3560THREE INCREDIBLE WEEKS1954
Gadge Maharaj placed Baba's hand on his head, begging, "The strain of the work is too much now. Relieve me. This will be the greatest reward."
"I will call you to me very soon," Baba promised.
Gadge Maharaj invited Baba to Pandharpur, and Baba accepted his invitation. Baba embraced Gadge Maharaj most lovingly, a truly touching sight, and Gadge Maharaj then departed. Baba remarked, "He is a real saint. Although he has a following of lakhs [several hundred thousand people], see how humble he is! This humility is his greatness. That is why he is a saint. Through the knowledge of his sainthood, he knows who I am."
On Tuesday, 14 September 1954, Baba went to Upper Meherabad early in the morning to meet the Western men. He took each in his love-embrace and stated, "Today, I am giving you my embrace, but do not expect it every day. Else my chest will burst! My heart would not [be able to] stand it!"
Joseph Hamad Harb, 60, originally from Lebanon, had met Baba in America two years before. Here, he vividly describes what it was like to be embraced by the God-Man:
I cannot and I shall not ever forget the first time [Baba] embraced me within his loving arms. It was a most unforgettable feeling — so comforting, so peaceful, so delightful, and my gratitude for this supreme privilege was of such indescribable feeling that the tears welled up and overflowed with joy and happiness. I loved him and didn't want to take my arms away from him. I wanted more and more of his embracing.
Baba gestured to Max Haefliger, "Max, I am strong, feel my biceps!" and Max did so.
The group sat down under the tin shed, and each of those who were new were introduced to Baba. Darwin Shaw was wearing sunglasses, and Baba told him to take them off. He embraced each man again, and then from his alphabet board began "speaking," which Eruch read that day. Baba stated:
Today, I have three points that I wish to convey to you. The first is that I want you to be completely natural and absolutely frank. If the food does not agree with you, say so. If there is anything you do not like, say so. If your health is not good, say so. Sarosh and Viloo are in charge here. Tell them. If they can possibly change it, they will do so. If they cannot change it, they will say "yes," and that will be that.