David N. Pepperell
"I first heard about Baba when I was working in an insurance company in late 1966. There was a lovely blonde there named Angela who I had a massive crush on but only saw me as a "friend" - the greatest tragedy that can happen to a 20 year old boy!
One Monday she came in and said she had met this fascinating poet called Adrian Rawlins. I had heard of Rawlins, had even seen him read Allen Ginsberg poems at the Fat Black Pussy Cat Cafe but didn't know much about him. In the process of talking about Adrian she mentioned that he was a devotee of a silent master called Meher Baba who was the living incarnation of God. This really made me prick up my ears because I was already interested in the mystical and was busily reading "The Sufi Message Of Hazrat Inayat Khan" at the time - I only found out much later that all of HIK's followers had gone over to Baba!
That lunchtime I walked down to Cheshires Bookshop - Angela had said you could get Meher Baba Books there - and found "God Speaks" on a table in the middle of the room surrounded by other books of mystical interest. It was very dear so I started just going in and looking at it every day, thinking how I could get the money together to buy it. Then one lunchtime about two weeks later I walked in to find the book gone! I was devastated and ran up to the counter yelling "Where's my book!" The staff looked at me as if I was insane - maybe I was - and then they introduced me to Paul Smith. He calmed me down, said they'd get another copy and invited me over to his home. The following day I took the train with him to Eltham, met his lovely wife Anne and he told me about Baba.
I got my book a little while later as well as "The God-man" by Purdom, in my opinion still the best bio on Baba. From that time I have been devoted to Baba, I have deserted him a thousand times and he has taken me back a thousand and one times. Being of a musical bent I often sing to myself "My heart belongs to Baba so I simply couldn't be bad. Yes, my heart belongs to Baba because my Baba treats me so well." He is the God-man, the Avatar, the Incarnation - I have no doubt of that."