MEHER MANZIL AND THE NEW PREM ASHRAM
The Superintendent of the Meher Ashram Behramji Fardoonji Irani, one of the chief disciples of the Master in the course of a conversation on this question with the village Police Patel, happened to advise him to approach the Master with their prayers for rain. The gentleman at first paid no heed to Behramji's casual remarks, but, probably when all the possible avenues of hope had been fruitlessly exhausted, he thought better of it.
On the morning of the sixteenth of September, the village Police Patel at last approached the Master in company of some of the other villagers and humbly solicited his blessings for a good shower. Possibly because the prayer had originated through the suggestion of one of his beloved disciples, the Master readily granted the boon and conveyed, "It will soon begin to rain now."
Within less than an hour of this reply of the Master, clouds began to gather over Toka, and the bright and hot morning suddenly went cold and dark. Nay, a few minutes more and it began to rain!
And it was not a passing shower! Almost the whole week it rained cats and dogs at Toka, greatly inconveniencing all the inhabitants of the Ashram, housed as they were in temporary structures which were not constructed with thought of such an extraordinary downpour. But the peculiar and rather humorous point about it was that, although the Master conveyed that he wanted himself and the boys to shift into the new premises of the Meher Manzil and the Prem Ashram, he would not do so until it stopped raining!
Twice it was decided on such of the evenings as promised a dry day on the morrow to bring about the occupation of the premises, and both times the matter was shelved, as it did not stop raining. At last, the Master gave the following decision about the occupation on the twenty second of September in these words: "If there is no rain tomorrow from dawn till two o'clock in the afternoon, the boys and I will shift into the new quarters; otherwise the question will be put off for a month or two."
The boys and many amongst the disciples could not help getting greatly disheartened at his strange declaration, and particularly with the prospect of another gap of a month, or two, that it held. "But," then the Master added, "if all of you feel so much about it, pray with heart and soul and it will not rain tomorrow."
The fateful dawn of the twenty-third of September came, and there was no rain. Yet the stray black patches of threatening clouds hovering over Toka reminded Behramji of the Patel's part in the matter, which made him send for the Patel. The excessively wet weather had already played havoc with the old Patel's failing health, and although he was laid up with fever and cold, he obeyed the call.
"Have you had enough water now?" was naturally the first question with which Behramji greeted the sick man, who acknowledged in no uncertain terms the bountiful blessing of the Master, and added, "But to take full advantage of this blessing in our fields, the rain must stop now."
"This is just what we want," said Behramji, "and so I suggest that you should again present yourself for the Master's service and appeal to him to get the rains stopped."
The Patel readily fell in with this advice, but while requesting the Master for the stoppage, he was found to be very hesitating lest the monsoon might completely terminate there and then, and so he was careful enough in asking, "We would please like to have a dry atmosphere now, but of course it must rain again after a week or so for some days."
The Master smiled, probably at his guarded prayer, and was pleased to convey, "It will stop raining now, and you will also get some more showers after a week as desired by you."
And just according to these words, not a single drop fell that day till two o'clock, with the result of the occupation of the Meher Manzil and the new Prem Ashram. From that afternoon the atmosphere remained dry save for an occasional stray shower till about a week, when it again rained sufficiently to satisfy the inhabitants of Toka.
RAMJOO'S DIARIES 1922-1929, pp. 485-487
1979 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust