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6

 

Before leaving Pimpalgaon on his New life phase, Baba sent most of the women mandali from Meherabad ashram, myself included, to Bombay to take temporary jobs. Rano Gayley and I were told not to take work for two months, but to be ready with our kits and bedding, as he might call us. However, two months later Baba said we could take a temporary job if we liked. Little did we think we ever would be looking for a job! As Rano put it at the time,"I have found that sooner or later one must do the things one does not want or like to do. So, with Baba in my heart, I am trying to make the most of it." However, quite unexpectedly, after a few months, Baba did send for two or three of us to join him — and how we loved and appreciated being with him, Mehera and Mani for short periods at Satara, Mahabaleshwar and later at Pimpalgaon. The remarkable thing was that each time Baba sent for us, Rano and I would be in the middle of a term, teaching at the large mission school in Bombay. We never thought for a moment we would be allowed to leave and then return. However, we did as Baba told us and asked the Principal for leave of absence. She granted leave immediately with the added remark that she hoped we would return! Did Baba turn the key?

 

Baba has not explained why he led the life he did during these two most important years, “The New Life Phase." None has grasped its full intent. In the New Life Circular No. 17, dated September, 1950, we read:

 

"Recent earthquakes, floods, tragedies in Assam, constant Bengal and Bihar famines; the overwhelming problems all over India and other various disasters all over the world have at present become the cause of general distrust in nature, untold miseries, utter disappointments and a feeling of unexpected helplessness and frustration all over the world. Baba expressed his opinion that all this has contributed to some extent as a pointer towards the work of his New Life picture, which he formed, when he set out from Ahmednagar on 16th October, 1949, to live his New Life of helplessness and hopelessness."

 

Dr. Ghani has left unpublished manuscripts relating to the early part of the "New Life Phase." Baba willing, some day a book may be written on this great episode. Baba gave us during this period some of his most

 

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