Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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4186BLOOD ON INDIAN SOIL1957

Since May, Baba had given up using crutches and was able to walk by supporting himself on the arms of two of the men mandali. Baba explained to Pendu about the upcoming sahavas, confirmed the dates for it, and then returned to Meherazad.

Balak Bhagwan drove back with them, but would not allow Baba, Eruch and Bhau to attend to their work. The mischievous fellow would move about on either side of Baba's legs, as Baba sat in his chair, and spent his time playing. Baba and the mandali derived a lot of fun from his tricks. He boldly told Baba, "The day I am not garlanded, I do not feel good!"

Baba smiled at his guilelessness, but replied, "It is not good to receive worship or arti from others. It will throw you down into a stinking pit!"

The boy replied, "But I feel pleasure in being worshiped! I want people to revere me and perform my arti!" Baba laughed.

Balak Bhagwan spent the night in Meherazad, and the following morning, when Baba came to mandali hall, the youth said, "Last night while on watch, Bhau slept! I saw him sleeping from my room." Baba was amused and named him Balak Meher (Child of Meher). Baba embraced the youth, and then instructed him to return to Raipur.

Pukar was sent to contact and bring either the sixth-plane mast Sharir Baba of Chhatarpur (whom Baba had contacted the previous year), Govardhan Maharaj of Amraoti, or any other genuine mast. Baba asked him also to find a boy similar to Balak Bhagwan. Despite his best efforts, Pukar was unable to persuade Sharir Baba ("I see Baba from here; why should I go there with you?") or any other mast to accompany him to Baba. He returned alone to Meherazad, feeling very dejected that he had not obeyed Baba. But Baba was not displeased with him and, on the contrary, held him up as an example to others.

On 14 June 1957, Adi brought Padri, Vishnu, Rama, Mehernath, Sheela and Dhiraj to Meherazad. It was decided that Rama would be given Rs.200 per month as her monthly maintenance stipend.

Baba would call Rama, Sheela and Mehernath to Meherazad periodically, and after meeting Baba and having lunch with him, the family would be sent back to Meherabad. Whenever Baba went to Meherabad, he would visit them and thus drew them close to him.

Irene Conybeare and Francis Goldney returned to Meherazad on the 14th from Mahabaleshwar. Conybeare was writing a book, In Quest of Truth, and Goldney was typing the manuscript and writing articles on Baba. Three days later, Goldney's wife, Olla, arrived in Bombay by ship. (It was the first ship to land in India since the Suez Canal crisis.) Goldney met her in Bombay, and both returned to Meherazad on the 25th. For the next 40 days, all three resided in Meherazad with the mandali. The food in India, however, did not agree with Olla, and she contracted dysentery. Under Goher's medical care, she recovered.

At noon on 15 June 1957, Norina Matchabelli passed away at the age of 77, in Youpon Dunes, Myrtle Beach, after prolonged heart trouble.

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