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4

 

not soap) picked up the ashes of the Dhuni. At this crucial moment BABA came along. He immediately sent for two tin boxes, and had the boys collect all the ashes and the boxes were then taken to BABA'S room. One feels that behind such gestures there must be a deeper meaning which we sense, but cannot explain.

 

There were times when BABA was not occupied with mast work and seclusions. He would then call different members of the Mandali from Meherabad, Ahmednagar and other places to discuss and make plans. In between the interviews, BABA would sometimes come over to our side, there would be frantic calling and we would come running from the vegetable garden, the kitchen, the work room or even the chicken pen to the main room. There we would see BABA, pacing up and down at a terrific rate, his hands behind his back, deep in some unfathomable work, apparently quite oblivious of our arrival, but quick to mark who was absent. There we stood in silence. We felt in some indescribable way, linked to his work. A few minutes later, BABA would motion us all to go back to our work and he would return to his interviews. These interruptions were precious moments…always to be treasured by us. Work permitting, BABA would sometimes sit with us all for a short while after supper and the time would be spent listening to recordings of the beautiful spiritual songs composed to words from the poems of Hafiz, Kabir, or Shams of Tabriz. BABA would translate into English the Urdu or Persian meaning of each couplet for the benefit of the Westerners. Another time BABA would ask one of the group to read aloud passages from the lives of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Therese or Master Eckhart; BABA interrupting from time to time to make some point clearer to us all. The memory of those evenings will ever remain an unforgettable joy.

 

During the Great Seclusion, BABA did not sit on Tembi Hill, but in the old Blue Bus that had taken BABA and over twenty of his Eastern and Western disciples from Meherabad, on tour across India in 1938 - 1939 (Elizabeth Patterson driving most of the time). This bus prematurely retired, due I think to overwork, because it had carried twenty-six instead of the sixteen passengers that it was built for, plus untold baggage on top. Afterwards it was presented to BABA as a relic of past 'happy' times (happy indeed for us, but unbelievably difficult no doubt for BABA), and laid to rest or rust in a remote corner at Pimpalgaon. And then for the Great

 

 

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