Valu ( Walu ) Bhau Pawar ( Walubai )
Born : 1900 - British India
Died : 1st September 1973 - India
Married : ( her husband died early in her marriage & she did not remarry again
Children : 1 daughter
Meher Baba confirmed and named Valu as one of his women Mandali on
the 13th November 1968. ( see the list towards the end of this web page )
She was cremated at Arangaon when she died in 1973; her relatives were there for the occassion.
Being Hindu, it's not typical to place any markers for the deceased.
During this period, a Maratha woman in her late twenties, named Walu Bhau Pawar, 25, was intensely drawn to the Master. Soon after meeting Meher Baba, she surrendered to his spiritual guidance, dedicating all her possessions and property to him. Walu resided in Arangaon, but she was allowed to come daily and be with the women mandali at the Post Office quarters. She was assigned the duty of baking bhakri and would also assist Mehera in attending to Baba's personal needs.
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Baba went to Arangaon with the mandali on the morning of Wednesday, 1 June 1927 to attend the wedding of Walu Pawar's daughter. Baba was escorted to the village in a procession and was well-attended to. Soon after the food was served, he returned to Meherabad. Before leaving Arangaon, he commented, "I was compelled to attend this marriage today because of Walu's love and devotion for me." Walu was the only woman from Arangaon to be included in Baba's close circle of women mandali.
Early June 1928
From the next day, the women mandali, consisting of Mehera, Naja, Big Khorshed, Small Khorshed, Soonamasi, Daulatmai, Gulmai, Dolly, Walu, and Pilamai, were given the duty of preparing 1,000 chapatis a day for the ashram residents. The mandali helped to clean the wheat, and Waman Subnis, who was strong and muscular, would knead the dough and also milk the cows. Chhagan's wife Shanta prepared chapatis with the women mandali, and at night Chhagan was on duty near Baba as his watchman. Kaikhushru Masa, his wife Soonamasi, and Pilamai slept in a small tatta hut adjacent to the kitchen, and Kaikhushru continued his watch duties by the women's side.
On 9 May, Baba left Ahmednagar by car for Nasik, where he met Mehera, Naja, Khorshed, Soonamasi, Daulatmai, Walu, and Freiny, as well as Rustom and Padri. He sent Padri to Bombay, and Rustom was ordered to continue looking after the arrangements for the women mandali in Nasik while Baba was on tour in the north of India — to the Himalayas.
12 June 1929
While Baba was taking tea at Walu Pawar's house in the village, Nusserwan and Kaka Chinchorkar arrived. Baba was pleased to see them and praised them for helping him financially, remarking, "It is in times of such crises that great spiritual work is done. It is also a time of test."
The women mandali staying in Nasik were Mehera, Daulatmai, Naja, Khorshed, Soonamasi, and Walu. Daulatmai was staying with her daughter Freiny, as her bungalow was near the women mandali's house — called Kabootar Khanna — the Pigeon House. Naval and Dina Talati and their children had moved to Nasik to be near Baba. Ramjoo's sister Amina Jaffer and her husband Abdulla were also residents of Nasik at this time, and Amina and Dina would often visit the women mandali.
Mostly secluded in their house, Baba had ordered the women to meditate for two hours every day. Besides this, they were ordered to prepare meals for those Arangaon boys who were working in Rustom's garage in Nasik.
Baba's parents would occasionally come to see him in Nasik, bringing Mani with them. Mani was then a student in grammar school.
27th May 1930
Bomanji was still living in Meherabad with his family. Soon after Baba returned, a quarrel broke out between Bomanji's wife Tehmina (Baily's sister) and their servant Bhagu (Jamadar's wife). Bomanji stopped Bhagu from coming to work and instead gave the job to Walu. The next day, neither of the servants turned up, as both were friends from Arangaon.
The matter was brought to Baba's attention on the 27th, and he criticized Bomanji, "You stopped one and allowed the other to come? When you take food by the mouth, you eliminate the waste from the anus. One opening is good; another is bad. But you forget that both are necessary and life is impossible without them.
"Similarly, even if Bhagu were bad from your point of view, she is also good. She is sincere and has love. Although she has a mean temperament and is inquisitive by nature, she is good; and because of that, I have kept her at Meherabad. Do you remember how I once slapped Naja on account of her?
4th August 1933
Once Baba returned to Nasik, he resumed his usual activities. Both the men and women mandali were very happy to have him back and accorded him a hearty reception.
The women mandali consisted of Mehera, Mani, Naja, Big Khorshed, Soonamasi, her daughter Small Khorshed, Dolly and Walu. Pilamai and her daughter Silla were also with them, but since her husband Hormuzd had died in a car accident in May, they would sometimes go to Karachi to attend to family matters. Mehera's mother Daulatmai was staying with her other daughter Freiny in Nasik and keeping silence as ordered by Baba. There were also families of Baba's close lovers staying nearby — Gulmai, Dina Talati, Ramjoo's wife Khatija and her sister Haja.
Early December 1933
The women mandali now in Meherabad were Mehera, Mani, Naja, Soonamasi, Small Khorshed, Walu and Kakubai (Vishnu's mother). Pilamai and her daughter Silla would come and go. Soonamasi and Kakubai would keep watch by the gate, Naja would cook and Mehera would attend to
Baba's food, clothing and other personal needs.
Lord Meher Online Edition Page 1578
Baba went to Arangaon on Saturday, 23 December 1933. Walu was staying at her house in the village and going up the hill each day to be with the other women mandali.
Baba visited with Walu, Maruti Patil, and Chhagan's family, who were staying in the Family Quarters.
Baba once remarked to Walu, "I come down from the hill twice daily to go to the mandali's quarters and have to walk up twice more. How much better it would be if there were shade trees lining the path."
Walu was a very caring, devoted person, and that very day, she began planting saplings on both sides of the narrow dirt road. A scarcity of water made it difficult to nourish them, but Walu would carry water from a far distance on her shoulders for this purpose. It is because of Walu's initial labor of love that, today, we find some of those same shade trees still lining both sides of the path leading up Meherabad Hill. Although Walu had other chores, she still found time for this extra work and it has resulted in a boon to all pilgrims coming to Meherabad.
At Meherabad, Walu brought Baba food and tea prepared by Mehera at fixed times. It was strictly forbidden to look inside the cabin when Baba was doing his seclusion work. One day Walu brought Baba's tray of food at the appointed time. However, she found the door of the cabin closed. Believing the wind had blown the door shut, Walu pushed it open. Baba was seated inside engrossed in his inner work. He appeared startled, and he looked up and stared at her. His powerful gaze overwhelmed Walu and her eyes immediately became full of pain. Afterward her eyes became bloodshot, then worsened and she suffered a blinded state for three days.
In this seclusion, Baba would occasionally send for the women to see them. When he did, following the incident with Walu, Gulmai beseeched him to take pity on Walu and forgive her mistake. Baba answered Gulmai's plea and Walu's sight was restored. This experience taught Walu to be extremely careful in the future in following Baba's exacting orders. Since 1925, Walu had washed Baba's clothes and kept his room clean. She was wholly dedicated to the Master, remaining so until her death.
On 30 January 1936, Baba left at 6:00 A.M. by bus for Poona with Mehera, Mani, Naja, Khorshed, Soonamasi, Walu and Indu Subnis (Waman's daughter). Vishnu and some of the mandali had left before them, in a separate bus with the luggage. Chanji, Chhagan, Kalemama, Bhausaheb Mehendarge and Bhagirath proceeded to Poona by train. Adi Sr., Pendu, Jalbhai and Gustadji drove with Tukaram in a new Ford ( see image below for a similar car ). The rest of the mandali stayed at Meherabad.
Others, too, were not well. Mani's mastoid became infected and, on 23 March she was admitted to the Holdsworth Memorial "Mission Hospital" at Mandi Mohalla, where she was operated on three days later by an English surgeon named Dr. Robinson. Naja, who was doing the cooking in Mysore, was appointed to be by Mani's side in the hospital, so Khorshed took over the cooking duty. But she too came down with fever. Walu also fell ill, and it seemed that one difficulty after another began plaguing them. Mehera remained healthy and was occupied with Baba's personal needs, and Indu helped in the kitchen. Nevertheless, things were unsettled in the bungalow due to all these complications.
8th July 1936
Mani had recovered from her ear operation by then and returned to Upper Meherabad to
join the other women — Mehera, Naja, Khorshed, Soonamasi and Walu. Vishnu's mother Kakubai was living in lower Meherabad. At dusk one day in July, Mani took
photographs of Baba on the donkey, and of him with Mehera and the other women. Naja, in turn, photographed Mani with Baba
and the women. ( see image below )
5th January 1937
Leaving Rahuri, they drove on to Meherabad, arriving at eleven o'clock. Baba showed them the men's quarters at lower Meherabad, and then took the Western women up the hill to see Mehera and the other women mandali: Naja, Mani, Khorshed, Soonamasi, Gulmai, Walu and Kakubai. Memo was also there, and Baba took them to meet her at the Family Quarters where Daulatmai (Mehera's mother) and her sister Freiny Masi (Padri's mother) were living.
Late April 1937
Another Easterner learning English was Walu. She was the daughter of an upper-class village family with landed property, yet she had profound humility and did all types of lowly jobs wholeheartedly and was a wonderful example of selfless service. When Mehera first met her, Walu was wearing elaborate gold ornaments around her neck and wrists. But when Walu went to live with the women mandali she gave up all worldly riches to be near Baba and dedicate her life to serving him.
Baba wanted the Westerners to see what a simple life his Eastern women were leading. During one of their visits, he urged them, "I wish you to breathe in the atmosphere here and absorb as much as you can."
Baba left Meherabad with Mehera, Mani, Naja, Khorshed, Soonamasi and Walu at 2:50 P.M. on Thursday, 29 July 1937 to begin their journey to France. They traveled first in Sarosh's Chevrolet up to Vilad railway station (16 km north of Ahmednagar) from where they boarded a train for Bombay. (Vishnu accompanied them to Bombay.) Chanji, Kaka and Nilu were to join Baba for the journey. From Nasik, Norina, Elizabeth, Nonny, Rano, Malcolm, Jean and Tom drove to Bombay the same day with Falu. When Baba and the women arrived in Bombay early the next morning, Baba did not wish any of his lovers to see him at the train station, so none in Bombay were informed.
22nd August 1937
Unlike in Nasik, Baba gave few spiritual explanations or discourses to the group in Cannes. Those women living at Villa Caldana — Mehera, Mani, Naja, Khorshed, Soonamasi, Walu, Norina, Elizabeth, Rano and Kitty — spent the day taking walks and playing games in the garden. Kitty was giving Mani shorthand and typing lessons; Mehera was practicing the piano; Andrée Aron gave dressmaking lessons to the Eastern women; and Elizabeth and Irene did the grocery shopping.
Meanwhile Consuelo and Alfredo Sides had invited Baba to Paris, along with the women mandali. On Sunday morning, Sunday, 19 September 1937, he left at five o'clock by car with Mehera, Mani, Khorshed, Naja, Kitty and Elizabeth. With instructions to meet them in Paris, Rano and Anita accompanied Soonamasi and Walu by train. Baba and the women spent one night at the town of Lyons and then drove on to Paris, stopping for a picnic on the way.
Late November 1937
Padri (in Sarosh's Chevrolet), Tukaram (with Kalingad in the Pontiac) and Adi Sr. met Baba and the group in Bombay. Padri was instructed to drive Norina, Kitty and Rano to Poona, where he was to take them around the city and then bring them to Meherabad. (Soonamasi and Walu went in their car also.) Baba, along with the other women mandali, promptly proceeded to Meherabad, only staying in Bombay a brief time to refresh themselves. Adi took delivery of Elizabeth's Ford, which she had brought back from France, and he drove it to Meherabad (after dropping Goher in Poona). A truck was hired for the luggage, and Chanji accompanied it to Meherabad (after a great deal of difficulty clearing all 75 pieces of luggage through customs).
After assigning duties to each of the mandali, Baba left for Panchgani on Monday,
14 March 1938, in three cars. Baba traveled in Elizabeth's Ford with Mehera, Mani, Naja and Khorshed. Tukaram drove most of the others (Soonamasi, Walu, Kitty, Rano, Elizabeth, Norina and Nonny) in Sarosh's Pontiac. In Adi Sr.'s Opel rode Gulmai, Shireenmai and the boy Amir Khan. On the way, Elizabeth's car had a puncture. They stopped at Vishnu's paternal aunt's home in Budhwar Peth for lunch and Adi saw to the repairs of the Ford.
29 August 1938
The following rules were laid down at this time:
Concerning water here: There is always a scarcity of rain. Every year the wells get low. There is only one well for the mast ashram, here and the hospital. There must be no waste, so use water only as Baba orders:
When washing, turn on the tap, take water and turn it off. Do not leave the tap on.
Baths are to be taken every other day. Gaimai every day. Each is allowed half a pail of very hot water. For washing hair, one and a half bucketfuls of very hot water are permitted.
No one should enter Baba's compound without him or without his permission. Only Walu should clean Baba's cabin on the hill.
Helen is to paint the inside of Baba's future tomb, but she should not work after 7:00 P.M.
No one should climb the Water Tank tower without Baba.
No one should step out of the compound without Baba's permission or without being accompanied by him. (Compound means outside of the wall.) Those working in the hospital and Meher Baba Journal office are exempt from this.
All should sleep under mosquito nets.
No one is to call a servant without first asking Kitty.
Anyone taking medicine, tonic, milk, orange juice, et cetera at odd hours, must wash her own cup, glass or spoon and replace where they belong.
At last, 8 December was fixed as the date of departure. On 19 November 1938, while burning some dried grass, Walu's sari caught fire and her legs were severely burned. The burns turned septic, and Padri, who was dressing her wounds, and Dr. Kalavker said to Baba that it was not good to take Walu on the trip in her condition. But Baba replied emphatically, "No, all of us must start together. Maya must not be allowed to put obstructions in my way!"
At four o'clock in the early morning of Thursday, 8 December 1938, Baba left Meherabad Hill in the Blue Bus with the following women of various ages:
Meheru (Jessawala), 17
Elizabeth was the main driver, and Eruch and Kaka were seated next to her in the front seat. A wooden partition separated the driver's cabin from the rear section where the women and Baba were seated. Baba sat directly behind Elizabeth and could communicate with her on his alphabet board through a small sliding, window-like opening in the partition. The women were jammed into the back cabin amidst numberless small bags and sacks. Small stools had to be placed in the aisles to accommodate everyone. Thus, there were eleven Eastern women, nine Western women, two men mandali and Baba: a total of 23 persons — riding in a bus designed for half that many.
The bandages and medicine for Walu's burns were turned over to Rano, according to Baba's instructions. Before this time, even the sight of blood made Rano squeamish. But obeying Baba, she overcame her uneasiness and took upon herself the unpleasant task of dressing and cleaning Walu's burned skin each day.
For lunch while traveling they would stop under the shade of trees by the side of the road, and Rano would attend to Walu's dressing. Walu had to be carried in and out of the bus, since she was still unable to walk by herself.
The women who accompanied Baba were: Mehera, Mani, Naja, Khorshed, Soonamasi, Katie, Mansari, Soltoon, Dowla, Walu, Kakubai, Kharmen Masi, Elizabeth, Irene, Kitty, Margaret, Nadine, Norina, Rano, Nergiz, Banubai, Gulmai's daughters Dolly and Piroja, and several women servants.
In Lahore ( 6th ), Baba divided the eighteen women into two different groups as follows: First group: Mehera, Mani, Margaret, Meheru, Rano, Kitty and Walu. Second group: Dowla, Irene, Katie, Kharmen Masi, Khorshed, Mansari, Naja, Pilamai, Silla, Soltoon, Soonamasi, and Meheru's brother Jangoo.
Baba stayed with Mehera's group in a small bungalow at 6 Amrit Kuti, Garden Town, seven miles from the city. He would visit the mandali daily. Masaji kept watch during the day, and Krishna at night. In the other women's bungalow not too far away from Garden Town, Kalemama was on watch during the day and Venkoba Rao at night.
(At one point, Venkoba Rao went to visit his family in South India and then returned.)
To summarize, during this period in 1944, there were approximately 26 men, 33 women and ten children staying with Meher Baba under his orders at Meherabad and Pimpalgaon. Among them were (and their ages when known):
- Women at Pimpalgaon: ( Meherazad )
- Mehera, 37
- Mani, 25
- Meheru, 16
- Naja, 36
- Walu, 44
- Margaret, 52
( There is another list for the ones living at Meherabad )
Baba returned to Pimpalgaon on 27 December 1944, with Mehera, Mani, Meheru and Walu.
Thus, one of the most eventful weeks in Baba's life passed. On the 19th, Masaji had died; on the 21st, Nariman and Arnavaz were married; on the 23rd, the Memorial Tower ceremony took place; on the 24th, Adi Jr.'s wife Gulu expired and his son Dara was born; on the 25th, Mehera's birthday was observed. During this incredible one week in December 1944, Baba made all his close ones experience the see-sawing emotions associated with death, birth, a funeral, a wedding, a birthday celebration — and his continual sahavas throughout! He made them experience for themselves that the world and its affairs are a mere dream, and birth and death nothing but awakening and sleeping.
Baba came to live at Meherazad on Thursday, 16 September 1948, with Mehera, Mani, Meheru, Goher, Walu, Norina, Elizabeth, Delia and Jean. Baba's bedroom was upstairs. The men who began staying at Meherazad were Don, Ghani and Kaka. The rest of the men and women mandali stayed in Meherabad, but Baba would frequently call Rano, Kitty and Naja to Meherazad. Kaka Baria went to Ahmednagar for the marketing, and Adi Sr. was instructed to come once a day at 2:00 P.M. with the post and telegrams.
After the successful contacts with these two great saintly masts, Baba expressed his relief, indicating, "The burden has been lifted and my work is now completed."
Baba returned to Mount Abu on the evening of Friday, 20 May 1949, where he met the women: Mehera, Mani, Meheru, Walu and Goher — and the other men mandali: Don, Ghani and Anna 104.
Thus, after two and a half months of almost nonstop traveling, Baba's intensive mast work came to a temporary halt. The mandali were utterly exhausted and, indeed, Baba's health too had suffered noticeably. Most of their traveling had been done in crowded buses and third class trains; and all of these weeks of travel had taken place at the height of the hot summer season in India. One can scarcely imagine the discomforts involved in traveling to remote places on meager or nonexistent rations, hardly any sleep, and in the scorching heat.
The women of the Old Life were at the various places they had been ordered to stay. Walu had been living at Bindra House in Poona, but the physical separation from Baba deeply disturbed her. After five months in Poona, on 18 March 1950, Pappa brought her to Ahmednagar, where Padri and Adi Sr. tried to persuade her to stay at Akbar Press. She refused and returned to her home in Arangaon.
21 November 1955
After visiting the houses of his Arangaon lovers, Baba came to the Family Quarters where Walu, Sidhu's wife Radha, Bhagu, Jangle, Mukta and their children performed his arti. Because of the sahavas congregation in Meherabad, the masts Mohammed and Ali Shah were being kept there. When Baba met with the two masts, Mohammed caught Baba by the hand and said, "Dada, take me to Satara."
13 November 1968
In the afternoon of the 13th, clarifying the meaning and status of the mandali, Baba stated:
Only those few male and female lovers who have been with me all these years through thick and thin are my mandali. All others outside Meherazad and Meherabad are my lovers.
I rank my mandali second only to Mehera; then there are the lovers, and then the world. Daily, without fail, I am invoking myself about Mehera, the mandali, the lovers and the world, in that order.
Many years before Baba had foretold: "There will be fourteen with me at the end." Significantly, there were fourteen individuals with him at Meherazad at this particular time, namely the six women: Mehera, Mani, Naja, Goher, Meheru and Rano. The eight men were Eruch, Pendu, Baidul, Kaka, Kaikobad, Aloba, Bhau and Francis.
Others, who were living their lives within the limits of day-to-day personal orders given to them by Baba, included those mandali at Meherabad: Padri, Sidhu, Mansari, Walu, Sushila (Vishnu's cousin) and Kaikobad's family. The mandali at Khushru Quarters were Adi, his sister Dolly, Don, Feram and the Kalchuri family; and Sarosh and Chhagan were residing in Ahmednagar.
In both book publications "Mehera-Meher" & "The Joyous Path" they mention that Valu contracted malaria sometime in 1946 and had taken very strong medication which affected her mental attitude. She often climbed onto roofs, with this, Baba sent Valu to Bindra House in Poona ( Pune ) to be cared for by the Jessawala Family.
After a 6 month seperation from Baba, her anguish was too much and insisted to be taken back to her home in Arangaon which many tried to convince her, to no use, Papa Jessawala obliged her by driving there.
It's mentioned that Valu was being very difficult with Baba, which culminated in Baba striking her across the head. This action seemed to bring some balace in her mentality later on. The action of a God-man hitting an aspirant is regarded as a wonderful blessing for the receiver.
This action by Baba on Valu was very rare.
Valu moved later on to Meherabad where she found solice being around other like-minded-people whos focus was on Meher Baba.
The following excerpt is from "Mehera-Meher" which explains some things about her.