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 66

 

Urdu and Marathi adequate to serve Him in this incarnation. Baba then called another of His disciples from the ashram, Sidhu Kamble, and asked him to sing a devotional song, which Sidhu did with varied in inflection and appropriate gestures, which Baba translated, at least in part, with occasional comments.

 

“One who loves," it ran, “can not talk about living, and my Beloved seems not to care for me. When my heart was drawn by the locks of my Beloved, I thought the locks were very near, but now I have walked all my life, until my feet are full of blisters, and they are still far from me."

 

Here Baba interjected, "Baba also is so near, and yet so far! "

 

Then the song continued. "When the lips of separation tried to touch the cup of Union, hundreds and hundreds of lovers were burned," at which Baba applauded.

 

After this He arose, and led us to the Dhuni nearby, where blocks shavings of sandalwood had been heaped and covered with ghee*, and about which a crowd of Arangaon villagers had gathered, waiting for Baba to light the Dhuni and begin the ceremonies which they had planned as a mark of their devotion to Him. Following the lighting of the Dhuni came the performance of Arti by the headman of Arangaon and several women, who also garlanded Baba and took the dust of His feet. Then an elder native with an elephant horn mounted the platform on which the Dhuni is situated, and was embraced warmly by Baba who invited him to blow the ancient horn.

 

This was apparently a signal for the procession from the Dhuni to village to begin, and it was led by men dancers from the village, who performed a harvest dance to the accompaniment of drums, bells and chains, with an occasional blast from the elephant horn. All the way along road from the Dhuni to the village, which is about a quarter of a mile, m women and children who had been waiting by the Dhuni and at the of the road, pressed forward, trying to touch Baba and, if possible, to the dust of His feet.

 

Arangaon is a sixteenth-century small walled town, now fallen into almost complete decay. It still contains evidence of the prosperity it once

 

*Rancid butter

 

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