FRIDAY, AUGUST 22nd, 1958, marked the end of the first forty-day period of Baba’s seclusion and work (with Nilkanth and Kaikobad), which Baba stated was done one hundred percent satisfactorily. On August 25th, from his seclusion, Baba sent this telegram to some of his lovers, which was distributed as a Life Circular six days later:
Circumstances during these three months will put to test both the love and faith of my lovers. So try your best to keep a firm hold on my daaman. Do not talk ill of others, and try not to think ill of others. Remember my instructions about not going to Meherabad or Meherazad, and not corresponding with me or with anyone in Meherabad or Meherazad.
Baba would also emphatically impress on those with him not to have any bad thoughts about anyone else. Once over a domestic squabble one morning, he remarked, “Why do you worry over such a trivial thing like that when the whole world is at stake? Help me in my work by obeying me implicitly, and when you are in my presence, I want you to be unperturbed, cheerful and never out of mood for any reason.”
Occasionally though, Baba would purposely bring up some topic in the newspaper. If in the course of reading it aloud in mandali hall any of the men was unintentionally critical of any leader or authority of any country, Baba would immediately correct him and warn him that they should desist from backbiting. He would repeatedly tell the mandali to always be pure in thought.
After the first forty-day period, Baba gave the mandali a different repetition to do as follows: “O Beloved God! May the work of Meher Baba be one hundred percent complete!”
Baba would ask Baidul to do the japa in his presence and in the course of it, Baba repeated many, many times: “My body may remain or go, but my work must be completed.”
Baba’s health was not good during this time, and Baidul would sometimes pray for an improvement of it. But Baba would correct him, “Don’t pray to God for my health; pray to Him wholeheartedly that my work may be completed. I love my work!”
Baba would point out the most minute faults of the mandali, things to which the average person would not have paid the slightest attention. On the other hand, when a major breach was committed and the person concerned would tremble with fear, Baba would not only dismiss it completely, on the contrary, he would comfort the offender that it was not his fault. He would assure him, “I have done it, don’t worry. What can you ever do? Not a leaf moves without my will!”
Baba would have the Prayer of Repentance recited after each of these incidents or breaches on anyone’s part. While it was being recited, he would slap his cheeks in repentance. Sometimes, he would take the hands of the offender and beat his cheeks with their hands, causing the person concerned to have tears in his eyes.
During this period, each of the mandali had to wash his own smaller items of clothing. A laundryman did the heavier work. Baba ordered Kumar to wash Bhau’s things. Bhau hesitated giving him his laundry, since Kumar was older than he. Yet to fulfill Baba’s order, he gave him a coat which he had never used. After four or five days, the same coat was given again for washing. Baba heard of this and asked Bhau why he did not give his clothes to Kumar to wash. Bhau replied that he gave Kumar his coat. “Don’t irritate me!” Baba chided. “Do you think I am a child? Whatever you have done, do you feel it is proper?” Bhau admitted his mistake and assured Baba that in the future, he would have his clothes washed by Kumar. Baba, however, freed him from the order.
Once while talking with Kumar, Baidul got enraged over something Kumar said and openly expressed his anger. Baba intervened and scolded Baidul, “All your prayers and recitation of God’s name are useless! Your prayer is helpful only if you can keep your heart clean! This is the purpose of prayer. If the heart is clean, no prayer is necessary.
“You keep awake to do the japa from midnight until 1:00 A.M. and again at 4:00 A.M., hardly sleeping each night for three or four hours. How you wail while praying to God! But all this is of no avail as long as the heart remains unclean. If you keep your heart clean, you will be matchless.”
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 16, pp. 1500 – 1502.