Guruprasad, 'the gift of the Master', was a palatial residence in Pune, near the Bund Gardens, where Beloved Baba spent His summers. This is the story of how Guruprasad came to be used by Baba, as narrated by Meherwan Jessawala.
Baba had been in strict seclusion, and His Universal Work was totally wearying Him out. It was summer, and He one day came out of His room in Meherazad saying to Eruch and His other Mandali, "I really feel like giving up all this Universal Work, and going away. I need to rest." He then instructed that a large bungalow or similar be found in Poona (as it was then called) for a month so that He and the women and men Mandali could go stay there. Adi K Irani was summoned and told to go to Poona and search for a suitable place along with Meherwan Jessawala.
Meherwan says, Adi and he decided it would be best to go in separate directions, and so he took his cycle and went along the Bund Garden Road, while Adi went to the Salisbury Park side of town. Cycling along looking for residences that were closed up, Meherwan saw a large set of gates, and beyond them a huge house, white and grand. He decided to go inside and see if he could find out more, so going to the gates he shouted and shouted for someone to let him in. When he got no response, he parked his cycle and climbed over the railings which were steel posts with pointed tips, and somehow managed to jump into the large gardens. Walking up the grand driveway, he thought how great it would be if Baba could get this place to live in for a month.
As he got to the porch, he again shouted, but no one came, so he went up the steps and pushed at the door, which opened, and he entered. Again he shouted, and finally a door opened to the side. A man came out and started berating Meherwan, asking how he had come in, and how he dared to break into someone's home like that. Meherwan tried to explain, but the man threatened him with the police and scolded him, saying "You look like a responsible and well-bred boy, why have you done this criminal thing?" Finally Meherwan left, disappointed.
Adi meanwhile had found a school friend of his, who told him of another of their school friends who was a builder, and who would surely have something for Baba! So they went to see this man, and sure enough, he had just renovated a large house in Salisbury Park, with a swimming pool and all mod cons. The owners didn't want it for the present, they wanted to move in in a month's time. And the friend didn't want any money for it!! He was happy for Adi to use it for Baba. They shook hands and Adi was told "Come to my house tomorrow morning for the keys". Accordingly, the next morning Meherwan and Adi went to the friend's house, and Adi asked Meherwan to wait while he went and got the keys. They had already sent a telegram to Baba to say a house had been found, so all that remained was for the keys to be got, and Baba to move in! After a long wait, and much loud arguments and shouting, Adi came out, without keys..and told Meherwan they were going, he was fed up. Turns out, the father of the builder had come and being against Meher Baba, told his son that if he let Baba use the house, he'd never see his face again. Adi argued that he had given his word, and should keep it, but the man refused.
What to do? Another telegram was sent to Baba, saying the house has fallen through, but a reply came right away, saying Baba didn't care, He and the Mandali would be there on a date shortly after. This was not good news. A close Baba lover, Digamber, came to know of this predicament, and said he knew a Sardar Raste, who had contacts with some of the old-time royal families.
Digamber came back with a message to say that Sardar Raste had heard of Baba and was happy to help. There was a residence, belonging to the Maharani of Baroda, who was a close friend of a relative of his, and they could go see it and if it was suitable, he would arrange with the Maharani for Baba to use it. They went in Sardar Raste's car, and where did he take them? To that same place that Meherwan had been thrown out of!!! This time the driver honked his horn, and the gates were opened by the same man who had evicted Meherwan. He bent down and bowing, waved the car in. Then he ran after the car, opened the doors and still bowing low, welcomed the group in. He saw Meherwan there, and did a double take, but said nothing.
Meherwan says that he could not suppress a tingle of "Who is the big man now!" at the sight of this guy being so subservient to them all! Anyway, the house was deemed perfect, and a telegram sent to the Maharani. She replied that it would be fine for Baba to use the place.
The Maharani was at the time a very unhappy woman (long story, another time!) and she did come to see Baba and ended up becoming His devoted lover. Guruprasad became Baba's residence for the summers after that, until 1968, when He stayed there, but in seclusion. Guruprasad became the ultimate Prasad from Baba to the Maharani, because God allowed her to serve Him by providing Him with a place for his rest in the summers. Jai Baba!!