Meher Baba's Last Mass Darshan, Part 3
THREE INCREDIBLE WEEKS WITH MEHER BABA
Malcolm Schloss & Charles Purdom
The Times of India reported the event as follows:
Sri Meher Baba Blesses 15,000 Followers
DAY-LONG CEREMONY HELD AT AHMEDNAGAR
Ahmednagar, September 12. Sri Meher Baba, the 61-year old Indian mystic who claims to be an 'avatar' of God, blessed a congregation of more than 15,000 of his followers, at a solemn ceremony, here today.
He said: "May the spark of my divine love implant in your hearts a deep longing for the love of God."
The vast gathering, which included his disciples from America, England, Australia and Switzerland, swelled to more than 25,000 towards the evening.
The disciples listened in reverential silence to the message read out to them on the occasion of Meher Baba's public darshan to his followers in Ahmednagar for the first time in 25 years.
In the message, he enjoined on them: "Live not in ignorance. Do not waste your precious life-span in differentiating between, and judging your fellowmen, but learn to long for the love of God. Be pure and simple, and love all, because all are one."
Sri Meher Baba, who began his work of awakening the public at Ahmednagar 40 years ago, told his followers: "Spare no pains to help others. Seek no other reward than the gift of divine love."
Sri Meher Baba, whose mission is to change the world, has not uttered a word for the last 29 years and has written nothing except his signature in the last 27 years.
For conveying his thoughts and ideas, he uses a board on which the English alphabet is inscribed.
In his message today, he observed: "If you were to ask me when I will break my silence, I would say, it will be when I feel like uttering the only real word that was spoken in the beginning, as that word is worth uttering. The time for breaking my outward silence to utter that word is very near."
Sri Meher Baba normally lives in seclusion but he has travelled round the world three times. He has visited England and the continent ten times.
Among those present at the congregation today were 20 disciples of Meher Baba from abroad, including Mr. C.B. Purdom, British author and journalist, Mr. Malcolm Schloss, author and poet, and Mr. Frank S. Hendrick, American author, and Mr. Francis Brabazon, noted Australian poet, Shri Gadejai Maharaja, a spiritual leader with a considerable following in Maharashtra, was also present.
On his arrival at Wadia Park where the ceremony which lasted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. was held, Sri Meher Baba prostrated before the congregation "not as man to man but God to God," so as to save them the trouble of bowing down to him.
A unique function, which formed an important part of the day- long ceremony, was the washing of the feet of seven poor octogenarians from all religions, by Meher Baba himself.
The ceremony began with a welcome speech by Mr. Sarosh K. Irani, chairman of the reception committee.
It was followed by the presentation of a civic address by the Ahmednagar municipality. Speeches in appreciation of Meher Baba's work of awakening the people to the unity of spiritual knowledge and love were made, among others by Swami Sahajanand Bharati, president of the Ahmednagar District Congress Committee, Mr. P.R. Kanavade, M.P., Mr. T.S. Bharade, M.L.A., and Mr. N.E. Navie, a former M.L.C.
There was a scramble when Meher Baba began distributing prasad to his devotees and followers.
This program continued for about five hours and terminated in the evening.
Sri Meher Baba has convened a meeting of his followers from all over the world on September 29 and 30 at Meherabad, in Ahmednagar, to explain to them his future program "before giving up his physical body."
Kishansingh Pardeshi, President of the Ahmednagar Borough Municipality, gave a speech dedicated to "Shri Sadguru Meher Baba," translated as follows:
Most Adorable Shri Meher Baba,
Generation after generation, this land of ours the abode of great Saints and Sages has become blessed. This plateau of the Deccan has ever added to the glory of Bharat through its spiritual heritage and enlightening literature. Shri Dnyaneshwar of Newasa, Shri Changdev, Shri Sai Baba, Shri Upasani Maharaj of Kopargaon, Shri Mahipat of Rahuri, Shri Dinkar Swami of Pathardi, Shri Eknath of Shevgaon-Paithan, all of them hail from this District of Ahmednagar which is indeed blessed with spiritual atmosphere. And today, at this place, we feel that the treasure of all the accumulated spiritual heritage of this land of the Deccan has been laid bare before us through your public darshan.
Poona is the birthplace of Baba, and there Baba had his education. Again in Poona, at the time of his education, Baba had the first real darshan of Babajan. It was that close contact of Babajan that bestowed on Baba his Godhood. Shri Upasni Baba's close contact in the District of Ahmednagar made Baba realise his eternal Godhood. Since then, Baba's life became exceptionally supernatural; and since then, he began to reveal the Truth to all his devotees that it is possible for the soul to become one with the Over-Soul. All these years, Baba has stressed that the goal of life is to gain the grace of Perfect Masters, and to attain God-Realization.
It has become a common experience of many that though you have observed long years of silence, yet the spark of your Divine flame illumines the lives of many, and that too, just through mere darshan of your personality.
You are imparting the same spiritual knowledge which the Avatars of the past did impart; and all along, you have been emphasizing the same precept of the past that we should annihilate the bindings of the body-life, and realize the eternal "Oneness" in the "many."
Your only one message to the world is, "It is possible, through love, for man to become God, and when God becomes man, it is due to His love for His beings. Therefore, love God and you will find that your own self is nothing but God." Universal brotherhood, equality and love been your three chief pointers to the world.
In order to awaken humanity, and to make mankind love God, you have not spared yourself to travel far and wide. You have paid frequent visits to Europe and America, and you have not left out any province in Bharat unvisited. Even while you had your headquarters at Ahmednagar, your help always reached the poor. Your work for the upliftment of the down-trodden untouchables, your work with the mad- men and the lepers, and all your different activities in many other spheres have set at work for the spiritual cause, both men and women of different nationalities; and of all castes and creeds all over the world; and you have filled the heart of many a family with joy and bliss through your personal contacts during your travels.
Your ever-peaceful, and your ever-smiling face, and your ever-bright eyes, full of spiritual radiance, are sufficient to fill any man with joy, and to make him pay homage at your feet on taking your darshan.
We, the people of Ahmednagar, feel grateful to you today for your grace that grants us this public darshan in the open, because we know that the Grace of the Perfect Master alone can emancipate all of us from the grip of our own ignorance.
"Grace of Masters is that Light
It is only your love for the people of this District that has made you shower your grace upon us all today to grant this unique opportunity of the open darshan to the public.
On behalf of men and women of this District, I most
humbly bow down while offering this address to you
with all devotion.
THREE INCREDIBLE WEEKS WITH MEHER BABA
September 11-September 30, 1954, pp. 12-17
1979 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust