Meher Baba's Last Mass Darshan, Part 6
THREE INCREDIBLE WEEKS WITH MEHER BABA
Malcolm Schloss & Charles Purdom
Thursday, September 16, 1954
We arose early this morning and left at 7 a.m. for Pimpalgaon. On our arrival there, Baba led us first to the room where Kaikobad Dastur stayed, and introduced us all to him. For twelve years, he told us, Kaikobad has meditated in accordance with Baba's instructions. He repeats Baba's name a hundred thousand times a day. He observes regular watches every three hours, day and night, for meditation, and spends most of his time in seclusion. Baba had Kaikobad himself tell us how he sometimes sees stars, suns and moons coming out of himself. When the moon is in his head, everything is peaceful and he can enjoy the peace and bliss of the experience. When the sun is in his head, it is very difficult for him to maintain consciousness, and he often loses it.
Baba then led us to Kaka Baria's room and introduced him to those who had not yet met him, explaining that he was the Manager at Pimpalgaon, that his table was always cluttered with papers, because he had so much work to do, and that he had taken care of the garden when Baba and the girls were abroad in 1952. Baba said that it was Kaka who had named this place, "Meher Azad," and explained that "Azad" means free, whereas "Abad" means flourishing.
Baba then led us to His own room, and told us that in the Man-o-nash period* He worked very hard here for the whole world; that He had come out of the Man-o-nash period pale, thin and exhausted as if something had been sucked out of Him. It was very rare for Him, he continued, to be in this condition. It had happened to Him once at Angarishi, on a mountain in the Central Provinces, where the rishis used to meditate, and where He had spent some time in a cave in seclusion. Kaka added that in the Man-o-nash period Baba seemed to want to open the door and step out of the universe.
Next, Baba showed us the body of the blue bus in which He had travelled all over India, and which had been set on a concrete base for Him to sit in during His seclusion in the Man-o-nash period. Baba had also sat in seclusion in this bus during His forty days' fast in 1949.
Baba then introduced us to to Gustadji, who had been with Baba ever since Upasni Maharaj told Baba that He was the Avatar, and instructed Gustadji to follow Baba and do as He said. Gustadji has been on silence now for 27 years, in accordance with Baba's instructions.
Baba next showed us the asbestos cabin that had been made out of two cabins that were on the top of the hill at Pimpalgaon, and in which Baba used to retire during the Man-o-nash period in the daytime. He remarked that He now sleeps there sometimes, and showed us His bed, which consisted of a thin mat and a hard pillow, stretched over the stone floor.
Baba then led us to His "Mast-work" room, a stone building about ten feet square.
"I always use this room for a particular kind of work, known to Me only. Ramjoo lives here now."
Then Baba had Eruch tell us of an incident that occurred during the Man-o-nash period, which had something to do with conflicting orders. Baba was in this stone room, in seclusion, and Eruch, who was on guard during the night, was told not to open the door unless Baba clapped. He was sitting outside on the ground with a lantern and a torch. At 2 a.m. a snake tried to slide under the door of the cabin. Eruch held him fast by the tail with his torch. Just then Baba clapped. If Eruch had obeyed His instructions to open the door immediately, the snake could have entered. So Eruch waited and, fortunately, in a few minutes the snake decided to go elsewhere. But when Eruch entered the cabin, Baba wanted to know why he hadn't obeyed His orders to come immediately when He clapped. Eruch explained, and Baba smiled.
"And I always say," Baba remarked in conclusion, when there are conflicting orders, always obey the first order."
Then Baba had the boys tell a story of Gustadji's experience with conflicting orders. Baba had been with some of the Mandali to the Girnar mountains for mast-work. Baidul, whom Baba calls the mast expert, and who can, according to Baba, "smell" a mast, finds them or takes them to Baba, or Baba to them, as Baba may wish. Baidul had located a mast at Girnar, and Baba had come there late at night with a number of the Mandali. The only light they had were some small lamps. They had been moving about for days, from one place to another, sleeping in railway stations, and this night, Baba had decided that they would sleep near the shrine of a Mohammedan saint. They found a small room for Baba, outside of which there was a concrete bench, on which one or the other of the Mandali sat keeping watch. For the last 25 years, wherever Baba rests at night, a watchman is posted outside. Sometimes one man watches all night, sometimes the boys work in shifts. So, this night they sat in shifts on a concrete bench. Baba's instructions were for them to sit there, to awaken each other in turn, and to allow no noise, not even the least, to disturb Him. Sometimes even mosquitoes and flies in flight disturb Him.
At 3 a.m. it was Gustadji's turn to be on watch. All of them had travelled all day, without rest or relaxation; without even having an opportunity to attend to their elimination. From 3 a.m. to 4 a.m., the boys have discovered, Baba usually rests completely, and if they have to attend to anything like elimination, this is usually the safe time to do it. So Gustadji decided that he would try. He was in this unfamiliar place, in almost complete darkness, so he had to grope his way to what he thought would be a good spot to urinate. He had just opened his robe and raised his foot to step off the other side of the bench, when Baba clapped. He rearranged his robe as quickly as he could and went to Baba, who inquired why he was late, and instructed him to sit down and not to move. Later, Baba asked the time and gave Gustadji permission to go. When Gustadji got outside and started again to relieve his discomfort, the sky was clear and Gustadji was amazed to find that just beyond the place where he had raised his foot, was a big lake into which he would have fallen if Baba had not clapped and, Gustadji being on silence, could not have called for assistance and would probably have drowned.
Baba then led us through the garden, which was lovely, and gave every evidence of being well cared for, to the house where the ladies' quarters were. Rano and Goher met us in the garden, and explained that the house had originally been a rest-house for engineers who were working on the reservoir. The house provided a complete contrast to the men's quarters. They had been primitive; these, for India, were comfortably furnished. We were shown first to the room occupied by Mehera and Mani, neither of whom were present. Rano explained that Mehera and the other girls were mainly responsible for the well-kept garden. Here we were shown pictures of Manzil-e-Meem; a chart of the Hierarchy of the Saints; Babawadi, or the school that Baba had for orphans years ago, where they were educated and fed. Then Baba produced several albums of photographs of Himself, which, since there was not time for us to go through them thoroughly at Pimpalgaon, He entrusted to Lud, for us to view at Meherabad at our leisure. He also entrusted to Lud some small boxes in which locks of Baba's hair were kept. These had been cut when He was thirty years old, and were reddish gold in color. People now make lockets and brooches with Baba's hair.
Baba then led the way to the upper floor, and as we passed through the hall, we noticed a beautiful painting of a winged white horse by Marguerite Poley, of California.
We were first taken to Baba's own room, which opens out on the verandah. It was a large simple room, with a wooden bed, where Baba sometimes sleeps. The other rooms were shown to us in turn.
Baba then led us out of the house and up the hill where the cabins used to be into which He used to retire either for mast-work or for seclusion. He explained that the hill was not far from Gorakhnath, where Krishna used to play with the Gopis, and it was also near Khandoba's temple.
On the way up the hill Baba followed His recent custom of throwing four stones. He led us first to the flat place, just below the top of the hill, where one of the cabins had been during His seclusion and mast-work. This was the one where the Mandali had stayed during the day-time. Then all of us, except Will Backett and Charles Purdom, whom Baba ordered to wait, followed Baba up to the summit where the other cabin had been the one in which He had retired, and in which He did His mast-work.
Then Baba led the way down the hill and into the patio of the house, where we all gathered around Him.
"If you are not in trim, you are likely to feel this in your legs for two days," He said.
"You are all really fortunate to have come with Me on the hill, with My leading the way. That is a very dear piece of land, that hill. When I was there I fasted on only very weak tea. The hill is now barren, but a time will come when there will be much construction there by My disciples."
Baba then told us to sit quietly for five minutes, when we would have fruit juice to drink. Baba then referred again to the pictures of Himself and the locks of hair which He had entrusted to Lud, and told him again to show them to us at Meherabad and return them.
"Some of them," interjected Fred Winterfeldt.
"All of them," rejoined Baba, "and more. They will come back with your love."
While we were having fruit juice, reference was made to the various places where Baba had retired in seclusion at different times Mount Abu, Rishikesh, Hardwar, Angarishi, Panchgani, Khuldabad and Meherabad, all were mentioned.
Then came the most moving event of the day. One of the girls appeared with a large shawl, which she carefully opened. Out of this, she drew an old patched coat, originally brown but practically covered with patches of blue and black. Baba told us that this was the most sacred of His possessions. He had worn it steadily for eight years from 1921 on. This included His period of seclusion in the "jhopdi" in 1922.
"What it has in it will be revealed after I drop the body. Then thousands and thousands of men and women will come to worship."
Next an ancient pair of sandals were produced and, following this, a white robe.
"These are the sandals and the robe that I wore when I wore that coat," Baba said. "The sandals were discarded when I first went up the hill at Meherabad."
Eruch then told us that after Baba had stopped wearing this coat, He used to change his clothes frequently and then would give them away, but these things Baba would not part with. We were also told that these things were produced today for the first time in many years. Even the Mandali had not seen them for a long time.
Baba then asked us how we felt, and said that He would see us between 9 and 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at Meherabad.
"So what would be best," He said just before we left, "would be for you from now on to play with Baba's Love. You have only fifteen days more now to absorb Baba. After you leave, you will be free. You can play, work, be with your family and children as much as you want; but here, now, try to absorb as much of Baba as you can. What I would like, in short, is for you to take Me with you when you go back."
Baba then inquired whether we were getting hungry, and asked what we had had for dinner yesterday. Then He embraced us, and sent us back to Meherabad hill.
*October 1951 February 1952 RETURN
THREE INCREDIBLE WEEKS WITH MEHER BABA
September 11-September 30, 1954, pp. 27-35
1979 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust