The 33rd Birthday Celebration (Part Two)
The Combined Diary
A decorated cradle containing pictures of Baba, Babajan and Upasni Maharaj is rocked by the guests while they sing arti and cast flowers into it, folios #2v137-2v141, February 18-19, 1927.
At 9 AM Baba was ritually bathed near the dhuni, then dressed and garlanded and led to a seat prepared in the mandap for him to watch a birthday ceremony conducted in traditional Hindu style.
"Mr. Angal held the audience spell-bound" with his Puranic lecture giving particular emphasis to the theme of "contact with Saints" in which he related stories of Masters from various traditions and pointed out the need to "surrender one's self whole and soul to such Masters." He also related exemplary stories from Baba's life. Afterwards a decorated cradle containing pictures of Baba, Babajan and Upasni Maharaj was rocked by the guests while they sang arti and cast flowers into it.
Baba moved to a seat under a tree by the road where he distributed rava to the girls and boys, including the Anath Ashram boys who came in full uniform under the leadership of Mr. Borkar.
After the noon meal, Bhau-Saheb sang bhajans for an hour and Narayan, who had come from Bombay with Dr. Ghani, sang ghazals for two hours. At 5:30 a procession with much enthusiastic music and singing carried Baba's picture on a palanquin slowly up the Hill, accompanied by Baba on foot. He took a seat while the women mandali recited his "Arti and 'Puja'" and then quickly left the Hill. Baba was persuaded to remain while the men danced and celebrated joyfully before him.
In response to repeated requests, Baba rode the palanquin on the return journey; mandali vied for the privilege of carrying him on their shoulders and their enthusiasm was "beyond description". The procession arrived at the mandap in Lower Meherabad "amidst deafening cheers of Jai." After arti and paying respects to Baba, the guests departed.
Upon completion of the evening meal, Baba ordered the exhausted mandali to go to bed at once, thus ending a very happy day that had exceeded their expectations.
In the morning, after milk tea and sweets, various treats and fruits were handed out to the mandali and the few remaining visitors. Narayan again sang ghazals on spiritual and philosophical themes and due to a night's rest by both performer and audience his performance was much more appreciated this time.
While the mandali rested until 3 PM, Baba conducted private interviews with visitors and then all the mandali went with him to Kaka's for tea for the first time since returning to Meherabad. Baba was exceptionally cheerful as he discussed various topics with the mandali through signs and gestures. In response to Dr. Ghani's inquiry when he would break his silence, Baba promised to speak within five days. Dr. Ghani related his dream that Babajan would drop her body in October.
Narayan sang ghazals again in the evening. At the end of the performance Baba presented him with some gold buttons.
After dinner and arti, Baba sat with the mandali and discussed general topics until 9:30 when he sent them all to bed.
Part 117: The Combined Diary
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