From a Nasik Notebook, Continued — from page 35
accompanied me. At midday, on finishing my errand, we were about to pull out of the Khushru Quarters in a car, when suddenly I heard Padri exclaim: "Upasni Maharaj!"
Beside Himself, there was no one occupying the rear seat of the car that curved round mine and shot into the inside of the Sarosh Garage compound and stood right in front of our living quarters.
The stately personality of Maharaj stepped out of the car with a hand slung down as usual in the gunny-cloth apparel (His entire clothing for all seasons of the year) holding it, and the other hand free for the walking movement .
He walked straight into the room — "My own room", as He said to me later. It was the one Gulmai had requested Him before to occupy whenever He desired to do so during His visits to Ahmednagar. An apartment set aside exclusively for the purpose of offering prayers and retiring in seclusion contains, amongst photographs of Baba and Maharaj, one seat for Upasni Maharaj made out of gunny-cloth pieces and spread out on the floor in the shape of a settee — a vogue Gulmai introduced in our house since the first visit of Maharaj in 1921 in our old City residence where we lived prior to our shift to the present Khushru Quarters. The original pieces of the rough gunny-cloth which Maharaj made use of on His first visit have been treasured by Gulmai very carefully, as best as they could last. Right in front of the gadi (seat) of Shri Upasni Maharaj, is Shri Meher Baba's wooden settee with His photograph occupying the central portion of its back, prominently displayed by its bigness in size and the charming pose it represented.
On entering the room, Maharaj occupies His seat immediately, and allows Himself to be saluted by those who happen to be on the spot. I was there this time, and having unlaced my shoes had entered the room, trying to approach Maharaj in soft, noiseless steps. To my amazement, I found Him standing on the seat in a quiet, meditative way, a very unusual spectacle . . . rather the first of its kind I have ever beheld. His hands were folded and He uttered words of prayer looking straight into the eyes of Baba's picture, placed on the wooden settee. I was overwhelmed with the situation! Was it not extraordinarily wonderful? He continued muttering prayers for full five minutes. They were moments of tense surprise for me. I remained pinned to the floor, speechless. I could hardly think what Maharaj felt and saw in Baba!
"I like the place very much," said He, after He finished muttering payers. "I like this photograph," pointing to the central picture of Baba. "I like Merwan, He is great. He is unique. I bow before Him. Let me pray in His presence. Please convey my salutations to Him."
I stood all the while listening and subconsciously searching for a satisfactory explanation that would justify such an extraordinary attitude of Maharaj. Could it be Love? Yes! But how could Love of the Master, even for His Disciple-in-chief, express itself in a reverential form? It is the disciple who always owes and shows respect and allegiance to his Guru. Could it be mere praise or devotion?
"Give me a tray and a lamp. I want to perform Arti* of Merwan today. You, Gulmai, tell Merwan that I have been here on His birthday and I prayed in front of His picture and also performed His Arti."
Gulmai fetched Arti materials in a hurry, and Maharaj began waving the tray round and round Baba's picture, chanting the mantras.
I was dumbfounded! I have seen Maharaj eulogize Baba times without number. I have a vivid recollection of the occasion when Maharaj, for the first time in 1921 amidst a gathering of His devotees at Sakori, openly praised Shri Meher Baba, ascribing to Him a site of spiritual Perfection and Knowledge and concurrently sounding a note of warning to the Mandali members of Shri Baba to look upon Him as a person to be implicitly