Mandali Hall at Meherabad

“Mandali Hall” makes most Baba lovers think of Meherazad, but there is also a Mandali Hall in Meherabad. It is the large central room in a building called the Main Bungalow, which was built in 1948 and inaugurated by Meher Baba on July 23, 1948. Baba would meet with his mandali there, and also with large groups of followers whom He called for special programs and “sahavas” gatherings.

The west verandah is on the road side of the Main Bungalow. Baba’s close disciple Padri’s room, which was also the homeopathic dispensary, is at the north end of the west verandah. Facing this side, about thirty feet closer to the road, is the Interview Cabin, where Baba would meet visitors in a more private way.

Main Bungalow at Meherabad seen from the road, as it looked in 1954. Interview Cabin in front of Main Bungalow

The three baobab trees that were planted by Eruch between the main building and the road are still there, now partly hidden by more recent shrubs of hibiscus and bougainvillea.

At the end of September 1954, Baba called more than 1,000 men disciples to Meherabad to hear His Final Declaration. Though the monsoon season was supposed to be over, it had rained heavily the day before the meeting. There was mud everywhere. All the tents and temporary accommodations were in disarray and moving around was difficult. A teenager who had come for this gathering – he was the youngest – was sitting on the west verandah, and he was not in a good mood. He was very upset by the rain and the mud, and could not help thinking: “What sort of a Master is Baba? Here we are, trudging through the mud, but He does not care! He is driven around in a car!”

Just then, Baba’s car arrived. It stopped some distance away. Baba walked to Mandali Hall with His sandals in His hands. By then our young fellow was in tears.

Yes, Baba walked barefoot in the mud of Meherabad, holding His sandals in one hand, hitching up His trousers with the other. Yes. He put His lotus feet in the mud. Right here!

—Anne Moreigne for Avatar Meher Baba Trust, 15 January 2015

Meher Baba distributing food in the dining tent at the Final Declaration meeting, 1954