More letters from India 18
by Premananda

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March 16, 1990

Dear A.,

I can’t believe the time is going by so quickly here. Each week I enter a bit deeper into everything. Come time to leave, I am not going to want to go, despite the hardships here, like the UNBELIEVABLE amount of mosquitoes this year. The love for these people here and the vibrations of God and guru at this ultra-strange and mysterious place have a strong hold. Who can understand the shakti that is here? I am having many various adventures in the realms of spirit and matter. Writing is not going so well, but other things are happening instead. Yesterday, finally, I got to sit down with Mr. Muncie and Rabi to start the long work of transcribing from the 24 cassettes that are here! These are the copies of the reel-to-reel tapes from 1976. At last! After 15 years, it is started. I had been complaining to Mr. Muncie one day that I had been trying to get the Indian devotees interested in doing this work for years, but no one cared. I was showing him the synopses printouts of the other cassettes which I had summarized. Reading these out loud, suddenly he was overcome by emotion and guru bhakti and started weeping. He is a 60+ year-old retired railway ticket-taker and beloved disciple of Baba. He said, "I will help you. This must be done. We will all die, but we must leave something for the next generation." I also started to cry and threw my arms around him and told him I loved him for this love that was in his heart. He is a fiery guy with a great sense of humor and joking, and I guess he worked to light a fire under Rabi, whose attitude was, "Out of all of Rik’s disciples, only one, Sri M., wrote the Kathamrita. One man’s work is not for all…etc." Thus, letting him off the hook. (Sometimes the Indian mind drives me up the wall.) Anyway, yesterday we started the first tape, and it went very well with the three of us working together, checking each other’s hearing, etc. I am having to work hard to impress them to be accurate, write down EVERYTHING (can always be edited), mark inaudible places as such, include necessary comments, stick to our given format, etc. Much of what we did so far (10 pages) is in Hindi. Ten page (handwritten, one side) was about to 1/3 of one side of cassette. By getting them to get INTO it, I think they will start to LIKE it, as their minds get happy and inspired hearing Baba’s voice, and we are all laughing at his jokes and behavior, remembering how amazing he was. Joya Ma was radiant watching us get started on this. We all know it will take some YEARS but it is started, and I want to get to the point when I leave that they will be able to continue on in the absence of my prodding. It is mainly showing them a system and getting them to think ahead and to be accurate. I don’t know why accuracy is so hard for the Indians. Anyway, this is a great step forward. Now, we will need that multi-language program with Hindi and Bengali.

Another start has been made, which is taping some of their own recollections. I have one little tape so far. I want to get Buri Ma’s story because I don’t think she will be here next time I come. So far Mr. Muncie, Jaya Dev, and Sunil told some anecdotes. The important thing to me is this is STARTED, and they are all beginning to see the need to leave something behind, I guess, because everyone’s mortality is advancing. Also, I think they finally realize the efficacy of the tape machine in this regard. I will get what I can. I am staying in Baba’s room now and the inner flow is unpredictable and intense. Next time I really want to come for six months. The weather has been merciful so far.