like that of a giant. So I experienced Baba in many different ways in Cannes. I am a down-to-earth person otherwise, but I think I was walking above the ground there. I was taken completely off my feet, away from everything.I knew I couldn't explain this, but I knew Baba was very great. Later I found out, the greatest; but at that time I must have felt it instinctively. I didn't need to have any proof because He was great, otherwise I probably would not have asked about coming to India, or was made to ask.
You know there are big stories, I could talk all afternoon about Cannes.
When we were with Baba in India we always felt we didn't obey Him, we disappointed Him, we didn't get onwards spiritually. Even if we don't ask for high things, we feel we fail, we're not humble enough, we don't do as He would like us to be, eh? So one day I asked Baba, "Baba, I don't know, I seem to be stuck, I'm not getting further." Baba first pointed on His alphabet board to talk about steps; then, with His fingers he made like this (gesture): "You go up two steps and then you go one back; then again you go up two steps and go back one". Always two steps and one back. That means you are advancing, but if you know you are advanced you might get the most terrible thing one can get near a Master, that is, spiritual pride. If you feel advanced, you might not strive so much anymore, and you might fall back, because of pride. So I think Baba is very kind to let us go two steps up at a time and one back! We always think we're not advancing, but that's so we can really keep firm, so we will want to obey Baba's orders. Really, it's very important to know this, because, if one gets disappointed or disheartened, and thinks it doesn't go further, it does go further, if we are very earnest. But it goes, as I said, two steps up and one step back.
Baba told this to me privately once when I was very sad, from not obeying, not doing what I should do. I felt I disappointed Baba. It's something so small but I think it makes a world of difference if you remember it and never leave off trying to go up the stairs. Even if you feel you are going back, you've fallen down the stairs. I think you have pride in anything you want, you can even be proud of all sorts of things, even good looks! But never have spiritual pride, that's downfall, the worst thing. That's not for us, to my way of thinking. I think also Baba used to say that.
There's a little story of how a Master works, from Hazrat Babajan. Babajan was sitting under a tree and all were sitting around her, including some very rich Parsi women who are, you know, very particular about being clean. Now Masters can always read what we are thinking. When we were with Baba He also read our thoughts and He would say "What are you thinking of?" or "What are you dreaming of?" and He caught us. You see that also teaches us to control the mind.
I think that is very important, because we think the mind is not seen, we sneak around in the mind and think things, and we don't believe thoughts are actions. If we think something bad, it's like throwing a stone in water, it recircles. So we should try to keep our minds clean if we can of course. I don't say I can always do that but it's worth while trying. So the Masters find us out.
Babajan was sitting there and all these people were looking at her and being happy and everything, and suddenly a poor old leprous woman came along, and she brought sweets to Babajan. Naturally in their minds, especially of those rich Parsi ladies, comes the thought, "I hope Babajan doesn't give us the sweets of this leprous woman — which