Book Two

"On 3rd January 1923 in the morning, when all the Mandali were present upstairs, Baba suggested that an hour or two be set aside each evening for discussion of domestic and recreational life in the Manzil. All favored the proposal, and some rough preliminary rules were formulated for its conduct.

"After much discussion, it was decided that the meeting be called a Gutta or wine shop. Every one of the Mandali had the right to attend, take part in the discussions, and vote on the issues. Doctor was to be the secretary and keep notes on the gatherings. Baba would be chairman.

"Everyone was asked to take a keen interest in the discussions, and to give his own opinion freely, irrespective of what others said. All were asked to speak one after another with permission of the chair so that the evenings did not fall into chaos. To get permission one should silently raise one hand.

"And so was given birth a local self-government in the midst of the autocracy of the Manzil."

Francis Brabazon, SW p130-131
Another version: RD p135-136

"January 3rd, 1923: Meher Baba called all the Mandali to his upstairs room and said, 'Somehow let us manage to spare an hour or two of every evening to discuss domestic matters of the Manzil, and then devote some time to recreation.'

"All agreed to this, and a few rules were laid down for the nightly meeting. After a long discussion, this meeting was named the Gutta, meaning the 'wine shop.' Each of the men was allowed to voice his opinion and vote independently on matters. Ghani was elected secretary and kept a record of the proceedings, while Baba was the chairman.

"All were free to make suggestions, irrespective of, and without fear of others' opinions. One speaker was to follow another, but only after getting the chairman's permission. No one was otherwise allowed to speak, lest it turn into a normal tavern where uproar and disorder usually prevail. Each man had to raise his hand before speaking, and thus the Master established an official body of government in the Manzil."

Bhau Kalchuri,
LM2 p468

Kill to defend without hate. France will hate England. Of what use is democracy if it cannot help? So neither it nor totalitarianism will remain. Both will go...

Meher Baba,
8 July 1940, Ranchi,
LM7 p2580

"All conventions, rules, regulations, Articles and By-laws must be strictly based on the democratic principles of adult franchise and equal opportunities for one and all, irrespective of sex, color, creed or country, and without allowing any exceptions to anyone on grounds of spiritual advancement or enlightenment."

Meher Baba,
14 November 1952, Meherabad,
'Chartered Guidance from Meher Baba
for the Reorientation of Sufism as the
Highway to the Ultimate Universalised,' p11

Index - Book Two

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