128-WALU BHAU PAWAR
Walu Pawar joined the mandali in twenties and devoted herself totally to Baba’s service.
In this seclusion, Baba would occasionally send for the women to see them. When He did, following the incident with Walu, Gulmai beseeched Him to take pity on Walu and forgive her mistake. Baba answered Gulmai’s plea and Walu’s sight was restored. This experience taught Walu to be extremely careful in the future in following Baba’s exacting orders. Since 1925, Walu had washed Baba’s clothes and kept his room clean. She was wholly dedicated to the Master, remaining so until her end. This incident became a sign of the power of the Master’s seclusion work.
Her important incidents with Meher Baba are described as under:
In 1925, a Maratha woman in her late twenties, named Walu Bhau Pawar, was intensely drawn to the Master. Soon after meeting Meher Baba, she surrendered to his spiritual guidance, dedicating all her possessions and property to Him. Walu resided in Arangaon, but she was allowed to come daily and be with the women mandali at the Post Office quarters. She was assigned the duty of baking bhakri and would also assist Mehera in attending to Baba's personal needs.
On 1st June 1927, Baba went to Arangaon with the mandali in the morning to attend the wedding of Walu Pawar's daughter. Baba was escorted to the village in a procession and was well-attended to. Soon after the food was served, He returned to Meherabad. Before leaving Arangaon, He commented, "I was compelled to attend this marriage today because of Walu's love and devotion for Me." Walu was the only woman from Arangaon to be included in Baba's close circle of women mandali.
During stay in Toka, women mandali, consisting of Walu and others were given the duty of preparing 1,000 chapatis a day for the ashram residents. The mandali helped to clean the wheat, and Waman Subnis, who was strong and muscular, would knead the dough and also milk the cows. Chhagan's wife Shanta prepared chapatis with the women mandali.
On 9th May 1929, Baba left Ahmednagar by car for Nasik, where he met Walu and other ladies as well as Rustom and Padri. Rustom was ordered to continue looking after the arrangements for the women mandali in Nasik while Baba was on tour in the north of India — to the Himalayas.
On 12th June 1929, in the morning, while Baba was taking tea at Walu Pawar's house in the village, Nusserwan and Kaka Chinchorkar arrived. Baba was pleased to see them and praised them for helping Him financially, remarking, and “It is in times of such crises that great spiritual work is done. It is also a time of test."
In 1929, the women mandali staying in Nasik were Walu and other ladies. Daulatmai was staying with her daughter Freiny, as her bungalow was near the women mandali's house — called Kabootar Khanna — the Pigeon House. Mostly secluded in their house, Baba had ordered the women to meditate for two hours every day. Besides this, they were ordered to prepare meals for those Arangaon boys who were working in Rustom's garage in Nasik.
Bomanji was still living in Meherabad with his family. Soon after Baba returned, a quarrel broke out between Bomanji's wife Tehmina (Baily's sister) and their servant Bhagu (Jamadar's wife). Bomanji stopped Bhagu from coming to work and instead gave the job to Walu. The next day, neither of the servants turned up, as both were friends from Arangaon.
Baba went to Arangaon on Saturday, 23 December 1933. Walu was staying at her house in the village and going up the hill each day to be with the other women mandali
In 1933, Baba once remarked to Valu, "I come down from the hill twice daily to go to the mandali's quarters and have to walk up twice more. How much better it would be if there were shade trees lining the path."
Walu was a very caring, devoted person, and that very day, she began planting saplings on both sides of the narrow dirt road. A scarcity of water made it difficult to nourish them, but Walu would carry water from a far distance on her shoulders for this purpose. It is because of Walu's initial labor of love that, today; we find some of those same shade trees still lining both sides of the path leading up Meherabad Hill. Although Walu had other chores, she found time for this extra work and it has resulted in a boon to all pilgrims coming to Meherabad.
On 30th January 1936, Baba left in the morning bus for Poona with Walu and other lady members. Vishnu and some of the mandali had left before them, in a separate bus with the luggage. As always, the men mandali were not allowed near the women. So in Poona, Baba Himself carried the women's luggage to their reserved compartment at the end of the train.
Mani's mastoid became infected and other ware also not too well. On 23rd March 1936, Mani was admitted to the Holdsworth Memorial "Mission Hospital" at Mandi Mohalla, where she was operated on three days later by an English surgeon named Dr. Robinson. Naja, who was doing the cooking in Mysore, was appointed to be by Mani's side in the hospital, so Khorshed took over the cooking duty. But she too came down with fever. Walu also fell ill, and it seemed that one difficulty after another began plaguing them. Mehera remained healthy and was occupied with Baba's personal needs, and Indu helped in the kitchen.
Leaving Rahuri, Baba group drove on to Meherabad. Baba showed them the men's quarters at lower Meherabad, and then took the Western women up the hill to see Mehera and the other women mandali Walu and others.
Baba gradually had the Eastern and Western women get to know one another. Westerners started teaching English to Tani and Bhagu maid servants. Another Easterner learning English was Walu. She was the daughter of an upper-class village family with landed property, yet she had profound humility and did all types of lowly jobs wholeheartedly and was a wonderful example of selfless service. When Mehera first met her, Walu was wearing elaborate gold ornaments around her neck and wrists. But when Walu went to live with the women mandali she gave up all worldly riches to be near Baba and dedicate her life to serving Him.
In 1937, Consuelo and Alfredo de Sides had invited Baba to Paris, along with the women mandali. On Sunday morning 19th September 1937, Baba left by car with ladies mandali. Baba left instructions to meet them in Paris, Rano and Anita accompanied Soonamasi and Walu by train. Baba and the women spent one night at the town of Lyons and then drove on to Paris, stopping for a picnic on the way.
On 14th March 1938, after assigning duties to each of the mandali, Baba left for Panchgani few with few lady mandali. Tikaram drove Walu with few other lady members to Panchgani.
At last, 8th December 1938, was fixed as the date of departure for Blue Bus. On 8th December 1938 in the early morning Baba left Meherabad Hill in the Blue Bus with the women Walu aged 36, was one among them.
On 9th November 1938, while burning some dried grass, Walu's sari caught fire and her legs were severely burned. The burns turned septic, and Padri, who was dressing her wounds and Dr. Kalavker, said to Baba that it was not good to take Walu on the trip in her condition. But Baba replied emphatically, "No, all of us must start together. Maya must not be allowed to put obstructions in My way!"
Baba and His group with Walu started for Hyderabad on 9th December 1938. On the way, Baba said he was hungry. Baba distributed puffed rice, peanuts or sweets among the group. For lunch while traveling they would stop under the shade of trees by the side of the road, and Rano would attend to Walu's dressing. Walu had to be carried in and out of the bus, since she was still unable to walk by herself.
At Meherabad, Walu brought Baba food and tea prepared by Mehera at fixed times. It was strictly forbidden to look inside the cabin when Baba was doing his seclusion work. One day Walu brought Baba's tray of food at the appointed time. However, she found the door of the cabin closed. Believing the wind had blown the door shut, Walu pushed it open. Baba was seated inside engrossed in his inner work. He appeared startled, and he looked up and stared at her. His powerful gaze overwhelmed Walu and her eyes immediately became full of pain. Afterward her eyes became bloodshot, then worsened and she suffered a blinded state for three days.
At the Links bungalow itself, there were 24 women living with Baba: Among the Eastern women Walu was one.
While in Bangalore, Baba directed the women to stage plays for five days consecutively. For one skit, Walu dressed as a Mohammedan, but Naja didn't adjust Walu's costume properly, and made Walu upset just as she was about to go on stage. When Walu appeared, she was so angry that instead of speaking in Urdu, as she had been coached, she began speaking in Marathi. This, too, was a source of delight for Baba.
Baba left Meherabad for Ranchi on Wednesday, 3 July 1940, by train, at 3:30 P.M., with the men and women mandali, and three masts, Chatti Baba, Shariat Khan and Mohammed. Walu was one among the women who accompanied Baba and several women servants.
On the 20 th April 1943, Baba left for Bhilar. The women's bungalow in Bhilar was surrounded by tall grass on all sides. Walu would cut it and burn it to prevent snakes from coming near. One day, when Walu was doing this, a violent whirlwind began blowing and the grass caught fire, she was trapped and shouted Baba's name. The women came running and extinguished the fire. Despite being in the midst of the blaze, Walu was unharmed, due to Baba's nazar.
In 1943, Pappa Jessawala, Eruch and Sadashiv Patil arranged a small darshan function in Poona in honor of Mehera's birthday. Sarosh drove Baba there on the 30th of December. Walu accompanied with other ladies.
After finishing his work in Aurangabad, Baba, returned to Pimpalgaon with lady members. Walu also joined them there.
During this period in 1944, there were approximately 26 men, 33 women and ten children staying with Meher Baba under His orders at Meherabad and Pimpalgaon. Among them were Walu aged 41, was one.2403-1944
On the 28th November 1944, Baba left Aurangabad with the men and women mandali for Pimpalgaon, arriving the same day. Walu was with Baba in Aurangabad and Baba sent her back to Meherabad as soon as the group arrived.
On Monday, 25th December 1944, the atmosphere at Meherabad turned lively, as Mehera's birthday was celebrated with great pomp. Walu was present in celebration and returned to Pimpalgaon on 27th December, with Baba and others.
On 31 st January 1945, Baba left Pimpalgaon and moved with the women to Rusi Pop's house in Ahmednagar, not far from Khushru Quarters. This move was necessitated because of some minor construction and renovation work which was to take place at Pimpalgaon under Kalemama's supervision. Walu was with him at Pop's house.
Baba sent Pendu, Baidul and Krishna to Hyderabad in advance, and Baba left on 9th March 1945, with the other men, the women mandali They arrived the next day. Since the Jubilee Hills bungalow was still not ready for occupancy, Pendu and Don had rented another house for the women in nearby Secunderabad for three weeks. The women who accompanied Baba included Walu and other ladies.
When Baba returned from Wai, he kept Kaikobad, his family and Mansari in the hospital quarters on the hill, Walu with other ladies were kept in lower Meherabad.
After arranging matters in Meherabad, Baba moved to Pimpalgaon on 10th September 1947, sleeping at night at Ratanshah Gyara's cottage nearby. Walu with other mandali ladies went with Him to Meherabad.
On 16th September 1948, Baba came to live at Meherazad with Walu and other ladies. Baba's bedroom was upstairs. The men who began staying at Meherazad were Don, Ghani and Kaka. The rest of the men and women mandali stayed in Meherabad.
One afternoon at three o'clock, Baba, Walu and other women climbed another nearby hill, Gorakhnath's Hill, which is visible from Meherazad. Baba ascended the hill with speed and unfaltering agility, and on the summit sat in the temple of Gorakhnath alone for 20 minutes. When He came out, He told the women to enter the temple and pay their respects. But the temple priest prevented them from entering, and Baba intervened, saying "Do as he says and do not enter."
With his usual graceful steps, Baba came down the hill, the women trailing after him. Walking more slowly, Elizabeth and Walu were left far behind, and Baba and the others waited for them at the base. Baba jested, "When the two stragglers appear, welcome them by clapping." When they came down, all clapped — including Baba. "You are being applauded for your safe arrival," Baba told them.
From Benares, Baba left for Gaya, where, on 26th April 1949. He worked with more advanced souls. After this work, Baba returned to Mount Abu on the evening of the 28th. The women mandali had stayed in Mount Abu. Walu had been sent for and she too was staying with the women.
After contact with two great masts, Baba returned to Mount Abu in the evening on 20th May 1949, where He met the women, Walu and others. 2708-1949
Before leaving for New life Baba instructed, Walu was instructed to stay at Bindra House in Poona with Dowla.
On the 28th, Baba went to Bindra House in Poona; He informed Pappa and Gaimai, "Keep Soltoon and Dowla with you as members of your own family. Keep Walu also in this same manner. I am giving you this responsibility and you will be serving me by carrying it out."
In 1942, s soon as Baba arrived in Meherabad; he divided the women into five different small groups. Each group was assigned a separate room on Meherabad Hill. The women of one group were forbidden to speak with the women of the other group, and if anyone had to convey something to a woman of a different group, she had to do so through Kitty, who would pass along the message. Walu with Naja, Khorshed and Walu were kept in one group.
In 1944, reaching Aurangabad, Baba called the other women there from Meherabad — Walu and others. Baba described to them His Kashmir visit and, after a few days, sent them back to Meherabad. 2437-1944
In July 1953, some work still remained to be completed on the cabin, so Baba did not actually begin His seclusion until the evening of July 15th. No one was allowed near the new cabin unless called by Baba.
They performed Baba's arti. Afterward Baba proceeded to Jangle's quarters there and also to Jamadar's — the Meherabad night watchman for many years — whose families also performed his arti. Baba also saw Walu, who was living nearby in the same compound.3615-1954
On 28th October 1941, reached Karwar in afternoon. Baba found Karwar "rather unsuitable" at first; the weather was sultry and the house in which they were staying was too small. But the women assured him it was all right, so Baba agreed to stay.
Baba asked Margaret to teach the women swimming, which she began doing. Under Margaret's and Rano's watchful eyes, Mehera, too, was learning to swim. After several days of lessons, Baba ordered each of the women to do 15 strokes while He watched from the shore. Walu, could not swim, and would only wade into the water. Baba would accompany the women to the beach early in the morning and sit watching them for an hour. 2238-1941
After visiting the houses of his Arangaon lovers, Baba came to the Family Quarters where Walu, Sidhu's wife Radha, Bhagu, Jangle, Mukta and their children performed his arti. Because of the sahavas congregation in Meherabad, the masts Mohammed and Ali Shah were being kept there. When Baba met with the two masts, Mohammed caught Baba by the hand and said, "Dada, take me to Satara."3843-1955
On 13 th July 1958, Baba was driven back to Meherabad and returned to Meherazad, During this period of seclusion of 1958, Walu Pawar stayed in Arangaon with Jangle Master his family, and other lady members.
After Baba dropped his body, once, an old lady, completely bent at right angles at her waist came in. She would put her hand on her forehead to avoid the glare on her eyes so that she could see Baba in the crypt. When asked whether she could see Baba, she just shook her head in the negative. She seemed to have got hyper mature cataracts in both eyes! She was led to the landing of the crypt and only after she had sat down there and a torch light focussed on Baba's face, could she see Him.
It was then that Eruch told us that she was Walu, an old and faithful devotee of Baba from the early twenties. She was very dear to Baba and though she could not see Baba, Once again, Baba saw her and acknowledged her long, sincere, unselfish and loving services for the Avatar of the Age. Tears came into her eyes as she remembered the years she had spent with Baba. They were tears of love.
(Meher Baba’s Last Sahavas; p 42, Copyright 1969 Dr. H. P. Bharucha)
It was then that Eruch told us that she was Valu, an old and faithful devotee of Baba from the early twenties. She was very dear to Baba and though she could not see Baba, Once again, Baba saw her and acknowledged her long, sincere, unselfish and loving services for the Avatar of the Age. Tears came into her eyes as she remembered the years she had spent with Baba. They were tears of love.After Baba dropped his body, once, an old lady, completely bent at right angles at her waist came in. She would put her hand on her forehead to avoid the glare on her eyes so that she could see Baba in the crypt. When asked whether she could see Baba, she just shook her head in the negative. She seemed to have got hyper mature cataracts in both eyes! She was led to the landing of the crypt and only after she had sat down there and a torch light focussed on Baba's face, could she see Him.
(Meher Baba’s Last Sahavas; p 42, Copyright 1969 Dr. H. P. Bharucha)