Rahuri, MS., India
Later that same day, Baba went to Rahuri with some of the mandali to attend a wedding. Adi K. Irani had hired a truck to take them there. Baba was quite restless along the way – first lying down in the back of the truck and then, after a few miles, shifting to the front seat next to Adi. But once they arrived in Rahuri where they were well received, Baba's mood changed.
That evening, in the calm rural setting of Rahuri while sitting on a special divan and looking at the stars in the sky, Baba made a profound remark to the mandali about the cosmos, "There are countless universes. Every star, though appearing to be a mere sparkling dot, is not a single world but a mighty sun with a solar system of evolving planets like our own."
After visiting Dhake's brother-in-law, Baba and the group returned to Meherabad at eleven that night. Baba relaxed for awhile in the school office and then directed the mandali to go to sleep. Alone, he went to inspect the cooking in preparation for the public feast which was to be given the following day in honor of Upasni Maharaj's birthday. After satisfying himself that all arrangements were being carried out properly, and giving encouragement to those in the kitchen, Baba retired for the night.
Baba left Nasik for Meherabad with the men mandali on August 27th. After driving about seventy-seven miles, Baba asked the bus to be stopped a few miles from Rahuri. The group got out and Baba sat down under a tree to discuss their future plans. As the sun was setting, Baba suddenly requested that his arti be sung. This was done and the mandali bowed to him and took his darshan. The discussion continued for another five minutes and Baba surprisingly wanted the arti performed again.
They reached Ahmednagar by early evening. To welcome Baba, a darshan program was held at Akbar Press. After dinner, Baba left for Meherabad.
|Lord Meher Volume 4, Page 1207|
MAST & MAD COLONY AT RAHURI
After the journey north, within a few days back in Mysore, Baba decided that he wanted to move his ashram headquarters. While holding a discussion with the men mandali about whether or not to set up an ashram in Mysore, Baba indicated that he now preferred a move to Rahuri – a rural, jungle-like place about thirty miles from Meherabad. He stated, "Since Rahuri is between Meherabad and Nasik, I can conveniently go to either place from there. The women will remain in Meherabad with some of the men mandali, and the rest of the men will stay in Rahuri. A small hut in Rahuri should be built for me." Baba assigned the work to Kalemama of erecting huts in Rahuri for himself and a few of the mandali, and instructed Dhake to obtain a piece of land for the purpose.
By May 13th,1936, Baba left Mysore for Nasik with Kalemama; from there he went to Rahuri. An isolated area had been selected for establishing the ashram, and the land was leased from a Marwari for five years.
The landowner was paid in full and Baba instructed Kalemama about the proposed work.
After a brief stay with the men mandali at Meherabad, Baba returned to Mysore on May 22nd.
|Lord Meher Volume 6, Page 2007|
Two days passed. Baba left Nasik for Bombay early in the morning of June 24th, along with Chanji, Pendu and Ramjoo. In Bombay, he met his mother, Beheram and Mani, Big Khorshed and several other Bombay lovers. Baba returned to Nasik on June 26th, accompanied by Pendu. He visited Rahuri the next day and was back in Meherabad on the 28th.
A white donkey named Champa was brought to Meherabad for Baba to ride, and on July 8th, 1936, Baba sat on it for the first time. Dr. Ghani was specially called from Lonavla just to hold the reins. It was a matter of amusement for all the mandali and provided them an occasion of merriment.
|Lord Meher Volume 6, Page 2014|
On July 10th, Baba was driven by Adi Sr. to Rahuri and Nasik from Meherabad, along with Sidhu, Piroja and her baby. Chanji, Kalingad and a man named Jalil followed by bus.
On the following day, during an explanation, Baba stated:
If you see Chanji with your gross eyes, you see his figure – no circle, no colors surrounding him. But if you concentrate and can see him through your subtle eyes, you can see his astral form without color or mark – a faint form, a bit blue or grayish. If, however, you have developed mental consciousness and see him through your mental eye, you see him in the form of a circle with seven colors – all blended together in one. This can only be seen by a Master.
Meanwhile, Kalemama had speedily taken up the work of erecting an ashram at Rahuri as instructed by Baba, and Baba would often visit the site to direct the work. From Nasik, Baba went again to Bombay on July 11th, accompanied by Chanji, Sidhu, Mehlu and Adi Sr. In Bombay, Baba saw his close lovers, including Pleader and Savak Kotwal.
|Lord Meher Volume 6, Page 2021|
After leaving Bombay, Baba arrived in Meherabad via Nasik on July 15th and stayed for two weeks, arranging matters for the move. From July 29th, Baba began going to Rahuri every day to inspect the construction work. He would also frequently visit Nasik to arrange living accommodations for the Western men and women whom he intended to call to India.
THE ASHRAM IN RAHURI was declared open in August of 1936, and the first of the masts and the mad were brought there. This was the beginning of a very important phase of Meher Baba's work with the mad and the God-mad, and one which was to occupy a great share of his time for many years.
Rahuri, a small rural town, lies on the road that links Ahmednagar with Nasik and it was a convenient place for Baba, since his permanent headquarters remained at Meherabad. The town was located near the banks of a tributary of the Godavri River, and plentiful rain made it abound with a great jungle forest. The ashram was built in a grove of orange trees and among a number of large mango trees, making it a pleasant atmosphere for such work.
Settled in Rahuri, Baidul was given the duty of cooking for the ashram inmates and the few mandali who were living there. Baidul was also to help look after the mad and masts. Pleader and Raosaheb were appointed supervisors. Pleader, Kaka Baria, Savak Kotwal and Homi Irani were directed to travel about and bring back masts and mad persons from different places.
|Lord Meher Volume 6, Page 2023|
At this time, Dhake was a practicing attorney in Rahuri and also stayed at the ashram to manage the office affairs. A dispensary run by Dr. Nilu was later opened in Rahuri. Brother Jal was his assistant. Word spread fast of the free medical care being given in that remote rural area. Hundreds of sick people came each day, many of them from very remote areas buried in the hidden recesses of the wildest sort of country. Nilu and Jal were busy from dawn to dusk attending to the sick, many of whom had never seen a doctor before. Besides helping supervise the dispensary, Jal managed the office in Dhake's absence.
|Lord Meher Volume 6, Page 2024|
During most of the next three months, until October, Baba resided in a small one-room cabin built for him there in Rahuri. The ashram was mainly for the mad, ordinary insane men or retarded idiots found in the towns and villages of the surrounding areas. There were a few genuine God-intoxicated masts and a few God-mad, but for the most part the men in the ashram were psychotics of one kind or another, or brain damaged lunatics with nothing spiritual about them. The inmates were given every freedom, except that of stepping outside the extensive limits of the ashram grounds.
|Lord Meher Volume 6, Page 2026|
The few genuine masts included Mast Mohammed who was brought to Rahuri by Pleader from Bombay on October 4th. Although Mast Mohammed eventually advanced to the mental sphere, when he first came to Rahuri he was caught in a dangerous enchanted state between the third and fourth planes. He was one of Baba's favorites from the beginning.
Baba would sometimes sit in seclusion with one of the mad or advanced souls. God-intoxicated or mad, the behavior of the inmates was found to be truly abnormal.
|Lord Meher Volume 6, Page 2027|
Rahuri was a strange and wonderful ashram where the worldly mad were kept with the intoxicated lovers of God, masts, demonstrating to mankind how the Lord of the Universe becomes a companion to the afflicted and serves them. From four o'clock each morning, Baba gave himself to tending these derelicts. He would wash their faces, shave them, cut their hair, clean their latrines, serve them breakfast and often feed them by hand, and frequently take them in his embrace and kiss them.
He had arranged musical entertainment for them and when the singer, Babu, would daily come and sing before them, Punjia would beat the rhythm on his kerosene tin as another lunatic would dance and Baba would watch and enjoy. Their minds were afflicted, but their hearts were gladdened. It was a marvelous sight. The Rahuri ashram became the safe ground for those suffering mental affliction, and the Lord of Creation welcomed them and the God-intoxicated to his refuge.
|Lord Meher Volume 6, Page 2030|
This was made possible by Norina Matchabelli's financial contribution, the money having come from the proceeds of selling her husband's perfume company. In July of 1936 Baba wrote:
......I have purchased the ideal property in Nasik. It is situated amidst beautiful surroundings with splendid scenery all around. With the Western group in Nasik, the Eastern group in Meherabad and myself in Rahuri, midway between Meherabad and Nasik, these will comprise the nucleus of my activities for the next five years.
....You will be shown from time to time the three phases of my activities in the three different retreats: the modern – Nasik, the primitive – Rahuri, and the simple – Meherabad.
|Lord Meher Volume 6, Page 2037-8|
Lord Meher : Vol.6 Page 2062 - 3 - 4
Baba explained to his Western lovers about their stay in Meher Retreat and added, "I will come here to see you once or
twice a week, and thereafter less frequently. I am quite busy with Meherabad and Rahuri. In Rahuri, I have to look after the masts and the mad. I do this work very attentively, and the place needs my personal presence."
Baba concluded, "Being the Avatar, I have a bad habit of keeping an eye on everything minutely!"
Although the Westerners were thrilled at being in India, they were disappointed to learn that Baba would not be with them more often. At two in the afternoon, Baba left Nasik for Rahuri.
A few days later, on December 29th, Norina and Elizabeth, accompanied by Kaka and Ramjoo, drove to Rahuri in a car Elizabeth had purchased. A meeting of the Meher Maintenance Trust was to be held at Rahuri that day, and they were to attend.
When they arrived, Baba gave Elizabeth and Norina a tour of the ashram. He showed them where he resided – his Rahuri Cabin made of brick which was the only permanent building in the ashram amidst the thatched huts where the mandali and inmates resided. It had been built while Baba was away in Europe.
He explained to them about his work with the masts and mad, and commented about some of the mad who were lepers: "However infected these men are, it does not affect me or my men helping me to bathe them. When I wash the mad at Rahuri, I am washing them universally."
Baba pointed out which inmates were mad (suffering a mental disorder) and which were spiritually advanced masts (God intoxicated), remarking, "Through some blows a breeze – a breeze of longing for God." On occasion, Baba would permit Elizabeth to take photographs, and she and Norina were deeply impressed at how lovingly Baba treated the mad and God-mad alike. Baba ate lunch with them at a long table under the trees.
During the middle of August, 1936, Meher Baba executed a trust deed in Nasik creating the Meher Mandali Maintenance Trust. A board of trustees was appointed to see to the management of the Nasik, Rahuri and Meherabad ashrams, and to insure maintenance of individuals and families dependent upon Meher Baba. The idea in creating a trust was initially to free Baba from overseeing the details of the ashrams' daily affairs, so he could concentrate on his work with the mad and masts in Rahuri.
But Baba still kept a close watch over all the activities and personally intervened when necessary. There were eight original trustees: Adi Sr., Kaka Baria, Padri, Pendu, Ramjoo, Sarosh, Vishnu and Norina. Adi was the president of the board, Pendu and Norina vice-presidents and Vishnu the secretary. The trustees were to hold a meeting the first week of every month; their first was held on Sunday, August 16th, in Nasik.
From September, Baba began visiting Nasik every Wednesday to make certain that matters were going smoothly in the work of preparing for the Westerners' arrival. He would return to Rahuri in the evenings. On Thursdays he would visit Meherabad to see the women mandali, again returning to Rahuri in the evening.
|Lord Meher Volume 6, Page 2036|
There are further stories about Rahuri in Lord Meher. - http://www.lordmeher.org/index.jsp
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