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30

 

Amongst Baba's close men disciples were a few who felt, why should there be so much acclaim for Gandhi, why not for Baba! Why doesn't Baba now declare himself openly and be recognized for what he really is by the masses? They felt jealous for Baba. The suggestion was put to Baba, who, if I remember, was in seclusion at the time on Mt. Abu.

 

Baba's only response to the suggestion was to have a large paper form, to be filled in in ink, sent up the hill to the women's ashram and down the hill to the men's quarters. Beside each of our names was a blank space, an inch or two square. The question to be answered was typed at the top of the sheet: "What do you take Baba to be?" or words to that effect.

 

The men mandali had received the form first and filled in their answer: "Perfect Master" "The Master of the Age"—"Sadguru"—"Avatar, " and so forth.

 

I paused a moment. From the beginning I had had the deepest experience of Divine Love, but not that deeper experience of faith, that true faith which, Baba says, "is grounded in the deeper experiences of the Spirit." So what to write? Then there came to my mind a verse of St. Paul's which for many, many years had been recurring and recurring, its mean­ing never clear. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

 

These were the words I wrote in the blank space, adding that I had no real knowing; it was love that brought me to Baba and it was his love which held me to him.

 

When asked today, "How do you know Meher Baba is a Perfect Master?" my answer is, "Can anyone know, of himself?" Was not that the meaning of Jesus' reply to Peter in answer to the same question? We who have been privileged to live near Baba over a long period are conscious of an ever-increasing intensity of longing for God and passionate love for God, the Beloved, which leads me to believe that Baba is both the Desire and its Fulfillment.

 

We have Baba's own words: "The feeling and inspiration for things sublime and the Divine Love are imparted by a real Messiah to anyone who conies in contact with Him. A false Messiah cannot do this."

 

As Baba says, "I have come not to teach, but to awaken . . .”

 

 

"He comes to us as one unknown, without a name, as of old by the lakeside He came to those who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same word, `Follow thou Me,' and sets us the tasks which He has to fulfill for our time. He commands and, to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself, in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship and as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience, Who He is."

 

—Albert Schweitzer, "In Quest of the Historical Jesus"

 

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