THIRTY-THIRD BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
Many people had come from the surrounding villages and from the city of Ahmednagar, and most brought flower garlands for him which they placed one on top of the other on Baba. From the neck down, Baba's body was covered with flowers.
An incident occurred which revealed the pain Meher Baba would endure at the hands of his lovers. One person unknowingly placed a garland of roses around Baba which had several bees nesting in it. After some time, the bees began stinging Baba and his face turned bright red, but he did not stop the darshan program and continued smiling as each person bowed to him.
Someone cried out, "Look at Baba; what a glorious countenance he has! His face is like a shining sun!"
Another person remarked, "Baba's cheeks are like pink roses!"
Only after the mandali removed the pile of garlands from his neck did they discover the swarm of bees. Baba ruefully gestured, "My face is swollen and red from the bees' stings, not because of divine radiance. See what I must endure at the hands of my lovers. They always wish to garland me and I permit it for the sake of their happiness, yet how I suffer. Such is my fate."
The closing celebration was on Meherabad Hill. A palanquin was decorated and in the evening a procession was formed. Baba did not take his seat in the palanquin, but preferred to walk with the procession up the hill.
There a bhajan program was held and Angal Pleader narrated stories from the Puranas. Baba later distributed prasad. At the fervent request of the crowd, Baba sat in the palanquin on the way down the hill as the celebration ended.
LORD MEHER, 1st ed, Vol 3, pp. 913-914
1988 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust