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27

 

work and recreation: the dispensary, living quarters, etc. He sat amongst the lepers in their neat little Hall of Prayer and dictated on the spot cheering words to this suffering humanity before him. BABA laid special stress on the following points:

 

1.  God loves most those who suffer most.

 

2.  Uninvited suffering is a blessing in disguise.

 

3.  Both pain and pleasure ultimately end in nothing.

 

4   Lepers must give up despondency and despair and look upon their afflictions as a

     God-given opportunity to get nearer to Him.

 

5.  Compared with the few suffering from physical leprosy many in the world

     today are suffering from leprosy of the mind.

 

Finally BABA said, "I have a plan of my own to open a world-wide asylum for all kinds of lepers in the world."

 

Having expressed in the beginning his disinclination for the impressive functions being held in his honour at Amraoti, BABA had then remarked, "Although I am the richest of the rich, I am at the same time the poorest of the poor, and I prefer to contact the poor, the masts and the masses."

 

It was on the morning of December 24th, the last day of his stay at Amraoti, that BABA was invited to Devargaon, a small village about fifteen miles from the city and in the evening to an open-air mass gathering in the poor quarters of the city.

 

At Devargaon BABA Met Saint Virbhan Maharaj who was found to be leading a life of a practically unknown recluse in the village. From his spontaneous remarks expressed in the presence of BABA and others, it was abundantly clear that the saint had by inner experience recognized BABA as the Master of Masters.

 

At the close of the densely packed open-air mass gathering that evening, saint Jairam Bua and all his disciples joined in the public arti (worship and song in praise of the Master) of BABA, which was led by R. K. Gadekar of Poona, who amongst BABAS men had always the privilege of performing it whenever BABA would allow it during these three months. 

 

Amraoti also witnessed the exception to this rule when it witnessed BABA openly worship himself for the first time in his life, by leading the arti before his own life-size portrait in the home of one of his disciples on December 21st. BABA said in the course of a general discourse on that occasion, "I alone can really perform my own arti ."

 

 

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