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Avatar Meher Baba Pune Centre Celebrating 50 years!
Beloved Baba's Birth Day Celebration at Pune Centre.
One day Mr. Laxmikant Thade along with his brother Kisan Thade and maternal uncles, Narayan and Krishna Bundellu had gone to the Theosophical lodge in Poona camp. In a meeting on that day, Dr. Ghani was delivering talk on Meher Baba. The audience comprised retired judges, collectors, high ranking officers and intellectuals of the society. In his talk, Dr. Ghani unequivocally said that Meher Baba was the Avatar of the Age, the Incarnation of God. On listening to this talk, the young boys got inspired and started gathering more and more information on Baba and were always looking for interacting with people who could tell share more information on Meher Baba. To quench the genuine thirst of their hearts, Gadekar invited Dr. Ghani to address the weekly meetings, who in turn, brought his friends Khaksaheb and Behli Irani to interact with this group. From this time onwards, Dr. Ghani played a major role in satisfying the urge of the young boys and in carving Meher Baba’s name on their clean and impregnable minds. Dr. Ghani spared no efforts to strengthen the conviction of these young boys and girls and establish them firmly in their faith in Meher Baba. Except for the period that Dr. Ghani spent with Meher Baba in New Life, Ghani spent most of his time with this young group till he breathed his last.
From this sequence of events, we can infer that Gadekar played two major roles. On one hand, he brought two major Baba groups of Shinde, Dhawale, Kamble on one hand, and Thade, Bundellu and Gaekwad on the other hand, together. This gave a clear focus and strength to the Baba activity at Pune. He also introduced Dr. Ghani and Khak Saheb to this newly formed group that was bubbling with energy. Some of these early group members had the opportunity of seeing or meeting Meher Baba before Baba left for his New Life. On the first occasion, Dr Ghani had sought special permission from Baba for bringing some members of this group, including the Theosophical Society participants for this meeting. Baba had allowed personal interviews to these people. During this interaction, Laxmikant Thade had mentioned before Baba that he was studying for M.Sc. In response, Baba said to him ‘Do you M.Sc. or Ph.D. but remember one thing, be good to others and I am always with you’.
This first meeting with Baba brought tremendous energy and enthusiasm in those young boys and they demonstrated great hunger in gathering and absorbing every information about Baba whichever sources it came from. Dr. Ghani was largely involved in quenching this thirst. All these boys and girls and their family members would gather around Dr. Ghani to listen to his talks and stories that he recounted of Meher Baba. Most of these meetings were used to be held at L. B. Thade’s government quarters within the compound of backward boys’ hostel run by social welfare department. By this time, Mr. Thade was elevated as the Superintendent of the hostel. Some of the inmates of the hostel like Rangole, Bade, and P.K. Chavan, myself (Pratap Ahir) were also caught up in the web of Meher Baba’s Love. Meetings with Dr Ghani used to take place in the night after 9 pm and would continue till midnight and sometimes till well over mid-night till 1 or 2 AM. Dr. Ghani had been with Baba since the early days of Pune and had a lot to share. Looking at this group’s enthusiasm and sincerity, he opened out the treasure fully that he had accumulated over his time with Baba and probably had preserved for several years seeking for receivers. He not only narrated Baba stories and instances but also explained many spiritual concepts that he had learnt from Baba. To describe those moments I would say that Dr. Ghani had disclosed to us a wide array of Baba-related things and also the “inside’ stories related to life of Meher Baba and of mandali members. “I am placing a costliest diamond in your hands. Don’t lose it even at the cost of your life”, he would often warn us.
In July 1949, Baba had announced that he, along with some select members, was going on New Life and that it would be a life of no return. This announcement shocked the young boys as it meant that they wouldn’t be able to have Baba’s darshan during their lifetime. They virtually started weeping when an elderly person, Sule Kaka, provoked them to go to Adi’s office with a request for Baba’s darshan.
Adi was strict but had a malleable heart that responded to this group’s sincere request. Baba was so busy with thousands of things that asking for his time was out of question. Adi devised a compromise formula. He would be driving Baba to Mehrazad from Meherabad. At a particular place, he would slow down the car and the group members can have a glimpse of Baba who would be sitting at the window. God always listens and responds to heart’s cry and that small group of Pune Baba workers not only got Baba’s glimpse but got his Darshan as Baba asked Adi to stop the car on seeing this group standing by the roadside.