called to Satara from Poona on the 1st and instructed to bring several crates of soda water. It was Baba's standing order for him to come to Satara by bus. But because he had been told to bring the soda, Meherjee drove to Satara in his new, imported Chevrolet. When he arrived, Baba was furious with him. "Why did you break My order and come in your car? Send it back to Poona immediately." So, Meherjee sent the car back with the driver and he stayed the night.

Leaving the Bombay airport, Baba and the mandali drove to Ashiana. After having tea, Baba, Eruch, Nilu, Meherjee, Bhau and Ismail drove to Satara in Meherjee's car and arrived the same day. A telegram had been sent from Bombay to the women in Satara — but it reached them only an hour before Baba did.

On reaching Satara, Baba inquired about the telegram Meherjee had sent. When he heard that it had not been received, he was greatly perturbed and scolded Meherjee, "Why didn't you do as I told you? Where is that telegram now?" Meherjee acknowledged his mistake and regretted trying to save a little money. He departed for Poona the next day.

In Jalgaon, after working with a few more masts, Baba went to the dak bungalow to rest for the night. After dinner, He uncharacteristically poured a little brandy for each man. Baba then began to smoke a cigarette a mast had given him earlier in the day. Calling Meherjee, Baba handed him the cigarette, indicating to him to take a few puffs. He then motioned to him to throw it away and never smoke again. Meherjee, being from a strict family of Zoroastrian priests, had never tried smoking, so this proved to be his first and last cigarette — given to him by Baba!

In 1959, for treat, Deshmukh wished to give ice cream to the mandali and Baba permitted it. Meherjee was there and Deshmukh asked him how the brand Kwality ice cream was rated. Meherjee reflected, "If you order Kwality ice cream, your skin will be peeled off (meaning, it will cost a lot, because it was one of the best brands). You'd better order a cheaper variety for so many."

Deshmukh considered this and said, "You are right. I don't want to spend so much." He brought another brand of ice cream, which Baba distributed to all.

Dada Vaswani had many followers, all of whom Baba allowed darshan. Baba appeared to be in a happy mood. Homa was to drive Baba back to Ahmednagar in Meherjee's car. Meherjee's wife brought the car to Saint Mira High School and handed the keys to Homa, who locked the car. Baba was occupied with giving darshan, and Homa was gazing at him as if entranced. Joy and happiness prevailed in this pleasant atmosphere. Seeing Baba's smile had a wonderful effect.

Suddenly Homa remembered the keys and discovered he had locked them inside the car.

He became nervous, went to tell Meherjee. Meherjee told Homa to go quickly to his house and bring a duplicate set. The darshan was about to end. Homa took another car and was able to return just as Baba was stepping out of the hall. Baba left with the mandali in Meherjee's car for Meherazad, and remarked on the way, "No stool, no urine, but the work done was quite good!"

Baba was in a cheerful mood, and when informed of Homa's blunder, he remarked to him, "I am so happy today that I forgive you. Now, drive fast.”

Baba said to Irwin that "I want you to be here every morning at 7:30 A.M. Meherjee will pick you up at your hotel and you will stay with Me during the day. He will take you somewhere for lunch and bring you back, and you will remain with Me until I dismiss everyone. After that he will take you for dinner and show you a different part of Poona each day." Baba then instructed Meherjee to take Irwin to Babajan's tomb that evening and to other places of interest on subsequent days.

Meherjee became a partner with Dadachanji in his business. However was mostly with Baba on Mast trips and doing various tasks for Him, and in 1959 Baba directed that partnership be dissolved.

With Baba’s permission Meherjee started a hand-paper making factory. From the beginning he encountered many difficulties, and nearly five years the business was running at a loss. Yet Baba assured him often, “Don’t worry. I am with you. Even if water comes to your nose, it will not enter in your nostrils, and you will not sink.” Even at the point when the business was still losing money, Baba said, "Don’t worry. Do not lose courage; it is going to be very big, - in fact so big that you will not be able to cope with the work.” And as He said, by His grace the business has so flourished that His words of assurance so many years ago was constantly with Him.

The difficulties were many in the beginning. In purchasing land for the factory, He did not need a great space, but to obtain some at right place. He was forced to take five acres, much more than he needed, and that too it was the site of an old quarry.  Yet at the time Baba assured him that land would prove to be “Raw gold”. Then the dams of the Poona water supply burst, supply was therefore cut-off and water was essential for filter paper-making process. He could not obtain water elsewhere, and so, although the factory site was nothing but rock, in disruption he hired a drilling machine with an operator and pointing to spot directed that operator take Meher Baba’s name and start drilling. We got the water at three and half a feet! It was by His grace and blessings-nothing else!  When we continued four inch bore to seventy five feet, and He then had a constant supply of 30000 gallons a day, amply for our requirement.

The need in India at that time was for filter papers, and they were only obtainable at high cost from overseas. But the technology to make them was not available in India. So with Beloved Baba’s name on my lips, he experimented and again by His grace we developed over six to seven years almost sixty types of filter papers, all without foreign know-how. Baba expressly desired that he should give work to as many unemployed people as possible. So He had that time eighty women working there, many of them widows and therefore destitute.

On 20 June 1963, Baba visited Meherjee's filter paper factory, White Cloud. Afterwards, he went to the new house which the Harbs had built on a nearby hill. Baba also went to Meher Villa, Meherjee's home, before returning to Guruprasad.

For the most part, Baba kept Himself secluded in Guruprasad, not allowing any outsiders to come and see Him. However there was no ban imposed against visits from Meherjee and few others. But most of these men had jobs, so they came only on Sundays, when Baba would also call lovers such as Madhusudan, Ramakrishnan, Pratap, Narendra, Kisan, Kamble, Shinde and Pote to play card games. So the atmosphere at Guruprasad that summer was quiet and peaceful, as Baba's seclusion work continued.

During this period, Baba gave Bhau one hour, from 3:00 to 4:00 P.M., in which to do writing work, and so while Bhau was writing, Meherjee was instructed to be on watch near Baba.

One day Meherjee came out of Baba's bedroom and walked straight past Bhau to Eruch. Bhau saw Him but thought He had some message to deliver and would be coming back. After a few minutes, Baba clapped and Goher rushed to Him. "Where is Bhau?" Baba asked, "I sent for him. Why hasn't he come?"

Goher told Bhau, and he entered Baba's bedroom. Baba was displeased and asked, "Why didn't you come? I have been waiting for you. Didn't Meherjee tell you I wanted you right away?"

"No, he did not," said Bhau.

Baba sent for Meherjee and asked him, "Why didn't you tell Bhau to come to Me?"

"I forgot," Meherjee replied. "But it was Bhau's responsibility to ask me why I left your room early." Baba agreed and scolded Bhau for not asking Meherjee about it. From that day onward, the moment Meherjee came for his duty, Bhau had to wait outside on the verandah and go to Baba the minute Meherjee left.

Baba had promised Ramakrishnan that He would bless the Poona Center when the building work was completed, and directed him to arrange the inauguration in a simple and quiet manner because of Baba's seclusion. The meeting hall being built could comfortably accommodate 700 people, and bathrooms and toilets were also provided, as well as an office and a room for Baba to rest in. The work was finished and all arrangements for its opening done.

On 1st May 1964, for the first time since His arrival in Poona that summer (other than going to the doctor's office), Baba stepped out of the confines of Guruprasad and was driven to the Avatar Meher Baba Poona Center at 441/1 Somwar Peth. Because of his strict seclusion and the consequent ban on all programs and darshan, no public celebration was permitted by Him. Only close lovers and their families were invited. But they, in turn, brought relatives and friends, so the number increased to more than 500 people.

Meherjee's daughter, Pervin, drove Baba and the mandali to the center, where they arrived. The assembly of lovers heartily hailed Baba as his car reached the gate. The car was driven to the verandah outside the main hall, which was decorated with Baba's seven colors as depicted in his flag.

As soon as Baba stepped out of the car, the president of the center, Sadashiv Patil, garlanded Him. With a smile, Baba embraced him and then approached the door of the hall, where Meherjee presented him with a tray containing scissors and the key. Taking the scissors, Baba cut the seven-colored ribbon fastened across the doorway and then unlocked the door with the key.

In 1968, one exception to "visitors" was an eccentric Irishman, named Dennis Kirkpatrick. He was a tall man in his late fifties. His father had been a prominent civil surgeon in a Poona hospital. Kirkpatrick was well-educated and had stayed on in India after its independence. He had held a post as a secretary and rector in a church, but had fallen on hard times. He was now living hand-to-mouth alone, and resembled a beggar. He was about to be evicted from a small, ramshackle room next to Guruprasad where he had been staying, because he could not pay the rent. Because the landlord had shut off the water to his room, Kirkpatrick would walk to Guruprasad every day, collect water in a small brass bucket and carry it back to his room in the blazing hot sun. Baba noticed him and instructed Meherjee to help him financially. Baba remarked that he was like a mast.

Kirkpatrick saw Baba several times during Baba's residence at Guruprasad. Baba would ask him, "Are you happy?" Sitting on his knees, the Irishman would silently gaze up at Baba and nod.

One day Baba asked Kirkpatrick, "Do you have everything you need?" Kirkpatrick said that he did. Baba turned to Meherjee and directed him to continue to give him a monthly allowance.

Meherjee made a face of disapproval. Seeing his expression, Baba corrected him, "Say yes, happily; otherwise, don't agree! You have no idea what you were to gain in this. I will pay him, don't think about it!"

Meherjee protested, "But Baba, I did not say no."

Baba corrected him again, "You have so much money, yet you think even this small amount is too much. I did not ask it for Kirkpatrick's benefit. I am giving you the opportunity of serving me; you don't realize it."

Meherjee handed Kirkpatrick the amount and began seeing to his welfare.

On 13th October 1968, at 8:30 A.M., Baba held a meeting to inform His main workers of His decision to give darshan the following year from 10th April to 10th June 1969 at Guruprasad. Besides the resident men mandali called to Meherazad, Meherjee with others came from Poona.

On 20th December 1968, Meherjee brought Dr. Grant again with Dr. Ichaporia to give Baba a second blood transfusion. Baba was cheerful in His presence and also explained several spiritual subjects to him. Baba remarked, "I am the Expected One who will also be the Accepted One while I am yet in this body. All will know Me when I manifest, but those who know and love Me now are the really fortunate."