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15

 

So on April 1st Baba and three or four of us left Mahabaleshwar on a special bus for Poona. At Poona about fifty other of the mandali joined the party and we all took the evening train for Madras from Poona. Baba was lively and amusing in the train and we reached Madras on the evening of April 2nd. That night Baba saw the Ayengar family and a few other close ones.

 

The next two days, April 3rd and 4th, Baba gave public darshan from 8:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M., and from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M., and from 8 P.M. to 10 P.M. People streamed through the room in thousands—Baba sitting in the corner in a monstrous throne with a sort of seven-headed cobra over him and a peacock at either side. This weird and wonderful throne was covered in silver paper of various colors, and Baba had to amble in and out of it at the beginning and close of each darshan session.

 

Despite the suffocating heat—for Madras in April is dreadful—people really were moved by Baba; people would stand with rapt expressions on their faces, looking quite lost to everything and some would stand with eyes closed and tears tumbling down their cheeks. It gave one a queer feeling in the heart to see all these people and how deeply they were affected by Baba.

 

Baba was as usual really radiant and you could feel the love that he was pouring out and that others were feeling for him—it was really very moving.

 

On the evening of the 4th there was a meeting over the road in the Meher Ashram—about 300 or 400 people, men and women, mostly poor local people, were jammed in there. Baba could not be seen properly and Kaka, after about ten minutes, suggested he should stand up and he did and lifted his joined palms in 'Namaskars' to the people, turning about to all sides and to those behind him. His face was aglow and magnificent with a radiance that only Baba can show and the crowd which 'till then had been restless and noisy all stood up, every one, and almost jumped at Baba; a great shout went up from all of them—the whole crowd was on fire.

 

Baba was then got out of the ashram with a lot of difficulty and there was almost a free fight to get copies of Baba's photo message that was there for distribution. It was really an impressive and quite spontaneous response to Baba.

 

Now in the afternoon of that same day, April 4th, Baba went 'round to various houses in Madras, each for fifteen to twenty minutes, and was received in each of them by families, friends and relations of the owners.

 

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