rorn. th.e EcIitor
issue you will also get to read my impres sions ofthe great celebration that is Baba’s
IF’ Dma Snow
Jai Baba to you all, ou may wonder why, seven months af ter they happened, we are featuring the th• events of September 11 Such a cataclys mic event cannot go uncommented on, seeing as Baba said “Not a leaffalls but by my will”. In the grand scope of things, why did He allow it to happen? The LampPost does not have the hubris to presume to give you the answer but perhaps, with the words you will read in this issue, you may be lead to a deeper understanding ofthe events and can draw your own conclusions. I personally feel that the enormity of the event will never be understood by we mere mortals. We can but have faith that it had to happen, and accept it all knowing that Baba is in charge and that whatever He does is for the “greater good of all concerned.” These articles would normally have been in the January issue, not so very far remçved from the actual events. But since the special memorial issue for Eruch could not he completed and mailed till late Novenber, and we need to work so far in advance for each issue you are reading it now in the combined January and April issue. We felt the article by Sky Wiseman, one of our dear friends in Montana who was called to work with the recovery of the human devastation at Ground Zero, —
great deal ofHis seclusion work). In it lies the stretcher upon which His body was brought to the Samadhi for burial, now covered with a wood framed glass box. Around the room are photos taken dur ing the period He was using the room for His work. It is quite an incredible experience to stand there, hour after hour, and observe the love and devotion pouring forth from the multitudes as they pass in and around the room bowing down to the stretcher, kissing and touching the photos, in a never ending stream. There is no curfew, so the line does not let up 24 hours a day for the three days. Chris Lyttle, a friend from L.A. whose last visit was 15 years ago, could not get st enough ofthe room. On the 31 he spent eight hours in there! A spiritual hog, one might say! The people that really choked me up were the old men. The reverence, awe and burning fire of love for the Beloved was so obvious in their entire being, it brought tears to my eyes. I felt that many of them could well have spent de cades taking darshan ofHis physical pres ence. ‘Balaji of Hyderabad’ is the indefati gable worker for the Beloved who is re sponsible for the extremely high quality printing ofthe Eruch memorial issue, not tl i t ‘
1_ 1__ : _i_i flecuu to u siiaiu. was so ueaumul n
Bhau Kalchuri gives us his understanding of the events, and Bal Natu has another ofhis Conversations regarding Sep th He reminded me that Baba tember 11 told them there was no such thing as Evil, only varying degrees of Good. January 31st is Amartithi time and yours truly was there yet again. Pam Toppley from England is giving you the write up of the Event this year from her point ofview. The events on the Hill run th I was given through the from the 30 the priviledge ofhelping the crowds move along in Baba’s cabin (the little hut beside the Samadhi in which Baba did a
India at an affordable price ($3 for God Speaks!!) The latter was made possible with a generous underwriting from Sufism Reoriented. Balaji had invited me to come to Hyderabad many times over, and finally, after Amartithi, I took a few days and went down there. I am so glad I did! What a marvelous city. [see A Side Trip to Hyderabad] He also showed me the Manonash cave (ofthe New Life).We will be featuring that in the October issue. Since I had taken early retirement from my daytime job, just as Mother passed to Baba last August, I am now able to spend more time on myvisits to India. So in this
Birthday I have never been able to participate in it before. In His love and service, Dma
LilgilSil 101 —
The LampPost needs your help!
Januai-y is usually the month in which we remmd you that while we have some . very willing and happy slaves who put..:. your LampPost together, the actual printing and mailing has to be accounted for in cold hard cash Without your donatIons we are unable to do that The Los Angeles Center can not underwrite the publishing of our magazine, so we really do need your help During the past year, we have found that the actual cost of getting the LampPost to you works out to be approximately $15 per person per year This is for the United States only, foroverseas 2O usuallyjust covers the cost of the postage But I dont feel we can ask more than that, especially in Australia where $20 US averages $40 Austraha& So please, Lyon cantreineinber when you last sent in a donation, now would be agood time to use the enclosed envelope If you have recently donated thank you so much, and save it till the 1 next time you get a generous urge For our readers in India, Balaji is printuig itfor youiortbe incredibly low price ofl5O rupees per ycart But he dQes need help with the distribution Any Baba lover in Indta who would be willing to do to Baba byhelping.this inordinately busy man with distribution and collection of subscriptions please email him at nwrk-balaji@hoo corn Please do also remember that if the $15 is a financial squeeze for you we refuse no one Wejust need to know that you really want to continue receiving the magazine .
Apublication ofthe Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern Caljfornia
£ove&reet Lamp1ost welcome... The £ove’.Stred £amplost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. Allthe members ofthe Babafamily are invited to contribute to thisfrast ofLove.
Ground Zero Pilgrim’s Diary Amartithi Scrapbook Side Trip to Hyderabad
Your stories, photos, art work, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions of Baba’s message ofLove and Truth.
What’s Happening at Meherabad
Please submit your text on computer disks ifpossible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable.
Pamela Toppley 12 Various photos 15 Dma Snow 20 Various contributors 22
Bhau’s Tour ofAndra
Bhau Kalchuri 23
A House of Sanskaras
Bhau Kaichuri 25
Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit every quote
submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue
Meher Baba’s Birthday Celebration
Dma Snow 26
What’s Happening at Meherabode
Various contributors 34
Various contributors 39
Preserving Baba’s Words
Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520
Don Stevens 4
Bababook@pacbell.net deadlines: for the January issue: April issue: July issue: October issue:
November 8th February 8th May 8th August 8th
Love Street Bookstore: Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 7 and 11pm
The LoveStreet Bookstore
Dma Snow 30
Book and Music Reviews
Various contributors 31
Various contributors 36
Various contributors 50
310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax
credits: editor: design and layout: proofreader: research assistant: distribution:
Cherie Plumlee and Pris Haffenden
Pris and Dma Barbara Roberts Pris Haffenden, Harry Thomas and Dma Snow mailing list information: Pris Haffenden 3616-1/2 S. Centinela Ave. Los Angeles CA 90066-3 124 310-390-2779 Feel free to call with address corrections or questions. cover: Meher Baba’s photo © Lawrence Reiter see inside back page for credits for collage of Ground Zero.
ThefvSfreetCamj,2?ths published quarte4 mJanuarc Apnljdy and October All contents 0 1996 Avatat Meher Baba Center of Southctn California All quotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Mehet Baba, @ AMBPPCT India
( We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations that own the copyrights to the Meher Baba pic tures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all LoveStreet LampPost readers. Photos of the Meher Spiritual Center used by kind permission oftheir Board of Directors.
All words, images andgraphics in thispublication arepropertv ofthe copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba PerpetualPublic Charitable Trust, Ahmednagac India, and © Lawrence Reitec Unauthorizedduplication isprohibitedby law.
Baba at Ground Zero in all great critical periods of human istory, humanity is now going through the agonizing travail of spiritual rebirth. Great forces ofdestruction are afoot and seem to be dominant at the moment, but constructive and creative forces which will redeem humanity are also being released through several channels. Although the working of these forces of light is chiefly silent, they are eventually bound to bring about those transformations which will make the ftirther spiritual advance ofhumanity safe and steady. It is all a part ofthe divine plan,which is to give to the hungry and weary world a fresh dispensation of the eternal and only Truth.” Discourses, “The New Humanity” by Meher Baba. On September 11, 2001, I was attending a conference on bioter rorism at the Center for Domestic Preparedness at the former McClellan Air Force Base in Anniston, Alabama. When the first plane hit the World Trade Center we were conducting an exercise on the sarin gas bioterrorist attack that occurred in a.Tokyo subway in 1995. When the announcement ofthe crash came to our group, we thought it was just another part of our exercise—just another scenario. Then came a cell phone call from the wife of a col league—no, this was quite real, and the Pentagon had also been hit by a crashing airplane. Thirty minutes later we were in a state of high alert, many of my colleagues were being dispatched to their Disaster Medical Assistance Teams bound for New York, and the rest of us were watching CNN as the towers collapsed. At the time all ofthis happened I remember thinking, “Ok Baba, what’s going on?” I had a deep sense at the time that these events had a great significance not just in the gross world, but that Beloved Baba was indeed very actively involved at all levels. Of course He is always involved in this manner —we know this—but sometimes the feeling of His involvement is more intense than usual. That was certainly my ex perience, as I know it was for so many Baba lovers around the world. Two weeks after the attacks, I was asked to travel to New York City as part of the U.S. Public Health Service Disaster Readiness Force, to assist with the identification ofthe victims ofthe disaster. S
Sky Wiseman, Montana My professional training is in Environmental Engineering and Ecology My normal role in a disaster response would involve getting water supplies running safely and preventing the spread ofwaterborne diseases following a natural disaster such as a flood or a hurricane. But in the case of the terrorist attack on New York City we were all asked to handle a variety oftasks— not necessarily within our particular specialty. The last time I was in New York was in 1967 when myjunior high class went by bus from Washington, D.C. to visit the Statue
of Liberty and the United Nations. I have spent most ofmy adult life out on the “Baba Frontier” in places like New Mexico, Oregon, and now Montana. Big cities didn’t appeal to me much anymore.. .but I have to say that all of that changed during my two weeks in New York City. I felt such a wave of Baba’s love there in the days following the tragedy. Out of the rubble of the Trade Towers I could perceive a golden thread of His New Humanity moving out through the city, into the rest of the United States, and into the whole world. My experiences working with the World Trade Center disaster cannot be completely described in the space available here. I ex perienced a moving visit to Ground Zero; I took magical walks through the city every day; I witnessed countless touching daily scenes at the Family Center on Pier 92, where interpreters speaking many languages and from many countries reached out in the Universal Language ofLove to families who lost loved ones. .there is so much that I have still not processed let alone been able to write about. I would like to share here a little about the days I spent at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and some of the precious things that Baba permitted me to do while I was there. I spent my first week in New York working on the victim identification computer .
database entering data and categorizing photos and various personal items that would be helpful in DNA testing. I then learned that I was being reassigned to the Office ofthe ChiefMedical Examiner and would be working in the morgue. Although a bit apprehensive about it, I felt that Baba was giving me a special opportunity and I asked Him to please help me. The work was definitely not something I had been pre pared for: I was to escort the remains of the victims and work with the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office and the New York Police Department to record a variety ofcrime scene evidence. There was a level and quality of pain and suffering that resulted from the events of September 11 that opened my heart in a way that I had never experienced before, but amazingly it was not the pain and suffering that predominated in the environment where I was to work. I was most impressed with the atmosphere oflove and cooperation that existed there in the morgue. It was not in any way a “heavy” atmo sphere—the work was carried out with reverence and respect, but the workers re mained cheerfttl. More than anything else, I was struck by the tremendous capacity of human hearts to reach out to one another in compassion. I have never had a more intense and powerful jolt of Baba’s Compas sion, Universal Nature, and Love for His creation than I did during my stay in New York City. I believe I was feeling a tangible dawning of His New Humanity. When the remains offiremen and po licemen were brought in, they were ac companied by a motorcycle escort in ex tremely touching ceremonies. While I was working with the remains ofthe victims I tried to stay fully conscious ofwhat it was I was actually doing, and to remember each of the victims and their families. I also tried to remember that these were the remains of the gross bodies of so many people from many countries ofthe world. Although the souls that were once housed in these gross bodies were already continu ing on with their spiritualjourneys, there was nevertheless a sacred quality to these remains. It was so very important to help identify the victims so their families could gain some peace with their passing. I tried
to say Baba’s name as I worked.
Tony had brought along some Baba cards is correct for all practical purposes that my There were frequent spiritual services. A for me to take down to the Memorial Park final placing of flowers which I had been Catholic priest conducted one ofthe services, on Sunday morning! trying and trying to do for several days fi and a Buddhist lama, a rabbi, and a man origi Early Sunday morning I took the chance nally occurredjust about the time ofthe start nally from Africa who ministered to a church to find some flowers at a small shop. The of the bombing. Of course I can’t say what in St. Louis, were all sitting together in the card read “With Love from the Worldwide it all means. front. I felt Baba had to be pleased with ev Community of Meher Baba’s Lovers.” I During my next break, I spent some time erything that was happening there. placed them at the Memorial Park and said copying the prayers and messages from the Soon after I arrived that first day Memorial Wall and returned to my at the morgue I was taken to the “Me station to learn that I had been reas morial Park.” At the end ofthe parksigned to the computer center in the ing lot, down near the waterfront, the Office ofthe ChiefMedical Examiner. unidentified remains of the victims There were many mortuary experts were being kept in a battery of refrig and coroners available to take my place erator trucks guarded by New York at the morgue. As I was leaving, I ran State Police. A large wall, dubbed the into Cal, the man who had been su Memorial Wall, had been erected pervising the handling ofevidence. We where people were writing poetry and had been working very closely toother inspirational messages and leav gether. Cal was holding back his tears ing bouquets offlowers. It turned out and saying that the attack on Afghani that each morning when we arrived stan had begun. I told him that I hoped at the morgue there would be a pe L. to R.: Sky Wiseman (seated), Denise Ivey, Angela Chen, Toni we had helped and what an honor it nod offorty-five minutes or so when and Zeik Paterniti, George Cben and Michael Ivey. had been. He thanked me profusely we could have the breakfast that was and we shook hands, hugged and I left, being served by the Salvation Army out- Arti. I discovered, stapled next to the Baba not knowing when I might see him again. side on the main street. Then there was quote I had contributed to the wall, a typed The bond we shared taking care of the re always time for me to go to the Memorial copy of the Native American prayer, “Do mains of many, many people with love and Park. Every day, I would say Baba’s prayers Not Stand at My Grave and Weep,” the dignity will never be forgotten. When I re and walk around to each ofthe trailers say- beautiful prayer set to music by Bob Brown turned to the hotel later that day, I started ing, “Jai Meher Baba.” On Saturday, Oc so many years ago. A new plexiglass shelf sobbing for the first time, now that my dutie tobr 6, I had the chance to write the fol had been installed along the Memorial Wall, at the morgue were complete. Not sobbing out lowing Baba quote on the Memorial Wall: displaying the seals of all of the firefighter, of sadness, but out of the love I have felt and Even fthe Heavensfall, police, and other organizations involved in gratitude to Beloved Baba for everything He do not letgo the Hand ofTruth. disaster relief at one end, and many small allowed me to do there on that Sacred Ground. Love Alone Prevails. This work has had great significance fof American flags in well-spaced pairs the long I had been hoping to place some flowers length of the wall. Here was my chance to me in my life with Beloved Meher Baba, there also, and perhaps a photo of Beloved display the cardTony had given me, one that and I feel privileged and grateful to Him Baba, but up to that point I did not have had a picture of Baba holding a lamb with that I was allowed to be present in New York either. Baba apparently had his own tim- the quote, “One who calls out sincerely to during this remarkable period in history. I ing; he helped me out with both. God never fails to be heard and receive his felt that I had a glimpse of Beloved Baba’s On Saturday night I had the good for- help.” I carefully centered it between two of emerging New Humanity in the eyes of the tune and great pleasure of dining with 5ev- the small American flags at the other end people ofNew York City. I felt Him workeral Baba lovers: George and Angela Chen of the wall, just below the Baba quote, and ing for all ofhumanity there. Despite these (who live north of the city), Tony and Ziek the flowers from the worldwide Meher Baba tense and difficult times, I have no doubt Paterniti (who live in Queens), and Michael community. It must be emphasized that this that whatever is happening, Baba is ulti and Denise Ivey. Michael and Denise had wall with Beloved Baba’s words and picture mately in charge ofeverything and will bring flown into New York from Florida for the is at the entrance to the Sacred Ground His New Humanity through. May we all weekend in response to Mayor Giuliani’s where the remains of those lost in the at- hold on to Beloved Baba’s damaan and consummons, “Come to New York!” We had a tacks on the World Trade Center were be- tinue to love Him more and more. delightful dinner at Balucci’s, a quiet, atmo ing kept. Soon after I placed everything, sev From the Memorial Wall: spheric Indian restaurant I had “stumbled eral plain-clothes detectives came and These men and women camefrom saft har upon” some days earlier while out walking. looked at everything, including the Baba bors, sanctuaries and the arms ofloved ones. It turned out to be right next to the Quest quote and picture of Baba. I do not know They came running with sunlight bright upon Bookstore, which is where Baba meetings when the bombing ofAfghanistan started. theirfaces, towardthe smoke andash, then into are often held in Manhattan. This dinner I just know that I placed the flowers at the a world ofdarkness. They were acting on their among old and “new” Baba friends was such Memorial Park, said Arti and started walkrights as soldiers in Godc army toput the lives a highlight of my trip! Beloved Baba was ing back the short distance to the morgue. ofothers before their own. These are the men such a gracious host during my entire stay My colleague, Dan, met me halfway and told and women who did not return. Their actions in New York. And to top off the evening me the bombing had started. So I believe it (continued onpage 9) 5
Restoring Mankind to a Healthy Outlook Meher Baba hen a sensitive individual is first faced by a death of deep significance in his circle of close friends, he is usually struck by the transitory nature ofall forms oflife. ConEronted by the undeniable impermanence of the bodyet unfortifiedbyknowledge ofsome sustainingpermanentprinciple,heoftenfalls into a mood ofdeep despair or supercilious cynicism. Iflife is inexorably doomed to extinction, he reasons, there can be little meaning in frantic efforts to achieve. In turn, this thought [eaves him in a vacuum ofpurpose which may [ead him either to a state of supine inaction, or may precipitate him into reckless rebeffion. To him, existence seems to be conditional, intermittent and vanishing, while extinction appears to be unqualified, inescapable and permanent. When such a grim conclusion has been reached, whether consciously or unconsciously, the individual is tempted to rain death and destruction upon others, or to invite it upon himself merely because death appears to be more lasting than life. The recklessly destruc tive desperado and the determined suicide belong to this type. They cannot acceptlife as having any real value, because their initial, unthinking faith in the value oflife has been uprooted by the rude shock of death. If death is accepted as real, and longer in duration than life, then life is degraded below meaninglessness. Even then, such values in life as truth, beauty goodness and love can claim some intrinsicworth despite their fleeting existence. But in practical fact, all keenness for the pursuit ofeven these momentary values is gradually replaced by a sense ofhopeless apathy, for one hears constantly a background whisper which says that they too are doomed to vanish one day. If the cat, while stealthily thinking miik, knows that someone is waiting outside the door with a dub, she can hardly relish the fla vor ofher surreptitious meal. Similarly, a man who comes to know that all his achievements must soon be brought to naught, can hardly have his heart in his efforts. If he stops to reflect that all the people he loves are earmarked for early conversion to dust, then his spontaneous enthusiasm gradually dries up and he is forced to consider what he is striv ing for. Ifhe tries to cling to these loved ones despite his new awareness, all the desperateness ofhis ensuing efforts becomes only a sacnfice to vanity
In order to avoid the pain which he is bound to feel at the inevitable loss ofhis dear ones, he may try to avoid life by adopting the viewpoint that the living are no more than on a par with the dead. The success of such a game depends upon an exact equation, for if he holds the slightest preference for the living, he will be gravely affected when the living become the dead. He is forced finally to face the fact that if death means the extinguishing ofhis beloved brothers in a blind vacuum of eternity then the entire game of life is a meaningless trag edy. All courage, sacrifice and loyalty to ideals become a farce, and all vital seeking takes on the cast of empty endeavor of much effort without purpose. Fear of loss treads closely upon all earnest attempts to appropriate and inherit the significance oflife, depriving it of all sweetness. In short, if death is looked upon as mere extinction, man tends to lose his balance and is plunged into perpetual gloom. All his dreams ofthe enduring reality oftruth, beauty and love are reftited and seem by hindsight to have been blind groping after illusion. His previous ideal of eternal and inexhaustible sweetness, instead offilhing himwith hope and enthusiasm, now reproaches him with the ut ter senselessness of all earthly value. Thus, death, when not understood, vitiates the whole oflife, and the first impulsive answer ofinaction or cynicism, which the mdividual usually forges to meet the question, strands him in a thoroughly desiccated uni verse of unrelieved weariness. Nevertheless, this gradually prepares him for another attempt to find a more vital answer to the ines capable query The human mind cannot endure such a stalemate for long, as there is an internal force which insists that the inner nature be in mo tion. Eventually the pressure for such motion breaks through the rigidity ofsuch a negative concept ofdeath. A great flood ofnew interrogation and discovery often breaks out, and in it the key question now posed by death becomes “What is life?” The answers supplied are countless, and depend upon the passing moods which spring from the deeply rooted ignorance of the interrogator. The first instinctive answer is “Life is that which is terminated by death”. This answer too is still completely inadequate, as it
involves no positive principle on which a fruitftil life can be based, nor can the individual’s need for development be met. Such an answer explains neither death nor life. The individual is driven to try to understand life and death along new lines. Instead oflooking upon death as the op posite oflife, he now inevitably comes to look upon it as the handmaiden of life. He begins to affirm intuitively the reality and the eternality oflife. Instead of interpreting life in terms of death, man seeks to interpret death in terms oflife, Slowly, event-byevent, he learns to take life again in all earnestness, with a deeper affirming consciousness. As he does so, he is able to give a more constructive response to the recurring sight of death. The challenge ofdeath is now not only accepted and absorbed by life, but is met by a counter-challenge: “What is death?” It is now death’s turn to submit itself to critical scmtiny. The most unsophisticated answer to this counter question is “Death is only an incident in life”. This simple and profoundly true dec laration terminates the unendurable chaos pre cipitated by regarding death as the extinction oflife. Soon it is dearly seen that it is futile to try to understand death without first understanding life. As consciousness gradually settles into this balanced approach to the problem, it takes on a healthy tone which makes it receptive to the truth concerning both life and death. Direct, undimmed knowledge of such truth is available only to spiritually advanced souls. The seers ofall times have had direct access to the truth about life and death, and they have re peatedlygiven a suffering and groping humanity useful information on this point. Their explanations are important because they protect man’s mind from erroneous and harmful attitudes towards life and death, and prepare him for perception of the truth. Although direct knowledge oftruth requires considerable spiritual perception, nevertheless even correct intellectual understanding of the relationships of life and death plays an im portant part in restoring mankind to a healthy outlook. Listen Humanity by Meher Baba, Narrated and Edited by D.E. Stevens, ©1957 by Sufism Reoriented Inc
Behind the Tragedy I
“ my series of Conversations with the Awakener, what I have shared is an attempt to convey the deeper feelings felt in my heart, although inadequately expressed through words. This particular Conversation, “Behind the Tragedy,” is the one I had with the Awak ener, who ever resides in my heart, in response to the inward and outward reverberations that followed the events of September 11, 2001. Many people must have had their own expe nences and reactions regarding these events. This is my personal reflection, which may provide an opportunityfor the readers to find their own relationship with the One, residing in their hearts. A tragedy in the metropolis! Deep-rooted ethnic hate flared up, causing riots to erupt throughout the city Angry stone-throwing mobs went on a rampage, clashing on the streets, setting buildings and vehicles on fire. There were heavy civilian casualties, wide spread looting and violence. The death toll continued to rise and thick black smoke scarred the city’s skyline So much destruc lion and suffering. I couldn’t stand to read the news and see the pictures in the papers and on television. I sat alone in my room and thought, “I don’t want to live in this world anymore. I wish I could silently drown in the deepest darkness, for I can’t bear to read or hear anymore about such happenings. To my astonishment You came in response to my inner thought and asked, “Will drowning in darkness solve those problems for good?”Your words surprised me. Still agonizing over the news, I plaintively said in a low voice, “I cannot stand the inhumanity ofthose who cause cruel suffering to innocent people.” I could not help questioning You, “Where was Your love when this happened?” “I am present in all things. I Myselfam the cmelt and I am the cry of the victims, and I was also the hearts and hands that helped,” You answered. “Do you think I am only in the fresh daisies and not in the withering trees? Am I only in the green grove and not in the sandy desert? The whole that I am has infinite varieties of ex pressions.” “It’s hard for me to accept this cruelty is Yours. I think of You as the One of infinite mercy Why did You not intervene?” “In a way, I am infinite cmelt too. You want to see only one aspect of Me. Yet My mercy can be like that of a surgeon who performs an operation that outwardly appears cruel, but is intended to heal.” I listened to
Bal Natu — Meherazad You with awe as You continued, “You cannot fathom the life I am leading through My Creation. I am on all levels, in all kingdoms. I even feel the tremors of the earthquakes. Do you worry about the animals?What about the slaughterhouses, the pesticides that kill insects, the hens forced to lay eggs, the fisheries? Am I not in these creatures’ suffering, too? Why don’t you think about them?” “Being human, naturallyl feel more for my fellowbeings,” I said, trying tojustifv myview. ‘Anyway, does the suffering of animals make this tragedy any less awfril?” “All these so-called tragedies on the vanous levels of creation are meant to happen.” “I just can’t seem to accept this with my heart,” I said. ‘Are they really necessary?” “Yes, they are a part of universal life; and life is a wheel ofbirth, growth, and death that continues until one is born in the Eternal Life.” “How will I ever understand this -Your Great game?” “Don’t worry I will see to that.” “You’re trying to placate me.” “No,” You replied. “Then tell me, is human suffering a com pulsory penance or a necessary nuisance?” I hesitantly asked. “Call it penance or nuisance, it has its own significance. It is not a meaningless happening. A deeper silence within you holds the answer to your question,” You replied. Im pressed by the depth ofYour words, for some moments I let the silence fill my mind and heart, but soon the terrible photos from the newspaper began to disturb my mind. “I’m frightened by all this tyranny and disorder. Where is the symphony ofYour love song?” I questioned. “This whole event is a mystery for you and wi11 remain so, but don’t lose sleep over these things. Let go ofyour fear. Try to grasp their meaning to the extent you can, but know that they are beyond understanding. Be aware of your limits. Act according to what you feel is truly good and correct in your heart. This is what you can do.” “You are right, but may I express a thought that has just come to my mind?” ‘Yes, go ahead.” “I stillwonderwhat sort ofheartYou have!” I said, biting my tongue at my audacity to say such a thing. But wearing Your same matchless smile You answered, “Feel free to express what you
honestly feel about Me and My heart. Don’t suppress such thoughts you have about Me. Because out oflove, everything is absorbed in My compassionate presence. As for My heart, it is both harder than steel and softer than butter, yet truly it is beyond all conceptions. My heart manifests the art of spontaneously responding at every moment to all situations personal or universal.” “I don’t understand this!” “You don’t understand because you yourself are the problem.” Intrigued, I asked, “What do You mean?” “Your identification with your form and its distinction from other forms is the problem created and nourished by dualityc” “Well, I live in duality so what can I do about it?” “Stop trying to reach for what is beyond you. In dualityl manifest in all forms. But how I manifest is beyond your comprehension, because you do not experience the Oneness ofall life.” “I think that is the real tragedy!” I interjected. Without paying any attention to my com ment, You went on, “Try to remain in My s lent, loving remembrance. This is the remedy for the malady ofmind influenced by dualitv It will help you change your perspective and your way of living, to become more resigned to My will. Then I shall kindle the light of awakening that dispels the darkness of igno rance.” A long sigh escaped from me without my being aware ofit. “But how can I not feel sorry for the victims. There was so much suffering and loss ofiife,” I repeated. “Yourfeeling ofempathyis natural, butyou should not be swept away by it. Such an un predictable happening definitely shakes the conditioned mind.This creates a deeper awak ening in peoples’ hearts to be able to respond with darity thus helping each one onward in theirjoumey to Me. The cycle ofCreation is a continual round ofcreation and destruction, bringing re-creation. Don’t you know that ev erycalamityhas a glorious ending?You should recognize this as a part ofMy game.” Nodding my head, I agreed, ‘A few things are a little clearer, but most are still unclear. What is crystal clear is that I should always call on You, and You will be my guide.” “Yes,” You assured me, expressing happi ness. “Remembrance ofMe will provide a real -
support for you.”
(continued onpage 10) 7
The Calamities at the World Trade Center and Pentagon On
the evening ofTuesday, 11th Sep tember, while working in the Trust office I received a phone call informing me about the terrorist activities in New York. Immediately, I stopped work and went home to watch television. With my own eyes, I saw the devastation unfolding in America. I was deeply affected by these horrible scenes. I am so happy to hear that many of you performed Beloved Baba’s prayers and felt the power ofHis Presence in these hor rific events. I cannot say whether or not the tragedy which befell Washington and New York is connected with Eruch’s passing. But I also cannot rule it out, because Baba connects His Circle members to the world. Ev eryone sympathizes with those who were killed or who are suffering and feels the sadness of the unfortunate ones’ relatives and friends. I saw the prayer service at Yankee Stadium for the families who lost their close ones. The service was very moving and a les son in oneness. These happenings have brought people ofmany countries together. What message should I give for this oc casicn? I can only say that Beloved Avatar Meher Baba is the Truth and the Savior of the whole universe. Whatever happens in His game of illusion, we must take as a dream. We must try to wake up in His love and awareness. Though this is the beginning of the end of this Advent, Maya (the word Baba would use for illusion, that is, the Devil), still has to reach the zenith. Beloved Baba has been working actively since He dropped His physical body to see that this happens. Maya’s ascension will take a long time to reach its conclusion, and we don’t know how much time this process will take nor how many tragedies will occur. People will suffer, but such suffering will prove to be a blessing from the Beloved. The destruction of the previous week is indeed shocking. But this shock is also within a dream. Though we are shocked, one benefit we receive is that we are re-awakened, and our attention is refocused on the Beloved who is always with us and closer to us than our own breath. Everything is in Beloved Baba’s hands, and since He is the Sayior, everyone will be saved according to His own way. When the end comes, and Maya is weakened in order for human beings to be awakened, the Beloved will manifest uni 8
Bhau Kalchuri, Meherabad versally to the highest degree. And as this is the end of a cycle, His Manifestation will be the greatest. I am really happy to see that the people of America are praying to Beloved God for those who were killed in this tragedy, as well as for those who were wounded, and for their close ones who are suffering and suffering. May God listen to the prayers ofthe American people and also to the prayers ofpeople of all countries. Can terrorists, by playing the role of the Devil, destroy America? No, it will not and cannot happen, because Our Beloved Baba is with all Americans. Never think that Amencans are crippled on are fearful for long. You are not crippled, you are strong. Baba is with all Americans and, not that He is not with everyone, but to fight the Devil, America has to play a major role. Though it is the most powerfihl country materially, now it will become powenflil spiritually, too. America will prove to be that countrywhich can bring about the end ofthe DevWs game.This much I know: Baba always liked America and has been bying America very much. The country has become even closer in His heart. It will also become powerfihl in His love. Know well that the country is always protected. In fact, there should not be any worry for anyone there. America will become the center of His mes sage ofLove and Truth. Because they are Beloved Avatar Meher Baba’s innocent children, those who are now departed will be saved, but in His own way. Nobody knows how. The mischievous chil dren instigated this tragedy, and innocent chil dren lost their lives. The batter will be gifted by the Beloved through His love. The mischievous children will suffer in their dreams in order to realize one day that they were dreaming, and in their dream, they did such terrible deeds. Why? The terrorists were told thatwhat theywere doingwas good.The Devil in them deluded them into believing that God would be happy if they destroyed the World Trade Center and Pentagon. That was wrong. They did not get the command from God, theyjust imagined they did. It was the Devil’s voice they heard, not God’s. And there were seffish motives materially behind such mes sages.Whatwere these seffish motives? Greed, power,jeabousy, etc. The thousands who were
killed, and thousands who were severely wounded, are fortunate in a real sense, because their binding impressions have been collected by the terrorists and those who organized them. It is really a pity that those tenonists, because they were 100% under the clutch of the Devil, have no idea what will become of them as a result of their actions. Those who hijacked the airplanes died neither a natural death nor an accidental one. They are mur derers, yet at the same time, their departure fails under the category ofsuicide. They mur dered innocent people, and while doing so, they knowingly committed suicide. They will not get a body for a long time and are condemned to remain as ghosts for ages and ages. Only after the tenonists have spent all these leftover impressions, a process that will take ages, will theyfinallybe able to enter into hell. They have no idea about the pain one passes through in hell.Thene theywill suffer for ages afterwards as they realize their mistake. Those who initiated this tragedy and are connected to it by their instructions will also suffer. They, too, have acquired the impres sions of all the victims and their close ones. Even if the instigators are killed, they must still suffer in their next births. But this is also a necessary evil. Only Beloved Meher Baba, the Avatar ofthe Age, will make these tenorists realize what wrong they are doing, and after His Universal Manifestation, their life will become the life of repentance. Two types ofevents happen in the domain of illusion: natural and unnatural. Natural behavior attitude and deeds are based upon love for God and form a medium for one to make progress toward Reality To achieve this love, one must follow God’s commands, particularly honesty and sincerity. Anyone caught up in greed, seffishness, pride, and other low desires that go against the commands of God remains completely under the clutch of Illusion in an unnatural way. These unnatural activities take them awayfrom God. Whether good or bad, every happening is false because everything happens in the domain of Maya or illusion. Nothing has ever happened in the domain of Reality Nothing ever will happen in it. But ifMaya is false, and everyone remains yet in its grip, how can we expect it to play its
role properly? The role of Maya falls under the Divine Plan, which has been established for everyone to progress from the unconscious
state ofGod to the conscious state ofGod. If Maya exists only in nonexistence, what value does it have? Just nothing. But God, the Compassionate Father must take care ofHis children. Only a few children remain obedient to Him.The rest, trapped by the grip ofillusion, or Maya, are ver very mischievous. No one is to blame iftheyforget the Truth. This is all under the Divine Plan and works out under Divine Will. Because the force ofillusion is so tremendously strong, the process for people to arrive at these feelings of awareness is very long. But because His mischievous children give him a lot of trouble, the Avatar suffers for them infinitely. His chil dren remain intoxicatedbythe liquor ofMaya, and none know how much their Father is suf fering. But the Father cannot reject anyone, even ifthey cannot recognize Him as he plucks them from the grip of illusion. When His Work is ftilfi]led, everyone will recognize the Advent ofthe Father on earth and His suffermg for them. The shadow of God includes innumerable false selves, you may call them “entities.”Though these “entities” exist in nonexistent, they can influence and effect happenings in illusion. Of course, remembrance of God weakens the power ofthe Devillshadow. Beloved Avatar Meher Baba suffered as our Compassionate Father, and on the 31st January 1969, He said, “Maya is killing me, but I will win.” When Beloved Baba dropped His body in 1969, He released His Universal Work. God is the hope for all. Until He is recognized, these tragedies will go on. Unless the world becomes helpless and hopeless, it will be impossible for the world to realize this fact and truly follow the commands of God. It is the beginning ofthe end, but to reach the end, it will take awhile. Meher Baba’s Universal Manifesta tion will occur in one hundred years from the time He dropped His body, so there will be a long time for the world to recognize Him. Nevertheless, we see more and more people coming in contact with Beloved Baba. This is a great gift, and the whole world will receive this gift when His Uni versal Manifestation takes place and ac knowledges the Avatarhood ofMeher Baba. God in human form works to create Oneness in order to help people progress spintually. But since Baba’s Work is always aligned against the Devil, the Devil (as His shadow) always opposes Him. This work of the Devil, creating opposition against Reality, God, has been going on continuously since creation. Whenever the Ancient One comes down on earth as the Avatar, Christ, or Messiah, the Devil’s work reaches full
momentum. Beloved Baba said that at its culmination, when the force of Maya or il lusion reaches the zenith, “My spiritual work will also manifest at its zenith.” I am very happy to hear that Baba lovers are well, though they remain emotionally af fected by the terrorist attacks. Everywhere people are feeling sad because ofthe Devil’s actions. Why do you think that you are crippled? Never think such a thing. Whatever the Devil is doing, it is a necessary evil. Those who have recognized Beloved Ava tar Meher Baba can never be crippled. They will cripple the Devil. We all are just ordi nary persons, so it is natural for us to be shocked by the destruction the Devil caused. But the shock is also a dream, and though we are shocked, it is good that we are awak ened because the Beloved All-Powerful is with us. For the time, let the Devil work. What we will have to pass through, we doth know. The facts we do know reside in the domain ofignorance, and thus all we know is actually ignorance. We do not possess Knowledge; it is not the Truth. We think that we know everything and that we are intelligent even though no one is sure what might happen in the next moment. This is only the beginning of the end, and for the present it will go on and on. There will be many tragedies, but they are nothing but the game of illusion. False life within us creates illusion and de lusion, andwe forget the Real Lifewhich God lives in us and for us. We must realize that he is showering His love on the world so that all His mischievous children may turn towards Him in order to follow His commands. In His own way, He is taking care ofall His children, good ones as well as the mischievous and the stupid. It does not mean thatyou should keep quiet. Even ifyou tr you can’t. But whether you are mischievous or you are bad, He will embrace you. He will embrace everyone. But fortunate are those who have recognized the Real Beloved, Avatar Meher Baba, and fol low His Wish.The Sound ofHis Silence will soon be vibrating all over the world, and one day, thewhole worldwill recognize Him.That is why there is hope. We are not helpless. His strength is with us, and this strength, everyone will someday have. It is destined. We must help our fellow beings as much as possible. Pray for them, and be with them in their sonrow so that they may derive strength. In fact, we are all One, but because of illusionlMaya/ Deal, we forget our Oneness. Only God exists, nothing exists besides God. And He is always with us; He is our Real Life. When we witness the Devilbowdoto Reality(Tmth), therewill
be peace.Till then, the onlytbingwe can do is to pray to Beloved Baba to give us the strength to follow His Wish and His commands. Please inform all dearones that they should have hope, be happy, and notworry about anything. I know thatyou all won’t worrybecause you are following Realit Beloved Avatar Meher Baba. Love Beloved Meher Baba more and more because He is the only Savior of the Universe and the Jesus Christ of the present age. You are fortunate that He has His loving Nazar [gaze] on all His dear ones. He is with you, as He is with all. Be brave and strong in Beloved Baba’s love and remain fast in His faith. Only love for God and Beloved Avatar Meher Baba’s Wish can help us do this, and when such feelings arise from the heart, you remain unaffected by anything good or bad. So the only message I can give is to hold fast to Beloved Avatar Meher Baba’s daaman. Remember Him, and at every step say “Avatar Meher Baba là Jai!” in such a way that the world may hear! Know ftilly well that He is the active Reality He is the Savior and He is the Compassionate Father. He will not ignore anyone, but will take care ofus and not allow us to sink in the ocean of illusion. We must put fill faith in Him and go on remembering Him. He is our Protector and our strength. He is our Savior, the One who will keep us out of the Devil’s clutch until His Universal Manifestation. He will protect one and all i>n His own way, so that everyone will follow the Truth, Reality He will never fail us, and will give us His Love so that we may realize, that no matter what is happening, only He exists. All else besides Him is nothing but a dream. We must wake up from this dream to embrace Reality in the form ofour Beloved, Ava tar Meher Baba. (Ground Zero continuedfrompage 5,) will serve as a guide. For heroes not yet born andfor those already among us, as long as mor tal men and women attempt to emulate these who havegone before us, thepath topeace and freedom will be paved with their sacrjfice in mind. You can be sure that they made this sacrifice with the comfort ofknowing that we will care for those loved ones they left behind. God bless them all. —Anonymous Then the angel showed me the river oflfr as clear as crystalflowingfrom the throne of God and ofthe lamb. Revelations 22:1 Even jfthe Heavensfall— do not letgo the Hand ofTruth. LoveAlone Prevails. —Avatar Meher Baba 9
(BalNatu conhinuedfrompage 7)
Feeling encouraged, I said “The smiling, silent remembrance ofYou and Your words of insight will relieve me and lift the burden weighing on me. It will help me to lead a bal anced life that will be pleasing to You.” You didlookpleased as You tookYourleave, and I gazed after You with wide eyes in wonder and amazement. You had come, You had gone—perhaps in a fficker of an eye or the snap ofa finger. Your creation is an incomprehensible, wonderftil para dox. No what next?! Just then, I heard a flock of birds fly over my house chirping. I felt they were singing in answer to me, “Wait and see; wait and see.”
thought-provoking impact of that inescap able presence. Although none escapes the intensive search for the hidden secret to the meaning of death, few can lift the veil and unravel the mystery For most it remains a soulsearing enigma which causes deep restlessness; for some it offers a wide field for imagi native speculation; for the few, it yields its secret.
Sudden Experience of Death Meher Baba
he immersion of the mdi vidual in the routine of life causes him to be seriously dis turbed by the sudden experience of death, particularly when it takes away someone who has been nearand dear to him. When the sight of death becomes too fre quet, as in time ofwar or during an epidemic, the individual’s mind tends to protect itselfby re tiring within a shell of habit and routine. Familiar actions, faces and surroundings, which require no thought or adjustment, become at such times a buttress to his emotional balance. But even this wall of cultivated indifference crumbles when the hand of death snatches away someone who has entered deeply into his inner life—someone who perhaps acted as the pivotal point upon which his emotions turned. At such a time his un questioning attitude towards life is disturbed and his mind becomes deeply preoccupied with an intensive search for lasting values. The life of each person is deeply enmeshed in this mystery of death. But it is a mystery which accents thought instead of dulling it, for if anything makes man think intensely about the true nature oflife, it is the recurrent theme of death. As the tale of life is told it pauses fre quently to contemplate the gaping holes left by death. There is no way to avoid the
Many refuse to accept death as the simple, final extinction of the individual, but this re action is more often a form ofunreasoned wish than a matter ofunshakable conviction. Even so, this instinctive rebellion should not be lightly dismissed, for much ofthe vigor of this blind protest against the seeming fact ofdeath springs from an obscured but still fttnctioning intuition. However, this intuitive reaction does not approach the more secure position achieved through reasoned belief based on faith in the authority ofa seer, or on the direct perception of those who know. From Listen Humanity by Meher Baba, Narrated and Edited by D.E. Stevens ©1957 by Sufism Reoriented Inc
The New Brotherhood on Earth Meher Baba
uring a war there are persons who un veil their inherent higher self through the endurance of pain, and by acts of bravery and self-sacrifice. It is better that such unself ish action be released under the stimulus of danger than not released at all. It is better thatmenforgettheirpettyselves underthe pressure ofcollective calam it); if need be, than remain perma nently absorbed in fear and greed. Great suffering awakens great understanding in man. Supreme suffering Mfills its purpose when it awakens him finally to genuine longing for real understanding. Unprecedented suffering leads to un precedented spiritual results. It contributes to the basing oflife on an unshakeable foundation of truth. The individual must understand fily his identity with the supreme universal Soul. Having perceived this truth, he will find that his life rearranges spontaneously so that his attitude towards his neighbor in ev eryday life becomes different. Then he will act upon the spiritual value ofoneness, which promotes true co operation. Brotherhood is a spontaneous outcome of true perception. The new life for the individual is based upon spiritual understanding and is an affirmation ofspiritual practicality in the truth. Just as war is not an unmixed evil for the individual, so it may have cer tam forward-propelling effects on humanity as a whole. The destruc tiveness ofwar tends to bring humanity to a spiritual crisis born ofthe physical nightmare. Inevitably suffering and miserypose the ques tion ofwhat it all leads to, how it will all end. Graduallypeople become sick ofwanting and sickoffighting. Greed and hatred finallyreach such an intensity that everyone becomes weary ofthem. Then mankindbegins to suspect that the only way out is through selflessness. The only alternative to war and its suffering is seen to be to stop hating and to love, to stop wanting and to give, to stop dominating and to serve. Wars require the exercise of cooperative fttnctioning, and in this resides one positive result. Still the value ofthis cooperation should
not be overestimated, for too often it is artifi their mutual relations, and ultimately resolve cially restricted by identification with a lim all problems. The new brotherhood on earth ited group or ideal. willbe a ftMilledfact, and nations willbe united Often wars are carried on by a form oflove, in the fraternity oflove and truth. but a love that has not been properly underListen Humanity by Meher Baba, Narrated and Edited by D.E. Stevens ©1957 by Sufism stood. In order that love may come into its Reoriented Inc.r own it must be free, untrammeled and unlim ited. Love exists in all phases of human life, but usually it is latent; or it is limited and poi Face-Off soned by personal ambition, racial pride, nar Ambrose row loyalties and rivalries, and attachment to 0 Beloved, sex, nationality sect, caste or religion For the Your world has suddenly become a very resurrection of humanity the heart of man very dangerous place must be unlocked so that unadulterated love The worst ofMaya has erupted in a may be manifested in it—a love uncorrupted cauldron and free from “me” and “mine”. Ofbillowing smoke, blazing fire, and People who make unlimited sacrifices for falling thunder the sake oftheir country or political ideology Into our homes, into our streets, into our are also capable ofthe same sacrifices for God hearts and the truth. As war teaches that even the Through the medium of her electronic face man in the street can rise to the greatest heights Slapping us out of complacency of sacrifice for a seffless cause, it also teaches To rock on our heels in awe and wonder. that all the mundane things of the world— Have we now become witness wealth, possessions, power, fame, family and To love’s ultimate disgrace even the very tenor oflife on earth— are tran Become as slaves in contentious reaction sitory and devoid oflasting value. Poised to commit every conceivable blunder In this manner the incidents of war also Will we decimate humanity win man over for God through the lessons they Leave hardly a trace bring. It is now high time that universal As we gather our forces suffering should hasten humanity to the To rend the world asunder? turning point in its spiritual history It is now Is this Your great silence You are finally high time that the very agonies of our times shattering should become a means for the bringing of As You clear Your throat through battle axe real understanding ofhuman relationship. It and mace is now high time for humanity to to face For consciousness to receive a horrendous squarely the true causes of the catastrophe of battering war. It is now high time to seek a new And Maya’s countenance a scarring deface? experience ofrealit It is high time that men Must this world go mentally, have a a fresh vision that all life is one in God, emotionally crazy who alone is real and all that matters. God is To finally become spiritually sane worthlingfoiandHeisworthdyingforall As the dogs ofwar are unleashed else is a vain and empty pursuit ofillusoryvalue. To ravage and pillage and plunder War is a necessary evil that is in God’s plan And we become enmeshed in to awaken humanity to its destiny as the new humanity’s bane humanity The time is now ripe. Men are Nowhere to hide or find shelter ardently seeking to contact the embodiment under? ofthe truth in the form ofa God-man, through Will our ignorance be further whom they can be inspired and lifted into compounded spiritual understanding. In this critical time As we give the enemy chase ofuniversal suffering men are becoming ready Rev up our war engines to turn towards their higher selfand to ftulfill Fueled by a single and age-old the will of God. belief They will accept the divine guidance and ‘Do unto others as they do unto love which alone can bring about spiritual you’ awakening. Divine love will perform the su Is this the tenet for all to embrace preme miracle ofbringing God into the hearts While hardly aware that once it ofthe newhumanity and ofestablishing them starts in a true, and therefore a lasting, happiness. God only knows when we’ll Divine love will satisfy the greatest longings experience relief? ofmankind, make men seffless and helpftil in
Beloved, must it be this way Is this part ofYour decisive plan In a clash ofbeliefs—rampant emotions That have no sustainable base In order to break Maya’s mind hold Stored up in ignorance’s dam To flood the valleys of consciousness And shift the whole human race? My heart goes out to all who suffer In the fear of the looming unknown To those hands being rung in constant frustration For are we to be finally reaping All the karmic seeds that we have sown As we refuse to accept that we are The cause of this ignorant beration? What, 0 Beloved, are you going to do? Forgive me, but I must ask Are You finally thwarting Maya The beginning of the end Of her paradoxical and universal sway? How much and for how long Will you be taking us to task ‘Till we learn once and for all To love one another Each moment Each minute Each hour Each and every day? 0 distraught and anguished lover! Look not to fear or fault in the coming Buttooneself As to what you are really made of Just play your part well This next act in My great Divine play. Remember always It’s being done because ofMy love.
Amartithi 2002—A Pilgrim’s Diary Pam Toppley, England quiet time at the Samadhi. How wonlaughter and the aromatic delights of food derful to have some time totally alone being cooked and eaten. From January 1st. to February 7th 2002 with Baba in HisTomb. As I sit quietly there Sunday 27th I am immersed again in the daysjust passed: to Arti. The music starts to become more wandering in the Christian area in upbeat pilgrims and residents are suddenly The tempo is definitely gathering speed, Ahmednagar to see the Three Kings on missing, only to be found in groups and sin- and Meherazad closed until after Amartithi. camels in a procession with Father Christ- gly, rehearsing their Amartithi gifts to Baba I can’t believe it is so close. So I walk up the mas throwing prasad to all along the way. dances, song, music, all must be practised Hill to the Tomb and again surprisingly, I To see the excitement of the three young- again and again to achieve the perfection am able to have a totally alone time there sters acting out their part as the Kings, sit- we wish to present before Baba. In the and quietly I thank Him forletting me have ting proudly on their camels. The sweetness middle of all this, Bhau’s birthday is duly this time the Tomb smells so beautiftil with and welcome from all those in the Chris- celebrated at Meherabad and Bal shares his the perftime of the flowers so many gar tian community there was unforgettable. with us in Mandali Hall at Meherazad. lands placed there. On coming away my eye The joy of my first Christis caught byyet another incon mas at Meherazad is still flowgruous scene there in the ing gently through my whole middle of the Mandap sur being. What an exceptionally rounded by the brilliant special place to celebrate such colours of the many canvases a day, the garden bedecked and materials being used to with the vibrant colours of the decorate the marquees, stands marquee, the day starting and an ancient treadle sewing maending with carols being sung chine awaiting its operator to by everyone and with plays and recover from his midday rest, magic and song and dance in most of the activity having between all giving their very halted in the heat ofthe noonbest for Baba in His home. day sun. The cie fun of New Years Much progress has been Eve e dancing in the dinmade since my previous visit. ingroom; the wonderful Canvas is now covering the candlelit procession progresspoles, and strips oforange, blue ing slowly up the Hill for midand red cover the inside of the Different modes oftransportation:foot, cai; scootei; CAMEL J night Arti; and community ceilings of the marquees all singing everyone able to join the frills rippling in the breeze in because Nan Wicker had prepared the Through all these days I keep thinking how like gentle ocean waves on a summers day. song books enough to go round even this lucky we are, those of us that are here shar Stalls are being prepared in front ofthe Relarge gathering. Thanks to Baba for such a ing these days with the Mandali and with treat, [water tower] ready for all number of wonderftsl end to the old and a great start each other. Such golden days. Such a won- wares to be displayed: T-shirts, buttons, derftsl gift He has given us. Days to share, pens, photographs, and posters. to the New Year. A gentle incoming and outgoing of Pil days to work together. The theatre on the Hill is now beginning The hospital is cleaned out and made to come to life with Baba’s face smiling down grims to the Centre keeps the registration office and the Meherabad receptionists ready for an influx of pilgrims using it for from a photograph centre back stage. I comfortably occupied. Gradually signs of Amartithi quarters, as is the forthcoming Amartithi appear, initially the isolation ward. Resi in the form of poles standing firmly on the dents prepare to share Hill around the stage and the Samadhi. An their places with pilgrims, <i underlying current of business pervades all the hostels are all made scenes the phones ring constantly, more ready and more of those I poles appear all over Meherabad soon to ramps appear all over the be clad with such bright colours to change place! The food tent is up the green winter scene. A strange mixture of bullock carts and tractors bring the nec- the colours and the busi essary equipment, tools, and people to make ness adding a warmth to the preparations. Ramps suddenly appear the area beside the hospi everywhere to slow the traffic (and especially tal and isolation ward. The skeleton is now in place to it seemed my scooter) Gravel is renewed and scrunches loudly to announce the latecomers be filled shortly with
quicken my pace as I walk back down the Hill thinking of all the things I have yet to do before Armatithi! Just as I reach the end ofthe path I hear the train coming and much to my delight the train comes to a halt at the crossing and people are waving and calling out though this time just one sari clad lady alights. It somehow re-inforces the nearness of the 31st when so many of His lovers will be coming on the train which stops at this place for only these three days in the year. Having walked down the Hill and witnessed this rare sight I realise my scooter is actually still at the top! -
of all the times to decide to change the furniture around and reorganize my self— two days before Armatithi! Now I know I really am mad. Just in the midst of sheer chaos the phone rings and Nan tells me that there will be a meeting ofall the microphone stagehands at the theatre on the Hill at 2.30. How did I manage to say yes to that I wondered? Rut I know it will be ftin and good to be involved. So scooter and I make it through the crowded, smoke filled fitmy pol luted air of Ahmednagar, dodging dogs, cows, buffalo carts, pedestrians, rickshaws, pigs and goats not to mention the traf fic—to reach the Hill on time. You thought managing microphones on stage a doddle? [piece ofcake] Well ifthe real thing is anything like the rehearsal, it will be a very interesting Armatithi from the performers point ofview. Voice mike, music mike, small stand, large stand, very low stand, very high stand. Microphone right by the mouth (no not side on), guitar mike not too close to the centre; where to place mike for large drums? Long discussion on that one; baton arms ofthe stands have a tendency to bring the whole stand over if 1. not tightened well and 2. the boom let out too far. Mikes can also do a slow dive act of their own after you think they are fine and have left them to their own devices. This tends to either —
lose the music or voice entirely or have an actor or musician turn into a contortionist. Some instruments might need up to three mikes, plus of course the voice mike. All must be at the right angle, height and dis tance away from instrument/player/singer. Each performer has 5 minutes on stage; each performer has a different instrument which is a different height, and they may sit, stand, or sit cross legged on the floor and will try to avoid the mike which has to bejust inches from the mouth for a singer. And we, poor things, have just 30 seconds to place everything correctly and change all the positions; smiling all the while and trying to put the performers at their ease and give them ery confidence in our judgement—30 sec onds! Well it should be fin; I’ll let you know a paragraph or two later. TV monitors were going up, electricians and professional technicians (what would we have done without them I wondered) were busy putting wires all over the place and climbing up and down bamboo ladders. The hustle and bustle lent an air of expectancy over the Hill so different from the usual quietitude. A few ofus had decided to stay the night th of the 30 and 31st on the Hill and I was greatly looking forward to this a sleeping bag, kindlylent to me, a blanket and a fleece jacket should assure me a degree ofwarmth. Although everyone is telling me it would be very cold, in fact I was warm and reasonabley comfortable just odd things like lying on my cameras/purse/cell phone safely tucked inside my sleeping bag would wake me and disturb my dreams as far as I remember the latter consisted mainly of the Mandali at some earlier time but I don’t -
re me mb er clearly. The atmosphere on the Hill that night was powerful and peaceful. The Darshan queue continued and we managed to have our moment in the Samadhi just b e fore midnight. People were sleeping all over the place and there were seeming piles of blankets, which were in fact, several children huddled under with Mum, completely covered from head to foot and totally still. Somehow they manage to stay that way for hours no noise or commotion disturbing their rest. When Indians want to sleep, they sleep! For the rest of us, we watched and enjoyed the scene until tiredness and the excitement of the day insisted that our bodies rested also and ‘ep overcame us. At 5 am Kusum S h delighted us all with her playing and singing and Meheru came to sit and listen. Thin the Iranians brought their powerful drum music so fill ofvibrant energy, such ajoy to listen to because you felt as well as heard that ancient tale spreading rhythm. I was on mike duty at 7 am and this was much as described but not as fraught with disaster as I had expected help was at hand and the directions from the control were clear and helpful. It was fin to be so near the performers and to have that feeling of participating as part of a team however minor the part. My dutyfinishedjust in time for me to pick myway carefully and I truly had difficulty at times to find a space for my foot through the dense crowd to the Tomb area for the Silence following the Chairman’s Address. Oh the crescendo of song-followed by that immediate and deafening SILENCE. It was broken only occasionally by a young child not understanding the significance of it all: an amazing stillness by over 30,000 in silent meditation for 15 minutes. Then it was back to the programme after Arti. There was music and dance and the greeting ofold and new friends. As much as I loved most of the music, the highlight for me was the Persian Drummers -
soul enthralling music! They enchanted the Mandali during their time on the Hill and the rest of us time and again both on the Hill and at the food tent where they played and danced every night. Everyone just had to join them in their dance, both the rhythm and their love oftheir music did not allow anyone’s feet to be still. So came the end ofArmatithi 2002 my third successive one, and so different from the other two! Days now to be spent taking down the colourfiil trimmings and marquees but those around the Tomb to be left be standing for:
seemed somehow more special maybe the intimacy one feels with Baba was more highly charged because of the presence of the Mandali among a comparatively small group after the crowds ofthe previous week. I tried to think how I would have felt on that particular day in 1969. Perhaps it was that day God returned to God. Jai Baba.
January 7th, Interment Day
[Baba so often talked about the love St. Francis hadfor Christ andsaic4 ‘Love Me as he lovedhis Master “Theprayer ofSt. Francis illustrates that love:] ,i: orci, make we an instntnzent ofyour peace
This was a most special day with the women Mandali singing Satchitananda, and being inside the Tomb lent their voices that extra special quality Music followed their Garlanding and both solo and community singing was enjoyed by all ending of course with Begin the Beguine. This particular day -
Allphotos onpages 12 and 13 by Pamela Toppley.
7:Iie ¶1rayer of &. 3rctncis
vUhere tl’tere is hatred, let me show love.
Wliere there is injury, pardon. there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, lighL Where there is sadness, joy. 0 Divine .A4astei rantthat 3 may not so much seek 7:o be consoled, as to console, 7:o be understood, as to understand, 10 be loved, as to love, for r
EJt is in giving that we receive, :Jt in pardoninj, that we are pardonecL 3t is in dying that we are born to eternal life. TheAwakener magazine Volume XVIII, Filis Frederick Editor, ©1978 byThe Universal Spiritual League in America, Inc.
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The Celebiatwns begin Preceethngpage entertainrnentfrom aiovei the woildâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; centei photo shows the Flamenco dancei Viola Math-Kelly entel taming the crowd with an /llegi ias bottom left Mary Lloyd Dugan accompanies the girls choi usfi om the Mehei English School Visitoi s to Mehei Babas room adjacent to the Samadhi Above the numbei s mci ease as the 31st nears Afamily watches theprepa7ations while two women tiy to giab afew winks
Drums of Celebration Heather Nadel, Meherabad ver since Baba’s father Sheriarji came fearless proclamations of Baba’s Divinity. down from Persia to Poona, the poetry Years ago, the Zoroastrian elders had pro)f Hafiz and other great Persian poets has Meherazad, the young men sang Persian claimed him outcast, and told him he would iad a special place in Avatar Meher Baba’s ghazals accompanied by the daaft drums, not be allowed into their burial place when vorld. Which is why, when casting about and one could easily imagine Beloved Baba he died. Khodabakhsh had replied, “Then I or a subject for Baba’s Birthday play, we drumming His beautiftil fingers on the arms will go to the house of my Father.” And so it turned out: his :hought of do.ng the life of Divine Father arranged ralaluddin Eumi. But we Khodabakhsh’s last farewell in vondered, did His own house. Baba have a spe :ial liking for Although most of the Rumi, as He did Iranis will not For Hafiz? be here, the Then sometaped rhythms ne remem of the daaft will ered a story sing again in Padri used to tell His birthday From the 1920’s play. In another it Meherabad. amazing “coin[n those days, cidence” from the old dharm Baba, both an shala was a gath Babak, Amir Hossine, andAliperformingfor the Beloved. Irani dervish ring place for Babaand His early mandali. Baba had just ofHis chair in time to the intricate rhythms. and a Turkish Sufi whirler were among the had His bath, and was sitting there in a chair The mandali were delighted. Baba-lovers visiting Meherabad recently, At Amartithi, as the Beloved would in and they taught the cast some elementary withhe mandali sitting around Him on the Eloor His hands and feet were outstretched, His younger days, lovers sat up all night sa “dervish whirling”. (Such whirling origi and one of the mandali was trimming His voring love-music, and savoring too the spe nated with Rumi, who would whirl around ingernails and another His toenails. Padri cial atmosphere ofHis presence that Amar a pillar in ecstasy when reciting his glorious was standing nearby, looking at Baba. tithi evokes everyyear. The daaft was played love poems to Shamsi-Tabriz). Meheru commented about Amartithi Buasaheb was reading aloud to Baba in Per- everywhere then, and at all hours: near the sian from Rumi’s Divan. Padri said that eating tent, under trees and on verandahs, that it was a time when “we truly feel His Baba was so moved by the poetry that His on the big stage... And at dawn on the 31st presence in everyone we meet, as if the head and eyelids drooped, His chest and itself on the small stage opposite the Awakener has been awakened by their throat flushed a copperish red, and the Samadhi before Baba’s ghadi, amid a close love.” Which brings to mind a quote from whites ofHis eyes had turned red too, “while cluster of singers and pilgrims from all over Rumi that seems especially apt for this gazing at His own beauty.” Padri maintained the world. That setting was particularly Amartithi-Birthday season. He was speaking ofthe Prophet, our own Beloved, it was the only time in all his years with Him magical, with its moving backdrop ofBaba lovers standing in line for darshan at Baba’s who comes and goes, but as Eruch always that he saw Baba truly intoxicated. Needless to say, we did choose Rumi’s Tomb. The music’s haunting quality was reminded us, “lives eternally in the hearts life story for the play. Then in mid-January perfect for the mood, a doorway to the long- ofHis lovers.” a group of young musicians from Iran ar ing and yearning for the ineffable Beloved rived for Amartithi, bringing with them a that is so tangible at Amartithi. “The Prophet said that Truth has declared: Perhaps the most touching song the trio wonderftil music from Rumi’s world, a mu‘lam nothidden in sic that, as Meheru said, conjured up “cara sang was at the Meherabad cremation is high or low. What vans, and desert fires under night skies...” ground in honor ofthe Irani group’s “leader”, nor skies nor throne. Nor in the earth The dervish wanderings of Sheriarji too, an old-time, much beloved Baba-lover from is certainty, 0 beloved: This because the musicians had brought with Iran, Khodabakhsh Mehraeen, who passed lam hidden in the heart ofthefaithful. them three dervish drums called “daaft”. away right before Amartithi, in an Ifyou seek Me, seek Shaped like large tambourines, they have Ahmednagar hospital, ofa heart attack. His In these hearts. little rings lining the inside, which, when death while on pilgrimage to Baba’s home —Rumi the drums are tossed in the hand and hit, had a special meaning for those from Iran. give a whooshing background to the strong They knew how he had been persecuted and beat. At a special concert for the mandali in driven out from his own city because of his
Dying to Die in Meherabad Bhau Kaichuri
his Amartithi went offvery well, but there were three deaths, all caused by heart attacks, and two serious accidents. The initial death was that of Khoda Bakhsh from Iran. He was a Zoroastrian, and despite much opposition from his own community and that ofthe Muslims, Khoda worked tirelessly for Baba. Feelings against him were so extreme, he had to leave his home town and move to Tehran. In fact, those against him went to the extent of telling him, “If anything happens to you, none ofus will help you.” “It doesn’t matter,” Khoda replied, “I am going to see my Father, and He will take care of me.” Khoda would often come to Meherabad for the Amartithi celebra tions. This time, when he reached Bombay, he told his wife and others, “If I die at Meherabad, my body should not be taken back to Iran. I should be cre mated at Meherabad.” After Khoda expired, I took Khoda’s wife to the Samadhi and prayed for him, and on the 30th ofJanuary, I escorted her on a full tour of the new pilgrim site. I also appointed her pandal inspector, and asked her to find any defects in it. She was so happy, she would examine the pandal, as ifshe were inspector. The contractor did indeed pay attention to her. She felt so happy. On the 31st of Janu ary, I brought her on stage to sit with me. She left Meherabad with joy, and she felt touched with Baba’s love. She also suffered along with Khoda Baksh because people were criticizing Baba. Now, she will do the same work that Khoda was doing. 40 to 50 people from Iran, Zoroastri ans as well as Muslims, came this year, and I felt great joy to see them in such good spirits. The second death was on the 28th ofJanuary. Sri Prakash Rao was from Vijayawada, in Andhra Pradesh. When I was on my Andhra tour in Oc tober, he had wanted to see us in Vijayawada the night we came in on the train, but it was not possible for him. So he came to Hyderabad and met us. He was not very old, only sixty nine, but his health was not good. He was working as a volunteer during Amartithi and was coming back from Upper Meherabad to Lower Meherabad, when he died in one
minute. No doctor was able attend to him; they could attend only to the death cer tificate. The third person was Akarte, from Arvi, Maharashtra, who had also had come to the Amartithi celebrations as a volunteer. Khoda Bakhsh was cremated at Meherabad. Because their relatives wanted their bodies, Prasad Rao and Akarte were sent to their respective homeplaces. How fortunate and blessed they are that they expired while working for the Beloved! In the same way that Baba had ap pointed Padri Kaka to handle the work of Khandya, that is, giving shoulder to [carrying] the dead body, I appointed Jal Dastur to take care of the procedures. Since Jalwas doing this work, I was happy. I tookpart in the funeralofKhoda Bakhsh and prayed for Arkate. I also consoled all ofhis relatives from Arvi. But Prasad Rao was taken away at night, so I could not see his body. Last year at Meherabad, only one woman (from Lucknow) died on 31st of J anuary, and one person from Bombay, Gulab Das Panchal, died on the 10th of July, Silence Day. We cremated him while keeping silence. He must have been suf fering because of his longing for the Beloved, and at the end, he became silent for all time and the example for keeping silence on the 10th ofJuly. How peaceful he must be! One person from Andhra had also died in 1999. So it appears these individuals are getting liberation, and it is a great thing. They are the very fortunate ones. In fact, their names may be inscribed in the Memorial Tower. It is a joy for Baba lovers that they are not afraid ofdeath and feel a great joy when anyone dies here. Up until now, people have died of heart attacks. It is good that they haven’t suffered, but die immediately. Fortunate they are. But the fact that pilgrims feel those who die at Meherabad are really fortunate will cause us a problem. It seems that Baba lovers are contemplating dying at Meherabad during Amartithi. But only those people who are destined to die at Meherabad will die here. If
people start coming just to die, it will not happen. Even if you are old, diseased, disabled or weak and come with the intention of dying, if it is not destined, you will not die.
Beloved Nonny Gayley Beloved, there is no word more beautiful than when from my heart I call you all my own; when in daydreams your blessed form arises before my eyes in brilliant light. It is you who set this all consuming torch ablaze in my heart, in order to purify it. Oh my beloved! Hold my heart in your safekeeping, locked away from the outer world. I feel your breath, so warm against my cheek. Your embrace is tender and gentle as a zephyr. 0! Let me feel your kiss upon my eyelids, so. Then I will know my eyes are open to the truth, and I behold you, dear. Once when you had gone away, the pain within my heart was so intense that I could feel the warm blood drop, drop; and it did ease my agony. Among the multitude ofmen, I see no one but you. I feel apart with you, although apparently cognizant of all around. In everything I see your face, and every moment I feel the warmth of your great love holding me secure. -
When the rhythm oflndian music beats and sways, I see you, all holy, clothed in robes of purest white. In silence I write letters to you across the earth as one great page, yet not large enough to tell you all that is within my heart. Your silence holds me, and I feel all that you would have me understand. How your people love you! They call you Avatar, and they worship you also, but a bond exists between you and me so strong that nothing on this earth can sever it. I give you my life, to serve you rever ently, to live at your feet, with my heart full of humility at this great privilege. Some day when you raise me from the dust and show me my name inscribed on a pure white stone, then my eyes will gaze into your eyes, and for the first time I will see you, God. Nonny wrote her poem in Agra, on January 31, 1939. Awakener Mag, Vol X, No 4, 1965, page 27. 19
A Side Trip to Hyderabad Dma Snow
astyear, Balaji ofHyderabad, our Indian printer par excellence, had re iuested that I visit the Hyderabad Baba enter while in India. So just a few days ifter Amartithi I braved the 12 hour bus ide south. Actually it wasn’t as bad as I ad been led to believe! There are four )unks to each ‘cabin’ in the bus, comfortible beds with a )illow and blan cet provided. You eave 6:30pm, top an hour later or dinner, two riore stops for :oilet breaks, hen arrive in Hlyderabad about 7am. Quite a )ainless way to :ravel. These are )uses for pil rims visiting hirai— Sai Baba’s :omb—so are very lean and comfortthle.Therideis only 14! I cannot rec )mmend a trip to Flyclerab ad iighly enough! Hamirpour Baba declared to be His heart’. Andra, He told us, was His head. [ found that very interesting in light of :he fact that the view from the new Baba
Center is across the ‘Silicon Valley’ of India. J ust a few miles as the crow flies one can see the twin Cyber Towers; I heard that Bill Gates would be visiting his office there the week after I left. Next to it is another huge modern building—an other IT (Information Technology) place.
Meher Baba Center in Hyderabad
The third beautiful large building on the horizon is the University of Hyderabad. The Baba Center is on the outskirts of the western side of the city in a suburb known as Jubilee Hills, where Baba had been in 1951. The building was started in 1982 and com pleted in 1987. I was told the acre of land upon which this beautiful round
building and the adjacent pilgrim center stands was purchased for one million rupees. Today, those little plots ofland you see in front of the center go for two million! The architecture and the building itself is very beautiful, neat, clean and modern. But what really caught my attention was the incredible landscaping! One is not used to seeing so many trees, shrubs and flowers around a new building, espe cially when the 5 urrou n ding scenery consists of dusty dry rocks. It is still an ongoing process that the Minister for Agricul ture has thrown himselfinto with full heart and hands. In a few more years, the lushness will be astounding. This is even more
The entrance doors to the circular room. 20
Audio Tape Lending Library
Front ofthe main building during thepacked seminai
amazing when you note the fact that the building, as with everything in the rounding area, is built straight on solid bedrock!
The first thing I noticed about Hyderabad were the magnificent rocks. They reminded me so much ofJoshua Tree in California and Zion in Utah. There are massive great boulders— solid granite with little ones balanced precariously on top of them, looking for all the world as though a strong wind would topple them over. I went overboard with the camera, so only a very few photos are shown here. If you have Power Point you can view the rest at www.lovestreetbookstore .com/hyderabad.htm to see how amazing the scenery is. Don Stevens was in town to give his seminar on God
Speaks, having just com-pleted his talks in Mumbai and prior to coming to Meherabad. Balaji took us all out to the Manonash cave where Baba had spent eight days during the New Life period. That was quite an experience! You will be reading about it in the October issue of the LampPost. I must say the welcome that was extended to me by all the Baba lovers there was overwhelming! Hyderabad will definitely be on my list of Baba places to visit on my next trip to India.
Do you ever find yourselfin a ‘dry spell’ spiritually? Would you rather have something inspiring to listen to than negative news, weather and traffic reports during your travels? Do you need an interesting theme for your Baba meetings? The au dio library has many interesting and intellectually stimulating discourses on life with Baba. We have over 150 titles just waiting to be delved into by inquiring minds. What unsuspecting treasures to behold! Don’t waste your time on this tired old world any longer. Make your choice to move into the cosmic Baba linkup. For catalog or info write to Lynne Berry, 267 Hanover Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. She is ready to assist you.
What’s Happening at Meherabad The Tree Theft Bhau Kaichuri ou will be amazed to hear that theft has been committed in God’s home at Vleherazad, and not only that, this is the hird time such theft has occurred! Growing by the side ofthe private road 0 Meherazad were sandalwood trees. ‘wice, thieves came and took them. There were also sandalwood trees rowing in the garden behind the men Vlandali’s quarters. Around 1:30 a.m., rriday, the 14th of December, thieves ame again to cut the sandalwood trees aside the compound. They accosted the iight watchman, dragged him out into the ield and beat him. They ordered him to e down and told him not to make any ioise. It was very cold, but the poor fel Dw could not move. The barking of the dogs roused Katie. he went to thevmen Mandali’s quarters, vhere she woke up Merwan [Jessawalla, ruch’s brother]. He went outside, and atiereturned to her room. The thieves seized Merwan, then orLere him to sit on a piece of stone and iot move. “Why are you committing this heft?” Merwan asked the ringleader, a nan about 25 years old. “My mother is uffering from cancer,” he answered. “I Lave nothing to give her for treatment, so am forced to do this.” “We have a clinic here,” said Merwan. Why don’t you bring your mother to it?” “I am from Hyderabad. How can I ring my mother to Meherazad?” “Do you know what this place is?” Vlerwan asked. “Yes,” the ringleader re lied. “I know this is the place of Avatar Vleher Baba. God is Love, and Love is As others cut the trees, the ringleader emained standing before Merwan, not aying a word. Merwan, too, remained si nt, which was good. All thieves had ome with swords in their hands. Suddenly, the ringleader said to vlerwan, “Take this sword and kill me.” “Why should I do that? I will never to such a thing.” Merwan answered. Whatever you want to take, you take. ake as much sandalwood as you like. I iave nothing more to say.”
So Merwan sat on the piece of stone for one hour in the biting cold. When the thieves had cut down three trees, they loaded them in a truck and ordered Merwan to go. Poor Merwan left. He then phoned Mehernath, who in turn informed the po lice. The police went out to Meherazad, but the thieves had already vanished. The police then conducted an investigation. This morning (Tuesday, the 18th of De cember), we received news from Merwan that the inspector ofpolice informed him that they had caught eight gang members. Three people remain to be apprehended. So this is the age when people do not hesitate to commit thefts in God’s home. J ust two months ago, thieves had also gone to Meherabad to steal sandalwood trees. Sandalwood is very, very expensive in India. And the thieves will earn more than one hundred thousand rupees for the wood. Now we are thinking of cutting down all the sandalwood trees. They will be used for the dhuni, because otherwise, this theft will go on and on. We also have three trees in the Trust Compound, but I don’t want to cut these trees. Later I heard that because he felt scared, Dr. Dadi Kerawalla cut down the sandalwood trees at Meherabad.
with Baba lovers in Mandali Hall, while Goher Meheru, Arnavaz and Katie met His dear ones on the porch. A balmy breeze pervaded the garden. It was a lovely day of Love. We have had a very warm February, and March only brings higher temperatures and increasing dryness in the air. The ground is also dr and a water shortage has already reared its ominous head in the Ahmednagar region. March has made its appearance in Baba’s home with the usual feeling of quietude announcing the upcoming hot season. The number of Baba pilgrims at morning and evening arti is lower than it has been since our season opened last June, conveying a lovely atmosphere conducive to intimacy between the lover and Beloved. Now a few remain in the pilgrim facili ties at Meherabad, and quite a few visitors from nearby Pune and Bombay are arriv ing, taking their last chance this season to stay at Meherabad. Baba’s lovers will be here right up to the 15th of March, soaking up the soul-renewing atmosphere of Meher Baba’s presence.
“God spake never a word but one and that He holds so dear that He will never say another.
If God stopped saying His Word but for an instant even, heaven and earth would disappear.” —
Meherabad, March 2002 Irene Holt
he Ahmednagar Baba Centre arranged for a series of concerts and events in honour ofBaba’s birthday, culminating with two big open-air feasts held at the Trust Compound, Meher Nazar. The first on Saturday, 2nd March, was for poor and lowincome members of the public, from Ahmednagar and Arangaon, and served about 700 people. The next day a second meal was offered for local Baba lovers and Meherabad pilgrims and was attended by about 350. February 28th was the last Meherazad day of this season, a time of sweet goodbyes in Baba’s home. Bal Natu sat talking
Bhau Tours Andhra Bhau Kaichuri, November 30, 2001
am happy to inform everyone that I had a really good trip to Andhra Pradesh. Had you come, you would have enjoyed it very
much. Really speaking, Andhra should re ceive a continuous tour for two years. There are more than two thousand centers, but I could spare only ten days. On Monday 15th
October, as soon as I arrived in Hyderabad, people came to meet me, and that afternoon I gave a talk. I also delivered two talks at the Koti Centre, which was established many years ago in Hyderabad itself. On Wednesday, 17th October to commemorate th the 50 anniversary of Baba’s Manonash work in Hyderabad, I visited Manonash Hill
in Khojaguda. Previously, as there was no road, the mountain had been difficult to climb. How had Baba managed to go up there and remain in seclusion? In 1999, when I went to Hyderabad, I could not go to Khojaguda because of this obstacle. But since then, Baba lovers have built a road up the hill. Neverthe theless, night before our scheduled visit, it rained and rained. People were wondering how they could possibly get up to the top. That morning, however, the sun came out, and the roads were dry enough for us to make it to our destination. Many people came to see Beloved Baba’s Koti (cave), where He stayed while He com pleted part of His Manonash Work. I felt so happy to see it. It is a very small koti, and no one can stand upright in there. When we went there, Beloved Baba’s vibrations still permeated the air and the rocks. I sat for a while in the cave along with Baba lovers from Hyderabad and those accompanying me on my tour. After prayers and arti, we all emerged from the cave and congregated on the mas sive boulders on the mountaintop. I was given a verygood opportunityto talkabout the New Life and Baba’s work in His Koti. When Beloved Baba was in seclusion in the cave dur ing the New Life, the women Mandali re mained in Hyderabad, in a nice neighborhood calledjubilee Hills. Before Baba entered into seclusion in Khojaguda, He held a meeting there. At the meeting, He explained Mano nash or’Annihilation ofMind” as thelast step for a seeker. The companions had already become servants during the New Life, and when
could not understand why. When I was in Hyderabad, they made special coffee for me, and I succumbed to the temptation to drink it. For the past six years, I have drunk neither tea nor coffee. But there, every day I would drink coffee at 4:00 in the afternoon. Then at night, I would not be able to sleep. The next morning, however I still had to deliver my talk On Saturday, 20th October, after completing the morning in session Srirangapatnam, we returned to Raj ahmun dry for lunch and rest. That evening, as we were returning, the skies opened up and it started pouring, el ephant rains. There was danger that the roads might be r flooded washed out. Still, I was insisting thatwe continie onward. Dr. Anne was with me, and she was insisting that we go back to Rajahmundry. Baba lovers from Andhra were also in the car. In my car, Meher Meher Baba giving darshan in Andra in 1953 Prasad (from nected with Baba’s visit. They have also built Rajahmundry) was phoning back and forth a Meeting Hall on the hill beside the to Chinta Sai Baba (from the Nellore Dis guesthouse. Both buildings are verybeautiftil. trict), in the Sumo [similar to a Land Rover] From Hyderabad, we went to behind me. The people with the cell phones Rajahmundry where local Baba lovers had were trying to determine whether we should arranged for us to stay in a very nice hotel. proceed or not. When they found out that a The first day after we arrived, I went briefly pandal had collapsed because ofthe rain, and to the Rajahmundry Centre, and then across that there was nothing but water and mud ev the Godvari River, to the Kovvur Centre, erywhere, they thought we should return to where Mehersthan is situated near the Rajahmundry But they learned that a huge riverbank. We returned to Rajahmundry for procession of 1,500-2,000 people was parad lunch, and following that and a briefrest, we ing through the streets of Srirangapatnam, went to Srirangapatnam, about 16 miles away. calling outMeher Baba kiJai!The procession Around 1,500 people came from different was about three miles long and proceeded in places to attend the program. Though I was a circle around the dtyTheycontinued in their in good form, I could not sleep at night and procession for two hours in the pouring rain,
one attains the state ofa servant, one becomes fit for Manonash. After the meeting, Baba completed part four of His Manonash work, the final phase ofthe New Life, in the moun tam cave. Now the Hyderabad Baba lovers have constructed a beautiftil guesthouse in Jubilee Hills, so this guesthouse is also con-
vhile we were sitting inside our cars discussng and arguing. At last I said, “I must go to ;rirangapatnam. Ifthere is no place to sit and •alk, I willjust greet people. “As it transpired, he kitchen pandal was completely destroyed, orcing the guests to eat dinner in the rooms )fa nearby school. The meeting pandal itself imazingly, had not been damaged, and the lectricity and sound system were in proper vorking order. Everyone in the procession had :hanged their clothes and was waiting for me n the meeting pandal. It was ajoy to see how inxious they were, and, had I not come, they vould have been very disappointed. How ac we Beloved Baba was in every heart! Forget•ing their own happiness, the guests were feelngjoyin the suffering caused by the rain. The vorld was not present for them, only the Beoved. The Srirangapatnam Baba lovers pre ented a musical program and dances by their :hildren. After the program, I gave a nice talk, md then, late that night, I returned to ajahmundr When I returned to Srirangapatnam the blowing day, I gave a five-hour talk on God peaks. Actually, God speaks and I can’t hear! ; how can I tell people about God Speaks? 3od Speaks means God is speaking, and He peaks eternally, but we can’t hear because we ire deaf The words He gives are in the God Vlan’s Silence, not in God’s Silence, and these vords create in us the longing to hear the One vvo1i of God’s Silence. The words from the ;ilence of God are the words of Truth, and hey can be heard when the ears of the heart eceive the capacity to hear. In fact, there is )nly One Word, and that is the Word of vVords, and this Word can be heard when vords stop speaking.TheWord is in God, and vords are in illusion, and in order to hear that Alord, the words of illusion must be totally orgotten. Mother M., Mother OM, Swami 3roomanand, Dr. Anne and Shiva were with ne at the talk Dr. Anne is my Direct Doctor tnd had accompanied me to take care of me mm the medical point ofview. She was very :oncerned about my health, and would carelilly morntor myrest and diet.Though I would iot interfere with the dietary restrictions, still was playing mischief. I would ignore her in;ofar as my talk was concerned and would go )n speaking. Shiva had heard the Divine Voice nstructing him that Bhau should continue :alking. Dr. Anne was very much upset. As I vas watching her, what did I find? While I vas giving my talk, she had put a banana in er mouth. Because I was speaking, I could :iot laugh, though I thought it was good that he was eating. Because the banana was in her riouth, she would not look at me, but would
still send signals through someone else, instructing me to stop. ButI continued. Not only that, but when my talk was finished, I asked everyone to line up. First the women, then the men. I greeted each one personally, all 1,500 people. I felt quite strong and ftill of energy I did notthinkabout myself only about the Beloved in those who were attending the program. His presence was very active in everyone’s heart, and they were very, very happy. Therefore, I, too, was very happy.
We returned to Hyderabad bytrain, reaching the Jubilee Hills Centre in the morning. The bus strike still had not yet been settled. Nevertheless, many people came to meet me. I gave one talk in the morning, and then in the evening, another taik to all the workers. Dear M.B.G. Shastri also came to see me that day, and a few days later, he expired. It was good for him, as he was relieved from all his physical suffering. The following evening, we all returned by train to Ahmednagar. Several Baba lovers from Hyderabad, including Rajendra Meher and A. Jamardhan Rao, also accompanied us. As I always do after returning from a program tour, I visited Baba’s Sa madhi. I prayed for all those whom I met, and whatever I had received from them, I laid at Beloved Baba’s feet. There had been no rain, and Ahmednagar was very warm and humid. Now there will be drought, which happens every three years. Other than that, the situa tion in India is more or less normal, though thoughts of the tragedy of the 11th of Sep tember linger in the minds of everyone here. Because ofthis, the economic situation is very much disturbed. Pilgrims are not coming, and the Trust also is severely affected. There have
been many cancellations for September, Oc tober and November, too. Only a few Amencans are expected, leaving the residents to stay here. The kitchen workers have been relaxing for the last two months, which reminds me of a story Mark Palmer once told. There was a man sitting in an armchair in the park. He had a long beard, and someone came up to him and asked, ‘Axe you Kripal Singh?” “No,” the man replied, “I am not Kripal Singh. I am relaxing.”WheneverAlan goes to the kitchen, he sees the workers relaxing. We, however, are restless, because we have to pay the workers. The amount in the kitchen account is fixed. If the Pilgrims are not here, we have to pay the workers from the Trust accounts. Because ofthis situation, the Trust is becoming thatte gal-u [“empty pockets”]. Though I would like to visit the U.S.A., I cannot do it because of all my work here. It keeps on increasing and increasing. In fact, I wanted to go to the United States after visiting France. Itwas good that I did not go, oth erwise I would not have seen Eruch. Still, I had the feeling that after returning from France, it would become impossible to again go abroad. This indeed has come to pass, and I realize I cannot visit the United States or any other country. Therefore, I request Baba lovers to come to Ahmednagar and have Beloved Baba’s darshan in His Tomb. Beloved Baba’s Manifestation is going on, and though it is gradual, it is gaining more and more mo mentum.When the tragedytookplace in New York and Washington, the whole world became alert and aware ofGod. This is only the beginning. This awareness is momentary at present, but it will be lasting at the end, when He manifests Universally. So on one side, there is tragedy, and on the other there is awareness towards spinitualit When the end comes, all the chaos of all the tragedies will be forgotten, and humanity will at last breathe peacefilly. We are fortunate that we have recog nized Him as the Highest ofthe High. The latest news is that he is coming. man knocked at the doot “\‘Vho is there?,” saidGod.”Me,”repliedthe man.”Goawaythen,” said God. The manleftandwanderedin the arid desert until he realized his error and returned to the door. Heknockedagain.”Who’s there?”, said God. “You,” answered the man. “Then come in,” replied God. “There’s no room here for two.” Sufi Teaching Tale in Timothy Freke, Ed. The Wisdom ofthe Sufi Sages, N. Clarendon VT: Charles. E. Tuttle, 1998, p. 34
A House of Sanskaras Without Ventilators, Windows or Doors the 5th ofJuly at 2:00 am, I woke foday, up, and I felt something through the Voice. I opened my eyes, and I saw the form of Beloved Baba. He looked at me, and I looked at Him. He was in His full efftilgence, very bright and shiny. And then He disappeared. He continued talking in silence, and I became aware ofwhat He was telling me through my feelings. He said, “Listen carefully. What I am telling you today is very important. I have given you the medium to reach my dear ones through Shiva [Lynwood Sawyer Bhau’s amanuensis] and he is doing very good work. Honestly and sincerely, I am pleased with what he is doing. He has put his heart in the work reahzing that what I tell you is very important and useftil for My dear ones, and therefore he is circulating these messages. [on the Meher Baba List serv]. “Now listen carefiilly Baba repeated. “Whatever you do, good or bad, you are bound by that action. Ifyou do good, you collect good sanskaras, and you are bound by those sanskaras. Ifyou do bad, again you are bound by bad sanskaras. Good sanskaras are gold chains, and bad sanskaras are iron chains. But after all, both are chains. And therefore, you will remain bound. So what is the way to become free from these sanskaras?” “I have been telling you that whatever you do, you do for me according to My Wish. It means ifyou eat, eat for Me. Ifyou sleep, sleep for Me. Ifyou do any work, you do it for Me. If you perform any of these actions for Me, you will not be bound. But remember this, followMyWish in doing whateveryou want. If it is done according to My Wish, you will be free, and I will be responsible for you. But i_f you do anything according to the tempta lion ofyour false self you will remain bound, and you will not be free.” “Suppose you are assisting a sick person who is helpless. It is good workyou are doing. Yet though the work is good, you are still bound. But ifyou have the full conviction that it is your duty to serve Me by helping Me in that sick person, and you serve that person with all your love and with all your heart, you are not bound. So remember this: I am everyone and everything. Ifyou help anyone who needs your help, never think that you are helping him or that you are obliging him. Ifyou think this, what will happen? You will accumulate “
Bhau Kaichuri , Ahmednagar the good sanskaras of that sick person, and you will give your bad sanskaras to him. Now tell Me, who is helping whom? Whether that sick person is helping you, or you are helping him byyour help?” “The play ofsanskaras cannot be understood. How this exchange takes place, nobody knows. Ifyou harm anyone, you don’t know how many bad sanskaras you col lectfrom them. Outwardly,you feelvery happy because you harmed someone out ofjealousy, seffishness, greed, or low desires.” “This is the reason I always say, ‘Remem ber Me. Do anything and everything according to MyWish.’ Then not only will you not be bound by anything, but your sanskaras will also be wiped out. Ifyou engage in backbiting, you have no idea how you are helping the victim against whom you backbite.The sima tion operates like this: You spend money for soap and wash your victim’s dirtylaundr You feel happy, because you don’t know what you are collecting for yourself You also should not indulge in hypocrisy, which is the worst thing you can do.What is hypocrisy?Whenyou pose before others, and pretend to them that you are something that you are not. God cannot forgive hypocrisy. Remember this. There are many hypocritical saints, masters, even Ava tars, who deceive others and pose before oth ers as something they are not. But actually they are themselves deceived, and they do not realize this. They will suffer for their pretences in their future life. The worst types of sins are committed because of hypocrisy. Some perform miracles, not knowing the repercussion of their performance. They do it for the sake of name and fame. Innocent people feel tempted to follow them. These deceivers then collect the impressions ofall who follow them. Those who follow them also go on collecting bad impressions because oftheir temptations. These deceived ones can never have an mdination towards finding Truth, because they think that those whom they are following are very powerftil. These unfortunate followers find their temptation goes on increasing. How can they find the Truth when they become the slave of their temptations?” “So all these people go on increasing My burden. Hypocritical saints, masters and ava tars create a situation that puts an infinite bur
den on Me. I suffer for them because I am them. I remain suffocating all the time in them, and theytake pleasure in My suffocation.They dont know anything. They doiñ know this secret: that they are suffocating Me, and how I suffer for them. Therefore the easiest way for all to avoid this entanglement is to remem ber Me and follow My Wish.” “If you are busy with worldly duties, I should say, remember Me before starting any work in the morning. Say to Me, ‘0 Baba. I am starting my day. Please guide me so that I may not do anything against Your Wish. Be with me and give me the strength to follow Your wish in whatever I do and whatever I think.’And then,just before going to bed, say, ‘0 Baba. Whatever I thought, whatever I spoke and whatever I did during the day, I offer at Your feet. Please accept this, and forgive me WI have unknowingly done anything against Your wish.’ “People have no idea what responsibility I shoulder for them. Those who recognize Me and still do not follow My Wish are My enemies. I suffer for them more and more and infinitely more. Those who do not recognize Me, I suffer for them too, because though they doiñ know Me, I know them. But because I am responsible for all, it is My duty to help everyone and make them aware so that they may follow Me to take the Path of Truth. There are others who follow rituals and cer emonies (though they don’t follow God) and think that they are better than others. Such people are hard nuts to crack. But I have to help them because they are ignorant. Though they oppose Me and criticize Me, causing Me to suffer and suff still My Compassion makes Me so powerless that I have to help them.” “I am the Divine Sun. Therefore everyone, whether he is a saint or he is a sinner, gets My light because I shine for everyone and everything. It never happens that I shine more for the saints and less for the sinners. I shine equally for everyone. But people involved in rituals, ceremonies, traditions or orthodoxy re main closed in a house ofsanskaras which has no ventilators, no windows, no doors. This house is completely dark. How can they see the Sun shine? They remain in the dark house. Everything remains closed, with thick sanskaras creating darkness. They cannot get the light from the Divine Sun. They get the 25
ght from the illusory sun. They imagine it to e light, but actually it is darkness. They al— rays want to protect their house, and if I try ) touch that house they cannot bear it.” “How ifficuitMyworkis! No one has anyidea. But have to demolish that house of sanskaras, radually, gradually, bit by bit. I am the Say)ur, and I am responsible for the whole Cre tion. So suffering is destined for me. I suffer rithout any grudge because I know why these ersons behave the way they do. They reject ie, and they accept Illusion (Maya). Yet, this ; also My Divine Game. Therefore I never lame anyone, and I put up with everyone. Vhen I wasJesus I was crucified, but I prayed )r those who crucified me, ‘Oh Father. Forive them for they know not what they do.’ his is My Compassion.” “When My Universal Manifestation will ike place, then the world will recognize me. ley will repent for neglecting me and ig .oring me. But this repentance will bring me loser to them. How blessed are you all, who ave recognized me and who follow me now.” The Voice stopped and I felt the love of e Beloved. I was overcome with joy, and I losed my eyes.
Dwell In Love MeherBaba human mind is not only going through experiences but is constantly valuating them. Some experiences are re arded as agreeable and some disagreeable; ome experiences are found to bring happi iess and some suffering; some experiences re perceived as being pleasant and some Lnpleasant. Some experiences are appre iended as restricting the life of man and ome as leading it toward fullness and freeAnd some experiences are looked pon as being good and some bad. These the opposites created by human imagi when it is meeting life with a paricular point of view. Man’s conception of what is acceptable unacceptable goes on evolving and hanging according to the nature of desires hat happen to be dominant at any particu ar moment. But as long as there is any zind ofdesire in his mind, he is impelled to ppraise his experience in relation to that lesire and divide it into two parts: the one :ontributing toward its fulfillment and herefore acceptable, and the other tending 0 prevent its fulfillment and therefore un Lcceptable. Instead of meeting life and all
[om. ieiation )r
that it brings without expectation, entanglement, or shirking, the mind creates a standard whereby it divides life into opposites— ofwhich is regarded as acceptable and the other as not acceptable. Of the opposites created by the human mind, the division between good and bad is spiritually most significant. It is based upon man’s desire to be free from the limitation ofall desires.Those experiences and actions that increase the fetters of desire are bad, and those experiences and actions that tend the mind from limiting de sires are good. Since good experiences and actions also exist in relation to desire, they also bind in the same way as do bad experi ences and actions. All binding can truly dis appear only when all desires disappear. Therefore, true freedom comes when good and bad balance each other and become so merged into each other that they leave no choice by the limited self of desire. Although in humans consciousness is filly developed, one finds in it derance of bad elements; since at the subhuman stages of evolution, consciousness has been chiefly operating under limiting tendencies like lust, greed, and anger. The experiences and actions created and sus tamed by such egocentric tendencies have left their imprints on the developing mind, and the mind has stored these imprints in the same manner as film records the moveIt is therefore easy to be bad and difficult to be good. Animal life, from which human consciousness emerges, is mostly determined by animal lust, animal greed, and animal anger—though some ani mals do at times develop the good qualities ofself-sacrifice, love, and patience. Ifall the accumulated animal sanskaras had been bad and none good, the appearance ofgood tendencies in human consciousness would have been impossible. Though some animal sanskaras are good, most are bad; so, at the start, human consciousness finds itself subject to a propelling force that is mostly bad. Right from the beginning ofhuman evolution, the problem cultivating and developing good sanskaras so that they may overlap and annul the accumulated bad sanskaras. The cultivation ofgood sanskaras is achieved by fostering experiences and ac tions opposite to those that predominate in animal life. The opposite oflust is love, the opposite ofgreed is generosit and the op posite of anger is tolerance or patience. By
room for any
ofemancipation consists in
trying to dwell in love, generosity and tol the tendencies oflust, greed, and anger. Discourses by Meher Baba © AIVIBPPCT
[Mickey Miorandiposted thefollowing minder on the Baba list serv. It has been going the email roundsfor some time, Mickey simply substitutedBabar namefor God. Whata beautful reminder it is.]
Baba Speaking The man whispered, “Baba, speak to me”, And a meadowlark sang. But the man did not hear. So the man yelled “Baba, speak to me” And the thunder and lightning rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen. The man looked around and said, “Baba, let me see you.” And a star shone brightly. But the man did not see. And, the man shouted, “Baba, show me a miracle”, And a life was born. But the man did not notice. So, the man cried out in despair, “Touch me, Baba, and let me know you are here”, Whereupon, Baba touched the man. But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on. I found this to be a great reminder that Baba is always around us in the little and simple things that we take for granted, even in our electronic age.. .so I would like to add one more: The man cried “Baba, I need your help” and an e-mail arrived reaching out with good news and encouragement. But the man deleted it and continued cry-
The good news is that you are loved. Don’t miss out on a blessing because it isn’t packaged the way that you expect.
50th Anniversary ofAvatar Meher Baba’s Car Accident in America •fty years ago, on May 24, 1952, while traveling across America, the Avatar of the Age was gravely injured in an automobile collision in cen tral Oklahoma. As He had pre dicted would happen, Meher Baba’s precious blood was shed on American soil. Babalater indicated that this was part ofHis crucifixion, and shortly after the accident told Ivy Duce, “You must understand that this was God’s WU1 and it will result in benefit to the whole world.” To commemorate the 50th anniversary of this unique and profound event, there will be a special Sahavas program held in Oklahoma this coming May. The gatheringwillbe at an ecumenical spiritual retreat, St. Francis ofthe Woods, in Coyle, Oklahoma from May 23 to 26, 2002, which, appropriately, is Memorial Day weekend. Speakers for this historic occa sion will be Charmian Duce Knowles, Esfandiar Vesali, Leatrice Johnson and two of Dr. Meher Baba Burleson’s children, Beth and Margaret. Musical guests are Billy Goodrum and Elaine Cox, with Jeff Maguire as master of ceremonies. Charmian Duce Knowles arrived with her mother, Ivy Duce, shortly after the car wreck occurred, and helped Meher Baba and the Mandali in many ways. She will share many precious memories ofthe gift ofthat experience. Esfandiar Vesali shares a long lifetime of Meher Baba’s influence on his life. His mov ing stories range from childhood days in the Prem Ashram to visits with Meher Baba at Meherazad. Leatrice Johnson talks about meetingMeher Baba inMyrtle Beach on May 10, 1952, and the lasting effect of that and subsequent encounters with the God-man. Dr. Burleson’s children, Margaret and Beth dis cuss their parents’ relationship with Meher Baba and His Mandail, and their own memories ofthe God-man. Dr. Burleson owned the Prague Medical Clinic, and cared for Meher Baba and the Mandali after the wreck. Billy Goodrum, a talented singer and musician
High temperatures are usually about 85 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit. Mealsillindudevegetar ian and non-vegetarianfare. Lodg ing includes cabins, tent camping areas, motels, and bed and breakfast inns. For reservations and additional infonriation,please contact Chris and Anne Barker at email@example.com, phone (936) 560-2631,orbymailat 3101 Skyline Drive, Nacogdoches, TX 75965. Volunteers are needed for transportation, registration, food preparation and dean up. Viewthe 50th anniversary website at wwwnetdot.comIbarkers. [Recovering in Myrtle Beach after His releasefrom the hospital in Prague, onjue 13th, Baba dietatedthefoiowing messagefor His lovers around the world: The personal disastei for some yearsforetold by me, at last happ ened while crossing theAinerican continent—causing me throughfa cial injuries, a broken leg and br ken arm, much mental andphysi calsuftèring. It was necessary that it should happen in America. God in Poona, India, September 1952; his broken left leg is wrapped in a a bandage during healing. willed itso. Itbringstofruition thefirstpart whose songs have recently been featured in ofthe circular which saidthat untilJuly 10th, in hit movies, will entertain us with his songs of the ComplicatedFreeLjft, weakness woulddomi love for Baba. Elaine Cox will sing ghazals natestrength andbindings would dominatefree composed by Meher Baba. Activities in addi dom; butfrom July 10th, in my Full Free Ljfe, tion to the talks and music include a trip to strength would dominate weakness andfreedom the hospital in Prague to visit the rooms where woulddominatebindings;andthenfromNovem Meher Baba and the injured women Mandali berl5th, in myfiery FreeLjfè, both strength and stayed, and to the site ofthe wreckwhere Be- weakness, freedom and bindings would be conloved Baba shed His blood on American soil. sumed in thefire ofDivine Love. Each morning there will be an arti, and on Itissinficantthatthe ComplicatedFreeLft Saturday evening a dhuni fire will be lit. Later ended in America, as bindings overcame Meher in the evening a dance willbeledby SufI dance Baba ljfè there. These bindings wereAmericac, instructor Elizabeth Muller. which assaultedand woundedtheAvatars body, St. Francis ofthe Woods is a lovely retreat and which he uprooted by enduring thefull im with meditation trails through 170 acres of pact ofthem. It was these bindings which made woods and pastureland, and a 20,000-volume Babas Free Lfi ‘omplicated. The world will library with specialized collections ranging know its result whenAmerica bows to God To do from St. Francis of Asissi to Native Peoples’ that, Babapurposely sufferedandbore the assault spiñmallty Located in a rural settingjust off ofthese bindings, because he has a special mission of state highway 33, 1.4 miles east of Coyle, tofu(,flhlfor America. Lord Mehei Tl 11, pp Oklahoma, Saint Francis ofthe Woods is ap 3856 and3865.] proximately 1 hour north ofOkiahoma City Chris Barker
The Birthday ofthe Avatar by Dma Snow
he bell rang at 4am. Dressing warmly against the early morning chill, I sleepily wandered into the PC Dining Room for that first bracing cup of tea of the day. Many other sleepy eyed pilgrims were sitting around in various stages of awakening. Getting my torch, as the sky was still black, I started up the Hill, not really knowing what to expect, this being the first time I have been at Meherabad for His Birthday. Arti started at 5am, coinciding, of course, with that hour, that day, 108 years ago, that our Beloved made His first appearance on Earth for this Cycle ofAvataric advents. The seating area immediately outside the Samadhi had been beautifully decorated with swoops oflive flowers hanging from the eves all around. Above our heads were dozens of sparkly shapes that hung from the roof. I couldn’t pull myself away from the singing, some wonderful Persian ghazals, Indian songs accompanied by harmonium with chai on the verandah outside the and drums, and the Western singers in full Theatre. Meheru, Bhau, Aloba and Bal were the only Mandali able to attend. The voice. IfI could have, I would have found that others would get to see it later that at 6 am tea and cakes were being served evening on video tape. A 1 a n under the tin Wagner, a shed that Renaissance covers Baba’s man if ever ghadi. Manone there sari’s room is was, who now being organized used as a over 6000 kitchen for meals during events on Amartithi, the Hill. and who is Many of re sp o n 5 ible the pilgrims for the delitook a nap The marriage ofRumis son. cious veg after one o’clock lunch, in preparation for the next etarian fare we eat each day in the PC, is event the greatly anticipated play in the also the Director of these yearly Birthnew Theatre. Alan and his wonderful crew days celebration plays. (Last year he also in the kitchen were busy baking many played the eponymous lead Tukaram.) With suggestions from the Mandali large chocolate cakes that were served -
and input from others concerned, he and Heather Nadel decide on the subject of the play for the year. Heather then sets it down as a completed script. This year, while scripting The Friend on the life of Rumi she knew he had written so voluminously of his life, its trials and tribulations, that she was able to incorporate so much of Rumi’s own words into the dialogue and songs. The play centered around the rela tionship of Rumi (played by Gabe Mednick) with his Master, Shamsi Tabriz (Charles Gibson), and the controversies generated by their unortho dox ways. The story was a poignant portrayal of the heights of Divine Love. The main plot was punctuated by several comic interludes from the teaching-stories Rumi gave. Heather delightfully played the not too bright ass, Diantha, herself a foxy lady, was a smooth talking fox and Viola played the eager-beaver lion, trying desper ately to scare us, but jumping the gun on her prey, thus allowing the ass to escape once! These three animals! ladies delighted the audience with their antics. A tremendous amount of energy, love and labor goes into these annual Birthday plays. The success of the play is al ways due to many many people, who give so wholeheartedly of their time. Set decorators, costumers, prop people, prompters, backstage —
Heather as the ass. are always needed, so even ifyou don’t feel you have the talent for an onstage performance, if you are in India for the month of Febru ary, go to the Theater! You will be wel corned with open arms. The actors played to a full house and a very appreciative one at that. Some stayed to chat with friends after the performance, but most started back up the Hill to evening Arti. -
Me, I went to my favorite place Baba’s Ghadi under the tin shed. Mostly it is de serted and I can sit quietly and enjoy His presence. A lovely end to a very full day. Happy 108th Beloved Baba. —
Tired ofThis Life? Meher Baba hen Baba returned to Nasik, he met with each ofthe mandali to find out how their work was going and what their state of mind was. At one point, Baba was informed that Gulmai K. Irani’s daughter Dolly, who was staying in Ahmednagar had been feeling depressed during his absence. Baba went to Ahmednagar to see Dolly on November 15th, and gave her a discourse that afternoon. He had it typed out and dis tributed for everyone to read: You say you do not like to live. You feel tired of this life and this body. Unwel come thoughts, bad thoughts, disturb you and make you unhappy. Butlife is thoughts, not body. The body is there when you are asleep. You do not then feel the need to end your life. The moment you are awake, you begin to think again. In actuality nobody is satisfied with his lot. Nobody feels com pletely happy in this world. You know the great position and wealth of so and so; yet when he saw me, he told me he was a very unhappy man. Why should you be unhappy? You are neither too tall, nor too fat. You are quite
Love for God Meher Baba
Now I want to say a few words about love for god. God is to be loved, and not studied. God is to be loved, and not argued about. God is beyond intellect, so intellect can neither see Him nor understand Him. Only the heart can approach the threshold of the Beloved. Therefore, even the poorest of beings and the most illiterate can all find God within their selves through love. This love demands no riches, no powers, no fame, no learning and no ceremonies. We have to love God as our Beloved, and this love must be so intense that, just as we cannot live without air, we should not be able to live without God —the love of God. So, even the poorest and most illiterate ones should know that they have an equal right to know God through love,
just as intellectual giants have. And you must also know that in everyday life, too, God can be loved. If you attend to all worldly duties, keeping yourselves de— tached and dedicating the results to God, you are loving Him. God can be loved and seen just as you see gross things. So, be hopeful oflife because we are all meant to love God, and see Him within ourselves. And I give you my blessing for this love so that some one ofyou may be worthy ofloving God. And I want to stress this point, that we are all One. In spite ofour suffering, poverty and helplessness, we are in God. I give you all my love. Lord 1\Ieher, Vol 1 1 and 12, © Lawrence Reiter, 1979, pg 4059.
You must always laugh at illusion, and weepfor the love ofGod. But when you weepfor God, you should not insult Him by showingyour tears. And when your longing reathes its height,you become One with Him. —Meher Baba healthy. You can read, you can write. Think ofthe poor creatures, the paralyzed, the lep ers, the disabled. The paraplegic or leper knows that he is progressing toward a sure death and is likely to die in a worse state than he is in. Yet, there are thousands like these, silently dragging on through their days. Why not compare your lot with the dumb illiterate millions in this country? You are most fortunate. You live with, and move in, the surroundings of a Master. What is there in the Himalayas and thejungles? Did you not see the picture Tarzan, which de picted the jungle life full of strife and struggles? In spite of having bad thoughts, you do not indulge in bad actions; therefore, what higher life can you live than this? It is normal to have bad thoughts; so long as you do not interpret them into actions, you thereby get an opportunity to exercise control. Ifno thoughts assail you, then what is the difference between you and a stone which has no thoughts at all? Cease the mental tension. Train your mind to pass over thoughts. Do not give countenance to them until such time that you can surrender the mind itself. No one is doing it. When the mind is surrendered,
there is no question of happiness and un happiness. Because of the thoughts of tle past lives, sanskaras are spent away. They come and go. Pay no attention to them Mind is like a wound-up alarm clock. It will ring at the appointed time, but only so long as the winding is there. Let it ring and run its course, but take care to not wind it again by indulging in bad actions. Still, if you want to die, die in my naad (infatuation) by holding on to me firmly. There lies salvation. That is real dying. Worldly death is not the thing. However, nobody has so far captured me. Ifone really catches me, I try to free myself But so far, I have had no opportunity offreeing myself On the contrary, it is I who have been trying to catch hold ofyou people. Remember this much: the whole world is nothing but a zero, and everything connected with it is without sum and substance. Mind is the universe. Mind is the man, the woman, the beast. To console her Baba brought Dolly to Nasik the next day along with Gulmai. LordMeher, Volume Five 1932-1934, ©Lawrence Reiter
Slep 3nside... The ai Baba to you all, and thank you for mak ing December the best month ever! We sold just over $10,000 worth of Baba trea sures. As I’m sure you are all well aware, all profits go to help running Meherabode, our Center here in Los Angeles. (all that don’t go to the Trust in India, i.e.) Apart from the calendars and Cooking With Katie, the best selling item this past Christmas was a book calledAppointment. For some reason it is a story that is near and dear to my heart. Francis Brabazon read it to us in his meetings in Sydney in the early 50s. Although I was just a child, I had been raised knowing about reincarnation and I found this story very comforting. Francis told us it was from the ancient Thies ofthe Desert Masters (Sufis). Upon reading my description ofit on the Baba listsery a gentleman ordered it. Upon reading it, he and his wife decided it was what they would like to give as very special Christmas presents. All are signed by the anthor. They subsequently ordered 54! Now if that is not enough to make you want to order it for yourself I don’t know what is! For the story on how the book came about—see the box in the Bookstore Report.
Cooking With Katie I, who never have the time nor the inclination to cook, was struckby many ofthe recipes in this most marvelous bookby Katie. I am definitely inspired to spend some time in the kitchen trying them out. Katie has been talking about writing it for many years and we have all been patiently awaiting its release. When she vis ited Los Angeles she gave us cooking lessons, and how wonderftd it was to be able to partake of all her scrumptious meals. This book is definitely underpriced at $7! It is now in its second printing and hopefully the price will be raised next year. I say hopefully because the profits from this book go to Baba’s Trust, and donations are always needed there.
More tapes from the Witness Series Two tapes on Eruch have just been released and also a tape on Katie. There are now four of Eruch that have been completed. There will be more later in this series that is entitled: Becoming His. The first two hour-long tapes cover his life beforejoining Baba in 1938. They will be both named and numbered. So, #1 and #2 will be the first released. They will list at $50 in keeping with the pricing for Mandali videos. The Katie tape will be the first of a short series, all with the master title, His Will, His Pleasure. It will be about an hour long also, and cover her early life. Wendell has been very busy releasing the films that have been lying in wait for production for many years! Along with the three mentioned above, he has released a four volume set ofthe wonderful Lud Dimpfl interviews. These sell for $40 each, but ifyou buy the set offour, the fourth is free. Such a deal! There seem to be so many things to tell you about, but I guess that is because there was no October Bookstore Report. 30
Among the new books that have been selling very well, thanks to information posted on the Meher Baba listserv are MeherBaba— Avatar ofthe Thrtoise, Silent Teachings ofMeherBaba, MeherBabac Visits toEnglana Mem oirs ofa Zetetic, and the latest CD from Pete Townshend accompanied by Raphael Rudd, known as The Oceanic Concerts. For information on all of these see the Reviews Section. The above was all written in Los Angeles, from here on, in Meherabad. The longer I stay here, the more wonderful new things I am hearing about! Most of them wont be available for a few months, perhaps not till the end ofthe year. But what is available right now is a beautiflil new video titled Meher Babac Grace. Using the latest computer technology to edit and produce a video, Peter Booth, who has been showing films at the Pilgrim Center in Meherabad for 20 years or more, has put together a truly beautiflul 13 minute video. Sufism Reoriented gave Peter access to many of the films in their archives, and has fhnded the production. At no time in this video do you see only halfofBaba’s head, or any other less than perfect edits! The accompanying music is also well cho sen, some cuts from Judith Shotwell’s beautiftil recent release, No Strings Attached and also from Cindy Lowe’s Now Til the End that finishes with her terrific arrangement of the Beloved God prayer. This is a video that you can start and end your day with (as I hear many people do with the 0 Parvardigar video), and it is only $20! Two forthcoming books that I am ve;y excited about should be available for fabulous Christmas presents—ifnot ready sooner: Bif Soper, a permanent resident in Meherabad, wrote a play for Bhau when he was visiting Assisi some years ago. It was based on the old tale (apocryphal or not—who cares?) of St. Francis and the wolfofGubbio. After a successful performance, the play stuck in Bif’s mind; he felt it would make a beautiful children’s story—with the right illustrations. Finding the right artist took quite a few years. Finally she was found, and to Bif’s delight, she had also been to Assisi. I have just seen her illustrations and am thrilled. She has a most unusual style, uses color pencils and leans heavily to the blues, greens and purples (my favorites col ors!) It is almost ready for production. You will be the first to hear about it here. The second book is one that David Fenster (Bhau Kalchuri’s son in law) has been working on for the past 15 years! He says it is a ‘companion piece’ to LordMeher; it is Baba’s life, only from Mehera’s perspective and as it involved her. And David should know! He spent 20 years editing LordMeher, adding new material and turning Feram Workingboxwalla’s vernacular English translations of the Hindi version Bhau had already written and putting it into good, readable English for the 20 volumes of the English version, published by Manifestation Inc. David had been interviewing (and taping) Mehera two or three times a week for almost eight years, while he was working on the editing of Lord Meher. While the book Mehera, told in her own words, was indeed about her life with Baba, this book, Mehera—Meher: a Divine Romance goes much deeper. The rest of the women
Mandali have added their perspective and different stories about the relationship between Mehera and her Beloved, and David has drawn extensively from his talks with Mehera. There is much deeper background and family history than has hitherto been recorded. You will understand why it has taken David 15 years, when you realize that there will be three volumes, all containing between 500 and 600 pages. There will also be about 500 photographs! Ed Legum ofAtlanta is responsible for the design and overall elegant appearance of these volumes. The books will be sold as a set, all three together. Negotiations are now taking place to see about the printing of what will be a treasure trove ofvery personal stories. In Lord Meher
Cooking With Katie Katie R. Irani Reviewed by Kendra Crossen Burroughs What a delight this book is—a treasure chest spilling over with the secrets of Katie’s delicious home cooking plus a dozen anec dotes of Katie’s life with Meher Baba. The spiral-bound book is very well designed with easy-to-read type and charming cover art and interior line drawings by Wodin—and you get all this for the unheard-of low price of seven dollars! I have a drawer stuffed fttll oflndian cookbooks, and believe me, this is a classic! I suspect that there are going to be some people who will buy this book andjust love it, without ever trying any of the recipes. It might be just as much fun to read them and pretend to be making a dhansak masala (Parsi spice powder), a kitchree (soft rice and dal cooked together with spices) that Baba enjoyed, a nut curry a dal cooked with dried cherries or fresh mangoes, East-West Vegetable Pasta, Persian Omelette, Cheesy Potato Soup, Parsi Lamb Curry Garlic-Ginger Chicken Salad, or Tuna Treat (a novel recipe made by sauteeing canned tuna with garlic, onion, chilies, cumin, mint, and tomatoes). This is certainly not a typical Indian cookbook. Even Katie’s kheer (rice pudding) is different, produced by pureeing cooked basmati rice (instead of cooking the rice raw in milk as in other cookbooks). There’s something for everyone here, and there are plenty of vegetarian recipes for those who may not want to even read a recipe like Stir-Fried Liver with Lemonjuice. However, ifyou omit reading any part of this book, you might miss out on some interesting
you have a historical biography, in this one, you have the Divine Romance. And I doth think it will be just the women who will want to own this set! We won’t know for a few weeks whether it will be hard bound or paperback, printed in India or elsewhere. Until these decisions have been made, I can’t give you a price on it. But I can tell you, David is determined it will be within the reach of almost everyone. He is hoping to have it as a boxed set. I will have more information on it for you in the July LampPost. In His love and service, Dma
tidbits ofknowledge. Did you know, for example, that “mutton” in India refers to goat meat? (not to worry lamb may be substituted). This is not precisely a beginner’s cookbook, although the direc tions are clear, all the necessary information is given, and a few of the recipes seem very easy. Some recipes call for ingredients that are unusual in the West (substitutes are given where possible, such as zucchini for doodhi squash). Most ofthe spices are familiar ones ( like cumin seeds, turmeric, cloves, and cilantro leaves), while the slightly more exotic spices—such as black mustard seeds, hing (asa foetida), and curryleaves—can be found at an Indian grocery. Some ofthe dais are Indian specialties (like split mung without the green skins and chana dal, the small yellow Indian “chickpea”), but the more easily found red lentils or yellow split peas can often be used. It will be important to notice, as Katie explains, that measurements are based on Indian ingredients, which are often smaller than West em equivalents, so that some recipes specify for example, “15 garlic cloves (4 big Western cloves).” Katie is fond ofcertain combinations—garlic-ginger paste, fresh mint leaves, and fresh dill turn up in quite a few recipes. Personally, I found that the use ofmint sometimes made me feel as ifsome Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap had accidentally gotten into the pot, so I reduced the quantity I also omitted the hot chili peppers, and we didth miss them a bit. And I find that the indication of the num ber of servings for a dish can be very generous—what is said to feed 4 sometimes seems to me to be enough for 6. It definitely helps to have some experience with Indian cooking, so that you can make adjustments to the recipes according to your taste or available ingredients. But even ifyou can’t boil water you still might enjoy this book, even ifonly to feel like you’re there in the kitchen with Baba peeking into the cupboards or tasting the dal. [Reading this book inspired thefoiowing little poem]
I’m a child standing In Love’s Kitchen Watching You Preparing sweets for your lovers And I remain motionless Careftul not to disturb You In Love’s kitchen Secretly hoping Praying that you’ll Let me lick the spoon —Kathy Broadley 31
He Heard My Call Katie R. Irani \2Vhile on the Blue Bus tours, we would periodically return for a stay at Meherabad. After one such halt at Meherabad, the day came to pack up and go on tour again. The bell had rung for everyone, and Baba said that anyone who was free was permitted to come and be with Him in the East Room ( Mehera and I\Iani’s room). I was in the kitchen and still had quite a bit more packing to do. Everyone else had left with their stools to sit with Baba and enjoy His compan but I was left alone in the kitchen. I was miserable. I was thinking to nivself, “Oh this stupid kitchen, I’m stuck here and can’t be with Baba.” I was really longing to be with Him, when suddenly the kitchen doors swrung open and Beloved Baba walked in! I can’t tell you how wonderful I felt to see Him. I had so wanted to be with Him and so, He came to be with me. He had brought the entire group along as ifHe was going for a walk, and He asked me what I was doing. I told Him and He was pleased. He had heard my call.
Help in the Kitchen Sometimes Baba would ask the Western women to help me in the kitchen. We had no servants, and there was a lot of preparatory work that needed to be done for each meal. So Baba would send all those who were free to help me. Usually it was Nadine Tolsto’; fvlargaret Craske, Rano Gavle Irene Billo and also Mansari who would come. Often there were big baskets ofspinach that needed to have the leaves plucked from the stalks and the bad parts sorted out, and then the leaves had to be cleaned. So the five ofthem would have to do aIl this at one time. Invariabh squabbles would arise on whether to only use the leaves or to cook the stalks too, and how best to chop the onions, and the like. So, my task of supervising often turned into preventing arguments. I would have to take one person or another away from the group and give her a different task. The more women Baba sent, the more headache for me! No one agreed on anything. Ashram life was such that once Baba told us that it was harder for Him to run an ashram full ofwornen than the World XVar!
The Creation of Appointment Roger Essley About 12 years ago I sent a ‘dummy’ for a picture book idea I had to Simon and Schuster. A couple of weeks later I got a call from a senior editor who said “I don’t like your story, but I like your pictures, would you like to illustrate a story for me? It is a story I have had in mind for many years and your artwork looks right”. He said he wanted sophisticated pictures, since this is to be a ‘crossover’ picture book, one for both children and adult book collectors. The story manuscript arrived and I was surprised to find I’d heard the story somewhere. .a story of a master and a servant set in ancient Persia. As I thought about illustrations, it occurred to me thatl know a master, a Persian Master! I decided to make Meher Baba the main character in the story. The idea of Baba .
incognito in a book ap pealed to me, but I was ner vous that it might not be seen as appropriate. Still, I sent sketches that looked like Baba to this Editor. He wrote his positive reaction to my work and added he was especially taken with the face ofthe master I had drawn he said it was the doppelganger for the Mas ter he had always imagined in the story. It seemed I was on the right track, but still I was not sure what Baba lovers would think ofplacing Baba in the story. I decided to follow the old dictum “If you don’t ask they can’t say no”. Who would notice? When all the pictures were done, the editor called me to say he’d decided that the coverjust hadto be the picture of Baba—almost a portrait looking out at the reader! I had a moment ofpanic and thought I am going to get in big trouble...but then decided it was too late, it was out of my hands, what could I do? About two years later, a Baba lover who had just been to India called me and said they had a message from the Mandali to give me. so much for keeping things a secret. .someone had found the book and given it the Ladies. They sent an appreciative note and a small gift from the tomb! Through a series of ‘unusual accidents’ the book disappeared— 6000 copies were sent overseas to a charity. I only had about 100 copies left, so whenever I talked in schools I would take the origi nal pictures and tell the story so the children could see the Master, then I would leave a copy for the school library. Recently a ‘special’ reprint of the book was negotiated ‘to make things right’! After so manyyears ofsaying the book is gone, I’m so pleased to have copies of it. -
Meher Baba, Avatar ofthe Tortoise By Kenneth Lux Reviewed by Kendra Crossen Burroughs This is the story of an unusual spiritual master named Meher Baba, who was born in India in 1894 into a Persian Zoroastrian family. But it is much more than that—it is also the intimate story of how the author awakened to the search for truth in response to the charm ofMeher Baba’s personalitç the power ofhis message of divine love, and the intellectual challenges posed by his teachings. The book provides an excellent introduction to Meher Baba and various aspects ofhis life, such as his workwith the mad and the “Godintoxicated,” his establishment ofa Center in South Carolina, and his warnings to American youth about drug use. In addition, it is distinc tive for being the first personal memoir by a second-generation Baba lover who never met Meher Baba in person. A political activist and a psychology professor at Indiana University in the sixties, Kenneth Lux was skeptical when he first heard Meher Baba’s claim that He is the “Avatar of the Age,” that same Ancient One who came before as Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad, and who had returned to redeem
the world—a world very much in need of redemption. Also fantastic was the fact that Meher Baba had kept total silence since 1925 and told His followers to prepare for the breaking ofHis silence with a divine Word, an event that would signal His manifestation as God in human form and the advent of a New Humanity F: Despite the fact that Me her Baba died in 1969, seem‘ ... ingly without having uttered the Word, Lux continued to be drawn by Baba’s extraordinary love and compassion, which not only were reflected in His life’s activi ties but also continued even after His death through a deep inner relationship with His devotees. The detailed story of how this inner relationship took shape for Kenneth Lux—a process marked by synchronicities, transformative encounters, and important insights into his own attachments, weaknesses, and psychological makeup—makes for fascinating reading. Even though Meher Baba had stated that the mind had to be “annihilated” in order for spiritual realization to become possible, Lux felt that his intellect grew more effective after coming into Meher Baba’s orbit. A keen observer of his own mental and emo tional processes, Lux is able to show us specifically how he wrestled with the koan that is Meher Baba—examining, questioning, rea soning, contemplating, and ultimately arriving at an understanding that is as satisfying to the mind as it is to the heart. The significance of the book’s subtitle—”Avatar of the Tortoise”—comes as an interesting surprise toward the conclusion, tying together the threads of Lux’s longing for a revolution of consciousness to bring redemp tion to our suffering world. Paperback 190 pages, $18, ©Kenneth Lux, published by Seven Coin Press 2001
Memoirs ofa Zetetic: My Life With Meher Baba Reviewed by Kendra Crossen Burroughs Professor Hazra’s memoir is one of the most enjoyable collec tions of reminiscences of Meher Baba that I have ever read. The book was first published in 1987 by Dr. H. P. Bharucha, but now it has been reissued in a good-quality revised and expanded edition, with editing by Keith Gunn, wonderfullylarge, readable type, a few illustrations (facsimiles ofletters), and a gorgeous cover painting of Baba by Nadia Wolinski. The good professor (of English literature)—who was born into a Bengali brahmin family in 1931—has an endearing way with words. This is not “Indian English”; it is a skillful and animated use of language with a charming Indian flavor and a delight in words such as “zetetic,” which I challenge you to find in an average dictio nary, unless you have one ofthose big Oxford monsters. It means a skeptic and a seeker, and that describes the young Amiya, an intellectual with a great curiosity about truth but a doubting mind. His story is the journey of a “head” that became pure “heart” after falling into Baba’s love-snare. Along the way we read of many entertaming autobiographical details, not to mention the touching and amusing encounters with Baba, correspondence with the Beloved
(his first letter to Baba began with the salutation “My SurgeonLover!”), and a number of marvelous spiritual experiences. Ifyou missed this book the first time around, now is the time to grab a copy and let Professor Hazra share with you the thrills of his love affair with God in human form: In His letter Meher Baba had asked me to “love Him more.” Now, I had a photograph ofMeher Baba in my hotel room. His beautiftil face shone, His lovely eyes looked at me, His lips concealed a secret smile ofaffection. I looked and looked at Him and then one day suddenly I seized the photograph of Meher Baba and kissed the lips. I put the photograph on my bosom and pressed it onto my heart. What was I doing? I looked at Baba’s face again. Did it shine brighter, was the smile more bewitching? I did not know, I understood nothing. I just madly kissed the photo again and again, hugged it to my heart repeatedly and still felt dissatis fled with all those adorations. Oh God, what was happening? That night I did notlie on my bed alone. Meher Baba’s photograph was with me and first I kept it on my heart and then by the side of my pillow. I had the most intimate experience of companionship and the sweetest sleep that night. Morning came, and with it the un ebbing conviction that this was the preliminary experience of that longing for the pure, the good, the sublime and the dearest entity—the love—that saints have called “love for God.” The Memoirs ofa Zetetic: My Ljfr with Meher Baba, by Amir Kumar Hazra. Revised & expanded 2nd ed. Hyderabad: Meher Mownavani Publications, 2001. 394 pages, $12. Also available online, TrustMeher presents about 159 original letters of Meher Baba to Prof. Amiya Kumar Hazra, written through either Bhauji or Eruch, in their original form as digital images, along with explanatory footnotes and English translation where ever necessary. This wonderful section “Letters from the God Man” reflects on the various activities of the days with Baba and also indicate the manner in which the tide of love was released by the God Man. We are hopeful this open archive section on TrustMeher shall grow with positive contribution from Baba lovers, for promoting a composite research work on the God-Man, while at the same time also ensuring the digital preservation of old letters. www.trustmeher.com/zetetic/index.htm
SilentTeachings ofMeher Baba Compiled and edited by Naosherwan Anzar Silent Teachings ofMeher Baba is a sharing ofwords to live by— words that transform consciousness, words that awaken. The book is a revised edition oftwo short works that have been out ofprint for some years. The first is a collection of discourses originally titled SilentRevelaz’ions ofMeher Baba: Excerptsfrom the SilentDiscourses ofMeherBaba, compiled, edited, and published in 1944 by Alexander Markey, a Hollywood screenwriter. The content was drawn from discourses given out by Baba in the 1930s and edited by C. D. Deshmukh. Meher Baba had given Markey permission to rework the material into a series of short discourses for Western readers. The present version is now republished by Beloved Archives with minor editorial corrections. The second work is based on Meher Baba’s exchanges with disciples and seekers from England, Europe, and America who contacted him in the thirties, and whose interviews were meticu lously recorded by F. H. Dadachanji (Baba’s first secretary known as Chanji) and Princess Norma Matchabelli. From their diaries I 33
compiled the conversations that were originally published in 1972 by the Glow Publications under the title The Answer: Conversations with Meher Baba. This work is now reissued in a slightly revised version. We thus have, in a single volume, two aspects of Me— her Baba’s messages given in words: one in the more formal shape of written dis courses, the other in the more personal give and take offaceto-face exchange. Paperback, 156 pages, Published by Beloved Archives , $10
DSCQURSES ANJ.) CONVERSATiONS
Meher Baba’s Visits to England 1931 -1956 Compiled by Margaret Hickman, England This book is intended to give a picture of Baba’s activities and travels while in England with some details ofthe places he visited to assist anyone wishing to retrace His footsteps. It is being published by the Meher Baba Association to mark th anniversary ofMeher Baba’s first visit in September 1931. the 70 Nearly all the facts concerning Baba’s visits have been taken from contemporary accounts and a list ofbooks is included at the back ofthis book. The text has been edited by RaW Lewis and Tanya Moller and printed by Sarcen Press with the assistance ofJudy Blake. Paperback, 56 pages $7
Music Reviews At Long Last
“God Speaks-The Musical!” Rachel Dacus
We don’t often get a chance to have a big laugh at cosmic truth, but a new musical recording, billed as “a lighthearted look at Baba’s great book” affordsjust such a rare oppormnity Ifyou\re ever longed for a CliffNotes version ofGod Speaks, here’s the next best thing, a new CD called God Speaks—the Musical! This is a high quality recording of a side-splitting New Year’s Eve concert presented at the Sufi Center in Walnut Creek and features some hilarious takes on spiritual topics. The music and lyrics were conceived in the delightfully warped brain of Henry ( Hank) Mindlin, best known as the composer ofBaba’s American Arti. Hank received Baba’s blessing to ‘spread His love through music’ back in the late 1960s, and Baba directed him tojoin Murshida Duce’s Sufi group, where he became a composer in residence. Hank’s musical and lyrical versatility—he can compose in styles ranging from Sondheim to hip-hop—is filly exploited in this zany show. This is Hank’s first CD, though many of his songs and other recordings are known throughout the Baba world. Hank is joined in this musical enterprise by his old singing partner from the 1969 darshan at Guruprasad, former Broadway actress Carol-Leigh Duce. In the show, Carol-Leigh plays “Old 34
Miz Maya” and Lady Macbeth, a tour guide for the astral plane. Victor Seckeler serves as narrator, and Sufi soloists and chorus provide back-up singing and dancing. The show was presented against a projected backdrop of the Divine Theme Chart from God Speaks. Each song illustrates some stage of the journey, in a mosaic of inspired nuttiness. Babawrote of”TheTen Principal States of God,” so the musical offers “The Ten Principal Songs,” with tongue most firmly in cheek. Hank conceived this show because, as he put it, “After all the events of the last year, it seemed to me we needed to laugh.” The CD is an easy way to cruise through The Divine Theme. The bril liantly loony “Insatiable,” for example, describes the Divine Whim and its outcome in more than vivid terms. “The Molecule Song” follows two souls in partnership through evolution. Hank revived and updated many old favorites he wrote, like the “Astral Plane Waltz” and the “Manonash Calypso,” greatly expanded from their 1969 darshan incarnations. After manonash, what’s left? We’re introduced to the spiritual hierarchy in a song about the Five Perfect Masters, sung by Antoinette Davis and the “Meherabad Trans fer,” a five-voice group who harmonize in the style ofThe Manhattan Transfer. The show ends with a celebration of the Avatar and an invitation to get on board the fastest train around, “The Avatar Express.” The beautifully produced CD has a 76-page booklet with all the lyrics and narration. These often raucous musical numbers contam more than just a delicious spoof of the Truth. They give us a shadow ofa glimpse ofthe Divine Hilarity with which God regards His belovedjest. Buyit and have some serious fin! 73 mm, $20.
Townshend ‘Lost Album’ Out As featured in RoffingStone.com You could call it Pete Townshend’s “lost album”: The Oceanic Concerts, an eighteen-track disc documenting The Who leader’s 1979 and 1980 collaborations with classical pianist Raphael Rudd, was released October 16th by Rhino Records. Recorded at Townshend’s own Eel Pie studios, the invitationonly concerts found the guitarist playing acoustic versions ofWho hits like “The Seeker” and “Bargain” as well as songs he would later include on his first solo album, 1980’s Empty Glass. Then-Genesis drummer/vocalist Phil Collins and Renaissance vocalist Annie Haslam contributed to the sessions. “Townshend had written ‘Let My Love Open the Door’ a very short time before the show,” recalls Rudd, who also wrote arrangements for the Quadrophenia soundtrack. “And, when we played A Little Is Enough,’ he said, ‘I just wrote this yesterday, let’s give it a go.” The two concerts were staged in tribute to Townshend’s spiritual guru, Meher Baba, whose teachings are alluded to in several Who songs. “It wasn’tjust another gig; it was a really special event because Pete did it out of devotion to his Master,” says Rudd. “Pete sang these songs in an even more personalized way, as the composer, and these songs came from his heart and soul. It was a very powerful
expression of feelings.” This CD is available at the Love Street bookstore for $18.
The Who’s Townshend Rocks in Intimate Setting By Tom Wilk, Courier-Post OnLine October 24, 2001 As the chief songwriter and guitarist for the Who, Pete Townshend brought a visual and musical excitement to the stage with his power chords and guitar smashes. By the mid 1970s, the Who were listed in The Guinness Book ofWorld Records as the loudest rock group as their sound reached a level of 120 decibels. Townshend does an 180-degree turn on The Oceanic Concerts Rhino), a live CD he recorded in 1979 and 1980 with Raphael ( Rudd. The album is now seeing a release for the first time. Townshend performs solely on acoustic guitar, singing a selec tion of Who tracks and songs from his solo albums, with Rudd occasionally backing him on piano and harp. A protege of Townshend’s, Rudd also performs on eight instrumentals. This is Townshend unplugged, a decade before MTV came up with the term. After performing with the Who before tens of thousands of fans, Townshend is equally at home performing before a small audience at the Meher Baba Oceanic Center in London. He thrives on the intimacy of the setting, making the center seem like an over-size living room. Townshend and Rudd are followers ofMeher Baba, the Persian spiritual master who kept silent for the last 44 years of his life before his death in 1969. The songs performed at the center have a spiritual theme at their core. “Drowned,” written for the 1973 concept album Quadrophenia, takes on a new power and grace in the acoustic setting as Townshend creates a sonic whirlpool of notes on his guitar. “The Seeker,” a thudding rocker in the Who’s 1970 version, becomes a folk song documenting a spiritual quest. “Bargain” is transformed from a classic rocker off Who’s Next into a prayer a spiritual statement ofpurpose. Townshend and Rudd team for stripped-down versions of”Let My Love Open the Door” and “A Little is Enough,” a pair of songs that would become cen terpieces on Empty Glass, Townshend’s 1980 solo album. In recent years, Townshend has begun releasing live CDs of his solo concerts through his Web site. The Oceanic Concerts shows a quieter, but no less talented, side ofone ofrock’s pre-eminent performers and songwriters.
Raphael Rudd on Pete Townshend “Injune 1978 I was a 19 year old studying for myMasters at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City when I received a phone call that changed my life. It was Pete Townshend of The Who. He’d heard my music and was inviting me to record profes sionally at his Eel Pie Studios in London. I couldn’t believe it. Coming from a classical background, I was initially a little wary of Pete because of his legendary status in the rock ‘n’ roll firmament, but as soon as we started playing, I realized that I was working with a contemporary composer of intense subtlety and sensi tivity Despite coming from two entirely different directions, we connected strongly, because the energy behind our music was the same. Overnight I had graduated from a student to a professional musician.
By September I was recording my first solo album, The Boy, with Pete keeping an eye on things. It was he who came up with the tide, an affirmation of the importance of the artist remaining young at heart. During my three-year stay in London I was involved in many Townshend projects, which included arranging the horns for “Rough Boys” (from his solo Empty Glass LP) as well as the orchestra for the Quadrophenia soundtrack. However what we shared beyond the music was our love for the Persian spiritual master AVATAR MEHER BABA. I had the honor to meet Meher Baba in the flesh when I was a child. My parents, Virginia and Harold Rudd, had been disciples since 1952, and Meher Baba has been the central figure throughout my life. Pete and I realized that we were fellow seekers on the same road. For me, one of the featured highlights of my London adven tures was performing in two acoustic concerts with Pete at Eel Pie for an audience of the Meher Baba Oceanic group around Christmastime in 1979 and 1980. Pete generously shared equal billing with me. I was touched by the profundity of the spiritual quality in his music, and on those nights he brought it strongly to the fore. I recall they were powerftil and eventful performances, and the playing on those nights inspired us to reach heights I never thought attainable. No one present can forget the final piece of the night, entitled “O’Parvardigar” (a Townshend composition to a Baba prayer), a truly transcendent performance of love and devotion to all the Avatars. Pete’s inspiration to me goes far beyond that time more than 20 years ago, and it continues right up until today. He has mentored me and helped me evolve as an artist and a man. Pete now feels that we work on an equal footing where both of our worlds connect. Whatever mediums I work in, I strive to stay true to myself and true to Avatar Meher Baba.” —Raphael Rudd
Two new videos in the Witness Series The Life of Eruch Jessawala Becoming His Vol 1: FaIling for Meher Baba The firstvideo in this series introduces EruchJessawala as mas ter storyteller and the elusive “perfect boy,” reclaiming his earliest childhood memories offamily, school, and life with Meher Baba, who is a frequent guest at his home in Nagpur. Eruch tells tales of Baba’s ways which captured the heart ofthis spirited youth, so fill of manly pride and diffident openness. Eruch reveals an ages-old inner training to respond to God’s loving invitation to serve him when he would come again. His dramatic capture began during Christmas vacation in 1925 at age 5 when the familywas invited to Ahmednagar to meet “Zoroaster come again.” Literally Eruch fell for Baba, jumping at his mother’s exhortation from a moving tonga and then finding himself within minutes in the Compassionate One’s lap, bleeding arm being cleansed with ash and bandaged. Amazed at this display oflove by a total stranger, Eruch was further taken in by Baba’s generosity when he “doled out a heavy load of sweets” to a self-proclaimed “born” glutton. Eruch goes on to reveal more ofthe kind offamily unity and congenital felicity which made him so perceptive and responsive to genuine love. Critically 35
about such things. Babajan was holding a coconut in her hand, and all her Muslim women followers were seated around her and were reaching out and asking her to give it to them. Suddenly Gai’s sister told her, “Put out your hand-she wants to give the coconut to you.” Gai said, “Why should I? I don’t need anything. I have my husband, my daughters, my son, my house, money. I have everything, why should I want her coconut?” The aunt pushed Gai’s hand out, and Babajan put the coconut into Gai’s hand. The Mus lim women started loudly cursing Gai, “Why did you [a Parsi woman] get it? We are her followers, we are Muhammadans, we should have it.” And then Babajan started cursing at them, “You dirty women.” Manu told this in a very humorous way. Becoming His 2: Caught in Meher Baba’s Net When Manu’s father, Papa Jessawala was there, Babajan yelled This second video of Eruch’s autobiography picks up the story at him, “I gave you birth, I am your Mother. Papa was not so in 1930. Baba is visiting often. Eruch begins to take to Baba’s games. interested in all this spirituality, he only accompanied his family He finds that he likes being able to read his alphabet board with because of his fondness for his wife, Gaimai, and he grumbled, greater speed. At school, he now knows more than the Catholic “Who is this woman and why is she telling me this? I have never boys aboutJesus. At home, he has become very handy. Life is good. seen her before today.” Gaimai told him, “Don’t worry about it, Still, at the family vacation in Nasik in 1937, when Baba shows up, that’s just how she is—she’s a Perfect Master.” Eruch quips, “My God, is he here too?” Baba has taken hold, no Manu also told how the tonga-walas who were lined up in the longer to be shaken off. He praises Eruch for being able to repair street waiting for customers would all want Babajan to come and his sandal and as a gardener. Later that year, Eruch, now in college, sit in their tonga. “Babajan, come here!” “Babajan, sit here!” Sometells Baba he wants to become an engineer. When teased, he is po times she would go in one ofthe tongas, and it was a great blessing lite. Finally when Baba says, “Become my engineer,” Eruch smiles for the driver he could be sure of plenty of income. Babajan got a and shrugs, “Okay.” Stories follow of becoming engaged, passing lot of free rides in this way! exams. While tending the palatial gardens at Mary Lodge, their Nagpur home, telegrams arrive, one after the other, from Baba: “See Lud Dimpfl’s Reminiscences of Baba me in Panchgani.” It is May of 1938. At their meeting, Baba asks, by Kendra Crossen Burroughs “Is it possible for you to leave everything and come to me?” Still not Gateway Mediaworks has released four video tapes of 1985 inknowing who Baba was, Eruch later felt that Jesus had responded “to my ardent desire to have him in my midst.” Already obedient at terviews with the late Lud Dimpfl. Part of Wendell Brustman’s heart, Eruch agrees, “By your grace” to come, and after a second Witness series, the videos (available from the Love Street Bookquery, to bring his entire family and the family car. Returning home store) offer wonderftil glimpses of one very special man’s experi with great trepidation, he was relieved when his father agreed. An ences with Meher Baba. Lud’s stories are insightfiil, moving, and inexperienced Eruch, at 21, was left to dispose ofthe family estate infused with his honesty and humor. I first saw these fiims at Meher Center and wrote up some summaries quickly, which he did. On August 1, as promised, Eruch sat with his mother and sisters before Baba. Not waiting, Baba brought home of them to share with those who woulch* have the opportunity to see a first and powerful lesson in literal obedience over not having them; one such account appeared on the August 2000 issue of Glow Interbrought father and car. The video ends with Eruch musing: “If a nationaL Butnofortunately, thevideos are available to the public. Here is simple thing like a car creates a scar (on Baba’s heart),” what scars a taste ofsome ofthe stories Lud recounts on the third video, which I retell will I cause in the future over things of greater import? “It acted as from memory Lud initially came to Baba through Don Stevens, joined my lesson for my lifetime as to how I should obey him.” 60 mm- Sufism Reoriented, and met Baba for the first time in 1952. When Baba came to the U.S. in 1956, Lud’s wife, Bea, wanted to utes, $50. In one of these videos Eruch is telling us stories of Babajan. come along on the tour with Baba. Lud said with a wry smile that one When the video was shown at the Meher Spiritual Center Kendra ofthe tasks or lessons given to him to work on in this lifetime was his relationship with his wife, which was sometimes difficult because they Crossen Burroughs wrote up this report: Last night at Meher Center we saw another installment of had very different views of spirithallt No he figured, Baba would Wendell Brustman’s newly released video of Eruch telling his story take one look at Bea and grasp the nature of the difficulties Lud had in Mandali Hall in 1986. One ofthe funny things he said was that been having. They approached Baba hand in hand, and when He saw Baba’s Mad Ashram, where he took care of insane men (cleaning Bea, Baba’s face lit up. He said to Lud, “Where did you find her? She’s their toilets, giving them shaves and baths, etc.), was on the same p erfect for you!” Baba was asking people whether they loved Him. When it was spot where the Pilgrim Center is now. “It’s appropriate,” Eruch said. On part of the video, Eruch’s mother, Gaimai, and sister Manu Lud’s turn, he said, “Not enough, Baba.” Baba affirmed, “You love me.” But Lud wasiñ sure he knew what were telling stories. They told some rare stories of Babajan that I haven’t seen in the published literature. Baba sent them to visit her love was. He complained to Murshida Duce that he didn’t feel anything under her tree in the Bund Gardens in Poona. Gaimai, her sister around Baba—he was emotionallywooden. She brushed this off saying (Manu said, “my aunt” but didn’t specify—would that be Banumasi?), that people are all different in their responses, and just because you Manu, and I don’t know who else were there. Babajan told them don’t feel a lot, that doesn’t mean anything. Lud thought Murshida their family had been with her for ages and ages, but they didn’t didn’t understand. He got so frustrated feeling that he couldn’t get really know what she was talking about, as they had never thought through to her that he started to cry. She commented that a grown
aware, he was able to tnist totally in what he saw and heard. Through studying the New Testament in his Catholic high school, he began to be intrigued by the mysteries of faith. His sharp mind merged with his heart. Tears trickled down as he felt a longing to have Jesus return. But Eruch was still a boy, interested in friends and football. One day in 1930 with Baba in the house, he told his shocked mother: “If he is Zoroaster, what do I have to do with that? I have to play my games!” Baba, who had heard his outburst from the next room, came in and relieved a 13—year old Eruch ofany guilt. In externals, this first round went to the boy. 60 minutes, $50. -
man who cries can hardlybe said to be wooden! I was struck in watching these videos that although Lud was obviously a keenly intelligent person, he also seemed a very feeling person, with a moving play of emotions on his face and in his voice. Lud spoke of how he was worried about what would happen if an order from Baba conflicted with an order from Murshida. Which should he obey? He felt it would be gauche to actually ask this ques
thought he couldiñpossiblyknowwhether the people were the same— how could he know anything about their inner thoughts and feelings? But since Baba was asking him the question, he felt he had to try to reply, so he reached within himself for the answer. He realized that yes, they were aiike in that they were not people who had sought out interviews with Baba oftheir own accord. They had been persuaded to accept appointments made by Baba-lovers who wanted them to meet Baba. Lud told this to Baba, and Baba directed him to cancel the interviews. Lud called the people and discovered that they were all glad to hear the appointments were canceled—either they didnt really want to come, or they had another engagement, or they’d forgotten all about it. Lud realized that no matter how much we might like our friends and relatives to come to Baba, ifthey don’t have the connection with Him and don’t have the love and the longing, it just woth happen. Baba did not come for such people—He wants to be with His lovers. The Avatar incarnates for the whole universe and gives a push to every being in creation. But His lovers are special to Him. He enjoys the company of His lovers, and comes to love us and to receive our love.
A Spirit of Mututhty Meher Baba
LudDimfi with Baba at the East West Gathering
tion, so he kept it to himself But Baba answered it in His own way. They were in L.A., preparing to go to San Francisco. They were two days ahead of schedule, so some new plans had to be made. Baba laid out the plans of what they would do in S.E Lud was glad to hear Baba’s plan, because it matched his own ideas exactly. Baba said to go and call S.E and explain the plan to the secretary at the Sufism Reori ented center. He went to Murshida and asked to use the phone in her hotel room. She asked what it was about, and he explained the plan Baba had given. Murshida said, “Oh no, that’s wrong—that can’t be what Baba told you.” So here was exactly the situation Lud had worried about: Murshida was contradicting Baba. He told Murshida that he felt strongly that he had to do what Baba had directed. She said, “Well ifthat’s how you feel, go ahead and make the call.” So he did. As soon as he was done, Meherji came and said Baba wanted to see Lud and Murshida. Baba asked Lud ifhe had made the call, and Lud said yes. Baba asked Lud to repeat what he had told the secretary When he did, Baba said that it was not what He had ordered. Lud began to realize that when he had listened to Eruch interpreting Baba’s gestures, with Eruch’s Indian accent Lud had allowed himseifto mishear what was being said so as to make it fit his own preconceived ideas about what the plan should be. So from this incident he learned that masters know what they are doing and do not contradict one another—ifthere appears to be a contradiction, one’s own ignorance is at fault. When Baba visited San Francisco, people had arranged for their friends and relatives to meet Him. After Baba had met two of these people, He asked Lud whether the remaining people who had ap pointments were going to be similar to these first two. Initially Lud
its enthusiasm for the highest ideal, wise leadership can never afford to lose sight of the relative and practical Human evolutwi proceeds by gradual stages from sel±ish violence to unseffish violence, and then from non-violence ofthe brave to the pureandincormptible nonvtolence oftruth, as infinite love Each individual exists at somepornt in this succession, and his duty in time ofwar is mddlblydeterinmed by that position. All narmwnes limits love In the East, as in the rest ofthe world, humanity is breaking itselfinto narrow groups based upon cate,creed race,nationality religion or culture All this ts due to ignorance, prejudice and sefishness It can only be mendedby fostering a spirit ofmutiahtywbach will denve its strength from a sen ofthe inviolable unity ofall life Creative leadership will have to recognize and then emphasize the fact that all men axe already united, not only by their co-partnership in the great divine plan for the earth, but also by the fact that they are all equally th expression of the one life No line of action can be really fruitftd unless it is m complete harmony with this truth There must be love for friend and foe, good will, patience and forebearance Man must try to remedy his own defects instead ofclamormg about thefaults ofothers The worldwifl soon realize that neither cults, creeds and ceremonies on the one hand, nor passionate striving for material welfare on the other can ever bnng about real happrnes—but that selfless love and universal brotherhood can accomplish it. The future ofhumamty is m the hands ofthose who have this vision, and the role of the East in that fiature will be an irreplaceable one if it kmt its spiritual and human resources together into a creative synthesis of its ancient heritage Ltsteiz Hunantty by Meher l3aba Narrated and Edited by D E Stevens ©1957 b 3 Sufism Reoriented Inc
What’s Happening at Meherabode President’s Report By Lois Jones, 2001 Board of Directors President ‘Iam mindfrlofallthe qualifications you have. The onty qualjfication I want you to have is love. Love Me and I am pleased with you.”
Castle, have been extremely enthu siastic throughout the project. They have taken very special care with Baba’s Meherabode. Fred, who has been on site every day, has truly been inspired and inspiring! We thank our two Job Captains, Kent Hansen who spent countless hours with the architect and contractors, providing them with needed history and insuring that the work was done to our specifi cations; and Dusttin Paren whose expertise was very helpful with the quality of materials and finishing touches. We extend a very special “thank you” to Michael Ramsden, Director ofFinance, who stepped into the Job Captain role when Dusttin’s new baby girl, Maggie, came on
Looking into the meeting hail
in the year, L.A. resident Suhas Ghindi, whose father Dr. Ghindi, attended Beloved Baba in India, was our special guest speaker Beloved Meher Baba! I do hope you at the Amartithi program, and he told the are well in Baba’s Love. There is so much story ofhis family’slife with Baba. On Baba’s to report for the year 2001: renovation, cen Birthday, our special guest from ter activities, 2002 Board of Directors and Beach, Wendy Haynes Myrtle much more. shared stories of meeting Connor, First of all, here is the up-to-date infor her husband, Buz while Baba, mation on the renovation. By the time you us with songs entertained Connor, receive this LSLP, the renovation of MePratap Beloved. to our devoted herabode will be complete! This means we Swarup, visited his son, and Ahir will have a beautifully renovated, more spaWe enU.S. touring the while us cious meeting room, a very large, gorgeous music as gift of kawali their joyed library/bookstore, two new handicap-acces of his meettales Pratap’s well as sible restrooms, a patio offthe meeting room ings with Baba. Shortly after Sep and library/bookstore, and lovely garden tember 11, Farhad Shafa was inareas adjacent to the buildings. There will vited to the L.A. Center to give us also be an attractive, clearly defined parka better understanding of Islam. I Ye new bookstore-to-be with a very happy manager! ing area. We are so very thankftul to Beloved The Archive committee has Meher Baba for making all ofthis possible! There are so many to thank for this won- the scene and re-prioritized his time. been hard at work preserving our treasures derfitl accomplishment. We must start by Michael ended up doing so much more than as well as the place where they are kept. Of thanking each and every one of you in the writing checks! And thanks to the Deco- special note: Baba’s chair, in the main room Baba community, throughout the world, rating Committee and all of the other vol of the Dome, was repaired by an expert on unteers who are furniture design and restoration; and a prowho sent your helping make Me- tective coating was applied to the glasslove, good domed ceiling. herabode sparkle. wishes, and fi I am pleased to announce the new 2002 We were not nancial contri idle while con- Board of Directors: butions. We Steve Berry President struction was gohope you all Lois Jones, Vice President and Service/ ing on. Weekly will be able to Outreach Director meetings contrn visit and enjoy Cookie Riendieu, Secretary ued outside on the Meherabode. Mahoo Ghorbani, Personnel Director lawn in warm Our conGolnaz Manouchehr-pour, Fundraising weather and in the tractors, Fred Director Teen Room when Anvari and Nancy Merwan, Fixed Assets Director temperatures Kamal Taba, under Pandal the Shafac talk Farhad Michael Ramsden, Finance Director dropped. Earlier FM from Meeting outside
Dma Snow, Publications and Commu nications Director Shani Verchick, Program Director (Kanji Miyao continues in the appointed role of Treasurer) As indicated in the previous paragraph, the president’s torch has been passed to Steve Berry. I am pleased that he has taken it up and am happy to be working side-byside with him. I found the last four years both inspiring and challenging. I am very grateful to Beloved Meher Baba for His work—that is, the work He has done (and continues to do) on me. Thanks to all who served on those four Boards ofDirectors for your tireless work. A few months ago, someone told me that I was in denial about the differences and conflicts between individuals at the L.A. Center. They didn’t seem very hopeful. As many ofyou may recall, I was so concerned about the “cracks” in the foundation of our community, that I, along with Michael Ramsden, spearheaded an effort toward rec onciiation in the form of two Community Gatherings. Forty people attended the first one, which we called An Opportunity for Healing. That was not an easy day for some, but I commend everyone who came for their willingness to take a step toward harmony in that setting. Out of that meeting came ideas on how we might better communicate. Twenty people attended the second Com munity Gathering where they outlined steps and activities that might bring about more ofa feeling ofwarmth and caring at the ter. As I leave the role ofBoard of Directors President, I would like to leave you with a reminder of the ideas that came out of the Community Gatherings, and to encourage everyone to continue to work toward haying a warm and harmonious center. I also hope that sharing this may be of some help to other Baba groups thatwrestle with some ofthe same issues: October 7, 2000 “True love is no game of the fainthearted and the weak; it is born of strength and understanding.” —AvatarMeher Baba With all those present making the effort to set the guidelines, Meher Baba’s Love set the way for improving communication: . Let’s not backbite or listen to backbiting . Speak directly with the person with whom you are feeling conflict. . Acknowledge a problem.
Find new solutions to old problems. Make a heartfelt apology. . Consider training volunteer mediators. . Let’s keep our sense of humor. . Let’s be more welcoming. . Make the center child-safe. . Let’s talk more together. . Projects done cooperatively together foster a feeling ofbelonging and result in the satisfaction ofajob well done and a more cohesive community. Have regular community “family” meetings. . Acknowledge others. . Let’s not target others for criticism. Understanding and respect for others’ suggestions and opinions will create a greater sense of community and family . Let’s not give up on our community that Baba has helped us create. . Communicate with one another. . Instead of the same people doing all of the work, more ofus need to help. . Establish a support system that includes referrals for counseling and medical assistance. .
Putting Solutions into Action December 9, 2000 1. Include a night of appreciation and acknowledgement. 2. Announce at next meeting that new people need to be greeted by us. 3. Acknowledge newcomers at start of meeting. 4. Re-establish Center docents. 5. Have a Gutta-type meeting monthly. 6. Organize new committees encourage involvement. 7. Meet monthly on Baba’s Words. 8. Have two concurrent 4 o’clock meetings—teens and adults. ( Board please address.) 9. Identify a coordinator for each new idea —ask someone who isn’t currently active. 10.Have a quarterly “experiential” meeting (Saturday)? 1l.Plays, etc. 12.Invite musicians to perform at each meeting. 13. Have Singalongs. 14. Create a songbook. 15.In survey letter (re meeting times), invite community members to participate ( poems, etc.). 16. Have a box ofinstruments available for everyone to play. —
17. Set a goal to have the Center open ev ery day. 18. Suggest volunteering committing to one hour per month. 19. Post Center schedule including docent hours. 20. Offer “Gardening 101’ class monthly. 21. Encourage newcomers to sign guestbook. 22.Assemble an e-mail mailing list and find a volunteer to send reminders. 23.Create a sign-up sheet for opening and closing Center. 24.Put on bi-annual talent shows. 25.Rotate duties by phone tree areas. Finally, while there has been much news to report and so much to celebrate, we cannot ignore the recent tragic events in the world that have affected us all in some way. Seeing so many thousands ofpeople in the world turn to God, and seeing so many connecting and feeling a sense of community as never before, has reminded me of how fortunate we are to have a Baba community and center in Los Angeles. I feel very hopefiil about the L.A. Center. There are so many opportunities for everyone of any age, any culture, any walk oflife, to share and spread Meher Baba’s Message of Love and Truth. We are so fortunate that He has provided us with a place to do this. Avatar Meher Baba KiJai! —
“Learn the art oftakingyourstandon the Truth within. Whenyou live in this Truth, the resultis thefusion ofthe mind andthe heartandthe endofallfrars and sorrow. It is nota dry attainment ofmere p ower or intellectual knowledge. A love which is illumined by the intuitive wisdom ofthe spirit will bless your hfe with ever-renewingfufillment and never-ending sweetness.” —AvatarMeher Baba
Announcements L.A. Summer Sahavas
Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas 2002
After all the on-again, off-again worries about Bhauji’s abiity healthwise, to make it to the States this year, we are happy to report that Baba willing, he *will* be here for the Los Angeles Sahavas. It is being held at the beautiful Pilgrim’s Pines (90 minutes east of LA) 4000’ up in the mountains, starting Wednesday 3rdJuly and ending late afternoon on the 6th. Apart from Bhau Kalchuri, our guests will be Davana, who will no doubt have some beautiftil stories ofEruch to share; Bob Een cello player and singer extraordinaire, and the beautiful velvet voiced Debbie Nordeen. For information contact Wendy Ward: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 818-252-4655.
A Young Adult Sahavas will be held at Meherabad fromJune 26th toJuly 3rd 2002 for Baba lovers from around the world between the ages of 19 and 30. The Sahavas will have a special emphasis on the celebra tion of Meher Baba’s Love through shar ing, creative expression (art, music, etc.) and service at Meherabad. Anyone who would like to receive more information may write to: Meherabad Young Adult Sahavas Avatar Meher Baba PPC Trust Kingas Road, Post Bag #31 Ahmednagar M.S., 414001 INDIA Or you may email: email@example.com
It’s a Boy!
New CD by Karen Sterkin
Born at 8:35am on Friday, January 25 2002, at Westmead Hospital in Sydney, weighing 4.76kg (or 10.5 pounds), Maxwell Karl Mossberger is a healthy baby boy and resting with mum Jane in the hospital. Father Kevin is elated and excited!
He Brings the Spring Thisbeautifuipainting ofMeher Baba was painted by Ginger Crockett, an East Coast Baba lover. You can see it in color at www.thedivine 4 collection.com, a page assuredly I inspired by the Divine. Ginger ex plains, “The purpose of The Divine Collection is to honor the uniquelyhuman activityofexplor ing and approaching divinity through art and artistic embellishment. We offer seminal artistic works of divine subject matter, be they overt or allegorical in nature Our artists offer a variety of mediums and work from a particular faith tradition, or from an interfaith perspective.”:.::. In a short interview with Ginger she tells us “I had the unique privilege ofbeing born to parents devoted
Karen Lynn Sterkin ofCalifornia has re leased 2 CDs White Flowing Sadra and Ghazals ofFrancis that can be seen and heard on her very beautiful website at: http:// www.meherkaren.com
to Meher Baba. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended the Meher School in Lafayette. I always recognized the
Fascinating Findings off the West Coast ofIndia in the Bay of Cambay Since our Beloved chose India as the coun try for the present Avatar of the Age, most things about India are ofinterest to us. So we include this snippet of information : The remains ofwhat has been described as a huge lost city may force historians and archaeologists to radically reconsider their view of ancient human history Marine scientists say archaeological re mains discovered 36 metres (120 feet) underwater in the Gulfof Cambay off the western coast oflndia could be over 9,000 years old. Details can be seen at: http://news.bbc. Co. uk/hi/english/world/southasia/ newsid_1768000/1768109.stm More interesting news, from Japan this time: Daniel Ladinsky (our Danny) writer of the three, now four, best selling poetry books of his renderings of Hafiz, has given permission to a Japanese firm to put the translations on a t-shirt, underneath the J apanese characters. They look very beauti ful. You can see them at: http:// www. ku u s a c o m I product. asp?pf%5Fid=0109446&accessMode=2 .
cushion ofBaba’s love around me through the company ofthose who had met Him and adored Him. From an early age I began drawing and painting Baba. J never wanted to focus on any other subject in my art work. In the eighth grade, my parents ; ranged a few private painting les : for me with the incoma rable Diane Cobb. For that foundation I am eternally gratefliL In college I tried painting still lifes, landscapes, abstracts, etc., but Baba’s face would creep into whatever I was working on so I finally surrendered and stopped trying to depict anything else! I have opened The Divine Collection on-line gallery for those seeking art work of Meher Baba, or of His infi :: nite disguises.” :•::
The Marriage ofMehera Makeig to Gary Kleiner M
ehera and I were married in Chicago on Dec. 5th, 2001. We vowed to take each other as husband and wife “to be on a spiritualjourney together!”We added “May we always be guided by our love for Meher Baba, who is our embodiment of truth, beauty, purity and love, and may our love for each other keep us on course to that truth—together—forever!” It was a very happy occasion for us and for all those who attended. The love that was showered upon us by our families and friends was only outshined by the blessings and grace that was bestowed upon us by our Lord— Avatar Meher Baba. It was the loving hand of Baba that made our union possible. We can not humble ourselves enough to show proper gratitude to the King of Timing, who showed these two strong willed people that when He wants something done... He gets it done! I am 21 years older than Mehera, and I first met her when she was just 7 years old. But this is not a modern Sheriar and Shireen story Why? Because it was actually Mehera who waited for me to grow up. Mehera and I became close eight years ago, when my mother passed away, and Mehera lent me her heart for support. We discussed marriage then, but the fact of the matter was that Mehera needed to discover the world and I needed to fulfill my commitment to my friend and mentor, Eruch! My commitment was just to be with Eruch, and take in whatever he had to offer to me. Eruch had created a role for me, that of provocateur and entertainer. And the
Gary Kleiner, Meherabad biggest deal of all, is that from his side, Eruch nourished me with love, for me personally, and more importantly, he was the living example and guide ofhow to love the Master and how to love the Friend. Those were the days my friends, and I thought that they would never end. We remembered Eruch in our wedding ceremony, as the humble slave of the Lord. And a song was sung in memory ofhis great Love and Ser vice to Meher Baba. So, less than 100 days after Eruch left this world, Mehera and I got married. One door closed and another opened. I tell people that marrying Mehera is only the second decision that I have made in my entire life. The first was to move to India, 24 years ago. I believe that we all seek to find a LoverBeloved relationship through which we can be mirrored and transformed. Mehera and I are eternally grateful to Baba for giving us the gift of each other, to be in the game and drama ofLover and Beloved! Eruch used to tell us, that ultimately, we all have to come to the Lord on our own. But for now, Mehera and I proceed to Him together. That is because we are just starting out, and we still have a long way to go. But eventually, we know that this Lovers Lane becomes a Single File path! Till that time, we will cher ish the togetherness that our Lord has provided for us.
We dance to His tune. We sway to His rhythm! We echo Eruch’s words, when we say that we are Beholden to Him, for all that He has done; both for us and for the game oflife! Thank You Baba! Mehera and I also want to express our deep felt thanks for all the love and support that has come to us from the Baba commu nity We pray to Baba to give us the clarity, strength and determination to be able to re pay the community with the love that is born of our togetherness. The circle oflove nourishes us all! Baba is the circle and each point on it. May the circle be unbroken! May we all feel and become whole! Thank you one and all, for all your love!
Passings [BeforeMark Palmerpassedon to Baba he kept up the humorfor which he had been known. He put it out that he was already lookingforward to his next ljfe! Ifthe Love Street LampPost had a Wanted column it would have read something like this: “Wanted a nice Babafamily to reincarnate into preferably one already residing in Myrtle Beach and with a computer. Th the very end Mark never lost the wonderfiilsense ofhumorfor which he was known the world oveij —
Koast is raimerazaa m Well Done—and You Are There!
by Kendra Crossen Burroughs
Mark with Pukar
t”is a Monday evening, December 3,2001, and a large gathering of Baba-lovers is about to roast Mark Palmer to a golden crisp at Grand Strand General Hospital, Myrtle Beach. Mark—aka Palmerazad, aka the Po tato Swami, aka Swami Akhandanand (Akhandanand = indivisible bliss, Bhau’s nickname for Mark)—has been cared for here ever since his recent sudden diagnosis with inoperable cancer. A hoped-for conference room has failed to materialize for the affectionate ribbing session, so about thirty-five people are crammed into a room opposite Mark’s, while Richie Blum’s video camera makes the scene accessible to another fifteen or so people watching it on TV in Mark’s room. Mark appears every inch the gracious guest of honor gently smiling while seated in a wheelchair in a brand-new cranberrycolored bathrobe, Tony Griss by his side squeezing Mark’s hand every now and then. As we start off at 7:00 PM with a moment of silence and a beautiftul prayer recited by Marc Brutus, we are all looking forward to a funny evening, but hope we will be able to contain our mirth, since the hospital staff has asked us to keep the noise down—a 42
couple of patients in adjoining rooms have just come out ofsurger “Maybe the sound oflaughterwould help them,” Mark suggests. The evening consists of humorous sto ries and appreciations of Mark by those present as well as the reading aloud of e mail greetings from absent friends. Loving e-mails from Bhau, a hilarious eulogy by Rick Chapman, a message from Jeff Maguire urging us to call offthe event (too late, Jeff), and speaker-phone calls from Chicago cronies Gary Kleiner and Ken Coleman are among the highlights. (See the accompanying excerpts.) Mark’s roommate,JerryWatson, has de scribed the tributes as “painting a portrait ofMark’s generous, good natured personalit)’; which is simply an extension of his un assuming, deep devotion to Baba. However, the essence and main attention highlighted this evening is this seemingly inexhaustible supply of self-effacing wit and humor for which Mark is so well known. Blending the two character traits together: the outcome is a delightful, potent combination that ex plains why Mark is so popular and has endeared him to so many people. The twohour roast in Mark’s honor, replete with much affectionate laughter, is contagious, uplifting the spirits of all.” Toward the end of the evening, an ex traordinary thing happens. A Santa Claus in fill regalia enters the room, unseats Tony Griss, and plops down next to Mark. He’s a crinkly-eyed Southern guywho hasjust told a Baba-lover in the hallway that ever since being in rehab one Christmastime, he’s been a volunteer hospital Santa. After a few hoho-ho pleasantries are exchanged, someone suggests that Mark tell Santa what he wants for Christmas. Mark,looking directly at this complete stranger, softly and seriously de livers this stunning reply: “The only thing I’ve ever really wanted, ever since I first heard about Meher Baba in 1969, was to live as long as I can, in good health, in this body, in order to love Meher Baba and witness His manifestation.” Whatever Santa may think ofthis infor mation, he doesn’t bat an eye and soon goes on his merrywayto bring cheer to otherpatients. “Ironically,” says Jerry “it appears as if this event has been staged more for our benefit than Mark’s. It is indeed mystifying that the concept of death has been robbed of all the usual sadness—more to do with the cel ebration oflife than anything else. On a personal level it has made me appreciate the inner knowledge we have, the rare privilege of possessing that precious connection to
Beloved Baba. This night is also a wonderflu reminder of Baba’s very simple, but poi gnant message for us all: Don’t worry—be happy.”
Palmerazad Roasts ‘n’ Toasts From Bhauji: “How fortunate Swami Akhandanand is that he is roasted before he drops his physi cal body. It is a great blessing to him from the Beloved. Nobody knows that he is really roasted internally so that he may go to Para dise and embrace the Beloved. The rare ones get such an oppormnit He has no concern with his physical body, and that is why his humor and his smile people observe in him. And it is a real gift from the Beloved he has received. I salute him a thousand times for his achievement. “May Beloved Avatar Meher Baba give him His loving embrace so that he may not only experience immortality but be of help to Him in His Universal Work. “I am very, very happy to get this joyful message from Swami Akhandanand that he wants to get roasted on Monday. What a real roast. He’ll be roasted internally with a smile on his lips. He is blessed indeed. Please kiss him on my behalf and tell him that he is Marde-Khudai—the rare one in the path of spirituality who has been keeping the Beloved pleased through his humor.” .1 know that Swami Akhandanand has a lot ofcourage and he has firm faith in Beloved Baba and he depends upon His wish. And therefore he cannot feel worried. He knows that his promotion will be from Veg etable Kingdom to Animal Kingdom, and it isjust possible that he may get further promotion to human kingdom. He will be in charge of human kingdom, and if he becomes in charge ofhuman kingdom, he will be perfect master. “I am very, very happy that Swami Akhandanand felt very happy to receive my message and I am also very happy he sounded much better, and his voice was stronger and he was more cheerful. That’s why he is Swami Akhandanand. The bliss he is enjoying is indivisible and he is fortu nate to have this bliss. .1 simply feel touched with the love Beloved Baba’s dear ones are expressing towards Swami Akhandanand, and though he will be singing the Song Eternal, He will leave some sweetness ofthe Song for you all so that you may also long to sing that “. .
Song. .Please convey my love to all who will gather together to attend the roast of Swami Akhandanand. And tell them that I feel very much touched with their loving concern for Swami Akhandanand. What a gift Beloved Baba has given to His dear ones that they take part in the suffering of others and help that one as much as possible. They are really fortunate.” . .
From Ken Coleman:
of that love is unmistakable, undeniable without a trace oftentativeness .Mark, you have given me a glimpse of the Divine, His Love, His Humor and His Compassion.” . . .
From Philip Creager: “. .
.I’m really, really concerned about you. Not because you’re leaving this vale of tears, as Eruch once called it—this gross world. No—it’s because of your spiritual preten sions! For years you’ve allowed others to call you Swami, and we thought you were just fooling around—but now you’re acting like a swami. You’ve been fasting a lot. .you’ve been going without sleep [Mark is nodding agreement] .you’ve been going around barefoot. .you’re even allowing people to touch your feet (witness one female Baba lover giving you a foot massage the other day). And now you’re wearing a robe—beneath which you are dressed all in white, I might add. But worst ofall, you’ve now taken to attractinglots ofpeople to yourself! “But I’ve got the solution to this prob lem: There’s a sign in Mandali Hall quot ing the Perfect Master Tukaram, who says, ‘It’s perfectly all right to thrash a false saint!’ “Well, I thought I’d take it a step further and hasten your departure from the awake dream. But bear in mind, I’mjust doing my part to make you happy. Because Baba says: “The soul feels happy and relieved to be free ofthe body. This is how one should feel about anyone’s death.’.
.Mark used to be the shyest person I knew. When anyone used to ask him for his opinion, he would always reply, ‘I’m neutral.’ Whatever he was repressing for all those years finally built up so much energy that it had to come out—even ifin a convo luted and bizarre way. The first evidence to the world of the new Mark Palmer, the one who had opinions and needed seif-expres sion, occurred in the publication he created called The Word. This was a good way for a shy guy to avoid personal contact yet create incredible mischief. At that time, few people knew who this guy in Chicago was, so he would use his friends in the articles to convey his twisted humor. I was constantly used as one ofthe objects ofhis publicized com ments. For example, he once ran a story entitled, ‘Bhau Kalchuri leads search for wife for Ken Coleman.’ Although I did get some interest, Will David wasn’t really what I was interested in. Mark also had a blank spot on the page where a photo of me was supposed to appear. The caption said, ‘Good photo of Ken Coleman not available’. This An Urgent Plea from Jeff Maguire: went on month after month. .1 would like to praise Mark Palmer, not bury him, and that’s why I am urging From Lisa Nelson: you to call off today’s gathering. For, you “To The King of Tentativeness: Mark, see, every step that Mark takes in shuffling when we first met in the Chicago Baba Cen off the mortal coil is a stake through the ter on Greenview, it took me more than sev heart of our good friend, Bhau Kaichuri. eral months to realize that you were in quiet “Putyourselfin Bhau’s place: for the past contemplation and not ASLEEP during the twenty years, Bhau has tried every means meetings—the very picture ofthe stone state imaginable to die and be with Baba: cancer, in human form. dog attacks, heart attacks, intestinal block“But when you came into your own, be- ages and prolonged exposure to Freeman coming the President ofthe Chicago group, Beymer. And each time he has failed misyou quicklylearned that providing ice-cream erably, growing more and more despondent. and cookies brought the faithful to more Every morning when he opens his eyes, he meetings. This seemed to awaken in you a hopes to see Baba but instead he sees only more alert state. Freeman and an ever-mounting pile ofTrust “Mark, you took an active role as MC, work on his desk. stating and restating as many announce“So just think how dejected Bhauji feels ments as you could create on the spot. Many when Mark Palmer his longtime friend and or all of them without any concrete infor speechwriter, suddenly leapfrogs over him mation as to what, when, where or if they and now with next to no effort and very would indeed change soon. little pain, is making plans to get to Baba “You once led a meeting entitled ‘The before Bhau. Lord Worships His Lovers.’ Now the truth “. .
“Not only that: Mark is drinking beer and eating ice cream while poor Bhau is reduced to eating dried toast and an occasional boiled egg. For a time Bhau could take some solace in the fact that he had a woman come to the office and give him a massage from time to time but now we get news that Mark is being massaged by three women simulta neously! “As you can imagine, Bhau is very de pressed and nothing short of a full recovery byMarkwill cheer him up. Fve already asked Mark to postpone his passing and let Bhau go first but he is clearly concerned that if he shows any improvement the ice cream, beer and massages will stop coming and so he’s content to enjoy his demise. “So it’s up to you in the Myrtle Beach community: if you treasure Bhau’s friendship, you’ll stop lavishing so much love attention and ice cream on Mark and make him put off his passing. Toward that end, it’s important to cancel today’s ceremony because after such a loving, heartfelt trib ute, it will be very awkward for Mark to announce he’s not to go just yet. He’ll feel somewhat obligated to check out ofhis current body, don’t you think? “on the other hand, man proposes and God laughs, so let’s see what Baba has in store. One thing I can say for certain: ifBaba is intent on having Mark join him on the other side, His silence will very soon be broken with peals of subtle laughter.”
Marc Brutus, Los Angeles Among the most precious gifts from Beloved Meher Baba, are the friendships of His lovers. Thank you, Baba, for Mark Palmer. Mark was born March 7, 1947 to Lou and Millie Palmer, and older brother to Fred. Theylived in Lincoinwood, suburb of Chi cago, Illinois. He was extremely shy and quiet, scrupulously honest, and painfully (to others) principled (for example, as a veg etarian, he wore cheap plastic shoes, a string belt and worn out clothing, that even the poorest of the poor would have been embarrassed to wear). He had a great sense of humor, a family trait they all shared. Introduced to Meher Baba through friend Ron Goodman, Mark was irresist ibly drawn to Baba’s love. Our paths crossed in late 1974. Mark was resurfacing in the Baba group after an embarrassing incident where he proposed marriage and elopement to a young lady he had a crush on. I was an exile on the run from South Africa where my family’s nonviolent resistance to the oppression had 43
made me unpopular wherever I roamed. We became roommates in ‘75, for, as Mark said, “five long years.” Mark was part of the Chicago group in the 70’s where everyone was encour aged to participate in the creative arts for Baba. The talents ofall were encour aged; among them playwrights, musi cians, barber shop singers, dancers (in cluding ballet), visual artists, and filmmakers. It was a wonderftil commu nit where there was nothing that Baba lovers were not willing to do for each other. The creative enthusiasm was such that we often traveled to Myrtle Beach. Mark’s fearsome interpretation of Upasni Maharaj in Ellis Pines’ play The Net ofLove will long be remembered! But when Baba, “shuffled the deck” (Mani) in the late 70’s, Mark remained in Chicago and continued to be active—participating in every aspect of the Center. Many outside ofChicago came to know him through The Worc4 a newsletter they put out quarterly. It was eagerly awaited and every
any way he could in the community The impact ofMark’s life was witnessed by the outpouring of love from the many who called and visited from around the country and emailed from around the world. It was notjust his humor that endeared him to all, but also his caring no one felt judged, rejected or excluded by him. During his stay
in hospital he was never alone, as volunteers fought for the opportunity to be by his side from late November to December 21, 2001. His last days with us were a testament to the many he touched, for above all else, he was a great friend, always supportive, encouraging, and willing to participate in any project that uplifted the Beloved in all. In India, too, he was held close to the hearts of many who have known his kindness; and fondly remem bered bythe Pratap Ahir family, Vijay and Anita Bhalekar family, Professor Hazra, and countless others; including, ofcourse, Bhau Kaichuri who very much enjoyed Mark’s humor. On the West Coast also, he was always a welcomed visitor. Many are the wonderfttl stories of those present at the Roast on December 3rd and the ice cream gathering (Mark’s favorite weakness) on December 23. Anchoring all was his deep love for his Beloved and the ever present willingness to serve in whatever capacity he could to please the Eternal Beloved, whose foundation is “Mastery in Servitude”.
Stan first heard of Baba from Allan Cohen who was returning from Baba’s interment in India on February 7th 1969. Stan was immediately attracted to a light around Allan and his group and sought to understand its meaning. Upon inquiring about a photo ofBaba he had noticed on a book they were carrying, he was told that Baba had invited His lovers to come to India
for His darshan in April. Without any question or hesitation, Stan made plans to get there on his own. He was accompanied by Paul Morse, a recent young friend who also wanted to go. Stan’s presence at the Darshan, drawn like a bee to honey, is fondly remembered by Mandali members to this day. In his recent last years, Stan worked hard to put together the Baba Center on Molokai’i from a combined plot of land acquired by he and his three daughters as part of the Native Hawaiian home: lands act. In the last two years, he began to build on the propert constructing a simple, yet beautiful temporary cottage, in which he and Shirley could live, and the Baba treasures could be housed. Also underway, and nearing completion is a guest wing of cottage rooms that will eventually be available to accommodate Baba guests wishing to visit the center. Two years ago in September, shortly af ter completion ofthe cottage, Bhau Kalchuri visited Hawaii and flew to Molokai’i with several Baba lovers to dedicate and give the center its name: MeherDham. On the oc casion of Stan’s passing, Bhau has written: “Dear Stan had a room for the Beloved... The room had a strong presence ofthe Beloved and I was feeling at that time how blessed dear Stan is that he has the longing
brilliantly funny word relished. Mark moved to Myrtle Beach in the early 90’s where he continued to participate and be helpful in
With Mark are Thny Gris & Sally Haviland
Stan Alapa Lynne Douglas 1st December, 2001 Another staunch Baba lover goes home to the Beloved. Stanley Alapa, ofMolokai’i, Hawaii, passed away last Thursday, November 29th, following a massive heart attack and stroke. He was 70 years old. Many Baba lovers have come to know of Stan and the story of the Baba treasures he carried home to the islands following the ‘69 Darshan. These, including Baba’s chair (given by Mr. Ramakrishnan,) hair, sadras, chapels, a crown and several other precious Baba items, now form the heart of the developing Molokai’i Baba Center. From the time of ‘69 Darshan, the creation of such a center for Baba in the islands has been Stan’s major life goal. A devoted student of Murshida Duce in the seventies, Murshida was instru mental in Stan’s marriage to his present wife, Shirley, and served as Shirley’s maid of honor at their Honolulu wedding. Seeking a home for the Baba treasures at that time, and wondering where they should reside, Murshida told Stan that Baba’s things must stay in Hawaii, that to remove them would be to sink the islands. 44
to make his Centre as a paradise. And now I feel that he has made room in His Paradise.” Those who were blessed to know him, knew that Stan had a special sweetness about him, and manifested a gentleness that was especially compelling. In a man’s world, Stan could hold forth on the spiritual heritage ofhis people, the skills of the Lua warrior, and the forces of darkness and light,
Susan Herr Pennsylvania Allan Cohen,Jeannie Kerr and I decided to go to Hawaii after the last Darshan in 1969 instead ofgoing directly home as was the custom. We were dead tired, because we had just flown from Tokyo where we had spent 72 hours. But I didn’t want to go to bed at our hotel. I wanted to take advantage ofthe nightlife in Oahu. I had yet Stan was a neverbeen there Babac house, MeherDham, in Molaka’i man easily and I was getmoved by beauty and love and longing. A ting my second or third wind. Allan and most private person in the world of his in- Jeanne agreed though they would have pre ner feelings, Stan was never one to hold back ferred to hit the sack. For some reason, I tears which might easily spring forth from chose a club we were passing. We went inhis sensitive heart side and a big man came over and immedi OnbehalfofGoherandthewomenmandali, ately asked me to dance. He was attracted Meheru has written: to me and we danced several times. He told Stan was most formme he owned the club. nate to have come to I thought that was re Baba on hearing His ally cool. Then I took Name, as if he were him to my table and more than ready and introduced him to . waiting for that mor Allan and Jeanne and ment, and he was fortuthen we proceeded to nate to have that life tell him where we had with Shirleywho shared been and why. He was in his love. More than very interested and ever, Stan was with asked me if I would j %, .*, Baba in those last molike to spend the next ments ofhis livewith us, <A day with him and to completely enfolded as invite my friends. He he was in Baba’s love. showed us around the There was no distance ; island and he and I for him to go, to be eter7%; began a briefbut very f:! nally with Baba. sweet romance. Allan 2’ later said to me, “If Stan is buried in a 1 tn’ t J 1 ,_ you don t marry him military cemetery close I will!” Don’t read to the property where .Baba c chair in ]WL’hL’r Dham anything into that. It he can properly keep was a metaphor for an eye on the development and doings of the Center he so wanted for his Beloved how fond we all were of him. He had been to prison and was worried that he would not Baba with all his heart. be able to travel to India, which by the time Those of us who loved him will surely were about to leave, he wanted to do we miss him, for with his passing an era in Bemore than anything. We left and the rest is loved Baba’s work for Hawaii also comes to history. Stan became interested in the Sufis a close. But like Stan, we will rejoice with and ended up marrying his girlfriend, etc. him as he keeps companywith the Beloved, But he was a very memorable person and I and eagerly wait with him to see all that a have always regretted never having a chance new Baba era may bring. to see him again in this life. ,
Hilda and Anthony Thorpe, Reunited in Baba A Tribute to Anthony Thorpe A Passionatepioneerfor Baba
Lovers ofNew Zealand byjill Hobbs, New Zealand AnthonyThorpe lived and died at his beautiful summer home in Christchurch New Zealand on the 23rd ofDecember 2001. He serenely let go the thread oflife after a long illness loved and cared for by his wife Marianne and daughters Anna, Karma and Gabrielle.
Anthony was born to Hilda Thorpe in England, a devoted follower ofMeher Baba who introduced Anthony and his brother to her Beloved. Hilda has only recently passed away at the loving age of 96. Anthonywas drawn to Baba like a magnet and carried with him throughout his life a bright beacon of Baba love which flowed effortlessly from him. He was always overjoyed when he introduced any person to hid Mas ter Meher Baba and became lifelong friends and mentor to any New Zealand Baba fol lower. Anthony took it upon himself to introduce Meher Baba to the New Zealand com munity in any way he could. He purchased manybooks, pamphlets, records, tapes, pic tures, photos and movies and established an amazing personal collection ofBaba items. He donated Baba books to all the New Zealand Public and University Libraries and travelled the length of new Zealand showing the great Movies ‘Avatar of the Age’ to 45
any who were drawn to a more spiritual life. No effort was wasted in his attempts to bring Baba into the lives ofNew Zealanders. It took Anthony many years to realize that Baba had His own time when New Zealand would awaken and that his dream of opening a Meher Baba Center would have to wait. Anthony was a copious correspondent. He wrote many letters to his Baba friends in New Zealand and overseas making mul tiple copies and storing each copy in his enormous bulging filing cabinet. Anthony visited Meherabad on a number ofoccasions and could always be relied upon to capture every word spoken by the Mandali on his tape recorder. These tapes are now ex tremelyvalued and are being copied on CD. Anthony would say he had many wonderful and special memories ofhis life with Baba but his attendance at the East-West Gathering would probably rate at the top of his long list. On his list of special events were also visits to his home by members of the Mandali and other prominent Baba people throughout the world. He would invite and often pay for these visits which set him on fire and gave him another medium for bringing Baba into the lives of New Ze1anders. New Zealand’s Baba beacon may now be extinguished but a flicker still remains, which, with the all pervading presence of Baba will grow into a bright beacon once more. The Meher Baba Information New Zealand Trust which Anthony set up lapsed some years ago but is now about to be reinstated. This new Trust will carry with it Anthony’s spirit and immense love for his Beloved.
Hilda Thorpe by Ann Eve, England Anthony’s mother, Hilda,joined him on nd, shortly after his passing. February 2 thankful to Beloved Baba for I was so sufficiently from the recover allowing me to who had been in hos Hilda visit dear flu to January since early pital Whilst there I found her very much on the ball and alert, although in some pain, and John Barker and I were able to say the Arti prayers with her before we left. On Thursday 31st January she closed her eyes for the last time and died peacefully on Saturday 2 February at 6.OOpm. Mollie, my mother who visited her in Wales and saw her at the 1962 East West 46
Gathering, always lovingly referred to Hilda by all who dwell in Castle Cary is a tribute to as an “old soul”. Hilda’s love for Baba was her sense ofnight and wrong and her willingunfaltering, despite more than her fair share ness to take action about something should it of disappointments, problems and tragedy be necessary notjust walk away. The UK Baba Group is the poorer for her in herlonglifetime, including the deaths of passing, but those her two beloved who were fortu sons; Simon some nate enough to years ago and just her howknow before Christmas, ever will briefly Anthony in New the remember Zealand. many ways in was Hilda she enwhich blessed with a lot riched their faith ofcommon sense, and love for Beenabling her to Baba. They loved instinctively will remember reach to the core too the many ex ofanyone’s prob amples of her lem without beatreadiness to help ing about the un with anyone bush. A lady of patience failing many parts, she and understandwas practical, well seeing Baba ing, organized and inDr. Goher with Hilda person in every dustrious. she met. farm Simon’s She worked for some time on We must remember what a wonderful in North Wales. A skilled needilewoman, cook Hilda set us all, and the best tnib example own creative and gardener she followed her pay her is to try hard to follow we can ute activities bent and only recently ceased these of loving service to Avatar her example when her eyesight began to fail. Meher Baba. she when Hilda came to Baba in 1952 A Quotation from Hafiz is appropriate met Him in London and again with Simon this instant I feel: in in 1958 in Myrtle Beach. Her subsequent We un who would tread my path in her strong faith was well evidenced thorn ofgriefwillfihth the The selfish work on behalf of others and by has infear ofthis Whatpilgrim tributes from the Mandali. resigne& quest His When I moved to Devon in August 1993 well he who attains knowest Thou I immediately went to see Hilda who was bliss Trueperfrct loved then living in Castle Cary Somerset. I Is he who upon whose soul her astringent sense of humour, turn of Grief like a lamp, has shined.” phrase,herwideinterests andherforthrightways. Hilda introduced me to a reading regime covering many fascinating books on spintuality and mysticism on green matters al ways coming ftill circle back to the salient Although not a Baba lover, I feel points of Beloved Baba’s own words and ofGeorge Harrison’s teachings which she treasured. Hilda’s pelled to put the notice of cancer in De died thoughts and prayers evidenced her strong passing in here. He on Baba’s birthborn faith in Baba whose words she truly lived cember 2001. He was as the ‘spiritual him and breathed. She corresponded regularly day and I always knew just how much of realize with the women Mandali and they and Beatle’, but didn’t Baba lovers many ofthe till Bhau always made a point ofvisiting her in a seeker he was ofhis songs a lot lyrics to Castle Carywhen in the UK as did her many started posting the Pete asked I listserv. on the Baba Talk Baba friends from overseas. George spoken to had Hilda had a great love oflife and strong Townshend if he me that George did family ties. She had many grandchildren and about Baba. He told didn’t necessarily ac great grand children here and in New know about Baba but Such a shame, as Avatar. Zealand, all ofwhom visited her when pos cept him as the ‘My sweet lyrics following judging by the sible and kept in close touch. want to you Really to see The fact that she is sowellknown and loved Lord, I really want -
be withyou. He was a very earnest seeker. This one he wrote in 1981 impressed me most of all: . .“
Lfè Itsef You are the One You are my love You send the rain and bring the sun You stand alone and speak the truth You are the breath oflife itself oh yes you are You are the One You’re in my dream I hold you there in high esteem I need you more each step I take You are the love in life itself oh yes you are You are the One You are the one that I’d die for And you’re all that is real You are the essence ofthat which We taste, touch and feel You are the One No matter what You are the real love that I’ve got You are my friend and when life’s through You are the light in death itself oh yes are You are the One They call you Christ, Vishnu, Buddha, Jehovah, Our Lord You are, Goindam, Bismillah, Creator ofAll You are the One No matter what You are the real love that I’ve got. You are my friend and when life’s through You are the light in death itself oh yes are You are the One You are my love You send the rain and bring the sun You stand alone and speak the truth You are the breath oflife itself oh yes you are You are the breath oflife itsell oh yes you are You are the One. ‘All religions are branches ofone big tree. It doesn’t matter what you call Him, as long as you call.” George Harrison, 1973. -
Just Love Me
Time A Husk
Ifyou put your hands on this oar with me they will never harm another, and they would no longer lift anything to your mouth that might wound your precious band that sacred earth that is your body.
hose times I spent with Beloved Baba in Guruprasad offered me a delightfiil kaleidoscope of heart-touching moments. Some brought a smile to my lips, others a tear to my eye, but all contributed to bringing me ever closer to abandoning my mental preju dices, and to understanding that the only thing that matters is whole-hearted love for Baba, the Awakener of Hearts. One weekend there was a fairlylarge group oflovers who were happily taking advantage of the opportunity Baba was giving to have His darshan. As usual the mood was quite light-hearted and informal. Several bhajan singers were pounng their hearts out to their Beloved in song. Baba was enjoying the music and the atmosphere that developed was es pecially intimate. In between songs, Baba emphasized that the only thing that mattered was love. Baba’s love for us, in that room, was not an abstract philosophical proposition, but was palpably real and something we all, to varying degrees, experienced. I remember once there happened to be a group from Navsari, and one young man, who was relatively new to Baba, so inspired that he spoke up and said, “Baba, when I go home, would it be all right if I keep silence for one day a week.” Baba gestured, “Very good,” and there may even have followed some discussion as to what day ofthe weekwould be best. Then the gen eral darshan program continued as before. After some time, this young man spokeup again. “Baba, would it be all right, when I go home, ifI keep fast one day a week?” Again Baba seemed pleased and gestured that this was a good idea. Baba patted his stomach and indicated that keeping fast could be very helpftil for one’s health and that one’s digestion could benefit from this discipline. After a few more minutes, the group’s time to be with Baba was over, so paying their bying respects, they left the hail. Once they had gone, Baba turned to us and gestured, “Here Fve been telling them tojustlove me, and that man, on his own, has added two more bindings. Now he is bound to do that, 100% and Baba brought His wrists together as if they were being shackled. Then Baba smiled a meflil smile and added, “It’s good that they didn’t stay longer or that man would have bound himself even further.” Baba often said thatspiritualityin addition to being most natural was also most simple.
Ifyou put your life against this oar with me the power that made the universe will enter your sinew not from a source outside your limbs, but from a holy realm that lives in us. Exuberant is existence, time a husk. When the moment cracks open ecstasy leaps out and devours space; love goes mad with the blessings the blessings, my words give. -
Why lay yourself on the torturer,s rack of the past and future. The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capaci ties will find no rest. Be kind to yourself dears to bove,s inno cent follies; forget any lips your heart touched that did not help you dance. Though does not all help to return us to His arms? -
If you put your soul against the earth with me in serving every creature the sun will enter you from our holy realm and we will be, we will be so happy. [This Rumipoem isfrom aforthcoming book Love Poemsfrom God by Daniel Ladinsky a Penguinpublication, © 2001.]
The Gift of Understanding Meher Baba
he gift of understanding is more pre cious than any other attribute of Love—be it expressed in service or sacrifice. Love can be blind, seffish, greedy, ignorant, but love with understanding can be none of these things. It is the Divine fruitofPure Love, the rare fruit or flower ofthe Universe. It has been called “The Sweetest Flower in all the world!” Age cannot wither it. It grows more lovely as it casts offits outer garment, disclosing its unseen beauty within. From Ocean ofLove Delia De Leon ©AMBPPCT 47
Preserving Baba’s Word P
reserving Baba’s Word” is used in the broadest sense, in which are included not only His written words as given and checked by Him, but also the composite of many addresses and conversations which He gave and carried on and which have been faithfully re corded by his mandali in most instances. This is a formidable body of records, largely now available in print.The keyworks in the printed record are those given by Baba himself and careftLlly checked by Him before they were published. Baba spent long hours in the assembling ofthis bodyofwork. Because oftheir clear manner of describing many important truths both in the structuring of Creation as well as the progress they offer to the spiritual disciple in the future, they must not be tamperedwith, either directlyin editing and trans lating, or inadvertently through collections of later resources which appear to be well founded, but which in fact may seriously warp or change the clear original meaning of words given to us by Baba during His lifetime in the body. While most devotees of the Beloved will accept the statements just made, I have been astonished at this early date by the liberties already being taken with Baba’s word. The earliest to start making their appearance were hurnorous stories, or accounts ofconversations, which almost certainly never occurred. There has also been the quoting of parts of Baba’s statements which best suited the purpose of a writer or speaker but which left out any reference to words from Baba establishing addi tional modifying factors. There is also a large body ofinspirational messages, which in im portant aspects risk a major confusion concerning key principles described by Baba in His clear and carefully chosen words. Unfortunately, these later additions and confusions respond largely to our very human need to have very simple, clear-cut and totally dependable guidelines for our decisions and actions. Whenever someone, in the name of Baba, offers such words, a great wave of wel come greets his pronouncement. But, unfor tunately also, it is exactly here that the roots of fundamentalism in religious movements are created and, in extreme cases, even a cult of dooms-day guidelines for preparing for the end. It has been only recently that the hints of developments in these directions caused me to wake up and take stock ofwhere I am and where we appear to be together. There have been four people deeply and intimately involved by Baba himselfwith the heart-core of His directly given written word. The first is 48
by Don Stevens November 4,2001 Cagnes-sur-Mer, France Eruch, the second is Mani, the third was Murshida Ivy Duce, and the fourth has been Don Stevens. Needless to say, others who have been deeply involved by Baba in very impor tantliteraryworks, but not generallyin Baba’s directly given and personally corrected words, have been Francis Brabazon, Dr. Deshmukh, Bal Natu and Bhau Kalchuri. Ofall these, now only a minority remain. As I reflect on the many occasions and the very great expendi ture of time Baba put into involving Don Stevens in specific projects, I have to admit that I am far from happy with my later contributions which, I fear, have been governed more by a sense ofdiplomacy than realism. And that is preciselywhyl am writing this overview intended for my fellow companions in Baba’s love. The problem ofover simplifi cation and the door it opens to fundamentalism is especially important now due to the basic transition in the manner of utilization that the word ofMeher Baba is currently un dergoing. Of course the greatest change was the dropping ofthe physical bodyby the Ava tar. But this brutal fact was considerably softened by the provision the Avatar makes ofleav ing for some time these key human beings who are the close disciples and apostles ofhis choice and who have benefited byhis direct training. It takes no imagination to realize that a sec ond shock, but spread over a longer period of time than the first, is the gradual disappearance ofthese close disciples and apostles. They have afforded an important measure of conti nuity as well as that all-important factor of continuing in their own inimitable manner the sweet ambience ofthe Avatar himself However by theirvery closeness to the Avatar, these individuals are rarelywell founded in the written words left by the Avatar, which inevitably have been carefhlly given and maintained dur ing his lifetime bythe Avatar himself The very closeness ofthe disciples to the person of the Avatar largely removed them from use of the Avatar’s written words, which he repeatedly made dear were intended as an important tool for the future ofHis message.Although Eruch was the principal mouthpiece through which these words emerged, and both he and other mandali were assigned the task of recording them for posterit they were not given the primary responsibility by Baba with respect to preserving these words. Baba did, however, give others such as Murshida Duce and my-
selfsuch responsibility as editors and publishers. This assignment given by Baba continues to this very day, since he induded in it not only the task of editing some of his major works, but also what has become the very lengthy continuation ofoverseeing their trans lation into other languages. All this does not mean that there will be no continuation, after the disappearance ofthe last close disciple, of the atmosphere of love and containment the Avatar gave in person, but it will inevitably be supplemented greatly by a something which Baba clearly indicated of an inner absorption of spiritual energy coming from his own spiritual attachment of energy to His verywords and which He promised would be absorbed by His devotees who work with them. Let us be very clear that working with Baba’s words is far from an intellectual process, although some attempt at understanding what Baba is saying is called for initially. More centrally, though, this working with Baba’s words becomes after a period ofpainstaking work highly intuitive, and begins to make its fruits evident only after stubborn application ofnot only time and energy but also after trying out a succession of ap proaches to find one’s own point of entry. Herein lies the rub ofthe present transitional phase, for it is precisely here and now that the period of the greatest danger of distortion of Baba’s words arises.The dose ones realize their mortality and inevitably move towards an ef fort to define and clarify concepts of Creation and howto make progress on the spiritual path, all ofwhich Baba has already laid out in his own dear words. Obviously the danger ofconfusion is very great. Even the close ones are also dependent upon intuitive processes in this phase, and the tragedy is that they are not at all familiar with the traps that beset the intui tive road ofverbal discovery ofspiritual truth. I am not going to try to wnte a treatise on what I have observed in the field of intuition applied to Baba’s words, but I must say that the major danger I note is one’s intoxication as the insight occurs, combined with a sense of Divinity as being the source of the intu ition. The net result is that it is almost impos sible to stand back and observe critically what intuition has brought. Unfortunately, intuition, to emerge into the conscious level, must pass through a complexity of the subconscious mind’s routings which, to put it simply, is mined with our still enduring sanskaras. Their ability to influence and bend our intuitions to the purposes of our own ego is monumental. Furthermore, our own resident sanskaras -
themselves form not just a major source of unsuspected warping ofour intuitions, but also ofoutright total blockage that can persist in definitely. This can be the most prodigious blockage to the ftmctioning ofintuition that I have observed. While the foregoing thumbnail sketch of the sanskaric problem is only suggestive ofthe formidable barrier these impressions represent to the devotee’s use of intuition with Baba’s words, I want now to return to the emotional structure of many seekers of spiritual truth. Perhaps the most apparent of their strong needs is that ofwarmth and assurance ofsafety in their explorations on the spiritual path. As I mentioned, this manifests itselfalmost uni— versaily through a deep need for simple assur— ance through a person, or a few simple and unchallengeable formulae. This is where the roots offfindamentalism lie, and ifa few simple and appealing statements are available, the forming devotee clings to them with an automatic fervor and tenacity that are impossible to explain logically. These are very deep forces which express needs so basic that they are rooted in the very nature of Creation itself My own conclusion is that the source is the inevitable and ftndamental search for the original oneness from which the drop-soul is now cut off. I have seen Baba give this assuredness and warmth to a deserving seeker, and observed the incredible reaction ofthe re cipient. But the tragedy is that, owing to our desire for security we are often biased toward simple solutions that seem sure, and we are also very likely, because of the human need for simple and incontrovertible assurance, to involve others who will accept our incomplete version. As a consequence, instead of finding a well-based security they will go through much pain before the fill picture becomes apparent. It is above all in the domain of the use of intuition in connection with Baba’s words that the most delicate of the problems lay during the present transition period from the direct ministry of the Avatar, and the close ones trained under His personal supervision. Although one can speculate that the latter re ceived the special and personal attention of Baba as the consequence of their spiritual preparation, still it is also clear that they have functioned for several decades now in a very important role in continuing the personal pres ence of the Avatar himself However, as al ready suggested, this training almost without exception was void of contact in depth with Baba’s written words. Eruch was the chief ex ception to this general rule, but even Eruch rarely used or referred to Baba’s written mes sages. And of the remaining Mandali who spent considerable time with Baba personally,
there is not one who spent major time and effort in handling Baba’s words in either an editorial capacity or other rigorous manner. As I reflect, I find that I divide Baba’s written words into atleast three fairly distinct categories. The first, and for me the most powerflil, are those He dictated in the manner He carefiffly explained to me twice: firstly, to a Mandali, who took his notes ofBaba’s words, wrote them up in detail, and then submitted them usually the following day to Baba for word-by-word correction by Baba himself Baba also explained this correction process to me in detail, so there would be no question that the decisions and the final words were His own. It was in this careful context that Baba then added a further fact ofthe greatest importance to the spiritual seeker. To these careftLlly dictated words intended for release or hearing at a public ceremony, He attached something like an atomic bomb of spiritual energy which would be available to and ab sorbed by devotees who worked with these words. Such words I am certain are now to become a major source ofthe continuing spintual push of the Avatar to and through His devotees. In fact, this is exactlywhat Baba said to me, and charged me with teffing His devo tees. The chief bodies of such words as de scribed by Baba are the first eight chapters of GodSpeaks, PartliofListen, Humanity, and the Song ofthe New Life. I would personally add 0 Parvardigar and the Prayer ofRepen tance. It is completely possible that careflil re search, preferably carried out while the last re maining close ones are still here to give their help,wiil definitivelyestablish otherpublic addresses given by Baba especially on His visits to Group Centers, as falling into this top category ofBaba words. Mypersonalworkto date indicates strongly that the most reliable and massive ofthis class of resource is the first eight chapters of God Speaks. I have had personal experiences with this material, which have led to my convic tion that here is the principal resource for the future. But at the same time, I must admit that there is already a considerable body of results indicating that in order to mine this major resource, the devotee must be a real hero ofthe Path. It calls for a type ofconcentration and determination that is rare, even among the most devoted. We are in a results-oriented age, and ifresults are slow in arriving, our interest and application flag. But even among those rare persons who command the neces sary dedication, the major problem often lies in the fact that almost certainly these resources of God Speaks must be accessed by intuition, which is subject to the perils ofthe deforma tions, and blockages that may be produced by the sanskaras, as discussed before. All this is
likely to be more ofa barrier to working with Baba’s words than can be successfully overcome. In such case, the result maybe the aban donment of the project and settling for sec ond or third best, or even nothing. But Baba knows, and provides. I suggest the first line of defense be an attempt to mine the contents of Part II of Listen, Humanity The styling is much closer to that of the Discourses , and so much more acceptable and digestible by many. And it was Baba Himselfwho, as He handed over the papers to me which are Parti4 mdicated very clearly to me, that these also had been given and corrected by Him in the same meticulous manner that He had earlier de scribed His giving of the first eight chapters of God Speaks to Eruch. After this very special category of Baba’s words, on the next level are the Discourses, Beams and Ljfe at Its Best. But these three books have followed a considerably different avenue ofbirth and appearance in public form. There is no doubt ofthe doseness, especially of the Discourses, to Baba and His work, es pecially with Westerners, in the middle pe nod of His ministration. Also, they have a special accessibility to us, as they largely concern the problems ofdailylife with which we are so very familiar, and the manner in which these fit into the scheme of Creation and the mechanics available to us for our return to Reality. However, it should be pointed out thai one needs to take very seriously Babac Last Message on theAtphahetBoard, wherein Baba comments on His having established His internal connections with us, which was the rea son for His having maintained His external contacts with us. Then Baba continues that the termination ofthose external relations by Him does not mean the termination of those internal links, and that the time has now come for His devotees to be bound in a chain of internal connections, thus enabling all persons to realize Truth bybeing bound to each other with internallinks. Intuition is deeply involved in the realization ofTruth, and the submittal ofone’s own intuitions to a group truing process saves untold false turns and demolishing of barriers that one has created for oneself And, too often, these barriers are created in our firm conviction that any and all parts of an internal intuitive insight come direct and infallibly from God. There are other important resources, of course, such as TheEverythingandtheNoth ing, that were published with Baba’s knowl edge and approval, which we are fortunate to have available in the collection ofBaba’s words. In addition, there is the large body of Baba’s words in the Trust archives, such as the notes of various Mandali like Baba’s secretary, .
(continued on back page) 49
The Children’s Corner Young Baba ScuiptorTaiks About Her Art Manija Kunin::
name is Manija Kunin. I am 13 years old and live in Auckland, New Zealand. I have been making things out offimo since I was veryyoung, but only started making fimo people a few years ago. Since then they have become more detailed and I have learnt new skills and techniques for making them. Fimo, sculpy, pro mat, and cernit are all types of modeling clay. They are very soft and pliable once conditioned, and ‘ come in a wide range of colours. When baked fimo becomes hard but small pieces like hair or feet can snap off. Because ofthis the characters are mostly ornamental and are not suitable for toys. I have sold my characters for around $ 10 each but mostly give them away as gifts. I have also made personalized characters from photographs on request. On mylast trip to India in July 2000 1 made figures of Sai Baba, Upasni Maharaj, and Meher Baba. :•.
Thlentedsculptorfrom New Zealand, Mani Kzmnin.
One day I took them out to Meherazad and showed them to Meheru, Goher and Katie. They seemed to like them a lot. Bif took some photos of them on the day we left. For more information people can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Mani —
Left: Meher Baba with Upasni Maharaj Right Old Couple
Above: Goldilocks Below: the East—West Gathering
L etters W
e have received so many cards, let ters and emails regarding our trib ute to Eruch that I will take this opportu nity to thank you all so much for telling us how you felt. It gives us, the staff of the LampPost, great joy to know that our la bors have brought such happiness (and more than a few tears) to you all. The whole sec tion on Eruch was beautiftilly put together by Cherie, for whom it was a labor of love for two long months. Many thanks are due to Sufism Reoriented for opening their pho tographic archives to us, and also to the folks who sent in their own beautiful photos. I was not here to help her assemble all the pieces and stories as I was in Australia for my Mother’s funeral. It was with some trepi dation I wrote the article on Mother, concerned that some might think it nepotism of sorts, but so many of you told me how much you enjoyed getting to know her. Thank you also for that. I had been waiting for the color issue to properly display Diana Le Page’s beautiftil paintings, so was glad that her story could make up the trilogy for that very special October 2001 issue. Normally we do not have a letters to the editor page as all we get is praise—and how boring that would be for you, our readers.(We certainly appreciate it though!) But I will let Samy’s letter stand for all the love and thanks you sent us, and then in the following letter our dear friend Pratap Ahir brings up some very good points:
To The Editor, Love Street LampPost I am a regular reader of LSLP like so many other Meher Baba lovers all over the world, and find reading LSLP ajoyful and rejuvenating experience. I was going through April and July 2001 issues ofLove StreetLampPost. I would like to share a couple of my observations. April 2001 issue—Page 7: It shows a photograph of a group singing on the stage at Meherabad during Amartithi. In this picture, Meher Baba is seen playing a Dholak(drum). Meher Baba’s image has been superimposed on a recent photograph. It is my personal view that this photographic trick, though done skillfttlly, does not recognise Baba’s status as the “Highest of the High”. This craftsmanship leaves a poor taste.
During Guru Prasad days, Meher Baba would behave freelywhile sitting amidst the Mandali and with few ofus who were visiting Guru Prasad often. He would play cards with us, listen tojokes and would be in very joyful and expansive mood. But then often He would caution us saying, “never forget for a moment that I am God in human form.” So in all our dealings and acts concerning Meher Baba, we must never forget Meher Baba’s above remarks. I have seen Baba lovers wearing T-shirts with Meher Baba shown as wearing sunglasses (Go-GO is a commercial name). In one of the large paintings of Meher Baba that I saw in the US, Meher Baba was shown wearing a wristwatch. I do not understand what these pictures try to convey, but whatever it conveys, it does it in a poor manner and leaves a bad impression, especially for our generation ofBaba lovers who had the privilege of seeing Baba. I request you to ensure that Beloved Baba’s status is always upheld at its right place in your magazine that reaches many Baba lovers in the world. July, 2001 issue-page 11 In the article written by you under the title “Bhau—the indefatigable” you have ob served and I quote your words—”however I think in the centuries to come whenever people speak of the Avatar, the name Bhau—the indefatigable will spring to mind.” This sentence, in absence of Meher Baba’s name after the word Avatar’, conveys a strange meaning. I request you to re view the sentence with the eyes of a com mon reader. Pratap Ahir, Mumbai My response: Editing this magazine is a great privi lege, but I am definitely going through the ‘school ofhard knocks’ while learning to be an editor! Pratap is absolutely correct in all that he says. Although we would love to see this magazine reach the standard of Time or Newsweek, when it is put together by three or four people, all volunteers, all having regular jobs, that kind of perfection is not yet within our reach. But it does not mean that we don’t continually strive to reach it. I did see the photo ofBaba that had been
added at the last minute and thought it rather cute. Thank you Pratap for awakening us to the sensitivities ofHis Indian byers, who are not as casual in matters of God as the Westerners are. Regarding Bhau the Indefatigable, that’s Baba’s rap on the knucides to me for letting a little ego slip through—I was quite taken with the phrase I had coined, so much so that I did not read it clearly enough to see that it was open to misinterpretation. I shall endeavor to not let that happen again. We can but try... Thank you Pratap for taking the time to point out, so kindly, where we may have failed Him. Dma Jai Meher Baba I am a Baba lover from Bombay and I am writing this to convey my appreciation to you and your team for having brought out such a wonderful issue (October 2001). Credit is also due to the printers and Mr. Balaji ofHyderabad for having done ftrlljus tice to the beautiful contents. When I saw the cover I almost choked with sentiments. It was only then that I realised this issue was devoted to Eruch J essawala. I read through from cover to cover’ and tears rolled down from my eyes. I feel this is the best compliment—that written material can provoke such emotions and bring back such fond memories of times spent together and the days gone by. You can safely have me as your subscriber for life. I do now understand what Baba meant when He said that He is going to bring the East and West together. Well I could go on and on but suffice it to say that if there’s anything I can do from this end towards His cause, please do not hesitate to let me know. Thanks once again for such a wonderftil job so well done! In His service always Samy E. Patell Mumbai
Ground Zero Cover We’d like to thank the September issues ofNewsweek and People magazines for the outstanding and poignant photographs which comprises the background collage of the cover of this issue of the LoveStreet LampPost.
Chanji. Some of these have been interwoven into the nar rative ofLordMeher given by Bhau Kaichuri. Much of the working in ofthe relevant quotations is due to the efforts of David Fenster. Unfortunately, however, the quotations have not yet been documented in the references. The Trust has acknowledged the importance of this for creating an authen tic historical document, and both Bhau and David have agreed that it be accomplished as soon as practical, given their other responsibilities. The third resource for the future lies in that plentiful outpouring of words from various close ones to Baba. I think these are very appealing and relatively easy to absorb, and they will undoubtedly be a great resource for the ftsture as well. However, Baba never gave me any reason to believe that this resource was capable of providing that supply of spiritual energywhich, He has repeated many times, is necessary for real progress on the spiritual path. Moreover, devotional outpourings must be distinguished from
writings designed to interpret Baba’s teaching, and are also likely to have a large impressional content contributedbythe authot Nevertheless, the secure heritage of Baba’s words is
enormous and represents a treasure that has never before been matched in an Avataric coming. It is our great responsibilityto protect careftilly this incomparable Avataric treasure.
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