ON JUNE 1st, 1931, accompanied by Agha Ali, Chanji, Buasaheb, Raosaheb and Gustadji, Baba left Quetta by train for his third visit to Persia. This time, too, Baba refused to write his signature for a British passport and traveled on his Persian passport. The route chosen was again plagued with trouble and hardships.
They reached Duzdab five days later. From Duzdab, they drove by car and arrived in Meshed at noon on June 6th. There was a very large mosque in Meshed where thousands of Muslims would come to pray, and it proved to be the center of Baba’s work during the trip. The mosque is an important place of pilgrimage for the Shiite Muslims, as it houses the body of the eighth Imam, who was killed in Meshed and is the only Imam buried in Persia. For three nights, Baba went to the mosque at midnight, remaining in seclusion inside for two hours while Chanji and the mandali kept watch outside. Because of the religious orthodoxy prevailing in Meshed, this arrangement was made with the utmost difficulty. It was only by the intervention of a Muslim priest, who was head of the mosque, that made it possible for Baba to stay in the shrine at night; otherwise it was strictly prohibited. The priest had had a dream that a great holy man had entered Persia and felt that Meher Baba was the one he had dreamed of.
While in Meshed, Baba kept Agha Ali by his side at all times. Baba once remarked about the boy to the mandali, “If Ali remains pure, I will make him a salik!” Ali was now serving as Baba’s personal aide and would also read his alphabet board.
Baba would walk daily to a garden in Meshed. One day while he was strolling about the town, two women followed him. Reaching his residence, Baba beckoned them inside and asked what they wanted. They were prostitutes for hire. Baba showed them his face, which was hidden under disguise because he preferred to go around incognito. He explained to them about leading a pure spiritual life devoted to God.
While looking at Baba’s face, the women burst out crying, “O Holy One! How can we make up for our sins? Our lives have been so immoral; we are beyond salvation.”
Baba consoled them, explaining, “A Holy One is like the ocean. It is so vast that, whether you throw dirt or sandalwood into it, it assimilates both, leaving its waters as pure as before. In the same way, the Holy One also takes upon himself the good and bad of both the virtuous and the sinful, merging them in his ocean. In this way, even the worst of sinners is purified. So from now on, avoid your present way of living and accept it that you have been forgiven and made pure.”
Both prostitutes were deeply moved by Baba’s silent words. Baba bade them sit beside him and their hearts cried out, “O Holy One! We dedicate our new life at your feet!”
They shed tears of repentance before him,
and their sins were washed away
by their tears touching Baba’s feet.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol 4, p. 130 – 1371.