Baba continued, without any particular pause or apparent transition, although it seemed clear to me that Baba was making a connection to my telling Him how excited I was to be there at this time: "You should pay no attention to the thoughts of the mind — it is the nature of the mind to have all variety of thoughts, good and bad. Don't let the thoughts of the mind worry you. You should just keep longing in your heart for Me!"

I was captivated, virtually entranced. Every word was landing in me with the impact of a mortar shell, its trajectory a high arc between Baba and myself that allowed for some considerable momentum to build before what felt to be the landing of His words upon my very soul.

"In fact," Baba continued, "you should pay no attention whatsoever to the path, to the planes, or to any spiritual experiences — they are all nothing but toys for children, because they are nothing but Illusion. You must strive to see Me as I really am! Then you will be able to know Me as I am."

Then, all at once, Baba looked at me with a look on His face that defied description, except to say that it portrayed the greatest quandary that any human being could face in the world. Baba looked as if He had just stumbled across the greatest mystery, the most unsolvable puzzle, the most unanswerable question of all time, and He voiced this question to me while still retaining a look that suggested that this was one question that truly lay beyond any possibility of an answer: "But how will you see Me as I am?" He asked this question as if it were the most important thing in the world to find the answer to it, and as if the likelihood of finding that answer were virtually nil.

All this time I had been sitting with utterly rapt attention, drinking in every word with the absorption of a parched traveler savoring just-found water in the desert. Now, in the midst of delivering what for me was the equivalent of "The Sermon on the Mount," Baba was asking a question, a very serious question by the looks of it, and He was asking it of me?

Slowly my mind began to rouse itself, began to arise from its kneeling position of as much receptivity as it could muster before the words of God in order to search its archives for some manner of response.

After all, Baba Himself had established the intimacy and naturalness of this give-and-take, and He had just posed a question, however impossible. But scarcely had I begun to scramble around within the dusty corridors of my mind for some attempt at a reply, Baba let me off the hook, turning His question into a rhetorical one with an answer of His own:

"You must have a longing in your heart to see Me."

So, there it was: how would I ever be able to see Him as He really is? By longing for Him in my heart! But no sooner had the key to the greatest mystery in the universe been found than another mystery of equal gravity appeared on the horizon.

No sooner had Baba provided the most-precious answer to the most-impossible question, that foreboding look reappeared on His face, a look of divine puzzlement, tinged with a sense of crisis: "But how," He then asked, "will you get this longing?"

It is not going too far to say that the tension of the moment — a sort of divine suspense, you could say — was palpable, nor that Baba's last question had once again put me on the brink of facing the possibility that the very quest to which He had set me — to strive to see Him as He really is — may be unrealizable.

Once again His expression conveyed a sense of mortal impossibility, and yet once again He had put the question so directly and so personally that I was forced to consider coming up with an answer.

Which once more He provided in the compassionate nick of time, saving me from some response that might have caused Him to reconsider the wisdom of His having let me slip in under the curtain of His seclusion. Once again there was no opportunity to say something, however sincere, which could only have missed the mark, for the business at hand was far too grave.

Baba had gotten my attention, all right, and then, before it could be occupied with my own guesswork and idle prattle, He filled it once and for all: "By loving Me."...

And again He repeated, "You must strive to see Me as I really am!" At this moment, having said nothing whatsoever while Baba had so eloquently and concisely laid out this Divine Blueprint for finding God, I blurted out: "By Your Grace!" To which He added, "You continue to long for it and I will help you." And then, perfectly naturally and without any particular emphasis, He added, "You will know Me."