During April 1924, the Kasba Peth mandali – Arjun, Chowdhari, Kondiram, Vishnu and others – were called from Poona to stay at Meherabad. Some of the structures at Meherabad were in a state of ruin, so Meher Baba assigned the mandali the work of demolishing them and leveling the ground. For this work they used ghamelas, (iron, circular-shaped containers) used for carrying earth and stones; thus, the work came to be officially called ghamela yoga.
During this labor phase, a typical day began at 5 A.M.; all were required to offer prayers according to their respective religions until 7 A.M. From 7 to 8 A.M., breakfast of milkless tea and millet bhakri was served. The ghamela yoga work lasted from 8 to 11 A.M.. Due to the hot weather, from 11 to 3 P.M., there was an afternoon recess for a bath, lunch, rest and laundry. From 3 to 4:30 P.M., the men repeated a one-line prayer of different names of God given by the Master. From 4:30 to 6 P.M., the men again attended to their various assigned duties. Masaji would cook for most of the mandali, but Chowdhari was cooking separately for the Hindus. Dinner was served at 6 P.M., followed by the men singing an arti or the Master giving a discourse; by 10 P.M. the men would retire.
Those who were physically weak or in poor health had to either draw water from the well and bring it to the Post Office building, or cook and clean. Baba had instructed that each day they should eat a few almonds to build up their strength. The ghamela yoga work was quite strenuous. The mandali had to mix clay to mold chuna (lime) bricks, attend to the kiln, dig up and carry stones for the construction work, and carry heavy loads of earth. In general, they had to do the work of carpenters and coolies, as well as overseeing the repair work being done on the old buildings. They also had to assist the mason who was constructing a small private room for the Master called the Jhopdi.
Meher Baba had given the following one line prayer to be recited by the mandali every afternoon for an hour and a half:
“Khuda, Paramatma, Allah, Ahuramazda, Ram, Yezdan, Hu.”
This was to be preceded and followed by the singing of the arti which he had composed in Gujarati at the toddy shop in Kasba Peth years before…
… One morning, Baba found Padri and Ramjoo chatting idly for a few moments. Upset with them, Baba threw a stick at Padri, narrowly missing him. He then rebuked both men and told them to stop working; however, they resumed their work after a while.
Later, in front of some of the other men, Padri showed his blistered palms to Baba, who remarked: “You people swear you are ready to give up your life for me, but blisters make you complain. This is not even the beginning of giving up your life – yet you whimper and cry.
“It is a sin to complain in this path where, for years on end, the body is cut up bit by bit – remaining wounded until it gives up the ghost! Seal your lips and let me kill you slowly – inch by inch. Bravery lies in this, not in showing me the blisters on your palms!”
But Padri’s hands were swollen and it was decided that he had to be taken to the Ahmednagar hospital to have his blisters treated. Rustom requested Baba to accompany them in the car. Adi said he would drive, and Baba immediately became displeased with his brusqueness. Adi then voiced his anger at Baba; however, when they reached Ahmednagar, he asked for Baba’s forgiveness and was pardoned. Padri’s hands were treated and he was kept in the hospital to recuperate. In his absence, Ramjoo became the manager of Meherabad, taking over Padri’s duties and awakening the mandali at five o’clock each morning.
Lord Meher, Original ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 2, p. 605 & 610