Symbols of the world's religions


Part Eleven


Filis Frederick

Because I was so absorbed in this first contact with the Godman, I have little memory of what others did during this time, but one morning, Charmy Duce and her friend Sparkie brought Baba a brown baby rabbit and a jar of tiny tree frogs. Baba held the rabbit so lovingly in His arms! Afterwards, He held the jar of frogs up to His eyes. The frogs had been all in a heap at the bottom; now they all scrambled up the glass on the side facing Baba. I think they made a frog-jump in evolution that day. And maybe the bunny is a little baby somewhere, because Baba said an animal touched by Him may be born as a human next time around.

I have a picture of myself dressed in a sari, hugging this bunny, so this must have been the day the Eastern women loaned us saris and we dressed in them and Charmy took our picture. She took many charming pictures during this week; while she was fiddling with her slide camera, I too, took a few "shots" with a Brownie reflex. Baba even posed — for me alone! in His brimmed hat and red scarf, that He wore on the walks on the beach. What was He "thinking" as He looked at me? Does the Avatar "think" at all in our sense? I studied this picture over and over for a clue to what Baba "felt" about "Filis."

And then, we offered Baba our camera, to take on the trip. We said Mani would love to take pictures of the trip. Her eyes sparkled. But Baba asked us gravely, "Won't you really miss it? Isn't it expensive?" (No, Baba.) Then He said, All right." somehow reluctantly. The camera, not too many days after, was the only object destroyed in the accident.

Mentioning Francis brings back his story — He had come from Australia the year before and worked as a doorman in New York for Fred Winterfeldt — not a very good doorman, he was often in the boiler room instead writing poems. When Francis met Baba in Myrtle Beach, in May, Baba sent him right back to New York, to take the next boat back to Australia. He obeyed and caught the last boat to Australia for many months. But I recall that sad look he gave me as I described my whole week with Baba. Yet undoubtedly his obedience to Baba then, hard as it was, brought him the grace of being with Baba so many years in India later on. Again — "Obedience is greater than love."

So many people coming down on the "Open Day" had such a terrible time getting there. Buses were late, train connections terrible; in those days one had to arrive in Florence, S.C. and drive to Myrtle Beach two hours away. And some never made it at all. Some stayed home to care for a sick relative or whatever emergency. I felt so sad they missed God.

The day after the open day, the rains descended in earnest. It was stormy and wild. Baba's mood completely changed. His eyes looked flashing, strange. I was standing near Elizabeth's cabin when He signaled me to get her to come to the door. He "said" on His board, "Do you have your insurance papers?"

"They are in my trunk in Youpon Dunes."

"I want you to get them and carry them with you." Elizabeth had been an insurance saleswoman and had several policies. Because she had them with her, after the accident, everything was much easier.

Continuously this Sunday morning, Baba called for Margaret Craske and "scolded" her about her dancers. A group of them including Tex Hightower, had hired a plane to fly them to Myrtle Beach. They had a dreadful scary time getting to the Center from Minneapolis. Margaret said Baba often "scolds" someone when they are in danger, thus attracting the negative karma to Himself and saving them. At last they made it — late in the day and saw Baba for the first time.

Speaking of rain — again, at the end of the "Open Day" — when Baba drove up to the Guest House, as He got out of the car, and His foot touched the ground, a tremendous bolt of lightning went into the Long Lake, and the rains descended. Mehera said later she had never seen such a bolt of lightning. It was as if He had held off the storm until He was through His work, then "pressed the button" to let the rains descend. It was just a tiny glimpse of His awesome power over Nature. Mostly, during that week, Baba was like a father, a playmate, a lover, a friend to us all: He didn't let us glimpse any of His great power and knowledge. He gave us only tiny hints — like knowing our most secret thought or wish.

Kitty said Baba was like He was in the old days — like Krishna to His gopis — and she had not seen Him like that for many years. It was hard to realize that the harsh days of the New Life were just behind Him. And of course, we had forgotten His warning of "the great personal disaster" facing Him.

A goodbye embrace from Baba, Sunday, May 18. I didn't start to cry until I was standing in the bus station in Myrtle Beach, then it hit me. The first separation from Baba is as painful as the first meeting is joyous! You feel like Adam and Eve leaving Paradise. But just then, the jukebox began to play "Begin the Beguine," Baba's favorite song.


THE AWAKENER MAGAZINE, Vol. 14, No. 2, ed Filis Frederick
1972 © Universal Spiritual League of America, Inc.


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