Of the many stories which might be told of his influence upon those who have not met him outwardly, few better illustrate the potency of his appeal than the experience of a violinist in one of America's most outstanding symphony orchestras.
A friend, Frederick, who himself had been deeply stirred by inner contact with Baba, was sitting on the beach at Carmel, California, one brilliant afternoon, at sundown. Though profoundly moved by the glory of the sunset and wishing only to merge in its beauty, he felt strongly impelled to speak to a man who sat near him on the sand.
As they talked, Frederick discovered that the man was under a severe mental and emotional strain, the exact nature of which he did not disclose. Perhaps, thought Frederick, a booklet which be carried in his pocket Silent Revelations of Meher Baba would meet the man's need. Though reluctant to relinquish it, he offered it to him as they parted.
They were to meet the next afternoon at the same place but when the hour arrived the man was nowhere to be seen. Nor was he at the Carmel address which he had left with Frederick. My friend was puzzled and determined to look him up in Los Angeles when he returned there the following week.
By happy coincidence the orchestra, in which the man was a violinist was giving a performance the same evening that Frederick arrived in town. Purchasing two tickets he and a friend found their way into front balcony seats. During a particular number the concert-master arose to play a solo part. It was the man from Carmel and he played as one aflame with inspiration.
The house burst into a torrent of applause as the man finished. Frederick wondered at the change from the desperately crushed individual who had talked with him at the seaside to this dynamic, creative artist.
When, two days later, they had dinner together, the man told him this story: Though by virtue of his skill and artistry he had earned for himself the place of first violinist in this great orchestra, it had been some years since the conductor had commended him, as he did others, for any of his performances.
The man knew that some vital spark was missing and he was at a loss to know how he could generate it. He had been brooding over it for months, until that day on the beach at Carmel he had come to the breaking point. Suicide was the only way out for him, he had decided.
But that evening after his encounter with Frederick, be opened Baba's little book with the photograph of the Master on the frontispiece. In a flash a current of light seemed to penetrate his innermost being. He was instantly healed of his desperate resolution and the next morning returned to the city to resume practice with the orchestra.
The solo part which had been assigned to him and which had precipitated the crisis he now knew that somehow he would perform creditably.
Little did he realize, however, that God would take over and play through him. He states that he was aware continually of the sustaining power of the Master during the practice days which followed; and when he arose to play his solo at the concert, he could see nothing but Baba's luminous face before his eyes.
His whole being seemed illumined by the Master's consciousness. A well-spring of emotion and power, such as he had never before experienced, was released in him and poured out through his sensitive fingers and through his equally sensitive Stradivarius in such richness of tone and depth of feeling that it penetrated to the heart of every one of his listeners, judging from their tremendous, spontaneous ovation.
After the concert the conductor looked at him in puzzled wonderment as he heartily commended him for his superlative performance. But the man was still looking into Baba's eyes; feeling the embrace of his presence.
He needed now no other assurance.
AVATAR, pp. 281-283
1947 © Jean Adriel