THE MAHARS were among the Untouchables of the villages; they were commonly known as Harijans. Some Mahars in Arangaon formed a rough and ruthless gang who antagonized the mandali and tried to vandalize the property. At times, Baba would get fed up with their hostile acts. On September 24th, (1926) the Mahars in Arangaon again caused disturbances. This time they hung pieces of animal flesh opposite the Upasni Serai and bath house. On inquiry it was learned that some of the Mahar children who had previously stayed in Meherabad, notably a lame boy named Harinath, were secretly causing the trouble. Before taking any action, Baba outlined in a meeting that night the following four alternatives to the men mandali and asked them to choose one:
1. The rest of the Mahars in Meherabad should be forced to leave.
2. The three or four ring leaders of the Mahars should be arrested, and court proceedings should be brought against them.
3. The two Patels (headmen of the village), who are living with the mandali, should be made to leave Meherabad.
4. Leaving everything to God, we should sit passively.
After the discussion, the mandali approved the fourth course of action. Baba was pleased as he himself favored this choice. But Baba warned them to stick to their decision because it seemed that “the god of the Arangaon Mahars was testing them.” Baba observed, “They may even go to the extent of throwing pieces of raw meat in our well, thereby polluting it for the Hindus, and do other mischief. So be prepared to face and submit to more disturbances, inconveniences and provocations.”
Baba especially cautioned the Hindu mandali to remain steadfast in their resolve in view of the decision taken. Even if the Mahars were to pollute the well, the Hindus should show their unconcern by continuing to use the water for their drinking and cooking.
When all this was settled, Baba issued the following three orders:
1. None of the mandali, especially the Untouchables in my circle, should have anything to do with the Arangaon Mahars, and if anyone is found committing a breach of this order, Baba should immediately be informed.
2. The headmen of the village (Maruti Patel and others) should buy meat daily from Arangaon and throw it to the dogs in Meherabad. Money should be given to them for this purpose.
3. For one minute each day, everyone in Meherabad should pray to God to grant good sense and wisdom to the Arangaon Mahars.
Baba then compared the actions of Sadgurus and yogis and discoursed on the theme “All are equal in the eyes of God:”
Had a yogi been in my place and the Arangaon villagers done what they have done, the yogi would certainly have killed half a dozen people with his occult powers. He would have struck terror in their hearts and made them desist from such vile actions.
But a Sadguru never does so. His ways are of kindness and conciliation. He pities such people instead of being angry with them in any way. To us Masters, all are equal; the villagers are on the same level with you.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 3 pp. 849 – 850.