Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills


Lord Meher

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Adi Jr. intervened, "Had I known of your order, I would never have asked for tea."

Baba replied, "Aloba gave you tea under the impression that it would please me. He does not know that he who breaks my order is my enemy! The one who carries out my instructions is my real brother. He who breaks my order can never be a brother of mine."

Because he was so upset, Baba canceled the qawaali program and ordered the mandali to return to Rosewood. The musicians stood up and repacked their musical instruments, but when they were about to leave, Baba called them back and forgave Aloba. Everyone had tea, and the qawaali singing began and lasted until midnight. Baba enjoyed the singing immensely and listened intently, his mood now buoyantly happy.

Then, accompanied by the men, Baba went to Rosewood, where the qawaali program continued. At 1:00 A.M., Baba told Aloba to prepare tea, and after a while, Baba went to him in the kitchen. Seeing Baba, Aloba was overcome with emotion and held him tightly. Later, while listening to the qawaal, Aloba went into a frenzy. "Kill me!" he told Baba, so moved was he by the qawaal's words and music. Baba took his hand and held it tightly, gesturing for him to calm down. The mandali had to restrain and remove him from the room. Bhau and Meherjee were told to take him to Jal Villa, where he was made to lie down. Meherjee then left for Rosewood, while Bhau stayed with Aloba. The qawaali function continued until 4:00 A.M., after which Baba retired to Grafton. Meherjee, Nariman, Adi Sr., Adi Jr., Waman, Bal Natu and the others departed for their respective homes, and Baba's special 40-days' activities began.

During this period, Baba would trace letters with his finger on either a stool or any other convenient surface. But it was very difficult for the mandali to decipher them quickly. Yet Baba had unlimited patience and would literally spend hours to convey something. Even if the mandali failed to follow what he meant, Baba would keep repeating it through this "unwritten writing" until they understood.

This method of gestures was also used to correct the supplement sections to God Speaks, which Ivy had sent to Baba for his approval in early December 1954.  At Ivy's suggestion, Baba also dictated a dedication for God Speaks: "To the UNIVERSE — the Illusion that sustains Reality."

Then Baba began his 40 days of special work: For ten days, from 1 to 10 December 1954, Baba ate only one meal a day. From the 11th to the 20th, he remained on liquids only; and, from 21 December to 10 January, he fasted on one cup of coffee and a glass of fruit juice taken twice daily. Baba had already given up the use of the alphabet board, and from 1 December he stopped using hand gestures also. During this time, Baba was working with Kaikobad for two hours every day in Jal Villa, and almost completely stopped visiting the mandali.

For the first ten days, the men mandali were also restricted to one meal a day in the evening and tea in the morning, and were repeating God's name in turns for 24 hours without a break during the entire period, from 1 December until 10 January.

Bhau described this difficult period in Satara in a letter to Pankhraj (dated 12 December 1954):

After the last visit and public appearance at Pandharpur, Baba stopped all activities and contacts with outsiders. Giving darshan, messages and discourses have all come to an end after 7 October when Baba stopped the use of his alphabet board. After 1 December, even the last link of conversation between Baba and the mandali came to an end when Baba even stopped using his forefinger for gestures to convey thoughts. The atmosphere here with the mandali and Baba has become surcharged with a sort of seriousness, as there is no means of communication with Baba.

Nowadays, Baba comes and sit with the mandali for 20 to 30 minutes in a day, and that, too, these minutes pass in pin-drop silence — no jokes, no conversation and no correspondence. [It has] brought a heavy atmosphere to Rosewood bungalow.

After sitting quietly with the mandali, Baba retires to his living room for the whole day. Consequently, even with the mandali, Baba is available for only 20 to 30 minutes, and that, too, silence prevails during that period.

Minoo Kharas wrote to Eruch at this time, informing him of the birth of a baby daughter. Eruch replied on 11 December 1954:

Under the present atmosphere at Rosewood, where Baba has been keeping aloof even from the mandali, the news reaching us from you could not possibly be conveyed to Baba. Under strict orders from Baba, we have not to convey to him anything, whether it be the contents of letters, telegrams or things pertaining to mandali's daily routine ... The seriousness in the atmosphere near Baba is gradually gaining a tempo, which is now beginning to tell upon the mandali, too.

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