May 21, 1968. The end of Baba's "seclusion" (when he had secluded himself from his lovers) and the beginning of a period referred to as "exclusion" (when even his lovers were excluded from seeing him.) Next would come the period of "inclusion," the time that would include all to his darshan.
Despite the strict seclusion, "Meher Baba's message carriers, his workers, starting out in handfuls are now moving on in landfuls." Baba’s word spread from land to land like a forest fire setting innumerable hearts aflame. There were thousands who yearned for his touch, longed for a glimpse, and yet during the period of exclusion they waited patiently. The conviction of Baba's Avatarhood was strong and intense.
On the evening of July 30, 1968, Baba declared: "My work is done. It is completed 100 percent to my satisfaction. The result of this work will also be 100 per cent and will manifest from the end of September." One morning Baba said: "God always existed / God will always exist / He is never changing, ever the same / And illusion is his Eternal Game." In August of the same year, Baba uttered another cryptic remark, "Everlasting, never ending / never changing, ever the same / and His oneness in its fullness / plays in manyness His game."
In response to persistent queries of his lovers, Baba decided to give darshan from April 10 to June 10, 1969 in Poona. Baba told them, “No doubt, you people and my lovers everywhere have been wondering why, when my period of intense work in seclusion has finished, I have still not allowed my lovers to see me.
"The strain of that eighteen month's work was tremendous. I used to sit alone in my room for some hours each day while complete silence was imposed on the mandali and no one was permitted to enter the room, during those hours every day. The strain was not in the work itself although I was working on all planes of consciousness but in keeping my link with the gross plane. To keep this link I had to continuously hammer my right thigh with my fist. Now, although my health is good, and I would like to fulfill immediately the longing of my lovers to come to me - many to see me for the first time - it will yet take some time for all traces of the strain to disappear and for me to be 100 per cent fit to see them all; and so because of this, and for practical considerations also, I have decided to give my darshan only to my lovers but not to the general public.
"This is the time for my lovers. The time for the world’s crowds to come to me will be when I break my Silence and Manifest my Divinity...."
Baba later remarked: "'I have been saying: the Time is near, it is fast approaching, it is close at hand. Today I say: the Time has come. Remember this!" In mid January 1969 another circular was issued, part of which read: "With the present condition of health, how Beloved Baba will give darshan to thousands who will come, yet remains to be determined; but it will be. He will give his darshan. This darshan, Baba says, will be the last given in Silence — the last before he speaks his world-renewing Word of words."
Before long, things started happening in quick succession. In a letter written on January 26, 1969, Mani Irani quoted Meher Baba’s message on his seventy-fifth birthday, issued earlier. It said: "To love me for what I may give you is not loving me at all. To sacrifice anything in my cause to gain something for yourself is like a blind man sacrificing his eyes for sight. I am the Divine Beloved, worthy of being loved because I am Love. He who loves me because of this will be blessed with unlimited sight and will see me as I am."
He later stated, "I am not limited by this form. I use it like a garment to make myself visible to you; and I communicate with you through words best fitted to your understanding. If I used the language of my own consciousness you would not know what I was talking about. Don't try to understand me. My depth is unfathomable. Just love me. I eternally enjoy the Christ state of consciousness and when I speak I shall manifest my true Self; besides giving a general push to the whole world. I shall lead all those who come to me towards Light and Truth."