Previous Page
Table Of Contents
Next Page

 

5

 

led to the huge pandal, or tent without sides, which had been erected especially for the occasion. Some 10,000 people had already arrived, and were seated both in the pandal and beside it, the men on one side, the women on the other, as is the custom in India. Sarosh Irani, who was elected Mayor of Ahmednagar while he was in the United States with Baba in 1952, greeted us warmly and conducted us to the platform at the end of the tent where Baba was to be seated during the darshan, introducing us to Swami Sahajanand Bharathi, the leader of the Congress Party from the Ahmednagar District, Mr. P. R. Kanavade, Member of Parliament from the Ahmednagar District, and Mr. K. G. Pardeshi, the present Mayor of Ahmednagar, all of whom were later to make addresses in honor of Baba. Also on the platform were fourteen women disciples of Baba's second Master, Upasni Maharaj, who had come from Sakori, led by Upasni's favorite disciple, Godavri Mai, who is now in charge of his Ashram there; the Jessawala and the Deshmukh families from Nagpur; several of Baba's devotees from Southern India; and several of Baba's Mandali.

 

Precisely at nine o'clock Baba arrived. Giving the impression of infinite, yet completely controlled power, He strode to the platform, spelled out on His alphabet board, "Not as man to man, but as God to God, I bow down to you, so as to save you the trouble of bowing down to Me."

 

Descending the steps to the edge of the platform while this announcement was being broadcast over a public-address system in English and Marathi, Baba prostrated Himself before the assembled multitude.

 

Mounting the steps again, He spelled out on His board, “To make you all share My feeling of being one with you and one of you, I sit down beside you.” While this was being broadcast, Baba descended from the platform and sat first among the men, and then among the women.

 

Returning to the platform, He washed the feet of seven poor men, after which He gave to each a gift of 51 rupees, saying, "As each one of you is, in one way or another, an Incarnation of God, I feel happy to bow down to you and to lay at your feet this Dev-Dakshina." Dev-Dakshina is a gift offered to a Perfect Master or to a Deity.

 

Baba then resumed His seat on the platform, and two messages by Him were broadcast in English and Marahti*. Following this came seven

 

*Published in The Awakener, Fall, 1954.

 

Previous Page
Table Of Contents
Next Page