121-PILAMAI HORMOUZD IRANI

(Sister of Sirinmai)

On January 14th 1921, the Hindu holiday Makarsankrant was celebrated in Sakori. A Zoroastrian woman named Pilamai Hormuzd Irani of Karachi had come to Sakori for the first time for the celebration. Pilamai and Gulmai were distant relatives through marriage. A year or so previously in Bombay, Pilamai had met Gulmai, who was there visiting her brother. The two women became closer during this visit. Pilamai confided her problem with depression to Gulmai, who suggested she meet Upasni Maharaj (who had helped Gulmai overcome her own malady).  At her suggestion, Pilamai brought her children and stayed in Sakori for a month. Pilamai Irani lived in Karachi and was one of close ones and lived with mandali from time to time.

One day Pilamai and Gulmai were sitting near Meher Baba, and He asked Gulmai to sit closer, saying, "Sit here, Mother. I have something I want you to understand. Every Sadguru has a spiritual mother; Durgabai is Maharaj's. Narayan Maharaj and Tajuddin Baba have one also. Similarly, all Perfect Masters have spiritual sisters, too. Likewise, you are my spiritual mother and Pilamai is my spiritual sister; I have a past link with both of you through many lifetimes. I am telling you the fact that I am your son; and Pilamai, I am your brother. You are most fortunate."

Taken aback, Gulmai replied, "I know nothing about spiritual facts. I am not equal to even the dust under your feet. I am not worthy of anything spiritual. I am a simple woman — quite tired of life — with the one desire to stay near Maharaj always, to serve him and die at his feet."234-1921

One of Rustom's aunts, Pilamai Irani, had come from Karachi for the wedding. After meeting Baba at Sakori two years before, she was consumed in the fire of his divine love and became his devotee. During this occasion, Pilamai told Baba that she was ready to surrender her life to Him and wanted to stay with Him, but He persuaded her to return to Karachi. She reluctantly agreed on the condition that He visits her there, which He promised. The result of this, and the natural way in which the Master accomplished His work, was to gradually unfold. On the surface, it looked as if Pilamai invited Baba to grace her house; but the Master alone knows the secret way in which He reveals His intentions. Those who were continuously with Meher Baba had some understanding of how He manipulated events, making them seem quite natural. And occasionally the mandali would fathom the hidden meaning behind the outward expressions of His work and statements.

On Friday, 25 May 1923, Meher Baba ordered everything from Meherabad to be transferred to Khushru Quarters. Only beddings and a few necessities were taken on the journey. That morning Baba walked alongside the path of the railway tracks from Meherabad, reaching the Ahmednagar railway station at 10:30 A.M. A few of his followers were at the station, and they reverently bid him farewell.

Baba and His fourteen mandali occupied a third class compartment. They were accompanied by Pilamai, her small son Vithal, Gulmai, Sarosh, Soonamasi and Khorshed. The train left in the afternoon and reached Manmad in the early evening. Food for all had been prepared by Gulmai and Pilamai, and at Manmad they cooked fresh food for Baba.

Pilamai had brought a small chair for Baba to sit on in the train. However, He did not use it and asked her why she did not sit on it. Humbly, Pilamai replied, "How could I sit on it when you are sitting on a bench? I have nothing but respect for you!"

"When you don't respect My words, how can you respect Me?" Baba pointed out. "Only if you sit in the chair according to My wish will I believe you truly revere Me!"

"But this chair is meant for you," Pilamai countered. "It is not proper for me to occupy your seat."

Baba said, "You are My spiritual sister and therefore you, more than anyone else, should follow my orders and see that My wish is fulfilled."

Pilamai said, "I would sacrifice my life for you, Baba, but I cannot occupy this chair. I would feel ashamed to do so in your presence when you are sitting on an uncomfortable, wooden bench."

Baba said sternly, "You revere your feelings of shame more than me! And since you cannot carry out even my smallest wish, how could you ever hope to sacrifice your life for me?"

Baba continued, "Do not think it is so easy to give up your life for my cause. Give up your life while living by dying to your own desires!"

Pilamai pleaded, "Baba, I don't understand anything about spirituality, but this is an expensive and comfortable chair. I only want you to sit on it. I bought it for you alone."

Getting up, Baba angrily flung the chair out the window of the moving train! Only then did Pilamai realize that the Master valued nothing in this life except obedience to his wishes.

Baba did not say another word to Pilamai. After some time, her son Vithal began crying. It disturbed Baba who told her to stop his crying. Pilamai realized that she must do as He instructed so she tried her best to quiet the child. She gave him milk but he threw it aside and continued crying. Desperate, Pilamai took him to the toilet and stayed locked inside. Vithal finally stopped his tears, but as soon as Pilamai would bring him out of the lavatory, he would begin all over again, forcing his mother to hastily retreat back inside. For almost two days, Pilamai's confinement in the foul-smelling toilet continued until the train reached Agra in northern India, where all disembarked on 27th May 1923.

Baba was in a good mood when group arrived in Karachi on 31st May 1923. Pilamai's husband Hormuzd, Baily, and other devotees were waiting at the station to welcome them. Baily's sister Khorshed had moved to Karachi, and Baba had sent him ahead to assist with travel arrangements. Baba rode to Pilamai's house in a Victoria and relaxed there.

During this time, Baba's golden brown hair had grown quite long and curly. While staying at Pilamai's, He asked Gulmai to comb His hair. It was the first time that the Master permitted one of the women mandali to comb His hair. Gulmai did so with a new comb and brush and, from that day on, she carefully preserved all the loose hair.

Pilamai made everyone comfortable in her home. Later, she guided Baba and the mandali on a sightseeing excursion to places of interest in Karachi. One day Baba went to visit His maternal aunt and uncle, Banu Masi and Khodadad Masa, who had moved there from Bombay.427-1923

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.

While they were making themselves comfortable, Baba said, "Arangaon is not such a nice place. It is not good to remain here now. Think of some other place which is free of snakes and scorpions." Several places were mentioned, but none was approved by Baba. Pendu then suggested traveling to Quetta, where he had been living prior to Manzil-e-Meem. Baba liked this prospect since He had promised Pilamai to visit Karachi. Baba later concluded, "Not only should we leave Arangaon, but we should also leave Ahmednagar District, Bombay Province and India altogether, and go to Persia [Iran] via Quetta and Karachi."

In 1923, Meher Baba stayed in Pilamai’s house in Karachi for one week. Baba called her his “Spiritual Sister. During His stay in Karachi, the Master had kept Himself aloof and had even forbidden Pilamai to come and see Him. She was naturally feeling despondent and anxious, knowing that Baba was so nearby. Pilamai suffered a profound longing to see Him. On the last day, before departing, Baba went to her home and put her mind and heart at ease with His benevolent, smiling presence. Such times of separation were meant to create more longing in those already brokenhearted.

Baba was returning to Persia the land of His ancestors. Memo, Gulmai and other ladies, along with the mandali from Kasba Peth, also came to see them off. They boarded the ship. When the boat docked at Karachi for a brief period, Pilamai and other devotees were present with flowers and food, and Baba was received with great reverence.

On 15th May 1927, Pilamai and Khorshedbanu Pastakia, along with a few boys from Karachi, arrived at Meherabad to stay in the ashram for some days. Among these children were two of Baba's cousins, Merwan and Homi (the sons of his maternal aunt, Banu Masi). The boys had been living in Karachi and were brought to Meherabad to study in the school.

One day an urgent message was received from Karachi that Pilamai had started fasting, taking only water. Her reason was that, despite His promise, Baba had still not visited Karachi. Baba sent her a telegram instructing her to stop the fast at once and begin eating, but Pilamai refused. Baba then sent the following cable to her:

You are My spiritual sister. I am beyond promises and he or she who tries to bind Me to My promises is neither My brother nor My sister! I am pleased only when My slightest wish is carried out without question. I order you to take food and will see if you dare not do it!

Receiving this message, Pilamai immediately broke her fast and wrote for Baba's forgiveness.

On 1 January 1928 was the 52nd day of the Master's fast and the twelfth day of his seclusion. Baba was sitting in the upper portion of the underground crypt-cabin. In honor of Mehera's birthday that day (according to the Zoroastrian calendar), Baba permitted Rustom to bring her and the other women up the hill for darshan. In second group of women brought later, included Pilamai

During stay at Toka, the women mandali consisting of 11 ladies including Pilamai, were given the duty of preparing 1,000 chapattis a day for the ashram residents. The mandali helped to clean the wheat, Shanta prepared chapatis with the women mandali, Kaikhushru Masa, his wife Soonamasi, and Pilamai slept in a small tatta hut adjacent to the kitchen.

On 3rd September 1928, Pilamai left Toka for Bombay, from where Pilamai traveled on to Karachi.

Pilamai joined Baba and the group in Bombay. Baba left Bombay for Meherabad by train, arriving there on 27th May 1927. He had traveled approximately 3,700 miles in eighteen days. Baba had also been fasting since arriving in Quetta eleven days earlier.

On the night of 21st September 1929, the ship arrived in Karachi. Baba and the mandali were met by Pilamai, Baba's maternal aunt Banu Masi, and Merwan and Homi, her two sons who had been at the Meher Ashram School. The most distinguished among the others waiting to receive them was the mayor of Karachi, Jamshed N. R. Mehta. Pilamai invited Baba to her house and Baba went her house accompanied by Buasaheb and Vishnu.

Baba directed the mandali to erect a canopy in the compound of Gyas Manzil for His birthday celebrations on the 17th, and to arrange for food for the visitors. Baily arrived the same night with a few other lovers from Karachi, including Pilamai and her husband Hormuzd. (Baily and Hormuzd were accommodated at Gyas Manzil and the women of their group at the Talatis.)

Reaching Lahore on the 28th April 1931, and leaving Buasaheb, Gustadji and Raosaheb there, Baba departed for Karachi. They arrived in Karachi the next day and stayed at Pilamai's house. To please Ali, Baba often remarked, "In these hard times — with the hopeless situation all around — Ali is the only source of solace and comfort to Me."

After Baba returned to Nasik in 1930, Pilamai's son Vithal was also eager to remain near Baba and he was allowed.

On 25th June 1931, after being issued visas at the British Consulate to re-enter India, group left Duzdab by train for Quetta. After ten days in Quetta, they left by train again and arrived in Karachi on 5th July 1931. Again they stayed at Pilamai and Hormuzd's house.

In Karachi, Pilamai had a long talk with Baba, expressing her desire to join the ashram. Baba assigned Jamshed Mehta the work of obtaining visas for himself, Chanji, and Agha Ali. Rustom was also to accompany Baba to England, but he had still not been informed about it.

While Baba was in Bombay, Pilamai came there on 25 February with her daughter Silla. Pilamai was intending to stay in Nasik with the women mandali; she had been with Baba in Meherabad and Toka, and Baba had stayed at her home in Karachi several times. Eventually, Pilamai stayed with Baba for several years and fervently stuck to Him until the last.

Once Baba returned to Nasik, he resumed his usual activities. Both the men and women. Pilamai and her daughter Silla were the of the mandali member since her husband Hormuzd had died in a car accident in May 1933, they would sometimes go to Karachi to attend to family matters.

The Zoroastrian New Year was celebrated on 21 st March 1934. Gulmai visited that day. Chanji brought Pilamai and others for the occasion.

At Meherabad, Baba held a meeting on the 4th about the running of Meherabad while He was away. He had considered shifting the women to Nasik (he even went to look at suitable bungalows there) and disbanding the mandali, but in the end he decided to have everyone remain at Meherabad until He returned. Padri and Pendu were given charge of looking after the men and Pilamai the women, with Gulmai acting as an intermediary.

On the 25th Pilamai left Nasik for Bombay, and from there she and her children continued on to their home in Karachi on the 30th.

On 19th October 1936, Baba boarded the Kathiawar Mail train for Karachi. (There were Hindu-Muslim communal riots in Bombay, prior to Baba's departure.) Reaching Karachi two days later, Baba met Pilamai and her family, and his maternal aunt Banu Masi and her family.

While in Delhi at night Baba took the women to see the lights of old and New Delhi. Arriving from Karachi, Pilamai joined the group on the morning of 5th February 1939.

Baba returned to Meherabad on 15th August 1934 and began settling matters with the mandali living there. Pilamai was managing the kitchen, where Masaji was the cook. Not a day passed that there was not a quarrel between them, mainly because Pilamai would grudge Masaji the proper ingredients needed for cooking the meals. Masaji complained that Pilamai was too strict a manager, whereupon Pilamai threatened to leave for Karachi, claiming that Masaji was always "crossing" her. On the 19th, Baba prevailed upon them to work together harmoniously by pointing out, "You have both been with Me for many years, yet you have not yet learned renunciation. You know that the body will drop one day, so why this continual expression of hatred, jealousy and anger between you? To renounce these traits is real renunciation!"

From 19th February 1938, three-day celebration begun at Meherabad. Almost 500 lovers from Bombay, Poona, Ahmednagar, Nasik, Navsari, Nagpur and other towns and cities, gathered to quench their thirst. More than 200 came from Bombay, Meherabad and Ahmednagar, including Pilamai and her daughter Silla came.

Pilamai left for Karachi the on 11th March 1939.

On the 4th March 1940, Pilamai and her daughter, Silla, arrived from Karachi to join the ashram in Bangalore.

Leaving Loralai on the morning of 11th March 1941 (without any guards), they reached Quetta at five o'clock in the evening. Three days after they arrived. Soon after Baba's arrival in Quetta, Pilamai arrived from Karachi and was permitted to stay for a week.

Daulat Singh was denied darshan was his disappointment was too great to conceal. On the tenth day, Baba sent Adi Sr. with instructions for Dr. Singh to return to Kashmir, travel on to Lahore, and contact Pilamai in Karachi. Daulat Singh did as he was told, and left Meherabad with heavy heart. He contacted Pilamai, and asked her to promise to inform him as soon as Meher Baba was in the area.

Pilamai came from Karachi and brought Baba two parrots, a male and a female. The male did not live long, but the female, named Mittu, lived and traveled with Baba and the women for the next few years.

Baba and the mandali returned to Lahore on Saturday, 13th November 1943. After staying in Lahore for more than five months, on 20th November, the majority of the men and women mandali were sent back to Ahmednagar. They traveled to Manmad by train and then took buses to Meherabad. Pilamai was appointed to oversee the women's group, and during the journey, if any man tried to enter their compartment, Pilamai would shout in Urdu, "Janana! Janana!"-meaning this was a "women-only" compartment and no man should enter. Margaret would tease her by echoing, "Banana! Banana!"

During this period in 1944, there were 26 men, 33 women and ten children staying with Meher Baba under his orders at Meherabad and Pimpalgaon. Among Pilamai was one among women.

Baba Himself left Mahabaleshwar on the morning of 29th January 1951 accompanied by   Eruch, Pendu and Gustadji. On the way, between Mahabaleshwar and Poona Baba halted in Poona where He had called Pilamai of Karachi and her daughter, Silla, had deep love for Baba. Up until 1947, she and Silla had been staying in Meherabad. After that, both had returned to Karachi, and later settled in Lahore. Before entering the New Life, Baba had kept Rs.2, 000 aside for Pilamai's maintenance, but she would not accept it. Since Pilamai refused the money for the sake of love, Baba decided to distribute this sum in the name of love to seven deserving individuals of his Old Life, remarking, "Charity begins at home."

5th June 1960, was the largest public darshan that summer. An estimated 10,000 persons poured into Guruprasad seeking the God-Man's touch. Pilamai Irani and her family and many dignitaries, lovers from Delhi, Bombay Ahmednagar, Sakori and Australia came to see Baba on this occasion.  4699-1960Baba left Meherazad for Satara with the men and women mandali on 5th October 1954. Baba went to Viloo Villa before starting for Satara, where He met Gulmai, Piroja and Pilamai.

 

128-VALU PAWAR

D/o Soonamasi

Valu Pawar joined the mandali in twenties and devoted herself totally to Baba’s service.

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.

At fixed time, Valu Pawar brought Baba food and tea prepared by Mehera. It was strictly forbidden to look inside the cabin when Baba was doing his seclusion work. One day, Valu brought Baba’s tray of food to the cabin at the appointed time. However, she found the door of the cabin closed. Believing the wind had blown the door shut, Valu 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 Valu and her eyes immediately became full of pain. Afterward her eyes became bloodshot, then worsened and she suffered a blinded state for three days.

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."

Valu 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 Valu would carry water from a far distance on her shoulders for this purpose. It is because of Valu'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 Valu had other chores, she still found time for this extra work and it has resulted in a boon to all pilgrims coming to Meherabad.

In this seclusion, Baba would occasionally send for the women to see them. When he did, following the incident with Valu, Gulmai beseeched him to take pity on Valu and forgive her mistake. Baba answered Gulmai’s plea and Valu’s sight was restored. This experience taught Valu to be extremely careful in the future in following Baba’s exacting orders. Since 1925, Valu 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.

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 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.

(Meher Baba’s Last Sahavas; p 42, Copyright 1969 Dr. H. P. Bharucha)

127-SUSHILA

Sushila (Vishnu’s cousin) had been in Baba's contact since her childhood and all the mandali knew her well. Sushila studied medicine at the Ayurvedic  College in Satara

On 10th November 1963, Sushila met Baba with Dhake. Baba gave them instructions about their forthcoming trip to Nauranga. Sushila was given a talk in Hindi, written by Bhau, which she was to deliver to the gathering. Baba had her read it to him.

 Sushila and her sister Indu also helped in cooking for and Mandali. At Amboli and Balgaum, Every evening Baba would listen to Indu and Sushila sing and He praised them highly. This was their first opportunity to have the Master's close contact.

 

126-SOONAMASI

Mother of Khorshed

Soonamasi, Khorshed mother joined the women Mandali during early years and was part of the ashram till the New Life.

During August 1919, Gulmai's sister Soonamasi and her husband Kaikhushru Masa came to Ahmednagar from Bombay to visit their relatives. Kaikhushru Masa was an ardent lover of God and about eight years before had been to Shirdi for Sai Baba's darshan. It was at Shirdi that he had learned of Upasni Maharaj and had gone for his darshan at the Khandoba Temple. Later, he became a regular visitor to Sakori, where he met Merwan Seth and immediately recognized the divinity manifest in him.

Soonamasi was the manager of the women's ashram, but she kept committing errors in her accounts. She had so much trouble keeping track of the money while shopping in the bazaar that it afforded amusing incidents for the other women, which they related with humor to Baba.

 

125-SOLTOON

W/o Baidul

Soltoon was Baidul’s wife and had two daughters. They met Baba early in 1929 and visited their house in Jafrabad (Iran) and later sent far from Iran at the ashram. She was close disciple and served Meher Baba

On the 25th and 26th, October 1929, Baba went to see different places in Yezd as suitable spots for his seclusion, but He failed to find a place that met His requirements. He also visited Baidul's house in the suburb of Jafrabad where he met Baidul's wife Soltoon and other relatives. Baba requested Soltoon to prepare lunch, but he was in such a hurry to eat, he did not allow her to cook the rice properly. Rushing the meal, Baba took all the pots to the dining room where He served the mandali and others. Soltoon tried to stop him, saying that the rice was not cooked properly. But when Baba asked each person if it was uncooked, they all replied that it was excellent — much to Soltoon's amazement.

 

101-GULNAR SUKADWALA

She was the eldest daughter of Behram Sheriyar & Perin Irani

Her contact with Meher Baba and life time incidents are described as under.

In 1919, Kaikhushru Masa, Soonamasi, and Gulnar were present before Upasni Maharaj, they spoke to him about Gulnar's rash, and then about Gulmai's devotional nature and her family problems. Gulnar explained to the Sadguru, "My sister-in-law is very depressed and alienated; she faces oppressive conditions in her husband's joint-family household. Could you draw her to you like you have drawn us?"

Upasni replied, "Do not be so worried about her. I will do the same for her as I have done for you. You and she, as well as the whole family, will come to me. Have faith and come to Sakori as frequently as you can. Your skin disease — and her depression —will disappear."

After eleven days Baba arrived in Bombay at noon on 23rd November 1934, and met by Adi Sr. and Adi Jr. Beheram's wife Perin had given birth to a baby girl six days before, so before visiting Memo, Baba was driven to Parekh Hospital at Khetwadi to see them and His new niece. Baba named the child Soonu, but He later changed her name to Gulnar when Memo requested that the girl be named after Shireenmai's mother Golandoon.

After Shireenmai's funeral, on 27th February 1943, Baba returned to Poona, where He stayed at Bindra House. This time he did go to Baba House, and saw Beheram and his wife Perin. Beheram and Perin's children, Sheroo, age eight, and Gulnar, seven, loved Baba. For a while, Baba played with the two children.

The Zoroastrian navjot (thread) ceremony of Baba's brother Beheram's son and daughter, Sheroo and Gulnar, was held before Baba at Meherabad on 29th January 1944.

Gulnar and Sheroo had been in Baba's contact since childhood. Baba would ask them, "Who am I?"

"God!" they chorused.

"What does God look like?"

"Like Baba!" said Gulnar.

"Bigger than even the sky!" shouted Sheroo.

Baba asked, "Do you love me or your parents more?"

"We love you more."

"Why?"

"Because you look so beautiful!" they replied.

Beheram's daughter Gulnar was to be married later that year. Her fiancé, Jehangu Sukhadwalla, was a daily visitor to Guruprasad. Baba fixed the date for the wedding for the following October 1959. Beheram's wife Perin told Baba, "Gulnar has doubts about Jehangu's love for you. If he doesn't love you, it will be a matter of lifelong misery for her."

Baba assured her, "Jehangu has a very old and longstanding connection with Me. Gulnar should not worry." And, as time went on, Jehangu did begin loving Baba as if he were an old-time lover.

On the 28th, Jalbhai returned to Meherazad from Poona for a short stay. Two days later, Beheram's wife Perin came with her sons Sohrab and Rustom, her daughter Gulnar and Gulnar's fiancé Jehangu Sukhadwalla. (Baba took a "holiday" from His work with Kaikobad that day and from washing the feet of the poor.) Baba had approved the match and fixed the date of their wedding for 16th October 1959 in Bombay. He remarked to Jehangu, "You are really lucky to have found Gulnar, for through her you have found me!"

As they were leaving, heavy rain showers fell — an auspicious sign and tangible proof of Baba's blessings for the couple. Because of the downpour, their departure was delayed by two hours as the nallahs (streambeds) that intersected the road were overflowing.

During this period, Jehangu Sukhadwalla, Baba's niece Gulnar's husband, was working at the Poona airport. One evening as he was riding home on his scooter, he hit a pothole in the road and his brakes jammed. He was flung to the far side of the road, and his scooter went flying in the opposite direction. He emerged unscathed, and he attributed it to his crying out Baba's name with all his heart.

The next afternoon, when Jehangu excitedly recounted his "miraculous" escape to Baba, saying it was he who had saved him, Baba corrected him: "It is not my miracle. I do not perform miracles! You say that at the time of the accident you were wholeheartedly remembering me. So, call it the miracle of my name.

"When everything goes wrong, the mind becomes helpless and it has to rely entirely on the heart. These are the moments when you resign to My will and so rely solely on My help. When you leave all to Me, I dare not care not and you are relieved from the predicament."

In 1963, during a darshan program, a dozen Gujarati women came for Baba's darshan. They were led by one woman who was revered as a saint and had a large following in Gujarat. They asked Baba if they could be given the privilege of singing a bhajan. Baba permitted it and they sang in beautiful harmony. Others joined in the singing. Even Baba tapped his chair in time to the music. After this, Baba's grandniece Mehernaz (Jehangu and Gulnar's four-year-old daughter) gave a cute dance performance. Baba asked his brother Beheram, (the child's grandfather), to take a movie of her. Beheram was kept busy with his camera that day.

Before Baba's arrival at Guruprasad each year, Jehangu and Gulnar Sukhadwalla with few others would have the palace cleaned and everything prepared. However, no one was allowed to be present to receive Baba when he arrived, except for Meherjee, Meherwan and Jehangu.5067-1964

On Sunday morning, 5 June 1966, Beheram's family came to Guruprasad for Jehangu and Gulnar's daughter Mehernaz's navjot ceremony. The child's sadra, kusti, cap and new clothes were arranged on a steel platter in front of Baba. Baba handed her the sadra and kusti, and also a piece of paper on which was written his message (the same one given to Jim Mistry's sons at their navjot ceremony six years before) about being free from the superfluous binding of shariat (religious tradition). It was read out by Eruch, and then Mehernaz recited the Master's Prayer and went to the women's side, where Mehera dressed her in the sadra and kusti.5235-1966

 

83-SAYYED SAHEB PIRZADE

Sayyed Saheb Pirzade was a very close lover in the early period.

Some of his life time contact and dialogues with Meher Baba are written below:

Sayyed Saheb was Muslim and came into Merwanji's contact in 1918. He was a regular visitor to Babajan, who had personally introduced him to Merwanji. Through increasing contact with Merwanji, Sayyed Saheb was gradually drawn closer to Him. Merwanji took personal interest in Sayyed Saheb's individual difficulties, financial and otherwise. Because of Merwanji's genuine concern, Sayyed Saheb opened his heart to Him.

In 1920, Merwan Seth told Sayyed Saheb, "I wish to remain in a secluded place without the slightest disturbance. Can you find Me such a place?" Sayyed Saheb suggested a few remote locations, but Merwan Seth did not approve any. At last, Merwan Seth told Sayyed, "I have chosen the Bhorgad Cave near Nasik, where Upasni Maharaj had fasted for almost a year. I want you to go with Me." Sayyed Saheb agreed.

They took a train to Nasik and walked through the wooded area to the village of Gavalwadi, where they climbed the Bhorgad Hill and found the cave that Upasni Maharaj had shown Merwan Seth. Sayyed Saheb stayed along the rocky hillside while Merwan Seth remained in the cave alone for 40 days and nights, fasting only on milk which Sayyed Saheb would bring from the village each day.

After the 40 days, Merwan Seth left the remote region and stayed at Sayyed Saheb's family's house in Nasik. While there; He instructed Sayyed Saheb to telegraph all in Poona — Sadashiv, Behramji, Gustadji, and others — to come to Nasik to be with Him. Sayyed Saheb was profoundly impressed with Merwan Seth's great spiritual strength and attributes, and no longer liked the name Merwan Seth — believing it sounded too ordinary. When those from Poona were gathered in Nasik, Sayyed Saheb brought up the topic of changing Merwan Seth's title. Each man agreed, but what new name should they give? One of the men suggested Mehru Baba — meaning Great Father, but that was not approved.

After several other choices were suggested and rejected, Sayyed Saheb himself, in the end, proposed the name Meher Baba — meaning Compassionate Father. It was immediately endorsed by all. Soon after, they returned to Poona — including Merwan Seth now rechristened Meher Baba. It seemed to Age that the whole purpose of the men coming to Nasik was to choose this new name —which was to remain for all time.

On the night of 11th September 1922, Baba, accompanied by Sayyed Saheb and few others left Bombay by the Gujarat Mail train for Ajmer in northern India, arriving at midnight of the following day.

On 7th March 1923, after almost three months of strict containment in the premises of Manzil-e-Meem, Baba went for a short outing to Munshiji's house on Charni Road. Sayyed Saheb was staying there and had been feeling depressed for some time. To cheer him up, Baba drove to Munshiji's and returned after a few hours. When he returned, He found three messengers from Upasni Maharaj waiting for Him.

Baba and mandali reached Nasik at 2:45 P.M. and Sayyed Saheb (who was from Nasik) was waiting to receive them. They rode in tongas to Nomanbhai's bungalow where Sayyed Saheb had made provisional arrangements for them to lodge for a few days. This house was six miles from the station and was quite airy and spacious.  Sayyed Saheb brought rice, dal and spinach from his home, but Baba returned the spinach as the mandali were under His strict orders to eat only rice and dal; nevertheless, the meal was quite tasty and, after many days, the mandali again enjoyed a deliciously spiced dal.

In 1924, Baba was driven to Happy Valley with Sayyed Saheb and others. At Happy Valley, He was in a cheerful mood and explained more about God-realization and a Perfect Master's circle of disciples:

One day, Ramjoo, Ghani, Sadashiv and Sayyed Saheb arrived. Sayyed had brought an unknown Qawaal with him, but when the man was before Baba, he professed his inability to sing. Nevertheless, he had the nerve to request in broken English that Baba gift him "the box," meaning the harmonium inside the wooden box, which had been given to him to play. Sayyed was upset with the rogue, for he had paid his full fee and brought him all the way to Meherabad from Nasik solely to entertain Baba. Sayyed expressed his disappointment, but Baba prevented him from scolding the fellow and promised the man he would be given "the box." Later, Baba remarked to the mandali, "By powdering a piece of coal, its color is not changed. In the same way, whether a man be good or bad, his nature never changes."

The darshan program ended at 8:30 that evening. Since there was no means of public transportation available, people shouldered their belongings and started walking to the train station. A harmonium was presented to the so-called qawaali singer, and he again demonstrated his impunity by asking Baba for a coolie to carry it. Baba provided two of the mandali, first ordering them to secretly remove the harmonium from the box. The mandali lifted the empty box, groaning loudly and pretending it was heavy. They walked five miles to the railway station carrying the box and placed it in the train compartment. When the man was settled in the train and opened the case, he was shocked to find it empty. He had asked for a harmonium box and he got it!

On 19th August 1926, a heated discussion on religion and Baba's explanations about the path to God took place between Sayyed Saheb, Ramjoo and Ghani at the school building. Baba happened to come by in the middle of their debate and found them arguing. Sayyed Saheb claimed that when he read the Koran or the Hindu scriptures, he found them similar to the explanations given by Baba, while Ramjoo argued that they were not similar at all. Unable to determine who was right, they appealed to Baba. Baba said:

My explanations are quite, quite different from the scriptures of any religion and they have nothing to do with the shariat aspect of religions. If we find any illumination anywhere in scriptures, it is in the Hindu Shastras and Vedanta. But they too are only a shadow of my explanations.

In 1929, Sayyed Saheb (who had seen Baba in Nasik in July) came with them. At night, Baba went for a drive around the city, to Malabar Hill (where He strolled about), Null Bazaar, and Chowpatty Beach.

In 1930 once, Baba went to Sayyed Saheb's house for tea and a music program that lasted until six.

Munshiji died in Nasik of a heart attack at the age of 57 on the morning of 19th December 1933. Sayyed Saheb had been close to Munshiji, having worked for him, and it was he who told Munshiji about Meher Baba. Sayyed Saheb was deeply saddened by Munshiji's death, and Baba called him, from Nasik to Meherabad. Knowing how Sayyed missed Munshi, Baba consoled him, "Death is like sleep; and as sleep is essential to man, so also is death a necessary part of life. In reality, no one is born and no one dies. This is all a dream. And what worth does a dream have?

"Munshiji has come to Me and is happy; so it is not right to feel sad about him. Or is it that you envy Munshiji for his happy state?" This made Sayyed smile and he replied, "Never, Baba!" "Then why do you look like you are about to die?" Baba joked. Sayyed began laughing and felt happy once again.

In 1935, at Nasik, Baba occupied a bungalow in the Saharanpur locality. Sayyed Saheb procured a goat, which was given to Baba, as it was recommended that He drink the goat's milk to improve His health.  The goat had a kid, and the two animals especially loved to follow Baba around and play with Him. Baba, in turn, enjoyed feeding them treats, pieces of chapatti or toast. Playfully, Baba would raise His hand high out of the mother-goat's reach, and the goat would stand on her hind legs, putting her front legs on Baba's chest, so she could reach the treats.

On 5th March 1937, Sayyed Saheb came to see Baba. His twelve-year-old daughter had recently died and Sayyed was feeling very depressed, not because she had died but for the suffering she had undergone. In their ignorance, the family members had taken the girl to different psychic mediums to try to exorcise "the spirit" they believed was haunting her.

Sayyed Saheb was in disagreement with the family and could not understand how a spirit could have bothered his child when he had so much contact with Baba over the years. Consoling him, Baba explained, "She was not suffering from any spirit possession, but from tuberculosis. No spirit, however powerful, can ever touch those in My group. They run miles away from the members of My circle!"

In 1949, about mandali Baba said: There are many others like Abdulla (Jaffer), Sayyed Saheb, Edke, and so forth, who all their lives have been loving Me with all their heart.

 

62-KISHAN SINGH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Assuredly, Baba."

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

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

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

Meher Baba sends His love and blessings to you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Why not?" Baba asked him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eruch wrote to Kishan Singh about this:

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

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

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

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

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

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