MEANWHILE, Adi’s mother Gulmai’s ill condition, due to kidney disease,
worsened in August. While at Meherabad on August 6th, Baba informed
Padri to be prepared for Gulmai’s burial on the Hill, as she would be
dying shortly. On the evening of August 8th, Gulmai’s condition became
serious, and Adi sent Sarosh to Meherazad to inform Baba. Baba
instructed Sarosh that when Gulmai passed away, he should be informed
and her body removed to Meherabad, where her coffin would be lowered
into the grave in his presence.
On the morning of August 9th, Baba unexpectedly decided to be driven
to Khushru Quarters to see Gulmai. Although she had ceased to
recognize anyone and was almost in an unconscious state, she opened
her eyes and her face brightened when she saw Baba. She caressed his
face and managed to utter, “Ba-ba.” After kissing her on the forehead
and embracing Gulmai, Baba returned to Meherazad.
The next day, taking a critical turn for the worse, Gulmai was unable
to speak and suffered spells of unconsciousness. Even so, with great
difficulty she was moving her lips and repeating Baba’s name. At
midnight, she startled from a coma-like sleep and loudly called out
Baba’s name. With all her strength, she continued this for a few
minutes without pause. While uttering Baba’s name, Gulmai merged in
him forever at the age of seventy-eight.
Waman Padole was sent to Meherazad to inform Baba of Gulmai’s passing.
At 9:00 A.M., on Saturday, August 11th, Gulmai’s body was taken to
Meherabad Hill where a grave had been dug. Baba arrived at ten o’clock
and performed the last rites by placing flowers on her forehead and
body. Almost two hundred persons from Arangaon and Ahmednagar were
present. As the coffin was lowered into the earth, Baba, looking
extremely sad, tossed flowers over it while Kaikobad offered prayers.
Thus Baba’s spiritual mother Gulmai came to rest in Meherabad, the
place she herself had been so instrumental in laying at his feet.
Baba remarked to Adi, “She is very fortunate that I was present at her
burial.” As if in an additional tribute to her, this was the last time
Meher Baba ever went to Meherabad.
Gulmai’s dedication, service and love for Meher Baba are truly
monumental, for she and her husband, Kaikhushru (Khan Saheb), were the
ones who gave him the land in Arangaon later called Meherabad.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 17, pp. 5919 – 5923.