Concluding: [from Volume 3 Number 3 Page 32]
TWENTY YEARS WITH MEHER BABA
The Years 1941-1949
The years 1941-1949 saw many changes. We had been staying with Baba in Ajmer for a few months and while there, Baba announced he was sending Norina, Elizabeth and Nadine back to the United States for his work. With them, too, went Kippy and Foundy, Elizabeth's two dogs.
On our return to Meherabad, we found a few structural changes. The upper floor and one of the large rooms on the ground floor had been divided down the middle and across with tattas and bamboo poles, thus dividing the rooms into six or more separate compartments.
Baba divided us into groups of three and we were allowed to talk only to the two with whom we shared the same cubicle, unless we were assembled with Baba. The go-between for the groups was the housekeeper. This plan lasted one year, corresponding with Baba's year of seclusion, fast, and mast work on Meherabad Hill in 1941. We were on partial fast with daily meditation for part of the time, and three of the group, Irene Billo, Kharmen Masi, and Mansari D., were on one year's complete silence.
During the next few years Baba, with his men mandali, was constantly on the move; Raipur, Hyderabad, Dehra Dun, Aurangabad, Panchgani, Lahore, to mention but a few of the places visited. Baba would sometimes also take the whole group from Meherabad and sometimes just a few. One never knew how long Baba would stay in a given place. This accounts for the fact that so often a house was taken for two or three months longer than we ever stayed.
Outwardly, Baba's work followed the same routine. He gave occasional darshans, but He was withdrawing more and more from public gatherings and spending more and more time with his close mandali, doing his work with the God-mad and the poor, with frequent periods of seclusion and fast.
The year 1944 marked still bigger changes which, to those of us who could read the sign on the wall, we felt to be the beginning of the end of ashram life with Baba. Baba gave up his headquarters in Meherabad where he had been for over ten years and shifted to Pimpalgaon, fifteen miles away, taking with him a smaller group of men and women disciples, the rest remaining in Meherabad, still, of course, under Baba's orders and partial supervision. Pimpalgaon remained Baba's headquarters up to 1949.
Life on Meherabad Hill was never the same after Baba moved to Pimpalgaon. How could it be? It was both a trial and a test for those remaining there. To have Baba comparatively near and yet not be able to see him for months on end was not easy.
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