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thirty in all. The moment of strict silence had begun and the modus operandi of assembling the boys for work in the grounds fell in with the usual procedure, and I kept an eye on each one, while each kept an eye on me often while they worked with their hands. When they followed me through the gates on to the public highway their adventurous spirits caused some to straggle behind, but they were quickly mustered together and the month concluded under happy circumstances.
Early in 1954 I was in the employ of a hospital in London, but after a year or more, ailed in for a check-up and detained for several months to recover from depletion. During this time Will Backett paid a visit and read a letter informing me that Meher Baba sent word stating I was to get well, and go to India and attend a special meeting He was calling for men from the West. The meeting* took place on the 11th of September, 1954 and I was subsequently present. During this meeting Baba called me to Him for a private interview, on September 15th. This is what He imparted to me:-
"I am the Ancient One. You know Who I am. As in the days of old, I am drawing My fishermen . . . "
When He made this statement, it is what is termed the bridging of the spiritual and physical between the Master and the devotee. I remained with the other Western devotees on this visit for three weeks, and listened to discourses touching upon many phases of the aspirant's spiritual progress. We were completely absorbent whilst He expounded the ways and methods of previous Avatars in regard to their earthly mission to humanity at the time of their particular epoch or cycle. He said He would return again in 700 years, when this phase of materiality will be at its climax.
LIFE WITH MEHER BABA (Continued from Page 7)
and my heart's embrace. For some time at Poona I seemed to have lost touch with Merwan, who still visited Sakori; until one day I met Baily, who was known to Merwan long before he met me at Poona Cantonment. He informed me that Merwan was staying at Kasba Peth, at one end of the city. As I did not know the way to go to Kasba he gave me an indication of the roads and streets which I could hardly remember. With difficulty one day during spare hours I managed to find Kasba Peth and there in a small one-storeyed building of Arjun, who was a pet disciple, I found Merwan. I was overjoyed to meet him there.
Kasba Peth Activity
There were two buildings at Kasba Peth which Merwan often visited - the small one belonging to Arjun and another, a bigger three-storeyed building, some blocks ahead, belonging to Sadashiv Shelke (Patil). Sadashiv is one of the oldest disciples and friends of Merwan. There was a band of about a dozen fishermen disciples of Merwan at a Peth to which Arjun belonged and Sadashiv was the head of them all. Merwan passed most of his time in the two houses, singing bhajans and ghazals, playing the drum, seeing people who came to him for darshan and giving occasional discourses in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and English. His food was meager. Baily used to bring to Kasba Peth the evening meal composed of thick dal and chapatis cooked by Dowlatmasi - the aunt of Merwan, who lived about 100 yards away from Merwan's parent's house in the cantonment part of Poona. Merwan and his disciple friends used to sit and take this meal together. On several occasions, I too joined them. The delicious dal always reminded Merwan of Dowlatmasi's expert hand at Parsi cooking. He always spoke very lovingly of her. Merwan's attitude towards his physical needs and comfort continued to remain one of utter disregard. There was no regular arrangement for food or bath or
*described in "Three Incredible Weeks," by Charles Purdon and Malcolm Schloss.
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