JOURNEY OUT OF DARKNESSPart Sixteen
It almost seemed the Rileys, when they came to the house on Christmas morning at Phyllis' homecoming, were even more thrilled to see her than I, but most happy of all was little Leslie, who really had no idea where her mother had gone. It was a momentous occasion, this Christmas reunion.
Phyllis began to tell us her story of her great pilgrimage to the Avatar. "It was a real family darshan. You see, I arrived in Ahmednagar as Baba's brother Adi and his family arrived. Baba had invited them to come from England for His darshan over the Christmas holidays. The following morning we all were driven the few miles to Meherazad.
"Baba's brother, Adi Jr., was really something. It fascinated me to observe the distinct difference between the Avatar and his younger brother. One could easily say, Adi is a great man, but Baba is something else entirely. Baba greeted us all together. Two other women from Australia were there as well, one of whom, Cynthia Adams, was the daughter of two of Baba's close Australian lovers. The two young women were touring India together and had come to Ahmednagar to see Baba. Surprisingly, Baba was willing to see them too.
"Baba said, when he turned to me, 'As you know, I am planning to give darshan to my western lovers in December, nineteen sixty-five; and this is December, nineteen sixty-four. Nevertheless, I am very happy to see you."'
"Yes, that's exactly what Tom said Baba would say!" I said excitedly.
Eventually Phyllis went on telling more of her wondrous adventure. "I could see right away, Baba's little niece Shireen was very dear to Baba. He had her sitting on His lap for some while. Then she was restless to get down. She was allowed to draw pictures on the floor at Baba's feet as the darshan went on.
But I was especially fascinated to meet Baba's nephew, Dara. As you know, Dara has Retinitis Pigmentosa. His eyesight, I would say, is about the same as yours. I really think Baba wanted me to observe all this, and to be included in such an intimate family darshan.
"Seeing Dara was like seeing the way you must have been twenty years ago. He seemed quite shy and rather unsure of himself. Isn't it interesting that Baba would have this outcropping of Retinitis Pigmentosa right in His own family?"
"It is amazing," I agreed.
"Then Baba started seeing each person individually. We all waited outside in the yard around Mandali Hall. I enjoyed meeting Francis Brabazon from Australia, and talking to him about his book, Stay with God and lots of other matters. There was so much love I felt overwhelmed by it. It seemed to radiate right out of Mandali Hall where Baba was seated.
"Then, just outside of that Hall, Baba's brother Adi came over to me and asked rather sharply, 'What are you doing here, Phyllis?'
"Then I told him, 'I want to be an instrument in Baba's work.'"
"What did Adi say?" I asked.
"He looked at me awhile and said, 'You know, Phyllis, you're not as dumb as you look.'"
"He said that?" I asked with a grin.
"Yes, he did, and then from that point on, he and I were the best of friends. Adi's personality is very Western, you know. I guess that's why Baba has Adi living in England. He reminds me a little of Cary Grant. He's very different from Jal, but all of Baba's brothers are really great."
"Isn't this all so wonderful!" I said laughing. "It seems you were received right into the family of the Avatar!"
"That's right, we belong to His family in a very personal way, all of us."
1998 © Craig Zenner
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