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10

 

But she was still alive when He came in, and he looked at her very intently. Then He called Nilu, Rano, and myself to the door, so that we could tell Him how she had been. Then suddenly Norina came running to say she had gone queer. We went quickly to the bedside with Baba; she had stopped breathing. Baba pressed the eyelids to close them with His own fingers, and Nonny gave one deep sigh and was finished.

 

Baba said she had come to Him, and that it was the very first time He had been present at the death of a disciple. Even when His father died Baba was away in Europe. Baba wanted Nonny to be cremated, and He said she would be buried on the hill at Meherabad, near Baba's tomb, with the words "Nonny, Baba's lover" engraved on a monument where her ashes are to be laid. He said of Nonny that she was one of His greatest lovers.

 

That night, Nilu and I moved Nonny in her bed into a small room alone, where Kitty placed a lamp and some burning sandalwood with flowers and a photo of Baba to be laid at her head, by Baba's orders.

 

The same evening, Nilu, Rano, and I arranged for cremation to take place. The health officer we found in his office, even at 8 P.M. and he arranged everything there and then, and was very helpful; no real formalities like in England.

 

Next morning, Nilu and I dressed the body in a pink silk night dress, and wrapped it in a sheet. Rano asked for the head to be covered, which we did with a handkerchief. Then Norina and others covered the wrapped body with flowers, very beautiful to look at really. We then lifted the body on to the stretcher, and by Rano's wish, as the motor hearse had glass sides, covered the flower-covered body with an Indian coverlet.

 

We then drove to the cremation ground, about 4 miles on the Mysore Road, in the country with hills all round, very beautiful. A special wood pyre had been made, just outside the Hindu cremation ground, and we all helped to carry the stretcher to the pyre. About 30 of us came, women and men, on the bus and in cars. We then put more flowers on the body, which was then covered with logs of wood. After kindling, we waited some half an hour, and then returned. Somehow death when Baba is around doesn't seem to matter. She had a very easy death, and just seemed to creep out of her body ever so gently, no doubt Baba's work.

 

Next morning, Elizabeth, Chanji, Nilu and I went to collect the ashes. Adi has taken them in a box to Meherabad where they are to be buried near Baba's own future tomb.

 

About a week ago, Nilu and Pendu went to Belgaum to fetch a Mast, whom Vishnu’s brother-in-law who lives there had found. Baba had asked him to look out for such men. Nilu and Pendu brought him back in a hired taxi they had gone in from here. He disliked coming into the house, as he lived in the forest outside Belgaum; he has a filthy turban, and very bright eyes indeed. His chin is very smooth for a man; he looks 40 years old. He loves flowers, tobacco and tea. He drinks everything out of an old tin he carries with him. Every day Baba covers him with flowers and feeds him. Baba says he is very advanced, between the fifth and sixth planes, in which state when in ecstasy, their limbs separate from the body, and this is why they sleep in the forest. He likes Baba to sit near him, and is now much quieter than when he first came; then he wanted to go away.

 

Apparently all these masts find it painful coming to Baba; He is like fire to them, and burns them by His very high spiritual state. This mast sleeps in Mahomed's room.

 

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