Even though half a dozen trucks run people continuously between Meherabad and Ahmednagar, at no time is the crowd estimated to be less than 5,000!
folios #217-221, February 18, 1926.
Despite the great preparations that were made to accommodate everyone coming to celebrate Baba’s birthday on February 18th, “the labour of so many day….proved hopelessly inadequate.” Even as half a dozen trucks ran people continuously between Meherabad and Ahmednagar, at no time was the crowd estimated to be less than 5,000!
At 8:00am Baba had to patiently tolerate being ceremonially bathed by thousands of devotees, till “at 9 o’clock to the disappointment of a large number of people the bathing was declared to be finished.” After Baba took his new seat in the “wooden box” in Sai Darbar, Angal began his talk narrating Baba’s early life. When it came time for all to offer the birthday flowers, the volume was so great that the wooden cabin was buried in them.
After lunch, Baba gave darshan continuously for six hours, till he was carried in a palanquin procession “to the tank on the hill, where special arrangement was made for Arti, pujas, etc. to be offered by the ladies.” From the hill the procession made its way to Kaka Shahane’s house, where tea was served to thousands. Then Baba returned to the cabin on the Sai Darbar stage to continue giving darshan until after midnight to the huge crowd, “which was increasing steadily through the evening.” With the vast lighting arrangement and the fireworks “the scene was all the more lively and bright.”
The mandali got to bed about 1:00am “dog-tired with the day’s work of fighting with an unruly and enthusiastic crowd.” What a day!