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31

 

Baba, their Master. The words of Jesus seemed so exactly to fit: "Except ye become as a little child ...”

 

Something of this same quality we caught from them, I am sure, for we also felt that we were and still are Baba's children. To Baba we went for all our needs. To Baba we told our problems and secrets. To Baba we went if not feeling well, as was his wish. He was always approachable, always full of understanding, as ready to forgive as to rebuke, to encourage and to explain. When we were hesitant to come to him, not for wants, but needs, he would smile and spell out on his board, "You have given all to Me, all I have is yours. We are all one. To whom else would you go?"

 

Dadachanji, Baba's dear disciple, told me many years ago he found it so difficult at first to go to Baba and say, "I need shoes," or "I need a shirt." Rather would he go on wearing his old shirt. This is precisely what Baba did not want. After all, can it be anything but ego and pride that prevents one from asking for necessities, if Baba has already told one to ask? We like to feel our independence, and, at this particular period, it was Baba's wish that we depend on him outwardly as well as inwardly.

 

For a certain time, we, too, shared, in the group's strict way of living. No letter-writing, no walks, no reading and no personal contacts other than amongst ourselves. Nothing, in other words, to distract us from the One Source—Baba.

 

Unlike the purdah of the East, or the rigid rules of monastic life in the West, Baba so often emphasized that the time would come when he would give back all that he was now withdrawing. With this difference: when he did so, we all would be free in the sense that, whether we had these material things or not, we would not mind, for we would no longer be attached to them, clearly showing us that things in themselves are neither good or bad, that only attachment to them gives them their false value.

 

Baba's discipline was a spiritual training, temporarily practiced until, in his own time, he brought us back into the outer life. This he has been doing with the Eastern group most gradually and noticeably ever since the Western group came to live on the Hill, the most

 

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