1925 - 1927

 

Chapter 8 :

 

1925 : This image of Meher Baba is referred to as "The Ancient One" taken at Meherabad, India. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
1925 : This image of Meher Baba is referred to as "The Ancient One" taken at Meherabad, India. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
 British-India flag
British-India flag

 

1.                                              INTRODUCTION

 

 

The story of Meher Baba's advent continues from Chapter 7.

 

This web page / chapter 8, will follow Meher Baba ( Merwan Irani ) in the years 1925 to 1927 with his first close group of both male & female followers.

 

Baba has now settled down in the area near Arangaon village, which is now known as Meherabad.

 

Click on images and maps to enlarge them, also click on the under-scored names to visit their web-pages.

 

 

 

                               1925 

 

CONTENT : 1.   INTRODUCTION

                     2.   RETURNING TO MEHERABAD

                     3.  

                     4 

                     5.  

                     6.  

                     7.  

                     8.  

                     9.  

                     

 

Page references are marked RD ( Ramjoo's Diary ) & LM ( Lord Meher ).

Click on the following button to visit the previous page in Meher Baba's Advent.

Original photo of Meher Baba. This image is known as the "Ancient One".
Original photo of Meher Baba. This image is known as the "Ancient One".

 

 

2.                          RETURNING TO MEHERABAD

 

 

During the month of January, Meher Baba had sent Naja Irani to Poona and for Mehera Irani, her mother Daulat and friend Khorshed Irani to stay at the Khushru Quarters in Ahmednagar.

Baba had been staying the last 2 months at the Bharuch Building in Bombay, but on the 25th January, Baba returned to Meherabad with the men and a new phase of his work began. Baba referred to Meherabad as his permanent headquarters.

Many newcomers came increasing the number to over 40 people. Some stayed permanent and others for short periods.

 

      MEHERA IRANI                 DAULAT IRANI            KHORSHED IRANI                NAJA IRANI

Map showing the routes between Bombay & Ahmednagar. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map showing the routes between Bombay & Ahmednagar. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.

 

 

Meher Baba had given the women instructions to meditate for 30 minutes each day and write the Zoroastian name for God - Yezdan and repeat the name. Also, to cut each name into small pieces and roll each piece.They were to be immersed into the sea at another time. In addition, they were tasked to stitching clothing for the children and poor at Arangaon village nearby.

They were called sometimes to Meherabad from Ahmednagar to report how many they had made. Baba always insisted on more, at least 200 shirts were needed.

 

Map shows the area south of Ahmednagar towards Arangaon. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map shows the area south of Ahmednagar towards Arangaon. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map shows Meherabad settlement at the end of 1926. Courtesy of the AMB Trust. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
Map shows Meherabad settlement at the end of 1926. Courtesy of the AMB Trust. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.

 

February 1925

 

Meher Baba's 31st birthday was celebrated at Meherabad, a large canopy was erected over the Post Office verandah. Baba's whole family had arrived prior, along with close followers from Poona, Bombay and Ahmednagar. About a hundred participated in the celebrations.

Most had departed within a couple of days. Most of the close women moved to Meherabad staying in the PO building on the other side of the railway tracks. Baba would visit each day and sit on an empty tea crate on the veranda, which had the name "Brooke Bond" written on it.

 

 

 

During one of his visits to the women's quarters Baba asked Mehera if she knew an English song, she did and sang "Swanee"  and he asked her if she could teach it to him the whole song. Baba did sing the song after learning it.

 

To view more details about this song visit the webpage.

https://www.meherbabatravels.com/music/songs-music-played-to-meher-baba/swanee/Written by George Gershwin & lyrics by Irving Caesar

 

 

The Post Office compound had all 4 sides with bamboo screens so the women could live in strict privacy.

By this stage over 100 people including children now resided in Meherabad. A female resident dedicated her life to Baba and moved in with the women, her name is Valu Pawar. She assisted Mehera with the duties.

 

 

March 1925

 

On Saturday, 21st March, the Meher Charitable Dispensary and Hospital was opened.

Meher Baba, Rustom K. Irani and his father Kaikhushru Sarosh Irani performed the opening ceremony and Baba told the villagers, no matter what religion etc, all people would be treated for free, including food and clothing. A local doctor, Y.G. Karkal directed the hospital. Some of the men mandali were appointed to assist, Padri became the pharmacist.

The next 15 months, almost 7,500 patients were treated, including surgery. A special room was erected for cataract eye operations.

 

There is no known image of Y.G. Karkal

 

       RUSTOM K. IRANI                       KAIKHUSHRU S. IRANI             'PADRI' FAREDOON DRIVER

Artist’s rendition of the Hazrat Babajan school. Courtesy of the AMB Trust.
Artist’s rendition of the Hazrat Babajan school. Courtesy of the AMB Trust.
A closer view of the marker. Photo by Paul Liboiron
A closer view of the marker. Photo by Paul Liboiron

 

On the 25th March, the Hazrat Babajan School was opened and both English and Marathi were taught to the 7th graders. This school expanded into a high school with proper walls and tin sheets.
Arjun Supekar was the director and Vishnu Deoruhkar became the teacher, others taught as well. Chanji also assisted. Eventually, there was about 200 children in the school.

A girl's school was opened and kept separate and it  had a woman teacher. This school later moved to Arangaon. Books and writing material were all free of charges.

At first the Harijan ( untouchable) children and Brahmin kids were kept seperated, but over time they were unified and this message went to the parents as well.

 

    ARJUN SUPEKAR                            VISHNU DEORUHKAR                'CHANJI' DADACHANJI

 

Baba would inspect every building and their method of care either in teaching or cleaning. He often disciplined the mandali.

Another darshan was given and about 5,000 people came from all the villages.

 

On the 14th April, Baba left for Bombay to purchase khaki material for the children's clothing. When he returned, a local tailor named Waman was hired to stitch the clothing and all of the cutting was done in Baba's presence.

Baba returned to Bombay and spent 2 days with Munshi Rahim at his home.

 

There is no known image of Waman, Chhagan S. Dattatrey.

 

          MUNSHI RAHIM                       DHAKE PHALKAR                          GULMAI IRANI

 

Soon afterwards, Baba returned to Meherabad and a Brahman called Chhagan S. Dattatrey came to see him and told of his and his family's dire economic situation. Baba invited him to move to Meherabad and assist in the teaching at the school. Baba also revealed his divinity to him and he was so absorbed with divine love at Meherabad. Another Hindu man Moreshwar Ramachandra Dhakephalkar, he was known as Dhake, was a teacher at Ahmednagar and Baba also asked him to work in the school. He agreed but on very generous terms, Baba agreed. Two weeks later he moved to Meherabad.

 

 

In 1922 while Baba was living in the hut in Poona, Gulmai presented Baba with a pair of sandals made by a cobbler named Kanhoba Rao Gadekar. These were the only sandals Baba wore throughout his journeys.

On 29th April 1925, his son Ramchandra came to Meherabad for Baba's darshan (blessing).

Baba invited him to stay and work as a teacher and his education in Poona was to be funded by Baba. Later the whole Gadekar family moved to Meherabad and his father's job was to repair Baba's sandals. Ramchandra in the future years would spread the word about Baba throughout the world.

 

There is no known image of Kanhoba Rao Gadekar or Pavarti.

 

DR.RAMCHANDRA GADEKAR         P.M. UPASNI MAHARAJ                    SAINT SAKHUBAI

 

On May 10th was Upasni Maharaj's 53rd birthday and celebrations were to be held in Meherabad. Lots of singing and prayers and recitals were performed throughout the day. At the end of the day a film was played on the life of a Hindu saint Sakhubai, was played.

 

At another time, Baba indicated that Naja was Martha and Mehera was Mary of Bethamy at the time of Jesus. Baba had to explain to Naja why some people had more duties than others, she was complaining she was working too hard.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anointing_of_Jesushttps://www.gotquestions.org/life-Mary-Bethany.htmlhttps://www.gotquestions.org/Martha-in-the-Bible.html

https://guideposts.org/prayer/bible-resources/women-in-the-bible/martha-of-bethany/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sant_Sakhuhttps://www.imdb.com/title/tt0393682/

Jesus in Bethany visiting the home of Matha ( standing serving food ) and her sister Mary listening to a sermon by him. Their brother was Lazarus at another tme was raised from the dead by Jesus. Artist : Simon Dowey
Jesus in Bethany visiting the home of Matha ( standing serving food ) and her sister Mary listening to a sermon by him. Their brother was Lazarus at another tme was raised from the dead by Jesus. Artist : Simon Dowey

 

At another time in May, lepers were brought to stay at Meherabad at separate quarters. They were supervised by a lady leper called Parvati, she was also very attentive to Baba.

 

Baba went to visit Ramjoo's new business - Meher Rice and Flour Mill on the 23rd May, to inaugurate it. Baba and his men arrived the night before in Talegaon near Lonvala. They stayed the night at the train station platform. Baba returned to Meherabad the next day. Baba on another day, went to Visapur south of Arangaon, for a picnic with the school children. Baba travelled incognito by wearing Western clothing and avoided giving darshan.

At Visapur he went to see the water tank being built by prisoners of the local prison.

 

      RAMJOO ABDULLA

Map shows the proximity of Visapur to Meherabad. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.
Map shows the proximity of Visapur to Meherabad. Map graphics by Anthony Zois.

 

June 1925

 

On the 2nd & 3rd June, Meher Baba led all the students of the Hazrat Babazan School to his Jhopdi, where he discoursed them and the mandali on many spiritual topics.

Baba had told the men and women mandali that from June 15th, he would be keeping silent and he would be using written notes and gestures.

On the 4th June, he declared "I will observe silence for 1 year. I will not speak to anyone. But all should hold fast to my feet. Those who last with me until the very end will greatly benefit."  Baba later departed for Bombay and returned a week later bringing cloth which was to be used to make exercise uniforms for the school children.

 

 

KAKA SHAHANE
KAKA SHAHANE

 

On 13th June, Gulmai had been cleaning the ceiling of termites, etc., and fell  and severely spraining her ankle. Baba applied plaster compressors and declared he was delaying the start of his silence until she got better. Baba mentioned his upcoming silence on the 18th June, stating "Within a few days, I will begin keeping silence.  All of remember to hold fast to me, no matter what."

Baba then went with some of the mandali to Kaka Shahane's home for a meal.

Then on the 26th June, Baba declared that he would observe silence from the 10th July. A sign and notice were printed and erected in Meherabad to that effect.      

 

 

    BEHERAMJI  IRANI                      GUSTADJI HANSOTIA                     PANDOBA DESHMUHK

On the 8th July, Baba convened a meeting of the men mandali at Meherabad, and instructed every person for over an hour about their duties, for the forthcoming year of silence. Some close ones from Bombay came, matters about the school and the property were mentioned on the following day.

Behramji, Rustom K, Arjun, Gustadji and Padri  were the only men allowed to speak to Baba at certain times each day. Many directives were made throughout the day, including when he told Gulmai, "There will be another world war, it will be much more destructive and extensive than the one before. Rivers of blood will flow ! I will dip my kerchief into that river of blood and tie it around my head !  Not until the world cries for God will I give up my silence !"

When the teacher Pandoba pleaded with Baba, that if he became silent, people will no longer to have the opportunity to her what he had to declare, and the world will be deprived of his teachings. Meher Baba replied,

 

"I have come not to teach but to awaken !"

 

These were to be his last words to anyone outside of his circle, and this message was the meaning of his divine mission to the world.

The evening of the 9th July, he went to the women's quarters at the Post Office building and conveyed his final verbal instructions:

"Now listen to my last words because from tomorrow I will keep silence for one year. Attend to your duties with love and fulfill them with all your heart. Cook for the children at the school as if they were your own." "I have much to do for the world. When my work is done, I shall speak."

 

RUSTOM "MASAJI" IRANI
RUSTOM "MASAJI" IRANI

9th July continued...

 

Baba left them at 8pm and was accompanied by his uncle Masaji, and then visited the men mandali's quarters. He expressed similar words to them. He also said : "Whenever you go out during the night, always carry a lantern with you.Always beware of snakes ! I will save you from every calamity under the sun, but I won't help you if you are bitten by a snake. So be careful !"

Some more instructions were given as well.

 

It was 8:30 pm when he concluded talking to the 20 men around him. "I am going to the Jhopdi now. All of you go to bed."

They all dispersed, Padri went off to urinate taking a few steps he saw a 3 foot cobra ( one metre ), he lifted his lantern and shouted "Snake, snake."

Meher Baba came out of his hut and said : "What is all the noise about ?"

"Baba, we have killed the snake !"

"Who saw it?"

"I did", said Padri.

"Were you carrying a lantern ?" Padri nodded yes.

 

Baba was pleased that he followed his instructions about carrying a lantern. Padri handed him a staff and Baba smashed the head of the cobra with one blow. Padri was order to wash his hands several times after he buried the snake.

Baba repeated his instruction to the men "I am warning you all again. Be careful of snakes !.  Always carry a lantern and take care. Now I want everyone to go to sleep."

 

Baba then walked over to the women and spoke with them briefly : "How fortunate you are having heard my voice so many times today !" " This incident with the snake took place to allow you to hear me speak for the final time."

 

He then departed to his hut for the night, while Masaji kept watch.

 

The next day 10th July at 5am, Baba woke up, washed and did his rounds and inquired with them, but in writing.

 

*End of Vo.2 LM.

Meher Baba in 1950. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba in 1950. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.

53

10th July continued....

 

During his inspections of the settlement of Meherabad, Baba had a young boy who followed him with a pencil and paper. This is how Baba now communicated with everyone.


On the 13th July, Meher Baba commenced his 'book' in the Jhopdi. He would write daily from 5am to 8:30. The contents were written in various languages, he often wrote in it at other parts of Meherabad. This book was completed in several months. This book according to Baba contained secrets that one day their content will be revealed. During the day, Baba also did other activities, such as grinding corn alongside his brother Jal, and interviews were given.

 

Baba revealed in discussions his minor incarnation of Shivaji and about his spiritual master at the time, Swami Samarth Ramdas ( 1608 - 1682 ), and that many men in the present with Baba were with Shivaji. Baba indicated more will be revealed in the next 2 years.

 

Shivaji (standing) & Swami Samarth Ramdas (seated).
Shivaji (standing) & Swami Samarth Ramdas (seated).

 

July continued .....

 

On the 22nd July, Baba gave a discourse about 'divine light'. The following day (24th) he visited Kaka Shahane's house and explained about 'freedom'.

That night Baba appointed *Charles Nelhams to be his constant attendant replacing Bal.

Charles had septic wound on his leg and he was receiving treatment at the hospital. In the next 3 days he became weaker.

On the night of the 26th July, Baba remarked "Nelhams will be free of all pain tomorrow morning". Pendu and Padri had nursed him. Charles died as Baba indicated. Baba wanted him to have the opportunity to be by his side.

The following day (27th), Charles had Christian rights performed for him in Ahmednagar and then the men mandali attended his funeral and burial in a Christian cemetery  near Bhingar, now a suburb of Ahmednagar. There was no stone for his rave or any marker, just an entry in a burial register records as H.H.6.

Baba observed fast all day and not even drinking water. When the men returned, Baba said that Charles will come in contact with Baba again. "His mind was still active !"

 

*There are no known images of Charles Nelhams.

 

The area where the Christian cemetery is found in Eastern Ahmednagar.
The area where the Christian cemetery is found in Eastern Ahmednagar.
  1926 : Panday Studio, Ahmednagar, India. Image rendered by Anthony Zois.
1926 : Panday Studio, Ahmednagar, India. Image rendered by Anthony Zois.
1926.  Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
1926. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
 Meher Baba on 19th Feb. 1926, sitting on Sai Darbar platform, in India.  Image rendered by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba on 19th Feb. 1926, sitting on Sai Darbar platform, in India. Image rendered by Anthony Zois.
19th Sept. 1927 : Meher Baba in a tonga pulled by Baily Irani at Meherabad, India. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
19th Sept. 1927 : Meher Baba in a tonga pulled by Baily Irani at Meherabad, India. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba at Meherabad, India in 1927. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba at Meherabad, India in 1927. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
Meher Baba at Meherabad, India in 1927. Original full length image.
Meher Baba at Meherabad, India in 1927. Original full length image.
1927 - India : Meher Baba had just come out of seclusion to supervise the building of the new school.
1927 - India : Meher Baba had just come out of seclusion to supervise the building of the new school.

 

 

 

REFERENCE  BOOKS

 

The reference books that were used on this webpage : 

 

Lord Meher Vol.2          - Bhau Kalchuri          pages 687 -

The Perfect Master      - Charles B. Purdom   pages 72 -

The God-Man                - Charles B. Purdom   pages 49 -

 

 

 

 

 

LINKS TO THE OTHER PAGES OF MEHER BABA'S LIFE

 

Click on the following buttons to visit those webpages.