JA:NU.ARY 2005:: .
./4vntur Jkielwr ÂśBabn mid 311s Ei3e1oved, cMdwra Ltnited iii Their Love
Cditois ¶age Jai Baba Folks, ishing you all a happy new year in the love and service of Avatar Meher Baba! We have been getting so many happy comments about the October issue the special tribute we did to Dr. Goher in a 64 page, full color throughout, printed on glossy stock, magazine. It was a delight for all of us to put it together and we are very happy it made all our readers so happy. But it did rather put us in the hole for the printing for this year. I know a number of you were kind enough to iiake generous donations to help with the publica tion ofthat issue, but for those of you who didn’t, we sure would appreciate you using the enclosed envelope to pop a check ( or ifyou live overseas let us know your credit card number and how much you would like to donate) and mail it offto us so we can afford to get the April issue printed. The magazine ( in it’s black and white form) now costs us 16 per person per year, so if you could use this as your guidline when making your donation we would really appreciate it. For our overseas subscribers, you might have noticed if you checked the stamp on your envelope, it was $7 to 8 to most countries. We had previously suggested a $20 donation, but as you can see that doesn’t even cover the postage. So I leave it up to you, donate what feels right for you and we trust Baba to make it possible for us to continue bringing you the magazine. We received many wonderful stories about, and tributes to, our dear Dr. Goher for publication in the October issue, but alas, we had to draw the line at 64 pages. So in this issue you will you will find a continuation of these stories, plus a wonderful foretaste of the forthcoming autobiography of the dear Doctor. Although told in the first person, —
Photo by Paul Comar
what we are publishing here was writtenjudith Garbett over the years ofher visits to India, taken from all the stories Goher told her. It comes from the book Lives ofLove, available in the Bookstore, and has stories of the other women Mandali. e had one egregious error in our last issue and that was misidentifring our Sahavas guest, Jeff Wolverton! Our humble apologies Jeff—we know you really aren’t Jim Wilson! Will the REAL JeffWolverton please stand up?
puojica ton oj ne JiUa ar
r r ir r r f Lener JJaOa en er oj cou Jierrn iJaii/ornia ,“
Love StreerLimpPosr features
.. efco e m Love Street £ampEost is dedicated with love to .J1vatar lI1eher 73aba. Dts primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all Ris lovers by providing a place for sharing 21is remembrance. .J1ll members of the Ei3aba family are invited to contribute to this feast of ,Cove.
GOHER’S OWN SToRY
PERFECT MAN SHRINE
MORE ON THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
CoMMUNITY CARE AND SENIOR HOUSING
SENIOR CARE: A RESOPONSE
E our stories, photos, artwork, poetry, letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. alrn’s message ofLove and 7rutli. 3 ‘kVe seek expressions of I
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Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520
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WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERABAD
for the January issue: April issue: July issue: October issue: -.
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. 31O839-BABA (2222) 24-hour fax
OUR GAL IN MEHERABAD
WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MEHERAB0DE
REVIEWS THE MISCHIEVOUS CHICKEN (FOR KIDS)
36 38 47
e-mail: Bababook@pacbell.net website: www.lovestreetbookstore.com or: www.MeherBabaBooks.com Credits: editor: Dma Snow Pris Haffenden, Cherie Plumlee, and Tom Hart Avatar Meher Baba 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. front cover: Photo by Behram Irani (Baba’s brother) back cover: from Love Personified ©Manifestation Inc.
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All contents © 2005 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California. AU quotations, photos, or books ofAvatar Meher Baba,
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thank you We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organiz ations that own the copyrights to the c....llleher 13aba pictures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all Love Street ,i: ampJi2ost readers. All words, images andgraphics in thispublication areproperty ofihe copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages andphotos ofMeher Babes ©Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagai India, and © Lawrence Reiter. Unau thorizedduplication isprohibitedby law.
cWhat’s 2Iappening at J’IeIiernbad Captain 2arctius rDinslictw Dastoor .Adil9andhy, Dndict [Editorc note: I had been sent this story by afriend in India,frlt it was definitely worth publishing ftrue, andso looked into it and was able to contact the author ofthe lettei He assured me ofits veracity andtoldme fanyone wanted to write to him direct, his email address is: adilgandhy@vsni corn] his is the true and, indeed, very sad story ofan Indian pilot named Captain Zaraius Dastoor, a very senior Air India Commander flying Boeing 747 B-400 aircraft and with a meritoriously clean record of over 37 years, who was sadly convicted in a drug smuggling case and sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment on 30 August 2004. Captain Dastoor, while trying to help someone on compassionate grounds, found himself unknowingly being a carrier ofdrugs in a false-bottomed suitcase he was persuaded to carry by a so-called friend. The incident goes back to seven years ago. One Dinshaw Pastakia asked Captain Dastoor to carry an empty suitcase along with a few pullovers for his daughter who had recently rushed without her baggage to New York to help her brother after an emergency gall-bladder operation. Captain Dastoor had heard about Pastakia’s son’s operation earlier while in Paighar, where they first got acquainted while both were building their farmhouses. Therefore, when approached by Pastakia a few days later to take his daughter’s suitcase, Zaraius thought this a genuine request, since the daughter had indeed suddenly rushed off to be with and nurse her brother. So, in good faith Zaraius agreed to take the suitcase on one of his flights to New York. On 9 October 1997, Zaraius was com manding a flight to London onto which he had taken Pastakia’s suitcase; since it was rather empty he had put his toilet zip bag inside. Reaching the airport and going through a normal security check, Air India security personnel noticed a slight blur in the suitcase that Pastakia had given Zaraius. Hearing this, Zaraius immediately told the Al security man that he was indeed carrying the suitcase, that it was not his, and that he was carrying it on behalfofsomeone else. He
stressed that if the security man suspected anything at all he should immediately call someone from customs, as the suitcase was not his. A senior officer from customs was then called; he took the suitcase and examined it using a more powerful colour scanner. Upon doing so, some white blurs showed up even more prominently, looking like several sachets concealed in the bottom. The customs authorities then cut open the suitcase and to Zaraius’s horror some 35 small plastic bags containing a white powder were found! The co-pilot called Zaraius’ wife Manreez to tell her that her husband was being detained by the authorities as a suitcase he had been carrying had been found to contain a contraband substance. Manreez was natu rally horrified since they had both personally checked the suitcase with the three pullovers that Pastakia had sent the night before. She immediately called Pastakia’s wife and told her what had happened; she in turn must have called Pastakia and told him of the situation. Dinshaw Pastakia, who was then in Palghar, returned to Bombaywithin a couple of hours and turned himselfin to the authori ties at the airport. He immediately admitted that he had indeed given Zaraius the suitcase and that Zaraius had no knowledge whatsoever as to what its contents were. He took responsibility and owned up to the incident. Within the next 24 hours, the rest of the drug syndicate were traced and arrested. Unfortunately, in spite of Pastakia’s admissions, Captain Dastoor was also arrested and charged since he was the actual carrier, in unconscious possession ofthe contraband. They were all remanded into custody at Arthur Road Prison, Bombay, and later charged under the NDPS drug act, since the white powder found turned out to be heroin. The case in the meanwhile took its own time, as all cases do in this country. It was then sometime injune 1998, when Pastakia wrote to the authorities that he wished to make a full confession. The authorities ac ceded to his request and a few weeks later he was taken to a Metropolitan Magistrates’ court in Bombaywhere he made a voluntary confession in front of a judicial magistrate. It was after this confession that Zaraius’s family then applied to the High Court for bail, which he was granted. Incidentally, he was apparently the first person in an NDPS
case being a carrier ever to obtain bail, since this is normally a non-bailable offence. So Zaraius was out after over 10 months of being incarcerated. Soon after, Air India ordered and conducted their own inquiry, which took about two months and in which Zaraius was exon erated on all counts. He was reinstated and given back his licence. The Court had also returned his passport and therefore, luckily, he could fly again. The UK and USA also granted him visas. Everyone thought the worst was over. The case meanwhile continued for six long years, with a change of three judges in between times, although Zaraius was ex cused from being present in court whenever he was on duty The lawyers, his family, his company, and all his friends were of course most confident that he would naturally be acquitted in the case as it drew to an end this last August. On 30 August 2004, when the judg ment was finally ready and the verdict was delivered, to everyone’s absolute horror and amazement, Captain Zaraius Dastoor was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment with an additional fine ofRs 1 lath. The rest ofthe entire drug chain was also found guiltywith similar sen tences and fines. Nobody wishes to pass any comments against thejudgment or the courts as they may have had their reasons for doing what they did and which can of course be challenged as everyone has further recourse to an appeal to a higher court. The position at the moment is that an appeal along with an application for bail is being filed in the Bombay High Court this month (October 2004). Hopeftilly Zaraius will get bail for the period before his pending appeal. We all hope that truth and justice will prevail. We all pray and are in great hope that Zaraius will definitelywin hisjust case and be totally absolved ofhis conviction in the High Court or, failing which, in the Supreme Court. A very interesting fact to note was that during the course ofthe trial, apart from the confessions he had already made, Pastakia admitted that during the past few years he had also sent suitcases containing heroin concealed in false bottoms with two other flying crew members! These two poor people were naturally aghast when they realized for the first time that they had actually, unknowingly taken suitcases containing
drugs. Pastakiahad also approached other people to carry the very same suitcase that Zaraius was caughtwith, which they refused, one because he was going to western USA and the other for some other reason. This was apparently Pastakia’s regular modus operandi, to which this time poor Zaraius fell an innocent victim. Zaraius was one of the most senior and able Commanders that Air India had, with a meritorious record of over 38 years. He has flown many dignitaries, including Prime Ministers, during the course of his career. Although he had officially retired last year at the age of 58, he was given an extended contract for a further two years. Zaraius has four children, an elder daughter from his previous marriage who is married, two young school-age boys and a little daughter from his present wife Manreez. His youngest daughter Zara was born after his release on bail in 1999! Those living in Bombay must have re cently read in the news that the entire class of his elder son, Zareez, wrote individual letters addressed to President Kalam, pleading with him to look into the matter! They await hearing from him so far. Zaraius, during his initial incarceration in 1997-98, turned to deep spiritualism while in prison. According to him he truly discovered God during his initial prison sentence. He is an avid believer ofMeher Baba, someone that he discovered quite by accident in his cell when he got a couple of books given to him, both of which dealt with the same subject. .Meher Baba! He shared the same cell with the people who had got him into this horrendous situation and strangely, due to Baba’s grace, he never abused or disliked them for what they had done to him. They in fact, felt very frustrated that Zaraius never used to blame or abuse them. Pastakia sometimes even used to cry out as to why he didn’t hit or assault him! In fact, before leav ing prison when he got bail in 1998, he went up to Dinshaw Pastakia and told him that he forgave him for what he had done, at which Pastakia was naturally astounded! Zaraius has made many a trip to Meher abad, which is the ashram of Meher Baba, and developed a wide circle of Baba lover friends over the past six years. In fact he had made his latest trip only two weeks before his judgment and when his friend Adil Gandhy asked him whywas he going at this very cru cial time, he replied “Just in case Baba needs me to go back in again, I want to pay homage to Him at His Samadhi before I go”! The entire Baba fraternity is also in total shock .
of this happening; however they all know and believe that there is a bigger picture and plan to all this and which will be unfolded slowly to Zaraius. Surprisingly Zaraius has taken this verdict in a most dignified manner, with the thought that maybe he has not learnt enough ofwhat Baba maybe wanting to teach him and needs him back for a while for a kind of a refresher course, as jail is a place where one has so much time on one’s hands, where one can give total adherence and obedience to God without the distrac tions oflife.When I last visited him in Nasik Road Prison, he asked me to please send him the two main books by Baba: Discourses and God Speaks, which have since been delivered to him and so we know that Zaraius is back on his further spiritual enlightening journey, until the time when truth finally prevails and God says he is ready to be released, which we all hope and pray will be soon. In one of his recent letters to his daughter Sharmaine, he writes saying, “You must realise that spiritual life is something to be lived and not talked about. It alone will produce peace, love and harmony, which we all seek to establish as the constant of our soul. So my darling daughter, please understand that my soul is truly at peace, come what may. I feel a sense of freedom within me. So I am OK and I really dont want you to worry about me.” You could pass this story on to your friends around the world, with a wish to pray for Zaraius’s freedom, which we hope will come at the earliest through his appeal at the High or Supreme Courts. If anyone wishes to write to Zaraius you are welcome to address letters to him at zaraiusdastoor@yahoo. coin as he cherishes receiving mail. They will certainly be printed out and passed on to him.
A Letter from EB•Irnu 17th October 2004 ear Zaraius Dastoor: Beloved Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai! My dearest Adil Gandhi, I received your e-mail dated 14th October informing me about dear Zaraius Dastoor who is at present at CentralJail, Nasik, and I really felt very bad that such a dear one is in prison. What he must be passing through! Really speaking, no one knows but the Beloved knows what he has been losing in the jail and why he is in jail. The reason is that no one knows about the sanskaric business and what role these sanskaras play during the life of everyone. Apparently he is in jail, but in fact what he is losing no one knows. He is losing all his
binding impressions and even the king cannot have the opportunity that dear Zaraius is having. He appears to be injail, but inwardly he is making himself free from the illusory bindings ofthe world. He will be free in such a way that all the happiness in the world, if put together, will be just nothing before the Bliss he will be enjoying. He is really a very blessed one who appears as a prisoner but nobody knows what Freedom he will be having. He will be Eternally Free because Beloved Meher Baba is with him. Why he is in prison? So that he maybe free from the bindings ofthe illusoryworid and the chain ofsanskaras maybreakinto pieces so that he may remain Eternally Free. Please send this news to dear Zaraius so that he may know that he is not a “prisoner.” Everyone is a “prisoner” in the prison oflllusion, but he is the one who has this opportunity to be out of the prison in such a way that he may cxperience Eternal Freedom. Before, he would come to Meherabad and he would visit Beloved Baba’s Samadhi, but now he has such an opportunity for the Beloved to be with him all the time. He is his very life, and therefore, he should think about the Beloved all the time and remain happy and cheerful. It is the Beloved,Who is releasing him from the bindings of Illusion. In order to make him enjoy the Bliss that only rare ones can have the opportunity to enjoy. I know dear Himanshu is a nice person and when he was in Ahmednagar we had very close contact with him and his wife. It is good that you contacted him. Dear Zaraius should leave everything to Beloved Baba and depend upon His Wish. I feel everything will be all right and the sanskaric chain will crumble so that he may get the opening to proceed towards Freedom. I am praying to Beloved Baba for dear Zaraius.What I heard through your e-mail made me ver very happy to see how brave and strong Zaraius is. He also sees Baba embracing him! It is a great blessing for him. He is really a blessed one. If Beloved Baba wishes, the appeal will be heard. For the Beloved it is not difficult to do so. He will do everything to make Zaraius free. Please send this message to dear Zaraius as soon as possible and also convey my loving “Jai Meher Baba” to him. ,
wj••ou to iemaiu undisturbed rnd p3 by the force of life’s curreiits, for J whntever the cfrcjunstarccs, thea too wU k of My owir crea1ioi
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9oIden 3ubilee Celebration f i94 4’khernbcid 3inaI EDcctarntion cA’keting By8okaraii and rLlrmilla Shrivastava 1954, Beloved AvatarMeher Baba called a very special meeting ofHis eastern and western lovers in Meherabad on 29th and 30th of September. Although this two-day meeting was in fact a Sahavas between Baba and His byers, over the years it has popularly become known as the “Final Declaration” Meeting of Avatar Meher Baba. Baba’s Final Declaration aroused the emo tions of His lovers to such an extent that it actually overshadowed all other important activities which occurred dur ing this meeting. On 29th and 30th of September 2004, the Meherabad Baba community under the auspices of the Avatar Meher Baba PPC Trust commemorated the Golden Jubilee of this 1954 Mehera bad meeting by organizing different activities at Mehera bad and Meherazad. The celebration began with an assembly ofBaba boyers including those from the Meherabad community, on pib grimage and from Ahmednagar Baba Centre, in the Meherabad Mandali Hall at 9:30 a.m. on 29th September. Beloved Baba’s photo in the Mandali Hall was garlanded by trustees of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, along with some old-time Baba lovers. All Baba lovers were welcomed to the pro-
gramme and a short introduction was given by the members ofthe organizing committee. Then in remembrance and in gratitude to Beloved Baba for leading a procession of
a lapse of5O years. After taking Baba’s dar shan at the Samadhi, the lovers then gath ered under the Tin Shed in front of Baba’s kitchen and Beloved Baba’s photo on the Gaudi was garlanded by SriJal Dastoor and Mrs. Dolly Dastoor on behalfofeveryone. Mr. Anand Jinnalkar, an electrical engineer from Meherabad, played sweet Baba melodies on the flute to markthe beginning of the first session of the celebration. (He played “Vande Meherum”, a song in raag Brindavani sarang, accompanied on tabla by Acchuyet Sutar.) At this point in the programme, Bhau Kalchuri, the Chairman ofthe Trust, one ofthe long-time Baba Mandali, chief guest and main speaker for this inaugural session, was to give a speech. But unfortunately on the day itself Bhauji was very ill with flu and unable to attend the programme. However, true to His eternal compassion, Beloved Baba had long before drawn out a compassionate agenda to mask the situation created by Bhauji’s absence. In June of this year (2004) when the celebration’s organizing committee began planning the programme, they sought official permission from Bhauji, the Trust’s Chairman, who was at that time in America. When he was contacted for the necessary permission, he not only in.
Meher Baba—Meherabad, 1954
His lovers from lower Meherabad to His Samadhi in 1954, the Baba lovers at the gathering walked up the Hill from Meher abad Mandali Hall singing Baba’s name and feeling that Beloved Baba Himselfwas still leading His lovers to His Samadhi even after
stantaneously granted it, but under the spell of Beloved Baba’s benevolent provision for the future emergency, he also sent an article by email describing vividly many details of the 1954 Sahavas. By some miscalculation Bhauji thought that his return to India would fall after the celebration dates and as such he thought it appropriate to send this article. Later, when Bhauji returned well in time for the celebration, he happily announced that he would personallyparticipate, but as he fell ill, in his absence the article was read out. This episode is one of the examples of the eternal benevolence bywhich Baba not only manages things beyond human control, but at the same time manifests His approval for the little effort that His lovers make to organize anything and everything in His Name. The morning session ended with a little singing, and Baba’s presence was felt profoundly. The second session of the celebration began in the afternoon of29th September, again in the Meherabad Mandali Hall. The Hall had been nicely decorated with largesize photographs of the 1954 September Sahavas that added to the atmosphere. Bill Le Page from Australia, Sam Kerawala (Me herabad), Najoo Kotwal and Pratap Ahir (Bombay) were the guest speakers at this session, as the men had actually participated in the 1954 Meherabad meeting and had a valuable treasure ofmemories from 1954 to share with the audience. Although Najoo Kotwal herself did not participate in that meeting, her father Savak Kotwal did, and she shared important information from his record. All the speeches were documented by the organizing committee and are available in the Meherabad Hill Library for sharing. As requested, Bill Le Page told of the release of three sets of documents from the Meherabad Hill Library that are an outcome of this programme. When first announcing the celebration, the organiz ing committee had invited articles in two separate categories from Baba lovers to be kept as a documentary record in the Library. The first group of articles was invited from those lovers who had actually participated in the 1954 meeting, and the second group from any Baba lover who wanted to share examples of Beloved Baba’s benevolence in his or her life. The third group of articles was from a previous programme about Baba’s declaration of His Avatarhood. Beloved Baba’s programmes are always marked with incidents that are actually re minders of His approval or His interest or His concern for the programme. Outstation
Baba lovers had not been specially invited to this Jubilee celebration as it was planned to be held just for those pilgrims already present in Meherabad, as well as residents and the local Baba communityc It so happened that there were very few pilgrims in Meherabad on the actual programme days, and Baba intervened to arrange for a sizable audience! A few days before, about 26 Baba lovers from Vijaywada felt an inner impulse to visit Meherabad in remembrance ofthe 1954 Sahavas, without knowing that its Golden Jubilee was to be celebrated. These lovers turned out to be the major audience for the programme. Thus Baba’s compassion on one hand benefited His Andhra lovers by giving them the op portunity to participate. On the other hand it brought a feeling of utmost gratitude to the hearts of the organizers that Baba had made it possible for many more hearts to partake ofthe love-feast that He had spread. On this first day’s session, one elderly lady from the audience came forward to share her own experience ofthe 1954 public dar shan at Wadia Park, when she was one of a large number of people gathered there for Baba’s darshan. She was a disabled child at that time and was unable to stand on her feet. Her brother therefore lifted her up so that she could receive prasad from Baba. When Baba touched her face, an electric shock passed through her body, but her lower limbs suddenly were strengthened and she could stand on her feet. (Later she underwent several operations to be able to really walk properly.) Besides this lady, there were many other Baba lovers present who were part of the 1954 Sa havas meeting and wanted to share their experiences, but unfortunately, due to the lack of time, not everyone could be heard. On 30th September 2004, a meeting was arranged in the Meherazad Mandali Hall between 11:00 am and 12:30 pm. Meheru, Katie, Arnavaz, Manu, Rhoda Mistry and Meherwan Jessawala represented the resi dent Mandali and the Hall was fully packed with pilgrims and local Baba lovers. Meh erwan gave an hour-long talk describing his experience ofthe 1954 Meeting as one of the volunteers. Meheru and Manu kept prompting him to tell important episodes. His speech was so vivid and touching that everyone’s heart was deeply impacted by it, so much so that people felt theywere actually participating in the 1954 programme. That day in Meherazad was an exceptional one as Meheru extended the Meherazad timing at Meherwan’s request because he had a lot
to share. Even after the programme ended, Meherwan suddenly remembered many things about the 1954 meeting that were not possible to relate in the allotted time. The last session of the Commemoration programme began at 3:30 pm in Hostel A (the Music and Arts Centre) at Meherabad. Ward Parks read out the Final Declaration, Clarification, Confirmation and the Deci sion related to the Final Declaration. Many Babalovers had forgotten the details ofthese subsequent messages over the years and many new Baba lovers were not conversant with them at all, so it was much appreciated that Ward cared to bring this most impor tant aspect into focus again. Alan Wagner read out a letter written by Joseph Harb from the book Three Incredible 144eks with Meher Baba, authored by Malcolm Schloss and Charles Purdom. This transported the audience back to 1954 days when the Westerners were in the intimate company of Beloved Baba for three weeks. Joseph’s letter drew a perfect scenario of how Beloved Baba was perceived by the Westerners. Then came the much-awaited momentwhen Bob Fredericks’ new film, The Final Dec/aration ofAvatar Meher Baba, was projected after a short introduction by Bob. There ras pin-drop silence in the theatre while the film was being shown, and everyone was glued to their seats. Manyunseen aspects ofthe 1954 meeting were included in this ifim, which gave a vivid picture of the great Meeting and also showed how Meherabad actually looked at the time. The impact ofthe severe rainfall before the meeting was very clearly visible in the film. As ifto enhance the lovers’ feeling of participation in the 1954 Meeting, Beloved Baba again brought heavy rain during this commemoration programme, even as the 1954 film was being shown! The two-day commemoration was a mixed venture of speeches and sweet melodi ous music and singing in both Indian and Western styles. Pratap Ahir, Kishore Mistry, the Thade family, Jeff Wolverton, Cathy Riley and Bobbi Bernstein all pre sented beautiful music on the occasion. At the end ofthe film showing, Mr. Shridhar Kelkar, trustee of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, summed up the programme, which was made possible through the coopera tion and support of the entire Meherabad resident community
oiiyai in Idicrabad .. .
judy &epltens 16 October to 31 October, 2004 Jai Meher Baba to you all!
his Diary will begin with the date 16 October—the 55th anniversary of Be— loved Meher Baba’s New Life. This was a very busy time at Meherabad. We had over 600 pilgrims, many coming because of the New Life. Saturday 16 October The Ahmednagar Meher Baba Center planned a Padyatra (walk) that would begin at the Center (in the Trust compound) and go to Meherabad. This would be the 2nd Padyatra sponsored by the Ahmednagar Baba Center, last year’s being the first. AU Meherabad community residents, and pilgrims were invited to join in the celebration walk ofthe anniversary of Beloved Baba’s New Life. A bus to take pilgrims to the Trust would leave Meherabad around 7:15 am, from in front of the Dhuni. The Padyatra would begin at 7:45 am and reach Meherabad around 10:30 am. I was on duty at the Pilgrim Center so I was not able to join the Padyatra this year. It was such an inspiring, fun experience last year that it was very hard for me to attend to my responsibilities. I wanted to go again! This being the second year of the Ah mednagar Baba Center Padyatra, it was better organized. There were three vehicles with Baba’s picture on top. The one in front was like a shrine. Also, the two cars with loud speakers were spaced apart, so the chanting could be better harmonized. There were around four hundred people in the procession this year. It was a glorious sight to see them all walking alongside the road, chanting Baba’s name while holding high His flag! When I heard the procession was about two miles away, I hopped on my scooter and rode down to meet them. It was so beautiflil seeing them walking. In my heart, I could see one day there would be thousands coming down that road! After waving and sayingJai Baba to everyone, I returned to the Pilgrim Center. About a half-hour later, off I went again on my scooter—I knew they were nearing Meherabad and I wanted to wit— ness their arriving. Other pilgrims who did not go on the walk were standing along the -
road waiting. We could hear their chanting as they neared. When they got to the Dhuni they crossed the road and headed up the hill to Beloved Baba’s Samadhi. They walked around the Samadhi seven times then stood in line for darshan. A program was to be held on the hill under the tin shed. There was Bhajan music as well as other music by Baba lovers. Bhau was due to talk. However, Bhau was not well so they read a message he sent. It was translated into Telegu and Hindi. The morning program ended in time for lunch at 1:00 pm. For all those who joined the Padyatra, there was a special lunch at Hostel-D. In the afternoon, a film by Bob Fredericks called The Manonash was shown in HostelD. There were several programs that week in celebration of the New Life. On this day two different groups ofBaba lovers left on a Padyatra to Meherabad. One was a group of around two hundred from Pune. They were due to reach Meherabad on the 19th. It would be a three-day walk, stopping along the way to eat and sleep. The other Baba group was from Shirdi, who also left on a Padyatra to Meherabad. They too would take three days to reach here, arriving on the 19th afternoon. Sunday 17 October The weather has changed, getting cold in the night. So I put an extra blanket on each ofthe pilgrim beds in the Hospital. We don’t want freezing
pilgrims! As I started to walk up the hill, I noticed a new double gate was being put on the new fence around the field, near the substation. The fence is quite tall; maybe six feet with rows of barbed wire on top. This is part of our Meherabad farm. Monday 18 OctoberWhile on duty at the MPC I watched some of the Meherabad workers cutting down all the sandalwood trees around the Pilgrim Center. We have no choice but to cut these beautiful trees because there are professional sandalwood tree thieves. They come in the night and cut down the trees to sell to companies for sandalwood incense. I had heard how Padri used to pull these trees outwhen theywere little. I always wondered why, because they are so beautiful. But over the years we have had the thieves come once in a while and cut some of our trees. The seeds of these trees spread so quickly. We have them sprouting up everywhere. Bhau came to talk at the Pilgrim Center at teatime. There was a large group ofthirtythree pilgrims from Spain. They have lovely voices and are always singing. So, they sang a couple of songs to Bhau. It was so beautiflil to listen to! You could feel joy in the soul hearing them. Spanish is such a beautiftil language. Tuesday 19 Octoberlt is cold in the mornings—nights too. I sure like it! It is a nice change wearing a sweater. A special program was given at our theatre in the afternoon. Tea and cake were served at 4:00 pm. The program began at 4:30. The program was of dance and song performed by Baba lovers from Andhra Pradesh. In the afternoon I had Archive-building dutyc When I got off at 5:45 pm and was walking to the Samadhi for my 6:00 pm duty I heard singing. At first it surprised me as we have silence around the Samadhi except for Arti time. Then I see it is the pilgrims who have arrived from the Padyatra. They began their walk on the 16th from Pune. After three days ofwalking they had arrived at their Beloved’s Tomb-shrine. This was only the first group. The ones from Shirdi had not arrived yet. Looking at their faces, my heart stopped in amazement. Such joy they expressed. But it was even more than that. It was as if some inner
communion between each ofthem and their Beloved was taking place. I felt honored to witness it. The shrine on wheels, carrying a Baba garlanded photo, was next to the Sabha Mandap (stone platform across from the Samadhi). Many of the pilgrims at this time had taken off their shoes when they reached the Samadhi. As the group circled the Samadhi seven times, almost all would touch the portable shrine every time they passed it. Many would bow their head to Baba’s photo, or touch the portable shrine and then place their hands on their foreheads to receive Baba’s blessing. They all were chanting Baba’s name and many carried high Baba’s flag. While witnessing such incredible rever ence, I felt the tears not only in my eyes, but also inside my heart. Some could barely walk, yet there was such a noble grandeur in how they made their feet keep moving to complete the final seven rounds of His Samadhi. There was special prasad given to these Padyatra pilgrims. One pilgrim from their group gave out the prasad. Many of these pilgrims would come out of the Samadhi with tears running down their faces. So much their Beloved was filling them with His love. I felt very fortunate to be on duty during that time. In the evening a Baba video was shown in the theater. Wednesday2O Octoberl gave the historical tour ofMeherabad in the morning at 10:00 am. In the afternoon I covered for one of the receptionists at the MPC. At teatime Roshan and Sam Kerawala shared Baba stories at the Pilgrim Center. When I finished duty at 5:30 pm I was walking by Meherabad Mandali Hall when I heard the beautiftil singing of the Spanish group. I stopped and sat on the outside steps to listen. The group was sitting in a large circle in the hail, singing one song after another. When they stood up to leave, I went inside the hail and asked Juan to translate for me. Theywere returning to Spain Friday and I wanted a chance to say goodbye to them. I told them how much I had enjoyed their singing, that I could feel their fire oflove for Baba, and that I was so happy they came. I told them howwonderfiil itwas to see Baba’s love spreading in Spain. Then the group had me join them in a circle and they sang a sweet song to me of farewell. By the time they finished singing, tears ofhappiness filled my eyes.
Thursday 21 October In the afternoon a special program of Indian classical music was given in our theatre. Tea and cake were served at 4:00 pm and the concert started at 4:30. Dr. Sapre played the sitar, and Meera Kale sang. Friday 22 October Bhau was not well and so was unable to come to the MPC to give a talk. Because of the large number of pilgrims, the Baba movie was shown in our theater at 9:00 pm. Saturday 23 October My turn to clean Baba’s cabin room on the hill is on Saturdays. This Saturdaythree young men asked to help clean. When one of them was cleaning the glass cover of Baba’s stretcher he called us all over. There was a squirrel hiding in the corner, behind the stretcher. How to get it out? When we urged it one way, it would go the other. Poor thing, I am sure it was scared. Finally it ran along the wall and made it out the door. In the afternoon, there was a concert in the theatre. Tea and cake were served at 4:00 pm.The concert started at 4:30. Paul Diggle man and friends from Australia played music and sang some songs. After them, another special program in Indian Classical Music was enjoyed by all. Arrangements by Zaya Shettc Sunday 24 October It was a Meherazad day. Because ofthe large number ofpilgrims the long-term ones staying at Meherabad were asked to please not go. Monday 25 October In the afternoon at teatime Bhau came to the Meher Pilgrim Center to give his talk. It was nice to have Bhau here, feeling better. Tuesday 26 October It was a Meherazad day. In the evening a Mandali video was shown in the Pilgrim Center at 9:00 pm. Friday 29 October Bhau came to the Pilgrim Center to give at talk at teatime. In the evening at 9:00 pm a Baba movie was shown in the dining hall. Saturday 30 October There was an Eye Camp at the hospital. The patient check-in was in the morning. This was also the day to give the annual injections to our animals. We have it all done on the same day to better keep track. Sunday3l OctoberThis was the daywhen our oldest resident had her birthday. Virginia Small turned 88 years old! We had a small party at her home. We told Virginia in two years, when she turns 90, we will have to have a big party, inviting the whole community!
Ba&i5uys David5ens&r uring the Blue Bus Tours and afterwards, Irene often shared a room with Margaret, and recalled, “Margaret’s bed, wherever we went, was always full ofthings—her books, her comb, her clothes, or whatever—all strewn on the floor or on her mattress. I don’t know how she could lie down on it. It drove Rano crazy” About the rivalry between Margaret and Rano, Mani commented: “Each of us never thoughtalike orliked the same things. Margaret was bynature happy-go-lucky She didnt mind i_f a thing was crooked, if one shoe was on the bed and another was under it, or ifthe broom was on the table. Margaretwas more concerned with the essentials. “The way oflife ofRano, the artist, was that everything had to be in its place. Everything had to be precise. For example, no matter how tired Katie came from her work in the kitchen, after she washed her face in the bathroom, the face towel had to be left absolutely straight. If it were one centimeter off Rano would notice. Somebody kept it crooked just to tease her. Rano was finicky about keeping things neat. Margaret was just the opposite.” Katie too was particular about the way things should be done, and she and Rano were especiallybothered bythe haphazard way Margaret slung her clothes on the line in her corner of the room, instead of neatly hanging up everything. “Baba loved practical jokes,” Mani contin ued. “One day in Hyderabad, when Margaret was out ofher room, Baba put his finger to His lips and said, ‘Shhh, let’s go.’ “We all tiptoed into Margaret’s room. Baba disorganized everything and added afewthings to the accumulated junk. We put the things from her bed on the table, and the broom on her bed. Baba even put a little pebble in her dance shoe, something that would make her notice and realize that something was different. “Then we all came awav as Margaret was coming.Wewaited andwaited,peeking around the corner but not a peep out ofMargaret. She didn’t notice, and ifshe did notice, itdidn’t make any difference to her. “In the end, it was so funny. Baba and we went back, and Baba was practically asking, What’s all this? How in the world do you ever sleep here?’ “Baba, it’s fine, thank you.” Then she realized something was up and laughed, which she always did.” 5 A Divine Romance Mehera-Meher Vol. II ©2003
QIiC)S eloved Baba’s Mandali, His close dear ones, are the jewels in His royal crown. They are ones who lived only for Him; their every thought, word and deed was a response to His divine flute. Such a fortunate one was Dr. Goher Irani who came into Beloved Baba’s contact in her youth in Quetta, Pakistan. She and her sister Katie were most fortunate to have close and intimate contact with Baba when theywere children because her parents were devoted to Him. Her family later moved to Ahmedna gar, India. Baba told Goher to become a physician and even offered to pay for her college expenses when her family no longer had sufficient money for her tuition. Dr. Goher’s story is one ofutter devo tion, love and service. She was one ofonly four women to accompany Baba on the New Life. She was Baba’s personal physi cian and had the most intimate look at the effect Baba’s universal work had on His body. Often called upon to treat others associated with Baba, from Beloved Baba’s passing in 1969, Dr.. Goher founded and directed the Meher Free Dispensary at Meherazad until the time she dropped the body earlier this year. Her service to Beloved Baba, the health ofthose surrounding Him and the thousands of patients who attend the Meher Free Dispensary are testimony to Dr. Goher’s devotion and service to her Lord, Avatar Meher Baba. John Page
Childhood 7 iisits to /1hmednajar
At times I used to come to Ahmed nagar to my mother’s maternal home for holidays. Most people in the family did not accept Baba as the Sadguru at that time, especially Sarosh’s father who was very much against Baba. There was a joint family system in those days ev I erybody lived together, Sarosh’s family, Sarosh’s brother Dinshaw’s family (his •: wife is my aunt my mother’s sister), so naturally we stayed with them when we came for our holidays. Sarosh’s father was so strict that he would not even allow Baba’s name to be mentioned. But also living in the same house were Gulmai and her son Adi who were staunch followers ofBaba (Gulmai was Sarosh’s aunt, Adi was his cousin). Sarosh’s father could not say anything to them, but he was very strict with his own son. In spite of that, whenever Gulmai, Adi, or my aunt visited Baba at Mehera bad, or when Baba came to Ahmednagar to Khushru Quarters, now known as Meher Nazar, we used to go quietly to see Him. Naturally, He would embrace us, kiss and play with us, but we were told we must not mention Baba when Sarosh’s father came home. But that old man was very cunning. He would bribe us in a way, with sweets or something, and gradually got out ofus whether Baba had come to the house and who met Him. As children, sometimes we would blurt it out. And then he would create a row, demanding to know [ Her story now unfolds in her own words as published in Lives of why we had met Baba. Gradually as we grew older we had more Love, the Women Mandali ofAvatarMeherBaba, byjudith Garbett, sense, and understood that he did not like us to meet Baba but we Goherc Own Stoiy.] would still meet Him quietly. From our childhood days Babawas like a teacher to us. He played have been living with Baba continuously since 1947, but I have with us and was like a loving father to us; but at the same time, as known Him since my childhood. I was about six or seven years we grew up He gave us strict orders how to behave in life. old when Baba came to my parents’ house in Quetta, now part ,i:iving iii Quettct of Pakistan, with some of the men Mandali. Mehera, Naja and I think it was in 1931 that we were getting several earth tremors Khorshed were among the women Mandali. My parents had rented the house next to ours for Baba and the Mandali to stay in Quetta. We had lived in tents for nearly six months, and when in. I remember Baba used to serve food to all of us Himself we we came back to live in our house it was not in a very good condi would go to Him with our plates, He would serve it and tell us, tion. Baba came that year with a few of His men Mandali, Chanji, Raosahib and one or two others. I was about 15, my sister Katie “You must eat every bit that is on the plate.” With children He behaved like a child and played games with was about 11, and other children were also there. Baba and His men us. One was a game of five fingers He would hold His fingers stayed in our house for nearly a month. He used to play with us. together in a certain way, and ask us to pick the middle finger, but He was very fond of Katie and would call her to His room when all the Mandali were there and play caroms or other games. Once He we were never able to do it! At that time Baba was known as Sadguru (a Perfect Master), and took us to the cinema. Baba was very playftil, and had jokes with us. He used to get up our friends who followed Him used to ask us to say our prayers to Him. Of course we said our prayers to Zoroaster, but at the same at 4:00 o’clock, and would come into our room, put on the light, shake the beds, and naturally when we saw Him we would all jump time we were asked to pray to Baba. -
out. We never felt strangers to Baba because He was so loving and approachable. “)3ou
Become a Dodor”
One daywhen I was going out in my Guide uniform, Baba called me and said, “What are you going to study further?” I didn’t know. Baba then said, “You become a doctor.” Since that time it was always in my mind that I would be a doctor. EBaba
7ells 9oIier’s 3ather to Leave Quettct
At that time Baba told my parents, actually my father, that he should sell up his business, which was a huge concern because Quetta, being on the frontier, had a very large military camp of British forces, and naturally the business included a bar, biffiards, a toy shop, a restaurant, confectionery and jewelry shops. Baba said he should sell the business, he would get a very good profit, and he should leave Quetta with his family. After this warning Baba left, and my father was thinking about whether he should sell or not he had been established there for 20 years or so. My mother was more on the practical and materialistic side, and my father was a more simple person and would have done what Baba told him. But my mother said, “Ifwe sell everything and go away, how are you going to bring up all your seven children? There won’t be enough money, and how are you going to start business all over again?” Other friends in Quetta did not believe in Baba then, and persuaded my father not to sell. Two years went by, there were some more earth tremors at times, and the business was not running so well. -
:2-ler J4lother’s rDream One night my mother had a dream in which she saw a greybearded person in a white robe who said to her, “I am waiting for you to leave Quetta. Why haven’t you gone? I want you to go away, and when you have left I want to destroy Quetta.” On waking next morning my mother felt this was a warning message from Baba. She told my father immediately, and said they must sell the business and go away, whatever happened. So they started to do that. They sent all seven of us children to Ahmednagar for our schooling, and stayed back themselves trying to sell the business, but there were no prospective buyers. Ifmy father had sold when Baba told him to, he would have profited much by it. Prices went down because of continuing earthquakes, and after two years he sold at tremendous loss it was just like giving it to someone. He would have got one lakh ofrupees (100,000) earlier, which in present money terms would mean millions, but in the end he gained only a small fraction of the value for the whole of his business. -
J4love to .}1hrncdnugar
Anyway, he sold it and my parents came to Ahmednagar. Adi’s father, Sarosh and his brother all helped him, because Baba had told them that they must get him settled in business somewhere. So my father opened a canteen at Sarosh’s cinema. And a couple of years after that we heard there was a terrible earthquake in Quetta when 45,000 to 50,000 lives were lost in one night. Then we all realized that Baba had saved the whole family from this catastrophe. But my father did not have that zest to start all over again in a new business. My brothers were still too young, and there was nobody to help him in the business. Perhaps he did not have enough inspiration for the work, and he did not earn well. We were all at
school in Ahmednagar, and after finishing there we were sent to college in Bombay.
9olter cit College in 13onibaj After one year ofstudying my mother told me, “It is very expen sive, I can’t afford to pay your fees.” I was staying with some relations, at first with Sarosh’s sister, then with my married sister. My mother felt that in a couple of years I would get married anyway, so she said she could not afford the fees. Baba must have come to know about it, or I must have told Him, because He used to visit our house in Ahmednagar our family was now living separately in a small house, and Baba used to visit quite often. Then He told my mother, “Let her go to college and I will pay.” After my graduation in the Arts College, I had to join the medical college, but then I did not have anywhere to live, so again I was going to give up the medical career. While staying with relations I did not have to pay for board and lodging, but if I had to stay in a hostel it would be very expensive. -
Living with .J1rnavctz’s 3family Baba called me to Meherabad, and that was the first time I met Chanji. Baba told him, “She has to stay at Arnavaz’s parents’ house.” Arnavaz and Nargis Dadachanji and the rest ofthe family of seven children were very young then, still in school, and their father was not earning much but I have never known a more contented family, a family full oflove. I have never seen so much love. Baba sent me there alone just gave me the address and said to tell them, “I have come.” I didn’t know any ofthe family. I traveled by train to Bombay, went to the house and knocked at the door, which Arnavaz opened, and told her, “I am Goher.” She said, “Yes, come in, come in.” They took me in like one oftheir own, and they gave me so much love that I never felt I was a stranger but belonged to the family. They were not rich and had only simple meals, one vegetarian dish in the evening or one in the afternoon. But Bachamai, Arnavaz’s mother, would see to it that I had more than her own children had. And sometimes it used to bring tears to my eyes because I knew that my own mother would never have done that for another child. Baba used to visit their house very often as if it were His own house, because there was so much love there. When Baba was com ing Bachamai would be so happy, and she would clean the whole house, make preparations to receive Him, prepare food for Him and for the Mandali whom she would receive with the same love. Whenever the family visited Ahmednagar or wherever Baba was,I would go with them. After a couple ofyears in their house I went to stay in a girls’ hostel, and Baba gave me very strict orders. No men must come to visit me; I must not touch men or go about with them. Baba said I should write to Him every week, or once a month, whichever it was, and He replied to every letter. -
2lolidctys with E13aba Four years passed. Baba said whenever I had a holiday I could go and stay with Him. Naturally we were more drawn to be with Baba than to our own parents’ house, and wherever He was, Blue Bus Tours, Meherabad, anywhere, every holiday we spent with Him. Once in Bangalore there was a question ofmy marriage. Baba told me, “Don’t worry. You should not think about it, don’t ever marry. You have to come to Me after you have become a doctor.” So that was always in my mind, and I knew that Baba would call me some day to live with Him permanently. II
13aba’s Sign for9oher
and myself all went to Raipur. Jal Kerawala was there then, and we lived in a separate bungalowwith Baba. A couple ofmonths later Baba sent me back to Bombay to get more medical experience as an intern in the hospi tals, and I was there for quite some time.
In 1938 during one ofthe holidays I went with Arnavaz to Panchgani where Baba and the women Mandali were staying. I had a very sore throat and a high fever, but in spite of that I went, and as soon as we entered the house Baba enquired after my health. He was oher 3oins Ei3aba 1erinanently displeased and said, “You can’t stay here. Go Finally, in 1947 at Satara, I joined Baba back to Bombay immediately and have your permanently. tonsils operated on,” and He sent me back the Norma and Elizabeth returned from same night. Ever since then Baba’s sign for America and came to Satara. Norma was not me was tonsils Baba would put His hand on well, she had heart disease and high blood His throat to indicate the tonsils and that pressure, and Baba told me to stay in the was my sign when He wanted me. Right till bungalow with them and look after her. At the end this was my sign. the same time Baba told me to go and work During 1938 when I started my college ca in a missionary hospital as a volunteer without reer, my sister Katiejoined Baba permanently pay. He also sent me to a leper colony twice a in the ashram. She would write to me about all week to give them treatment. In the evening the activities there and on the Blue Bus Tours, we used to visit Baba and Mehera, Mani and Gohei; 1938 and Baba would read these letters, sign them the others in thir bungalow. Himself, and always sent His love to me. Living at A1therazad Chickens and J4/lessages! The monetary question was always difficult for me I didn’t really like it that Baba was burdened with my tuition fees and After Satara I came with Baba to live at Meherazad with Mehera, also the hostel fees, which were very expensive, and it made me Mani and Meheru. Rano and Kitty also came at times. In those days uneasy. Baba used to sleep in a small room in a field nearby. He did not give me any medical job He had a poultry farm made with different 9raducttion varieties ofhens and ducks, and told me, “Nowyou have to take care After my graduation in 1944 I came to my parents’ home in of these!” And I was so frightened I had never held a hen in my Ahmednagar because Baba was away traveling. He returned before life and was afraid they would peck me. But I did it because Baba long to Meherazad so I sent word that my studies were finished told me. I had to see their to feed, that the pen was kept clean, and and inquired as to what I should do. Adi Sr. came and drove me that they would lay eggs; but Baba never let us eat that poultry. to Meherazad. At that time Baba was using the room, which later In those days Baba saw to every detail anything that came to became Aloba’s. There was no ftirniture, no chair. Baba was sitting Meherazad, any bazaar for whatever we needed, and the food we cross-legged on the floor on a small carpet, and called me in. He had. So when the chicken feed was finished I had to go and tell Baba. said He was happy that I was a medical doctor now and I should I went over to the Mandali side. Baba was sitting in Kaka’s room come to stay with Him permanently, and to tell my parents this. on the bed, and He was talking to Moorti from Calcutta about the Well, my mother made so much fuss about it, saying, “I won’t sixth and seventh planes. I just entered the doorway, and without be able to meet you, and why should you go permanently you thinking, or listening to what Babawas teffing Moorti, I immediately can go and visit Baba when you like.” There was such a row about said, “Baba, the chicken feed is finished.” And Baba looked up at it, so I wrote to Baba, and He said, “Don’t come now.” I felt very me so surprised, so seriously at first, then started laughing, and said, hurt and sad, but knew that I must leave home, and wrote back “Here I was talking to this man about the sixth and the seventh to Him, “No, I am planes and was so engrossed in it, and suddenly you come and tell coming, in spite of me about the chicken feed!” And Baba laughed so much. Even to my mother’s pro- this day Moorti remembers this and often reminds me. For years test I am coming.” afterwards Baba would also often remind me. Baba was quite There were no men on the women’s side of the ashram. I was a happy then and sort ofmessenger, a go-between for the men and women Mandali. said, “I’ll call you. A1l day long the bell would be ringing. Kaka would go to the gate So you must be and ring the bell I had to come and take away bags of vegetables; ready whenever I or I had to convey any message that was to be given to Baba if He call you.” were on the women’s side. If Baba were on the men’s side and had After a month to call me, the bell would ring, then I would have to convey the or so Baba was message to Mehera ifHe wanted a glass ofwater or something, and going to Raipur, then I would bring it to Him from Mehera. So all daylong that was and He told me myjob, plus looking after the chickens. to meet Him in The 2kw Life Bombay at Kaka 7: Then Baba started meetings about the New Life, and we had Baria’s house. 4 % Baba with Mehe to go to Meherabad every day. At a meeting of all the women held ‘ ra, Mani, Meheru on the first floor of Meher Retreat, Upper Meherabad, Baba anGohei 1941
When walking in the New Life, Baba’s feet, which were always so delicate and tender, developed very large blisters on the soles. In spite of that He kept on walking. Then Mehera would persuade Him, “Baba, your feet should be bathed in warm water, and something should be applied.” So He permitted that, and vaseline gauze bandages were put on. In spite ofthe blisters Baba would be ready to walk again the next day. It would not have been possible for an ordinary man to walk all those miles like that. Baba was wearing very rough sandals and we knew it was very painful for Him. Later on, Mehera made Baba wear soft woolen socks, and she put some felt soles underneath so that the blisters did not hurt Him.
nounced that besides a number of men, He would take only four women with Him in the New Life. Although I was staying permanently at Meherazad with Baba, Mehera, Mani and Meheru, I thought, “Well, I came only recently and ofcourse Baba will never take me He will take only those who have lived with Him from their early teens.” Mehera and Mani were definite, and I thought perhaps Khorshed who had lived all her life with Baba; and Masi, or Meheru or Naja who had lived with Baba from their early teens would be the fourth person. We returned to Meherazad with Baba in the evening and I was all the time very sad and depressed. Later on I was watering the garden at the far end, very slowly and sadly. Baba came out on the front verandah ofthe house and Mehera was standing beside Him. Baba clapped, and that was the sign for me to go there, which I did. Baba said, “What are you thinking about?” At first I didn’t say anything, then Baba told Mehera, “She is mad.” Again He said, “What are you thinking about?” I said, “Baba, I was feeling very sad because now that you say you will be going away in the New Life, there is no chance of us ever seeing you. And I don’t know what to do with myself so I thought I’d end my life. I thought I couldn’t live without you, and I know that you won’t take me because I have just recently come to live with you.” Baba then told Mehera, “She is a fool. Tell her that she will go with me.” And I thinkthat was the happiest moment ofmylife. I had tears in my eyes, and I was so happy that Baba had already thought oftaking me with Him. Later He announced which four were going, and gave us a list to make preparations for the New Life. Baba was very strict with the companions in the New Life. We had to obey Him implicitly. I was told to call the night watchman at 5:00 in the morning, but one day it was five minutes past 5:00. When Baba asked what time did I send offthe night watch, I said, “Baba, it was late by five minutes.” He was very displeased with me and said, “If this happens again I will send you back.” We were so happy to be with Baba all the time that we tried our best not to displease Him at all. We were always afraid that He would send us back, away from Him.
LAding for Baba I was very shy always, and when I came to join the ashram at Meherazad in 1947 Mani and Mehera wanted to produce a hu morous play or skit to amuse Baba, because He used to come out of His seclusion so tired and strained, and that would lessen the burden. They wanted me to take a part in the play, and what a lot of botheration I gave to Mani because I could never act, and she used to get so tired of me because I would say, “I can’t do this, I can’t do that.” She’d make me do a little dance, a few simple steps, and I would say, “No, I can’t move my hands and feet at the same time!” But when she dressed me as a man and added a beard, then I forgot myself and started playing the part very well. When I acted like that in front ofBaba for the first time it was a Persian play Mani was an old woman and I was an old man, and we did a sort ofdance to a Persian record. It was at Upper Meherabd, and all the women Mandali and the Westerners were there. Mehera said how ftinny I was, and Baba had quite a good laugh. -
13aIjds YJiysicctl &iffering Since the time I came to live permanently with Baba I’ve seen nothing but His physical suffering. All the close ones living with Him saw this. One can’t compare Baba’s physical suffering with that ofan ordinary man. Baba would not complain much, but we could see how much He suffered. One main problem was heartburn. For so many years Baba had been on so many long and severe fasts, and
Gohei; Khorshed Mani, Mehera, andMeher Baba.
had such irregular diets due to His travels and mast work, that I healthy, and the doctors would look at us and say, “Why have you was afraid ofa peptic ulcer but He would reftise my investigation or consulted us? Baba is looking quite all right, what is wrong with checkup. And we felt so helpless because we knew He was suffering you? Are you mad?” They would think we were emotionally upset with this constant pain and uneasiness in His stomach. Then He and imagining Baba was not well. would make light of it and make us forget that He had any pain. An example of this was in December 1956 after the second Whilst He was working, either mast work, poor work, universal accident when Baba’s right hip joint was injured. Colonel Chatwork, or during seclusion, Baba did not spare His body. “My work terjee, a very well known military orthopedic surgeon in Poona, comes first,” He would say. used to come to treat the fracture. After some time he removed Like so many who do not know about Perfect Masters or the the traction and Baba was in bed. Once Baba complained of very Avatar, when I first came to be with Baba I assumed that He as the severe pain in the hip joint, and said He was not able to move Avatar, being the personification of Perfection, was beyond being about, that He could not sit up in bed. affected by ill-health or the usual things Don called Colonel Chatterjee, but that affect ordinary human beings. In when he arrived Baba was smiling and Raipur in 1944 Baba told me He had started asking him so many questions pain in the heart region. I did not unmt his wife and children. Then derstarid then how Baba as God could Chatterjee said, “Well, where have this pain. He then explained that is your pain?” and Baba said, “There is Pthfect Masters assume illness, while He : no pain, I am all right.” Baba sat up, being the Avatar must undergo all the and then sat across the bed moving His physical pam and discomfort and illness, legs. Colonel Chatterjee made Baba which the ordinary human body has to stand up, and still there was no pain. undergo. Baba said whenever He comThen he looked at me, “What’s wrong plained of any illness I must take Him with you, madam? Baba is all right, He seriously and give proper treatment. has no pain, and He is even standing on So through the years, because ofthe this injured leg. Why are you becoming strenuous mast work and many fasts, o emotional? Why do you make up Bba’s digestion was seriously affected these stories that Baba has such severe and we treated Him accordingly. In the pain?” Baba would make us look like earlier days Dr. Donkin (Don) and Dr. fools in front ofthese doctors. Nilu were there, and from 1947 I was Myrtle Beach, May 1952. Mani, Mehera, Goher andFilis Baba’s physical suffering was not there also. But naturallywhen the damlike that of an ordinary human being, age was done, treatment could only be palliative and not a cure. because in a second Baba would look healthy, hale and hearty and the next instant it would look as if He were again in severe pain. We 3felt So 2 lelpless C”
There were times when Baba would let the illness run its course, but at other times due to His particular work we would find an ailment suddenly and miraculously vanish, and Baba would be His radiant self. This we have seen happen so many times. But Baba would always tell us, all three doctors who would attend Him, to do our best to give Him the right treatment. We always felt so helpless in Baba’s presence, and knew that we could never really do anything to help Him or to alleviate His pain or His suffering. We tried our best, and Baba would take the medicines we prescribed. On several occasions we have seen Baba look so ill at one moment, and at the next He would look completely well, and we would be baffled. But then we knew that it was not what Baba was showing us externally that was happening. Baba seemed to take more bindings on Himself, visible and invisible. Many times He would complain ofsomething, and then we would just fold our hands and stand in front of Him feeling so helpless. Ifit were any ordinary human being we knew that we would have been able to do so much. But for Baba we felt that we could not really do anything to lessen His pain or suffering.
73aba’s 9?apid Changes in 2lectlth Baba was very reluctant to have any investigation or checkups done. Until 1963 He would not permit it, but then Don and I would persuade or tell Him that it was very necessary, and He would permit to consult some outside doctors. Sometimes Baba would be so restless and in so much pain that we would call the doctors, but when they came Baba would look so cheerful and
1 952 Accident,
During the 1952 visit to America when Baba began the journey from the east coast to the west coast, some of the men Mandali had already gone ahead, and we women were in two cars Baba, Mehera, Mani and Meheru were in the first big car with Elizabeth driving, and in the other car with Sarosh driving were Rano, Delia, Kitty and myself. Baba had told us our car must always keep very close to His, but sometimes this did not happen and He would be very displeased. I used to feel very sad and cried to myself because Baba did not take me in His car which had plenty of room. Whenever we stopped at hotels Baba would say to me, “Well, you are having a very fine time in the other car. You are laughing and joking and smiling and having such a good time, eh?” I would feel so hurt, and said, “What is there to talk about? Baba, why don’t you take me in your car?” “No, no, I don’t want you in My car.” On 24th May early in the morning I was feeling very depressed, and even wrote in my notes: “Why didn’t Baba take me in His car?” But when the accident took place I realized why He had not done so. When we reached the accident spot, Baba was lying on the ground, but Mehera, Mani and Meheru were still in the back of the car, and Elizabeth whose ribs and wrists were injured was pinned behind the steering wheel. There was a lot ofblood from Baba’s nose. He could not move, but with His right leg He pointed to the left one, and then I saw -
that it must be fractured because of the uneven surface of the bones. When the ambulance finally came and the men were lifting Baba, we told them to be very gentle because the left leg might be fractured. Sarosh also helped them to lift Baba who was suffering all the time in silence He made no sound at all. -
JPrague 21ospita! Baba, Mehera and Elizabeth were all taken to the hospital in Prague. It was a very small town and the hospital was very nice, but I didn’t know ifDr. Burleson was capable ofhandling these serious cases. Don and Nilu were not there because Baba had sent them ahead to California. So I went and talked to Dr. Burleson, asking ifhe could manage, and told him we needed an orthopedic surgeon for Baba and a neurosurgeon for Mehera. He said he would send for them from Oklahoma City, which was only 50 miles away. In the meantime Dr. Burleson set Baba’s leg in plaster and did it very well. He seemed drawn to Baba he couldn’t believe that anyone who was so badly injured did not utter a sound. With the extra cases the hospital was full, so Dr. Burleson vacated his own office for Baba, put a special bed in there and made Him comfortable. But with His left leg in plaster and His left arm bandaged and strapped because ofthe fractured shoulder, and being in silence, it was so difficult for Baba to express whether He was in pain or if He was uncomfortable. Baba lay there very quietly, and the doctors were very good and did their best to help and to lessen His pain. When the specialists came they again tookX-rays.The technician was a very fine man. He was able to lift Baba alone, and carried Him so lovingly and gently from His room to the X-ray table. When the neurosurgeon came from Oklahoma he examined Mehera, and although she was unconscious she answered all his questions about her condition, and also when he was examining her to find out how much damage there was to her brain. He was quite surprised that Mehera could answer while unconscious. -
2?ehtrn to J4lyrt!e i3each After many days in the hospital we went back to Myrtle Beach to Elizabeth’s home, Yupon Dunes. There was a heat wave and Baba was very uncomfortable in the plaster cast in spite ofthe air conditioner installed in His room. A few days later Don thought that Baba should have a checkup, so he arranged for Him to go to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, to see a good orthopedic surgeon. Mehera, Mani, Meheru and I went with Baba and Don to Duke University. Mehera also had certain checkups there, and everything was found quite normal. We returned to Yupon Dunes.
2’Iew )3ork Later Baba was asked to go to New York to give some darshan programs. Filis Frederick was able to arrange for a nice house in Scarsdale through her friend Mrs. Ferris. Baba was given a bedroom on the ground floor, and Mehera, Mani and all ofus stayed in rooms on the first floor. From that house Baba went twice to Ivy Duce’s apartment in NewYork to give darshan. Even with His leg in the plaster cast, He gave darshan there. Then Don was sent ahead from New York to London. Baba was very uncomfortable in the cast, so He asked me to consult an orthopedic surgeon in NewYork. With Ivy Duce’s help I consulted one, but he said the cast could not be removed yet because Baba would not be able to put His weight on that leg.
i:ondon and 2urich Then we all went to London. Don took Baba to Sir Reginald Watson-Jones who was a great orthopedic surgeon. He removed that cast and put on a U-shaped cast for Baba, which was more comfortable. Don and the other Mandali were all the time attending to Baba and nursing Him. Baba saw many lovers in London. Then we went to Hedi Mertens’ home in Zurich, Switzerland. Delia, Charmian Duce and Anita Vieillard also stayed with us there, and all the men Mandali stayed with Max and Gisela Hafliger. Most of the time Baba was in bad health, and Don would attend to Him. We used to visit a hospital there, where Mehera’s wound on her forehead was being treated. And Baba would be taken out for drives.
lIlass Darshans, Dndia From Zurich we went to Geneva and came back to India, reaching Meherazad about the third week in August 1952. It was only three months since the accident, and the fractured leg was not strong enough for Baba to have frill weight bearing on it. He still had to have the U-shaped cast with an elastic bandage. In spite ofthat, in November Baba went to Bombay, Hamirpur, Gujarat, Navsari, and later to Andhra, giving mass darshan programs until late in January 1953. They were not easy journeys because traveling in India is not at all comfortable, yet Baba was in trains or cars for days together, and even distributed prasad to thousands with both hands, although His left shoulder had also been fractured in the accident.
In August 1953 we went to stay at Satara and remained there, although from July to August 1956 Baba and the men Mandali went again to Europe, London and America, and for the first time to Australia.
1 956 .J1cciden4 &ttara Baba’s second car accident happened at Satara on 2nd December 1956. Baba and Vishnu returned to Grafton Bungalow in a taxi at about 6 o’clock, and of course we were so shocked to see Baba injured. This time it was the right side the whole ofHis right side, His face, shoulder, and hip joint. Although we could imagine what terrible agony Baba was going through, there was not a groan or a moan, He did not utter a single sound. Dr. Nilu died in the accident, but Don was there to help all the time, because he had not gone out with Baba that day. Baba must have specially kept him back to be ofuse. Even Eruch and Pendu were seriously injured, Pendu very seriously, and there were actually very few of the Mandali who could help. The civil surgeon of Satara was a good doctor who respected Baba. Don went to speak to him and he came over. With Don’s help he examined Baba’s hipjoint, and said that Baba should be taken to the hospital to put on a plaster cast. The journey there with all this injury was torture for Baba. The roads were bumpy, the ambulance was hopeless and the whole thing was rattling and hurting Baba so much. It was in the middle ofthe night that the plaster cast was put on, and then Baba was brought back in the ambulance to Grafton Bungalow to His room. of course the cast was very, very uncomfortable and Don and I thought that perhaps this was not the right treatment. But it was so difficult Baba suffered silently, and we felt He must be going through intense pain all the time. So Don went to Poona, consulted -
a good orthopedic surgeon and brought him to Baba, but he said that Baba must go to Poona for the treatment. Thus, after eight days, Baba was taken to Poona to that surgeon’s hospital where he took another X-ray and changed the plaster. Baba went through a great deal ofpain and discomfort. Later Don consulted an Army doctor, Colonel Chatterjee, who was a wellreputed orthopedic surgeon. Don was not satisfied with what the local surgeon did for Baba and thought that the cast was somehow not the right treatment. So then Silver Oaks Bungalow near Meherjee Karkaria’s house in Poona was rented. Colonel Chatterjee came and examined Baba, removed that plaster cast and put Baba’s leg in traction, which were a tremendous help and a great relief Don stayed with Baba all the time and Colonel Chatterjee would visit whenever it was necessary.
she ever was a doctor. Then, after all her enthusiasm and excitement and pride in coming to serve Him as a doctor was razed away, Baba kept her continuously busy and on tenterhooks taking care of His health and the health of the Mandali. Mani used to enjoy teffing the following story ofGoher’s dilemma as the God-Man’s doctor: Baba kept Goher very busy, not only as a doctor, but also as the link between the men Mandali and the women Mandali, busy in so many ways as only Baba can make you. You can’t at the end of it all say what you’ve been doing or what you’ve done, but He can keep you very busy. So Goher had no time to brush up on her medical knowledge, or keep up to date with all the new medicines and techniques and advances going on elsewhere.
’4 1arn cm 9oher Stories Subrnitted by 2tcatlier 2sIadel, J44eherctbad ani loved Goher, and often used to talk about her in Mandali Hall. Some of her favorite stories involved Goher. Here are two: Goher became a doctor for Baba, and it was right for her, because by nature she’s a very conscientious, hard-working, selfless, gentle person. Her love for Baba made her want to be a doctor and come and serve Him and His Mandali and be with Him. So Baba of course encour aged her, “Soon as it [your study] is finished, come and see to My health. Lot ofwork, you have a lot ofwork.” So she was full of enthusiasm. And she also had the natural pride ofbeing able to serve Baba in her capacity as a doctor, to be personal physician to the Avatar. So when she came in 1947 and joined Baba for good, she wasjust champing at the bit to start the race. Immediately Baba gave her a test ofobedience. The first work He gave her was not as a doctor but as a duck-tor. Her first duty was to look after ducks and hens. And when you’re looking after Baba’s pets, they are royalty those pets! You have to put every bit ofyourself in it. So poor Goher instead ofdoing her medical work, instead ofgoing through medical books, was sending for magazines about ducks and hens! And Baba was very particular, asking her the details, “How were the ducks? What’s their diet?” And so on. Baba would always be particular that His pets were well fed, sometimes too well fed! So Goher didn’t have to just mix the bran for their meal and put it in front of the ducks, no sir! She had to measure out so many carbohydrates, so much charcoal, so much protein and so on. I’d be walking by and suddenly stop at the sight ofGoher, very serious, very intense, with a pair ofjeweler’s scales in her hand, looking like she was measuring out gems, but no, it was so much hydrocarbon, put that in, so much whatever else, mixing up the perfect diet for the ducks... This she did wholeheartedly until, according to Mani, she forgot i6
. . .
Lj/i is a Pair O’Ducks,painting byWodin
And yet Baba would tell her, “Now Goher, what are you going to do? I have this,” or “I’m feeling like that.” And she’d find that no matter what she did medically, it didn’t always work. So she was very anxious, wondering, “Am I doing the right thing? After all, it’s Baba’s person I’m treating. Am I doing everything that should be done?” or “What I’m prescribing for His diet, is this really all right?” and so on. So she wanted confirmation that she was giving Baba the correct treatment. During that time, we used to go stay at Guruprasad in Poona with Baba for the three months ofthe summer. Guruprasad was the palatial house of the Maharani of Baroda who placed it at Baba’s disposal to stay in as long as He liked, whenever He liked. So Goher determined that when we were in Poona, she would consult a top doctor just to confirm her treatment and assure her that what she was doing for Baba was right (which as a matter of fact he eventually did.) At Meherazad it was very very difficult for her, as we had no electricity and were nine miles from the nearest hospital. So in Poona she looked forward to having tests done, x-rays taken; whatever had to be done could be done easily there. So when we were in Guruprasad, and Baba was again saying, “My health is bad and I don’t know how I’ll be able to do this or that. Goher said, “Baba, I want to call this very good doctor, a top doctor, and...” “Doctor?” said Baba, “What’s a doctor going to do for My health? This is for My work! I don’t want a doctor! I want YOU to treat Me.” “Yes, yes, Baba, that’s all very well, but I don’t know ifwhat I’m doing is right, and it doesn’t seem to work, because I’ve tried so . .
manythings. I feel so helpless. I’m not up on the latest things. I want someone to consult. For my sake, Baba, so that I feel reassured.” This discussion went on, and finally Baba said, “All right. Call a doctor.” So Goher called Dr. Grant. Dr. Grant was and still is a very famous doctor in Poona. He’s a Parsi, a Zoroastrian. Now to call a doctor, Goher had to use the phone. We who lived with her had found out that Goher who is such a soft-spoken gentle person, has three voices. One is the ordinary voice you hear every day; one is the voice she uses when she gets mad about something, fast and angry, and then there’s her voice for other doctors, very sweet and polite, “Yes, Doctor, no, Doctor, ofcourse, Doctor. We had a phone in Guruprasad in what is known as the Rani’s room. The Rani’s room was like a bridge between the men’s side and the women’s side of the place. It was not used or occupied by anybody, but was sort ofa neutral room. The phone was there. But when Naja, for instance, had to go over to the men’s side for kitchen work, or when I had to go over to ask Eruch for some address or a telegraph form, we’d have to cross through the Rani’s room. So there were two doors to open and close on the way through. Now Goher goes to the Rani’s room to call Dr. Grant for an appointment for Baba. I come in and hear her on the phone, using her doctor’s voice, “Yes, Doctor, of course, Doctor, whatever you like, Doctor, I agree, Doctor. But as I come in, somehow the door slips from my hand and makes a slight bang, and without even covering the phone with her hand, here comes Goher’s other voice, “Whydoyouallmakesomuchnoisecan’tyouseethisisaveryimportant So I matteritisforBaba’shealthandwhatdoyoupeopleunderstand tiptoe to the other side ofthe room. Without a break she turns back to the phone and continues in her saccharine doctor voice, “Why ofcourse, Doctor, I wouldn’t mind at all. Yes, yes.” In the meantime, Naja comes from the other side, galumphing along because she has something very important to do in the kitchen, “taMUCK taMUCK taMUCK taMUCK,” right across the room, and the door rattles. Goher says into the phone, “Yes, Doctor, thank you, Doctor,” and to Naja: “Can’tyoupeoplekeepquietevenforafewminutesbecausel’mmaki ngtheseveryimportantphonecalls???” “Of course, Doctor, I entirely agree with you. Thank you, Doctor.” We just couldn’t believe it! Now that the appointment is made, the next step for Goher is to dress up right, which means in a sari. At home she’d just wear a dress, but doctor-to-doctor, there’s a certain etiquette to be observed, au these things only another doctor would understand. So she barely had time, but she went and dressed very nicely. Baba is also all ready as a patient to receive the doctor. Baba’s standing at the end of the hail, and Goher’s standing by Him. Just before the car comes, Baba turns to Goher and says, “You know, Goher, My health is so bad!” “Yes, Baba, he’s coming, the doctor’s coming.” The doctor’s car drives in under the portico outside, which is a distance away. Eruch receives the doctor and conducts him to Baba. Dr. Grant had met Baba before, and as he approaches Baba, he notices that Baba is looking so radiant! So blooming in health, just shining! He comes forward, Baba looks up at him and says, “I’m so happy to see you. Sit down.” So Baba makes the doctor comfortable. After they both sit, Baba asks, “How’s your health?” “Well, Baba, it’s fine, it’s all right.” “You don’t look so well,” says Baba. “So thin! Do you sleep well?” . .“
. . .“
“No, Baba, that’s the trouble. It’s the night watches, I’m always called at night, and I have so many cases....” “Is that so? Do you eat well?” “Well Baba, sometimes I just have to snatch a bite here and there, but then...” “But what do you eat in the morning?” Baba asks. So now the tables are turned. Baba is the doctor, and the doctor is the patient, with Baba asking all the questions and the doctor answering. Yes, he ate this, but he couldn’t eat that... So Baba “No, no, you listen to Me,” and Baba gives him a says, diet and timing for sleep and rest and all those kinds of things. He says, “Yes, Baba,” to everything, and Baba says, “Now, mind you, you do this!” “Yes, Baba.” Now poor Goher is shifting her weight from one foot to the other, waiting for the chance to get a word in edgewise because she wants to ask him about Baba. As soon as all Baba’s prescribing is over, Baba gives the doctor a beautiful discourse. Eruch said it was so good, he wishes he remembered every word of it. The doctor hears it through, and while giving the discourse, Baba also tells him, “I’m going to break My silence in nine months.” “Yes, Baba.” This doesn’t mean much to Dr. Grant, I guess, but he listens with respect. He is not a Baba-lover, but he has great respect for Baba. So when all that is done, Baba dismisses him, saying, “All right, I am very happy you came, now you can go.” Poor Goher can’t believe it! The doctor and Eruch walk away, and Goher turns to follow to see ifshe can catch him at least on the way out, when Baba says, “Wait, wait! Goher! Go, go! Catch him and tell him I’m going to break My silence in nine months.” “Yes, Baba, You already told him, You said. but then she rushes to catch Dr. Grant in the middle of the room, and says, “Doctor, Baba’s going to break His silence in nine months.” “Yes, I know.” “But, Doctor Grant, I wanted to ask you...” Dr. Grant turns his head, looks at Baba, and then turns to Dr. Goher and says, “You know, doctor, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the patient.” “Yes, but Doctor, I...” CLAP! Baba is now calling Goher back to Him very urgently. She knows that now Dr. Grant is escaping, he’s slipping away from her, but Baba’s calling, and.... CLAP! CLAP! Baba’s insistent, frowning. “I called you and you’re coming immediately!” So she goes to Baba. And Baba said, “Look, now that he’s leaving, run, go and catch him in time before the car starts, before he goes away. Tell him I’m going to break My silence in nine months.” “But Baba...!” In the meantime, the car starts. You can hear it. “Catch him before he leaves!” says Baba, “Hurry up!” So poor Goher abandons all etiquette, clutches her petticoat and pulls it up along with her sari, and gallops across the hail, shouting, “Stop, stop!” in her second, loud voice. Eruch, seeing this, halts the car and says, “Doctor, just a minute. Dr. Irani wants to say something.” So Dr. Grant stops and puts his head out of the window, waiting for Dr. Goher Irani who is looking very unceremonial now with the sari clutched way up her legs, running down the marble stairs, galumph! galumph! galumph! galumph! up to the car. The consultant says, “Yes, Doctor?” and Goher says, panting, “Doctor, Baba’s going to break His silence in nine months!” -
Dr. Grant can’t believe it. He looks and very solemnly says,
“Yes, I know. You told me that.” And then he puts his hand on her shoulder, gives a gentle tap, and says, “Take it easy, Doctor, take it easy.” The car drives off. And now Goher’s coming back up those steps, a bent figure, slowly walking right across the hail towards Baba. And she sees Baba bowed over in His chair hunched, looking absolutely unwell, and then Baba looks up at Goher and says, “Goher, you know, My health is so bad and I’m feeling so weak. What are you going to do about it?” And Goher replies, “As soon as I change my sari, Baba, I’ll look in the medical book.” That’s when Baba becomes the patient!
Photos counterclockwise beginning above: Arnavaz, Wendell Brustman and Goher in Mandali Hall, Meherazad The Goodrums, Pam, Billy. and Annabell with Goher on theporch at Meherazad The Mandali with Dhun.
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.7I/kirtin and Wendy 7<ura Canada endy and I were fortunate to be with Dr. Goher during her return to her Beloved Lord, Meher Baba. These are some of our experiences. Unlike Wendy, I had never felt a really strong emotional response to any ofthe Mandali in the past, except for Goher. When Shelley first told me Goher was experiencing congestive heart failure, six or seven years ago, it caused me to be internally shaken and to cry for some time before I could approach and greet Goher. This upset passed but again returned briefly on our next visit some months later. When Wendy and I received news of Dr. Goher’s weakening state on Thursday June 10th I felt the same devastating sadness. Dr. Goher had always been a loving friend to both of us and the thought ofher leaving produced an overwhelming desire to be near her, even ifwe came too late to see her alive. We phoned Shelley at about 5:00 a.m. to ask about coming. Shelley made no promises about being able to see Goher and told us to do what we felt we should. So Wendy got into action and by early afternoon the next day she had the tickets and visas. We arrived in Meherabad on the 20th and Shelley told us to come out the next day. We arrived with Dolly and Indira Hanspal. Jal and Dolly had returned home early, also on the 20th, for Goher. Wendy and I were able to see Goher for the first time at 1:00 p.m. Dr. Goher lay in Mehera and Mani’s bedroom, in Mani’s bed with her head at the foot of the bed. The room was lit mainly by window light and an air conditioner beyond Goher’s feet cooled the room. She was quietly lying on her left side with her left hand by her face. Shelley instructed us to do some gentle massage to the muscles of Goher’s legs, arms and back. So we would work on those areas physically and later Wendy did some cranial-sacral work. There was a presence in the room that was strong and beautiful. Over the past few days our dear Goher’s breathing had become laboured and occasionally she would cry out in discomfort. Over the time we saw her, Goher’s body slowly grew weaker but we both had a sense that her spirit’s energy was becoming stronger. In fact, up to the 30th, this process seemed to become more obvious each day. It was a beautiful privilege to be present during this transition. This sense of unseen things happening was there a lot and it impressed both of us with just how active Baba is, all the time. Though Goher’s body was dying the rest of Goher really seemed to be doing something else with her Baba. It was this presence that we were allowed to be in, and in response to this experience, I was never so earnestly focused on being sensitive to what our Lord wanted. How to touch, what type of motion to move my hands in, begging Baba to show us what to do for one of His most beloved. Gradually we felt a sense of tuning into Baba while working with our friend and feeling Baba’s presence about Goher, or as it came through her physical presence to us. Then while in that state, just feeling how to move our hands with a loving intent and saying Baba’s name over and over while focusing on dear Goher’s beautiful resting face. That we were allowed to be present with her at this time was Baba’s gift to us. When we think about this we feel overwhelmed with emotion, it is so humbling. The kindness of our Meherazad family allowed all ofus to be graced with this inclusion.
Shelley would be in and out ofthe room and would occasionally find a short nap in an armchair, her endurance through the last few months was a lesson in Baba’s love for others. The strength of the Mandali was never diminished during this time ofloss. Baba’s presence was always with them in their thoughts, words and deeds. All this and the residents who cared for Goher gave us glimpses into the fullness of living close to our Lord and the type of love, strength and endurance that is needed and developed over many years of living in God’s presence and service. We truly love and admire all these people for doing what they have done and for maintaining Baba’s holy places for us all. About 23 minutes later, we were sitting in the greeting area when Dana rushed through looking for Dr. Bob, we followed and arrived at the doorway to the bedroom just as Goher finished her last breath and the gentle singing ceased, followed by “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai”, as the lover and Beloved were joined. Shortly after Katie came out to the porch, she was quiet in reflection, she had just lost her sister and best friend. She asked what she would do without her sister, then she smiled and said, “That Goher!—if she was not getting her lunch today, no one would!” We all laughed (the household had just sat down for lunch when Goher began to breathe her last). Another light rain fell for a few minutes shortly after this. At some time in the afternoon a siren in Pimpalgaon sounded three times signifying the death of a significant person. During the final Arti at the cremation a train passed by blowing its horn, singing its song for Goher’s body’s departure. al 1 At 4:00 p.m. Friday Wendy and I went to help with the fi collecting of the ashes. Jal and Irene and the Meherabad workmen had already started and by 4:40 it was finished and the urn closed. When we said our last goodbye to Katie she let us know that she was alright and Baba’s strength that was in her words was unmistakable.
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J/Ioreignc, J4lelterazad 7 Dr. ..,Anne J any have mentioned the softness of her hands. And she certainly had soft hands. But I feel I want to talk about her strength. When her body was lying in state on the stretcher at Baba’s feet in Mandali Hall, on the evening of 30th June, what struck me was how tall and strong she looked. Gone was the frail little old lady of these last years. Now that the assignment was completed, in the relaxed and serene beauty of death, her inner strength shone through. She had to be strong to have become a doctor at a time when medicine was not a career for women. She had to stand up against her parents to go to medical school. She had to be strong to live in the ashram, to be with Baba in the New Life. But can anyone ever really measure what it takes to be the Avatar’s physician, to be in the first row to witness His physical suffering, and have the impossible duty to ease His pain? Goher has said her life was “helplessness in the face of His suffering”. It takes strength to live with the constant reminder of one’s helplessness. It takes strength to live in the suffering ofthe one you love most. Goher rarely spoke ofthis, but she told me once how much it hurt her to give Baba an injection.
first. I remember, last November, being near her and ready to help her to lie down after the pilgrims had left the verandah. She was exhausted. To my surprise, she pointed to Arnavaz, teffing me to escort Arnavaz to her room first. Oh Goher sweet Goher, how lucky we are to have met you. Through you we could glimpse what surrender meant, what true humility meant, what loving Baba meant. Thank you for staying behind so long with us.
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J3Iinii 2<nlchuri, Jlllclierabad, &pternber 14, 2004 How could she keep going? I oncejoked with her that her male colleagues did not last the distance the way she had: Dr Nilu died in Baba’s second car accident, and Dr Donkin passed away a few months after Baba. Goher lived on, to continue to be the doctor for Mehera and Mani and all the Mandali; also for the pilgrims and for the villagers that she treated at the Meher Free Dispensaryc I came thinking I was going to help her. I thought she would teach me how to perform fantastic cures. I was disappointed. Instead of miracles, every day was a puzzling lesson in slowly realizing the extent of her service, the depth of her care, and my own foolishness. She could be seeing patients in the dispensary, but she would slip away several times during the morning to go check on Mehera, whose well being was her constant concern, but not her only one. She tended to all, sending medicines for various old time Baba lovers in ‘Nagar or in Hamirpur. “Why do you not just send a prescription?”, I would ask her. “It means a lot to them to receive medicines from here” was the answer as she took the time to make the parcels. She would also give medicines for the injured bullock of a servant. “We are here to treat human patients, there are vets for the animals!” I would say, thinking it was my job to teach her to set limits to her ministrations! She would reply: “Do you know what a bullock means to a farmer?” It took me a long time to understand that this doctor did not see her position as one ofpower and selfimportance, but as one of service.Total service. Selfless service. No questions, no complaining. The first time a tiny premature baby died a few minutes after being brought to the dispensary, she sternly told me: “If you cry, I will send you back to France!” She was not the crying type. She was soft, but boy, she was also tough. She had endured seeing Baba suffer. She had survived losing Baba’s physical presence, and then Mehera’s and finally Mani’s. She herself bore much physical pain in her old age. Once she told me “Every step is torture”. I found it almost unbearable to witness the extent of her physical pain. She sensed this, so she would be careftil not to wince when I was the one helping her to get up or walk. Once when I was new here, a few of us in the dispensary were watching her do a special strapping to realign the foot of a baby born with a deformity Someone asked: “Did you ever ask Baba why someone is born with a deformity like this?” My ears perked up, ready for some spiritual teaching. Goher’s answer was terse: “We were not with Him to ask questions!” She was not the questioning kind. She was not the talking kind either. What she had to tell, not many were ready to hear. It was about suffering, enduring, always for Him. About putting others 20
is really very difficult for me to express Goher’s service in words. Nobody can think about what real service is. Real service is done not to show to others, but quietly. It is in the relationship between the Beloved and us. Whatever we do for Him, if we do not forget ourselves, that is not service. And Goher was quietly doing everything. No one has any idea how she would keep awake at night to serve Baba. For example, when I was doing night watch, Goher would be in the other room where her bed is—very close to Baba’s Room. Mehera and Mani would be sleeping in their room—also very close to Baba’s room. And according to Baba’s instructions, I could only tap lightly on the inside of the door to get Goher’s attention—I could not make any noise. And still Goher immediately would get up as if she were waiting for His call and come into His room. And during the daytime don’t think that she would sleep. She would not sleep at all. So many little things she had to take care of for Baba and Mehera. How I can describe it? She was serving with all love and pleasure. What is this service she gave? It is impossible to describe. Always I remember service means to love Him and to forget ourselves, and that service she gave during all these years, from beginning to end. And towards the end in ‘68, no one has any idea how many times Baba would call Goher in the night. I would tap just this much and she would come as if she were all the time keeping awake. And how Baba felt touched by her service. On 3lstJanuary 1969, three hours before He dropped His physi cal body, Baba called the Mandali and Mani, and told them, “No one should blame Goher.” Because Goher knew how serious Baba was, every day when she would come to Baba, she would request that Baba please go to Poona, or that He let her call some doctor. But Baba would say, “Whatever you can do here, do it. Don’t tell Me about any doctor. Don’t take the name of any doctor and don’t take Me to any place. No one should be called. I will allow only whatever you can do.” That day, I felt touched by how much He must have felt touched with her service when Baba said, “No one should think that she (Goher) did not care for Me. I asked her not to mention the name of any doctor. She wanted it, but I stopped her. I said to her don’t take the name of any doctor, just whatever you can do, I will allow.” Then after three hours Baba dropped His physical body. I will never forget how touched I was. Baba’s words for Goher in His last moments I will never forget. How touching her service was for Baba. Such a service cannot be described in words. One can only realize it by experience. It is an example for us all. Service means to love Him and to forget yourself. That is service, and Goher did it. We should bow down to this service. AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI!
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of September 13th, Goherc urn was carried to Mandali Hall remained on Baba right until 4pm when it war taken by car to Mehercthad
Shelly }/1arrich, 7frkherazad, September 17th
oher’s interment ceremony began for those at Meherazad just before evening Arti on September 12th when Meheru carried her urn, which had been sitting on a stool next to Mehera’s bed, into Baba’s Room to spend the last night at Meherazad near her Beloved. As we said the “Repentance Prayer” and sang the Gujerati Arti, we were flooded with memories ofGoher—especially of how she had served Him day and night, without sleep, without a care for herself in that very room. After prayers on the morning of the 13th, Meheru carried Goher’s urn from Baba’s room to Mandali Hall where she was met by Falu, who received the urn and placed it next to Baba’s chair, and by many members ofthe household and Meherabad residents. As each one took Baba’s darshan and paid their love and respects to Goher’s urn, there was a profound silence and sense ofsolemnity. It became clear that this was more than saying goodbye to an extraor dinary disciple of God and a dearly loved friend. We had set our feet upon the path of frilifiling Baba’s Wish and Will—of placing Goher’s ashes in the hallowed ground near His own Samadhi as specified by Him. Goher’s urn remained next to Baba’s chair in Mandali Hall until almost 4 p.m. when the entire Meherazad household, servants and many Meherabad residents gathered near her to say goodbye. Meheru placed a beautiful rose garland around Goher’s urn as we repeated Baba’s “Jai,” and the prayers were said. Once again, in profound silence, each one approached Baba’s chair for darshan and then turned to Goher’s urn for a final and sometimes tearful farewell. The urn was carried out of Mandali Hall and into Mehera’s garden with Mandali, family and friends following close behind. She was taken to Meherabad by car on her lastjourney through the Meherazad gates, in the company ofher care-givers and old friends, while those ofus left behind wistfully watched the car travel down the Meherazad approach road until it disappeared from our sight. Once at Meherabad, the urn was received by Ted Judson, who sealed the lid. It was then was placed by Dolly Dastur in the Samadhi at Baba’s right-hand side on the upper flagstone platform so that the pilgrims could offer their respects to Goher after taking Baba’s darshan. Goher’s urn remained in the Samadhi overnight. On the morning ofthe 14th at about 10 am, the IViandali arrived up the Hill at Meherabad to find large crowds gathered around the interment site. As the women entered the Samadhi, they were happily reunited with Goher’s urn that was sitting on the flagstone platform at Baba’s right, surrounded by roses that had been offered in love to her. The women garlanded Baba’s marble, said the Master’s Prayer, sang the Arti and had His darshan. The day was distinguished not only by Goher’s interment but also because, due to various health problems, this was the first time in years so many of the women Mandali were able to gather in Baba’s Samadhi together. Their love and respect for Goher had made this possible. As the women were garlanding Mehera’s and Mani’s Shrines, the men Mandali entered the Samadhi for darshan and to pay their respects to dear Goher. Falu carried the urn from the Tomb to the
Meheru shares her loving thonghts about her dear friend am! longtime companion in BelovedBabac athram.
Bbau Kaithuri, Meherwan Jessawala and Falu MIstry kneeling beside Goherc crypt as theypiace the red rosegarland on Gober urn.
Rhan Kakhuri and Meherwan Jessawalapaying Their respects after offering the rose garland to Goherc urn. Katie Irani and Roda Misery are seated bthind
interment site where he stood holding it for everyone to see until all the men and women were seated and ready to begin. A small enclosure around all the grave sites (enclosing Mani’s, Goher’s, Khorshed’s and Mansari’s graves) had earlier been erected by Ted J udson to protect the area as he prepared the ground to receive Goher’s urn, and this enclosure remained during the ceremony. The women Mandali were seated on the flagstone around the foot-end ofMani’s Shrine, the men sat facing them on the opposite side of the Shrine and just a few feet from where they sat, on Mani’s left as Baba had instructed, lay Goher’s open crypt. Falu approached the site holding Goher’s urn high and Meheru stood to read the beautiftil words she wrote in tribute of her dear, long-time companion with Meher Baba. Then with deep feeling, Bhauji shared his very touching thoughts about Goher’s life of ser vice to Baba as he had personallywitnessed so many ofthose sleepless nights she had spent in willing and relentless service to Him. Meheru and Katie received Goher’s urn from Falu, and to cries of “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai,” handed it to Ted who, kneeling down, placed the urn inside the open chamber. The “Beloved God” prayer was recited and then one by one, first the women, followed by the men, offered sacred earth from Baba’s and Mehera’s resting places, and rose petals from Meherazad garden to Goher’s urn as everyone sang “Han Paramatma.” A small round garland of roses was then placed by the men upon Goher’s urn along with the crowd’s own heartfelt offering of”Avatar Meher ki Jai!” After the Mandali were seated, everyone quietly watched Ted seal the small marble lid that covered our darling Goher’s urn until Meheru spontaneously began singing Jamie Newell’s spirited “Sing a Song ofMeher Baba” and all thoughts turned from this sad moment towards Baba and to the joy of Goher’s reunion with her Beloved. When Ted finished, Meheru placed a small rose garland on the marble lid and asked Goher’s caregivers to offer the tiny white flowers she had picked from the tree outside Mehera’s and Mani’s room at Meherazad. While this was going on, Ted sang “Amazing Grace”—a song that Goher had become quite enamoured of during the last few months ofher life, and which she had requested him to singwhen they metjust a fewweeks before she passed away. During her last months Goher had also expressed a wish to hear Viloo’s great-granddaughter, Tara, sing, but it was not possible since at that time we could not find her CD and Tara was attending college in Wales. As Baba would have it, Tara had made reservations months ago at the Pilgrim Centre for the week of September 14th, long before there was any interment ceremony planned, so Baba enabled her to ftilfill dear Goher’s wish with a beautiflil rendition of “Begin the Beguine” accompanied by Dana Ferry and Ted Judson. Meheru then requested that all ofGoher’s caregivers join her in garlanding the large marble stone with Goher’s name and dates on it that was sitting to the right of Goher’s crypt (this heavy marble will later be placed over Goher’s crypt.) Once again with “Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai,” we offered our deep love and respect to this remarkable soul who lived only to serve her Beloved Meher Baba. As the pilgrims lined up to have their moment with Goher at her interment site, the Mandali set about departing for home. Everyone arrived at Meherazad in good health and good spirits—happy to find that, although her urn was no longer with us in Mehera’s and Mani’s room, Goher’s memory and presence among us had not diminished, and most importantly—to know that Baba’s Wish and Will had been friffilled. AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI!!!
:Lnssings Annie Wc1d J3el1, an 1tpbectt .Adventurer I4assachusetts—Rovember 30, 1948 October 19, 2004 7 9 loucester, J -
4egri of the EI3oston 9lobe and 2<ntharine 2larding 3roin 9loria 2 Weld Bell met life with the same undaunted spirit with which nnie she approached Gloucester’s annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Swim in the icywaters ofthe Annisquam River. “Annie ran and dove in, even though she was one-third my body weight,” fellow swimmer Fred Purdy said. In earlier years, she showed her mettle as a crew member on her father’s sailboat during a voyage across the Atlantic and in briefstints as a Boston cabdriver and Durgin Parkwaitress, so that she could “experience a whole lot ofthings,” said her sister, Eloise W. Hodges of Essex. The summer she was 18, she traveled through Ireland with a school friend, using a donkey and cart to explore the green country roads of the Dingle Peninsula. After college graduation she hitchhiked across the country and into Mexico. Her most rewarding experi ence, Hodges said, was as the mother offive children. She met her last challenge, a diag nosis of breast cancer, with the same upbeat spirit. On October 21st, at the age of 55, she died at her Gloucester home after battling the disease more than six years. Her illness did not slow her until near the end, friends said. She took the Turkey Day plunge last year. She went kayaking and cycling. She kept involved with the lives of her children, who range in age from 1 1 to 23, and went on buying trips abroad with her husband, Mac Stewart Bell, for the Glass Sail Boat, a cafe and clothing and jewelry shop in Gloucester they owned and operated for 30 years. Mrs. Bell continued with her volunteer work at the House of Peace in Ipswich, where she taught handicrafts to refugees from war-torn countries and adults with dis .
abilities, and at Wellspring House in Gloucester, working with women and children in crisis. She admired the visionary leaderof the Fishermens’ Wives. In ship i ; August, she held a festive lunch on her lawn overlooking the harbor for a gath ering ofthe Fishermens’Wives and the mayor ofTamano,Japan to commemo rate the bonding of Gloucester and Tamano as sister cities. Family friend Gregor Gibson says, “She was a lovely human being. When you were with her you felt your own life enhanced by that loveliness and grace.” “Even in these last few days, Annie made everything fin for all ofus,” said another sister, Katharine W. Harding of Neskowin, Ore. “She saw good in every person. She extended herself to find out what was going on in people’s lives before talking about herself. If she met someone in the last few weeks, they immediatelybecame important to : her. Annie wanted to be a part of their lives.” Mrs. Bell, a lifelong resident of Gloucester, was born in Boston, one of children ofPhilip Saltonstall Weld five F Sr. and Anne (Warren). Her father was the former publisher of Essex / County Newspapers and a record-setting trans-Atlantic solo sailor. Her mother was an early environmentalist and supporter ofcontemporary art. She attended Shore Coun try Day School in Beverly and graduated from Concord Academy in 1966. Mrs. Bell showed her spunk at an early age, Hodges said. In 1968, when a well-known gangster was kept in protective custody on the same Glouces ter street where the Welds lived, she attached a Christmas greeting for him on the fence surrounding his hideaway. Authorities did not think it was
The Beilfarnily—Pip, Winnie, Mac, Sarn,Joe and Sylvie
funny. “Police showed up at our house with machine guns and dogs,” Hodges said. Like her siblings, Annie Weld learned to sail at an early age and accompanied her parents on sailing trips offGuatemala and in the Caribbean. On her father’s 18-day trip across the Atlantic in his trimaran to start a race in England, she stood night watches along with other young people aboard. “Annie was an adventurer,” Hodges said. On her return from a semester studying in Italy, Mrs. Bell enrolled at Brandeis University working for one day as a Boston taxi driver and for a longer time as a waitress at Durgin Park. After graduating from Brandeis in 1971, Mrs. Bell hitchhiked across country and into Mexico. Later she earned a graduate degree from Georgia State University and also worked as an assistant teacher at a rural school in Wampee, S.C. She married Mac Stewart Bell in 1979. A tall and slender woman, Mrs. Bell had grace and equanimity that came, in part, from a life “that exemplified the teachings of Meher Baba, a spiritual master,” Hodges said. “Annie celebrated her faith with frequent journeys to the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as well as pilgrimages to his home in Meherazad, Ahmednagar, India. The following was one ofher favorite quotations ofMeher Baba: “True love is unconquerable and irresist— ible. Ilgoes on gatheringpower and spreading itse(f until eventually it tran.’forms everyone it touches.”
Mrs. Bell had “some sort of gift with people,” said a longtime friend, Gregor Gibson of Gloucester. “Her genuine and deep care for people seemed to come from somewhere beyond our mundane existence.” Mrs. Bell also cared deeply for animals and kept a menagerie of dogs, chickens, songbirds, and one cat. She was devoted to her Gloucester community Hodges said. “She reveled in its celebrations, St. Peter’s Fiesta and the Sidewalk Bazaar.” While Mrs. Bell excelled at many things, friends said, “it was her mothering that inspired all of us,” said her friend Annie Thomas of Gloucester. “She had infinite patience and a tremendous capacity for fun. When she went skating with her kids, she was the first one on the ice and the last one off. Her children returned her devotion, surrounding her with loving care in the days leading up to her death. ‘Annie loved books and read to her children every night. She was whimsical and the most compassionate and nonjudgmental person I ever met. “She did have an ethereal quality about her, but 24
Annie’s husband Mac of 25 years and their five children deftly planned a perfect celebration which included moments of silence, with Jane Brown setting the tone singing the Gujerati Arti, and Buz Connor leading us all in Begin The Day which Annie’s children and Will David sang often with Annie. Cathy Riley and a teacher from theWaldorfSchoolled us all in a round, The River Is Flowing.
she also had an earthiness and a sense of the absurdity oflife.” In addition to her husband, Mac, Annie is survived by her five incred ible children, Pip, 23, Winnie, 22, Sam, 19, Sylvie, 17, and Joe, 11; her three sisters, Eloise W. Hodges of Essex, Katharine W. Harding of Neskowin, OR, and Helen W. Weld ofYungaburra, Queensland, Australia, her mother and father-in-law, Richard and Winnie Bell of Gloucester and Sanibel, Florida, her sisters- and brothers-in-law and 16 nieces and nephews. Her beloved menag erie of dogs, a cat, chickens, and songbirds will never forget her. She is predeceased by her brother Philip S.WeldJr. and her parents Anne Warren Weld and Philip S. Weld. Annie died on the twelfth anniversary of her mother’s death.
/kmorial &ruice 1 The J’ .2<atharine 2larding, Oregon (/1nnie’s sister) October 30th over 1,000 friends gathered under a huge tent on a stormy Gloucester day to celebrate Annie’s beautiful life. The outpouring of love from a varied circle of friends demonstrated that Annie and her family have generously opened their hearts, and welcomed into their home, friends from all walks of life and from all over the world. Annie saw the sweetness in everyone and always wanted to know about others’ family events and stories. Many people did not know the gravity of her illness because Annie artfblly steered the focus away from her health by asking after others’ well-being.
In addition to the lovely singing, friends and family shared different facets ofAnnie’s life. Everyone learned that Annie and her childhood friends willingly got themselves into naughty escapades; that Annie never wore a watch, yet she passed away exactly 12 years to the hour that her mother had died in the same beautiful room; that she loved animals and the St. Francis Prayer. Everyone gathered knew how devoted Annie was to their five children, Pip,Winnie, Sam, Sylvie andJoe. Their gracious poise throughout the day, first greeting guests then surrounding Mac on the stage as he spoke about Annie’s beauty, was deeply touching. In her last days Mac and all five cared for Annie, tending to every detail. As Mac said, it was a “perfect home death.” Winnie ended the ceremony by repeating the toast her mother had made nd at Winnie’s 22 birthdayjust 3 days before she died. “I love you all, none ofthis would have been possible without you. I see us all in a stream. Now we are in the shadows but we are coming to the sunlight, there is always the sunlight.” Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai! After the ceremony, guests shared in the huge community potluck, they heard more singing and stories about Annie, and they danced until late in the night. It was just as festive as Annie would have liked because she loved parties! Annie’s interests and community work were characteristically unknown to many. She exemplified Baba’s wish for us all to be a part of our communities and to reach out to everyone with love. She went to Beloved Baba holding fast to His damaan and re membering Him until the very end.
çJhmmmcements Dmportant r2hone Rumbers Changed! the April issue we gave you the numbers for using Pathan’s car pick up service that can whisk you from the Mumbai airport to the Samadhi in only six hours! Astounding! To dial from the US his home number is 011 91 241 242 1577 and his cell phone is 011 91 98232 47022. He can also be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
7he EBaba Center in Dsrael 2/as a 2\ ew M’ebsite 1 heck it out and Bookmark to your favorites. http://meherbabaisrael.org.iL/index.html
nlJiscourses 2slow in Chinese he Chinese translation ofMeher Baba’s Discourses is now in print and will soon be available in the Love Street Bookstore. Also there is a new Meher Baba website in Chinese: http://www.meherbabachinese.com/
2’Iew cJlddress for Bhau c%lwakenings’ and JlVlessages 5 many people have recently had trouble eceiving Bhau’s messages and Awak enings’, David Harkins (the webmaster at jaibaba.com) thought it best to send them from a new mailing address: email@example.com. All future mailings will be from it. Please do NOT put this address in your address books. Otherwise, subscription information re mains the same. Feel free to inform anyone who might like to receive these mailings. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your email address for Bhau’s messages and Awak enings, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, with Subscribe, Unsubscribe or Change in the Subject line. No need to put anything in the body ofthe email for Subscribe orUnsub scribe. For Change, simplylist Old: and New: email addresses in the body ofthe email. If you have not been receiving the mes sages and Awakenings, and would like the back issues from 29th May, 2004, please email: email@example.com with “Please send back issues” in the subject line.
t:anne i3lum Success Story! en Lau though he never 4 ne first set displays prints, _fr up her easel and he said he would ; started painting give her an ex in the Garden hibit whenever of Paradise (by she chose and at Hafiz’ tomb in any time in the Shiraz, Iran), the future. He told authorities tried her he was very to chase her away. happy that she She must have had painted the Detailfrorn Coi/èrence ofthe Birds 14” by 65” sweet talked them Birds to send to in some way because they let her stay and Mahmoud Farshchian (the most famous then were so happy with her depictions of Persian Miniature painter in the world) telltheir beloved Hafiz’ tomb and surrounding ing her that he was related to him. gardens that they welcomed her back each Laurie emailed to me, “He told me even if day to continue painting. someone paid him $15,000 he wouldn’t give She has been in the States for the past few them a show in the Palace, like he is doing months looking for the perfect art printer for me. It’s like a dream! Thank you Baba! to reproduce her paintings. She found one I will also be showing in the other larget in New York, he is expensive, but his work gallery in Teheran—Niavaran Creations is incredible! Each reproduction looks and Foundation.” feels like the original! Our congratulations to Laurie, and I Then in late October she returned to Te sure wish we had had a print ofthe birds to heran with new prints ofher paintings. The display in our color issue, it is an exquisite curator ofthe Shah’s Palace was so delighted piece of work, extremely colorful with the with the Conference ofthe Birds print, even background being a strong aqua.
JlPteher 3und eher Fund, a non-profit organization based in Atlanta and in existence for many years, has traditionally used its tax-deductible donations for a variety of Baba-related projects. The Board, meeting in November, has decided to entirely focus its efforts toward supporting the Meher Free Dispensary at Meherazad. The MFD was founded in a small room by Dr. Goher soon after Meher Baba’s passing. Her original helpers were Mani and Eruch. Later, in the 1970’s, the Dispensary moved to the freestanding clinic in the Meherazad compound. A new, larger building is presently being constructed. The Dispensary’s purpose is to serve, free ofcharge, the medical needs ofthe surrounding communities. The Dispensary survives through the generosity of Baba lovers who feel a connection to Dr. Goher and to this work. Donations may be made to Meher Fund and sent do Perry Flinn, 420 Dalrymple Road, Atlanta, GA 30328.
J4/leher i3aba9lobal Jfrmusical Celebration II Baba-lovers worldwide are invited to participate in the Meher Baba Global Musical Celebration that will take place from February 10 to March 6. Musicians throughout the world will share music inspired by and dedicated to the Beloved, in honor of His Birthday. This online Celebration will also feature discussions of Meher Baba’s favorite music and his favorite performers. Registration is free, though it is limited to the first 1000 registrants. To participate in this Global Musical Celebration you will need an Internet connection and a current web browser. For more information or to register, go to www.meherbabacelebra tions.org.This Celebration is an opportunity to join others in our global Meher Baba community in a worldwide sharing of love, music and conversation. Come and experi ence this unique event.
WeddingsIf once LIpon A 7irne... LA magical
story bj 3eanette 3saacs-)3oung (mother of the bride), 0 4’oombye, .1lustralia
en my daughter Kendra went to India alone, in 2001, for Amartithi and Baba’s birthday, she came back filled with excitement at her meeting with Khosrow one of the Prem Ashram ‘boys’ who had been there, on pilgrimage also, from Shiraz, in Iran. This had been the obvious highlight of her pilgrimage on that occasion. When we arrived in India for Amartithi 2003, we were greeted by the news that the lunch that day (our first at Meherabad) would be an Iranian feast, in memory of a pilgrim who had died on pilgrimage the previous year. We enjoyed the delicious lunch, felt particularly welcomed and were especially excited to be there when the daft drumming and music suddenly started up after lunch. (Our family is very fond ofdancing and music). I have a photo I took as Kendra stood up and walked toward the drummers at the verandah’s edge, and kept this in my diary. The significance of this would only become apparent later! Our younger daughterjoined the dance too, and eventually we were all up and dancing for what was to be the first ofmanyjoyflil occasions during that visit to Meherabad. Over the next days the girls and some ofthe Iranian contingent would play carom and cards together, and by the time we moved to the Amartithi venue we were sitting at meals with ‘our group’ of Iranians often enough that Elischa’s birthday photos were of the Brisbane Baba lovers, my husband John’s cousin Chris Gray, and ( as it later turned out) our soon—to-be ‘in-laws’. Over Amartithi Kendra asked to stay up at the hill over the two day period. I understood this to be regular practice for some, and as I was not to be doing so myselfl asked about the arrangements, and with whom she wished to go. The answer was that she would be ‘with Zahra and the Iranians’ and I was at ease at once—we had been enjoying Zahra’s company particularly, and I knew she would be watchful ofmy daughter! As we waited in the Amartithi line, in the early hours ofJanuary 31st, Elischa was saying how much fun and love there was with the Iranians, and spontaneously said to her older sister: “You should marry an Iranian!” Some days later John and I commented about the frequency with which we seemed to see Kendra and Amir together. About a week later Kendra came to me in our room just before curfew with a serious statement. She told me that she had recognized the man she would marry! This was mind blowing information, so we went to tell John this news before having to retreat to ‘our’ side 26
for the night. Kendra and Amir had gone to a translator that afternoon to tease out some of the finer details of the feelings that they were beginning to recognize, and nowwere seeking the blessings of their respective families. If John and I didn’t object, then we would meet the next day to discuss this with Amir s mother Zahra and the rest ofthe family In Iran, this step in the development ofa relationship is recognized as ‘the engagement’. While we were planning our trip to India I had experienced a number of ‘premonitions’ about Kendra’s meeting someone, and had a sense that it might be complicated by distance, but this was still somewhat sudden, not to mention extreme. It was a case of breathing deeply and taking Baba’s name—over and over! Within the next few days and the weeks that followed, the idea that these two young people were serious about each other began to get responses and reactions from others. My own feelings were also complex, to say the least. Kendra was born prematurely, and often since that time has dragged me into growing
up on the fast track! Over the next months the daily phone calls and email became all-important, and later that year, in November, our whole family traveled to Shiraz for a tearful and joyful reunion with our Iranian family and Baba group. The more time we spent with Amir over the following weeks, the happier we became about Kendra’s plans to marry this fine young man, and about surrendering to what seemed to be a divine destiny. (Both John and I had traveled in Iran in the seventies, and from the start we had a good sense about the poetry of such a connection.) John and Kendra stayed tilllateJanuary2004 (and the adventure of their departure is another story) but at that time we knew not when or even IF Amir would be able to come to Australia. Focusing on the task, and trusting only in Baba’s will, Kendra worked on the visa application, and many helped to support this. Amir surprised us all when he arrived injune, in time for the Anniversary ofBaba’s visit to Avatar’s Abode! He took to life here like he had always been around, and before too long the wedding date was discussed, and made early in the hope that Amir’s younger brother, Babak, might be able to come out before the start of the University year in Iran. In the end, only Zahra and Arzjang got confirmation oftheir visas, two weeks before. The wedding took place at Avatar’s Abode, beginning with a gathering at The Shed, and was a chance for many to reunite after
witness the wedding held at sunset at the top ofKeil Mountain.
Iohnc sonjamie, Zahra, Arnir Kendr Elischa.
Now man and wft, Anzir and Kendra Naderi returufrom the top to go into Babac room to give their thanks to the Be1oved6
Theneo’ ¶ . .
years apart. Since there were people coming to Avatar’s Abode for the first time, there were some ‘welcome Aunties’ (older and wiser bridesmaids from the neighbouring families) who were able to meet and greet and explain about this beautiful place, which often moves people immediately upon arrival, as with Baba places the world over. The walk to the summit of Keil Mountain became a colourful procession, and we were met there by the young couple and bridal party, bearing flags fluttering in the gentle breeze. The actual ceremony took place approaching sunset, with elements of traditional Australian and Iranian weddings, and some words from “the landlord ofthis place” ( M.S. Irani) read byJohn, and Bhau’s story ofrivers meeting (as in marriage) to become one till they join at last the Ocean, told byjeanette. The dress Kendra wore was ‘sculpted’ for her, by Katie Pye, from a sari, and looked exquisite, as a bride’s gown should! Amir’s suit, brought from Iran, toned in perfectly, and his tie was found at the Myer department store in Maroochydore (the resort town close by the Abode) and sold to him by a Farsi-speaking Canadian, who has a Ba’hai Iranian wife! After the marriage the guests (some 230), followed the bride and groom back to Baba’s square, and while Kendra and Amir went into Baba’s room, music (cello, flute, and guitar) filled the balmy evening and guests mingled in the sweet atmosphere outside. The buffet meal in The Shed was followed by an opportunity for people to say a few words to wish the newly-married couple well, and Sam Saunders sang a song commissioned by Kendra especially for the wedding. Later another procession headed offinto the night down Meher Road accompanied by ‘car-carried music,’ to the “I-Y’s” family home, where friends and family partied on, laughing and dancing till the wee small hours. A few local souls (and their bodies!) apparently watched the sunrise next morning before wending their ways home along the road. The gathering offriends and family extended over a few days, as it was a holiday weekend in parts ofAustralia, and over barbeques and dinners and leisurely breakfasts there were many questions asked and answers offered about Baba, the Abode, and His message. Stories since have spread even further the special magic which was the blessing ofbeing able to have this wedding at such a treasured place. Many guests have shared how they took away something ‘much more’ than they could have ever imagined from the evening. ( And may they experience more, more, and still yet more of that very ‘special something’!)
on the J4larrictge of7<endrn and }lmir, from the 3ather Øo!tn Dssacs-)3onng (father
of the bride), Woombye
y traditional role as father of two daughters should see me passing a critical eye over any potential husband, and being traditional and conventional by nature, I have taken my role seriously in relation to Kendra. So when, at the age of 18, she put it to me that she had met the man she was meant to marry, I thought “This sounds like nonsense.” But when she said that it was Amir, I thought “That’s not nonsense.” Then she asked me “What do you think?” and I replied honestly that I had no objection. Now this ‘no objection’ was more like cautious approval, and ‘lets see what happens’. Endorsement came later, under more trying circumstances. Earlier this year we went to Iran and spent our time there with 28
Amir and his family. When it was time to leave, Kendra and I were at Tehran airport with Amir who had talked his way through all the security barriers so he could see us safely off and catch the last possible glimpse ofhis beloved Kendra. As it turned out it was just as well he was with us, because at the last barrier we were turned back. Our visas, apparently, had expired several hours ago and we were not allowed to leave the country without an extension. So it was 2 a.m. when we crawled back into another taxi and drove across Tehran to Amir’s uncle’s house for the few remaining hours ofthe night. What followed was for us an astonishing day in the Islamic Republic of Iran—a tour ofgovernment sites. We first visited the Australian embassy, then 10 different buildings, in each building 10 different rooms, where a piece of paper would be examined by one, stamped by another, then signed, then retyped, then stamped and signed again—then off to another building. Without Amir who never lost his sense of humour, I swear it would have taken us two weeks. The Department ofJustice was a building of some 10 floors and on each floor, there was something to be done with a piece of paper. The atmosphere was gothic. We passed incredible scenes on our way up the stairs—court officers conducting young men down in chains, while we ascended. On the tenth floor, we finally reached thejudge whose signature was required. Amir took in the paper work while Kendra and I waited outside. The conversation went something like this: Judge: “Why are you helping these people?” Amir: “She is my fiancé.” J udge: “Is there any shortage ofgirls in Iran, that you need to take up with a foreigner?” Amir: “It’s love. What can I do?” Judge: “What religion are they? “Christian,” says Amir, stretching it a little. Judge: “So what will you do about that?” Amir, stretching it a little further, replied: “We have talked about this and after we are married she will become Muslim.” “Very good,” says the Judge, “call in the father.” And the judge with a twinkle in his eye and somewhat confidingly asks me, “Do you trust this man? What are his intentions towards your daughter?” “Ah,” I said, “that is exactly what I have spent two months in Iran observing, her intentions and his intentions, and yes, I am very satisfied with this young man, he is an excellent person, honest, capable and a good match for my daughter.” Happy with this answer the judge smiled, signed the paper and let us go. No in a very different atmosphere, Down Under, on Avatar’s Abode, before family and friends, more questions have been put and answered and more papers have been signed. After all this, they have won our blessings for their marriage and are now free to go and be together. Although the world is uncertain and we live in interesting times, I could speculate that their being together will be long and that it will be a be a blessing for many others across numerous lands.
Wedding 7oast to 2<endra and /lmir ¶lauline O’J4laley
n the beginning there wasJohn andJeanette, and soon, as surely as day follows night, there was Kendra. Then followed another night and another day, and then there was Elischa. But that is a different
story; one we will take great pleasure in relating, in detail, another When the night oflaughter and wine and spiralling colours day. I was there at the beginning, so I aim to see the project through. ended, the sand held only hearts lying, quivering with the pulse of Let me tell you about it. eternity. Kendra was a silent, thoughtftul and bald child. She sat Budda like at the wedding of her parents and raised not an eyebrow when 7henjod’s fingers opened, and the sand slipped away, falling they played ring-a-ring-a-rosie at that most memorable. .well now ready and rich back to the beach to be scooped up again and again perhaps second most memorable, of the I-Y weddings! She didn’t in the play ofjoy and passion. say much generally but what she did say was worth listening to, and if she said no it was pointless trying to get her to change her mind. With love and thanks and blessings, She did life at her own pace and what a serene, measured, ent-like 3 ane .Shamrock pace it was. ‘Rush’ and ‘Kendra’ were not two words that fitted snugly together. They still aren’t! Kendra was the patient one who waited always for the smaller kids while others went on. She was the one who sat stoically beside me at the hospital for two hours when she broke her wrist whilst in my care. Kendra was the persistent one who ate eight Weetabix with an extra dollop ofmilk to build herselfup while all around were having skinny milk and skinnylatte. Kendra was the dogged one who continued with her Maths even though she didn’t enjoy that ride. Kendra, who seems to think of everyone else first. And then there is the artistic Kendra, the dancer, the musician, the dramatist—the young woman free to express her creative spirit. There we have Kendra, the kind hearted, individualistic, thoughtful, % I %% measured and imaginative young woman. Enter the man with the dancing eyes—Amir. And when Kendra the Determined told her mother she had met the man she wanted to J spend her life with, she instantly had her mother’s attention! History r had taught us all she was not going to change her mind. I only met Amir a week ago but already I have seen those joyous eyes twinkle with many a tale ofwicked expectation andjoie de vivre. I have also heard other tales ofhim, tales ofpatience, ofkindness, of creativity ofskills, ofmusical talent. And let’s face it, he has survived four months in the organized chaos ofwhat we like to call 1-Yville. IFrancis Brabazon wrote thefoiowing wordsfor the occasion ofthe This is a young man who clearly has a sense of humour and a heart first marriageperformed atAvatarc Abode.] wide open to the absurd. A young man in love! My family and I have shared many memorable meals with the tk I-Y family, that have always started with the chant: Blessings on the salad. Tonight I say, bugger the salad! Blessings on Kendra and Amir. ou who marry today are most fortunate, for you have refused Muchjoy to you both! to take over the burden ofdead tradition and mere respectable custom which the immediately past generations bore from breakfast to bed each day a journey so intolerable that it was never talked about except in facetious synonyms ofwell-being and cheer. 2<endra and 4 .J1mir’s weddinj You have refused to line up each morning at the loading-bays of spiritual commerce and economic sanctity, leaving your shoulders E esterdciy 3 sat in wonder on a hilltop fanned by a breeze from clean for the burden of the Beloved. the sea, while children and lovers played like peacocks in the Tradition is a glorious thing when it is rooted in living religion gardens and shadows. and is a reflection of the natural dignity of man and woman, when it is a stronghold against enemies and a sheltered place where the od held this hilltop, as though his two hands held a mound of two separate flames of a man and a woman can unite in the flame sand. Vith the wash of a wave, all sorrows were carried out to ofdivine Oneness. the sea in an old moon-boat to float away into darkness. But with us, before the Era of Now— the time of empty cups and prostrations and praises— that is, before the Advent of the 9od laughed with joy with his children, brightly coloured, carrying beautiful God-Man with his whispered heart doctrine of YOU 1 flags and yoghurt and honey. They slithered on the shifting sand ARE, BECAUSE I AM, a marriage was a licence to wash dirt on a worked-out gold field and a wedding as a well-wishing in the grains, they sang and cried, they danced and held hands. labour by those who had panned small or no gold in their lifetime. __/4 radiant prince and princess directed the rays of2lis laughter But we have found gold in the dust ofhis Feet and so have thrown here to a beloved sister, there to an uncle, here to a friend, over away our picks and shovels and washing-pans. Fortunate were the people who had traditions that were not there to a family and here to a bright baby. burdens; but more fortunate are we who were born outside of tra .
dition, for we are also outside allegiance to authority ignorant of divine truths and spiritual law. In place of that authority we have the living word of God-Man to obey. Marriage is both a settled way oflife and ajourney to unknown places, based upon honesty ofmotive and mutuaiity ofconsideration which distinguishes it sharply in tone, tenure and texture from ca sual relationships that have no motive other than self-gratification and no consideration beyond the passing moment. It is an exercise in oneness, the blessedness of doing things together within the context of the whole human endeavour. But too often the wide landscape ofhumanity can shrink to the few shrubs and the patch of grass of ‘we and the others’; ‘theirs and ours’, if not a straight out ‘us versus the rest’. Really doing it together means doing it for the divine Beloved for together, without him, is two errors trying to make a right, two zeros hoping to add up to one. You who marry today in the Beloved’s name, do not even have to carry the burden ofhope— for he who the generations in their travail and misery hoped would come, has come and will be with you to the end ofyour lives. You have only, hand in hand, to find his house in Love Street, kiss the threshold and hold out to him the empty cups ofyour hearts and he, the Beloved of all beautifril unions, will fill them with the wine of his Truth. Your only problem is how to empty your hearts so that you can obtain that wine— for the Beloved does not pour the precious wine of divine union into glasses that have not been thoroughly washed ofthe cheap drinks of self-desires. —
eander, older son of Bernard and Jo-Anne Bru ford, married Tamara, daughter of Roger and Chris J ohnson, on Sunday September 27. Leander grew up at Avatar’s Abode. Bernard, along with his parents John and Joan, and sis ter Joanna, came to Avatar’s Abode to meet with Baba in 1958. The family was asked by Baba to come and live on the Abode. Tamara and her father have a long association with Chenrezig Buddhist Institute, also on the Sunshine Coast hinterland, not far from Avatar’s Abode. The wedding was at Roger’s home in Brisbane. Ross Keating (author ofFrancisBrabazon, Poet ofthe Silent Word) has been the marriage celebrant at many a Baba wedding, and he came up from Sydney to perform the ceremony. Sam Saunders provided guitar music at both the wedding ceremony and the reception. It was
The Beloved ofbeloveds has brought you dear ones ofHis together so that together you can set about this work ofglass washing in right earnest. That is His blessing to you— because it is so much easier for two to work together than each on his own. God made the world out ofopposites; and the most perfect op posites are a man and a woman; and being perfect they alone of all the creatures of creation are capable of total union. Animals have their loves, and plants their affinities and the stars attract and repel one another; but only in man can love be ftilly expressed, for man has that ffill consciousness by which he can realize that he is in the Image ofGod. This realization comes by the Grace ofthe Beloved; but love has given us the work of making our hearts empty to re ceive that Grace: that it will be poured into the glasses of our own particular heart shapes. This emptying can only be done through love and service. You who marry today do not have the burden of dead tradition and pathetic hopes to carry. Beloved Baba in His loving-kindness has given us the greater labour, the giants’ labour ofmaking our heart glasses perfectly clean— a giants’ labour because the glass itself is impregnated with the stains ofcountless lives. The last faintest trace ofstain must be rubbed away, yet the shape ofthe glass retained for it is your glass which is to be filled, not someone else’s. Together you go to Him, but He comes to each ofyou individually. Individuality is never lost; it is made perfect. The more you give yourselves to one another and to the true well-being of others, the sooner you will find the divine Beloved who is the One Self of all. Two singing together, sometimes in unison, sometimes in spon taneous harmonies, is a music second only to the singer divinely alone who moves everyone to tears. -
a very happy occasion for both families, with reminders of Meher Baba, Buddhist, and Christian teaching. Leander and Tamara live in Brisbane. Leander works atJohn and Wendy Borthwick’s White Cloud, and Tamara is a drama teacher at Springwood High School.
A’1ktt R&s i1 October 16 (New Life Day) Mitchell Rose marned Stacy Hall to begin their new life together. The wedding took place in a small colonial inn outside ofBoston and was attended by close family. Robert Een was also there and played cello. Mitchell and Stacy conducted the ceremony themselves and Mitchell’s brother, Stan, offi ciated for the pronouncement.
jj A4iiinage in Wciinjd
Duncan 2<nowles, Wnlnut Creek How it All Came About ore that forty years ago at the University of Nevada, 18-year--old freshman Jean Henrikson from Wiscon sin met fellow student Duncan Knowles. They became college sweethearts. When Duncan broughtJean down to California to meet his family, her brother (Duncan’s fraternity brother, also named Duncan) called their parents back in Wiscon sin, and at the end of the semester, they came and took Jean home because, in their view, she was “out of control.” Though Duncan visited J ean once in Wisconsin, they were not able to stay in touch and drifted apart. Duncan got involved in the 1960s scene and all its confusion, but eventually found out about Meher Baba and met Murshida Duce, the leader ofSufism Reoriented, who changed his life. Then he met her daughter Charmian and several years later a whole new life opened up. Meanwhile, Jean also got married. She had four children and raised three more, became a pilot, and started a charter airline. After being divorced, she became a teacher, earned her doctorate in clinical psychol— ogy, and worked with autistic children. Before Charmian passed away, she told Duncan several times she wanted him to find another companion after she was gone. He jokingly told her that he was having enough challenges with his current wife to think about a future one, and they would laugh about it. Charmian passed away in February 2003. In the past year, Jean felt an increasing wish to contact Duncan once again. Not long ago, the wish became compelling and she asked her son to tell her how to do an internet search to find him. Most recently, on what would have been Duncan
and Charmian’s 35th wedding anniversary, Duncan was feeling sad and decided to take his daughter Mary, who lives with him, out to dinner to commemorate the anniversary. When they returned that night, there was a message on their answering machine. The machine is not a good one and Duncan thought it said, “Hi, this is ‘June’ Henrikson, a voice from the past. I’d like to talkwith you ifyou care to call me at this number in New York City.”
When Jean mentioned Duncan to her sister Mindee (younger by 11 years), she replied, “Duncan Knowles! I feel like I know him. His picture was in our living room all the time I was growing up.” So in spite oftheir separation, Duncan still had had a presence in the Henrikson home. After Jean’s first call, it dawned on Duncan that the timing of the contact —on the night of what would have been his 35th wedding anniversary —was way too much of a coincidence. He felt this was a loving message directly from Charmian. She was encouraging him to have Jean back in his life. J ean and Duncan began talking by phone and emailing back and forth each day. Soon Jean bravely came to Walnut Creek to meet Duncan and Mary in person. Mary loved Jean immediately. And as Jean moved into Duncan’s embrace for the first time in forty years, she felt, “I will never leave this place.” And so it shall be. .
Duncan,Jean andMary Knowles
Duncan thought to himself, “June Henrik son? I don’t know a June Henrikson.” Then the thought came to him, “I wish it wereJean Henrikson.” Yet they had not been in touch for forty years and he felt that was beyond any hope. Still, he called, and he was floored to discover —it really wasJean. At that moment, something very special began to happen in their hearts. on Jean’s side, she had known nothing about Duncan’s life situation before she called. When she heard the answering machine say that “Duncan and Mary” weren’t available, she assumed that Mary was his wife, so she left a message simply to make contact. She was surprised to learn later that Duncan was now a widower.
t’s good to remember life isn’t a make it or break it affair; witlie taking the deep happiness a union of two beings in love can bring, one should not close one’s
eyes to the constant liUk demands nianiaje is bound to make. When understood in that right give and take, it will bring you ever cioser together and to .2lim. —3kni 3 rnni
What’s rltappening ni J4’Ieherabode Dina 5now had a delightfulline up of guest espeakers for the last quarter. Harry Thomas, ex-Los Angelino who moved East and then decided California was the place to be, gave us a fascinating follow up to the original talk he gave on Meher Baba and the Chinese Horo scope. People were so interested in this talk, which we covered extensively in the July 2002 issue, that Harry had videos made for sale. I believe he is making a follow up video covering this latest talk. Amazing ‘coincidences’ he found! Nasrin and Mahmoud Ajang, long time residents and great supporters of our Center, told us of their Muslim roots and how they came to Baba (and found each other!) Just goes to show—you don’t necessarily need out oftown guests to have an excellent
so we all got to taste a wonderful cosmopolitan selection of food. The bargains! Ah the bargains, many people went away with their arms heavily laden with wonderftil Christmas gifts for their loved ones. Many thanks to all those who worked so hard to make this a beautiftil success. And on a purely personal note, the Center’s gorgeous decorations will be in place for my wedding reception on New Years Day!
Rosie takes a breakfrom working to shop. Mary Kay and daughter Leilaparticiate
_I_M_ program. But then again, inviting people we don’t see more than once every few years is also great. Marc De Matteis found himselfin Hollywood on a business trip and so gave us a great Sunday concert. His CD How Many Lifetimes is still one of my all time favorites, what a musician, what a singer and songwriter! It was so great haying him here, and we’re looking forward to a repeat visit. Well we have paid off the mortgage, and with our last great fundraiser—the Bhau Roast! Toast evening, we paid off all the renovation loans outstandmg, (they cost as much as it did to buy the property in the first One ofthe many tables so beautfullyfilled with place!) But building maintenance, Christmas decorationsfor sale the extensive landscaping you read about and saw in our last issue, electricity etc. are the thousands of dollar expenditures : we need to meet ev ery month. So we had another fundraiser on December 4th_our Christmas Boutique. Organized by Behnaz Partovi and Rosie and Missy Choi, and aided by many other willing workers, Meherabode was transformed into a Christmas wonderland. The StillYet More Chamberplayers (Pris and Chris Dinafinds a treasurefor her dolphin-loving son It was held as a potluck, Haffenden) charmed us with their Christmas music .
7:Iw Annua1 Love Street J3ookstore Duventory is an enormous job, but someone has to do it! Actually it’s a lot offun, as evidenced by the happy smiles Ofl the worker’s faces. New things are invariably discovered, even by people who come to the Center and peruse the Bookstore every week. There is just so much within these 700 square feet that it is rather hard to take it all in. Not for nothing has Bhauji called it “The biggest Baba Bookstore in the world!”
Dma Snow andMary Kay Shubat-Hage
Dma, Rosie Choi and hergrandsonJosephpitched in too
3icetings 3rom 7he EBQoksiorc Jai Baba Folks,
reviewed her life with Meher Baba in
I videotaped sessions, which extended .
e have exciting news regarding DVDs. What’s that? You don’t own a DVD player? Having missed Christmas and Hanukkah, put it on your birthday wish list—they are the wave ofthe future, and videos will soon go the way of the old eight track recorders. DVDs are much cheaper to make and buy than videos, and don’t get faulty as some videos are prone to do. That having been said, the DVD that is causing me to jump up and down and recommend highly has been given to us by Paul Comar—a Baba lover living in France. It is Avatar Meher Babac Mandali, Beloved Mehera. I had no idea Paul was such a wonderful pianist! Throughout the entire two hours the musical background is his semi classical piano playing. The first halfhour is a selection ofblack and white stills of Baba, each one fading into the next, accompanied by this beautiftil music. For meditation it is superb, but even ifyou are not into such stillness,just to sit and be absorbed in His face is wonderftil. After the photos ofBaba, comes live footage Paul shot in the early seventies. I had forgotten how young the Mandali looked then (didn’t we all!?) and how very beautiflil Mehera was. Ifyou have never been to India or met any of Baba’s Mandali, this is an excellent introduction. Using colorful text on the screen, Paul has identified each ofthe Mandali in individual close-ups. As I said, this DVD runs for two hours, but will cost you a mere $15! Talking ofexcellent prices, The Witness Series of videos, very professionally done interviews in the ‘80s by Wendell Brust man with each of the Mandali and many people who spent time with Baba, Agnes Baron, Irene Bib, Lud Dimpfi to name a few, have lowered their prices. So for those of you who wanted to own the beautiful hour-long video of Mehera, titled Meher Baba Lord and Friend, but were unable to due to the $55 price tag—rejoice! It is now available for only $40. All This and Heaven Too, a delightful hour spent with Mani is now only $35. Closer and Closer to Him the first of the Eruch interviews dropped from $50 to $35, same price for the beautiful one of Goher from a quote of hers To Each One
over several days. Wendell Brustman arranged these interviews and recorded more than forty tapes of Charmian’s reminiscences. This unedited material came later to Sufism Reoriented. In Sufism’s video studio, the material was condensed, edited, integrated with archival photographs and Charmian’s films, and summarized chronologically into seven hour-long programs. MyLfè withMeherBaba, Charmian Duce Knowles Program 1 Meeting Meher Baba in India in 1948 Program 2 With Meher Baba in America and Europe, 1952 Program 3 Travels with Meher Baba in Europe, 1952 Program 4 Meher Baba’s Visit to Arner ica, 1956: New York and Myrtle Beach Program 5 Meher Baba’s Visit to Amer ica, 1956: Myrtle Beach and California Program 6 1958 in Myrtle Beach and 1962 in India Program 7 Meher Baba Stories But enough of recorded information— back to old fashioned reading, (may it never go out of style!) Bill Le Page has released a second volume of The Divine Humanity of Meher Baba, an interesting selection of stories oftheir times with Baba as told by Eruch, Roshan Ker awala, Ramchandra Gadekar (whose son is currently touring the US on a speaking tour), Bhagirath ‘iie ii ci Tigiri, and finishing with that inveterate story teller in the PC at Meherabad, : 5 am Kerawala. $15. Cover painting by Diana Le Page. We still have plenty of the first volume by the same name, same price. Between the covers of this volume you will find the story .
His Duty. Then there is the complete set of four videos titled BecomingHis, also now $35 each, or ifyou wish to buy all four the dis counted price is $100 (a saving of$40.) And then there is the Lud Dimpfi series: Lud first met Baba in 1952 in Myrtle Beach. He was one of the few Western men to attend the Three Incredible Weeks in India in 1954. He traveled with Baba in 1956 and again in 1958 was with Baba in Myrtle Beach. Baba asked him to fly with Him on His trip to the West coast where He spent the night in Lud’s home in Mann County He was also at the East-West Gathering in 1962. The recently released set offour videos, My Experiences With Meher Baba, is now also selling at $35 each or $100 the set. The book we told you about in July, written by Charmian Duce Knowles titled SpreadMy Love has been such a best seller, I imagine there are many of you out there who would like to watch the interviews with her. To that end The Witness Series has just released a seven set DVD collection—My Lift With Meher Baba. They are alljust $25 each or $130 for the full set. For those ofyou who don’t know who Charmy was, here is a little about her: Charmian Duce Knowles was the daugh ter ofMurshida Ivy 0. Duce, whom Meher Baba appointed to lead Sufism Reoriented. Charmian was 18 when she first met Meher Baba in 1948. Very quickly, Meher Baba became the central figure in her life. Charmian’s adventures with Him spanned the globe. He invited her to travelwith Him in America and Europe, and shejoined Him for gatherings in India. On many occasions, Meher Baba asked Charmian to make documentary films ofthese events. She was also a close friend of Mehera, Mani and he women Mandali. In 1985, Charmian
of Eruch’s younger brother Meherwan Jes sawala, Sam Kerawala and then the Talati Family. Local musician and Center member Deborah Ash has released a new CD. Those ofyou who loved Baba Bob that she released many years ago will really enjoy her latest CD Rise in Love. (That’s what Baba said we should do, notfall in love!) She has a great mix of songs on this album, some Blues, Spirituals and various Baba songs. Bhauji loves it. Says it raises his spirits when he plays it during the day.
EBaba is thC DOCT J3hau 2alchuri nce, when we were at Guruprasad in “Baba, because ofYour order, I could not Pune, someone from the Pune Centre sleep. I went to the Andhra Colony at 4:00 said to Baba, “Baba, we go to different places o’clock in the morning. I went from house and sing songs. We sing so nicely, in quite to house, announcing, ‘The Avatar has come, a different style of singing. People come to and you are sleeping!? You must keep awake! listen and feel very much amazed. They I have come to tell you about the Avatar!’ find out about You and become attracted By 6:00 o’clock that morning, thousands of to You.” people had collected. “Just see how ignorant When He heard this, Baba expressed His you are,” Baidul continued. “The Avatar has joy. Then, every Sunday when they would come, and you don’t know it? Youjust sleep! come to Guruprasad, theywould say, “Baba, It requires a lot of sacrifice to come to the we went to such-and-such locaIity We sang Avatar! Here the Avatar is available, and still a unique song, and nobody could keep quiet. you sleep? Now I tell you, next Sunday the Never before had they had heard anyone Avatar is giving His darshan. You all must singing in such fash h be present.” ion, and they became “I spoke to them mad! Theywere confor one hour, and tinuously shouting, my lecture was very : ‘Avatar Meher Baba powerful. People KiJai! Avatar Meher I were very much af Baba Ki Jai! Avatar fected. Some were Meher Baba Ki Jai!” even shedding tears. 9 And Baba appreci Next Sunday, You ated their report. will see, Baba, how This became a many South Indi routine. Whenever ans come for Your these people from darshan.” %1• Pune Centre would “You illiter— come to Guruprasad, ate Irani, have you the first 15 minutes any shame!?” Baba to half-an-hour of scolded him. “You the program would be taken up by them as just say, ‘I did this,’ and ‘I said that.’ You theypraised their own singing. Even ifBaba forget that I sent you and that I came along did not askwhere they had been the previous with you? You think that you did all this!? week, they themselves would tell Him. You illiterate! You fool of the first order! One day, Baba asked Baidul to go to a ‘I did this,’ and I said that’? You have no colony where people from Andhra (South shame to have such a long tongue? You are India) were living. Baba instructed Baidul to a donkey, and yet you give a lecture?” tell people that He would be giving darshan When Baba said this, everyone in the on the following Sunday there. If people hall remained very quiet. Never again did were able, they were invited to come and anyone from the Pune Center tell Baba have Baba’s darshan. anything like, “We went to a particular place Baidul was such a person that he would last week. We sang, and people were very do everything without any delay. So he went much affected.” to the Andhra Colony at 4:00 o’clock in the That chapter was closed! morning and came back to Guruprasad at So also is the message of the Highest of 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon. Baba was sitthe High so powerful that when we hear ting in Guruprasad Mandali Hall the it or read it, our tongues do not work. We people from Pune were not there. So Baba keep quiet. instructed Baidul to come on the following What should we ask the One Who day to narrate what had happened. And knows everything, Who knows what is good Baidul left. for us? Indeed, where is there any room to The next day, when the Pune people ask Him anything? came, Baba called Baidul. “Now tell Me,” Baba asked. “What did you do yesterday when you went to the Andhra Colony?”
I’m so glad we got to show you the new Bookstore items in color in our last issue. It makes a difference doesn’t it? Check out our Reviews section for more new items. I will be at Amartithi, returning mid Februaryc My husband Charles will be holding the fort on the home front, but Pris Haffenden will also be able to get orders out for you. You can call her at 310 390 2779. But only ifyou really really need something before the end of February! In His Love and Service, Dma
!.Eviews :tis Ways Are rttnfathomabk 3:rank 73loise, 2siew 3ersey believe that anyone who had the op portunity to be a part of the Thursday Mandali Hall experience, when Eruch held forth alone, will be brought back there while
for me. No matter how many times I viewed the scenes during the editing process, they never grew old. This is just one ofthe many experiences for which I am grateflil to the One whose Grace makes real-life miracles possible. Available only in DVD for $30
With )Jou Once c.7kre Cd Legum, 9eorgia n a cruise of the French West Indies your ship docks at Martinique. On shore the natives move to the rhythm of island music. They call their dance the Beguine. Trudy Gard’ner and Pedro Miranda invite you to sample the sounds of the Caribbean on their new CD, With You Once More, 17 songs of romance, longing, and subtle fragrances. Pedro and Trudy sing lovely Spanish songs
stooe from manda hzi. .
watching this DVD. The idea to video these Thursday sessions originated with Steve Edelman and evolved into a collaborative effort that included Gary Kleiner, Chris Riger, Bob Payne, and myself. Since many ofEruch’s stories and experi ences as Meher Baba’s right-hand man, had already been documented in print form, the aim of this video was to document specific renderings of these stories and to recreate, within the limits ofthe technology at hand, the quality of Eruch’s voice and physical demeanor, in short, the unique ambiance of these sessions. As might be expected in a project like this, there were challenges to be overcome: the back-lighting problem created by Eruch’s location in front of an open window, the sound problems (background noise, electrical hum), the complaints about the intrusive nature of a video camera and microphone plunked down in the middle of the hall—to name a few. But, all things considered, the shooting and editing of this video has been a most enriching experience 36
together in a genre called Trio Music. Based on the interplay ofvocals and guitar found in Mexico, Cuba, Columbia, and Pedro’s home of Puerto Rico, the melodies are sensual, warm, and intoxicating. Trudy also sings some of your favorite Meher Baba songs she has performed over the years, as well as Ward Parks’ Moon of Meherabad and Cole Porter’s Begin the Beguine with Pedro. If you close your eyes you’re dancing on a white beach, ocean breezes caress your hair, and a soft kiss touches your lips. A1l profits from the sale of this CD will go to Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust. The cost of the CD is only $10.
Emphasis on Concord for EBaba Workers Cruch 3essawcila, J4leherctzctd
March 8, 1957 eher Baba has asked me to write to you that you should not worry under any situation, howsoever repulsive it may be to your mind and circumstances. Baba expressed His happiness to hear that you were now trying to take all situations alike, as they come. He said that it behooves all His lovers to remain absolutely unperturbed under all circumstances, whether favorable or unfavorable, which is the mark of abso lute faith in God the Almighty. Although real love is the gift of God to man, yet it is unshakeable faith that alone can promote love in one who desires to obey the dictates of the Master. Baba wants you to continue the work at the Centre and its branches with greater zeal until such time that He calls you and some others in or after April. Once again Baba has emphasized concord and harmony while doing His work. Work of any magnitude loses its charm and importance if there is dissension and disunity in the hearts ofthe lovers and workers of God. The very work (as we call it) is such that it promotes unity of thought and action; and ifthe work fails to do this, then the work is undone. Hence our work itself is such that we keep ourselves busy pleasing the hearts of all. It is a difficult task assumed only by the Perfect Masters, but our beloved Baba has given us the rare opportunity of sharing in this work and we should not fail in the task. We should do our best and leave the rest in His hands which are quite capable of doing anything according to His will. The Ancient One by Eruch Jessawala © AMBPPCT
SIirine in 24ew Aitëxico! —
7<atItrgn 2 lcirris, Colorado
was early June when I took a road trip with my daughter and an old friend. Our destina tion was Hatch, New Mexico. A high school chum lives there, and the free lodging presented an opportunity to get down to Columbus, to see the replica of Baba’s Samadhi built by Earl Starcher. As usual, Baba left His indelible fingerprints on many intimate details of the trip, as only He can. We arrived on a sweltering Sunday afternoon. I’d always been curious about this shrine. Whywas it built in such a remote location, where almost nobody is guaranteed to visit? The ‘Shrine of the Perfect Man’ sits on the outskirts ofColumbus, which isn’t much of a town; its claim to fame is a cactus park dedicated to Pancho Villa. The Shrine faces
cross the border on foot. Imagine the desperation that would make I a trek through the scorching desI ert seem like a good alternative. It —E::::: I is not an unlikely metaphor for the spiritual path And therein lies the only answer that comes to my question. Like the dream-catcher hanging from the crossbeam, the Shrine must be a soul-catcher, collecting these souls abandoned by fortune, whose despair of their circumstances motivates such a dangerous endeavor. I imagine : them, dying a death that can only be described as god-forsaken, leaving their tortured bodies, drawn by the tinkling of a wind chime, to be welcomed with a drink of cool water at the Beloved’s dwelling. The sign announcing ‘The Perfect Man Shrine’ is deteriorating badly, much of it-
the middle of nowhere. On the roadside, two sets of stone pu lars mark the entrance to a U-shaped drive intended to encircle the perimeter of the property. Several spigots for sprinklers are situated on the lot, so a garden was once envisioned. Now it is xeriscaped by nature, featuring the scrub and cactus that are eco nomical enough to sur vive here. Large stones delin eate the boundary of the lot against the road, and several of these were piled with bits of colored glass—blue, purple and green—that seemed to have been left as offerings. This was the only indica tion that the Shrine hasn’t been completely forgotten. My instinct was to build a small cairn inside, as notice that Someone Has Been Here. It feels abandoned and deserted, standing there like a lonely sentinel. But what, I found myself asking, is its purpose? Why does Baba choose this place? A couple of weeks after we returned, there was an article in the paper about the discovery of a woman’s body in the desert outside of Columbus. She was the fourth person since May to perish there. She’d left her baby in Mexico City to come looking for the child’s father, who is somewhere in the States. Apparently her only recourse was to
to the south, looking toward Las Palomas, Mexico—the dustyborder town that is sister to Columbus. There was no one to ask questions of: nobody home at the house across the street, nor at the trailer for sale next door to it. Constructed from cinder block, the building itself seems in fair shape; its paint, though timeworn, still holds a hue. The interior is crude and unfinished, with open spaces where windows were never installed. A dream-catcher and a wind chime hang from a crossbeam, and a lonesome flyer announces a yoga class. The place distinctly resonates the desert atmosphere that makes one feel very, very small, a sensation that I have found to be one of the great benefits of going to
barely legible. But in the photo my friend ( a non Baba lover) took, it is covered with rainbows. For their courage in the face of overwhelming odds, for their commitment to improve their lives at whatever cost, these brave souls must warrant the grace of the Avatar: He put a way-station there for them. I suspect that ifwe, His lovers, have such commitment, the Path might become a superhighway, and we’d be zooming along with the windows open and the radio blasting, straight to the Middle of Nowhere.
7Iw Jklischievous Chicken ._/4 Story of Creation by i3iiaii 7<alchuri efore the beginning of Crcation, there was nothing. No space. No time. No form. Nothing at all. Absolutely nothing. But there was one Hen. And she had many children. She would keep all her children under her wings. She would not allow any chick to come out. But there was a Mischievous Chicken, who felt fed up with being under her wing for ages and ages, though there was no existence of time. One day, he got so fed up, he could not control himself. He journeyed out from under his Mother’s wing. As soon as he journeyed out, the Mother Hen got scared. The Mischievous Chicken also got scared, because he saw a dazzling light. He could not face it. So he went back under his Mother’s wing. The Mother Hen was very happy. But this chicken was very, very mischie vous. After ages and ages he felt fed up, and again, he journeyed out. The Mother Hen felt scared. The Mischievous Chicken saw the dazzling light. But this time the color ofthe light was dif ferent. Once again, he could not face it. He returned under the Mother Hen’s wing. In this way, after ages and ages, he journeyed out six times. Each time he returned. Each time when hejourneyed out, the color ofthe dazzling light was different. He could not face it, and he would return. Then the Mother Hen got upset and very angry. She decided that if the Mischievous Chicken journeyed out again, she would not care. The Mischievous Chicken again felt bored, and the seventh time he journeyed out, and indeed, the Mother Hen did not care for him. So the Mischievous Chicken decided to go further, though he could not face the dazzling light. And then what happened? He felt hungry. He asked himself “What should I eat now?” Imagination came, and Imagination said to him, “Don’t worry, I am here. Eat as much as you like.” The Mischievous Chicken felt very, very happy. He made 13 adventures, and things that he should not have eaten, he went on eating and eating
sphere. When he entered the enth adventure, then, ofcoursc, he was near the gross world When he felt hungry and started eating, he made seven adventures in the Gross \‘Vorld—that is stone, vegetable, worm, fish, bird, animal and human being. Until the sev enth adventure, particularly in the animal stage—worm, fish, animal and human being, he was eating and eating. But when he entered into the eighth adventure, he had no connection with the Gross World. That’s why his hunger was less. And it went on becoming less. When he reached the 13th adventure, that is, after crossing four planes of the Subtle World and two planes of the Mental World, there was no hunger. This is the state where you long for God—to become One with Him.When you cross the six planes ofthe InnerWorid, and enter into the seventh plane, you become One with God. When the Mischievous Chicken had 13 adventures, it means that he crossed seven kingdoms ofthe Gross World and six planes ofthe Inner World. When the Voice said, “You eat yourself,” it means, “Eat your mind.” As long as the mind is there, you remain bound with the world. When the mind goes away, then, ofcourse, you become one with God. What were the seven journeys in the beginning—coming and going and seeing the dazzling light? The Mischievous Chicken was passing through the planes. But because he had no impressions, he could not experience anything, even though he was passing through the planes. Afterwards, he got consciousness of the gross world, and he passed through seven kingdoms, that is, from the stone through human being. Again, he entered into the inner world (Subtle and Mental), because this time he had impressions, and that is why he could experience it. We also travel to the seventh plane when we are in sound sleep. But we cannot experience that we are on the seventh plane. Why? Because we have gross impressions. When we wipe out gross impressions, and have subtle impressions, then we experience the Subtle World. And when we wipe out .
© Nadia Wolinska
and eating. Up until the seventh adventure, he went on eating. But when he entered into the eighth adventure, his hunger was less, and he would eat less. He went further and further, and his hunger was less and less, and he would eat less and less. In this way, the Mischievous Chicken completed his 13th adventure. When he completed his 13th adventure, he did not feel hunger. He cried out, “What should I do now?” And he heard the words, “You eat yourself” So the Mischievous Chicken ate himself. And when he ate himself he was All-Knowledge, All-Bliss and All-Power. But when he looked around, what did he find? A11 the innumerable chickens that were under the wing of the Mother Hen had followed Him. So the Mischievous Chicken had to take on the responsibility of those innumerable chickens that had followed him. That’s why the Avatar comes down on earth, age after age, to look after the innumerable chickens, and He suffers. Because He is duty bound, He must look after them. He is the One who shoulders the responsibilityc Now the explanation of the story is as follows: In the beginning, when the Mischievous Chicken came out from under the Mother Hen’s wing and saw the dazzling light, what was it? It was the sixth mental plane, and because he had no impressions at that time, he could not have any consciousness. The different colored lights that he saw represent the dif ferent colors ofthe planes inside ofus. These are the planes of the Subtle and Mental
subtle impressions, then we experience the ]Mental World. But we have to become impressionless. And that is why the mind has to be annihi— lated. And when the mind is annihilated, we experience God. The Mischievous Chicken, after becom ing God, looked around. That was the sign of coming down to Creation consciousness. When someone gets God consciousness, Creation consciousness is necessary to work for the Universe. Whe i that person becomes One with God, he achieves the goal of life, but he cannot work for the Universe. Why? Because for himself he alone exists. Noth ing exists beside himself Since he only finds himself, for whom should he work? The perfect masters and the Avatar work for the Universe. It is their dutyc Therefore, when the Mischievous Chicken received Creation consciousness, he found Creation. He deals with manyness and works for manyness, but he remains One. The Mischievous Chicken story is really very important. The first time the Mischie vous Chicken made seven journeys, he had no impressions, so he could not experience those planes. He was unable to face the light. But when he came down to the gross world, he made thirteen adventures. Of these thirteen adventures, seven are the evolution of consciousness. Then he goes through the involution of consciousness for six adventures, for a total of thirteen adventures. When he made the fourteenth adventure, he realized who he was. So, though at first he made journeys through the planes, he did not experience them, because he had no impressions. But when he had impressions, he experienced the evolution and involution of consciousness. The first one who became a Perfect Mas ter is the one who comes down on earth as the Avatar. He is the same One who comes age after age, with different names, but al ways the same One. He came as Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha,Jesus, Mohammed, and, in this age, as Meher Baba. But He is always the same Ancient One. Story from Thiesfor C’hildren, Mischievous and Otherwise, © Bhau Kalchuri; illustration © Nadia Wolinska. To see Nadia Wolinska’s illustration of this story, go to: www.jaibaba.com/mandali/bhauji/book/ rnischievouschicken.html
Reactions to A1eker 1kba by 2/js
i3e!oved’ ifrIa,sts .Allen )3. Cohen
here were and are advanced souls in the East, much less renowned than Gandhi, but equally significant in the world of true spirituality Many cases were recorded of beloved saints and yogis ofdifferent religious backgrounds recognizing Baba’s greatness. Perhaps the most fascinating responses came from the masts, those God-intoxicated persons, relatively detached from the physical world as we know it, who experience the higher planes of consciousness. The late Dr. William Donkin, one of Baba’s mandali, wrote an entire volume—The Wayfarers—on Baba’s extensive work with these spiritually advanced souls, including a rigorously documented chapter on their reactions to Baba. Although Baba traveled incognito, there was an electric recognition ofhis stature, and numerous masts acknowl edged his spiritual status. CHOTU MIAN (A good mast of Sangamner) June, 1943. He was brought to Meherabad by Baidul [one of the mandali]. When Baidul met him in Sangamner, Chotu Mian said to him, “Your prophet is very great; he is greater than Christ and Mahomet, and all the world will believe in him.” SUBHAN MATTU (A good mast of Srinagar, Kashmir) August, 1944. He was brought to the house, and when he saw Baba, he rolled on the ground, and cried out, “He is God.” PIR FAZL SHAH (An adept pilgrim of Kotah) October, 1946. He told Baba, “No one, until you came, has touched my heart with the arrow of Divine Love. You have the power to destroy and flood the whole world. No one frilly knows the limits ofyour greatness; you are the spiritual authority of the time, and if I were to die I would take another body to be close to you.”
AZIM KHAN BABA (A high mast of Muttra) October, 1946. When Baba contacted him, he (Azim Khan Baba) said, “You are Allah; you have brought forth the creation, and once in [a] thousand years you come down to see the play ofwhat you have created.” BHORWA LA BABA (An : adept pilgrim of Bhor) January, 1947. He said of Baba, “Meher Baba has in him the whole universe, he is the Master of everyone, and he I within every disciple. He is this world, that which is above it, and below it; he is in me and in in everyone. He is the saint of saints one glance he sees the whole continent of India.” A MAST [Unnamed] (ofthe fifth plane, of the “Place of Seclusion”) (? May) 1946. He was brought to Baba’s house, and when he reached the gate, he said, “We have come to the garden ofParadise (Gulistan).” Baba came out of the house, and he gazed at Baba’s face, laughed with tears ofjoy in his eyes, and embraced Baba. Pointing to Baba, he then said to those standing by, “Look at this man’s face and forehead. They shine as if the sun were there; can’t you recognize who he is?” 4
From The Mastery ofConsciousness, by Allan Y. Cohen, © 1977 by Ira G. Deitrick, Published by Harper Colophon Books Selected Mast Quotes originally from The Wayfarers, by Dr. William Donkin, © 1948 by Adi K. Irani, Published by Sufism Reoriented, Inc.
7he J?assion of the Christ E13hau 2<alcIiuri, J4lelteraba,d Continuedfrom thejuly, 2004 Love Street LampPost
he film, The Passion ofthe Christ, so af fected my heart that I could not forget it. It gave the true account ofthe suffering of LordJesus because ofviolence, and it made the suffering ofBeloved Avatar Meher Baba so fresh in my heart that I appreciate Mel Gibson. I remember again and again that Meher Baba had said, “Maya is killing me, but I will win.” You see your own shadow on the wall. As long as you do not realize that it is your shado you think that someone else is there. If you get angry at the shadow, it also gets angry. Ifyou strike the shadow, the shadow strikes back. But who gets hurt? The shadow does not get hurt. You get hurt. So God is playing with His own shadow, not knowing that it is His shadow. There are seven kingdoms (or levels of consciousness) in evolution and seven kingdoms in involution. Maya (the Devil or Satan) rules over these kingdoms up until the thirteenth one. These kingdoms of evolution and involution are in everyone and everything, from gases to human beings, and the Devilgives shape to the gross, subtle, and mental forms ofthese kingdoms. No one can imagine how big Creation is. Nobody can know when Creation began. The stars we see in the sky are dead worlds. See how many stars are there! So one can imagine the number ofdead worlds. It will take ages and ages for the earth to cool down, and when it does, it will become another dead world. The suspension of Creation is called Mahapralaya. At that time, all forms disap pear and the consciousness of each limited mind takes rest in the Universal Mind for ages and ages. The consciousness of every form—stone, metal, vegetable, worm, fish, bird, animal and human being—remains suspended. When Creation again takes place, the dormant minds in the stone kingdom develop first. After more ages, the lim ited minds ofvegetable consciousness come into Creation. And so on and so forth with all the other forms. It takes innumerable ages for each to come into Creation. We don’t know the beginning of Creation after Mahapralaya, so how is it possible to know when Creation actually started? No scientist can find out how or when Cre 40
ation started after Mahapralaya. It is not possible. What a game it is that we remain attached to the shadow, and we ignore God. Ultimately, we realize that this game is a longjourney, an unimaginably long journey. But thisjourney is only in a dream. The soul does not take birth, and the soul does not die. We just go on endlessly dreaming and dreaming. Finally, we wake up from this long dream. In the gross sphere, there are innumerable other worlds at different levels of development. On some, there is only the gas form. In others, there is only the gas and the stone. On some, there is gas, stone and metal. On yet others, there is only gas, stone, metal and vegetable. In still others, there are only gas, stone, metal, vegetable and worm forms. In some, there are gas, stone, metal, vegetable, worms and fish. On other worlds, gas, stone, metal, vegetable, worms, fish and birds ex ist. Some worlds contain gas, stone, metal, vegetable, worm, fish, birds and animals. Finally, in addition to the earth itself, there are 18,000 planets (worlds) that contam everything, including human beings. But on these, the evolution of consciousness in the seven kingdoms occurs only on
the intellectual level. Though the intellect is developed on these planets, there is no spiritual development. Development of the heart takes place only in human beings upon the earth. There are seven planets close to the Creation point (OM point), the earth being the closest. The Creation point is the point ofNirvana, because Satan remains there as infinite unconsciousness. Of these seven planets, only the earth has heart or spiritual development. The second planet from the Creation point has less spirimality and the other five worlds contain less and less. On the remainder of planets with human beings, there is zero percent development of the heart. There must always be seven planets close to the Creation point. When the earth cools down, the number two planet will be promoted to earth’s place. The seventh will be promoted to the sixth, and out of innumer able planets, the one that is the closest to the seventh planet will take its place. The Avatar alone is responsible for all of Creation. This is the post of God. He oc cupies this post in the form of the Avatar, and He works out Creation through the Divine Plan. The five perfect masters are only the ex ecutors ofthe Divine Plan, but the Avatar is the Master and Executor ofthe Divine Plan. According to the need, He alone changes or alters the Divine Plan. He is the only authority who can do so. The perfect masters only execute the work of the Divine Plan. They cannot change or make alterations to it. The Divine Plan is most perfect and does not need any change or alteration, but the Avatar has the authority to change or alter it if He wishes to do so. The Avatar’s work is unimaginable. The consciousness of every kingdom in the evolution ofconsciousness is burdened with impressions (sanskaras). These impressions stop the further progress of consciousness towards the next higher kingdom. When ig norance in human beings reaches its zenith, a Universal Push is required to weed out undesirable sanskaras from each kingdom. In order to give a Universal Push, the pres ence of the Avatar is required. The perfect masters can not do so. Only the Avatar can
give a Universal Push. The amount ofresponsibility the Avatar eternally holds is unimaginable. When He comes down on earth, it is because the Devil has created so much ignorance in human beings that consciousness remains stagnant. In the lower kingdoms, consciousness is stagnant because they have been exploited by human beings (scientists). The five perfect masters are unable to deal with the situation. So they pray to the Avatar, and He answers their prayers by coming down upon the earth in human form. God, in the form of the Avatar, takes human form only on earth. When He does, people from different planets also take birth upon it. Because oftheir intelligence, science progresses and gives birth to materialism. Attracted bymaterialism, people become attached to it. People also mechanically follow priests through rituals, ceremonies and tra ditions and believe they are following God. Ignorance makes everyone blind towards God. When the Avatar comes to earth, He makes Creation clean, so that the natural progress of consciousness is revived. Everything happens according to the Will of God (Divine Will), but it is im possible to understand the Will of God. It is beyond understanding. A leaf cannot move without the Will ofGod. The cruelty against Jesus Christ by the priest class was also according to the Will of God. There is a difference between the Divine Will and the Divine Wish. The Divine Wish is, of course, given when there is much ignorance in human beings. The Devil’s work reaches its zenith, and human beings need awakening towards God. So He comes down on earth in human form to wipe out ignorance and awaken hnmanityc Then the same Wish is turned into rituals, ceremonies and traditions by the priest class and called religion, but it is not true religion. The Devil, who creates ignorance through rituals, ceremonies and traditions, makes people think that these observances have real value. Actually, God is indivisible. God is One. There is nothing except God. So whatever appears besides God is Illusion (shadow or the Devil or Satan or Maya). And when the Divine Wish is turned into rituals and ceremonies, God has to come back again on earth in human form. He has to express His Wish according to the situation during that era. At the same time, He also creates awakening so that people follow His Wish. He also corrects the Devil’s mischief in the lower kingdoms of Creation, so that
in each, consciousness can progress in a natural way. The work of the Avatar is beyond un derstanding. He takes the burden of the impressions which everyone and everything collects through ignorance, and which the lower kingdoms have collected due to ex ploitation by human beings. Although the Avatar has Infinite Power, Infinite Knowledge and Infinite Bliss, He does not use His Infinite Power or His Infinite Bliss when He does His Universal Work. And therefore, how much He has to suffer for Creation. No one but the five perfect masters has any idea. A perfect master acts while the Avatar becomes. For example, if a perfect master appears to be sick, he is not sick (though, for his work, he acts as if he is). But when the Avatar is sick, He really becomes sick. The perfect master cannot become everyone and everything. He is in everyone and everything, but he is not everyone and everything. When a perfect master drops his body, he has no responsibility towards humanitc The Avatar is the Oceanized Ocean, and a perfect master is the Ocean Oceanized. Every drop considers itself a drop, but these drops contain the Ocean. In order to experience the Ocean, the drop has to pass through the evolution and involution ofconsciousness. In the end, the drop becomes the Ocean. So a perfect master passes through the evolution and involution of consciousness and then becomes one with God. The perfect master gets Creation consciousness for his work for the Universe, and as long as he is in a physical body, he remains oce anized. This means that he is active for his universal work. But when a perfect master drops his physical body, he is not oceanized. He remains as the Ocean.The Avatar always remains active in the work for Creation. A Perfect Master does not do this. His work is only during his physical lifetime. The Avatar, however, works even after He drops his body, and by remaining active, He is eternally the Oceanized Ocean. That is why, 100 years after He drops His body, His Universal Manifestation takes place and the Universe is awakened. Then, of course, His Wish is followed. When you call Him, because He keeps His infinite consciousness linked to everyone and everything, His infinite consciousness gets the pull. But when you do not call Him, although He remains active, He does not get a pull through His infinite consciousness. He takes rest. . . .
A rtheft Undone in JftQflt of :Biba E13hau 2<alchuri, Jllleherabad nce, when Baba was at Guruprasad, Baba lovers had come to Him in the evening. They sang Beloved Baba’s Arti. After this, they met Baba and then left. A Baba lover came to me and handed over something wrapped in a hankie. I saw that there was money inside, about 4,000 rupees, and so I put the bundle in the cupboard. The next day, a Baba lover from Inghota, Hamirpur came to me and said, “My money has been stolen. I do not have the flinds to go back to Inghota, and I need about 2,000 rupees.” “Where did it happen?” I asked him. “I don’t know,” he answered. “The money was in my pocket. When I put my hand in my pocket, I found that my pocket had been cut and that the money was not there.” I opened my cupboard and showed him the hankie. “Oh! This is my hankie and my money!” he exclaimed. I told him, “One person brought this to me after Arti. So it must have happened here.” A pickpocket must have come while Arti was being sung, even though Baba was present. This pickpocket cut the man’s pocket, and the money fell out. But when Arti ended, people opened their eyes, so the pickpocket could not take the money. Now see, even before God, devils play these tricks. Because of selfishness, greed, and temptation everywhere, such situations are created by demons. And because of this, honest people suffer. Actually, this suffering is a blessing for honest people. If your situation is miserable, and even amidst that situation, you remain honest, that is a great thing.You get courage and faith in God. The test for us, of course, is to remain honest, even though we suffer.
to be continued in the next issue
Cornrnirnitq Care and &nior 2 IQusing: fjuestwns, Dssues,
EI3ridget Robiiison, Cnliforiiin ver the past few years, the topic of shared housing for seniors has come up repeatedly in informal conversations, often at Sahavas. There is a common feeling that there will be a desire for senior care in the Baba community here in the United States. At the same time, there is a subset of the community with emotional or physical challenges of such significance that people are wondering what will happen to these at risk folk as they age. This article is not intended to argue for any one point of view or even to promote doing something per se. It is intended to pose questions, build upon some informal discussions that have taken place, put forth options for those who are considering collaborative living arrangements, and finally to consider in depth the issues faced when dealing with those at risk for homelessness or institutional care. There are quite a few statements from Meher Baba that inform this discussion and there are some generalities about how people approach life which deserve exploration as differing approaches affect our personal beliefs about intervention. Intervention versus Interference For many, a central concern is about what is appropriate in terms of assisting people who, like them, are on a spiritual path. On the surface, elder care appears as though it may be a significant opportunity to provide selfless service to others, but it possibly also rides into Baba’s warning that “His lovers and workers should not get intimately involved with the family af fairs of one another. (Meher Baba’s Last Warning, through Adi K. Irani, July 1968); more specifically, it may bring up concerns for people in terms ofentwining themselves in the sanskaras of others. However, one might look to the idea of bhiksha (the Indian principal ofgiving alms) and how Baba dealt with the needy. In this context, is it interference when someone asks for help? If the party involved is just one individual and that person is asking for assistance, can that ever be seen as interference? Interference seems to imply an active attempt to bring about change for one person that at least one other person in a family may not want. Even if that defini
. . “
tion of interference is not present, what if the individual is spiritually similar to the beggar whom Eruch told us that Baba said had used donated money to get drunk and beat or kill his wife? Or instead is he to be considered “the poor” whom Baba told us to feed and serve? How one addresses the basic issue of “intervention” versus “interference” lies at the base ofthe discussion about those at risk generally and about those whose functioning drops to a point where they are not really able to make care decisions for themselves. But clearly the issue co-mingles with issues ofindividualism and personal independence. Is it better to move towards “an efficient model” and address situations on a national level, or is it best left to small clusters offolk assisting people in their immediate area? At what point do these individual situa tions accumulate sufficiently that a group effort seems to emerge, for housing or for community care? Where is the line? Who decides? Also, is it enough to m4ke a gen eral determination that if a person actively asks for help that this is the proper test for a situation being intervention instead of interference? Should such determinations be left to Baba lovers trained in social work or should a set ofguidelines be established to guide caretakers of any background? “Leave the results to God” or “Leave it all to me”? Spiritually speaking, another truth that impacts this situation directly is that most Baba lovers appear to deal with their lives along two lines with regard to how to fol low Baba. These orientations have emerged directly from statements made by Baba, and are individually interpreted. By no means does this break out describe all the unique ways people deal with Baba, but for the purposes ofthis discussion, it may assist to categorize broadly as follows: 1) There are those who subscribe to the try your best, but remember to leave the result to God. point ofview (Lord Meher, p. 1450). They believe that doing some planning and saving for their future is part of what Baba asks of them in the context of fulfilling their worldly responsibilities, and that the results of their efforts are His; “ . . .
this is a legitimate approach to following Baba’s word. 2) Others appear to subscribe more strongly to Baba’s statement “Leave everything to me—leave it to me. (Lord Meher, p. 3824) and they operate in the world this way. To be clear, this i, to suggest that people in this group likely interpret “Do your best” to mean that they should focus on “Doing their best to leave it all to Him.” Obviously, this is also a spiritually valid way to go, and they feel that their senior care falls as easily under this umbrella as has the rest of their life. They figure that when elderly, wherever they end up is where they are supposed to be, and who can argue with that? Again, both approaches to life seem to be truly valid ways to interpret Baba’s words, and having a lot of money does not preclude someone from being in the “leave everything to me” group, just in case anyone assumes I am aligning money and approach. It should, however, be said that Baba lovers ofboth types are often proud to be individual thinkers and doers. One effet ofthis individuality and independence and, yes, real faith in Meher Baba, particularly in those who “leave everything to me,” is that some folks tend to be on the periphery of the central interpersonal networks. By itself being on the periphery is not an issue that is anyone’s business but Baba’s, but as it relates to elder care, many of these folk appear to be without the observable interpersonal support typically needed as one ages here in America. There are quite a few single Baba lovers who appear to be living not only a single life, but also a solitary life. Who are they planning to physically turn to as they age? Do they have someone to trust with care decisions? How are others in the community going to respond to the “leave everything to me” folks, or even to those who planned but find they need assistance, for instance, if a spouse dies suddenly? These folks are amongst those who would likely welcome the services that cooperative living offers. Couples may also be interested ifsimply for the community aspects of senior housing, and others for the opportunities for service to others. Before we get into some options, however, it is important to discuss . .“
one more group, and how their needs may be included or otherwise impact future decisions. The at-risk: the poorest ofthe poor? The groupings above somehow assume people have some choice about whether or not to plan for retirement. Some ofyou are laughing already, I am sure, along the lines of “man plans, God laughs” but permit me some latitude here, as there is a third at risk group, or at least a subset of each of the two types, for whom the notion of successflu future planning and care may be highly mitigated byphysical and/or emotional chal lenges. We all feel emotionally challenged sometimes, but I am referring to those with special needs: those who have been unable to hold down ajob with retirement benefits, who suffer from clinical depression and so forth. Those with physical ailments are usually obviously in need; but those with emotional challenges are often harder to identify as needing future assistance; in either case, both sets of folks are likely to need help from some source. So—what to do about the ones that are a paycheck away from the streets? Do we do nothing? This seems to be the area where the idea of interference is most likely to come into play: Can anyone in this country really be called the “poorest of the poor” or is it their sanskaric time to suffer in this life, and o efforts would be considered spiritual interference? To me, that they are at risk cannot mean that some of us see them as “less advanced than us”—some ofus not currently at risk will end up in the category—period. That said, here is an example which provides some food for thought: Recently I was one of several asked by a Center’s leadership to provide some assis tance to a single, 50-something Baba lover who has developed some health problems. His needs are significant and far more than the communitylocallyis able to address.The long-time Baba lover, however, believed that Baba lovers would be there for him on his terms and was initially quite upset when no one would give the type ofcare he requested. His anger was not unusual, as it typically takes some time for most of us to accept a new set of challenges. The healthcare and social service system finally stepped up and is apparentlyworking as needed, but it took some time for the man to accept that the Baba community could help in only limited ways. He is also at risk of homelessness, as he can no longer work. This situation brought up some questions beyond the ones already raised:
1) When the caseworker asked who would be willing to be a guardian ifit were needed, how was one to answer? Is this what Baba wants of us? 2) What should one do when people want care “on their terms” or when they are abusive towards those offering assistance? 3) How deeply should the Center become involved? 4) How many other Baba lovers think that the Centers will begin senior programs for them? How these questions were answered: 1) As to “guardianship”: one Baba lover stepped forward and said he would assist as much as he is able to, and so he is working with social services as a substitute family member. Should we, other than those who are paid to be guardians through their jobs, be willing to become legal guardians ofother Baba lovers? Would Baba want us to go this far in our care? Again, the statement about not interfering in families makes sense if someone has a family. What about those without a family? Or those who have not married and/or have no children, or can’t afford to or do not feel pulled to adopt? Their numbers in this community seem to be above average. 2A) As to the “on their terms” issue: this is where the individuality issues and interference question arises again: the Baba lover wanted to stay where he was currently living: who is going to pay his rent since he is unable to work? According to the case worker, he first needed to go bankrupt in order to qualify for services and then he could sign up for disability insurance, but that takes 60 to 90 days÷. Does he become homeless during that period? Is it ever ap propriate for someone to give him money “under the table” to cover this period of time? This last question came up, as did whether or not he should give someone all so that he could say he ofhis money to had no money and more quickly qualify for aid. To my knowledge, none of the money ideas took form, which was a relief. I don’t think anyone wanted to be involved with someone else’s money issues. 2B) To the “abusive” issue: often when people need care, they can be quite demanding; part of this relates to a fear of losing control over their lives and who amongst us likes that feeling? I don’t, no one I know does. Again, anger is not unusual when people are dealing with a new ailment and it typically takes some time to accept the new situation. But how much is too much to put up with? Should someone yelling in
frustration be too much to deal with? If the yeffing is public or private, does that factor in? Should anyone ever allow someone to get physical with them? The reason I ask these questions is that in some circumstances a Baba lover may have committed to helping someone, and so they may tell themselves that whatever happens, they are supposed to keep helping (i.e. “Baba has me here for a reason” is a common thought). Then, if or when the person in need becomes abusive, the caretaker feels they cannot back out. In the social service world, caseworkers are trained to leave such a situation for a lot of good reasons beyond physical safety. I will take a stand here and say that no one should remain in a care taking role iftheir personal safety is challenged—get out ofthe way and call the police ifnecessary It is not interfer ence to protect your own safety. 3 and 4) The Centers are not designed to handle these social needs at this time. The general consensus is that the topic is important and that it’s probable that people will want more from the Centers in the future, given Baba’s comments about ftiture service through His Universal Spiritual Centers. The Centers currently do not do. outreach and have very narrow charters related to preserving their spiritual charge. The feeling amongst some in leadership is that they will not expand their charters to include these services any time soon and that if something should be done, it will likely be through a community based, nonprofit organization. So—is it our sanskaric task to step into such situations as the fellow above? Do we allow social services to take care of the atrisk so that we avoid the possibility of“tainting ourselves spiritually” or is it spiritually beneficial to serve these folks in this way? One main issue regarding the current atrisk group is that they may not be receiving information in any regular way from the Baba community (including reading this article), and, to my knowledge, no Center has taken a public stand to alert people ahead of time that they should not assume the Centers will be offering such services in the future. In addition, though both a senior care and housing website and a discussion board have been set up recently, the at risk folks may be precluded from participating, as they may not have a computer or ftmds to pay for a monthly access fee. As such, their participation in any discussion of these matters may be limited, if at all, and their ideas about how their needs might best be met will not be included unless there is ac
tive solicitation oftheir input. In itself such a task could be quite time consuming. Who is willing to take on that task? Just a Few Other Considerations: Timing No matter what your opinion on the end result, it is at this point where many who’ve discussed the issue feel that if something should be done, it likely needs to be started soon, so as to develop something solid prior to a good sized segment ofthe Baba commu nity needing its services. Such an organiza tion or organizations would need some years to work out the bugs, which is why most people think that a 5 to 10 year development period would be reasonable. Centralization? Some believe that one nonprofit organi zation should run the whole thing nationally. The main questions that immediately emerge from the idea ofone non profit organization are: does launching a national non profit smack oforganizing a religion or even laying the groundwork for a “central, organizing unit”? Is it better to leave the development to local groups, in line with what Baba said about the centers operating independently? Whose decides the form? To add slightly more to the pot here, the “Baba kids” are now coming to understand the difficulties involved in being with Baba as an adult while at the same time excelling in their roles and responsibilities in life. Ifthe general decision is to “do nothing and leave it all to Baba” and He decides to “do noth— ing different” and then the desire for senior services emerges in 10 years, the heavy lifting will need to be done by the “kids”, who will be already frilly burdened by raising their families. The word on the street is that the Baba kids would prefer that their parents initiate such efforts in great part because they would rather the parents decide aboutwhat is best for their own care. Sanskarica]Iy, maybe the kids are supposed to serve their parents individually, maybe not. Are you okay with leaving it to them? What if they decide to do something you dislike? Who’s to Serve? Who’s to Be Served? Finally, a question arises about to whom to go to for care: only to Baba lover doctors? Since everything and everyone is heading towards Baba’s manifestation, shouldn’t one simply embrace the world and interact with people who are not Baba folk in order to pose them to Baba? He didjust that Himself and for many, the answer is a simple “yes” to this question. In this same context, however, one can reasonably ask: could an at risk, elder care, 44
and/or retirement housing effort located in th Myrtle Beach be the start ofthe 6 aspect of Meher Baba’s establishment of a Universal Spiritual Center there, i.e. the Resting Place for the Afflicted? He stated Meher Spiritual Center is one of these centers, and so this possibility deserves a look for those feeling that Myrtle Beach is a good place to set in some roots. About the Resting Place, Baba stated, “This section will devote attention to the removal ofsuffering and ailment in all its forms. It is meant to be the training ground for a group of selfless workers who will learn how to render real and effective service.The experi ence gathered through this department will be capable of universal application.” (Love Alone Prevails, p. 695) So, is it time? Could the Resting Place even be proposed without it being fttlly staffed by Baba lovers? Would all ofits residents be Baba lovers? FINALLY—What are some cooperative living options? I knowyou are probably a bit exhausted by now, and I apologize for that, but I think it is only after asking a lot of complex questions can one turn towards examining options. To be clear, any option will have to address the fact that residents will need increasing levels of assistance over time. Here are some ideas that have emerged from the discussion board and at Sahavas, listed roughly from most independence to least independence: 1) Individuals buy inexpensive homes along one street in the Myrtle Beach area. Several college age Baba lovers care for them in exchange for room and board for specified periods oftime. This would not require state licensing. Group buys separate plot of land 2) and develops small cottages or the like, something similar to the Indian concept of a compound. This would not require state licensing, but likely some layers of legal paperwork. 3) Group could hire an “assisted living liaison”, someone with a social service background to act as an ombudsman for people living alone. This person might coordinate assisted living services, such as Meals on Wheels, transportation to and from medical appointments, and light duty case work (i.e. they might act as a focal point for tracking the needs ofBaba lovers and alerting the care providers when there is an issue that is not being adequately addressed). This may not require that people live in the same area or location. 4) Make or buy a fill—fledged retire-
ment center. That is, build a location from scratch or buy a center and convert it into a Baba owned facility Regulatory requirements and many costs involved would likely rival services offered in the private sector. Obviously, there are options that can be examined, such as one person buying a large house and renting out rooms, but the deci sion about what to do as a whole is likely to be effected at a group level.Whether one idea is more suitable in one location and another in another location, is again, up to those who become involved. Bhau Kalchuri, upon learning about this concept, wrote .before you start you must think about it seriously. It is not sufficient to collect information but it is necessary to start the project. There is no end of infor mation. But that information is really useftil which the heart provides. First one should collect this information and then proceed ftirther...” What to do? Next Steps? Someone suggested that local groups focus a meeting on aging and care issues. That might be a good starting point. If you are ready to engage with others and don’t want to wait for a meeting, or simply want to get some ideas from others, there are some people already talking about cooperative living. For those who have a strong vision that these facilities should become spiritual cornmunities or a resting place, I would simply like to suggest that you consider the idea that “ifyou build it, He will come”, as He always has and He always will. The website is located at: www.meherbabaseniorcareg and Ron Festine is the liaison for the steering cornmittee. He may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: 503“. .
—. mykai: izightitgak doWi-be disap pointed with the old age ofspring lut keep on singing, and wljik singing bicome ! so thirsty that you drown in My Ocean f Silence. Thenyou willfindMy eternalip new Song. Whenyou sing this Songyou willfind that spring has becomeyoung once again. Iwantto hearyoursong Donfre1disappointedwitb the oldage ofspring and don’z’ rnakeMe disappointedinyou. Drink the cup ofMypleasure and havingderivednrengtb from it continuesinging.Allow others to hear your song too. You will be able to revive the youthfulness ofspring, butto accomplish this you have to drown in My Silence andJind MySong ‘-
Response from 7<eith9unn, California
hesitate to enter this discussion because my views are a little off center, but for what they are worth, here they are: The right place for Baba lovers to seek Senior Care, I think, is India. I hear an immediate chorus of”inferior medical care, too many bugs, wrong climate” and so forth. I believe this chorus to be based on poor information. I spend a lot oftime in India, and I spend part ofit on every visit in other parts oflndia than just Ah mednagar and its magnificent suburbs. First, prescription drugs are obtained at between 1/10 and 1/100 the cost they have here in America (for reasons that can only be ascribed to Corporate corruption and Governmental lassitude). Second, the Indian people have an enormous capacity for compassionate service, vastly exceeding the average in the West in this regard. Third, good medical and dental care is available for those who are sufficiently discriminating to discover it. There are hurdles. The Indian electrical grid is dysfunctional, but there is more than enough insulation to make renewable local electrical generation feasible in a compound of even modest size. That’s a cost disadvantage, but it’s way overcome by the cost advantages. There are hygienic hurdles, but the Pilgrim Centre has overcome them, and Alan and his kitchen staffknow the protocols to assure bug-free living (as do the leading hospitals, such as the ones that have successfully cared for Bhau; we’d know to get a better anaesthesiologist, ifyou’ve heard that story). And we’d know how to install air conditioning in any facility for westerners, and would therefore have no difficulty adjusting the climate in suitable ways. I am informed that Mani was concerned that older Western Baba lovers would flood the Ahmednagar district to live out their lives, and she didn’t like this idea at all. But wherever one goes in India to actualize this plan, relative proximity to the Samadhi seems to me to make sense for us. James Cox built condos in Ahmednagar District, within walking distance ofthe Samadhi. It was a very difficult thing to do, and I wonder ifJames would do it again. It may be that somewhere other than Ahmednagar would be a better place to site any sort of new Baba Lover-oriented health faci1ity On one visit, I went to an Elder Care facility on the border ofMaharashtra and Gujarat, on the sea (ocean front property originally built for Zoroastrians by Zoroastrians). It was clean, elegant, and could easily have been adjusted to meet western standards had there been a suitable infusion offunds. Price no object, a site like that would be unobtainable in the first world for an elder care facility So, there are lots ofadvantages to considering India as the ultimate destination of elderly Baba lovers of an adventurous nature. Going frirther to an actual plan can be left to those with sufficient interest.
.7frklier Ei3aba do not perform any miracles, I do not change the circumstances at all, but there is one thing that is certain: My spiritual status is so high, so great, that if any man in any difficulty in any corner of the world, at any time, remembers Me with all his heart, the difficulty is immediately solved. That is not idle talk, it is a fact. I am the Lord of the Universe and the Slave of the love ofMy lovers. When you feel angry or get lustful thoughts, at once remember Me whole-heartedly. Let My Name serve the purpose ofa net around you so that like mosquitoes, the thoughts may keep buzzing around you, yet they will not be able to ‘bite’ you. Any moment you feel you are getting excited, remember Me, and you can at once turn that moment into laughter.
Meher Baba Calling, © AMBPPCT
L.A. SAHAVAS workshop on Senior Care and Hous ing will be held at the upcoming L.A. Sahavas next summer, led by Sam Ervin. Sam is currently the chairman ofthe board at Meher Mount, and with his wife, Margaret Magnus, is involved in long term planning both for Meher Mount and the Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern California. Beginning his career as a social worker and ending up as CEO ofa $500 million health plan, Sam brings 30 years of experience in health services to the discussion. MEHERANA SPRING SAHAVAS nother workshop on Senior Care and Housing will be held at the Meherana Spring Sahavas in 2005, led by Ron Festine. Ron currently runs a healthcare website business and was Executive Director for one of the nation’s regional aging associations.
urpose of Life 2 The rj JI/kher Ei3aba by seeking individual happiness or
Notsafety but by again and again offering one’s life in the service ofothers is it possible to rise to the unsurpassed completeness of realized truth. God is not to be sought by running away from life but by establishing unity with the One in the many. Purity, love and service are the elements of spintual life. Those who cleanse their hearts of the embittering poison of selfishness, hate and greed find God as their own true Self. The truth ofdivine life is not a hope but a reality; all else is illusion. Have faith and you will be redeemed. Have love and you will conquer the limited selfofcravings that veilyour own true being as God. The so many deaths during the one whole life, from the beginning of evolution the end ofinvolution of like so many sleeps during one lifetime.
ofconsciousness to consciousness, are
Meher Baba Calling, © 1964 A]VIBPPCT 45
c2oeiry Divine 3ire, Wood, and the 3lcimes of Longing
nce and for all, Baba, let’s get this right!
Fire is dormant and latent in everything everywhere. Even in air and water and stone. Okay? You as Reality are the Fire. Right? But Fire needs something to burn, In order to bring it out, realize and manifest itself. Wood burns perfectly in Fire leaving only ashes. My false and illusory selfis Wood for the Fire, When it reaches the Involution Stage. Furthermore, as every thing within Illusion is evolving And one day will also be part of a falseself’s make-up Which has become seasoned Wood ready for burning We can therefore say that the whole of Illusion (Creation) Is latently and potentially Wood for the Fire. Okay, so far? —
As Fire, you are Reality But as Reality cannot enter Creation (Illusion), you come into Creation (Illusion) as Love And you remain with Creation (Illusion) as Love eternally And forever, never leaving or being absent from it. Therefore, Your Love is you Reality within Illusion! You then seed Your Love in our hearts and when they start growing, They turn into Longing. And the more Longing We experience for you, the more Your Seeds or Love Grow within our hearts. And the greater —
our love Becomes for you, the deeper is our experience of Longing For you! The Flames around the burning Wood are this Longing. The Flames come from the Fire within the Wood And not from the Wood. Longing comes from Your Love—which is actually you And not as we think from our wanting. Wood is nothing and nothingness. It’s there so that Fire Can manifest itself as Flames. Is this correct?
So the Flames of Longing, which essentially are Fire, Burn the Wood and doing so reveal the Fire. The Fire than sees and realizes itself And as it continues to burn to manifest as Flames Within Creation (Illusion), it is recognized as the Avatar And Christ or a Perfect Master. However, the Avatar and Christ or the Perfect Masters Are seen by us as Flames and not as actual Fire! Right? —
Finally, the Wood is burned to ashes returning To the nothing and nothingness it was all along. And with all the Wood burned, the Flames die down And disappear. So where’s the Fire? —
Where it always was and will be everything everywhere!
In a real sense, Divine Fire (Reality) Never comes into Illusion (Creation)... Therefore the nearest we come to it, Ifwe exclude the Planes of Consciousness, Is through the Flames of Longing. Yet, quite incredibly and astonishingly, These same Flames reveal and manifest Divine Fire with Illusion (Creation) As in the Avatar and Christ, and Perfect Masters! —
This is truly unbelievable to my mind, Baba! But my heart is somersaulting across the sky with joy! Dearest Baba, just a moment I really need to sit down! . .
Dare I say aloud what I’m seeing before my eyes, Baba ..!? That when the Flames of Longing are burning brightly And intensely within our heart it’s the same As being in Your Actual Physical Presence! —
I’m the happiest mute in all of Creation, Baba!
Baba, when you have a moment, I? S. tell Eruch That what he used to tell us about longingls thepeifect truth. Andplease give him a loving hugfrom me. Thanks! -
Except that now it has realized itself As Who? and What? it is Divine Fire —
It is in everything everywhere And it consciously experiences itself in everything everywhere!
F:..E HEFL E3..A E..A r..I:EE.:::.=i:..N:.G ....
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
Call for info: Liz Miller at 603-749-3668. E-mail: mceliz200l @yahoo.com.
Irma Sheppard, phone: 520-321-1566, 7320 N. Village Ave., Tucson, AZ 85704. E-mail: email@example.com.
Call for info regarding meeting times and related info: 510845-4339 or Ben Leet at 510-351-8259, e-mail: Bcnleet@earthlink. net. The Northern California Avatar Meher Baba Center is located at 6923 Stockton St., El Cerrito, CA 94530-2931. www.MeherBabaMeherBaba.org Marilyn Buehler, Sacramento area, phone: 916-812-9496. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. wwwpremsay.com/MeherBaba SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Meetings are Sundays, 11 am. to 1 p.m. held in our center “Meherabode,” phone: 323-731-3737, 1214 South Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90019 (just East ofthe intersection ofArlington and 12th Street). The Avatar Meher Baba Center ofLos 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 DenverMetro area. (Also the contactpersonfor Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, andArizona.)BarbaraA. Roberts, Phone: 303-238-4649, 3475 Moore Court, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-5543 (suburb of Denver). E-mail: email@example.com. FLORIDA
Jane Paladino, Tampa, FL, 813-962-8629. Contact Tom Decker M.D., Clearwater, FL, 727-536-9282. HAWAII
Winnie Barrett, 22 Chunns View Drive, Asheville, NC i. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sheldon Herman, none: 336-288-8090 or 336-235-2730, 2405 Kery Drive, reensboro, NC 27408, e-mail: email@example.com. Peter and Debbie Nordeen, 5 Fern Street, Asheville, NC 28803, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. ........ .... —
Meher Baba House, Angela and George Chen, 124 Pondfield Road West, Bronxville, NY 10708 e-mail: info@MeherBabaHouse.org. www.MeherBabaHouse.org Philadelphia and surrounding tn-state area ofNew York, NewJersey, and Pennsylvania. Bi-weekly meetings on Saturdays at 4 p.m. Contact Frank Bloise, phone: 856-696-4374, 431 West Garden Road, Vineland, NJ 08360, e-mail: email@example.com. TEXAS
Chris &Anne Barker, phone: 936-560-2631, 3101 Skyline Drive, Nacog doches, TX 75965, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. WASHINGToN, D.C.
Pamela Butler-Stone, phone 310-946-0236. Friday and Saturday Meetings. Visit www.lifeimages.com/MeherBaba
Meredith Moon Phone: 808-573-1188 or 808-572-6556. Fax: 808-5731189. E-mail: email@example.com. Location: 1940 Olinda Road or Snail mail to: P0. Box 1269, Makawao, Maui, HA 96768, USA. HAWAII
Robert Reser and Edle Andersen. Meetings are held the [ast Thursday ofthe month at 7 p.m. in our home at 1921 Fort Union Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505. Phone: 505-9831 firstname.lastname@example.org.
ShirleyAlapa at “Meher Dham.” Phone: 808-567-6074 or 808-567-6383. Fax: 808-567-6363 Message: 808-567-6363. E-mail: email@example.com. 69K Farrington Ave., Hoolehua, HI 96729. Mail: P0. Box 177 Kualapuu, HI 96757. MAiNE
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, woric 207-594-0909 home: 207-594-1968 evenings and weekends. Snail mail: P.O. Box 125, Spruce Head, ME 04859. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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: email@example.com. M ASSACHUSETTS Meher Baba Information Center (Cambridge). Contact Michael Siegell 617-864-3997, or Linda Porelle e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M0NTA NA
Andy Shott, phone: 406-549-5949, 336 Connell, Missoula, MT 59801. NEVADA
Dick & Carol Mannis, 10809 Garden Mist Dr, Las Vegas NV 89135, Phone: 702-326-1701, e-mail: email@example.com. Meetings at 5 p.m., fol lowed by potluck dinner.
Meher Baba Center, 228 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7HG (0207)485 7042 FRANCE
C. Dallemagne, Le Sylvéreal Al. des Pins 13009 Marseille Tel. (4)91 41 39 02. Marc Molinari. Debby Sanchez, 1300 Route de Callas 83490 Le Muy (near Cannes). Tel. (4)94 45 81 39. Christine & Philippe Joucla, 7 Allée des Pins, La Salette 56610 Arradon (near St.Nazaire) (2)97 46 13 19. André Grimard, Champ Brulé Duneau 72160 Connérré (2)43 89 01 94. Claude Longuet, 13-15 Rue Pastourelle, 75003 Paris, (1)44 59 30 06. ISRAEL
Michal Sivan, phone/fax: 02671-5835. Address: 46 Hebron Road,Jerusa lem, Israel 93513. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. MEXICO
Rafael Villafane, phone from US: 01152555295-0512, cell from US: 011 52 555 502 7225, e-mail is best as I travel alot: email@example.com. 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 ifyou will be in those areas. Jeff & Cindy Lowe, phone from US: 011 52 755 544 6303, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have a meeting any time there is a request for one. Please contact us if you’re going to be in the Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa area.
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 I
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