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TRAINING PERIOD AT BELGAUM

Abdul Ghani

 
After making the usual inquiries as to sleep and health, Baba felt happy at the way all were taking the handicaps and discomforts so cheerfully. He gave general duties to all with regard to the daily routine of drawing and fetching water from the well, washing of utensils, tea-making etc. In the matter of taking bath, it was immaterial whether one took it daily or every week or every ten days. One bucketful of water for each one for bath and one bucketful of water for each one for washing clothes which each one should provide for himself. Hot water for bath should be prepared by individuals themselves.

Here he gave a comparative picture of how the ladies were adapting themselves to the conditions of this New Life by doing menial jobs (which they never did before) in a cooperative spirit. Mehera too was working like a menial — sweeping, washing and dusting.

The general duties assigned to individuals were of a tentative nature and a final shape would be given to them on 25th October — the day from which the training period would begin.

In the afternoon, Baba discussed in the presence of all, the pros and cons of completing the training period at Belgaum. After a long drawn out discussion with suggestions and counter-suggestions, the following letter came to be dictated by Baba. It would speak for itself:

"To all those whom it may concern from amongst the Arrangementwallas, is dictated the following: —

1. Let all know that,

(a) The first period of training will be spent at Belgaum till 20th Nov. 1949, comprising physical labour.

(b) The second period of training will be spent at Banaras from 25th Nov. to 10th December, comprising begging and life in langoti.

(c) The third and last period of training will be spent on the way to Haridwar, comprising gipsy life from 10th Dec. to 31st December 1949.

(d) From 1st January 1950 onwards, whether on way to Haridwar or wheresoever God takes us, will comprise the endless New Life of hopelessness in real earnest.

2. We leave Belgaum on 20th November by railway in III Class to Banaras, money for which will be spent from out of the allotted training period maintenance amount, already with Kaka.

3. We leave Banaras on 10th December on foot, and hope to reach Haridwar by 10th March 1950.

4. The Caravan, bullock-cart and bullocks should reach Banaras by 7th Dec. 1949 at Cantonment Station.

5. Vishnu and Nilu will be inquiring at Cantonment Station, Banaras, from 1st December to 7th Dec., regarding Caravan, bullocks etc.

In the evening Baba distributed with his own hands, sweets worth Rs. 21 to celebrate the stay at Belgaum (Thalakwadi) inaugurating the training period.

 

GLOW International, May 1973, ed Naosherwan Anzar
1973 © Naosherwan Anzar

Diary of the New Life of Meher Baba and His companions, from 16th October 1949 to 21st January 1950
Abdul Ghani Munsiff — (1950? unpublished)

               

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