7-IRAN

SHERIAR RASHID MEHRABANPUR.

One other addition to the Meherabad residents was Sheriar Rashid Mehrabanpur. He had first heard of Baba in Persia from Baidul, and immediately borrowed money and came to India. Mehrabanpur was a young, strong man and a very sincere seeker. Baba allowed him to join the mandali and placed him on silence.

He was told to act as a watchman by the gate at Upper Meherabad to make certain that no outsiders came into the Meher Ashram compound on the hill.

KHODADAD KAKA & BANU MASI

After working for several years in Bombay, Meher Baba’s paternal uncle (kaka), Khodadad Kaka had returned to live in Iran. However, after Merwan was born, Khodadad returned to India for six months every year just to visit his young nephew.

Once Shireen confronted her brother-in-law, "Khoda, you always say you can't afford this, you can't afford that! How is it that you can afford to come to India every year?"

Khodadad Kaka smiled and replied, "I have to see Merog, don't I? I am his uncle, am I not?"

Sometimes, Merwan would visit Bombay and spend part of his vacation with his other maternal aunt and uncle, Banu Masi and her husband Khodadad Masa, and their children.

Khodadad Masa managed several flourishing teashops in Bombay and they lived in a large house with a spacious compound where the children played. Merwan's paternal uncle, Khodadad Kaka, and members of his family had also settled in Bombay, and Merwan would visit them as well, befriending Khodadad Kaka's sons.

Baba's father and his elder brother, Khodadad Kaka, arrived on 8th November 1927. Baba's uncle had brought his two grandsons to enroll them in the ashram school. In this way, a number Baba's young relatives were under his direct spiritual guidance. Khodadad Kaka was small-statured, with a small white beard, and tiny bright eyes. He was humble and loved and revered his nephew. He had a habit of walking if he could manage it. He would walk the six miles from the railway station, to Meherabad, for instance.

In year 1937, on the auspicious occasions as His birthday at Nasik  Meher Baba called many of His lovers from Bombay, Poona, Ahmednagar, Nagpur, Karachi and other distant places throughout India. Sheriarji's brother Khodadad Kaka also attended.

IRANI SHEHERYAR

Zoroastrian priest Sheheryar Irani, of Persia, met Baba on the in 1928, and the Master explained to them about Zoroaster:

The prayer books of all religions — Avesta of the Parsis, the Koran of Islam, Bible of the Christians, et cetera — are all written by priests and have nothing whatsoever to do with the Truth. Zoroaster meant for Agni (fire) to burn your "heart" in love of God. The dasturs murdered the meaning and changed it to burning in the external sense of the sacred fire. So also, other religious dogmas and doctrines of kusti, prayers of the Avesta — are all ceremony and rituals.

Take one name of God sincerely, lovingly, devotedly for a few minutes each day without the thought of anything else and that is much more beneficial than hours of prayers recited mechanically, the mind being all the while engaged and occupied in worldly affairs.

Zoroaster had fourteen disciples whom he realized. There was one whom He Realized after the fourteen. From him, the knowledge and experience of God was passed on from father to son for 700 years. But after Dastur Azar Kaivan [who became a Perfect Master], a false, deceitful dastur obtained the sacred gaadi and started collecting money. Those dasturs who followed him decreed as they thought. After them, until the present, there has been no Realized person among Zoroastrians.

Whatever religious books [Avesta] the Zoroastrians have got now are books of these dasturs and not of Zoroaster. Zoroaster taught and gave out gems of Truth — gems of Sufism — but they are not known to people. To his special fourteen disciples he gave real Knowledge and Experience. To others (i.e., the world) he gave them tariqat of Sufism — laws, rules, regulations, etc. There were tremendous changes in the doctrines set down by Zoroaster made by the false dasturs. The same is true with Christ's Bible, Muhammad's Koran, et cetera.

Suppose after I give experience to some, the members of My circle go out in the world and lecture before people. These lectures will be taken down by people and they will hereafter be taken as to constitute the next Avesta, Bible, Koran, Vedas, et cetera. These, too, will undergo various changes under different hands as time goes by.

So My best advice to you is to create love for God. Earn something by your own efforts and in My contact. Otherwise, if you spend your time in discussions on religious doctrines and dogmas, it will take you nowhere.

It is all rigmarole and will waste your precious time, which might better be used in thinking of God, meditating, and creating love. Love is the sum and substance of all religions and the only essential of all creeds. Leave the rigmarole alone.

For example, the alphabet is taught to a child to make him begin to learn the language. But if he merely learns the alphabet without any efforts at proceeding further, he will learn practically nothing. It is the same in religion. The shariat, doctrines, and dogmas are given as a preliminary beginning — like the alphabet — to reach the ultimate aim of the Realization of the Truth. After one masters the fundamentals, one advances; but if a person merely sticks to religious ceremonies and rituals and believes that religion is that alone, then he does not advance at all. God and Truth are far, far above shariat, doctrines and dogmas, rituals and ceremonies.

 

GHULAM HUSAIN

Baba and the mandali stayed at Ghulam Husain Lodi's house in Bushire. Their baggage was brought by mule, the most common means of transportation in Iran at the time. A Primus stove was lit and Baba warmed himself near it, for he was shivering from the extreme cold. Nervous brought charcoal and lit hearths to heat the room. Strong winds were blowing, and the cold atmosphere was gloomy and uncongenial. Nervous brought supplies from the market and Masaji cooked a meal. Water for drinking had to be bought, as there was a great scarcity. But the water which was purchased contained maggots and looked so milky that most people would not even have washed their feet in it! The mandali had to walk to the seashore to wash the cooking utensils.

LIST OF IRAN
SL No. NAME INTRODUCTION PLACE
1 A Boy found in Duzdab Duzdab
2 A group of men from Iran Six others from Iran Iran
3 Gulam Hussain Owner Lodhi Hotel Bushire
4 Irani Azendumush & Khodayar Self & wife Iran
5 Irani Hormusdiar Beheram Self Khooramshaar
6 Irani Rashid Khusuro Self Jafrabad
7 Irani Sheheryar Self Persia
8 Jehangir Mehrabanpur &  wife Self Iran
9 Kasaho Asaree Self Iran
10 Khodadad (Kaka) & Banu Masi Self Iran
11 Khorshedbanu Pataskia Friend of Pilamai Iran
12 Pulad Khodadad S/o Khodadad B/o Baba's father Iran
13 Rusi pop & Khorshed B/o Pilamai Quetta
14 Shah Khodadad S/o Khodadad B/o Baba's father Iran
15 Sheriar Rashid Mehrabanpur. Self Persia

RUSI IRANI (POP) & KHORSHED BANU

(Father & mother of Dr. Goher)

On 7th June 1923, after spending a pleasant week in Karachi, Baba departed with the mandali for Quetta. Pilamai had spared nothing in seeing to Baba's comfort, and he appeared pleased with his visit and her consideration. The group reached Quetta the next day. For the Master's privacy, Rusi had rented a house on Bruce Street next to his own; Baba stayed on the ground floor while the men mandali stayed upstairs. Rusi owned a restaurant and saw to his guests' food and general well-being. The Zoroastrian and Mohammedan mandali's meals were prepared at Rusi's restaurant; the Hindu mandali had their own separate (vegetarian) cooking arrangements in the house.

It was cold in Quetta, even though it was summer, and Baba relaxed the order for the men concerning their early morning cold-water baths, permitting them now to use hot water. Despite the cold, Baba did not stop fasting and would drink only warm milk and almond broth in the mornings and eat plain dal in the evenings.

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. Katie once remarked to her father, "Meher Baba is such a fine gentleman. Don't allow him to leave!" While playing carrom one day, Baba quietly lifted up one of the pieces. "Baba, you're cheating!" Goher complained. "Play fairly." The Master laughed.

Rusi was an amateur magician and would stage magic shows every evening for Baba's enjoyment, telling jokes and funny stories as he performed his tricks. Rusi also took Baba and the mandali to different orchards and gardens surrounding Quetta, especially the beautiful garden of Jamasp, and showed them the city's many scenic spots. Baba was quite happy in Quetta and pleased to be in Rusi's humorous company.

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.

In 1933, Big Khorshed (the wife of Baba's deceased elder brother Jamshed) left the ashram and moved to Bombay, preferring a more independent life, as compared to the strict secluded life of the women mandali in the ashram, Big Khorshed had joined the ashram in 1926 after Jamshed's death and was also among the women staying at Toka during 1928. She later re-married and eventually moved to Karachi, though she kept in touch with Baba's family.

On 28th January 1934, Freiny Masi arrived suddenly with her son Keki. She was suffering from cancer and was depressed about her condition. She begged Baba to keep her in the ashram. Adi Sr. drove them to Khushru Quarters and Daulatmai was informed in Nasik. While returning, Adi brought Rusi Pop's daughters Silla, Goher and Katie to Meherabad to see Baba. Rusi Pop, Sarosh and Viloo came the following day.

On 1st March 1935, Rusi Pop came to see Baba in the morning along with Padri's mother Freiny Masi, with whom Baba had a long talk about her illness. Baba assured her she would recover and instructed her to go to Poona and, for 40 days, to place ashes from his dhuni on Babajan's tomb.

1941, Rusi Irani had been instructed at Ahmednagar to go to Quetta, and arrange living accommodations for Baba and the group. Pendu and Rusi came to Jaipur on 22 February 1941 and the following morning had a long discussion with Baba about the arrangements. Rusi was a former resident of Quetta, and during the 1920s Baba had stayed at his house three times. Following Baba's advice, Rusi and his family had left Quetta and were now residing in Ahmednagar. Rusi's daughter Katie had joined the women mandali on the Blue Bus tour, and another daughter, Goher, was studying to be a doctor in Bombay. During her vacations, Goher would eagerly come and stay with Baba, as she too had tasted Wine and longed for more.

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.

On 31st January 1945, Baba left Pimpalgaon and moved with the women to Rusi Pop's house in Ahmednagar, not far from Khushru Quarters. This move to Katie and Goher's parent's home was necessitated because of some minor construction and renovation work which was to take place at Pimpalgaon under Kalemama's supervision.

Baba's 54th birthday was observed (according to the Parsi calendar) on Friday, 13th February 1948. Baba called the women from Meherabad to Pimpalgaon at three in the afternoon for a bhajan performance by an Arangaon group. Also allowed to attend the festivities from Ahmednagar were: Khorshed Banu (Rusi Pop’s wife) and her daughter Roshan. Shirin Damania.

The first program was held on Monday, 16 th February 1948, at the town of Kotul, 80 miles from Ahmednagar near Sangamner. Driven by Adi Sr., Baba left Pimpalgaon in the middle of the night at 3 A.M. and came to Rusi Pop's where he washed and had breakfast. He left with Dhake, Kaka and Jalbhai, and arrived at Kotul shortly after eight in the morning. The program was held at the dak bungalow. Baba sat on a stool and washed the feet of 1,010 poverty-stricken men and women, placed his head on their feet, and handed them his prasad. To 27 of them he gave one rupee each.

In Meherabad, on the morning of the 26th of February 1948, Baba broke his 40-day fast. In His presence, Nilu, Don and Ghani also broke their partial fast of 25 days by eating some food in front of Baba. Kaka and Annasaheb Kale broke their silence of the past 25 days by speaking to Baba. On the hill that afternoon at five, Rusi Pop gave a magic show before an audience of both the men and women mandali. Baba returned to Rusi Pop's with the women the next morning at eight.

On 17th September 1947, Baba drove to Bombay with Sarosh and others. There they were met by the other mandali who were to accompany them including Rusi Pop. All boarded the train at 8:30 that evening and left for Surat.

Having completed his mast work in Bombay, Baba and the men and women mandali returned to Ahmednagar on Saturday, 20 March. From that night, Baba changed his routine and began sleeping at Rusi Pop's, rather than Gyara's. He visited the mandali at the Ice Factory during the day.

The day after Baba arrived, Adi drove him as usual at 8:00 A.M. from Rusi Pop's to the Ice Factory Bungalow. Baba went through the post and telegrams that had arrived while he was away, and met Don, Pendu, Padri and Sarosh. Don showed Baba the cover and some pages of proofs of The Wayfarers, and Baba expressed his pleasure at the work. Baba returned to Rusi Pop's for lunch, and Adi drove him back to the mandali's at 3:00 P.M.

The women mandali stayed Ahmednagar while the Pimpalgaon construction work was going on.

Although were happy to be back in India, they were feeling the pain of separation at being kept at After the housewarming at Meherazad, Baba called Jean and Delia to Pop's house to stay, and they felt much happier. Kaka was cooking separately for the Westerners living at Pop's and Baba was sending them to the Ice Factory Bungalow for their meals, while he ate with the Eastern women at Pop's.2688-1948

1st August 1949, was a red-letter day in Meherazad. All the Meherabad mandali, as well as other Meherabad residents, including Rusi Pop were invited. No one was to eat breakfast or take tea before arriving. 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. Sarosh was the only one who had been exempted from being on silence because of his political involvements and work.

Before New Life, on 15 th September 1948, Rusi Pop and two others had interviews at Meherazad and received instructions from Baba.

Pointing to Rusi Pop, Goher's father, Baba commented, "I stayed in his house in Quetta years ago."

On 31st March Rusi Pop came to Meherazad in Meherabad. Baba was in a very cheerful mood that day. A discussion took place about lower Meherabad and the Family Quarters.

Goher's mother was seriously ill with cancer and required an operation in Bombay. Baba was informed and instructed the family to proceed with the operation. Meanwhile, Feram and Goher's father, Rusi Pop, were called to Meherazad at 9:00 A.M. on 23 March. Baba ordered Feram to sleep at Rusi Pop's for some days.

Goher's mother Khorshed's condition was becoming worse. Alu Khambatta had been enlisted to help the family look after her. Baba was informed on 16 May, and through Goher he conveyed a message to her parents to "remember him constantly, take his name and do not worry." On the 23rd, just as Khorshed was passing through a crisis, a phone call from Baba came to Adi, informing him that Khorshed would drop her body when Baba willed it, and that he was pleased with the efforts of all those who were attending her.

Khorshed died the following day at 2:00 P.M., and Baba had this message phoned to her husband Rusi Pop in Ahmednagar:

Dear Khorshed has come to Me to rest eternally in My love. You be brave and be resigned to My Divine Will. I will call you when I return to Meherazad. My love-blessing to you and the family"

 

IRANI-AZENDUMUSH & KHODAYAR

In his words

My name is Irani Azendumush, wife of Khodayara Toos. I did not know of Baba in the beginning. When I was a child it was as if I was searching for something, as if I had lost someone and I was looking for him. Wherever I would go, in the temples or wherever, I could not figure out what it was I was looking for. All I felt was that I had someone, something I was looking for, until I became acquainted with Khodayar.

In the beginning, I didn't want to get married at all. Then I became acquainted with Khodayar and he was speaking of Baba. Gradually the love that Baba inspired in my heart became the nucleus of our married life and, also, the love in our marriage. In the beginning, as Khodayar would tell me about Baba, although there were times I would believe what he would say, there were other times that I could not believe what he said, especially when he would speak of these extraordinary things of Baba. Those I could not believe. I would say to myself he was lying, maybe it was just pretense or something.

Finally, though, I started to hit the books — Hafiz, this one, that one — and I gradually advanced. All of these became so familiar to me that I got acquainted with Baba. It was such that whatever I would ask of Baba he would give me, he would arrange it. I did not have a mother from very young childhood and my relatives were very distant relatives. When I was distressed and there was something that I wanted, I would only approach Baba. Baba is my father, Baba is my mother, Baba is my everyone. Whatever I would ask, he would give me.

When I was in Shiraz, I didn't know anyone. When I would get ill, I would just think of Baba. I would then see that Baba was sitting in the chair next to me. He would come from above to down here. He would tap me over the head and my face, like someone restoring my health. Then I would get well and get up and go to my work.

One day I got very ill. I was really sick. I could only expect Baba to come and take me away. I had gone to the doctor, but it had not been effective. I was just waiting for Baba. In that state of sleep and wakefulness, I saw Baba at my side. He took my skin off just like when you take the sheep's skin off. He took off my skin and I didn't say anything. I became well after a few days.

After one or two years we went for Baba's darshan. I asked Baba, if it was his will, he would arrange everything so that I could come, too. Of course, it was very hard for me to believe I could go. All I said was, "Baba, if you really want me to come to your darshan, arrange it so I can come." He arranged it and I went. It was very beautiful. We were there for the four days. We got to know all the Baba lovers and all the new things there.

The first time that I met Baba, I did not know where I was. The state that I was in was very good. I cannot say that I left consciousness. When I would see him, I would tell him I was in that state. I would say to myself, "O God, all the people throughout history, all the Zoroastrians, who know that a great person is to come — they should know our father. Where are they? They should raise their heads from their graves and see that the person they have been expecting for many years has come now. But unfortunately they are old now, immaterial. They don't know this great one who has come owns the two worlds ..." I can't explain any further, all of this was in my mind at that time.