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55

 

years. We drove to Meherabad, "The House on the Hill," passing the men's quarters down below. Kitty Davy met us at the gate and we were then introduced to the other women living there. Several I knew from my two previous trips to India in 1933 and 1936-7.

 

Baba had now divided them into four groups each — with their own quarters and allowance. They were independent of each other but could mix if they chose. Baba explained that this was the best way of keeping peace, as in this phase He did not want to be troubled with personal problems or personal ties. He was too busy with His universal mast work. The only women always with Him (except when He went off with the men only on His mast trips) were Mehera, Mani, Mehru and Dr. Goher; Kitty, Rano and Naja were called from time to time.

 

The place has been greatly extended since I had last seen it in 1937. Two large rooms had been built on top of the bungalow with steps leading up to them. The garden was bigger, and due to the monsoon, looked very green. There were two dogs and a peacock which completely fascinated us, especially when he strutted about with his tail spread out fanwise. Kitty presented us with a note from Baba saying He had decided to see us sooner and would come up on July 23rd, and that we would go with Him to Pimpalgaon (the new Centre) on August 20th. Norina and Elizabeth would also come with us.

 

No one could stay at Meherabad without becoming aware of the wonderful atmosphere which pervades this holy place — pure and serene. Baba says this is His first and last ashram and that He will be buried there and has had a dome built for His purpose. On it is inscribed "Mastery in Servitude". There are five little prayer rooms; later on, He said, it would be a place for pilgrimages. It is pervaded with His presence, so calm and peaceful, far away from the turmoil of the world.

 

The food is vegetarian, simple and plentiful. Baba now allows more freedom — no luxuries. During the war years life had been very austere, all experiencing suffering and hardship in some way.

 

July 20th. Today is the last of the fast, so we start regular meals at 11 a.m. lunch and 6 p.m. supper. Each group has its own little maid (for the first time). These are devoted to Baba and treated as friends. We are regarded as guests, everyone is kind and comes to offer help. There is no sanitation and all water has to be heated, but is plentiful at the moment.

 

July 21st. A note from Baba saying He will come up tomorrow, 9:30 a.m. with Mehera and Mani, to greet us. There is great excitement as He has not paid the retreat a visit for at least a month.

 

July 22nd. The great day dawned, a lovely sunny day. The ashram had been like a beehive from 5:30 a. m. Garlands were made and rooms cleaned. Everyone put on their best clothes. At 9 a.m. we heard the car coming up the hill, so we all lined up at the gate. Jean held a mauve garland, and I a white. The car stopped, and out came Mehera and Mani, but no Baba. Our hearts sank, but they smilingly told us He had stopped off at the men's quarters. The car went back and five minutes later, Baba appeared at the gate. He held out His arms and a beaming smile appeared on His face. We ran to embrace Him and the years fell away with all our problems and heartaches. Time stood still — here was Reality! Only those who have had the felicity of being thus embraced can understand the extraordinary feeling of happiness it brings to be thus enfolded in love. He made for His room and at the steps, Masi was waiting to perform the Hindu ceremony of cracking the cocoanut at His feet — symbol of head and heart offered as a sacrifice.

 

We were told to come in with Mehera and Mani. Baba said He was so happy to have us with Him. We would stay at Meherabad for six weeks and during that time we were to rest, eat, not worry, and to think of Him; and when we moved to Pimpalgaon we would be kept busy all the time. He said He was very, very tired, with the weight of the universe upon His shoulders; but soon that would change and also conditions in the West. He continued: "Everyone is Baba, everything is Baba and everywhere is Baba and

 

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