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7

 

cases of those who joined the groups. During the whole of the journey, the lovers spoke and thought only of Baba and some sung devotional songs on Baba. Notwithstanding their differences, all the "Sahavasis" were united in their devotion to Baba, and if at all small differences arose among them, these were found to be due to their inordinate devotion to Baba.

 

The Sahavasis vied with one another in being as near to Baba as possible all the time, in offering their love-gifts to Baba, and also in making up any deficits incurred by the management of the occasion. The feeling was universal that, during the Sahavas, all the Sahavasis remained totally forgetful of their temporal concerns (home, office, business, etc.) and all were absorbed in the bliss arising from their association with Baba.

 

The arrangements were of a perfect and systematic nature and left little to be desired. In all, about 790 attended the Sahavas, of whom about 200 were ladies. No one below the age of 17 was allowed to attend. They were accommodated in two large tents erected on a huge tract of land, leveled for the purpose, which is situated in the village now called "Meherabad," about 5 miles from Ahmednagar.

 

Special buses (separate for the men and the women) received the Sahavasis at the Ahmednagar railway station on the afternoon of Friday the 21st, February, 1958, and took them along with their luggage to the camp. Every Sahavasi brought with him an "admittance memo" which had already been sent to him in advance by the management. This was to be produced before boarding the bus at Ahmednagar railway station. As soon as the buses reached the camp, the Sahavasis lined up and each one received a yellow-colored cloth badge in exchange for the admittance-memo, and this badge contained the corresponding serial number noted in the admittance-memo. The badge was a piece of yellow cloth with details of the Sahavas and an emblem printed on it, held at either end with a thin elastic ribbon and this was required to be worn visibly on the left arm of each Sahavasi.

 

The Sahavasis, on being shown their way into the camp-tents, entered the sections allotted to them within, according to the places from which they had arrived. Thus, for example, places like Calcutta, Madras, Poona, Satara, Tadepalligudem, Eluru, Kakinada, Vijayawada, Masulipatnam, Kovvur, Bombay, Navsari, other places of Gujerat and Saurashtra, Chittoor, Pakistan, etc. were indicated in the respective sections by placards stuck up on the poles which supported the tents. Each Sahavasi was provided with a country cot, a mattress and a sheet.

 

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