Happy Valley. A hushed, deepened valley, into which one descends via a stairway. Under an old tree stands hewn in rock a Hanuman-god with bullock and club. It is supposed to watch over the village. Here Rama is supposed to have dwelled with his Sita during their migration. A passage through the rocks: Sita's bath. In a crevice a stone bull with small figure between the front legs. Romantic, rocky valley with a small river and many interesting trees. High in the mass of a tree hangs a beehive.
Nov. 30 to Dec. 5, Trip to Panchgani with Hedi and Pleader. Everything so large here in India: earth, vegetation, the people as simple as mammals and good-natured. A female can walk for miles in a lonely region without having to be afraid. Panchgani is like the Lenzer Meadow back home and not much above sea level. We go with Pleader into Baba's cave. Hewn in the cliff, it is about 2½ by 4 meters and 2½ high, brushed with mortar. Here Pleader lived once for 28 days only on water. His faith is limitless, he is filled with deepest longing for "realization." He is Baba’s trusted worker and carries on himself the list of the Circle-members. In the moment of realization one knows one's purpose and works like the unison of the clockhands and the bell that tolls at the stroke of 12 o'clock.
In the afternoon to Mahabaleshwar. Wonderful scenery, mountainous, jungle: a week ago a Nabob shot a tiger here. Old Hindu temple, wonderful view of a panorama of mountains, clouds and effects of light in greatest plenty. The many points lying spread out by miles have names, from Bombay Point one sees right to the sea at Bombay. Here, at the old temple five rivers originate, among them the Krishna and Savitri-River. The foreground is dark, then reddish tones, light blue nuances, the sky orange, infinitely receding, majestic. Somewhere I have seen this grandiose panorama before; it reminds me of my picture of the four different states of the old Gnostics. It makes one pious, uplifted, happy. And the people here are so gentle and good. Hedi, Pleader and I speak in the cave about the deepest human questions. A sentence is begun by one, finished by another. Right to the most innermost part of the soul and at the same time, so-to-say, physically palpable, we experience the absolute unity of the soul's basic element. Nationality, race, etc., are circumstances of outer shells of the soul, the fundamental substance is in all humans all-one. Hedi spends this night in the cave; I will spend tomorrow night there.
Dec. 3 . Excursion to the Table-Land, a large plateau, barren, grass burned off; shepherd with goats, sheep, another with cows and oxen, everything is far and large. White eagles and swallows fly around, I take photographs. Pleader tells how Baba was a Jain-saint in the last life, in the life before that King Shivaji. As that person He was a great King, had many forts and fought the Mogul King Aurangzeb (Persian, Mohammedan), and his general Afzulkhan, whose grave is in Fort Pratapgarh, and whose head is buried there where the walls meet. Today Afzulkhan is supposed to be again with Baba, namely as his disciple Bua Saheb.
When we got back I asked Baba how reincarnations on a low level fit in. Baba answered, Avatar is always on the 7th plane and always is the same One. But just as Harin al Raschid was the King and always on the throne even though he often disguised himself as a beggar, craftsperson or even as a thief on account of his work, so an Avatar might sometimes take an outwardly lower form, though he is always consciously behind that form, on account of his work. In the cave I tried to put myself inwardly completely in contact with Baba. It doesn't happen for me today, I have dreams of a hundred, changing forms. It makes me most aware of my veil of maya, and there awakes in me the burning desire to get through it to clear, pure consciousness of the spirit in truth. This has to be earned and reached with all sorts of sacrifices, which are of course not those sacrifices in the European sense of suffering.
Dec. 4 , Right after breakfast I drive with Pleader and a Hindu friend to Fort Pratapgarh, while Hedi, who has convalesced quite nicely up here, gives herself a day of rest. After 24 miles we come to the foot of the mountain, upon whose top the fort is located. Hindu carriers with sedan-chairs are standing by, but we choose to work our way up the mountain by foot, in part traversing jungle, but on a passable though stony path. Up above are huge old walls, an old Hindu temple, steps, lying there is an old cannon barrel on the ground, rigid priest is standing there with naked torso, a thin female carrying water comes out of the temple, beggars are standing around. On the way down we meet gypsies with livestock, dogs and all sorts of belongings just like at home. Everything is carried on the head, even chicken-roosts. After returning, I have an interview with