In the afternoon news came of the death of Dr. Karkal, just three days after Arjoon’s passing,
folios #2v056-2v061, December 23-31, 1926.

The mandali received a thorough surprise when Baba decided to return to Meherabad and gave orders to pack and make arrangements for a goods train to transport the luggage back to Ahmednagar. The following day the luggage was dispatched.

In the evening at 10 PM Baba, the ladies and all the mandali with difficulty on account of the remaining luggage boarded the Delhi Express for Ahmednagar via Manmad. The early morning change of trains at Manmad, which route had been chosen to avoid Poona, was cold and inconvenient; a few stations later Gustadji, Behramji and Jal were left behind when they got down to relieve themselves.

At 9 AM the following morning, December 25, Baba and party returned to Meherabad after one month absence, much to the wonder and amazement of those who saw them. The mandali initially settled into the mess quarters while the women went to a separate living space.

Arjoon’s absence was very noticeable. Within hours they became aware of the serious illness of Dr. Karkal, to whom the medical supplies had been sold at bargain rate upon departure; during that month he had developed a busy practice based on his reputation as “Meherabad’s Doctor.” In the afternoon news came of his passing, just three days after Arjoon.

The mandali made a connection between Baba’s wiping “clean out” Meherabad only weeks before the loss of two chief workers in important institutions there.

The next five days were passed in getting settled, fixing places in the mess quarters and assigning duties. Some mandali were asked to meditate on God for an hour a day by repeating his Holy Name in their minds.

The school for village children was reopened with forty students; the higher class and more clever boys were sent to schools in Ahmednagar at Baba’s expense. Most of the students went home for meals and for sleeping.

Part 98: The Combined Diary

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