. . . It was always the aspiration of every Theosophist to meet a Master of the Wisdom and to receive instruction from Him. And so when, about 1954 or 1955, one of my oldest friends in the Society took a photograph from his pocket and said to me, "Bernard, this is my Master; and He can be yours too if you want Him," I at once, with all my inner and outer senses, sat up and took notice. It was a photograph of Baba.
In the ensuing few years I followed up this introduction and was particularly attracted by the Discourses, which showed that the author moved with perfect ease through the whole of our Theosophical field and also brought fresh light to bear upon it.
Even before I met Baba personally in 1956, there were signs of something like a revolution in my personal life. I had previously been told in the Society that when one meets a Master and gets into touch with Him in a serious manner, the immediate effect is that life seems to become more difficult. That is because the Master is starting to accelerate one's Karma (Sanskaras), and the effect is rather like the scum that accumulates on the top of boiling metal when you are purifying the metal and that has to be skimmed off and got rid of before you can progress.
In my case, problems seemed to crowd in on me; personal relationships became strained in various ways; circumstances arose which made it expedient for me to retire from my office a year before I had planned. At first I felt a bit put out about this, but on looking back I find that it was a blessing in disguise. For one thing it restored my physical health which had been impaired by over-work. And later on, when the T.S. Headquarters became aware of my retirement, they asked me to do some travelling lecture work.