Baba’s special work commenced from Thursday, August 1st, 1957. Adi, Dhake, Sidhu, Chhagan and Sadashiv Patel were called that day. Just before they were ready to start from Khushru Quarters, they received a note from Baba, stating that each man should take a bath before coming. Sidhu and Dhake had not had one that day, so they took a bath before leaving. They reached Meherazad at 9:15 A.M. Baba had come to the hall half an hour earlier. As they were to stay at Meherazad for several days, Sidhu, Chhagan and Dhake were given a room together, and Sadashiv Patel was lodged separately.
Baba called them to the hall at ten o’clock. He bitterly complained: “I am in great physical pain. Nothing has been able to make it subside. The doctors have proposed a deep injection or operation, but an operation is not advisable due to the arthritis in my hip. There is no sign of the pain subsiding; therefore, I called you all to Meherazad to help maintain a lively atmosphere here and to entertain me.” Baba inquired about their health, and reminisced about the old days in the ashram.
At eleven o’clock, Baba asked everyone to go and wash his face and hands. A curtain was hung dividing the hall, behind which the women mandali took their seats. There were fourteen mandali in the hall: Adi, Aloba, Baidul, Bhau, Chhagan, Dhake, Eruch, Gustadji, Kaikobad, Kaka Baria, Sadashiv, Sidhu, Savak Kotwal and brother Jal. The duty which was assigned to each of the men was read out, and Baba handed to each man slips of paper with individual duties listed on it.
On Baba’s direction, all the men stood as Eruch and Kaikobad recited the Master’s Prayer and the Prayer of Repentance. Kaikobad prayed for the success of Baba’s seventy-five days of work and for purity of heart for the mandali. Baba stood face to face with Kaikobad after washing his hands three times. The atmosphere was very serious and charged. Baba then bowed to each of the men as he uttered God’s name according to his own respective religion – Hindu, Muslim, or Zoroastrian.
Baba again complained: “All the medical remedies which have been tried are of no avail for my bodily pain. You do not know how I suffer. There is pain day and night. At night, I cannot sleep. My legs give me jerks many times during the night, and Jal and others have to hold them down and press them. I have stopped walking and have to be carried about in the lift-chair. I have now chalked out a program for the next seventy-five days, and if you act according to the instructions given you, and if you follow my instructions wholeheartedly, and if you obey me one hundred percent, my pain will subside after seventy-five days.”
Baba then instructed Baidul to pray to Hazrat Babajan; Aloba to pray to Upasni Maharaj; Kaka Baria to Tajuddin Baba; and two of the other men to pray to Sai Baba and Narayan Maharaj, to let Baba’s mission for the world be carried out. Baba then laid his head on the feet of seven poor persons, giving each five rupees as dakshina. The poor were fed and then sent away.
Irene Conybeare, Francis and Olla Goldney were witnessing the day’s program sitting behind Baba. Olla had always been somewhat reserved toward Baba, but when she saw him amidst the poor, she turned to her husband and remarked in broken English with her Danish accent, “He is good man.” Although apparently engrossed in bowing to and washing the feet of the poor, Baba at once swung around, looked her straight in the eyes and gestured through Eruch, “I am not good man; I am God-Man!” Later, when relating this incident to the women mandali, Olla said when Baba looked at her and said what he had with such authority, she was convinced he was the Avatar.
Baba ended the meeting by stating: “All of you, both men and women, should remain cheerful during these seventy-five days, and help me in my work by willingly carrying out my orders and instructions.” He asked everyone to be extra careful during these next seventy-five days because any mishap in his orders would come in the way of making the pain subside.
Afterward, Baba and the men played marbles (brought by Sadashiv) until two o’clock. Baba, Sadashiv and Sidhu were on one side, and Dhake, Eruch and Chhagan on the other. At 2:00 P.M., Adi left with Jal, who was returning to Poona. Baba then played a game of carom for another hour.
At 3:00 P.M., Baba went to Kaikobad’s room to bow down to him. Baba stated that he would bow to Kaikobad 100,000 times during the next seventy-five days – or 1,333 times a day.
Lord Meher, Original ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 15, pp. 5214 – 5215.