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65

 

DAYS WITH THE MASTER    (Continued from page 16)

 

6/1/40    Baba cabled He is in Trivandrum. Two days ago Dr. Ghani went to see a Muslim saint, who had never seen him before, and who did not know he had any connection with Baba. After 10 minutes, the saint told his followers that Dr. Ghani was a saint, as the hand of a great Master was on his head.

 

11/1/40   Last Sunday, Nilu and I went with Padri and another Mandali to the Centre site to consider the position of the proposed sewage disposal. There seems to be plenty of room for all this, though we must keep the sewage from the wells. I also stood on the iron spike which Baba personally drove into the ground to be the centre of the Centre buildings, which is Baba's own house, and centre of the entire Universal Spiritual Centre. The building is just started now, though they have still to fetch water from the river a mile away. Dr. Ghani told a curious tale of the early Manzil-e-Meem days at Bombay in 1922, showing great sufferings of the Master, bodily, for His spiritual work in preparation, and then a comic one about Baba at Rahuri. Dr. Ghani was made to fast for three months on water only. After 2 months, Baba said he would die, and as Baba did not want to pay the cost of Ghani's funeral, He made Ghani beg from the Mandali the price of a coffin. He got about 60 rupees, and a man was called in and a coffin made. Then Baba said, He would undergo the funeral, instead of Dr. Ghani, and so Baba sat in the coffin and was carried around the ashram grounds, with Ghani walking behind, chanting some Arabic funeral chant. Then Baba got out of the coffin, and told Ghani he would not die. In the first place the fast was ordered because Ghani was going to be given clairaudience and clairvoyance by Baba, and was going to practice in Yokohama under the name of Ughansi, which means "lazyone". Ramju even made up a legal document about the sharing of profits, at Baba's order. At the end of it all Baba told Ghani it had been all a ruse to make him fast for his own good, which up till then he had not done. What methods Baba uses! At the Centre committee last night, there was a quarrel between Ghani and the vice chairman, and Padri and the rather quarrelsome one referred to earlier, who can be very stupid sometimes.

 

21/1/40   Last Monday morning we all left with Baba for Hassan, Baba in Elizabeth's car with the Indian ladies who are in seclusion, Jal driving the Austin, with European ladies, Beheramsha having gone ahead to arrange accommodation, the previous day with Gustadji. The journey is 115 miles N. W., on a fairly good road. We had lunch on the roadside, Baba in a good mood, cracking me up no end. I was driving the bus as usual with Kaka and Eruch beside me. We were all quite comfortable, there were two places secured and the men occupied one. We saw Baba every day, and He was joking with us, in good spirits, sitting with us for hours, very pleasant indeed. The day after arrival we went to Sravanabelagola, 35 miles east of Hassan. Here on a granite hill, 600 feet high on its top, rising out of a temple yard is a 60-ft. solid granite carving, of Gomateswara, the Jain Master. It is in one piece of stone, and beautifully carved. Baba says that Gomateswara observed great penance here. The second day we went to the temples at Belur and Halebid, covered with most elaborate and most beautiful carvings, really an amazing and wonderful sight The third day Baba had diarrhea in the morning and was not too bright, but we went through another town on to Baba Budan hills, about 5500 ft. high. A lovely road climbs up through dense jungles full of elephant and tiger. Baba very perky and happy up there. Cool fresh streams, and green mountain slopes, and we had a picnic at a rest house on top. After lunch, Baba took us down to see Baba Budan's tomb in a low roofed cave. Baba kept on pushing our heads down to avoid bumping against the low rocky roof. Apparently travelers still sometimes see him when they are lost in the jungle, though he died several hundred years ago.

 

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