1923 : HIS MISSION EXPANDS
Chapter 5 :
This web page / chapter 5, follows Merwan Irani in 1923, expanding his first
close group of both male & female followers.
The beginning of this page continues the story from the previous page, when Meher Baba and his first group of men mandali ( close ones ) are residing in Dadar, Bombay at the Menzel-e-Meem building.
Click on images and maps to enlarge them, also click on the under-scored names to visit their web-pages.
CONTENT : 1. INTRODUCTION
3. VISIT TO KALYAN & MALANG FORT ( GAD )
4. MOVING TO ARANGAON
5. 1ST TRIP TO QUETTA
6. WALKING TREK STARTS AT AHMEDABAD
7. MOVES BACK TO BOMBAY
8. WALKING FROM BOMBAY TO SAKORI
9. TRAIN TRIP TO KARACHI & 1ST SEA VOYAGE TO BOMBAY
10. TRAIN TRIP : BOMBAY TO SHOLAPUR & BACK TO MEHERABAD
& RETURNS TO BOMBAY.
Click on the following button to visit the previous page in Meher Baba's Advent.
On 3rd January 1923, Meher Baba called all the men at the Manzil-e-Meem and announced a new regime whereby daily for an hour or two, they'll have time set aside to hear all matters from the men, chaired by Meher Baba, followed by recreational activity.
This meeting was called a "Gutta" or wineshop / tavern.
The old car was finally sold by lottery to a Hindu man - Shri Satchitananda, one of the bhajan singers from Mahim in Bombay.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.471
By 2nd February, Meher Baba had been on the 38th day of his fast. He then went onto a liquids diet. On the 15th February, he instructed 500 people to be fed and 100 poor people clothed.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.474
In early February, Baba explained to Dr. Ghani his process with his Masters.
Baba said, " In my case, Babajan gave me Realization : and for understanding I had to go to Maharaj, who took 8 years to finish the process of understanding. During this period of my process of understanding, if I had connection with some others, I would have gone to many for such understanding. Such Masters who advance the student are also entitled to be called a Master, although, in the real sense, there is only one Master."
Baba also revealed about the 'charge' ( authority ). Baba said, " The last 4 months that I was with Maharaj at Sakori, I had to externally take charge in writing. The stamped paper agreements written here by me, ....."
Ramjoo's Diaries p.152
One day in February, Meher Baba convened a session of the "Gutta", for all the men of the Manzil. Baba said " Let us have a motto".
All agreed, suggestions came and finally they all agreed to "Mastery in Servitude". It became the motto of the Manzil, later the Master's work.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.478
On the 12th February, the Poona men mandali ( close ones ) arrived and were sent to Chowpatty Beach to bathe and wash their clothes, before being permitted to enter the Manzil.
On the 13th, a large pandal 'tent' was erected over the Manzil's backyard, to celebrate Baba's 29th birthday.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.483
A Pathan ( of ethnic Pashtun ancestry ) in the service of Saint Tipoo Baba brought a bouquet and a
garland of flowers for Baba on the 15th. He in return, sent Tipoo Baba a garland and a sheet of flowers for
Abdur Rehman Baba's tomb.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.137
Later that day, 500 poor people were brought to the Manzil to be fed. The Poona visitors returned to their homes.
The following day, Maulvi Abdul Wahid came to the Manzil, he had come from Hyderabad, he had seen bright lights above the Manzil while he was in the nearby mosque meditating. This prompted him to seek out this place.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.483
***There is no image for Maulvi Abdul Wahid
The feast was continued up to 4 pm when about 800 poor were fed, while the mandali were observing a complete fast since the previous night, which ended at 9 pm that night. However, Baba did not break his liquid fast.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.155
SAINT TIPOO BABA ABDUR REHMAN BABA'S tomb ABDUR REHMAN BABA
Baba's birthday was celebrated on the 19th February at the Manzil-e-Meem.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.160
Later in February, Shireen ( Baba's mother ), Daulat and her sister Freiny, cousin Naja and Gulmai came to Bombay for Baba's birthday celebrations. The ladies were accommodated on the top floor of the Manzil. Baba stayed downstairs with the men.
During Baba's birthday, he was profusely garlanded whilst seated on the floor. Another 200 people came for his birthday. All feasted, then a qawaali singing program followed.
Baba's birthday was celebrated on the 19th February at the Manzil-e-Meem.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.160
***There is no image for Freiny ( Daulat's sister ).
Daulat agreed, as this arrangement had been planned for some months. That afternoon Meher Baba betrothed Rustom & Freiny ( who had also come ) to the Manzil, this gave both mothers great pleasure.
Later, Baba remarked, " After Rustom's wedding, I am thinking of moving to some village for a while." Gulmai then asked, " Why don't you come and visit our property near Arangaon village, outside Ahmednagar ?"
Baba replied to her, "Why do you say that ?" Gulmai replied, " Your visit has been foretold by a local saint Gilori Shah."
Baba made out he didn't understand and Gulmai told him the story that Gilori Shah told her. Baba then told Gulmai after hearing her story, to complete the tomb for the saint as he wished.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.484-5
On the 23rd February, about 200 poor, blind and maimed were fed and 50 were clothed.
The following day ( 24th ) news came from Davla Masi that Perfect Master Maharaj had gone very weak from he self imposed imprisonment in a bamboo cage.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.160
***There is no image for Davla Masi ( female )
On the 7th March, Baba went on a car ride to Munshi's home on Charni Road in Bombay along with Beheramji, Gustadji, Ramjoo, Adi & Vajifdar. This was the first time in 3 months of strict confinement. They stayed a couple of hours. Later that night they returned to the Manzil and leaned the Upasni Maharaj had sent some of his men to bring Merwan back to Sakori, which Baba refused.
Upasni's chief female disciple Durgabai also came a few days later and tried, but to no avail.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.495
For a couple of weeks Upasni Maharaj had been verbally putting down Baba to many who came to him, including Shireen - Baba's mother and Adi K. Irani. Shireen was physically abused by Upasni Maharaj, which scared her, but later settled down after talking to him.
On the 9th March, the Manzil was again staged to celebrate the engagement of Rustom & Freiny Irani. Decorations were everywhere - 200 tables sets, it was like a royal feast.
Family members were in their finest clothes for the event.
Baba told Freiny after the ceremony not to return to Sakori, but to stay with his aunt
( Gulmai's sister ) in Parel in Bombay.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.496
Baba returned to Charni Road on the 13th, staying the night there, returning to the Manzil at 5pm on the 14th.
The Manzil on 19th had a distinguished visitor - Khwaja Hasan Nizami who had come by car, to see Baba, but Baba had disallowed anyone to see him. Arrangement were then made for some of the mandali to see Nizami the following day near Chowpatty in Bombay.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.173-4
One day in late March, Baba decided to go to Sakori alone and as he walking to Dadar Railway Station, the men mandali followed him and when he told them to go back they refused even when he was persistent. He then relented and they all went back to the Manzil. Soon afterwards, he told the men that after Rustom's wedding in May in Ahmednagar, that he'll be staying in Arangaon with a few men and life will be very tough.
Whilst some of the men were starting to dismantle the partitioning at the Manzil and others trying to sell Upasni Maharaj's biography.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.499
On the 5th April, Baba consented that Ramjoo and Dr. Ghani take the train from Lonavla where they now lived, on the Madras Express to Poona, joining others there, then by motor lorry to Shivapur. The distance from Poona R.S. is 27 kms / 17 miles.
The following day, they paid their respects at the court of Kamarali Shah Darvesh, whose yearly
anniversary, thousands from Poona and elsewhere celebrate.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.184
Hazrat Kamar Ali was a great Sufi whose name means 'wisdom'.
He passed away at a very early age of 18 years and there after he was honoured as a saint. He was buried at this place about 700 years back.
3. VISIT TO KALYAN & MALANG FORT ( GAD )
Meher Baba and a few of the men that included Ramjoo, Ghani and Khak Saheb, returned to Kolyan on the 13th April at 2:30pm, taking tongas for the mountain journey to Saint Malang Shah's tomb ( dargah ), that they tried to visit in late October 1922.
Reaching the base of the mountain, Baba stayed with Sadashiv, whilst the others went up to the mountain, bow down and make offerings of pretty flower sheets on the grave on Baba's behalf at the saint's dargah.
This all took 2 1/2 hours.
The journey back to Kolyan was
14 miles / 22.5 kms, in the hot sun. Once they returned at 2pm, Baba took them to a restaurant near the station and allowed the men soda water and watermelons, the local water was
Baba and the party left for Bombay by a local train, while Ramjoo went back to Lonavla with Dr. Ghani by the evening express, where they
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.500-502
***Ramjoo's Diaries p. 185-6
On the 15th April, Baba went to the marriage ceremony at Naval & Dina Talati's house in Central Bombay, before the wedding started, he called them into the street, where he blessed them, he then rode back in a tonga to the Manzil-e-Meem.
The men had packed the luggage ready for the next chapter, leaving the Manzil-e-Meem.
Ten months had passed and the remaining 13 men left by train on the night of the 19th for Ahmednagar.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.502-5
By the 19th April 1923, all the arrangements were completed in full detail for leaving the Manzil, even the disposal of the Flour Mill was concluded as well, Baba decided to leave for Ahmednagar that night on the Raichur Passenger train.
The Menzil premises were duly handed back to the owner, the heavy luggage was dispatched to the station, an outhouse was retained as an office for matters of the 'Circle & Co.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.177-8
MOVING TO ARANGAON
When they arrived in Poona, Baba's relatives, Ramjoo, the Kasba Peth mandali & fishermen were present at the railway station. Baba was profusely garlanded with flowers, while refreshments were served.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.505
The train left Poona at 7:30am on the 20th April and arrived in Ahmednagar a few hours later. ( see end February 1923 map prior for journey details )
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.505
The train ride from Poona to Ahmednagar took 5 hours then.
KHUSHRU QUARTERS, AHMEDNAGAR
Khushru Quarters became known later as Meher Nazar, the Trust office on Kings Road, Ahmednagar.
Meher Baba stayed at Gulmai Irani's residence at Khushru Quarters. Apart from her family, the other Zoroastrian community were hostile towards Baba and would ridicule Gulmai and her family. Baba stayed secluded for 7 days in his room, after exploring Ahmenagar for several days.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.505
On the 30th April, Baba took a long hike with the men mandali to Happy Valley, some 14 miles / 22 kms north of Ahmednagar. They stayed at a duk bungalow, a government rest house for several days.
Baba celebrated Upasni Maharaj's birthday on the 3rd May, whilst still at Happy Valley and instructed his mandali to fast for 24 hours and cook food for hundreds of the poor from the nearby
Late in the night, after the villagers departed, Baba left Happy Valley with his mandali at 11:30pm and walked back to Ahmednagar in the dark. They reached
their Khushru Quarters at 2:00am ( 4th May ) quite exhausted.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.506-9
Part of the road / path that Baba took from Ahmednagar & Happy Valley, went past his future home at Meherazad in the
late 1940s - 1960s.
TRIP TO HAPPY VALLEY
During the day of the 4th May, Adi told Baba some of the slander from family members staying at the house and Gulmai ( his mother ) had not returned as instructed from Sakori. Baba stormed out and was rapidly walking through Ahmednagar and finally stopped on Station Road, some of his men were following him, leaving their belongings behind. They crossed the Sina River, after walking 6 miles / 10kms to the south, they saw some dilapidated buildings and a small village nearby.
When they entered the property, they came across a watchman who informed them that it used to be a British military post and were now owned by Gulmai's husband - K.K. Irani.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.510
Arrived in Arangaon's outskirts
4th May... continued
Rustom K. Irani realized that Baba was gone and he raced on his motorbike, eventually finding him sitting under a tree. Rustom had tears in his eyes asking why Baba left.
Baba said, " I no longer wish to stay
in Khushru Quarters "
and he explained to Rustom, he won't be present at his wedding, but will later bless both of them. Rustom was sent back to send their belongings to their new location.
Later on, the baggage arrived and the men spread out their bedding rolls, but there were swirling hot winds, also a snake was killed during the night.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.510
The Post Office
The next day ( 5th May ), the men swept the Post Office building and cleaned it. Baba and the men stayed in there that night. The next day, the cleaning and repair of the mess hall ( Old barracks ) was carried out the whole day and night, even Baba helped out.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.511
During the 6th May,
Ghani, Ramjoo, Sadashiv, Munshi and Vajifdar arrived and quickly adopted the new daily
schedules. Baba told them that life here was too rough for them and sent some back to Bombay except Ramjoo.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.512
On the 8th May, Meher Baba changed his mind and attended Rustom's wedding, but stayed on the top floor of Sarosh Manzil.The men were instructed to help set-up for the wedding at Gulmai's home.
Rustom & Freiny were married the following day ( 9th May ), with Baba dressed in a new suit of clothes and the 'puja' was performed before him. Baba did not attend the public ceremony, but he did bless the couple when they came to him and eat at the Sarosh Manzil. A small programme was held for Baba.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.513
Wedding attendees below image that are known are :
* KHANSAHEB - Kaikhushru Sarosh Irani, the father of the groom RUSTOM, also his daughters - PIROJA & DOLLY and husband of GULMAI.
* Meher Baba's mother SHIREEN came with her youngest son ADI & daughter MANI.
* Gulmai's sister's husband KAIKHUSHRU MASA Z.B. Irani came with his daughter KHORSHED.
* Shireen's niece NAJA is standing next to her.
* FREINY ( the bride ) has her mother DAULAT standing behind her.
The Kasba Peth men to go back to Poona and the remaining 13 men - Jal, Gustadi, Adi K., Babu Cyclewalla, Baidul, Barsoap, Beheramji, Masaji, Pendu, Nervous, Padri, Ramjoo and Slamson, would stay with Baba in Arangaon.
Ghani was sent back to Bombay a couple of days later.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.516
JAL GUSTADJI ADI K. B. CYCLEWALLA BAIDUL
BARSOAP BEHERAMJI MASAJI PENDU NERVOUS
PADRI RAMJOO SLAMSON PILAMAI H. IRANI
Once Baba decided who went where, there was another dispute that arose in Gulmai's family which gave Baba the excuse to leave. They all walked to the Ahmednagar Railway Station and stayed in the traveller's shelter there. Baba didn't want to go back to Arangaon.
After a couple of days at the shelter, Baba decided to go back to Arangaon. Their goods were once again transported there by cart. It was also decided to clean and repair the old mess hall - old bungalow, ( see image below ) to house the men.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.192-6
On the 11th May, when Baba stormed out of Sarosh Manzil, because of the slander accusing him future deceitful actions. Baba first walked to the Railway Station, stopping at a deserted graveyard on the way. He and his men rented a dharmashala - rest house.
Beheramji had gone to the Post Office near Arangaon and returned with all their belongings by bullock cart. Gulmai was distressed by Baba's departure from her house and their property, husband Kaikhushru went to the rest house and pleaded with Baba to return to Arangaon and Baba agreed.
After a 3 days stay, Baba walked back to Arangaon on the 13th May and stayed in the Post Office building.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.517
By the 22nd May, the mess quarters were quite ready for occupation, when suddenly a small snake was found inside a bedding roll. This incident sparked Baba to decide to immediately leave Arangaon, Ahmednagar district and India for Persia.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.192-6
Because of the snake situation, Baba said he wanted to go somewhere where there wasn't any snakes or scorpions. Suggestions were made and Pendu suggested Quetta. Baba liked this and since he had promised to visit Karachi to Pilamai, Baba later said, " Not only should we leave Arangaon, but we should also leave Ahmednagar, Bombay and India altogether and go to Persia by route of Quetta and Karachi."
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.521
The distance from Khushru Quarters to the dharmashala was half mile.
During the wedding period, Meher Baba stated to Pilamai J. Irani, " Gulmai is my spiritual mother, but remember you are my spiritual sister, so you should stay in close contact with me ".
She was staying in Sakori with Upasni Maharaj. She was doing manual labour carrying stones, earth, etc., on her head in an iron container for the contruction work, along with Maharaj's female devotees, who were also helping in the work.
Mehera's knee became swollen during the wedding period and Maharaj did not allow her to work or attend the wedding. Others who attended the wedding had wanted to propose to Mehera, but she was absent.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.518-9
Mehera J. Irani was 15 years old at the time.
Baba told Soona Irani ( see below ) who had come from Bombay for the wedding with her daughter Khorshed ( 13 y.o. ), not to go back to Bombay but to stay in Ahmednagar, so that they could have Baba's darshan ( blessing ) regularly.
Before leaving Arangaon, the topic of giving a name to the place ( Post Office & barracks ) discussed and Baba renamed it "Meherabad ", "Abad " meaning a prosperous settlement, or a flourishing colony. A large sign was painted and Nervous nailed it between 2 poles, near the railway tracks.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.521
SOONA IRANI KHORSHED K. IRANI ( young )
1ST TRIP TO KARACHI & QUETTA
On the morning of 25th May, Baba ordered everything from Meherabad moved to Khushru Quarters, only bedding rolls and small personal items were taken on their journey to Quetta. Baba and his party walked alongside the path of the railway tracks from Meherabad reaching Ahmednagar Railway Station at 10:30am.
Many had gathered prior to Baba's arrival to bade him and his entourage of 5 women and 14 men farewell.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.521
They left Ahmednagar by train at 12:30pm, reaching Manmad in the early evening.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.197 & Lord Meher Vol.2 p.523
The 14 men are shown in the following image taken prior to their trip from Bombay to Quetta.
Click on the under-lined names to visit their respective web pages on this site.
The photo below was taken just prior to Baba and his men mandali left Quetta for Ahmedabad in late June 1923. They had just received their kafnis outfits for their forthcoming long foot journeys.
25th May... continued
The train reached Sanchi ( north of Manmad ) and past the sculptured stupas dedicated to Lord Buddha. Baba made a comment about the Buddha in India over 2,500 years ago.
" Gautama was physically perfect, or had a perfect body, in comparison with the other Avatars".
The train arrived in Agra and all disembarked on the 27th May. They were instructed to all carry their own bags even though there were rail porters on hand. They stayed at the Empress Hotel.
Later, they all followed Baba to see the city's main attractions, Taj Mahal & Agra Fort during a very hot day.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.523-4
The next morning ( 28th May ), they went to Mathura ( north of Agra ) and stayed in a Hindu dharmshala. The men bathed in the Jamuna River and also washed their clothes.
Mathura is famed as the birthplace of Lord Krishna and they went to the shrine-temple where he was born 4,000 years ago.
That night they took rides in boats on the Jamma River.
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.525
MATHURA IS 200 KMS FROM DELHI.
MATHURA IS 50 KMS FROM AGRA.
The following day, 29th May, Meher Baba and his
group left Mathura by train and arrived at Delhi
at 5:30pm. Baba cancelled a visit to the city, so only hurried glimpses of the old city were had. The railway station had
17 platforms and they all made their way to platform for the N.W. Ry. Mail train to Bhatinda ( now Bathinda ), in the Punjub
** During this travel period, the rail lines were not established in some areas, hence the round-a-bout route to get to
Karachi from Delhi. Refer to the previous large map May-June 1923.
The following images are of Delhi, Bathinda & Samasata Railway Stations. Click on images to enlarge.
They arrived the following morning ( 30th May ) at Bhatinda and changed trains for Samasatta and again changed trains at Samasatta ( now Pakistan ) for the Karachi Mail train which arrived in the evening for the journey to Karachi. The train was packed like sardines when they boarded and the heat was terrible when they left.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.199-202
Baily's sister had
previously moved to Karachi and Baily had been sent ahead to help with the
They all then went in Victoria
horse drawn buggies to Pilamai's house where they all stayed. They all washed and refreshed themselves. She later gave Baba and others a tour of the city and visited his paternal uncle Khodadad and his aunt Banu, who had moved from Bombay, they also visited Baily's sister at her home.
They went for a drive to Clifton and its sea front. Kothare Parade was recently completed with fine pavilions built of stone and concrete, also a bandstand, which impressed many.
They also visited the docks at Keamari, which was serviced by trams. Many fine building were seen including cinemas and the Empress Market.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.202
Lord Meher Vol.2 p.526
Check the map above for the places mentioned in Karachi.
The book sources don't mention which part of Karachi they stayed, but it would be presumed they stayed near the Parsi Colony which is near the Zoo & Soldier Bazaar.
Meher Baba and his group stayed 7 days in the Karachi area.
Click on the following images to enlarge.
1st June 1923
Baba decided to take the men on a tour of the city after some men went to Friday prayers at the Aram Bagh Mosque. The men that went for prayers misjudged the time difference so they ended up being late and upsetting plans that Baba had made. Later, many taxis were hired and they headed to Soldier Bazaar near the Zoo and Botanical Gardens which were combined.
After the visit there, they took to the main streets such as Bunder Road in Karachi and checking out what films were playing so they could arrange later that night to see a programme. The explored the docks at Keamari and the different camps of the city.
From Keamari, they took a ferry ride to Manora Island on the other side of East Channel, with Baba Island nearby. Manora Is. was mainly occupied by the military.
After returning to their residency and had supper, they went to a cinema.
The following 2 days were very uneventful except for occasional walks nearby.
They toured the city in large Buick cars of that period 1918-1923. The year & models are not mentioned. The models shown above
are very typical of the model for that period.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.203-4
Check the big map above for the places mentioned in Karachi.
Some place names especially roads have had their names changed to Pakistani names.
Click on the following images to enlarge.
Baba and his group left their house at 6:30 am and took the tram to the railway station, with the train leaving for Malir ( a small village ) at 8:15 am, travelling 2 stations away, on the N-E outskirts of Karachi for a picnic.
They put up in the compound of a bungalow, a short distance from the station. Because of the scarcity of water they moved to a nearby hotel, again, little
water to be found. They now walked a few miles to a field which water was being pumped by a motor and so they bathed, washed, etc. They returned at the end of the day to
Karachi and their residency.
Ramjoo's Diaries p.204-5 & Lord Meher p.526
The next 2 days were not recorded, but assumed they rested before moving on, which Baba had made changes on the 5th June.
The following images are of Malir, near Karachi, Sibi Railway Station and the Bolan Pass and Quetta Railway Station.
At 5:45 am the following day they reached Sibi junction. They
stopped for an hour as a security requirement, everyone was examined medically and the police checked their travel papers, because of the frontiers people. They headed off again an hour later for
Quetta taking them through the Bolan Pass, with security very tight all along to Quetta.
A larger display of images can be viewed on the main page for Quetta on this website.
The city of Quetta was destroyed in 1935 by a massive
They reached Quetta at 5:30 pm, 9th June and were quickly taken by carriages to a rented house on Bruce Road next door to Rusi Irani's home. Baba stayed on the 1st floor and the men upstairs. Rusi owned a restaurant and took care of his guests with food, etc., he was a confectioner and also
an amateur magician and would perform to Baba and the group throughout their stay.
Being at 5,000 feet above sea level, it was very cold. Everyone refreshed themselves upon arrival.
Pilamai's brother Rusi Jehangir Irani, was residing in Quetta with his wife Khorshed Banoo Irani with their 2 daughters. Khorshed's sister Soona Banu was married to Gulmai's nephew Dinshaw, Sarosh's brother. They had all attended Rustom's wedding and had met Meher Baba.
The real reason for the trip, was Baba wanted to meet Rusi's daughters - Goher ( 7 years old ) & Katie ( 3 years old ). Rusi gave Baba a tour of the city - the orchards & Garden of Jamasp. Baba also met a mast opposite his house.
Lord Meher p.528
RUSI & KHORSHED IRANI MEHER BABA IN QUETTA 1923 KHORSHED & HER CHILDREN
The above images of Quetta were taken in the 1920s & 1930s & after the May 31st 1935 devastating earthquake. Click on the images to enlarge them & their details.
On the 9th June, Rusi took
Baba and the group on a sight-seeing tour of Quetta and it's many gardens and orchards. About this
time, Baba made contact with a mast ( God - intoxicated person ) called Allah, who
was staying at a hotel opposite to their residency, upon seeing Baba, he picked him up and swung him around, it took a while for the Mast to let Baba down.
The following day, 10th June, they walked and inspected the Kabari Markets and on the following day, 11th June, the men without Baba, visited Sandham Hall and its fine grounds, the local museum, which was closed and the nearby large Town Hall building, including the very fine rest houses and shelters.
The next day, 12th June, they walked to see the road known locally as Thandi Sadak
( Gloucester & Lyntton Roads ) for the tree canopies over the road. They also saw British military aeroplanes buzzing the skies and the Scottish Highlanders marching past twice daily, in full dress and bagpipes playing.
Baba bought up forth a new plan, staying the next 6 months in India before going to Persia, possibly taking a walking tour from Kashmir to Bombay with long stays along the way. The next day, 13th June, at 6pm Baba had a desire to climb the large hill over-looking their house. Everyone dashed through the town to the foot of the hill over several miles away and then the climb was abandoned.
The next few days were uneventful, but on the 18th June, Baba and the group went to see the 1916
Below : The 1916
On the 21st June, Baba and his group travelled in 3 Ford cars and a Ford lorry took them to see the Waterworks in the mountain pass at Urak - 14 miles away ( 22kms ). Having arrived, they settled in the visitor's bungalow, food was prepared and was consumed by all.
After lunch, Baba was photographed under a tree, which proved successful. Many photos were taken by the streams and pools of water and also the surrounding hills.
Everyone was back to Quetta by sunset.
The following day 22nd June, Baba had a meeting with the men mandali about the upcoming journeys and all agreed to Baba's conditions.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 210-214
Sohrab J. Irani ( Rusi's brother ) was the photographer at the Urak Valley.
They visited Hanna Lake which is the main water reservoir for Quetta.
The images below are of the 1922 Ford motor car & 1920 Ford Model TT truck, typical models of the
On 23rd June, Baba and the men tried out the new kafni clothing which they'll wear on their upcoming walks.They had several photos taken in these clothes.
( see May 25th group photo )
Later that day, they went to the Empire
Cinema watching the 1920 film "Heliotrope". ( see film poster above
On 24th June, after lengthy
discussions, the touring program was changed, Calcutta was now the starting point of the
next foot journey, then on the following day, 25th June, the starting place was now agreed to be Ahmedabad in Gujarat State.
Prior to leaving, Baba threaded a length of string to 2 matchboxes and stretched them, then handed one end to Gulmai and spoke to her through the other end and then did the same with Katie ( Rusi's daughter). The telephone was introduced in India 2 years later.
They all packed their things and walked to the Quetta Railway Station, with the steam train leaving at 4:55 am on 25th June. The Quetta people had given them a hearty send-off.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 215-6
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.537-9
6. WALKING TREK STARTS AT AHMEDABAD
When they arrived in Hyderabad ( Sind ), on the 26th June, they changed trains, ( the rail gauges changed a couple times, also ). Their luggage was weighed and again later when they changed trains at Marwar. Some rail personal were being very difficult, so much so when the station master ( who was a Brahmin ) arrived to see what the commotion was, he made his own inquiries, Baba then handed him a Urdu copy of Upasni Maharaj's new biography, when the station master saw Baba's picture in the book he quickly cleared the way for them to travel without further ado.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 216-7
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.540
They arrived at Ahmedabad on the 27th June at 9:30 pm. Sadashiv, Asthma & Vajifdar were there to meet them at the station. Baba sent Gulmai, Khorshed, Soona & Sarosh to Ahmednagar along with their trunks, leaving on the Bombay train at 10 pm. He advised them to stay there until called upon. Sadashiv was sent back to Poona the following night and Vajifdar put on the new clothing attire for the walking journey.
They all took numerous motor lorries to move their belongings about a mile away, staying at a Parsi traveller's house, with Baba's Muslim men pretending to be their servants, so they too could stay.
Asthma was sent back home and would not contact Baba ever again.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 217
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.540
The above images show the various places that Baba & his mandali saw in Ahmedabad & the surrounding district. Click on the images to enlarge them and for descriptions.
The following day, 28th June, they hired a motor lorry and they went sightseeing in the historic city of Ahmedabad. The first place visited was a Jain Temple, then a factory that made matches, mechanically. They saw Kankadia Lake, crossed the Sabarmati River, passing Mahatma Ghandi's ashram on the way to Sabarmati. They tried to tour the main jail, but were denied. After touring in the hot sun on the back of a truck all day they were glad to return to their dharmashala.
Ramjoo & Barsoap went to the main Friday Mosque for Friday prayers on the 29th July, which was on Reachy Road near the Three Gates. After that, they visited the tomb of Sultan Ahmed, who founded the mosque. The 30th was a quiet day.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 217-8-9
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.540
The below images show the various places that Baba & his mandali saw in Ahmedabad & the surrounding district. Click on the images to enlarge them and their descriptions.
On 1st July at 4 am, their walking tour started, quietly walking through the town, reaching Jetalpur in the south at 7:45 am, they only walked 10 miles / 16 kms, but they were exhausted and stayed the daytime at a nice spot. They set off for Kaira at 5:30 pm, taking an apparent short-cut via Barejadi, which proved to be incorrect. They arrived at Barejadi at sunset, staying the night at a dhamarshala. They had travelled 14 miles / 23 kms the 1st day.
The following morning at 4:30 am, 2nd July, they set off again heading back to their original main road, but they had to traverse muddy and thick sandy tracks and in the hot sun, it was too much for most of the men, especially Pendu, Ramjoo, Masaji, Baidul, Padri and Vajifdar.
When they arrived at the Vatrak River, with Kaira township ( now Kheda ) on the other side, Baba instructed them not to drink the water, but they could splash themselves in the very shallow river. Baba also ordered all the men to throw away their fez caps in the river. After crossing the river, they eventually found a resting place in the town. Slamson was ordered to go to centre of the town and get lunch.
Padri showed his tongue to Baba to show how swollen it was, he couldn't speak. The lack of decent water was the main problem for all.
News came quickly that the locals seriously feared that Baba and his men were bandits, etc., and it could prove to be danderous to them by staying there, so it was decided to move immediately by hiring 4 bullock carts to take them to Mehmadabad Railway Station ( now Mahemdaved ) about 7 miles / 11 kms away, arriving at 7:15 pm.
They stayed at a local traveller's shelter until their train to Broach ( Bharuch ) arrived.
They departed at 11 pm.
Baba and the mandali had travelled 29 miles / 47 kms in 2 days.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 221-4
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.541-5
Note : Kaira was famous for an insurrection in March 1918 starting there, Mahatam Gandhi convinced the locals in Gujarat to standup to draconian local laws. Click on the above links to get more information.
The below images show the various places that Baba & his mandali saw in the district south of Ahmedabad towards Kaira ( Kheda ). Click on the images to enlarge them & descriptions.
They arrived in Broach ( now Bharuch ) on 3rd July at 3:30am and stayed at a traveller's house. They attempted to wash themselves and their clothes in the nearby Namada River, but it was way to muddy, etc. They returned to the house and rested till 4pm.
Masaji, Pendu & Vajifday as instructed prior, left Broach by train for Bombay.
Pendu was very weak healthwise and was sent to Quetta to
At 4pm, Baba and the men left Broach from the Jamshed Baug for Ankleshwar. They again walked to the Namada River and hired a boat to take them across. Strongs winds during the crossing made it very hazadous, Nervous was badly injured when he was struck on the forehead by the boat ropes and almost lost his eye. The boat got stuck in the mud because of the low river levels, they then waded through the mud and transfered their belongings to another boat. Although they were all muddied they found it humerous even thou the 2nd boat also got stuck, they all pushed it to the shore.
They reached Ankleshwar Railway Station at
8:30pm. They stayed the night on the railway platform and they were finally allowed to drink as much as they wanted.
38 miles / 61 kms covered in 4 days.
The train for Surat came at 4am and they reached Surat at 6am, 4th
July. They took the horse tongas to the Parsi traveller's house. Here they cleaned & bathed and ate well. Baba
wired Rustom to meet them at Navsari on the 6th.
They left Surat at 4am on 5th July, carrying their belongings beside the railway tracks, parallel with the road. They reached Sachin at 9am, resting for 2 hours, they had a small snack each and they continued walking. Finally reaching Navasari at 5:30pm.
They had covered 24 miles / 39 kms and Baba was not well.
In Navsari, they camped in the Sohrab Gardens of the Parsi Dharmasala called Sorab Baug situated in the middle of the town. A Parsi man arrived and wanted Baba's darshan, Baba refused citing exhaustion but the man persisted, so Baba sent Gustadji in his place. The man didn't know what Baba looked like, so he gave his 'namaskars' ( greeting - a salutation to a divinity ) and then left.
On the 6th July, there were fears in the town, that Baba and his men were theives, etc, the police came and rudely interogated the group. Baba had sent Rustom to fetch Sohrab Desai who lived nearby and was editding the Gujarat version of Upasni Maharaj's biography and was a very distinguished resident in the town. Sohrab arrived and admonished the police for their impertance, saying he has come for Baba's darshan and these are his men. The police asked for forgiveness and requested Baba's darshan as well, but Baba refused and the police departed.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 224-8
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.546-8
6th July continued....
Sohrab Desai ( see image below ) was meeting Meher Baba for the first time, Sohrab was overcome and invited Baba to his house, which he agreed. Sohrab was taking care of his widowed sister, Baimai, who was bed-ridden for several years due to a leg fracture and couldn't walk.
Upon seeing Baba,she suddenly leapt out of bed to meet Baba with tears in her eyes, Standing ! She gradually began her ability to walk.
Baba pointed to a picture of Zarathustra in the house and declared, "That's exactly how Zoroaster looked, I am your Prophet Zarathustra !"
Baba and his men mandali returned to the dhamarshala ( resting house ), he also announced that the foot journey to Bombay was cancelled and that they were going to spend 3 months in Nasik ( Nashik ).
Gustadji went to his relative's house in Andheri in Bombay to try to use their house in Nasik, Rustom accompanied him that afternoon by train.
After meals, Baba and the men departed for the station at 8pm and departed Navsari at 10 pm for Nasik.
This concluded the foot journeys, walking 62 miles / 100 kms in 5 days.
Baba and the men arrived at Dadar Railway Station in Bombay at 5:30 am, 7th July. They were met at the station by Gustadji & Burjorji P. Dahiwala. They all proceeded to the nearby G.I.P. station where many of the Bombay followers came including the Talati family, which included Dina's parents Hormusji & Rupamai Karani.
*** see the following Bombay map for details.
The Nasik train departed at 7:25 am. Masaji joined the party on
the train to Nasik and arrived at Nasik at 2:45 pm. Sayyed Saheb Pirzade was waiting for them at the station and he had horse carriages ready to take them to Nomanbhai's bungalow to stay. This was 6 miles / 10kms from the railway station. Nomanbhai was
one of the original Kasba Peth followers in Poona.
Baba was still on a liquid fast for several months.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 228-9
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.548-51
SOHRAB DESAI MANSARI DESAI SAYYED SAHEB MASAJI IRANI B. P. DAHIWALA
MOVES BACK TO BOMBAY
On 8th July, Baba along with Gustadji, Beheramji & Munshi went to select a permanent spot to stay which they found near the river at Gangapur. Later Baba, after ciding an excuse, that they should return to Arangaon.
They all woke up at 4:30 am, 9th July and were all at the Nasik Railway Station at 7:30 am courtesy of Aziz Ahmed's car doing 3 trips. They reached Manmad station at 10:30 am. After lunch, they boarded the Dhond ( Daund ) train at 12:15 pm and reaching Ahmednagar at 5:30pm.
After they arrived, Baba joined the men taking dal-rice at meal time, the first for him in 4-5 months, breaking his fast.
The next day, they woke up at 5:45 am, 10th July, Slamson, Masaji & Padri went to Ahmednagar to purchase materials to repair the Post Office and they brought their trunks that were stored at Khushru Quarters. Baidul and Nervous fixed the roof tiles and installed new glass in the windows. Rustom arrived from Bombay.
On the following day, 11th July, Baba suggested that instead of repairing the Post Office, it would be better to go back to
Dadar in Bombay, get employment, distribute Upasni's book, etc. The men convened a
meeting amoungst themselves and agreed to move back to Dadar into the small office which was behind the Manzil-e-Meem
house the following day. Adi K. Irani was sent back to stay with his mother - Gulmai.
The men loaded up the bullock cart with their things and proceeded to walk to the Railway Station on the 12th July. They departed Ahmednagar at 12:45 pm and arrived at Manmad station at 5:30 pm followed by a snack. The train to Bombay departed at 7:30pm and they arrived in Bombay at 4:30 am and reaching the Manzil office very soon afterwards on the 13th July.
It was the monsoon season !
Everyone in the group soon settled into the various tasks that Baba assigned, especially, the book-binding of Upasni Maharaj's biography
"The Perfect Master". Many of the men got jobs to suppliment themselves and the others. Work continued uneventfully through to mid-August.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 231-4
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.551-2
On the 10th August, news came from the printers in Lonvala, that the remaining pages to Upasni Maharaj's biography will take longer to print, Meher Baba decided to visit the town.
Baba arrived on the 16th August, with Gustadji, Behramji, Barsoap, Adi and Rustom in the evening by the Express train. Mr Abdul Tayeb motored the party to Mr. Madni's bungalow where they freely stayed along with the use of Abdul's car.
They spent 7 days visiting places, Khandala, Walwan ( Valvan Lake ) & Bhushi lakes in the car. Sadashiv & Vajifdar also visited them.
Baba also visited along with the men, Ramjoo's & Dr. Ghani's homes on the 21st August.
The following day, 22nd August, Baba decided to leave for Poona at 5pm by car. The others were told to pack up and follow suit the following day. Unexpectantly, Baba returned after staying at Sadashiv's home in Poona, at midnight, he was disappointed by the welcome he received. However, after lengthy discussions it was decided to go back to Poona but to stay at Abdullabhai's home ( Ramjoo's brother - Abdulla Jaffer ).
Baba arrived by the evening express train and stayed the night at Abdulla Jaffer's home.
There was a Muslim festival during this time which had parades down the streets.
On the 27th August, Baba and the group went to Saswad, 7 miles / 11 kms from Poona, for a picnic ( see map below ).
Then on the 28th August he went to his family's home in Butler Mohalla, his men came as well. Baba's sister Mani was 5 years old and sat on his lap. They then went back to Abdulla's home.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 235-9
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.554-8
Two days later, 30th August, Baba had decided to go to Bombay, but wanted to visit a man named Mulog who lived in Kirkee near Poona, who owned a brickyard. They travelled by car to Kirkee. This man swindled Baba's father years later and it ended up in court.
Later that day, Baba and the men returned to Bombay that night by
the Poona Express train to Dadar, arriving at 7 pm. The car they used in
Poona was returned to Lonvala.
Soon afterwards, they found a place in Parel, a new building opposite the Kohinoor Mills near Dadar tramway station. They moved there on the 2nd September and the next day 3rd,
they moved to new premises at Irani Mansions ( now
Tafti Mansions ) No.6 on the 2nd floor, on the street joining the G.I.P. Dadar railway
The following 5-6 weeks was very routine, working towards the publication of Upasni's Gujarati biography.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 239
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.558
In this period, Meher Baba had wanted to do a walk journey to Sakori. A bullock and cart was purchased, being the same as the ones used on the Poona to Bombay foot journey in 1922.
The title of the new Gujarat version of Upasni Maharaj's biography is "The Perfect Master of Sakori".
The book's book-binding, etc., were worked on in the premises that Baba was living in and he wanted the book completed before his walk to Sakori from Bombay, which was planned in mid-October. After 6 weeks, it was completed. By mid-Oct. all copies were sold. A thousand copies were purchased by Maharaj's devotees to be handed-out to university students. The balance of the Marathi & Urdu version "Protector of the Poor" were stored in cupboards in the Irani Mansion and Vajifdar agreed to sell them. The Circle & Co. was closed down.
Baba had instructed Naval to obtain passports for himself and certain mandali, although Baba didn't indicate which ones will go with him to Persia.
The name change from Persia to Iran occured in March 1935.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 239
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.559
WALKING TRIP -
BOMBAY TO SAKORI
*** Refer to the following large map for locations.
They awoke at 3 am and soon began their walk to Sakori.
The men were : Meher Baba, Adi, Rustom, Baidul, Beheramji, Burjor, Gustadji, Ghani, Nervous, Ramjoo, Sarosh, Slamson, Vajifdar & Babu Rao. Sadashiv who was in Poona was to join them at Thana.
Vajifdar & Burjor were only going as far as Gatkopar, the destination of the 1st day of walk. Durgabai Karmarker's son Raghunath was also to walk with them to only a certain way. All the luggage was in the bullock cart driven by Baidul. They walked the 7 miles / 11.2 kms to Gatkopar.
Sarosh's brother-in-law Keki Irani requested Baba and his men mandali to come to his home for lunch, made by his mother. Baba agreed.
Keki was a photographer and Baba allowed him to photograph him and the others. The previous photo was one that he took.
Baba only ate a handful of rice and dal once every 24 hours and one cup of tea.
Later that day, Vajifdar and Burjor returned to Bombay.
The next day, 20th October, they left Keki's house at 4 am, in the dark, but they were also holding kerosene lanterns. They hiked the 10 miles / 16 kms to Thana and stayed in a dak bungalow. Sadashiv arrived later that night from Poona by the evening Express train.
Burjorji came see Baba briefly in the afternoon and returned in the evening.
They left Thana the next day 21st October at 5 am and walked 4 miles / 6.4 kms , when they came to a river, they hired boats to cross the small river near the village of Kolshet. Baidul & Raghunath had taken the cart to a bigger boat to cross the river. Once Baba had crossed the river, they went on the Bombay to Old Agra road for another 6 miles / 10 kms towards Bhiwandi, which they later reached and stayed in a dak bungalow. Raghunath was sent ahead to Sakori, he was too slow and unattentive to Baba.
Food had been planned to arrive to feed everyone, which was coming from the town, but it was extremely late. Baba became upset with the lateness and at 5 pm Baba stormed off from Bhiwandi for the village of Padgha some 10 miles / 16 kms away. The men went after Baba while Baidul & Ramjoo staying behind to get the food and bring the cart. When they arrived in Padgha, Baba and the men were staying in a rest house, Baidul & Ramjoo arrived later with the cart.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 241-3
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.560-3
October continued ....
The next day, 22nd October, they set off at 4 pm for Shahapur, 11 miles / 17.7 kms away.
They arrived at Asangaon at 8 pm, only 8 miles / 12.9 kms in 4 hours and they were exhausted because of the rough road. They stayed the
night on the Asangaon Railway platform. It was a very noisy and busy station. They didn't get much sleep !
On the 23rd October, they left in the morning and reached Shahapur within half an hour. They rested and ate and at 2:30 pm, Baba sent the slow walkers to go with Gustadji for Khardi about 10 miles / 16 kms away. Baba and rest of the men left at 3:35 pm and soon they caught up to the slow group. Baba's group reached Khardi at 6:40 pm and again stayed at the town's nearby railway platform. The slow group arrived later.
The next morning at 4 am on 24th October, Baba and 11 men left Khardi for Kasara. Here the real ascending the Ghats mountain range began. The cart had to be pushed from behind, it was hard-going. When they arrived in Kasara, they stayed at a dharmshala. The men were very tired and Baba decided to stir them all up about their weaknesses, etc., which upset some of them.
Kasara is 1,028 ft above rea level. Rustom was sent by train to Igatpuri to
arrange for food for the following day when they arrived and he then returned after a couple of hours.
The following day, 25th October, they woke up very early, 2:30 am and left Kasara an hour later and after a short walk, they encounted a very steep hill, where the men had to push the bullock and cart for 2 miles / 3.2 kms & 13 miles / 21 kms later, they arrived at Igatpuri
( which is 1,000 feet higher than Kasara ) at 8:45 pm. They went to the dak bungalow.
At 4pm, Baba wanted to go to a nearby lake, but no-one wanted to
go. So they stayed, Baba seemed to get upset, he told all the men, not to talk to him. This paved the way for Meher Baba
keeping silent with the mandali.
** Ramjoo's Diaries stated the the distance from Kasara to Igatpuri was a total of 13 miles / 21 kms. p.249
On the 26th October, they got up at 6 am.
Baba was still keeping silent and conveyed messages through Beheramji. A village cobbler arrived and repaired their
sandals. They left Igatpuri at 4 pm, they reached Ghoti 5 miles / 8 kms later. They went to the railway platform to rest. They decided later to visit Bhandardara Lake before going to
Sakori. Arrangement for Mr. Aziz Ahmed, an ass. engineer at the dam works and a devotee of Baba, to take them from
Bari to Bhandardara, a distance of 5 miles / 8 kms, the next day with transport.
The next day, 27th October, they left Ghoti & the Agra Road at 3 am for Bari, some 14 miles / 22.5 kms away. Ramjoo was sent ahead to greet Mr. Aziz. They met Mr. Aziz with his car and after breakfast for all, they left 6 in the car and rest in a tonga for Bhandardara & the dam, Baidul drove the tonga & Mr. Aziz's driver, the bullock cart after them.
Baba and the men arrived at 1:30pm. and had a meal.
The dam wall being constructed was 263 feet / 80 metres at the lake, was nearing completion after 15 years of
construction. The wall needed to add another 7 feet / 2+ metres more for completion and had a foundation breadth of 233 ft / 71
metres. They took a small cruise by a steam launch. After this visit, they returned that evening to Bari.
Early morning of 28th October, they left Bari for Rajur, a 14 miles / 22.5 kms hike. The bullock was very tired, so Baidul drove it empty to Rajur, while their things were put onto a carriage supplied by Mr. Aziz. The carriage was returned upon arrival. When they arrived they stayed in a rest house.
They left the next day 29th October, at 4
am, the bullock cart was carrying their things, reaching Akola at 7 am, having walked 13 miles / 21 kms in 3 hours. They stayed at a bungalow. They had sweets and coffee for breakfast. Later, they hired a cook from the village to assist with the meals. Then they rested
The Perfect Master Sai Baba's ( one of ) Master was from this village - "Swami of Akola" aka
Shri Swami Samarth Kendra Ramdaspeth Akola.
The other Perfect Master Narayan Maharaj had met him also when he was a young sadhu wandering in Akola.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 239-55
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.564-70
They left Akola on 30th October at 3:30 am, their 12th day of their walking tour. After walking 5 miles / 8 kms they stopped by a river near the village of Kalas.They walked to Sangamner(e) covering 14 miles / 22.5 kms which was mostly flat ground and after their meal they arrived at Nimbgaon Jali(ka) at 9 pm, staying at a dak bungalow. They covered a total of 26 miles / 41.8 kms in that day.
After breakfast on the 31st October, they left for Bableshwar at 10 am. Stopping for a short rest at Loni, during the
hottest hours of the day, later they reached Bableshwar before sunset, staying at a bungalow at an
intersection of 4 roads. Baba asked the men to observe a fast from that night till they meet Upasni Maharaj the next day.
The following day, 1st November, the men mandali left for Sakori at 4 am, some 10 miles / 16 kms away. Baba stayed with Slamson in Babaleshwar in the bungalow, the men were given instructions to give the bullock and cart to Upasni's disciple Yeshw(v)ant Rao.
Baba decided to truck their belongings to Ahmednagar. A motor lorry was hired.
At Rahata ( Rahta ); Padri, Vajifdar and Burjor had arrived by train as per Baba's instructions, and met the men on their way to Sakori. They finally reached Sakori after a 14 days walk and covering nearly 200 miles / 322 kms. After washing themselves, they went to take Upasni Maharaj's darshan, where he was confined in a small bamboo cage for the past 10 months.
He was not happy to see the men. He was scathing and abusive to
them all. He said to them, "You no-goods have put me in a cage and yourself go about from place to place. Have you obliged me by walking 200 miles
?" Then said, "Keep to what you are doing under instructions of whoever is your somebody",
also, "Go as soon as possible back to where you have got to return".
Upasni agreed to give his blessings to them but only when they were at the compound gate and to leave
Sakori at once after Durgamai served them tea. They were given some food as well. They returned by foot back
to Babaleshwar after sunset. The men reported to
Baba was transpired with Maharaj. Baba explained to them the actual meaning of what
The next day, 2nd November, the lorry arrived at 6:30am, it had seating for 14 people, they goods were loaded on top. They set off for Ahmednagar which was 45 miles / 72.4 kms away.
The truck broke down at Rahuri village. After the damaged engine part was replaced, an hour and a half later, with the village crowd pushing their truck to start, they resumed they journey. They reached Ahmednagar at 2 pm and were put up at Khushru Quarters. A meal awaited them provided by Rustom's family. Babu Rao & Sadashiv were instructed to departed for Poona that evening by train.
Thus concluded the walking tour from Bombay.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 256-61
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.569-71
TRAIN TRIP -
AHMEDNAGAR TO KARACHI
& 1ST SHIP VOYAGE
The following 2 days were spent cleaning themselves up and resting after the last gruelling walk. Baba suddenly decided to move out of the Khushru Quarters to the traveller's rest house near Ahmednagar railway station on the 4th November. All the men followed him there. Here they spent time planning the next tour to Persia ( later Iran ). It was agreed by all, the 11 men accompany Baba to Karachi and stay there till February and then go to Persia. All had to sign a document that they were not to expect any external help, etc., on this trip.
Ramjoo & Dr. Ghani were not bound this as per a previous agreement until
Feb. 1924. They all agreed to leave by the 11th Nov. for Karachi.
On the 11th November , all the men made their way to the railway station and took the 12:30 pm train from Ahmednager, with only Rustom to see them off as per Baba's instructions. Rustom garlanded Baba prior to leaving. They all travelled 3rd class and reached Manmad in the evening and stayed in a shed nearby. At 10 pm, Baba and the men took the Nagpur Mail for Jalgaon, while Ramjoo was instructed to wait for Nervous to arrive from Ahmednagar, because he missed Baba's train earlier. Nervous arrived at 2 am, 12th November and they both left on the 2:30 am Calcutta Mail train for Jalgaon, arriving at 5:30 am and meeting up with Baba and the men.
Later that morning, they departed at 8:30 am by the Bhushawal-Surat train. They passed Amalner where the G.I.P. railway changed into the Tapti Valley Railway. In the evening, they passed Bardoli, a Gandhi movement centre. At 7:30 pm they reached Surat, here they moved their luggage to the opposite platform to take the train from Bombay to Ahmedabad. Baba and a few men went to the nearby bazaar, while they waited for their train. Here they encounted a pitiful young man, Baba instructed Ramjoo to feed him at a local hotel and purchase a train ticket for him to go back at Vadala. Baba's train arrived and they departed for Ahmedabad at 10 pm.
They arrived in the early morning of the 13th November. Here Baba and some of the men went to the city and brought back some sweets and toast for the men, waiting back on the railway platform. At 8:50 am they departed on the train for Hyderabad-Sind that was attached to the Delhi Mail. At 7 pm, their carriage was attached to the J.B. Railway train at Marwar Junction. They soon left Marwar, still in the 3rd class carriage.
The train arrived in Hyderabad-Sind after travelling through the desert at 12:30 pm.,14th November. Baba went off into the town with some of the men to find a place to stay, while the others waited at the railway station. Baba returned and said the town was smothered in sand, dust storms, very unsuitable, etc., and told the men to prepare to leave for Karachi, by train, which was due very soon. They got on the Quetta-Karachi Mail of the N-W Railway.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 262-7
14th November, 1923 : Karachi, British India
They arrived at the Karachi Cantonment Station at 6:30 pm, Bailey had been wired by Baba to meet them at the station. Baba went off to choose from several places to stay that Baily had found. Baba settled on a bungalow at No. 2445 Soldier Bazaar. Victoria carriages were hired to move the luggage. That night they slept on the floor.
The following day, 15th November, all went to work to clean the bungalow. Baba & Baily named the place Halt Ho. Rent was paid for 2 months to the landlord. The next day 16th November, Baba abruptly said they should immediately go to Basra, ( then part of Persia ) and sent some of the men to arrange tickets on a steamer, see the landlord, etc.... But, news came later that making new arrangements were not possible, because the Persian Consulate was closed and news also about the malarious mosquitoes infestating where they were planning to go.
On the 20th November, those not employed went with Baba to Clifton Beach, but they only stayed for 15 minutes and returning to Halt Ho. The day was scorching hot.
Dr. Ghani was granted permission on the 21st to return to Poona due to the
poor state of the housing. Baba said he could go and return whenever he wants to. He left the same day by train.
Consul refused to endorse them unless he saw all of men personally, except Baba, who
had already was seen and endorsed a couple of days earlier. Baba had never been to the Consulate and had not seen the
Consul or had been in Bombay for 6 weeks
Baba decided they should all leave the next day, 22nd November for Bombay by steamer ship. Baba said, "Now we should all leave at once for Poona !"
Everyone packed up their belongings in a mad rush. They all embarked at 4:12 pm on the ship S.S. Vita, where they were booked onto the top deck of the ship along with their luggage. There were about 800 passengers on board.
Instead of spending 2 months in Karachi they spent 8 days. During the voyage to Bombay, it was very cold at night with ferocious
winds blowing all the time. It was a miserable trip, especially on the top deck, open to the elements.
The following day, 23rd November, they approached the Kutch on the coast at 7 am, and then proceeded towards Dwarka, passing it at 12:30 pm with the ship later docking at 4:30 pm at Porbandar. On the voyage, a Parsi man took exception to the way the men were on board in a very unkept way. He wrote a very unflattering article in a Parsi newspaper on the 30th December., which was full of untruths about Baba and the men. When they were approaching Bombay, Baba indicated that he wanted to be in seclusion at an unknown railway station for part of the day, unknown by most of the men.
They arrived at Victoria Dock, Bombay at 11:30 pm on the 24th November 1923.
*** Meher Baba at another time, when he was explaining some of the attributes of the Avatar, he stated that the Avatar was the only one that had a "Spiritual body" and that he could manifest anywhere.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 267 - 73
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.577 - 82
Click on the images below to enlarge them.
10. TRAIN TRIP - BOMBAY TO SHOLAPUR
& then to ARANGAON, later
When they arrived in Bombay on the 24th November, Meher Baba had given
instructions to his men mandali ; Nervous, Padri & Slamson were to stay in Bombay. Adi and Masaji to go to Ahmednagar, while
Baidul and Beheramji went to Poona.
Meher Baba left for Lonavla on the 25th November, by Poona Express train, with Gustadji, Dr. Ghani and Ramjoo. Baba and Gustadji got off at Khandala so as not to be recognized by anyone in Lonavla. Ghani and Ramjoo preceeded to Lonavla and borrowed Abdul Tayab's car to come back and pick up Baba, whom they met walking along the roadway. They then drove to a bungalow at Valvan nearby.
Soon afterwards, Baba found a potential place nearby to stay for his seclusion work, but he wanted it rent free for a month or so. Abdul went to Bombay to persude the owner to loan it. He later telegramed Baba stating that the owner wanted to stay there himself during the same period.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 274 - 275
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.582 - 583
On the 29th November, Baba went to Lonavla Railway station and took the train to Poona at 8:30 pm. When the train arrived at Poona station on the 30th November, Beheramji joined Baba and Gustadji and they took the train to Sholapur, travelling in a packed 3rd class carriage. They arrived at midnight and spent the night on the platform after there was some harassement by police and station staff.
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.583
At sunrise, 30th November , they hired a tonga and toured the city in the hot sun until 1 pm, they then went to a traveller's bungalow to rest. At 5 pm they went to the railway station and bought rail tickets to Akolner, near Ahmednagar, this deplited their money. They left Sholapur and arrived at Dhond at 4 am, 1st December and changed trains for Manmad. They later reached Akolner. Baba had sent Beheramji to Ahmednager to fetch Rustom and to bring him, which he did, arriving that night with food as well. They spent the night on the station platform.
The next day, 2nd November, Baba was not pleased with the place and decided to return to the Post Office building at Meherabad. During the day, waiting for Rustom to arrive, Baba befriended a young lad named Ismail who worked at the station in Akolner. He accompanied Baba and the men to Ahmednager arriving at night and then walked to Meherabad beside the railway tracks, arriving late at night. No one had recognized Baba at all during this time, which was perfect for Baba's seclusion work. They stayed in the Post Office building, Gustadji arrived much later with their luggage on a bullock cart. No one in Arangaon knew that Baba had arrived after a 6 months absence. A tent was erected within the building and Baba stayed within it secluded.
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.586
*** Akolner village is 16 kms from Ahmednagar.
Click on the images below to enlarge them.
Baba had sent Ramjoo a letter explaining all to him on the 5th December. Signed - Merwan.
After a week, Gulmai ( who lived in Ahmednagar ) was allowed to see Baba and her son Adi, who had come days earlier to help out. In the last week of December, Baba went to Poona for a couple of days and stayed at Sadashiv's place in Kasba Peth. Baba held a large darshan program with several hundred people attending. Babu Rao brought along an Anglo-Indian seeker named Lewis Charles Nelhams.
When Lewis first saw Baba he thought he was looking at Jesus himself. Baba talked to him privately and told him to remain in Poona.
Ramjoo had received a letter from Baba on the 30th December, detailing his travel plans and telling him to remain in Lonavla after seeing him on the 31st. It was signed - Merwan.
Soon afterwards, Baba returned to Meherabad without anyone knowing where he had gone to, except for a few men. He was still on a fast. On the 31st December, Baba came out of seclusion and left Meherabad for Bombay via the Poona rail line, with Beheramji and Gustadji. Baba had written earlier to Dr. Ghani and Ramjoo to meet him at Lonavla station when his train arrived on the way to Bombay. When they arrived, the men were alarmed by Baba's poor physical appearance from all the fasting, he was a skeleton, but he was also very cheerful. They gave him some cocoa and they travelled with him as far as Khandala. Baba arrived in Bombay that night and stayed at the Bharucha Building which Vajifdar had rented according to Baba's instructions. Here he maintained his seclusion but curtailed his fasting periods.
This brought the monumentous year for Meher Baba of 1923 to a close.
Ramjoo's Diaries p. 275 - 285
Lord Meher Vol. 2 p.588 - 589
The story of Meher Baba's advent continues onto Chapter 6.
The reference books that were used on this webpage :
Lord Meher Vol.2 - Bhau
Kalchuri pages 468 - 589
Ramjoo's Diary - Ramjoo
Abdulla pages 135 - 285
The Perfect Master - Charles B. Purdom pages 58
The God-Man - Charles B.
Purdom pages 40-46
LINKS TO THE OTHER PAGES OF MEHER BABA'S LIFE
Click on the following buttons to visit those webpages.