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38

 

contacted.  He got up and walked quickly around the room, again stopping by this one and that one, pouring out His love. On returning to His seat, Baba gave out that all those whom He had not contacted should now come up to His table; and an eager procession began to go up to Him to receive the precious "darshan"—an embrace or a handshake across the banquet table. In this way, none of the 110 guests was overlooked by Baba or missed his chance for the Master's blessing.

 

The TV camera caught some of these precious moments on film; some wonderful still photos of the dinner were also taken by Mr. Rosenthal, official photographer of the U.N. Thus, the rather banal custom of "dinner photos" has yielded a priceless treasure.

 

To one woman, these pictures brought home a spiritual lesson of their own. When she had first sat down to dinner, she noticed Baba make a motion as if He were cold. Immediately concerned, she ran home to her apartment near by and got a light shawl. On returning, she did not find Baba at His place but walking about the room; so gave the shawl to one of the mandali and sat down again at her place. Later when Baba said "Those whom I have not touched, come up for a greeting," she was the first to go up; Baba gave her a look but she had no idea what had happened when she was gone.

 

Weeks later, when the photos came, she saw one taken at the dinner party with Baba standing alongside her husband, who beamed up at Him with all his love for Baba expressed in his face. Only then did she realize what she had missed. "Alongside was an empty chair,—my chair,—and my heart ached because I was not there when Baba came to our table," she says. Baba, before leaving New York, returned her shawl to her with His blessings. Many of us on the trip had the same lesson in a different way — to stay close to Baba when He wishes may be more important than some little service we think of to do for Him.

 

Another woman describes her experience at the dinner thus: "When Baba came into the dining room and was seated at the table with His mandali and devotees, one felt suddenly emptied of human consciousness and filled with His divine effulgence. As the dinner progressed with its program of music and gracious tributes, Baba seemed very happy over the many expressions of devotion. He was indeed "the slave of His lovers." After the cake was offered with its dazzling candles, Baba walked down the aisles between the tables bestowing His grace. As I watched Baba bringing the Infinite

 

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