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 69

 

When we arrived, there were crowds of men, women and children waiting outside the compound. We were led to Baba by Adi, and He embraced each of us in turn. Then He seated Ben Hayman, Frank Hendrick and Charles Purdom alongside Him on the platform, and motioned for the rest of us to range ourselves about Him on the ground. Ben and Frank had been delayed in coming to India, and had not seen the darshan on the 12th. Also on the platform back of Baba were Eruch, Mr. Jessawala, Krishna, Kaka, Kumar, Goolmai, Dr. P. Natrajan, John Spiers, and Bal Dhavale, who had come to take motion pictures of the occasion.

 

Soon a stream of women in vari-coloured saris was flowing past Baba at the rate of 45 a minute, many of them leading or carrying children. All castes, creeds and religions were represented in the crowd, and all stages of material circumstances. At various times Baba sat on the seat, on the platform, on the step leading to the platform, and on the ground, and at least once He stood on the platform for a period of time.

 

The women and children were followed by the men, old, middle-aged, and young, with vari-coulored turbans and flowing robes. At one time, Baba spelled out on His board, “No explanations or discourses can compare with this personal contact. I feel that I am in all. It is Baba bowing down to Baba."

 

Those who passed Him sometimes touched His feet with their heads, sometimes with their hands. Some brought garlands, which they placed around His neck. Some, at intervals, were only allowed to fold their hands and bow before Him. Some brought money which they were not permitted to leave.

 

At one point, a poor woman placed a pice, a coin which, at the present rate of exchange, is worth about a third of a cent, on Baba's left foot. For a while, Baba left it there. It has been His custom, for many years, not to touch money. Later, He turned His foot, the coin fell off, He covered it with gravel, and sat for a long time in complete absorption, gazing at the spot where the coin lay. After a while, He stood up, still in His mood of abstraction, His eyes fixed on the gravel where the coin was buried. Baba had a very serious expression on His face. What He was thinking we could not know.

 

Occasionally Baba would give special attention to various children who

 

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