Maharashtra State, India

 

 

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

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

The written information herein, is from Bhau Kalchuri's epic books "Lord Meher" and from Eruch Jessawala's account of this visit in the The Awakener Magazine ( Spring 1955 - Vol.2,No.4 ), both of which have their contents are on-line web sites. These are 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 overlooking the mass pilgrimage at the Chandrabhaga River in Pandharpur, India. 7th November 1954. Image edited by Anthony Zois
Meher Baba overlooking the mass pilgrimage at the Chandrabhaga River in Pandharpur, India. 7th 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.

( see images of the pilgrimages near end of this web page )


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MEHER BABA gave his public "darshan" to the masses for the last time on the 12th of September, 1954, at Ahmednagar. The next day, after having taken Baba’s darshan on the 12th, Gadge Maharaj, a saint much advanced in years and greatly revered by many in the Deccan Plateau, came to see Baba at Pimpalgaon, Ahmednagar, and requested him to pay a visit to Pandharpur and bless all by his august presence there.
Pandharpur, on the banks of the river Chandrabhaga, is about 160 miles from Ahmednagar, and is a place of pilgrimage in the Deccan for lovers of Lord Krishna. Here Krishna is worshipped as "Vithoba" in a temple made famous since many centuries by devout pilgrims frequently experiencing the living presence of the Lord Krishna. It is said that the statue of Vithoba in this temple has many times been actually heard to speak to His devotees, and it is a common belief that this stone image has literally partaken of food at the hands of His lovers, who with love and faith had coaxed Him to accept their offering. It is also believed to have given advice to those who have fervently sought guidance from their Lord.

Courtesy of Awakener magazine

 

 

Meher Baba arriving at Maharaj's dharamshala in Pandharpur on 6th 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 arriving at Maharaj's dharamshala in Pandharpur on 6th 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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          CHANJI                         PENDU                                             RUSI                                       JAL                 

 

MAPS

Click on images to enlarge

 

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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                   MEHERA                         VISHNU                                KAKA SHANE                         CHANJI

7th November 1954 : Meher  Baba  at the Chandrabhaga River early morning, 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.
7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the Chandrabhaga River early morning, 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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PM. UPASNI MAHARAJ    PM NARAYAN MAHARAJ       PM BABAJAN              PM SAI BABA                             BABADAS

 

 

 

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

Click on images to enlarge

 

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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Evacuation of Dunkirk, France

Painting of the Dunkirk evacuation
Painting of the Dunkirk evacuation

 

WW2 Timeline : "Operation Dynamo"

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 Allies campaign to retake Europe began as soon as the Allied forces consolidated in England. The evacuation was conducted between 26th May & 4th June 1940.

Click on images to enlarge

 7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the Chandrabhaga River in Pandharpur early morning, wth ( front L-R ) Meherjee, Sarosh, Saint Gadge Maharaj & Gustadji behind Baba. Photo taken by B. Panday.
7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the Chandrabhaga River in Pandharpur early morning, 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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PAPA JESSAWALA                         MASAJI                                 SHIREEN                               PERIN

           ARNAVAZ                        NARGIS                  ERUCH                     MEHERU                        NAGGU

 

 

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.

Click on images to enlarge

 7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at theChandrabhaga River in Pandharpur early morning, wth ( front L-R ) Sarosh Irani, Saint Gadge Maharaj & Gustadji Hansotia  behind Baba. Close up image. Photo taken by B. Panday.
7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at theChandrabhaga River in Pandharpur early morning, 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 :

 

The Dhuni (a word that literally means “fire”) is a fire ritual that Meher Baba co-opted from other religious traditions and made his own.

Meher Baba's Dhuni was first lit on November 10, 1925, when some villagers approached Meher Baba about a severe drought that threatened their crops. Baba told them to return home and ordered his mandali to build a Dhuni. Within minutes of its lighting, rain began to fall.

In later years, Meher Baba invited His followers to throw attachments, symbolized by sandalwood sticks, into the fire. By Meher Baba’s order, the Dhuni continues to be lit on the 12th of each month at sunset at Lower Meherabad, Ahmednagar, India. Baba instructed one of his close disciples to ensure that this Dhuni be lit on the twelfth of every month. According to The Master's Glossary, the Dhuni fire symbolizes the purifying inner fire of Divine Love.

Courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhuni_(Meher_Baba)

 

 

Meher Baba lighting the dhuni fire
Meher Baba lighting the dhuni fire

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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Meherabad Lower - Christmas 1927 : Meher Baba's Table Cabin with the Dhuni pit in the foreground. Some men Mandali are seated . Photo taken by Raosaheb.
Meherabad Lower - Christmas 1927 : Meher Baba's Table Cabin with the Dhuni pit in the foreground. Some men Mandali are seated . Photo taken by Raosaheb.

                    GUSTADJI                                     TABLE CABIN & DHUNI                                PLEADER

 

 

Siege of Moscow & Leningrad

 WW2 Timeline :

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

 Painting of the Siege of Leningrad 1941-1944
Painting of the Siege of Leningrad 1941-1944

Click on images to enlarge

6th November 1954 : Meher Baba at Gadge Maharaj's dharamshala 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 at Gadge Maharaj's dharamshala 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 at Gadge Maharaj's dharamshala 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 at Gadge Maharaj's dharamshala 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 Patterson with Kippy & a rabbit          WARRIOR ( Alsation dog ) crypt               SAVAK  KOTWAL

                   KAKA                                                             ERUCH                                           BAIDUL

 

 

North African war

 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 ( Libya ) 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 ( Egypt ), the German forces were totally defeated. The battle to retake Europe by the Allies began.

Belligerents

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6th November 1954 : Meher Baba accompaning a Kirtans musical performance in his honour at Gadge Maharaj's dharamshala. Photo taken by B. Panday -cropped image. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4574. Also in "The Beloved" book p.73.
6th November 1954 : Meher Baba accompaning a Kirtans musical performance in his honour at Gadge Maharaj's dharamshala. Photo taken by B. Panday -cropped image. Courtesy of Lord Meher ; 1st Ed. Vol.13-14, p.4574. Also in "The Beloved" book p.73.
PERFECT MASTER UPASNI MAHARAJ
PERFECT MASTER UPASNI MAHARAJ

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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                        SAROSH                                                   VISHNU                                            MINOO

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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                      BAIDUL                                                    KAKA                                                  DONKIN

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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                        BABADAS                                               PANDOBA                                       CHATTI BABA

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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1954 Ahmednagar : Meher Baba having a lunch break from th Dashan programme with Saint Gadge Maharaj sitiing next to him and Sarosh Irani ( standing ) talking to Baba.
1954 Ahmednagar : Meher Baba having a lunch break from th Dashan programme with Saint Gadge Maharaj sitiing next to him and Sarosh Irani ( standing ) talking to Baba.
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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        ADI SR.                          MALCOLM SCHLOSS         CHARLES PURDOM     NUSSERWAN SATHA

                  FALU                              RUSTOM                            PENDU                                  KUMAR

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.

Click on images to enlarge

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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Twice a year, people from all over India with faith and devotion flock in hundreds of thousands to this place of worship. It is to this place that Baba lovingly consented to pay a visit at the request of Gadge Maharaj; but, Baba made it clear to the Maharaj that, though he would gladly go to Pandharpur for the day, he would not give darshan to the masses there as he had to the masses at Ahmednagar on September 12th", and added that his going there would be tantamount to Vithoba Himself going to Pandharpur to take Vithoba's own darshan.

Early in November, Gadge Maharaj fixed the date and time, inviting Baba to Pandharpur from the afternoon of November 6th. 1954, to the afternoon of the next day; the 6th and 7th of November being the two important sacred days of pilgrimage; thus the people pouring in there by the thousands would find themselves blessed to have Baba's darshan.

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine

 

 

 

The following is the synopsis of the 2 day visit to Pandharpur ;

 

DAY 1 :

Arrived from Satara by car at 3:30 pm to A.P. Vakil's home - stayed briefly.

Drove to the Military boarding school on the outskirts of the town, this is where they stayed.

Went to Saint Gadge Maharaj's dharamshala, met by large crowds.

Later at night, drove to the river to see the pilgrims.

Drove back to their residence and devotional songs were sung throughout the night and morning.

 

DAY 2 :

Drove to the river side early morning to see the pilgrims - photos taken.

Then went to the Harijan ( Untouchable ) dharamshala.

Followed by visit to the nearby Leper Colony, mid-morming.

Visited Namanand's dharamshala, met many seekers.

Drove to Maharaj's dharamshala and dropped him off.

Baba was then driven to Satara.

 

 

Panorama image of Pandharpur.
Panorama image of Pandharpur.
Pilgrims follow devotional routes
Pilgrims follow devotional routes

 

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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Accordingly, Baba went to Pandharpur from Satara on November 6th, and reached there by 4 o'clock in the afternoon. He then sent word to Gadge Maharaj that Vithoba, in person, had reached Pandharpur and was completely at his disposal for the full period of his stay of twenty-four hours; and, that Vithoba would do exactly as the Maharaj desired him to do. on condition of course that the Maharaj did not ask him to break his Silence or use the alphabet board, which he had stopped using since the 7th of October, 1954. Also, the Maharaj must not request him to take food or sleep that night because he had decided to take neither food nor rest, but to make himself available, as much as possible, to the pilgrims there.

On hearing that Baba had arrived, Gadge Maharaj at once prepared to receive Baba at his own dharmashala— a spacious building built to accommodate and give shelter and comfort to the thousands of pilgrims who come to Pandharpur.

 

Gadge Maharaj had assembled as many pilgrims as could be accommodated in the open square in the dharmashala.  He made them sit in an orderly fashion so that all could easily see Baba, even from a distance.

 

*At Pandharpur, Baba gave in to the wishes of the Maharaj and allowed the people to take his darshan. However, whenever the crowd surged forward too close to Baba, the maharaj would immediately put a stop to things and did not allow further taking of darshan .

 

 An hour after Baba 's arrival in Pandharpur, Gadge Maharaj, on receiving him at the dharmashala, conducted him by the hand to a raised seat specially arranged for him, and asked him to be seated. Although Baba wanted to sit on the ground on a level with the pilgrims gathered there, he kept his word and acceded to Maharaj's request by sitting on the chair, which made it possible for all to have a clear view of him. Baba's chair was placed within the entrance of the sacred room of Vithoba's temple in the dharmashala in such a way. that facing the gathering, it concealed Vithoba's statue in the background. It was but natural that this statue of Vithoba, worshipped the year round, should lose all importance, when Baba, the living Vithoba, took his sear before it.

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine

 

 

 

6th Nov.  Meher Baba at Saint Gadge Maharaj's Dharamshala, Pandharpur

 

Click on images to enlarge

6th Nov. Meher Baba being garlanded by Saint Gadge Maharaj at his Dharamshala in Pandharpur
6th Nov. Meher Baba being garlanded by Saint Gadge Maharaj at his Dharamshala in Pandharpur
6th Nov. Saint Gadge Maharaj with Meher Baba at his Dharamshala inPandharpur
6th Nov. Saint Gadge Maharaj with Meher Baba at his Dharamshala inPandharpur

6th Nov.  Meher Baba at the School Residence, all night gathering.

6th Nov.  Meher Baba at the School Residence, all night gathering listening to singing and music.
6th Nov. Meher Baba at the School Residence, all night gathering listening to singing and music.

7th Nov.  Meher Baba near the river & Harijan dharamshala

Click on images to enlarge

 

Pointing to Baba, Gadge Maharaj addressed the devout worshippers of Vithoba, saying he was overwhelmed with joy that day to have Meher Baba sitting there with them and that he wished them all to take darshan of Meher Baba, who was at the "Jagat-Guru" (Master of the World) in the real sense of the word—that he was the One who really served the whole world.

 

Gadge Maharaj urged the gathering to take Baba's darshan whole­heartedly, for Meher Baba blessed them by his very presence there. At this moment, Baba stood up and remained standing for a few seconds with his hands joined in loving salutation to the love of all who sat in deep reverence before him. Baba then seated himself on the  steps  of the temple, and "bhajan" in praise of Lord Krishna was sung to the accompaniment of the rhythmical clapping of hands. After a few minutes, Gadge Maharaj signaled all to stop. A garland was brought and he garlanded Baba, and, bowing down, placed his head on Baba's feet before the large gathering who revered and loved him as a Saint, some of whom even hailed him as Sadguru. Accepting the homage paid to him, Baba caressed the cheeks of Gadge Maharaj and patted him with great love.

 

Once again the Maharaj addressed the congregation, telling them how people from all over the world sought to have Baba's darshan—how they came from thousands of miles away just to have a glimpse of him; whereas they who were present were truly fortunate in having Baba come from Satara to give them the unique chance of his personal contact. The Maharaj again added with fervor and reverence that they should reap the full benefit of Baba's gracious presence by taking his darshan with faith and devotion. He ended his address by shouting into the microphone, "Meher Baba, ki jai !"

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine.

 

 

 

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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The Maharaj then asked some of Baba's men to address the pilgrims and tell them more about Baba and his life, which they did, and intermittently Gadge Maharaj would ask the pilgrims to chant the words "Devki NandenGopala" (Hail Krishna Gopala, the Son of Devki).

 

After about an hour of this program, Gadge Maharaj requested the pilgrims to leave the square and make room for the others patiently waiting outside to come for the coveted darshan of Meher Baba. With great reluctance but with pressure from the Maharaj, they left. As soon as the new hundreds of pilgrims settled down in the open square, Gadge Maharaj exhorted them as he had done those who had come before, to imbibe Baba's presence with love.

 

At about 6:30 p.m., to loud shouts of "Meher Baba, ki jai!," "Gadge Maharaj, ki jai!," the Maharaj led Baba to the car, whereupon the crowd rushed towards Baba to touch his feet. The rush was very skillfully evaded and though many pilgrims did touch Baba's feet, Gadge Maharaj managed to safely conduct him to the car.

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine

 

 

 

 7th Nov.  Meher Baba washing a leper in the Leper Colony.

 

Click on images to enlarge

7th Nov. Meher Baba dressing the leper with new clothes, helped by Pendu & Adi K. Irani & Saint Gadge Maharaj
7th Nov. Meher Baba dressing the leper with new clothes, helped by Pendu & Adi K. Irani & Saint Gadge Maharaj

 

Baba and the Mandali were driven to another spacious building where arrangements were made for tea. This place was situated in a remote corner of the town, far from the roads that were thronged with pilgrims. The Mandali felt happy to come to this quiet place for some respite after the crowded program of the evening.

 

Soon after Baba's arrival there, Baba-lovers who had come to Pandharpur from different places, gathered around him. Baba was in a very cheerful mood and expressed his happiness to see them again after the meeting at Meherabad on the 29th and 30th of September.

 

After tea Baba asked for musical instruments to be brought in, for he wanted to hear good "bhajans" from his lovers. Baba told them that none of them should sleep that night—the whole night should be spent in the company of Baba and to the accompaniment of music and devotional songs. This did not mean that the program fixed for Baba by Gadge Maharaj was over. While Baba and the Mandali were given a respite in this secluded place, preparations were in progress on the banks of the sacred river Chandrabhaga. Baba was invited to be present late that night at the spot where most of the pilgrims would be assembled to hear spiritual discourses and bhajan by Gadge Maharaj and his devotees. The pilgrims never missed this program. Tens of thousands gathered every year on the sacred day's of the pilgrimage to hear the Kirtan * of Gadge Maharaj. It was therefore arranged that at about 9:30 that night Gadge Maharaj would take Baba to his Kirtan .

 

In the meantime Baba was in the midst of his intimate lovers, enjoying devotional songs composed by them in praise of the Avatar of the Age.

 

At the appointed time a messenger came with word that Gadge Maharaj would like Baba to come to the dharmashala, as he wished personally to take Baba to the spot where the Kirtan was in progress.

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine

 

     DR. 'NILU' GODSE                              BHAU KALCHURI                                 MAX HAEFLIGER

 

 

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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Gadge Maharaj is now too old to conduct the Kirtan by himself, therefore his devotees appointed by him, conduct the Kirtan under his teaching and guidance. The Maharaj is about 85 years old, and the last 50 years which he has devoted wholeheartedly to inculcating the devotional aspect in the hearts of the countless poor and downtrodden have greatly affected his health in general. Though he still appears strong and very active, the stress and strain of the hard life he leads have now begun to weigh on his advanced age.

 

When the car stopped at the dharmashala, Baba asked Gadge Maharaj to come and sit beside him and he very reverentially obeyed. As the car proceeded, the Maharaj confessed to Baba that his joy knew no bounds at being with him that day. Baba conveyed through gestures that he too felt very happy. He patted Gadge Maharaj on the back and caressed him lovingly. Reciprocating this gesture, Gadge Maharaj nestled close to Baba, like a child who seeks his mother's love and protection. It was a wonderful sight to see the old saint sitting thus beside Baba; it appeared as if he had at long last laid down the burden of his strenuous life at the feet of his Beloved, and was—in the real sense and for the first time—relaxing from care.

 

When Baba and his party arrived, the Kirtan was already in progress. Gadge Maharaj's chief disciple, Kaikadi Maharaj, was standing on a huge pile of sand which served as a platform and was addressing, over the mike, tens of thousands of pilgrims who were seated on the bank of the river, listening in rapt attention. Baba was conducted slowly through the crowd by Gadge Maharaj to this improvised platform which was, in spite of the moonlit night, brightly lit by electric lights to enable all those present to see Baba more clearly. A profound silence prevailed over this sea of humanity spread before Baba.

 

Standing beside Baba and holding his hand, Gadge Maharaj addressed the multitude, saying that here, standing in their midst, was Meher Baba, the Jagat Guru, the One who served the entire world. He told these thousands of men and women to take Meher Baba's darshan and to try and realize how fortunate they were who, having come to worship the Lord's image in stone, found amidst them the JagatGuru Himself. He also said they could not realize how happy he himself was to have Baba near him that day.

 

Amidst reverberating shouts of "Jagat Guru Meher Baba ki jai" led by Gadge Maharaj, Baba seated himself on the sandy platform, and Kaikadi Maharaj continued his Kirtan. At its conclusion Gadge Maharaj again urged the multitude to make the most of this rare occasion and fill their hearts with the darshan of Baba. After some of Baba's men had conveyed to the congregation Baba's message of Love, the singing of "bhajans" began, sung in perfect unison, devotion and rhythm as with one voice and heart, by no less than seventy thousand. This unique bhajan by the river under the moonlight, on the sands at Baba's feet, strangely moved Baba's Mandali who felt the atmosphere greatly surcharged with love.

 

After the bhajan singing, Namanand Maharaj took the stand and ad-dressing the people, told them how history never failed to repeat itself. In the past the banks of this holy river had been sanctified by the presence of saints and Sadgurus like Damaji, Namdeo, Tukaram, Nivritti, Dnyan Deo, Sopan, Muktabai and others, and because of them Pandharpur had become such a sacred place of pilgrimage. Men and women of the present day thrilled and responded to the accounts of these saints, Masters and seekers, whose love and devotion had imbued life into the statue of Vithoba, which they now so reverently worshipped here. In the future too, men and women would thrill and respond to the account of this memorable day when this congregation of saints and pilgrims was blessed by the sacred presence of Meher Baba in their midst.

 

Led by Namanand Maharaj, the pilgrims shouted as in one voice "Meher Baba ki jai," 'Gadge Maharaj ki jai." Often at shouts of "Gadge Maharaj ki jai” Maharaj would sharply put up a protesting hand and impatiently admonish the crowd, saying they must hail only Meher Baba— the Jagat Guru.

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine

 

 

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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He had a perfect command over the vast assembly which responded to his quaintly emphatic gestures, as musicians to the conductor's baron. He would follow up the admonition by leading the crowd in shouts of "Meher Baba ki jai." Amidst the acclamation Gadge Maharaj skillfully led Baba through the crowd to the car, and after he was seated next to Baba, the car was driven from the river bank at 12:45 a.m. on the 7th of November.

 

As the car moved on towards the dharmashala, Gadge Maharaj joined his hands and turning to Baba, said that he was too old now to do any more work: if Baba would keep him with him, he would not be a burden to him, and a piece of bread and a garment would be all he would require. On hearing this Baba felt touched and amused. He smiled lovingly and embraced Gadge Maharaj warmly. Later Baba told the Mandali that the real meaning of Gadge Maharaj's words could not be understood by any other than Baba. He said Gadge Maharaj was indeed a perfect saint in the real sense of the word.

 

When Gadge Maharaj had come to Pimpalgaon to invite Baba to Pand­harpur he had said something similar, and had added, after bowing down to Baba, that the strain of work was too much and begged Baba to relieve him by placing his hand on his head, saying that this would be the greatest reward. That time also Baba was seen to be amused and had smiled at this meaningful request. Later Baba said Gadge Maharaj, through the Knowledge of his Sainthood, knew who BABA was.

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine

 

 

 

Before descending from the car at his dharmashala, Gadge Maharaj told Baba he wanted him to visit his other dharmashala, which was especially built to give shelter and food to harijan* pilgrims who feared to mix with those of superior castes and class. Baba promised to visit it in the morning, and added that he would also visit the leper colony and bathe one leper, after which he would leave Pandharpur for Satara.

 * "Untouchable"

 

After leaving Gadge Maharaj, Baba and his Mandali returned to the secluded residence placed at their disposal. There they were joined by Baba's other lovers. Baba asked for tea, of which be took only a sip or two. After all had been refreshed Baba enquired if they now felt able to keep awake till dawn when they would visit Gadge Maharaj's Harijan Dharmashala and the leper colony where Baba would bathe one of the lepers. They all assured Baba that after their tea they felt quite ready to keep awake.

Baba conveyed with great feeling that he loved Gadge Maharaj very deeply and that now this meeting had taken place, Gadge Maharaj—who was a truly great saint—would shortly drop his body and come to Baba to enjoy eternal bliss.

 

It must be noted here that though Baba still continues his silence and though he has discarded the use of his alphabet board his gestures and facial expressions are so clear and vivid that practically no difficulty is encountered in understanding his desires and in following his silent but eloquent discourses.

 

Continuing his silent conversation with the group sitting before him, he conveyed that they must remember one thing and that was, that all he had declared in his final declaration would certainly come to pass without fail. Here Baba enumerated the main points of his declaration, and added that he wanted his lovers to tell others all he had declared, and to spread his message of Love far and wide.

 

One of them then remarked, "Baba, when we speak about the destruction of three-fourths of the world, the rich and the intellectuals ridicule us, whereas the poor believe and say emphatically the world will be destroyed."

 

Baba was greatly amused at this and said through gestures that this intimation brought a sort of relief to the poor and oppressed, in the hope and belief that such destruction in the world would automatically destroy with it their own suffering and poverty. They believed it, not because it came from Baba, but because this circumstances perforce invited such a situation to abet their own selfish motive of relief from them. Baba added that it was only natural for the rich and the intellectuals to ridicule—it was not their fault. "When you, who love Baba and have had such close contact with him, do not understand Baba's final declaration, then it is absurd to expect others to understand or believe it."

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine

 

 

 

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.


Lord Meher Online Edition Page 3773

 

 

 

Baba then pointed towards the Mandali present and asked each in turn to say truthfully whether he believed what Baba had said about the destruction of the world, about his humiliation and about his death. A number of them frankly admitted that their minds balked at the fact of such things happening now, and found them impossible to believe.

 

Baba then explained that it was but natural that even his lovers could not believe such things could happen and in a short period, because no one had yet grasped what he had said. Only he knew that whatever he had said in Meherabad was nothing but Truth. And, Baba continued seriously, "Your GOD knows what BABA says, because it was HE who spoke in the meetings."

 

Baba again advised the Mandali and his lovers present that though they might not understand, they should try and believe in his words, for everything he had declared would come to pass as he had precisely declared in the Meeting at Meherabad; and that all his lovers must make it a point to convey this to others without fear or hesitation.

 

At this someone said, "Baba, we have no fear for ourselves, but we hesitate to tell others or the public all that you have said, for if these things fail to come to pass by the end of April then the reflection will fall on our dear Baba. For us, it matters very little whether anything you say comes true or not because we love you deeply and have faith in you." Baba was so much amused by this statement that he could not help laughing. His reply was that if one has the daring to say to others what Baba had declared, then it must be said with confidence and not in desperation. But that if through lack of daring or confidence on one's part one said this in desperation because Baba wanted one to, then it was better to remain silent.

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine

 

Click on images to enlarge

 

During the course of conversation some other lover asked, "Baba, how can we be relieved of our bindings?" Baba said, "You are not bound at all—you are free eternally. Only when you think, you become bound. As for example, you are sitting here—a second before this you had absolutely no thought of your wife and children in Bombay. You were completely free from the bindings they impose on you and the bindings you impose on yourself for them. The moment you think of them all the ties of misery and happiness bind you. Therefore the only way to realize that you are eternally free and that you have no bindings is to love BABA wholeheartedly and to think of BABA constantly."

 

All this while Baba appeared to be in a very gay ( happy ) and lively mood. The Mandali saw him really communicative for the first time since he discarded his alphabet board on the 7th of October, 1954. All marveled at Baba's facile gestures that conveyed his thoughts, and none felt the absence of his board.

 

 Baba now checked any further flow of questions and called on the Bhajan party from Poona for some songs.

 

At five o'clock Baba stopped the singing and ordered all to attend to their morning ablutions. At six, tea was served and once again they were ready to go to town with Baba for the remaining program.

 

At 8 o'clock Baba was conducted by Gadge Maharaj around the Harijan Dharmashala and was also shown a new building under construction which was to be a school, with board and lodging, for Harijan boys. In order to prevent their rushing Baba, all who had gathered in the large compound of the dharmashala were asked by Gadge Maharaj to take Baba's darshan from a distance, as Baba had now seated himself on the ground in the center of the compound. With the repeated cheers of "Meher Baba ki jai," and "Gadge Maharaj ki jai" ringing in their ears, Baba and the Maharaj left, and were driven to the leper colony.

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine

 

 

All but one solitary leper had gone out to beg alms from the pilgrims who were bathing in the holy river on this most auspicious day of the pilgrimage. So here in the colony that solitary leper was blessed by having a good hot bath at the hands of Baba. None could say who was more blessed—this leper who was bathed by Baba, or the crowd of tens of thousands of pilgrims bathing in the sacred river where Baba had twice stopped before entering the leper colony. After bathing the leper Baba bowed down to him and then dressed him in a new set of clothes. He left immediately after with Gadge Maharaj and the Mandali for Namanand Maharaj's dharmashala. There Baba was received with great enthusiasm and devotion by Kaikadi Maharaj and his followers, who took his darshan, and garlanded him.

Once again, while in the car, Gadge Maharaj expressed his joy and gratitude to Baba for having come to Pandharpur, and requested Baba entreatingly to also pay a visit to Nasik. But Baba replied that he had fulfilled his promise by coming to Pandharpur. and that from now on he would stay in Satara and would not appear in public any more; and all that he had declared in the last Meeting at Meherabad would come to pass within the short period of six months, by April end. Hearing this Gadge Maharaj was deeply moved and said that he did not like to hear such things from Baba, because at this moment the world was badly in need of Baba and Baba's darshan was the only solace to a world facing untold calamities. Baba must give his darshan to everyone, everywhere.

 

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine

 

 

7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the leper colony in Pandharpur, bowing to the leper after washing him, with Saint Gadge Maharaj looking on.
7th November 1954 : Meher Baba at the leper colony in Pandharpur, bowing to the leper after washing him, with Saint Gadge Maharaj looking on.

In reply Baba conveyed to Gadge Maharaj that he would soon break his silence and give to the world his "Real Darshan," for the world could never derive lasting benefit from taking darshan of his physical body.

 

His spoken Word of Truth would penetrate deep into the heart of the world—it alone could give the world the lasting benefit of his "Real Darshan." Baba then added that the Maharaj should not try to see him in Satara, that this was their last meeting before everything came to pass as was preordained. There was silence in the car and none spoke till the car stopped at the dharmashala, to drop Gadge Maharaj. Both Baba and the Maharaj stepped out of the car. Gadge Maharaj bowed down to Baba and Baba too bowed down to the Maharaj. A group of Gadge Maharaj's devotees and disciples approached Baba, and after all had taken Baba's darshan the car moved off amidst shouts of "Avatar Meher Baba ki jai."

Some considerable distance from Gadge Maharaj's dharmashala the car stopped and after each of Baba's lovers was given a farewell pat Baba gave the signal for the car to head straight for Satara.

 

Courtesy of The Awakener Magazine

The following is an Indian language video.

To see the relevant part of Meher Baba at Panharpur in October 1954,  fast-forward to 10:30 mins into the film. The film is mixed with a film taken earlier in 1954 at the mass darshan at Ahmednagar.

 

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
Perfect Master Upasni Maharaj in the Vithoba pose
Perfect Master Upasni Maharaj in the Vithoba pose