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29

 

the significance thus: "I salute the Divinity in them as they salute the Divinity in me!" Baba gave to each a ladoo--a round sweet made of pulse and nuts, and the blessing of his silent love to fructify in the years to come.

 

These poor people then filed on to where the Eastern and Western men disciples assisting Baba handed each a bundle of cloth and grain. Baba explained later—"As Baba, I gave, and as those wrecks, I received!"

 

Halfway through the ceremony, we were called to one of the large tents. Here arrangements had been made to feed vast numbers. We sat on the ground Indian style, and were served rice, dahl (lentil), dhai (curd), and a vegetable on a plate made of leaves stitched together with little stalks. No one started eating until Baba arrived and partook of a morsel of food. Baba then returned to the platform to carry on his stupendous and tiring work. We ate Indian fashion with our fingers, some not very successfully.

 

In the afternoon the men from Arangaon village, all in white with crimson turbans, danced with sticks to the accompaniment of drum and conch horn— a most picturesque sight.

 

The second day of the Celebration, the 18th of February, being Baba's birthday according to the Zoroastrian calendar, was celebrated by us and his devotees who had come from many parts of India for the occasion. A large dais had been erected and decorated, in the middle of the compound. When all had assembled, Baba mounted the platform and seated himself on the "gadi." A low stool, on which was a silver basin, was put near it. Baba placed his feet in the basin and Gulmai (the mother of Rustom and Adi K. Irani) after garlanding Baba, took a small vessel of spiced milk and poured some of it on Baba's feet before taking his darshan. Then we all in turn did likewise—Baba all the while showering each with the radiance of his loving smile. Baba's "Arti" was sung and then we sat around the dais while Baba called individuals or groups to him.

 

At noon lunch was served as on the day before. In the afternoon all reassembled around Baba to listen to the well-known singer Master Krishna, who loved Baba and had come to sing for him on his Birthday. Later in the evening Baba, still full of his super-divine energy, assembled us together with a number of the Easterners in the sitting room of the bungalow, to listen to some more songs by Master Krishna. We had done nothing but look on all day and alas, around 10 p.m. we began to feel sleepy. Baba looked across to where we were sitting, encouraging the Westerners to keep

 

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