Before moving to Mysore, Baba had emphasized to the mandali not to observe his birthday, since he would be in seclusion. Accordingly, it was not observed in Meherabad, Ahmednagar, Nasik or Mysore. Baba visited Bangalore on Sunday, February 16th, (1936) the day of his forty-second birthday according to the Zoroastrian calendar. He had already informed the Aiyangar family that his birthday was not to be celebrated and he would be visiting only to see the family. . .
While Meher Baba was visiting the Aiyangar family in Bangalore, a strange and wonderful event took place in Ahmednagar the very same day. Adi Sr. and Padri had come to Ahmednagar from Meherabad to purchase supplies, after which they visited Khushru Quarters. Adi saw his mother, Gulmai, and he and Padri were about to leave for Meherabad when an unexpected car drove into the compound and stopped at the entrance of the bungalow. Padri shouted in amazement, “It’s Upasni Maharaj!”
Alighting from the car, Maharaj entered the room in the bungalow where he had stayed in 1921, and which was always kept unoccupied for him. In that room, Gulmai had kept a gaadi seat especially for Meher Baba and Upasni Maharaj alone, and on it their photographs. Maharaj then sent his secretary, Wagh, who had come with him from Sakori, away on some errand in the city.
Upasni Maharaj’s usual custom was to occupy his gaadi and allow people to bow down to him. But this time, he stood before Meher Baba’s photograph and began uttering a prayer. Just then Adi silently entered the room to take Maharaj’s darshan. But when he saw Maharaj praying before Meher Baba’s photograph, he was stunned. He thought: “The Master is praying before the photograph of his disciple with folded hands! How wonderful! What is it that Maharaj feels and sees?”
Upasni Maharaj stood praying motionlessly for five minutes, looking straight into the eyes of Meher Baba’s photograph. Then, turning to Adi he said, “I like this place very much.” Maharaj pointed to the photograph on the gaadi, and said, “I like this photograph of Merwan. I love Merwan. He is great! He is matchless – unique! I bow to him. Let me pray in his presence. Convey my salutations to him.”
Adi was profoundly affected by this incident. Amazed, he kept thinking what extraordinary love it is when the Master worships his disciple. It is the disciple who always owes and shows respect and allegiance to his Guru. What Maharaj was doing was beyond praise or devotion.
Maharaj then told Gulmai, “Bring me the arti tray and lamp. I wish to perform Merwan’s arti today. Gulmai, tell Merwan that I came here on his birthday and I prayed in front of his picture and performed his arti.” Gulmai immediately brought the necessary items and Upasni Maharaj began doing arti, chanting mantras as he waved the arti tray in his hand before Baba’s photograph. Ending, he brought it to his forehead and then put it down.
The sight of Upasni Maharaj worshipping Meher Baba deeply touched Adi, Padri and Gulmai. Tears welled up in Gulmai’s eyes as she watched this. Maharaj had especially come from Sakori to Ahmednagar for this purpose.
After the mandali in Mysore were informed of Upasni Maharaj’s visit and what he had said, they understood why Baba had forbidden any celebration on his birthday.