( Baghdad to Istanbul )

Old Iraqi flag
Old Iraqi flag

There are no know images of Meher Baba for the whole of this journey from Bombay to London. This was his 9th visit to the West.



October 1936

News was given to them at the Baghdad train station that there was a breach on the railway line at the crossing of the Turkish border, with no definite information as to when the line would be repaired and ready for travel. This report was, at first, vexing because Baba had planned to proceed to England from Iraq by train.


Courtesy of Lord Meher ; Bhau Kalchuri - Vol.6-7 : p 2041 ( 1st Edition )Lord Meher Online Edition Page 1739

Baba was also feeling ill; his eyes had become swollen and he had severe pain in his molar teeth.


In spite of his failing health, on the 27th Baba arranged for a large amount of cooked food to be purchased and fed 100 of the city's beggars, serving the food with his own hands. At one point, he remarked, "By my coming here, the link with Rahuri is snapped, and to reestablish this link, I am feeding these poor persons." Before starting their journey, Baba had expressed his desire to feed and, if possible, bathe a number of poor and crippled persons in Baghdad. Now, due to being detained by the breach in the railway line, he was able to do his work with the destitute.


Baba's health had become so serious that he considered canceling his planned visit to England and sending for Kitty Davy from London to convey to her all the instructions for his lovers there. Telegrams were exchanged with the Western group, but Baba then dismissed that idea and decided to proceed to London, although his stay was to be drastically curtailed to only three days.


Baba left Baghdad by the Taurus Express train on Wednesday, 28 October 1936, at nine that evening. From Kirkuk he went to Mosul by taxi and then on to Tell Kotchek by train. While traveling, Chanji would read aloud the manuscript of Baba's biography, The Perfect Master, recently completed by Charles Purdom. They also discussed Baba's schedule in London.


At one point, Chanji read out this quote from the manuscript, given by Baba in 1927:


The worries and troubles of the world are all due to "thinking." Soon I shall take this thinking upon myself, when my health will, most probably, be seriously affected. This is essential for my future working which will affect the whole world.  


Baba commented: "That time referred to is now. My health is suffering so much." Baba was eating only one meal a day of bread, butter and cheese, and his health was obviously worsening. He complained that his molars continued to cause him much pain, and he developed a boil on the tip of his nose.

Traveling through Turkey, the train stopped in Konya. A few miles from the station is the tomb of one of Baba's favorite poets — Maulana Rumi. Konya is a sacred place to Sufis, because it is where Rumi resided.


Although Baba did not visit Rumi's shrine, no doubt it is significant that he passed so close to it. 

Reaching Istanbul, Baba and the mandali boarded the Orient Express on the 31st October at 9:45 P.M. for Paris, where they arrived on Tuesday, 3 November 1936. After a brief rest, they left Paris and arrived in London the following day, whereupon Baba and the mandali resided once again at Hygeia House.


Lord Meher Online Edition Page 1740-41


The Taurus Express between Baghdad and Aleppo, Syria
The Taurus Express between Baghdad and Aleppo, Syria