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56

 

presence, the terror left as if it were stuck to the sandals rather than to me. As I stepped into that room everything stopped, everything except my feet which carried me straight, without faltering, into the waiting arms of the Divine Beloved.

 

Everything had stopped when Baba embraced me and held my face in front of His and looked into my eyes. The first thing Baba said to me was, "Can you see my face? " (How He said this with hand gestures I don 't know, because His cool hands were on my feverish face all the while.) I replied in a whisper, "Not very well, Baba. " In my reply there was something apologetic, something of disappoint­ment in not being able to give Baba the happiness of my seeing His face. And I think this disappointment, shared by Baba and me, was the closest point that I have ever come to the point of real surrender, for looking back, I see that at that moment I realized that I had no hope and that I was completely and utterly helpless in the hands of God.

 

Rather than giving me strength, He had taken away all of my strength, so there was nothing for me in that moment but surrender. The tension was gone. I had made my last move, and I had lost. This was a moment of surrender; I know it was because Baba then said, "Baba wants you to bow down to His feet." And instantly I obeyed Him.

 

It is a very rare thing to reach the point of surrender; it is so hard; it is only by the grace of God. It is a rare thing, and it was a very rare thing for Baba to allow any one to bow down to His feet, especially in these last days.

 

When I went to India in 1965 it was as a seeker, a pilgrim on his way to find and touch the very source of the river of my Self. It was a literal pilgrimage created for me by Baba. By that pilgrimage I received the gift of His Love. This was for me the end of all search, the pilgrim's goal and the beginning of a pilgrim 's progress. I became what is conventionally called a disciple. It was as a disciple that I came to India in 1969. It was as a disciple that I received the darshan that had been prepared for me.

 

But when I came to India in December, 1971, it was not as a pilgrim nor as a disciple. I came not knowing what I was at all. I came not having any identifiable relationship to Baba. I came without a label. I came like an archeologist, to uncover if possible the secret of surrender itself. Three weeks later I went away, leaving that secret as yet uncovered, perfectly at rest in Meher Baba 's Tomb.

 

It is not necessary for me to go to India ever again, for no matter how many times I go and come, I know that I will come away empty-handed. God does not want commuters; he wants instead the individual soul, wherever it finds itself abiding on earth, living from day to day in the Reality of His Love.

 

So the beggar, having finished his last sojourn to the feet of the Beloved, went away with nothing — nothing, that is, but a prayer. This prayer was learned while on the hilltop of God 's samadhi:

 

"Beloved God, help me to love you more and more,

 

and more and more,

 

and still yet more

 

Until I become worthy of union with you.

 

And help me to hold fast to Beloved Baba's daaman

 

Til the very end.

Meher Baba

 

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