Meher Baba's Last Mass Darshan, Part 4
THREE INCREDIBLE WEEKS WITH MEHER BABA
Malcolm Schloss & Charles Purdom
Tuesday, September 14, 1954
After our day of rest yesterday, Baba arrived early in the morning of the 14th. The first thing He did was to embrace each of us in turn, after which He said that He would embrace us only today,otherwise His heart could not stand it. He then led us into the refectory and asked us to introduce ourselves, as there were some among us whom He was meeting outwardly for the first time. The group included Will Backett, Charles Purdom, and Fred Marks from England; Max Haefliger from Switzerland; Philippe DuPuis from France; Francis Brabazon, Bill LePage and John Ballantyne from Australia; Malcolm Schloss, John Bass, Darwin Shaw, Fred Winterfeldt, Frank Eaton, Lud Dimpfl, Joseph Harb, Fred Frey, Frank Hendricks, and Dana Field from America. After the introductions, He embraced us each again. Then He took up His alphabet board, which Eruch Jessawalla read for Him.
"Today I have three points that I wish to convey to you. The first is that I want you to be completely natural and absolutely frank. If the food does not agree with you, say so. If there is anything you don't like, say so. If your health is not good, say so. Sarosh and Viloo are in charge here. Tell them. If they can possibly change it, they will do so. If they can't change it, they will say 'yes' and that will be that.
"Don* is in charge of your health. If you have any difficulty of any kind, tell him. You must take care to keep yourself in good health, because the meetings on the 29th and 30th will be very important, and you must be in good shape to absorb everything that will be given.
"The second point is this: while you are here, from now until you leave, I want you to forget everything about Europe, America, and Australia, and think only of Baba and what you are experiencing here. If you only had a glimpse of what I really am, you would forget yourself completely and be conscious only of God. So, while you are here, try to forget Europe, America, and Australia, and be conscious only of what you experience here.
"The third point is this: these meetings on the 29th and 30th are very important. They will be the last meetings I will hold before I give up the body. There will be about a thousand present, from all over India and Pakistan all workers for Baba. Everything I say will be spontaneous, and someone should take down every word, because there will be no prepared text, and it will be vitally important. I will tell you why I am here, what I have done, what I shall still do, and what will happen in seven hundred years. After all, you have all come a great distance to attend these meetings, and I want you to receive as much as you possibly can from them. Then, when they are over, I want you to go home as quickly and directly as possible, so that you can carry with you, still fresh, what you have received."
Baba then told us to get our sun-hats and come with Him. First He led us to the tomb, which He had built for Himself, which is located on the side of the hut in which He spent twelve months in seclusion years ago, taking only coffee twice daily. Later He told us how, twice daily, a thermos bottle full of coffee had been ordered sent to Him from the ashram below. It was brought by a young boy, but each day, when the bottle arrived it was only half full. So Baba sent word for them to send Him a full bottle. Still, every day only half a bottle arrived. Finally, when the seclusion had ended, Baba sent for the woman in charge of the arrangements and asked her why she had sent Him only a half-bottle instead of a full one. She protested that she had always sent a full one. Baba then sent for the boy, who confessed that every day, half-way up the hill, he had grown tired, and had drunk half the coffee. Fortunately, Baba had not required even the half that was sent to Him. In fact, He was so strong, when He came out of seclusion, that 15 men of the Mandali, lined up one in back of another, could not push Baba one inch.
The inside of the tomb has been decorated with lovely murals by Helen Dahm of Switzerland. Then Baba led us outside and showed us the tombs of His mother and father, of Nonny Gayley, and of Nadia Tolstoy, stopping on the way to show us another room where He had shut Himself up many years ago for months, not seeing anyone, and only communicating with one of the Mandali through a small slit in the wall.
From here He led us down the hill at a brisk pace to the men's ashram, stopping once to ask Will Backett if He was walking too fast for him, and resuming at a slower pace even though Will replied in the negative. At the foot of the hill on the road into town, a bus full of natives had seen Baba descending the hill, and had stopped to pay their respects to Him; and other Hindus, men and women, from nearby, had also congregated to greet Him. As we entered the grounds of the ashram, a private bus drove up and fourteen of Upasni's women disciples from Sakori descended, and all of us entered the ashram, where the women prostrated themselves in turn before Baba, taking the dust of His feet. One of them was Godavri Mai, who, Baba said, was Upasni Maharaj's favorite disciple, and was now in charge of Upasni's ashram in Sakori, where thirty of Upasni's women disciples were now living. Second in command at Sakori was a gracious, elderly gray-haired woman, who was nicknamed "Jiji."
Baba, through Eruch, spoke to us and to them. One of the most important things He said was, "I am the One Reality."
Next Baba led us out to the little wooden hut, on legs, so small that one could not stand up straight inside of it, where He spent a number of months in seclusion in 1925, writing the account of His spiritual experience, which no one so far has seen. Adi said that this was not God Speaks, but a separate manuscript, which is now in a vault in a bank in Bombay.
Alongside this is Baba's Dhuni, or sacred fire. Vishnu, one of Baba's Mandali told us of the drought in 1927, which was so severe that in desperation the villagers came to Baba imploring Him to send them rain; whereupon Baba lit the Dhuni, and by the time the villagers had returned to their village, which was close by, it was raining.
"They call it a miracle," said Baba, "but it was only a coincidence. I will perform only one miracle when I speak the One Word The Divine Word. That will really be a miracle."
Then He led us to another hut nearby, which we were told was the first into which He had retired in seclusion.
From here He led us back up the hill to our present quarters, motioning the women to take it in leisurely fashion. He stopped once on the way up and gathered the Western group about Him under a tree, throwing stones in oblique directions, which we were supposed to catch. As we continued up the hill, He bent down several times to pick up stones which He threw into the fields. On our arrival at the retreat, He took the women up the steps to see our quarters, then led them into the tomb, and to the room where He had rested in seclusion, after which He sent them back, advising them that He would come with us one day soon to Sakori.
Then He led the Western group into the lounge underneath our dormitory and told us, through Adi, that in the early days there was no door leading into this room there was only the window which is now above the door and that He used to let Himself in through the window, close it after Him, and stay there in seclusion for periods of time.
Then Baba moved over to the divan and began conversing with us, through the alphabet board of course, with Eruch and Adi translating. He stressed again the idea of our being perfectly natural and frank with Him.
"I am your Master," He said, "but I am also your friend. I am one of you and one with you."
Then He said that He would come to see us everyday between now and the 27th, unless the rains made the roads impassable, or unless He caught cold "from one of you," He added jocularly. He would explain many things, He said, about the Spiritual Path, and Realization, and about His work, and what we could do to help Him in it, and He said that everything should be taken down, and then Purdom and Malcolm will get it into shape for publication. The rest could play, in the afternoon and evening, but Purdom and Malcolm would have to work. However, everyone was to be present every day between 9 and 12:30 while He was with us, so that each would receive as much as possible of what He had to give.
Then He said that Realization came, not through the intellect, but through the heart; from loving God and seeing God in and through everything. He spoke of the three kinds of conviction that both the Sufis and the Vedantists define. The first is intellectual conviction, which is arrived at through reason and logic, as a result of which one is convinced that God is. The second is conviction by sight and when one gets this, one sees God everywhere in everything, as clearly as one would see external objects, but with the inner eye. One is then free from all doubts, and experiences bliss. But the real conviction, He continued, is when one becomes God. Then one knows that only God exists, and that one and all are God. It is only when one gets this conviction that one really knows Baba.
"I am one with you on every level, but you know this only when the ego and intellect do not interfere. Then Baba appears as He is.
"I am what I am, whether the world bows down to Me, or whether it turns against Me; it does not matter. It is no one's fault.
"To know Baba is not a matter of eating Indian sweets. One has to die to oneself to know Me. It is not just a joke this Love."
"Be happy, and forget everything except what you experience here. The meeting on the 29th and 30th will be unique, and it will be lasting in its effect. Until then, don't worry about anything; be cheerful, be honest, and look after your health. Then after the meeting is over I want you to go back directly to your destination and to take back intact the atmosphere of the meeting."
*Dr. William Donkin RETURN