1-MEHERA JEHANGIR IRANI (MEHERA)
(Daughter of Golandoon)
Mehera Jehangir Irani (January 7, 1907 - May 20, 1989) was Meher Baba's closest mandali (disciple). Meher Baba said she was the purest soul in the universe and that she loved Him as He ought to be loved.
In 1920, Mehera was a young girl of fifteen, preoccupied with her school studies. Mehera was also very fond of horses; her father had taught her much about them. But after his death, she had no opportunity to pursue her pleasure of riding horses.
Four years earlier, when she was eleven, a school friend had taken Mehera to meet Babajan, saying that the ancient woman would grant any wish she asked. Babajan inquired of Mehera, "What do you want, my daughter?"
Mehera spontaneously replied, "I wish I had a horse!"
Babajan gazed upward into the sky and muttered, "A beautiful one ... All the world will look at him. The entire world will love him." Babajan's words were usually enigmatic, and Mehera could not understand what she meant.
She forgot all about it, but a few months later, to her amazement her mother suddenly bought her a beautiful white horse.
This is especially significant as the symbol of the last advent of the Avatar for this cycle is a white horse. Hence, although she did not yet realize it, Mehera in her heart wanted Baba alone. Her real wish would soon be granted.278-1920
Baba and Sadashiv arrived in Sakori early in the morning on 15 October. On the same day, Daulatmai had also arrived with her two daughters, Piroja and Mehera. While Maharaj's niece, Gangi, was giving them a tour, they heard footsteps descending a nearby staircase. Gangi told Mehera and Piroja, "Merwanji, Maharaj's closest disciple, is coming." Baba swiftly descended the stairs and walked past them, giving Mehera, who was very shy, her first opportunity of seeing him.
Although no words were spoken, it was a great moment. Age was deeply moved by its significance. Mehera's heart was struck by Baba's countenance and sang out: "At last, at last! I've seen the Lord at last!"
Mehera's mother, Daulatmai, had met the Master before when she had been to Sakori, but she had not explained to her daughters about Upasni Maharaj or Meher Baba.
Later, in Maharaj's thatched hut, Mehera and her mother and sister were seated on the floor when Baba entered. With folded hands, he stood before Maharaj, who beckoned him to leave and wait outside under a nearby mango tree. He immediately bowed to Maharaj and left, circling the hut three times performing what is known to Hindus as parikrama — reverently honoring the guru's abode. Seeing Baba's love for his Master touched Mehera's heart. The Divine Song had called her awakening heart to Sakori, and he himself had traveled here only to meet her.
Mehera's tears were now crying, "O Song! How humble you are! How beautiful you are!"356-1922, and the Song replied: "I am yours forever and you are mine. Because I am humble, my melody will melt the hardest stone!"
Mehera spontaneously longed to be with Baba and the voice of Age whispered, "Pure One! Soon you will join your beloved Lord, and the lute of your life will play his sweet song every day!"
While preparations were being made for Freiny's marriage, Mehera was staying in Sakori with Upasni Maharaj. Under his guidance and along with other devotees, she was engaged in the labor work of carrying stones, earth and other building material on her head in a ghamela. Construction work was in progress in building the Sakori ashram, and all of Maharaj's kanyas were helping in the work. Although Mehera came from a wealthy family and had never done such lowly tasks in her life, she did not hesitate to share in such labor under the spiritual direction of Maharaj.
As the day of the wedding approached, Mehera's knee suddenly became swollen. On this pretext, Maharaj did not allow her to attend the wedding in Ahmednagar, and Mehera willingly abided by his decision. But the real reason for his disinclination to send Mehera - and for the mysterious swelling on her knee — was learned later when her mother Daulatmai discovered that certain relatives had come to the wedding with the intention of discussing their son's marriage to Mehera. A Perfect Master is omniscient and knows the past and future. Knowing Mehera's destiny, Upasni Maharaj could not allow her to go to Ahmednagar. Mehera was already spoken for and would soon join her divine Prince Charming forever.
About a week after the wedding, when Daulatmai went again to Sakori, Maharaj relented and permitted Mehera to leave. While Mehera was in Ahmednagar, she and her mother were called to Meherabad to meet Baba and discuss Mehera's marriage proposal. At the Post Office, Baba asked Mehera if she wanted to marry, and Mehera replied demurely that she did not, and Baba was pleased.
Mehera and her mother then left for Poona, where they visited Babajan regularly. (Lord Meher-p-421-1923)
On Monday, 19 May 1924, Mehera came to Meherabad with her mother Daulatmai and sister Freiny to participate in Upasni Maharaj's birthday celebration.
Nervous would fetch the women their water, but they would do their own cooking, cleaning and laundry. Dowla Masi, Naja and Big Khorshed would cook, while Mehera would wash the pots and clean the spices and vegetables.
Baba once sent word to Mehera to prepare a sago pudding for Him, but she did not know how to make it. After consulting the ladies who were good cooks, she learned the recipe. However, there was no mortar and pestle to powder the nutmeg and cardamom for flavouring the sago powder. Nervous brought a grinding stone, and after Mehera rewashed it, she used it to powder the spices. Baba liked the preparation very much and praised her efforts.
Mehera's family was quite affluent and she had never done much menial work. In Sakori, Mehera had been ordered by Upasni Maharaj to do such work; and now, by Baba's instruction in Meherabad, she was doing the same.
From her first sight of Baba, Mehera was so absorbed in the Master's divine beauty that she had no other desire except to please Him. (Lord Meher-p-522-1924)
In 1924, Mehera and Daulatmai had begun staying at Meherabad, Baba had told them, "If you wish to stay here, you must cover your heads with a mathu banu (white cloth) and wear long-sleeved blouses." At the wedding, because of their austere dress they were ridiculed by the fashionable Parsis and Iranis attending the lavish ceremony. But, ignoring their derision, they faithfully obeyed Baba's orders, not paying attention to what anyone said about their attire.524-1924
Baba would remark to Mehera how finely Gulmai combed His hair. Gulmai continued this duty as long as she was in Quetta. In her absence, Gustadji would attend to it. Later Mehera was given this special duty, which she continued until the end. (Lord Meher-p-536-1924)
One day at Irani Mansion, Mehera and Khorshed decided to cook doodh pak with puris — a sweetened, thickened milk-based dessert with small, round, deep-fried wheat puris. The milk would not thicken, so Mehera added flour to it. When it was served to Baba, he inquired, "What is this? Who has cooked it?" Soonamasi replied that they were doodh-pak puris prepared by Mehera and Khorshed. Baba sent for them and asked, "Have you ever seen doodh pak puri in your life? Has your father ever tasted it? Is this doodh pak or gruel for a sick man? Do I look ill to you?"
But the next day Baba told them to prepare potato patties and said that He would teach them how to make them. He cooked the potato dish in the kitchen, and also taught Mehera how to make patrel — a vegetable delicacy. Then He pointed to the hot stove, explaining: "As the fire burns in the stove, so should the fire of love burn in your heart!" (Lord Meher-p-538-1924)
In 1924, once Baba ordered Mehera, to leave the house, and told Daulatmai to go upstairs to her room. Mehera was wearing an ordinary household sari and did not know where she was supposed to go; she also had orders not to let any man touch her, and on the sidewalk some pedestrians were jostling past each other on the street. However, Mehera left and began slowly walking along, not knowing where she was headed. In a short time, Baba came walking toward her with Gustadji. He walked past her to Burjor Dahiwala's house next to Manzil-e-Meem, and Mehera followed them. Baba then instructed Gustadji to take Mehera back to their residence. (Lord Meher-p-560-1924)
An interesting incident once occurred between Mehera and Upasni Maharaj. Before Mehera settled in Meher Baba's ashram, she had lived for some time in Maharaj's ashram at Sakori. One day in 1922, a Brahmin woman visited Sakori and presented a plain gold ring to the Master. Maharaj did not want it and told the lady, "I wear only gunny sacks. No clothes adorn my body. How will this golden ring beautify me, an ugly old man?" However, the lady was so insistent that Maharaj told her to put it on his toe.
Later, Upasni Maharaj's devotees were sure the Master would give the ring to one of his women disciples, and each was naturally wishing she would be the recipient. As the ladies of the ashram took Maharaj's darshan, hoping in their hearts the Master would present the ring to them, He gave the ring to Mehera, telling her, "Wear this ring and be careful not to lose it." She wore it from that day on for the rest of her life.
One day in 1925, accompanied by Gustadji, Baba came to the Post Office verandah and, taking His seat on the wooden tea crate, sent word to the women that whosoever possessed a ring should send it to Him through Gustadji. Gustadji approached Mehera, but she was unable to remove the ring that Upasni Maharaj had given her from her finger. Big Khorshed was wearing a wedding ring, but she did not wish to part with it and refused to give it to Gustadji. With great difficulty Mehera was finally able to extract the ring and handed it to Gustadji.
Soon after, Baba brought back the ring that Maharaj had given to Mehera and presented her with another heart-shaped gold ring, on which was engraved one word: MEHER. Baba put both rings around one of the fingers of her left hand and told her never to take them off. "The Pure One's fate was sealed!" Age declared. "Meher was carved forever on Mehera's heart."
Mehera was destined to become the Master's chief woman disciple. One day on the Post Office verandah, Baba told her the story of Radha and Krishna and said, "As Krishna's love was for Radha, and so is My love for you. (Lord Meher-p-567-1925)
You love Me as Radha loved Krishna." A few days later, Baba declared before all the women mandali, "Mehera is My Radha. Her love is unique. She is most special to Me."
Over the years, many times Baba referred to Mehera as "The purest soul in the universe" and the one who loved Him most. As Baba said, Mehera's unique position in His circle, is the same as Sita's was to Lord Ram, as Radha's was to Krishna, or as Mary Magdalene's was to Jesus.(Lord Meher-p-568-1925)
Once Baba called Mehera and told her, "From today you are My orderly." Gustadji was instructed to give Baba's trunk to her, in which all of His personal belongings were kept. Mehera was told to prepare and send Baba's tea, wash His clothes and clean His plate and glass daily. (Lord meher-p-588-1924)
Daulatmai and Mehera had been taken to Poona as Daulatmai wished to donate her property to Baba and some of it was in Mehera's name. Rustom escorted them to the Poona Registrar's office, where Mehera signed the required legal documents. Baba and all returned to Meherabad the same night after a few flat tires on the way. (Lord Meher-p-762/3-1927)
It had been two months since Baba visited the women mandali in their quarters at the Bathroom Building and their joy was boundless. During the period of Baba's seclusion, He took only one pint of coffee made by Mehera, which she sent to Him every day in a flask with the boy named Lahu.
But while taking the flask up the hill, Lahu would hide in a gully and drink half the contents, and then, recapping the flask, he would take the rest to Baba. At the time, Baba never asked why the flask was only half-filled, but now that He was out of seclusion, He inquired of Mehera, "I as fasting for months on only half a flask of coffee — when I had clearly told you to send a full flask each day."
Mehera was taken aback and said, "But Baba, I filled the flask myself. It was always full." Naja and Khorshed confirmed this.
Later, Baba called Lahu and asked him to explain the mystery. The boy honestly admitted his mischief, and because he told the truth, Baba forgave him. Baba smiled and remarked, "I was having Lahu's prasad every day." (Lord Meher-p-913-1928)
In 1928, Baba would go to the women's quarters for His bath and meals. During His bath, He would wear His chaddis. Mehera's sister Freiny would wash Baba's head, Khorshed His back and Mehera His feet, after which they all would rinse Him with warm water. But His love for Mehera was unique, as Krishna's was for Radha. Once Baba said to Mehera, "My love for you is excessively more than for anyone else." (Lord Meher-p-940-1928)
When Baba was abroad, He explained to His lovers that He wished them to come to India the following year. And for the first time, He spoke to Kimco about Mehera and of her intense, pure love for Him. He gestured, "Mehera is My Radha and her life consists of My happiness. When you see her, you will have an idea of her love for Me. Her love always keeps Me happy!" (Lord Meher-p-1497-1932)
In 1933, at Kandivali, Bombay, Baba came out with Mehera, His queen, and the other women mandali were with Him, dressed in gorgeous saris. This was the first time with Baba that they had an occasion and the permission to wear fine clothes. Baba introduced Mehera, and the Western women saw that she was just as Baba had described — pure and beautiful. The ladies exchanged presents with their Indian sisters and the women mandali dressed the Western women in saris. (Lord Meher-p-1507-1933)
Mehera was destined to become the Master's chief woman disciple. One day on the Post Office verandah, Baba told her the story of Radha and Krishna and said, "As Krishna's love was for Radha, and so is My love for you.
In 1935, from the beginning when the circle of women was formed, Mehera would read Baba's dictation from the alphabet board when He was with the women mandali; but after Mani joined the ashram, she began reading it. (Lord meher-p-1671-1935)
On 12 September 1935, Baba came to the kitchen and sent for Mehera and Khorshed. He asked Mehera, "Would you obey Me and wholeheartedly do what I say?"
"Of course, Baba," she said. "I will do so with all my heart, as I have been doing up till now and will forever."
Baba instructed Khorshed to bring a needle. Taking the needle in His hand, He indicated to Mehera, "Promise Me by signing your name in blood on My arm." After Baba pierced Mehera's right middle finger, she wrote her signature with her blood on His left forearm. Baba ordered her thereafter not to sign her name, as if to seal the agreement. Mehera's complete willingness to obey made Baba very happy. (Lord meher-p-1690-1935)
The life of the women in the ashram was always secluded, especially for Mehera. Under Baba's orders, Mehera never spoke to or looked at any man during Baba's lifetime (except on a few very rare occasions). She was kept secluded and for many years was ordered not to read or write. (Lord Meher-p-1870-1937)
In 1940, the women were forbidden to mention the name of any man in front of Mehera, and so even Baba would spell out, "Soltoon's sister" when referring to Baidul. When reading the newspapers to Baba in front of Mehera, Rano would say "Mrs. Hitler," "Mrs. Mussolini," "Mrs. Churchill," "Mrs. Gandhi" and so forth. This was the extent to which Mehera was kept secluded.
As age noted, "Only the pure could stay in such a strict seclusion. It was only possible for Mehera to live such a life because she was living, not for herself, but for Her Beloved! Such a life is a true life, where love and faith in the Beloved are always active and ever-present." (Lord Meher-p-2161-1940)
According to Baba's strict directives, Mehera was never allowed to be alone. Either, Mani, Khorshed or Kharmen Masi was to be with her. If Mehera went to wash her face, if she went to eat, or out of the room on some errand or chore, another woman would accompany her. Even when she went to the bathroom, one of these three had to stand outside on guard. The difficulties of traveling, through crowded railroad terminals and on buses and following all Baba's instructions can well be imagined.
Only Mehera could put up with such a life, and this is why she is the beloved of the Beloved! Her only thought was of pleasing Baba! (Lord Meher-p-2219-1941)
Because of Baba's seclusion, He had not been seeing the women mandali. But on His return from His contact with Chatti Baba in Nagapattnam, He began calling Mehera and Mani to Him at His residence. They were the only two allowed to see him. The other women saw him very infrequently during this period.
Once, when Baba was with Mehera, Baba sent for Gaimai and rebuked her in front of Mehera: "What sort of chapattis are you preparing? Are your chapattis made from wheat or leather?" Gaimai remained quiet, and Baba asked her to give a chapatti to Mehera to taste. Tasting it, Mehera remarked, "This chapatti is quite good, Baba."
But Baba kept up his tirade against Gaimai, though he later explained to her, "Don't worry about what I said. It is a mere pretense on My part in order to call you. Since I am seeing no one, I need some pretext as an excuse to see you." (Lord Meher-p-2305-1942)
Mehera, Mani and Gaimai all had the experience of being bothered by a ghost at Prospect Lodge in Lonavla. When Mehera was sleeping, her arm was pulled; Mani's entire body was shaken. Baba assured them, "Don't worry about it; I will take care of it."
Thereafter, the ghost did not disturb anyone. Baba had freed the spirit so it could take another birth. They later found out that some years before, a laundryman had committed suicide in the well of the compound. Because of this, his spirit was hovering over the place. Baba's mercy put an end to his miserable state, and he was freed.
Baba explained to the women: "Don't be afraid of ghosts. They don't do any (real) harm. The atmosphere is full of impressions. Sometimes, when you think you feel the presence of a spirit, it is not the actual spirit but the impressions in the place that you feel. That is why I told you all not to go near the well where the dhobi committed suicide. All those impressions of his are lingering there, but I have now freed his spirit, so it is all right now. (Lord Meher-p-2307-1942)
Mehera's birthday was observed wonderfully in Meherabad on Tuesday, 25 December 1945. In addition to the lovers from Bombay and Poona, many from Ahmednagar participated in the event. A qawaali program was held and every person took advantage of the occasion to take Baba's darshan.
"The good fortune of becoming Queen in this age went to Mehera. Words are insufficient to describe her destiny. That heart in which the lamp of purity burns is worthy of gaining this honor; and in the descent of Meher — Mehera will be worshiped, side by side with her beloved Baba." (Lord Meher-p-2516-1945)
On 27th August 1948, the housewarming ceremony for Meher Baba's new home at Pimpalgaon was held at nine o'clock in the morning. Baba unlocked the door of the new building with a golden key, and Mehera and Gulmai performed His arti. Azad means free or relaxed, and Baba named the place Meherazad. (Lord Meher-p-2668-1948)
In 1948, Baba walked up Seclusion Hill in the early evening with the women. On one occasion, Baba put on Mehera's sandals, Mani put on Baba's, and Mehera wore Mani's. Once He took them on a walk to Happy Valley, and at the time two rainbows appeared in the sky. "This is a good augury for Delia and Jean," He commented. (Lord Meher-p-2673-1948)
On the 30th July 1949, to celebrate Mehera's birthday, Baba took the women to the Gheun Deolali dak bungalow, not far from Meherazad. Adi Sr. brought Gulmai, Meheru Damania and Jibboo, along with the food (prepared by Chhagan). They had a delicious pulao for lunch (rice mixed with vegetables), and just when all were feeling drowsy and were about to lie down for a nap, Baba called everyone for games. (Lord Meher-p-2691-1949)
1st August 1949 was a red-letter day in Meherazad. All the Meherabad mandali, as well as other Meherabad residents, came. All the men and women had been observing silence for one month, and they were to break it in Baba's presence when He stepped out of seclusion. No one was to fold their hands or bow to Baba, utter any word or even shout "Jai!" They were to break their silence after a prayer was read out by saying "Amen." Mehera and Mani saw Baba privately. Mehera broke her silence and spoke with Baba; (Lord Meher-p-2732-1949)
After road accident at Yakohama in America, ambulance and hearse arrived, and Baba, Mehera and Elizabeth were rushed to the clinic. Goher and Rano rode with Baba and Elizabeth in the ambulance, while Mani and Meheru accompanied Mehera in the hearse. (Lord meher-p-3094-1952)
Baba was extremely mindful of Mehera, instructing Goher to take special care of her. Although the hospital was small, Dr. Burleson made fine arrangements. He called in a few outside specialists from Oklahoma City to examine Mehera and take a look at the X-rays. (Lord Meher-p-3098-1952)
After Baba’s accident on 20 June 1952, Baba was driven in an ambulance to Duke University Medical Center for an examination. Baba and Mehera, who was also to be examined, traveled together from Youpon Dunes to Durham. After Mehera and Baba were thoroughly examined and X-rays taken, they returned to Youpon Dunes on the 24th. (Lord Meher-p-3102-1952)
After road accident, Mehera also visited a plastic surgeon in Locarno, Switzerland. As Charmian related: Before leaving Locarno, Mehera was taken again for plastic surgery and the surgeon took off the scab on the wound and immediately announced that the skin was perfectly all right and would grow back and that she wouldn't need to have any further surgery. They took off the bandage and kept it covered with ointments for several days and the wound had completely healed except for some slight swelling over one eye, with hardly a scar. So she seemed to be all right then.
Baba paid constant attention to Mehera, Charmian stated:
Incidentally, as busy as He was with all of these people He yet found time to see that we all were busy and had things to do. Never a day passed, away from Him, that he did not call Mehera, or Mehera call Him, to see that each was well and happy. I don't think a day passed when they were away from each other in the States or Europe when I was present that I did not put in a call for Baba to Mehera or vice-versa with an inquiry about how things were going and the well-being of the other person. (Lord Meher-p-3128-1958)
After completion of this part of his Fiery Free Life journey, Baba (who had caught a bad cold) arrived in Meherazad on 5th December 1952, where He met with the women mandali — Mehera along with others. (Lord Meher-p-3219-1952)
Baba departed Mahabaleshwar for Hamirpur on Monday, 1 February 1954, with nine of the men mandali. During this period, Mehera was caring for Sheba, whom she would lead to Baba's room, in His absence, to show the colt that Baba was not there. Meheru would keep busy assisting Mehera and doing various other chores. (Lord meher-p-3430-1954)
In 1958, the women sat around Him on the carpet of His room as Baba leaned against the satin cushions on His bed. Eruch was beside Him to interpret. Baba spoke to them about Mehera: "Mehera is the purest of women, and she has sent her love to you all. She has sent some gifts to give to each of you. (Lord Meher-p-4430-1958)
Baba was sitting in an armchair, and the women sat on the floor and in chairs in a circle around him. He said: In My love, first come Mehera, and then Mani. Mehera is My Beloved. Mani is My true sister in work. She loves Me and works for Me from morning to late at night with correspondence and other details, even though she is not in good health at present. She loves Me and has surrendered to Me 100 percent.
Baba gave each woman the first present from Mehera — a photograph, made at her request by Baba's brother Beheram. It was a double vignette of Mehera when she was a very young girl and of Baba as a young boy. Baba remarked that Mehera was only seventeen when she first joined Him (at Meherabad). (Lord meher-p-4396-1958)
In 1958, Baba instructed the mandali to send a cable to Mehera to inform her He was well and would be returning to India. (Lord Meher-p-4434-1958)
Bhau was engaged in writing, not knowing he was still inside, Mehera appeared. As soon as she opened the door and saw him, she hurriedly stepped back out. From that day onwards, a bell was kept in Baba's room, and only after the watchman had left would Baba ring the bell. Mehera would then go to Him, followed by the other women.
In the morning Baba would want to see Mehera first. Similarly, He would not take food, water or anything else unless it was given by Mehera. Naja prepared Baba's meals, but only after Mehera's touch would He partake of it. (Lord Meher-4475-1958)
Because of Baba's wish to be "free," Mehera's birthday was celebrated early on Sunday, 9 December 1962 (instead of on the 23rd). About 150 close ones from Poona, Bombay, Navsari, and Ahmednagar were present that day. (Lord meher-p-4893-1968)
In 1962, the group had been called to celebrate Mehera's birthday, and about her, Baba stated: "Mehera loves Me very much, as I also love her, but I have not yet explained to her what the Path is. The spiritual path is not an easy one, not as easy as eating laddoos (sweets). When you become the recipients of My grace, you will know what the Path is like."
Madhusudan had composed a new poem for Mehera's birthday. He read it and then sang it to the accompaniment of the harmonium. (Lord Meher-p-4895-1962)
Once in the morning, Mehera was combing Baba's hair, Baba again called the Kalchuris to His bedroom. Mehera gave Baba two lockets, one for each child. Baba took Sheela's and then pinned it on her blouse, stating, "Don't remove this during your operation. I will be there with you, but if you remove it, I will not come. And don't tell anyone who this is. If the doctor asks you, don't tell him. This locket will protect and save you from harm. Always keep it with you, and you will have good health." (Lord Meher-p-5222-1966)
Mehera's Birthday was celebrated on Friday, 22 December 1967. Every year, Francis would write a poem in English for the occasion, which he would read out to Baba in mandali hall. That year, Baba asked Bhau to write a poem also in Hindi for Mehera, and his composition was read out, too. (Lord Meher-p-5305-1968)
In 1968, Baba then called both the guests and resident mandali to the back of the compound, where Baba was seated on the verandah of His house with Mehera standing at His side. Most of them were seeing her for the first time and marveled at the purity of her love for Baba. They wished her "Jai Baba!" and she shyly repeated the same in reply. (Lord Meher-p-5312-1968)
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. (Lord Meher-p-5371-1968)
22 December 1968, was the first day of celebrations, a triple occasion in honor of Mehera's birthday, the betrothal of Dara and Amrit, and also the navjote ceremony of four children of the Dadachanji family. Baba was in His room and was brought onto the verandah in a wheelchair by Eruch and Bhau. He was greeted with repeated shouts of "Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!" The program began with the singing of Happy Birthday to Mehera. Dara was seated on the verandah and soon the women mandali brought Amrit out. Adi Jr. read the poem Francis had composed for Mehera's birthday. (Lord Meher-p- 5378-1968
In 1969, the marvelous thing was that whenever Mehera was in His presence, Baba was totally free of the jolts. The same would happen whenever doctors Grant or Ginde were present. This led the mandali to conclude that the spasms overtook Him only when He allowed it! Mehera shaved Baba, and Mani, Goher, Rano, Meheru and Naja cleaned and straightened Baba's room. (Lord Meher-p-5404-1969)
When Baba dropped His body Mehera wept on behalf of the entire universe, as tears from all creation fell from her eyes. Goher and Naja also cried continuously, but Mani and the men remained resolutely dry-eyed. All of the mandali, including the women, eventually concurred, and Mehera and Mani requested that the body be kept at Meherazad until five o'clock that evening. (Lord meher-p-5406-1969)
Mehera, Mani and the other women mandali then came to the Tomb to have their last darshan. Soon, Baba's dear physical form would no longer be visible. All stood silently around the Tomb. A quiet peace reigned. In the pin-drop silence, only the heartbreaking sobs of the one who loved the Only One as He should be loved could be heard. Mehera and the other women fell at Baba's feet. Tears containing the memories of years in his company poured from their eyes. After Mehera garlanded and kissed Baba in final farewell, the women stepped out of the Tomb.5412-1969
Mehera was one of four women who accompanied Baba in His New Life period from 1949-1951. Her accounts of her life with Meher Baba are exhaustively and carefully documented in the three volume chronicle, Mehera-Meher: A “Divine Romance” is written by David Fenster, based on tape-recordings of Mehera.
She died on May 20, 1989
In accordance with Meher Baba's directive, Mehera's final resting place is by His side, adjacent to his Samadhi. Although Mehera was born in January, from 1968 her birthday has been celebrated on December 22 as it was in 1968 in accordance with the Zoroastrian calendar, that being the last year it was celebrated in Meher Baba's physical presence.
2-MANIJA SHERIAR IRANI (MANI)
(Meher Baba’s sister)
Manija Sheriar Irani (December 15, 1918 – August 19, 1996) was the younger sister of Indian spiritual master Meher Baba, and one of His mandali. She was chairman of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust and the author of 82 Family Letters.
Besides Meher Baba’s chief woman disciple Mehera Irani, Mani Irani was said by Meher Baba to be His second closest woman disciple and His spiritual sister. Mani was one of only four women out of twenty companions to accompany Meher Baba in His New Life phase, beginning in October 1949. By Meher Baba’s directive given during His lifetime her remains are buried adjacent to Baba’s samadhi in Meherabad, India.
Mani was born in Pune, India, the sixth and last child of Sheriar Mundegar Irani and Shireen Sheriar Irani. Sheriar and Shireen had one earlier daughter Freiny who died of plague at the age of six in 1902. Thus Mani was Meher Baba’s only surviving sister and the youngest in her family. Meher Baba was 24 years old when Mani was born, a period when he was still under the care of Sadguru Upasni Maharaj in Sakori outside Ahmednagar. By the time Mani was old enough to know about her famous brother, He was already attracting disciples of His own in Meherabad. Mani attended Catholic school and longed to accompany her brother and live in His ashram as His disciple even as a young girl. She wrote persistently to him, pleading to be allowed to come. Finally Baba made it possible through difficult family negotiations with their mother Shireen who was worried about Mani’s safety and health in the austere and harsh desert life of Baba’s ashram outside Ahmednagar. As a result of such efforts Mani joined her brother as a full resident disciple in September 1932 at the age of only 13.
Her life time events with Meher Baba and His comments are elaborated as under:
In 1936, at Mysore, Baba also became indisposed. Before all the illness struck, Soonamasi had been keeping watch outside the bungalow during the day; but since she was appointed to cook for Mani, there was no one to take her place. Since none of the men mandali was allowed to go to the women's side, Baba himself began keeping watch, and when Soonamasi was done cooking she would relieve him.
Baba went to see Mani at the hospital two or three times a day, carrying soup or some other liquid for her. He would send Chanji constantly to the doctor to make certain Mani was treated well. The nurses at the all-women facility were greatly drawn to Baba, even though his identity was not disclosed. (Lord Meher-p-1708-1936)
Baba continued to visit Mani at the hospital and receive daily reports about her condition. On the 10th, he remarked that Mani's recovery had created a "deadlock" in his activities, as he wished to leave Mysore but could not, until Mani recovered.
On 14 April 1936, Baba discussed matters with the mandali and stated, "I am Paramatma [God] and within a fraction of a second I can do away with all these hardships. Mani is my sister; could I not make her well? But though she is my sister, I do not apply [the power of] my mind to her and similarly for all others close to me. Therefore, I have to resort to worldly remedies and have to praise others to get my work done!" (Lord Meher-p-1711-1936)
Mani had recovered from her ear operation by then and returned to Upper Meherabad to join the other women. At dusk one day in July, Mani took photographs of Baba on the donkey and of him with Mehera and the other women. Naja, in turn, photographed Mani with Baba and the women. (Lord Meher-p-1730-1936)
In 1939, while in Bangalore, Baba directed the women to stage plays for five days consecutively. In a 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. (Lord Meher-p-2062-1939)
In 1942, Mani, Mehera and Gaimai all had the experience of being bothered by a ghost at Prospect Lodge in Lonavla. When Mehera was sleeping, her arm was pulled; Mani's entire body was shaken. Baba assured them, "Don't worry about it; I will take care of it."
Thereafter, the ghost did not disturb anyone. Baba had freed the spirit so it could take another birth. They later found out that some years before, a laundryman had committed suicide in the well of the compound. Because of this, his spirit was hovering over the place. Baba's mercy put an end to his miserable state, and he was freed.
Baba explained to the women: "Don't be afraid of ghosts. They don't do any [real] harm. The atmosphere is full of impressions. Sometimes, when you think you feel the presence of a spirit, it is not the actual spirit but the impressions in the place that you feel. That is why I told you all not to go near the well where the dhobi committed suicide. All those impressions of his are lingering there, but I have now freed his spirit, so it is all right now." (Lord Meher-p-2307-1942)
In 1949, Baba was in Sarnath, there were many Buddhist temples and giant stupas in Sarnath. In the main temple near the stupas, a Japanese artist had painted frescoes depicting scenes from Buddha's life. There are also separate underground stone rooms originally used for meditation, with steps leading down to them. At that time, these underground caverns were mostly in ruins.
When Baba took the women to show them this place, he directed Mani to write down on a slip of paper the name of the known Avatars in this cycle, and give it to him. Mani handed Baba the piece of paper with the names of Zoroaster, Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad, Baba put it in his pocket as He walked down the steps leading underground. (Lord Meher-p-2841-1949)
In Benaras group travelling with Baba left Shivpur in the morning of 13th December 1949. From there, the she-donkeys were put under the women's charge. While walking, the women would pick up small branches and sticks that they needed for the cooking fire and load them on the donkeys. From Shivpur, Baba permitted Ghani to take a seat next to Pendu at the front of the caravan, on condition that he goes out begging wherever they halted.
One day, as Mehera, Mani, Meheru and Goher were preoccupied with picking up sticks and twigs as they walked, a bullock cart came alongside them. Awestruck at the scene before him, the cartman asked where they were going. They replied that they were proceeding to Hardwar. Respectfully, the driver invited them to sit in his cart, but Meheru solemnly answered, "We are on a pilgrimage to Hardwar, so we must go on foot. I'm sorry, but we cannot ride on the cart."
Humbly, the cartman said, "But please, sit for a while, sister. The sacred purpose of your journey will not be affected by your occupying seats in my cart." Mani replied, "A pilgrimage should be undertaken on foot. What sort of pilgrimage would it be if it were made in comfort?"
On 26 November 1951, Baba conveyed to Mehera and Mani, "My 40-days' work has been completely successful, but the remaining 80 days of work is of utmost significance."3019-1951
In new life Mani with other ladies accompanied Baba. One day, as Mehera, Mani, Meheru and Goher were preoccupied with picking up sticks and twigs as they walked, a bullock cart came alongside them. Awestruck at the scene before him, the cartman asked where they were going. They replied that they were proceeding to Hardwar. Respectfully, the driver invited them to sit in his cart, but Meheru solemnly answered, "We are on a pilgrimage to Hardwar, so we must go on foot. I'm sorry, but we cannot ride on the cart."
Humbly, the cartman said, "But please, sit for a while, sister. The sacred purpose of your journey will not be affected by your occupying seats in my cart." Mani replied, "A pilgrimage should be undertaken on foot. What sort of pilgrimage would it be if it were made in comfort?" (Lord Meher-p-2846-1949)
In 1951, Mani needed surgery, and she was operated upon in Hyderabad, with Goher in constant attendance. Mani’s condition became serious, so Baba would make Rano phone the hospital often, inquiring about her. (Lord Meher-p-3033-1951)
In 1952 Mani also suffered injuries along with Baba and Mehera. Ivy wrote about it.
“Mani was the least hurt, her feet and knees badly scratched, and limped with a cane. She did not eat for days and was overcome with grief and tormented that God had not given her as much to bear as the others (although she had recently had a severe operation)” (Lord Meher-p-3097-1952.)
During 1955, Mani was occupied with her correspondence with the West; Mehera and Meheru were doing Baba's personal work. Goher always had various medical and household duties. (Although a doctor, she had other multifarious chores, such as preparing the bazaar lists and looking after the servants.) Mani was looking after her pet cocker spaniel, Peter. The dog loved to play with the tame squirrels near their residence in Satara. Mehera lovingly cared for the mare Sheba. Baba himself would feed Sheba carrots daily, and Sheba would stretch out her neck to kiss him. Baba loved her much and would kiss her often. (Lord Meher-p-3717-1955)
On 1st September 1956, at Satara Baba's went into seclusion for one-year. All correspondence had been completely stopped and all out-of-town lovers strictly forbidden to come to Satara. Throughout that entire day, Baba remained without water. But things did not go smoothly, as Mani described (in a letter to Bill Le Page): "On the 1st, maya was working pretty hard, too, and everything that could possibly go wrong seemed to do so. At the end of the day, Baba explained it was because of his special work He had begun on that day, and opposing maya was at her best (or do I mean worst)."
While in Poona, Eruch received this telegram from Mani: "See Sant Vaswani. Tell him all about Baba and say he is one of Baba's beloved, precious children." Accordingly, Eruch met Sadhu Vaswani on the evening of the 4th September and told him about Meher Baba. Sadhu Vaswani was extremely happy to hear that Baba had remembered him and that He had sent His love. He asked Eruch to convey his heartfelt invitation to Baba to visit his school in Poona, and Eruch assured him that he would convey the message to Baba. (Lord Meher-p-4119-1956)
On 1 st December 1957, following message was sent to the Westerners through Mani's Family Letter
“I am happy with your love and know your unquestioning and willing acceptance of my wishes. I know what is best and my decision is for the best. I love you as God alone can love, and will definitely give you my sahavas in May 1958. This sahavas will give you what I want you to have 100 percent to my satisfaction. You will then understand fully what I mean by this. Hold on to my daaman, love me more and more and you will receive fully what I shall give. My love to each.” (Lord Meher-p-4223-1957)
On 1 st January 1961, Mani wrote following about Baba’s seclusion in her her Family Letter
“Guessing the import of Baba's work in all periods of seclusion, and knowing the gravity of this one, this phase of all activity appearing outwardly to be at a standstill would seem to signify the tremendous rate of accomplishment of his inner work — just as anything revolving at great speed appears to the onlooker to be stationary.” (Lord meher-p-4736-1960)
During stay at Poona, Eruch used to spend the day at Guruprasad and return to Bindra House in the evenings. Once Eruch brought mangoes from Bindra House. They were delicious, but the next day Baba complained to him, "The mangoes are sour."
Eruch replied, "They are sweet, Baba. I bought them myself after tasting them."
Sending for Mani, Baba asked her whether they were sweet or sour.
Mani answered they were somewhat sour, and Eruch could only remark, "Well, perhaps they are.” (Lord meher-p-4769-1961)
In 1962, final preparations had begun for the East-West Gathering. Mani and Eruch were busy with correspondence and other matters, as were all the mandali. The darshan was a topic of constant discussion in Meherazad, and Baba gave instructions for it. The names of those from the West who had informed Meherjee of their coming were read to Baba. To those who wanted to come but could not, he sent this message: "Do not worry. I am always with you, and will be more so during the darshan time." Baba also dictated a few discourses to be read at the East-West Gathering. On 4 August, he gave an explanation of "The Four Journeys." (Lord Meher-p-4810-1962)
Baba said, “After Mehera is Mani, My sister. She has no thought of herself and does all for Me."
After Baba dropped His body, Eruch recalled that Baba had instructed the mandali several times: "Wherever I may drop My body, bring it to Meherabad and place it in the samadhi." Eruch also remembered that Baba had told him to play the record of the Cole Porter song Begin the Beguine when he dropped His body.
Dr. Ginde suggested that Baba's body should be moved to Meherabad within six hours. Mehera and the other women wanted to keep Baba's body at Meherazad. Mani argued with Ginde, "Baba had once told me that if He goes into a coma some day and becomes unconscious, He would revive after seven days."
Dr. Ginde explained, "But this is not a coma. The heart of a person in a coma continues to beat, and his respiration and pulse do not stop. Baba is not in a coma." Mani did not agree and continued to argue. It was suggested that Baba's body should be kept in mandali hall at lower Meherabad for three days. Ginde explained that it would be difficult to move a decomposed body to the crypt after three days. (Lord Meher-p*5404-1969)
Eruch then said, "As ordered by Baba, his body should be taken to his samadhi at Meherabad."5404-1969
The ambulance stopped opposite Baba's Tin Cabin, and the stretcher was lifted from it and placed inside the cabin just opposite the door. Mani brought the record player and played Begin the Beguine inside the cabin. (Lord Meher-p- 5406-1969)
- 82 Family Letters: Letters from Mani Irani (Meher Baba’s sister) to various families. A compilation of letters to various Meher Baba groups around the world concerning Meher Baba’s activities from 1958 to 1969. Sheriar Foundation, 1979
- God-Brother: Stories from My Childhood with Meher Baba, Sheriar Foundation, 1993 Dreaming of The Beloved, Sheriar Foundation, 1998
3.Tales from the New Life with Meher Baba, (Contributing author) Narrated by Eruch, Mehera, Mani and Meheru, Published by Meher Baba Information, 1976 (out of print)
- Baba loved Us Too.
- Mehera Meher
Demise on 19-8-1996
3-DR. GOHER IRANI
Goher was born to Freni and Minoo Kharas, one of Avatar Meher Baba's closest disciples. Goher has had the rare privilege of being named by Meher Baba Himself and she spent a childhood filled with stories, experiences and teachings of Meher Baba, through the life of her father, Minoo, narrated in his biography, 'The God-Seeker.' She met Meher Baba for the first time in 1962 at the East-West Gathering in Pune, and again in 1965, at Guru Prasad. Goher's home in Karachi was the central Meher Baba Center, where many seekers came to learn about the Avatar. Goher lived with her husband, Danny and mother, Freni, in Florida.
In 1923, at Quetta, Baba played with all of Rusi's children but He was most attentive to Goher and Katie. Goher was only seven years old and Katie was three. Baba became their perfect playmate and would teach them games. While playing carrom one day, Baba quietly lifted up one of the pieces. "Baba, you're cheating!" Goher complained. "Play fairly." The Master laughed.428-1923
In 1931, Goher likewise received much of Baba's attention. Quetta was intensely cold and Goher was sleeping in bed, covered by a heavy blanket. One night Baba entered her room at 4:00 A.M. and slowly pulled at the end of the blanket. Feeling the cold, Goher was roused from her sleep and was startled to find Baba standing before her. Baba indicated to her, "You feel cold now, but I have come on earth to give the warmth of God's love. Once you completely possess that love, you will never feel cold!"
One evening Baba took Rusi's whole family to the movies, but they returned after seeing only half the film. Goher had wanted to stay and wondered why Baba had walked out, as the film was good. To relax, Baba would play carrom with Katie, Goher, and Ali."1223-1931
Goher Irani had moved to Ahmednagar from Quetta in 1932 with her brother, Jal. The rest of her family moved in 1933, following Baba's warnings to leave Quetta before a terrible earthquake struck in 1935. All in the family were devoted to Baba, especially Goher and her sister Katie. On 22 August, "Rusi Pop" (as Goher's father came to be known) arrived in Nasik. He stayed overnight and left with his cousin Adi Sr. the next day for Ahmednagar.1540-1933
Goher Irani came to India in 1932 from Quetta with her brother, Jal. As wished by Baba, she studied medicine in Bombay and staying with the Dadachanji family. The rest of her family had moved to Ahmednagar in 1933, following Baba's warnings to leave Quetta before a terrible earthquake struck in 1935. All in the family were devoted to Baba, especially Goher and her sister Katie. During school vacations, Goher would come to Meherabad to see Baba, and as Katie was living in Ahmednagar with her family, she too was allowed to come to Meherabad occasionally. 1540-1933
In 1944, Goher R. Irani, had finished medical school and had come to Ahmednagar to stay with her family. Although she very much wanted to be with Baba, her mother Khorshed was disconsolate and wept at the thought of yet another daughter leaving her to join Meher Baba's ashram. Goher's sister, Katie, had been one of the resident women mandali since 1938, so their mother wished Goher to work as a doctor and live at home. Goher's father Rusi Pop, however, had no objection and wanted her to remain with Baba, if that was her true desire. Goher wrote to Baba that after her mother's demise, she would come and stay with him.
Baba sent for her through Adi Sr. and asked her, "Don't you want to be with Me?"
Goher replied, "There is no other joy in my life than to be with you. I want to stay with you more than anything else! But Mother is crying and crying over the prospect."
"Tell her I will keep you here for some time and then send you back," Baba instructed.
So, during the period of his stay at Pimpalgaon in 1944, Baba would call Goher to discuss these matters. Goher was accustomed to such visits from her college days, when she would come to Baba during vacations. (Lord Meher-p-2403-1944)
Dr. Goher was very concerned and attentive towards Baba health.
Baba began fasting on liquids from 17th October, and to please Goher and the women and men mandali, He would eat a little food once in 24 hours just to show he was ingesting something. The first day, Goher came to Baba in mandali hall with a cup of tea and a banana and then left for some work. Peeling off the skin, Baba put a little of the fruit in His mouth and gave the rest to Kumar and Pukar. Kumar joked, "Goher will have to be told not to leave the hall unless Baba has finished eating." When Baba was sipping His tea, Goher reappeared. So Baba gave the rest of the tea to her. Such was the way He would take "nourishment" during the 21 days of his fast. (All talks ©2016 Mandali Hall Talks)
In 1948, Goher had to go to Bombay to appear for her medical board exam and she returned on 24 October. (Lord meher-p-2676-1948)
In Pimpalgaon, a village woman died after giving birth to a baby boy named after the saint Gorakhnath. Baba had the child brought to Meherazad and instructed Goher to look after the baby. After ten or twelve days, Baba sent the baby to Meherabad with instructions for Khorshed to raise him. Dr. Nilu became the infant's private pediatrician, and Gorakhnath was brought up like a prince. Tinned milk for him was specially ordered from Meherjee in Bombay, and also costly clothes and other items. Baba would see Gorakhnath on His occasional visits to Meherabad, and Nilu and Khorshed faced His stern rebuke if the child developed the slightest cold or illness.
In year 1948, Baba asked Goher to keep and breed ducks in a small pond in Meherazad. Goher was an allopathic physician, and although she knew how to care for a baby, she was at a loss when it came to serving as a foster mother to ducks. Still, by consulting a reference book, she became astute on the subject and carried out her duty using the latest methods in animal husbandry.
Once, bazaar man was about to leave for his daily purchases, Goher discovered she needed more feed for her wards. Without asking Baba, nothing could be ordered or accepted from outside, or sent from Meherazad, and so Goher, like the others, had to ask His permission about each and every item. Baba was engaged in imparting some spiritual points to Don and Ghani for God Speaks, when Goher frantically went to him and blurted out, "Baba, the feed for the ducks is finished!"
"Do you have any sense?" Baba asked. "Here I am explaining sublime spiritual subjects — and you barge in and ask about feed!? How did you ever become a doctor? Your brain is filled with sawdust! From the seventh plane, you've brought us down to ducks!" Thereafter, Baba repeated the scene word for word for the amusement of the other women, who all had a good laugh. (Lord Meher-p-2685-1948)
On 22nd June 1959, Baba entered the Blue Bus to begin His 40-day seclusion. Baba was also to fast during the seclusion. For the first eight days He ate only one meal a day, drinking tea or coffee once. Baba dictated following assignment to Dr. Goher;
6.30 A.M. - Goher should supply three buckets to Kaka to bring water.
7:45 A.M. - Goher to give Kaka three slices of bread for Baba.
8:00 A.M. - Goher should supply tea and coffee sets to Kaka.
8:45 A.M. - Goher to give Kaka drinking water for Baba.
5:00 P.M. - Goher to give Kaka food for Baba consisting of rice and dal. (Lord Meher-p-2714-1949)
On 15th October 1949, Baba paid a final visit to Meherabad to inspect the travelling kits containing the necessary items to be taken by each of those accompanying Him. He decided that Goher along with other four ladies would accompany Him in His New Life tour. (Lord Meher-p-2781-1949)
At Sarnath, the garden of the women's bungalow there was a small cottage for the gardener of the estate. Baba had special love for this gardener, often sending Goher to inquire if he needed anything. The man once told her, "No, the thakur (titled landowner) has given me everything; I am not in need of anything." By thakur, Goher thought the gardener meant the owner of the bungalow or his boss who must be seeing to his needs, and informed Baba accordingly. But hearing it, Baba just smiled, and explained to her and Mehera that the old man meant Krishna Himself. Once, the gardener asked Goher for a matchbox, which Baba sent. Daily, Baba mentioned this man to the companions, and he referred to him as Sant Mali — meaning the Saintly Gardener. (Lord Meher-p-2842-1949)
In 1950, at Dehradun, Baba also had trouble in His eyes. His eyes discharged a sticky substance and became painfully swollen, and at the same time, He had the continual sensation of something gritty in His eyes. Goher applied penicillin or silver nitrate ointment, but Baba got an allergic reaction to this which made it worse. Goher did her best to treat him, but Baba received little relief. (Lord Meher-p-2923-1950)
In 1951, Baba's suffered from piles and problem continued. Another physician from Bombay named Dr. Kataria's treatment started the next day. For six days, medicine was applied externally to the swollen tissue and covered with a bandage. But the size of the pile increased, and Baba suffered terrible pain. A week later, on Sunday, 22 April, Kataria stopped the medicine and recommended a wheat-flour poultice be applied for 24 hours per day for another six days. Nilu and Goher nursed Baba day and night, taking special care to see that the area was kept absolutely clean so it would not become infected. (Lord Meher-p-2978-1951)
In 1952, Goher also accompanied Baba on His western trip along with other ladies. Goher kept a brief diary of their trip. (Lord Meher-p-3090-1952)
On morning of 8th February 1952, Baba went on a picnic to Happy Valley with Dr. Goher and other four ladies. They walked the distance of four miles to Happy Valley. They stayed until two that afternoon, and were then driven back to Meherazad. ( Lord Meher-p-3032-1952)
On 7th November 1956, Baba, accompanied by Goher and other 4 ladies drove to Mahabaleshwar, where He was considering holding the sahavas. They stayed overnight at the Ripon Hotel, managed by Kohiyar Satarawala, who was residing in Satara during the slack rainy season. (Lord Meher-p-4125-1956)
In 1957, Baba was pleased with Dr. Talwalkar and Dr. Athle's efforts. Baba always insisted on paying whatever fees were charged; but both men, prominent, well-known doctors, refused to accept any money from him. Goher tried to make Dr. Athle take at least enough for the cost of the X-ray films, but that too he refused. As it was Diwali, Baba gave Goher two old silver rupee coins, instructing her to give each doctor one of the coins. She did so, and each was deeply touched, saying he would treasure and keep the coin, because it came from Baba. (Lord Meher-p-4214-1957)
Baba's health continued to worsen during His seclusion. Goher requested Him to call in outside physicians, Baba replied, "During the seclusion period, I wish neither to consult any outside doctors, nor will I go to them. My body may remain or go; I have to complete My work." He did, however, permit Goher. (Lord Meher-p-4469-1958)In September 1958, Gadekar began having sleeping trouble at nights. Baba had Goher give him seven sleeping pills for seven days. He was also suffering from asthma, so Benadryl syrup was given to him. Despite Goher's clear instructions to take only one tablet before sleeping, the next morning Gadekar swallowed all seven sleeping pills. When it was discovered, Baba called him and asked why he had made such a stupid error. Goher then gave him some apples, and Baba kept him seated beside Him. This seemed to mitigate any adverse reaction, because the tablets apparently had no ill effect on him. Soon after, Gadekar's worries left him, his mood changed and he appeared happy. (Lord Meher-p-4464-1958)
On 6th October 1958, Baba's legs became swollen and He had a high fever. "Day by day My health will deteriorate," He had remarked the day before. Even in that state, Baba began plans for a long fast. Goher pleaded with Him to drop the idea. She started weeping and so did Pukar. Baba observed, "No doubt, My health is ruined, but if you people remain happy, it will be a help in My work (Lord Meher-p-4470-1958)
On 21 February 1959, Roshan Kerawala had given birth to a daughter, Roshan had to have two or three stitches, but when the doctor took them out, one was left uncut by mistake. Roshan started having severe discomfort and consulted the doctor, who examined her and said everything was all right. Her trouble persisted and increased. One day when Baba was visiting, finding her looking dejected, he asked the reason and she told him. Baba immediately sent for Goher from Guruprasad. Goher was told the trouble, but she said, "I haven't brought my surgical instruments with me."
Baba asked her crossly, "Then have you come here to stare at Me?"
So Goher went back and returned with the required medical supplies. On examination, she found that one stitch remained uncut and had become enveloped in a layer of ski
Baba ordered, "Take it out."
"Baba, it should be done in the hospital," Goher protested, "not here."
"Oh for God's sake, quit arguing and take it out!" Baba insisted.
Despite Goher's reluctance and repeated requests to take Roshan to a hospital, Baba insisted she do the operation then and there. He assured Goher, "Don't be afraid; just keep looking at My photograph and that will steady your nerves." Cutting open the layer of skin, Goher took out the stitch, and surprisingly Roshan did not feel the least pain. (Lord Meher-p-4529-1959)
In 1960 at Bombay, one of Baba's old disciples, Pleader, had a heart attack, and Baba was informed. Finally Baba asked them to bring Pleader to Meherazad, and they did so. On 19th February 1960, Pleader was brought on a stretcher. Baba kept Pleader in a separate room and Goher began treating him. (Lord Meher-p-4634-1960)
Baily was Baba's childhood friend and onetime Meherabad resident. Baily was married to Dr. Goher but had separated from his wife Goher and was living a hand-to-mouth existence in Poona. He arrived at Guruprasad by bicycle one afternoon and met Baba privately in the hall. As he departed, he said, "Forgive me, Baba." Baba handed him a single rose (which Baily later ate). Soon afterwards, Baily moved to Hyderabad. He never saw Baba again. (Lord Meher-p-4702-1960)
In July 1960, Baba was not feeling well. He looked pale and tired. Because He would not take proper nourishment and informed the mandali that He would be fasting during His seclusion, Goher convinced Him to allow her to give Him a vitamin B12 (500 mg) injection, and a liver supplement (2cc) injection. Although these injections were painful, Baba submitted to one on 4 July and to another on the 8th. (Lord Meher-p-4713-1960)
In 1963, Baba described His monetary help to upper and middle-class families who had fallen into poverty. Earlier, Baba ordered Goher to give a certain boy Rs.150. A proud dignified fellow, the lad humbly told Goher, "I would rather starve than beg!" Baba intervened and promised to help him through college also. In the meantime, Baba was giving Him this amount to help his mother and family. (The father was in jail.) (Lord Meher-p-4965-1963)
Toward the end of August 1965, Goher again began giving Baba cortisone injections into His hip, which resulted in less pain in His joint. The pain in Baba's neck, however, continued. He underwent seven pounds of traction in bed daily and then wore the collar for an hour more while He sat in His chair. (Lord Meher-p-5167-1965)
In 1966, Goher was in regular correspondence with Adele Wolkin (who was a nurse) about sending required medical and dietary items for Baba. Describing Baba's health in a letter to Adele on 12 August, Goher wrote:
“Beloved Baba looks very tired these days. The hip joint pain is better and he walks a little; he does not use the wheelchair. The pain in the cervical region still persists. There is very little we can do to help him get rid of this pain. We doctors, too, sometimes feel so silly and helpless when we just stand in front of him and watch him suffer but are incapable of removing the pain. Baba has been telling us that the pain in His neck will continue to persist as long as He wants it to. It is but a reflection on the physical plane of His infinite suffering that He has taken upon himself to redeem mankind.” (Lord Meher-p-5246-1966)
In 1967, Goher's mother Khorshed's condition became worse. Baba was informed on 16th May, and through Goher Baba conveyed a message to her parents to "Remember Him constantly, take His name and do not worry." On the 24 th May 1967, her mother Khorshed passed away after a phone call from Baba came to Adi, informing him that Khorshed would drop her body when Baba willed it, (Lord Meher-p-5271-1967)
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. (Lord Meher-p-5371-1968)
Wife of Sawak Damania
Meheru Damania was the cousin of Eruch and she undertook cooking for Baba and Mandali. Sevak Damania of Akbar Press had been in Baba’s contact since childhood and was engaged to marry Eruch’s sister Meheru.
In June 1937, the engagement ceremony of Meheru (Eruch's sister) with Khorshed’s brother Sevak Damania was held at Akbar Press in Ahmednagar. Baba was present with few westerners at the small ceremony. Baba garlanded the couple and applied kumkum to their foreheads, and they exchanged rings before Baba. (Lord Meher-p-1939-1937)
In 1942, Gaimai's sister, Shirin Damania, and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Meheru Damania had been informed beforehand that both should be on the railway station to meet the group with lunch for all. At the train station, and Baba and the women went to the waiting room, where they sat down for lunch. Baba turned to Meheru (Damania) and asked, "Have you forgotten anything?" She immediately remembered she had left vegetables cooking on the stove at Akbar Press. She told Baba, adding frantically, "It must have burnt to a crisp by now!" Baba sent Adi Sr. to bring the vegetables. The gas stove had somehow extinguished itself and the dish was saved.2298-1942
On Monday, 28 May 1945, the weddings of Meheru Damania, (Eruch's sister) and Savak Damania, took place at Akbar Press. It was not so much a marriage as a gathering of celebration for Baba's lovers from Bombay, Poona and Ahmednagar. Baba and the Meherabad mandali went to Akbar Press to attend the weddings, and the ceremony turned into a darshan! (Lord Meher-p-2484-1945)
At Meherabad, Baba would go up the hill twice a day to see the women, but He had breakfast from the mandali's kitchen. Adi Sr. drove to Meherabad twice a day to take Baba up and down the hill, and brought meals for Baba, prepared by Eruch's sister, Meheru Damania. (Lord Meher-p-2587-1947)
Baba's 54th birthday was observed (according to the Parsi calendar) on Friday, 13 February 1948. Baba called the women from Meherabad to Pimpalgaon for a bhajan performance by an Arangaon group. Meheru Damania (Eruch's sister) participated along with other ladies group. (Lord Meher-p-2623-1948)
On the 30th, to celebrate Mehera's birthday, Baba took the women to the Gheun Deolali dak bungalow, not far from Meherazad. Adi Sr. brought Gulmai, Meheru Damania and Jibboo, accompanied with the food prepared by Chhagan. (Lord meher-p-2691-1949)
In 1951, the food was sent once a day from Ahmednagar for Baba and others. Eruch's sister Meheru Damania prepared and sent it with a boy named Ramchandra. Baba had ordered her to send only two items per day, which she did. However, these two dishes contained a mixture of several other eatables! (Lord Meher-p-3019-1951)
On 15th February 1953, Baba left by car for Poona. Eruch then traveled with them to Dehra Dun. On their way, they stopped at the Salvation Army's Evangeline Booth Hospital in Ahmednagar to visit Eruch's sister Meheru Damania. She had not been well for months and had recently undergone a gallbladder operation. Later she was diagnosed with cancer. Baba comforted her and reminded her to remember him and repeat his name.3273-1953
On 28 September 1953, Meheru Damania, a young woman, a close follower of Baba's, passed away at the age of 32, from pancreatic cancer. The last time Baba had seen her, he had remarked, "You have worked hard but soon you will have rest." A telegram from Adi Sr. in Ahmednagar was received, informing Baba about the death of Eruch's younger sister. On her deathbed at Khushru Quarters, Meheru's final words were: "Tell Baba that my journey has come to an end. Salutations to Him."
Meheru had helped cook during the Blue Bus travels. After receiving the telegram about her passing, Baba sent Eruch and others to see a movie. Eruch appeared not in the least affected by the news. He was his usual self as if nothing had happened.
After Meheru's demise, Baba sent a telegram to the Satha family in Ahmednagar saying that Meheru was now happy and asking them to send Him dakshina (an offering) of Rs. five thousand for His work in Dehra Dun, which they promptly did. (Lord Meher-p-3406/7-1953)
5-NAJA KHODADAD IRANI
W/o of Khodu (Sailor)
Naja Irani was Baba’s first cousin, and Pendu’s sister. An expert cook, she had been a close disciple and had a storehouse of stories of her child hood with Baba.
Gulmai explained to Naja Irani about Baba, and had urged the woman to talk openly with the Master about her problems. Naja Irani was skeptical, though, and said, "I have one or two things to discuss with Him. If He gives me a satisfactory reply, I will believe in Him and even sweep His hut." Since Naja was a wealthy woman, her promise was even more significant because such persons never did such menial tasks.
One day, when Naja was dropped Gulmai at the hut, she approached Baba and said, "I wish to go to Iran and perform certain Zoroastrian rituals. I also want to get my daughter married there. If this is fulfilled, I will serve you and sweep your hut every day."
Naja said, "I wish to serve you — just give me the chance."Baba smilingly replied, "All right. Your wishes will be fulfilled." Then He added seriously, "But don't forget to come back and sweep My hut!"
"To serve Me is most difficult," Baba replied. "Continue to remember Me, and this will be enough."
But the lady was persistent in her request, so Baba said, "After settling your daughter's marriage in Iran, come to Me and I will give you the opportunity of serving Me."
She was married to Ghani's younger brother Abdur, Khodadad Shirzad Irani (nicknamed Khodu and later Sailor Mama),
Once Merwan (Meher Baba) went to Khodu’s house, but he was absent. Khodu’s wife, Naza, asked Merwan to wait and he requested her some food. Naza served Merwan a meal, which he ate reverently. After eating, he had decided to leave, when Khodu arrived and started teasing Merwan playfully, catching hold of Him in a tight bear hug.
Merwan warned him “Khodu, stop wrestling with Me, don’t hold Me like this.” Then He mysteriously added, “I am no longer that Merwan!”
Thinking he was joking. Khodu smiling retorted, “If you are not that Merwan, then who you are? I will see who this Merwan is!”
Khodu thought that he would overpower Merwan and hurl him to the floor. (At this time, Merwan was quite slender.)
Khodu lunged for Merwan's arm, but Merwan stretched out his hand to prevent him, and with a slight shove sent Khodu reeling back, knocking him to the floor. Khodu was both shocked and amazed by Merwan's strength. Merwan was not angry, and good-naturedly helped Khodu to his feet. Both sat down and started talking. Khodu immediately realized that Merwan was no longer an ordinary man, and he began to look upon him with renewed and greater respect.
"When I looked into Merwan's eyes," Khodu said later, "I knew I had lost a friend — but I had found a saint!"
After this incident, Khodu and Merwan started seeing each other more regularly. Merwan told Khodu about Babajan, and Khodu was deeply impressed, accompanying Merwan whenever he went to see her. Hour upon hour, they would sit by Babajan's side late into the night, returning to Khodu's house as late as four o'clock in the morning. Often they would discuss the significance of the qawaali singing they had heard that night at Babajan's.(Lord Meher-p-167-1915)
Naja was overjoyed with what Baba said, but her husband was bitterly against her going to Iran. She went against his wishes, traveled there and performed the religious ceremonies, and was also successful in arranging her daughter's marriage to an eligible bachelor. But after returning from Iran, because of her high social standing, she did not go to see Baba. Later, she began to suffer fits. She became mentally unstable and morose, and remained in that condition for a period of six months. Doctors administered all kinds of treatments, but to no avail.
In 1922, Baba was in Bombay. Naja's daughter Freiny, remembering the promise her mother had given about sweeping his hut, wanted to take her to Him. The mother, too, wished to see Him, but was prevented from doing so by her relatives. Sadly, as a result of her inability to overcome her family's forbiddance, or because of her indifference to Baba's advice, her mental disturbance persisted on and off for several years.284/5-1922
Naja, with Mehera's help, cooked the meals in Bombay. As they cooked, Gustadji occasionally went to the kitchen and expounded on the ways of the Master. Once, while Gustadji was relating an amusing anecdote, Naja laughed loudly. Baba overheard her and angrily ordered Masaji to take his daughter back to Poona. They left immediately for the train station. Naja and Masaji had missed the train to Poona and went to Dahiwala's home also, where Baba encountered them. Embracing Naja, who was in tears, Baba explained to her that she was not to blame, that He was upset due to another reason. (Naja related that Baba also had tears in His eyes.)
Baba's younger cousin Aspandiar was the son of Merwan's maternal aunt Pila Masi. A few years after her death in 1917, Aspandiar had moved to Quetta in northern India and his sister Naja had been sent by Baba to stay in Quetta also. When Naja arrived in Quetta, she informed her brother about Baba's recent relocation from Poona to Bombay, Naja wrote secretly to Baba to request that He keep Aspandiar with Him, as she did not like her brother staying in Quetta, where he was about to open his own business" (Lord Meher-p-307/8-1922)
Baba led Naja and Masaji back to Bharucha Building, where he explained, "Why did I get upset with Naja? Because of My work, at that moment, it was absolutely necessary that you all not remain in the house. For this reason, I pretended to be upset and ordered all to leave." Turning to Naja, He reassured her that she was not to blame and shouldn't worry about disturbing Him. The next day, Baba told Mehera, Naja and Daulatmai, "You should never leave me — even if I force you away. You should always hold on to Me." (Lord Meher-p-560-1924)
On 30 April 1926, a group of Hindu pilgrims passed by Meherabad. Baba directed the mandali to feed the pilgrims. Without informing Naja, Sailor gave them some of the food cooked for the students, and what remained for the children was later discovered to be insufficient. Baba was furious and called Naja, lashing out at her for her negligence. Naja was quite perplexed and explained that she had cooked the same amount of food that she normally prepared. She could not understand how it was too little. Annoyed, Baba shoved Naja in the presence of others.
Sailor then appeared and explained that it was his fault, that he had given some of the food to the pilgrims. At this, Baba's anger turned on Sailor and he dictated, "Why for God's sake did you not tell Naja to cook more food, you Irani idiot?" Sailor meekly apologized for having forgotten to inform her. Baba ordered the mandali to tie Sailor to a pillar and not give him food or water for three days. It appeared to be a dreadful punishment because it was the middle of summer and scorchingly hot. Accordingly he was tied up, but Baba Himself set him free after an hour or so and comforted him by giving him sweets. Baba and the mandali's food was given to the children, and some additional amount was hurriedly prepared.
Later, Gustadji commented that Naja was chastised unnecessarily. Baba did not appreciate his remark and explained, "I chastise no one! What appears to be punishment is really prasad. Naja received My prasad today. Were it not so, Sailor would not have told the truth." (Lord Meher-p- 651-1926)
In 1943, she travelled to Lahore, with Baba and other ladies. (Lord Meher-p-s2362-1943)
Naja Khodadad Irani (Sailor's wife) died at Civil Hospital, Ahmednagar in 1955
(Daughter of Estelle Gayley)
Quentin told Mrs. Henry Bell Gayley, called Nonny and her daughter Madeleine, called Rano about Baba in Newyork When he met her at dinner with Runao. As Rano listened politely to Quentin's fantastic narrative, she thought: "Tod is saying all this in exuberance. There cannot be much truth in it." Then Quentin gave them a photograph of Baba. When Nonny saw it, she was thrilled. She cried out, "That's the man!" Rano asked what she meant. Nonny replied that, one day in May of 1932, she had been glancing through the New York Times when she noticed a picture of a man with long hair. She felt compelled to meet him. This was the same man. It was Meher Baba. Rano's heart, too, was gradually smitten by Baba's countenance; it was the photograph of her Lord, which her heart recognized even as her mind rebelled. (Lord Meher-p-1525-1933)
Quentin explained to Nonny and Rano that Baba planned to travel to the United States and they could meet him in New York. Shortly thereafter, Nonny and Rano returned to America, anticipating meeting Baba there. When Quentin met Baba in Italy, he told Him about Ruano, Nonny and Rano. (Lord Meher-p-1526-1933)
Rano Gayley (Madeleine), daughter of Estelle Gayley was an artist who had worked for some years designing fabrics in New York. Rano Gayley and her mother had learned about Meher Baba in Paris the previous summer through their friend Ruano and her contact Quentin, and had expected to meet Baba in America when they returned there. Ruano was now in London with Baba and had written Nonny and Rano as soon as she found out about Baba's change in plans, and they had immediately left for London.
Upon reaching London, it was difficult for them to find out where Baba was staying. Ruano had cabled the address, but Rano had not received it. Nonny was in tears, repeating, "Where is Baba? Where is Baba?" Rano comforted her and they both checked into a hotel.
Rano phoned the English Speaking Union, as her correspondence with Ruano had been through its address, and she was given Ruano's telephone number. When Rano called, Ruano informed her where Baba was staying. Rano asked when they could meet Baba, and was told that it would be at four that afternoon. (Lord Meher-p-1561-1933)
Baba was very loving to Nonny, but for His own reason He kept Rano at a distance. Although Baba was outwardly keeping her away, she was inwardly being drawn to Him. On various occasions, Baba would go to a movie with all except Rano, or He would have her travel separately if she did accompany them, allowing her only to see Him from a distance. Between the lover and the Beloved, the pleasure of the play is only experienced through joy and sorrow — this coming from the Beloved's playful nature.
Rano was destined to belong to Baba and join His circle. Others would keep their distance from Baba at such treatment, but the Beloved Master is coquettish with only those whom He knows have an inner connection with Him and whom He wants to keep near Him. Nonny and Rano Gayley became permanent blossoms in the Beloved's garden like others. (Lord Meher-p-1563-1933)
Nonny, Rano and Ruano, who had been told to come to India for Baba's birthday, were cabled at this time not to come. Instead, Baba was planning to go to Madras for the occasion. (Lord Meher-p-1584-1934)
After spending the day in Marseilles, Baba and the mandali took the train to Paris, joined by Ruano, Rano and Norina. During the night's journey, Rano felt hungry, but the food was kept in a tin container on the rack in Baba's compartment. Still new to Baba, Rano did not know that she should not disturb the Master while he rested. When she entered his compartment, Baba had his eyes closed and looked as though he were sound asleep. As Rano quietly took down the tin, Baba opened his eyes and motioned to her, asking what she was doing. Rano replied that she was hungry. Baba gestured, "All right, take something to eat and then go rest." Rano had been careful not to make the slightest noise when reaching for the food and was surprised that Baba was suddenly so awake.
After a while, Baba sent Kaka with two black velvet pillows, one each for Rano and Ruano, along with instructions for them to go to sleep on these pillows. They both were to keep the pillows and never part with them. (Lord Meher-p-1614-1934)
Once Baba found Rano on deck and asked her why she was there. Rano explained that the cabin was stuffy and she needed fresh air. Baba scolded her, "Unless I direct you otherwise, do not step out of your cabin." Rano returned, but after that incident Baba permitted her to walk on the deck for two hours each day, but she had to be accompanied by Norina.1634-1934
Baba used to refer to the three women as "the trio" and one day revealed that they had close past connections with Him at the time of Jesus and with one another from a previous life in Egypt. Ruano and Nonny had been brother and sister, and Rano had been Ruano's son. (Thereafter, Rano jokingly began calling Ruano, "Pappy.")
Since it was winter, the weather was quite cold and Baba seldom went out on the ship's deck. He amused Himself each day by playing Ping-Pong with Rano on an enclosed deck. They never kept score but just hit the ball back and forth, with Rano valiantly trying to return Baba's ever-frequent smashes.
One night at sea, Rano remembered back to the time when she had wanted to marry. She talked to Baba the next day and said, "I now understand why different circumstances in my life did not turn out as I wished them to. Had things worked out the way I wanted, I would never have come to you." (Lord Meher-p-1647-1934)
Rano and Nonny Gayley's home was in New York. Baba had instructed them to stay there, but to come to the hotel each morning to say good morning to Him before spending the day with their family. When they first went to Baba's room, they found Nadine Tolstoy posted on guard duty outside. They had never met her before and she prevented them from entering. Rano retorted, "We were with Baba for eight days on the ship. Who are you to stop us from seeing Him? Go tell Him we are here." She did so, and then allowed them to pass. (Lord Meher-p-1651-1934)
Both Nonny and Rano were eager to meet the Master; however, doubts befell Rano and made her wonder: "What kind of Master is He? Is He aware of our faith? We are longing for His sight, yet He doesn't seem to care."
On the 18th, Nonny and Rano promptly entered Hygeia House to meet the Eternal Beloved. They were greeted by Ruano, who told them with sympathy that Baba was very tired and would not be able to see them then. They were dumbstruck. Crestfallen, they were taken to meet Norina, Elizabeth and the Kimco group. While they were talking about Baba, he sent a message: "Since you have come from such a long distance, I will see you. But you must not ask anything or talk to me. You should leave after seeing Me."
Baba sent first for Nonny. While Rano nervously waited outside, her mind began working fast. The door slowly opened and Nonny stepped out — her eyes filled with tears. Rano was taken aback, for up to then she considered any person who gave way to their emotions as "silly and sentimental," and could not understand what had happened to her mother.
Baba then called Rano inside. Here is how she once described this first meeting:
I had spent several restless hours becoming rather nervous at the thought of meeting someone I knew so little about and yet that, in some strange way, I seemed drawn to. The moment came. I stepped into the room and everything around faded. All I saw was one whose beauty of expression defied description and who looked at me with such gentleness and kindness that it imprinted itself indelibly on my memory. I knew then that, were I never to see Meher Baba again, I had received something that would remain with me for always.
I had never seen anyone so beautiful in my life. I felt that Baba was the embodiment of everything. He had that love and compassion which is indescribable.
To this day, I do not know who else was in the room. There were only hazy figures, but clearly in their midst was Meher Baba with the most beautiful expression I had ever seen. Sweetness, love — everything that was beautiful — was there in His face. I stood, staring at him until someone finally removed me from the room. (Lord Meher-p-1562-1933)
In Marseilles, Rano was given the opportunity to comb Baba's hair. She was smoking fifteen cigarettes per day then, but through Baba's influence she gradually tapered down to just two a day
On 20th July 1933, and Rano and Nonny were sent to Paris. One night at sea, Rano remembered back to the time when she had wanted to marry. She talked to Baba the next day and said, "I now understand why different circumstances in my life did not turn out as I wished them to. Had things worked out the way I wanted, I would never have come to You." Baba concurred, "Yes, you are right. Everything is in My hands and I created such circumstances for you that you would come to Me.
While in Los Angeles, Rano presented Baba with a brown felt hat to wear on His trip back. Before He departed, Baba expressed His wish to acquire a puppy He could take back to India. Soon after, Rano found a pedigreed tan cocker spaniel in a kennel and took Baba to see it. Baba liked the puppy and purchased it for $35. Baba named it Chummy, since there was a watchdog already named Chum at Meherabad. (Lord Meher-p-1665-1935)
Rano became ill in May. On the night of 28 May, 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. Baba was of course informed. He visited Bindra House the next morning, but before getting out of the car He drew three crosses on the ground with His walking stick. He sat for a few moments looking at them and then rubbed one of the crosses out.
Baba comforted Rano and then instructed Manu to prepare some lime sherbet. He dipped His finger in the glass and, placing some of the liquid in a teaspoon, He fed it to Rano. He told Manu to give it to Rano, sip by sip. If Rano could finish the whole glass, she would be out of danger. Rano was told to repeat Baba's name seven times while sipping the sherbet from a teaspoon. With great difficulty, she did so and began feeling better.
Baba then went to see Pappa who said to him, "Baba, save Rano. She is a foreigner and if she passes away here, there will be complications with the police." Baba laughed, telling him not to worry about Rano that she would be all right.
Rano had a rash and fever too. The doctor advised her not to go, but she said, "If Baba is calling me, I am going." Only Nonny stayed behind as Baba had previously ordered her not to come because she was still on a 40-day fast. (Lord Meher-p-1827-1937)
The next day, Norina cabled Baba about those who were ill, and he cabled back that he would be coming to Nasik that night. Baba had especially come to be near Rano during her illness, for her case was the most serious. Baba arrived at 8:00 P.M. and saw all those who were feeling sick. The doctor said Rano had typhoid and Baba immediately arranged for her to be alone in the room next to Nonny's. The usual record playing sessions after lunch in the living room were stopped, since Rano needed rest and quiet. Rano had been suffering a very high temperature since the end of April. Her face was swollen, she had a rash on her chest and her skin itched. The doctor told Baba that there was little hope for her survival. Baba called Nilu from Rahuri, who properly diagnosed her illness as scarlet fever. Nilu began treating her according to Baba's advice.
When in Nasik, Baba would look in on Rano two or three times a day. When he entered her room, he would remove his sandals outside the door and enter barefooted so that he might not disturb her if she was asleep. Once Baba came when Rano was asleep. When she awoke, Nonny informed her that Baba had come but that she was sleeping. Rano's prompt response was: "Well, I'm awake now!"
Baba would hand Rano medicine and sometimes spoon-feed her orange juice. Once, during her recuperation period, someone's birthday was celebrated and ice cream was served. Rano asked Baba to let her have a little. "No," he gestured. "Ice cream will be bad for your throat."
"But they give ice cream for tonsillitis," she pleaded. "Besides, my throat is all right." Baba again said no. But later, He came to Rano's room and gave her a smidgen of ice cream He had put on His pinkie.
Nilu had been ordered to take Rano's temperature seven times a day. When away, Baba was cabled about her condition every day. Baba had ordered Rano not to set foot out of bed.
Finally, her fever came down and by the 6th of May, after six weeks of illness, she showed every sign of recovering. Rano once recollected, "I was so pampered, I didn't miss not being with the others. Perhaps Baba needed someone immobile for 21 days — like spending 40 days in a circle."
After Rano recovered, Baba remarked to her, "I have saved you for My work. Had I not been here when you were sick, you would have died." (Lord Meher-p-1832/3-1937)
On return to Nasik, Baba asked each how they had liked Meherabad. They all said, "Very much." Baba asked Rano's opinion of the place and she answered frankly, "It's lovely, Baba, but not for me." Baba just smiled. The idea of living a secluded life with a bunch of women on a remote hill did not appeal to Rano. She had not the least idea that she would be the only one from this original group who would be spending the rest her life with Baba in India. (Lord Meher-p-1766-1937)
From the middle of January, Baba outlined duties for each of the Westerners staying at Nasik. Everyone was to rise at 6:30 A.M., meditate for an hour and together take an hour lesson in learning Urdu from Ramjoo. Baba allotted individual duty of drawing and painting of spiritual themes as instructed by Baba; one hour dancing with Margaret. (Lord Meher-p-1769/70-1937)
Rano smoked Lucky Strike and Chesterfield cigarettes when she came to Nasik, but she was careful never to smoke in Baba's presence. One day Baba came along just as she was finishing a cigarette. She quickly put it out and said, "Baba, this was my last cigarette." Baba looked very pleased and gave her an embrace. Rano surprised herself when she made this remark, since Baba had not asked her to quit (Lord Meher-p-1771-1937)
During Baba's trip to London in November 1936, Rano and her mother Nonny had purchased a three-piece pinstripe suit for Baba. They had found a clerk Baba's height and guessed the size. It fit perfectly. On this occasion in Bombay, Rano was told to buy a pair of shoes for Baba as a gift from Nonny. She went to a shop with Norina and Elizabeth. They had to guess Baba's foot size and take them on approval. The shoes fit and Baba wore them in France. (Lord Meher-p-1852-1937)
Once Baba found Rano on deck and asked her why she was there. Rano explained that the cabin was stuffy and she needed fresh air. Baba scolded her, "Unless I direct you otherwise, do not step out of your cabin." Rano returned, but after that incident Baba permitted her to walk on the deck for two hours each day, but she had to be accompanied by Norina. (Lord Meher-p-1854-1937)
Anita was an artist of some talent; she did a drawing in Cannes and showed it to Baba, who commented that it, was remarkably good. Baba then asked Rano's opinion and she said she honestly did not care for it. Baba reproached her, "How can you say you don't like it? It is so beautiful! You will never be able to draw as well as her!" Baba continued to praise Anita's talents just to annoy Rano.
For some months, Rano had been working in secret under Baba's direction on a large painting. It was later called the Ten Circles. Baba had instructed Rano to bring all her painting materials to Cannes to continue with the work on the painting which had been taken off its stretcher, rolled and packed, and brought from India. One day, when she was painting a section of it, Baba came and made some criticism of her work. Rano said in a huff, "If you like Anita's drawing so much, why don't you ask her to do this work?"
Baba did not like her remark, reprimanding her, "You are useless! You have no sense! Your duty is to fulfill My orders!" Baba was teaching Rano to dance to His every tune — with a buttoned lip. At times, Baba would tease her, saying, "Why aren't you as good as your mother? Nonny is so sweet, why can't you be more like her?" — All as part of His work to crush her ego. (Lord cMeher-p-1859/60-1937)
Rano was staying in Baba's villa on the third floor, as were Norina and Elizabeth. Baba's room was at the end of the corridor. Although Rano did not realize it at the time, Baba began training her at Cannes for her permanent stay with Him in India. At night, Baba would often send Kaka to Rano's room to wake her up. Kaka would knock on her door and, when Rano would come out and ask what the matter was, Kaka would reply, "Baba wants you." So Rano would accompany him to Baba's room where Baba would matter-of-factly spell out to her, "I want you to remind Me about ordering soda water tomorrow. That's all. Now go and rest."
Returning to her room, Rano wondered why on earth Baba would call her in the middle of the night for such a petty thing. Again after a short time, there was a knock on the door and Rano would be called to Baba. Baba would spell out, "Don't forget to remind me about the soda water. Now go sleep; you look tired." Rano could not understand why, for such a mundane matter, she was disturbed again from her slumbers. Yet, throughout the night, the seemingly insignificant subject of soda water kept being raised, and Baba did not allow either Rano or himself to sleep. Years later, Rano realized that one must be ever alert and ready to comply with any of the Master's wishes at any moment in order to carry out His orders and fulfill His apparently whimsical pleasures.
Another night, Kaka again knocked on Rano's door and when she came out he told her, "Smoke is coming from somewhere and Baba wishes you to go find out what is burning."
Rano went downstairs to the kitchen and, with Irene's help, found the stove (which used wood and coal) had not been properly banked. Baba also went to the kitchen with Kaka and then returned to His room after all the windows were opened and things put right.
Rano retired for the night but was soon awakened again by Kaka's knock on the door. When she opened it, Kaka said, "Baba wants you to have another look through the house to make sure everything is safe and secure." Rano did accordingly and sent word through Kaka that everything was fine.
Soon after, Kaka again knocked on Rano's door with the same message. This went on the whole night and Rano learned to do as Baba ordered, without any question of why or wherefore, thus ignoring her mental reactions and letting her wish to obey and please Baba's wish remain foremost. (Lord Meher-p-1861/2-1937)
After Baba had announced that He would soon be returning to India, Rano began wondering if she would ever see him again. She knew Norina and Kitty were going back with him, but there was not a hint about anyone else. On one of the last days, Baba called her into his room and asked, "How would you like to come back to India with me?"
"Would I!" she cried out. "But what will Nonny say?" "This time Nonny has no say!" Rano declared. "Will she pay your passage?" "I know she won't refuse." "Don't worry," Baba assured her, "If Nonny won't pay, and then I'll pay your fare."
When Baba had asked Rano in Nasik how she liked Meherabad, she had replied honestly, "Very nice, but not for me." Now, she was only too willing to return to India with her Beloved! (Lord Meher-p-1878-1937)
Meals for Baba and the women were being prepared in Scarsdale by a temperamental cook named Alberta, an American Indian. Filis had hired her to cook for Baba. Baba sent Rano to the kitchen to bring His food. However, it was not ready, and she told the cook, "This is Baba's mealtime; how is it His lunch isn't ready? It should have been ready by now. Baba is most particular about promptness and has been complaining about this lately. You really should try to be on time, as Baba will be upset."
The cook reacted angrily at what she took to be Rano's bossing (when Rano was really only trying to help her avoid displeasing Baba), and verbally abused her. This got Rano's temper stirred and she came to Baba in tears and told him what had happened. Baba asked, "Do you love Me?" Rano said yes. "Then go and apologize." Rano countered, "If anyone should apologize, it should. Be." She caught herself and said, "I'll go apologize, Baba." But it was too late. "No," Baba said with a disappointed look. "If you had gone immediately when I told you to, there would have been some meaning to it. Now your apology would be meaningless. You have lost the chance. What is the use in asking now?" Thus Rano learned a very good lesson in obedience.
In Marseilles, Baba sent Norina out to a pharmacy to buy him some mineral water. The label on the bottle was in French and when Norina returned with it, Baba asked Rano, who spoke French, to translate it. Baba indicated that this was the wrong kind of mineral water and sent Norina back to exchange it. She returned with a different bottle and again, after listening to Rano translate the name and contents, Baba sent Norina back with it and asked her to bring something else. This happened five or six times. The pharmacist became annoyed and asked Norina, "Why don't you ask your party for the correct name in French? Surely, Madame, if someone can read the label, he should be able to give you the correct name." Norina kept her poise. The man had no idea that this was a lesson for Norina in swallowing her pride and anger, and maintaining her self-control. Back at the hotel, Baba even remarked to Rano, "You don't really think I'm doing this for myself, do you?" (Lord Meher-p-1880-1937)
Baba assigned duties to Rano in preparing charts and working on the Ten Circles painting, Rano was in the habit of getting up late, as she would often go to bed late. But in Meherabad, the others were awake by 5:00 A.M., and tea was served at 5:30 A.M. One day soon after arriving, Baba asked Naja to call Rano to the kitchen. Rano was sleeping at the time and Naja woke her up. Rano rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, put on a robe, and accompanied Naja to the kitchen. A kettle of water was boiling on the stove and, pointing to it, Baba gestured to her, "Listen to how sweetly the kettle is singing." Rano stood quietly but thought: "What is this? I've been called to listen to a kettle boil?"Seeing her expression, Baba spelled out, "It is not the fact of the kettle's singing that is of importance, but that I thought of you — that I thought to call you." (Lord Meher-1885-1937)
When Norina, Kitty and Rano began staying at Meherabad, Baba ordered them again not to mention the name of any man in front of the Eastern women mandali and, similarly, not to mention any of their names in front of the men. The same instructions had been given them earlier when they would visit Meherabad from the Nasik ashram. One day, while Baba, Rano and Vishnu were discussing a matter, Rano mentioned Mani's name by mistake. Baba became upset and scolded her, "Never commit such a fault again! Don't you remember what I tell you? Don't you listen to Me when I give you certain instructions? Or don't you take it seriously?" (Lord Meher-p-1886-1937)
In England, Kitty would go to church each year on Easter Sunday. Easter in 1938 fell on 17 April, and Kitty wished to attend services in a church in Panchgani. She told Rano, and Rano said that she did not care whether or not she went to church, but she would accompany Kitty if she liked. Both set out walking to the church that evening, but they found it difficult to locate. When they finally arrived, they found it empty, and as soon as they stepped inside, heavy rain began falling. They waited inside the deserted church for the rain to stop. It ceased after some time, and they walked back to their bungalow, disappointed.
Meanwhile, not finding them in the house, Baba sent Elizabeth in her car to look for them. Her car got stuck in a muddy pothole, necessitating her to hire some men to push it out. When Kitty and Rano returned, Baba asked where they had been. "To church," Kitty replied. Rano added, "I had no intention of going, but I went to give Kitty company."
Baba spelled out to Kitty, "Since you are so fond of going to church, go every Sunday!" "I’ve learned my lesson today," she said. "I'll never set foot in another church again!" "No, no," Baba emphatically told her, "You must go every Sunday! Everything you need is there! You have nothing to gain by staying here and being with Me." "Forgive me, Baba. I will never do it again." "Is it proper to go without my permission?" Baba asked. Crying now, Kitty answered, "It was a mistake on my part. I'm sorry. Please forgive me." Baba pardoned her and gave her a kiss, taking away the pain of His scolding.
On another occasion, Rano and Kitty were feeling quite depressed. Baba was so preoccupied in Panchgani with mast and other work; they hardly saw Him they felt. One day Baba came and asked the women to tell Him what was on their minds. Rano and Kitty expressed their feelings. To console them, Baba said, "If I do not withdraw Myself physically from you from time to time, you will not feel Me here (pointing to the heart), and it is there that I want you to feel My presence." (Lord Meher-p-1914/5-1938)
One day, when some mishap occurred, Baba looked at her sharply and repeated, "Don't argue!" gesturing for her to button her lip. Rano replied, "But I'm not arguing, Baba. I'm simply explaining it to you." This upset Baba even more. Frustrated, Rano bitterly complained, "There is no use in my staying with you since you are always displeased with me." Baba replied, "I won't let you go, and will never let you go!" Baba never did let Rano leave, and of all the Western women who were to come, she was the only one whom Baba kept in India, and who stayed with Him until the last — but it was never easy. (Lord meher-p-1922-1938)
Baba appeared concerned about Rano. He informed the group that she was seriously ill and repeated that he wished them not to disturb her, to keep a quiet atmosphere and not to visit her. Baba then declared, "What is sickness, what is death, but Maya’s glimpses. Die before death and you will live forever!" (Lord Meher-p-1929/30-1937)
Upon reaching Sholapur, Baba asked Kitty if there was anything to eat. Kitty replied there was nothing except bread and a little cheese, because the cooked food they had carried with them had spoiled. Baba instructed her to pass out bread with tea to the group, and give the cheese to Elizabeth and Eruch, the two drivers. Rano was unaware of Baba's instructions and remarked to Kitty, "I've worked just as hard as Elizabeth and Eruch, and have been up since three in the morning! Am I not to have any cheese? I am also hungry!" Baba never missed anything. He asked Kitty and Rano what they were talking about, and eventually brought the incident out in the open. Rano felt ashamed and she repented for her outburst. (Lord Meher-p-1961/2-1938)
The group arrived in Ajmer on 8th February 1939. After few days they arrived, Baba began His mast work in earnest. Rano was instructed to keep hot water ready for the masts' baths. As soon as one would be brought, she would rush to fill the buckets in the bathroom. Baba would then wash the mast and afterward clothe him with new clothes or a kafni. Baba would take blankets and towels from the women and pass them on to His dear masts’ (Lord Meher-p-1986-1939)
In 1939, Rano and Kitty talked among themselves and then approached Baba, suggesting that He drop the idea of going to Taragarh. They explained that He did not have to go to so much trouble and expense just for them, and that it did not matter if they missed seeing the Fort. Baba reprimanded them, "If you think I am doing this for you, you are mistaken. My work comes first; you are secondary. What care do I have for expenses where My work is concerned? Money, you and everything else are secondary to my work." Rano and Kitty, though they had meant well, retreated in abashment and realized the truth of Baba's words. (Lord Meher-p-1990-1939)
After the death of Rano’s mother Nonny, Baba took Rano in His embrace and spelled out: "Nonny was one of My greatest lovers. She always gave spontaneously (financially) for My work. It is because of her great share of timely contributions, among others, that the center plan could be presently started. Funds will come, and come in plenty, but to the dear, departed soul goes the credit of starting My work that is to serve mankind's greatest need. I am happy her dear name will be connected and perpetuated with this unique institution." Later, Baba stated that it was the first time He had been present at the death of one of His disciples. To Rano, He revealed that He had given Nonny mukti (liberation). (Lord Meher-p-2040-1939)
While in Bangalore, Baba directed the women to stage plays for five days consecutively. One of the plays concerned an African tribe in the jungle. Rano took the part of a hunter, and Irene the wife. Katie was the African chief, Mani his daughter and Kharmen Masi, Soonamasi and Manu members of the tribe. (Lord Meher-p-2062-1939)
During the Bangalore stay Rano, under Baba's direction, continued her work on the Ten Circles painting which she had begun a few years before in Nasik. She had also begun another large painting of Baba wearing a turban. One day in January, when she was finishing this painting, she somehow did not feel satisfied with the expression in Baba's eyes. Baba happened to come to her room right at that moment and Rano expressed her quandary. Baba himself picked up a brush, mixed some color and dabbed a bit on the left eye in the painting, instantly improving the expression! "Now don't touch it!" he declared. (Lord Meher-p-2070-1940)
|On 3 rd July 1940, Baba left Meherabad for Ranchi with the men and women mandali, and three masts, Chatti Baba, Shariat Khan and Mohammed. Rano accompanied Baba along with other ladies. (Lord Meher-p-2116-1940)|
During stay in Ceylon at Hickgalla Estate was a coconut plantation, and Baba gave coconuts to each of the women to eat one day. But to Rano he said, "Don't eat it! It will affect your throat." Rano replied, "In America I used to eat lots of coconuts and they never gave me a sore throat." "Why do you always argue?" Baba scolded. "Why don't you listen to what I say?" Baba went on warning her not to eat the coconut, and at last Rano gave in and said, "I won't eat it, since it will affect my throat." This answer pleased Baba and he forgave her. (Lord Meher-p-2171-1940)
Rustom and Freiny's youngest son Jangoo had been staying with Baba practically since he was born. Khorshed had been given the responsibility of looking after the infant, and because of her charge, whenever they would stop somewhere, she would always demand more space for herself and the child. This constantly caused a clash between herself and Rano, who was in charge of the luggage space and seating arrangements. In Quetta, too, Khorshed asked Rano for more space, and Rano ignored her. Baba then criticized Rano, "Why didn't you tell Khorshed she cannot take up so much room?" "What is the use in quarreling when she does not listen?" Rano replied. Baba cracked, "Because she has Jang-oo with her, she fights!" (Jang, in the vernacular, means to fight.) (Lord Meher-p-2204-1841)
On way to Lonavla, there was a frightening incident in the train, 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." (Lord Meher-p-2297-1942)
The large painting done by Rano of Baba seated, titled The Avatar, was to be sent to Srivastava to be displayed at His house during the Kumbha Mela. But Baba specified that the painting should not reach Srivastava until after He had left Allahabad. (Lord Meher-p-2250-1941)
Rano and one of the maids from Arangaon, (Maruti Patil's daughter) Tara Dalvi, were given the work of cleaning the cooking pots in Lonavla. In Rishikesh, Rano had had to carry the water to the house, and in Lonavla, her manual labor continued in washing the dishes. (Lord Meher-p-2305-1942)
On 14th February 1943, Baba departed Meherabad for Mahabaleshwar with the men and women mandali. Besides the Indian women, there were four Westerners living with them Rano Gayley with others. They stayed in a bungalow called Valley View. A brown horse was bought, which Mehera used to ride in their compound. Rano would stand at one end and another woman at the other end, and Mehera would ride back and forth between them. (Lord Meher-p-2321-1943)
When Rano began making the charts, Baba would come to her room to see them, or to explain some point, and at that time, Margaret was told to leave. One day Baba came to inspect Rano's work, and heeding prior instructions, Margaret left before his arrival. Baba examined the charts and then sent Rano to bring Margaret back; motioning to her not to tell Margaret he was still there. Margaret walked in and, seeing Baba, was startled. "Rano, why didn't you tell me Baba was here?" she demanded. Baba laughed, "Don't worry, I Myself called you."
Rano was, of course, delighted that, due to the charts, she had occasion to see Baba. Some days later, however, Baba stopped coming to inspect the work, and Rano had no further chance of seeing Him. Once, when she could not follow an intricate point, she wrote her difficulty to Baba and sent the note through Nilu. But Baba still did not call her or go to her room; He simply dictated a note in return through Nilu. (Lord Meher-p-2333-1943)
It was extremely hot in Lahore in July. The electricity in Baba's bungalow suddenly went out one night, and Baba directed Rano to telephone the authorities concerned. Rano was, of course, a total stranger to Lahore and wondered whom to contact and where to find a phone. She moved about here and there in the dark, and at last went to a neighboring bungalow and knocked on the door. She asked the owner if he had a telephone she could use, and was shown in. Rano phoned the power company and then returned to Baba's house.
Seeing her, Baba frowned, "Why did you take so long?" “I did not know where a telephone was." "Why didn't you acquaint yourself with such information beforehand?" How was I to know the power would be cut off?"
"It is a common enough occurrence here. If you don't know that, what do you know? You should be more careful about such things. I often go out for mast work, and if you are not alert in my absence, what will become of the women? They lead a secluded life, and you should be mindful of outside things such as this." Rano had learned by now that the best thing to do at such times was to keep quiet. By this incident Baba showed her that he wished her to develop foresight. (Lord Meher-p-2363/4-1943)
Baba then proceeded on to Kashmir. At one point along the journey, Chanji met up with the group. Since Rano had no traveling permit, she was forbidden from crossing into Kashmir. Chanji took her to the proper office in Domel, where she told the officials that she had applied for the permit, but she had not yet received it. Rano then returned and went with Baba to the telegraph office to inquire further. The clerk listened to her explanations, but failed to check the file. Baba signaled to Rano to insist on seeing the file. At last, the clerk admitted, "The permit is received, but we cannot show it to anyone before it is sent to the proper office." Chanji remunerated him for his trouble, as Baba wished. The permit was taken to the office, and Rano was allowed to proceed. (Lord Meher-p-2422-1944)
Baba was with Kaka and Baidul, and Rano looked after the three Eastern women. It was past midnight when the train arrived, and Rano found the women's compartment locked. She banged on the doors and shouted for someone to open up, but all were fast asleep inside. She knocked on a window, and then reached in and woke up a passenger, an overweight woman, who was kind enough to open the door for them. They managed to throw their luggage inside and hop on just as the train was about to leave! They arrived in Delhi on 14 August, by the Grand Trunk Express, and stayed the night with Keki Desai and his wife. Keki had been warned to keep Baba's visit an absolute secret. (Lord Meher-p-2423-1944)
During this period in Hyderabad, Rano asked Baba's permission to buy a new pair of glasses. Baba advised, "Buy the spectacles, but don't spend more than you absolutely have to."
Rano went to an optometrist, and after giving her an examination, he asked for a large fee. This was a dilemma, because Baba had told her specifically not to spend more than necessary. She told the doctor, "Look, don't charge me more because I am a Westerner and my old glasses are expensive. I have become poor and don't have much money." It surprised the man, as Westerners had never grudged paying his fees before. But Rano continued bartering and thus reducing the amount, until finally, she ended up paying only the cost of the new pair of glasses.
Don had escorted her in the tonga, and on the way back he bought some toffees for the mandali. He offered some to Rano, but she politely refused. When he persevered, she took a few, as she knew Margaret was fond of them. When they got back home, Rano went to her room and handed the sweets to Margaret. Baba almost never entered their room, but that day for some reason, He suddenly appeared right at that moment.
Rano tried to hide the toffee, but Baba asked what was in her hand. "Toffee," she said."Why did you bring it?" "To give to Margaret." "For Margaret, and not for Me?" Baba asked with a pained expression on His face. "I didn't buy it!" Rano explained. "Don gave it to me." "How much has he bought, and for whom?" "One tin for the mandali." "Go and bring it from Don, and give it to Me."
Rano brought the tin and handed it to Baba. Baba then ordered her, "If anyone ever gives you anything, first give it to Me." Baba went to the mandali and asked Don, "Do you bring something for the mandali off and on?" "No, not really. Only today, I bought some toffee. Vishnu, however, did not accept it without your permission. The tin was kept by your chair, until Rano took it away."
Baba joked, using an idiomatic expression, "These people (the mandali) are sitting on my chest [bothering me], and if you continue giving them sweets, they will become fatter and really crush me! I want to make them as thin as air by beating and beating them!" (Lord Meher-p-2490/1-1945)
Rano had not been well in Niranjanpur, and in Katrain she felt weaker and more indisposed. Baba was feeding her with His own hands and looking after her with care. He remarked to her, "I brought you here to look after My requirements, but now I have to look after yours!" "It's my bad luck," Rano replied. "Not bad luck," Baba corrected. "It's your good luck. Don't worry."
In Mandi, Baba had told her to eat a plate of curry and rice. Rano felt nauseated but obeyed and later vomited. Don examined her and found she had infectious hepatitis. She was kept in a separate room at the top of a cowshed, and Don began treating her. Don would tell her to eat all sorts of appetizing things, but Baba forbade each new request. Rano improved quickly, and Baba later revealed, "If I had not ordered you to eat that curry and rice, you would have been very sick."(Lord Meher-p-2534-1945)
In February 1948, daytime at Mutha's Bungalow (the women's quarters), Soonamasi was keeping watch by sitting on the verandah. Rano would relieve her during meal times. One afternoon when Rano was on watch, a man passed by the house singing. Baba clapped and, when Rano went to him, he asked, "Where is that sound coming from?" "Someone is walking on the road singing," she replied. "Why didn't you stop him?" Baba asked. "How could I? He was on the road." "Even if he were in the sky, you should have stopped him!" Baba reprimanded. "Your duty is to see that there is no noise at all." Rano could only apologize and promise not to let it happen again. (Lord Meher-p-2583-1957)
As usual Jean, Delia, Elizabeth and Norina left to eat, Baba would send Rano after them with instructions to listen to them as they ate and report back what they had been talking about over lunch. This was awkward for Rano, because each day she had to fabricate some excuse for going there. She would pretend to be talking with Kaka as she tried her best to overhear the lunchtime conversation.
After a few days, Jean confronted her: "Rano, I do believe you are spying on us." Trying to look innocently outraged, Rano replied, "Why Jean, why should you think that? I am conveying Baba's messages to Kaka." But Rano felt embarrassed nonetheless, and perhaps that is exactly the reason Baba kept sending her time and time again on this spying assignment.
Among the men also, Baba would choose someone to spy on them for him. Sometimes, He would disclose to the others that such-and-such a person had told Him a certain thing. Sooner or later, someone would lose his temper, and all hell would break loose when the traitor was exposed, as denials and accusations were shouted back and forth. The innocent "spy" could not even defend himself by revealing that He was doing so under Baba's orders, since that would have displeased Baba. So He had to glumly accept the retribution from those he had been spying on. (Lord Meher-p-2669-1948)
Kitty and Rano stayed in Mahabaleshwar for a few days before returning to Bombay. Baba ordered them, "Now you have to go back." Rano asked, "Baba, how many times are you going to send us back like this? Why can't we be with you?" "You have to go back," Baba insisted. "For Me you have to go back." "Oh, Baba, why?" Rano said, and started to cry. "Don't cry," Baba consoled. "You've got to go back."
Baba had stated at the beginning of the New Life to the women: "Treat your conditions like a life buoy and stick to it, and I will not let you sink." Rano and Kitty remembered these words their entire stay in Bombay. Though it was hell for them to be away from Baba, they felt He was their life buoy and knew he would not let them sink.
No women other than Rano and Kitty were called to Mahabaleshwar, and therefore Mansari and Kaikobad's family had no opportunity to see Baba. Similarly, Khorshed, Soonamasi and Katie, who were in Bombay, also could not meet him. Gulmai was in Ahmednagar, and she too had not seen Baba during the past year. Each Gopi was passing her days in hopes of seeing her Krishna again. (Lord Meher-p-2947-1950)
In a lighthearted mood, on the morning of Friday, 8 February 1952, Baba went on a picnic to Happy Valley with Rano and other ladies. They walked the distance of four miles to Happy Valley. They stayed until two that afternoon, and were then driven back to Meherazad by Adi Sr. (who had brought their lunch of pulao). (Lord Meher-p-3032-1952)
On Friday, 18 April 1952, Baba, accompanied with Rano and others flew from Bombay's Santa Cruz airport to New York. On the plane, Rano took seats facing Baba and Mehera. Baba stretched out His legs on Rano's seat, causing her to sit in a cramped position. The stewardess appeared with a form to be completed, and as Rano wrote, Baba complained, "Why did you move?" Rano was embarrassed, especially in front of the stewardess — but this is probably what Baba intended. (Lord Meher-p-3043-1952)
One night when Konrad's night watch duty was over, Baba rang the bell by His bed and, when no one answered, He went on ringing. At last Rano came running, and Baba asked her, "Where were you? You are supposed to be on watch! I have been ringing and ringing!" Rano replied, "But it is not my time to get up. Where is Konrad? He still has an hour left." Baba motioned to her to look at the clock in His room; Rano was startled to see that it was past time for her to be on watch. She apologized to Baba and attended to His needs.
But a few nights later, the same thing happened. Baba rang and no one came. When Rano appeared she again said it was not yet time for her to come. But when she compared her watch to the clock in Baba's room, she found that Baba's clock was an hour fast. It was then discovered that Konrad had been setting the clock ahead so that he could finish his duty and go to sleep! When Baba was told of his trick, He had a good laugh at the boy's cleverness and reduced His duty by one hour. (Lord Meher-p-3129-1952)
In Scarsdale, on 30th July 1952, early in the morning a woman came and started banging on the door. Rano answered it. "Baba said He will not see me again for 700 years, so I have come to prove Him wrong," the woman said, challenging Baba's word. Three times, Rano brought messages from Baba that He would not see her, and it was better that she leave. Finally, when she refused, Baba said He would meet her for two minutes, but she must agree to keep silent. The woman got her wish, but, sadly, had a great deal of trouble in her life afterwards for confronting Baba in this way. (Lord Meher-p-3120-1952)
On Monday, 21 July 1952, Baba was taken to the doctor to have his broken leg examined. He then visited the Central Park Zoo; she accompanied Baba to visit the larger Bronx Zoo. (Lord Meher-p-3116-1952)
The Hindu festival of Dassera fell on the 7th October 1954, and as was the custom, the horse Sheba was brought to Rosewood fully decorated with flower garlands, according to Baba's wish. (Rano was dressed as a groom to present the "Queen of Sheba," which further amused Baba.) (Lord Meher-p-3646-1954)
Before Baba had gone to the West in July 1956, Ivy Duce wrote to Rano suggesting that she illustrate the process of evolution and involution described in God Speaks, specifically for children. At first, Rano was not taken with the idea; but after thinking it over, she sought Baba's permission, asking if she could work on it while he was away, and Baba said to go ahead.
Rano told him, "I think I can depict the evolution part of it, but what about the planes?"Baba laughed and gestured, "Do your best." When Baba returned, Rano had a preliminary sketch waiting for him. Baba approved it and gave all the wording around the chart: "Formless and colorless, God's creative and impulsive imagination to know himself as Omnipresent, Infinite and Eternal."
Eruch suggested that Rano include more than one person on the planes (she had shown only one figure); because people might get the impression that only one person at a time could traverse the planes. Baba agreed. After the drawing was finished, at the end of October it was sent to Ivy, who later had it reproduced.
On the morning of 7 November 1956, Baba, accompanied by Rano and other ladies drove to Mahabaleshwar, where He was considering holding the sahavas. They stayed overnight at the Ripon Hotel, managed by Kohiyar Satarawala, who was residing in Satara during the slack rainy season, and Kohiyar was allowed to see Baba occasionally. Meanwhile, that day in the Middle-East, the Egyptians accepted a ceasefire with the Israelis. (Lord Meher-p-4124/5-1956)
Baba was of course informed. He visited Bindra House the next morning, but before getting out of the car He drew three crosses on the ground with His walking stick. He sat for a few moments looking at them and then rubbed one of the crosses out.On the night of 28 May, 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.
Inside, Baba comforted Rano and then instructed Manu to prepare some lime sherbet. He dipped his finger in the glass and, placing some of the liquid in a teaspoon, he fed it to Rano. He told Manu to give it to Rano, sip by sip. If Rano could finish the whole glass, she would be out of danger. Rano was told to repeat Baba's name seven times while sipping the sherbet from a teaspoon. With great difficulty, she did so and began feeling better.
Baba then went to see Pappa who said to him, "Baba, save Rano. She is a foreigner and if she passes away here, there will be complications with the police." Baba laughed, telling him not to worry about Rano that she would be all right. Baba gave a glass of sherbet to Pappa also. (Lord Meher-p-4550-1959)
Baba started his "exclusion" work in seclusion from 5th July 1968. Rano was among the regular watchmen, but because Rano's health was not good, during this last phase she was given the first two hours of duty. (Lord Meher-p-5338-1968)
In an incident happened to Rano. She brought a watercolor of the "Mastery In Servitude" emblem that she had done for Adi Jr. She wanted Baba to touch it before she mailed it. Baba did so and expressed that He was pleased, and then gestured, "Embrace Me." Rano later recollected: "Baba looked so fragile then that I was almost afraid to touch Him, so I touched Him very lightly. But when He embraced me, it was the strong embrace of the old days." It was the last embrace she had from Baba. (Lord Meher-p-5389-1969)
Once, Baba surprised Rano by coming into the room as she was meditating. He caught her dozing and instructed her to keep a photograph of Him in front of her and concentrate on it. During the meditation hour, Baba directed that there must be absolute quiet in the compound. "External silence helps the inner silence," He said, "and only in internal silence is Baba found. In profound inner silence."