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The Single-Most Important Baba Work We Can Do Right Now


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Say The Darndest Things? Well, we have been reading on the Baba listserv (on the Internet) some amazing things said by the current crop of Baba children. They show an incredible awareness and love for Baba—from the age of two in some cases! Send us some Baba profundities that your little treasure has surprised you with. Looking at your LampPost you can see how the magazine has taken on an extremely professional appearance and content under David’s expert hand. Along with more professionalism comes more expense. He spends a lot of time and money getting scans of the photographs made. It is our dream to have a scanner of our own, so he can do this work at home. (That way, after a hard day’s work, he can come home and put in another six hours in his own office!) This magazine is the result of countless hours of work by many people, and it represents their love and dedication. In particular, we are deeply indebted to our Sufi friend who gives us this beautiful quality by printing it on a huge Xerox Docutech. To you all, we say thank you. Your work, in the Beloved’s name, gives pleasure to over a thousand people in all the far-flung corners of America and the world.

hundred extra copies, So if you know of anybody who would like a copy, ask them : to contact us. Thanks to your generosity, the Mani memorial issue has recouped its costs. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we have enough in the newly established Love Street LampPost bank account to carry us to the end of the year, when we will once Jai Baba to you all. : again ask for your heartfelt contributions and donations. But please feel free, should The issue has been a long time the spirit move you, or if you didn’t send coming! As David will tell you, circum in your donation after receiving the stances conspired to make a December October-December issue, to send a check issue impossible, and the April issue was any time! You may now make it out to The held up to enable us to give you the Love Street LampPost, and don’t forget to Mansari story. Then just as we were going note our new address. to press, we received word that Jane We will be introducing a new feature in Haynes too hadjoined Baba. More delay as our July issue—Humor for Huma. Since we scrambled to bring you what informa Baba so dearly loved ajoke and frequently tion we could. But I do believe that when asked those around Him to tell Him a good you have read the last page you will feel it one, we decided to have a page especially has been well worth the wait. for His entertainment. So please send us No less than three of Beloved Baba’s your favorite jokes—a joke that you could treasured mandali have written expressly see yourself standing in front of Baba and for the LampPost. Since they wanted their telling Him face to face. thoughts to reach the widest possible Remember Art Linkleter’s book, Kids audience, we have printed up a few

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Photograph Credits Page cover 7 pages 8 10 11 12 15

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17 19 20 21 25 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 35 39 40 41 42 43 44 47 back cover *available as a -

Photographer or Owner Raosaheb Dma Snow Marc Brutus

Location & Date Meherabad, 1927 Meherabode; 1997 Meherabode; Easter, 1997 .

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Dma Snow Meherabad; 1996 from Meher Baba and His Mandali, by Naosherwan Anzar ©1979 Naosherwan Anzar Judy Ernst Meherabad, 1979 Dave Lowman Meherabad, 1987 Win Coates; ©Susan White Meherabad Mario Zavala Pilgrim Pines, 1987 Ted Judson Miniature model placed at Meherabad, 1996 Beth Ganz Dma Snow Meherazad, 1996 Beth Ganz Linda Zavala L.A. Center, 1989 Beth Ganz Sita Schwertner-Rupe 1997 Arnavaz Dadachanji Ashiana Linda Zavala Charlie Morton’s house; 1986 Mike Casetta Art Center in Meherabad, I 996 Panday Studio Panday Studio Nancy Wall Meherazad, 1996 Mario Zavala Meherana, 1994 Melan Studio Charles Mills oil painting* colored litograph from the Book Store; approx. 14 x 12, $26.

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From David McNeely: I have a declaration to make. We missed the winter issue of the Love Street LampPost and it was entirely my fault. I was simply too over-committed to make any progress on it. Worse, I was too selfish to even conceive that someone else might also enjoy the privilege of working on it. My experience of putting together the Mani issue was so deeply rewarding, I felt so much of Baba’s Grace throughout the process, I simply did not want to give it up! I convinced Dma that these were special times: that moving to the new Center, and my involvement in securing the conditional use permit and occupancy, obligated me to more time-critical priorities. And unfortunately for you all, she bought it! Dma—who has the greatest commitment to everything she does and will lose sleep and earnings to serve Baba—allowed me to cause her the greatest of stresses by missing deadlines! I pray, Baba, that all our readers will feel so rewarded by the contents of this issue that they will overlook the long delay in receiving it.


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A publication of the Avatar Meher Baha Center of Southe.

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Cov eStreetjamjPosb welcome

features:

The Love Street LampPost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary pur pose is to contribute to a sense of community

Meherabode L.A. Is Getting Centered!

among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members of

Jeff Maguire

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Moving Day

David McNeely

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Letter from Meherabode

Donna Sanders

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Dr.Anne

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Mansari

the Baba family are invited to contribute to this feast of Love. Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expres sions of Baba’s message of Love & Truth. Please submit your text on computer disks if possible (in any software format) ; typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit every quote or reference.

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Mansari Joins Her Beloved Mansari

Janaki

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Poem

Mansari

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Mansari’s Special Disease

Mansari

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What Could Mansari Reply?

BalNatu

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Tea With Mansari Mansari in the Earlier Years

Sophie Ernst

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JudyErnst

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Thursday, September 4, 1996

James Cox

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Mansari’s Pyre

JamesCox

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Jane Haynes Cables from India

submissions, subscriptions, donations:

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Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019—3520 213 731—3737 or BABABOOKS @ AOL.COM

mandali

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Beloved Baba’s Jane

Adele Wolkin

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Thank You Jane

Kaye Panicke

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Jane Haynes

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Meheru Irani, Bhau Kalchuri & Committee

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“Baba Wants to See You”

Archives & Museum Project

Circular No. 2

Special Guests Travel to Meherabad to Help Plan Conservation Building

deadlines: for the January March April June July September October December —

issue: issue: issue: issue:

November 15th February 15th May 15th August 15th

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Dma Snow

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A Sweet Responsibility; A Special Privelege

Nancy Wall

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Lynne Berry

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A Note from our Trust-Walli Share in the Treasure

Adele Wolkin

TIps for Preserving Your Precious Baba Treasures

Love Street Bookstore: Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310 837—6419 between 7:00 & 11:00pm 310 839—BABA (2222) 24 hour fax BABABOOKS @ AOL.COM

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special features Baba’s Filis Knots Meher Baba’s Warnings About the Occult an interview with Arnavaz N. Dadachanji

credits: editors: copy editor: design & layout: distribution:

Dot Lesnik

The Single-Most Important Work We Can Do

Dma Snow & David McNeely Clea Sucoff & Dma Snow David McNeely Clea Sucoff & Harry Thomas

We Are All One On Caring

quarterly in January April July andctober All contents © I 996 Avatar Meher Bab4Denter of Southern California All quotations dfvatar Meher Baba or books ©AMBPT India -

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Lynn Maguire

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Filis Frederick

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NancyWall

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Bhau Kaichuri

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Meheru

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departments: Editors’ Page

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Step Inside the Love Street Bookstore

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reviews: Meher Wine Li’ht on RunninR Water

Katherine Wiederhold

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James Wilson

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by Jeff Maguire

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was the key that some thought Baba might never turn but, as you read this, the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southem California has completed the purchase of more than an acre of land in the centrally-located mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles. The site, a retreat-like gated compound, features a large meeting space for up to 1 50, a kitchen, bookstore space, kids’ play area, separate storage buildings and on-site parking for 30-40 cars. And that’s not all: stroll through some trees, past a goldfish pond and an aviary, and you come to a glassdomed, marble-floored chapel with a

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pair of reading rooms on either side of it. Some of us, when we first heard about the place, couldn’t help but be skeptical. Over the years we’d looked at so many potential sites; places that were embraced by some, scorned by others, and ultimately, always re jected. Bobby Manonash had made a regular routine of New Center jokes. In one of them, the answer was “After three-quarters of the world is de stroyed. The question was When will the L.A. Baba group be able to find an affordable permanent site?” Another answer: Beyond imagination “

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and conception;” the question: “What are the odds we’ll find a permanent site in our lifetime?” So yes, we may have been less than enthusiastic as we drove out to look at the site, but once there.. Oh Baba! “It feels like Meherabad, said one visitor. “It looks like Mandali Hall, said another. It reminds me of Guruprasad. “It has an atmosphere like Myrtle Beach You step inside and you can’t believe you’re in L.A.” Perhaps Adele Wolkin summed it up best, “Now, this is a Baba Center.” Pris Haffenden was reminded of a .

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note Baba’s beloved sister Mani had written to her back in ‘92, when the rejection of a potential center had resulted in some discord. “Baba loves to play hide and seek, Mani wrote. “The new center will pop up in front of you, then all hearts will sing out, ‘This is the place! Jai Baba.” The place first popped up in front of Donna Sanders who spotted it in some real estate listings and brought it to the attention of the Board of Directors. Since then, all hearts have been singing out in praise of the site. On December 7th, the membership of the L.A. group voted unanimously (but for two noes) to proceed with the purchase. Donatons came in from all over the globe to help raise the $380,000 purchase price. Incredulous that an acre of L.A. would be available at this price, one of our members exclaimed, “Baba is giving us this place on a veritable silver platter.” Indeed. A few years back, mem bers of our Long Range Planning Committee sat down to define our Dream Center, without regard for economic or geographic reality. Some

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scoffed at this excercise as a waste of time, yet the new property almost exactly fulfills the “dream” they laid out through that process. “Itjust goes to show you; Baba really is in control,”

said a member. The fund-raising effort was suc cessful enough that our mortgage i now less than what we were paying in rent at the old place, which is a good thing since there’s a great deal of work to be done and much of it will be costly. Fortunately, there have been very hard-working zealots eager for a taste of mastery in servitude: Dma Snow and Lynn Maguire have headed the gardening detail; Tamara Mark led a highly artistic cleaning crew; and Nancy Merwan and others have been kept busy decorating. Meanwhile, Donna Sanders contin ues to work tirelessly. She and David McNeely are spearheading the effort to secure a zoning variance and occu pancy permit. In retrospect, the Beloved’s handi work is clearly visible and we can see how the years of hard work, and even the controversies and difficulties, have laid the groundwork for us to finally own and run a large Center. We are grateful to Baba and to all who helped do the work and raise the money to make the dream come true. Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!

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ight in the morning to eight in the evening was the day’s program—a long day de voted to moving out of the old and into the new. More than fifty people came from all over to help make a new home for Baba. It was so wonderful to walk from one room to another, from one building to another, and everywhere clusters of people joyously working together. Shirin Lorkalantari brought a wonderful noontime feast: hot soup and fresh french bread and trays of cheese, meats, and garnishes. So as some continued to work, others would sit in small groups and enjoy a quiet meal together. By the end of the day, books were on the shelves, the office was operational, the kitchen was organized, used, and cleaned, and of course many photos and paintings of Baba adorned our walls. As things quieted down, we even took time to watch a video taken in Meherabad in the early ‘70s. Finally, the work concluded with a celebratory pizza generously provided by Lynn Maguire and Fred Stankus. Although some of us had thought it would be a lot of work which might require the traditional pizza reward, in fact, the whole day became a celebration, and the true “reward” was a most beautiful arti in the chapel, with a Mehera-full moon lighting the room through the domed skylight. With the domed ceiling, the windows on three walls, the marble floor, Baba’s chair, and most of all the presence of Baba, the feeling for all of us was remarkably like being in the Samadhi. Perhaps most importantly, the center during the course of this day became “ours” to all of us who were there. One person said, Isn’t this wonderful? It’s like we are all a family moving into a home ! And because “


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the home is Baba’s, that family feeling which already pervades has the qualities we recognize from being in Meherabad : all-embracing, inclusive, and restorative. The harmony was joyous! If I may be personal, this was one of the best days of my life. After almost everyone had left, I spent some time walking from room to room feeling the simplest of Jai Baba’s laughing in my heart. I sat for a while in what will become our meeting hall, :;.ii and I was sure it was Baba’s Silence Into the new: which was lingering there. Clive Adams Morton move Baba’s chair Charlie & I know with the deepest of convic into new center, Meherabode our tions that this place is Baba’s. Everything is Baba’s of course, but that is not what this is. This is personally December 5 1996 Baba’s, the way Meherabad and Myrtle Beach are Baba’s. That we could Beloved Avatar Meher Baba ki Jail acquire such a place as this so perfectly tailored to our needs (and that : My dearest Beloved Baba’s dear ones in L.A., the generosity of our larger commu I am extremely happy to hear that you are now having a new center which nity nearly exploded to make it appears to me to be a most beautiful site. And though in the city, it appears to be possible!) should be miracle enough secluded from the city. for any skeptical mind. But more I have seen the map of the site. And it appears to be a very suitable and ideal significantly, His presence is there for site. If the site is procured I believe Beloved Avatar Meher Baba will be very very all of us to partake. It kisses you when :: pleased. you simply enter the gates. On one of The problem of payments is there. And I believe that if the residents of my first visits there, I arrived feeling Lunatic Asylum put their heart for this project, Beloved Baba will definitely help very harried, very crowded inside with : them to procure this site. And I know every resident of Lunatic Asylum will do stresses on every level, resenting even his or her best to put maximum efforts to have it. the necessity of interrupting my day’s : May Beloved Avatar Meher Baba help His dear ones to get His Home in L. A. plan to attend to some matter. and so that all these lunatics may get the throats of nightingales and sing His glory in leaving a short while later with : His Home in L.A. everything internal cleaned, and space With all love and Jai Baba to you. magically restored. I certainly had not brought Baba with me, but He left with In His Love, me ! In other words, His presence is not there because we have collected Bhau with love in our hearts and called Him to us. I think this is different. I believe [note: Lunatic Asylum is Bhau’s definition of “L.A.,” which of course then allows His presence precedes us. It is there to him to call all of us who live here lunatics—affectionately, we believe. In fact, : give to us whenever we come. : sometimes when he is in a more formal mood, he calls us lunatics in Baba s Thank you Baba. Love —ed] •:.

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Letter from Meherabode The winner of the egg-toss, Behzad Partovi

by Donna Sanders


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ongratulations and wel come! Your love, given with such focus for so many years, has made it possible to move into this lovely place provided by our Beloved. We purchased this circa 1913 fixer as is, for about $40,000 under the appraised value and $64,000 under the listed price. So now begins

splash in the waterfall. Answer the phones, answer the mail, begin to build a better archives. Bring light bulbs, paper towels, put up outdoor lights. Check the bulletin boards for newjobs that you can take on and complete. Maybe baby-sit the movie crews who will occasionally rent our parking. The number of hours you are willing to be here to greet visitors as a docent will be the number of hours the beautiful gates will be open for all. Some of the neighbors have started to drop by, too. One woman said she took her little niece for a walk and the girl led her right to the gate. So they came in, fed the fish, browsed in the bookstore. She was happy that such a serene place was only a street away from her. After she’d been there for some time, I noticed there was writing on her T-shirt and pants: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy. She promised to come back. The beauty of our paradox is this: while we do the gritty work, sharing our skills and learning new ones (and bumping up against each other’s The Love Street Book Store in its new location working egos) we get to keep waking up into new the fixing. For our conditional use and dreams. I think occupancy permits, we’ll need to this pleases satisfy the city building codes by Him—at least it seismic retrofitting, re-roofing, rewir makes Him laugh. And ing, re-plumbing, creating handi capped access, and building four new when we look bathrooms—the hard realities of up from our hammers hitting nails, debris flying all tasks, asking over, carpentry, paint, polish. We’ll what’s next, we can see deeper need so much help from everyone: I. please keep those pledges and loving and deeper through the deeds flowing! To see why so many people say this illusion to find place has the flavor of India and joy because we Myrtle Beach, come hang out and feel are not dreamit, and do some work. Our center is a ing alone. cultural monument because of the When I see His architecture of the Milbank Mansion chair and sadra Vesta Partovi hunting Easter eggs in our bamboo forest .: (from which our land was divided), in this new place I m but the Cultural Heritage Commission ::---could never have imagined the reminded: the significance the carriage and garden master Dreamer, the Awakener, is at here for four or five hours, once a houses would one day have. Baba’s home. He always has been. month, week, or everyday? Come sadra and chair seem to fit so well garden, room, hang set the reading up : Jai Baba! here. out in the aviary, watch the birds

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People have been asking what days the center will be open. Let’s make it a day retreat center, as well as a meeting place, where people can come to learn more and more, and still yet more about the Beloved. Mehernoush Lorkalantari, the volunteer coordinator, is asking for people to act as docents. Can you be

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From the archives ofone of our members, an article published in our center newsletter dated

January, 1979:

Permanent Site of the Center by Ken Havens The Board of Directors has ap proved the formation of an ad-hoc Lois Jones and Mia Campagna committee for the purpose of adminis tering the search for a permanent site of the center. The acquisition of a permanent site would mean that we would own property rather than pay rent. It is understood that Baba doesn’t need this, but we do. And Baba willing, it will be. It is felt that it would help the Baba community of Southern California strengthen relations and aid the future work in our community. And it will be a start to promote service for the commu nity at large. The proposal pre Our hosts for the Easter sented stipulated that the celebration, Gigi Driessen and site chosen should be a Fred Stankus consolidated effort of all Baba lovers in Southern California. In order to best serve our community, the loca tion will be in Los Angeles County. note: at the close of course, the firstjob we have is escrow, we were able to raise funds. The center has started to put down a total of the fund for a permanent site with toward the $245,000 $2,000. Our immediate effort is to purchase! concentrate on ways to build an adequate fund for at least a down payment. The pot luck on December was our first permanent site fund-

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raiser. Attended by approximately forty Baba lovers, we made about $80. Let us know if you have ideas for fund-raisers! Meanwhile, we can all be on the look-out for possible locations. A form describing all pertinent details will be made available. There are many questions concerning what will be done with this new center location. What we have and how it will develop depends on you, dear Baba lover. This gives us a chance to work together. Jai Baba!

What’s in a Name? Some years back, Lynn Maguire asked Bhau to suggest a name for our new center. Lynn conveyed Bhau’s choice, “Meher Abode, to Dma Snow, who thought she heard only one word. Dma then asked Meheru and Arnavaz how they liked blending both “Meher” and Mehera” together as “Meherabode. They agreed—it has a nice ring. “

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Sunday, l2January 1997 Beloved Baba has taken unto HimselfHis dear Mansari, who served as a beacon ofHis light on Meherabad Hill for manyyears and is now merged into the Sun. Avatar Meher Baba ki Jail —Eruch, Bhau and all Meherazad men and women mandali

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Mansari Joins Her Beloved by Dr. Anne Meherabad, 24 January 1997

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eloved Baba took Mani Desai to Himself at 7:40 on the morning of January 1 2, 1 997. She was better known as Mansari since Baba changed her name when she came to live in His ashram. Mansari had been ill since early November, with abdominal pain and a low-grade fever that slowly increased. A sonogram revealed masses in her liver, and blood tests indicated a severe infection. She did not respond to various treatments. By late Novem ber she had lost her appetite, but would still get up in the morning and spend the day in her chair. Gradually she grew weaker, and on December 7th she announced she was giving her chair sutti, meaning a holiday. Mansari had repeatedly said over the years that she did not want to go _o hospital, so we honoured her request and she passed her final days on Meherabad Hill, where she had lived since 1949 by Baba’s order. Several Meherabad residents and pilgrims volunteered to be her atten dants throughout the long days and nights. Mansari continued to enjoy visitors, perking up to speak with Nana Kher each morning, with Jangle Master at tea time each afternoon, and with numerous pilgrims before and after Arti. Children especially seemed to be attracted to her bedside. But with every day that passed, Mansari would spend more and more time asleep.

I am knocking at the door ofthe Perfect One why should I cry?” . ., . .

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A Baba-lover surgeon performed an aspiration biopsy at her bedside. The first report was inconclusive, but the final report revealed that the masses

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in her liver were metastases from a cancer of the digestive tract. At that point, there was no possibility of a curative treatment, so we continued to care for her in her room. Mansari often quoted some of the 900 couplets of Kabir that she had learned by heart after Baba left for the New Life. Baba used to call Mansari

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tion. “I am knocking at the door of the Perfect One, why should I cry?” she would often say. Also, “Those tyrants have imprisoned me. How can I find Your lane?” Once her caregiver told her, Mansari, you are in Baba’s hands. She replied, “No, my head is at His feet.” Mansari always remembered that everything happening was her Master’s will. She used to say in the beginning of her illness, “Baba is the root cause of all this mischief, be sure, be sure.” And on the afternoon of January 1 ith, her attendants noted that Mansari woke several times from her sleep smiling and saying, “He is so beautiful, so beautiful. At about 4:00 that “

“Those tyrants have imprisoned me. 2 How can I find Your lane

Kabir ni cheii, meaning “disciple of Kabir. Mansari had been proud of her excellent memory, but during her last years she had to see it fade. Yet even to the end, she still remembered some of Kabir’s couplets. We would often see her hand moving to check the meter of a line she was trying to recapture. Once she had recalled the whole verse, she would repeat it a few times in Hindi and then translate it into English for our benefit. Through the lines she would quote, we could see her growing acceptance of her condi “

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afternoon she lost consciousness. She was surrounded by several close friends and a stream of well-wishers who sang and chanted Baba’s name for several hours. During the night she became conscious for a few minutes. She seemed to be repeating Baba’s name. At 7:00 a.m. on January 12th, Baba’s prayers were recited and Arti was sung in her room, followed by the continual chanting of Baba’s name. Mansari breathed her last peacefully at 7:40 that morning. It had drizzled in the night, and the morning air had an especially vibrant quality. In Mansari’s room an immense peace could be felt. Oceanic peace. She was finally freed from this small body. She was finally with the One to whom she had given her heart. Despite the emaciation of the disease, Mansari looked beautiful and strong. After she was bathed and dressed in the sari in which she had wished to be cremated,


Meherabad residents, pilgrims, and also villagers, who held her in great esteem, filed by her bed in her spartan room to pay their respects. In the afternoon, all Baba’s men and women Mandali came from Meherazad to say a final farewell. Meheru remarked to all those present And on the afternoon ofJanuary 1 1 th, her attendants noted that Mansari woke several times from her sleep smiling and saying, “He is so beautiful, so beautiful.”

that Mansari was a tiny sparrow as well as an eagle. Mansari’s body had been carried on a stretcher from her room and placed near Baba’s gadi under the tin shed. Baba’s gadi had always been very special to Mansari. Before Baba departed for the New Life, Mansari had asked that His seat be kept there so she could continue to take Baba’s darshan everyday. And

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much later, when Mansari’s legs could no longer carry her all the way to Baba’s Samadhi, this is where she would come and bow down. So we gathered there to say our good-byes. Songs of earlier times were sung such as Urn narno, Meher Baba and Meher Raj. It was a beautiful, magical mo ment on Meherabad Hill, when one felt carried back in time, sitting under the tin shed with the women Mandali around Beloved Baba. Dear Mansari had been part of this Hill for so many years ! What special memories she is taking with her from these days of the women’s ashram... Then it was time to depart, and Mansari’s body was carried on the stretcher to the Samadhi for a last darshan and then down the hill. She had a beautiful cremation, with the Baba lovers from Bombay and Poona singing all her favourite Indian songs. The atmosphere was of a softjoy. The day on which Mansari finally joined her Beloved was the anniversary of the day Baba asked that the Dhuni be

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lit on the 1 2th of each month— January 12, 1941. Mansari had always shown special reverence for the Dhuni, perhaps because she had come to Baba through His Dhuni ash that cured her terrible skin disease. At sunset, as Mansari’s funeral pyre continued to burn, Baba’s Dhuni was lit more flames to bid farewell to Mansari, the woman who had not been -

“Baba is the root cause ofall this mischiel be sure, be sure.”

afraid to come live near the fire of the Avatar. on the morning of the third day after the cremation, Mansari’s ashes were collected. They will be kept on Meherabad Hill until they are interred near Baba’s Samadhi, as He had previously instructed. Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!

Mansari Poem

by Janaki Tucson, Arizona

by Mansari I loved her always-sparkling eyes which sometimes could also be quite fiery. She was many things to many people—vivacious, fiery, strong-willed, determined. Generous, humorous and as soft as butter if someone had a problem. While her face had become lined in her later years—to me she was very youthful as she was always ready to try or learn anything new. She would tell children to say Baba’s name five times when they went to bed at night, and before their feet touched the floor in the morning to get out of bed, to say Baba’s name five times again. One July I remember five boys about 8—10 years old would have contests with each other to see if each of them would remember to do this

while in the Meher Pilgrim Center— which of course kept them ll remem bering. She was always available— seven days a week, 365 days a year, from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., no matter how tired or ill she was. Sometimes she would be truly exhausted, maybe right after Amartithi or when she had not had a nap for a few days or when experiencing a cold—which she got frequently—but she would never stop people from seeing her, or even close her door. A few times when I tried to close her door (when she would be taking a nap on one of those ex hausted days) she would wake up and weakly say, Leave it open—they have all come so far and for Baba.” “

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transribed from a video by Laurie Brook

You know, you know... you might be knowing about the New Scheme of Savings Of course not commission, Of course not partnership, Anti not even investment But count, count, count or say, Baba, Baba, Baba And fill up your account in the Universal Bank with Baba, Baba, Baba.


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iviansari s Special Disease This story is from a conversation in the early 1 970s. It is reprinted from the newsletter ofthe Northern Califor nia Baba group, with permission, and with gratitude.

by Mansari

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ometimes I say that I sat in the train and I came to ‘Nagar, and I came to Baba! But now, the real thing—how I came to Baba. I was born in Bombay and lived there for 1 5 years. My aunt raised me because she loved me and she had no children. My parents used to stay in Navsari. Until the age of 5 years, I was very healthy—skinny, but still very healthy. Then I got an awful skin disease, on the feet and on the hands. jt spread from my feet up to my knees, and from my hands up to the elbows. The rest of the body and face was completely intact, but where the disease was I was scarred, I thought for life. My dear aunt took utmost care to cure me, and every medicine was tried but failed. When I was 1 2 years old, somebody suggested a skin specialist, so I was taken there by Kaikobad Dastur, a close family friend and the one I liked and trusted most. When that doctor saw me, he said, “Really, I don’t know why the other doctors didn’t cure her. It’s a very simple case. Well, the poor doctor tried his best, for months, but he could not cure me. He tried everything. He gave me 75 injections in one day! But it did not work at all, and at last he had to say, I’m very sorry to say that this child has to suffer for the rest of her life, because I have never seen such an obstinate disease. I heard that, and since by nature I’m obstinate, this just added to my obstinacy. I decided not to go to any more doctors and concluded that all

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Hill to Lower Meherabad. I was doctors were hypocrites. From then on, whenever my aunt would suggest a : standing in a queue when I saw Him. doctor, I would refuse. At that time there were no restrictions In 1925 my aunt died so, naturally, ; on visiting Meherabad, and many I had to go to my parents. My father lovers used to come for Darshan, for had been following Baba for two years an interview or for advice. I saw Baba at that time, so my parents tried to : coming out of the rickshaw. From the beginning I took Baba as a great 7”___ personality, but not more. I did not consider Him even a saint or a perfect To this day I don t know how master, so the idea of His being God orwhy butlcried Ialmost was very far away. I saw Baba as I saw sobbed I cried like a child any ordinary person but, for &X and I went to Baba with tears. Kaikobad’s sake, I folded my hands. Baba asked me why I was Baba went in the room and started crying I said I don t know giving Darshan and interviews. I was just standing there, and then my turn came. Baba was in the old bungalow, persuade me to go to Baba. They said, with a small window, and He peeked “Baba will cure you. I was so dis through and beckoned me to come. I gusted, I said, “When all doctors fail, was undoing the lace of my shoe and, what will your Baba do?” I refused to just for half a second, I stared at Baba. take go. So they wrote to Kaikobad to To this day I don’t know how or why, me to Baba because he followed Meher but I cried. I almost sobbed. I cried Baba too. At that time, if I would listen like a child, and I went to Baba with to anyone, I would listen to Kaikobad. tears. Baba asked me why I was He was very kind to us, very kind. He crying. I said, “I don’t know. I had wrote to me to come to Bombay and Baba’s Darshan and I stood, sobbing. Then Kaikobad told Him everything go on a picnic to ‘Nagar, saying that I would be pleased to see Baba. about me and my disease. Baba said, Kaikobad wrote, “I promise that I “For that you are crying?” I said, “No, won’t say anything about your disease I don’t know. Then He asked me to Baba. If it pleased Kaikobad I felt I again, “Tell Me your complaint. Tell could do it, as long as he was not going Me what you suffered with your to say anything to Baba. disease, in your own words. But I Then I came here, to Ahmednagar. could not. Then He dictated on the At eight o’clock I saw Baba for the first board, “Don’t worry, it will go perma time. He was in the rickshaw (the one nently. He signed the message to now in the Meherabad museum) and emphasize it—”Baba. I read the ! board, I heard Him, but I had been was being drawn, probably by the prem ashram boys, from Meherabad i told the same by so many doctors. “

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too late. Now I began to pray in my When the interview was finished, Baba mind, every second, Baba, give it gave me a little dhuni ash in a bottle back to me. I wanted to see Baba and told me to take a pinch in the personally so I could make the matter mouth before tea in the morning while clear, because I was too shy to write saying “Baba. I said, “Yes, Baba.” and I didn’t want anyone else to read All my obstinacy was washed out. I went back to Navsari and I started : the letter. For months I had to wait, but after taking the ashes. For one month, : some months my disease came back without any hope, Ijust took them. in a small form, and I was happy. I Then, to my amazement, I was completely cured. Even my scars vanished. I was so happy to be out of the clutches of the disease that immediately my view ofBabajumped from “great personality” to “God, because only God could have done that. I began to love Baba, and I had much, much respect for Him. I wrote a letter to Baba thanking Him, and He got Chanji to write to me, “Baba is glad to receive your letter, but He says He hasn’t done anything. Your faith and love have done the work. At that time He might have been aware of my faith and love, but I felt that I had not, at that time, had such faith. Then, for a few months, I was very happy, very, very happy. Kaikobad used to come to Baba often, and he wrote to me, telling me about Baba’s moods, how He cracked ajoke and everything. After months, he wrote a letter to me about how happy he was to be with Baba and how could not hide it. My Baba-lover happy Baba appeared, but the last line relatives saw it, understood the story, in the letter was, This time I saw on and said that they would tell Baba. I Baba the disease that you had. That line made me completely upset, so didn’t want that, so I said that I would upset that I could not put my mind on tell Baba and no one should interfere. anything, and the very second I read Then, again, I was waiting and waiting that line I hated myself. I said to to see Baba, and one day Kaikobad’s myself, “If I had not gone to Baba, and letter came, saying that Baba was if I had stuck to my obstinacy this coming to Bombay on His way to Iran. I immediately dropped everything and wouldn’t have happened, but now it is “

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went to Bombay. Kaikobad saw me and said, “A relapse? We will tell Baba. Again, I said that I would tell Baba and he should not. The next day we went to Baba for Darshan, and Kaikobad told Baba that the disease had relapsed. Baba ap peared very indifferent, and said, “Try some sulphur. My whole mind was on how to speak to Baba directly about it, but there were too many people, and I was too shy. After Darshan, we left. That same day, at four o’clock, feeling inspired, I went the few blocks from Kaikobad’s house to where Baba was staying. Baba was sitting with 25 or 30 boys, playing caroms. He gestured, “Why did you come? You were already here in the morning. So I said, “Yes, Baba, I came.” He said “OK, sit down. Do you know how to play caroms?” Isaid, “No, Baba. Then He said, “why did you come, then? Is there anything to say?’ I said, “Yes, Baba. “Then say it now, He said. “No, Baba, I said, “I want to talk to You privately. He beckoned Chanji to come to the inner room with the alphabet board. I then said, forcefully, “I have nothing to hear from you Baba, I have things to say. And I don’t want Chanji, either!” Baba took the alphabet board and called me. He was sitting on a couch, spinning His board. He asked me, Say what you want to say.” I said everything, and stopped. He said, “Are you mad? You are mad. Who could do that? Who could take anybody’s disease on their person?” I said, “Baba, any ordinary human being could not, but God can and You are God. He said, You are stark mad. I didn’t say anything. He said, “Let it be as it is now. I said, “Baba, “

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You know my plight. I cannot be happy at all until You just give it back to me. He didn’t say anything right away. “Then what to do?” He asked. “That is up to You, I said. Then He said, “I have one result. Would you like it?” I said, “How do I know Baba? What is it?” He said, “Neither you nor I would suffer. Would you like it?” I said, “Yes, Baba, I would like it very much. I liked it, but I felt that Baba was getting rid of me, like getting rid of an obstinate child by promising it a piece of chocolate. So I said, “Baba I like it but it doesn’t appeal to me here, and I pointed to my heart. He said, Give your hand to me, and slapped my hand in the gesture for a promise. He looked at me and said, Is it all right now? I felt that it would be OK. I knew that He would keep the promise, but still I said, “Now Baba, stick to that please, OK?” Baba said, “Didn’t I promise you?” Then He clapped, called all the boys into the room and Baba asked them, “Have you. ever seen a mad woman?” They said, No, and Baba pointed to me and said, See, she is stark mad. I laughed over that for months. I was completely cured, and have remained cured up till now. I came to live with Baba permanently in 1936. One day He asked me, “How long did you suffer with that disease?” I said, 14 years. Baba said, •.: 1 4 years? That is the time-honored period for a penance. And suffering is very good. It brought you to me. Then He asked me all sorts of queslions about the medical procedures and asked, “Why didn’t the doctors cure you?” “I don’t know, Baba,” I said Then He said Science is ad vancing by leaps and bounds, but what did they accomplish? It was my key to draw you to me. That’s why they didn’t cure you. Now you are with Me, so be happy. He did this because this mulish person would not have come, perhaps, but here I am.

What Could Mansari Reply?

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by Bal Natu outside in the grass that had grown happened that in October, around. 1949, before Baba set out for Exhausted she lay down on her His New Life, He visited Upper bed and fell asleep. But about 2:00 Meherabad. During the few hours that am. she woke to see Baba sitting at He was there, He conveyed to the end of her bed. He was intently Mansari, “Wherever I may go (physi looking at her throat, but not at her cally) I am definitely here (on the Hill) face. She wanted to speak to Him but always. Remember this well. He also found that she could not. From then gave her some staves and told her that until 5 :00 am. she saw Baba at the she should use them to break the head foot of her bed each time she woke of “anyone” who came at night. up. She even rubbed her eyes to make Mansari replied, “When you are here, sure that she wasn’t dreaming, but who would dare to come? Baba did Baba’s expression and position did not not answer, but simply repeated the change. In the end she saw His figure instruction. Ten months later Mansari was : slowly fade away. For the next eleven nights a staying in the outer part of the “cage strange thing happened: each night room” on Meherabad Hill. One day in she would come across another cobra August, 1950, when she was going into of the same size, perhaps the mate of her room she had a strange feeling the one that was killed. It seemed to that someone was inside. After enterMansari that the snake was seeking ing she checked the inner and outer revenge. This frightened her to such rooms with her small lantern. Finding an extent that on the twelfth day she nothing she went to bed. About stood before Baba’s picture and midnight, however, she was disturbed sincerely prayed to Him, “Baba, it is in her sleep by the feeling that sometoo much for me to bear any longer. thing was at the base of her neck— something cold and soft like a piece of : Either the cobra should kill me or I should beat it to death. To Mansari’s rubber. Half awake she brushed it surprise, from that day onward the aside and went back to sleep. mate did not appear again. later she A little woke up with the Mansari told Baba the entire story same feeling. She got out of bed ; after the completion of His in detail thinking that there was a gecko (a He asked her if anyNew life when small lizard) in her blanket. When she had happened to her thing special shook it out something dropped to the she finished, When during that time. floor. She lit the lantern and found Are convinced you Baba gestured, that it was a small cobra! about earlier now of what I told you Frightened, she went inside and got my being here always?” What could a short stick from the firewood and Mansari reply? Her facial expression started beating the cobra, but the portrayed that she was more than snake eluded her attack and began to convinced. climb up her cot. Mansari had totally forgotten about the long staves Baba Glimpses ofthe God-Man, had given her, and with that short pp. 145-146 ©1982AMBPPCT stick her frantic chase continued. At last she killed the cobra and threw it

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When I was two, and actually I don’t remember it, but it has been told and retold to me, especially by Mansari, so that I feel as though I I remember it. I would often play with Mansari in her kitchen, where we would make “tea” with my plastic tea set and play imaginary games. There is a photograph from this time showing Mansari and me facing each othei, over my plastic tea set. Mansari has a very interested expression on her face, eyebrows raised over her round spectacles. I’m wearing a green dress and my

by Sophie Ernst

arms are sheathed in plastic bangles, making me look like a little Indian child. As the story goes, one day Mansari and I were playing house. I was the mother and Mansari was the rebellious, recalcitrant daughter. Busy in the kitchen, I gave Mansari her meal. Holding up the plastic bowl, probably filled with water, Mansari asked in a child-like voice, “What is this?” I replied, “Pig chutney!” “Oh Baba! Mansari exclaimed and collapsed into a fit of giggles, “No, no Mother, I don’t like pig chutney! Don’t make me eat it!” Over the years, whenever I re turned to Meherabad, Mansari would “

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remind me of the pig chutney, always laughing and slapping her leg as she rocked back and forth in her chair. Often she would re enact her part in the scenario, refusing again to eat the wonderful pig chutney. One year I bought ajar of jam in the bazaar, soaked off the label and made a new label, declaring thejam “PIG CHUTNEY.” I pre sented it to Mansari, who laughed and laughed. This time she ate the pig chutney. I continued to give herjars of pseudo pig chutney every time I was at Meherabad, and it became our little joke.

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Mansari in the Earlier Years by Judy Ernst

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was October, 1 972. At that time, just about the only things growing at Meherabad were the trees lining the path up the hill, and the bougainvilla growing next to the tomb. It was a barren landscape, made beautiful by the play of light off the spare lines of earth and stone and the changing patterns of clouds in a huge expanse of blue sky. Surprising the eye in the midst of this natural simplicity was a small building with a white-domed top, and a large struc ture topped with a tower. That is what greeted the eye of the visitor to Meherabad in the early ‘70s. Just as the visual landscape had such a powerful impact on the eye, the tomb had a profound impact on the soul. But there was a third element at that time which added to this mix of impressions—the presence of a small, elderly woman who lived on the hill. Mansari’s presence as a resident caretaker on the hill was so much a part of the experience back then that it is impossible to remember being a pilgrim in the ‘70s without having a vivid memory of her. Now that Meherabad is “flourishing,” as its name promised, it is hard to remember how stark it was in the early ‘70s. While Meherazad conveyed to us the gentle sweetness of Baba’s residence, Meherabad reminded us that much of Baba’s life was spent working in harsh conditions, with the mandali living under a strict regimen. Mansari, at upper Meherabad, and Padri, at lower Meherabad, embodied for us that discipline. Early in the morning, Mansari would arrive at the

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show up, having carried water up the hill, and they would chat together in Marathi, with Mansari providing a partial translation. While Mansari was a living re minder of Baba’s work at Meherabad, she was more than that to us. She was also the kindly grandmother who thought we were all a bit crazy, but nevertheless took us into her heart as Mansari was also the kindly “Baba’s Kids. Most of us at that time JandflotheF who thought we were so alienated from life and so were all a bit crazy. but desperately looking for something nevertheless took us into her real; imagine our delight to sit with heart as Baba s Kids tiny, elderly Indian woman as she this $‘ served us tea and treats, with birds “d’ hopping on the floor and flying around her kitchen, and told us stories about fully place the morning’s flowers after arti. At night, as it became dark, she the Avatar of the Age. To sit with Mansari and talk about Baba was like would arrive at the tomb with a experiencing the essence of lantern (before electricity arrived), Meherabad—feeling a light-hearted joy motioning us to go in when it was time for evening arti to begin. After in the presence of the Avatar, but always underscored by the gravity of arti she enjoyed sitting as people sang His work and power. Always ready songs to Baba, or perhaps told a story. with a joke or funny story, she was Sometimes the mood would be somber, sometimes we would all sit just as quick to bring the conversation and giggle for half an hour. She had a : back to its serious side, conveying her strict, but simple schedule, which unending awe at the miracle of the included fasting one day a week, but Avatar’s incarnation as Meher Baba. When I got back home to Oregon in she always would have tea for us at 3:00 in the afternoon and allow time the spring of 1973, after my first trip, I for chatting. Her day seemed to be sent Mansari a postcard, a beautiful Oregon river landscape, with an filled with chores, and those who inscription which read, “The Perfect happened to wander over by her kitchen would often be brought into a Place. A while later I got the card back with a letter from Mansari. She chore—perhaps being shown how had pasted a little photo of Baba in the they used to grind grain on the stone grinding wheel across from her house, sky, and written, “Now it is the Perfect Place!” or allowed to help make the chalk designs around Baba’s gadi before holidays. Her servant, Deo, would

tomb, often with a scarf around her head against the chill of the morning, opening the tomb with a big key. She would supervise the cleaning of the tomb in the morning, designating which of us would help with which task, and allowing one of us to care-

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Postings from the Internet by James Cox Thursday, September 4, 1996 Yesterday morning Mansari took the long walk to the Samadhi, first time in months (climbing Mt. Everest, as she puts it) She wanted to see the preparations for Mani’s interment, and perhaps where her own ashes will finally also get parked. I think it may have been the first time she has seen Mehera’s finished tomb, and those of the other four women mandali to Mehera’s right. Mani’s crypt is ready, it has been beautifully painted on the inside with a floral motif over a pink ground, and the final preparations are being made for the 8th. The crypt is small, about 9” x 9” x 1 2, and we joked with Mansari that hers would be much

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smaller, because she is so small. She laughed and pointed to an upsidedown gamela, and said, That much is enough for me. Mansari’s hearing and energy continue to improve since her heart attack about 1 8 months ago, and it has been reallyjoyful to see her bounce back. Later on in her room, she talked about how she had come to stay with Baba in 1938, how He had told her to stay on Meherabad Hill, and not even come to Meherazad unless He called her. When He called, she would walk the distance in her slippers, and come back the same day. She told about how, sometimes, when Baba didn’t call her, she would cry, and when Baba “

Mansari with a Shirin and Betty Lc

would see her, He would ask, What is this? Only women cry. These are just glass beads. The ones you hold inside become the real pearls.” And she also told a story about her uncle Sorabji, the writer in her family that first came into contact with Baba. She said there were many, many pictures of Baba on Sorabji’s wall, and sometimes, to tease him, they would say, Uncle, here are a couple of empty inches, can’t you squeeze in another one?” And Sorabji would tell them with a smile, “Children, you laugh, but one day, you will also know.” “

Jai Baba


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ansari’s pyre was down to a few coals this morning when I left Meherabad for Pune, and there were half a dozen people sitting around the ghat, talking in the crisp morning air. The smoke had been bluish, like Mani’s. Yesterday her rosecovered body was carried out of her room at about 3:30p.m., when the Meherazad mandali arrived, and was placed next to Baba’s Gadi, the reclining chair on which He used to sit outside her room under the tin shed. Arti was performed, and various people sang, taking turns paying their last respects. At about 4:30 p.m. she was carried down the hill on a stretcher, and the serpentine line of His lovers followed behind for half a kilometer, dozens of old and new friends taking turns carrying the stretcher shoulder high as the proces sion slowly made it’s way to the cremation ground below. We brought over 2,000 roses, and they were placed throughout the wood, the fire being lit about 5 p.m., just as two carloads of Mansari’s friends and relatives arrived from Bombay. As usual, songs were sung as the flames leaped through the babul and roses, and the atmosphere was light and happy. Mansari died on Dhuni day, so yesterday there were two fires into the night.

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iviansari s Pyre 1I.

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This morning Jal Dastoor rode with me to Pune, and he told me that she once mentioned to him that all of the women staying with Baba loved Him so much that there was quite a bit of jealousy and vying for Baba’s attention. And on occasion they would do things to each other out of that jealousy; Mansari confessed that she herself had been one of them. One of Mansari’s favourite things was to ask if we had ever tried toddy, the somewhat-fermented juice from a type of coconut palm found in India. Baba’s father had sold toddy in his Pune shop, and Baba had also worked there in his early years. Mansari was fond of telling about picnics in Navsari when she was a girl. where they would go bumping in a bullock cart, eat open-fire fried fish, and drink toddy for an outing. She would mimic the jarring motion of the bullock cart, and tell us what we were missing. I assured her that one day I actually would get some toddy and try it. Well, until now, despite travelling around India for 25 years, I had never tasted toddy, but tonight, sitting in my friend’s flat in Pune, someone has given me a bottle, and I’m finally drinking it, sort of a final goodbye to Mansari, as I write this last account of her friendship. . .


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Beloved Baba’s Jane

Cables from India

by Adele Wolkin

Our deep loss is dear Jane’s deep gain, for she has reached the Goal. What a life, what a journey, to have walked with confident stride ever holding tight the hand of Avatar Meher Baba, the Lord of Love!

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Thank you Jane

Avatar Meher Baba ki Jal —Meherazad men and women mandali Bhau and Khorshed

by Kaye Panicke

To Board of Directors Meher Spiritual Center

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Meherazad mandali salute dearest Jane and her life of wholehearted love, dedication, t’ service and surrender to Beloved Avatar Meher Baba, her precious Lord and Master. Faithful cornpanion to dear Elikit and a pillar of Baba 5 Home in the West Jane shone as one of the bright stars in Meher Babas Western sky In her thirty years of love and care for Meher Spiritual Genter Baba Lovers and the surrounding cammurntysbe touched countless hearts offles with her graciousness ;aIärm and warmth Above all herexample of one who gave her all for Baba should remain an inspiration to all those who serve at His Center Our hearts go out to dear Wendy Charles John Diane and all her family who have been so united with her in Baba s Love as well as to her wider Baba family

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I went to Myrtle Beach yesterday as I had heard that sometimes people were being allowed in to say goodbye to Jane; however, there was a sign on the door posted by the family saying that there would be no visitors on Thursday. So I simply stood outside several yards away for a very long time in the brilliant sunshine and crisp air waiting to feel connected to dearest Jane. I would say that Baba’s Presence was palpable and that the entire atmosphere felt very natural and beautiful with the birds and bright green shrubbery. My sadness at losing Jane seemed to dissipate in the whisperings that her leaving to go to Him for the ultimate life and healing was not awful but wonderful. Thank you Baba and thank you Jane for a life lived in the utmost desire to do His will and show His love. His Hand has always been on you.

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urely Avatar Meher Baba’s Nazar is fixed on His Jane Barry Haynes throughout her illness and passing, in her home in the Meher Spiritual Center. We rejoice with her, as we recall that it is now 1997, and forty years ago, in 1957, Jane made her first visit to the Center as a visitor with the actress friend who first inspired her interest in Baba. Soon after the death of Norma Matchabelli in 1957, Eliza beth Patterson’s closest associate and valued friend in service to Baba, Jane gradually took on the role of a most faithful co-worker to both Elizabeth and Kitty. It was after Elizabeth’s demise, in December of 1980, that Jane began serving as the president of Meher Center. She served for fourteen years until her resignation in Decem ber of 1994. Since that time she has been designated as President Emeri tus. Following is a wire sent on 21 February 1996: Beloved Baba s Jane, How close you are to the Beloved! How uniquely beautifulyour discipleship in Him andyour closeness to Mani! He is indeed carrying us on His Back when we seem to be at a standstill! Our Beloved always is the remedy for all our ills, as you know better than most. Our sincerest loving prayers in our Beloved God-Man Christ. —Adele Wolkin and the L.A. Baba Group


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“Baba Wants to See 1iou

by Jane Haynes Monday, May 19, 1958 We had been told that no one was many letters from Elizabeth about to come to the Center on that first Jane—and His beautiful eyes twinkled day. Early in the morning the tele as He teased her. Elizabeth mentioned phone rang in Happy House. Elizabeth an ailment of mine and asked if there said, Meher Baba wants to see you. I should be an operation. “Not now,” protested, in my ignorance, “But I Baba said. “Not at this time.” have to post bond for my theatre” (we Then He asked, Have you eaten, were to open in four weeks’ time). Jane? With a sweet smile He turned Elizabeth said quietly, “When Baba to me. I felt myself blushing because calls, Jane, that is the time to come.” all the way up to the Center I had Something in her voice penetrated to been thinking, “I expect the food will my inner being. I went directly to the be very good—Elizabeth said it is Center. (Baba had said that the being catered by Mrs. Houston at the children were to go to school as Driftwood! Though I was veiled, I usual.) I entered the Lagoon Cabin knew even then that He knew my with Elizabeth. There I saw Meher every thought. Baba seated, wearing a white garment I was seated in the Original and a lovely pinkjacket. There were Kitchen only a few moments when impressions of stillness, beauty, and Kitty came running in to say, “Baba peace. Baba gestured for me to sit asks you to come and be beside Him beside Him. when the New York group arrives.” I Suddenly, to my surprise, I heard Upon reaching the Lagoon Cabin, myself saying, “You look so well. They Baba gestured for me to sit close told me that You have not been well.” beside Him. I did so, and watched as Baba was silent; He looked past me the people approached Him. Some and then gestured with His beautiful were smiling, some wept, some knelt hands (and Adi, His disciple, spoke), before Him—each one received a “No one, no one, no one understands : tender embrace. My suffering. There was sadness in A black youngish woman came His eyes. forward. I recognized her as someone In a little while, Baba seeing me I had seen at FredElla’s [Fred and Ella look with wonder at Him, said, “Do ; Winterfeldt] in New York. Her name, I not look at this form, Jane. This is not learned later, was Beryl Williams. Baba. And then, How long does Jane When Baba embraced her, He put her stay, Elizabeth?” She replied, “Only face on one side of His own in a tender half of your stay Baba, due to the gesture. Then He placed her face on theatre opening. (Of course as it the other side of His own, and He turned out, I was to stay until the last ; turned His head and glanced at me. A moment.) gentle glance, but also a deep and Beloved Baba then said to me, “Do penetrating gaze. It seemed to me the not think of the theatre while you are first time that He had held my eyes in here. Think only of Me. I will see to that direct way. That was all. Yet I it. He then said that He had had so know now that at that moment “

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Beloved Baba lifted my ignorance and my prejudice. Black people had been close to me in growing up in the South, but in the role of servants. In time to come I was to have dear Beryl as my dear and loving friend—to feel a oneness with her that can only be a spiritual bond placed by Baba. He was to propel me years later into service work with His black children and families. But on this first day, I simply felt the sweetness of His Glance. At the close of the time with the New York lovers, we were alone with Him. Baba asked His Elizabeth. “What is Jane thinking?” She replied,”I do not know, Baba, but she has not taken her eyes from You. Beloved Baba asked for the children—He had said that they were to remain in their school classes; I told Him that, and He nodded, and said that He would call them. He looked so very beautiful. It is not possible to say in words. One knew, even when veiled from His Glory, that never had there been a Being like this One. One was at ease; time simply dissolved. There was only this moment—this Now. His Beauty was inexpressible, and the peace in one’s heart indescribable. Yet I was still to discoverjust who Meher Baba really is.

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Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!

Excerpted from the journals of Jane Barry Haynes, Letters ofLove for Meher Baba, the Ancient One, edited by Jane Barry Haynes (MyrtieBeach: EliNor Publications, forthcoming 1997), copyright 1 997 by EliNor Publications Used by Permission.

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Archives and Museum Project Circular No. 2 by Meheru R. Irani Bhau Kaichuri

In this second circular from the Trust’s Archives and Museum Commit-

and the members of the

tee we greet you all, Baba’s dear ones

Avatar Meher Baba Trust Archives and Museum Committee

of East and West: Jai Beloved Meher Baba!

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hrough a continuing series of circulars we plan to update you on the progress of the project first described in our ciycular sent out in May 1 996 and published in many Baba newsletters. Since then our hearts and attention were turned to the care of our dearest Mani. Though we rejoice in her Reunion with her Beloved Lord and brother and in her triumph of a life led totally for Him, we greatly miss her companionship, her humour and her wisdom. We feel fortunate that this endeavour to preserve and share the precious items connected with Beloved Baba was initiated and devel oped under her personal guidance. During the time of her illness we felt our minds greatly distanced from all other work at hand. But Mani’s last letter dictated as Chairman of the Trust, at such a delicate time in her health, concerned this project and showed us more clearly than anything else could how strong her dedication was to Baba’s cause and how signifi cant this work. The final design for the Conserva tion Building at Meherabad, as per floor plans [shown on page following this article] is now complete and has

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been approved by the Conservation Laboratory of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. USA; the detailed working drawings are finished; and the Trust is ready to invite tenders and select a building contractor. The design of the approximately 5,000 sq. ft. two storey brick building is based on the principle of a thermos bottle, or a ‘box within a box’ which minimizes changes in temperature and humidity without using airconditioning. The storage and work rooms are all surrounded by an insulating corridor, and the roof is double-layered, which separates these important areas from the building exterior, so as to protect the precious collection from the extremes of our harsh climate. The corridor also contains the main utility ducts and pipes for safer operation and servic ing. The lower floor, which is more protected, has a large storage room for the most fragile items, with an adjoining treatment room. Maintenance rooms are also on this floor. The upper floor has another large storage room, a smaller one for films, video and audio ,

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tapes, treatment rooms and offices, including a central computer room. In the entrance area are meeting and maintenance rooms, a receiving area and a visitor area. There is one main entrance, with two additional fire escape exits. A staircase and service elevator provide access between the two floors. The attractive design of the building’s exterior has been given detailed attention to ensure that it harmonizes and blends with the surrounding landscape. To achieve the best conditions possible for the preservation and cataloguing of Baba’s precious belongings, as well as the numerous docu ments, photos and films associated with His life, special care has been given to incorporate archive and museum standards in all aspects of the building’s design and construction. This not only includes the building materials used, but all the necessary specifications for security, lighting, dust and pest control, fire and flood prevention, and stabilization of temperature and humidity. The building is designed to carry a much greater load per square foot than usual, since cupboards containing


Photo is of a model representing the new facilities

papers are very heavy. This will also construction costs of Rs. 85 lakhs ensure that the building will be (approximately US $240,000) and sufficiently flexible to meet changing because of this we are forced to delay needs in the future. These standards breaking ground. It is imperative that substantially increase the cost of the construction should start as soon as building, but they are intended to possible, not only so that precious protect the precious items housed Baba-articles be better housed, but within for as long a time as possible. also because of spiraling costs of both Since the last circular some Baba labour and materials here. lovers, concerned about the future The concerted help of Baba lovers safety of Baba treasures in their all over the world is urgently needed keeping, have asked if they can send now for this tremendous undertaking. them here or bequeath them in their It is only with your full support and wills. This building will not only be a help that this project can be com facility for caring for the existing Trust pleted. As we said in our first circular, collection, but provision has been “Baba’s world-wide family has the made to accommodate Baba treasures opportunity to participate in this from those who feel prompted to give effort in a significant way through or leave them to the Trust for safedonations. Donations are in a real guarding and sharing with future sense the bricks and mortar that will : shelter this precious legacy for the generations. This is the time when funds are future.” essential to start construction of the It is, however, vitally important Conservation Building. We send our that this project not diminish regular loving appreciation to those of you Trust funds as these are needed as who have responded to our first letter always for the running of the Trust by sending donations. So far donations Estate and its other activities. We ask for this project, so close to the heart that your special donations for the of Meherabad and the Baba world, Conservation Building be identified as have provided only a small part of such and that these donations be what is necessary to meet projected given without affecting any regular .

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donations that you might already be giving. Whatever you can afford to give, whether much or little, will be most welcome and your deep desire to help much appreciated. Cheques or bank drafts for this special project may be sent directly to the Trust, made out to “Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, with a covering note specifying that it be used for “the Corpus for the Archival and Museum Building and Facilities.” This is a Baba-given opportunity in which one and all are encouraged to participate. Only with all of you joining in and helping to whatever extent you can, according to your : situation, will we be able to fulfill this momentous work in the service of the Avatar of the Age. “

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Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai! Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust Post Bag No. 3 1 King’s Road Ahmednagar 4 1 4 001 M.S., India ,

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please note: the ground floor plan has not been reproduced here due to lack of space; please feel free to call us if you would like to see a copy. —ed.

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Special Guests Travel to Meherabad to Help Plan Conservation Building

by Dot Lesnik

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tremendous amount of research and effort by many individuals has gone into the planning of the Conservation Building at Meherabad. One event in particular that was a major contribu tion to the project is told by the wonderful story of how Vince Wilcox and Joan Bacharach traveled to India to offer their help. Vince Wilcox is the Director of the Museum Support Center of the Smithsonian Institution, the halfmillion square-foot storage facility for the many Smithsonian Museum collections. I first met him during a trip to Washington DC with Sheila Krynski in the spring of 1995. Our trip was sponsored by Sheriar Foundation for the purpose of learning more about archive preservation work through meetings with experts at various museums and archives. Because of my involvement with archive preservation for the past few years, I had spoken with Vince several times on the phone and was looking forward to finally meeting him. During a morning spent at the Museum Support Center, we not only had an in-depth tour of this extraordi nary facility, but learned a great deal about Vince’s approach and his attitude towards the work of collec tions management. He shared with us his background and experience with

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It twly astonished cveone involved that this knowl edgeable pair of experts would take time away from their busy professional schedules get on a plane andgo hf way around the world to a ,lace thefd never been in order to help a small group ofpeople

Native American collections, expressing his belief that the spiritual aspects of a collection can be accommodated and enhanced when designing a place to house them. His view that preserv ing the feeling of things is as impor tant as preserving the things themselves was our first intimation that Vince had a special connection to the preservation of items associated withY Meher Baba. He responded very enthusiastically when we described the efforts being made in India to protect and preserve Meher Baba’s precious belongings When hearing that plans to construct an archive storage building there had just begun, he said straight away that he’d be most happy to advise and help in any way he could. So began the exciting long-distance dialogue between Vince Wilcox and Ted Judson—the building’s architect at herabad—duriflg which designs, drawings and questions were sent back and forth via FAX and e-mail for review and comment. At some point in this process, it became clear that for Vince to understand more about the storage requirements of the collection in India it was vital that he see the site, and acquire first-hand information about the collection itself and the environmental conditions in that part of India. A visit to India would also allow him to meet in

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O3@tc person with the Archive and Museum Committee—Bhau, Meheru, Merwan and Falu— who were embarking on the immense task of trying to preserve for posterity, as well as for contempo rary humanity, the personal articles and records associated with Meher Baba’s life and advent. The invitation was offered and accepted. After a whirlwind of planning and orientation, Vince’s trip was scheduled to coincide with mine in August of 1 995 Within a year of our first conversations, much to his astonishment and delight, he was on his way to India with his wife, Joan Bacharach. She is the Museum Registrar for the National Park Ser vice, which is responsible for millions of cultural objects, natural history collections, and archival collections at over 300 museum sites in this coun try. Because of her own extensive experience with the maintenance of collections, it was wonderful that she was accompanying Vince to help with the building project at Meherabad. It’s hard to describe the collective excitement and anticipation as the day of their arrival in Bombay ap proached. It truly astonished everyone involved that this knowledgeable pair of experts would take time away from their busy professional schedules, get on a plane, and go half way around the world to a place they’d never been in order to help a small group of people, most of whom they had never met before. Their first two days in India were pleasantly spent resting, getting acclimated, and becoming acquainted with the place and the people they had come so far to assist. What followed during the next two weeks was nothing short of remarkable. There were daily work sessions, in which the committee and others involved were guided by Vince and Joan through the intense and detailed process of finalizing a design for the Conservation Building. Much of this concerned determining the size and usage of the different rooms that were to be included. It also involved learning more about the optimum condi .

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tions required for the preservation of items to be housed within the building. [Climate control and some of the other important issues that were discussed are described in the Archive and Museum Committee’s Circular No. 2, preceding this article.] Vince and Joan focused a lot of attention on the principles of stabili

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narily thorough. They thought that the collections were in very good condition, and that the committee had : been doing the right thing and should continue with the kind of care they’d been giving. Although the focus of their visit was work, Vince and Joan had time for fun as well: listening to Eruch tell Baba stories in Mandali Hall, chatting with Mansari in her kitchen, excur sions into the bazaar and neighboring villages, and a trip to the Ajanta and Ellora caves. One of the highlights was a memorable last night in Bombay before their departure, amidst the lights and noisy festivities of the Ganesh festival—quite a spectacular send-off! In every detail of their visit, there was a truly pervasive feeling of Baba personally hosting these two very special first-time guests to His home. Most poignant and touching was their response to the people they met—Mani and all the other Mandali in particular—and their enjoyment of and receptiveness towards everything new they encountered at Meherabad and Meherazad. When asked about their time in India, Vince and Joan still find it hard BabasSandals to put their feelings into words. They can only say that it was perhaps the most profound experience they have ever had. The love they felt at zation, providing support, preventing Meherabad and Meherazad is still damage, and protecting objects, and fresh and alive, and although they do : not consider themselves to be followexplained how these goals could be : ers of Meher Baba, He has clearly incorporated into the features of the structure itself. They showed the touched their hearts. committee how to take their own Vince and Joan continue an active intuitive ideas about the care of this interest and involvement with the unique collection and translate them archive work in India. They gener into a building. ously contribute professional advice on a variety of archive and preserva The work sessions were quite animated and inspired, with support tion topics, as well as offer ongoing and encouragement being given by assistance with the building project at Vince and Joan at every step of the every phase of its development. Their help has been invaluable and is greatly way. They had a genuine and immedi appreciated. Their gracious response ate ease with everyone, and a deep respect and appreciation for how close is that it has been a real pleasure for this project was to the hearts of all them and an opportunity they trea involved. In commenting on the care sure. of Baba treasures they were shown, they said they felt that the preserva tion efforts so far had been extraordi :

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The Single-most Important Work We Can Do Right Now by Dma Snow

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his never-before-seen and not-likely-to-be-seen-again photo of the Mandali first sprang from the fertile fund-raising brain of Wendy Ward. She suggested I ask the Mandali to pose for the photo so that we could use it as a fund-raiser for our new center. They all very graciously acceded to my request, so two days before I left India (October 1 996) I took the photo, had it devel oped at the one-hour photo shop (in Ahmednagar! Can you believe it?), then took it back to Meherazad and ,

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prevailed upon them all to sign it. Back in L.A. I had it framed, and at our auction it went for $1,100! Then the idea came to also use it to help raise funds for the Archive building, which has become a priority for the Trust—Meheru tells us it is the single-most important Baba work we can do right now. I ran our idea by Meheru and Bhau to see if they would mind our method of raising money. They said if the LampPost can manage it, and inspire people all over the world to give to the Archive project,

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then we could go ahead with it. So before framing the photo with all the signatures, I had a photo taken of it for sale to you all. Remember there is but one original and you are buying the copy. We feel an affordable donation is $25 After covering the cost of the photo and mailing expense, $20 of each and every sale will go to the Trust to help with the Archive project. Orders will he handled through the Love Street Book Store, and you’ll find our address and phone number on the title page. .

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A Sweet Responsibility; A Special Privilege

by Nancy Wall

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hen I heard of the plan to build an archival and conservation building in Meherabad, I was delighted. Those of us who have come to love Meher Baba during the past few decades have had an opportunity to see many of the precious items that He used or wore—in the museum in upper Meherabad, in Bab&s house in Myrtle Beach, at His room in Poona. Some of us have been given a hair of Baba’s or a photo He touched. And all of us who have visited Meherabad and Meherazad have had the tremen dous gift of getting to know Baba’s close mandali. But sometimes I thought about the throngs of people who will come to love Baba in the future, when the mandali are no longer physically present, and wondered how the treasures would be preserved so that they would be available for these later lovers to see. This is the first Avataric Advent in which technology makes it possible to preserve all the price-

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less items connected with the Avatar. The process of preserving Baba’s belongings began long before experts in conservation were called in to help, starting with the extreme care Mehera and the other mandali took in the storing of everything connected with Baba. I was particularly touched to hear that Mehera had, intuitively, done everything correctly from an archival standpoint in her careful packing away of Baba’s clothing. This news surprised me for only a moment, though. Of course Mehera, who lived onlyto please her Beloved Baba, would have known exactly what to do. Now all these precious items can be more fully protected, safe in a

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building immune to the effects of extreme ternperatures, fluctu ating humidity, and abundant insect life. And all of us who have enjoyed so much of what Mani called “the tangible connection to His physi cal Advent” now have an opportu nity to help make the archival and conservation building become a reality in the near future, ensuring that tangible connection for generations to come. I see my role in this effort as both a sweet responsibility and a very special privilege.


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A note from our Trust-walli by Lynne Berry you’ve been thinking that sometime you’d like to make a love-donation to the Trust, today may be the perfect time. The Avatar Meher Baba Trust runs a first-rate school, provides medical care for villagers and maintains Baba’s tomb-shrine and Trust properties. There are also beneficiaries of the Trust whose living expenses are covered by donations from Baba-lovers. All of these worthy projects were specified by Baba Himself, in the Trust Deed. Many of the Trust’s charitable projects and outreach projects are carried out by Eastern and Western volunteers. Some projects, however, require the assistance of paid Indian workers, and as India raises its standard of living, the cost of materials and labor is on the rise also. Now this new opportunity presents itself. Lovedonations are also need for the exciting new project that involves the preservation of articles used and touched by Baba—the precious treasures that mean so much to all of us. Contributions for the archives project will have long-lasting value indeed! If this type of service appeals to you, please make your check payable to “Friends of Meher Baba Trust, and send it to:

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Our dear Adele Wolkin

Share in the Treasure by Adele Wolkin Grow old along with me! The bestisyet to be. The last of life for which the first was made Youth shows but half; trust God, see all, nor be afraid.

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—Robert Browning j\n idea was born with the repeated echoing within me of these lines I feel an inner need to open up an evening each week, or every other week, at my home, for a joyful sharing of letters, cables and other less-known or not-known writings, messages and beautiful photos of Baba, many touched by the Avatar. Please write and/or phone me when you have a free evening or afternoon for generally two hours—any day of the week, even weekends. Please give your suggested time in advance of course—a week or several days ahead.

JaiBaba!

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Lynne Berry 267 Hanover Dr. Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Please note what port’ion of your donation is for the Trust, and/or for Archives. Jai Baba. .

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Adele Wolkin 7 1 4 A South Pacific Coast Hwy Redondo Beach, CA 90277 310 540-8404

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3’® The following has been prepared by the Archives and Museum Committee of the Avatar Meher Baba PP C. Trust, Ahmednagar India, in response to queries:

Tips for Preserving Your Precious Baba Treasures

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uite a number of dear ones from our Baba family have been asking us what they can do t are for the precious items of Beloved Baba’s that have been entrusted to them. An invaluable pointer is this: what is good for people is usually not good for these items. For instance, while people like light and air, things don’t—light and air damage them and shorten their life. Light and extremes of temperature and humidity are harmful to precious items, as are dust, pollution, mold and pests. Even ordinary handling will cause damage that may not be evident for some years. So to prolong the life of any Baba treasure that you may possess—such as a sadra, a handkerchief, a strand of Beloved Baba’s hair, a letter or book with His signature, or a photo touched by Him—you need to find a way of keeping it safe from damage and loss h Crown embroidered for Baba even as you enjoy the fragrance of Baba’s presence that it imparts. Here are some simple guidelines: . . Be very conscious of security and Make sure that each treasure has a keep your treasure in a safe place. label that includes the words “Avatar Make sure your close ones know in Meher Baba” In the case of a cloth writing what to do with it if anything item, Baba’s name can be embroidered or written with India ink on a well: should happen to you. If you are uncertain of the continuity of its care washed pure cotton cloth ribbon. This and safety, you can bequeath it to can be very gently tacked on to the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public item in a place where it won’t be seen Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India, if you wish to display it. If this is thus ensuring its availability for impossible, then a tag of a neutral and posterity. durable material can be tied onto the . Avoid unnecessary handling of item. Otherwise, keep it in a safe treasures. Handling causes microcontainer that is clearly labeled. Don’t scopic damage and leaves chemicals directly embroider or write on the from your skin on them that will item itself, don’t use glue directly on accelerate the aging process. any item, nor permanently attach . Keep treasures away from sunlight anything to it. . Be sure to record a brief history of : and artificial light as much as possible. For example, make sure to cover any the article, since if this history is see-through display case or cabinet forgotten, those who come after you with a dark cloth when it is not being will have no way of knowing the viewed. treasure’s worth. This written history . Keep precious articles away from should be carefully stored in reference windows and doors where climatic to the treasure.

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changes in temperature and humidity are more extreme. Don’t store your treasures in attics or basements. Bear in mind that artificial lights are sources of heat, and shouldn’t be focused directly on your treasures. • Be sure articles are safe from dust, pests and polluted air. Particularly at risk from insect attack are wool and : silk items, and Beloved Baba’s hair and nails. The best way to protect your treasure is to keep it in a closed : container, such as a cupboard, trunk, acid-free box, stainless steel or glass container, or specially-made display case. Always line the container with well-washed cotton cloth, acid-free !. tissue paper, or Reemay to provide added support and protection. Be careful with plastic bags—many plastic products contain harmful chemicals that will damage your treasures. I Acid-free paper and Mylar (which are available from stationers) are the best protection for precious letters and photos. Make sure your framed photos are matted with acid-free cardboard and protected with UV glass. If you have a photo album, make sure it is archivally safe. . Garments and other cloth items which are folded should be supported inside the creases with archivally safe i padding—polyester batting, wellwashed, unbleached cotton muslin, acid-free tissue paper or Reemay—so that the creases don’t become perma nent. . Be sure to periodically examine each item carefully to make sure that no unexpected problem has arisen. . Don’t attempt to wash, clean or restore any treasure yourself. If you feel your treasure needs attention, show it to a museum professional.

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For further guidance on the protection and preservation of your Baba treasures, or for help with any of the above points, you may contact: The Archives and Museum Committee, Avatar Meher Baba Trust, Ahmednagar, India; or Dot Lesnik, 265 Patterson Drive, Briarcliffe Acies, Myrtle Beach SC 29572, USA, tel. (803)272-6868. ,

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Meher’s Wine CD Review by Katherine Wiederhold Mehers Wine Wins Prestigious California “Liquid Poetry” Award for 1997. A new CD amazed the judges and swept festival awards. The CD is an especial tribute to Mr. Meher Baba, the founding father of this family-owned and -operated Winery. Mr. Baba and his little sister, Mani Cover of Meher’s Wine S. Irani worked side by side and hand in hand crushing the grapes themselves for this advent’s brew. As the story goes... them From the Wine ofMeher, written Baba’s Song ofthe New Life! Their Age after age, the olden corks are high soprano sincerity and deep bass by Bhau Kaichuri. A great Brown Bird pulled from the ancient barrels of the named Bob joined the flock with news. obedience from two birds supported Beloved’s heart and creation is re He announced proudly that He Has the solo Ronling with the vow to Stay freshed. New life, renewed hope and Come to Live Within Our Hearts and With God. The Masters could not spirit ignite the inner music of each the Brown Bob Bird was so overjoyed ignore the Beloved Mr. Baba’s lovers. human heart. The Wine Steward he put music to his news for the three They returned the Grand Old Ancient serves His humanity glasses of hot red minstrel birds to sing. And as they One to earth. Mr. Baba’s sister rejoiced lava flowing from His heart. He serves sang, one bird was moved to a gospel that her God-Brother was with her soothing whites as rivers of sweetness theme to pronounce his boyhood love again to squeeze grapes and fly kites from His grace. He serves a pinkish to Mr. Baba, and Yours Alone burst and feed little boy birds on her rosé from the fragrance of His being. : forth. A strange Hafiz bird with huge window sill. He pours each one a favorite variety of wings like all Glory allowed the gents She took them hand in hand in intoxicant. select to from his hand 50 Poems ofHafiz. up the Hill, where Mr. Baba : One morning eons ago, three With his fledgling friend A.J. Arberry served everyone Fire Water Wine. sparrows turned their faces toward translating into English, the three This jazz-oriented private reserve is God. Their names were Darrell Rupe, mixed voices presented Divine Wine rare. The three only drink it as Fire on David Miotke, and Ron Greenstein. Worship. Then what happened? Five the Hill. They sang Mr. Baba’s Ghazal (circa Perfect Master birds flew down to So ends this tale of a CD dedicated 1 922) They did not rehearse and earth. They grabbed up Mr. Baba. to Mr. Baba’s little sister Mani for her their final recording was freshly Such a thing to occur! The three sing timeless love and dedication to His improvisational. Then the sparrows still of The Five Greatest Thieves. cause. When you purchase this CD, turned into owls and sang Baba Hu, a Devastated by the crime, the three Mr. Baba’s Perpetual Trust is strengthQ awali song. Their voices awoke Scott tried to appeal to the Masters by ened. Makeig, who’s meditative mind taught perfect harmonic blend for their Mr. .

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Step inside...

Love Street Book Store

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by Dma Snow

Jai Baba & Welcome to all of our first-time visitors! I know there are many more of you thanks to the Mani memorial issue that caught so many eyes (and hearts).

Bookstore Tour

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think it is time we took a walk around the store and I point out some of our very best items that are languishing on our shelves due to lack of mention in these pages. When I first tell you about a new item, the re sponse is tremendous. we sell lots and lots. But then there are all the Aother wonderful tapes, books, videos, photos, jewelry, Baba trinkets etc., that unless you are actually in the store and looking at them, you forget, or don’t know about them. Yes, we still have some of the beautiful Baba calendars for 1997. They are a little larger than last year, and each date in the life of Meher Baba that has significance is mentioned. The top of the page has a photo of Baba, and the creator of these calendars, Christina Arazmo, has searched hard to find the more unusual, less well-known photos. She has also chosen some wonderful Baba sayings to go along with the photos. The calendar has been reduced to $5.00, but call me as soon as you read this, because my supply will be very low and there are no more anywhere! [ See title page on how to reach me.] Ramanujam has done us all a great service in writing a book called Much Love. It is a hardbound 605-page book that I call the Readers Digest of Baba books. The .

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table of contents alone is eight pages long! The book is divided into eight parts: the first, logging in at 273 pages, is a calendar of events in the life of Meher Baba from 25th February 1894 right up to 31st January 1969. Part 3 is all the prayers, part 5 covers all the important messages Baba gave us, part 6 lists all His declarations of Divinity. and so on. Much Love is very readable, and an excellent reference book—a very good value at just $20. book that makes a very beautiful gift, to yourself or a friend who loves either roses or poetry (or both) is called The Poetry ofRoses. That most accomplished of artists, Carolyn Parker, grew her own roses (I hear her garden is a thing of wondrous beauty) cut them, arranged them, photographed them, chose famous poems to go along with them, designed the layout and dedicated the book to Baba, The Most Perfect Rose of All. We sell this hard-bound coffee-table book that looks like it should cost $35-$40 for only $20. nother art book is of a tale told by the Buddha: The Golden Goose King, retold and illustrated by Judith Ernst. It is 1 1 x 8 ½, hardbound, and beautiful. Judith is a superb artist and excels in Persian miniatures. The very colorful paint.

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ings herein are in the Indian style, many full-page. There is, of course, a moral to the story, and could be read to any of the up and coming Baba babies with full comprehension. In the foreword, Professor of Religious studies at the University of South Carolina, Carl Ernst, tells us that, “When viewed as narratives told by the Buddha, these stories also contain an aura of transcendence, the ‘taste of the dharma. One of the achievements of this version of The Golden Goose King is to transport us not merely into the timeless world of the tale, where the dream of the Queen of Benares leads to an encounter with the lumi nous and spiritual bird; this version also takes us to second-order reflec tion on the tale, as the primordial anticipation in a previous life of the self-sacrificing love of Ananda for the Buddha.” Published by Parvardigar Press, we sellitfor $20. j\n important book (and one which was unfortunately omitted from our current catalogue) is Listen Humanity. This is a $14

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paperback narrated by Don Stevens from the words of Meher Baba, and for over 40 years it has been a favorite introductory book on the Avatar. It includes a lively narrative of a 4-week sahavas in 1955, and more than 100 pages of messages by Baba. e have tiny little books for $1 each that are a brief overview of the different religions titled Thus Spake Krishna; Mohammad; Buddha; Christ; Zarathustra; and the Vedas. hear drugs, especially LSD, eare making a comeback in campuses across the country. Baba had some very potent words to say in

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she wrote to me, “We just saw the a little book entitled God in a Pill. If video of Mani’s interment. Considering you know someone who might benefit the occasion and the situation— by this, its only $1.50. Mitchell did a good job. Watching the itchell Rose, a Los Angeleno : video brought it all back. I remember who makes his living in the the singing of a bird—pouring its soul Hollywood film world, was in India out in full-throated abandon of when Mani joined Baba. With the exceptional sweetness. Immediately I Mandali’s permission, he videotaped thought of Mani as tho’ she was telling her interment; this video is now us how happy she was—so free and available for $ 1 4.00. Mitch tried to be unfettered to be with Baba and as unobtrusive as possible in deference to the Mandali’s and family’s : Mehera. The atmosphere of their presence was almost tangible. And the privacy, but you can see and hear the love coming from all gathered there various tributes given to Mani, and the just heightened the feeling of Baba’s order of the ceremonies. We sent a presence.” copy to Meheru and the mandali, and

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many of you have told us you wanted to frame the beautiful color photos of Mani that appeared in our Ocotber memorial issue, but did not want to cut up your magazine. Well we have solved that problem for you: we had those same eight pages printed exactly as they appeared in the LampPost, but they are printed on one side only, ready for framing. So leave your magazine intact, and buy the complete set of photos for just $10.

could borrow it to have copies made as he knew it was not from Hermes, Meelan or Panday. While reading Gift of God that night, what should I see on page 1 25 but the very same photo. It was taken at Ashiana, the home of Arnavaz and Nariman in Bombay. I asked Arnavaz for permission to copy it and make it available to everyone who wanted it. Yes yes ! she ex claimed, “These photos of our Beloved should be there for everyone who wants one ! It sells for $ 1 2, as do all the other 8x10 and 9x12 photos.

most of the time. The first part was so spot-on for me, I couldn’t believe it! I’ve had those conversations with myself. This is an absolutely delightful tape, so much fun to have. But more than that. .it is very profound. What you first laugh at boomerangs back at you and packs a wallop as the truth of it hits. It is steeped in love for Baba. There is also a nicely produced booklet accompanying the tape. “Ah, I don’t need the booklet, you might think! Think again! Eruch was behind Michael all the way, egging him on, “You must write more” says Eruch! The words are so very good they bear Befittrng aforturuite s1âve carry out evenj command oft& 9vtaster reading over again, at your without any question ofwlly or wIat. own pace, as sometimes on the tape they whiz by so About what you hearfrom the 9v(astei iiever sag it is wroiuj, because, my fast there isn’t time for them to sink in. Michael Seal) t&fautt ties iii your own iiicapacitij to unéerstaiut5-&u. has himself a gem here, and I can’t imagine a one of I ant t1e stave oft& !7I?faster wIo ñas reteasedmefrom iqnoraiice. 144atyou who would not enjoy it weT my !7vlaster ifoes is oftite IiipjIest beiieflt to attcoiicem&L and, more than that, get a lot out of it. Buy it! The —9-[afiz tape is $ 1 0 and the booklet $6. wo books that are iht on Running Water is a not about Baba, but New Items collection of poems by Filis definitely belong in a spirituallyAs always, we have several new Frederick. Please see the review later centered library are Dark Night of the items to get excited about. in this issue Soul and The Sermon on the Mount by Wilson. $10. James heriar Press has released two new audio A Garland —According to Vedanta. I have been tape, of new videos on Mani. These are ; Egos, is asked a tremendous perfor by many to stock them, so a talks given by her, recorded in Sep mance piece words about them are in order. by Michael Da As I few Costa. tember 1989. A delight to see and opened my first mail one The is by St. John of the Cross day I found a tape hear, Mani talks about Doing All For from Michael. I had tells in mystical theology, of heard his name and us, His Sake and Accepting His Way. before ten but that was all; I the steps to God. $8 didn’t know Both videos are about 30 minutes what Matchabelli told us that to expect—poetry, singing or Norma each and cost $15.00 apiece. what. Sermon on the I had no time said Christ’s play it then Baba to so I bought hundreds of it in the very definitely an authen put car and Mount was played it as I black and white photos of Baba said drove Bible. Many have to work the part of the next morning. I tic was during my last visit to India, from both and deeper so surprised gained greater to hear what came they a from Meelan and Panday studios. We will be my speakers ! So entranced was I, and understanding of this sermon after featuring them throughout each issue. laughing so delightedly, that I studying the Eastern religions. missed I have only five of each photo, so my freeway exit! You Vedanta is an ancient Indian philoso could not call when you see one you want, call me this poetry, even that teaches the oneness of life. though it comes with phy right away in case there are eight book, with within a all the words written lies us and, at the same out. God other people who also want the same But the way Michael time, is everything we see. This speaks the words, photo. The one on the previous page it the aim of all the is every bit is as good, and utterly realization as has not been seen before. I noticed it is Prabhavananda professional, I Swami as have seen on teachings. the for the first time in the Main Hall at is major the cost stages famous actors author; by doing a the $9. the Pune Center. I asked one-man show! A Garland ofEgos is havejust received a new Ramakrishnan about it, and he said he CD from the acclaimed trio basically man having a conversation a wasn’t sure whence it came, but yes, I with his ego, with the ego triumphing of David Miotke, Ron Greenstein and “

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Darrell Lupe entitled Mehers Wine. It offers ten toasts to the Supreme Vintner, Avatar Meher Baba. This all came about, the liner notes tell us, when one July evening near the coast of Northern California, a bevy of the Beloved’s followers gathered together to celebrate their privilege of loving Him. Their meeting held an exciting atmosphere as three minstrel friends of many years recorded their musical offerings live. For those present at this gathering, thejoy, the humor of anecdotes between songs, and the buoyancy of spirit are now precious memories during a time when the Avatar’s beautiful sister was suffering through severe physical illness. It is to Manija Sheriar Irani, sister of humanity and God, that the July meeting and the fruition of it bottled in Mehers Wine is dedicated. [Kathy Wiederhold reviews the CD in this issue.] $15. e are now carrying a perfect reproduction of the three Hafiz quotes which hang in the Baba room adjacent to the Samadhi (the one where the Persian quote is in red, and the English translation is in black underneath) [The English transla tions are in the box on the previous page.] Our reproductions are printed on heavy cardstock, measure 16 x 20 and sell for $10.

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Shipping & Receiving & Giving

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do hope you all got your Christ mas gifts on time. It was a delight to play Santa for many of you, shipping directly to your friends. and then there was the husband and wife who both—unbeknownst to each other—e-mailed me for suggestions for gifts for the other! I’m more than happy to play that role for you, so any time you want a gift for a Baba lover, just think of The Love Street Bookstore ! Please do allow us about three or four weeks for delivery (even though you may get it in one!) But if you need it for a special occasion, let me know the date by which it has to be there, and we’ll make it happen for you.

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From the inside cover: The original Ego piece was completed in I 979 and had its first reading at Meherazad, India. It was based on Meher Bab&s Dis courses on The Nature of the Ego and its Termination, so it was no wonder that many people identify with it. Eruch Jessawala was convinced it was about him, and he used to frequently play the tape of it in Mandali Hall to unsuspecting pilgrims. Ego 11—the Sequel demonstrates a clear lack of spiritual progress...

JaiBaba to you all.

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Comments and Reflections by James Wilson

Book Review: Light on Running Water A Collection of Poems by Filis Frederick Sometimes when I read a poem, a peculiar agitation wells up and I know I’ve started something not unlike an excavation of old ideas, insights, and experiences that I : cherish as self-defining. I get pensive and I block out my surroundings as I explore the poem for the keys to my own locked doors. This creates thirst rather than satisfaction. The poem awakens memories, flashes a light into forgotten corners of life’s passages; it will even touch those intima cies too personal to express except through art and poetry. Such was my experience in reading Light on Running Water a collection of poems by Filis Fredrick. Dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba, these poems are a disciple’s reflection of her Master, an onion-layered manifesto of His presence within her. But don’t expect to unravel the layers with one reading! Stay with them for a while. The light reflects off running water in ways that mesmerize and fascinate—the deep pools, the shal lows, the rapids, each sparkle with peace or turmoil or beauty in one color at daybreak and another color at sundown. So it is with Filis’s poems. Her Masters Broken Silence resonates in its unmistakable beauty and truth; we can recognize it like the smell of roses; we can feel His Pres ence in that special way His closeones manifest His touch. .

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Gold lace! Gold lace Falls over His face. A Gold lace universe. Perhaps, in a manner of speaking, Illusion is pure grace. This poem, like all of the poems, resides on a whole page, an appropriate galaxy for its mystery and paradox. Gold, the alchemy symbol of that which endures and molds to all shapes, is formed into a lace, that which both covers and reveals simultaneously. This gold lace falls over His face. Mystery veiled yet revealed as well. God’s face “hid den” behind a gold-lace universe? Yet is not this illusion the chemistry for His grace and His form?

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Filis’s poems feel spontaneous, like shejust sat down at the breakfast table and jotted one down. They are worthy of many return visits. Her style is clear, not flowery or ornate, rather compact and efficient. One gets the suspi cion that she’s finished with all but the bare essentials so as not to miss the important moments— running water” being a metaphor for life. She has a riddler’s touch with her short poems that say volumes and cannot be pruned of even a single word. For example: “

In the vase of Silence One drop echoes More, more. There is delight in these playful teasers, so remindful of Filis’s love __f maya, yet they also point to the heart and soul of the Master’s words that speak not to the mind, L to the deep thirst of the disciple’s longing. The final poem suspends logic and understanding as it exhorts us to shout the final answer to the : very first question, ‘Who am I?” We are but children mouthing the words of the father; however, Filis assures us that we have hope for victory: -

Now boldly sigh God am I God am I— After all, a child’s cry In the distance seems invin cible. Filis’s book has the glow of Meher Baba. Even the photograph on the cover by Goodwin Harding feels beautifully mysterious and entranc ing. Mary Lloyd Dugan compiled and edited these poems and wove them into segments titled God Man, Universe, Music, Journey, Awakening, and Ocean. The final result, sweetened by tiny illustrations from Will David, is a sumptuous offering of Filis’s discipleship in which she often pointed to the Divine Beloved in His game of knowing and loving.


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iiaoas riiis by Lynn Maguire

Filis Frederick and her longtime friend, Adele Wolkin, met Meher Baba in Myrtle Beach on Mother’s Day in 1952. Nine years earlier, Baba had caught hold of Filis’s heart when she first heard His name and now it forever belonged to Him. Even her name belonged to Him, for she had always been known as “Phyllis” before He spelled it His way on the alphabet board. During that first meeting Baba told Filis, Inscribe these words in your heart: nothing is real but God; nothing matters but love for God.” In 1956, while visiting the Coit Tower in San Francisco, Baba turned to Filis and pointed south. Filis soon realized He meant Los Angeles. In the early ‘60s she found herself in Manhat tan Beach (drawn by the letters “MB. “) working as a designer for Mattel Toys. She ran an ad in a counter-cultural paper, the Hollywood Free Press. It read: “Meher Baba Has A Message For You! She began gathering Baba’s “precious gems. Young people flocked to her door, eager to hear more about the Silent One. She patiently listened to stories of surfers searching for the cosmic wave; hippies looking for gurus; and flower children wanting a place in the universe. She lovingly accepted us all and became our dear friend. With her guidance, we opened our first Meher Baba bookstores in Venice and Hermosa Beach, attended the 1 969 Darshan and eventually landed in our present Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. And through the years, Filis’ Monday night meetings in her home were always a joy. We loved Fills for her wit, her humor, her artistic talent and her priceless gift of The Awakener magazine. But most of all, it was her love for us and her beautiful love for Meher Baba that touched our hearts. Baba inspired Fills’ poetry. Her poems sing of His love, humor andjoy. One of Filis’ last re quests was that her poems be published. Maybe it’s no coincidence that her lovely collection of poems, Light On Running Water coincides with the purchase of our new center. Certainly, Filis is very happy. Jai Baba, “Sweetheart. “

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Meher Baba’s Warnings About the Occult

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An Interview with Arnavaz N. Dadachanji —

by Nancy Wall

Arnavaz Dadachanji

your dear ones. Only beg me to accept you and permit you to lay down your As Baba has said, ‘7Vever beg life for me.” me to save your life or the lives Some fifteen years later this afyour dear ones. Only beg me woman came to my home for Baba’s to acceptyou andpermityou to darshan. She looked so frail and broken that I didn’t even recognize her. She implored Baba to save her. Arnavaz: It is true that more and Baba very lovingly embraced her, but more Baba lovers have been coming to He told her she had taken upon Gift of a loved Baba God woman who me to ask what they can do to disen practices herself more than she could handle very much, but used occult tangle themselves from various kinds and therefore He couldn’t help her. the life of her husband. to save of occult practices, such as seeking her She would have to suffer the conse guided this woman, Someone gave help from the spirit world or trying to : quences of her actions. This woman to repeat instructions to mantras and develop psychic powers. Many have was suffering at least in part because Her follow. husband’s life was spared, also consulted other people who are of the heavy sanskaric load she was personality changed. but his whole involved in the occult. For instance, a carrying. So although it is natural that they had Whereas once been very a common practice today is to consult should want to eliminate our own now we talking loving couple, he stopped “healers, people who use psychic suffering or the suffering of those we her and lived stranger in the to like a power to eliminate disease or pain. At of pain through love, the elimination she herself house. And could stop not first the help given through occult serve as actually may psychic healing from becoming involved with further means may make a person feel better : of the path on the spiritual her practices. When mother a block was my or happier. But there are great dangers ill aspirant. gravely with cancer, this woman involved. : came to our family, wanting to help This is not to say that those who extend my mother’s life. I told her N W: This brings up another question explore the occult do so simply out of for me. To what extent should we, as that mother whether my emphatically the desire for power. Some people Baba lovers, try to eliminate our pain or died was completely lived in Baba’s have the best of intentions and they beg and suffering? As Baba has said, “Never hands. want only to help themselves or your life or the lives of me to save others. For example, I mentioned in .

N W: In Gift ofGod, Arnavaz, you wrote about the dangers of becoming involved in any way with the occult. You’ve also told me that an increasing number of Baba lovers are asking you questions about this subject.

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he came to Baba and begged for forgiveness. Baba kept the man with Him for a while in the ashram, but because he had been able to revive the dead child, the man believed that he must have special powers and after some time he had the urge to use his powers again. One day, without even

Arnavaz: Well, certainly when we are in pain, it is reasonable to pursue whatever relief may be available through natural and practical means. Doctors, psychiatrists, chiropractors, massage therapists, those who prac tice Chinese medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, allopathy, Ayurvedic medicine—all these I would call natural and practical. But healing through psychic powers is another matter altogether. In consulting those involved in occult practices for relief from suffering, we may actually add to our sanskaras and later bring about more suffering and pain. Baba wants to free us from suffering, but when we seek occult help, we are interfering with His work and creating further bindings for ourselves. And if we ourselves use occult means to help others, we take on the sanskaras of those we seek to help.

Arnavaz: Our contact with this man, Savak, came about in the early ‘30s, when we were quite new to Baba. Later, of course, we would have had nothing to do with this man, but at the time we knew very little about spin-

N W: Arnavaz, you mentioned that the woman who used the occult to save her husband continued to use it even after he had been saved. Once a person starts using occult powers, is it difficult to stop? Arnavaz: Let me tell you two stories about that. Once when Baba was giving darshan in different parts of India, a guru who had practiced occult powers came to Him. Baba gave this man darshan several times, and he became Baba’s disciple. Baba told him that he must give up his practice as a guru and no longer use the occult or Avatar Meher Baba allow people to bow down to him. He obeyed Baba for some time, but after a few years he returned to his old ways. tual matters. Although we loved Baba informing Baba, he simply disap He knew Baba was not pleased, and he very much, my mother and others in peared from the ashram. His ego had ceased all contact, never showing his the family thought that Savak must be overpowered him, and he returned to face to Baba again. a highly spiritual man. He could make his home and established his own The second story involves an only coins or flowers appear in his hands, following. His connection with Baba child who died. Naturally, the parents or a certain scent would suddenly fill were devastated, and a Baba lover who : was broken. So you see, once a person the room. He would give orders, and has experienced this kind of power, he was present put the dead child in his sometimes they would turn out to be becomes entangled in it and does not lap and sat all night, repeating Baba’s the same orders that Baba later gave want to give it up. name aloud. After several hours the us, so it is easy to see why Savak child was revived. When Baba heard impressed my family. I have to say, about this incident, He sent a telegram N W: Your family at one time had though, that I myself was never frequent contact with a man who had to the man saying that He was very attracted to him. Even though I certain powers. Can you tell me about displeased. The man felt terrible and :

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;:t thought he might be on a higher plane, I found him somehow repulsive. I understand now that Baba was keep— ing me away from this man, keeping me from getting involved with him in any way. And even though throughout my life I have seen numerous ex amples of people who were possessed by spirits and many kinds of black magic, I have always known that Baba would protect me from all of this, that I had nothing to fear as long as I held tightly to His damaan. Baba’s Last Warning, given in July of 1968, contains specific orders for His lovers concerning involve— ment with such masters: It is important at this critical period of the Avataric Age to beware at all times of persons who lead others into belleving that they are saintly andpious and profess to possess supernatu ral powers. However pious such persons appear to be, a Baba lover must never mix such piety with the Divinity ofthe Ava tar! A true Baba -lover m ust remember the repeated warning given to all Baba lovers time and again to stay away from persons who feel and assert that they are masters andsaints and possess powers to help human beings. His lovers and workers should never get involved with such persons and affairs, much less with perverted “helpers ofhumanity” who have no reverence or regard for the Perfect Masters and the Avatar ofthe Age. Beware ofthem who exploit spirituality to gain their selfish ends and dupe .

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others in the name ofSadgurus and the Avatar At the end of this warning Baba added the following note, originally given in February of 1966: Shun those masters who are like m ulti-coloured electric signs that flash on and off brightening the dark sky ofyour world and leavingyou in darkness again.

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N W: Aren’t there some people who have actually found Baba through occult means and come to follow Him?

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Arnavaz: It is true that Baba Himself has used such means as automatic writing, ouija boards, etc. to bring people to Him, but the fact that Baba has done something in no way gives us permission to do it. “Don’t do what I

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: do, He has told us. “Do what I tell you to do. When God comes as man, He works thorough everything in His creation, what we would call good and : what we would call bad. Baba said these were two sides of the same coin. In the play of Maya, God keeps a balance between them. Why? We cannot know. Given our limited understanding, we cannot fathom the ways of God. We can only do what Baba asks of us and not worry about trying to understand His work. Baba has been very clear about what He asks of us. For instance, the rules regarding appropriate behavior at His Center in Myrtle Beach contain this statement: “By Meher Baba’s directive, divining cards, ouija board, and the I Ching are not to be used at the Center.” And anyone tempted to interpret that directive to mean that outside the Center it is airight to use such devices should think carefully about Baba’s statement given in Andhra on 1 March, 1954: ‘1 want my lovers and workers to know that there is no greater ‘Baba’s Centre’ than the heart of my lover. Those who truly love me are my centres in the world. Let each ‘Baba lover,’ wherever he or she may be, be the ‘Baba’s Centre’ personified, radiating the eternal message of Love Divine, living a life of love, sacrifice and honesty.” “

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N W: I think it’s sometimes difficult for us to distinguish between what is occult and what is not. There are so

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many “New Age” practices from which sincere people seem to derive the same kinds of experience that we have had in our lives as Baba lovers that the whole issue can become very confus ing. How can we protect ourselves from getting involved in something best left alone? Arnavaz: Irene Coneybeare, in the introduction to her book In Quest of Truth or How I Came to Meher Baba, gives a good and easy guideline to follow when she discusses the vast difference between mysticism and occultism. The mystic, she says, is simply searching for God and does not seek power, whereas the person who practices the occult is actually attempting to control the forces of nature. Occult power, she stresses, is safe only in the hands of a Master who will not misuse it—that even an advanced spiritual aspirant may incur great harm through practice of the occult, and she quotes the following from Baba’s Dis courses: “The introduction of an uncertain and uncal culable factor which the free exercise of occult power would involve, is bound to create much confusion and disturbance in the ordinary pursuits of man, who must be left to his own limitations, resources and possibilities for the equal and uninterrupted working out of the Law of Karma. She also talks about the undue importance that people often attribute to miracles, which have nothing to do with the spiritual path, and again she quotes Baba: “All miracles belong to the phenomenal world, which is the world of shadows. As phenomena, they are subject to change; and nothing that changes can have lasting value. Realization of the eternal Truth is an initiation into unchangeable Being which alone is the supreme

curse rather than a blessing ifhe is not spirituallyprepared for the adequate fulfillment ofthe new responsibility implied in the acquisi tion of the new powers. Even the slightest misuse ofoccultpower has a severe reaction and crea tes a binding for the soul. Sometimes it may retard the progress of the aspirant and may even lead to a considerable set-back. Apart from the spiritual ruin which the novice may invite upon himselfthrough indiscrete use ofoccult power he is bound to be a source of incalculable harm to others over whom he has succeeded in wielding a formidable advantage.

Reality; and no acquaintance with the occult world or capacity to manipulate its forces can really amount to the realization of the Truth.” On His birthday in 1965, Baba told those gathered in His love the following, also taken from His Discourses: There is nothing particularly spiritual about occult power as such. Like any other m undane power or .

So when Baba lovers ask me about the occult, I tell them that whoever Baba has taken into His fold must do whatever Baba wants. Those who have not come to know and love Baba will act according to their sanskaras and destiny. But Baba has told His. lovers specifically not to get involved in the occult. It is extremely foolish for Baba lovers to dabble in matters that Baba has told us to keep away from. He has warned us of the harm we may do not only to ourselves, but to others who seek our help. And He has shown us how to please Him. That means obeying Baba wholeheartedly, leaving His work entirely in His hands, and staying away from any attempt to work in realms we are not spiritually prepared to enter.

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scientific invention, it is capable of being used for good ends or bad. It gives immense scope for co-operative work on the higher planes, but this necessarily implies a spiritual pre : aredness to shoulder a special responsibility. : The novice may seek some occult powers and, within certain limits, even succeed in having them, but this new attainment will prove to be a ;

“I do not want anything else but the gift ofyour obedience.” —Meher Baba ©1997 Meherazad Trust for Avatar Meher Baba

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By Bhau Kaichuri

Bhau Kaichuri

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eloved Avatar Meher Baba is the Compassionate Father. He’s not only in everyone and everything but also He is everyone and everything. The Prayer He has dictated “You Alone Exist” makes it very clear that God is All-Pervading and He embraces all. He is in good and He is in bad too, and therefore He helps everyone. We make illusory distinctions like good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, and these are all illusory distinctions. Reality is Reality and in the domain of Reality such illusory distinctions are not there. For Beloved Avatar Meher Baba the sinners are His liabilities and the saints are His assets. And His business is to convert the liabilities into assets because He is Love and He is compas sion. Therefore we who follow him should try to rise above these distinc tions of good and bad, right and

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wrong, just and unjust, etc. through His love. Good is binding and bad is binding. One is a gold chain and the other is an iron chain, but after all, the chain is there. Everyone is full of weaknesses. If weaknesses are not there, one can be one with God. But generally it happens that no one looks after his own weaknesses but he finds out the weaknesses of others. And he goes on criticizing though he also has weaknesses. And it is therefore necessary for each one to look after his own weaknesses and correct them. But it does not happen. When one has weaknesses and he hides his own weaknesses and justifies himself, this then becomes his greater weakness. Because when one justifies ones actions right or wrong, one does not keep any room in his heart for repentance by asking God for forgiveness. Really speaking, when one uses reason and justifies one’s actions

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Really speaking, when one uses reason andjustifles onec actions through reason, that is a great sin because one does not keep any room in one heart for Godc forgiveness.

through reason, that is a great sin because one does not keep any room in one’s heart for God’s forgiveness. He cannot ask His forgiveness because he feels justified. For example, there was one homosexual and there was a hetero sexual. The heterosexual would always be with different girls. And one day when he saw the homosexual he said to him, I hate you because your deeds are unnatural. And the homo sexual said to him, “Your deeds are “


i also unnatural because you go after many girls. You also commit lustful deeds. This is all unnatural. The heterosexual said, I am permitted by God and you are not. And the homo sexual said, Will you please show me the sanction? Where is your permit?” And the heterosexual got angry and he abused the homosexual, saying, “I hate you ! I hate you ! You have no place in society. You cannot show your face to anyone. You commit sins.” They were fighting and abusing each other. Then a wise person came and said, “Why do you fight, abuse and blame each other? We say that we love our Beloved Avatar Meher Baba— or God—and there is no hatred in this love. Where there is hatred there is no love; and when love is there one forgets the distinctions of good and bad, right and wrong, etc. Therefore if we think that we are Baba lovers we should stop hating anyone, and we should feel the oneness in His love. If the feeling of oneness is there, there can never be any room for hatred. Our Beloved Baba embraces saints and He also embraces the worst sinners, because in Reality He is them. Therefore it is the duty of every Baba lover to try to love others and not to criticize others. God is everyone, in fact we are one. Everyone’s false self keeps one away from God. The false self consists of pride, lust, anger, selfishness, greed, jealously, backbiting, etc, and these are all low desires. So long as these low desires are there and we maintain them we cannot love our Beloved God, Beloved Avatar Meher Baba. No one invites these weaknesses which are desires. They are the outcome of previous births. But when we have become a little bit aware of Reality, we must try to get rid of them through love for the Beloved. We should not remember the weaknesses. We should remember Him and love others, and we should keep away from hatred! The desires of lust and anger are so firm that it is impossible for anyone to get rid of them. They can only be

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the telephone wires with each heart. He has made each heart as a tele phone. He has fixed the telephone lines in such a way that if anyone does not remember Him and does not love Him and does not follow His wish, his voice—or rather, noise—does not reach Him. Only the voice of the heart can reach the Universal Telephone House where Beloved Baba hears that voice. And He does not hear the voice of the mind, as mind contains the garbage. Therefore whatever we are, we are. But if we remember Him and love Him and follow His Wish, we belong to Him and He belongs to us. We should have firm faith in Him, and He will take care of us, and He will make us clean. Beloved Avatar Meher Beloved Baba has given a very good Baba has taken the example in this matter. He has ex responsibility for everyplained nicely how one can reach one. He has asked us to Him. For example, in a goods train :L. remember Him, to love there are many compartments atHim and to follow His tached with the engine. In one com wish, and He will take partment there is gold, in the next care ofail the weaknesses. there is silver, and next there is iron, and again in the next there is stinking garbage, and so forth. But when all the compartments are attached with the this garbage. Therefore Beloved Avatar engine, all the compartments go along with the engine and reach the destina Meher Baba has taken the responsibil ity to clean this garbage out of everytion. It does not happen as we might one. After dropping His physical body think that only the compartment of He is infinitely active in this cleaning : gold goes along with the engine and work because He has to Manifest, and the compartment of stinking garbage unless He takes the garbage out of remains at the station. All the com everyone He cannot Manifest. He has partments go along with the engine been doing this work since He has provided they are attached with the dropped His body, and it will last for engine. one hundred years when He will In a similar way, Beloved Baba is Manifest Universally. like an engine. Therefore whether we Therefore our duty is just to are virtuous or we are sinners it does remember Him and Love Him and to not make any difference provided we follow His Wish. This will be the first remain attached to Beloved Baba, step towards Him. If we take this first through His remembrance, love, and step, and let Him clean out the obedience to His Wish. He will take us garbage which we have and of which to the destination. May Beloved Avatar Meher Baba we are not aware, He will take us thousands of steps towards the Divin help us all so that we may follow His ity. He will be pleased if we do not Wish and remember and love Him. We create obstructions in His work by should not blame, criticize, and make indulging in our low desires. distinctions in our fellow beings. We Beloved Baba has constructed a should love them and remain united. Universal Telephone House during his physical lifetime. He has connected

wiped out through real love for God. If we go on finding faults in others and blaming others for their weaknesses, we cannot love our Beloved. Therefore it is hypocrisy that one does not take care of one’s own weaknesses and blames others for their weaknesses. Beloved Avatar Meher Baba has taken the responsibility for everyone. He has asked us to remember Him, to love Him and to follow His wish, and He will take care of all the weaknesses. In fact, we have collected innumerable unnatural impressions and these impressions are stinking garbage, but we have no awareness of

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A

mother who loves her baby does not spend her time just

loving it. In fact in the daily routine of

On Caring

caring for its needs day and night, being there for it, feeding it, changing its nappies, and all the things that go into bringing it up—there is often little time to dwell on how much she loves

by Meheru

her baby, except for a little fondling

Meherazad, India January, 1997

now and then. But it is her love that makes it ajoy for her to care for her

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child every hour of the day. For us too, just loving Baba is not enough. With Him not physically here you can show your love for Him by doing the things that please Him. Baba has given us How to Love God to follow and the Prayer of Repentance to live by. By caring to do these things, by caring to live the way of life Baba desires of us, we can show our love for Him and truly love Him. For the mandali, we who lived with Baba and served His needs, it was not really us giving to Baba, it was Baba who was giving to us—giving us the wonderful privilege and opportunity to do His work. And it was from Mehera I learned, to some extent, the depth to which caring can go. She showed how much Baba was with her continuously, even in the everyday work at hand. In her personal service to Baba I witnessed and still have the picture in my mind of her combing and brushing Baba’s hair everyday. Even if Baba was in a hurry Mehera would do it carefully and gently with a scarf draped around Baba’s shoulders and back so that not a single strand of His precious hair that came out in the combing or braiding would be lost. And then she’d tenderly tie a special coloured bow on the braid. It was not only how Mehera cared for His beautiful form but how she cared for everything having to do with Baba that was so unforgettable. The

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thing special for Him —which showed that He was never absent from either their hearts or their thoughts. From Baba’s hair and nails they would design lovely brooches in which they placed tiny photos of Baba. Even in that act, Mehera and Mani and the others would never cut up a photoWith awe I remembar the graph of Babajust for the sake of the care and love Baba poured head. That action, even on paper, was on each and all who came for distasteful and hurtful to them—it His darshan. When we say would have to be a photographjust of Baba gave darshan lie was His head, if that was what they : needed. trulygiving. He alonE: could fill each cup to overflbwing. Being with Mehera I got to learn so many different ways, not only of working for Baba, but of doing it in a : special caring way. If we were sitting them. When we were going through at the table with Baba and a knife was Baba’s old clothes after He dropped pointing towards Him, immediately His body I felt the need of washing so : Mehera would notice it and have me many of them that had collected over turn it in another direction. It did not the years. While washing same of His matter whether I had placed it there short pants which were covered by the or not—why had I not seen it and sadra, I found a few of them had rectified the error? It was the same delicate lace stitched on the hem— with Baba’s photos—no pointed white on white ! I had never seen them instrument could be directed towards before and it brought tears.to my eyes them. For Baba we offer flowers symbolizing that for the Beloved our as I saw another aspect of Mehera’s love and caring for her Behwed. desire is to offer all that is best in us. : After Baba dropped His body I In the early days the women mandali had so few new chothes and began taking care of the drawing room by patching and repatchin they as Mehera wanted to do the dusting of would make their everyday wear last a : Baba’s photos in His room. Dusting long time. Yet, when Baba was traveleach photo Mehera would be with ling either in India or the \West, they Baba, remembering Him, talking with filled in their days making things for Him—lost in her reverie, as she gently Baba—a crown, a garland, or somestroked His picture with the softest of way she took care of His clothes: His coat, His sadra, etc. all were delicately handled and folded ust so and placedjust so. And when washing them I had to be so gentle with all of ,

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Meheru Driving With Meher Baba

silk dusters. Every photo of Baba was precious to her. One day as I was dusting Baba’s photos in the hail, Mehera saw me blowing the dust off the frame of a lovely photo. This frame of shells had been made by Mehera herself. Imme diately she told me not to blow on Baba’s photo. I told her I was not blowing on the photo but on the frame as it was not possible to dust it off with the cloth. “Well, she said, “See that you cover Baba’s photo with a cloth before you blow on the frame. Baba had told me never to blow on His photo. The way in which she said this, I felt she was looking back on a episode that had occurred years ago, yet it was as clear in her mind as if Baba had told her but yesterday. That impressed me so deeply—how present Baba was with her at all times. And now for me it is such a gift to remem ber Mehera each time I need to blow “

on any frame—which is daily! Even on letterheads with Baba’s face or name stamped on them. Mehera would carefully cut out and keep the image; be it of Baba, of Krishna, or Christ, etc. All the Avatars and the saints would be respected and their photos never crumpled up or thrown away in the trash basket nor allowed to inadvertently get underfoot. I love to see you all wearing Baba buttons or tee shirts with Baba’s face on them, but when you do so you should always be aware of the honor. They should help you to remember Baba and act in the way that is pleasing to Him. And when you wash the tee shirt, wash it separately and not with underwear or socks. Give Baba’s picture the respect it deserves, (Loving Baba is important and so is caring for Him.) Don’t throw the teeshirt down when you change it but place it gently and never leave it on

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the floor to get underfoot. Care should be taken of every form and image of the God man who walked the earth and served humanity. His image, His likeness, is always to be revered and respected. Let your life be one of loving and caring not only for Baba but for your fellow beings and remember Baba is in them as He is in you. Caring for one another is important—it is caring for Baba. With awe I remember the care and love Baba poured on each and all who came for His darshan. When we say Baba gave darshan He was truly giving. He alone could fill each cup to overflowing. It is for us to give our cup such depth that it can hold as much as possible of the precious gift of love that ever flows from the font of love, and let it ever increase with our sharing of it with others.

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Painting of Meher Baba by Charlie Mills

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N 0 N PROFIT U.S. POSTAGE

AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER

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DATED MATERIAL Please Expedite!

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Love Street Lamp Post 1st-2nd Qtr 1997  

AMBCSC ARCHIVES: Rare Print Literature Publication

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