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12

 

Meher Baba's mandali consists of those who lead a life of implicit obedience to Baba, in all walks of life and under all circumstances. Against the few who live such a life with him and near him, there are many who do so at physical distance from him.

 

Despite Baba's prolonged and strict retirement of late years when none is allowed to visit him of his or her own accord, Baba has main­tained an outward contact with his people—directly when possible and practicable and indirectly when otherwise, through meetings, gatherings, mass darshan programs and messages.

 

In his decision announced on April 10th, 1955, Baba explains that although illusion is throughout illusion, life in illusion is both real and illusory. Man's illusory life is potentially real since it has its beginning and its end in God, the Only Reality; it remains illusory only so long as it does not end in God.

 

By his "Decision" in question, the die is cast afresh for the entire illusory life in creation. Life enters a new lease. The possibility of any modification in the future destiny of man is no longer a live issue.

 

Soon after giving out the "Decision," Baba commenced arrangements for his present strict yet fully non-binding seclusion from May 1st. April the 24th was the date fixed for a congregation of some thirty-odd disciples from Poona, Ahmednagar, Bombay, etc., to come to Satara.

 

Although Baba obviously deliberated before deciding on the names and number of those to be called to Satara, neither all the intimate ones, nor all the prominent workers, nor representatives from every center were sent for.

 

In short, the 36 persons including the resident mandali, who came together before Baba on the morning of April 24th, 1955, collectively represented all those closely connected with him—all those who love him and follow his instructions.

 

None of them knew in advance what Baba intended to disclose that day, and the only intimation given beforehand was that unless expressly instructed otherwise, all the resident and invited mandali

 

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