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13

 

as years later "Meher Center,” Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S.A., was made possible by Elizabeth Patterson.

 

To quote Baba's words: "I have purchased the ideal property in Nasik. It is situated amidst beautiful surroundings with splendid scenery all around. With the Western group in Nasik, the Eastern group in Meherabad, and myself in Rahuri (mad ashram) midway between Meherabad and Nasik—these will comprise the nucleus of my activities for the next five years.

 

"The Centre will have nothing in common with the accepted notions concerning ashrams and spiritual retreats, with the strict, dry, rigid disciplines governing them. Its special feature will lie in its having my personal living guidance as Jesus gave his disciples.

 

"As stated above, although life here would be divested of strict, rigid discipline and yet elastic enough in matters of physical comforts; all the same it would be trying enough in the question of indirect spiritual instructions from me, which might even include external services to humanity—such as nursing the sick or the crippled, helping the poor and destitute . . . In short, I will personally guide you according to the capability of each."

 

Those called to India were Norina Matchabelli, Elizabeth Patterson, Nonny and Rano Gayley, Ruano Bogislav, Margaret Craske, Delia De Leon, Will and Mary Backett, myself, Jean and Malcolm Schloss, Tom Sharpley, Garrett Fort, Nadia Tolstoy (later known as Nadine); Sam Cohen followed a few months later.

 

To these Baba sent the following injunctions regarding their stay in India: "Be prepared to stay with me in India for a period ranging from one to five years as long as each of you can conveniently stay, taking into consideration your home conditions, family and other attachments. To provide yourselves with traveling expenses in India which will come to approximately six pounds per month for each. And lastly to live strictly in accordance with my instructions.

 

"The life in India near me will be most interesting as it will enable you to see my work and share in my work. All possible arrangements have been made to make the physical life easy for you Westerners. And though it won't be a crown of thorns, it won't be a bed of roses either. You will be shown from time to time the three phases of my activities in the three different Retreats—the modern, the primitive, and the simple.

 

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