ON SEPTEMBER 20th, (1954) at 7 A.M., Baba drove to Sakori with several of the men mandali and the Westerners. They stopped at Rahuri for some time as hundreds had gathered on the roadside for Baba’s darshan. Baba showed the Westerners the spot where he had had his Mad Ashram [in
1936-37]. Charles Purdom and others narrated humorous stories to Baba, and Darwin Shaw took a photograph of Baba.
They arrived in Sakori at 9:30 A.M., and the ashram residents came out in a procession singing, with a band playing, to receive them. Baba was garlanded, and Godavri Mai and the other kanyas touched his feet. Baba took the group of Westerners around the ashram and then led them
to Upasni Maharaj’s tomb, where he stated:
This old man was God-incarnate. I said at my last visit here that I would not again step in Sakori. But I remembered that he (Maharaj) had once said that Merwan would bring the Westerners here and they would do bhajan; and, to fulfill this, I had to come and bring you dear ones here. Now my work here is finished. After the meetings of the 29th and 30th, the following months will be for my final work, to break my silence, to manifest and then to die a violent death, all in quick succession. You should all bow down at Maharaj’s samadhi. I am the Ancient One. When he threw that stone at me, I knew I was the Ancient One.
What Baba had stated in English was translated into Marathi before his arti was sung by the kanyas. Then the following bhajan was sung by the
nuns of Sakori:
The Master tells his disciples that “My Name is God.
Some call me Ram and some Shyam (Krishna).
In the world I am the object of worship
and I am also the worshiper.
At times I am the Giver and at times I am the Beggar.
I am everywhere and yet I belong to no place.”
Baba then observed:
You all can have no idea how happy I am here. Godavri is the mother here, and all are her companions. She met Maharaj when she was just two and a half years old. He put her on his lap and said, “All this belongs to you.” They all live a life dedicated to my Master. I love her most dearly. The nuns are dressed in yellow saris, and the candidates in white.
Upasni Maharaj was a tall, heavy man and usually was naked, except for a gunny cloth and sandals when going out. For fourteen months and
twelve days, he lived in a bamboo cage and ingested nothing but coffee once a day. The cage was about three feet by three and a half feet so that he could not lie down. He died in a room shown to us.
Baba bowed at Maharaj’s tomb, and then each of the mandali and group did the same. (1) Food was served to all, and Baba sat with them (though he barely touched his food). He was cheerful and playful, tossing fruit to them, but looked strained and suffering. A hymn was sung in his praise, and at the end, he commented: “To find me, you have to lose yourself. But these are just words when spoken and heard. Losing oneself and finding oneself is for very few lovers who carry their lives in their sleeves.”
Baba visited a kanya who was ill and fed her rose petals. He went with the group to the women’s quarters and sat on the swing as one of the
girls sang the song Baba had composed for Maharaj. Baba took the Western men to the temple, where he showed them Sai Baba’s staff and
pipe. They were to have gone to Shirdi also, but there was not sufficient time.
Before leaving, Baba instructed Godavri Mai, “Whatever rituals Maharaj has instructed you to observe, you should. But, if it is possible in the months of November and December, I want you to do one thing. That is, every kanya should say: ‘It has been declared that Meher Baba is the Avatar and you all, the Five Sadgurus, should help him in his work!’ ”
Godavri Mai and Jiji agreed to carry out Baba’s wish, and this repetition was done daily in Sakori for two months.
(1) When Darwin Shaw was about to bow at Upasni Maharaj’s tomb, he had the thought: “Have I come halfway around the world to bow down to
strange gods?” At that moment, Baba placed one hand on Darwin’s forehead and the other hand on his back as Darwin bowed. Therefore, Darwin bowed his head on Baba’s hand.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 13, pp. 4475 – 4478.