The Mahars fetch Baba in a gorgeously decorated “carriage and pair” accompanied by a band of musicians and crowds of cheering villagers,
folios #301-304, July 21-23, 1926.

Ekadashi was celebrated with a milk and tea fast by some Hindu members of the ashram including a number of school boys. Meanwhile there was a great deal of activity to transform Meherabad into a “country fair” with colored bunting, flags, and mango leaf decorations in preparation for the next day’s extensive celebration of Dwadashi. Preparations were especially ardent in Arangaon where the villagers had invited Baba to participate.

Baba started the day with a ritual bath, including arti and puja performed by ashram members. At 10 AM the Mahars came to bring him to Arangaon in a gorgeously decorated “carriage and pair” accompanied by an enthusiastic band of musicians and crowds of cheering villagers. Baba took his place in a decorated Mandap in Arangaon while the crowds chanted his arti and sang bhajans. People streamed in from surrounding villages to take his darshan. At night Baba served dinner to the Mahars and their families, amounting to about 700 people.

It rained heavily for three hours in the afternoon and the resultant floods claimed the lives of three villagers who were swept away in a sudden torrent despite prompt and heroic rescue efforts. The survivors were comforted at Meherabad.

The next day 15 new boys were admitted to the school, the largest group so far.

In the afternoon Baba ended his liquid fast by eating solid food; he declares that he will begin a diet of one meal a day along with water and tea. A general meeting was called for discussion on how to bring together food and water arrangements of Hindus and non-Hindus. After heated discussion, Baba decided to continue separate arrangements, advising that the religious feelings of each group should be scrupulously observed. Late that night the watchman mistakes a horse for a thief and rouses the entire ashram needlessly.

Part 65: The Combined Diary

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