An individual from the west coast group who had been to darshan the week before us was said to describe the darshan as "a week of heaven." Unfortunately, I heard of this remark right before I left, thus wiping out what I had hoped would be a clean slate of no expectations. To amplify the problem of objectivity, let me just note that someone who was in the group with me felt that the darshan had been "a week of hell." A week of heaven; a week of hell, but what an incredible time!
On the plane going over there we found ourselves lavishly wined and dined, almost to the point of parody of the physical world, and those who had been on a staple of brown rice were in for quite an intestinal shock. But finally there was India, and a group of Bombay Baba Lovers were waiting to greet us at the airport with a vigorous, glad shout of "Jai Baba!"
Something deep began to occur inside of me, and I tried to recognize what it was. It was the feeling of coming home, and right there and then on the walk from the plane to the reception terminal, the darshan had begun. Only later did I realize this is what happened.
On the ride from the airport to a Bombay hotel I became rather ecstatic even though we were passing through areas of classic Indian poverty. The irony of the opposites was pressed home again as we were once more amply fed at the hotel, to the point where any kind of food was becoming repulsive. Outside they were begging for pennies, "Uncle, uncle, I am hungry," and here we were, spiritual aspirants, being fed from all sides.
Somehow this could not dint my mood of exhilaration, and I began having a stream of insights into the meaning of India. At the time I believed that these insights were plainly evident in the scenes before me, but towards the end of the darshan week I could no longer see India like this and I could only recall these feelings as memories of this first day. It was as if some scales had been removed from my eyes at that time and I could see into the core of Indian life, perhaps all life. What I saw was bliss.
Following this short stay in Bombay for lunch, we took a train for a wondrous kaleidoscopic ride through the fields and the hill country of the Deccan plateau to arrive in Poona that evening. A smaller group, which included Ruth White, Baba's 99 year old
[Webmaster is adding the words here to the American Arti because the words on the scanned image above are illegible. 6-26-07]