The New Life ...
It is all a mystery, a mystery and again a mystery, and very difficult for those who are with Baba, and those away from him.
— William Donkin —
Chapter 19: The New Life
Meher Baba had begun making hints about his New Life before the beginning of 1949. He had issued a circular on 1 January, stating: "The year 1949 marks an artificial end to an artificial beginning, and the Real Beginning to the Real End!"
He had also warned his lovers that "1949 would be a year of tests and troubles for all," and of a "great personal disaster" for himself.
From January 1949, Baba's hints became more pronounced, but no one could follow what he meant. These were some of his remarks:
I do not feel like caring for anything as to whatever remains and whatever goes ... Tomorrow is to be cared for in 1949 ... I will finish, once and for all, all the existing arrangements by December end, perhaps earlier, at June end — maybe by March end ... An immediate reduction of 50 percent must be made in all expenses right now ... From July, you will begin to see and hear things for yourself ...
Ninety percent of the mandali will have to leave me and only ten percent will remain with me. In 1949, I have no trust left in and for anyone, including myself. All are pardoned by me, and God will also pardon me, but, henceforth, no pardon is possible ... You people have been with me for so many years, and I am therefore responsible for your continued weaknesses, but I do not want to take advantage of your weaknesses. I am therefore warning you not to succumb to these, and avoid everything being washed away during 1949.
Before proceeding to Mount Abu in February 1949, Baba had instructed everyone to avoid physical contact with the opposite sex; he had even ordered them not to shake hands. Baba had also decided about the matter of the disposal of the mandali's bodies, according to their preference, in the event of death.
From Mount Abu, Baba had sent letters and telegrams to the Meherabad mandali containing similar hints. One telegram which Ramjoo received was:
The last two strenuous midsummer mast trips, done during Baba's illness, have severely told upon his health, but this is not even the shadow of the 1949 personal disaster. Inform mandali at Nagar, Meherabad and on the hill.
Baba's statements portended some great change about to take place in his work. The mandali and his lovers were to soon find out what Baba meant.