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28

 

Experience teaches us to accept what Baba says not as a personal fact, but often as "pointer" towards which he desires us to aim. Baba says, "Love not the many in the One, but the One in the many." How difficult this is we all know, but I think it is more nearly possible if we can love for the sake of "Love Itself." Such flashes in the 'daily round, the common task,' are rare indeed, but if they have been experienced once, can they not be experienced again until the "flash" becomes spontaneous and permanent?

 

I would like to end with the two outstanding experiences of this short period with Baba in the Nasik Ashram, namely, the celebration of Baba's Birthday in February, 1937, and our meeting with the group of Baba's close Eastern disciples living on Meherabad Hill.

 

Baba 's Birthday Celebration

 

Baba's Birthday Celebration, the year we were in Nasik, was on a far bigger scale than it had been for some years, and lasted two days. Preparations for the event began many weeks ahead. Baba allowed us to share in these preparations, both spiritually and practically.

 

During the 40 days preceding the Celebration, the group shared in Baba's one-meal-a-day fast. Each of us fasted one day in turn on two cups of milk. On the day Baba fasted on water, we did likewise.

 

On the practical side, six weeks before the Birthday, every available moment was spent tying up thousands of bundles of home-spun cloth filled with grain—i.e., rice and dahl (pulse), to be later distributed by Baba to the 30,000 poor who were assembled in the grounds near our compound. I recall how Ruano's wrists and hands began to bother her; Nadine Tolstoy's also. On they continued, never ceasing to do their share. When Baba came over on his weekly visits from Meherabad, how his face lit up to see the bundles reaching ceiling high.

 

On February 17th, the first day of the Celebration, we witnessed, along with a large number of Baba's Eastern devotees and disciples, the crowds of thousands of poor men, women and children, representing the "lower" castes and creeds, who came to pay their respects to Baba and receive his "prasad." A large portion were poverty-stricken, others weak and ill. Among them was a group of lepers. As they passed in front of Baba, who was seated on a low stool on the dais, he touched the feet of each, explaining

 

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