EXPERIENCES AND INCIDENTS CONCERNING MASTS

Cyrus Daily Messages

Baba then mentioned God-intoxication and what masts experience, and narrated several amusing incidents which occurred during his extensive tours in search of them. He stated: (May 1963)
I love masts very much, and so I bore all the difficulties and hardships in order to meet them. I contacted them wherever they were stationed, travelling third class by train, by buses, by cars, by bullock carts, by tongas and often walking in unbearable heat, cold and rain. Once, the heat in Allahabad was so intense that Savak Kotwal asked me to relieve him of his duties and let him go back home. Savak has served me for years, yet he could not bear the strain of those mast tours. As soon as I was informed of a mast, I would immediately start the journey, whether it was day or night, whether transport was available or not. Once I contacted the masts, I was very happy and would do anything they asked me to do. They often gave me dirty food which I would eat, and presents which are still well preserved in Meherabad.

Once, I heard of a mast in a village ten miles away. I asked the mandali to procure a bullock cart. They met a village drunkard, who, in his tipsy state, said that he would bring his bullock cart if they paid him a certain fee, and also agreed to give him a tip. The deal was settled. He demanded his tip first, which was given. He at once raced off, not to get the bullock cart, but to the nearest pub and had his fill! He then set out asking friends for a cart, because he had none of his own. After much waiting, he did bring a cart, but his eyes were red and rolling.

I and the mandali climbed into the cart and the drunken driver whipped the bullocks. We bumped along a stony tract. On the way, we came to a hill. The drunkard whipped the bullocks and they climbed the hill at good speed. On the descent, he left the reins and the bullocks had freedom to run at breakneck speed. The cart rattled down the hill with all of us. None thought he would return alive, or at least whole. The driver seemed delighted with the speed with which the cart was rolling and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. The cart did arrive at the foot of the hill, but the bones of everyone’s body were rattled to the extent that they felt that they would fall apart at all the joints! Poor old Gustadji suffered the most from this joy ride.

When I was on mast tours, I had no compassion for the mandali or for anyone involved in our transport. My sole idea was to get to the mast with the quickest speed. Sometimes, we would walk for miles, and by the end of the day, our groins would be sore. A village remedy is to apply moistened gram flour to the sore parts. Once the mandali applied it to me, and since we were all tired, we went to sleep without washing it away. The next morning the mandali had a hellish time trying to remove the sticky stuff that had dried stiff on me overnight.

Kaka and Baidul were the chief mast hunters. Not always did they bring masts. At times, they would bring madmen.

Baba jokingly remarked:

Kaka Baria and Baidul would always disagree regarding whether the man was a mast or a madman! When Kaka would bring a man whom he thought was a mast, Baidul would fiercely disagree by saying that he was merely a madman!

Masts have a volcano of love within themselves. One mast would smoke beedies (cheroots) and then pass them on to me. I would puff on them, because I would not refuse a mast’s offering. He would go on giving me beedies until I felt giddy. At last, I would throw away the beedie after one puff.

We usually went to meet masts at night, for we were sure there would be no disturbance from their followers at that time. During the day, we would be travelling, and at night we would be seeing the masts. Thus, the mandali hardly got any sleep or rest.

Once, we arrived at a dak bungalow for a night’s rest, which was rare during these travels. The keeper said it was not possible for him to permit us to stay, as the executive officer was residing in it. After much argument, he agreed to give us a room if the officer permitted. One of the mandali got his sanction, and we occupied a room. It was 9:00 P.M., and all were happy to go to sleep at once. The officer in the next room was busy with his work and had a ceiling fan going due to the heat. The fan was making a creaking noise, and I felt disturbed. I asked Eruch to go and ask him to turn off the fan. The officer felt annoyed at our audacity, but finally agreed to turn it off. After some time, I could not stand the noise of his movements in the room, and sent Eruch to tell him that it would be better if he stopped making noise. This was the last straw for the man. In his fury, he forgot that he could drive us out of the bungalow, and acceded to the request to be quiet. Next morning, much to the amazement of the keeper, the officer came to me to pay his respects, when he found out it was I who had been the cause of his fury.

Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 18, pp. 6157 – 6159.