Felix Schmid, Kiels Mountain
I migrated to Australia from Switzerland in 1967 at the age of twenty-one. †I was fed up with life in Switzerland, especially the often atrocious weather that lasted for weeks. †Some years earlier, I had come across a gospel of Christ that had been discovered in a Tibetan monastery, unchanged over the centuries.† It varied from the bible in several important points and led me to the start of an inner search.
I lived and worked in the Sydney suburb Lakemba when, in early 1968 I saw an advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald.† There was to be a public meeting about Meher Baba.† I was very sceptical about the claims made in the ad, but after much deliberation decided to go along. †I felt that - if I was really searching for Christ - I needed to make the effort, but would probably be in for a good laugh, as surely Meher Baba was a false prophet.† The meeting featured a talk by Bill Le Page and films about Meher Baba.† I became interested, got pamphlets, and bought a copy of Beams and The Everything and the Nothing. †I liked the people at the meeting.† The meeting wasnít without its weird and humorous aspects.† A man in white clothes appeared on the stage with what looked like a shoebox.† He said that he was in contact with Meher Baba, and had anyone any questions?† He was eventually escorted off the stage.
Later I went to see Bill Le Page and his family at Meher House and bought a copy of the Discourses. †I became more and more interested and started going to the Baba meetings in Sydney. †I was drawn in quickly; my strongest influence was the Discourses. †There was a force behind them.† When I came across a part in the Discourses that didnít make sense or I thought was plain wrong, something would happen in my life within a couple of weeks to clarify the part I didnít understand. †I had a couple of unusual experiences as well. †I woke up one night; a pure white light was shining down on me from the ceiling, and there was a humming noise. †Another time, in a dream, I was walking towards a door that burst open towards me, and a strong feeling of Babaís presence came towards me.
In late 1968, after Baba had announced that He would give darshan, I was saving to go to India.† Air travel was very expensive in those years, and Bill Le Page organized a group discount. †By January 1969, plans for the trip to India were well under way.† When Ken Petrie phoned that Meher Baba had dropped His body, it didnít come as a great shock.† Baba had sent many veiled warnings, and I was prepared for a momentous upheaval. †I think it was easier for people who had not met Baba, for there was no personal loss - I still felt Babaís presence. †Older Baba people who had met Baba were faltering a bit. †Some of them were not sure if they still wanted to go to India now that Baba had dropped the body.
I went to the Great Darshan with the Australian group in May 1969. †The first couple of days in India we spent in Aurangabad, sightseeing.† The temperature was incredibly hot, the food at the hotel where the single men stayed excruciatingly chilli-hot so as to be almost inedible.† I had diarrhoea within hours.† From Aurangabad we travelled on to Bombay where we spent a day, and then on to Poona for the remainder of the trip.
The darshan program was held at Guruprasad.† I remember little about the darshan program itself or the trip to Meherabad.† I had dysentery that remained with me for weeks to come, andĖIndia in May!Ėit was extremely hot, with a sun that seemed to burn through sheet-metal roofs.† All drained my energy.† Two distinct memories, however, have remained with me:
Inside Babaís tomb, the marble slab was not yet installed. †The grave was covered with a simple cloth that covered bare earth. †There was a strong, almost tangible feeling oozing through the cloth.† To me, it seemed as if Baba was clearly there and could step out of the grave any moment He felt like it.† Although I have visited many times since, this is my fondest memory ever of being inside Babaís samadhi.
The other memory is of the last day at Guruprasad.† We were saying goodbye, and for the final time I bowed before Babaís chair, placing my head at His feet.† As I got up, this incredible, indescribable feeling flooded through me, totally unexpected, as I hadnít experienced anything when bowing down at other times.† The feeling was so special that I didnít talk about it for many years.† It lasted strongly for about 15 minutes.† I was however not allowed to wallow in it.† As soon as I came out of the hall, the son of the maharani of Baroda walked over and started talking to me.† Common courtesy demanded that I converse with an owner of the premises where we had been guests.
One year after the darshan I decided to go back to Switzerland.† Before leaving, I drove to Avatarís Abode and spent a few days with Francis Brabazon. †From Switzerland, I kept in touch with Francis and was drawn to return to Australia in 1974.