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10

 

Baba now checked any further flow of questions and called on the Bhajan party from Poona for some songs.

 

At five o'clock Baba stopped the singing and ordered all to attend to their morning ablutions. At six, tea was served and once again they were ready to go to town with Baba for the remaining program.

 

At 8 o'clock Baba was conducted by Gadge Maharaj around the Harijan Dharmashala and was also shown a new building under construction which was to be a school, with board and lodging, for Harijan boys. In order to prevent their rushing Baba, all who had gathered in the large compound of the dharmashala were asked by Gadge Maharaj to take Baba's darshan from a distance, as Baba had now seated himself on the ground in the center of the compound. With the repeated cheers of "Meher Baba ki jai," and "Gadge Maharaj ki jai" ringing in their ears, Baba and the Maharaj left, and were driven to the leper colony.

 

All but one solitary leper had gone out to beg alms from the pilgrims who were bathing in the holy river on this most auspicious day of the pilgrimage. So here in the colony that solitary leper was blessed by having a good hot bath at the hands of Baba. None could say who was more blessed—this leper who was bathed by Baba, or the crowd of tens of thousands of pilgrims bathing in the sacred river where Baba had twice stopped before entering the leper colony. After bathing the leper Baba bowed down to him and then dressed him in a new set of clothes. He left immediately after with Gadge Maharaj and the Mandali for Namanand Maharaj's dharmashala. There Baba was received with great enthusiasm and devotion by Kaikadi Maharaj and his followers, who took his darshan, and garlanded him.

 

Once again, while in the car, Gadge Maharaj expressed his joy and gratitude to Baba for having come to Pandharpur, and requested Baba entreatingly to also pay a visit to Nasik. But Baba replied that he had fulfilled his promise by coming to Pandharpur. and that from now on he would stay in Satara and would not appear in public any more; and all that he had declared in the last Meeting at Meherabad would come to pass within the short period of six months, by April end. Hearing this Gadge Maharaj was deeply moved and said that he did not like to hear such things from Baba, because at this moment the world was badly in need of Baba and Baba's darshan was the only solace to a world facing untold calamities. Baba must give his darshan to everyone, everywhere. In reply Baba

 

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