ARRIVING IN AVILA that evening at six, Baba and the group stayed at the Hotel Ingles (Oct. 1933). Baba appeared very happy to be in Spain, which reminded him of India more than any other country he had thus far visited in Europe. Before dinner, Baba went for a walk with the men past the house of Saint Theresa. (1) Baba remarked to them, “I feel at home here; it is like Assisi. It is the spiritual atmosphere that you feel which gives value to the shrines of saints.” Pointing to his wrists and arms, Baba revealed, “Saints are like the nerves of my body; they work for me and I guide their lives.”
Baba and the men returned to the hotel and had their last meal for the next twenty-four hours. Baba had explained to them, “I have very special work in Avila. You must all fast and we must walk together over the hills, although no one should touch me.”
The next morning, they visited the cathedral there, and Baba instructed them as they were leaving that four silver coins be given to the sacristan. Led by Baba, the group then walked through the surrounding countryside. The scenery was magnificent.
It was to them as though they were walking
with Jesus through the hills of Galilee.
In cryptic fashion, Baba revealed to them, “Long ago, before the cathedral was built, I was here in Avila. I used to walk on this hillside, and quietly rest and meditate here. There were no trees there at the time. It was more desert than countryside.” (2)
They returned to their hotel at 4 P.M. and broke their fast with fruits. Baba was in a good mood and revealed to them, “My spiritual work is successfully accomplished. How fortunate you are to be with me! Even those of my followers who are not with me will share in the spiritual benefits of this work.
“In Europe, as on other continents, there are holy places connected to great spiritual work. The four centers of Europe are Saint Mark’s in Venice, a place on the Ligurian Coast of Italy, Assisi and Avila. I have now visited and revisited them all. From their holy grounds have sprung many saints!”
Herbert was ordered to return to Avila in ten days to visit this place, and sit on the same rock on which Baba sat every day.
Baba’s disclosure that Avila was one of the four main spiritual centers in Europe and he had visited it in the ancient past was a surprise to them, as Baba had never before mentioned that he wished in particular to visit Avila.
(1) Theresa of Avila (1515-1582) was a Carmelite nun and one of the great Christian mystics and saints. A leading figure in the Catholic Reformation, in 1562 she founded in Avila the first of many convents for nuns. Theresa combined intense practicality with the most rarefied spirituality. Although a mystic, she was endowed with great personal charm, tact and boundless good will. With her associate, John of the Cross, she produced a remarkable awakening of religious fervor that spread far beyond Spain. Her writings, notably The Life and Way of Perfectionare among the greatest in Christian literature.
(2) Meher Baba did not explain about this minor advent in Spain.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 5, p. 1834.