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29

 

for he continually tried to jump onto a train for more than 24 hours, refusing all food, so the station-master said. This so touched Elizabeth that she brought him home, and Baba allowed her to keep him. He traveled back and forth with her in India, and even later, to America.

 

Baba has great feeling for all life. Life must not be treated lightly. Not a worm, nor an ant, must be trodden on consciously. If unconsciously, then it was excusable. If a mouse or a rat was caught on the hill or fell in a well, it had to be rescued and taken in a trap a mile or two from the compound and given its freedom; or again, if a lizard was seen on the wall, it was caught in a towel, or shooed through the door. Sick birds, little hares, lame dogs—all found a haven near Baba and were given into the care of Naja who had the healing touch. When any of our pets died, Baba would always see that they were properly buried, supervising the operation himself, but he did not want us to be emotionally upset. Had they not been touched, cared for and loved by Baba? Thus, death to them meant progression in evolution.

 

 

One afternoon in Quetta, Baba sent for us all in a very pressing manner and spelt out on his board, "Tomorrow morning I need one of you to fall ill with jaundice or pneumonia. Take it bravely, it is for my work." Everyone left. We acknowledged the strange verdict and tried to smile. The next morning Norina rushed out of her cabin to Baba, presenting herself with a yellow face. He smiled and said, "Don't worry." And he gave her directions on what to do to get well. It was his typical way to bring to an acute turning-point some good or bad situation, personal or universal. These turn­overs with Baba always mean a spiritual push in some dimension. A few days later Baba called Norina to be ready to start for a lecture tour!

 

Before we say goodbye to our dear "Blue Bus," now resting on stilts in Baba's compound in Pimpalgaon, I will relate the last episode of our tour.

 

Dr. Donkin had arrived in India from England after completing in full his medical studies. One of his first occupations on joining us was, with Dr. Nilkanth assisting, to clean our blue bus which was coated with mud. We were then in the middle of our tour with Baba. Don did not drive the bus at this time. Elizabeth was driving, and one of the mandali sat alongside

 

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