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41

 

3 black stars

 

From Will Backett:

 

Baba's guests from the West stayed at Meher Retreat on the Hill at Meherabad, the place where for 30 years He had made spiritual history, which we relived with Him as He showed us about and recalled periods of seclusion in different places.

 

The main building inside the compound was originally a disused stone water tank, 40'x20'x15', in which a door and windows were introduced later, becoming afterwards a center for training Baba's women devotees, Eastern and Western, in strict seclusion.

 

In the very early period, Baba used to descend alone into the dark depths of the tank for seclusion, which He also did in a cavity outside the com­pound, which was later roofed over with a dome and will be the tomb for His body when He lays it down. At each of the four corners of the domed roof is a symbol of a great world religion—a cross for Christianity, a crescent for Mohammedanism, a flame for Zoroastrianism, and a temple-dome for Hinduism. Baba has come to put new life into each religion. Under the wonderful Indian sky this beautiful snow-white building, bearing the inscription over the door, "Mastery in Servitude," might seem to have de­scended from Heaven itself to witness the triumph of Divine Love on earth.

 

Nearby are the tombs of those close to Baba in the East and West, and one reads "In Eternal Memory of Meher Baba's Blessed Parents, who are now merged in Baba's Infinity."

 

Baba lovingly pointed also to other smaller stones bearing the names of five faithful dogs who had served Him; one, named "Chum," used to keep guard near His door and would not allow even the Mandali to come near.

 

He also showed us the shed outside the compound which was used as the original "Mast" ashram, and the separate room adjoining it, with an interior partition behind which He remained in strict seclusion, out of sight of the Mandali, except for a small opening for His alphabet board on which He conveyed messages. Such was the burden of spiritual travail and con­sequent physical suffering that His finger often paused from sheer weakness.

 

On another occasion when showing these buildings afresh, there was a dead sparrow lying on the floor of the tomb, which Baba gently took in His hand, spelling out "lucky sparrow" ... for surely the birds and all

 

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