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AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
SttXmPst In This Issue Design, Production & Layout: Bob Dearborn Arts & Entertainment: Richard Arthur Bookstore Editor: Dma Snow Franklin Calendar Editor (Program Chairperson): Richard Arthur Children’s Corner Editor: Adele Wolkin Announcements Editor: Linda Zavala Distribution: Clea Sucoff and Harry Thomas
AMARTITHI AROUNT THE WORLD 27TH AMARTITHI IN iNDIA by James Cox THE OLD WORLD IN THE NEW LIFE
by Don Stevens
AMARTITHI IN SCANDINAVIA by Eric Solibakke
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DEADLINES: November 15 (January March issue) February 15 (April June issue) May 15 (July September issue) August 1 5 (October December issue) -
from Meher Baba Australia
ADDRESS CHANGES I SUBSCRIPTION REQUEST: Clea Sucoff, 3122 Arizona Avenue, #C, Santa Monica, CA 90404 (310) 828-1182 BOOKSTORE: Dma Snow Franklin do Avatar Meher Baba Center of So. California I 0808 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025 Between 7 pm & I I pm, phone (31 0) 837-641 9, or 24-hour fax (31 0) 839-BABA (2222) or BABABOOKS @ AOL.COM DONATIONS:
LampPost Donations, Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California, 1 0808 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
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THE WORLDS BEST KEPT SECRET by Michale Morice THE OVERPASS THAT BABA BUILT by D.S.F. Los Angeles
CENTER REPORT by Michael Ramsden ANNOUNCEMENTS THANKSGIVING DAY AT MEHER MOUNT by Marguerite Poley CALENDAR OF EVENTS WHAT’S UP AT MEHER MOUNT by Gigi Driessen
THE PINK CLOUD by James Cox
WEST COAST MEETINGS
In Orange County call Lynne or Steve Berry (714) 966-1262 In the Inland Empire call Jay Mohler (619) 366-9330 In Ojai call Peter Justin (805) 646-4159 (Wednesdays, 7:30 pm) In Santa Barbara call Donna Karpeles (805) 682-1877 In San Diego call Scott or Anne Makeig (61 9) 436-7155 (monthly) In Fresno call Sharon or Phil Scott at (209) 449-0877 (every first, second and third Wednesdays ofthe month) In San Francisco call Mary Weiss or Peter Ravazza (415) 221-8724 (Wednesdays, 7 pm) In Northern California call (51 0) 845-4339 for full schedule In Portland, call the Wilson’s (503) 873-2048 (every Friday night, Discourses meetings every other Sunday afternoon) In Sacramento call Marilyn Buehler at (916) 925-4451 In Seattle call Joyce/Tom Geoffroy (206) 283-7027, (Fridays,
OBSERVANCE OF AMARTITHI AT OUR CENTER by Lois Jones AMARTITHI AT MEHER SPIRITUAL CENTER by Deborah Smith GROUPS iN THE U.K. by Sarah McNeily AUSTRALIA THE ADAMS FAMILY REMEMBERS
ABRAHAM AND MOSES by John Page
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CHILDREN’S CORNER ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT REVIEWS THE MARKET FOR GOD by Meher Baba
AT THE BOOKSTORE by Dma Franldin
The LoveStreet LampPost keeps the Southern california Avatar Meher Baba community abreast of center activities, along with national and international friends, it represents an historical context; and it provides a forum for contemporary accounts of life with Meher Baba, as Master and Guide. The LoveStreet LampPost is free, given in the spirit and with the intention of spreading Avatar Meher Baba’s Message of Love and Truth. A publication of the Avatar Meher Baba center of Southern California, 10808 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025. Published quarterly (January, April, July, October). All contents © 1996 by the Avatar Meher Babs Center of Southern California, except where noted. call (310) 474-9454 for membership information, late-breaking program and events information, a copy of the Bookstore catalog, to get on the mailing list, to receive upcoming Fly-to-India Sweepstakes tickets orjust to say hello.
Since there was no other option, I told her that she was not leveraging us, but that she was denying water to Meher Baba for his followers, and that if forced, we would give her that connection, but the consequences of the action would fall on her, all ofwhich seemingly had no effect on her, so we were forced to hook up their pipe.
AMARTITHI AROUND THE WORLD 27th AMARTITHI IN INDIA by James Cox [Meherabad, near Ahmednagar, M.S., India] The days leading up to January 30th and 3 1st were hectic, maddening and exhausting for most of us who worked to get all of the parts together for the biggest Amartithi celebration ever, the commemoration of Meher Baba’s passing away in 1969.
They came by bus
After working for weeks, and almost around the clock for the last three days, water finally began to flow into Meherabad from the new well on the 30th afternoon, just as one of the other Trust pipelines burst. But there was no interruption in supply to the ten thousand that came for Baba’s darshan.
They came by train
I don’t know the other stories, but my main focus was trying to get a major well, owned by my associate, a follower ofMeher Baba, Sharad Agarkar, hooked up to the Trust supply to augment the Trust reserves in case of any problem. Naturally, as with most Baba related projects, the problems and difficulties were not only numerous, but very tricky in how they presented themselves. My favorite part had to do with a villager who had been very friendly, giving us permission to cross his land with a pipeline. After the ditch was dug with the help of dynamite, and just as we were going to set the pipe on the 29th, the farmer and son went away, and left his wife to bodily stop us from laying the pipe unless we gave them a connection for their house from the main pipeline. Other than the likelihood of a massive loss of water, there were also other technical problems making this arrangement undesirable, and of course, legally we could overcome this obstruction, but not in one day.
They came on foot Amartithi this year was the biggest ever, nearly 10,000 registered pilgrims staying at Lower Meherabad and at the New Site, stretching the facilities to the maximum. In fact, some people were turned away for lack of sufficient tent space accommodations, and there was
some friction created by the overcrowding, but eventually Jal and his gang of volunteers, who did a rea.y remarkable job in the face of tremendous obstacles, were able to find a nook or cranny for everyone. How many came altogether is just a guess, but during the silence at noon on January 3 st, hundreds if not thousands of people had to stand out in the sun, as there was not room under the giant multi-colored panda!. For many inside, there was not room even to sit. Baba’s love magnetjust keeps on thawing in His filings.
as they had done in the past. People could meet Eruch, but were requested not to embrace him. But I suppose this change is inevitable, and foreshadows the day when we will be left with no mandali members at all.
One very noticeable change this time was the fact that parking space at Meherabad had become a premium item. Hard to imagine, but when you looked at the sea of cars, true. On the 3 1st, there was literally no space left to park on the hill, and Lower Meherabad, behind Hostel C was a sea of cars, jeeps and buses, covered in clouds of dust.
To avoid having pilgrims standing in the sun for six hours to take darshan, the pandal was setup stretching from the Samadhi across to the stage.
Of course there was singing, dancing, music and movies as there are every year, but this year with a very beautiful backdrop to the amphitheater painted by Katherine Cox. (Please forgive me the plug, but it was a really exceptional piece.) The queue for Darshan was immense, and at one point, before people started bowing down four at a time, the line, after hours of hairpin cutbacks, stretched all the way down to Arangaon. Another first this year were video cameras and monitors set up so that people in line could watch people taking darshan.
The women mandali arrived at around 1 0:45 a.m. and went to the Samadhi for darshan. It made many of us very happy to see that everyone’s health had improved enough so that they could all make it for the noon silence on the 3 1st, which marked the actual time of Baba’s passing, and which always has a very unique feeling.
The amphitheater with a whimsical backdrop painted by Katherine Cox
Local school children under the pandal
Just before twelve, the recording of “Begin the Beguine” to which Baba had listened, was played, and then there was the usual fifteen-minute silence, followed by shouts of AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI!, and a rather
Mani and the women mandali came only for a couple of hours this year, during the noon silence, and many people were disappointed in not being able to greet them 3
involved warning by Aloba about con-artists masquerading as Baba followers. But sure enough, the prayers, in many languages, did follow the warning. The transformation which Meherabad undergoes at this time is really something that is difficult to convey in words. The place becomes so suffused with the strength of Baba’s love, that it takes on a unique identity of its own, ceasing to be the old Meherabad that we see for the other 363 days ofthe year. Stalls, colors, people and lights sprout everywhere, and the roads become impassable to vehicles due to the congestion of pedestrians. The outsides become indoors, and things happen to people’s insides. An addiction is created in the hearts ofBaba’s followers, and they come again and Egain. An interesting thing happened here on the 2nd, though, just as everyone had left. Meherabad was plunged into powerlessness at about 1 1 a.m., and as there are frequent utages, and everyone being exhausted, no one appened to notice for 7 hours that the problem was on ur side ofthe lines. It seems some state electrical board mployees had come to Meherabad on the 2nd, and Nithout telling anyone, disconnected the entire supply in he late morning, and left for lunch before they could -econnect us. For some reason they never came back, md never contacted us. Hughie thought it was sabotage, ut Ted and I assured him that there was nothing out of he ordinary here. The next morning, we sent someone :0 bring them back and reconnect our transformer, but it vas about 4 p.m. before we could get the lights back on. )uring the same time, we also ran out of water at the arnadhi area for several hours. onsideñng there were no significant electrical or water )rOblemS during Amartithi, this seemed to some of us ike a bit oftoo coincidental humor by Youknowho.
kfter Amartithi bamboo tent pole cracks; blue ruffles trail from sagging fabric. esterday was jasmine and roses against a whirl of bhajans and ghazals kS milling throngs, dizzy with love, waited to spend one brief and blissful moment at Your feet.
Today they have gone and on the path to the railroad tracks Tea stalls and souvenir stan vanish swiftly as illusion. Two bullock carts heaped high with mattresses creak toward town. Tomorrow only bamboo skeletons Stripped bones of bright pandals Then bare earth, dust, the arid Maharashtra plain. A fierce hot wind will sweep Your hill To carry offwhatever crows, dark scavengers have left behind Until no small distraction’s left to catch the eye— But what is Real remains. —Nancy Wall
THE OLD WORLD IN THE NEW LIFE By Don Stevens Often we are asked what people devoted to Meher Baba are doing in their group meetings in Europe. We have been asked by The LoveStreet LampPost to give a periodic report on such activities. We have just passed Amartithi, and this is always the occasion for special reflection and remembering of His mission on earth. Many of the groups in Europe do not hold a special day of observance, but during their regular meeting closest to this date, discuss especially their reflections on being with the Avatar whether He has now manifested, whether He has broken His silence. These continue to be as challenging, as they were the first time one contacted the fact of Meher Baba’s recent physical presence among us. Not to leave the subject dangling, a great many Baba followers in Europe believe He has manifested, and almost as many feel He has also broken His silence. The Meher Baba Association centered in London, always observes Arnartithi by a special occasion open to the public and often advertised in the press. This one featured readings from Mani’s Family Letters, followed by the film, The Great Darshan. The combination made a great impression on the audience. In fact, Sue Biddu, the Chairman of The Association remarked that everyone felt a strong sense of Baba’s presence. The English are not quite as lavish with their expressions of 4
emotion and spiritual senses, so this was indeed a memorable happening. The Association also sponsors each Thursday evening a meeting with as its centerpiece, a film of Meher Baba. These have been very effective especially with people new to Baba.
Slovenia, with several others, have left for a Meherabad visit, and Rada from Serbia has been caring for Bhau in the hospital for some weeks. The Italian groups und& the deeply caring guidance of Silvano and Silvana Brunelli, and our beloved Valeria Violalti in Assisi carry on constantly a succession of activities that tax one to try to stay abreast ofwhat they are up to.
Marseille, at its early February meeting will celebrate both Amartithi and the return for a short visit of one of the founding pillars ofthe group. Hasan Selisik and his wife. Hasan was the first person to knock on the door of Madame Antoni, that grand lady of France who moved especially to Marseille on her retirement to Paris, to leave the door open for Baba’s will in that area. Hasan soon brought his fellow students from the School of Architecture at the University of Marseille, and Madam Antoni found herself surrounded by an energetic and porous group of young people. Hasan moved back to Turkey after his graduation, but cannot resist the pull of his companions in Marseille. It ought to be that way, don’t you think? %
Au revoir from Neti Neti and Don Stevens.
AMARTITHI IN SCANDINAVIA by Eric Solibakke The Winter issue of our quarterly newsletter, which reached about 200 Scandinavians a week before Amartithi, had a story describing celebrations at the Sarnadhi. It plants in them the seed idea of observing silence at noon on the 3 1 st followed by a repetition of The Master’s Prayer.
The two groups in the South of France, Marseille and Cagnes, enjoy each other’s company very much, so for years they have had frequent joint meetings centered first at one locale and then the other.
Few Scandinavians would actually be able to do that during business hours unless they could find a moment of privacy at lunch hour. Sigrid managed to slip away from lunch with patients at her clinic and gather her energies for a number of undisturbed minutes remembering the Eternal Beloved.
What about group activities, during the usual meetings? The recent (May) Seminar put on by several of the French and London groups provided the means of bringing up several important topics which have carried over into this fall’s group activity. It also gave the means for a lot of personal bull sessions which in turn brought other topics to light. Here are some of the subjects that went onto different group agendas: . .
Espen was working outside in 5 degree sunshine putting a new roof on a house; I called him on his cellular phone a few minutes before 12:00 to remind him of the time. Camilla phoned in the evening to say that almost at the stroke of noon a woman in her care grabbed a knife and began making threatening gestures with it.; there was no silence there. In a remote area on the west coast, Rigmor lit candles in her Baba room and joined the Beloved in His silence and prayers.
The relationship between karma and sanskaras. How far does Baba go into our daily lives and what does he not touch? The four roles ofthe Avatar in this incarnation. Staying in touch with Baba. Forming a new religion?
You can well imagine the wide-ranging comments that these subjects have elicited, especially in the discussion format adopted by many ofthe European groups.
In one way or another we felt the wave of Divine Presence roll over us as midday passed through our area. It moved our hearts once again to remember His unfathomable suffering and equally unfathomable beauty, His frailty and awesome strength, His humanity and divinity. How can all come together so forcefully in one gentle individual?
And It4b and former Yugoslavia? Many of you know that there are very vigorous activities in both of these countries. Dusan Doblanovich and Marina Zaler from
For me personally Arnartithi glorifies His victory; it is rooted in His statement that His work has been completed 100 percent to His satisfaction. It
commemorates the perfection of his work and play in this advent and indicates the passing on ofthe mantle of that work and play to us who long to love Him.
Stermer, accompanied on piano by his mother, Joyce Stermer, sang his deeply moving, original spiritual, “I Dreamed Saw the Face of God.”
Amartithi silence is a great hurrah for that victory!
OBSERVANCE OF AVATAR MEHER BABA’S AMARTITHI AT OUR CENTER by Lois Jones “Grieve not that the Lamp that burnt in its multi-bright splendor has gone, because the Light that lighted the Lamp is ever aflame everywhere in its effdlgence. Seek we Meher Baba, as Light in our hearts, and He will never fail to cheer and brighten up the dark recesses of doubt and despair.” (From “Ever The Avatar” Adi K. Irani’s message at the Last Darshan, April 26, 1969.) —
on a rainy Los Angeles night, Beloved Baba showered His Grace on our observation ofthe 27th anniversary of His Amartithi, on Wednesday, January 3 1st. We came together in our upstairs meeting room. Baba’s chair at the front of the room, and the intimate crowd that gathered gave it the feeling ofbeing in His living room. In a program hosted by Tamara Mark and Lois Jones, Baba was remembered through song, dance and His own precious words.
Janani Lee dancing for Baba. Pete Townshend’s film of Beloved Baba, 0 Parvardigar, was the prelude to our fifteen minutes of silence. The film was preceded by Billy Goodrum’s powerful piano rendition ofthe Gujarati Arti. The silence was broken with three hearty AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI’S, immediately followed by “Begin the Beguine,” played so beautiftully by Chris (on oboe) and Pris (on guitar) Haffenden, who are Still Yet More Chamber Players.
The evening opened with a special treat: Janani Lee reprised a dance she performed last year in Mandali Hall, accompanied by a recording ofthe Australian Arti, sung beautiftully by her brother, Joshua (who was unable to be with us that night).
We all then joined in reciting the Master ‘s Prayer, The Prayer of Repentance, and the Beloved God Prayer. The evening concluded with our voices coming together in song when we sang the Australian Arti to Beloved
Adele Wolkin shared her thoughts regarding Baba’s Amartithi, and read a moving Christian prayer, which was written by Meher Baba. We enjoyed Deborah Ashe’s touching a capella rendition of Jeff Mylett’s “House of the Lord,” which has become an annual tradition. Lois Jones read, “Keep Me With You,” Baba’s discourse number 29 in Meher Baba Calling.
Baba. Avatar Meher Baba, Ki Jai! Avatar Meher Baba, Ki Jai! Avatar Meher Baba, Ki Jal!
Rosalee Dunphy sweetly sang, and translated, “Ishtiake,” a song Baba wrote. The lyrics to this song were found in L.A., in the pocket ofone ofBaba’s coats, several years ago. The song was followed by a loving, tearful reading, by Tamara Mark, of Bhau Kalchuri’s ghazal, “When You Have Gone Away.” Then, Richard
By Deborah M. Smith Deep in the woods ofthe Meher Center stands The Barn and it is there that Amartithi is celebrated every year. As usual it started about 1 1 :00 am, when the 6
cc3:zc* surrounding community poured through the Gateway, everyone dressed according to where they had just came from; cleaning houses, working at the office, digging in the garden. The atmosphere was veiy expansive—it felt good to be at the Center mid-morning on a spring-like day. A group of us walked down the sandy trail from the parking area and it was as ifwe were following Baba to the Barn as we have so often seen others do in the films ofHis visits to the Center in the 50’s.
GROUPS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM By Sarah McNeily A motto over the door at the entrance to the London Baba Center at 228 Hammersmith Grove might well read, “That which is essential is invisible to the eye.” Certainly, there is very little outward sign for a visitor descending the narrow flight of steps to a dingy-looking basement flat just off Shepherd’ s Bush in West London, proclaiming this to be the U.K., HQ of the Highest of the High. But it is indeed the Center of the Meher Baba Association of Great Britain where all the regular meetings are held.
Inside the Barn the atmosphere was very different. Usually quite dark, the room was lit by the wagon wheel fixtures hanging from the ceiling and a huge fire that had been started in the fireplace. Some folks sitting up close were sweating yet strangely the magnificent flowers on the mantle appeared unaffected by the heat. In the center of it all was Baba’s photo above the mantle, illuminated by the roaring flames.
And one can’t help feeling it is just as He wishes. Avatar Meher Baba is President of the Meher Baba Association here in England and this makes the Association unique. Meher Baba also held a British passport so, in more ways than one, He signaled a particular purpose for His work in this country, but it did not include the purchase or construction of a specially designed Center for His use on the occasions He came to these shores.
Ann Conlon announced the order of the program. Then Jane Haynes led our hearts to the spirit of the day by reading excerpts from a letter recently sent from Mani, who despite her own suffering, shared her struggle to let go and keep giving more and more ofherselfto Baba in any way she could. Baba’s own words were read powerfully by Darwin Shaw and Phyllis Ott O’Toltz and Andy Lesnik recited one of his poem entitled “Origins.” The music was particularly moving, each of the musicians was in fine voice; Hanna Peterson Meyer led the group in the Gujarati Arti, Gary Edelman performed his own composition, “The Amartithi Song,” Cathy Riley sang a capella, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” and Jim Meyer rendered “Begin the Beguine.”
Instead, His manifestation across the U.K. is atomized rarely visible, widespread, working beneath the surface of appearances and involving His, as always, extraordinarily diverse range of individual talents. Norwich, Oxford, Lewes, Lancaster, Leicestershire, Dorset and Devon all have groups devoted to Meher Baba. Bhau’s visits to the U.K. have taken him to many of these places. The ancient white horse cut into the chalk of the green hills above Sutton Courtney in Oxfordshire acquired Avataric significance on the occasion in 1993 when a summer Sahavas was held there.
The fire was a constant presence throughout the program, and it was during the fifteen minutes of observed silence that the logs broke and the fire was rearranged into a pile of glowing hot coals. It called out as a reminder that Baba’s body indeed broke on Amartithi yet His fire remains, burning us daily as we try, like Mani, to give up more and more of ourselves in service to His Love.
Norwich, with its historical reputation as a center of spiritual power in mediaeval times envelops the visitor with an atmosphere of contemplation. The King of Hearts studio complex in the city houses local arts and crafts as well as Baba group meetings. Lancaster is a university town and some people in the group there discovered Baba through their work as students. The theological studies department includes “God Speaks” in its curriculum.
SERVING THE UNWERSE
God as God alone is not consciously man, and man as man alone is not consciously God. The God-Man is consciously both God and man; so the God-Man is both Lord and the servant of the Universe. Lord, in the state of helping all souls toward reality. Servant, as continuously bearing the burden ofall. To serve Him who serves all is serving the universe.
Meheru’s visit to the Baba group at Sutton Courtney in Oxfordshire in 1994
Selfless service and love are twin divine qualities. Only the one who loves can serve. Serve your Beloved God-Man and you are serving your own self in every other self.
Devon is of course the place Baba made a beeline for in 1932 and 1933 when He first came to England. lifracombe in Devonshire and the farmhouse at East Challacombe are now sought out by pilgrims wishing to retrace His steps. Baba groups in this part ofthe country are growing in numbers and summer 1996 might even see a Sahavas in Devon.
The service He exacts is for your own spiritual benefit; but this service must be spontaneous, willing, wholehearted, unconditional and not expecting any reward. This service is an ordeal which tries body, mind and spirit; or else wherein would the perfection ofserving lie ifit were to be easy and at one’s convenience? The body suffers, mind is tormented, but the spirit of the selfless server ofthe Master experiences the bliss of satisfaction.
Special events gatherings in London that attract larger numbers than can be accommodated at the Hammersmith Grove Center have on occasion been held at the Violet Needham Hall, a pleasant chapel building on the garden campus ofWest London University which allows more space for Baba lovers traveling in from outside the London area and which also has the facilities for films, music, dance and drama.
Only the one who has can renounce. A king giving up everything and becoming a beggar exhibits true renunciation, and so only the one who, without any question and regardless of consequences, serves the God-Man really serves; otherwise it would be just like paid labor. —Meher Baba
“YOUR BEING WITH ME PHYSICALLY IS IMMATERIAL. IT IS MY BEING WITH YOU THAT MATTERS. SO KEEP ME WITH YOU ALWAYS.” —Meher Baba ‘
it o tntficutt to 1mb sob? 33t i titauc pou are Looftmg tot t
omttjthg ‘ou. iabt nebtr LoL -;fteUr;t aba
IHi , “
AUSTRALIA Thursday, 5 June 1958, 1 p.m., The Adams Family Remembers [5/13/94: Noel Cynthia and Cohn Adams are reminiscing about Cohn photos ofBaba (two ofwhich are above) which Cohn took at the 1958 Sahavas at Avatar Abode on 6/5/58. Cohn was 13 years ofage at that time]
Cynthia: Yes, I got the same impression. Baba looked very somber, very abstracted. He seemed totally unaware of us all standing around looking at Him. And I felt as though the whole world including all spirits and souls were suspended there, waiting for Baba to move or decide.
Cynthia: Do you remember much about those photos Col?
Noel: Baba looked like something from outer space. He was so agitated, so deeply absorbed in something that we could not see.
Cohn: Yes I do. They are still very clear to me even though many other events at the Sahavas do not stand out as sharply. But that day was a most significant time. Baba was promoting something
Cohn: Baba looked like He was carrying the weight of the world on His shoulders. His suffering was so obvious, so tremendous. Many ofus were very aware of this. I know I was. That is why I thought this time was so significant. That is why I wanted to take some photos of Baba at this time so we could all remember and SEE His suffering and feel it from His photo.
Cynthia: Promoting something? What do you mean? Cohn: Don’t you remember? We hadjust finished lunch and it was time for afternoon session. We all raced up the hill to Baba’s House and there He was—sitting silently on His chair, His crutches nearby.
Cynthia: But why did you call it a “promotional” activity?
Noel: Baba was only silent in sound. I remember Him looking very agitated. His fingers were moving very fast and He seemed tense, very uptight and anything but relaxed.
Cohn: What I just said. Baba wanted us to see His intense suffering, to see this weight on His shoulders. If you remember He told us later that He was working and this would be the last time we would see Him working. Eruch gestured to me to come forward so I could take some photos. I even tried to get a photo behind Baba to
show the crowd, I mean all of us looking at Baba. But Eruch told me very forcibly NEVER to take any photo from behind Baba, so I could not. I don’t know what Baba was promoting in His work, but I remember very clearly that He wanted to show us this work, for us to witness His work, this great weight and His suffering even though I don’t know what it was all about.
Nothing is further from the truth. This part of Queensland, as indeed almost all of coastal Queensland is lush, green, rich and the fastest growing part of Australia.
Cynthia: Why do you think Baba allowed you to take important photos? Cohn: Baba allowed me to do so because I was young and my understanding of events was so unclouded. Remember at that time I was occupied in practicing taking photos with my camera. Taking photos of pineapples was just as interesting to me as taking photos of Baba, so I had no other personal involvement with this event.
Baba’s house at Avatar’s Abode. Baba’s room is the left window.
Noel: That’s right. I have heard many people talk of how serene Baba was, how holy. But I felt zero in terms of Baba’s “holiness” at that time. I never saw Him as serene either. In fact once I peeked at Baba through the curtain then He saw us and sent us away because He had lots of work to do. I saw Him totally on His own, His fingers going so fast. Again He looked like something from outer space and very agitated. Baba was so powerfihl, so tense. Baba wanted us to stand there and watch. It was a significant time and one that Baba wanted to be recorded for the flature so He and Eruch organized Col to take those photos.
The Center itself is approached up a hill lined with tall trees and houses built among them, belonging in the main to Baba lovers. These, I presumed, were the core of the community living in the area, less populous than at Myrtle Beach, but substantial all the same. Arrangements to stay in the pilgrim’s house were simply made and straight forward and quite casual. Australians don’t stand on ceremony, and I don’t think the Center is as yet heavily frequented except at specific times of the year, and of course by the local community when their time allows.
[From the June, 1994 Meher Baba Australia by permission.]
The result is, or was for me, a stay of utter peace in which for moments at a time I could have heard a pin drop a hundred yards away, the silence interrupted only by the bird song. The birds to my northern eyes, were exotic and their colors intoxicating.
THE WORLD’S BEST KEPT BABA SECRET
After the first night I had the pilgrim’s house to myself. This was a simple place, no frills at all. No panic, it would seem, about being inundated by a flood of world pilgrims, although I believe there are plans for more accommodations in the style ofMyrtle Beach.
A recent visitor to Avatar ‘s Abode, Michael Morice from England, wrote thefoiowing in the English Meher Baba Association newsletter: I was drawn to Avatar’s Abode on the presumption that this was an important spot on Baba’s map! One of his three main world centers and an eventual place of world pilgrimage. I had visions of a dry, hot and exposed place, rather on the rough and ready side perhaps, with trees and vegetation planted but nowhere near maturity.
What is called Baba’s House is a building mainly of corrugated steel, partitioned in two, so that one section retains its Australian farm shed character apart from the wooden floor. The other section is Baba’s bedroom, wood lined walls, curtains drawn closed to protect the furniture from the sunlight. In here you are immediately 10
and utterly in the company ofthe Beloved Avatar. Need I say more?
the Council, and lo, the name was changed to their satisfaction. Henceforth it was to be called Meher Road.
Yes, I said to myself this is a place of world pilgrimage, except that the world doesn’t know about it yet. I’m tempted to agree with the residents who say this is Baba’s best kept secret, and then to keep the secret to myself and not send in this article.
Then came the year 1988. It was thirty years since the Master had stayed at His home. Each year at the same time, hundreds of people came to celebrate this momentous occasion. Now it so happened that the Government had built a very big road on which passed thousands of cars a day, and in order for the Faithful to get to the dusty road that led up the mountain to the Master’s home, they had to travel an extra twenty minutes out oftheir way.
IfI must mention any ofthe residents by name, I should say that Bill Le Page extended his warm hand and contributed much to the pleasure ofmy stay. He has the ebullience of a man twenty years his junior and obviously Baba used that energy to wonderful effect. Or should I say that the Spark created by Francis Brabazon and Bill together has created the energy Baba needed. Memories of Francis are still strong in the air.
So once more, they gathered together and petitioned the Council. The wanted an overpass built for their little community on top of the mountain, to cross above the big new road, so that they could easily reach the dusty little Meher Road. The Council laughed at them, and said, “You are only a few people, it is not worth the great expense to build such a thing as you ask, for so very few people.”
I met many others, visited some in their homes and gained an immediate and lasting impression ofLovers of Meher Baba dealing with the same issues and the same challenges that all aspirants deal with whether they live in Woombye, London, Cornwall, Bombay or Chicago. They are worth the visit. But don’t forget Baba’s room.
But the lovers of God were persistent people, and they asked again and again. Finally, just to appease them and to give themselves ajust reason for refusing the petition, they told the little group ofpeople that they, the Council, would put a bar across the road to count the number of cars that traveled to the dusty little road each and every day for one whole week.
THE OVERPASS THAT BABA BUILT By D.S.F.
This made the people very happy, because they knew that this was the very week that they were having their celebrations for the Thirtieth Anniversary of their Master’s visit. For this reason they had sent invitations out to some very magical people from all over the world, to please come and help celebrate. Among these people who came from across the oceans were twins by the name ofRustom and Sorab, a most leamed Judge called Kashouty, a very magical singer and musician called Kusum Singh, and sing she did! There was also a very learned Doctor who had lived with the Master, and had written many things about Him, called Dr. Barucha, and finally there was Sam Kerawalla the Storyteller.
Once upon a time a man named Francis Brabazon built a home for God high on a mountain top on a secluded part of Queensland, Australia. In 1958 God visited His home in the Antipodes and was pleased. He named it Avatar’s Abode. Now it so happened that a lot of the people living in Australia, saw this place and wanted to live there too. They wanted to be near at hand to breathe in the spiritual fragrance ofthe home ofthe Lord. There was a road of dust and stones that led to the top of the mountain. It was all wild bush, native Australian plants, and very beautiful. One by one the people came, and they built their houses there, side by side, along the dusty road at the foot ofthe Master’s home.
Because this was such a special occasion and because of these magical visitors, many hundreds of lovers of Baba came and went many times a day over this little bar that the Council had put across the road. At the end of the week, just before everyone went back to their far away homes, and the traffic dwindled down to a dozen or so a day, the Council removed the little bar, and said to the
After 10 years or more, there were twelve homes along this road. All lived in by lovers of the Master. They decided that this was a very special road and they wanted it to have a very special name. They petitioned
people, “You were right, this is a very important place, and we will build you your Overpass.”
Director: Kevin Connor—Chairs Finance Committee. Manages budgets, accounting, investments, insurance, purchasing and tax reporting.
And so it came to pass. The Lover of God did not have to travel a long way from the main path to get to their homes on the mountain—they now have a beautiful new paved road that flies high in the air over the very busy road far below.
But Baba does not do miracles....
The Board reluctantly accepted the resignation of Billy Goodrum. We will miss his loving and inspired input this year and wish him all love and Baba blessings in his current and future endeavors. We have been very fortunate to be able to call on the services of Rocky Rodgers to take the vacant directorship until the end of 1996 (Billy’s term).
Rocky has been a Director many times and has agreed to accept the responsibility for fixed assets, which includes the Center’s building and caretaker, archives, audio and visual libraries, equipment maintenance and storage.
by Michael Ramsden The Center Board met for the first time in 1 996 on January 5th. The following appointments were made by the directors for 1996:
The Board reviewed and made plans for 1996; preparing budgets and contingency plans for all aspects of center operations. We are looking forward to membership growth and increased membership participation in all phases of center activities.
President: Michael Ramsden—Chairs the Board, Long Range Planning, and New Center Acquisition Comrnitties.
The Budget was submitted for membership approval at the Special General Meeting 2/3/96. 1 64 ballots were mailed, 88 were returned and the budget was overwhelmingly approved for 1 996. The Nominating Committee was also elected at this time. As Rocky Rodgers had accepted the vacant director position, he withdrew from the Nominating Committee ballot. This left five nominees for the five vacant nominating committee positions, all of whom were elected. Congratulations to:
Vice-President: Richard Stermer—Chair Program Committee. Includes Sahavas and responsibility for the development of child and youth programs. Secretary: Clea Sucoff—Secretary. Chairs Membership and mailing committees. Responsible for legal aspects of center operations. Treasurer: Kanji Miyao—Treasurer. Non-board Member
Director: Adele Wolken—Personnel, Volunteer Co-ordination, Conflict Resolution, Staff Training Library Project.
. . .
Director: Dma Franklin—Bookstore Manager, Love Street Lamp Post, Communications.
Mahmoud Ajang. Glenn Russ Vanessa Connor Arlene Stout Diana Goodheart.
A brief reminder to all members who were unable to return their ballots in time for the S.G.M. To Maintain voting membership status you must return your ballot. You may abstain ifyou do not wish to vote yay or nay! But you must return your ballot to state that you are abstaining to maintain voting membership rights. This requirement was approved by the membership at the November 1995 A.G.M. as a change to the By-laws. It is a small thing to ask necessitated in large part by a
Director: Mehernoush Lorkalantari—Chairs Service Committee, Hospitality and Meet & Greet Services. Director: Wendy Ward—Chairs Fund-raising Committee. Responsible for coordinating year-round cash flow, New Center Capital Campaign.
change to State laws governing the voting of members in non-profit religious corporations.
In March of 1995, Billy Goodrum was observing the house and property and met one ofthe owners’ brother. In the course ofthat meeting Billy gave an A.M.B.C.S.C c d to the brother. Subsequently the A.M.B.C.S.C. Board approved a motion to contact the owner of the property to request the right of first refusal, should the house ever be put up for sale. This had not been done by the time the owner contacted the Center to ask if the Center was interested in purchasing the property. The owner’s brother had given the card to the owner, who now knew why there had been so many people observing his house since he had moved there in 1982.
By the time this Lamp Post reaches you, a membership review/application will have been mailed to all past and current prospective voting and associate members. Please respond NOW if you have not already done so. There are several very important issues requiring your vote in May and later this year. One ofthe most pressing issues concerns the acquisition of a new center and the fund-raising drive that is now in early but full swing. Meetings with non fund-raising committee members (Center voting members) to help design and complete the case statement have already been held. Cluster meetings of groups of members, both voting and associate, are currently in process to complete the Statement and inform the membership of the proposed process. If you, the membership, approve the final fund-raising plan in May, the plan will be initiated in earnest at that time. If not, the Board will proceed with the contingency plan to move the Center to a larger rentedlleased building that is affordable.
The Board visited the property and decided to follow-up with the intent ofmaking it a possible Center. Alas, after three special Board meetings, discussions with realtors, our fund-raising committee members, a letter to the Trust in India and other investigations the Board decided that the Center could not pursue the purchase of the property at this time. The Board approved making the information that the house will be for sale, available to all, by letter and through this article. Anyone who may be interested in purchasing this wonderful property may do so. In this way, it may be kept in the community and perhaps be placed in trust for all at a later date.
Our Beloved has much in store for us all this year! We will do the work and leave the results to Him.
If anyone has such an interest, they may pursue it either by waiting until the house comes on the market in the spring of this year or by contacting Mike Ramsden (310) 430-8873 who will be able to give you the details. Please do not contact or disturb the owner until the house is actually on the market. This is their request.
SERVICE COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE CHRISTMAS PROJECT Thank you, everyone who donated food and money to the St. Joseph Center, in Venice. Rosalee Dunphy delivered our donations in early January. They were most appreciative of everything we gave them! They sent us a “thank you” note which we posted on the bulletin board at our Center. The food was distributed to low income families. The money bought groceries for families and helped the St. Joseph Center feed the homeless at their “Bread and Roses Cafe.”
ANNOUNCEMENTS: THE LOS ANGELES SAHAVAS JULY4-.7, 1996 THEME: “KEEP ME WITH YOU”
Our next food drive for the St. Joseph Center concludes on Baba’s Birthday. We’ll have a report next quarter. Jai Baba!
“I am nearer to you than your own breath Remember Me, and I am with you and My Love will guide you.” —Meher Baba
1840 CAMINO PALMERO, HOLLYWOOD In 1933-34 Baba stayed in this beautiful 1908 mansion for three consecutive weeks (longer than he had stayed anywhere in the United States including Meher Spiritual Center.)
Look for your flyer in the mail, soon, because you won’t want to miss the 22nd annual Silence Day Sahavas in Los Angeles! We are pleased to welcome our special 13
guest speakers from Bombay, Hoshang and Havovi Dadachanji. Hoshang met Meher Baba in 1943, and Havovi met the Beloved in 1952. The Dadachanji family has a long history with Baba, and we are looking forward to hearing Hoshang?s stories about the early days as well as hearing about the couple’s many visits with Baba. We can also look forward to Havovi singing Baba songs, which she “enjoys immensely.” Havovi and Hoshang said that “they are looking forward to being amongst their friends in the U.S.!”
you the songs which have touched my heart for many years.” We hope you can join us. We look forward to seeing you. Jai Baba! —Lois Jones
A COLLECTION OF MEHERA SLIDES We are also pleased that Irwin Luck will be joining us, from Myrtle Beach, to tell us about his correspondence with Baba before they met, and about meeting Baba for the first time, in 1960. He has many wonderful stories about their subsequent meetings and communication. Of course, we will seize this opportunity to hear about the making of the films of Beloved Baba, and enjoy watching them together. Irwin says, “The L.A. Sahavas will give me an opportunity to share the inspiration I feel when I remember the many things that happened in my life with Baba.”
A slide collection is being created for the L.A. Center and for archives. Do you have well composed photos or slides of Mehera that you would be willing to share for this purpose?
We are fortunate to have o guest singers this year, Janet Luck and Debbie Nordeen! In addition to their individual concerts, they will sing together. Janet Luck first heard of Baba in 1973, and worked at the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, in Ahmednagar, in 1978. Janet married Irwin Luck a few years later. Janet has composed songs dedicated to Meher Baba, one of which can be heard on the sound track of the film, “Meher Baba, Avatar of the Age,” and another on the cassette, The Lord and the Lady. Janet says, “I feel honored to be asked to sing for our Lord, Meher Baba at the L.A. Sahavas and I pray He grants me the strength and recovery from my present physical condition to come. His Love can make it possible.” Debbie Nordeen is a singer and voice teacher in Asheville, North Carolina, where she also directs a community chorus. Debbie, along with her husband, Peter, lived in India for several years. She was a receptionist at the Pilgrim Center, and was director ofthe Meherabad chorus. Debbie assisted in the plays for Mehera’s and Baba’s Birthdays, as well as various informal programs throughout the year. Debbie can be heard on the cassette, On the Road to Meherabad, a recording made with her sisters, 3-D Jones. Debbie says, “I am very happy to be invited to the Sahavas. Though I’ve never been to Southern California, I feel a kinship with my Baba family there, having met so many of you in India. I look forward to sharing with
Mehera with Elizabeth Patterson’s dog Kippie in the late ‘30s. Please call or write for more details: Dr. Linda Zavala 195 S. Oak Avenue Pasadena, CA 91107-4031 USA Ph..: (818)795-8322
A REMINDER FOR THE TRUST
WHAT’S NEW WITH THE VIDEO RENTAL LIBRARY
Meher Baba’s Universal Work continues to manifest from work He did while physically present with us. )ne ofthe avenues for His work is the very Trust He created; the Avatar Meher Baba Trust. It is a means of support for His close mandali as well as the source of funds for a multitude of charitable objectives. To learn more about the Trust or to make a lovedonation, please contact:
We are happy to announce that the library is fully functioning again and new and exciting titles have been added. The “tape walli” Karma Page will be happy to send you a new listing of titles and particulars on the rental process. Send requests to AMBC-SC VIDEO CASSETTE LIBRARY, P.O. BOX 3247, SOUTH PASADENA, CA 9 1 03 1 -6247. EVE. TEL: (21 3) 2253910.
Lynn Berry 267 Hanover Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (714) 966-1262
HELP WANTED: A word processor/typist to transcribe the many interesting taped talks that the archives library maintains. Future publication of these talks is the goal. Call LindaZ. At(818) 795-8322
If making a love-donation, please make your check payable to “FRIENDS OF THE MEHER BABA TRUST.” Jai Baba!
ONE WORLD BBS
One World is a FREE online service in Los Angeles that carries the Avatar Meher Baba Internet list/conference. To access One World call (3 10) 372-0987 using a computer and modem. To access the conference select M)essage Menu on the Main Menu and then A)rea change to “750’ Meher Baba. JAI BABA!
HAVING A SAHAVAS SLUMP? Are you counting the days till another fantastic Sahavas talk pumps you up? Here’s a quick and easy “fix” to make it through until the next Sahavas. Why not check out an audio tape from the lending library?
We’ve got lots of inspiring and entertaining talks from greats like Darwin, Filis, Padri, Kitty, Naosherwan, and many more! New tapes have been added from ‘92, ‘93 and ‘94 Sahavas’. Talks include Hula Talwar and Najoo Kotwal who were with Baba since childhood and whose father Savak Kotwal worked for Baba tirelessly for many years; Charles Haynes’ very funny talks on life with Baba; JeffMaguire on Baba in Hollywood; Meheru Irani’s most inspiring talks on living with Baba and Mehera; Bob and Jane Brown; Shireen Bonner’s childhood memories of Baba, Franey Irani (Baba’s sister-in-law), Jim Meyer and the ever charming Jack Small and his unforgettable singing.
MMMY MISTRY JOINS HIS BELOVED by James Cox
[Dated January 21, 1996] Today at about noon, Jimmy Mistry, Trustee of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, and long time Baba Lover, who spent time with Baba on many occasions over a 20 year period, joined his Beloved. He passed away from an apparent heart attack at Deepak Hospital in Ahmednagar, and his cremation is taking place in Meherabad this evening at around 8:30 p.m. Jimmy is survived by his wife Rhoda, and three sons, Falou (who lives at Meherazad), Sarosh (Bombay), and Merwan (Matamoros, PA).
To request a catalog, write to: Avatar Meher Baba Lending Audio Library do Lynne/Steve Berry 267 Hanover Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Jimmy was always fond oftelling the story when he was much younger and very seriously ill, he worried about who would provide for his family if he suddenly died. Baba had told him that he would grow old and walk with a stick. So Jimmy, even though he didn’t get around so well in later years, always tried to avoid using a walking cane. 15
I knew Jimmy for more than 20 years, and there are so many stories that it is difficult to know what to say. But I distinctly remember one time in the earlier years, playing chess with him on Meherabad Hill during Silence Day. During one game, I became so engrossed in the play, that when he made a certain move, I blurted out “but you’ll lose your knight.” He made a shushing sign to remind me that it was Silence Day, and I conveyed to him again by signs that he could take the move back, as it was an obvious mistake. He said it was airight, that he would live with it, and I was unable to persuade him to rescind his move. So I took the knight, we continued, and two moves later he checkmated me.
Simple and yet so deep. Ajewel in His Love. —Alain Youelip
KEKI NALAVALA, 1909 February 10, 1996, Baba’s dear “Keki” passed into his Beloved’s arms after complications from a surgery. Keki was born in Navasari in the State of Gujarat. He heard about Baba and became a “lover” before he actually met Baba in Dehra Dun in 1942. He recalled, “We were made to stand before the small curtained room as stage actors standing on the stage before the curtain is lifted. At exactly 2 p.m. the curtain was drawn aside revealing Baba sitting cross-legged in a corner with Jal Kerawala.” He and Keki Desai were forbidden to say anything to Baba and Nalavala states, “It didn’t matter because they were too stunned to say anything anyway.” Nalavala remembers seeing “the glittering sight of the rising Sun” and being “dumbed, numbed, and stunned!” Keki was the contact person for Baba arrangements during the New Life period in the Dehra Dun, Hardwar and Rishikesh areas. He met Baba frequently after the New Life. In recent years he and wife Freiny lived in Bangalore. Freiny came to Baba shortly after Keki. They were married for 55 years and devoted themselves to Baba. He is survived by Freiny, son Nosh Anzar and daughter Mahroukh who now live in New Jersey. -
OLIVE PITT, a long-term English Baba Lover returned to her Beloved Baba on Saturday, 24 January 1 996 after a long and devoted life of service. Her life is reflective of the many “drop souls” the Beloved called to His service, who did so quietly and unstintingly and enduring all in His love the “unsung heroes” that are the heart of His service. She was willing to go where ever her Master called and thus, even when traveling was difficult for her, she came to Japan in 1995, “turning the key” along with Katie Irani and giving the emerging Meher Baba Group in Japan a beautiful view oflong-term service and the Love of a true old-timer for the Beloved. Her inspiration and love lives on in our hearts. —Ann Speirs, Tokyo, Japan —
BANUMASI, Eruch’s aunt passed away to her Beloved on Baba’s Birthday, ‘96 at 3:30 a.m. in Meherabad. She spent most ofher life close to and deeply devoted to Baba.
Olive was a teacher, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, but first and foremost she was a Baba lover. Meher Baba was the heart and soul ofher existence and she lived as she felt she should His Way. She was not involved in the “Big Picture” because she knew the REAL PICTURE and so she gave her all to being real in the unreal world. —
THANKSGIVING DAY AT MEHER MOUNT, by Marguerite Poley [Ojai, California]
Olive was an original and a character and her way touched so many people so quietly and yet with such power. I have been privileged to have Olive in my life for almost 30 years and she, Mollie Eva and Hilde Halpern are the unsung jewels of His crown. Olive could laugh and joke and giggle and be a part of everything and I shall remember one of our last times together when she took her immediate and adopted family to a pantomime and she was egging us all on to hiss at the villain and sing along with the best of them and enjoying an ice cream in the interval.
JAI BABA dear Baba lovers, Thursday, November 23rd provided us with a most beautiful day, warm, yet cool under the huge Meher Mount oak trees. (Continued onpage 20)
CALENDAR OF EVENTS April 6, Saturday, 7:00 p.m. SPRING FLiNG EASTER CELEBRATION Come one, come all to this potluck Easter celebration where we celebrate one of God’s sojourns in the Middle East and raffle off a round trip ticket to India to visit the Master’s tomb. Please bring your favorite edibles to share. We will have a special egg hunt and guest(s). April 13, Saturday 6:00 p.m. FARSI LANGUAGE MEETING This meeting is devoted to the discussion of Beloved Baba. All are welcome. Coordinated by Dr. Mahmoud Ajang.
April 13, Saturday 8:00 p.m. 5GM: CAPITAL CAMPAIGN VOTE Well, here it is! The fmal discussion, vote and tabulation (accountants Err, Ah & Nee), to determine if the Southern California membership wants and can fund and support a permanent site at this time. April 20, Saturday 8:00 p.m. ARTI Come share in an evening devoted to the reciting of Baba’s prayers, the singing ofhis artis (devotional songs) and other songs and offerings of love and inspiration. Bring your favorite song, guitar, harmonica, kazoo, washboard, etc. April 27, Saturday 6:00 p.m. FARSI LANGUAGE MEETING This meeting is devoted to the discussion of Beloved Baba. All are welcome. Coordinated by Dr. Mahmoud Ajang.
Program suggestions? Interested in presenting a program, artwork or music? Call Richard Arthur at (310) 208-4764. For directions to any of the events call the number noted, or call the Baba Center at (3 1 0) 474-9454.
April 27, Saturday 8:00 p.m. FILM NIGHT Our own dear Adele Wolkin promises to dig deep into her archives to fmd some choice offerings for this evening. May 4, Saturday 8:00 p.m. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND THE AVATAR , Quantum Physics, DNA discovered. The 2 E=MC automobile, the airplane, motion pictures, radio and television; lasers, rocket ships, computers and satellites. All this and more during the Avatar’s life. Let’s explore the implications for Baba’s work and for the evolution ofhumanity’s consciousness. Led by Ambassador Harry Thomas May 11, Saturday 6:00 p.m. FARSI LANGUAGE MEETING This meeting is devoted to the discussion of Beloved Baba. All are welcome. Coordinated by Dr. Mahmoud Ajang. May 11, Saturday 8:00 p.m. PERMANENT SITE CAMPAIGN KICK-OFF EVENT Well, if the response to the April 13th vote was a positive one, this should be one heck of an evening. Same place at same time. Stay tuned. May 18, Saturday 8:00 p.m. MEHERA’S DAY REMEMBERED Tonight we celebrate Baba’s beloved Mehera, “The purest soul in the universe.” Details forthcoming. May 25, Saturday 6:00 p.m. FARSI LANGUAGE MEETING This meeting is devoted to the discussion of Beloved Baba. All are welcome. Coordinated by Dr. Mahmoud Ajang. May 25, Saturday 8:00 p.m. VIDEO NIGHT Guess.
friendship and free food hosted by the inimitable Fred (McMan) Stankus. .ya oughta.. And if you have well, we’ll see you there.
June 1, Saturday 8:00 p.m.
ARTS FESTIVAL All those involved in and interested in the commi ;iication 1tS, film, television, radio, stage, music, painting, sculpture, literature, etc. are invited to come and share of their lives and work in the light of our dear Beloved Master Avatar Meher Baba at this our first annual Arts Festival. Call Richard at (3 1 0) 208-4764 for any special arrangements; display, exhibit, performance.
June 22, Saturday 6:00 p.m.
FARSI LANGUAGE MEETING This meeting is devoted to the discussion of Beloved Baba. All are welcome. Coordinated by Dr. Mahmoud Ajang. June 22, Saturday 8:00 p.m.
BWN: BABA WORLD NEWS All right you brooding armchair intellectuals, closeted CNN addicts and Web site marauders, this is your night. Come share, exchange and discuss world news facts and information. But remember, “The mind is like a barking dog, toss it a few crumbs to keep it quiet.” Meher Baba
“Meher Baba” Painted by Clair Mataira.
June 8, Saturday 6:00 p.m.
FARSI LANGUAGE MEETiNG This meeting is devoted to the discussion of Beloved Baba. All are welcome. Coordinated by Dr. Mahmoud Ajang. June 8, Saturday 8:00 p.m.
HIGHER TRIVIAL PURSUIT What was Mehera’s favorite color? What movie did Baba say he’d like to see seven times? Test your Baba knowledge tonight with JeffMaguire as your host.
Dr Farhad Shafa was a very welcome and interesting guest at our Center in February June 29, Saturday 8:00 p.m.
June 15, Saturday 8:00 p.m.
FILM NIGHT God in human form. Wow! Come see His image captured in celluloid. A first in this cycle of recorded time.
GUTTA NIGHT Never before, in history has one man, and his dear lady, given out so many samozas, sung so loud at a dhuni, or seen so many Laker games! If you’ve never attended one of these evenings of fin, 18
(Continuedfrompage 16) About a hundred people from all over California, and other states, showed up for the event. As arrivals kept coming, glad greetings and sounds ofJai Baba filled the air.
reason for saying thanks on this Thanksgiving Day. It was a wonderful idea. I loved it. Katie looked radiant durin the entire time. There’s her love, HIS LOVE, her wit, her humor...(how Baba loves this!). Later as daylight began to fade we had what?...more food? Yes, dearest! Still later, we all stood to say the Prayers, and Katie sang with us.
Joyce Stermer, Adele Wolkin and Katie Irani at Ojai, Thanksgiving 1995. Under a huge oak tree, chairs were set up and appetizers provided as we awaited Katie Irani, and soon she came. How wonderful Katie looked as she sat amongst us all; so lovingly she greeted each one! Happy faces to be seen everywhere!
Thanksgiving at Ojai.
It was dark when Billy Goodrum escorted Katie to the car for transportation to L.A...and the car slowly started down the Mountain, shouts of AVATAR MEHER BABA KI JAI, kept on, and on.
And, for yours truly, I can say without hesitation, that Thanksgiving Day, 1995 is, and will forever remain my best Thanksgiving. Yours (almost) 82 years young, Marguerite
WHAT’S UP AT MEHER MOUNT! By Gigi Driessen
David McNeely and Fred Stankus help prepare the feast.
Since Meher Baba came to Meher Mount in 1956 many people have come to Meher Mount and have relayed that there was a special quality to the place. 1 995 was no exception! Since Agnes Baron left her body, this was the first year that we were on our own, and what a year it was. There was an Easter celebration; a memorial to Rusty Bostwick, where over a hundred ofhis friends and family remembered him and his love for Baba; and Thanksgiving where more than 100 people enjoyed a sit down feast with Katie Irani. Many came to work either on the house, land or sort through Agnes’s things. What
We were to have Thanksgiving dinner at 2 p.m. but it was close to 2:30. All enjoyed a ftst (no less than six turkeys were consumed)! All thanks to the many, many loving hearts and hands of dedicated volunteers who graciously served us as well! When the feast was over, Fred Stankus asked all participants to stand-up, one by one, and tell his or her
were called to visit Baba from around 8 a.m. until noon, and then again after lunch until 6 p.m. or so. Mansari was one of those lucky ones, and she came frequently. Baba ud to sit and talk and play with everyone, and sometimes people would sing songs, etc. Mansari’s memory of recent events is fading, but she remembers these early times quite frequently now.
a job it is to keep up a center plus over 1 60 acres of property. To this end, there is a Caretaker, Michel SaintSuplice and a work retreatant, Daniela Brischel. If you want to volunteer some time to do gardening, clearing of land or work on the Center, call (805) 640-0000 or write Meher Mount, 9902 Sulphur Mountain Road, Ojai, CA 93023 and make arrangements to stay overnight or....?
One day, a large group of people were sitting and talking with Baba. Baba indicated that he wanted to sleep for a short time, and he proceeded to lie down on a blanket on the floor and go to sleep, in front of everyone, most of whom were already sitting on the floor. After a short time, people began to notice a small pink cloud, maybe 12-1 8 inches in diameter, hovering and shifting back and forth about two or three feet over Baba’s head. Everyone was dumbstruck and very silent, so as not to disturb Baba’s sleep. Mansari said that even the children were speechless and fascinated with the little pink cloud which moved about over Baba. After a few minutes, Baba woke up and the cloud disappeared. As far as Mansari can remember, Baba never explained anything about the cloud, other than maybe to have said that it was something involved with this work.
meberz mount Rendering of new Center at Meher Mount The torch has been passed along and we are still in the formative stages as to what direction Meher Mount will go. We want to attract all, and in so doing some are attracted to Meher Baba—1996 presented new and different challenges. If you would like to be involved with Meher Mount, or in the preparation for the 40th Anniversary ofBaba coming to Meher Mount on August 2nd, or you would like to have a function at Meher Mount contact Bing Heckman at 2242 Greer Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303 or call (415) 494-6443.
ABRAHAM AND MOSES by John Page Over the decades there have been many questions among Baba lovers about the two Jewish prophets and patriarchs, Abraham and Moses. What did Baba Himself say about them? Why aren’t they mentioned in Baba’s message, “The Highest of the High” when He listed many of His past incarnations? Well, we’ve got the goods for you! Beginning in 1956, Beloved Baba’s sister Mani started sending a “family letter” on an occasional basis to His lovers in the West. They began as attempts to keep His lovers in the West abreast of information about the Beloved’s automobile accident in Satara and His subsequent (but never full) recovery. These family letters eventually totaled 82, the last one being distributed shortly after Baba’s dropping the body. The Society for Avatar Meher Baba later performed a great service for Baba lovers everywhere by publishing them as a book. They were later republished by Sheriar Press and are available at our Center. Originally, each letter from Mani was sent to Meher Spiritual Center at Myrtle Beach. They would then copy and send them to the group heads at various centers and groups. This book is
In God we trust, Jai Baba!
THE PINK CLOUD by James Cox [From the Internet] I just heard this rather interesting Baba story from Mansari that I had never heard or read before. Ifthis is in print, could someone please let me know where? The time was the early 30s and Baba was staying at Naval Talati’s large house, Shivial Motilal, in Bombay. Everyday, a large group of men, women and children 20
chock full of intimate glimpses into Baba’s life, especially at Meherazad and should be on every Baba lover’s bookshelf. There is just nothing like “listening” -) Mani give a special peek into Baba’s day to day quite personal life with His mandali. Also included are wonderful vignettes of various darshan programs from the late 50’s and 60’s.
High” discourse. However, it must be remembered that in that discourse Baba said, “Ofthe most recognized and much worshiped manifestations of God as Avatar, that of Zoroaster is the earlier—having been before Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed.” This of course does not exclude other incarnations of His, just gives a list of the “most recognized and much worshiped manifestations.” There are measurable gaps also in this list. Baba has stated that Rama’s advent was 7,000 years ago while Krishna’s took place 5,000 years in the past. Certainly there is at least one advent between them while between Krishna at 5,000 years ago and Buddha we have another large gap that was filled by who knows how many advents?
In the 16th Family Letter, written from Meherazad and dated 4th February 1958, Mani says, “One ofthe things remaining vividly with us is The Ten Commandments that Baba wanted His group to see, and what was more significant saw it Himself, although He has not been to a picture for a very long time. He went with the mandali, but stayed only up to the part when Moses sees God on Mount Sinai. Baba liked the picture very much, said it was very well played and done, and that it had much to give to those who could receive it. He told us that Ramses in his next incarnation entered the spiritual path, and that the old king received mukti because he took Moses’ name when dying. Baba then smilingly recalled Cecil B. de Mille’s meeting with Him in 1932, saying that he was a very nice man.” Baba and the mandali were in Bombay at the time (the last time He visited Bombay, I believe) of seeing the movie.
Fortunately, while on a recent trip to India, I recorded Eruch giving Baba’s explanation about Abraham. Those who have spent much time in Mandali Hall at Meherazad know about the interruptions, digressions, etc., so this is naturally, an edited version of what Eruch said. Nevertheless, it is accurate. The date is January 6, 1996, and we are in Mandali Hall. There was a child there named Abraham. Davana greeted him and Eruch said, “Here is Abraham, the Ancient One.” Davana then noted that in Time magazine it was recently said that Abraham may have been a myth. Someone piped in that some say that Abraham was Zoroaster. Eruch then said, “This is what I heard from Baba at the time when He dictated that message called ‘The Highest of the High.’ Have you heard that message—have you seen it? It is a good one. So, naturally when He is dictating the message, there He has given a series of the advents, you see and at that time I reminded Him of Abraham being an Avatar. ‘Baba you have not mentioned Abraham.’ Baba retorted that Abraham should not be mentioned as it would be confusing as Abraham is confused with Zoroaster having come again. So don’t put that in. I said, ‘All right. What was the confusion? When Zoroaster was alive He said (as He does in each advent) I’ll come again, I’ll come again. So Zoroaster has also said I’ll come again as Soshyant. So at the time when Abraham appeared on the scene, those Zoroastrians who were there said that Zoroaster has come again. So He was taken to be Zoroaster. Zoroaster has come to mean Zoroaster and Abraham both. So don’t mention Abraham, Baba said.”
I remember in another place Baba is quoted to have said that the burning bush was symbolic for God and that Moses was on the 6th plane, but couldn’t stand the light of God and therefore did not make it to the 7th plane. Baba is quoted elsewhere as saying that when a 6th planer drops the body he gets realization anyway. However, without hard reference sources, that remains in the “maybe file”. No doubt some astute reader will find the reference(s) and notify the editor. Also Baba said that the Ten Commandments were and are actually internally written in the hearts and souls of all humans and that the old testament tablets are an external symbolization of what is already inside each of us. Whether Baba meant that there were never really “outer tablets” I don’t know.
Well, what about Abraham—the “Father of Nations?” We know that the Mastery In Servitude emblem originally did not have the Star of David but that Baba assented to some of His Jewish lovers’ wishes for it to be added and it was portrayed this way on the front of the old 3 volume set of the Discourses. Baba almost never mentioned Abraham, the father of the Jews, and many Jews felt a little irked, if not confused at Abraham not being included in Baba’s list in “The Highest of the
to get a lick ofhis own advice.
Let me rest assured When I was born into this world I lost the aster’s bet. I traded in my far sight to recite the alphabet.
With string my tongue and teeth were tied so I would hear your words, But when I saw you listening, I could rest assured.
I was told to give my armor to the one who forged my steel, But it helped my feet stay on the floor and gave my form appeal.
Ad hominea. Some things never change. The kings still bark, The dogs all run, And the servants will obey.
Ad hominea for the darkness dread and fear, That stands before me laughing while the sun shines in the mirror.
Every day I’m born again And every day I ride, Keeping fans upon my heart, and a pilot light inside.
I used to tell my story: my hang-ups and grief, To any open ear, to give myself relief.
Each day I march into the world to earn a little pay, At the front ofthe procession, Meher Baba leads the way. —Bryan West
But the coarseness ofthese words wouldn’t blend with any form, So I fled in eager violence to submit them to the storm.
Your Reality I’m caught in the world of illusion I’m trapped in the realms ofmy mind I search for the truth in this dream world of yours But only You can I find Whatever I do, you’re always there in my mind & my heart This world was made for one purpose alone And you knew it right from the start The beauty ofyour Reality is for what I long Baba Baba please tell me how many times must I sing your song Lord Oh Lord please tell me how long have I Sung your song Living this life that You’ve given me I’ve run into so many things But the greatest is the gift that You’ve given me now Is the love a love that sings the days, the years, the countless hours I’ll gladly wait once more Just to be with You in your heaven alone Like a bird I would gladly soar
I thought I’d give my hours and the lock at my front door, But I can’t reserve my livelihood for the tired and the poor. Ad hominea for the humming birds and mice. While the crows eat crow and the pilgrims row Across the Arctic ice. When pilgrims came from far away, They freed themselves of scorn, They longed for land to breech upon and a home to keep them warm. But what the new land asked for was to manifest a feat: Tame the tiger with a wire And win the worlds seat.
Ad hominea For the soldiers rolling dice. The king will soon side with the pawn
entertainingly, and as inspiringly as possible. The wider the appeal the better.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT This article inaugurates a new column in the LSLP. Readers are invited and encouraged to submit news and information regarding various art events, happenings and projects that they think might be of interest to our readers; music, films, theater, fine arts, etc. Please send your submissions to Richard Arthur do MV Ent., 61 5 Midvale Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024.
The s4f in fact, is a limitless, indivisible, spiritual essence—eternal in its nature and infinite in its resources. The greatest romance possible in flfe is to discover this Eternal Reality in the midst of infinite change. There is no better medium to portray this than the motion pictures. Plays which inspire those who see them to greater understanding, truer feelings, better lives need not necessarily have anything to do with so called religion. .Real spirituality is best portrayed in stories ofpure love, ofseWess service, oftruth realized and applied to the most humble circumstances of our daily lives, raying out into manifold expressions, through home and business, school and university, studio and laboratoiy producing everywhere a constant symphony ofbliss. .
By the time this issue reaches its readers world attention will have been focused, to an even greater extent, on the cinema. This will be largely as a result of the awards given out by a peer-run member organization of industry professionals interested in supporting and recognizing excellence, called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
This is the highest practicality. To portray such circumstances on the screen will make people realize that the spiritual flfe is something to be lived not talked about and that i4 and it alone, willproduce the peace and love and harmony which we seek to establish as the constant ofour lives.
In 1932 Meher Baba was to spend one week in Hollywood during which time He gave this statement: I do not need to tell you who are engaged in the production and distribution of motion pictures what a power you hold in your hands, nor do I doubt that you arefully alive to the responsibilities which the wielding of that power involves. He who stimulates the imagination of the masses can move them in any direction he chooses, and there is no more powerful an instrumentfor stimulating their imagination than motion pictures.
Adds Bhau Kalchuri, in his biography LordMeher, from which the previous excerpt was taken, Vol. 5 pp. 16561665. It is certain that Baba will ‘speak’ in Hollywood. From there the melody ofhis Word will spread throughout the world through films. Only Hollywood will be able to delineate Baba ‘s life stoly to the world, which will listen to his Song ‘s resonance because of it. His Song, though echoless, merges within itsef all the echoes ofthe world! And in him are all the images ofthe world!
People go to the theater to be entertained. Ifthe play is strong, they come away transformed. They surrender their hearts and minds to the author, producer director and stars, and follow the example which they see portrayed before their eyes more than they realize themselves...
Throughout this past year I have had the opportunity of seeing most ofthe major screen releases. The following is a list of those which I felt were stand outs in some way or another.
Man must be awakened to his true nature. He must see that all material expression depends upon and flows from a spiritual being...
Antonia ‘5 Line [Netherlands] How to Make an American Quilt The Brothers McMullen A Little Princess Babe The American President
Now, how can the motion pictures help man attain this realization? The character of the film need not be changed. Love, romance and adventure are themselves fundamental. They should be portrayed as thrillingly, as 24
Dangerous Minds Leaving Las Vegas Richard III Something To Talk A bout A Walk in The Clouds The White Balloon Pocahontas Wild Bill The Scarlet Letter Braveheart Cry, The Beloved Country French Kiss
that would have crumbled almost any 1 5 year old. And the story builds from there. Gfi of God is somewhat unique. It tells the very personal story of Baba working
[ Richard is an actor, musicianlcomposer and is also the Assistant Theater Manager for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.] REVIEWS Arnavaz Dadachanji
BOOK REVIEWS in Arnavaz’s life, both the outer and the inner, and how she struggled with all the emotions that are involved in living ones life for Baba; from learning how to obey His orders, to falling in love with Him. It is a very mature work, not mincing any words when it comes to confessing how hard it was to obey Baba when His wish was completely opposed to her own, and how Baba inwardly directed her life when she learned to surrender completely to Him. Gfi of God is a continuous inspiration and will help many to face situations that seem impossible to bear. It is real life, all the nuts and bolts and guts of it. [$1 8 paperback, 242 pages]
Gift of God .
by Amavaz Dadachanji Reviewed by Deborah Smith In the early 80’s Dara Irani interviewed Amavaz on audio tape asking her about life with Baba. Then a Baba lover from California, Evie Lindermann, went over the information with Arnavaz and had the tapes transcribed for her in the USA. At that point Arnavaz put them away thinking that someday her family would publish it. Unexpectedly Baba prompted Amavaz to write this book and I happened to ask her one day, when I was living in India, if she needed help doing anything. After a long thoughtful pause she said yes, and for the next year I spent several days a week with her going over her life, clarifying story after story, so that the details were clear and the feeling behind each experience was conveyed. Then I returned to USA and worked with Nancy Wall in Tucson for a year and a halfpolishing the form. And finally after all the choices ofpictures, fonts, etc., etc. the book is published.
BABA ART FOR SALE Wodin’s Baba Pins When I first discovered the Meher Center in Myrtle Beach, I traveled there from my home in Kentucky several times a year. On the long drive, I not only thought about the Center, the lake, the beach and Baba’s atmosphere, I also longed to hit Kitty’s book room where I could load up on Baba pins, books and photos. (I was greedy to own
Arnavaz met Baba when she was 8 years old, through her Uncle Chanji. The following seven years were full of times with Baba but mostly observing His ways of working with others. Amavaz’s time came and Baba began her training with a sudden and upsetting order 25
from her newest CD/tape After All This Time. Our wonderful Center guest for January 1 3 from the bay area was joined by my favorite local guitarist Michael Campagna for an evening of musical delights. Some old favorites like Keep Me Near and Beloved God prompted audible expressions of joy from our audience. Marguerite Poley asked Cindy to sing Beloved God at her wake while we dance in the streets!
any Baba paraphernalia I could get my hands on.) But every time I got there, Kitty declared she’d just run out of Baba button-pins. Everyone was wearing them but me. One guy had hundreds pinned to the cloth ceiling of his VW beetle. I envied them but he would not part with a single one. Recently, I was in a boutique where I discovered beautiful, artistically made jewelry pins of antique postage stamps under glass with copper foil edges. I was so pleased with their tasteful craftsmanship that I had an idea of my own: “Imagine how they would look with miniature prints of Wodin’s Baba art in them?”
Cindy’s charm of putting her lovely poetry to music is resoundingly expressed in her new album. And for those of you who love to sing along, the words are always printed in her album jacket cover. This time looking very much like the hand-painted boots she wore to entertain us. This lady is multi-talented!
I tracked down the man who made the pins, hired him to make several hundred for me with the Wodin art. I could hardly wait to see them and show them off to the Baba community.
They now can be purchased the Meher Baba at Bookstore in L.A., the Sheriar Book room and Wodin’s studio in Myrtle Beach.
The scenes now available are: Baba and Three Blind Mice; Baba and the Apple Lady; Baba and a Pair O’Ducks; Baba and the Pea Babies; Baba and Baby Chicks; Baba and Eggies; Baba and Mani Flying a Kite; and one of Baba with Morning Glories. The average about 1-’/2” x 1-/4”. They sell for $22 each. —Steve Jameson
Cindy Lowe at the Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California
AUDIO TAPE REVIEWS
Especially endearing were Mehera ‘s Waiting, Fever River and the title song After All This Time. Thank you dear Cindy from all ofus fortunate enough to share once again in your creative expression ofBaba’s love.
After All This Time by Cindy Lowe Reviewed by Patty Thorne
[CD $15.00, Tape $10.00] Once again we had the pleasure of listening to Cindy Lowe as she strummed the heartstrings with excerpts
This combination of guitar and voice fulfills the task of rendering his compositions. All in all, a splendid tape that speaks the feelings of one who loves the Avatar.
Thank You Beloved Baba and Don’t Have A Broken Heart by Kalyan (Tony Paterniti) Reviewed by Harry Thomas
The Don ‘t Have A Broken Heart tape, although intended for a general audience, nevertheless contains many songs that are clearly aimed at the Beloved. Several songs, in fact nine, also appear on Thank You Beloved Baba.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tony Paterniti in India where I was introduced to his singing and compositional style. On several occasions I heard him sing at the Samadhi and was moved by his songs. On a later trip to India I had another opportunity to experience the same.
The tape is a mixture between love songs to dear ones as in Maxine and Love is Too Much and songs sung to the Most High like If You Truly Hear which uses the line, “Hear my prayer Lord.” Many of the other songs are devotional, but phrased so anyone could appreciate them.
In our talks, there was mention of a possible tape, but alas, nothing materialized. This has now changed. Tony, whose artistic name is Kalyan, has produced two cassettes whose titles are: Thank You BelovedBaba and Don ‘t Have a Broken Heart. The former is a Baba tape, written for the Beloved and His lovers. The latter contains several songs from this tape, but is intended, I presume, for a non-Baba lover audience.
Overall, the tunes are lively and spring from an inner well ofauthentic praise and surrender. Either tape could be a refreshing addition to one’s collection. Kalyan has given the Baba lover and the non-Baba lover world a double-dose ofheart sprung gifts.
Lets focus on Thank You Beloved Baba, (words, perhaps we could all say more often). Listening to the tape, one becomes aware of the bouncy nature of the songs. There’s a wonderful perkiness that emotes a vibration ofcelebration throughout. Certainly, the songs are devotional, but the tempo for most of the songs is lively and the mood light lighthearted, yet, the sincerity of that devotion is apparent.
THE AWAKENER by Raphael Rudd Reviewed by JLM Raphael Rudd, composer, arranger, pianist and harpist extraordinaire, has come fill circle. The previously unreleased The Awakener, recorded at Eel Pie Studios in London from October 1978 through May 1980, with Pete Townshend, Phil Collins and Annie Haslam, signifies the beginning for him of a cycle which had its seeds planted when Rudd first met Townshend back in 1977. Avatar Meher Baba was the bridge.
The title track has a folk quality and it uses catchy lyrics, there’s the line, “You gave my heart back to my soul.” Oh Sweet Mehera is a personal reflection upon the beloved of the Beloved, and Kalyan thanks her because, “...you listened to my song.” There are songs of great ones, Ram and Rabia. Wild Mare of Spirit is a delightful tune and the closeness in sound between Mare and Meher invites an inward grin. All in Time was my favorite composition and it too had that carefree and joyous sound that most of Kalyan’s songs possess.
Baba personally blessed young Raphael at a tender two years of age, when he placed his hands upon Rudd’s head and recited His prayer for the boy. Raphael began studying piano at the age of 10. His early lessons went poorly as he insisted on rewriting the music to every piece his instructors assigned. Throughout his teens, Raphael totally committed himself to music, practicing the piano at least 8 hours each day, eventually destroying the tendons in his left hand. Instead of giving up the instrument, he devised an unusual right handed technique that would allow him to continue playing.
On Side Two the Prayer ofRepentance is Baba’s Prayer set to song and Good Morning Baba is an acappella chant to our Beloved. On the technical side, Kalyan’s guitar playing is crisp and passionate demonstrating a command of the instrument, and the singing resonant and enthusiastic. 27
of certain backing tracks, sang on The Awakening, and was a technical consultant on the entire project that would eventually become The Awakening album. He brought in Phil Collins to play drums and Renaissance’s Annie Haslam, to sing. One year later, Raphael arranged the brass section on the hit single Rough Boys from Pete’s solo record Empty Glass, which also included the hits Let My Love Open The Door and A Little Is Enough.
Raphael, always a Marx Brothers fan, especially of Harpo, extended his musical interests to include the harp, a natural extension given his piano technique. He was accepted into the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. At 21 years of age, Raphael Rudd was asked by Pete Townshend to record with him in London. Over the next two years, Rudd would come of age as a musical wunderkind, conducting an orchestra of musicians from the London Philharmonic and the London Symphony for the soundtrack to the Who film Quadrophenia. Townshend wrote “Raphael Rudd and I met because of our mutual interest in the Indian spiritual master Avatar Meher Baba. When about five years old Raphael met Meher Baba who took the child’s hands in his own and gazed into his eyes. Later, when Raphael became a musician and dedicated his work to his master, it became clear to everyone that Meher Baba had inspired the childforever. “I didn ‘t meet Meher Baba in the flesh. But I was pleased to be able to work with Raphael on this recording project that was to be dedicated to Meher Baba. While working on this record, I was doing a number of other things including working on the soundtrack ofthe movie Quadrophenia. Indeed Raphael orchestrated the final scene ofthefilm and conducted the orchestra with great authority despite being only 2] years old at the time. I regarded mys4f as Raphael’s musical mentor during that time. Today, we inspire each other on a more equal footing. I am greatly influenced by Raphael piano style especially his modality. “
After returning to the States, Raphael joined Renaissance, the English progressive rock group that greatly influenced him as a youth. He remained their keyboardist for ten years, while also recording his own solo work.
In the Fall of ‘95, Raphael returned to India for the first time in more than 20 years. It was a very emotional trip and served to rekindle Raphael’s spiritual roots which he had denied for many years. When he returned, he felt the time was finally right to release The Awakening.
“To this day Raphael and mysefregard ourselves as fellow voyagers on the path to God who we see manifested clearly in the perfect flfe and continuing compassionate spiritual presence of Avatar Meher Baba. This might seem romantic, and it is ofcourse, but whatever we like to believe as spiritual seekers, and however lost or vain we might become in ourpursuit of art and fame, we are both utterly certain that we are merely channelsfor the will of God.” —
The Awakening showcases Raphael’s full and textural sound in an orchestral rock oriented style he was experimenting with at the time. The songs encompass a full spectrum of moods, documenting the roller coaster ride of the period. “Homage” pays tribute to Dave Brubeck and Keith Emerson, both strong influences on Rudd, making reference to the Brubeck track “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” later redone by Emerson and his
Raphael Rudd is the only musician Pete Townshend has ever actively supported in this way. During this period, Pete helped Raphael record his own album of songs, dedicated to Meher Baba. Townshend acted as producer 28
arose in his mind a new longing to have the realization of God as Truth. He became so restless that he wanted to have the supreme experience instantaneously. One day he came to a Sage, who had just newly arrived at the village on a casual visit. Approaching the sage with great respect, the man said, “I have wandered as a pilgrim from one place to the other; and I have also visited many sages and saints to get their help and blessings. But I am nowhere nearer the fulfillment of my one desire, and I have waited long enough. Now I approach you in fill surrenderance to get from you such light and help as I may.”
band, The Nice, in “Rondo ‘69.” “Seasons,” the album’s first single, was written by Raphael with Annie Haslam’s voice in mind, long before he ever met her. “Travels” was written for the harp and then turned ii o a piano and drum piece (Phil Collins plays drums here), while “The Game” is Rudd’s first attempt at writing for a chamber orchestra, including strings, flute, piano, etc. It’ 5 theme is based on a little card Meher Baba had written called “The Game,” meaning the game of life and his teachings on how to approach it. Raphael made the song an instrumental in a nod to Baba’s vow of silence. “Moments” was created for piano and oboe, giving the feeling of moods in time. “Magic Grace,” “Willow Song” and “The Awakening” are all filled with great light and hope. “The Awakening” was written in three distinct parts and is sung by Annie Haslam and Pete Townshend. A mystical feeling runs through the piece, starting with the first part being the beginning of time, flowing into the introduction of man, and man realizing that a being or power greater than himself exists. It closes with a piano solo signifying that we are that higher being ourselves. The
The man said this in all sincerity, believing that he was really ready to receive the highest spiritual experience, not knowing that he was really thoroughly unprepared for the receiving of such a vast thing. He did not know what he was asking for. So, in order to bring home to him how he really needed much further preparation, the Sage first took out of his own robe a precious stone which looked like a marble. Then handing it over to the man, said, “Take this stone; and bring from the market five pounds ofvegetables.” The devotee, who knew not the real value of the precious stone, took it for ordinary marble. And, in his ignorance, he began to hesitate, thinking that it was no use starting on an endeavor which, in his view, was doomed to fail. However, when the Sage asked him not to bring in his own considerations, but just to proceed about doing what he was asked to do, he decided to try.
tape is $10, the CD is $15.
iiaaret tot ob
by Meher Baba from Sparks ofthe Truth There is no market for providing the realization of God. And even if any one were to offer such realization, there would be extremely few customers for it. The world is so immersed in ignorance that it has no capacity to assess the value of spiritual Truth. Yet the Masters have again and again tried to help the fumbling and bungling masses of humanity by describing Godhood in a language which they could understand. By descending to their level, only some glimpses of that Truth can be imparted. However, for the most part, those who are thickly covered with ignorance remain impervious even to this bestowal, because their minds have become stiff and unyielding due to the usual worldly habits of thought and feeling.
When the devotee asked for five pounds of vegetables in exchange for the stone, every one laughed at him for expecting so much in barter for such an insignificant thing as a piece of marble. One, however, thought that it might be a nice thing for his child to play with, but he offered only four pounds of vegetables. The devotee returned to the Sage with an account of what had happened. But the Sage now asked him to bring, in exchange, five pounds of sweets. When he went to the market on this new errand, every one again laughed at him. But there was one, who wanted to set a precious stone in his ring but he could not afford to purchase it from the market of precious stones. Now, though he believed that this stone was only a marble, he thought that he might set it in his ring as a false jewel. So he agreed to purchase it in barter but offered only four pounds of sweets. The devotee again came back to the Sage and recounted to him what had happened during this second attempt.
The world mostly fails to appreciate the value of the really important things. And even among those who appreciate it, most persons are held back from deriving any benefit from them. This may be illustrated by means of a story. A devotee of God spent much of his life in worship in one village. After years of worship, there
change, because they are thoroughly dissatisfied with what they have been able to make of life.
The Sage now asked him to fetch from some goldsmith one hundred rupees as the price of the stone. When he went to the market on this third errand, every one again laughed at him. One goldsmith, however, thought that it might turn out to be a genuine precious stone; but he offered only ninety rupees for it. The devotee was now coming to the end of his patience. In all his three attempts, he had failed. So he requested the Sage to put it back on his own robe since he could never succeed in getting for that stone exactly what the Sage wanted.
The goldsmith, who offered ninety rupees, is like a seeker who knows that there is a higher life and wants to have it, but who does not have sufficient earnestness to make any real effort for it. And the Jeweler, who knew the real value of the precious stone but offered only eight hundred rupees, is like an advanced soul who knows the real worth of eternal truth, but who wants to have it without giving its real price, which is the surrenderance of separate ego-life. He expects to cheat the Master by offering to do many other things which fall considerably short ofhis minimum standard.
The Sage, however, now asked him to try to get one thousand rupees from some jeweler. So he went to a jeweler with that stone. The jeweler immediately recognized it to be a really valuable precious stone and knew that its real price could in no case be less than twenty thousand rupees. He thought that here was the chance of his life to exploit someone who was totally ignorant about the truth of jewels. So, in his uncontrolled greed and desire to exploit to the utmost, he offered only eight hundred rupees, thus losing the real bargain.
The Sage then closed as follows, “And you, my dear man, are like those unfortunate ones who refuse to learn from experience. In your successive errands, you had ample opportunity to note that the stone which I had given you was being valued at an increasingly higher rate, as you went to more and more thoughtful persons. But you still clung to your initial belief that it had no value. You further had the audacity to throw away a really valuable thing in your desperateness. You need more experience and need to learn from that experience and also from the experience ofothers. Come to me after you gain sufficient experience.’
Now, the devotee lost all his patience; and throwing away the stone, said to the Sage, “I came to you for realizing the highest Truth and attaining union with God, not for being harassed in fruitless errands. Either give me that for which I aspire or allow me to go back to my own usual duties.” The Sage then replied “You can never attain unity with God unless you have inexhaustible patience. If you can not stand an ordinary trial like this, there is not the slightest chance of your being able to stand the severe ordeals which a real aspirant of the most High must successfully face. It is best for you to go back to the world. But before you do that, I would like you to gather the meaning ofwhat you have seen during the four attempts you made to dispose ofthe precious stone.”
Those who can appreciate the real worth of the life spiritual are few. But even among these few, most persons continue to be swayed by petty considerations to which they feel constrained owing to dispositional inclinations. They miss the opportunities of assimilating in their own lives the great values which they perceive as being true. The most that they do about these values is to talk or write about them for others, or think about them as an entertaining way of filling their idle hours. Value is not value unless it is lived. When a man is merely revolving the idea ofvalue in the mind, the idea is exactly like any other purely intellectual concept a toy to play with.
The Sage then continued, “The dealer who offered four pounds of vegetables is like the multitude who know nothing of that divine immortality which is known as God. They do not even suspect that one day they must possess this invaluable treasure. The dealer in sweets, who offered only four pounds, is like serious-minded or thoughtful persons, who sometime become conscious that their mode of life needs to be changed, but who are content to accept another false thing for the false thing with which they have been fed up. They are not keen about having something real. All that they want is some
The energy which is expanded in mere thinking, talking or writing is like the steam, which escapes through the whistle ofthe railway engine. It makes noise and is even interesting, but it cannot drive the engine itself, even to the extent ofone inch. No amount ofwhistling can move the engine onwards. The steam has to be harnessed intelligently and used in order that it may actually take the engine to its destination. That is why the sages have 30
all along insisted on practice rather than theory. This is particularly true of those who want to know and realize God. [Copyright © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, Ahmednagar, India. Used by permission.J
In 1989 I made a video, a pseudo-documentary of Avatar’s Abode. My mother, Diana Snow, was one of the original builders, back in The Wet of 1958. Its about an our long, and she takes us all around the property telling us what it was like when Francis Brabazon first bought the land, how it was when Baba came just a few
AT THE BOOKSTORE by Dma Snow Franklin Jai Baba and welcome to the Bookstore. I apologize to all who’s Christmas gift giving plans were thwarted by my being in Australia in December! (Who does she think she is, taking a vacation??!) I know I started offthe January issue with this apology, but I had written that in October in anticipation of what may happen. The sales had been so brisk in November I thought everyone must have done their Christmas shopping early. I had no idea there would be such a backlog oforders waiting for me upon my return! It took me until mid-January to catch up. The photo of my totally covered dining room table was only one weeks worth of orders! I promise I’ll take my vacation in January next year. It’s rather hard to get others to do the work when I am gone, as it is all done from my home. One of these years, when Baba thinks the time is right for us to have a larger Center, with storage rooms, packing rooms, offices, etc., it will be a whole lot easier and we can run it in a more professional manner. Till then, bear with us, we are doing our best. You may notice more than a few articles about Australia in this issue. I confess. I’m still terribly biased about my Homeland, and I find Avatar’ s Abode to be one of the most beautiful and tranquil places I have been. But don’t take my word for it, read the article from the English Meher Baba Association newsletter, on page 10 I had seen the photos (on page 9) of our Beloved looking so very serious, as tho He were contemplating the worst possible scenario for this world of ours, but I had often wondered just what was the story behind them. What were the circumstances under which they were taken? The time and the place? Who took them? To my amazement I found out it was a young boy! See the accompanying interview.
Dma under a mountain of orders
short months later, and compares it to its present state of splendor. Also interviewed are Robert and Lorna Rouse, the Avatar’s Abode historians. I just know there is a book in Robert, hopefully we will get to read it one day. They were in their twenties when Baba asked them to give up their city life and come live in the country and look after His property. The video was really just made for myself and my family, but a number of people have requested copies, so $ 1 5, (shipping included) will get you a copy. We have just received 100 copies of a book that kind of snuck up on us. We had no advance publicity, nothing. One day Naosherwan Anzar calls me to say he has just Arnavaz of autobiography the published Dadachanji!...one of the Beloved’s inner circle of women Mandali. We had no idea that she was even writing it, but you can read about it on page 25, and then call me for your copy. Remember the Bookstore is now online. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some very exciting news in this issue is that you can buy a CD from the Los Angeles Meher Baba Bookstore that is not yet available in Music Plus, The Warehouse or Tower Records, but soC;: will be. Remember in our last issue I told you about the album that was recorded almost 15 years ago by Raphael Rudd, Pete Townshend and Phil Collins? And that it was going to be released soon? Well the time has arrived. As I write this, the album is in production, and I’ve been told by Rob Findlay of Wedge Records, that the very first shipment will be to us! I’ve received a letter from Pete Townshend telling us how he and Raphael come to work together. On page 27 is a bio of Raphael. The album is titled The Awakening and vocals on the eponymous track are by Pete Townshend and Annie Haslam (the latter from the group Renaissance). Here in Los Angeles the radio station called The Wave, FM 94.7, is still playing tracks from Raphael’s last, very successful album, Skydancer. (We are out of the CDS for that, but still have the tapes at $10.)
Meher Baba in Zurich, Switzerland in 1930s Have you fallen in love with that dreamy photo of our Beloved above? Well I have great news for you. You don’t have to cut up your LampPost to own it! Since none ofthose exquisite photos in that magnificent book, Love PersonfIed are available to purchase, we are constantly on the lookout for negatives with which we can fulfill your longing to own more and more pictures of His beautiful face. Toby Mertens, who as a toddler, romped in Baba’s arms when He was in Zurich, Switzerland in July of 1 934, has so very generously made available to us from his personal collection this negative to use as a fund-raiser for the Los Angeles Baba Center. But far more important than that is the fact that this exquisite photo is now available for all who would like to have it. We have chosen to make greeting cards of it. They are 43/4 x 6W’ blank inside, with envelope, printed on quality, high gloss stock. We are selling a pack ofsix cards for $12.00.
This issue of the LampPost should be at your doorstep April lst...The Awakening may come just a little later, but get your orders in early, it will help us in the reordering process. Tapes are $10 and CDS sell for $15. Depending on just where your interests lie, we have another piece of exciting news: There exists translations of God Speaks, The Godman, Discourses and The Wayfarers in Farsi. At our Center we have quite a large Farsi group that meets twice a month. Many of those present do not speak English, and it has oft been lamented that we have no books for them to read. We have only just been informed of the existence of these translations and they are in varying stages of readiness. God Speaks is typeset and ready for printing, but the others need more work. See the next issue of the LampPost for full details.
Back to the music, we have two new tapes for you, actually three. One is by Cindy Lowe, reviewed on page 26, the tape being $10 and the CD $15. For those of you who appreciate Cindy for the excellent musician and composer that she is, we have her Complete Songbook, music and words from all her tapes forjust $12.
Also speaking of Baba books in foreign languages, Companion Books, run by Don Stevens in Europe, have published the hill Discourses in Spanish, ($14) and selections form the discourses in Portuguese and French, ($8 each). We also have the delightfhl sounding Ocoute 0 Humanite $14, which is the French translation of Listen Humanity edited by Don Stevens, written by Meher Baba. For those wishing something in German, we have Suche Nach Gott, being The Search for God for $8. It consists of a brief biography with limited selections for the Discourses, and other significant quotations.
Next is a newcomer to The Bookstore: two tapes by Tony Paterniti, “Kalyan.” I found him on the Internet. We started chatting on the Meher Baba List Serv and then I found out he is a singer. If you like Cat Stevens, you’re really going to enjoy Tony’s music. It’s in that genre. See the review on page 27. His tapes sell for $10 a piece. 32
I am so enjoying meeting all the new BLs (as Baba Lovers are called on the ‘Net). It is such fun logging on every night to read all the new mail people have posted there. It is a great place to find the answer to a question that has been eluding you for ages, to search for long lost friends, and read wonderful excerpts from Baba’s books that good people take the trouble to type out for us. If you are on-line, please say hullo—the address is bababooks @ aol.com.
as they talk about Baba. Ted Turner would be very proud of what they have done to the old films. At 40 minute run time, it includes a lot of the old favorite films, but oh how fresh and new they ok. Charles Haynes did an excellent job ofwriting and narrating the script. Included is a delightful scene when Mani tells us how much Baba loved Welcome to My World sung by Jim Reeves and we hear it sung in its entirety. Rafael Villafane composed the music that was heard throughout the film, adding greatly to the beauty ofthe work.
In our last issue I have my fax number as 3 1 0 839BABA. I forgot in Australia and perhaps Europe too, there are no letters on the numbers of the telephone keypad. The number is 839-2222. As it is a dedicated fax line (not connected to my phone) it is available for faxing 24-hours a day.
An item that has been greeted very warmly is the beautiful new jewelry that comes from the Wodin Studios. A great many of you have bought and framed the beautiful photographic reproductions of his pastels on sandpaper originals. I would like to be able to feature a full page photo ofhis work in each issue ofthe LSLP, but of course, his colors are so vibrant and so much a factor in the beauty ofhis art, that a black and white will hardly do justice to it. But nevertheless, you can get an idea ofit ifyou are not familiar with his work. They sell for $46 each.
Those of you who bought the very beautiful book by Carolyn Parker Poetiy of Roses know what a joy it is. We found out from Abrams, the publishers, that it was among their 10 for the best sellers period. Christmas Congratulations Carolyn! It does indeed make a beautiful gift for anyone who loves roses andJor poetry. Hardbound, with exquisite full color photos throughout, is sells for a very reasonable $20. It is so wonderful when the art of a Baba lover makes good in the commercial world.
But now, you can his beautiful pictures. See page 25 for the story and photos. One of the pictures is from the cover of God Brothei the whimsical painting of Baba flying a kite with a very young Mani holding His hand. That piece sold the minute I put it in the display case. Just a teaser for the next issue of the LSLP, there is a possibility that we will be publishing a Wodin coloring book. I can see more than a few adults picking up the crayons for that one. We will have the full details for you in July. Also an upcoming publishing possibility is a Baba Alphabet book for the young ones (from 3-93). Both are very exciting prospects we are enthusiastically working on.
Talking of best sellers, Simon Reece’s tapes a lot of you sent in orders saying, ‘after that sales pitch I just ii to buy them.’ I really loved the letter I got from M.I. in Texas, and I quote, “I’m faxing you an order for THREE more copies of Simon Reece’s tape Echoes of the Infinite. After having listened to it for a week now, I can already tell that #1 I want to give it to some other people, and #2, I will wear this one out in the not too distant future!” So you see, it’s not just me. We have just received a new shipment of Echoes and Sun and Moon, so we can now fill your orders, they are $10 each. —
That’s it for this quarter.
See you, in the Bookstore!
The video Eternal Beloved is the other best seller of the past few months. At $50 it is an amazing piece of work very much worth the price. Produced by Meher Prasad, the old footage of Baba has been manipulated to look almost as good as the present time shots of the Mandali 33
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“Life is a mighty joke. He who knows this can hardly be understood by others. He who does not know it finds himself in a state of delusion. He may ponder over this problem day and night but will find himself incapable of knowing it. Why? Because people take life seriously and God lightly; whereas we must take God seriously and life lightly. Then we know that we always were the same and will remain the same...The Originator of this joke. This knowledge is not achieved by reasoning, but it is the knowledge of experience.” —Meher Baba
“Meher Baba 1926” pen & ink by Claire Mataira, 1991 Handmade cards available at the Bookstore. $3.QfJ
Oil painting by Claire Mataira, 1994. $3.00
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“Baba in the Nursery” by Wodin a 1 5 “ x 1 9” colored photo reproduction of his original creation which sells for $46.00. AVATAR MEHER BABA CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 10808 Santa Monica BouIevrd Los Angeles, California 90025
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