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40

 

The next day, the 18th, was the actual day on which Baba's birthday was celebrated. There were new arrivals of Baba's devotees and the destitute had all gone on their way. The ceremony of the washing of Baba's feet began. Hundreds passed by him for this devotional act, including ourselves. Then each in turn passed by and offered leis, or garlands, of jasmine and roses which were placed around Baba's neck, and he gave them his benediction, either in embracing them or touching them with his hand. The flowers were immediately removed and placed to one side. Then a great cloak of jasmine and roses was thrown about his shoulders.* He sat on a low couch facing the people and on the platform with him stood many men who had been with Baba for years — young and old, strong and indefatigable in their devotion to Baba. Nothing is too much for them to do for Baba. I shall never forget the expressions of love on the faces of these people.

 

There was a great deal of singing and dancing; people from Ahmednagar danced a strange savage dance with sticks having metal pieces attached giving the sound of bells. There was devotional singing with drum and cymbal accompaniment. A singer, considered one of the finest in India, Master Krishna, sang most beautifully, accompanied by two large strange instruments called sitars and drums. The whole day passed like a dream. In the afternoon the Western group sat on the platform with Baba and listened to the music. There were also speeches in English and Indian languages, also specially composed poems were read. In the evening Master Krishna sang for us again.

 

Although this was the first time I had witnessed a ceremony of this kind, I did not feel strange or out of place for it all seemed right as it should be, and although it happened but a short time ago, it already seems like a beautiful, strange, never-to-be-forgotten dream, and I am grateful that I was allowed to be present.

 

The world seems indeed far away. I long for the day when I shall be allowed to help Baba. I am only learning my A-B-C's in this all-important school of spirituality, but whatever there is in me that is of any use, it belongs completely to Baba, to do with as he wishes, as I belong entirely to him.

 

Take me oh Beloved
Into that land of Light
Where Love creates the endless day
And there shall be no night.
 
And there with Thee Beloved
All life is as a song
A strange and glorious harmony
To which we all belong.
 
R.B.

 

 

Messages of the Master, Continued from page 21

 

such obedience is only found in a few; only very rarely will you find willing obedience. This type is very rare.

 

You will always find very many who do not obey. They are just devoted. They worship but do not obey. Is it clear? Obedience is more important than devotion, even if it is done unwillingly. It counts for a great deal because afterwards, in the process, duality vanishes and responsibility falls on one person the Master, the one you obey. If he tells you to get up — you must. If he calls you, you must go. Love is even higher than obedience. In real love, not ordinary love, love, obedience and devotion are inherent,

 

 

*A Mohammedan Wedding

Custom signifying Union with God

 

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