More letters from India 9
by Premananda

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February 18, 1974

Dear Mom and Dad,

How are you? I enjoy getting your letters very much. The summer is creeping in here and each day is hotter than the last. It is dry heat, though, maybe 75 - 85 in the day. Still cool at night.

The amazing events with Baba continue to unfold. I, myself, find many of the things about him incredible. The type of thing that happened with my mouth sore is going on all the time. Devotees come with toothaches, headaches, hemorrhoids—and if they are particularly dear to Baba, he takes it all on. The people get relief and Baba suffers. At the Annokoot Festival, some people gave sweets as a symbol of gratitude for Baba’s saving their children or infants from some malady. When they went for help, they had promised, if the child was saved, to give sweets equal to the weight of the child. So on this one festival day, they had a big scale set up and balanced each child and baby with sweets which were then distributed to the big crowd. I came to Baba’s ashram on the 13th to stay for a while. A festival of Siva is on the 20th, and then Baba and I will go to Jiten’s again. I’m still hoping I can travel with him to Madras area if he goes. Since I don’t know how long that might take, I plan to apply for the allowable one month visa extension—otherwise, it might get tight. The ashram here is incredibly peaceful—just a small temple with Baba’s room and kitchen attached.

Very humble and unassuming. Baba has been here over 40 years, maybe 50. It is almost as if he is "hidden" from the world, and since it is generally quite inconvenient to get here, it is only the most sincere seekers who keep coming. How different from most of the so-called gurus! He has an absolute distaste for any kind of fame, money, etc. There is no ego there. Only love. People come and come with all their troubles, and he finds some way to help them. Even just now, one man is telling him some sad story and weeping. Baba seems to absorb it all. He had been "teaching" me yoga these few days. Sometimes there is a person who can translate, other times not, but his teaching is simple and words are dispensable. It seems to be the very magnetic force of his being which helps, and with the help of this force, I have been having increasingly deeper and more peaceful meditation. He tells that our minds are bewildered by the veil of illusions called "maya" which is the whole physical universe. To get free of the illusion and come into the reality which is God, or consciousness or pure light, or pure love, the ego, the "me" the "I" must be silenced by meditation, by chanting a mantra, by selfless work, etc. Then the veil will disappear and the underlying invisible all-pervading reality will reveal itself—since it is already there, just covered by our endless thoughts. I could feel all these things as true when he sat and meditated. But it is hard work—the work to end all work, and will take time. The guru can only show the way and help to guide, but one must actually take the journey for oneself. Anyhow, I am trying to write my different impressions of all this to make a book someday. It is difficult since Baba is very indescribable—sometimes playing like a child, sometimes worried about things as if he were—a small boy, sometimes joking, sometimes sitting in his temple crying with love for that unseen Mother of the Universe which he has known. It has all made me somewhat breathless with wonder, but there is no doubt that he is genuine and has found what I have been seeking. His blessing will go with me the rest of my life. Seeing him shining with love. one can truly feel yes, there is a treasure to be discovered somewhere behind all the madness of this world. So I shall probably soak up the opportunity of staying with him as much as possible with the hope that despite the language barrier something will get transmitted, and perhaps, something will rub off on this one, to be shared, if possible, with those I love. Well, more later. To those who can risk everything, everything can come---

My love to all,