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24

 

to sleep during the day it happened that two of them each day remained without sleep for a stretch of about forty hours. During the day they were formed into different groups, and each one entrusted with sufficient work to do, to keep him busy from five in the morning till nine at night.

 

BABA would call his men together for about an hour every evening after sunset, when he would listen to, and himself tell, stories and events concerning men of God. He was more interested in anecdotes of great devotees than those of great Masters. He liked best the narratives of love and faith of those devoted to God or to their Masters and of the wonders born of such devotion.

 

He would then ask some of his men to pray to God on his behalf, according to their respective religions, at which time he too appeared to be praying with great devotion. Finally he would touch his forehead to the feet of each of his disciples as they passed before him in rapid succession (they having been previously instructed to wash their feet). Preparing the men for this ordeal, BABA told them on the first day, "Don't try to understand the 'why and wherefore' of my work. Do as I say. When I touch your feet, try to imagine yourselves to be just stones."

 

The repentance and prayer offered at the time of the gathering on November 8th at Meherabad was translated here in Urdu and Marathi. These translations were then read for BABA at the dargahs * and samadhis * visited by him. The prayer (previously dictated by BABA) always preceded all conventional prayers and formal ceremonies usually offered at such places. At the end BABA would touch his forehead to the shrines, and after having some silver pieces placed there, would leave each shrine with back-ward steps till he reached the entrance.

 

In this manner BABA spent four hours from seven to eleven on the morning of the 13th, walking all the way to the dargahs of Hazrat Zarzari Zarbakhsha and four others which included those of Burhanuddin and Syed Zainuddin Shirazi, who is called Baviswen Khwaja or the Twenty-second Master. This name is due to the popular belief that twenty-one Masters preceding him transferred their spiritual charge to their successors by the token of the Arabian Prophet's pehran (shirt), which Zainuddin evidently did not part with, for the pehran is still preserved with great care and reverence at the shrine and is now on view to the public once every year. By coincidence

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*Tombs of saints and Masters.

 

 

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