|On Sacred Ground|
|Under the Tin Shed, Part 3 – The Later Years|
After the New Life, Baba's infrequent visits to Meherabad included three large sahavas programmes in the 1950s. At these times Baba often took the participants around Meherabad to show them the places of His life and work there. On the Hill, sometimes they would sit under the Tin Shed where Baba would give messages and talk about the places to be seen.
On 14 September 1954, during the extended gathering that would become known as the Three Incredible Weeks, it was under the Tin Shed that Baba first met with the seventeen men who had come from around the world at His invitation. From a diary kept at that time, Baba's visit was described: "Baba arrived early in the morning of the 14th. The first thing He did was to embrace each of us in turn. … He then led us into the refectory [Tin Shed] and asked us to introduce ourselves, as there were some among us whom He was meeting outwardly for the first time." (The Awakener Magazine, Vol 2, No. 3, p. 7-9)
The diary further recalled that on the 28th there were very heavy "elephant rains" and when Baba came the next day He said, "I asked Myself, whether I was the Avatar; and the clear and definite answer was 'Yes, I am the Ancient One, the Highest of the High.' Then I asked Avatar Meher Baba, why this rain—this inconvenience to the lovers who have come all the way to meet You! Avatar Meher Baba replied, 'Those who really love You would come with their heads on their palms, and this inconvenience would be a happiness to them.'" (The Awakener Magazine, Vol 2, No. 3, p. 72)
A film clip showing the elephant rains on 28 September 1954. Included are Bill Le Page, Joseph Harb, Philippe Dupuis and Savak Kotwal. (Footage by Lud Dimpfl, courtesy of Sufism Reoriented)
At the end of 1955 Baba held another Sahavas attended in turn by different language groups from India. On one of the days, "Baba led the way into his Tomb, which the men entered in batches. … As it was almost 10:45 A.M., there was no time to show them the other spots on Meherabad Hill, but under the tin shed Baba remarked, 'How lucky you are that you have Baba physically in your midst. A few years after I drop my body, thousands will come here to pay homage at my samadhi.'" (Lord Meher, revised online edition, p. 3807)
View of the east end of the Tin Shed in November 1955. Note that the tatta corridors from the 1930s and '40s are still in place. (Photo courtesy of Avatar Meher Baba Trust Archives)
In 1958 both men and women were invited to Meherabad for Sahavas and again Baba took them up the Hill in groups. He was carried in His lift-chair, stopping under the Tin Shed, and then on to the Samadhi, where He told them, "Baba, the living figure, has led you up this Hill, his final resting place. You can have no idea of the unique privilege you are having today." (Lord Meher revised online p. 4334)
|Carrying Baba up the Hill, February 1958. Surrounding Baba are Sadashiv Patil, Krishna Nair, Meherjee, Deshmukh, Adi Dubash, Kumar, Kaka Baria and Pesi Irani. (Photo courtesy of MN Publications)|
Under the Tin Shed, February 1958: Dhake, Elcha, Kaka, Baba, Papa Jessawala, Deshmukh and Balak Bhagwan. (Photo courtesy of MN Publications)
That unique privilege of visiting Meherabad continues today. The Tin Shed remains alive with His Presence, and a place for informal gatherings, programmes and talks.
—Meredith Klein for Avatar Meher Baba Trust, 21 May 2015
Celebrating the inauguration of electricity at Meherabad, 24 May 1977, early residents Heather and Eric Nadel and Janet Judson, with Mehera and Mani, perhaps hearing some of the very stories being shared each week in these postings. (Photo courtesy of MN Publications)
Gathering to share memories of Mehera, Baba's beloved, at the time of her birthday celebration, December 2013. (Photo courtesy of Paul Liboiron)