Before leaving New York on December 5th, (1931) Baba wished to be driven around Wall Street, New York’s financial district. It was a Saturday and the streets were virtually deserted. In the car, Jean Adriel was thinking to herself: “How ephemeral and unreal is this money madness!”
The next moment, pointing to the skyscrapers, Baba smiled at her and gestured, “It is all a bubble, so easy to prick!”
On his last day in the city, Elizabeth Patterson and Nadine Tolstoy came together to say goodbye to Baba. Both ladies were overcome by his love and remained his disciples thereafter.
MEHER BABA had personally contacted more than three hundred and fifty people during his month’s stay in America. Malcolm Schloss summed up the hectic period spent in Harmon:(1)
Baba, whom we expected would spend most of his time in cloistered contemplation, had proved a veritable dynamo of intense activity. Instead of seeing a few people each day as we had been led to anticipate, he was granting interviews from early morning until late at night. Visitors from all over the United States and Canada poured through the house. Letters, telegrams and telephone calls sped to and from all parts of the world.
Our hospitality was constantly being augmented – more housing for additional guests who arrived from distant places and needed shelter – more and more food for those who gladly accepted the invitation always extended to every visitor to stay for lunch or dinner. Meals were for twenty, twenty-five, thirty people, prepared on a wood stove that sometimes worked and sometimes balked.
He was silent, but not even a cyclone could have been more active or, in a way, more devastating. Men and women came out of Baba’s room after their five or ten minute interviews with this Speechless Being from India so exalted that they wanted nothing for the moment but to be left alone to absorb their experiences.
Malcolm Schloss later wrote:
From the moment Shri Meher Baba set foot in the house at Harmon, there continuously flowed from him a love which can only be called divine, which spread through us and everyone he contacted like a beautiful contagion. We who lived with him began to understand as we had never understood before what the love-feasts of the early Christians must have been like. Time and again we were reminded through the incidents of our lives of the relationship between Jesus and his apostles, between Krishna and the gopis, and of various events in the Mahabharata, all of which seemed re-enacted in a modern setting.
A deeper love than we had ever known was kindled in our hearts. A greater bliss than we had ever experienced dissolved the limitations of the personal self and led us out unto universal consciousness. Our habits of thought and emotion and action which we had struggled to eliminate for years disappeared without effort overnight. We became aware through the circumstances arising in our daily lives of both our greatest strengths and our greatest weaknesses; and in some strange way, we were given the power to use the strengths to overcome the weaknesses. In Meher Baba himself, we witnessed constantly the manifestation of perfection in every area of life.
Here, again incarnate, we began to realize, was a being such as Jesus, such as Krishna, whose very presence overwhelmed the soul with a love beyond our comprehension and grasp, whose coming unto the world at present was again as it was in the time of Jesus and of Krishna for the purpose of ushering in a new consciousness, and through that consciousness would manifest a new order of being.
(1) The Harmon retreat, which Malcolm was then conducting under Baba’s direction, was one of a series of five spiritual retreats Baba intended to establish in America.
Lord Meher, Original ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 4, pp. 1498 – 1499.