unfoldment, could be symbolized in Baba's work with Mehera – starting in America. It is a fact too, Baba once said, "My work in the West will be done by women."
It is true, somehow, I felt especially close to her. Baba always seemed to link me up with her. Once as I stood near her, near the Guest House, discussing the roses nearby, I had an impression of Baba drawing a magic circle around us both. This feeling of closeness was Baba's way of inspiring me to become the best of myself as a woman.
Though Baba treated Adele and me as His guests this whole week, He also gave me a priceless "task" – to wash and iron His clothes. Each day I was given the sweet-smelling bundle of divine laundry. I went around asking others if it smelled as sweet as I thought. It was true. Like all Perfect Ones, a real perfume surrounded Baba even on the hottest days.
As I was washing the clothes, I felt Baba was washing me. A lot of sanskaric suds went down the drain! Several people wanted to share my job – but, what Baba asks you to do, you have to do yourself. The same when He gives you a gift, a prasad: you must not share it, you must keep it.
Speaking of prasad – many times that week Baba gave us prasad, whatever was at hand. Once it was a chocolate mint patty. Even the dogs, Nipper and Banjo, got a mint patty; they took it from Baba's hand as eagerly as we. I thought, "The new holy Communion may be a chocolate mint patty! " Nipper was the Dalmatian which had run away from his home to wait at the Center – two years – to meet Baba! Another time, Baba gave me a peach. I still have the stone. I still can feel the taste of it – of 'eating' Baba's love.
Baba also gave His grace by a touch – a playful pat, a tap with His alphabet board, or cane. Each time He touched me I felt something being taken away. To myself, my metaphor was, He is smoothing out my mind like a piece of crinkled foil. I like Dr. Donkin's words to us on his 1947 trip to America: "People ask me what I get out of Baba. It is what Baba takes away." For example, after Baba created all that tension, then took my wrist and blotted it out, I find I really can't worry any more – not that tortured way I used to, and that's a blessing.
A P.S. on ironing Baba's clothes. I used to hate ironing. So I had to learn to like it by ironing for Baba: is that irony?
One day I was alone in the dining room, drinking a mid-morning cup of coffee when Baba walked in. At once, I felt a little guilty, but Baba signaled, "Drink up! Eat more." "Baba, I'll get fat!" I laughed. I have.
Another scene in the dining room comes to mind: Adi and I were talking about Baba's discourses. For several months I had contacted New York publishers, including Harpers' and Knopf, to get them published in America. with no luck. (Mr. Exman, head of the religious book department at Harpers had said, "Well, maybe if Baba were already dead 75 years!" It's kind of fun, now, that Harpers' is publishing some Baba books.) Baba walked in, gesturing, what are you discussing? Adi explained, I had all the different texts – Deshmukhs, White Light, Silent Revelations – on the table. "Which do you like?" Baba asked.
"I like them all," I replied. Baba looked pleased. Adi left the room; then Baba took up a volume of the Discourses and without looking at it, inserted His finger in a page, then flipped it open and gave it to me. I read (p. 41, Arriving at Self Knowledge "The Need for a Master"):
"It is possible for an aspirant to rise up to the mental sphere of existence through its own unaided efforts. But dropping the Mental Body