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3

 

to their village for a fete. On one such occasion Baba, knowing that his Western disciples had never seen anything of the kind, invited some of them to accompany him. The incident related here followed shortly after this visit, and I quote from Elizabeth's account:

 

“It occurred a few days later that some minor crime was committed in Arangaon and the ancient feud flared up,—one village party was on the point of killing the other, when they remembered Baba. They sent a delegation to him saying that only Baba could settle their differences. He returned word that he would meet a contingent from either side, both at the same time, at the Ashram in 'Meherabad' that evening. As we rode up, the two 'parties' were seated, divided on either side of the building and Baba arranged that they were kept waiting for a few moments and then suddenly called into the Ashram. In this way, they came inside all mixed as one 'party' and Baba requested them at once to be seated on the floor. One villager with murderous thoughts against the other, found himself seated next to another of the opposite party—but they were so intent upon putting their side of the question before Baba, believing him to be the True Judge—that they did what, on other occasions would have been impossible without bloodshed. Baba had several of his able, staunch men disciples conduct the gathering and if more than one villager spoke at a time, they were quietly but strongly kept in order. Baba showed extreme patience and listened to about 40 anguished souls with all they had to say. Finally one old woman came forward and swayed back and forth, almost as if she were reciting an incantation on all the woes of the race. One of the village men stepped forward and pushed her aside as even they could not stand so many woes! At another point, when evidently the particular offender was speaking, about ten men arose and commenced yelling at one another. Baba smiled benignly and then clapped his hands for silence. The effect was instantaneous and amazing, for the men so rough and loud, with Baba so gentle in comparison and not speaking, but with only a hand clap of command, abated their storm of passion. On his board, interpreted by one of his disciples, he informed the gathering that as evidently they had made up their minds not to be peaceable, there was nothing to do but to leave the matter to take its course and when it reached the authorities, they would deal with it in their own way.

 

"Baba arose to leave. Upon this, the villagers, who were enjoying their ill-feelings towards one another and wished to talk all night, were taken aback and their faces visibly fell, for suddenly these arguers were left without an argument, as fire without fuel!

 

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