As the six-month period drew to a close and it was becoming evident that Meher Baba was soon to depart from Sakori, Upasni Maharaj would tell those who came for his darshan, “Go to Merwan! I have given over my charge and authority to him. Meher now holds my key.” (Upasni always referred to Meher Baba as Merwan.) On another occasion among a group of his disciples Upasni told them, “Whatever I had gotten from Sai Baba, I have handed over to Merwan. If you want what Sai Baba gave me, go to Merwan.”
Later, when a large gathering of disciples, including Durgabai, were present, Upasni looked at Durgabai and pointed to Merwan, saying, “This lad will shake the whole world!”
Another time when Upasni’s disciples from Kharagpur and Nagpur had come, Upasni interrupted his discourse and pointed to Meher Baba, remarking, “Up to now, no Guru has opened a college of dnyan (spiritual or divine knowledge), but he will soon do so.”
Late in 1921, Gustadji was called to Sakori. Upasni Maharaj and Meher Baba were seated together, and Upasni solemnly told Gustadji, “I have made Merwan perfect. From now on, hold on to him.”
Sadashiv was also called to Sakori in 1921. On one occasion he was sitting with Upasni, who suddenly started shedding tears and uttered, “Merwan now has all that Sai Baba gave me. Everything has been transferred to him now… . The whole burden is on his shoulders now!”
Finally, Behramji was called to Sakori in late 1921 to see Meher Baba. Upasni took Behramji aside and told him, “Your friend is now perfect. Always do as Merwan says and obey him implicitly.”
Although Meher Baba’s early disciples had a strong conviction and faith in him, hearing these words directly from one as great as Upasni Maharaj impressed these young men profoundly. Each man returned to Poona and repeated Upasni’s words that Meher Baba was perfect – a Sadguru – to several others, and this information gradually spread throughout Poona.
The day finally came that our Age had long awaited – the Avatar’s divine mission was to begin. In January 1922, Meher Baba was destined to leave Upasni Maharaj and Sakori and begin his Universal work. A few minutes before his departure, Upasni Maharaj called him into his hut and with folded hands proclaimed, “Merwan, you are Adi Shakti – the Primal Force! You are the Avatar – the direct descent of God!”
Meher Baba wept tears of bliss and bowed down at the feet of the Perfect Master. Upasni Maharaj held him in his arms for a long time and also wept, “Ah, Merwan! My dear Merwan!” There were no words left to express his love. Tears flowed as he let him leave the hut.
Meher Baba said goodbye to all those gathered outside the hut and swiftly climbed into a waiting tonga. However, his departure was delayed when Upasni Maharaj’s women disciples rushed forward to kiss his feet and have his darshan. Within seconds, the tonga galloped away to the train station. Meher Baba then took a train to Bombay.(1)
(1) It is not certain whether Meher Baba was alone when he left Sakori for Bombay, or if he was accompanied by one of his disciples from Kasba Peth, such as Gustadji, Baily or Beheramji, who may have been called to Sakori during this period in January 1922.
Lord Meher, Bhau Kalchuri, Original Publication, Vol. 1, pp. 328 – 331.