The New Life: Manonash phase – The Imampur incident – Part 1 of 2

About Manonash, Baba explained that the four months would be divided into four phases: the first, lasting 30 to 40 days, was to be spent on the hill at Khojaguda; the second, from 30 to 40 days, on a foot journey from Hyderabad to Aurangabad; the third phase at Khuldabad, contacting masts, and the fourth and final phase would be spent at Meherazad.

[Baba started the first phase of Manonash on the Khojaguda hill, Hyderabad, on 15th October 1951.]

Baba ended His seclusion on the hill at Khojaguda on October 24th, when He announced that His work there was completed after only nine days instead of two weeks that he had originally planned.

Early on October 24th, 1951, from the hill at Khojaguda, Baba had the following message sent to the women and the other companions with them: “I am well. My work in the cave succeeded 100 percent, and today I will start for Meherazad on foot via Aurangabad.”

On the morning of the 21st of November, Baba, Pendu, Eruch, Gustadji and Baidul left Aurangabad by bus. Their first stop was Toka, a place on the Godavari River, where in 1928, Baba, the Prem Ashram boys and the mandali had stayed for six months.

They  reached the mosque at Imampur at 9:00 p.m. They found it completely deserted. For years, the British had used the mosque as a government rest house for their army officers. After India’s independence, the Muslim community reclaimed it, but they never made use of it, and now it was run-down, with weed-grass grown up all around.

The companions immediately made preparations to spend the night. Eruch prepared Baba’s evening meal without the aid of a lamp or flashlight. After taking food, Baba chose to sleep in the southeast corner of the mosque, so Eruch began feeling around the room for any scorpions or snakes that might be inside. When he was assured that the room was safe, he used a blanket to sweep the floor, and then he spread out a coarse blanket, like those shepherds used, on which Baba could sleep.

After Baba retired, the companions took turns as watchman throughout the night. Eruch had first watch outside the room where Baba slept, while the other men rested outside below the mosque’s parapet.

Eruch went back and resumed his watch, but after another hour, Baba clapped again. Eruch went inside and lit another match so he could see Baba, who gestured that there was a disturbing noise in the room.

As far as Eruch could tell, the room was bare, but Baba told him to stay and listen. A few minutes passed until he heard a sudden fluttering sound from somewhere in the room.

Eruch went in the direction of the sound, and when he felt that he was near, he lit a match and started feeling around in a niche in the upper right corner of the wall. “There is a bird nesting,” he said, loud enough for Baba to hear. “It seems to be a mother dove and her chicks.”

Eruch returned to Baba, who gestured for him to catch the birds and throw them out.

– Extracted from “Meher Baba’s New Life”, Bhau Kalchuri, p615, p616, p646

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