93-DAULT JEHANGIR IRANI (Daulatmai)
Daulatmai Irani, Mehera’s mother, joined Baba’s mandali at the same time as her daughter. She maintained silence for a long time under Baba’s instructions and carried out ashram duties assigned to her.
Some of her life time instances and conversation with Meher Baba are recorded as under:
In year 1921, Freiny Masi took Daulatmai to meet Meher Baba at Sadashiv's house in Kasba Peth. A program of devotional songs was being held, and after it was over Freiny Masi introduced her sister to Baba. Upon meeting Daulatmai, Baba inquired, "Is there something you wish to ask?"
Daulatmai could not think of anything. Later Baba repeated, "Is there anything you wish to ask Me?"
Finally she told him, "My daughter Piroja has been feeling ill and suffers from a loss of appetite. What should I do for her?"
Baba replied, "Take her to Udwada where the fire of Zoroaster is kept burning in the temple, and afterward she will become all right."
After a few minutes, Baba again inquired, "Is there anything else you wish to ask?"
Daulatmai remembered a woman she knew who was still unmarried, though the woman was then almost 40 years old. She told Baba about her, and He answered, "Take her to Udwada also."
Having faith in Him, Daulatmai followed Baba's instructions and took her daughter and the woman to Udwada. True to His words, her daughter recovered; but even more surprising, when they returned to Poona, the spinster was approached by a man who offered to marry her and she accepted.
From the first meeting, both sisters, Freiny Masi and Daulatmai, had tremendous love and faith in Meher Baba, and their connection was extremely significant. Daulatmai, on Meher Baba's order, later maintained silence for many years.
Daulatmai and her sister Freiny Masi would also visit Baba at His hut along Fergusson Road. Daulatmai's husband Jehangir had been a forest officer for the government and traveled throughout India in his work. Jehangir had died in middle-age some years before, suffering a severe mastoid infection. Daulatmai resettled in Poona with her two daughters, Mehera and Piroja who had not yet met Baba.
In 1922, Upasni Maharaj's birthday was to be celebrated on a tremendous scale with a four-day program, and a great feast was served to several hundred people. Irani sisters, Daulatmai and Freiny Masi, along with many others attended the celebration.
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.
In 1923, Baba's mother Shireenmai, his aunt Dowla Masi, his cousin Naja, Gulmai, Daulatmai and her sister Freiny came to Bombay for Baba's birthday celebration. The ladies' lodging arrangement was made on the top floor of the Manzil. Baba vacated His room for them and stayed downstairs with the mandali.
The 23rd of August 1923, was the ninth day of Moharram and Baba watched the Tazia procession from Dr. Mody's dispensary, where Abdulla had arranged seats for them. Baba had especially invited Daulatmai, her daughter Mehera, Soonamasi and Khorshed to join Him in Poona to see the parade.
On 2nd February 1924, Baba sent Daulatmai, Khorshed, Mehera and all the men Nervous, for Narayan Maharaj’s darshan. This was the first occasion that some of the mandali met the Perfect Master. Mehera had been instructed to give Narayan Maharaj a booklet about Baba, which she did. Maharaj looked at the printed photograph of Baba on the cover and remarked, "Yes, I know him. I know Meher Baba very well."
Daulatmai presented Baba with the white horse that belonged to her daughter Mehera. It was decided that the horse would be called Suf.
When 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.
Also, Daulatmai contributed a large sum of money to the Master. Meher Baba instructed that a portion of it be kept aside for educational and social work in the names of Hazrat Babajan and Upasni Maharaj, and that part be kept for rendering technical training to the poorer Zoroastrians in Persia.
Baba decided to leave on an extensive tour throughout India for an indefinite period, and he said he would cover part of the distance on foot. He then instructed Daulatmai and Mehera, "Stay with Rustom and Freiny at Khushru Quarters until I return. Afterward, when permanent living arrangements are made, I will call you." So, both of them moved to Ahmednagar.
Mehera and her mother Daulatmai were staying at Khushru Quarters in Ahmednagar. At times Baba would call them to Meherabad to see him. Baba instructed the women to meditate and write the Zoroastrian name of God, Yezdan, over and over again for half an hour each day. They were then to cut the paper into small pieces and roll each piece bearing the name, Yezdan, into a tiny roll and save them all. Later He added that the small scrolls would eventually be immersed in the sea.
In addition, Baba assigned the women the work of stitching clothes for the children and poor of Arangaon.
One day at Meherabad He asked, "How many shirts have you sewn?" They replied that they had made about 50. "Is that all?" He inquired. "Can't you do the work more quickly? By now you should have sewn at least 200!" They accepted this challenge. The shirts they had stitched so lovingly were distributed by Baba to the poor of Arangaon.
One evening, Baba told Chanji to take the women to a movie at Madeleine Cinema, which Chanji owned. Daulatmai, Mehera and Naja were about to leave, dressed in their ordinary saris, when Baba told them, "Have you all turned into nuns? Do clothes have any connection with spirituality? No! Change your clothes and then let's go!" The ladies were happy to put on their finest saris and go with Baba to the movies. However, after watching only half the film, Baba unexpectedly wanted to leave and they returned to the Bharucha Building.
On February 1925, Baba sent Daulatmai, Mehera and Naja to Sakori for a few days. When they arrived, Upasni Maharaj asked Mehera where she was now staying. Mehera replied, "With Meher Baba."
In year 1916, Daulatmai's younger brother Colonel Merwan Sohrab Irani was a physician in the Indian Medical Corps and the highest ranking Indian officer in the British army during the First World War. After Daulatmai's husband's death, Colonel Irani had assumed responsibility for Daulatmai and her daughter, whom he dearly loved, and looked after the family's material affairs. But the Colonel had been worried about Daulatmai's contact with Upasni Maharaj and then Meher Baba, whom he feared would take advantage of his sister's devotion. When Daulatmai and Mehera moved to Meherabad the Colonel was disturbed that his sister and her daughter were living with a "guru" in what seemed to be a desolate wilderness. Although the Colonel was successful professionally, he had hopes that Daulatmai and her daughter would stay with him in Poona, giving him the family life he lacked. He was bitterly disappointed, when Daulatmai refused, and he concluded that Baba had duped his sister and swindled her out of her money and property. )
In 1927, 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 asked Daulatmai also to observe silence, which she did until her last breath. But there was a vast difference between the silence of the devotees and that of the Master. Daulatmai’s silence was for her own benefit, whereas Meher Baba's was to drown the world in the Ocean of his silence.
On 29th May 1938, Baba sent Daulatmai to Persia, which Baba stated would be "spiritually beneficial for her."
Sarosh informed Baba that Mehera's mother, Daulatmai, had died in Nasik. She was 76 years old. When Baba returned to the hall in the afternoon, He disclosed the news to all: "Today is a very important day, and a fine day, too. Daulatmai expired today at 4 A.M. of heart failure. She had kept perfect silence since 1933, and it is said that she had a peaceful end. My dear Daulatmai will live in Me forever, by God's grace. I say 'by God's grace,' because today I am in the state of a devotee."
Printing a circular about Daulatmai's death for distribution among His close women disciples was discussed and agreed to by Baba. Later a tombstone for her was erected on Meherabad Hill. It read: "Daulat — one of Baba's dearest lovers-observing silence for 20 years."