Chapter 32: 1958 Meherabad Sahavas
Over 750 Hindi and Marathi speaking lovers and devotees arrived at Meherabad on Friday afternoon, 14 February 1958. The garden of Meherabad blossomed once more with their sweet singing. This was the first time that women were participating in a sahavas, and their hearts were overjoyed. The best of arrangements had been provided for them. The work had continued day and night so that by the time they arrived everything was ready.
Baba had written to Abdul Majid Khan in Raipur to bring the young man Balak Bhagwan to Meherabad for the sahavas program. Balak Bhagwan had met Baba six months previously at Meherazad, and had his own following in Raipur. On the 14th, Baba called Balak Bhagwan to Meherazad, where he gave him certain instructions, such as not to pose as an advanced soul, not to touch any woman and not to perform any "miracle." Baba warned him, "If you go against my orders, I will crush you." Pukar was appointed to look after him and make sure the boy didn't cause any trouble. Nariman, Meherjee, Elcha Mistry and Kumar had arrived at Meherazad a few days before. Nariman and Meherjee, with Jalbhai and Aloba, shifted to Meherabad on the 14th.
The sahavas commenced the next day, 15 February. Baba arrived in Meherabad at 8:30 A.M. with Eruch, Kaka, Elcha and Kumar. His car was stopped near the meeting tent, which had been pitched on the north side of the dharamshala building at lower Meherabad. Baba walked to the dais on crutches and, with Eruch and Kaka's help, limped up to it. Over Baba's seat was a decorated umbrella and behind it hung a large photograph of Baba and one of each of his five Perfect Masters.
Because of the circular and telegrams about Baba's fever and persistent hip pain, upon arrival on the 14th, everyone asked the mandali about Baba's health. They were informed that it was very bad. That evening, Baba had sent word from Meherazad to Meherabad that his pain was intense, he was suffering with a high temperature, and in case he was unable to come to Meherabad the following day, those attending the sahavas should remain happy. This was conveyed to all the men and women attending the sahavas. But when they saw Baba's smiling face glowing like a rose, they thought the mandali had lied to them. In fact, Baba was suffering terrible pain, but no one would have known it by his expression.
Vociferous cries of "Avatar Meher Baba ki jai!" filled the air as Baba entered the pandal. The men were seated on one side and the women on the other.