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A GEM OF AN INSTITUTION

Ramjoo Abdulla

 
May 1, 1927, the Meher Ashram was declared open with four Brahmin, three Maratha and three Mahar boys (all Hindus of different castes) at Meherabad, near the village of Arangaon, in the Ahmednagar District of India. With the advent of 14 boys from Persia, two of whom were Muslims and the rest Zoroastrians, the Persian section was opened on the seventeenth of July, 1927, in the Hazrat Babajan High School, which is attached to the Ashram.

This foreign advent, as well as first-class Persian teaching, caused quite a flutter amongst the local Mogul community, and gradually the number of Mogul boys in the Ashram began to swell beyond expectations. To all appearances, the first four months were passed in arranging the hundred and one mundane details that an institution of this magnitude entailed.

So far as an external manifestation of the Master's [Meher Baba's] internal workings for the Ashram was concerned, the first of September, 1927, witnessed the first spark of spirituality. Spiritual classes were opened that evening, and the boys began to have explained to them the spirit of all religions and the lives of divine heroes in every nation. Discourses on divinity and spirituality itself were given by competent speakers under the personal instruction of the Master for one hour every day.

Within another month, the Master seemed all engrossed in the Ashram affairs and began to remain there for hours together, freely mixing with the boys to the extent of actually playing, and at times eating with them. In November quite a change came about in the atmosphere; mysticism was rampant everywhere, though at the same time the secular education of the boys was never overlooked or allowed to suffer in the least.

On the second of November, 1927, the Master passed an extraordinary order. All the boys in the Ashram were strictly forbidden to speak with anyone save amongst themselves, or with the Ashram authorities. Even the schoolteachers were instructed not to talk with the boys after the school hours.

On the tenth of the same month, Baba quit eating solid food and began to subsist on tea or a little milk, which he continued for nearly five months and a half, even omitting milk for some days during this prolonged fast. A week after taking to this system, he began to convey to the boys every now and then, through stray hints as well as lengthy explanations, the importance of love, concentration and meditation, and thus directly began to inspire the boys to divine aspiration.


*"They have been given plain round black caps and khaki shirts and knickers to wear, the uniform dress already settled for them. Each boy is also to be provided with a cotton tweed coat which is not ready yet. Besides, each of the boys has been provided with the following, which will also be given to all those who will be admitted hereafter, irrespective of caste, creed or position: one steel trunk for their clothes and things, one towel, handkerchief and waist cloth, one blanket, two pasodis, one bedspread and one pillow.... Daily food is as follows: milk tea and wheat bread for breakfast, dal-rice and vegetable dish for dinner, two vegetable dishes and wheat bread for supper." (Pawar's diary)    BACK

**[On July 10, 1925, Baba commenced silence, communicating by means of an alphabet board.]    BACK

 

RAMJOO'S DIARIES, 1922-1929, pp. 412-413
1979 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

               

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