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A Mirror of the Moon

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Early on the morning of Dec. 8, 1973, Swami departed Prasanthi Nilayam for Brindavan. After an hour or so of driving, he directed the three accompanying cars to turn off the road to a clearing in an uninhabited area of the forest. Everyone got out. Baba was in a delightful mood, moving about among the party and cracking jokes with the men.

Beside the picnic area was a
wood-apple tree with a few large wood-apples in view in the upper branches. The men tried to knock some of these to the ground by throwing stones, but without success. One small wood-apple, about two inches in diameter, did fall to the ground, and Baba picked it up.

Holding the small wood-apple between thumb and forefinger against the morning sun, Baba said, "Here is the moon." Then he closed the small object in his hand for a moment, and when his hand opened, the wood-apple had disappeared, and in its place there was a most extraordinary object.

The object was a translucent disk (of stone?) thin at the edges thicker at the centre. It reflected light in a brilliant way, and throughout its body there was a puzzling variety of modifications. There were dark areas of uneven shape and size; there were short and longer veins of luminous mineral-like materials of all shades of colour; there were specks and dots of colour that reflected brightly in the sunlight. The total effect of the disk was one of great beauty.

Everyone gazed at the object with intense interest and wonderment. Holding the disk to the sun, Baba said that it was the moon in miniature, comprised of the moon's matter; that it was a mirror of the moon." Nobody understood what he meant, and we started to ask questions. At length, we understood that the two sided disk was an accurate miniature in stone and minerals of the two sides of the moon.

It was as if one were to photograph the moon as it is seen from Earth, and then to journey to the opposite side of the moon and photograph that side. Each side photographed would appear on a photographic plate as a circular disk. Thus, one side of the translucent disk created by Baba mirrored one side of the moon, and the other side of the translucent disk mirrored the opposite side of the moon. The darker, unevenly shaped areas on the disk were the very large features of the moon's surface; the brightly reflecting specks and dots were individual mountains and smaller mountain ranges; the shorter and longer veins of brilliant varicoloured minerals were additional features of the moon's landscape.

Indeed, the visual modifications to be seen in the disk were so complex that we did not readily understand them. Baba said that the mineralized appearance of the luminous features of the disk were in fact moon minerals, that they could be seen in the disk because it was thin and therefore translucent, and that the same mineralization was in the moon itself. The miniature moon was exact and fully accurate, and were there to be a photographic enlargement, scientists would at once recognize all the landscape features with which they were familiar.

At this point, food taken from the cars was ready, and the ladies of the party served a delicious breakfast. I had the moon-disk in my hand, so I put it in the pocket of my jacket and kept it there. After breakfast, with a smile, Baba held out his hand, and I reached in my pocket and returned the moon-disk to him. He again held the disk up to the sun, and all along the edge of the disk there was the rich golden light. Baba said, "See there is the sunrise!."

After every one admired the golden light, Swami again closed his hand, the moon-disk was gone, and in its place was the original small wood-apple.