Introduction to the 2nd installment of The Combined Diary
At the end of the first installment, Baba and his party had traveled by train as far as Metropalayum (which Baba referred to as “Petroleum”). The next four folios (comprising this the second installment) narrate their overnight expedition up into the beautiful Nilgiri Hills. Traveling in an open third-class train carriage, they disembarked at Ooty at an altitude of over 7000 feet and immediately began the twenty-mile trek back down again through the moist darkness of the south Indian monsoon. Despite the difficulties in finding food and a place to sleep, and although Baba was suffering from a raging fever the whole time, the account conveys exquisitely the mood of youth and adventure in the intimate company of the God-Man. When the group had returned by train to Madras, Baily declared that he had had enough and set off again for Poona, taking with him much of the group’s excess luggage. As soon as Baily departed, a new plan hatched and preparations began. The party would go to Calcutta and Hardwar, then, from there, travel as Pilgrims by foot to Sakori. That afternoon, Baba declared that it is a “longing from the very depth of My heart” that His Divine pride “have a fall” and He be humiliated while seeking out and saluting sadhus.
Below is a rough translation of Baba’s prayer given in Gujarati at the end of this installment:
If I get a kick in the head, then I will be set right!
Whatever I gain for myself, you companions will also receive because you all have seen what I have done for you in these past 2 years!
Also, you all call me “Baba”; I want to shatter this “Baba-title” that you have bestowed upon me because I myself have seen that there is no water in me!
That is why I seek, like this, benefit from darshan of sadhus and saints!
And if I find a Mahapurush, then I will fix myself there at that spot, and not search hither, thither and yon.
You should do this too, so that your life may become useful!
Otherwise, we have truly become neither fakirs nor worldly people, neither here nor there!