"None of you must be afraid of anyone or anything. Whatever happens you should be firm in your faith and not let the criticism of those who are against you, upset you. If you surrender, do not then assert, ‘Baba must take care of my health, Baba must look after my family—I must not fall ill—I must not die—members of my family must not die either.' These assertions would indicate lack of faith—the faith of a disciple in his Master whom he considers to be all-knowing, all-powerful. You can rely on me and leave it to me, but don't make it conditional.
“And now, let me tell you the only thing that matters: try to obey my instructions implicitly. Don't argue, just do as I say and leave the rest to Baba.”
With these instructions in our hearts and minds, we embarked for India and our new life.
Our first short visit to India in March of 1933 had been a dream of Paradise—Kashmir, Benares, Agra, Delhi—sights and travel with Baba, our Friend and constant companion. The Nasik visit, on the other hand, from beginning to end was a training in discipleship, a different period, with Baba still our Friend, but so much more!—our spiritual guide and Master.
The first group of disciples from the West― six Americans—arrived at Bombay by the Anchor liner "Elysia," on the 8th of December. The second party of two more Americans arrived on the 16th of December by the Italian boat "Conte Verde," while the third party arrived by the P.O. mail boat "Rawalpindi," on the 24th. One more American came via Pacific and Colombo on the P.O. boat "Strathaird," on the 2nd of January. Sam Cohen came later.
All were met and welcomed at the Alexandra dock of Bombay by Baba's Indian devotees residing in Bombay or nearby and I recall we were profusely garlanded, as is the Eastern custom, and made to feel, from the very first, both welcome and at home.
They felt drawn to us and we to them, for our common bond was our great love for the one Master of both East and West which we were now to share together.
While the final details in the Nasik Retreat were being worked out, those who were the first to arrive (from America) were taken to Bhandardara to