Maharashtra State, India

Meher Baba went to Pandharpur in Maharashtra State in India on several occassions.

Meher Baba's last visit, he stayed 2 days in Pandharpur on the 6th & 7th November, 1954.

All the written information is from Bhau Kalchuri's epic books "Lord Meher", apart from the Webmaster's entries.

All the photos of Meher Baba in Pandharpur in 1954 was taken by Bhaiya Panday.

Pandharpur is about 160 miles / 257 Kms and South-West from Ahmednagar.

 

Meher  Baba at the mass darshan in Pandharpur, India. 6th November 1954. Image edited by Anthony Zois
Meher Baba at the mass darshan in Pandharpur, India. 6th November 1954. Image edited by Anthony Zois

Pandarinath and Pandurang are different names of the god-like idol enshrined in the Hindu temple of Vithoba [ Krishna ] at Pandharpur village in Maharashtra, along the banks of the Chandrabhaga River. Thousands of pilgrims flock there several times a year on sacred days and, after having a bath in the river, worship the statue of the deity.


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Meher Baba in Pandharpur in November 1954. (L-R) Pendu Irani, Gustadji Hansotia, Saint Gadge Maharaj & Meherjee Karkaria behind Baba. Photo taken by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4569.
Meher Baba in Pandharpur in November 1954. (L-R) Pendu Irani, Gustadji Hansotia, Saint Gadge Maharaj & Meherjee Karkaria behind Baba. Photo taken by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4569.

January 1929

 

On Tuesday, 15 January 1929, Baba left Meherabad with a group of eighteen.  Chanji was sent to Bombay in connection with some publishing work ( perhaps the Gujarati booklet defending Baba ). Pendu, who was being sent north to Quetta to work with Rusi Irani, departed with Chanji.  Dastur also went to Bombay.

Meanwhile, Gustadji's brothers, Slamson and Homi, who had been staying at Meherabad, left for Indore. 

Baba planned to walk to the town of Kolhapur via Pandharpur, but the group first walked to Ahmednagar where they stayed at Akbar Press for two days. Leaving there by truck, they travelled to Dhond, arriving on the evening of 17 January. They had to spend the night in an open space near the train station as the dak bungalow was occupied.

The next day they walked eight miles to the village of Patas where they stayed in the dak bungalow. Baba then changed his plans and instead of walking to Kolhapur, they headed toward Karad — a holy place of pilgrimage in Satara District.

At dawn on 19 January, they walked twelve miles to Rawangaon; but along the way Baba severely twisted his ankle. By the time they reached Rawangaon, Baba's leg was paining him so much that it was decided to rest there in the dak bungalow.

At midnight on Sunday, 20 January, they walked eleven miles to Diksal where they stayed in a dharamshala. Jalbhai named the group "The Bat Party," since during the entire journey, they continued to do their walking at night.

Baba's ankle was not healing, so he decided to cut the walking tour short and return to Ahmednagar. On Thursday, 24 January, they left Diksal by truck, but the truck broke down along the way, forcing them to travel from Dhond by train. They reached Akbar Press the same day.

Three days later, they returned to Meherabad — having been gone for only twelve days. Later the same day, Masaji arrived from Nasik with the women mandali, who had been called for a short visit with Baba. Baba's mood was tranquil, and he decided to end the tour for a while and stay on at Meherabad, which was quiet and deserted since most of the residents had gone.
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MAPS

August 1929

 

After tea, Baba asked the men, "Now where should we proceed?" They discussed it and settled on Yeola. They drove there, and after driving around the town, camped under a tree for the night. They left for Aurangabad the next morning, 24 August.

 

Reaching the Ellora Caves at three in the afternoon, Baba sat alone in one of the caves for about fifteen minutes, after which they proceeded to Jalna, where they camped in a shady grove. Baba wanted to go on to Pandharpur, a place of pilgrimage for Hindus, but after inquiry it was learned there was no passable road to Pandharpur, and going there would necessitate crossing a river which would be extremely difficult in a bus.

 

Baba decided to rest in Aurangabad for the night and had the bus parked under some trees. Due to the rains, the ground was wet and sleeping outside was quite miserable. Chanji kept watch near Baba during the night.

 

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Pandharpur railway station sign.
Pandharpur railway station sign.

1930

 

Leaving Sholapur on 23 March, Baba proceeded to Pandharpur where he stayed for four hours. He then left for Panchgani, via Satara and Wai, where he spent the night. His host in Panchgani was the principal of the Hindu High School, Kalemama's son-in-law Raosaheb M. V. Pandit and his family who welcomed Baba heartily. Baba appreciated Pandit's efforts and praised the family's devotion. Baba granted darshan to the students and then departed. After dropping off Kaka Shahane in Ahmednagar and Vishnu in Kopargaon, Baba returned to Nasik at 2:00 P.M. on 25 March, and went to see Mehera and the other women mandali.

 

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6th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the mass darshan in Pandharpur, with (front L-R) Aloba, Eruch, Adi K., Meherjee,?, Saint Gadge Maharaj, Sarosh & Gustadji behind Baba. Photo taken by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4573.
6th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the mass darshan in Pandharpur, with (front L-R) Aloba, Eruch, Adi K., Meherjee,?, Saint Gadge Maharaj, Sarosh & Gustadji behind Baba. Photo taken by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4573.

February 1940

 

From Thursday, 1 February 1940, Baba began a partial fast of having only one meal a day. That day, he also began giving private interviews once again, this time in a constructed hut in the Links compound. Precisely on the 1st, the young swami Bhabananda returned to Bangalore, as instructed, after his pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. He narrated his experiences to Baba, who was happy he had carried out his instructions faithfully. The next day, Baba sent him to Pandharpur (a sacred shrine to Krishna), then to Upasni Maharaj at Sakori, to Narayan Maharaj at Kedgaon and to the shrines of Hazrat Babajan in Poona and Sai Baba in Shirdi.

Jokingly, Baba remarked, "This time you should go by train — but without a ticket, as I won't be able to pay you anything."

Bhabananda said that would be cheating. Baba replied, "I am glad you said it. Yes, it would be cheating, but it would be all right if you would take each slap that you get for it cheerfully and enjoy it, without feeling mentally the least hurt!"

Bhabananda did not answer. Baba, however, gave him some money for the fare. Bhabananda left and carried out Baba's instructions. In Pandharpur, he met M. D. Dharmale, known as Babadas (Baba's slave or servant), who was spreading Meher Baba's message in the area. He was a resident of Nagpur and would travel from place to place speaking about Baba. Vibhuti had been doing the same since 1925 in different parts of India.

Gadekar was also visiting Pandharpur at the time. Taking Bhabananda and Babadas with him, he returned to Sholapur and arranged a large meeting where both spoke. Wherever Gadekar's job took him, he would disseminate information about Meher Baba, and his love for Baba drew many people to the Master. After carrying out Baba's orders, Bhabananda returned to Bangalore and stayed with the mandali for some time.

 

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1940 : Finland & the USSR ( Soviet Union )  War & Treaty

 

WW2 Timeline :

In early February 1940, Germany was planning to occupy Denmark & Norway. Prior to and during this month the Finnish Armed forces with American volunteers repelled the Russian-Soviet forces. A ceasefire-treaty was signed the following months.

Meher Baba giving a Mass Darshan at Pandhapur, Nov., 1954. Painting by Gregg Rosen.
Meher Baba giving a Mass Darshan at Pandhapur, Nov., 1954. Painting by Gregg Rosen.

August 1940

 

During August 1940, Baba sent Masaji (who was on silence) to Pandharpur to bring the mast known as Kabir to Meherabad. Kabir was a most frightening character, near-naked, very dirty, wild hair and unforgettable; his large mouth had two rows of yellow teeth and he roared with the loudest laughter like some wild beast. His haunt was the cremation grounds of Pandharpur, and it was said that he swallowed the incinerated ashes of the corpses there. Baba bathed and shaved this mast, and sent him back to his haunt after one day at Meherabad.


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WW2 Timeline :

In the prior months, the Allied forces were pushed back to the English Channel French town of Dunkirk where most of them including many French troops were evacuated to England. Most of Europe was now under Germany occupation. The campaign to retake Europe began.

6th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the mass darshan in Pandharpur, wth ( front L-R ) Meherjee, Sarosh, Saint Gadge Maharaj & Gustadji behind Baba. Photo taken by B. Panday.
6th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the mass darshan in Pandharpur, wth ( front L-R ) Meherjee, Sarosh, Saint Gadge Maharaj & Gustadji behind Baba. Photo taken by B. Panday.

December 1941

 

Pappa Jessawala arrived that day from Nagpur and was given watchman duty on the hill. Masaji had been sent to Pandharpur to bring masts, and he brought two on the 7th. Shireenmai arrived the same afternoon, and Chanji left that evening (and returned to Meherabad three days later).

 

( A long description of how badly WW2 was going for the Allied forces is contained on the same page. Baba continued to monitor daily news of the spreading conflict. ) 

 

On 7 December 1941, Pearl Harbour was attacked, and Japan declared war on America and Great Britain. Four days later, on the 11th, Germany declared war on America. The same day, Baba began fasting on water and weak tea for a week, and informed his lovers everywhere to fast on the 12th of December, on only one meal.

Meanwhile, on 7 December, Masaji had arrived from Pandharpur with two masts and Memo, Perin and her children returned to Meherabad the same afternoon from Poona. Four days later Arnavaz and Nargis came. Eruch and his family arrived from Bangalore on the 12th and Meheru and Naggu the following day.

 

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1941 : Japan attacks the USA at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii

WW2 Timeline :

As stated above, on the same day 2 masts were brought to Meher Baba at Meherabad from Pandharpur by Masaji ( Baba's uncle ), the Japanese Navy attacked the United States at Pearl Harbour, Honolulu, which then allowed the U.S. President Rooselvelt to declare war on Japan and later Germany which gave him the opportunity to enter the war and to help his British & European allies openly, instead of the U.S. Senate prior to the attack on Honolulu blocking his every move in joining the war effort.

6th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the mass darshan in Pandharpur, wth ( front L-R ) Sarosh Irani, Saint Gadge Maharaj & Gustadji Hansotia  behind Baba. Close up image. Photo taken by B. Panday.
6th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the mass darshan in Pandharpur, wth ( front L-R ) Sarosh Irani, Saint Gadge Maharaj & Gustadji Hansotia behind Baba. Close up image. Photo taken by B. Panday.

The Dhuni tradition begins :

 

12th December 1941

 

On the 12th, Baba came down from Meherabad Hill ( Upper Meherabad ) at 6:45 P.M. and stood near the dhuni underneath the neem tree. The wooden Table Cabin of Baba's previous seclusion had been moved there and his photograph had been placed on it.

In Baba's presence, Gustadji knelt and kindled the dhuni without any arti being sung or anything else in the way of ceremony. Neither did Baba allow the mandali to take his darshan. He stayed for only five minutes, but he did make some unusual remarks.

Seeing Pleader he said, "You will see God!"

After a while Baba spelled on the board, "God will see God!"

Then he added, "You, all of my mandali, will see God!" and told them to repeat, "Amen."

 

After the dhuni had been lit, Baba immediately returned up Meherabad Hill. He had come down from the hill completely covered with a white sheet and had taken his seat near the dhuni in the same way. Except for the mandali, no one else saw him, and he was conducted in like manner back up the hill.

Baba ordered that from that day on, on the 12th of every month, the dhuni should be lit; and his order is accordingly obeyed to this day and will be into the future.

Baba had been in a pleasant mood and indicated that the dhuni was being lit on this occasion, not for rains, as in the past, but for some definite purpose, perhaps a quickening push to world events he would be giving through the dhuni. Baba of his own accord had suggested that the dhuni be lit.

 

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WW2 Timeline :

The siege of both Moscow & Leningrad ( St.Petersburg ) had started in September and would last for 900 days.

6th November 1954 : Meher Baba in Pandharpur, wth ( front L-R ) Pendu Irani (black cap). Bhau? behind Baba, Saint Gadge Maharaj, Adi K. & Gustadji Hansotia ( long dark coat ). Photo taken by B. Panday.
6th November 1954 : Meher Baba in Pandharpur, wth ( front L-R ) Pendu Irani (black cap). Bhau? behind Baba, Saint Gadge Maharaj, Adi K. & Gustadji Hansotia ( long dark coat ). Photo taken by B. Panday.

 

Webmaster :

On the following day, the 13th December, Meher Baba gave his views on the various war leaders and other matters. He concluded his talk with the following statement.

 

 

After all the current chaos in the world, there will be a complete change. A new world order will arise in which all were equal. It won't be communism, socialism or fascism, which are all formed on a material basis. My plan will be on a spiritual basis, in which there will be no poor and no rich, but all given equal status communally. Great nations that have enjoyed a predominance of power for so long will now have a fall and will [ be on par ] with others.

 

 

In the afternoon Baba went with all the women in three buses to Ahmednagar to see two movies. Since Baba had been fasting, he felt hot and uneasy and left after seeing only one film.

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6th November 1954 : Meher Baba in Pandharpur, wth ( left of Baba ) Sarosh Irani, Saint Gadge Maharaj & Sadashiv Patel ( with scarf ) right of Baba. Photo taken by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4570.
6th November 1954 : Meher Baba in Pandharpur, wth ( left of Baba ) Sarosh Irani, Saint Gadge Maharaj & Sadashiv Patel ( with scarf ) right of Baba. Photo taken by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4570.

19th December, 1941

 

On 19 December, Baba, accompanied by Kaka, Eruch, Baidul and Savak, left for Pandharpur, Miraj and Sangli to contact masts. The only significant account was of Bapu Mahar in Pandharpur, who was a naked mast, a Harijan by birth, who lived in the cremation grounds of this sacred city.

 

Baba returned to Meherabad four days later on the 23rd. When Baba left on this tour, he left in such a way that none could see him or recognize him and thus not disturb him during his seclusion.

The same day that Baba returned from his mast trip, the ashes of Elizabeth's dog Kippy were received from America. They were buried next to Warrior's tomb, and a headstone was raised over the grave.

 

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       Elizabeth with Kippy & a rabbit                   Warrior ( Alsation dog ) crypt                            Savak  Kotwal

 

WW2 Timeline :

On the 22nd December, a conference named "Arcadia" began in Washington D.C., where the U.S. & Britain agreed to defeat Germany as their main priority.

The Battle of Tobruk " Operation Crusuader" in Nth Africa was raging which concluded at the end of 1941 with the German Axis forces giving up all the territory that they had gained earlier in the war. Later, in October 1942, the final battle for El Alamein in North Africa ( Libya ), the German forces were totally defeated. The battle to retake Europe by the Allies begun.

7th November 1954 : Meher Baba accompaning a Kirtans musical performance in his honour at Nananand's dharamshala. Photo taken by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4574. Also in "The Beloved" book p.73.
7th November 1954 : Meher Baba accompaning a Kirtans musical performance in his honour at Nananand's dharamshala. Photo taken by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4574. Also in "The Beloved" book p.73.

24 December 1941

 

The next day, Wednesday, 24 December 1941, a telegram was received in Ahmednagar that Upasni Maharaj had dropped his body. Sarosh immediately came to Meherabad, arriving at two in the afternoon and informed the mandali. Vishnu and Sarosh went up the hill to inform Baba. On seeing them, Baba came out of the gate and before they related the news to Baba, he calmly asked, "Has it happened?" This surprised them. It was as if he had been expecting the news.

Sarosh then said, "Upasni Maharaj has left the body."

Without a trace of sadness or surprise in his expression, Baba replied, "That's what I meant."

 

Later on....

Sitting outside the gate at Upper Meherabad, Baba assured Minoo Bharucha, "There is not the slightest difference between Maharaj and myself."

Feeling comforted by this, Minoo asked, "Who will take Maharaj's place [ as one of the five Perfect Masters ]?"

"A man living near Tibet," Baba answered.

 

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7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at Namanand's dharamasala in Pandharpur, wth ( left of Baba ) Kaikadi Maharaj, Saint Gadge Maharaj, ?, & Sarosh Irani. Namanand standing right with beard. Photo taken by B.Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed.V13-14-p4575
7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at Namanand's dharamasala in Pandharpur, wth ( left of Baba ) Kaikadi Maharaj, Saint Gadge Maharaj, ?, & Sarosh Irani. Namanand standing right with beard. Photo taken by B.Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed.V13-14-p4575

October 1942

 

Baba left his seclusion on Tuesday, 20 October 1942 to go on a nine-day mast tour. The men mandali staying with him moved back to their quarters, and Glen View was vacated ( Satara ).

Baba left that day for South India by train with Kaka and Baidul. He made a slight detour to meet Donkin at Jolarpet, for two hours at midnight. Baba spoke about the war and said, "The climax of the war will be in India because I [ the Avatar ] am here."

Donkin recorded in his diary: "Baba was in excellent mood and we strolled about the station in the moonlight together."

On 23 October, the day of the beginning of the Allied victory at El Alamein in North Africa, Baba again contacted the great Chatti Baba in Nagapattinam. Baba continued his journey to recontact certain masts in Miraj, Pandharpur and Hubli before returning to Lonavla on the 29th.


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7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at Namanand's dharamasala in Pandharpur, wth Mrs.Kaikadi Maharaj ( left ), Kaikadi Maharaj ( behind Baba ) Namanand & Gustadji ( facing away ) & Saint Gadge Maharaj ( seated right of Baba ). Photo taken by B. Panday.
7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at Namanand's dharamasala in Pandharpur, wth Mrs.Kaikadi Maharaj ( left ), Kaikadi Maharaj ( behind Baba ) Namanand & Gustadji ( facing away ) & Saint Gadge Maharaj ( seated right of Baba ). Photo taken by B. Panday.

Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4579.

 

February 1946

 

Following previous instructions, Babadas, Vibhuti and Pandoba came to Pimpalgaon ( Meherazad )on Monday, 25 February 1946. The first two men had come from Madras, and were quarreling about how to do Baba's work. Baba heard from both men, and let them argue in his presence. Each found fault with the other, and Baba encouraged them in the heated squabble. When they would finally calm down and become quiet, Baba would say something to incite them, and the fight would start all over again! At last, it reached the stage where Babadas, in his irritation, called Vibhuti a fool.

.................

Meher Baba said ;

"Vibhuti was a leper, and I cured him. If he continues to act in this way, he will again become a leper!" Vibhuti and Babadas both sought Baba's forgiveness. Baba warned them not to behave like this ever again, and forgave them.

Baba then sent Pandoba, Babadas and Vibhuti to Pandharpur, Ayodhya and Ujjain to locate 150 sincere sadhus. Baba also directed the three to bring one good mast each, and to be back in Ahmednagar on 9 March.

 

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7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the leper colony in Pandharpur, washing a leper with Saint Gadge Maharaj  ( behind ) & Pendu Irani assisting ( right of Baba ). Photo by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4582.
7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the leper colony in Pandharpur, washing a leper with Saint Gadge Maharaj ( behind ) & Pendu Irani assisting ( right of Baba ). Photo by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4582.

13 September 1954

 

The next day, Monday, 13 September 1954, Gadge Maharaj came to Meherazad and told Baba, "You are the sun, and before you I am like a tiny oil lamp. Keep me at your doorstep. I will sweep here and serve you. I do not want anything else. You may give me only one bhakri [ millet chapati ] per day, but keep me with you."

 

Gadge Maharaj placed Baba's hand on his head, begging, "The strain of the work is too much now. Relieve me. This will be the greatest reward."

"I will call you to me very soon," Baba promised.

 

Gadge Maharaj invited Baba to Pandharpur, and Baba accepted his invitation. Baba embraced Gadge Maharaj most lovingly, a truly touching sight, and Gadge Maharaj then departed. Baba remarked, "He is a real saint. Although he has a following of lakhs [ several hundred thousand people ], see how humble he is! This humility is his greatness. That is why he is a saint. Through the knowledge of his sainthood, he knows who I am."

 

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November 1954 : Meher Baba in Pandharpur, washing a leper with Saint Gadge Maharaj ( behind ). Painting by Gregg Rosen.
November 1954 : Meher Baba in Pandharpur, washing a leper with Saint Gadge Maharaj ( behind ). Painting by Gregg Rosen.

September 1954

 

During the 3 Incredible Weeks gathering of Westerners & Easterners Meher Baba several annoucements, the following is one of them.

Now, please pay attention, be wide awake, and don't doze. Since I stopped speaking and also stopped writing, except for my signature when essential, I carried on with this alphabet board all these years of my silence. From the 7th of October 1954, I will give up this board, too. I won't make any signs with my fingers, like Gustadji, to convey thoughts. From the 7th of October, I shall not be speaking, writing, using the board, or making signs with my fingers. I shall be as if withdrawing within myself. This is because now, at last, the so long-promised and repeatedly promised time of breaking my silence is very near. From October 7, 1954, I shall completely retire from my present activities. There will be no mass darshans, no programs, no meetings, no messages, no correspondence. Take this seriously and do not write to me from October 7, as I shall pay no attention to letters. I shall, however, go with Gadge Maharaj when he takes me to Pandharpur, if he has the fortune to do this, as I shall drop this body soon. The mandali have asked me today to say in a few words exactly and precisely what will happen to me. So I tell you; note it down.


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7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the leper colony in Pandharpur, washing a leper with Saint Gadge Maharaj  ( behind ) & Pendu Irani assisting ( right of Baba ). Photo by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4581.
7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the leper colony in Pandharpur, washing a leper with Saint Gadge Maharaj ( behind ) & Pendu Irani assisting ( right of Baba ). Photo by B. Panday. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4581.

October 1954

 

Adi Sr. was called to Satara on 11 October 1954, where Baba discussed with him the publication of Malcolm Schloss and Charles Purdom's notes on the "Three Incredible Weeks." Baba also spoke about his upcoming visit to Pandharpur, and told Adi to inform Nusserwan Satha and Sarosh of the details. 

Adi's nephew Falu and his family had accompanied him to Satara, and Baba was happy to see Falu. He spoke of Falu's father Rustom, saying, "Your father had so much love and so much sacrifice for me. He is seeing me again physically through your form." Falu wept and Baba caressed him.

At 3:00 P.M. on 16 October 1954, Baba, accompanied by Pendu, Baidul and Kumar, traveled in Adi's car driven by Eruch to work with masts. Baba contacted masts in Kolhapur, Belgaum, Mysore and other places, and then they returned six days later, on the 22nd.

 


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7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the leper colony in Pandharpur, washing a leper with Saint Gadge Maharaj  ( behind ) & Pendu Irani assisting ( right of Baba ) with Meherjee Karkaria & Eruch Jessawala. Photo by B. Panday. Courtesy of "The Beloved"-p.72.
7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the leper colony in Pandharpur, washing a leper with Saint Gadge Maharaj ( behind ) & Pendu Irani assisting ( right of Baba ) with Meherjee Karkaria & Eruch Jessawala. Photo by B. Panday. Courtesy of "The Beloved"-p.72.

October 1954

 

Pandharpur is one of the most sacred and holiest places of pilgrimage for lovers of Lord Krishna, because of its temple of Vithoba (another name for Krishna). About 160 miles / 257 Kms. from Ahmednagar, the temple is situated on the banks of the Chandrabhaga River and was made famous by Tukaram. Gadge Maharaj had invited Baba there, and at the beginning of November 1954, he again beseeched Baba to stay in Pandharpur from the afternoon of the 6th to the afternoon of the 7th, these being the two most sacred days of the year, when thousands of pilgrims would be coming there.

 

 

Baba, however, did not wish to give mass darshan as he had done in Wadia Park, Ahmednagar and informed Gadge Maharaj of this. Baba stated, "My coming to Pandharpur will be tantamount to Vithoba himself coming to take Vithoba's own darshan!"

 

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Saint Tukaram
Saint Tukaram

September 1954 : Darshan in Wadia Park, Ahmednagar, MS.

7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the leper colony in Pandharpur, drying a leper with Saint Gadge Maharaj & Meherjee Karkaria ( behind Baba ). Photo by B. Panday. Courtesy of N.Anzar's "The Beloved" book - p.72.
7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the leper colony in Pandharpur, drying a leper with Saint Gadge Maharaj & Meherjee Karkaria ( behind Baba ). Photo by B. Panday. Courtesy of N.Anzar's "The Beloved" book - p.72.

November 1954

 

Still, the date was fixed for the 6th and 7th ( December ), and Ramchandra Gadekar in Poona was informed. For a year prior to this, Gadekar had been transferred to Nasik. While in Nasik, Gadge Maharaj would come to Gadekar's house, and he also continued to visit his family in Poona. Gadekar with his wife, Gunatai, and their children, Digambar and Nalini, proceeded to Pandharpur ahead of Baba. There Gadekar arranged for Baba and the mandali to stay in a military boarding school.

**  Ramchandra Gadekar was a government Educational Officer for that district, the whole school came under his authority.

 

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Panorama image of Pandharpur.
Panorama image of Pandharpur.

6th November 1954

 

Reaching Pandharpur at 3:30 P.M., Baba was served tea and refreshments at Kaka Chinchorkar's father-in-law Aradhya Patil Vakil's home. At 4:00 P.M., Baba and the mandali accommodated themselves in the spacious school building. This message was sent to Gadge Maharaj:

Vithoba himself has come to Pandharpur in person and he will be completely at your disposal during his 24-hours' stay. Vithoba will do exactly as Gadge Maharaj tells him to do. But on condition that Maharaj not ask him to break his silence or use his alphabet board, which he has discarded from October 7. Gadge Maharaj should also not request him to either take food or rest at night, as he (Vithoba, Baba) has decided on taking neither food nor rest so that he can make himself available as much as possible to the pilgrims coming.

 

Hearing of Baba's arrival, Gadge Maharaj arranged to receive him at his own dharamshala. He collected as many pilgrims as could fit in the open courtyard. Everyone was made to sit in an orderly fashion so that they could see Baba even from a distance.

At 5:00 P.M., Baba was driven to the dharamshala. Leading him by the hand, Gadge Maharaj escorted him to a raised dais, which had been specially built for him, and requested that Baba take his seat on it. Although Baba wanted to sit on the ground with the pilgrims, he kept his promise and consented to Maharaj's request.

 

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When day dawned, Baba and the mandali had tea and washed. Then Baba set out for the lepers' colony along with Gadge Maharaj. Maharaj first took Baba to the Harijans' dharamshala at 8:00 A.M. Baba sat among them in the large compound and then drove to the leper colony. That day was the most auspicious day of the year for the Pandharpur pilgrims, and thousands were bathing in the sacred river. All but one of the lepers had gone to the riverbanks to beg for alms. How fortunate was this leper who remained behind!

God Himself had come to plunge him in the holiest waters of his love and mercy!

Hot water was brought, and Gadge Maharaj helped Baba bathe the leper. Pendu handed the water to Baba, who used a lot of soap to wash the man. He dried his body with a towel and dressed him in new clothes. Baba then bowed down to him and handed him prasad.

After Baba had finished, he gestured to Maharaj, "I have kept my promise; now keep yours."

 

Gadge Maharaj entreated Baba to come with him to Namanand's dharamshala, and Baba relented. Kirtans were being sung there. Gadge Maharaj offered Baba a chair, and he himself sat on the floor. Kaikadi Maharaj and his followers were also present, and Gadge Maharaj told Panday to take pictures.

Baba then sought Gadge Maharaj's permission to leave. At 9:30 A.M., on Sunday, 7 November 1954, Baba took Maharaj back to his dharamshala in the car, and again Maharaj expressed his joy and gratitude to Baba for coming to Pandharpur. Earnestly, he asked Baba, "Please give me a chance to serve you. I need only two bhakris and a kafni ... I will do any service you ask. I will do your sweeping." Smiling and nodding as he listened, Baba embraced him.

 

 

Gadge Maharaj further entreated Baba to pay a visit to Nasik also. But Baba replied, "I have fulfilled my promise by coming to Pandharpur. From now on, I will stay in Satara and not appear in public anymore. All that I have declared in the last meeting at Meherabad will come to pass within the next six months."

Gadge Maharaj was deeply moved and said, "I do not like to hear such things from you, because at this moment the world is badly in need of you, and your darshan is the sole solace to a world facing untold calamities. You must give darshan to everyone, everywhere!"

Baba replied, "Soon I will break my silence and give the world my Real Darshan, for the world will never derive lasting benefit by taking darshan of this physical body. The spoken Word of Truth will penetrate deep into the heart of the world. It alone will give the world the lasting benefit of my Real Darshan."

Baba added, "You should not try to see me in Satara. This is our last meeting before everything that is preordained comes to pass."

There was then silence in the car until they reached the dharamshala. Both Baba and Gadge Maharaj got out when they arrived. Maharaj bowed to Baba, and Baba, too, bowed to him. Baba and the mandali then drove back to where his lovers were waiting, and after giving each a farewell pat, Baba returned to Satara.


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After returning from Pandharpur, Nilu wrote to Max Haefliger, "Nowadays Baba is really grave and serious, and it appears, as it were, that he is withdrawing in himself."

The men mandali continued to discuss what Baba had said about his Final Declaration. Nariman had come to Satara for a few days and was also interested in the topic. On 8 November 1954, Bhau and Aloba went to Grafton, as usual, to escort Baba to Rosewood. On the way, Baba asked Bhau what the men were talking about. Bhau informed him, and after entering Rosewood and discussing some other subject, Baba clarified his declaration. This was issued in the form of a circular (on 20 November):

Meher Baba had mentioned during the Meherabad meeting his intended visit to Pandharpur, which would be his very last public appearance. Thus, although Baba has stopped using his alphabet board and giving darshan, he kept his promise to the saint Gadge Maharaj, and visited Pandharpur on November 6, where tens of thousands of people were blessed by Baba's presence.

 

The day following his visit to Pandharpur, Baba gave to his mandali, through the use of gestures, the following explanation:

It is really very difficult for anyone to believe and understand what I say, because no one can grasp the meaning underlying my words. It is natural, even for my intimate mandali, not to understand my Final Declaration. But I want you to take everything that I said in Meherabad during the meetings very seriously, because all that I said was the truth; they were words of God, and all the things said must come to pass exactly in the manner described by me.

From the day I declared in Meherabad that there will be the destruction of three-fourths of the world, that a strange disease will attack my body, that I will suffer humiliation, that I will break my silence and speak One Word, the Word of words, that there will be my glorification, and that finally I will drop my body when I shall be stabbed in the back, my lovers and others have been trying to interpret my words in different ways.

Everyone is free to interpret my words in any way he thinks and feels. But one thing I tell you, whenever I say a thing, I naturally use my own "language," and whatsoever is said by me is Truth. But my "language" is such that no one can understand or grasp the underlying meaning of what I say. Therefore, when I want to say a thing, I have simultaneously to make use of your language also, knowing well that you would understand nothing whatsoever if I were to make use of my language alone.

In order to help you to understand my Final Declaration and to put an end to your confusion and worry, I want all of you to know that when you saw me dictate on my alphabet board during the meetings at Meherabad and heard about:

1. A strange disease attacking my body: it was said in your language.

2. The humiliation that I will suffer: it was said in your language.

3. The breaking of my silence and uttering the one Word of words: it was said in my own language and simultaneously in yours, because when I utter that Word, it will be an audible word to you.

4. My glorification: it was said simultaneously in my language and yours.

5. The destruction of three-fourths of the world: it was said in my own language alone.

 

6. The stab in my back: it was said in my own language alone.

7. The dropping of my body: it was said in my own language and simultaneously in yours.

Consequently, whatever is said by me in your language, you are able to understand and know what is said; but that which is said in "my own language" is impossible for you to understand, however much you all may try to interpret and grasp the underlying meaning behind my words. Only the fulfillment of events can unfold to you, in due course, the meaning of what is said in my own language. 

I therefore want you all not to worry unnecessarily or to be confused. Just believe that whatever I say is Truth and that all which I said in my Final Declaration will come to pass, precisely as I have dictated, by the end of April 1955. And the beginning of all that is to happen within the period of these six months will be effected by me from the 1st of December 1954.

 

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Baba declared his intention to do some special work from the 1st of December for 40 days, so on the eve of it (30 November 1954), a qawaali program was arranged, and the singer Jadhav Qawaal was called to Satara from Bombay. A few persons from Bombay and Ahmednagar, such as Nariman, Meherjee, Adi Sr., Jangoo, Padri, Sidhu Waman and Bal Natu, were also invited. Baba ordered Aloba not to give tea to anyone in the evening, as it was to be served at 9:00 P.M. in Grafton, where the qawaali singing was to be held. 

Adi Jr. was also invited to Satara. When he came to the bungalow in the evening, he asked for tea. Aloba prepared it without telling him that Baba had forbidden him to give it to anyone that evening. As instructed, at 8:00 P.M., Jadhav Qawaal, his companions and the mandali arrived at Grafton. After some initial conversation, Baba stated, "Everyone will be served tea at nine o'clock, and then the singing will start. Has anyone already had tea this evening?"

 

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Baba cited the examples of the saint Gadge Maharaj, and his followers Kaikadi Maharaj and Namanand, who recently had taken up Baba's cause and were doing their best to carry his message of love far and wide: 

These men are moving from place to place to better the lot of humanity; they have built dharamshalas, schools, hospitals. They undergo all sorts of hardships out of love for God. They love Baba. Gadge Maharaj took me to Pandharpur where thousands of pilgrims took my darshan, though Gadge Maharaj himself is worshiped as a saint throughout Maharashtra.

Then there is the example of an ordinary man like Vinoba Bhave going about barefooted against all odds, out of his love for man. There are many such persons in India who are doing selfless service. Some of you too are doing the same thing, though you may not know it. Selfless service is service without the least tinge of ego.


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Pandharpur is a pilgrimage city on the banks of Bhimā river in Solāpur district, Maharashtra, India. Pandharpur is situated on the 1711 north axis and the 7511 east longitude in Solapur District. The Vithoba temple attracts about a million Hindu pilgrims during the major yātrā (pilgrimage) in the month of Ashadh (June–July).

 

Contents

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Maharashtra

District Solapur
Government
 • Type City
Area
 • Total 25 km2 (10 sq mi)
Area rank 9
Elevation 458 m (1,503 ft)
Language
 • Official Marathi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Vehicle registration

MH-

 

Geography

Map of Vithoba Temple of Pandharpur and surroundings

Pandharpur has an average elevation of 458 metres (1502 feet).

 

Demographics

 

According to the 2010 census of India, Pandharpur had a population of 1,20,000. Males constituted 52% of the population and females, 48%. 71% of the population was literate; 78% males and 64% females.

 

Politics

 

List of MLA from Pandharpur State assembly constituency.

  • 1952 - Balasaheb More
  • 1957 - Bhai Raghunath Raul

The Vithoba of Pandharpur


Further information: Vithoba and Vithoba temple, Pandharpur

Pandharpur is one of the most prominent pilgrimage places in Maharashtra. It is located on the banks of the Bhimā river, which is alternatively known as Chandrabhāgā because of its half-moon-like shape. The city is named after a great merchant, Pundalik, who achieved self-realization there.[1]

Pandharpur, also known as Pandhari, hosts the renowned Vitthal temple on the banks of Bhimā. "Vithoba", "Pāndurang", and "Pandharināth" are the popular alternate names of the deity, Viththal, who is regarded in Hinduism as a form of Lord Krishna. Krishna is considered as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Rakhumāi or Rukmini is Viththal's consort in the temple.

The worship of Vitthal in the Pandharpur temple is based mainly on the contents of the Puranas, and the contributions of the Vaishnav saints of Maharashtra and Karnataka during the 13th through the 17th centuries. Some of these saints are Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Gora Kumbhar, Chokhamela, Eknath, Tukaram, Purandara Dasa, Vijaya Dasa, Gopala Dasa, and Jagannatha Dasa.

The Pandharpur temple covers a large area and has six gates. The eastern gate is known as the "Namdev Gate."

Pandharpur hosts four annual pilgrimages ("yātrās") of Hindu devotees. Among them, the pilgrimage in the month of Āshādh (June–July) in the Hindu calendar attracts the largest number of pilgrims—around 500,000 to 700,000 people. The pilgrimages in the months of Kārtik (October–November), Māgh (January–February) and Shrāvan (July–August) attract the second, third and fourth largest numbers of pilgrims respectively.

Pandharpur Vitthal Temple
Pandharpur Vitthal Temple