glory could he manifest which was not already reflected in his beautiful person? This person was all they cared about Their loss was of the thousand shades of expression which passed across his face, of his voluble hands, of the demands of his smile. His Godhood shone in his Manhood. That was sufficient. It was God the Man they served and loved. They had no life other than in him. And he had suddenly slipped away out of their grasp while they were lovingly tending his body which was crushed under the weight of a world whose heart was stone and whose blood was molten lava.
When Mehera, the most beloved of the Beloved, came into the room and cried to him to come back, it was the cry of all distances and hollow places; and the men stared at a familiar horizon receding into infinity. But their beloved Baba was not dead; he had inexplicably withdrawn him-self for a moment—and that moment was too long to bear. For forty-seven years he had never been out of sight of one or another twenty-four hours a day; and now he had slipped away—like an eel from one 's hand, like the stars at the approach of dawn. He was; and then was not. He no longer was; but he was still there.
By night the news of their Beloved 's passing had reached lovers across the world. In the older ones, when the shock passed, there was a great surge of love and joy. In the young who had not yet seen their Beloved 's Man-form a new heroism was born to support their love, and the first line of a new poetry was written: "Now we face the Ocean ".
I would like to give you the words of a little song I have written lately for the Beloved's amusement.
Rocks the world in sullen anger, tangled in its skeins of blood,
Waiting for the Lovely Stranger to release his cleansing flood.
Heaves the world in helpless anger, struggling in its toils of brains,
Waiting for the Lovely Stranger to erase the horrid stains.
Writhes the world in spasmed anger, praying in sub-sonic tones,
Waiting for the Lovely Stranger to restore its crumbling bones.
Ceases now the world from anger, prostrate lies upon the earth,
Waiting for the Lovely Stranger who will give it a new birth.
The Lovely Stranger had come and had gone away—and the world was still tangled in its skeins of blood, struggling in its toils of brains, praying in sub-sonic tones. It is not yet prostrate.
The Lovely Stranger had not, it would seem, released a cleansing flood, erased any horrid stains or restored society's crumbling bones before he left us. The world, apparently, is as it was: still with the haves having more and the have-nots having less; private affluence creating public squalor; still increasing its armaments (presumably for export to the planets, since it has more than enough to destroy itself).
Yet the Lovely Stranger was with us for forty-seven years; and he wasn 't just sitting cross-legged in a trance during those years. He was with us, tremendously concerned about us, intensely involved with us. No man ever had less private life: he was literally with people twenty-four hours a day. Even when he retired for the night (when he had a room to retire to) or stretched himself out on a railway platform or in a waiting room when he was travel-ling, he always had one of the mandali or disciples with him.
You have read about his mass feeding and clothing the poor, how from dawn to evening thousands passed in front of him and received packets of food and cloth from his hands and love from his touch and glance. (But few know about the secret aid which restored hundreds to self-respect—that is a chapter of his life not yet written.)
You have read of his journeys to remote places to find and serve the masts, the real lovers of God, who have left the world far behind on their journey to his feet, but still have bodies which need care.
His commitment was so thorough, so total, that he allowed his body to be broken twice in car accidents so that humanity's spirit should be mended. His commitment was so thorough, so total, that he suffered the scalding tears of tens of thousands to