Symbols of the world's religions


Part Twelve


Filis Frederick

Back in New York, on the job, was like going back into a prison. Everything seemed to have a hard, cutting edge. It was a downer, as the kids say today. Every day I followed Baba's trip West on the big sales map in my office. On Friday. I looked at Oklahoma and saw a small town, Prague, near Oklahoma City, and thought, "They must be near there now."

Then came the shocking news of the accident. The news was sketchy at first — and worst of all was not knowing how badly Baba and His party were injured. A few garbled lines appeared in The Daily News — every name spelled wrong. The Avatar wanted no publicity, obviously. But His "family" suffered with Him. Monday morning, I looked at the big map again. Prague was nowhere to be found! I called in the secretary to look for Prague. It was not on that map! Baba was being cared for in the Prague clinic, recently opened by Dr. Ned Burleson. He later sent me a very beautiful letter. But when one man in our group heard Baba ate meat in the hospital, and accepted the drug shot to set His broken arm and leg, he turned against Baba. He said no real Master eats meat or takes drugs — or presumably — has an accident. But the Avatar is different. He even gets Himself crucified. This man was the very one who had such a beautiful experience on meeting Baba that he had stayed a long time on our porch. I asked him what about that experience? He said, "It was the devil's fire." So much for idees fixes about Masters!

Kitty Davy has written extensively of this critical period in The Awakener Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 4, so I will not repeat it here.

All of the injured did make a good recovery and towards the end of July, we received the news that Baba would stop in New York on His way back to India. Even in His condition, He said He would give darshan for three days in New York. But a house had to be found for Him and about 18 in His party. This house had to be half an hour from New York, it had to have a garden overlooked by no one, and so on. Everyone at once started looking for it. The phone wires burned between New York and Myrtle Beach, but no house satisfied Baba.

Then I suddenly recalled an acquaintance in Scarsdale — Kate Ferris. She had heard of Baba and I had gone to see her just once. Her house was large and charming. Boldly, I called her, "Would you like to loan your house to Meher Baba for two weeks?"

"Of course," was her answer: and yes was Baba's answer, with a rider — I had to help get the house ready! I shook in every limb, because although my mother was the original "Good Housekeeping" expert — I was just the opposite. Plus I had a regular job in the city, and Scarsdale was half an hour out.

Of course everyone helped, but I had to hire a cook and a maid who could adapt to all the odd-hour needs of Baba and the mandali, some of whom were still ill. I had to acquire extra beds, linens, dishes, fans and what not. Somehow it was done — and there on July 15, we were waiting for Baba to arrive — Mrs. Ferris on the front porch with the key in her hand. She would not let me run to greet the car; "That's personal love," she said. But I slipped to the back, where Baba's car came in just as I expected. Just before it came, I felt this tender breeze of love through the heart ... like a wind foretelling Baba's presence.


THE AWAKENER MAGAZINE, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 16-17
1972 © Universal Spiritual League of America, Inc.


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