2249WARTIME TRAVEL FOR MASTS1941
After meeting Baba, Manek Mehta told Chanji that he was convinced Baba was the Avatar of the Age. "Any doubts that my mind entertained previously with regard to his claims," he confided, "have been totally removed."
That day had been fixed as the date for drawing the lottery for the Blue Bus. One hundred of Baba's followers and lovers had sent in their donations of Rs.50 each. On that day Baba indicated to the mandali, "The bus will go to one outside the mandali, who resides at a great distance from Meherabad."
Baba drew the raffle himself in the mast ashram at five o'clock that afternoon, and true to his words, Keki Desai of Delhi won it. Keki was informed, and he expressed his respect for Baba by giving the bus back to Baba from his heart. Baba accepted his gesture, and the bus stayed in Ahmednagar, where Sarosh had it overhauled.
Every three years in India, a huge religious fair known as the Kumbha Mela is held in succession at Hardwar, Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain. In 1942, the Kumbha Mela was scheduled to be held at Allahabad, and Baba expressed his wish to attend the gathering and touch the feet of 7,000 sadhus and the masts who would come.
He remarked about this work:
Just as other people's God is in idols and rituals, my God is in these masts! Whoever be your gods, either you yourselves, or I, as your Master — masts are my gods.
This mast work, which has been continued up to this day, will end before February 15, 1942. To give a final touch to this work, I now wish to go to the Kumbha Mela. I have to contact 7,000 sadhus and masts there.
After I finish this work and return here, no more fasts, no more seclusions. Then there will be no God [gods] for me. I will be alone, and with me, this mandali!
To make all the necessary arrangements required for Baba's work, Pleader was sent to Allahabad ten days in advance. There he contacted a man named G. S. Srivastava, an Assistant Commissioner with the state government, who had first met Baba in 1938 and become an ardent follower. Srivastava was already planning to spread Baba's message of love at the Kumbha Mela. Vibhuti and Babadas were coming to Allahabad for the same purpose. But Baba instructed that, until his own work at the fair was over and he had left Allahabad, their work should not begin.