rechart the destiny of this lost universe. To be here on this planet is amazing enough. But to be in that very room of His coming down is beyond words.
Then Brother Jal came in and we embraced merrily. God would have to possess an infinite imagination to have produced for Himself a playmate brother such as Jal. One never forgets for a minute that this is Baba's brother — not that he reminds you, but because he is simply Jal. As you go about the city of Poona with Jal as guide, Jal does not remind you of who he is; but rather, he never lets you forget that this is the great city of Poona where the Avatar of the cycle was born into the world. Jal has all kinds of amazing statistics on the city of Poona to prove to you beyond a shadow of doubt that this is indeed the city of cities.
Jal took us to many places that day, including Guruprasad where in '69 we had that "unparalleled darshan." And we were told now that soon it will all be torn down, the scaffolding of work completed, and so no longer necessary. When one is with Brother Jal, one feels that this city belongs to Jal. It seems as if it is his city; Baba gave it to him.
In the afternoon Jal took us on a trudge up a high hill with seventy steps. Baba had climbed this hill even as a boy and had run down all the way in three minutes flat. Jal told us that Rick Chapman equaled that record with bare feet, but that after the three minutes dash, Jal had spent an hour bandaging up Rick's bruised and bleeding feet.
When we got to the top we found a highly decorated temple to Shiva. I found it impossible to be impressed with any aspect of the temple, but the view of Jal's city was really beautiful in the late afternoon sun. I was also impressed that a man over seventy years old could so easily climb those seventy steps.
We felt we had had enough sight-seeing for one day, but Jal told us he had one other place to take us as he pointed way far down in the center of the city. So from this hilltop with its gaudily painted temple to Shiva, we went back down into the teeming city. When one of us half-heartedly protested that it might be getting a little late for this next excursion, our guide said confidently, "I think Baba will hold the sun up long enough for us to go where we are going."
We got stuffed into a taxi at the foot of the hill and went off plowing through turbulent streets as all Indian taxis do. I suspect that I was less panic-stricken than most Americans are riding in a Poona taxi. That 's because what you don't see does not frighten you. When I had sat at Baba's feet, Baba said to the mandali something like this: "Lyn is very fortunate, because he doesn't see so much of the illusion." Certainly in a Poona taxi ride these words prove to be most blessedly correct. I see just enough to know with some amusement what a terrifying sight it must be for those unaccustomed to the streets of India, packed with humanity together with almost every other form of land-creature and conveyance. It never ceases to amaze me what a lavish and extravagant Creator Baba the Creator actually is. I guess it is true that Baba does not create one thing more than is necessary for His purpose; but in India, His activity as God the Creator seems absolutely flamboyant.
I can honestly say that in these past eight years of following and loving Meher Baba, I have acquired tremendous knowledge. But the crowning jewel of that knowledge is the knowledge that I am enveloped in ignorance. This is indeed the precious jewel of my knowledge because, knowing that I am enveloped in ignorance and also knowing that I am while yet in ignorance allied to the One who is the embodiment of Real Knowledge, I am confident that some day at long last I will be brought out of this ignorance to share permanently in that Real Knowledge. Baba says, "Blessed is the knowledge that is gained through ignorance." Until that knowledge is gained I remain a humble and helpless beggar, helpless before the whim of my Beloved. And to console myself I sometimes recall those words
Continued on Page 44