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Editos Report Jai Baba Folks, Happy New Year! the time you are reading this—Baba willing—I will be lying on the white sands ofthe Sunshine Coast,listening to the roar ofthe Pacific Ocean, soaking up the sun in Queensland. A sorely needed vacation! You will remember the travails Baba presented us with in getting out the October issue, well they didn’t finish with what you read in my column! The saga continued as I delivered all 20 sacks of mail to the Bulk Mailing Center—they didn’t like the staples that were sticking up (didn’t blame them, either!) So I had to bring them all back home and for the next five nights Charles Gibson, bless his heart, took each and every magazine out and whacked those staples down! Here
in Los Angeles we received our magazines, to our utter astonishment, three days after mailing them. I can only hope Baba saw fit to so bless the rest of the country While still fussing with the October issue we were struggling to get the January issue together. This is the Baptism by Fire for Pris Haffenden. Hitherto she has formatted the articles—but this timeTom and Cherie were unavailable and so Pris had to do the whole layout herself! What a willing worker! Now ifBaba wouldjust lighten up on her a little I would be most grateful. I kno I know... ‘What is my grace? What is my mercy? It is your trouble and harassment!” The lengthy tribute to Bal Natu, thank you to all who contributed, was designed by Cherie, the rest is Pris’ maiden voyage.
Because I have been flat out trying to get all your orders out, there has not been time to devote to the Bookstore report, so that is of necessity not included, and this column is abbreviated. I do hope you did manage to receive all that you had asked ofthe Love Street Bookstore at the correct time, and ifyou didn’t, it was certainly not for my lack oftrying. One could always say “Well perhaps Baba just didn’t want me to have my package then!” After four weeks in Australia I will be in India for Amartithi. I do enjoy meeting so many ofyou that had previously been voices on the phone or orders on the fax, so if you are going, be sure to seek me out and come say hub. In His love, Dma
ri f / (71 puôitea ion oj Je iioa ar •
Jaba ‘Jen er of C)ou Jderrn aiijornia
os r 3 £ ave &rceriampi e... m efco
vatar 4 ost is dedicated with love to ‘ 2 Love Street £ampJ J44elier E13aba. Dts primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all 2/is lovers by providing a place for sharing n-us remembrance. .J1ll members of the i3aba family are invited to contribute to this feast ofCove. photos, artivork, poetry, letters, articies, and humor arc all actively solicited. We seek expressions of Baba’s message ofCove and 7rutlz. )3our stories,
How FAR THAT LITTLE CANDLE THRows ITS BEAMS —
BAL NATu RETURNS HOME
MEHER BABA AT MEHERASHRAM
VARIOUS CONTRIBUTORS 4
DON STEVENS VISITS MEHERAB0DE —MEHER BABA’S WORD & HIS THREE BRIDGES LYNNE BERRY
WANT WHAT I WANT
MEHERANA NEW LIFE SAHAvAS
Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737
REPoRT ON DELHI YOUNG ADULT SAHAvAS
website: wwwmeherabode.org e-mail: Bababook@pacbell.net
JIMMY IRONS DONATES WOOD SCULPTURE
Submissions, subscriptions, donations: Love StreJamp2osr Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue
Deadlines: for the January issue:
April issue: July issue: Oct’ober issue:
November 8th February 8th May 8th August 8th
Love Street bookstore: Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 from 9 am. to 4 p.m. 310-839-BABA (2222) 24-hour fax
e-mail: Bababook@pacbell.net website: www.lovestreetbookstore.com or wwwMeherBabaBooks.com
2 22 25 28 36 39 42 45
HUMOR FOR HUMA
EDIToR’s REPORT OUR GAL IN MEHERABAD
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MEHERABAD
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERABODE CHILDREN’S PAGE REVIEWS PASSINGS
Credits: Dma Snow Pris Haffenden, Cherie Plumlee, and Thomas Hart Pris Haffenden and Cherie Plumlee Barbara Roberts Pris Haffenden, Charles Gibson, and Dma Snow Pris Haffenden 3616-1/2 South Centinela Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90066-3124 Phone: 310-390-2779 Please call with address corrections or questions. cover: A meeting in Madras, 1950’s; with permission from the MSI Collection. Computer compositor moved Bal to sit next to Baba from 2 seats away. back cover: Article by Charlie Morton
editor: design and layout: proofreader: research assistant: distribution: mailing list information:
£oveStr&’ti.ampPosris published quarterly, inJanuar April,July, and October. AU contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. All quotations, photos, or books ofAvatar Meher Baba, © AMBPPCI India
thank you We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations thatownthe copyrightsto theJ44eher 13abapictures we have used throughout this issue to bringjoy and love to the hearts ofall Love .Street LamjJLost readers. Allwords, images andgraphics in thispublication areproperly ofthe copyrightholders and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Baba © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagai India, and © Lawrence Reitei Unauthorized duplication isprohibitedby law.
‘2Iow 7ar that Jittlc candle 7Jtrows its Beams!” IA
Tribute to J44eher Ei3abct’s Dear 13ctl 21cttu By Erica 21odgin and .Amber J4lahler
al Natu, one of Meher Baba’s close disciples, first saw Baba in 1933, when Baba entered the railway compart ment in which 14-year-old Bal and his familywere traveling. Only later did Bal come to know that it was Meher Baba he had been traveling with. Bal wrote, “This occurrence was instrumental in kindling the desire to know more about Him.” As a teenager Bal suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis and when his father died suddenly, Bal began to look to spirituality for relief. Bal first began corresponding with Baba in 1943. In response to Bal’s first postcard, Baba wrote that he could ask Him whatever he wanted. Instead of asking Him questions, Bal wrote back, “I wholeheartedly wish to learn the alphabet of spintuality at Your holy feet.” Bal next set eyes on Baba on the Nagpur railway platform before a darshan program in 1944.There, as Bal gazed adoringly at Baba’s bnil lia-nt figure, a pickpocket stole his wallet and train ticket. “So when I met Baba I instantly became penni less and ‘directionless,” Bal wrote. In 1949, Bal left everything to join Baba on the New Life, but due to his poor health, by Baba’s order he returned to his job. Baba assured him that by obeying, “You will be with Me in My New Life.” It was also at this time that Baba ordered Bal not to marry. In 1948, Bal had received a letter from Adi K. Irani in which Baba conveyed, “So far as Baba’s darshan contact is concerned, you have your contact directly established and, as Eruch, you have been given liberty to come for darshan anytime you like.” Bal tookftffl advantage ofthis, staying with Baba for extended periods in 1953 (traveling with Baba to Chennai and from Dehra Dun to Rishikesh and back), and twice traveling with Baba through Andhra in 1953 and ‘54. He visited Meherabad, Meherazad and later Guruprasad whenever he could. During his summer stays, Baba directed Bal to take notes of the happenings at Guruprasad.
in his “work” in the late 90’s. From the start it was clear that it was really Bal who was helping us. He was always reminding us that what we were doing in the Record Room was not “work,” but a game to help us remember Beloved Baba. Bal’s days were hilled with writing projects, keeping up with conrespondence, Trust Office visits, greeting and sharing with pilgrims in the Mandali Hall or Record Room, preparing cards and books for free distribution, reading aloud, and so on. Throughout the day, Bal was with Baba and took different things, such as the watch beep or the bell’s clang, as reminders of Baba’s presence. At the sound, Bal would raise his index finger, “Right!” and sometimes that was the deciding factor ifwe were editing a passage of Conversations, for example, and had to choose between two ideas. When we first started “working” for Bal he used to prepare a list each morning of things to do that day, thoughts he had had or some news. At the top it would start with some salutation to Baba, sometimes just in short he might say, “JM,JB,JA!” (short for Jai Meher, Jai Baba, Jai Ava tar!) Bal was never bound by current style or tradition. He was always inventing or creating his own style ofwniting, dress, vo cabnlary ways ofinteracting with his divine Father, with his friends, with the servants, with “work,” with his mind. He often told us to beftiend our minds, so that it could help us on ounjourney to remembering Baba more and more. To many, it felt like entering the Record Room was like walking into another dimen sion. Fayre Davis who stayed at Meherabad and worked with Bal in 1996 described how, “When I was with Bal in the Record Room everything was so wonderful and happy. Baba was the Friend right there in my heart, continually conversing with me. The Sama dhi was the Powerhouse of the Awakener’s love and the golden finial on the top of the Samadhi was the divine satellite that I could locate with my heart’s cell phone from any L
During the 1960’s, while Bal was visiting Meherazad, Baba called Bal into the Mandali Hall. Baba pointed to Bal and made the sign for “cracked,” saying that he was “mad”. Bal said, “Yes, Baba whatever you say.” Baba then called in a few of the Mandali and gestured again that Bal was “cracked,” and He then added, “But there is a place for you here.” In later years, Bal often told people, “Baba left me as an example that He is for the most ordinary ofpeople.” And then he often added, ‘And the mad too!” Bal summed it up by saying, “I am neither an aspirant, nor a follower, a lover, or a disciple I am one ofHis children. And ofone thing I am sure, He has accepted me.” -
What a gift andjoy itwas to workfor that dear old man, Bal Natu! We both met Bal as youngsters when we first visited Meherazad with our families and then came to help him
point in the world.” Fayre explained how she was here when dear Mani joined Beloved Baba and felt worried about the future. She recalled,: “I finally got up enough courage to ask Bal, ‘What is going to happen in the fttture, when all the Mandali pass away?’ Bal said, ‘Don’t worry about anything. It is just you and Baba.’ He would often say to people to always remember that one’s connection to Baba is the only thing that matters. The fact that Baba is right here, alive in our hearts, was evident every day with Bal.” Hearing Bal tell of his life, it struck us how many varied phases he passed through dur ing his 84 years. For example, he had grown up as a devout Brahmin, but broke with tradition to follow a “Zoroastrian Master,” and though a villager at heart, he ended up giving up the use of dhoti (tra ditional Maharashtrian wrap-around pants) and donned instead his own signature style of clothing. Bal also had a habit of wearing multiple layers of clothes. About this habit, his long-time maintenancefree friend, Steve Klein, (who helped Bal in his writing of the Glimpses and all his subsequent books), recounts: “When asked about his layered look, Bal explained that it wasn’t so much to keep him warm, but to make himseiflook bigger because otherwise people would worry when they realized how thin he actually was.” Bal taught himself English by reading Baba’s books. He was the first to incorporate the use of computers at Meherazad, and his Conversations were a very innovative way of sharing with readers his inner relationship with God. Bal took a great interest in anything that was creative, inspired, and intuitive, and encouraged many people to pursue their heart’s calling. Bal was very caring, thoughtful and humble. He was also very sensitive and attuned to the environment around him. If he read some particularly disturbing piece ofnews in the paper he might go to the Samadhi and offer a garland for that person. One of his friends wrote: “Balaji was a walking Heart, a generous fountain of Baba’s smiling love.” Bal was often suffering from some physi cal ailment or another and would openly call
on Baba to relieve him. Because Bal trusted that Baba’s plan for him was perfect, he remained ever resigned to His will despite his challenging condition. He shared with others this favorite quote, “No one suffers because of a neglectful God. One builds one’s own body by one’s past and present thoughts and deeds. Creation contains no accident or injustice. That which appears as physical misfortune is but the love of God
Bal to use a book He had given him as a pillow because Bal wouldn’t stop questioning Baba on the matter. While teffing any of these tales, Bal would wholeheartedly join in the ftin, tickled by his own sillness. One ofBal’s other habits that made for a lot of ftin, was his delight in seeing the synchronicity in happenings and attribut ing worth to all meetings of chance, small “lucky” incidents and the like. He called these Baba coincidences (a word that has 3 c’s in it) “CCCs,” or he might simply say, “See, See, See!” whenever such a “happening” occurred. We learned so much from Bal’s natural way of relating to Baba, yet at the same time he would always encour age each to find their own relationship with Him. He had clearly taken his own advice, and would often tell stories that illustrated his specific way of re lating to the God-Man. Balliterally means baby and he referred to Baba as his divine Father and Mother in One. He would also liken his relationship with Baba as one between a grandfather and grandchild, saying, “Just like the grandson ofeven the most powerfid businessman can tug on his grandfather’s sleeve asking for a chocolate, in this way, I can approach Him likea small child.” :
Aloba, Bal, Eruch, Meherdohk, and Devana
operating in a concealed manner, providing special experience needed by the afflicted. When that particular experience had served its purpose, the appearance of misfortune will be no more.. (from Blessed Among Women). In the same light he liked to share this rhyming poem of his: “Sometimes happy, sometimes sad Sometimes sane, sometimes mad. Up and down in Meher Thwn But He never lets me down.” Bal was very fttnny. His sense of humor may not have been a trademark quality, but those who knew him could not miss his quirky ways of looking at life. His pokerfaced witticism often had us laughing. Bal was expert at sharing stories where he starred as the fool, but Baba’s humor was always center-stage. Which one should we tell? The one where Bal cheated at marbles and thought the All-Knowing One wouldn’t catch him; or when Bal offered Baba a gift ofa dried leafto test whether He was for all, even the poor; or the one where Bal, while trying to carry out Baba’s order, goes through many adventures including swallowing tea leaves because he didn’t know how to strain them out; or the time when Baba ordered . .“
Bal authored the Glimpses ofthe GodMan volumes I-VT and the Conversations with the Awakener series, as well as, The Samadhi, Star oflnfinity. He also compiled four books ofothers’ Baba stories entitled, Our Constant Companion, When He Thkes Ovei Showers of Grace and Thles ofMeher Babac Love. These books have touched the hearts of Baba lovers the world over. Being involved with Bal’s writing proj ects was a delight because Bal included all the opinions of those helping in a very loving way. He made us feel that what we thought was of great value and he gave worth to everyone’s thoughts about Baba. He was able to clearly stick to what he wanted expressed without hurting the feelings of others. Bal had an uncanny attention to accuracy and gave importance S
to even the smallest of details. At times when we were working on a particular piece of writing, we might find Bal ready when we arrived in the morning with an intricate note of his thoughts on a certain section that he had mulled over through the night, coming up with the perfect solution. Even after giving it so much thought he would still entertain others’ input and would accept small changes ifhe thought it improved the concept or delivery. What an amazing gift Bal gave the world by sharing his heart’s conversations with his Beloved, the Awakener. Bal wrote that the source of his Conversations With The Awakener was the One residing in each one’s being—unconditional Love. In this way, by not mentioning Meher Baba’s name, Bal’s writing about his relationship with God became accessible to a wide range of people of different faiths. One of Bal’s friends, Paul Liboiron, described how before he knew Bal, he thought the character in the book was purely fictional, but when he spent more time with Bal, he learned that Bal also experienced the anxieties of life and had been writing about himself (Bal explained that his Conversations were his play with the Awakener’s presence and not strictly biographical). About Bal’s writing, a friend wrote: “He was very open and he exposed himselfin his books for our benefit because we all go through the same chal lenges—reaching towards Beloved Baba.”In a card sent to Meherazad in memory ofBal, another wrote: “I’ll bet the two ofthem are enjoying a long and spirited conversation!” About his writing, Bal said with charac teristic modesty and humor, “I myself even marvel at the number of works that the ‘Bal pen’ has written. And though the ink ran out of the original ball [point] pen that Baba gave me in 1967, the ‘creative ink’ that Baba inwardlygave me is still fiowing.”The creative ink really was still flowing in Bal right up to his last days. Even a week before his death he finalized one of his last Conversations and put the finishing touches on a number ofaccounts ofhis time with Baba at Guruprasad, where he spent his summer months over the span of a decade. Baba also gave Bal a pen in a dream he had in 1979. (About his dreams Bal wrote: “Beloved Baba has been guiding me through dreams since 1944.”) Bal wrote: “On March 9, 1979, at Meherazad in Room No. 3, I had a dream about Baba. In the dream, He asked me for a copy of Glimpses, and also a pen. Baba was sitting on a cot. He made me sit near Him. I handed Him Glimpses and
while giving Him a pen I said, ‘Baba, this is the best pen, “Paper Mate.” Baba smiled and signed MSI before the title Glimpses. At that time I was using a blue ‘Paper Mate’ pen. After the dream, I continued to use it and preserved it as Baba’s gift. To me it’s a sign, that He approved my writing of Glimpses.” Throughout his life with Baba, as a way of concentrating on Him, Bal used to read each and every book by and about Baba. At
the same time, he prepared an annotated, chronological log of the events of Meher Baba’s life and His messages given for the year with meticulous source citation. This hobby of collecting material related to Beloved Baba was the foundation for many of his later writing works. This also made Bal the amazing resource that he was, many referred to him as a Baba encyclopedia. After Bal retired from teaching in 1977, he moved to Meherazad and was one of the first to take a very keen interest in documenting the “new” Baba lovers’ tales ofcoming to Baba afterJanuary 31st, 1969. He kept records ofhundreds ofpeople’s nar ratives, compiled four books ofsuch stories, and would recount these tales in the Mandali Hall. He called these his “B (for Baba) vitamins,” saying that hearing such stories renewed his body, mind, and heart. Bal was especially touched by the “marvelous ways
that Baba awakened their hearts.” He told us that he believed everyone’s story and experience of Baba; and being with Bal, we too believed. On Meherazad days and off hours, Bal was a wonderful host to the pilgrims who would come from all over India and foreign lands to visit Baba’s home. For many years Bal was affectionately known as the “verandah man” and would sit for hours with pilgrims who may have been too shy or unfamiliar with Meherazad to venture elsewhere. On Meherazad days, Bal was especially attuned to the language needs of Indian Baba lovers and was very conscientious to make them feel welcome when talks or programs were in English. Bal had long been a Marathi liaison, and when with Baba, he often read out the Marathi correspondence to Him and sent Baba’s replies. His com mand and breadth ofknowledge ofMarathi was profound, and throughout the years he served to flirther many people’s understanding of the language. Not only was Bal an incredible source ofknowledge ofMarathi, but he also had an immense understanding ofSanskrit, and especially complex, esoteric vocabulary. Bal also encouraged and took great interest in having Baba literature, as well as his own writings, translated into various languages. At the same time, Bal would share how Baba conveyed, “God does notlisten to the language ofthe tongue, nor the language of the mind, He responds to the language of the heart.” When the pilgrims came in most recent years, even when Bal was feeling quite low, he would go out to meet and greet his old and new friends in Baba. He took particular interest in and care for those who were com mg for the first time to “Meher Town.” He might call them into the Record Room and have a semi-private chat with them, sharing stories that always seemed to put people at ease, often saying, “Don’t get influenced by anyone, even me. It is Meher Baba who has broughtyou here. He will guide you. Follow the promptings ofyour heart.” Bal’s gentle charm and soft manner helped many to feel at home in Baba’s Home. “He so intuitively picked up on first-time pilgrims’ feelings, putting into words exactly what they were feeling at the exact moment they were feeling it,” wrote one friend. When answering questions Bal would sometimes tease the questioner by saying, “As soon as you ask, I will already have the answer.” Astounded, the person might ask, “How is that?” thinking perhaps that
.; P’ Samadhi, it is as though the marc: Bal was psychic. “Simple,” _ slab is mysteriouslylifted and ble Bal would say, “My answer is 41 contact with the Ancient direct ‘I don’t know.” In a similar :c One is established. He meets way, Bal would never get too one and all with equal love and personal with his many friends, compassion, on the level of each saying, “I am a friend to many, : individual. To visit His Samadhi but intimate with only One.” is to graceftilly link one’s heart He would tell all about his with the universal heart of the “PPP” guideline that referred to Avatar.” topics he preferred not to dis Bal went to the hospital in cuss. That is, things personal, Ahmednagar on the 29th of matters of penny (money) and September for a second surgery policy. He explained to us that due to bowel obstruction. (Bal Baba had instructed him not suffered from intestinal problems to get involved in the personal for decades.) Though the surgery matters ofothers. Even though . was a success, post operatively Bal didn’t know the personal he suffered a heart attack and details ofhis friends’ lives (and Ba/i tciipz. A,n/’L’r IVIah/ci; Eiica Hodgin, BalNatu, Flint Mednick contracted a respiratory infection. maybe even because of this!), and Kirrily De Polnay Despite the intense pain he was sufferhe was one of the most caring and ing and his disorientation from anesthesia, accepting friends we will ever know. Bal liked to say that Baba had blessed him January 31st he could always be found sit- Bal remained as thoughtful as ever, remindthis life with many friends. Bal’s “attitude of ting underneath the tree to the left of the ing his caregivers to take care of themselves and to, “Be happy.” Throughout Bal’s last gratitude” for his many friends and helpers Samadhi—one of his favorite quiet spots. week, he spent most of his time repeating was one of the reasons his charm was so magnetic. He had a loyal fan club that he Although Bal’s last year was marked by Baba’s name continuously whenever he was affectionately called the “Bal team,” ofwhich serious physical problems, he made great awake. On October 4th, while still in the hospi he was also a member. There are too many efforts to stay active and healthy, and six members ofthe team to list here, but we can’t months after his January 2003 surgery, he tal, Bal asked hislong time caregiver, Shelley fail to mention the support he appreciated began again to share for fifteen minutes or Marrich, “Can’t we stop all medicines?” Beover the years from his dear friends Steve so in the Mandali Hall once a week. He also cause ofBal’s deteriorating condition and his Klein, Mark Keller, and Pat Sumner. regained full use of his right arm and hand wish to cease treatment, we all felt that it was In Bal’s living will he gave special thanks (thanks to the treatment, therapy, and care clearly time to go home to Meherazad. Once to all the Mandali for their help to him over of many loving hands and hearts!) that had this decision was made, Bal’s mood changed the years. We include an excerpt here: “I am been paralyzed by stroke and learned again completely. He was buoyant and laughing especially thankful to Adi Sr., Dr. Ghani, to sign his name. He then took great care with an open smile. Even in his frail state, Pendu, Eruch and Sister Mani in lovingly to legibly sign the inscriptions he personally there was nothing that did not tickle him. Bal seemed overjoyed to be returning to guiding me in my relationship with Beloved crafted for each recipient of the books he Baba, which consisted in the unfolding of gave in Baba’s Love. A few weeks before his Meherazad, and his happiness thrilled us His unconditional grace. It is Baba who has last surgery Bal was even reminding us when all. Bal even participated in the packing accepted me, and stood beside me through it was time for his walks on the verandah, up of his hospital room by directing us to turn on the lights and to get boxes from the all the events of my life, and it is the best and he started sitting again on his favorite nurses. After we arrived at Meherazad, his course to melt myselfin His divinely human bench in the garden. and humanly divine presence.” Bal felt fortunate to have been able to reliefto once again be in the Record Room Bal became a Trustee in 1975 and would visit Baba’s Samadhi in the days preceding in Baba’s home was touching, and marked the beginning of his real journey Home. travel in the car with Eruch, Mani, and Rano his last surgery Because ofhis ill health he Bal had expressed many times over the to the Office a number of times a week. As had not been well enough to visit in over a th, a Trustee, a few of the areas under Bal’s year. On this occasion, September 24 he past year ofillness, his wish that Baba take supervision were scholarship allocation for was also paying his respects in memory of him. He wrote, “When I breathe my last poor students, Marathi correspondence, and his dear younger brother, Madhav, who had breath as destined by Baba, my divine Father helping organize different aspects ofAmar recently passed away. Bal distributed pedha and Mother it will be the happiest moment tithi, such as putting out the circular, having sweets to all and was overjoyed to “place ofmylifetimes.”This made it easier for those it translated and published in the different his head at his Beloved’s feet” once more. who loved him to start making the transition toward Bal’s departure from the scene. periodicals, contacting foreign pilgrims, and Later we felt amazed at Baba’s perfect timOnce he had returned to Meherazad, his organizing Amartithi volunteers. During ing. Bal’s special feelings about Baba’s final Amartithi days, Bal would travelfrom site to resting place have been immortalized in his friends and family were able to spend some site checking that all was running smoothly book, The Samadhi, Star oflnfinity. We in- last moments with Bal, reading to him from and in particular enjoyed the company of dude here one of his more recent sharings his favorite books (passages from Jesus, the Son ofMan, Footprints ofGautama Buddha, his Indian friends, his dear brothers, and about the Samadhi: his extended family. During the silence on “When you enter Avatar Meher Baba’s Dear and Glorious Physician, The Bhagavad 7 .
Gita, and, of course Glimpses) and saying their goodbyes. Throughout October 6th, Bal appeared to be in a deep sleep. What Bal had been longing for with all his heart was finally coming to pass, that his eyes go inward so that, “from now on I can only live to see Him.” In the early hours of the 7th, he opened his eyes for the last time with a few friends gathered around him. We felt it was a gift from Baba to feel Bal “with” us once more. It was as if Bal was pouring out love from his eyes, giv ing us a window into what else he must have been seeing at the time, beyond the room and us in it. Within minutes, at 1:20 a.m., as we were quietly repeating Baba’s name, Bal peacefully stopped breathing and passed Home to His Beloved. We noted the significance ofOctober 5th (the day after Bal returned to Meherazad), since in 1949 Bal had arrived penniless on this very day at Meherabad to join the New Life. Interestingly, Bal was the last of the “Yes-wallas” from the New Life. In his own handwritten timeline about what transpired in October 1949, Bal had written for Octo ber 7th: “Baba’s visit.” He meant Baba’s visit to Meherabad of course, but for us it held special meaning ofBaba visiting Meherazad on that day 54 years later to take Bal Home unto Himself Bal’s body was brought to Meherazad Mandali Hall and lay in state before Baba’s chair, where for so many years he regaled pilgrims with stories ofhis times with Baba.
Before dawn, Bal’s eyes partially opened again and were sparkling. It was amaz ing to see him looking so beautiflil; he was even smiling. Baba had told him that this life would be his last, that he would receive liberation (mukti) from the rounds of birth and death, and there was a very palpable feeling ofjoy in the Hail. The Mandali, Bal’s family from Poona and Solapur and his friends from Mehe rabad and Ahmednagar gathered around Bal to share remembrances, to read two pieces of writing he had requested be shared after his passing (see following writing pieces Second Day ofDarshan at Madras, 1947 and Realization), and to say Baba’s prayers and arti together with Bal for one last time. At 9am, Bal’s body was placed in the Swanee van for his last journey to the Sa madhi. Once there, Bal was placed at his divine Father’s feet. Fayre Davis recounted, “Bal was with Baba, his body was in the Samadhi; it was just him and Baba, alone. What had always been in his heart was now manifested for all ofus to see and feel.” As wished by Bal, chocolate candies were distributed by his brother Nana on the Sabha Mandap. Bal was then taken to the Mehe rabad Mandali Hall where hundreds came to say their goodbyes to this dear old lover of the Friend. After his cremation, Bal’s ashes were sprinkled at his favorite places around Meherabad and Meherazad. Later we joined his family to immerse his ashes at a spot meaningfttl to them. Bal’s dear friend Frank Parker writes: “The last of the several remembrances of our dear friend, Bal Natu, was held on Friday at the confluence ofthree sacred rivers about 30 km. outside Poona. A group of about fifteen, family members and Bal’s friends, gathered there to spread his ashes in the depths of the placid waters. It was a happy and peaceftil event as were all moments this past week that began with Bal’s blissful union with his Beloved Meher Baba.” [ One ofBal’s old friends and editors, y Robertson, who arrived after Bal’s passing, commented, “When I arrived at Meherabad I realized there was no place for me to offer a garland for Bal except at the Samadhi. Somehow it seems so fitting that Bal left nothing ofhimselfbehind. Everything has been absorbed into Baba’s Samadhi, like a rainbow into mist.” Meherazad Mandali, pilgrims and Photo by Meher Lahar, Inc. residents gathered in the Hall on the
9th of October to honor Bal’s life and love for Baba. At the close ofthat program, Paul Liboiron aptly described Bal’s way of being in the world, saying, “He took himself lightly, he wore himself lightly—even his touch and embrace were light.” In ail ways, Bal prepared for his death long before his passing. Perhaps he did this in response to a couplet that Baba dictated for him in 1959: “Ifyou want to live, live life in such a way that Life itself is completely satisfied, and Die in such a way that you scare Death itself” In reading this passage after Bal’s death, we saw how Bal must have taken this instruction very much to heart by living each day as ifit were his last. He treated all who came in contactwith him with a kind of care only possible from one living as much as he could in the present. We will always miss our incredible friend, Bal Natu, who taught us so much and filed our lives with his profound insight, humor, loving care, and understanding. We are so grateful to Baba for giving us the years with Bal and supporting us now as we grieve his loss. The serenity that fills the Record Room is unmistakable and we feeljoy in the knowl edge that Bal is now with his Lord Avatar Meher Baba for all time. In the weeks following Bal’s passing many cards and messages have poured in describing how Bal touched so many lives. We’d like to end with a passage from Bal’s Intimate Conversations with the Awakener that was included in one of the cards: “0 Real One, pull me into Your Being to be united with You for all time in Your immutable Silence. This will be the miracle of Your simple, unconditional Grace. Amen!”
JAl AvATAR MEHER BABA, THE KEY!
Excerpts from Cctrds Sent in J1/kmon.j of EDectr 7 3al 2siatu “
weet, gentle Bal Natu so kindly wel corned everyone, shared so ffilly his devoted understanding of Baba and graced all with his love of Baba.” “We’ll always rernember your bright face bearning Meher Baba’s love through your laughing eyes.” “Deep gratitude for the books and conversations and encouraging rnessages. .Your shining love for Hirn and unstinting service to all of us pilgrirns has sustained me again and again.” “This card [comes] back to you [with] the grace and love that you so freely share with others. We cherished your welcoming cards ofgood will. I will never forget first meeting you.. .you made me feel so welcome. And, perhaps I can thank you now for Glimpses, your description of Baba’s 60th birthday celebration was one of the most evocative pieces ofwriting I have experienced.” “Silently we celebrate his life of dedica tion and sweet love of the Beloved. We feel especially privileged for having met and spent memorable and cheery times with one of Meher Baba’s dear ones. Bal’s delicate, one-pointed and inspiring love for Baba was indeed contagious! Ever so happy to share, so unpretentious and approachable! Bal reflected for us a unique and delicate divine fragrance. We join you in marking this long-awaited Re-Union.” “Bal Natu cheered us so with his pre cious stories of the Beloved, and honored us with his cards and poetry of inspiration. My thoughts and love are with you [the Meherazad family] as you reluctantlylet go of this jewel of the Beloved.” .
“Only a few hours of time with Bal gave me such a gentle and joyous force ofMeher Baba.” “One ofBaba’s ‘pearls’ and one of our sweetest companions. He has been a true inspiration in our lives.” “In Conversations you wrote ‘I would like to make the world a happier place.’ You did Bal...” “We fondly remem ber the tender and gentle presence of Bal, almost like he was constantly tiptoeing in Baba’s Pres ence, so as not to disturb Him. I first met him when I hadjust gotten out ofmy teens and his Baba smile gave me the feeling like he had been my sweet uncle all my life. He was a shining example to me ofsilent service and surrender.” “In his Beloved’s embrace he continues his conversations in a whisper with God...” “His appreciation for my paintings came as an overwhelming burst oflove that I experienced as being directly from Baba Himself Since then Bal has given me so much kind encouragement for my work of painting Meher Baba often when (owing to chemical sensitivities) I did not think I could continue. Knowing him has been one of the great blessings of my life...” “We will always remember Bal’s sweet manner, the delight he took in us, his pre cise clear descriptions oflife with Baba, and his most beautiful and expressive hands. Through Bal’s shining life, we see Baba more clearly. It was an honor to have known him, it will be a joy to remember him.” “I write in gratitude for Bal Natu’s sweet and nurturing books which I read and have done so for years before going to sleep. They have inspired me to deepen my conversa tions with the Beloved.” “Bal made a deep impression on me. ..we talked in private for a few minutes in his office. It’s hard to express in words. .but when I walked out ofBal’s office, the whole world looked new bright and sparkling.” “All day here, [in the USA] our Oct. 5th, I felt the most special something in the air. I woke up to brilliant sunshine and felt it immediately, then all throughout the day...It was an indefinable sense of happi ness and upliftment—a palpable feeling of Baba’s presence and caress. ‘Maybe it is .
Balaji’s joy in meeting with his Beloved,’ I told others. How could I feel anything but joyforBal...” “We look forward to thinking of Bal in Beloved Baba’s infinite embrace.” “Balaji’s enormous love was finally un caged to soar to his Beloved.” “Bal has no doubt found the prize we seek, hidden so artfully, but revealed at last by Baba. I remember Bal as a man who lived so close to the Real Prize and now must surely have Baba’s Real Smile.” “My friend and elder brother in Baba has gone home. Words fail me at this point, for words always fail in the face of Reality. His like will not be seen again for seven hundred years! Like all of Baba’s precious close ones, he was a flashing light from the Perfect Crystal. I am joined by my family in saluting this great lover of the Great and Infinite Love. In Bal’s name, let us celebrate victory!” 7 LAICt 9od
I met God who has become Man; I met the Man who is God To me, this Godbecome-Man is Absolute God; this Manwho-is God is Perfrct Man. He dwells and moves with me on every level of mind, heart, and spiri4 sharing every humanjoy and sorrow. Sometimes, in His boundless compas— sion, He transports me to a region beyond —far beyond—my understanding, a region where silence alone reigns. No one can de— scribe the experience ofsound sleep. In the same way, how can I say anything about that luminous quietude?
Yes, this is a unique sport of Divin ity; Godperiodically plays with mankind through His Advent as the God-man. Thus, he quickens the spirit and offers a chancefor the human race tofeel His byingpresence in numberless ways, divinely human and humorous. Isnt it wonderfulandalso dramatic? To join theDivine Sport is reablyfantastic!Do you know Him ? His name is Meher Baba. The soundofHis name isperfect music; His form is thepersonfication ofart Divine. And yes, by His unconditional grace, I stayed with Him and even played with Him. Ijourneyedwith Him, andlcontinue to journey with Him. He offered me this privilege. And so I dare to say, “Yes, I saw Him.” BalNatu 9
Our 3riend, 73ct1 2slatu 3rrnik aiidjo 7?arker to witness the consump tion by flames of that weak and frail body that had housed this gentle and loving soul for some many illness prone years. The next morning I had volunteered to sit by the ftineral pyre for a couple of hours and upon arriv ing I noticed the charred Baba button that Bal had worn laying on top of the ashes which I hastily picked up. One final gift Photo by D.C. Brook of sweet remembrance to me from our “maintenance free friend.” There are many accolades and superlatives I could write about Bal, but he would not approve, so I will simply say that he was a friend, companion and inspiration to all who approached him regardless of age or gender. He has left us a body of written work in Glimpses series and the several books recording stories ofBaba lovers’journeys to their Beloved. But most ofall he gave us the Conversations series in which his humanity humility and even doubts and apprehensions were exposed for all to see. His journey and struggle as described in the Conversations reflects our own intimate and unique re lationship with Beloved Baba. Those of us who had the privilege of working and associating with Bal over the years know how much Meher Baba relied on Bal and turned to him for important work on such books as God Speaks, God to Man, Man to Goc4 and the manyjournals and articles published through the years. Bal was also Baba’s emissary at numerous fttnctions throughout India at which he spoke eloquently and byingby of his Beloved. This is what Baba told Bal on that April day in Madras in 1947. Summoned by Adi Sr. Bal entered the room and without any introduction Baba gestured to him “You will have liberation”; “But let your love flow on ceaselessly, like a stream down a mountain on its way to the ocean. Obstructions there will be, of pleasures and pain; Pass by these as passing phases. There will be flowers and thorns by the bank and in the flow. Do not get attached do not get affected. Go on and on and let the stream become a river. Doubts may assail you, roll on, flow on to Me—the ••4Ir:
he last of the several remembrances of our dear friend, Bal Natu, was held on Friday at the confluence of three sacred rivers about 30KM outside Poona. A group of about fifteen family members and Bal’s friends gathered there to spread his ashes in the depths ofthe placid waters. It was a happy and peaceftil event as were all moments this past week that began with Bal’s blissftul union with his Beloved Meher Baba. Beginning with the ringing telephone at 2 am on October 7th announcing Bal’s passing, most of the residents hastened to Mandali Hall in Meherazad to bid sweet farewell to this dearest of friends. The atmosphere in Mandali hall that night can only be described as joyftil and serene as many told Bal stories and reflected how this quiet gentle man influenced their lives is countless ways. Few tears were shed and even those were tears ofjoy and happiness that Bal’s long 84-year life of service to his Beloved finally culminated in Mukti (liberation) as promised to Bal by Baba Himself in 1947. All gathered there com mented on the sweet smile on Bal’s face that seemed to grow wider as the hours passed and his partially opened eyes that offered one last fond embrace to all there. Indeed he seemed so lifelike that many knelt beside him and spoke to him lovingly as ifhe were still in the body. At 9 am the Swanee was brought to carry Bal to the Samadhi for one last Darshan at Baba’s feet. Yet another gathering at Mandali Hall in Meherabad followed this as crowds ofvillagers, workers and pilgrims werejoined by the residents to pay their final respects and Jai Baba. From there the procession assembled at the cremation grounds
73cdicated to )3ou, 7he Awakeiicr ofLAlI 2karts
and to all those who are seeking LInion ttiith )Jou, the “Eterna11 J3e,wvolent” 3t is not with my eyes that 3 see )olL :.Jt
that3henr)jou. Only with the eyes and ears of the heart do 3 listen and views :&i ,EOVLS puregift jranted by )3ou. $ilence is the breath of )3our being. 7:0 fathom it’s gkny 3 sing. }fr1ay these offerings )3our heart delight. and 33our glance drown me in 3jour Ocean of li,ght Intimate Conversations with t1e4wakener by Bal Natu, @1998 Sheriar Foundation
Ocean. Worry not, fear not. I am the Ocean ofLove. Now go have tea.”The stream that is Bal Natu has now become the river and merged with the ocean of unending bliss. We his friends and companions shall miss his company, but our joy knows no bounds that he has completed thejourney.Well done and Godspeed dearest Balaji, from all your “Maintenance free friends” whose lives you enriched for so many years.
The Dcflnition of J3ediccttion 2’Iarciyciii 2<ulkariii, .SIiolapiir, .Jl”kS (Chintaman Vishnu) Natu popularly known as “Bal,” dropped his mortal Body—’Shirt ofthe Soul’ (according to the Bhagavad Gita)—on October 7, 2003, at the feet of his supreme Beloved Avatar Meher Baba. He was truly ‘Baba’s Bal’ (meaning child ofthe compassionate Father) throughout his life, right from the moment in 1944 when Bal first had Baba’s darshan until his last breath. He had no identity other than Baba. His words, thoughts and deeds were full ofBaba and Baba only.This merging was so high (to the extent that a drop of water may have separate existence from the ocean when taken out and put into a glass) that Bal remained a Drop of the Ocean of Love and never came out ofit, or to put it in exact words, his drowning was so perfect that the ocean could not allow him to become a drop again of worldly life. This was the miracle ofLove and it came through total surrender and the fullest dedication. According to this beautiful verse ofDnyaneshwar, (the Perfect Master who wrote an illustrious Marathi commentary on the Bhagavad-Giz’a in the 13th century), Bal Natu was a true Sanyasi. The verse is: “One whose mind has forgotten “I,” his ego-full selfand possessiveness, is a true Sanyasi.” Bal Natu merged both his “I” and “Mine” into Baba long, long ago. It was Baba’s grace that I came into contact with Bal Natu due to my friend Shri Digambar Kemkar (who had been a student of Bal’s and later became a teacher at the same high schoolwhere Bal taught for years). It was through Bal that Shri Kemkar became a lover of Meher Baba. Though I had Baba’s darshan in 1954 I was not truly drawn into Baba’s love orbit until after He had dropped His body. Meeting Bal in 1964 and later visiting him at Meherazad in the 1970’s proved to be most precious. He was a golden link between Baba and me. I was fortunate to become a member of the Avatar’s family. Bal had been raised (as had I) in an orthodox Brahmin family and as a young man became a true student of the Bhagavad-Gita and the commentaries on it by the Perfect Masters of India, Shankara charya and Dnyaneshwar. Bal would very often refer to the commentaries ofthese two great ones, sharing shiokas (passages) with the visiting Indian pilgrims. By interrelat ing passage from these traditional texts with Baba’s own words and messages, Bal would
“Yes, this is the dedication which I must learn, a dedication that will establish an everlasting link with Meher Baba.” To end, I pray to the Avatar with folded hands and tears in my eyes, “Dear Baba, Bal was always Yours and now he is with You and he will remain with You forever. Oh, Beloved, kindlybestow Bal Natu’s virtues of dedication and love for everybody on us and favor us with oneness with You.” Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!
Y?ememberance of the Lord
ikl 21atu, Jl4ay i2, 2002 0 Beloved Meher Baba! As I breathe, let my remembrance of you be a renewing music, ever-ringing and singing Your glory through all the activities of my life. Let Your holy Name become my very breath, and the soft rhythmic humming ofit, the song of my Jife. As I remember You, may the pure essence Recent Passport Photo Martin Cook ofyour luminous Being touch my finite self May Your touch purify my feelings, thoughts and actions, bring these old texts to life and make their making them worthy ofbeing offered as meaning clearer. Though Bal loved these loving gifts at Your feet. May Your Master’s works he encouraged listeners to remembrance usher in the harmony of go beyond mere intellectual understanding body, mind, and heart so that I may live ofspiritualit. He might say, “Why do you to honor Your wish and to please You. want to study these things? All that is here As I wipe away the past, may I fill the is contained within Meher Baba. Simply re present with the sweetness of your peat Baba’s holy Name and you will know Name and continue to play in your game it.” Bal seemed to feel a particular affinity with me. Your remembrance is the for Dnyaneshwar as well as Jesus, Buddha only remedy, but this I often forget. Howand certain others; Bal shared his feeling ever, when I remember You it is that these diverse personalities were for all of merely in response to Your loving grace humanity In this way he helped many new showered on me. Hindu Baba lovers to understand more of May every moment be a celebration of Your glorious presence and I be the Baba’s workings and teachings. Bal Natu was not a degree holder of any recipient ofYour loving guidance. Guide me to listen to Your music with university but he was a chancellor of the ears of my heart and to witness Your the Love University where he was delivering dance with the eyes of my heart. lovely lectures on Baba daily and telling Let listen and watch Your divine sport me interesting stories in very simple and sweet with deep appreciation, yet language. English was not a foreign language unattached to the melodies or the moveto him because his language was a language ments. May I remember and be absorbed of the heart, a heart that was ftill of Baba’s only in Your Being. Love. May the remembrance ofyour Name help If anybody has to know the exact meanme to hold onto you throughout the ing and definition ofdedication, he need not delights and trials oflife, ever-guiding me refer to any dictionary or go to a big scholar to Your Abode in me. This is for answers. He should simply go through my prayer to you, Oh Lord. Bal Natu’s life and he will immediately say, ?
/jccoiw:t Of 1..d’s J..ast Th1ftS the last few days after his surgery for the bowel obstruction, Balaji suffered a great deal. When the difficulties first began he would lie in bed with his eyes closed, repeating Baba’s Name rather vigorously. At one point Bal stopped his lament and, turning to me with his eyes wide open like a child, asked: “Is it okay if I repeat Baba’s Name continuously?” Amazed, I replied, “Of course Balaji.” And so he did whenever he was awake, until the end. From the beginning of his admission to the hospital, people would ask me—how will you know when it’s time to bring Bal home? I had no idea, but I trusted that Baba would. On the 4th evening, when we learned that Bal’s heart attack was extending, it was obvi ous that his condition was rapidly deteriorat ing. In the midst oftrying to cope with this new development, Balaji asked me, “Can’t we stop all medicines?” Clearly the time to go home to Meherazad had arrived. And once this decision was made, Bal’s mood changed completely. He was buoyant and laughing at all our silly jokes with a smile from ear to ear. There was nothing that did not tickle him. He was obviously overjoyed to he returning to Meherazad and his happiness thrilled us all. Bal even participated in the packing up of his room by directing us to get boxes from the nurses. And after we arrived at Meherazad, his relief to once again be in his own bed in his own room was palpable, and marked the beginning of his real journey Home. Though the last year of Bal’s life was filled with difficulties, his passing was very peaceftil. During his last 24 hours Balaji was mostly in a natural, deep sleep. He roused when his family arrived and greeted them with open eyes, but for the most part he appeared to be in a deep sleep. At 1:10 am on the 7th morning, Balaji suddenly opened his eyes for the last time with his friends gathered around him. His sight was ftxed on his destination. Slowly Bal’s breathing ceased, and then his heartbeat faded
Shelley 7V1arrich, 7V1eherazad until there was no sound at all. Bal Natu gently slipped away into His Beloved’s arms at 1:20 a.m. After Bal was placed on the stretcher at Baba’s feet in the Mandali Hall at Mehe razad, his expression began to change. I was amazed to see that Bal was actually smiling and his eyes, which had partially opened, were sparkling. For all around it was a joy to behold—even Goher spontaneously ex claimed how alive he looked as she placed a flower on his body. The Mandali, Bal’s fam ily from Poona and Sholapur and his friends from Meherabad and Ahmednagar gathered around Bal to share remembrances, to read the ghazal and story he had requested to be read out after his passing, and to say Baba’s prayers and arti together with Bal for one last time. Then Bal’s body was placed in the Swanee (the Trust van) for his last journey to the Samadhi and finally to the cremation ground where hundreds came to say their goodbyes... A Hafiz ghazal that Bal requested be read out when he passed away: (From 7Jivan-3-21afiz, translated by Paul Smith) Realization (Ghazal #218) Last night before dawn, freedom from all suffering They gave me; In the darkness of night, Water of Life-everlasting, They gave me. They overpowered me with the brilliance of the Divine Essence;A drinkfrom the goblet of Divine Light overflowing, They gave me.
What a fortunate dawn andjoyfiil night was that Night of Power When the Su preme Authority of God’s Commanding They gave me. If my longing is fttlfllled and my heart is in bliss, what wonder? All of this as rightful gifts, because I was deserving, They gave me. No together are my face and the mir ror of the Glory of Beauty: Beloved’s Glory reflecting my true Self showing, They gave me. All this honey and sugar that is pouring from my pen is the reward For patience; and a branch of sugarcane for writing They gave me. Angel Gabriel the invisible messenger, gave me the happiest news: When tyranny and violence comes, patience enduring They gave me. It’s such a wonderfiul miracle to be the slave of the Perfect Master: I became His dust and the rank ofthe highest ratingThey gave me. The Master raised me that day to reach to life Eternal without end; When the writing of freedom from death, everlasting, They gave me. Hafiz said: “The moment I fell into the snare of the tip of Your hair, Release from the chains ofanguish and of suffering They gave me.” Because of blessings I received and wishes of dawn companions, Freedom from Fate’s sickness and Time’s grieving They gave me. Hafiz, rejoice, rejoice, thankfully scatter the then h I sugar of thanks: Realiza tion ofthe Divine Beloved, sweetly swaying, They gave me. The second passage that Bal had asked to be read at his death, from Glimpses ofthe God-Man, Vol. I., pgs. 212-213:
&cond Day of Darshan at J4ladras, 1947 ‘4
$tream Rwrning Down the J4’kuntain The second day of the 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 “say”: The instruction about tea made me aware of the room I was in. It is difficult to say what I felt at that moment. It is something beyond me and I cannot put it in black and white. The words, if expressed, might turn into barriers. It is too sacred to talk about. Perhaps everyone who came into Meher Baba’s contact had such sublime moments. I wonder whether I had tea or nectar that day! /19ath&ng in lI/IemorL1 of OUT Dear Bal 2’Iatu On October 9th in Mandali Hall with the women Mandali present. It began with two of his favorite songs—”Sing a Song ofMeher Baba” by J arnie Newell and Brian Darnell’s “NotJust Roses on a String.” This was followed by the beautiftil eulogy written by Rick Chapman. Afterwards, Bal’s friends shared stories and sentiments about their experiences with him. The following is a rough compilation of these sharings: VBal Natu always made a point of seeking out those on the verandah who were shy. Steve Klein called it Bal “working the verandah”! He would seek these people out and then say exactly the right thing that would put them at ease. Especially new people who might feel uncertain about their surroundings or even uncertain about Baba. He would say to them—”Don’t be influenced by anyone—even me. Remember it is Baba Who has called you here. It is just between you and Him. Follow whatever is in your heart.” Balaji would also make sure that the Marathi and Hindi-speaking pilgrims were always looked after. And on days when Meherazad was closed, any time of the day or evening if a pilgrim would show up for darshan in Mandali Hall, Bal would happly leave whatever he was doing and show them around the Hall, speaking with them about Baba.
V’Someone asked Bal what Baba’s sign for him was and he replied by saying that he was so insig nificant that he didn’t have a sign. However, Bal did say that in the early years, when he would come to be with Baba, Baba would make the sign for milking a cow to indicate his arrival. This was so that Pendu would order milk because Bal could not eat the usual fare. Then one day Baba made the sign to Bal that he was cracked (mad). Bal said something like, “Okay Baba, whatever you say.” Baba called the Mandali into the Hall and told them all, “Bal is cracked!” Baba then looked at him lovingly and gestured, “But there is a place for you here.” The room in which Bal eventu ally came to stay was next to Mandali Hall, and Balaji always felt that its location was personally significant in light of Baba’s invitation to him that day in the Hall. VBalaji told us that since early on Baba had been guiding him through his dreams. They had great meaning to him, and he was also always interested in others’ dreams of Baba. Bal had one dream in which Baba signed his copy of Glimpses. In the dream Balaji went to look for his PaperMate pen because, as he told Baba, it was the best pen! Bal handed the Papermate to Baba, Who signed “MSI” over the title Glimpses. Balaji was meticulous in his work— no detail was too small for that which he did in Baba’s Name. As Maul used to say, Bal did his work for Baba quietly and continuously. Bal was a Trustee and for many years faithfttlly attended the Trust Office daily with Eruch, Mani and Rano. After Pendu passed away he became the organizer for Amartithi in Pendu’s stead and even to the end, despite his ill health, he was involved in and concerned about the Amartithi circulars. And Bal would never say anything that he didn’t feel was true. He was truly an honest man. Even about himself or rather especially about himself. If someone would ask Bal about his relationship with Baba, he would say, “This much I know—He has ac cepted me”. He would also tell people, “Baba has kept me here to serve as an example of
r Lahar, Inc.
how He is for the most ordinary and the mad too!” VAnd his focus on Meher Baba was continuous. Everything in his daily life, even the most simple acts were imbued with thoughts ofMeher Baba. “When I touch the table it is really Baba Who is touching me,” he told one friend, and wrote a prayer abc-ut his longing to have this experience: “0 Lord, whatever I touch, bless me to feel that it is You Who are touching me through it.” also had a unique sense ofhumor that could survive any trying situation. After he had awakened from his recent surgery and was resting, his friends and caretakers were asking him questions about how he felt. He was still sleepy and answered their yes-no questions by shaking his head with his eyes closed. “Balaji are you in pain?”—he shook his head no. “Balaji are you uncomfortable in this position?”—he shook his head no. Paul Liboiron asked, “Bal are you alive?”—he shook his head no! And then to make sure Bal was actually able to nod his head yes, Paul asked “Can you nod yes?” Bal shook his head no! Paul told him, “Bal, that’s no...can you nod yes?” Letting out a sigh of compli ance, Bal finally shook his head yes!! ‘V’BaIaji’s sensitivity to others was al ways very touching. Even in the end when his days were filled with trials, he would gesture to one or the other in the room and say, “Look after your health.” How will you “
get your food?” “How will you travel home?” And when his friends asked him, “Is there anything we can do for you?” Bal replied, “Be happy.” Despite his own difficulties he would always think of what others were going through. Bal’s signature reflected his life, which he felt was lived by Beloved Baba’s Grace and in His constant Presence. He would sign his letters: UnderHis Wing, BalNatu or, in later years, In His Care, Ba/Na/u VThe morning session ended when Paul aptly described Bal’s way of being in the world, saying, “He took himself lightly, he wore himselflightly—even his touch and embrace were light.” Bal would often say, “I am a friend to many, but intimate with only One.” The stories of his friends eloquently convey ho through that intimacy with the One, Bal quietly touched the lives of multitudes of Baba-lovers around the world, not only through his personal contact but through the volumes he wrote about Baba. Bal’s only thought was to serve Baba, remember Baba’s name and, as Baba instructed him, to let his “love flow on ceaselessly, like a stream down the mountain on its way to the Ocean.” We miss our dear friend and constant companion to the Awakener—Bal Natu. A favorite song of Bal’s: Not Just Roses on a String, written by Brian Darnell Notjust roses on a string but the frar andthe hate andthe angerlbring, Let me lay them down at Yourfeet. Notjust thepretty words Ising, but the pride and the envy and the thoughts unclean, Let me lay them down at Yourfeet. Every burden too heavy to bear, Let me bring to You and leave them there. Every stain within my heart, everything that keeps us apar4 Everything that keeps us apart. Notjust roses on a string, but the ways ofthe world to which I cling, Let me lay them down at Yourfret. Notjust the smiles and the words of p raise, but the sin and the sorrow and my wil(ful ways, Let me lay them down at Yourfret. Every burden that I cariy around, Let me bring to You and lay them down. Every sin I hold on to that keeps me, darling, from You—That keeps me from You. No/just roses on a string but my soul
Photo by D.C. Brook
and my body and my everything, Let me lay them down at Yourfret. Let me lay them down, lay them down, Let me lay them down at Yourfret.
A small prayer written by Bal:
OhAwakene Let Yourpresencefill my beingAndYour name my breath!Letyour lightguide my day, Your wish my way.
j3ai .•.atu.: The9oai eachcJ :Rick and Sheryl Chapman, 6 October, 2003 whole decades ofthe God-Man’s Advent to al Natu lived his life as if it were his life; then his Conversations revealed an aspect last, which, according to Meher Baba, ofthe inner life as disarming in its intimacy it was. as it was compelling in its creative inspira It is hard to imagine anyone with a milder tion: was this Bal’s life we were privileged temperament, and yet in his mildness, Bal to examine so closely, or our own potential focused a laser-like will to accomplish more realm ofpreviously unimagined companionthan any ordinary person in a hundred lives. ship with the Beloved? Andwith everything He must be exactly whatJesus meant when Bal wrote, the richness and strength of his He said, “The meek shall inherit the earth.” narrative was rooted in an uncompromising He trod as lightly on this planet as if he and uncommon adherence to accuracy and were already detached from it, and as a result, clarity as if reflecting his own proximity to his life shone with that profound humility the Goal. which emanates from those rare few who Somehow in the midst of it all—the are blessed with virtually no attachment to greeting and entertaining ofpilgrims, his life themselves. at Meherazad and his work at Baba’s Trust, Bal obviouslybecame Baba’s many, many lives ago, but in this life he became one of ever nursing a most fragile physical health the Avatar’s intimate Mandali as naturally ( almost as a counterpoint to his incredible inner strength)— Bal chose to share yet as one finds oneselfa member ofone’s own another extraordinary “glimpse,” this time family. Baba gave him so many cherished ofthe Infinite Gift ofAvatar Meher Baba’s opportunities to visit and staywith Him and Samadhi. His Star oflnfinity revealed yet to serve Him, but to all but his Beloved, Bal another facet of this amazing lover of the remained almost invisible until well after his Beloved: a mind illumined by suchlove that Master dropped His body. It was only when it transcended the realm ofintellect alone, to Bal came “Home” to stay permanently at unveil the majesty ofthe knowing heart. Meherazad that Baba began to lift the curBal, dear friend, what you must be ex tam with which He so careftilly covered periencing now! You have Him, once and this most powerful beacon of His Love. for all time! We have loved knowing you, At Meherazad Bal spoke and he wrote and we will love knowing that you are now about the only subject he cared anything truly liberated from the Illusion you lived about: His Beloved. Despite his most in so remarkably. Our salutations, 0 great unassuming manner—or perhaps it was lover and our obeisance to Beloved Avatar because ofit—the authority ofBaba’s Love Meher Baba, Who has allowed you to find and Truth shone through whatever Bal wrote your Victory in His Infinity today! and said. What he called Glimpses brought
of ‘iki Rcitu ..,.
I ioto by Charles Gibson
3ay 5chauer, California mylast trip to India, I left the Sama dhi right after the ladies’ arti. Before they came, Bal and I and a few others sat together on the edge ofthe mandap as pilgrims lined up for the Samadhi. I finally left the happy crowd that had gathered around Bal and made myway to the long line waiting at the tomb. When I finally reached the door I heard a bustling beside me. Bal had asserted his (well-deserved) priority and breezed in first. Breezed because it was like air passing by, not something solid. I got the pleasure of watching Bal at the Samadhi. He stretched out at fill length, prostrate at Baba’s feet. He prayed there, hands stretched above his head, fingers just brushing the feet of the tombstone, face pressed into the tiles. His tinybreathing grew so still I wondered if he hadjust taken wing while I watched. At last he rose up, kneeled and kissed the stone with great tenderness. I have never met anyone so gentle or so charming as Bal. I loved how Bal was tucking the ends of his neck scarf into his raggedy cardigan, and keeping his arms crossed for warmth while I was perspir ing in my polo shirt! I always was careflil not to break him when I embraced him. I could feel all his bones. He was as skinny as a little bird. I liked his schoolteacher’s jokes (always with a lesson), and his efforts to know and remember all the pilgrims who
visited. Bal was one ofthe great ones, wasn’t he? Thoughtftil, accurate, and prolific in his writings. Trying always to comprehend the import of Baba’s words and actions, both for their effect on the world and for their effect on himself He paid attention to oth ers’ stories so intently; when he listened to my story of coming to Baba, he made me realize that Baba had entered mylife as bril liantly as ever He had entered anyone’s life. Einstein’s great thought was that there was an absolute—c—a constant. The constant, the absolute for Einstein was Light. Everything else, he said, was relative to that single constant. So it was for Bal, the gentlest of men. He too had a constant, an absolute. Baba was that absolute. Bal seemed not to see me, but Baba in me. In his gaze I could feel Baba in me so clearly. I am so sad that he is gone. Bal always made a special effort to make sure that chil dren received something personal from his hands: a candy, a picture, a pin, a book. He was precise and emphatic that a child visiting India would get some token. Always with a signed note, and usually in a special enve lope. As my children have grown, they have at first discarded and then later reclaimed those precious little gifts, given to them by that sweet, strong, gentleman—not for when they were little, but for when they were big. Gentleman. What a Gentleman was Bal.
i3arbara Scliauer, California e looked as fragile as an endangered species ofbird—but was like a Samu rai blade inside. Everything for him was about the love ofGod—Meher Baba—oth erwise it was a waste oftime. He was cheerfril always. His body was so fragile, having survived tuberculosis early in life. His mind was strong and brilliant and simplified. He wore a little shred ofcloth tied like an ascot inside the collar of his sweater, and looked like a small prince of a kingdom where you would like to live. It is one of the loveliest things in my life to have known Bal Natu. I am happy for him that he finally was allowed to lay aside the body that carried his great soul and find rest.
Zien 13uggia, California you sweet man it brings joy to my heart to know you are having a wonderftil rest at last.
i am very happy for you dearest bal. thank you for all the wonderfiui stories and conversations. you will be missed by many and always loved most dearly. thanks for the time you gave all of us. jai baba dear bal. love, jennie
Dr ..Anne JVtoreigne al always gave, even in the doctor patient setting. After reporting some ailment, he would always take the time to share a story, a thought he had carefully prepared in advance, selected for me. He was also my Marathi teacher and my source of answers for questions related to Sanskrit etymology. On another level, here is a small incident that I wish to share because I think it is very typical of Bal’s ways. One evening at Meherazad I was in the dispensary treating a servant who had been bitten by a swarm of bees. He was just recovering from a severe reaction and I did not feel I could leave him alone. AU the staffhad already gone home, I was the only one there with the patient. Who of all people noticed that I was still in the dispensary and came to inquire? Bal Natu! He asked a few questions, then said, “You are late for dinner, go and eat no I will stay with the patient till you come back.” Thus solving my problem, solving the kitchen’s problem, and making the patient feel well cared for. He came to my help in a similar way at other times, providing simple solutions to difficult situations. This was Bal. So aware of the needs of others; humble enough to do such menial service himself very casually and naturally. Because his focus was always on His Beloved Father Meher Baba, his love would flow precisely where it was needed.
continuedfrom onpage 17
monumental concept seems to fall short of the actual description ofBal Natu’s love and dedication for his beloved Lord. We therefore, with folded hands,join the divine lovers all over the world to salute this great lover ofour Lord who encouraged and guided us to be able to understand at least theoretically how the Beloved should be loved, irrespective ofones health conditions and the proportion of one’s vital energy. Jai Meher Baba to all the admirers ofthis great soul known with love as Balaji.
friichal Sivan 7 J
3crusalem al Natu was like a delicate fragrant flower in Baba’s Garden. That is how I always saw him. I remember times with him in Mandali Hall—he used to look and find Baba’s face and figure in the carpet, on the wall, in the window and see ifwe could find it too. It pleased him when we did. I remember meaningful conversations with him on the Meherazad verandah—he used to delight in early signs of Baba in our life. His previous room next to Mandali hail used to move me. Later there were meetings in the library room where he settled, and these were less intimate meetings because there were a lot of people wanting to sit with him. I still remember him at Amartithi on Meherabad Hill, sitting quitely to not attract attention away from Baba. And his taiks at Mandali Hall with the soft voice and the twinkle in his wondering eyes. And Krishna Nair—brisk, strong and lion-like walking up Samadhi Hill to his favorite place at Baba’s hut at Arti time. His stone-like carved face shining with the warmth ofa Baba smile. His face with a hidden twilde and a challange—who would dare come close to this Baba lion? I remember him with his friend Ramarao at the hostels, and when they would come to visit us in the pilgrim center dining hall—Baba’s watchman. It used to be different for me from your night watch in Meherazad. Different time and different ways with Baba. Slowly the Great Baba lovers and Mandali are slipping away to join Baba at His Abode away from this physical world. A long time ago I painted a picture of a trail ofstars rushing out ofthe top ofthe picture. It symbolised to me the rushing ofthe great Mandali away into Baba. I was feeling the need to come to Meherabad/Meherazad time and again before they rush “out of the picture”. But with each passing away I feel that their love, joined with Baba’s Love, is even more flowing towards me. That there is no hindrance now for their love and appre ciation of our love for Dear Beloved Avatar Meher Baba! LastTuesday, in our Baba meeting at my home in Jerusalem, we lit candles for Bal Natu and Krishna Nair and held a special Baba Arti in their honor. After the Arti we read from Bal Natu’s Glimpses ofthe GodMan, Vol. 1.
the fall of1986 I was transcribing audio cassettes for Bal detailing Baba lover’s stories for one ofhis forthcom ingbooks. Each dayl would hammer out the transcriptions on an old manual typewriter Bal had lent me in his preferred format of producing three carbon copies. One afternoon I happened to be reviewing some work with him in his room when I looked out of the window and casually observed to Bal that there was no sign of the women Mandali on Mehera’s porch. This happened to be the day when the women made their monthly pilgrimage to Baba’s Samadhi, usually returning to Meherazad by lunchtime. My curiosity was peaked because it was now almost 2 p.m. and the women had not returned. Bal looked up from his reading and said, “Oh, I did not notice.” He then continued commenting that since we two were engaged in working on the manuscript he felt that it would be distracting to turn his attention to anything not related to the task at hand. He then recounted a story about himself One day, leaving his Baba writing work to do an errand, he came across several of the men Mandali engaged in a discussion. Forgetting his purpose he stopped to listen and before long got caught up in the conversation. By the time he returned to his room he had completelyforgotten about the errand he set out to do and had difficulty re focusing his attention to the writing task he had been engaged in. The lesson he learned from this experience was to remain focused upon whatever Baba had him doing at the moment and not to be distracted by whatever might be going on around him. This simple exchange and the subtle way in which it was delivered made a lasting impression upon me. I realized that I had the tendency to involve myself in all sorts ofthings that really didn’t concern me and that such behavior did indeed alter my focus from that which I should have been doing at the time. Applying this lesson in my daily life has no doubt saved me from wasting time and energy on things that were just none of my business. As Bal wrote to me some years later quoting a visiting Baba lover, “It is a great blessing to know what we need not to know.” “Isn’t that wonderful?” he said; “If lived, this truth will take away unnecessary inquisitiveness yet help us to retain a fresh feeling that we are seeing and experiencing curing some
everything for the first time.” Over the years we all benefited from many such subtle lessons from Bal without him even being aware of it. Despite of, and maybe because of his physical frailty, Bal possessed a strength of character born of years of service and devotion to his beloved Baba. His friendship was true, loyal, lasting and never judg mental. His sense of humor in face of the physical adversity he endured is evidenced by his statement: “I have recently received a Doctorate, (Ph.D., meaning Physically Half Dead), and now I am proceeding for my M.D., (Mentally Dead), which is entirely depen dent on Baba’s grace.” Those of us who shared such moments with Bal will remember him as a friend and mentor in many ways that have changed us for the better. We learned to see Baba’s hand in the events ofour daily life as Bal did, and to appreciate the humor in the sometimes absurdities oflife. Bal was a gentle and by ing soul, a caring and compassionate friend, and an inspirational writer who shared with us his intimate conversations about his journey to God. Bal was all these things and is loved and remembered by the many whose hearts he touched”.
7I/1ark 2<eller 2qortli Carolina, LIS n certain ways, Bal was extremely tradi tional. In fact, he was more traditional (he would have said orthodox) years back than in recent times. In spite ofthat, I found his approach to spirituality to be amazingly “modern” for lack ofa better term—because modernity really has nothing to do with it. But what I noticed was that he always validated each individual’s own relationship with Baba, and it was in this light that he kept telling people not to be unduly influenced by others, and definitely not to imitate them. Imitating someone else’s path, he would say, not only did you no good, but cheapened that other person’s path, turning it into a duplicable method, rather than a unique experience and relationship. During one Amartithi, various members of one Indian family approached Bal tearftiily and told him that the oldest girl in the family was reftising to marry, even though they had found a good match for her. This was serious, because unless she, the oldest girl, were to marr the younger ones, and the sons, could not marry. The girl, as it turned out, was reftising marriage because
chiseling them for ages to brighten His court in His : present advent. Bal Natu was one of the most pre cious gems of His court, whom most ofthe Mandali addressed as “Balaji”. Since 1965 we were in his close contact so he would freely share with us some ofhis most intimate observations about Baba and Baba lovers. Bal Natu knew closely a few Baba lovers who dropped out of paying anyvisits to either Mehe rabad or Meherazad after Baba’s passing away in ;:;•. 1969.These lovers never even wrote to the Mandali after that. For such Etzion Becker persons Balaji nurtured very deep pain in his heart. He would tell us what love and care Baba used to give to these people. Baba’s eyes wouldlight up with great love and compassion for them whenever they came for His darshan. Although Balaji never said so exactly, it became apparent that he took it as a betrayal ofBaba by these people who were given fhll bounty oflove by Baba. Balaji would question us as to what has happened to that love which Baba’s eyes reflected for these people? How is it then possible for these persons not to return to these places ofBaba’s love? This sharing ofpain between Balaji and us continued for some years till Beloved Baba could no longer see his dear Balaji carrying this pain any further. Balaji’s feelings made Beloved Baba turn the keys of the closed or clogged hearts ofthe so called lost lovers who stopped visiting Baba places simply thinking that there was nothing there for them now. With the turning of the key most of these temporarily closed hearts gradually started opening up to feel once again the pull of Baba’s love and resumed visiting these places again. Some of them returned after 10 years, some after 20 years and some at the end oftheir lives. But each one returned wiser and more repentant for having lost the opportunity of being in the proximity of their Lord. On our informing them ofBalaji’s concern they admitted their folly of failing Baba. Whenever any lost sheep returned to these Baba places Bal Natu will always be filled with extrajoy. He would invariably ask these persons the reason of their long absence and inform them of his *
she had had a very powerfiul experience of Baba, and believed that Baba wished her to remain chaste. Bal, consoling the weeping family, suggestedhey send the girl to him, and he would talk to her. Observing this, I was beginning to grumble inwardly. I didn’t like the way everyone was ganging up on this girl, now including Bal. Some hours later, the girl came to Bal, weeping with joy to have been summoned. Bal talked to her very sweetly for a long time about her love for Baba. Then he said, “But do not say, ‘I will never marr’; that is like giving Baba an order. Just say, ‘Baba, ifit is your will and pleasure, I will not marry.” Then Bal said to her, “If you feel in your heart, after that, that Baba does not want you to marry, then you must not.” He said more loving things to her, and she went away very happy. I was very impressed and moved by this. And, interestingly, a yearlater the girl got married and the family problem was solved. But I suspect she did not marry because of family pressure. To get into corny psycho babble about this, Bal had empowered her in her relationship with Baba, and this perhaps allowed her to make a decision that came from within, rather than without.
c_i/I i!la andokaran $Iirivastcivct 7I’k1ierabad (Keepers of the Library on the Hill) eloved Baba’s court was studded with a wide variety of gems, which He was picking during His previous advents and was
surprise that how could Baba’s love go waste? Over the years most of the deliberations in the Mandali hall would be in English which would be out ofplace for many Indian Baba lovers coming from many remote non Eng lish speaking areas. Ofall the Mandali, Balaji would have special concern for such pilgrims and as long as his health permitted, he would entertain these pilgrims, take them around to Baba’s room, Mehera-Mani’s room and show them important things himself He would take special care that such pilgrims never felt uncared for or unattended. When his health started waning then he would entrust this special task to us when present or to anyone in whom he reposed his trust. Usually he would not invite pilgrims in his room of his own but there were occasions when he invited some people as ifBaba has prompted him to accord special attention to some individual or to a group. For our daughter’s wedding reception about ten acquaintances of ours were visiting Meherabad and Meherazad. They were non-conventional pilgrims not knowing much about Baba. Balaji gave them a warm welcome, such was rarely witnessed by us. It was a scene to be envied. To each one he gave some wonderfttl Baba memento. All these wedding visitors felt as if they were very old Baba lovers and were an intimate part of the Baba community. It so happened that by the time Bal Natu’s book The Samadhi was published we were on duty at Meherabad Hill library. Balaji gave us specific instructions to put this book on prominent display in the library so as to draw the visitors automatically to this book. He did not do this for the sake of self-advertisement, but he did it for the great value he attached to this book. Dur ing the course of his intimate conversations with his Lord, the glory of the Samadhi was revealed to him, which took the shape of this book. To him the Samadhi became the greatest symbol of love for the whole of humanity and it is this experience that he wished to share with the lovers of his own Beloved Lord. The Samadhi was of paramount importance in his own life and he strived to see that Baba lovers pick up at least a pinch from his own enormous heap of conviction. He strongly felt that his beloved Lord is not resting in the Samadhi in absentia, but He is resting there in eternal and everlastingly active presence. Though this book is only 100 pages, the concept laid therein is a monumental one. Even this continued on page 15 ‘7
one. How could I do so when I feel that it would dishonor Your call!
and agony, interspersed with moments of security and bliss.
Now, sometimes I feel I belong to no one, and that no one belongs to me. At times I feel I don’t even belong to myself What a strange predicament!
This “meteoric way” hurtles through the dark void of ignorance to crash into the fttllness ofYour being—the abode of Light, the Source of all meteors. Conversations With the Awakener ©1991 Sheriar Foundation
Life has become an adventure full of suspense, comprising moments of fear
Wky Was 13ct1 Cremated and 2’4Iot EBuricd? ‘7Jina
7frkteoric Way Your first loving, parental glance invited me Home. It directly reached the core of my being, gracefully pulling me out of my life-long ruts, casting me on a “meteoric way” to You. That very moment, I felt within me a unique jolt which conveyed that I am nothing but a transient spark that parted from You, the Sun, eons ago, seeking, groping, not knowing what! I was not yet aware that this was the blessed moment in which You brought me within the intimate orbit ofYour gravita tion—a sign that my realjourney had begun. For a while my spirit quaked before the dark, immeasurable chasm that stretched before me. And yet, my heart rejoiced with the certainty that it was now bound for Home. What drastic changes Your glance produced in me! The veils of my so-called wisdom—so proudly worn—now volun tarily dropped away revealing that I am no longer a teacher of anyone. It was goodbye to that “teacher business” for good! This discovery made me chuckle whole-heartedly, especially when I heard the world heave a sigh of relief too. So, no more masks, no more deceit. After all, trying to be seffless is just a sophisti cated form of seffishness in respectable garb. This made clear to me that there is not need for me to imitate or emulate any-
en Ifirst learned that Bal Natu was to be cremated although the last few men Mandali had been buried, I wondered what spiritual signjficance there may be in it. Since Ihad heard that Baba hadpromisedBal liberation, I wondered jfthis would have been the reason he was crematedandnotburied. My mind did notstop there; it next occurred to me: “But wouldnt Eruch, having led the ljfr that he did oftotal service and surrender be on his lastljfe?How couldhe nothave been liberate&” Such questionslputtoAmberMahlerwho lives at Meherabad and who had been heiping Bal Natufor thepast number ofyears. She in turn p osed the question to Meherwan Jessawala. This is what she told me: When asked why Bal was cremated and not buried at Meherabad, Meherwan answered: “In the 1940’s Baba made a list of those of His men Mandali who were to be buried at Meherabad. He gave the men the choice ofwhether they wanted to be buried or cremated. This implies that Baba did not give any spiritual significance to either burial or cremation. Those cremated would have their ashes buried at Meherabad. Some chose burial and others cremation. Vishnu, Nilu and Gadekar are three examples ofmen Mandali who chose cremation and whose ashes are buried at Meherabad. Bal Natu was not a resident ofMeherabad at the time when Baba decided who should be buried at Meherabad. It was Bal’s wish that he be cremated at Meherabad, although his ashes were not to be buried there.” As regards Eruch getting liberation, I always understood that he was a member of Baba’s Circle and that therefore his soul may return to serve the Avatar during His next Advent, or he maybe one ofthose who becomes realized before Baba comes again. As you know, most of the Mandali are not concerned about liberation. We’ve all heard many of them say that theyjust want to be
with Baba when He comes again and that they don’t want liberation at all. When I spoke to Meherwan on the topic ofEruch and Baba’s Circle, he shared a story with me that Eruch used to tell.When Eruch firstjoined Baba at Meherabad, Eruch’s duty was to meet Baba on the Hill to accompany Him back and forth between the women’s quarters and the men’s quarters at Lower Meherabad, and to be Baba’s attendant in general when He was with the men Mandali. While walking one day, Baba asked him, “What do you do when you’re not with Me?” Eruch told Him that hejust spent time with the men Mandali. “And what do they talk about?” Baba asked him. Eruch said, “Baba, they talk something about circles and who is in which circle, and I don’t understand.” Baba instructed Eruch, “It’sjust as well that you don’t understand.Justlet their talk enter one ear and come out the other.” Baba also gave Meherwan a similar instruction, pointing out that since Meherwan had large ears he should put them to good use and “Let what you hear enter one ear and come out the other.” So in summation Meherwan said, “What the heck do all these questions have to do with us? It’s none of our business.” Meh erwan shared this freely translated quote of Hafiz that is found in one of Baba’s texts and which Baba frequently would have Aloba recite: “Separation and union, you have nothing to do with. Union and separation is none of your business, it’s the Lord’s business. Your concern is loving and serving the Lord.” At first I did feel sad that there would not be a grave site where I could offer flowers in Bal’s memory but as many of Bal’s friends said, it does seem very fitting that the only place to offer a garland to Bal is in the Samadhi. Perhaps Bal would be pleased by this too!
Opposition, a ¶Part of 2iis 9arne
Expressed in his Lovefor You.
l 2’Jcitu, J44ehercizctd 1 j3c urrng one of my visits to Guru Prasad in the early 1960’s, the following incident took place. While I was staying with Meher Baba and the Mandali, a very short item (not more than a paragraph long) appeared in the local Marathi paper which referred to Baba. The news it gave was both distorted and uncomplimentary I remember very vividly that Baba, who was usually totally indifferent to publicity of any kind, seemed to take this very seriously. “I was born here,” Baba shared with us, “and now I am staying here. I have had so many darshan programs here, and in spite of this something as such appears in the paper! What will people think ofMe? Who could have put such a thing in the paper? Who is responsible?” Ofcourse none ofus knew, so a few sug gestions were made, but these didn’t satisfy Baba. He formed a small “committee” to get to the bottom of it and find out who had been responsible for this bit of news being published in the paper. To me the item had seemed rather trivial, and I could not understand why Baba was making such a big deal ofit. But, perhaps for that reason, I was put on the committee. One of the other members of this cornmittee was a local Baba lover named Mr. Soman, who happened to be the assistant editor of another local Marathi newspaper. My actual investigatory work was limited by the fact that Baba had told me I was not to leave the premises of Guru Prasad. So, instead, I would phone Mr. Soman daily and ask him what he had found out. After a few days, while we were playing cards in the Mandali’s room with Baba, He turned and asked me whether I had found out anything yet. Of course, I hadn’t. “Did you phone the assistant editor?” Baba asked. “Yes, Baba. But he doesn’t know what reporter was behind that item.” “Keep trying,” Baba urged, and for the next few days, Baba continued to anxiously inquire from me as to whether or not I had discovered who had been responsible. One morning when I saw Baba, He gestured, “Did you get the news?” “No, Baba,” I said, “what news?” “You didn’t get the news? But I got the news,” Baba again gestured. “How?” I asked. “Did someone tele
phone?” “No,” Baba replied, “but I got the news.” Unable to contain myself I blurted out, “Well, who was responsible?” Baba smiled and pointed to His own chest, indicating, “I am the One who was responsible.” This brought home to me that it is Baba who plays His own game, using whatever means are at hand, be it praise or opposi tion, for His work of shaking the mind and awakening the heart.
Like the rzple in the stream He is the song ofwilderness expressing the song ofYour truth. Thank You Baba
EBaba, the Word ofod by i3a! 2’Iatu
think of Baba is to think of God the Absolute. In these two syllables, “Ba, Ba,” the names ofall the Avatars are included. When a child says “Dad,” he means his own father only, and not the hundreds ofother fathers; while, when I say, “Baba,” it means Meher Baba in all his advents. Out ofcompassion, Meher Baba has taken this particular form to suit the impressions of this age. To draw each one closer to His Universal heart, Baba appears as that Avatar most closely connected to each person’s heart. Baba is Love personified and Mehera is His own breath. When I repeat Baba’s name, I automatically remember Mehera, who represents the creation. To remember Baba and Love Him is to remember all those who are worthy to be loved, all the saints and masters of all the ages, and to adore the whole creation. May my breath rhythmically sing and breathe Your Beloved Name, “Baba, Baba, Baba...” December 28, 2002
7hank )3ou Ei3aba For the clear ripple in the Stream ofYour Love. ;
Thankyou Baba for his lovefor us,
JMemorics of BnI atu A1isa rDrcLIfuss, Caiifomi al Natu-sweet, sweet Balaji. Where to begin; Bal touched my life so deeply with his kindness, love and simplicity. I will never forget the light sweet feeling that surrounded him. It always awed me and re minded me ofBaba’s gentle sweet love that is always ever present ifwe can just sit quietly and stop grasping. He was so natural and being with him felt so easy and unintimadat ing. However at times over the years when we would be talking and working together I would sometimes step back and recognize and feel how blessed I was to be sharing this time with him. He was so special. I had the great good fortune to be considered by Balaji to be part of his ‘team’. It all started in 1997, the first year I went to India without my family. I traveled there by myselffor the first time and was feeling very timid about being there alone. I wanted very much to work or do something useful while there. I had always had a dream to live in Meherabad but Baba never allowed that to happen for me, and it was a heartbreak for me. So this trip in 1997 I had hoped to do some work. feeling shy, and having no ‘skills’ that I felt would be useftil, I offered to help in anyway needed. I wrote to the women and to Balaji. Low and behold Balaji responded and when I arrived he sweetly and slowly gave me some tasks to do. He gave me some ofhis Conversations to read and give my thoughts and opinions. “Take it as a game” he reminded me often. What I didn’t realize was that the work was for me. I was little help to him I’m sure, but the conversations that he gave me to read were so amazingly fitting to my struggles at that time and to the nature of my Pilgrimage that year. I became quickly absorbed in the work and Balaji could feel that. I had the good fortune ofspending my days with him at Meherazad going over my editorial comments and giving my ‘opinion’ on how to express it more clearly. He was so delightftil to workwith. Heloved what I had to say and used a good deal of it. He made me feel so important and useful, something my heart really needed at that time. Our times together that year were a mixture ofworking and sharing. He would talk to me about Baba’s magical coincidences (or ccc’s as he’d call them) in our lives and we would share dreams. Having been blessed
with many dreams of Baba, Balaji and I shared that connection and it was through his support and encouragement that I came forward with my dreams. I had felt prior to that time that these dreams were private and sharing them wouldjust be my ego wanting to be special. Balaji helped me see a different way. Through his example and encouragement he showed me that they were gifts Baba has given us to be shared. He made me promise that I would type them all up and send him a copy. I am so grateftil to him for that. It was quite a job to go into all my journals and type them up and edit them but I did it for Bal and now what a gift I have to have them all to share. In the second half of my visit that year Robert had arrived with the children. Robert had been a member ofthe team already from the years he lived there. Balaji told Robert how helpftil I was to him and how much he enjoyed working with me. Again it was actlywhat my heart needed to begin healing. Toward the end ofour visit, Bal was having trouble with his printer and he needed to get the final copy ofconversations finished that day to send to Sheila Krinski at Sheriar press. He was feeling nervous he wouldn’t get it out on time and asked me if I could help. Not being that computer savvy myself but feeling such a strong desire to help him I assured him I could do it. Scared, I entered the
records room and began to fiddle. By Baba’s grace I figured it out. Till this day I have no idea what I did, itwas magic. Click, Buzz the printer was humming and out popped the filly formatted pages perfectly. Balaji was thrilled. It sealed our connection. He then promptly put the pages in an envelope and gave them to me to take to Baba’s Samadhi to put at His feet before sending it off I had been working with Shari Kellar at the time and Bal asked that we do it together. So the next morning was Baba’s birthday. Shari and I got to the Samadhi just before 5:00 A]VI and offered the manuscript to Baba. Bal than arrived with the men and we passed out sweets in celebration ofthe day and the book. It was truly a magical experience of Baba’s perfect love and timing. Balaji was beaming. It is one of the ways I will always remember him. The day we left we stopped in the Trust office to saygoodbye to Eruch and Bhau and Balaji and as we were leaving Bal officially named me a member of his team, telling Robert that in fact, I was more helpfiil to him than he had been. He said that I had a better sense ofthe Englishlanguage. I felt it as pretty high praise given Robert is a writer and editor and I was neither! I felt this was an honor that I could never have imagined I deserved. In the years that followed I often would be given things to read, which always were perfect reflections of my pilgrimage, and have time for visits with Bal. I always felt so cared about and respected by him in the most innocent sweet way that only Bal could convey. Even in my last visit this past August in which we saw him for the final time, he gave me some conversations to read that have not been published. Even though he was not well enough for long visits, I felt thejoy ofbeing able to have that experience with him again. I will miss him dearly but will forever hold the sweetness of our shared times in my heart. I bow to the love he had for His Beloved and I send my humble thanks for his letting me help him. Jai Meher Baba! Under His Wing, Alisa
JkIehcr EBaba at J4’klteictshiam 2losepkirte Esther Ross
he first time I saw Meher Baba was on November 10, 1931 in an upper room of a charming stone house built above the Croton River at Harmon-on-Hudson, New York. This house had been loaned to Baba for his use on his first visit to America. There were balconies on each floor overlooking a wooded ravine that stretched down to the river. The room Baba used ran the length of the house on the river side, with a balcony from which one looked down into tree tops—a truly sylvan retreat. My mother had met the Master first and called me to say I must come to meet him. At the time I was twenty-three, very naive and unsophisticated. The “flapper” era of the roaring twenties that fol lowed the First World War was something I knew only by hearsay, having spent my teens in secluded boarding schools or in quiet vacation spots with relatives. My mother, and Malcolm and ean J Schloss (the latter is now known as Jean Adriel) were at Harmon as a sort of working staff. There may have been others, but after meeting Baba I was not aware of anyone except Him! When I arrived I was ushered upstairs to Baba’s room. The door opened, and I hesitated on the threshold. Way at the end of the long room, seated on a broad divan decorated in orange and black, was a Person with long flowing dark hair. He was wearing a brown fir jacket that may have been Persian lamb. One of the disciples said “Don’t be afraid,” and I think Baba held out his hand toward me. At any rate, I crossed the room and knelt at his feet—and was lost in those luminous brown eyes. Almost at once I felt that I knew Him. Here was the Christ. There was no doubt in my mind. Later I could only express what Baba meant to me in the form of verses—one cannot really portray in words a transcendent experience that is beyond words. Baba touched me gently and his hand fficked over the alphabet board he used in those days. The disciple who spoke for him conveyed his thoughts so rapidly that ev
Baba had to turn me around and make me face and overcome the world as it is. Over a long period of years and many difficulties, He has always been in my heart and by my side. Baba accomplished what psychiatrists and loving friends failed to do. He helped to make me a more balanced person.
eryone used the phrase “Baba said” or “Baba asked.” So I use the term “Baba asked me” what I would like to ask of him, and I said I would like to help people. Without a mo ment’s hesitation he replied, “First you must learn how to help,” which seemed to me the most sensible answer anyone could give. Being unworldly and idealistic and com pletely unschooled in the problems which most people face, I had some vague notion ofrunning around with outstretched hands “helping people.” It had never occurred to me that I did not know how! Some people, on meeting the Master, have to be helped out of the world into a higher plane of thinking and acting. I was just opposite. Baba had to make me face the world and become aware ofthe ugliness and torment as well as the fine things that most people grow up knowing. As an only child of intellectual parents—one a writer, the other a professor—I had been so protected in every way that I was quite unprepared to take my place in adult life. I withdrew into books and fantasies when outer life seemed too harsh or unpleasant. I saw life only as I chose to see it, and shut my eyes to what I did not like.
At Harmon people came and went from New York City and elsewhere, to meet the Master during the month he stayed there. Some came down from the upper room exalted and uplifted; others were in tears, overcome by the tremendous experience. Some had to be led to a separate room to rest and compose themselves. Always we were aware of the Mas ter—It was like living in Heaven knowing God was in the upstairs room. The house was permeated by his Presence. Many times I had the privilege of taking Baba’s meals to the door of his room, where I could catch a glimpse ofhim as one of the disciples took the tray. Several friends came to meet Baba the day I did, and we were given rooms in a nearby guesthouse. The first night we were there the house caught fire and we escaped in our nightclothes. The house burned to the ground, and we were so happy to be forced to move back into the same house with Baba that none ofus cared what things were lost or inconvenience suffered—we were in the house where Baba was; that was all that mattered! The next day Baba called us to his room, and asked if anyone was hurt. On being re assured that we were all untouched by the fire, Baba told us that fires often spring up where he goes. Afterwards, he went to see the smoldering ruins and returned with some photographs that were all that was left. They were pictures mother had of me when I was seven years old. The mats were scorched but the pictures were untouched. Baba showed them to me but made no com ment. I have never seen them since.
7Jisciples There was a young disciple with Baba named Mi, and I remember dear Chanji. Names are not my strong point and I was
really only conscious of Baba. Other people came : and went as shadows in an unreal world. I do remember Meredith Starr. Later I was to meet Meredith’s brother-in--law Kenneth Ross, who became my husband. I also remember clearly Princess Matchabelli, a fascinating and unusual person, and young Amta de Caro who always seemed to be close to her. Among other young people there was Milo Shattuck, Grace Mann, Howard Inches, Donald Holloway, with all ofwhom I went rowing on the river below the house. To my great joy Baba said he wanted me to stay at Harmon while he was there, and when he left, to remain until he returned. I was to help type letters and announcements to the press about Baba and his mission. Needless to say we who stayed at Harmon that winter lived only to see Baba again when he returned in the spring, at which time he stayed only a few days. Perhaps the best way to express my ex perience at Harmon was to write in verse. I miy add that I had never written verse before meeting Baba. All of a sudden I had to write—it was the only way to express the experience and the poems were my songs of praise to the Beloved.
The i3cloved One Like the flame burning upon the alters of a thousand hearts you came, and from every altar rose sweet clouds of incense. Wherever you went you took Light with you and people’s lives blossomed into new beauty At last we knew what Love was. At last we understood why Jesus had such power over men’s hearts. Looking at you, we saw J esus, and loving Him, we loved you the more. Love and Joy and Beauty, Peace and Light and Life—these we found incarnate in you. And our faith was turned into cer tainty Hithereto we had believed in God, now we knew that He existed, for we found Him in You. Life became a succession ofdays ofRaming glory and radiant beauty—and you were 22
worthy instruments for transmitting Thy power of love to others. And so the whole earth shall feel the beauty ofThy presence and be bound to Thee in golden chains of love. Meherashram, Harmon-on-Hudson, New York. Josephine Esther Ross Decem ber 11, 1931 Previously published in The Glo Vol. v-lI, No. 3, August 1972 ©1972 Freiny Nalavala IEditorc note:Josephine Ross wrote many very beautjfulpoems to Baba and her daughter Annepublishedthem in a book titledSongs ofa Modern Discz,’,le,paperback $8. Then musician Ron Greenstein found these poems so meaningful he composed music around each poem, turnedthem intosongs, hiredan orchestra, and setihem to an audio tape. $10. The Love Street Bookstore sells both ofthese works.]
that glory and that beauty Every moment was filled with divine joy—and you were that joy. Our hearts burned with a love we could hardly understand—and you were that love. You were the centre of the Universe, the Sun towards which we turned as naturally as do the flowers in Summer and you warmed us, and fed our starving souls with the pure beauty that was the essence of your being. We found sanctuary in your presence, holi ness. And then—like a light blown out by the wind—you went, leaving us bereft, groping in the darkness of our ignorance. We have dreamed a beautiftil dream and wakened to a world that has lost its saviour and a life that, without you, is less than nothing. Now we live only to remember you. When the light of life within us flickers and burns low we rekindle it at the fire of our thought of you. Beside you we are nothing. And yet we long to be beautiful, and to return a thousand fold the love with which you have blessed us. Humblywe bowbefore Thee, who art the Living Light to which our souls aspire. We acknowledge Thee as Master and ask Thy blessing. And not only for ourselves do we ask it but for all those who sorrow and are heavy laden. 0 Holy One, bless us all, we pray Thee, and teach us the Way and the Life. May we who have seen Thee become
in every breath ifyou’re the center ofyour own desires you’ll lose the grace ofyour beloved
but ifin every breath you blow away your self claim
the ecstasy of love will soon arrive
in every breath ifyou’re the center ofyour own thoughts
the sadness of autumn will fall on you
but ifin every breath you strip naked just like a winter thejoy of spring will grow from within
all your impatience comes from the push for gain of patience
let go of the effort and peace will arrive all your unfulfilled desires are from your greed
for gain of fulfillments let go ofthem all and they will be sent as gifts fall in love with the agony of love not the ecstasy then the beloved will fall in love with you Ruini, Fountain ofFire Translation by Nader Khalili Cal-Earth Press, 1994
Ourai ‘It Jud .Stephens
25 Oct., 2003 Jai Meher Baba to you all! ell, it is now official, we open the new Meher Pilgrim Retreat for the 2006-07 pilgrim season! That is only two and a half years from now! We Meher Pil grim Center Receptionists have been haying special MPR meetings since last year, sometimes weekly. However we now have so much to zero in on. There will be no dilly-dallying! We knew the building would be finished by then, but we did not think we would open right away. We thought we had time on our side—wrong! Two and a half years is not a lot oftime when you think about everything we have to prepare, beginning with a whole new computer program! I’ll let you know how things are going as we take each step. It is a challenge and adventure in one! Saturday 25 October I believe I mentioned in my last Diary that we are now going to have a program every Saturday at Hostel-A, our Theater. This Saturday the film was titled “Tukaram the Perfect Master of Maharashtra”. It was the 1937 Masterpiece.* It was in Marathi with Eng lish subtitles. This film was one of Baba’s favorite. Itwas also a favorite ofEruch. Dur ing Eruch’s last year he watched it at least once a month. Tukaram’s love and focus on God is so powerftil to watch. It is a deeply moving film. *[Editors note: due to numerous requests the Love Street Bookstore now carries this film, available on video, $20] Thursday 30 October. In the afternoon at 4:45 pm there was a tour ofthe new Archive building. The building is pretty impressive and very interesting to see. Some ofthe office fttrniture is in place and it is beginning to look like a place to work. Ryan Brown, a Resident of a few years, gave a good-bye party at dinner in the Sayage Kitchen. We had cake and ice crème. Ryan was returning to the USA to continue his education. We will miss Ryan and his easy-going ways. He does hope to return in a few years. Friday 31 October. Halloween! It is not celebrated here in India, though some of the pilgrims have ftsn dressing up. Bhau gave a talk in the MPC at 4:30 pm. In the evening we had a birthday dessert party for our oldest Resident, Virginia Small. She turned 87!
Virginia was one of the first Westerners to move here in the early 70’s. Wednesday 5 November. Sam Kerawala shared some of his stories during teatime in the MPC dining hall. In the evening we showed the video of Padri giving the tour ofthe Historic buildings ofMeherabad. We chose this one since we have a special guest who is here as a consultant in conservation! preservation of historic buildings and their grounds. Michael and his colleague Kather me, are experienced engineers in the field. Thursday 6 November. Tex Hightower is here and he gave a talk in the evening in the MPC dining hall.Tex is such a good speaker; he has a way oftelling his experiences so you feel as though you actually shared in them. Saturday 8 November. The Bombay Avatar Meher Baba Center presented a play about Meher Baba’s Life. It was in Hindi and was so well done; they spend months in preparation. We all appreciated it. I was very fortunate to be sitting next to Najoo Kotwal as she translated a lot of the Hindi. In the evening we had a reception for our two special guests, Michael and Katherine, in the Training Academy. Sunday 9 November. From 5:00 to 6: 30 pm all the Residents and community members were requested to attend a question and answer session in the Training Acad emy. Michael and Katherine were available to help us become aware ofwhat we need to do to preserve Historic Meherabad. Not just the buildings and Baba’s precious personal things, but also the environment. Thursday 13 November. Billy Goodrum is here from Los Angeles and he said he was going to accompany Katie in Mandali Hall as she would be singing. Katie had the room
fij]l of pilgrims laughing. I was very happy J eda was able to video their performance.* Saturday 15 November 2003. Dot, Jes sica, and Mehera went to Meherazad with the materials to paint the tiles for the ‘Wel come to my world’ wall, designed to be at the new Meher Pilgrim Retreat. This was so the Mandali would have an opportunity to also paint tiles. Each Mandali participated. This wall is going to be one amazing, artistic attraction! Pilgrims coming to the Samadhi for Baba’s darshan sometimes stop at the Meher Pil grim Center and ask to see the paintings on the dining hall walls. I can only imagine the interest this special wall is going to generate. You know many of you probably will not have an opportunity to paint one of these ‘tiles’. But, I wonder if you could be represented by sending in a drawing ofwhat you would like to have painted on a tile? If you are interested, you could send a drawing to me and I wifl see if I can have someone paint your drawing on a tile for you. I cannot promise it will be painted—but I can promise to try! The size of the tiles are 6”x 6”. The organizers of this project hop to have the many tiles finished by the end of the pilgrim season, 15 March 2004. Send your drawings to me, Judy Ste phens C!O Avatar Meher Baba Trust, Kings Road, Post Bag 31, Ahmednagar MS, 414001 India. Meher Hospital admitted about twenty patients for the continuing cataract project. The surgery will be tomorrow. All surgery and care is free of cost. Since it is Saturday, we had a program at Hostel-A. Today it was a concert given by Billy Goodrum and friends. Tea and cake were first served on the theater verandah between 4:00 to 4:30 pm.The concert began at 4:30 pm. It was especially sweet to see Bhauji attend the concert because Billy played a song called Watchman Blues.’ Billy had said a friend ofhis from the Entertainment Indus try came to a fttnction Bhau attended when he was in Los Angeles. The friend expected to see this ‘holy man from India’looking like the classic image-long flowing hair and robe. Instead, here comes Bhau—Santa Claus tummy, colorful suspenders holding up
Western style pants, and a shirt that might have had his cowboy string tie. The friend told Billy, “He looks like a blues singer!” Well, Billy wrote a funny ‘Watchman blues’ song about Bhau. One ofthe lines in the song tells how ‘he sits all night, itching from mosquito bites, muscles wanting to stretch-BU’I, can’t move, can’t scratch! Oh, the watchman blues!’ Needless to say, we in the audience were having a good laugh! I looked over to Bhau to see his reaction. He was absolutely de lighted with the song! Monday 17 November. Bhau came to the Meher Pilgrim Center and gave a talk. It is fortunate for the pilgrims that Bhau is able to come twice a week. Some pilgrims are here for only a day or two, and this gives them an opportunity to be able to hear Bhau. Tuesday 18 November. Najoo Kotwal was finally able to complete a video Bif Soper and I began with her two years ago. Najoo was showing us the trees on the hill that were here when Baba was in the body. Bif has a degree in this area and I was sorry he was out of town this week, but he did not want us to wait as it has already taken two years to continue. Najoo lived in the ashram as a child and so we also videoed some stories and songs the women sang to Baba. When Baba was seated on the Gadi, under the tin shed, he would call the ashram women to him. It was at the Gadi Najoo chose to sing the songs. Such sweet memories for her. Wednesday 19 November. On Wednes day I usually give a Historic Tour of Meherabad. Two of the places shown are the Table House and the Jhopdi. I have begun doing the weekly cleaning of these places and I feel very fortunate to have this op portunity to clean something Baba spent so much time in. The Table House is cleaned by brushing the dust off the wood. I have to use a stool to reach the very center on the roof. This is where Beloved Baba wrote a good part of the ‘Book’. The Jhopdi is a small hut—in fact, Baba named it Jhopdi—the word means ‘hut’. Saturday 22 November. Nathulal Solin key, the master Nagara Drum musician, came for a few days pilgrimage, and he wanted to give a concert for Baba. The Nagara Drums look something like Tablas, only they lean toward the drummer. One of the drums is made of metal. Nathulal had Miriam and another assistant on one side of the stage with him. 24
Raine Eastman-Gannett was on the other. Together they made magic. When Nathulal starting playing it was like something from another time, ancient and mystical. It was absolutely enchanting. It was not possible to listen and not have the body moving in rhythm to the beat. During one ofhis num bers, Sally Pearson and Isabelle Provosty, two pilgrims who are also trained dancers, performed on stage. Sunday 23 November. Today was an aus picious day for the Trust. At Meherazad, around twelve noon, in Mandali Hall, the official Trust web site was launched. Bhau was on the phone, talking to the Baba Lover in the States who was to launch the web site. On the movie screen in Mandali Hall, a computer projection ofthe web launching was going to be shown. When Bhau gave the word to go ahead and launch it, everyone in the Hail saw it click into existence! This was truly an historic event! What was amazing, to some who were involved with the launching, was that it worked so smoothly! There were not even any glitches. It just smoothly clicked on. So, now you can go to ambppct.org or avatarmeherbabatrust.org and you will be connected with the new web site. Thursday27 November. I was walking to the Archive building when I passed one of the Residents and commented that I think God forgot summer was over. I was in front ofMeherabad Mandali Hall and the Resi dent went to the thermometer hanging on the outside wall and said, “No, it isn’t like summer. Summer is around 108 at least, now it is only 88 degrees.” This was about 2:15 pm in the shade! The evenings are cooling down, but the days are just hot! Friday 28 November. Susie Biddu, on Friday mornings, often takes pilgrims on a tour of the Meher English School. She said they make a point of going into every classroom so none of the children will feel left out. Susie shared one story of a sixteen-yearold girl who will be leaving the school this year to continue with her education in col lege. The girl wants to be a doctor. This girl started school at the Meher English School when she was three years old. The Muslim parents are very poor, but theywanted to give their daughter an education. They tried to enroll her in different schools in Ahmedna gar but no one would take her. So, they took her to Meher English School. No she will graduate at the end of the school year and go on to college! Saturday 29 November. There was a
concert in the afternoon. Tea and cake was served at 4:00 pm on the verandah of Hos tel-A. Then the concert started at 4:30 pm. George Chen and Raine Eastman-Gannett performed. It was a great concert and everyone enjoyed it. Sunday 30 November. Tomorrow, the Governor of the State of Karnataka will come to take darshan at Beloved Baba’s Sa madhi. So some high officials of the Police Department came to look over Meherabad, including the MPC, making sure all will be okay. In His love and service, Judy *[Edit note: the videosJudy talks about making, end up in the Lending Library of Meherabode. It takes ajèw monthsfor us to get them, catalog them and make them available, but they will eventually be readyforyour viewing.]
7;o Western Pilgrims: LA 3ew &crcts About J44ctintaining )3our 2lectltl’t rDuring.AmartitIii Dr. /lnne 1. Wear a hat, wear a hat, wear a hat. The sun here can bake western heads. 2. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Specially before touching what goes in your mouth. 3. Drink water, drink water, drink water. Lots of it. Filtered. Carry your bottle with you. 4. Be sensible in selecting where you eat and what you eat. 5. Contrary to popular belief sleep is not forbidden. Baba is with you when you are sleeping, too! 6. Be ready for changes. It is hot in the day but cold at night! Be prepared when you leave your quarters. 7. Don’t look under rocks unless you are studying scorpions. 8. Ifyou are not feeling well, get some rest and seek treatment early. The consulting hours at Meher Hospital are 9 to 10 am, 5 to 6 pm, and 8:30 to 9 pm from 28thJanuary until 3rd February. 9. Smile, smile and smile. This is a celebra tion of the One in the many!
)Joui Wiiting is the Wave :1ipon the Ocean i1uiu s .J1wakeiung 21st Aiujust, 2002
Jehangir Hospital, 32 Sassoon Road, Pune ast night, the Voice came to me. There was nothing but the Voice, and I was talking as if I were interpreting the Voice. It was good that Shiva ( Lynwood) was with me. He came back in the morning and took down the points of the previous night. Baba had said to me, “You kno one day a question arose among the Mandali. When people came for My darshan, they would go back to their homes and write letters to Me: ‘I experienced this; I experienced that.’ “And you people, you scoundrels, you were thinking how you are with Me and you don’t experience anything. So, those other people must have all been imagining things. All you Mandali would think that. “Then one day, I told you that those who were with Me experienced My humanity, and those who are not with Me experience My Divinity That’s why you don’t have any experiences. You can understand this. ‘And this is a fact. Those who were with Me had to serve Me. They have a connection with My body. Whatever I asked them to do, they would do. “But just before dropping My physical body, when you were present, I called Mani and Eruch. I dictated a message: ‘I will see My old and new lovers, sometime, somewhere, somehow.’ “Do you understand this message? This is the most important message I have given. “And a few days later, I dropped My physical body. “Each individual has different impres sions (sanskaras), so I have to bring them to Me through different ways. Therefore, whatever is necessary for them, I give to them. I am fulfilling My promise to everyone. Whatever I have said, I will see My old and newlovers sometime, somewhere, somehow. You don’t understand My difficulty what I am passing through and what is My work. Not a single person will be ignored. Those who praise Me, those who criticize Me and abuse Me, I am for them. I cannot ignore
them. They all are My children. But very mischievous children. “I give them different toys, according to their liking. It is very difficult for Me to take their toys away from them, because they are used to their toys.They are attached to them. But I have to take away the toys.When their attachment is gone, then they will be drawn towards Me. “I’m not ignoring anyone, so can you imagine how difficult My work is? “I have said that when I am physically present, I don’t use My infinite power and infinite bliss for My Universal Worlç I use only infinite knowledge. But now that I have dropped My physical body, I can now use My infinite power, infinite knowledge and infinite bliss. The world will know one day Who I am. The world will recognize Me. How will the world recognize Me? “They will be drawn towards Me after My Universal Manifestation. And what is My Universal Manifestation? “My Universal Manifestation is to clean the world of obstructive sanskaras, so that people will be drawn towards Me, and that is the work I am doing. I am cleaning and cleaning. I’m infinitely active. “So don’t worry. You are taking part in My work. But it is just a very small role in
comparison to My infinite work. Still, I find that you feel restless, and, without knowing, you think that when you fall sick, you suffer and that I don’t care. You don’t know how much care I am taking. I made you a medium for playing a small role. So can you not help Me? If you realize this fact, then you will not think what you are thinking now. You are the fortunate one, and all My Mandali mem bers are the fortunate ones. “What role each ofthem played, they have no idea. “Why do I prompt you to go to the West everyyear? And also to other places in India? The reason is that I am working through you, and you have no idea what I’m doing. “When you are attached to the world and your gross consciousness, you need some form. Otherwise, people will not ac cept you ifyou remain like a stone. They will not pay any attention to you. So a formis necessary, and you tell the people about Me. You narrate different incidents and stories when you go on tour. “And you have no idea how people are affected through these stories. You don’t give intellectual smff though you have written so many books under My direction. Once, I told you that you had no idea how people of the world will be affected by these words. “It is like the waves in the ocean. You were thinking, ‘Baba is just praising me in order to give me more work.’ “But by now you must have realized what I meant. “You know how you have written all these songs, plays, and about infinite intelligence in the book, The Nothingandthe Everything I dictated the points to you when I was in seclusion. Therefore, know well, though it appears that you have written it, actually I wrote it. You have also written the biography under My instructions. So let the world say anything. You should not pay attention to the world; you just pay attention to Me. What do you have to do with the world? You are for Me, so you have to live for Me. You do not have to do anything with the 25
world. Know well that I am dealing with the world, and you are merely a medium that you don’t know. If you come to know you will think that you are something. You are actually nothing. Because without Me you are a mere nothing. “I was telling and telling you that the prayer which I had dictated, ‘You Alone Exist,’ will be read out in each and every house, and it will be sung. At that time, nobody knew that I had composed that prayer. Theywere laughing at you. But now, do you see? Why do people like this prayer? Because this is the only prayer that depicts the allpervading nature ofGod. I Myself put your name in the prayer. It is not that in order to praise you that I did this, but there was some purpose behind it. “You have also seen that I put your name upon different songs and ghazals I composed. You were thinking that it was false praise. You never thought that there was some purpose behind it. “I Myself have dictated those words which I have given. But why was I doing this? It is beyond reason to explain. “I am very, very happy that you never think that I have given this authority to you and that you never impose your authority on anyone. On the contrary, you don’t tell anyone. Only on certain occasions do you have to tell. “Do you know that at the time when I dictated the prayer, ‘You Alone Exist,’ you were upstairs in Guruprasad, Pune. People would come to see Me to have darshan. And what was I doing at that time? I was asking Sheroo, My brother Behram’s son to recite that prayer. He would recite it, and people would hear it. They would not like the prayer, because in this prayer, I have said that, ‘I am a mosquito, I am a devil. I am everything. I am a donkey. I am a horse. I am a pig. I am a bedbug. I am God. I am you. I am everyone, and there is nothing besides Me.’ “You did not know what I was doing when Sheroo [Baba’s nephew, Bheram’s and Perinne’s son] was singing. You were very busy at the time writing a book under My orders. You would come to Me at 4:00. So when you got down from upstairs and came to Me, one person laughed at you. “You asked him, ‘Why are you laughing?’ “He said, “This is the prayer you have written? I am a bug? I am a donkey? I am copper? I am this, and I am that? Who’ll consider this a prayer?” “You did not say anything to him, but
when you came to Me, you asked, “Should I change this prayer a little bit?” “Change?’ I said, ‘What are you going to change?’ “Substitute some good words,’ you replied. “And I said to you, ‘Don’t change a bit. Keep it as such. You don’t know the impor tance ofthis prayer. It is the only prayer that depicts the all-pervading nature ofGod. So God is in a human being, and God is also in scorpions and snakes. There is nothing besides God. And you want to change it? Never think of it. This prayer will be sung in every house.’ “Nowyou have observed during the L.A.
Sahavas how this prayer was sung. This is just the beginning. But I tell you, it will be sung everywhere. Because God is everywhere. And God has given you this prayer. “What you have written, you have no idea. Once you said to Me, ‘Baba, why don’t you call some writers and poets. They will write sublime things.’ “Do you know writers and poets?’ I asked. “I know some,’ you replied, “I asked you to write letters to them and give them My introduction. If they came, I would give them work. “You wrote letters to those writers and poets, very very long letters, by hand. They sent their replies: that they were very happy to receive your letter and ifthey found time, they would come and have the darshan of Meher Baba. You read out those letters to me. You were very happy. “So I asked you not to send any reply. “These writers and poets know language, and they know grammar. But their writing
is dry. You don’t know language, and you don’t know grammar as they do. But your writing is so sublime and green that they cannot write like you. “Your writing is the wave upon the Ocean. “Tulsidas, the poet, was not a literary person. And he wrote Ram’s life in poetry. His writing is so sublime that in India, it is sung in every house. The poets and the writers cannot write like him. “Why? “Because his writing touches the heart. “What intellectuals write appeals to the mind, but the heart remains untouched. That’s why their writing has no value. Anything that you write must touch the heart, and how can it touch the heart? Iflove for God is in the writing, and ifit is written by love, then that writing touches the heart. “Do you remember in October 1968, what I had done? There was a meeting where I declared that I had completed Mywork to My entire satisfaction. But still, there was one detail that I had to complete. “So I would not work in Mandali Hall. Instead, I was working in My bedroom. You would be there. I would pound My thighs, and you would have to watch. You would feel how was I doing this work and suffering for humanity One day, when I was working, My nail went inside My finger. Blood came out. You saw this, but you did not say anything. “When My work was over, you said, ‘Baba, you’re hurt very much! Blood is coming out. Should I call Dr. Goher?’ “I asked you to do so. “Dr. Goher came and cleaned My finger and put a bandage on it, Then I asked you to pound My thigh. Not feeling happy about this, you did it, but slowly, which I did not like. I told you, ‘Pound hard!’ “My thighs had become like stone, and still, because ofMy work, I had to pound on them. I was working on the higher planes. In order to keep a connection with the gross world, I did it. “The last day, on 30th January, I was not able to sit. As I was lying down, I asked you to pound on My chest. Your heart would not allow you to do it. So very slowly you were pounding. I did notlike it. I, Myself started pounding. You had tears in your eyes. You were thinking, ‘Whatever I did, it was not right. I am giving more suffering to Baba.’ “I knewyour feeling. So when I complet ed My work, I asked you to call Eruch. You called him. And I asked, “How is Bhau.” “He is matchless,’ Eruch replied. Then I asked Eruch to go. I did this in order to
console you. Remember this. “You must remain perfect in obedience. What do you have to do with the world? Whether the world praises you or blames you, it is the same. One thing you know: the people in the world are all My children, and I have to take care of them. It is My duty That’s why I come down on earth, age after age, so that My children may see Me. But only fortunate ones get this opportunity For those who cannot see Me, a time will come when My Manifestation takes place, when theywill all know Me. So I can’t ignore anyone. I am for them. I am the only One, and there is not anything besides Me. “Have courage, and be brave in My love, and face anything for Me. “The world is zero, and there are so many zeros in this big zero. Know well that I am in everyone and everything. I alone exist. Remember this. I could not sleep for a minute,just talking and talking, interpreting the Voice. Freeman was again sleeping like a log. But sometimes, when he would get up, he was thinking that I was talking in a dream. But the Voice did not allow me to sleep. The whole night I was awake, not sleeping. How to explain this? With all love and Jai Baba to you, In His love and service, Bhau Th subscribe, unsubscribe or change your email address for Bhauc messages and Awakenings, please emailBhaulist@yahoo.com, with Subscribe, Unsubscribe or Change in the Subfrct Line. No need toput anything in the body ofthe emailfor Subscribe or Unsubscribe. For Change, simply list Old andNew: email addresses. Asprecaution, to allow these emails past spam blockers, please add firstname.lastname@example.org toyour emailaddress book.
Be contentwithyourlot—whetherrich or poor, happy or miserable. Understand that God has designed it for your own good and be resigned to His Will Be resigned completely to My Will, and MyWill will be yours. Some like work, some like play, but when you do it for Me, then it is the same—this is Vedanta in a nutshell. I want you to remain undistuibed and unshaken by the force oflifè’s currents, fhr whatever the circumstances, they too will be ofMy own creation. Tfyou endureyourlotwithpatience and contentment, accepting it as His Will, you are loving God.
rtjtc 4jndij roptI Bhau Kakhuri rom the Office of the Chairman of the AMBPPC Trust 26th October 2003 [Below is a tiny sample ofthe many issues with which Bhau is currently dealing.] Beloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! You will be sorry to hear that increasing Trust business is giving me such headaches. Now there is the matter of the Mandla property. In 1939, when Beloved Baba had a mast ashram in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, a property near Mandla (MP) was donated to Him by Mahendra Lal Chowdhary. Beloved Baba visited this property in 1939, and under Baba’s instruction, a well was dug and a tomb-like structure resembling His Samadhi was also erected. It is called “Meher Kuti.” Because the edifice was built under His instructions, I feel that it should be saved. Except for His Samadhi at Meherabad, Beloved Baba never wanted to keep anything in His name. So in 1949, right before the New Life, a trust was created for the maintenance ofthe Mandla property Three tnist ees were appointed, including the grandson ofthe man who had gifted the property But they have not taken care. Now, no one looks after the Mandla property, and a legal battle is underway. People have taken these lands, and nobody initiated any action against them. Out of the original 108 acres, only 27 remain. Because they have been cultivating these 27 acres for many years, the trespassers themselves have filed suit to claim ownership. According to la if someone has possession of land for twelve years, they become the owner. The Trustees appointed for the Mandla Trust took advantage, and now this trouble has befallen the property A guesthouse was also built, which has since fallen down. In the future, nobody knows what will happen. The Board of Trustees of Avatar Meher Baba P.RC. would not approve if people constructed something like Baba’s tomb for worship. But as far as the Mandla property, Beloved Baba Himselfhad such a building erected. A Baba lover in Nasik built a similar structure, close to the Nasik Centre. He comes to Meherabad very often, and when he is here, he goes to Baba’s Samadhi twice, once in the morning and once in the eve-
ning. So he thought, “Why not have Baba’s Samadhi there in Nasik, so that all the dear ones there may go to His Samadhi twice every day?” He secured permission from the Board to do this, but it was very difficult. And this inspired me to secure the Mandla property so that it will be available and useful for Baba lovers in the future. If we do not secure it, posterity will blame us. Let us see what Beloved Baba does. So right now, I am studying Madhya Pradesh Public Charitable Trust Act and Rules, just like a student! With all love and Jai Baba to you, In his love and service, Bhau Asyou can seefrom the above,just a loving reminder that because ofhis increasing Trust duties, Bhau has time only to respondto emails, letters andcards ofthe utmost urgency. He will, ofcourse, be in his office as usual to greet pil— grims, as well as giving talks at Meherabad Pilgrim Center on Mondays and Fridays. And, naturally, Bhau is always available on the INNERNET (the internal connection of the heart).
WItca’s 2 Iappening at J4lchcrnbode Here is a shot of the front door of the Northern California Avatar Meher Baba Center with the absolutely gorgeous cobphon donated by Bridget Robinson.
2qortli South J4lusicictn Exchange Northern California group invited Charles Gibson, recent resident ofLos Angeles, up to their beautiftib new Center in El Cerrito
‘Jheto give a concert. Besides singing many ofhis own compositions, he delighted the crowd with his rendition oftwo ofBrian Darnell’s songs: One More Cup ofWine and Not Just Roses on a String. According to the crowd, those two songs are a must for his next CD! Charles also spoke ofhis 18 months in India as the chiropractic doctor to the Mandabi. Following that little talk, many ofthe guests clamored to book appointments with him to get the same special treatment over the next few days! Seems to be a pattern these days. .come for the singing, stay for the treatment! To get a little ofthe wonderftil storytelling in the songs ofRon Greenstein, the L.A. group invited him down to give us a concert. Ron went one step further—he gave us two concerts, one on our regular Saturday night and then accompanying a potluck brunch the next morning. .
A most attentive andgracious audience greeted Charles in Northern California 28
A most enthusiastic audiencefor Ron Greenstein at his morning brunch concert at the Southern alfornia Avatar Meher Baba Center
the event. Purdom’s The GodMan: This is a curious story about how the last chapter contains several errors and the failed attempts to get them corrected. Ivy and Don noted these printed errors, and on a trip to India Don discussed them with Baba. Baba concurred and the necessary changes were documented for future reprints.* Purdom agreed to all the changes except one in which Purdom insisted keeping his statement that the last animal form has full consciousness. Purdom died before the reprint, and the copyrights were acquired by Kitty Davy and Delia De Leon. Don discussed the needed changes with them but theybelieved their acquisition ofthe book didn’t allow changes to be made. More recently Don corresponded with the Trust about the changes for the next reprint and advised his notes with Baba had been forwarded previously to the Trust office for safekeeping. But as circumstances would have it, Don got a reply that the correspon dence has been lost... There is another curious point about Purdom: why would he write, “We don’t know what Baba actually said or meant.” Was this license for Purdom to create his errors? It’s an odd remark to have in print since Baba worked with such care on so many of His books. A final note ofsomething that struck me during the seminar was what Don shared about Baba is His perfection in all matters, notjust the spiritual. So many topics of concern in practical and financial matters were brought to Baba, and how eloquently He would cut to the heart ofthe matter with just a fewwords. Don has observed top people in their professions handle matters, but Baba was in a league ofHis own with the care and acumen He would demonstrate, regardless ofthe problem. [Unfortunately Lynne couldonly atz’endthe first day ofthe Semina so the remainder of the notes arefrom the editor—perforce brifly touching on afewpoints Don gave us] Perhaps the most well known mistake in Purdom’s book is one that has been up for discussion many times over the years. In Dr. Ghani’s Song ofthe New Lfè he wrote: Let despair and disappointment ravage and destroy the garden ofyour ljfè, you beaut,i5, it by contentment and se(f sufficiency. But Purdom chose to write it as Let not despair and disappointment... Don talked about the ‘Judas factor’ in this Avataric cycle. By this he meant the re-wording of things Baba had said, and
then going to print with it. Paraphrasing, twisting His words slightly, but saying “Baba said this.” There followed a lengthy discussion as to the various books and places in which this seems to have happened. He also talked about the gifts that the various Avatars have given humanity From J esus we got Love. From Mohammed, right communal living. From Meher Baba—the Avataric gift to humanity is intuition. Don feels that intuition will be the principal tool of civilization. But we have to be aware of how we may ‘color’ the intuition that comes through to us. Intuition, he says, must be checked by Reason. Don believes that hisjob is to tell us what Baba told him about His manifesting; the Path of Love; the balance of the head and heart, the gradual narrowing of the path of love, the role ofBaba’s words and the reason for all the Discourses on meditation. “Meditation”, Don says, “is the frame in the ftsture within which Baba’s gift of intu ition to us will operate. God Speaks is the great treasure bywhich intuition, within the frame ofmeditation, can unearth the riches of the Path.”
Time: 1.2 pm, Friday 2 May 2003 5 Place: Stevens Intuition Command Center This is to report the activity on the Lon don Intuition Front during the last hour. I was returning things to the kitchen front after a lunch ofsalad, cheese and wine followed by coffee. Not all of the following transpired as I started to put the remaining stale end ofthe whole wheat bread into the wrapper with the new loaf just brought home from the market. I enjoy my bread at lunch with the salad and the cheese, but as I eat perhaps three slices at most each day, one loaflasts several days, and the end crust after three or four days is always rather hard. As I put the old piece into the wrapper containing the newly bought loaf it crossed my mind that the absorption ofmoisture by the stale end of the old loaffrom the newly bought bread, was due to random motion of molecules of air, including vapor. The trick then was that the stale loaf emitted fewer molecules ofwater vapor than did the new loaf and so absorbed moisture during the intervening hours. Therefore it would become far more edible by Saturday. Suddenly, it struck me that this principle
ofrandom motion is one ofthe greatest and least appreciated principles in Creation, al lowing the constant progress of drop-souls through the process ofduality and the mani festing of latent consciousness. This seems like a tremendous leap from converting stale bread into less stale bread, but as I sat with my coffee, I saw the beginning ofthe process that had leaped out at me as I put the old bread in the wrapper with the new bread. I think the key is: that as each drop-soul issues from the Om Point, it carries a responsibility for the manifesting of latent consciousness in a particular area of God’s Reality Also, I am increasingly aware that there has to be a considerable amount of coding that goes on between the drop-soul and Creation, in which the drop soul knows when it is near something that relates to the portion of God’s Reality with which it is charged. As Creation is so enormous in extent and the drop-soul is enforced to operate within the bounds of this enormity of time and space, it would tax the laws ofchance greatly ifthe drop-soul had to wander about searching endlessly for its area of responsibility, and here is where the principle of random motion comes in. The drop soul does not necessarily have to do all the moving, as random motion also provides new resources of environment constantly, and so the problem ofbeing in the right place at the right time is at least halved. Hence, random moticn as a natural principle is of great aid to the process of a drop-soul’s ability to manifest latent consciousness. As I sat down with my coffee and was all but overcome by such a block-buster intu ition having occurred in the middle of the day, I was then swept awayby another, which was so audacious and exciting that its beauty brought tears to my eyes. Each time I recall it and the wonder with which it swept me, I find tears return, and it is necessary that I stop somewhere and gather myself before I can continue with the most desperately incredible thought that has ever swept over my consciousness. It is very simple. What ifit is true that the latency of consciousness of God is really undetermined and it is the infinite number ofdrop-souls who truly and creatively fill in the spaces assigned to them in God’s infinitude of consciousness of His own divinity? And what if it is the Whim who is the Leonardo da Vinci of God’s consciousness and responsible for getting
all the drop-souls onto the proper canvases and the right pieces of marble and palettes of color to create the mastery of God’s infinite consciousness? What, in sum, if that
consciousness is not latent in either major form nor detail, and all this is really being created as it is being experienced in the ateher of Creation? Then, we have some idea ofthe enormous responsibility to the Father that is that of the Avatar, who oversees all this staggering challenge to creativitywithin Creation. As I finish this report to myself on this morning’s intuition, I know that it is too big and too important to toss out as a finished or even really well-begun work, but I found it so moving that I wanted to contribute it to our sharing of the greatest value we have in our lives, which is the presence among us of the Avatar.
And we don’t know what to say So we’ll sing you a song instead of sayin’ so long We’ll meet again Sahavas Day D. E. Stevens, we know you’ve got your reasons
For workin’ for Standard Oil We hear you were born a double Capricorn And so you’d always be close to the soil D. E. Stevens, whether things are odd or even We hope that this will be your chance While you’re working for God, why not go thoroughly mod And teach the discotheques how to dance CHORUS:
The Song, “D.E. Stevcns
hanks to Adele Wolkin, the Archivist with the Mostest, we came up with this blast from the past: a song that Hank Mindlin (composer of the American Arti and the songs in God Speaks,The Musical!) wrote. I checked with him to make sure it was OK to publish after all these years and this was his response:
“Yep, that’s what I wrote and Carol Leigh sang, for Don’s going away party in San Francisco and later in India. Remember it was 1968 and Don was being transferred from San Francisco to London ( hnce the references to ‘mod’, Beatles and discotheques). At that time, Baba was getting ready to come out ofseclusion and give darshan and we all expected to see Don again in India in 1969. But as it happened, ofcourse, Don went to the entombment injanuary and did notjoin us in April at Guruprasad. So Mur shida Duce had us sing the ‘going away song’ as part ofour Guruprasad entertainment and as a way of remembering Don there.” D. E. Stevens D. E. Stevens, you had me believin’ You were just another businessman You don’t let it show, no one would ever know That you’re part ofBaba’s plan D. E. Stevens, you’re not one for deceivin’ You approach the world so corporately But you’re the nicest source for a good discourse That a Sufi ever could see CHORUS: D. E. Stevens, we’re sorry that you’re leavin’ 32
D. E. Stevens, we hear that it’s the season For swingin’ out and having a ball We know you’ll be glad to have a brand new pad And maybe give the Beatles a call D. E. Stevens, we’ve got to stop our grievin’ Since you really have to go And ifwe’ve even heard that Baba’s spoken the word We’ll cable you and let you know CHORUS
3f3,’4mWhat3}1m A4eher EBaba am what I am, it is all the more natural for you not to be able to understand all that I wish to express, and why at all I say all that I say. It has been going on like this for thousands and thousands of years. If I am the highest ofthe high, I know best why J esus was crucified and why Mohammed was stoned. For all the so-called good and bad things said about them by the so-called good and bad world, people understand next to nothing about Christ and Mohammed, about Ram and Krishna, Zoroaster and Buddha, and about all the things that they said and did. For all its power of achievement in the gross sphere, the faculty of human knowl edge has its limitations within the intellect. None is at fault therefore, just as a child is not held responsible for the things which
are beyond the power of its understanding. But all things have their uses. A lullaby is as useful as a lecture. A thing does not cease to be useftil simply because it is not within the grasp of one’s understanding. Those who believe in me yet feel like questioning my words and actions are weak in their convictions and beliefin me. If you maintain a tight and lasting grip on my daa man you will remain with me on the highest oflevels or the lowest, wherever I am, wher ever I may be. Where the kite goes, its tail goes, as long as it sticks to the kite. So long as you keep your grip tight it matters little whether you are a saint or a sinner. This reminds me of an incident of my childhood: Once I stuck on to my kite, with what I thought was good gum, a strip ofpaper to serve as its tail; but when I sent up the kite the tail came off and was lost. I was bent upon my kite having a tail, and, with some sticky ftlth near at hand, I stuck on another tail. This time it remained stuck and, irrespective of what it had been fixed with, kept flying with the kite. To stick to me means to keep me pleased at the cost ofyour own comforts and pleasures. It means to remain resigned to my will whether you keep good health or bad, whether you make money or lose it, and whether you gain name and fame or become the laughing stock of others. During wars, often fought for prestige and power, wealth and lands, soldiers give up their lives as a matter of course in their duty to their country; why cannot it be pos sible for you to consider yourselves as already ‘dead’ in serving me? The Die is Cast Compiled by a disciple ofMeher Baba from His various comments and remarks ofApril 24, 1955 at Satara, India. Published byThe Meher Centei Myrtle Beach,July 1955
2lorwz O’Brkn, OwLs 2ka4 lI4aine ne recent summer morning, while out on an early walk, I heard a bird song that was not familiar to me. Scouring the trees for the bird, I heard it again, a bit farther away this time. My curiosity was piqued and the thrill of the hunt was on. I simply had to track down this bird to learn its identity Unprepared for a trek into the woods, dressed in a summer dress and sandals, I found an area to enter the wood with relative ease. I stopped to listen and heard the song again, the bird had moved deeper into the wood. A quick look at my watch told me I had no business doing this, I should have been heading home to get some work done, however I simply cannot resist learning something new about a bird. I went deeper into the thicket, climbing over felled trees in something of a clearing that had been created over the past winter for what, I still do not know. As close as I dared to getwithout the potential of scaring the bird away, I balanced myselfin the brush with one foot on one log and one on another log as I peered into the trees, binoculars at the ready in the event I got a glimpse of the bird. He sang, I searched, but I still could not quite get a glimpse of him, though I believed he wasjust right there, camouflaged in the trees. I was beginning to feel frustrated, keenly aware that I was spending a lot of time in this search on a morning I should be home working. Perched on my logs, I began to speak aloud to Baba. “Ok, Baba. I’ve been at this for a while now. How about rewarding me for my efforts and offering me a glimpse of this bird. Let me give it my best shot at identifying it with just the teensiest peek if you please.” The bird was still singing and I was still looking, but hope weakened as frustration grew. Another glance at my watch and I noted I had been caught up in this for about three-quarters of an hour. I really felt pres sured to get to work. The bird was so close, though. The time was already invested. If I gave itjust a few more minutes, I was certain I would eye the bird. I began to bargain with Baba. “Baba look, I’ve been here for this long, how about giving me a break, eh? I’ve already spent this time. Let me have a look at this bird and I’ll work an extra hour at the end of this day. Two
hours! Just, please Baba, let’s not have this turn into a waste of time. I know I’ve never heard this bird song before. You know how deep my passion for bird life is. You know I’mloving you when I love these birds. What do you say, hey?” The bird kept singing from his secluded perch, but I finally gave in and turned to head home. Traipsing back through the brush going back was more difficult than heading into the woods. There was no feeling of satisfaction with a bird sitting in my mind’s eye at the end ofthis trek, only feelings ofdefeat and disappointment and then there was the work to be done.
With scratches on my feet and legs and a few annoying bug bites, I stepped onto the tarmac. That’s when I heard a voice say, “Want what I want.” I chuckled to myselfand thought, “Baba, Baba, I guess you told me!” I often feel as though I can hear Him laughing at me. It was not a male voice. It was not a female voice. I didn’t hear an accent ofany kind. It was more than words or an image; it was in my head, not an overall feeling or sense of a voice. But it was a voice; one with a tone that made me feel slightly chastised, and maybe there was a hint ofa smile behind it. It seemed like a classic lesson Baba offers. He will often allow me to have my own way and later find a means of communicating to me that yes, I have a choice, but His way is best. Then, as I marched home, I began to question and sort out what this voice might be all about. Was it really Baba? The skeptic in me said it was my own conscience taking me to task for playing when I should have been working. I needed the money. I had work to do, which happened (coincidental ly?) to be directly related to Baba—perhaps it was guilt that had me thinking it was Baba’s voice. Perhaps it was my own inner voice, me putting a spin on things out of a need to believe in a higher power a need to believe in the Avatar. Yes, they were His words,
but I know His words, I read of His words in books, and hear of them by talking with Baba lovers, so they are familiar to me. I talk to myself often, in thought and aloud, and there are only some times I feel as though it is distinctly Baba’s voice or laughter I am hearing—a distinct sense that it is Baba at these times. Then again, is there a difference between the two? Are the two voices, my own inner voice and Baba’s voice, one and the same? When I address my sell am I addressing Baba? Is Baba addressing me through my self? My conscience, what is that? Maybe it is Baba. Is there a line ofdistinction between the two voices, or not? I am not consciously aware ofwanting to hear His voice. So might that add to the legitimacy ofit being Baba’s voice? Is it from the unconscious and He is answering my need? Interestingly enough, a few mornings later, on the same stretch of road, I heard the same bird song. I looked directly over my head and, in a tree on the edge of the road, sitting so close I didn’t even need binoculars to see it, was a Black and White Warbler singing a tune I had never before heard. Perhaps Baba did offer me a rewaid for the work I had done at the appropriate moment. -
--4k 1 iways d what I want Instead of wanting me to want what you want. Most ofyou want Me to want what you wait; and when you succeed In getting
me to agree to what you want, you are delighted and even tell others that this is• what; wantt i: know it is not ey io want what I want In fact, it is impossible fbr you to want what I want, for it is impossible ±br you to love Me
I should be loved. But
at least do
not always be wanting Me to want what you want and tr your utmost
to put your heart andsoul into doing I want you todo. Only intense
love for Me can bring yu to obey Me as
I want you to.
TrustGodcompletelyand Hewill solve
all difficulties. Faithftiflyleaveevexythingto Him and He will see to everything.
cAleherana 4ew Life &ihavns, Oct. 3-5 lcrrnaim 2 £ocn;, California
r those who have come to know and enjoy the area around Mariposa in northern California (about 45 minutes outside of Yosemite National Park), the New Life Sahavas, held yearly during the first week of October, is a welcome opportunity to get away from it all and bask in Baba’s Presence and Love during the last of the
vas was held without a guest speaker, there were other special treats such as teatime with dear Adele Woiltin, lis tening to Charles Gib son sing his great songs round the campfire at
Sahavasees Dawn & Susie Do/an it, lots of opportuni ties to spend time alone in Baba’s cabin, to go on hikes or just to sit and visit with old friends. Dma had brought a smaller version of the Love Street Bookstore The beautflulgrounds at Meherana up with her and there was plenty of time to penise warm Fall days in the foothills ofthe Sienas. all the Baba goodies so temptingly laid out. This year’s eighth annual New Life Sahavas Even though everybody missed Roz’s cooking, was no exception. Fifty-four of His Lovers Christie Pearson and her crew did an excelcongregated at Meherana for what amounted lent job of cooking delicious meals for us all. to not quite two days of sunshine, rest and During this past year Meherana had the relaxation while having the opportunity to listen to our special musical guest,Jim Meyer. opportunity and good fortune to purchase Jim’s music always gets the heartstrings of an adjacent property totaling 101 acres of valuable land—Baba’s 101 Acres! The board his audience vibrating with Baba’s Love of directors had long eyed the property and and hearing him sing out in the open air even had attempted to purchase it or part of it setting at Meherana is truly a special treat. as a buffer some years ago, but the time was not While this was the first time that the Saha :
Hiking to see the newproperty
right and the purchase was not possible. We were now faced with the possibility of seeing this property being developed by commercial interests who would likely have subdivided it and built homes close to the areas that are most prominently used by visitors. Then unexpect edly, the property came up for sale again, and Bhau, who was at Meherana at the time, and remembering all the difficulties experienced at Meherabad in trying to provide buffer space near lower and upper Meherabad, simply said you have a screw lose ifyou dont buy now”. To make a long story short, in record time generous contributions towards more than half of the required down payment were received and Meherana was able to purchase the 101, as we called it. During the New Life Sahavas there was a ribbon cutting ceremony and we all took a walking tour on the newly acquired addition to Meherana. This land is nowwell away from “
The Love Street Bookstore was apresence at Meherana
7I’1 cmorctndum ..A 7Jail Check List J4/licIuiel Dti Costa, England
any outside encroachments with its seclusion and pñvac In addition, we are beginning to realize the tremendous new opportunities for developing Meherana on parts of this new land and making it truly a special place to be called home by all of His lovers and all those who are seeking spiritual renewal away from the daily hum drum of their busy lives. The feeling of the new land was great and those who went on the walk enjoyed it tremendously The gathering came to an end on Sunday after a last breakfast and concert with Jim. I personally came away with the feeling of having enjoyed a time of special sweetness in Baba’s Love.
emember Beloved Avatar Meher Baba. 0 not forget Him for a moment. Think of Him, take His name, make Him your constant companion, in all that you think and say and do. Remember Him the moment that you wake. Take His name with every stroke of your toothbrush. Remember Him in the shower, the bath, the toilet. Thank Him with every morsel offood you eat, with every sip of coffee and tea. Think of Him when you are cleaning your home, to make it fit for the Beloved to visit. When you walk, take His name with every step. When you drive, take Him with you, every meter, every mile. Take Him along with you to where you work. Invite Him to join you in every task you undertake, in your creative endeavours, and in all the challenges thrown your way. Keep Him in mind when you listen to music, when you read, when you watch TV and when you sit at your computer. Bring Him as a companion on all your leisure outings. Think of Him the moment you get angry, when you get lustftil and greedy thoughts. Bring Him to mind when you worry and fear. Remember that He is always present in your laughter, your tears, your earnest conversations, and in the incessant chatter ofyour mind. And do not forget, at the end of the day, the moment before you surrender to sleep, to take the blessed name ofyour Lord, Beloved Avatar Meher Baba.
2/is Will, 2/is WisIi ot a flower grows, not a river flows, no north wind blows, no sunset glows, no fears, no woes, no friends, no foes, nothing comes or goes, no TV shows, save by His Will.
Not a baby cries, not a lover sighs, nothing lives or dies, no truth, no lies, no sad goodbyes, no twinkling eyes, no bugs no ffies, no apple pies, save by His Will. No music plays, no summer days, no right, no wrong, no King, no Kong no cars, no stars, no chocolate bars, no war, no law, no rich, no poor, save by His Will. No pain, no gain, no cellophane, no dance, no singing in the rain, no sea, no tea, no harmony, no tragedy, no comedy, no Avatar, etcetera, save by His Will. His Wish is that we live our lives for Him, His Wish is that we give it all to Him, and always remember, obey and surrender, and love Him more and more and more and more and more and still yet more, then He may open up His door and let His sun shine in. Michael Da Costa
Children’s age _/‘1 Cliildren”s 13ook from Ei3Irnu 2<alcIiuri! is childrens book happened all of a sudden. In the year 1968, Beloved Baba told me thatlshouldwrite a childrenc book and include certain stories He had given me. And then I forgot about it. Lastyear when Barbara Brustman was in the Trust Office at Ahmednagai; I dictated a story. She said, “This is a very good story for children.”
because ofthis, I think, Beloved Baba asked me to write this book. A djfferentstory willbeput out on the Bhau list monthly. The wonderful artistNadia Wo linska ofWalnut Creek has agreed to illustrate each story. [Maybe late in 2004 a book (hard copy) will be published, but in the meantime, you can read them in your LampPost and also have it come to your computer by subscribing to it at Bhaulist@yahoo.com, with Subscribe, Unsubscribe or Change in the Subject line. No needtoputanything in the body ofthe emailfor Subscribe or Unsubscribe. For Change, simply
was another bird. So the bird started pecking
against the mirror with its beak. The bird got tired from doing this continuously. It did not understand that there was nothing in the mirror but its own reflection. This storywas told by Beloved Baba and depicts different states of consciousness. In fact, these states or planes—gross, subtle and mental—are nothing but Illusion, but a very fine Illusion. And they exist in order for us to know Illusion as Illusion, and Reality as Reality
Artwork by Nadia Woliinska
Immediately, I remembered that Baba had asked me to write a childrenc book, but I had forgotten. When these stories were sent to Lynwood Sawyer in New York City, he suggested that they should be illustrated. Ithoughtthat it is my duty tofu’flllBeloved Babac wish, andtherefore, Ihave written down these stories. Some were told directly by Baba Himsef They are verygoodstories. andbecause they are connected with God, children will benfit greatlyfrom them. At the very least, the children will hear the name ofMeher Baba. Afterwards, they will try to know more and more about Him. And 36
list Olth andNew: emailaddresses. As aprecau tion, to allow these emails past spam blockers, please add email@example.com to your email address book. Ifyou are unsubscribing, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your list of blocked email addresses.] Story #1 from Bhau’s Children’s Book The Bird There once was a forest, and in that forest, a bird flew and flew until it reached a palace. In front of the palace was a mirror. When the bird approached the mirror it thought that another bird was behind the mirror. In fact, that second bird was the first bird’s own reflection, a shadow, its illusion. But the real bird thought that the reflection
The reflection, the shadow, has no ex istence; it is just nothing. Though it was an illusion, to think the reflection exists is delusion. And as long as you go on thinking that nothing but the world exists, you will find yourself in Illusion. This story shows that we take Illusion as real, though it is not there. Therefore, it is necessary that we have the knowledge that Illusion is Illusion and has no existence. Only God exists, and whatever appears to exist besides God, is nothing but Illusion. To view Nadia Wolinska’s illustration of this story, click on: http://wwwjaibaba.com/mandaliJbhaujiJ book/thebird.html
!Repoñ on EDc1hi )oung .Adu1t Salrnvns October 2003 noj &tILi iJl1 4 &crclary. Jivatar J4lcher i3abct Cutrc, Dcihi ahavas with the Beloved means being on the shore of the Ocean of Love and having the opportunity to draw as much love as one can, as the Beloved is the Ocean of Love. Beloved Baba said, “Your love for Me should have free expression in the mode or form best suited to you. It should shine through you to others, awakening their hearts to receive this divine gift. Gatherings and meetings in My name should be a channel for the expression of My love, and to give them any other importance is to misunderstand My cause”. Keeping these precious words ofBaba in our hearts, we at Avatar Meher Baba Centre Delhi organized the SecondYoungAdult Sahavas from 11th through 13th October, 2003. As per Bhaujis directions, we designed the Sahavas in a unique manner. Bhauji had directed us to conduct the programme in difference places, so that the true flow ofDivine love among Baba’s children could be achieved. The Sahavasees spent the first day of Sahavas in Delhi, the second day in Hamirpur and on the third day of the programme, they visited places like Ingohta, Maudaha, Mahewa and Meherasthana. The programme started with the Arti of Beloved Baba at 7:00 am in the morning of 11th October followed by distribution of “Prasad”. A beautifully designed welcome card, depicting Beloved Baba with children was distributed among the Sahavasees and the programme took off with glittering smiles on all the faces. After breakfast, at 9:00 am, Bhauji’s opening message was read out and copies of the message were distrib uted. Bhauji had meaningfully described how all ofus are in Sahavas with the Beloved from the beginning ofthe creation and this Sahavas is a reminder for all ofus to always remain in the Ocean ofHis Bliss forever. After Meher Chalisa, bhajans and songs, it was time for the tree planting project and group discussion. To give everybody a chance to participate, each Sahavasee picked a Baba quote and shared his or her thoughts regarding the same. This was fol lowed by an enlightening speech by Sh. R.N. Malhotra, who concentrated mainly on the explanation of “Consciousness and
Feelings”; and “Love and Lust”, and how one should put her effort in loving God by loving others. Many Sahavasees asked ques lions to Sh. Maihotra regarding their doubts on different aspects ofspirituallty which he satisfactorily answered. After lunch all the Sahavasees went to “Prayaas”, an organisation dedicated for the education, vocational growth and overall upliftment ofneglected girls in the society The experience was beyond description, when the girls in Prayaas met their more privileged social siblings. The girls accompanied the Sahavasees in reciting Baba’s Prayers and Arti. This was followed by distribution of sweets and chocolates among the girls. Three competitions, i.e. Drawing/Painting, Rangoli and Mehendi were organised. One had to see to believe it how dexterously the girls performed in all these areas. With distribution of prizes, the project came to an end. At 7:30 pm, all the Sahavasees departed for the Railway Station to board the train to Kanpur.
Second Day The Unchahar Express arrived at the Kanpur Railway station, at 5:30 am on the 12th October. Little did the Sahavasees know at that time that they had started a journey that was of the utmost spiritual importance for their lives. The love with which the Sahavasees were welcomed at the Avatar Meher Baba Kanpur Centre is beyond the limited boundaries of literary expressions. A briefing about the history of the Kanpur Centre was followed by Arti and Prasad distribution. After having breakfast, at 8:00 am, the Sahavasees started theirjourney to Hamirpur better known as the Heart ofBeloved Baba. At 11:15 am, when the bus carrying the Sahavasees approached the Hamirpur Cen tre, the Baba Lovers ofHamirpur were seen standing on the road to greet the Sahavasees. Everybody realised at that moment, why Baba had said, “Hamirpur is My heart.” After lunch session, it was time for some enlightening moments with Sh. Pratap Chandra Nigam, Trustee of Meherastana
Trust. He started His speech with a quote of Baba, “He who approaches Me with a heart fttll oflove has my Sahavas”. Sh. Nigam then delved into the history of Hamir pur and about Sh. Baba Das, who was the first among the Lovers of Beloved Baba in Hamipur. The emotional narration ofBaba’s visit to Hamirpur on 18th and 19th Novem ber 1952 made the hearts ofeverybody ache with the love for Baba. Everybody present had a clear idea, why Baba had said, “If you wish to get My love, then you will have to pass through the streets of Hamirpur”. From 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, it was time for the service projects. All the Sahavasees participated in the tree-planting project inside the premises of the Hamirpur Centre. The Sahavasees did cleaning of the main Prayer Hall and the project ofassembling the books in the library of the Centre. Then the Sa havasees draped Beloved Baba’s statue with beautiftul clothes. The sight of the children clothing their Beloved Father was beyond expression. After Arti came the dance programme, and then Sh. G.S. Nigam,Trustee ofMeher Pukar Press and the Administration-incharge of Meher School, made an appeal to all the prominent Baba Centres to put in efforts for forming Meher Schools all over India. This, he said, would go a long way in training the next generation with Beloved Baba’s principles Love and Truth. On the third day, Monday, the 13th, after morning Arti and breakfast, the Sahavas ees started their journey for Meherastana. In February 1954, when the Baba Lovers of Mahewa begged Baba to stay the night there, Baba said, “I will rest at my home in Meherastana”. So, Baba’s children from dif ferent parts of India started their journey from their Father’s heart to their Father’s home. On its way towards Meherastana the convoy stopped at Ingohta, where Baba had spent two nights during His visit to Hamirpur &Meherastana. Sh. P.C. Nigam informed us all that with Ingohta, Baba had completed a fttll circle around Hamirpur. All participated in the Arti in front ofthe beautiflul statue of the Beloved. There was another stopover at Maudaha,
where Beloved Baba gave Darshan during His Fiery Free Life. The picture of Baba during His school days reminded everybody ofthe little Krishna (Bal Gopal) and all the eyes were filled with tears of love for the Beloved. Sh. P.C. Nigam told us that Baba had not planned to visit Meherastana. Such was the Divine play ofthe Perfect One that He got upset in Maudaha because His orders were not obeyed properly and returned back. With repeated request by the Lovers, Baba agreed to go to Meherastana. At 11:30 am, the Sahavasees reached Meherastana. The location of Meherastana reminded everybody of Meherabad. Baba’s “Kutiya” (hut) is located on the upper Meherastana and the trust office is in the lower Meherastana. Here the Sahavasees decorated Baba’s “Kutiya” with rangoli, beautiful clothes, Baba’s flags and other decorations. Some ofthe Sahavasees engaged themselves in tree planting in different places of upper Meherastana. After Arti, Sh. P.C. Nigam narrated a briefhistory ofMeherastana. On 21st November, 1952, Baba visited Maudaha, where two colleges, i.e. National Inter College and Rehmania Inter College had invited Him. When Baba visited National Inter College, He declared, “I will always be present here”. Then Baba visited an orphanage, under the management of Rehmania Inter College. There Baba said He would wash the feet of fourteen boys of fourteen years of age and bow down in front ofeach child. After Baba had washed the feet of the first child and was preparing to bow down at his feet, the child went back. This made Baba upset and Baba cancelled His tour and returned back. But again with the repeated request of the Lovers, Baba agreed to come to Meheras tana with the same condition that He will wash the feet of fourteen boys of fourteen years each, prostrate before them and give fourteen rupees to each of them. The conditions were successfully fulfilled and Baba was very happy. The Sahavasees met some of those fourteen gifted souls. Again Baba came to Meherastana in February 1954 Baba rested at the “Kutiya” in the night of 9th February and observed a whole night’s “Jagran” (awakening) with the Mandali. At 12:50 am, Baba declared His Avatarhood by raising His right hand and indicating “Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai”. The Sahavasees had lunch in lower Meh erastana and with heavy hearts started their journey back to Hamirpur. At 5:00 pm, the Sahavasees reached Hamirpur. Bhauji’s cbsing message for the Sahavas was readout here 38
and distributed to all present. After Arti, at 5:30 pm, the Sahavasees left “Baba’s heart” for Kanpur railway station and it was the end ofthe Sahavas programme and beginning of another phase of the eternal Sahavas with the Highest ofthe High. At Kanpur railway station, the Sahavasees boarded on the train for Delhi at 9:25 pm and reached Delhi at 4:30 am on 14th October 2003. With the able guidance ofBhauji, initia tive by the Sahavas Coordinator, Ms.Rakhi Sharma, supported by Sh. Mano] Sethi, Prof and Mrs. B.N. Bhasin and Sh. Madan Bha sin, the “Second Young Adult Sahavas”, at Delhi could be organised. Invaluable cooperation by Sh. Gore Lal, Sh. PC. Nigam, Sh. G.S. Nigam, Smt Nandini Mathur, Sh. Gopi and Sh. R.N. Maihotra helped the Sahavas run smoothly. Last, but not the least, the love and affectioii of the Baba Lovers of Hamipur, Ingohta, Maudaha and Meherastana made the Sahavas memorable. The children and management of “Prayaas” deserve special thanks for giving their unconditional support. Avatar Meher Baba Centre, Delhi (Regd.) 50-A, Tughiakabad Institutional Area, M.B. Road, Near Batra Hospital, Opp. Rotory Blood Bank. New Delhi Pin: 110 062 E-mail : email@example.com Website: www.MeherBabaTheAvatar.com Mi Baba Centers and active Baba lovers are requested to subscribe to the e-News Letter of wvw.trustMeher.com http:// www.trustmeher.net/mailto/form.htm Niket Kale For www.trustMeher.com
Was so burdened with survival That he rarely bathed in dancing sounds. But dear ones, Now drop your pointed shields that wound. What happens to the guest who visits the house Of a great musician? Of course his tastes become refined. There are some who can visit That Luminous Sphere that reveals This life never Was, The truth of that experience Is reserved for so Very few; God draws back like a kite Some of those who get lost in the Sun And after their recovery From being sublimely independent, Having known the Unspeakable Union
They might try again with all their courage To sing a simple tune like this: “What happens to the guests who keep visiting The verse ofa Perfect One? Their voices and cells become refined And like the soft night candle (the moon) They begin to give to this world All the light they have Learned.”
4pej to tIte.ust: 4 : 1VJIU The hand sat in the classroom Ofthe eye And soon learned to love Beauty. The sky sat in the classroom Of God And now look what it gives us at night: Au that it learned. There was a time when man
Your hand sits in the classroom Of God, An apprentice as Hafiz was, Mastering the craft of Divine beauty As this earth spins on The Potter’s Wheel. The Gjfl, Poems by Hafiz, Translations by Daniel Ladinsky, pp. 178-179, ©1999 Daniel Ladinsky
Rcviews SIiipwreck—Ward 2ctrks’ 3im Wilson, Oregon
Mercy, sings of God as “a cruel and a calbus Man” and “Whatlgaveto Godthough there remains the façade is now a hoeguttedaad&sftoyedwithin, Wherelovehas its way, with hearti bloodl mustpay Whilestilismiing in thebattle fmy own ruin.” And fitrther:
ard’s new C.D. Shipwreck! entices the eye with a haunting photo cover ofMeher Baba on the viewpoint at Maha baleshwar digitally set against a background ofthe churning ocean and a storm-clouded horizon. Baba appears to be standing on the prow of a ship, Titanic-like in size, His arms extended, beckoning all to come: “Be here! Be with me!” What a perfect image for this C.D. so filled with the drama of life with the Avatar! The title song, Shzwreck! opens the curtam with a question, a choice really, about spending the rest ofour days on shore endlessly laboring, or boarding the ship captamed by the Master who “jettisons sextant and compass and charts” to sail headlong into the rock ofour ruin where the ship splits asunder and we drown in His Sea. .“OnIy then you will be—And the secret of Self you will know.” This Reality can best be explained by God Himself as Avatar or Perfect Master, but in the realm ofwords perhaps only po etry music and metaphor can hint at this truth, this experience, ineffable and infinite, yet mystically reducible to the language of the lover and the surrender of the believer. “When the dream splits asunder, what then we will be. Only God and drowning men know.” We are all mariners adrift on His Ocean. We have left the shore. Our friend is the skipper and as His crew we bear the burden gladly. To seek His mercy is the theme of another song. That song, Who Dares To Seek Godc .
“0 my Godlentrea4 make my surrender complete: In thethroes fd..efiatdoIadore You. In thefaioutfsbf allthehopes fmyljfè Nowlie in the dusthere before You” The outcome of this dilemma is the gone-mad lover who cries out: “There is nothing to seek but love. There is nothing to speak but love. There is no shibboleth but His Love; I will die in each breathfor His love; I’ll surrender and cling to His love; I willgive up everythingfor His love.” The C.D. is accompanied by a booklet of lyrics, a helpftil guide to enjoy and ap preciate the scope and depth of this work. The indisputable quality and beauty ofthese songs is a gift. One may find them too rich for his taste, or too classical for his contem porary ears, but the meter, rhyme, melody, and content, as form, express a truth and beauty both transformative and up-lifting, fill ofwisdom and spiritual nuances. That says a lot, but perhaps the growing body of work coming from Ward deserves our ap preciation now more than ever, especially as Eruch and Mani and Bal and other mandali have returned to Baba and the Meherazad fragrance recedes more and more into memory Ward’s compositions are musically ex ploring broader and richer expression. For example, the final song called The Tenth State OfGoc4 is introduced and closed with music based on work by Gustav Mahler. It is a dra matic integration of some musical phrases most suitable for this theme of God’s tenth state as the Avatar. Also, many of the songs have musical introductions and interludes and codas that give more interest and variety and even some humor as the drums define a harrowing fall down the stairs in the song Baba Threw Me Down the Stairs. Another
surprise is the lovely song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star delighifully adapted from the classic to new words wonderfttlly sweet to the ear and charming to the heart. He also includes another funny song called Mosquito that is silly and poignant, self-effacing and prayerftil. All of this is presented through the fa miliar and enchanting voices ofmany gifted singers and musicians: lead vocals by Ted Judson, Carol Gunn, Winnie Barrett, Perry Flinn, Bruce Fellcnor, Nathan Humphreys, Ward Parks,AshokAmbuikar. Choral direc tion by Debbie Nordeen, and choral vocals by the above mentioned along with Bill Cliff Roger Dubious ,Teresa Imfeld, Cathy Riley, Holly Simms, Lisa Aimee Sturz, Su san TaylorPolly Branch, John Gunn, Dave Kravetz, Jane Montgomery Ken Richstad, Alicia Rivero, Elizabeth Robinson, Daryl Smith, Susan Smith, Kay Stewart, Ruth Whitlock, Kailas Berad, Madhukar Da dar, Sarang Deshpande, Roxanne Jesia, Amber Mahier, Anne Moreigne, Degjani Ray, Jalindar Shinde, and Deepak Thade; tabla and percussion by Madhukar Dadar and CliffHackford, bongos byJohn Gunn; saxophone by Greg Butler; guitar by George Chen and David Stevenson.Produced by M.V.R.K. Balaji. Cover design by Roger Essley. Recording engineered byWard Parks andjohn Gunn. Synthesizer byWard Parks. A special thanks to those whose hospitality and generosity helped to make this album possible. Bravo ! Well done. Lastly, the themes ofWard’s songs provide another facet on ideas and landscapes he has visited many times. One that stands out for this reviewer is touched on in the song The Great Gypsy. It is an ointment of hope and deep consolation flowing from His Companionship in our journey back to Him: All across the war and thefields affiay The will ofmighty God holds sway. But with Him as our companion, what need we tofear His silhouette is the signpost by which we steei It doesnt matter where our course may veer: Thepath stillpursues us.” There are twelve songs and each deserves a review, but do your own review and enjoy the chance to be in His arms for a brief respite.
A2’ewCDby The 9?ubensteins ‘EBob Dearboni, 3loridct the rubensteins
There is a most charming song, The Ballad of MS. Irani, about Baba’s realization, as seen through Baba’s older brotherJamshed’s eyes. I especiallylike the title song The Love Man with its refrain, “You are the Love Man; we do the best we can,” which reinforces Baba’s famous message, “Do your best, don’t worry be happy, I will help you.”
EBabds 5Iwoting &ars:
The Divine Jl4aggees 2’Ioreen O”EJ3rien, JI/laine met Pam and Danny Rubenstein in 1998, at my first Florida Baba meeting in Clearwater. From the beginning, Pam and I hit it off. I was struck by her warm and loving nature. Danny too is warm, just a bit more reserved. But both share the same intensity when it comes to their music making. Pam and Danny host a Meher Baba meeting the first Tuesday of every month in their Tampa condo. The condo is like its hosts: warm, fin, inviting, and filled with Baba’s Presence. The Rubensteins are resident minstrels for the group and are prolific songwriters. Pam is one of the most talented and inno vative songwriters in the Baba world. Their first recording,Another World, was released in 1994, and some ofthose songs were written before they came to Baba. Pam was appar ently a Baba lover before she heard about Baba, although she didnt know it.The music written prior to her coming to Baba has His flavor and feeling. I have always identified strongly with the songs on that CD, and apparently many others shared my feelings, since several songs received considerable airplay on Tampa’s radio station WMNF (88.5 FM). Their latest CD, Love Man, has been ea gerly awaited for quite some time. A friend who recently received a copy of Love Man plays it daily, and spontaneously sings from the album wherever she goes. She thinks the Prayer ofRepentance Song a superb medita tion on Baba’s Prayer OfRepentance. Danny wrote a song based on Dr. Ghani’s Song of The New Lf’, which holds a haunting re frain: “This is the tenor of our New Life.”
eled by the deafening applause and cheers of an audience of Baba lovers, Baba lit the ftise of the extraordinary Divine Maggees at the Northeast Gathering in June 2002. The duo has been evolving toward stardom ever since—at a pace worthy of the brightest star in the sky The Divine Maggees, vocalist Cre gan Montague on the fiddle and vocalist Danielle Tibedo on guitar, view their nontraditional rock/pop harmonies as Baba’s creation. “Baba is the music,” said Danielle. Their role, nay, challenge, is to leave their egos behind and remain open to where Baba will lead them. And lead them, He has. Afterliving in Midcoast Maine for more than two years, the pair has decided to head for parts south.Just as they harmonize beautifully in their musical performances, these two are a finely tuned duet with their vision and career goals. They explored several areas in the South, but agreed those areas were too similar culturally to what they were experiencing in Maine. They next turned to Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta area is rich in musical history; more diverse than what they have found in Maine. From the wider region of Atlanta, they chose Athens because of the strong Baba community but also because the area naturally provides an open space within the music arena for them to expand and explore their limits. With the wider range ofmusical genres comes a wider range of audiences. In addition, this area is more centraflylocated than Maine as the duo tours the country booking gigs. While en route to the airport for their first visit to Athens, they encountered hor
rendous traffic jams all the way from Maine to Boston’s Logan Airport (an approximate four-hour drive under the best of circum stances). Convinced theywere going to miss their flight and beginning to have doubts as to whether they were misreading their urge to head for Georgia, Danielle’s eye caught the name on the side of a van stopped in traffic in front ofthem: Avatar Movers. Any ftirther questions? Naaah. Each ofthe Divine Maggees’ two albums, Way Back When, their debut released in 2002, and In the Meantime... released in 2003, have been stepping-stones for them to make the move upward. The amount of energy these two put out is palpable. Watching and listening to them perform is even more impressive. So in tune one with the other, there is little room for doubt that these two inspired musicians will have difficulty conveying Baba’s message of love.
rtlie dfrleantime C’D by the 7Jivine J44aggees
Connie £eavitt, J4/tctine ake it from one of their biggest fans; you do want to have the Divine Mag gees’ latest CD in your collection! They’ve been described as “fierce and lovely,” “mes merizing,” “magical,” “edg” and of course,
“divine.” To give listeners the true feel ofa Divine Maggees’ show, each song on this new CD released in November 2003 was recorded performance style: live and one take only. From the first notes of Cregan’s violin at the beginning ofLjflMe Up, you’re hooked. “Lift me up on your shoulders I let your love carry me I drown my thoughts in the sea I your love is all I know. The Brother Song, is fast becoming the most-requested DM song on Maine radio . . .
stations throughout the state. But who can choose a favorite? White, Old Brick Wa14 Drown in You, and Black Fire Remedy. The first time I heard Tonight, I had tears in my eyes as memories offriends and family who had gone to Baba swirled around me. As Baba lovers, we certainly should be able to say that we are free from prejudicial thoughts, but I doubt that you can listen to War without taking another sincere look inside your heart. I know I did and will probably always use this song as a reminder that I’m looking at Baba in everyone I know and meet. “Do you give your innocent love I do you love your neighbor I could you love somebody like me.” Lastly, a fun aside. The Divine Maggees always include a reference to Baba in their posters and CDs. Can you find it on this one? Can’t wait for your CD to get to you? Checkthe DM’s Web site andlisten to songs at www.divinemaggees.com. Then contact the Love Street Bookstore to buy it!
7:Iten 2/is Work is !Rectlly Being rDone lIItrnj 3rani ne wonders, is the result of any Baba work to be measured in the scale of mathematics? Are actual numbers to be proofofthe amount ofstruggle and work put into carrying out any project in His cause? For the Beloved, the only yardstick that can measure our efforts is our love for Him. And, as dear Kitty (Davy) says, “Baba shows His Love for us in allowing us to work in some way, with the ability we have.” Moreover in allowing us to work, Baba works in His own way, not only through us but within us; for ifwe are a means for the doing of His work, the work is often His means for the undoing ofour ego. While the people are given His message of Love and Truth, His lovers are given the opportunity to live His message—by developing more tolerance, charity, understanding and love for those with whom we are harnessed in the labour of love. And if with every step we take and every stumble we make, some ofour ego is worn down, we should rejoice, for then His work is really being done. 82 Family Letters, pp. 201-202 ©1976 AMBPPCT
,3irst tasfr of Sisterhood with Babti 3ohn /1. grant oanna Bruford, described her experience of this little intimate session with Baba. he said, “The sexes were separated and this meant quite a bit to me because it was something that was new. The women were with Baba as women I together. personallyfeltthat it was important, for me it was anyway. We were called together as a group of women and it was my first taste of sisterhood with Baba. “It was the first time that I had felt that there something was about special womanhood and together being with otherwomen in Baba. And it was really a lovely thing. We all sat on the carpet; Baba was sitting on the edge of His bed with His legs over the front and He was just so relaxed. He was always so relaxed; it was just like being at home with your family. It was a really lovely thing. “He sat there on the bed and beside Him He had a lot of things that the women mandali had sent out. He leaned over He there was a little game going on was picking out what He would give to whom and it was really lovely to see Baba taking so much time in such a little thing. Being there where there wasn’t anything happening, in the sense that there was no programme. I can’t remember very many of the things that He said. Just the memory of Him sitting there. “His eyes would sparkle as He was telling us about the women in India. He told us about the roles of Mehera and Mani, and the purity of Mehera, which to me was a completely new idea. I had no idea of who Mehera was, or what the concept of Mehera was. He made us, the women here before Him in such a relaxed and intimate
way, feel that we were also sisters with those women in India. It opened a book on the sisterhood ofwomen to me. “He gave us each some of His hair which He explained was very, very precious, it was part of His Avataric person. He told us that there were several different kinds of gifts. There were four large photographs, some little leather and sandals some bangles. Everyone received something.” Practical Sp i r i I it a 1 i ty ©1985 John A. Grant [Editorc note: Mehera had so made lovingly the little leather sandals for Baba to take to Australia with Him as a gjftfor the cisters’ atAvatarc Abode. Baba gave them to my Mother (Diana Snow) to whom He said ‘[ heardyou did the work ofeight men!” (in the building oftheAbode in the 3 monthsprior to His arrival in 1958.]
Ei3lissful J2ctssing for -1arrtj 2/ayes
by Roy Hayes, Queensland Australia February 2001, my wife Rosalind and I had been on pilgrimage to our Beloved Meher Baba at Meherabad and to be with th His dear ones at Meherazad. On the 24 February(the eve ofMeher Baba’s Birthday) we were helping Marge Liboiron decorate Baba’s Samadhi and the upper Meherabad buildings for His Birthday. We had helped do this many times over the last twenty years. At about eleven o’clock a note came to us saying that my father (Harry Hayes) was gravely iU and would I phone my son on his mobile (cell) phone. My father had been very ill for some time after collapsed vertebrae and a series of small strokes. Together with his multiple afflictions and an age of 83 he was finding life very difficult and he was hoping the he could be let out of this one. Rosalind wanted me to phone immedi ately but there was decorating work still to be done and Heather Nadel had shown me how to lift the glass above Baba’s stretcher safely, for cleaning and garlanding. When I had finished the work I went into Baba’s Samadhi and knelt in front of my Lord, I closed my eyes and in my mind I brought my father into my arms in front ofBaba. I said “Please take him Baba and look after him”. From my mind’s image ofhimlying frail and suffering in my arms he seemed to disappear into light and a feeling of love. I went to the Internet café at Meherabad. The phones are in one corner and the Internet booths are close by. I phoned my son and made connection with him as he stood with close family members around my dying father who was unconscious in a hospital. I was determined my father would hear my voice, they held the phone to his ear and I yelled ‘This is Roy, I want you to know that I love you, You have been a great father, Don’t be afraid, something wonderftil is going to happen And I know more than you do’. ‘I know more than you’ may sound a strange thing to say to a dying man but there was a reason—when my father’s father (Henry) was dying with cancer he went into
a coma for days, my father was sitting next to him when he regained consciousness. My grandfather sat up beamed a great smile at my father, shook his hand and said ‘Harry, I know more than you do now’ and then died. While my father thought he was an atheist he was profoundly affected by his father’s words, he told the story over and over. Also in the light of Baba’s contact, I did know more than he did. Those who were with him said when I spoke to my father his breathing changed and his body relaxed; they believed he had heard me. During the time I was making these phone calls to my father’s bedside, Rosalind had escorted an Australian Baba lover who was not well to Ahmednagar for abdominal X-rays and ultrasound. Adrian Rawlins had been ill for some time, and had made the pil grimage to India after some years of absence. During his stay Adrian had fallen ill with severe abdominal pain and vomiting. When the usual time had passed for this condition to clear up and Adrian was still unwell, Dr Gus had decided to investigate for causes other than “Bombay belly”. Rosalind was away for some hours and upon arriving back at the Pilgrim Centre she was walking past the reception office when the phone rang and she answered it. It was my son, David, letting us know that my father had passed away. Within minutes ofus receiving this news, Dr Gus approached us and asked if Rosalind would accompanyAdrian to Poona. He needed a nurse to accompany him as he now had an intravenous drip in situ and it was urgent for him to have medical treatment. It was now 4 pm in the afternoon. Adrian had to wait for reports to be sent from Ahmed nagar and Raine Eastmen-Gannett and Sue Biddu were in the middle ofpacking up an endless number of Adrian’s bags. It was doubtful ifhe could leave before 6pm. I calculated the time itwould take to drive to Poona and back plus time at the hospital to settle Adrian. I realised that if Rosalind was to be backfor Baba’s Birthday she would be traveling the Poona-Ahmednagar road in the small hours ofthe morning. Unwilling to let her do this alone I decided to accompany them. I arranged for us to stay at Jal and Dolly Dastoor’s home when we got back as it would be too late to get back into the
Pilgrim centre. We set out at 6pm. We pinned Adrian’s intravenous drip to the roof of the Swannie and it swayed and bucked with every bump in the road. Adrian was very uncomfortable and we had to stop many times on the way there to ease him or to empty the drip cham ber so it would continue to flow. We arrived at the hospital at 9.30 pm and stayed to see Adrian comfortable in his bed. We arrived back at Jal and Dolly Das toor’s house about 1:30 am. We were both unable to sleep. When the alarms woke us up at 3:30 am we had only had about one hour’s sleep.Jal had asked us to bring an old lady in a car that he would send to take us to the top of Baba’s hill. The car was late and the lady took forever to get ready. I became quite anxious that we would be late. After a while I relaxed as the thought came to me that Baba was in control of the timing, not to worry. We eventually arrived at Baba’s Sa madhi andjoined aline ofpeople moving in to take their Lord’s darshan. Those gathered started singing Meher Baba’s name five minutes before 5 am. Ros had gone into the Samadhi to bow down at Baba’s feet and as she backed out over the threshold seven resounding rounds ofAvatar Meher Baba Ki Jai’ started. We now stood on each side of the Samadhi door. We both have been fortunate enough to have been bathed in His Love at Samadhi on many occasions , but something extraordinary took place that morning. Wave upon wave ofoverwhelming Bliss came from within the Samadhi and kept rolling over us. Neither of us could speak nor sing, tears streamed down Rosalind’s face. Baba hadn’t finished—at evening Arti we found ourselves standing first in line at the Samadhi door again! We could not have timed this if we tried. It was truly an amazing Baba’s Birthday. When Bhau Kaichuri was told of my father’s passing, he lovingly comforted me and said ‘you have no idea how fortunate your father is, because you are here he will have come to Baba’s Samadhi in Bliss and then be born as a lover of Baba’. Two days later we were in Bhau’s office when EruchJessawalla came in, he cuddled and kissed me when he heard about my fa ther. Eruch also said what Bhau had said— ‘how fortunate your father is, because you love Baba and are here he will have come to
Baba’s Samadhi in Bliss and then be born as a lover of God’. After some difficulty we were able to convince Qntas to give me a ticket to fly home early. It turned out that I was on the same plane as Adrian so I was able to look after him. Baba takes care of the smallest detail for his lovers. I arrived very full of Baba at the funeral of my father. My sister Sylvia had kept the coffin open so I could view my father’s body. I didn’t want to see him as I had seen too much of his suffering over the last months of his life, but Sylvia was insistent and to please her I did. I was taken aback at the beauty of his face. The peaceftillook on his face made him looklike someone else. When I commented on how good he looked, some of those who were with him when he died said “Oh that is nothing! You should have seen him when he died—he looked radiant, even his hair seemed to glow!” I fondly imagine the surprise and delight this man who had not been at all sure about Baba, must have had at the moment of his physical death when he was met by God Himself and enveloped in bliss. even the stranger to love, may be slain by love” Hafiz.
during the time ofthe Bangalore ashram at “The Links” in November of 1939. At that time Baba was looking for boys to help out with the work there. Krishna was one of the five who was hired. When the ashram was dissolved some time after that, Baba asked each ofthe boys what it was that he wanted. One replied that he wanted a tonga; another wanted his own tea stall. In later years both became successful businessmen, the first as the proprietor of a transport business, and the second as the owner of hotels. But Krishna, when his turn came, said that he wanted Baba. This wish too was granted, and from 1942 he became one of Baba’s resident mandali, serving for many years as night watchman.
“. . .
2<rishna 2Iair &turrts to EBaba rishna Nair, more often known as rishnaji, Meher Baba’s long time companion and Night Watchman, joined Meher Baba on 1st October 2003 at his parental village. He was above 80. “Krishna Nair was one of the mandali living apart from Meher Baba. He was formerly one of the night watchmen, during the 1940s and early 1950s. Lord Meher Vol.20.” Ed. Note: We heard of the passing of Krishna ji just as we went to press for the October issue and so were not able to include all the stories that were sent out about him. The following is from Ward Parks, Meherabad 12th October 2003 on 1st October Krishna Nair, one ofMe her Baba’s old lovers and disciples, passed away at his home in Kerala. Krishna was one ofthe few remaining mandali whose associa tion with Beloved Baba extends back as far as the 1930s. Because for the last two years Krishna has been away from Meherabad and living with his daughter news ofhis passing came to us late. Krishna was first drawn into Baba’s orbit
r The next fifteen years of Krishna’s association with Baba brought with it many sweeping changes and high dramas, whose filler account one can find in Lord Meher. In 1947, after several more years in the ashram, Baba sent Krishna back to his home in Kerala. Though Krishna did not set out with Baba as a companion in the New Life in 1949, Baba told him to travel in pilgrimage to the sacred shrines ofthe different religions oflndia, an undertaking that took him seven and a half months. After Baba returned from the New Life in 1952, for a short while Baidul, under Baba’s direction, opened a restaurant in Pune, and Krishna served as one ofhis employees. Upon the completion ofBaba’s tour ofAmerica, Baidul left Pune and resumed residence with Baba at Meherazad; and
Krishna came with him. Krishna continued to stay with Baba, at Meherazad and Satara, until 1955, until once again Baba sent him back to his home in south India. In 1957 Krishna’s life arrived at a crisis. Brought to desperation by his inability to find employment, he decided to commit suicide; and for this purpose climbed the hill ofHaji Malang near Mumbai, intending to throw himself from its summit into the canyon below. But as he was preparing to commit this rash act, Baba appeared before him, dressed in a sadra, His hair down, and His eyes burning like fire. Abandoning all intention ofsuicide, Krishna returned home. Later it was discovered that on this very night Baba had directed Bhau several times to send Krishna a telegram and had given him (Bhau) a royal tongue-lashing over the difficulties he encountered in carrying out this order. When next Krishna came for Baba’s darshan, Baba told him never to contemplate suicide again. Krishna maintained his contact with Baba until He dropped His body in 1969; for some time thereafter, he disappeared from view. But in 1989 he came back to Meherabad and served in the kitchen staff at Hostel D. For the next twelve years he remained there as one of Meherabad’s hu man treasures, sharing from his rich store of extraordinary reminiscences with those pilgrims who sought him out. Gradually his health declined; and when his daughtervisited him in 2001, she wanted him to return to Kerala where she could care for him herself His passing marks the completion ofmore than 63 years of associa tion with Baba. Indeed, he numbers among the fortunate few in the intimacy of his connection with the Avatar ofthe Age, and through this link his memory and memories will endure for centuries to come.
3 ojce9eoffrey went to Baba’s waitT oyce Geoffrey June 7th 2003 at 10 p.m. ing arms, J precious friend, may your love
My darling, for our Master spread stardust rose petals around the world. I love you so... Forever in His Dance, Shar Wiseman
God’s Arms Are Filled With Joy Delicate rose petals are falling from the sky tonight. A waltz between our Beloved and his Joy drop pink confetti rain. Tonight, my Lord, tonight, I inhale Joy. Her very breath is the silent breeze I feel against tearstained cheeks. —Shar
ZJoy Bob Morearty oyce Geoffroy was a caring and loving person who’s life was totally dedicated to aba. Those ofus who knew her remember her in different ways, and there are two particular memories which I would like to share. I was very new to Baba when I first met Joy. Itwas in 1981, andwe were both in India for Amartithi. She chided me mercilessly for sleeping through morning Arti. (On my second pilgrimage to India in 1996, I attended Arti faithfully!) In 1994, I was living in Seattle, Washington. Joyce and I would go to the Friday night Baba Meetings together. I remember one time in particular; Joyce had come over to give me a ride. As we were walking to her car, I held her hand for a minute. Later I realized that the fingers ofthe hand I held were long and slender, while Joyce’s hands
And when he bursts the limitation ofthe stars which cling to him. People build cities and monuments ofmusic and p oetry andstone 77, tame the nomad in them 7•h celebrate their eternaljourneying.
eole 2 J
fRame Eastman-Gannett sent us thefol lowingpiece saying ‘7n these troubled times it seems some reas— suring truths are in thisAvatarcAbode Players’ piecefrom Being Is Dying By Loving. 7 .
People were the reasonfor the creation there will be no end ever to People. Wars and earthquakes and tidal waves Will wif,e out cities and thefarmlands, The ice will creep down shearing offcivilizations, Butpeople will come up again, The Earth willgrow coldbut it will be replaced by another For there must always be a placeforpeopleAplace on which to stand and sing.
People by Francis Brabazon 1971 ©Avatar’s Abode Trust Narration: istory is the chronicle of events; but events marched through the people’s lives before theybecame history leaving the landscapes of the heart desolate. But people kept their songs. They bowed to another tyrant—but kept their songs. Their songs were their record, their history their treasure from which they ransomed their souls from bondage. Their songs are both sad and happy at the same time; they are really expressions of their separa tion from God and their deep trust in His Mercy.
Poem: People People are man and man is people Their bones are the structure ofthe universe, Their tongues are the haips ofthe stars, Their hearts are nets which can capture God.
were rather small. I understood then that I had really been holding Baba’s hand. When I related my experience to her a week later, she said that she had something for me. That “something” was a photo of Beloved Baba’s left hand. The photograph was taken by Baba’s brother, Behram, and was touched by Baba after it was developed. Then itwas given to Mani, and Mani passed it on to Joyce on November 1, 1992. I still have the photograph on top ofBaba’s bookshelfin my apartment. J oyce and I worked together for four years maintaining the address list and the meeting schedule for the local Baba Group. At one point the file contained more than 80 names and addresses. What impressed me was that J oyce knew each ofthose people personally; theywere notjust names on a list. This is the way that Baba would prepare for a coming Sahavas, Himself seeing to every detail.
The sun rises each day oiz/v to light their work And the night comes down to cover their secret wanderings: Only Peoplegive the day and the night signj,fl cance. Although it took billions ofyearsfor them to ap— peai; p eople werepresent in the act ofcreation. Each one burst out ofthe Word as a blazing sun to burst into a Man; And with each one who dies a whole world dies with him. Each one is born twice;from hisfirst kiss,
Narrator: We have the place; our Song will be given to us when the Divine Avatar speaks His creative Word of Renewal, that will be the beginning of a New Humanity But it may still be a long journey from our clatter ofwords to His Word—in which will be His gift again to us of heart-speech and song-praise. But He has already given you the priceless gift of companionship in His Name. With that even 700 years will soon pass.
;Po&y Cafe Bliss I first heard his name spoken in the fairground, At Café Bliss, Sitting among those who meet To talk and eat there. How did I come to mix in such company At such a place? A casserole ofvoices, heat and ffies, Ofearnestjostling to secure a place At makeshift trestles set on boxes, With many sharing broken chairs And others pushing onto crowded benches, Leaning in to stake a place, Stake a share; Staking a claim to what? To hear his name? Is this the food they come for?
What else my friend? What more is there? To eat in or to go, Take your fill andtake-away; Consume his name and be consumed! Thereafter, do not fear to speak the name of the Beloved For even though you say his name silently
Infinite Radiant Light
Then, much later the
One spark from that Divine Fire
stars seemed to reach beyond
the space they normally
will one day ignite the crudities of millennia
occupy as if beckoning a pilgrim Home.
in a conflagration worthy of a million suns If all the parallel lines in the universe--
Ahh, how wonderful ifone could witness God within oneself
just the vertical and horizontal ones speak such volumes ofthe Divine Beloved’s care for each and every single cell in existence just imagine ifyou were to start counting all the oblique ones!
as clearly. My Beloved whispers,
“True faith is a form of sight and not of blindness.” And with His kiss a whole world opens from
One whiffofHis perfume unsettles one, disarms another, ravishes a third and completely slays the rare chosen one.
within. Sharon Wiseman
When that breeze blows will there be even one left not changed, irrevocably and forever?
in your body as you sleep at night? For they know that your heart is the very temple oftheir most Divine Beloved.
At such a place!
Ed Flannagan Sarah McNeill
as if I could ever be pulled out ofYour Sea and I can’t wait to drown my Self in the next smile that crosses Your lips in the next laughter that creases Your eyes in the next glimmer of light as it shines down Your brow
for Your next breath and the links they say are deep I say they are vast oceans never merely drops
Could this be so?
Over the rooftops ofthe world and throughout the universe To resonate and stir the memory Ofother sleepers and other seekers. How else did I come to be at Café Bliss, Mixing in such company
as ifl were never the reason
the earth last night.
in just one tiny ray
fairies, elves and even angels pass joyously in and out of the secret thresholds and openings
While in public places You shun me
appeared so much nearer
the massive treasure
Do you know what manner oflife forms—
Tenderly I meet You in this immense connection Touching my heart deeply there is now a place inside You I’ve come to call Home
All the world’s museums couldn’t begin to hold
It will be as ifyou shout it at the top ofyour voice
I can’t wait to drown
Do You Know?
and how could anyone ever ask me how could I have fallen into Love with You?
he following is attributed to Mother Teresa and said to be engraved on the wall ofher home for children in Calcutta.
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. Ifyou are kind, people may accuse you of seffish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. Ifyou are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway. Ifyou are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. Ifyou find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the
best you’ve got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you
and them anyway.
24 brrnQi for 2iuma “rDon’t
“Don’t Worry, Sire, Be Happy! —For everything that happens, happens according to the Will of God”!
j3e 11 -lappy! 2 arry Kenmore told a story (perhaps to Baba Himself?) about a great king who, whenever faced with adversit would be advised by his chief minister: “Don’t Worry Sire...Be Happy! For ev erything that happens, happens according to the Will of God.” The King had some problem with this advice, especially when things went gravely against his plans. But since he trusted and revered the minister, he learned to endure his annoyance at the seemingly facile advice— until, that is, a seeming catastrophe struck. Through a mishap in the royal kitchen, the king’s thumb was severed and there was no repairing it. When he turned to his chief minister for consolation, he received the same disturbing counsel: “Don’t Worr Sire...Be Happy! For ev erything that happens, happens according to the Will of God.” Well, this time, it was way too much! The King lost his temper entirely, fired the minister and had him banished from the kingdom. No one was even to mention his name in the Royal Presence—Such callousness! Such insensitivity! Well, some time passed, and the king was out on a royal hunt. And he began feeling burdened by the entourage that ac companied him everywhere—after all, he was just out for some sport, to have a good time, to prove his own prowess—so he sent the entire entourage, including his personal guard, home. So there’s this king, out there hunting, having a great old time, when suddenly he falls into a trap! It had been set by a group within his kingdom that lived in the forest, unknown to the palace and its wise men, a sort of wild group. And their main day of religious observance was fast approaching—the day requiring the most special sacrifice. So they set a trap for the man who would be killed and offered as a gift to their local god to propitiate the god and ensure good fortune. And this year, our hapless King had stumbled into the trap and was therefore chosen for the sacrifice—the decision could not be changed. He pleaded, he railed! He told the tribe 46
LA Q and LA for )3ou:
at one word describes the following: It’s greater than God, more evil than the devil, rich people need it, poor people have it, and ifyou eat it, you wiil die.
7ei!hard de CI’tctrdin &iys:
ofthe great kingdom he ruled and the riches he could shower upon them. But such ap peasements are of no interest to religious zealots. And surely, this raving lunatic was utterly insane. So they hoisted him up onto the altar bound him down, doused him with flam mable substances, and prepared to light the sacrificial flame. He was moments away from death when suddenly a voice broke through the tumult ofanticipation which had seized the village: “Stop! You cannot sacrifice this man!” The crowd turned, ready to sacrifice the blasphemer as well, only to find that is was their Chief Priest: “Stop! I tell you...You absolutely cannot sacrifice this man unless you wish to bring ruin and misfortune upon us all for all suc ceeding generations!” Why? The crowd wondered, now stilled into dumbfounded silence.The ChiefPriest stood above the trembling king and boomed out in a commanding voice: “Release this man! He is imperfect!” And, lifting the king’s hand into the air, proclaimed: “He has no thumb!” The King was released immediately, for to sacrifice such a physicallyflawed specimen would be taken by the gods in question as an insult of major proportions. They would have to find another. As the king ran from the scene, heading for the safety ofhis protectedlands, he could hear the voice of his chief minister echoing in his mind:
e are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spintual beings having a human experience.”
3 esus vs.
esus and Satan were having an ongoing argument about who was better on his computer. They had been going at it for days, and God was tired ofheaning all of the bickering. Finally God said, “Cool it. I am going to set up a test that will run two hours and I will judge who does the better job.” So down Satan and Jesus sat at the keyboards and typed away. They moused. They did spreadsheets. They wrote reports. They sent faxes. They sent e-mail. They sent out e-mailwith attachments.They downloaded. They did some genealogy reports. They made cards. They did every known job. But ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, the rain poured and, of course, the electricity went off. Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld. Jesus just sighed. The electricity finally ffickered back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming “It’s gone! It’s all gone! I lost everything when the power went out!” Meanwhile,Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours. Satan observed this and became irate. “Wait! He cheated, how did he do it?” God shrugged and said, “Jesus saves.”
WORLDWIDE MEHER BABA MEETINGS
he following is information about the various Baba groups around the country and a few from overseas. If your local data is not included please send it to me and should things change from the published details, please let me know that before the next issue’s deadline. —Dma
Andy Shott, phone: 406-549-5949 336 Connell, Missoula, MT 59801 NEW YORK
Meher Baba House Angela and George Chen 124 Pondfield RoadWest, Bronxviile, NY 10708 e-mail: info@MeherBabaHouse.org www.MeherBabaHouse.org
Irma Sheppard, phone: 520-321-1566 3562 East Third Street, Tucson, AZ 85716 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winnie Barrett 22 Chunns View Drive, Asheville, NC 28805 e-mail: email@example.com Sheldon Herman, phone: 336-288-8090 or 336-235-2730, 2405 Kery Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Peter and Debbie Nordeen 5 Fern Street, Ashe vile, NC 28803 e-mail: email@example.com
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (EL CERRIT0)
Call for information regarding meeting times and related information: 510-845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259 e-mail: Benleet@earthlink.net The Northern California Avatar Meher Baba Center is located at 6923 Stockton St., El Cerrito, CA 94530-2931 www.MeherBabaMeherBaba.org
Chris &Anne Barker phone: 936-560-2631 3101 Skyline Drive, Nacogdoches,TX 75965 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (SACRAMENTO)
Meetings first Friday ofthe month at 7 p.m. Marilyn Buehler 916-925-4451 e-mail: email@example.com www.premsay.com/MeherBaba SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
NY HAWAII (M0LAKAI)
Shirley Alapa at “Meher Dham” Phone: 808-567-6074 or 808-567-6383 Fax: 808-567-6363 Message: 808-567-6363 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 69K Farrington Ave., Hoolehua, HI 96729 mail: P.O. Box 177 Kualapuu, Hawaii 96757
Meetings are Saturday evenings 7-9 p.m. held in our center “Meherabode,” phone: 323-731-3737, 1214 South Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 Uust East ofthe intersection ofArlington and 12th Street.) The Avatar Meher Baba Center of Los Angeles now has its own web site at wwwMeherabode.org to bring the local news, programs, activities and announcements to the Baba community and the public. COLORADO
Meetings Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. at various homes in the Denver-Metro area. (Also the contact p ersonfor Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, andArizona.) Barbara A. Roberts, Phone: 303-238-4649 3475 Moore Court, Wheat Ridge, CO 800335543 (suburb of Denver) e-mail: email@example.com FLORIDA (TAMPA BAY)
Jane Paladino,Tampa, FL, (813) 962-8629 Tom Decker, M.D., Clearwater, FL 727-536-9282 HAWAII (MAUI)
Meredith Moon Phone: 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556 Fax: 808-573-1189 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 1940 Olinda Road or P0 Box 1269 for mail Makawao, Maui, HA 96768 USA
Group meets once a month on the third Sunday. We take turns hosting the gathering. It’s always at 1 p.m. with potluck first and then meeting. Connie and Doug Leavitt, work: 207-594-0909 home: 207-594-1968 evenings and weekends. P0 Box 125, Spruce Head, ME 04859 e-mail: email@example.com or Noreen O’Brien, phone: 207-354-7005 P0. Box 42, Rockland, ME O4841ompoint@yahoo.com or Ken Lux, phone: 207-594-6391 P.O. Box 108, Rockland, ME 04841 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org NEW HAMPSHIRE
Call for info: Liz Miller at 603-749-3668 e-mail: email@example.com MASSACHUSETTS
Meher Baba Information Center (Cambridge) Michael Siegell 617-864-3997 or Linda Porelle e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org NEW MEXICO
Robert Reser and Edle Andersen Meetings are held the last Thursday of the month at 7:00pm in our home 1921 Fort Union Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505 Phone 505983-662 1 email@example.com
Philadelphia and surrounding tn-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Bi-weekly meetings on Saturdays at 4 p.m. Frank Bloise, phone: 856-696-4374, 431 West Garden Road, Vineland, NJ 08360 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org WASHINGTON, D.C. Pamela Butler-Stone, phone 310-946-0236 Friday and Saturday Meetings. www.lifeimages.com/MeherBaba
Michal Sivan, phone/fax: 02671-5835 46 Hebron Road, Jerusalem, Israel 93513 e-mail: email@example.com MEXICO Rafael Villafane Phone from US: 01152555295-0512 Cell from US: 01152555502-7225 E-mail is best as I travel alot: firstname.lastname@example.org We have meetings about every month, in Mexico City at 7 p.m. No particular meeting day, people on the list are contacted prior to any meeting, e-mail addresses are preferred. I am also found in Cancun or Acapulco at times, so e-mail me if you will be in those areas.
3immy Dion ‘EDonntes Wood &ulpturc to JkIeherabv& Charlie Jlllorton immy Iron recently gave the Los Angeles Baba Center a beautiful wooden hand-carving of Meher Baba playing a horn, which is now hanging in the Love Street Bookstore. Jimmy was very close to Filis Frederick when he lived in L.A. in the 60’s and he dedicated the wood carving in memory ofthose days. Jimmy and his family moved to Kauai in the 70’s. He is well-known on the island for his music (saxophone), his surfing (over 25-foot waves), and his beautiful paintings. Everyone in Hawaii knows the Iron family because Jimmy’s nephews Andy and Bruce are the world’s top two surfers and his daughter Janna just came in second in the Malibu Long-Board Competition. She is now also a world-touring surfing pro.
This beautiful wood sculpture now resides in the Love Street Bookstore
AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
1214 SOUTH VAN NESS AVENUE LOS ANGELES, CA 90019-3520
NONPROFIT U.S. POSTAGE
PAID LOS ANGELES, CA
Address Service Requested
PERMIT #3 I 394