The New Life: The immeasurable gift of Baba’s physical contact to the saints, sadhus and mahatmas

Accompanied by Aloba, Baidul, Eruch, Gustadji, Murli, Pendu, Keki Desai, Keki Nalavala, and the servant-boy Satyapal, Baba left Manjri Mafi for Motichur on Friday, 3 March 1950, at 1:30 in the afternoon. (, p2889)

At one o’clock in the afternoon of the 9th, Baba with Eruch, Pendu, Baidul and Gustadji, took a bus to Rishikesh, where in the Himalayan foothills he contacted a number of saints, sadhus and mahatmas, and paid homage to those in the Kailash and Mangal Ashrams.  Baba would lay his head on their feet or, at times, touch their feet with his hands. Before the New Life began he would offer such obeisance privately, out of sight of the mandali, but in the New Life he did it in front of his companions. “I bow down to sadhus, saints and masts in the New Life,” he stated, “but it is quite different from the mast work I used to do before.”

On the first day of visiting ashrams, huts and caves, Baba made 91 contacts with different saints, sadhus and mahatmas. (LM, p2890)

On their way back to Rishikesh, they noticed a yogi traversing toward Laxman Jhula (bridge). In a most painfully slow manner, he was prostrating himself completely face-down on the ground after every step he took — it is known as sashtang namaskar. He was naked, and his body was covered with dirt and sweat. Baba offered him his obeisance, placing his head on the yogi’s feet.

Afterwards, Baba and the men returned to Motichur by bus at 6:30 that evening, and had their simple dinner of dal and rice or chapatis. At one point, Baba explained that he was “contacting each holy man only once, not twice, and with this one physical contact he would bestow such a gift unto them which they would not have gained after centuries of penance and austerities.” (LM, p2891)

At Balawala, the total number of contacts reached 10,000. When Pendu informed Baba of this, Baba expressed his satisfaction with his labors and said that he was highly gratified. (LM, p2901)

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