Symbols of the world's religions



Judith Garbett

I commented on some repair work being done on the women's cottage, and Meheru told me that this was the first building there, constructed in the early 1920s for the engineers in charge of nearby Pimpalgaon reservoir. It had only two rooms then, with a very small verandah in front.

In 1944 when Baba came to stay in Meherazad (then known as Pimpalgaon) with a few of the women mandali and Kaka and one or two of the other men mandali, Baba stayed in one of these two rooms and the other was kept as a sitting room.

In 1948 when Meherazad was expanded on a more permanent basis the cottage verandah was widened and two small rooms added, one on each end of it.

Where the main house is now, Meheru continued, there were originally some foundations. A very small place was built first with only two rooms and a kind of pantry where the women cooked. Then Valu Pawar, who stayed there with Mehera, Mani, Meheru and Margaret, built a kitchen behind this, using another old foundation and doing a lot of the work herself with the help of two village women. She discovered along the boundary all the stones which were required, and set them, working like a mason. Meheru said she was really good at working with stone and mud.

During brief periods spent at Meherazad over the next four years, Mehera, Mani, Meheru, Valu and later Naja and Margaret Craske used these two buildings, and Baba stayed once in the cottage and later in a room on the men mandali's side. The rest of the time the women were away travelling in India with Baba and some of His men mandali.

When Baba decided that the present main house should be built, He asked Mehera to design the layout. The small building was pulled down; the new one in its place was finished in [August] 1948, and that was when the original cottage was expanded.

There is also a small old cottage still standing in the garden at the back which was used by Baba for seclusion work in December 1943, because at that time He wanted a place which was quieter and more secluded than Meherabad.

Vishnu remembered hearing about this property being auctioned. Baba liked it and stayed there for His work for a time, then brought Mehera and Mani. They liked it very much too because of its serene location and the coolness of well-established trees.

Later Baba named it Meherazad, which means 'Meher free'. Meherabad means 'Meher flourishing'.

LIVES OF LOVE, Meheru, p. 2
1998 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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