Mohammed Gets Photographed

In the 1970s Mohammed, Meher Baba’s favourite mast*, lived in Mandali Hall at Lower Meherabad and in those days he could be quite “jalali,” meaning hot-tempered. He would spend many hours every day bent over arranging pieces of flagstone (farsi) as doorstops for the front and back doors of Mandali Hall. What his work was is not known, but he strongly objected to anyone touching these “doorstops” without his permission. However he would at times have a resident stay for hours with him, re-arranging these pieces of flagstone according to his instructions!

One afternoon a Western Baba lover wanted to take his photo. At this time of day the sun is on the front side of the Hall, so the light was best there for the photograph. Mohammed, however, was on the back or eastern side of the Hall.

Padri, observing this, told the photographer that he would have Mohammed come to the sunny side. He called out to Mohammed, “There is a filthy scoundrel out here moving your farsi!” Hearing this, Mohammed came charging through the Hall into the sunlight to put a stop to this intrusion and so the photographer was able to take a good shot of him. Unfortunately we don’t have a copy of this photo, but below are other photos of Baba’s favourite mast.

—Janet Judson for Avatar Meher Baba Trust, 9 April 2015

* According to Meher Baba, a “mast” is a seeker of God who becomes so intoxicated with the experience of the Divine that he loses interest in the external world of forms. His behavior may resemble that of a “madman” although it is actually a reflection of an advanced inner awareness. (See The Wayfayers, by William Donkin, for more information.

Mohammed and Padri, 1971 (Photo by Bea Muller)

Mohammed, Lower Meherabad, Feb 1969 (Photo courtesy MN Publications)

Mohammed, Lower Meherabad, 1975 (Photo courtesy MN Publications)

Mohammed, with Old Bungalow (now the Old Dharamshala) in the background,
early to mid-1940s. (photo courtesy Martin Cook,