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15

 

Journey With God

 

By FRANCIS BRABAZON

 

HAVE recently returned to Australia from accompanying Baba and his party on a "Mass Darshan" tour in the state of Andhra, India. Andhra is a state rich in soil and water, where the earth's fruits are abundant. The Andhras are a people rich in spirituality, where devotion and song flow easily. There is hardly any link between the richness of these people's lives and our own spiritual poverty; between their wholeness and our fragmentation . . . their open purity and our tamasic self-envelopment.

 

People came traveling all day by train, bus, bullock-cart, and walking, to meet their Beloved. They welcomed him with music, and with shouts of "AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI!" or "Hail Living Christ!"

 

At Gunter there were 5,000. At Elura, 12,000. At Tadapalligunden, where Baba celebrated his birth this time on earth, 20,000. At Korrvu and Rajamundry, on each bank of the beautiful Godavri river, 16,000. Scores of villages with their fine functional mud walls, thatched roofed houses, and their doorsteps decorated with designs in auspicious yellow, mustered their hundreds of villagers up to a thousand or two.

 

At each step a platter containing fruit and lighted camphor would be waved before Baba, and the Song of Light (Arti) sung, usually by the men of the party; sometimes (especially in private houses) by some of the local people. They brought offerings of fruit, and received in return that Fruit for which their souls yearned. They danced for him; and sang songs in his praise which they themselves had composed. At one place a man got up on the platform and intoned extempore verses. At another place, on leaving, a mere child climbed into our bus and sang songs about Baba, and harangued us to love him, without any signs of childish precocity, winning the respect and admiration of men who had served him for years.

 

There is hardly any link between the Andhras and us. Lines of Masters and saints from the time of Rama have blessed their land and their lives. Our saintly line ceased at the end of the Middle Ages, and shortly after, song vanished from our midst, and we pursued a god who has not kept his promise of even the empty dream of material security. However, perhaps our child­ish earnestness has touched the infinite humor of the Master, and in time we too will sing and dance again for God. We will awake! for the Awakener.

 

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