Symbols of the world's religions



Margaret Craske

Towards the end of my stay in India, for those under Baba's loving but severe discipline everything went down to a very low living level.

One summer at Meherabad, Baba having disappeared — most probably to visit some newly discovered mast — it seemed that we had come close to experiencing life at a poor Indian peasant level. The servants would collect cow dung, water it down to a very liquid consistency and joyfully, since it was like home, spread it thickly over the compound floor, including that of our eating quarters. It was supposed to keep the dust from being blown into everything. This was probably true, but there was something worse than dust.

On hearing of the cow-dung fiesta, every fly in the neighborhood sent out messages to friends all over the country to come at once. "Come and have a lavish time." The result was horrendous. I can remember some of us trying to eat the midday meal under a large towel which covered our heads and plates.

As soon as Baba returned, the cow dung spreading came to an end. But there was a worse trial in store.

Every afternoon Baba would come up the hill from the men's quarters, join the "girls" in their room and refuse to see the rest of the group; even going as far as to arrange that none of us should even catch a glimpse of Him. As Baba left the men's quarters a bell was sounded, we crossed the compound, went into a large room and remained there until the sound of the bell again released us — usually after about two hours.

There was nothing much to do. Rano tried to get on with some painting, others mended their clothes, and a few wrote letters.

One afternoon, I put an enormous navy blue patch into the seat of my only pair of slacks, which were already covered with patches of various colors. I gazed admiringly at the result of my work. The sun was beating down on the corrugated iron roof, and somehow I felt that I should make an effort to show that I felt no ill-will towards this boring and seemingly endless situation.

Extracting some green embroidery silk from my sewing bag, I embroidered the words "God is Love" onto the patch, put on the slacks and paraded around, giving everyone the only laugh of the afternoon.

Baba, hearing about this the next afternoon, sent for me, made me stand with my back to Him, and seemed to be amused by the patch. After all, it expressed the whole truth of the universe, even if appearing in a slightly unconventional spot.


THE DANCE OF LOVE, pp. 156-157
1980 © Sheriar Press


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