THROUGHOUT INDIA, one finds many sadhus or sanyasis who renounce the world and wander on pilgrimage, begging for alms. In reference to sanyas (renunciation of the ephemeral world), the next morning September 21st, (1926) Meher Baba remarked:
He who is a coward materially turns into a hero on the spiritual path. Perhaps you think that compared to materialism, renunciation is easy, but it is most difficult. He who wants to die should decide on renunciation.
External renunciation has no meaning. It must be internal. If there is no longing to renounce the self, there can be no love for God. Afterward, the men mandali reminisced about travelling in Gujarat, their journeys on foot and other tours. Some suggested another foot journey to let the new ones among the mandali have the experience. Baba mentioned that he would undertake another journey on the condition that no one carry any money and each maintain himself by begging. With all in agreement, it was decided to go on tour for seven days and arrangements immediately started. The men were eager to begin, but Baba suddenly changed his mind and decided that instead of seven days, they would go out for only one day and return in the evening.
The gong was struck at exactly ten o’clock that morning, September 21st, and Baba chose twenty of the men mandali and started on foot toward the village of Walki, a distance of six miles. Each one carried a sack for begging. The men were in a good mood and enjoyed the walk. Striding along, Sarosh played a harmonica and others sang. The men on each side of Baba would lift him up while walking. As it was cloudy, the heat was not overbearing. On the way, Baba halted three or four times, asking the men whether they should all proceed or return to Meherabad. A majority wished to go further and so they continued. On the outskirts of Walki, they stopped under a tree. Sailor and another man were sent to search for a cool place, a garden or an orchard in which to camp, and Shahane was sent to order tea from a roadside stall.
Near the village, a poor woman recognized Baba and came forward for darshan. Baba asked her to bring food if it was possible. The mandali remembered what Baba had said, “Eat only what is had by begging,” so several men went off to the village to beg. The villagers were suspicious and frightened at finding such unlikely looking beggars. Only the women and children were at home as their husbands were out working in the fields. Some gave them food, others told them to leave the village and some were abusive. One old woman scolded Pendu and Sayyed Saheb, who were hefty in physique, “Earn your livelihood by hard work instead of begging from poor villagers.”
The ones who managed to beg food brought it to Baba, who poured everything together and distributed the “stew” among the mandali, saving the leftovers. Within a short time, the villagers came to know who the beggars really were and many came for Meher Baba’s darshan. Those who had refused to offer food to the Master’s disciples expressed regret at their misfortune for missing the opportunity when God in human form was at their very doorstep.
Some said he was a thief who stole their hearts,
But here he was begging for a little love.
The villagers of Walki persisted in bringing food to Baba. One man invited Baba to his home, and seeing his sincere love, Baba accepted. Tea was served, and after taking it, all returned to Meherabad by three-thirty. The remainder of the food was brought back with them and Baba distributed it to the mandali who had stayed at Meherabad.
Lord Meher, Original ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 3, pp. 846 – 847.