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53

 

of his delight with the house; of his pleasure with the arrangements; of his solicitude about her recently-cut finger, which he, who observes everything, quickly noted and compassionately felt.

 

The dinner that evening was the beginning of a continuous love-feast, which lasted from that moment until the very moment of his departure, and, in memory and in inner communion, long after it affected not only those who lived in the house with him, but those who came from interviews and saw him perhaps only once, for a few minutes, yet came away inevitably dissolved by the radiance of his divine love, suffused with the glory of his divine emanation.

 

For those of us who were to live with him for the whole of one glorious month, the dissolving process was quickened by personal interviews which began the following day and which were granted every so often thereafter. For one, two, three minutes at a time we would be silent with him. In those periods of silence we touched a depth in our inner being which we had never reached before. Tears of quiet ecstasy flowed from our eyes. Our hearts dilated until it seemed as if they would burst the bonds of the body. What would have happened if the one, two or three minutes had been prolonged, only Baba knows -- but they never were prolonged. A tap on his alphabet board and we were recalled to the fleeting world of time and space, to pick up again the thread of cause and effect and weave our individual patterns on the loom of change.

 

But the patterns themselves were strangely different. Everything habitual seemed to go, without effort -- without thought, even -- by a process which seemed so natural as to be almost imperceptible. Incidents would arise which broke the rhythm of the old habits. Formerly, one would have challenged the incidents, clung to the habits, established the personal will. Now there was no challenge; one no longer clung; and there seemed to be something more important than the personal will.

 

The habits which were affected ranged from simple things, like bathing, breathing, exercising, meditating at certain times in certain ways, to more complex things, such as taking orders. I had never in my life taken orders, graciously, from anyone. Yet Baba's slightest wish was like a sacred trust, an inescapable command. And this before I was converted to the idea of the master-disciple relationship.

 

I was still convinced, then, that the way to realization was to find the God within oneself, without dependence on outer things, or other persons. I was not seeking a master. I did not wish to become a disciple. Yet here, as my guest, was a man who claimed to be a supreme master -- an Incarnation of Divinity, a Jesus, a Krishna, a Buddha -- and who, moreover, every moment of the day and night, was proving his mastery, was establishing his claim.

 

It was not, however, until the twelfth night of his visit that I capitulated. The Westerners had gathered in the living room after dinner. Meredith was explaining to some of the group, who had Theosophical backgrounds and Theosophical ideas, Baba's teachings in regard to the inner planes. I grew suddenly very tired of words. I was glad that Baba, at least, was silent. And, as soon as I could, I excused myself and prepared for bed.

 

Before I retired, Meredith came to tell me that Baba wished everyone to meditate on him just before going to sleep. As I have said, I was still not convinced that the master-disciple relationship was desirable, for me, at any rate. Nor did I desire to place myself in a position where my outlook might be influenced. I did not then believe in meditation on any person. I had never done it, nor did I wish to do it. I determined not to accede to this request.

 

But when I started to go to sleep I found myself thinking of Baba in spite of my decision. I could not seem to get him out of my mind. I attributed this to the power of suggestion, and resolved to overcome it. I would concentrate my attention on something else -- on Jean, my wife, whom I loved deeply, and on whom I felt I could meditate without hesitation.

 

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