Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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510JOURNEYING1924

Nusserwan was very happy with this chance meeting and returned home in an ecstatic mood. Although Nusserwan had seen Meher Baba during 1921 at the housewarming ceremony of Sarosh Manzil and most likely at Rustom's wedding, he had not known who he was nor had he talked with him. Seeing him now, Nusserwan immediately felt drawn to Baba.

Nusserwan was not the only local resident who came to Meherabad. Others from Ahmednagar began to come for the Master's darshan regularly, and Meherabad turned into a scene of great activity. On 28 April, Baba gave this message to a gathering of local people who had come for his darshan: "Divinity is an unlimited treasure. It is useless and pointless to contact a Sat Purush [a God-realized soul] to gain material benefit."

Gulmai traveled to Poona at 10:00 P.M. that night, and as the train passed Meherabad, Baba and the mandali stood by the railway tracks and waved to her.

The next day, Ardeshir Irani and his friend Feram of Karachi came to meet Baba, and presented fruit and sweets to him. Baba discussed with Ardeshir about planting a fruit orchard at Meherabad, similar to the ones he had seen in Persia, and told him, "If you were to begin an orchard here, my men would have employment." Ardeshir was quite prepared to begin such work and, from that day, began living at Meherabad as one of the mandali. Baba designated him "Director of Agriculture" and advised him to begin immediately to fertilize and improve the soil for the orchard.

Ardeshir had been introduced to the Master at Manzil-e-Meem through Baidul, and even at that time he was eager to stay with the Master. Baba had assured him he would call him later, and on this day Baba fulfilled that promise. However, the mandali were not so thrilled with this new addition to their ranks. Ardeshir, being a hearty Irani, was a harsh taskmaster. This newly-appointed Director of Agriculture literally worked the mandali to a breaking point. He worked them so hard that Ramjoo wondered how many of them would live to see the orchard blooming — much less survive to taste its fruit.

On 30 April 1924, Gulmai returned to Ahmednagar and went immediately to see the Master. She presented him with a sadra — a white robe made of thin muslin material — which became Meher Baba's standard dress from that day on. During their conversation at the Jhopdi, Khushrow Cursetji Nagarwalla, a wealthy orthodox Zoroastrian from Ahmednagar, arrived at Meherabad with another person.

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