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46

 

looked like a mountain of blossoms. Some were just tiny strings, some gorgeous affairs of roses, jasmine, ginger flowers, marigolds. One family brought their bald-headed baby to Baba and the baby hair they had cut off. Baba explained it was a custom to cut a child's hair and take it to Kasi or to Kasi or to Benares to drop in the sacred Ganges: but for His lovers, Kasi and Benares were here, at His Feet.

 

In small groups the Western women were invited to go inside Guruprasad and say farewell to Mehera, Mani and His other women disciples. At 3:30 Baba speeded up the line. A correspondent of the Maharashtra Times asked Baba which country would be ultimately victorious, China or India. Baba replied, "As the Avatar of the Age, I have taken birth in India― so India (Bharat) will eventually be victorious. Just now someone was reciting the call of Lord Krishna in the Gita. I am Lord Krishna. I am the Ancient One; time and time again I come down to protect and redeem My lovers. I am the Christ, the personification of Love."

 

Shouts went up from each language group as Baba's pronouncement of His Avatarhood and India's victory were translated.

 

At 4:30 the queue was still longer than ever—Baba gestured "At this rate, they won't be able to have My darshan." He added, "The Westerners will have no chance either." Kitty Davy replied from the front row, "It's enough just to sit here and watch You." But Baba answered, "It’s one thing to see the ocean and another thing to dip your feet in it," at which the Easterners murmured approval.

 

Still the crowd seemed endless, but amazingly patient, even the innumerable babies made no outcry, There were more lost children held up to the mike and an amusing moment when one little fellow on the platform lost his trousers. I kept my eyes on Baba's eyes continually and on His exquisite, gesturing hands. He was wearing a heavy, fantastic garland all of roses and every now and then Eruch wiped the sweat from His brow and neck. The crowd came on and on—first men, then women. And no matter how poor, His lovers offered the Avatar a gift—coconuts, sweets, bananas wrapped in paper or leaves―and above all, they offered Him their hearts. Mothers with babies swung the little ones off their hip and on to Baba’s feet in one swift gesture of surrender. Others laid their hands on Baba's knees, or touched His feet with their forehead. Baba did not always glance down at those before Him, but sometimes carried on a lively mudra conversation with Eruch or others. It was as if He really was the Ocean of

 

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