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16

 

At 4:00 in the morning we finished ironing Baba's sadra and trousers and a few handkerchiefs. Luckily we got a lift to the hotel (there was a concurrent taxi strike all during our visit). Baba called for me at once and straightened out the knot of separation in my heart for having missed Him the day before. I am sure every one on the trip had a similar experience of Baba's unfailing knowledge of our innermost moods and needs. At the end, He crossed His two forefingers in the characteristic gesture, meaning "I am the Christ." I hope someone paints Baba thus someday!

 

I joined the others downstairs who were waiting for the bus to take us to Meher Mount, the lovely hill-top place kept going all these years for Baba by Agnes Baron, with the help of John Cooke. It was a fair morning and outside the Hotel several were waiting, including Mr. Choudhary, to catch another glimpse of Baba. I recall Mr. Choudhary’s child-like ecstatic mood, as palms together in namaskar, he said, "You can't see Baba as He really is, you receive only a fraction of His Grace," reminding me of the line in the Gita where Krishna says, "I sustain the whole universe with but a fraction of Myself."

 

Again, we had a very educated bus driver, this time a botanist who pointed out and named the unusual California trees and plants. Baba was driven ahead by Agnes in her station-wagon. She said that on arrival He told her He loved Meher Mount very much and felt happy there.

 

The steep hill of Meher Mount was shrouded in mist as our bus climbed tortuously upward, and when we stepped out we saw, instead of the cele­brated view over the Ojai valley, only a rolling sea of fog. Baba called us all in to the "Baba Room" of the guest house, very charmingly furnished in early American style. He told us that next to Myrtle Beach He liked this place the best. He then asked several of us how we liked it. One said it had spiritual atmosphere, another compared it to Meherabad Hill, a third commented on the lovely fragrance. Another said it had instant appeal. I said it reminded one of the hills of Assisi. Baba nodded and said the land was very old and He had been here before. He said He would have liked to spend a night. here but there was no time. As we filed out of the room, Baba, in a playful mood, "pushed out" Dr. Hayman and Margaret Craske. A short while later, while we were all exploring the lovely rose garden, herb garden, the sulphur-water swimming pool, the enormous red oaks dotting the hilly golden fields, Baba appeared on the vine-covered porch with Elizabeth's red

 

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