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26

 

Sai Baba of Shirdi, Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon and Hazrat Tajuddin Baba of Nagpur; all but Nagpur being within 75 miles of Meherabad. All five Masters have now passed on. This, Baba told us long ago, had to happen before He broke His Silence.

 

Some of you may have heard how frequently we suffered water shortage; Ahmednagar district is known as a famine area. Chanji tells us in one of the Journals that once the mandali asked Baba why they had to suffer this inconvenience, and Baba humorously replied: "Mohammed's greatness was not in Kaba, but in Karbala." Kaba in Mecca was the sacred sanctuary where the Prophet Mohammed manifested Himself, but Karbala in Northern Arabia is known in history as the place of Mohammed's martyrdom, a dry and barren place signifying desolation and destruction, similar to the dry and barren land around Jerusalem.

 

Chanji goes on to explain: "Baba's reference to Karbala's true greatness conveyed that the greatness of a Master lies not in manifestation but in suffering for the cause of humanity."

 

On the hill of Meherabad stand the many separate buildings of the women's ashram. The main massive stone building was formerly an old military water tank, built by the British during the first World War. At one time this stone-walled tank, then empty, was used by Baba during periods of seclusion and fast. There being no doorway, Baba had to climb through one of the high windows and descend into the tank by means of metal rungs set in the wall. Since then, doors and side windows were made. By adding a second floor to this strong foundation, there was constructed a long dormitory, capable of housing twenty of Baba's women disciples, over and above those occupying the ground floor. From the windows of this upper floor, we had a most magnificent view, and on certain days, could even see the hill at Pimpalgaon miles away, later known as "Baba's Hill,"—though we never at this time connected it with Baba's future activities.

 

Rising from the main building is a stair cased tower, from which, on special occasions, Baba's flag of seven stripes (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet and aquamarine) is flown and a lantern lit in the turret.

 

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