Nationality : New Zealander
The following is from The Awakener ; Vol.21 No.1
The Circle And The Baptism
A Reminiscence by Hilda Thorpe
Sahavas — Myrtle Beach, 1958:
Baba told us that on the last day before He left the mandali would be busy packing so would not be able to come to the Center. So we could all have the day off, to go to the ocean or anything else. He, Baba, might come to the cabin at 9:00 a.m. and sit for an hour with the blinds down, or He might see a few, or none at all. On the other hand, Baba might go to the ocean, He was not bound; and we were all free to do as we liked.
So of course when the day Came we were all around the cabin, wondering what our Beloved Baba would do! Soon along comes Elizabeth Patterson's blue car and in it Baba, smiling and beautiful, and with Him the mandali! Then we were told that Baba wanted to come out and listen to a tape recording made by Harold Rudd on the life of Buddha. He came out of His cabin, got in His chair and was carried to the place where Harold had the recorder. The men put Him down — Baba looked around at us all, and then signaled to the men to lift Him again and signing to them which way He wanted to go. He made a large circle around us all. It was a most wonderful moment, a moment of tremendous implication, of inclusion, which one felt yet could not wholly grasp, and having made this large circle, Baba was put down at the original spot and the tape began.
After the tape was over Baba told us that He wanted now to go to the ocean. There was a great cry of joy. Only for five minutes, said Baba. We all rushed off either on foot or car to get there by the time Baba arrived, driven by Elizabeth. On arrival at the beach Baba was carried by the men almost shoulder high. He was smiling and very happy. On the beach was a large stretch of water in a hollow in the sand between us and the ocean. Baba signaled to the men to take Him to the ocean and they went at top speed. There was a terrific feeling of excitement, or urgency, as we realized that Baba was taking us to the ocean. and that we were all going "through the water" with Him first . . . It was tremendous . . . a real baptism. Many got shoes and trousers wet, as it was unexpected, as so often Baba's greatest treats to His children are. The men carried Him on at great speed and put Him down at the edge of the ocean, but no, Baba signed, 'up and on!' They took Him right into the foaming water, and put Him down again. But as Baba says 'up and on' again, and amidst hilarious joy He was taken further in and then He signed to be put down. And there He was, the Ocean of Love and Truth and ALL That IS, in the physical ocean almost up to His knees. The waters swirled around Him, caressing His legs as He rested there a moment gazing out to sea, — and who knows what work was done in that memorable timeless moment. We, who were privileged to be with Him at that time, would never in the real heart of us be the same again, however many times we lapse and fail, — something had been done for us. We had been strengthened with light in the inner man by the Master Himself.