__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

I

h


Cditor’s ¶Page Jai Baba Folks,

The first story came from my who, although his mother and siblings lived in Los Angeles, in 1990 felt a Divine pull to move to Australia. Proof positive that Baba does indeed know rhat He doing: Christopher met the love of his life, the Fair Helen, married her, and had an angel of a daughter, [she can be seen on the children’s page.] They had been house hunting for years, but could never find the right place at the right price. Baba to the rescue! Last month they saw a house advertised and went to view it. Loved it, but it was too expensive. Meeting with the Realtor the next day he told Chris he was not going out for the highest son

is

elcome to another double issue! I sure hope Baba allows me rd quarter a nice manageable to make the 3 40 pages or so. I will be in Australia for three weeb at the end of May and early June, visiting family, friends and Avatar’s th Abode—for the celebration ofthe 50 niversary ofthe Beloved’s visit. So that will have good coverage in the July issue. I know there are many, many fans of Francis Brabazon outside of Australia, and the magazine you are holding now will please you mightily—really in depth reporting of the Centennial celebrations for Francis and a lot of added information about the Beloved’s mandali-poet-in-residence. Our long time readers might re member that I occasionally remind you that this is your magazine, and we would very much like to receive stories from you about ways in which Baba has intervened in your life—or has, in some way, made His presence felt. Because I know from very personal experience just how strongly He can let you know that He has His Nazar on you! Harry Stoddard sent us one: “Into the Light” for this issue (pg 42), and I have two stories close to home. yet

very

:

two

bidder, but would sell it to the first person to make a reasonable bid. How reasonable? $50,000 less than the asking price. “We’ll take it!” [Don’t Realtors work on commis sion in Australia?!] A few days later when all the paper work and house inspections done and the deal was sealed, Chris driving back to the offlee, ecstatic, thanking Baba profusely, rhen to his aston ishment, “Begin the Beguine” came on the radio. He told me he had never heard it played on the air before. It was Artie Shaw’s instrumental version. Smiling broadly thanking Baba even more and diving into the love in the song, he was even more astonished to hear it played again, two times backto back, this time the vo cal version! It was as though Baba was saying “You’re wel come Chris! You’re so were was

very

Ifa bird answers, dont hag up, Tweetie Pie will take a message. 2

The second story comes from my pet budgerigar,Tweetie Pie.This little creature has a ‘thing’ for Baba! We let him fly loose in the house. and we’ve found he gravitates to the pictures ofBaba we have in all the rooms. He particularly likes the one of Baba eating that we having hanging on the wall in our breakfast nook. He will land on the frame right above Baba’s head and then hang upside down so he can kiss Baba’s face! One day I needed to clean the pictures, so I took them off the wall and stood them on the table.To my amazement Tweetie Pie ran over and started ‘eating’ from Baba’s plate and kissing His hand! Throughout my life I have had other budgies [native Australian birds] that have been free flyers and very talkative; but neither of them had anywhere near the personality of this little bird. He is two years old now and we’re beginning to despair our little boy will ever talk! We say”Jai Baba!” to him I at least 30 times a day—but as yet—no talking,just kissing! So tell us your Baba story. You love Him, He loves you, and you know He L loves to meddle in your life! Sometimes for the good and sometimes what we may think is definitely terrible, but rest assured—what He does to us is solely for the benefit of our drop soul, which He wants to return to Him sooner rather than later. So try to take the bad with the good in as cheerftul a manner as possible. And that, dear Readers, is the lead story for our next issue—what Baba really meant with that famous saying of His “Don’t Worry Be Happy!” —


Love &reerJamjii?osr elcome to Love Street

EATURES:

LaveStreet £am.pi?ost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Itsprimarypurpose is to contribute to a sense ofcornrnunity among aliHis lovers byproviding aplace for sharing His remembrance. All members of the Baba family are invited to contribute to this frast of Love. Love Street £aiiiplost is mailed (approximately) each January, April, July, and October. SUBSCRIPTIONS: Sending you the magazine costs us $25 per person per year domestic; $35 overseas. Subscription is by donation only and we can publish only by the generosity ofyour donations. Please send your checks to:

Love Street £ainpJPost c/o Avatar Meher Baba Center 1214 South ii•z NessAvenue, LosAngeles, CA 90019-3520 SUBMISSIONS: We seek expressions of Baba’s message of love and truth. Your stories, photos, artwork, poetry letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited, but in digital format only (email please). DEADLINES: November 1st, February 1st, May 1st, August 1st for the issue printed in theft/lowing quarter (November 1 deadline for First Qiiarter issue).

Bababook@pacbell.net. If necessary to mail a disk (please no hand or typewritten manuscripts), send to Editor, address above. SEND T0

STAFF: Editor in Chief: Avatar Meher Baba Managing Editor: Dma Snow Gibson Assistant Editors: Becci Robbins, Kathy Hill, Noreen O’Brien Contributing Editor: lvi. Concannon Design and Layout: Cherie Plumlee, Pris and Kathy Cover: Meelan Studios, young boy Falu Mistry pre-flight: Tom Hart Assembly and Printing & Distribution: Ray i\’Iadani Circulation: Pris Haffenden Please notir Pris, our Mailing List Walli, ofyour address change at the above address or by email: Stillyetrnore.more@verizon.net For information regarding our Center please go to: meherabode.org, lovestreetbookstore.com or meherbababooks.com

Bhau News The First Amartithi Christmas in Meherabad The Great Love Street Buying Trip The Eternal Day—Amartithi Pumpkin House Orphanage History ofWater at Meherabad May the Victory Be His Serving the Master IShaliReturn Dastur’s Dastardly Deed ALoveStory Hafiz—Tongue ofthe Unseen Shiraz, the City ofParadise Baba and Healing Meher Baba and the Dunites

5 12 14 15 20 25 27 29 35 36 37 49 70 72 75 77

OVER STORY:

Francis Brabazon Celebration 100th Anniversary

56

EPA RTMENTS:

Editor’s Page Announcements Know Before you Go

2 8

Meherabad Diary

11 30

Reviews

43

Happenings at Meherabode Winter at Meherana What’s Happening at Meher Mount Lives Lived in His Love Humor for Huma Baba’s Words at Play The GNU Life The Children’s Page

50 54 55 66 68 74 76 82

Worldwide Meher Baba Meetings

83

‘Thank )3ou Cwve trcct £anzjFost ispublished by theAvatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California. J4 extend our hearèlt appreciation to

L3 all owners ofcopyrights to the Meher Babapictures we have used to bringjoy and love to the hearts ofall,Covc StrcctCo:iipost readers. All words, images andgraphics in thispublication areproperty ofthe copyright holders and/or contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher :

Baba ©Avatar Meher Baba PerpetualPublic Charitable Trus4 Ahmednagar India, and © Lawrence Reitei Other contents © Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern Caljrnia. Unauthorized diplication isprohibited by law.

3


LAvcttar .A4eher I3aba 21cctrt1and

Center y

Above: Morrison house on the left, Burleson house on right; Below: side view ofthe Morrison house

April 12, 2008 wonderful opportunity has been presented to the Heartland Center, and, if you agree that it is an opportunity that should be acted upon, the Board of the Heartland Center encourages you to respond promptly with your heartfelt donation for this purpose. We have four months in which to raise the firnds for this acquisition. As you know, Baba Himself stated that one ofHis centers would be established in “the heartland” ofAmerica. The Heartland Center was dedicated in 2005 in the family home ofDr. Ned Burleson, who cared for Baba, Mehera, Elizabeth and Meheru in the aftermath of the auto colision close to Prague, Oklahoma, on May24, 1952. Estab lishing the AMB Heartland Center in the Burleson House has been a grand success, providing information andlodging services to a steady stream of Baba’s lovers visiting Oklahoma over the past three years. The Burleson House shares a blockwith the Prague Hospital where Meher Baba

and His party spent 12 days recuperating after the accident. The only other adjacent structure on this block is a two story brick residence that was the home of the Mor rison familyfrom 1930 to the present. With the recent death ofWalter Morrison, (age 98) the Morrison family has decided to sell the house and has given the Heartland Center a first option on the property at a very affordable price of $89,000. Julia Margaret Brigham gives us a little history ofthis house: “My father, Dr. Bur leson, and Walter Morrison were very good friends. Our families lived next door to each other and all ofus children grew up together as one large family. ‘Speedy’ iViorrison was one of the bankers who helped my father finance the original Prague Clinic and Hospital, and after my father’s death it was ‘Speedy’who kept the doors ofthe Hospital open with both his money and his influence each time the town of Prague planned to close the hospital.The original hospital that Baba stayed in was built at a time when asbestos was used in ceiling and floor tiles. Had the facil ity ever been closed, it would have been permanently padlocked and possibly torn down. As I look back, it seems miraculous that this hospital has

remained open all these years while similar hospitals in small towns throughout the country have been closed. At this time, the employees own the hospital operation and the town ofPrague owns the property. Scott Morrison, one of two surviving children and a retired physician, told me that he remembers meeting Meher Baba. He remembers shaking His hand in 1952. Scott’s daughter teaches world religions at Middlebury College in Vermont and Meher Baba is included in her course on Eastern religions! She knew all about Baba and was able to tell Scott about Baba’s life and work. Scott would like very much for the Morrison’s family home to be a part of the Heartland Center. It seems Baba has opened this door and we all know that when He opens a door in our lives, He walks through it with us.” The acquisition ofthe Morrison House would be an enormous move forward for the future ofthe Heartland Center. Itwould double the capability for pilgrim accommo dations, and would open the possibility of group pilgrimages for Baba-groups around the country. artist-in-residence programs, and many other activities. There have been many Baba-related connections that led the Board of the Heartland Center to believe that this was an opportunity that we simply could not pass up.We debated the benefits and practicality ofthis acquisition and decided unanimously to go down this path. Therefore we ask that you consider supporting the purchase of the 1\’Iorrison contineued on pg 6


i3hau’s Easter J44essa,cje: 3esus’ 1Iniversctl Work Bhau Kaichuri • Meherabad [Excerpted from email dictated 23rd April 2003, 11th March 2004 and 4th March 2007] Beloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! ome questions I cannot answer, because such questions cannot be answered by anyone except God. J esus wanted the world to knOw that He had been crucified, but he never wanted people to know that He had sur vived the crucifixion. It was the main sign ofHis universal work. He kept this secret, and nobody came to know about it. When I went to England in 1985, somebody told me that a recent book on Christ said that it had been found that He had come to India after the Resurrection. I cannot say anything more about this, because I am quite ignorant. I do know this much: Baba told us this was the truth. In 1929, Baba went to Kashmir. He remained in seclusion in Harvan, six miles from Srinigar, the village wherejesus had dropped His body. When Baba came out ofseclusion, He disclosed that when He had beenjesus, He had been buried there. There is no reason to feel amazed that Peter did not know that Jesus had sur vived. Nobody knew. The Lord did not tell anyone. After the crucifixion, none of the mandali of Jesus could think of anything. They were all hiding here and there. The time was quite unimaginable. No one thought about Peter, Thomas, Bartholomew or anyone else. Those who were with Jesus—Peter, J ohn and others—were so full of grief that they did not think of anyone except the Lord, not even themselves Those who were withJesus when He was crucified and placed in the tomb may have felt as if their own life had departed from them, though their mind and body lingered in order for them to experience the pain of separation. Peter did not know about the resurrection; even the mother ofJesus did not know. Peter andJesus had been separated such that they never again met. I feel that Peter was crucified for the cause of Lord Jesus, as he was a medium for His Universal Work. Whatever the Lord wanted Peter to do, Peter did. The Ancient One’s ways are innumer able, and He uses those that are suitable

S

.

at the time. He came out of the burial pit after three days, and perhaps His two mandali members, Thomas and Bartholomew were there. Thomas did not believe that He was the same Jesus who had been crucified, but Lord Jesus showed him the wounds in His side inflicted during the crucifixion. Everyone knows that Lord Jesus performed many miracles. He gave life to the dead. He gave sight to the blind. Could He not save Himself? Why did He allow this crucifixion? That is the glory of the Lord. The One Who was All Power All Knowledge and All Bliss was crucified. What a glory! Can anyone understand this? He was crucified for the world. But on the day of the resurrection, He came out ofthe pit. Then He walked to India with His two mandali members, Thomas (now called “Doubting Thomas”) and Bartholomew. It was He Who made those two mandali members accompany Him. They walked to Burma and from there to India. Jesus visited all the places ofpilgrimage in India, walking and walking. This was His seclu sion work for the universe. What Lord Jesus was doing after He was crucified, no one has any idea. He lived in India, many, many years, secluded from those who knew Him. He was wandering and wandering with His two disciples to different places. He went to Rameshwaram, where Rama had killed Ravana, and Dwarka, too, the kingdom where Krishna ruled. He would walk and walk, never staying in one place. Ultimately, He went to Kash miii and after completing His Universal Work, He dropped His physical body at Harvan. Then, after a hundred years, His Universal Manifestation took place. Gen erally His Universal Manifestation takes place one hundred years after He drops His body. But for Lord Jesus it took more than one hundred years from the time He was crucified. Why? Because He did not die on the cross. Instead, He started His seclusion work for the universe. Actually, when He was crucified, He remained unknown to the world except for His mandali members. How is it that the West and some parts of the East accepted Him? How He suffered for humanity! How He would walk all the

distances in India! No one understands even an iota of His suffering for the uni verse. It is unimaginable. The Lord always comes down to give a Universal Push, not only to humanity but also to all kingdoms ofevolution and invo lution. He is love. And He is compassion. How He suffers for Creation. How He has bound Himseifto it for all time, though in His own form, He remains eternally free. He is our only Compassionate Father. No one has any idea why He is called this. Because He does not find anyone, anywhere, other than Himself. He is active, infinite consciousness. And He’s the One Who remains active, even after dropping His physical body. But there is a difference. Until His Universal Mani festation, He helps everyone, whether a saint or a sinner. At the time of His Universal Manifestation, the devil bows down to Him and remains bowed down. After His Universal Manifestation, the Lord rill help those who remember and follow Him. He will not pay attention to those who do not call Him, nor those who forget Him or do not care for Him. Once again, the devil will start raising his head. Ignorance will gradually grow and grow and grow hen ignorance crosses the limit, He 1 V has to come back again. Sometimes, He is called the Son of God, sometimes the Messenger ofGod, sometimes the Avatar or the Christ. But He’s one and the same, the Ancient One. Nobody thinks, “Who did all His work?” The Lord Himself did it, and He remains always in the form of the Holy Spirit. He is rery active, infinitely active. You find people performing prayers to the Holy Spirit in their churches.’vVho is that Holy Spirit? It is the Lord Himsell Who remains active. And what is Easter? Easter is the time to remember Lord Jesus wholeheartedh to become attached to Him and try to detach yourself from the devil. The devil is in everyone, and it is because ofthe devil, that the world forgets the Lord. But what a Compassionate Father He is! hether someone is a saint or whether 1 V they are a mischief-monger or thief He is for them. He cannot neglect them. They are all His children, because He IS them. S


Although He is Everything and Everyone, Everyone and Everything are not Him. He is thousands oftimes closer than our very breath. He is our life. As long as you are in dua1it you cannot be with Him. But when you are trulywith Him, a sense ofphysical presence does not remain. You know that you were always Him, that you are Him, and that He alone exists. There are none except Him, and besides Him, whatever appears as existing is nothing but Illusion, which does not exist. If at all it exists, it exists in non-existence. As we celebrate this Easter, let us re solve to dedicate our lives to Him and live for Him and die for Him in His love. We should become desireless. We should cre ate longing to be with Him, so that noth ing remains for us except Him, the Beloved Avatar, the Compassionate Father, the real Oceanized Ocean, Who looks after us all the time. Let us therefore not hesitate to make this resolution and dedicate our life in order to surrender to Him for all time, so that our false self may disappear, and our real self remains to see the beauty of the Lord.

exciting

73hait news!

March 20, 2008 Avatar ]\leher Baba Ki Jai! To all you dear ones, I never thought that I would be able to visit the West this year. Now I think that it is Beloved Baba’s Wish for me to go, that He is prompting me to visit Myrtle Beach, Meherana and Los Angeles (for their Sahavas). All of a sudden,just two days ago, this feeling came over me. And so I am ready to visit. I am not in a good state of health, but I have decided that whether my health is good or whether it is bad, I must do what is destined for me without any hesitation. Therefore, I give my final word. Only the day before yesterday, I pressed this feeling that I should go at least once more to the West. Then, when I went to the Pilgrim Centre for a talk, Mother C announced it!Just see, it did not take much time for the media to spread it all over the world! This announcerrient is just like air people all over came to know about my tour! Once I had said that I will visit the West, I must put my words in action. Let us see how it goes. 6 -

LAn

Caster 1rayer 3rom Bhauji

T

his year, the celebrations ofmany different religions all come at the same time. Therefore, in Beloved Av atar iVleher Baba, I wish all you dear ones a most Happy: Holi (the Hindu festival of colors); Purim (the Jewish festival of Esther), Mawlid-an-Nabi (the Birthday of Prophet Moham med), Navroze (the Zoroastrian and Persian New Year), Hola 1\’Iohalla (lit., “Mock Fight,” a Sikh festival), Sangha Day (Magha Puja [“Fourfold Assembly” a Buddhist celebration]), and, of course, Easter. So I feel happy to offer the fol lowing prayer to Beloved Baba for Easter for all you dear ones: May Beloved Avatar Meher Baba bless you with His love, so that you all long to know the secret behind the crucixion of Lord Jesus, and then experience that Christ is Eternal, and that no one on earth can crucify Him. May you also long to kiss Eternit which is the aim of life, and may you

I am really sorry that I cannot come to London this time. I feel that I should not do so. Nor am I going to Paris, Chicago, Washington, New York, San Francisco, Portland or Paris. But you all are very considerate. Though you are sad, at the same time, you also realize that I am not going to other these cities because of my health. I will reach Myrtle Beach at the end of April. It is a good place, very beautiful. I don’t know what plans they have for a boxing match. But Swamii is there, so he will make certain arrangement for everyone’s enjoyment! Today is the Board i\’Ieeting, and the Chat is this afternoon. Let us see ifl become fat or thin! The Chat* will make me fat, while the Board Meeting willjust give me perspiration. But though it takes time to make others understand, it is useful. I look forward to seeing those of you who can come to Myrtle Beach, Meherana or Los Angeles. And for those who can not come because of the expense or jobs or family responsibilities, do not worry. We will be connected by the Innernet, and when I am in America, if possible, I will be continuing my Internet chats, though they might not be on Sunday.

,

become Eternity itself. This is the goal of life, which is to be experienced Here and Noc With all love and Jai Baba to you, In His love and service, Bhau

My loving salutations to you all, and I bow down to you 1,008 times.

lVIay Beloved Meher Baba awaken you all towards Him so that you may go on singing and singing! With all love and Jai Baba to you, In His Love and Service, Bhau *TIiis also might be a bilingual play on the Hindi vord “chaat,” which are small plates of savory food. Heartland continuedfrompage 4

House in whatever amount that you can af ford. Please be as generous as possible—this is a great opportunity to facilitate Baba’s work in the heartland of America. On behalfofthe Board ofthe AIVIBHC, John L. Poag, II President, Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center. Board members of A.MBHC: John Poag Ii, President;Jim Watson, Vice President; Marilyn L. Buehler, Secretary; Michael D. Ivey, Treasurer; Directors: Julia Margaret Burieson Brigham; Angela Lee Chen; Debbie Nordeen. 7804 NBU/1319 Barta Ave. Prague,OK 74864 1-405-567-4774

ambhc@allegiance.tv http://www.ambhc.org/


73hau’s 5uinmer 2008 Western 7our Dtinerctnj The dates of Bhau’s upcoming visit to the U.S. are now locked, and he has given the go- ahead to send this out. April July 2008 . Saturday, 26th April leave Ahrned nagar . Sunday, 27th April rest in Bombay th Monday 28 April travel Bombay to lVlyrtle Beach Tuesday, 29th April through Monday, 19th May; Myrtle Beach Contact: Meher Spiritual Center 10200 N Kings Highwa Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 Phone: (843) 272-5777 Email: gateway@mehercenter.org www.mehercenter.org . Tuesday, 20th 1\’Iay travel from Myrtle Beach to Fresno -

S

S

Wednesday, 21st May through Monda 30th June iVieherana Contact: P.O. Box 1997 Mariposa CA 95338, Phone/fax: (209) 966-5078, email: info@meherana.org Including: . Friday, 23rd May Monday, 26th May Memorial Day Weekend Meherana Spring Sahavas For contact information, see above . Tuesday, July 1 travel from Fresno to Los Angeles Wednesday, 2nd July Thursday, 3rd July rest . Frida July 4 Sunday, July 6 Los Angeles Silence Day Sahavas Contact: Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California S

-

1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 Phone: (323) 731-3737 Email: info@meherabode.com wwwmeherabode.corn . Monday 7th July Sunday, 13th July stay with Mahmoud and Nasrin Ajang . Monday, 14th July Travel Los Angeles to Bombay Tuesday, l5thJuly Wednesday, 16th July Arrwe Bombay, Rest -

-

S

-

-

Seclusion, L1niversct! Vork, and J4/Ictnifestcttion Bhau Kaicliuri • Meherabad ge after age, the Avatar comes down upon the earth. He spends time in seclusion for His Universal Work. Beloved Baba also did this. Generally, mandali members would be with Him, but once, it so happened that when Baba was in seclusion, He said, “This is My seclusionin-seclusion.” No mandali members except Eruch and me were allowed to see Him. I would keep night watch and do correspondence. Sometimes, He wanted the letters He had received read out. Eruch would read those in English, and I would read those in Hindi. Baba would not dictate any replies. He wouldjust listen. He was deeply engrossed in His seclu sion work. This seclusion-in-seclusion made other mandali members restless. He would not come to mandali Hall; He would remain in His own room, not seeing anyone. That last phase of seclusion, which started in 1967, was really most exhausting. In January 1969, when Baba was getting spasm after spasm, He said, “When I was Jesus, I was only crucified for one day. But no one knows how now I am crucified every day”

A

Those two years of His seclusion were unimaginably hard because He remained so engrossed with the world. Not only did He take upon Himself the burden of the world, but He also created a situation for the world to free itself from that burden, so that the world might get awakened towards God. During one night watch, I was thinking, “Baba does not see anyone. His lovers write letters, but sometimes He does not have them read out. His lovers expect a few loving xrords from Him, but He neither listens nor responds to their letters. How must they be feeling?” “What are you thinking?” Baba asked me. As usual, I replied, “Nothing, Baba.” “Nothing? You are thinking, and still you say nothing? You think that I don’t meet i\’Iy lovers, that when they write letters to Me, I don’t listen or respond to them? “You have no idea what will happen to those who have seen Me physically, as well as those who have not. Do you have any idea what I am doing for them?” He pounded His legs, the sign for His seclu sion work. “This I am giving to them. Af

terwards, you will see what will happen to them, who have seen Me physically as well as those who have not. You have no idea what I am doing for them. Ifthey come to ]VIe, what vill they see? This physical body. I am giving them the real thing.” And again He made the sign for His seclusion work. Another night, again after I had received manyletters, I was thinking, “How to reply?” Once more, Baba asked, “What are you thinking?” Again, I said, “Nothing.” “You have no idea what I am passing through because of 1VIy seclusion work,” Baba said. “I am stretching and stretching My bow. When I release My arrow that arrow will touch every heart in the world. You will see rhat happens afterwards.” During His seclusion work, He continued to stretch and stretch that bow. Ultimately; on 31st January 1969, He dropped His body and released His arrow This is the reason more and more people are coming to Him. A day will come when the whole world will come. That will be His Univer sal Manifestation.

7


LAnnouncements 2’Iew J’l4inirnum .}lge for Children a.t J4/kiiercthad. From the Chairman ofthe Trust, 6 December 2007 Dear Baba Family, aba lovers around the world often ask me why we have set an age limit for children coming to Meherabad from outside India. This xras started when ]Vlani was Chairman ofthe Trust and was based on a directive given by Baba for a darshan programme that the Westerners coming for the darshan not bring children under age seven. Dr. Goher was also very concerned about the health risks for young children and the lack of medical facilities to cope with serious problems. Now we feel with the passage oftime and our new accommodation facility at Meherabad, it is time to re-evaluate this long—standing rule. After consulting with the Trustees and the rolunteer staff at the iVieher Pilgrim Retreat, the Pilgrim Reservation Office, and the medical team at Meherabad, I would like to welcome Baba lovers from abroad to stay on the Trust estate with children from the age of six upwards. However, all the many reasons for re stricting the age are still very much with us, and there are many concerns that parents need to be aware of when planning to bring young children. Please understand that permission to bring six-year old children does not mean that Meherabad is a risk-free zone for them. There are a lot ofpotential hazards, and parents need to realize that they will have to look after their children at all times. Parents should read careftally the “Guidelines for Parents Bringing Children to Meherabad” before coming on pilgrimage with any child up to the age of twelve. I am also sometimes asked whether Baba has said anything about the spini:ual significance of the development of children and in particular about the age of seven. During the dictations Baba gave me that resulted in the book The Nothing and The Everything, Baba did explain about this. Baba said that before the age of seven, one’s past sanskaras are not functioning at all. Only from the age of seven does the spending of past sanskaras and the col

B

8

lecting of new sanskaras begin. And for the initial period between ages seven and thirteen the operation of sanskaras is not in hill force but is in the beginning of its unfolding. From age thirteen the impressions begin to fimction Lilly and there is something like an explosion of sanskaras, both good and bad. Between ages thirteen and eighteen the young person must be looked after by the adults with utmost love and sensitivitybecause ofthis explosive stage of the operation ofsanskaras. These children must not be harshly blamed for what they do, but they must also not be allowed to do whatever they like without guidance. It is a critical time and the responsibility is on the parents to handle the children of this age very lovingly. After the age of eighteen, the exchange of impressions functions normally. With loving wishes to our Baba family and its children of all ages, Bhau

c_/4re }Joujoiiig rDown 11nder in June? A message from Bernard Bruford for the Avatar’s Abode Trust and the 50th Anniversary Planning Committee. Our Beloved Avatar Meher Baba came Avatar’s Abode from 3rd—6thJune 1958 to named the property This year when He seven-day programme to there will be a celebrate and commemorate this Jubilee Anniversary of His visit. The Avatar’s Abode Trust and its 50th Anniversary Planning Committee take delight in announcing a ronderfnJ list ofguest speakers and performers who have all now confirmed their forthcoming attendance to join the celebrations and will be enriching our seven-day programme. In alphabetical order: . Avatar Meher Baba Bombay Centre Performing Group. This renowned group will be presenting two plays, and also, Meherveena will share her Songs of Huma, and Cyrus Khambata will be presenting a talk. . Cindy Lowe from America . Dara and Amrit Irani from

1’vleherabad. Elaine Cox from America Jal and Dolly Dastur from 1\’leherabad. . Mehernath and Raj Kaichuri from Ahmednagar.. . Raine Eastman-Gannet from America. . Ted Judson from Meherabad. . Ward Parks from Meherabad. Progressive news and announcements will appear periodically on the Avatar’s Abode web site wwavatars.corn.au An updated list of motels and prices is the latest addition. An invitation will appear on the web site. The Planning Committee is assuming that this anniversary celebration will be with increased numbers but it is difficult to calculate how many people might attend. This impacts on the hiring of necessary infrastructure, Mrhjch needs to be booked in advance. If you are thinking of coming, your response is still requested and is needed for our planning. Please email the Planning Committee at 50aa2008@westnet.corn. au,ormailto P0 Box 184,Woombye Q1d 4559 Australia. To those who respond we look forward to being in continuing closer contact and doing what we can to facilitate your participation. Please note that original planning and publicity was for a five-day anniversary which has now been extended to seven days. .

S

73iink Ahead! ..A4ake ci EL?equest. Bhau Kaichuri -Trust Chairman To aM U.S. Baba followers: The Trust has important information to give you ifyou wish to make a bequest to the Trust. The Trust has been advised that bequests to the Trust receive the same federal tax benefits as bequests to U.S. charities. They are fully deductible for federal estate tax purposes and no federal income tax is withheld when the Trust is the beneficiary of an income tax-deferred investment, such as an IRA, 401(k) or other retirement account or annuity Local tax deductions and exemptions will vary by


state. ‘Thu should consult your for all legal and tax advice, and let your attorney know that the Trust’s Affidavit Equivalency to a US. Public Charity and its U.S. Counsel’s Withholding Tax Exemption Opinion are available from the Trust upon request. Please, if you wish to make a bequest the Trust, ask your attorney to consider using the following language in your Will or trust or in the beneficiary designation forms for your retirement accounts, anand life insurance policies (please do not omit the word “Corpus” which has under Indian law): “To the then Trustees of the Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, a public charitable trust under the Bombay PublicTrusts Act (1950), located in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra State, India, to be added to Corpus and used exclu sively for its public charitable uses and described in section 2055(a)(3) ofthe Internal Revenue Code of1986, as amended.” Ifyou wish to send a copy ofyour Will or your Beneficiary Designation for your retirement account or insurance policy to the Trust, we are happy to receive a copy. of course, the original will should be kept in a safe place where your family or advisors will be able to locate it, and the original Beneficiary Designations should be filed with the custodian ofyour retirement account or the insurance company ( for insurance policies). Copies may be sent to: The Chairman, Avatar Meher Baba PPC Trust, P0. Bag No. 31, King’s Road, Ahmednagar, MS, 414001 India. For gifts you make to the Trust during lifetime, you can help the Trust by indicating on your check or wire transfer instructions, or in your cover letter or e mail regarding your gift, that your gift is “For Corpus.” attorney

of

to

nuities

significance

purposes

your

)3ounj Adult Sahavas

2008 J4lekerctbad

News From the Committee. J al Dastoor, Shridar Kelkar, Ramesh Jungle, Heather Nadel, Mehera Kleiner, and Flint Mednick. happy to announce that the We fvleherabad Young Adult Sahavas 2008 will be held this year from August 3rd to August 9th. adult Baba lovers from We join the Meherabad to world around the Jessica

are

invite young

Young Adult Sahavas and be a part of this special opportunity to be together in His divine companionship at Meherabad. During the Sahavas 100 young adults the world between the ages all will gather at Meherabad to and 35 of 19 in the company of together six spend days ofthis “Sa keynote One.The the Ancient Baba’s Meher of havas” is the celebration expression creative sharing, love through ( such as art, music, and drama), and service at Meherabad. The Sahavas also provides wonderful volunteer opportunities. If you have been to the Sahavas before, you can join the Sahavas as a ‘Sahavas Volunteer’ by filling out the volunteer section of the applica tion form. If you are over 35 and would like to participate please write to us and let us know how you would like to help as help with there are many workshops art ba musical programs, the and more! We are also in need of Meherabad residents who can provide the Sahavasees with opportunities to serve at Meherabad. The Sahavasees are hard working, enthu and love to serve their Beloved in His Home. Ifyou would like to help out and be a part of the Sahavas in this way please email us! For more information about the Sa havas, and the application form, see the website at http://ambppct.org/events/sa havas.php If you have specific questions about the Sahavas, being a participant, a volunteer, or are a resident offering a service project email Jessica at mbyas@ ambppct.org. from

over

opportunities to

siastic,

Blow Dnternational Beloved Archives celebrates next year 42 years of publishing Glow Interna Eional the magazine Melter Baba called “His infant” and asked me to “nurture with care.” We keep the promise made to the Master by bringing His teachings to seekers worldwide as a measure of spiritual development and growth. We celebrate the coming of the New Year with a year-end issue of Glow International on the Great Gathering of 1958, a landmark gathering of love and togetherness. For the first time we feature the Diary ofMeher Baba’s mandali, Feram Workingboxwala, to whom Meher Baba said at the start of the Sahavas, “Feram,

don’t leave it half-done, and don’t shorten what I say either.” It is a Glow exclusive. Our February 2008 issue of Glow Inwill once again feature unpub lished Discourses ofMeher Baba. It is our Annual Teachings ofMeher Baba issue. Each quarter we mine through Beloved Archives, a vast repository ofrare material on Meher Baba’s life, work and teachings, and illustrate unpublished discourses with rare photographs, and publish articles, and diaries and features from our network of correspondents, with one goal in mind: to make a difference in the lives ofour readers and help them improve the quality oftheir spiritual lives. And we can continue to bring fresh flowers from the Beloved’s garden only if subscribe and contribute generously to help us publish the Beloved’s magazine each year. It is your support; your assis— and your love that helps us bring out four very special issues each year. Please send your donations and subscriptions to: Beloved Archives, 7Vslhitney Place, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550, USA. Credit card payments available through our website: www.belovedarchives.org. Thank you for your continued support. In the service ofMeher Baba, Naosherwan Anzar ternational

interviews

you

tance

73aba Sites on the Dnternet Meher Baba’s Irani site was updated: wwwmeherbabairani.com.

s! 0 73anish those ‘Bu Michalene Seiler, Los Angeles Here’s a tip from the World Travellers’ Manual ofHorneopathy(Dr. Colin Lessell). By changing our internal scent, many arthropods (mosquitoes, ticks, etc.) will find us less appealing and seek their meals elsewhere. Less bites mean less chance of chikungunya, dengue, malaria, etc. Taking just one tablet a day of Vitamin Bi (thiamine, 50 mg) and odorless garlic ( 400 mg) can be enough, but be sure to start at least a MTeek or two in advance of your trip to an infested area. The scent change is internal, so no worries about being mistaken for a Mediterranean side dish. And needless to sa a natural DEET free repellent such as Repel Lemon Eucalyptus can only add more protection. Happy (bug-free) trails! 9


Service Opportunities at LAvatar .24eher EBaba 7rust Debjani Ray, Meherabad Meher Selfless Service Opportunity’, located at the MPC in room M3 at Meherabad, is a new venture for Baba lovers who wish to volunteer their services. At this office, willing volunteers can find out what work is available so that they can identify- what best suits their skills and fits their time frame. The office will also provide an orientation to help volunteers adust to the requirements ofserving Baba at Meherabad and Meherazad. This is another active phase of Baba’s work as Meherabad and Meherazad are growing rapidly—Meherabad with the newMPR, the new facilities at the MPC, the expanding library etc. and Meherazad, with its newly located and larger Meher Free Dispensary and the newly finished Archive building. Ifyou are free to come serve, dedicated Baba lovers are needed in a1l facets ofwork here, especially those who can come for longer periods oftime as well as permanently. For example, skilled mcdical volunteers, hardy reforestation helpers, librarians, editors, archive helpers, those with computer and typing skills, anyone able to lead and organize special events and most especially those who may or may not have specific skills but are willing to serve as needed. As development continues, we are finding that volunteers are needed not only during the busy season, but also throughout the year. Permanent workers are also required in some places, but do contact us in advance so that we can inform you of the details pertaining to permanent residency. Also please keep in mind that since the Trust is unable to fttllylook after the expenses of volunteers at this time, you need to be practical and make sure your financial condition is secure and your worldly responsibilities are looked after. Ifyou have an interest in coming closer to Baba through active service here, now is the ideal time. It is a wonderfiil oppor tunity and a great blessing. For more information, please e-mail: meher. selfless. service@gmail.com

7rust Wébsite /lrcItives A recent addition to theTrust website is the Archives section, which was launched a few months ago. For the past several years,

nearly every week—via Tavern Talk—letters to or from Beloved Baba and installments of the Combined Diary were sent out. This was just the beginning of opening up each cupboard and trunk in the Trust’s archives and inviting the readers to have a look online. Via this new section of the website the opportunities to share electromcally are greatly expanded. For example, in the Diaries section is a very exciting offering; some of Chanji’s Diaries. Framroze Dadachanji (Chanji) kept dozens of diaries during the nearly 20 years he served as Baba’s first secretary Ten of them were initially made available andjust recently five more, covering 19361940, have been posted. Additionally the Inteffigence Notebooks, the original manuscript which formed the basis for the book Infinite Intelligence, are also presented in the manuscripts section. The materials are initially available to be downloaded as pdfs, but we are hard at work on a more interactive version of the site which will be easier for people to use, with organizational selection aids to locate specific materials. there are still some technical hurdles to deal with, but when the new pages are readyTavern Talk subscribers will be the first to know. In the meantime, please do visit the Archives section at: http://wwwarnbppct.org/ar chives/index.htnil. Tavern-Talk mailing list Tavern—Talk@ ambppct.org: http://avatarmeherbaba. org/mailrnanllistinfo/tavern-talk.

just like the original—and at a fraction of the price. The world’s best museums use giclee (jhee-CLAY) prints to show unobtainable original works. Check out the first 8 of these giclees available on Charlie’s website: www. MillsStudio.com—and click on Giclee Prints.

J4’larble 1ainting La Canica Azul (The Blue Marble), acrylic painting by Vicente Herrero Heca. Painting can be seen in color at: http://vicenteherreroheca.blogspot. corn! To read a fill commentary on the painting by Kendra go to: http:!!kendrasnotebook.blogspot. corn!2008!03!meher-baba-and-bluernarble.html

as defined by Avatar JIleIter 73aba 11 “JPoise

Bangalore, April 1940

T

his Discourse on ‘Poise’ was given by Baba during one of the first days of His journey with 40 of His close ones as He left Bangalore. It was an explanation given by Baba to the women mandali: “What you have been doing always is thinking of yourself, so now you must not think ofyourself, but think of others. This is what is called ‘love’. But it needs character, poise, perseverance. Poise what is it? That state of mind where nothing excites you, nothing upsets you. Only ifyou have poise can you help others, then only can you make other happy. That means love: thinking not of yourse1f, but of others. If you are in the Sahara, and for four days you have no water to drink and all of a sudden, one bottle ofwater appears, how do you react? Ifyou have poise, you will let —

¶.Paintings of J1/1eher 7.3aba by Charlie Jl/lilis Mills Studio celebrates Meher Baba’s birthday by making a special offer on its new giclee prints of paintings of Meher Baba by Charlie Mills. These are high resolution archival giclee prints on canvas—ready to stretch and frame

continuedonpage 10


2<now 1kfore ou9o(Buç9O!

THELIsT :

PILGifiMAGE PLANNER FOR WESTERNERS Hium Tips: Rejillprescriptions to last beyondrrivaihome; keep in carry-on. Ao ‘chots. “Mostpeople who take cholera vaccineget no benefit but suffer side ctJcts! (Topreventcholera, eat in the MPR or the B7 or “boil it, cook it, p eel it orforget it. ‘) DaIlygarlic cmdBlfor two weeks before departure, and after arriving, mayprevent mosquito bites; useDEETrepelient, tuck mosquito netting arounclbed Pay attention to drinking water; disinfect hands often. Check health insurance. consider travelinsurance.Aliow time afteryougethome to readjust. Ifnotwell, doWtgo!

PLAN: Money, passport, air reservation, visa, room at MPR. BUnGET: Plan two weeks for about $1500 including US airfare; staying longer costs less than $100/week, so stay longer. PHoTos from drug store: 2 for passport, 2 for Visa, 2 for MPR. PAssPoRT: Valid 6 months past stay. Applications http://travel. state.gov/passport/forms. May take 3-4 months! Send photos, birth certificate, $97 plus mailing. FLIGHTS: Seek cheap charter flights in publications at Asian groceries or ria agents specializing in India; web search “cheap flight to Mumbai.” Bad connections may mean empty seats (stretch out); mileage upgrade to first class lie-flat seat? Refuel in favorite city: make 24-hour layover to break trip. 20 to 30 hours flying. Air India & Delta fly nonstop from JFK to Mumbaiin 15-16 hrs. Vishttp://wwwtravisa.comJ Instructions/indiainst.htrn. Fee, application, passport, air $65 six months, fl55 ten years. Allow 2 weeks minimum. TIME: New York 6 AM is 4:30 PM Meherabad. 9 PM LA is 10:30 AM there. J ET LAG: Try to synchronize your schedule with India time as best you can before leaving ifyour worl permists. MPR: No kids under 6. Six weeks before arrival request reservations for up to one week, then as available. (Note holidays.) Pilgrim Reservation Office: pimco.ambppct@gniail.com or phone 91.241.254.8733. Cite: home address hone, short personal introdtction, names, birthdates, crender, exact arrival and departe dates/times, nationalit

ON

snacks, amusements, prescriptions, anything non-replaceable. Nothing sharp. Read fine print on ticket for airline rules! BE A “MULE.” Ask Listserv, PRO and Dma what needs transporting. WEAR: a Baba button.

Litwi AT i-IOME: shorts, low necklines, tight or sheer garments, valuables, cell phones, worries. IN AIIMEDNAGAR: Meher Nazar Compound, Trust, iVleher Baba Centre (devotional music Saturday evenings), Meher Nazar Books, shopping, restaurants. ATM! IN MEFIERABAD AND MEHERAZAD:

Seclusion Hill is eroding; use care. Baba’s Room; Blue Bus; Jhopdi, Rahuri Cabin, Cage Room, Table House for meditation and prayer. Baba’s bicycle in the museum; archives. Sit in the Samadhi. History tour. Jam sessions, volleyball games, walking trails, gardens and verandahs, library olunteer opportunities. ‘Iaster T technique for washing laundry, hair, body with two buckets of water. Motor rickshaw to bazaar Meher Tailor. At Meher Darbar phone calls to US are Rs. 8/minute; check your email. Ice cream and good coffee at The Blue Tank (BT) Café. tour

in

Hot and Dry 5

p

JUN

Rickshaws, /aundrt. internet, gifts. garlands, snacc, tours, incidentals: $5-1O/da? Can Ifind a travel buddy osi the Lstserv or invite a friend?

S

-tMonths: 4plyfor Passport

or

WHAT NOT TO

7-814/èeks: Set dates: hook/lights

shoes in theSarnadhi and some other places; look for signs. Limit contact with local people (drivers, shopkeepers, tailors, hotel staff, army) to business matters. Do not sell anything to anyone. Do not cash money with anyone. Ignore begars and peole shouting ‘Jai Baba” or asking your. name. Do not ayproach, feed or touch animals. Lock valuables in Registration Office or an MPR closet or leave home. Do not leaVe belongings unattended. Use auto-rickshaw thced rates. Do not tip. Do not photograph military sites or equipment or enter military areas. Unmarried couples do not share a room in a hotel or elsewhere. Do not hold hands, embrace or express affection in public. Anyone not entirely free of illicit subsances will not be accommodated. Ifyou normally take a prescription here, take it there, especi y psychiatric! Don’t pocket chunks of Seclusion Hill, E be called Seclusion Pit. When you leave Meherabad, go straight home. CULTuRE SHoCK: Greetino— fold hands and tilt head ford: Namaste. Many Indians are vegetarian and do not drink alcohol. Vomen dress modestly, even on beaches. Rapidly growing educated classes speak nglish. You will see extreme poverty Most toilets require you to squat. Be prepared to enjoy sensory overload. Aiuuwu. IN MEHERuiAD: Register at the Pilgrim Office, hit the white rock trail, pay respects at the Tomb:

.

.

soon to

.

.

Velcorne Iione!

in

o

_Flashlight, batteries _Adapter(220V5A, 3 large round pins in a triangle) _Toiletrybag to hang on ahook Pifiow ifyou are particular plugs Camera, dustproofcase, batteries, p or memory _DEET insect repellent _Toilet paper and tissues _Tel towel, face cloth _Dia1Y tape, art supplies,

stationerY Anti-inflammatories, bandaids, antibiotic ointment, a fewpills to

diarrhea, strains, heartburn, mn50h,

colds

_Moleskin for incipient blisters

_Arnica orTraumeel _Hand disinfectant, moisturizer

_Safety pins, sewing kit, pocket kmfe, nail clipper _Saitarr supplies, shaving gear Travel alarm, iPod ihampoo, soap, deodorant, dent gear, foil-wrapped wipes _Contact lens kit, spare specs _Copies of prescriptions plements _Herbal tea or instant coffee Sand4ich-size zip bags _Nalgene water bottle & sttap Snacks, raisins or trail mix JJust mask _Pegs, soap, marker for laundry _Light shoulder bag (men too) _Books, toys, games for kids _Collapsible dufflebag, empty _lnstrument or sheet music _Whole spices make a nice gift _Children’s clothing and toys for

Pumpkin House Orphanage

Hot,Dry

Dry and 9to 7

Warm and Dry Nov OCT

Ji::1

DEC

FEB

MAR

, ‘

Dhuni on 12th atsunset

4 e

Samadhi openfrom 6:3Oziw to 8 PM with Arti at 7:00AM &PM. MeIerazad bus on Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday.

Book car and driver Mumbai to Ueherabad (‘Pathaiz)

S

Do:

Rules for Pilgrims are based on Baba’s directives and should be honored at all times. Do not travel alone at night. (For women this means sunset). Maintain silence and around the Tomb. No

Rainy and 6W to 86 Jui SEP AUG

:

CARRY-oN: Documents, books,

reservations.

in

To MEHERABAD:

Arrange a safe 6-hour ride with Pathan: pathani3@yahoo.com. tel. 011+91.982.324.7022 or 241.232.5022, meherbabatours. com.

Document copies in each bag _Rainwear (June—Oct.) _Coat, gloves, scarf hat (Nov.— Feb.) Jacket, shawl or sweater _Sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen Three changes lightweight, layerable, conservative clothing socks and undies _Pajamas and light robe or shawl _Two pairs comfortable broken-in walking shoes, easy off& on

.

$1 40 Rupees try cratslist. corn

6 I42eks: MPR reservations by email (Rs 270/day includes 3 meals, 2 teas)

Msifpets, house, plants, yard arrangements

?e

Break iOUrntV Check Trust and in Paris? We/conic Home websites TT Pack bags, stop check credit care’s 6 hours: mazi. pay bills hours: (JS to Mumbai to far exchange rates &ATMji?es; buy Mumhai Meherabad travelers checks

Firm up mule duty 3-4Weks: Appjhr Visa

4 e

. II

S


w 3,first /1mctrtithi 7 Thefoiowing article was written February 1, 1969, author unknown.

A’iy 7iine 2/as Come

I,

VATAR MEHER BABA DROPPED HIS PHYSICAL BODYATTWELVENOON 31JANUARY AT MEHERAZAD TO LIVE ETERNALLY IN THE HEARTS OF ALL HIS LOVERS STOP BELOVED BABA’S BODYWILL BE INTERRED AT MEHERABAD ARANGAON ON 1 FEBRUARY AT 10 A.M. IN THE TOMB HE HAD ORDERED TO BE BUILT LONG AGO. Adi K. Irani Cable received worldwide by His lovers 1 Feb. 1969. Statements from Baba’s enigmatic Final Declaration become especially irn— portant. He explains that such events as the “dropping” of His body were foretold both in our language and in His own, the meaning ofwhich “only the fulfillment of events” can make clear. “It is really very difficult for any one to believe and understand what I say, because none can grasp the meaning underly— ing fVIy rords It is natural even for My intimate mandali not to understand My Final Declaration; but I want you to take everything that I said in Meherabad dur ing the Meetings very seriously because all that I said was the truth, they were words ofGod, and all the things said must come to pass exactly in the manner described by [‘vIe. “From the day I declared in i\’Iehe rabad that there will be the destruction of three-fourths of the world, that a strange disease will attack My bod that I will suffer humiliation, that I will break My silence and speak one word, the Word of words, that there will be My Glorification, and that finallyl will drop Mybodywhen I shall be stabbed in the back, Mylovers and others have been unnecessarily confused, and they all have been trying to interpret rvIy words in different ways. “Everyone is free to interpret My words in any way they think and feel. But one thing I tell you, that whenever I say a thing I naturally use My own ‘language’, and whatsoever is said by Me is Truth. But, My ‘language’ is such that none can understand or grasp the underlying meaning of what I say; therefore, when I want to say a thing I

A

12

have simultane ously to make use of your language also, knowing rell that you rould understand noth— ing whatsoever if I were to make y ‘lan4 use of l\ guage’ alone. “In order to help you to understand lVIy Final Declaration, and to put to an end to your conftision and worry, I want aU ofyou to know that when you see i’vle dic tate on My alphabet board during the meetings at IVleherabad, and heard about: 1)A strange disease attacking My body: It was said in your language. 2)The humiliation that I will suffer: It was said in your language. 3)The breaking ofMy silence and My uttering the one Word of words: It was said in My own ‘language’ and simultaneously in yours, because when I utter that Word it will be an audible word to you. 4)1VIy Glorification: It was said simultaneously in 1v’Iy language and yours. 5)The destruction ofthree-fourths of the world: It was said in My own language alone. 6)The stab in My back: It was said in My own language alone. 7) The dropping ofMy body: It was said in My own language and simultaneously in yours. “Consequently, whatever is said by Me in your language, you are able to understand and know what is said; but, that which is said in My own ‘language’ is impossible for you to understand, however much you all may try to interpret and grasp

the underlying meaning behind My words. Only the fulfillment of events can unfold to you, in due course, the meaning ofwhat is said in My own ‘language’.” All this that is destined to take place is unavoidable, yet the resultant effects can be modified in two different ways ac cording to the relative circumstances. The modification of the affects of a destined plan can on the one hand either affect the intensity, scope, shape or size of the chain of events, or on the other hand bring about a considerable change in the the most important factor of time.” and significant point is that definitely and emphatically the link between My physical body and all My external activities as carried on up to now will be dropped by April 1955, and there will take place an immeasurable change in the external relations between Me and those who are closely connected with Me. So that ifl do not drop i’vly physical body, I will yet, so to say, ‘die’, for I will then become actually dead to the world up to the end of the modified period oftime.” (The God-Man, 28 278 pp. O) “There is now no time limit. Things may happen after one month or three “.

. . .


months, after three years or twenty years. In short, I may speak tomorrow or after ten years. I am free from all promises, bindings, undertakings and arrangements. .It is now for you to decide whether to hold on to My daarnan, believing in Me and remaining devoted to Me, by follow— ing My orders and instructions. (The Die Is C’ast, pJ5) “My manifestation as the Avatar of the time will be of short duration. This short period will, in quick succession, cover My humiliation, the breaking of My silence, 1’vly glorification, and My violent physi cal end. Everlastingly with all the divine bliss within Me, I eternally suffer for one and all thus I am crucified eternally and continually for alL” Awakener, Vol.11, No.3, 82 l8 pp. ) “When the Greatest of all says, ‘I am the Greatest’, it is but a spontaneous expression of an infallible Truth. The strength of His greatness lies, not in rais ing the dead, but in His great humiliation when He allows Himself to be ridiculed, persecuted and crucified at the hands of those who areweak in flesh and spirit.” (Meher Babac Call) “I want to tell you one important thing which each ofyou must remember well. It is a fact that I am the Lord ofthe Universe. I am omnipresent. Now the time is fast approaching and I clearly see the ‘dark cloud’ hovering. I see its picture. By this I am not referring to the recent motor cident that has already come to pass. The ‘humiliation’ that I was referring to since long is within sight. During that phase of My life there is every possibility that I may slip off your hands. “Now let Me first explain what I mean by humiliation. Suppose you are loved by some one very dearly for several years and, one day when you happen to meet him, he suddenly begins to abuse you, kick you and spit on your face; in the context ofyour previous relations with him, your plight becomes an example of humiliation. In the same ways if some persons, who have previously adored Me and raised Me up to the skies in adoration for years, suddenly turn against 1\’Ie and express extreme disdain for Me by throwing Me in filth, will be another “Thu have read example ofhumiliation in the Gospels wherein Christ had said to His Apostles, ‘you will deny Me’. This did happen when Peter the chief Apostle denied Jesus. The thing is that during the phase of humiliation the circumstances will so array themselves that you won’t be . . .

-

aware rhen 1vIy ‘daaman’ has slipped off your hands. At that time, you may even feeljustified in leaving Me. “But ifyou feel that this should not happen, there is one remedy. You should grasp well, all what I say; and understandingly act up to it. In short, I clearly see the ‘dark cloud’. I do not but this is My loving warning to you so that My ‘daaman’ may not slip off your ) 4 hands!” ( Wrrningfrorn Baba, pp.2....“At the time ofJesus, I uttered many warnings, yet none could grasp in advance about My crucifixion. “The dark cloud is very, very near to bursting and I have to take the whole force ofit upon Myself You can have no idea ofwhat that will mean for Me—itwill be like hell itselfbursting upon Me on earth. Be resolved to hold fast to y daaman even when this cloud bursts; 4 I\ you will thereby share in My Work.” (The God-Man, p. l) 29 “The Work can be compared to the amassing and arranging in a universal heap the accumulated rubbish of man’s ignorance in illusion that enmeshes him in the false and prevents him from realizing his true identity “The result will be as 1V[y applying the match to this rubbish heap. “The stage of humiliation to follow will be as the smoke that will first result, getting into your eyes and ‘blinding’ you, creating confusion and trying to envelope you. Do not let it confound you or get you in a panic. “The fire that will follow will clear away all the smoke ofdoubt and confusion, its light will reveal the One Truth that Is, and all that is not will perish in its consuming flames. This is I\ly Glorification. “Do not worry. Be happy in My love and continue to hold fast to my daaman to the very end. Rest assured that all will be Divinely well. God does not abandon those who trust Him. They who love Me and obey Me as I should be loved and obeyed, will one day be similarly loved and obeyed. Those who have today willingly chosen to become my slaves, rill become true masters tomorrow.” (The God-Man, p. l) 35 “Just as I am now quite unable to do so many physical things unaided, in spite of an otherwise healthy body, I may at the time of the impending crisis, become even mentally helpless, without being mentally deranged in the least. You may then not be able to continue to hold on to i’vly daaman because circumstances will seemingly justifr your letting it go. I am infinitely merciftil, and so repeat the same thing again and again so that you may

remember My words and try your best to cling to Me. For example, in a sudden and terrifying earthquake, any man, in the blind hope of saving his life, is likely to run, forgetting in an instant his family and all his possessions, and thus forsake them before he realizes what he has done.... If it is destined that My daaman should slip from your hands, it will; but it is for Me to warn, and for you to remain alert.” (Awakener, Vol.V1II, No.1, p.3) “Maya, being the Showman, displaying things that do not really exist, will make everything, including My health, bod energy, words and promises. go against Me, and this will automatically test the faith of My lovers. But the only thing that Maya cannot go against is :l\’ly work, because Maya itself is the means ofbringing about the results ofMywork. “Maya, being My instrument for fulfilment of l\’Iy Work, has to do its utmost to bring about the utmost results ofthis Work. “Maya, having existence only in non-existence, will, in the end, give way to the one and only Reality that is God. And so God will manifest in His Glory “I rant all my lovers to guard against Maya’s tricks and hold firmly to My daaman.” (The God-Man, p. ) 349 ....“Though all happenings are in the realm ofillusion, a great so-called tragedy is facing Me and My lovers. My long pected humiliation is near at hand “The love, courage and faith ofMylovers will be put to severe test not by Me but by Divine Lax Those who hold fast to Me at the zenith of this crisis will transcend illusion and abide in Reality “I want My lovers to rest assured that My humiliation and ‘tragedy’ though necessary are but passing phases which are bound to have a glorious end—as is destined.” (Life Circular No. 29,july5, 1956) In the stage ofHumiliation, the mea sure of your love for Me and your pre paredness to obey Me will be tested, not by Me but by the phase of Humiliation itself Blessed will those be among you who will hang on to My daaman through it all, emerging triumphant in the divine glory of v1y Love. “The stage of Glorification to folloç will be when I break My silence with the divine Word—THE WORD that will indisputably assert the existence ofGod, in the mind and heart ofman; that will make the world know that God not only exists, but that HE ALONE exists, infinitely and eternaUy” (The God-Man,

O) 35 p. ‘3


“The point I wish to drive home is that it is never too late to obey Me, that you should obey Me to the end, that you should obey fvle with a courage undaunted by any disaster, and that, above all else, you should obey Me when I stand face to face with the dark cloud. “Although to let go your hold on My daaman is always easy, it is never easy to hold on to it....But if you try with all your heart to do so, I shall surely help you. Once you let go, remem ber that it will be very difficult to grasp My daaman again.” (Baba’s Reminder, 1957, p. ) 7 “I want you to know that I will defi nitely break My silence; and I want you to cling to My daaman till the very end, irrespective ofwhether I speak or not. I am the Highest ofthe High, and love Me not for any spiritual or material gain, nor for the impending breaking of My silence and vly manifestation, but I love Me for Myself being God in human form. “I want you to remain undisturbed and unshaken by the force of life’s currents, for whatever the they too will be ofMy own creation.” (The God-Man, ) 356 355 pp. “There is no peace of mind on this Path. Ifyou .yant peace ofmind then you can get it elsewhere, and in other ways. You can go for nice long walks or listen to soothing music or take sedatives or go to saints and sadhus. But here is not the place to come for it; for ifyou come to Me, remember that the Spiritual Path is fall of hardships and sufferings....” (Divya Vani, XTol.III, No.1) “A post, to stand erect and firm, must have its butt-end sunk well into the ground. Likewise, My lover needs to have the base of his faith deeply embedded in My Divinit if he would steadfast in his love.” (Awakener, Vol. XI, No.2, 1966) “In those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light. And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (Jesus, Mark 13:24-26) “Be composed in the Reality of ]VIy Love, for all confusion and despair is your own shadow which will vanish when I speak the Word” (Meher Baba, 72nd Birthday Message). continued onpg 36 want you to

want you

to

as

circumstances

remain

.

‘4

Christmas in 7I/kherabad Aya Rice • Israel When I first arrived at Meherabad on December 9th, I had no clue that in two weeks I would be on stage playing one of the wise men in the 2007 Christmas play at Meherazad, with hundreds of Baba lovers in the audience. I could hear my Jewish mother laughing in the background, thinking what has her daughter gone to? It all began about 12 years ago, when Michal Sivan ra&ed into my life wearing her Baba pin. She was the most elegant woman I had met, wearing the most colorflu combinations with the most serenity I had ever seen. Her house was a Baba shrine, with colors and children, food, conversa and so much love. Circumstances separated us for nine years, after which Baba decided it was time to return her into my life. It has been a Baba adventure ever since, only I did not know this. Only three months ago on a Friday night, Baba slipped the idea into my mind it Meherabad. I did not know how He had been guiding my life until then. I only knew there were that rere continually guiding my life, and that when I listened carefully, I usually got closer and closer to the place rhere my heart feels most at home. And that has brought me to iVleherabad. That Friday night, I casually threw the ques tion to Michal about coming with her to India. Within ten minutes we were on the phone with El-Al, the Israeli airline booking me a ticket. I simply said Yes. There are so many decisions we make every day, and sometimes the most important ones come in disguise, perhaps we will not realize we are making such a profound decision and take it heavily And so I said yes to Meherabad. I arrived and found myself in a desert. I did not know what to expect; I had not even had enough time to build expecta tions. And thank Baba. I just came and decided this would be a path of saying Yes, and seeing what flowed through. And so, Debjani came with an offer to Christmas play, and the only anlife was “Yes!” About five later doubts settled in. Yet I knew this was something I could not avoid, since I was in Baba’s presence and this was a task He had given me. Just as I was spiraling just over

tions

that

is time for me to go to

rojces

company;

so

so

yrite

a

swer running my

minutes

into my self-doubt mantras, Debani called me for tea, together with my friend Shira Shiror, who would be my partner in putting together the pla along with Wendy Haistead. From that meeting, I knew Baba was this play together and I ras just a tool in the process. He was also trying to teach me something. Following the meeting, I wrote the about an hour. We cast the actors, set up rehearsal times, collected the music and costumes, and within one week our tea-time brainstorm session at Debjani’s was ready to go on stage. It was such an experience—one that brought rue closer to Baba, to stretching myboundaries between religions, to the communit to the group work it involved. I had grown up in the United States Christian friends who decorated their trees and celebrated the holiday, and I had always felt that being J ewish I was not allowed to celebrate this day; that I had my own holidays. And now there was something that moved from a feeling ofblasphemy to a sense of freedom in being able to celebrate the universal meaning in each of our holidays. When thinking ofthis Christmas, most of it was spent in self-work and anticipa tion—perhaps for the birth, or rather the re-awakening, of a new part of my Self The part that transcends boundar and the limits I am so used to imposing on my mind and perhaps in my life. So when thinking of Christmas at Meherazad this year, this is what I think How Baba brought me closer to Him through my involvement in this play, and how I stood behind the stage waiting to feeling connected and amazed with how Baba does His work on each and every one of us, just in the way we need. Backstage, I could hear Santa coming on and off stage with his funny skits, I could feel the pounding of the fancy footwork of the young Indian dancer and the music of the various performers. Later I sat in the audience and watched Hughie’s magic show. It was Christmas in Meherazad and it was beautiful. Jai Baba! going to put

script in

amongst

ies,

time,

of.

perform,

many


uyinj 7rip of 2008 3 7Jie9recttJ.ove &reet J Kathy Hill • Los Angeles ell, I knew when I took over Love Street Bookstore I would be re— sponsible for getting myseifto the Aniar— tithi Bazaar held everyyear in Meherabad, wrhere Baba Centers from all over India sell trinkets, photos, and handmade tchotchkes to support their travel expenses and other overhead. The ‘Amartithi IViall” created to show their wares is a major source of items stocked by the Bookstore, available only there, only then. Many Indian lovers never get to leave home except for this annual chartered bus ride to Amartithi, then these tired pilgrims queue at length for a chance to bow down very briefly on the Eternal Day, herded in and out of the Samadhi in the beat ofa heart. Supporting their cottage industries is a must! Knowing well there was no way I could afford the expenses ofthe trip, considering how disastrous my investments turned out and how this store manager gig is upaid, I cheerfüllybought tickets for myselfand my adult daughter, trusting in Baba to resolve my financial woes at some future time. It was hard for Pagan to get enough time off, so we would be away only 19 nights, but no way she was going to see Inja for the first time without a little bit of touring! I found Bif Soper’s website, http://travelingwiththebeloved.com/in dex.html, very helpful in working out the itinerary ofplaces ofBaba significance that a non-BL might enjoy. We made a quick London to help with stopover in cold jet lag, and then we continued home.

W

wret

.

MAHAL

(ThE cAss-pAAcE) .

Th} WAS ULT YTHE IiUIAt c]NG ø4At4 AAN A A SUMMER PAlACE. T tAS TWO TA4KS WW OU4TA1$ rEFcoNNE-rED i A CANAL AND *wATP FALL (A*). Th$ WATE-DEVCS WERE PRVtEDTO kEEP T COOL AN cM:oRrAa_r .N fl4E SORCNG HEAT OF AGRA. TH GASS-MOA OStJNTWE FEArir F THIS PALACE S WR WftCHHAS REEN DONE N AWDEVARE OF ThCCO ONS, O4 ALL t WALLADGENG!. QLA5$-PECE3 HA E N4 ROf QJAUT AS Th UUNG 1 MADE UPOF THiCK WALLS Wfl4 OILY A FEW OPNW TH tq iti aeQ2R€D ATFAt. L1GHvwHcH cury ro ;N THOSA.VAYS TOUGH TflS GLA-wRK a

.

ITWASNOIA AMMAM. TH•S WA IMPORTED FROM H4LEB (ALPPO N eYrnft. :1s w si .INA45 N5TORAN LAHM3R HAS REF$ti’OjT *s sisiir’ MALE GLASS MOS4C WAS OM•• . SYAH-rNF ART. SHAH JA4AN BUILT GLASSP*...A:AT LAOR AN tLH BU ThS S 4S . .

--

.

:.

-;_.

.

.

.

.

When our plane landed I inhaled that ineffable combination of scents that home to me: cow dung fires, diesel exhaust, topsoil dust composed ofmillions ofcremated humans, incense, blossoming trees, goats. It was a great delight to find that my daughter fell in love with the place right awa

I

W? did a bit oftouring

We had arranged, we thought, to get on the Shatabdi Express to Agra, and transported ourselves in the wee hours of the morning to the proper train station. A helpful guide escorted us through row after row of sleeping travelers, wrapped in blankets like five-foot burritos, on every fiat surface and on up the stairs to the ticket office, which was closed. There was a large rat scurrying about, and folks were rather annoyed at our stepping on them. Our helper examined our “tickets” which were, alas, only an overpriced rail pass that did not in fact include reservations, as I had naively tried to arrange. Dealing with bureaucrats, even when they bring you chai, at three in the morning in freezing weather in the throes ofjet lag, boded ill, and sure enough, the official Government Tourist Office man, arrang ing a car to take us to Agra, managed to travel dollars, charging several times the going rate. Insisting on getting a receipt did no good, 0 Baba, and the rip-offwas a most inauspi cious way to begin what turned out to be... my most fantastic pilgrimage ever!

of a

persistent

moment you

Agra We arrived at our backpacker hotel in Agra deeply in thrall to India’s ancient magic. The weather was so cold that the schools closed, but no matter, we plunged ahead with our L.plans, which involved gallons of hot chai everywhere we went. A little nap and a little cheese toast for breakfast, almost the last time we resorted to non-natn e cuisine and more chas and re iickshaved off to explore Agras Fort, a walled palatial city rich

in history that dates back to about 1080 AD (information is on Wikipedia). Interestingly, the monuments ofAgra are much better protected now than ever before; all the rickshaws operate on CNG or LPG rather than gas or diesel, there is no heavy industry allowed, there are vehicle-free zones surround: ing places like the Taj Mahal (you have to walk the last bit or take a camel cart or other non-polluting conveyance), so the air is much cleaner than elsewhere, and ambitious restoration efforts hold deterioration at bay. It was the night ofthe full moon, but the forecast was for clouds, making the expense ofa night-time Taj visit too much gamble. We adjourned to a rooftop restaurant known for its Taj view, where they serve beer in a teapot. On the way home we tarried at a small shop offering textiles and musical instruments, and made our first purchase for the bookstore: Silky long robes in matching pouches, $40, in deep blue or green with gold patterns. And here I encountered the problem of purchasing goods for Love Street: You can’t buy a dozen identical anything. Items are unique or nearly so. You go through the effort of promoting something on your web page, and bingo, you have to take it right off again the sell one. Baba that’s laborintensive! Unfazed by such setbacks and getting the hang of things with our excellent rickshaw driver, Shabbu, whose driving did not have me performing a terrified jaap as expected among the horsecarts, bullock carts, dogs, goats, cycles and trucks, the next morning we asked him to take us where he eats breakfast, and in a hidden garden restaurant known only to .

separate me from most ofmy

Delhi

mean

mE

r —.

A cornfbrt to be HOM

famous

..

eh le tai& VOId the la3t kilometer to a monument

floflpo//zItiflg

Is


¶JRuri i.3haji 2 Servings

Pun (takes 30 minutes) 2 cups whole wheat flour 2 tbsp. yogurt (curd) water, salt, oil

Timefor “tea’ and a view ofthe Taj as the sun sets

locals discovered Pun Bhaji, a breakfast of fried bread and curried potatoes, which we enjoyed in its splendid variations almost every day until we got to Meherabad. Thus fortified, we set off by car to Fatehpur Sikri about 40 km (25 miles) away. Salim Chisti was a greatly revered Sufi mystic known for fertility miracles. The Mughal Emperor Akbar-e-Azam came seeking an heir and soon the first of

Lena models ourAgra Robe, $40 (/Dma wears hen like a duster)

Mash curd in flour; add salt. Knead with enough water to make soft phable dough. Let rest 15 minutes. Shape into 10 balls. Roll each into 3 or 4 rounds with the help of some flour. Heat oil in deep pan; fry on both sides till light brown (they blow up like balloons). Blot and serve hot with bhaji. Bhaji (takes 15 minutes) 2 potatoes boiled, peeled, sliced 1 onion chopped 2 green chillies chopped 1/2 tsp. ginger finely chopped 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic 3-4 pinches turmeric 1 tsp. lemon juice 1 tbsp oil 1 tbsp. cilantro finely chopped 1/2 tsp. each cumin seed & mus turd seed

Heat oil, add seeds, allow to splutter. Add ginger, garlic, chili and onion and stir ‘til onion is tender. Add po tatoes, salt, turmeric and lemon juice. Stir and cook for a minute or two. Garnish with cilantro. three sons was born to him. Akbar held Chisti in such high regard that he had the great city Fatehpur Sikri built around the saint’s camp. It was the political capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 until 1585, and Akbar’s crowning architectural achievement, then it was abandoned, perhaps due to lack of water. Pilgrims still seek the blessings of Chisti, tying a thread to the lattice around his tomb, as I did in 1969 on my way to the Last Darshan. (Pagan arrived the following year.) To make this experience especially thrilling, enormous nests of wasps guard every entrance, so don’t stop too long admiring the great gates! Some buildings’ intended frmnction is no longer known, but pigeons in their arched nooks high on the wall remain ready to carry messages. Shabbu had warned us ofpersis tent touts (souvenir vendors) to prey upon

Hand-carved windows

our pocketbooks, and our new friend Lena showed us how to cope: Try to sell them something! Flummoxed, they drift away to bother others. After another night with good Agra food and very low temperatures, we checked out of our hotel and headed off to the Taj Mahal, flnally with one of many stops at the train station along the way, having discovered that one could pay bribes, pay expediters, or just spend time waiting in lines for tickets, reservations, confirmations, and finally! seat assignments, the grail ofthe rail traveller. Being in the people-watching capital ofthe uni verse, we did not mind waiting in lines. We saw the “BabyTaj,” at Shabbu’s insistence, but frankly I was reaching overkill with fine Moghul architecture, and too tired to get a lot out ofit. We went to a handicrafts place for a quick lesson in the basics offine marble inlay work, but could not afford to purchase any of the wares. The Taj Mahal, “the jewel of Muslim art in India,” exceeded expectations, as I remembered from 1969 a site lamentably marred by graffiti and trash. No more. Loving renovations have restored damaged inlays and efforts to keep all in good repair are obvious. Handbags are inspected for contraband and visitors may bring little more than a bottle of water. Upkeep is ftmded by the admission charge, about $20 US for a non-Indian. Well worth it. There may never be another structure that takes one’s breath away in this manner unless you count the Samadhi. The train overnight to Aurangabad was chilly but not uncomfortable, with paper packets containing clean sheets, pillowcase, blanket and towel distributed to each fold-down berth, frequent visits by a chai walla and vendors of samosas and other treats, a nice dinner and breakfast. We whiled away the hours chatting with the young men in our compartment


shady tree, one ofthe touts put down his wares and engaged me in friendly conversation, a nice break for both of us. Baba had explained that the voluptuous images were meant to celebrate what the monks were leaving behind. Cave Number 10, the Buddha Cave, was the one Baba liked best. Eruch said that when Baba would bring His mandali here He would recline against one of the pillars and, after eating, enjoy a siesta.

The 34 “caves” —actually excavated out of the vertical face ofthe Charanan dri hills—comprise Buddhist, Hindu and Jam temples and monasteries, built between the 5th and 10th century. My impression was that when the Hindus got there they were determined to out-do the Buddhists, and succeeded. (I liked their parades oflife-size elephants.) Even now, the Buddhist caves are heavily coated with dust, and crumbling, but the Hindu caves are clean and undergoing extensive restoration. \re considered a trip to Shirdi, but we were told that the wait in line for darshan at Shirdi Sai Baba’s tomb is 24 to 48 hours most days of the year. .

.

and learning to play cribbage. Our main complaint was berths positioned in such a way that it’s hard to see out the windows comfortably—and we didn’t want to miss any scenery

Aurangabad & Ellora In this cultural center known for fine weaving, handcrafts, holy places, and nearby cave complexes, we were limited to one night in our hotel due to an elaborate wedding in its grounds. We visited Panchakki, an amazing water-wheel complex dating back to 1695, after spending the day at the Ellora caves, famous for their clabo rate carvings. Here “the major religious philosophies of Buddhism, Hinduism, jainism and Islam. coexist harmoniously as testaments of man’s relationship and devotion to God.” When I rested under a . .

The Buddha Cave in Eiora #10

structures

Ajanta The next day a car took us to the small walled town ofAjanta, about 106 km (66 miles) away After a rest in the Kaila hotel which features solar hot water and a nice view of the caves, we took a walk and happened to enter a small shop through its back door. We were delighted with the wares on display: fine “himroo” weaving, a local specialty (this is where the Jacquard method was invented). Himroo arose in Aurangabad in the reign of Mohammad Tughlaq (c.1300— 1351), a Sultan of Delhi. From the Persian word Hum-ruh, himroo means ‘similar,’ as it replicated “Kumkh wab,” woven in pure gold and silver for royalty only. Himroo is distinctive in appeal, often incorporating Persian designs, and characterized by the subtle flaws developed in the handlooming process. Himroo from Aurangabad is much in demand, and we had seen similar items in much lower quality and much higher prices in other places. Here, silk, wool and locally grown cotton alone and in combinations were

Eiora Goddess

artfully woven in colorful designs. We were entranced. (A tourist asked us why this great stuffwas so inexpensive—what ras wrong with it? Nothing! We were at the source!) I introduced myself to the proprietor in my normal manner: “I volunteer for a spiritual center in America. we support our center with a little retail store, which I am buying for, so I hope you will offer me a wholesale price. and as expected, he asked, “Who is your spiritual master?” and I replied, with little hope of recogni tion (everyone has a Baba, there are so many Babas), “Meher Baba.” The young man lit up like fireworks and practically danced out from behind the counter to give me a hug! Meher Baba! Meher Baba! He dragged me around to the front window where a golden sari was draped . .

. .

,“

‘7


with wax, secret access for customs inspection, freedom from damage guaranteed. The next day, waiting for the shop to open, I went back to the little restaurant and ordered chai. A bus unloaded tvo dozen young men, who spotted a lone paleface female and took turns getting their picture taken with me; by now a familiar routine, our pallor mak ing us exotic. We had no common language, but I made them pay for my chai. Soon my deal with Yusun was completed, and Pagan and I Unburdened ourselves of the trinkets we had been carrying for just such an occasion, bubblebath, stickers, Baba cards, magnets and small toys for his children. Seefine Himroo shawls, sarees and scarves in Up the hill are 29 unforgettable caves, many colois andfabuics on our web page www.lovestreetbookstore.com hand-carved monuments dating from the second century BCE and the 6th and around Baba’s beautiftil image. He had the 7th centuries AD. They contain not just employees (his brothers) shake our hands. sculpture, but phenomenal paintings, He sent out for chai and pulled chairs up considered to be masterpieces ofBuddhist to the counter. art, built under the rule and patronage We were family now. We settled in. He promised his very of Hindu kings. They were abandoned, hidden by overgrowth, and forgotten for best prices, he promised to ship things centuries, to be accidentally rediscovered to me, he promised no worries. Then we in 1819. Thus preserved, we saw on walls spent an hour or three, who’s counting, and ceilings splendid, briffiantly colored admiring nicer and nicer shawls, scarves artvork of dazzling complexity and loveand sarees, in every color and fabric, as liness, each example more breathtaking they unfolded their wares for our delight and amazement. (So soft, so lovely, I think than the last, some marred by graffiti and vandalism, now under repair. I willjust give up sweaters entirely.) Touts are restricted to the lower area Yusun’s grandfather, it seems, was a great admirer ofGandhi, who encouraged ( it’s a long hike up to the caves; you can get people to carry you in a sedan chair) and a all to learn to spin and weave and overcome few gave us small geodes on the way up, poverty through cottage industries. That’s so we would visit their shops on the way why there’s a spinning wheel on the Indian down. We evaded them all by discovering flag. Grandfather took up weaving, and a hole in the fence that led us directly to started a little hand-loom “factory” (about the parking lot without passing through 5 employees). He loved to weave, and the souvenir maze. Our driver brought invented designs reminiscent of the local us back to Aurangabad, where for 100 cave art; his tradition continued with his rupees (about $2.50) we napped in a jailson, and now, his grandsons. cell like “retiring room” in the railroad More chai. More beautiful items. station before catching the train to Pune, Fine quality. Great prices. Reluctantly, and the warmer southern climes at last. we narrowed down our choices. I selected a variety of richly colored saris, from $35 ( Schools were closed in Delhi, it was so cold!) This train ride allowed us to play to $167, in cotton and silk. We hefted with a nice baby as we listened to a gravely the heap to estimate weight. He called ill man taking rasping, choking breaths in his friend at the Post Office to estimate the next berth over. shipping. We embraced as brother and sister. He took us across the street and Pune bought our dinner. I agreed to return in I really really wanted to see Pumpkin the morning to pay. He explained that House again, so we set off armed with a the package would go to the tailor to be map, directions, a photograph. and cir sewn in a cotton covering, seams sealed cled around its neighborhood for an hour, ,.

:::i

. .

stopping everyone on the street, turning down every little alley and byway, without accomplishing this simple mission. We did enjoy Dorabjee’s, a western-style grocery store and food court, getting packets of chai masala to support our new habit, and I was happy to bow down at Hazrat Babajan’s tomb, where a silver-painted tree trunk calls to mind her historic kiss. We treated ourselves to a nice hotel, the Samrat, close to the train station, where we were able to change money, get laundry done, and enjoy a great breakfast every day. Our last morning there, we were seated with another guest, though there were empty tables; it turned out she was freshly returned from Meherabad! The westernized charms of Pune gave something of a culture shock after our previous adventures, but we took full advantage of the colonial city even going to see a Bollywood movie, Sunday. In the huge theater all 20 of us matinee-goers were seated in the same row! There was an intermission, and we stood for the national anthem. Ubiquitous cell phones kept going off and people chatted during the film. The language barrier did not interfere with our enjoyment of a police drama played as a farce with romantic singing and dancing. The Tribal Cultural Museum was closed, so we went to Raja Dinkar Kelkar museum, where one can see a tiny fraction ofone man’s mammoth collection of over 20,000 historic Indian objects, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. I really liked the toys and the musical instru ments, and the cooking implements were


fantastic, especially when we later spotted modern descendants in the bazaars. We found a hippie quadrant featuring some nice shops near the German Bakery, and picked up a few more items for the store, gauze shirts with an Om print and long-sleeved knit shirts (now sold). Once again the proprietor was determined to become a regular supplier, and the shopping was more fun than work. The train to Ahmednagar is at the wrong time of the day, not possible to get there in time to register for the MPR, so once again we hired a car. Meherabad Although it had been five years since my last pilgrimage, the road was soon familiar, and my excitement mounted with each mile along the broad toll road replacing the dusty track I remember. I also remember when there was a wasteland between Ahmednagar and 1vIeherabad, but now the sprawl ofthe metropolis encroaches on the very holiest of precincts. No mind. We registered with patient receptionists in a crush of just-in-timefor-Amartithi arrivals, had a delightful MPR lunch, parked bags in our room and headed for the Samadhi. ItwasJanuary 30.The darshan line was already very long, with almost 24 hours to go before the grand silence. I started with the short lineto visit Babá Cabin before getting in the long queue for the Samadhi, encountering old friends often, and mak ing new ones constantly. The sun streamed under the colorful ruffled pandals and the crowds swelled with every moment, pilgrims from everywhere toting bedrolls and garlands, babies and prasad, loot from the bazaar and hunks of sugar cane. We wondered at the little bushy branches many were enjoying, stopped a family on the path, and had them show us how to shell little pea pods to get at the treats inside, similar in taste and texture to edamame, but I still don’t know what their name is. The grand entertainment had started, with a new act on stage every five minutes, but I ras engaged in conversation with others in line, with or without a cornmon language, and so missed out on the joyful singing and dancing. The Meher English School girls were happy to teach me to count: Ek, do, teen, char panch. The queue took a few hours but who was counting? The fragrance of the Samadhi never changes and it is always worth any srruggle to attain admission. So many would be in line tomorrow, in town only

for the day, I thought it best to shorten the

J an. 31 line by one person since I would be around longer. Dolly Dastoor was there to embrace me. give me prasad and welcome me home. Sensory overload, accumulated exhaustion,jet lag and general fvleherabad magic made me weepy with happiness as I emerged in a daze. Appointment kept, we headed off to the Amartithi Bazaar, to seek Baba treasures from all over India, from the romen ofArangaon village (who sew for the Sophia 1V[eher) and other towns (the Prithvi collective training women from families with HIV/AIDS). From the Avatar Meher Baba Center Jalapur we purchased 5 large silky striped Baba flags in brilliant colors, 2O. The next stall had lovely little clear acrylic cubes with Baba’s picture embedded, $6. Meher Enterprises sold us “Don’t Worry Be Happy”T-shirts in assorted earth tones, $12. The AMB Akola Center had lovely color posters of The Ancient One, $6, with a deep green background and Baba in darshan mode. From Hyderabad’s Meher Baba Moving Media we bought CDs of Baba on Flute, music He had composed as Huma, $9. We also found little incense stands with the beloved’s picture, $3. On down the line, fighting through the crowds, I was wearing a big placard around my neck wrjth a photograph of Dma and the words “Dma Sent Me,” hoping all her regular contacts would continue doing business with Love Street. IvIy “idiot sign” brought many smiles, and dawning recognition from a few. A group that must remain nameless due to my inability to read Gujerati, Marathi, Hindi or Urdu sold me little rainbow necklaces with a bejewelled Baba pendant, $2. Another had copies of the popular book by Nigam, ]1/lj) Lift with Baba, $6. The Bombay Center, not to be confused with the Mumbai Centre, gave me a good price on a few colorful images ofBaba on wood, $6, about 5x8 inches each, with a stand or to hang on the w 11 A group from Anan tapur in Andhra Pradesh sold me some nice big nonwoven shopping bags with comfortable round plastic handles and a big “Don’t Worry” quote on the front, $4, in green or blue or orange. Heavilyladen, re went down to Meher Darbar to catch up with our email and prospect a bit in this pleasant little Baba store, where you can call the US, buy toilet paper or a soft drink, and browse many Baba books and trinkets. They liked the

sign around my neck and treated me to their best selection; I can offer you T shirts showing the symbols ofall religions, $12, or the mischievous chicken with the word “Meherabad,’ $12, an interesting one-of-a-kind luminescent framed 8x10 ofBaba’s holding the alphabet board in a gilt frame, $20. I picked up more of those nice note cards yrih the most popular photos of Baba and Mehera, just tell me what decade interests you or which pose and I probably have it, color or not, $3 each with envelopes. Many fans are aware that Love Street stocks Baba literature in many languages. Thanks to Meher Darbar we now can offer Baba’s words in Braille! Large format comb-bound books are only $5; the combs are starting to crumble. A 1999 memoir by 1\’Iaureen Mack, looks very interesting, so I grabbed several copies ofthis meatypaperback. It appears to be an entrancing tale ofspiritual seeking and finding in 400 pages, $25. In front of the Darbar were vendors of crystals, rocks and beads, and I could tell you about the bargain I got on pinkish ru bies, but they are already sold to my favorite beader, and the interesting crystals and formations I purchased for a local rockhound never made it into inventory It sure was fun to examine treasure after treasure in every color and fascinating shapes. We returned to our private room in the Retreat, which we had to ourselves to accommodate our growing mountain of loot, much to my guilt as others endured crowded conditions (100 extra beds al lowed everyone to stayput— a nice touch) and soon fell into the pampered routine of MPR pilgrims, with three hot meals plus tea, bells to wake us for arti, captivating art to view and folks of every nationality to schmooze with. We chose a dining table near the koi pond where one of the fish ras always found bathing under the drippy faucet, which amused me no end. Rules of quietude did not apply over the holiday period, and in the dawn hours pilgrims chatted andlaughedloud and long in tiled bathrooms, and others made cel ebratory music late into the night. Mobile phones are ubiquitous. The atmosphere ras fragrant with friendship and frangi pani. Each morning, sari-clad housekeepers sang arti on the balcony before taking up their brooms. I was drawn over and over to the Tile Wall, trying to guess which ones had been made by special friends, choosing a new favorite tile with each visit. ‘9


The Eternal Day The Baba quote on the Amartithi program this year read, “I am the song, the words and the me1ody and I am the singer.” It seemed that every place for miles around was bursting with humanity on the 3 1st. I struggled to get down the hill by 10:30 AM, but this was way too late to get sitting room on the tarps, under the pandals, in a spot with a view ofthe stage. Excitement mounted as noon approached, with the crowd swelling ever larger, bodies crunching tighter together, entertainment giving way to speeches, babies shushed with more intensity, the familiar story, told by Bhau— is he the last eye-witness?— of Baba’s last hours in His human body. We chanted His name, and just before the grand silence, we heard a scratchy recording of Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine”. I couldn’t quite see the stage. Was this the same ancient Victrola used to play a 78 RPM recording in 1969, as Baba’s form lay on the stretcher in the Cabin before it was laid in the Samadhi? Was this

in fact that same recording? Nobody around me could answer my questions. I will choose to believe I was hearing the same notes, in the same way, as those A shocked near ones did, 39 long years ago. (In mandali Hall the following week, the tale was told ofhow Baba cruelly shunned Adi K. Irani for months before that day, so when this time came, somebody would be finished grieving and able to function.) A few minutes into our silence, a train wluistle warned traffic halted at the nearby level crossing. No matter, appropriate almost for the realm of things to speak up at this moment. Then the cell phones started going off. Guards were alert to confiscate any that were not quickly silenced. Coughing men, weeping babies. Fifteen short minutes to listen for His presence in our hearts. Then the prayers were recited, and re cited and recited, in many tongues. Every year it seems there are more languages represented, and if you happen to speak a new one, you will be asked to take the stage with your translation. People do this lrith amazing poise, but I was off to take pictures ofgarlanded charter buses, many already boarding passengers and preparing to depart. (I heard that one headed for —I Hyderabad flipped three times, but no one was hurt.)

.

..

t

continued onpg 23

r• I C

.

4

.•4

:

20

I


Iz

c•f

H

Ii;>]

:L

:


ii

Allphotospages 15 17 Š Stan Barouh -

22


continttedfrompage 20

Again we browsed the Amartithi Bazaar, soon to be dismantled, finding more pictures, more Indian music on CDs of MP-3 tracks, simple stamped medallions, and other small treasures. We took a trip down to the new Prithvi outlet for quilted goodies: glasses cases $8, tiny long—strap tote bags fbr just a credit card and a cell phone $13, also somewhat larger ones ifyou need a few more items, $15, small assorted zipper “change purses” (how did I live without them?) in many colors that work great for organizing oversized rupee notes and other currency, lip balm, business cards, zip drive, batteries, chargers and such I can’t travel without, all the small items that get lost, scratched or bent in pockets and pocketbooks well, I don’t need quite all ofthem, I will let you have some for $4 each. You can also buy their clever rainbow-hued totes for your water bottle, $12 with a small outside zip pocket. Pilgrimage.. and Shopping On Friday, Samrday and Sunday, we went often to the bazaar, and to visit Meher Tailor, and to meet with other suppliers, including Pam Topley who records the listenable versions ofDiscourses and the East West Gathering in the most melliflu ous voices of pilgrims with good diction. ( These are each available in sets of two MP-3 discs, $15, to hear on your iPod.) We spoke at length with David Fenster about his wife’s new memoir, expected in a few months; Bhauji’s daughter, she grew up with Meher Baba part ofher daily life, and has great tales to tell. David has a nice house, as does Pam, two ofmany sprouting up within a mile or two of Meherabad’s holy spots, but his dog ate my shoe! Every day winding through the narrow alleys of the bazaar, shoving cows out of the way, seeking certain items only to be found in India, we enjoyed the experience ofhaving no clue as to what lay around the next corner. At the silver walla who has a Baba poster in his window, we made a good deal on nice-quality silver chains in several lengths and styles ($24), and some inexpensive toe rings ($5, in pairs), and my daughter was finally able to get a wedding ring made for her husband of five years. We bought 17 boxes of glittery glass bangles, $4 for a half-set ofsix. We bought a big pile of incense, in four or five fra grances, all entrancing, $3 per small carton. We spent a couple of hours at a tinsmith for tiffin tins, spoons, rice paddles and —

.

:

?

Springtime Special!

.: •

• •

2008 Calendais $3 Offwhile they last! Meher Baba Calendar with quotes and special dates +9 $7 Hafiz (Persian Miniature art) +4 $11 Illuminated Rumi (Michael Green) S44 $11 Rumi, Heart ofthe Beloved (Coleman Barks) M-4 $11 See them all at <http://lovestreetbookstore.com> ( One for the fridge, one for the bedroom, one for the office, one for a gift, one to cut up and frame. . .) :.

,

cookware, all sold now, alas. We bought four suitcases to enable us to get all this back home! And at Meher Tailor, although Anil was so sad not to see his friend Dma, we really went overboard. Colorful beadededge cotton shawls are great window treatments, tablecloths, sarongs or decora tions for the back of your fliton I have several in constant use that have never been worn as shawls, $20. Brocaded silk pockets to hang on your wall control your bills, your files, or your other paperwork, $20 for 3 pockets or $ 15 for two. “Indian bedspreads,” large enough for a double or maybe a queen-size bed, make great wall hangings or canopies, or you can sew yourselfa dress or a hippie-style robe (see the web page for colors), only $30. (Ifyou have hot weather, try sleeping under one; the weave allows air to circulate.) Sets of six napkins and matching placemats: he did have plenty of matching sets, not much variety in color, so if you like to seat 12 or 18, orjust not do laundry very often, now is your chance to stock up, only $ 16 and nice sturdy canvas-like tex ture— ifyou remove them from the dryer damp, and smooth them out carefully in a stack to dry, they don’t have to be ironed; red and green pattern with purple accents on a white background. Also olive/crim son and lavender/olive and khaki/red and turquoise/white. (Checkerboard ones from Prithvi are $25 for a set of6, no napkins.) I haven’t indulged in paper napkins for years, and these never add up to an extra load of laundry. The tiger-eye earrings I bought from Anil are very nice quality and only $24, but won’t last long as there are not many Ifyou sew and love Indian textiles as I do, email -

me about the cotton and silk remnants I brought home, most big enough for a blouse, apron, child’s garment, slim skirt or a summer dress, in silky bits ($9) left from making sari blouses or in patterned cotton ($4), many colors. On our last trip to the bazaar, we bought a kilo of sweet juicy figs for the long trip home, to be washed for us by the nice MPR kitchen crew We could have spent another week there, exploring every nook and byway. next time. Our next to last day was Monday, when we spent the morning at Meher English School, where the children have very nice manners and some politely sat through a little slide show; I brought pictures of my Los Angeles neighborhood in my camera, alongwith all our Indian touring shots, and hooked up to their television.They later let Principal Stella know that they expected a field trip to visit the caves, which they would be smdying in history class, and she promised she would find a way. That afternoon was another highlight of all our adventuring. we went to Pumpkin House Orphanage. I was allowed to hold Stella’s new grandbaby! Stella’s daughter and her husband teach at the school and help mind the orphans, who overflow Stella’s modest house. The thirty or so children performed songs for us, taking a break from their homework. One little boy was sitting a bit apart, getting a little extra attention; we were told his father was expected to die, ofAIDs, at any moment. These children are the ones that nobody else wants; Stella takes them at age two or older, and some spent their first decade on the streets or in the brothels. One little girl was freshly arrived from Nepal. They receive good medical care and . .

. .

23


scrape together the essentials oflife, from food and soap to funds for utility bills and car fttel, from the kindness ofothers, trusting Baba rj11 provide. 1\’Ialnutrition is an issue for some, when they arrive. Appar ently a large source ofsupport is graduates ofthe girls’ school that Stella used to run, who have formed an “old girls’ network.” Most orphans are boys; the oldest, girls, look about 13. When you visit, you can give clothing, toothpaste, food, money, any kind of donation, and it will be graciously received; they are surviving from month to month, trying to move to larger quarters soon. Someone has recently offered to install a block of composting toilets, free, to cut down on water use! The best news I heard was that the bureaucracies were processing the paperwork that will allow these sweet, beautiful children to be adopted, probably towards the end of2008. Pass the word to families you know who have room for one more! http://wwwpumpkinhouse.org a website that will lead you to more information. At the end ofthe day,we metwith Gary and Mehera Kleiner to buy the popular appliqued cushion covers created by the Sophia I’vleher cooperative. Their cheerful bright colors on my couch bring back the shining brilliance of India. Four designs, only $12 each, and all work is done by the women of Arangaon village, who are becoming more independent, and devel oping financial security as they develop their sewing skills. Our last day in India was the day Meherazad reopened for visitors. (There are stunning color pictures of Baba’s Room, the Blue Bus, etc. in Pete Caswell’s photo book, Meherabad/Zad, 25, and if you prescribe Bach flowers, you need his wife Patricia’s books; email me.) It was a treat to return to these sacred precincts, and my daughter accompanied me up Seclusion Hill. I was gasping for breath and she had to wait for me a few times on the way up, but the peace of the summit and its glorious view were worth the struggle for this aging body. On the way down, though, the thought ran through my head, “Gee, I sure am getting old, this may be my last trip to the top!” and just then, I had to step off the path as Baba sent a really ancient man, leaning heavily on his cane, shooting up the hill. Right. Got it. I had a short visit with Katie, who looked as stunning as ever, and who sent 24

me over to Baba’s Room, which always looks like He just stepped out. There must be a major spit-and-polish effort before Amartithi, because as was the case with Meherabad above and below, everything was spotless, paint was fresh, all was in 1000/ô repair. My five-year ab sence seemed like the figment ofa dream, as the timelessness of Baba’s home once again overwhelmed my senses, as it had in 1969, 1986, and 2003. Never again will I allow seventeen years to elapse before I go HOME. I vow to find a way to return every year, with or without the demands ofLove Street! But thanks to Love Street, I was able to meet in person some folks who had been long-distance customers. One such was photographer Stan Barouh, who kindly took pictures for the LampPost; all pho tos on pages 15-17. To see Stan’s photos, hundreds more than the 21 featured here,

go to: http://wwstanbarouh.comIme herbabalamartithiO8 lb see all ofKathyc photos in splendid colors go to: http://picasaweb.google. com/kathiIl777.

men and women, most ofwhom, together with their twenty-five to thirty group heads, rere gathered in Hostel D yesterday for the introductory session presided over by trusteesJal Dastur and Shridhar Kelkar. This annual meeting always focuses on practical details: the five-day Amartithi schedule, the importance ofwearing badges when exiting and reentering pilgrim tents, management ofluggage, curfew, the orga nization ofthe Samadhi detail. Increasingly public events at fvleherabad take place on a multilingual basis; and in yesterday’s meeting Jal and Shridhar’s explanations and exhortations in English were translated into Hindi and Telugu. Yet what most impressed me was how little needed to be said. Obviously the job assignments and their timings had largely been worked out within the groups before Amartithi, and the volunteers already knew what they needed to do before they came. The last few nights have been excep tionally chilly by Ahmednagar standards; yet despite this, a morning sun after breakfast saw many little platoons ofvolunteers fanning out across the Trust estate on their various assignments By mid-morning a small army had gathered on the Hill, where a thousand tarpaulins had to be spread as flooring under the large pandal that extends from the Samadhi down to the amphitheater. By tomorrow afternoon this pandal will have been transformed into the hub of a little cityc the center and focus of which is, for forty-eight hours, the Samadhi itself. .

çjlinctrtithi 7.}olunteers Ward Parks • Meherabad 29thJanuary 2008 Amartithi is almost upon us. Officially the program begins tomorrow, January 30th, ith a musical rendering ofthe Parvardigar prayer in Hindi by the Ahmednagar Cen tre. But for many Baba lovers, especially from the various Baba centres throughout India, the Amartithi programme began yesterday, three in the afternoon, with a meeting ofthe Amartithi volunteers in the large veranda on the backside ofHostel D in outer Meherabad. Though probably most Amartithi pil grims and dayvisitors are unaware ofit, Amartithi as a large-scale public event depends in large measure on its volunteer programme, an annual triumph ofcoordination, dedica tion, and hard ror 1\’Iost ofthe volunteers travel to Meherabad from afar. often by overnight train trips of twelve or eighteen or twenty-four hours from coastal Andhra or Harnirpur or Delhi or Bangalore. Most volunteers, again, have to take a five or six day leave from work; and while at Meherabad, instead ofjust basking in Baba’s presence as some ofus do, they divide their time between

pilgrimage and volunteer duties. Yet despite the sacrifices that the job entails, this year’s tally boasts about 885

2nd February The crowds have come and gone, the

buses and trains and jeeps have carried thousands away, and yet this morning there is still a long line for darshan at the Tomb. Many of those in the queue are wearing volunteer badges. For these vol unteers, this might be their first chance for darshan since Amartithi began, although they may have been on the Hill the whole time, helping with the darshan line, giving water to pilgrims in the queue, acting as security guards around the Hill or in the parkinglots, or perhaps cleaning the toilets at the back. The sight ofthis morning’s quiet crowd, patiently waiting their turn for a few seconds in the Tomb, recalls to mind that Baba often gave a special darshan for the volunteers at the end ofHis mass darshan programmes. continued onpage 36


77w Pumpkin 21ouse Orphanage LA

7)isit to to the ¶JPurnpkin 2louse Orphanage

Afsaneh Ajang Los Angeles en next you make a pilgrimage to the home of the Avatar at Mehe rabad, I highly recommend a visit to the children at the Pumpkin House orphanage, [three minutes rickshaw ride up the road from the registration office going towards Ahmednagar.] After two weeks of traveling through Asia, my husband and I arrived in India for 10 days stay at the Meherabad Pilgrim Center. After several days we inquired about the Pumpkin House orphanage. I had read about it in one ofthe Love Street LampPost editions, and had decided to visit ifl could ever make the pilgrimage to India. This was a perfect opportunity! The director ofPumpkin House, Stella ]\‘Ianuel, and the children were very hos pitable. It never ceases to amaze me how people from the third world with very little are always warm and welcoming to visitors from overseas. After discussing the children’s needs with Stella, we found out that they needed so many items that we take for granted every day, like drinking water, blankets, clothing, medicine, etc... So we decided to help them right away. We went to the bazaar in Ahmednagar and bought as many supplies as we could carry. As a surprise, we also purchased a variety of sweets and cookies to hand out

s to the thildren

to the children. Stella was happy and the kids were very excited. Stella invited us to come back and have dinner with the children. A few days later we returned, and the children were so happy to see us. They danced for us, and sang a variety ofsongs. It was so gratifring to be with them and most of ‘all knowing that we were able to help them with their needs. Apart from spending time with the Beloved, this was definitely a highlight of our trip. “Real Happiness Lies in Making 0thers Happy”. Avatar Meher Baba!

House children singing and dancing

2’Iot Words i3ut Deeds Kathy Hill, Los Angeles That’s the motto of the Pumpkin House Orphanage in Meherabad, and if you would like to see love in action, look no farther. Pumpkin House is now home to about 35 neglected and abandoned children two to twelve. In 2003 there were only ten, and all still live in Stella iVlanuel’s home. These little ones are part ofone big happy family in a modest, non-institutional setting. There is just no stopping that energetic Stella, headmistress of Meher English School and Director of Pumpkin House, where she is known as “Mummy.” Recent news on the pumpkin front: . Newly established residential kindergarten, “Divine Grace.” . New fence around the compound as a safety precaution. . A wonderftil playground with swings, teeter-totters and slides [see-saws and slippery dips] within the fence. . All legal hurdles are past; this means children may be legally adopted by Westerners, perhaps as early as this time next year, or sooner! In July 2007 Pumpkin House received the prestigious state-level Sane Guruji 25


Award, named after a revered children’s author and freedom fighter. Plans are afoot to move to better quarters These kids capture your heart fast. Stella takes in the neediest ones that other agencies don’t want, from AIDS afflicted families, and

brothels.

Some

rere

facing

serious

abuse in their own homes. Some children are sold by loving families with too many mouths to feed. Some are malnourished on arrival. In February I met a beautiflil little girl from Nepal, and a little boy expected to die that day whose father Pumpkin House suffers from its success. It needs a permanent establishment with facilities including segregated rooms for different age groups and genders. The kindergarten should be upgraded every year to add one more grade. All this requires a Mrs. Mukta Ti/ak, a socia/ worker and a Marathipoefess, has the honour ofcutting the ribbon, land purchase and a reliable funding stream. officially declaring the newly donatedplayground equprnent now readyjbrp/ay!! Herfriendsfroin Fortunately, making a big, big difference in the ce/ebrations. the Rotary c/ub ofAhmednaoarjozn a costs Westerners very, very little. Support of one child for one year is only 45,500 rupees ($1,136 US). That’s $3.12 per day (a Starbucks coffee). An average American family spends more than that on entertainment, then more than that again on the winter holidays! The orphanage is very happy when visitors arrive with children’s clothes and school supplies, but when I was disaster worker for the Red Cross, they discouraged people from bringing canned goods and blankets to the scene of a big fire. By injecting cash into the local helped the whole affected neighborhood do a little better. In Ahmednagar, that might mean more families would be able to keep their own kids. To translate my words into your deeds, just get in touch with Anne Wieshberger: nini8@att.net. In India call 997.023.4676, stella46@rediffmail.com. Australia: 040.525.2644, 1 glwells@bigpond.net.au. was

.

a

economy you

Above middle: The children proad/y show offtheir new T—shirts and caps. Left 4nd agir/shall lead the way”. Dixha isfint down the slzpery dzt’ [s/ide.] Somewhat tentatively, the children try out the see—saw [teeter tottel]. Mummy Stella stands beamingonthe right.


The 2 1istory of Water at J4lcherctbctd Peter Booth, Meherabad

T

he name Arangaon means Forest Village; centuries ago the area was a jungle, or great forest. With increasing population and the subsequent clearing of trees, it eventuallybecame dry and barren. Consequently, the people of Arangaon have long suffered famine due to a peren nial shortage of rainfall. In 1923 when Baba came to Meherabad, located in Arangaon, there was only one well which nearly ran dry during the summer months. The mandali drew water from the well with a pulley and bucket. At one point, Baba put Khodu in charge ofthe water supply. Khodu would distrib ute water to the Meherabad residents for drinking, cooking and washing. Because of his water duty, Baba nicknamed him “Sailor.” One of Sailor’s duties was to see that water was transported up the hill for the women mandali. Pendu was assigned to carry two buckets ofwater balanced over his shoulders on a long bamboo pole from lower Meherabad to upper Meherabad, and S ailor would count how many buckets ofwater were sent there. There was a Christian follower of Baba named Charles Neihams who joined the mandali at Meherabad. Against the mandali’s advice, he would insist on doing the heavy work of carrying water from the well in the same manner as Pendu. In the course of doing this work he wounded his leg. The wound became septic and he was finally hospitalized. Over the course of three days, Nelhams grew weaker and developed a high fever. When Baba ob served him, he remarked, “Nethams will be free of all pain by tomorrow morning.” Pendu and Padri nursed him the whole night, but Neffiams died the next morning and, true to Baba’s words, was relieved of all suffering. 1’vlehera asked Baba why He had chosen such a desert-like place for His ashram. Baba said that even He did not know why but that it was a habit of His to pick dry, barren places. In His incarnation as Muhammad he had also chosen such a place. In 1924 a second well was dug, and in 1926 Baba sanctioned the digging of a third well, to accommodate the everincreasing number of people staying at Meherabad. Experts and water diviners were bought in, and although they dug deeper than usual, no water was found.

Concerning the water shortage Baba ob served, “See the paradox and irony here: when outsiders come for my darshan, their desires are fuffilled by my blessings. They find enough water in their wells by seeking my grace. But at Meherabad all three wells are dry.” This was to be a recurring problem at Meherabad, and of course after 1969, when pilgrims started coming to stay in larger and larger numbers, the water problem was exacerbated Beginning in the 1970s, under Bhau’s direction, various solutions to the water problem were tried. He initiated a Master Plan for the development of Meherabad. He realized that finding an adequate, steady water supply was critical to ifirther development. In those years Meherabad’s annual rainfall was significantly less than now. Beginning in 1972, Bhau had open wells dug but was unable to strike water. He then tried bore wells which were drilled to a depth of 200 to 300 feet. In those days, drilling a bore well was a big event because ofthe proportionate expense incurred. For example, a three hundred foot well cost three hundred dollars, a significant portion ofTrust donations. In the Meherabad area, the underground stratum is composed of ancient lava flow from the Himalayas which is called basalt. If the basalt has fractures or fissures, water will run in these fissures and begin to erode them. Ultimately this forms underground streams. The source of this water is annual rain which is held in the superficial aquifer, percolates down, and is captured in the fissures. In an average monsoon year, the heaviest rains are in September. By April and May the superficial aquifer, which only goes to a depth of 50 to 60 feet, dries up. The original Trust property was largely un-fractured basalt, and the fissures there tend to be filled with grey clay. Water diviners confirmed that there were only a few very small streams to be found in Meherabad’s original area. However, one success was the digging ofthe large square well near the residents’ kitchen. That spot was chosen because diviners and a “psychic” dog indicated there was an underground stream at about Parenthetically, there is a rare breed of dog called the Diviner, originally from the sub-Sahara, renowned for its great skill in finding water. The twentytwo

feet.

well was dug during the summer when the stream was dry. Because ofthis, water was not found at twenty-two feet and digging continued down to sixty-one feet, but water was still not found. As it turned out, when it finally rained, the stream which the diviners had accurately located at twenty-two feet filled the well, and it is still productive today, except in the summer months from March to June. In its quest for water, the Trust tried an entirely new tack involving the agency of the government. In 1979 the central gov ernment instituted a water scheme. Under this scheme, the government would provide villages or charitable organizations with the service of geologists, on the condition that they make a “ten percent popular contribu lion.” The Trust made a ten percent popular contribution on behalf of itself and the village. As a result, the government created the Sonawadi water project about three miles to the wrest of Meherabad. They built a huge dam with a 250,000 gallon capacity Below the dam, they built two wells, one for Kedgaon village, located on the Pune Road just outside Ahmednagar, and one for the Trust. The Kedgaon well was productive, but the Trustwell proved to be dry. Even though the Trustwell is very near the 250,000 gallon lake, there is no way for the water to get to the well because it is bored in solid rock. The Sonawadi scheme having failed, Bhau applied in 1983 to the Ahmednagar Municipality in order to receive an assured source ofwater. However, Trust property is outside the boundary of Ahmednagar Municipality. Bhau planned to get around the problem by buying a piece of land inside the city limits, building a large water tank, and running a 3-mile pipeline out to Meherabad. However the government would not give the required amount until after the completion of its scheme, which would take many years. Finally, Bhau persuaded the local water department to sanction between 2500 to 4000 gallons a day. They made an exception, which is very unusual, and gave the Trust a 6-inch connection. It initially worked well, but over time, the government tookmore connections offthe 6-inch line, and ultimately the amount of water reaching IVleherabad was negligible. Meherazad had its own water prob lems. There was a fabulous bore well at just

of water

water

27


Meherazad dubbed ‘Arnazing Grace,” the location ofwhich a diviner had discovered. It was a very productive well until one year it suddenly dried up. Although the Meherazad area has plentiful underground streams, the farmers in the surrounding area drilled many wells and pumped water continuously. All the aquifers there are interconnected and the farmers just pumped it dry The Meherazad staffsought the services ofMr. Salve, an expert diviner. He found an independent stream at 32 feet where a 15-foot diameter well was dug. Remarkably, this diviner was able to find one small fissure in a very large area. \Vith this success as evidence of his capability iVIr. Salve was called to Mehe rabad. In the meantime, Bhau had been buying more land at Meherabad, including an area more than a mile west ofBaba’s Sa madhi. Mr. Salve directed theTrust to drill at a particular spot on this property where he predicted they would find water at 28 feet. Understandably; Bhau was hesitant to invest any more time and money in looking for water at 1\Ieherabad. Nevertheless, he eventually decided to drill there, and sure enough, water was struck at 28-feet. The well was very productive. We learned from this experience that the diviner was reli able, and more importantly, there actually was water in this area to the west ofUpper Meherabad. We next took Mr. Salve out to the Sonewadi water project, which had been abandoned for almost twentyyears. At the base ofthe Sonewadi dam, on land that the government had purchased for the project, Mr. Salve found a stream at 42 feet. The Trust decided to seek permission to drill a second well there. We approached the Environmental Engineering Works De partment which was in charge ofthe Sone wadi Project. Amazingly, the department signed the whole Sonewadi water project over to the Trust with the proviso that any work had to be done in cooperation with the Government Geology Department. The Department, which is run by an old Brahmin from a service-oriented family provided us rit1 a geologist. Although the diviner had pointed out a really good fissure at 42 feet right at the base of the darn, we knew the geologist would not drill at that spot on the say-so of a diviner, as geologists don’t believe in diviners. The geologist ‘ranted to drill in a different area away from the stream Mr. Salve had found. Instead, we tried to convince him to drill 28

in

Salve’s location on the pretext of seeing

hat the strata were like, but the geologist wasn’t buying it.

In any event, we tried multiple times the drilling of the well, convinced that through one stratagem or another wre could get the geologist to drill in S alve’s spot. However, there was always some reason why we couldn’t get the drilling rig. One day when we went to the old Brahmin’s office, he had been having trouble with his staff and was in a furious mood. Out offrustration he said, “You just take the rig and get out ofhere; I don’t care what you do with it!” We took the drilling rig to the spot the diviner had found and drilled to about 100 feet when a drunken farmer from an adjacent property jumped on top ofthe rig and shouted “Stop drilling; It’s my land!” We responded, “This is not your land; you sold it to the government.” The farmer insisted it was his land. At this point, we called Bhau, who rushed a jeep out to pick up the farmer and bring him to the Trust office. Bhau cajoled the farmer into helping in Baba’s cause by offering him Baba’s prasad (baksheesh). The farmer al lowed us to drill without ftirther complaint. By the time we turned the rig back on, the bore well had filled with water. The pressure created by drillinghad blocked water in the stream from flowing into the well. When the rig was turned off the pressure ceased and water was free to flow A pipeline was laid from there all the way to Meherabad. It has proved to be an excellent source of water which, although it slows during the summer, never dries up completely. With Mr. Salve’s help, the Trust has dug two other very successftil wells in this area to the west ofMeher Baba’s Samadhi. In the meantime the number of people staying at Meherabad grew substantially. The Trust had built a large school, opened Hostel D, and agreed to allow villagers to take water from Meherabad. So, despite the new sources of water, the dry season continued to be difficult. In fact, the Trust as forced to impose restrictions on the use of water. Pilgrims staying at the Meher Pilgrim Centre were allowed to bathe only every third day. Once it even became necessary to postpone the beginning of the pilgrim season to October. Additionally, there was the perennial problem of sufficient water for Amartithi, which grew substantially every year. Of course, poor monsoon years were especially problematic. In April 2002, it became so bad that the residents at i\’le to organize for

herabad had to undergo very strict water rationing. At this critical time we learned in consultation with government officials that it would be possible for us to tap into a twelve-inch line for a much better water supply. The local government approved our request to connect to this line. Because of the serious situation, the Trust was pressed to construct a 1 1/4 mile connecting pipeline prior to the opening ofthe pilgrim season on l5thJune 2002. We were uncertain ifthis could be accomplished. However, the contractor rorked day and night to fuThll his promise in completing the pipeline in time. With this new line we are back to getting about 22,000 gallons a day, which is a substantial contribution. Throughout the years, in its letters to the government concerning the development of Meherabad and 1\’Ieherazad, the Trust explained repeatedly that it could not effectively continue its work due to lack of water. In the late 1990s the government finally started water schemes all over the State of Maharashtra. In 1997 the Trust applied to receive water under these government schemes which propose to serve over 80 villages in the area, including Meherabad and Meherazad. Every year for nearly a decade the Trust kept hoping that these schemes would be operational. At long last they are nearing completion, and we expect to receive about 80,000 gallons ofwater per day at Meherabad and about 50,000 gallons per day at Meherazad. Likewise, Arangaon Village and Pimpalgaon-Malvi village will have independent water supplies. Getting this water goes a long way in helping the Trust with its continued de velopment ofMeherabad and Meherazad. But the water saga is far from over. The local population continues to grow, and fan-n yields are declining due to lack ofcrop rotation and pesticide use, causing farmers to rely more and more on irrigation. Along with the efforts to increase infrastructure in the form of wells and pipelines, the Trust also started an affor estation project beginning in 1976. The impetus for this, in part, was the constant refrain of environmentally aware pilgrims staying at Meherabad, who said, “You know if you grow trees, it will greatly increase your rainfall, because trees attract rain.” As a result ofyears ofhard work planting a vast number of trees, there has been a significant improvement in rainfall. Previ ously Meherabad got 30 percent less rain .“

continued onpage

36


J44ay 7Jte 7 )ictory 13e 2lis Davana Brown • Meherazad February 25th night I had a dream. Mandali Hall was packed with pilgrims and we were Jast listening intently to Eruch and Mani. Mani was seated on the Persian carpet, next to Baba’s foot cushion, and Eruch was in his usual place under the windowsill. lVIani was describing to the packed hail the dream her mother had hadjust before Baba was born. Although I was dreaming, the story Mani was narrating was true. “It was the night before my mother gave birth to my God-brother. She was in the Sassoon Hospital in Poona. But in her dream mother had already given birth and was standing outside her home, holding her newborn baby in her arms. As she stood there, she saw a river of humanity pass by her—men, women and children, old and young, black, brown, white and yellow—and as each person passed by, they turned towards her and looked intently at the baby in her arms. “The river of humanity seemed endless,” Mani told us, and even after Shireen mai woke up, the river seemed to stretch on and on and on. ‘rhen my mother told my father Sheriarji the dream, he had said to her, ‘Oh Shireen, you have no idea who is to be born to us, you have no idea.” Suddenly I woke up. I looked at the clock and it was two am Yes, I thought, we have no idea who He really is, and yet, in His compassion He has drawn us into the orbit of His love. He has blessed us to long to love Him, to serve Him and to glorify Him. And, in just a few hours more, we will be celebrating the most magical event ever, the Birth of the Birth-less One. The chill of the early morning prompts me to bury my head more deeply into the soft folds ofmypillow and gatherthe quilt on my bed more closely around me, but Manis dream words flood my mind and heart. There is still time, but in another hour I will be getting up and the most wonderfal and, simultaneously, the most exhausting day of the year will begin, 25th February, the Birth date of the Eternal Beloved, Avatar Meher Baba. Eruch used tojoke that even those who had trouble sleeping the rest of the year,

would snore soundly the night after Baba’s birthday; totally exhausted from the day’s celebrations. But we wouldn’t have it any other way, Here at Meherazad, during these days prior to Baba’s birthday, there has been much hectic activity. Every nook and corner ofHis home has been cleaned and scrubbed to a shine. Outside Baba’s room and the main house, scintillating stars and ornaments hang from every doorway and rafter. Colored lights are strung across the trees and shrubs in Mehera’s garden, along the balcony of the bungalow, and a beaming, bigger than life size Baba photograph, encircled by a frame of flickering golden lights, beckons silently from the roof of Baba’s room. Although Baba’s room always looks beautifisl and is kept immaculately clean, just before His birthday it is given a fresh ‘face-wash’. His bed is covered with an especially lovely bedspread (counterpane) chosen for this occasion, andjust before S o’clock in the morning on the 25th ofFeb mary, a basket ftsll of red, flichsia, peach and yellow roses will be placed near Baba’s bed so that each one taking His darshan can offer a flower, as they offer their heart at His Feet. In front of the main bungalow Baba’s room, the iVleherazad Gates and the original entrance of Mandali Hall (fac mg Mehera’s garden), the servants have spread a fresh layer of cow dung. These areas have become natural canvases for an Indian art form called Rangoli. Beautifttl and unique designs have been painted on the ground using colored chalks and, for Baba’s birthday, gold glitter. On the men’s side, the verandah has also been decorated with tinsel streamers, shining globes and sparkling stars. Mandali Hall has been transformed from the simple office of the Avatar to His enchanted palace. A shimmering garland caresses each photograph adorning the white washed walls of Mandali Hall. Above Baba’s Seat, a luminous golden crown hangs suspended by almost invis ible threads, the ornaments glittering like multi-colored jewels. Everywhere the fragrance ofroses permeates the predawn air. There is a feeling

of having stepped out of this world as we know it, into a special fairyland, into a realm where only love reigns supreme. But all this is merely the outward expression of our yearning to offer something tangible, something of our selves in celebration of the Birth-date of the Eternal Beloved. So that brings us to the real question: how do we commemorate the Avatar’s Birth in His very own home, 1\”Ieherazad? Eruch would often be asked this ques tion. “So what do we do? He gave us the guideline. Assemble in the hail before S am and at the stroke of5 o’clock, shout out in unison seven times, AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI! “When He was present here, we would greet Him and wish Him a Happy birthday, Baba would smile in silence and each one would be given an embrace. Now that His physical presence is not with us, we stand here in the hail, waiting for the chime to ring 5 am. He told us all you have to do is shout out seven times AVATAR MEHER BABA KIJAI! And we do that and we remember His being with us. The women mandali do the same in His room and our echoes reach them and their echoes reach us. “It is not so much a celebration, as a day of great joy, We greet each other saying “Happy Baba’s birthday” and embrace Baba in each one. All that is past is past and drowned in the ocean of His love. It may appear superficial, if a stranger were to come here and see this, but within each heart there is that fresh resolve to dedicate our life to Him.To implore Him to help us to lose our self, so that He alone emerges victorious. When we hail Him and say ‘AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI!’ we are imploring Him to help us lose our lower seifso that we may be vanquished in His love. It is the defeat of the lower self and the glory of the true self” Today, at Meherazad, Baba’s birthday is observed, essentially, just as it was during His lifetirne.The men mandali assemble in the Mandali Hall and the women mandali in Baba’s room. And when the clock strikes 5 am, the moment ofMeher Baba’s birth, all call out AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI! Just as Baba had instructed. continued onpage 34 29


J1I/Ieherctbcid Diary Judy Stephens Meherabad

4 December. Preparations for Amar— tithi have begun. Open fields are being plowed where huge tents to house pilgrims will go. Weeds along the paths are being cleared, and the metal structure in front of the Amphitheater is being erected. Going to the Trust and to leave yard sale things from the States for the l’v’Ieher English School, I got to the railroad crossing and had a big surprise! Workers are moving the tracks! There are double tracks to cross no They are replacing wooden ties under the tracks with concrete, along with the tracks themselves. 10 December. One of our Iranian residents told me he goes to clean the Samadhi every morning and today, Baba’s statement that ‘FIe has come to bring all religions together like beads on one string’ had reallyhit home. There were five people to help, one Christian, one Zoroastrian, onejewish, one Muslim, and one flindu! ‘Clean up Meherabad’ volunteers were provided with trash bags and gloves. With Mehera’s birthday approaching, we Meherabad to look especially lovelc 13 December. Stopped to see Jaloo, who has been living in the building behind the Samadhi since Baba’s New Life. When the railroad department replaced the tracks, they raised them more than a foot. It makes crossing a bit dangerous due to poor footing. Marge, my neighbor, is wonderful in sewing beautiflil things. She made an incredible cover which we placed on Mani’s tomb, rith beads shaped like birds, and stitching with colored thread that spelled out Baba’s name. During the morning Arti, Happy Birthday was sung to Mani. Most ofthe singing was ofMani’s songs. Later, a video of her was shown. want

30

16 December. One arrival was a sweet old man with a long white beard who has been coming to the Retreat since he met two residents at the hill station near Maha balcshwar. I remember reading how Baba had a special liking for old men with long beards. Pramode, hired to make the jungle gym for our Retreat childrens’ playground, arrived with two workers and began digging the foundation. 17 December. My dog Foundy’s earfiap got infected after his operation, as I didn’t know how to put on the large collar that prevents scratching. The veterinarian came daily to give antibiotic shots. Poor Foundy; he has this huge collar and keeps bumping into things. Bhaui came to the MPC in the afternoon to give a talk. 19 December. We are starting to get more pilgrims because ofthe holidays. We have around 70, with many more coming. I had to stop at the railroad crossing, where the wait may be up to 35 minutes. I told my driver to take me to the Samadhi path, I could walk. I did not have the right shoes to cross all those stones around the tracks, and twisted my ankle twice. When home, Foundy’s ear was bleeding. I I tried to call the vet. 20 December. Two men came to install DSL for my home. They did not know how to work Apple computers so a pilgrim at the Retreat came over to help. After I receive the password I will have a high-speed connection at last. Pune with a 21 December. I few pilgrims from Israel and took them to all the main Baba places, fun! 22 December, Mehera’s birthday. A special flower arrangement that hangs down the sides of her tomb was held by elastic bands stretched across the top. This covered by a stunningly beautiful gold cover rith lots of beadwork. A clip-on cloth-framed photo of Baba and Mehera was hooked into place on the cloth, at the head of the tomb. The cover was made with so much love and care. Baba’s marble had a frill cloth on it. Every square inch was covered with carefully placed roses, one next to the other. They were soon piled high with garland after garland. For Mehera’s Special Birthday Arti, Meheru came from IVieherazad. Having one of the mandali come adds an atmo so

got

went

yas

to

sphere of a greater reverence I have only experienced from the women who spent their lives in His presence. Janet Judson allowed people to come into Mehera’s room in the east wing of the compound and told stories. One was that the women mandali got beds for the first time when they moved into the compound of the Meher Retreat. Until then they slept on the floor. A film of Mehera was shown, with tea and ginger cake served. 23 December. I saw Jal Dastoor, one Trustees, and asked about the track crossing. The railroad would soon have a train that goes 124 MPH, tracks are being puthigh all over India to keep motorcycles from crossing anywhere theywish. He said the Trust ras to put a sign at the path to warn that crossing there was illegal and one did so at his own risk, in three lanunder the train guages. A walking tracks may be built so going from Lower l\4eherabad to the Samadhi would be Oh happy daywhen that happens! A group of pilgrims enthusiastically helped decorate the MPR. When everything was done, it looked beautiful. 24 December. Lost count ofhow many of our

so

passage

safe.

arrivals.

25 December, Christmas. Went to Meherazad for the holiday program. The area in front of Mehera’s porch was ifiled with colorful pandals (canopies). A stage featured a backdrop of colorful cloth and Baba’s photo. Benches and chairs surrounded the stage. Suzie limura was Mistress of Ceremonies with husband Martin as Santa Claus. There were great skits and singing and the Great Hughdini did his magic show. Later, everyone lined up to go into I\’Iandali Hall and after tak ing Baba’s darshan, got Prasad ofa bag of goodies. Best was a quote from Baba. We stopped for chocolate ice cream on our way home. 26 December. A camp of sheepherd ers near Hostel D has beautiful horses. Foundy is rcak and has begun to throw Although the vet comes daily with injections, he keeps getting worse. 27 December. I went to Ahmednagar to deposit a check but the person who does has been ill for a week, and the deposit cannot be processed until he returns. I am still waiting for my up.

international transactions


DSL password so I have not been able to get on the Internet. Boy, do we learn patience here! Meherabad residents and foreign community members filled out ‘LivingWiil’ and ‘Expressed Wishes Upon Death’ forms and the Trust arranged for a notary. 28 December. Met Pramode about the jungle gym. It was made beautifully, but it was too short! By two feet! lVIy head almost hit the monkey bars! It would have to be fixed. It took three hours to make five signs to put up around Meherabad for the New Year Celebration. A pilgrim helped. Receptionists had our first Amartithi meeting. We are going to take 100 extra pilgrims at the Retreat this year. I saw a Baba lover hanging out the open door of the train. We happily said ‘Jai Baba’ to each other as it went by. Foundy is getting worse. The infection healed, but he is weak and throwing up. I tried to take him for a walk, but had to cut it short. 29 December. Called the vet to give Foundy an injection to stop stomach spasms. Gave the Historical Tour of Meherabad and when I got home, found him lying down. Later, Foundy walked out to an area he never goes and lay down. My neighbor Caran helped bring him back to his verandah bed. He was in shock, e covered him with T cold and shaking. ‘SA blankets and gave him Rescue Remedy. Around 9:15 pM Foundy went to Baba. I shed many tears. Foundywas my friend for 10 years, sleeping in my room and being a good watchdog. For him, I am happy, as he will advance in his journey to God. He was well-loved here. He loved food, and the neighbors loved to feed him. I used to call him “fat boy.” He ‘ras very fortunate to have spent this lifetime in Baba’s home. 30 December. A few neighbors came to say goodbye and Foundy’s remains were buried near my room. I put two dog biscuits next to him for his journey on the other side, as did ancient Egyptians, at prompting of a friend. I took Foundy’s collar up to the Samadhi later. 31 December. The Retreat was busy with pilgrims here for the celebration. The energy was high and excitement was in the air. It was a fan day to be at the Retreat. After evening Arti, the Samadhi stayed open for those who wished to continue singing. At the MPR, tables in the Dining Hall were moved to make space for dancing. A bus from Lower Meherabad brought more pilgrims. We must have had

three hundred people dancing or sitting. The kitchen provided special treats. Ken Coleman emceed a good mixture of music, Indian and Western. We stopped dancing at 11:15 PM to clean up. At 11:30 buses took everyone to the Samadhi, which was packed! Hundreds were singing and at a few minutes before midnight, everyone began chanting the Dhoun song, Baba’s name. At the stroke of midnight, we said Baba’s name seven times. Then we said the prayers. Everyone was hugging. “Happy New Year!” 1 January. Happy New Year to all of you! Amartithi is coming up. All departments are geared in that direction. So much planning and preparing goes into this event. It is a most busy time—and also an exciting time. At the Samadhi, I saw one of our Indian residents. He said Meherabad would have a 50th anniversary celebration of the 1958 Sahavas rith Baba. 2 January. Each day a garland is de livered to the office and the receptionist on duty garlands a photo of Baba. It is easier to have another person help garland, because the photo is on the wall above a table. I asked a pilgrim named Primilla to help me. She was most happy to, and with tears in her eyes she told me she was leav ing to go back to Mumbai. This morning at the Samadhi her heart really wanted to give Baba a flower but there were no more flowers in the basket. No in the Recep tion Office, Baba granted her wish. The music room sign-out book dis appeared from the Lobby. This records who signs out for the piano key and the music cupboard key. A pilgrim said twice he found the piano unlocked and the keyboard open. We moved the piano to the opposite side ofthe room because the sun was beating down on it. This is a very expensive piece, given by the father of one of the residents. 6 January. I met Pramode at the MPR to discuss the children’s’ jungle gym mistake. The problem arose when we changed the shape from octagonal to round. The top bars curve. This caused Pramode to put the double parallel bars from the monkey bars lower—by two feet. There was a meeting about the needs have for Amartithi. We the MPR yill get extra beds from Hostel D. 8January Suzie Biddu told me Bhauji’s birthday celebration Sunday will be tele castworldwide on his Internet chat. Bhauji will turn 82.

11 January. Went to check the latest trench we had had dug to keep the cows out. It was neither deep enough nor long enough. Every year for Amartithi, all the path stones are whitewashed. This morning, workers were painting the ones around our quarters. 12 January. Up the hill by 5:20 AM, in plenty of time for the opening of the Samadhi doors. In fact, I was asked to open them with the key! It was my first time ever! Behind the Jhopdi is the Meherabad Trust Office. The little verandah is now being given a new life as a computer room. They are enclosing it, with the only entrance from inside the office. I saw one of our Trustees had a broken foot. He fell crossing the railroad tracks on his motorcycle. The main crossing is full of small stones that are dangerous to ride across. The Railroad Department said this was temporary, until the new tracks settle. Then theywill put in large fiat slabs of stone. A tire cannot get traction, as the stones move around as you pass over them; even cars are having trouble. I had already stopped crossing on my scooter. But, thank God, the Trust, after several people fell and broke bones, went and packed the area with dirt, then brought a big water tanker and drenched the dirt to pack it more firmly. One of the questions a pilgrim asked during the Historical Tour was, who designed the Samadhi? I asked Peter Nordeen when I saw him the next day—a great source of knowledge, as he spent many years here with Padri. Peter said Chanji’s brother, Naroji Dadachanji, de signed the Samadhi under the direction of Baba. During the Tour, we were able to go into the Rahuri Cabin. It had been under repair for several months. Now it looks fantastic, repaired and freshly painted. Ted Judson stopped by while I was in there with the pilgrims. Ted said a facsimile of the original Rano Gayley painting that had been in the Rahuri Cabin for many years will be put in it. The original painting is now in the museum, where it will remain.

Between the Baba community and the pilgrims, there were a few hundred people at Dhuni. There was a lot of energy, and when the Dhuni was over, there were still a lot of people around, because we have some really great Iranian musicians here, 3’


They started playing their Daffs, drums, and a most beautiftil sounding string instrument called a tabour. They continued singing and playing for at least an hour. I could have listened to them all night! 13 January. Bhauji’s 82nd birthday. Since so many are here, Suzie Biddu held the birthday celebration in our Music and Arts Center. Balloons were put up around a special seat for Bhau on the verandah. Delicious chocolate cake and tea were served. Everyone sang Happy Birthday to Bhau. All this was webcast live on Bhau’s Sunday Internet chat with Baba lovers around the world. Performances were exceptional. The first act was the Ahmednagar Trust Office accounting department men’s singing. They are becoming so good they sound professional. Rama, Bhau’s wife, was next. Then with so many talented pilgrims here, we had a number ofother singers. Last was Hughie doing magic tricks. l4January. I was happy to see the jungle gym now fixed to its proper height. After the cement dries, the whole thing will be sanded and painted. For Amartithi, we are going to have signs at the entrances of all the sleeping wings, and also at the entrance as you walk up the ramp by the Reception Office. The signs will state three of the rules that all pilgrims read as part of their orientation. Mani and Padri gave these rules. However, during Amartithi, we are going to only have an abbreviation of the orientation. 1. No illegal drugs. 2. No men in women’s rooms, no women in men’s rooms. 3. No sex. We have made the signs to have these rules in three languages; English, Persian, and Hindi. We often have around 60 Iranians during Amartithi. 15 January. Workers came to put up more barbed wire fencing, with a gate by the building. Other areas still need to be closed to keep the cows out ofour garden. The herders are pretty persistent. 16 January. Poles for all the tents are going up, and poles on the hill around the Samadhi are almost all up. Energyis building. Yesterday all extra beds from Hostel D were taken to the Retreat. Some have already been stuffed in upper rooms on the men’s side—a lot of work. Six signs with the three main rules in three languages are almost finished. Pretty impressive. 18 January. At the Retreat, I saw Pramode, who built the jungle gym. He brought painters to paint it. We will put up the tire swing, then it will be ready! 32

On both sides of the railroad tracks there are huge piles of dirt to be made into a smooth crossing. 19 January. Bill Cliff, Ted Judson, Wendy Halstad, and others gave wonderful performances. 2OJanuar In Mandali Hall at Mehe razad, Hughie had the children laughing with his magic tricks. 21 January. At the Retreat the jungle gym is finished! A rope temporarily holds the tire swing. A chain is coming soon. As soon as it went up children (and parents) used it! Shridhar (a Trustee) is scheduling Amartithi Samadhi duty. Those who sign up will be given a slot but cannot choose a time. On the Dining Hall doors there is a sign-up for volunteers to help with Baba’s Cabin Room. 22January The pandals are up, colorful and very pretty Theywill shade thousands who come for Amartithi. Already we have many pilgrims here. 23 January. Last day for pilgrims at the Retreat to drop offlaundry; no service during Amartithi. 24 January. Last day Meherazad is open until 5th February. iVIet the welder from Arangaon who will fit the tire swing with ball bearings so it will swivel. The man said it should be done in a day. I thought to myself “let’s see if it is done in a week.” We are trying to streamline Arnartithi 1\’IPR registrations. This year receipts will be printed by computer. In our office we will complete registrations, give out locks, and issue Amartithi badges with darshan queue numbers. At the accounting office pilgrims pay for lodging then go next door to pay for food. The signs with rules allow us to omit Orientation. 25 January. The old MPC will house overflow from the Retreat for a large number oflranians who don’t want to eat at the Retreat. I saw a blue tourist bus I had not seen before and passed a large group ofJapa nese people. They were coming down the hill from taking darshan at the Samadhi. Meher Baba’s Samadhi is considered a holyplace in India, and we get people who travel to all the holy places. 27January. I was running all over Meherabad on Amartithi errands. 28January. Had a meeting to pass on the history ofthe Cabin and the procedure for volunteer shifts there. It is great to have so many eager to help. Pilgrims had

to transfer to beds in the Reading Rooms and large Administration Hail. 29January Pilgrims had to move out of the MPR to the MPC. I put rope through the rings ofpoles to form the queue at the Cabin Room. Women volunteers from Nagpur sang Baba songs to Jaloo. There were so many people for darshan that the line was six deep. Indira said there are 1500 volunteers here. 3OJanuary At the Cabin Room, just as my shift was ending, Meheru came. We were expecting 116 pilgrims to arrive at the MPR today and everything went smoothly with our new arrangement. 31st January. Thousands of pilgrims were coming all night by bus, car, taxi, train, etc. The Iranians who performed at 8:55 AM were fantastic. I passed a young Iranian woman who had tears running down her face. I said “Jai Baba.” She said “What?” I said again “Jai Baba.” She asked what that meant. I told her. She said she just heard ofBaba two days before, she did not know anything about Him, but she was so overwhelmed by Baba’s love. It gets quite hectic around 11:30 rvi, as pilgrims have mostly sat down, and those trying to pass the Cabin can hardly find a place to put their feet. It is wall-to-wall pilgrim. We stopped the line at 11:15 because there was nowhere for pilgrims to go when they come out ofthe Cabin. Bhauji had been talking for a while. At 11:45 he was told he had to stop as announcements had to be made before Silence. Over the mike we heard Bhau say “But I don’t want to stop talking.” We all laughed! After announcements in different languages, Begin the Beguine was played. Then the whole hill full of thousands of Baba lovers began chanting Baba’s name to the tune ofMeher Dhun. I cannot tell you the magic ofhearing His name chanted by all those lovers of Baba—it fills the heart with joy! My heart knows the day will come when the whole world will chant His name during this time. At the stroke of noon everyone shouted “Avatar Meher Baba KiJai!”Then silence covered the hill like a blanket for the next fifteen minutes. It is such a powerful time. At 12:15 everyone said “Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!” several times. The prayers in a number oflanguages followed this. Most of the pilgrims began leaving after the Silence. It is amazing to see Meherabad clear out so quickly. February 1. All night I heard the buses leaving. Up the hill at Baba’s Cabin we


closed by noon. Before going down the hill, I sat near the stage and listened to a large group of pilgrims singing Baba Ru and a few other favorites. Everyone who was still up the hill was clapping and singing along—so much joy in the singing. And now another Arnartithi has come and gone. Baba truly opens the wine shop doors. And as one pilgrim said, “all drinks are on the house!” 2 February Now thatAmartithi is over we have only six weeks left of the pilgrim season. The Baba Birthday playhas begun production, with actors chosen and learning their parts, scenery being made, and costumes planned. There are still several hundred pilgrims here. Most ofthem are volunteers staying at Hostels C and D. They will mostly be gone by tomorro but since they are still here, the hill was already crowded. I was at the MPC to meet those who wanted to go on the Historical Tour of Meherabad. However, there was a mix-up about the bus that brings pilgrims from the MPR to the MPC. The buses are used to take pilgrims to the train station and the bus stations so pilgrims queued for a tour bus that never came. I had forgotten. Fi nally a driver for the bus went up to drive it, but, by then most of the pilgrims had begun walking down the hill. 4 February. N’lany pilgrims left after Amartithi, and many took some days to go to Goa. We are still busy; next week is the anniversary of the 1958 Sahavas and we are receiving many requests for reser vations. I booked a group of 15 Russians who are coming for Baba’s birthda) John Gunn, who designed our computer system, stopped by to update our program; now we can look at the history of the number of pilgrims who come from different countries. India sent the greatest number of pilgrims, next was the USA, followed by Iran. 5 February I went to meet Gurdev, an Indian-Canadian pilgrim. Gurdev had bought land long ago and started a sixacre organic farm. He is using the most natural of everything, including using the urine of the female cows to mix with fertilizer. He has done so much research. He will soon be able to sell the products to the Baba community Gurdev says he will only sell at cost. He has no interest to make a profit. 6 February. A bus took any pilgrim who wanted to help in the birthday play to the Music and Arts Center. During the

afternoon there was a showing in Farsi of God in Human Form then a second Baba film was shown. 9 February The removal of the poles on the hill from Amartithi is not complete yet. 11 February. We have been so busy since December, having well over a 100 pilgrims most of the time. January we had 300 pilgrims because of Airiartithi. Now we are hitting 200 because of this weekend’s 50th Anniversary Celebration of1958 1\’leherabad Sahavas.Then we vi1l have Baba’s birthday celebration. When we moved into the Retreat last pilgrim season, we had no idea that once space is there, Baba quickly fills it up! I asked the lobbyman where our porter went. He said to get a pilgrim for a phone call. I asked, what was the emergency? He said there was no emergency, only a phone call. Well, that surprised me as we decided rhen we moved to the Retreat, aside from emergencies, we would no longer go to pilgrims’ rooms for a phone call—the place was just too big. We put a board in the Dining Hall rhere phone messages are posted. We made a sign that a pilgrim’s name would be put on during meals if the call came at that time. Porters go around the Dining Hall with the sign. Itwas a very efficient system. but we seemed to have forgotten to inform the lobbymen! Since the beginning oflast season, we have been telling pilgrims how our phone system Works, but lobbymen have been sending porters to the rooms to get pilgrims! Now is that not amazing! How was it possible all this time we both never knew what the other was doing?! 12 Februarv I met Flint and Jessica’s new baby boy, so much dark hair. 13 February. At the Music and Arts Center ras a Baba film and tea; later Peter Booth showed another film in the Dining Hall. 14 Februan HostelD has 600 pilgrims for the Sahavas.The welder who made the tire swing for our jungle gym came by to make the chain six inches longer, and make the hook swivel. 15 February. We’ve had 200 pilgrims (our full capacity) on four days. This does not count Amartithi when we had 300. I looked at how many days we had 150 pilgrims or more—24 days. And we wondered rhen we opened how often we would use the upstairs rooms! At Meher Pilgrim Center, we only had 56 beds. This is a big jump. Here’s something I saw . .

on the road to Ahmednagar : A bullock cart with a man talking on a cell phone! Today is the first day of the Sahavas com memorating the 1958 gathering, in the amphitheater. The three front rows were for guests who were here with Beloved Baba fifty years ago. I videotaped the ses sions. Weather changed from cool to hot just before the Sahavas began. 19 February.Went to the MPC to meet with Abbas, an Iranian resident who will conduct the Historical Tour in Farsi. We get many Iranians on pilgrimage who do not speak English; neither does Abbas. Our translator, Fara, brought her tape recorder. 23 February. Dolly gave us new cloths for Baba’s Birthday. I put a notice asking for volunteers to help decorate the MPR. 24 Februar Invited pilgrims to help string and cut flowers for the Samadhi later. 25 February. Beloved Avatar Meher Baba’s 114th Birthday! Out the door by 3:15 AM in a white Punjabi outfit. No sari, as it would take me at least an hour to put it on! Big crowd up the hill. In the Samadhi, helped lay many cloths on top of the marble. With so many garlands 3 many cloths put on the Samadhi toda are needed to protect the marble. At five minutes to 5:00 we began chanting Baba’s name. Then at 5:00 we said Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai seven times. We sang Happy Birthday after prayers and Arti. Chanting Beloved Baba’s name, the atmosphere was charged with a blissftil feeling. Tears filled my eyes. I noticed the pilgrim next to me also had tears in her eyes. We looked at each other with complete understanding. When Happy Birthday was over, everyone took turns singing. I got up to get my bowl of prasad—yes a bowl fill of all kinds of sweet yummies! The hill was crowded with His lovers—everyone happy in His love. All these people, from all walks of life, from so many countries, from so many religions—and all hugging each other. All happily saying “Happy Baba Birthday!” As Francis Brabazon said, “What a mighty Beloved Baba is!” The tea area under the tin shed was packed. Later was the third annualArt Exhibition with three different areas for tea and chocolate cake to keep lines from being too long. By 4:30 pm the theater was crowded and Alan announced his play, about Mehera’s early life and becoming Baba’s Beloved. Workers from the Trust office beautiflilly sang a Bhajan they

33


wrote. The birthday choir came on stage. Hooyar, a pilgrim from Iran, wrote their song. Bhauji and Meheru were in atten dance for the play. The story included the wedding of Rustom and Freni, Meheru’s parents; Freni was Mehera’s sister. How these wonderful plays are put on in only 10 days ofpreparation—an amazing feat. When the love is great to serve Him, the effort and energy are there! 26 February In the area between Meher English School and my home, village children play soccer or cricket. During my morning walk, I saw a decorated booth, and people smoothing the ground. The official Ahmednagar Cricket Clubs are having competitions. In Arangaon, the Meher Cricket Club is sponsored by the Trust. They have been the number one winner for some time. 27 FebruaryWe have seventeen Rus sians here! Jal and Dolly had their annual anniversary party. Everyone was invited, including all 150 pilgrims. Itwas so much fun! Beer, wine, and lots offood, with music for dancing. Periodically there would be a toast to Jal and Dolly. There must have been over a hundred people dancing! At one point, Russian pilgrims did a special dance, but I think the Fire Dance captivated everyone. Two pilgrims held metal holders offire, with long chains with fire in holders at the end. Watching them was astounding! 28 February. This was the last day Meherazad was open untilJuly. The Fire Dance was performed for l\4eheru and Ka tie. This time they used cloth flags instead offire. The Russians did a dance too. 29 February At IVleher Tailor I ordered twenty-five more Baba flags for the New Life Walk we have in October. The weather has begun to get the group of I March. Went to Russian pilgrims staying at the MPR. Since the Historical Tour of Meherabad would be translated from English to Rus sian, we decided to start a half-hour earliei; but we unable to go to all the sites because the translating took so long. We would continue the next morning, to see the Cage Room and Mansari’s kitchen. 2nd March. When we went into the Cage Room I was asked ifthey could say hello toJaloo. Now, I usually do not bother J aloo when I am giving the Tour. But, then I thought, “Why not ask?” When I asked Jaloo, she softly said, “What will I them?” I told Jaloo I would have one pu grim at a time stand at her door, and she could just say “Jai Baba.” Each pilgrim, warmer.

meet

were

say to

34

one at a time, with folded hands, would their name and say ‘jai Baba’. Jaloo would respond ‘Jai Baba’ back to them in the sweetest voice. It was touching. J essica and Flint had a boy a few weeks ago, and we had a tea for residents to “Welcome Baby Mednick to the Mehe rabad Community” We are waiting for the parents to decide on a name. 3 March. We are scheduled to have 22 pilgrims on the last night and close on the 15th for the summer. There was a ‘Happy Trails’ concert. That song is often sung at the Samadhi when someone is leaving. Beverly Smith and Brian Darnell gave the performance. Bhauji gave his talk. With so many Russians here, everything translated for them. How deeply their hearts have been touched by Baba! 4 March. Went to the bank to take out cash at the ATM but was only able to take a small amount.Their computer is having trouble accepting foreign transac tions. This has been going on for days. On the way back to Meherabad, a large construction tractor was clearing the area on one side ofthe bridge to widen it. It is all part of the new road that will go from Pune to Aurangabad. With the new bypass road around Ahmednagar, it is going to be sailing! 12 March. Called the bank to find out ifthe International Exchange Department had frxed the computer problem. Yes! I would finally have access to my money. Hostel D had sixty arrivals for the Dhuni. The two pilgrims who did the Fire Dance with live fire at Jal and Dolly’s party are still here.Jal asked them iftheywould like to perform next to the Dhuni when it over. So to everyone’s pleasure, Archana and Samarpan Hattendorf did a short fire dance. 13 March. At the ]\IPC, the Information Center was open. Debbie Nordeen has all kinds of free brochures. She the 1940s. Those she will of course not give out but copies will be made of them. This Information Center is really needed. as we are getting and more people who drop in and want to know about Baba.I rent into the bazaar and bought an air-cooler now that I can access Men delivered it, and I immediately put water in it and began using it. 14 March. Pilgrims were invited to see how the Media Center at the MPC set up. Bhauji gave a talk. 15 March. Closing day at Meher say

was

easy

was

new

came

across some from

more

my

money.

was

Pilgrim Retreat. Hostel D also closed for the summer. I said Happy Trails to pilgrims while tackling summer tasks. I had to take the signs about conserving water from the bathrooms. All the rules that we keep in every room had to be stored for the summer. Eight Reading Rooms’ books and cushions from their chairs and sofas had to be locked up in closets. The games cabinet in the Dining Room had to be reorganized and locked. Top and bottom locks were both broken so I had one of the porters turn it toward the wall. Books pilgrims leave are kept on bookcase in the lobby These had to be sorted and locked up. All notices on three information boards needed to be stored. I got rid of anything left in mailbox cubbyholes. I put away a number ofthings in our office and had much help in these tasks from two porters. In the evening there was a traditional season-end potluck dinner at the Muir compound. All the residents are invited for a relaxing get-together we all enjoy. We are always pretty wiped out at this time of year so it is a way to begin to relax. I told you about the Cricket Clubs of Ahmednagar having their tournament each year in the field between our staff quarters and Meher English School. Arangaon Meher Cricket Club came in second. Every year, after pilgrim season closes, residents serve a special lunch to all Mehe rabad workers and workers from the Trust Compound in Ahmednagar. Also Sam and Roshan Kerawala invited everyone to a lunch at their home to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. I am looking forward to my visit with my family in the States. I will be spending a week at the Meher Baba Center in Myrtle Beach. I have not been there in over thirty years! My heart looking forward to being alone with Baba in ‘His home in the West’. I just learned baby I\’Iednick now has a name. It is “Indiana.” signs

a

is

Maii Victory continuedfroinpage 29

The echo ofHis Name breaks through the predawn silence, sound waves rever berating in His infinite ocean oflove. Each voice adds its chorus to the symphony, each heart silently sings His glory, each mind makes its fresh resolve. Seven times we call out His victory! Seven times it echoes back to us. AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI! May the Victory be His.


Sewing The 7VIaster Through 21is Example Wayne Ga11er CA always difficult when trying to decide how to live your life to pick through the numerous paths and careers and possibilities. I became a Baba lover at 22 and Meher Baba opened a whole new way to answer this question. I could read God Speaks and follow His philosophy; I could read the Discourses and follow His guidelines. I read both of these several times, but I didn’t choose either one for my spiritualourneywith Baba. I was struck most by what He did: feed

I

power and fame by making it all volunteer from the startthe president and the smallest volunteer were paid the same, nothing. Whoever wanted to help, all their money went to help. Could we sustain this in this world? We just ended our eighth December. I\’Iore people than ever before have asked to join us, to help serve Baba in this particular way. So now I am asking all of you reading this to also consider joining us. We have a proj ect area about 45 year in

minutes

to

one

hour away from Meherabad in the outer Ahmednagar District. The av family lives on 1200 rupees a month, or about US $31. We provide food, school supplies, uniforms, daily tutoring and medical care for the whole family. There is no doctor, nurse or pharmacy in the village. Would you help us? It needs US $16 a month per child to supply all this includ the cost ofall the local staff to run the program. We would love to have you join us and glorify Baba’s name by trying to follow His example. Here are pictures of three of the children who need sponsors. You can contact us by calling 1-877-273-2549 or going to www.atouchoflove.org. No one the organization will benefit; only your child.

Kavita Gaikwad

erage

Ganesh Shinde

the poor, the lepers, the mad, the Godmad. Open clinics and heal the sick on welcome” basis. Educate an the poorest ofthe poor children, the ones who others wouldn’t even go near, and help them have a clean, healthy place to grow physically and spiritually. Oh yes, and reading between the lines, give them hope through love. Now how do you do this in a world that crazed with rnoney power and fame? Imitate God’s own example of loving people just because of Love itself I guess all come to our own decisions and try our best to be like Him. Vicki [my wife] and I decided to start foundation called A Touch of Love to remind us ofwhere it started. We thought we would keep away from money and “everyone is

is

we

a

ing

in

,

.I..t

L

V

Akshay Shinde

604 Hupa Street, Ventura, CA. 93001 Phone:1-877-273-2549, 805-641-2800 Fax: 425-871-0490, WWW.ATOUCHOFLOVE.ORG

35


3 Shall £Return Davana Brown, Meherazád is January 14th, a special New tfoday Year holiday called Sankrant. It is the day when Indians traditionally offer sesame sweets to each other saying, “Take these sweets, and talk sweetly the whole year.” At Baba’s home, Meherazad, Sankrant is still celebrated in the traditional way, by the giving ofsweets with a verbal reminder to take these sweets and speak sweetly the whole year through. During the many decades Eruch sat in the mandali Hall, describing the events leading up to the 31st of January 1969, he would most often begin the account by saying, “I still remember the day, it was Sankrant, the 14th ofJanuar Baba took some sweets in His hand and said to us all, ‘Take these sweets and speak sweetly.” Although Eruch is no longer with us to tell these stories, the stories live on, and give a glimpse into the days that led up to the 31st ofJanuary; a glimpse into the “household Baba.” From the 14th of Januar Baba stopped coming to mandali 1-lall to meet with the men. His health was failing and His doctors felt it would be best for Him to remain in His room. So, instead ofgoing to the hail, Baba called the men mandali to His room. “Baba would sit on his bed and we’d sit all around Him and after the reports and cables were read out and the other correspondence was attended to, Baba would like to hear a lot ofjokes. He liked there to be a lively atmosphere around Him and a number of the mandali were good at tellingjokes. But I am a dry person and never knew how to tell jokes. The biggest joke was my being rjth Baba.” Eruch would explain, “You can’t live rith the Godman ifyou say ‘I don’t kno’ you always have to be ready. I am not a humorous person, but ifBaba happened to turn to me and ask, ‘Do you have a joke?’ I had to be prepared. I had come across an article in a Gujerati magazine that I thought was quite humorous. So I kept it with me in case Baba should ask for a joke. And, it did happen that way on the 27th or 28th ofJanuary. Baba said to me, ‘Well, you tell me a joke.’ “I said, ‘Baba, I did read somewhere a joke, let me get the magazine.’ I ran and got the magazine and began to read the whole article out loud.

“There was a Tibetan monk who had lived in a monastery with his fol— lowers. He was much revered and loved by them. One evening, the monk is sitting on his bed in his room, with his followers around him, when he suddenly stands up and tells them, ‘I must go, but I shall come again’. He walks out the door of the monastery, never to be seen again.” The article described how it has been over 2000 years and the monk has not returned. But, in expectation ofhis return, his followers have kept everything ready for him. Baba gestured to Eruch, “But where is the joke?” “Baba, I am coming to that, just wait,” replied Eruch. “Here is where the joke comes in. The writer said that ifall the bed sheets that had been changed were to be spread out end to end over the earth, theywould cover it. Ifall the water had been collected from the jugs that were changed and filled daily, it would have created a lake, and ifall the dust that had been swept from his room were to be collected into a mound, it would have cre ated a mountain. I found it very humorous because thousands ofyears have passed by and they are still waiting for his return. “Of course, I tried to embellish it to please Baba, but He remained totally silent. Not even a smile crossed His face. It was very embarrassing for me because none of the mandali laughed either. I had thought it was very humorous, but Baba just kept quiet and nobody laughed. “In the early hours of the morning, around 2 or 3 am., on 3lstJanuary I was with Baba, massaging His body, when sud— denly He clicked His fingers. Baba’s face ras turned toward the wall, so I leaned over Him to read what He was saying. ‘Yes, Baba, you want to tell me something?’ Baba spelled out, ‘He did not come’.

“I didn’t know what He was trying to tell me and my mind started working. He did not come?. Who did not come? I couldn’t make sense of it. After about twenty minutes, Baba again repeated, ‘He did not come...’ “Then all of a sudden it came to me. Without looking to see whether Baba had fallen asleep or was just resting, I blurted out, ‘Oh Baba, are you talking about the monk? He didn’t come?’ “Yes,” gestured Baba, “The monk did not return, but I shall return.” . .

FirstAmarz’ithi continuedfrom pg 14

Avatar Meher Baba’s Message on the occasion of His 75th Birthday 25th Feb ruary 1969: To love me for what I may give you is not loving me at all. To sacrifice anything in my cause to gain something for yourself is like a blind man sacrificing his eyes for sight. I am the divine beloved worthy of being loved because I am love. He who loves me because of this will be blessed with unlimited sight and will see me as I really am. Arnartithi 1/iilunteers continuedJrom pg 24

iVIay His Love inspire these lovers to come again nextyear and to make the most of the precious chance to offer service to their Beloved at Amartithi. Hisz’orv ofWater continuedfrompg28

than Ahmednagar; now it gets 30 percent more. Although it may never return to its original state, Arangaon might yet again be a Forest Village. Miracles still happen now and then.


Dctstur ‘s ‘7Jctstctrd!y Deed :i<. 3 ‘Dcistur and the Ji?eyime in Russia By Ward Parks Ahmednagar

he history ofperiodical publication as it relates to this most recent Avataric incarnation has a curious beginning. It traces back, as do so many other activi ties connected with Meher Baba and His working, to the 1920s. At the turn of that decade there arose, briefly flourished, and soon disappeared again a monthly maga zine, entitled The Meher Message, under the editorship of one of Meher Baba’s early followers, K. J. Dastur. A number ofserial publications followed this one in later years—The Meher Gazette, The Meher Baba Journal The Awakener Divya Vani, Meher Pukar, The Glow, and of course, since Baba dropped His body in 1969, a rich new crop. But The Meher Message enjoys the distinction of having been the first effort in this line; and the somewhat equivocal relation between this magazine’s editor and the Master whom he used to shower with such titles as “His Divine Holiness” furnishes us with an interesting case study here. The thirty-odd back issues of The MeherMessage provide a diverse fare. For a long time each issue feamred a message or discourse by l’vleher Baba, or at any event attributed to Him; in addition, Dastur used to collect and publish under the title “Sayings of His Divine Majesty Sadguru Meher Baba” assorted short quotations and pithy statements of Baba’s. Close mandali, such as Chanji and Ghani and Ramjoo, were regular contributors. Yet Dastur clearly conceived his magazine not simply as a work ofdevotion to Baba and His lovers but as a larger presentation to the world and the general public. A new, progressive and enlightened vanguard was emerging within India, and Dastur, acting the role ofself-designated intellectual and cultural ambassador, was situating Meher Baba and His movement within this context. Thus in addition to literary works of a purely devotional and spiritual character, Dastur would bring in quotations and snippets, usually from Western philosophical and literary tradition (in a monthly section entitled “Thoughts Sublime”), as fit company for the Master to whom the magazine was dedicated. At the

T

same time, Dastur embarked on editorial forays into topics of current cultural and sociological and political interest. One extended editorial, for example, was de voted to a passionate denunciation of the practice of sati (suicide of the widow on the husband’s pyre). And in the last year of publication, Dastur wrote two articles vigorously defending the existing regime in Russia against criticisms emanating from England and Western Europe. The tone and spirit ofthese two articles is well illustrated by the opening paragraph ofthe first ofthem, “Religion in Russia” (p. 5): When the malicious crusade against Russia conducted in the press and on the plazforrn by shameless capitalists, vulgar imperialists and sanctimonious churchmen, was agitating the minds of thepeople in almost every country, we never dreamt that we would be driven to write on this theme. But as unfortu— nately notafew ofour compatriots seem to have been bamboozledby the wicked p ropaganda againstthe Soviets, and as thepoison instilled by the British press has begun to work ipon their minds, we are constrained to expose the hypocrisy ofthe Russophobes and to place before our readers unquestionablefacts in connection with the so—called religious p ersecution in Russia. Jingoistic journalists, politicians, and churchmen in England and Europe, Das tur went on to say, like “snarling beasts” ‘ThO “would if they could drink the lifeblood ofthe Soviets,” were maliciously 1evcling charges ofthc suppression ofreligion, when in fact the Soviets had done no more than to deliver the Russian people—much to their reiefand happiness—from the op pression and burden ofprivileges that the czars had formerly granted to an ignorant and fanatical Russian Orthodox church. It is true, Dastur conceded, that “many priests and bishops have been severely punished, but they have been punished not for their religion but for their political crimes” (p. 8). At the same time, certain denominations were flourishing, and persecution ofother groups, such as the Jews, had been brought to an end.

In reality much of the criticism of the Soviets (Dastur continued) was motivated by jealousy over their stunning economic successes, particularly in the field of agri culture, where productivity, spurred on by efficient communal farming and lowered taxation, ras increasing at an astonishing rate. “Instead of smiling away their chagrin,” the “capitalists and imperialists of England” were “making themselves more and more ridiculous by accusing the Soviets of diabolical crimes” (pp. 1314). This is not to say that the new rulers were without their faults. “The Soviets are not angels, but they also are not devils. To say that they represent the spirit of antiChrist is damnable nonsense and wicked falsehood” (p. 14). Dastur’s editorial on religion in Russia was followed up seven months later by a second article on that country entitled “Education in Russia.” Weighing in, once again, in opposition to the detractors in Western Europe, Dastur maintained that the Russian government, in a noble effort to achieve universal education among its long-suffering masses, was effecting noth ing less than a miracle. “It takes our breath when we think of their enterprise. What power of organization they exhib ited in their Herculean task of educating Russians” (p. 8). The outstanding characteristic of the Soviet system was that it affirmed the highest ideals and highest aspirations. “It acknowledges the dignity of man and turns out free individuals capable ofgrappling with their difficulties, fighting the battle of life and doing their duty by the state” (p. 10). Though education compulsory, “its characteristic is freedom.” the The main defect, as Dastur saw it, failure to teach, not the dogmas ofa single religion, but the greater, universal truths underlying all religions. “That children should be made to shout that there is no God and religion is opium seems to us ut terly odious” (p. ii). Nonetheless, despite its imperfections, the Russian educational system offered much that was worthy of emulation, and Indians should not be too proud to learn from their Russian brothers, “following in their footsteps” (p. 12). away

was

was

37


Taken together, these two articles represent a ringing defense ofthe Soviet gov ernment. Despite its atheism and materialism, both of which were understandable in view of the religious superstition and bigotry that it was up against, the Soviet regime was noble in its aims, achieving a beneficent transformation of Russian national life despite unconscionable re sistance, especially from abroad. The true villains in the storywere the capitalists and imperialists ofEurope who tear the Soviet accomplishment down out of mere malice and jealousy. Russia, 1929-1933 The Meher Message launched its inau gural issue in January 1929 and ceased publication three years later, at the end of 1931. “Religion in Russia” was published in October 1930 (Vol. II no. 10 pp. 5-15), and “Education in Russia” appeared eight months later, in the April-May-June issue of 1931 (Vol. III nos.4-6, 6-12). Though the articles named few names, the regime under discussion, ofcourse, was that ofthe Bolsheviks, founded in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution in 1917. And the head ofthe communist government, at the time that Dastur was writing, was a man by the name ofJoseph Stalin. When we look in retrospect, the years 1929-1933 emerge as noteworthy ones in Russian history For it was at this time that Stalin and the Soviet government undertook and actually carried out the collec tivization of agriculture. An authoritative history ofthis period is Robert Conquest’s Harvest ofSorrow, which has served as the basis for the account that follows. The underlying motivation on the part of the Soviets was the attempt, in conformity with communist dogma, to abolish private property and to gather the means of production under the authority of the state. Since much of Russia was agricultural, from the outset the peasparticular target ofthe Soviet leadership. An abortive attempt to abolish ownership of farms and to bring all agriculture in Russia under the direct control of the government was undertaken by Lenin almost immediately after he seized power. In a deliberate effort to instigate class warfare within the Russian village, the Soviet regime launched attacks what it styled the “kulaks,” attacks that amounted to the appropriation of much of the land holdings and grain of the Russian peasantry. The measures were ravaged much widely resisted, and civil 38 were trying to

pp.

antry was a

peasant

against

war

of the country In the end Lenin had to put his plans into abeyance, but not before eleven to twelve million of his people had died, some from violence, and many more from starva tion and disease. \ Thelast twoyears of Lenin’s life, and F most ofthe remainder ofthe 1920s, saw a relaxation of the communist effort to •—— :::N enforce their eco nomic vision; in con“_‘\ sequence, the coun tryside recovered to a considerable extent and began to return to somej J% ‘ thing approaching normalcy. In fact, with the emancipa tion of the serfs in the previous centur andwith most ofthe Nonetheless, Stalin’s treatment of the wealthy estates having been broken up and kulaks ras brutal beyond belief The formredistributed among the peasantry at large, nate ones died quicklywith bullets through the agricultural sector during the earlyyears their heads.The families left behind often rule was no longer characterfound themselves in desperate straits, all ized by great disparities of wealth. their grain and livestock requisitioned by Despite this, much of the leadership the government, doomed to slow deaths among the Bolsheviks was still determined by starvation. Millions of such families, to collectivize agriculture; and so the re prieve was short-lived. The beginning of a however, were deported to the infamous gulags of Siberia and the arctic regions. phase was signaled in December 1929 Conditions oftransport were so atrocious with Stalin’s declaration ofthe impending “liquidation ofthe kulaks as a class.” Now that many (perhaps 15-20 percent) did not the trip; those who did often had a though according to communist party life ofa year or two. Solzhenit expectancy exploitwere capitalist the kulaks dogma tells of6O,000-70,000 deported to the the rural economy, in point of fact, by 1929, twelve years after the Revolution, “icebound Siberian stream ofVasyugan, to be marooned on patches offirm ground in such a class hardly existed. In one charthe local marshes without food or tools” a province in for example, acteristic case, rffich 4000 farms were “dekulakized” (Harvest of Sorrow, p. 142). By the next spring all had died. With regard to the yielded about one horse per farm, a plough ro of the kulak, as the philosophy treatment and pig a and a cow for every in a novel published in was described says, Conquest for every four farms. As the time, “Not one of them at IVloscow lower “the average kulak’s income was anything; but they belonged of was guilty who than that of the average rural official of everything” that was guilty to class a of the was persecuting him as a member 143). ofSorrow, (Harvest 118). wealthy class” (Harvest ofSorrow, p. p. With the so-called kulaks exterminated In most cases the kulaks were nothing or deported in numbers swelling to the more than somewhat successifil farmers, ten-to-fifteen million range, the survivors of and it was on their efforts that much among the peasantry might have had reason the rural agricultural economy depended.

:

.

%%

%

ofcommunist

new

survive

syn

ers of

some

farms,

I

I


to expect some relaxation in the severity of the communist regime towards them. But such was not to be. Early in 1930 (some six months before the first ofDastur’s articles) the Soviet government embarked on a program of crash collectivization whose main object was to annihilate the private farm holdings of the peasantry and to shift them into government-controlled collectives. Although this initiative met with widespread resistance (including the slaughter of perhaps half the nation’s livestock), within a few years the vast preponderance of the nation’s land had fallen into government ownership. But the real blow fell in 1932, when the government imposed requisitions on grain—essentially a form of taxation— which, particularly in the Ukraine, left the peasantry with no grain whatsoever, no seed grain for the next spring, not even enough to make flour for bread. The sheer inhumanity of this policy is underscored in many accounts of party officials ransacking the huts of utterly impoverished farmers, searching for buried reserves of grain or potatoes. The consequence was a famine on a scale seldom seen before. In the Ukraine alone, some five to seven million people died of starvation during the terrible winter and desolate spring of 1932-33.

For Stalin, of course, the extermina tion of the Ukrainian peasantry was just a warm-up act. Promptly upon its conclu sion, as is described in Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror, Stalin embarked upon a program of purges, wave after wave, that wiped out the leadership in most arenas of Russian life. Through brutal and sadistic torture, accused persons were forced to confess to fantastical plots against the Soviet government, the shabby spectacle of which was paraded before an interna tional audience in the show trials of the late 1930s. The Terror reached its climax in 1936-38,just before the onset ofWorld War II; and though Russia bore the main brunt of the violence of this terrible conffict and the Nazi onslaught, some Rus sians who lived through the experience found the war a positive relief compared with what had preceded it. After the rar the tyranny continued, with government-created famines, a miasma ofgovernment lies in every sphere ofpublic life, and the gulags in the frozen northlands where millions of prisoners precariously survived for a time and often died soon after.

Two last anecdotal details about the secret “Central Isolation Prisons” in the Siberian gulag system stand in my mind as emblems of Stalin’s rule. To one of these prison camps, as Conquest relates, 50,000 prisoners were “transferred” for extermina lion. “The victims were tied up with wire like logs, stacked in trucks, driven out to a selected area, and shot.” When another ofthese prison camps was due for closing, according to a camp veteran writing afterrjds, the method ofdoing so was designed to obliterate even the memory that such a camp had existed. First, the remaining pris oners were executed. Then, special NKVD ( secret police) squads rounded up and killed off the camp staff and guards. “Owing to the permafrost, it is impossible to bury the bodies, and they are piled into veritable hills and covered with truckloads of earth, the whole matter remaining unknown even in The camp site itself neighboring camps was later converted into a prison hospital (The Great Terror, pp. 322-23). Such was the regime whosepraises K Dastur was singing in the magazine I that he edited in the name and service ofMeher Baba, the Lord ofLove and Avatar ofthe Age. Journalistic Whitewashing Though Dastur’s assessment of the Soviets not only missed the markbut posi tively stood the truth on its head, he did not err alone. To the contrary, much of the dominant mainstream among the Western cultural elite (with whom Dastur seems to have attuned himself) shared in his views. Adulation of Stalin in the early 1930s was widespread in “advanced” circles; and even among reporters and intellectuals who were on the scene in iVloscow and thus in a position to know flillywell what was going on in that country, very few indeed were willing to send out honest reports, while many more denied the atrocities outright, making themselves complicitous in the big lie that Stalin was perpetrating. Thus it is among a sorry crew that historical hindsight must place the unfor tunate Dastur in the stands that he took regarding Russia in the early 1930s. Conquest devotes a chapter in Harvest ofSorrow (pp. 308-21) to what he calls “the record of the West”; and the tale that he tells is one of massive, systematic falsification on the part ofthe Soviets and a largely willful self-blinding on the part of all too many Western reporters. One technique the Soviets deployed was to cre ate model or “Potemkin villages,” stocked

with fat cattle and well-fed peasants, in the midst ofthe famine; and these concocted spectacles, like movie sets, were used to persuade gul]ible delegations of foreign scholars andjoumnalists that rumors of the famine were nothing more than politically motivated fabrications. Thus George Bernard Shaw, one of the most celebrated British intellectuals of the early 20th century, could assert in 1932, “I did not see a single under-nour ished person in Russia, young or old. Were they padded? Were their hollow cheeks distended by pieces of India rubber inside?” (Harvest ofSorrow, p. 316). Sidney and Beatrice Webb, widely regarded as the leading social scientists of their day; published a book in 1937 in which they denied the existence of a famine and attributed such minor food shortages as may have occurred to sloth on the part of the kulaks and a refusal to sow and reap on the part of peasant farmers acting in the spirit of anti-government sabotage. The prestige and influence of celebrated writ ers and scholars such as these did much to confuse the public perception and to obscure Stalin’s crimes under an appearance of controversy. Most infamous among these obfus cators, however, was Walter Duranty, distinguished reporter for the New York Times, rho was probably the Western world’s most influential source ofinforma tion through this period. In September 1933, in the immediate aftermath of the genocide, “he was the first correspondent to be admitted to the famine regions, and reported that ‘the use of the word famine in connection with the North Caucasus He also spoke of is sheer absurdity ‘plump babies’ and ‘fat calves as typical of the Kuban” (HarvestofSorrow, p. 319).Yet Duranty actually knew what was going on; according to a dispatch from the British charge d’affaires of the period, “Mr. Du ranty thinks it quite possible that as many as ten million people may have died directly or indirectly from lack offood in the Soviet Union during the past year” (Harvest of Sorrow, p. 320). Thus Duranty’s reports were deliberate falsifications. Despite this, in 1932 Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his “dispassionate, interpretive .

.

.

reporting of the news from Russia.” There were, however, an honorable

few who dispatched truthful accounts to the Western press. Foremost among these was Malcolm iViuggeridge, a young man at the time, who subsequently proved to 39


be one of the great figures of twentiethcentury journalism. Arriving in Mosco like most ofhisjournalistic cohorts, as an enthusiast ofthe new regime there, Muggeridge, unlike his compeers, had open eyes and an honest mind, and quickly he realized the fraud that Stalin was perpe trating. Defying the prohibition on travel by foreignjournalists, Muggeridge actually boarded a train and himself visited the famine-stricken districts of the Ukraine; his subsequent first-hand reports in the Manchester Guardian were instrumental in bringing news of this catastrophe to the ‘Nest. Yet, extraordinarily enough, the Western journalistic mainstream was not prepared to accept the debunking of its illusions, and when Muggeridge returned to England, despite just having broken one of the most significant stories of the century, he was (in effect) fired from his job and found himself unable to secure a new one. He had been blacklisted. In an interview many years later, Muggeridge recalled a moment in his visit to the Ukraine that impressed him deeply. “It was on a Sunday in Kiev, and I the church there for the Orthodox mass. I could understand very little of it, but there was some spirit in it that I have never come across before or after. Human beings at the end of their tether were saying to God: ‘We come to You, we’re in trouble, nobody but You can help us.’ Their faces were quite radiant because of this tremendous sense they had. As no man would help them, no government, there was nowhere that they could turn. And they turned to their Creator. Wherever I went it was the same thing.” Those who turned to God or religion did so against the wishes of their rulers; the professions ofWestern celebrities such as Bernard Shaw—who claimed that USSR., unlike Britain, fos tered freedom of religion (Harvest of Sor low p. 316)—in actuality the Soviet regime had been virulently hostile to all forms the outset, and under Stalin the attack had been greatly stepped up. As early as 1917 Lenin had written, Every religious idea, every idea of God, even ffirtingwith the idea ofGod, is unut terable vileness ofthe most dangerous kind, “contagion” of the most abominable kind. Millions filthy deeds, acts of violence and physical contagions are far less dangerous than the subtle, spiritual idea of God decked out in the smartest Every defense “ideological” costumes went into

for contrary to

of spirituality from

.

.

.

of sins,

. . .

40

or justification of God, even the most fined, the best intentioned, is a justification ofreaction. (Harvest ofSorrow, p. 199.) It had not proven possible for the Soviets to act on this view (and to bring their “reaction” into effect) in the first years of their regime, since the Russian Orthodox Church, with about 100 million members at the time of the Revolution, commanded a wide allegiance. In the late 1920s, however, increasing pressure was brought to bear, despite wide resistance from the people, particularly in rural areas. Churches were pillaged, or torn down, or converted into granaries or government offices; religious activities were increasingly repressed; and thousands of priests were charged with conspiracy against the gov and hauled off to prison camps, where many died. In 1929 even the Soviet Constitution was revised in such fashion as to further restrict religious rights; while the worst of the anti-religious measures, like other of Stalins atrocities, proceeded without constitutional sanction. In light of what was actually happening in the countr) Dastur’s impassioned defense of the Soviets (as noble atheists alienated by religious hypocrisy but despite this, defending religious freedom in Russia) particularly ridiculous. Nor does Dastur’s paean to Soviet edu take what was probably the main feature in a child’s education during these years—hunger. Conquest that, of the seven million who died in the famine, about three million were children. Many of them died with their families; others their parents sent off in hopes that they would survive by begging. Some wound up in hellacious homes for juveniles, or even in children’s labor camps (i.e. prison); others, escaping, joined gangs of hooligans who survived by petty theft. In sum: all three areas that Dastur singled out for special praise, Soviet education, Soviet treatment of re ligion, and Soviet agriculture, were scenes of unmitigated disaster. Like so many of his brothers in the world of journalism, Dastur’s naive enthusiasm for the Soviets and moral outrage at their critics served only to aid and abet in the obftiscation of the misdeeds of one of the most brutal in human history Dastur’s Blunder At this juncture we should pause to consider the nature of the responsibility that a writer and editor bears. When one writes an article, even the worst of articles, ernment

seems

cation

estimates

regimes

into account

one does not, through that act ofwriting or editing, shoot a fellow human with a ballet or snatch food from a starving child. Writing operates in a mental domain. Effective persuades others; and through that persuasion consequences ripple forth into the material sphere. Yet though its means of operation may be subtle, its impact can be enormous. If one could truly trace ef back to causes, one might conclude that a war that physically kills millions is no greater a calamity than, say, an influen tial nihilistic movement in literary-cultural circles. Indeed, such movements might rank among the causes of such wars. Much of Stalin’s success hinged on duplicity. A leitmotifofhis biography lies in his having bamboozled friends and enemies and associates ofail types, one after another, including famous foreign personalities who should have known better, such as HG. Wells or Franklin Roosevelt. It was crucial to Stalin’s success to win over public figures from outside the Soviet whose sphere, “free agents” as it would buoy up his credibility in the world scene as nothing else could do. This was especially so in the late 1920s and early 1930s when a curtain of Soviet government lies and denials kept the world from filly appreciating the magnitude and horror ofthe liquidation ofthe kulaks and the starvation ofthe Ukrainian peasantry that Stalin was bringing to accomplishment. Through his passionate defense of the Soviets, Dastur put his talents to the service of Soviet propaganda and aided and abetted in Stalin’s mendacity What by publishing his polemics in a magazine entitled The Meher Message, in the minds ofhis public, Dastur ran the risk of associating Meher Baba with his own Going to bat for a genocide and implicating the Avatar of the age in the whole mess: it hard to imagine how an editor could perform more badly Of course, one could says on behalf of the hapless Dastur, that his mistake was unintentional. He sincerely believed that the Soviets were being slandered. Had he realized the truth of the situation in Russia, he would never have spoken out he did. Yet this does not excuse him, for even his ignorance Dastur had grounds for knowing better: and now at last I come to the point of this article. He should have known not to involve hirnsefin politics. Indeed, he did kno for Meher Baba had specifically told him so. According to Lord

writing

fects

were,

testimony

is worse,

views.

is

as

in


Meher, in December of 1928, just before the release of the first issue of The Meher Message, Baba discussed the forthcoming magazine rith him. “If The Meher Mes sage deals only with spiritual subjects, my nazar (sight) and blessing will always be on it’ [Baba said]. Baba warned Dastur to steer clear ofsocial and political issues and not to publish such articles in what was supposed to be solely a spiritual journal” (LordMeher, Vol. 3, p. 1126). But Dastur disregarded Baba’s warning. A little more than a year later, shortly before the release of the first of Dastur’s articles on Russia, an interesting episode transpired that has not, so far as I know, been related in flail by any of the histories or biographies ofthe period. This episode occurs against the background of Mahat ma Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement against the British Raj, which in the late 1920s was in full swing. In the April 1930 issue of The MeherMessage (p. 15), Dastur published the following note:

Shri Meher Baba’s Devotees And The Civil Disobedience Movement “A good number of Shri Meher Baba’s devotees, the chief being Mr. N. Satha, iVir. V. S. Chinchorkar, Mr. R. B. Hiray, and the Editor of The Meher Message, have been taking an active part in the Civil Disobedience Movement, inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi for bringing the oppressive rule of the British barbarians* in India to an end and thereby achieving Puma Swaraj or complete Independence. If; as it is probable, the Editor of this Magazine is arrested and imprisoned, the publication of the next or some other fluture number or numbers ofthis Magazine will be delayed.” Apart from Dastur’s gratuitous self-promotion in presenting himselfas a martyr in advance ofthe event—a martyrdom which, indeed, never materialized—this announcement creates the implication (though it does not actually say) that Meher Baba supported Gandhi’s opposition to the British “barbarians.” Dastur’s notice precipitated a response from Baba’s mandali, undoubtedly with the approval of Baba Himself In the inaugural June 1930 issue of The Meher Gazette vol. 1 issue 1, pp. 2-3), the editor C.

V. Aiyengar published an article by Baba’s disciple and secretary Chanli (E H. Dadachanji) explicifly asserting that Baba “has nothing to do with the step taken by some of his disciples in the Civil Disobedience nuovement, or any organization.” The fill text of Chanji’s article, a significant one on this subject, is published on the next page. But in essence, Chanji affirmed what Meher Baba asserted many times over the following decades, that He “has by Margaret Bourke-White © Time Inc. no connection or concern whatever Gandhi 1946 with any political, social or religious ques have contributed to this, clearly his having iion or movement. .His Holiness never disobeyed Baba on the matter of politics gives any order or instructions to any one was one of them. in any matter ofsocial, political, or religious Over the millennia humanity has found propaganda, except in the matter of one’s the life ofthe Avatar to be a treasure house efforts for his own spiritual upliftment. of exemplary episodes giving us guidance .It is therefore necessary to make it quite through the maze ofour lives. We all know clear that the part that is being taken by that Baba has enjoined upon us to stay out some ofHis disciples in the present C[ivil] of politics. The story of Dastur provides D[isobedience] Movement is being taken a marvelous case in point. If he had not by them of their own accord and free will, had Baba’s warning to the contrary, all and on their own responsibility.” Baba re that Dastur said and wrote on the subject fusedto have anythingto dowith Dastur’s of Russia in the early 1930s might have politics. made perfect sense to a reasonable and But the decisive moment seems to have progressive man of his time and place in occurred earlier, in May of1930, when, as life. Indeed, many would have thought cited in LordMeher (vol. 4, p. 1310), in re his political stands to be morally upright sponse to Dastur’s declaration ofhis intent and idealistic, even courageous. Yet the to participate in civil disobedience, Baba churning of time’s passage has brought expressed His displeasure in unequivocal into view bitter, unsuspected truths and terms. Reiterating His wish not to be asset what Dastur wrote against a ghastly sociated with any political position, Baba newbackdrop. While no doubt he put pen said, “I have rned Dastur so manytimes to paper fresh from the inspiration of ani to stay away from politics but, in spite of mated political conversations with friends, his promise to me, he is going against my those discussions have all been swept away, wish. Let him do as he damn well likes; and now we read his articles against the he can go to Hades—I can’t be concerned backdrop of the hideous history of the with the likes of him! He will repent for gulags and the Ukrainian terror-famine. this.” Chanji’s letter in The Pvfeher Gazette Dastur did not need to have implicated followed the next month, which in turn himself in this; indeed, he should not precipitated a flurry ofletters and articles have done so. If he had only managed to from Dastur and his supporters. Shortly overcome his passions and inclinations and thereafter, in October of1930 and again in obey Baba, Dastur could have avoided this May of1931, Dastur published his screeds blunder, and there would be no occasion on Russia; at the same time, The Meher seventy-five years later for his name to be Message was becoming less spiritual in its covered with obloquy by me in this pres focus and Meher Baba Himselfwas reced ent writing. ing into the background of its pages. By If a single word of Baba’s were mea the time the magazine ceased publication sured in the scale against ten million hu at the end of 1931, Dastur had repudiated man lives, Baba’s word would weigh the his former Master. While many causes may more heavily. Indeed, He is the One who . .

. .

*[We read the following paragraph on page 1146 ofLordMeher Vol 3 that tells us this was far from the truth:

On the evening ofMarch 2nd, during a discussion with Nusserwan Satha, K.J. Dastur and Vishnu about the current Indian political affairs, Baba stated: “The British are the greatest benefactors for India—they sweep all its bad sanskaras! Yet the Indians bawl out and curse them, because they do not understand this. If India were benefited materially it would be thrown back spiritually. It would even be worse than England. The reverse effect would be greater.”] away

4’


obvious reasons. Theflill communication willbepublished in the September issue of ‘Tvleher Gazette.”—C. VAzyengar A statement is published in the April issue of The Meher Message to the effect that certain staunch devotees or rather disciples ofHis Holiness Sri Meher Baba are taking an active part in the Civil Dis obedience movement. In order that no misunderstanding may be created in the minds of the public with regard to His Holiness’ spiritual teachings or working by the publication of the above statement, it is thought necessary to publish a brief explanation that His Holiness has no connection or concern whatever with any political, social or religious question or movement. His Holiness is no doubt spiritually concerned with every mdividual soul, action and movement, and the universe itself while keeping Himself externally aloof from the same. All are equal in His eyes, and the only aim of His working, life and teachings is to effect moral and spiritual evolution and emancipation ofindividual souls from the bondage ofMaya and to make them know their inner and real selves. Such Sadgurus work only for the Spiritual upliftment of the whole Universe, and with this end in view, they occasionally make use of such means as observance of silence, solitude and fasts, but not for their own selves, as they do not need them, being themselves God-realized personalities, and having the consciousness and experience of their highest state at every moment. The present being a critical and an Meher Baba’s Denial time for the universe, His extraordinary The following message from Meher Meher Baba has also commenced Holiness Baba was published in ‘The Meher through these means of inner working His Gazette”, vol. 1 no. I (June 1930), as fasts. Silence He has solitude and silence, a printed bound insert between pages for the last nearly been observing already 2 and 3 ofthat issue. The message came period, He has which during five years, ill response to a politically oriented an— fasts. He has now several also observed nouncement by Kj Dastur in The Meher the 15th of May since in seclusion retired Message, a magazine that he edited. current in Panchgani. .During His seclu A Denial And An Explanation sion, He will cease to have any connection From His Holiness Sri Meher Baba whatever with the outside world .His NB. I have receivedfrom Bro. F H Holiness is doing all this only for the salva Dadachanji, the Private Secretary of lion and spiritual evolution ofthe universe. His Holiness Sri Sadguru Meher Baba, For this alone is His sacred mission. The number ofHis Holiness’ devotees under His instructions, a communica— and admirers is very large, and includes tion,forpublication, which clearly shows members of all castes and creeds But that Babaji has nothing to do with the has no concern with their beHoliness His step taken by some ofhis disciples in the His Holiness never gives activities. or liefs Civil Disobedience movement, or any to any one in order or instructions any organization. Extractsfrorn it are pubor religious political, matter ofsocial, any lished belowfor immediate circulationfor propaganda, except in the matter of one’s

can bring about the downfall of an entire civilization and the annihilation of ten times ten million human lives—and who can prevent such an eventuality—with the ffick ofHis finger. For He is the Real, and this vast phantasmagoria of creation does not exist. The warning against political involvement is one of the distinctive ele ments in this Avataric Advent. In times when passions run high, we can do no better than cling to His daaman and uphold what He has told us. Works Cited: Conquest, Robert. The Great Terror: A Reassessment. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. Harvest ofSorrow: Soviet Collectiviza tion and the Terror-Famine. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. Dadachanji, E H. “A Denial and an Explanation from His Holiness Meher Baba.” The Meher Gazette, vol. 1 no. 1 (June 1930), pp. 2-3. Dastu; K.J. “Education in Russia.” The MeherMessage, vol. 3 nos. 4-6 (April-May June 1931), pp. 6-12. “Religion in Russia.” The Meher Mes sage, vol. 2 no. 10 (October 1930), pp. 5-15. “Shri Meher Baba’s Devotees and the Civil Disobedience Movement.” The Meher Message, vol. 2 no. 4 (April 1930), p. 15. Kalchuri, VS. LordMeher: the Biogra phy ofAvatarMeherBaba. Vols. 3 and 4. North Myrtle Beach, SC: Manifestation, 1988 and 1989.

. . .

. . .

. .

. .

. . .

42

efforts for his own spiritual upliftment. .It is therefore necessary to make it quite clear that the part that is being taken by some ofHis disciples in the present C[ivil] D[isobedience] Movement is being taken by them oftheir own accord and free will, and on their own responsibility. Editors’ Note: As we have observed we have nothing to do with politics. We have to do much in other departments of life before we enter politics. We shall try at first to theosophise our homes. Our master stands for the spiritual upliftment of the world. We regret that our brother should have thought it proper to make a note about the C[ivil] D[isobedience] in The Meher Message, which is now the leading spiritual organ in the world. We rejoice that, at this juncture, our dear Mas ter—the greatest in the world now—has cleared all doubts in the explanation we have published under His instructions. His present crucifixion is worth the attention ofthinking minds. Ed. —Meher Gazette. . .

The Light 2one Harry (Ossian) Stoddard, SC, USA reading in one ofthe daily “Meher Baba iViessages” from the Atlanta Jrecalled Group that Meher Baba said to do your work”as a spiritual being. Do it for me. Do it as ifit is Meher Baba doing it.” So it was with this in mind I climbed the ladder onto the roofwith garden hose in hand for the annual spring-cleaning ofthe gutters.The job proceeded nicely with Baba and work on mind and soon it had been done. I sat on the roof in the shade provided by the chimney to rest and sip some iced tea. Suddenly the mind’s eye opened and presented to me an interesting movie to watch. I was located at a high place over looking some very high thin towers. One was pointed and reminded me of an inverted icicle, another was also circular with openings through which I could see a spi ral stairwa) A first I was concerned about the height but that went away as I was lifted higher and higher and the towers increased in height. The height suddenly felt like millions ofmiles, which could have been the millions of lifetimes. I felt Meher Baba’s presence through out all of this activity. The view of the continued on pg 42


$JReviews ;;:

Ei3ooks

7he 2’Ieni Life

-

Meher Babac New Ljft

12”

New Book by Bhau Kaichuri

Meher Baba

his New Life is endless, and even after my physical death it will be kept alive by those who live the life of complete renunciation of falsehood, lies, hatred, anger, greed and lust; and who, to accomplish all tliis, do no lustful actions, do no harm to anyone, do no backbiting,• do not seek material possessions or

T

ust when you thought you’d read as much as you could of Bhau Kaichuri’s 20-volume, 6,742-page biography of Meher Baba, LordMehei here comes the indefatigable Bhau with a new weighty 700-page tome on the New Life. In this book we have the most detailed account to date of this fascinating and mysterious phase of Meher Baba’s universal work, which tookplace between 1949 and 1952. who accept no homage, It’s illustrated rjth many delightfiilphoto graphs of Baba and His companions and 4i nuthcr covtt honor nor shun —disgrace, lovers, as well as maps and photos ofsites and fear no one and nothing; visited during the New Life. those who rely wholly and solely by There are some Baba-lovers who buy on God, and read every book about Baba that comes out, while others are not so big on and who love God purel.y for the sake of loving; reading (and the time it takes) and unlikely 1 who believe in the lovers of God to tackle a narrative of this scope and the reality of Manifestation, and in detail. For the second group, the book at and do not expect any spiritual or yet least lends itselfwell to browsing, and you reward; materjal will find yourself getting absorbed in the not let do who go the hand of Truth, stories that you find about the adventures being upset by and who, without and experiences of Baba, His mandali and whole bravely calamities, companions, and His lovers who stayed with all face hardships hcartcdly behind, living as best they could under cheerfulness, percent one hundred Baba’s orders while believing, as He had and give no importance to caste, told them, that they would never see Him creed and religious ceremonies. again. You will get a glimpse of what the “enjoyment ofmisery” means and why the This New Life will live by itself eter New Life companions reported that al nally, even ifthere is no one to live it. though they suffered many hardships and discomforts, theywere sustained by the joy The God-Man, C. B. Purdom (c) 1971 of Baba’s presence and companionship. vIeher Spiritual Center, Inc. The two and a half years of the New Life encompass an awesome range of ac . the requirement to be cheerfiil tivities and conditions. Some examples: . under any circumstances and avoid giving up everything and becoming expressing negative emotions (Baba “hopeless and helpless” said, “You have to be lords and . strict obedience to Baba’s orders masters ofyour faces”) ( for some, this included no . the gypsylike wandering ofBaba and touching the opposite sex, no his companions—a motley group touching mone no correspondence of men and women pilgrims of or reading the newspaper, etc.), religions and castes, wearing various while at the same time regarding clothing and accompanied strange Him as a companion rather than a an array of animals, begging odd by master (which meant no darshan, and sleeping in cold, their food for no blessings, “no spirituality”), with places uncomfortable punishments for disobedience such . labor and business endeavors such as having to slap Baba in the face

J

power,

.

..

.;

...

,

.

.

.

as the New Life ghee company, a business that failed because the ghee produced by the companions was too pure compared with the cheaper, adulterated products of their competitors . contact with masts, saints, and sadhus . seclusion work . the construction of small models ofreligious structures (mosque, temple, stupa, church, fire urn) for some mysterious work of Baba’s . “utter ruination” (satyanashi) and the “annihilation of the mind” ( Manonash), which Bhau says means annihilation of impressions and individual life but not of the real ego merged in divinity This book can be a valuable reference work, although unfortunately it lacks an index. I hope it will eventually appear online in a searchable format, as was done with Lord Meher. It could have also benefited from a chronology, because in such a long, detailed work, it is hard to keep an overview and remember what exactly happened when (which is why my little list above is in no particular order). J eff Wolverton has written a good foreword; I wish he had made it longer, because again, with such a long work, it’s helpful to have an introduction that orients readers before they plunge right into the details. I also note that no clear explanation is given ofwhat this account is based on, other than the vague notion that diaries and reminiscences were used. Such lack of documentation is disappointing for those who are concerned about scholarship. However, it’s understandable that provid ing it may have been beyond practicality. The team of people who worked so hard to produce this impressive volume already had enough to do and were probably not able to document the research in the conventional way, especially without delaying publication. I say “team ofpeople” because, not only do we see from the acknowledgments that many contributed their skills (and financial support), but also it seems rather obvious that Bhau didn’t literally write most of this book (unless much ofit is drawn from his

43


previous publications, but again, we aren’t told, and I didn’t try to check). Ifyou didn’t know thisjust from the un-Bhau-like tone of the writing in many places, a giveaway is the appearance ofthe heading “Author’s Note” in various spots. How odd that this should be specified: don’t we assume that the whole thing is written by the author? But these headings do help by signaling that here you will get a commentary or interpretation by Bhau, something that is much appreciated when we read about the enigmatic events of Baba’s advent. Finally, there is a valuable conclusion written by Bhau in which he discusses what following the New Life means for us today while living in the world, especially the significance of the three alternative plans that Baba outlined, and what it means to be hopeless and helpless. I won’t give away its content—you’ll have to get the book! But this 30-page supplement would make a wonderful article in itself if published separately for those who may not have access to this volume. [Available Summer 2008; waiting list at Love Street Bookstore. $40 plus shipping from India]. —Kendra Crossen Burroughs

and Kabir to Francis until he “got” how to write the English language ghazal. These were written between 1959 and 1963, in a combination of the forms of the Persian ghazal (song ofcomplaint and praise with a particular unusual meter) and the English sonnet. Beloved Baba asked to have them all read to him many times after Francis presented them to Baba at Mehe razad for His Birthday in 1963. Beloved Baba said that when He returns in 700 years He will not be quoting Hafiz, but will be quoting these ghazals by Francis Brabazon, and that he was memorizing them for that event. I am so glad it is back in circulation as all ofthe above is why I give it to any professor who asks about it and/or who writes poetry ofthe East or ]\‘iiddle East. In Dust I Sing sells on eBay for $25 to $35 (both ofwhich I have had to pay for it over the years), but is now available from Love Street Bookstore for only $15. —Raine Eastman-Gannett

One ofthe great strengths ofMichael’s songs is his rordcraft His lyrics are always original and memorable, as he uses rhymes and repetitions to create a dancing rhythm, weaving Baba’s words and references into the pattern so that one is irrisistably drawn in and taken along with the song. The music follows the various moods, and is sometimes joined by Michael’s soulful clarinet, rhich comes into its own with his rendering of “Begin the Beguine” as a clarinet solo. The feeling of love in the Beloved’s most cherished song is so poi gnantly conveyed by the warm tone and expressive, perfectly timed phrasing, that I found this piece even more moving than some versions with words. This heartfelt love is the crucial ingre dient in Michael’s DaCosta’s songs: his dedication and total commitment to life with Meher Baba is what comes through and gives his words and music their power to touch and inspire. $10 at Love Street. —Aude Gotto

.7V1usic

IDweiIn Dust and Sing Songs ofFrancis Brabazon

Welcome To My World

New CD by Raine Eastman

Finding God in North Carolina

New CD by Michael DaCosta

The CD ‘I Dwell In Dust and Sing’ ($14) is pure ghazal form, setting Francis’s ghazals to the melodies of 4 different melodists, and makes a nice set with the bookforagift. David Miotke has also set In Dust I Sing ghazals to music, and his CD is $15.

New book edited and compiled by

Randy Wasserstrom & Zuzanna Vee North Carolina in the American South is rich in Baba history and lore. Chapel Hill, North Carolina was home to the first younger-generation Baba group to form in America, and Baba said that He would be its ‘head.’ Here are 64 “coming to Baba” stories from the area, with maps and photographs ofthe places Meher Baba visited and traveled through in the 1950s, plus correspondence between Adi K. Irani, Baba and Sharon Muir, one ofthe original group members, and much more. Available Summer 2008; waiting list at Love Street Bookstore. 25.

In Dust I Sing Poetry by Brabazon made available In Dust I Sing, a book of 150 very spe cial ghazals, was off the market for over 15 years and has recently been re-released by Rick Chapman, who first published it in 1974. Baba was instrumental in the writing of these ghazals, asking for one a day for some time, and constantly quoting Hafiz, Rumi

44

This latest CD is, in my opinion, 1\ilichael’s best so far. It brings together such a wide a variety ofstyles and moods, from lyrical love songs such as “Silence Day,” through a fun rap like “The Singer and the Song,” and the cheerful singalong, “Coming Round the 1\’Iountain” or a warm rendering of the familiar title song. There is even a rocking “The Old fvlan Says” featuring Pete Townshend on guitar, the late Ronnie Lane (ofthe faces) on bass guitar, John McLaggan on piano, and lVlichael himself on saxophone, first recorded in Pete’s studio in 1974 and aired here for the first time. Michael’s characteristic mix of heartfelt longing with down-to-earth humor conveys so well the complex reality of life with 1\’Ieher Baba. I love the way he contrasts the sublime with the trivial in “I Am.” For example: Not a baby cries, save by My ‘Vill, Nota loversigbs, save by My Will, Nothing lives, nothing dies, no truth, no lies, No right, no wrong, no King, no Kong, Na cars, no stars, no chocolate bars No Avatai etcetera Save by A1:v Will.

Loveland Lullabies New CD byjulie Rust

Now you can fall asleep with the Awak ener! Loveland Lullabies was conceived and executed with the express intention of inducing an experience of profound safety comfort, and relaxed surrender into what Meher Baba has called “the beyond beyond” state of sound sleep. Both lyrics and music were composed by Julie with this goal in mind, and she has succeeded beautifully. Julie’s beautiful and heartfelt vocals, backed by her confident and evocative piano playing, are the vehicle for a transcendent experience of deep relaxation. Julie Rust has accomplished an extraor dinary feat with this beautiful collection of sleep-inducing melodies. She offers us not only a wonderfiul gift for parents seeking to lull children to sleep at bedtime, but also a fine collection of spiritually-inspired


Over the years it has been music that everyone will enjoy, my privilege and joy to sing sleepy or not. n Arabic “ghazal” is pronounced like “guzzle” and literally his songs at Beloved Meher The first half of Loveland means ‘spealdng with women.” Many ofus have heard Bhau’s Baba’s Samadhi, to his manLullabies featuresjulie’s divinerecited and we know was fond ofthis ancient ghazals Baba po dali at Meherazad and to and relaxing voice, beautiful ly etic form. Maybe because last year was Rumi’s 800th birthday, his lovers at Avatar’s Abode singing gracefully somnolent I am now seeing ghazal references in many cultural contexts, so and elsewhere. Most of these soliloquies. If, after several I looked up some background for you. songs were heard by Fransongs bathing you in lyrical A ghazal consists ofrhyming couplets and a refrain, each line cis in much the same form sketches of dreamland (or, in sharing the same meter. A ghazal may be understood as a poetic as you hear them today. I this case, Loveland), you have expression ofboth the pain ofloss or separation and the beauty believe sometimes he was not already drifted offto sleep, oflove in spite ofthat pain. The form originated in 6th century ell pleased. Eruch on one by the time the second half of occasion in Mandali Hall the song cycle comes around : pre—Islamic Arabic verse, in a form similar in its rigidity to the Petrarchan sonnet. It is capable of an extraordinary said, ‘You see, you touched you will be ftirther relaxed by our hearts.’ the lush instrumental selec •: expression around central themes oflove and separation. Track 7, “Your Name is All lions. Here, in addition to Julie’s .,i The ghazal spread in the 12th century, partly under the influence of Sufi mystics such as Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi My Song,” from The Golden guiding hand at the keyboard, (13th centurr) and Hafiz (14th century. Although the ghazal Book ofPraise, is part of an the listener encounters the lovetoday it found form most a of Urdu poetry is prominently as-yet unpublished group of Rebecca of violinist sounds ly in many languages including German and English. In some plays by Francis, and is a song Cole and classical guitaristJohn modernized ghazals the poet’s name is featured somewhere in in praise of young Krishna. Pell. In addition, Julie adds her the last verse. —Kathy Hill The story goes, due to palace own skillful performances on intrigue, Tansen, the master recorder and flute, giving the singer, is forced to sing the Fire Raga for now familiar melodies an otherworldly unpublished song, “Afterwards, where quality that easily moves the listener into Francis wrote both the music and the the Moghul Emperor a raga so powerftil mystical realms of sacred sound. words; the others are Sam’s music and it would set the palace ablaze, killing the singer, the emperor, and his court. Tansen Loveland Lullabies is the perfect gift to give to yourself or to your most The first song, “The Song the Stars succeeds in his task but none are hurt. The stressed-out friends and relatives. Parents Sang,” is known by many who, over the emperor is so impressed he demands to with small children will love this calming have been stopped dead in the mid- meetTansen’s Hindu guru, and deep in the collection oftranquil melodies, and so will dle of a party by a sudden hush, a guitar forest, Tansen’s master is found gloriIing the sleepy inner child in you. flourish by Sam and Peter’s unmistakable Lord Krishna with this song. Shortly after this play was performed, —Jamie Newell voice opening this much-loved song. As Peter says in the liner notes, many of these I asked Francis if I could sing the song, A Song or Two Ago songs have been heard over the years, but I changing the words to how you hear them thinkyou’ll enjoy hearing them anew with now. Francis replied, ‘Of course.’ New CD by Peter Davies My gratitude and salutations to Sam these superb arrangements. A Song or TwoAgo will become, I think, Saunders for his patience and his dedica My favorite is “Mature ]\‘Ien,” in which have,’ ifyou enjoy music inspired by Sam has woven in a Cuban feel to create a tion to keeping Francis’ work musically the poetry ofFrancis Brabazon. It features little masterpiece. For me the music in this alive in Australia and elsewhere, and in the baritone voice of Peter Davies who album strikes a chord going backto my first particular, for his work on this CD, for has long been a mainstay of the musical Anniversary at Avatar’s Abode in 1977. I without his prodigious talent it could scene at Avatar’s Abode, accompanied by remember so clearly being captured by a not have been accomplished. And for the Sam Saunders on guitar, and on several charm and freshness in the musical set- whiske) tracks, by Faizollah Ahdizadeh and Amir Artists: rocals Peter Davies, Sam tings—both byFrancis and Sam—of FranNaderi on percussion, and Sylvie Eck Saunders, Sonja Davies, Gard Saunders, cis’s words on these wonderful nights. ley on violin. A backup group of Sonja Kris Hines, Lorraine Brown. Percussion That quality is brought back again for Davies, Kris Hines, Lorraine Brown and me in this album. Although the music Faizollah Ahdizadeh and Amir Naderi. Gard Saunders adds spice and variety on has a popular feel, it by no means easy Violin Sylvie EcMe several tracks. ‘singalong’ music and Peter does a great job The album begins with Francis read- with it, giving these songs a lot of warmth The Kiss and Other Stories his book The Silent Word. There and enjoyment for the ear. $15. New CD by Karl Moeller are 10 songs. The words in all except one, Richard Thomson In The Kiss and Other Stories, Tucson “Song Road” by Sam, are by Francis, and composer and keyboardist Karl Moeller come from his ghazals: 116, 69, and 27 Liner Notes by Peter Davies: There is nothing I can write about has put together a diverse and delightful from In Dust I Sing, 75 and 34 from The the poet/muscian that others have collection ofsongs in most cases inspired by Francis Beloved Ic All in All, and “The Song the not already written or will write far betthe life of]\’Ieher Baba. Nearly every work Stars Sang,” “Your Name is All My Song, ter than I, in the singing I have some on this disc was written by Moeller, except but and “Lover of God Man” are from The small experience. for Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine,” an Golden Book ofPraise. There is also an

77teBliazal 2?evival

I

;....

variety of

.

is

arrangements.

years,

a ‘must

_

-

is

-

ing from

45


old favorite much loved by Meher Baba, and an instrumental version ofBaba’s own “Gujerati Arti.” Chuck Wilson and Karl co-wrote “Heartland,” a heart—warming work for dobro and guitar. The songs here range in temperament, depending on the instruments used (folk piano, harp, English horn, etc.) and the manner in which Moeller orchestrates them. The standouts on this disc begin with “Conversation in G” which is a moody paean using the English horn, to “The Kiss,” a clear masterpiece of three simple themes on solo piano that weave in and out and never seem to tire of their own beauty “Timeroorn” is a solemn, quiet work that has enormous power for all its understatement with the piano used to create the sounds of a vibraphone. More meditative are “Gujerati Arti”and “Trio,” both ofwhich conjure moods that you’re not likely to find on your average New Age album. These last two were in— cluded in Divine Sport Productions’ video Meher Baba, the Awakener. Indeed, this is music that begs to be listened to rather than meditated on. Moeller’s art demands our wakeflilness as did ]\“Ieher Baba who, after all, was called The Awakener. Wonderful music for Baba lovers (and music lovers) everywhere. —Paul Cook

The Time Has Now Come New CD byJim Meyers

this line from Francis Brabazon: “warm as honey and smooth as silk.” He can change that huge bass/baritone voice to suit each song like turning on a dime. At once soft and rich, then rough and gravely, next gentle and heartbreaking, next hurt and vulnerable, but always right there in the depth of the words, transporting himself and you to the place he felt them. The CD runs the musical gamut, from world music to rock and roll, fast songs to slow songs. His friend Tom Dimok plays a glorious slide guitar on many tracks. To my raga-experienced ear, the slide guitar gives a feeling of the ancient Indian art ofMaster Singer Tansen’s famous drupad style, a glissando sliding from note to note. The microtones make one feel relaxed, at ease and comfortable. How appropriate to have something so reflective ofancient music when interpreting poetry of the 13th century like that of Rumi. We have a special gift on track four, a renewed version ofour old favorite “Song OfThe Reed.”Wow! is all I can say to this xrersioii! Then suddenly we hear “Hinglish,” something of an Indian feeling on track eight, “The Man OfGod.”Jim’s dulcimer soundsjust like a sarod. This song is based on one of Beloved Baba’s favorite Rumi poems, which He translated for Francis Brabazon at one point at Meherazad, then had Francis write his own versifica tion of it. Jim’s version of Aj. Arberry’s translation is splendid and the timing is well-suited to the meter of this songfriendly poem. This is an intense CD, not for the fainthearted, but I have never met a fainthearted Baba Lover anyway, not in my 40 years of following Him. Buy it! Listen! Rumi tells his tale with the Beloved in song through Jim Meyer. In stock at Love Street, $15. —Raine Eastman-Gannett

You Heard it at the Gaadi I opened a parcel sent byjim Meyer to find a beautiflil CD in eco-friendly paper case, with a beautifulpainting ofan Islamic angel on aj acaranda-colored horse, uplifting a friend along the pathless path. The sound within is about as perfect as sound gets. The opening song invites us into a rich garden with birdsong and drones. Then we hear it, that voice. That voice that is tangled up in the Beloved’s ringlets and our early days ofloving Him. The voice ofjim Meyer is something like

46

by Karl Moeller In the two months leading up to our early-November departure for India, I spent much ofmy time working on an instrumental CD, The Kiss and Other Stories, for the Baba community The title track, “The Kiss,” is an eight-minute piano solo created long ago with Babajan’s famous kiss in mind. When we arrived in Meherabad I had a pile of the CDs with me. My wife

Irma Sheppard encouraged me to take a copy on our first trip to Meherazad. I presented it to Katie Irani, who was gra cious as always. On a visit there a few days later, Kacy found me in the crowd outside ]\4andali Hall and told me that Katie and the women were playing my music in the morning and evening. Back at the Pilgrim Retreat, though the idea was to sell some through Meher Dar bar, it was far more fun to give all the CDs away to new and old friends. As a result there are copies scattered from Australia to England. Bif Soper already has a slide show set to tracks from the CD. I was able to play in a Sunday program in Mandali Hall once, and also spent well over an hour playing to Baba’s gaadi under theTin Shed on the north side ofthe tank building. So Baba kindly granted my desire to play live for Him twice while in India! The day before our departure, on our last Meherazad visit, Katie told me that she had in fact been playing my music daily, complimented my arrangement of Baba’s Gujerati Arti, and told me to keep on. Having my music played regularly in Meher Baba’s own home is an honor I’m still absorbing. If there’s a heavenly hit parade, that would be the one to be on.

Mandolin Walla A new CD by MarkTrichka

I

“Walla” in Hindi means a person “in charge of.” Baba’s sister Mani kindly bestowed upon Mark the name Mando lin Walla after he played music for the mandali in India in the 1980s. You may have heard Happy Trails, a now out-ofprint cassette he made with his wife Lisa Brande. You may have also heard him play mandolin on many ofjamie Newell’s Baba and Haflz songs. In fact, he will be accompanying Jamie at the LA Sahavas this year. iViark’s latest CD of original songs and arrangements touches upon love, devotion and surrender. Inspired by Meher Baba’s


golden rords, the music is given an East! West flavor by mixing lots of mandolins with tabla, fiddle, guitar, harmonica, and accordion, creating a mystical magical mandolin mosaic dedicated to Meher Baba. Special guests include Lisa Brande, Jamie Newell, Pam and Danny Rubenstein, Ceci lia Kirtland, and Cliff Hackford on tabla. Tracks: 1. Mandofino; 2. How To Love God; 3. Let Love Start; 4. Gujarati Arti; 5. Everywhere Everything; 6. Hold On; 7. AU Things Are Done By You; 8. Footprints; 9. Beloved God; 10. One Step Closer; 11.The Lake Cabin; 12. Help Us To Find You; 13. Entrusting All; 14. The Meeting Place. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Avatar Meher Baba Trust and the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach. $12 each or 2 for $20.

3film Meher Baba Avatar ofthe Age Re-Release on DVD Oceanpower Films has releasedAvatar oftheAge—TheHurnan Side ofGodin DVD format. This is the movie which premiered in the magnificent Palace of Fine Arts theater in San Francisco for two weeks. It’s a full length feature documentary love story, seven years in production. Irwin Luck’s crew follows Meher Baba in many of His activities as we see and feel what it was like to be present with the Avatar. Meher Baba’s quotes are used throughout the film (in narration by the splendidly deep-throated Henry Kashouty) to reveal His mission, the meaning of His silence, who He is, what the world can expect from Him, what He expects from those who approach Him and what He does to bring others to the ultimate enlightenment of God Realization. The DVD contains the introduction and all image enhancements. The one hour 20 minute DVD is $50. A CD of the soundtrack is $13. http:// wwwavataroftheage.com/ has full details. Soon to be available at Love Street.

Babac Birthday— Ajourney ofthe Heart New DVD by Peter Sumner This beautifully edited ifim introduces Avatar Meher Baba through the engaging story of a young Australian Baba-lover,

Luke Sumner, who goes on pilgrimage to Meherabad, ‘rhere he has been chosen to play the leading role in the annual musical play for Baba’s birthday celebration. The play is Majnun and Lay/a, de scribed by the director, Alan Wagner, as “a beautiful, emotional, delicate tragedy that ends in the glorification of God.” This classic tale—the Romeo andJuliet of Persian literature (though the story is of Arab origin, its author is the great Persian poet Nizami)—was cited often by Baba as a paradigm ofthe spiritual path of love for God. As explained by Baba: “Majnun loved Layla so intensely that every mo ment ofhis life he was filled with thoughts about her. He could not eat, drink, or sleep rithout thinking of her; and all he ranted was Layla’s happiness. He would gladly have seen her married to some other person ifhe felt to be in her interest, and he rould even have died for her husband if he had thought she would thereby be happy. The utter self-denial and sincer ity of his love ultimately led him to his Master. Every second of his life Majnun thought not ofhimselfbut ofhis beloved, and this lifted his love from the physical or intellectual level and made it spiritual. The spiritualization of his love led him to the divine Beloved. “The Master is the divine Beloved; and when the disciple meets his IVlaster, all that he has to do is to love him. For if the disciple loves the Master out ofthe fullness ofhis heart, his final union with him is assured” (Discourses, 1987, pp. 147-8). Heather Nadel, who wrote the script, calls Luke, in the role of Majnun, “the heart of the story.” We follow this likable young man through rehearsals of the play alternating with typical 1\’Ieherabad activi ties: darshan at the Samadhi, a volleyball game, gathering in the dining hall, and conversing with mandali, residents, and young Baba-lovers who speak candidly of the impact of Meher Baba on their lives (one skeptical visitor is included for balance). I like what Rafe d’Argenio said about how “love” is a word thrown around carelessly in all spheres of life, and “it’s hard to keep believing thatlove is real with all the crap associated with ‘love’; but Baba being the personification of Love allows me to keep believing in love.” A wide variety of scenes impart the flavor of life with Baba: Alan Wagner stresses Baba’s love ofthe arts, explaining that an artist who is absorbed in his or her work can attain the self-forgetfiilness

essential to spiritual life (see “Forgetfulness,” pp. 199ff. in the supplement of God Speaks, 2nd ed., 1973). Baba’s twin nephews Rustom and Sohrab reminisce about Baba’s marvelous sense of humor. J ehangu Sukhadwala, husband of Baba’s niece Gulnar, shows Luke Baba’s room in Pune and the stone where Baba banged his head following his unveiling. a the Avatar of the Age. Choir leader Debbie Nordeen coaches Luke in delivering his lines; artist Laurie Blum prepares the stage sets; Katie greets pilgrims in Meherazad; Meheru tells stories of Baba’s love for animals; Bhauji comments on why there is so much turmoil and suffering in today’s world; Meherwan Jessawala, “the gentlest of men,” leads Luke up Seclusion Hill. Luke’s skillful narration alternates with that of his dad, Peter Sumner, and there are several touching scenes ofthe warmth between father and son. Subtitles for some ofthe Indian speakers will be appreciated by non-Indian viewers. 52-minute documentary written and directed by Peter Sumner, produced by Michael Ney, edited by Carolina Mitchell, music by Christopher Gordon, should be available soon. —Kendra Crossen Burroughs •

The Making ofGrin & Gup Ghazals Raine Eastman- Gannett

I started writing poems as a child. My mother and her brother were both poets, so my growing years were fill of rhymes, limericks and a lot offun word play. When I started writing song lyrics they were mostly poems first and then later I would give them song form with a chorus and a bridge. So when, for ajoke, I started rnunicatmg with a friend about our favou rite subject, Meher Baba, and tangling it 47


all up with sustainability—being a former hippy of the sixties, an organic gardener, animal protector and avid bird lover, to my surprise out poured a new genre of ghazal and poem. They were definitely influenced by my mentor Francis Brabazon, as are my songs. But there was still my own heart beat and thoughts pouring into them, and they turned out funny, crust cheeky and IrishlAustralian. Grin and Guip could have been called Laughter Whilst Glum, or Fun and Sun in the Park with Meher Baba, or any other fun title but Grin and Gulp Ghazals stuck. Now it has become a bit more seri ous a subject after winning a place in an English language ghazals challenge to write one with a radif—repeating refrain at the end of a couplet—on the subject of clouds and rain. I won a place in that English Language Ghazal Magazine with my ghazal and have been writing one a day for some time now. I selected some 25 for this CD by Raindust. The pen name is obviously a bit tongue in cheek. Oh, to truly be dust at the Beloved’s feet! It is a spoken word CD with lovely sounds behind the poetry I decided to recite them as they definitely needed the Australian accent to come alive. Baba is encoded everywhere in it for us, but yet not so overtly that all faiths and even those of no faith will still enjoy and think through their lives in the Kali-Yuga. HopefiUy it will cause them to make a few changes and adjustments towards the upcoming new humanity and a troubled tired planet Earth. The difficulties a-cornin’ with the advancement of the Kali-Yuga are throughout the ghazals, but with humour and a fttsion of world poetry. I hope you enjoy this CD, and remember to lift the corners ofthe mouth and smile, as did the publisherwho told me to make them.The painting on the CD cover was painted by my daughter Freiny-etta Frances l\’lormon, and is titled “Tractor’s Costume”, 2 x 1 1/2 ft, used with her permission. (Creative Growth Art Gallery and School.)

Surrenderance: Blues & Gospel Songs & Ghazals Raine Eastman-Gannett, Berkeley I have just finished this new CD after working on it, sporadically, for seven years. I am doing a pre-release, one hundred of them to have for Meherana, where I will be the musical guest on May 23 for four days with Bhau Kaichuri as he is coming 48

to the West again, and probably he will say yet again, “For the last time!” Only Baba knows! I also felt I had to release Surrenderance now as the first track is called “Avatar’s Abode” and in June my family and I will head to Avatar’s Abode, Queensland, Australia, as I do almost every year to the Sahavas for the 50th Anniversary of Beloved Baba’s visit there in June 1958. People are coming from all over the world as they did also on the 30th and 40th Anniversaries. There are always at least 200 Australians who make the pilgrimage to the Abode each year to be a family in His love and recite Arti together in His glorious room there, and attempt to entertain him in The Shed—the humble name of the wonderful theatre at His Australian home. So the CD Surrenderance is done! A beautiful John Parry painting graces the cover a wonderftsl photograph at Mehe rabad by my husband Bill Gannett is on the tray. The music is blues and gospel. One might wonder what on earth an Australian singer and musician might know of such music, especially one who studied classical voice, guitar, raga singing and harmonium, and these days teaches all of these subjects including Hindi bhajans, Sanskrit mantra and Western voice. I spent eight years in the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and many of the old traditional spiritual melodies on this CD I sang rith Meher Baba ideas running through my musical heart and mind even while on stage and touring with the group. It was through this group I finally got to sing in the Sydney Opera House when we toured Australia. Thus on the CD are eight gospel songs and eight blues songs, the majority of the blues songs have lyrics by Francis Braba zon to traditional blues influenced tunes. One cannot say Francis wrote them, and

yet one cannot say someone else did either, as most are variations on a traditional blues idea. The lyrics by Francis as always, are amazing. There are others by myselfand it closes with a Blues Ghazal—the original inspiration for this type of CD for Baba. The last line quotes Rumi: “They say that there is no death worse than expectancy” and this is also the mantra that dominated myworking on this intense musical project for all these years, trying to keep detached, keeping Baba with me at all times. One of my compositions is the song “Rockyou Merwan” (Dhondi’s Song). It is about Baba’s Aiya (nanny).This song is in the tradition ofsongs by qawaali singers to Halima, who was Mohammed’s nanny and wet nurse. Once when Mani was naming all the people to remember from their lives over the years—at Baba’s request—Mani down Dhondi. Baba forgot to clapped for immediate attention and said “We must not forget Dhondi.” Many wonderful musicians join me, Sam Saunders on guitars, Billy Goodrum on Hammond Organ and piano, Michael DeVries on drums and the great liarplayer Kevin Connor. $14 in the Love Street Bookstore. write

monica

Ra.ughty .u1vatar Raine Eastman-Gannett 0 Beloved wou/dyou ? did I see you swallow the sun? I look out the window, no light or warmth, it:c notfin. You gulped it dowmi did it right infront ofmy face, Nothing can measure the glow lost, or brilliance replace. You grin, eyes twinkle, think it ever so funny, Give hack now, we’ll catch cold, get sick, nose runny. Good boy, now spit it back up, give us back bright light, The warmth andglow alone will be worthyour might. Shining andgolden isyourfimce now that itc in you, No mercy, you laugh, and chide me for ignoring you 171 make nice toyou sweetie, nowjust spit it back mp, Trickingyou, snugglingyou, I slap your back, Kawip! Glorious, golden, out itpops with a great loud OIVI—sound, Lovely! GoodAvatai now listen, Raindust sings a sunny round


LA Love Story katc fNowctk here’s an old story about a group of monks living with their master in a Tibetan nionaster Their lives were disci plined and dedicated, and the atmosphere in rhjch they lived harmoni ous and peaceful. People from villages far and wide flocked to the monastery to bask in the warmth of such a loving spiritual environment. Then one day the master departed his earthly form. At first the monks continued on as they had in the past, but after a time, the discipline and devo tion that had been hallmarks of their daily routine slackened. The number ofvillagers com ing through the doors each day began to drop, and little by little, the monastery fell into a state of disrepair. Soon the monks were bick ering among themselves, some pointing fingers ofblame, oth ers filled with guilt. The energy within the monastery walls crackled with animosity. Finally, the senior monk could take it no longer. Hearing that a spiritual master lived 4 as a hermit two days walk away, the monk wasted no time in seeking him out. Finding the master in his forest hermitage, the monk told him of the sad state the monastery had fallen into and asked his advice. The master smiled. “There is one living among you who is the incarnation of God. Because he is being disrespected by those around him, he will not show himself, and the monastery will remain in disrepair.” With those words spoken, the master fell silent and would say no more. All the way back to the monastery, the monk rondered which of his brothers might be the Incarnated One. “Perhaps it is BrotherJaspar who does our cooking,” the monk said aloud. But then a second later thought, “No, it can’t be him. He is sioppy and ill tempered and the food he prepares is tasteless.” “Perhaps our gardener, Brother Timor, is the one,” he then thought. This con-

T

sideration, too, was quickly followed by denial. “Of course not” he said aloud. “God is not lazy and would never let weeds take over a lettuce patch the way

.

.:

;

I

:

A

Brother Tirnor has.” Finally, after dismissing each and every one ofhis brothers for this fault or that, the senior monk realized there were none left. Knowing it had to be one of the monks because the master had said it was, he worried over it a bit before a new thought dawned. “Could it be that the Holy One has chosen to display a fault in order to disguise himself?” he wondered. “Ofcourse it could! That must be it!” Reaching the monastery he immedi ately told his brothers what the master had said and all were just as astonished as he had been to learn the Divine was living among them. Since each knew it was not himself Tho was God Incarnate, each began to study his brothers carefully, all trying to determine who among them was the Holy One. But all any ofthem could see rere the faults and failings ofthe others.

If God was in their midst, he was doing a fine job of hiding himself. Finding the Incarnated One among such rubble would be difficult, indeed. After much discussion, it as finally decided that they would all make an ef fort to be kind and loving toward each another, treating all with the respect and honor one would naturally give to the Incarnated One. IfGod insisted on remaining hidden, then they had no recourse but to treat each monk as ifhe were the Holy One. Each so concentrated on seeing God in the other that soon their hearts filled with such love for one another the chains of negativity that held them bound fell away. As time passed, they began seeing God not just in each other, but in every one and everything. Days were spent in joyful reverence, rejoicing in His Holy Presence. The monastery radi ated this joy like a beacon and soon the villagers returned, streaming through the doors as they had before, seeking to be touched by the love and devotion present there. It was some time later that the senior monk decided to pay the master another visit to thank him for the secret he had revealed. “Did you discover the identity of the Incarnated One?” the master asked. “We did,” the senior monk replied. “We found him residing in all of us.” The master smiled. Read more by Kate Nowak at www. rnayyoubeblessedmovie. corn.

I

I

..J.

..2-1e who upsets no one is a good man. 2 1e who is upset by no one is a God-Man! -

Meher Baba 49


a a

.

a a

..

.

. .

.

S

The 90th

a

• •

••

.

.

.

..

.

..

.

S

• • •

S

a a

••

a

a.

a

a

a.

a

a a

a

a.

a

a

Ade1e vVo1kin

j3irth&ty Celebration

Adele met Baba In 1952 and has been His ever since. Still vibrant and with clear memories company ofthe Beloved, she oft regales us with tales ofthose times.

a a

a.

oftime spent in

the

:

a a

. a

a

a

S S

a

a

a

S

a a S

a a . a .

a S

a a

.

S

.

a a S

a

S Tamara Marks took time offihe set to singfor Adele

4bove:Adek, Fi/is, Mani, Sparkie, Izy Diice, Baba, andMehera

a

. . .

a a

.

. a a S

a a . a

a

a

a

. a

a a

a

a

a a a

.

MahrnoudAjang reads a letter from Bhau to bisAuntieAdele

a a

a

a

a

a a a

S a

:9

a

a

.1

S

: : :

Above Charles Gzbcon stai ted the entertainment off’ with the Gujerati arti

a

a a

a a

.

.

: : :

1

1

.

:

.

a

Above kftKarine Page reads congratu/ationcJrorn the women mandali Left: The Still Yet MoreplayersChris andPrisHaf/ènden— Playjor thepariy goers.

Righ& The Campag: nasq’ather Mike and daughrhIia sing a .fanc/idcomposiiion byMia.

a

a a a a

a

:

.

a

so

a

Left: Rosle Choi heipsAdele with a can

a

a a

a a

:

a

L.

a

a

a

a

a

• a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a a

a

a

a

—-

a

a

a

.

.

.

a

....

a

a

.

.

...

a

a

a

a

a .

a a

a

a a

a a

a a


.

.

.

.

.

..

..

.

.

..

.

. .

. . .

.

.

..

97ieast&x .

. .

.

. .

.

I At the AIeheiinaspaitv 1? a alwav. has presents/br the children under the Christmas tree.

. a a a a a a a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

.

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a a

Ha d to cay ho had moi eflhn at the Haiouen pumpkzn carvingpartv—-the adults or the children!

a a

a a

a

.

a

LA 3:ew of of the aii.y 7}isitors We Enjoyed

a a

. .

a a

.

a a a

Ri//La Page tells us ofhaving to take over the custodial duties ofAvatarcAbode after Francis leftAustralia to live with Baba for the next 10 years.

a a a a a a a

:

The Amazing Peripatetic Don Stevens treats us to yet another visit on his round the world trzp. He sznedfor us many ofthe books he has authored over the years. No doubt ebay will sell his signed books ten years hencefor hundreds ofdollars each!

a

.

:

a a

.

a a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

aa

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a a

a

a •

a

a

a

a

a a

a

a a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

a a

a

s1


..

S

.

. .

.

.

.

n

• •

.

.

• .

..

.

.

.

.•

.

S.

•Q

••

••

0.

.

S

Left. Diana Lepagegives us fizscinating account ofher deveiopmenl as an artist, starling with sculpting and leading up to the commissioned work oflS huge portraits ofBabaftr the dining hail in the Meher Pilgrim Retieat atMeherabacL

S S S S S S S

. S S S S

S

Right: Payarn Russ and her son Kian have frn in the Little Ones playground

S S S

S S S

Bottom left: PascalKaplan tells us more about his excellent book Understanding Death.

S S S

S S S

Below. 1sin Clinton lived at Meherazad in the early ‘70s, as assistant to Di Goher She learnedsome heavy lessons direcifrom the recently bereft mandali.

S S S S

S S S S S

S S

S

:

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S S S

S

Below: Mic Jagannath, whofirst met Baba in _l 951 hadsome wonde;jiil stories to tell us

S S S S

S S

Below right: Photo with Baha on left shows Jagannath seated on the right

J

S

S

S S

i

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S .

S

S

11n I 1i:

S S S S

S S S S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

I

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

I

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

55

52

S

The Love Street Bookstore always draws a crowd to see tIde latestgoodies Kathy Hill (above left) has brought in.

S 5

5

5

5

5

5

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

55

5

S S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S


a • a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a • a a a a a a a a a a a • a a a a a a a a a a a a

: :

.

.

a

a

a

7:1w 114th E13irtMay Celebrcttion for A4e1ter

Billy Goodrum flew in from the East coast to sing for Babes celebrations. Robert Dreyffis tells us ofthe time spent th Baba. Bob Een gave us excerpts from the Mass for Meher Baha he recently wrote. Mehri, Saha and Vista did a skit for us. We ill burst forth in spontaneous applause when Jeff and Lynn Maguire wheeled Danny in on the traveling wheel chair/bed. Totally aware ofhis surroundings, but still with impaired motor abilities, Danny did enjoy being with Baba for the celebrations. a a

. .

.

a

. . . . . . a .

. . a a a

L .

..

a . a a

a . a .

I

. . a a a a a a a a

I

a

4 A

IL a a a a a a a

a a a a a a a

.

Photo top left: Mther Baba courtesy MSI Collection, Mehe-rabad, India a a a a a •a a •a a • a • a a a • a a a a a • a a a a a a a a a a a a • a a • a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a aa


Winter cit JlVkherctnct Cliristi Pearson • California en we were looking for land for Meherana, I was thinking ofmountains with a conifer forest: the High Sierra with an elevation of at least 4000 feet. Meherana ended up in the Sierra Foothills at an elevation of about 2000 feet, with mainly oak trees. Still, we do have pines at iVieherana and I have learned to love the stately oaks and elegant manzanita trees. Even so, as you can see in the photos it does snow! Although the snow looks enchanting, it rarely snows at Meherana, perhaps only two or three times a year if at all, and it usually melts in a day or two. Snow reminds me of illusion in general—so beautiftil to look at, but once you get out in it, it can be a challenge! But the very best thing about the elevation is that we can use Meherana year-round. Most of the winter days are beautiful and sunny although cold at night. This just goes to show that “man proposes but God disposes”, and Beloved Baba put Meherana exactly where it should be. Babac Cabin at Meherana

Agita Fria Creek

The WildApple Bloomed God In the wood, God was manfès4 as God was not in the In the cathedral/ed larches the ground—pine crept , the thrush sung God, the robin conplained God, the 7 Goa cat-bird mewed God, the anemone vibrated God, the wild apple bloomed God, the ants built their little Ti;nbuctoo wide abroad, the wildgrape budded, the rye was in the blade, high overhead, high overcloud theftint, sharp-hornedmoon sailed steadily west throughfleets oflittle clouds; the sheaves ofthe birch brightened into green below. The pines kneaded their aromatics in the sun. “The Wild Apple Bloomed God,” Meditations ofRaiph ‘Izldo Emerson, Into the Green Future, Wilderness Press, Berkeley 2004 © ChrisHighland

sermon.

The Light Zone continztedfrompage 42 towers stretching slq’ward soon vanished as I was enveloped in light. The light got brighter and the love from Meher Baba increased. I was intoxicated, wanting Meher Baba more and more, and began asking Baba to marry me—to become my bride, my husband, to match both aspects of the soul—and to be with me eternally as my one lover. I sat on the roof to enjoy this gift from Meher Baba for my letting

e/[eher Babaphoto courtesy MSI Collection, Meherabad, India

54

Him do this chore with me. The tears of joy replaced the sweat on my face as we cried injoy together. The following morning I used the same approach to a unique job with my brother-in-law as we captured a swarm of

honeybees from a tree limb. I had never worked rith bees but he had harvested honey on his farm for many years. When the tree limb was cut off and fell onto the hive belo the area was flooded with bees flying in all directions and settling on both of us as rell as the hive. There was no problem, for the bees were not angry and they crawled on our skin and clothes without wanting to attack. I looked at the bees on my hand and felt at one with them, and realized I too had been one of these eons ago. Again, doing a chore with Meher Baba, or letting Him do it, proved to be the way to go.Jai Meher Baba!


I/lount 1 Whctt’s 2tappening at JJI/Ieher J Elizabeth Arnold, volunteer Manager/Caretaker, Meher Mount, Ojai, California t’s been a busy fall and holiday season at ivIeher Mount, a place of pilgrimage rhjch Babavisited in 1956. Here’s a short recap of activities.

I

Formal Boundary Survey and Topographical Mapping Underway Thanks to several generous donations and a grant from the Avatar Meher Baba Foundation Inc., Meher Mount hired a professional survey company and land use consultant, Don Swartz, to conduct a boundary survey and do an aerial topo graphical map of the property to be used in planning. Preliminary Garage Plans Begun Architect Byron Pinckert volunteered his time and skills to help the Board begin to plan the location and structure for the new garage to house equipment, tools and a work area. The Board is now identifying firms to bid on the construc tion drawings. Trailers Demolished and Hauled Away There was a “temporary” trailer that housed Agnes Baron after the October 16, 1985 fire burned all the buildings at Meher

Mount, including her home. She lived in the trailer until the current house was built, and then it ras used for overnight guests. As it continued to deteriorate, it was time to have it demolished and moved off the

propert)c There was a second trailer that belonged to a former caretaker, Earl Butlei that was also unusable, and it, too, was demolished and hauled away. Fire Insurance Expanded Speaking of fires, they are a constant threat at Meher Mount. This year, Board member Jim Whitson was able to secure additional fire coverage for the house and its contents. NewWeb Site Take a look at www.mehermount.

corn, a work in progress that will continue to expand. There is historç a schedule of events (anniversary of Baba’s visit is cel ebrated the first Saturday in August), and plenty of photos. Annual Campaign Underway 51°/6 of the Annual Fund Goal of $25,500 has been reached. Directors and other volunteers are active making tele

phone calls and sending c-mails. Every donation counts and goes toward Meher Mount operations. Thank you for your support! To help iVleher Mount fund its operating budget for this year, you may send a donation to: Meher Mount, 9902 Sulphur Mountain Road, Ojai, CA 93023.

isit J4leIier Jill ount i7 Contacts: Manager/Caretakers Ray Johnston and Elizabeth Arnold: (805) 640-0000; info@MeherMount.com. Hours: Open Wednesday—Sunday noon to 5 pM. Shoes: Wear closed-toe walking shoes for a visit to Baba’s Trcc and walking on the propcrt The ground has gopher holes, is unpaved and uneven. Sun Protection: Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are highly recommended. The sun can be quite strong on top of the mountain. Water: Bring a bottle ofdrinking water for your convenience. Drinking water is available on site. Safety: Please note there are rattlesnakes and pay attention where you walk. Fire: Fire is a constant threat at Meher Mount. Outdoor fires of any type are prohibited.

Pets are not allowed.

Plan a visit to MeherMount in 2008 and enjoy being apart of Meher Mount growth!

Eruch, Baba, Agnes, andAdi

55


LA joumey With 9od—the Life and Work of3francis 13rabazon A Sahavas to Celebrate the lOOthAnniversary of the Birth ofFrancis Brabazon: OpeningTalkby Ross Keating, Avatar’s Abode Australia, 28t Sept 2007 Thoughfate a thousand times rnakesyou a p awn in itsgarne do notgive up: Cling like a child to the skirt ofyour Beloved name. —

Though the wave rises beforeyou awful as a mountain do notgive up: Itc but a rippie on thepond ofthe Knowl— edge-Blissfountain. —

Though girisgolden asgoddesses come to you—do notgive up: Behind theirsmiles is the Ever—loving, the True. Though earth be crushed under the hammers ofthe sun do notgive up: When the wreck is swept away, before you willbe the Belovedform. —

ThoughyourBeloved may look at you askance do notgive up: One day willcome the invitation to the dance. —

Think ofthe men who went before, those that willcome after do notgive up: Earth, millions oftimes our troubles a matterfor huge laughter. —

The end ofevery affair was in its beginfling do notgive zip: The conclusion ofyourjourney is in your singing. (In DustlSing, p. 5) —

think this ghazal is a good place to begin our sahavas on Francis for it expresses qualities that he valued in good writing: directness, plain language, the use of everyday concrete images, and something real being said. There is an obvious spiritual toughness in this ghazal, as with much ofhis poetry This toughness could also be sensed in being around Francis and was reflected in his attitude to life. For instance, he didn’t see the point in asking or praying to Baba for help—he knew that Baba would provide help ifand when needed, so why ask? He valued endurance above all else. “Go on enduring”, he wrote in The Windofthe Word “For it is to endure

I

that a man is born. To endure and endure until he is fit to endure the Face of the Word”: which meant, in the language of this ghazal, “do not give up”. Nor did he put any merit in holding out hope for better times. He quoted Rumi approvingly at the end of Let Us the People Sing “By God, there is no death worse than expectancy.” But Francis did have a rock-solid conviction that “one day will come the invitation to the dance.” In a way, this ghazal, as with Francis’life, gives expression to Baba’s powerful statement: “True love is no game ofthe faint-hearted and the weak; it is born of strength and understanding.” But let me speak more generally about what I think this weekend may offer, over and apart from adding to the archives, for we have two days ahead of us to explore in some depth Francis’ life and writing. I’d like to begin with a verse from one of Francis’ songs in the East—West Gathering.

Francis writes: Whatc thisgay scene to me?* Isaw him there. Thoughyou say, him Isee, nothim, Iswear. Whatyon see isyour own image ofhim cut in a block ofstone byyour eyes’whim.

*ie The East—West Gathering

Baba Himself confirms this idea that each person forms their own individual image of Him when He states, in the opening of Lift at Its Best, “Each person sees me in their own way”. In other words we all see Baba in different ways. This is not a bad thing; it is just how it is because of our individual sanskaras—our “eyes’ whim”—and because Baha’s infinite Being allows for infinite ways of seeing Him. Part of the life in being with Baba, I think, is in finding one’s right image of Him, one that is specifically meant for you. The Sufis put great importance on finding your own name for God; I think this amounts to the same thing. You can’t use anybody else’s image or name, nor can you criticize anybody else’s. AU the mandali, for instance, are distinctively different in their relationship with Baba, in how they see Him and approach Him, although they share the same condition of obeying Him 100%. I thinkwhat this means is that Baba wants us all to see and find Him in our own way and to hold on to that, for that’s how our connection with Him will deepen over time. Baba says as much in His Universal Message when He writes: “I will help every individual break himselffree from his own bondage in his own way”. This weekend gives us an opportu nity to explore Francis’ life story and see how Baba helped him to break free from his own bondage, and to explore in his writings how his unique image of Baba grew deeper and more insightftil as Baba increasingly broke him free from his false self I think this can be personally instruc tive when we come to reflect on our own relationship with Baba: “Think ofthe men who went before [like Francis] do not give up”. I personally feel that in some of his ghazals, Francis shows a new intimacy with and freedom in Baba that is the culmination ofhis life as a poet, a kind of poetic union with Baba. At times it seems as if Baba’s presence itself broke through Francis’ words and produced an entirely new poetry in which Francis provided the . . .

Photo ofFrancis above atAvatariAbode ©BernardBruford


and writings, and see ifit gives us a better image or sense ofBaba and so helps us to draw closer to our Beloved. And just as Francis was asked to introduce each person to Baba on the first day of

Baba’s visit here in 1958, this weekend we can invite Francis to once more introduce each of us to Baba, but this time through his poetr songs, plays, and life story

J3eaiuse of,Cove The eveningpianos havefaltered into silence because oflove. The night trumpets have wailed their last notes ofviolence because oflove. -

-

How earnestly wepursue or roles in Godcgreatgame because oflove. The refreshing dream. the kiss, ever new and the same because oflove. -

. .

-

Who, fhe could bear his own voice, wouldgo on singing because oflove P The end remains covered, elsefew would make a beginning because oflove. -

-

The difference between beingpelted’with eggs andshowered with roses because oflove Is less one oftalnt than onecfate-share which time discloses because oflove. -

-

Above: Rome Eastman Gannett lowers Babasfiag atAvatar’sAbode at the end ofa cupfilled weekend ofBaba c love and appreciation of His Meherazad—resident—mandali—poet Francis Brabazon. After Baba droppedihe body in 1969 Francis lived his remainingvears on Avatarc Abode, where he died, June 24th 1984. (Francis Brabazon 1/24/1907 to 6/24/1984)

w sleep; sometimes we dream; and awaken to a new day because oflove. Abiiionyears ofwayfaring:yetstillwe don’tknow the way because oflove. -

-

w would notyet even have broken out ofthe Beast—cage

because oflove, Ifit were notfor God-Manc compassion andholy rage- because oflove. —

Tomorrow is another dayfor the battlec violence because oflove. Thefew remaining hours ofthe night arefor wine and silence because oflove. -

-

cup and Baba filled it with His wine. In living close to Baba for ten years Francis was given a front row seat in the drama ofthe Avatar. His poetry written in India allows us to know Baba in a unique way as no other writing can. By imaginatively entering into this poetry we can vicariously experience Francis’ life with Baba, and share in it. I think Baba would want us to do this—why else would He employ a poet to write for Him and have his work published? While God Speaks and the Discourses give an impersonal understanding of the meaning and purpose ofcreation, Francis’ writing, particularly in the ghazals, gives a personal, living, heartfelt sense of life thth Baba as whole God and perfect Man. The fact that Baba listened to and enjoyed Francis’ writing is His invitation for us to do the same. Francis once told me that he reached a point in his life that he only read the writ— ings of Perfect Masters or Saints—he had neither time nor patience for anything else. But he added that even in these spiritual writings not everything that he read was of use to him. He took only what he needed at the time. He took only what spoke to him and incorporated that into his life. I think this is what we need to do in discovering or re-discovering Francis this weekend: it is to find what speaks directly to each of us, from his life story

Ghazal 35 by Francis Brabazon, In DustiSing, Beguine Library

--

-

-

LLL

-.

57


LAU

Overview of ci Wondcrfu1 Wcckcnd

by Rosalind Hayes his weekend ofbliss-fihled reminis cences passed in a flash. Those who participated in awonderful tribute to Francis Brabazon, Baba’s poet, triggered many memories. The events commenced with a barbeque in The Shed on Friday evening. This was followed by an introduction by Ross Keating, a video from Bhau Kaichuri “Sahavas good wishes” and then exquisite musical offerings from many Baba lovers present. We also watched a remarkable film montage of Baba and Francis that included Francis building Meher House on Beacon Hill in Sydney. We were fortu nate to have Raine Eastman-Gannett from the USA, Sam Saunders, the Wine Shop Singers, and Bob Welsh to interpret the work ofFrancis during the weekend. Saturdaydawned abeautiftil Queensland spring day, sunny and warm. The day started with Arti in Baba’s room followed by a program in Baba’s House facilitated by Ross Keating. We covered Francis’ early

years, his country upbringing, the Great Depression days in Melbourne, and early artistic and spiritual influences culminat ing in his meeting with the Australian Sufi leader Baron Von Frankenburg. We lis tened to an interview with Betty Burston reflecting on those early Melbourne days, viewed photos of Francis’ early years and a display of several of Francis’ paintings accompanied by a talk byJohn Parry. After morning tea we explored Francis’ early spiritual training, his first hearing about Meher Baba through the Baron, Francis’ first visit to the U.S.A. to meet Murshida Martin, Francis as head of the Australian Sufi movement and Francis’ second visit to the U.S.A. to meet Meher Baba. Again we viewed photos of Francis, this time his first visit to America. We also viewed a video of Don Stevens talking about the second visit. After a delicious lunch prepared by a dedicated band ofBaba lovers, we contin ued with discussing Francis’ two visits to

Peter Sumner is a well known Australian actar hisface might befamiliar to some through his role In Star Wars. f-fe brilliantly directedtheplay Squares by Francis Brabazon during the Sahavas.

Robert Rouse met Francis in the 1 950s. He is the author ofFrancis Brabazo,ti biography The Water Carrier. Robert lives on AvatarAbode and is a writer and visual artist.

T

India at Baba’s invitation, the building of Meher House at Beacon Hill, and Baba’s first visit to Australia in 1956. After afternoon tea we discussed the writing of Stay With God with sections recited. Saturday night was an evening ofentertainment with a children’s play, songs from Raine Eastman-Gannett, a performance of Francis’ play followed by cabaret style entertainment and the film 0 Parvardigar. Sunday dawned as another perfect day. First up was a panel consisting of Robert Rouse, Joanna and her brother Bernard Bruford and Michael Le Page, reflecting on their association with Francis and his love for Baba. After lunch we had several panels focusing on those young people who spent time with Francis during the ‘60s and ‘70s. We so much information to be shared that we ran out of time. The discussion on the life ofFrancis remained naturally incomplete—to be followed up at a later date—but those that attended this wonderful weekend felt totally fulfilled.

Ross Keating was one ofihe group ofyoung ones throughout the 1 970s clustered around Francis He is the author ofFrancis Brabazon: The Modern Hafcz,

part ofwhich was his thesis. Ross was the key speaker ofthe Centennial &thavas.

Ioanna Brtyird and her brother

LkW*

z:..:rwi4

Cf:,

Raine musicalpresenter Sam Saunders sound man and musical directoi and Steven Heinjilming director,

Bernard metFrancü as chIldren in MelbourneAustralia, through herfather who was Francis’ dear friendJohn Brufrd and his wf Joan. Thcfamilv later moved to AvatarsAbode in 1958 after Babac visit.Joanna lives near by and has a very active role at Ar’atarc Abode.

I


rate Sontis of3rctncis

J3rnbctzon

Raine Eastman-Gannett . Berkeley

A’1eher Babtt—the pulse of whose io&y is tI’te expanding universe cu-id the melodies of it are the yearnings of all hearts.”

typing,

Francis Brabazon hese days Francis Brabazon would be called an ethnornusicologist or have a degree in singing and musician— ship or theory and composition. This love of music and song are constantly singing throughout his many wonderful books. His love ofthe poem and respect for meter are such that a singer can put most of his work to a tune. I use the word tune as that is what Francis would call his melodies. The word tune was used with the appreciation and humility that every tune is influenced by another tune. His tunes were designed to give importance to the words in accordance with Meher Baba’s requirements: Good words, good music, and a good singer: the time should tickle the ear so that the mind becomis &ttentive and the message of the singer reaches the heart. Francis used a musical notation that is displayed through numbers and not notes on a bar line. “The musical notation employed is designed to give primary im portance to the words. It will also be found that this notation is much easier to read for one unpracticed at sight singing,” said Francis. I entered the following into my song book in 1972 as related by Francis: Baba said, All the music in the world is only to tickle the ear to let the words into the heart. Francis’ notation system also made it easy for the musician or singer to trans pose to different keys. And it gives a clear picture of the form and structure of the music. Pitch was indicated by the notes being given numbers 1-7, flattening or sharpening of notes is indicated in the usual way: “b” or “#“. Octaves indicated by a dash under or above the number. Time and rhythm is done the usual way with time signature at the start ofthe first bar. Duration is indicated by semiquavers,

“The words were so cry whilst beautiful,” Rano said. Francis touched on all types ofmusic in his songs: Latin American, Middle Eastern, Ghazals, Bhajans, Qwaali, Mantra, Folk, Blues, Gospel, Country and Classical Art Song. Among his many books I will mention the song books mostly. We have the beautiful Let Us The People Sing in 1962 at a time when Baba asked Francis for more songs. Francis com posed more, and sang one to Baba every day. Francis then gave them to Baba as a Birthday gift. Baba set the limit to and then expressed His wish 25 that they be published as a book (Fani— ily Letters). Three songs that come to mind from that book are “Someone,” “Meher’s Necklace” and “The Journey.” Francis says ofthese songs “Through His Song of Creation God came to know Himself: By singing His praise men come to know who He is —Whole God Perfect Man. Let us the people sing. The business ofreal art has always been to entertain God with praise of God as Man and with tales the love relationship of man to God. The journey is learning to sing and the path is within His Song.” In my early days at Avatar’s Abode in late 1969 when Francis returned form his 11 years in India, I heardJenny and 1\’Iarie LePage sing “Tears Come Into My Eyes” and “What’s This Gay Scene to Me” so purely and innocentlywith such wonderful lyrics, and I realized Francis wrote music. We had been introduced to his poetry Seven Stars To Morning, Stay With God, and of course Baba’s books, at weekly readings, but I had not heard his music until then. Six months later we heard ofhis music at my first Anniversary in 1970 including Robert Rouse’s “Star over Maroochydore” and from The Birth ofa Nation, “Waiting for ‘56.” I plucked up the courage and sang “Eileen,” my first song to Beloved Baba. We also realized Francis had written many plays by stagmg “The Moon” from Singing Threshold. We found out he wrote essays and talks when hearing him read at the opening of the Anniversary. and heard him read “You Who Marry Today” at the first wedding songs in

T

written

songs

quavers, crotchets or minums (sixteenth notes, eighth notes, quarter notes, half notes) and they are below the pitch num bers. Harmony is indicated by roman numerals. This is a very brief description but gives the idea. Many ofFrancis’ songs were written in India and actually the above notation re sembles the Indian Raga Notation system called Saregam. Francis would sometimes see Meher Baba delight in a melody and would ask Mani how the tune went. Mani Irani (Meher Baba’s sister) would hum it to him and he would be able, due to her knowledge of Saregam, and his invention ofthe number system, tojot it down fairly accurately. Roshan Kerawalla also tells a similar story of Francis wanting a melody from her of the song “Pilay Pilay” that Baba loved and says he came to Bindra House to have her sing this song and Francis jotted it down, then based the idea for “The Blacksmith Song” on it. This story is on her CD SongsMeherBabaEnjoyed. In David Fenster’s Mehera-Meher A Divine Romance, we read: There was a time when Baba asked Mani to practice “Begin The Beguine” and Francis to accompany her on harmonium, such a lovely scene to imag inc. Rano Gayley (fellow resident VJestern mandali) was the typist for the first drafts of Francis’ English ghazals and The Word at i’Vor1dcEndand some ofthe songs from Four and Twenty Blackbirds and she would

of

more

59


at Avatars Abode in 1971 We formed a singing group under the direction of Sam Saunders and Francis and started singing songs at monthly meetings and practic ing for the Anniversary weekly Over the next couple ofyears we heard Chris Grey sing songs including “1\’leher’s Necidace,” Robert Welsh and Richard Lockwood’s presentation of a musical interpretation of The Quest (this had been performed for Baba when He came to Australia in 1956). The late Rod Brown wrote a song with the words “let us the people sing” in the chorus and we all sang it. After hearing Francis play for us his record ofBeethoven’s “Pas toral Symphony,” Rod gave the musical theme Baba words; Francis was very happy with him. In 1973, Cantos ofWandering,A Singing to the Eterna/Beloved and Being Is Dying By Loving were performed. By 1975 Francis wrote to a friend “You will be pleased to know that there was a new singing at the Anniversary last month,” and that was the first presentation of some of the newly published ghazals. The Avatar’s Abode Singers also had instrumentalists, Joanna Bruford on re corder, Gary Lindsay playing clarinet and Sam Saunders playing other instruments as well as guitar. Richard Lockwood had some fabulous renditions of Francis’ Four and Twenty Blackbirds (nursery rhymes), and we performed the play Squares. These were early impressions ofFrancis’ diversity and musicality. Now I will stop this brief reminiscing about early days and speak more about Francis’ music in song. The East- Jst Gathering, sublime and unique for it’s combination ofprose, poetry and song, commemorates the occasion at Guruprasad when lovers from both East and West were invited for Meher Baba’s Darshan on the first ofNovember 1962, in Pune. Amidst the lovely historical account we find 29 songs, mostly for convenience put to known tunes, but some new tunes also. In the middle of The East- West Gath ering is a narration and song section, an aside, based on a talk by Baba. This is The Eight Sorts ofLovers. We are encouraged to think ofBaba as the King who lives in His Palace with His mandali of the inner court and different lovers and workers of the City of Love, as His subjects. “Now there are S sorts oflovers: Desirers, Workers, Resigners, Builders, Simple-praisers, Ojiet-dwellers, Proclaimers and Servers; each type oflover has a narration and his own wonderifil appropriate song. These can be heard on the CD The 8 Sorts of 6o .

Lovers ofGod.The Simple Praisers have “0 This piece is an introduction to a new glorious eternal ancient one” as their song. kind ofEnglish chant—written to be sung When Baba heard this He proclaimed by the people, not by the priests—about “This is the first English (language) Arti” Baba’s messages concerning evolution, and at another time Rano told us Baba involution, the traps oflVlaya and ego, and said, ‘O glorious eternal ancient one is the beautifully resounding mantra of His a true Western Arti.” The use of known Name. This wonderfttl medley of seven tunes in The East- West Gatheringwas also songs is available on CD,A Singing To The due to the speed with which Baba wanted EternalBeloved, recorded at Meherazad by this book published. These songs were The Love Street Singers. sung by Francis for Baba at Meherazad. As a group we sang it many times and In the preface he says, “This is the song when we went to ]Vleherabad and iVIehe story of an event unique in History, yet it razad with Francis in 1973 we sang it on is an event for which man has long prayed the stage at Amartithi. The mandali were and worked in the coming together of so happy to hear it again. Our group sang people from many parts of the world in many songs at Mandali Hall, Meherazad, the Name of Love and Truth. One day tvVO of which were “Whole God Perfect mankind will gather for Love’s sake and Man”—melody and words in classical song the main agenda will be song-stories on form written by Francis, and “Baba Now the Life of the God Man.” Mani said of We Stand Before You” to the melody of this book, “It is not merely a shore account Beethoven’s “Ode tojoy.”About this busi of that oceanic event in history—Francis ness of often borrowing melodies: When has sailed beyond the horizon to reveal once asked, Francis said that one is writing a breath-taking expanse of the beauty of lyrics to a tune which more often than not God as Man” (Family Letters). has had several sets ofwords written to it A Singing to the Eternal Beloved was over time, as in the case of”Londonderry written for Baba on His last Birthday in Air,” a very old Irish folk melody, “Danny this body and presented to Baba on 25th Boy” and Francis’ song, “The Dawn Light February 1968. In the preface Francis says, Breaks” are set to it. He also said that he “The repetition ofthe Name ofGod Man feels he is doing the composer a favor in and the praise ofHis attributes has always presenting the tune to the Avatar come been known to be the most interesting and again. beautiful path to the door of the Beloved. Upon returning from India Francis It has been found better to sing His Name finished writing what he called a “serious to simple tunes which give it buoyancy.” revue,” Being Is Dying By Loving. This This song cycle with recitations is medi revue has 25 scenes and almost every tative and it’s progression gradually more difficult in words and melody. Tucked in the middle ofit in section “e” are three ghazals revealing, in a deep and humorous way, thejourney to God and many of its secrets. (These are also published posthu mously in The Beloved Is AIIInAII, pages 70, 71 and 72.) I remember thinking in 1970 when first learning the songs mA Singing Th The EternalBeloved from Francis himself that they were too easy. Yet as time goes by I realize it is as difficult to sing pure simple songs as it is to sing complex songs. To keep one’s attention focused and clear and to interpret the beauty of the words in a simple melody is a challenge. Francis, Eruch, Baba, andHany Kenmore


scene has a song. All lyrics and melodies by Francis (except two) and all set within a scene of poetry, play or narration. It opens and closes with “The Dawn Song:” “Being is dying by loving, this is the song which I the dawn am bringing. Awake, arise for love’s dear sake, Awake and sing.” The songs are mostly in the classical Art Song tradition and are the culmination of many ideas Francis had in this musical direction for a long time; One ofthe songs, “AThousandTimes,”was sung to Baba in 1968 and Baba, beaming with pleasure, said as he rod always say to Francis after he sang him a new song, “This is one of the best you have done Francis you have surpassed yourself” ( The Family Letters). The play is rich with truth and invites one to enter the heart through song, prose and poetry At the end we are invited tojoin in “making it new” for Baba, to begin our own attempts at the art of trying to entertain Him: “Baba is making it ne Baba is mak— ing it new for you, Baba is in your hands to do.” fvlost ofthese songs can be found in “The Golden Book OfPraise” and on the CD “Being is Dying By Loving,” recited and performed as originally sung. The Golden Book ofPraise is notated and published by TheAwakener series organized by Filis Frederick. In 1979, when I went to America, Filis found out I was traveling around with the original song books which were often the only record of songs that Francis handed out over the years. Filis said she had not realized Francis wrote music, she felt every one should share in knowing his beautiful songs once she heard them. Filis approached Francis in 1981 when she visited Avatar’s Abode about publishing his songs in a song book as an Awakener edition, and Francis was pleased about the idea and he and Sam —

selected songs with the help of copies of those old song books of mine. Another lovely selection were songs Francis put to Swedish Folk Music at the request of May Lundquist: “Come Hear My Lovely Song,” “On Kiel Mountain,” “In The Citc” “Rains and Droughts,” “Come And Dance,” “Not Yet Is The Song Sung,” “Let Us Make A Singing,” “Joyful Song,” “Distant He Lingers,” “Love and Reason,” the first verse of which says: friends gather in His Name Jaya Jay, Jaya Jay and He puts in song His flame Jaya Jaya Jay, Love comes stealing though the door, Jayajay,Jayajay, Reasons voice is heard no more, Jaya jaya jay.” These songs are evergreens, beauti frilly crafted by a fine knowledge of tone, rhythm and line. There are amazing collections of dif ferent genres of songs: Blues and Gospel songs such as “Turning from Side to Side,” “Handsome Rider,” “4 Day Week,” “WearyMan,” “Sea ofTears,” “Cry Song,” “Shining Road,” “0 When the Brave,” “Israel.” The Latin American songs like “Love Street,” “Go Ask ofThe High Stars Gleaming,” “But Ah IVIe,” “White Dove” etc., the reams of Folk Songs and Love Songs and the more Classical and Art songs, including “House in the Rain,” “0 Sun In Splendor,” “A Thousand Times,” “Journey” and “Journey’s End,” “0 Man” and “The Australian Arti.” Again, many of these songs can be found in The Golden Book ofFraise. In the preface of this book Francis says, “The business of great song has always been the praise ofthe object and person of Love. I have tried in this song book to fashion these songs accordingly; but God knows howpoor (rheit compared with a master singer such as Leadbelly) have been my attempts.” Francis loved the songs of Bellini, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Pergolisi, Scarlatti, Schubert, Faure, Beethoven, i’viozart, Debussy Villa Lobos and others. Francis had diverse taste in music. He also liked Percy Grainger, he admired his diligence in collecting English Folk songs and between him and his friend and mentor Grieg, causing a revival of them. He liked Palestrina for his freer rhythms and inclusion of the influence of older modes and yet also liked Bach due to his adher ence to the major and minor systems and more strict rhythms. These influences in his melodically rich songs about the lover-Beloved relationship requires study and interpretive skill. Francis influenced

find good teachers and study and music. Once Baba told Francis at Meherazad when he seemed glum and frustrated with writing at Baba’s request: “Do not worry Francis, one day a singer with a touching voice like Jim Reeves will come -along and sing your ghazals” (Mehera-Mehei; A Divine Romance). Francis said ofBaba, “He was a silence that broke into a thousand melodies then returned to itself so that we could sing and dance and be happy along the road to His door.” Francis noticed that Baba would light up in different ways over different musi cal presentations, and that He seemed to light up the most when a good ghazal come along to entertain Hint. singer Francis then thought to write ghazals in the English Language. “For this new lovely song a billion years I had toiled, I used oceans of ink, and continents of paper had spoiled.”The ghazals in In DustiSing were all written in India before 1964 and presented to Baba in batches, and Baba had them read to Him many times. They were finally published in 1974. Francis said the form was a combination of the Sonnet and the Persian Ghazal. In regards to Baba, Hafez, Francis and ghazals here are some things that Baba said: to Filis at Myrtle Beach, “Francis is like Hafez.” To Francis “You are my modern Hafez.” Francis relates the story that Baba asked him to recite his own ghazals three times, and when asked why three times, Baba replied that He was memorizing them for when He returned in seven hundred years. Once when someone had asked Baba for material things, Francis looked annoyed. Baba turned to Francis and said, “Ask for anything Francis and you can have it.” Francis replied with a twinkle in his eyes, “I do not ask for anything, but if I did, a bloke wouldn’t mind if he did not have to hear the name of Hafez again,” which made Baba laugh. Francis did not put any ofthe ghazals to music from his English language books of ghazals; he has left it to us new musicians to do so. Once rhen someone presented a new version of one of Francis’ songs someone said, “that tune was not the real one.” Francis replied, “A poet could not be happier ifthere was one hundred tunes to each poem (or ghazal).” Regarding Francis’ ghazals set to ntelody: I recently heard that the Argentinean group have done a few; RobertWelsh has recorded two CDs: Singrng Dust and Hammers In The Sun; David Miotke has his CD In Dust I Sing Sam 6i some ofus to

singing


--

-:

Saunders has his cassette: TheDust in Love Street, and his group Muzica’s CDs: A Box oJDrearns and The Street ofBarefoot Lovers, which include his tunes to Francis’ ghazals and there are his tunes to ghazals on the great old Avatars Abode albums. Peter Davies has a new CD including some, cafledA Song Or TwoAgo. There is my own new IDwellIn Dust andSingwith Robert Welsh, Sam Saunders, Heather Nadel, and my own melodies. We musicians are still busy having a go at it and hopeftilly many others willjoin in. Sam Saunders also has many melodies to Francis’ ghazals from The Beloved IsAll In All sung by himselfand his group, The Wine Shop Singers. Francis in a ghazal in this book says, “Francis, tell them your secret: The Beloved cannot resist good singing for long. That’s been His weakness ever since He sang the world into being with a song.” Sam has also put to melody the magnificent “HymnTo GodThe Man” from WordAt Worlds End. He began his work on this piece in 1974 with the earlier version of “How Beautiful You Are,” so Francis had heard some of it while alive. J ohn Isaacs and a friend sing “A Dream of 62

Wet Pavements” from the same book. In the preface of this book Francis says “To entertain the Beloved is the only valid reason for a poem.” Francis was very encouraging and became a musical mentor as well as a friend. He would have us gather together at Avatar’s Abode for musical appreciation evenings and we would hear selections from his vast record collection. Over the years one could not have had a better musi— cal education, a more thorough overview oftrue musicianship, the history of music, notation, and lyrical depth explained to us: Bellini, Monteverdi, Ravel, Palestrina, Beethoven, Bartok, Bach, Villa Lobos, Latin American artists, Troubadour songs, Madrigals, pianists, choirs and soloists. He also played us the album of Gerald Moore “The Unashamed Accompanist” and encouraged us to buy his book, “Am I Too Loud,” pointing out the importance of subtle accompaniment and how it should not dominate the song but enhance it, the need for interpretation as well as clear enunciation of words. He began to hand out more and more ofhis words and music to various ones in the group and

some branched out and became soloists. He would listen to us rehearsing every weekend and make us stop at around 9:30 PM for a cuppa and ahvays treated us lovingly. Mani said in The Family Letters of Francis’ music: “At Meherazad, Baba’s Bard, Francis, sings to Baba the songs in which the words tell ofthe lover’s delight in the Beloved and of the difficulties which the lover experiences, in which the melodies so fit the words that the flavor of the words is ftilly brought out. Many a song Francis weaves for Him from the sunbeams of his love, that the burden of his songs may ease the Beloved’s burden to the extent of each refrain.” I have only mentioned some of Francis’ songs and books of poetry here and this article could be a prelude to a book about his music. In his autobiography The Wind ofthe Word Francis says, ‘All that matters is the love with which one does what one does, the love and the song in one’s words.” Francis did his utmost to create and bring about new music and new poetry for Baba and as His resident Poet-mandali had ev ery opportunity to get that job done. His music, songs and ghazals will last 700 years until the Beloved returns to us. As Francis said of good songs, “With that, even 700 years will soon pass.” “Sing the songs ofcomplaint and praise which the Beloved so relishes, for in es— sence that is what every one is, a song of complaint and praise.” Books by Francis Brabazon: Proletarians Transition, Early Poems, 7 Stars to Morning, Singing Threshold, The Quest, Cantos of Wandering,Let Us The People Sing, The East Ust Gathering, Stay With God, In Dust I Sing, The Word at Worldc End, Four and Twenty Blackbirds, The Wind ofThe r’Vord, The Silent Word A Singing To TheEternalBeloved, The Golden Book OfPraise, The Beloved is All in All, Journey With God, Three ThIks Unpublished plays: Squares, Being Is Dying By Loving. Biographies: Francis Brabazon, Poet of the Silent Word—A Modern HaJèz by Ross Keating, The Water Carrier by Robert Rouse.


So 3 Do 2’Iot çAsk cAny }/1ore !uestions Francis Brabazon So Ihurried on stili,following ihe stars, Up Kosciuskoc slopes, andfonnd the cave Thatfaces to the east. Andisat down In theprescribedsitting-way, and He-the-Teacher Who is the Lord ofalihearts, and Whom Ifound within my own heart, Began to teach me. He said, “The Prophetic word awakens the soidfrorn sleep; The Divineform enables the soul to shake offits illusion of1:1mitation; And in the music ofthe heart the soid enjoys its original harmony.” He said: “In the cattle He is cattle, and in the sheep, sheep; Iii the shining oftheflower is His knowl edge offiower-shining; In the rock!c dream He dreams; But in the trees He is haif way out ofthe earth. Iii man and women, in thepeifected vehicle, He is able to through-look-clearly, and is un—man But they turn themselves outward to seeing-in-se(f AndHe is separated in Him.” —

So He spoke, Teathing. So Iciasped my bands before Him, And crept into His band: And through the rest ofthe night He swung me on the swing ofHis love and regarding; And sang His song in my heart, And His song sounded against the very fibers ofmy soul. And the sun rose, And the stars lost their signifcance, as Idid also; Infact, I and the stars were completely blotted out. Andlcame downfrom the mountain, Which thepeople in dfJjerent ages have named djjerent names; Came downfrom thepresence of my Master, T’Vith the sun in my eyes And my heartpoiishedlike a mirror

1

Clear as the waters ofthe lake. And everyone thati met was burnt with that sun; Eath heart was mirroring His countenance and Image. So I do not ask any more questions. Because I myse(fwas the question AndHe-the-Ligbt was the answer; And when the answerfllls the question, There is no more question, but only reality. So Ising this song, while Imay, ofthe empty heart, For hearts can only be united in emptiness: As only an empty house may be inhabited; Or the cleanpage receive the written word. Ising that it may not be too late, That the Light ofthe day May notpass and leave the ‘ceers” p eering at shadows across gloom; That the ‘singers”nzay not be caught on a haif-close wonderingfor the next bar;

And the drinkers may not have to travel the long road of satiation and return. lam singing this song beyond time while there is time: Because when this Lightgoes Ido not intendleaving this reed-flute desolatefor the beloved hps Rather willlreturn it to its native stream From whence it wasplucked and fashionedforLovec breathing, Ido not intend to leave this violin for anyfiddler to meddle with I willbreak its strings so it will be unitedin the Silence with the SONG. —

Excerpt from 7 Stars to Morning by Francis Brabazon. Copyright by Avatar’s Abode Trust. Australia.

Photo ofMeher Babe courtesy ofMSI Collection, Meherahad

63


The Pctintings of3rctncis E13rnbazon Raine Eastman-Gannett . Berkeley

T

his exhibition was brought together by Australia’s painter John Parry, specifically for the Francis Brabazon Centennial at Avatar’s Abode Spring Sahavas, September 28th through Sep tember 30th, 2007. The paintings were exhibited in Beloved Baba’s House in front of His room at Avatar’s Abode. While still quite young, Francis started out as an artist’s model at an art school. He started painting from 1936 through 1941. Ross Keating mentioned in his presentation that this time was “A rite of passage into art and poverty for Francis.” His friends in the art world later became famous Australian artists, among

them Sydney Nolan and Albert Tucker. In 1941 they exhibited together in Melbourne at the ContemporaryArt Society. Francis stopped painting, though, a few years later saying “he would do better to express himself in words and poetry than in paint.” Francis knew a lot about art and painting due to this period of his life, and also due to having time on his hands in New York in 1952 while waiting for Baba to arrive. While there he would roam the New York Galleries taking it all in. Robert Rouse and Bernard Bruford read out some letters by Francis at the Centennial Sahavas and in one he stated:

“Art has to be a balance of intellect and heart. It should appeal to the highest intellect and the simplest heart.” The paintings shown are all by Francis Brabazon and thanks to John Parry we enjoyed this unique historical moment of having them all shown together for this wonderful weekend centennial S ahavas for Francis Brabazon’s amazing life and all his artistic expressions of painting, music, plays, essays, books and poetry. Once whenjohn Parry asked Francis some questions about art, Francis supplied the knowledgeable answers but added “Look I am not a teacher but an informer.”

ii S,i’

,

r

: ,.

Top left: The Wedding painted for Ossie Hall as a wedding present.

; \

:‘Y

Above: D24 Police Station Owned by Bernard Bruford Far left: Flags Owned by Avatar’s Abode Trust. Left: Kettle In Landscape Owned by Avatar’s Abode frust.

To see Brabazon’s paintings in full coior visit: http://home.online.no/’solibakkIraine_fbpaint.htnil 64


Meditation Owned by Ross Keating Annunciation was owned by Ossie

Portrait OfA GodRealized Soul Owned byJohn Parry.

and Betty Hall.

Ifound a white Dove, as white as thefoam on the b/ne Pacific wave; I macfe him a go/den cagefor his home so that he would never leave. Ago/den cagefor my Dove white asfoam on the blue Pacific wave, a beautful cage so he would not roam andlhis dear sight should have.

RAAZON *aA* or —

A1ji lovely white Dove his brzghtfèathers shed and sang his sweet song no more; myjoy and my LoveJèJJ and lay as one dead, and so I opened the door. My love/v white Dovejèll and lay as one dead because he was wounded sore; his breast was crimsonfrorn where his heart bled, and so I opened the door. A/1:y lovely white Dove arose with a cry and sped like a shaft oflzght.; 0 beautfti Dove returnfrom the sky and comfort me with your sight. Return, 0 return, my Lovefrom the sky foryou are m whole delight; return, 0 return, with your sweet glad ciy and comfort me in my night.

It is nigh on the top ofthe mountain—what they cal/the trig point. It is covered in sofipine need/es. And the view is straight out to the ocean.

Return, 0 91 Dove, andpiuck out the dart oflove, or else I must die; return, 0 my Love, for I’ve made my heart pure space in whichyou can fly. Return, 0 my Love—for to be apart means I must sure& die; return, 0 mv Dove to the sky ofmy heart— thereyou can infreedomfiy. 0 Meher My love, my Soul The East Wst Gathering page 48 Sunrise over the Pacjficfrom Avatarc Abode


It turns out that the fast had thrown her electrolytes out of balance, and then I believe a heart complication followed, and this led to her demise. Other medical details may be available in the next issue. Margaret has four children. She had been a long time employee of IBM, and when she retired from that quite a number ofyears ago, she began her healing practice. Of course, it terribly ironic that in the course of trying to heal herself she died. There are other ironies and specific Baba connections with the story ofMarga ret’s passing, but those will have to wait for another time. I will greatly miss my dear Baba friend, and thejoyful Healing Place will no longer be a beautiflil and Baba filed travels out of Maine. And our Intuition Group may be greatly out oftune as we start our meetings.

Lives Lived in 21is Love Margaret Brennan Nov. 26, 1933—April 14, 2008

is

Ken Lux, Maine was the last person in our Baba cornrnunity to see Margaret alive. I will tell how this surprisingly and shockingly came about, and in that sense this won’t fit the form of a standard obituarv Also, her death was just a few days before the closing ofthis issue ofthe LampPost and I wanted to get the news out about her passing as soon as I could. More details about Margaret and her life, will hopefully come from some more ofher many friends in the next issue. Margaret lived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This is about three hours down the coast from where I live in Maine. From her home it is about another one to two hours to two main locations in Mas sachusetts where there are regional Baba meetings, and also about two hours away from places in northern New Hampshire where there are other Baba events, such as the famous “Kleins in the Pines,” and, yes it’s true, “l\looses in the Spruces.” So if I need to get to these locations, it is often very helpful to stay the night before at Margaret’s, and she was always marvelously welcoming about my doing this. And I could come in quite late, since Margaret, knowing this in advance, would leave the downstairs door open for me, and I would go into the downstairs room where I would stay. Now this was a very special room. Margaret called this professionally: “The Joyful Healing Place.” Here she did her various forms of holistic and alternative healing work on her clients. The room had an altar rith icons and pictures of various spiritual figures, including Baba of course. And it was also very tastefully and aesthetically decorated with pictures, chimes and other ceiling hangings, a col orful wall banner of the chakras and my favorite, a large chart ofPositive Qialities, with Love in the center and other qualities radiating out from it in a large circle. So it was a most special place to land, spend the night amidst great vibrations, and be on my way after visiting with Margaret in

I

66

oasis for me

the morning. And so I did on Wednesday night, April 9. Thursday morning I went upstairs to see Margaret before heading off. Marga ret looked terrible. It turns out that she had gone on a healing and cleansing fast, something she did from time to time, particularly this time because she had been sick previously, and wanted to get the toxins out ofher system. I asked her if she was going to make it to our “Intuition Group” meeting on Sunday in Salem, Mass, especially because Don Stevens was in town and he was going to be there. She said that she did not expect that she would be able to go. Margaret was a member of our regular set Intuition Group, which had been inspired and initiated quite a number ofyears ago by Don, and was held at the home of Cynthia and Richard Griffin. Margaret T5 valuable and loved member of the group, and would start each meeting by leading us in the chant of the “Seven Names of God,” of which she was the a most

consummate master.

On Saturday in Boston we learned that an ambulance had taken Margaret into the hospital. Then, I believe it was on Sunday, that we got the shocking news that the doctors had given her a 50-50 chance to live. Was this really happening? Then when I was back in Maine on Monday April 14, I got the news that she had passed away and gone to Baba at 12:15 that day. This was and for me, since I had just seen her, so hard to grasp, despite how she had looked when I saw her. so tragically fast,

on

my

Stuart Baker Margaret Brennan passed away unex th pectedly on April 14 For those ofus who had the gift to know her she was a marvelous companion. She had her ways, like all of us. She was once described as the somewhat odd aunt one couldn’t help loving. In the last few years of her life, with her move to the New Hampshire coast, it seemed like in many ways it was all coming together for Margaret. She dove into her new career of holistic healing modalities. She bought a house she loved. Her enthu and she could be quick to get on the soap box about some thing she was learning. And always, she loved and enjoyed people. Ifshe asked you how you are, she really wanted to know! Margaret was a loyal and loved member ofthe New England Meher Baba intuition group. When she did speak you wanted to listen, because she spoke from her heart, and she spoke bluntly. She was a dear and perceptive soul. Not infrequentl she came out with some gems. Margaret was a very zen. Many people much younger than her would have a hard time keeping up with all her activities and traveling. I that Meher Baba loved dear her honesty and in the sincerity of her journey back towards God. In her later years she experienced a lot of healing within her family. This meant a great deal to her. She loved Baba in her unique way with allher heart. She loved Baba’s home in India, and she loved Mehera deeply. I know Baba is happy to take her into His arms. siasm

was

contagious,

new

young senior citi

am

sure

Margaret in

continued on page 69


KKRamakrishnan has geme to Beloved Baba From the Poona Center. ne of the founders of Avatar Meher Baba Poona Centre, Mr. K. Rarnakrishnan breathed his last at about 7:00 AM in the morning of April 29, 2008. He was about 84. He was ap pointed the Secretary of the Centre by Beloved Baba and held this position until his death. His was a remarkable life. At a young age, he left his home in Kerala and joined the armed services. During the Second World War, he was posted to Malasia and Burma. He came down to Poona to work in the ammunition factory. He first read about Baba in Lokmanya Tilaks seminal book Geeta-rahasya. He had a natural affinity to the spiritual literature, and in his earlier days was greatly influ enced byJ. Krishnamurthy, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Vivekananda and Raman Maharshi. He first sawMeher Baba on the Poona station platform when He was about to board the train for the Andhra tour. Baba’s beauty made an indelible impression on His mind. By the Beloved’s grace, He soon became obsessed with Baba, His words and His work. He decided to dedicate His remaining life to spreading Babe’s message of love and truth. He sought Baba’s permission to begin work for Baba’s centre at Pune. Baba not only allowed him to begin the project but monitored and guided its execution till the project was completed. KKR had also requested Baba’s presence for the inauguration of the Centre ‘s hail on fVlay 1, 1964. One ofthe rare fortunes for any centre to be inaugurated at the hands ofthe Lord Himself! One year later, on the first anniversary of the centre Baba came here again to give darshan to hundreds of His lovers. KKR played a significant role in the making ofthe centre and later, in the world of Baba literature, through various books he published under the aegis of Meher Era Publications. He has edited various books on important spiritual themes ex plained by Beloved Baba at various points in time by compiling Baba’s words related to this theme in a single book. Some of the major compilations are: Meher Baba on Love, Meher Baba on the Problem of Sex, Meher Baba on War, The Advancing Stream cfLft, Sahavas in the Conpany of God, Sparks of Silence, and The Secret

Q .

by Diana Snow

The Lotuspond in the garden ofthe Rime Ceiztei: Hoini, who was Ramakrishnan c GaiFriday,

gardened, cooked, cleaned, did secretarial work and looked after the Center and the man. of Sleep. In todays world of computers,

digitization and internet this may appear simple, but imagine painstakingly going through a multitude of different volumes of Meher Message, various Baba Journals and Baba books and then typing it down on a manual typewriter! It was a huge undertaking he did with the utmost love and dedication. He was known for his analytical, in— sightfiil and rational approach to Baba. He was absolutely particular about upholding Baba’s supreme status through one s talks and writings about Baba. He -also brought out two books on the lives ofBaba’s perfect masters Sai Baba and Hazrat Babajan, and paid tribute through books to some of the distinguished lives ofclose Baba disciples such as Dr. Ghani, Patil Kaka, Francis Brabazon and Baba’s sister, Mani. In 1994, he had an inner urge to re-activate the Universal Spiritual Centre that Baba had initiated in Bangalore in 1939. He mobilized the resources to bring the Byramangala project to its current shape. Throughout his entire life—after dedicating his life to Baba—he remained focused only on Baba. He read oniy about Baba and was never interested in any other things. He never married and sought early retirement from his job to fulfill his cornrnitrnents to Baba’s work. He resided at the centre since its inception and it was always available for visiting Baba lovers to

stay the night when theyplanned a tour of the various Baba places in Poona. In 1999, he had the opportunity to travel to the US and also visit the Sufism Reoriented group, with which he had a special relationship. Probably, both were impressed by each other’s work. I pray to the Beloved to bless us with such a commitment towards Baba. What an inspiring life! We salute you dear Ra makrishnan!

Stanley Baiinger 1925 2007 beloved and well-known resident of Myrtle Beach, Stanley was very well known in the music world. A violinist and music educator who succeeded the legendary conductor Gunther Schuller as president ofNew England Conservatory, Dr. Ballinger had largely stepped away from music during the past couple of de cades and devoted himseifto the teachings of fvleher Baba, a spiritual teacher from India. Dr. Baffinger was working on the forward tO a book about his own spiritual studies when he collapsed at his West Palm Beach, Fla., home on Nov. 1 and died. He was 82. You can read about his long and accomplished life at the following url: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ obituaries/articles/2007/11/28/stanley_ballinger_president_boosted_en dowment_at_ne_conservatory/ 67 —

A


: V

4.21umor for 21uma

outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in orI der and the pastor was preparing to leave when the roflan suddenly remembered ) something very important to her. “There’s one more thing,” she said •! .: excitedly. that?” the pastor asked. “What’s “This is very important,” the woman ;w• continued. “I wrant to be buried with a fork in my right hand.” The pastor stood looking at the wornF’ an, not knowing quite what to say. “That surprises you, doesn’t it?” the The Garden Plot wornan asked. “Well, to be honest, I’m puzzled by the An old man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his potato garden but request,” said the pastor. The woman explained. “In all my years it was very hard work as the ground was of attending church socials and potluck hard. His only son Fred, who used to dinners, I always remember that when help him, was in prison. The old man the dishes of the main course were bewrote a letter to his son and described ing cleared, someone would inevitably his predicament: lean over and say, ‘Keep your fork’. It Dear Fred, I am feeling pretty bad my favorite part because I knew was it I be able looks like won’t to because better was coming—like that something I’m garden this year. just plant my potato cake or deep-dish apple velvety chocolate old digging a garden to be up getting too pie. wonderful, and with Something troubles plot. If you were here, all my want people to see substance! I just So, over. dig the I know you would would be with a fork in my casket there in that me plot for me. Love, Dad wonder “What’s and I them to hand want A few days later the old man received want Then I the fork?” you to tell with a letter from his son: your fork—the best is yet “Keep them: Dear Dad, For heaven’s sake, don’t dig to come.” up that garden, that’s where I buried the The pastor’s eyes wrelled up with tears bodies! Love, Fred as he hugged the woman goodbye. ofjoy At 4 am the next morning, FBI agents He knew this would be one of the last and local police arrived and dug up the he see her before her passtimes would entire area! No bodies were found. They knew that the woman ing. he also But apologized to the old man and left. That ofheaven than he did. grasp had better a same day the old man received another better was something She knew that letter from his son: coming. Dear Dad, Go ahead and plant the At the ftTneral, people were walking potatoes now That’s the best I could do the woman’s casket and they saw by under the circumstances. Love, Fred the pretty dress she was wearing and Keep Your Fork her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had pastor heard the question “What’s with the fork?” And over and over he smiled. been given three months to live. So as During his message, the pastor told the she was getting her things “in order”, she contacted her pastor and had him come to people of the conversation he had with her house to discuss certain aspects of her the woman shortly before she died. And final wishes. She told him which songs then he told them about the fork and she wanted sung at the service, what what it symbolized to her, “The best is scriptures she would like read, and what yet to come”.

68

IfGod Exists A man walked into a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they talked about many things and discussed various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: ‘I don’t believe that God exists.’ Surprised, the customer asked ‘Why do you say that?’ ‘Well,’ the barber responded, ‘Yàu just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine loving a God who would allow all ofthese things.’ The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument. The barber finished hisjob and the customer left the shop.Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man n the street with long, stringy dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked very dirty and un-kempt. The customer turned around and entered the barbershop again and he said to the barber: ‘You know what? Barbers do not exist.’ ‘Hov can you say that?’ asked the sur prised barber. ‘I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!’ ‘No!’ the customer exclaimed.’ Barbers don’t exist because ifthey did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and trimmed beards, like that man outside.’ ‘Ah, but barbers do exist! What happens is, people do not come to me.’ ‘Exactly!’ agreed the customer That’s the point! God too, does exist! What happens is, people don’t go to Him and do not look for Him. That’s why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world.’ [ Hmmm. do 1 hear Baba nodding af firmatively with a twinkle in His eye?] .

At Peace On May 6, 1862, Henry David Tho reau died oftuberculosis. He was 44. His aunt asked him if he was at peace with God. Thoreau said, “I was not aware that we had quarreled.”


.(

‘. .

3t’s .

: : : : : : : : : .

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

‘That 7ime cJtgain!

0 nce a y ear we ask for your help to continue publishing this magazine. All we ask is that you cover the cost of printing and postage, which these days has escalated considerably The cost runs about $25 per person per year and $30435 for our overseas readers. However, we do not want to deny anyone the pleasure reading this magazine, which many ofyou in far flung places have told us is your only Baba connection, so if the $25 is a financial strain for you, just send what you can and don’t worry about it. We do have some very generous donors who send more than the actual cost, (THANKYOU,THANKYOU, THANK YOU!) and this helps to cover for the dozens we send to India and other people around the world. Spreading love is what we love to do! The only people who get paid for their work on the magazine are the printers, binders and post office—non Baba lovers all. The rest of us feel privileged to do the

.

work, so any help y ou can give us to this end so that we may keep on sending you the magazine will be mightily appreciated! Ifyou have recently sent in a check, and you know who you are, please don’t thinkwe want more at this time, itsjust easier to remember that there will always be an envelope in the first issue each year and that is the time to donate. Checks are preferred, except for our overseas readers, from whom we accept Master Card and Visa. Ifyou don’t want to put the numbers in an email, you can put them on a paper with the amount you wish to donate, and mail it to us in the envelope supplied Or you could fax it to me at 310 839 BABA (2222). Or you could call me at 310 837 6419 only during 9-5 Pacific time. I have a new email address: DinaGibson@mac.com. Bababook@pacbell.net is now defunct and if you have an order, question or request for something from Love Street Bookstore, send to Kathy Hill at bookstore@meherabode. org

:

. . .

: : : : : : : •

.

.

Spreading love is what we love to do! Passings continuedfrom page 69

Liz Miller Dear friend in Baba, now that you’re gone from our sight, I thank you for the possibilities that you showed me. Yours was not the easyroad. Finding Baba meant beginning to renew yourself, becoming the person we thought ofand loved as fvlarga ret,who was upbeat,joyous, and inquiring, striving to give the love that you felt in Baba. In so many ways you succeeded in living a loving life. You really listened, you were patient, openhearted, generous, kind, and could dance and sing at the drop of a hat. We can only guess what work and willingness must have been required ofyou in this life as you were seeking change to become your higher se1f, and in surrendering to Meher Baba. Thanks, Margaret, and Happy Journeying!

Christina Jordan How many people reach beyond goodness and give others the space to be imperfect? To Margaret one did not always have to be good to be loved. Margaret was a Real Human Being—a person with whom you could really share your deepest mistakes in life. She would give

not only understanding, empathy, and compas sion, but words that made sense. Out of the acknowledgement of her own mistakes from the past, she became a superb healing facilita tor, humble and loving, honest and real. She was devoted completely to Meher Baba. With such love she would create a beautiful and proper setting for our Baba meetings in Portsmouth. She was a beautiful hostess. What a gap is left without your physical presence, dear Margaret. We all know that you are in beautiful Bliss with the Divine Beloved. We send you off with all the love in our collective heart. Thank you for sharing your selfwith us, for all these years. 69


.21aflz: The 7ongue of the LInseen Bal Natu, Meherazad hams-ud-din was born in 1320 A.D., in Persia (Iran). He is regarded as a great Persian poet. Shams-ud-din wrote ghazals under the takhaflus (pen name) of Hafiz. He became the most popular poet of his time, but was also considered quite controversial. He was iVleher Baba’s favorite poet. After Hafiz’s death, his divan came to be used by persons seeking divine guidance for their problems.This is done by inwardly forming the question, thinking ofHafIz or God, and then sliding one’s hand into the book. Whatever ghazal is discovered at this moment will contain the answer to the question. Such a consultation is called a faal. Hafiz’s words are known and accepted by manypeople in India and Iran as the “Voice ofthe Beyond.” I was present on some occasions when Hafiz’s ghazals were read aloud to Baba, and sometimes Baba would explain the depths of meaning in certain couplets. Avatar Meher Baba revealed that Hafiz was a God-realized Perfect Master. Over the last five years, in the most unexpected ways and without any intention on my part to seek answers, I have twice been connected with Hafiz’s ghazals in ways which have touched me deeply. The dates of these occurrences were June 15, 1990, and Nov. 17, 1995. June 15, 1990: Aloba, on his own, asked Hafiz about the work I was doing on Glimpses. The response came as Ghazal 491. After this first faal from Hafiz, Beloved Baba and Hazrat Babajan helped me to complete the three books, Glimpses ofihe God-Man, Vol. V1 Conversations with theAwakenei and More Conversations with the Awakenei Now, as I look back, it seems that the second indication from the “Voice from the Beyond,” which came on Nov. 17, 1995, may guide me, Baba wiffing, through the writing of another three books: Intimate Conversations with the Awakene The Samadhi: Star oflnfinity, and The Eternal Awakener ofHearts. But only Baba knows this; I am helpless.Whether these books are completed or remain incomplete is entirely dependent on Baba’s will and wish. I do not wish to push. Only if thoughts for these books come easily and naturall with the

S

70

BalNatu help of my loving friends, will the writing ofthese books proceed. The second faal of Hafiz also reminds me of the following incident in 1947, recorded in Glimpses of the God-Man, Volume i The second day ofthe darshan at Madras was, and still is, precious to me. It was breakfast time on Friday, April 4, and the mandali were going down the stairs. I saw Baba standing in the doorway, looking at us lovingly as we passed by. When I was about to start down, Adi Sr. called me. I entered Baba’s room and found Him sitting in a chair. Without any introduction He gestured: “You will have liberation (mukti).” This spontaneous assurance lifted me to a new dimension. A feeling of timelessness crept over me, perhaps for a few seconds. I was brought to my senses when Adi Sr. continued to convey Baba’s “say”: ‘But letyour lovefiow on ceaselessly, like a stream down the mountain on its way to the Ocean. Obstructions there will be, ofpleasures, of p ams. Pass by these aspassingphases. There will befiowers and thorns bv the bank and in thefiow. Do not get attached; do not get affected Go on and on and let the stream become a rivei Doubts may assailyou, se(f— complacency may lure ‘ou, but with love in

the heart roll on,fiow on to me—the Ocean. Worry not,Jèar not. lam the Ocean ofLove. Now, go and have tea.” Baba’s Will be done in silence at the moment ordained by Him. Nov. 17, 1995: In the early summer of 1995, I visited the Dargah of Hazrat Babajan in Pune. At that time, I was re minded of a dream I’d had of Babaan, in which Babajan gave me some sweets from a pouch, and then the pouch itself. I took this dream to be an indication that Babajan wanted me to rrjte Beloved Baba’s biog raph Glinpses. After the publication of Volume VI, I began work on the seventh volume, but then, owing to ill health, I felt unable to continue. During my visit to Babajan’s Dargah in 1995, I felt I should resume work on a briefbiography ofBaba (which I referred to as “BBB”), The Eternal Awakener of Hearts, MeherBaba. I did so, with the help offriends, but once again my health took a turn for the worse, and I was forced to stop. On Friday, Nov. 17, Aloba, on his own initiative as before, asked Hafiz about my work on “BBB.” The answer given by the following ghazal was a clear indication that I should continue with this work, and that Baba’s inner guidance would be there. I had a wish to hear this ghazal sung, and then I remembered that it had been performed by a famous singer at Beloved Baba’s birthday celebration in Karachi, on Feb. 25, 1969. Luckily, a recording had been made, and a copy was sent to Meherazad. Out ofthe 13 couplets ofthe complete ghazal, verses 1, 2, 9, 10, 12, and 13 were sung. So my wish to listen to the ghazal was fulfilled. Thanks to Baba/Hafiz. His will is supreme. Avatar Meher Baba Ki jai! [ Work has begun again on an unfinished manscript ofBal Natuc, refirred to in this 2000 article, our belated commemoration of Balc birthday onjan. 24. —Ed]

9 Irnz1 218

Shams-ud-din, “Hafiz” Last night before dawn,freedornfrom all suffering Theygave me;’


In the darkness ofnight, I’Vater of Lfe-ever1asting, Tbevgave me. They overpowered me with the brilliance oftbe Divine Essence; A drinkfrom thegoblet of Divine Light overflowing, Theygave me. What afortunate dawn and joyfIii night was the IWght ofPower When the SupremeAuthority ofGodc Commanding Thevgave me. When Iswooned ‘with awe and wonder from lovefor Lovec Face, the two goddesses Lat and Manati true meaning, Theygave me. Ifmy longing isfi4filled and my heart is in bliss, what wonder? All oftbis as rightfulgfts, because I was deserving, Theygave me.

Now, together are myface and the mirror ofthe Glory ofBeauty: Belovedi Glory reflecting my true Se(fshowing, They gave me. ullltbis honey andsugar thatpouring

from mypen is the reward

Forpatience; and a branch ofsugarcanefor writing, Tbe,vgave me. Angel Gabriel the invisible messengei gave me the happiest news: when tyranny and violence come, p atience enduring, Theygave me. Itc such a wonderful miracle to be the slave ofthe Perfect Master: I became His dust and the rank ofthe highest rating, Theygave me.

When the writing offreedomfi-om death, everlasting, Theygave me. Hafiz said: The momentlfell into the snare ofthe tip ofYour baii Releasefrom the chain ofanguish and of suffering, Theygave me.

Because ofblessings I received and wishes ofdawn companions, Freedomfrom Fate sickness and Timegrieving Theygave me. Hafiz , rejoice, rejoice, then thankfully scatter the sugar ofthanks: Realization ofthe Divine Beloved, sweetly swaying, Theygave me. Translated by Paul Smith, Hafiz: Thngue of the Hidden: Poems from the Divan, © New Humanity Books, 1990

The Master raised me that day to reach to hfe Eternal without end;

2:1is 5mi1e Bhau Kaichuri Meherabad

T

he abode of God is the heart of each human being and God manifests himself only after the heart is purified. Every individuallimited human mind has two sections one is ofthoughts and the other is of feelings. The thought-section of the mind is where the process ofthinking occurs, and the feeling section is called the heart, or the seat of mind, where the process of thinking slows to the pure state of feeling. The process ofpurification is necessary for unless the heart is free from desires and attachments, God cannot manifest himself in the heart, though he is always there. The sanskaras ofthe mind are continually producing thoughts and desires. Unless the grossness of the sanskaras is wiped out, the involution of human consciousness cannot begin. Human beings with gross consciousness have their hearts shrouded by desires, and God keeps his face hidden in their hearts. God feels shy ofdesires and he feels pity when he sees the desires in our hearts. As the grossness ofdesires and thoughts is gradually wiped out, God begins to smile in the heart. When the grossness of the sanskaric desires and thoughts is wiped out cornpletely, all space in the gross world disap —

pears and all worldly time stops; at that moment, the path which leads toward God is found. Once grossness is wiped out from human consciousness, the mdividual can proceed beyond space and beyond time toward God. Love is the power that wipes out the grossness of the sanskaras. Love is the fire that burns away the sanskaric grossness. As this fire is burning, the Beloved begins to smile in the heart. His smile is his mani— festation for those who feel this burning in love. As the heart is being pu rifled in his fire, some see his physical form in visions, some see him in dreams, and some see him in their lives; all these people are longing to see him smile. Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba Mani festing © MvIBPPCT 7’


‘5hiraz, Vie Ci4j of 1?ctradise:

7:Iw Real Dia1ogue }lmong Civilizations’ Art Exhibition ofLaurie Bluin’s Paintings at the United NationsJuly 12-23, 2007

Press Release from the U.N. members Shiraz, Iran, in 2004, ofThe Shiraz Cultural Institute began Ia “dialogue” American artist Laurie the

with Blum. Laurie’s uniquely beautiflil, uniquely “Irani,” paint— ings prompted the start of that dialogue, which contin ues through the venue of this exhibit at the United Nations. Among the idyllic settings she has captured on canvas are the “Gar— den of Paradise”

The Real Dialogue Between Civilizations! Upon learning of this astonishing coinci dence, Laurie voiced this thought: “It is the intellect ofthe mind that separates people

(Bagh-e-Erain)

and the revered ‘Hafiz Tomb,” burial site in Shiraz, Iran, of the Perfect 1\’iaster Hafiz, one of the greatest poets in all of mysti cism. Referring to these and her other “Irani” paintings, the Cultural Institute stated, “Laurie is from the West and we are from the East, but her paintings show the ‘Real Dialogue Among Civilizations.’ Artists might say this line isn’t right or that line isn’t right, but Laurie paints with/’eling and that is something new” In 2005, the Former Cultural Ambas sador to the UN, Mr. Mehdi Faridzadeh, saw her works of Shiraz and said, “You are unique! No one has ever gone into Iran and painted it and brought it back to show the world! I want to support you. Your work should be in the United Nations!” When Laurie mentioned that The Shiraz Cultural Institute had told her that her paintings showed the ‘Real Dialogue between Civilizations,’ Mr. Farizadeh announced that he had rritten the book, 72

in the rorld with all speaking different languages, but the language ofthe heart is one true language that silently passes from heart to heart. It is the language oflove that unites all and knows no separation.” Laurie says that her art is about the beauty she finds in Nature wherever she goes. In Shiraz, while painting in the Garden of Paradise, she experienced its beauty in her heart, and these paintings are part of the expression of that experience. She had been searching for the beauty of this “outer garden” since she was a child; now she found her “Inner Garden” as she painted in the “Garden of Paradise” in Shiraz. As she gazed upon the Garden, her heart opened, and its beauty was reflected in the mirror of her heart. It is from this mirror that she now paints, along with the

ecstatic music of Iran that conjures up the colors that match the vibration of the light reflected in the Garden. This state of “feeling and seeing” produces the most special structure of light found in her paintings today. Laurie has waited for two years to share these paintings with you. Through Mr. Faridzadeh’s introduction to Dr. Bahrami of the Mission of Iran, this exhibit became possible, and she deeply appreciates the encouragement and assistance of these individuals. In the year 2001 the United Nations adopted the resolution of the ‘Real Dia— logue Among Civilizations’ to promote the dis covery of cornmonalities between civilizations and cultures. When the Shiraz Cultural Institute gave Laurie a show of her paintings at the very site where they were created—the Tomb Shrine of the great Master-Poet Hafiz—none could then be aware that they were putting into action a UN resolution that re spects Art as a Universal Language. on the walls of the United Nations are the words of the Persian Poet, Philosopher and Spiritual Master, Saadi: “All men are part ofone body; they share the same organs; there should be no war between them.” The transcendent art of painters, writers, and musicians is not owned by a particular race, creed or color; therefore all countries of the United cont.znuedonpg 74 -


LlI/ktni and Augustine

of The ,A1eIier Bttha’s Silence }iew LA Personal 7 (J31AeakinJ

Rick £a.wtou, Pcnnsylvania

I

recently saw Baba’s twin nephews— Rustorn and Sohrab—at the Northeast Gathering in August. They mentioned several times how close they were to Mani. I realized that I had this photo on my cell phone and shared it with them after one of their talks. I assumed they would be pleased to see a nice picture of their beloved Mani. I was quite surprised at the reaction. When he saw the photo Sohrab said rather jubilantly “a goose!” I was a bit shaken at his reaction and had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. I said something silly like “But it’s Mani, Sohrab” thinking that perhaps he hadn’t seen the picture clearly since it was rather small. He said “No! The turtle is named Agus (from Augustine). We gave it to her! He was her favorite pet!” Apparently Agus was a very rare breed, which made him all the more special to

them all. It ras a sweet moment and illus trated so powerfully how Baba manages the “coincidences” in our lives. The story of Mani and her dear friend seemed to have gone full circle. Then came another part of the story from Shelly Marrich at Meherazad. She told me: “I remember Augus very well. Every night Mani would take him into Baba’s Room and put his little head on Baba’s foot cushion so he could have darshan. She used to say that his poop vas like toothpaste! And then one day he just ralked away from Meherazad. I believe it was a monsoon day and a bit soggy. It seems he went in the direction of Seclusion Hill but who knows how far he got. We all expected him to return but it never happened. Do turtles go offto die, I wonder..?”

:. ‘— +

tt

;$

_ I

L’i’ ‘ +

•!/

1

Michael Da Costa, England n the discussions about Meher Baba breaking His Silence, opinion seems to e divided between those who believe that He broke His Silence, either before or at the moment of His dropping His body, and those who expect Him to break His Silence at some time in the fiature, perhaps irjth cataclysmic force. Of course none ofus can know for certain—we can only conjecture. So here I would like to offer a third view. Firstly, I am assuming that time is relative; that a moment in God’s time is not the same as a moment in human time. For example it is possible that a microsecond in God’s time might span, let us say, one hundred earth years. Ifthis is the case it is not that Baba broke His Silence at some specific time in the past, nor that He will break it at some particular time in the future, but His Silence is in the process ofbeing broken. It is breaking around us and within us right now! I believe that Baba is engaged in speaking ‘the Word’ as He promised He would, but in His own time. At the appointed moment He began to speak, began to resound, and and His will continue to resound through time and space, for one hundred years. And as the word is emerging, it is gathering force, sweeping through the cosmos as ‘the springtide of creation’. Maya is on the run, creating in its wake the turmoil and destruction we are witnessing in the world today. This is Baba’s cleansing process: using Maya to extricate the world from Maya; setting in motion, when He began to speak, the destruction of threequarters of the world. Ifthat is the case, then Baba’s Mani festation, and the peace that He said would follow, will only come after His Speaking is complete; when the Word is universally heard; when the Silence is finally and completely broken. And all this in a mere blink of God’s eye... 100 years.

1’4

I

73


i3aba’s \Vords At Play by Ron Festine. for Love Street Lamp Post Answers upside down and mirror image at bottom of page.

Across a Ruter ol infinite and un1imted powers

Down I . Baba saIled on SS Rajputana to? 2. Baba gave to each mahdaii on their birthdays 4. To love there must be a... 7. Aranqaon renamed 8. ThIs Perfect Master called Baba Great God 9. MeanIng ot sahavas is physical... I I Babas second most loved place In North America I 3. Country scientist Thomas A. Watson met Baba I 6. How many times thd Baba visit Myrtle Beach? 20.. Sherlafl hcknarne tor Baba 23. Peisian name Merwari means

5 Baba said. 7fle (blank) deserve my first 4 consldera’iion 6. A childish thing 10 Word engraved on nng Baba gave to Mehera 12. i3aba loves the most 14. God4ieatlzed souls have to keep themselves 1%. Number at tmes Data visIted America I 7. Babas watchful eye ia. Universal IllusIon thrives on the Law oL. I 9. Baba% most ioved ptace in North America 21. “Remember me breathmg your 22. Baba said *You can not serve me t you fad to

cam,’ out

2$. Maya is Gods what? .

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

@€aaDazed, 2007 8 AMBPPT, India S

I. ]/\Jcpcurpaq 4• J3GOAG

33 2fTJJ 3oBopo EQ T3 URJrUq

:ii itci’p t VT°’ a. bLonuJith W flbs2m 74

F E110bG D’-’

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

LV USXfl :1? 2jX 14• occnbTcq :13• ]/IGPGLEI

:io• TGPCL

Q* Sf epsqon 33• iorqa 31 lS8f Ta. krqc pcscp 1W Y\Tt

UJTflCJG

?• booi. 3• cj?ICITp

vcLo U2N.GLE

j:o B’P’. 2 joiqe v-I: BTSA

.

S

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Shiraz continuedfrompg 72

Nations should respect the sacred art of each nation as Universal. Art is a channel to the Soul, iyhich is boundless and free. It unites all through a Silent Language of the Heart. Laurie believes that all men have that heart, which is a mirror, and that the beauty that is reflected in that mirror touches the core of every heart, thereby uniting all hearts as One.


EBaba and l./cctIing 2lea!ing Ourselves and Others through .JRemembrnnce, JPraycrs and Divine !3ualitics Rosie Rabiajackson Frome, Somerset, UK David Fenster’s detailed biography Mehera-Meher, he recounts an incident from Nasik in 1930, when Mehera was ill with malaria. Baba was absent, but his father Sheriarji was staying at the com pound for a few weeks. When he heard of Mehera’s illness, Sheriarji asked permis sion to go into Mehera’s room, where he recited a healing prayer. “Sheriarji stood and softly repeated a prayer in a mixture ofPersian and Arabic, meant especially for removing fever and maintaining good health. .Though the prayer was just four lines and took only a few minutes to recite, Sheriarji had said it with such fervent faith and love that by the same evening the fever was completely gone. The next day, it did not return. In fact, the fever never came back and Mehera was cured. Baba was pleased when He was told what had transpired. “From that day on,’ Mehera stated, ‘not only have I never had malaria but I have never had any type of high fever or serious illness again.” (Mehera-Meher, Vol II, pp. 229-30.) Sheriarji explained that that the healing prayers had come down from Zoroaster, and that other prayers in the same tradi tion could give protection against haunted places or evil spirits. He stressed that the healing was in proportion to the faith and purity of the person making the prayer. “The person who says the kalaam must have faith and praywholeheartedly to God for it to work.” For the past few years I have been learning healing in the Sufi tradition, so I find this story inspiring, for it shows that Baba supported spiritual healing—healing through prayer—as well as traditional allopathic and homeopathic medicines in curing disease. In the way ofthe Shadhd huliyva Sufis, with whom I’ve trained, all healing is seen as having a divine source and the nature of it will depend on the surrender and inner proximity of the healer (and patient) to the divine. There is nothing occult or magical about it, nor does it have anything to do with the ego or personal power ofthe healer. It is sim

In

.

ply a sincere attempt to return the heart, body, mind and soul ofthe person to their original purity and wholeness in the Unity that is God. The most basic practices in this healing are remembrance, prayer and taking on the qualities of God. Remembrance This involves taking the name of God into the heart for the purpose of purifica tion, healing and love. Sufis use the name Allah (God, the One, the All) the sound Ah is said to open the heart but I use both Allah and Baba which obviously has a similar sound effect, and draws Baba’s presence closer. Baba repeatedly stressed the importance of “taking” His name (he urged Reoriented Sufis to say His name for 30 minutes each day), and I believe this is more than simply thinking ofit or reciting it. “Taking” His name deep into the heart is identical to the practice of Sufis taking the name Allah. Practised over time, the taking of the name of God into the heart starts to wash the limited and impure and broken selfand to replace itwith the pres ence ofthe divine Beloved. I find the best way to do it is to sit quietly; breathe gently, and let the name A1l-ah or Ba-ba enter my heart and chest area, almost as if I am breathing through the heart itself You can say it out loud at first, or whisper, or repeat it silently. Saying it softly on the lips and quietly in the heart works best for me. The crucial thing is to really receive the name, to let it enter that space in and behind the physi cal heart, let it fill the chest cavity until it is totally resonating with the name and with the light the name brings. If you practice this for 10-15 minutes a day, then build up to 30 minutes, or even an hour, you may notice huge differences in your closeness to Baba, your peace ofmind, and even your emotional and physical health. Shadhdhulivya Sufis believe that the veils between the worlds are thinnest at night, so the optimum time to do remembrance might be in the early hours, say the hour between 2 and 3 AM! It certainly does feel very beneficial then, or ifyou have insom —

nia it beats lying awake worrying. It can also help decision making, ifyou sit and do remembrance first, then ask Baba for clear intuitive guidance through the heart, for each remembrance helps clean the mirror of the heart so that it may better reflect the beauty and qualities of God. “In each remembrance ofthe name, he cleans his heart and soul. .he lives with his soul because he has the knowledge of the name, and lives only with his God in each remembrance This remembrance is very holy. As he says the name, he speaks with his God, soul to soul.... Everyone needs to be in remembrance of the name continuall all his life, and to be with God always, not just at a certain h is T time. In this way he reaches God Vv his Master. God does not need this re membrance. He is very rich, but each time he remembers His name, he cleans his soul to be one with his Beloved.” (Adh-Dhikr, “The Meaning of the Remembrance,” in Music of the Soul by Sidi al Jamal of the Shadhdhuliyya way). Prayer Like Sheriarji with his Zorastrian prayer, there are specific Sufi prayers for different situations and conditions—for protection, for physical illnesses which may have a spiritual origin, for emotional and psychological distress. Ivlany of these are from the Quran; the prayer which opens the Quran, for example, the Fatiha, is seen as being an essential blessing and protection. Other healing prayers are suras taken from the Quran. I believe Baba is working through these other traditions to revitalize and make them available to us in a new way in the West, following His promise to bring together the religions of the world “like beads on one string.” Learning the mystical beauty this hidden strand of Islam and also helps counter the negative images of the lamentable ftindamentalism that have taken centre stage in the world these last .

. . .

. .

.

.

purity of

few years.

I also believe that the three essential Baba prayers offer healing and protection too. Ifwe say them morning and evening, 75


they draw divine guidance and protec tion into our lives. Absolutely essential to any prayer and healing is the act of repentance—literally “turning back”—re turning our hearts fully to God, which is why Baba’s prayer of repentance should be an integral and sincere part ofour daily practice. No one can be healed or whole while holding bitterness, anger, blame, injustice, lack offorgiveness (including of oneself), or unlove. For myself. I find that my familiarity with the Baba prayers sometimes blinds me to their sacredness. By thinking of Baba as my friend and companion, as I I can also forgetWho He know He really by weaving in some Sufi prayers in the original Arabic, I am returned to the sacredness ofprayer and reminded of Baba’s divinity I feel more and more that prayer is less about asking (with the head) than listening and receiving (with the heart). Baba al ready knows every dilemma and problem. The healing He wants to give us is already there ifwe just get out of the way, listen, receive and absorb His Love. Taking on the Qualities of God One ofthe practices I enjoy most in the the using ofdivine qualities and Sufi taking them into the heart to transform and heal. Sufis of all historical traditions draw on the “qualities” or “names” of God; usually there are taken to be 99 (alAsma ul Husna—the most beautiful names). By reciting and taking these names into ourselves, our own human qualities, our ego selfor nafs, become transformed. This is not a magical formula, but done with the right devotion and sincerit a divine alchemy, as awakening within is what is already lying there dormant. “You may recite His names 1000 times for this, 7000 times for that, and 8000 times for the other, but even if you recite it 50,000 times you will not receive anything. Why? Because God has already wants,

is, so

way is

THE GNU LIFE T34 Lt4tt t

\(

ThtEcKEc

given everything to you. You only have to open that treasury within your qaibs ( hearts) and take out what has already been given.” (Qioted in The Sun Book of p. The best known qualities are A1-Rahman and Al-Rahim (the Merciful, the Compassionate) and one might practice with these iffeelingjudgmental ofyourself or others; Al-Salaam (Peace); A1-Quddus (Holy). As with the practice of brance, you work with them by taking them repeatedly on the breath into your heart, and they can be a very powerftil healing tool. One person I with, for example, had trouble with her neighbours, who were being invasive and aggressive. In a healing, the quality of Al-Muhaimin (Protection) came in as the one for her to work with; she recited day; in less than a week her it 100 neighbours were being cooperative and help with her garden! Other qualities I use a lot for myself and others are Ar-Razzaq (Provider—this can help when people are frightened about livelihood and money etc); A1-Fattah ( Opener—this helped someone recently with bronchitis, as her being and body opened to the Love); Al-Wakil (Trust); A1-Hayy (the Living—useful when people’s faith is waning and they need a reminder ofGod’s Living presence). Working with these qualities and famil yourselfwith the different nature and feel ofeach one is a lifelong practice. Again, they are not magic incantations, but an awakening of the qualities already inside us. There is a fabulous new book available which contains these qualities and is a basic guide to using them and I recommend it as a starting point. The Sig’I xxii.)

was working

times a

even

offering

to

iarizing

Book ofLfè: 99 Pathways ofihe Heartfor

theModern Dervish by Neil Douglas-Klotz ( Penguin) is a sincere, modest, deeply felt work, and it will introduce you to the basic qualities and suggest ways of using and applying them in everyday life.

Brian Narelle

is

WHOARE YOU Some sayyou are Pciièct Master What zc that to me? Some sayyou are the Avatar What is that to me? Allah, Ram, Buddha, Christ Wrth. What do they mean? Infinite, without beginning, without ena Concepts I cannot comprehend Lord of/he Universe Beyond GodandBeyondBevond God What does that mean to me? Your name was Merwan Sheriar Irani. Iust a name to me. They calledyou Meher Baha. Jus! another name to me. But in my darkest hour, Through my longest night, You’ve shown the wa Guiding o’ steps to the light.

Lost in my own ignorance, You are always there to hold. In this the only dance there is. You have restored my soul. Through all mypain and my deepest shame, You are there till the end. You are myfriend That is whoyou are to me. —Author Unknown

www.nareHecreative.com

StNCEWEt4? Acr

WEEK YOU CouLtWr siôP TALI AL’oUY A NW LE)(u.S

76

So these three—remembrance, prayer and use of divine qualities—are the basic inseparable tools ofhealing in the Sufi way. They work on and through the heart, the different levels of the heart, because it there that our basic weilness or illness lies. Ultimately, everything is about the quality ofsurrender to Baba, the Divine Beloved, and letting our hearts and lives be totally in His hands, striving for greater proximity while at the same time being at peace with whatever He decrees.

I ScLu GWE UM P Lff.


J44eIier 73aba and the rDunites Compiled by Betty Lowman and Ed Flanagan from LordMeher and The Glow mong the thousandor-so people who queued up to meet Meher Baba at Hollywood’s Hotel Knickerbocker on May 31, 1932 was Sam Cohen, former New Yorker, theosophist, and ardent seeker of God. He waited ro hours to shake Babas hand. Ofthis meeting, Sam said “The handclasp of a Master is not a mere handclasp, nor is his gaze just a look at you, but by his touch and look, he thins the veil and sometimes completely removes the veil which separates man from divinityc” With this contact, Sam became a lifelong devotee ofMeher Baba. In June 1932, after Baba cancelled the famous Hollywood Bowl engagement to break His silence, He traveled to China, then India, leaving His group of disciples behind in Los Angeles. Several disciples spent the summer in and out of the Oceano Dunes,just south ofPismo Beach, California. (See http://www.bob2000. com/pisrno.htrn—Ed.) An eclectic group of artists, poets and philosophers lived there in a collection of cabins and shacks. Their community was called Moy iVIell, Gaelic for “pastures of honey,” and the group was known as “The Dunites.” Among them ras Sufi Samuel Lewis, who, for a time, was also a follower of Meher Baba. Baba had ordered Meredith and Marguerite Starr to visit the Dunite commu— nity that summer to meditate. Then in J une, Sam Cohen also went to live with the Dunites. Norma ]\‘Iatchabelli and Elizabeth Patterson were in and out of the Dunes all that summer, preparing for a visit by Meher Baba. Norma pitched a tent, and oversaw the construction of a cabin for Baba’s use, one “free of impres sions created by any impure behaviour on the part of the libertine Dunites.” When summer ended, the Starrs returned to England and the devotees dispersed. Sam Cohen stayed on in the dunes. On December 18, 1934, iVieher Baba

A

and joy—passed by. It seemed to me that in the twinkling of an eye the quintes sence of all life was lived in that ecstatic moment. One’s con— sciousness goes back, back through ages, when only the Lord walked in His Gar den, and no other being was created. Was this knowing Baba as the personal God?” Almost thirty years later, Sam elaborated on the experience (re S7;?;Coh’11, A’J’hei- Baba, Hugo S”/ing andJohn Doggett calling a slightly dif ferent date) in The Awakener returned to Hollywood, this time on an “The date was about May 15, 1935; unpublicized mission to persuade produc ras then staying in Mount Abu crcBaba theme of the film about ers to make a India. I was walking among Rajasthan], to fruition, never came ation. The project [ I sat down to rest. With dunes. the sand invite to but Sam took the opportunity I saw and experienced the eyes open, 1\’Iell. To my Moy Baba to visit the Dunites at following: to him his surprise, Baba accepted, cabling “The time of day was towards evening. prepare for 18 people! the distance, I saw a chain of moun In after On Christmas Eve or the day then a long streak of sunlight, as if tains, Christmas (accounts differ), Baba and His 1 Suddenly mountains to the sk stitching party drove up the coast and stayed for one in the mountains. A myselflying found night at Moy Mel. Baba chose not to stay I distance a short above me stood Being in the “pure” cabin built for Him, preferentire eyes ofmy the with him away. I felt ring the larger cabin belonging to Gavin powerful me, a towards turned being; as he Arthur, the group’s leader. The next mornenergy went through me, penetrating me ing, Baba gave a discourse, had private from head to toe. I felt only unutterable interviews, and enjoyed a party with the bliss. In that short blissful experience, I Dunites. He left in the afternoon. seemed to live a thousand years, so inShortly after Baba’s visit, Sam Cohen tense was that feeling. The strange part had a remarkable spiritual experience in of that experience was that I lay in those the Dunes, which he described in the mountains in my entirety A fisherman Me/icr Gazette of 1937. might say “hook, line and sinker;” but I “About six months later, in June, 1935, when Baba had retired in seclusion at not being a fisherman, I merely say “spirit, Mount Abu in India and I was still at my soul and body.” “Then I found myself lying back in place in the sand dunes of California, I the dunes. I visited a few of the dune experienced something most unusual, an neighbours, but I could not stop weepexperience which wod have repaid and ing. I am sure that they thought I had completely satisfied, even if I had gone through a thousand years of austerities. gone completely wacky or was very sick. I remember how one “duner” literally put I had suddenly become completely un me to bed. I kept on weeping and saying conscious of this gross world. Sand-hills all disappeared and a new vivid ecstatic “Baba, Baba.” I knewwhat really happened was the loosening of the chain of sansconsciousness entered me. Gossamerkaras. People have a tendency to speak of like hills appeared, then a Great Bethis rather glibly. They do not know what ing—carrying with Him all that was bliss

77


it really entails, for the entire to see him.” That was all. psyche is turned inside out. I The next morning I ran then knew that I had experi to Sam’s place and gave enced the “Ancient One,” even him the message. Sam 1 I was so grateflil, happy and before I learned that Baba using this term. elated. He made me dine “From then on, although with him that evening. I could not recapture that Somehow it seemed to great “rapture,” many events me this message made came “tumbling down from him concentrate on Baba heaven’s brink”. I thought at more than he had done I might be able to get back recently. The very next to the “holy mountains.” But day I received a phone it hopeless. It seemed as call telling me that Sam though I was trying to climb had died. I didn’t think I a ladder that had no existence. would be able to write as Kaka Baria, Elizabeth Patterson, Norma Matchabeii, C½anji and brotherJal God just would not repeat I’m still feeling the effects Himself” (Glow, p. 12) ofthis experience, but everything, and this, where he asked Baba “Suppose one feels Later, Sam Cohen traveled to see Beloved Babas doing.” Sam passed away that meditating by oneself is service? I Baba several times in India, England and like to visit the Monday group but not all 1984. France. His first trip is recounted humorThe cabin Baba stayed in is the only the time.” ously in The Dunites by Norm Hammond Dunite cabin that was preserved, possibly Baba replied, “I would like you all to (page 65): belong to certain groups. Why? Because because its owner, Gavin Arthur, was “Sam Cohen, one of the Dunites who you can cooperate and tell others about me, the grandson of U.S. President Chester lived south of Moy Mell, became interand share your thoughts. You learn much Arthur, [1881—1885], but more likely it is ested in Meher Baba. His interest was cut more than when you remain by yourself simply Baba’s Leela, as it was when He short, however, rhen he thrown in When you listen, exchange thoughts and would not stay in the ‘pure’ cabin that had jail for clam poaching. The women in the been especially built for Him. In 1946, prayers, My presence is there. When entourage took donations for Sam’s bail. this cabin was purchased for back taxes there are five collected together, there is After that, Sam stayed close to the group and dragged over the dunes into town. Parameshwar [Supreme God]; I am there. and to Baba, absorbing as much as pos If you are talking of Me, having love for Currently, it is part of a mission for the sible. The discussions often led to India, Me, then there I am. Is it all clear?” (Lord homeless called just as I Am Ministries. and Sam decided he had to go there. The Oceano Historical Society hopes to Mehei Tol 14, 5038.) “In the dead of night, Sam pounded eventually move it to the town’s historical In 1958, Sam stayed at Meher Spiritual on the door ofthe local doctor in Oceano, Center for two months on Baba’s order, museum parking lot. who treated many of the Dunites. The and he participated in a 40-day fast, along the February [ Glow 2005 issue—Ed.] doctor turned on the light and opened the with EruchJessawala in India, and Francis door for Sam to come in. He was puzzled Brabazon in Australia. They were allowed when Sam asked to see his globe. Sam a portion ofmilk each day, and were asked Now Longs the Heartfor Nakedness eagerly examined the globe to find the to repeat Baba’s name. Francis Brabazon place in India he had decided to visit. The Sam spent the rest of his life in New Now longs the heartfor nakedness doctor asked, “When are you leaving?” “I York City and in his later years was cared and longs the soul to die think I’ll go right now!” said Sam, and left for by Fay Fisher who lived in his building. and as the least andfinest dust into the night. Fay tells this story about his last days: underyourfeet to lie. “The grocer in Oceano was amazed to .Sam had had a heart condition for For tires heart ofitsgaudy dress receive a postcard from Sam a short time many years. Evidently it wasn’t too bad, andsoulhas reply no later. Sam ras on a luxury liner bound except for the last couple ofyears before his toyour sweet love andsweeter trust for England, thence to India. He had a death. He had been in and out ofthe hos than beneathyourfret to lie. first-class ticket! Sam owed the grocer pital; he had short stays several times. The money—never having had an extra dime last time he went to the hospital he decided Now longs the heartfor emptiness in his pocket! The news traveled, and the to give up his room in my building so that and soul it would deny other Dunites were equally amazed. Only he would save the rent, not knowing when itse’fforever as it must much later did they learn that the women he would be discharged from the hospital. underyourfret to lie. with Meher Baba had ftinded Sam’s trip, However, when he returned there was no Then will heart rejoice mightily shortly before they left Moy Mell, to help here, so he found another place andsoul withgladness sigh him on his path toward spiritua1ity” nearby.When I went to visit him, he said he at the impress ofyourfretjust Sam spent his later days living in New was fine. That very same night, in a dream asyou arepassing by. York, and sometimes attended Monday I saw Meher Baba. It was so vivid and real. Night meetings. He saw Baba again after Baba commanded me to go and see Sam The East West Gathering, 19 years in 1956, at Meher Spiritual Center, and to tell him that “He, Baba, was coming Meher House, 1963, p. 40 78 was

I.

d

first

was

is

inJanuary

was

pg

references are for

“..

vacancy


7Jte

.!2lighest Beccune -‘4 Sweeper Bhau Kaichuri

en God takes human form on earth as the Avatar, he acts as the Highest ofthe High among people. But he, the Highest ofthe High, finds that the world is almost unsuitable to live in. It is full ofdirt and filth. People are so afflicted with this unnaturalness that they unnaturally become accus tomed to the filth surrounding them; they do nothing to rid themselves or the world of all this filth. Humanity has become unnatural since it has become one with dirt and filth, and thus it is difficult for the Avatar to clean the human mind and cleanse the world. The world is full of dirt, and every human mind is like a room in the world, and so every room is full of dirt. The dirt has settled to become a part ofthe room, and so each person is unconscious ofhis own dirt. Howevei if the room is swept with a broom and particles ofthe dirt rise to form a cloud ofdust, one becomes immediately con-

scious ofthe dirt that was in the room, and feels suffocated by it. When the Avatar came, he found that people had become unconsciously one with their own filth. He set out to clean each mind by sweeping the dirt ofeach room. Particles ofthe dirt rise in the air as dust, the dark cloud over the world, and people feel as ifthey are suffocating. Humanity thus becomes intensely conscious ofits own filth, and all the dirt in the world. This suffocation is the present chaos in the world, and the present confusion in the minds of men everywhere. But the chaos and confusion is the result of his work to clean the world. This dirt, now stirred up, starts action and reactions in the world, and they are humanity’s reaction to the suffocating cloud. When one sweeps a room, most of the dirt is thrown out; and only that portion which rises in the air remains.

\\-\\\\\\\\-\\-\

Bicyc1e 7racks

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,/,,,,,,,,,,,,,/,,,,,,,,,,,,

n 1922, Nervous won a lottery held after Lateefpresented a new bicycle to Baba. Baba told Nervous to give his old

I

bicycle in exchange for the new one, and then ordered the mandali to break up the

old one and throw the pieces into a nearby well, an instruction that was immediately put into action, although the men were at a loss because the old bike was in perfectly

good working order. This event took place wrfre Baba and some of the mandali rere at Chinchwad.

When Baba returned to Poona, Baily told him that during his absence, he, Baily, had accidentally fallen into the well near their hut and had been rescued from drowning by a passing stranger. When asked what time this had occurred, the other mandali realized that the accident and subsequent rescue had taken place at the exact moment when the bits ofBaily’s old bicycle were being thrown into the well at Chinchwad. Later, Meher Baba explained, “Instead of allowing Baily to drown, I sank the bi

Though the room is comparatively clean, one still finds it difficult to breathe until those particles of dirt settle. The Avatar has swept the dirt out ofthe world, but those particles of dust, which are in the air, have started actions and reactions in each mdividual, because particles of everyone’s dirt have formed a black cloud that everyone feels suffocated by. When these particles of dirt have settled and the black cloud gradu ally disappears, it is the result of the Avatar’s having cleaned each mdividual mind with the very actions and reactions within everyone’s individual mind. Humanity will experience peace, and will ask, “Who cleaned the filth out ofthe world?” The Avatar will reply, “I have cleansed the world by becoming a sweeper. I have cleaned every room.* This cleansing of the human mind of its unnaturalness will be a phase of Meher Baba’s worldwide manifestation. Avatar oftheAge, ]l’Ieher Baba Maiifestinc, pp. 80-81 © 2003 AMBPPCT

.

Sarah McNeil • Sussex England cycle in the well. It was simply an exchange ofgross mediums.” (LordMehei L2)

Eruch said, “Don’t try to fathom Him, don’t try to understand His ways, just remember and love Him.” (Thats How It Was, pp.S) 6

But the mind has its tendency to be constantly chewing things over. Feeding it with avataric conundrums, thorny issues and riddles is a useful way of keeping it occupied.The idea ofan exchange ofgross mediums—a process that Baba tells us is simple—seemed to offer ample scope for further investigation. First, why throw away a useful bicycle for such an exchange? Why not a charpoy

or a pushcart? Accordingly, I put my mind to finding examples ofother bicycle tracks by searching the LordMeherWeb site and Eric Solibakke’s Web site. A good place to begin is the story of 19year-old Merwan, peddling His bike along Malcolm Tank Road in Poona to sit under

the neem tree at Char Bawdi with Hazrat Babajan. It was May 1913, the unforget table occasion when Babajan kissed Mer wan on the forehead. Wandering home in a dazed state, he left his bicycle behind.

There’s no record of what happened to the abandoned bike, though I recall Mani saying that their mother, Shireen, was not pleased that it had been left behind and sent one of Merwan’s brothers to fetch it back to the house.

I learned that a ro-heeled contrap tion called a velocipede—because the rider had to use his feet to make it go—was invented in 1790 by a Frenchman. Fitted with wooden wheels, but with no saddle or handlebars, it was also known as a boneshaker. It was another 100 years before

the original design had developed into what would become the “safety bicycle,” complete with sprocket chain, fixed ped als, handlebars and air-filled tires—and a saddle to sit on! 79


By the end of the 19th centur manu facturers’ production lines were working flat out to meet demand, as the new means of transport became a must-have item, a passport to the 20th Centur Bicycle shops and bicycle repair shops multiplied across the five continents, and by the time Merwan was a student at Deccan College in Poona, office workers, policemen, soldiers and millions of other cyclists had taken to the highways and byways of cities, towns and villages around the world. Babu Genuba Ulpale, who had been a regular member ofthe group that gathered under Babajan’s neem tree at Char Bawdi, was one of the first to seek out Merwan after Babajan had described him as “my beloved son who will change the world.” Babu Genuba Ulpale owned a bicycle shop in Poona and was to become one ofMeher Baba’s earliest followers. Merwan called him Babu Cyclewaila. It seems that in the following years, Baba did not ride a bike for local journeys, preferring to walk, which He did very fast, a characteristic he shared with Babajan. According to Baba—who said that Babajan “used to walk fast, and at 85 she would run fast,” when he was a young rnan—”The mandali had to run or use their bicycles to keep up with me.” However, glimpses ofBaba on a bicycle still exist in those early years in Poona when, known as Merwan Seth, he worked at his father’s toddy shop. An amusing account tells how Munshi Rahim, a local government employee who had met Baba only once or twice, became convinced that young Merwan Seth had the ability to read his thoughts. One evening he was thinking, “tomor row I must eat fish, but how can I buy fish?” The following morning, he saw Merwan Seth bicycling toward him carrying a large fish! “Merwan smiled and, handing the fish to Munshi, pedaled away without a word.” Exercise was another valued function of this chain-driven, pedal-powered twowheeler, and Baba gives a demonstration in the early days ofManzil e lVIeem when Khodadad K. Irani, known as Asthma, though he ceased to suffer from the allment after Baba gave him this nickname, brought his newly acquired bicycle to the ashram. “Baba raited to exercise and rode it over the recently rolled back playground, thereafter instructing Asthma never to loan the bicycle to anyone else to use.” 8o

After the move to Arangaon and the development ofBaba’s early base at Mehe rabad, bicycles were in regular use. Anna, a Hindu from the village, would cycle daily to and from Ahmednagar for the marketing. Other mandali would have had to use bikes to run errands for Baba or deliver messages. But most accounts refer to Baba and the mandali walking the distance of about six Bicycle Tracks AnotherArnartiz’hi comes and goes; Another bicycle bell Alerts me to You —Joe di Sabatino miles into town rhenever the need arose. An interesting exception to this is the account of Baba riding a bicycle to visit the boys at the Prem Ashram in 1929, after Rao Saheb had become depressed about his pupils’ attitude and reported to Baba that four boys had “turned into mischievous devils and All Akbar is the ringleader.” We are told that Baba rode a bicycle for the “first time in several years” and it is clear that the boys were surprised and delighted to see Him riding a bike. Apparently, “after this incident, there was a decided change for the better in their behavior.” A different kind of found in Lord Meher (Vol. 7 and 8) links a horrendous bicycle ride in 1943 with the partition of India that took place in 1947. At the time, Baba was staying in Lahore, then still part of India. A black dog that would visit the group’s bungalow went mad and bit Margaret. Baba called for Krishna at 7 AM he rested after having night duty, and told Krishna to take the rabid animal away. Krishna made a yoke ofbamboo and cautiously approached the dog, slipped the yoke around its head to hold it and tied a rope round its neck. “Baba ordered, ‘Take the dog 20 miles from here.’ “Krishna replied, ‘That is not possible, Baba. The dog is rabid—mad.’ “Baba was adamant. ‘It is my order,’ He spelled out. “Krishna expressed his inability to transport the dog so far. Babalooked disap pointed, and dictated, All right, take him 11 miles. And be certain to count the miles carefully.’ Baba went inside without giving Krishna a chance to protest further. Krishna got on his bike and, using the rope to pull it and the bamboo to keep it at bay, he led the dog away. It was an arduous story

as

task. Using small pebbles, he counted off the miles. It took him five hours to bicycle 1 1 miles. There was a small pond of water and Krishna took the dog near the water to give it a final drink before letting it go. As soon as the dog touched its mouth to the water, it died. Krishna was peeved. ‘If the dog was to die, why not kill it back in Lahore?’ he wondered. ‘Why go to all this trouble of dragging it eleven miles away?’ “Leaving the carcass, Krishna returned to the bungalow. It was almost two in the afternoon. Dr. Nilu was waiting to inform him that Baba wanted to see him imme diately. Baba gras walking on the veranda. ‘Did you leave the dog?’ He asked. “Yes. It died.’ “Baba was very happ) ‘You eleven miles?’ Krishna nodded yes. “Baba smiled, gesturing, ‘I am very happy. You have done a good job. Go and have lunch.’ “Krishna stood still. ‘Baba, what is this?’ he asked. ‘Why did you want me to take that dog eleven miles away?’ “Baba gave him a kick and twisted his hair. ‘Get out!’ he motioned. ‘Go! Get out of my sight!’ “Krishna, however, stood outside the gate. Baba asked him what he wanted. “XVhat was the reason, Baba? Tell me. First you told me to go twenty miles, then eleven miles. After I took the dog all that way, it died there. If you wanted him dead, I could have killed him here in five minutes. Why did you make me go to all that trouble? What difference did it make where that dog died? What work were you doing?’ “Baba called him back and motioned to him to take a stick and draw a line on the ground. Erasing the line with his foot, Baba indicated to draw another line. ‘That’s correct’ He gestured. “Then Baba revealed, ‘In the future, India will be divided into two countries—India and Pakistan. This will be the boundary line between the two.’ Krishna recalled Baba’s rords four years later, at the time of partition, when a dispute arose over the exact boundary line, whether it was to be 11 miles or 20 miles from a certain point.” Krishna needed the skills ofa trick cyclist to complete thatjourney, pulling a mad dog on a rope, holding it bay with alength of bamboo, pushing the pedals and counting out a stone for each mile of the road. ‘We are not told ifthe road itselfwas the Grand Trunk Road, as it is known, that stretches 1,500 miles from Kabul in Afghanistan to went

at


Dacca in Bengal, passing through Lahore, the scene of awful violence at the time of the partition. Certainly, the Grand Trunk Road would have had milestones along the way that could have helped Krishna to count out his stones. As for the dog?Who knows? At the time, NoelCowardwas famously and inextricably linking mad dogs and Englishmen in the words of a popular song. One last story I wanted to include here I read once, but couldn’t locate it my books at home. I wish to thank the 12 people who put aside work that was more important to look for this story for me. It was found in a book I had all the while, Thies From The NewLfè (pages 94-96). Eruch said, “I still remember an incident from about that period when I decided it was useless to return from an errand early. No sooner would I return to Baba than there was always something else to do, such as cycling another ten or fifteen miles more after a tiring day. On the day in question, I still remember that I was very tired. Of course that was a blow to my ego, because I felt that as I had good health I coald do many things for Baba, that I could survive a]l hardships. “But my body couldn’t withstand any more and I thought, it’s useless to finish the task appointed and return early. No sooner will I have done this than there will be another task for me. I completed going round the market and buying things for the group, and when I returned I was very fatigued. Then somebody came and told Baba, At a distance ofabout 15 miles there is a temple where it is said a tiger comes and sweeps the floor with his tail in reverence to the deity there. The tiger is reputed to be a mast who changes his form.’ “The fellowwho told this tale was Elcha, Baba’s court jester as we called him. He’s from the north of India. He used to tell these yarns to make Baba laugh, but Baba took this yarn seriously for my sake, so that Eruch should have some occupation, so that Eruch should no longer boast of his physical endurance but have the chance to forget himself completely and have no thought of himself “Babalooked at me and said, ‘Why dont you go and find out about this?’ “I shuddered when Baba looked at me—to cycle fifteen miles on that bad road, up onto the hill and then return, and already it was late afternoon. I said, ‘Baba, you know Elcha’s jokes. He is here. Shall I ask him more about this?’

“He said, ‘Yes, I know Elcha’s humour. But there are many people who believe this story in the town. Every little child knows it.’ “Of course, I went. To carry out Baba’s every command—one has to do that. I had chosen the path of freedom in coming to Baba. I wanted to be free to try to obey him, and so I was absolutelyfree in this bondage. In such a case, I exercise my freedom, and in doing so I must exercise it fully, so ofcourse I obeyed his command and went. “Naturally the storywas all a fake.There was no such thing as a man turned into a tiger. I knew the results before I left, so naturally my mind was in revolt all the while I was cycling there. “After confirming that there was noth ing to the story, I thought, of what use is it for me to return now? Even if I return late in the evening, Baba will send me out on another errand. So I said to myseli yes, I agree with the prompting of my mind. Eruch, it’s really true, even if you go back now and report to him, there will be some other work waiting, so the best thing for you to do is relax and give some real rest to your body. “There were a lot ofculverts on the road, and I selected one parapet that was a bit broader than the others. I said, this is a nice place where I can have a good nap. But I was concerned about the cycle lest somebody steal it. I was on ajungle track used by the local inhabitants who occasionallywent out to chop wood, and one conidnt be sure of these people. “I thought of a plan. I took my handkerchief and tied it round the spokes and to my wrist and then went to sleep. After a couple of hours, I woke up. It was very late, so I returned and Baba was waiting for me. I knew He would ask me what had happened, why I had not turned up, because usually I am very punctual. I never lost a single minute.That was the first such incident in my life. “When I returned there was the message for me that Baba wanted me to go to Him immediately. I went and Baba asked me, ‘Well, what’s the result ofyour search?’ “I said, ‘It’s all fake and bunkum.’ I was a bit upset, you see, irritated. ‘There’s no truth whatsoever in all that Elcha said, and I knew that.’ “Baba said, ‘But why are you late? You had to go out most probably in search of people who could tell you?’ “I said, ‘I didn’t have to go out anywhere because the local people informed me it is

all justastory...’ “Well then, why are you late?’ “I kept quiet. Again, He insisted on an answer, and then I had to report to Him what I had done. “When I had given Him the story; He pinched my ear lobe and said, ‘Eruch, you do this again.’ should all.” “That’s And that is all. One is left where one started, with little if any understanding of why or how a bicycle weighed in on a par with a human life in the balance of “gross mediums The “constellar arrangement of cogs and wheels designed to translate physical energy into forward motion’ that we call a bicycle could possibly be seen as metaphor, a vehicle for meaning as well as a carrier of people. Best stick with the metaphor Eruch used when asked what he felt after Baba had pinched his ear lobe: “Immediately I felt as ifl’d had a dip in averyrefreshing coolfountain. .completely forgiven and absolutely forgotten.” never

.“

a

.

r

‘çJ)

\J

\t’’ --

Poise continuedfroinpage 10

your companion drink and not mind dying and letting her live. But if you fight and grab for it, you lack poise and spirituality. It is this poise that makes you sacrifice and makes others happy. For example, I always say; “Make the best of everything.” Here you have food, boating. Make the most of them and feel happy. Do not say it spiritual to enjoy innocent pleasures. But when we are driving on tour and there is dust and we feel hunger, thirst and feel sick. then feel as happy as you do now. This is poise. Ifyou do not feel happy now it is not easy to feel happy while traveling. Do not feel you are not spiritual in enjoying boating, etc. Is this clear? I do not mean making a show ofbeing happy, but to really feel happy. Poise is one hundred percent essential for spiritualitc Again, what is spirituality? Poise—perf4ake the most of every situation. swimming,

is

not

swimming,

fect

poise.

8i


77w Children’s Page What C1ii1dren2<now .}1bout cAngels .:

t’s not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then you go to heaven, and then there’s still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes. —Matthew, 9

I

All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn’t go for it. —Antonio, 9 Everybody’s got it all wrong. Angels don’t wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it. —Olive, 9 I only know the names of two angels. Hark and Harold. —Gregory, 5 Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else. —Mitchell, 7 My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth. —Katelynn, 9 My guardian angel helps me with math, but he’s not much good for science. —Henry, 8 Angels don’t eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows. —Jack, 6 Angels talk all the way while they’re flying you up to heaven. The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead. —Daniel, 9 When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there’s a tornado. —Reagan, 10 Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow Then when it gets cold, angels go north for the winter. —Sara, 6 Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who’s a very good carpenter. —Jared, 8 Som.e of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don’t make the animals get better, they help the child get over it. —Vicki, 8 82

What I don’t get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them. —Sarah, 7

.A Do11ar for Sundcty &hool A little boy came home eating a big candy bar. Seeing it, his mother remem bered he had already spent all his allowance money. Surprised, she asked him where he got it. “I bought it at the store with the dollar you gave me,” he said. “But that dollar was for Sunday School,” his mother replied. Smiling, the boy said, “I kno Mom, but the Pastor met me at the door and got me in for free!”

re you .A4rs. 9od?

4 L./

On a cold winter day in New York City a little boy, about 10 years old, was standing barefooted in front of a shoe store, peering through the windows and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, “My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?” “I was asking God to give me a pair of

shoes,” the boy replied. The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin ofwater and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part ofthe store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel. By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, “No doubt, mylittle fello you feel more comfortable now?” As she turned to go, the aston ished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears his eyes, answered her question with these words: “Are you God’s Wife?”

21umor in i3rief A mother was telling her little girl what her own childhood was like: “We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony We picked wild raspberries in the woods.” The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this in. At last she said, “I sure wish I’d gotten to know you sooner!” A little girl was diligently pounding away on her father’s word processor. She told him she was writing a story “What’s it about?” he asked. “1 don’t know,” she replied. “I can’t read.” A kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom ofchildren while they drew occasionally walking around to see each child’s artwork. As she got to one little girl, who ras working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl casually replied, “I’m drawing God.” The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.” Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”


K

UNITED STATES

>

ARiZONA

The 73aba Connection— World Widc

Tucson—Irma Sheppard: 520-3211566, ihs222@theriver.com. Flagstaff—AMB Lovers of Northern Arizona: 928-774-8305, laurent@ompoint. corn.

NORTH CAROLINA

Asheville—’\Ninnie Barrett, 828-274-7154, winkiebai@charter.net. Peter and Debbie Nordeen— nordeeni@bellsouth.net. Greensboro—Sheldon Herman, 336-288-8090 or 336-235-2730, bikewalla@gmall.com. Chapel Hill-Durham-Raleigh—Carol Vcrncr, 919-933-3550; carolvernernc.rr.com.

CALIFoRNIA

Los Angeles—Sundays, 1 1 Aivi to 1 PM, at 1\”Ieherabode: 323-731-3737, 1214 S. Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 just east ofthe intersection ofArlington and 12th Street Avatar Meher Baba Center of So. Cal. news and announcements, www.Meherabode.org. Ojai—Meher Mount: 805-640-0000, RayJohnston & Elizabeth Arnold, mehermount@sbcglobal.net. San Francisco Bay—Information: 510845-4339 or Ben Leet: 510-351-8259, Benleet@earthlink.net. No. California Avatar Meher Baba Center, 6923 Stockton St., El Cerrito 94530-2931, aba.org. Sacramento—Marilyn Buehler: 916-812-9496, info@prernsay.com, www.premsay.com/MeherB aba. COLORADO & SOuTHwEsT Denver—Sundays at 7 pm at homes in the Metro area. For Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Arizona info, contact Barbara A. Roberts, 303-238-4649, babara@fone.net.

OKLAHOMA

Prague—Avatar Meher Baba Heartland Center, retreat and Baba’s accident site. 405-567-4774. ambchc@charter.net, www.heartland.meherbaba.org. TEXAS

M Al NE Midcoast—Our meetings happen and are planned spontaneously and irregularly by the Maine Baba regulars. Noreen O’Brien 207-273-3173, ompoint@tds.net; Ken Lax 207-594-6391, kenlux@ntidcoast.com; Daniel/Carolyn Montague 207-594-4115. M ASSACH USETTS Cambridge—Meher Baba Information Center, Michael Siegell 617-864-3997.

FLORIDA

Tampa!C1eanter—Jane Paladino, 813-962-8629;Tom Decker, 727-536-9282. Defray Beach—Mickey and Wendy Karger, 561-638-3114. GEoRGIA

Atlanta/Athens —Contact Ed Legum, 770-552-8980, ed@hownet.com. HAwAII

Maui—Meredith lVIoon, 1940 Olinda Rd, Makawao, HI. 96768; Mail: P0 Box 1269, Makawao, HI. 96768 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556, Fax 808-573-1189; meredithmoonl@ mac.com; mmoonphd@hawaii.rr.com. Molokai—Shirley Alapa, 808-567-6074 or 808-567-6383, fax: 808-567-6363, message: 808-567-6363; salapa@aloha.net.

I LLINOIS Chicago —Meher Baba Information Center, Carol Kovalevych 312-633-0696 amk@alishya.com. LouIsIANA

New Orleans—Avatar Meher Baba Center monthly meeting and film program;joe Burke 504-616-1111, burkeno@aol.com.

MIssIssIPPI

Jackson—Peter Rippa, 601-355-8959 MoNTANA

Missoula—Andy Shott, 406-549-5949. Emigrant—Anne Haug, 406-333-4582. NEW HAMPSHIRE

Liz Miller 603-749-3668, mceliz200l @yahoo.com. NEW MExico

Santa Fe—last Thursday of the month at 7 pM in home of Robert Reser and Edllc Andersen, 505-983-6621; robertreser@yahoo.com. NEVADA

Las Vegas —Dick and Carol Mannis host, 702-326-1701, rkmannis@aol.com. NEW YORK CITY AREA

Bronxville, NY—Meher Baba House, 212-971-1050, MeherBabaHouse.org. Metro—biweekly meetings Saturdays at 4 i’i, Frank Bloise, 856-696-4374, fbloise@earthlink.net. Albany/SaratogaJSchenectady— Regine Brate, 518-383-0598

Nacogdoches—Chris and Anne Barker, 936-560-2631, rockbl@yahoo.com. WASHINGTON, D.C. Pamela Butler-Stone, 202-946-0236, Friday and Saturday meetings, www.llfeimages.com/MeherBaba. WASHINGToN STATE

Seattle—Fridays at 8 iii and for special events. Info: Cynthia Barrientos, 206-713-9905, cybar7@comcast.net.

K

INTERNATIONAL ENGLAND

London—Meher Baba Centre, 228 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7HG, (0044) 020 87 43 44 08, www.meherbaba.co.uk. FRANCE

Marseifle: C. Dallemagne, 4 91 39 02. Cannes: Debby Sanchez, 4 94 41 39 02. St. Nazaire: Christine and Phillipe Joucla, 2 97 46 13 19. Connerre: Andre Grimard, 2 43 89 01 94. Paris: Claude Longuet, 1 44 59 30 06. ISRAEL

Jerusalem—Michal Sivan, babalove@netvision.net.il. MExico

Mexico City, Cancun, Acapulco— meetings about every month at 7 rni, Rafael Villafane, email preferred: raal@royerlabs.com. From US: 011 52 555 295-0512. Cell from US: 011 52 555 502-7225.

Ifyou roild like your group to be listed here, please send the information to DinaGibson@mac.com 83


It is nigh on the top ojthe mouiitain—what they call the trigpoint. It is covered in sojipine needles. And the view is straight out to the ocean.

Now am Ia resident in the street calledLove Street, That river ofdust whichflows around the Beloved cfeet.

Our unending sorrow is our reward,for our tears Enhance the Beloved beauty--or so it appears.

Isaiah told the dust—dwellers to arise and sing. But because I remain in the dust my songs take wing.

The truth is, our happiness only re(fects his bliss; The lover is the shadow ofwhat the Beloved is.

To where else than dust wouldyon go tofind And where else can a shadow dwell but in the dust? Ofwhat else can lovec singer tell but iovec sweet trust? the lord ofhearts-For dust is cup& that catch his blood which dripsfrom Francis Brabazon, Ghazal #71 In Dust I Sing the worldc darts? ,

Blood is ofthe First Supper, which is oftime andplace; wine ofthe Masterc grace.

lit the Last ispoured thepure

NONPROFIT U.S. POSTAGE

AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

PAID

1214 SOUTH VAN NESS AVENUE LOS ANGELES, CA 9OO19352O

LOS ANGELES, CA

Address Service Requested

PERMIT #3 I 394

I I , I i i i_i I!I I I I

)/IIi

ii,.

“iI I”

84

DATED

MATERIAL

PLEASE

EXPEDITE

.i

II .II II

I I II

I I

.

II I .II

Profile for ANCIENT ONE

Love Street Lamp Post 1st-2nd Qtr 2008  

AMBCSC ARCHIVES Rare Print Literature Publication

Love Street Lamp Post 1st-2nd Qtr 2008  

AMBCSC ARCHIVES Rare Print Literature Publication

Advertisement