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31

 

of our stay in India. The final meeting on "plans for the future" took place on May I8, when Baba emphasized that to stay in Ahmednagar was not practical for Westerners. Italy, particularly Portofino, was most ideal as far as Westerners were concerned and Easterners as well. In the meantime while all were still in Nasik, all should try to love more, give in more and thus establish the harmony that was then so lacking in the group.

 

On the evening of May 18th, Baba called us together and sitting on the lawn, outside Manzil bungalow, told us this "Short Persian Story.”

 

We had been discussing the new plans for the next six months and some one asked whether they were still to be regarded as private to the group, to which Baba replied by telling this story, implying that the secret was already known to all around.

 

"It is a saying that women are supposed never to keep secrets. A man loved his wife very much and he confided everything in her. His friend advised him not to tell her everything, to which he replied, 'My wife is most trustworthy.’ The friend said, 'All right, you do as I tell you and see if she stands the test.'

 

"This man went home and made a show of being deeply afraid of something. His wife immediately asked him what it was. He said, 'I cannot tell you, it is a matter of life and death.' She insisted. The more he refused, the more curious she grew. He said, 'I will tell you, but keep it secret. If the King knows, he will have me beheaded!' She said, ‘I love you more than my life, how can I tell this to anyone and have you beheaded?' So, he said, 'All right, today when I passed by the Palace of the King, I saw a crow come out of the King's shoulder. Tell this to no one.' She said 'No.' He went to work and when he returned in the evening some women were gossiping, and as soon as they saw him, they said, 'Here comes the one who saw forty crows come out of the King's shoulder.' This man told his wife, 'I said only one, but now it is forty!'

 

"So our poor Portofino secret is out to the world."

 

You have now read about the culminating incidents of our stay in Nasik Ashram—a picture I am sure not one of us had ever visualized or dreamed of when we arrived in India, December, 1936.

 

Why Baba worked in this round-about way to sway opinion in the

 

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