Symbols of the world's religions



Charmian Knowles

Several hours later, after our bus passed through Ahmednagar, we could see Baba's flag flying from the tower next to his tomb on top of the hill at Meherabad. I suppose an entire range of feelings settled into the people on the bus, especially those who were visiting for the first time and who had once hoped to meet Baba here in physical form. As we stepped off the bus and began our walk up the hill, local villagers came dancing toward us, joyfully beating drums and cymbals and playing instruments. We felt honored they had come to share their love of Baba and to honor in turn the love carried by the Western pilgrims.

Only small groups of people were allowed into the tomb at one time so their experience would be as intimate as possible. When I entered, I saw a friend sitting at the far end of the tomb, weeping and weeping. As I sat down, I thought to myself, "Maybe I ought to be crying. Maybe I ought to feel sadder about it. After all, I won't be able to touch Baba again, or ever have his embrace."

With that, my eyes were drawn to the sunlight outside the window, and I looked off at the hill where some trees were silhouetted against the sky. Everything danced and sparkled, and I could hear Baba saying, "You silly child. Do you think I'm tied to that tomb? Don't you know I'm out here too? I'm everywhere."

I was receiving a different form of his embrace now. And from that day on, I've never had the feeling that Baba was anywhere but right with me, wherever I was. It started almost immediately at the darshan. Afterward, practically every place I went I'd see reminders of him: perhaps something in pink or turquoise that evoked his jackets, or his image in flowers — the flowers that used to hum with life and sing to me as a child. I'd see him every place I went until it simply became impossible to feel like he'd gone.

"Even if you can't love me, remember I'll be loving you," he had said. And I know he does. Again and again since January 1969, I've had ample proof of that — proof that he's here, that he watches over us and attends to the minutest details of our well-being.


SPREAD MY LOVE, pp. 237-238
2004 © Sufism Reoriented


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