Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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1444THE WEST LEARNS TO SING1932

Nearly all the staff on board ship were Japanese. As the ship steamed out of Honolulu harbor, a jazz band played, and native Hawaiian women sang and danced. People were waving handkerchiefs and throwing flowers. Little did they know that the Emperor of Creation was on board the Empress of Japan!

Settled in his cabin, Baba asked for Kimco's letters to be read again and again. Tears came to his eyes again as he listened to their heartfelt words of love describing the agony they underwent in their separation from him.

Upon Quentin's return to California a week later, the following account was published in the newspapers on 14 July 1932. The Associated Press headline read:

Silent Hindu Defers Radio Talk

Shri Meher Baba, who came here recently heralded as the East Indian "holy man," and who supposedly has not uttered a word for seven years, will not deliver his "message to the world" tomorrow over a national broadcast from Hollywood. Quentin Tod, the mystic's secretary, telegraphed from Santa Barbara that Baba had decided to postpone the word-fast breaking until next February because "conditions are not yet ripe."

Meanwhile Baba had anticipated such a response from the press and sent his lovers a message not to worry over adverse publicity: "The whole world will know and welcome me as Jesus returned once I speak."

Until then, however, many persons took Baba's decision badly. As Gavin Arthur later recounted: "Baba just took off [without breaking his silence] and went to Hawaii and then to Hong Kong and finally to India. A lot of people thought it was an outrageous break of promise, and he lost a great deal of his following by doing that."

On Sunday, 19 June 1932, the ship landed at 6:00 A.M. in Yokohama. Baba got off with the mandali, and they refreshed themselves. At ten o'clock they went for a tour of Japan's second largest city. After an hour's taxi drive, they had a snack and walked through the crowded streets. They returned to the ship at noon and set sail at two o'clock.

They landed at 8:00 A.M. the following day in Kobe, Japan, where Baba and the mandali again got off and strolled throughout the city. They returned to their ship at 1:00 P.M. and sailed two hours later.

Shanghai, China was reached two days later at 2:30 P.M. on 22 June 1932, where they were met by Herbert and Jalbhai. Dressed in a stylish suit and Panama hat, Baba disembarked and was driven a few miles to the Palace Hotel which overlooked the Huangpu River.

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