Symbols of the world's religions



Bill Le Page

Gadekar was one of the mandali who accompanied Baba on His tours through India in the early 1950's. During these tours, Baba agreed to visit a great number of homes of close Baba lovers in the various towns. At each home, Baba had Gadekar sing His arti.

Baba too would occasionally ask Gadekar to sing His arti at other times. On the last day of the Marathi Sahavas of November 1955, Baba led the whole group out of Mandali Hall to see the masts Ali Shah and Mohammed in the Family Quarters near Arangaon. The majority of the men followed Baba bare-foot across the fields, and as a result suffered thorns in their feet.

On route Baba sat beneath a tree and called on Gadekar to sing His Marathi arti. Gadekar was one who was barefoot, and with thorns piercing his feet, he had difficulty standing and at the same time singing. But he did so, and then Baba asked him to sing His Gujarati arti. Baba seemed to enjoy Gadekar's and the other's discomfort even more with the second arti. These thorns became love's thorns of remembrance on the day of the departure from their Lord.

The next day in Mandali Hall, Baba found Gadekar still there with a few others. After noting that they were all leaving soon, Baba asked Gadekar, 'While doing My arti yesterday, were you thinking of the arti or the thorns in your feet?'

'Of the arti' he said.

Joining His hands, Baba offered His namaskar to Gadekar.

Taking advantage of Baba's mood, Gadekar asked, 'I am now fifty-one years old, and there are four years left before I retire with pension. I would like to resign at once, and stay with You.'

Baba replied, 'Up to the 15th of February, 1957, just obey Me; thereafter, I will call you to stay with Me for all time.' And so it worked out, and Gadekar did come to Baba after four years 'for all time'.


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