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34

 

MEMORIES OF SAHAVAS

DOWN UNDER

 

From a talk by Bill Le Page

 

Today is the 2nd June, the first day of our three-day celebration of God-Man Meher Baba's stay here on the property which he himself named Avatar's Abode.

 

It was on the 2nd of June 1958 that Avatar Meher Baba arrived in Sydney and was met by Francis who had travelled from here to meet Baba and escort him and four disciples to Avatar's Abode. In the afternoon of the same day John Bruford and I went to Brisbane and re-confirmed accommodation for the overnight stay of Baba.

 

And so on this day 14 years ago the Avatar and his disciples were on the way from Sydney to Brisbane. The place of His Sahavas or gathering was prepared and all arrangements finished, and the two of us who formed, as it were, the vanguard of the 50-odd Australian lovers, quietly awaited the plane's arrival. The still, cool evening of the 2nd June seemed like "the hush before the Master-singer makes his appearance on the stage"; all that had to be done was done, and the audience would receive according to their preparedness. In this time and age the work undertaken and completed here within 4 months for the reward of an embrace would be inexplicable to an outsider. But by Baba and through Baba all things are possible, and love for him makes men go beyond their natural limits in their work for him.

 

It was late evening that the plane bearing the Avatar landed at Brisbane airport. Baba descended and walked slowly across the tarmac, steadied by the ever-near, ever-watchful Eruch. Even through the dim light, the mind was immediately aware of an immensity and intensity of suffering beyond reasoning comprehension. Again and again throughout the following days the mind was thus confronted and momentarily stilled by awareness of Baba's suffering. He once said: "As your breath ebbs and flows but is always with you, so is my suffering always with Me." The Sufi saying "When the heart weeps because it has lost, the spirit laughs because it has found" describes the pain and joy of the lover in this suffering of the Beloved: for has not Baba said that the suffering of Avatar is in order that all beings and things in creation may awaken to the realization of their true state. Baba said, "This Sahavas will be unique in the sense that you will witness and share My present universal suffering by being near Me as My fortunate companions — being with the Ancient One who will be at the same time completely on the human level with you."

 

And so it was during the Sahavas days that His lovers witnessed and sensed the quintessence and beyond of all suffering, and witnessed and sensed the simultaneous Infinite Bliss of God: Baba in pain, Baba happy: Baba walking slowly, painfully across the tarmac, then the sudden warmth and the sun of His greeting and embrace of us: Baba sitting withdrawn and drawn in expression under the verandah of Avatar's Abode, then the few steps into the sunlight, and looking down towards the farmhouse and the ocean, lovingly stroking Francis and saying that he had done well in choosing the property; Baba again walking slowly along the verandah, withdrawn and suffering, and the lovely warmth of His amusement on hearing the Australian work 'paw-paw' for the first fruit 'papaya'; Baba sitting in the midst of us all, the lines of suffering on His face being etched deeper by the clicking of inquisitive cameras; and the bright glow of love in His face as He smiled upon three young women wearing the forehead decorations sent them by Baba's women disciples in India; Baba showing great concern for the young lad weeping, saying to him; "Baba loves you — you must not be sad," and as the tears of the lad still fell, adding "When you cry, see, Baba cries too" as He pointed to the rain that was gently falling; Baba smiling upon those who had served Him well before and during the Sahavas, and the quickening, awakening sun of that smile stretching

 

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