On December 22nd, (1944) Baba left with the women to stay at Meherabad, where a unique event took place the next day.
Baba called all his lovers from Ahmednagar to Meherabad on December 23rd, and also all the guests who had attended Nariman’s and Arnavaz’s wedding. A two-foot pit was dug near Masaji’s grave. Chanji’s bedding roll was then buried in it. Baba strewed roses over it. Thereafter, Adi Sr. read out Baba’s message on the occasion of the foundation-laying ceremony for what was to be the Memorial Tower to all of the Master’s departed disciples:
You are today witnessing a solemn occasion of supreme importance. While the world is feverishly occupied with the vanishing things of the moment, there always are those who gain a true perspective of life, through the grace of the Master. These lucky few are ever willing to make their whole life an ever-renewed and ceaseless dedication to the universal and ageless truth of the imperishable and undivided life divine. The spiritual grandeur of those who set aside all thoughts of the self and make their life an offering to the divine and imperative cause of the Master, is in itself ineffable. But while it surpasses all description, it is something much more than an ornament of crowning glory for those souls themselves. A visible memorial such as a tower, which symbolizes their life of unfailing loyalty and love, can itself become a medium for inspiring the generations to come.
The Memorial Tower of my departed devotees, which is being erected on this spot, will be a reservoir of inspiration and power for posterity. Their memory is not being perpetuated for their sake; they had absolutely no desire for fame or name. But their memory is being perpetuated because it will be an example for those who are living, as well as for those who are to come. A life of sacrifice based on love is never lost. It is not only beautiful and fruitful in itself, but also in the creative inspiration which it leaves behind itself.
The foundation of this Tower is being laid on the tomb of my loved Masaji with the bedding of one of my loved disciples – F. H. Dadachanji, whose selfless service to my cause was wholehearted in its devotion and singular in its attainments. There are also others, such as Buasaheb, Munshiji, Sampath Aiyangar, and so forth, who served my cause with unimpeachable integrity of character before dropping their physical body. For each one of them, a separate flower is placed in the foundation of the Tower; and the names of all of them will be inscribed on the Tower of Glory, which will be erected on this foundation.
The symbolic representation of these departed souls through flowers dispenses with the separative burial or cremation ceremonies, which are prevalent in different societies. The placing of all these flowers in the same foundation is intended to emphasize the truth that, though the bodies of these devotees were different, they were all parts of one eternal and indivisible soul. The Memorial Tower has completely dispensed with the physical bodies of departed souls; for the physical body is only the illusory shadow of the soul. Those devotees whose names are likely to be inscribed on this Tower, after their demise, will have free choice in respect of disposal of their bodies after their demise. Their bodies may be buried or cremated or disposed of at the Tower of Silence according to the rites of their respective religions or according to any desire expressed by them during their lifetime; and they shall be represented on this Memorial Tower only by their names.
The Tower will be in memory of men belonging to different religions and will, in fact, represent the fundamental unity of all the great world religions. All the great world religions have, in their own way, revealed the same one Truth, which I bring anew. This unity of all religions will be clearly emphasized by placing on the Tower the emblems of all the important religions of the world. The Tower shall thus be a silent proclamation of the unity of all religions. The unshakable peace of the life in eternity and the unfading glory of conscious divinity shall crown the souls which are represented by this Memorial Tower.
They are all eternally mine. I bless them all.
Then, according to Baba’s wish, Adi read out the names of all the departed ones which Baba had listed a few days before. Sitting, Baba placed one rose after another in the foundation as each name was called. It looked as if Baba were indicating that they were all merged in his infinite Ocean of divinity. Placing a flower in the foundation for each one, Baba was showing that every lover of his will merge in that Ocean someday.
While this was occurring, Baba’s face radiated bliss – proof that the death of each of his lovers was nothing but the medium to drown them further in his love.
The Memorial Tower, when built,
will serve as a lasting reminder to the world
that religion is one,
and all distinctions are illusory.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 8, pp. 2999 – 3001.