memories of '52
How did I come to Baba? "Somehow, like a stray pebble, I got into His sandal." I find this sentence in an old 1953 diary. And so perhaps, I too should tell my story – of how I met God in human form. It is now 1972 – just twenty years later, but, somehow, one doesn't have "memories" of Baba. Everything happens 'now' with Him. One has only to find the magic key to look into that eternal 'now' again.
Yet there was a sequence. I had waited nine years to meet Him after hearing about Him through the three women disciples He had sent back to America in 1941 to prepare for His next visit to the West: Norina Matchabelli, Nadine Tolstoy, and Elizabeth Patterson, each a unique personality, each one totally surrendered to His service. I learned a great deal about Baba from them. Later I was grateful – contact with them had cleared out some of the underbrush of ignorance most Westerners have about "Masters" – and especially, the Avatar. The Avatar is unique in His ways of working and does not even follow the ways of other Perfect Ones.
In addition to the outer preparation for meeting Baba by contact with His disciples – during these years I also met Dr. Donkin, Nariman Dadachanji, Meherjee Karkaria, Margaret Craske – there was Baba's own inner working on me. Baba works on each individual as he can be handled, and with me He worked so much through what would be called the "occult." I had many deep inner contacts with Him. A typical example:
Before I heard of Baba, I had studied Eastern philosophy – Hinduism, Buddhism. I was especially attracted by Sri Ramakrishna. Two things in his gospel affected me strongly: "What matters most is Love for God," and "Seek the Lotus Feet of the living Master." But where was He? I used to go to the Ramakrishna Center in New York to hear Nikhilananda. One Sunday as I looked at the big photo of Sri Ramakrishna, I was astonished to see no face, only brilliant white light, and a sweet voice said, "He is your Jesus." I turned my head and there walking swiftly out onto the platform was a man of medium stature, with a long mass of auburn hair, a small beard, gesturing hands, piercing eyes of a grey blue. He began to speak in the Aramaic tongue. At the same moment I heard the meaning in English . . . the first lines of the Sermon on the Mount. His body was as real and solid as yours. I do not know how long I stared at Him. When I "awoke," Nikhilananda was there chanting Shanti and people were leaving.