Symbols of the world's religions


Part Four


Judith Garbett

Friday 2nd November found those of us who were already in Poona, once again walking happily up the wide marble steps to go inside for the morning session.

Guruprasad had for me such a gracious air. It was not a very big building, but was pleasing in design — the spacious verandah running the full width of the house and turning along each side with marble balustrades at the edges; the beautiful pink marble columns rising to the lofty ceiling; the black and white tiled floor; the delicate engravings on the wide glass entrance doors, and the tall white statues on either side — all these gave the feeling that the house itself welcomed us with open arms as it were, extending an invitation, fresh and cool, to come in from the heat and noise of the busy highways of the outside world to spend a few precious hours in the company of the Host of Hosts who was waiting to give each one His overwhelming love.

This second morning had a different pattern from the previous one. First, of course, Baba greeted everyone and asked this one and that one had they eaten well, or slept well, were they in good health.

He also made humorous comments to Harry Kenmore who was taping on the small recorder which he called 'my baby', and to Ben Hayman, 'Are you awake, Ben?' Both these men were seated to Baba's left near the mandali.

Then Baba told all present that He wanted each one, on returning home, to write one letter only to Him, but not to write after that.

Then Baba gave a quite detailed explanation of the Four Journeys of the soul, and to illustrate it there was a big chart on a stand, specially prepared for the purpose. Eruch read Baba's gestures, and as the explanation progressed, Francis would point to the corresponding sections on the chart with a long stick.

The beautiful clarity of Eruch's voice, the warmth and love in his eyes, added a further quality to the whole wonderful experience of having Baba Himself explain the journeys of the soul. This discourse and the chart were included in the manuscript of The Everything and The Nothing which had been given to Bill the day before to publish.

Another most moving experience for me during this Friday morning was the reading by Francis of an Ode of Hafiz, translated by Baba and versified by Francis :

Although you have not received love's guerdon,
One day this desert will become a garden — so be not grieved.

Do not turn your heart away, nor expostulate
Against the Beloved, but bear your present state — and be not grieved.

Let this disgusted mind and troubled heart be stilled
One day desire for union will be fulfilled — so be not grieved.

Behind the curtain a secret game is being played
That you know not, so don't give up nor be dismayed — or grieved.

Once you have set out for the Beloved's abode
Do not let mere stones and thorns turn you from the road — or be much grieved.

Maya will do her best to thwart you from your labour,
But when you have a captain like Noah you will reach safe harbour — so be not grieved.

When this Friend is the same as God don't plague him with petitions,
But suffer gladly love's rules, trials and conditions — and be not grieved.

May God not give to my enemies the hardship this friendship (with the Friend) has given me!

This Ode was for me like a personal message of love and understanding from Baba. As mentioned earlier, I did not weep at the moment of meeting Him that first afternoon, but the floodgates had opened during the Thursday night.

I could not sleep, thinking about Him, and wept because I felt I did not know how to love Him. As I listened to the Ode and its constant encouraging refrain 'be not grieved', I felt that Baba knew what I was feeling, and was telling me not to be concerned or unhappy.

Immediately the sun shone again for me, and I enjoyed being there with Him.

Baba closed the session around 11 AM, and on the way back to the hotel Francis took me to a teashop for a cup of tea and a chat. Little happenings such as this one, and being included in the small family get-togethers in the evenings at the hotel, all helped me to relax and absorb something of the wealth of love that Baba was giving out to all in every moment of those wonderful days of the East-West Gathering.

During this Friday morning the rest of the Australians who had had to stay on the ship were travelling from Bombay to Poona, escorted by Bill. Their train had arrived late, and we were already sitting under the pandal for the afternoon session when the tired little group appeared.

Baba immediately called them up to the platform, and it was a most moving sight to see each one come to Him for His most loving embrace, His interest in how they were feeling, his enquiries as to whether they had had lunch.

He seemed to give them extra and very special attention to make up for their missing His company for a day and a half, and kept them sitting on the floor near Him during the programme.

The Four journeys chart which had been placed to the rear of the stage on the right hand side, seemed to form a kind of backdrop to the little group. This whole touching episode is captured on one of the films.

Baba's second message 'MY DEAR WORKERS' was read over the microphone:

"In spite of telling you very often that I will not give you any more messages or discourses, I find myself doing just this thing which is what I do not want to do. This is because most of you do things which I do not like you doing.

"I had to give you a message yesterday because you expected one; and the theme of the message was on your being my children, because despite much talk about a Baba-Family there is more a semblance than a reality of kinship among you who are the children of One Father.

"True children of One Father do not greet one another with smiles and embraces and at the same time harbour grudges and ill-feeling, but they have an active concern in their hearts for the well-being of one another and make sacrifices for that well-being.

"If you make me your real Father, all differences and contentions between you, and all personal problems in connection with your lives, will become dissolved in the Ocean of my Love.

"You are all keen on spreading my message of Love and Truth and many of you in the East and West have laboured hard in this work: publishing magazines and other literature, organising meetings, sacrificing your vacations in travelling, building halls and having statues made of me. But I wonder how much of my love and truth has been in your work of spreading my Message of Love and Truth!

"Unless there is a brotherly feeling in your hearts, all the words that you speak or print in my name are hollow; all the miles that you travel in my cause are zero; all organisations for my work are but an appearance of activity; all buildings to contain me are empty places and all statues that you make to embody me are of someone else.

"I have been patient and indulgent over the way you have been doing these things, because you have been very young children in my love, and children must have some sort of games to play. But now you are older and are beginning to realise that there is a greater work ahead of you than what you have been doing. And you have been searching your minds and hearts as to what this work might be.

"It is not a different work to what you have been already doing — it is the same work done in a different way. And that way is the way of effacement, which means the more you work for me the less important you feel in yourself.

"You must always remember that I alone do my work. Although only the one who has become One with God can serve and work for all, I allow you to work for me so that you are benefiting others, for by being instrumental in bringing others to me you are benefiting yourself.

"My work is your opportunity. But when you allow yourself to intervene between you and my work you are allowing the work to take you away from me. When you put my work before yourself the work will go right, although not necessarily smoothly. And when the work does not go right it means you have put yourself between it and its accomplishment.

"The Way of My Work is the way of effacement, which is the way of strength, not of weakness; and through it you become mature in my love. At this stage you cannot know what real love is, but through working for me as you should work for me, you will arrive at that ripeness where, in a moment, I can give you That for which you have been millions of years seeking."

The programme throughout the afternoon was similar to the previous one — groups singing bhajans and qawwalis, Baba listening intently, sometimes swaying or moving His fingers to keep time, sometimes explaining the words. Periodically He would stop the singing and call for the lines of lovers to come for His embrace.

At the end of the afternoon, as happened each day, Baba told all: 'When you go from here, take Me with you.'

I still recall the impact these words had for me, and doubtless for all there.


1999 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust
The East-West Gathering — My Story, Part: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7


 Sahavas | Anthology | Main Page Norway | AvatarMeherBaba USA | HeartMind | Search