Chapter 23: Fiery Free Life
Khushru Quarters, Ahmednagar, September 1952
Before traveling to America and Europe, Baba had sent Eruch and Pendu on a speaking tour of different places in India, such as Andhra Pradesh in the south, Hamirpur in the north, Delhi, Allahabad, Nagpur and Saoner in the central provinces, and elsewhere. They had even carried Baba's message of love to Karachi in Pakistan. The gatherings were not open to the general public, but were meant only for Baba lovers and those genuinely interested in spirituality. Before addressing each meeting, Baba instructed Eruch to repeat: "O God, Baba is sending us both [Eruch and Pendu] in Your Name, and Baba and we ask that Your Will be done in this work."
In Andhra, Dr. Dhanapathy Rao had already done some preliminary spade work, and so, as Age noted, after Eruch and Pendu's visit, "the soil there was particularly fertile and eagerly waiting to receive the Ancient One."
Upon Baba's return, Eruch and Pendu arrived from Poona (where Pendu had recently been hospitalized with appendicitis). They gave a full account of their travels. Eruch showed Baba a list of the places they had visited, those who had accommodated them and those who had donated money toward their expenses. Baba took great interest in what they said, and marked a few places he wished to visit personally.
On Monday, 31 August 1952, Baba called the mandali from Meherabad and Ahmednagar. He met them, seated on the front verandah of the main house. Baba had Adi Sr., Nilu and Don give an account of their trip to the West. Baba alluded to the critical situation caused by the accident and the ensuing suffering he had to endure. He spoke about the appearance and then fading chances of raising funds for his work. He praised Nilu for his tireless nightwatch duty and Sarosh and others and observed, "I found my mandali at their best." After a pause, he added with a wry smile, "And also at their worst!" Eruch and Pendu then spoke about their tour of India.
Babadas was called to Meherazad on 4 September, and Baba instructed him to begin keeping silence on the 7th, to take only one meal a day, and to refrain from writing. He was to return to Meherazad on 1 November.
On the afternoon of 10 September, Adi Sr. took Baba to the Civil Hospital for diathermy (heat treatment) for his hip.