Chapter 39: No Drugs
Baba's seclusion continued after his return from Poona, and he did not leave Meherazad. Previously, Baba would visit Meherabad on occasion, but since Gulmai's death in August 1962, he had stopped going there. If need be, he would send for either Padri or Don from Meherabad. Likewise, he would occasionally call Mansari or Kaikobad's and Bhau's families to Meherazad.
Baba would come to mandali hall twice a day — from 8:30 to 11:00 A.M. and from 1:00 or 1:30 to 3:00 P.M. This routine went on practically until the end. In the hall, letters and telegrams were read aloud to Baba, and he would pass some time in playing cards with the men. Francis had much fun and interest in these games, and if his hand proved poor, he would exclaim, "Nothing doing!"
For the 39th anniversary of his silence, Baba dictated this message (on 27 June 1964):
No message about Love and Truth can draw the seeker even nearer to the real experience of them; but the breaking of my silence will shatter the seeker's hard crust of ignorance and reveal to him their true meaning.
Continuing about his silence one day, Baba said: "Hear me while I am silent, for when I break my silence, there will be nothing left for you to hear!"
All connected with Baba were to observe silence from midnight of 9 July to midnight of 10 July 1964. Those who for some reason could not maintain silence were to fast without water for twelve hours, from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. throughout the day of the 10th.
In Calcutta A. C. S. Chari had a difficult time that Silence Day. It was a day "full of remorse," as, in silence, he reviewed his past mistakes and misdeeds. He felt so contrite that he could not contain himself, and in the evening he sent this telegram to Baba:
Reviewing all past events of my life, I feel bitter remorse and feel that I was unworthy of being thy lover, disciple and worker. I pray for complete forgiveness and for thy love and grace to make me worthy of your love and perennial grace in all ways.
Chari received this reply:
Baba wants me to inform you that he has forgiven you and that you should not worry about your drawbacks or weaknesses, but pay all attention to curb them and to rise above them with the prop of his remembrance and his name. Baba wants me to mention here that you are one of his jewels in his cause, and as such, the jewel can never get tarnished even though its lustre may apparently get dimmed by extraneous matter — dust or dirt! Once the jewel is polished it shines and remains to shine bright.
On Sunday morning, 12 July, Kaikobad was brought back to Meherazad by Waman in Adi's car. Noshir "Sam" Irani had also returned and was staying at Meherazad. Rama, Mehernath and Sheela were called to Meherazad at 2:00 P.M. on the 14th. Piroja was granted darshan two days later, and the Khilnanis on the 19th. Rama's father, Pratap Singh Parmar, had arrived in Ahmednagar, and went to Meherazad with Rama and the children at 1:00 P.M. on the 23rd.
Don's brother was seriously ill with cancer in London. He informed Baba of this on 24 July 1964 at Meherazad, and Baba gave him permission to travel to England if need be.
Meanwhile, John Haynes was working during his summer holidays for a congressman in Washington, D.C. He had become friends with President Lyndon Johnson's daughter, Lucy, whom he told about Baba, and he would regularly visit the White House in the afternoon to do some work there. Baba cabled him: "Baba is so happy to hear of the work Baba has for John in the White House and the opportunity John gets to distribute Baba's literature among high-ranking officials."