all else is zero." He intended going on two mast tours. He was really happy with the masts but the six weeks we were at Pimpalgaon, He would be with us all the time. Discussions of work would take place from August 1st. All the other women were then called on and He jokingly asked me if I still like Eau de Cologne. This recalled my previous visit to India when I was always using it, owing to the very hot weather.
Baba walked round to inspect our quarters and with that sweetness so characteristic of Him said we were to have everything we really needed. He showed us the inside of the Dome, which is on the spot of the boys' ashram. Here He had stayed seven months, drinking only coffee. He inspected the rest of the ashram, embraced us and went off. We stood outside the gate and watched the car disappear.
Not having seen Him for so long we noticed quite a change. Physically, He looked powerful and though the love and humor are still in evidence, we felt that the emphasis was on the impersonal aspect of God. His hair is greyer and thinner and He looks much older and suffering very much, though full of power. Except in rare instances, only Mehera is allowed to touch Him. Some say she represents Maya to Him and others that spiritually He works on all femininity through her and that she represents His feminine aspect. Certainly, He has always said that while others are very near and dear to Him in varying degrees, she is the Chosen One.
After this meeting, I felt so calm and happy. A feeling of peace pervaded my being as if a benediction rested on my head. I knew it was right for me to be there at this moment but not before. I had just to be plunged more deeply into Maya and come to terms with certain aspects of myself. Had not Baba written to me during the War: "You are nearer where I want you, than if you were near to Me physically where I did not want you. When we meet again, you will be a changed Leyla (my Persian name) and yet the same." His timing is always perfect, so that the dreaded house of nun-like seclusion on the hill appears to be the perfect background to begin the new experience.
July 23rd. It was arranged for Kitty to take us down to the men's quarters where Baba was seeing people for the first time in months. At 7:30 a.m. the car called for us. It drove up by Baba's little room, where Baba stood garlanded, looking simply radiant. We went in. He touched our cheeks and said how well we were looking, then we were sent in to greet Norina and Rano and the Mandali. Norina looked well. The men came in amongst them: Donkin, Nilu, Pendu, Padri, Vishnu, Sarosh, Adi Jr.; Gulmai was also there. Baba called us in again to meet a political leader who had been a disciple of Gandhi’s but who now follows Baba and accepts Him as Avatar. He said this man was sincere. At 9 a.m. the train stopped right in front of the Ashram. This had never happened before. The people came mostly from Poona and Jabalpur. They trooped up and were allowed to see Baba, but not to take His darshan.
At 9:30 a.m. we were summoned into the big hall. Baba came in garlanded and sat on a chair facing us. Everyone stood up and as He entered chanted, "Shri Sadguru Meher Baba Ki Jai;" then they sang the names of God, written by Baba during the war for that purpose — Hari Paramatman Allah Ahura Mazd God Yezdan Hu. The political leader stood up and made a speech hailing Baba as Avatar. After this the young daughter sang a sacred song. At 10:30 a.m., Baba stood up and closed the ceremonials. We were shown the men’s quarters — also plans for a new dispensary. We were then driven back.
July 24th. We learnt quite a lot of interesting facts by talking to the women. In the early days, a group of six women (Baba's nuns, as He called them) lived at Nasik. In 1935 they moved to Meherabad and were completely secluded. The six lived in one room and were only allowed to go to the kitchen or the toilet. In 1938, some Westerners joined the group to live on the hill. The Eastern women had first met some Western women when they made a visit to India for the first time in 1933, and when a larger group of Westerners came to India in 1936 and stayed for six months in Nasik. Baba had also brought several of the Eastern women with Him when He came West in 1937 and stayed three months in Cannes, so the groups had already intermixed on several occasions. Margaret joined the group in 1939. Those already