719THE SILENCE BEGINS1926
After a long discussion, the mandali made it clear to Baba that they wanted to stay in Meherabad, so for the time being the question of leaving was dropped.
Baba later remarked about Meherabad, "This place is the most important one. It is the best place to be for those on the spiritual path. Despite visiting places for my work, it is always best to return here."
At tea time, Baba discoursed on fear:
Do not be afraid of anything or anyone, and always do the right thing if your conscience accepts it. Do not be at all afraid of God, for if you are afraid of God, how will you be able to love him? Do not be afraid of your Self, because the Self is never independent of you. You are your Self [Parameshwar], and hence there is no use fearing it.
But be afraid of the world and its personification, maya. The material world is dependent upon desires — desires of anger, lust and greed. Fear these, and keep yourself aloof from them as much as possible. Do not fear anything else.
Do people actually fear God? No. They fear the threat of hell where God will put them if their actions are not right. In the same way, do the boys fear Arjun or his cane? The cane, of course, not Arjun himself, for he actually plays with them at times and they willingly play with him.
Two days later, Baba instructed the mandali to remove everything from the Makan quarters by 10:00 A.M. and put it all in the sun to get rid of bedbugs and other pests. Pandoba then disinfected the building. Their belongings remained lying outside all day, and the area resembled a novel bazaar. At three in the afternoon, they moved everything back inside the Makan.
In the course of a discussion among the mandali on Thursday, 7 October, someone asked Baba, "Why did God create all this?"
"He did not create it." Baba replied. "It started automatically! First there was God and nothing else. In God was everything — Experience, Knowledge, Power and Existence. But He had no consciousness that He was God. All this bother and headache you see around you is to gain that consciousness!"
In the afternoon a small group of energetic and enthusiastic Swaraj (Indian independence) Party workers arrived, including Shivram Paranjape, a celebrated journalist and freedom fighter.