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3

 

Photo of Adi K. Irani in the Trust Office-taken by Jack Small
MY LIFE WITH
AVATAR MEHER BABA
By Adi K. Irani
         
     We were a joint family of two partners — both of the same name, Kaikhushroo my father and my paternal uncle, Sarosh's father, whose name was also Kaikhushroo. Sarosh was also the name of my grandfather, who came from Persia and settled at Ahmednagar towards the end of the nineteenth century. As luck would have it my mother's name was Gulbai, later called Gulmai, the same as the name of Sarosh's mother, my father's sister Gulbai, later called Gulnar. My aunt Gulnar was the first to contact Shri Upasni Maharaj, but  did  not  keep

up to her adherence to him as did Gulmai, who saw Shri Upasni Maharaj later, about 1918. Gulmai managed to have my father take an interest in the work and activity of Sakori, the abode of Upasni Maharaj and also have faith in him and reverence for him as a spiritual master. My elder brother Rustom, who came in touch with Upasni Maharaj after Gulmai, being vigorous and strong, was often mentioned by Maharaj as a carefree man whenever he approached him unostentatiously. My entire family except myself became devoted to Upasni Maharaj — the first among them being Gulmai in her unwavering love, faith and reverence. My two younger sisters, Piroja and Dolly, were much attached to Maharaj; especially the elder one Piroja who later went through a troubled married life; and Dolly, who ever remained unmarried like me, in her unexpressed love for Meher Baba whose contact she had later.

 

I studied in Panchgani Parsi High School, the last three years prior to my college education, and during vacation of its second year when I was in VII Standard, I came home to Ahmednagar. Gulmai by then had become a frequent visitor to Upasni Maharaj. One day she asked me whether I could escort her to Sakori, since there was no one available to go with her. Being skeptical about a Hindu Master, I refused, and admonished her for disregarding Prophet Zoroaster of our religion. She bade me to say nothing of the spiritual master but pleaded with me to leave her at Sakori and return home forth with. I agreed to the extent of doing this and we reached Sakori.

 

That part of Sakori village, which was Upasni Maharaj's abode in those early days was an outstretched expanse of fields and hedges with a little hut where Upasni Maharaj lived and Doorgabai attended to his personal needs. There was a small, raised stage-like sanctuary, wherein were kept photographs of Sai Baba (the spiritual master of Upasni Maharaj) and Upasni Maharaj himself which were worshipped by a small band of devotees.

 

I saw Upasni Maharaj coming from the fields and approaching the compound hedge of his hut, when Gulmai with deep reverence put round his neck a big, long garland that hung from his neck to his feet. At the very first sight I was taken up by Maharaj's presence and bowed down on his feet without giving a thought to any of my preconceived notions about him. Then there developed intimacy between me and

 

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