Chapter 8: Winding Down Activities
After the move from Toka, Meredith Starr and Margaret and Esther Ross were accommodated at Akbar Press in Ahmednagar and would occasionally visit Baba at Meherabad. From Toka, Sadhu Christian Leik had been sent on pilgrimage to different places in India but subsequently returned to Meherabad.
At Meherabad, Baba assigned duties to each of the mandali. Baba, as usual, devoted most of his time to the boys. He would rise at 2:00 A.M. to supervise the boys who were ordered to meditate, making certain they were carrying out his instructions properly. At 5:00 A.M. Baba himself would help prepare tea for everyone and personally serve it along with chapatis. Later, he would inspect the construction work of the temporary structures and his crypt room and supervise the boys' school lessons. Occasionally, he would change the ashram timetable and give new specific instructions to the teachers, one of which was to teach only one subject in the school — English.
On the evening of Saturday, 8 December 1928, when Baba was on his usual rounds of inspection, he gave a candid explanation on divine intoxication and obedience to a Master's orders. Baba explained the difference between the two states with this metaphor:
A diamond or pearl is costly and valuable indeed, but they have absolutely no value in a desert when one is thirsty or hungry, and when a piece of bread or a pot of water would be more valuable than all the jewels in the world! In a similar way, intoxication with God is very good; it is indifferent and careless toward worldly affairs and relations as well as toward drinking, eating, or sleeping. It is due, of course, to the effects of the highest love for the Beloved.
But this intoxication, however invaluable or desirable, has no value before the Master's order. It is below his orders. His order is the highest and most supreme test. Strict observance of the Master's order, in spite of any type of intoxication, is the best. Otherwise, the breaking of orders due to intoxication has little or no importance whatsoever. As I have stated before, even in the highest state of intoxication, one's head should be on the feet of the Master. This is the meaning of the Persian couplet:
Kiss even the chair of the Beloved; then go on crying and wailing that you are burning from separation.