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3

 

tree around which is a stone seat. As it is, it suits BABA'S work admirably, for here he can gather as many as he wants. For instance, in February, 1948, BABA washed the feet of 840 poor people, called from nearby small villages and gave each a bundle of cloth and grain. This was part of a special period of BABA'S work here, which included the distribution of grain and cloth to four thousand poor in Ahmednagar district and intensive work with Masts.

 

When BABA first moved to Pimpalgaon, his first desire was to sit in seclusion on a hill and the hill BABA selected was Tembi, about a third of a mile from the Center. On the summit of this hill, BABA had a small hut built for himself and a little lower down another hut and a tent. When it was as BABA wanted, he said he would like to have a mast ; so Ali Shah, a favorite mast (he never gets angry, I believe), was sent for and carried up the hill. BABA sat with him, in the lower hut, from six to nine a.m. every day for twelve days. The rest of the day BABA spent on the summit alone.

 

Tembi Hill was so steep that the Mandali cut a pathway up the hill and dug out footholds with their own hands and what tools they could find, reinforcing the sodden earth with large stones, brought up from below, thus making the ascent less arduous for BABA.

 

Very occasionally when BABA was on fast he would let us fast for a day with him. However, he never liked us to ask if we might do so nor to question why he would select one or two of the group only to fast or keep silent. One is reminded of the disciple Peter, who after being told by Jesus to follow Him, turned around and seeing John also following said to Jesus, "And what shall this man do?" Jesus replied, "If I will that he tarry till I come what is that to thee? Follow thou Me."

 

As I saw it, some of the happiest hours of Meher BABA'S work in Pimpalgaon were spent with the masts , the selfless lovers of GOD, as BABA calls them, and when at the beginning of the New Life, everything was being packed (to be sold or given away) at Meherabad, BABA would not allow one single thing to be touched that a mast had given him. BABA standing by, saw to this, that every pebble, bit of metal, piece of cloth or other gifts were placed in tin boxes, locked and sent to his own room in Pimpalgaon.

 

You can never tell what BABA may treasure! For instance, after the Manonash Seclusion, BABA had a Dhuni (sacred fire) lit in the Mandali quarters and kept burning twenty-four hours. A day or so later, one of the Mandali washing his mug (the Indian way to remove grease is to use ashes,

 

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