Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills


Lord Meher

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When Kitty and Chanji returned to the hotel (they had been to the Thomas Cook office) they found Baba in a disappointed mood and Margaret and Delia in tears. Baba shook his head disapprovingly and spelled out, "The East is east and the West is west! The East is ready to sit at my feet, but the West wants me to be at their feet!

"I wanted the West to work for me, but now I have to change my plans and not make use of any of you. I cannot expect the West to behave like the East. It is not your fault. Although you all love and adore me, you just cannot do it. I shall have to work in another way. I will do whatever I have to do, but all at once and in a quite different manner."

Baba concluded, "You may rest today, but be with me the whole time tomorrow." Baba's words had a great effect on them. Later, Baba consoled them; he made them laugh and smile again, but only after teaching them the valuable lesson of constant obedience. According to Margaret, those who had disobeyed Baba and gone for a swim, returned to the hotel later, bearing flowers for Baba, who did not utter a word of reproach.

At night, they went to watch the crowds and listen to a concert in St. Mark's Square. Baba remarked, "I was here 620 years ago."

He added sadly, "I am eternally crucified. When the burden is especially heavy, I sometimes let my disciples share it, giving to each as much as they can bear." His mood changed and they went to see the Charlie Chaplin movie The Gold Rush.

In Venice, Baba gave each of his lovers an Eastern name: Audrey — Shirin; Mabel — Phiroze; Delia — Leyla; Margaret — Zuleka; Herbert — Sudama; Minta — Shalimar; Kim — Ayisha; Quentin — Nared [Narad]; Kitty — Saroja; and Zilla — Mumtaz. Norina was later given the name Nurjehan; Elizabeth — Dilruba; Anita — Ch-chulee; Nonny — Kemali; Rano — Merano (a flower); Irene (Billo) — Padmini (lotus). For years afterward, Baba would address or refer to his close ones by these names; they, in turn, would sign their letters likewise.

On Saturday, 20 August 1932, Herbert left at 2:00 P.M. for the train station by gondola. Baba accompanied him and instructed him to go to Warsaw, Poland, to contact the agent identical in appearance to the old man seen in Santa Margherita.

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