They spontaneously took upon themselves the duty of welcoming us to India. The young man ordered for us a tray of tea with cheese and bread, though taking none for his family. Thus we took our breakfast with loving hearts in the presence of these gently cultivated citizens of Mother India. Later, Phyllis gave the child an American candy bar.
Soon our friends took leave of us in some suburb town, shaking hands with as through the windows of our compartment. Though I had been moved by our contact, I was glad to be left alone with my partner-pilgrim to retire into the more resplendent inner drama of my journey. Also, for the first time since leaving home, we had a chance to put our feet up!
As I sat thus, I watched the panorama of India pass before my eyes. I found that with these most grossly afflicted eyes I could see with a pristine innocence of detachment the unfurling scroll of India through the window of our train. I knew then that to see the gross in the clarity of serenity and disenvolvement is a gift from God. Ah, what can it be to see the mighty splendour of the planes? And beyond that, how utterly terrifying it must be for those on the planes, to see God! Indeed, how terrifying to my gross consciousness was the thought of my own imminent confrontation with the Son of God!
Yet simultaneously I was aware of how it is that the physical world of the gross senses corresponds to the infinite bliss of God, as the experience of the subtle world corresponds to the infinite power of God, and the mental world, to His infinite knowledge. I felt that never before, and perhaps never again, would I experience bliss in the gross. As I watched the panorama of India pass before my eyes, I became aware that such moments are rare, even for a painter, when the gross man on the gross plane experiences with clarity the divine beauty in the gloss.
At last the train began its ascent from the low coastal plain. As the train slowed in its continual mountain climb, I could only think what an Olympian task this pilgrimage is, and I began to suffer doubts. What am I doing here? What impudence is this journey to nowhere? What have I come for? How do I presume to challenge that fortress of the Master's seclusion, with the full knowledge that the Western Sahavas is unequivocally cancelled? Phyllis did not suffer this agony, for the pilgrimage had been entirely my design and Meher Baba had told her that when I came to him, she was to accompany me. Thus, hers was the passive role of the obedient servant.
Shortly before arriving in Poona we were informed that there would be a three-hour wait for the connection to Ahmednagar.