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20

 

large letter Chronicle

 

Of  MEHER  BABA'S  TOUR  TO  THE  WEST—1956

 

Prologue

 

"There are so many heads bowing in obeisance, and only One Threshold to do it on."

 

The Beloved Himself first mentioned it, in a casual way, at one of the Sahavas meetings in India with His men devotees in November, 1955. Don Stevens, an American who was present, said Baba mentioned "there was a possibility of His going to the West next year." A slight discussion followed, then the matter was dropped.

 

On December 18th, 1955, Meherji, one of Baba's mandali , wrote a friend, "The lovely month of Sahavas is over; never before has Baba given so much to so many for so long . . . Baba could not have spoken of their love more touchingly than when He said, `I will not have such a Sahavas gathering again. Their sorrow at parting is too difficult for Me to witness' "

 

The rumor Don brought back with him from India inflamed many hearts in the West, as perhaps it was meant to, and it must have showed in some of our letters. Mani, Baba's sister, answering one of them on December 19th, wrote: "He Who is softer than butter and harder than steel, must answer to the call of the West, where He has established Himself so deeply in hearts. He Who is Love, must be drawn where love calls ... there is nothing I can do! If He comes, it will be in response to His Own Call from the hearts of you all... "

 

Then, on December 20th, in a cable received by Elizabeth Patterson at Myrtle Beach, S.C., from Satara, came the "Clarification " of the "Declaration ":

 

"I definitely intend to come to the West middle of next year. Inform everyone in America. Baba."

 

From that moment on, our hearts took wing—both those of us who had met Him, and those who had not. "When?" and "For how long?" were the two questions uppermost in everyone's mind. In answer to a letter from Don, Baba intimated He did not mind "who or how many came to see Him,

 

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