Bhau Kalchuri Mandali of Meher Baba

Bhau Kalchuri

Bhau on Meher Baba’s right Eruch on Left

Born January 13, 1926
North India
Other names Vir Singh Kalchuri
Occupation Chairman: Avatar Meher Baba Trust
Spouse(s) Rama
Children Sheela, Mehernath

Bhau Kalchuri

Bhau Kalchuri (January 13, 1926 – ), born Vir Singh Kalchuri, is an Indian author, poet, trust administrator, and one of Meher Baba’s mandali (close disciples). Bhau Kalchuri is also the principle biographer of Meher Baba’s life.

Bhau Kalchuri was born one of seven children to well-to-do parents in a northern Indian village. When Bhau was ten, his father sent him to a district school for a better education, and from then on Bhau excelled in all his studies, completing master’s degrees in public administration, law, and chemistry. Bhau Kalchuri was a relative latecomer to Meher Baba’s circle, meeting Meher Baba in 1952 and joining him permanently in 1953 at the age of 27. He served Meher Baba in various capacities including as his night watchman. Meher Baba gave Bhau several writing assignments, many of which he completed only after Meher Baba died in 1969. In 1973 Bhau became a trustee of the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust. Today he is its chairman and oversees all operations at the trust office in Ahmednagar and the trust mandated developments at Meherabad, India.

Kalchuri is best known for his exhaustive biography of Meher Baba, Lord Meher (also known as Meher Prabu), a twenty volume 6,472 page chronicle based on diaries kept by Baba’s followers from as early as 1922, as well as recorded interviews. He is also author of Avatar Meher Baba Manifesting and The Nothing and The Everything, a book on spiritual mechanics based on notes given to him by Meher Baba. He has also written several plays and books of verse. Bhau writes in Hindi and English.

Of all of Meher Baba’s still living mandali, Bhau Kalchuri is today one of the most publicly accessible. Currently Kalchuri gives talks all around the world on the life and teachings of Avatar Meher Baba, and publishes an online periodical Awakenings. Starting in 1985, he has made extensive speaking tours both inside and outside of India, predominantly the United States, but also many trips to Europe and Australia. He has been interviewed in both press and radio.

Avatar Meher Baba information website

bhau kalchuri mandali of Meher Baba


Bhau Kalchuri (January 13, 1926), born Vir Singh Kalchuri, was an Indian author, poet, trust administrator, and one of Meher Baba’s mandali (close disciples). Bhau Kalchuri was also the principle biographer of Meher Baba’s life.

Bhau Kalchuri was born one of seven children to well-to-do parents in a northern Indian village. When Bhau was ten, his father sent him to a district school for a better education, and from then on Bhau excelled in all his studies, completing master’s degrees in public administration, law, and chemistry.

At that time, Bhau had no special interest in spirituality, and in truth, did not understand what it was. Still, he was a devotional soul, and considering this and his studious tendencies, his colleagues and professors had nicknamed him Punditji. Daily he recited prayers with all his heart, but beyond that he knew nothing.

Many of his life time events and his conversation with Meher Baba are produced below:

In 1952, Two months before Baba’s arrival in Nagpur, Bhau became restless and lost interest in his college studies. He went to Segaon, Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram near Wardha, but was not happy there. Returning to Nagpur, he went to a Ramakrishna ashram, but there too he was disappointed. Thinking he would become a renunciant and live for the rest of his life in the Himalayas, Bhau wrote to a swami in Rishikesh, and the swami called him to Rishikesh on 9th January 1953. Bhau decided to inform his family, and relieve himself of all worldly burdens before joining the swami’s ashram.

Meanwhile, Bhau had read in the newspapers that Meher Baba was to come to Nagpur. He had never heard the name so did not think it would be worthwhile to wait for him. So, on 25th December Bhau left Nagpur to meet his family, who resided 80 miles away. Clearing up matters for his wife and daughter, Bhau returned to Nagpur on the 30th. There he learned, again from the newspapers, that Baba was to give darshan in Saoner on the 31st. He was surprised, as he was under the impression that Meher Baba had come and gone. He did not know that Baba’s programs had been postponed. So, because there was still some time left before he was to journey to Rishikesh, he considered taking Baba’s darshan at Saoner. His sister Nira, whom he occasionally visited, lived in Saoner and was known to many people there.

Bhau decided to go for darshan the next day, taking with him his wife Rama and their seven-month-old baby daughter Sheela.

Baba left Meherazad for Saoner on 29th December 1952. Adi drove Baba in Sarosh’s car; they arrived at Victoria Terminus, Bombay where Nariman, Meherjee, Jalbhai and Gadekar met them. Adi then returned to Ahmednagar as Baba was to take a train to Saoner. The other mandali joined Baba at Karanja, and all reached Saoner, 26 miles from Nagpur, the following evening. As previously instructed, Dhake had brought a select boy and also the boy’s father.

For Baba’s arrival, Saoner had been transformed into a festival ground. Reception festoons and buntings adorned every corner. Roads were swept and cleaned, arches constructed over them and a huge pavilion erected. Pophali Pleader and his sons, Abdul Majid Khan, Naib Tahsildar (a government officer), and many devotees from the surrounding villages of Ajangaon, Kheri, Angewada, Patkakhedi, Malegaon, Ajni and others were responsible for this marvelous metamorphosis of Saoner.

Baba stayed at the Circuit House and the mandali at the home of Bhawalkar Pleader. His daughter Basumati loved Baba dearly and in her intense devotion had stopped taking food and water. When Baba was in Amraoti, she was brought to him, and he fed her himself.

As Bhau got off the train at the Saoner station and entered the town he surveyed this wonderful scene. Instead of going to his sister’s house, he, Rama and their baby went straight to the darshan pavilion.

The message “The Divine Heritage of Man” was read out and darshan started. The people sitting in the queues had to go to Baba by scooting toward him on the ground. When they got to Baba they would stand, and Baba would smile at some, kiss some, and rest His hand in blessing on the heads of others. But when Bhau’s turn came and he stood in front of Him, Baba looked in another direction and put a banana in Bhau’s hand as prasad, without turning His face to him. Bhau was hustled away immediately, as there was a long queue of people waiting. The crowds were so dense that no person could stand before Baba for more than a few seconds.

Baba, being infinitely mischievous, played havoc with Bhau’s feelings. His heart was totally restless and it longed to speak with Baba, but Baba had not even looked at him. Bhau ate the entire banana- including the skin! It was not a banana but a spark of divine fire, and on consuming it his whole being began to burn!

Bhau had not a clue who the companions with Meher Baba were, and he began asking each, “Are you with Baba?” At last Bhau met some of the mandali, but was told that an interview with Baba was not possible. Savak Kotwal suggested him to write to Adi’s office in Ahmednagar. Ranga Rao of Andhra had come to Saoner with his son and Dr. Kanakadandi Suryanarayana of Eluru. Bhau met them, and though they too were new, Ranga Rao assured Bhau he could arrange for him to get an interview with Baba. Gadekar advised Bhau to read Jean Adriel’s book, Avatar, and reiterated that an interview at this time was impossible.

The darshan lasted until evening, and when it was over Baba left for the Circuit House, where no visitor was allowed. Until nightfall, Bhau circled the bungalow in an uneasy frame of mind. All ideas of proceeding to Rishikesh were fading; he felt in his heart that the One for whom he had been searching was found.

Late at night he went to his sister’s home. She had been worried about him and asked what the matter was. But Bhau did not divulge the reason for his restlessness.

Bhau could not sleep that night. He was about to leave the house at 4:00 A.M., when his sister asked where he was going so early. “For a walk,” he said. She wanted to accompany him and her presence prevented him from proceeding to Baba’s bungalow. When they returned, Bhau’s brother-in-law, Ramlal Singh Gaharwar, asked him, “Why do you look so forlorn? You look positively lost.”

“I’m all right,” Bhau muttered. “Nothing is the matter with me. I’m just going out for a while.”

Unbeknownst to Bhau, Ramlal’s father, Maharaj Singh, had attended the Meherabad meeting of November 1952 to prepare for Baba’s visit. Nira Devi (Bhau’s sister) and Ramlal also had Baba’s darshan in Saoner in 1944, but they had never told Bhau about it. Although Bhau had seen Baba’s name for the first time in the newspapers, his initial meeting with the Divine Beloved set his heart afire.

Bhau again went towards the Circuit House. Ranga Rao, his son and Dr. Kanakadandi were on their way back to Andhra, but Ranga Rao’s son desperately wanted a garland from Baba before they left. Thinking this was a good excuse to have Baba’s darshan, Bhau asked Ranga Rao to give him a note, requesting a garland from Baba and offered to take it to the Circuit House.

Ranga Rao wrote the note, and Bhau went with it to Baba’s bungalow.

One of the local lovers was on watch outside and did not allow Bhau to enter. Instead, he took the note from him and went inside, returning shortly with a garland. Bhau got the garland, but without seeing Baba. He left, and on the way picked up and ate any loose petals from the flowers which fell on the road. He gave the garland to Ranga Rao, who said, “Baba is to come to Andhra to give darshan. You should come to Andhra for the program. I will definitely arrange an interview with Baba there.”

Bhau also met Babadas, whom Baba had kept on silence. He kept telling Bhau through hand signs to open the book, Avatar, and read certain sections of it. But Babadas did not know English, and no sooner would Bhau open the book and begin reading, than Babadas would motion to turn the page and read there. Then again, before Bhau could finish the passage, Babadas would turn the page and point to another section. Bhau could not meet any of the other mandali because they were all so busy.

Twenty thousand people assembled on 1st January 1953, for another program. Thousands of villagers, from places where there were Baba centers established, had poured into Saoner during the past few days. Ragho Patel, Moti Jagan Patel and other heads of different villages had brought hundreds of people with them for the two days of mass darshan. Saoner was merged in Baba’s divine light. It was like Hamirpur all over again, replete with a raging fire which swept through the district and affected every heart.

Bhau tried again to attract Baba’s attention while taking darshan, but on that day also Baba did not look at him. Baba’s message “The Unquenching Fire of Spiritual Longing” was given, and at the end of the program Baba stated, “Due to the loving labor of Pophali Pleader and Abdul Majid Khan, Saoner is blessed by my presence. I will be leaving for Nagpur tomorrow.”

Baba also visited several families in their homes, but because the visits were private, Bhau could not attend. Qawaali singing was held at Abdul Majid Khan’s home, and during it Aloba began dancing as if in a trance. He was prevailed upon to stop and was sent back to Bhawalkar Pleader’s, where the mandali were staying.

At last he met Vibhuti, an early disciple who had spread Baba’s message throughout India. Vibhuti informed Baba about Bhau’s sincere desire, and Baba sent word that Bhau should see Him in the afternoon at Verma’s bungalow. Only then did Bhau discover where Baba was staying. At long last he was about to meet his heart’s only Beloved face to face.

When Bhau went to Baba’s residence that afternoon, qawaali music was being sung. Baba asked him, “What do you do?”

“I am about to appear for the final examination for my master’s degree,” Bhau said.

“What do you want?”

“To live with you.”

“Are you married or single?”


“What is your wife’s name?”


“Do you have any children?”

“A baby daughter named Sheela.”

“Would you obey my instructions?”

“I have come with that preparedness.”

Pankhraj was present and interjected, “Baba, he should know what you mean by obedience …”

“He knows better than you!” Baba replied sharply. “He’s a M.Sc. (masters of science degree).”

To Bhau, Baba continued, “If I tell you to go about naked begging, would you do it?”


“Leaving behind everything, would you be able to stay with me?”

“That is all I wish for.”

“When is your examination?”

“In March.”

“Take the exam, and then come to Me wherever I am.”

Bhau wanted to join Baba that very day. But he accepted Baba’s wish and asked, “Could I attend the Andhra darshan?”

“If it doesn’t interfere with your exam, you may come,” Baba replied.

Bhau had Baba’s order and firmly decided to join Him permanently after his exams. His wife, Rama, 20, had taken Baba’s darshan twice in Saoner, and had also come to Nagpur with their infant daughter Sheela. Because of her own firm conviction, she did not interfere in Bhau’s decision.

In 1953,

Bhau Kalchuri passed the examination for his master’s degree and, as ordered by Baba, came to Mussoorie from Nagpur. Baba asked Bhau, “Are you firm in your resolve to stay with Me?”

“I am quite firm,” Bhau stated. “That is why I have come.”

“I am extremely pleased with you. In the darshan programs there were innumerable fishes,” He remarked to the mandali, “but only one was caught!”

The next day, Baba called Bhau and asked him, “Are you prepared, on your own responsibility, to do as I order you?”

Bhau said that he was, and Baba continued, “I might ask you to stay here, or might ask you to go from place to place, or ask you to do certain work, certain things. Will you do it willingly?”

“Yes,” Bhau replied.

“I might ask you to go to Bombay or to certain places and work with the lepers on My behalf, or go preaching, or go to Badrinath (in the Himalayas) and sit there, or go begging, or go to work as a tongawala, earn money and bring it to Me.

“In short, will you do whatever I ask you to do? I might, after a few months, tell you to go stay with your family for some months; I might ask you to go into business or attend to worldly affairs. This means you will have to do anything I dictate, whether you like it or not, but do it because I ask you to do it. If done willingly, then whatever you do will be for Me; whether good or bad, you will be doing it for Me.”

Baba explained that if Bhau did something according to Baba’s orders, the responsibility for that action would rest with Baba: “If all my orders are obeyed 100 percent with love, you will be free.

But if you let your mind come into the picture, it will cause great confusion. The mind is so treacherous that it is impossible to obey. Obedience must be 100 percent.”

Baba then related stories about Upasni Maharaj to Bhau. One story was about a man named Taramek, who lived with Maharaj at Sakori and used to look after affairs in the ashram. Maharaj’s spiritual mother, Durgabai Karmarkar, was also there, but rarely would she do any work. One day she and Taramek got into an argument. Maharaj told them to leave, because both had a love for money. There was another man named Mahadev. He was a farmer who loved Maharaj very much, and he did nothing but remember Maharaj all day long. One day the question arose at the ashram about Taramek working the whole day, but Mahadev doing no work at all. Maharaj said, “Those who do nothing for years together perform the most arduous work. To do nothing for years is great tapa (penance).”

Baba added, “Jawaharlal Nehru and Churchill, who hold the keys to their nations, do a great deal of work. But Nilkanthwala Mast, who does nothing and remains lying on his cot all day, does infinitely greater work than Nehru!

“What does doing nothing mean? To eat is work, to fast is also work; to sleep is work and to remain awake is work. The remedy then is: Whatever work is entrusted to us, if done according to the wishes of the person entrusting it, we have done nothing.”

Baba explained at length about desires, how they are stored in the mind and how the mind generally revolts. At the end, he remarked to Bhau, “Now you will live for Me.”

Although Bhau had been called for fifteen days, after three days Baba sent him back home. Baba instructed, “Go back to Nagpur and take complete rest for one month. Thereafter, come to Dehra Dun where I will break every bone in your body!

“Don’t think I am sending you back. I will keep you with Me. It is definite.” Baba gave Bhau certain instructions, and he and Deshmukh left.

According to Baba’s order, Bhau Kalchuri came to Dehra Dun to stay with Him permanently on 8th July 1953. Baba explained to him, “The first order I am giving you is to visit the rooms of the mandali every night and say loudly, ‘You fool! Keep silence after nine o’clock!’ ”

Baba added, “This is only the beginning for you.”

Bhau was a newcomer, the youngest of the mandali at 27, and some of the older members had been with Baba since the 1920s. Soon after sunset, Bhau became very nervous (and twice had to go to the toilet!). At last it was 9:00 P.M. and he started out on his “sadhana.” He went to every room and, hesitatingly, did as Baba ordered. Nothing happened by his repeating the statement. All the men thought it was a joke and enjoyed it, though they did not know it was Baba’s order. But when he came to Kaikobad’s room, Bhau saw that Kaikobad was silently praying. Bhau opened the door and shouted, “You fool! Keep silence after nine o’clock!” Kaikobad turned to Bhau with a mingled look of surprise and anger, but his duty being over, Bhau hurriedly slipped away.

The next day Kaikobad told Vishnu, “This Bhau is an absolutely rude chap. Last night when I was praying in my room, he quietly opened my door, came in and said, ‘You fool! Keep silence after nine o’clock!’ I was, of course, already silent.”

“He said the same thing to me,” said Vishnu. “He is new and we should forget about it.”

“He has a master’s degree,” Kaikobad continued, “but still is quite a fool. And he has no manners!”

The second night also Bhau repeated Baba’s order, again disturbing Kaikobad in his prayer. What could Bhau do? It was his act of “prayer,” and he had to do it. Kaikobad, though, again complained to Baba, who withdrew the order. Meanwhile, Bhau was assigned the duties of handling Hindi correspondence, night watch (for a few days), looking after Isa (the troublesome sweeper’s son) and most importantly-attending to Nanga Mast.

Four days after Bhau’s arrival in Dehra Dun, this mast of Najibabad (whom Baba had contacted in March) walked more than 62 miles to Dehra Dun. Seeing him on the road, Elcha informed Baba. He was about a mile away, and Baba sent a car to bring him. When he was brought, Baba ordered Bhau, “Serve this mast.

Attend to his wants and look after him well.” Bhau had never seen a mast before and he was not quite sure what Baba saw in him. All Bhau could see was a man completely naked, with thick matted hair, covered from head to foot with years of dirt from never washing. After bathing Nanga Mast, Baba showed Bhau the room where the mast was to be kept. The mast was made to lie down on a bed, and provision for his toilet was made. He was like a majzoob, mostly unconscious of his body, though he was often seen wandering about.

After instructing Bhau, Baba returned to His bungalow. Going to His room, Bhau began his correspondence work. After a short while, Baba came back from His bungalow and went straight to the mast’s room. Bhau followed and was taken aback by the scene. The mast had moved his bowels, excreting in the bed, and it was filthy. Baba looked at Bhau but did not say anything. Instead, He Himself cleaned the bed and the mast, and Bhau felt ashamed for not being more attentive.

From that day onward, Bhau dedicated himself to the care of the mast, but daily Baba would find some fault with him. The mast would pass stools four or five times a day, and each time Bhau had to clean him and wash his clothes and sheets. Baba would come abruptly to the mast’s room, at any time, and would always take Bhau to task for some minor fault.

When Bhau would bring the mast his food, the mast would tell him, “You eat it, you eat it!” It took Bhau a long time to feed the mast; only with great difficulty would he be prevailed upon to eat something.

One day the mast was clean and everything in the room was absolutely spotless. Bhau thought Baba would be pleased at last. But no sooner had Baba come than the mast urinated in the bed, and Baba reproved Bhau.

Usually, the mast had a peaceful temperament, but one night he slapped Bhau soundly. Bhau was convinced the mast must be truly mad.

The next day, Baba asked Bhau, “Speak the truth; what do you think of Nanga Baba?”

Bhau replied, “I have no idea about masts, but this one seems to be quite mad.”

“How did you pass your M.A. degree?” Baba asked. “Did you have to bribe someone?)

You have no sense at all. You say he is mad, but I tell you he is a mast, an advanced soul. He is not mad; you are mad!”

Bhau paid more and more attention to the mast, but the more attentive he became, the more Baba rebuked him and pointed out various small mistakes that Bhau would never have thought of. Day and night he looked after Nanga Baba. The moment the mast would urinate, Bhau would clean the bed and change the sheets. The mast would never leave the bed and use the toilet, and though Bhau did his best to induce him to use the commode in his room, he was unsuccessful.

One day something incredible happened. After all the scolding he had taken on the mast’s account, Bhau resolved that this day, at least, there would be no cause for Baba to be upset. Very early in the morning he cleaned and scrubbed the mast’s room. He put fresh linens on the bed and kept extra bed sheets ready in case the mast spoiled the ones on his bed. Finally everything was ready, and Bhau stood outside the door waiting for Baba to come.

Baba arrived, walked into the room, and Bhau followed. As if struck by lightning, Bhau was dazed by the sight that met his eyes! A part of the wall next to the mast’s bed had collapsed. Luckily, it had fallen outward, away from the mast. The amazing thing was that the wall had been in good condition, and Bhau had been standing just outside the room, and yet had heard nothing. Very displeased, Baba asked him, “Did I give you the duty of serving Nanga Baba or killing him? Had the wall fallen inwardly, he would surely have been crushed. Have you no eyes?” Bhau was aghast and could not reply.

“Why don’t you speak?” Baba demanded. “Do you want to kill My mast? Is that why you have come here?”

Bhau finally stammered, “It is beyond my understanding. How could such a strong wall have collapsed? It was all right just moments ago.”

“If your intellect does not help you, why try to use it? I say he is not mad, so why do you still use your brain and think he is? Now, tell Me how the wall came down.”

“I don’t know. Such a solid wall could never have fallen on its own, and I didn’t hear a thing. I can’t understand it.”

“Give up reasoning and simply do as I tell you,” Baba advised.

Other incidents firmly convinced Bhau that Nanga Mast was not an ordinary man. For example, Bhau had appeared for his college exams, but the results had not yet been announced. One night the mast suddenly said to him, “You will pass.” This was astonishing, as the mast seldom spoke, and if he ever did, whatever he muttered or mumbled was totally unintelligible. And Bhau had never mentioned to Nanga Baba that he had taken college exams. The very next day, true to the mast’s words, a telegram arrived that Bhau had passed his exams.

Another night, Bhau was sitting by the mast when he said, “You will have a son.”

Bhau’s wife, Rama, was still in Nagpur with their infant daughter and was pregnant. Four months later, Bhau received a telegram that a son was born to him. Bhau had thought the mast insane, but one day when the mast spoke about the greatness of Meher Baba, Bhau’s eyes were opened. After these incidents, Bhau realized that the mast was not a madman.

Baba started giving two hours of night watch duty to Bhau in Mahabaleshwar. Krishna would be on watch from 9:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M., and Bhau from 4:00 to 6:00 A.M. At six o’clock, Rano would come for half an hour. At the time, those on duty had to sit outside Baba’s room and be alert and watchful; only when Baba clapped did they enter his room. When their duty was over, they were to lock Baba’s room from outside and then leave, handing the key to their replacement.

One night Krishna locked Baba’s room and forgot to tell Bhau where he had put the key. Shortly, Baba clapped, and Bhau frantically searched for the key. There was a window which Bhau pushed open and looked inside. Baba gestured for him to come in but Bhau replied, “The room is locked.”

Baba again signaled, indicating that he should open the door and come in at once, because Baba wanted to urinate. Bhau replied that he could not find the key, and Baba gestured that he was quite useless and that he was to sit back down. Baba himself got up and took the pan to pass urine. Due to these frantic, tense moments, Bhau was perspiring even in the winter cold.

The episode did not end here. Krishna had told Bhau that he should tell Rano that Baba wanted to be awakened between 6:30 and 7:00 A.M. When Rano came Bhau gave her the information, but she counter-questioned, “Am I to wake him at 6:30 or 7:00?”

Puzzled, Bhau hesitated then replied, “At seven.”

When Baba came to the mandali’s quarters at eight, He teased Bhau, “I fail to comprehend how you passed your M.A.! You have no sense at all.” He then informed the others what had happened during the night, and the other men had a good laugh. (Lord Meher-p-3424-1954)

In April 1954, Bhau was sent on a three-month tour throughout the state of Madhya Pradesh in Central India to give talks on Baba and spread His name. At first, Bhau did not want to go, but Baba stated it was important work, and later, many people became devoted to Baba as a result. Nana Kher accompanied Bhau on the tour.

It was during their journey that the 78-year-old renowned saint of Maharashtra, Gadge Maharaj (who had a large following of his own devotees) came into the love orbit of Meher Baba. Bhau and Nana went to a place where a large gathering of Gadge Maharaj’s devotees was being held. Bhau requested that the saint allow him to say a few words about Meher Baba. Gadge Maharaj agreed and told him to wait on the platform. The saint then proceeded to sing a kirtan about God and Lord Krishna, and it went on for several hours.

Bhau began thinking: “This old man has deceived me! He told me I could speak, but he goes on singing! … Should we leave?” He glanced at Nana, who was also growing restless.

By now, it was midnight. The huge crowd was absorbed in the kirtan performance. Soon after midnight, Gadge Maharaj told Bhau to speak. Bhau spoke for two and a half hours, and later realized that Gadge Maharaj’s songs had raised the pitch of the audience to an intense climax, thus preparing them to hear about the Avatar of the Age.

Baba’s dictation of God Speaks to Eruch continued in Satara, and Eruch completed his writing work in July. Bhau, who had returned from his tour at the beginning of July, was given the duty of organizing the material into chapters, and getting the manuscript typed. A local typist was hired, who typed it, working eight hours a day. Bhau would read the material to him as he typed, so the manuscript was finished in about a week or so. )

March 21st 1955, was the Irani New Year of Jamshed-e-Navroz. On this festival, it is customary to have a sweet, cool drink made with milk called falooda. When Baba came to Rosewood, He told Bhau to go back to Grafton to bring the drink for the mandali. Bhau thought some servant would be there to carry the large pot of liquid, but as soon as he arrived, two women servants lifted the pot onto his head. It was so heavy they had trouble lifting it.

Grafton was about 600 feet from Rosewood, and in between was the house of the property manager, Sohrabji Damania. Damania knew Bhau and was friendly with him. Bhau was embarrassed by doing such menial labor, and fervently hoped he would not come across Sohrabji just then. Although his neck was bent, and his shoulders ached under the weight, he was glad that today Baba was kind, in that Sohrabji was not seen on the road. But, just as he was thinking this, Sohrabji appeared from a side lane and offered his namaskar (greeting) to Bhau. Bhau felt ashamed, but Sohrabji did not linger and went on his way. Bhau began thinking that Baba had not only made him labor much, but had also made him face this awkward situation!

He arrived at Rosewood, where Pendu and Eruch lifted the burden from his head. “Was the pot heavy?” Baba asked.

Before Bhau could reply, Eruch interposed, “It is very heavy!”

Pendu observed, “One would break his back were one to carry such a load for long.”

Baba asked Bhau, “Did anyone see you on the way?”

“Only Sohrabji,” Bhau lamented.

Seeing the expression on Bhau’s face, the men burst out laughing, and Baba asked, “Did you feel ashamed?”

“Very much so!”

“How will you obey Me if you feel ashamed by being seen by others? You will act according to the ways of the world and not according to Me. He who has thought for Me does not care for the world! I will see to your sense of shame in Khuldabad.”

Baba then ladled out a portion of the falooda into a small pot and told Bhau to take it to Sohrabji. He did so and Sohrabji asked him, “Don’t you have any servants to carry such a heavy load?”

We are all servants of Baba,” Bhau said. “It is our good fortune that Baba assigns us such work.”

When he returned, Baba asked what Sohrabji had said, and Bhau reported it. Baba advised him, “Learn to live like a stone! People trample on it, and in the form of an idol also worship it, but is the stone affected thereby? Not in the least. Whether it is kicked, spit upon or worshiped, it remains unaffected. All of you should consciously be like the stone. You will attain the goal of life if you become like a stone.”

In 1955, Baba’s night watchman had to sit outside His room at Grafton and go in when Baba clapped. One evening Bhau went to Baba’s room for night watch, and as always Baba warned him: “Don’t make any noise; don’t make any movement; and keep awake!” Baba would repeat these same three instructions daily. After this, Baba asked Bhau to go out and take his seat. Before leaving the room, Baba’s door was to be closed then Bhau sat outside on the chair.

Usually, every 20 or 30 minutes, Baba would invariably clap; but that night He did not clap for two hours. Bhau’s legs grew stiff from sitting rigidly in one position and the mosquitoes were biting — but Bhau did not move at all. After two hours, Bhau heard Baba snoring loudly. Thinking that it was now his chance, he began lifting his leg very slowly, without making the slightest noise. But the instant he started to raise his leg, Baba clapped.

Bhau went in, and Baba asked, “Why did you move?”

Stunned, Bhau replied, “My legs had fallen asleep and I was trying to straighten them out.”

Gesturing, Baba said, “You moved thinking I was asleep. But remember, even in sleep, My eyes roam over the entire universe. When I can see so far, can I not see you who are so near to Me? Don’t ever think that because you are outside, I cannot see you! Even in sleep, I see everything, and I hear even the breathing of a stone! My sleep is conscious sleep.”

Another night, the mosquitoes were particularly thick and pestering Bhau terribly. Slowly, he raised his hand to swish them away. Baba clapped just at that moment and rebuked him for moving. While on watch, one had to sit like a statue, and even check the urge to urinate. It was next to impossible to be on watch near Baba; and when, after the accident, the watchman had to sit inside Baba’s room, it became even more difficult.

Clapping one night at Satara, Baba summoned Bhau inside, whereupon he made some hand signs. He raised both arms widely, and Bhau thought Baba wanted to embrace him. Overjoyed, Bhau spread his arms to receive the hug. Baba looked puzzled and asked, “What are you doing? I told you to pull the covering over Me, and here you want to sit on My chest!” Bhau suppressed his laughter, and after adjusting the blanket walked out of the room.

The next morning, Baba informed the mandali, “Last night, I was feeling cold and called this man inside to spread my blanket — and he comes to embrace me! I felt so frightened my heart was palpitating!” Baba and everyone had a hearty laugh at Bhau’s mistake.

Another night when Bhau was on watch near Baba, this thought came into his mind: “You have to write books.” Bhau was startled, but for several minutes kept hearing this sentence repeated over and over. At the time, Bhau could not understand its meaning, and four years would pass before Baba mentioned anything about writing books. Bhau was told only to reply to letters and compose an occasional article or speech. But later, beginning in 1959, Bhau was told to write different books, and Lord Meher is one of those Baba ordered him to write!

Soon after 11:00 P.M., Baba retired for the night. To keep watch by His side, He had organized the mandali into four pairs in one and a half hour shifts: Kishan Singh and Kumar, Nilu and Nariman, Bhau and Adi Sr., and Pendu and Meherjee. The first pair did their duty but they could not follow Baba’s gestures and would often disturb Pendu to interpret them. Nariman and Nilu took over, and their hour passed smoothly. Then it was Bhau and Adi’s turn, and Nariman and Nilu went to sleep just outside Baba’s room. Soon Nilu began snoring. Baba asked Bhau who was making the noise.

Bhau said Nilu, and Baba told him to wake him, which Bhau did.

Nilu indignantly stammered, “What’s the matter?”

Bhau said, “You were snoring so loudly, Baba told me to wake you up.”

“I am awake, I was not sleeping! Someone else must have been snoring. Why have you come to me?” Bhau went back to Baba and reported what Nilu had said, and Baba laughed.

Then Nariman started snoring and by Baba’s instruction, Bhau awakened him also. Nariman protested, “What? I am keeping awake the whole night. How could I be snoring? Have you gone insane?”

Thus Nariman and Nilu went back to sleep and kept snoring, and each time Bhau kept waking them up. Each time, both would claim, “No, we are not asleep. Why are you bothering us?”

Baba found the situation hilarious, but Bhau was embarrassed and at last told Adi, “Both of them are furious with me. Now you go wake them up.” And Adi was confronted with the same answers.

From 19th February 1956, Baba left Jal Villa and again began staying at Grafton at Dehradun with the women mandali. Bhau, besides attending to Baba, was still looking after the “needs” of Krishnaji, who treated him like a common servant. Krishnaji occupied a room in Jal Villa, and when Baba ordered the bungalow vacated, Krishnaji ordered Bhau to carry his luggage to Rosewood. Bhau rolled up Krishnaji’s bedding, put it on his head and carried Krishnaji’s trunk in his hands. Walking to Rosewood, Krishnaji led the way, swinging a walking stick, and Bhau followed him like a coolie.

Nilu saw them and asked Bhau whose luggage it was. Bhau replied that it was Krishnaji’s. Nilu became furious and asked, “Are you his servant?”

“Baba has ordered me to do this work,” Bhau replied.

Nilu was extremely upset and went straight to Grafton, where he complained before Baba. Bhau was sent for, and Baba asked him, “Why did you carry Krishnaji’s luggage on your head?”

Bhau was startled by the question and said, “It was your order, Baba!”

“Yes, it was My order but you have no sense! As long as a flower is fresh, its fragrance lingers and it is to be cherished — but when it dries up, it is thrown away! I gave Krishnaji the chance to remain like a fresh flower, but he could not. Now he is dried up, so throw him out! I will again give him another chance, and if he benefits by My love, he will be fortunate.”

Much relieved, Bhau returned to Rosewood, and within minutes Krishnaji began browbeating him as to why he had not yet unrolled his bedding. “Look after it yourself!” Bhau retorted. “I have no time to attend to you.”

Krishnaji reported this to Baba, who explained, “Where is the time for Bhau? He works from morning until night. Have pity on him.” Krishnaji kept quiet.

Two days later, Baba ordered Krishnaji to get a haircut and shave, and he had to do it.

In Satara, Baba had asked Bhau to grow a (Fu Manchu) Chinese-style mustache, which he had done. Several times, when he went to the post office, people would look at him and laugh. Once someone asked. “Why are you growing this type of mustache? It looks uncouth.”

Bhau replied, “I am going to China and I am trying to follow their ways and customs so that I may be accepted as one of them.”

“But you don’t look Chinese!” the man argued. “What are you going to do about that?” Bhau said, “Well, if my features aren’t Chinese, at least my mustache is!”

In 1956, a strange event occurred in Satara. Baba was on His way from Grafton to Rosewood with Bhau and Aloba, when He saw a fifteen-year-old boy collecting cowdung on the road. Calling him, Baba asked, “What are you doing?”

The lad began weeping. “My family is poor,” he said.

Baba instructed him, “Go home and come to Rosewood after washing.” The boy left and Baba went to the mandali’s quarters at Rosewood.

The boy, whose name was Ismail, came to Rosewood and Baba asked him, “Don’t you go to school?” He replied he had quit school.

“If you are sent to a school, will you go?” Baba asked. “We will meet the expenses.”

The boy answered, “I don’t want to go to school.”

Baba asked Pendu to pay the boy one rupee, and taking it, he walked home. After he had left, Baba remarked to the mandali, “The lad seems to be clever. It would be better if he goes to school.”

Shortly thereafter, Ismail returned. After inquiry, he said, “I have come back to return your rupee. My mother says not to accept anything without working for it.”

“There is not much work here,” Baba replied, “but if you agree to study, it can be arranged.”

“I told you I don’t want to go to school! But if someone were to tutor me here, I will come for lessons.”

Baba turned to the mandali and gestured, “Bhau, you teach him and acquire his blessings! At least learn how to do some good for others!”

Ismail chimed in, “If he teaches me, I promise to study.”

So Baba gave the duty of schoolmaster to Bhau. Bhau was soon to learn how Ismail, besides being his pupil, also would become his boss!

Baba said that the boy was clever and He wanted him to study as if he were in school. Baba had ordered Bhau to tutor him, and one day calling Bhau to Grafton, Baba observed, “Ismail is a very good boy, teach him with all your heart. He has studied up to the fourth standard; but see that he passes the matriculation exam within a year!”

This meant accelerating from a fourth grader to a high school graduate within a year! Naturally, this seemed an impossible task to Bhau, but Baba added, “Don’t worry about it. I will help inwardly. Just try your best.”

Going to the market, Bhau bought books for Ismail and started teaching him. Two days later, Baba told Bhau, “Ismail has no clothes; go to the bazaar and purchase expensive outfits for him, so that he remains pleased and pays attention to his studies. I am helping you so that within one year you will make him pass his matriculation.”

So Bhau bought fine clothes for Ismail, and a few days after this, Baba commented, “Ismail’s parents are very poor and he does not eat good food at home. When he doesn’t have proper nourishment, how do you expect him to apply his intellect? If you want him to pass the matriculation exam in a year, then first provide good food for him.”

“How am I to arrange food for him?” Bhau asked.

“How much help I am giving you!” Baba said. “I am telling you to do all this, so that you may enable him to pass the exam in a year. Just approach his parents and pay them every month whatever they spend on cooking food for him. Don’t worry about money, I will provide everything needed.”

Visiting Ismail’s parents, Bhau made arrangements with them to provide good meals, milk, fruits and sweets for the boy, and Baba was pleased. But he further ordered, “Just do one thing more. Go to Ismail’s house every morning and bring him to Rosewood for studying, and accompany him back home when he is through. If he falls into bad company, cold water will be thrown on his studies! And if that happens, you won’t be able to make him pass.