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6

 

Parallel to the north stone wall and close to it, are the huts of the mandali, also the structure taken from the hill where Baba spent an historical seclusion, and the famous bus in which so many miles of Indian territory had been traversed on missions of love and compassion. All live in the acme of simplicity, sleeping on stone floors, with a frugal diet of tea and bread, morning and afternoon, apart from the mid-day meal of rice and vegetables.

 

By day intense but quiet activity continues from dawn to sunset, and at night peace of such profundity prevails that it passes all understanding, broken occasionally by the garrulous screech of owlets. The dawn is heralded by the coming of doves, and a variety of other birds, warbling their native woodnotes wild.

 

Shortly after my arrival on the 16th of March, Baba graciously received me, warmly solicitous of my welfare and making me feel completely at home. It was explained that my first duty was to record my impressions of the Sakori and Poona Darshans. From the start, I felt myself a member of the family, was given a lofty airy room with comfortable bed, on Baba's instruction, tended hand and foot and given ample meals of variety and delicacy.

 

There were many letters to be written that day and the next. but sufficient time to meet all the mandali, whose warmth of welcome from the outset made me feel one of them, a privilege greatly prized. Among them was Dr. Donkin, whose monumental work, "The Wayfarers," I have read. The day is soon coming when even the prejudiced leaders of religious orthodoxy will have to acknowledge that the ministry of Baba, even the part so faithfully recorded in this book alone, has never been surpassed in recorded history.

 

Baba Gives Darshan at Sakori. March 18, 1957

 

A knock on the door at 5:30 in the morning, and all my sanskaras catapulted forth, making me conscious once more of the gross universe. Inevitably, I was reminded of Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubai'yat of Omar Khayyam, a mystic poet sadly misunderstood by most Western readers, despite the excellence of the translation. "A loaf of bread, a flask of wine and Thou, and wilderness is Paradise now." How few in the West realize that "Thou" is the Beloved God of the poem, and the "wine" the

 

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