From the Editor
Let Me Hear Your Song
Jai Baba folks, ack from Amartithi, and what a trip it was. Read all about it in Diary of a Pilgrim starting on page 4. I hope the photos either warm the cockles ofyour memories or fill you with desire to go ‘home’ at thatvery special time. Bal Natu tells us to ‘wear the Samadhi like a coat’. I loved that saying and so now every morning, as I put my arms through the sleeves ofmy bath— robe (dressing gown), and button it up, I visu alize putting on the Samadhi, and feelwrapped in His love. Creative visualization works wonders. Try it sometime. There were about 30,000 there on the 31 January and we are all thinking “My, what crowds. How numberless His lovers are!”Well, think again. Upon my return, I responded “India” when people asked me where I had been. “Ah, that big Hindu thing.” they said knowingly. “No, I went for Meher Baba. What Hindu thing?” “Who’s Meher Baba? You know that huge gathering ofthe Hindu faithfiil to wash in the Ganges. There were millions ofthem!” Hyperbole, I thought to myself Well, I had another think coming when I read in the papers a few days later that it had been the largest gathering in history upwards of seventy million people gathered at the confluence ofthe Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati. The Kumbh Mela festival rotates among four cities Allahabad, Nasik, Hardwar and Ujjain every three years. I know that the first two were visited by Baba many times. Knowing His proclivity for crowds, I wonder if He was ever there during Kumbh Mela? This one in Allahabad was even more important being one that takes place every 144 years. Pilgrims believe that by dipping in these holy waters they can end the cycle ofrebirth and attain Nir vana. Gee, all Baba wants is for us to love Him! Nothing fancy. No rites, rituals or ceremo
nies. Love Him. As Nike would say’Just DO it!’
Meher Baba h, my dear nightingales, don’t be of spring but keep on singing, and while singing, become so thirsty that you drown in My Ocean of Silence. Then you will find My eternally new Song. When you sing this Song you will find that spring has become young once again. I want to hear your song. Don’t feel dis appointed with the old age of spring and don’t make Me disappointed in you. Drink the cup ofMy pleasure, and, having derived strength from it, continue singing. Allow others to hear your song too. You will be able to revive the youthftilness ofspring, but to accomplish this you have to drown in My Silence and find My Song. All these years during the full-bloom of the springtime of My Advent you have seen My Glory in the gathering ofmy byers singing together, and you have offered the flowers ofyour hearts at My feet. Now don’t be disappointed but continue to gather together with all enthusiasm and drown in the Ocean ofMy Silence so that you may find My new Song. That Song will make spring burst into full bloom again, and you will happily derive the pleasure of union in the midst of separa tion. This separation will even swallow up time and space one day, and you will find yourself smiling in the lap of infinity. You will become eternally immortal. Your Baba is Baba, and He has come on earth to give you the cup of im down nd now it is time for us to return His Your Baba is always with you; mortality. Love. You must keep loving Baba more wanted to leave Him you canifyou and more, and make Baba happy with your even do so. love by remembering Him always. Think of not Therefore, My dear nightingales, let Him and say His Name, and He will al ways help you. You love Him because He Me hear your song. Your Baba wants to loves you, so be happy in His Love. Know hear it. Will you not make Him pleased? Letters From the Mandali, Vol II, ed. that Baba is with you, and know that He so be happy. He is the God- Jim Mistry, pp. 110-111, © 1983 loves you. Man, and to be loved by the God-Man is AMBPPCT so beautiftil. How very fortunte you are. Mehera, Published by Naosherwan Anzar, Beloved Books, 1989
O disappointed with the old age
a Apublication ofthe Avatar Meher Baba Center ofSouthern Caljfornia
The LovesSireet £amf2ost is dedicated with love to Avatar Meher Baba. Its primary purpose is to contribute to a sense of community among all His lovers by providing a place for sharing His remembrance. All the members ofthe Babafamily are invited to contribute to thisfeast ofLove.
Diary of a Pilgrim
Ahmednagar Moves Toward 20th Century
Dma Snow 14
Memories ofthe First Amartithi
Kendra Crossen-Burroughs 16
News from Meherabad
various contributors 17
Your stories, photos, art work, poetry letters, articles, and humor are all actively solicited. We seek expressions ofBaba’s message of Love and Truth.
Bhau Kalchuri 20
Mumbai’s Celebration ofBaba’s Birthday Happenings at Meherabode
Please submit your text by email or on computer disks if possible (in any software format); typewritten copy on white paper is also acceptable. Be sure to clearly identify all submissions and credit every quote or reference.
Nivedita Sharma 21 various contributors 23
The Los Angeles Sahavas
Wendy Ward 24
The Making of the Thief of Hearts
Nivedita Sharma 28
Hafiz of Shiraz
submissions, subscri7nions, donations:
Howard Schneider 30
The Life ofHafiz
Love Street LampPost Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern California 1214 South Van Ness Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90019-3520 323-731-3737 or
Paul Smith 31
Hafiz and the Day ofDays
Heather Nadel 32
Update on the Perfect Man Shrine
Karl Moeller 39
7th Annual Rocky Mountain Sahavas
Karen Ireland 41
Carry Your Life on Your Sleeve
Baba’s Christmas Gift to Me—My Life for the January issue: April issue: July issue: October issue:
November 8th February 8th May 8th August 8th
Love Street Bookstore: Dma Snow (at the addresses above) 310-837-6419 between 6 and 10 p.m. 310-839-BABA (2222) 24 hour fax
Bababook@pacbcll.net credits: editor: Dma Snow design and layout Cherie Plumlee, Pris Haffenden, Traci Auer, Cherri Nelson proofreader: Patricia Adams Smith research assistant Barbara Roberts distribution: HarryThomas, Marc Brutus, Don Douglas, and Chris Lyttle cover: Photo ofMeher Ba/la © Lawrence Reitei Samadhi photographed and handpainted by Panday.
The £ovfrfttmpost ispublished quarterly, in January, April,July, and October. All contents © 1996 Avatar Meher Baba Center of Southern
California. All qotations, photos, or books, ofAvatar Meher Baba, © A1\4BPPCT
The Chief and the Flute
Kendra Crossen-Burroughs 42 William M. Stephens 44
Raine Eastman-Gannett 45
Mehera, Baba’s Beloved
Barbara Roberts 46
iiIiiZEEEi*JJZIJZD Editor’s Page
The LoveStreet Bookstore
Dma Snow 26
Book and Music Reviews
various contributors 26
various contributors 34
various contributors 36
Humor for Huma
various contributors 38
9 We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the individuals and organizations that own the copyrights to the Meher Baba pic tures we have used throughout this issue to bring joy and love to the hearts of all LoveStreet LampPost readers. All words, images and graphics in this publication are property of the copyright holders and/or the contributors. Messages and pho tos of Meher Baba © AMBPPCE[ Ahmednagar, India, and © Lawrence Reiter. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited by law.
Deaf to His Hints
Dr. H. P. Bharucha
Mani S. Irani
any hints were given by Baba about His passing away but these were not understood. Once He had said, “That which is to happen after 21st May, 1968, will be something great, something that has never happened before, something that will not happen again for billons and billions of years.” He even remarked that the “something great” would happen all of a sudden, not in developing stages. “People will go about their daily affairs unaware till the moment of its happening.” For His 43rd Silence anniversary on 10th July, 1968, the following message was dic tated by Baba to His Mandali though it was not released to His lovers. “Divine Father, help your beloved son to carry out all your work this year forJuly ofthis year will mark the last year of His silence.” Baba had promised His lovers, “Sometime, somewhere, somehow I will meet my old and new Western lovers before I break my silence.” On 30th July, 1968, Baba had said, “My work is done. It is completed 100% and will manifest from the end of September.” On 13th October, 1968, Baba had said, “I have been saying: The time is near, it is fast approaching, it is close at hand. Today I say; The time has come. Remember this!” Once Baba had said, “Come, coming, Came!” He said, “None of you coming can know what it means.” A few days later
He added another line, making it: “Com ing, coming, coming came! I am tired of the illusion game.” He had told His Mandali, “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’ I say, ‘Father, have pity on them for they know not what will happen.” Bhau Kaichuri has been doing night duty for Baba since many years. Baba had asked him to compose a ‘ghazal.’ Bhau had never done this before and so Baba would often give him tips when he sat near Baba at night time. In fact, Baba would often compose a couplet for Bhau. On the 29th of January Baba gestured the following couplet to Bhau. “Ab Ji Ke Kya Karenge, Jab Tumhi Chale Gaye.” This means, “What shall we live for now when you have left us and gone away.” Baba had told Dr. Grant on the 30th of J anuary, “My time has come.” On the same day, referring to His suffering, Baba had told Dr. Donkin, “This is my crucifixion.” When Mohammed had been told that Padri had gone to Meherazad on the 30th, he too had hinted that Baba would be com ing to Meherabad the next day. We thus remained deaf to His hints for it was His will that we should not know that He was leaving us physically. MeherBabac Last Sahavas Copyright 1969, Dr. H. P. Bharucha —
On the stringless lute within Kabir the Lordc Name ever sings. As the musicper— vades out and in It dispels all doubts andfalterings. Kabir in G. N. Das, TheMaximc fKthir, New
ani laughed and told us a funny story about the double meaning of the word dome. After the domed roof of the Samadhi was completed, the structure began to be known as “the Dome.” Shortly after its construction Shirinmai came on a visit to Meherabad. Eruch’s mother enthusiastically asked her, “Mother, have you seen Baba’s Dome?” It so happens that in Persian “dome” means “bottom,” and Shirin wittily replied, “Thank you, but I’ve seen quite enough of Merwan’s dome when He was little!” Lives ofLove, Judith Garbett
eher Baba tells us that Man should have a blending or a balance of the head and heart. That means Divine wisdom and Love... “Spiritual life is not a matter of quantities, but of (an) inherent quality of living. Spiritual Infinity includes in its scope all the phases oflife it comprehends acts which are great as well as those that are small...” Thus a smile or a look stands on the same level as offering one’s own life for a cause, when the smile or the look springs from truth-consciousness. There are no gradua tions in spiritual importance when all life is lived in the shadow of eternity. If life were to consist only in big things, and if all the little things were to be omitted from its scope, it would not only be not infinite, but would be extremely impoverished. The infinite Truth which is latent in everything can reveal itself only when life is accepted in its totality. Discourses, Meher Baba —
(Continuedfrom page 1 6, ‘Memories ofthe First Amartithi. ‘)
Delhi: AbhinavPublications, l999,p 49
Portrait ofMeher Baba by Mehera Makeig, 26. Usually homebased in San Diego, she has beenworking in Meherabad for the past 12 or so months. She is quite the young artist.
When Irwin’s talk was finished, an interesting commentwas made byPhyDis Ott dur ing the question-and-answer period. Phyffis said she had heard that before the coffin was put over Baba’s body, a handkerchief of Mehera’s was placed over his face. Although no one present was able to verifr this, it’s intriguing to thinkthat a future “shroud ofTurin” or veil ofSt. Veronica may have been created.
Diary of a Pilgrim
th he plane landed at 1:35 a.m. on the 28 ofJanuary, and as I walked to the luggage carousel I breathed deeply. That smell, so unmistakably India! The marble walls themselves seemed to give off this odor a mixture of musti ness and ancient history. My senses quickened, anticipation, excitement I was going to be with Baba again, to feel His physical presence! How wonderful to be back. So thrilled was I, I didn’t even mind the 2 hours it took for my four suitcases to come through all 200 lbs. of it, laden with things for theTrust, the Archives committee and the Mandali. Willing couriers are always needed, never travel light!!! Just announce your departure dates on the Baba list serv and you will find all sorts of things needing to be couriered over. Trust me, they will be very grateful in India. Offto the Leela Hotel for a verywelcome shower and a few zees and then to the Domestic airport to try something new: Jet Air to Pune, 30 minute flight, $75. Sure beats a 4-6 hour drive. However, ifyou are planning on a trip to Mehera bad, be sure to read about the new bus service in our July issue. Leaving the Pune airport I saw, amongst the one hundred or so people awaiting the arrivals, the very welcome sign in my driver’s hand. I don’t know if these men, who are contracted by the Trust office, really know how much that sign means to us after a 24 hour flight we see this person waiting for us just us holding up a big card with the beaming face of our Beloved on it and our name underneath. What a welcome! We drove to Ahmednagar, I checked in at the Trust office, unloaded much of the contents of my suitcases, and continued on to Meherabad. I expected to be in the nurses quarters, or the isolation ward where I stayed when I was there with my Mother 2 years ago. Instead I found to my delight that ex Los Angeleno Judy Stevens, who is now a
Dma Snow permanent resident there had offered to share her cozy little cottage with me.
Although it was almost a mile’s walk from the back housing areas up the hill to the Samadhi, staying there had one major advantage over the PC. (Pilgrim Center). Bapoo and some of the other chefs turned their talents to baking scrumptious cookies, cakes and even a Boston Cream pie! These were available at all hours for a modest sum, along with bottles of Coke, Thumbs Up and other sodas. They also had popcorn and can you believe it? French Fries! I got very used to my after dinner hot chocolate and oatmeal raisin nut cookies.
Tuesday the 3ffh Excitement was building up on the hill. The Stalls from many of the Baba Centers
‘X): I I \
around India had been set up and they were a beehive of activity so much so that many a time I could not get close enough to see what they were selling! Man, was your Bookstore walli buying! Rest assured the Love Street Bookstore is now very well stocked with much wonderful new Babaphenalia and Meher memorabilia.To my extreme delight the quality of printing in India has improved dra matically, and so the photos and books were looking very good. J ust across the road from the PC and before you get to the railroad tracks, a huge Food Court was set up where, besides the Indian equivalent of hamburgers, hot dogs and subs, one could also buy all the garlands and flowers needed to place on the Tomb. I was told there were 1,500 less Indians registered than usual, mainly because Amarti thi fell midweek and it is dif ficult for them to get the time off work. But then as if to compensate, there were more Westerners than usual. Nevertheless, there were 10,063 Easterners registered to stay overnight, and then at least 10,000 more came for the day. Families came early and staked out their space under the pandal up by the Samadhi and didn’tleave it for the two days theywere there. The assigned number system for taking Darshan was again in use and proved very effective. No one had to wait longer than two hours, you just needed to keep an eye on the number that was currently waiting in line. When you saw it matched the num ber you were given when you first came up the Hill, it was time to go stand and wait. I was told there were 700 Indian volunteer workers and at least 50 or more Westerners there to help anyone in need at any time. Even Dr. Alan Scott did duty as a water boy to slake the pilgrim’s thirst. I was lucky enough to pull duty in Baba’s cabin (beside the Samadhi). Six people were 5
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needed to help direct the crowds in and out in an expeditious manner. (But not quite as fast as they needed to be inside the Samadhi!) When I needed a break from all the hustle, bustle and noise I simply passed through the gates into the Compound and walked towards Mansari’s kitchen. The plaque there now says “Baba’s Kitchen”, but for the thousands who spent countless hours in that room listening to her weave her magical tales of life with Baba, it will forever remain Mansari’s Kitchen in their hearts. Opposite that I found a quiet respite under the tin shed covering Baba’s ghadi, the place He used to recline and give His discourses to the men Mandali. Amazingly there was often not a soul around. What a contrast to the excitement going on not 50 yards away! Just me, Baba and tranquility. What bliss. The pictures may give some small clue as to the crowds, but you really had to be there to experience, yes the heat and the dust, but also the tangible flow oflove, the respectful interchange between Easterner and Westerner, the excitement and antici pation all building up to
Wednesday the 31st The Mandali arrived about 10:30 a.m. and after taking His Darshan, seated themselves beside the Ghadi which had been moved to the Sabha Mandap ( the covered cement platform beside the Samadhi.) Unfortunately Eruch was not well enough to make the journey from Meherazad, but ev eryone else was there. The sound system was excellent, so even seated right up by the Samadhi, everyone was able to enjoy the performances on the stage down the hill. On the stroke of 12 noon an almighty Silence descended on the Hill. For 15 mmutes all that could be heard was the occa sional cough, bark or cry ofa child. At 12:15 the tremendous shout of Avatar Meher Baba kiJai! from 25,000 throats resounded to the skies. It was a spine tingling sound. Prayers in many languages were then said. Bhau the Indefatigable was seated on the stage for almost two days observing, and no doubt enjoying, the loving tributes to Baba from His lovers from all over India and indeed the world. Aloba was to be seen surrounded by the Persian Contingent at all times! There were no curfews for the three days; entertainment was ‘round the clock. People stayed in place and ate, slept, chatted and
watched the ever changing scene on the stage. Dancers, singers, musicians, school chorus; there was no end to the love pouring forth to the Beloved.
Thursday the 1 By 5:00 p.m. most ofhis Eastern lovers had departed. Things were quieter, ‘but the band played on’. After dinner in the food tent we had the pleasure of hearing Khosrow Namranian, one of the Prem Ashram boys, tell us his stories. Interpreter was newlywed Reza Abrahimzadah. Throughout the evening Khosrow was very soft spoken and talked only through the interpreter. However, at the end of the evening Khosrow stood up, arms upraised to the crowd, huge smile on his face, and shouted “Meher Baba is Ev erything!” Oh for a camera at that moment! Such joy! We later observed Khosrow walking quite spryly around the Samadhi a number oftimes before each Arti. On the photo page opposite can be seen Khosrow, his twin brother standing 2 rows above him, and Esfandiar Vesali (now living in Los Ange les). The teenager on Baba’s left is Chota Baba whom Meher Baba told us was on the fifth plane. (Some teenager!!)
Friday the 2’s” Most of the stalls had been dismantled and packed away, ready for the next Sahavas in another town perhaps. It would take a week for all the cloth to be removed from the bamboo structuresjoining the Samadhi nd to the stage down the hill, but on the 2 the process was started. Gradually the crowds dispersed, the dust settled and the line for Darshan was down to a mere half hour. rd Saturday the 3
After six days ofstayingwithJudy and being able to roll out ofbed in the morning and check my emails, most of the Westerners packed their belongings and prepared for the move over to the PC. Some pilgrims stayed on in Hostel C. Pam Topley from England told me she slept next to Baba’s ‘47blue Chevy! It is actually parked inside the hostel, in between the beds!
th Tuesday the 6
The first day since before Amartithi that we could go to Meherazad and spend pre cious time with the Mandali. The Ladies were all on Mehera’s Porch, looking very chipper after their rest (from us!) Since Eruch was at the dentist that day, Aloba was doing the honours in Mandali Hall with Bal talking to a group of avid listeners outside. We were all aware ofjust how precious these moments were, to be savoured and kept as treasured memories. As we keep quoting Bhau, and reminding you, “The Wineshop is closing”. While all Baba’s beloved Mandali are still as sweet, loving, and giving of themselves as they have always been, they do, after all, have only human bodies which are saying “Enough already! I want to go home to Baba!” Millions will be coming to Meher Baba in the next hundred years or so. Only we, alive today, can have the privilege of being with these precious souls who eons ago dedi cated their lives to the service of the Beloved. Ifyou love Meher Baba and have never been to India, get there fast! —
Interment Day. Babaphysicallyleft us on the 31st ofJanu ary, but His bodylay in the uncovered tomb for a ftill seven days, surrounded by ice and flowers. The body showed no signs of de composition despite the great heat. [Dr. Barucha’s little book Meher Babac Last Sahavas covers this period and the weeks leading up to His passing, in exquisite de tail.] th ofFebruary His bodywas coyOn the 7 ered and the tomb closed. Since then, Interment Day has always been commemo rated with the Mandali in attendance. I had asked to participate in the cleaning ofthe Tomb that morning, always a very special privilege. Awakening at 5 a.m. I walked up to the Samadhi in the dark, save th Cen for the soft glow ofthe beautiful 19 tury ‘gas lamps’ that Jose had installed, standing all the way up the hill on either side ofthe path. As I reached the top of the hill I was stunned to see a huge, crystal clear, golden-orange moonjust setting behind the trees. I stood staring awestruck! What a sight, and how different from the silvery pale moon visible in the Los Angeles skies. At 6:45 it vanished from sight. But the next morning it set almost an hour later, so the bright red sun was rising —
the Eastjust as the golden globe was seting in the West. As I stood there by the ;amadhi and watched this magnificent how by Nature, I felt every cell ofmy body vas in tune with the Universe. It gives me :hills,just thinking ofit now as I write this. As the sun came up that morning, the pening quatrains of the Rubazyat of Omar hayyam came to mind: ft
4wake! For morning in the bowl ofnight Hasfiung the stone thatputs the stars to flight And lo! The Hunter ofthe East has caught in a noose oflight. turret The Sultanc Dreaming when Dawnc left hand was in the sky I heard a voice within the tavern cry, 4wake, my little ones, andfill the cup Before ljfe liquor in its cup be dry.”
Thursday the gth
After a wonderful dinner we all drove to the dargahs where the Qwwali concert was to be held. It started at 10pm and continued nonstop till lam. James had arranged the concert for us, but the music drew many of the locals who joined in with the fervent clapping. It was fascinating! The lead singer looked to be about 75, but he showed no signs of slowing down as the hour got late. By midnight they were really rocking! Perhaps I should say ‘they were carried away with the religious fervor ofit all.’ Itwas very exciting, and most enjoyable. The two side singers were in perfect harmony, sounding like they had been singing together for many years. As we were rather sleepily filing out at 1 a.m., we were stunned to find out they were headed for another gig!! James booked them for the Baba Birthday celebrations at Meherabad, and you can read his review of that occasion on page 19. th Friday the 9
J ames Cox had arranged a trip to kurangabad leaving from Meherazad right ifter lunch. About 30 of us were game for the adventure. We all piled into ‘jeeps’ and :ff we went on the 3 hour drive. The first 3top was a photo op at the Imampur mosque th Century. At the end of the built in the 17 New Life wanderings, Baba stayed the night there. You can read on page 15 the story of Baba’s and the Mandali’s stay there. There were three other Aussies in my frep, who agreed with alacrity when I sug gested we climb Daulatabad Fort. James dropped us offat 3:30. Two hours and 750 steps later we made it to the top of this incredibly designed fort. Many times we thought we had reached the summit, but saw there was yet another turn and a higher set of rooms. The view was spectacular. A defender’s dream. The land all around was flat as a pancake, visibility was for miles. To add to this security, there were so many devious ways to kill the encroaching enemy it was inconceivable that anyone could take it! After dark we all arrived at the Khuldabad Government Guest House where Baba had stayed many times. We all secured our rooms, and were delighted to find big beds, marble floors, high ceilings. beautiful old place. The Nizam of Hyderabad originallybuilt it as a guesthouse for the Viceroy of India, who used to visit him there. .
After a delicious breakfast at the Guest House, we climbed aboard our jeeps to be driven to view the Sufi dargahs tombs of the Sufi Saints. There are many ofthem all in close proximity. No one is really sure if the place is considered sacred because there are so many tombs ofSaints, or ifthe Saints requested to be buried there because they knew the area was sacred. All that we saw that day is chronicled in the book I told you about in the last issue The Eternal Garden by Carl Ernst. After the dargahs we then headed for the Ellora Caves. I had first seen them when travelling with my daughter back in ‘87, but they are still stunning. To think that they were carved out ofthe mountain side —starting at the top! All the Indian religions are represented there, each side by side, almost as ifthey had been carved there for the convenience of future tourists. Some are in much better condition than others, some huge cavernous cuttings in the mountain and yet others quite small. It was a tired but happy band of travelers that returned to the PC Friday nightjust in time for the movies. But I had a bookstore to pack up! Luckily I had been given a room to myself as I had merchandise spread all over the room. Also very luckily, Glenn Russ from Los Angeles had left a few days earlier and since he had come over with just a knapsack (he was traveling around Italy before arriving in India) he had the weight allowance to take one ofmy heavy suitcases —
filled with pictures of Baba. That was an enormous help! Around midnight I had finished packing the rest ofthe things and was ready to face the morn. Qth Saturday the 1
Early morning there was the tearful farewell at Arti. I can usually hold up OK, until they start playing HappyTrails. Heck I even tear up when I hear that song on the radio in the States! The car left at 9:30 and we arrived at the Pune Center about noon. The books I had so blithely ordered on my way up to ‘Nagar gth were all packed and ready to go. on the 2 Sharp intake of breath! There was over 40 pounds of books staring me in the face and all ofmy suitcases were full! ‘Oh well,’ I thought, ‘Baba willing, I will get them to the States.’ The two young men who helped me un load the car outside Jet Air at the Pune airport ‘just happened’ to be Baba lovers. So with a cheerful “Jai Baba” (upon seeing my Baba button prominently displayed on my chest) they heaved the three suitcases along with the bag of books onto the scale. I blanched as I saw it hit 89 kilos (72 is the limit).”Don’tworr she is with Meher Baba” they told the lovely Mehernaz behind the counter. She asked me had I been to Amartithi. “Oh yes!” I replied. Not a glance did she give the brilliant red numbers on the scale so urgently flashing 89, 89, 89! “Rustom and Sorab are my relatives” she brightly tells me. “How wonderftil” I responded, with a silent ‘thank you Baba!’ Besides a large tip to the two men, I gave them all some of the Baba cards I always carry with me. If anyone who reads this knows Mehernaz, please see that she gets to read this so she will know how she did Baba’s work that day, and how appreciative I was. During Amartithi I had met the two main people behind the wonderful Indian made documentary The Thief of Hearts. (Nivedita has written an accounting of Baba’s hand in the making of this documentary; see their story elsewhere in the magazine.)I had arranged to meet with Alok and Nivedita at the Leela hotel on the evening before I flew back to the States to pick up yet more goodies for the Bookstore. We immediately sold out ofthe 12 videos I had got from them last year, and so needed to pick up more this trip. Alas I only had room in my handbag for 10, and I know they will be gone as soon as I put the information on the Baba List Serv but Alok tells me he
Thursday the SthandFriday the 9tbat Valley ofthe Saints and the
I LeftS the Caravanseri leaves Meherazadwith 30 intrepid pilgrims.
e: Imamput a mosque t in the I 7th century. 2 e last night ofthe New Ljfijourney. Baba aniHis companions reathedlnthmpur andspent the night in the dilapidated mosque where a room was cleaned outfor Baba. Eruch kept watch outside the doo, See story onpage 15 with aphoto ofthe inside ofthe Mosque where Baba slept.
Above: the 2 omb ofZar Zari Zar L program tookplaee. Right: the Qa’wwali singers ledhy Nooraddin perform into the early morning hours. Below: we are mesmerized hji the devotionalsinging. ‘%
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Left: the Government Guest House. Right: now the dining room qfthe GuestHouse and where Baba stayed on several occasions with His women Mandali while visiting the Valley qfthe Saints. too, spent the night (not in the dining room however).
A—Government Gziest House B—Mosque oftbe 14( fNizam .aI-Dii’ Awliya,), C—whitewashed deme i ‘fal-Husayni Raju Qatta1 thebuilding to the 1 eveningprayersi2 esaid. 47
s ah of
mfjs) ofthefollowing Sup fi muslim ma#ei F—Ma H-i1bd4llah/ Siddi Kj
Above are darga Rahman, Ean i al-Din Zar 7
the view -ue Baba stayedhere with His men Mandali in the rooms( below thegroundflo Eruth said that w was leading toprayei Baba sai4 caiout to God above ii 1 but they da not realize that tbe!owthem
:/ 4 structure in the inner ozrtyard of
the tomb qfZar Zari ZarBahksh (letter G).
_irtüthe 0 severalyears in or f the Qawwali cancer —
4e ca11edhe. yed in this cave:. ½ hill where -
,i is C. On the hii?abdve .e in which Sai Baba became I Majzaobzyat. Zar Zari eei
Eary Buddhist cavf - 9 ‘
has a contact in New York that can keep me supplied, so order away! After an honest to God hot shower (with water running from the tap and shower head!), the first in two weeks, and a few hours sleep I was driven to the Chatrapati Shivaji InternationalAirport. (That is a title which Shivaji was given, it literally means “husband of the umbrella,” and denotes an “undefeated king.” I wonder how many decades, or hundreds ofyears, before they rename it after Shivaji’s latest incarnation.. .Avatar Meher Baba? At the terminal the three suitcases and one very large bag of books were miracu lously whisked away I guess by the hand of you-know-who! As I write this aboard the plane, I can only trust to Baba that they will be on the carousel at the airport when I land in Los Angeles. It was a wonderful two weeks spent in His palpable presence, so sad to be leaving, but looking forward to putting my thoughts on the computer for the LampPost, devel oping and then choosing the photos to share with you for this issue. As Bal wrote: —
Wrapyourse(fin the Samadhi and wear it whereveryou go.
; 16 abt,ve is bwwn as i 7 ca Kadasha Shivas mozntarn and is the most beautfld ofall the Ellara excavations andone ofIndia mosifamous monuments. Hundreds ofarchitett and cu1pt#s created this #ructure in the 8th andearly 9th re #rzicture ic a I tentury. gigantic sc
I feel I always have Baba with me where ever I am, but it is still an indescribable ex perience to be actually IN the Samadhi!
By Baba’s Grace I will return ‘ere long.
Remember me andlam there with you, and my love willguideyou. Jam the divine Beloved who lovesyou more than you can ever loveyourse(f —
Avatar Meher Baba
[Extra photos for Dma’s Diary supplied by BifSoper and Beth McWhirter. Supplemen tal information provided by James Cox for Valley ofthe Saints, and Gary Kleiner and Bif Soper re Baba’s travels there.] 13
r? at is not a typof
jai7z TemtIe on
ain rQado Nag
TKRamanujĂ m author of Worry Not Be Happy runs Informationfreun his home in 21
this us was one
mo? incarnations. L%\
The Story of the Imampur Mosque by Kavita Muirajani, London, UK
aba and His companions reached Imampur on a wintry December night, the last day on the road ofthe New Life journey. Of course, it was unknown to the com panions that this was the last day. They were all tired and it was decided that they would spend the night in an old dilapidated mosque. A room was cleaned out for Baba. When all retired for the night, Eruch was the first in turn to camp outside Baba’s door to keep watch. After about half an hour or so, Eruch heard a clap from inside. He went in and was told that the mandali were snoring too loudly. Baba told him to ask them to sleep ftirther away. All this was done through Baba gesturing in the darkand Eruch using matches to see Baba’s gestures. So, Baidul, Gustadji and Pendu were moved ftirther away After some time, Baba clapped again and told Eruch that there was a worse noise inside the room. Eruch discovered that there was a bird nesting in the corner ofthe room. He told this to Baba and Baba gestured to throw the bird out. Eruch
was trying to get to the bird in the darkness when he heard Baba’s insistent claps. This meant that he should leave everything he was doing and go to Baba immediately, which he did. With a matchstick, Eruch listened to Baba. Baba told Eruch that they had made a mistake. It was not in line with the rules of the New Life to express cruelt which Baba had done. Also, Eruch should have reminded Baba ofthe rules. Baba asked Eruch to recall this incident the next morning. So when morning came, the topic was brought up again and Eruch was asked to lay the whole story to the other companions. Baba said that it had been sheer cruelty for him to want to throw out a bird nesting with little birds.Throwing the birds outwould have thrown water on the whole of the New Life. So, to feel unburdened, Baba asked his com pardons to beat him with their sandals. Baba then asked each of them to spit on him for the cruelty After that, Baba said, “Now I’m feeling very happy and totally relaxed. Now, lets’ go. Let’s continue our journey.” Eruch’s explanation is, “Baba as man had committed this mistake. He became man, you see. He never actedas man, he became man. So it was his mistake, but that is an expression of
the great compassion of the God-Man. He takes upon himself the whole thing.” Baba made a mistake and pulled his own ear. Eruch’s quote in the last paragraph is taken from the book Thies oftheNewLjfè withMeher Baba. The book was narrated by Eruch, Mehera, Maul and Meheru.
i’he interior ofthe mosque where Baba slept. 15
Memories of the First Amartithi Irwin Luck, Myrtle Beach
Reported by Kendra Crossen-Burroughs
the 31st Amartithi, January 31, 2001, we heard a talk at Meher Center Dy Irwin Luck, who attended the first kmartithi. This was the seven days, February 1-7, 1969, during which Meher Baba’s body Lay in the crypt in His Tomb, surrounded by Elowers (with just His face exposed), while thousands of pilgrims came to pay their last respects. Among the masses ofEasterners was a handful ofWesterners, including Irwin and [us brother Edward Luck, Allan Cohen, Rick Chapman, Don Stevens, and Delia De Leon. January 31, 1969, the day that Baba dropped His body, was an unusual day for frwin. In those days he was driving a taxi in NewYork City On the 31st he drove around the city all day, yet not one single passenger got into his cab! And after that he never drove a cab again. Wh’n the news came that Baba had dropp i lis body, Hislovers around the world were eagerly preparing for the Darshan that was to take place in April-June 1969. Irwin and Ed, however had not signed up for any of the group ffights goingftom the United States. Instead, their plan was to go to India earlier and wait until the Darshan began. After all, Baba had said that His lovers could travel anywhere they wanted to before the Darshan but after the Darshan, theywere to go straight home, without stopping to visit other places or sightsee.Well, Irwin and Ed reasoned, since they could go anywhere beforehand, why not go to Poona a month before the Darshan? They of course would not want to disturb Baba, but ifHe shouldjust happen to want to see them, they would be there. Anso, when the telegram came announc ing that Baba had dropped His body Irwin and Ed’s money was not tied up in the group ffight set forlater that spring.Although group heads were at first advising people not to go in April-June—because they assumed that the pilgrims would be a burden to the Mandall— Irwin and Ed felt that they could take care of themselves and would not bother the mandali. The primary consideration, as Irwin expressed it, was this: When a father passes away, where should his son go?The Luckbrothers felt that they were Baba’s sons, and so of course they must go immediately to India to attend His funeraL Until theyarrived on February7, the Lucks assumed that the body would already be interred and had no idea that theywould still be —
able to see Baba’s face. This was the last day when anyone was able to do so, because Mehera, recalling that Baba had told her onJanu ary 31 that His suffering would last for seven more days, said that the interment should take place after seven days. The atmosphere that Irwin experienced at Baba’s Samadhi was replete with Baba’s love and presence. He recalled Dr. Harry Kenmore exclaiming in his booming voice, “This is intoxicating!” It was a love feast where one was drunk without wine. Despite the profound sense ofloss—suffered in particular by those who had lived in such intimate proximitywith the Beloved—Irwin could feel Baba’s presence even though the bodywas no longer alive. And he recalled how many times Baba had emphasized, “I am not this body.” Several people that Irwin met in India had the miraculous experience ofseeing Baba open His eyes andlookat them from the crypt. One of these was a Zoroastrian priest who told Irwin and others how he had been traveling and saw a vision of Zoroaster rising straight up in the air. He saw smoke in the sky of a particular color that was believed to indicate the death of a great soul, and so he followed this smoke. That is how he arrived at Baba’s Samadhi. (There was no actual smoke com ing from Meherabad Hill—that wasjust part ofthe priest’s vision.) Standing in line to pay his respects to Baba, he had trouble seeing over the heads ofthose in front ofhim. Suddenly he saw Baba lift his head and look right at him.What a remarkable gift Baba gave to this priest, who normally would be the last person on earth to go to Baba. Baba’s body had been placed on top of a coffin lid; around him blocks ofice were posi tioned to keep the body fresh in the intense heat (and remarkably there were no signs of decay or odor during the seven days), and these were sprinkled with sawdust to absorb any melting water then covered with an abun dance ofbeautiful flowers. On the seventh day the ice blocks were removed. In a film taken at the scene, which had been shown at the Center the previous night, we saw Irwin and Edward among those on the “bucket brigade” line, passing the ice from hand to hand. At 12:15pm the inverted coffinwas lowered over Baba’s body by means of ropes, and this was covered with earth and flowers. (For a long period, the earth was simply covered with a cloth, until sometime later a marble slab was
placed over the crypt. Irwin humorously de scribed ho when the marble arrived up on Meherabad Hill, although no instructions had yet been given, some Arangaon villagers picked it up and carried it into theTomb.This caused Padri to come running, as there was concern over the fragility of this marble that had been made specially by a master craftsman in Italy. But the trustyvillagers safelyput the marble in its place.) Irwin and Edward spent four months in India altogether, attending the Great Dars han in Poona at the end ofthat period. In connection with Baba’s passing, Irwin addressed the question of Baba’s silence and the breaking ofHis silence. Most people ex pected that Baba was going to literally utter a word or words before shedding His physical form. Noting that Baba’s silence had many meanings, Irwin recalled some ofBaba’s statements: “I am never silent. I speak eternally. The voice that is heard deep within the soul is My voice—the voice of inspiration, of intu ition, ofguidance. Through those who are ceptive to this voice, I speak.” “When the Word of my love breaks out of its silence and speaks in your hearts, telling you who I really am, you will know that this is the Real Word you have always been longing to hear.” Such statements suggest a deep inner meaning to the breaking ofHis silence. Baba once said that when He would break His silence, His word would have the effect ofan atom bomb. Such an atom bomb, Irwin said, would produce a tremendous shock—but it would be a “love-shock.” We all know about the destructiveness of the atom bomb—butjust think ofthe construc tiveness of the infinite power oflove as the divine presence of Baba continues to grow in the world. One day this presence will be so powerful (Irwin reports Baba as having said) that some will even attain illumina tion through seeing Baba on film. Irwin remembered that even when one was with Baba, one didn’t see Him every minute. At times Babawould retire into another room or the visitors would have to leave His pres ence. Yet they could still sense His atmosphere even when He was not before their eyes. In the same way, we must learn to tune in to Baba’s presence now that His body is no longer on earth. Once we develop this ability to feel His presence, we can carry it with us wher ever we go.
(continued on page 4 coL 3)
N ews from Meherabad Something Old—Something New Meredith Klein, 20 Dec. 2000 many ofyou know, the West Room of and the sari are now on display, along with a the Meher Retreatbuikling on Mehera comfortably hold them, and brought for a well pair of sequined costume sandals also made bad Hill, where some of Baba’s Eastern and deserved rest to cabinets in the by the women Mandali. Western women disciples stayed in the ashram East Room (the companion The ready-made crown days of the 1930’s and 40’s, has served as a room to the West, where had been purchased in small museum since the early 70’s. The origi Mehera and the close women Bombay and brought to nal displays, chosen and arranged by Mehera, resided in the Meherabad Meherabad for the Mani and the women Mandali to show a se ashram days). Prior to removing Prem Ashram boys, lection ofBaba’s personal and household items these items, a new set of articles who yearned to adorn from various times and aspects ofHis life, have hadbeen chosen, alongwith two Baba. In addition to the given many ofHis lovers meaningful contact photos showing Baba wearing silver sequin embroi with these “tangible links” to Him. some of them. These photos derytheword”Meher,” In recent years, the Trust’s Archives, were blown up to fit the size of in Gujerati script, was Museum and the exhibits and we then embroidered on Research madepadded stands the green silk centre by Committee designedtoperfectly the women mandali. (AMRC) has support and display The pink siik sari, with continued each of these a typical Parsi style bor caring for the precious Baba treader embroidered in a collection of sires. The result is 1 ;f7 crown andsari. floral pattern, originally the precious Baba Prem Ashram boys adorned their very beautiful, belonged to Khorshed. Beloved treasures to simple, elegant, and After Baba used it, she ensure that inspiring, as Baba’s belongings no longer wore it. Since those early years, it step plaiform that Baba used to wash the always are, continuing to hold a they are prohad been very carefully and lovingly kept feet ofthe lepers tected for fragrance of His physical amongst Baba’s precious articles, accompanied sharing with His world-wide family. While presence. by a note in Goher’s handwriting,which reads: consultingwith museum professionals to find One of the cases shows costumes which “Beloved Baba has used this sari as dhoti in out how to best achieve this goal, we learned were used on special occasions. When Baba 1926. Meherabad.” The pink satin costume about the difference between “people needs” was away on trips to the West or for other sandals had been made for one ofBaba’s birthand “item needs.” People thrive in air and light work, the women mandali passed their spare days by Mehera and the women Mandali usand with human touch, but for physical items time with their hearts and minds focused on ing soles made by a cobbler. The sandals are these same factors hasten deterioration. For Him, by designing and creating crowns and embroidered all over with beads and sequins the most precious items in the world, the jewelry and costume clothing with which to and edged in pink braid. When you look belongings of the Avatar, this law of nature adorn Him. For these closely you can see the imprint still prevails. they used what they had ofBabas feet on the insoles In the museum we thus faced a dilemma with them they would The other case contains typi how to preserve the treasures and still provide remove gold threads, se cal daily clothing of Baba from ‘1 His lovers access. The consultants who quins, etc. from their sa the 1930’s and 40’s: a silk coat educated us in this predicament also provided ris and would use the silk and cotton lengha. The scene a solution: continue to give access through sari material also. Very captured in the photograph is display, but be sure to rotate the items so that little was purchased from also typical Baba, with lengha they all have a chance to rest in the dark, still outside. and sadra rolled up, actively enenvironments that will prolong their lives. So, In the photo backing gaged in the work at hand in in the second week ofNovember, we began to this display Beloved Baba this case, on His birthdayin 1940 do this by changing displays in two of the is seated like a king on a in Bangalore,giving all the masts glass- fronted cabinets one which showed throne, regally draped in the ashram abath.The striped items connectedwith Baba being adorned and with a beautiful sari, a se silk coat was very much worn by “dressed up” and the other which presented quinned crown atop His Baba, who preferred such soft examples of His daily wear from the early flowing hair, and His lo clothing. Gaimai (Eruch’s years. The crown and the robe, the coat and tus feet resting on a cush The rickshaw used by Baba during mother) and family had had it the Prem Ashram period the sadra, and the other smaller items from ion embroidered by Memade, alongwith two other simi these two cabinets were careflhly removed, hera and the women Mandali. For this lar ones, by a tailor in 1937 in Nagpur. The padded and folded with archivally safe occasion, in 1926, Baba had been dressed up taior who was a follower ofTajuddin Baba materials, placed in boxes specially made to by the Prem Ashram boys. The same crown and then came to love Meher Baba as a result
fstitching for Urn, had figred out the leasurements Lst by looking t a photoraph of Baba, rho was very leased with Fie results. This case also bows a typical air of lengha, rhich Baba Babac silk shirt sually wore eneath His sadra. These drawstring pants, f cotton material, are displayed to show the iord “Baba” embroidered in red below the aistband.
Books and More an Archives Update -
Meredith Klein, 9 Feb. 2001
I rchives, archives, EXarchives! What are those archive cornmittee folks doing, anyway? These days around Meherabad azad one hears the word”archives”used in rnany contexts. Sorne peopleinquire aboutit. Sorne are excited about it. Sorne participate in it. Sorne seek advice Front view ofthe archives buildingjust east ofthe Samadhi about it. Sorne even spoof it. But airnost everyone wonders what it is really all about. pany capable of rnanufacturing the special Through regular updates in Tavern Talk and steel cupboards required to protect precious other publications the AMRC (Archives, Baba iterns. The rnuseurn quality standards for these cupboards Museurn and Research for everything frorn the to hopes Cornrnittee) joints, to the gasketing, provide continue to paint job and the to all those answers for the dirnensions even to woninquiring (and rnet, and had to be dering) rninds in our areveryhappytore we Baba farnily. port that they have This tirne we would A prototype has been. like to share with you been deliv recently sorne very exciting, ered as one perand, hot-off-the-press news , window abovefront door Imagine “it’s son cornrnented, and then focus on a sigthefront drive when it is all beautjfully landscaped techOur awesorne!” nificant project which has been quietlybut steadilyprogressing be- nical advisers assure us that in quality and craftsrnanship it equals, ifnot exceeds, those hind-the-scenes for the last few years. As earlier reported in Tavern Talk, after rnanufactured abroad. Having satisfied the an arduous and seerningly fruitless search, archival standards we can now go ahead and we felt fortunate to locate a nearby corn- order the various sizes of cupboards re quired And so it 4 appears that Baba, by once again rnak ing possible what had appeared nearly irnpossible, has put His stamp of ap proval on a rnajor next step in caring for His treasures. In addition to next steps, we are also most happy to let you know that major strides have already been made Sid; view of archi yes building towards another —
The AMRC will continue changing the 3isplays in the Meherabad Hill Museum, so even if you have been there often, the next irne you come be sure to set aside some time For a visit. I think you will be glad you did!
However, although the archives is not a library, the need for fu ture research access to copies, facsimiles, and in rare instances to originals, is very much rec ognized, and policies and proce dures for this are being established. In recent times we have become keenly aware that in the archival arena, as in many, the more you do the more there is to do! Although the road ap pears seemingly endless, the ex Model ofthe new Pilgrim Center west ofthe Samadhi perience of living and working goal archiving the materials by and in Baba’s world, has also made us keenly about Beloved Baba. Since 1998, during aware that in His timing all the goals will annual visits here, Flagg Kris (retired ii- be met (or not!) as He chooses. One thing brarian and former Meherabad resident) of which there is no doubt, is that with could almost daily be found elbow deep all the projects underway and those yet to in piles ofbooks and periodicals, and of- come there will be ample supply of Tav ten keenly focused on the computer in em Talk topics from the AMRC, and so front of him. Using an expanded version we look forward to sharing them with you of a database originally developed to cata again soon. logue the books in the Meherabad Hill library, on behalfofthe AMRC, Flagg has been meticulously recording the essential details about each and every available Baba publication, in all languages from the lengthiest ofbooks to the smallest ofleafJ ames Cox lets. Februrary 19th Besides the cataloging aspect (which includes information about the physical It’s 1 am at Meherabad and I’ve just appearance of each item toward the finished putting away the tarpaulins goal of having the materials selected for from the Sabha Mandap, next to Baba’s archiving be those in the best condition Samadhi. Tonight, over 150 of us atpossible), this effort is helping to detertended the kick-off for Baba’s Birthmine which items are still missing from day, the first qawwali program on Methe necessary number of copies for each herabad Hill since Baba was physically individual item (separate editions and present, and 1 am still swimming. printings count as separate items). Last Nooraddin Qwwal from Khuldabad year lists of the missing items, as well as came with a group of about eight, and requests regarding future publications, proceeded to enchant an audience of were sent to some ofthe major Baba pubdifferent religions and nationalities lishers and through their generosity we with one of the most ecstatically subhave already begun to fill in some of the lime performances I have ever witblank spaces on the shelves. On behalf of nessed anywhere, addressing Baba in the Trust’s archival effort the AMRC incredible Urdu qawwal after qawwal, would especially like to thank all of you subtly poetic complaints and yearnings who so willing responded to help ensure between lover and Beloved, for which that this priceless published record of His English is woeftilly inadequate to ex advent is preserved for all time. press. Qwwali is a medium describ This work is in keeping with the caring states generally not only not writing and sharing guidelines of the Trust ten about in English, but which don’t which require that the caring (physical even come into the normal collective stabilization, protection, duplication and Western thought process. What oc documentation) ofthese archival items be curred opposite Baba’s Samadhi toseen to first, thus ensuring future sharing night was an immersion process, a step ( use and access). In the case ofthese pubthrough a door briefly opened to a place lished materials, ofcourse most are already from where we do not wish to return. generally available from various sources.
From Our Man in Meherabad
The Station ofDivine Laughter
performed prayer between the two evening prayers and said to myself, “What was going on? The wonders of the hidden were not revealed in listening to music the night before.” And I suddenly saw the Truth (glory be to him who is transcen dent) at the windows of the angelic realm, dawning on me as beauty and majesty. And I said “Where were you when you hid during the music?” And He who is tran scendent said, “I was with you, as I am now, as you see me!” And I laughed and cried, and my conscience was glad, and my mind and heart. And I said, “My God, why did I not see you there?” He said, I was behind you, and above you, watching you, and on your right and left, as you see me now.” .
Ruzbihan Baqli, The Unveiling ofSecrets, Diary of a SufiMaster, [Chapel Hill, NC: Parvardigar Press, 1997] Translated by CarlW. Ernst, 45-46.
Gokaran Shrivastava was translating each song into English, and he said as the qawwalis progressed, he was faced with an increasingly difficult job, both from getting lost in their magic, and because there were simply no English words to capture these increasingly sublime de scriptions. However, words are only one aspect ofqawwali, and the rhythm, movement, gestures and music produce their own ecstatic effect, which also cannot be translated into English, nor for which do you require a knowledge of Urdu. And like this, even without knowing the ver bal meaning, one is gradually carried along on their wave of rapture. Towards the end ofthis incredible performance, my friend Bob leaned over and asked me if these guys are indeed Baba lovers or are they just playing the crowd. I remembered a story that my friend Krishna told me about going to San Francisco to see one of the most famous qawwals who ever lived, Nusrat Fateh-Ali Khan. Krishna was disappointed that Nusrat didn’t play any of his really deep stuff and he went up to him after the concert to ask why. The answer was, “Look around you, look at the audience,” and then Krishna understood. Tonight the audience was Meher Baba and His byers, and the “stuff” was deep, very deep. Like begets like.
honor Meher Baba’s birthday every year on February 25th, Baba lovers in uth India would hoidlarge public celebra ons. If it was Baba’s seventieth birthday, )r example, the Andhra lovers would cel brate it in some places for seventy days. ities and towns throughout India would ave some public observance processions Eirough the streets, singing programs, feasts )r the poor, and so forth in which roups as well as individuals partici ated with much love and effort, and aba was always very appreciative. On the 25th of February at Meerazad, the men mandali would al vays get up at four in the morning, ake their baths and dress in their best lothes. At five o’clock, the moment fBaba’s birth, the men would shout Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai!” seven imes in the hail. When Baba came, ach one would go to Him and re :eive an embrace. Then the work of nswering birthdayletters, cables, and ards had to be attended to; so in ome ways Baba’s birthday was a day )f more work for Him! In 1968, Sarosh Irani, President of the thmednagar Center, informed Baba that or His seventy-fourth birthday the Ahmed iagar devotees were planning a large public :elebration with a festive procession, singng, and lectures about Him. This was the ;econd year in a row that the Ahmednagar enter was celebrating Baba’s birthday pubicly, and Baba was very happywhen Sarosh xplained the whole affair. On the day of the birthday, after His af :ernoon session with the men Mandali, Baba :etired to His room at three o’clock and I vent with Him to keep watch. After some :ime, Baba arose and gestured, “Today the khmednagar people are going to celebrate aiy birthday publicly. This evening they are Eiaving a large procession through town. I know that they have all worked very hard, nd this makes me very happy. I want them to be pleased, and I want the celebration to come off well.” I nodded. Baba paused and then said, ‘But if it rains, it will spoil everything. Do you think it will rain?” I answered, “No, Baba, it won’t rain. The sky is very clear.” “But ifit rains, then what will happen?” He questioned. °
Bhau Kalchuri Although I reassured Him that there would be no rain, Baba continued, “Sarosh will feel very sad because he has worked day and night for this. The celebration is a public one.” Again He asked, “Do you think it will rain? Go and look at the sky.”
Children enjoing Babac Birthday Celebration
I went outside and looked at the sky which looked fine. I went back inside and repeated the same thing. “No, it will not rain, the sky is very clear. There’s no sign of rain, Baba.” So Baba lay down, but five minutes later He sat up again and gestured to me to go outside and see if there were any clouds. Again I went outside, and upon seeing no clouds at all, reported to Baba. “This isn’t even the monsoon season,” I reasoned. “It never rains in February.” Baba continued to send me out to look for clouds every fifteen minutes or so, but none appeared. However, at five o’clock when I went to check, I saw to my amazement that dark rain clouds filled the entire sky! So I hurried in to tell Baba. Baba gestured anxiously, “See! Now what will happen?” andjust then it started to pour. I was stunned. Baba quickly motioned, “Go right now and tell Aloba to cycle to the pumping station and phone Adi to see if it is raining in Ahmednagar! Go!” As it was pouring outside, I started to ask Goher for an umbrella, but Baba ges tured impatiently, “Hurry! Go right now!” So without an umbrella, I hurried across the compound to the men’s side, getting soak-
ing wet on the way. I gave Aloba the mes sage and returned to Baba. Baba immediately asked, “Did you tell Aloba to bring the message to me here af ter he phones?” “No,” I said, “how could I tell him that? No one is allowed to come to your room unless you yourself call him.” “Go! Go and tell him,” Baba said. “I have never in my life seen such an idiot like you!” Again I had to dash out into the pouring rain to give Aloba the instructions. When I returned, I was completely drenched and somewhat irritated, thinking, “Why all the hurry about phoning Adi? If it is raining in Ahmednagar, it’s raining! What will Baba do about it anyway? Here I’m soaking wet, and I have to sit here with Baba until midnight in these wet clothes.” As I entered Baba’s room, He said, “If there is rain in Ahmed nagar, everything will be ruined.” I said, “Whether the program there gets ruined or not, my program here is completely spoiled. I’m drenched!” Baba just smiled and gestured to me, “Come here,” and taking His handkerchief, very tenderly and lovingly He began to wipe my face. I said, “No Baba, please, I can do it,” but He went on wiping. Then He said, “Take offyour clothes and hang them on the line to dry. Take this bedsheet and wrap it around you.” I was so touched by Baba’s loving com passion and His tenderness that I no longer felt the least bit annoyed, although I still wondered why there had been such a ftiss about phoning Adi. Soon afterwards, Aloba hurried back with the happy news: “Baba, there aren’t even clouds there! The sky is perfectly clear, and the procession is just beginning. The birthday program is a big success!” Then I understood why Baba had been so concerned. Baba just smiled at me and said, “My birthday is a grand success.” While the World Slept by Bhau Kaichuri Copyright 1984 Bhau Kaichuri.
Meher Cosmic Family, Mumbai Presents:
107th Birthday of Beloved “meyer come, I nevergo; lam never born, I never aze T
Avatar Meher Baba
ark the angels sing a King was born today! Shirenmai’s divine child Merwan was born on this day 25th Febru ary 1894. The Mumbai Center has been in existence for the past 38 years. When Meher Baba gave permission for the center to be built he sent Maharani Shantabai ofBaroda as His representative for the inauguration. The message that He gave was ‘Make Meher Halithe house ofalihearts that seek to hear my message ofLove and Truth”. This message was given on 25th Febru ary 1962 when Baba was in Seclusion. He said that His birthday should be celebrated in various centers rather than coming to Meherabad. Here is an account of how Mumbai Baba lovers put their hearts and souls into presenting a memorable birthday for Baba. Mumbai, the commercial capital on the western coast of India is a city that never sleeps. At 3:30 a.m. the streets still have traffic whizzing along. The skyline shows a dark horizon with a star-spangled sky above. As I speed towards the Baba Center in Grant Road I see no omen signifying the occasion that will be celebrated in style. But I do know 107 years ago when Shirenmai was pregnant with a second child she saw prophetic dreams. She saw the birth of a divine son who would awaken Humanity She dreamt that He would be a beautiftil child and she saw herself standing at her door where people would come in large numbers to pay their respects to Him. She spoke of her boy child Merog, as she fondly called Him. He was called Merwan or Meherwanji by peers and later He was called Meher Baba by one and all. The building Navyug Niwas is decorated. On the ground, colorful rangoli make a pretty sight. The rangoli is right up till the third floor where Meher Hall is already full! People are garlanding the photo of Baba. The Bhajan mandali (Indian choir group) led by Kishore Mistry is singing songs. At 5:00 a.m. the seven names of God are said aloud, after which the flag is
Nivedita Sharma, Mumbai hoisted outside.Then at 5:15 the arti is sung and the birthday song follows. The delicious three-piece cake is cut by three Baba lovers. The Bhajans follow till the 7 a.m. arti. By this time the Hall is teeming with people. Once the arti is over prasad is distributed. Most lovers return to their homes. Some stay back. These are the ones who will be performing in the evening at the Framji Cawasji Hall. The Hall is now going to be used as a rehearsal room. Performing a solo dance is ten year old Piyusha who is the third gen eration of Baba lovers in her family. While she takes some time out to rest she says, “Baba always liked my grandmother’s puran polls (sweet nan). Once Baba told my grandfather to get papaya when the season was over. My grandfather knew this, but he also knew that he had to obey Baba. IfBaba has asked for something it should be available somewhere. So he searched in all the gar dens ofAhmednagar. He told all his friends also ifthey get papaya they should give it to him. Against all hope he did get it and gave it to Baba! We all believe in Baba. I have seen Baba come to me when I was five years old. Recently during Amartithi I saw him standing outside the Samadhi during the fifteen minute silence. He waved to me!” There are others too who share their stories. At the Framji Cawasji Hall the evening begins with Baba songs and then the dance which Piyusha has been rehearsing. She has performed a dance on Meera’s love for her Lord. The highlight ofthe evening is a bal let based on a section from God Speaks. Another highlight is the talk that one of the trustees, Cyrus Khambatta, gives for new Baba lovers. President Dara Katrak gives thanks for the constant support they have received each year to make the birthday cel ebrations memorable. Every year a play is performed and events from Baba’s life are staged. Again the lovers have worked together to make the event wonderftil. Silently the workers back stage also do their bit. At the end of the evening everyone thanks the wonderful painstaking job that has been done to make the evening perfect. Meher Baba lives in our hearts eternally. In this Avataric cycle, this is His last Advent. We have to learn much from His silence. We
must not forget that He came in our midst to awaken us. His birthday is just an excuse to spend a little more time in His esteemed company. Whether we are in Mumbai or Meherabad (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter), Meher Baba will always be with us.
A New Web Cast ofEruch in Mandali Hall and the Birthday Celebration Ward Parks, Meherabad 11th March 2001
he Amartithi and Baba’s birthday cel ebrations, like huge tidal waves, have washed past us now. The steady exodus of pilgrims over the past few days has left us with a Pilgrim Centre and Hostel D that are only half-frill. As a medieval poet once wrote, “sumer is a-cumen in”: each day the mercury rises higher and Mgher andbythelatter part ofthe month it will be topping the century mark. And so Meherabad and Meherazad slowly subside into their states ofsummer quietude, in which the several score remaining residents patiently labor on under a blaze of tropical sun. The 2000-2001 pilgrim season leaves us with many memories, most immediately, those ofthe past month which represent the climax and culmination of the annual cycle here in BabaTown. A happynew development is that now some ofthe memorable moments, as re corded on digital video cameras, can be shared with the greater Baba family around the world through web-casts. This was done a month ago in connection with the Amartithi gathering. Today we have several more video clips, shot by Bob Fredericks during his pilgrimage this season. The first three of these clips, each about one minute in length, are from the birthday celebration at Meherabad on February 25th including footage of the Samadhi at 5 a.m. and a brief segment from the birthday play about the Perfect Master Tukaram. The last is of Eruch on Febmary 22nd of this year, narrating the extraordinary episode in which Baba promised one day to pull him out of the muck ofthis illusion. Unless you have a DSL/cable modem, you must download these clips before viewing. For you to view them, your computer will need 21
ealp1ayer.” A free Realplayer can be downaded from:
Tukaram Ushers in Our Summer Season
wwwrea1networks.com To view the first video ofBeloved Baba’s irthday at Meherabad click the following http://wwwtechnobaba.comJ birthdayone.rm
Irene Holt, 8 March 2001
To view the second Birthday video of the amadhi at 5:00am on Feb 25th click the fol wing link: ttp:HwwwtechnobabacomJbirthday2.rm To view scenes from “Tukaram” (the Birthday play), click the following link: Eittp://wwtechnobaba.com/tukaram.rm Finally, to view Eruch spealdng in Mandali lall on Feb 22nd 2001 dlickthe follong link http:I/wwtechnobaba.comJErucKrm Note: the video file of Eruch is large [.2mb), and some subscribers may have ouble downloading it. For those experienc ig this difficulty a smaller file of Eruch is vailable at: http://wwwtechnobaba.comJ Eruchinhall.rm These web-casts appear to be another Fiannel by which Beloved Baba can bridge istances and help His lovers around the world ) feel close to His places and at one in His membrance. For those who could not be at 4eherabad-Meherazad over January and èbruary some whiffs ofthe fragrance ofBe)ved Baba’s home here are just a click away.
is to Your Advantage
n Wednesday, February 17th, 1932, Meher Baba’s 38th birthdaywas elebrated quietlywith a simple program of hajan, kirtan, arti and the distribution of rasad by Baba. While conversing with His close dis iples, Baba suddenly asked one of them, What are you thinking?” “You kno Baba,” the man replied. Baba responded, nodding, “Yes,” then pelled out: Yes, I do; but I have come down on your vel to be among you. I know everything. I :now what you are thinking and what iardships you have undergone. But by my sking you to say it out loud, you will get elief and be benefited. For that reason, I )rdered you to speak, which is very good or you. Even ifyou don’t reply and remain luiet, I know; but by your speaking out, it
is always for your own good and to your advantage. My universal mind is the central station to which every individual mind is linked. So, wherever a person may be, I know what he is thinking and doing every moment. At every moment I know the thought of every person and the thoughts ofthe whole world simultaneously. Not only this, but I also know what you will think tomorrow or af ter a thousand years, and also know what you thought thousands ofyears before. This is knowledge infinite and indivis
ible and it is beyond your imagination. LordMeher, Vol. V. Copyright 1990 AMBPPCT
He who renounces... the life of the separate ego in favor of a life of self-surrender to the Master is through this new ego, living as an instrument in the hands of the Master. It is the Master who is working through him: ‘Not I but Thou’... Before beginning anything, the aspir ant should say it is not he who is doing it but the Master who is getting it done through him, and after doing it, he does not claim the results of action or enjoy them, but offers them to his Master. from Sparksfrom Meher Baba
July, 1969, Sheriar Press.
he warm March breezes are blowing across Meherabad, heralding the start of “heat and dust” season, and the approaching end ofour pilgrim season here. Meherazad’s last pilgrim day was Febru ary 27th and the Mandali, residents and staff there will now begin their summer period of repairs, refurbishing, and hopefully some much-needed rest as well. Quite a few pu grims still remain at Meherabad, those who particularly enjoy the relative quietude of the last two weeks. The Pilgrim Centre is about half full and we are still expecting several ar rivals before closing on March 15th. Our most recent big event of course was Baba’s birthday. It was a lovely day full of prayer, music and drama, celebrated in His love and remembrance. At 6:00 a.m. 25th Febru ary, strains ofBaba music could still be heard from Arangaon village; the villagers had been at it all night as they are accustomed to doing for Baba’s birthday each year. The sky was gently lit as the sun was about to rise and the air tookon that characteristic dawn chill. Baba lovers on Meherabad Hill were also singing His praises at the Samadhi following the early 5:00 a.m. prayers, arti and Happy Birthday song. Under the tin shed opposite the old Meherabad kitchen, tea was served to all comers, in the tradition established there by Mansari years ago. The feeling oflove and brotherhood pervaded the atmosphere on the hill as His byers celebrated the Avatar’s advent on earth. Later in the morning the Mandali arrived from Meherazad for darshan on the hill and to attend the performance of the play Tukaram.The Mandali had expressed particu lar enthusiasm for seeing this year’s play about the Maharashtrian saint Tukaram, who Baba had said was a perfect master ofhis time. Tukaram’s song-poetry to God is famous and dearly loved in Maharashtra, and Baba used to enjoy hearing it sung in His presence. A film version ofTukaram’s life story had been seen and loved by Baba, Mehera and the other Mandali in past years. The playthis yearwas written directlyfrom the translated script of the ifim. The part of Tukaram was played byAlanWagner and that ofhis devoted wife Avala by Heather Nadel. The supporting cast included many Baba by-
ers on pilgrimage from the West and a few Arangaon village residents. The story dem onstrated several incidents fromTukaram’s life and showed his humffity one-pointed and ecstatic love for God and notably the chal lenge to conventional religion posed by his simple life ofsinging and chanting in love for his beloved Lord. The famous story of Tukaram being forced bythe priestly authori ties to throw all the books of poetry he had written into the river was particularly powerfiji. After 13 days of fasting and meditation by the master, the books miraculously rose up out of the river waters intact. The priest who had ordered the drowning of the books became converted to Tukaram’s message ofLove. The feeling conveyed through the Mehera bad performance was very sweet and touching. The audience was moved by the heartfiil portrayal of this great master and favorite of Baba’s. The mandali enjoyed itverymuch and Bhau commented that it was the best yet of the plays performed at Meherabad. Following the play, birthday cake and ice cream were served on the verandahs of the theatre, a fitting and festive ending to the program.Together Baba’s lovers hailed His com ing among us as Avatar and His living pres ence in our hearts. Happy 107th!
2 H appenings at Meherabode Inventory Time
During the spring spruce-up the whole Center got before the Birthday celebrations, we inventoried the bookstore. A once-yearly chore during which every single item must be counted. Here are 3 wiffing volunteers who slaved for the dayS
Above right: T4n4y Wardand Margaret Magnus taltying. Right: Ellen Bailey and PrisHaffinden share a light moment while counting
Rob Ward carries a box of booksfor counting
God Is One Meher Baba hen I say I am the Avatar, there are a few who feel happy, some who feel shocked, and manywho hearing me claim this, would take me for a hypocrite, a fraud, a supreme egoist, or just mad.If I were to say every one ofyou is an Avatar, a few would be tickled,and manywould consider it blasphemy or a joke. The fact that God being One, Indivisible, and equally in us all—that we can be naught else but one—is too much for the duality-conscious mind to accept. Yet in each ofus is what the other is. I know I am the Avatar in every sense of the word, and that each ofyou is an Avatar in one sense or the other. It is an unalterable and univer sally recognized fact since time immemorial that God knows everything, God does everything, and that nothing happens but by the Will ofGod.Therefore, it is Godwho makes Me say I am the Avatar, and that each one of you is an Avatar. Again, it is He Who is tickled through some, and through others is shocked. It is God Who acts, and God Who reacts. It is He Who scoffs and He Who re sponds. He is the Creator, the Producer, the Actor and the Audience in His own Divine Play. LordMeher, Vol 13-14, 1954-1956, page 4423,Bhau Kaichuri, AiVIPPCT, 1998
Meherabode Birthday Party
A wonderful turn out—afull house—to celebrate Babac birthday
Haynes Connor told us ofher times with Baba when she was eleven.
Buz Connor entertained us with his wonderful songs.
Beloved Babac Birthday cake was an absolutely incredible carrot cake. 23
.• The Los Angeles Sahavas ••
his year’s Sahavas will be held from Saturday, June 30th to Tuesday, July 3rd, 001 at the beautiful Pilgrim Pines retreat rounds located in the San Bernardino Moun dns.
Our Special Guests We are always pleased whenever Beloved aba’s night watchman, Bhau Kaichuri, races the L.A. Sahavas with his wonderful resence. Bhau met Meher Baba in 1952 ndjoined Him as one ofthe men Mandali ‘ 1953. At His instruction, Bhau wrote /leher Baba’s biography, published in the aulti-volume “Lord Meher” series. A dis inguished poet, Bhau has written thousands f ghazals, published in such works as Meher Sarod.” He currently serves as hair j of the Avatar Meher Baba Peretua •iic Charitable Trust in India. Sheela Kaichuri Fenster first met Vleher Baba in 1952 when she was 6 months ld, along with her mother Rama and fa her Bhau. Sheela spent her early childhood ears living in the Family Quarters at Meierabad with her mother and brother while ier father lived at Meherazad with Meher aba. She saw Baba regularly during His isits to Meherabad up until 1962, and hereafter at Meherazad. Sheela’s unique ccess to the Avatar’s household and her )Old personality created a wealth of stories [rising from her years spent in Baba’s corn)any. Esfandiyar Vessali is one of the Prern shrarn boys from Iran. He stayed in Meerabad for almost 2 years during his early :eens, and has beautiful memories of Baba luring that time. He is one of the origina :ors ofthe Baba Center in Teheran, Iran. If iou ask Mr. Vessali, “How old are you?” he vill reply, “I am two years old,” because he ;tayed with Baba for two years and that was :he highlight of his entire life. Esfandiyar ias told me that this year his talk will be on Love. Cindy Lowe heard about Meher Baba .n 1964 and instantly recognized Him as ier Master. She had quite a few communi :ations with Him. She attended the 1969 Darshan and has been to India many times. Miehera and Mani lovingly encouraged her musical endeavors and she looked to them For inspiration. Cindy lives in Oakland, California, where she makes her living as a uitar, voice and songwriting teacher. She
by Wendy Ward, Los Angeles, CA
says, “I feel that my’assignment’ from Meher Baba is to write, record and play music that would please Baba and His Mandali and lovers. I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to perform for Him at the LA Sahavas!” Billy Goodrum is a singer and songwriter currently living at Meher Mount in Ojai, California. He has been a musical guest at the Myrtle Beach, SC, Youth Sahavas, Young Adult Sahavas and at last year’s LA Sahavas. Billy has written many Baba songs, two of which found their way into the movies “Kingpin” and “There’s Something About Mary” He also has songs in the movies “Dumb and Dumber,” and “Me, Myself and Irene.” Rob Thornburn is a professional musi cian, composer and music producer resid ing in Los Angeles, California. In addition to composing for film and television, he has also produced a number of singer! songwriters and compilation tapes!CDs in the Baba communitc You may remember his performance along with other Los Angeles recording artists at the 1999 LA S ahavas concert. Arti, Dhuni,Toddy shop, workshops, the Love Street Bookstore, entertainment, professional child care (ages 3-9), Meher Mmiatures (optional activities for ages 10-16), swimming, volleyball, and basketball, farn ily-style meals, cabins and bunk beds, and the retreat atmosphere of Pilgrim Pines are also highly enjoyable aspects ofthe Los Angeles Sahavas. Every Sahavas attendee will receive a beautiful photo of Avatar Meher Baba when they arrive. Ifyou have any questions: Contact Rob Thornburn at email@example.com (pre ferred), or at 323-550-8863 Transportation information: We recom mend flying into Ontario airport and renting a car or sharing an airport shuttle van with other arrivals to get to the Sahavas. It is also possible to obtain a ride from local Sahavas attendees. It is extremely difficult to find volunteer rides from LAX airport because it is so far out ofthe way. Please fly into Ontario, or even Burbank if at all pos sible. Our transportation coordinator this year is Glenn Russ. Please provide Glenn (818) 767-9986 with your arrival informa tion ten days before the Sahavas. Glenn will attempt to find a willing volunteer to share
a ride with you. The small percentage of people able to give rides go to the Sahavas on the day it begins and pass by the Ontario airport between about 9:00 am and 2:00 p.m. Schedule your flight arrival time to ac commodate the extra hour ride out to the Sahavas, to get there by starting time. Cost: Adults $200,Juniors (10-17) $130, Children (3-9) $65, Infants (2 and younger) free. There will be a 2% surcharge for credit card processing. We ask that you Pay In Full by June 15th. A non-refundable deposit of $25 for each adult and $10 for each child will hold your reservation until June 15th, when payment is due in full. We strive to make the Sahavas affordable for everyone. Children and juniors are charged at cost; only adults paying the full rate contribute to the overhead, which includes the costs associated with our guests, mailing and printing costs, childcare, etc. Our overhead does not include the countless hours and professional contributions of committee members and others. Ifyou have any ques tions, or wish to register by phone, please call RobWard,Treasurer at(562) 943-5645. Financialassistance: In cases of financial need, there are a limited number of subsi dized spaces which are available on a firstcome, first-served basis. In exchange for this reduced fare, we ask that you help out at Pilgrim Pines. If you are interested, please enclose a note with your registration deposit. You need only specify that you are requesting the “work-exchange rate”. Your sons may remain between you and Baba. In addition, we will be holding a special lottery for an undetermined number of people to come to this year’s Sahavas free of charge. This is intended to allow those who could not otherwise attend to participate; so please, apply only ifyou have no other way to come. The lottery is funded solely by donations given specifi cally for this purpose.
urn to God in complete surrenderance and receive the divine love. You are equally a part of the one indivisible divine life. There is not a single atom that does not vibrate with this divine life. Meher Baba —
1 ne wno sianaers me
xplaining to one woman devotee about slander, Baba cited this couplet of Kabir:
ne wtio sianaers me is myfriend because with his own soap he cleanses me of my dirt!” ‘TY
“So,” Baba emphasized, “the first thing required is love. And the second is do not backbite.” He added, “Feel glad if anyone slanders you, and always be careful that you don’t slander others.” The woman said, “Baba, I don’t slander anyone.” “It is good if you don’t slander anyone. But generally, he who drinks liquor says: ‘Do I get intoxicated? I am never drunk!’ “The same is the case with slanderers. A slanderer will slander, and if anyone were to draw his attention to it, he would reply, ‘Who says I am slandering? I never slander.” The woman said, “But really, I never backbite. It is the truth.” In reply, Baba explained: “If anyone speaks about another’s shortcomings behind his back, even though what he says may be true, it is slander. “What effect do the sanskaras of backbiting produce? Suppose Mr. A says to Mr. B: ‘Mr. C has not come; he is a bad man.’ Mr. C is not present. Mr. A has told this directly to Mr. B. Consequently, there is an exchange of sanskaras in an indirect way between Mr. A and Mr. C, and in a direct way between Mr. A and Mr. B. Thus, the sanskaras of slandering are of two types direct and indirect. Thereby, the most minute sanskaras are created and for mil lions ofbirths it is difficult to be freed from them. “Sanskaras are ofseven colors. Sanskaras of lust and anger have different colors, and the sanskaras created by backbiting are still deeper. We do not know them as such, but they are some of the worst type and nearly impossible to eradicate. Viruses are very subtle germs and invisible, but they are the most troublesome. Similarly, the sanskaras ofcalumny and defamation are most wicked and troublesome. “Therefore, do not defame or vilify others. Ifsomeone does it to you, you should be pleased. If someone kicks you, press his leg. What Christhas said aboutpresenting the
other cheek [if slapped] has meaning. If you love, you cannot slander. So try to love all. If you do it, I myself will believe in you. Otherwise, your coming to Me has no meaning. So what is the benefit? It is the luck ofyou all that you are connected with Me. “If you keep all four fingers in front of your eyes, you will not be able to see Me. So, how can profound subjects be discussed? Tukaram has said:
How can Ithank the PerftctMaster?He is that one who keeps me alert every moment!’ “Consequently, I have been warning you often about backbiting, and I previously had a Life Circular issued about it.” Observing one woman who looked very worried about something, Baba remarked: “Shut the trap ofyour mind and end all your
worries. Open the trap of your heart and release love.” To another who was likewise facing dif ficulties, Baba urged: “Don’t worry over physical suffering. Even ifthe bodywere cut to pieces, it matters little in comparison with the heart getting stained. Try your utmost to keep the heart pure. Let your faith re main unadulterated. Through the body, you get a chance to suffer, but a time gradually comes, and it must come, when all sufferings are over. Then you leave the body for good and experience eternal bliss.” LordMehe Volume 15/16, © AMBPPCT
ne who cannot restrain his tongue cannot restrain his mind; one who cannot restrain his mind cannot restrain his actions; one who cannot restrain his actions cannot restrain himself; and one who cannot restrain himself cannot attain his real Infinite SeW —MeherBaba
Concentrate on the four dots in the middle of the picture for about 30 seconds. Then close your eyes and tilt your head back. Keep them closed. You will see a circle of light, continue looking at the circle. What do you see? Also after looking at this picture look down a dark hallway or in a dark doorway. Who is that in front of you? 25
,Step Dnside the
do wish you could walk into our book store and see all the treasures I brought back from India, you who have never been before, or not recently. Our shelves are now stocked with the little metal fancy framed photos, $4 each; the photos laminated on wood with a stand-up frame, $6-$1O each; large 17 x 21, great quality printed head shots of Baba in five of the favorite poses, $15 each; many ofthe 8 x 10 black and white photos of Baba doing His various earthly chores, bathing the lepers, giving Darshan etc, 8 xlO, $6 each and then so many other wonderfril things as well. We have the flags made from Baba’s seven colours. In silk, 12” x 21”, they are $6 and in heavy cotton at 19” x 34” $8. Anil the Meher Tailor has prospered with our patronization, and his display room is now larger and his selection very enticing! I bought many of the little shoulder bags, about 8 x 10, with Indian designs on them, some with muted colours and some with heavy silver brocade. The latter are $10, the former, $8. Anil also made more ofthe larger carrying bags with shoulder strap, again out ofthe seven colours. These are $8 also. Back at home, our musicians have been very busy. Besides the two CDs we mentioned in the January issue, Mehera the Divine Rememberer and Nada Om, Raine Eastman Gannett has now released a third CD.This is a recording ofa concert she gave about Francis Brabazon Baba’s Australian poet. It has many wonderful memories of the times she spent with her mentor and also contains a number of the songs he wrote. My two personal favourites have al ways been Oh ShouldlMeetYou and IDwell in Dust, one of the many ghazals Francis wrote. Raine can put the feeling into these songs that never fails to bring tears. $14 Mischa Rutenberg, another prolific producer/singer/songwriter has just given us I Call You Love. These are songs Mischa has composed, some based on mystical poems by other poets, among them Rabindranath Tagore. $13 Reviews ofboth these CDs appear in our Reviews section. Ifyour appetite for ffirther knowledge has been whetted by reading about my visit to the Valley of the Saints, we have the indis pensable book for such a visit, The Eternal Garden by Carl Ernst. With photos of many 26
around Meherabad and Meherazad -Medi tations in Color- got printed and is available for the ridiculously low price of $25! (It is a coffee table art book that should sell for $40.) He also, and this was a major stunner, had printed In GodcHanc4 everybit as beautiftilly as that done here in the States (that sells for $30) for the astounding price of $6!! As I was about to load at least a dozen of them into my bag for sale to my clients who can’t quite make the $30 for a book, I heard “Oh no Dma! No, no, no, that is only for sale in India!” Ah well friends, I tried. But to return to Balaji he is looking into printing the Love Street LampPost in India. We would send him the disc and so, hopefully, what he will print up will look the same as it has always been. The prob lem with shipping overseas is the postage. Each issue costs around $4 to mail. Blame the US Post Office! This is why we have to ask for $20 for a year’s subscription, is the postage! This issue will be our trial one, so hopefully it will be printed for our Indian readers in India by Balaji. Please contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org and ask how much you should send him for the printing and shipping costs. Itwill prob ably only be a few hundred rupees. A vast improvement! Thank you Balaji! .
of the dargahs, it is an extremely compre hensive book based on rare Persian manu scripts preserved in Sufi shrines in the medieval town of Khuldabad. It reveals the mystical teachings and practices of the Chishti Sufi order as taught by Shaykh Burhan al-Din Gharib (d. 1337) and his disciples. Hardbound, $21.50 Heart Chronicles came offthe Love Street Press three weeks ago and sold 100 copies in the first two weeks. Could it be because many of the Baba lovers whose stories of coming to Baba appear in there!? Many people bought ten to give to friends. Not a bad idea! It sells for just $10. Many people collaborated in the production ofthis book, but the guiding light behind it all, and whose idea it was in the first place, is Tern (Zee) Zagrodnick. She is now going to see about getting it placed in commercial bookstores. Anyone who would like to help her in this endeavour by taking it to your local spintual bookstore and asking ifthey are interested in carrying it, could contact her at Zee2@airmail.net. We try to keep a few dozen extra copies of all the LampPost issues, so if there is an article you wish to catch, and weren’t a subscriber at that time, they are available at $2 each. We still have plenty of the beautiful colour issue we printed in memory ofMani. So many beautiful photos, never seen before, are printed there, and we have extra sheets (separate from the magazine) that you can cut out and frame. If you wish to do this let me know and I will include them in with your order of the magazine. While in India I was talking with Balaji, WonderMan at the presses! Thanks to Balaji, Sharon Muir’s exquisite book of hen watercolour paintings of familiar places
Music Reviews 4n Evening with Francis
Brabazon” Raine Eastman-Gannett’s new CD of songs and stories, by Sally Shimizu. n November 17, 2000, Raine Eastman-Gannett gave a concert of Francis Brabazon’s songs accompanied by stories at Sufism Reoriented, Walnut Creek, California. To mark the end of a course of study on Francis Brabazon’s poetry, Raine was invited to sing at their Walnut Creek Center. It was a beautiful evening that started with the Chorus of Sufism Reoriented performing TheAustralian Arti, honoring Francis, its writer. Except for a few planned songs the concert was largely spontaneous—with Raine leafing through well-thumbed books of Francis’ works until she found the inspiration of the moment. Francis Brabazon was Raine’s friend and mentor—a relationship that
spanned 10 years after his return from India. Raine has performed Francis’s songs for 30 years, so the material is vast. She sang some old favorites including Marathi Bhajan, Love Street, 0 Man, 0 Should I Meet You and When Dawn Tended Her Rose Garden. The evening was also filled with stories about Francis including a charming one of Raine’s first meeting with him in which he immediately spot— ted her potential as his future tea walli. She even shared instructions on how to make a proper cup of tea, ‘Francis style.’ Raine was joined in duet byTerry Hogan on The Pearl and 0 Man and on tabla by Craig Boyen on Marathi Bhajan. The wonderfttl evening closed with the entire audience on its feet, singing and clapping along with Raine in a rousing 0 What a Child—the finale ending with Raine’s cry ofBolo Avatar Meher Baba KiJai!. The concert was recorded and mixed by Fred Brunswig and Randy Hammon and the recording was very generously presented to Raine as a gift from Dr. James MacKie, the Murshid of Sufism Reoriented. Raine had the recording mas tered and turned into a CD. On the CD cover is an exquisite portrait of Francis Brabazon done in egg tempera by Tony Davis. The painting on the back cover of
the folder is “Poet in Winter”—a very personal view ofFrancis by Robert Rouse. An interesting side note involves the sound engineer who mastered one of Raine’s other newly released CDs Mehera: The Divine Rememberer and who consulted on the mastering of An Evening With Francis Brabazon. He belongs to an order of Sufism based in Mann County, CA, and was connected with Rabia Martin and Inayat Khan through Sam Lewis. Raine told him who Francis Brabazon
was, ofhis connection with Sufism in Aus tralia and ofhis trip to the U.S. in 1947 to meet Rabia Martin. During that time, Francis apparently met and became friends with Sam Lewis. The engineer then asked about the other order that is now Sufism Reoriented, not having any knowledge of what had become of them. There was the feeling by those in the room that all three “pathless paths” had come together and were present in that space. An Evening With Francis Brabazon and Mehera: The Divine Rememberer have just been released and are now available. For further information on Raine and her other new CDs, her web site is www.nadaom. corn.
based on a poem by Khaled Al-Faqih, who met Meher Baba at the East-West Gath ering in 1962. This live recording benefits from the thundering accompaniment by the chorus and orchestra of Sufism Reoriented. The song electrifies the air with the ecstasy of Mohammed/Baba’s pres ence, with its reverberating refrain, “Allahu akbar! La illaha ill’Allah!” (“God is Great! There is no god but God!”) -:
T au11’iT rouove
A new CD by Mischa Rutenberg reviewed by Rachel Dacus, Walnut Creek
1 kb;P • ç- I
music is the food of love, then singersongwriter Mischa Rutenberg has proh vided a feast for Baba lovers in this new, beautifully produced album of devotional The lyrics always circle back to the songs. These 14 sparkling, original songs are themes ofjoy and gratitude, of celebrat love songs to the Divine Beloved. Many of ing God’s presence in the heart. Meher them are collaborations with other lyricists, Baba said, “I am closer to you than your or are based on mystical poems by other own breath.”These songs reflect the timepoets. lessness of that eternal meeting. The Indeed, one ofthe delightful aspects of album’s devotional quality can be summed this collection is the variety of sources for up in this lyric, from Silent Steps: the lyrics. Mischa has used the poetry Haven’tyou heardHis silent steps from Rabindranath Tagore (Silent Steps), In your heart? He comes, ever comes. American Baba lover and poet Richard Here in the sound ofHis sweet Name, Deane (Building Love a Bridge), Indian He comes, comes, ever comes. poet Sarojini Naidu (Song ofa Dream) among others. The lyrics also take us The musical form Mischa uses is that through the cycle of Avatars, from ofthe ballad, often reflecting the folk song Brindaban, where Krishna and His gopis as a primary influence. He has elaborated played, to the field of battle with the motifs with lush orchestration and ex Mohammed’s army of devotees. Whatever panded the melodies with harmonies and the setting, the words impart the bliss of other voices. Accomplished singers the Beloved’s company, as in this lyric from Antoinette Davis and Terry Hogan lend ThereAreNo Words: their lovely voices to many of the songs, adding to the album’s richness and com There are no words that could ever tell plexity. Yet many ofthe melodies are easy The way Ifrelfor You. to follow. They make you want to sing There is no tune that could ever express along, especially when the refrains resolve The beauty that is You. to each song’s essence, a call to the BeAndyet Ifind that I must sing loved: “Meher Baba, Meher Baba!” Mischa Rutenberg has given a gift to To keepfrom bursting apart. everyone who wishes to celebrate God’s The beauty ofYour holy Name love musically. I Call You Love is a recordIs the musicfiiing my heart, ing that lets you close your eyes and fly Theflame burning in my heart! on musical wings to Beloved Baba’s lotus Sometimes the songs ascend in a nar feet. rative fervor that tells the story ofa meeting with God, as in Allahu Akbar, a song .
The Making of The Thief of Hearts Nivedita Sharma
hiefofHearts is a 90-minute docu
mentary that traces the roots of the Baba, the film unit got full support from Avatar of the Age, from the time His fa Bhau Kalchuri, the Chairman of the Trust, ther Sheriar Irani roamed as a der vish in Iran. Sheriar came to India in search of God and settled in Pune, where his second son Merwan Irani was destined to achieve what had eluded him. Meher Baba attracted people of all faiths and religions and bound them together. Even 31 years after He dropped His physical form He continues to steal hearts. He is the Uni versal Thief, and some stolen hearts narrate their tales in this video. The documentary is a tribute to God who has survived the 20th century! Had it not been for the making of the documentary ThiefofHearts we would have spent a longer time getting to know Meher Baba. As a new Baba-lover, I was overwhelmed with the mounds of literature and motion pictures on the Silent Mas ter. But unfortunately I was introMohammed ispleased with the cameraman andgives duced to Baba in random bits and him an autograph pieces and this gave me the impe members. Eruch was well Mandali tus to make a chronological documenta and the his story ofcoming to Baba. with tion on film. At least Baba lovers coming prepared wanted to shoot four kinds of after me would get a proper introduction The crew section belonged to His first people: the to the Avatar of the Age, or so I hoped. family, immediate The documenL the Mandali then tary starts with then members, Sheriar Irani, the left who Westerners keeper of the of com their homes Tower Of Silence fort overseas to stay in Persia. Probably in India, and finally, it was Meher those who were atBaba’s idea for tracted to Him after us—Gayatri Audio He dropped His Visuals Pvt Ltd.— physical body. Runto chronicle His ning parallel to these Infinite Life when stories was the He walked the shooting of His life Earth, yet another in a chronological medium to spread fashion. Universal the The scripting Message of Love. took nearly two It was His direct months. Corrobo involvement in the rating all the facts making of the was especially im documentary that portant. Meheru permitted it to Mohammedfinally allows directt. syam come about. De Thripathy to videotape him. Eric and Gabe help gave us all the time necessary, sitting for the mast to speak. spite being new to .
five hours at a stretch, and took great interest in keeping everything in sequence. She was also instrumental in giving us some precious pictures of Shireenmai with her favourite son, pictures ofthe Perfect Masters, and video clips which had shots of Baba touring the West. She also arranged to get the copyrights handled. Bhauji gave us two lovely videos of Mehera and Mani, which have footage oftheir coming to Baba. He also kindly gave permission to shoot the Samadhi. This helped the cameraman Anup Chatterji to get beautiful angles ofUpper Meherabad in the morning and evening. Anup also had the opportunity to give a bath to Mohammed one morning! Probably that is why the Mast stopped objecting to the camera and lights from then on! The shooting was done in Mumbai, Pune, Meherazad and Meherabad over a period of 15 days I in December 1999. The staff at Meher Pilgrim Center was very helpful, especially Alan Wagner who, at five o’clock one chilly morn, made breakfast for the crew before they left to go film Seclusion Hill. Everything did not always go smoothly. ln Meherazad we were short of rush tapes. They had to be couriered in from Mumbai; there was no other way. We asked Baba to help us out. One ofus would have to make the six hour longjourney in the cold ofthe night! But Gary Kleiner helped us out when he gave instructions to Dhananjay Patil at the Trust office. Throughout the night I wondered if Baba would help us. We needed the tapes by one the next morn or we would have to break the shooting sched ule. This would have been a big blow to our plans, but somehow Baba did not let that happen. The tapes did arrive in time by the courier and we saved those precious hours and so were able to get some wonderfül tales. Aloba had a very funny story of the New Life. Even as we were shooting it we enjoyed his narration. But we had no idea that this story would evoke so much laughter when the video was screened for the first time. Aloba wanted a copy of the documentary so that he could send it to
people in Iran. As he said, “With one hand I give money and with other hand you give the tape!” Another of Baba’s little games
The purpose of the film is to reach to a wide audience. Meher Baba predicted Meherabad would become a place of World Pilgrimage and it is coming true in front of our eyes. We would very much like for this documentary to be played on Doordar sham, which is the Gov ernment run television station in India, the same as PBS in America. Imagine the impact if this could be seen all over India! But for this to happen, the cost is $5000. The documentary has been produced by Alok Nagpal, Gayatri Audio Visuals Pvt Ltd, Mumbai. 4 [ed. note: Ifyou feel strongly that this excellent documentary should be aired on Doordarshan and have funds to donate for that purpose, Nivedita can be contacted at
All photographs by Bif Soper, Meherabad.] tr
Alan Wagner andEric Nadel withproducerAlok Nagpar after succesfully videotaping Mohammad who atfirst, did not want any cameras.
with us: for many days I wanted to have a ladoo (Indian sweetmeat) and by the seventh day of the shoot I was really craving one. Sitting at the Samadhi, I wished for the same from Baba! Imagine to my surprise a few seconds later a man walked up the Hill with a basketful of that sweet! I could not have asked for anything more! But I was happy Meher Baba pushed us to give our best for His documentary. Back in Mumbai, the surprises did not end. We were amazed when the music director Saneev Rana called up to say that his neighbor had a night visitation from Meher Baba. She had never known about Baba till she came and saw the rushes at his place! Throughout the entire post-production work, other clients in the studio came peeping for glimpses of the God-man. A lot of people automatically came to know ofBaba. What more could we want? We had wanted to spread His name and slowly we were succeeding.
What would please Baba?
hat would please Baba?” There are as many answers as there are lovers who desire to please Him, for the relationship between the Beloved and the lover is specifically personal and delicate, and each one has to tune in within oneself Fortunatelyfor us it is an unend ing venture, for in the constant trying is the constantremembering.And remembrance is the key: the more we remember Baba, the more we forget ourselves, until His remembrance becomes as natural and as effortless as breathing—a joyous whole in which all the daily duties and responsi bilities are absorbed. You ask for a first step in pleasing Baba. The first step is not to do anything that would dis please Him.Mindmaysay”Howdolknowwhat might displease Him?” But the heart always knows, and wheneveryou have avoided displeas ing Him you will see Him smile.The effort not to displease Him is in itselfpleasing to Him— when the first step is taken the next step reveals itself In reaching the Beloved’s pleasure we need to have His constantremembrance, absolute trust, and a lot ofpatience with Meher Baba who has such stupendous patience with us! So Baba says, “Don’t worry” because once we are determined to be His, He takes care ofit all. Mani From Lettersfrom theMandalifMeherBaba, PL 11 compiled byjim Mistr Pages 85 86, © 1983 AMBPPCE[ Sheriar Press. -
The Hand ofGod
Hope is to be Fortified
saw one evening a shimmering light, and I did not know what that light was. And God most high revealed His
by courage which can accept failure with equinimity; enthusiasm harnessed by wis dom which knows how to wait for the fruit of action with patience. Idealistic dreams of the future are to be balanced by a sense of the actualities of the present, and the glow oflove allows itself to be illumined by the free and unhampered play of reason.
holy Hand and showed me that what I saw of His light was from the glory of
His Hand. I saw nothing ofhim but his hand. And I loved it, for it transformed spirits, hearts, and intellects, and I saw
nothing sweeter than this revelation. And I saw all existence like an atom between His fingers. I was prepared for the recitation of the saying of the Most High, “They do not measure the worth ofGod in truth, for the entire earth is in His grasp on the day ofjudgment, and
the heavens are furled up in His right Hand. .
Ruzbihan Baqli, The Unveiling ofSecrets, Diary ofa Sufi Master, [Chapel Hill, NC: Parvardigar Press, 1997] pg 42 Translated by Carl W. Ernst,.
From Sparksfrom MeherBaba,July, 1969,
Let Babac name serve as a net aroundyou so thatyour thoughts, like mosquitoes, may keep buzzing aroundyou andyet not stingyou. —
Meher Baba 29
Hafiz of Shiraz T
he faithful are gathered at the tomb, clustered beneath an intricately tiled cupola amid several acres of flowered grounds at one of Iran’s main places of pilgrimage. Cloaked women kneel and press their heads against the stone coffin. Men reverently stroke it with their fingers. A single rose lies at the head. On a chill fall night, the people of this southern city have come to pay homage not to an imam, an ayatollah or a military martyr, but to a long-dead poet, Hafiz, a l4th-century writer whose sensual verse is un derstood to be about God, but nonetheless is a staple for courting couples, and a du rable source of delight for Iranians. He inspires. He entrances. He counsels. People come here not just in honor of his genius, but for guidance as well, following a ritual in which they hold a volume of Hafiz’s poems to their heart, ask a question, then open the book randomly for their answer. “Hafiz you have asked: Wherever you want to go it is good. You are not going to be sad anymore,” Jalal Azizi, 24, read aloud as his friend, Nehdi Mahdimosleh, stood lis tening, waiting for Hafiz’s wisdom about whether he should travel abroad as part of his carpet-trading business. Apparently, Hafiz favored globalization. “He is one of the greatest,” Mahdimosleh said. “Our cul ture is entwined with him.” In a countrywhere the Koran is supposed to supply all the answers, and God guide all human endeavor, it is a somewhat surpris ing scene. Islam is an impersonal faith in that it discourages the veneration or wor ship ofmen and women, as opposed to God. The Prophet Muhammad was explicit on this point, emphasizing to his followers that he was only a messenger. The ideas trans mitted, he said, were what mattered, not the individual carrying them. That notion—a contrast, for example, to Christianity’s creation of a plethora of 30
By Howard Schneider Washington Post Foreign Service November 11, 1999
saints—was modified somewhat by the Shiite Muslims who dominate in Iran. They revere Muhammand’s nephew All as a sort of saintly figure, for instance, and count on the return someday of a long-disappeared imam, or religious leader. But the place of Hafiz in Iran, and indeed of a whole gallery of Iranian poets, is something different altogether, approaching a sort of cultural beatification. Though the writers themselves often dealt with re ligious themes, and some, including Hafiz, were regarded as powerftul religious figures and mystics in their own right, they nevertheless fix Iran as a place with a deeply literary culture, and a national identity that remains in important ways distinct from the religious movement that has shaped its contemporary politics. It is, moreover, a relatively well-read and deliberative population. Volumes of Hafiz and other poets are commonly found alongside the Koran even in the poorest households, Iranians say. Ideas and their discussion matter here, and that may be one of the reasons why the initial extremes of the country’s Islamic revolution are now being steadily tempered. If in the first decade af ter the Shah’s Monarchy fell, the country was preoccupied with its war against Iraq, and in the grip of a sort offervent religios it)?; then during this next era the national
character appears to be reasserting itself Indeed, in the first years ofthe revolution, re ligious conservatives in Tehran removed a statue of the poet Ferdosi, whose epic poem Shah Nameh tried to rekindle pride in Persia’s ancient cul ture at a time when Iranians were feeling slighted by the Arab conquerors who introduced Islam here in the 7th century. Today, Ferdosi’s statue has been re stored; the Shah Nameh is read aloud without incident. Nationalist songs are sung in cafes, and there is a renewal of interest in the nationdemocrat alist Mohammed Mossadegh, the elected prime minister from the 1950s who was shunted aside when the United States helped the Shah return to power. And earlier this year the Iranian minister of culture held a rare ceremony at Persepolis, the ruined castle of the ancient Persian King Darius, to commemorate the Persian new year, No Ruz. The event at Persepolis coincided with a government rul ing that it was okay to hold a traditional New Year’s bonfire, a practice criticized by conservative clerics because of its roots in Iran’s pre-Islamic belief in Zoroastrianism. To at least some ofthose at Hafiz’s tomb, the depth and age of their culture reinforce the current political trend toward reform and moderation. “This shows we have a great and ancient civilization,” Mahdimosleh said, “and one whose people are eager, as reformist President Mohammed Khatemi has recommended, to engage the rest of the world in a ‘dialogue of civiizations’—not isolate itself or try to export revolution.” As Khatemi says, it is the age of dialogue. We are a very old cul ture, and glad to have it.”
Though Hafiz is in part a religious figure, the mood at his tomb site is hardly pious or severe. Reverential, yes. But it doesn’t take much prodding for Iranians to open their version ofhis Divan, or collected poems, and
start reading aloud simply to enjoy the sound ofthe words. On one ofhis almost weekly sojourns to the place, Reza Bordbar, 22, picked out a Paul Smith Australia favorite: “Though I am old, one night me, afiz was born in Shiraz in southeast although only in his early teens, he began close in Thy embrace take, so that, in the Persia (modern Iran) in approximately work in a drapery shop and later managed morning, from Thy embrace, young I may 1320 A.D., 22 years before the birth of to find work in a bakery. Half of his salary rise,” he read, as friends looked on. “Be careChaucer and a year before the death of he gave to his mother and the other half he fiti,” Bordbar cautioned. “People in Iran like Dante. He was named Shams-ud-din, used to go to school at night where he to talk about things they cannot see. A (which means ‘Sun of Faith’) Mohammed. learned calligraphy and a wide variety of river, music, wine, a girlfriend. A kind of Later when he began to write poetry he se subjects, while continuing to memorize the Paradise. I am talking about God.” lected Hafiz for his pen-name or takhallus. Koran. Perhaps. But plenty ofHafiz fans in Iran ‘Hafiz’ is the title given to one who has learnt Hafiz was 21 years old in 1341, and was take his talk about wine and women more the whole ofthe Koran by heart and Hafiz still working in the bakery and studying at literally, reasoning he was a man of such claimed to have done this is 14 different night. He had memorized the Koran and heightened sensibility that he glimpsed the ways. had adopted the pen-name for the occa divine in everyday pleasures—an aspect of Physically Hafiz was small and ugly but sional poem he wrote but until this time had Persian poetry familiar to the West through even as a young boy he began to show the not gained much success as a poet. He had the work of Omar Khayyam, and an aspect great gifts that would finally take him to become skilled in jurisprudence and had of Persian culture not wholly at ease with the height of artistic and spiritual achieve- learnt all the sciences, including mathemat the puritanism of the last 20 years. ments. He was loving and helpful to his ics and astronomy. For the past 10 years he “I love Hafiz,” said Massoud Karam, an parents, brothers and friends, and he had a had constantlybeen studying all ofthe great 18-year-old student who paused on his visit wonderfully ironic sense of humor that poets and the lives and works of the great to the tomb to enjoy an ice cream at the caused him to continually see the humor- Spiritual Masters. He was fluent in Arabic teahouse that is partofthe Hafiz complex, ous side of everyday life. Even at this early and had also learnt Turkish. one of three such siis in Shiraz dedicated age he was fascinated by the poetry and Then, one day at the bakery, one of the to mystic poets. “He says that love is a good prose ofPersia’s great poets and writers and workers who delivered the bread was sick, thing. .It is important to life. It is neces stories about the spiritually advanced souls and Hafiz had to deliver the bread to a cer sary. He says this about all the people of the and Perfect Masters. He loved the Koran, tam quarter of Shiraz where the prosperous world,” Karam explained, as he set down his which his father read to him, and he began citizens lived. While taking the bread to a ice cream and explained how to proceed. “If to memorize it. He discovered he was particular mansion, Hafiz’s eyes fell upon you want to use Hafiz, you wish, and say, blessed with a remarkable memory, and be- the form of a young woman who was stand‘Hafiz, help me to know,’ and then open the fore he was a man he had memorized the ing on one of the mansion’s balconies. Her book.” Koran and many of the poems of the great name was Shakh-i-Nabat which means He did so, and read: “Come; so that the poets. ‘Branch of Sugarcane’. Her beauty imme rose we may scatter, and, into the cup, the As a boy his favorite poet was Saadi, diately intoxicated Hafiz and he fell hopewine cast.” Shiraz’s most loved poet of the time, who lessly in love with her. Her beauty had such had died about 30 years previously. All of a profound effect on him that he almost lost Beautiful Hands Shiraz was singing his beautiful songs, his consciousness. At night he could not sleep This is the kind of Friend ghazals, and telling his magical stories, and and he no longer felt like eating. He learnt You are Hafiz was no exception. He dreamed of her name and he began to praise her in his Without making me realize becoming a great poet like Saadi or like poems. My soul’s anguished history, Farid ud-din Attar, or Rumi, or Nizami, all Hafiz heard that she had been promised You slip into my house at night, ofwhom he admired. in marriage to a prince of Shiraz and realAnd while I am sleeping, Then a change occurred in his life. His ized how hopeless was his quest for her love. You silently carry off father died and left his family in difficult Still, the vision ofher beauty filled his heart, All my suffering and sordid past circumstances. Baha-ud-din’s business of and his thoughts were constantly with her. In Your beautiful Hands. being a coal merchant had failed because Then one day he remembered the famous The Subject ThnightlsLove, 60 Wildand Sweet he had suffered from a long illness, and ‘promise of Baba Kuhi’. Baba Kuhi was a Poems ofHafiz, Versions by Daniel Ladinsky Hafiz’s mother could only raise enough Perfect Master-Poet who had died in Shiraz money to pay back all the debts. His two in 1050 A.D., and had been buried about older brothers left home to work in another four miles from Shiraz, at a place called ‘Pir city and young Hafiz and his grief-stricken i-sabz’, meaning ‘the green old man’, on a mother went to live with Hafiz’s uncle, hill named after Baba Kuhi. The promise Remember me andlam Saadi, who fancied himself a poet like his that Baba Kuhi had given before he died there withyou, and my love famous namesake. was that if anyone could stay awake for 40 Because of the poverty that they now consecutive nights at his tomb he would be willguide you. experienced, Hafiz’s mother had to obtain granted the gift ofpoetry, immortalit and Meher Baba work and Hafiz had to leave day-school and his heart’s desire. Hafiz, interested in the
The Life of Hafiz -
third ofthese three, vowed to keep this vigil that no one had yet been able to keep. Every day Hafiz would go to work at the bakery, then he would eat, and then walk past the house of Shakh-i-Nabat, who had heard some of the poems that he had com posed in praise ofher. She had noticed him passing her window every afternoon, each day more weary but with a fire in his eyes that had lit the lamp of her heart for him. By this time Hafiz was in a kind ofa trance. Everything that he did was automatic, and the only thing that kept him going was the fire in his heart and his determination to keep the lonely vigil. Early the next morning the Angel Gabriel (some say Khizer) appeared to him. Gabriel gave Hafiz a cup to drink which contained the Water of Immortality and declared that Hafiz had also received the gift ofpoetry. Then Gabriel asked Hafiz to express his heart’s desire. All the time that this was happening, Hafiz could not take his eyes offGabriel. So greatwas the beauty of the Angel that Hafiz had forgotten the beauty ofShakh-i-Nabat. After Gabriel had asked the question, Hafiz thought; “If Gabriel the Angel of God is so beautiful, then how much more beautiful God must be.” Hafiz answered Gabriel: “I want God!” On hearing this, Gabriel directed Hafiz to a certain street in Shiraz where there was a shop seffing fruit and perfumes that was owned by a man named Mohammed Attar. Gabriel said that Attar was a Perfect Mas ter, a God-realized soul, who had sent Gabriel for Hafiz’s sake, and that if Hafiz would serve Attar faithfully, then Attar promised that one day Hafiz would attain his heart’s desire. So Hafizjoined the small select circle of Attar’s disciples, but it wasn’t until many years later, after Attar had dropped his physical form, that HafIz revealed his Master’s identity and by this time Hafiz had received the mantle ofGod-realization from Attar. [Meher Baba said that Hafiz became a Perfect Master.] From Paul Smith 7-Iafiz Tongue ofthe Hidden’ -
If Those Who Love Me will for just one minute be silent in their minds just before they go to bed and think ofMe and picture Me in the silence of their minds, and do this regularly, this veil of ig norance will disappear, and this bliss of which I speak and for which all long will be experienced. From Sparksfrom Meher Baba, July, 1969, Sheriar Press. 32
Hafiz and the Day of Days Heather Nadel, Meherabad, 22 Jan. 2001
most Baba lovers know throughout His life, Beloved Baba quoted from the poetry ofHis favorite poet, the Perfect Mas ter Hafiz, to explain significant aspects of the spiritual path or to give examples to His lovers of the travails of true lovers of God. He even used couplets from Hafiz to illus trate the seven planes of involution in His book God Speaks. So it is not surprising that on January 31st 1969, the day Baba dropped His beautiful form “to live eternally in the hearts of His lovers,” the words of Hafiz conveyed something deeply meaningful from Baba to two ofHis close ones. One ofthem was Bal Natu. The ghazals of Hafiz wove a special string of intimacy through Bal Natu’s relationship with Baba, as Bal tells in this touching story: “Shams-ud-din of Shiraz, Persia (Iran), 1320-1389 A.D., is regarded as one of the greatest Persian poets. Shams-ud-din wrote ghazals under the takhallus (pen name) of Hafiz. He became the most popular poet of his time, but was also considered quite controversial. He was Meher Baba’s favorite poet. “After Hafiz’ death, his Divan came to be used by persons seeking divine guidance for their problems.This is done by inwardly forming the question, thinking ofGod and Hafiz, and then sliding one’s hand into the book. Whatever ghazal is discovered at this moment will contain the answer to the ques tion. Such a consultation is called a faal. Hafiz’s words are known and accepted by many people in India and Iran as the ‘Voice ofthe Beyond.’ “When Baba was young, he would hear his father, Sheriarji, reading out in a devo tional and very appealing voice the words of Hafiz. Baba’s love and admiration for Hafiz’s ghazals seemed to grow even after He realized His own status as the Avatar of the Age. Baba would often refer to a line from Hafiz’s ghazals when in the company ofthe mandali. “In the early 1960’s when Baba permitted me to be with Him during my school holidays in Guru Prasad, I was often present when Baba referred to certain words of Hafiz, and Aloba would recite some lines in Persian from memory. Baba would trans late them into English and explain the spintual depths that the words conveyed. Baba
also revealed that Hafiz was a God-realized Perfect Master. “Once a very old edition of Hafiz’s Divan was brought from Bombay as wished by Baba. It was worn out and worms had eaten holes through it. When placed in Beloved Baba’s hands, He blew through the holes and gestured, ‘I have breathed new life into the words of Hafiz.’ “Baba especially liked His lovers to know the following three couplets: Befitting a fortunate slave carry out ev cry command of the Master, without any question ofwhy and what. About what you hear from the Master never say it is wrong because my dear, the fault likes in your own incapacity to un derstand Him. I am slave ofthe Master,who has released me from ignorance. Whatever my Master does is of the highest benefit to all concerned. “These lines were often recited by the mandali who know them by heart. On one such occasion, I inwardly felt prompted to have the couplets written in English and Persian in bold letters on a large sheet of paper so that theycouldbe easilyread out. When I returned to my home town of Kurduwadi I purchased drawing paper onto which Aloba copied the original Persian. Below that, I asked one of my students in the schoolto handwnite Baba’s English translation onto the same sheet. And I brought this on my next visit to Meherazad. On my following visit to Meherazad, I saw thatthe paperwas hung on thewall ofMandali Hall, facing Baba’s chair. I felt grateful to Baba for accepting my paltry offering. “At Meherazad, on 31 January, 1969, the body that housed Reality breathed its last. The next morning, I read this news in the Marathi daily. I was teaching in school at the time, so I immediately ap proached the principal and said, ‘I must go to Ahmednagar to confirm the news that Meher Baba has dropped His body. I can’t say how many days I will be gone.’ The principal, knowing my devotion to Baba, permitted me to go. I went home, explained to my sister briefly, picked up a second pair of clothes and a sheet for warmth, and left with a small bag. “It was about 4:00 p.m. on 1st February when I reached Mehenabad. There were a
few hundred people on the hill. Eruch came out of the crowd and embraced me, com forting me. The second person I met was Aloba. As we embraced, he said, ‘Baba re membered you on the 31st.’ I was deeply touched and taken aback and I asked, ‘What do you mean?’ He started to speak of the three couplets ofHafiz that had been hanging on the wall in Mandali Hall for the last few years. “As Aloba narrated it, on the evening of 30th January, 1969, while he was on night duty in Baba’s room, Baba asked Aloba to take the couplets of Hafiz from Mandali Hall and bring them to Him in His room at 10:00 a.m. on 3lstJanuary. Accordingly, Aloba obeyed Baba the next morning. As he approached Baba’s room with the rolled up paper, Eruch asked him why he had come. Baba conveyed that He had asked Aloba to bring the couplets of Hafiz, and gestured that the roll be kept on the cabinet in His room. “So,’ Aloba continued to relate to me, In this way Baba remembered you on 30th and 31st January. I felt overwhelmed by Baba’s intimacy and compassion for me. Indeed His love and compassion for each one ofus is unconditional and boundless. “Some regard these couplets as Baba’s last message given in silence to His followers. That same paper with the couplets of Hafiz that was brought to Baba on the 31st is now framed and kept in Baba’s room at Meher azad. Copies ofthe couplets also now hang in Mandali Hall and in Baba’s Cabin on Meherabad Hill. “In this new year of Beloved Baba’s, may we gain insight from Hafiz’ words and look toward Baba to guide us to be resigned to the Will ofthe All-Knowing Ancient One.” On this same morning of 31st January 1969, the poetryofHafiz conveyed an illumi nating message to Dorab Satha, the cousin of Sam Kerawala. Sam narrates the story: “My maternal cousin Dorab Satha, who resides in Bombay, for many years would send Beloved Baba His Birthday greetings on the date which fell due according to our Zoroastrian calendar, which date invariably fell much earlier than the Roman date. It was his practice to open up the Divan-e Hafiz arbitrarily and the first Ghazal that came up would become the theme of the Birthday greetings for that particular year. In 1969, Beloved Baba’s birthday by the Zoroastrian calendar fell on February 7th. Accordingly around noon on 31st January after his morning bath and prayers, Dorab opened up the Divan for the birthday ghazal to send
to Beloved Baba. To his utter surprise, the ghazal read: You are about to mail a letter to your Beloved, but to which address will you mail it, as of now He has become all Pervad ing everywhere! “Dorab did not understand the message so conveyed, as it was noon ofthe 31st and the news ofour Beloved havingdropped His Body had notyet been flashed the world over. So he opened the Divan once again, formed his Birthday greetings on the lines of the new Ghazal and mailed the letter so that it should reach Beloved Baba by 7th February About 4 p.m. on the 31st, news reached all His byers in Bombay that Meher Baba had dropped His body a little after 12 noon of that day. Dorab then realised the true significance of the first ghazab that had opened up that day.”
ahoo Ghorbani Shariari (a member ofthe Board ofDirectors at Mehera bode) was born and grew up in Shiraz, the home of Hafiz. Such were her ties to the town she bought a California car license plate “Shiraz”. However, it now reads Mer Baba. She tells us: “My family has lived in Shiraz for three generations. From the time I was a child, I knew that Hafiz had a special place in the hearts ofthe people. Ever since then, I have had a close connection to, and great love for, Hafiz. His sublime words of love are very familiar to my heart. In the Persian tradi tion, whenever one faces a difficult or a fork in the road, one would hold the ques tion in mind, and then ask the Oracle of Shiraz—Hafiz, for guidance. When I have a question, I open Hafiz’s Divan and surprisingly see that Hafiz, in his own enigmatic way, would sing to me, and through the song of his poetry, would get me to book inwards. Hafiz’s Ghazal then inspires me with an answer, a guidance or a direction. Now-a-days every Persian has at least one Divan in their home. On my re cent trip to Shiraz I visited Hafiz’s tomb and found the Center ofResearch for Hafiz was newly opened there. I was very touched to see that Hafiz’s Divan was translated into more that 15 languages. This brought tears to my eyes. I felt as though Hafiz was si lently communicating with every one. His universal language oflove has gone beyond its original Farsi and has captured many hearts.”
The Moon IsAlso Busy Ibow to God in gratitude, Andlfindihe moon is also busy Doing the same. Ibow to God in eat happiness, Andi learnfrom where the suns Andthe children zlndmy heart Ailborrow theirLzht. Ibow to the Friend in deep reverence Anddiscover a marvelous secret carried on the air: This whole Universe isjust as blessed Anddivinezy rnzzedas L Andjust as lost in this WonderfulHoly Dance. My deai After such a long, long,journey, God has made another soul Free! Now allHafiz wants to do Is open a beautjfiil Thvern Where this Sacred Wine OfGod Truth, Knowledge andLove Isfirever and ever Freely offired to you. 0 bow to God in gratitude, Andsome day You willsee how The moon is also busy doing the same. IHeard GodLazØing, Renderings fHafiz
by Daniel Ladinsky
pages. Ifyou can receive email, you can re ceive Tavern Talk. Here is how you sign up for it: Send a one-line message to: Listserv@ambppct.org In the body ofthe message type: Subscribe tavern-talk It’s that simple. Soon you will be receiving all the latest news as it happens. Don’tworry - you won’t be overwhelmed a report only comes through every couple ofweeks. -
Phyllis and Lyn Ott Painting On-line
Reza and Susan After 10 weeks of daily emails and hat a wonderful place to exchange your marriage vows! This is a wed- hour-long phone calls Susan and I ar ding that many Baba lovers would envy . ranged a three-day getaway at the Myrtle Reza tells us the story of how it came Beach Meher Spiritual Center in Septem ., ber. It was in the Barn that we chose each about: : . Susan and I met at the Los Angeles other as companions for life. Sahavas last July. 1 lived in New Ramp- . We moved to Orange County inJanu shire at the time, and I had come to Or- ; ary and flew to India for Amarthiti. We ange County to visit my brothers and sis- got married on February 5th at Beloved ters. Although I had attended the New Baba’s Ghadi on Meherabad Hill. My sis York Sahavas with Bauji inJune, I attended ter Ashraf, who had come from Iran, was one day ofthe LA Sahavas simply to spend our witness and photographer. Beloved more time with Esfandiar Vasali vhom I’ve Baba was the Peiftct Host, as always. He had the pleasure ofknowing since Beloved let each one of us know intimately that Baba stole my heart in 1979. It was on that He was with us by granting our unspo : ken little whims and wishes. . one day that I met my bride-to-be! ..
Change in Bhau’s Dates in Portland hau Kaichuriwill be in Portland Oregon June 4 throughJune 1O.Therefore there will be public talks and other programs in town betweenTuesday the 5th andThursday the 7th. Northwest Spring Sahavas 2001 with the Ancient One and special guest Bhau Kaichuri will be held Friday, June 8 to Sunday, June 10. More to come later. Save those dates. Anyonewishing to spend some energy for the Beloved by helping with
some prep tasks beforehand, please let us know; Baba always provides plenty for those who wish to serve Him in this way. Many thanks to those whose hearts have drawn them to respond. Ifyou know anyone wanting to be added to the email list regarding Oregon events for Beloved Meher, send the info to myself MaryMarino@bigfoot.com
Signup forTavern Talk Tavern Talk gives you all the latest from Meherabad and Meherazad. Ifyou subscribe on your computer only you will not have to wait three months to read about it in these -
The new on-line show presented by the Phyllis Ott Gallery ‘The Partnership’, is now up and ready for viewing. Included are eight paintings finished by Phyffis that include at least some work by Lyn, an article written by Lyn where he describes the Partnership between himself and Phyllis, and two photographs ofLyn and Phyllis together. Ifyou have been to India and to the P11grim Center, ofcourse you have seen the many murals produced by this partnership, and three of those murals are used as backgrounds to the web-site. From Lyn’s written statement, and having heard Lyn’s comments on the Pilgrim Center murals, I can say this: Lyn valued the paintings done as a collaboration more than the workdone on his own, and ftillytrusted Phyllis to canyon hisworkofbringing the inner spirit ofBaba to life through art. The Phyllis Ott Galleryweb site address is: http://wwDivineNet.comIphyilisottgaI1ery Of course it is also linked from: http://www.avatarmeherbaba.org PS. This show was originally announced as The Collaboration but Phyllis decided thatThe Partnership better reflected the intimate working relationship between Lyn and herself It was my honor to design the web-page. Jay Mohier: http://hop.to/froggy
Don Stevens Intuition Seminar For those in the South Bayarea ofLA Don Stevens will be giving a “miniseminar” on Intuition on Sunday May 13th. It will be held at Meherabode. Morning session goes from 10:00 12:00 and continues from 2:00 4:00. For more information please email or call -
Mahoo Shahriari at 310-732-0299 or email@example.com.
to Baba lovers the world over, I am,just this one time, making an exception. I received a letter from Sheila and Kenneth Emery who bought the house Earl For Americans considering going to India Starcher lived in when he built the Samadhi who will need a Visa Application form from replica in the desert of New Mexico in the the Indian Embassy, please read carefully: late eighties. Earl passed away in ‘94, and please note that the Indian Embassy recently the Emery’s have cared for the Shrine which changed or updated the visa application form is opposite their house and a part of the for Americans. Myunderstanding is that they property they bought. Baba lovers are wel are no longer accepting the older forms, and come to visit. See the article on page 39. Sheila tells us her immediate neighbor will likely return them to you. Thus you will has passed on and the property next door is need to download the new updated visa for sale. Used as I am to Los Angeles propapplication form from their website: erty values it came as an extreme shock to http://www.indianconsulate.com/ hear that the three bedroom two bathroom However, the website requires that you are trailer with cooling system, storage building, able to download the “pdf” format which bushes, trees and chain link fence surroundsome find to be very difficult to access or ing the 3/4 acre lot is for sale for an incredible download. If you are unable to access or $30,000!! Thirtythousand dollars! download this form, please contact me at: She tells us the community of Colum firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s likely that I bus is just that a community They have a will ask you to send me a self-addressed new post office, community Dinner Thestamped envelope, and then I’ll send you a ater, Historical Society general store and a copy of the visa application. Dma Snow at new library. No traffic lights! Population Love Street Books: email@example.com about 1000. Sounds idyllic for a retiree or has offered to do the same. Richard Leveton an artist. If you are interested call the Emery’s at 505-531-2137. They would really like to have Baba lovers in the community and as For those in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, AdeleWolkin holds readings of not their next door neighbors. But don’t delay. Such a deal will not be around for long. just God Speaks, but many of the books by Should a Baba lover buy the house next door Baba. These take place almost every Friday they would also consider selling them the night. To be on the safe side, call her first at property with the Shrine on it as well. they 310-540-8404. will only sell the shrine to a Baba lover.
Meher Baba Readings
Caretaker Wanted at Meher Mount Meher Mount in Ojai, California, is seeking an additional caretaker with handyperson and people skills who believes in the mission statement of Meher Mount, to share in the duties to help maintain the property. Offered are the opportunity to live on 160+ acres with ocean and valley views. If you are interested please email GiGi Driessen atgigildaoLcom. The mission statement may be read at: http://members.ffipod.com/Ezad/ index.html
A Special Gift
or years Rocky Rogers had anony mously placed a gift under the Meherabode Christmas tree. Last Christmas his sister Mary Ellen wished to honor
Sages saw within themselves the Lord of Love, Who dwells in the heart of every creature. Deep in the hearts of all He dwells. The Lord of Love holds in His hand the world, Composed of the changing and the changeless, The manifest and the unmanifest. The separate self not yet aware of the Lord, Goes after pleasure, only to become Bound more and more. When it sees the Lord, There comes the end to bondage. . . .
All is change in the world of the senses, But changeless is the Lord of Love. Meditate on Him, be absorbed in Him, Wake up from the dream of separateness. Know Him to be enshrined in your heart always. Truly there is nothing more in life to know. Meditate and realize this world It is filled with the presence of God. From The Shvetashvatara Upanishad (verses
3,8, 10 and 12), translated by E.Easwaran, The Upanishads (Tomales, CA: Nilgiri Press, 1987), pp. 217-218:
he Master usually helps the aspirant through ordinary means, but when there is a special indication he may use an occult medium to help him. Dreams are among the common media for touching the deeper life of the aspirant. Echoes, Meher Baba
For All Interested
Home of Perfect Man Shrine Builder for Sale ormally this magazine does not take advertisements, but I felt this to be so extraordinary and of possible great interest
In the Depths of Meditation
his memory by following that tradition
and had a model of the Samadhi given in his name. The lucky recipient was Mia
he picture on page 25 has been going the rounds ofthe Internet. The first time I saw it I was totally shocked! I had no idea what would happen when I followed the instruc tions. Are there, amongst our readers, graphic artists who might be able to create such a thing of the Beloved? Sharpen your pencils and send your rendering of Baba to me and we will choose the best to run in a future issue. 35
Passings Tom Phillips June 4, 1951—February 4, 2001
om Phillips, coordinator ofthe Meher Baba group in Atlanta, Georgia, passed away in his sleep from a sudden illness on February 4. He was 49. Tom was a native ofJackson, Mississippi, who came to Meher Baba in 1970 at the age of 19. He later described this experience: “I saw Meher Baba’s picture in Rolling Stone Magazine—the famous article by Pete Townshend. When I saw Baba’s picture and read the accompanying article, there was an immediate feeling ofrecognition and love. A door was opened, and I stepped through and never looked back.” He is survived by his wife and two sons. Mark Hodges, Georgia I got to knowTom Phillips almost 20 years ago, but I have no memory of our first meeting. In retrospect, it seems as ifwe’ve always known each other. That may be because Tom excelled at friendship. Just look at his broad circle of friends, so many different kinds of people. He drew us to him with his expansive spirit, his natural kindness, and his irreverent sense of humor. I never had a conversation withTom inwhich I suspected he wasrft paying attention. He listenedwell and had alot to say. If there was ever anyone who embraced high and low culture with equal enthusiasm, it was Tom. He personified the word “eclec tic” and was a person who, in a single conver sation, could skip effortlessly from Mozart’s operas to Charlie Parker, from Mad Maga zine to the Bhagavad Gita. He had an ency clopedic ability to digest and hold informa tion—about music, literature, current affairs, Eastern spirimality folk art, Indian food, Southern culture, championship wrestling, J apanese horror films, and more comic books than you ever knew could exist. He was deeply knowledgeable aboutjazz, blues, bluegrass, and other forms ofpopular music-so much so that it was almost impossible to stump him about any music or musician. After last Christmas, I mentioned to him that my daughter had given me a CD by an obscure Delta Blues musician. Tom not only was familiar with his music, but he recalled a conversation he had with the singer in aMississippibar manyyears ago! He was generous with his knowledge and ever-ready to lend CDs from his large collection or to make special music tapes. It’s going to be hard listening to music anymore without thinking ofTom. 36
Tom’s general attitude was to embrace diversity of all kinds, but he had his limits. He never cultivated a taste for sweet devotional music. “Not my thing,” he’d cheerMly laugh. Another was his dislike for shifty politicians whom he referred to as “slicks.” But my overwhelming impression ofTom has always been his acceptance oflife in all its wonderftil variety Tom’s other trademark qualitywas his well developed sense ofhumor. He was one ofthose people who find endless amusement in the world. But life wasn’t all fun and games for Tom. He cared a lot about people and ani mals (especially his own pets), and he loved Meher Baba deeply. Tom was down to earth and went about his business without a trace ofself-importance. Because ofhis modesty it’s a little startling to realize what a huge hole he has left behind. He was the glue that held together the Atlanta Meher Baba group, a teacher who worked countless extra hours for his students, a devoted family man, and a friend to us all. He wanted very badly to go to India and hoped to make his second pilgrimage in a few years. Now he’s gone back to Baba by a more direct route, and though we miss him terribly, we can onlywish him well in the next stage of this journey.
The FuneralandMemorial Bob Ahrens
The service was held in the sanctuary of a local funeral home on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 1:00 p.m. Manypeople attended from the vanous points ofcontact ofTom’s life: Baba Lov ers, mostly from Atlanta and Athens, many from the local Laotian community, fellow teachers and some students. Of course, the immediate family (Tom’s wife, Boungha, and his two sons, Sunitna and Pavana), Tom’s brother, Joe, and a cousin from Houston, and a number ofBoungha’s relatives were present. The main service was Buddhist, after the Lao fashion, which included six or eight monks who hadjust arrived from Laos. It included prayers, some ceremonies which de picted the interdependence of life, and a cer emony where the immediate family held a stringwith one ofthe monks which was touching Tom’s body (the funeral was open coffin). After a prayer the family looked away from Tom’s body and the string was cut. Boungha later said it meant to her that Tom should no longer feel constrained by his previous rela tionships: “I am no longer your wife; these are
no longer your children. Move on and be free.” It was a powerful moment. Ed Legum, of the Atlanta Meher Baba Group, spoke of Tom’s idiosyncrasies, of his passions for the eclectic, of his love for divershy, in his tastes and in his relationships. Tom was notjust unique, but extremet5, unique! He was the glue for the Atlanta/Athens group for years. He had a special, “secret” relationship with many many people. He was always ap proachable and always willing to help anyone who asked and many who didn’t. The last person who eulogized Tom was the head ofthe Laotian Solidarity Committee of Georgia. He had been Tom’s student. He noted ho when he had first metTom in class, he felt immediately comfortable, set at ease by Tom’s warmth, his apparent understanding ofLaotian customs, and his accessi bilityc He took lessons from Tom for three years. His English was very good! After prayers, everyone filed by the coffin and placed a small bundle offlowers on Tom’s chest. The coffin was then closed and taken in the hearse to another location for crema tion.At the crematorium the family, separated from the rest ofus by a soundproofglass wall, said their last good byes to Tom’s form, a very touching moment, and then the coffin was placed into the furnace and the door closed. The next evening, Sunday, the Atlanta! Athens Baba family met at Caran Bryant’s house for our memorial to Tom. Boungha, Sunitna, and Pavana were also there (although Pavana, age 12, spent most of his time playing with his Baba buddies). Sunitna, who is about 20, asked if he could speak. Through choking tears he told how his father loved his family, but that he loved Meher Baba most of all. He thanked the Baba people for being his father’s friend and said that Tom had found his happiness with us. The Master’s Prayer was then recited by all, followed by the Repentance and Beloved God prayers.Then Happy Trailswas sung, and most people went and embraced Boungha and Sunitna and the gathering ended.
Judith Garbett February 7, 1921 January 15, 2001 -
Lorraine Brown,Queensland, Australia
efore going to Judith’s fttneral service, held in Nambour at 10 am, Thursday, 1 gth January, I checked my email and found one, from Heather Nadel, that gave the glad news that Heather had placed beautiful garlands, of rose, tuberose and daisies, on
Beloved Baba’s, Mehera’s and Mani’s tombs for our dear Australian friend Judith. Flowers were also the first thing that joyfully greeted me when I walked in the door of the chapel to bid farewell to an old and dear friend known, this life, as Judith. As a keen gardener, I know Judith would have delighted in these floral tributes. And strik ingly, framed by long-stemmed pink and cream roses, was the large, beautiful profile portrait of Judith’s most Beloved Baba, painted by Diana Le Page and usually re siding at the end ofthe enclosed verandah! gallery ofBaba’s House on Avatar’s Abode. More arrangements offlowers adorned the wooden casket holding the remains of that shattered bodyfrom which, atlast,Judith was freed. It had served herwell for nearly 80 years, but had also given her great pain over the last 6 years. Ross Keatingled the service. First he read out a number ofmessages ofloving remem brances sent via email, beginning with the one from Judith’s Meherazad family the dear Mandali she had spent so much time with on her annual visits to India. Gradu ally her body restricted her movement to such a degree that she couldn’t even travel to Baba’s Room up the hill from her cabin on Avatar’s Abode. Ross then called on a number ofpeople to come and speak about Judith. Bill Le Page spoke ofthe tireless workthatJudith had done helping type, proofread and edit the books he had published about Baba. Herselfan author she wrote the very well received Lives ofLove about the women Mandali. Then Joanna Bruford, who had known Judith since she ( Joanna) was very young, spoke and shared with those present some lovely anecdotes which gave cameo views ofJudith as friend and fellow worker on Avatar’s Abode. Cecily Molloy and Alison Sparks spoke about J udith’s last few weeks, spent at a Nursing Home in Nambour that had the most wonderftilly caring staff. (One nurse, Harvey, would gently stroke Judith’s cheek and say Baba’s name to her.) Jenny Le Page and Michael Le Page, who both thought ofJudith as a beloved aunt, paid tribute to this lady they had known and loved since their childhood. By Baba’s always perfect timing, the Aus tralian Youth Sahavas, being held at Avatar’s Abode, hadjust finished, and so many people from Sydney, who were close friends ofJudith, were able to be there at her farewell. And two other specialguests Baba had arranged to farewell HisJudith.Wendyand Buzz Connor had come over from Myrtle Beach for the Youth Sahavas. Both had fond memories of Judith from meeting her in India, Myrtle Beach, and —
lastlyfromvisiting her in her cabin on Avatar’s th Abode when they came to visit at the 40 Anniversary of Baba’s coming to Avatar’s Abodein 1958, in 1998. On that visit, Buzz had sung one of his songs, Your Touch, to Judith, and she had so liked it that she asked him to sing it again. Towards the end ofthe service, before we concluded with the prayers and sang Arti, Buzz sang Your Touch. The words are particularly apt. The refrain is “And ho when I feel You so near, can I notwantYou? Your life has taken my heart and now I am broken. And I know that You know all I had I would give to You.” Judith’s bodywas broken by osteoporosis yet she continued to give her all to her Beloved Baba. In her last days, when, by Baba’s grace, I was able to spend some hours with her, having just returned from two weeks in India, one ofthe things I heardJudith saywas, “Baba, I have given You everything, and You have given me everything. Give me the strength to let go.” Judith did finally “let go” the following night. Since Judith’s funeral a week ago, the Christ’s Cradle that rambles up the jacaranda tree behind our house has had five beautiful blooms. In its previous eight years of life it has only given one blossom, and that several years ago. I like to think these glorious bbssoms reflectJudith’sjoyfulness at meeting her Beloved Meher Baba once more.
nected to Meher Baba, who claims that He had His hand very much in her pregnancy and birthing. He claimed, “I searched the entire universe to find this certain soul to do my work on earth.” Meher Baba gave numerous statements about Virginia, as well as putting us all (Vir ginia, Harold my father, and myself) in many Baba-esque situations. The one that touches my heait the most took place in 1956, while Virginia was pregnant with me. The group was flying to Myrtle Beach with Meher Baba from Newark airport in New Jersey. Arriving in Myrtle Beach, Meher Baba was placed on top of a stand where people went to get a shoeshine. A line of devotees formed to take Darshan. The queue was made up ofthe entire group trayeling with Him. Eruch stood next to Meher Baba saying to each person as they came up to bow down at Baba’s feet “Love me more and more, Love me more and more.” But when it was my Mother’s turn, Baba stopped Eruch from saying that, and dictated to him to say instead “She has the love.” It is something that she nor I will ever forget. I am proud and honored to be the only son of this remarkable mother, teacher and obedient lover of God. Thank you Meher Baba for giving me this loving and dedi cated experience that is just a part of your eternal, divine plan.
irginia Cremen-Rudd passed away early in the morning on 9 October 2000. She lived in the height ofthe KaliYuga that Meher Baba spoke about, and while she kept growing on her spiritual path with the Avatar, she more than ever held Beloved Meher Baba’s guidance on her lips constantly. She kept him alive in her body, mind, heart, and soul until her very last breath. She was the head chairperson of Rutgers University in New Jersey for over a quarter of a century. After meeting Meher Baba in the Barn at the Myrtle Beach Spiritual Cen ter in 1952, she was instantly awakened to the glory and beauty of His eternal everlasting love, which completely overwhelmed her. She actually never met Meher Baba in the physical form that day. In the sense that when the screen door opened, she perceived a blinding flash ofwhite light enguffing the entire room and on that special day in the Barn, she fell deeply in love with someone whom she could not even see! She has loved him devotedly ever since. She was also my link to Baba and I am honored to have had her as my mother, con-
Bing Heckman, Meher Mount
n December 26, 2000 Earl Butler, a faithftil caretaker and Board Member for Meher Mount, passed into the hands of Beloved Meher Baba. Earl had Lou Gerig’s disease, a form of multiple sclerosis, which progressed particularly rapidly over the last year. Earl remained in good spirits even as his condition declined. He enjoyed a joyful Christmas day and passed away peacefully while in the company of his dearest friend and his daughter. Earl was 58. Earl arrived at Meher Mount in the late 1980s,just after Agnes Baron, the longtime preserver ofMeher Mount, returned to the property after a fire destroyed all of the buildings. He provided vital assistance to Agnes, enabling her to reside on the propertyc Earl continued to live at Meher Mount and help with its many needs until the fall of2000 when his condition worsened. He is survived by his daughter Marbow Butler and his close friend Lupita Garcia. We will miss Earl very much.
:21umor for 21uma
Godc Little Dister had a Great Sense ofHumor In the ‘60s Mani was discussing a very elaborate beehive hairdo on a visitor. “That’s not a hair do,” she said “that’s a hair don’t!” Another time the conversation turned to Western means of communication. Mani said “It’s the three Ts : Telephone, Televi sion, Tellawoman.” —
IfGodHad Voice Mail Most ofus have learned to live with voice mail as a necessary part ofmodern life. But have you ever wondered what it would be like if God decided to install voicemail? Imagine praying and hearing this: “Thank you for calling My Father’s House. Please select one of the following options:
“If you would like to speak to: Gabriel, Press 11. For Michael, Press 22. For a directory ofother Archangels, Press 33. For a directory ofSeraphim and Cherubim, Press 44. If you’d like to hear King David sing a Psalm while you are holding, please press 55, wait for the beep and enter the Number ofthe Psalm. To find out ifa loved one has been assigned to Heaven, Press 66, enter his/her social secu rity number press the pound (#) key, date of birth, then press the pound (#) key twice. For reservations in one of the Many Mansions, press the letters J-O-H-N then 3-1-6. For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age ofthe earth, where Noah’s Ark is, Darwin, Hitler, the Pope, abortion, and UFO’s please wait until you arrive here, they can only be understood from a ‘heav enly perspective’. For Lucifer, Press 666, and your call will be automatically transferred. Our computers show that you have al ready called once today. Please hang up and try again tomorrow. This office is closed for the weekend. Please call again on Monday after 9:30am. But before 4:30 ACST (Ab solute Celestial Standard Time). Please call again soon, but never on Sunday, that is OUR day of rest!”
You Cant Thke It With You
There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had Press 1 for General requests worked so hard for his money and he wanted Press 2 for Thanksgiving to be able to take it with him to heaven. So Press 3 for Complaints he began to pray that he might be able to Press 4 for Healing take some ofhis wealth with him. An angel Press 5 for Heip with the IRS hears his plea and appears to him. “Sorry, Press 6 for Rain but you can’t take your wealth with you.” Press 7 forJust Saying ‘Hi!’ The man implores the angel to speak to Press 8 for Winning lottey numbers God to see ifHe might bend the rules. (good luck, we just guess too) The man continues to pray that his Press 9 forAll other inquiries wealth could follow him. The angel reapPress 0 for this to all begin again. pears and informs the man that God has decided to allow him to take one suitcase What if God used the familiar excuse... with him. Overjoyed, the man gathers his “I’m sorry, all the angels are helping largest suitcase and fills it with pure gold other customers right now. Please stay on bars and places it beside his bed. the line. Your call is important to us and Soon afterward the man dies and shows will be answered in the order it was re up at the Gates ofHeaven to greet St.Peter. ceived.” St. Peter seeing the suitcase says, “Hold on, Can you imagine getting these kinds of you can’t bring that in here!” responses as you call God in prayer:
But the man explains to St. Peter that he has permission and asks him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough, St. Peter checks and comes back saying, “You’re right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I’m supposed to check its contents before letting it through.” St. Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too pre cious to leave behind and exclaims, “You brought pavement?!!!”
NASA and the Navajo
n thel96O’s a National Aeronautics and Space Administration team working on the Apollo Moon mission took some astro nauts to Arizona, where the terrains on the Navajo Reservation looks very much like the lunar surface. With all the trucks and large vehicles were two figures that were dressed in full lunar spacesuits. NASA officer tells that a Navajo Sheepherder Charles Phillip Whitedog and his son were watching the strange creatures walking about. The father did not speak english and his son asked what the strange creatures were. They were told that they were astronauts training to go to the moon. The man became excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the crew. NASA personnel grabbed a tape re corder and the old Navajo spoke into it. When asked to translate, his son refttsed. The NASA people played the recording for other natives on the reservation, each ofwho smiled or chuckled and likewise reftised to translate. Finally, they paid someone to translate the sheepherders message. “Watch out for these guys, they come to take your land.”
Those Who Cleanse their hearts of the embittering poison of seffishness, hate and greed find God as their own true self. The truth ofdivine life is not a hope but a reality; all else is illusion. Have faith and you will be redeemed. Have love and you will conquer the lim ited self of cravings that veil your own true being as God. From Sparksfrom Meher Baba, July, 1969, Sheriar Press.
An Update on The “Perfect Man Shrine” T
Karl Moeller, Tucson Arizona hat one looksjust like Seclusion Hill,” Carolyn said. Consensus in the car was With the heat on in the car for the first that the landscape around Columbus, New time this season, the four ofus were driving Mexico, did in fact resemble Meherabad’s. in pursuit of one man’s vision. A Tucsonan This crew should know between them they doesn’t expect to go from 98 degrees and have racked up more than thirty visits to India over the years.We were there because of a whim: I had remem bered an article in the LampPost, [Oct ‘97] researched it, and talked it over with my wife, Irma Sheppard. We proposed a day trip from Tucson to Colum sunny on Saturday to 45 degrees, windy and bus, and Babalovers Carolyn Ohreland Nancy raining on Sunday. Not one of us was propWall liked the idea. erly dressed for the New Mexico wind and Columbus village, tucked in the seldom- cold. But the good cheer andjoking in the car visited southwest corner of New Mexico, made up for the chilly temperatures outside. only one mile from the Mexican border, is We arrived in Columbus thinking we home to a replica ofMeher Baba’s Samadhi. were over half an hour early, but we forgot The “Perfect Man Shrine” was constructed in the 1980’s by Earl Starcher, who had hoped to create both a shrine and a mu__•.•i seum devoted to Meher Baba. Earl appar entlywas moved, as no one else has been, to commit his devotion to Baba into steel and concrete. That was what hooked me the originality of the idea. Many, many ways have been used to express love for the GodMan: music, art, writings, plays, pilgrimage, and more. But it seemed to me that to conceive the idea of creating a full size replica ofthe Samadhi and to actually carry it out, must have come from Baba. Earl must have been one ofa kind, and I wanted to see what he had built. I called Columbus resident and Deming Headlight reporter Sylvia Brenner, who wrote a Headlight article on Baba, Earl and that other states move their clocks around the property which was reproduced in the for daylight savings time. We were in fact LampPost earlier this year. She was enthu halfan hour late. Sylvia was patiently waitsiastic about a follow-up and wanted to meet ing for us at the Hoover Hotel Cafe, atus. After several weeks of fruitless phone tached to a historic two-story hotel in the calls to the current owners of the property process of renovation. She graciously ac I sent them a letter. They replied via phone cepted our apologies about the time. While within a week and readily gave us permis we ate lunch, Sylvia told us a bit ofher own sion to visit the Shrine. story, and asked us about Baba and a bit -
about our own lives. Nancy and Irma had come well-prepared, and presented Sylvia with an armload ofBaba material: writings, cards and even a framed photo. We also spoke briefly to one ofthe Cafe’s proprietors, July McClure, who had known Earl personally. July described Earl as an older man who had traveled extensively in India and who exhibited both conventional and highly unconventional thinking. Earl was apparently well liked. In a small village like Columbus, personal idiosyncrasies are seemingly taken in stride. Due to Earl’s construction ofthe Perfect Man Shrine, an entire U.S. village knows the name ofMeher Baba all according to Baba’s mysterious plan. After lunch, Sylvia escorted us to the site. It is really there, full size, on the windswept southwest outskirts of the village, right on the edge of thousands of acres of scrub desert and miniature mountain ranges. Though the property is at the intersection ofJones and Roosevelt Streets, you will not find it without help. This is a neighborhood with no street signs. From a distance, the Shrine looks like the real thing. Next to the road, a large sign, almost a wall, advertises this as the Perfect Man Shrine, with a short introduction to Meher Baba in English and Spanish. A photo of Baba, the familiar “Ancient One”, is affixed to the sign. No one was home across the street. Earl’s former home across from the Shrine looks like a barred fort the owners of the property are away much ofthe year. Upon closer inspection, the Shrine’s interior is unfinished, and there are no windows or door. A sign hangs inside the building No Trespassing. It works: the interior is trash-free, though weeds are growing through the floor. Earl put in electrical conduit, still hanging from the ceiling, and a drain for the roofarea. He built it to last, using a steel I-beam, corrugated galvanized steel roof under the dome, and concrete block. The outside paint is peeling; a spider had spun a web right across the doorway. Although the lot is fairly clean, the building has apparently received no maintenance since Earl left Columbus to ultimately die in Myrtle Beach. According to the current owners, other Baba lovers have visited the -
site in the 10 years since Earl left. Some of them have offered to clean up and even continue construction; the owners have declined these offers, not wanting to be “beholden to anyone”. As a result, according to Baba’s wish (for what is not?), this building, a byingby crafted replica ofthe Samadhi, stands untended and deserted in a weed-filled lot on a dead-end street, silently proclaiming “Mastery In Servitude”. With land so plen tiful around Columbus, there is little rea son for it to be visited by a wrecking ball; it may stand there, silent and mostly unvis ited, for a long, long time. All according to Baba’s mysterious plan. [The house opposite the shrine is now for sale, see page 35.]
God Alone is the Beloved Kitty Davy ‘My only happiness lies in making people understand not through the mind but through experience that God alone is the Beloved for whom we exist.” Meher Baba
aba was in seclusion in India from the summer of 1935 to the early spring of 1936 when He opened a center at Rahuri for the mad and masts, twenty three miles from Meherabad. It was not until early November of 1936 that Baba returned to the West and a completely different phase of work started. His ob ject during this short visit was to arrange for our group from England and others Bringing the Spring from Europe and America to come and stay in India. Look out! Heads up Prior to our arrival in India and after Here comes the dawn much correspondence, Baba wrote that ofmankind in a new age He had obtained property in Nasik some the dawn ofunthinkable grace. one hundred fifty miles from Bombay. This property, “Meher Retreat,” was made Watch out! Before you are aware possible by Norma Matchabelli as years He’ll be in your heart singing later the “Meher Spiritual Center” in to beat the band. America was made possible by Elizabeth Raising the rooftops Patterson. To quote Baba’s words: andflooding the land “I have procured the ideal property in with hopelessjoy Nasik. It is twenty acres situated amidst beautiful surroundings with special scen the kind that never ends. ery all around. With the Western group Lay down with the lamb in Nasik, the Eastern group in Mehera and cuddle the lion. bad and Myself in Rahuri midway beThey both are awash in tween Meherabad and Nasik these will this infinite love comprise the nucleus ofMy activities for rolling on their backs, curled up the next five years. The Center will have nothing in common with the accepted jumping through the grasses notions concerning ashrams and spiritual laughing. retreats, with the strict, dry, rigid disci Listen—the Silence ofLove Its special plines governing them is upon us. personal My having featire will lie in its Hold it in your heart and let it dis gave His living guidance as Jesus intoyour cells; guide life personally breathefresh ciples. In short, I will each of you according to the aptitude, relax as in a loverc embrace mentality and capability of each. I want as in a motherc caress, all who are dear to Me to pass through as in afatherc lfl. certain experiences that are necessary.” and breathe in His Love Letgo In December, to our joy, fifteen of us that is Timeless from the American and English groups Wordless were called by Baba to India. This meant leaving our families or careers, and a Grace. Beth McWhirter promise to obey Baba implicitly. Although —
Baba said we would be at the Nasik ashram for up to five years, before leaving I had written to Baba for the English group, expressing our concern that He would send us back to the West after a short stay with Him in India, as He had done previously. What was Baba’s reply? Rahuri November 26, 1936 Darling Saroja, I feel so disappointed that with all their love for Me Kimco wouldn’t understand in spite of explanations of some important things so clearly given. I was so happy you all eventually agreed to come but the peculiar attitude of Kimco, always however so typical, oftaking all things serious so lightly even if I want them to take it seriously and understand, at times causes Me great pain. Your heart is so wonderful, always feeling so deeply and truly, and responsive to the call and understanding, but the pecu liar mind of yours at times wobbles and tries to shake your faith and your love re vives it all again and afresh. One moment you feel quite prepared to do and stand anything, the next moment you hesitate with if’s and but’s and feel depressed and worried unnecessarily. But I will see that this eternal struggle between the head and the heart, for you as well as for all others who suffer from the same weakness, ends eventually in the victory of the heart over the head, and brings about a blending of the two. In fact, I am working at it, suf fering Myself almost all the while of being misunderstood every moment, and in every act ofcompassion in raising the consciousness and understanding of humanity to a higher level even by My own who have known Me and have been in My closer contact! Just a little individual ef fort to understand and do as I say and it would save so much trouble and pains for Me and for all. My Love to all and self, (signed) M.S. Irani ...
From Love Alone Prevails, by Kitty Davy, Pages 140 142, © 1981 by Meher Spiritual Center, Inc., Copyright 1981 by AMBPPCT, Ahmednagar, India for all quotations from Meher Baba, Published by Sheriar Press. -
7th Annual Rocky Mountain S ahavas By Karen Ireland King ofHearts weekend, known to all the songs are based on historical the rest ofthe world as President’s day sources; b. a rock or folk opera; c. a narrative weekend, is a Baba love fest in the Black song cycle. Forest of Colorado. Each year at this time The performance consisted of fifteen the Avatar Meher Baba Denver Center songs played in two sets. Michael wrote group holds their annual Sahavas. fourteen ofthe songs. The fifteenth is Beth This year’s guests were Freiny Irani and her McKee’s Meherac Song. Accidental Qwva1i daughter Shireen Bonner. Freinywas married consisted of: Joan and Dixon Staples, Jeff to Baba’s younger Fl DeLoe, Michael brother Adi Jr. Haldeman and She also met Alice Rybak. Baba many times What a fabulous as she was growand stunning ingupasherfamperformance! ily lived in the Maybe one day Trust compound there will be a in Ahmednagar. recorded version : Vioo and Sarosh for all to enjoy!? are her aunt and Many people uncle. Shireen haveclaimedthat met Baba several the camp we use times as well. One Karen Ireland, Freiny Irani, each year re of their last visits minds them of with Baba was in December of 1968 at Dara being at the Myrtle Beach Center. Is it just andAmrit’swedding. Dara is Shireen’s brother being in nature? Is it the cabins and set-up from Adi’s first marriage. ofthe camp? My opinion is that it’s because Freiny and Shireen came out from Santa that weekend the camp is filled with Baba’s Fe, NM a day early to spend a little time presence—the one thing that is sure to make with anyone that could join them and to one place “feel” like another. see a little bit of Denver. It is always so If you would like to be contacted about wonderful to be around someone who the Annual Rocky Mountain Sahavas, was so close to Baba, you really get a sense held each year on President’s Day weekend ofHis presence. in February, please drop me a note at The days at Sahavas were filled with Preisters@home.com or at this address: talks from our guests who shared their fam- Karen Ireland, 425 Dudley Street, Lakeily stories, conducted workshops on such wood, CO, 80226-1155. things as Being with Baba in the 21st CenJai Baba for another year! tury, What Do We Know ofBaba’s Damaan and round robin sharing on how we connect internally with Baba. Projects galore bounded from those who became inspired in our art room and the L nne Ber homemade Chai (Khorshed’s recipe of course) flowed all weekend long. you’ve been thinking that some time Saturday night brought us a special you’d like to make a love-donation to treat.The group,whimsically called Acciden the Trust, today may be the perfect time. tal Qwwali, performed Song of Silence: A The Avatar Meher BabaTrust runs a firstSong-Novel of the life of Meher Baba writrate school, provides medical care for villagers ten by Michael Haldeman. In our and maintains Baba’s tombshrine and Trust program, song-novel is defmed as: a. an ex properties. There are also beneficiaries of the tended narrative musical work in which the trust whose living expenses are covered by doindividual songs ftinction like chapters in a nations from Baba-lovers. All ofthese worthy book and novel, because some ofthe dialogue projects were specified byBaba Himself in the is drawn from imagination, though
Saints Bowing in the Mountains Doyou know how beautfulyou are? Ithink no4 my dear. For asyou talk ofGod, Iseegreatparades with wildly colorful bands Streamingfrom your mind and heart, Carrying wonderful and secret messages 7b every corner ofthis world
Isee saints bowing in the mountains Hundreds ofmiles away Th the wonder ofsounds That break into light From your most common words. Speak to me ofyour mothei Your cousins andyourfriends. Tell me ofsquirrels and birds you know. Awaken your legion ofnightingales— Let them soar wild andfree in the sky And begin to sing to God. Letc all begin to sing to God! Doyou know how beautfulyou are? Ithink not, my deai Yet Hafiz Couldsetyou upon a Stage And worshz, youforever! IHeard GodLaughing, Renderings ofHafiz by
Spiritual advancement is a story of a succession of surrenders, one after another, until the goal ofthe final sur render ofthe separate ego-life is completely achieved. The last surrender is the only com plete surrender. From Sparksfrom Meher Baba, July, 1969, Sheriar Press.
A Note from Our Trust—walli .
Trust Deed. Many of the Tmst’s charItable projects and outreach projects are canied out by Eastern and Western volunteers. Some projects, however, require the assis nceofpaldIndworkers,andasIndiaraises its standard ofliving the cost ofmaterials and&::: labor is on the rise also. More love-donations are also needed for the ongoing archives project, preservation of theprecious artidesusedand touchedbyBaba that mean so much to all ofus. If thiS appeals to you, please make your theckpayableto Friends ofMeherBabaTrust, 2Utd send it to: Lynne Berry 267 Hanover DrIve, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 41
Carry Your Life on Your Sleeve: an Evening with Esfandiar at Meher Center the evening ofThanksgiving Day, 23 November 2000, we attended a talk at Meher Center in Myrtle Beach by Esfandiar Vesali, an Iranian Zoroastrian who as a boy attended the Prem Ashram. This was the unique “love retreat” for imparting spiritual knowledge to young boys ofvarious religious backgrounds, founded by Meher Baba at Meherabad in the 1920s (for details of this school, see Lord Meher by Bhau Kaichuri and Ramjooc Diary by Ramjoo Abdulla). Ever since then the main focus of Esfandiar’s life has been to love Meher Baba as he should be loved. Esfandiar was visiting the Center from Los Angeles, where he moved from Iran about a year and a half ago. He was accom panied by his interpreter, Farshid Namiranian, and Farshid’s family. All had taken up residence in Dilruba (the house formerly occupied by Elizabeth and Kitty and now used for office work and Sunday afternoon teas). This was the last day of their stay, and a large group had gathered in the Meeting Place at Meher Center to hear this unique lover of Baba’s. During his stay we heard many different stories; this evening’s comments were only a fraction of what Esfandiar had to offer, yet in a way that frac tion contains all we need to know ifwe are looking for some meaningfiil words of inspiration and guidance. Esfandiar is a beautiftil soul, a handsome white-haired man with a serene expression and a quietly blissful presence. There is something uplifting aboutjust being in his presence—visiting with him seems like a lovely a way of”keeping company with the lovers of God.” But he also has some good stories of Prem Ashram days and his later life with Baba; and although he does not always comply when pressed for details of what he calls his “inner work,” he does have some valuable advice for those with ears to hear. Esfandiar had first seen Baba’s photo when he was four or five years old, in the home of his mother’s uncle—Baidul (Rustom Jafrabadi Irani), a member of the Mandali whojoined Baba in the 1920s and who had the reputation of having a fine “nose” for finding masts. When Esfandiar
Kendra Crossen-Burroughs, Myrtle Beach, SC was twelve or thirteen, he read about Baba’s school in a magazine and told his mother that he wanted to attend. She, a Baba lover, was pleased, but his father was not. Finally the father agreed, and Baidul brought Esfandiar to India along with some other Iranian boys (about fourteen in all). After arrival in Ahmednagar, they trayeled bybullock cart to Meherabad. The boys lined up to meet Baba, and Esfandiar was the last in line because he was the oldest and tallest. He was eagerlywatching for the moment when Baba would appear. Baba arrived and began moving down the line of boys, greeting each one. When he got to the end ofthe line, Esfandiar was about to bow down and kiss Baba’s feet, but Baba moved quickly away before he could do this. The same thing happened the next several times that he saw Baba. Esfandiar did not com ment specfficallybutleft me with the impres sion that Baba thus kindled the fire that was soon to burst into flame in Esfandiar’s heart. In the meantime, classes had begun, and Esfandiar—who had come to the school with the ambition ofeventually studying engineering or medicine—was transformed when he heard his teacher recite a poem stating that a human being can reach the point where he sees nothing but God. This idea so thrilled Esfandiar that he no longer wanted to study; he would remain alone re peating the name of Yezdan (God) and wanted to run away to the forest. When he was brought to Baba and asked why he would not do his schoolwork, at first Esfandiar would not say. But when Baba said he would send Esfandiar back to Iran unless he revealed the reason, Esfandiar told Baba, “I want to see God.” Baba held him in a close embrace for fifteen or twenty mmutes. He then took Esfandiar into another room, and Baba lay down on the bed, his face beaming, and covered himself with a sheet. When he emerged after some time, he looked sick and yellow. Esfandiar did not venture any interpretation, but it seemed as ifBaba may have been doing some intense work dn Esfandiar in order to make his
heart’s desire come true, and in some way this must have taken a toll on Baba. Truly the Avatar does suffer intensely in order to give us the precious gift that He came on earth to impart to His lovers. Baba took Esfandiar with Him in a rickshaw (the one now in the museum on Meherabad Hill). There was hardly room for Esfandiar to sit, and Baba told him to hold on to His arm as they went up the hill. At the top He asked Esfandiar, “Did you see how bumpy the road was? Ifyou hadn’t held on to my arm, you would have fallen off. That’s how the Path is also; you have to hold If you want to see God, you on to me. From now on, I am your must obey me. father, your mother, your relatives—your everything. Think ofme and nothing else.” He also instructed Esfandiar to keep silence (for a limited period, obviously). Ifhe acci dentally broke the silence, he was to tell one of the Mandali, and they would bring him to Baba, who would forgive him. Baba began to instruct Esfandiar in his “inner work” by coming at night to his room (Hall #2 in upper Meherabad, opposite the museum); while the other boys were sleeping, Baba sat with Esfandiar and directed him in the way to do this work. At first it sounded as if Esfandiar was referring to some kind of meditation, but he subse quently clarified that when he spoke of his inner work, he was referring to his “inner journey” in general, which consisted in ef forts to love Baba more and more. When asked what were the exact instructions that Baba gave Him, Esfandiar simply replied that Baba said to love him. The stay at the Prem Ashram lasted for twentymonths, afterwhich Baba sent the boys away and Esfandiar returned to fran. After two years Baba came to Iran, and Esfandiar was able to be with Him for four days. He did not see Baba again for twenty-eight years. In connection with this separation, an interesting episode concerned a story Esfandiar had read or heard, about a saint meditating in the mountains, and how the force ofhis love caused the snows to melt and spring flowers to bloom around him. Esfandiar had doubted that this could really happen, until an unusual event occurred. He set out to .
get some medicine for his sister inYazd, riding a donkey in a snowstorm. He began to get freezing cold and thought that he might not survive the storm, but then he remembered that Baba had promised that Esfandiar would see him again, and he began to weep. At that moment it was as if he were drenched with boiling water. The snow around him melted, and he had an inner experience ofbliss, which persisted for some time (and there were no ill effects from his exposure in the storm). I am reminded of the Tibetan Buddhist masters such as Milarepa who practiced tummo, or inner fire meditation, producing so much heat that they wore only a thin cotton garment in the midst ofa frostywinter in the mountains. But while Tibetan tummo meditation is a formal practice involving complex esoteric visualizations—which not onlycreate physical heat but also burn away ignorance and lead to bliss—Esfandiar appears to have stumbled onto similar results through the “easy” medium ofhis natural, spontaneous love for Baba. During the years apart from Baba, Esfandiar wrote to India about his desire to return, but several times the Mandali wrote back saying that Baba was in seclusion. Fi naily Baidul wrote in 1963 and told him he could come to India,but Esfandiar replied that did not have the money. Baba told him to speak to the trees in his cherry orchard and tell each tree of his desire. Usually the biossoms would freeze each year, ruining the fruit, but this year they gave an ample crop ofcher ries, enabling him to make the pilgrimage. (As soon as he knew that the fruit would be abun dant, he borrowed the money for the trip— evidence ofhis complete faith in Baba.) When it was time for him to leave India, the airline would not let him pay for his return ticket in rupees, and he had to wait to receive Iranian currency in order to get the ticket. In the meantime he got to stay with Baba an extra twenty—eight days—interestingly (it occurred to me after the talk), the same number ofdays as the years apart from Baba. When he returned to Iran, he realized that in order to be with Baba, he must pursue the inner work of loving Him intensely that he had learned in the Prem Ashram. He started loving Baba with all his existence and all his soul, with the aim ofloving Him to the point that he would forget himself Esfandiar told about the hard time he had when he broke his hip, and his wife had a broken leg at the same time. At first he was quite depressed because not only was he unable to walk, but also the pain made it hard for him to do his inner work. This broke his heart, and it was that broken heart which led him to a very
special inner experience. He was sitting on his bed, inwardly loving Baba, when he reached the point of experiencing infinite bliss and power. He wanted to use his power to do something,buthe realized that he could not— Baba was blocking that channel. Then it occurred to him that he could use that power to love Baba more. By doing that, he lost his finite selfin Baba’s infinite SelEThis continued until somehow he came back to his body. The feelingpersisted for some time, alongwith the consciousness of the body. In the question-and-answer period, Esfandiar’s replies to various requests for advice were all variations on the same theme: Love Baba, commune with Baba, hold His image with the inner eye, and this will open the path. It is not enoughjust to repeat Baba’s name—it must be done with love. Imagine, he said, that you have been married for thirty years and all that time have been unable to have the child youlonged for.Then, after thirty years, God gives you a child.Think how much you would love that child. That is how you should love God. Someone asked ifthere was an “easy way” to love Baba (this evoked a peal oflaughter in the audience). Esfandiar replied that control of one’s thoughts was an important step. He mentioned avoiding bad thoughts, but I also took his reply to mean that through self-control we can turn our attention away from our attachments and place our thoughts on Baba. It seemed similar to the idea he had expressed when describing the inner experience of infi nite power and how he turned that power toward loving Baba. We may not feel that we possess power that is infinite, but each of us nonetheless has our own source ofpower that we can learn to channel so as to intensify our love for Baba. Esfandiar quoted Hafiz to the effect that it is impossible to express and explain love, and he added that the aspirant will recognize it by doing it. Three or four times in the talk he repeated a couplet ofHafiz, translated by Farshid as:
“The abode ofMister Love is higher than the mind. Only the one who wears his lfe on his sleeve is able to kiss that threshold.”
Farshid explained the expression “wear one’s life on one’s sleeve” as meaning “being ready to give up one’s life.” Baba quoted the same verse, as reported in Listen, Humanity (page 17): “Hafiz describes the bare truth about love when he says: janab-e ishqra dargah basi ba/a tarazaq’/ ast: Kasi in astan busad kayjan der astin daradi’ ‘The majesty oflove lies far beyond the reach of intellect; only one who has his life up his sleeve dares kiss the threshold of love.” I was curious to find out more about this expression, “having one’s life up one’s sleeve.” In English we speak of wearing our heart on our sleeve, and it means that we do not conceal our true feelings of love for someone. Or we may say that someone has something up his sleeve, meaning he has some scheme he is concealing. But these do not seem to be the meanings intended by the Persian expression. Frank Bloise offered the comment that “one who holds his life lightly unshackles his heart so that it is open to re ceive the gift of Love.” I also asked Carl Ernst, a specialist in Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina, and he provided some illuminating comments: “The phrase has to do with the large and capacious sleeves that in Hafiz’s time were used to store large money purses and things like food. There is a nice play on words here: the one who can kiss that threshold (asetan) has his life stored in his sleeve (asetin), ready to give it away. So it is quite different from the English phrase. More precisely, I would translate: ‘The court of the Lord of Love is much higher than the mind. The one who kisses its threshold has his life inside his sleeve.’ This has a lot ofroyal imagery—the court (dargah), the lord of it who is master of its ‘inner sanctum’ (harim), the threshold, etc. One always approaches a king with a gift, and in this case it is one’s life. Unfortunately the literal translation ofthe phrase does not convey to an English-speaking reader the implication ofgiving away something stored in the large sleeve.” When it was time to end the talk, Esfandiar was asked for one last word of advice. His answer: “The best backpack on this path is intense love. Once you have that, it will take you where you need to go.”
Baba’s Christmas Gift to Me
William M. Stephens, Hawaii ust before Christmas, Beloved Baba saved my life. In doing so, He utilized two ab solute strangers—neither ofwhom realized the part they played—but both of whom, we learned later, had heard of Meher Baba and have indicated an interest in knowing more about Him. on December 18, I felt weak and listless, and I didn’t feel like taking my cus tomary three-mile walk before breakfast. Later I noticed that my stools were black and tarry. The next day I felt worse and my stools were again black. I told mywife Peggy about it. She consulted a medical book and told me I had to get to a doctor right away. I was bleeding internally. We live on the island of Maui, and we have no regular doctor. During our many years together, we have seldom needed one, and have generally felt that the best way to stay healthy is to stay away from doctors and drugs. At the same time, we realize that Meher Baba’s Mandali included M.D.s, Ayurvedic physicians, homeopaths and chi ropractors. Obviously, all healing approaches have validity and can be effective. At the Lahaina Medical Clinic on De cember 19, I was examined and given tests by a Dr. Helen. She was very concerned and said it was imperative to find out the source ofmy internal bleeding. She set up two ap pointments for me—the first on the following day for an abdominal ultrasound. The other appointment, to have an endoscopy of my stomach and duodenum, was set for December 26, seven days later. When Peggy and I left her office, Dr. Helen gave us warm hugs, but she didth ask me to checkback or to do anything other than keep the two ap pointments. The ultrasound the next day was nega tive—no problem seen. But the black stools continued and I was getting weaker. The specialist’s office phoned and said the doc tor couldn’t see me on December 26. They would have to schedule me for December 27. Now desperate, I told the caller I had to see the doctor right away. It was an emer gency. So she scheduled the appointment for the following day, December 21, at four p.m. I asked her a question about the endo scopic procedure the doctor would perform. She said there wouldn’t be any procedure— only a consultation.
Next morning, December 21, my fourth day with black stools, I lay listless on the bed waiting for the clock to roll around to three p.m., when we would leave to drive across the island to see the specialist. I was feeling depressed and very weak, and I wondered if I should ask Peggy to drive me to the emergency room. At that moment the telephone rang. Kiva, a young woman whom Peggy had met about ten days before, was calling. When she and Peggy had met, Kiva told Peggy about a man who lives high on the slopes of Maui’s massive mountain Haleakala and owns a Rife Generator which he allows people to use without cost. Peggy had asked Kiva to call us and give us the man’s phone number. Now a flashback. Ten years ago I read a book The Cancer Cure That Worked, about Dr. Royal Rife who, in the 1930s, built a high-frequency generator that was said to cure cancer and other debilitating diseases. The University of Southern California es tablished a special research team of leading scientists and physicians to evaluate Rife’s electronic therapy. Participating physicians referred sixty-one “incurable” patients to Rife, and each was reportedly cured within 130 days. Royal Rife and his Rife Generator became front-page news in San Diego, Los Angeles and elsewhere. Then Dr. X, an M.D. who virtually ran the American Medi cal Association for a half-century, came to San Diego to investigate the Rife Generator. After seeing it operate and reading treatment notes of cured patients, Dr. X offered to buy a part of the company that Rife had set up to market the generators. When Rife refused to sell, the irate doctor vowed to destroy him. And he did. Through his influence at the AMA, he stirred up paranoia among the drug companies and hospitals, and complained to government agencies that Rife was a quackwho falsified data and had actually cured no one. Unknown intrud ers broke into Rife’s offices, destroyed his machines and burned his papers. One of Rife’s medical associates died in a mysteri ous fire that destroyed his laboratory. Another associate, Dr. Milbank Johnson, was murdered, and Rife himself while hospi talized, died from a lethal dose of valium.
By that time, people who had worked with Rife had received anonymous threats. Prominent physicians and educators who had been photographed at a banquet hon oring Royal Rife now denied even knowing him. Rife’s assistant managed to get away with the plans for the Rife Generator. He built and sold machines to physicians in Germany and Mexico, and some are still being used in cancer clinics in Tijuana and elsewhere. Small models allegedly based upon Rife’s original Generator are sold through websites such as Rife-machine.com. So as I lay on the bed, weak and de pressed, on December 21, young Kiva phoned and gave me the telephone number of the man with the Rife Generator. Im mediately I phoned him, and he proved to be a very knowledgeable naturopath who said he could treat my condition ifhe knew my blood count. I didn’t know what my blood count was, so he asked me to phone Dr. Helen and get the figure. I phoned Dr. Helen’s office and talked with an aide. By mistake, she looked in the wrong file and gave me somebody else’s blood count. I asked her to copy my records so I could take them to the specialist that afternoon. “Fine,” she said. “And as long as you’re coming to get the records, Dr. Helen would like to see you.” Now armed with my blood count (or what I thought was my blood count), I phoned the naturopath again. “Oh, you’re in great shape,” he said. “You don’t have a thing to worry about.” Two hours later, Peggy and I went to Dr. Helen’s office, where I discovered that the aide had copied somebody else’s records for me. Apologizing, she copied my own records while I had a blood test and waited an hour to see the doctor. When I saw her, she told me that my hemoglobin was down to eight and I must have a blood transftision right away. “I’ll call an ambulance to take you to the emergency room.” “No, I’ll take him,” said Peggy. “I can get him there faster.” ByBaba’s grace, the trip took only half an hour, but by the time I was admitted, myhemoglobinwas onlysix and a frac fion! (One of the doctors told me that if I’d waited another day, I’d have been dead.) For nine to ten hours I was given transfusions.
The transfusions were interrupted once to take me to a lower floor for an endos copy. While I was being wheeled down the hail on a gurney, a group ofthe hospital staff were singing Christmas carols. They finished singing “Silent Night” as I passed by, so I grinned and said, “I feel like I’m playing a part in a movie.” The endoscopy revealed that I had a large ulcer in the duodenum which the doctors say was caused by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylon. Treatment with antibiotics and Priosec was begun. On Christmas Eve I was released and Peggy drove me home. It was wonderftil to spend a quiet Christmas with Peggy and with our son Don and his wife Susie, who had come to visit us from North Carolina. After Don and Susie left, our dear friends Michael Le Page and Cherie Longo arrived to spend a week on Maui. Michael and Cherie and Peggy and I made a trip up to Haleakala to see the naturopath who has a Rife generator. It’s an impressive machine, and we all experi enced subjective tinglings and other inter— nal sensations. Since then I’ve had other Rife treatments, and I like the way they make me feel. I’m not ready to give public testi monials, but I’m cautiously optimistic about the value of the Rife machine. And I’m eternally grateful to Beloved Baba, who showed me once again what a loving, compassionate, omniscient and eter nally clever Beloved He is.
AudioTape : Lending Library
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The Chiefand the Flute Raine Eastman-Gannett, Berkeley CA will come from it and help the Indigenous American Indi ans.” Davana then took it back across the room to Eddie who again pointed the flute in the 4 directions as he whispered a chant. We all were moved to a rousing “Avatar Meher Baba kiJai!” We were told that Eddie “Deer Chief”— as Mani used to call him also had previ ously given flutes he carved from branches ofa Cedar tree found at Myrtle beach to Ava tars Abode,The Meher Spintual Center and to Meher azad. On another note concerning ChiefEddie Box, we read in The Glow, May 2000 issue, in an article byjerry Edwards posted from Meherabad: Eddie Box (Red Ute) was advised by Aloba to cut his long braid. He said the long hair indicated the old, and one should try to move on to the new. Eddie cut his braid as a symbol of his New Life feelings and sent a message to Aloba teffing him he had done just that. Aloba sent this message back to Eddie: “Think ofBaba continuously and love Him continuously. Love Baba more than your wife and children. Know that you’re letting go is letting Baba take over”. —
hief Red Ute, Eddie Box (Native American), was on Pilgrimage with his wife Diane, October 2000 at the Meher Pilgrim Centre, Meherabad. He is a shy and humble man and one would not dream he is a great chief with a long lineage. One Sunday at Meherazad he participated in the entertainment program in Mandali Hail. He gave a very beautiful and moving perfor mance on his flute. He then pointed the flute in the 4 directions ofthe compass and holding it out said “I would like to present to the Meherazad Women this flute made from a branch of Mehera’s clove tree.” At this point Meheru explained to us, “Mehera propagated and grew the clove tree here at Meherazad and a branch fell from that tree. ChiefEddie Box took that branch given by us to America to carve one of his flutes from it.” The flute was beautiful, smooth and graceful, and had a white suede fringe with beading hanging from it. It was a masterpiece of art and craft in the Native American Tradition. Davana took the flute across the room to Meheru and the other Women Mandali. Meheru received it and after a few moments said, “Take this flute from the branch which Mehera grew and you carved, back to America and whenever you play it, the wind ofMeher Baba’s Love
Beautiful Hands This is the kind ofFriend You are Without making me realize My soulc anguished history, You slzp into my house at night, And while I am sleeping, You silently carry off All my suffiring and sordidpast In Your beautful Hands. —
The Subfrct TonightlsLove, 60 Wildand Sweet
Poems ofHafiz, Versions by Daniel Ladinsky 45
Mehera, Baba’s Beloved Selections from the book Mehera. Compiled by Barbara Roberts
“She is My very breath without which I cannot live.
henever God comes on earth as Man—as Ram, for example, or as Krishna, as Jesus, or in this time as Meher Baba—it is always the case that one person among His close ones plays a special role as His most important disciple. This is the role of the “Divine Counterpart”, the “Beloved” of the Divine Beloved, whoselove for Him is unique in its purity and its one-pointedness.This is the role ofSita, of Radha, ofMary—and this time, ofMehera. Meher Baba has declared that this long heralded and much-expected Advent, The Kaild Avatar for Hindus, the Maitreya Buddha for Buddhists, the Second Coming for Christians, is the last Divine Incarnation in this cycle ofcycles. As such, Meher Baba has indicated that His Manifestation on earth will be accordingly the greatest in its scope and impact. Perhaps one of the first signs of the special significance of this Advent can be found in the most exquisite beauty ofMehera’s life with Baba and in the opportunity which He has given His lovers to partake ofthe inspiration ofthat life. For in her role as the divine companion to the God-Man, Mehera has become a divine reflection ofHim, providing a glimpse of what true love can be through herexample and her stories ofherlifewith Him. This book, then, provides a glimpse of Mehera, and through her ofLove Itself personified in the form of Perfect Man, who in this age is known as Meher Baba.” (From the book jacket introduction to Mehera ©1989 Naosherwan Anzar, Beloved Books) “Meher Baba, the Divine Beloved of all hearts, has called Mehera His Beloved...As Sita was for Ram, Radha for Krishna, Mary for Jesus, for this Advent ofMeher Baba it is Mehera who plays the leading role.This role, ofbeing the chosen counterpart to the GodMan, amounts to the highest, purest, most spiritualrelationship, consisting ofa divine love which the world cannot imagine. This love between Baba and Mehera is in an inner realm which has nothing to do with ‘love’ as defmed by the world’s dictionary..The keynote ofour life with Baba was purity and Baba was ver)ç veryparticular and strict about it. He never allowed the slightest compromise in this regard, so our relationship with Baba and with each other was always totally inno cent ofphysical involvement. You could even say we were as children around Baba. Easterners and Westerners, 46
ISing of You Mehera Ising ofYou, Mehera, the Belovi ofthe Beloved ofall mankind Before He began the creation, the Beloved createdyou Th mirror to Him His Love so that He could know it ever anew. He made the earth as an arborforyour pleasure and shade Ordered the stars to beyour escort and the moon to beyour maid He created the Sun and Rain to keep Earth aiwaysfair andgreen Bearing to seasons choicestflowers and ftuitsforyou His chosen Queen. The Beloved because ofa whim, caused the whole creation to be. In a one wordpoem He contained it and you are its Melody. I Sing ofYou, Mehera, The Belovl ofthe Beloved ofall mankind
young and old, Baba kept us like children in this respect and shaped that childlike quality oflife which leads to true purity ofheart, involving self-forgetfulness and self-sacrifice of Francis Brabazon ©1967 from Letters to the the highest order. byJim Mistry Used by permission of Mandali And so, just as Mehera is Baba’s Beloved, India Trust and Avatar’s Abode Trust. she is also His “child” in the spiritual sense. Another example of Mehera’s No. 1 posi The absolutely clear mirror of Mehera’s im maculate heart, which Baba took great pains tion among us; while on occasion Baba would to keep unclouded by the dust of the world, offer His hand to us to kiss, it was He who reflects Baba’s image, the image ofthe Divine kissed Mehera’s hand...Repeatedly Baba has said, “IfMehera is happy, I am happy” Beloved, as none other can. He not only said it, but He demonstrated From the beginning, and throughout her in it a number of ways. I would notice that life with Baba, Mehera’s status as His Beloved Baba always agreed with anything that Megrew obvious to us in many ways. Her place Ifshe said, “Baba, such-and-such hera stated. was foremost in all things concerning Baba. He would reply, “Yes, it is so.” so, isn’t is it?” to Baba’s in attending All personal privileges Baba always agreedwithwhatever Mehera Form were hers—combing His hair, trimming His moustache, cutting His nails, seeing to said, even when, to my mind and logic it His clothes, and all things concerning His seemed that what Baba was agreeing to could not possiblybe so! Although I never said anyprecious person. Let me give you an example ofBaba’s rela thing at such times, one day I became exas tionshipwith Mehera that clearlyindicates her perated enough to tell Him, in Mehera’s ab special position in the kingdom ofHis Love. sence, “Baba, I guess if Mehera were to say When we would be seated at the dining table, that the world is square, You would agree!” it would be Mehera who had the privilege of Babalooked at me and solemnly nodded, “Yes, serving Baba. And when Mehera would offer I would.” Baba’s reply stunned me. And it taught me Him something from her plate—something she knew Baba was partial to, like a piece of a lesson as to how one pleases one’s beloved. cheese or some delicacy—Baba would taste it Playing the role ofthelover in His relationship to please Mehera and return it to her saying, with Mehera, Baba was showing us how we “No, Mehera, you eat it; it will bejust the same should please Baba, our Beloved. IfBaba were to tell us that the world is square, our answer as ill am eating it.”
as befitting a true lover should be, “Yes, Baba.” Ifin the midst ofbright daylight, He were to say it is dark, we should not only say, “Yes, Baba,” but run and fetch the lantern,just as a disciple and slave of an old-time Master had done. So itis thatMehera, in the etemairole ofBe lovedto theDivine Beloved,gave Baba the opportunityto play the role oflover and showed us how it should be done. This drove home to me His immense love for us. By taking on the role of lover the Beloved demonstrates to us howwe should please Him. Every action of Baba’s was multi-purpose. Even the most casual thing that Baba did not only affected each of the persons around Him, but also had universal reactions and reper cussions as well. So it was with Baba and Mehera’s relationship; a pure mountain stream bubbling from the heart of the world, itis not onlyfor Mehera but for all to drink from. Anyone who misconstrues this relationship, who allows even a passing thought or doubt from a narrow mind to adulterate its purity deprives himself from receiving ofthat wellspring oftrue love. On 31st January, 1968—one year to the day before He set aside His lovely Form (although at the time, we had no idea of the significance ofthat date)—Baba initiated a more public role for Mehera, who had always lived a life completely sheltered from the world. Baba kept all the women who stayed with Him strictly apart from the men, but in Mehera’s case it was again very special. For many years she could not even hear the name of any man, even for example when the newspaper was read out. Her cloistered life was the most singular. Not only had Baba given her the all-time restriction not to be touched by men—a restriction [that continued her whole life]—but not once had Mehera ever met or greeted or even seen at close range any of the men Mandali who lived with Baba. But on 31 January 1968, exactly a year before the time when Mehera would perforce begin to meet Baba’s lovers in the physical absence ofher Beloved, Baba asked Mehera to stand beside Him on the porch of the women Mandali’s residence, now known as “Mehera’s porch”, and to greet the men Mandali for the first time. He wanted her to see the men and say “Jai Baba” to them; and after the years and years ofher sheltered life, Mehera was understandably nervous. Baba told her, “Doth be nervous.
You’ll be holding My hand; I’ll be holding your hand.” Baba had Mehera wear a sari for the occa sion, and in His frail health He sat on a chair on the porch while she stood beside Him, her hand in His. All the resident men mandali of Meherazad, along with those from Ahmed
nagar and Meherabad (like Adi, Padri, Ramjoo, Chhagan, etc.) silently waiked up to the porch towards Baba and Mehera, and stood before them. Then, as directed by Baba, Mehera greeted them with folded hands and said, “Jai Baba”. Little did we know then that with this totally unprecedented event, Baba was planting the seeds for the part Mehera would play after He dropped His body. We went to Poona in 1969 for that incredible “Great Darshan” in Guruprasad, when Baba’s promised children came for the darshan of their unseen Beloved. Each darshan morning, we would see Mehera stand up and come to the microphone, looking up to see the large hall full of mostly new Baba-lovers, and she would greet them with a shy but clear “Jai Baba.” And, as you know, she continued until May20, 1989, as countless more ofHis byers have joined those beginner’s ranks towards the floodtide ofhumanitywhich will come to Baba. Baba is the Sun and Source of all things, and whatever we offer Him has been received by us from Him. By asking us to love Him, He is giving us the Love to love Him with. This was even so with Beloved Baba’s last message to Mehera. Shortly before He dropped His body, Baba asked me to take a message to Mehera. He told me to tell her, “Mehera, be brave.” And, although it seems that Baba was asking something from Mehera with these words, in actuality Baba was giving her the cour age with which to be brave. And because it
came from Him, she was able to be brave during that most difficult period after He left His Form. And so, when we were among the crowd ofHis lovers on Meherabad Hill during that unforgettable week of February ‘69, we saw Mehera greeting the Baba-bovers who came, embracing the women, comforting them with the assurance of His continued Presence. Many came from South India—even not knowing theirlanguage was no barrier. Just “Baba, Baba, Baba”, the simple exchange of the Beloved’s namebetween them and Mehera, proved ample cornmunication for their adoring hearts. Abongwith ourpain ofsepa ration, Baba’s presence grows stronger with time. It is natural that His presence should be particularily with Mehera, whose heart He has made so pure as to perfectly reflect Him. Beloved Baba has said of His Beloved, “Mehera loves Me as I should be loved.” This Divine Remembrance of infinite beauty will be sung and celebrated throughout the world, inspiring lovers of God to aspire for Mehera’s one-pointed love for the Beloved God-Man. —Mani [Mani S. Irani, Baba’s sister] March, 1989
The Dream My heart weptfor Mehera, I saw her one night Sitting before me with tearsfiowing down her cheeks
I cried as I sang to her in my dream As we both sat therefacing each othei Then I went on dreaming that with her p recious tears We madegardensfrom deserts andgrewflowers wherever theyfr/i. Then Meher came into the garden so beautjfu/ He walked through theflowers touching each one Until He was standing beside sweet Mehera Where He reached out to hergent/y and theyfadedfrom sight together Hand in Handforever together Mehera andMeher... Raine Eastman-Gannet ©1977 47
A Strange Stillness
by Pamela Topley A strange stillness enfolds us A protective shield covering nil Yet how could so many Making so much noise N:; Make no noise at all? Cocooned from the World •::j Blessed bythe Dome Star .;:;‘ Mwys shining ‘litre quiet energy k Powerfiiily4kected Taàr4 thcu! who come To laygarlandsitHis feet Ailniglitlong theywait All through the day All through the night again All their homage to pay Seconds only can they stay To kneeland lay a head upon His grave. :y, And for this short time p Foryensthey save and save Tbntheymay carry away The memory ;‘ “ The euetgy ¶ The all embracing love Tilt hope to return another day J\win their awed respects to pay. And still yet the stillness holds us.
A Divine Invitation, a computer composite/painting by Cherie Plumlee.
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