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6

 

to see Baba more clearly. A profound silence prevailed over this sea of humanity spread before Baba.

 

Standing beside Baba and holding his hand, Gadge Maharaj addressed the multitude, saying that here, standing in their midst, was Meher Baba, the Jagat Guru, the One who served the entire world. He told these thousands of men and women to take Meher Baba's darshan and to try and realize how fortunate they were who, having come to worship the Lord's image in stone, found amidst them the JagatGuru Himself. He also said they could not realize how happy he himself was to have Baba near him that day.

 

Amidst reverberating shouts of "Jagat Guru Meher Baba ki jai" led by Gadge Maharaj, Baba seated himself on the sandy platform, and Kaikadi Maharaj continued his Kirtan. At its conclusion Gadge Maharaj again urged the multitude to make the most of this rare occasion and fill their hearts with the darshan of Baba. After some of Baba's men bad conveyed to the congregation Baba's message of Love, the singing of "bhajans" began, sung in perfect unison, devotion and rhythm as with one voice and heart, by no less than seventy thousand. This unique bhajan by the river under the moonlight, on the sands at Baba's feet, strangely moved Baba's Mandali who felt the atmosphere greatly surcharged with love.

 

After the bhajan singing, Namanand Maharaj took the stand and ad-dressing the people, told them how history never failed to repeat itself. In the past the banks of this holy river had been sanctified by the presence of saints and Sadgurus like Damaji, Namdeo, Tukaram, Nivritti, Dnyan Deo, Sopan, Muktabai and others, and because of them Pandharpur had become such a sacred place of pilgrimage. Men and women of the present day thrilled and responded to the accounts of these saints, Masters and seekers, whose love and devotion had imbued life into the statue of Vithoba, which they now so reverently worshipped here. In the future too, men and women would thrill and respond to the account of this memorable day when this congregation of saints and pilgrims was blessed by the sacred presence of Meher Baba in their midst.

 

Led by Namanand Maharaj, the pilgrims shouted as in one voice "Meher Baba ki jai," 'Gadge Maharaj ki jai." Often at shouts of "Gadge Maharaj ki jai” Maharaj would sharply put up a protesting hand and impatiently admonish the crowd, saying they must hail only Meher Baba— the Jagat Guru.

 

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