Baba announces that he is not a “Dev” or Sadguru as he had believed and led others to believe,
folios #2v110-2v115, February 6-7, 1927.
A brochure was drafted to inform the public about the purposes of the school, which were “moral training” and “continued close contact” with Baba. Therefore he imposed two conditions on all incoming students, that each boy complete the course of study no matter how many years it might take and that Baba retain the option to grant leave during the duration of their courses. He explained that if they were allowed indiscriminate leaves they might be polluted by contact with relatives or friends, wiping out the effect of their training.
An advertisement for the procurement of staff was also addressed with differing views on whether the new staff should be voluntary or paid. Many mandali doubted that there would be sufficient volunteers “on the bare terms of food and clothing.” In the opinion of Rustomji there might be many who would volunteer in order to be in the close company of a Sadguru “but the question was how to convince them that Baba was a Sadguru.”
The mandali argued for a paid staff that would be replaced over time by self-sacrificing volunteers including perhaps also some of the paid staff members “who were sufficiently attracted towards Shri.” Baba agreed but also it was clear to all that his purpose was to draw both staff and students to the spiritual path. He explained that payment to the staff would “destroy the ‘Poonya’ of their services.”
Three hours later Baba called a meeting and announced that he was not a “Dev” or Sadguru as he had believed and led other to believe. He was an ordinary man who had not seen God. Those who were expecting spiritual benefit should give up hope. All were freed from agreements, promises and oaths both oral and written. Whoever wanted to stay with him as a “mere friend” on the condition of strict obedience yet expecting nothing but food and clothing was welcome to do so.
Baba said he had experienced that the whole Universe was nothing but dream and illusion. Those who stayed with him would be kept aloof from the “dream and illusion” and the lust and greed which are the two strongest attachments to it. None among the mandali “came forward to give him up.” Baba’s words had quite the opposite effect of deepening the mandali’s conviction in his “Babaship” despite their initial surprise.
A game of cricket was played and later the drawings for the school building were discussed in a relaxed and cheerful mood. At the end of the evening Baba talked about medicine and various remedies including the best treatment for snake bite.