(March 23, 1957). . . Joyous singing and shouts of “Jai Avatar Meher Baba!” accompanied Baba’s car as it slowly made its way through the crowd toward Saint Mira High School. The car was decorated with garlands, and in the vanguard of the parade a band was playing. Vaswani received Baba at the door of the school and embraced him tightly. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he led Baba to a private room, where he sat with him for a while. Baba comforted him and was then carried in a chair to the school’s Sanctuary Hall, where he was seated on the dais. Vaswani sat on his right and Irene Conybeare was given a chair opposite them with some other people.
After recitations from the Bhagavad Gita and kirtan singing by the students, Vaswani, deeply moved, paid tribute to Baba in his welcome remarks over the microphone. The following is a part of his talk:
Sisters and brothers, children of the One Divine Mother! I speak in the presence of one whom his disciples in different parts regard as the Ancient One …
For thirty years and more, he who is in our midst today has borne witness to the truth that there is something better than speech. That is silence. It is, to my mind, the truth of Truths. He has spoken to the world through silence. His witness to the “Kingdom of Silence” went into my heart many years ago. In this age of noise, he has taught the truth: Be silent! . . .
I have been impressed, too, with another truth in the life of Beloved Baba. He is a lover of the simple life. He is simple, and therefore he rejoices in the company of the little ones. In his message … he said it did his heart good to come in contact with the little ones, the children of the Mira Schools.
There is a third thing too which I have noticed in regard to Meher Baba – the smile on his lips. A beautiful smile plays on his lips always. He has suffered as perhaps not many have. He has experienced pain as not many have. But there is always a beautiful smile playing on his lips.
His silence, his simplicity, and his smile – these are his three gifts to us. I bow down to him with love and humility in my heart.
On Baba’s behalf C. D. Deshmukh spoke eloquently for five minutes, emphasizing Baba’s Avatarhood and mission. The hall was full to capacity with Vaswani’s students and followers. Baba’s lovers had to stand outside by the gate.
The headmaster of the school, C. B. Advani, spoke a few words, and also the secretary, Sri Gangaram, after which Baba asked that this message from him be read out to the students:
The youth of today is the ruling force of tomorrow. All things have a small beginning; the seedling grows into a tree, the stream into a river and the child grows into a man to use or misuse the lessons he has absorbed in life as a youth. But even after he has grown into a man, he often remains a child in the spiritual sense of the word. The world is the kindergarten and school necessary for the spiritual lessons man must learn through countless lives of experiencing the opposites – such as pain and pleasure, joy and suffering, good and bad, wealth and poverty, et cetera.
All growth is gradual, and it is only through slow and gradual stages that man begins truly to grow up and discover his True Self and to relinquish the childish playthings of hate, greed and anger through selfless service and love. In the spiritual school also, there are many grades to be passed which few have the courage and determination to go through. Just as you need masters and instructors to guide you along the path of your studies, so there exist Perfect Masters who can guide you along the path of the spirit to the glorious destination of Godhood. Few have the good fortune to meet and follow such a spiritual Guide – when you do, you must earn his grace and be worthy of his love.
Do not balk at the discipline given by your parents and teachers. Discipline in small ways leads to the greater necessary discipline of self. Do not try to conquer others – conquer your self and you will have conquered the world. The simplest way to do this is to love God. Begin to love God by loving your fellow-beings. Begin to see God by seeing Him in all beings and things. Give without thought of return. Serve without thought of reward. God is everywhere, in everything. Most of all, He is right within yourself. You do not exist for the world – the world exists for you.
There is an amusing illustration of this in the story of the ant. An ant was trying to cross a stream on a leaf. Midstream the leaf, tossed by the wind, overturned and the ant cried: “Help, help, the world is drowning!”
A frog close by said: “What rubbish. The world is not drowning; you mean you are drowning.”
“Well,” said the ant, “once I drown the world might as well not exist for me. So for me it means not only that I am drowning but that the world is drowning too.”
In the same way, all existence is within you. God is to be found within yourself, and once you find Him you have found the only treasure worth finding. I give you my blessings that you love God and find Him.
After the welcoming ceremonies, Baba gave darshan and prasad to the women and students inside, and hundreds surged forward to take advantage of it. Goldney and Pukar locked hands to stem the tide of the crowd from overwhelming Baba with garlands and embraces.
Baba was then carried outside and sat on the veranda to give darshan and distribute prasad to his lovers and many others from Poona whose number now exceeded ten thousand. Elbows flew as some pressed forward. The situation became so serious that Baba’s safety was at stake. Physically, Baba was suffering terribly, but despite it, he had come to Poona to give darshan. The crowd continued to grow out of control and pandemonium eventually broke out.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 15, pp. 5157 – 5160.