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7

 

walled in and the Mandali took it in turns to keep watch outside, night and day. Here BABA stayed in seclusion up to February, 1952, when his Fiery Free Life started.

 

During the time BABA was in seclusion, the rest of us carried on with our usual duties. We were not on silence, but literally in the silence. We had orders to make no noise whatsoever. Cars, tongas , or bicycles, bringing market and mail, all had to stop a furlong away and the Mandali had to carry everything noiselessly to the gate. Water taps had to be turned on with a snail-like motion or the garden tap responded with a whistle. Servants had to forego their Indian custom of banging sheets on a stone to bang out the dirt. It was truly an active meditation throughout the twenty-four hours.

 

Perhaps I may be forgiven if I end on a personal incident, in relation to BABA during his Manonash Seclusion.

 

Early morning, before sunrise, I often took a short walk along the path facing Tembi Hill. My thoughts, on this particular morning, were naturally on BABA, sitting in seclusion, not so far away, and on what he had so recently told us, that this Manonash period would be a time of great physical and mental suffering. He spoke of it as a crucifixion. And there came to my mind the scene of Jesus and His disciples on the Mount of Olives, at the place called Gethsemane. Jesus had gone on further alone to pray, leaving Peter and the other disciples to watch with Him from a distance. When He returned and found them sleeping, He said sorrowfully, to Peter, "What, could ye not watch with Me one hour?" These words filled me with a deep compassion. Then, with lightning speed, I was precipitated back into the present, and found myself repeating the following unpremeditated words: "O GOD, all love, all goodness, all truth, all beauty, pour down upon BABA at this time Thy heavenly blessing. Strengthen him with Thy love and Thy grace, Thy power and Thy glory, that he may finish the work which Thou gavest him to do and that Thy will may be fulfilled as Thou desirest, and may Thy kingdom come, and may Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

 

Constantly during the period of BABA's Seclusion the prayer recurred. It seemed an effortless act, a spontaneous response to some inner summons. Now, nearly two years have elapsed, and still these words come unsought any hour of the day or night, accompanied, at times, by an unearthly peace.

 

Can it be that BABA, by giving us a glance into the future, has taken us to

 

 

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