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 78

 

He then asked for five young men and said to them: "You asked for this, so I give you ten minutes." They then sang a hymn to Baba. Baba expressed great appreciation in gestures, and sent them back to their seats.

 

At 3 o'clock precisely, Eruch read Baba's Final Declaration (see page 79). The Declaration and the four translations were received in complete silence. There was not a single movement from any of the company. During the reading of the first translation, one of the Mandali, sitting in the first row, appeared to be asleep. Baba noticed him and sent Eruch to him to waken him and bring him on to the platform where Baba spoke to him and made him stand until all the translations were finished. Baba had Padri pat His back four times while the second version was read. Once He gesticulated for a glass of water which was brought to Him. He listened attentively to a very eloquent and dramatic reading. During the third reading, Baba was quieter, and expressed approval to Eruch, while the reading continued. Deshmukh read the fourth version, and Baba asked Eruch if everyone could hear clearly. Baba sat on the edge of the couch, then moved on to the steps. Then Baba distributed prasad; the assembly broke up, and Baba went away.

 

It should be added that the arrangements for the meetings, all of which had to be improvised, were most efficiently carried through by Pendu and Padri. There was hot water for everyone, and good food was provided. An emergency electric light supply was fitted throughout the pandal and the other buildings, operated from the Meherabad flour mill for the villagers. The comfort of everybody was attended to, and the Mandali worked extremely hard for days to make sure that everything went off without a hitch. Transport facilities were provided to and from the Ahmednagar station to Meherabad, supervised by Vishnu and Dattu, and train accommodation was looked after by Chinchawade.

 

Thus was brought to a close the most remarkable experience of our lives. The Western group found the Indian devotees most friendly and had many good talks with them. A large proportion of the devotees were young men, but there were young and old, and men of every type, a large assembly of deeply interested men. The quietness and orderly behaviour of everyone throughout the two days was impressive; and simplicity, sincerity, absence of display and intense seriousness were notable characteristics. That Baba was in control throughout was certain, but so lightly and unobtrusively that it was hardly to be noticed.

 

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