Phyllis suggested we visit Babajan's tomb. This appealed to me greatly as a possible catharsis for my acute mental suffering. Our arrival at the tomb marked the 34th anniversary of the death of this great Sadguru and Master of Meher Baba. Immediately I felt in the iron grip of ego consciousness. What possible earthly or unearthly value could this beautiful box have for a western rationalist? Millions have surrendered their minds and hearts at the tombs of dead saints. In fact, virtually all pilgrimage is made to the shrines of the postcarnate spirit. I see now that my feeling of emptiness at this hallowed place was most valid, for indeed Babajan's real tomb is not in Poona, but in the God-man, Meher Baba. To worship Babajan I must lay my head at the feet of God Himself. This was the goal of my pilgrimage.
But at that moment I was in spiritual confusion; my most urgent need, to extinguish the fire of my anguish. And so, when the Mohammedan attendant picked up a bottle of water and a glass and waved it over the tomb, it was apparent we were being offered a communion. My feeling was one of acceptance, but before the man could fill the glass, Phyllis interrupted, saying, "We want no water." My reply to her was disconcertedly, "What do you mean we want no water?" And a moment of extreme discordance arose between us right at the foot of Babajan's tomb. My thought was, if that was holy water, I needed to drink it, so desperate was my need. It did not take me long after leaving the tomb to recognize that Phyllis had been right in refusing the water, but not for her consciously external reason of hygiene. Purity—yes: the purity of our pilgrimage. I am reminded of Christ with the woman at the well, when He said, But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
Such water can only come from a Perfect Master and not from the attendant at the tomb of a Master. This had been a critical station of doubt and despair in my pilgrimage to the Beloved. After that my deep reluctance to reach the goal made the remainder of the trip a severe inner hardship.
The train ride from Poona to Ahmednagar is excruciating for any Western traveler, even one not suffering in the mental inferno I was in. Meher Baba had told Phyllis specifically, when she had seen him the previous December, that he wanted me to come to him and for her to accompany me. There had been no discussion of the time for this, because the pending Western Sahavas seemed the natural and appropriate date. The day we were informed of the cancellation of that Sahavas was the day I knew I must go to Baba without further delay. I knew that if I wrote and asked him if I could come now, he would inevitably say no. I had come to understand that much about the Master. Thus, my decision to go had to come from my own inner prompting and call from the Baba within.