Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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2556MEETINGS & DARSHANS1946

So the next day Jean and Markey went. They reasoned that if they sold the New Life Center's 500 acres, they would be able to afford this property, which was only 160 acres. This is what they did. The property was bought for Meher Baba's cause and christened Meher Mount.

Soon afterwards, however, Markey and Jean had some disagreement and he moved back to New York.  Jean asked Agnes to move to Ojai with her, and though still not committed to Meher Baba, Agnes agreed.

Swami Yogananda, who lived in the area, visited the property in November 1946 and spent a few hours there.  He remarked: "This place is a dream Oriental paradise. One does not even have to focus to hear the Om sound here." Meher Baba's lovers in California, New York, and also at Myrtle Beach, were eagerly awaiting the time when the Soundless Sound himself would visit their centers in America — as he had hinted he would be doing in the near future.

Eruch had rented the Agha Khan's bungalow in Mahabaleshwar, and on Saturday, 30 November 1946 — after staying in the "place of seclusion" for more than seven months — Baba left Niranjanpur by train with the men and women mandali. An additional member of their party was a Scottish terrier puppy, which Baba had acquired in Niranjanpur for the women and had named Cracker (as in "firecracker"). That evening they arrived in Delhi, where Baba and the ten women went to Keki Desai's home for dinner before resuming their journey to Mahabaleshwar. (The men stayed at the station and had dinner there.) Since there were about 100 pieces of luggage, Sarosh's truck was waiting for them at Manmad junction. They were driven straight to Mahabaleshwar, where they arrived on the evening of 2 December.

The Agha Khan's palace, Florence Hall, was very large with a spacious compound and horse stable. It was suitable for Baba's purpose, because he wished to establish a mast ashram in Mahabaleshwar. That was the reason why he had directed the nine workers to bring masts from throughout India. Eruch met Baba and the mandali in Mahabaleshwar when they arrived, and work began on turning the stables into a Tavern! It was cleaned and partitioned with bamboo matting into 40 cells, and Vishnu bought soap, plates, mugs, kafnis and vessels for Baba's work with the masts.

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